THE COMPANY that wants to build a new nuclear power station in Britain will today meet with top government officials in an attempt to thrash out an agreement on the public subsidy for the project. EDF Energy has been locked in talks for months as both sides debate where to set the “strike price” – the guaranteed minimum amount that the company will receive every time it generates a unit of electricity – for its proposed power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The power company claims the project cannot go ahead without the state guaranteeing returns over a 30-year period. However critics say the government will end up handing over billions of pounds in subsidies if the wholesale energy market crashes. Yesterday Lord Hutton, the head of the Nuclear Industry Association, issued a stark warning that failure to agree a price soon would “impact on our future energy security” and damage Britain’s attempts to attract infrastructure investment for overseas investors.
City AM 15th April 2013 read more »
Energy security in the UK could be at risk if government fails to agree a deal with EDF Energy for Hinkley Point C, according to the chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association. Lord Hutton told the Sunday Telegraph that collapsed talks could undermine Britain’s credibility with investors and have implications for other energy projects. He questioned whether deals for offshore wind or carbon capture and storage could be struck if the same could not be done for new nuclear. The former Labour cabinet minister’s comments come ahead of talks between government and EDF Energy today on where to set the strike price, the guaranteed minimum amount the firm will receive every time it generates a unit of electricity. The two sides had planned to meet last week, but David Cameron postponed his meeting with French President, Francois Hollande, following the death of Margaret Thatcher.
Utility Week 15th April 2013 read more »
The Japanese group Hitachi is increasingly reluctant to build Britain’s next wave of nuclear reactors and may pull out of its deal with the Government unless terms are improved, with devastating effects on UK energy policy. Hitachi is monitoring the Government’s fractious talks with the French nuclear group EDF over the £14bn Hinkley Point project. “EDF is the front-runner for us. We’re watching the strike price conditions very carefully,” he told the Daily Telegraph. Japan’s nuclear shift and the country’s dash for economic growth under Mr Abe has taken pressure off Hitachi at home, and may make it less willing to accept thin pickings in Britain. Horizon-Hitachi is staying the course for now, agreeing last week to bear the costs of probing the new ABWR reactor design, It is a modest “pay-to-play” fee compared to the vast costs that come later.
Telegraph 14th April 2013 read more »
German journalists have discovered barrels of radioactive waste on the floor of the English Channel, just a handful of thousands dumped there decades ago. It was previously thought the material had dissipated. Now politicians are calling for the removal of the potentially harmful containers. Some 28,500 containers of radioactive waste were dropped into the English Channel between 1950 and 1963. Experts have assumed that the containers had long since rusted open, spreading the radioactivity throughout the ocean and thus rendering it innocuous. But a new investigative report from the joint French-German public broadcaster ARTE has concluded that the waste is still intact at the bottom of the sea. As part of an investigative report set to air on April 23, affiliated German public broadcaster SWR sent an unmanned, remote-controlled submarine into the canal’s depths, where they discovered two nuclear waste barrels at a depth of 124 meters (406 feet) just kilometers from the French coast.
Der Spiegel 12th April 2013 read more »
On a small industrial site near Bristol, in southwest England, engineers are working on a device that could revolutionise the difficult, expensive and dangerous business of taking apart old nuclear reactors. It looks deceptively simple: a bendy robot shaped liked a snake with lots of joints and a powerful laser at its head. Yet this “LaserSnake” can bend and edge its way into places people cannot. If successful, it could help the industry tackle the problem of what to do with its radioactive waste, an issue that has dogged it for decades. A review of nuclear research and development (R&D) was sparked by a November 2011 report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee into the country’s capabilities. This found the government was too complacent about the UK’s nuclear R&D capabilities and recommended the development of a strategy looking beyond 2025. The funding will support 35 R&D projects across the UK, bringing together innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) such as OC Robotics, as well as universities and larger companies including Laing O’Rourke and Sheffield Forgemasters.
FT 14th April 2013 read more »
The US Secretary of State John Kerry said that North Korea’s “dangerous nuclear missile programme” threatens North Korea’s neighbours as well as the country’s own people.
ITV 15th April 2013 read more »
US SECRETARY of State John Kerry has stressed the United States is willing to engage with North Korea as long as the Democratic People’s Republic takes steps to give up nuclear weapons.
Scotsman 15th April 2013 read more »
Ghana’s Minister for Energy and Petroleum Emmanuel Kofi Buah said that Ghana is “committed” to considering nuclear energy as a viable option in the country’s future power generation, noting in a statement issued by the Ministry that the country’s increasing demand for power necessitated accelerated measures for the nation to consider nuclear power. Buah made his observations when the International Atomic Energy Agency Africa section chief, Dr. Dazhu Yang, currently in Ghana, visited him.
Oil Price 12th April 2013 read more »
The Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday called for international inspectors to be sent to Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant over concerns of possible radiation leaks after an earthquake hit the area.
Middle East Online 14th April 2013 read more »
An estimated 500 protesters are set to blockade Faslane naval base this morning (Monday) as the area becomes the focus of the world-wide debate on the need for nuclear weapons.
Helensburgh Advertiser 15th April 2013 read more »
THE Royal Navy’s newest nuclear submarine has been forced to abandon its sea trials after a fault was discovered. The £1 billion HMS Ambush has had to be towed back to its port on the Clyde just weeks after being handed over to the navy. The vessel came to an unexpected halt in the middle of Gare Loch on Wednesday, and the MoD confirmed an “issue” meant it had to return to base. Ambush is the latest in the Royal Navy’s astute class of attack submarines, said to be among the most advanced in the world. It was built by BAE Systems in Cumbria, and was commissioned into the navy last month at a ceremony at Faslane on the Clyde. The MoD declined to give specific details but said the submarine’s nuclear reactor was not at fault.
Scotsman 15th April 2013 read more »
Scientists have harnessed the principles of photosynthesis to develop a new way of producing hydrogen – in a breakthrough that offers a possible solution to global energy problems. The researchers claim the development could help unlock the potential of hydrogen as a clean, cheap and reliable power source.
Independent 15th April 2013 read more »
One of the biggest suppliers of gas to Britain, Statoil of Norway, has said the UK’s system of power market price reporting is open to manipulation and “gaming” and needs to be shaken up. The damning assessment of the UK system from one of the world’s biggest energy companies comes six months after the Guardian triggered an investigation by City and energy watchdogs with a report detailing concerns about wholesale gas market rigging raised by an ICIS Heren price reporter, Seth Freedman. The inquiries into the £300bn market, started by the then Financial Services Authority and Ofgem, are still looking at the way the price reporting agencies such as ICIS cover the markets as well as how energy companies go about their wholesale trading activities.
Guardian 14th April 2013 read more »