The race to the reactor is hotting up between the firms vying to build Britains nuclear future. GDF Suez, the owner of International Power, plans to open an operational plant by 2023 at its site in Sellafield and trounce its main rival, EDF. Sources close to GDF said the company would fare better as a British provider as it was used to operating in a private-sector environment, unlike the French stateowned EDF. EDF has a significant head start, having received planning permission for its location, while GDF does not anticipate starting construction until the end of 2016. Its plant will be run by NuGen, a consortium of GDF, Scottish and Southern Energy and Iberdrola. Chief operating officer Olivier Carret yesterday said the decision had been taken to go into Britain after seeing which market had a need for the technology. Another senior GDF source said the group saw a nuclear vacuum waiting to be filled, adding: Within Europe, if anyone wants to invest in nuclear power then Britain is the only option that is open. A third contender, Horizon comprised of RWE and E.ON plans to have a plant up and running by 2025.
This is Money 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Global nuclear power capacity will rise by nearly 70 percent in the next 20 years, despite a turn in sentiment following the Fukushima crisis, driven by demand in mainly Asian countries, the World Nuclear Association said in a report. “It is clear that nuclear prospects in Germany and Japan have been damaged by Fukushima, but the prospects for new reactor build continue to be strong in China, India, Korea and the United Kingdom,” the body said in its nuclear fuel report, which is published every two years and was released on Thursday. Installed nuclear capacity is expected to grow to 614 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from 364 GW currently.
Reuters 15th Sept 2011 more >>
GE Hitachi plans to submit its application for nuclear reactor design approval to the UK regulator in the first or second quarter of next year, one of its executives told Reuters on Thursday. “We plan to submit our proposal in Q1 or Q2 next year,” said Daniel Roderick, senior vice president for nuclear plant projects at GE Hitachi. The U.S.-Japanese joint venture had initially planned to apply for regulatory approval for its ESBWR reactor in June, but Britain’s nuclear regulator said its resources were too stretched assessing Westinghouse’s AP1000 design and Areva’s EPR to accept another application.
Reuters 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Westinghouse is not expecting an official report on nuclear safety post-Fukushima to hold any unpleasant surprises and said there would be no showstoppers affecting the eventual licensing of its AP1000 design in Britain as the final phase of the generic design assessment comes into view. Westinghouse will, however, hold back on carrying out some of the final work needed for reactors to be licensed until it has secured an order from Horizon Nuclear Power to build the AP1000 at a site in Wylfa, Wales. The decision by Horizon on which vendor to plump for rival Areva is vying with Westinghouse to build its 1,600MW EPR design in Britain is expected at the end of the year. The work that is being put on hold is low risk, said Westinghouse, but substantial and therefore expensive.
Professional Engineering 15th Sept 2011 more >>
The chief executive of Westinghouse has insisted that Laing ORourke and US-based Shaw Group will continue to be its partners for nuclear work in the UK. Westinghouse chief executive and president Aris Candris said the decision by Shaw Group to sell its 20 per cent stake in Westinghouse would not affect the consortium, Nuclear Power Delivery UK, from being Westinghouses delivery partners. Mr Candris also confirmed that Horizon is still working to a 2020 timeline for the new Wylfa plant at Anglesey in north Wales to be in operation with construction completed. Westinghouse is believed to be the front runner for selection for the Wylfa plant being developed by Horizon , a joint venture between RWE npower and E.On.
Construction News 15th Sept 2011 more >>
The UKs nuclear power stations have all started stress tests as part of an agreement to test all such facilities across Europe, the Office for Nuclear Regulation confirms today. Following the nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan, every nuclear power generating country in Europe agreed in May to undertake relevant tests to an agreed timetable. The tests, carried out by licensees, involve targeted reassessment of each stations safety margins in the light of extreme natural events, such as earthquake and tsunami.
ONR 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Britain’s nuclear industry is safe and reliable and requires no structural changes, initial results of European Union stress tests show, according to a report issued on Thursday by the UK’s nuclear watchdog. The report follows the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March, which led the European Commission to mandate safety tests on the bloc’s 143 reactors.
