Centrica has warned that it will bitterly oppose the takeover of British Energy by EDF of France or Germany’s RWE. It has been seeking to team up with the European utility groups, possibly taking a minority stake in the nuclear generator. But, as The Observer reported this month, EDF and RWE are currently planning to bid alone. Centrica, which owns British Gas, has warned that it will lobby the Office of Fair Trading to refer any individual bid for British Energy to the Competition Commission.
Observer 27th April 2008 more >>
Ineos, the petrochemicals giant whose Grangemouth refinery in Scotland has been shut down by a strike, is in talks with British Energy over a power deal that would help to finance a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain. The company – majority-owned by the reclusive billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, ranked No 25 in today’s Sunday Times Rich List – has been in negotiations with the nuclear power firm for several months. If a deal is clinched, Ineos will buy power from British Energy’s new nuclear reactors, receiving guaranteed supplies at discounted prices. British Energy would then be able to raise debt against the contract to build new plants, which cost about £3 billion each.
Sunday Times 27th April 2008 more >>
VITAL WORK at Britain’s nuclear bomb factory has been halted for months because of safety fears, preventing Trident warheads from being shipped to and from the Clyde. The ban on crucial maintenance at the Burghfield plant in Berkshire is believed to be the first time the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ever been obliged to stop working on nuclear weapons. The implications, say critics, are “far-reaching”. Managers of ageing bomb dismantling facilities have been struggling for the last six years to remedy more than 1000 safety flaws uncovered by the government’s Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). But deadlines have been repeatedly broken.
Sunday Herald 27th April 2008 more >>
Opposition protesters marched through the capital of Belarus on Saturday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and denounce plans to build an atomic power station in the ex-Soviet state.
Reuters 26th April 2008 more >>