Horizon and Bradwell
The UK government is in active and positive negotiations with several parties for the sale of Horizon Nuclear Power, Lord Jonathan Marland, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, told the House of Lords on June 19. Credible reports have said Westinghouse is aligned with Chinas State Nuclear Power Technology Corp., while Areva is lined up with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp. in potential bids for Horizon. There are at least two other potential bidders: Russias Rosatom and General Electric Hitachi. GE Hitachi is reported to be considering a bid, potentially with a US utility. If Rosatom were not to buy Horizon with its two nuclear sites, there are only three other sites approved as potentially suitable for new nuclear power plants by the UK government for deployment prior to 2025 Bradwell, Heysham and Hartlepool. All of them are owned by EDF Energy and the most suitable among them is probably Bradwell. EDF Energy is under obligation to sell Bradwell, but the conditions attached to that obligation mean it is unlikely to do so in the near term. EDF Energy was required under an agreement with the UK government when it bought British Energy to sell the land at Bradwell to a competitor, but a condition of the agreement is that the sale will only occur after EDF achieves planning approval to build two Areva EPR reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk.
i-Nuclear 20th June 2012 more >>
A public meeting will be held tonight to discuss plans for the future of Romney Marsh in Kent. Topics on the agenda include the case for Dungeness C and an update on the consultation for a possible nuclear waste research and disposal facility at the site.
ITV Meridian 21st June 2012 more >>
The Treasury is refusing to testify to MPs about its crucial involvement in energy reforms because it wants to avoid difficult questions, Tim Yeo, the chair of the Energy Select Committee has claimed. Industry figures say parts of the Bill have changed significantly from the original proposals apparently at the Treasurys behest and have warned that the changes could make the reforms unworkable. But Treasury minister Chloe Smith has so far declined to give evidence to the committee. In a letter sent to Ms Smith today, Mr Yeo said the committee was perplexed by her assertion that it would be improper for her to give evidence as the legislation was led by a different department. Energy companies and investors have said they are unhappy that the Treasury will not act as guarantor on proposed long-term contracts setting power price subsidies, as they had been expected to do. Energy ministers are thought to be trying to persuade the Treasury to take on the role.
Telegraph 20th June 2012 more >>
Energy giant EdF Energy wants the government to speed up its reforms to the energy market to enable the firm to make its final investment decision for its proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C. EdF Energy special projects director Jeremy Western said yesterday that there were still areas within energy market reform where the government needed to do more work. There are three priorities for government, Western told the Nuclear Forum Conference yesterday. The three areas where Western urged more government action was to create a tangible counterparty to sign contract for difference feed in tariffs (CFD Fits). Secondly, there was still work to be done to ensure the transitional agreements the CFD Fits agreed between EdF Energy and the government were legally robust. Finally the government still had a lot of work to do to ensure EMR reached Royal Assent in spring 2014.
New Civil Engineer 20th June 2012 more >>
Energy Secretary Ed Davey yesterday welcomed a £2 billion contract to build the planned new nuclear power station in Somerset. He was reacting to EDF Energys announcement that it has selected its preferred bidder for the work at Hinkley Point C in what would be Britains first new reactor in a generation. The move is being seen as a boost for the Government, after the withdrawal of plans for a new power station in Gloucestershire. EDF has chosen a joint venture of French firm Bouygues TP and British company Laing ORourke as preferred bidder for the £2 billion contract.
Western Daily Press 20th June 2012 more >>
Build 20th June 2012 more >>
Edie 20th June 2012 more >>
French contractor Bouygues experience in constructing the Flamanville nuclear power plant in France helped win the Hinkley Point C contract, EdF Energy told NCE yesterday. But construction of the Flamanville nuclear power station has been plagued with difficulties. Electricity generation from the new nuclear power station was originally expected in 2012, six years after construction began. But a series of setbacks has resulted in EdF revising this date to 2016.
