News March 2012

31 March 2012

New Nukes

Rob Edwards: Depending on the interpretation, this is either a “total train wreck” or just a “disappointing” setback for the government’s nuclear ambitions. The truth, of course, is somewhere in between. A combination of last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, the German government’s subsequent decision to phase out nuclear power and the general economic downturn has long made investments in new reactors look shaky. The sums of money are so large, the potential liabilities so daunting and the financial paybacks …

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30 March 2012

Horizon

Two of the “big six” energy companies have pulled out of developing new nuclear plants in the UK, in what was described as a “devastating blow” for the Government’s energy policy. RWE npower and E.ON said they would not proceed with their “Horizon” project, which looked to develop nuclear reactors at Wylfa in North Wales and Oldbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire.

Independent 29th Mar 2012 more >>

Independent 30th Mar 2012 more >>

The government’s nuclear energy policy is in disarray …

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29 March 2012

Nuclear Subsidy

The Government is to invest up to £15 million in research, development and knowledge transfer to stimulate innovation and support growth in the civil nuclear power sector. The investment will fund feasibility projects, collaborative research and development and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) that stimulate innovation and strengthen the UK supply chain. Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said “This is an important and exciting time for the UK civil nuclear industry. With potential for investment and innovation in the …

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28 March 2012

Nuclear Investment

Building a nuclear power plant is perceived as risky by credit rating agencies – and in some cases could lead to a ratings downgrade of the utility concerned, a senior analyst at US-based Moody’s told ICIS on Tuesday. The analyst, who wished to remain anonymous, said an unfavourable attitude towards nuclear power stemmed largely from the scale of investment required, together with future uncertainties surrounding power prices. “The risks are writ larger when you think of a nuclear project …

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27 March 2012

New Nukes

Four former directors of Friends of the Earth are continuing their campaign to convince the UK government to abandon plans for new nuclear power. The four — Tom Burke, Tony Juniper, Jonathon Porritt and Charles Secrett – issued the first of six planned briefings March 26 as follow up to their March 12 open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. The first briefing, entitled ‘Subsidising the nuclear industry’ details government support for nuclear power that the four say qualifies …

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26 March 2012

Dungeness

As one era of electricity generation comes to a close with the recent demolition of Richborough’s cooling towers, there are calls to revive a new age of power at Dungeness. Both Shepway and Ashford councils are lobbying for a third nuclear plant to be built at the site. Dungeness A has already been decommissioned, and the B reactor is due to stop producing pwer in 2018. Leader of Ashford council Peter Wood said: “The decommissioning of Dungeness B, coupled with …

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25 March 2012

Reactor Design

Two of the UK’s biggest unions, Prospect and Unite, have urged lawmakers to support a “dual design” approach to nuclear new build, meaning they want Horizon Nuclear Power to choose the Westinghouse AP1000 over the Areva EPR. Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture of German utilities E.On and RWE, are expected imminently to announce their selection of reactor technology to build in the UK, with the first reactors to be constructed at Wylfa on Anglesey, Wales. EDF is planning …

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24 March 2012

Sizewell

MEMBERS of a nuclear site liaison group are studying official accounts of radiation emissions during the last period when Sizewell B was shut down for re-fuelling and maintenance. Concern about so far unexplained above-average incidence of childhood leukaemia around nuclear reactors in Germany and France has led to suggestions from critics of atomic energy that there may be a link with the “spikes” in radiation emissions which usually occur when reactors are temporarily shut down for re-fuelling. Official figures show …

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23 March 2012

New Nukes

The UK government and the nuclear industry believe the efficient delivery of EDF’s planned Areva EPR reactors at Hinkley Point is so important to the UK’s new build program that they have formed a new group to address construction and delivery issues, according to recently released documents. “The successful delivery of Hinkley Point is fundamentally important,” UK Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) Chairman Lord Hutton said, according to minutes of the first meeting of the new Programme Management Board. John …

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22 March 2012

Nuclear Investment

The investment climate for new nuclear power is not good and “significant government support” will be needed in most markets, according to Mark Muldowney, head of energy advisory at BNP Paribas in London. “Liberalized markets are not sending out the signals needed,” Muldowney said at the Marketforce European Nuclear Forum in Brussels earlier this week. Muldowney said there’s been a sharp decline in investor interest in new nuclear power since Fukushima. “People are very aware of the financial hit …

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