French EDF’s main labour union said on Friday that the utility should delay the final investment decision on its 18 billion pound ($24 billion) project to build a nuclear plant in Hinkley Point in southern England after Britons voted to quit the European Union. The project is one of the largest French investment projects in Britain and a final investment decision has been repeatedly delayed since it was first announced in Oct. 2013. “Brexit brings another element of uncertainty which reinforces our position that the project should be delayed,” CGT energy and mining federation spokeswoman Marie-Claire Cailletaud said. CGT and EDF’s other unions have argued for months that the state-owned firm should delay its investment decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor project until a similar reactor under construction in France is in operation and not before EDF has sufficiently strengthened is stretched balance sheet. “Let us wait until the industrial, social, financial and political environment has stabilised so that this project can get under way in good conditions. This really adds a political element to the decision,” Cailletaud added.
Daily Mail 24th June 2016 read more »
“EDF confirms its commitment to the Hinkley Point project, which continues,” an EDF spokeswoman said on Friday. CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told reporters in France that the Brexit vote had no impact on the strategy of EDF and its UK subsidiary, according to a translation of his comments provided by EDF’s British unit EDF Energy.
Reuters 24th June 2016 read more »
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have no impact on EDF’s plans to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, the company’s chairman has said. EDF chairman Jean-Bernard Levy said the company’s business strategy for the £18bn plant was not based on the UK’s membership of the EU and would therefore not change. The French energy giant is overseeing the delivery of the much-delayed Somerset project, which has so far failed to secure a final investment decision. Mr Levy said a devalued pound would not dent EDF’s ability to fund the project.
Construction News 24th June 2016 read more »
ITV 24th June 2016 read more »
Heysham Power Stations owner EDF Energy said the UK’s vote to leave the EU has no impact on its nuclear strategy here. The company employs around 1,500 full time employees and contract partners across its two nuclear reactors in Heysham. The company, which is run by the French government, said: “As of today, we believe that this vote has no impact on our strategy, and the strategy for our UK subsidiary has not changed.
Lancashire Evening Post 24th June 2016 read more »
Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) was transported via underground tunnels into one of 5 above-ground bunkers built between the 1960s and 1980s. Nearly 50 years after these 5 concrete waste bunkers began being built, I have been working as part of a team on emptying the second one. My team has now successfully emptied this bunker of its hazardous contents – 6 weeks ahead of schedule. We used remotely operated vehicles, lifting more than 650 tonnes of radioactive graphite and metallic waste, before packing into specially engineered stainless steel boxes. Hunterston holds the largest inventory of solid Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) in the Magnox fleet, accounting for more than 35% of the 7,500 cubic metre total. The Solid Active Waste Bunker Retrieval (SAWBR) Project was established to retrieve material and empty the bunkers in sequence (bunkers 5, 4, 3, 2, then 1) by breaking through the walls.
NDA 16th June 2016 read more »
A series of concrete bunkers that once stored Plutonium Contaminated Materials (PCM) look set to be demolished at least 4 years earlier than expected – and for £30 million less than expected. Located at the Low Level Waste Repository near Drigg, Cumbria, the bunkers were known as magazines and stored PCM generated from operations at Sellafield in the 1950s-1960s. Thanks to a dedicated non-stop effort to seek out efficiencies and improvements, the PCM Decommissioning Programme team last year delivered more work than planned and achieved the cost savings, without suffering any lost-time accidents.
NDA 24th June 2016 read more »
The energy bills of about 4m households could be cut by £75 a year while millions more will be sent marketing mail urging them to switch supplier, under reforms unveiled by the UK competition watchdog. British households have collectively been paying an average of £1.4bn a year more for their gas and electricity than they would have in a competitive market, rising to a high of £2bn in 2015, due to a combination of “excess profits” and inefficiency by major suppliers, the Competition and Markets Authority said.
Telegraph 24th June 2016 read more »
EDF Energy, NuGeneration and Horizon Nuclear Power have all stressed their commitment to the UK’s nuclear new build program, despite the country’s decision to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, the majority vote in favour of ‘Brexit’ – decided in a national referendum held yesterday – may have implications for investment in new reactors and nuclear research, as well for the UK’s future role in meeting climate change targets, industry participants said.
World Nuclear News 24th June 2016 read more »
The UK voters have spoken; they want to leave the EU by a margin of 52% to 48%. The split should provide a boost for the UK’s nuclear energy program. It should also improve its energy resiliency and improve the effectiveness of it effort to reduce CO2 emissions. As an island nation, the UK doesn’t have a large population of climate skeptics, though there are many that question the notion that unreliables like wind and solar can replace fossil fuels. The UK will be able to keep its new carbon tax and ditch the ineffective EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which has been a relative loss for UK companies who have purchased more credits than they have sold. It will be freed from EU required “renewable energy” standards and able to establish a more comprehensive “clean energy” standard that is more aggressive while allowing a greater range of potential solutions that include nuclear energy as a major contributor to the targets.
