News

Moorside

Toshiba has entered talks with Canadian asset manager Brookfield over the potential sale of its UK nuclear unit NuGen, which was slated to build the Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria. The talks, which are at an early stage according to two people directly familiar with the matter, come after Toshiba’s negotiations with Korea’s state-owned Korean Electric Power Corp have dragged on, with an exclusivity period ending in July. Toshiba has been looking to offload NuGen as part of a wider restructuring in the wake of its financial crisis triggered by losses in its Westinghouse US nuclear business. Brookfield bought Westinghouse from Toshiba for $4.6bn in January after the US nuclear business filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy prot ection in 2017, making the Canadian company a likely candidate for the Japanese conglomerate to approach about the sale of its UK unit. While Toshiba is continuing talks with Kepco, the deal had originally aimed to be completed by the middle of this year. Toshiba declined to comment on the talks with Brookfield but said: “Toshiba continues to consider additional options including sale of its shares in NuGen to Kepco, and we are carefully monitoring the situation, in consultation with stakeholders including the UK government.”

FT 18th Sept 2018 read more »

A Canadian investor has emerged as the latest potential rescuer of a troubled nuclear power plant planned for Cumbria. Brookfield Asset Management has been in talks with Japanese corporation Toshiba over buying the proposed Moorside site. A subsidiary of Brookfield bought Toshiba’s bankrupt nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse, whose UK arm had designed the reactors for Moorside, earlier this year.

Daily Mail 19th Sept 2018 read more »

The Japanese conglomerate behind plans for Europe’s largest nuclear reactor has rubbished claims that it is in talks with a major Canadian asset manager to sell the troubled project. Toshiba branded reports linking the sale of the NuGen development company to Brookfield Asset Management as “speculation”. The debt-ridden company added that it was still considering a sale of the NuGen consortium to South Korean mega-utility Kepco. The latest rumoured suitor has emerged just months after Kepco lost its position as the preferred bidder for NuGen, which hopes to build a major nuclear plant at the Moorside site in Cumbria. According to reports Toshiba is in early stage talks with Brookfield to offload the project after its project partners fled the consortium following the collapse of its US nuclear business Westinghouse, which was also slated to provide the reactor design.

Telegraph 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Bradwell

A Chinese energy company says it would consider pulling back from control of a new UK nuclear plant to appease political sensitivities. China’s leading nuclear energy company CGN is due to operate the Bradwell plant in Essex with French energy company EDF. Under a 2016 agreement, CGN would have a 66.5 per cent stake and EDF would have the remainder when it starts generating electricity in the late 2020s or ealry 2030s. However, CGN’s chief executive Zheng Dongshan told the Financial Times (FT) CGN would be willing to consider “not being the majority operator”. Mr Zheng added: “We understand the political and local sensitivities.

iNews 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Possible Chinese withdrawal from Bradwell B ‘not surprising but still a surprise’ says BANNG. The news (Financial Times, 18 September, 2018) that the Chinese company behind Bradwell B is considering withdrawing its interest in the project because of political sensitivities ‘is not, perhaps surprising, though it comes as a surprise, nonetheless’ says BANNG’s Andy Blowers. The project may be doomed anyway as the site is totally unsuitable and is widely opposed by communities all around the Blackwater. The Chinese withdrawal, should it come, would reflect widespread concerns about the security issues surrounding their investment into a highly sensitive part of the UK’s national infrastructure. Recent manoeuvres off the disputed, Chinese-built, artificial islands in the South China Sea have increased tensions in the area and provoked warnings of Chinese investment withdrawal from the UK. It is possible that the Bradwell project could be an early victim of deteriorating relations between the two countries. In any event the project was already looking doubtful. It is facing considerable challenges in delivering vast quantities of cooling water by pipeline and the need to avoid polluting the Marine Conservation Zone which gives protection to the Colchester Native Oyster and other marine life. Most of the site is vulnerable to flooding and it will be a heroic feat to demonstrate that highly radioactive spent fuel can be safely and securely stored on the site until the end of the next century.

