The UK has opened the way for the first Chinese-designed nuclear power plant in the west, saying Beijing could use Britain to launch a global rollout of its technology. Amber Rudd, energy secretary, said she wanted Beijing to take the lead in developing new nuclear plants in Britain. She said China was expected to lead the construction of a Beijing-designed nuclear power plant in Essex, in eastern England, its first in the west, under a proposed joint deal with EDF, the French energy group, to build a new generation of UK reactors. “They very much want to have their design up and running in the UK,” she told the Financial Times on a visit to Beijing. “That’s because we have such tough standards of regulation everyone can have confidence they are safe and show that they have a great operation to take elsewhere.” Her comments came as chancellor George Osborne announced during the same visit an initial £2bn government guarantee for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in south-west England in an attempt to boost the much delayed project, which has major Chinese backing. Mr Osborne said the £24.5bn project, to be built by EDF to a French design in partnership with two Chinese companies, would “open the door to unprecedented co-operation” between the UK and China on more nuclear stations.
FT 21st Sept 2015 read more »
Britain may have pioneered civil nuclear technology but things have changed. UK ministers were in Beijing on Sunday urging China to provide the money and knowledge to build the UK’s next generation of nuclear power stations. Undeterred by the delays and haggling surrounding the proposed French-Chinese Hinkley Point project in Somerset – now the subject of a £2bn Treasury guarantee – Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, believes Chinese investment is vital for Britain’s future needs. Ms Rudd says she is absolutely confident that funding issues around Hinkley Point can be settled and the plant will be built. Asked whether she would happy for China to design and build future stations, including one at Bradwell in Essex about 80km (50 miles) from London, Ms Rudd said: “That’s absolutely fine. We welcome their investment and technology.” Ms Rudd argues that Britain’s safety standards are so high that if China can satisfy UK regulators, Beijing can prove to the world that it is a reliable provider of nuclear energy. “They want their design up and running in the UK because we have such tough standards and regulations they can be confident that they are safe,” Ms Rudd said in an interview with the Financial Times.
FT 21st Sept 2015 read more »
George Osborne has underlined his determination to get the government’s nuclear energy programme moving by providing a £2bn government guarantee for the delayed Hinkley Point power plant project. The initial backing from the government would pave the way for the construction of Britain’s first new nuclear power station for a generation, Osborne said, as he redoubled his arguments for nuclear in the face of opposition from environmental groups. Osborne made the announcement during a five-day tour of China, where he and Amber Rudd, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, have been discussing Beijing’s proposed investm ent in the new Hinkley Point C site in Somerset. Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist, Dr Doug Parr, said: “This announcement is a PR smokescreen to give the impression that this project is moving forward when it’s actually bogged down in a swamp of troubles. Hinkley hasn’t got funding or safety clearance, and everyone outside the nuclear industry and our blinkered government thinks it’s absurd, yet the Chancellor is ignoring them all to plough ahead with this overpriced, overrated, and overtime project.”
Guardian 21st Sept 2015 read more »
The government has moved to shore up flagging support for Britain’s first new nuclear power station in 20 years with a £2 billion support package for Hinkley Point C.The financing guarantee, backed by taxpayers, was announced as George Osborne arrived in China for final talks about the troubled project to build two giant 1.6-gigawatt nuclear reactors in Somerset – enough to supply electricity to six million British homes. Despite mounting criticism of the estimated £24.5 billion cost of the new station, to be built by EDF Energy, of France, and bankrolled partly by the Chinese government, the chancellor said that he was determined to press ahead with a project that he claimed would boost UK energy supplies and revive Britain’s standing as a world leader in nuclear energy.
