The government is about to invest taxpayers’ money in a multibillion-pound project to build a nuclear power station in north Wales. Ministers are preparing to announce a deal with Hitachi, a Japanese developer, next week to help to fund the construction of the Wylfa Newydd plant on Anglesey, which could cost more than £15 billion. Unlike the £20 billion Hinkley Point nuclear plant, which was funded through private money, it is understood that Wylfa will have direct investment from British taxpayers. The deal will reduce the amount consumers have to pay on their energy bills when Wylfa is up and running. However, it could expose the government to a greater risk from cost overruns as it will own a direct stake. The proposed twin-reactor power plant at Wylfa could generate about 2.9 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power about five million homes. It is expected to start generating in the mid-2020s. Sources confirmed that an outline deal over the funding structure was scheduled to be announced next week when parliament returns from recess, triggering formal negotiations over the contract details. The scale of the government’s investment is not known but it is expected that Britain, Hitachi and the Japanese government will all invest equity and the British government will also offer guarantees to underwrite billions of pounds of loans for the plant. Hitachi has declined to comment on Japanese media reports that the cost of the plant could be up to £21 billion but one source dismissed the claims as fantasy. Reports also claimed this week that Hitachi wanted to reduce its liability for any accidents at the plant. Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, said that the deal looked like a complete rip-off for everyone in Britain. He added: “Taxpayers and bill payers will be shelling out for a nuclear tax if this power station is built because it’s so much more expensive than renewable energy, which is faster to build, cheaper and cleaner.”

Times 31st May 2018 read more »

Wylfa B – why should the taxpayer cover the bill and all its safety issues? The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) notes media reports in the UK and Japan which suggest the UK Government is inching towards an agreement with Hitachi and the Japanese Government over the funding for a proposed new nuclear reactor at Wylfa in Anglesey. This could leave the UK taxpayer providing funds and guarantees to help cover a substantial amount of the £21 billion cost of the project. NFLA is particularly concerned that Hitachi may be placing the costs of additional safety measures on to the Government.

NFLA 30th May 2018 read more »

With established nuclear markets said to be struggling, other UK projects are in the works, including schemes in Suffolk and Essex, while South Korean firm Kepco is taking forward plans at Moorside in Cumbria. Horizon undertook its third formal consultation stage for Wylfa last year, with features stressed including streamlining of the project’s impact. It included shared facilities for the twin reactors, while construction workers requiring accommodation will be housed in a single temporary campus at the build site. The total number of construction workers was outlined at a thousand fewer in number than once anticipated, reaching a peak of 9,000 “for a few months” in late 2023. Horizon said that the number of off-site facilities would be combined, adding funding will be provided to support affordable housing around the power station in Amlwch, along with support for skills, STEM programmes in local schools and tourism programmes. Elements from the stage two consultation that remained in place are improvements to the A5025, a park-and-ride facility at Dalar Hill, and a logistics facility at Parc Cybi on the edge of Holyhead. In January, a further consultation was held regarding additional land required for the new sections of the A5025.

North West Place 29th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018


Letter Graham Vodden: I read with interest your article in The GEM regarding Hinkley Mud, and I have to say that I have no confidence in the National Assembly making the correct decision on this matter. I fully endorse the petition calling for the licence to be suspended to allow for a full environmental assessment before any dredging and dumping is started. We already have a problem with excess mud coming ashore on Penarth beach because somebody decided years ago to dump local dredged mud out of Cardiff Dock entrance at the North Cardiff buoy, instead of where it used to be dumped at the Middle Pool buoy, where it would disperse and not cause any environmental problem. The question that needs to be addressed is why does EDF want to bring this mud all the way from Hinkley beach to the North Cardiff Buoy position for dumping? The answer to that is there is already a licence issued for dumping mud or sediment here, which makes the whole process easier. The other question which needs to be asked is why can’t they dump this sediment outside Hinkley? There is plenty of depth in that part of the channel and it would not cause any problems, it would just disperse. The answer to that is that EDF would have to go through the whole process of licence application again. My message to EDF is, keep your suspect ‘mud’ in the area of Hinkley. The last thing Penarth needs is a massive mud pollution increase on our beach.

Barry GEM 29th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018


Approval has been sought for projects that would eventually open up the site of a nuclear power complex to other uses in 300 years’ time. Dounreay near Thurso on the north Caithness coast is in the process of being decommissioned. Highland councillors have been asked to approve phase three of this work. It includes dealing with some of the most challenging features of the site, including dismantling reactors and dealing with radioactive waste sites. Highland Council’s north planning applications committee has been asked to give planning permission to a range of projects. Among them is the construction of temporary buildings for housing robotic tools for retrieving waste from areas called the Shaft and the Silo. The projects would help to bring about what is called an interim end state, when the decommissioning work has been completed. This is expected to be reached between 2030 and 2033. The projects would also assist in reaching a point 300 years from now when the land is deemed to be safe of any potential radioactive contamination for “unrestricted use”, according to the site’s operators. A potential use of the land is that it be a wildlife habitat. Parts of the site already support insect and bird life. A wild flower meadow created at Dounreay provides habitat for the great yellow – among Britain’s rarest bumblebees.

BBC 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018


Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM): programme of work, 2018 to 2021.

