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EDF closes Fessenheim unit 1 in eastern France

EDF closes Fessenheim unit 1 in eastern France

EDF has disconnected France's longest serving nuclear power unit - Fessenheim 1 - from the electricity grid, thus ending the reactor's 42 years of low-carbon electricity production. The unit was removed from the network at 2am on 22 February, as scheduled. The utility said the primary circuit cooling operations had been initiated to open the reactor vessel and unload its fuel. Unit 2 is scheduled for closure on 30 June.

Corporate 24 February 2020


Finnish firm launches SMR district heating project

Finnish firm launches SMR district heating project

VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland has today announced the launch of a project to develop a small modular reactor for district heating. Most of the country's district heating is currently produced by burning coal, natural gas, wood fuels and peat, but it aims to phase out its use of coal in energy production by 2029.

New Nuclear 24 February 2020


IAEA highlights work to convert research reactors

IAEA highlights work to convert research reactors

Almost 3500 kg of highly enriched uranium has been removed from research reactor sites around the world over the past few decades, thanks to efforts supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Seventy-one research reactors have been converted to use low-enriched uranium fuel since 1978. Conversion of such reactors to use LEU reduces the proliferation risk presented by HEU.

Regulation & Safety 24 February 2020


China's nuclear power output jumps 18% year on year

China's nuclear power output jumps 18% year on year

China's nuclear electricity generation rose by 18.1% last year, to 348.13 TWh, which is up from 286.15 TWh in 2018, figures from China's National Energy Administration show. Nuclear's share of total electricity production was 4.88% last year, up from 4.22%. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, China aims to have 200 GWe of nuclear generating capacity in place by 2035, out of a total generating capacity of 2600 GWe. Under those plans, thermal power plant capacity is expected to increase from 1190.6 GWe in 2019 to 1300 GWe in 2035.

Nuclear Policies 24 February 2020


Southern CEO: Early start-up of Vogtle units possible

Southern CEO: Early start-up of Vogtle units possible

Southern Company remains confident of meeting the regulatory-approved in-service date of November 2021 for unit 3 of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, CEO Tom Fanning said during a presentation of its 2019 results. He noted the AP1000 unit could even be brought online as early as May next year, with unit 4 following a year later.

New Nuclear 21 February 2020


General Atomics, Framatome join for fuel channel work

General Atomics, Framatome join for fuel channel work

Framatome and General Atomics are to collaborate on the development of accident-tolerant fuel channels fabricated from a silicon carbide composite rather than the current zirconium alloys. Advanced nuclear fuel designs using silicon carbide in the fuel channel, the say, will enhance safety and fuel performance.

Uranium & Fuel 21 February 2020


Cernavoda 1 completes Pre-SALTO review

Cernavoda 1 completes Pre-SALTO review

The International Atomic Energy Agency has completed a review of long-term operational safety at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania. The Pre-SALTO (Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation) review mission was requested by the plant’s operator, Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica SA.

Regulation & Safety 20 February 2020


Belarus inspects Ostrovets plant ahead of fuel loading

Belarus inspects Ostrovets plant ahead of fuel loading

The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) has begun a 30-day inspection of the nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus to assess its readiness to take delivery of fuel. The regulator will also check operator BelNPP's managerial and technical alignment with legislative standards, including those concerning nuclear and radiation safety.

Regulation & Safety 20 February 2020


Oklo wins access to used fuel for Aurora SMR

Oklo wins access to used fuel for Aurora SMR

Idaho National Laboratory is to provide Oklo Inc with access to recovered material from used nuclear fuel to develop and demonstrate the Oklo Aurora - a micro-reactor that can be used in remote or off-grid locations to generate power. Jacob DeWitte, Oklo co-founder and CEO, said the award paves the way for an important demonstration of the first Aurora plant, as well as the "ability of advanced reactors to convert used nuclear fuel, that would otherwise be treated for disposal, into clean energy".

New Nuclear 20 February 2020


Finland's TVO hires Framatome for Olkiluoto 3 outage support

Finland's TVO hires Framatome for Olkiluoto 3 outage support

Framatome has signed service contracts with Teollisuuden Voima Oyj to support the long-term operation of unit 3 of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant on Finland's west coast. Grid connection of the European pressurised reactor is scheduled for November, with the start of regular electricity production expected in March 2021.

New Nuclear 20 February 2020