New Nuclear

The UK government has announced a £200m deal aimed at fuelling innovation and diversity in the civil nuclear industry while bringing down build costs. East Anglian industry leaders say the Nuclear Sector Deal, launched as new build projects including the proposed Sizewell C and Bradwell B plants take shape, has the potential to bring “great benefits” to the region, which has already built up nuclear expertise from its existing plant, Sizewell B.

Ipswich Star 28th June 2018 read more »

Mike Middleton, Strategy Manager, Nuclear, The Energy Technologies Institute, said: “We welcome the news of a new sector deal for nuclear, another step in the government’s ambition to deliver clean growth as part of its Industrial Strategy. Our view is that nuclear should be part of the mix of technologies that provide the opportunity to decarbonise the UK energy system. Large light water reactors like EDF’s Hinkley Point C and Hitachi’s planned ABWRs for Wylfa can make a substantial contribution in decarbonising baseload electricity production. The delivery of a potential pipeline of projects will be influenced by a number of factors – not all technical. In addition, Small Modular Reactors using light water technology could fulfil an additional role by delivering combined heat and power helping to decarbonise energy use in buildings.

Politics Home 29th June 2018 read more »

A £200m Nuclear Sector Deal set to drive down the costs of nuclear energy has been announced by the government, just days after it rejected plans to build the £1.3bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon on grounds of cost. The tidal lagoon could’ve been the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant, so comparing it to nuclear energy – of which the UK has much more experience – is difficult, but the potential benefits it could’ve brought cannot be ignored. Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon was reportedly going to be able to generate power for 155,000 homes over the next 120 years, with the cost to UK households annually from the project estimated at just 20-30 pence. In a response to the lagoon rejection, Chair of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, Keith Clarke said that the decision made a “mockery” of the government’s Industrial Strategy; comparatively, the Nuclear Sector Deal announcement was made as part of the Industrial Strategy. The lagoon was set to see an investment of £316m into the Welsh economy in the first year of the build and £76m every operational year after; Wylfa Newdd states on their website that “local investment [would be] in the region of up to £200m.”

The Manufacturer 29th June 2018 read more »

£200m boost to UK’s nuclear industry welcomed. The government is spearheading a push to bring more women into the UK’s civil nuclear industry. A MULTI million pound deal for the nuclear industry has been welcomed by a former parliamentary candidate. Simon Fell, who ran against John Woodcock in the 2017 general election, said a £200m stimulus package announced by the government was a “welcome boost” for Barrow’s industry. Now the spokesman for the Conservative Party in Barrow, Mr Fell said securing the future of the civil nuclear industry was vital. He said: “Nuclear energy doesn’t just keep the lights on, it fuels local jobs, wages, economic prosperity and drives UK innovation.

NW Evening Mail 29th June 2018 read more »

Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, has commented on the Nuclear sector deal announced by the Business and Energy Secretary of State Greg Clark today. “This is a welcome commitment to the UK’s civil nuclear industry and to jobs and innovation. I hope the Secretary of State will ensure that the Government’s commitment on nuclear will be matched in the future by sector deals for the cheapest low-carbon technologies. The Government must take these steps to ensure they deliver on the goal to decarbonise the UK at least cost so that energy bills for consumers are as cheap as possible …This support for nuclear needs to be matched by action to ensure there is seamless transition from Euratom to a UK safeguards regime. It is clear that there are serious outstanding concerns, including regarding recruitment and funding, which need to be urgently addressed’”.

Parliament 28th June 2018 read more »

China’s largest nuclear power producer has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UK Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) to help deepen its links with Britain’s supply chain. CGN, the developer of the Bradwell B project, hopes to develop its expertise and knowledge, as well as improve commercial and academic connections. The wide-ranging deal includes working out how UK businesses and universities can prepare themselves to participate in the project and how these organisations can add value to CGN’s nuclear operations in China and elsewhere.

