Construction permit issued for first Egyptian unit

July 14, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
A construction permit was issued for the first of four proposed reactors at Egypt’s El Dabaa site, about 185 miles northwest of Cairo. (Image: Wikipedia)

The Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulation Authority (ENRRA) recently issued the construction permit for the first of four proposed Russian-designed and -supplied reactors at Egypt’s El Dabaa site, located on the Arab nation’s Mediterranean coast, about 185 miles northwest of Cairo.

An application for the permit was submitted by Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA)—the public entity charged with operating the plant—in June of last year.

Nuclear development in the West needs new, better financing models

June 30, 2022, 12:03PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The prospects for new nuclear energy construction in the Western world is the subject of a recent The Economist article, “Energy security gives climate-friendly nuclear-power plants a new appeal.” The article also explores the difficulties that EDF Energy has been experiencing in constructing its EPRs in Europe.

Australia’s Honeymoon mine to resume production

June 7, 2022, 7:56AMNuclear News
The Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia. (Photo: Boss Energy)

The board of Boss Energy Limited has made a “final investment decision” to develop the Honeymoon in situ uranium project in Australia, the Perth-based company announced last week. Boss said it will now accelerate engineering, procurement, and construction to ensure that Honeymoon—located in South Australia, near the border with New South Wales—remains on track for first production by December 2023, ramping up to a steady-state rate of 2.45 million pounds of U3O8 per year.

Poll: Finns favor fission at record level

May 24, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Finnish public’s support for nuclear power is at an all-time high, according to a recent opinion poll conducted by Kantar Public, a London-based consulting and research firm.

Commissioned by Finnish Energy—the trade association for Finland’s energy sector—the poll finds that 60 percent of respondents have either a “fully positive” or “mainly positive” perception of nuclear power as an energy source (34 percent and 26 percent, respectively), up from 49 percent in a 2021 Kantar poll.

Contract with Rosatom for Finnish reactor scrapped

May 5, 2022, 6:59AMNuclear News
An artist’s rendering of the Hanhikivi plant. (Image: Rosatom)

Finnish energy company Fennovoima has terminated, effective immediately, its engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract with RAOS Project Oy, a subsidiary of Russia’s Rosatom, for the delivery of a 1,200-MWe VVER-1200 pressurized water reactor at the Hanhikivi site in Finland’s Pyhäjoki municipality.

Update on Ukraine

April 1, 2022, 3:20PMNuclear News
The New Safe Confinement structure over the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Photo from 2018.

Ukraine’s nuclear operator, Energoatom, announced yesterday that the Russian military has withdrawn from the Chernobyl plant and surrounding area. “According to the staff of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, there are now no outsiders on-site,” Energoatom stated in an online post. Russian forces took control of Chernobyl on February 24, day one of the invasion.

In a separate post, the company said that the Russians had formally agreed to return the responsibility for Chernobyl to Ukraine. It shared a scan of a document, with the heading “Act of acceptance and transfer of protection of the Chernobyl nuclear plant,” purportedly signed by a representative of Russia’s National Guard, a representative of Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, and a Chernobyl plant shift manager.

Update on Ukraine

March 18, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) informed the International Atomic Energy Agency yesterday that all safety systems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine were fully functional, one day after the site lost connection to a third external power line linking it to the national electricity grid.

Off-site power restored at Chernobyl — before power lines damaged again

March 14, 2022, 8:37AMPress Releases
Energoatom, photo of Rovno (Rivne) NPP. Rivne NPP | Energoatom

External power supplies were restored to the decommissioning Chernobyl facility following repairs of damaged power lines — before being reportedly damaged again, according to Ukraine's transmission system operator Ukrenergo.

Unit 1 at Kursk plant is retired

December 22, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
Reactor operators in the control room at Kursk I-1, as the unit is powered down for good. (Photo: Rosenergoatom)

After 45 years of producing electricity, the first unit at Russia’s Kursk nuclear power plant has been retired, plant operator Rosenergoatom announced on Monday. Kursk I-1, one of the facility’s four 925-MWe light water–cooled graphite-moderated reactors, model RBMK-1000 (a Chernobyl-type reactor), was permanently shut down at 00:24 Moscow time on December 19.

