The chief executive of EDF Energy has vowed that the £24bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant will be built by 2025 and will not result in extra costs to UK taxpayers. In evidence before the House of Lords economic affairs select committee, Vincent de Rivaz dismissed parallels with two nuclear plants EDF is building in France and Finland, which have suffered delays and cost overruns. He said planning of the two projects had been “flawed” and there had been “underestimation” of their costs but insisted EDF had learned lessons from these setbacks. “The assumptions made on cost and schedule were wrong, dead wrong. We have dramatically changed the approach by which we prepared this project,” he said.
Guardian 1st Nov 2016 read more »
The chief executive of EDF Energy has pledged to deliver the Hinkley nuclear power station on schedule and budget, promising that his firm won’t ask the UK government for any extra money. Addressing the Lords Economic Affairs Committee, Vincent de Rivaz assured that investors, including EDF and China’s state-backed energy firm CGN, would bear the full financial risks of the project’s construction. When asked whether the Government would be asked for more money to complete Hinkley, Mr de Rivaz said “absolutely not”.
ITV 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Belfast Telegraph 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Former Chancellor Lord Darling said Hinkley “could be one of these projects that’s so big and so massive that it will reach a stage that we can’t actually go back, and if it overruns we will be stuck with it”. Questioning Vincent de Rivaz, EDF’s UK chief executive, Lord Darling raised doubts over whether the project would be completed on “anything like” its 2025 target and raised fears that the French energy giant – which struggled to afford Hinkley – could have to go back to the Government for more money to complete it.
Telegraph 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 2nd Nov 2016 read more »
The Economic Affairs Committee’s next evidence session focuses on the agreement between the Government and EDF Energy for the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The Committee takes evidence from EDF Energy as well as critics of the scheme and other nuclear power companies.
House of Lords 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Caroline Lucas: Theresa May is different from past prime ministers in many ways, but it seems she shares with her predecessors a penchant for big projects, even in the face of overwhelming evidence against them. In just a few months she has pushed a vote to renew Trident, given the go-ahead to Hinkley Point C and pledged her government’s support for the expansion of Britain’s busiest airport.
Guardian 1st Nov 2016 read more »
BUSINESSES who can prove they have been negatively affected financially by the upcoming roadworks on Bridgwater’s ‘Golden Triangle’ should be compensated by EDF, town councillors say. EDF representatives gave a presentation at Thursday’s town council meeting regarding the proposed one way system that will be in place while roadworks to widen, resurface and install new traffic lights are carried out on the Wylds Road and Bristol Road junctions that meet The Drove. EDF representative David Eccles assured the town council that thorough consultation was underway, with discussions held at the Somerset County Council transport forum, Sedgemoor District Council, Bridgwater Town Council and Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce.
Bridgwater Mercury 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Chinese President Xi Jinping has saaid China and France should properly implement the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Britain, the first new nuclear power plant in Britain for two decades. Xi made the remarks when meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Chinese and French companies signed the agreement to build an 18 billion pound nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C during Xi’s state visit to Britain in October last year. The CGN-led Chinese consortium and French company EDF respectively take 33.5 percent and 66.5 percent stake. “Both sides should properly implement the Hinkley Point C nuclear project and other major projects, and expand cooperation in trade, investment and finance to deeply integrate our interests,” Xi said. Xi urged more people-to-people exchanges as well as cooperation at the local level and in international affairs.
The Nation 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Costing the Earth. Our nuclear power stations are being pushed to run well past their planned life-span. Matthew Hill asks if this is putting us all in danger
BBC 2nd Nov 2016 read more »
Welsh will be a minority language on Anglesey if Wylfa goes ahead. Groups including Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, Cylch yr Iaith and Dyfodol yr Iaith, have come together under the umbrella “Pwyllgor Ymgyrch Tai a Chynllunio Gwynedd a Môn” (Gwynedd and Anglesey Housing and Planning Campaign), to respond to a consultation on plans for Horizon’s Wylfa Newydd development. They oppose the building of the plant, despite the proposition of around 1,000 new jobs. With around 10,000 construction workers needed to build the power station, around 75% of them from outside North Wales, they fear that fewer than 50% of the island would be Welsh speaking.
Daily Post 1st Nov 2016 read more »
GDA – ABWRs
This is how the Environment Agency is proposing to consult with stakeholders on the generic design assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd’s (Hitachi-GE) UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). This consultation plan is for members of the public and other stakeholders who: want to share their knowledge with us; live or work in an area where this design may be proposed by a developer (currently Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey in north Wales and Oldbury in South Gloucestershire); represent a ‘community’ they want to share this information with; are interested in how we assess new nuclear power station designs.
