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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

French waste group Veolia moving into nuclear clean-up business

flag-franceVeolia expands in nuclear waste clean-up with Kurion acquisition http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kurion-m-a-veolia-idUSKCN0VC0V4, 4 Feb 16 

French water and waste group Veolia (VIE.PA) said it bought U.S. nuclear waste clean-up company Kurion for $350 million as it chases a slice of a market seen worth $210 billion over the next 15 years.

Veolia said it expects the new business to contribute annual revenue of $350-400 million by 2020, including about $250 million from waste treatment and $100-150 from decommissioning nuclear installations.

money-in-nuclear--wastes

Kurion, which was one of few international firms involved in the early stages of the clean-up of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, currently has annual sales of about $100 million. Veolia generates about $20 million from cleaning up nuclear waste.

“Bringing Kurion and its employees into Veolia is going to enable us to develop a world-class integrated offer in nuclear facility clean-up and treatment of low-level radioactive waste around the world,” Veolia Chief Executive Antoine Frerot said.

Veolia plans to target the United States, Britain, France and Japan, which together amount to a market of $118 billion by 2030, and will focus on low-level radioactive waste, which represents 97 percent of the volume but just 0.1 percent of the radioactivity.

There are about 400 nuclear plants in operation worldwide, of which 100 to 150 will be decommissioned by 2030. Another 50 nuclear research centres will also have to be dismantled, Veolia said. Frerot said Veolia would focus on concentrating the waste to reduce its volume so that it can be stored safely, mostly in glass.

Kurion was founded in 2008 and and now employs over 200 people. Veolia had total revenue of 23.88 billion euros ($26.05 billion) in 2014.  (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by James Regan)

February 5, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, wastes | Leave a comment

France’s plan for 1,000 kilometers of road paved with solar panels

sunflag-franceFrance to pave 1,000 kilometers of road with solar panels http://inhabitat.com/france-to-pave-1000-kilometers-of-road-with-solar-panels/?newgallery=true by Lucy Wang In a major step forward for green energy, the French government has announced plans to installsolar photovoltaic panels on 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of road over the next five years. The goal is to supply renewable power to 5 million people—or about 8 percent of the French population. The solar roadways will use Wattway panels, a photovoltaic technology unveiled last October by the major French civil engineering firm Colas. According to Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology and energy, the “Positive Energy” project will be funded by raising taxes on fossil fuels, a decision Royal says is “natural” given the low prices of oil.

 
Although France isn’t the first country to pave roads with solar panels—the Netherlands installed the world’s first solar panel-paved bicycle path in 2014—their plans for 1,000 kilometers of solarized roads are the most ambitious. According to France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management, four meters (13 feet) of solarized road is enough to power one household’s energy needs, not including heating, while one kilometer (3,281 feet) can supply enough electricity for 5,000 inhabitants.
The solarized roads will be covered with Wattway panels, a technology that took five years to develop and can be glued directly on top of existing pavement. The panels harvest solar energy using a thin film of polycrystalline silicon. The seven-millimeter-thick strips are rugged enough to withstand all types of traffic, including the weight of a 6-axle truck, and provide enough traction to prevent skids.According to Colas CEO Hervé Le Bouc, the Wattway panels have been successfully tested on a “cycle of one million vehicles, or 20 years of normal traffic a road, and the surface does not move.” The panels have also withstood the snowplow test, though the company recommends operating the machines with “a bit more care” than on conventional pavement.
The locations for deployments have yet to be revealed. The fossil fuel tax is expected to bring in between 200 to 300 million euros ($220 to 440 million) of funding for the project. While there remain many concerns on solar road concepts, including safety and cost effectiveness, the project remains an exciting step forward in exploring the potential of renewable energy. Tenders for the “Positive Energy” initiative have been issued and tests on the solar panels will begin this spring.

February 5, 2016 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

UK Hinkley Point nuclear plant project director quits

rat leaving sinking shipEDF project director for UK Hinkley Point nuclear plant quits, 7 News, Reuters February 3, 2016 LONDON – An executive of French utility EDF in charge of Britain’s first new nuclear power station project for 20 years is leaving to join U.S. energy company Entergy Corp , the U.S. firm said on Tuesday.

