News

Wylfa

Plans for a major new nuclear power station in Wales have taken a crucial step forward as UK regulators approved the project. The Office for Nuclear Regulation and two other government bodies gave the green light on Thursday for the Japanese reactor design for Horizon Nuclear Power’s plant at Wylfa, marking the end of a five-year regulatory process. Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon’s chief executive, said: “This is a huge milestone for Horizon and a major leap forward for us in bringing much-needed new nuclear power to the UK.” Attention will now turn to financing the Hitachi-backed project on the island of Anglesey, which was the site of Britain’s oldest nuclear plant until it closed two years ago. During a visit by UK ministers to Japan last December, it emerged that London and Tokyo were considering public financing for Wylfa. This would be a significant break with the UK government’s previous approach. Hitachi has already spent £2bn on development. Last week the consortium said it needed a financial support package by mid-2018 or it could stop funding development. Mark Foy, chief nuclear inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation, sa id: “The completion of the generic design assessment of the UK ABWR is a significant step in our regulation of the overall process to construct this type of reactor in the UK, ensuring that the generic design meets the highest standards of safety that we expect in this country.”

Guardian 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Hitachi’s Horizon Nuclear Power unit expects to see an outline from Britain’s government in the first half of next year on how it will help finance a nuclear project in Wales, the company said on Thursday. Britain is seeking new ways to fund nuclear projects after criticism over a deal awarded to France’s EDF to build the first nuclear plant in Britain for 20 years, which could cost consumers 30 billion pounds ($40 billion).

Reuters 14th Dec 2017 read more »

GDA of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor: final assessment reports. The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales have published 11 updated assessment reports and an independent dose assessment alongside their decision document. In reaching their decision, they have identified 17 assessment findings. They expect future operators to address the findings during the detailed design, procurement, construction or commissioning phase of any new build project. There are no unresolved generic design assessment (GDA) issues.

Environment Agency 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Office for Nuclear Regulation gives Hitachi the green light for its reactor designs, marking a “major leap” forward for planned nuclear plants on Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn. Plans to develop a major new nuclear power station on Anglesey took a major step forward yesterday with the news that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has approved the designs for the new reactors. Hitachi-backed consortium Horizon Nuclear Power hopes to build and operate two of the new reactors, designed by Hitachi, at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. The ONR said it was satisfied that Hitachi’s designs for an Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) meets regulatory expectations for safety, security and environmental protections. The decision marks the end of a five-year regulatory process.

Business Green 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Plans for two new nuclear power stations have taken a “major leap forward” after a reactor design was approved by regulators. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) gave the green light for an advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) designed by Hitachi planned for Horizon Nuclear Power’s plants at Wylfa on Anglesey and in Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire.

Belfast Telegraph 14th Dec 2017 read more »

World Nuclear News 14th Dec 2017 read more »

BBC 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Wylfa Newydd’s nuclear reactors have received the green light from regulators. The UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), designed by Hitachi-GE is suitable for construction in the UK, the regulators confirmed following completion of an in-depth assessment of the nuclear reactor design.

Daily Post 14th Dec 2017 read more »

The developers behind Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant in have put forward proposals to clear around 121 hectares at the Welsh site, despite not yet having planning permission for the plant. It comes as the Office for Nuclear Regulation approved Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe’s advanced-boiling water reactor (ABWR) design. Developer Horizon Nuclear Power (HNP) can now use the reactor at Wylfa Newydd. HNP has submitted plans to Anglesey County Council to carry out site clearance work, such as demolishing existing buildings and vegetation, in preparation for the two-reactor, 2,700MW power plant. HNP believes doing the work now would reduce construction time for Wylfa by about 18 months. If permission is granted by Anglesey County Council, work is expected to start early next year and take around 15 months to complete. A spokesperson for HNP said: ”By doing this work now – before we receive the final planning permission for Wylfa Newydd – we’re able to reduce overall construction time by around 18 months, while also limiting the environmental impacts which would occur if the clearance works took place at the same time as other construction activities.”

New Civil Engineer 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Hinkley

PROTESTORS used a cold turkey to poke fun at EDF after it allegedly claimed Hinkley C power would be cooking Christmas dinners this year. Stop Hinkley members claim they have been stuffed and turned up at the site to remind the energy giant of its claim in 2007.

