The government and French energy giant EDF are set to sign the key contract for the new £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. EDF boss Jean-Bernard Levy is expected to join high ranking officials from the UK, France and China at the behind-closed-doors ceremony in London. Earlier this month the government gave the go-ahead for the plant which will power nearly six million homes. It will be the UK’s first new nuclear plant in a generation. The signing ceremony is a second attempt at finalising the deal after Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly announced in July that she needed more time. With her approval now granted and the contracts updated, the Department for Business is expected to confirm the formal signing on social media on Thursday afternoon.
BBC 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Belfast Telegraph 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Reuters 28th Sept 2016 read more »
The Green party’s co-leader Caroline Lucas has written to business secretary Greg Clark, objecting to the sign-off on the basis that the National Audit Office has said public subsidies for electricity from Hinkley could rise from £6.1bn to £29.7bn. In the letter, Lucas says the change is a “significant deviation” on the cost of the project and that there is a “strong case” for a revised estimate to be put before parliament. The plant, which will meet 7% of the UK’s energy needs, is to be built near the existing Hinkley Point B station in Somerset and will run for 60 years. The project is set to cost £18bn and is scheduled for completion in 2023. It emerged on Wednesday that Areva, the EDF-owned firm due to build the reactor, was facing court action over the EPR it is building in Finland, which is a decade behind schedule. Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima said it was seeking legal assurances that the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor would be completed on schedule in 2018. The executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said: “On the eve of the official signing of the Hinkley agreement, this is a cautionary tale that should make our government think twice before putting pen to paper. The UK government is about to sign away billions of pounds of billpayers’ money to a project bedevilled by legal, financial and technical hurdles. “Theresa May cannot build a 21st-century industrial strategy around an outdated, dodgy, and ludicrously expensive technology.”
Guardian 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Britons think ministers should focus on upgrading the country’s broadband network ahead of airport expansion, the HS2 high-speed rail project or the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, a poll suggests. Half of British adults thought an upgrade to the national network would be beneficial to them or their family, compared to 16% for Hinkley, 11% for a new runway in the south-east and 9% for HS2, the ComRes survey found.
Mirror 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Going ahead with the Hinkley Point C nuclear project is the right decision, according to the former Energy Secretary Ed Davey. Speaking to ELN at the Carbon Trust ‘Clean Tech Investor Forum’ event yesteday, he said nuclear investment is the right decision as it is not yet certain whether renewables and storage will be able to reliably cover the UK’s base-load in the near future. As one of the original brokers of the Hinkley deal, Mr Davey reinforced his belief in the project: “Hinkley, I think is critical for a diverse low carbon approach. I know there are many people who think it’s expensive, I would tend to disagree… My view always was that if we are really going to get to the low carbon future, getting rid of all gas, all coal, replacing our aging nuclear fleet, it can’t all be done by renewables.”
Energy Live News 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Three Japanese conglomerates are in talks to combine their loss-making domestic nuclear fuel operations, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said, as the outlook for restarts of reactors following the Fukushima nuclear crisis remains bleak. Hitachi Ltd, Toshiba Corp and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd aim to merge the operations as early as spring 2017, the person said, declining to be identified as the discussions were confidential. The person added that the three companies may eventually consider merging their nuclear reactor businesses, though nothing specific has been discussed so far. The companies said they were considering options for their domestic nuclear fuel businesses but no decisions had been made.
Reuters 28th Sept 2016 read more »
‘Cash-strapped’ Anglesey council slammed for spending millions on consultants.
Daily Post 27th Sept 2016 read more »
The Nuclear Industry Association has today welcomed the Energy Technologies Institute report looking at the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) by 2030. Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “This report highlights the important steps needed to be completed if we are to see the deployment of SMRs in a timescale to help secure the UK’s energy supplies and achieve climate change objectives. “This shows the potential of small nuclear as a complementary technology to large-scale new nuclear. Not only will it help secure the UK’s low carbon energy, but with its possible application to combined heat and power could also contribute to the decarbonisation of heat as well as the electricity mix. “For the potential of SMRs to be realised, we need Government policy to provide confidence for investors and we look forward to the release of its SMR roadmap later this year to provide this clarity and policy direction.”
Scottish Energy News 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Energy Technologies Institute argues small modular reactors capable of delivering clean power and heat could be in place by 2030 if the right policy framework is put in place.
Business Green 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Mini nuclear reactors could be up and running in the UK by 2030 if work gets underway soon and should be designed so that they can provide heat as well as electricity, according to a new report. The Government has backed the development of small modular reactors (SMRs), which can be mass-produced in factories, and has previously said the first SMR could be built in UK in the 2020s. It is in the early stages of a competition to choose a design.
Telegraph 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Amec Foster Wheeler has won a £7 million contract to provide a new effluent treatment plant for the Dounreay nuclear site. The facility is being built for Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), the company responsible for decommissioning the nuclear site in Caithness. Features of the project includes concept and detailed design, production of the safety case and supporting environmental documentation, manufacture of the modular process plant, offsite testing, delivery to the site and onsite installation/commissioning. The facility will form a key part of DSRL’s programme to retrieve, process and package waste from the Dounreay Shaft and Wet Silo.
Scottish Construction Now 27th Sept 2016 read more »
The IGov Final conference: Energy Governance- new ideas, new institutions, new people will take place on 6 December at British Academy, London, SW1Y 5AG. As part of the event we want to identify and promote a cohort of ‘rising stars’ of the energy system, by which we mean: dynamic early-career individuals; new entrants to the energy market; and people promoting innovative ideas and approaches to creating a sustainable, affordable and secure energy system. They could be from academia, industry, Government and regulation, NGOs, communities, etc. from the UK or elsewhere.
