The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Cost of Hitachi nuclear plant for North Wales is far too high

Hitachi U.K. Nuclear Plant Should Get Less Than EDF, Panel Says AlexJFMorales 

  • UK-subsidy 2016EDF’s Hinkley Point is set for $39 billion of future subsidies
  • Hinkley secured guaranteed power price at twice current rate
  • Hitachi Ltd. should be paid less for the power from its planned nuclear plant in North Wales than Electricite de France SA has been promised for reactors in western England, a panel of U.K. lawmakers said, seeking to keep a lid on energy prices paid by consumers.

    The government should also ensure the cost of the Wylfa Newydd project by Hitachi’s Horizon unit is competitive with renewable-power plants such as onshore wind farms, the cross-party Welsh Affairs Committee said Tuesday in an e-mailed report. The lawmakers called for a “clear and comprehensible explanation” of the lifetime costs of the 2.7-gigawatt project and for a “demonstrable benefit” to the local community.

    The U.K. is struggling to build generating capacity fast enough to keep up with the closure of aging nuclear power stations and a phase-out of coal-fired plants. EDF is set to make a final investment decision on Thursday on whether to proceed with an 18-billion-pound ($24 billion) plan to build two reactors at Hinkley Point. The utility has repeatedly postponed a decision on the long-delayed project, despite securing a U.K. government guarantee that it’ll receive 92.50 pounds per megawatt-hour of power, more than double current rates.

  • “The government should only build Wylfa Newydd if the strike price is below that agreed for the Hinkley Point C and competitive with renewable sources,” the committee said in a statement. “They must be transparent on cost and provide a clear and comprehensible explanation of the lifetime cost of the project, including decommissioning and waste disposal.”

    Fixed Amount

    Power from Hinkley Point and Wylfa will be paid for under a so-called contract for difference, which fixes the amount the utility receives per megawatt-hour, making its income predictable. If prevailing power prices are lower than the agreed “strike price,” utilities recoup the difference through consumer bills. If the prevailing price is greater, the utility returns the difference to consumers.

  • Because prices have fallen since the EDF contract was agreed in 2013, the future subsidy cost to consumers of Hinkley has increased, according to areport earlier this month from the National Audit Office, which scrutinizes government spending. Using current projections for the wholesale power price, it estimated the lifetime cost of the top-ups has ballooned to 29.7 billion pounds from 6.1 billion pounds originally.The Welsh Affairs Committee also called on ministers to draw up contingency plans in case the Wylfa plant, consisting of two Hitachi advanced boiling-water reactors, isn’t completed as planned by 2025. EDF had originally envisaged its new reactors would generate power by Christmas 2017. Under its current schedule, Hinkley won’t come online until 2025, the same year as Hitachi aims to complete Wylfa.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

“Thirty Seconds to Midnight” – coming film, encouraged by Dr Helen Caldicott

Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Prognosis for Humanity – “Not Good” “We are like lemmings walking toward the cliff of nuclear annihilation, worrying about things that don’t matter.”

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing another person of great importance with an urgent message for humanity. Dr. Helen Caldicott is an internationally acclaimed Australian physician and antinuclear activist. She is a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and founder of the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament, and International Physicians to Save the Environment.

As a physician who has studied and researched the biological effects of radiation throughout her entire career, she warns the world that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. This is a chilling message at a time when nuclear power, the threat of an imminent nuclear holocaust, and climate change have humanity on the brink of extinction. These three threats are the principle theme of my current film project which had been titled, 11:57 – Three Minutes to Midnight. When I told Helen that I had an alternative title 11:59:30 – Thirty Seconds to Midnight, she told me “that’s it.”

Helen’s message and the message of my new film are disturbing because they present the irrefutable facts screaming out for attention before it is too late. As a species, we are running out of time to save ourselves and all life on the planet. Dr. Caldicott’s prognosis: “not good.”

Pending my October trip to Russia to complete filming, I anticipate that 11:59:30 – Thirty Seconds to Midnight will be ready for release early in 2017.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Growth spurt for green bonds in the financial market

Green bonds the new black in the market as environmental financing surges, ABC News, 26 July 16 By business reporter Stephen Letts The environmentally sensitive shoots developing in the global bonds market appear to be heading for a serious growth spurt with another record quarter of “green bonds” issuance.

