Canada and China team up on AFCR

23 September 2016

SNC Lavalin-CNNC-SEC September 2016 - 460 (CNNC)

An agreement in principle to form a new joint venture to develop, market and construct the Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR) has been signed by Canada's SNC-Lavalin, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Shanghai Electric. The reactor reuses used fuel from light water reactors.

The agreement follows the signing of a framework agreement in November 2014 between CNNC and SNC-Lavalin's parent company, Candu Energy. The latest agreement is subject to all government and regulatory approvals, SNC-Lavalin noted.

The joint venture company is expected to be registered in mid-2017. This would be followed by the formation of two design centres - one in Canada and the other in China - to complete the AFCR technology. SNC-Lavalin said this could lead to the construction of the world's first two ACFR units in China and "possible subsequent builds in China and around the world".

Rectangular cask passes tests

23 September 2016

HI-STAR_ATB_1T_drop_test_(Holtec)-48Holtec International has successfully completed a series of free drop-tests on its HI-STAR ATB-1T waste cask. The cask has a rectangular footprint, unlike cylindrical fuel-bearing transport casks.

The benefits of standardisation for nuclear projects

22 September 2016

The importance of standardisation in the evaluation of reactor designs is key to making nuclear power plant projects more efficient and cost-effective, Jerry Head, senior vice president of regulatory affairs at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy told delegates at the World Nuclear Association's 41st Annual Symposium in London last week. Head outlined seven areas where such an approach can bring harmony to the process of managing projects from the design licensing stage through to decommissioning.

Reactor restarts pivotal to Japan's energy policy, says IEA

22 September 2016

The restart of Japan's nuclear power reactors is "critical" to the success of the country's energy policy, according to the International Energy Agency. However, it says nuclear power can only be restored provided that the highest safety standards can be met and public trust regained.

Tihange 1 training simulator officially launched

22 September 2016

Tihange 1 simulator inauguration - 48A ceremony was held yesterday to inaugurate the new full-scope operator training simulator at unit 1 of the Tihange nuclear power plant in Belgium. The simulator was supplied by Canada-based L-3 MAPPS.

Climate change agreement crosses threshold

22 September 2016

Ban_Ki-moon_Sept_2016_(UN-Bajornas)-48The Paris Climate Change Agreement crossed the first of two thresholds required for it to enter into force after 31 governments yesterday formally submitted their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

Recognition sought for nuclear's unique attributes

21 September 2016

High level panel - WNA Sympo 2016 - 48The economics and financing of nuclear power projects and the markets in which they operate was discussed last week by a high level panel at the World Nuclear Association's Annual Symposium. While some countries are investing in new nuclear capacity, some market conditions are forcing the closure of existing reactors, participants said.

The Nordic experience in nuclear power

Following the Paris climate conference at the end of last year, the energy sector is facing its biggest challenge ever. Countries around the world are searching for pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are looking for the right balance to the trilemma of security of supply, sustainability and competitiveness. Nordic countries can offer some useful lessons, writes Lauri Virkkunen.

There is a widespread myth that nuclear and renewables are somehow mutually exclusive options. This is far from reality. While the Nordic countries (especially Sweden and Norway) are blessed with an abundance of hydropower resources, they have had to rely on other energy sources when it became apparent that hydropower alone couldn't satisfy the region’s growing electricity needs. Finland and Sweden decided to meet growing demand with nuclear power while Denmark became a global pioneer in wind power.

Today, almost 90% of the electricity produced in the Nordics (including Estonia) comes from CO2-free sources. Moreover, in order to optimize their different production and demand profiles the countries formed one the world's first supranational wholesale marketplace for electricity. While there are still bottlenecks in the marketplace, the wholesale price is usually the same over the whole area.

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