Comment

5 January 2017

Nuclear companies struggle with finances but solar is fast becoming the cheapest form of power everywhere

The three companies seeking to build new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Moorside, Wylfa and Oldbury are under growing financial pressure, raising doubts about whether the UK’s nuclear renaissance will ever get off the starting blocks.

The French nuclear regulator – ASN – has been investigating a growing nuclear scandal in France involving steel components made at Areva’s Le Creusot factory which have been found to contain excessive carbon levels which could make them vulnerable to cracking. There is also …

read more »

16 September 2016

Don’t Buy Nuclear Waste

Now that Theresa May has (to steal some of the best sound-bites from the last few days) decided (1) to build a better yesterday with a safari park of white elephants – it’s time to shift the discussion from the huge cost of Hinkley Point C and the security implications of allowing the Chinese to get involved in building nuclear power stations in the UK to what we could all gain if these reactors ever get built.

In brief, spent nuclear …

read more »

17 August 2016

The District Heating & Green Gas Alternative to Hinkley

Several recent renewable proposals illustrate how we can avoid building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Dong Energy for instance suggests building more offshore wind farms backed up with biomass or gas-fired plants. (1) Lightsource says solar PV could match the output of Hinkley within just two years. (2) Forum for the Future says we could get 20 GW of new capacity from farm-based renewables by 2020. (3) But Theresa May’s delay in giving final approval to Hinkley …

read more »

27 July 2016

Stop Hinkley Campaign says a Final Investment Decision for Hinkley Point C would be little more than spin

EDF seems to be hoping that by acting swiftly after Greg Clark’s appointment as Secretary of State, it can minimise the risk that the highly favourable terms struck in 2013 to help to bankroll the station are watered down. Above all, EDF’s most cherished sweetener is a guaranteed price of an index-linked £92.50 per megawatt hour in 2012 prices – now worth around £100/MWh.

Stop Hinkley Spokesperson Allan Jeffery said:

If the Company does indeed make a positive Final Investment Decision on

read more »

19 February 2016

Do we really need nuclear power to provide baseload power?

The UK Government and pro-nuclear advocates argue that we need nuclear power to provide baseload electricity. In reality the concept of baseload power is quickly becoming obsolete. It is perfectly feasible to design a reliable electricity system based on 100% renewable energy. In fact strong market forces which favour decentralised energy mean that utilities continuing to promote large centralised power stations are threatening their own existence and need to move to a new decentralised utility model as soon as practicable.

Do …

read more »

24 August 2015

Hinkley C Mothballed – Is it in its Death Throes?

Two very recent articles in Click Green and Professional Engineer indicate that Hinkley Point C is now officially mothballed. Indeed the project seems to be in its death throes.

We already knew that site preparation work at Hinkley Point C was stopped in April 2015, up to 400 construction workers were laid off, and the Final Investment Decision was delayed until the autumn. (1) What wasn’t clear at the time was that NNB Genco – the consortium planning to build the …

read more »

17 August 2015

Cameron’s First 100 Days a Disaster

This article was originally written for the American Nuclear Information and Resource Service Blog Green World.

David Cameron’s Conservative Government has now been in power in the UK, without the constraining influence of the Liberal Democrats, for 100 days. From the point-of-view of the environment his new government has been an unmitigated disaster, marked by a sharp embrace of dirty energy sources in a fashion most advanced nations, even including the U.S., are stepping away from.

From the moment the …

read more »

31 July 2015

Better Active Today than Radioactive Tomorrow

As the Tories slash renewable energy subsidies, plans to provide 35% of UK electricity by 2028 plough on regardless starting with a £76bn subsidy for Hinkley. If the current proposals ever come to fruition we could be looking at another 7GW of Small Modular Reactors at other sites including possibly Hartlepool and Transfynydd and a Chinese reactor at Bradwell, and maybe even 3GW of plutonium burning reactors at Sellafield. Time to Act – Better Active Today than Radioactive Tomorrow. For …

read more »

13 July 2015

Hinkley Point C Problems Continue to Mount Up

Problems continue to pile up for the Hinkley Point C project, and there is now a growing chorus of critics calling for project to be scrapped altogether, (1) and deep concern in parts of the UK Government, especially the Treasury. (2)

The Daily Telegraph reported on 9th July that French reactor builder, Areva, has been aware since 2006 about the problems, revealed in April, in the steel reactor pressure vessel (RPV) at its Flamanville reactor being built in Normandy. Despite this …

read more »

9 April 2015

Small Reactor Delusion

The Financial Times seems to think that delays at Hinkley Point C will boost the argument for building small modular reactors (SMRs) in Britain.

In reality the nuclear industry is trying to find a silver lining to the cloud which is hanging over it, and using the problems of its own making to squeeze even more funds out of the hard pressed taxpayer. The FT reports that Rolls Royce wants more money for research for instance, and the recent House …

read more »