CEZ expresses interest in Slovenské Elektrárne

20 November 2014

State-owned Czech utility CEZ has sent an expression of interest for a 66% stake in Slovak utility Slovenské Elektrárne, which is currently owned by Italy's Enel, CEZ spokesperson Barbora Pulpanov told World Nuclear News today. The Slovak economy ministry holds the remaining 34% stake.

Enel paid €840 million ($1.1 billion) for its stake in Slovenské Elektráne and, as part of the transaction, it agreed to complete construction of two additional reactors at the Mochovce nuclear power plant.

"Integration of CEZ and Slovenské Elektrárne would bring synergies in operations and development of nuclear and hydro power plants in both countries," Pulpanov said. "CEZ also expressed the necessity of detailed analysis and resolution of outstanding issues related mainly to construction of Mochovce nuclear power plant."

Commercial operation for Fuqing 1

20 November 2014

Unit 1 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province has entered commercial operation having successfully completed commissioning tests. It becomes China's 22nd operating nuclear power reactor.

Fuel loading completed at Rostov 3

20 November 2014

Russia yesterday completed fuel loading at unit 3 of the Rostov nuclear power plant. The loading of 163 fuel assemblies into the VVER-1000 pressurised water reactor followed regulatory approval last week to bring the unit to first criticality.

Sweden, Norway and Ukraine regulators to cooperate

19 November 2014

The regulatory authorities of Sweden, Norway and Ukraine have agreed to cooperate in making improvements to the regulatory guidelines of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine as well as establishing more robust safety systems at nuclear power plants in the country.

China plans for nuclear growth

20 November 2014

China's nuclear generating capacity is set to triple over the next six years, according to an energy development plan published by the State Council.

Core catcher delivered to Belarusian plant

19 November 2014

Ostrovets 2 core catcher 48The core catcher for unit 2 of the nuclear power plant at Ostrovets in Belarus has been delivered to the construction site, Atomenergomash said yesterday.

Flamanville start-up put back one year

19 November 2014

Flamanville EPR - September 2014 - 48The EPR under construction at Flamanville in northern France is now expected to begin operating in 2017, EDF has announced. The company attributed the further delay on the delivery of certain components and on regulatory issues.

The AFCR and China's fuel cycle

The new joint venture agreement for Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR) development is a clear step towards building new CANDU units, even if thorium takes a back seat to recycling uranium, writes Ian Hore-Lacy, Senior Research Analyst with the World Nuclear Association.

Although China has long focused on pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology, initially from France, in the 1990s China National Nuclear Corporation signed up for a pair of Canadian reactors of quite different design – pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR).

This puzzled many people at the time, though a feature of them is that they use natural uranium fuel (without any enrichment). From 1998, these CANDU-6 units were built on a turnkey basis, on schedule and under budget, by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd as phase III of Qinshan nuclear power plant near Shanghai. They were commissioned in 2002 and 2003, each delivering 678 MWe net, and have worked well since.

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