French energy giant EDF has admitted that the construction of Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in decades has been delayed, despite yesterday it being claimed no delays were going to happen. EDF has been struggling to finance the plant but hoped to announce Chinese funding when China’s Premier Xi Jinping comes to London next month. Fears have been building about a possible delay to the plant after China’s markets crashed last month. The news on Hinkley Point comes as a report shows projected nuclear costs in the UK are the highest in the world. An OECD survey found that the costs are almost three times above those in countries such as China and Korea.
Western Daily Press 4th Sept 2015 read more »
The planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset has been hit by further delays. EDF now says the £24 billion facility won’t be ready by 2023, a date that’s already been put back several times.
ITV 4th Sept 2015 read more »
Stop Hinkley says the latest news from France makes the Hinkley Point C project even less likely to go-ahead. EDF has admitted that the prototype European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) being built at Flamanville in Normandy will not be up and running until 2018, six years late, and will cost 10.5 billion euros, up from an initial budget of 3 billion. This is the same type of reactor EDF is proposing to build in Britain at Hinkley Point. “Every week there are new revelations about this disastrous project”, said Stop Hinkley Spokesperson Roy Pumfrey, “EDF is becoming the joke of the utility world. The Company is clearly in a hole – it needs to stop digging, give up on this scheme and let the rest of us get on with planning a sustainable future for Somerset”.
Stop Hinkley 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Ballooning costs and further delays to an Electricite de France SA nuclear plant in Normandy will increase the pressure on plans to build two facilities using the same technology at Hinkley Point in the U.K. The startup of the atomic generator being built at Flamanville on the French side of the English Channel has been pushed back to the end of 2018, 11 years after construction began, and costs have more than tripled to 10.5 billion euros ($11.7 billion), the state-run utility said Thursday. The latest overrun came after the French regulator ordered tests earlier this year on possible weaknesses in the structure of the reactor vessel. “There is clearly increased risk to the Hinkley Point C project,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Martin Young wrote in a note to clients on Thursday. “No visibility was given on potential cost uplifts, although the possibility of a revised timetable was alluded to.” EDF is still working toward the final decision on a plan for two of the reactor models, known as EPRs, at Hinkley Point in the English county of Somerset. Another two plants are proposed for a site at Sizewell in Suffolk, underpinning a U.K. government plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions by replacing aging power plants reliant on fossil fuels. “French technological leadership in nuclear will be increasingly questioned,” and additional delay puts “media and political pressure” on plans for the U.K., Sanford C Bernstein analyst Cosma Panzacchi wrote in a note. The current agreement with EDF for Hinkley Point “locks the country into adopting a so-far very troubled and very costly and soon to be abandoned EPR design.” EDF and its Chinese partners’ final decision on investing in Hinkley Point is “extremely advanced,” Levy said. Other partners could come on board at a later date while Areva will no longer be an investor, as was initially planned.
Bloomberg 4th Sept 2015 read more »
Energy giant EDF has announced a delay in building a new nuclear reactor in northern France, but said it will have no impact on its planned new power station in the UK. The European pressurised reactor (EPR) nuclear plant at Flamanville in Normandy will not be up and running until 2018, a year later than previously announced. Two more EPRs are under construction in China and EDF plans to build two at Hinkley Point, Somerset.
Western Morning News 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Western Daily Press 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Energy Voice 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
The delay to Hinkley Point delay is bad news for the government. The UK’s old coal-fired power plants will be forced to close before 2023 under EU air quality rules and the gap in generating capacity will have to be filled some other way. EDF has been struggling with securing finance for the project but hoped to secure Chinese funds when the Premier Xi Jin Ping visits London next month. Costs of nuclear are hard to compare from one country to another, but the gulf between projected costs in China and the UK is indisputable. It is partly a question of scale given that China is building dozens of new nuclear stations. But it is also partly because state-run nuclear enterprises can borrow at very low or even zero rates of interest.
