The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

A nuclear power plant project in India is stalled

Nalco’s foray into nuclear energy hits legal roadblock Proposed Rs 12,000-cr nuclear energy plant in a JV with Nuclear Power Corporation in limbo  Business Standard, India, Dilip Satapathy  |  Bhubaneswar October 9, 2015 National Aluminium Company (Nalco)’s plan to foray intonuclear energy generation has hit a legal roadblock.

Though the aluminium major proposed to set up a Rs 12,000 crore nuclear energy plant in joint venture withNuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), it is unable to go ahead with the project with the present act restricting the sector to only a couple of its own fully owned subsidiaries under the Atomic Energy Department…….

Though NPCIL is keen to involve other public sector firms like Nalco, IOCL and NTPC, with whom it has signed MoUs, for setting up of nuclear power plants in a bid to expand its nuclear power footprint in the country, the present act does not allow this.

The Atomic Energy Act, framed in 1962, also prohibits private control of nuclear power generation though it allows them minority investment……….Apart from the fuel supply issue and protests over establishment of nuclear power plants, changes in the act to allow JVs formed by NPCIL with other PSUs to make them workable is another hurdle, the India government has to take care if the country wants to achieve 20 GWe nuclear energy capacity by 2020, sources said.

Besides nuclear energy, the aluminium major has identified renewable energy as its next focused area.

“We have set up wind mills in Andhra Pradesh (50.4 Mw) and Jaisalmer (47.6 Mw) in Rajasthan. We plan to set up solar plants in Rajasthan and Maharashtra (50 Mw each) and Madhya Pradesh (20 Mw). We are also in the processing of installing a 14 Mw wind power mill at Damanjodi,” Chand said.

October 10, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India | Leave a comment

Duke Energy very doubtful about new nuclear stations

nukes-sad-Flag-USAWill new nuclear plants be ‘part of the picture’ for Duke Energy? CEO raises doubt, Charlotte Business Journal,  Oct 8, 2015, Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good sounded a strongly doubtful note about the company proceeding with its proposed Lee Nuclear Station in her speech Wednesday to the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.Talking about what Charlotte-based Duke (NYSE:DUK) would look like in 2025, she said natural gas would be the backbone of its power fleet and that the utility would make greater use of renewable energy and battery storage.“Nuclear will continue to be an important part of energy supplies in the Carolinas,” she said “But whether or not new nuclear is a part of the picture remains to be seen.”

Abandoned plants   Duke still includes the proposed 2,334-megawatt Lee plant in its long-range plans. But the utility has never formally committed to construction of the $12 billion project. Good’s comments raised new doubts about whether it ever will. Since 2012, Duke has abandoned plans to build new nuclear units in Raleigh and in Florida. The Lee plant, proposed for Gaffney, S.C., is the last new nuclear plant still included in the company’s plans……..the company will have to “look very hard at whether we can replace current nuclear with new nuclear,” she said.

That is likely to mean a much greater dependence on natural gas plants than there is now.

Good said that no new coal plants will be built in the United States…….

October 9, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Rating agencies warn EDF of downgrade, if they continue with Hinkley nuclear station plan

scrutiny-on-costsEDF faces threat of credit downgrade over Hinkley Point Two of the world’s biggest ratings agencies have warned that EDF and its Chinese partners face credit-rating downgrades if they press ahead with a £16 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Amid growing doubts about the deal, Moody’s said the project would have a “credit negative effect” on the companies because of the dangers of big cost overruns and delays to EDF’s untested EPR French reactor technology……. (subscribers only) .

October 7, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, UK | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear corporation AREVA is still there – only just

AREVA crumblingAreva still standing despite turbulent times News Advance October 3, 2015 Jason Ruiter Like an eroding plateau, the nuclear industry sloughed off a section of its market share – but it still stands.

