23 April 2016

Hinkley

The French electricity giant EDF has thrown the British government’s energy strategy into disarray by reportedly delaying – possibly until next year – a decision on whether it will build a new £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Jean-Bernard Lévy, the head of EDF, has bowed to pressure from unions and senior company engineers and agreed to seek a fresh opinion from the company’s union-management consultative council, the respected French newspaper Le Figaro reported. EDF said it could not immediately confirm the report. Sources in the company told the French newspaper that the consultation process would take several months and that no decision on whether to go ahead with its involvement in Hinkley Point – expected to supply eight per cent of British electricity by 2025 – would be made before next year. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace claimed the delay could be “a sign that the entire project is coming to a grinding halt”, adding that the UK should back renewable energy “as a more reliable alternative” to nuclear power. John Sauven, director of Greenpeace, which has campaigned against the reactor, told The Independent: “Delays to EDF making a decision about whether to invest in Hinkley are nothing new. So much so that it’s been 14 months since it was first said that the decision would be coming imminently. But this latest delay from EDF is different. “President Hollande, the French Economy Minister and EDF’s chief executive have all very publicly promised the UK government a final decision before the 12 May. Backtracking on this pledge now is symbolic of the utter mess that EDF is in. But even if they could agree a finance package, it could be declared illegal state aid by the European Commission. This may now be the sign that the entire project is coming to a grinding halt and the UK government urgently needs to back renewable energy as a more reliable alternative.”

Independent 22nd April 2016 read more »

The Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, at the heart of government energy plans, has been hit by fresh delays in another blow to confidence surrounding an already troubled project. EDF, the French energy company promoting the £18bn reactor scheme, admitted there would be no final investment decision at least till the summer, leading the environmental group Greenpeace to claim the project is “coming to a grinding halt”. The company said in a statement after a board meeting: “The board has decided to undertake a formal, non-binding consultation process with the comité central d’enterprise. This is [a] well understood statutory process of 60 days and the company will work with the CCE to define the detailed steps to reach a conclusion this summer.”

Guardian 22nd April 2016 read more »

EDF has pushed back the final investment decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear project in the UK until after it has consulted its hostile unions, a move that could cause a delay of several months.

FT 22nd April 2016 read more »

Daily Mail 22nd April 2016 read more »

Nuclear power stations are hugely capital intensive projects. Though their running costs are low, their overall costs are very much higher, as they include repayment of the construction cost and amortisation of unknown waste disposal costs. Utilities require guarantees of costs and subsidies if they are to build new plants. Even if this project went ahead on the best possible assumptions about the schedule for completion, those costs are likely to be too heavy for almost every party.

Times 22nd April 2016 read more »

French utility EDF has delayed the final investment decision for its Hinkley Point nuclear project in Britain until after its May 12 shareholders’ meeting to allow time to consult its works council, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. The sources said EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy told a board meeting on Friday afternoon that he had decided to consult the firm’s works council, which had threatened legal action unless it was allowed to give its view on the project. “This procedure will take several weeks,” one of the sources said.

Reuters 22nd April 2016 read more »

French power utility EDF on Thursday named Xavier Griffe as its new finance director, replacing Thomas Piquemal, who quit in March over concerns the Hinkley Point nuclear project in the UK would overstretch the company’s balance sheet. Griffe, 47 and already an executive at the company, has been doing the job on a temporary basis since Piquemal’s departure. In a separate development with regard to the Hinkley Point plan which has divided opinion within the company, EDF’s works council said in a statement it wanted to be consulted on the subject and threatened to take legal action if it was not.

Reuters 21st April 2016 read more »

Hinkley Point C is an expensive gamble-especially for the customers.

Prospect 23rd April 2016 read more »

Greenpeace has written to George Osborne warning him not to allow the Hinkley Point C nuclear project to proceed until the European commission approves further planned support from the French state. The letter, which is signed jointly with the energy supplier Ecotricity, follows legal advice that plans for state help from France’sgovernment to enable EDF to continue with the reactor scheme could break European competition rules. The legal opinion was given to Greenpeace by three competition barristers from Monckton Chambers in London and came as EDF held a board meeting on Friday in Paris to discuss once again the controversial £18bn project in Somerset.

Guardian 22nd April 2016 read more »

GREEN energy campaigners revealed plans yesterday for legal action against government subsidies for construction of the third Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Protracted negotiations over the financing of the Somerset power station, which will be built by China and run by French state-owned energy producer EDF, have failed to result in a final plan for the station. Now green energy campaigners say that any government financing of the project will need the approval of the European Commission or face legal action. Environment campaign group Greenpeace and green energy company Ecotricity raised the prospect of lodging a complaint at the commission which they said would trigger an investigation. “The only way Hinkley can be kept alive is on the life support machine of state aid,” said Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven. “EDF, if it is to stay in business, needs a new vision which is not looking backwards.

Morning Star 23rd April 2016 read more »

Reuters 22nd April 2016 read more »

Plymouth Herald 22nd April 2016 read more »

Western Daily Press 22nd April 2016 read more »

ITV 22nd April 2016 read more »

Concerns over the delivery of Hinkley Point C’s new nuclear plant have seen Experian cut its construction forecasts for the next three years. The forecaster now expects construction output to grow by 7.8 per cent between 2016 and 2018, down from 9.3 per cent in its previous forecasts, released in January. Previous forecasts had factored in works at Hinkley beginning in 2017, but delays have pushed the majority of this work outside Experian’s forecast period.

Construction News 22nd April 2016 read more »

Moorside

Come on …. the pylons really are the very least of it. All my comments on the Guardian’s superficial article on the pylons have not yet (if ever) made the light of day …. The Guardian is playing soft ball when what is needed more than ever is hard hitting investigative journalism into the ever expanding nuclear waste in rusting shipping containers along the Ravenglass estuary at Drigg, the diabolic boreholes already being drilled at Moorside and the whole sorry shebang.

Radiation Free Lakeland 22nd April 2016 read more »

Wylfa

Japanese Buddhist monk to walk across Anglesey in protest against Wylfa Newydd. Dylan Morgan of PAWB said: “We are remembering that 30 years have passed since the reactor explosion at Chernobyl, which ejected radioactive poison that spread over extensive areas of Europe. It’s important to remember that there’s a large exclusion zone around the Chernobyl station where nobody lives, and the large town of Pripyat is totally empty since the day of the disaster in April 1986.” This Monday will see the Welsh Affairs Committee hold a special sitting in Caernarfon, where they will hear more evidence as part of their inquiry into the future of nuclear power in Wales. During the session, members will hear from local councils and anti-nuclear groups about the future of the Trawsfynydd and Wylfa sites, including their impact on the local economy and environment.

Daily Post 22nd April 2016 read more »

Chernobyl

Thirty years after its fourth reactor exploded on 26 April 1986, an exclusion zone is still in place around the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine. Photographer Jerzy Wierzbicki visited the zone, accompanied by two guides – former employees of the nuclear plant.

BBC 22nd April 2016 read more »

Timeline.

IB Times 22nd April 2016 read more »

Meet the liquidators.

IB Times 22nd April 2016 read more »

Surviving the fallout for 30 years.

IB Times 22nd April 2016 read more »

Biologist Rob Nelson and anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota are the first scientists to be permitted unlimited access to the Chernobyl danger zone, and a TV series about their experience is being shown on British TV this week. The fearless duo wanted to explore what became of the environment and the wildlife, and to see if the myths about Chernobyl are true or false.

Sunday Post 22nd April 2016 read more »

Nuclear Ghost Town.

Express 23rd April 2016 read more »

Thirty years on from the worst nuclear disaster in history journalist Eifion Glyn has returned to Chernobyl to look at how the explosion affected communities and its people. In the S4C programme Y Byd ar Bedwar : Cysgod Chernobyl, on Sunday, April 24 at 8pm, Eifion explores the abandoned villages in the exclusion zone surrounding the reactor. He meets up with some of the people he interviewed in the wake of the catastrophe and tries to find out how many people died as a result.

Daily Post 22nd April 2016 read more »

Uranium

Cameco is suspending production at the Rabbit Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, curtailing production at its US uranium operations, and reducing production at McArthur River/Key Lake in response to market conditions, the company announced yesterday.

World Nuclear News 22nd April 2016 read more »

Iran

The US is buying 32 tonnes of heavy water, which is used in some nuclear reactors, from Iran. The US State Department said the $8.6m purchase was designed to help Iran meet its obligations under the nuclear deal signed last year. Officials said the heavy water, which can also be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, would be resold for research purposes. The move has already attracted criticism from US Republicans.

BBC 22nd April 2016 read more »

China

China is getting closer to building maritime nuclear power plants that could “sail” to disputed islands in the South China Sea and provide electricity for new defence facilities, airports and harbours, according to a report.

Independent 22nd April 2016 read more »

Community Energy

We’re excited to share that this week we signed agreements that add £3.95 million of funding for our community energy projects. This takes the total raised since its November launch to £9 million. This sum is being used to add 9.3 MWp of community-owned solar generation capacity to the UK’s grid. Upon construction of its final array in June 2016 we’ll become the UK’s largest generator of community energy. Our portfolio, including projects under development, includes a 4.6 MWp operational ground array at Puriton. Somerset, around 20 roof-top arrays on community buildings across Bristol, and a 4.2 MWp site at Lawrence Weston, which is starting construction and due for completion in June. This new wave of finance comes from Triodos Bank, Bristol City Council and Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) and will be used specifically to fund the construction of the Lawrence Weston solar farm. This adds to £2.34 million already raised through crowdfunded bond and share offers, and £2.68 million from Close Brothers Bank. We have two crowdfunded offers currently open for public investment:

Bristol Energy Co-op 21st April 2016 read more »

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News – includes news of new community solar share offer in Reading.

Microgen Scotland 22nd April 2016 read more »

Fossil Fuels

More than 170 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era on Friday, using the signing ceremony for the landmark Paris agreement as an occasion to renew their vows to fight climate change. The outpouring of support – the largest ever single-day turn-out for a signing ceremony – underscored strong international commitment to deliver on the promises made in Paris last December to avoid a climate catastrophe, the leaders said.

Guardian 22nd April 2016 read more »

Telegraph 22nd April 2016 read more »

SCOTLAND should give an “incredible example” to the rest of the world by taking even more action to help prevent climate change. The call for Scotland to set the agenda on reducing toxic emissions has been made by the chief executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Mike Robinson. As 160 countries officially signed the Paris Climate Agreement yesterday, Robinson acknowledged that Scotland’s targets were already the most stringent in the world. However he said they could be higher still even though the annual targets, set in tonnage terms, had not been achieved in the first few years despite being “relatively modest”. Scotland currently has an interim target of reducing emissions by 42 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. Robinson said that while it could be argued that more could hav e been done to make sure the targets had been met, it looked as though the 42 per cent mark would be hit after all – although this would be more through luck than judgment as improved scientific data had now more accurately calculated the 1990 baseline figure.

The National 23rd April 2016 read more »

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Published: 23 April 2016