The total lifetime cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could be as high as £37bn, according to an assessment published by the UK government. The figure was described as shocking by critics of the scheme, who said it showed just how volatile and uncertain the project had become, given that the same energy department’s estimate 12 months earlier had been £14bn. EDF said the £37bn figure should be disregarded. “Hinkley Point C will generate reliable low-carbon electricity in the future, so a cost estimate based on last year’s depressed wholesale price is not relevant. HPC’s electricity will be competitive with other low-carbon energy options and consumers won’t pay a penny until the plant begins operating.” But experts said the extra money, if the cost did remain at £37bn, would have to come from somewhere – probably the taxpayer – or be shaved off other DECC budgets available for different energy projects, such as windfarms and solar arrays. “This whole-life cost of £37bn is a truly shocking figure. It is an extraordinary ramp-up from last year’s figure, and just underlines how hard it is to get a real handle on the long-term cost of Hinkley,” said Paul Dorfman, senior research fellow at the Energy Institute, University College London. Critics of the scheme have claimed that the fall in the value of the pound since the referendum vote will increase the costs of the scheme to EDF’s French contractors, who work in euros. But the management of the company said this week that the British referendum vote would not affect the project; it had completed its promise to consult further with the unions and was free to take a final investment decision.
Guardian 7th July 2016 read more »
Burnham-on-sea.com 8th July 2016 read more »
Bloomberg 7th July 2016 read more »
Support payments for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in Somerset may increase significantly if wholesale prices remain low, according to new government data published today. The data does not look at the actual cost of building Hinkley – which is unchanged – or the amount consumers will ultimately pay but instead calculates the difference between the cost of power from the new plant and the projected wholesale cost of electricity at the time. The data suggests the total budgeted “whole life cost” of the UK’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation is now £37bn – rather than the £14.4bn the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate change estimated just one year ago. The change comes because the department has dramatically revised down its estimates for the wholesale cost of electricity – meaning the UK bill-payer is, in practice, paying a larger subsidy for the project.
Energydesk 7th July 2016 read more »
State-controlled French utility EDF says it is ready to take a final investment decision on building two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in southern England, saying Britain’s referendum vote to quit the European Union was no barrier to the plan and that consultations with unions has ended. The company made the statement at the end of a non-binding process of consultation with its works council of employee representatives, a process required under French law before a company can undertake a major project. It said the board could now move on to a final investment decision which, if positive, could set the project to build two EPR units in motion. EDF declared the works council scrutiny at an end because the period set aside for it had expired. However, several of the trade unions represented on the council said as they were unable to give a view on the HInkley Point C project one way or the other. The works council last month began legal action to try to force EDF to release documents relating the project, including all the contracts it has signed with the British government and its co-investor, Chinese utility CGN. The case will he heard by a Paris court on 22 September.
NucNet 5th July 2016 read more »
Britain’s ambition to build small modular nuclear plants took a step forward as the nation’s last independent steelmaker said it will work with Fluor Corp.’s NuScale Power to make components. Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd. will forge a large civil nuclear reactor vessel head by the end of 2017. It’s part of a 4 million-pound ($5.17 million) program funded by the government-backed Innovate U.K. agency, according to a statement. NuScale, majority owned by Fluor, is providing an undisclosed sum of additional funding for the program, a spokesman for the company said by e-mail. Britain is trying to secure new baseload power as it closes all of its coal-fired plants by 2025. Conventional nuclear power is proving expensive and time consuming, while most companies don’t think it’s profitable to build new natural gas-fired stations.
Bloomberg 7th July 2016 read more »
SHEFFIELD Forgemasters has signed a deal which could lead to it playing a major role in plans to develop small scale nuclear power stations across the UK. Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) and NuScale Power are working together to develop manufacturing techniques for the deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in the UK. NuScale Power, based in Portland, Oregon, describes itself as developing a new kind of nuclear plant; using a safer, smaller, scalable version of pressurised water reactor technology.
Yorkshire Post 8th July 2016 read more »
Sheffield Star 8th July 2016 read more »
Scotland needs a cohesive energy policy, writes Prof Tony Trewavas: In 2007, Alex Salmond rejected any new nuclear Scottish power stations. Policies based on fear, rather than facts, may feel good, but they increase the overall risk by not educating the public. Successful democracy requires people understand the decisions they make; otherwise it becomes a loose cannon, with decisions based on slogans. Accidents, when amplified by the media, induce fear far beyond realistic risk. At Fukushima none died from radiation exposure. At Chernobyl only 46 died as a result of radiation damage, an accident caused by faulty safety design and irresponsible neglect of safety procedures. Neither are applicable to western nuclear power where safety is paramount. Local wildlife at Chernobyl has actually burgeoned. In Hamburg in 2011, 54 died from eating organic beansprouts and 3,500 experienced kidney damage. This supposedly safe produce was contaminated with E.coli from clearly untreated manure; but which then is safer? Nuclear power is a green environmental solution. It generates no CO2 during electricity generation and very little during fuel processing and waste disposal.
