French utility giant EDF’s chief executive said the group would walk away from building Britain’s first new nuclear plants in a generation unless the government can guarantee profitability. Henri Proglio’s comments will cast yet more doubt over the UK’s energy ambitions, coming just a day after EDF’s UK partner Centrica relinquished its 20pc stake in a joint project to build reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk, citing ballooning costs and delays.
Telegraph 5th Feb 2013
Electricite de France SA’s chief executive officer said he’s willing to join Centrica (CNA) Plc in walking away from building the U.K.’s first reactors in two decades unless the government ensures the project is profitable. “We won’t do it” if if the price for their power isn’t high enough, CEO Henri Proglio said in an interview in Bure, eastern France. “I won’t qualify myself as confident, but rather conscious that an agreement can be reached” on prices.” EDF has held talks with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co. on joining the U.K. projects and there are “potentially other partners,” Proglio said in September. CGNPC’s interest was reaffirmed last month by Herve Machenaud, head of production and engineering. Proglio declined to comment further yesterday on potential partners, saying only that the project must be“clearly structured” before an alliance can be agreed upon.
Bloomberg 5th Feb 2013
The contracts for difference (CFD) strike price is more crucial than ever to EDF Energy’s UK new nuclear programme, after Centrica confirmed its exit on Monday. Centrica turned down its option of a 20 per cent stake in the programme, citing increasing costs, a lengthening construction timetable, and a growing time period before it would see a return. EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said the CfD strike price is “now more than ever key to attracting investors and to unlock funding for the project”. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group is believed to be leading discussions to invest in the programme. Industry sources say EDF Energy is keen to sell up to a 49 per cent share.
Utility Week 5th Feb 2013
The past week has not been a good time for those wedded to a resurgent UK nuclear renaissance. This week Centrica decided there’s too much risk involved. It remains unconvinced by the sums. So it’s walking away from having a stake in EDF Energy’s new nuclear programme. And last week Cumbria County Council drove a coach and horses through the administration’s nuclear waste strategy, one concocted by Labour and embraced by the present incumbents. That strategy relied on two questionable assumptions. First, that communities existed who wanted to host a multi-billion pound repository in which radioactive waste and spent fuel could be safely buried deep underground. And second that the local geology was suitable. Cumbria decided that having a repository in its backyard was not worth the candle. As a result the government is left with no obvious host community. The administration’s policy principles of “voluntarism and a community-led approach” are now looking very threadbare indeed. Its nuclear waste management strategy is in tatters. There is no Plan B. In fact it gets a tad worse. The Government, in its wisdom, decided that the process for the development consent for Hinkley C, planned as the first of the new breed of nuclear stations, need not consider the nuclear waste issue on the grounds that had been taken care of. Manifestly that is not the case now. If Barker approves Hinkley C next month that decision will surely face a judicial review in the light of the hopelessly flawed radioactive waste management policy context. Later this week (on Thursday) the Government will get an earful from some MPs over subsidies for new nuclear (and the existing stations). Ironically, rebooting both the electricity market and the planning system has failed to make nuclear power bankable, loveable or a commercial shoe in. And remember it’s still not clear whether the European Commission is prepared to view long-term contracts for difference as anything other than protracted state-aid. What nuclear spring? It’s still definitely nuclear winter.
Utility Week 5th Feb 2013
Letters Camilla Berens: Germany should become Europe’s flagship for a new social framework which has energy sustainability at his core. And despite current emission levels, the country is still on track to reach its 80% carbon reduction target by 2050. Under massive popular pressure, the German government decided to end its nuclear programme on moral grounds: it was simply unethical to put its people under threat from a Fukushima-type disaster. It is now pouring billions into research and development of energy that is both renewable and safe. Meanwhile it is installing bridging technologies like combined heat and power to gradually reduce its carbon output. In other words, it has a clear roadmap. What do we have in the UK? A government that is blindly resurrecting dodgy old technologies like nuclear as well as introducing new horrors such as fracking.
