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In the wake of suspected sabotage at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility on 11 April, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi in a letter to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi on 13 April announced that Iran would start the uranium enrichment at the level of 60%. Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran the P5+1 group of countries (the USA, UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) Iran agreed to limit its nuclear development in return for the lifting of sanctions. Under the JCPOA, Iran had committed to keep enrichment to 3.67%. However, after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018, Iran began reviving its nuclear programme and had increased its enrichment level to 20% in January.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-steps-up-nuclear-activity-following-attack-on-its-natanz-facility-8673087

The nuclear industry has for too long taken a passive role in debates that determine how its technology is perceived by the public, but the climate crisis demands active communication about its many benefits, Rauli Partanen, the CEO of Think Atom, said yesterday in his address to delegates at the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle forum. In his keynote speech, Selling the benefits instead of the fear - How to turn the discussion on the future of nuclear into an expansive and progressive one, Partanen said the positive facts about nuclear are lost to poor messaging.

Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-industry-must-change-the-way-it-communicat

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on 10 April unveiled 133 new nuclear achievements in the provinces of Tehran, Markazi, Isfahan, Alborz and Qom to mark the 15th anniversary of the National Nuclear Technology Day. In a ceremony held via videoconference he gave the order for Iranian scientists to begin injecting uranium hexafluoride gas to a pilot cascade of 164 new generation IR6 centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility. He also announced that Iran has started mechanical testing of IR-9 centrifuges and launched an assembly line for their production.  

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-unveils-nuclear-achievements-as-talks-continue-in-vienna-8663463

US and Iranian officials said initial indirect talks in Vienna on 6 April aimed at reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), were "constructive", with negotiations set to continue, although direct talks between US and Iranian officials are not taking place. Under the JCPOA between Iran the P5+1 group of countries (the USA, UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) Iran agreed to limit its nuclear development in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Date: Friday, 09 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-talks-seen-as-constructive-8657478

BN-600 fast breeder reactor could operate until 2040 The turbine hall at the Beloyarsk-3 fast breeder nuclear plant in Russia. Courtesy Rosatom. The operator of the Beloyarsk-3 nuclear power plant in Sverdlovsk Oblast, central Russia, is planning to carry out work that could see the BN-600 fast breeder reactor unit operate for 60 years, the official Tass news agency reported.

According to Tass, specialists will replace 24 steam generator modules at the 560 -MW plant as part of a project to extend its service life until 2040. The unit began commercial operation in November 1981. Work will also include inspection of the reactor, turbine equipment and security systems.

In April 2020, Russia’s nuclear regulator Rostekhnadzor granted a licence for Beloyarsk-3 to operate until 2025. The BN-600 is the only fast breeder reactor that has operated for 40 years.

A second plant at the Beloyarsk site, the 820-MW BN-800 fast breeder reactor Beloyarsk-4, began commercial operation in October 2016.

Date: Friday, 09 April 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/work-to-begin-on-beloyarsk-3-life-extension-to-60-years-4-4-2021

A group of 46 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from 18 countries has written to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, calling for the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU taxonomy for sustainable investments. The exclusion of nuclear, they say, would promote a strategy that is "clearly inadequate" to decarbonise the region's economy.

Date: Thursday, 08 April 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/NGOs-call-for-nuclears-inclusion-in-EU-taxonomy

Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Salehi said on 3 April that the stalemate over the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is about to be broken. Under the JCPOA between Iran the P5+1 group of countries (the USA, UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) Iran agreed to limit its nuclear development in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Date: Wednesday, 07 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiran-demands-sanctions-are-lifted-before-any-direct-talks-with-washington-8649970

Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in the USA have released a new design for a compact fusion reactor that can generate electricity and help define the technology necessary for commercial fusion power, General Atomics (GA) said on 29 March. The approach is based on the “Advanced Tokamak” concept pioneered by the DIII-D program, which enables a higher-performance, self-sustaining configuration that holds energy more efficiently than in typical pulsed configurations, allowing it to be built at a reduced scale and cost.

Date: Friday, 02 April 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsgeneral-atomics-develops-compact-tokamak-concept-for-fusion-8644655

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said on 27 March that fuel loading had begun at unit 3 of the Olkiluoto NPP and was expected to continue for a week. During the months following the fuel loading, the EPR reactor will undergo a range of tests as maintenance and finalisation work continues. These will include hot functional testing, in which the reactor and turbine island will be submitted to dozens of separate tests at different pressure and temperature levels. Previous hot functional testing took place in 2018.

Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfuel-loading-begins-at-finlands-ol3-8635270

The loading of fuel assemblies into the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR in Finland began on 27 March, utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has announced. The move follows the receipt of a permit from the country's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) the previous day. The process of loading the fuel assemblies into OL3 is expected to take about one week, TVO said.

Date: Tuesday, 30 March 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Fuel-loading-under-way-at-Finnish-EPR