A deal over subsidies for Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation could now be agreed within weeks, Michael Fallon, the energy minister, has said. The comments are the most confident yet over the prospects for agreement with EDF over the financial terms for building reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Negotiations have dragged on since last year, missing numerous deadlines set by the French energy giant. Any deal will also need EU state aid approval, and EDF must secure financial backing from partners to help share the estimated £14bn cost of the project, which is not expected to be running until the early 2020s. EDF has been in long-running talks with China General Nuclear Power Group (formerly China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group) over taking up to a 49pc stake in the project. A deal is said to be likely to follow on from agreement over subsidies.
Telegraph 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Building 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Express 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
The UK’s first nuclear power plant for a generation could be built after Michael Fallon, the energy minister, signalled that a deal to start work on the project could be just weeks away. Mr Fallon suggested the Hinkley deal could prompt interest in investing in UK neclear projects from countries including South Korea, China and Japan. Mr Fallon said: “There’s intense interest there because people can see that finally we’re getting our civil nuclear programme moving again after the long, dead Labour years.”
Telegraph 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Environmentalists say a new nuclear power station 15 miles from the South Wales coast will burden taxpayers with massive subsidies for the most expensive electricity generating plant “probably in history”. Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru Gareth Clubb said even at the beginning of its lifespan the new Hinkley Point will struggle to be competitive with renewable energy. He added: “By the end of its lifespan it will be hopelessly inefficient and totally redundant in comparison with renewables.” Plans for a new station on Anglesey to replace the existing Magnox Wylfa plant are similarly expected to get government approval as part of coalition proposals for a new generation of nuclear reactors. Mr Fallon told the FT a number of East Asian investors, including South Korea, China and Japan, had already shown an interest in UK reactors. When environmental group E3G suggested earlier this year Hinkley Point would get a strike price of around £100 per megawatt hour, it was pointed out then that this was double the market price of electricity. E3G has calculated that at just below £100 a unit EDF would receive £50bn in support from the Government over four decades for Hinkley. A spokesperson for Renewable UK Cymru said deals on the strike price for nuclear tend to be twice as long as those for renewables – committing taxpayers to subsidies for much lengthier periods.
Wales Online 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
The UK’s only likely nuclear power plant site is still behaving as though it is going to be built, DECC bosses said, as their wait goes on for the arrival of a deal. Energy Minister Michael Fallon said they are still within the time-frame for a possible deal but stressed that EDF is “definitely not a textbook company”. Nuclear power plant negotiation is not an exact science and it remains “really difficult” to tell if a specific negotiation will come to fruition, the department said in a statement.
Alan Whitehead’s Blog 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
An agreement over Hinkley Point, where EDF has already secured planning permission, would also represent a major step forward for the company’s project to build a similar plant at Sizewell C which was the subject of an initial consultation which ended earlier this year.
East Anglian Daily Times 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Toshiba Corp wants a majority stake in British nuclear consortium NuGen and aims to decide on the matter before the end of the year, its chief executive said, as it seeks its first order for a nuclear reactor since the Fukushima crisis in 2011.
Reuters 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
TOSHIBA is keen to take a majority stake in UK nuclear consortium NuGen, its chief executive said yesterday, as firms and ministers try to get Britain’s atomic power plan moving. Hisao Tanaka told Reuters yesterday that Toshiba, which owns Westinghouse, will decide this year whether to bid for Iberdrola’s 50 per cent stake in NuGen, which has the right to build new reactors at Sellafield. Last week there were reports that the government was considering a new auction of the NuGen site earmarked for the new reactor, in a sign of frustration at the delays besetting the scheme. Meanwhile, energy minister Michael Fallon said he expects a decision “within weeks” about the stalled Hinkley Point C power plant in Somerset.
City AM 4th Oct 2013 read more »
More than two and a half years after meltdowns at the Fukushima power plant effectively shut down Japan’s nuclear industry, one of the makers of the wrecked reactors is determined to breathe new life into the business through a major contract in Britain. Without a single reactor order since a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered disaster at the plant in 2011, Toshiba Corp chief executive Hisao Tanaka is chasing a deal by the end of this year that would give the company a majority stake in a project to build a new British nuclear plant. Winning a majority stake in NuGen would give Toshiba a foothold in pro-nuclear Britain, where Hitachi Ltd, Japan’s other nuclear technology supplier, acquired the Horizon nuclear project last year and is planning to build two to three nuclear power plants. Spanish utility Iberdrola SA is in talks to sell its 50 percent stake in NuGen, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. Taking a majority stake would require Westinghouse to buy shares both from Iberdrola and from joint NuGen shareholder GDF Suez. With Westinghouse, Toshiba is also currently bidding for reactor orders in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, while also seeking contracts in India, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. Toshiba has said it is committed to maintenance at the Fukushima plant, but a system it installed to treat contaminated water from the damaged reactors, known as the Advanced Liquid Processing System, is still not running a year after it was introduced due to glitches.
