Further delays at the Daishan EPR project being built in China are hammering another nail in a coffin. The only debate now is whether the coffin will house the Hinkley C project or the whole of EDF. This news coincides with reports that EDF are planning asset sales to fund the Hinkley C project. The Daishan (or Taishan) plant’s construction was begun in 2009 and was supposed to be finished in 2013. Given the calamitous history of EPR constructions 2017 would count as a hopeful rather than likely date for a start-up. Earlie comment about how funding the Hinkley C project would lead to the financial downfall of EDF is now augmented by reports leaked of the sort of assets EDF will have to sell-off in order to fund Hinkley C. It becomes clear that EDF will have to sell-off profitable assets to fund Hinkley C, something that is almost universally regarded as at least a rather large gamble or, increasingly, a probable disaster that will sink EDF. Given that the EPR is proving to be such a turkey in three multibillion projects (Olikuoto, Flamanville and now Daishan) what sort of business decision can it be to fund a fourth project that could break the company? Only a state owned company that controls the (French) state could possibly do such a thing!
Dave Toke’s Blog 6th Jan 2016 read more »
EDF plans to sell more than 6 billion euros of assets in 2016 (to finance Hinkley Point). Sales could include US & UK generation assets and French grid. EDF’s philosophy is to finance new projects by selling existing assets, by reallocating capital so as not to increase the debt (37.5 billion euros in mid-2015) and meeting the commitment to bring more money into the group. But two important projects are on the table in 2016: a final investment decision for the construction project of two EPR at Hinkley Point in Britain (21.7 billion euros). And the takeover of Areva NP (51% to 2.7 billion euros, according to the latest estimate). “It is clear that if EDF decides to go ahead with Hinkley Point C, a substantial divestiture program will be needed. If the decision on Hinkley Point C preceded the development of a plan to streamline the portfolio, the action could react badly, “warned last month, a note from RBC Capital Markets.
Les Echos 6th Jan 2016 read more »
French utility EDF is considering selling assets worth over 6 billion euros ($6.45 billion) this year, French daily Les Echos reported on Wednesday.EDF is notably considering selling stakes in its eight British nuclear plants to fund plans to build two European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) in Hinkley Point, Britain, Les Echos said, without citing its sources.”The company has written over 6 billion euros of divestitures in its 2016 budget,” Les Echos said.EDF declined to comment. The company needs 55 billion euros to upgrade its ageing nuclear plants, plans to invest 18 billion pounds ($26.37 billion) in Hinkley Point and spend several billion euros to buy Areva’s reactor unit.Les Echos said EDF could sell a stake of up to 29 percent in EDF Energy, whose nuclear assets have a book value of nearly 9 billion euros. This would leave EDF with a 51 percent stake, as British utility Centrica owns 20 percent. The paper said a sale had been studied but the process had not been launched.
Reuters 6th Jan 2016 read more »
French electricity giant EDF is considering a partial sale of its eight UK nuclear reactors in order to help fund its £18 billion investment in the Hinkley Point C new nuclear project, according to reports in the French media.
Utility Week 7th Jan 2016 read more »
As the National Audit Office calls Hinkley Point C an ‘unrealistic’, ‘over-optimistic and potentially ‘undeliverable’project, NFLA urges Government to rethink its energy ‘reset’ policy. The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is not surprised to hear the National Audit Office’s (NAO) assessment of the proposed new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point as potentially‘undeliverable’. NFLA calls for an urgent reassessment by the UK Government of energy policy to take into account these findings. The NAO report considered 106 major infrastructure projects around the UK, and found that 37 of those due to be completed within the next five years have been branded “unachievable” or “in-doubt”. One of these is the Hinkley Point project. It is not known from the report whether the Hinkley Point project has been given a ‘red’ or an ‘amber red’ warning by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), which assesses whether EDF, who plan to build the reactors, have the ability to meet cost and timetable targets for the project. NFLA plans to write to the IPA to clarify this matter.
NFLA 6th Jan 2015 read more »
The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has unveiled its draft Strategy and Business Plan for 2016-2019 for formal consultation. The documents, published yesterday, reflect the NDA’s five-year budget as determined through the government’s Spending Review set out by Chancellor George Osborne in November. The Strategy, published every five years, looks at the NDA’s long-term mission through a number of themes while the Business Plan, which is published annually, takes a more focused look at the next three years of activity across its estate, together with the associated funding. The consultation period for both documents will end on 15 February.