IGov 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn has reiterated his commitment to making action on climate change one of his top priorities as Labour leader, sketching out plans to drastically increase investment in low carbon infrastructure. Setting out his vision of “the socialism of the 21st century” in his address to the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Corbyn said that while “the Tories are the party of cuts and short-termism, Labour is the party of investing for the future”. “I am not content with accepting second-class broadband, not content with creaking railways, not content with seeing the US and Germany investing in cutting-edge and green technologies, while Britain lags behind,” he said, adding that Labour’s proposed National Investment Bank would invest to get “our broadband, our railways, our housing and our energy infrastructure up to scratch”.
Business Green 28th Sept 2016 read more »
The boss of SSE has urged the government to keep “existing energy policy frameworks” in place post-Brexit.
Utility Week 28th Sept 2016 read more »
[Machine Translation] The French procedures for controlling manufacturing equipment for nuclear power plants are not reliable, according to the findings of a report commissioned by Greenpeace to a consulting firm. The firm specializes in engineering LargeAssociates analyzed the expertise issued by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), EDF and Areva, since the discovery of a defect in the composition of the tank EPR Flamanville (Manche) and multiple anomalies and irregularities during an audit of the factory of Areva Creusot, which was notably made this vessel.
Ouest France 28th Sept 2016 read more »
AREVA said Friday that it was continuing on several levels with the investigation of manufacturing and paperwork anomalies that involve components made at the Le Creusot forge. In April 2015, an audit of records at the forge found numerous discrepancies. The investigation, however, began with the discovery during an inspection at the Flamanville EPR reactor at the end of 2014. The French nuclear regulator Autorite de Surete Nucleaire (the Authority for Nuclear Safety) said it had published the list of irregularities detected so far involving the anomalies that affected certain items manufactured by AREVA NP’s Creusote Forge plant for French nuclear reactors. These irregularities concern EDF reactor pressure equipment (vessels, steam generators and main primary system piping) and transport packagings for radioactive substances, the regulator said. To date AREVA NP has identified 87 irregularities concerning EDF reactors in operation, 20 affecting equipment intended for the Flamanville EPR reactor, one affecting a steam generator intended, but not yet installed in the reactor 5 of Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant and four affecting transport packagings for activated substances. Electricite de France (EDF) informed the regulator that it had completed the characterizations of the irregularities affecting its reactors in service. The utility, similar to AREVA NP, has determined that “these irregularities have no consequences for the safety of the reactors concerned,” said ASN. The ASN said that whatever the outcome of these investigations, the irregularities “reveal unacceptable practices.” The reviews need to continue “and are liable to bring further irregularities to light,” the regulator said.
Nuclear Street 26th Sept 2016 read more »
French state-controlled utility EDF said on Wednesday it would carry out more tests on 12 nuclear reactors during their planned outages in the coming months, which could affect the length of the outage period for some of the reactors. French year-ahead electricity prices, rose alongside European forward power contracts to hit one-year highs on Wednesday on fears of tight French nuclear supply in the months ahead.
Reuters 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) has started fresh legal action against French nuclear group Areva to avoid further delays at its Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Finland, company spokesman said. The project, almost a decade behind its original schedule, is nearly complete, but TVO wants assurances that a restructuring of plant supplier Areva won’t cause further delays and that the plant would be ready to begin production in 2018 as planned. “We have asked for this several times but have not received the necessary assurances,” he said by phone, adding that TVO is now seeking assurances through a case filed in Nanterre Commercial Court, in France.
Reuters 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said today that it has started legal action against the same company which is supplying two nuclear reactors to Hinkley Point C. It’s taking Areva to court over delays at Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Finland. The project, which was supposed to showcase EDF and its engineering partner Areva’s EPR technology, has been plagued by disputes, budget overuns and delays.
City AM 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Renewables – wind
In true David and Goliath style, a group of crofters from the Isle of Lewis are taking on the might of the multinationals by using a little known and relatively new piece of crofting law to try to claim back the rights to develop their land. The crofters come from the townships of Melbost & Branahuie and Sandwick North Street, and they have submitted development applications for wind farms on their common grazings — which directly rival plans for the same areas by Lewis Wind Power, the private consortium led by EDF and Amec in partnership with Stornoway Trust. The crofters have submitted their plans under section 5Ob of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2007 which, crucially, gives the Crofting Commission powers to approve a community’s development plans even when the landowner opposes them.
Hebrides Writer 27th Sept 2016 read more »
When will stationary fuel cells begin to fulfil the enormous potential that this ‘ultra-clean’ technology promises? Progress to date has been no more than steady – the last (November 2015) annual Fuel Cell Industry Review suggested that 50,000 stationary fuel cells, with a total power generating capacity of just over 200 MW, were installed world-wide during 2015 – up from 40,000 units for the previous year. Adoption of the technology was still being held back by costs and its relative novelty; I’ll be interested to see if that increase has been maintained this year. We are certainly seeing some interesting new and larger-scale installations around the world in recent weeks. In the US, FuelCell Energy is building what it calls a utility-scale (3.7 MW) fuel cell power plant at a ‘land-constrained’ industrial site in Danbury, Connecticut. The company says that fuel cells can generate quantities of clean power from much smaller sites than other state-supported renewable technologies, and at much higher availability rates.
Decentralised Energy 27th Sept 2016 read more »