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Date 2023
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IAEA Director General visits Saudi Arabia
19 December, 2023
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, during a visit to Saudi Arabia, met with Minister of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud as well as the Saudi regulator and a wide range of other organisations. “The Kingdom has taken a very wise decision to add nuclear power to the options in this integrated energy mix,” Grossi said. “We have greatly intensified our cooperation in the past few years because of the faster pace with which Saudi Arabia is preparing itself for the introduction of nuclear power.”

Framatome to expand its US facility in Virginia
19 December, 2023
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that France-based Framatome is to invest $49.4m to expand, modernise, and enhance its facilities in the City of Lynchburg to meet increased demand for servicing NPPs and developing solutions for advanced and small modular reactors (SMRs). Virginia competed with North Carolina and Pennsylvania for the project, which will create 515 new jobs.

South Africa to launch procurement process for new nuclear
14 December, 2023
South Africa intends to launch a bidding process for an extra 2,500 MWe of nuclear power by March after getting approval from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) plans to issue requests for proposals by March 2024. DMRE can proceed with the procurement process after it satisfied a set of "suspensive conditions" imposed by Nersa, the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, told a livestreamed media briefing.

SMR shortlist explored
14 December, 2023
Six companies have been passed through to next stage of the UK nuclear technology competition that is looking to develop multiple SMRs across the country. Here we take a look at the contenders.

COP28: IAEA launches fusion energy discussion
12 December, 2023
Fusion is developing fast and gaining momentum as a climate solution, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said at a special event at COP28 in Dubai. The event highlighted the critical turning point reached by fusion energy and the growing consensus that international partnerships in fusion are the way forward.

Novel fuels set for growth
07 December, 2023
At the heart of every nuclear reactor is its fuel, but with a new generation of reactors on the way, new kinds of fuels are also emerging to power the clean energy transition.

TerraPower signs MOUs with ENEC and Uranium Energy Corp
06 December, 2023
US-based TerraPower has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) on the sidelines of COP28 to explore opportunities for the commercialisation and global deployment of Terrapower’s Natrium technology. “Bringing advanced nuclear technologies to market is critical to meeting global decarbonisation targets,” said TerraPower President & CEO Chris Levesque. “TerraPower and ENEC are leading the way in deploying nuclear plants, and this agreement allows us to share our expertise and design experience, and explore the opportunity for deployment of Natrium reactors around the world including additional locations in the United States.”

JT-60SA fusion device inaugurated in Japan
06 December, 2023
The Japan Torus-60 Super Advanced (JT-60SA) fusion device, the world's largest operational superconducting tokamak, has been launched at Japan’s National Institutes for Quantum Science & Technology (QST) in Naka in a joint ceremony by Japan and the European Union (EU). The ceremony was attended by European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson; Japan’s Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, Masahito Moriyama; and Japan’s Minister of State for Science & Technology Policy, Sanae Takaichias well as other senior politicians and industry representatives. They were able to witness a plasma operation from the control room.

IAEA Opens Atoms4Climate Pavilion at COP28
05 December, 2023
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has opened its Atoms4Climate pavilion at the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) which is being held in Dubai. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi launched almost two weeks of activities and events at the IAEA pavilion aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of nuclear technology and applications in both mitigating and adapting to the effects of the climate crisis.

US DOE issues HALEU deconversion request for proposals
01 December, 2023
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for deconversion services to help establish a reliable domestic supply of fuels for advanced reactors using high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU). DOE plans to award one or more contracts to deconvert HALEU as uranium hexafluoride gas to various chemical forms, such as metal or oxide, used to fabricate the fuels required by many advanced reactor developers. DOE said the deconverted material will be stored until there is a need to ship it to a fuel fabricator or other end user.

Rosatom completes dismantling of floating technical base Lepse
29 November, 2023
Rosatom has finally completed dismantling of floating technical base (FTB) Lepse after 10-years of work. Construction of the Lepse began in 1934 at the Nikolaev shipyards as a regular timber transport (dry cargo carrier). However, it was never used for its intended purpose – it was scuttled when the Germans attacked the city during World War II. Attempts to restore the ship after the war proved difficult and it was handed over to Leningrad shipbuilders, where, in 1961, it was reconstruction of as a FTB for servicing the Russian nuclear fleet. The ship was equipped with a storage facility for used nuclear fuel, tanks for the collection and temporary storage of liquid radioactive waste, and production facilities for carrying out technological operations with reactor equipment.

Reactor pressure vessel delivered to Akkuyu 3
14 November, 2023
The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) has been delivered by Rosatom to the construction site of the Akkuyu NPP under construction in Turkiye, following a 3,150 km voyage by sea. The RPV is a vertical cylindrical vessel with an elliptical bottom, which will contain the core, devices for control and protection systems of the reactor, structural elements for to control the nuclear reaction and to transfer thermal energy to the coolant. The RPV, which weighs 347.5 tonnes in shipping packaging, is 11.45 metres long and 5.7 metres wide. It was manufactured at the Atommash plant, part of Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division.

Belarus NPP unit 2 formally commissioned
02 November, 2023
Unit 2 of the Belarus NPP has been put into commercial operation after the acceptance committee signed an act of acceptance for operation of the start-up complex according to the press service of the Belarus Ministry of Energy. The decision followed positive conclusions of the supervisory authorities and the working commission of the NPP and the issue of an operating licence by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. According to contractual obligations, Rosatom now assumes responsibility for the operability of the equipment of the unit during the warranty period.

HALEU demonstration project begins enrichment in Ohio
13 October, 2023
Enrichment operation have begun at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio operated by American Centrifuge Operating (ACO), a subsidiary of Centrus Energy Corp (ACO). Doe said the demonstration project is on track to produce 20 kilograms of HALEU by the end of 2023.

Argentina and Brazil strengthen nuclear cooperation
10 October, 2023
The President of Brazil’s National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN - Comissào National de Energia Nuclear), Francisco Rondinelli Jr, during a visit to Argentina, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the President of the Argentine Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA - Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica), Adriana Serquis, to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

University of Missouri begins expansion of research reactor
06 October, 2023
The University of Missouri has hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a 47,000-square-foot addition to the MU Research Reactor (MURR) facility. The new $20m, three-story addition to the existing MURR North Building will expand the facility’s research and medical isotope production space. The 10 MW MURR is the most powerful university research reactor in the US, operating 24 hours a day, 6.5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Each year, 1.6m patients benefit from medical isotopes produced there.

Helion and Nucor announce collaboration on fusion
06 October, 2023
US fusion energy tech start-up Helion Energy Helion, a fusion power company, and Nucor Corporation, the largest steel producer and recycler in North America have agreed to develop a 500 MWe fusion power plant at a US Nucor steel manufacturing facility. The agreement includes an investment by Nucor in Helion and aims to accelerate progress towards sustainable, carbon-free industrial manufacturing.

Poland signs contract for design of first NPP
02 October, 2023
Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) has signed the Engineering Services Contract (ESC) with US-based companies Westinghouse and Bechtel for the design of Poland's first NPP. The contract scope includes finalising a site-specific design for three Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear islands; turbine Island and balance of plant design work; and support for PEJ to prepare licence application materials, training programmes, and operations and maintenance procedures. The work outlined in the 18-month contract will begin immediately.

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