EDF has been forced to delay one of the worlds biggest atomic power projects by two years in part because of the need to carry out stringent new safety tests following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan. Europes biggest power generator also warned that the expected costs of the project the first new nuclear reactor to be built in France in 15 years had risen to 6bn ($9bn). The company originally hoped to have the new 1,650-megawatt plant at Flamanville in northern France up and running by 2012 and had pencilled in a construction cost of 3.3bn. The cost over-runs and delays are a blow to the state-owned company and to France because the reactor, known as the EPR, is the first of a new generation of reactors that Paris hopes to export around the world. Another EPR reactor is being built in Finland by Areva, the French nuclear group, but that has also been beset by delays and spiralling costs. EDF said there were structural and economic reasons behind the new delays to the Flamanville site in Normandy. However, it highlighted specific delays related to the need to carry out new safety audits in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe.
FT 21st July 2011 more >>
Guardian 20th July 2011 more >>
Independent 21st July 2011 more >>
EDF will start selling first KWh produced by the EPR at Flamanville in 2016.
EDF Press Release 20th July 2011 more >>
Reuters 20th July 2011 more >>
Dow Jones 20th July 2011 more >>
Britain can still rely on EDF, the French energy giant, to deliver a new generation of nuclear power stations despite a similar project in France encountering severe delays, according to the head of the companys UK subsidiary. Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, offered a message of reassurance after the completion of a new reactor at Flamanville in Normandy was delayed by another two years. EDF had originally planned to finish this facility in 2012 after five years of construction and 3.3bn of capital expenditure. Under the new timetable, announced on Wednesday, the new reactor should finally begin to generate electricity in 2016 after taking almost nine years to build and costing 6bn. Mr de Rivaz plans to install four identical European Pressurised Reactors at two sites in the UK, starting with Hinkley Point in Somerset. He told the Financial Times t hat the French project had encountered challenges which have been higher than previously thought, adding: It is clear the initial estimations and expectations were not realistic. In Britain, however, Mr de Rivaz promised that all the lessons would be learnt. I am very confident that as far as the UK is concerned, the timetable will be shorter, he said. Why am I confident? Because we are learning. This experience shows us how we can do better next time. And I know we will do better.
FT 21st July 2011 more >>
Suspicions are growing that EDF is preparing to delay Britain’s new plants substantially, having said it will issue a “revised timetable” for the UK in the autumn. It is understood that British officials are now working on the assumption that new nuclear will not arrive in the UK until after 2020. Costs in France have already doubled and construction is severely delayed at EDF’s flagship plant in Flamanville, which will be its first new plant in more than 15 years. Back when construction started in 2006, EDF thought it would cost just 3.3bn (2.9bn) and take under five years to build. Until last year, EDF was still insisting that Flamanville would be ready by 2012. On Wednesday, the company revealed that it would now be 2016 before electricity is first generated.
Telegraph 21st July 2011 more >>
EDF Energy has indicated that it will not build the first of Britains new nuclear reactors by 2018, despite earlier promises. Vincent de Rivaz, the energy groups chief executive, told The Times that the reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset would be ready when the UK needs it. Mr de Rivaz said that Britain no longer needed the reactor to be ready by that date because the financial crisis of 2009 and energy efficiency measures had reduced long-term electricity demand. He said that a delay in building the reactor, which will push back his companys intention to build a second reactor on the site by 2020, will not threaten Britains energy security. Its not a gamble at all. I will not let down the country, he said. A third of Britains coal plants are expected to close by 2015 and all but three of the countrys nuclear reactors are set to shut down by 2019. Coal and nuclear together generate about half the countrys electricity. Energy executives have warned that there should be no delays in building new reactors, gas plants and offshore wind farms. The Governments plans for new nuclear reactors are in danger of unravelling. The Times revealed in May that E.ON and RWE, the German companies that have formed the Horizon new-build consortium, have put their plans on hold because of financial pressures and Germanys anti-nuclear stance after the Fukushima disaster. The Government is keen not to be reliant on one company to deliver its nuclear policy, but industry executives fear that EDF Energy will extract even more generous subsidies.
Times 21st July 2011 more >>
The Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne admitted to Peers on 19 July 2011 that the UK was unlikely to become a “world leader” in nuclear energy. He gave evidence as part of an inquiry by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee into the future of nuclear power in the UK. In June the government confirmed a list of eight sites it deems suitable for new power stations by 2025, all of which are adjacent to existing nuclear sites. However Mr Huhne said he wanted a “portfolio” of energy sources, rather than focusing purely on nuclear energy.
