Mr Grossmann said RWE Npower, the companys UK business that saw margins improve in the first half, was not part of its asset disposal plans. Mr Grossmann also damped speculation in the UK that given its challenges, RWE was looking to leave the Horizon consortium with Germanys Eon to build new nuclear reactors in the country, noting that this project will continue. A final investment decision will not need to be taken for another two to three years. RWE also held out hopes of a formal alliance with Gazprom, the Russian gas group.
FT 9th Aug 2011 more >>
German nuclear group RWEs first-half core net profit has fallen 40 per cent, hit by a government decision to phase out nuclear power and unprofitable gas sales, highlighting the problems faced by the firms new chief exec-designate. Germanys largest power producer said yesterday first-half profit took a 900m (£786m) hit from decommissioning of nuclear power plants, the write-off of nuclear fuel rods and a nuclear fuel tax.
City AM 10th Aug 2011 more >>
Reuters 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Independent 10th Aug 2011 more >>
The utilitys investment programme is also being scaled back, by around 1.5 a year, to around 4 billion from 2014 onwards. A spokeswoman told Environmental Finance that RWEs spending plans in renewable energy will not be curtailed. Renewables currently make up about 4% of RWEs electricity mix. In February, RWE set out its plan to invest 3.9 billion in renewables between 2011 and 2013. From 2014, the firm now plans to spend about 50% of its capital expenditure on renewables, or around 2 billion a year. One Frankfurt analyst said: We can assume that the level of investment in renewables will remain high, but probably the total investment per annum will come down somewhat in the mid-term. The firms renewable energy division, RWE Innogy, saw external revenues rise 27% over from January to June this year, to 224 million. The division made an operating profit of 89 million, up from 63 million in the same period in 2010. Spending on efficiency improvements of RWEs fleet of power stations will increase by 100 million to 1.5 billion, the firm said.
Environmental Finance 9th Aug 2011 more >>
The German-owned power company npower has given a clear indication that it is set to increase energy bills for its four million British customers, despite more-than-doubling profits in Britain in the first half. RWE, the parent of npower, said that its British operations made operating profits of 352 million (£309 million) in the six months to June 30, 130 per cent higher than the 154 million it made in the same period last year. On revenues of 3.8 billion, that means npower customers are seeing £91 in every £1,000 they pay in energy bills going straight into the coffers of RWE a margin much higher than recent industry norms.
Times 10th Aug 2011 more >>
The British power producer, which recently merged with some assets of French giant GDF Suez, saw particular growth in the US and South America, but weakness in the UK and Europe. Overall, profits doubled to 936m (£817m) from 409m in the first half of the previous year. However, its share price was down 6.5pc at 267.7p – more than the falling market.
Telegraph 10th Aug 2011 more >>
The dysfunctional nature of the energy market has been thrown into focus by International Power, which said that it could mothball one of the countrys biggest power plants until the middle of the decade. The company said that it had effectively shut down its Teesside gas-fired power station, which is capable of producing 1,875 megawatts of electricity to power many of the homes in the North East, because the plant could not make any money. It said that it had temporarily reduced the declared capacity of Teesside to just 45MW.
Times 10th Aug 2011 more >>
International Power, the UK-quoted company which more than doubled in size last year after the merger with the global energy interests of GDF Suez of France, reported worldwide underlying profits up 10 per cent at 2.7 billion. However the weak man of the business is proving to be the UK where profits plunged by a fifth to 336 million. It said it was reducing the declared capacity of its Teesside plant from 1875 megawatts to just 45MW blaming weak UK market conditions.
Times 10th Aug 2011 more >>
AN ANNOUNCEMENT that the Mox nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield will close later this year has been welcomed by Irish anti-nuclear campaigners. A loss of contracts following meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power station in Japan was given as justification. But this project has been a financial and operational disaster from the start. In nine years it cost the British taxpayer more than £1 billion and its throughput was a fraction of that promised. In spite of that, pressure groups are calling for construction of a larger, more expensive Mox plant at the site.
Irish Times 9th Aug 2011 more >>
The timetable for building new nuclear power stations including one at Sellafield could slip by up to two years, a senior politician has warned. Tim Yeo, the Conservative chairman of the Parliamentary energy select committee, blames a frustrating lack of political will. The NuGen consortium hopes to build up to three reactors at Sellafield by 2023. Nationally, the Government plans 12 reactors on eight sites to become operational between 2018 and 2025. But energy companies such an NuGen will decide whether to invest only when new legislation designed to make nuclear build viable becomes law. Mr Yeo says this is unlikely to happen until the end of 2013, a year later than expected.
Cumberland News 9th July 2011 more >>
CND conference resolves to actively oppose nuclear waste dumping.