Forbes 24th June 2016 read more »
Membership of the IEM is likely to affect plans to increase the UK’s interconnector capacity over the coming years, with new interconnections with Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France and Ireland planned. UK utility SSE said today that the referendum outcome presents no immediate risk to its planned investments, but urged the government to outline its plans for the country’s involvement in the IEM, in order to avoid a prolonged period of legislative and regulatory uncertainty. The UK’s vote to leave the EU also raises questions as to the future operation of the Irish single electricity market model, with the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland power markets currently conjoined independent of Great Britain. Northern Ireland will leave the EU as part of the UK. But a UK exit from the EU may allow the UK to alter the criteria of its capacity market, which is currently technology-neutral in line with EU laws on competition.
Argus 24th June 2016 read more »
The environment community is in shock. Forty years of environmental agreements with our neighbours are now threatened by a vote in which the environment didn’t feature. The electorate voted by a small margin to build higher walls, but walls don’t work in the natural world. Within the next two years we will lose the best enforced nature laws in the world, which the UK did so much to help create. No one in government has a plan for how to fill the gaping hole he EU birds and nature directives will leave behind. We should be able to celebrate the demise of the loathsome Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), but not if it is replaced by UK agriculture subsidies that reward intensification. What about the £1 billion a year of CAP that goes to support high nature value farming and environmental schemes? No one thinks the Treasury will protect them amidst a race to stop the UK economy imploding. It is economic emergencies which do the greatest damage to UK environmental and climate progress, as we have seen in the energy sector where the backwash from the last recession led to policy retreat on energy efficiency, renewable energy and zero carbon homes. This means it won’t just be EU legislation that is threatened by Brexit. Economic instability will allow cross party domestic legislation such as the Climate Change Act to be questioned on competitiveness grounds by the small but vocal group of people who have never accepted the need to act on climate change.
Green Alliance 24th June 2016 read more »
Despite being an issue that knows no borders, affects all and is of vital interest to future generations, the environment was low on the agenda ahead of the UK’s historic vote to leave the European Union. The short answer to what happens next with pollution, wildlife, farming, green energy, climate change and more is we don’t know – we are in uncharted territory. But all the indications – from the “red-tape” slashing desires of the Brexiters to the judgment of environmental professionals – are that the protections for our environment will get weaker. There is one immediate impact though, right here, right now: the crashing financial markets will damage the huge investments needed to create a cleaner and safer environment and will dent the nation’s fast-growing green economy, one economic sector where the UK could lead. Despite the current government hacking back support for clean energy, the UK does have strong domestic legislation which sets deep cuts in carbon emissions into law. But Boris Johnson, now a leading contender to be the UK’s next prime minister, is a climate change sceptic: will he act on his conviction that all this global warming malarkey is piffle?
Guardian 24th June 2016 read more »
Design flaws in a French-built nuclear reactor currently being tested at a power station on the southern coast of China have sparked safety concerns in neighboring Hong Kong, experts and local media reports said. The U.S.$8.3 billion Taishan plant is among the first in the world to use European pressurised reactors (EPR) designed by French nuclear firm Areva, which recently sold a majority stake to energy giant Electricite de France (EDF). Problems with the design of the reactors have emerged during testing, however, and were cited by EDF in a recent recommendation to the U.K. parliament that it postpone the Chinese-invested Hinkley Point nuclear plant, which had also planned to use EPR technology. In a letter to U.K. lawmakers earlier this month, EDF said there may be “identical flaws” in the Taishan power plant, which lies just 160 km (100 miles) from the densely populated Pearl River Delta region, which includes Hong Kong. Meanwhile, prolonged delays to an EPR reactor at Olkiluoto in Finland have resulted in multibillion-euro litigation between Areva and the Finnish energy group TVO. While Taishan has already postponed its scheduled opening by one year to 2018 after the discovery of too much carbon in the walls of the reactors, officials are still pushing for the plants to go ahead as planned, campaigners said in Hong Kong this week. Last month, the concrete shells encasing the plant’s two pressure reactors were sealed, according to drone images gathered by Hong Kong’s crowd funded investigative news agency FactWire, which means that the EPR units can’t be removed or replaced now.
Radio Free Asia 24th June 2016 read more »
Parts of some steam generators at 18 nuclear power units in France may have similar anomalies discovered in the steel of the pressure vessel of the Flamanville EPR, utility EDF has informed the French nuclear regulator. The upper and bottom heads of the reactor pressure vessel for the EPR under construction as Flamanville 3 were manufactured at Areva’s Le Creusot facility in September 2006 and January 2007, respectively. A high carbon content in those parts prompted Areva to review the company’s quality management process in 2015. The French regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), requested Areva and EDF conduct an analysis to identify any other components in operating nuclear power reactors that could be affected by a similar anomaly to that of the Flamanville EPR vessel.
World Nuclear News 24th June 2016 read more »
S&D MEPs today (18 May) warned that it would be nonsense to put money from the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) into the nuclear energy sector. “Such a plan would be in breach with the spirit of EFSI. The Commission and the European Investment Bank need to honour what was agreed in the Regulation,” they reacted, in response to press reports.
EU Reporter 18th June 2016 read more »
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Japan has the capacity to acquire nuclear weapons “virtually overnight.” Speaking at a Public Broadcasting Service program aired Monday, Biden said he had urged Xi to exert influence on North Korea so it will abandon its missile and nuclear weapons developments. Referring to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test and missile launches in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, Biden said that if China and the United States fail to take effective action against North Korea, “What happens if Japan, who could go nuclear tomorrow? They have the capacity to do it virtually overnight.”
Japan Times 24th June 2016 read more »