If the £165/MWh for nukes is true, it could throw the governments plans for the energy sector into disarray. The Times claims EDF is arguing this is lower than that required for major offshore wind projects, which they expect to be £180/mWh. This figure seems high. The current cost of energy produced from offshore wind is about £135/mWh. This may increase as the first phase of round three projects get underway because they are in deeper water than previous developments. But industry sources expect costs above £165/mWh to be unlikely. Moreover, after this phase, costs are expected to fall dramatically, with the government and industry working towards a target of £100/mWh by 2020. If it is more expensive to get electricity from new nuclear power stations than offshore wind then the governments commitments will become difficult to maintain. Ed Davey said I want to make clear that this means that nuclear will not receive a higher price than comparable generation technologies whether they be renewables or indeed gas generation once its emissions have been abated by carbon capture and storage. The governments plans would see up to 18GW of new nuclear by 2030, which will account for 40 per cent of the energy mix. In this scenario the Committee on Climate Change claim renewables would need to make up a further 40 per cent, with offshore wind accounting for 20 per cent. But the committee claims that it is technically feasible for renewables to make up 65 per cent of the energy mix in 2030, with offshore wind alone accounting for 40 per cent. If offshore wind is, in fact, cheaper than nuclear then the governments ambition should be to achieve this second scenario. Some new nuclear is still likely to be needed to achieve a fully decarbonised grid but policy should be designed to get capacity from renewables as close to 65 per cent as possible. As it stands, the government has proposed major reforms for the electricity market that will help build new nuclear but are unnecessary and potentially even damaging for renewables.
Left Foot Forward 18th July 2012 more >>
Letter EDF: EDF Energy has never called for public subsidy to fund our plans. We have called for reforms to the energy market to bring forward much-needed low-carbon, secure investment. Reforms need to strike a balance between the needs of customers and investors. Under the reforms, all low-carbon technologies, not just nuclear, will receive a rate per unit of electricity generated. If the wholesale price of electricity rises above that level, generators will pay the difference back to consumers. This provides affordable energy for consumers and gives us the ability to make our investment to keep the lights on. Any claim that EDF Energy is negotiating for £165 per megawatt hour is wrong. Over the coming months we expect that our discussions with government will arrive at a transparent agreement that is fair and balanced. It will show that nuclear is an affordable, cost-competitive choice. We expect very robust scrutiny of the costs of our project during this process. Investment will bring many thousands of UK jobs. The right energy infrastructure will support our economy. Don’t let the nay-sayers put this at risk.
Times 19th July 2012 more >>
In some ways it is frustrating that enormously wrong-footed guesses are being reported in otherwise reputable newspapers such as the Times (Times page 35, July 16). If it were true, the figure of £165/MWH would make new nuclear virtually untenable. Fortunately, it is not true. Rather, it is spectacular speculation. Well timed, it must be said, given that the negotiations between EDF Energy/Centrica and the Government on the strike price for new nuclear build are very much underway. The nay-sayers have a clear run since neither party is now inclined to wade in to the debate with any alternative figures at this point. We will not know the true cost until later this year, when the strike price has been agreed, and the details of the negotiation published. EDF Energy could not rebut the figures being bandied about in stronger terms: We totally deny these figures and any of this speculation. It is too early to talk about specifics. We continue to participate in the process defined by Government. As we have made clear before, the Contract for Difference for nuclear will represent a fair and balanced deal for customers. It will show the cost competitiveness of nuclear new build. The process will be transparent and the details published in due course. Nuclear energy is competitive compared to other low carbon technologies and new capacity will provide clean, affordable energy for the nation.
Nuclear Industry Association Blog 18th July 2012 more >>
The final meeting of the group set up to look into the implications of an underground nuclear waste store in west Cumbria is set to take place today. For three years representatives from councils and communities group across Cumbria have been looking into the issue. Today their final report will be signed off.The report will go to the three councils of Allerdale, Copeland and the County Council who will decide in the autumn whether the area should go through to the next stage and look for a site.
ITV Border 19th July 2012 more >>
The search for final repository sites tends to focus on putting waste as far out of sight as possible. But there are sound arguments for turning a repository into a nuclear centrepiece. looking to dump nuclear waste in remote locations such as the ill-fated Yucca Mountain site does not make a lot of sense, Forsberg says. The main reason is that having different parts of the nuclear fuel cycle spread across the country leads to massive inefficiencies. In contrast, having a repository and a nuclear power plant on the same site can provide a number of advantages, regardless of whether an open or a closed fuel cycle is involved. And if you add in other facilities to build a nuclear hub, the benefits mount up.
