EDF’s 18 billion pound ($27.4 billion) project to build two nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point, Britain is so expensive and so risky that it puts the survival of the French utility at risk, an association of employee-shareholders said on Thursday. EDF Actionnariat salarié (EAS) said in a statement that the interests of EDF are gravely threatened by the Hinkley Point project, which it calls “a financial catastrophy foretold” in which EDF has nothing to gain and everything to lose. “EAS asks the management of EDF to stop this risky project, whose financial risks are too big for our company and which could put EDF’s very survival at risk,” the association said.
Reuters 12th Nov 2015 read more »
Guardian 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Daily Mail 12th Nov 2015 read more »
Business Green 13th Nov 2015 read more »
French energy firm EDF will meet two-thirds of the £18 billion cost of building the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive Officer of EDF Energy, confirmed its commitment yesterday. There had been speculation that EDF would look for a third investor to bridge a perceived gap after the Chinese agreed to pay for a third of the building work. Mr de Rivaz described the agreement signed on October 21 in the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping as “fantastically good news”.
Western Daily Press 13th Nov 2015 read more »
A 12th Century Benedictine nunnery in Somerset has opened as a new training hub for the energy firm, EDF Energy. The Grade I listed buildings at Cannington Court have been restored over the past three years. Staff will use the base to develop skills in smart metering, new nuclear projects, finance and human resources.
BBC 12th Nov 2015 read more »
Businesses in Wales can benefit from the building of a nuclear power plant in Somerset, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said. But there are concerns it could make the shortage of skilled workers for construction projects worse. Hinkley Point C will cost £18bn, with a third of it being paid by China, and will create 25,000 jobs. The Federation of Master Builders, which represents small contractors, is also worried many of its members will not even tender for business there because of how long it takes to get paid for these jobs.
BBC 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Design and engineering consultant Atkins is engaging with Chinese contractors to collaborate on future UK nuclear new-build projects, its CEO has said. Atkins UK and Europe chief executive Nick Roberts told Construction News the firm had “established relationships with a number of progressive Chinese outbound contractors” to work with in the UK.
Construction News 13th Nov 2015 read more »
A project looking at the deployment of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the UK is to be launched. The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is currently seeking partners and will invest up to £300,000 in the six-month scheme. The ETI is a partnership between energy and engineering firms including BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce, Shell and the UK Government. SMRs are nuclear power plants which are smaller in size – 300MW or less – than current generation base load plants, which are 1,000MW or higher. They can be transported by truck or rail to a nuclear power site.
Energy Live News 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Part of a machine which will play a crucial role cleaning up the most hazardous building at Sellafield has arrived on site. The 50-tonne component was transferred three miles by road from Beckermet. It will retrieve radioactive waste from the Magnox Swarf Storage facility.
ITV 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Energy secretary Amber Rudd has insisted she has the confidence of the renewable energy sector despite her party’s slew of subsidy cuts. Rudd made the comments during yesterday’s select committee enquiry when she was grilled on the content of emails leaked to The Ecologist on Monday afternoon, revealing that the UK risks falling behind its 2020 renewables targets despite her assertions to the contrary. The leak triggered an online petition calling for a vote of no confidence in the secretary of state, but Rudd remained defiant that she still had the sector’s backing.
Solar Portal 11th Nov 2015 read more »
Government ministers have accepted the ground-breaking ‘Cumbria Deal’ bid from the county’s most influential leaders, and pending agreement from the county council and each of the six districts, it would come into effect in 2018. All seven local councils would be retained, but a new overarching ‘combined authority’ board would be formed made up of the seven leaders, with a new mayor elected to lead it. The powerful mayoral role would be combined with that of the police and crime commissioner.
Whitehaven News 13th Nov 2015 read more »
The deadline for comment on the US NRC 100 mSv per year exposure proposal, also known as cancer for everyone, is November 19th. Network-Organize! In this comment, sent to the USNRC on the 27th of October, the US EPA affirms its support of the LNT (Linear No Threshold) model, which says that increased exposure to radiation is increased risk. It is, however, strange that no mention is made of the Richardson, et. al. nuclear worker study report which came out on the 20th of October. Richardson is serving on an EPA advisory committee, so they should have had early access. The research by Richardson et. al. suggests that per 100 mSv there will be an extra 10 cancers per 100 people, whereas the BEIR report estimates 1 extra cancer per 100 people.
Mining Awareness 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Presentation by Prof Catherine Mitchell – The world is still fossil fuel dominated; There are some rapid changes happening; Renewables deployment is happening quicker than expectedThe way systems are operated is changing; Flexibility, integration and decentralisation is increasingly important; Utilities are restructuring; Public discourse is changing.
IGov 13th Nov 2015 read more »
The “Inside Science” program which was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 12th November featured an item on Plutonium storage at Sellafield.
Cumbria Trust 14th Nov 2015 read more »
Your report on Indian prime minister Modi’s deal-making with the UK Government in London (“High security and Cameron’s praise for former persona non grata Modi,” 13 November, overlooks one very important dimension of the deals. Modi announced in his joint press conference with David Cameron “Today we have signed a civil nuclear deal. This is a sign of our mutual trust in each other.” Mr Cameron added “we are now discussing the future partnership between Britain and India, both of us backed by our countries for this parliament to work together to strengthen the partnership that we have”.
