The three energy consortiums hoping to develop eight new nuclear reactors in the UK have said they are progressing with their plans while they await final market reform deals from the government. EDF Energy, Horizon and NuGeneration each presented their updated plans to the Nuclear New Build 2011 conference in Westminster today. Mr de Rivaz confirmed EDF would announced a revised date for delivering the Hinkley Point C development in the Autumn. This week EDF announced a third planning consultation based on material changes to its original plans for development at Hinkley Point C. The consultation period will last until 12 August. Meanwhile Horizon chief operating officer Alan Raymant said its shareholders remain committed to developing nuclear power stations at Wylfa in Anglesey, north Wales and Oldbury in South Gloucestershire. Mr Raymant said that Horizon intended to submit a pre-planning application early in 2012 followed by a stage 2 application early in 2013 before applying for development consent order from the Infrastructure Planning Commission in the second half of 2013.NuGeneration chief operating officer Olivier Carret said the firm has employed Arup as its lead planning consultants and will announce details on a supply chain register at the end of the year. He added that the GDF Suez, Scottish Southern Energy and Iberdrola consortium would take a final decision on investment in nuclear plants in 2015 after which time it would expect to start work at its proposed site in Sellafield.
Construction News 5th July 2011 more >>
The UK government remains absolutely committed to new nuclear power. Without it the nation would be “darker and less prosperous,” said the energy minister today. Charles Hendry was speaking at the New Nuclear Build 2011 conference in London, taking the stage after the heads of the three companies that want to build new power reactors.
World Nuclear News 5th July 2011 more >>
The nuclear renaissance can be a massive part of the growth agenda in the UK over the coming years with the construction of each reactor delivering investment equivalent to that for the 2012 Olympics. (Events like the Fukushima and Gulf of Mexico disasters) only reinforce our commitment to a vital need to find a balanced energy portfolio where we need to get £200 billion into the wider energy network over the next decade twice the level of investment in the past decade. He added: We want the UK to be the number one destination for nuclear new build and if we are going to see new nuclear we will need to maintain public confidence but we will not subsidise nuclear power. Green campaigners have said the governments decision to impose a carbon floor price effectively acts as a subsidy to nuclear power, but Mr Hendry said that the government will not subsidise the industry. The government will bring energy national policy statements before Parliament as well as delivering a white paper on electricity market reform before the summer recess on 19 July.
Construction News 5th July 2011 more >>
Letter Andrew Warren: George Monbiot continues to repeat the canard that “getting the carbon out of transport and heating means increasing electricity supply”. He concludes that consumption will need to double by 2050. A key reason why Germany has had the confidence to go down an entirely non-nuclear route, even with the same objective of an 80% cut in greenhouse gases, is that with a purposeful and consistent energy efficiency programme, electricity demand can drop to just 75% of current levels.
Guardian 5th July 2011 more >>
Monbiot: Join me online here from 10am Wednesday to discuss my reasons for supporting the technology, but not the industry.
Guardian 5th July 2011 more >>
Public support for new nuclear power stations has dipped below 50 per cent in the wake of radiation leaks in Japan, according to a poll that comes days before the Government is due to publish a plan to fund a new generation of reactors. The proportion of people who say they support building new reactors to replace old ones as they are phased out has fallen to 47 per cent, down from 52 per cent last year. Support for new reactors had been consistently above 50 per cent in annual polls conducted since 2008. The proportion opposing new plants rose from 24 per cent last year to 28 per cent and the number undecided fell from 19 to 18 per cent.
