Toshiba, the technology company at the centre of plans to build more nuclear reactors in Britain, is looking for outside help to fund its £8bn programme after a collapse in its share price.The Japanese group is in talks with local financial institutions to support the construction of an atomic plant near the Sellafield facility in Cumbria, after running up losses following an accounting scandal. The emergence of Toshiba’s problems will add to worries over Britain’s nuclear plans after the French energy group EDF, which plans to build the Hinkley Point C station in Somerset, dropped out of France’s CAC 40 index of leading shares.There is widening concern in the City about the escalating costs of huge nuclear projects, which are damaging company share valuations and undermining the government’s commitment to new nuclear at a time when it has promised to phase out coal-fired power stations.“It has become difficult for Toshiba to do this (fund the NuGen programme in the north-west of England) on its own,” one source told Reuters, which reported that Toshiba had hired HSBC bank to help find new funds.
Guardian 10th Dec 2015 read more »
Toshiba Corp is asking Japanese financial institutions to help fund a nuclear project in northwest England, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, as the conglomerate seeks ways to ease its financial burden after a $1.3 billion (£856.6 million) accounting scandal.Toshiba holds a 60 percent stake in the NuGen UK nuclear joint venture with France’s Engie, and plans to provide three of its Westinghouse AP1000 reactors for the Moorside project to be built near the Sellafield nuclear site in west Cumbria. While financing plans have yet to be formally drawn up, the scandal has made it more difficult for Toshiba to take on its planned share of the building costs by itself, the sources said, adding that they estimate its share of those costs at more than $2 billion.
Reuters 10th Dec 2015 read more »
Nuclear companies and agencies have pledged £500,000 of immediate funding to help Cumbria’s flood recovery effort. Sellafield Ltd, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Nuclear Management Partners, the National Nuclear Laboratory, the Low Level Waste Repository and Britain’s Energy Coast have all contributed.
Carlisle News and Star 10th Dec 2015 read more »
ITV 10th Dec 2015 read more »
THE UK Government is to investigate concerns that plans are being drawn up to transport dangerous nuclear material, so-called “exotic fuel”, on public roads in Scotland for possible shipment to the US. The issue was raised during Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons by Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, who told MPs: “There are growing reports in the north of Scotland about plans to transport dangerous nuclear material, including potentially nuclear weapons grade uranium, from the Dounreay nuclear facility on public roads to Wick airport. It’s believed that it will then be flown to the United States.” Mr Robertson asked George Osborne – who was standing in at the dispatch box for David Cameron because the PM was in Romania as part of his EU reform mission – what the nuclear material would be used for.
Herald 9th Dec 2015 read more »
A batch of fuel manufactured for the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) at Dounreay in the north of Scotland, has arrived safely at Sellafield. This fuel is the first consignment of so-called exotic fuels that are being transferred to Sellafield as part of the work to shut down the Dounreay site. The PFR itself shut down in 1994 and in 2013 the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority decided that the best option for managing this unused fuel would be to transfer it to appropriate storage facilities at Sellafield. The safe arrival of the first cargo of PFR fuel follows the successful completion earlier this year of the first phase of transports of breeder material from the earlier Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) to Sellafield, which closed in 1977. The exotic fuel is part of a range of nuclear material left over from Dounreay’s research work. The programme to transfer the material to Sellafield is expected to take a number of years to complete. It will be consolidated with similar material in safe and secure storage at Sellafield until Government decides on a long term disposition route.
Sellafield Ltd 9th Dec 2015 read more »
Like many organisations that rely on public funding, the recent, big event for the NDA has been the long-awaited 2015 Spending Review announcements. This 2015 settlement continues the long-term programme of investment in dealing with the UK’s nuclear legacy, inherited by the NDA in 2005 but which dates back to the 1940’s. We very much welcome the government’s continued focus on safe, secure nuclear operations and decommissioning. In broad terms, the chancellor announced £11 billion of grant funding for NDA over the next 5 years which, together with our projected income in that period of approximately £5 billion, means we can continue to make broad progress across our nuclear estate. However, we have also been challenged to deliver £1 billion of savings through various mechanisms by 2020. To achieve this, we and our Site Licence Companies will need to place even greater focus on efficiencies and value for money.
NDA 3rd Dec 2015 read more »
Coal-nuclear-and-diesel-to-keep-lights-on-in-800m-scheme. Hundreds of millions of pounds in subsidies will be paid to diesel generators and old coal and nuclear plants to help keep the lights on later this decade, ministers are set to confirm on Friday. National Grid is preparing to publish the results of the latest “capacity market” auction, a Government scheme that will pay energy companies to guarantee they can provide electricity in 2019-20. On Thursday night, the company said the price of the subsidies would be £18 per kilowatt, to be paid for just over 46 gigawatts of capacity, giving a total subsidy bill of about £830m.
Telegraph 10th Dec 2015 read more »
The Chinese firm partnering with French utility EDF to develop the controversial Hinkley Point C is to also invest more than €1 billion (£722 million) in solar development…in France. Reuters has reported that China Group Nuclear (CGN) will put its investment in Bordeaux-based renewables installer Inovia Concept Development with the aim of installing around 1GW of solar on rooftops across France.
Solar Portal 10th Dec 2015 read more »
EU Business 10th Dec 2015 read more »
Reuters 10th Dec 2015 read more »
Areva Federal Services (AFS), an Areva subsidiary, has won $8.6m contract from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the design and fabrication of prototype railcars for nuclear material transportation. These railcars will be used for large-scale transport of used nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive material (HLRM) to interim and eventual permanent storage facilities. This contract includes the conceptual design and dynamic modeling of HLRM transport casks cars as well as buffer cars, which provide spacing between the cask railcars and the locomotive. Once the concepts are certified by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) for HLRM transport, Areva will begin the fabrication of the prototype cask and buffer railcars.
Energy Business Review 9th Dec 2015 read more »
Besides the terrible effects of the burst of light that causes eye damage, the heat that sets everything flammable on fire, the electromagnetic pulse that knocks out all electronic devices, and the blast that produces winds with ten times the force of a hurricane, demolishing everything, the detonation of nuclear weapons also leads to the emission of large amounts of ionizing radiation, which has serious deleterious effects on humans and many other species. Ionizing radiation is, in fact, a lurking danger as we cannot see it, we cannot smell it, we cannot hear it, and we cannot feel it immediately. But we certainly get harmed from it. To reduce exposure to ionizing radiation and the risk of deleterious effects, we doctors usually warn our patients against having frequent examinations or procedures that involve x-rays. That is because x-rays are ionizing radiation that can harm your body in the same ways as radiation emitted by nuclear detonations. The main difference is that, for medical purposes, the radiation is applied in a controlled way.
IPPNW 8th Dec 2015 read more »
Anti-corruption NGO Sherpa has filed a case against French nuclear power multinational Areva, alleging corruption related to a mining deal involving assets in South Africa, Namibia and the Central African Republic. The allegations centre on the 1.8-billion-euro purchase of three uranium mines in 2007.
RFI 10th Dec 2015 read more »
Nuclear power produces about 60% of all electricity in Ukraine (writes James Wilson). The power generating stations are modern and secure, in line with Ukraine’s international security commitments. They are managed and operated by the state owned enterprise, Energoatom, control over which has come under the spotlight in the battle for spheres of influence in Ukraine. It represents not only a strategic asset, vital to Ukrainian industry but also a conduit to extremely lucrative contracts for the supply of nuclear fuel, the maintenance of reactors and the disposal and storage of atomic waste. Ukrainian nuclear power stations have historically imported nuclear fuel from Russia, and this arrangement suited everyone until 2013 when Russia’s behaviour towards Ukraine became more aggressive. Questions were raised by the public about the wisdom of relying on a monopoly supplier owned by a hostile state that was invading the sovereign territory of Ukraine. Reacting to these pressures, Energoatom negotiated and signed contracts with major Western nuclear companies, including Westinghouse, Areva and Holtec International to diversify the supply chain and make it more international in line with best practice. The commercial objective of these business partnerships has been to update the nuclear energy cycle, to diversify and secure the supply base whilst maintaining international standards of nuclear energy safety, product quality and price competitiveness.
EU Reporter 10th Dec 2015 read more »
NORTH KOREA have made the chilling threat they are in possession of NUCLEAR BOMBS and are ready to detonate them at any time.
Express 10th Dec 2015 read more »
The government has proposed increasing VAT from 5% to 20% for energy saving materials – unless social criteria are met. This is based on a European Ruling that the current 5% of VAT is not consistent with EU law. Wind turbines, water turbines and solar PV will also be subject to the rise in VAT – and will not benefit from the potential social criteria exemption. According to the Renewable Energy Association – the largest renewables trade association in the UK – these proposals will have a negative impact across the energy efficiency and renewable markets, with consumers having to pay the full VAT on products unless they meet the eligible person criteria.
Scottish Energy News 11th Dec 2015 read more »
Renewables – Tidal
Atlantis Resources Ltd (LON:ARL) said today its flagship MeyGen tidal power project in Scotland will meet the target to start supplying power to the grid next year. Tim Cornelius, chief executive of the Singapore-based tidal power company, said the project was on track to execute its final offshore installation and commissioning programme for Phase 1A in 2016.
SeeNews Renewables 9th Dec 2015 read more »
Renewables – wave
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has signed a contract to provide advice on the development of a marine energy test facility in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Experts from the Orkney-based EMEC will advise on the infrastructure needed to develop a test site, from subsea cables, and grid connection to resource data instrumentation, as well as the wider infrastructure required in the region to support marine energy deployments.
Scottish Energy News 11th Dec 2015 read more »
Renewables – AD
Water companies should be allowed to sell fertiliser and energy generated from human sewage, or “sludge” to help cut household bills and improve the environment, the industry’s regulator has said. Sludge – a byproduct of the water treatment process – can be used to create gas which, in turn, can generate electricity that water companies can either use themselves or sell on to the grid. The remaining solids could also be sold to farmers as fertiliser. “We want to remove regulatory red tape to open up the market for sludge and encourage innovation,” said Ofwat, the industry regulator. “The savings made would keep bills down and help meet our energy needs sustainably.”
Telegraph 10th Dec 2015 read more »
Demand Side Management
Open Energi is rolling out invisible and automated technology that allows large industrial consumers to align their energy use with available supply. If just 5 per cent of peak demand is met with flexible power, the response would be equivalent to the generation of a new nuclear power station. With traditional power infrastructure, it has been especially difficult to store electricity. Today however, batteries are fast becoming a megatrend- allowing consumers to store low cost and renewable energy and deliver it back at times of peak demand. People don’t look out their window to see if the sun is shining or the wind is blowing before putting their kettle on, which means we need a new way of making electricity flexible. Arenko is building a portfolio of energy storage assets which puts the power back into the consumer’s hands whilst providing reinforcement to the electricity grid and reducing the need for significant and costly grid upgrades. With the exciting growth of new technologies for managing demand it is important not to forget that people are at the heart of the energy system. Energy tech start-up Open Utility is trialling its first service, called Piclo, with Good Energy. The 100 per cent renewable energy marketplace connects wind, solar and hydro generators with businesses that want to cut their carbon emissions by buying clean energy. We’re moving towards democratised and decentralised energy systems, and we need platforms that let people take part. We’re moving away from large power stations, to people generating energy in their back yards, and selling to their neighbour, local school, hospital or workplace. International targets and pledges for cutting carbon emissions can seem quite abstract and unconnected to the everyday person. The advent of an online marketplace puts people back into the equation, giving them the choice to buy local green energy – and play their own part in combating climate change. With the energy system already transitioning away from traditional models dominated by power stations, Open Energi, Arenko and Open Utility are pioneering a consumer-led, decentralised approach- providing flexible capacity which is exponentially cheaper than the alternatives.
Business Green 10th Dec 2015 read more »
The global electricity sector must reach zero emissions by 2050 to give the world a “serious chance” of staying below a 2 degree global average temperature increase and avoiding dangerous climate change, Professor Nicolas Stern said today. “The next 20 years are of vital importance if we are to have any serious chance of holding to 2 degrees and that’s what we’re implementing here,” Professor Stern, from the London School of Economics, told a side event organised by China at the Paris climate summit. “To stay below a 2 degrees you would probably have to have close to zero emissions from the electricity sector by mid-century.” To stay below 1.5 degrees, which is currently still in the draft Paris agreement, “you would probably have to bring that forward 10 or 20 years,” he said.
Renew Economy 11th Dec 2015 read more »