Talks are under way aimed at attracting additional investors for the project to build two European pressurised water reactors (EPRs) at the Hinkley Point C plant site in Somerset in the UK, it has been revealed. The managing director of nuclear new build for EDF Energy, Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, said the company “is talking to other potential equity partners.
Nuclear24 4th March 2015 read more »
These notes contain observations and arguments relating to the finding by the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission (hereinafter “EC”) that, with regard to the proposed new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in south west England (HPC), “the package of measures notified by the UK involves State aid which, as amended by the commitments provided, is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Art 107(3)(c) TFEU” [EC2014, p. 75]. It appears that some key arguments and conclusions in [EC2014] are false. And it appears that the errors in these arguments and conclusions arise largely from seriously deficient understandings of technical aspects of nuclear power and technical aspects of electricity supply systems.
Energy Fair 2nd March 2015 read more »
On March 24, many of us will be coming to Brussels to oppose the plans for more nuclear power in Britain. Together we want to make a stand against nuclear power! The occasion is the handing over of the signatures that were collected during the anti-Hinkley Point C campaign by Electricity Schönau (EWS). The EWS had filed a complaint to the European Commission against the approval of state subsidies by Britain to EdF.
Ihre Stimme fur den change 5th March 2015 read more »
The Green Party wants to scupper the new South West nuclear station, Britain’s first in a generation. The move comes after it emerged the Government is seeking European Commission approval to hold a “golden share” in the third reactor set to be built at Hinkley Point, near Bridgwater, Somerset. Molly Scott Cato, Green Party MEP for the South West, said the party will write to EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager over the funding “shambles”. The Greens believe ministers admitting to “initial discussions” over a share in Hinkley Point C alters the UK’s state aid case, which has to meet strict rules. Claude Turmes, Green MEP from Luxembourg, which has joined Austria in the legal challenge, said: “Recent studies show the huge levels of public funding that nuclear energy is benefiting from. “We call on Commissioner Vestager to open a broad sectoral investigation on state aid in the nuclear sector. “We need to ensure that all external costs related to decommissioning and waste management are no longer a debt for future generations of taxpayers but borne by the nuclear industry.”
Western Morning News 6th March 2015 read more »
GREENS in Europe are to refer back the decision on the funding for Hinkley C to the EU Commission. They will ask Margrethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition, to revisit the decision in light of the news that the Government is seeking a “golden share” in the project and the likely pull-out of Areva, the French-owned company with a 10 per cent stake.
South Cotswold Gazette 6th March 2015 read more »
A NEW construction and skills centre at Bridgwater College has been described as a ‘one stop shop’ to boost jobs in the area. Energy Minister Matt Hancock officially opened the Construction Skills and Innovation Centre which replicates a real life construction site, with industry-standard plant, machinery and equipment. The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre is the result of a £1.5million investment from EDF Energy and offers a new civil engineering curriculum including training in excavation, ground works, concrete pouring, formwork and steel .
Bridgwater Mercury 6th March 2015 read more »
Letter Cllr Williams: We are all expected to pay the proverbial “arm and a leg” for the proposed new nuclear facility at Hinkley, (15 miles from Barry Island). Unfortunately for some residents in Fukushima in 2011, they paid the ultimate “higher price”, as I heard first hand from a resident last week at a conference held in Cardiff Bay by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities, (Cardiff being a member, but sadly not my own authority of the Vale of Glamorgan Council). A similar meeting was also held on Ynys Mon/Anglesey the following evening. Readers may not be aware that the Austrian government has formally objected to the Hinkley development due to the Westminster government’s subsidies being unfair when compared to “cleaner” methods of energy generation. We now know that the results of the first renewable energy auction held in the UK under its new “contract for difference” pricing mechanism, “greener” bids have pulled the rug from underneath the nuclear advocate argument that it is the cheapest form of clean energy.
Western Mail 4th March 2015 read more »
Scottish Power is investing £22m to divert power circuits to make way for the development of the new nuclear power station planned for Anglesey. SP Energy Networks (SPEN) met with Horizon Nuclear Power for an overview of the nuclear project at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey.
Wales Online 6th March 2015 read more »
The former prime minister of Japan Naoto Kan visited Wales recently to deliver stark warnings over Britain’s continued commitment to nuclear energy. Anglesey’s bitterly-disputed Wylfa nuclear power facility was a subject at the centre of the visit. Kan was the Prime Minister in March 2011, when a tsunami hit the coast of northern Japan causing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster which resulted in a meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors. Brought to the UK by Dr Carl Clowes of People against Wylfa B (Anglesey anti-nuclear group PAWB) among others, along with Kan came Tetsunari Iida, a former nuclear engineer and director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Japan and many normal people directly affected by the disaster.
