UAE

The start-up of the Arab world’s first nuclear reactor – in the United Arab Emirates – has been delayed and should start operations between the end of 2019 and early 2020, the plant’s operator said on Saturday. Nawah Energy Company, the operator of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the Al-Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, said it “has completed a comprehensive operational readiness review” for an updated start-up schedule for the reactor. The $24.4 billion Barakah power plant is the world’s largest nuclear project under construction and will be the first in the Arab world. Reuters reported in March that the start-up had been pushed back to 2019 due to training delays. “The resulting projection for the start-up of Unit 1 operations reflects the time required for the plant’s nuclear operators to complete operational readiness activities and to obtain necessary regulatory approvals,” Nawah said. The first of four reactors being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) in the UAE is part of the Barakah power plant project that was originally scheduled to open last year.

Reuters 26th May 2018 read more »

Al Alarabiya 26th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 27 May 2018

Wylfa

Britain’s hopes for a number of new nuclear power stations could collapse if the government and the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi fail to make a breakthrough on talks for a plant in Wales, a top nuclear lobbyist has warned. Hiroaki Nakanishi, the firm’s chairman, met Theresa May earlier this month, to press the prime minister for financial support for two reactors at Wylfa on the island of Anglesey. The company’s board is understood be meeting on Monday to decide whether it can proceed with the UK’s subsequent offer, believed to include a multibillion-pound loan. Tim Yeo, chairman of the industry-backed group New Nuclear Watch Europe, said the outcome of the negotiations had huge consequences for other international firms hoping to build reactors in Britain. “If Hitachi walk away from Wylfa that probably spells the end of new nuclear in the UK,” he said. Hitachi wants to build abroad because of a moribund home market, while the UK government sees nuclear as an important source of low-carbon power. Despite the protracted discussions between the two parties, London appears to still be committed to making the economics of nuclear work. “I sense there’s still a lot of political will to make new nuclear happen from government, and backbenchers seem to want it in their areas,” a Whitehall source said. An industry source said the deal would work if the government offered some form of financial support directly, while energy bill payers footed the rest through a subsidy known as a contract for difference. Paul Dorfman at the Energy Institute at University College London said: “This would mean the hardworking UK taxpayer and energy consumer, who are labouring under ramping austerity, are being asked to stump up for an extraordinarily expensive nuclear plant just at the time that renewable costs are plummeting.” Japanese media have reported the UK government’s loan for the project could be as much as £13bn, and put the total cost of the plant at more than £20bn, even more than Hinkley Point C. The details are understood to have been leaked by the Japanese government, not Hitachi, and the UK government has said it “does not recognise” the reports. Greenpeace said the UK was wrongly pursuing a “dinosaur” technology and should focus on renewables, batteries and interconnectors to other countries.

Guardian 25th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 26 May 2018

Hinkley

UK energy secretary to visit Hinkley nuclear site as it hits new milestone. Around 250 apprentices are now working on the new facility, which is expected to provide 7% of the nation’s electricity needs.

Energy Live News 25th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 26 May 2018

Hinkley

Plans to move mud from alongside the Hinkley Point nuclear site in Somerset to a dumping ground off Cardiff Bay have been debated by AMs. It comes after a petition to the assembly against the plans attracted over 7,000 signatures. Other online petitions gathered tens of thousands of signatures. The assembly petitions committee took evidence on the issue and published a summary of the evidence it had heard and requested the debate in the Senedd. As part of plans to build the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset – 300,000 tonnes needs to be dredged from the seabed nearby. The developers are set to move it within weeks to a disposal site off Cardiff Bay. Both developers EDF and Natural Resources Wales insist tests have shown the sediment poses no risk but campaigners claim it could be contaminated by discharges from the old Hinkley Point A and B and argue the mud has not been adequately tested. Plaid Cymru’s Simon Thomas said the issue illustrated that “we have so little control of our natural resources, that we have to accept the spoil of a nuclear power station in Hinkley Point”. He said that as a matter of principle it is was the Welsh parliament that should decide what happens in Welsh waters. The company behind Hinkley Point C – EDF – said the mud has been tested independently to internationally accepted standards and shown to pose no risk to human health or the environment. It has refused a Petitions Committee request to pay for further sampling – arguing claims the mud is toxic are alarmist and wrong, and that any sampling would yield the same results and would not remove the petitioner’s objection about the testing process. Energy Secretary Lesley Griffiths said Natural Resources Wales was satisfied there was no risk from the dredged material to people, the environment, or the wildlife that lives there. However, she said she has asked NRW to review the way it communicated its decisions over this licence. Independent AM Neil McEvoy, who met the demonstrators, dismissed the suggestion the mud had been tested properly and described the situation as a “dereliction of duty”. He said: “We have a Welsh Government allowing Wales to be dumped on and the mud hasn’t been tested… The top soil was tested – [but] you’ve got five samples only under five centimetres for 300,000 tonnes of mud.” Anti-nuclear campaigner Tim Deere Jones, who submitted the petition, is unhappy with the level of testing undertaken. He said: “What kind of radioactivity is in the mud, how much of it is in the mud, if you dump it into the Cardiff grounds which is a dispersal site – where will it disperse to?” Richard Bramhall is from the Low Level Radiation Campaign, chairman of the Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance and a former member of the government advisory committee advising on the radiation effects of internal emitters. “The idea that the average radioactivity in the mud is at a low level is of no comfort at all to the people of south Wales,” he said. “The particles will blow ashore and once they’re in your lungs that’s not a low dose.”

BBC 23rd May 2018 read more »

Hinkley Point C site owners, EDF, set target of 1,000 apprentices working on the project during its lifespan, and today a quarter of those places have been filled.

BEIS 25th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 25 May 2018

Bradwell

A MAJOR milestone has been reached for nuclear technology which could potentially be used for a new Bradwell power station. China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and EDF Energy are carrying out groundwork for a new nuclear power station in Bradwell, which would be called Bradwell B. Whilst development of Bradwell B is still in the very early stages, with no concrete plans expected for several years, CGN have this week announced the successful completion of dome lifting at the demonstration project of HPR1000 nuclear reactor technology, the same tech that would be used for Bradwell B subject to regulatory approval.

Braintree & Witham Times 25th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 25 May 2018

New Nuclear

The nuclear sector needs to do more to gain the confidence of the public if it is to become a driving force in the UK’s response to climate change. That was the message from renowned carbon footprinting expert Mike Berners-Lee at the second warm-up event to September’s Cumbria Nuclear Conference, hosted by Carlisle MP John Stevenson. Speaking to representatives from the business and education communities gathered at Rheged, near Penrith, he challenged the sector to prove nuclear power was safe and that it could help to the UK to develop a greener energy mix. Mr Berners-Lee said the UK would never be able to utilise the massive potential of solar energy because of its climate and with other forms of energy making negligible contributions, nuclear had the potential to play an important role in an energy mix that did not include fossil fuels. “There is a lot stronger case for nuclear in the UK than in other countries,” he said “My challenge would be for the sector to gain trust – to be honest about the cons as well as the pros – and have a really robust debate about why nuclear power is needed. If you get it right, then you will even have the Green Party supporting nuclear.”

In Cumbria 25th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 25 May 2018

Bradwell

THE site of the new nuclear power station at Bradwell is staggering in size. Measuring the length of six football pitches, it sits on land near to the existing station, now being decommissioned. The Standard was given exclusive access to see how work was progressing at Bradwell B. EDF Energy and the China General Nuclear Power Group have been carrying out early site investigations into the site since December. Since then, the company has been drilling and digging sampling holes and testing the soil. While work is underway, the project is still very much in the beginning stage. Once all groundwork is complete proposals for what the new power station could look like will be drawn up. Then, a huge public consultation will be held, alongside a generic design assessment, environmental assessment, and nuclear site licence being sought. In short, we are many years away from any station being built.