As an executive director at EDF’s British unit, EDF Energy, Christopher Bakken had been project director since 2011 for the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in southwestern England.

He was responsible for the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of the planned new nuclear plant………

Intractable problems at two similar nuclear plants under construction in France and Finland threaten more delays to EDF’s British plans.  https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/30718466/edf-project-director-for-uk-hinkley-point-nuclear-plant-quits/

 

February 3, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, employment, France, UK | Leave a comment

Electricite De France : 6 union board members will oppose Hinkley Point nuclear project

text Hinkley cancelledEDF’s union board members to oppose Hinkley Point – sources, Yahoo 7 News, Reuters February 3, 2016 By Geert De Clercq  PARIS – The six union members on EDF’s 18-seat board would vote against the French utility’s plans for two nuclear reactors in the UK, but other board members do not want to postpone the project, sources familiar with the situation said.

The unions want EDF to put off the 18 billion pound project to build two Areva-designed European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) at Hinkley Point in southwest England until it has strengthened its balance sheet and started up at least one of the four EPRs it has under construction elsewhere.

A united front of EDF’s unions opposing a major investment decision would be unprecedented, but the lack of support from other board members removes a major element of uncertainty for the plan.

“If the Hinkley Point project was put to the board today, the six union representatives would all vote against it,” one of the sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

EDF first announced Hinkley Point in 2013 and said in Oct. 2015 that Chinese utility CGN would take a 33.5 percent stake in the project, but it has not yet taken a final investment decision as it struggles to find financing.

On Monday, EDF’s dominant CGT union, which has three board members, called on the firm to postpone the project, saying EDF should prioritise upgrading its ageing nuclear fleet in France, start up the long-delayed EPR it is building in Flamanville, and design a new-model EPR reactor…….

A united front of EDF’s unions opposing a major investment decision would be unprecedented, but the lack of support from other board members removes a major element of uncertainty for the plan.

“If the Hinkley Point project was put to the board today, the six union representatives would all vote against it,” one of the sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

EDF first announced Hinkley Point in 2013 and said in Oct. 2015 that Chinese utility CGN would take a 33.5 percent stake in the project, but it has not yet taken a final investment decision as it struggles to find financing.

On Monday, EDF’s dominant CGT union, which has three board members, called on the firm to postpone the project, saying EDF should prioritise upgrading its ageing nuclear fleet in France, start up the long-delayed EPR it is building in Flamanville, and design a new-model EPR reactor……https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/30718719/edfs-union-board-members-could-vote-against-hinkley-point-sources/

February 3, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, UK | Leave a comment

Fatal rockfall at planned French repository site

World Nuclear News  26 January 2016 One person was killed and another injured today by a tunnel collapse within an underground laboratory operated by French waste management agency Andra. The laboratory, near Bure in the Meuse/Haute Marne area, is assessing the site for its suitability to house a national radioactive waste repository.

According to an Andra statement, the working face of the gallery within the laboratory collapsed at 12.20pm. Geophysical surveys were being carried out at the time and the rockfall is believed to have happened as drilling was taking place. The gallery has now been evacuated and its stability is being assessed……. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Fatal-landslide-at-planned-French-repository-site-2601165.html

January 28, 2016 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

French unions unhappy with arrangements for UK’s Hinkley nuclear build

text Hinkley cancelledNew nuclear power: It’s consumer protection vs corporate profit, http://www.carolinelucas.com/latest/new-nuclear-power-its-consumer-protection-vs-corporate-profit January 27, 2016 The Government’s policy of burdening bill payers with eye watering subsidies for new nuclear power has received another blow. Just before a crucial board meeting at EDF (the French state owned energy giant relied on by the Government to invest in and operate Hinkley Point) French trade unions spoke out about their concerns.

When even staff working for EDF are raising serious doubts about numerous aspects of the proposal, UK Ministers’ cavalier attitude to Hinkley Point C needs to change, more urgently than ever.

In advance of an EDF board meeting due to take place today, where the company was rumoured to be making a final investment decisionFrench unions threw a welcome spanner in the works.