BBC 4th Sept 2015 read more »
Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation has been delayed and will not start generating power in 2023 as planned, French energy giant EDF admits. Jean-Bernard Levy, EDF chief executive, insisted he had “full confidence in the success of the Hinkley Point project” but gave no date for when the £24.5 billion power station might now start generating electricity. The latest delay raises the prospect that Hinkley – widely expected to be Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation – may now in fact be overtaken by other proposed nuclear projects with far quicker build times. Although a final investment decision is now expected in October, Mr Levy admitted the 2023 start date for the project, which will be subsidised by households through their energy bills, would no longer be met. Flamanville was originally due to cost €3bn and be ready by 2012 but has seen costs spiral. On Thursday EDF said Flamanville would now not start generating until 2018, a year later than the most recent estimates, and would cost €10.5bn. Sources insisted the latest delay to the Hinkley decision was unrelated to the problems at Flamanville.
Telegraph 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Even though the company is expected to sign a deal this October, work will still take around a decade. EDF’s chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said: ‘Even though the final investment decision has been pushed back from the initial previsions, the construction time will stay the same, which means that the commissioning date will be updated at the point when FID is made.’ The latest setback raises the prospect that the French energy giant could be leapfrogged by a rival project by Hitachi. Even though its reactor plans are less far advanced, they can be constructed far faster, once approved.
Daily Mail 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation has slipped further behind schedule after EDF stuck to its decision to use its troubled new reactor design. The state-controlled French power group attempted yesterday to allay concerns over its European pressurised reactor (EPR), which has been beset by setbacks. It said that the reactor would come on stream at Flamanville in northern France in 2018, six years behind schedule. Despite the difficulties, EDF said that Hinkley Point in Somerset would benefit from the learning curve provided by Flamanville, which has been denounced as a fiasco in France. The cost of the reactor has soared from an original estimate of €3.3 billion to €10.5 billion. The latest delay in Flamanville, which less than a year ago EDF said would be onstream by 2017, will provide an additional headache for the British government as it negotiates with EDF. Jean-Bernard Lévy, the chief executive of the French group, said that the delay in making a final investment decision on Hinkley Point C would set back the ultimate timetable. “Once this final investment decision is made, we will adjust the construction deadlines to the new situations,” he said. “That’s a decision we will make in due course.” French analysts have said that the fate of the EPR could depend upon tests ordered by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) after it detected weaknesses to the steel dome and to the bottom of the reactor vessel at Flamanville. If the ASN confirms its initial finding that the vessel could crack up and needs to be replaced, EDF may scrap the project altogether, analysts believe. That would almost certainly kill the plans for Hinkley Point.
Times 4th Sept 2015 read more »
Talks between EDF and its Chinese partners over their respective stakes are continuing with both sides working to reach agreement by mid-October when a state visit of the Chinese President is planned. The FT understands EDF will take at least 55% and the two Chinese firms a combined stake of at lkeast 30%. Those close to talks say the political will in UK and China to press ahead is considerable.
FT 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
No definite schedule has been given for power to be switched on at Hinkley, but it means the £24.5bn facility, which still awaits EDF’s formal go-ahead, may not be ready by 2023, a date that has already been put back several times. A decision had been widely expected to come in October. The latest problem follows continued speculation that China General Nuclear Power Corp and China National Nuclear Corp were pushing the UK government for concessions before committing to a cash investment at Hinkley. Critics have repeatedly told the government that it was foolish to rely on a new generation of nuclear power stations to meet Britain’s energy crunch, because such huge projects have a record of coming in late and over budget.
Guardian 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Technical problems and tightened safety rules have further delayed French utility EDF’s new-generation nuclear reactors and the cost has now ballooned to more than three times initial estimates, according to Reuters. The European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) being built in northern France – which EDF also plans to build at Hinkley Point in western England – had already been delayed by years due to problems with suppliers and new safety requirements following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
Scottish Energy News 4th Sept 2015 read more »
The CEO of French energy giant EDF, Jean-Bernard Levy, has announced a further postponement of the commissioning of the gigantic new nuclear power station at Flamanville in northern France and admitted the price has more than tripled. The news will have knock-on effects in the UK where EDF is set to build a new nuclear station at Hinkley Point in the west of England, based on the same design. That project is already under fire after the UK government agreed a strike price for the long-term guarantee of US$141 MWh over 35 years and a debt guarantee.
