Weekly News Roundup – Monday 17th May

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

‘A very real problem’: How resurgent nuclear reactions at Chernobyl might be dealt with to avert disaster, by The Independent: “The ISPNPP is now engaged in monitoring the situation and assessing whether a potentially dangerous intervention might become necessary to prevent a further explosion at the site if stability is not restored.

This might involve drilling into what was once Subreactor Room 305/2 to soak the smouldering uranium fuel masses buried within with gadolinium nitrate or sending in robots capable of withstanding the still-glaring radiation and humidity to install neutron and temperature sensors or boron cylinders to act as control rods, sopping up the neutrons.”

Poland plans next stage of HTR development, by World Nuclear News: “Poland’s Ministry of Education and Science and the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) have signed an agreement for the next round of high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) design work… This follows an agreement NCBJ signed in early 2019 with the Energy Ministry to support the development of high temperature reactors (HTRs) in Poland. It is part of the country’s Gospostrateg programme that was launched in 2017 and from which the HTGR project will receive funding of PLN18 million (USD4.8 million).”

Modular Molten Salt Nuclear Power for Maritime Propulsion, by Maritime Executive: “Several navies around the world operate scaled-down versions of nuclear power stations aboard ships and submarines to provide propulsion and ancillary power. The onboard nuclear reactors are cooled by high-pressure water and many (including the U.S. Navy’s reactors) require weapons-grade uranium for fuel. While such propulsion technology is suitable for a naval vessel, it has zero application in commercial civilian ship propulsion.

New developments in nuclear technology are based on an old idea involving the molten salt reactor, which can operate free from high pressure water and offer greater long-term operational safety while being suitable for mass production, reducing capital cost.”

Canadian trio collaborates on Candu decommissioning, by World Nuclear News: “Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) and SNC-Lavalin have signed an agreement to work together on the decommissioning of Candu reactors around the world.

They will build on Ontario’s nuclear industry expertise and skilled workforce to deliver safe, cost-effective and timely nuclear decommissioning projects; explore the potential for international decommissioning-related opportunities for the Canadian nuclear industry; and identify future skills needs and gaps, and develop plans to fill those gaps.”

India to build six nuclear reactors with the help of France’s EDF, by Power Engineering: “The French binding techno-commercial offer has been submitted to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited  (NPCIL) and includes EDF providing the Indian nuclear electricity generator with engineering studies and equipment for the construction of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant.

Once complete, the 9.6GWe Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant would be the most powerful in the world, will generate up to 75TWh per year and cover the annual consumption of 70 million Indian households while avoiding the emission of 80 million tons of CO2 per year.”