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Hinkley Point C nuclear supply engineers go on strike

Plating engineers creating products to supply to the Hinkley Point C
nuclear power station go on strike today [13 June] in a pay dispute. Dozens
of workers at Darchem Engineering, in Stockton-Upon-Tees, will walk out
today after welders working for same firm were given an additional pay
supplement, while the engineers weren’t. Further strikes are planned for
20,21,28 and 29 June. Industrial action could lead to big delays at Hinkley
Point C – the £25 billion nuclear reactor in Somerset. GMB 14th June 2022

June 16, 2022 Posted by | employment, UK | Leave a comment

An imminent radiological threat – UK’s planned Hinkley and Sizewell nuclear reactors – same design as flawed EPR reactor in China

The second EPR reactor at China’s Taishan nuclear power plant is about to enter into commercial operation.

June 14 marks the first real public reports of the accident at the
Taishan-1 nuclear reactor in China, and the Nuclear Free Local Authorities
have questioned whether the recent findings from the ongoing investigation
indicate that the EPR reactor design intended for Hinkley Point C and
Sizewell C has a ‘fatal flaw’.

Located almost 90 miles west of Hong
Kong, the Taishan-1 and 2 reactors were the first of their kind to enter
service, being of the same EPR (European Pressurised Reactors) design
intended for the Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C plants.

Designed and installed by EDF-subsidiary Framatome, building work started in 2009 and
they began commercial operations in December 2018 and September 2019,
respectively. The project is operated by Taishan Nuclear Power Joint
Venture Co. Ltd, which is jointly owned by CGN (70%) and Framatome, a
subsidiary of EDF (30%).

In late May 2021, American media outlets reported
the venting of radioactive gas at Taishan-1 following an equipment failure.

Rather than authorising an immediate shutdown, Chinese authorities
responded with obfuscation by increasing the safety limits at which the
reactor could operate. Frustrated the French operator reached out to the
international community for technical know-how and equipment to address the
problem, and in memo to the Department of Energy EDF described the
situation at Taishan-1 as ‘an imminent radiological threat to the site
and to the public’.[1]

International pressure finally prevailed and
Taishan-1 was shut-down. The reactor has ever since remained offline whilst
investigations have continued. Information remains hard to come by, but
French nuclear regulators – the ASN or Autorité de sûreté nucléaire
– have revealed that Taishan-1 suffered from two deficiencies which are
unrelated – the failure of springs in the fuel rods and excessive
vibration due to the design of the pressure vessel.

 NFLA 14th June 2022

June 16, 2022 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point C – costs soar, delays again. UK govt’s big bet on nuclear is backfiring

The risks to the government’s plans to build another eight nuclear power
plants have been underlined by the latest wave of ballooning costs and
delays at Hinkley Point C. EDF, which is constructing the 3,200MW reactor
in Somerset, has warned that estimated costs have jumped to between £25
billion and £26 billion, while the power station will not now start
producing electricity until June 2027 at the earliest.

The revised estimates are £3 billion higher than the previous cost projections in
January last year, which were in turn well ahead of the group’s initial
£18 billion forecast when the project was approved in 2016.

Hinkley is Britain’s first new nuclear plant in decades. It is expected to power six
million homes, with the government guaranteeing that consumers pay an
index-linked £92.50 per megawatt hour, in 2012 prices, for its
electricity. Construction costs are being met by EDF and its junior partner
in the project, CGN of China.

Critics seized on the latest overruns to
point out the risks to Boris Johnson’s blueprint for another 24 gigawatts
of new nuclear power by 2050. The Stop Sizewell C lobby group pointed out
that, while EDF and CGN are on the hook for Hinkley’s “rocketing
costs”, a proposed new financing model would see consumers paying upfront
via higher bills for cost overruns.

“The £20 billion estimate for
Sizewell C is already two years out of date, with zero chance of it being
delivered at that cost,” it said, noting that the risk of spiralling
costs would “fall on consumers”. Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s UK policy
director, said: “The government’s big bet on nuclear is backfiring with
every extra billion added to the bill”. He advocated investment in
offshore wind instead. Costs at the prototype for Hinkley, the Flamanville
plant in France, have rocketed from €3.3 billion to €12.7 billion.
Construction is running more than a decade late. 

Times 20th May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

£3 billion more, 1 year longer: EDF Energy announces latest price hike and further delay at Hinkley Point C

£3 billion more, 1 year longer: EDF Energy announces latest price hike
and further delay at Hinkley Point C. Whilst news that yet another civil
nuclear power plant is to be delivered still further over-budget and still
further behind schedule may be ‘par for the course’, the Nuclear Free
Local Authorities still find EDF’s latest pronouncement that Hinkley
Point C will cost £3 billion more and take one year longer to build

In a media release yesterday (Thursday 19 May), the French parent
of UK nuclear operator, EDF Energy, conceded that, on their latest
estimate, Hinkley Point C will now cost £25 to 26 billion to build and
become operational no earlier than July 2027.

