Earlier this week Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority granted its first approval for a plan that would allow operational reactors to reuse nuclear fuel from those that have been decomissioned. The plan would allow Kansai Electric Power Company to load nuclear fuel from its scrapped No.1 and No. 2 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant into the working No.3 and No.4 reactors. The NRA still needs to give its formal approval after hearing opinions from the Japan Atomic Energy Commission.
Source: The Mainichi
IAEA Works to Inspire Next Generation of Nuclear Scientists in Asia and the Pacific
The International Atomic Energy Association has begun an initiative that will work to equip teachers throughout Asia and the Pacific with the necessary tools to inspire a new generation of nuclear scientists and engineers. The initiative will work to engage students throughout the region and enhance their understanding of nuclear science and technology. The project aims to reach a million students by 2021 by teaching a course for 26 educators from 17 countries on the diverse methods of teaching nuclear science to children 12-18. According to the article, “from 2012 to 2016, IAEA and experts from Australia, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea and the United States developed a compendium that collects unique teaching strategies and materials to introduce science and technology in education systems across Asian countries.” The compendium provides a guide to latest teaching resources and tips, and a list of classroom and after-school activities that teachers and students can use to teach and learn about science in a more engaging, interesting and easy-to-understand way.
Uranium Tariffs Create Threat for US Nuclear Power Plants
President Trump’s decision to create tariffs for uranium imports could lead to a rising cost of fuel for nuclear reactors and undermine the administration’s goals to support the US nuclear power industry. The Commerce Department will research “whether uranium imports ‘threaten to impair’ national security. U.S. miners Energy Fuels Inc. and Ur-Energy Inc., which requested the probe in January, want 25 percent of the domestic market reserved for U.S. producers. Domestic companies supply less than 5 percent of U.S. consumption and would need about three years to ramp up production to meet that target.” The Department of Energy has been working to help financially struggling nuclear power plants because of the reliable base-load power offered by the fuel.
US-Japan Nuclear Agreement Automatically Extends
The US-Japan Nuclear Agreement, created under the US Bilateral Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Pursuant to Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act of 1954 automatically extended earlier this week. The agreement became official in July 1988 and had a thirty year timeline. However, if no action was taken to disband the agreement, it would be automatically renewed. Since no movement was made, the Agreement remains in place and Japan will continue to be allowed to reprocess spent fuel, extract plutonium and enrich uranium.
Source: Japan Times