The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Companies vying to build UK nuclear power stations told to cut electricity prices but not how!


Companies vying to build UK nuclear power stations told to cut electricity prices but not how!

This interview covers a range of Spinned points.

Firstly Dr Jenifer Baxter skirts around the issue of renewables stating that nuclear is needed for a stable supply. Then the conversation quickly moves on to the extra cost in planning and specifically mentions the cost of checking the site of a reactor building that does not need to be done for renewables at the start of the building process.

Nigel Cassidy then mentions that the UK government has asked operators to give a 15 to 20 percent discount for future new builds. He then mentions the dreaded word”viability” and then Dr Jenifer Baxter quickly mentions the size of future projects and moves on to Small modular reactors [None are in the production stage btw – Shaun] or smaller standard reactors [That would also need site planing costs added? – Shaun].

The question is then  posed that these new reactors might be built and meet the price criteria compared to Hinkley Point and the response was that because of Hinkley Points long running time (for planning) that;

probably increased the cost of it”

and that new builds could take into account some of the Governments requirements in advance (post Fukushima?).

The conversation then moves onto the EURATOM treaty and Brexit. She states that one impact would be that increased cost of nuclear energy to the nuclear industry would be a result of Brexit.

She also goes onto explain that EURATOM has 4 components and that the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement is the most crucial one to consider. This section of the Euratom agreement allowing countries to share goods, services, skills and research and she states that this needs to be agreed with other countries before Brexit;

“for the UK nuclear industry to be able to continue normally”.

On the issue of Brexit giving the UK nuclear industry some benefits in trading with other countries that Britain does not normally trade with in the nuclear sector. She then goes onto say that first the UK has to develop new Nuclear Cooperation Agreements. She then goes onto say the ” The people who are best placed to support the government in developing a new framework, that allows us to continue working as normal, are those that are working in the UK nuclear industry. Then the conversation goes on to say that if such a framework is not in place before Brexit that this might impact the supply of nuclear fuel from suppliers around the world that might;

jeopardise the security of supply”

with the countries who are enriching the uranium and those that are making the fuel rods, so stopping the free movement from country to country.

Lastly on the issues of poor investor confidence she states that the UK has;

“a very good research framework for new nuclear programs and decommissioning, in the UK and internationally and it`s supported by the EURATOM treaty, we need to make sure that the innovation that happens within that sector will help to continue to help to reduce the cost of nuclear power stations”

LOL (Hopeful LOL) Transcription by Shaun McGee aka arclight



16 February 2017 Companies vying to build nuclear power stations in the UK have been told they must offer lower electricity prices than that approved for the Hinkley Point plant last year. Government officials have indicated that future projects will be expected to deliver a discount of at least 15-20% on the price of electricity from the £18bn Hinkley plant in Somerset – a settlement widely criticised for its high cost. To discuss this further, Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, joined Nigel Cassidy on Share Radio Breakfast.

Audio source;

February 16, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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