In a research note on the sector, the credit ratings agency Moody’s found environmentally focused green bond issuance in the June quarter hit a record $US20.3 billion ($27 billion), well above the $US16.9 billion ($22.5 billion) recorded in the first quarter of the year.

Added together, the two quarters raised almost 90 per cent more capital than in the first half of 2015.

“The global green bond market is now poised to reach $US75 billion ($100 billion) in total volume for 2016 and so set a new record for the fifth consecutive year, given the strong issuance already observable in the first two weeks of Q3,” Moody’s senior vice president Henry Shilling said.

That fresh flow in the third quarter includes $300 million worth of bonds from Victoria put out to tender earlier this month, the first green issuance from an Australian state or federal government……

Clean energy projects dominate the market

The increasing demand has been supported by many big pension funds now carrying mandates that stipulate portfolios must hold required levels of environmentally friendly investments.

Around two-thirds of green bond proceeds in the quarter were directed to renewable energy and energy efficient projects, with clean transport accounting for a further 17 per cent of the money raised.

The US dominated issuance, with 23 per cent of the market, followed by the big development agencies such as the World Bank, with 17 per cent, although China is expected to bounce back to its dominant position in the market with $US3 billion worth of bonds in the pipeline for sale in coming months…….

July 28, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

A disruptive technology: Elon Musk’s energy master plan

Sophie Vorrath: Musk’s energy master plan: Is this the beginning of the end of the utility? July 27, 2016. When Elon Musk published part 2 of his Tesla Masterplan last week, it was his vision of a future where cars from a huge shared fleet of driverless electric vehicles could be summoned by the touch of a mobile phone app that dominated headlines.

But Musk’s vision for a world of energy self-sufficient households with solar and battery storage was equally ambitious – and threatens to be as disruptive to the world’s electricity industry as his autonomous shared vehicle plan could be to the automotive industry, not to mention Uber.


July 28, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised, energy storage | Leave a comment

Little hope for commercialisation of Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

“Despite the optimism among some in the industry, there remain significant hurdles to widespread use of SMRs. Firstly, even those building them privately admit the first ones will cost roughly the same per unit of electricity produced by a large reactor until costs can be driven down. One executive says: “Over time, we think we can get the costs down — as long as enough of them are commissioned.” – Financial Times 26 July 16

July 28, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

French staff in last bid to block Hinkley Point,

text Hinkley cancelledflag-franceFrench staff in last bid to block Hinkley Point, Times, Adam Sage, 26 July 16 Paris Staff at the French electricity giant planning to build an £18 billion nuclear plant in Britain have made a final attempt to block the project, which they fear will cripple the state-owned group.

The works council at Eléctricité de France (EDF) is seeking an injunction to prevent a board meeting called to discuss the scheme on Thursday.

EDF’s directors are expected to approve the plan to build two new-generation European pressurised reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset to supply 7 per cent of Britain’s electricity.

Lawyers for the works council will seek to have any decisions concerning the plant struck…(registered readers only)

July 28, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

USA marketing nuclear power to Mexico

Buy-US-nukesUS and Mexico map out agreement on nuclear power issues Utility Dive| July 26, 2016 
Dive Brief:

  • United States and Mexico have committed to negotiate a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation, according to the White House.
  • The agreement is aimed at strengthening the existing legal framework and providing an enhanced basis for the transfer of nuclear technology, fuel, and components between the countries.
  • In addition to enhancing potential power sector emissions reductions, the agreement aims to enhance the capacities of both nations in the supply chain and nuclear fuel services and to facilitate the sharing of best practices.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry to get a heft subsidy from New York residents

text-my-money-2A hefty nuclear subsidy Times Union, July 25, 2016 “……… It’s one thing to keep nuclear plants running temporarily while the state transitions to green energy. It’s another to hand nuclear plant operators billions of dollars that could instead be used to move New York that much more quickly to a clean energy future.

The nuclear subsidies are being proposed in the state’s Clean Energy Standard. The CES, also known as the “50-by-30” plan — because it seeks to achieve the 50 percent clean energy goal by 2030 — would shift more of the state’s electricity supply to sources like wind, solar, hydropower and biomass, and away from fossil fuels.

