EDF’s apparent obsession with continuing with the increasingly financially toxic European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) programme by building another two units at Hinkley C could spell doom for EDF. Further drastic losses on Hinkley C similar to the mounting losses accrued by AREVA and EDF on the EPRs being built in Finland (Olikuoto) and France (Flamanville) might lead to what hitherto has seemed also unthinkable – the break up of EDF. At least a major sell-off of assets seems almost certain if EDF is to finance Hinkley C, but if the project then went badly in the same way as the Olikuoto and Flamanville projects then both privatisation and a break seems a plausible outcome. Financial institutions are issuing increasingly strong warnings about the financial wellbeing of EDF, the electricity multinational which dominates the French electricity market. Both Moody’s and Standard and Poor have issued warnings that EDF will face credit downgrades if it goes ahead with Hinkley C.
Dave Toke’s Blog 27th Oct 2015 read more »
Cllr David Hall: Hinkley C is expected to provide 25.000 jobs during construction. We would like the development of Hinkley Point C to provide a catalyst for sustainable economic growth in Somerset and the wider South West region, which in turn can go on to support the national nuclear renaissance. We want to maximise the economic advantages of Hinkley Point C to Somerset and for it to leave a sustainable legacy from its construction which will benefit our County for generations to come. David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, at Somerset County Council.
Bridgwater Mercury 26th Oct 2015 read more »
A worker at an EDF Energy power station was allegedly caught studying bomb-making websites. The staff member was marched off the premises at the Hunterston nuclear power plant in West Kilbride, Scotland, today after a colleague raised the alarm. Police are now investigating the worker accessing “inappropriate material” while working at the nuclear facility. The man, believed to have moved recently from England, has only worked at the North Ayrshire facility for around four weeks. He was spotted by a fellow colleague on Monday, who reported his concerns to management.
Mirror 27th Oct 2015 read more »
Daily Record 27th Oct 2015 read more »
In the midst of all the excitement we mustn’t overlook the scale of the current and potential future nuclear program. As well as the HPC project, the Horizon and NuGen projects are moving apace, we have a major decommissioning program, plus the existing nuclear fleet. So both the challenges and opportunities are significant. The Treasury recently published a UK Skills Infrastructure Report. This report looks at the skills requirements of all the forthcoming major infrastructure projects across: Energy; Transport; Communications; Water & Sewage; Science & Research; Flood Defences and Waste. The combined value of all these is circa £411 billion ($630 billion), creating even greater skills challenges and opportunities. So what is being done and what more can be done to harness the benefits of all this to help ensure the opportunities for jobs, careers and the supply chain in the UK are maximised? The UK nuclear industry has been at the forefront of collaborative action in terms of sector skills development and it recognised more than 10 years ago that working in isolation as individual companies wasn’t the most effective way to tackle the skills and supply chain challenges. This led to the main employers recognising that they needed to find a way to work together as a collective, collaborative and non-competitive forum to address the skills challenges and to help develop supply chain capacity and capability to support the UK nuclear program.
World Nuclear News 27th Oct 2015 read more »
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) submits today its vision of a future low carbon energy system to the UK Parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. The Select Committee has announced an inquiry into the development of a low carbon energy infrastructure in the British Isles in light of recent energy policy decisions by government and wider concerns over energy security. In its response, NFLA comment on the avalanche of reports from financial and energy analysts that have concluded conventional utility models as being no longer fit for purpose. These reports highlight the changes to the old centralised utility model, which are on the horizon, and the importance of new technologies. They suggest that decentralised energy supply will be increasingly important in the future. NFLA argue that the current British electricity system is large, centralised and dominated by incumbents and self-reinforcing governance. In a few countries / states like Germany, Denmark and California, real change is happening in energy systems. In its submission to the Select Committee, NFLA provide a cogent analysis on the likely decreasing importance of baseload electricity in future low carbon electricity networks and the important role the heat sector could have in decarbonising electricity. It also emphasises the important role local authorities can play in transforming local energy systems.
NFLA 27th Oct 2015 read more »
NFLA Submission to Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on developing
a Low Carbon Energy Infrastructure in Britain.
NFLA 26th Oct 2015 http://www.nuclearpolicy.info/docs/briefings/A251_(NB137)_ECC_Low_carbon_infrastructure.pdf
The UK government’s decision to subsidize a nuclear power station while cutting support for renewables is short-sighted. The Conservative government also noted that this would mean abandoning the policy of several previous administrations that there should be no public subsidy for new nuclear power. In reality, it had little choice. (The previous administrations had no problems sticking to the line, because they had no new nuclear power to subsidize.) Nuclear power plants are among the single most expensive items that governments can buy, and as Britain has allowed its home-grown nuclear expertise to dwindle, so it has lost the chance to bury the exact cost in a tangle of public expenditure. Whether the money comes directly from the public as artificially high electricity bills, or indirectly through the public purse, British politicians last week admitted that the technology simply cannot pay for itself. UK energy and climate-change minister Andrea Leadsom used the ugly word “trilemma” last week to describe the energy issue facing the United Kingdom: the need to reduce carbon emissions, to maintain supplies and to keep bills down. There is another trilemma, popular among project managers: the need for any project to be good, fast and cheap. The classic response could have been written for energy policy: ‘pick two’.