Energy Live News 29th June 2018 read more »

Neglected Large-Scale Value for Money Issues in Public Accounting for Costs of the Defence Nuclear Enterprise :Written evidence a review of issues that are of direct relevance to the core topic of the National Audit Office (NAO) report of 2018 concerning ‘the Defence Nuclear Enterprise’ (henceforth ‘NAO Report’). The material summarized here supplements and updates evidence published by the PAC Inquiry of October 2017. The authors believe on grounds of many years of research at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex that the matters documented here raise large-scale, long-run value for money issues of pressing national importance, which remain seriously neglected in work to date either by the NAO, the PAC or any other official bodies – and which are therefore gravely under-scrutinized by Parliament or wider UK policy debates

Parliament 19th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

SMRs

The UK Government has announced funding for an Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) programme involving Birkenhead ship yard Cammell Laird, Cheshire nuclear fuel expert Urenco, and Manchester University. U-Battery is a micro modular nuclear reactor being designed to provide secure, low carbon embedded power at industrial sites and remote locations, currently focused on the UK and Canadian markets. U-Battery is intended to support Canada’s many northern and remote communities by providing a clean, cost-effective and safe source of electricity and heat, allowing them to move away from carbon-intensive diesel fuel, the company said in a statement. The reactor is also intended to power industrial sites, including off-grid mining operations.

Business Desk 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

Wylfa

Horizon Nuclear Power’s Wylfa Newydd plans formally approved. Four key environmental permits will now enter the assessment stage. Horizon Nuclear Power has had its plans to build the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station in Wales formally approved by the Planning Inspectorate. The Development Consent Order process now formally begins with the pre-examination phase, which is where members of the public can become an ‘interested party’. An Examining Authority is also appointed at this stage and interested parties will be invited to attend a preliminary meeting. Four other key environmental permits will now also enter the assessment stage, which will be delivered by Natural Resources Wales.

Energy Live News 29th June 2018 read more »

Robat Idris: I’ve just returned from Japan as part of a joint Friends of the Earth Japan/PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) campaign against nuclear. I saw the ongoing nightmare that is Fukushima – deserted towns, farmland laid to waste, human tragedies. A similar disaster at Wylfa would be the end of any hope of a viable Wales – but politicians here discount any such possibility. PAWB will host a visit from Fukushima evacuees in July – so people here can learn what damage nuclear can do. So as an opponent of Wylfa B who happens to be a Leanne Wood supporter, I welcome her unambiguous anti-nuclear statement. The untenable position of Plaid on nuclear is to be revisited. After the Westminster announcement that “austerity” and privatisation apparently doesn’t apply to nuclear power at Wylfa, Plaid’s ignoring of the subject in the hope that it would go away is no longer acceptable.

Nation Cymru 28th June 2018 read more »

ENVIRONMENT Secretary Michael Gove promised earlier this month to crack down on “crony capitalism.” At the same time his cabinet colleague Energy Secretary Greg Clark was offering a £5 billion bailout to Japanese nuclear firm Hitachi. It looks like a classic crony capitalist deal. Gove argued: “Crony capitalists have rigged the system in their favour and against the rest of us.” A classic crony capitalist deal is where a big firm uses its power and lobbying to squeeze a contract from the government that is good for the capitalists but bad for us. The Hitachi bailout looks like such a rigged deal. Hitachi Europe chief executive Sir Stephen Gommersall isn’t an expert in nuclear power or engineering. He is the former British ambassador to Japan. Gommersall was hired right out of the Foreign Office to help open doors for Hitachi. Tim Stone sits on the board of Horizon Nuclear Power, Hitachi’s British nuclear arm. Stone, a former KPMG consultant, was chief adviser to the energy secretary from 2008-13, helping shape both Labour and Tory-Lib Dem governments’ nuclear energy policy. Before that Stone advised the government on many PFI deals, including famously bad-value ones.

Morning Star 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

Sizewell

The first nuclear reactor built to the design planned for the proposed Sizewell C power plant in Suffolk has started producing electricity for the first time. The Taishan 1 reactor in China became the first EPR reactor to successfully connect to the grid on Friday, June 29. It is producing electricity, but not on a commercial scale yet, as it goes through a series of tests. It will go fully live later this year. Taishan 1 will provide a template for building Taishan 2 next door to it, which is still being built, and the same double reactor design is set to be adopted in Suffolk. Taishan 2 is expected to go live in about a year, and the same process is planned for Sizewell, with about a year’s gap between the completion of the two reactors as build teams move from one job to the next.

Ipswich Star 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

Taishan

The Taishan EPR reactor connected to the grid, a world first. An EPR nuclear reactor was successfully connected to the electricity grid in China on Friday, allowing for the first time the commercial commissioning of this French technology, announced French EDF and Chinese CGN. EDF is a 30% shareholder in the joint venture to build and operate the reactor. The Chinese groups CGN and Yuedian are respectively 51% and 19% shareholders. In a joint statement with CGN, EDF said that “the tests on the alternator and the network connection tests have been successfully finalized”, after a series of tests started at the beginning of the month in the Taishan nuclear power plant, a coastal city from southern China. The construction of the reactor began in 2009. This is the third EPR reactor started in the world. The start date of this reactor had been postponed several times, but it was finally the first to be connected to the grid.

Romandie 29th June 2018 read more »

Phys.org 29th June 2018 read more »

World Nuclear News 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

Utilities

Network operators should get involved soon in blockchain technology. If they miss the digital revolution, it will threaten their business model in the longer term and they could end up becoming pure network asset owners without operational responsibilities, writes Marius Buchmann of Jacobs University.

Energy Post 28th June 2018 read more »

It came as a great surprise to me some weeks back that Germany’s biggest utility E.ON reached an “agreement in principle” with its biggest competitor RWE to acquire its grid and retail business Innogy via a wide-ranging “exchange of assets,” including RWE taking over the renewables and other power generation businesses of E.ON. The result, if the various competition authorities and regulators allow the deal to take place, will be the biggest European grid company and energy retailer in the form of E.ON, with RWE becoming the second biggest power generator in Europe and third biggest owner of renewable assets. In addition, as part of the deal, RWE will keep a minority stake in E.ON which ties the companies together.

Energy Post 26th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

NDA

A new report by the National Audit Office into the NDA found that work at Sellafield accounted for 61% of the NDA’s total £3.3 billion expenditure in 2017–18. 8 of NDA’s 10 most hazardous sites are at Sellafield, whilst NAO expected current major projects at Sellafield will cost £6 billion total. The NAO found that the NDA had made significant progress in reducing delays and meeting significant milestones, but expects major NDA projects to cost more than originally estimated in 2015. Evaluating performance at Sellafield remained difficult due to the complexity and scale of the site, but more could be done to explain progress, and to provide assurance of major projects. The Committee will take evidence from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and Sellafield to explore NDA and Sellafield’s progress and performance. If you wish to submit written evidence to this inquiry, the deadline to do so is midday on Tuesday 10 July.

Public Accounts Committee 29th June 2018 read more »

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and its French counterparts have signed agreement on civil nuclear decommissioning, clean-up and hazard reduction. Following a declaration of intent to enhance collaboration in nuclear decommissioning, signed by the UK and French governments earlier this year, the NDA has developed Roadmaps of Collaboration with EDF SA and Orano. The roadmaps will establish how the NDA will work with the 2 organisations to identify projects where they can share expertise and reduce the cost of decommissioning the civil nuclear legacy in the UK and France.

Compelo 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

NPT

Article I of the NPT starts with the following commitment on Russia, the US and UK: “Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly” Extraordinarily, just two days earlier in Washington, the US hosted a bilateral meeting with the UK to celebrate the 60th anniversary – from July 3, 1958 – of a hugely significant nuclear defence agreement (commonly called the US–UK Mutual Defense Agreement,(MDA) with defence spelled with an ‘s’ even in the official UK version, hinting at the origin of its drafting).

David Lowry’s Blog 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

Energy Costs

Letter Jim Waterton: Intermittency – in one word, the main problem facing many (not all) forms of renewable energy; in the UK, principally wind and solar, and now tidal. So far, electricity from these renewable sources has been in modest amounts, and intermittency has been dealt with (I simplify, but only slightly) by backing-off gas-fired combined cycle (CCGT) plant which, together with nuclear, forms the backbone of the UK electricity generating system. When the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining, CCGT plant is there to take the strain. But this simple strategy fails if wind, solar, and now tidal presume to take over this backbone role. Smart metering (affecting consumers’ usage patterns) and international power exchanges can help, but the main action has to come from energy storage and regeneration plant, involving a new infrastructure to supplement hugely the existing pumped storage capability. This is bound to have serious cost implications, and until this is openly acknowledged, direct comparison of projected MWh costs from any intermittent renewable source with corresponding MWh costs from non-intermittent new nuclear generation is fundamentally invalid, and likely to be badly misleading.

Guardian 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018

Russia

Environmentally significant information about radioactive waste should never be secret and concealing information about the disposition of this waste from those who live closest to it is unacceptable, said a joint statement from three Russian ecological non-profits. The statement was issued last week by the group Radioactive Waste Safety, Greenpeace and Bellona.

Bellona 29th June 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2018