Scotsman 8th July 2016 read more »
Despite a record-breaking year of global nuclear construction in 2015, a report by the industry recognises that it still faces unresolved problems and uncertainties. The nuclear industry is celebrating breaking records that have stood for a quarter of a century − but a new update on its successes still fails to disperse the clouds over its future.
Climate Home 7th July 2016 read more »
Some of the pylons for Anglesey’s planned Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station will follow a route close to existing power lines. National Grid has consulted on routes for the cables to run between the station and to the east of Llangefni. It said its chosen route would “keep the effects of the new connection” as low as it could. Plans to connect Wylfa Newydd at Cemaes Bay to a substation at Pentir, Gwynedd, have proved controversial. Campaigners have been concerned about the impact of pylons on the countryside.
BBC 7th July 2016 read more »
Horizon Nuclear Power, the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) and Hitachi have signed a technical services contract for the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant in North Wales. JAPC is to support Horizon in areas including construction costing, licensing, and planning for commissioning.
World Nuclear News 7th July 2016 read more »
Only 3 days left for this Stop Moorside crowdfunding. Donations small, medium or large are welcomed and can be anonymous.
Mining Awareness 7th July 2016 read more »
The company responsible for a nuclear weapons factory in Berkshire has made improvements following safety concerns, the nuclear watchdog has found. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston would nevertheless remain under an “enhanced” level of regulation for a fourth year running. Its annual report said safety improvements were “well advanced”. Anti-nuclear groups said AWE was “not up to the job” of meeting standards.
BBC 8th July 2016 read more »
Levy Control Framework
Calls for a reform of the government’s Levy Control Framework (LCF) are growing as the energy industry looks for clarity on the policy beyond 2020. Speakers at the Utility Week Energy Summit raised concerns about a lack of information from government on what will happen to the levy after 2020 after which there is currently no budget set. Earlier this year Energy UK demanded an urgent review of the framework in order to continue attracting investment. Panel member at the event this week, Renewable Energy Association chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “Now we are starting to wonder what is going to happen beyond 2020? I’ve not heard anything new in the last year of what that energy policy is around the levy control framework.
Utility Week 7th July 2016 read more »
The UN’s new environment chief has called for a post-Brexit Britain to link up with the EU on environment policy, adopting key bloc climate laws and maintaining its nature directives. He said: “The UK can relate to the EU’s climate decisions and be covered by them, just as Norway and Switzerland are. Norway brought its emissions into the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and adopted nearly all of the EU’s environmental law. You can coordinate closely with the EU even if you’re outside it.” Pledges made by pro-Brexit ministers to scrap the birds and habitats directive “in the heat of the campaign” should not set the tenor of post-Brexit environmental policy, he said.
Edie 7th July 2016 read more »
UK energy prices climbed to near nine-month highs in the aftermath of the EU referendum as the market began to anticipate winter blackouts. The UK’s gas and power markets have been rocked in recent months by heavy infrastructure maintenance, unplanned shutdowns and political turmoil, leading to the most volatile quarter of trading in the last two years and a stark break from the market’s steady decline since 2013. Market experts at ICIS said the price of gas climbed 29pc over the second quarter while wholesale electricity prices rose 25pc. The energy market’s second-quarter rally received a further boost from the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the analysts added.
Telegraph 8th July 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
The draft Scottish renewables energy strategy – drawn up from expert contributions to Scotland’s Renewable Future forum – has been accepted by the Scottish Government. The first Scotland’s Renewable Future forum was held last month at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation and featured a full spectrum of prominent industry leaders who presented a range of positive contributions on both policy and technology to lay out a new route map to Scotland’s renewables future.
Scottish Energy News 8th July 2016 read more »
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has published its annual judgement on the regulatory attention applied to nuclear licensed sites. The regulator judges that nuclear dutyholders have achieved high standards of safety and security, and continue to protect the workforce and the public from harm. This judgement is made as part of the Chief Nuclear Inspector’s annual statement, published within ONR’s Annual Report and Accounts which has been presented to Parliament today. The statement provides an overview of ONR’s regulatory activity, performance against its priorities and judgement on the regulatory attention necessary for each licensed site, dependent on the level of hazard and risk posed by the facility.
