Wylfa

Labour has put support for a new nuclear power station in Wales at the heart of its election bid. The party will launch its Welsh manifesto today with a commitment to support the planned Wyfla Newydd station on Anglesey as well as a host of major infrastructure projects. The manifesto will be unveiled in Delyn and follows speculation that Labour could lose all five of its North Wales seats. However, Labour activists will be heartened that UK polls suggest the Conservatives’ lead is narrowing.

Wales Online 22nd May 2017 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2017

Moorside

A delegation of executives from State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) is due in London this week. They will meet with representatives from NuGen and the Nuclear Industry Association on Tuesday, the Sunday Times reported.

City AM 21st May 2017 read more »

Construction News 22nd May 2017 read more »

After months of Toshiba Westinghouse’s rather faux bankruptcy and the “on hold” status of Moorside, now (once again) China is in the news as being an “interested party.” Meanwhile the nuclear obsessed unions are baying for ever more public subsidy for new nuclear build despite the growing evidence that nuclear provides negative equity in both health and prosperity. Yes nuclear is a “white elephant” which is already a drain on the public purse into eternity …but it is so much more than a “white elephant.” The Chinese know this and have been out on the streets protesting in their thousands, despite their repressive regime. Here in our green and pleasant democratic land, a lot of effort by government bodies including the National Public Intelligence Order Unit has gone into ensuring the UK public are apathetic about nuclear. The Chinese would be up in arms about Moorside being “on hold” -they would say the plan should be scrapped. Meanwhile reports in the mainstream press blind the public into believing that this is already a ‘nuclear plant’ – it is not – it is greenfields, floodplain and has internationally recognised designations of Conservation….all meaningless, as our democratic government has changed the law to “facilitate” this obscenity.

Radiation Free Lakeland 21st May 2017 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2017

Nuclear Futures

With the bankruptcy of Westinghouse and the pending dismemberment of its Japanese parent Toshiba, two ongoing – and way behind schedule and over budget – U.S. nuclear projects are in deep jeopardy. On top of that, the near completion of a Finnish reactor, designed and built by France’s tottering, state-owned Areva nuclear firm, has likely lit a red light to anyone seeking to build a new nuke in Europe. Areva may disappear.

Power Mag 20th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2017

Moorside

A Chinese state-owned power giant has set its sights on the £15bn nuclear plant planned for the Cumbrian coast. State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) is considering investing in Toshiba’s troubled NuGen project at Moorside — risking a collision with Theresa May and her new interventionist approach to foreign takeovers. Industry sources said a delegation from SNPTC and its parent, State Power Investment Corporation, was due in London. Eight senior officials will meet executives from NuGen and Britain’s atomic power trade body, the Nuclear Industry Association, on Tuesday. It is unclear whether the election hiatus will hinder meetings with Whitehall officials. The talks underline China’s ambitions in nuclear power after another state-owned giant, China General Nuclear, bankrolled the £18bn Hinkley Point plant in Somerset. CGN took a 33% stake in Hinkley but its ultimate ambition is to build a power station, fuelled with its own home-grown reactors, at Bradwell in Essex. Sources said SNPTC could seek to power NuGen with its own reactor — a derivative of Westinghouse’s AP1000 model, which is planned for the site. SNPTC could not be reached for comment. NuGen said it was exploring a “universe of options” for investment.

Times 21st May 2017 read more »

Posted: 21 May 2017

Hinkley

EDF Energy has revealed that the disruptive road works around Wylds Road, The Drove and Bristol Road in Bridgwater are ahead of schedule. The road works, in place to improve access to Hinkley Point C power station, have caused chaos in the town for months. However, an EDF spokesman has today (May 19) confirmed that the main temporary one-way traffic system will be removed by mid-June. EDF Energy say the work will be finished ahead of the original 29 weeks forecast, with resurfacing work due to take place next week and in June.

Somerset Live 19th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 21 May 2017

New Nuclear

After years of pro-nuclear bombast from the Conservative Party, its 2017 manifesto hasn’t got a single word to say about nuclear power, write Oliver Tickell & Ian Fairlie. Instead it announces a renewed focus on cutting energy costs, and a big boost for increasingly low-cost wind power; while both Labour and Libdems offer only weak, highly qualified support for new nuclear build. And so the great British ‘nuclear renaissance’ reaches its timely end. OK, it does not announce an end to Britain’s massive 10GW (18GW ed?)nuclear power programme set out in the Cameron-Osborne years of government. In fact, it does not even mention nuclear power. Instead it states that a future Tory government will remain sublimely indifferent to how our electricity is generated, so long as it’s reliable, cheap and low carbon:

Ecologist 18th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 May 2017

Hinkley

Crossrail, HS2, Hinkley Point C nuclear power station: three massive infrastructure projects, costing billions of taxpayers’ money, and all subject to controversial and time-consuming debate before getting the go-ahead. But were these megaprojects in fact easier to get politicians to approve than other, smaller investments in UK infrastructure and transport? That is the intriguing notion put forward by Isabel Dedring, global transport leader at Arup and London’s former deputy mayor for transport. At a recent seminar on whether bigger infrastructure projects really are better, Dedring told the audience this is often the case, politically, at least. The counter argument is that since all infrastructure projects produce protest, politicians might as well put all their eggs in a single basket. “The noise politically generated by small projects is much greater in relation to their size,” noted Dedring, in part because it’s easier to get people together to mobilise against smaller projects. “And politicians understand that.” “The ones that get threatened are those that go over-budget and are not part of a key mission and have no international collaboration,” he said. “Once you have an international project, it’s harder to kill.” One obvious example is Hinkley Point C, which is being built by French nuclear contractor EDF and its Chinese partners. The contract for the new power station was signed in September 2016 by UK business secretary Greg Clark, alongside Jean-Bernard Lévy, the chair of EDF, and He Yu, chair of China General Nuclear, who said the programme was a “triple win for China, Britain, and France” and the culmination of years of cooperation between the three countries.