Guardian 5th Feb 2013
Dr John Twidell: Nuclear power is for electricity only and incorporates, like coal power, 35% inefficient steam turbines. Lack of satisfactory nuclear waste disposal strangles the nuclear process, as does its expense and proliferation dangers. To abate climate change and other pollution, fossil fuels should stay underground, where their carbon disposal has already been accomplished. Renewables produce electricity, heat and fuels with proven technology and no additional carbon emissions – forever. Clearly the priority is to build more renewables plant matched to dramatically improved energy-use efficiency. Let us not be distracted by outmoded dreams.
Guardian 5th Feb 2013
A multi-billion pound project to deliver a new nuclear power station and thousands of jobs to Suffolk hit a setback yesterday after a major investor walked away from the deal.
Eastern Daily Press 5th Feb 2013
Theo Simon, a spokesperson for the Stop Hinkley campaign group in Somerset, has hailed the past 7 days as “the worst ever” for EDF’s delayed new nuclear plans. “This has to be one of the worst weeks for EDF since they began their Hinkley C project. Cumbria has rejected hosting an underground dump for their nuclear waste, the true public cost of storing our existing waste – £67.5 billion – has just come to light and now EDF’s major investment partner Centrica has pulled out. In what is also the anniversary week of a near meltdown at Fukushima , it’s reasonable for anyone to question whether the government should ever have started along this route.”
Stop Hinkley 4th Feb 2013
Decommissioning one of the “most hazardous” nuclear sites in Europe has already cost Britain $106 billion, and further expenses are expected, officials have said. Sellafield chiefs have come under fire for missed deadlines and inflated salaries. ¬Sellafield, the nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria, northwest England, stores 82 tons of plutonium waste. A plant director called one of the plant’s buildings, B30, “the most hazardous industrial building in Western Europe.” The closure was announced in June 2012, following concerns over terrorist threats and environmental damage. The total lifetime cost of decommissioning and clean-up has hit £67.5 billion ($106 billion), the Public Accounts Committee said in a new report – two-thirds the total amount the UK spent on the National Health Service in the years 2011 and 2012, and nine times the spending on the Teacher Pension Scheme in the same time period, Guardian Data reported in its annual audit of UK government spending.
RT 4th Feb 2013
A Government minister has given his backing to retaining hundred of highly-skilled jobs at a Lancashire nuclear fuel factory. Energy minister John Hayes has told trade union leaders, business bosses and Fylde MP Mark Menzies that he would support the manufacture of fuel to power the next generation of reactors taking place in the UK. The Evening Post understands the Government is looking at the lengths it can go to encourage firms building new reactors to buy from the Springfields Fuels plant at Salwick, near Preston.
Lancashire Evening Post 6th Feb 2013
Talking Points for the US Department of Energy Programmatic Environmental Assessment on the “Recycling” of (Radioactive) Scrap Metals Originating in Radiological Areas.
NIRS 4th Feb 2013
The Scottish Government published “Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027: The Draft Second Report on Proposals and Policies” on 29 January 2013. The document is often referred to as RPP2. This SPICe Briefing considers some key questions raised by the report, including how it responds to statutory requirements under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.
Scottish Parliament 5th Feb 2013
Uranium Energy Corp.’s CEO, Adnani insists that he can close the yellowcake gap through a technology that is similar to the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that has created the South Texas energy boom. Fracking for uranium isn’t vastly different from fracking for natural gas.
Forbes 23rd Jan 2013
Fukushima crisis update 1st to 4th Feb 2013
Greenpeace 5th Feb 2013
After decades of market dominance, high profitability and the creation of strong shareholder value, Japan’s nuclear utilities have seen their fortunes turn in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. They have suffered large declines in returns and share prices, and have experienced only limited recovery, with 48 out of 50 nuclear reactors remaining offline. This report lays out the three main challenges Japan’s energy companies must address if they are to survive in the post-Fukushima environment. The challenges are: A new wave of market deregulation, the devaluation of nuclear assets, and breakthroughs in renewable deployment. In combination these challenges will result in massive changes. Impacts on utilities will be further compounded by a shrinking electricity market and by high and volatile prices for oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and coal. This report looks into what Japanese utilities could learn from how Europe and the US have addressed similar challenges, and proposes a range of strategies that could help Japanese utilities to become more resilient to political and market fluctuations.