World Nuclear News 6th Jan 2016 read more »
Radioactive contamination from a St. Louis-area landfill containing nuclear-weapons-related waste likely has migrated off-site, according to a study published this week in a scientific journal. One of the authors of the private, peer-reviewed study, which appeared Tuesday in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, said he doesn’t see any immediate health risks posed by the contamination that appears to be seeping from the West Lake landfill in Bridgeton, Mo. Still, the findings are likely to intensify debate about how much of a threat the buried waste at the landfill poses to people in the area. The NDA’s draft Business Plan for the next three years contains total planned expenditure for 2016/2017 of GBP3.2 billion, of which GBP2.3 billion will be funded by UK government and GBP900 million by income from commercial operations. Planned expenditure on site program will be GBP3 billion, while non-site expenditure is expected to be GBP200 million.
Cumbria Trust 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Generic Design Assessment Quarterly Report July to October 2015. This report provides information on the work that we have been carrying out on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the closure phase of the GDA project for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design, during the period July to October 2015. We extended the period of this report to include the end of ONR’s Step 3 for the UK ABWR project.
ONR 6th Jan 2016 read more »
David Cameron wants to spend £31 billion on a new fleet of submarines kitted out with the latest nuclear missiles. But could these deadly weapons and the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers be rendered impotent by cyber warfare? Former defence secretary Lord Browne said recently there could be no guarantee of a reliable nuclear deterrent without an “end-to-end” assessment of the cyber-threat to the system.
Daily Star 6th Jan2016 read more »
The popular idea that wildlife is returning to/thriving/proliferating in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is very effective at switching off the perceived need for discussion about the environmental and health affects of Nuclear power. My film following my journeys to Chernobyl in search of rare Przewalski Horses critiques and questions this popular idea. I am crowdfunding for this film. It’s a strong project and If I were supporting rather than questioning the idea that wildlife is thriving in the CEZ I think I would not need to be crowdfunding! Please check out the crowdfund and help by sharing/tweeting/liking? Very many thanks!! Sally
IGG January 2016 read more »
The overnight news that North Korea has successfully tested its first hydrogen (H-) nuclear warhead ( an assertion which has been seriously questioned by US nuclear weapons experts) has set the media and politicians running pronouncing concerns over the impact on global security. What hasn’t n been discussed is how British nuclear designs have been purloined by the North Koreans to build production plants for their nuclear explosives. There is significant evidence that the British Magnox nuclear plant design – which was primarily built as a military plutonium production factory – provided the blueprint for the North Korean military plutonium programme based in Yongbyon. Here is what Douglas (now Lord) Hogg, then a Conservative minister, admitted in a written parliamentary reply in 1994: “We do not know whether North Korea has drawn on plans of British reactors in the production of its own reactors. North Korea possesses a graphite moderated reactor which, while much smaller, has generic similarities to the reactors operated by British Nuclear Fuels plc. However, design information of these British reactors is not classified and has appeared in technical journals.”
David Lowry’s Blog 6th Jan 2016 read more »
NORTH Korea’s tubby tyrant leader Kim Jong-un could press the atomic button according to a former British ambassador to the rogue nation.
Daily Star 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Express 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Nuclear test wasn’t a hydrogen bomb South Korea says.
Mirror 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Seoul and Washington are discussing the deployment of US strategic military assets to the Korean peninsula, according to a South Korean military official, one day after North Korea detonated what it claims was a hydrogen bomb.
Telegraph 7th Jan 2016 read more »
The US, Japan and South Korea will work to further isolate North Korea after it claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday – a move Tokyo condemned as a “serious threat” to its national security.
Guardian 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Beijing should show “no tolerance and compromise” towards Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons programme, China’s international mouthpiece said on Thursday following Kim Jong-un’s unexpected nuclear test.
Guardian 7th Jan 2016 read more »
A fire broke out at Chubu Electric Power Co’s (9502.T) Hamaoka nuclear power plant in central Japan on Thursday, but was quickly put out and there had been no danger to the public, the company said.
Reuters 7th Jan 2016 read more »
On 6 August 1945, a nuclear bomb destroyed Hiroshima. Today nuclear warfare remains a threat to global security. On 6 January 2016, North Korea claimed to have successfully carried out an underground hydrogen bomb test. While the international community has been sceptical towards the North Korean claims, a trawl through the archives shows just how contentious an issue nuclear arms has been for over 70 years.