Reuters 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Britains biggest electricity supplier, EDF Energy, has become the latest utility to raise household bills, while also breaking ranks with its peers to support a Competition Commission investigation of the gas and power market. The UK subsidiary of EDF, Frances state-owned energy giant, will increase electricity and gas charges by 4.5 and 15.4 per cent respectively, with effect from 10 November. However, Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, stressed that he was putting up bills by less than any competitor. All of the big six utilities have announced higher charges in the last three months, with British Gas, the largest energy supplier, raising electricity and gas prices by 16 and 18 per cent. Today, when you compare our tariff increase with those of our competitors, it is clear that we are not all the same, said Mr de Rivaz. We are the last to increase our prices, we are doing so by the least amount and as a result, we will remain the cheapest.
FT 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Independent 16th Sept 2011 more >>
In early September 2011 EDF was named as Britain’s most complained about power company, according to figures published by Consumer Focus.
Guardian 15th Sept 2011 more >>
The boss of EDF Energy yesterday hailed a 15.4 per cent rise in gas bills and a 4.5 per cent increase in electricity prices as spectacularly fair for millions of British households. EDF Energy is the last of the big six energy suppliers to raise utility bills in the latest round of price increases. The increase will affect 5.3 million customers from November 10.
Times 16th Sept 2011 more >>
ALMOST a million households in Scotland will now be in fuel poverty after the last of the major suppliers announced a second price rise in less than a year, it has been warned. The 15.4% jump in gas and 4.5% rise in electricity tariffs announced by EDF means that all six of the big power suppliers have now raised tariffs for the coming winter and campaigners said households had seen their annual bills rise by 224 (21%) to 1293 in 12 months. It is estimated that 569,600 more families in the UK will be forced to spend at least 10% of their net income on keeping warm because of the latest round of rises and uSwitch.com warned that almost seven million households are now going to be classed as fuel poor. The figures suggest that close to one million families will be in fuel poverty in Scotland. Official figures show that 32.7% of households north of the Border spend a tenth o f their income on energy costs, compared with 18.4% in England.
Herald 16th Sept 2011 more >>
AN Anglesey farmer is standing firm against a nuclear giant which wants to buy his land for a new power station. Surveyors acting on behalf of Horizon Nuclear, which plans to build a new generating plant at Wylfa, are visiting landowners to make offers for their property. But Richard Jones, and his wife Gwenda, at Caerdegog Uchaf, Llanfechell which borders the land Horizon have bought on the Wylfa site are refusing to sell up.
Daily Post 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Wales Tonight 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Nuclear waste is to be sent from Dounreay in Scotland to a reactor in Belgium. The material will be shipped by sea as part of a long standing inter-government agreement signed when highly enriched nuclear fuel from all over the world was reprocessed at Dounreay. More than 150 tonnes of intermediate level waste will be transported in 21 shipments over the next four years. The material is bound for the state-owned BR2 reactor in Mols. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited’s Alex Anderson said the movements were part of its mission to decommission the site and to honour the “return to sender” commitment.
BBC 15th Sept 2011 more >>
ENVIRONMENTALISTS have attacked plans by the Dounreay nuclear plant to begin shipping tonnes of radioactive waste from the north of Scotland back to foreign customers. The first 153 tonnes is due to leave the Caithness complex in the next few weeks for a research reactor in Mol, Belgium, that produces isotopes for nuclear medicine across Europe. The waste, in a cement form, is contained in 500-litre steel drums and will be transported by sea in 21 shipments over the next four years. Stan Blackley, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said environmentalists were against transporting nuclear waste between countries. He said: “Whether the waste is reprocessed or not, in cement or not, doesn’t really matter, it’s a bad idea and a gamble no government should be prepared to take. Sending waste from Scotland to anywhere is unnecessary and risky, with enormous potential for accidents, mistakes and even sabotage. It should not even be considered.” Dounreay has also come under fire recently over plans to transport radioactive material by train to Sellafield in Cumbria for reprocessing. If approved, the first of 46 shipments could start in January.