Times 21st Sept 2015 read more »
Telegraph 21st Sept 2015 read more »
BBC 21st Sept 2015 read more »
Daily Mail 21st Sept 2015 read more »
ITV News 21st Sept 2015 read more »
New York Times 21st Sept 2015 read more »
BDaily 21st Sept 2015 read more »
Western Daily Press 21st Sept 2015 read more »
City AM 21st Sept 2015 read more »
The agreement between the U.K., France and China stipulates Chinese partners will pay for Hinkley and another nuclear plant in Suffolk, according to a report Monday by the Financial Times. In return the Chinese will receive a controlling stake in Bradwell, a new plant being planned in Essex, the paper said.
Bloomberg 21st Sept 2015 read more »
21 Media Comments Opposing Hinkley C. Over the past two years, many media articles have been critical of the UK Government’s ill-conceived plans to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley C in Somerset in the UK. Not a single article has been in favour, as far as can be seen. This unanimous chorus is unprecedented in its wide breadth, its longevity and its deep hostility to the doomed project. The UK Government is still pressing ahead with it, unbelievably.
Ian Fairlie 21st Sept 2015 read more »
No progress has been made in a deal allowing China to begin work on a new nuclear reactor in Bradwell. It was reported last week that Prime Minister David Cameron was on the verge of signing an agreement for the first Western, Chinese-operated, prototype nuclear reactor at the site. But EDF Energy, which owns the land next to Bradwell Power Station, said there were no plans for work to start.
Maldon Standard 18th Sept 2015 read more »
PRIME Minister David Cameron is set to sign a deal next month allowing China to build a new nuclear power plant at Bradwell-on-Sea. The reactor, which will replace the decommissioned Bradwell site, will become the first Chinese-designed and operated facility in Western Europe. The deal, between Britain, France and China, is likely to be sealed during the Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s state visit next month. French-owned company EDF Energy, which owns the rights to develop a site at Bradwell, will sell its rights in return to help pay for two new plants to be built by EDF at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell, Suffolk. And today (Monday), Chancellor George Osborne announced that the UK will guarantee a £2bn deal for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, with Energy Secretary Amber Rudd confirming that China was expected to lead the construction of a Beijing-designed nuclear station at Bradwell as part of the agreement. It will be subject to strict Generic Design Assessment (GDA) guidelines.
Essex Chronicle 21st Sept 2015 read more »
The Government has delayed a decision on the management of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, which is currently run by British outsourcer Serco and US giants Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering but has been plagued with cost overruns and delays. The three firms have a contract to look after AWE sites, which have operational and construction costs of about £1bn a year, at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire. The AWE designs, manufactures and maintains warheads, and has drawn protests by anti-nuclear campaign groups. But the AWE has seen cost overruns and delays to projects such as the £634m Project Pegasus, an enriched uranium components plant which is under constr uction, and Project Mensa, a facility for assembling warheads. A source close to the consortium has pointed to problems of corrosion at existing facilities, which are up to 65 years old. The Lockheed-led consortium, AWE Management Ltd, announced in July that it was cutting 500 jobs to “ensure long-term efficiencies”. Serco, which is run by Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson, Rupert Soames, was fined £280,000 in 2013 following a blast at the site. It emerged earlier this year that the Ministry of Defence was reviewing its contract with the consortium, which had been due to run to 2025, after a series of independent reviews. It is believed that recommendations in these reports included bringing the contract in-house at the MoD, so that the private sector would become a support partner rather than lead work at the AWE. Another option is to re-let the contract, should the MoD conclude that the consortium has not fulfilled its obligations.
Independent 21st Sept 2015 read more »
The US’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission just cancelled its study into cancer near nuclear plants citing the ‘excessive cost’ of $8 million, writes Chris Busby. Of course that’s rubbish – similar studies in the UK have been carried out for as little as £600 per site, and in any case $8 million is small change for the NRC. The real reason is to suppress the unavoidable conclusion: nuclear power kills.
Ecologist 19th Sept 2015 read more »
Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn believes Britain should have a nuclear deterrent.
