Appetite for investment in nuclear new build is weaker than for other types of electricity generation because of the huge capital costs involved, but also because ratings agencies appear to view the projects as risky, analysts told ICIS Heren on the sidelines of the European nuclear forum in Brussels on Tuesday. One senior analyst told ICIS Heren that while the views of ratings agencies alone would not be enough to dissuade a company from investing in nuclear, a potential ratings downgrade might give a utility considerable pause for thought. “If [a utility] is already on the edge of a ratings band, a nuclear project could be the thing that pushes them over the edge – it’s just another negative factor,” he said. The source suggested that ratings agencies such as Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s viewed nuclear as high-risk because of their limited tolerance for debt. A second analyst agreed that investment in nuclear is “a hard sell”. He questioned whether the two of the three consortia in the running to build up to 3GW of new nuclear capacity in the UK would go through with the job.”One consortium is led by [Germany’s] E.ON and RWE – is it likely they will invest as they’re exiting nuclear in their country? The second involves GDF SUEZ, who are in Belgium, where there is strong anti-nuclear sentiment – so investment from them seems uncertain too.”
ICIS Heren 20th Mar 2012 more >>
Prime minister David Cameron has thrown his weight behind nuclear and wind energy. In a speech on national infrastructure delivered at the Institute of Civil Engineering on March 19th, the prime minister said that nuclear would form the “backbone” of the UK’s low-carbon future, Mr Cameron confirmed that the government would be working with the private sector to enable the expansion it wants to implement up to 2030.
Ace.net 20th Mar 2012 more >>
“I can confirm our intention to work with the private sector to deliver the new [nuclear power] plants that companies would like to build between now and 2030.” It is not clear if that is something new and what it actually involves other than an extension of the deadline from 2025 to 2030.
Bircham Dyson Bell 20th Mar 2012 more >>
Gosforth Parish Council has said no to continuing to participate in the process of locating a Repository in West Cumbria.
Radiation Free Lakeland 20th Mar 2012 more >>
Blawith and Subberthwaite is a civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, in the Lake District National Park. The Parish Council resolved to write to Copeland DC, Allerdale DC and Cumbria CC to convey general unease about the closeness of the proposed waste deposit sites to this parish, and to urge, because of the unsoundness of the geology, that the use of those sites should not be pursued.
Radiation Free Lakeland 20th Mar 2012 more >>
A Somerset council will continue funding an examination of plans for a proposed new nuclear power station. Sedgemoor district councillors voted to spend nearly £300,000 of council money to scrutinise the Hinkley Point C plans at an emergency meeting earlier. The council originally wanted operators EDF Energy to pay the £2.2m it said it would cost to analyse the scheme. EDF claims that amount is excessive and has offered £344,000 which it says “covers reasonable costs”. The energy company, which is proposing the station, also said that the council was likely to duplicate some of the work done by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC).
BBC 20th March 2012 more >>
The Mayor of Bridgwater is predicting construction traffic for the proposed new Hinkley C nuclear power station will cause chaos on the roads and says already 100 extra lorries a day are going past his home. Fellow councillor Julian Taylor predicts that Taunton will be hit by snarl-ups because tourists heading for Minehead will not leave the M5 at Bridgwater but head for Minehead via Taunton once they realise Bridgwaters problems.
Western Daily Press 20th March 2012 more >>
Taunton People 20th Mar 2012 more >>
A nuclear energy group is to bid to build a new power station at the Sellafield reactor, its vice-president has revealed. Westinghouse UK will be among those hoping to build its AP1000 reactors on land next to the existing reactor on the Cumbrian coast when its owners put the work out to tender this summer. If it is successful, the fuel for the reactor will be built at Springfields Fuels factory in Salwick, near Preston, sustaining hundreds of jobs. Mike Tynan, who heads Westinghouse UK which has its head office at Matrix Park, near Leyland, said it would bid when site owners Nugen invite bids for the work in the second half of the year.
Lancashire Evening Post 20th Mar 2012 more >>
Construction is under way on the rail service which will allow nuclear waste to be transported out of Dounreay. Engineers will construct a freight terminal at Georgemas Junction, Halkirk, to allow fuel to leave the decommissioned nuclear plant. It is hoped that the multi-million pound facility will be completed by the summer. The first 44 tonnes of nuclear waste will leave Dounreay later this year and travel, via the new terminal, to Sellafield in Cumbria.