BBC 6th Jan 2016 read more »
Countries with the biggest nuclear arsenal.
Independent 6th Jan 2016 read more »
Letter European Environment Bureau: By burning wood pellets instead of coal Drax power station has turned green, according to your report “Green energy: How one power plant chips away at the UK’s carbon footprint”. We would strongly disagree. The pellets for Drax are coming from the forests of south-east America where pellet exports have dramatically increased in recent years. The European Commission has this week opened an investigation to assess whether UK government plans to support the conversion of part of the Drax plant to operate on biomass are in line with EU state aid rules. Wood pellets from the US are not made of only low-grade waste wood or residues that serve no other use. A majority of the pellets are made of whole, hardwood trees, harvested by vast clear cuts. A study by the American Forest & Paper Association confirmed that 76 per cent of the feedstocks used to produce pellets is pulpw ood that could also be used for paper, packaging or wood panels.
Independent 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Britain generated more electricity from sunshine than from rain for the first time last year. Solar farms contributed 7.1 terawatt hours (TWh) of electrical energy, pipping the 6.84 TWh produced by hydro-electric stations, according to an annual study of electricity generation. Wind, however, beat both sun and hydro combined, generating 32.4 TWh – or 10 per cent of the nation’s entire electricity needs. Total generation by all forms of renewable energy including biomass came close to the levels of nuclear generation, while coal-fired power stations’ contribution hit a 64-year low. While wind farms were by far the biggest renewable energy provider, solar produced the biggest increase in production, more than doubling from 3.4 TWh in 2014. Developers rushed to get solar farms built to beat the deadline after which subsidies were slashed. Total consumption dropped 9 per cent over the past five years to 310.6 TWh because of energy efficiency measures and the closure of large industrial users. While only a modest contributor of the nation’s energy, hydro – the first British renewable – was responsible for 1.5 per cent of total generation as long ago as 1972.
Times 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Official data from National Grid shows that generation from renewable energy in the UK has continued to grow and could overtake levels of nuclear generation in 2016. While electricity generation from conventional and nuclear power plants still dominate in the UK, the growth in wind energy and solar power helped the renewables sector to reach a generation share of 21 per cent in 2015. With coal-fired and nuclear generation set to fall, generation from renewables will surpass that from the nuclear sector this year, says EnAppSys, which compiles the data. Wind farms provided the largest volume of renewable generation with 32 TWh, up 15 per cent from 2014, and set new weekly and monthly and quarterly records.
Modern Power Systems 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
Construction has begun on Scotland’s largest solar farm – which will have 55,000 solar panels. 70 acres of land at Carse of Gowrie on the Errol estate, east of Perth, will be devoted to housing the solar panels. The 14MW scheme is expected to be operational by March, and will generate electricity all year round. Bristol-based firm Elgin Energy has designed the site. It is being built by Canadian Solar which will initially operate the facility. Canadian Solar will cover the site with enough panels to power more than 3,500 homes, via the National Grid. Errol Estate was one of the first locations in Scotland to be identified as a potential solar farm site.
BBC 6th Jan 2016 read more »
Scottish Energy News 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Despite the dark clouds still covering much of Scotland, the search is on for new locations where the power of the sun’s rays can best be harnessed to produce electricity. Although solar energy was one of the smaller contributors to the renewable energy sector which generated 49.7 per cent of Scotland’s electricity in 2014 (the latest figures available), it is expected to grow significantly. Construction has now begun on Scotland’s largest solar farm on 70 acres of the Errol Estate in the Carse of Gowrie on the River’s Tay’s flood plain between Perth and Dundee. The 14MW scheme is anticipated to be operational by March and will ultimately provide power for more than 3,500 homes.
Herald 6th Jan 2016 read more »
Scotland’s solar capacity has risen by over a quarter in the last year, an increase of almost 9,000 per cent since 2010, reveal new figures from Ofgem. The statistics, published by WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association Scotland (STA Scotland), show that over 40,000 homes and 850 businesses have solar systems fitted, with overall capacity reaching 179MW, a rise of 28 per cent, while capacity on homes now stands at 159MW. The 2015 figures are in stark contrast to the 2MW of solar capacity Scotland had in 2010, while WWF Scotland and the STA Scotland have called on the Scottish Government to do all it can to help encourage the recent solar surge in the country, stating that the installations can aid annual CO2 emissions reductions.