Greenpeace 6th Feb 2013
A whopping 7.6 GW of photovoltaic power plants were installed and connected to the electricity grid, a new record.
Renew Economy 6th Feb 2013
It’s an environmental experiment on an unprecedented scale. Germany’s political parties have agreed to close the country’s nuclear power stations and slash its use of coal, oil and gas. But can the industrial powerhouse of Europe really continue to churn out the BMWs and Mercedes on a meagre diet of wind and solar energy? In the first of a new series of ‘Costing the Earth’ Tom Heap travels to Berlin to meet the politicians of right and left who share a vision for a green Germany and the industrialists who fear that blind optimism has replaced logic at the heart of government.
BBC Radio 4 29th Jan 2013
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced his resignation last week after four years of pushing nuclear power, although he promoted energy efficiency and safe, renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind, too. But nuclear power remained a major focus of Dr. Chu, a physicist out of the U.S. national nuclear laboratory system. In his letter to Department of Energy employees announcing his departure, Chu listed as among “tangible signs of success” during his tenure the go-ahead for the building of “the first nuclear power plants in the last three decades” in the U.S.
Counter Punch 5th Feb 2013
Electrabel, a Belgium-based subsidiary of French natural gas and electricity supplier GDF Suez, has announced that it has submitted an extra safety test plan to the Belgian Federal Agency of Nuclear Control, for extra tests on its two reactors closed in 2012.
Energy Business Review 6th Feb 2013
IRAN and world powers have announced new talks on Tehran’s nuclear programme will take place later this month. However, hopes of progress were weakened when an Iranian official said the West’s goal in talking was to undermine the Islamic republic. Iran’s Supreme National Security Council announced the meeting, to be held on February 26, in comments to state news agency IRNA.
Herald 6th Feb 2013
The question is on the lips of many Iranians, who are debating whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will bow to pressure from world powers and strike a deal over its nuclear programme.
FT 5th Feb 2013
North Korea stepped its war rhetoric today by threatening to go beyond carrying out a promised third nuclear test in response to what it believes are ‘hostile’ sanctions imposed after a December rocket launch.
Daily Mail 5th Feb 2013
As South Korea says a Pyongyang nuclear test is imminent, strange video emerges of a North Korean dreaming of an attack on the US.
Sky News 5th Feb 2013
The US and South Korea today warned North Korea of “further consequences” if it carried out a third nuclear test. It came as South Korea’s outgoing leader, Lee Myung-bak, suggested that Pyongyang could be working on “multiple nuclear tests at two places or more”. North Korea said last month that it was planning a “high-level nuclear test”.
London Evening Standard 5th Feb 2013
A new set of guidelines has been published by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to support the delivery of decentralised energy schemes in the capital. The ‘District Heating Manual for London’ provides practical guidance for developers, network designers and planners with the aim of creating a consistent framework for delivering efficient, interconnecting, district heating networks. It is also designed to help guide local planning authorities. The document, developed in collaboration with Arup, supports a range of initiatives provided by City Hall to promote the Mayor’s target to achieve 25 per cent of London’s energy supply from decentralised energy sources by 2025.
Mayor of London 5th Dec 2013
Almost four out of five people support the UK using renewable energy to generate electricity, fuel and heat, according to a major survey published by the government today. Of the 2,107 people polled in December and January just four per cent were opposed to using renewable energy, a number that has remained consistent across the previous three attitudes surveys conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Business Green 5th Feb 2013
Governments in Central and Eastern Europe have been warned that billions of euros worth of investment in wind energy could be lost unless support mechanisms become more stable. A report analysing potential growth across emerging European markets was published at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) conference in Vienna, Austria today, a country seen by some as the “gateway” for the industry into Eastern and Central Europe.
Business Green 5th Feb 2013
Renewable Energy Focus 5th Feb 2013