now, federal regulators allow up to 60 years of licensed energy production. But Gary Mignogna, CEO of Charlotte-based Areva Inc.(EPA:AREVA), says it’s time to consider a 100-year life cycle…..He noted that former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers had raised questions about whether plants could operate much beyond the 20-year extension the Nuclear Regulatory Commission offers after a plant’s 40-year initial license…….
Reverse engineering Ali Azad, chief executive of Toshiba (TYO:TOSBF) America Energy Systems, also based in Charlotte, says his organization is looking now at 80 years, at least, for existing plants. He says as you prepare to recondition existing plants for extended life, getting replacement parts becomes an issue. In some cases, the original equipment companies are no longer in business, for instance, he said.
So Toshiba is working on reverse engineering to fabricate replacement parts for older plants…..http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/energy/2015/05/industry-eyes-100-year-life-cycle-for-nuclear.html
Nuclear: EDF made an offer to over 2 billion euros in the … – Les Echos 23 May 15 As he announced, the president of EDF Jean Bernard Levy has sent this Friday to Areva executives Philippe Varin and Philippe Knoche, its proposal for the resumption of the activity of reactors Nuclear Group (Areva NP, formerly Framatome). Reportedly, this offer values the activities concerned just over € 2 billion, net of liabilities of the company. Specifically, the valuation is calculated on the basis of a multiple of 7.5 times EBITDA (EBITDA) activities occasions, recalculated according to the area concerned and restructurings that have been completed. “ This is an indicative offer, which must be followed by a period of due diligence before being adjusted to become a firm offer, possibly with conditions precedent ,” said a source close to the folder. “ At this point, the offer of EDF covers about a third of the financing needs of Areva, estimated at around 7 billion euros ,” continues the source.
During his public this week, Jean-Bernard Levy was very explicit. If the proposal EDF responds to a request of the State, its majority shareholder…..wseconomymarket.blogspot.com.au
The uranium sector DUNDEE CAPITAL MARKETS The Globe and Mail , May. 21 2015 “…..We have concerns regarding negative impact to investor and utility/trader sentiment, which could manifest itself in the already thin spot uranium market. The two other news items might influence investor sentiment but essentially cancel each other out. Uranium stocks retreated yesterday, followed by the price.”
Perhaps with his new $4 million Australia Consensus Center (covered here, here, here) Bjorn Lomborg may pick a better site than a US shipping storefront, since he’ll receive much more taxpayer money, directly, courtesy of the Australian government. That does seem simpler
Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center – Real Charity Or “Foreign Conduit”? DeSmogBlog By John Mashey • Sunday, April 26, 2015 Bjørn Lomborg is founder and president of the Copenhagen Consensus CenterUSA (CCC)), a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) “public charity” whose US physical presence is shown in the image: 262 Middlesex St, Lowell MA. Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus Center are known to DeSmog readers for efforts to downplay the importance of addressing climate change, a subset of climate science denialism that has infected the public debate across the English-speaking world.
Despite the name, it has not been based in Copenhagen since 2011. Deputy Director Roland Mathiasson remains there, but Lomborg moved to Prague in 2012. Workers seem mostly in Hungary, with a few in the US. The Board is Lomborg, Mathiasson, Scott Calahan (Ft Lauderdale) and Loretta Michaels (Washington, DC). Although some money is used for fundraising and PR in the US, much goes abroad to Mathiasson and Lomborg, who is said to travel 200 days a year.
The “real location” of CCC is unclear, and the Internal Revenue Service often cares about this with charities.
Copenhagen Consensus Center is a textbook example of what the IRS calls a “foreign conduit” and it frowns strongly on such things. It may also frown on governance and money flows like this, perhaps “inurement”:
From attached Form 990 summary, more than 60% went directly to Lomborg, travel and $853K promotion of his movie. According to Wikipedia it grossed $63K and the movie poster shows a picture of Lomborg, a light bulb and heading:
“A LIGHT BULB WON’T SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING
THIS GUY’S BRIGHT IDEAS MIGHT“
Even in a simple US charity, poor governance and obvious conflicts of interest are troublesome, but the foreign element invokes stringent extra rules. Legitimate US charities can send money to foreign charities, but from personal experience, even clearly reasonable cases like foreign universities require careful handling. It is unclear that Lomborg himself is a legitimate charity anywhere, but most of the money seems under his control. One might also wonder where income taxes are paid.