EDF last updated its Hinkley
Point construction schedule in January 2021, when it stated the plant would
be delayed by a further six months to June 2026 with the cost rising by an
additional half billion pounds to £22 billion to 23 billion. NFLA Chair
Councillor David Blackburn commented: “EDF Energy have blamed COVID and
the Ukraine conflict for the price hike and the delay, but Hinkley Point C
was already way over budget and way behind schedule before either of these
calamities occurred. For the simple reality is that nuclear costs too much
and takes too long”.

 NFLA 20th May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Costs of Hinkley Point C nuclear station predicted to balloon out

 France’s EDF has warned that the costs of the Hinkley Point C nuclear
power plant under construction in the south-west of England could balloon
by an additional £3bn, while it also warned of further delays because of
supply chain problems arising from Covid-19 lockdowns.

In a statement released late on Thursday evening, the French state-backed utility
estimated that the 3.2 gigawatt plant in Somerset could cost a total of
£25bn-£26bn compared to an estimate of £18bn when it received the
go-ahead in 2016.

It is now anticipated that the first of the two
next-generation European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) being installed at
Hinkley Point C will start generating electricity in June 2027 — a year
later than previously scheduled — but EDF added that the “risk of
further delay of the two units is assessed at 15 months”. EDF has been
forced to revise up the costs of the project on numerous occasions. At the
most recent revision in January 2021, it had estimated the total at £23bn.

EDF quotes costs in 2015 prices in order to maintain consistency for the
markets but the real bill will be even higher after accounting for
inflation. EDF stressed that the additional costs would not affect UK
consumers. The construction costs are being met by EDF and its junior
partner in the project, China’s CGN, in return for a 35-year contract
that guarantees a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour of electricity
produced, rising with inflation.

In a note sent to Hinkley Point C workers
on Thursday, the project’s managing director Stuart Crooks blamed
lockdowns during the pandemic, during which it had to reduce the number of
staff who could safely operate on site from about 5,000 to 1,500. “In
civil construction alone, having fewer people than planned means we lost in
excess of half a million individual days of critical work in 2020 and
2021,” he wrote. “Our supply chain was also hit hard and is still
impacted now. In April 2020, 180 suppliers were fully shut down, but even
as late as February this year, more than 60 suppliers were operating with
reduced productivity due to Covid.”

However, the further delays will not
surprise critics of the company. In France, EDF’s flagship Flamanville 3
plant, which will also use EPR technology, is running more than a decade
behind schedule and costs have also spiralled, sparking at one point a
rebuke by the French government as it ordered the group to address issues
with project management and industrial skills. At the same time as
suffering problems with new projects, EDF faces outages at several existing
reactors in France because of welding problems, sending nuclear output to
its lowest level in decades.

 FT 20th May 2022

May 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EDF announces another delay and cost overruns to Hinkley Point C nuclear project

 French energy giant EDF has revealed it will have to announce new delays
and cost overruns for its Hinkley Point C nuclear plant project in the UK.
The latest setback follows conflict in Ukraine, supply chain disruption and
inflationary pressures.

EDF last updated its construction schedule in
January 2021, when it said the UK’s first new nuclear plant to be built
in decades would be delayed by six months to June 2026. It revealed costs
would rise by an additional £500m to £23bn.

Originally, the plant was
expected to open in 2025 and had a construction budget of £18bn. However,
like similar nuclear new-build projects in Flamanville, France and
Olkiluoto, Finland, it has been subject to repeated delays and spiralling
costs. In a note to its 2021 annual report, EDF arued risks to schedule and
cost at completion targets had increased. The energy firm cited the ongoing
impact of the pandemic, Brexit, lower-than-expected civil performance and
tensions in global building materials markets. 

22 Mar 22,

 City AM 28th March 2022

March 31, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point C nuclear project faces mor.e delays, increased costs

Hinkley Point C faces more delays amid Ukraine crisis. Developer EDF warns
war may trigger even higher costs for Britain’s flagship nuclear power
station. The UK’s £23bn new flagship nuclear power plant is at risk of
becoming more expensive and being plagued by delays as its developer EDF
blamed challenges including the conflict in Ukraine.

EDF is carrying out a
“new comprehensive review” of the costs and timeframes of Hinkley Point
C, which it is building in Somerset with updates expected in the summer.
The majority French state-owned company had already raised cost estimates
in 2017, 2019 and again in 2021 amid the pandemic, with the project
currently set to cost between £22bn and £23bn and start generating power
in mid-2026. It was originally forecast to cost £18bn.