ONR 7th July 2016 read more »
German utility RWE sees no hope for a power prices recovery in the European electricity market where its generation unit posted a 20-percent year-on-year decline in first-quarter operating profit.”There is no reason for an improvement (of power prices),” the chief executive of RWE Power, Matthias Hartung, said on release of the figures on Thursday. “Efficiency improvements and cost cuts remain top of the agenda.”The RWE generation unit earned 354 million euros ($392.30 million) after 441 million in the same 2015 period, prompting its management to decide on pushing ahead with cost savings and job reductions, he said.
Reuters 7th July 2016 read more »
Redundant North Sea oil workers have been encouraged to seek employment in building new nuclear power stations in England. A new website will direct offshore workers to jobs in large-scale energy and infrastructure projects such as nuclear new-builds, renewable energy projects and oil platform decommissioning.
STV 7th Juy 2016 read more »
The MOD has today announced where the intermediate level radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines will be stored prior to disposal. From five shortlisted sites, and following a thorough public consultation process, Capenhurst Nuclear Services in Capenhurst in Cheshire has been selected as the MOD’s recommendation, with AWE Aldermaston in Berkshire chosen as a fall back. Like all the sites shortlisted, operators Capenhurst Nuclear Services, already manage radioactive materials, and was found to meet the Submarine Dismantling Project’s (SDP) requirements best, including offering value for money. The site at Capenhurst will be responsible for storing the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs), classified as Intermediate Level radioactive Waste (ILW) from decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines. Reactor Pressure Vessels are thick steel containers that held nuclear fuel when the reactors operated. The site will store these on an interim basis until permanent disposal in a UK Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), led by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, some time after 2040.
MoD 7th July 2016 read more »
Germany – radwaste
Germany will begin searching next year for a site for its nuclear waste storage facility, but it may take more than 100 years to get a secure facility up and running, to bury all of the country’s growing pile of nuclear waste. After two years of research, a parliamentary commission put together to propose a solution for the problem of radioactive storage following the country’s decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, said Tuesday the time frame is still considered “ambitious.” “The German Bundestag is due, according to current estimates, to start searching for an optimal secure place in 2017,” the nearly 700-page report stated. “Decades will pass before the waste can be buried and possibly more than a century before this process ends.”
Kallanish Energy 8th July 2016 read more »
France has given a fresh techno-commercial proposal for building six atomic reactors in Jaitapur even as it again raised concerns over India’s civil liability law and sought “same level of protection” which are available for companies at the international level. An Electricite de France (EDF) team, comprising senior officials, is currently holding talks with the Ministry of External Affairs and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) on setting up of these plants.
Economic Times 7th July 2016 read more »
Bulgaria has signed a 72 million euro ($80 million) deal with a consortium to build a radioactive waste depot for its Kozloduy nuclear plant that should become operational in 2021, the energy ministry said on Thursday. The Balkan country has signed a contract with German Nukem Technologies, controlled by Russia’s state nuclear company Atomstroyexport, and four Bulgarian companies for the first phase of the facility that will help with the decommissioning of four Soviet-era nuclear reactors at Kozloduy.
Reuters 7th July 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
A pioneering renewable energy deal to share transmission access to the Grid in Caithness has been agreed between tidal power giant Atlantis Resources and a four-turbine ‘minnow’ local wind farm. Lochend Wind Energy, which is developing a wind farm close to MeyGen’s onshore site in Caithness, has signed an agreement to deliver electricity to the grid whenever the MeyGen tidal project – a wholly-owned Atlantis subsidiary – is not making full use of export capacity.
Scottish Energy News 7th July 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 7th July 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The Dutch Government has awarded a contract to build two 350 MW Borssele offshore windfarms for 87 euros per MWh (£74 per MWh), some 25 per cent cheaper than the current value of the contract for Hinkley C. The contract has been awarded to DONG, in which the Danish Government has a majority share. This price for Borssele 1 and Borssele 2 includes transmission costs but, unlike the case of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station, the price does not include any offer of loan guarantees from the Government. Hinkley C is routinely reported as being paid £92.50 for a 35 year contract, but this is in 2012 prices. The current (2016) price is £100 per MWh, which puts it as being a lot more expensive than the Borssele offshore wind project. Offshore wind prices have been tumbling in the past couple of years compared to earlier contracts awarded in the UK. Last year Vatenfall won a contract with the Danish Government to build the 400 MW Horns Rev plant at 103 euros per MWh (£88 per MWh) although this figure does not include transmission connection costs.