Bridgwater Mercury 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Glastonbury will see a 150 per cent increase in HGV traffic from the New Year if a request from EDF is approved. This is despite the campaign to lower the number of lorries and coaches coming through town on the A361 and A39. Currently, there is a daily cap of 500 HGVs allowed between Monday and Saturday.

Somerset Live 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Bradwell

A leading campaign group against a new nuclear site have been left furious after their comments were not included in a report ahead of a planning meeting this evening. Work to start building a new nuclear power station in Bradwell is set to take a giant leap forward. For years a second plant has been discussed but tonight permission is sought to begin work on the new site. The application is for permission to do groundwork, the first piece in the jigsaw of a new plant actually being built. However just two days before the meeting campaign groups claimed their objections to the project are being ignored and have been deliberately left off the information being presented to councillors who will make the decision. If approved work will begin to make sure the ground is suitable for a new plant. The application has been recommended for approval by Maldon District Council’s planning department. The work will include digging sampling holes and carry out soil testing.

Maldon Gazette 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Maldon & Burnham Standard 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

New Nuclear Sites

The UK Government has launched a consultation on the process and criteria for designating potentially suitable sites for new nuclear post 2025. They would include new nuclear power stations with more than 1GW of single reactor electricity generating capacity for deployment between 2026 and 2035. The government’s current nuclear power National Policy Statements (NPS) lists eight sites as potentially suitable for new nuclear plants by the end of 2025 – Hinkley Point C, Wylfa, Sellafield, Sizewell, Bradwell, Oldbury, Hartlepool and Heysham. It is seeking views on potential new sites from industry, local authorities, regulators and non-departmental public bodies, NGOs and local residents as well as a new NPS.

Energy Live News 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Energy Policy

NFLA and Stop Hinkley submit comments to UK Clean Growth Plan – renewables, decentralised energy and energy efficiency should be prioritised and new nuclear ditched as unnecessary and overly expensive.

NFLA 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Taishan

CGN Power Co said on Tuesday it has replaced a component at the under-construction Taishan nuclear plant after finding the cracked part during tests of a deaerator. The company is a subsidiary of state-owned nuclear giant China General Nuclear Power Corp (IPO-CGNP.HK). The company’s statement came after media reports that the company had spotted flaws in the deaerator before tests. The deaerator, which removes dissolved oxygen by heating water, was built by Harbin Electric.

Reuters 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Energy Policy – Scotland

IT is nice to finally draw breath at the end of 2017, which will forever be known in Panda Towers (also known as the WWF Scotland office) as Consultageddon. This year we asked for and had hundreds of pages of Scottish Government consultations on everything from huge strategic visions of the country’s energy and climate change future to technical regulation on heat networks. The two centrepieces of this mammoth burst of activity were the draft Energy Strategy and the draft Climate Change plan, both supposed to give strategic direction to the profound changes that will shape our energy landscape over the next decade and beyond. Next week, we should know the outcome of our collective efforts with the publication of the final Energy Strategy. Has the Government listened to what the energy industry, academics and campaigners said? Does it assert enough leadership to make the low-carbon transition real or does it still cling on to some of the last vestiges of old, polluting ways? The draft strategy offered lots of promise and was more integrated and ambitious than previous energy road maps. In particular, the flagship commitment to deliver 50 per cent renewable energy across the entire economy in heat, transport and electricity by 2030 was significant. This welcome target provides clear direction to industry and, as WWF evidence shows, it is both necessary to deliver our climate targets and achievable with existing technology. In uncertain times for investment, it is a statement of intent that Scotland is open for low-carbon business. It builds on the aim to deliver 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables by 2020. It will surely remain in the final document. Some weaknesses need to be addressed in the final strategy. There were outdated intentions to maximise oil and gas extraction and possibly replace old thermal power stations, which go against the grain of the energy transition and the need to tackle climate change. This week, the World Bank announced it would stop funding oil and gas extraction projects from 2019 for climate reasons. Despite the right intentions to consider supply and demand for energy, demand was the ugly sister in the strategy with weak ambition and little substantive action.

