US government to investigate uranium imports

19 July 2018

At the request of two domestic uranium producers, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) has launched an investigation into whether "the present quantity and circumstances" of uranium imports threatens national security. However, the US nuclear energy industry has warned that a suggested quota on imports would have a significant financial impact on the country's reactor operators.

The department said the investigation follows a petition filed under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 on 16 January by Ur-Energy Inc and Energy Fuels Inc. It said the review also comes after consultation with industry stakeholders, members of Congress, the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and other administration partners. DOC said the investigation will "canvass the entire uranium sector from the mining industry through to enrichment, defence, and industrial consumption".

The two uranium mining companies said at the time they submitted their petition, "As recently as 1980, US producers supplied nearly 100% of our domestic uranium needs, and in 1989 the DOC initiated a Section 232 investigation at the request of the US Department of Energy because of concerns that uranium imports exceeded 37.5% at that time. The problem is far worse now."

Sandia simulates used fuel storage cask temperatures

19 July 2018

Dry cask simulator - 48A scaled test assembly that simulates a dry cask storage container for used nuclear fuel has been constructed by researchers at the USA's Sandia National Laboratories. It will be used to study how fuel temperatures change during storage and how the fuel's peak temperatures affect the integrity of the metal cladding surround the fuel.

Review of Le Creusot records passes milestone

18 July 2018

Creusot_Forge_(Areva)_64x48France's Framatome announced today that it has completed identifying and characterising deviations in all of the manufacturing records from the Le Creusot site for forgings used in French nuclear power plants. Manufacturing operations at the facility - which were suspended in December 2015 following the discovery of quality assurance issues - resumed in January.

IAEA assesses Niger's progress on nuclear programme

18 July 2018

IAEA INIR mission to Niger - 48Niger has a strong commitment to developing the infrastructure for a nuclear power programme, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission team has concluded in its final report. The report from the mission - conducted in April - was submitted to the Nigerien government on 16 July.

SNC-Lavalin, Holtec create decommissioning JV

19 July 2018

SNC-Lavalin and Holtec International group have formed a USA-based joint venture company to work on the accelerated decommissioning of retired nuclear power plants. The new company, Comprehensive Decommissioning International, is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey.

Rovno unit 3 gets 20-year licence extension

18 July 2018

Rovno plant - 48The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine has approved the extension by 20 years of the operating licence for unit 3 of the Rovno nuclear power plant. The approval, which was granted by SNRC's board on 16 July, means the unit can operate until 11 December 2037. The regulator approved 20-year licence extensions of Rovno 1 and 2 in December 2010.

Investment in new nuclear declines to five-year low

17 July 2018

Global energy investment fell for the third consecutive year in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency. Investment in nuclear power declined by nearly 45% last year to USD17 billion. Although spending on new reactors reached the lowest level in five years, investment on upgrades of existing units increased.

Hans Blix: 90 years of excellence

Celebrating his birthday this week, Hans Blix can look back on a professional life spanning the entire history of nuclear energy as a source of electricity. Few have done, or continue to do, as much for its peaceful development as this dedicated statesman and his humble commitment to truth.

From 1981 to 1997 he grew the IAEA alongside the burgeoning nuclear energy industry, which tripled in electricity generation capacity globally. He pursued the IAEA's mission of 'Atoms for Peace' with emphasis also on the development of nuclear power and the expansion of its benefits across the world, and has leant support to industry initiatives across several decades.

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