The developers have
to foot the bill for cost overruns at the project, but it comes as EDF is
in talks with the UK Government about building a second new power plant,
Sizewell C in Suffolk, which could see households take on more risk for

The Prime Minister is believed to want nuclear power to supply
about a quarter of Britain’s electricity by 2050. That could imply about
six large stations similar to Hinkley will be needed by 2050. In a sign of
its commitment to the technology, the Government is planning to take a 20pc
equity stake in the Sizewell C project.

In documents filed with French
financial authorities, EDF said of Hinkley Point C: “Due to the
difficulties encountered by the project, notably on civil performance and
marine works, and the increase in risks such as the Ukrainian conflict,
Brexit, Covid, supply chain disruption and inflation, a new comprehensive
review to update the costs and schedule estimates announced in January 2021
is underway and is expected to be finalised by summer 2022.” 

Telegraph 27th March 2022

March 29, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Campaigners lose legal challenge to stop Hinkley Point C mud being dumped in the Bristol Channel

Campaigners have lost a legal challenge to stop mud from alongside Hinkley
Point C being dumped in the Severn Estuary. The nuclear plant’s
developers, EDF, were using a licensed disposal site near Cardiff but this
led to extensive protests. The campaigners argued a marine licence for the
work was unlawfully amended, without proper scrutiny. But a High Court
judge has this week dismissed their case on all grounds.

EDF dubbed the decision “good news” for thousands of workers at the site. It was
granted permission for the latest mud dumping by England’s Marine
Management Organisation (MMO) in August. The switch from Cardiff to
Portishead, on the English side of the estuary, was challenged by activists
who argued the company should not have been able to vary an existing
licence it had for work at sea.

At a two-day hearing this month, judge Mr
Justice Holgate said he considered the claimant’s approach “to involve
an impermissible gloss” on the relevant legislation and that “there was
nothing unlawful in the MMO’s decision”. An EDF spokesman told “The decision is good news for people who care about
the environment and climate change.” “It will enable thousands of
workers to get ahead building a project that will protect the environment
from climate change and provide Britain with reliable low carbon
electricity for decades to come.”

The previous dumping proved
controversial because of fears the mud could be contaminated with nuclear
waste from the Hinkley A and B reactors, which used to be on the site. But
those claims were dismissed by the company, Welsh and English environmental
authorities and the Welsh government as tests showed the sediment was
similar to that found elsewhere in the Bristol Channel. 26th March 2022

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

”Save the Severn Estuary” fights to stop EDF dumping Hinkley Point’s nuclear mud into this Marine Protected Area.

oinPlans by energy firm EDF to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of sediment
from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in the Severn Estuary are
facing a backlash. A campaign group called Save the Severn Estuary,
supported by a Welsh pop star, has launched a crowdfunding site to finance
a legal challenge.

The estuary is a designated Marine Protected Area and
campaigners, including Cian Ciaran of rock band Super Furry Animals, fear
the dumped waste, including chemical and radioactive materials, will spread
on the strong tidal currents all around the Estuary, depositing on its mud
banks and beaches. EDF, with its UK base in Gloucester, is planning to
start its second phase of sediment dumping at Portishead, near Bristol.

 Punchline Gloucester 8th March 2022

Plans by energy firm EDF to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of sediment
from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in the Severn Estuary are
facing a backlash. A campaign group called Save the Severn Estuary,
supported by a Welsh pop star, has launched a crowdfunding site to finance
a legal challenge.

The estuary is a designated Marine Protected Area and
campaigners, including Cian Ciaran of rock band Super Furry Animals, fear
the dumped waste, including chemical and radioactive materials, will spread
on the strong tidal currents all around the Estuary, depositing on its mud
banks and beaches. EDF, with its UK base in Gloucester, is planning to
start its second phase of sediment dumping at Portishead, near Bristol.

 Punchline Gloucester 8th March 2022

March 10, 2022 Posted by | oceans, opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Super Furry Animals call out alleged nuclear mud dumping at Hinkley Power Station

 Super Furry Animals have called on the Marine Management Organisation
(MMO) to revoke the licence granted to EDF – which they claim has
resulted in nuclear mud dumping in the Severn Estuary. In 2018, a group of
activists took EDF to court to stop 300,000 tonnes of alleged nuclear mud
from a Somerset power station being disposed of just outside Cardiff. Now,
the Welsh indie veterans have picked up the cause again.

 NME 15th Feb 2022

February 17, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Severn Estuary – internationally significant fish nursery – threatened by Hinkley radioactive mud

Four Weeks to Save-the-Severn estuary!

