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Keeping a close eye on nuclear waste
11 November, 2021
A new inspection system should increase the speed and effectiveness of visual inspection of waste at Sellafield
Regulating change – the challenge facing US reprocessing
06 October, 2021
As used nuclear fuel continues to pile up in the US, the need to find a solution other than repositories has never been more pressing. Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with the American Nuclear Society’s Sven Bader and Steven Nesbit about how technology can help address the issue and what regulators need to do now to avert a bigger problem in the future
Russia confirms nuclear as green while EU remains undecided
30 September, 2021
The assignment of the status of a "green" energy source to nuclear power generation in the Russian Federation should be a signal for other countries considering the inclusion of nuclear energy in their "green" lists, Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev said on 27 September.
Tokamak Energy demonstrates new magnet technology for fusion power
23 September, 2021
Nuclear fusion developer Tokamak Energy said it has demonstrated a "transformative magnet protection technology" that improves the commercial viability of fusion power plants.
Using robots to clear the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo
02 September, 2021
Cavendish Nuclear and Sellafield have embraced robots in handling legacy intermediate level waste at the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo
UAMPS downsizes NuScale SMR project
27 July, 2021
Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) said on 19 July that it would reduce the number of small modular reactors (SMRs) it planned to build in Idaho from 12 to six. The project is part of a US Department of Energy (DOE) initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using nuclear power to complement intermittent renewable energy. DOE in late 2020 awarded the cooperative about $1.4 billion to support development and construction of the commercial reactors at its site in eastern Idaho that includes the Idaho National Laboratory.
The light at the end of the tunnel
14 July, 2021
In May 2001, the proposal to construct a high-level waste repository at Eurajoki near Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear plant was approved by lawmakers.
MEPS argue for green nuclear
12 July, 2021
Some 86 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have sent a letter to the European Commission (EC) calling on Commissioners "to follow the science" and include nuclear under the EU's Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. The MEPs urge them "to choose the path that their scientific experts have now advised them to take", namely to include nuclear power in the EU's Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance. The letter was organised by Swedish MEP Sara Skyttedal, member of the Swedish Christian Democrats and the European People’s Party, and signed by MEPs from 18 countries across the political spectrum.
Two expert groups report to EC on nuclear’s role in the green taxonomy
06 July, 2021
Two expert groups, tasked by the European Commission (EC) to assess the role of nuclear energy in the green finance taxonomy, published their reports on 2 July.
EU anti-nuclear states urge excluding nuclear from green taxonomy
05 July, 2021
A group of five EU member states led by Germany have sent a letter to the European Commission (EC) asking for nuclear energy to be kept out of the EU’s green finance taxonomy.
Russian scientists develop anti-radiation building materials
20 May, 2021
Russian scientists at the Ural Federal University (UFU) have created samples of clay bricks that are able to attenuate ionising radiation as much as possible - to a level that is safe for the human body, UFU said on 18 May. An article describing the technology was published in the journal Applied Radiation and Isotopes.
Fission reactions increasing at damaged Chernobyl NPP
13 May, 2021
Fission reactions have been reported again in uranium fuel masses buried beneath the reactor hall at unit 4 of the Chernobyl NPP in Ukraine which was destroyed in the 1986 explosion, Science magazine reported on 5 May. Sensors are tracking a rising number of neutrons, a signal of fission, emanating from one sub-reactor room, Anatolii Doroshenko, from the Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Safety (IPBAE) of the Ukraine Academy of Sciences, reported during discussions about dismantling the reactor. “There are many uncertainties,” said IPBAE’s Maxim Saveliev. “But we can’t rule out the possibility of [an] accident.” The neutron counts are rising slowly, Saveliev noted, and there is still time to find a solution to the threat.
Lithuanian Environmental Protection Agency approves reactor dismantling
04 May, 2021
Lithuania’s Ignalina NPP (INPP) said on 29 April that it was preparing for dismantling and decontamination of units А-2 and В-2 (project 2210, phase 1) after it had received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In accordance with clause 2 of part 1 of Article 10 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Environmental Impact Assessment of a Proposed Economic Activity, the EPA had decided that the proposed economic activity - dismantling and decontamination of blocks A-2 and B-2 would be permitted based on the environmental impact assessment report submitted by INPP.
EC indicates nuclear will be added to EU Taxonomy
22 April, 2021
In a communication on 21 April, the European Commission (EC) effectively made a number of amendments to the EU Taxonomy Regulation, which entered into force in July 2020, signalling the inclusion in the taxonomy of nuclear energy. This followed significant pressure from the nuclear industry and NGOs as well as a report from the EC’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) which found no evidence that nuclear energy does more harm to human health or to the environment than other electricity production technologies already included in the Taxonomy.
IAEA drone for emergencies
15 April, 2021
A new drone-based technology, developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for use in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, enables radiological measurements to be done in contaminated areas
General Atomics develops compact tokamak concept for fusion
01 April, 2021
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.
Seven European leaders seek active support for nuclear
29 March, 2021
The leaders of seven European Union (EU) states on 19 March wrote to the European Commission (EC) seeking more support for the role of nuclear power in EU climate and energy policy. The letter, which was published on 25 March, was addressed to EC president Ursula von der Leyen, executive vice-president Frans Timmermans, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, and Mairead McGuinness, Ccommissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. It was signed by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, French President Emmanuel Macron, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu, Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša.
First Light gives it its best shot
25 March, 2021
First Light Fusion believes its new plant design for projectile-based inertial fusion, with a lower frequency of shots, but higher fusion energy yield per shot, could result in an economically viable plant as small as 150MW. But the next key step, postponed from the end of 2019, is to achieve first fusion. James Varley reports