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France disturbed at possibility of Theresa May dumping Hinkley C nuclear station plan

plants-downFrench Are Left Reeling as May Mulls Nuclear-Power Dilemma, Bloomberg,    RobDotHutton        FrancoisDeBeaup July 29, 2016 —

  • New prime minister could dump project and blame Cameron
  • U.K. concerns are over Chinese involvement and rising cost
Francois Hollande has had concerns for at least a week about whether Theresa May’s government was committed to the Hinkley Point nuclear plant. The cool public response the U.K. gave the deal matched the new prime minister’s private comments when the French president asked her about it in their first meeting.

Even so, the French were stunned on Thursday evening when Britain said it needed more time to think about the plan. A planned signing was canceled. Hollande, with an election coming next year, has been attacked by labor unions who say the 18 billion-pound ($24 billion) project could bankrupt state-owned Electricite de France SA………

May’s joint chief of staff, Nick Timothy, last year described the decision to allow Chinese involvement in the project as “baffling.” He raised the prospect of China being able to shut down British energy production “at will” in an article for the Conservative Home website.

Brexit Talks

But there are risks to blocking the deal. It would infuriate the French, a needed ally in the Brexit talks. It would also lead to a dispute over where the costs of unwinding the project should fall………

“My assumption is still that the U.K. will probably sign off on it,” said Joel Kenrick, a political adviser to Energy Secretary Chris Huhne from 2010 to 2012.. “But then, I can’t actually see it being built. EDF have just got such a poor track record.”


July 30, 2016 Posted by | France, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

5 reasons not to rush into NY’s $7 billion plan to rescue nuclear plants

5 reasonable criticisms of NY’s $7 billion plan to rescue nuclear plants , By Tim Knauss |  Email the author | Follow on Twitter  July 29, 2016 “……..

1. The nuclear subsidy undermines free markets…..By targeting payments to specific nuclear plants, the PSC would discriminate against other energy suppliers, critics say…….

2. The nuclear subsidy might be illegal

Three months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated a Maryland incentive program for new power plants on the grounds that it interfered with wholesale markets, which operate under federal – not state – authority.

To some observers, including a group of non-nuclear power plant owners and energy suppliers in New York, the Supreme Court’s decision in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing is directly applicable to what New York is attempting.

Upstate nuclear plants that receive state-mandated subsidies will have an unfair advantage in the wholesale market and will drive down the prices other power plants can charge, the group argues…..

3. The price of the subsidy is too high

In April, Exelon told the PSC it would need to recover $50 per megawatt-hour to justify the continued operation of its Upstate nuclear plants. But the PSC staff proposal would guarantee the company $56.50 per megawatt-hour, or 13 percent more. And every two years, the minimum price would be revised upward.

Lawyers for the Nucor Steel plant in Auburn suggest that even the $50 price sought by Exelon is more than the nuke operator needs. …..

4. The contract term is too long

According to the long-term price forecast by PSC analysts, wholesale power prices will rise steadily over the next decade until they exceed the price guaranteed to the nuclear plants…….long-term price forecasts are notoriously unreliable. National Grid recommended limiting nuclear subsidy contracts to six years……

5. There has not been enough time to ponder details

This is a big decision. It will affect the Upstate economy and the NY energy industry for years to come. Yet the details of the PSC staff proposal were released just three weeks ago. Comments were accepted for just two weeks…….

July 30, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima in New York? This Nuclear Plant Has Regulators Nervous.

Film A new documentary explores the fight around Indian Point Energy Center in the wake of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster.  By Andrew Lapin, National Geographic JULY 29, 2016

Could what happened in Fukushima happen 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of New York City?

That’s what many activists and former nuclear regulators fear for the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant that has operated in Westchester County for more than four decades. The plant provides a good chunk of the energy needs for the surrounding area, but it has come under fire in recent years for safety and environmental concerns, including its warming of the Hudson River and a recent case of bolts missing in one of its reactors. Two of the plant’s three reactor units are currently operating on expired licenses, with the state of New York having denied parent company Entergy’s extension requests due to suspected violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused catastrophic damage to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and surrounding area, the safety of nuclear energy as a whole has come under even greater scrutiny.

In the new documentary Indian Pointcurrently in select theaters, filmmaker Ivy Meeropol uses the plant to get into both sides of the nuclear debate. ……..

July 30, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment