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The dream that fizzled – USA’s ‘nuclear renaissance”

How The Dream Of America’s ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ Fizzled, WBUR, August 06, 2017,   A decade ago, utility executives and policymakers dreamed of a future powered by a new generation of cheap, safe nuclear reactors. Projects to expand existing nuclear plants in South Carolina and Georgia were supposed to be the start of the “nuclear renaissance.”

August 7, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Britain’s barmy nuclear fiasco – Hinkley locking the public into high energy costs

FT 4th Aug 2017, Then there is Hinkley Point. Did you know that it’s all going swimmingly?
It’s rated dark green, meaning “Successful delivery of the project on
time, budget and quality appears highly likely.”

This is the nuclear power station that nobody wants and the subject of (another) damning report
from the National Audit Office. Hinkley Point promises financial misery for
the owner, the contractors and finally to every British business and
household through higher costs for electricity.

The owner, EDF of France, is in poor shape financially and struggling to make its home-built
prototype comply with escalating safety regulations. It has just added two
years and £1.5bn to the estimated Hinkley start-up date.

Britain’s nuclear policy dates back to 2008, an age when the oil price was only going
to rise. Nine years on, the world has changed. The combination of abundant
oil and gas and rising regulatory costs have sounded the death knell for
big nuclear fission plants.

The NAO currently estimates the Hinkley Point
subsidy at £60bn, locking Britain into high energy costs at a time of
world abundance, with a devastating impact on competitiveness. The
calculation, on the government’s estimates of fossil fuel prices, that a
three-year delay will actually save consumers money is a demonstration of
how barmy this whole fiasco has become.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Georgia Power to finalize Vogtle assessments by end of August

 Guru Focus, PR Newswire, ATLANTA, Aug. 4, 2017  Georgia Power expects to complete its comprehensive schedule and cost-to-complete assessment, as well as cancellation cost assessment, for the Vogtle nuclear expansion by the end of the month. The final recommendation is expected to be filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) Report. Once submitted, Georgia Power will work with the Georgia PSC to determine the best path forward for customers…….

Construction work continues at the Vogtle nuclear expansion under a new service agreement with Westinghouse while Georgia Power’s assessments, as well as assessments by Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities, are finalized…….

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this communication is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning estimated cost and schedule information for Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 and other future actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. ……..

Editor’s note:  How’s this for one sentence?  could be a record?

The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the results of Westinghouse’s bankruptcy filing and the impact of any inability or other failure of Toshiba to perform its obligations under its guarantee, including any effect on the construction of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development construction and operation of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Georgia Public Service Commission approvals and Nuclear Regulatory Commission actions; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts; changes in The Southern Company’s or Georgia Power’s credit ratings, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, and collateral requirements; the impacts of any sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on foreign currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the benefits of U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Serious concerns about the environmental and safety record of the Dounreay nuclear plant

Sunday Times 6th Aug 2017, Serious concerns about the environmental and safety record of the Dounreay
nuclear plant have been raised by Scottish environment secretary Roseanna
Cunningham. In a letter to UK energy minister Richard Harrington, she
complained of a disappointing lack of progress across a range of projects
in the past year that sat oddly with the planned reduction in workforce at
the site.

Her concerns come after shortcomings in safety performance at
Dounreay were identified in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s annual
report, and criticism of the environmental management at the plant by the
Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

She said: “It is troubling that site management, despite repeated efforts, do not seem able to break the
pattern of incidents. Local stakeholders have told me that they cannot
understand why the substantial voluntary redundancy programme is in place,
when there is still so much work to complete.”

Local SNP MSP Gail Ross echoed the minister’s concerns. She said: “The Dounreay site is a vital
employer in Caithness and North Sutherland. Surely the most sensible route
to ensure safe operation would be to retain as many highly skilled and
experienced staff as they are able. Nuclear waste is not something that can
be dealt with on the cheap, regardless of the location. The UK government
must support Dounreay to ensure that the decommissioning process is as safe
as it can be, regardless of cost.”

August 7, 2017 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Children from Chernobyl got to see the sea for the first time

Children from Chernobyl got to see the sea for the first time thanks to Weston-super-Mare Lions Club.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Brief fall in groundwater near Fukushima’s crippled nuclear reactors

NHK 3rd Aug 2017, The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the
groundwater level briefly plummeted near a building that houses one of the
crippled reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says the fall
was observed in a monitoring well about 11 meters southwest of the No.4
reactor building on Wednesday. The utility says the groundwater level
temporarily sank roughly 1 meter below the level of contaminated water
inside the reactor building. The firm says the groundwater rose above the
usual level 23 minutes later.

A sharp fall in the groundwater level just
outside reactor buildings could cause contaminated water to leak from
inside the buildings.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment