29 October 2016

Sizewell

Bosses at EDF Energy are refusing to give any clues over when the next stage of consultation will start for Sizewell C – but say a decision will be made soon. Negotiations have been taking place between the company and Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council over the length and format for the process. Completion of the deal for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant has led to internal changes at the energy giant, which has now had to reconstitute an internal board to include representatives of its Chinese partner CGN. EDF and CGN have an agreement to develop Sizewell C to a final investment decision with a view to build and operate two EPR reactors. During the development phase EDF will take an 80% share and CGN will take a 20% share.

East Anglian Daily Times 29th Oct 2016 read more »

Hinkley

The High Court of Paris has rejected an appeal by EDF’s Central Works Council (CEC) over the court’s earlier rejection of its request to suspend the final investment decision for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project in the UK. A consultation process between EDF and the CEC on the Hinkley Point C project began on 2 May. However, the works council claimed it had not been sufficiently informed and consulted by EDF and submitted its request to suspend any final decision to the Paris High Court on 22 June. EDF’s board subsequently made its final investment decision on 28 July to go ahead with the £18 billion ($21.8 billion) project to construct two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point. The works council’s request was, however, rejected by the Paris High Court on 5 August and CEC subsequently appealed the court’s ruling. The court yesterday rejected CEC’s appeal, citing a 21 September decision by France’s supreme court of appeals, the Cour de Cassation. This decision stated that, for an appeal to be valid, a judge must make a ruling in such cases before the deadline for the works council to give its feedback. A hearing for CEC’s appeal was held in the Paris High Court on 22 September, the day after that decision. The judge said at that time the legal deadline for CEC to respond to EDF – 4 July – had already passed, so its appeal was declared inadmissible.

World Nuclear News 28th Oct 2016 read more »

British companies are looking to the construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the country’s first nuclear plant for a generation, to help re-establish its expertise in atomic energy. More than 20 years have elapsed since the UK last built a nuclear reactor but, with an energy shortage looming, the government finally gave the go-ahead to the £18bn power station last month. At least five more are planned. Although it will be funded by France’s state-controlled utility, EDF, and its partner China General Nuclear Power, 64 per cent of the construction value has been promised to UK businesses. With about 500 nuclear reactors either planned or proposed worldwide, it is also hoped that Hinkley will help showcase British nuclear skills.

FT 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Wylfa

The UK’s Horizon Nuclear Power has completed the public consultation process for its Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant project. Hundreds of people from across Anglesey and North Wales took part, offering views and opinions which Horizon said will help finalise its new nuclear plans. The feedback gathered from individuals and organisations during the consultation will now be analysed in detail by the Horizon team as it prepares to submit its planning application – the Development Consent Order – next year. Consultation will continue on specific aspects of the project throughout the rest of this year and into 2017 as company finalises proposals for specific ‘associated developments’ which require local authority planning permission.

World Nuclear News 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Nuclear is an “old fashioned, dangerous and dirty technology” according to a group opposed to a new plant being built on Anglesey. Pawb (People Against Wylfa B) have responded to Horizon Nuclear Power’s latest consultation by questioning the Japanese firm’s commitment to construct the £12bn power station in view of no new nuclear plants being planned in Japan. No nuclear plants have been built in Japan since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Only one nuclear reactor is currently operational there, although there was once more than 50, with no prospect of more being built in the foreseeable future. Public sentiment in the country shifted markedly with wide protests calling for nuclear to be abandoned. As a result, it’s being replaced with wind or solar power. Last year, the Prime Minister of Japan at the time of the disaster, Naoto Kan, visited Anglesey and urged residents to oppose the Wylfa plant. Dylan Morgan, a founding member of Pawb, said Hitachi, who own Horizon, are being “totally irresponsible” in persisting with its nuclear “obsession”. He added: “The technology is old fashioned, dirty, dangerous and very expensive. “It’s ironic that a Japanese company are so adamant that a reactor is built here in Wales, when they can’t do so in their own country. “Due to the high levels of heat and radioactivity, the waste will have to be stored on site for decades.”

Daily Post 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Chapelcross

There has been a rise in the level of radiation detected around the former Chapelcross nuclear plant in Dumfries and Galloway, according to a study. However, the latest Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (RIFE) reportfound that the levels remained well below UK and European safety limits. The findings are drawn from monitoring radioactivity levels in farm produce, soil and water samples. Decommissioning of the power plant, near Annan, began in 2004. The RIFE report found that the radiation dose to the surrounding population was low and had remained broadly similar since decommissioning work started.

BBC 28th Oct 2016 read more »

A rise in radiation levels has been detected at a former nuclear power plant in Dumfries and Galloway. Chapelcross near Annan was Scotland’s first commercial nuclear power station, but stopped producing electricity in 2004. A new report from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency shows an increase in the radiation dose to the surrounding population – but the levels are still well below the UK safety limit.

ITV 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Capacity Market

Ministers have launched a fresh attempt to curb the boom in dirty diesel generators, announcing plans to curtail financial benefits enjoyed by small power plant owners through a subsidy scheme. Under the Government’s capacity market, power plant owners can secure subsidy contracts to guarantee they will be available to help keep the lights on in future winters, beginning in winter 2017-18. The policy was intended to help support the construction of big new efficient gas power plants but has so far failed to do so and instead led to an unintended boom in highly polluting diesel generators and other small power plants.

Telegraph 28th Oct 2016 read more »

France

France has delayed a decision on promised nuclear reactor decommissioning, effectively putting on hold a process that could ultimately be overturned with a change of government next year. A government investment roadmap published on Friday stopped short of identifying reactors for closure under 2015 legislation that commits France to reducing atomic energy to 50 percent of its electrical power mix, from more than 75 percent currently. Instead, the Energy Ministry plans leaves it to state utility EDF to issue a strategic review of plants and energy requirements around April of next year. However, the final decision on whether the reactors are scrapped is a political one. France goes to the polls in the first round of presidential voting in April, followed by legislative elections in June – meaning the issue looks unlikely to be resolved before a new president and assembly has been elected. Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, the conservative candidate currently leading the race, has called Socialist President Francois Hollande’s 50 percent target absurd and vowed to scrap it, in common with several other right-wing candidates. Lawmaker Herve Mariton, a Juppe ally and prominent energy specialist among the conservative Les Republicains, has also rejected Hollande’s plan to close EDF’s ageing Fessenheim plant after a new reactor opens at Flamanville in 2018.

Reuters 28th Oct 2016 read more »

[Machine Translation] Scandal hidden anomalies: ASN arrested five additional reactors. The output of the nuclear emergency is the only solution. While the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) requested the shutdown of five new reactors following the scandal Creusot which brings up the falsification of documents and defects in the steel core parts for safety, a nuclear exit must be initiated urgently. On October 18, the ASN asked EDF to shut down within three months of five nuclear reactors (Civaux 1 1 Fessenheim, Gravelines 4, Tricastin 2 and 4) equipped with steam generators suspects, including the steel has a carbon content too high. This anomaly is a permanent risk of sudden failure would lead to a loss of reactor coolant then to a serious accident. This problem is even more serious than the breaking of these parts is normally supposed to be excluded. This decision comes as 21 reactors have already been arrested, many of which in the context of checks in connection with parts potentially presenting defects. Among other things, the central Fessenheim will gather in the full stop.

Sortir du Nucleaire 19th Oct 2016 read more »

Turkey

The Build, Operate, Own (BOO) model for nuclear power plants transfers all the different types of risks associated with the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant to the project company that owns and operates the plant. In the case of Akkuyu, the management of nuclear waste and the fuel spent are also the responsibilities of Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company. In a previous article, I had mentioned a recent report prepared by the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies EDAM about the security and safety challenges of the project. One of the most important challenges is to secure a very intensive cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services, however difficult the Turkish MIT (National Intelligence Agency) and Russian SVR RF becoming best friends might sound. The BOO looks like a good deal as it minimizes the costs; but as underlined by İzak Atiyas, one of the contributors of the report, “the problem is that the trade-off between minimizing costs and reducing quality is very large.”

Hurriyet Daily News 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Germany

Germany’s constitutional court on Friday said it will rule on December 6 on claims brought by power producers that a government decision to end nuclear power earlier than planned amounted to expropriation. Following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March 2011, Germany announced plans to exit nuclear energy by 2022, effectively speeding up a plan first drawn up in 2002 to eventually shut all of the country’s reactors. Three utilities – E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall [VATN.UL] seek damages amounting to potentially as much as 19 billion euros ($20.73 billion) for the production volumes they say they will be forced to forfeit. EnBW, also affected, has not lodged a complaint as it is effectively publicly owned.

Reuters 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Disarmament

THE government has been slammed for opposing negotiations for a global nuclear ban at the United Nations general assembly. At a meeting of the assembly on Thursday 123 out of 177 countries voted for a resolution on opening international negotiations in 2017. Just 38 countries voted against the resolution — including Britain — and 16 abstained. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) general secretary Kate Hudson said: “It’s very encouraging to see so many countries say loud and clear it’s time for the world to move on from nuclear weapons. “We have united before to ban biological and chemical weapons, land mines and cluster bombs, and now the international community is taking decisive steps to ban nuclear weapons. It’s very inspiring and CND will do everything it can to support it. “It’s therefore very disappointing to see the British government attempt to thwart these vital negotiations.”

Morning Star 29th Oct 2016 read more »

The UK government has come under fire from CND and the SNP for rejecting a United Nations resolution to hold a global summit on eradicating nuclear weapons.

Scotsman 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Renewables – wind

The British public are big fans of onshore wind. Three quarters of us back it. And rightly so. It’s the cheapest, cleanest and cleverest energy option on the market. But the government has robbed onshore wind of financial support, simultaneously handing hundreds of millions to dirty fossil fuels. On the 23rd of November, the new chancellor Philip Hammond will present his first autumn statement. It’s his first major policy announcement and a key moment to ensure onshore wind isn’t hung out to dry. We’ll be there standing up for clean energy. Will you join us? Sign the petition to demand that dirty fossil fuel electricity is not given more public money than clean onshore wind power.

10:10 29th Oct 2016 read more »

Renewables – solar

The Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk has unveiled new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his firm, which makes electric cars and batteries, with solar installer SolarCity. The billionaire entrepreneur showed off solar roof tiles that eliminate the need for traditional panels and a longer-lasting home battery, which Tesla calls the Powerwall, aimed at realising his vision of selling a fossil fuel-free lifestyle to consumers.

Guardian 29th Oct 2016 read more »

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Published: 29 October 2016