They’ve raise no fewer than 15 questions about the project, suggesting it would be difficult to complete on time and that financing it could threaten EDF’s survival. The good news, for now, is that EDF has, again, delayed the decision.

But the concerns of French unions are worth a closer look. They include pending legal cases, the lack of evidence Hinkley can be built on time, and the partnership with the Chinese nuclear energy company when no other investors appear to be interested.

Most telling of all is the following question: “what happens if the UK government decides to look after consumer interest?”

This shows that the Conservative Government’s pro-nuclear policy flies in the face of everything they say about looking after the interests of consumers and billpayers.  Indeed, studies show that solar power coupled with energy storage and smart grid technology could generate the equivalent to Hinkley Point C at half the cost – to the Govt and to you and I.  Wind power, even with backup, ischeaper than nuclear power too.

The Government’s obsession with outdated, inflexible, expensive nuclear power stations is looking more economically and environmentally reckless by the day.  So I’ve tabled some more urgent parliamentary questions on Hinkley.

The first question relates to the problems with a similar model of nuclear power station being built at Flamenville in France. It’s already 6 years behind schedule, €7.5 billion over budget, and subject to safety tests following some serious flaws in the reactor vessel and bottom. The ruling on these safety concerns has itself been delayed. I’m pressing the Government on whether the agreement to proceed with Hinkley is conditional on the Flamanville plant demonstrating it’s capable of operating.

My second question is about the huge cost of new nuclear to consumers. It picks up on Ministers’ mindboggling double standards when it comes to subsidies for nuclear power verses solar power, onshore wind and other renewable technologies.

In the Commons earlier this month, the Energy Secretary again attempted to justify her huge cuts to solar subsidies on grounds that “subsidies for low carbon power should be temporary, not part of a permanent business model”.  So my question asks exactly when she expects nuclear power stations to meet the same standards and operate on a subsidy free basis.  Some renewable technologies are nearly there already, with the costs of others on a clear downward cost trajectory.  Energy storage, interconnection and smart grids make Ministers appear stuck in the last century as they desperately argue about baseload

The cost and climate change arguments against new nuclear power grow stronger every day. This week, workers have made their voices heard. It’s surely time the UK Government started to work for us rather than big energy companies and consign new nuclear to the dustbin of history. Ministers need to start listening to the many voices cautioning against Hinkely and instead back 21st century clean technologies.

In other major nuclear news this week, tomorrow sees a Special Parliamentary seminar co-organised by Nuclear Free Local Authorities and Nuclear Consulting Group: “UK Energy Policy: Late Lessons from Chernobyl, Early Warnings from Fukushima” The keynote speaker will be Naoto Kan, Former Prime Minister of Japan at the time of Fukushima.

January 28, 2016 Posted by | employment, France, UK | Leave a comment

EDF in a’panic’ over decision to be made on UK’s Hinkley nuclear power station

text Hinkley cancelledHinkley Point: EDF set for decision on nuclear plant amid claims of board ‘panic’, The Independent, Sources in France say decision on whether to give the green light to controversial project would be made on Wednesday Geoffrey lean , 24 Jan 16

  • The final decision on whether to build Britiain’s first nuclear power station in decades is set to be made by energy giant EDF this week, amid claims of “panic” among the French firm’s board over the viability of the £18bn project.
  • Sources in France said the decision on whether to give the green light to its controversial plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset – on which ministers are depending to “kick-start a major new generation of nuclear power stations” – would be made on Wednesday. But the largely state-owned company refused to comment, or even to confirm or deny that the meeting is taking place.

    This secrecy reflects the extreme sensitivity about the decision with practicalities and politics pulling in opposite directions. The project suffered a serious blow last week when French regulators delayed a decision on what to do about safety flaws in a similar reactor. But cancelling it would be a huge humiliation for British ministers, and could cause a cross-Channel diplomatic row.

  • The “final investment decision” by EDF’s board – repeatedly delayed over the past two years – is the project’s only remaining hurdle.

    Last October the government persuaded China to invest heavily in the plant, filling a funding shortfall, and the Energy Secretary Amber Rudd is awaiting the decision before signing a deal to allow the company to charge double the present price for the electricity generated from Hinkley’s twin reactors. Three similar European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) projects are planned for Britain if it succeeds…….

  • there are signs of last minute jitters. Union leaders are reportedly warning the company of “financial, industrial and legal risks” in the project, while the French financial journal Boursier.com has suggested that there is “panic on board”.

    Last week the French nuclear regulator delayed until the end of the year a decision on what to do about “very serious” weaknesses detected in the pressure vessel of a similar EPR being built at Flamanville, Normandy. The same fault – which could lead to a nuclear accident – was detected in the vessels for the Hinkley reactors, which had been built and will now have to be replaced.

  • The Flamanville plant is five years behind schedule and its cost has trebled, while the only other EPR being built in Europe, in Finland, is almost a decade late, and the cost has more than doubled. Two other EPRs being built in China are also thought to be over-running while the cost of Hinkley has already soared.

    EDF’s share price has plunged to record lows, and the company is considering selling billions of pounds of assets to fund building Hinkley. On top of all that, Austria is taking Britain to the European Court, alleging it is subsidising the plant illegally.Some British experts believe that, faced with all these difficulties, EDF will defer a final decision again. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hinkley-point-edf-set-for-decision-on-nuclear-plant-amid-claims-of-board-panic-a6830456.html

January 24, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, UK | Leave a comment

France’s President Hollande visits India, hoping to market nuclear reactors

Hollande-salesFrance Signals Rafale, Nuclear Progress as Hollande Visits India, Bloomberg,  HeleneFouquet January 24, 2016 France signaled a state-to-state accord with India could be signed on Monday over a deal for 36 Dassault Aviation SA Rafale fighter jets, and that a six-year-old plan to build nuclear reactors in the South Asian nation would see some progress…………

The reactors are planned for Jaitapur, a coastal town in India’s western province of Maharashtra. Areva was seeking further clarity from India on its nuclear liability law before moving ahead with what would be India’s biggest nuclear plant.

The agreement India and the U.S signed recently over insurance-related issues for nuclear plants will help in overcoming certain hurdles, Royal said.

 India last year pledged to create a 15 billion rupee ($222 million) insurance pool to shield nuclear plant operators, as well as equipment suppliers, against damages during an accident. Some have argued the pool may not be sufficient.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-24/france-signals-rafale-nuclear-progress-as-hollande-visits-india

January 24, 2016 Posted by | France, India, marketing | Leave a comment

EDF Directors might delay UK Hinkley nuclear decision yet again

AREVA EDF crumblingHinkley Point – Edf to decide whether to build nuclear power station next week By Central Somerset Gazette   January 19, 2016   A DECISION on whether a nuclear power station is built at Hinkley Point could be announced next week.

Reports in the French press indicate that the board of directors of the French state electricity generator EDF will meet on January 27 to make a final investment decision on the construction of two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point near Bridgwater.

The final investment decision on the project has been delayed due to the lengthy negotiations with Chinese partners.

However even now there are concerns that the board might defer the decision for the ninth time……….

EDF is also locked in negotiations surrounding a complex deal to buy a French nuclear reactor builder, Areva, and in the disposal of it’s stake in eight current British nuclear power stations, five in the US, one in Finland and a number of Polish coal fired plants

Preparation of the site stopped last year when negotiations over the financing of the power station stalled.

Campaigners opposed to the building of Hinkley Point C are sceptical that the project will ever see the light of day.

Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: “I’ll believe it when I see it. This is the ninth time EDF has said a final investment decision is imminent. Just last October the chairman of EDF, Jean-Bernard Levy, said work would be starting before the end of 2015. It would be completely reckless of the Board to give the go-ahead to this £25 billion project when the company is in such a parlous state.” http://www.centralsomersetgazette.co.uk/8203-Hinkley-Point-Edf-decide-build-nuclear-power/story-28559932-detail/story.html

January 22, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactor Legal struggle continues between AREVA and Finland’s TVO

judge-1Areva, TVO have month to settle nuclear reactor claims-minister http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N154366 PARIS Jan 20 (Reuters)  French nuclear reactor maker Areva and Finnish customer Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) will try to settle mutual claims over a long-delayed nuclear reactor within a month, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.

