News March 2016

31 March 2016

Hinkley

The cost of building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset could rise by nearly £2 billion, piling more pressure on the over-stretched finances of the French energy giant EDF, according to a report seen by The Times. An independent analysis of the £18 billion project claims that Areva, the French company that developed the EPR reactor earmarked for Hinkley, is repricing the technology before a final investment decision, which it expects to be signed by EDF …

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30 March 2016

Hinkley

Senior engineers at French utility EDF have called for at least a two year delay at the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear project in the UK and recommended a redesign of the reactor technology. An internal white paper written by dissenting EDF engineers, which has been seen by the Financial Times, argues that Hinkley Point is so complex and untested that the company should announce a later completion date than the target of 2025. The paper, circulated among top executives, said …

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29 March 2016

Moorside

Listening to NuGen CEO Tom Sansom’s evidence to the Energy & Climate Change Committee last week (23rd March), MP’s might have gone home thinking that all was going swimmingly-well with the consortium’s plans for new-build at Moorside. However – and leaving aside the myths he peddled to the parliamentarians about three reactors being on target for operation at Moorside by the mid 2020’s, and the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors being a ‘proven technology’ (no such reactor has yet been built let …

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28 March 2016

Hinkley

The ability of EDF, the French utility, to fund the £18 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant has been thrown into further doubt after reports suggesting that CGN, its Chinese partner, would shoulder a smaller-than-expected amount of financial risk. Despite having a 66.5 per cent stake in the project, EDF would assume a higher proportion of the liabilities associated with costs overruns or delays, according to Le Journal du Dimanche. The French newspaper cited a note by Thomas Piquemal, …

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27 March 2016

Terror

Two Belgian nuclear power plant workers have joined ISIS leading to fears the jihadis have the intelligence to cause a meltdown disaster. Belgian security services are fearful that ISIS operatives may have been looking to target a nuclear plant as it emerged two workers from a plant in Doel fled to Syria to join ISIS. One of the men, reportedly known as Ilyass Boughalab, is believed to have been killed in Syria, while the second served a short prison sentence …

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26 March 2016

ONR

Britain’s nuclear industry is under threat from cyber-attacks, terrorism and state-sponsored espionage, regulators have warned. Buried in the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s 2016-20 strategic plan are bleak references to the growing threat of attack on Britain’s 15 operational reactors, which account for nearly a fifth of the country’s electricity. The Independent has established this is the first time that the ONR has explicitly acknowledged the growing terrorist threat to the nuclear industry. The document states: “The threat of terrorism …

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25 March 2016

Hinkley

MPs have written to the energy secretary to ask if a Plan B exists in the event of the collapse of EDF’s deal to build an £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Angus MacNeil, chairman of the energy committee, wrote to Amber Rudd to express disappointment at the energy company’s failure to both set a firm timeline for the project and to make a final investment decision. “Given the uncertain timetable, I would like to know …

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24 March 2016

Hinkley

EDF Energy has insisted it will take a decision to go ahead with new reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset but was unwilling to say exactly when despite being pressed by exasperated MPs. The French government, which owns 85% of EDF, has previously said it was aiming for the start of May but Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of the UK arm of EDF, was unwilling to set a timescale. “I can’t give you this morning a precise date. …

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23 March 2016

Hinkley

French utility EDF should not delay the investment decision on plans to build two nuclear reactors in Britain as it could risk losing the contract, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. Macron said he could understand calls to delay the 18 billion pound project until problems with two nuclear projects in Flamanville, France and Olkiluoto, Finland are sorted out, but the British government would see this as a renunciation of the project. “We need to understand that a …

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22 March 2016

Hinkley

The uncertainty is over Hinkley C is beginning to have an impact on the local political landscape. With the Conservative MPs still convinced the project will go ahead there appears to have been a change of heart in the Labour group. The Bridgwater parliamentary candidate in the last election has cast doubt over the wisdom of putting the project in the hands of the French with help from the Chinese. He told the Bridgwater Mercury about his concerns over the …

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