Vincent de Rivaz once boasted that EDF Energy’s nuclear plant in Somerset would be built in time to help to cook the nation’s Christmas turkeys in 2017. In fact, after missing the latest milestone for the Hinkley Point project, the building of Britain’s first new reactor for decades — by the French group or even by its rivals — looks as far away as ever. EDF’s chief executive had promised to make a final decision on whether to go ahead by the end of 2012. But the energy giant has yet to reach agreement with the Government over the level of subsidy, funded by levies on people’s electricity bills, that it will receive. Hinkley Point’s costs have ballooned by 40 per cent to £14 billion, meaning that EDF needs an even bigger subsidy, or “strike price”, to make the project economic. Ministers, in contrast, are reluctant to overpay and saddle consumers with billions of pounds of subsidies for years to come. With Centrica, its junior partner, planning to pull out of the Hinkley Point project, EDF is in talks with Chinese utilities to sell a minority stake and share the costs. Even Rosatom, the Russian state-owned atomic group whose origins go back to the Chernobyl disaster, is interested in investing in new nuclear facilities in Britain. In five years’ time, and despite promises to the contrary, Britain’s Christmas turkeys will be cooked using gas rather than nuclear power. The Times continues to insist that the debt-laden Spanish utility Iberdrola, the owner of ScottishPower, has pulled out of a consortium to build a reactor at Sellafield.
Times 2nd Jan 2013 more »
Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has confirmed it is in talks about selling off part of its Westinghouse nuclear power arm. The division has its UK headquarters at Matrix Park, near Leyland, and runs the Springfields nuclear fuel plant at Salwick, near Preston. Toshiba president Norio Sasaki said it had received “very good offers” from three interested parties for a 16 per cent stake in the business worth more than £500m. Mr Sasaki was quoted in the Japanese press as saying the buyer would be a partner to help Toshiba establish a “firmer footing” in target markets including the United Kingdom. He said the company wanted to retain a controlling stake of at least 51 per cent in Westinghouse.
Lancashire Evening Post 31st Dec 2012 more »
Independent Forgings and Alloys has unveiled plans to invest in additional forging capacity at its Penistone Road plant in Sheffield. The company made the announcement as it took another step towards becoming a key supplier to companies building new nuclear reactors in the UK and abroad. IFA is one of 25 companies that pre-qualified as a supplier to power plant developer AREVA and the company has now signed a memorandum of understanding with the French firm. The agreement relates to two new EPR pressurised water reactors, due to be built for energy company EDF, at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Sheffield Star 31st Dec 2012 more »
EDF Energy’s British subsidiary has taken the 640-MW unit 2 of its Torness nuclear reactor in eastern Scotland offline this morning, the company said in a statement on Monday.On Dec.30 EDF Energy said it had returned the 610-MW unit 1 at its Heysham reactor at 0535 GMT Sunday, which had been offline since Dec. 22.
Reuters 31st Dec 2012 more »
A new analysis from Frost & Sullivan European Nuclear Power Sector finds that nuclear energy is the answer to meeting aggressive EU targets on carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuels. Despite the environmental risks, nuclear energy shows potential to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, and therefore, will be a major contributor to the European energy mix in 2020.
Modern Power Systems 31st Dec 2012 more »
Japanese regulators have found inadequate fireproofing at more than one fifth of the nuclear reactors that went offline after the 2011 Fukushima crisis, a major daily said on Tuesday. The finding could delay their restart by several years in some cases, the Mainichi Shimbun said. More than 10 of Japan’s 50 reactors, excluding those at Fukushima, have flaws in fireproofing, the paper quoted sources at the industry ministry and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) as saying.
France 24 1st Jan 2013 more »
Mainichi 1st Jan 2012 more »
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on Jan. 1 set up a “Fukushima recovery headquarters” near its disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, but doubts remain about the new facility’s effectiveness as utility continues to struggle financially. The headquarters were set up at the “J-Village” facility serving as the base of operations to bring the Fukushima plant disaster under control. TEPCO also plans to move ahead with the establishment of a research facility acting as an international base for reactor dismantlement, and to set up a next-generation coal-fired thermal power plant in the prefecture. The efforts are to “fulfill (TEPCO’s) responsibility” for the disaster, according to company president Naomi Hirose.
Mainichi 1st Jan 2013 more »
Despite the recent victory of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which is pro-nuclear and won a nationwide parliamentary vote on 16 December, issues surrounding the country’s nuclear energy policies will not go away. During a 5 December speech at the United Nations University (UNU) Headquarters in Tokyo, Icelandic ambassador to Japan, Stefan Larus Stefansson, gave an upbeat assessment of Japan’s enormous untapped geothermal energy potential, citing Iceland’s 85-year history of success in this area as a model.
Oil Price 31st Dec 2012 more »
India and Pakistan have carried out an annual exchange of lists of their nuclear facilities as part of an agreement that bans the rivals from attacking each other’s nuclear installations. India’s external affairs ministry said the lists were exchanged yesterday both in New Delhi and Islamabad.
Scotsman 2nd Jan 2013 more »
Stuck in the middle of a colder than normal winter the South Korean government has been campaigning nationwide to urge its people to save energy wherever possible and prevent blackouts. Yet as the demand for power continues to increase they have taken other measures to avoid catastrophe. One of the two nuclear reactors shut nearly two months ago, due to some parts having been found to have forged documents, will be brought back online.
Oil Price 1st Jan 2013 more »
Russia has begun testing the latest in its fleet of new nuclear submarines nearly seven years after it was started to be built. The silent submarine, the Vladimir Monomakh, which is the third ship in Russia’s Borei project, began its sea trials on Sunday as it bids to become fully operational this year.
Daily Mail 1st Jan 2012 more »
Nuclear Information Service Newsletter December 2012 – January 2013. This month’s NIS Update newsletter contains news about an update from the Ministry of Defence on the Trident replacement programme and the findings of an independent inquiry into alternatives to work on Trident at the BAE Systems shipyard at Barrow, along with reports on faults to Astute class submarines and the latest information about the Atomic Weapons Establishment.
NIS 31st Dec 2012 more »