Electricité de France SA is in talks with state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co. on forming a partnership to build nuclear-power plants in the U.K., people familiar with the matter said. The deal could replace EDF’s partnership with British utility Centrica PLC for new plants in Britain and dispel some doubts about whether the French company has sufficient funds for its nuclear ambitions in the U.K., the people said. The arrival of the well-financed Chinese company could help ease fears about the future of nuclear energy in Britain. Centrica is likely to withdraw from the construction of new reactors because it fears that there will be cost overruns and that indirect subsidies being negotiated with the British government will be insufficient to justify the investment, another person said. The potential injection of Chinese funds and expertise into Britain comes as EDF and French nuclear-reactor vendor Areva are struggling with rising costs and delays in the construction of next-generation European pressurized reactors. Costs at Areva’s project in Finland have more than doubled to €8 billion ($10.5 billion), and the plant is five years behind schedule. EDF’s costs have doubled to €8 billion at its Flamanville, France, project, which has been delayed by two years. In contrast, China Guangdong’s construction with EDF of two EPRs in Taishan, China, are on budget and on schedule. EDF has said it would give a cost estimate for Hinkley Point when it makes its final investment decision, which is expected at the end of this quarter, a person familiar with the matter said. EDF, 85% of which is owned by the French government, recently said it would prioritize investment in France in the year ahead, raising the possibility of a delay in its U.K. nuclear projects. Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal said last month that it was too early to decide on the U.K. plans.
Wall Street Journal 10th Jan 2013 more »
4 Traders 10th Jan 2013 more »
Reuters 11th Jan 2013 more »
EDF has agreed the cost of its new nuclear reactors with ministers in a crucial move towards erecting a tranche of generators. Executives at the French power giant and ministers have agreed on a price tag that is ‘not miles away’ from £7billion, according to sources close to the talks.The agreement marks a key milestone in negotiations, which have been going on for months. The stumbling block in the discussions, which EDF needs to complete before it can put the proposals to its investors, remains the price the group can charge for its energy. Agreeing this ‘strike price’ is the last hurdle the firm has to clear before it can set the case before its investors – which include the French government – for the final decision. It had been hoped this would happen before the end of last year. But talks were delayed, and it is understood that people on EDF’s side of the negotiations are impatient to conclude the talks as soon as possible. Agreeing the cost of the reactors – set at around £7billion – is a key milestone, because it makes it easier to come together on the future pricing structure. Chief executive Vincent de Rivaz has already said he would not ask for more than £140 per MegaWatt hour. The current rate is £55, but is widely expected to more-than-double by the time the reactors come online in the mid-2020s. The reactors will also have a lifetime of 60 years, so the price has to last for the duration of that time.
This is Money 10th Jan 2013 more »
An entire Suffolk town could be given anti-radiation pills to take in the case of a nuclear emergency. Some people in the town already have the pills, but the emergency planning area could be widened in the future. A public consultation is looking at current evacuation plans for the Sizewell power plant near Leiston. A local forum put forward new proposals, saying they’ve learnt lessons from the Fukushima disaster in Japan almost two years ago.
ITV 8th Jan 2013 more »
EDF enery is proposing to build a new 1600MW nuclear power station at Sizewell, and are carrying out consultation before submitting their application for the development to the Secretary of State. This is a huge, multi-billion pound project, taking seven to nine years to build, doubling the size of the existing site and creating 900 permanent jobs after completion. The construction work and the finished development will certainly be visible from parts of Southwold and Reydon. A consultation event was held in December at the Methodist Church in Southwold, but if you missed that in the busy run-up to Xmas, you can still see the information presented and have time to respond before the deadline on 6th February 2013.
Reydon Village Website 7th Jan 2013 more »
LANDSCAPE guardians say a new network of mega pylons across North Wales will spoil the countryside and damage tourism. The National Grid is proposing to beef up its over-ground transmission capacity from Wylfa on Anglesey to Pentir and onwards to Trawsfynydd. But the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales said the proposals will have a “significant, permanent and damaging impact” on nationally important landscapes. It favours sub-sea cabling from Anglesey to Deeside or Lancashire.
