Korea Electric Power Corp has ruled out buying Toshiba’s controlling stake in Westinghouse, but confirmed it is interested in joining the NuGen consortium that is planning to build a new UK nuclear plant. The decision by the South Korean state-run utility is a blow to Toshiba’s efforts to find a buyer for its troubled US nuclear subsidiary as the Japanese conglomerate grapples with the worst financial crisis in its history. Kepco had been seen by industry experts as the only potential acquirer of Westinghouse that would be acceptable from a national security perspective. Analysts note that prospective suitors from China and Russia risk being blocked by the US and the UK, while other possible bidders including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi have already ruled themselves out. However, Mr Cho said that Kepco would be keen to take Toshiba’s 60 per cent stake in NuGen, pending more clarity on the sale conditions. Korea is hungry for more overseas work but it already has its own competitive technology. There are few incentives for Kepco to buy Westinghouse, given the huge financial risks involved.
FT 22nd March 2017 read more »
A South Korean utility company has confirmed that it wants to buy a stake in the NuGen nuclear project in Cumbria, but it has ruled out buying Westinghouse, the troubled reactor-maker for the venture. Cho Hwan-eik, chief executive of Kepco, said it wanted to “jump into” a deal for NuGen, which is 60 per cent-owned by Toshiba, of Japan, and 40 per cent by Engie, of France, once the debt and equity terms on offer had been decided. However, Mr Cho said that Kepco had “no plan” to take on Toshiba’s majority stake in Westinghouse, which is due to provide three of its AP1000 reactors for the £15 billion project near Sellafield. The AP1000 reactors are close to securing regulatory approval for use in the UK, a process that has taken years. Any switch could spell more years of delays.
Times 23rd March 2017 read more »
Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) has revealed it is in talks to buy a stake in NuGen, a nuclear joint venture between Toshiba and Engie that’s building three reactors in Britain. NuGen’s new build at the Moorside site on the coast of Cumbria plans to generate electricity by 2025, but Toshiba’s troubled past few months has called its ability to hit deadlines in the UK into question.
City AM 22nd March 2017 read more »
Carlisle News & Star 22nd March 2017 read more »
The latest Generic Design Assessment (GDA) update on Moorside’s Westinghouse AP1000 reactor has been published by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). Covering the period November 2016 to January 2017, the update suggests that all outstanding assessment issues will be cleared up by the target date of the end of March 2017 – a very different picture to that painted by ONR in its previous AP1000 update (May to October 2016) which warned that ‘our delivery confidence for this project is amber/red, which means that successful delivery of the project is in doubt with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas’. Still being given the amber traffic light treatment by ONR, there remain a number of issues to be resolved. These include the not insignificant engineering issue of the reactor’s structural integrity on which there is still technical work outstanding on Westinghouse’s updated design calculations for the reactor pressure vessel, pressuriser, steams generator and passive heat removal heat exchanger. The Category 1 Programme for Control & Instrumentation is also flashing amber.
Core 22nd March 2017 read more »
UK regulators expect to complete the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the AP1000 and the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) in March and December this year, respectively. They have also reported the start of the GDA of the UK HPR1000, which they expect to complete in 2021. In their latest periodic report assessing new nuclear reactor designs, covering the period November 2016 to January 2017, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, have provided an update on work they have been carrying out on their GDA of the Westinghouse and Hitachi-GE reactor designs, as well as the start of a GDA for General Nuclear System’s UK HPR1000.
World Nuclear News 22nd March 2017 read more »