European approval for UK waste disposal charges

09 October 2015

The pricing methodology for waste transfer contracts between the UK government and operators of new nuclear power plants meets European state aid rules, the European Commission has concluded.

The methodology sets the price that operators of any new nuclear power plants built in the UK will have to pay for the final disposal of the intermediate- and high-level wastes generated from them in a planned national repository. The methodology aims to ensure that the cost of disposing of this waste is borne by the plant operators and not by the taxpayer. Plant operators will be expected to set aside sufficient funds to cover their future liabilities.

The methodology will establish a waste transfer price that reflects the actual disposal costs, the European Commission said. However, it noted this price will only be determined when most of the currently unknown costs factors of the repository have become clear. This is expected to be about 30 years after the start of operation of any new plant, it said. The price will cover all projected variable and fixed costs linked to the disposal of used fuel and intermediate-level waste, plus "an appropriate risk premium" to reflect possible cost increases after the setting of the price.

Wisconsin bill aims to overturn nuclear construction ban

09 October 2015

Point_Beach_(NRC)_48Lawmakers in Wisconsin have introduced legislation that would end the US state's 32-year-old effective ban on the construction of new nuclear plants. Bills introduced to both of the state's legislative houses seek to change the approval process for new nuclear power plants by repealing current legislation and specifically including nuclear in a list of generating options.

Russia, Bolivia agree to cooperate in nuclear energy

08 October 2015

Russia-Bolivia - October 2015 - 48Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bolivian ministry of hydrocarbons and energy on cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The document was signed by Sergey Kirienko, Rosatom director general, and Luis Alberto Sanchez, Bolivia's energy minister.

Facility expansion broadens Tecnatom's capabilities

08 October 2015

Tecnatom opens plant extension - 48Spanish engineering firm Tecnatom has inaugurated an extension to its facility near Madrid. The new building houses an emergency support centre which will provide support in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant.

Regulator completes safety review of Takahama units

09 October 2015

Takahama 48The restart of units 3 and 4 of Kansai Electric Power Company's Takahama nuclear power plant moved a step closer today with Japan's nuclear regulator confirming the units meet new safety requirements.

Demolition at former plutonium plant

08 October 2015

LANL_21-286_demolition_(OEM)_48A US Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management project to demolish and decontaminate the site of the world's first plutonium processing facility at the USA's Los Alamos National Laboratory has reached a milestone with the demolition of a key building.

New UK high-temperature research facility planned

08 October 2015

Amec Foster Wheeler has been selected to lead a project to set up a new high-temperature facility in the UK for testing materials used in current and future nuclear reactors. It will be funded by a government research grant.

Towards smarter nuclear export controls

It is time to review and improve the functioning of nuclear export controls by introducing a risk-based approach and by providing guidance that will help small companies especially understand and deliver on their obligations.

A little over ten years ago the United Nations Security Council resolved to enhance international cooperation in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology and other types of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) through illicit trafficking along supply chains. That resolution called on governments to maintain appropriate and effective export controls and to work with industry to prevent illicit trafficking.

The resolution also acknowledged that preventing proliferation should not hamper international cooperation for peaceful purposes but the complexity of the regulations makes it difficult for exporters to comply and distorts trade in nuclear components and materials and in the transfer of technology.


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