Hinkley

Strike action has been averted as hundreds of workers building the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point voted for an improved pay deal. Unions Unite and GMB were preparing for industrial action at the Somerset site after an ongoing pay dispute with EDF. Phil Whitehurst, from the GMB, said the dispute could have had “devastating consequences”. EDF and main contractor BYLOR proposed a revised offer incorporating bonuses into the basic rate. Wages will be 36% above the minimum industry-agreed rate and holiday pay, overtime rates and pension contributions will also increase. Nigel Cann, EDF’s programme and construction delivery director at Hinkley Point, said: “We are very pleased that the union members have voted to accept our offer.”

BBC 30th Oct 2017 read more »

Times 31st Oct 2017 read more »

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Energy Voice 31st Oct 2017 read more »

Morning Star 31st Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

Sizewell

The out-going UK head of energy group EDF still expects the group’s planned Sizewell C power station to be generating electricity by 2031 – despite continuing controversy over the price of nuclear power. His comments, described as “thoughts, hopes and expectations”, are largely in line with current predictions. EDF has set no firm timeline for the construction of Sizewell C but there has been talk of improvements to the A12 being completed in time for a 10-year construction phase to begin in 2021. However, in comments quoted in The Times, Mr de Rivaz acknowledges that EDF will have to agree a significantly cheaper “strike price” in respect of the energy produced by Sizewell C compared with the deal already secured for Hinkley Point C. He also said that he “strongly hopes” that a new nuclear plant at Bradwell in Essex, which forms part of a funding deal between EDF and the China General Nuclear Power Group, will be generating electricity by 2033.

Ipswich Star 30th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

New Nuclear

There a risk we won’t get new nuclear hooked up to the grid in time to back up renewable energy like wind power. There’s an aim to generate 16GWe of new nuclear power by 2030. But experts doubt that’s a realistic prospect, with Hinkley Point C years late, and questions over whether investors will risk capital on proposed plants in Cumbria and North Wales. And as plans for the future of nuclear power evolve, the legacy of the past also needs to be dealt with. The government’s served notice on a £6billion contract to make safe a dozen of the UK’s first nuclear sites, dating back to the 1950s. It was the most valuable piece of work ever put out to tender by the government. But the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority gave the job to the wrong consortium. The high court ordered a payout to the rightful winners of £97.3 million in damages. The National Audit Office says the total cost to the taxpayer is upwards of £122 million. The government also has to find someone else to clean up the old Magnox power stations and nuclear research sites. The current contractor, Cavendish Fluor Partnership and the NDA agree the job is far bigger than was made clear, and CFP will down tools nine years early. File on 4 looks at the delays and spiralling costs in decommissioning old power station sites. So just how well is our nuclear industry being managed?

BBC File on Four 31st Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

Brexit

David Drew MP: AS THE Brexit caravan gathers pace we saw one small implication of it with the government’s introduction of its Nuclear Safeguards Bill. This piece of legislation is required for if the UK government is unable to remain within Euratom or negotiate associate status then it will be required to set up a new regulatory body, in this case the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).This matters to us locally for as one of the homes of nuclear power with the now decommissioned Berkeley Station and Nuclear Labs it is vital that there is a body to oversee this industry.

Gloucestershire Gazette 31st Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

Nuclear & Climate

The UN Environmental Program (UNEP) has rejected the World Nuclear Association’s (WNA) offer to provide financial support to the 8th Annual Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF). Described by its chairman as the “largest business-focused side event during the annual Conference Of Parties” the event is scheduled to take place alongside COP23 in Bonn, Germany. Originally accepted as a gold sponsor and ready to pay the £40,000 ($68,338) fee, WNA was recently notified that its sponsorship had been rescinded upon intervention by the UN Environment Program (UNEP).

Forbes 30th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

Energy Costs

Helm’s Cost of Energy review roves widely but fails to explore anything in depth. Former Ofgem senior partner for networks Maxine Frerk has criticised Dieter Helm’s review of the cost of energy, saying it “skirts over the practicalities” of the changes it recommends. In his review, Helm calls for a drastic overhaul of the UK’s energy sector. The government-commissioned study concludes that energy costs are “significantly higher” than necessary and that current policy, regulation and market design are “not fit for purpose”. One of the recommendations is that the government should establish an independent national system operator and regional system operators (RSOs), under public ownership, which should take on a number of duties currently undertaken by distribution network operators and Ofgem.

Utility Week 30th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

NGOs

Tony Juniper, one of the UK’s foremost environmentalists, is to join WWF as it continues to drive the change needed to build a future where both people and nature thrive. Juniper will take over as Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns when he joins the world’s leading independent environmental organisation in January. He will help build on WWF’s successes in conserving the world’s wildlife, rivers, forests, atmosphere and oceans.

WWF 30th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

World Nuclear

The rate of construction of new nuclear power plants will need to be accelerated if the world is to meet its future energy needs while meeting climate change goals, Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said today. Amano was speaking at the opening of the fourth International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, being held in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

World Nuclear News 30th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

Submarines

DUNFERMLINE and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman has called on the MoD to speed up a programme to dismantle seven nuclear submarines in Rosyth. While welcoming a report from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) which showed radioactivity doses in Scotland were well within international limits, Mr Chapman said work to rid Rosyth of the vessels was “excruciatingly slow”. “It’s encouraging that SEPA’s latest report shows radioactivity doses are well within limits,” said Mr Chapman.

Dunfermline Press 30th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017

Floating Nuclear

China’s first offshore nuclear reactor is set to be completed soon, engineers involved in the project said, bolstering Beijing’s maritime ambitions and stoking concerns about the potential use of atomic power in disputed island territories. Beijing hopes offshore reactors will not only help win new markets, but also support state ambitions to become a “strong maritime power” by providing reliable electricity to oil and gas rigs as well as remote South China Sea islands.

Reuters 31st Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 31 October 2017