Daily Mail 20th Sept 2015 read more »
Guardian 20th Sept 2015 read more »
Britain can produce 85% of its power via renewable energy by 2030 provided it undergoes significant changes in energy production and use, according to a new study by Greenpeace. The study attempts to counter the argument that only fossil fuels and nuclear power can keep the lights on for the next few decades. It foresees wind leaping from today’s level of 13 gigawatts (GW) of wind farms in operation – enough to power around 10 million homes – to a level of 77GW in 2030, with solar rising from just more than 5GW to 28GW. However, the renewables drive would need to be accompanied by a 60% reduction in demand for domestic heating through a home insulation programme and other initiatives, according to the report by energy system analysts, Demand Energy Equality. David Infield, a professor of electrical engineering at University of Strathclyde, who had read the Greenpeace report, said it was a serious document that deserved attention. “This is a useful report dealing with the complex issue of absorbing high penetrations of renewable power generation in line with achieving challenging reductions in carbon emissions,” he said. The big difference is that the energy department’s forecasts are based on what it believes is feasible under certain circumstances by 2050, rather than the 2030 time period used by Greenpeace. This makes a huge difference in mobilising capital and undertaking the work necessary. The Greenpeace study has ruled out nuclear because of the financial and environmental cost of building new plants, such as Hinkley Point C, and dealing with the legacy of their waste. Equally, carbon capture technology – where carbon dioxide is stored underground as soon as it is emitted – has been excluded as it is deemed an unproven method.
Guardian 20th Sept 2015 read more »
A new report released by Greenpeace International on Monday has reinforced the view that there are no major economic or technical barriers to shifting the world to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050; nor to the complete phase-out of fossil fuels. All we need now is the political will to do it. Greenpeace’s Energy [R]evolution scenario 2015 phases out coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy as fast as technically and economically possible, by expanding the renewable energy share to 42 per cent in 2030, 72 per cent in 2040 and 100 per cent in 2050.
Renew Economy 21st Sept 2015 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
ANTI-wind farm campaigners believe Scotland may be seeing the first signs of a slow down in the dash for onshore turbines as a major company announced plans to shift its focus away from turbine projects. Atmos Consulting is to relaunch its Inverness office, just months after the UK Government announced it would cut windfarm subsidies. It has already trebled its expert staffing, as it announces a shift away from investing in turbine-led power towards wider development opportunities in the north.
Herald 21st Sept 2015 read more »
A new programme to help communities and social enterprises to generate income by investing in commercially owned renewable energy developments in the Highlands has been launched as part of UK Community Energy Fortnight. The local enterprise agency has introduced the programme to deliver one to one support, tailored development workshops and specialist support to raise awareness of, and accelerate, the completion of investment opportunities. The programme, entitled HI-SHARES, dovetails with the Scottish Government’s CARES programme which exists to support communities with renewable energy developments and work closely with sector stakeholders.
Scottish Energy News 21st Sept 2015 read more »
A package of detailed reports has been published on development of offshore electricity grid and marine renewable energy projects between Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The ISLES project has examined the opportunities for a more strategic approach to connecting future offshore wind, wave and tidal generation projects in the partner jurisdictions. The Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) is a major initiative designed to enable the development of interconnected grid networks to enhance the integration of marine renewable energy between Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Scottish Energy News 20th Sept 2015 read more »
Letter David Lowry: I was very surprised to read such an experienced and successful businessman as Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos make such an ill-informed comment as: “In the US they have drilled a million wells and not had an environmental incident for six years.” (“‘Fracking can be done safely. A lot of opposition is based on hearsay’”, News.) An article in the Washington Post on 10 April reported a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspective which revealed a “disturbing correlation” between unusually high levels of radon gas in residences and fracking. The researchers found that in the same areas of Pennsylvania as the fracking operations there were generally higher readings of radon, with about 42% of the readings higher than what is considered safe by US federal standards. Moreover, the researchers discovered that radon levels spiked overall in 2004 at about the same time fracking activity began to pick up. Before making his investment, I would advise Mr Ratcliffe do his own due diligence.
Observer 20th Sept 2015 read more »