Areva announced a loss of $5.3 billion in global income in 2014 from the year prior, resulting in a loss of roughly several hundred employees in the Lynchburg area and a need to consolidate, adopt austerity measures and sell a chunk of its business to Électricité de France, the largest utility in France which is also majority-owned by the French government. The power plant business segment of Areva – which employs most Areva Lynchburg employees and constructs, designs and services nuclear plants – will sell 75 percent of the company to EDF for an injection of equity into the business…….

survival came at a cost: Areva NA introduced an advanced severance package to qualified employees to retire early in addition to cutting 22 jobs in the area last fall. Last year, Areva, one of the biggest employers in the region, reported about 1,800 employees in the area. This year, they have about 1,500, a decrease of about 16 percent. For the North America continent, those numbers are steeper, decreasing roughly 20 percent from 5,000 full-time and part-time employees to “closer to 4,000,” Mignogna said……

“Debt is due now,” Mignogna said. “So the [French] government had to react now and try to work out a deal where we could get some cash inflow to the company and they chose to do that.” The result was the EDF purchase of Areva’s power plant operations, which will be consummated by the end of 2016.

Just how much Areva will be changed through the purchase by EDF is unclear. Mignogna said that due to anti-trust considerations, where Areva will be providing services to EDF’s competitors, the North American portion will be operated at “arm’s length.” But he wasn’t sure if Areva’s name will be changed to EDF as a result……..

October 7, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Japn’s PM Abe keen to sell nuclear technology to India

Abe,-Shinzo-nuke-1Japan eyes nuclear deal with India October 5, 2015  Clearing the way for exports Nikkei Asian Review, 
TOKYO –– Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit India around the end of this year to sign an atomic energy agreement with counterpart Narendra Modi, laying the groundwork for exports by Japanese corporations in that field.

Abe is considering a trip around December or January. A framework for preventing military use of nuclear materials and atomic power technologies is a prerequisite for Japanese companies to export related technologies to India.

  India holds nuclear weapons but is not a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), so a focal point of negotiations between Japan and India was how to prevent the spread of nuclear technologies. The two sides are expected to agree on tight management of nuclear technologies on a par with the NPT.

Another obstacle to an agreement had been Indian laws that hold nuclear plant manufacturers partly liable in the event of nuclear accidents. In January, the U.S. and India agreed that an insurance framework created by India would cover damages related to accidents. Japan and India are seen reaching an agreement with conditions similar to the deal that Washington signed for such matters as the management of nuclear technologies and liability for damages………

October 5, 2015 Posted by | Japan, marketing | Leave a comment

Troubled nuclear corporation AREVA wooing Japanese company Mitsubishi

areva-medusa1French PM Valls discusses nuclear, China, culture on Japan visit, 2 Oct 15 Reuters/Toru Hanai/Files
By RFI  
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls met Japanese PM Shinzo Abe on Saturday during a three-day visit to the country that is Asia’s biggest investor in France. The Mitsubishi conglomerate could buy into troubled French nuclear power company, Areva, he said as his trip started……..

Nuclear power – French nuclear giant Areva is in trouble and its reactor branch is currently being bought by the EDF power company. Valls indicated that he was not opposed to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries investing in the branch in an interview with Asahi Shimbun newspaper and sources travelling with him said it could invest in Areva’s other activities, uranium mining for example. While 47 Japanese nuclear reactors remain closed following the Fukushima disaster, one reopened in August and another should be soon. Japan’s nuclear industry has always been an important client for Areva and EDF……

October 5, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics international | Leave a comment

Dr Ian Fairlea sets out the grim facts on costs at the end of the nuclear power party

pity UK taxpayers in decades, centuries and millennia to come.

highly-recommendedflag-UKWhen the party’s over … the financial spectre at the end of nuclear power Dr Ian Fairlie 1st October 2015 

There are two rules about the end costs of nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie. It’s far more than you ever knew. And whatever sum of money was ever set aside, it’s nowhere near enough. Germany understands this. That’s why it refused to let E.ON spin off its nuclear liabilities into a hands-off company. But the UK, it seems, has lost the ability to learn from its nuclear mistakes.

Nuclear power has a wide spectrum of disadvantages.

One is that when reactors are shut down for good, a host of financial liabilities continue with no income flow from the sale of nuclear electricity to pay for them.

