Regulator approval nears for Aomori’s Rokkasho nuclear fuel processing plant

A spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, looks set to gain approval for full operation as the country’s regulator completed most of its safety review Friday. The Nuclear Regulation Authority checked remaining safety measures against the risks of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and its members made no objection. Operator Japan Nuclear Fuel …

Framatome to design fuel for EDF using reprocessed uranium

French reactor firm Framatome has entered a deal to design, manufacture and supply fuel assemblies made from enriched reprocessed uranium (ERU) to utility firm EDF between 2023 and 2032. Framatome has noted that the collaboration is subject to administrative and regulatory authorisations.  The reactor firm is to fabricate the fuel assemblies at its facility in …

Review of Japanese nuclear fuel reprocessing plant resumes

Japan’s nuclear regulator has resumed its review of an under-construction nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, following a suspension of 8 months because of a maintenance problem discovered last summer. The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Thursday resumed its review of the plant in Rokkasho Village in Aomori Prefecture. The resumption came after the plant’s operator, Japan Nuclear …

20 years later: DOE’s Savannah River Site begins dissolving ORNL fuel again

The Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site has begun dissolving uranium fuel cores from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor for the first time since 1988. The spent fuel will help deliver electricity to residents in the Tennessee Valley. The High Flux Isotope Reactor is fueled by highly enriched uranium, which the Savannah …

Glimmers of hope for uranium miners

It’s been an eventful past couple of weeks in the uranium subsector, even if the spot price for uranium oxide has shown little positive response. In the U.S., the Trump administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) has suspended sales from its uranium oxide stockpiles for the rest of the government’s fiscal year (until Sept. 30, 2018). …

China launches new uranium enrichment centrifuges

China has completed a “large-scale demonstration project for a new generation of uranium enrichment centrifuges”, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced yesterday. The new centrifuges have now been put into production at the Hanzhun fuel facility in Shaanxi province. The project was independently researched and developed by CNNC and has its own independent intellectual property …

So Close Yet So Far: China Deal Elusive for France’s Areva

SHANGHAI/PARIS (Reuters) – A deal long sought by French company Areva to build a $12-billion nuclear waste reprocessing plant in China looks increasingly unlikely to go ahead despite a visit to Beijing by President Emmanuel Macron meant to drum up business. During Macron’s state visit this week, Areva and China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) signed …

Japan’s MOX program faces tough questions as recycling costs balloon for spent atomic fuel

The cost of recycling spent nuclear fuel has surged since Japan began using it in 1999, raising questions about the viability of the reprocessing strategy, it has been learned. Japan is the only non-nuclear weapons state in the world that still engaged in a commercial spent-fuel reprocessing program. While it struggles to keep its nuclear …