A foreign group’s creation of a US “shell” charity to gather US funds and funnel them abroad is the most obvious of “foreign conduits” in IRS parlance, #1 on its list of no-no’s. IRS revocation of 501(c)(3) status not only eliminates tax breaks for ordinary donors, but eliminates entirely crucial major gifts from private foundations like the Randolph Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Paul E. Singer Foundation.
CCC seems to break many rules. Foreign citizen Lomborg is simultaneously CCC founder, president, and highest-paid employee. Most people are a little more subtle when trying to create conduits, as in this example, where the IRS determined someone was not eligible for 501(c)(3) status, despite various stratagems to obscure the relationships.
Perhaps with his new $4 million Australia Consensus Center (covered here, here, here) Bjorn Lomborg may pick a better site than a US shipping storefront, since he’ll receive much more taxpayer money, directly, courtesy of the Australian government. That does seem simpler…….http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/04/26/copenhagen-consensus-center-real-charity-foreign-conduit
Engie will not acquire struggling French nuclear group Areva, Ft.com 21 May 15 Michael Stothard in Paris Engie would consider working with struggling French nuclear group Areva on some business lines but is not looking for any full-blown acquisitions to help rescue the company, according to the chief executive of the utility.
“If we consider something, it would be in co-operation with Areva, not simply an acquisition of some assets,” Gérard Mestrallet told the Financial Times on the sidelines of a business and climate change conference in Paris
The comments come as the French government looks to elicit the aid of French companies to help rescue Areva, which reported a €4.8bn loss last year.
Areva, which is 87 per cent government-owned, has fallen victim to a slump in global demand for new reactors that followed the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, as well as crippling cost overruns at key projects…….
Any deal between Areva and Engie would be likely to come alongside a much larger agreement with EDF, which earlier this week outlined its preference for a broad rescue package to acquire Areva NP, the division that designs, manufactures and maintains nuclear reactors.
“The more ambitious proposal from EDF will preserve the technical expertise of Areva’s reactor business and create the possibility of partnerships with outside groups from France or elsewhere,” said Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chief executive.
The more ambitious proposal from EDF will preserve the technical expertise of Areva’s reactor business and create the possibility of partnerships with outside groups from France or elsewhere– Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chief executive
Another option on the table would see EDF, which is 85 per cent state-owned, simply recruit 1,200 Areva engineers who specialise in nuclear safety. This would require a greater injection of capital in the group from the government, however.
It is ultimately up to Paris to decide between these two options. A decision could come as early as June ……….3.http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3d592a50-ffb8-11e4-8c46-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3aoqg2DDh
Nuclear Shutdowns Are Leaving Vattenfall’s Bond Investors Cold , Bloomberg, Jesper Starn , 21 May 15 A jump in power prices hasn’t been able to lift Vattenfall AB bonds as investors worry the Swedish utility will write down more nuclear assets.
While Nordic power prices have risen from record lows after Vattenfall said it would close its two oldest reactors, yield spreads on the utility’s bonds are little changed. The closing plans instead directed attention to the poor Nordic market outlook for investors who had focused on Vattenfall’s woes in Germany, according to Ebba Lindahl, an SEB AB analyst.
“We see an increased risk of smaller cash flows from nuclear generation in the future and further write downs of assets that will not be fully compensated by the increase in power prices,” she said in a phone interview…….
A surge in renewable energy output in Nordic region, coupled with demand still below 2008-levels, has pushed power prices so low that the once-steady cash cow of nuclear production has become a liability.
The company is majority owner of seven reactors in Sweden and also owns thermal coal, lignite and gas units in Germany, which are poorly suited to the European Union’s aim for a transition to low-emission energy systems, according to Ingvar Mattsson, a senior analyst at Swedbank AB.