Energy giant, EDF,  has been dumping millions of tonnes of mud and sediment contaminated by the decades of discharges from the Hinkley nuclear power stations.  Dumping is convenient and cheaper than using the sediments on their construction site.  They are dredging these sediments to build a giant seawater  extraction system for cooling water, which will be short-lived as its slaughter of millions of fish a year has to end.  This Estuary is an internationally important fish nursery and Marine Protection Area.

Despite fierce opposition, dumping of Hinkley mud and sediment went ahead off Cardiff in 2018 and it’s too late to change what happened. Since that time, increased radioactivity has been detected in coastal mud. It could have been different. Now they have a licence to dump off Portishead, Bristol – but we have Court permission to challenge that licence and stop EDF resuming dumping in April.
Save The Severn, an independent, science-led campaign group, have won a day in court to challenge further dumping. Without the effort and expense of delaying EDF through legal means, the bosses of the company would be able to simply do as they please. Can you help to ensure the legal case is heard?

The court case is heard on Tue 8 March 2022. We have four weeks to save the Severn Estuary and many donations from  £1 upwards will reach our target. It’s easy to do, please visit the Save The Severn fundraising page here:

February 17, 2022 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

Judicial review on the dumping of Hinkley Point C radioactive mud

A group campaigning against the dumping of sediment from the site of a
decommissioned nuclear power station has succeeded in securing a judicial
review challenging the legality of a licence to dump waste into the River

The Save the Severn Estuary / Cofiwch Môr Hafren campaign involves
the Geiger Bay coalition and groups from the English side of the estuary
and is seeking to halt the dumping of sediment from the construction of the
Hinkley C power station in the Marine Protected Area (MPA) near Portishead,

In 2018, EDF, which is building the plant, dumped mud and sediment
off the coast of Cardiff despite fierce objections. The Campaign group says
that millions of tonnes of contaminated mud and sediment will contaminate
the waters and beaches used by local communities, and that by choosing to
ignore legal safeguards, energy giant EDF is threatening the health of
families and animal life.

Save the Severn Estuary / Cofiwch Môr Hafren say
that EDF are now trying to avoid further opposition and negative media
attention by moving the operation to Portishead, Bristol as a ‘soft
touch’ location after initially applying for a new license to dump more
waste off the Cardiff coast. At the judicial review on 8 March the campaign
group will challenge the legality of the licence granted by the Marine
Management Organisation (MMO), stating that several important procedures
haven’t been met and that an alternative to dumping at Portishead should
be adopted.

 Nation Cymru
 Nation Cymru 12th Feb 2022

February 14, 2022 Posted by | legal, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Hinkley nuclear mud

 500 000 tonnes of Hinkley mud are now to be dumped at Portishead. Thisdumping was licensed by @The_MMO – the English Marine Management Organisation – on the basis of EDF’s skimped EIA that brushed over the key issues of *what* contaminants, and where they *go*.

 @cianciaran 6th Feb 2022

February 8, 2022 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Predictions of technical problems for Hinkley nuclear design turn out to be well founded

 When the scheme started, EDF were confident that the facility would be
open within five years. The cost budget was £19 billion. Today the
situation is very different and many of the concerns expressed have proved
to be well founded.

There remain major concerns regarding the technical
solution being used by EDF. The reactor is a new generation design,
produced by France and Germany. To say that there are teething problems
with this would be an understatement. This system is being used to upgrade
France’s fleet of 56 ageing nuclear reactors. They are currently building
a new reactor in Flamanville. The project cost for this has quadrupled.

 North Devon Gazette 3rd Feb 2022

February 5, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point mud dredging and dumping plan faces a legal challenge

Hinkley Point dredging plan for Portishead faces legal challenge. Plans to
dump hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sediment from Hinkley Point into
the Bristol Channel at Portishead face a legal challenge.

Environmental groups represented by Tarian Hafren say the Marine Management Organisation
unlawfully varied EDF Energy’s licence to deposit dredged material at the
Severn Estuary Marine Protection Area. The disposal site is close to
Portbury Wharf Salt Marsh, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and part
of the Severn Estuary Special Protection Area. Tarian Hafren argues that
the MMO did not have the statutory power to change the licence for dredging
to include dumping, did not give adequate reasons for doing so, failed to
examine the potential impact of the dredging on marine life, and ignored a
less harmful method of waste disposal.

High Court judge Beverley Lang ruled
that the grounds for a judicial review are arguable and the claim will be
heard this spring. Cian Ciaran for Tarian Hafren said: “The Welsh
National Marine Plan accepts no dumping in the Welsh half of the estuary,
but the Welsh authorities failed to press MMO to comply on the English
side. “As Geiger Bay, we established at court in 2018 that the Welsh
authorities were wrong to license dumping near Cardiff. Let’s now compel
the MMO to respect the protected status that’s needed for both fish
stocks and wildlife.”

 Somerset Live 20th Jan 2022

January 22, 2022 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment