Weekly News Roundup – Monday 13th September

We round up the past week’s news and updates from the world of Nuclear.

GMB Union calls for new nuclear power plants to help reach net zero, by E&T: “The GMB Union has called for a new generation of nuclear power plants in order the help UK meet its 2050 net-zero carbon emissions pledge. The motion, which was announced at the annual TUC Congress in London, calls for the construction of a new “generation of nuclear plants, benefiting communities from Sizewell to West Cumbria and the development of Small Modular Reactors.”

UK architect behind plans for new wave of small nuclear reactors, by Architects’ Journal: “The designs have been drawn up for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy by Anglo-Dutch practice Instance which is headed up by former YRM and Scott Brownrigg director Iain Macdonald. Macdonald, whose practice has bases in London and Amsterdam, has previously worked on large nuclear projects such as Hinkley Point C and Moorside. He started collaborating with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy on its BWRX-300 reactor 18 months ago.”

China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor, by Nature: “Scientists are excited about an experimental nuclear reactor using thorium as fuel, which is about to begin tests in China. Although this radioactive element has been trialled in reactors before, experts say that China is the first to have a shot at commercializing the technology. The reactor is unusual in that it has molten salts circulating inside it instead of water. It has the potential to produce nuclear energy that is relatively safe and cheap, while also generating a much smaller amount of very long-lived radioactive waste than conventional reactors.”

Nuclear fuel report sees positive long-term future, by World Nuclear News: “World nuclear generating capacity is set to continue its upward trend with demand for uranium fuel increasing over the period to 2040, according to the projections in the latest edition of World Nuclear Association’s Nuclear Fuel Report. Uranium resources are more than enough to meet that demand, but intense development of new projects will be needed in the current decade to avoid potential supply disruptions.”

Nuclear energy to play key role in Russia’s Arctic development, by Nuclear Engineering International: “On 3 September, a meeting of the Public Council of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) held within the EEF framework discussed development of the NSR as a new global route for international trade. Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev stressed the importance of the NSR and the need to structure work to develop Russian regions along the entire sea route between the western and eastern maritime borders of Russia. Navigation of the NSR depends heavily of the nuclear icebreaker fleet of Atomflot (part of Rosatom).”