And enormous new liabilities for decommissioning and final disposal commence at the same time.

wastes garbage

This became crystal-clear in April when the German energy giant E.ON proposed to spin off its remaining nuclear activities1 into a separate company, Uniper, in an attempt to protect the parent company from the multiple nuclear liabilities from the impending shutdowns of its nuclear reactors: Germany is phasing out all nuclear power by 2022. Continue reading

October 3, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Financial forecasts bode ill for the nuclear industry

feardollar-2Nuclear reactors are closing and we are counting  The United Bank of Switzerland (UBS), the second largest bank in the world, headlined that “Nuke Retirements are coming” in its September 24, 2015 global financial research issue of US Electric Utilities and IPPs. The international investment giant projects “a growing capitulation in the nuclear sector as the prospects for protracted downturn remains front and center.”

UBS forecasts, “We see both ETR (Entergy) and EXC (Exelon) as substantially exposed to this thesis: it has specifically emerged in recent days that not just ETR’s Fitzpatrick but also the Pilgrim unit could well be shut in lieu of investing to improve profile up to NRC levels. Further, we see EXC as highlighting this nuclear retirement thesis further with not just its Ginna plant in NY and Oyster Creek (NJ) plants poised to retire in 2019, but also now its Three Mile Island unit is at risk beyond known the ongoing saga in Illinois over support for Quad Cities, Clinton, and even Byron.

UBS admits that its forecast “could well underestimate total retirements” as actual retirements might prove more aggressive particularly for the other single unit nuclear power stations. With Exelon’s two unit Quad Cities nuclear power plant in Illinois still posting losses, UBS sees the nuclear power corporation’s “plans to retire the plant as entirely credible (and seemingly committed to investors) should Illinois fail to produce a sufficiently attractive scheme” in spite of the fact that 50% of its nuclear assets are clustered in the state.

There is even more good news to be found in this particular UBS forecast where, “In turn, if retirements move forward as contemplated, we see a real corresponding uplift to the renewable industry as this becomes the growing source of ‘plugging’ for any further holes in meeting prospective carbon targets.” The UBS assessment undermines the pro-nuclear industry’s most prevalent false argument that “No Nukes” means more coal. It clearly doesn’t.

You can keep pace with these anticipated nuclear power plant closures and more by periodically visiting our website’s “Reactors are closing” page.

October 3, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Bank of England warns on climate change’s threat to global stability

globe-warmingThe Bank of England governor has given a stark warning that climate change poses a huge risk to global stability.

At a gathering of leading insurers at Lloyd’s of London, Mark Carney pointed out the rapid increase in weather-related catastrophes and the jump in both the physical and financial costs.

He said the challenges currently posed by climate change “pale in significance compared with what might come”……

October 2, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Station looks close to shutdown

nuclear-costs3Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant In Massachusetts May Close Down, Clean Technica, September 27th, 2015 by   Owing to a probable lack of funds for necessary repairs and safety improvements, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will possibly be shut down at some point in the near future, according to the officials involved.

The multimillion dollar safety improvements and repairs in question are federally required actions if the project is to remain open — following the recent downgrading of the facility’s safety rating by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The 43-year-old facility is now ranked as one of the least safe nuclear plants in the US.

If the corporation finds that the cost of making the improvements of the plant exceed the value of the plant, the corporation may decide to shut the plant down,” stated David Noyes, the director of regulatory and performance improvement at the facility. “No business decision has been made about Pilgrim. We’re looking at specific conditions, and analyzing weaknesses associated with the plant. As of right now, we don’t know the costs.”

It could ended up being the case, though, that the regulatory commission simply decides to shut down the plant regardless of actions taken to address its issues. The regulatory commission currently rates the facility’s level of risk as “low to moderate.”

As the facility currently provides roughly 12.5% of Massachusetts’ electricity, this is all of course not to be taken lightly. But neither is the fact that the facility is only 35 miles from the mega population center of Boston. Roughly 5 million people currently reside within a 50-mile radius around the facility.

This is a point made recently by Governor Charlie Baker in a letter to Entergy (the operating company) officials, urging officials to “make certain that the plant meets the highest safety standards.”

Interestingly, he also noted that that the company “has failed to take appropriate corrective actions to address the causes of several unplanned shutdowns dating back to 2013.”……….

