NRC suspends authority to ship heavy water to China

October 4, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News

Citing national security interests, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued an order suspending the general license authority to export radioactive material and deuterium to China General Nuclear (CGN) and its subsidiaries or related entities.

The NRC licensees subject to the order had been authorized to ship radioactive materials and heavy water to China through a general license granted in sections 110.21 through 110.24 of 10 CFR Part 110. Notice of the order was published in the October 1 Federal Register.

Romania receives U.S. nuclear delegation

August 9, 2021, 9:18AMNuclear News
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Kathryn Huff (at left) and the U.S. Embassy in Romania’s Chargé d’Affaires David Muniz (at right), met with Virgil Popescu, Romania’s minister of energy, on July 29.

A delegation from the Department of Energy arrived in Romania in late July to discuss bilateral energy cooperation and Romania’s expansion plans for its sole nuclear power plant, Cernavoda. The delegation was led by Kathryn Huff, acting assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy.

China’s 51st power reactor enters operation

August 4, 2021, 12:01PMNuclear News
Workers in the control room of the newly operational Honghanye-5 reactor. (Photo: Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Company)

China continues its relentless march toward the top of the list of nations with the most power reactors. On July 31, China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) announced that Unit 5 at the Hongyanhe plant in Liaoning Province has begun commercial operation, giving China 51 commercial-scale power reactors, only five fewer than France, which currently sits at the number-two spot on the list with 56 operating reactors.

EDF: Taishan’s “evolving” fuel failure would merit a shutdown and assessment in France

July 23, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News
Taishan nuclear power plant. (Photo: EDF Energy)

If Taishan-1 were operating in France, Électricité de France would shut down the reactor in order to assess the situation in progress and stop its development, according to a July 22 press release from EDF. The 1,660-MWe French-designed EPR—the recent subject of sensational press coverage of fuel rod failures—operates in China’s Guangdong Province.

Romania ratifies Cernavoda deal with U.S.

June 29, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Cernavoda plant, in southeastern Romania. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Zlatko Krastev

Romania has ratified a draft intergovernmental agreement signed in 2020 with the United States on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. Initialed last October by Romania’s energy minister, Virgil Popescu, and the then U.S. energy secretary Dan Brouillette, the agreement, reportedly worth some $8 billion, calls for cooperation on completing the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant, as well as the refurbishment of Unit 1. The European Commission gave its nod to the agreement last November.

U.S. replaces China on Romania’s Cernavoda project

October 12, 2020, 3:00PMNuclear News

Brouillette

Popescu

U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Romania’s Minister of Economy, Energy, and Business Development Virgil Popescu initialed a draft intergovernmental agreement on October 9 to cooperate on the construction of two additional reactors at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, as well as the refurbishment of Unit 1.

According to a Department of Energy news release, the agreement, once formally executed, will “lay the foundation” for Romania to “utilize U.S. expertise and technology.” The deal marks a major change in Romania’s plans for its sole nuclear plant, as up until early this year the source for that expertise and technology was expected to be China.