French energy giant EDF may seek more partners to share the costs of new nuclear plants in the UK and has appointed a financial adviser to consider its options. The company plans to invest tens of billions of pounds in building two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset and two at Sizewell in Suffolk. It has declined to put a price tag on the projects, but some estimates suggest the cost of the reactors has spiralled to as much as £7.5bn each. Hinkley Point is the only proposed new UK nuclear power station anywhere near to being built. EDF is in negotiations with the Government over subsidies for the plant and plans to take a final investment decision this year. Centrica has an option for a 20pc stake in the plants, but says it will only invest if there is a clear business case and has warned that much work remains to be done on the plans. Analysts are sceptical that it will take the option. Ratings agencies have warned that they could downgrade both EDF and Centrica if they go ahead with the project.
Telegraph 1st Aug 2012 more >>
EDF of France is seeking partners to share the financial burden of its project to build four atomic reactors in the UK, sparking fresh concerns about whether nuclear energy is becoming too expensive. The cost of atomic power was called into question this week by Jeff Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, who said it had become really hard to justify compared with cheap shale gas. EDF is 84 per cent-owned by the French state, but private shareholders are worried about spiralling costs in the UK unless favourable terms are offered. The company is planning to build next-generation EPR reactors, which have suffered big cost overruns in France and Finland. Frances government is about to conduct a root-and-branch review of energy policy including the future of the nuclear industry which will affect domestic investment.
FT 31st July 2012 more >>
City AM 31st July 2012 more >>
The latest news from unidentified spokespersons (probably within DECC), according to the Financial Times of July 23rd, is that the Government will set a ‘strike price’ of £100 per MWh for nuclear power.It could hardly set it any higher considering that this is the figure the Treasury wants offshore wind power to come down to, and it is a lot more than offshore windfarms are going to be paid. Yet even this is a soft landing for a policy retreat. The Government may say that £100 per MWh is profitable for nuclear power, but it is unlikely to lead to any being built. Lots of rumours, hopeful stories, yes, because the British Government (and the nuclear industry) does not want to admit that nuclear power is a dead duck – this would threaten lots of nuclear interests who want money from the Government and hopeful punts from Chinese and other interests to keep them in some sort of buisness. Indeed, without the appearance of the possibility of nuclear power the Government might be pushed into investing more in wind power and solar power! Just at a time when the Treasury prefers to subsidise gas fired power stations.
David Toke’s Blog 24th July 2012 more >>
Heavy engineering firm Sheffield Forgemasters hopes to expand into nuclear fabrication next year by securing a coveted quality standard from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The company said it was already on track to receive its nuclear re-qualification in October from the US institution, ASME, which enables it to make heavy forgings and castings for the civil nuclear market. Forgemasters also hopes to gain ASME NPT, which it said would make it the only firm in Britain capable of both forging and welding and fabricating safety-critical components for nuclear reactors.
Professional Engineering 31st July 2012 more >>
Global production of nuclear energy is expected to grow significantly in future years, despite setbacks in Japan and Germany, as China and the United States eyes next-generation reactors. Worldwide nuclear electricity generating capacity is expected to increase between 44 percent and 99 percent by 2035, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency said in their joint biannual report on uranium resources, released this week.
Oil Price 31st July 2012 more >>
THERE is no shortage of uranium on the planet. According to a report form the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), identified resources should provide some 100 years worth at current requirements, and plenty more is likely to be discovered. But production has lagged and prices have risen. At its peak in mid-2007 uranium cost $136 per pound. Prices fell along with other commodities in the aftermath of the credit crisis. Unlike other commodities prices have not recovered, despite the promise of a nuclear renaissance. The spot price now stands around $50 per pound.
Economist 31st July 2012 more >>
Vattenfall AB, the Nordic regions biggest utility, applied to Swedish safety regulators to build one or two nuclear reactors to replace its older plants. There has been no investment decision, Chief Financial Officer Ingrid Bonde said today. Its a very long process. Sweden in 2010 agreed to keep a total of 10 reactors in the country while allowing older plants to be replaced. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said it may take 10-15 years from the receipt of a request for a new reactor to start up. Replacements may be needed after 2025, according to Vattenfalls application.
Bloomberg 31st July 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis update 27th to 30th July 2012.
Greenpeace International 31st July 2012 more >>
Ian Thomas Ash, a freelance documentary filmmaker who has lived in Japan for 10 years. Continuing his series of videos in and around the Fukushima nuclear power plant exclusion zone, Ian visits the radioactive ghost towns where a few people are trying to piece together their lives after the March 11, 2011, earthquake, tsunami and resulting meltdown.
Discovery News 30th July 2012 more >>
Chubu Electric Power says that although it has made progress toward its December 2012 target for completing certain tsunami countermeasures at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station, an extra year has become necessary to finish the project. The Hamaoka NPS upgrades programme was established in July 2011, in response to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. It is split into three categories two for improving flooding prevention measures and one for enhancement of emergency measures.
Nuclear Engineering International 31st July 2012 more >>
AMEC, the international engineering and project management company has been awarded a three year contract to provide waste treatment services to the Bohunice nuclear power plant in Slovakia. The contract, the value of which has not been announced, will see AMEC apply its specialist technology to retrieve and treat the 600 cubic metres of waste at the two VVER (Vodo-Vodyanoi Energetichesky Reactor) 440 reactors at the plant, which ceased operation in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
Waste Management World 31st July 2012 more >>
South Korea’s nuclear energy program continues apace, with first concrete being poured for unit 1 of the Shin Ulchin plant, while unit 1 at the Shin Wolsong plant has entered commercial operation.
World Nuclear News 31st July 2012 more >>
Romney is adopting the same hypocritical posture over Irans putative nuclear aspirations as his Democratic rival and current US president, Barack Obama. That is, the US itself may have hundreds of nukes, it may even be the only nation to have actually used an atomic bomb against another country as it did with Japan in 1945, but that should not stop it from lecturing and threatening specific nations, especially Iran, into curtailing their nuclear programmes.
Spiked 31st July 2012 more >>
It was one of the most high profile criticisms of the Olympic Park’s green credentials, even finding its way into an episode of the hit satirical comedy Twenty Twelve. But now those who condemned the Olympic Delivery Authority for failing to follow through with plans to install a giant wind turbine at the Stratford site could be forced into a re-think, after it emerged seven wind turbines have been erected at the Olympic Park. They might not look like the conventional three blade turbine that had been originally intended, but organisers today confirmed smaller scale vertical axis wind turbines that are designed to be more effective at harnessing the wind power in urban environments have been deployed at the Stratford park. BusinessGreen can reveal the so-called qr5 turbines have been provided by British wind turbine manufacturer Quiet Revolution, although because of International Olympic Committee restrictions the company is not allowed to provide further details of the project beyond confirming its technology is featuring at the Olympic Park.
Guardian 31st July 2012 more >>