28 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

The row over subsidies for the UK’s new nuclear power stations has deepened after it emerged that the £160m-a-year cost of accommodating the giant reactors on the national electricity grid will be borne by all generators, including renewable energy providers. The new reactors planned by EDF for Hinkley Point are significantly larger than any existing power stations, meaning the national grid has to pay for extra standby electricity to stop the grid crashing if one of the reactors unexpectedly goes offline. National Grid said its decision to charge all generators for the cost was because “increasing costs on larger users could delay the commissioning of large nuclear plants by a number of years”. “There is no justification for nuclear being exempted from paying the additional costs to the system other than to make nuclear look cheaper than it is relative to other sources of electricity,” said Prof Catherine Mitchell, an energy policy expert at the University of Exeter. “It is clear to me that were there a genuine, transparent and comprehensive examination of the costs and benefits to society of nuclear versus renewables, the latter would be of far greater value both in the short and long term.”

Guardian 27th March 2013 read more »


Will Lib Dem go nuclear over another broken promise? Looking back at page 59 of the 2010 Liberal Democrat manifesto, one finds a promise to “reject a new generation of nuclear power stations.” Last week the Energy Secretary Ed Davey, a Lib Dem, gave the go ahead for the first new nuclear power station in Britain for a generation, at Hinckley C, in Somerset. Today, he and the Business Secretary Vince Cable and another Lib Dem promised help to enable UK business to compete in the global nuclear energy market. Time for another ‘sorry’ video?

Independent 26th March 2013 read more »

Finally, acronyms. Government types do like their acronyms. In the US, the arms procurement mantra is for weaponry fast, inexpensive, simple and tiny – Fist. Irked by “the mounting chaos of funding for Hinkley C” nuclear power station, Labourite Paul Flynn, unveils the UK equivalent – Complex, Random, Asinine and Prodigous, Crap. Will it catch on?

Paul Flynn 26th March 2013 read more »

Guardian 27th March 2013 read more »

New Nukes

United Kingdom will require an investment of 110 billion pounds in its energy infrastructure by 2020, majority of which will be raised “from overseas markets like India.” The Foreign and Commonwealth office of UK told the TOI that majority of this investment will be made in building nuclear power stations and have promised Indian companies willing to invest, “a long term guaranteed return.” Officials from UK’s prosperity directorate have told TOI that the country’s “ageing power plants are now reaching end of life.”

Times of India 28th March 2013 read more »

The government has now pushed back its timescale for nuclear ‘new build’ by five years. So already after the energy review in 2006 the nuclear programme is now at least five years behind schedule. In terms of cutting our CO2 emissions it is extremely important how quickly we can replace high CO2 forms of electricity sources with low CO2 sources – this is what I am going to try to explain in this post.

Peter Lux 27th March 2013 read more »

Half of the UK’s energy supply in 2050 could be sourced from nuclear power if through an expansion of the infrastructure that exists in the industry, the Government has said.

Out Law 27th March 2013 read more »

Nuclear power could be providing almost half the UK’s energy needs by 2050, the Government says.

Cumberland News 27th March 2013 read more »

EDF Energy has hailed the French-British alliance in store with the building of its new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point – if it can sort out a guaranteed price for low carbon power with the Government. Responding to the Nuclear Strategy released by the BIS department yesterday the French energy supplier also talked up the importance of UK universities for the future of the energy source.

Energy Live 27th March 2013 read more »

THE nuclear industry could create up to 40,000 jobs in the UK over the next 20 years, according to estimates by the Government as it launched a strategy for the sector yesterday.

East Anglian Daily Times 27th March 2013 read more »

The issue of energy policy is never far from the headlines, and the government’s announcement of its latest nuclear policy is no exception. Announced as part of a series of industrial sector strategies developed jointly between government and industry — an approach which has itself drawn criticism from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as a mark of the politicians’ lack of ‘joined-up thinking’ — the strategy is aimed at making the UK a ‘leading civil nuclear energy nation’.

The Engineer 27th March 2013 read more »

A new strategy for nuclear R&D could restore the UK to a leading position in developing technology for fisson and fusion. While the government was announcing its nuclear strategy yesterday in Westminster, across town, the science advisors for the departments most closely involved, along with the chief science advisor and the heads of two of the UK’s most important nuclear technology centres, were announcing something of even more interest to engineers and scientists: the expansion of R&D that will be necessary if the country is to fulfil the politicians’ nuclear ambitions.

