Senior managers at EDF have told MPs that they remain convinced that the French state-controlled group should postpone the Hinkley Point project until it has solved a litany of problems, including the reactor design and multibillion-euro lawsuits over delays on similar schemes. The letter from EDF managers to the UK parliament’s energy and climate change committee is the latest setback for the proposed Â£18bn nuclear plant, a flagship government energy policy that is intended to provide 7% of Britain’s electricity from about 2025, at a time when old coal and atomic plants are closing down. In April, the French comp any said it was delaying a final investment decision (FID) until September while it consulted with trade unions, but engineers and other middle managers appear to remain implacably opposed. A letter addressed to Angus MacNeil, the chairman of the committee, from the Federation Nationale des Cadres Superieurs de l’energie (FNCS) union “advises to delay the FID until better upfront industrial visibility is evidenced”. Outstanding problems highlighted by the senior managers at EDF include: Areva NP, the designer of the European pressurised reactor (EPR) planned for Somerset, “is currently facing a difficult situation”. The French nuclear safety authority (ASN) may not give the green light to the EPR being constructed at Flamanville in north-west France due to various anomalies. There may be “identical flaws” in an Areva EPR being built at Taishan 1 in China. The scandal over falsification of parts from Areva’s Le Creusot that potentially put safety checks at risk. Multibillion-euro litigation between Areva and the Finnish energy group TVO over delays to an EPR scheme at Olkiluoto remains unsettled.An EDF offer to purchase Areva expired on 31 March, leaving “governance uncertainties upon the implementation of the Hinkley Point C project”.
Guardian 17th June 2016 read more »
Letter from French Union to House of Commons Select Committee: In the wake of the recent hearings which you led with respect to the Hinkley Point C project, I would like to share with you, on behalf of Fédération Française des Cadres Supérieurs de l’Énergie founded in 1948, the updated analysis which emerges from engineering staff and executives within EDF SA. Reliable conditions for committing in Nuclear New Build Genco Hinkley Point C would obviously have to be based on a robust and well prepared industrial organisation as requested by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environmental Agency (EA). The French Safety Authority (ASN) released that tests results do not comply with the regulation concerning the reactor vessel bottom and the reactor vessel head of the Flamanville 3 EPR. There is a risk that the final ASN clearance expected in Spring 2017 will be negative. In addition, the reactor vessel of Taishan 1 in China was also manufactured by Areva NP in Le Creusot plant and then suffers identical flaws. So far, there is no certainty that the EPR technology could be commissioned soon. Taishan 2 could possibly be the first EPR to be commissioned in the world. Feedback experience from EPR is then likely to be based under a later milestone than expected which would be now based on Taishan 2 commissioning’s time table. With respect to the Hinkley Point C project, the Fédération Nationale des Cadres Supérieurs de l’Énergie then advices to delay the FID until better upfront industrial visibility is evidenced.
Parliament 13th June 2016 read more »
A SEASIDE paradise in Suffolk is now the centre of a nuclear leak scare after traces of deadly radioactive materials were found on the beach. The contamination on the idyllic Southwold beach is feared to be linked to the Sizewell A nuclear plant, which is located on coast not far from the popular seaside spot. The nuclear factory is in the process of being decommissioned at a cost of £1.2 billion after shutting down ten years ago. The coastal spot is nicknamed Hampstead-on-Sea because of the all the celebrities who flock there for the holidays. Chris Evans, Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Fry and other big names regularly visit the beach spot. Alarmingly, Southwold is the second Suffolk beach to be hit by the contamination in just two months. In April, scientists monitoring the area around Sizewell revealed that a ‘small amount’ of an particularly dangerous and ‘unusual’ radioactive isotope had been found at Aldeburgh, eighteen miles from Southwold.
The Sun 17th June 2016 read more »
Russia held a launching ceremony for its nuclear-powered icebreaker ‘Arktika’, said to be the world’s biggest and most powerful. According to Russian media, Arktika is the lead ship of the £1.3bn Project 22220, which aims to replace nuclear ships of the previous generation. Russia is the only country in the world to use nuclear-powered icebreakers.
Telegraph 17th June 2016 read more »
Mirror 17th June 2016 read more »
A French nuclear power reactor has been shut down for additional testing, the nation’s regulator said Thursday, as Greenpeace called for full disclosure of facilities using possibly faulty parts from Areva. Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) said reactor 2 at the Fessenheim plant operated by French national power company EDF had been halted since Monday “to carry out additional investigations” on its steam generation system following problems with parts discovered at an Areva manufacturing facility. The ASN said EDF had completed a review of 79 other irregularities, which it described as diverse “incoherencies, modifications and omissions in the manufacturing files concerning construction parameters and test results”.
Global Post 18th June 2016 read more »
A French nuclear power reactor has been shut down for additional testing, the nation’s regulator said Thursday, as Greenpeace called for full disclosure of facilities using possibly faulty parts from Areva. The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) said reactor 2 at the Fessenheim plant operated by French national power company EDF had been halted since Monday “to carry out additional investigations” on its steam generation system following problems with parts discovered at an Areva manufacturing facility.
The Local 17th June 2016 read more »
EDF has informed the French nuclear regulator that it has adopted a new strategy for decommissioning its first generation, gas-cooled reactors (CGRs). Dismantling of the six reactors will take longer than previously planned as the company wants to complete the decommissioning of one unit before working on the others.
World Nuclear News 17th June 2016 read more »
EDF has completed building a one-third scale reactor containment facility that will be used to verify construction methods and to study ageing of the materials used in the structure.
