Areva, the French firm charged with designing Britain’s Hinkley Point, has received a €2bn approach for its reactor business from EDF. The proposal is expected to open negotiations between the two companies and the French government, which controls stakes in both businesses. “We have received an indicative offer from EDF”, a spokesman for Areva confirmed. The French government owns 84pc of EDF and 87 per cent of Areva and will have the final say on whether any deal will pass. However, France’s president Francois Hollande has previously advocated a tie-up between the two companies after Areva sank into deeper losses. Mr Hollande is due to meet with French economy minister Emmanuel Macron on June 3 at the Elysee Palace to review strategic priorities for the nuclear industry. The French government has a vested interest in seeing a deal between EDF and Areva as it could be forced to pump millions into the latter company to keep it afloat. It is not known exactly which parts of Areva’s business EDF is interested in and whether it wants all of Areva’s reactor maintenance division, which employs 15,000 people. If it takes over the ailing company’s reactor business, EDF is said to want guarantees against Areva’s liabilities in Finland, where a project to build an atomic reactor is over budget and years behind schedule. Two months ago, EDF gave its strongest hint that the embattled reactor-maker Areva might pull out of funding the Hinkley Point nuclear plant after saying that its financial take was “not exitential” for the project. Areva had been lined up as a key investor to take a 10pc stake in the £24.5bn development.
Telegraph 25th May 2015 read more »
A corruption investigation involving the French state nuclear company is focusing on London to determine who profited from the disastrous acquisition of an AIM-quoted miner for $2.5 billion. Areva’s purchase of UraMin in 2007 is at the centre of two criminal investigations. It gained notoriety when UraMin’s three uranium mining projects in the Central African Republic, Namibia and South Africa proved to be worthless. Areva is alleged to have made false and fraudulent declarations and to have used the deal to direct bribes and commissions to well-connected individuals in countries including France and South Africa, which it denies.
Times 25th May 2015 read more »
Solidarity with Finland. Here in Cumbria we too love our land and do not want nuclear reactors built on greenfields and the flood plain of the river Ehen, the land between the mountains and the Irish Sea. Here as in Finland nuclear developers are getting away with destructive “preliminary” work. In Cumbria it is 100 boreholes being drilled . Toshiba (NuGen) say that “no environmental permits are necessary. The nuclear ‘industry’ is out of control.
Radiation Free Lakeland 25th May 2015 read more »
Can a nuclear plant run for a century? For now, federal regulators allow up to 60 years of licensed energy production. But Gary Mignogna, CEO of Charlotte-based Areva Inc. (EPA:AREVA), says it’s time to consider a 100-year life cycle.
Charlotte Business Journal 22nd May 2015 read more »
A drug long-used to counter the negative effects of chemotherapy has won US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in treating the nasty effects of exposure to radiation following a nuclear disaster. Known commercially as Neupogen, the drug has been shown to work by shielding the body’s white blood cells to heighten a patient’s chances of survival.
Gizmag 25th May 2015 read more »
Letter sent to New York Times: It is politically perverse that the month-long review conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended in failure on Friday because of disagreements over Israel, a nation which is not even a member of the NPT. You report that the United States delegation to the conference held at the U.N. headquarters in New York blamed on Egypt, with Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller accusing Egypt and other Arab states of bringing “unrealistic and unworkable conditions” to the negotiations.
David Lowry’s Blog 23rd May 2015 read more »
China National Nuclear Power Corp., one of the top two state nuclear-power giants, will raise as much as $2.16 billion in what is set to be the country’s largest domestic initial public offering in five years.
Wall St Journal 25th May 2015 read more »
China’s plans for a rapid expansion of nuclear power plants are “insane” because the country is not investing enough in safety controls, a leading Chinese scientist has warned. Proposals to build plants inland, as China ends a moratorium on new generators imposed after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, are particularly risky, the physicist He Zuoxiu said, because if there was an accident it could contaminate rivers that hundreds of millions of people rely on for water and taint groundwater supplies to vast swathes of important farmlands.China halted the approval of new reactors in 2011 in order to review its safety standards, but gave the go-ahead in March for two units, part of an attempt to surpass Japan’s nuclear-generating capacity by 2020 and become the world’s biggest user of nuclear power a decade later.
