Last month the British Climate Secretary, Chris Huhne, unveiled the biggest shake-up of the electricity market since privatisation. As the debate on how we produce our electricity rises up the political agenda again, politicians are debating the pros and cons of a new generation of nuclear power plants. And now the first new reactor to be built in the UK for over 20 years has been given the initial go-ahead at Hinkley Point. But conspicuously absent is any debate about the hidden costs of nuclear power. Political leaders claim there will be no government subsidy for new nuclear power, but a new analysis by SpinWatch has revealed that nearly £100 Billion is being proposed to be given to the industry in direct and indirect subsidies. The truth is the taxpayer already pays at least £3.6 Billion a year to support the nuclear industry today. If eight new nuclear power stations are built, this subsidy – the hidden cost of providing electricity – will continue to grow.
Spinwatch 8th Aug 2011 more >>
RWE announced the early departure of its chief executive and plans for a EUR2.5 billion capital increase, as the big German utility seeks to strengthen its balance sheet in the wake of the German nuclear retreat. The company also said it intends to increase its asset disposal program to EUR11 billion from previously EUR8 billion.
Fox Business 8th Aug 2011 more >>
RWE named Peter Terium as chief executive to replace the embattled Jrgen Grossmann as the company set about overhauling its capital structure, investment and divestment programmes after Germanys decision to phase out nuclear power early hit earnings expectations. The company will increase a previously announced divestment programme from 8bn to up to 11bn and will explore options to reduce a planned 20bn investment programme.
FT 9th Aug 2011 more >>
GDF Suez is in advanced talks to sell a minority stake in its exploration and production business to Chinas sovereign wealth fund for up to 3bn ($4.2bn) as the French utility tries to reduce its debt. Under the proposed deal, which has yet to be sealed but could be announced as early as Wednesday, GDF Suez would sell a 30 per cent stake in its upstream business to China Investment Corporation (CIC), people familiar with the discussions said. Shares in GDF Suez fell 1.25 per cent to 20.16 in Paris amid rising speculation about a deal. An agreement, in addition to providing GDF Suez with a valuable financial partner and access to fast-growing markets in Asia-Pacific, would help Grard Mestrallet, its executive chairman, towards achieving his target of cutting the companys debt by 10bn to 4bn-5bn, most of which will come from asset sales. GDF Suez continues to have one of the strongest balance sheets in the sector, but last years acquisition of a majority stake in Britains International Power pushed its net debt up to more than 40bn. It also recently sold a 25 per cent stake in its GRT gas transportation network for 1.1bn.
FT 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Interserve has been named the sole contractor in a four-year framework agreement with Magnox, worth up to £18m. The framework involves the development of a scalable design for facilities to store intermediate-level waste held in ductile iron containers, and then the construction of eight such facilities on separate sites with variable ground conditions.
Construction Index 8th Aug 2011 more >>
MASSIVE Government investment is paving the way for growth and recruitment at Capula. Stone-based Capula builds and maintains large IT systems that control operations at power stations, water companies, electricity providers and oil and gas suppliers. It also comes up with ways for its customers to use less energy.
The Sentinel 8th Aug 2011 more >>
UK public support for new nuclear power stations has dropped by two percentage points in the wake of events at Fukushima, according to polling carried out on behalf of the Nuclear Industry Association. The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has released mid-year public opinion findings four months after the events at Fukushima. The survey, based on the NIA’s long-running Ipsos-MORI polling shows 68 per cent of the public support nuclear as part of them UK’s energy mix. At the end of last year the figure was 70 per cent.
Utility Week 8th Aug 2011 more >>
A £20 million nuclear research centre in west Cumbria the first of its kind in Europe will open in October. The Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF), at the Westlakes Science and Technology Park near Whitehaven, is being built. The facility will offer the equipment and environment academics will need to carry out world-leading research in areas such as radiation science, nuclear engineering decommissioning and the management of radioactive waste. Once it is fully operational, the DCF will house up to 50 people and will offer a base for national and international research. The University of Manchester is currently advertising for candidates to fill the post of facility administrator at the new base.
Cumberland News 8th Aug 2011 more >>
EDF Energy , Britain’s largest nuclear power producer, stopped its 550-megawatt (MW) unit Dungeness B22 on Friday evening for refuelling, the utility said. “Unit 22 at Dungeness B power station is shut down for off-load refuelling which commenced on Friday Aug. 5,” a spokeswoman said, without specifying a restart date. The power plant’s unit B21 has been offline since May 26 also for refuelling. The reactor is expected to return to service in around two weeks’ time.
Reuters 8th Aug 2011 more >>
EDF Energy restarted its 640-megawatt (MW) Torness 1 nuclear reactor on Monday, the utility said. “We can confirm that unit 1 at Torness Power Station synchronised to the grid at 1232 (1132 GMT) today,” a spokeswoman said. The reactor stopped unexpectedly last week after an electric inverter failure which produced smoke.
Reuters 8th Aug 2011 more >>
Imagine a football field packed 20 feet high with highly radioactive nuclear waste. That’s about the volume of the 65,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel stranded at dozens of nuclear sites across the U.S. It isn’t just a potential public health hazard, as Japan’s recent nuclear disaster showed, but a growing burden on the federal government’s groaning finances. A decades-old promise to dispose of the waste has become another unfunded liability, starting with a $25 billion ratepayer fund gone astray and $16 billion or more in estimated legal judgments to compensate utilities for their storage expenses.
Wall Street Journal 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto has committed an about-face on policy by telling his ministry to refrain from vouching for the safety of Japanese food. The ministry stance changed after radiation-tainted beef was found to have been sold to consumers nationwide, sources said. The contaminated meat is coming from cattle that were fed rice straw contaminated with cesium isotopes ejected by the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Japan Times 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Nagasaki Mayor; The myth that nuclear plants are completely safe has crumbled because of the Fukushima plant disaster. However, Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been fighting with a different myth for over half a century: that the United States was justified in dropping the atomic bombs because they saved more lives than they took.
Mainichi 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue called on Japan to change its nuclear policy and reject not just atomic weapons but also nuclear power – as decades-old fears of radiation sickness were renewed in March by a nuclear power plant disaster following a massive earthquake and tsunami. Why must this nation that has so long fought for bomb victims once again live in fear of radiation? Taue said. The time has come to thoroughly talk about what kind of society we want and make a choice.
Japan Today 9th Aug 2011 more >>
Fears that large amounts of rice in Japan may be contaminated with radioactivity saw the price of the staple grain soar 40pc on the first day of trading for the country’s new futures market.
Telegraph 9th Aug 2011 more >>
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday pledged the world body’s solidarity with Japan after its quake, tsunami and nuclear disasters and encouraged radiation evacuees to “hang in there”.
Telegraph 8th Aug 2011 more >>
India-based energy exploration company, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to develop nuclear power plant in the country and has begun uranium mining to offset the effect of the falling crude production.
Energy Business Review 5th Aug 2011 more >>
More than half of the coverage of renewable energy solutions in the mainstream British press is negative.
Guardian 5th Aug 2011 more >>