World Nuclear News 17th June 2016 read more »
A Japanese court on Friday upheld an order to keep two reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant closed, operator Kansai Electric Power said, leaving efforts to get a struggling nuclear industry up and running in limbo. The court decision, upholding a petition from residents living near the plant concerned about safety, keeps the legal battle center stage in a struggle by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to restore atomic power five years after the Fukushima disaster. The Otsu District Court on March 9 ordered Kansai Electric, Japan’s second-biggest utility, to shut down the reactors in Fukui prefecture west of Tokyo, in the country’s first injunction to halt an operating nuclear plant. The nuclear industry has only recently started to get reactors in a nuclear sector, which used to supply about a third of the country’s power, back online amid widespread public opposition after the melt downs at Fukushima in 2011. Amid mounting public scepticism over nuclear safety, local residents have lodged injunctions against nuclear plants across Japan. Japan has 42 operable reactors but Kyushu Electric Power is the only utility that has been generating nuclear power after it was cleared to restart two reactors in southwestern Japan. In this case, legal action by residents failed to prevent the restarts of those reactors.
Reuters 16th June 2016 read more »
World Nuclear News 17th June 2016 read more »
US – solar
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has announced a report showing that the four-year boom in solar power development is continuing in New York – and growing even larger and faster, with interconnection applications increasing from 1,200 in 2010 to more than 11,000 last year.
Solar Industry 17th June 2016 read more »
The cost of wind and solar power will continue to fall massively over the next 25 years, bringing about a fundamental transformation of the global electricity sector, according to new reports from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Electric cars will boom, cheap batteries will be everywhere and there will no Golden Age of Gas, despite continued low gas prices, BNEF predicts. “Low prices for coal and gas are likely to persist, but will fail to prevent a fundamental transformation of the world electricity system over coming decades towards renewable sources such as wind and solar, and towards balancing options such as batteries.” This is one of the key conclusions of the latest edition of the New Energy Outlook 2016 from BNEF, which was published on 13 June. The new report assumes significantly lower prices for coal, gas and oil than the previous edition, but shows an even steeper decline for wind and solar costs. As a result of this competitive advantage, renewable energy will overtake fossil fuels in the electricity sector by 2040:
Energy Post 15th June 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Siemens and Gamesa have agreed to a major merger that will form the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, according to a joint announcement today. The two companies today said they have signed binding agreements to merge Siemen’s wind power business – including its wind services – with Gamesa. Siemens will hold a 59 per cent stake in the resulting firm, while Gamesa’s existing shareholders will hold 41 per cent.
Business Green 17th June 2016 read more »
FT 18th June 2016 read more »
Fife-based Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) has secured work on the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) project. The company will manufacture 26 offshore jacket substructures for the scheme, which involves installing 84 turbines in the Moray Firth. BiFab said the work would involve its sites at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis and Burntisland and Methil in Fife. Ten of the structures are to be delivered next year and 16 in 2018.
BBC 17th June 2016 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
Port of Cromarty Firth has handled its largest ever delivery of wind turbine components, for a scheme in Ross-shire. Seventeen towers from China, each made up of three separate sections, were offloaded over three days. Each section weighs up to 67 tonnes. The tower components are being stored at the port, alongside 51 turbine blades from Turkey, before heavy lifting specialist Collett & Sons delivers them to the Corriemoillie wind farm in Garve next month.
Scotsman 17th June 2016 read more »
Renewables – floating wind
Two engineering and design firms are working together to deploy the world’s first multi-turbine floating wind-energy demonstrator off Dounreay in 2018. Sweden-based Hexicon appointed WS Atkins as its engineering partner last year to help design the pioneering offshore wind technology. The floating “wind farm” will consist of two turbines fixed onto a single semi-submersible platform, with a total capacity of 8 to 12 megawatts. Norwegian energy giant Statoil has its own plans for a floating wind farm off Aberdeenshire, with electricity slated to hit the grid in late 2017.
Energy Voice 17th June 2016 read more »
A new renewable energy plant in the north east of Scotland is set to deliver green heat to a local distillery, fuelled by local forestry residue. The project is an example of how the UK can cut costs and carbon emissions through more efficient use of heat.
Green Investment Bank 17th June 2016 read more »
District Heating – solar
(Old news but interesting) There are now 86 solar heating heating plants in use in Denmark, and 33 more are on the way. In 2015, solar has grown by 64 percent compared to 2014. Overall, these are investments of about 1.5 billion DKK up until today. And further 1.4 billion in planned investments. The explosive development is a positive surprise for Brian Vad Mathiesen, a professor in energy planning at Aalborg University: “It takes a lot of sun into the district heating system for the fossil-free energy to stick together, so it’s really nice that the development goes so fast and that solar is apparently also is starting to restrict the use of biomass at the CHP plants”.
DBDH 23rd October 2015 read more »
This week’s micro power news: M&S crowdfunding with Energy4All; small wind co-op; Reading and Liverpool talk of local energy companies; Isle of Canna renewable grid; Bristol Community Energy Fund.
Microgen Scotland 17th June 2016 read more »
Buy shares in GMCR to fund solar panels on up to 3 schools in Irlam & Salford and The Fuse in Partington, helping them save money & carbon.
Greater Manchester Community Renewables (accessed) 17th June 2016 read more »
Five Open Share and Bond Offers: Ethical investment in renewable energy benefits the local communities and the global environment, with attractive projected returns for investors too. Explore these current offers to find out more.
Mongoose Energy (accessed) 17th June 2016 read more »