Environment Agency 12th Dec (sic) 2016 read more »
Hitachi and GE have joined forces with two UK universities to support their nuclear research. It has signed an agreement with Imperial College London and Bangor University to provide industry advice to the Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Research Hub and Network in Wales. The hub was formed in June this year with the aim of enabling the academic and industrial communities to deepen and enhance their understanding of BWR technology and participate in its research and development. The Hitachi-GE joint venture will provide technical expertise and support including a part-time deployment of a researcher to Bangor and building on the existing programme of Japanese internships for UK students.
Energy Live News 2nd Nov 2016 read more »
Fear of radiation and nuclear power. This fear has jeopardized our choices to address climate change, has hurt the nuclear industry, and caused us to unnecessarily spend billions of dollars protecting against radiation at levels that are quite safe.
Forbes 27th Oct 2016 read more »
Talks to restructure Urenco broke down after German utilities E.ON and RWE, which hold a third in the uranium enrichment firm, refused to agree to a deal that would have prevented a lucrative stock market listing in the future. Negotiations with the Dutch and British governments, which also own a third each, have been going on for years, but the complex ownership as well as concerns over its sensitive technology have made any deal difficult to reach. Urenco, the world’s second largest nuclear fuel vendor after Russia’s Tenex, could fetch up to 10 billion euros ($11.03 billion), sources have told Reuters. Its technology could be used to make a nuclear bomb. Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp said E.ON and RWE declined to sign an agreement creating a new corporate and legal structure for Urenco because it excluded the possibility of a future stock market listing. The agreement would have allowed Britain to sell its one-third stake, while the Netherlands would have remained a one-third owner, Kamp said in a letter to parliament dated Oct. 31 and seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
Reuters 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Westinghouse Electric Company’s UK’s nuclear site in Lancashire has reached a momentous manufacturing milestone with the production of its seven millionth Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) oxide fuel pin.
LythamSt Annes Express 1st Nov 2016 read more »
The best performer in Europe’s turbulent utilities industry is a little-known Portuguese renewables company whose media-shy chief executive has won the confidence of investors in an unpredictable industry. EDP Renovaveis SA is a serial wind farm developer, bidding for land, licences and power purchasing agreements, raising finance, buying and installing turbines, connecting them to the grid and selling power to utilities. Wind power relies on fickle state support, turbine technology changes quickly, local opposition often blocks development and connecting turbines to the grid requires dealing with lots of red tape. Despite such challenges, EDPR has built a record for reliability, developing a strong relationship with private equity and expanding in North America to become the world’s fourth-largest wind player with installed capacity of 9.7 gigawatts.
Reuters 28th Oct 2016 read more »
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Southern Nuclear are to collaborate on the development and licensing of fast reactors including GEH’s Prism sodium-cooled fast reactor, the companies announced yesterday.
World Nuclear News 1st Nov 2016 read more »
The seven decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines moored at Rosyth in Scotland will commence ‘Initial Dismantling’ this year. Under the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) one submarine will commence ‘Initial Dismantling’ at Rosyth later in 2016, subject to regulatory permissions, to refine the process.
UK Defence Journal 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Steel supplied by Japanese manufacturers to the French nuclear program have been found to have carbon contents outside regulatory limits, with major implications for nuclear safety, including reduced toughness of the steel and increased risk of catastrophic failure. Greenpeace Japan released a report from an independent nuclear engineer last week that detailed some of the implications for the Japanese reactor fleet if it was found that there was excess carbon found in reactor pressure vessels and steam generators. “The nuclear industry in France is now in crisis as a result of the carbon test results, with 11 reactors supplied by Japanese steel ordered shutdown and under investigation by the regulator. The Japanese nuclear industry is desperate to shut the door on this issue and avoid a repeat of what is happening in France. However, it was only after the French regulator ordered non destructive and destructive testing that the true scale of the excess carbon problem was confirmed. No such testing has been done in Japan. None of the documentation released by the utilities demonstrates what the carbon concentration is in the actual installed components. And until actual testing is conducted, the NRA, and more importantly the communities living near nuclear reactors, will not know what risks the nuclear plants pose. The NRA cannot allow this to be a paper exercise on the part of the utilities. The NRA must instruct utilities to undertake non destructive and destructive testing as a matter of urgency, the priority being the Sendai-2 and Ikata-3 reactors which are the only operating plants,” said Shaun Burnie, nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany. Steel under investigation in the French nuclear reactor program was supplied by Japan Casting and Forging Company and Japan Steel Works. Both supplied the steel for Japanese reactors, together with JFE. The AREVA owned le Creusot steel forge is also under investigation.
