In the news: August 1995
U.S. discussing MOX with Germans
(June 29, 1995) A group of American officials visited the Siemens AG Hanau mixed oxide (MOX) nuclear fuels plant on June 27th. The officials are in Germany to discuss the use of the facility to manufacture MOX from Russian weapons program plutonium. MOX is made by combining plutonium dioxide with uranium dioxide made from natural uranium. The plutonium makes uranium enrichment unnecessary. The resulting fuel rods can be used in many existing light water reactor plants without modification.
The use of MOX is one of a number of proposals for reducing the possibility of terrorist organizations obtaining weapons usable material.
Armenia reopens nuclear plant
(July 3, 1995) Armenia has restarted its nuclear power station. The station, closed since 1989, will be able to provide 30 percent of the country’s energy needs. The International Atomic Energy Agency has stated that the plant can be operated safely.
China notes nuclear advantages for the environment
(June 2, 1995) An annual report by China’s National Environmental Protection Agency documented the severe stresses that coal based economic development is placing on the environment. The report cited increases in sulfur dioxide, smoke, soot and carbon dioxide. It mentioned that acid rain had a negative effect on 81 percent of the cities surveyed. The nation relies on coal for 76 percent of its energy. In contrast, the report pointed out that there were no perceptible impacts on the environment from the operation of China’s two nuclear plants at Daya Bay and Qinshan.
British nuclear generators will be privatized
(May, 1995) The United Kingdom has released a plan to combine Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear into a single holding company that is currently being referred to as GBCo. The new holding company will take over the ownership and operation of fourteen 660 MWe Advanced Gas Cooled reactors and one 1175 MWe pressurized water reactor. This action will allow the new organization to compete on more equal terms with the rest of the British generating stations in the electrical market.
The British government will retain ownership of the nine first generation Magnox gas cooled reactors and eventually transfer them to the state-owned fuel cycle company, British Nuclear Fuels. The Magnox reactors were designed for dual purpose use as electrical generators and nuclear materials production facilities.