Sputnik News 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
EDF’s new-generation EPR nuclear reactor being built in northern France has been delayed again and its cost is now estimated at more than three times the initial budget, the French utility said on Thursday. The latest setback in construction of the prototype European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) – the same type of reactor EDF plans to build in Britain at Hinkley Point – knocked more than 4 percent off the French company’s shares. EDF said the EPR nuclear plant at Flamanville in Normandy will not be up and running until 2018 and will cost 10.5 billion euros ($11.9 billion), up from an initial budget of 3 billion.
Reuters 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Reuters 3rd September 2015 read more »
Problems with the construction of the Flamanville nuclear power plant in France will provide invaluable learning for other projects such as Hinkley Point C, EDF chairman Jean-Bernard Lévy has insisted. EDF today announced further delays to the construction of its EPR nuclear reactor at Flamanville, which will now not be built until 2018. The group has also raised the cost estimate to €10.5 billion, a threefold increase on the initial €3 billion budget. French nuclear regulator ASN said weak spots had been found in the reactor, due to high carbon concentrations compromising the mechanical resilience of the metal. In June, a leaked report from the watchdog highlighted faults in the plant’s cooling system. However, Lévy assured the problems would have “no impact” on EDF’s plan to build two EPR reactors in the UK and insisted the experience gained will be “invaluable” for other EPR projects. “All of the experience gained at Flamanville will be invaluable for other EPR projects, and for Hinkley Point C in particular. I have total confidence in the success of the Hinkley Point project, which is based on a realistic estimate of costs and timetable. We are drawing the lessons from Flamanville to apply them to Hinkley Point C, and that project has clear oversight and controls in place,” he added.
Utility Week 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
New nuclear power in the UK would be more expensive than in any other country, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). The study on Projected Costs of Electricity Generation tries to compare different technologies and countries on a level playing field. It uses uniform assumptions along with specific data gathered in a survey of 181 plants in 22 countries, including 11 planned new nuclear plants. The results, showing the high cost of UK nuclear, arrive as the government prepares to finalise a £24.5bn deal to build Hinkley C, the country’s first new nuclear plant for a generation. The scheme– seen as a key part of the UK’s climate efforts — was today hit by fresh delays. Carbon Brief compares the projected costs of new nuclear in the UK, and elsewhere. Using a 10% discount rate — a rough proxy for borrowing costs– the report finds new nuclear in the UK would cost £87/MWh. That’s a fifth more expensive than in France, a third more than the US and more than twice the projected costs in China or Korea. Originally intended to start operating in 2017, the project was later pushed back to 2023, at a cost of £16bn. Today, EDF said it would be even later because of delays finalising the contract. China General Nuclear Group is due to back the scheme, leading to speculation a deal will be announced when Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the UK on 20 October.
Carbon Brief 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
It must be rough to be a nuclear power advocate these days: clean renewable energy is cleaning nuclear’s clock in the marketplace; energy efficiency programs are working and causing electricity demand to remain stable and even fall in some regions; despite decades of industry effort radioactive waste remains an intractable problem; and Fukushima’s fallout–both literal and metaphoric–continues to cast a pall over the industry’s future. Where new reactors are being built, they are–predictably–behind schedule and over-budget; while even many existing reactors, although their capital costs were paid off years ago, can’t compete and face potential shutdown because of the very aspect of nuclear power that was supposed to be its economic advantage: low operating and maintenance costs that are proving instead to be too high to manage. A new sudy jointly produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and its sister organization in the OECD, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA): Projected Costs of Generating Electricity. It’s an update of a study last produced in 2010 and despite the headlines being pushed by the industry, which claim nuclear power is economically competitive with other generating technologies, it doesn’t actually say that at all. But perhaps that’s to be expected by an organization now headed by former NRC Commissioner William Magwood and devoted to the promotion of nuclear power. As Jan Haverkamp of Greenpeace International explains, You can see the NEA’s bias very clearly in slide 11 (part of the public presentation on the report’s release), where the title is: “Nuclear: an attractive low-carbon technology in the absence of cost overruns and with low financing costs”… which shows clearly where the problem is. To call this “attractive” but then sidelining two of the inherent financial issues with the resource is tendentious to say the least. Apart from not including costs like those for clean-up after severe accidents, an insecure cost idea of waste management, and a preferential liability capping scheme with government back-up.