Nuclear Energy Insider 17th July 2012 more >>
EDF Energy, the UK’s biggest nuclear power producer, disconnected its 1,200-megawatt Sizewell nuclear plant from the grid on Wednesday due to an unplanned outage, the operator said.
Reuters 19th July 2012 more >>
State-owned nuclear companies of France and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the areas of reactor services, spent fuel management and manufacturing components of the nuclear island, the two companies announced July 18. Frances Areva and Russias Rosatom agreed to set up working groups in charge of studying ways of strengthening the cooperation between the two groups in the nuclear sector. The accord is in line with the Franco-Russian intergovernmental declaration of November 18, 2011 calling for closer ties between the companies involved in the nuclear industry in both countries, the statement said.
i-Nuclear 18th July 2012 more >>
Children who have been affected by the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl have been holidaying in Orkney where the fresh air is claimed to help extend their life expectancy.
STV 18th July 2012 more >>
About 130 deaths and 180 non-fatal cases of cancer may eventually result worldwide from radiation released during the Fukushima I accident, Stanford University researchers said in a study published July 17.
Stanford University 17th July 2012 more >>
Officials in Japan have opened Fukushima state’s first beach to swimmers since last year’s nuclear disaster after judging the water to be safe. About 1,000 people yesterday descended on Nakoso beach, about 40miles south of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, where three reactors melted down after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Daily Mail 18th July 2012 more >>
The United Arab Emirates is to become the first Gulf Arab state to start constructing a nuclear power plant. UAEs nuclear regulator said it had granted a licence to Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) for the construction of its first two nuclear reactors, which will be built by a South Korean-led consortium in a project worth billions of pounds. UAE is a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) alliance.
Scotsman 19th July 2012 more >>
World Nuclear News 18th July 2012 more >>
Nuclear Engineering International 18th July 2012 more >>
Engineering & Technology 18th July 2012 more >>
China may need to modernise its nuclear arsenal to respond to the destabilising effect of a planned U.S.-backed missile defence system, a senior Chinese military officer said on Wednesday.
Trust 18th July 2012 more >>
The first criticality at Kudankulam NPP, which is being built with the Russian assistance in the south of India, will happen before the end of summer this year, according to Director General Of Rosatom Sergey Kirienko, RIA Novosti reported. Kudankulam unit 1 was planned to start up late 2011. The delay was caused by continuous protests of local residents who are against nuclear power and demand to refuse the plant commissioning.
Nuclear Engineering International 18th July 2012 more >>
ALEX Salmond has insisted an independent Scotland would seek to trade in Britain’s Scottish-based nuclear arsenal for “something more useful” as part of a prolonged negotiation with the UK Government. The First Minister made the comment as he endorsed the move by his SNP colleague Angus Robertson, the party’s defence spokesman, to ditch the Nationalists’ long-held opposition to an independent Scotland joining the Nato nuclear alliance provided Trident missiles were removed from Scottish soil.
Herald 19th July 2012 more >>
Scotsman 18th July 2012 more >>
The future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent looks likely to be an issue at the 2015 election as the Liberal Democrats prepare to endorse a scaled-down version of the £25bn programme to replace the Trident system. An internal review by the Ministry of Defence is expected to produce a “menu of options” including putting the UK’s nuclear weapons on “standby” so they could be reactivated at short notice. The warheads would be launched with Cruise missiles from the existing Astute class submarines.
Independent 19th July 2012 more >>
To quote the great John Cleese in that peerless evocation of the British psyche, Clockwise: “It’s not the despair. I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.” I imagine that after yesterday the renewable energy industry can relate. For months the industry hoped that when the Prime Minister said he “passionately believed” that renewables would prove “vital to our future”, he wasn’t lying. They hoped that when the government said it wanted a “fast-track” review of renewable energy subsidies based on the evidence, it meant that it intended to make a fair decision swiftly. They hoped that when ministers said they had learnt the lessons of last year’s solar feed-in tariff fiasco, they would bring an end to crippling policy uncertainty and U-turns. And then yesterday, they watched as the Treasury once again plunged the industry into despair. The principle of collective cabinet responsibility that Lib Dem ministers loyally cling to prevented Ed Davey from fully explaining to a Select Committee of MPs yesterday afternoon why changes to the Renewables Obligation that were expected to be announced this week have been delayed, hinting vaguely at on-going negotiations with the Treasury. His responses drew plenty of wry smiles, because everyone in the room knew that the Treasury has spent the past few months attempting to ride roughshod over an agreement that was reached last October between Chancellor George Osborne and former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne to cut subsidies for onshore wind farms by 10 per cent.
Business Green 18th July 2012 more >>