Electronics giant Hitachi Ltd. is set to lose tens of billions of yen this fiscal year due to the withdrawal from a project to develop a new method of uranium enrichment by a joint venture in the United States. The loss, forecast by Hitachi on Feb. 1, was disclosed shortly after Toshiba Corp. made a similar announcement last month of deficits brought on by its nuclear power business. Hitachi is expected to report a 70 billion yen ($620 million) non-operating loss by the time books are closed for fiscal 2016 at the end of March, said Mitsuaki Nishiyama, a senior vice president of the Tokyo-based conglomerate, in a news conference on the company’s performance through the third quarter. The deficit is largely attributed to the joint venture GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Inc. withdrawing from the uranium enrichment project. Due to this decision, Hitachi no longer expects any profits from the North Carolina-based company, of which it owns 40 percent and the rest by General Electric. Hitachi and GE were expecting more nuclear power plants to be built when they launched the joint fuel enrichment business, but orders have been sluggish across the globe, forcing the project to be shelved. Nevertheless, Hitachi will be sticking with its nuclear power business. The company said that it plans to proceed with its project to build a plant in Britain by ensuring costs are thoroughly managed.
Asahi Shimbun 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
France’s electricity provider EDF is to slash thousands more jobs by 2019, proloning its redundancies programe for another year. EDF, which is 85 percent state-owned, aims to shed 5,200-7,000 jobs by the end of its four-year restructuring plan. At the end of 2019 it hopes to have 60,200-62,050 employees, compared to 67,200 at the end of 2015, according to several trade union sources. The unions are worried about this downsizing, given that the company has embarked on major projects including the construction of two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in the UK and the overhaul of France’s nuclear power stations. The unions want to know if the figures take account of the proposed closure of France’s oldest operating nuclear reactor at Fessenheim in Alsace.
RFI 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
Utility EDF has rejected a French parliamentary committee report on the technical and financial feasibility of decommissioning its nuclear power plants. The report claims the clean-up of French reactors will take longer, be more challenging and cost more than EDF anticipates.
World Nuclear News 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
The financial fog swirling around the Moorside new-build project in West Cumbria continues to thicken by the day. The development consortium NuGen must inadvertently have added to the gloom with its recently published statement that “NuGen’s shareholders [Toshiba and Engie] are committed to the development of the Moorside project.” Folks with longish memories will recall an identical statement (though with names changed) coming just a few short weeks before the widely predicted departure from NuGen of Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) in 2011 and in 2013 when Spain’s Iberdrola also pulled out of the project. Toshiba, dubbed as ‘ailing’ by the Japanese media and still suffering the aftershocks of an accounting scandal in 2015 that rocked the corporate world, now has to contend with its wayward and wholly owned subsidiary Westinghouse purchased from British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) in 2006 and which has now landed its parent with a £multi million loss on reactor building projects. Selling Westinghouse, or lowering its equity stake in the reactor business is an option currently being considered by Toshiba, as is selling off some profitable Westinghouse segments such as its nuclear fuel business which includes the Springfields site in Lancashire. After a decade of posturing over its West Cumbrian project, that the private consortium now feels the need for taxpayer support for Moorside underscores the extent of NuGen’s financial woes and highlights the unattractive face of new nuclear build to would-be global investors. Picking the UK taxpayer pocket to support a technology past its sell-by date wholly undermines the Government’s erstwhile promise that the full costs of developing, constructing and operating new-build reactors would be borne by the developer and is not likely to go unchallenged. Right on cue however is the GMB union’s view announced today that “the sensible thing is for the Government to step in and guarantee the funding, this will keep Moorside on track and push down the price we will all have to pay for the electricity it will produce.” In truth, the ulterior motive behind the Union’s support for Moorside as a means of ‘keeping the lights on’ is the rank fear that, without the development – and with Sellafield’s commercial operations soon to end, the decades of West Cumbria’s unhealthy domination by the nuclear industry will be a thing of the past.
CORE 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
On 28 January 2017, Japanese media reported that Toshiba will not take any new nuclear reactor orders, “a move that would effectively mark its withdrawal from the nuclear plant construction business”. Toshiba, owner of Westinghouse—no other company built more nuclear plants in the world— “will focus on maintenance and decommissioning operations”. Three days later, on 31 January 2017, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that “Toshiba Corp. plans to stop building nuclear power plants”, a decision that “could have widespread ramifications for the future of the nuclear-power industry”, and reported that Toshiba’s chairman, Shigenori Shiga, and Danny Roderick, a Toshiba executive and head of Westinghouse, are expected to step down by mid-February 2017.
