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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.
Defuelling of first reactor complete at Hunterston B
21 September, 2023
The defuelling of the first reactor at the UK’s Hunterston B NPP has been completed, on time and on budget, EDF Energy reported. Reactor 3 was defuelled in 16 months and work is due to start shortly on Reactor 4.
Framatome expands nuclear co-operation with Hungary
15 September, 2023
Framatome has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hungary’s Ministry of Energy for the development of a strategic relationship in the nuclear field. The MOU seeks to facilitate the extension of the cooperation between Framatome and Hungary in various domains of interest in nuclear such as education and competencies, R&D, the implementation of new technologies, fuel supply and related nuclear materials, as well as long-term operation.
Westinghouse VVER-440 fuel loaded at Ukraine’s Rivne NPP
12 September, 2023
The first VVER-440 fuel produced by US-based Westinghouse at its Swedish facility has been loaded into one of the reactors at Ukraine’s Rivne NPP. It was not clear which of the units – 1 or 2 – received the fuel, which reportedly will initially be mixed with the existing fuel supplied by Russia’s TVEL. Ukraine’s target, however, is to end the use of Russian-supplied fuel as soon as possible.
IAEA Director General Grossi visits Sweden’s Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory
05 September, 2023
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, during an official visit to Sweden, travelled to the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, where research is underway 500 metres below ground. The laboratory is located on an island north of the town of Oskarshamn near the Oskarshamn NPP.
Rosatom opens builders camp for Yakutsk low-power NPP
01 September, 2023
A temporary camp has been opened near the village of Ust-Kuyga in the Ust-Yansky district of the Russian Autonomous Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) for builders participating in construction of a low-power NPP (ASMM – Atomnoi Stantsii Maloi Moshnosti).
Zaporizhia NPP Director discusses conditions at the plant
23 August, 2023
Yuriy Chernichuk, Director of the Zaporizhia NPP, in a long interview with Russia’s Kommersant, described conditions at the plant and its future prospects. Currently, five of the plant’s six units with VVER-1000 reactors are in a cold shutdown, while one is in a hot shutdown to generate steam for the plant’s own needs.
General Fusion to build new fusion demo machine
15 August, 2023
Canada’s General Fusion has announced plans to build a new Magnetised Target Fusion (MTF) machine at the company’s new Richmond headquarters. The MTF is designed to achieve fusion conditions of over 100m degrees Celsius by 2025, and to progress toward scientific breakeven by 2026. General Fusion has also completed the first round of its Series F raise for a combined $25m of funding. It was supported by existing investors, BDC Capital and GIC and also included new grant funding from the Government of British Columbia. This builds upon the Canadian government’s ongoing support through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
NRC authorizes fuel loading and operation at Vogtle 4
10 August, 2023
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized Southern Nuclear Operating Company to load fuel and begin operation of Vogtle Unit 4 in Georgia. This is the second reactor to reach this step in the NRC’s combined license process.
Ghana pursues nuclear co-operation with USA and Russia
28 July, 2023
Ghana’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) on behalf of the Government of Ghana welcomed Christopher T Hanson, Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and his team on a two-day working visit based on a bilateral arrangement for cooperation and the exchange of technical information signed in 2017.
UK launches nuclear revival
20 July, 2023
Great British Nuclear (GBN) is to drive rapid expansion of nuclear power in the UK at an unprecedented scale and pace as the government kickstarts a competition to encourage the development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. A joint statement from the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero, GBN, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps, and Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie announced “a massive revival of nuclear power”. This is intended to place the UK “at the forefront of a global race to develop cutting-edge technologies to rapidly deliver cleaner, cheaper, more secure energy”.
Norway to investigate deployment of Seaborg SMR
20 July, 2023
Norway’s Norsk Kjernekraft has signed a letter of intent with Denmark's Seaborg Technologies to investigate the possible deployment of Seaborg's compact molten salt reactor (CMSR) in Norway.