A revised schedule of expected applications for permission to construct new nuclear power plants in the UK has been published by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC). The first is expected from EDF Energy in early August. Applications are expected for four new nuclear power plants: at Hinkley Point in Somerset, Sizewell in Suffolk, Wylfa on Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Two applications for power line projects are expected, one of which is for a new 26 km overhead power line related to the new Sizewell plant. According to the IPC’s expected timetable, the first application for a new nuclear power plant is expected to be submitted by EDF Energy for the two-unit Hinkley Point C plant on 2 August. This would mean that IPC approval for the plant could come around mid-2011. EDF plans to begin preparing the site before the end of 2010, pending separate local permission. Subject to a favourable outcome from the Health and Safety Executive’s assessment of the Areva EPR design in June 2011, construction of the plant could start in early 2012. The plan is for the first reactor to operate before the end of 2017, with the second following about 18 months later. EDF is then expected to submit a planning application on 1 June 2011 to construct another EPR at Sizewell. Later next year, on 1 November, Horizon Nuclear Power – the UK joint venture between E.On and RWE – is expected to submit planning applications for new reactors at both the Wylfa and Oldbury plants.
World Nuclear News 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
In a wide-ranging report into the future of Britain’s energy market, Ofgem said that there is a risk that bills could rise by up to 25pc over the next decade unless measures are taken. Ofgem said that the unprecedented combination of the global financial crisis, tough environmental targets, increasing gas import dependency and the closure of ageing power stations has combined to cast reasonable doubt over whether the current energy arrangements will deliver secure and sustainable energy supplies.
Telegraph 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Britain’s energy regulator warned today that households will not be able to afford gas and electricity and the country could face power shortages after 2015 because ageing power stations are not being replaced quickly enough.
Times 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Ofgem, the energy regulator, is suspending its policy on mergers and acquisitions in the gas and electricity sector, causing uncertainty for EDF as it plans to sell its distribution network.
Telegraph 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Kirksanton & Braystones
RWE Npower has dropped grid connection agreements it has for two potential nuclear power plants in north-west England until it can commit to building them. The UK arm of German utility RWE said on Tuesday it remained confident the sites in Cumbria could one day be home to a “first wave” of new nuclear power stations at Kirksanton and Braystones by 2025, adding new connection agreements could be put in place fast enough. “We’re still considering the situation and inclusion in the government’s list of candidate sites in the National Policy Statement is an important milestone in that process,” Alison Chappell, Head of Nuclear Development for RWE npower said. “In the meantime though, maintaining our current grid connections could mean large, and rising, extra costs and it’s only sensible to avoid this risk and renegotiate connection agreements once we are in a position to confirm our plans.”
Reuters 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Proposals for nuclear power stations at Braystones and Kirksanton in west Cumbria are causing “property blight”, Cumbria County Council believes. The council’s cabinet was today expected to formally oppose the plans from RWE npower. But councillors were almost certain to back another scheme for a nuclear power plant at Sellafield, put forward by Iberdrola and GDF Suez.
Whitehaven News 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Carlisle News and Star 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
The existing Oldbury nuclear power station emits much tritium – the radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Tritium is by far the largest and most important of the radionuclides released from Oldbury. Any new station at Oldbury would also release large amounts of tritium. This Q&A sets out plain answers to frequently-asked questions about tritium.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
They may only be small in size, but the people two of Somerset’s tiniest villages showed they are no pushovers when it comes to protecting their picturesque home. Around 200 people marched from Christon to Loxton at the weekend, two little villages better described as hamlets, which sit happily at the foot of the Mendip Hills. But they are also a central part of a plan to build huge new electricity pylons which will cut through swathes of the countryside, which locals say will ruin the rural charm of their home.
This is Somerset 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Energy companies are calling on the Government to include the Dungeness nuclear site on the Kent coast as a potential location for a new nuclear power station. The Government decided last year that the site was not suitable on environmental and ecological grounds. But trade body the Nuclear Industry Association, and energy companies planning new nuclear capacity, have lined up to urge ministers to change their minds during Parliamentary consideration of the suite of draft energy National Policy Statements.
BIP Solutions 1st Feb 2010 more >>
GOVERNMENT spending cuts could lead to 4,000 job losses in the nuclear decommissioning industry, union leaders warned yesterday. Prospect claimed spending plans for cleaning up the UK’s nuclear legacy would be “derailed” by the “stringent” cuts. Any cuts could affect jobs at Trawsfynydd nuclear station, Gwynedd, where more than 500 people are employed in decommissioning and the number of workers used at Wylfa once decommissioning starts later this decade. The union said the Government review posed a threat to the industry.
Daily Post 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Areva has received an approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the digital Instrumentation & Controls (I&C) system upgrade of a US nuclear station. Areva claims to be the first and only supplier to receive NRC approval for full application of a safety-related digital I&C system.
