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Why the UK nuclear renaissance plan is doomed to failure.

NuClear News Sept 18

Jeremy Leggett, former Chair of SolarCentury, has used 30 pictures and charts to show why the UK nuclear renaissance plan is doomed to failure. It’s a great way to get a point across. But sometimes it’s useful to have it written down too.

The UK’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment says at least half of all UK power should be renewable by 2030, and can be at no extra cost. It urges the Government to grab the golden opportunity to ditch nuclear and go with cheaper solar and wind. Solar Power Portal 10th July 2018 No2NuclearPower nuClear News No.110, September 2018 19 https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/grab_the_golden_opportunity_to_go_green_uk_urged_to_ditch_nuclear_in_favour

EDF is in deep financial trouble: The utility upon which the UK Government’s plans for a nuclear renaissance depend faces an existential threat with no obvious escape route.

On 25th July 2018 there was yet more bad news for EDF. 33 welds need repairing. Nuclear fuel now to be loaded Q4 2019. EDF says costs up €0.4bn to €10.9bn FT 25th July 2018 https://www.ft.com/content/1b2473c8-8fdd-11e8-b639-7680cedcc421

In august 2016 a major reversal in opinion on nuclear power amongst business leaders was reported. There was a big majority for new nuclear in 2015. In 2016 only 9% strongly agree. 75% of IOD members support strong solar and wind policies. Guardian 19th August 2016 http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/aug/19/businesschiefs-attack-uk-government-failure-to-secure-energy-supply

In a remarkable U-turn the UK Government agrees to a £5bn public stake in welsh nuclear power station. The total cost of Wylfa to be shared with Hitachi and the Japanese Government is estimated at £16bn. The price of power is expected to be £75-77/MWh – more than solar and wind. Guardian 4th June 2018 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/04/uk-takes-5bn-stake-inwelsh-nuclear-power-station-in-policy-u-turn

. · It seems that Whitehall’s obsession with civil nuclear is in fact a military romance. So argue researchers at the Science Policy Research Unit. They find evidence of desperation to keep expertise for submarine reactors alive. Guardian 29th March 2018 http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2018/mar/29/why-is-ukgovernment-so-infatuated-nuclear-power

And then there is global warming. If governments do not shut down residual nuclear programmes it seems climate change impacts will at some point – in the case of the many reactors on coasts and rivers – do the job for them.

  • Nuclear regulators around the world have used out-of-date scientific understanding of sea level rise. Ensia: “A number of scientific papers published in 2018 suggest that climate change will impact coastal nuclear plants earlier and harder than industry government or regulatory bodies have expected.” Ensia 8th Aug 2018https://ensia.com/features/coastal-nuclear/

This summer’s heatwave forced 3 Nordic reactors to be curbed and 1 to close. EDF may close 4 reactors. Seawater off Sweden and Finland was too warm for reactor cooling. Reuters 1st Aug 2018 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nordics-nuclearpowerexplainer/in-hot-water-how-summer-heat-has-hit-nordic-nuclear-plantsidUSKBN1KM4ZR Reuters 1st Aug 2018 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-francenuclearpower-weather/frances-edf-may-halt-four-nuclear-reactors-due-to-heatwavestatement-idUSKBN1KM56C

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September 10, 2018 - Posted by | politics, UK

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