CoRWM 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Radwaste Transport

Heavy police presence in Millom as Cumbria Constabulary assist in closely-guarded transport operation. Residents reported seeing ‘armed police’ at various locations across Millom

NW Evening Mail 29th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018


To assess the physical security of sites such as nuclear reactors, facilities are increasingly turning to modeling and simulation software that tests their security against external and internal threats. Traditionally, subject-matter experts performed security assessments, but their accuracy depends on their knowledge and carrying out force-on-force attacks, or simulated attacks. Those efforts can go only so far because “you’re not really going to blow a hole in a fence or knock down doors,” said Bob Scott, senior vice president of business development and marketing at ARES, the firm behind ARES Security’s Automated Vulnerability Evaluation for Risks of Terrorism software. AVERT was recently accredited by the Department of Energy after undergoing testing conducted in conjunction with the Defense Department.The industry and technological capabilities have evolved to go beyond such qualitative assessments to create a science based on computerized modeling and simulation, ARES Senior Vice President Blane Schertz said.

GCN 29th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Energy Costs

Britain’s second largest energy supplier has joined its rivals in raising bills for almost seven million homes after a winter of wholesale price spikes. The typical dual fuel bill for SSE’s 2.3m customers on standard energy tariffs will rise by around £76 a year from July. The increase is due to a 5.6pc increase in SSE’s standard gas tariffs and a 7.7pc rise for electricity. The hike was widely expected following similar moves from SSE’s Big Six rivals British Gas, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, E.On UK and Npower in the wake of dramatic price spikes on the energy markets.

Telegraph 30th May 2018 read more »

Times 31st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Nuclear Costs

Energy for Humanity’s Kirsty Gogan argues nuclear must follow renewables pathway and drive down costs. Many serious green campaigners and climate hawks acknowledge that to both urgently cut carbon and meet rapidly rising global energy demand, nuclear energy must play a significant role. Having acknowledged that the safety and waste risks have long been overblown, cost remains a barrier, especially when viewed through the lens of recent European budget and schedule overruns. But why is it that new nuclear is being delivered successfully elsewhere in the world – on budget and on schedule – with costs falling and not rising? To answer this question, I have been leading a major study for the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute, alongside Massachusetts-based Lucid Strategy. What we have found is that while nuclear can be expensive, it does not have to be.

Business Green 31st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018


[Machine Translation] “The impasse”, how the EPR sank French nuclear. France 5 broadcasts this Wednesday night “Nuclear, the French impasse”, a documentary against the declining reign of the atom. This film investigates EDF’s crazy gamble: risking its survival on the EPR, a reactor that accumulates trouble. Will the EPR be the Titanic of French nuclear power? This is the shocking question posed by a film investigated by director Patrick Benquet broadcast tonight on France 5 which points to the “impasse” in which the “most nuclearized country in the world” has locked up by equipping itself with 58 reactors. the 70s-80s. A fleet of 19 aging plants, which still produces 75% of French electricity, and which EDF wants to keep at all costs by launching a new generation of pressurized water reactor: the EPR, “the most powerful never built, able to supply electricity to a metropolis like Paris. It must have been the deadly weapon of the nuclear lobby to defend the reign of the atom undermined by the Fukushima disaster and the rise of green energies. EDF dreamed of exporting it all over the world by selling this “new nuclear” as the best lever against global warming. But things did not go at all as planned. And today EDF is going through a crisis that threatens the very existence of the “public service preferred by the French,” says the documentary. There are these hidden costs of the atom, put under the carpet for decades, which rise to the surface: the enormous costs of reprocessing radioactive waste, is added the bill of the “great refit”: these works of Hercules designed to extend the lifespan of aging plants from 40 to 50 years. “EDF promised cheap electricity, but the real cost of nuclear energy today is in the tens and tens of billions. And ultimately it is the taxpayer who will pay, announces the implacable voice off. Yet, EDF, the nuclear state in the state, will launch the EPR at all costs. By assigning a strategic mission: take over the old reactors that will gradually retire by 2035.

Liberation 30th May 2018 read more »

French EPR start-up faces further delays – IRSN. The launch of France’s first European pressurised reactor (EPR) faces further delays of “at least several months” due to sub-standard welding, nuclear safety authority ASN’s technical arm, IRSN, said on Wednesday. “We are talking clearly at least months [of delay],” said Wednesday Thierry Charles, in charge of nuclear safety at the IRSN, in an interview with Montel. But everything will depend on the conclusion of the expertise that will be made in relation to the achievement of safety objectives. I am very cautious because as long as we do not have a clear vision of the type of fault and the application of the safety requirements, and therefore that EDF proposes to respond, it is difficult to put the cursor between a few months and more, “he added. EDF said in Apri lhave detected quality discrepancies in the main secondary circuit during a pre-commissioning visit to the nuclear facility, adding that this discovery could have an impact on the reactor start-up schedule. Mr. Charles indicated that there were a large number of welds with defects in the piping of the main secondary circuit: “The number of defects is at least an indication of the quality of the workmanship, so it shows that there is had insufficient quality […] But it is not necessary to have a lot of defects to have a big difficulty compared to a security requirement.”

Montel 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018


Hot functional tests have been completed at the Olkiluoto 3 EPR, Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced today. The company said preparations have already started for loading fuel into the core of the 1600 MWe pressurised water reactor ahead of its start-up later this year. TVO said it anticipates loading the 241 fuel assemblies into the reactor in the autumn. A total of 128 tonnes of fuel for the EPR has already been delivered to the Olkiluoto site in southwest Finland. Under the latest schedule for Olkiluoto 3, grid connection takes place in December, with the start of regular electricity production in May next year. The unit’s ramp-up programme will see it produce 2-4 TWh of electricity, at varying power levels between those dates. Fuel loading fuel at the Taishan 1 EPR in China’s Guangdong province began last month following the issuance of a permit from the Chinese regulator. The unit is later this year scheduled to become the first EPR reactor to enter operation. Fuel loading at the Flamanville EPR in France is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

World Nuclear News 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018