Electricite de France SA declined in Paris as the biggest nuclear operator raised the estimated cost of developing its EPR reactor in Normandy to 8.5 billion euros ($11 billion), more than double the initial estimate. The utility, which retained its 2016 target for starting up the reactor, said the plant’s costs grew because of changes to its engineering and design, and lessons learned from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster. The figure includes 2 billion euros of higher costs on a constant currency basis, plus an additional increase to take inflation into account, an EDF official said yesterday.
Bloomberg 4th Dec 2012 more »
Energy firm EdF has announced that the expected costs of Flamanville European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) have risen by €2bn (£1.62bn) to £6.48bn. The firm’s first attempt at to build an EPR began in 2007 and was scheduled to last four-and-a-half years costing £2.67bn, but has since been revised and is now scheduled to start selling power commercially in 2016.
New Civil Engineer 4th Dec 2012 more »
Enel SpA (ENEL.MI), Italy’s biggest utility by market value, Tuesday said it terminated its cooperation with Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR) for nuclear power following last year’s referendum in Italy to stop atomic energy coming back into the country. In a statement, Enel said it will be reimbursed for about 613 million euros ($803.03 million), plus accrued interests, related to its 12.5% stake in the project. The Rome-based company said it notified EDF of its right to end its participation in the European Pressurized Reactor nuclear plant project in Flamanville and another five power plants to be built in France using EPR technology. The Flamanville project has encountered construction cost over-runs and delays, said Enel.
Fox business 4th Dec 2012 more »
French power group EDF received a new blow on Tuesday when Italy’s biggest utility Enel announced it has pulled out from a project to build a next-generation nuclear reactor in northern France.
Reuters 4th Dec 2012 more »
Two of the UK’s oldest nuclear power stations are to remain in use until at least 2023, EDF Energy announced today. Hinkley Point B near Bridgwater in Somerset and Hunterston B in North Ayrshire started generation in 1976 but have now been given seven-year extensions to their existing decommissioning dates in 2016. The SNP administration wants to phase out nuclear but is not opposed to extending the life of existing stations while making a push for renewable energy to cover the country’s electricity needs. Patrick Harvie MSP, Scottish Green Party co-convener, said: “Scotland doesn’t need to sweat its nuclear assets to keep the lights on. This extension shows how light touch regulation is failing us and the Scottish Government shouldn’t just wave it through.
Independent 4th Dec 2012 more »
EDF Energy Press Release 4th Dec 2012 more »
Business Green 4th Dec 2012 more »
Chemical Engineer 4th Dec 2012 more »
Engineer 4th Dec 2012 more »
Scotsman 3rd Dec 2012 more »
Utility Week 4th Dec 2012 more »
Nuclear Engineering International 4th Dec 2012 more »
This is Somerset 4th Dec 2012 more »
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London Evening Standard 4th Dec 2012 more »
Times 5th Dec 2012 more »
BBC 4th Dec 2012 more »
The decision to extend the life of Hinkley B reactor in West Somerset by 7 years from 2016 has been condemned by local campaigners, who say it mirrors mistakes made at Fukushima, weeks before the accident there. Press spokesperson from the Stop Hinkley campaign Theo Simon said, “This decision to prop up the aging and cracked reactor at Hinkley B well past it’s sell-by date is potentially very hazardous for all of us. EDF and Centrica may want to squeeze every last drop of profit out of it, but the potential for a nuclear mishap at Hinkley B increases exponentially with age. We should remember that the oldest of the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi had been given a 10 year life-extension by government regulators just weeks before the tsunami caused cracked diesel generators to fail leading to a collapse of the cooling system.”
Stop Hinkley 4th Dec 2012 more »
The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) does not set fixed licence periods for nuclear plants; rather they can continue to operate as long as they are deemed safe and pass periodic safety reviews. According to a spokesman, the ONR is “broadly content” with EDF’s proposal to manage aging at the plants and the next periodic safety reviews for both stations is scheduled for 2015.
World Nuclear News 4th Dec 2012 more »
Stop Hinkley spokesman Theo Simon said: “This decision to prop up the aging and cracked reactor at Hinkley B well past its sell-by date is potentially very hazardous for all of us. “EDF and Centrica may want to squeeze every last drop of profit out of it, but the potential for a nuclear mishap at Hinkley B increases exponentially with age.”
Morning Star 4th Dec 2012 more »
Hunterston now described as an 890MW plant (as opposed to the original 1,320MW).
Power Engineering 4th Dec 2012 more »
Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B operate at approximately 70% load due to boiler temperature restrictions.
