Australia joins fourth generation reactor forum

03 May 2016

Australia is to become the 14th member of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). In addition to accepting Australia's entry, last week the forum's policy group also elected a new chairman.

GIF was initiated in 2000 and formally chartered in mid-2001. It is an international collective representing governments of 13 countries where nuclear energy is significant now and also seen as vital for the future. Most are committed to joint development of the next generation of nuclear technology.

In its latest monthly news bulletin, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency said GIF's policy group met in Paris on 27-28 May and unanimously voted to accept Australia's bid to join.

Swedish regulator makes significant progress, says IAEA

03 May 2016

Sweden has made "significant improvements in its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety", an International Atomic Energy Agency peer review mission has concluded. However, it warned of potential new challenges ahead.

Site shortlisted for Australian waste facility

29 April 2016

The Australian government has shortlisted a voluntarily nominated site in Barndioota, South Australia, as a possible site for a national radioactive waste management facility, minister for resources and energy Josh Frydenberg announced today.

UK think tank urges nuclear innovation

28 April 2016

A think tank has urged the British government to spend money earmarked for nuclear R&D on ensuring that at least three advanced reactors including at least one small modular reactor (SMR) and a Generation IV design have completed regulatory assessment by the early 2020s.

Westinghouse expands fuel production capacity

29 April 2016

Westinghouse Electric Company has announced the expansion of its nuclear fuel factory in Västerås, Sweden. The US-based firm, which is majority-owned by Japan's Toshiba, said the expansion is a response to growing demand for nuclear fuel supply diversification for VVER-1000 reactors in Europe.

Regulatory milestone for US central storage facility

29 April 2016

WCS_application_submission_(Areva)-48An application for a licence to construct and operate a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) for used nuclear fuel in Texas has been submitted to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Proposal for financing German nuclear phase-out

28 April 2016

The commission reviewing the financing of Germany's nuclear phase-out has recommended to the government that the reactor owners pay some EUR23.3 billion ($26.4 billion) into a state-owned fund for decommissioning of the plants and managing radioactive waste.

Russian proposal for nuclear fuel leasing and recycling

At the recent World Nuclear Fuel Cycle conference in Abu Dhabi, a new concept of nuclear fuel leasing was publicly proposed, writes Ian Hore-Lacy.

The leasing concept has been nebulous, but essentially means that the uranium supplier retains ownership right through to accepting back the high-level wastes, relieving the utility of any responsibility for those wastes. For several years the Khlopin Institute in Russia has been developing for Tenex a new fuel recycling model. REMIX (from Regenerated Mixture) fuel is produced directly from a non-separated mix of recycled uranium and plutonium from reprocessing used fuel, with a low-enriched uranium (LEU, up to 17% U-235) make-up comprising about 20% of the mix. This gives fuel initially with about 1% Pu-239 and 4% U-235 which can sustain burn-up of 50 GWd/t over four years.

The used REMIX fuel is then reprocessed and recycled again, after low-enriched uranium top up.

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