BANNG 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Hinkley

Workers looking to start on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant are facing a wait of more than six weeks to get security clearance. Contractors are fuming at the delays which they fear are putting off workers from joining the job. One site source said: “I’ve worked on virtually every big nuclear site over the last few decades and it still took me eight weeks to get clearance.” Security checks for site workers are carried out by independent agencies and administered by G4S under an £80m contract awarded by client EDF Energy. Another source said: “The contractors are up in arms about this because the checks are taking so long.

Construction Enquirer 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Protesters seeking an injunction to stop the dumping of mud from Hinkley Point nuclear power station off the coast of Cardiff have had their application adjourned after the energy company behind the dumping admitted it had given inaccurate information to the High Court. In documents submitted to the court in Cardiff by NNB Generation Company (HPC) Ltd – a wholly owned subsidiary of the French energy giant EDF – it was argued that the dumping did not require an environmental impact assessment (EIA) under European regulations. However, the company’s barrister James McClelland told the court that an environmental statement was made by the company at the time it sought approval for the whole Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset, the successor to two previous nuclear power stations on the same site. Dozens of peaceful protesters assembled outside Cardiff Civil Justice Centre before the hearing, not all of whom were able to get seats in the court room. Opponents of the dumping say they fear radioactive particles present in the mud could pose a health threat. More than 100,000 people have signed petitions against the dumping.

Wales Online 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Plans to dump mud dredged from near the Hinkley Point nuclear sites in the Bristol Channel off the south Wales coast are the focus of fierce controversy. Work has already begun this month but opponents are not backing down. More than 100,000 people have signed petitions and protests have taken place outside the Welsh Assembly renewing calls for Natural Resources Wales to suspend the licence. Those opposed to the dredging argue we cannot say for sure that the 300,000 tonnes of mud that could be deposited near Cardiff is safe because a full range of tests is needed to establish there is no radioactive – and these have not been carried out. The site the mud will be dumped in is a sub-tidal sandbank just a mile off the coast of Cardiff.

Bristol Post 19th Sept 2018 read more »

The application for an Injunction opened today MONDAY 17th SEPT at the High Court in Cardiff. Protesters are optimistic. The judge gave an adjournment for 7 days to NNB GenCo (EdF) whose lawyer changed their defence to claim the EIA for the new Hinkley Point Nuclear Power station covers dumping in Welsh waters. The judge gave them 7 days to show that from the 2000-page EIA covering the development in England. Barry&Vale FoE think NNB GenCo on a loser. Natural Resources Wales has accepted that the Hinkley Point EIA does not cover dumping in the Welsh part of the Severn Estuary, where EIA is mandatory due to its Special Area of Conservation status. Moreover, an EIA for a project in Wales has to be advertised in Wales and subject to consultation by the Welsh public, which the nuclear station’s EIA was not.

Barry & Vale FoE 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

New Nuclear

A new report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has highlighted the potential role that nuclear power could play to help meet the climate change targets. Titled ‘Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2018’, the report is an updated version of the one that was released in 2016 and includes the latest scientific information and analyses on the link between energy production and climate change. The report said that nuclear power has the potential to deliver large quantities of electricity needed for global economic development while contributing in mitigating climate change. Global electricity demand is expected to almost double by 2050.

Power Technology 18th Sept 2018 read more »

The World Nuclear Association has appealed to the United Nations and the nuclear industry to take decisive action for clean energy. “I am running out of patience,” said the organisation’s head, Agneta Rising, “I want more action and I want nuclear energy to be part of the solution because we know there is no sustainable energy future without nuclear.”

World Nuclear News 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Energy Costs

The Energy Systems Catapult and Oxford University have this week published a new study suggesting a quirk of the UK’s energy tariff pricing regime is hampering the shift to lower carbon heating systems, at the same time as favouring decentralised generation technologies such as solar panels and off-grid diesel generators. The study explores so-called Cost Reflective Pricing and asks if the split between variable and fixed charges in energy bills – that is the unit price of power and gas and the standing grid and environmental charges – are efficiently distributed. It argues the current approach “may inadvertently distort market behaviour towards favouring investment in decentralised generation technologies, like solar PV and diesel, over demand technologies like heat pumps”.

