Daily News Roundup

22 November 2014

Dounreay

A fire at the Dounreay nuclear plant resulted in an “unauthorised” release of radioactivity, an investigation has found. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), the company responsible for decommissioning the site on the north coast of Scotland, said it had identified “unacceptable behaviours and practices” by staff. The fire broke out on October 7 in the prototype fast reactor sodium tank building, where sodium residues from the operation of the reactor are stored. The Dounreay on-site fire brigade extinguished the blaze …

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21 November 2014

Hinkley

Doug Parr: Given UK consumers are on the hook for an undiscounted£37billion of subsidy to this project, you’d think democratic principles would require that all developments were subject to full public scrutiny. But no; it’s all happening behind closed doors. A few new scraps of information have emerged that do suggest the project is far from going swimmingly. There are 3 main points. First, the reactor design, the European Pressurised water Reactor (EPR) isn’t very good. A nuclear engineer now …

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20 November 2014

Hinkley

The future of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset is under a cloud amid a financial crisis at Areva, a shareholder in the project and the designer of the proposed reactors. Shares in the French engineering business plunged by almost a quarter after Areva warned it must suspend future profit predictions because of problems centred on a similar power station project in Finland. Both that scheme at Olkiluoto and another at Flamanville in France are massively over-budget and …

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19 November 2014

Flamanville

French state-owned nuclear company EDF has delayed by a year construction of its flagship next generation plant in Flamanville, putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of supplier Areva. EDF said on Tuesday that problems with delivering a number of parts, such as the lid and internal structure of the reactor vessel, would delay the project start until 2017. The news came as Areva issued a profit warning. This is the latest in the long line of delays for the …

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18 November 2014

Hinkley

Saudi Arabia has made a late attempt to bankroll EDF Energy’s project to build Britain’s first nuclear reactor for a generation. Saudi Electric, the national utility company, has moved after the French company balked at the demands of its Chinese partners. EDF wants the state-backed China General Nuclear and China National Nuclear Corporation to take a 40 per cent stake in the £24.5 billion development at Hinkley Point, Somerset. However, CGN and CNNC are demanding that Chinese manufacturers are handed …

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17 November 2014

New Nuclear

A leading energy expert has warned that although the British government is right to proceed with new nuclear plants they risk becoming a “financial drain” unless they can be built on time and on budget. Steven Chu, the former US energy secretary and Nobel prizewinning physicist, believes using a variety of reactor designs – as the UK looks poised to do – is not the best way to keep costs down. “Unless we can learn to build nuclear on …

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16 November 2014

GDA

Professor Andy Blowers, the Chair of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), has been appointed by the Environment Agency as a member of the Oversight Group Reviewing Public Involvement in New Nuclear Reactor Designs (Generic Design Assessment). Professor Blowers commented: ‘This could be very interesting work in light of the possibility of new reactor designs being employed by Chinese state companies for a putative new nuclear power station at Bradwell. I am a great believer in public engagement and …

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15 November 2014

Hartlepool & Heysham

Electricite de France SA delayed the restarts of three U.K. nuclear reactors that were halted in August for safety checks as it awaits regulatory approval to return the units to operation. The reactors are ready to restart and EDF is in the final stages of getting permission from the Office of Nuclear Regulation, spokeswoman Sue Fletcher said today in an e-mailed statement. The starts of unit 2 at Heysham-1 and Hartlepool-2 were delayed by a week to Nov. …

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14 November 2014

Wylfa

The Energy Revolution Coming Your Way – and It’s Not Nuclear’. A chance hear one of the leading experts on energy and the environment. Sir Jonathon Porritt 12-2pm Wednesday, 19 November.

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Hinkley – redundant technology past its sell-by date

Over the last year a series of reports from financial and energy analysts have concluded that, amongst other things, conventional utility models are no longer fit for purpose. The reports highlight the changes to the old centralised utility model which are on the horizon and the importance of new technologies. They suggest that decentralised energy supply will be increasingly important in the future. The latest issue of NuClear News (No.68 November 2014) looks at a selection of these reports.

Not …

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