This is Devon 4th Dec 2012 more »
Hunterston B in Ayrshire – a nuclear power plant which started producing electricity in 1976 – despite being due to shut down last year it is still going strong. So strong in fact that the lifetime has been extended not just once, but twice. EDF has confirmed it plans to now run the plant until 2023 – Hunterston A incidentally shut down in 1990. WWF Scotland director Richard Dixon said: “This 40-year old nuclear station will be creating yet more radioactive waste which could be easily avoided through growth in renewables and greater energy efficiency. We simply don’t need nuclear power to keep the lights on.” Speaking to Holyrood’s Annual Review this year, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “If the case can be made for safe extension of our two existing nuclear power stations, provided a safety case is made, then we would not object to the extension of the lives of our two nuclear power stations.”
Holyrood Magazine 4th Dec 2012 more »
Business7 4th Dec 2012 more »
ONE of Scotland’s last nuclear power station is to carry on operating until 2023, despite Alex Salmond’s hopes of a nuclear-free country. The operating life of Hunterston B nuclear power station in Ayrshire has been extended by seven years, power firm EDF Energy has announced. The company said a technical and economic evaluation of the plant, which opened in 1976, confirmed it could operate until 2023.
Express 5th Dec 2012 more »
Environmental groups have hit out at plans to extend the working life of one of Scotland’s two nuclear power stations by at least seven years. Hunterston B in Ayrshire, which provides enough power for one million homes, had been due to close in 2016. But its operator EDF Energy announced that it expects both Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B in Somerset to remain operational until at least 2023 – the year when Scotland’s other nuclear power station at Torness in East Lothian is also due to close. It means both Scottish plants will be working past the Scottish Government’s 2020 target date for having renewable energy providing the equivalent of all Scotland’s energy needs.
Herald 5th Dec 2012 more »
YESTERDAY’S announcement by EDF Energy that the operating life of the Hunterston B nuclear power station in Ayrshire is to be extended by a further seven years should be welcomed for several reasons. Extending the lives of Hunterston B and Torness postpones confronting Scotland’s energy challenge. Ultimately they must be decommissioned. What then happens when a lengthy period of cold, clear, still weather covers the country, as has happened in recent winters? Scotland can probably rely on renewables under most weather conditions but at what price to the economy and those struggling to pay mounting energy bills? EDF’s decision to continue supplying Scotland with electricity looks like a piece of serendipity.
Herald 5th Dec 2012 more »
Recent polling conducted by EDF Energy shows that 74% of Somerset people agree that nuclear is a necessary part of the energy balance, which is significantly above the already impressive national average of 66%.
ITV West 4th Dec 2012 more »
The head of the committee on climate change has criticised the chancellor for including a scenario in his “gas strategy” document that would jeopardise carbon reduction targets. Under the strategy, to be published on Wednesday alongside the Autumn Statement, the government will authorise some 26 gigawatts of new gas production, equivalent to 20-30 extra power stations, replacing old coal, nuclear and gas plants. But the document is expected to outline three scenarios, one of which would involve a much greater 37GW of new gas plants and a rewrite of the UK’s plans to make significant carbon reductions by the mid-2020s.
FT 4th Dec 2012 more »
George Osborne’s dash for gas is “completely incompatible” with the nation’s legally binding carbon emissions targets and should be “plan Z”, according to the government’s official climate advisers. The gas strategy, due to be published alongside the chancellor’s autumn statement on Wednesday, envisages far more gas power stations than the limit recommended by the energy secretary, Ed Davey. Osborne’s strategy plans for as much as 37GW of new electricity capacity from gas-powered stations, equivalent to more than 40 new plants and half the UK’s entire current electricity generating capacity.
Guardian 4th Dec 2012 more »
Out of the Treasury smog some clarity finally emerges on its dash for gas: it wants to commit the UK to a plan so reckless it is derided as “plan Z” by the government’s own official adviser. The extraordinary plan disregards the dangers of global warming so astoundingly that it can only mean the chancellor, George Osborne, has relegated the importance of tackling climate change to somewhere below tackling pasty taxes again on his to-do list.
Guardian 4th Dec 2012 more »
A Department of Energy and Climate Change gas strategy is expected to say 26 gigawatts (GW) of new gas capacity is needed – up to 30 plants – an increase from current plans for up to 20GW.In a coup for the Chancellor, it will also show a scenario in which 37GW of gas plants could be built, making gas account for nearly half of the UK energy mix by 2030. That would require amending carbon emissions plans enshrined in law last year.
Telegraph 4th Dec 2012 more »
To put it simply, ANY of the suite of market-based options (premium payments, obligations etc) will have to draw their financing from the already agreed ‘Levy Cap’ pool up to 2020, which eagle eyed readers will have spotted is capped at £7.6 billion in 2020, but represents, in real terms, only about £670 billion per year for ‘new entrants’. So this already rather shrunken pool will have perhaps £100 million drained from it per year to underpin demand side reduction measures as well, which makes the already very dodgy-looking assumptions about the extent to which new renewables can be funded within the levy cap criterion seem even more fanciful. Reliable sources tell me that DECC was unaware of, or unprepared for the move to insist on this (presumably by Treasury) when they negotiated the ‘triumph’ of the levy cap arrangements up to 2020 in return for throwing away any target for energy decarbonisation by 2030 (and we can see why that was when the ‘Dash for Gas’ strategy is announced on Wednesday.