The Safety-Related Digital I&C System Teleperm XSTM is included in the design for new nuclear plants, like the EPR reactor, and for the upgrading and modernization of existing plants of virtually all types and from all main suppliers.
Energy Business Review 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Reuters 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Helen Caldicott: In his State of the Union address Obama strongly endorsed the false concept of “safe, clean” nuclear power as one of the solutions to global warming – “But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives,” he said. “That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country” – but he has just announced that he will spend $7.4 billion dollars in the next five years for the “security and maintenance” of the current enormous stockpile of nuclear weapons. So what has gone wrong? The never-ending persistence of the nuclear warriors who inhabit the Pentagon and nuclear weapons labs have prevailed yet again to influence this idealistic young president on whom many of us had placed our hopes for planetary survival.
Huffington Post 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
President Barack Obama’s proposed FY 2011 budget includes some important proposals to invest in clean energy, but it also includes a nuclear bombshell. The budget will seek at total of $54 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power. This would require a $36 billion increase over the existing $18.5 billion for nuclear loan guarantees, a program created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 – none of which has been issued yet. And while they loan guarantee proposal cheered some pro-nuclear senators, it has not garnered their support for comprehensive, bipartisan clean energy and climate change legislation. None of the four “top-tier” project proposals inspire confidence: all have “rising cost estimates, delays related to reactor designs, and credit downgrades,” according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. For instance, one of the top four pending applications for a loan guarantee for reactors in Texas may be withdrawn by the utility proposing it, NRG Energy. The project was supposed to be a joint venture with San Antonio’s municipal utility, but the latter is having second thoughts due to enormous estimated cost increases that would bring the project from the initial $5.4 billion to at least $17 billion.
Climate Progress 1st Feb 2010 more >>
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has revealed the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s nuclear future to provide recommendations for developing a long-term platform to manage used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.
New Statesman 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
One of the most extraordinary engineering feats undertaken in postwar America is to lie unused inside a mountain unless someone thinks of a new purpose for it. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, chosen by Congress in 1987 and opposed by environmentalists ever since, is to be shut before receiving a single barrel of spent fuel, thanks to a line in this week’s budget that eliminates federal funding for the project.
Times 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Lithuania’s energy ministry has shortlisted five companies in the prequalification phase of its tender to build a new nuclear plant at Visaginas by 2018-20. Energy minister Arvydas Sekomkas said that 25 companies had submitted proposals since the tender was announced on 8 December. The ministry could not name the shortlisted bidders because of confidentiality agreements. The second stage of the process, which will run until April, will detail the structure of the project and the development schedule, Sekomkas said. The list will be narrowed down to two potential investors by the second half of this year. The winner will likely be offered a 51pc stake
Argus Media 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Morocco has announced plans for two nuclear power plants as part of its submission to the Copenhagen Accord, which was drafted at COP 15 at the end of last year. Under the terms of the Copenhagen Accord, developing countries were invited to submit proposed Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) demonstrating how they planned to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through specified projects. Developed countries were asked to submit proposed targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
World Nuclear News 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
The United States and Russia have reached an “agreement in principle” to slash their nuclear weapons stockpiles, the first such pact in nearly two decades, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Yahoo 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
The Swedish and Polish foreign ministers on Tuesday called on the United States and Russia to reduce their tactical nuclear arsenals and pressed Moscow to withdraw its nuclear weapons from areas adjacent to EU member states.
EU Business 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Iran is willing to satisfy the UN and send its uranium abroad for further enrichment, the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told state television last night. Iran would have “no problem” giving the west its low-enriched uranium and taking it back several months later when it is enriched by 20%, Ahmadinejad said.
Guardian 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Fifteen miles off the south-east coast of England, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is under construction. Poles are being planted in up to 100ft of water, topped by Siemens turbines that reach as much as 400ft above the sea. It is difficult and dangerous work: last November a man was killed on a boat working at the site. But the Greater Gabbard project, being built by Scottish and Southern Energy of the UK and RWE of Germany, is a prototype for what is expected to be a huge expansion of wind power in the waters around Britain. It will have 140 turbines; the government wants several thousand in place across UK waters by the end of the decade, at an estimated cost of up to £100bn ($160bn, 115bn).The cheapest way to cut emissions is to replace coal-fired power stations with gas-fired plants, which produce half the carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity. Yet with the EU’s commitment to renewables, prompted by concerns about the security of gas supplies from Russia and other potentially unreliable countries, European countries are making commitments to invest in costly wind farms. While governments have set the objectives, it is the private sector that is being expected to deliver the investment.
FT 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Simon Hughes: Today, after many months of delay, the government finally announced its detailed plans for the feed-in tariff. It is a huge disappointment for all of us who want to see communities taking control of their energy production. The announcement could have heralded a new age in British energy policy, where a large proportion of our energy is produced by individuals and communities through microgeneration, solar panels on the roofs of our schools and homes, small scale hydropower and wind.
Guardian 2nd Feb 2010 more >>