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Kagoshima governor requests Sendai suspension

26 August 2016

The recently-elected governor of Japan's Kagoshima prefecture has today requested Kyushu Electric Power Company temporarily suspends operation of units 1 and 2 of its Sendai nuclear power plant. Only one other power reactor is currently in operation in the country.

Satoshi Mitazono was elected as the prefectural governor last month. He pledged during the election campaign that he would call for Kyushu to suspend operation of the two Sendai units while their safety and evacuation plans are re-examined. However, as governor, he has no legal power to halt operation of the reactors.

Russia prepares new used fuel storage program

26 August 2016

Russia has developed a program for management of used nuclear fuel covering the period "2016-2018 and up to 2020" to replace the previous one, which has expired.

Work starts on Fuqing 6 turbine building

25 August 2016

Fuqing 6 conventional island first concrete - 48First concrete has been poured for the conventional island of Fuqing 6 - the second Hualong One unit under construction at the site in China's Fujian province. Both Hualong One units currently under construction at Fuqing should be in operation by 2020.

Urenco records first-half net loss, qualifies Brexit impact

25 August 2016

Urenco has today reported a net loss of €8.5 million ($9.6 million) as a result of adverse exchange rate movements and significant weakening of pound sterling in its financial results for the half year ending 30 June 2016. The net loss compares with a net gain in the same period of 2015 of €166 million.

CGN sees continued growth in first half of 2016

26 August 2016

CGN Power Company Limited - China's largest nuclear power plant operator - announced a 36.3% increase in revenue in the first six months of 2016 to CNY13.1 billion ($2.0 billion), compared with the same period last year.

Reactor internals installed at third Tianwan unit

25 August 2016

Tianwan 3 reactor internals - 48Installation of the reactor internals within the pressure vessel has been completed at unit 3 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province. The Russian-supplied VVER-1000 is scheduled to start up in 2018.

Russia considers nuclear power for sub-sea minerals exploration

24 August 2016

The Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, is reviving plans from the 1980s to establish a system for the underwater exploration of mineral resources. The Russian Nuclear Community reports on its website atomic-energy.ru today that federal agencies are considering the use of a nuclear reactor to power this proposed system.

Can SMRs unlock financing?

Whilst a project of the size and complexity of Hinkley Point C faces a range of challenges which lessen the availability of limited-recourse financing, it is clear that nuclear plant construction violates the basic precepts of project finance due to the unpredictability of project costs and schedule, write Rory Connor and Ken Culotta of law firm King & Spalding.

As the UK government mulls over the project fundamentals for Hinkley Point C one last time it is worth reflecting that, if and when the project finally goes ahead, EDF and its Chinese partners will proceed on the basis of on-balance sheet corporate funding; not limited-recourse project financing, as originally touted.

For the industry to flourish, even in the presence of strong government policy support, the ability to finance is critical. There is the possibility though that new technology and new construction techniques, in the form of small modular reactors (SMRs), may hold the key to overcoming such issues.

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