Canada ships first synchrotron isotopes

17 November 2014

CLS-220

The first batch of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) produced in the Canadian Light Source (CLS) linear accelerator in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has been shipped in a developmental milestone for the non-reactor production of medical isotopes.

The Medical Isotope Project uses the CLS particle accelerator to bombard a target of enriched molybdenum-100 (Mo-100) with high-energy X-rays, which knock a neutron out of some of the molybdenum atoms to produce Mo-99. Mo-99 decays to form technetium-99m (Tc-99m) the world's most widely used medical radioisotope. After the Mo-99 has decayed, the remaining Mo-100 is recovered and recycled into new targets.

 

US funding for supercomputers

17 November 2014

US energy secretary Ernest Moniz has announced major funding packages to support high performance computing projects - $325 million to build new supercomputers at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, plus $100 million for R&D into "extreme scale" supercomputing technologies.

Dome installed at unit 2 of Novovoronezh II

17 November 2014

Novovoronezh 7 dome installation 48Atomenergoproekt has announced the installation of the reactor containment building dome at unit 2 of the Novovoronezh II nuclear power plant.

Robot inspects water tank

14 November 2014

Inspector robot 48A robotic examination of an in-service condensate storage tank at a US nuclear power reactor has been successfully completed. Previously plant operators would have to use divers or empty the tanks in order to conduct manual inspections.

More time to build US MOX plant

17 November 2014

MOX FFF 48The construction licence for the partially-built mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication plant at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina has been extended by ten years at the request of its builder.

Energy Fuels outlines mill plans

17 November 2014

White Mesa Mill 48No uranium processing campaigns are likely to take place in 2015 at the USA's only conventional uranium mill, White Mesa, after the current campaign finishes in March, according to operator Energy Fuels.

NNSA announces funding for isotope projects

14 November 2014

The US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is to award over $8 million of funding to push forward two projects aimed at securing a domestic supply of the molybdenum-99 without using highly enriched uranium.

The AFCR and China's fuel cycle

The new joint venture agreement for Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR) development is a clear step towards building new CANDU units, even if thorium takes a back seat to recycling uranium, writes Ian Hore-Lacy, Senior Research Analyst with the World Nuclear Association.

Although China has long focused on pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology, initially from France, in the 1990s China National Nuclear Corporation signed up for a pair of Canadian reactors of quite different design – pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR).

This puzzled many people at the time, though a feature of them is that they use natural uranium fuel (without any enrichment). From 1998, these CANDU-6 units were built on a turnkey basis, on schedule and under budget, by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd as phase III of Qinshan nuclear power plant near Shanghai. They were commissioned in 2002 and 2003, each delivering 678 MWe net, and have worked well since.

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