Vattenfall’s plans to close the two reactors early “reflects a tough market situation with low power prices, and thus a lower valuation of nuclear assets,” he said by phone. “Vattenfall is also obviously exposed to political risks in both Germany and Sweden.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-20/nuclear-shutdowns-are-leaving-vattenfall-s-bond-investors-cold
This week Finland cancelled its option for a second European Pressurised Reactor as the existing EPR project sinks into a abyss of cost over-runs, delays and litigation, writes Jim Green. It now looks like the EPR is a failed technology and its owner, French nuclear giant Areva, is fast running out of both money and orders as its ‘hot prospects’ evaporate.
There’s been plenty of bad news recently for the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear power station design.
And now there’s more. The Finnish electricity company TVO announced this week that it had cancelled plans to build a second EPR at Olkiluoto in western Finland because of delays and problems with the first EPR on the site currently being built by Areva and Siemens.
That plant, Olkiluoto 3, is running severely over time and budget. Construction began in 2005 and it is not expected to commence operating until 2018, nine years late.
The estimated cost has risen from €3.2 billion (US$3.6b) to €8.5 billion (US$9.5b). Areva has already made provision for a €2.7 billion (US$3.0b) writedown on the project, with further losses expected. FTVO and Areva / Siemens are locked ina €10 billion legal battleover the cost overruns.
Finland’s government had given TVO a deadline of 30th June to request a building permit for its planned Olkiluoto 4 plant. TVO said it would not pursue the project due to “the delay of the start-up of Olkiluoto 3 plant unit.”
It added: “In this situation it is impossible to make significant Olkiluoto 4 related decisions necessary for the construction license application.” Continue reading
Survival of the fittest? World’s major nuclear builders are in for a long stretch in the red, Bellona, May 18, 2015 by Vladimir Slivyak, Translated by Maria Kaminskaya MOSCOW – Judging by the numerous reports on negotiations under way over new reactor construction projects, 2015 should be a pivotal year for nuclear power development across the world. The most vigorous efforts toward expanding their presence on the international markets are applied by the Russian Rosatom and France’s Areva. But all is not so rosy with both companies’ balance sheets. In free market conditions, without generous subsidies from state budget, the industry is as good as paralyzed, and it’s no wonder that its leaders are made of those with access to state coffers. Will the largest nuclear competitors find salvation in their governments’ support? Continue reading
Despite the guaranteed increased purchase price for Hinkley Point C’s power, however, investors are not in a hurry to jump on board with a project where Areva will not just build the reactors but is also to bring in funding in the amount of 10% of the project’s total cost. The problem is that last fall, the company admitted it was having serious economic difficulties, which may cause it to fail to deliver on the financial commitments in the Hinkley Point C project.
Areva’s economic troubles have to do with another project the company is pursuing: the highly problematic reactor construction at a new site in Olkiluoto, Finland.
“………..The project considered to be the flagship for the French nuclear industry in Europe is the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C in Great Britain, estimated at €24 billion. The project envisions building two reactors of the EPR – for “European Pressurized Reactor” – design in Somerset, in England’s southwest. No new reactor construction was previously undertaken in Great Britain for a period of many years, and, on account of nuclear energy’s less than perfect reputation from the economic point of view, such a large-scale endeavor in a country with a market economy seemed quite unlikely.
Yet, the project received both the British government’s approval and state guarantees on a fixed purchase price for the power the future plant will be generating. A favorable determination on the project was eventually also handed down by the European Commission, which had been looking into the legality of the state guarantees provided to Hinkley Point C. What the grievances against the project boil down to is that purchase of power from Hinkley Point C at a guaranteed price – one that is substantially higher than today’s energy prices – has too close a semblance to state subsidies, and the latter is prohibited in the EU. This was the reason why far from all the European ministers voted in favor of the project, and litigation is still expected on the matter: Austria, which has voiced its disagreement with the European Commission’s decision, intends to challenge it in court.
Despite the guaranteed increased purchase price for Hinkley Point C’s power, however, investors are not in a hurry to jump on board with a project where Areva will not just build the reactors but is also to bring in funding in the amount of 10% of the project’s total cost. Continue reading
Tepco looking to sell some uranium stockpiles to cut costs Japan Times, 19 May 15 Tokyo Electric Power Co. is planning to sell part of its uranium stockpiles for nuclear power generation in the current business year to cut costs amid uncertainty over the restart of idled nuclear plants, a company document obtained by Kyodo News showed Monday.