Some want nuclear power in the mix, too, but it has some not-insignificant problems — the risk of an accident, and the still-unresolved question of safe disposal of radioactive waste. It’s hard to see nuclear power plants as being part of an environmentally sound energy future.

As a short-term bridge to that future, however, they could play a part, if they can stand on their own. Supporters say they can’t in the current market.

So the CES would include a program of “zero emissions credits” — a charge that utilities and energy service companies would pay to keep nuclear plants open. Those costs are expected to start at $965 million for the first two years, rising to about $1 billion a year, paid for by, well, pretty much anyone with an electricity bill……

What, however, is a reasonable windfall? Just how much do these plants realistically need to stay open? Is the state fattening nuclear plant profits with money that could be used to fund more alternative energy, and more energy savings programs, and achieve the CES goals even sooner?…….

July 28, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear propaganda revs up in South Africa

propagandaWhy Eskom’s Brian Molefe is pumping up the nuclear propaganda
The issue of relative costs is an area in which Eskom likes to play fast and loose with facts. Molefe, for instance, loves to talk about the relative cheapness of nuclear power Rand Daily mail CAROL PATON
26 JULY 2016 “……..
As Eskom prepares to roll back the rise of independent power producers (IPPs) and lay the basis for the nuclear build, the propaganda war is going to be critical. This is because, on the facts alone, Eskom’s central argument — that SA’s energy future is a straight choice between variable and unreliable renewables and reliable base load nuclear — is nonsense.

What SA needs to do to break Eskom’s stranglehold

Even before Eskom’s letter to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson drawing the line under the IPP programme surfaced last week, Molefe and Eskom’s head of generation, Matshela Koko, have been pushing this line. As SA can’t have more coal plants because of its commitments to reduce emissions, and as renewable energy is available during the day, when it’s not really required, the only solution lies with nuclear power.

This is a misrepresentation of the choices available. A great deal of technical work and international experience has shown that the next round of large investments SA should be making should be in gas. Unlike renewable energy, nuclear energy or a coal-fired power station, gas can be switched on and off to provide peaking power. The turbines need to turn only when you need them. With large discoveries in Mozambique, investing in gas is the logical next step. The CSIR has done detailed work on this and has put forward a third option to the baseload debate: to use gas and renewables — now by far the cheapest — in concert to create baseload power.

The issue of the relative costs of the technologies is another area in which Eskom likes to play fast and loose with the facts. Molefe, for instance, loves to talk about the relative cheapness of nuclear power. Koeberg — built in 1985 and long since paid for — supplies energy at R0.43/kWh. This should be compared with solar thermal power — the only renewable energy technology that can store energy — he says, the cost of which ranges between R2/kWh and R6/kWh. It’s a ridiculous comparison. In the absence of an agreed-on and updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that would provide an authoritative view on the relative costs of the technologies, the CSIR’s Energy Centre calculated the following in 2015: new nuclear power is projected to cost at least R1/kWh, but very likely more; new coal R0.80/kWh — it is now much higher at about R1; wind R0.60/kWh and solar R0.80/kWh.

A new draft of the IRP by Eskom’s technical modellers — that has been sent back to the drawing board by the Department of Energy — has suggested that the overnight cost (capital cost excluding interest) of building new nuclear power would be $6 000/kW. The department reckoned on about $4 166/kW.

These are not numbers Eskom is likely to use in the public debate.  Eskom, in particular Molefe, has a talent for spinning a good story. After less than five months in the job, he made the startling and completely untrue statement that Eskom’s plant performance had improved vastly. At that point, Eskom’s plant performance was still in decline. More recently, in May, he insisted at a news conference in Parliament that Eskom’s ability to meet demand had nothing to do with lower-than-anticipated demand. This too, turned out not to be true, with Eskom’s own demand curve showing real decline over 2015.

These are perhaps minor skirmishes with the truth. But getting the nuclear build on track is a far bigger fight. Expect Eskom to pump up the propaganda war. — Business Day

July 28, 2016 Posted by | South Africa, spinbuster | Leave a comment