Nature 27th Oct 2015 read more »
The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee will today (28 Oct) take evidence from Andrea Leadsom MP, Minister of State in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This will be the main evidence session of the Committee’s new inquiry into EU energy governance. The inquiry will see the Committee investigate the European Commission’s Energy Union strategy which is based on the objectives of security of energy supply, sustainability and competitiveness. As well as Andrea Leadsom, the Committee will also hear from Tim Abraham, Head of European Policy at DECC.
Scottish Energy News 28th Oct 2015 read more »
Energy Voice 27th Oct 2015 read more »
EDF – France
[Extract translated from French by David Smythe] EDF is not ready to get out of nuclear power, nor even to reduce its capacity. While the CAP 2030 strategic plan forecasts a doubling of the capacity of the group in renewable energy in Europe (at more than 50 gigawatts) by 2030, its bosses are banking on maintaining the installed power of the nuclear fleet at its present level of 63.4 GW. During the same period, the increase in electricity consumption (electric vehicles, new devices …) will permit adherence to the objective, prescribed by the law on energy transition, to reduce the share of nuclear-produced electricity in France by 2025 from 75% to 50%. […] the CEO of EDF returned to the press on Friday 23 October to explain the future of nuclear power in France. Jean-Bernard Levy has little doubt that the nuclear safety authority will give the green light to an extension to fifty years, or even sixty years, of the working lifetime of “the majority” of the 58 French reactors. But EDF’s boss is already considering the future, convinced that they will have to be replaced progressively between 2030 and 2050. This presupposes a start on a newEPR, in addition to the one at Flamanville (Manche), from the beginning of the next decade. But it will not be another ‘top of the range’ Normandy EPR, but a “New Model EPR” (NMEPR), designed by a team of EDF and Areva engineers. It is intended to be less costly and easier to construct than the current EPR – but without compromising on safety: the latter’s cost is now exceeding 8 billion euro at Olkiluoto (Finland), and has attained 10.5 billion (at the current state of the works) at Flamanville, compared to initial estimates of 3.5 billion. […] “InFrance, from 2028-2030 – it isn’t an exact science – we shall start building the New Model EPRs” the CEO indicated, clarifying that the construction would be carried out “two units at a time”. “By 2050-2055, there will be no more power from the current generation” [built between 1970 and 1980], he added. “there will be 30, 35 or 40 NM EPRs”
Le Monde 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
US – radwaste
A plan to make sure an underground St. Louis-area landfill fire doesn’t reach a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste buried nearby will come before the end of 2016, an Environmental Protection Agency administrator said Monday despite the state attorney general’s calls for swifter action. Mark Hague, acting chief of the regional EPA, said the agency would not be pressured into a hasty method of keeping the smoldering embers beneath the Bridgeton Landfill from moving at least 1,000 feet to the nuclear waste at the West Lake Landfill, a federally funded Superfund site since 1990.
Portland Press Herald 26th Oct 2015 read more »
Australia should “look closely” at expanding its role in the global nuclear energy industry, including leasing fuel rods to other countries and then storing the waste afterwards, Malcolm Turnbull has said. But the prime minister said he was “sceptical” about whether Australia would ever build its own nuclear power stations to provide electricity to domestic customers, given the country had plentiful access to coal, gas, wind and solar sources. Turnbull made the observations in a radio interview on Wednesday, a day after he named Dr Alan Finkel, a vocal advocate of nuclear power and the outgoing chancellor of Monash University, as Australia’s next chief scientist.
Guardian 28th Oct 2015 read more »
This was an extremely rare visit to one of Iran’s nuclear reactors. No Western television news team had been allowed near one, let alone be allowed to film one. It is one of Iran’s main research reactors and as such it is exactly the kind of facility that not only comes under the terms of Iran’s nuclear deal with six world powers, but it’s also the kind of facility that international inspectors will be monitoring very closely with the co-operation with the Iranian government.
ITV News 27th Oct 2015 read more »
GE Hitachi (GEH) is to help the Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency (VAEA) enhance its understanding of light water reactor technology and nuclear project management under a memorandum of understanding signed in Hanoi yesterday.
World Nuclear News 27th Oct 2015 read more »
Many African countries are in the grip of a nuclear fad. They believe nuclear energy will bring with it an international currency of prestige. Countries with nuclear energy programs are seen as rich and technologically advanced and as a result possess advanced status compared to other developing countries.
All Africa 26th Oct 2015 read more »
Around 2,000 green jobs have been lost across the UK’s insulation and energy efficiency industries since the summer, according to the National Insulation Association, which is today blaming the ‘void’ in domestic energy efficiency policies created by the government’s decision to ‘reset’ a raft of green policies for the job losses. The trade body surveyed its members on employment levels in the wake of the government’s decision to suspend the issuing of financing packages through the Green Deal scheme, which came at the same time as a slowdown in building upgrades through the accompanying Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.
Business Green 27th Oct 2015 read more »
From Tesla’s Powerwall to flow batteries, we look at existing and emerging technology that could be a critical part of the sustainable energy puzzle.
Guardian 27th Oct 2015 read more »
A total of nine transformers – which are vital to the 385km subsea power cable link to deliver renewable energy generated in Scotland to homes and businesses in England and Wales – have been delivered to Hunterston in Ayrshire from Rotterdam in Holland. These critical transmission assets will be installed as part of National Grid and Scottish Power Transmission’s £1 billion Western Link project. Transformers are often very large and extremely heavy components, and notoriously difficult to transport. For the Western Link project, a total of nine transformers were delivered in three separate shipments to the site of the onshore converter station at Hunterson.
Scottish Energy News 28th Oct 2015 read more »