EnergyZine 5th Jan 2016 read more »
H&V News 5th Jan 2016 read more »
Baroness Featherstone, a former Liberal Democrat coalition minister, has tabled a “regret motion” calling for the cuts to the “feed-in tariff” subsidies to be rescinded. If the motion wins the support of Labour and significant numbers of cross-benchers, it could see the government defeated in the Lords. The prime minister’s ruling party has a majority in the House of Commons, where the Lib Dems were reduced to a pitiful rump of eight MPs in May’s general election. Yet the Tories are outnumbered in the upper chamber, with 251 Tory peers to 213 Labour and 111 Lib Dem – out of 822 Lords and Baronesses.
FT 6th Jan 2016 read more »
Renewables – Anaerobic Digestion
The government has been urged to revisit proposals to ban sending food waste to landfill, after it emerged the parliamentary estate already ensures much of its food waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to produce green gas and fertiliser. A parliamentary question last month from Labour’s Melanie Onn to the Liberal Democrat’s Tom Brake who represents the cross-party House of Commons Commission, revealed catering food waste produced on the parliamentary estate is processed into biogas. The news was welcomed by the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), but the group also argued ministers should now take steps to ensure more institutions follow parliament’s lead and ensure food waste is not sent to landfill. The previous government rejected proposals for a ban on food waste to landfill and while some councils offer food waste collection services many still send waste food to landfill where it leads to greenhouse gas emissions.
Business Green 6th Jan 2016 read more »
The Paris agreement explicitly recognizes the role of cities in helping parties to the agreement—that is, nation-states—implement their commitments. I see three areas where cities are going to play a role. First they will take actions that will count towards each country’s nationally determined commitments, which are the promises they’ve made to cut carbon. Most countries, including Canada, have not yet figured out how to factor in municipal actions into their national targets. But they have every incentive to begin working with cities and provinces to do so, since cities are the level where much of the heavy lifting will happen, especially when it comes to reducing energy demand. Second, some cities will continue to do what Vancouver and its peers have done—which is to act as international trend-setters for climate action, especially those cities which set targets for making the transition away from fossil fuels and toward 100% percent renewable energy. Third, I would expect cities, both in the developed and developing world will be the principal beneficiaries of the new pools of private capital now being set up by major banks and private firms to bank-roll long term energy savings measures and shifts towards renewables. Cities that find a way to deal effectively and directly with these leaders in the financial markets will be among the first movers in the new climate economy. The goal of Renewable Cities is to triple, across five years, the number of cities that have 100 percent renewable energy targets. We’re doing this via two strategies. First, we’re active contributors to the Global 100%RE campaign coordinated by the World Future Council. We heard a lot in Paris about this concept of going big with 100 percent renewables—especially at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies. So we work through, and with, that campaign, and in the coming year we’ll contribute to it with measurements and metrics. And second, because we’re a program of Simon Fraser University’s Center for Dialogue, we’re very focused on convening diverse international players around the table for rich policy conversations. It’s a challenging approach, but we think it’s the best way to go.
Globe 2016 6th Jan 2016 read more »
The UK building industry has launched a new research project that aims maximise building performance in terms of energy efficiency and overall environmental impact. Led by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the project will examine the way the industry designs, constructs and operates non-domestic buildings. The research will encourage UKGBC members to explore what companies are already doing to address the issue of building performance, seek out best practice, and identify gaps and barriers that need to be overcome across the whole industry. A key area of focus will be reducing the gap that exists between a buildings expected performance and its actual performance.
Edie 6th Jan 2016 read more »
Letter Amber Rudd: The Competition and Markets Authority has identified that smart meters will help consumers, including those on pre-payment meters, to be more energy efficient and give them accurate bills. The benefits of this infrastructure project don’t stop at consumers. Smart meters form part of our digital future, will underpin the smart grid and provide energy networks with crucial data to help them become more efficient. Smart meters are a key investment, helping us to move to a infrastructure fit for the 21st century. Your readers should also be reassured that we will continue to work with members of the energy industry to make sure the programme of installation will be both affordable and effective.
Times 7th Jan 2016 read more »