Uranium Week: Reactors Open, Reactors Close

Weekly Reports | Feb 25 2020

Different approaches to nuclear power generation are being taken across the globe.

-Congress to assess US uranium reserve proposal
-US to open first new reactor in 30 years
-France to close its oldest reactors

By Greg Peel

The Trump Administration has allocated US$150m in its proposed 2021 budget for the creation of a national uranium reserve. The budget will need to be approved by Congress, and to that end Congress has requested the Department of Energy identify key challenges in reconstituting uranium mining and conversion in the US.

It is expected the DOE will publish a Request for Information, through which it will seek input on various market, regulatory, technical, financial, and human resource topics. Responses to the ROI are due on March 16.

The US uranium mining and nuclear power generation industries meanwhile remain in a state of flux. However, the country moved closer last week to the completion of its first new reactor in more than 30 years. Southern Co remains confident of meeting the regulatory approved in-service date of November 2021 for Unit 3 at the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia.

Over in France, where the government has a policy of reducing nuclear’s contribution to the country’s power production, Electricite de France has begun the process of closing the two-unit Fessenheim plant – the country’s oldest operating nuclear facility.

Which leaves the developing world to pick up the slack. President Trump is currently in India, where he is expected to sign an agreement that will outline plans for six Westinghouse reactors to be built at Kovvada.


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