Green World 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria will be seeking a new strategic partner as of April 2016, once its £22bn decommissioning work has been brought in-house. According to the magazine Building, a Sellafield Ltd board will be put together and tasked with managing the site when Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), a private sector consortium, stands down as site operator at the end of March. The contract with NMP was terminated in March this year after it was criticised for its value for money and performance. Now, the consortium is now serving a year’s notice ahead of the new board taking over. Together with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), on April 1 next year Sellafield Ltd will look for a strategic partner to offer advice and oversee procurement as it manages the site. Two major procurement jobs have been confirmed by the NDA as delayed until a partner has been appointed.
BDaily 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
With the security of government facilities being of upmost importance in today’s cyber-society, it is a positive sign to see industries such as the nuclear industry excelling in how they handle the implementation of security systems that can protect them against threats.
Information Age 3rd sept 2015 read more »
[Translated from French by David Smythe] A new Areva affair has been referred to the [French] national financial prosecution service (FPS). According to our information, the FPS was alerted to suspicious financial transactions between a subsidiary of the nuclear group, Areva UG, which specialises in uranium trading, and several intermediaries situated in Russia, Lebanon and Niger. This week Marianne is in a position to unveil this hidden financial set-up, which cost Areva 18 million euro in 2011, according to admissions by the nuclear group itself. While Areva recognises this loss, the group maintains that it was on the basis of a “market trade in uranium”. Yet, according to the documents in our possession, and notably several commercial contracts signed in July 2011, it has been established that Areva UG covered up a circular system for the sale of£5.5M of uranium. Two transactions, in particular, capture the attention: the sale by a Russian company, EnergoAlyans, of £5.5M [of uranium], bought beforehand by Areva UG, to a Lebanese company, Optima Energy, which it then resold barely two days later to the Nigerian company Sopamin … which later resold it to Areva UG. In particular, the transactions, which made available $17.6M in commissions, were completed on the 24th and 25th of November 2011, as two letters in our possession prove.
Marianne 23rd July 2015 read more »
The total capacity of nuclear power plants (NPPs) globally will decrease to 2.9GW by 2025. That’s according to a report from GlobalData which stated this is a fall of more than sixfold under the Plant Life Extension (PLEX) programme. It said that’s due to an “anti-nuclear opinion” after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Investment in nuclear will also decrease from $7.7 billion (£4.9bn) this year to $2.6 billion (£1.6bn) in the next 10 years. Countries such as Germany, Belgium and Switzerland prefer to invest in renewable sources instead of nuclear power, it added. Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham, GlobalData’s Senior Analyst covering Power said: “This will be most notable in Europe where the capacity of NPPs starting PLEX operations is expected to drop almost sevenfold from approximately 8.3GW this year to 1.2GW by the end of 2025.”
Energy Live News 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Ed Davey, the former energy and climate change secretary, has accused George Osborne of putting tens of billions of pounds’ worth of private sector investment at risk with an assault on the green agenda he pioneered. The Liberal Democrat said the chancellor was pursuing “bonkers economics” and an ill-advised and ideologically driven campaign against renewable energy that risked leaving the UK hopelessly dependent in the longer term on fossil fuels such as gas. Phasing out aid for zero-carbon homes, onshore windfarms and solar arrays are among a raft of measures introduced by the Tories which represented “disastrous” economics, said Davey in his first interview since losing his seat in parliament. “What is frightening is that, despite all that success in low-carbon energy infrastructure, [Osborne] is prepared to send those disastrous signals. It was bad enough in the coalition when they were sending mixed signals but now there is no mixed about it. “It is ‘we don’t want it’ and [renewable energy investors] will go elsewhere and we will lose out on tens of billions of pounds of private sector investment.
Guardian 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Swedish nuclear power plant operator Ringhals will close down its Ringhals 1(878 MW) and 2 (865 MW) reactors by 2020 at the latest, it said on Friday. The company will end investments in ongoing projects and new investments from 2017, and so Ringhals 1 and 2 will not operate beyond 2020, it said in a market message through power exchange Nord Pool Spot.
