'Notice to proceed' contracts signed for El Dabaa

11 December 2017

Putin_El_Sisi_Dec_17_(Kremlin)-460

Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov and Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker today signed notices to proceed with contracts for the construction of four VVER-1200 units at the El Dabaa nuclear power plant.

The contracts, signed in the presence of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, follow a November 2015 intergovernmental agreement, which included the provision of a Russian state-backed loan of $25 billion for the $30 billion project. The Russian loan will cover about 85% of the plant's construction costs, with Egypt to raise the remainder from private investors.

According to the contracts signed today, Rosatom will build four VVER-1200 reactors at El Dabaa, in the Matrouh region on the Mediterranean coast, and supply nuclear fuel throughout the plant's entire lifetime. Rosatom will also train personnel and will assist its Egyptian partners in operation and maintenance during the first ten years of the plant's operations. The contract also includes the construction of a purpose-build storage facility and the supply of containers for the storage of used nuclear fuel.

Iter fusion project passes construction milestone

11 December 2017

Iter construction site - October 2017 - 48Construction of the Iter fusion reactor, being built at Cadarache in the south of France, is now 50% complete, the Iter Organisation has announced. The reactor - construction of which began in 2010 - is scheduled to achieve first plasma in 2025.

Paladin creditors agree to proposed restructuring

11 December 2017

Paladin Energy's creditors have agreed to a proposal to restructure the company's debt and reinstate it to quotation on the ASX. The Western Australia-based company's creditors have executed the proposed deed of company arrangement (DOCA). Major creditor Electricité de France previously said it may seek to have the DOCA, which it claims is unfairly prejudicial towards it, terminated.

UK fusion researchers welcome government support

08 December 2017

Inside_MAST_(UKAEA)_48The UK Atomic Energy Authority has welcomed the government's investment of GBP86 million that will fund the building and operation of a National Fusion Technology Platform at Culham Science Centre, which is expected to open in 2020. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced the new funding as part of a series of measures that aim to support the development of 'next-generation nuclear technology', which follows publication of the government's Industrial Strategy white paper last month.

Fuel loading under way at new Leningrad unit

11 December 2017

Leningrad II unit 1 fuel loading - 48The process of loading the 163 fuel assemblies into the core of unit 1 of the Leningrad Phase II nuclear power plant in western Russia began on 8 December, state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced. The VVER-1200 unit is scheduled to start up next year.

US funds to support advanced nuclear technology development

08 December 2017

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry yesterday announced $30 million of funding to support the development of advanced nuclear energy technology. The Department of Energy is soliciting proposals for cost-shared projects to develop innovative, industry-driven reactor designs and accompanying technologies with high potential to advance nuclear power in the USA.

Kepco named preferred bidder for UK's NuGen

07 December 2017

Korea Electric Power Company has been named as the preferred bidder to acquire 100% of the shares in NuGeneration, the UK nuclear power development company owned by Toshiba. Kepco CEO Hwan-Eik Cho said in a company statement yesterday that, as preferred bidder, Kepco intends to "progress negotiations to a positive conclusion" to achieve a target closing of the proposed acquisition early next year.

Chemistry, minerals and microbes in nuclear waste management

Current solutions for intermediate and higher activity radioactive wastes storage are temporary. Nuclear waste stores have lifetimes of around 100 years and storage ponds, which dissipate the decay heat from used nuclear fuel and act as powerful radiation shields, several decades. Research into biogeochemical control over radionuclide behaviour is therefore of great value for a deep geological disposal solution, writes Katherine Morris.

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