Daily Post 10th Jan 2013 more »
Fourteen nuclear waste management organisations and research institutes, from eight European countries, are participating in a EUR15.7 million technology development project for testing, plugging and sealing systems for radioactive waste disposal in deep geological repositories. The recently-launched DOPAS project (“Demonstration Of Plugs And Seals”) will run for four years (September 2012-August 2016) and is financially supported by EURATOM’s Seventh Framework Programme, providing around 55% of the project funding.
Modern Power Sytems 9th Jan 2013 more »
Letter: Very often the debate about the nuclear waste repository seems to ignore one of its most salient features: Time. The half life of plutonium239 is 24,000 years. Mankind has very little success in creating physical structures that last 2000 or even 1000 years, a fraction of that time. How many buildings remain intact from the time of Jesus? It is an arrogant childlike fantasy to suppose we can create anything to contain toxins for these sorts of periods. We have to face up to a future of temporary storage until technology provides a proven safe way of proceeding. The West Cumbrian communities should not get embroiled any further in the planning for this repository.
Whitehaven News 10th Jan 2013 more »
Letter David Wood: with regard to the NDA’s position that there are no current proposals for Ennerdale, I stated: “This is probably true”. Mr Ellis was asked that if Dr Dearlove had identified the Ennerdale fell as having a potential to host a GDF, would the NDA select it for investigation during stage 4. Mr Ellis admitted the NDA would do so. I was standing within six feet of Mr Ellis when he spoke and there were over 100 other people present to hear the same. For clarity, the NDA has not (as yet) identified the Ennerdale fell for investigation but will do so, should the MRWS process continue to stage 4. Canada searched for the most suitable geology first and then sought a volunteer community. May I reiterate a further relevant fact that the UK is alone in seeking a volunteer community first and then examining the geology. British Geological Survey did not make any assessment of the probability of finding suitable geology in those areas not excluded. One should avoid the inference that the remaining areas have a good prospect of being geologically suitable. I am aware of three expert geological opinions on the prospect of finding suitable geology in West Cumbria; they range from “none” to “low probability” to “not particularly promising”.
Whitehaven News 10th Jan 2013 more »
Letter: It seems entirely reasonable for the people of Ennerdale and Kinniside to be concerned about the search for a nuclear waste site in West Cumbria, given that Ennerdale rock has already been identified by MRWS geologists as being of interest, despite it being “less than ideal”.
Whitehaven News 10th Jan 2013 more »
UK electricity generation shifted further from gas-fired power towards coal-fired generation in 2012, a trend that looks set to continue in 2013 as rising gas prices erode the profits of combined cycle gas turbine use — allowing coal burn to soar in line with falling fuel and emissions allowance costs. In addition, growing renewable energy capacity has increased the variability of the energy mix due to the intermittent nature of wind generation to allow for a year of record lows and highs for gas-fired power as well as oil-fired generation late in the year. Official figures from the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change showed that gas burn had fallen 40.9% to 22.83 TWh by the third quarter of 2012, paving the way for ever higher year-on-year coal burn.
Platts 10th Jan 2012 more »
Anti-green campaigning from the right will not only cause environmental harm, it has also begun to retoxify the Tory brand. To win the next election, the Conservatives need to win the votes of people who voted Labour or Liberal Democrat last time. These voters are still worried that the Conservatives only understand people’s needs as narrowly, self-interestedly economic. The party’s environmental retreat has started to encourage them to think that the “same old Tories” have returned.
Guardian 11th Jan 2013 more »
Environment Ministry officials in December received details and photographic evidence of shoddy decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture, but they dithered on taking action by citing “manners” and the need to confirm the information. New Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara has also been slow to react since The Asahi Shimbun ran its first story on the issue on Jan. 4. Asahi Shimbun reporters, who witnessed slipshod work at 13 locations between Dec. 11 and 18, visited the Fukushima Office for Environmental Restoration, which is responsible for overseeing decontamination work around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, on Dec. 25. The reporters told a senior representative that general contractors instructed workers to dump potentially contaminated vegetation and not to bother with the proper recovery of water used for cleaning. The journalists explained about the 13 locations and dates and showed photographs taken at the sites. The office representative said it is a matter of “manners.”
