New nuclear power plants can play a role in the UK’s low carbon transition but will need to evolve. That’s according to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), which suggests a combination of both large nuclear and small modular reactors (SMRs) could provide a reliable and affordable solution. However, while large reactors are well suited for baseload electricity production, the ETI says they would need to be financed without relying on overseas and government equity funding schemes, as in the case of Hinkley Point C. Mike Middleton, Strategy Manager at the ETI, said: “Future nuclear technologies will only be deployed if there is a market need and such technologies provide the most cost effective solution. “The nuclear industry has a challenge to demonstrate how it can reduce costs as more UK new nuclear projects come forward and also demonstrate competitiveness alongside other low carbon options within the energy mix such as renewables.” The ETI suggests SMRs could be used to provide combined heat and power, helping to decarbonise energy use in buildings. However it believes further work is needed to improve the economics of their construction and operation before this is possible.
Energy Live News 14th July 2017 read more »
“Urgent action” is needed on new nuclear power stations to help the UK stay within climate change targets, an organisation has said. A National Grid report shows new nuclear builds must be completed on time to cut 80% of carbon emissions by 2050, a key national target to help restrict a global temperature increase to only 2°C, said the New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE). The grid’s Future Energy Scenarios report said the “Two Degrees” scenario is only one of four possible ways forward for the UK energy sector. The report says 14.5GW of new nuclear capacity is needed by 2035 to meet the target. Other options include “Slow Progression”, where low-carbon sources are gradually introduced as they compete with limited money, and “Steady State”, with business continuing as usual and little ambition for low-carbon power. With the 14.5GW target rapidly approaching, “urgent action” is needed to keep the nuclear new build programme on track to deliver, said the NNWE. Potential delays and budget increases have recently hit large projects, such as the flagship Hinkley Point C station in Somerset. The National Grid report said there are “many challenges” in building nuclear plants at the pace and scale needed for the 2035 target. “Financing for these large projects and political support can be assumed in a high prosperity, green world,” the authors said. “However, issues such as supply chain problems and legal challenges can all derail intended project progress. While this trajectory is plausible, a number of factors need to align for this amount of new nuclear build to progress.”
Institution of Mechanical Engineers 14th July 2017 read more »
The UK needs to build 14.5 GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2035 or it will fail to meet the Two Degrees scenario, National Grid says in the annual update of its Future Energy Scenarios it published yesterday. The report also suggests that national electricity demand could peak at 85 GWe by 2050, compared with around 60 GWe today. National Grid is the private company which runs Britain’s high-voltage electricity network. Two Degrees is one of four scenarios presented in the report and refers to the aim set by the Paris Climate Change Agreement to keep global temperature increases this century well below 2 degrees Celsius. The agreement was adopted in December 2015 at the 21st conference of the parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris. The agreement, which entered into force on 4 November 2016, also aims to drive efforts to limit temperature increases to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
World Nuclear News 14th July 2017 read more »