Scotsman 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Dounreays decommissioning contractor today sets out what will happen to an estimated 300,000 tonnes of radioactive material from the clean-out and closure of the former nuclear research site. More than 99 per cent is expected to remain indefinitely at Dounreay. A small amount of foreign radioactive waste and a stock of nuclear fuel inherited by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is earmarked for removal. The plan is set out in a new leaflet, Radioactive Materials at Dounreay, published by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, the site closure contractor to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
DSRL 15th Sept 2011 more >>
SELLAFIELD is bringing in another American boss to take charge of reprocessing. Scott Sax is due to join the site at the end of the month to start his new job as director of spent fuel management. Stuart MacVean has filled the role since Nuclear Management Partners succeeded BNFL as Sellafields parent body company in 2008. He is returning to the United States to take up a high profile position at the Savannah River complex.
Whitehaven News 15th Sept 2011 more >>
The US government is unable to account for the whereabouts of 16,000kg of weapons-grade nuclear material. The material in question uranium and plutonium was distributed to 27 countries over several decades to support peaceful, civilian enterprises. However, the US Government Audit Office (GAO) found that the system established to monitor the use of these materials the Nuclear Materials Management and Safeguard System was established in the 1950s and has never been updated.
Bureau of Investigative Journalism 15th Sept 2011 more >>
After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, six months ago, state-controlled Electricite de France SA, the worlds biggest reactor operator, is stepping up a campaign to make the French better appreciate nuclear power. Atomic energy provides about 75 percent of Frances electricity, the highest proportion in the world, and is central to the governments efforts to keep power prices among the lowest in Europe and carbon emissions below those in other large European Union countries. French public opinion after Fukushima has become increasingly anti-nuclear, Corinne Lepage, an environmental lawyer and member of the European Parliament, said in an interview. EDF has its work cut out for it.
Business Week 15th Sept 2011 more >>
A NUCLEAR fuel carrier reportedly docked today with the first cargo of radioactive waste to be transported to Japan since the March quake.
Fairplay 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Japan plans to build a floating wind farm near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant as part of the countrys disaster reconstruction effort, a government official said Thursday. Tokyo is seeking ways to reduce its reliance on atomic energy following the worlds worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and is eying the Pacific coast of Fukushima Prefecture, the official said.
Japan Today 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Fluor Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to serve as GEH’s engineering, procurement and construction partner for a new nuclear power project in Poland. Poland is preparing to build two nuclear power stations to diversify its energy supply and GEH will bid on a nuclear plant construction project. Polish utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) is expected to open the project-bidding process this month.
Energy Business Review 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Charles Secrett: collectively promote a compelling vision about what life can be like, with wealth created and shared, markets working for people and nature as well as profits, and communites empowered, before it really is too late.
Guardian 15th Sept 2011 more >>
The government has been accused of performing a U-turn over applying a key energy efficiency measure to commercial buildings, in a move that has sparked a furious backlash from the construction and property industry. In March the government committed to roll out Display Energy Certificates (DEC), which are currently used to rate the actual energy performance of public buildings, to all commercial buildings by the end of October 2012.
Building 16th Sept 2011 more >>
A COMMUNITY energy trust in Scotland has been cited as a model that could be copied elsewhere in the UK as part of David Cameron’s Big Society. The Fintry Development Trust, which has set up a wind farm collective in the village near Glasgow, is one of the examples singled out by the social and economic commentator Phillip Blond, as a project that promotes the values of the Big Society. The Fintry project is run by volunteers and has generated 140,000 for the community since it began in 2003.
Scotsman 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Letters: My thanks to Alex Orr (Letters, 14 September) for clearly elucidating the absurdity of our energy policy: “by 2020” we will “generate twice as much electricity as Scotland needs half of it from renewables with Scotland exporting as much electricity as she consumes”. In other words: We are despoiling our landscape with wind farms and pylons, increasing fuel poverty with a 12 per cent renewable tariff on our fuel bills and providing energy companies and landowners with massive subsidies – all this so the generating companies can make even more profits by exporting the electricity. By implication, Mr Orr confirms that, if we did not undertake these vastly expensive “green” projects, the country would still be self-sufficient in power in 2020. Not so much a “green policy” as a “greenback policy” for some.
Scotsman 16th Sept 2011 more >>