Daily Post 7th March 2015 read more »
Areva Inc has asked the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to suspend work on the design certification of the US EPR until further notice, prompting Unistar Nuclear Energy to request the suspension of the review of its construction and operation licence (COL) application for Calvert Cliffs 3.
World Nuclear News 6th March 2015 read more »
Machine Translation: The real fiasco story The government has already weeks to announce publicly the Areva losses: 5 billion. We now announce the solution that will be required to save the French nuclear industry. Areva defended two certainties. The first was that nuclear is probably the only source of clean, cheap energy. Areva Leaders primarily invested in security to calm or anesthetize political concerns. The second certainty is that the company’s engineers were the best and they did not need anyone to be controlled or supported . They were hard to manage technology, much less to achieve financial optimization. The result of this arrogance is Areva left in the race to gigantism with the EPR, convinced he had discovered the philosopher’s stone of perpetual energy. No government had jurisdiction to challenger such a bet. Areva continues to spend money in extremely mismanaged EPR projects in poorly studied purchases and especially a lack of trade competitiveness in the conquest of emerging markets, failing to agree with its main partner.
Atlantico 5th March 2015 read more »
Magnox has successfully emptied more than 120 tonnes of hazardous material from the first of Hunterston A’s five solid waste bunkers. Retrieval of the highly radioactive graphite and metallic waste has posed a technical challenge for many years and the recent success is a major milestone for the site. Hunterston’s two reactors were, unusually, constructed in an elevated position at a height of more than 10 metres, which enabled access from underneath. Gravity assisted the removal of used fuel, while refuelling could be carried out without the need for lifting machinery above the active core. Similarly, the fuel elements were also unique to the plant, incorporating a graphite sleeve which was stripped from the irradiated uranium during discharge from the reactors, along with associated metallic components. This Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) was transported via underground tunnels into one of the five above-ground bunkers made of reinforced concrete. The Solid Active Waste Bunker Recovery (SAWBR) project will recover all contents from the bunkers, and process it into a passively safe state for storage in the site’s ILW Store.
NDA 6th March 2015 read more »
The National Audit Office’s latest report points to improved performance at Sellafield in the last 12 months. The NDA continues to report openly about the challenges faced in tackling the historic legacy at Europe’s most complex and hazardous nuclear site. The primary reason for increases in costs and schedule is because we now have a better understanding of the technical approach necessary to tackle these unique facilities that date back to the 1940s and 50s. NDA Chief Executive, John Clarke, is due to appear before the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday 11 March 2015 as a follow-up session to the hearings held in Autumn 2013.
NDA 4th March 2015 read more »
For the first time in half a century, the main control room at a Suffolk nuclear power station which has generated enough electricity to boil a trillion kettles has fallen silent.
East Anglian Daily Times 6th March 2015 read more »
Magnox Ltd and RSRL are being merged into a single Site Licence Company (SLC) as part of the changes being introduced by the new Parent Body Organisation, the Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP).
NDA 27th Feb 2015 read more »
US – AP1000s
Georgia Power Co. on Feb. 27 said its share of a project to build two new nuclear reactors at the Vogtle plant will cost over $1 billion more than it previously expected, reflecting a potential 18-month delay driven by problems in the construction of the first new nuclear power plant in the country in decades. Georgia Power, a Southern Co. subsidiary, revealed the numbers in the latest edition of its semiannual report to state regulators on the Vogtle project. In the report, Georgia Power forecast that when the Vogtle 3 and 4 reactors are completed, possibly over five years from now, the utility’s share of the final construction and capital costs of the project will be $5.05 billion, up $246 million from the previous estimate. Meanwhile, the prediction for the final financing costs now stands at $2.47 billion, up $778 million. Georgia Power owns only 45.7% of the Vogtle project as a whole. The other owners are Oglethorpe Power Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and the city of Dalton, Ga. With Georgia Power’s current estimate of its share at about $7.5 billion based on its ownership share, the project as a whole could now cost over $16 billion.
Transmission & Distribution World 4th March 2015 read more »
China could struggle to meet its 2020 nuclear energy targets with the industry still waiting on a cautious government to speed up the approval process, a senior industry executive said on Saturday. But as it waits for domestic projects to go ahead, the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) is now ready to start selling reactors overseas, said the firm’s chairman Sun Qin, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament. China planned to raise its total installed nuclear capacity to 58 gigawatts (GW) by 2020, up from 20 GW now, but despite ending a freeze on new approvals late in 2013, the state has not yet given any new projects the full go-ahead following a nationwide safety probe in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima crisis.
