The Government risks distorting its planned reform of the electricity market merely to save political face over implicit subsidies for nuclear power, MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee warn in a report out today. The Coalition Agreement pledged to allow new nuclear power stations to be built ‘provided that they receive no public subsidy’. But MPs believe that Government proposals will effectively provide subsidies to nuclear generators through new long term contracts and a carbon price floor that could hand them windfall profits.
HofC Energy & Climate Change Committee 16th May 2011 more >>
Nuclear power should have absolutely no role to play in Scotland or the UKs future energy plans said WWF Scotland today (Monday 16 May). The environmental group made the call in response to a new report published today, by an influential committee of MPs, warning the UK Government to be ‘up-front’ about the subsidies it is planning to give new nuclear power.
WWF Scotland 16th May 2011 more >>
Ministers should admit that fuel bills will rise to subsidise nuclear power, MPs have warned, instead of claiming power stations will be built without help from the taxpayer to save political face.
Telegraph 15th May 2011 more >>
Planned reforms to electricity markets will act as a subsidy system for new nuclear reactors that disadvantages other low-carbon technologies, a committee of leading MPs warn. The Energy Select Committee will argue in a report released on Monday that the Government is being “deeply irresponsible” by refusing to admit that households will be subsidising up to 10 new nuclear power stations as a result of the reforms.
Telegraph 16th May 2011 more >>
The Government should be “upfront” about the subsidies it is planning to give new nuclear power, MPs have warned.
Express 16th May 2011 more >>
MPs have accused the government of designing its electricity market reform (EMR) package to avoid admitting that nuclear power will require subsidies.
Utility Week 13th May 2011 more >>
BBC 16th May 2011 more >>
Guardian 16th May 2011 more >>
Independent 16th May 2011 more >>
Morning Star 15th May 2011 more >>
The most radical reform of the UKs electricity market for 20 years will fail to deliver the investment needed to renew the countrys energy infrastructure, a committee of MPs says. Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, proposes a new policy framework designed to encourage companies to invest some £110bn in low-carbon forms of electricity generation over the next decade. However, a highly critical report from the energy and climate change committee, released on Monday, suggested that his over-complex proposals would not raise this amount of capital. The government proposes a new tariff system designed to reward low-carbon methods of generating electricity. But the feed-in tariffs, suggested in a consultation paper in December, are best suited to encouraging new nuclear power stations and biomass plants, said the report. The governments one- size-fits-all approach will fail to bring forward the low-carbon investment we need. The model of contracts proposed may be appropriate for some generators, such as nuclear and biomass, but could increase costs and risks for intermittent generators such as wind and technologies like carbon capture and storage and electricity storage, the report read.
FT 16th May 2011 more >>
A committee of MPs will launch a blistering attack on the Governments energy policy today, calling it too complicated and saying that it is in disarray and has misled the public over the subsidy being given to the French nuclear power company EDF. Lambasting the flagship Electricity Market Reform of Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, the Energy Select Committee says: The Government must go back to the drawing board and come up with a more straightforward and coherent set of plans to reform the electricity market. Doug Parr, policy director at Greenpeace, said: The committee has exposed the truth about government energy plans its about subsidising nuclear. Nuclear power has always needed taxpayer handouts to make it profitable. After Fukushima, nuclear costs are set to rise even further. David Cameron should come clean about the leg-up hes planning to give the nuclear giants.
Times 16th May 2011 more >>
Letter European Wind Energy Assoc: It is misleading of Steve Radley of EEF to claim that most renewable energy technologies are likely to remain considerably more expensive than alternative forms of low-carbon generation such as nuclear (Letters, May 11). Seventy per cent of renewable energy capacity installed across the European Union in the last 11 years was wind power, a trend likely to continue in the future. New onshore wind power already costs considerably less than building a new nuclear power station and that gap will widen further following inevitable increases in nuclear safety costs following Fukushima. Wind energy developers in Turkey are signing power purchase agreements on market terms, without subsidies, at one-third of the price (approximately 7 euro cents per kilowatt hour) of the winning bid in a 2009 public tender for new nuclear power in Turkey (0.21 per kWh). The Committee on Climate Change report that Mr Radley cites actually says that the cost of onshore wind is lower than nuclear in 2011, and will still be lower in 2020, 2030 and 2040. This even despite the fact that the credit rating agency Moodys in 2009 put the capital cost of building new nuclear 75 per cent higher than the committees report does for 2020. So it seems Mr Radley is pinning dubious claims on questionable nuclear costs.