Dave Toke’s Blog 7th July 2016 read more »
Nearly a third more of biogas energy is being produced in the UK compared to a year ago, according to new figures from industry trade body ADBA. The AD Market Report, published at UK AD and Biogas 2016, shows that the UK now has 617MW of biogas capacity. This amount is enough to power 800,000 homes. However, although more biogas energy is being produced growth in the industry has slowed. Also it will slow even more over the next four years due to government policy decision and investment uncertainty. Recent government decisions have led to a reduction in the anaereobic digestion (AD) energy generation capacity that ABDA expects to be installed by winter 2018 by 250MW (megawatts).
Utility Week 7th July 2016 read more »
There is no ‘silver bullet’ to de-carbonising the domestic heating industry, according to experts at an Edinburgh-based consultancy. Analysts at Delta-ee examined the implications of the Nearly-Zero Energy Building (NZEB) regulations on the European heating industry. The report finds that there is no silver bullet to decarbonising heat: in the long term it requires a mix of biofuels, energy efficiency and electrification (assuming of course the electricity is generated renewably). Buildings account for around 40% of total final energy consumption and improving their energy efficiency is essential in meeting EU carbon reduction targets.
Scottish Energy News 8th July 2016 read more »
We have done it! We have defied the odds to build Plymouth’s largest solar array, generating enough clean energy to meet the annual needs of 1000 homes and long-term funds for local economic development, fuel poverty and climate change projects. Now we are offering you the opportunity to help us raise £1,230,000 by buying community shares. A short-term construction loan allowed us to build the array in advance of the looming cuts to subsidies and our 16,000 solar panels started generating electricity on 23 March 2016. Now we need to replace that short-term loan with a combination of community shares and a long-term loan with Plymouth City Council.
Plymouth Energy Community (accessed) 7th July 2016 read more »
Our vision is not only to generate renewable energy right here in London but to ensure that this new form of energy production is owned and governed by the people who use it. Invest in SELCE’s second solar share offer. South East London Community Energy launched its second community share offer on 1st July 2016. Although there has been a lot of media coverage about the reduction in subsidies for solar energy, the changes will not affect our second project. This is because SELCE was able to ‘pre-register’ the solar installations (more details can be found in our share offer prospectus).
South East London Community Energy (accessed) 7th July 2016 read more »
Co-own turbines in Wales & Scotland, & use the energy yourself at home. Get interest at 4.5-6.5% & support small farms & rural communities. Community energy has really taken off in the UK over the last few years, giving people the opportunity to directly own green energy generation and bypass the big energy companies, while supporting local communities. The Small Wind Co-op is a new co-operative set up by the team at Sharenergy – one of the UK’s foremost community energy organisations with over 30 successful projects under our belts, from Somerset to Shetland. We’re building on that success, offering you the chance to co-own 3 wind turbines as part of a democratic, ethical organisation. You get a decent return on your investment (from 4.5% to 6.5%) and even the chance to use the electricity we generate in your own home.
Small Wind Co-op (accessed) 7th July 2016 read more »
Onshore oil and gas extraction, including fracking, is not compatible with the UK’s climate targets unless it can meet tough standards on emissions, according to the government’s independent advisors on climate change. An eagerly anticipated and much delayed report from the Committee on Climate Change – dated March 2016, but only published today – weighs up the pros and cons of developing a significant fracking industry in the UK.
Carbon Brief 7th July 2016 read more »
Shale gas development is inconsistent with UK carbon budgets unless three conditions are met, according to long-awaited advice to government.
Drill or Drop 7th July 2016 read more »
Wide scale shale gas extraction cannot be compatible with UK carbon budgets unless strict conditions are met to address methane leaks, gas consumption, and emissions offsetting, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has concluded. But in its long-awaited fracking report presented before Parliament this morning, the CCC also warned it is currently “not possible to know” how difficult it will be to meet these conditions as development of the UK’s shale gas industry is still at such an early stage.
Business Green 7th July 2016 read more »
Guardian 7th July 2016 read more »
Telegraph 7th July 2016 read more »
In 2015 Medact concluded that the risks and threats associated with SGP outweighed its potential benefits, and recommended that it should not be encouraged in the UK. Since publishing that report, Medact has continued to monitor the scientific literature and policy debates concerning SGP. In addition, staff at Medact have been participating in an academic exercise aimed at publishing a systematic review of the scientific research on the health effects of SGP in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
Medact (accessed) 7th July 2016 read more »