1. EU Green Deal rejects nuclear energy
On 14 January 2020, the European Union (UN) unveiled plans for €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the coming decade. The investment is designed to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050, however, the transition fund money under the plan will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants. Currently, the 126 nuclear power reactors in operation in the EU provide over half of its low-carbon electricity output and prevent the emission of 700 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Foratom, the European nuclear trade body, stated that it regrets the Commission’s proposal to exclude the funds being used for nuclear power plants.
(European Commission, Financing the green transition: The European Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism, 14 January 2020, Link; World Nuclear News, EU Green Deal ignores its own biggest clean energy source, 15 January 2020, Link)
2. Emptying machine installed at Magnox Swarf Storage Silo
The second of three emptying machines is being installed at Sellafield’s Magnox Swarf Storage Silo. The silo contains an estimated 60,000 items of intermediate level nuclear waste in 22 chambers. When it was constructed in the 1960s, there was no plan as to it would be emptied, however, engineers have since designed three machines to do the job. The three machines will be operational by 2024 and retrievals are set to be completed by 2045.
(Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd, Work begins on second emptying machine at Sellafield waste silo, 10 January 2020, Link)
3. Nuclear industry to provide jobs in Cumbria
Sellafield Ltd has announced a new partnership with Jacobs and Morgan Sindall to improve employment opportunities in Cumbria. The project, called All Together Cumbria, is a community interest company and social enterprise, designed to become the digital gateway for Sellafield jobs. The goal is to use the platform to recruit over 500 roles within the next 18 months. Roles listed on the platform will range from apprenticeships to graduate opportunities. Sellafield Ltd chief executive officer, Paul Foster said: ‘Our ambition is to ensure everyone has equal and inclusive access to all career opportunities and roles within our organisation and the supply chain.’
(Sellafield Ltd, Jobs boost for Cumbria as 500 nuclear roles to be advertised via new service, 15 January 2020, Link)
4. UKAEA CEO listed as a finalist in the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists
UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) CEO, Professor Ian Chapman, been named as a finalist in the 2020 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK. The awards take place annually and are designed to recognise innovative discoveries in a range of fields from microbubble engineering to the discovery of new planets; fossil dating to nuclear fusion. Responding to the honour, Professor Chapman stated: ‘I think this recognition reflects the increased interest in, and awareness of, fusion. I am sure it will result in an ever-wider group of stakeholders being made aware of the transformative nature of what we are trying to achieve here at Culham.’
(UK Atomic Energy Authority, UKAEA CEO is a finalist in Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, 15 January 2020, Link)
5. Sellafield publishes quarterly supply chain bulletin
Sellafield has shared its quarterly supply chain bulletin. The document is designed to provide information to its current suppliers and all businesses interested in working with Sellafield.
(Sellafield Ltd, Sellafield quarterly supply chain bulletin, 14 January 2020, Link)
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