Alan Whitehead 4th Dec 2012 more »
The NFLA welcomes the publication, at long last, of some of the proposals in the UK Energy Bill, but continues to have deep reservations over the support given to nuclear power and is disturbed by a large number of critical omissions from the Bill.
NFLA Press Release 3rd Dec 2012 more »
Fukushima crisis update Nov 30 to Dec 3.
Greenpeace 4th Dec 2012 more »
Can the world’s climate still be saved? Many have already given up hope due to steadily climbing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. But the battle has not yet been lost — and there are reasons for optimism. A guest commentary by the British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey. (No mention of nuclear) According to Bloomberg, global investment in renewables outstripped fossil fuels for the first time last year. We are seeing new renewable energy technologies break into and compete successfully in the market place. Solar PV has averaged 42 percent annual growth globally over the last decade; onshore wind has averaged 27 percent. In some markets, some solar technologies have come down in price by as much as 75 percent in only three years and are now cheaper than fossil fuels in many parts of Africa and South Asia.
Der Spiegel 4th Dec 2012 more »
Guardian 3rd Dec 2012 more »
John Ashton: In the UK recent events have revealed a more muddled state of affairs. The Energy Bill settlement between the energy secretary and the chancellor is a battle won for the low carbon side, since it will unlock investment in renewables to 2020 and make a decarbonisation target for electricity politically inevitable. But the war goes on. Meanwhile our partners see indecision not resolution from a government that began by advertising itself as aiming to be our greenest ever. The UK’s green investment bank could provide a global role model. But the Treasury will not let it borrow, so it cannot leverage private capital on the scale necessary to do its job.
Guardian 4th Dec 2012 more »
George Osborne’s decision to put the economy before “green energy” is opposed by the public, including the voters the Conservatives need to woo in order to win an overall majority in 2015.A YouGov survey found a majority of people, including possible Tory voters, believe the Government can save both the planet and the economy by investing in green technology. Voters also reject the Chancellor’s strategy that the UK should not go further than other countries in creating a low carbon economy.
Independent 5th Dec 2012 more »
The government has announced the latest round of funding awards from its renewable heat scheme, confirming that 38 communities will share £3m of funding to support the rollout of domestic renewable heat technologies. The funding was awarded yesterday under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme, which is acting as a forerunner for the launch of the full domestic RHI scheme next year.
Business Green 4th Dec 2012 more »
The UK would end up £20bn better off by growing offshore wind capacity rather than following the gas-intensive pathway the Chancellor espouses, a report backed by Greenpeace and WWF-UK claims today. by comparing a future scenario where there is a steady growth in offshore wind capacity through the 2020s to a future where no new offshore wind is built after 2020 and the UK uses significantly more gas for its electricity needs, today’s report says GDP will be 0.8 per cent higher by 2030 in the wind scenario with 70,000 more jobs also being created. Investing more in offshore wind would also save the UK £8bn a year in gas imports by 2030, which equates to £90 for every household in the country, the report, compiled by Cambridge Econometrics, concludes.
Business Green 4th Dec 2012 more »
RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind and marine energy industries, has welcomed a new report highlighting the economic benefits of wind. The study, by Cambridge Econometrics for WWF and Greenpeace, shows that UK GDP will be £20 billion higher (0.8%) in 2030 if investment is focussed on offshore wind rather than gas. It also predicts that tens of thousands of extra jobs will be created in the wind industry.
Renewable UK 4th Dec 2012 more »
As a new report by Cambridge Econometrics claiming that a dash for wind would be better than a dash for gas for the economy, we run you through some of the key facts and figures comparing a dash for gas, with sourcing the energy from a clean alternative, in this case, wind.
Energy Desk 4th Dec 2012 more »
The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will question Lord West of Spithead (on Tuesday), as part of their inquiry into the impact on the UK economy of Scottish independence. Lord West was Chief of Naval Staff and First Sea Lord from 2002-2006. He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Security and Counter-Terrorism) at the Home Office 2007-10. The Committee will question Lord West on issues including: the feasibility of moving the UK’s nuclear deterrent facilities from the Clyde to elsewhere in the UK and how much this might cost; whether he agrees with the Ministry of Defence’s position not to plan for Scottish independence; how many jobs in Scotland depend both directly and indirectly on the Trident nuclear programme; if there would be any impact on the shipbuilding industry in Scotland as a result of independence.
House of Lords 4th Dec 2012 more »