Like all new generating capacity, there is considerable uncertainty about the capital cost of new nuclear generating capacity. Credible estimates of overnight capital costs range from $2,400/kWe to as much as $4,540/kWe. This wide variation in costs can be attributed to several factors.
Nuclear Energy Institute Aug 2008 more >>
The nuclear industry is in talks with the government to thrash out a solution to insurance problems that threaten to undermine plans to build at least eight new power stations by 2023. The legal arm of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) is working with the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform to deal with changes to the law due next year that will increase nuclear power operators’ liability from about £140m to £500m.
Building 8th Aug 2008 more >>
Letter from Jim Skea: Renewables, carbon capture and storage and nuclear do not pay their way with current carbon prices. Emerging technologies need additional early support to demonstrate performance and bring costs down to competitive levels. If carbon capture is to be an option for the future, early support, of the type currently available for renewable energy, will be needed. Only time can tell whether such support will lead to commercially viable technology.
Guardian 8th Aug 2008 more >>
Coal power is far safer, says former National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill in reply to a pro-nuclear article by green campaigner George Monbiot.
Guardian 8th Aug 2008 more >>
In Tuesday’s Guardian, Monbiot said something shocking. He broke another taboo that risks splitting the green lobby down the middle. Before setting out to join the protestors camped at the site of a proposed new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent, Monbiot wrote: “Everything now hinges on stopping coal … Unless we either leave it – or the carbon dioxide it produces – in the ground, human development will start spiralling backwards.” Then came his clap of thunder. “I have now reached the point at which I no longer care whether or not the answer is nuclear. Let it happen.”
Herald 8th Aug 2008 more >>
Letter from David Lowry: You say that “the Conservatives, who have finally ditched their naive view of nuclear power as ‘a last resort’, should start publicly championing new nuclear generation, both for its green credentials and as the only way to stop the lights going out”. The Conservatives, to their credit, have not thrown their lot in with New Labour in embracing new nuclear, an expensive, failed and old-fashioned technology. Their party still champions decentralised micro-generation (including small-scale solar, wind and hydro-power), combined heat and power (especially for sustainable heat distribution) and coal-fired plants with carbon-capture technology.
Telegraph 8th Aug 2008 more >>
The share of electricity generated by Britain’s nuclear power stations has fallen to 15 per cent of total demand – its lowest level in 21 years – government figures indicate. The decline from a peak of about 30 per cent in 1996 has resulted from a string of technical problems with British Energy’s ageing reactors and the scheduled closure of plants. At only 52 terrawatt hours of a total 378.5 terrawatt hours supplied last year, the figure was the lowest since 1987. The Nuclear Industry Association gave warning yesterday that nuclear energy’s share could slide farther, to less than 10 per cent by 2011, because of further planned reactor closures at Oldbury, Gloucestershire, this year and at Wylfa, Anglesey, in 2010.
Times 8th Aug 2008 more >>
New Civil Engineer 7th Aug 2008 more >>
Talks over pay have broken down at Sellafield as well as another nuclear fuel facility in northern England run by British Nuclear Fuels and workers will now be balloted on whether to strike, the GMB union said on Thursday.
Reuters 7th Aug 2008 more >>
MORE than 500 staff were evacuated from Torness power station on Monday morning when fire broke out in a lift motor-room. The fire – which burnt itself out before fire-trained staff arrived – was sparked by an electrical fault on a lift motor near the roof of the station’s main stairwell.
East Lothian Courier 7th Aug 2008 more >>
France’s nuclear regulator, the ASN, has been informed by Areva NC subsidiary Socatri that it has exceeded its annual limit for releases of carbon-14 (C-14). ASN has ordered the company to suspend all its activities that generate the long-lived radionuclide until the end of 2008.
World Nuclear News 7th Aug 2008 more >>
The French state energy giants bidding to take control of Britain’s nuclear industry are facing concern over their safety record in France after the fourth radioactive incident of the summer. The latest safety lapse occurred at a nuclear waste plant run by a subsidiary of Areva, the group which is leading a consortium in line to take over management of Sellafield in the UK. Although the environmental impact of the leaks is limited, according to the French authorities, they have sapped confidence just as Paris is pushing to export its nuclear technology.
Times 7th Aug 2008 more >>