Investment in nuclear R&D key to UK success

02 March 2015

The UK can only be a competitive player in the global nuclear market if the government commits to a program of research and development (R&D) aimed at advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies, as well as developing a skilled workforce, the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) suggests.

NIRAB was established in January 2014 to advise ministers, government departments and agencies on issues related to nuclear research and innovation in the UK. It has now published its first annual report, summarizing the work carried out during 2014 and setting out recommendations to the government.

The board said its main focus has been to identify where investment is urgently needed to address current gaps in funding. NIRAB said it has identified and made recommendations on three key areas for R&D: nuclear fuel fabrication; advanced reactor development; and recycling and waste management.

Australia launches waste site search

02 March 2015

Australian landholders have until 5 May to put forward potential sites for a national radioactive waste management facility under a voluntary site nomination process launched by the Australian government.

Magnox and RSRL to merge

02 March 2015

The UK's Magnox Limited and Research Sites Restoration Limited (RSRL) are being merged into a single site licence company as part of changes being introduced by the new parent body organization Cavendish Fluor Partnership.

Finland's waste fund grows to €2.4 billion

27 February 2015

Finnish nuclear operators had set aside a total of €2.38 billion ($2.67 billion) by the end of 2014 - up from €2.27 billion ($2.55 billion) by the end of 2013 and €2.16 billion ($2.42 billion) by the end of 2012 - for waste disposal and decommissioning activities, the country's Ministry for Employment and the Economy has reported.

Wyoming moves towards self-regulation

02 March 2015

Wyoming_signing_48The state of Wyoming will regulate its own uranium industry following legislation that allows it to apply to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to become an Agreement State.

Illinois bill would ensure nuclear survival

27 February 2015

Illinois_coalition_press_conf_(NPI)_48Legislation to cut carbon emissions currently before the Illinois general assembly would ensure the continued operation of the state's nuclear power plants, according to Exelon.

Wolsong 1 cleared for continued operation

27 February 2015

Wolsong (Konicof) 48South Korea's nuclear safety regulator has approved a seven-year licence extension for the refurbished and uprated Wolsong 1 pressurized heavy water reactor. The unit has been offline for two years while discussions continued on renewing its licence.

South Australia considers nuclear industry potential

Is South Australia's plan to set up a royal commission into the potential for nuclear power a local or national story, writes Ian Hore-Lacy.

The question of nuclear power for Australia has been raised several times over the last 60 years, but usually on the conservative side of politics. Apart from anything else, there has not been a strong need – the country has abundant coal located close to main population centres, and in using this for more than 80% of the electricity, has enjoyed some of the world's lowest power prices. But climate change concerns have changed the outlook nationally, and South Australia has always been less well-off than the eastern states in electricity options. Half its 5.3 GWe capacity is gas-fired, and its average wholesale power prices are one third greater than in the eastern states. Grid connections eastward amount to only 680 MWe.

Now a left-of-centre Labor government in South Australia is setting up a royal commission into the potential for nuclear power in that state, which already produces two thirds of Australia's uranium – all for export.

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