Montel 4th Sept 2015 read more »
Vanunu spent 18 years in prison for revealing Israel’s nuclear secrets. He tells his story in his first-ever Israeli TV interview on Channel 2. In his first-ever interview on Israeli TV, convicted nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu told Channel 2 on Wednesday night that he only suspected a woman he met in London of being a Mossad agent when other agents pounced on him in an apartment in Rome. Vanunu, a former employee of the Dimona nuclear facility, spent 18 years in Israeli prison for revealing Israel’s nuclear secrets to the London-based Sunday Times newspaper. Released in 2004, he has lived since then in Jerusalem under severe security restrictions.
Haaretz 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Last Saturday during a visit to Nairobi, IAEA Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy, Anne Starz said nuclear energy is an “obvious attraction for African countries that are keen to develop reliable sources of power to enhance their growth prospects.” “Additionally, Morocco has expressed interest to use nuclear power, while Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt have already taken the decision to use nuclear energy,” Anne Starz revealed. Starz also noted that IAEA has decided to help African nations with the development of nuclear energy for electricity generation.
Morocco World News 1st Sept 2015 read more »
Kenya has made significant progress in its preparations to develop a nuclear power infrastructure, an team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts has concluded.
World Nuclear News 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., the company developing the Gulf Arab region’s first nuclear power plant, is reviving plans to borrow from banks and other financial institutions to help fund the $25 billion project, four people with knowledge of the matter said. Export-Import Bank of Korea will provide about $1.5 billion for the project, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Enec, as the company is known, is also in talks with five banks to provide about $250 million for the project, they said. HSBC Holdings Plc is advising Enec on the deal, and Standard Chartered is advising Korea Electric Power Corp., which will build and operate the nuclear plant, the people said. Abu Dhabi is building four nuclear reactors as part of its plans to invest in renewable sources of energy and cut its reliance on oil and gas for power generation. The first reactor is on schedule to be completed in 2017, Enec said in a statement published by the Emirates News Agency yesterday. Enec had been in talks to raise $2 billion from banks in 2012, but dropped the plans in 2013 and has been funding construction from the state budget.
Energy Voice 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
MINISTERS announcing lavish spending schemes promising lots of jobs do not expect to get booed. But the few cheers that greeted George Osborne’s pledge, on the banks of the Clyde on August 31st, to spend £500m ($765m) creating “thousands” of jobs were drowned out by jeers. Why? Because the chancellor plans to spend the money on upgrading the Faslane naval base, where submarines carrying Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent are based. Many Scots, including Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s nationalist first minister, want the boats scrapped, not replaced, as they will be on current plans.
Economist 5th Sept 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
Government plans to slash subsidies for solar panels on homes could cost more than 20,000 jobs, green campaigners have claimed. The plans could mean almost a million renewable installations will be prevented from going ahead over the next five years, according to the government’s impact assessment of the move. Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth said the changes, which ministers insist are necessary to prevent rising green energy payments hitting consumer bills, could stop more than 1,100 megawatts (1.1 gigawatt) of solar being installed each year to 2021.
Guardian 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
The government’s efforts to slash the cost of green policies is set to continue, according to reports this morning suggesting the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is to be scaled back and “heavy” job cuts are being prepared at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The Financial Times reported DECC’s submission to the Treasury ahead of the Autumn Spending Review includes plans to trim back the RHI, which provides payments to households and businesses that install low-carbon heating systems, such as biomass boilers and ground-source heat pumps.Whitehall observers have repeatedly warned the relatively small budgets enjoyed by DECC and Defra are difficult to cut, as DECC’s spending is dominated by nuclear clean-up costs that are hard to curtail and Defra faces a daunting array of spending requirements and emergency risks that it is struggling to deliver, having already faced steep cuts over the past five years.
Business Green 3rd Sept 2015 read more »
An Oscar-nominated HBO documentary that showed American homeowners near hydraulic fracturing sites setting fire to their tap water may have been the main trigger for a surge in public opposition to the oil and gas production technique, according to a study to be published next month.
Guardian 2nd Sept 2015 read more »
In solidarity with all those suffering as a result of the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima Daiichi. The first exhibition of Red Kimono will take place from 2 – 30 September 2015, in Holborn, London.
Red Kimono (accessed) 3rd Sept 2015 read more »