Asahi Simbun 10th Jan 2012 more »
Iran has linked its only nuclear power plant to the national energy grid at full capacity, according to the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEO). IAEO head Fereydoon Abbasi Davani was quoted by AFP as saying to the state television that there were no particular problems. After a two-month shutdown needed to check the fuel and the reactor, the Bushehr power plant was linked to the national grid on Saturday and reached its full capacity of 1,000 megawatts”, said Davani.
Energy Business Review 10th Jan 2013 more »
Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Co Ltd. is developing a $476 million civilian nuclear power project that will be the first in the world to put a reactor with fourth-generation features into commercial production. Proponents of 4th generation nuclear reactors include Bill Gates, whose Terrapower company is collaborating with Chinese scientists on the design and who noted in December 2011, “The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste,” with the reactor design, under study by Terrapower requiring no enriched uranium, as its fuel would be depleted uranium, greatly diminishing nuclear waste output.
Oil Price 10th Jan 2013 more »
WorleyParsons is to carry out site characterisation, licensing and permitting services for Poland’s first nuclear power plant, Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE) has announced.
World Nuclear News 10th Jan 2013 more »
Wind production numbers increased in 2012, as solar made huge gains. Remember all those worries about blackouts and power outages that the nuclear shutdowns would cause? Never happened. In fact, Germany doesn’t have too little power — but way too much.
IP Journal 10th Jan 2013 more »
RUSSIA’s first new submarine to be built since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 entered service yesterday. Work began on the Borei-class nuclear-powered submarine Yuri Dolgoruky in 1996. President Vladimir Putin sees the new class of sub as a key component of the country’s nuclear arsenal and has pledged to further strengthen Russia’s navy, following the chaos of the immediate post-Soviet era.
Scotsman 10th Jan 2013 more »
The UK Government has been urged to reveal details of any contingency plans ministers might have for moving the Trident nuclear submarines if Scotland votes in favour of independence. Ian Davidson, the chairman of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee, made the plea after the Government said it was “not planning for Scottish independence or to move the strategic nuclear deterrent” from its base at Faslane.
Scotsman 10th Jan 2013 more »
Letter John Ainslie: Your headline, “UK: ‘Trident will remain on the Clyde for years’” , fails to acknowledge the powers which an independent Scotland would have. The Scottish Affairs Committee highlighted a Scottish CND report which suggests that an independent Scottish Government could insist that Trident be de-activated in days and removed from Scotland within weeks.
Scotsman 10th Jan 2013 more »
Letter: It is intriguing to note the claim by the UK Government that Scottish independence and the removal of Trident from the Clyde could lead to the loss of 8,200 jobs. Figures released by the Ministry of Defence in October last year under freedom of information law reveal, however, that only 520 civilian jobs at Faslane and Coulport near Helensburgh are directly dependent on Trident.
Scotsman 10th Jan 2013 more »
William Walker: Banishing Trident from an independent Scotland may be the ultimate aim for the SNP, but is it achievable and at what cost? NUCLEAR weapons have been based in a reluctant Scotland for half a century. Churches, trade unions, local authorities, protest groups, countless individuals, and the Scottish Parliament have called persistently for their removal and an end to the policy of nuclear deterrence. To no avail. London’s power of decision has remained absolute. Freeing Scotland of nuclear weapons has been heart and soul to the SNP. Once in government, however, it has been noticeably reluctant to take actions that would disturb the status quo.
Scotland on Sunday 8th Jan 2013 more »
Iain McWhirter: Economics aside, getting rid of Trident is a moral issue.