Maldon Standard 23rd May 2018 read more »

Bradwell B model nuclear power plant passes major milestone in China. A nuclear plant which is acting as the forerunner to Bradwell B in Essex has passed a major milestone. The China General Nuclear (CGN) Power Group said it has completed the dome-lift at the Fangchenggang nuclear power station in Guangxi Province, China. Dome lifting is a significant point in construction as it is a vital part of ensuring the integrity and sealing of the reactor building. Equipment installation can now start. The station is being used as the reference plant for the HPR1000 which CGN and EDF plan to build at Bradwell B, subject to regulatory approval, and will inform the UK version. Zheng Dongshan, chief executive of CGN UK, said: “This milestone for the HPR1000 technology is great news for the Bradwell B project, showing CGN will have a track record in safely and efficiently building and operating this type of reactor well before the project becomes operational in the UK.”

East Anglian Daily Times 23rd May 2018 read more »

The HPR1000 has also been proposed for construction at Bradwell in the UK, where it is undergoing Generic Design Assessment. The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency announced in November last year the start of the second, technical, phase of the assessment programme for the UK HPR1000. CGN UK CEO Dongshan Zheng said, “The announcement today shows the very positive progress being made at Fangchenggang unit 3, and illustrates once again our expertise, as the world’s leading builder of nuclear power stations, in project management, engineering and construction of new reactors.” He added, “This milestone for the HPR1000 technology is also great news for the Bradwell B project, showing that CGN will have a track record in safely and efficiently building and operating this type of reactor well before the project becomes operational in the UK.”

World Nuclear News 23rd May 2018 read more »

Posted: 24 May 2018

Hinkley

Assembly to debate ‘nuclear mud’ petition as campaigners call for more testing. Anti-nuclear campaigners have raised new questions about what they fear is ‘radioactive mud’ to be dumped near Cardiff Bay, as the Assembly prepares to debate a petition against the plans. Over 7,000 signed a petition calling for a suspension of a license to dump the mud so that a full Environmental Impact Assessment can be carried out under the auspices of Natural Resources Wales. 109,000 also signed a Greenpeace petition expressing concerns that the mud could be toxic and requesting that EDF respond. Campaigners are calling on Lesley Griffiths, the Environment Minister responsible for Energy and Planning, to call in the application to dump the mud. They claim that the Welsh Government had had already decided to agree to the request by EDF Energy, the company building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, to dump 30,000 tonnes mud before it was properly tested.

Nation Cymru 23rd May 2018 read more »

Since November 2017 the Petitions Committee has given detailed consideration to a petition concerning a marine licence for the disposal of material dredged from the seabed in the Severn Estuary, as part of the construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. This report contains an overview of the Committee’s consideration of the petition and a summary of the evidence the Committee has received.

National Assembly for Wales 23rd May 2018 read more »

Posted: 24 May 2018

Nuclear vs Climate

A leading expert on carbon footprinting will deliver the keynote speech on green energy to senior figures in Cumbria’s nuclear sector tonight. Mike Berners-Lee will give an overview of the energy challenge facing the world the role nuclear can play in the UK’s attempts to tackle climate change, when he speaks at the second of four warm-up events for September’s Cumbria Nuclear Conference. Mr Berners-Lee, who lives in Kendal and runs his business Small World Consulting from Lancaster University’s Environmental Centre, will address around 100 invited delegates who will gather at Rheged near Penrith. The brother of world wide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, he has published two books, ‘How Bad are Bananas – The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ and ‘The Burning Question?’, written with Duncan Clark. The event also includes talks from Simon Sjenitzer, director of energy and climate change at conference sponsors WYG, and Carlisle MP John Stevenson, who will be hosting the main conference on September 21 at Carlisle Racecourse.

In Cumbria 24th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 24 May 2018

Nuclear Futures

The target of achieving global nuclear generating capacity of 438 GWe by 2020 under the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Sustainable Development Scenario appears to be on track, the agency said today. However, it said the prospects of meeting the target of 490 GWe by 2025 remains uncertain.

World Nuclear News 23rd May 2018 read more »

Posted: 24 May 2018