“I had the chance at the start of the week to speak to (Finnish Economy Minister) Olli Rehn, and we gave ourselves a month to let the companies and shareholders find the conditions for an agreement or way out,” Macron said on the sidelines of a New Year event.

Finnish utility TVO and an Areva-led consortium with Siemens are claiming billions of euros from one another in an arbitration suit over cost overruns and delays to the EPR reactor Areva is building in Olkiluoto, in Finland, for TVO.

The unsettled claims are holding up a planned takeover of Areva’s reactor arm by French utility EDF, which does not want to be responsible for them.

TVO has a 2.6 billion euro ($2.8 billion) claim against the Areva-Siemens consortium at the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) arbitration court, while Areva-Siemens have a 3.4 billion euro counter-claim.

While the French state – which owns 85 percent of EDF and 87 percent of Areva – has a big stake in a speedy resolution of the Olkiluoto claims, TVO is a private company and the Finnish government’s position so far has been not to intervene.

TVO’s owners include paper companies UPM and Stora Enso as well as utility Fortum. (Reporting by Michel Rose and Yann Le Guernigou; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by James Regan and Susan Thomas)

January 22, 2016 Posted by | Finland, France, Legal | Leave a comment

France’s PM off to India to market nuclear reactors

Hollande-salesflag-indiaDefence & civil nuclear cooperation will dominate Francois Hollande’s visit Economic Times, By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau | 18 Jan, 2016,  NEW DELHI: Defence and civil nuclear cooperation will not be the only things that will dominate the visit of Francois Hollande — the fifth French leader to be chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations — with India and Paris working to expand partnership in areas of smart cities, solar energy, counter-terrorism, rail infrastructure and space.

While Hollande travels to Chandigarh (designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier) as one of the 3 cities chosen by France to  make them smart, the French leader would devote time towards providing support to India’s clean energy projects in the backdrop of Paris climate energy meet by being present at the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the International Solar Alliance Secretariat on January 25 in Gurgaon along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, official sources indicated. Modi had launched the solar initiative at the Paris meet last November.
The Modi government is investing an initial $30m in setting up the 120-country-solar alliance’s headquarters in India. The eventual goal is to raise $400m from membership fees, and international agencies.

Companies involved in the project include Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France and Tata Steel. Areva is also setting up a nuclear power plant in Jaitapur, after France became the first country to conclude a civil nuclear deal with India following a clean waiver by Nuclear Suppliers Group in September 2008.

Modi’s trip to Paris last April witnessed landmark MoU for technocommercial cooperation between Areva and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, as well as a key pact between French nuclear giant and Larsen and Toubro for making components in this country for setting up six advanced reactors at Jaitapur. …….http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/defence-civil-nuclear-cooperation-will-dominate-francois-hollandes-visit-cooperation-on-rail-infrastructure-likely/articleshow/50618463.cms

January 19, 2016 Posted by | France, marketing | Leave a comment

Electricite de France (EDF) at new low with crippling financial problems

AREVA EDF crumblingEDF already needs to borrow money just to pay its dividend and is set to spend tens of billions of euros on upgrading its ageing reactors, building new nuclear plants in Hinkley Point, Britain and buying the reactor arm of Areva.

“This report is clearly negative for all nuclear operators, and most specifically for EDF and Areva”

EDF shares are down more than 44 percent in the 12 months,

EDF sinks to all-time low as nuclear waste cost estimate soars http://uk.reuters.com/article/edf-nuclear-waste-idUKL8N14W2RO20160112 PARIS | BY GEERT DE CLERCQ Jan 12 Shares in French utility EDF sank to all-time lows on Tuesday after the country’s Andra nuclear waste agency said that storage costs could be higher than EDF’s estimates.

Mirroring German utilities E.ON and RWE , which saw their shares hit decade lows late last year over worries about nuclear decommissioning costs, EDF fell as much as 7.3 percent before recovering to 4.1 percent lower.

A string of brokerage price target downgrades and French forward power prices falling to new decade lows only added to the gloom.

In a report released late on Monday, Andra said costs for the Cigeo deep geological storage project could be as high as 30 billion euros or as low as 20 billion depending on assumptions about different cost factors in coming years.