BBC 19th July 2011 more >>
Engineering alliance, Engineering the Future (EtF), is today inviting comment from the supply chain and related industries on a series of best practice guides for nuclear new build. The three guides – Nuclear Lessons Learned Guidance on Best Practice: High Integrity Welding / Concrete / Nuclear Safety Culture – follow on from the alliance’s initial report last year, which identified five common lessons from past and current projects to be applied to the current and future UK new build programme to help ensure timely and efficient delivery. Building on the general lessons found in Nuclear Lessons Learned (November 2010), the new guides focus on more specific areas of nuclear construction to further aid the industry in successfully delivering a fleet of new nuclear power stations. They were announced by Keith Waller, Department of Energy and Climate Change representative and member of the ETF working group, at the Nuclear Institute (NI) / Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) conference Nuclear New Build 2011 today.
Materials Handling World 21st July 2011 more >>
Two nuclear contracts in the UK have been announced by US-based Jacobs Engineering Group – one for a deconversion plant, the other related to the construction of new reactors. The first relates to Capenhurst. Jacobs announced that it had been awarded a consultancy contract by EDF’s NNB Generation Company (NNB GenCo), the prospective licensee for future nuclear power plants to be owned and operated within the UK by EDF Energy.
World Nuclear News 20th July 2011 more >>
Proposals to carry out preparatory works for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point have been recommended for approval by West Somerset Council. The application from EDF Energy will involve site clearance, putting in drainage and building roads, car parks and roundabouts to access the site. Conditions have been attached which aim to reduce the amount of disruption caused to local residents by the build. Councillors will make a final decision in a planning meeting on 28 July. Both EDF Energy and opponents of the nuclear power station have declined to comment ahead of the recommendation in case it will prejudice the outcome of the final decision.
BBC 20th July 2011 more >>
A petition of more than 1,500 signatures was handed in to Parliament yesterday opposing pylons planned for the West countryside. There is huge opposition to a scheme to link the planned nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset with Avonmouth, Bristol, using a series of 152ft pylons.
Western Daily Press 20th July 2011 more >>
Hinkley Blockade 3rd October.
Rising Tide 20th July 2011 more >>
HEALTH chiefs have launched a major study on the potential impacts of Wylfa B. Public Health Wales and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will be part of a steering group leading the Health Impact Assessment. It has been commissioned by Horizon Nuclear Power and will be made publicly available during the planning process. This news came as the Governments Energy Planning Reforms were given the go-ahead in the House of Commons. New Energy National Policy Statements will now be used during the planning process for the new generation of nuclear plants and provide certainty to the industry.
Daily Post 20th July 2011 more >>
Google driver came face-to-face with an armed policeman outside a high-security nuclear power plant.
STV 20th July 2011 more >>
GROWING numbers of jellyfish are lurking in UK waters, just as many people are heading for the beach during the holidays. Swarms of the creatures have been seen in many coastal areas this year and even caused the shutdown of the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian by clogging up a seawater inlet.
Scotsman 21st July 2011 more >>
Low Level Waste
Plans for a £150 million extension of west Cumbrias low level radioactive waste repository have been submitted to Cumbria County Council with the promise of 1,200 new jobs. The detailed development plans for the national storage and disposal site at Drigg span 70 years and have been described as unprecedented by ward councillor David Moore. Waste contaminated with low levels of radioactivity, including hospital x-rays and overalls, gloves and shoe covers from the UKs nuclear facilities, is already stored at the site in massive vaults. Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) wants to build six new vaults, each as big as several football fields, which it says will only be used for British waste up to 2080 when the 250-acre site will be closed, capped and grassed over.
Carlisle News and Star 20th July 2011 more >>
Nuclear Waste Transport
The Caribbean Community (Caricom) warned Wednesday of an impending shipment of British radioactive waste through the Caribbean to Japan, and called for an end to what it sees as a dangerous environmental gamble. While the Guyana-based Caricom headquarters could not say the exact date or name of the ship, the 15-nation regional grouping said such shipments threaten the Caribbean?s rich but fragile ecosystem. Caricom told the Britain, France and Japan that the practice of shipping hazardous waste through the Caribbean sea risked the existence of the more than 20 million people and is “unacceptable and injurious.”