World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
A CONCERNED Cumbrian MP has received assurances from the Prime Minister over the future of a proposed Cumbrian nuclear new build. Plans for a power station at Moorside, near Sellafield, were thrown into doubt this week when one of the key players admitted it is reviewing its involvement in the project A spokesman for Toshiba – which holds a 60 per cent stake in Moorside developer NuGen, alongside ENGIE of France – said that the firm is re-examining all of its nuclear projects outside Japan – including Moorside. At this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock spoke about the Japanese giant’s announcement. He said: “The news revealed yesterday (Tuesday) that Toshiba is reviewing its investment in the Moorside nuclear power plant, which puts a huge question mark over not only 21,000 jobs in Cumbria but the future of our nation’s energy security. “What will the Prime Minister do personally to ensure that the deal stays on track? Mrs May replied that she is working with the business secretary to bring jobs to the UK and to make sure that deals such as these stay in place. She said: “We are keen to ensure that those jobs are brought to the United Kingdom and that such deals are kept on track. I assure him of the Government’s commitment.”
In Cumbria 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
Corporate and political challenges facing the UK’s nuclear industry must not be allowed to derail new build projects, the GMB trade union said today. The government must step in, GMB said, to ensure NuGeneration’s project to build a nuclear power plant at Moorside in West Cumbria remains on track despite the financial difficulties faced by its majority owner. NuGen, which is 60% owned by Japan’s Toshiba and 40% by France’s Engie, plans to build a plant of up to 3.8 GWe gross capacity using AP1000 nuclear reactor technology provided by Westinghouse. Toshiba Corp – which owns Westinghouse – has said it will to review its nuclear reactor construction business outside of Japan. The company’s president and CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa said last week: “We focused on the nuclear business among all of our energy businesses, but this will change. This will entail a review of our overseas (nuclear) business.” Toshiba’s domestic nuclear business would focus on maintenance, repairs and decommissioning of reactors, he said.
World Nuclear News 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
The Government is being urged to step in and guarantee funding for a new nuclear power station after Japanese giant Toshiba said it was reviewing its investment in overseas nuclear projects.
Belfast Telegraph 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
EDF Energy is not providing compensation for local businesses affected by roadworks linked to the Hinkley Point power station. Sedgemoor District Council has responded to rumours that EDF was compensating businesses affected by the roadworks around the Drove, Bristol Road and Wylds Road areas. One rumour online suggested compensation may run into millions of pounds. But Sedgemoor District Council said that EDF Energy is not giving any compensation money and had declined its request for £5M to offset disruption.
Somerset Live 1st Feb 2017 read more »
THE new Energy Minister Jesse Norman visited Hinkley Point and Cannington on Monday to reaffirm the importance of nuclear energy and benefits to education and jobs for the West Somerset area. During the visit the minister toured the Hinkley Point B power station and the construction site for Hinkley Point C. He also met apprentices and EDF Energy employees at both the Cannington Court training centre and the Construction Skills and Innovation Centre. Mr Energy Minister, Jesse Norman said: “The visit to Hinkley Point C construction project has been fascinating.
Somerset County Gazette 1st Feb 2017 read more »
France’s state-controlled energy conglomerate EDF has awarded a contract to Bouygues Travaux Publics, in joint venture with British firm Laing O’Rourke, to construct the buildings that will house the reactors at the UK’s new nuclear power station, Hinkley Point C. Bouygues’ share of the contract will amount to at least €1.7bn ($1.8bn), the company said in a statement last month, adding that the “exceptional project” will employ some 3,500 site workers at peak periods. The signing comes almost five years after the Bouygues-Laing O’Rourke joint venture was named preferred bidder for the main structural works in June 2012.
Global Construction Review 1st Feb 2017 read more »
Highland Against Nuclear Transport AGM Guest speaker is Sean Morris, Secretary: Nuclear Free Local Authorities All Welcome. Today.
HANT 3rd Feb 2017 read more »
Radwaste Briefing 68: NFLA Submission to NDA Draft Business Plan 2017-2020 consultation.
NFLA 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
The UK secretary of state for exiting the European Union, David Davis, told parliament on 31 January 2017 that the UK will seek an alternative agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if it fails to negotiate “some sort of relationship” with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) during Brexit negotiations.