From the pages of Nuclear News: Industry update

December 21, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

ADVANCED REACTORS MARKETPLACE

GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR technology chosen for Darlington clean energy project

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has been selected by Ontario Power Generation as technology partner for the Darlington site's new nuclear plant project. GEH will work with OPG to deploy a BWRX-300 small modular reactor as early as 2028 at the Darlington site in Canada.

■ NuScale Power and Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale VOYGR power plants in Kazakhstan. KNPP specializes in the development of nuclear power plant construction in Kazakhstan. The agreement calls for a sharing of nuclear and technical expertise between NuScale and KNPP. Under the MOU, NuScale will support KNPP’s evaluation of NuScale’s SMR technology, including nuclear power plant engineering, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, and project-specific studies and design work.

PKN ORLEN and Synthos Green Energy have signed an agreement to set up a joint venture, ORLEN Synthos Green Energy, with a goal to prepare and commercialize small nuclear reactor technology, particularly GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300 reactors, in Poland. Related, BWXT Canada Ltd. signed a letter of intent with Synthos and GEH for the manufacture of key SMR components for Poland.

First concrete poured for Bolivian research reactor

July 30, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
First concrete pour for research reactor begins at Bolivian nuclear research center. (Photo: Rosatom)

Key facilities at a multipurpose nuclear research center in the high plains of Bolivia are nearing operation, and a ceremonial first concrete pour for the nuclear research reactor that will serve as the centerpiece of the project was held on July 26. Bolivian president Luis Arce attended the ceremony at the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development (CNTRD). Also attending were Kirill Komarov, first deputy director general for corporate development and international business at Rosatom (Russia’s state atomic energy agency), and authorities from the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energies and the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency (ABEN).

Unit 5 construction begins at Kudankulam

July 1, 2021, 7:03AMNuclear News
India’s Kudankulam plant, during the June 29 Unit 5 construction launch ceremony. Photo: Rosatom

Work on the third phase of the multi-reactor project at India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant formally commenced earlier this week with the first pouring of concrete into the foundation plate of the Unit 5 reactor building.

Russian unit begins commercial operation

March 24, 2021, 6:59AMNuclear News

Unit II-2 at Russia’s Leningrad plant has entered commercial operation. Photo: Rosenergoatom

Unit II-2 at the Leningrad nuclear power plant entered commercial operation on March 22, bringing the total number of operating power reactors in the Russian fleet to 38, state-owned nuclear power corporation Rosatom has announced.

The 1,066-MWe unit is one of two Russian-designed Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors now in service at the plant, the other, Unit II-1, having begun commercial operation in October 2018. There are also two VVER-1200 units up and running at Russia’s Novovoronezh facility, and two additional VVER-1200s are scheduled for Leningrad later this decade. Further, VVER-1200 projects are afoot at the Belarusian plant in Belarus (two units), El Dabaa in Egypt (four units), Hanhikivi in Finland (one unit), and Paks in Hungary (two units).

Leningrad II-2 replaces Leningrad I-2, a 925-MWe RBMK-1000 light water–cooled graphite-moderated reactor that permanently ceased operation in November 2020 after 45 years of service.

Russia seeking customers for floating nuclear plants, report says

December 15, 2020, 9:33AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Technicians loading the first reactor aboard the Akademik Lomonosov, Russia's floating nuclear power plant. Credit: Rosatom.

The Bellona news site is reporting that Rosatom is marketing its floating nuclear power plants to foreign countries. The news item noted on December 14 that Russia’s Tass newswire had published the information, citing government statements. Rosatom is Russia’s state nuclear corporation.

“Rosatom has made proposals for the installation of floating units to a number of foreign countries,” Yury Trutnev, a deputy prime minister and presidential representative to Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, said earlier this month, according to Tass. “It’s clear that one unit is not enough for us to sell such modules. Their future replication would open a possibility for Russia to open a market niche where there currently is no one.”

First RPV for Turkish nuclear plant arrives

November 18, 2020, 6:59AMNuclear News

The Unit 1 reactor pressure vessel arrives at the Akkuyu site. Photo: Akkuyu Nuclear JSC

Russian company Atommash has delivered the reactor pressure vessel for Unit 1 of the Akkuyu plant, the nuclear power facility under construction in Turkey, Akkuyu Nuclear JSC announced recently.

Atommash is a branch of AEM Technologies, which is part of Atomenergomash, the equipment-building division of Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation. Akkuyu Nuclear, based in Ankara, was established to implement the Russian-Turkish project.

It took some three years to manufacture the 330-metric ton, 12-meter-long reactor pressure vessel and 20 days to transport it from the Atommash plant in Volgodonsk, Russia, to the eastern cargo terminal at the Akkuyu plant site, according to Akkuyu Nuclear.

Russia retires reactor at Leningrad plant

November 13, 2020, 9:31AMNuclear News

The Leningrad nuclear power plant’s Unit I-2, a 925-MWe RBMK-1000 light-water–cooled graphite-moderated reactor, was permanently shut down on November 10, according to Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation. The shutdown occurred at 12:30 a.m. Moscow time.

The unit was the oldest operating reactor at the plant, having achieved initial criticality in May 1975 and entered commercial operation in February 1976. Two additional RBMK-1000s remain in operation at Leningrad—Units I-3 and I-4, both of which have been in operation for about 40 years.

The retired reactor is to be replaced by Unit II-2, one of two 1,085-MWe Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors at the Leningrad site. The new unit was connected to the Russian grid in October, and on November 6 it received regulatory approval to begin pilot operation. (Leningrad’s other VVER-1200, Unit II-1, started commercial operation in 2018.) Following the trial operation, Unit II-2 will be shut down for an additional equipment inspection by a state commission before being put into commercial operation early next year, according to Rosenergoatom, Rosatom’s electric power division.

Newly connected Belarusian reactor powers down

November 12, 2020, 12:00PMNuclear News

On November 8, less than a week after becoming Belarus’s first nuclear reactor to be connected to the power grid, and only one day after a visit to the Belarusian site from the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, to celebrate the accomplishment, Belarusian-1 was forced to cease power production, a report from the Associated Press states.

Belarus’s first nuclear reactor connects to grid

November 4, 2020, 6:57AMNuclear News

The Belarusian nuclear power plant. Photo: Rosatom

Belarus on November 3 became the latest nation to begin generating electricity with nuclear energy when Unit 1 of the Belarusian nuclear plant was connected to the country’s power grid.

The Belarusian construction project, located in the Grodno region of Belarus, features twin 1,109-MWe pressurized water reactors, supplied by Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation. The units are VVER-1200 Generation III+ designs, model AES 2006. Just last week, a VVER-1200 was connected to the Russian grid at the Leningrad plant.

The start-up program for Unit 1 began on August 7, when the first fuel assembly with fresh nuclear fuel was loaded into the reactor, according to a Rosatom press release. The reactor achieved first criticality on October 11.

Once fully completed, the plant is expected to supply approximately 18 billion kWh of low-carbon electricity to the Belarus national grid every year, Rosatom said.

New unit delivers first electricity to Russian grid

October 30, 2020, 7:02AMNuclear News

Rosenergoatom, the electric power division of Russia’s state-owned nuclear power corporation Rosatom, announced on October 23 that Leningrad II-2 has been connected to the grid. The unit is one of two Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors at the Leningrad nuclear plant.

The reactor will replace Leningrad I-2, a 925-MWe RBMK-1000 light-water–cooled graphite-moderated reactor that will permanently cease operation at the end of 2020 after 45 years of service. Fuel loading at Leningrad II-2 began in July, and initial criticality was achieved in August. Following the trial operation, the unit will be shut down for an additional equipment inspection by a state commission before being put into commercial operation early next year, according to Rosenergoatom.