“There are different views on the calculation, more or less conservative, depending on estimates for future technological progress and optimisation,” Andra said in a statement. n a letter to the energy ministry, posted on the ministry’s website, EDF, fellow state-controlled company Areva and the CEA (Atomic Energy Authority) said they estimated the cost at around 20 billion euros.

“Andra’s study only took into account a small number of possible optimisations,” said the letter, adding that a certain number of costs and ratios used by the state agency were not in line with their experience.

“We are waiting for a decision of the energy minister on the cost of storage,” an EDF spokesman said.

Energy Minister Segolene Royal’s decision on the 10 billion euro gap in estimates could have a huge impact on the already stretched balance sheet of EDF, which operates 58 nuclear plants in France and generates the bulk of the country’s nuclear waste.

EDF already needs to borrow money just to pay its dividend and is set to spend tens of billions of euros on upgrading its ageing reactors, building new nuclear plants in Hinkley Point, Britain and buying the reactor arm of Areva.

“This report is clearly negative for all nuclear operators, and most specifically for EDF and Areva,” Bryan, Garnier analyst Xavier Caroen said in a note, adding that the risk of a cost revaluation was not new.

EDF shares are down more than 44 percent in the 12 months, the second-worst performer in the Stoxx utilities index after RWE. The company has been replaced in France’s CAC-40 index of leading shares by shopping centre operator Klepierre . (Additional reporting by Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Keith Weir)

January 13, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Is it just Hinkley that’s finished or the whole of EDF?

AREVA EDF crumblingNo2Nuclear Power Jan 2016 “………French utility EDF is considering selling assets protest-Hinkley-Cworth over 6 billion euros (£4.5 billion) this year, according to French daily Les Echos – notably it is considering selling a stake in its eight British nuclear plants to fund plans to build Hinkley Point C. But it could only sell a 29% share of EDF Energy (which is supposed to be worth 9 billion euros in total). This would leave EDF with a 51% stake, because Centrica already owns 20%. The paper said a sale had been studied but the process had not been launched. The company needs 55 billion euros to upgrade its ageing nuclear plants, plans to invest 18 billion pounds in Hinkley and spend several billion euros to buy Areva’s reactor unit. (1)

Further delays at the Taishan EPR being built in China are hammering another nail in a coffin, says Dr David Toke, reader in Energy Politics at Aberdeen University. The only debate now is whether the coffin will house just the Hinkley C project or the whole of EDF. The Taishan plant’s construction began in 2009 and was supposed to be finished in 2013, but is now not expected to open until 2017. EDF will have to sell-off profitable assets to fund Hinkley C, something that is almost universally regarded as at least a rather large gamble or, increasingly, a probable disaster that will sink EDF. Given that the EPR is proving to be such a turkey in three multibillion projects (Olikuoto, Flamanville and now Taishan) what sort of business decision can it be to fund a fourth project that could break the company? (2
Disagreements over valuation and charges related to a Finnish EPR are likely to delay EDF’s acquisition of Areva’s nuclear reactor business. In late July, EDF agreed to buy 51 to 75% of the Areva NP reactor unit based on a value of 2.7 billion euros for the entire division. But EDF has revised that valuation down to 2.2 billion to 2.3 billion euros and won’t make a firm offer for Areva NP until early 2016. There was a “substantial” disagreement between the two sides on the value of the unit and that the talks “remain very complicated”. “The disagreements are about the amount, but especially about Finland,” another source said, adding that the French government prefers to clear the Finland issue with Areva before finalizing the sale of Areva NP. Finnish utility TVO has a 2.6 billion euro ($2.8 bln) claim against the Areva-led EPR consortium at the International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration court. Areva-Siemens has a 3.4 billion euro counter-claim. (3)
According to the Guardian, possible buyers of a stake in UK reactors might include the stateowned Chinese companies, who are already committed partners of the Hinkley Point C project. EDF could unveil details of a sell-off plan on 16th February, when it is scheduled to release annual financial figures and is expected to give a final investment decision on Hinkley. (4)
Industry sources told the Guardian that the possible sell off was only one of a number of different options that were under consideration as the group looked at financing Hinkley Point C and other projects. They said it was still likely EDF would give the go ahead to Hinkley next month even though it did not have all the financing in place.
EDF is also said by Les Echos to be considering disposing of its 49.99% stake in three nuclear power plants in the US which are operated by Exelon (Two reactors at Calvert Cliffs Maryland; two at Nine Mile Point, New York, and one at RE Ginna, New York) The sale of EDF’s stake in No2NuclearPower nuClear news No.81, January 2016 12 these five reactors could be complicated. At least two of those reactors are at risk of closure due to economic pressures, and Exelon is having trouble with its nuclear business more broadly. Exelon might not be willing to take on more liability. EDF is also considering selling 50% of its holding in power transmission business RTE. It cannot sell more than half because 50% is allocated to its decommissioning fund, which is segregated. There is of course a risk in selling half because if it turns out to be worth less than EDF has claimed it is worth for the decommissioning fund, EDF would have to top up the decommissioning fund by the shortfall.
Meanwhile the National Audit Office says over a third of major government infrastructure projects are at risk of delays and spiraling costs. 37 of the 106 projects due to be completed within the next five years have been branded “unachievable” or “in-doubt” by a government body set up to monitor them. It is not known whether Hinkley Point is one of the projects the NAO considers to be at risk. (5) http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo81.pdf

