The traffic light warning system used by the nuclear Regulators (ONR and Environment Agency) in their latest quarterly assessment update on the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors proposed for Moorside will make uncomfortable reading for both Westinghouse and NuGen. Covering the period November 2015 to January 2016, the update signals inevitable delays to securing approval for the reactor design under the UK’s Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process. As a vital ingredient of NuGen’s current plans to make its final investment decision on Moorside in 2018, GDA approval must be secured by January 2017. As the Regulators put it ‘our concern is that the current [GDA] programme has less than a year to completion but in some areas the majority of the work is yet to be delivered. This is very acute in some areas and we question whether the baseline programme remains credible’. Even without the GDA slippage – and NuGen’s application to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for offshore drilling being put ‘on hold’, the bigger picture for Moorside’s build-time looks bleak indeed. For at the only four twin-reactor stations currently under construction, two in the US and two in China, build-time for the AP1000 reactors is taking over seven years – with criticism levelled at Westinghouse as having ‘oversold the system, oversold the technology and promised more than they could really deliver’. Despite this chronic overseas experience, NuGen and West Cumbria’s nuclear-compliant media continue to peddle the myth that, with a construction start in 2020, Moorside’s triple reactors will all be producing electricity by 2026.
CORE 31st March 2016 read more »
French gas and power group Engie is looking for other partners to invest in the Nugen project to build nuclear reactors in Britain, Engie director Philippe Pradel said. Japan’s Toshiba Corp and Engie are in the 60-40 percent Nugen joint venture to build three AP1000 reactors – designed by Toshiba unit Westinghouse in Britain – for the Moorside project, near the Sellafield nuclear site in west Cumbria. “Before taking the final investment decision on Nugen around the end of 2018 we hope to find a larger pool of investors,” Pradel said at a seminar about the French nuclear industry. He said that for financial and industrial reasons it is important to build balanced partnerships for large nuclear projects.
Reuters 31st March 2016 read more »
NUCLEAR chiefs have been forced to apologise after a letter sent to 1,600 residents led them to fear their homes are at risk. Residents and landowners across Copeland were furious after NuGen – the firm behind plans for a new power plant next to Sellafield – wrote to them last week to ask legal questions about their homes and land. Many believed – NuGen says wrongly – their homes are at risk of compulsory purchase to make way for the three-reactor development.
Whitehaven News 31st March 2016 read more »