The UK’s finance minister, Philip Hammond, has described the terms of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project as a “well-designed transfer of risk”. Meanwhile British company Rolls-Royce has for the second time become a ‘preferred bidder’ for the project in Somerset, and members of EDF Energy’s advisory panel have argued it is “strongly in the national interest to press ahead with the plant”. Hinkley Point C received a long-awaited and positive final investment decision (FID) from the EDF board on 28 July, only for the UK government to postpone signing its supporting agreements. Prime Minister Theresa May is reviewing the deal and will decide this month whether to commit the government’s support.
World Nuclear News 9th Sept 2016 read more »
Rolls-Royce (RR.L) said on Friday it had been awarded “preferred bidder” status to supply a diesel system to Hinkley Point C, the British nuclear plant that has been put on hold for further review by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Reuters 9th Sept 2016 read more »
John Lindberg: To save Britain’s nuclear future, May must drop Hinkley. To opponents of nuclear power Hinkley Point C must seem to be a gift that just keeps on giving. Delay after delay, budget overrun after budget overrun, this project has turned from being the bright future of nuclear power to embodying most of the things that its opponents claim it to be. It is now time that the Government pulls the plug on the project and return to the drawing board. A new nuclear approach is needed, an approach that not only plays to the UK’s strengths, but also allows us to address the nuclear legacy in a sustainable manner. Only one conclusion can reasonably be drawn from the Hinkley Point C debacle – it is time to admit defeat and pull the plug. The EPR is not fit for purpose and represents the worst of an industry, gripped by the misconceptions its enemies are nurturing. The answer is a break with the status quo. The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) concept was designed to bear in mind potential problems such as waste and fuel management whilst ensuring a safe energy supply. Such is the scientific sophistication of modern reactors, including IFRs, that they are becoming as safe as it is possible to make them, notwithstanding human error. The IFRs are able not only to unlock the full energy potential of uranium, but also use the transuranic waste from conventional nuclear power plants. This addresses the waste management issues in a sustainable manner, whilst providing even more energy. These ‘fast’ reactors are not a new concept, and we have accumulated over 300 reactor years-worth of experience. GE-Hitachi’s PRISM reactor is merely one of many projects that seek to commercialise the fast reactor technology. It is therefore high time we challenge the status quo. The deployment of IFRs and other Gen IV reactor concepts should be considered as a matter of urgency, coupled with already commercial reactors such as Westinghouse’s AP1000 – reactors which well could be used in a new Hinkley deal
Conservative Home 10th Sept 2016 read more »
Workington MP Sue Hayman has written to the Prime Minister to highlight the importance of Britain’s nuclear. Mrs Hayman, who is vice-chairman of an all-party parliamentary group for nuclear energy and the energy gap, is calling on Theresa May to to ensure that new nuclear former a key part of the country’s future energy generation. She is urging Mrs May to press ahead with the new build at Moorside, near Sellafield. He letter said: “I’m writing to welcome you to your new position and to raise with you the serious matter of our country’s energy gap, in my capacity as vice chair of the APPG for nuclear energy and the MP for Workington, with many of my constituents working in the nuclear industry
Whitehaven News 8th Sept 2016 read more »
A GOVERNMENT minister has given reassurances that Sellafield poses “no safety risk” following the claims made by Panorama. Addressing Parliament on Tuesday in response to the documentary’s allegations, Nick Hurd said: “There is no safety risk to site staff or the public – and it is wrong to suggest otherwise.” Mr Hurd, the Minister of State at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, added: “Ensuring high standards of nuclear safety will always be a top priority for this government.” The Parliamentary debate was held after Copeland’s MP Jamie Reed secured time to put an ‘urgent question’ to government following Monday’s broadcast. Mr Reed said: “The safety and security of Sellafield are the most important considerations of everyone working at the site. Safety is non-negotiable and as a former, third-generation Sellafield worker, I know that the Sellafield workforce is acutely aware of its responsibilities towards the entire community. “It’s crucial that everyone in the local community – and nationally – understands the work that is taking place, and it’s vitally important this is understood in a comprehensive and accurate way.” Mr Hurd also pointed to the site’s “impressive” recent safety record, and added that the independent Office for Nuclear Regulation and its team of 50 inspectors “is satisfied that Sellafield is safe”.
Whitehaven News 7th Sept 2016 read more »
The energy giant bidding to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset gets tens of thousands of pounds a year from the UK government via the controversial common agricultural policy (CAP). Last year EDF received £68,000 for land beside its nuclear sites Sizewell B and and Hinkley Point B. The money ultimately comes from EU taxpayers, though that arrangement may change in light of Brexit. The land, which is not in use, holds the Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark accreditation.
Energydesk 9th Sept 2016 read more »
With the launch of an environment and energy manifesto this week, Jeremy Corbyn may have signalled a renewed focus from Labour on energy policy. In the same week that saw Barry Gardner launch a campaign against rising business rates on solar installations, could it be that Corbyn’s Labour is about to bring green energy policy to the fore?
Solar Portal 9th Sept 2016 read more »
Manufacturing irregularities in Areva’s Creusot plant weigh heavily on EDF reactor outages. Fessenheim 2 restart delayed by several months to end March 2017. Was halted by regulator ASN mid-June following discovery of irregularities in steel of reactor vessel. EDF investigating 18 reactors following discovery of irregularities in steel. Eight have been controlled so far and received ASN green light, five others remain closed as checks are ongoing, five more will be checked before early next year. Gravelines 5 reactor, closed since April for maintenance, will not restart till end March 2017 due to problems with steam generators. Paluel 2, closed since May 2015 for maintenance, remains closed following fall of steam generator. Bugey 5 closed since August 2015 and not to restart before end Feb. 2017 due to problem with sealing. Energy transition law specifies that reactors closed for more than two years have to be closed permanently. Government can give one-year extension. EDF has already lowered 2016 nuclear production outlook by three pct.
Reuters 9th Sept 2016 read more »
North Korea claimed yesterday to have detonated a nuclear weapon small enough to be mounted on one of its ballistic missiles during its fifth and largest atomic test to date. The announcement drew global condemnation and the convening of an emergency meeting of the United Nations security council last night.
Times 10th Sept 2016 read more »
The number of new community companies setting up to deliver renewable energy projects has dropped by more than 80% following cuts in government support, according to new findings from Co-operatives UK. The industry body claims that just ten new community energy organisations have been registered between the start of the year and 6 September, compared to 76 green energy start-ups launched in the same period in 2015. The severe reduction follows a series of policy changes to have hit the community energy sector, with cuts to tax reliefs and feed-in tariff rates enacted in November 2015 and January 2016 respectively leading to new projects being described as “not financially viable”.
Solar Portal 8th Sept 2016 http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/community_energy_companies_fall_by_80_following_policy_changes
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 9th Sept 2016 read more »