Governments have a well-deserved reputation as abysmal dealmakers. Yet the UK’s sale of its 36 per cent stake in British Energy as part of the takeover by EDF of France now looks quite a coup. The price, valuing British Energy at £12.5bn, was agreed in July, when estimates of the company’s worth ranged a lot higher than they would now. The economics of new nuclear reactors, built to last for six decades, are not affected by what happens to oil over the space of six months. But for British Energy’s ageing fleet, most of which is due to go out of service over the next decade, expectations about the oil price are quite important. Oil touched a peak of $147 per barrel in July, boosting the price of gas, which is one of nuclear power’s principal competitors as a source of electricity. As of Monday, when the deal was finalised, a barrel of oil would have cost you only about $50.
FT 7th Jan 2009 more >>
French generator EdF today completed its £12.5bn purchase of British Energy, paving the way for a fleet of new nuclear power stations.
New Civil Engineer 6th Jan 2009 more >>
Business Green 6th Jan 2009 more >>
Nuclear power station operators unlawfully allowed radioactive waste to seep from a decontamination unit for 14 years, Chelmsford Crown Court has heard. Waste leaked into the ground from a sump at Bradwell power station in Essex between 1990 and 2004, the Environment Agency claimed. Magnox Electric Ltd, which had operated the station, denies 11 breaches of legislation governing the disposal of radioactive waste. Mark Harris, on behalf of the Environment Agency, told the jury that leaks were caused by a combination of poor design and a lack of checks and maintenance. He said the power station was no longer running.
Independent 7th Jan 2009 more >>
BBC 6th Jan 2009 more >>
A DECISION to turn down a lucrative invitation to store nuclear waste in Cornwall has been questioned by county councillors. The county would receive billions of pounds from the Government for infrastructure and services if it hosted the facility. But last month Cornwall County Council’s executive voted narrowly in support of a recommendation that no expression of interest should be submitted for the geological disposal facility for nuclear waste.
West Briton 6th Jan 2009 more >>
Britain’s 610-megawatt Hinkley Point B7 nuclear power reactor was restarted on Tuesday morning after shutting down unexpectedly on Friday afternoon, a spokeswoman for operator British Energy said.
Reuters 6th Jan 2009 more >>
PREVENTING a nuclear threat to the UK and other countries was the subject of the work which has gained a Hildenborough man an OBE this year. Dr Heyes’ work involved activities such as dismantling nuclear submarines, his programme also included promoting the adoption of internationally-recognised nuclear safety and regulatory standards in various countries to minimise the risk of another Chernobyl-type accident.
This is Kent 6th Jan 2009 more >>
One of the world’s leading providers of corporate services, ONET Group, has acquired Gravatom, the British-based nuclear engineering company with manufacturing sites in Hampshire and West Cumbria, for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the deal, Gravatom will become part of ONET Technologies, the specialist nuclear and engineering division of ONET Group. The division is the leader in France in the decommissioning market and number two after AREVA in reactor maintenance. It has a 167m turnover and employs 2,000 staff across Europe.
Response Resource 6th Jan 2009 more >>
Russia, France and other countries are rushing to capitalize on India’s nuclear-power programme, four months after the United States pressured the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group to end India’s nuclear isolation. Arms-control experts strongly criticize the Indo-US nuclear deal that set off the rush, saying it undermines the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India, a nuclear-armed state, has not signed the treaty; those seeking to sell to it have.
Nature News 6th Jan 2009 more >>
Bulgaria’s President Georgi Purvanov has suggested that a nuclear reactor deemed unsafe by the EU could be restarted to help cover gas shortages. Bulgaria is one of several countries to have reported falling gas supplies after Russia reduced its exports amid a contractual row with Ukraine.
BBC 6th Jan 2009 more >>
The Westinghouse Electric Company and The Shaw Group’s power business group have signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy, to provide two Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power units at its Levy County, Florida site.
Energy Business Review 6th Jan 2009 more >>
Over 1,000 people die in the UK each year from lung cancer caused by the radioactive gas radon in their homes, a study claimed, which found the deaths could be cut by simple methods costing just £100.
Telegraph 7th Jan 2009 more >>