New Civil Engineer 20th June 2012 more >>
Minister of State for Energy, Charles Hendry, reaffirmed the UK Governments commitment to new nuclear build during a visit to Anglesey. The Minister told Coleg Menai students and Wylfa power station staff that the nuclear industry has a positive future on Anglesey and within the UK. He also announced a new £480,000 socio-economic funding package awarded to the Anglesey Energy Island Programme (EIP) by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
News Wales 20th June 2012 more >>
The consortium completing the clean up of a Scottish nuclear site has ended its support for some community events. Babcock Dounreay Partnership funded a Caithness village’s Highland games, county show and Country and Western festival while tendering for the work. It was criticised at a meeting of the Dounreay Stakeholders Group for dropping the events. The consortium said its focus was now on helping communities prepare for the economic impact of Dounreay closing.
BBC 20th June 2012 more >>
Scots would see their energy bills rise under independence in order to fund the renewables revolution, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey has warned. But the Liberal Democrat minister was accused of penalising Scottish communities, which face higher costs to produce energy than the south of England. The SNP government wants to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotlands electricity from green energy sources such as wind and wave power by 2020. But Mr Davey, who appeared at Holyroods economy committee yesterday, warned that it was risky for the Scottish Government to put all its eggs in one basket on energy policy. If an independent Scotland decided it want to continue this laudable aim of going for 100 per cent renewable energy, the question then is who is going to pay for that, Mr Davey said. Would it be consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland being asked to pay for the electricity generation from an independent Scotland? He added: Im not suggesting the costs of renewable energy are dramatically huge, energy bills have gone up across the UK and Europe because of the high cost of gas. Thats the main reason bills have gone up. Nevertheless paying for renewable energy while we have a subsidised system has to be paid for and it would seem rather odd for England Wales and Northern Ireland to subsidise generation by a different country.
Scotsman 21st June 2012 more >>
Times 21st June 2012 more >>
Tom Blees et al: Frank von Hippel and colleagues review some disposal options for radioactive plutonium waste. Another option is the profitable consumption of plutonium from thermal nuclear plants in a fast-spectrum breeder reactor with fuel recycling.
Nature 20th June 2012 more >>
The nation’s top nuclear power plant regulator is being petitioned by environmental groups to halt all further license extensions for 35 power reactors nationwide until their on-site nuclear-waste storage systems undergo more in-depth environmental evaluation.
Christian Science Monitor 20th June 2012 more >>
One of the biggest single anti-nuclear protests the country has ever seen happened last week, but virtually no one saw anything about it in the Japanese media. While Reuters noted a crowd of up to 10,000 had turned out to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s intention to greenlight firing up the Oi nuclear plant, there was hardly a peep about it in the domestic press. Once the news spotlight shifted to the sensational terrorist arrest story, it left the Noda administration alone to work in the shadows, enabling it to virtually hide any opposition over its decision to restart Japan’s nuclear engines in plain sight.
Japan Today 21st June 2012 more >>
Two nuclear reactors have passed safety checks and gotten the Japanese governments approval to resume generating power. But communities around the Ohi plant in western Japan dont feel ready. If the reactors plunged into a Fukushima-like meltdown, the only route to escape or send help would be a road closed by snow in winter or clogged by beachgoers in summer. Radiation leaks could contaminate a lake that provides fresh water to more than 14 million people. Theres no contingency plan. The Ohi plants neighbors arent alone. New guidelines expand evacuation zones from 10 kilometers (6 miles) to 30 kilometers (18 miles) around the reactors. Government officials and nuclear regulators tell The Associated Press most Japanese communities within the new zones dont have adequate plans.
Washington Post 21st June 2012 more >>
The end of two days of talks in Moscow on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme provided no end of metaphors for negotiations that have got nowhere, but which neither side as yet wants to declare dead. So we are now assured talks are on a respirator, or have all the life of zombies in a horror film. Before all the opprobrium falls on the Iranian side, it is worth examining just how flexible western negotiators were in Moscow.
Guardian 20th June 2012 more >>
After Moscow, there is no discernible life left in this diplomatic process but it has to be kept going in the hope of a miracle and because the alternative is so grim.
Guardian 20th June 2012 more >>
Plaid Cymru MPs at Westminster condemned Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones today for inviting Britain’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines to move their base to south Wales. The SNP government in Edinburgh is pledged to “the earliest possible withdrawal of Trident from Scotland” should the nation achieve independence.