Business Green 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Energy Policy

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) think tank has this week published a new series of briefing papers on the transition to a net zero emission economy, ahead of a crucial few months in the debate over whether the UK should set a new net zero target. The new reports cover the case for setting a net zero target, how to develop new negative emission industries, and the likely impact on businesses and employment of the transition to net zero. It also looks at the implications of a net zero target for specific sectors, including energy, transport, and heavy industry.

Business Green 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Companies including Facebook, Google and Microsoft have failed to distance themselves from a lobby group’s proposal to fight any effort by the EU to set more ambitious climate change goals. A leaked document shows that BusinessEurope, Europe’s biggest business lobbying group, will urge members to oppose any moves by the European Commission to ratchet up the bloc’s 2030 targets for clean energy, carbon cuts and energy efficiency. The commission is considering whether to set more ambitious goals in November after a key international science panel report on meeting tougher global warming targets is published in October, and before a UN climate summit in December. But, at meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, BusinessEurope will ask big companies to agree a “line to take” on the prospect of steeper carbon cuts. If the commission’s measures have teeth, the group’s “advocacy and communication strategy” recommends companies agree to fight them. “To oppose the new increase of ambition, using the usual arguments of global playing field, we cannot compensate for others, etc,” the document said. If the commission opts for warm words and a political statement rather than a material ratcheting up of the targets, the group suggests it should react by being “rather positive”.

Guardian 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Utilities

Britain’s largest energy challenger brand is squaring up to compete with Royal Dutch Shell in an unlikely battle for the German energy market. Ovo Energy plans to roll its suite of ‘smart energy’ services into the German market after snapping up a majority stake in a new Munich-based supplier. The energy market disruptor said it will invest in 55pc of the business by December 2018, with plans to take 100pc ownership in the future. Ovo said its first steps into the international market come at a “crucial point” for the company as it grows its VCharge home energy system. But it will also put the upstart energy company on a collision course with energy behemoth Shell, which bought Anglo-German brand First Utility in a groundbreaking household energy deal less than a year ago.

Telegraph 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Uranium

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer Tenex have signed a contract for the transport of low-enriched uranium and equipment through Russian territory to and from the IAEA LEU Bank in Kazakhstan.

World Nuclear News 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

Proliferation

All this week the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has held its annual (62nd) General Conference in Vienna. On 17 September, the junior Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, told the conference “We live in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world. We have seen the destabilising consequences when States pursue nuclear weapons. And we have worked together to prevent terrorists acquiring nuclear material”. This statement makes a lot of sense, until it is put in the context of what his own British Government is doing in wasting £205,000 m (£205 billion) of tax payers’ money of replacing the Trident nuclear WMD system, which makes the faux concern over nuclear weapons pure, unadulterated hypocrisy. To put the scale of this gross hypocrisy in context, Duncan asserted in Vienna that he UK had “already contributed £4.1 million this year to the Nuclear Security Fund,” and urged all to “support the Agency’s work to help Member States implement robust nuclear security regimes.” This ‘do as we say, not as we do’ policy cuts zero ice with the vast majority of sensible Governments, who want genuine global nuclear disarmament, not shameful finger-wagging from countries bristling with deadly nuclear weapons like the UK.

David Lowry’s Blog 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018

France

[Machine Translation] Exclusive. Justice hears a complaint of offense of favoritism against EDF. At issue: a billion-euro market to equip nuclear power plants with emergency power generators. Construction site on which the company is also very late. It must have been a simple matter of industrial routine. Much less complicated than the laborious and wasteful construction of the Flamanville EPR: to equip each of the 58 nuclear reactors (spread over 19 sites in France) with a diesel emergency power unit (DUS). An obligation imposed in 2012 on EDF by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) after the Fukushima disaster. This DUS is a powerful 60-tonne engine, installed outside the plant in a 25-meter-long bunker, designed to withstand the most extreme events and so be able to provide electricity at any cost in a crisis. major. ASN had set a mandatory deadline for EDF to commission the emergency program: 31 December 2018.

Capital 17th Sept 2018 read more »

Canada-based L3 MAPPS has been awarded a contract by France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) to upgrade its Flamanville 3 engineering simulator, based on the EPR nuclear power reactor design.

World Nuclear News 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 September 2018