The Nuclear Gamble: Submission to the Planning Inspectorate over Wylfa B John Urquhart, Zencity.
Zencity 3rd Dec 2018 read more »
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and nuclear plant builders such as Mitsubishi Heavy have worked in tandem to pursue nuclear projects overseas. With the Turkish plan canceled, the only remaining overseas project will be a plant in the U.K. planned by Hitachi. Hitachi signed a memo to advance the project in June with the British government, and parties are hurrying to iron out a final deal. But hurdles remain, including requests from London to trim the total cost. Japan’s effort to line up more overseas projects is aimed in part to maintain the scale of the country’s nuclear power industry, as well as its skill in related technologies. If the energy sector remains mired in a harsh business environment, industry consolidation could accelerate. In 2017, global investment toward building new nuclear projects plunged roughly 70% year on year to $9 billion, according to the International Energy Agency. With safety costs rising, nuclear has grown less competitive with other forms of energy. A number of aging Japanese reactors are set to be decommissioned soon, with Kansai Electric Power planning to scrap the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at its Oi plant in Fukui prefecture, and Tohoku Electric Power the No. 1 unit at a plant in Miyagi Prefecture’s Onagawa. Meanwhile, new nuclear projects have hit a standstill in the face of deep public wariness.
Nikkei Asian Review 4th Dec 2018 read more »
With costs growing worldwide, orders won by Japanese players in countries including Vietnam and Lithuania have been suspended or scrapped. The end of the Turkey plan will leave just one overseas project — a U.K. plant involving Hitachi. A Japanese government source said that the Turkey project is ending with an “amicable divorce.” But the reality facing Japan is grim. The French government has informed Japan that it plans to freeze development of a fast-breeder reactor — a blow to Tokyo, which shut down its own fast-breeder prototype in 2016 but is counting on the technology to reduce its stockpile of spent nuclear fuel. With domestic prospects for new reactor construction bleak, Japanese companies are scaling back or consolidating their nuclear operations. Toshiba and IHI decided in October to dissolve a joint venture formed in 2011 to supply nuclear plant equipment. Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings, Chubu Electric Power, Hitachi and Toshiba are negotiating a partnership in areas including reactor decommissioning and maintenance. The biggest challenge for Japanese manufacturers losing nuclear orders will be retaining and passing on skills. Around 3,000 people were engaged in nuclear-power-related work in 2016, down sharply from the 2010 peak of 13,700, while the number of technical workers in the field has tumbled 40%, according to the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association.
Nikkei Asian Review 5th Dec 2018 read more »