Plans to build two new reactors at the Sizewell nuclear power plant site in the UK are still without financial backing after investment firm Legal & General Capital said it won't back the project. "I can confirm that Legal & General Capital is not currently in discussions with Sizewell C," an L&G spokesperson said.
The Electric Power Research Institute expressed support for a recent American Nuclear Society report that recommends an additional $10.3 billion in discretionary spending on core nuclear research and development by 2030. "In the face of the threats of climate change and America's declining world influence, sustained nuclear R&D investment pales in comparison to the cost of inaction," said Craig Piercy, CEO of ANS.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will allow NextEra Energy to revise its emergency preparedness plan for the Duane Arnold nuclear power plant near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The facility was shut down in August 2020 and has been defueled, making it less vulnerable to off-site radiological release risks.
The Energy Information Administration will release no data on domestic uranium concentrate production in the fourth quarter of 2020. The EIA did say six US uranium facilities packaged material during the quarter, but the plants may not have been actively operating and producing any U3O8 material.
Researchers at the Joint European Torus fusion reactor in the UK will start tests in June of a 50/50 deuterium and tritium fuel mix, which will eventually be used to sustain fusion reactions at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project in France. JET researchers are hoping to sustain fusion power for five seconds to collect data on how the plasma behaves with tritium added to the mix.
The European Council has voted to give the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project in France $6.8 billion in new funding to 2027. The panel said the European Commission estimates that the "important achievement of the first plasma will probably take place in December 2025, with the full operation estimated in 2035."
Ottawa, Ontario, will soon consider whether to oppose construction of a nuclear waste disposal mound at the Chalk River nuclear research site. The site is upstream from Canada's capital city, and community members are concerned it could taint the city's drinking water.
Last Thursday saw the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars, and the vehicle's radioisotope thermoelectric generator is set to power the two-year mission to search for signs of ancient life. Perseverance's RTG system is identical to the one used in the Curiosity rover, which has been operating with its plutonium-238 power unit since 2011.
The Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases, reporting fewer than five cases two weeks in a row. WIPP has had a total of 254 cases, with six workers still recovering.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has voted to terminate a resilience docket opened in 2018 as a result of the Department of Energy's effort to subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants. FERC Chair Richard Glick said the action "grew out of a politically charged effort to prop up particular resources that were losing market share, which is simply not the way to ensure the resilience of the grid."