David Lowry 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Climate vs Nukes
Dear John Hansen: let’s look at what’s changed in the energy world since November 2013. It’s pretty easy to do, just flip through the pages of GreenWorld and you’ll get a pretty good sense of it. On the nuclear front, let’s face it: the news hasn’t been good for the industry. More reactors have announced permanent shutdown. As for new reactors, all of those being built in the West at least have experienced more schedule delays and more cost overruns. All of them: Vogtle, Summer, Olkiluoto, Flamanville. China’s nuclear construction has slowed, partly because of the problems with Areva’s EPR reactor design. Despite a lot of sound and fury (or is that smoke and mirrors?) there hasn’t been much solid from the Russian nuclear industry either, though they did finally manage to finish the Koodankulam reactors in India after more than 20 years. Kind of like TVA almost finishing its second Watts Bar reactor after more than 40 years. On the other side of the coin, what’s changed in clean energy since November 2013 is huge. The biggest change can be summed up in one word: storage. Cheap, effective electricity storage just wasn’t around two years ago. Now, thanks to Elon Musk and Tesla–and Musk’s growing number of competitors in the storage field, it is. And it’s only going to get cheaper and better; it’s on the same kind of curve that dropped solar costs over the past ten years to the point where solar is now cheaper than nuclear just about everywhere in the U.S. That’s true for most of the world too. And wind is even cheaper. And both solar and wind continue to become more efficient. The other big change, which we’ve also chronicled in these pages, is where the smart money is going. It’s really not me and other clean energy advocates you have to convince to support nuclear power; we may have the best arguments, but we don’t have the decision-making power. No, you have to convince the folks at Citibank, and Goldman Sachs, and UBS, and all the other investment houses and financial analysts who have decided to put their money on clean energy–not nuclear power. Earlier this week, Citibank put out a report pointing out that moving to clean energy will actually save the world money–a trillion dollars or more. Goldman Sachs is putting up hundreds of its own dollars in clean energy investment. If you’ll scroll down through GreenWorld, you’ll find many more reports and analyses from these kinds of institutions. Stories like this one from March, headlined: Deutsche Bank: Solar has already won.
Green World 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Finland – radwaste
FINLAND’S government has approved construction of the world’s first permanent nuclear repository designed to store nuclear waste for 100,000 years. Construction is due to take place near the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Eurajoki in western Finland. The contract to convert existing underground tunnels under the plant was awarded to Posiva at a cost of €3.5bn (US$3.8bn) over the lifespan of the project. It plans to convert the 400–450 m deep rockbed research tunnels into a shielded storage facility for the radioactive material. Material will be stored by encapsulating spent fuel in copper-coated containers, and storing them deep underground in a bedrock hole, which is then sealed with a buffer of bentonite clay, a volcanic ash that swells when mixed with water.
Chemical Engineer 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Two Belgian nuclear reactors which have been halted for years because small cracks were found in the core tanks of their reactors, will restart before the end of 2015, Belgian state broadcaster VRT reported on Thursday.Tihange 2 and Doel 3, two reactors with an output each of some 1,000 megawatts or a third of Belgium’s nuclear park, were closed in March 2014 after inspections found irregularities in the strength of the tanks surrounding the nuclear core.
Reuters 12th Nov 2015 read more »
The Australian government has shortlisted six sites for further evaluation and public consultation for a national radioactive waste management facility. The final site selection is expected to be made next year.
World Nuclear News 13th Nov 2015 read more »
India and Britain yesterday signed a civil nuclear agreement, reaffirming the importance of addressing climate change and promoting “secure, affordable and sustainable supplies of energy”. The agreement was signed on the first day of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s three-day official visit to Britain. The civil nuclear agreement is “a symbol of our mutual trust”, Modi said in a joint statement with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the end of their talks in London.
World Nuclear News 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Iran has reportedly stopped dismantling nuclear centrifuges in two uranium enrichment plants due to pressures from the hard-liners who complained that the move was too fast, state media reported, according to Reuters.
Christian Today 13th Nov 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
It was right of the government to offer generous subsidies to the first households installing roof-top solar electricity panels. Yes, the beneficiaries were wealthier households with up to £20,000 to spare. But it kick-started explosive growth in the industry which helped to push down the cost of later installations, now on around 655,000 roofs across the UK. The subsidies, so despised by climate change deniers, have driven market innovation and price cuts. They are a mostly decent example of how government intervention can spur efficiency and job creation, outweighing the regrettably large number of dodgy double glazing-style sales tactics subsidies also triggered. Even London mayor Boris Johnson says he is “very concerned”, with warnings that up to 20,000 jobs could go in the next few months. What is odd is that we were on the path to zero subsidy anyway. The fast-falling cost of production (after all, the panels are basically made of sand) plus more efficient installation suggests that within a decade or so they could be self financing. Instead, we’ll see installation grind to a halt and British firms go bust. Solar is the future, yet the government appears determined to throw it into the industrial dustbin.
Guardian 14th Nov 2015 read more »
Around 655,000 homes – less than 3% of the UK’s housing stock – have solar panels, but if government plans to slash the industry subsidy go ahead, further installations could be halted, campaigners are warning. The solar industry, backed by at least 35 MPs, is proposing an alternative plan to encourage further installations while adding just £1 to the average electricity bill. But amid fears their plea will fall on deaf ears, householders are rushing to take advantage of feed-in tariffs (Fits) while they last.
Guardian 14th Nov 2015 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News: All over the UK, volunteers are working to build locally owned wind, sun and water power. Normally this takes months, but a sneaky government cut means they’ve got just weeks to raise the funds they need. Together, we can help them hit their targets in time. You can donate to a project from just £5, and we’ll combine everyone’s donations to make an investment. If you’ve got more cash to spare, you can invest in a project directly. Most have a minimum investment of £250, but some go as low as £50. Remember: as with all investments, your capital is at risk.
Microgen Scotland 13th Nov 2015 read more »