Reuters 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Four groups are set to submit their final bids for one of the UK’s largest public contracts. The consortia are bidding for a 14-year nuclear decommissioning contract at 12 sites run by Magnox and Research Sites Restoration. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said the £6bn to £7bn job is one of the UK’s largest public procurement exercises. The bidders are a Bechtel/EnergySolutions consortium entited Reactor Site Solutions; The Babcock Fluor Partnership; CAS Restoration Partnership comprising CH2M Hill; Areva and Serco; and an Amec/Atkins/Rolls-Royce vehicle entitled UK Nuclear Restoration. Final tenders must be submitted by early November and the preferred bidder will be announced in March 2014. After a transition period, the winning bidder will take over in September next year.
Construction News 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Ed Davey, the energy secretary, visited Beijing last month, and George Osborne, the chancellor, and Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, are due to travel there on separate trips in the next two weeks. Ministers hope to seal the rapprochement with a series of investment deals, including one by the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in a £650m enterprise zone at Manchester airport. Mr Osborne will also hope to clinch an investment by state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group in a new nuclear reactor planned by EDF, the French energy group, at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
FT 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Dry Fuel Store At Sizewell B Nuclear Power StationThe UK’s first Dry Fuel Store is currently under construction at Sizewell B nuclear power station, Leiston, Suffolk. Paul Zyda, a nuclear planning and environmental lawyer, describes the consenting journey and experiences gained in advising on this milestone project from initial design, to achievement of a grant by the Secretary of State of planning permission, and recent commencement of construction.
Mondaq 2nd Oct 2013 read more »
Colleagues in the Bristol area have informed us that the third nuclear train this week has just been loaded again today at Bridgwater Station. Every week trains carrying radioactive nuclear waste in flasks from Hinkley Point nuclear power station are loaded in the middle of Bridgwater, right next door to Eastover Primary School. On their route to Sellafield, they pass towns and villages close to schools and residential areas. The ONLY reason the waste is going to Sellafield (rather than being kept on the site where it arises and looked after there) is for reprocessing and to clear the decks at existing nuclear plants to make room for yet more nuclear waste.
Radiation Free Lakeland 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
An announcement on who will manage the Sellafield nuclear site from next year is expected to be made later today. The site is currently being run by Nuclear Management Partners, but that organisation was criticised earlier in the year by MPs and the National Audit Office.
ITV 4th Oct 2013 read more »
Whitehaven News 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Last week, Caroline Flint announced major reform of the energy market under a future Labour government, with supply and generation being split and a regulator given more teeth. But of course there are other ways to break the dominance of the Big Six energy companies and their reliance on outdated carbon-heavy or nuclear generation. And not just by using the Co-operative Energy instead – the energy supply company with 180,000 customers came out firmly in favour of Ed Miliband’s proposals. All over the country, community energy organisations are springing up. Co-operatives, owned by local people each holding a small share, are generating solar power, wind power, even hydro. In Brixton, South London, Brixton Energy Co-op is installing solar panels on council housing blocks whilst creating skills and apprenticeships for local young people. Baywind in Cumbria was the first of now eight community-owned windfarms in England and Scotland. And in Devon, the Plymouth Energy Co-operative is helping people with their bills and energy efficiency as well as looking to invest in tidal and other renewable forms.
SERA 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
It’s been a great year for community energy, culminating in what can only be described as a summer of love. We’ve had the first ever Community Energy Fortnight, displays of mass public support, pronouncements of Government support, and thanks to your campaigning – victories! But there is still a great deal to do.
Co-operative 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
The SNP’s Energy Minister has rejected Ed Miliband’s plan to freeze power bills, claiming that it could spark massive price rises, blackouts, and cuts in jobs and investments. Fergus Ewing’s intervention came just a day after one of his ministerial colleagues gave a cautious welcome to the policy. The apparent U-turn prompted accusations from opposition politicians at Holyrood that the Nationalists were “all over the place”.
Times 4th Oct 2013 read more »
A nuclear bomb or nuclear reactor accident can produce a deadly combination of radiation exposure and injuries such as burns and trauma. Now the first study of its kind in 50 years is providing new insights into this phenomenon, called combined radiation injury (CRI). Researchers at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine have shown how CRI causes the intestines to leak bacteria into surrounding tissue. The study also showed that radiation and burns have a synergistic effect that make them far more deadly when they act in combination.