January 13, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, UK | Leave a comment

EDF struggling to raise money to fund UK’s new Hinkley Point reactors.

scrutiny-on-costsflag-franceflag-UKEDF considers selling €3bn stake in UK nuclear business to help fund reactors

French energy firm may reduce stake in eight existing nuclear reactors it owns to raise money for Hinkley Point C project, Guardian,  , 8 Jan 16, EDF is considering the sale of a €3bn (£2.2bn) stake in its British nuclear business in a bid to raise cash for new Hinkley Point reactors.

Possible buyers would be state-owned Chinese companies, who are already committed partners on the £18bn Somerset project.

EDF could unveil details of a sell-off plan on 16 February, when it is scheduled to release annual financial figures and is expected to give a final investment decision on building Britain’s first new reactors for 20 years.

The French daily, Les Echos, reported on Thursday that EDF may reduce its stake in the eight existing nuclear reactors it owns from 80% to 51% by bringing in a new investor as part of a wider €6bn disposal programme. Industry sources told the Guardian that the possible sell off was only one of a number of different options that were under consideration as the group looked at financing Hinkley Point C and other projects.

They said it was still likely EDF would give the go ahead to Hinkley next month even though it did not have all the financing in place. The project is estimated to cost £18bn, according to EDF, though the European Union has warned it could go as high as £24bn.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, already has a 20% holding but has made clear in the past that itdoes not want a larger commitment to nuclear, and declined to participate in the Hinkley newbuild scheme………

EDF struggled to interest anyone else in the Hinkley scheme, which many in the City have deemed over-expensive, so the Chinese would seem first in line to buy into the rest of the EDF nuclear business if it comes up for grabs……..

Environmentalists opposed to EDF’s new building plans in Britain believe the company may yet be forced to abandon Hinkley Point C because of a European legal challenge against the state aid promised by the UK. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/07/edf-selling-3bn-stake-uk-nuclear-business-reactors-hinkley-point-c

January 8, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, UK | Leave a comment

Iodine tablets to be distributed to France’s communities near nuclear stations

potassium-iodate-pillsflag-franceFrance to distribute iodine tablets near nuclear power stations RFI 27 Dec 15 France’s nuclear safety watchdog is to distribute iodine tablets to people living near the country’s 19 nuclear power stations, warning that an accident is possible but not probable. …..

In the fifth such distribution campaign since they began in 1997, the Nuclear Security Authority (ASN) will make iodine tablets available to 400,000 households and 2,000 establishments, such as schools, businesses and local government offices, in a radius of 10 kilometres of a nuclear power station.They will be distributed through pharmacies or sent to those who fail to collect them……http://www.english.rfi.fr/environment/20151226-france-distribute-iodine-tablets-near-nuclear-power-stations

December 28, 2015 Posted by | France, health | Leave a comment

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