Guardian 25th May 2015 read more »
An earthquake shook buildings and halted train lines in Tokyo early Monday, days after Japan’s nuclear regulator green-lighted the restarting of atomic energy at a third plant. The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.6, was centered in Ibaraki prefecture just northeast of the country’s capital, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. There was no tsunami warning. Narita airport closed both runways for checks shortly after the quake, but the capital’s Haneda airport was operating as normal. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, and no reports of abnormalities at any nuclear facilities.
NBC News 25th May 2015 read more »
Leaking containers at Japan’s embattled Fukushima nuclear power plant are at risk of possible hydrogen explosions, experts have claimed. Almost 10 per cent of recently inspected containers holding contaminated water at the nuclear plant in northeast Japan were found to be leaking radioactive water. The leakages, discovered during inspections by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operators of the plant, were thought to be caused by a build-up of hydrogen and other gases due to radiation contamination. The discovery was reported to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which raised concerns surrounding the potential hazards of accumulated hydrogen building up in the containers.
Telegraph 25th May 2015 read more »
IB Times 25th May 2015 read more »
There’s a gold rush in the Middle East, but it isn’t gold that prospectors are seeking. It’s reactor sales; these have been talked about for decades, but they’re now picking up steam. So far, Russia has taken the lead. Having built the region’s only operational nuclear power plant—Iran’s Bushehr reactor—it will begin construction in Turkey later this year or next on four reactors, with energy set to begin flowing in the early 2020s. Russia has also stuck agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Iran, and Jordan, and it is seeking to enter the Saudi market. Other countries are now trying to make up for lost time. South Korea has already contracted to build four plants in the United Arab Emirates, with the first expected to come online in 2017. And Argentina, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom are among those pursuing their own agreements for reactors, component parts and/or service deals.
Foreign Affairs 25th May 2015 read more »
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced that a call for bids for a new unit of the Czech Republic’s Dukovany Nuclear Power Station will be announced before the end of 2016.
Sputnik News 24th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
SOLAR panels are to be installed on 25 publicly-owned buildings throughout the Capital under a fresh agreement with community leaders. The city council will work in partnership with the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative (ECSC), supported by Energy4All, to deliver what is believed to be the largest socially-owned urban renewable energy project ever undertaken in the UK. Schools, leisure centres and community facilities are set to become solar panel sites amid hopes the technology will generate “significant” environmental and social benefits.
Edinburgh Evening News 25th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The judicial review lodged by RSPB Scotland into the Scottish Ministers decision in October last year to grant consent for four offshore wind farms off the Firths of Forth and Tay is due to start today (26 May). The four wind farms are Seagreen Alpha, Seagreen Bravo, Neart na Gaoithe and Inch Cape. The case will be heard in the Court of Session in Edinburgh and it is anticipated to last up to eight days. An RSPB spokesman said: “We are confident that our case is sound and we are hopeful that it will be successful.” Announcing his decision last year, Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister said: “These wind farms alone could generate a combined gross value added of between £314 million and £1.2 billion in Scotland over their lifetime and generate between 2,567 and 13,612 jobs within Scotland during the construction period.”
Scottish Energy News 26th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – Tidal
Laing O’Rourke has been lined up as the main construction contractor for the £1 billion Swansea Bay tidal lagoon only days before the go-ahead for what will be one of Britain’s biggest civil engineering projects over the next couple of years. The facility, shown in a computer-generated image, will harness the tide to provide 320MW of electricity capacity to power about 140,000 homes. It is the first of six projects planned around Britain that Tidal Lagoon Power claims will provide up to 8 per cent of national electricity needs.
Times 25th May 2015 read more »
The world is on track to reach a record high temperature this year — prompting fears that a pause in global warming might be over.
Times 26th May 2015 read more »