New operator for AECL laboratories

31 October 2014

Chalk River Lab site 250 (AECL)

As part of the restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (ACEL), a new organization - Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) - is set assume full responsibility for all day-to-day operations at its nuclear laboratories.

CNL - a wholly-owned subsidiary of AECL - will officially be launched on 3 November. It will employ some 3400 people at 12 locations across Canada. The corporate headquarters and core research and development operations will remain situated at Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario.

AECL said, "This is a major milestone in the restructuring of AECL that will ultimately revitalize Canada's premier nuclear science and technology organization."

Cover dismantlement starts at unit 1

31 October 2014

Fukushima Daiichi 1 cover removal 48Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun removing the panels of the temporary cover over the damaged reactor building of unit 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Environmental groups join waste rule challenge

30 October 2014

Further legal challenges have been filed against the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling on storage of used nuclear fuel. The petitions from environmental groups and tribal representatives follow a challenge over the legality of the rule filed by the states of New York, Vermont and Connecticut.

First criticality for Hongyanhe 3

30 October 2014

Hongyanhe plant - October 2014 - 48Unit 3 at the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in Liaoning province in northeast China has achieved a sustained chain reaction, moving the unit closer to commissioning.

Regulator approves US uranium mill transfer

31 October 2014

Shootaring_Canyon_(Anfield)_48The Utah Division of Radiation Control has conditionally approved the transfer of the radioactive materials licence for the Shootaring Canyon uranium mill from Uranium One to Anfield Resources, and has given Anfield an extra year to prepare a licence renewal application for the plant.

Review process for Belgian reactor restarts

30 October 2014

The Belgium's nuclear regulator has outlined a two-step review process for Electrabel's safety case report for the restart of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 reactors. The reactors have been offline since 2012 because of concerns of defects in their reactor pressure vessels.

Further contract for St Lucie simulator upgrade

29 October 2014

St Lucie 2 simulator 48L3-MAPPS has been awarded a contract to replace the 30-year-old input/output system on the full-scope simulator at the St Lucie nuclear power plant in Florida. Last year the company was awarded multiple contracts to upgrade the simulator.

Enhanced nuclear safety?

Does the EU nuclear safety directive risk fragmenting international standards, asks Ana Stanič.

Seeking to strengthen nuclear safety standards in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, in July this year the European Union amended the nuclear safety directive adopted in 2009.

Back then, adoption of the nuclear safety directive marked an important development in regulating nuclear safety. Building on the provisions of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, an incentive-only instrument, and the principles adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the EU became the first regional actor to adopt legally-binding nuclear safety rules. The 2009 directive granted the EU for the first time express competence in nuclear safety. Its adoption met, however, with strong opposition from industry and national regulators, which consider nuclear energy as falling within the purview of member states.

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