STV 20th Mar 2012 more >>
BBC 20th Mar 2012 more >>
SCOTLAND risks becoming a global nuclear dump under a radioactive waste deal, the Record can reveal today. Holyrood ministers have been forced to agree to foreign waste being stored in Scotland rather than being sent back where it came from. Bosses at Dounreay nuclear power plant confirmed yesterday the move will add up to 450 cubic metres of waste equivalent in size to three double-decker buses to the amount of material they must store long-term. The Scottish Government are tied by the agreement, which covered tons of spent nuclear fuel sent from Italy, Belgium, Australia and Germany. Under the contracts, the processed waste was supposed to be returned to its country of origin for long-term storage within 25 years. But the countries who sent material to Scotland are entitled to receive their waste in a form that meets their own transport and storage safety standards. And they are not willing to accept cement drums. Instead, most are expected to demand vitrified waste the material turned into glass and sealed in stainless steel canisters. Britain will meet the terms of the deal by sending an equivalent amount of vitrified waste from Sellafield in Cumbria under the waste substitution scheme which Scottish ministers had to sign up for. But that leaves Dounreay which does not have vitrification facilities with the original waste still Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: The SNP say they didnt choose to burden Scotland with a nuclear legacy. But dont forget they are happy to extend the life of our ageing nuclear plants and seem comfortable with Scotland taking part in a global trade in toxic waste. stockpiled.
Daily Record 21st Mar 2012 more >>
SKILLS and safety training specialists C&G Services (Europe) Ltd has become one of a handful of top UK training providers to be accepted as members of the exclusive National Skills Academy for Nuclear.
Stroud Life 21st March 2012 more >>
Westinghouse Electric Company has completed fabrication of all 157 fuel assemblies and related components for the operation the AP1000 nuclear power plant, Sanmen Unit 1, in Zhejiang province, China. The fuel assemblies were completed at Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility in Columbia, South Carolina. The assemblies were delivered to the Sanmen Nuclear Power Company for later shipment to China.
Energy Business Review 20th Mar 2012 more >>
New jobs are being created by the innovative Sheffield engineering company that designed and built the retractable roof over Wimbledons Centre Court. SCX says the nuclear side of its business is expanding rapidly, with growth being fuelled by a combination of new business and repeat orders. Demand for specialist handling equipment from customers in other sectors has also continued to grow, helping to ensure SCX Groups forward order book continues to be healthy.
Sheffield Star 20th Mar 2012 more >>
The Swiss operator of one of Europe’s oldest commercial nuclear reactors has announced plans to shut the plant by 2022. BKW Energie AG said today that the Muehleberg plant will continue to provide electricity for 10 years despite a Swiss court ruling earlier this month that the reactor’s licence should expire at the end of June 2013. The company has said it will challenge the ruling at Switzerland’s supreme court. Muehleberg began operation in 1972.
Independent 20th Mar 2012 more >>
Fukushima update 16th – 19th Mar.
Greenpeace 20th March 2012 more >>
The government is reviewing its overall energy policy, but a panel of experts given the task of drawing up options by this spring is deeply divided over the role nuclear power should play. While the issue of what energy policy the country should pursue in the long term is still under discussion, Japan is guardedly moving toward the restart of idled reactors. Last month, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency OK’d the results of stress tests on the first two of dozens of idled reactors to check their ability to withstand disasters.
Japan Times 21st Mar 2012 more >>
Israel is phasing out a civilian nuclear reactor to which it has admitted foreign inspectors while keeping a second reactor, widely believed to have produced atom bombs, off-limits, officials said yesterday. The small facility at Soreq, which began operations in 1960, will be replaced by a particle accelerator.
Herald 21st March 2012 more >>
Work to start up a large nuclear power plant on the southern tip on India resumed on Tuesday after police arrested dozens of protesters who had blocked access to the site for months, in a breakthrough for the power-short emerging economy. The Kudankulam project will initially provide 2 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power 20 million Indian homes. Twenty-four years in the making, the Russian-built plant was supposed to be switched on last year, but protesters surrounded it after the nuclear accident in Japan.
Trust.org 20th Mar 2012 more >>
By his own admission, Howard Johns is conflicted over his four-year stint as chairman of the Solar Trade Association (STA), the position from which he last week announced his resignation. On the one hand, the managing director of Southern Solar has seen the industry enjoy four years of rapid growth, doubled the membership and income of the STA, and helped secure commitments from government that solar represents a strategic part of the UK’s energy mix.
Business Green 19th Mar 2012 more >>
Climate Minister Greg Barker has today vowed to deliver a “brand new market and opportunities for industry” with the launch this autumn of the government’s Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, promising to remove barriers that stop firms taking part in the innovative scheme.
Business Green 20th Mar 2012 more >>
Plans for a new clean coal plant on the Forth that could turn Scotland into a pioneer in combating global warming have been revealed by an American power company. Experts said that the plan by Summit Power to build a coal-fired power station at Grangemouth that would use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to reduce emissions by more than 90 per cent was the most impressive project of its kind in the UK. It will put major pressure on Westminster to spend a large chunk of the £1 billion it has set aside for such projects at Grangemouth. The Seattle-based company has joined forces with National Grid and the oil services company Petrofac for the project, named the Caledonia Clean Energy Project, and hopes to win funding from the British Government.
Times 21st Mar 2012 more >>
Telegraph 21st Mar 2012 more >>