Families and businesses are being asked to find an extra £2.8 billion a year for the next 25 years by EDF Energy as the price of rescuing Britains faltering nuclear power programme. The Times has learnt that the French state-backed energy giant will not build two new reactors in Somerset without huge subsidies, paid for through fixed levies on the electricity bills of consumers and businesses for decades to come. The company has begun talks with the Department of Energy and Climate Change about its planned £14 billion Hinkley Point nuclear plant and intends to decide at the end of the year whether to go ahead. According to well-placed industry sources, EDF Energy has told officials that it needs about £165 per megawatt hour, almost four times the existing wholesale price of electricity, if it is to go ahead with Hinkley Point. City analysts said that the additional cost of building these two reactors at such a heavily subsidised rate, rather than, for example, cheaper gas-fired plants, would be £68 billion over 25 years, or an average of about £50 extra a year on every household bill. Businesses would be face an even bigger charge. John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: Anyone who is able to turn on a calculator can now see that the nuclear industry has been misleading us for years. The Governments energy policy is based on the fiction that nuclear power would be cheap. At these prices, it would be a very costly mistake that would see consumers paying billions of pounds in subsidy for decades to come. The Government has warned EDF Energy, and its junior partner Centrica, that nuclear power subsidies must be lower than offshore wind power to ensure public acceptance. The company argues that the total costs of the giant new offshore wind projects planned for the North Sea will be £180 per mw/h, making nuclear slightly cheaper.
Times 15th July 2012 more >>
In a move that overturns one of the major contractual obligations of Sellafields overseas reprocessing customers, the UKs Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced a deal that will see German-owned plutonium already stored at Sellafield transferred into the UK stockpile rather than being repatriated to German utilities as required under the original contracts. These contracts, in which customers committed to having their spent nuclear fuel reprocessed in the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP), specifically required the physical repatriation of recovered plutonium to the country of origin. Such contracts, until now, have been robustly defended by Government as being sacrosanct with no leeway for renegotiation.
CORE 15th July 2012 more >>
HILDA Murrell had just completed a paper critising the Sizewell B project when she was attacked on March 21, 1984. Her car was spotted in a ditch that afternoon and reported to police. However, her body was not discovered until Saturday, March 24. A landowner who had been in the wood on the Thursday said he saw no body. Later, a cold-case review linked DNA at the crime scene with 5ft 2in Andrew George.
Sunday Expess 15th July 2012 more >>
Energy bills could rise by up to £20 a year under plans to help fund infrastructure improvements by National Grid, which are set to be approved by Ofgem today. The company is looking to spend up to £44bn transforming the UK’s pipes and cables, and argues it needs a 7.5pc rate of return for the bulk of its investment. The industry watchdog is expected to outline how much National Grid can charge, which will determine by how much energy bills are likely to rise. National Grid suggested its proposals could increase yearly bills by between £15 and £20. Ofgem could set strict funding terms and limit the cost of equity to 7pc or less, demanding National Grid deliver plans at a lower cost.
Telegraph 16th July 2012 more >>
Attention was drawn to the problem-plagued plutonium fuel (MOX) program at the Savannah River Site (SRS) during an evening concert by musicians Crosby, Still and Nash on July 14 in north Atlanta. The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) – http://www.ananuclear.org/ – prepared an informative MOX display for a table at the concert in order to educate the public about the cost, technical and scheduling problems facing the MOX program at SRS, located near Aiken, South Carolina.
Aiken Leader 15th July 2012 more >>
Abu Dhabi’s environment agency has approved plans for the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear power plant, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said on Sunday, adding that it is still awaiting a construction licence.
Reuters 15th July 2012 more >>
UK investment in clean energy more than doubled in the second quarter to a three-year high of $3.6bn (£2.3bn) helped by a giant wind farm five miles off the east coast of Skegness. The 75-turbine Lincs Wind Farm, a joint venture between Centrica, Siemens and Dong Energy, is expected to begin generating electricity this year. It accounted for $1.6bn (£1.03m) of the investment in UK clean energy in the three months to July, according to new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In comments that put himself at odds with George Osborne, CBI director general John Cridland said: “The so-called ‘choice’ between going green or going for growth is a false one. With the right policies in place, green business will be a major pillar of our future growth.”
Independent 16th July 2012 more >>
A long-awaited government announcement could come this week on the size of wind farm subsidies over the next four years, expected to run into billions of pounds. The move would benefit energy companies but mean the cost is added on to household electricity bills. A row between the Treasury and the Department for Energy and Climate Change over the level of subsidies could see the decision delayed until after the summer parliamentary recess, however.
Telegraph 16th July 2012 more >>