A major nuclear developer has warned the French energy giant EDF that it must deliver the Hinkley Point project in the UK on time and on budget or risk damaging the credibility of the wider industry. In an exclusive interview with Climate News Network, Kirill Komarov, first deputy chief executive of Russian state-owned corporation Rosatom, expressed fears that problems at other EDF schemes − such as Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto in Finland − could be repeated. Rosatom believes the decision by the UK prime minister, Theresa May, to give the go-ahead to the first new nuclear reactors in Britain for over 20 years was a major step forward, but knows that the eyes of the world will now be on a good performance at the Hinkley power plant in southwest England.
Climate News Network 19th Sept 2016 read more »
The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant is “so last century”, when cheaper, faster and cleaner alternatives are plentiful, according to the founder of clean energy company Ecotricity. “Nuclear power is very expensive,” Dave Vince told Utility Week. “EDF is trying to build three of these… They are decades late and billions over budget between them. “The idea that anybody would contract them to build another one, and depend on it as well as a nation to bridge our energy gap, is quite foolish.” He said the power source has a toxic legacy for 10,000 years, which “nobody knows how to deal with” and is “just not talked about”. “It’s just a bonkers thing to do really, particularly when we have so many clean alternatives which are cheaper, faster, cleaner in wind, solar, tidal, wave, and energy efficiency even.”
Utility Week 16th Sept 2016 read more »
Letter Ian Fells: There has been a danger with the decision on Hinkley Point C as with the third runway at Heathrow, that too much analysis would lead to paralysis. The decision to go ahead with the former may yet prove premature. EDF has decided that the reactor at Hinkley, as well as being the first of its kind in the UK, will also be the last of its kind, and any future build will be a new design. I cannot believe that independent due diligence would give this project the green light as it stands. The decision has been strongly influenced by political opportunism and fear of loss of face. Nuclear power is essential for the generation of carbon-free energy, and Hinkley should play its part, once the technical difficulties at the sister project at Flamanville have been resolved. For the future, our carbon-free electricity could well be generated by building smaller, more affordable, factory-built nuclear reactors with reliable renewables such as tidal barrages, solar and wind, supported by energy storage built into the system for flexibility.
Times 19th Sept 2016 read more »
Nuclear energy companies say the approval of the £18bn Hinkley Point power station will boost plans for new reactors across the UK, in spite of stricter conditions for foreign investment. Executives said Theresa May’s go-ahead for the Hinkley project, which is led by EDF, the French utility, with Chinese backing, had removed doubts about the prime minister’s commitment to the renewal of the UK nuclear power industry. Westinghouse is the reactor supplier to NuGen, a Franco-Japanese consortium planning to build a new plant at Moorside in Cumbria. Mr Gutierrez said he had no concerns about Mrs May’s proposals for the government to take a “golden share” in nuclear plants and to consider a public interest test for investment in strategically important infrastructure. “We are used to those kind of measures in many countries,” he told the Financial Times. The UK has become a magnet for nuclear companies as one of relatively few developed countries to have pressed ahead with new reactors since the disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011. It emerged last week that Kepco, the South Korean power company, was closing in on a deal to join the NuGen consortium alongside Toshiba of Japan and Engie of France. Another group called Horizon, owned by Hitachi of Japan, is also seeking partners for its project at Wylfa in Anglesey. NuGen and Horizon are both behind EDF in gaining regulatory approval for their reactors and reaching agreement with the government on a guaranteed price for their electricity. However, both groups say their reactors can be built faster than Hinkley’s, putting all three projects on course for completion around 2025. The Bradwell plant planned by China General Nuclear Corporation, as well as others by EDF at Sizewell in Suffolk and Horizon at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, would come later.
FT 18th Sept 2016 read more »