A couple of final points worth making here are: 1) the basic design of the facility is the same as that of the Fukushima station that is continuing to cause problems in Japan, and 2) Entergy has, as a result, spent some funds in the years since to try and address perhaps latent weaknesses in the design — the company claims to have spent around $70 million on these actions since 2011.

State officials in Massachusetts have yet to comment on what actions would/will be taken to make up for the electricity generation shortfall in the state if the plant closes.

In any case, it is interesting to see that this generation of nuclear power plants is getting to the point where repairs/improvements are too expensive to be worth the life extension. In other words, I think we’re likely to see a gradual decline in nuclear power in the US in the coming decade or so.

September 28, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Russia woos Malaysia to its nuclear technology

Russian-BearRussia offers nuclear expertise to Malaysia 25 Sept 15  KUALA LUMPUR: Russia will extend its expertise if Malaysia decides to develop its own nuclear programme.

Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev, who said this, added that his country was well-placed to build and support a national nuclear industry.

“We will propose a very sophisticated and complex construction of a local nuclear programme. We can construct nuclear power generation stations………

September 26, 2015 Posted by | Malaysia, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

UK’s £24bn Hinkley Point nuclear project shunned by investors

piggy-bank--nuke-sadflag-UKInvestors shun UK’s £24bn Hinkley Point nuclear project, , Christopher Adams  , 24 Sept 15 

Delays and cost overruns that have dogged two nuclear reactors being built in France and Finland have deterred investors from joining a £24bn project to build a plant at Hinkley Point.

French utility EDF is in advanced talks with two Chinese partners — China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation — over their final shares of construction spending and roles in the building of up to three nuclear plants in the UK. An agreement could be reached this year.
But Jean-Bernard Levy, EDF chief executive, told Les Echos, the French financial daily newspaper, that it had been unable to secure the support of other investors after persistent problems with the proposed European pressurised reactor design………

September 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Nobody except China wants to risk investing in Britain’s new £2bn Hinkley Point nuclear plant

scrutiny-on-costsflag-UKOnly China wants to invest in Britain’s new £2bn Hinkley Point nuclear plant because no one else thinks it will work, EDF admits Investors put off by problems facing nuclear reactors under construction in France and Finland Geert De Clercq  Wednesday 23 September 2015 Delays and cost overruns at two nuclear reactors under construction in France and Finland have made potential investors wary of joining a consortium led by France’s EDF for a similar project in Britain, EDF’s chief executive has admitted…….

September 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

France’s EDF does a policy U-turn – now investing in renewables

renewables-not-nukesflag-franceShifting focus: Owner of world’s largest nuclear fleet looks to renewable energy, Fierce Energy September 24, 2015 By William Pentland EDF, the state-controlled electric utility company based in Paris, France, is pinning its hopes for growth on renewable energy investments, including investments in markets outside of Europe. “By 2030, we want to have a significant presence in three to five countries outside of Europe, notably in solar and wind,” said Jean-Bernard Levy, chief executive officer of Electricite de France SA (EDF), in an interview with the French financial daily newspaper,Les Echos.

EDF owns and operates the world’s largest fleet of nuclear reactors. Currently, 95 percent of the French utility’s generating assets are located in either France, Britain or Italy. Levy said EDF would ramp up investments in renewable energy in these markets.

“Our objective is to double our European and French renewables fleet by 2030 from 28 to more than 50 gigawatts,” Levy said.

This strategy departs markedly from the strategy articulated by Levy’s predecessor, Henri Proglio.

While speaking at the Eurelectric conference in June 2014, Poglio said that the European Union needed to assert greater “control” over the pace of renewable energy growth………

September 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Entergy Nuclear withdraws license amendment request

 WT,  By – Associated Press – Thursday, September 24, 2015 BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) – The company that owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has dropped its fight against the state’s 30-day written notice requirement.

Entergy Nuclear said Wednesday it is withdrawing its license amendment request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to eliminate a requirement that it notify the state when it plans to make withdrawals from the Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust fund…..

The Shumlin administration says the advance notice is necessary for a meaningful review of trust fund spending.

Officials say the state may ask for hearings each time Entergy asks for money from the fund.

September 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment


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