April 19, 2021
Nuclear Energy SmartBrief
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Top Story
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said during a press meeting in South Korea that Washington will stay out of the debate over the ocean discharge of wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, saying the US is "confident that the government of Japan has had full consultation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency]." "We don't think it is appropriate for the US to jump into the process that's already underway and where there are very clear rules and expectations," Kerry said.
Full Story: Yonhap News Agency (South Korea) (free content) (4/18),  JoongAng Daily (South Korea) (4/18) 
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News Roundup
The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management registered 116 cases of COVID-19 among its 33,000-person workforce last week, up from 105 during the previous week. The agency's Savannah River Site in South Carolina reported 22 cases, while the Hanford Site in Washington reported eight new cases.
Full Story: ExchangeMonitor (tiered subscription model) (4/16) 
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A study conducted by consulting firm Synapse Energy Economics for the state of Illinois concluded that Exelon's Byron and Dresden nuclear power plants will need some state support to remain in operation. "This has implications for Illinois' policy goals because the plants generate carbon-free electricity that is currently undervalued or even ignored within current wholesale electricity markets," Synapse said.
Full Story: ANS Newswire (American Nuclear Society) (4/16),  Reuters (4/16) 
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Waste Management/D&D
A project to shrink the high-security protected area of the Department of Energy's Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., will facilitate cleanup activities and cut cleanup costs by 40%, according to Jay Mullis of the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management. "These savings will allow us to dedicate more funds to accelerate the removal of deteriorated Manhattan Project and Cold War-era infrastructure and sources of mercury in the environment," said Mullis.
Full Story: ANS Newswire (American Nuclear Society) (4/16) 
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Advanced Reactors
The New Horizons space probe, launched in January 2006 to conduct a flyby of Pluto, has become the fifth space mission to reach 50 astronomical units from the sun. Like the majority of NASA deep-space probes, New Horizons' power supply comes from a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, which converts the heat generated by the decay of plutonium-238 into electricity.
Full Story: Space (4/17) 
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International
China has unveiled plans to build a $422 million underground repository laboratory in the country's remote northwest region to research the possibility of developing a deep geologic high-level nuclear waste repository by 2050. The underground laboratory complex, set to be complete by 2024, is part of China's latest five-year economic and development plan.
Full Story: NucNet (Belgium) (4/14) 
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The European Commission will reportedly delay a decision on whether nuclear fits the criteria for inclusion in its sustainable finance taxonomy, which is expected to be released on Wednesday. The Commission plans to offer a separate proposal for nuclear, gas and biomass activities later this year for consideration by European Union nations and the European Parliament.
Full Story: Eurasia Review (4/18) 
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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has manufactured the country's first Tristructural-Isotropic fuel as part of a project funded by the Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative. Triso fuels, proposed for several planned small and advanced reactor designs in Canada, have greater structural resistance to neutron irradiation, corrosion, oxidation and high temperatures compared to traditional fuels.
Full Story: NucNet (Belgium) (4/16) 
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