Morning Star 20th June 2012 more >>
In answering an urgent question from Plaid AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas, First Minister Carwyn Jones said his cabinet are united in attempting to bring the UK’s nuclear fleet to Milford Haven, arguing the move could bring jobs to Wales. Conservative Paul Davies welcomed the plan and asked if the Welsh Government intends to explore the full economic impact of the bid.
ITV Wales 20th June 2012 more >>
Milford Haven ‘would more than welcome’ nuclear-armed Trident submarines, First Minister Carwyn Jones has claimed. During First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday Mr Jones was asked about potential investment in Welsh ports. Milford Haven has previously been looked at as a potential base but it is widely believed that the large industrial developments around the haven would rule out the move. The haven is already home to two oil refineries, two LNG facilities, a large tank storage site and a power station due to come online shortly. Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas whose region includes Milford Haven said Mr Jones “clearly has no grasp on reality if he believes that the people of Wales want nuclear weapons stored in Milford Haven”. Earlier this year a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) report also ruled out Milford Haven as a potential base for the Trident fleet because of the industrial sites based around the waterway.
Western Telegraph 20th June 2012 more >>
Jeremy Corbyn MP: The Commons was enlivened by a debate on Trident replacement once again yesterday afternoon as the Defence Secretary was called to the Commons to answer an Urgent Question on his new £1.1 billion contract heavily trailed in the Sunday press to redevelop the Rolls-Royce plant at Raynesway in Derby and to produce the reactor for the first of the submarines replacing Vanguard. I was encouraged to see more Labour MPs questioning the government. Not only Paul Flynn and Michael Connarty but the questions from David Lammy, Nick Brown and Sheila Gilmore show there is a serious debate to be had in the Labour Party. Why should police numbers be cut to pay for Trident, rather than the other way round, as David asked.
Labour List 19th June 2012 more >>
Kate Hudson: Large-scale spending on Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent and its replacement is unacceptable, but it is not too late to stop it. What kind of government commits to a billion pound contract, only to admit on the day it is announced that the next administration may have to “negotiate its way out” of the deal? That happened on Monday of this week. But before dissecting the absurdity of this British Ministry of Defence’s admission, let us recap how we got here.
Public Service Europe 20th June 2012 more >>
Son of Trident is an obsolete, Cold War, £20billion white elephant of a nuclear killing machine. Jihadi suicide bombers wont be beaten by a missile on a sub under the Atlantic. Liberals in a ConDem poisonous embrace know new nukes are an ¬expensive waste, yet are powerless. Labours chicken, ¬frightened itll be called soft after stupidly ¬initiating Son of Trident. And, meanwhile, the poor bloody infantry get their P45s.
Daily Mirror 20th June 2012 more >>
HARD bargaining over Britains nuclear deterrent after Scottish independence could take years, MPs were told yesterday. Defence consultant Stuart Crawford predicted prolonged wrangling to Westminsters Scottish Affairs Committee, but said an independent Scotland could support an army about one third the size of Denmarks, but without tanks. While Scotland would not want Trident or its successor, it would demand essential equipment in kind that an independent Scotland actually required.
Express 21st June 2012 more >>
Providing a boost for both the UK economy and the solar industry a Midlands-based company has today revealed plans to build a 30MW solar photovoltaics manufacturing plant in the UK. Sunsolar was granted a £5 million Government fund backed by Sandwell Council and the Regional Growth Fund which will be added to a £5 million company investment. This finance will be used to build the new PV manufacturing facility, which will be based in Oldbury. Sunsolar is one of just 50 companies to achieve successful grants from the Fund. The factory is due to be opened at the end of October and is expected to create almost 600 new jobs in the West Midlands.
Solar Power Portal 20th June 2012 more >>
PV Tech 20th June 2012 more >>
A Cabinet row has erupted over a plan by the Chancellor George Osborne to cut the subsidy for onshore wind farms by up to 25 per cent. Liberal Democrats have accused Mr Osborne of playing politics in an attempt to rebuild his reputation amongst Conservative MPs after his trouble-hit Budget in March. Nick Clegg and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary, are fighting Treasury demands for the £400m-a-year subsidy to be cut by between 20 and 25 per cent. The Lib Dems will support a limited reduction but argue that a big cut would put billions of pounds of investment in green energy at risk.
Independent 20th June 2012 more >>