Herald 10th Jan 2013 more »
Letter: Your excellent review of potential alternatives to “like-for-like” Trident replacement omitted one other option for weaning our political elites and the Ministry of Defence off their addiction to nuclear weapons (“The price of deterrence”, Analysis, January 10). This would involve moving the UK from so-called “minimum deterrence” to “virtual deterrence”.
FT 10th Jan 2013 more »
Thousand Reasons is a project by the WMD Awareness Programme, an organisation that aims to help remove nuclear weapons from the world. The organisation commissioned British designer and animator Dan Britt to produce the stop-motion animated short film A Thousand Reasons (here), which uses stop-motion animation of paper cranes, bombs and machinery to get its point across simply and beautifully.
PC Advisor 10th Jan 2013 more »
Solar panels can be added to the roof of a Cambridge University college despite objections, city planners have ruled. Plans were submitted to refurbish the 200-year-old, Grade I-listed New Court at Trinity College to improve its accommodation and energy efficiency.
BBC 9th Jan 2013 more »
Isle of Anglesey Council has approved plans for what is said to be Wales’ largest PV installation, a 15MW solar park at Tai Moelion Farm on the Bodorgan Estate in Anglesey. However, before it releases a 25-year planning permit, the authority said the developer New Forest Energy would need to continue to work with the Gwynedd Archeological Planning Service to undertake further archaeological work on the site. The proposed solar park will be built on 30 hectares of pasture land and will represent Wales’ largest PV installation when complete, the developer said.
Solar Portal 9th Jan 2013 more »
Angling, wildlife and heritage groups on Thursday attacked new proposals for a £34bn tidal barrage across the Severn estuary, with one telling MPs that environmental benefits touted by proponents of the barrage are “spin” and “guff”. But former Labour minister Peter Hain, who stepped down from the shadow cabinet last year to back the plans, told the energy and climate change committee that it would generate 5% of the UK’s electricity – equivalent to around four nuclear power stations or thousands of wind turbines – create 50,000 jobs and protect the region from storm surge flooding.
Guardian 10th Jan 2013 more »
Bloomberg 10th Jan 2013 more »
The piece in the Guardian on Monday ‘Green deals upfront fees ’put people off upgrading homes’ sets out what many people were thinking and fearing as the Green Deal opens for business. This is that when you decide you might like to go for a Green Deal arrangement, you will need an assessment in order to access any of the improvements available, and it looks like you will have to cough up perhaps a hundred pounds for that, whether or not you then (maybe on the basis of the assessment itself) decide to proceed or not. And of course, it completely knocks out what I always thought was something of a fantasy, namely that you might ‘shop around’ for Green Deal quotes: even if you retrieve some or all of your money if you subsequently deal with the company that has assessed you, you certainly won’t from those you’ve ‘shopped around’ with. If it does turn out that most of the companies offering assessments do indeed decide to charge , then I think it will be a real deterrent to very many people, not offset much, even in the early stages of the Deal, by what the Department has announced will be the ‘tariff’ for their ‘cashback’ which is now enshrined in the Coalition midterm report appearing in the ‘promise ‘ section’ as ‘a £125 million cash-back’ scheme to encourage energy efficiency improvements by households and businesses’.
Alan Whitehead MP 10th Jan 2013 more »
Spare cash in the Green Deal budget should be used to cover energy efficiency assessment fees rather than offer consumers cashback, according to Labour MP Alan Whitehead.
Utility Week 11th Jan 2013 more »
The average annual spend on fuel bills for the over-65s soared to £1,355.90 last year, amounting to more than twice as much as the average of £668.98 in 2005, the group’s analysis found. Across the UK, some 12.9 million pensioners spent an estimated £17.4bn on electricity and fuel bills in 2012, Saga said. Saga said that its recent research among the over-50s showed that almost three in five (58pc) are worried about heating costs this winter and more than a third (35pc) are already struggling with heating bills. Its figures do not take into account the effects of a recent string of price hikes announced by energy companies, pushing costs up further this winter.
Telegraph 11th Jan 2013 more »