Medical News 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Ontario Power Generation’s environmental assessment of a proposed nuclear waste site “is sufficiently flawed that the findings cannot be trusted,” a consultant has told a federal panel. “I can’t say the conclusions are wrong,” Peter Duinker told the panel. “I can say they are suspect and unreliable.” Duinker was hired by the panel to evaluate OPG’s conclusion that its site for storing low and intermediate nuclear waste is unlikely to cause significant adverse effects on the environment.
Toronto Star 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Nuclear Expert: Plutonium from Fukushima in Pacific fish presents health risk — Study: “Long-distance transport” of Fukushima-sourced plutonium should be addressed.
Energy News 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Two-and-a-half years after Fukushima, many fish species still have highly elevated amounts of radioactive cesium from the stricken plant, including species that Japan exports to Canada, according to the Japanese Fisheries Agency’s tests on fish catches.
Straight.com 2nd Oct 2013 read more »
The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Thursday another tank holding highly contaminated water overflowed, probably sending the liquid into the Pacific Ocean, in the second such breach in less than two months. Recent site mishaps have returned Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, to the spotlight, calling into question its ability to execute a complex cleanup that could last decades. The company has vowed to monitor the tanks more closely and improve its water management.
Guardian 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Independent 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
A Japanese fast food chain has announced plans to grow rice and vegetables in fields less than 50 miles from the damage Fukushima nuclear power plant. Yoshinoya, which operates a major nationwide chain of “gyudon” beef bowl restaurants, will plant rice, onions and cabbages in Shirakawa, a short distance from the northeastern plant. The company will cultivate the crops as part of a joint venture with local farmers and will also build a facility to process vegetables for use in its 1,000-plus restaurants across Japan. Customers at the popular fast-food chain will be reassured to learn that the company has stated that the crops will be monitored with strict radiation checking procedures.
Telegraph 4th Oct 2013 read more »
The foundation stone has been laid at the Rooppur site after Russia and Bangladesh signed an initial contract on the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant.
World Nuclear News 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
From 7am this morning, 50 activists from Wales have been blockading the Main Gate of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Burghfield. CND congratulates the campaigners, who are calling for the Trident nuclear weapons system to be scrapped and plans to replace it cancelled. The protest, organised by CND Cymru, has seen activists from across Wales, accompanied by three huge red dragons, ‘lock on’ with chains and pipes across the main entrance.
CND 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
The future of a proposed windfarm on Shetland touted as one of the most productive in the world has been thrown into doubt in a legal battle over a rare wading bird and an obscure part of British energy law. A judge in Edinburgh has ruled that the Viking windfarm project, set to be one of the largest in the UK, should not have been given planning consent last year, in a victory for local anti-windfarm campaigners. Lady Clark ruled that ministers had failed to follow an EU birds directive when they weighed up the threats posed by the project to the whimbrel, an endangered wading bird which nests almost exclusively on Shetland.
Guardian 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
The Scottish government is to appeal a Court of Session ruling to quash consent for a major wind farm in the centre of Shetland.
BBC 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Should the UK loosen its climate commitments because other European countries aren’t making the same promises? That’s the suggestion made by Chancellor George Osborne. In a letter to Ed Davey, government advisor the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says the answer is “no” – because European targets are broadly consistent with the UK’s plans. There’s a big political fight about green targets looming at the end of this year. Under the fourth carbon budget – created by the country’s Climate Change Act – the government has committed to halving UK emissions by 2027, relative to 1990 levels. Chancellor George Osborne argues this will put the country at a competitive disadvantage compared to its European partners because, he says, Europe isn’t displaying the same level of ambition. He is widely expected to use an upcoming review of the budget to argue the target should be weakened. But in a letter to energy minister Ed Davey published today, the CCC argues that European-wide emissions targets are actually consistent with the fourth carbon budget.
Carbon Brief 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Guadian 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
All 30 of those arrested during a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling have now been charged with piracy by Russian authorities, and face trials that could see them jailed for up to 15 years. There are nationals of 18 different countries among the group, including six Britons.
Guardian 3rd Oct 2013 read more »
Greenpeace appealed to the Government last night to secure the release of six Britons who have been charged with piracy in Russia and face up to 15 years in jail. In his first comments on the case since 30 men and women from 18 countries were detained at sea following a protest against Russian Arctic drilling last month, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said that he had raised the case with Sergei Lavrov, his opposite number last week. He pledged to “remain in close contact with all other nations whose citizens were involved, and make representations to the Russian authorities as necessary”.
Times 4th Oct 2013 read more »