AFP 20th July 2011 more >>
Japan Today 21st July 2011 more >>
Will the EU have binding standards for managing radioactive waste in the EU? Including final repositories for nuclear waste from nuclear power plants? Will Member States have to notify detailed programmes on when and how they will build these repositories? The answer to all these questions is: Yes. Today, the Council has adopted the “radioactive waste and spent fuel management directive”, proposed by the Commission on 3rd November 2010. With this adoption, the Directive will enter into force at the latest in September this year, and Member States have to submit the first national programmes in 2015.
Wired.gov 20th July 2011 more >>
The Japanese government Tuesday halted sales of all beef cattle from Fukushima prefecture, the scene of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents, in a bid to cap an escalating crisis in which meat contaminated with radioactive cesium has been shipped to stores and restaurants throughout the country.
Wall Street Journal 20th July 2011 more >>
More than 1,000 beef cattle that ate feed contaminated with radioactive cesium have been shipped all over Japan from Fukushima and other prefectures, Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday, adding to anxiety after the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
IB Times 20th July 2011 more >>
The company in charge of the embattled Fukushima nuclear plant has declared that it is on track to end the crisis, the crippled reactors are stable and cool and radiation levels at the facility are falling.
Telegraph 20th July 2011 more >>
The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party proposed Wednesday to keep Japans existing nuclear power plants running while enhancing their safety, countering Prime Minister Naoto Kans recent pledge to gradually reduce the countrys reliance on nuclear power. The proposal is among the LDPs main policies on which it will campaign for the next lower house election to be held by 2013.
Japan Today 20th July 2011 more >>
The crisis at Japan’s Fukushima power plant has sparked a national review of energy policy and turned public opinion largely against nuclear power, but Shinji Fujino of the International Energy Agency argues this is just a small part of the serious electricity supply challenge the country now faces. In addition to the nuclear reactors, thermal power plants with a total capacity of 9.4 GW were also shut down following the natural disasters. In total, Japan’s power supply capacity in the affected area has been reduced by about 40%, which is almost equivalent to the national capacity of Switzerland or Austria.
BBC 20th July 2011 more >>
Russia on Wednesday announced the arrest of one its most senior former nuclear officials for allegedly pocketing state research grants and stealing other people’s work off the Internet. It was the second major corruption case to strike Russia’s nuclear industry since the head of what was then known as the atomic energy ministry was arrested on US money laundering charges in 2005.
AFP 20th July 2011 more >>
A U.S. drone has been shot down while flying over a nuclear facility in Iran, according to Iranian media reports. Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Iran’s Fars news agency the unmanned spy plane was flying near the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province when it was brought down by Revolutionary Guard soldiers.
Daily Mail 20th July 2011 more >>
Households will be able to apply for substantial grants towards the cost of renewable heating systems, worth up to 1,250 for the biggest installations, starting from August 1. Biomass boilers burning wood pellets, solar thermal panels for hot water heating, and both air and ground source heat pumps can all be installed with the grants, taking the form of government vouchers. The 15m scheme is part of the ministers’ renewable heat support plans, and will provide funding for up to 25,000 households.
Guardian 21st July 2011 more >>
FARMERS and landowners are expected to play a major role in helping the Scottish Government achieve its aim of being able to generate 100 per cent of the country’s electricity requirement from renewable sources by 2020. However, the National farmers Union of Scotland has made it clear to John Swinney, secretary for finance, employment and sustainable growth, that this aim is being frustrated by difficulties encountered in the planning system. In a letter to Mr Swinney, union boss Nigel Miller has stated that feedback from members interested in the technology has shown that a major stumbling block to progress has been the lack of clarity in planning. Members have also expressed concerns over the “overload” within the planning system. “We have a growing list of incidents where members believe planning authorities have failed to provide proportionate p athways for micro and major developments.
Scotsman 21st July 2011 more >>
A council in south-west England has installed what it claims to be the first smart street-lighting system on a busy roundabout. More than 70 LED lights have been installed at the junction between Bath and Bristol. Their brightness automatically adjusts depending on how dark it is but also takes into account the number of vehicles on the road at any given time. Bath and North East Somerset council believes it is one of the first times such a system has been put into place on such a busy road. It claims the lights will reduce carbon emissions and save 4,500 a year, although there is a initial outlay of 36,000.
Guardian 21st July 2011 more >>