Guardian 19th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 May 2017

Hinkley

Britain’s new £18 billion nuclear power plant is being funded by illegal French state aid, according to a lawsuit filed by Greenpeace. The environmental group is urging the European Commission to order EDF, the French state-owned energy giant that is building the plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, to repay the 6.8 billion euros it received from the French government. The lawsuit is also a shot across the bows of Theresa May, who approved plans for Hinkley Point C last autumn, and President Macron of France, who organised the bailout of EDF when he was economy minister. At the time, EDF was struggling with debts of more than 37 billion and a requirement to find more than 50 billion to renovate its French reactors. Critics, including the group’s own financial director, said that it could not afford its two-thirds share of the investment in Hinkley Point. Greenpeace claims that the deal amounts to unfair state aid. “Instead of acting like a smart investor, the state is providing unconditional support to EDF and its nuclear projects that threaten the health of the company, notably Hinkley Point. There is no economic logic,” Laura Monnier, of Greenpeace France, said. “Greenpeace’s lawsuit aims to show that EDF’s capital increase is incompatible with European competition law.” The environmental organisation said that EDF had been wrong to invest in Hinkley Point “when it does not have the funds to invest in the maintenance and safety of its French nuclear fleet”. Greenpeace’s lawsuit is unlikely to halt the Hinkley Point project, but it adds to the controversy over the scheme on both sides of the Channel.Shares in EDF slumped yesterday after the appointment of Nicolas Hulot, 62, France’s best known environmental campaigner, as minister of ecology and solidarity in Mr Macron’s government. Investors fear that Mr Hulot will press EDF to reduce its dependence on nuclear power and to pump funds into the development of renewable energy.

Times 18th May 2017 read more »

Reuters 17th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 May 2017

EDF

Green activist Nicolas Hulot was appointed as the minister responsible for environment and energy in the new French government on Wednesday, sending the share price of nuclear utility EDF down as much as seven percent. EDF shares had rallied strongly since the election of centrist Emmanuel Macron as president on May 7 as investors expected a pro-nuclear energy policy from the new government. But the appointment of Hulot – France’s best-known environmental campaigner and a former television documentary maker – as ecology minister raised doubts in investors’ minds about the strength of that commitment. Hulot is not known specifically as an anti-nuclear campaigner but has been critical of nuclear energy and of EDF’s strong focus on nuclear, which accounts for 75 percent of France’s electricity generation. The world’s biggest operator of nuclear plants, EDF has a 18 billion pound ($23.3 billion) project to build two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point, Britain and needs to spend 50 billion euro ($55.7 billion) on upgrading its ageing French nuclear plants. The planned takeover of Areva’s nuclear reactor unit will also cost several billions. In an interview with Liberation newspaper last month, Hulot said one of France’s main challenges will be to reposition EDF on a path that is compatible with a transition from dependence on nuclear power towards the use of more renewables. “While elsewhere the energy transition accelerates, EDF gets closer to Areva, overinvests in costly nuclear projects like Hinkley Point, and does not invest enough in renewables,” he told the paper. Asked by Le Parisien newspaper in March whether France should stop using nuclear energy, he said: “That is a medium-term target”. “As renewable energy becomes more and more competitive, the nuclear industry business model belongs to the past,” he said.

Reuters 17th May 2017 read more »

EDF Group’s Board of Directors has approved the creation of the company EDVANCE which brings together EDF and AREVA NP engineers. This is a significant milestone in the reconstruction of the nuclear industry, announced in June 2015. EDVANCE will be in charge of the basic design and implementation (studies, procurement support, assembly and commissioning) for projects involving nuclear islands and control systems for new reactors being built, both in France and around the world. EDF will own 80% of the company’s capital, while AREVA NP will own 20%. This new company is set up independently from EDF’s acquisition of the exclusive control over NEW AREVA NP, planned for the end of 2017.

Global News Wire 17th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 May 2017

Moorside

Plans to build the £2.8Bn power transmission line connecting NuGen’s delayed Moorside project have been put on hold by National Grid so that it can align its plans with those of developer NuGen which have already been put on-hold. NuGen has been forced to undertake a ‘strategic review of options’ following the financial meltdown of Moorside’s sole investor Toshiba and the bankruptcy of its subsidiary Westinghouse who was to supply the AP1000 reactors for the project. Another casualty of NuGen’s faltering progress are the 1200 respondents to its Stage 2 public consultation which finished at the end of July 2016. Today, almost 10 months later, the consultation feedback report promised by NuGen for ‘Autumn 2016’ has still not materialised and neither has NuGen indicated that it will hold the further consultation called for by CORE, local authorities and others to make up for the lack of detailed information provided in the Stage 2 consultation documents. These failures, in tandem with NuGen’s current Strategic Review of options, designed ‘to provide a more robust, stable and sustainable platform to meet its commitment to deliver the next generation of nuclear power’ has left those respondents not only in a NuGen no-man’s land but also questioning the merit of having already spent time and effort on responding to a project that now appears not only less than robust but also unstable and unsustainable.

CORE 17th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 May 2017