FT 16th May 2011 more >>
FEARS that Sellafields Mox fuel future has been undermined by events in Japan have been dispelled by nuclear bosses. It follows reports that Japans Prime Minister has called for the closure of the Hamaoka plant, near Tokyo, over concerns that it is also an earthquake risk in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Hamoaka is one of the Japanese customers that has agreed to invest in new Mox manufacture in the Sellafield SMP plant. This will support significant engineering changes. All told, 10 Japanese nuclear power utilities have placed contracts which have been hailed as a saviour for SMP, helping secure around 1,000 Sellafield jobs and the sites longer term commercial future. Sellafields owners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, stressed this week: We have contracts with all the Japanese utilities through what is called a contractual framework agreement. Chubu Electric (owner of the Hamaoka site) is just the first customer for whom we are manufacturing fuel. Friends of the Earth in West Cumbria has called on the government to halt its plutonium management consultations which advocates Sellafield Mox production as an important option in reducing the plutonium stockpile. FoE claims the on-going Japanese nuclear crisis has removed the market for Mox. Spokeswoman Dr Ruth Balogh said: This plant (SMP) has been costing the taxpayer £90 million a year. The true costs of Mox in terms of waste need to be appraised. It is incorrect to speak of Mox as a recycling facility when the ensuing spent fuel is even more radioactive and problematic to deal with, creasing a further problem of waste.
Whitehaven News 12th May 2011 more >>
Japan began evacuating people from outside the official exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant after it was revealed fuel rods there probably melted hours after March’s devastating earthquake.
ABC News 16th May 2011 more >>
Japan said Monday it was still on target to achieve the shutdown of damaged reactors at a crippled nuclear plant by around the year-end, despite damage being worse than earlier thought. The premier’s pledge came despite the abandonment of the latest attempt to cool the number one reactor at the plant by filling the containment chamber with water. TEPCO said that around 3,000 tons of highly radioactive contaminated waste water had leaked through holes created by melted fuel into the reactor basement, forcing officials to think of ways to pump it out and process it.
AFP 16th May 2011 more >>
A plan to flood and cool the No. 1 reactors containment vessel at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant with water will be abandoned as holes have been created by melted nuclear fuel at the bottom of the pressure vessel. Goshi Hosono, tasked with handling the nuclear crisis, told TV programs, however, that the government will keep intact the road map devised by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co to bring the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors under control within six to nine months. On the original plan to completely submerge the 4-meter-tall fuel rods by filling the vessel with water, Hosono said, We should not cause the (radioactive) water to flow into the sea by taking such a measure.
Japan Today 16th May 2011 more >>
Tepco said melting fuel rods had created a hole in the chamber, allowing 3,000 tonnes of contaminated water to leak into the basement of the reactor building.
BBC 15th May 2011 more >>
Data taken at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the night of March 11 showing a high level of radiation at a reactor building suggest the possibility that key facilities there may have been damaged by the quake itself that day rather than tsunami-caused power loss that failed the reactor’s cooling function, a utility source said Saturday.
Nikkei 15th May 2011 more >>
Two-thirds of Japanese voters back Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s decision to close a nuclear plant seen at risk from a major earthquake but the move failed to give the unpopular premier much of a ratings bounce, surveys showed on Monday.
Reuters 16th May 2011 more >>
Tourists will soon be able to wander through a nuclear power plant in the Philippines that was built nearly three decades ago but never used, a government official said Wednesday. The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which has lain dormant since it was completed in 1984 at a cost of $2.3 billion, will be opened to tour groups to teach them about nuclear power, said regional tourism director Ronald Tiotuico.
Independent 15th May 2011 more >>
The EEF, the organisation that represents the UK manufacturing industry, will today urge the Government to reject the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee, which it says would saddle the country with unrealistic targets that are much more demanding than anything faced elsewhere in Europe. It said the committee’s “carbon budget”, published before Christmas, would require Britain to cut carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, half as much again as the target agreed by the EU.
Independent 16th May 2011 more >>