Gamekeeper turned poacher? Questions need to be asked about why a former chief nuclear inspector has been appointed to oversee safety at Hinkley Point power station. Will the new nuclear power stations being built in Britain get the right safety checks and at what price? Already very expensive, ensuring that they meet the highest safety standards risks increasing their costs way over any reasonable charge for electricity. EDF, the French energy giant building Britain’s first new nuclear power station in 20 years, have found one solution. They have hired Britain’s chief nuclear inspector and he now works for the firm building the new Hinkley Point power station, in what Greenpeace has called a “gamekeepers-turned-poachers” affair. Dr Richard Savage was chief nuclear inspector until last year. But, in a surprise move, last September the Office of the Nuclear Regulator announced that after two years in post Savage was stepping down “for family reasons.” However, according to documents recently released under government “transparency” rules, in February 2018 Dr Savage was appointed Safety and Assurance Director at EDF Energy. Because the chief nuclear inspector is a director-level and sensitive job, Dr Savage had to ask for approval from the government before he accepted the EDF post. In this case, The Department for Work and Pensions, which runs health and safety regulation, is in charge of the “revolving door” rules supposed to police civil servants being too easily poached by the industries they regulate.

Morning Star 13th July 2018 read more »

The EU’s General Court has dismissed a case submitted by Austria against the European Commission’s (EC’s) approval of state aid for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, England. In a statement, the General Court said that the Commission ‘did not err’ in its decision to accept the UK’s defence that the completed plant will serve the interests of the general public. The state aid was approved to be granted to EDF Energy subsidiary NNB Generation in October 2014. It is comprised of three parts; a contract for difference, an agreement between NNB investors and the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and a credit guarantee from the UK on bonds to be issued by NNB.

Power Technology 13th July 2018 read more »

Škoda JS of the Czech Republic will manufacture and supply two sets of EPR reactor pressure vessel internals for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project in the UK under a contract signed with France’s Framatome. The contract – the value of which was not disclosed – includes the core basket, heavy reflector and the upper internals. The core basket is a welded and machined stainless steel structure designed for holding the reactor core. The component – weighing about 80 tonnes – also directs and regulates the distribution of coolant into the reactor core. The heavy reflector, weighing about 100 tonnes, is a stainless steel component consisting machined slabs with cooling apertures. It serves as a neutron reflector. The upper internals consist a welded structure with guide tubes for the control rods. It weighs some 80 tonnes.

World Nuclear News 13th July 2018 read more »


Published: 14 July 2018