Tepco has not consumed uranium since the 2011 nuclear crisis started at its Fukushima No. 1 complex that eventually resulted in all of Japan’s nuclear reactors being taken offline amid safety concerns. By reducing the stockpiles, the utility is seeking to slash costs for managing them as it faces funding difficulties stemming from the nuclear crisis.
According to the document, Tepco aims to reduce the amount of uranium to levels prior to the Fukushima disaster by the end of fiscal 2015 through March. The company estimated in the paper it can secure ¥12.3 billion ($103.13 million) by selling around half of the planned amount……..
Major utilities including Tepco procure uranium, which could be diverted to military use, under long-term contracts from overseas suppliers in Canada and elsewhere.
As of the end of March, Tepco had a total of 17,570 tons of uranium (tU), equivalent to the amount used at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant for 10 years, compared with 16,805 tU at the time of the nuclear disaster in March 2011.
The amount would increase to 19,317 tU in fiscal 2015 if the company does not sell some of the stockpile.The utility will likely return it to the suppliers or pay for the costs of uranium enrichment in kind, while it will also consider terminating uranium purchase contracts and reducing purchase volumes to streamline its business, according to the document.
Japan Atomic Power Co. has also taken the rare step of selling some of its uranium, apparently to raise money to repay loans amid its faltering business conditions. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/19/business/corporate-business/tepco-looking-sell-uranium-stockpiles-cut-costs/#.VVv7z7mqpHw
Uranium daily spot price down 35 cents from week ago to $35.65/lb Washington (Platts)–19 May2015
The uranium daily spot price was $35.65/lb U3O8 Monday, down 35 cents from a week ago, according to price publisher TradeTech.
The daily U3O8 spot price had held steady at $36/lb during four trading days, May 8-13, TradeTech reported. The spot price declined 25 cents on Thursday and by another 10 cents, to $35.65/lb, on Friday, according to TradeTech, which Monday reported it unchanged…….http://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/washington/uranium-daily-spot-price-down-35-cents-from-week-21469982
Namibia’s Rossing Uranium revenue tumbled in 2014 – official, Star Africa May 19, 2015 The impact of lower prices and the lower production figures in 2014 has strained Rossing Uranium’s revenue, which declined by 19 per cent compared to the previous year, leading to a net loss after tax of N$91 million (about US$8 million), compared to N$32 million (about US$2.7 million) profit in 2013.
The company’s turnover in 2014 was N$2.4 billion (about US$201 million), down from N$2.9 billion (about US$243 million) in 2013.
Managing director Werner Duvenhage revealed in a statement issued to APA on Tuesday that 2014 was a tough year due to continued decline of uranium globally, putting substantial pressure on the business.
â€œThe challenging times currently experienced in our industry are mainly because of global influences. It was a tough year because the uranium price continued to decline globally, putting substantial pressure on our business, with the average uranium spot market price at US$33 (N$333) per lbs, much lower than the US$38 (N$418)) per lbs average in 2013,â€� he explained……….
Unfortunately, the uranium price declined further during the first half of the year, leading to a management and board decision to curtail production and meet only contractual commitments, with the resulting curtailment production plan effective from August 2014,â€� he said.
â€œThe 2011 tsunami in Japan and its impact on the Fukushima nuclear plant still continued to plague the uranium market in 2014, with excess supply causing a decline in market prices.
â€œNuclear plants in Japan remained off-line for most of the year. Supply has increased over the three years since the Fukushima incident.
â€œThis is a recipe for continued weak prices in the near term. Utilities are holding large stocks in all forms, which defer their need to buy for one to three years on averageâ€�……http://en.starafrica.com/news/namibias-rossing-uranium-revenue-tumbled-in-2014-official.html
the International Energy Agency’s World Economic Outlook 2014 report:
- that nuclear growth will be “concentrated in markets where electricity is supplied at regulated prices, utilities have state backing or governments act to facilitate private investment”;
- and that “nuclear power faces major challenges in competitive markets where there are significant market and regulatory risks.”.