Herald 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Fukushima

Boris Johnson was filmed drinking a can of peach juice from Fukushima, an area of Japan which has suffered a triple nuclear meltdown. He was swigging from the can, which Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Tarō Kōno brought to London in a visit to the Foreign Office this week. Appearing to enjoy the drink, the Foreign Secretary said: “Very good … Mmm.” Tarō Kōno tweeted: “British FM Boris Johnson drinking peach juice from Fukushima, showing the products from Fukushima are safe.” The two met in London to discuss security and defence and were joined in talks by their countries’ respective defence ministers, Itsunori Onodera and Gavin Williamson Some countries have imposed restrictions on imports from the area, which is a prominent producer of peaches, due to fears about the safety of the produce but the EU has said it would ease restrictions on imports of agricultural items and seafood introduced to the area after the 2011 meltdown.

Telegraph 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Nearly seven years after the triple reactor meltdown, this unique nuclear crisis is still underway. Of the many complex issues resulting from the disaster, one in particular may have become routine but is anything but normal: the vast amounts of nuclear waste, stored and being transported across Fukushima prefecture. As we conducted our radiation survey work across Fukushima in September and October 2017, it was impossible not to witness the vast scale of both the waste storage areas and the volume of nuclear transports that are now underway. Again the numbers are numbing. In the space of one hour standing in a main street of Iitate village, six nuclear waste trucks passed us by. Not really surprising since in the year to October over 34,000 trucks moved nuclear waste across Fukushima to Okuma and Futaba. The target volume of waste to be moved to these sites in 2017 is 500,000 m³. And this is only the beginning. By 2020, the Government is planning for as much as 6.5 million m³ of nuclear waste to be transported to the Futaba and Okuma sites – a rough estimate would mean over one million nuclear transports in 2020. On any measure this is insanity – and yet the thousands of citizens who formally lived in Namie and Iitate are expected and pressurized by the Japanese government to return to live amidst this nuclear disaster zone. Perhaps one of the most shocking experience in our visit to Fukushima was to witness a vast incineration complex hidden deep in the woods of southern Iitate and a nearby vast storage area with tens of thousands of waste bags surrounded on all sides by thick forests. The tragic irony of a multi-billion dollar and ultimately failed policy of decontamination that has unnecessarily exposed thousands of poorly protected and desperate workers to radiation – but which leads to a vast nuclear dump surrounded by a radioactive forest which that can never be decontaminated. There is no logic to this, unless you are a trucking and incineration business and of course the Japanese government, desperate to create the myth of recovery after Fukushima. On this evidence there is no ‘after’, only ‘forever’. The nuclear waste crisis underway in Fukushima is only one of the many reasons why the Japanese government was under scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last month. Recommendations were submitted to the United Nations by the governments of Austria, Mexico, Portugal and Germany at the calling on the Japanese government to take further measures to support the evacuees of Fukushima, in particular women and children. The Government in Tokyo is to announce its decision on whether it accepts or rejects these recommendations at the United Nations in March 2018. Greenpeace, together with other human rights groups and civil society in Japan are calling on the government to accept that it has failed to defend the rights of its citizens and to agree to implement corrective measures immediately.

Greenpeace 15th Dec 2017 read more »

Contaminated water, bill of astronomical work, leaks … Despite the progress made since the disaster six and a half years ago on the Japanese site, the urgency remains.

Liberation 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

Saudi Arabia

Russia and Saudi Arabia have signed a roadmap for cooperation in the atomic energy sector, Russian state nuclear company Rosatom said on Thursday. The roadmap comprises a number of steps needed to implement a cooperation programme that was signed by the two nations during Saudi King Salman’s visit to Russia in October. Saudi Arabia, which wants to reduce oil consumption at home, is considering building 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear-powered electricity generating capacity by 2032 and has sent a request for information to international suppliers to build two reactors in the kingdom. Last month Rosatom said it hoped to win the Saudi tender.

Reuters 14th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017

France

France’s nuclear regulator ASN has asked state-controlled nuclear operator EDF to strengthen technical controls at the four-unit Cruas nuclear station following a series of “significant events” in controlling the nuclear chain reaction in both double-units in the second half of 2016.

Nucnet 12th Dec 2017 read more »

[Machine Translation] Tricastin nuclear power plant: evacuation of a building after an increase of radioactivity in the air. Around 11:30 Wednesday, a rise in radioactivity was detected in the air of an auxiliary nuclear building on the Tricastin power station (Drôme). A hundred employees had to be evacuated and had to pass an exam to make sure they had not been contaminated.

France Bleu 13th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 December 2017