5 September 2016

REGULATION & SAFETY: Canada and China sign regulatory MOU
Nuclear regulators from Canada and China have signed a memorandum of understanding expressing their commitment to cooperate and exchange nuclear safety regulatory information.

URANIUM & FUEL: China and Kazakhstan cement fuel pellet deal
China and Kazakhstan have taken a step closer to the supply of Kazakh fuel pellets to Chinese companies. The relevant documents enabling such transactions are between Ulba Metallurgical Plant, a subsidiary of Kazakh uranium producer KazAtomProm, and CGNPC-URC, a subsidiary of China General Nuclear.

REGULATION & SAFETY: Kyushu rejects call for suspension of Sendai units
Kyushu Electric Power Company has rejected a request from the governor of Japan's Kagoshima prefecture that operation of units 1 and 2 of the Sendai nuclear power plant be suspended immediately for safety checks. The company said it will continue operating the units until they enter routine scheduled outages later this year.


China and the USA have ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement, presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping jointly announced yesterday. The agreement, adopted at the United Nations COP21 climate change conference last year, requires at least 55 of its parties accounting in total for at least an estimated 55% of total global emissions to deposit instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the UN before it can enter into force. As of yesterday, 26 of the 180 signatories, accounting for 39.06 % of total global greenhouse gas emissions, have now done so.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday she wanted her security advisers to help review the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project. As she arrived for the G20 summit in China, May was asked whether she would ask the National Security Council, a team of ministers supported by intelligence officers, to look at the potential security implications of the Hinkley deal. "I will be doing exactly as you've said which is - as you know, I'll be looking at all the evidence around this issue," May replied, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, the Japanese government has sent an official message to Britain and the EU on Brexit. It calls on May "to maintain the UK's basic policy of keeping its market open to foreign capital" in nuclear power plant construction and other sectors.
Russia has completed 15 days of testing unit 4 of the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant, a BN-800 fast reactor, at full power. This was the last stage of testing of the unit. Regulator Rostechnadzor will carry out a final inspection of the unit and issue a certificate of compliance for its normal commercial operation. Beloyarsk 4 was connected to the grid on 10 December last year.
Turkey and China are to work together on nuclear, renewable and coal-fired power plant projects after Turkish energy minister Berat Albayrak and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi signed cooperation agreements during the G20 Leaders' Summit in Hangzhou. Albayrak said Turkey plans to add 10-15 GWe of nuclear generating capacity by 2030 and that the location of its third nuclear power plant will be announced soon. He added that work will be accelerated at the first and second plant projects, located at Akkuyu and Sinop, respectively.

Eighty-seven of the 96 nuclear power reactors in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's highest performance categories fully met all safety and security objectives during the first half of 2016, according to mid-cycle assessment letters sent by the regulator to all plant operators. Nine reactors needed to resolve "one or two items of low safety significance," the NRC said. There are no reactors in the NRC's third performance category, although three reactors - Arkansas Nuclear One 1 and 2 and Pilgrim - are in the fourth category and require increased oversight.
Oxford Technologies of the UK and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have agreed to cooperate in the development of remotely operated handling technology for use at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant. Their agreement follows successful completion of previous investigative studies by Oxford Technologies. In June, MHI presented early concept designs for the devices being developed for a side-access approach to fuel debris retrieval projects at the plant.
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