The Engineer 27th March 2013 read more »

Energy Costs

The emergence of the shale gas boom in the United States, and the discovery of significant reserves in Australia and elsewhere, has prompted many people in the energy industry to proclaim a “golden age” of gas, one that will cause the premature demise of renewable energy sources, even before they have a chance of creating an energy revolution of their own. But in a recent report, the energy analysts at international investment bank Citigroup question these assumptions, which are based on the idea that gas and renewables will compete with each other. “We suggest the opposite is true,” Citi writes. Rather than replacing renewables, the Citi analysts suggest that the shale gas industry will actually be dependent on the broader deployment of wind and solar for its future. That’s because gas will be priced out of the conventional market in the short term, but will then be required to fill in the gaps as wind and solar are deployed more widely, and coal generation is shut down. “The perception of renewables as an expensive source of electricity is largely obsolete, given the huge cost reductions achieved in recent years,” the Citi analysts write. The report notes residential solar PV has already reached ‘grid parity’ in many countries, with much of the world set to follow by 2020.

Renew Economy 28th March 2013 read more »

New analysis by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), published today, shows policies such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), EU Emissions Trading System and carbon floor price will add between 15 to 21 per cent on to medium-sized energy users’ bills in 2013. This rises to between one and 14 per cent for large energy intensive firms, depending on how much electricity they generate on site. However, DECC added that the contribution to total costs would be less than one per cent, given that the average manufacturer spends only three per cent of their budgets on energy, compared to 18 per cent on employees. The data for businesses contrasts with that for households, which are this year expected save an average of five per cent – or £64 – on their gas and electricity bills compared to a scenario where no policies exist – a net saving expected to reach £166, or 11 per cent, by 2020. Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, admitted that the figures were not so positive for businesses at present. However, he added that planned support measures could help offset up to half of the costs for firms. The government has revealed plans for a £250m support package to help heavy industry cope with the impact of the government’s planned carbon floor price. It is also consulting on exempting such companies from charges to fund the Contracts for Difference (CfD) that guarantee nuclear and renewable energy projects a minimum price for the electricity they produce.

Business Green 27th March 2013 read more »


There should be no new taxes on energy within the EU if the continent’s industrial sector is to remain competitive with US rivals fuelled by cheap shale gas in the US, the EU’s energy chief has told the Guardian. Günther Oettinger was speaking as David Cameron’s government prepared for a bruising collision with the European commission over renewable energy in a policy clash that could shape the development of energy infrastructure for decades to come. Günther Oettinger says Europe’s industry must become more efficient and that energy markets must be further liberalised.

Guardian 28th March 2013 read more »

The world could solve a large part of its fiscal problems by scrapping $1.9tn* in energy subsidies, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. The fund’s call suggests higher fuel prices could become a central condition of IMF help in the future, with subsidies proving a sticking point in its talks with countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and Ukraine. David Lipton, first deputy managing director of the IMF, said countries should scrap fuel subsidies and charge for the cost of pollution – but that the fund was not yet ready to make carbon taxes a condition of its lending programmes.

FT 28th March 2013 read more »

The European Union has today proposed a new package of carbon and renewable energy targets for 2030 that could see the bloc impose a 40 per cent carbon reduction target. Policy papers unveiled today that seek to drive action on carbon reduction, the development of renewable energy, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology also detail plans for a 30 per cent energy share target for renewables.

Business Green 27th March 2013 read more »


Letter from David Smythe: Radioactive dumping: Nuclear-waste site geology is paramount. As a former geological adviser to the UK government on nuclear-waste repositories, I would like to clarify some points in your discussion of the quest for a British nuclear-waste disposal site.

Nature 28th March 2013 read more »


Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Pinsent Masons have advised as EDF Energy secured planning consent to build and operate the proposed £14bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. The Somerset development, which was green-lit by energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey last week, comprises two nuclear reactors capable of generating up to 3,260 megawatts of electricity. The development consent order also permits EDF to carry out associated development work and includes measures amounting to around £100m to manage the impact of the development. Planning partner Matthew White headed up a HSF team of more than 30 lawyers advising EDF on the application. White was flanked by real estate partner Julian Pollock, energy partners Julia Pyke and Mark Newbery, public law partner Nusrat Zar and environmental partner Louise Moore.

Legal Week 28th March 2013 read more »


UP TO 1,000 nuclear energy staff in north west Wales are being retrained and re-educated to work in other industries. Menter Môn’s £4million Shaping the Future initiative is attempting to get every member of the Trawsfynydd and Wylfa workforces into other jobs in a bid to retain £42m for the region’s economy. Hitachi’s acquisition of Horizon last year gave the Wylfa B development a shot in the arm and firmed-up its future. But project director Judy Craske says staff still need to be reeducated and re-skilled so they could be put to use in other industries, such as the automotive, tourism, manufacturing and aerospace sectors.

Daily Post 27th March 2013 read more »


NUCLEAR workers on the Fylde have delivered the first fuel rods of a breakthrough export project. Staff at Westinghouse Electric Company’s nuclear fuel manufacturing plant at Springfields, has dispatched its first consignment of Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel assemblies to France. The fuel will be used in French power firm EDF’s Gravelines 5 power station in the north of France in a move which will help safeguard jobs.

Blackpool Gazette 27th March 2013 read more »


A MILESTONE has been marked at the former nuclear research site at Winfrith with the removal of a hazardous material. Winfrith was a major centre for groundbreaking reactor development from the late 1950s to the 1990s. The site is now managed by Research Sites Restoration Limited (RSRL) which is responsible for the closure programme at Winfrith. In another step towards closure, work to recover, repackage and dispose of a substantial non-nuclear hazard has now been completed. For more than 30 years, 25 tonnes of sodium metal was stored at the site in a variety of containers, the result of past research projects at Winfrith, Dounreay and Hunterston in Scotland, and Cadarache in France.

Dorset Echo 27th March 2013 read more »

Supply Chain

The nuclear industry has a problem with cost. New build expenses have a nasty habit of growing beyond original projections. And the industry has come under fire for spiralling costs on some of its biggest clean-up jobs, such as Sellafield, too. All of these factors contribute to a bigger challenge at a time when the sector is seen as less significant for political and military reasons, and more and more in competition with other types of traditional and renewable energy generation. So nuclear needs to take the cost issue seriously, and one obvious place to start is with the supply chain.

Nuclear Energy Insider 27th March 2013 read more »

The UK government has announced new funding awards to help enhance the supply chain and increase opportunities to commercialise new technologies in the nuclear energy sector. The funding will support 35 projects across the UK in developing new technologies for the construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants. This will bring together over 60 experienced organisations including Laing O’Rourke, Sheffield Forgemasters and EDF. They will work alongside innovative SMEs and universities.

Process Engineering 27th March 2013 read more »


Wherever uranium miners move in to do what they do, human rights have a tendency to move out. That’s why the victory of Jeffrey Lee, who has secured protection for his land from uranium mining at Koongarra in Australia, sends a strong message to the nuclear industry that people must come before profits. Jeffrey is senior custodian of Koongarra, about 12 square kilometres of land within the traditional area of the Dojk clan. The area, which is surrounded by a national park, also has a large uranium deposit. French nuclear giant AREVA has been eyeing the uranium with greedy eyes for some time now. But Jeffrey said no. “I could be a rich man. Billions of dollars… you can offer me anything but my land is cultural land.”

Greenpeace 26th March 2013 read more »


A TRIAL to dismantle a redundant nuclear submarine is to be carried out at Rosyth Dockyard but the pilot has been branded as too risky by the Scottish National Party.

Dunfermline Press 28th March 2013 read more »


Japan’s nuclear watchdog said today that it will finally start its first investigation into the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis by the end of April. Several outside investigations have already taken place but the government has yet to publish its own report on the tsunami and earthquake-triggered meltdown at the Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Those other probes have largely blamed the disaster on botched crisis management and government-industry collusion. Experts disagree whether the earthquake or tsunami sparked the meltdown, the answer to which would have serious consequences for nuclear plants around the world. The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said the probe could take decades because the plant is wrecked.

Morning Star 27th March 2013 read more »

Czech Republic

Westinghouse Electric Company said that its bid for the expansion of Temelín Nuclear Power Plant in the Czech Republic, has received highest ranking from ČEZ. The company said the ranking reaffirms the quality and depth of its bid to develop and deliver a turnkey dual-unit AP1000 plant at Temelín. During the next phase of the negotiations, Westinghouse and its partners will continue to work closely with CEZ.

Energy Business Review 27th March 2013 read more »

South Korea

The new South Korean government of Park Geun-hye looks unlikely to waver from its predecessor’s staunch support for the country’s nuclear energy program.

World Nuclear News 27th March 2013 read more »


Published: 28 March 2013