Finland cancels Olkiluoto 4 nuclear reactor – is the EPR finished?, The Ecologist, Dr Jim Green & Oliver Tickell 15 May 15 A negative learning curve on steroids
“……What to make of the EPR saga? First, Areva is backing the wrong horse – the outcome of current political debates will result in a declining role for nuclear power in France, coupled to the growth of renewables.
A new report by ADEME, a French government agency under the Ministries of Ecology and Research, concludes that a 100% renewable electricity supply scenario is feasible in France. The report estimates that the electricity production cost would be €119 per megawatt-hour in 2050 in the all-renewables scenario, compared with a near-identical figure of €117 / MWh with a mix of 50% nuclear, 40% renewables, and 10% fossil fuels.
Areva has also backed the wrong-sized wrong horse: a giant reactor with a giant price-tag. That said, the backers of ‘small modular reactors‘ are having no more success than Areva.
Areva has backed the wrong-sized wrong horse at the wrong time – the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath, stagnant energy demand, the liberalization of energy markets, the political fallout from the Fukushima disaster and other factors have dampened demand for new reactors and made it more difficult to secure finance (or government subsidies) for huge projects.
The EPR saga undermines the rhetoric of standardised, simplified reactors designs ushering in a new era of nuclear growth. It also shows that developing modified versions of conventional reactors (in this case pressurised water reactors) can be complicated and protracted and can end in failure.
How much more difficult will it be to develop radically new types of reactors? The French government’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety has recently produced an important critique of Generation IV nuclear power concepts.
It states that there “is still much R&D to be done to develop the Generation IV nuclear reactors” and it is sceptical about the safety claims made for Generation IV concepts.
The EPR saga shows that even countries with extensive nuclear expertise and experience can mess things up. The EPR might have demonstrated the potential for mass production to drive down costs – but in reality it is demonstrating the opposite.
Even before the EPR fiasco, the large-scale, standardised French nuclear power program was subject to a negative economic learning curve – costs were increasing over time. The EPR represents a negative learning curve on steroids.
That point is emphasised by construction cost estimates of £16-24.5 billion (US$24.3-37.2b; €21.7-33.2b) for two planned EPRs (with combined capacity of 3.2 gigawatts) at Hinkley Point in the UK. In the mid- to late-2000s, the estimated construction cost for an EPR was £2 billion; current estimates are 4-6 times higher.
Private companies have pulled out of EPR projects in several countries (Italy, the US, the UK, etc.). Thus the EPR fiasco reinforces points made in the International Energy Agency’s World Economic Outlook 2014 report:
- that nuclear growth will be “concentrated in markets where electricity is supplied at regulated prices, utilities have state backing or governments act to facilitate private investment”;
- and that “nuclear power faces major challenges in competitive markets where there are significant market and regulatory risks.”…..http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2859924/finland_cancels_olkiluoto_4_nuclear_reactor_is_the_epr_finished.html
Green bonds, a fast-growing money game with the clout to develop clean energy, await an umpire, EE News, Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter ClimateWire: Thursday, May 14, 2015
When he chaired the Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997, Reed Hundt studied the swift expansion of the nation’s telecommunications system that made the United States among the most advanced nations in the field and sparked investment overseas.
Between 1996 and 2013, broadband companies invested more than $1.3 trillion in telecom infrastructure domestically, according to the broadband industry’s trade group.
About 32 percent of the world’s population — 84 percent and 21 percent of residents in developed and developing nations, respectively — now has mobile broadband connections, according to the United Nations.
Hundt believes the same experience could be repeated in developing clean energy to cope with global climate change.
Borrowed money paid for the communications boom, Hundt explained, speaking yesterday at an energy efficiency conference in Washington, D.C. He added that world leaders should apply the same method to fund the renewable energy market.
“Everything in communications has been purchased with debt,” he said, holding up an iPhone and describing how rapidly mobile phones have spread internationally.
The portion of the business world devoted to renewable energy resembles the telecom industry in the 1980s, said Hundt, now the CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, a nonprofit working to drive renewable investment by creating so-called green banks.
“I think that we’re in the really early days,” he said during a panel talk on green bonds, adding that a “total, radical, disrupting overhaul” of the energy sector must be accomplished with a massive lending market and robust debt securitization…………..http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060018552
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual