Weekly News Roundup – Friday 16 December

We round up the recent news and updates from the world of Nuclear.

National Ignition Facility surpasses long-awaited fusion milestone, from Physics Today: “Thirteen years after completion of the $3.5 billion National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the goal embodied in the giant laser’s name has finally been achieved. For the first time in the nearly 70-year history of controlled fusion research, a fusion reaction has yielded more energy than it took to spark it.”

IAEA Chief in Korea: Nuclear Energy, Safety and Safeguards, from IAEA: “The Republic of Korea (RoK) is a staunch supporter of the IAEA’s mandate, a strong regional partner for nuclear non-proliferation and a major player in the nuclear energy sector, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said this week during his visit to RoK. In a three-day trip, Mr Grossi met with the country’s leaders — including President Yoon Suk Yeol — and visited some of RoK’s nuclear institutes and universities.”

Japan turns back to nuclear power to tackle energy crisis, from Reuters: “Japan confirmed a major nuclear power policy shift on Friday to tackle an energy crisis more than a decade after the 2011 Fukushima disaster prompted it to idle most of its reactors… The stark policy turnaround comes after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in August that Japan would look at developing next-generation reactors, instructing the industry ministry to set up a policy plan to widen use of nuclear energy by the end of this year.”

£102 million government backing for nuclear and hydrogen innovation in the UK, from “Today’s funding includes £77 million to bolster nuclear fuel production and support the development of the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors, along with £25 million for technologies that can produce hydrogen from sustainable biomass and waste, while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

First contracts awarded for US strategic uranium reserve, from World Nuclear News: “Energy Fuels Inc and Peninsula Energy Limited subsidiary Strata Energy Inc have been awarded contracts to supply natural uranium concentrates to establish a federal reserve of domestically produced material. The reserve is intended to be a backup source of supply for US nuclear power plants in the event of a significant market disruption.”