Times 5th July 2011 more >>
Electricity Market Reform
A moment that Npower and all of the UKs big six utilities have been waiting for will finally arrive next Tuesday, when the government is due to announce the most radical reform of Britains electricity market for two decades. Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, will publish a white paper designed to give the utilities the incentives they need to invest 200bn on renewing Britains entire energy infrastructure over the next 10 years. This immense sum will be needed to replace lost generating capacity and reduce the UKs carbon dioxide emissions. The companies will be looking for the opportunities and pitfalls in Mr Huhnes package. Already, the government has decided to impose a floor price on carbon emissions from 2013, raising the future cost of running coal-fired power stations. If that is Mr Huhnes stick, his carrot will be a new tariff system, designed to give guaranteed returns to providers of low carbon electricity. An array of feed-in tariffs will benefit nuclear power stations and renewable energy technologies.
FT 6th July 2011 more >>
The Lords Science and Technology Committee will hear from Japanese Atomic Energy Commission & UK Science Minister during a number of evidence sessions this week.
UK Parliament 5th July 2011 more >>
EDF Energy has published a third notice of pre-application consultation for its proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. On 9 July 2010, it published its first notice, for a consultation period running until 4 October 2010. On 25 February 2011, it published a second notice, for a consultation period running until 28 March 2011. Last Friday, 1 July, EDF Energy launched a third consultation, which runs until 12 August. The third notice can be found here. In the second and third cases, changes have been made to the project in response to the previous consultation, and EDF Energy is reconsulting on the revised project. The second consultation did not mention that there had been an earlier consultation, but the third states that it is a consultation on material changes to the project.
Bircham Dyson Bell 5th July 2011 more >>
EDF Energy has trebled its offer for vital road improvements in Bridgwater to £15million after its earlier traffic plans were savaged in a council report. The Mercury reported last week how Somerset County Council said EDF Energy’s proposals for coping with extra traffic around Bridgwater should a third Hinkley nuclear power station go ahead would make local roads worse than doing nothing at all.
Bridgwater Mercury 5th July 2011 more >>
Britain’s largest nuclear power producer, EDF Energy , will announce this autumn a new date for the startup of its first new nuclear power plant in Britain, its Chief Executive said on Tuesday. “We will revise the timetable this autumn,” Vincent de Rivaz, who heads up the French utility’s UK operations, said at an industry conference in London. EDF Energy originally planned to start commercial operations at its new 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset in early 2018, but the timetable is to be revised following regulatory delays after Japan’s nuclear crisis.
Reuters 5th July 2011 more >>
SIZEWELL C go-ahead blazed the EADTs front page headline when the Government confirmed its list of potentially suitable sites for a new generation of nuclear power station. While few would bet against Sizewell C now becoming a reality, permission to build is still a long way off and there are a number of sizeable hurdles EDF have to jump before the first sod is turned. All the Government has done is to endorse a shortlist which was drawn up some time ago as part of its backing for the replacement of ageing plants such as Sizewell A and Bradwell. Before a go-ahead is actually given for Sizewell C, EDF will not only have to come up with the £6billion private finance required to build the twin reactors, it must provide detailed plans which will be subject to strenuous examination, especially on safety grounds. Even more attention will be paid to some safety aspects including emergency evacuation procedures for the local population in the light of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan.
East Anglian Daily Times 4th July 2011 more >>
Oldbury & Wylfa
Fresh doubts have emerged over the delivery of Britain’s nuclear ambitions, after EDF said it would issue an “adjusted timetable” for construction and RWE admitted it was still deciding “how to move on with the project”. German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday that RWE and E.ON have all but abandoned the idea of building nuclear plants in the UK. Their home country Germany has decided to withdraw from the nuclear industry, meaning there would be less to be gained from starting a standalone atomic power business in the UK. RWE has also appointed Goldman Sachs to review its options for Npower, raising the possibility that it could sell off the UK arm altogether for around £5bn.
Telegraph 6th July 2011 more >>
The security of Britains energy supply could be thrown into turmoil after reports that E.ON and RWE npower are to walk away from their commitment to build two new nuclear power plants. A decision by E.ON and RWE to abandon plans build reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey and Oldbury on the River Severn would halt the creation of thousands of jobs and could leave a big hole in British electricity generation by 2020. Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German newspaper, reported that the giant German utilities have all but abandoned their British nuclear joint venture, Horizon. It quoted a manager saying that E.ON and RWE have concluded that the investments, which were understood to tally up at £17 billion, were too expensive. Horizon was already due to have started awarding contracts around Wylfa this year. It had been promising the creation of 800 permanent jobs at each of its new plants and as many as 10,000 construction jobs could have been provided. The joint venture had originally quoted a price of £15 billion to build the plants, which would have been capable of producing 6,000 megawatts more than 10 per cent of British peak electricity demand. The latest estimates for building the plants on sites next to the existing Magnox nuclear stations quote a figure of £17 billion. The first power was due to have been produced in 2020 with finalisation in 2025.
Times 6th July 2011 more >>
RWE npower RWEg.DE Chief Executive Volker Beckers, whose company plans to build six gigawatts of new nuclear capacity in Britain in partnership with German rival E.ON also said two weeks ago that new stations will face a rise in costs due to additional safety measures. German media reports on Tuesday said the German nuclear partnership’s plans are increasingly unlikely to follow through due to spiralling costs. The companies denied this, saying there were no changes in their plans to build new nuclear stations in Britain.
Reuters 5th July 2011 more >>
German utility companies RWE and E.ON have all but abandoned their plans to build two nuclear power plants in Britain, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday, citing company sources. Plans to build new plants were increasingly unlikely to be carried out because investments would be too expensive, the German daily quoted a manager familiar with the project as saying. Asked to comment on the report RWE and E.ON said it was up to the British government. “We are awaiting next steps by the British government. There will be no decisions before that,” an RWE spokesman said.
Reuters 5th July 2011 more >>
Market Watch 5th July 2011 more >>
Sellafield (New Reactors)
NuGen has today announced that it has appointed Arup as its lead planning consultant and GL Hearn as its strategic planning advisors in relation to NuGens plans to build a new nuclear power station in West Cumbria. The appointment follows the completion of a competitive tender process and was announced by Olivier Carret, Chief Operating Director, at the New Nuclear Build Conference in London in front of an audience of around 500 people. Commenting on the appointment Alfio Vidal, Chief Nuclear Director of NuGen said: Both Arup and GL Hearn were selected because of their extensive experience in this area. They will now work closely with NuGen on reviewing the scope of site investigations and ensuring all required consents and licenses are granted in a timely manner. They will also assist with the development of a local engagement plan to ensure the proposed activities on and around the site are communicated appropriately.
NuGeneration 5th July 2011 more >>
Place North West 6th July 2011 more >>
French nuclear flagship Areva is putting a brave face on “Fukushima”. It is positioning itself as a nuclear safety specialist that can help power producers everywhere improve the security of their reactors. It has even announced that it is ready to come to the rescue anywhere in the world when there are problems at nuclear power stations – like a Nuclear Doctor Without Borders. But this opportunistic response to the Fukushima crisis, thought up by CEO Anne Lauvergeon just before she was dismissed from her job by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, cannot hide the considerable long-term challenges the state-controlled French nuclear industry is facing. Arevas stated goal is to sell 45 European Pressurised Reactors by 2020. Before she left, Lauvergeon said that, despite the negative impact of the Fukushima accident, this figure is still realistic, although she did concede that a delay of six to nine months was possible because of various French, European and global safety audits. Oursel has not spoken out on the sales programme yet. At this moment, 4 EPR’s have been sold by Areva, one in France, one to Finland, and two to China.
European Energy Review 4th July 2011 more >>
RWE has been reviewing its strategic options, advised by Goldman Sachs, as it grapples with net debt of 27.5bn (24.7bn). To reduce this burden, Mr Grossmann has pledged asset disposals of up to 8bn a year between 2011 and 2013. Selling Npower, which generates about 9 per cent of the UKs electricity, will go a long way towards hitting this target. People familiar with RWE say Npower may be sold or floated on the stock exchange but no final decision has been taken and RWE could still choose to keep the British business. Analysts point out that Npower has significantly underperformed its counterparts in RWE. Last year, Npowers return on capital employed was 5.3 per cent, making Britain the worst performing geographical area in the RWE group. The British government is about to reform the electricity market but a decision taken in the last Budget has added to Npowers difficulties. The government imposed a floor price on carbon dioxide emissions from 2013, a measure that will increase the cost of operating UK coal-fired power stations. Npower, which generates 40 per cent of its electricity from coal, is particularly exposed. Volker Beckers, Npowers chief executive, says this decision will hasten the closure of coal plants and damage the UKs security of supply.
FT 6th July 2011 more >>
Japan said today it will conduct “stress tests” on all the country’s nuclear plants to ease heightened concerns about disaster preparedness after this year’s tsunami sparked the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. The government already ordered exhaustive safety checks on all the country’s 54 nuclear reactors following the disaster, and it was not immediately clear what additional measures would be added by the stress tests. Officials provided few details. However, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda said the new safety checks will gauge the facilities’ defenses against major calamities like earthquakes.
Independent 6th July 2011 more >>
Japan Today 6th July 2011 more >>
BBC 6th July 2011 more >>
Around 45 percent of children in Fukushima Prefecture checked by the prefectural and central governments in late March experienced thyroid exposure to radiation, although in all cases in trace amounts that didn’t warrant further examination, officials of the Nuclear Safety Commission said Tuesday.
Japan Times 6th July 2011 more >>
The nuclear disaster at Fukushima will add about $ 135 billion to $ 175 billion to Japan’s national debt, due to site operator Tepco being bankrupt already as cost estimates of the disaster, only for the 2011-2021 period, extend to the $135-$175 billion range. Put another way, if Tepco remained solvent and in business, it would need to pay 100 percent of its 2010 total operating profits, of around $ 5 billion, for about 25 years – to cover all estimated economic damage expected from the Fukushima disaster in the next 10 years. Interesting mathematics.
Market Oracle 5th July 2011 more >>
Finnish company Fennovoima has invited Areva and Toshiba to bid for the construction of a new nuclear power plant, which will be built at one of its greenfield sites Pyhäjoki or Simo, in northern Finland.
Nuclear Engineering International 5th July 2011 more >>
Slovakia/ Aarhus Convention
A major battle between Slovakias environmentalists and the government is emerging as Greenpeace charges that the countrys recently completed nuclear power plant at Mochovce in Nitra has in fact violated the publics rights. Greenpeace claimed that signatory countries of the Aarhus Convention have confirmed that Slovakia has violated the rights of the public regarding the dispute surrounding the completion of the Mochovce NPP, Tla?ová agentúra Slovenskej republiky new agency reported. Aarhus Convention member nations met in Kishinev, Moldova to discuss the Greenpeace complaint, which was filed in conjunction with VIA IURIS and other Slovak and Austrian NGOs, alleging that Slovakia’s Nuclear Supervisory Authority refused to allow them to take part in the certification process which approved the completion of the third and fourth reactor complexes at the Mochovce NPP.
Oil Price 6th July 2011 more >>
Mayors for Peace
THE Mayor of Hastings has signed an international pledge to promote peace and get rid of nuclear weapons. Cllr Kim Forward and deputy mayor Cllr Alan Roberts signed the Mayors for Peace agreement at the town hall after the councils cabinet agreed to join the campaign.
Hastings Observer 6th July 2011 more >>
SPIRALLING energy bills have forced about a quarter of households into fuel poverty – including an increasing number of middle-class homes. While the problem has previously affected those on lower incomes and pensioners, as many as 15 per cent of more affluent middle-class families are now also classified as fuel poor – which is defined as spending more than 10 per cent of household income on energy bills. A study by uSwitch.com revealed that 6.3 million households in the UK were now classed as being in fuel poverty – and families with one stay-at-home parent and single, working parents were the worst affected.
Scotsman 6th July 2011 more >>