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3 April 2017

NEW NUCLEAR: Russia installs RPV at Belarus plant
Atomstroyexport announced today it has installed the reactor pressure vessel of unit 1 of the nuclear power plant under construction at Ostrovets in Belarus. The RPV, which weighs more than 330 tonnes, is 11 meters long and 4.5 m in diameter, was placed in position at 8.30pm on 1 April.

NEW NUCLEAR: Kudankulam 2 enters commercial operation
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has today signed an agreement provisionally accepting Kudankulam unit 2 from its Russian suppliers and thus marking the unit's entry into commercial operation.

CORPORATE: Entergy completes Fitzpatrick transfer
Entergy Corporation has completed the sale of the James A Fitzpatrick nuclear power plant in New York State to Exelon Generation. Exelon agreed to buy the single-unit plant last year after the state adopted a Clean Energy Standard supporting the continued operation of nuclear capacity.

OTHER NEWS: Rosatom diversifies work in Arctic region
ARMZ, Atomflot and VostokCoal have signed an agreement to cooperate in the development of the Russian Arctic region. The document was signed on 29 March by ARMZ director-general Vladimir Verkhovtsev, Atomflot general director Vyacheslav Ruksha and VostokCoal chairman Dmitry Bosov during the International Arctic Forum held last week in Arkhangelsk.
 


IN OTHER NEWS:

The first reactor coolant pump destined for unit 5 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province - the first demonstration Hualong One unit under construction at the site - has passed factory acceptance tests. The pump, manufactured by Dalian Deep Blue Pump, underwent a 400-hour durability test and 72-hour high-temperature test to ensure it met the required specifications, China National Nuclear Corporation said on 31 March. Fuqing 5 is expected to start up in 2019.

Greg Clark, UK business secretary, will visit Seoul this week "in a bid to salvage the multibillion pound Moorside nuclear power project in Cumbria", the Financial Times reported today. Clark will meet senior South Korean government officials and nuclear industry executives to discuss potential investment in Moorside by Kepco, the state-controlled utility. Another focus of discussion, the paper said, will be "whether Kepco would stick with" Westinghouse's AP1000 reactors planned for Moorside, or substitute its own APR1400 technology. The AP1000 last week completed the Generic Design Assessment with UK nuclear regulators after a decade-long review.

French utility EDF has completed the sale to Caisse des Dépôts and CNP Assurances of a 49.9% stake in a company that has held 100% of grid operator Réseau de Transport d'Electricité since December. The sale - which values RTE at €8.2 billion ($8.7 billion) - is part of EDF's target to divest at least €10 billion by 2020 under its CAP 2030 strategy. EDF now holds 50.1% of RTE, with Caisse des Dépôts and CNP Assurances owning 29.9% and 20.0%, respectively.

Total US energy production fell in 2016 after six years of consecutive increases, according to new data from the US Energy Information Administration. Primary energy production of 84.1 quadrillion British thermal units was 4% down from 2015. Fossil fuel production fell 7%, while renewable energy production increased 7%. Nuclear power production was 805 GWh, up from 797 GWh in both 2015 and 2014.

Paladin Energy's sale of a 30% stake in the Manyingee project to Avira Energy Ltd (formerly MGT Resources) has failed to complete after Avira did not raise the required capital by the 31 March deadline. Under agreements signed last year, Avira had been set to acquire an initial 30% interest in Manyingee, excluding Carley Bore, for $10 million, with an option to acquire a further 45% of the Western Australian uranium project. Avira said yesterday that investors who had previously committed to support its capital increase had withdrawn as a consequence of a "challenging" environment for new uranium projects in Western Australia.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has announced the nomination of Tomoaki Kobayakawa - currently head of the company's electricity retail arm - as its new president. His appointment requires approval from shareholders at their general meeting in late June. Kobayakawa will replace Naomi Hirose, who has been president of Tepco since 2012 and who will take up the new position of Tepco vice chairman. In the same 31 March announcement, Tepco said Hitachi Limited's honorary chairman, Takashi Kawamura, will serve as its new chairman.
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