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90 potential areas for facility named in 444-page document The former iron ore mine at Konrad, where a new disposal facility for low- and intermediate-level waste is being constructed. Photo courtesy BGE. Germany has formally launched its search for a permanent high-level nuclear waste repository site, publishing a 444-page list of locations to be assessed by 2031 with operation of the facility from 2050.

BGE, the nation’s radioactive waste management organisation, named 90 areas around the country as possible candidates for a repository. It said in a report that the planned facility would hold high-level waste currently in interim storage at nuclear plants.

Germany, which is planning to close all commercial nuclear plants by 2022, is seeking a safe place to store 1,900 containers of high-level waste. The containers make up only 5% of the country’s radwaste but 99% of its radioactivity, according to BGE chairman Stefan Studt.

“Germany’s geology is so favourable, from north to south and east to west, that we can say with conviction that it will be possible to find the one site with the best possible security for the final storage of highly radioactive waste,” Mr Studt said.

Date: Tuesday, 29 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/search-formally-begins-for-permanent-radwaste-repository-site-9-1-2020

An extensive EU-funded research project has been launched to investigate the effects of chronic exposure to low doses of radon and other naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) on humans and the environment. The EUR22 million (USD26 million), five-year RadoNorm project involves 56 partners from 22 European countries.

Date: Tuesday, 29 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/EU-research-project-focuses-on-radon-and-NORM

Carolina Schmidt and Alok Sharma - respectively, COP25 president and COP26 president-designate - yesterday issued a joint plea for new and enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and net-zero targets ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Date: Saturday, 26 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/COP-presidents-call-for-enhanced-NDCs-by-December

The IAEA continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, and evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities continue, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today in his opening address to the 64th regular session of IAEA General Conference. 

Date: Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-is-fair-and-firm-with-Iran-says-Grossi

€400m plant, backed by international donors, will provide safe storage for a minimum of 100 years Hot testing has begun at the €400m ISF-2 facility at Chernobyl. Courtesy EBRD. Hot testing has started at the Interim Storage Facility 2 (ISF-2) in Chernobyl where spent nuclear fuel from reactors 1, 2 and 3 at the destroyed nuclear station will be processed and stored in the world’s largest nuclear dry storage once full operations have started.

The start of hot testing on 10 September was approved by the Ukrainian regulator following the successful completion of previous system-wide trials of the facility, constructed by an international consortium led by the US company Holtec and financed by the international community through the Nuclear Safety Account, managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The processing and storage of the spent nuclear fuel at Chernobyl is one of the key remaining tasks at the site. While the 1986 accident destroyed reactor 4, the more than 21,000 fuel assemblies used in the RMBK-type reactors 1, 2 and 3 were removed in the following years and provisionally stored in a wet pond facility.

The new ISF-2 will replace the current site storage arrangements, providing safe storage for a minimum of 100 years. A purpose-built special train will transport the spent nuclear fuel assemblies to the ISF-2 facility where they will be cut, dried and packaged into double-walled canisters in the specially designed processing facility and – finally – transferred to the newly constructed onsite storage modules.

Date: Saturday, 12 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/hot-testing-begins-at-isf-2-interim-spent-fuel-facility-9-5-2020

The Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, said on 8 September that Iran is constructing more advanced nuclear facilities in Natanz.

Date: Friday, 11 September 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-building-advanced-facilities-in-natanz-8127596

Ukraine’s Chernobyl NPP on 7 September received a permit from the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) for commissioning the interim used fuel processing and storage facility (ISF-2).

Date: Friday, 11 September 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newspermit-issued-for-commissioning-chernobyl-isf-2-used-fuel-storage-8128504

Pressure to reverse the decision by Belgium’s Federal Nuclear Control Agency (FANC) to restart unit 2 of Tihange nuclear power plant came to nothing on 3 September when the Brussels Court of First Instance upheld the decision.

Date: Thursday, 10 September 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsbelgian-court-rules-against-closure-of-tihange-2-8122070

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) has issued a permit to SSE Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) to start commissioning work at the Chernobyl Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility (ISF-2), which upon loading will be the world's largest dry storage installation.

Date: Thursday, 10 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Chernobyl-used-fuel-store-gains-permit-for-commiss

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has established a new facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, to support the development of its proprietary Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel. Materials developed there will be used in USNC's Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) and other nuclear reactors, including gas-cooled reactors, light water reactors, CANDU reactors and molten salt cooled reactors.

Date: Thursday, 03 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/USNC-opens-SMR-fuel-development-laboratory