Reuters 7th March 2015 read more »
Defence Nuclear Safety
Concerns over nuclear dangers on the Clyde have been played down by a local councillor and the Ministry of Defence, after figures revealed number of radiation safety incidents had leapt by more than half in a year.
Helensburgh Advertiser 6th March 2015 read more »
WITHIN the next few weeks, after years of stalling and evasion, Iran may at last agree to curb its nuclear programme. In exchange for relief from sanctions it will accept, in principle, that it should allow intrusive inspections and limit how much uranium will cascade through its centrifuges. After 2025 Iran will gradually be allowed to expand its efforts. It insists these are peaceful, but the world is convinced they are designed to produce a nuclear weapon. Every nuclear power is spending lavishly to upgrade its atomic arsenal. Russia’s defence budget has grown by over 50% since 2007, and fully a third of it is devoted to nuclear weapons: twice the share of, say, France. China, long a nuclear minnow, is adding to its stocks and investing heavily in submarines and mobile missile batteries. Pakistan is amassing dozens of battlefield nukes to make up for its inferiority to India in conventional forces. North Korea is thought to be capable of adding a warhead a year to its stock of around ten, and is working on missiles that can strike the west coast of the United States. Even the Nobel peace laureate in the White House has asked Congress for almost $350 billion to undertake a decade-long programme of modernisation of America’s arsenal.
Economists 7th Mar 2015 read more »
French nuclear energy expert Bernard Bigot has been appointed the new Director General of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) as the project moves from the design to construction phase after years of delays.
Engineering & Technology 6th March 2015 read more »
PLANS to unlock Icelandic-style geothermal energy to help power Scotland’s homes and businesses have been unveiled by energy minister Fergus Ewing. A £250,000 Challenge Fund has been launched to explore the roll-out of initiatives similar to existing schemes where warm groundwater is used to generate electricity. Geothermal energy meets the heating and hot water requirements of almost 90 per cent of buildings in Iceland although this is largely down to the island’s location on a volcano belt. Mr Ewing said: “Over the last few years we have developed a better understanding and appreciation of the geothermal resource under our feet. “I have taken the advice of the Geothermal Energy Expert Group to build on the findings of a study undertaken in 2012-13 by supporting exploration of the significant potential for geothermal energy in naturally occurring groundwater and the water collecting in our abandoned mines. “Now is the time to take the experience of housing projects in Shettleston and Fife and take the first steps towards the development of a delivery model which reduces carbon emissions, is self-sustaining and is economically viable.”
Scotsman 7th Mar 2015 read more »
Scottish Government 6th March 2015 read more »
SHRINKING incentives are threatening the future of smaller wind turbine projects across Scotland, property consultant CKD Galbraith has warned. The firm said that new projects will receive only 64 per cent of the feed-in-tariff received by an identical turbine commissioned under previous rates. Tariffs for some renewable sources are gradually reduced to reflect expected falls in the cost of installation, but Mike Reid, head of utilities at CKD Galbraith, said many farmers rely on smaller wind projects for additional revenues.
Scotsman 7th Mar 2015 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 6th Mar 2015 read more »
Plans to install energy saving smart meters in every UK home and business by 2020 are in danger of veering off-track and could prove to be a costly failure because the project has not been driven forward effectively, the Energy and Climate Change Committee has warned. In a new report the MPs raise concerns about technical, logistical and public communication issues which have resulted in delays to a national roll-out programme.
Parliament 7th Mar 2015 read more »
Guardian 7th Mar 2015 read more »
The government has made a further £70m available for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. From midday Monday 16 March the scheme will be open to new application, with up to £5,600 available to households in England and Wales to help with the cost of installing energy efficiency home improvements such as solid wall insulation, double glazing, boilers, cavity wall and floor insulation.
Building 5th March 2015 read more »
The Earth’s climate rarely make it to the top of the news list. The changes may be happening too fast for human comfort, but they happen too slowly for the newsmakers – and, to be fair, for most readers. These events that have yet to materialise may dwarf anything journalists have had to cover over the past troubled century. There may be untold catastrophes, famines, floods, droughts, wars, migrations and sufferings just around the corner. But that is futurology, not news, so it is not going to force itself on any front page any time soon. Even when the overwhelming majority of scientists wave a big red flag in the air, they tend to be ignored. Is this new warning too similar to the last? Is it all too frightening to contemplate? Is a collective shrug of fatalism the only rational response? The climate threat features very prominently on the home page of the Guardian on Friday even though nothing exceptional happened on this day. It will be there again next week and the week after. You will, I hope, be reading a lot about our climate over the coming weeks.
Guardian 6th March 2015 read more »