Radiation Free Lakeland 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Interserve has won a single operator framework agreement worth up to £18 million – covering the construction of nuclear waste storage facilities for Magnox.
Construction News 9th Aug 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has appointed Professor Mike Burke as director of research and technology. Prof Burke has more than 30 years experience in materials and manufacturing process research for the power generation industry, most recently as manager of Westinghouses Materials Center of Excellence in Pennsylvania, USA. Based at the Nuclear AMRC laboratories at Manchester Universitys Dalton Nuclear Institute, he will lead collaborative, industry-focused research across the Nuclear AMRCs facilities in Sheffield and Manchester.
Yorkshire Post 9th August 2011 more >>
Is the problem of highly radioactive nuclear waste on the verge of being solved? This is the tantalising prospect raised by the discovery of a new organic ligand that can selectively extract the extremely radioactive components of spent fuel, allowing them to be fed back into the nuclear plant to create energy and in the process become non-radioactive. These components of spent fuel – the minor actinides – cannot currently be separated from contaminating lanthanides, which prevents them from being re-used. The actinides are highly radioactive and need to be safely stored for thousands of years. If these could be removed, much smaller levels of high level waste would accrue and would remain hazardous for a much shorter period of time – between one and two hundred years – rather than effectively forever.
Chemistry World 9th Aug 2011 more >>
The wildly unpopular Japanese government gets credit for almost nothing these days. But its plans for an overhaul of nuclear regulation are broadly sensible. The most important decision is to move regulation from the trade and industry ministry, which has been responsible for both promoting and regulating nuclear energy. This created a damaging conflict of interest and compromised safety. More regulatory foresight could perhaps have averted the nuclear meltdowns caused by the earthquake and tsunami in March. That aside, Japans nuclear industry is chronically prone to safety short-cuts and cover-ups. The so-called nuclear village nexus of bureaucrats, politicians and nuclear executives has been deeply discredited. The government will establish a new safety agency next April, scrapping two existing bodies: the Nuclear Safety Commission and the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency. Their functions should be folded into one. The current dual arrangement created overlapping responsibilities that may have slowed the response to the crisis.
FT 10th Aug 2011 more >>
THE day after a huge tsunami set off the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate. Given no guidance from Tokyo, town officials led the residents north, believing that winter winds would be blowing south and carrying away any radioactive emissions. For three nights, while reactor explosions spewed radiation into the air, they stayed in a district called Tsushima. The children played outside and some parents used water from a stream to prepare rice. In fact, the winds had been blowing directly toward Tsushima – and town officials would learn two months later that a government computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases had been showing just that. But the forecasts were left unpublicised by bureaucrats in Tokyo, operating in a culture that sought to avoid responsibility and, above all, criticism. Speaking from Nihonmatsu, where thousands of people from Namie are now living in temporary housing, Namie’s mayor, Tamotsu Baba, said: “We were in a location with one of the highest levels of radiation. We are extremely worried about internal exposure to radiation.” Withholding the information, he said, was akin to “murder”.
Scotsman 10th Aug 2011 more >>
New York Times 8th Aug 2011 more >>
Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Monday called for a study to look into the possibility of decommissioning the trouble-prone Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor as part of the government’s review of energy policy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The reactor, located in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, has been regarded as key to realizing the country’s nuclear fuel cycle, in which spent nuclear fuel from power plants would be reprocessed for reuse as plutonium-uranium mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel.
Mainichi 9th Aug 2011 more >>
The Fukushima city government has not made this place known to the public, even to residents living near the area. That’s because it is the dumping site for huge amounts of radioactive sludge and dirt collected by city residents cleaning up and decontaminating their neighborhoods. “(If we did make the site public), garbage from other residents might come flooding in,” a Fukushima city official said, emphasizing that the disposal site is only “temporary.”
Asahi 6th Aug 2011 more >>
Torrential rain and floods in Fukushima and Niigata prefectures, Japan, on the last weekend of July destroyed crops and houses and left the high numbers of elderly people in rural communities isolated and vulnerable. The floods have added to the misery of a population already struggling to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear incident in March this year.
BMJ 9th Aug 2011 more >>
EDF is lobbying the Turkish energy ministry to build a nuclear plant in the country after Turkeys talks with Japanese contractor ended.
Proactive Investor 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Renewable energy production in the United States has surpassed the production of nuclear power for the first time, a government study reports. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, during the first quarter of this year, renewable energy sources (biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, water, wind) provided 2.245 quadrillion BTUs of energy, or 11.73 percent of U.S. energy production. More significantly, energy production from renewable sources in 2011 was 5.65 percent more than that from nuclear power, which provided 2.125 quadrillion BTUs and has remained largely unchanged in recent years. Energy from renewable sources is now 77.15% of that from domestic crude oil production.
IB Times 9th Aug 2011 more >>