UK regulator prepared for Hualong One

27 September 2016

The UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation has the expertise and resources it needs should it receive a request from government to assess China's Hualong One reactor design, its chief nuclear inspector, Richard Savage, said today. ONR's chief executive, Adriènne Kelbie, added that she sees no need for wholesale change at the organisation and that recruitment of inspectors and other staff is on target. They spoke to World Nuclear News during the International Atomic Energy Agency's 60th General Conference being held this week in Vienna.

Under a strategic investment agreement signed last October, China General Nuclear (CGN) agreed to take a 33.5% stake in EDF Energy's Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, England as well as jointly develop new nuclear power plants at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. The Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C plants will be based on France's EPR reactor technology, while the new plant at Bradwell will feature the Hualong One design.

As part of that agreement, CGN agreed to form a joint venture company with EDF Energy to seek regulatory approval for a UK version of the Hualong One design. Hualong International Nuclear Power Technology - the joint venture between CGN and China National Nuclear Corporation to promote the Hualong One reactor design in export markets - was officially inaugurated in March.

Areva announces new BWR weld inspection technique

27 September 2016

Areva NP has unveiled a new technique and manipulator to offer off-axis inspection for cracks in boiling water reactor (BWR) core shroud welds.

Japanese minister charts 'steady progress' after Fukushima

27 September 2016

In the five-and-a-half years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, "steady progress" is being made in the decommissioning process and contaminated water management at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Hirotaka Ishihara, state minister of the cabinet office of Japan, told the International Atomic Energy Agency's 60th General Conference yesterday. Decontamination and environmental remediation are "moving forward" and the evacuation zones are "growing smaller", Ishihara said.

SMRs may lead the way to nuclear standardisation, says lawyer

26 September 2016

Licensing small modular reactors "presents a new opportunity for standardisation" in the nuclear power industry, Vanessa Jakovich, counsel at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, told delegates at the World Nuclear Association’s 41st Annual Symposium in London on 16 September.

The transformation of Iran

27 September 2016

Salehi and Amano - September 2016 - 48The impartiality of the International Atomic Energy Agency was "indispensable" to the high-level political agreement reached last year on Iran's nuclear-related activities, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told delegates at the Agency's 60th General Conference in Vienna yesterday.

Hot tests completed at fourth Yangjiang unit

27 September 2016

Yangjiang 4 hot tests completed - 48Unit 4 of the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province has successfully completed pre-operational testing, China General Nuclear announced yesterday.

UK site investigations nearing completion

26 September 2016

Fugro_seismic_studies_Moorside_(Fugro)-48Extensive geotechnical and geophysical site characterization at the Moorside site in West Cumbria, UK, will be mostly complete by the end of the year, according to geotechnical survey specialists Fugro. The campaign has included onshore and offshore geological investigations.

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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