Greenpeace 1st Nov 2016 read more »
The discovery of widespread carbon segregation problems in critical nuclear plant components has crippled the French power industry—20 of the country’s 58 reactors are currently offline and under heavy scrutiny. France’s nuclear safety chairman said more anomalies “will likely be found,” as the extent of the contagion is still being uncovered. With over half of France’s 58 reactors possibly affected by “carbon segregation,” the nation’s nuclear watchdog, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) has ordered that preventative measures be taken immediately to ensure public safety. As this story goes into production in late October, ASN has confirmed that 20 reactors are currently offline and potentially more will shut down in coming weeks. The massive outages are draining power from all over Europe. Worse, new questions continue to swirl about both the safety and integrity of Électricité de France SA’s (EDF’s) nuclear fleet, as well as the quality of some French- and Japanese-made components that EDF is using in various high-profile nuclear projects around the world. Excessive levels of carbon in the steel parts could make them more brittle and subject to sudden fracture or tearing under sustained high pressure, which is obviously unacceptable. Initially discovered at the troubled 1.65-GW Flamanville 3 project (Figure 1) in 2014—one of the first in the vaunted European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) nuclear plant series that EDF also plans to use at the newly approved Hinkley Point C plant in England—more flaws have since been discovered throughout the existing nuclear fleet. According to an ASN press relation’s officer, who requested anonymity in line with ASN rules, there are now a significant number of reactors offline, with more to be inspected in the next few weeks. “We are now finding carbon segregation problems from components coming from both Le Creusot and [the Kitakyushu-based Japan Casting & Forging Corp.] JCFC plant. As for now, there [are] 20 EDF reactors offline,” the official said, noting that the number will fluctuate as inspections take place.
Power Mag 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Windfarms and solar power could soon lose the privilege of getting priority over other energy sources on European electricity grids, leaked documents show. Paring back the “priority dispatch” system could increase carbon emissions by up to 10%, according to a confidential EU impact assessment seen by the Guardian. But the document goes on to model four scenarios for doing just that, in a bid to make Europe’s energy generators more flexible and cost-competitive. Some industry sources have told the Guardian they are alarmed and think it highly likely that priority dispatch for clean energy will be scrapped from the EU’s renewable energy directive, which is currently being redrafted for the post-2020 period.
Guardian 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Offshore wind has become the latest renewable energy technology to benefit from competitive tender process, with auction programs in northern Europe working to push down generation costs by 22 per cent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. BNEF reports that the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from offshore wind has fallen to a benchmark estimate of $126 per megawatt-hour in the second half of 2016 on the back of auction programs in the Netherlands and Denmark, down 22 per cent from H1 2016 and 28 per cent from H2 2015. This has been boosted by the results of recent auction programs, including one in September which saw two offshore wind projects in Danish waters totalling 350MW were awarded to Vattenfall with a record-breaking bid of just €60 ($US67.33) per MWh. In July, another utility, Dong Energy, won a contract to develop a 700MW Dutch offshore array at €72.70/MWh. Other projects, such as those in deep UK waters, are going ahead at higher cost, and this explains why the global benchmark, while falling rapidly, is well above these recent figures from Denmark and the Netherlands.
Renew Economy 2nd Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
This country possesses a potential energy source that is inexhaustible, predictable, secure and carbon-free yet one that is almost completely unexploited. Unlike the wind, which can stop blowing when it is needed; or the sun, which we see all too rarely; or coal, gas and oil which are either running out or need to be imported; or nuclear, which has it dangers, this power generator would be long-lasting, uncontroversial and safe. It is the sea. Within the next week, a report attempting to answer that question will be delivered to the Government by Charles Hendry, the former energy minister who was commissioned six months ago to consider the feasibility of a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay. Backers hope he will recommend that ministers give it the go-ahead, ushering in a new era of sea-generated power.
Telegraph 1st Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – wave
Letter: Two articles published by the Guardian insinuated that a Chinese company “stole” Scottish technology in the process of developing the Hailong 1 wave-power generating device (Mysterious factory break-in raises suspicions about Chinese visit, 10 October; Does China deserve a reputation as the land of copycats? 15 October). However, these reports are not grounded in facts.
Guardian 1st Nov 2016 read more »
In a first for a local cooncil in Scotland, nine public buildings in Edinburgh – including seven schools, the Usher Hall and the toon hall – are to undergo energy efficiency upgrades as part of an energy performance contract between E.ON’s energy efficiency specialists Matrix and the city council. The upgrade programme is designed to reduce energy consumption across the nine cooncil buildings – saving over £330,000 in energy costs and reducing carbon emissions by more than 1,500 tonnes per year. The £2.1 million improvement scheme could result in energy costs at those sites being cut by almost a quarter and will be carried out under an agreement that means E.ON will guarantee the energy savings from the implementation of a number of energy conservation measures. The project is part of Edinburgh’s plan that to reduce carbon emissions across the capital by over 40% by 2020. It is being funded mainly through a scheme which provides interest-free loans to public sector bodies to finance energy efficiency projects. The improvements are ‘guaranteed’ to pay for themselves in eight years.
Scottish Energy News 2nd Nov 2016 read more »
Chemical contamination from the fracking industry could increase the risk of childhood leukaemia, according to a major new study by US scientists. The study, published by Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, has prompted renewed calls for the Scottish Government to ban fracking for underground shale gas. Ministers are due to publish reports on the safety of the industry in the next few weeks.
Ferret 1st Nov 2016 read more »