Nucnet 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
A Nuclear Industry professional claims worry over nuclear disasters can cause more health problems than the accidents. More than 30 years after the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, and almost six years after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, psychologist Reuben Holmes delivered a lecture on the psychological impact of such events. The 1986 Chernobyl explosion in particular had a direct impact in Cumbria after it sent a cloud of radiation across much of the UK. Officials were testing some Cumbria for radiation until as recently as 2012. The Government introduced strict controls and testing stop the food chain becoming contaminated, covering thousands of sheep across the county. But in his lecture last week, Mr Holmes said that studies suggest that radiation at low to moderate levels has negligible effect on health. Yet people still fear radiation.
Carlisle News and Star 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
The government values human lives at as little as a tenth of their real worth, researchers say. From NHS decision-making to the regulations imposed on nuclear power plants, many branches of the state estimate the worth of preventing a single death at £1.83 million. This figure is often used to work out how much should be spent on measures against accidents and is said to have been used in cuts to the rail safety budget. It is, however, based on a “flawed” reading of a survey carried out 20 years ago that involved only 167 people, a study argues. Philip Thomas, professor of risk management at the University of Bristol, and Ian Waddington, a software engineer, say the “one-size-fits-all” number is unuseable. “If stated preferences are to be believed, the public wants a VPF [value of a prevented fatality] that is ten times the current value, at between £16 million and £22 million,” they wrote in the magazine Nuclear Future.
Times 3rd Feb 2017 read more »
Amec Foster Wheeler has announced that it has been appointed to carry out design development work on an integrated plant simulator for the ITER nuclear fusion reactor. The company will draw up technical specifications and implementation plans for the simulator alongside three subcontractors: the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Fortum and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.
BINDT 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
ANTI-NUCLEAR protesters have formed blockade on the road at the south gate of HMNB Clyde, disrupting traffic. This morning, February 2, activists from Faslane Peace Camp issued a release stating from 6.30am five members of the camp had locked on to one another using arm tubes and formed a blockade on the road leading to the gates, “closing down” busy morning traffic. The cutting team is understood to have arrived at the scene at 7am and started to work on the first lock-on arm tube.
Helensburgh Advertiser 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
NFLA welcome Irish Parliament fossil fuel divestment decision and call on renewed action to develop a wide renewable energy mix across Ireland
NFLA 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
A Japanese court has begun hearing the case of a man who developed leukaemia after working as a welder at the damaged Fukushima nuclear site. The plaintiff, 42, is the first person to be recognised by labour authorities as having an illness linked to clean-up work at the plant. He is suing Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the complex.
BBC 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom has approved the partnership between its daughter company Otek and the Dutch Lagerwey in wind energy projects. The partnership will aim to develop the production of the wind turbines in Russia. Under the partnership, the two companies will set up a joint venture for the implementation of the projects in the country. Rosatom first deputy director general Kirill Komarov said: “Here we speak of the formation of the entirely new industry in Russia. “Rosatom sees its goal not only in building of wind farms, but in development of regulatory system, personnel training system, production localization, certification, R&D system for the wind energy.”
Energy Business Review 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
EUROPE is becoming increasingly vulnerable to Russia’s nuclear strength as Vladimir Putin steams ahead with plans to upgrade his power plant. The Russian leader is visiting Hungary today, where he plans to expand Paks II plant, aided by around £8.5billion worth of Kremlin funds. The construction of the nuclear power station in Hungary is politically sensitive as it is at the heart of Viktor Orban’s attempts to forge closer ties with the Kremlin. Fears are growing the deal would give warmongering Mr Putin a “ticket to the European nuclear market” and ultimately give the Russian President the upper hand across the bloc.
Express 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
The UK has one of the lowest rates of renewable energy consumption in Europe, according to new figures. The European Union has a target of 20 per cent of energy use coming from carbon-free sources by 2020. However there is a vast difference between the best and worst performing states. Sweden has the highest rate with more than 54 per cent of its energy coming from renewable sources in 2015, following by Finland on just under 40 per cent and Latvia on 39 per cent. The UK’s figure is just 8.2 per cent, putting it in 24th place out of 28 and not far ahead of last-placed Luxemburg on 5 per cent.
Independent 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
Falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020, a new report has suggested. A scenario that takes into account the latest cost reduction projections for the green technologies, and countries’ pledges to cut emissions, finds that solar power and electric vehicles are “gamechangers” that could leave fossil fuels stranded. Polluting fuels could lose 10% of market share to solar power and clean cars within a decade, the report by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative found.
Guardian 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
Denmark’s Dong Energy is preparing to phase out European coal power plants by 2023 as it moves ahead with a multi-billion dollar renewables investment plan, including the development of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Dong has a number of offshore wind farms in development in UK waters including the Hornsea project off the Yorkshire coast, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm once it begins powering the UK grid at the end of the decade.
Telegraph 2nbd Feb 2017 read more »