nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

As if in a department store sale day, foreign nuclear companies compete to sell their radioactive products to Britain

Foreign companies flock to build nuclear plants in the UK  A South Korean firm is just the latest to be lured by Britain’s atomic amibitions as safety concerns and cost stalk the industry, Guardian, , 26 Mar 17, Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future globally as concerns over safety and cost dog the industry. But in the UK, foreign investors are queueing up to back projects. The latest is South Korea. Its biggest power company is in talks to join the consortium backing a nuclear power station in Cumbria, in a sign of the continuing allure of Britain’s atomic ambitions to international companies. Kepco said last week it was interested in taking a stake in NuGen, which is 60% owned by Japan’s Toshiba and 40% by France’s Engie, confirming what had been an open secret in the industry for months.

Kepco’s president, Cho Hwan-eik, said that once the terms of a potential deal were ironed out, “we will be the first to jump into the race”…….

Potential investors have been drawn by the UK government’s enthusiasm and a nuclear standstill elsewhere, amid lingering safety fears in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and cost overruns at the Flamanville site in France which is using a new reactor design. As a result, South Korea has joined Japan, China and France in showing interest in British nuclear.

It’s pretty simple. We are the only people building new nuclear power stations and we have by far the biggest new nuclear programme outside China for the next 10 years,” said Peter Atherton, an analyst at consultancy Cornwall Energy. “The civil nuclear programme globally doesn’t have any orders.”

 One expert, Mycle Schneider, called the UK the “last hope” for the nuclear construction giants of the world. The Paris-based nuclear consultant said: “In Korea the political situation will dramatically change after the upcoming elections, [probably] not in favour of the nuclear industry. Success overseas will help survival at home. The Japanese industry clearly has no future at home and little prospects abroad [because of Fukushima].”

The UK has also dangled the prospect of economic support for foreign nuclear builders. French state-owned EDF, which is building two new reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset at a cost of £18bn, struck a subsidy contract with the government that will see it guaranteed twice the wholesale price of electricity for 35 years. The deal means Hinkley would be an “absolute goldmine” when operational, Atherton said.

He said UK financial support was not dissimilar to the deal Kepco has in the United Arab Emirates, where it is building four new reactors paid for by the UAE’s state-owned utility. “The economics of the project, and the economic risks of the project, fall on the host government,” said Atherton.

There is also the prospect that the UK government could take a stake in one of the new nuclear sites. Leaks to Japanese media revealed officials in London and Tokyo had discussed the UK offering state finance to a project led by Japan’s Hitachi to build reactors next to the site of an old one at Wylfa in Wales………https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/25/foreign-firms-flock-to-build-nuclear-plants-in-uk

March 27, 2017 Posted by | marketing, UK | Leave a comment

Stagnation – the most optimistic term to describe the global nuclear industry

Countries with crisis-ridden nuclear programs or phase-out policies (e.g. Germany, Belgium, and Taiwan) account for about half of the world’s operable reactors and more than half of worldwide nuclear power generation

Lobbyists debate responses to the nuclear power crisis, Online opinion

By Jim Green – , 27 March 2017, Nuclear lobbyists are abandoning the tiresome rhetoric about a nuclear power ‘renaissance’. Indeed they’ve turned full-circle and are now warning about a crisis. Michael Shellenberger from the Breakthrough Institute, a US-based pro-nuclear lobby group, has recently written articles about nuclear power’s “rapidly accelerating crisis” and the “crisis that threatens the death of nuclear energy in the West“.A recent articlefrom the Breakthrough Institute and the like-minded Third Way lobby group discusses “the crisis that the nuclear industry is presently facing in developed countries” and states that “the industry is on life support in the United States and other developed economies”.

‘Environmental Progress’, another US pro-nuclear lobby group connected to Shellenberger, also acknowledges a nuclear power crisis. The lobby group notes that 151 gigawatts (GW) of worldwide nuclear power capacity (38% of the total) could be lost by 2030 (compared to 33 GW of retirements over the past decade).

As a worldwide generalisation, nuclear power can’t be said to be in crisis. To take the extreme example, China’s nuclear power program isn’t in crisis ‒ it is moving ahead at pace. Nuclear power is moving ahead at snail’s pace in some other countries (e.g. Russia, South Korea), while in others the industry faces problems but is not in crisis (e.g. UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Ukraine).

Nonetheless, the global picture is one of stagnation and malaise. The July 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides an overview of the troubled status of nuclear power: Continue reading

March 27, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear power, once the “golden goose” for small towns – now a liability

Ripples from US nuclear plant closings overwhelm small towns, Star Tribune, By JOHN SEEWER Associated Press  MARCH 26, 2017     “……..For the small, mostly rural towns that are home to 61 U.S. nuclear plants that produce one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, each one has been like the golden goose supplying high-paying jobs and money for roads, police and libraries.

But those same places and their residents are bracing for what may come next due to the soaring costs of running aging reactors that have speeded up the closings of a handful of sites and are threatening at least a dozen more. That’s because once the power stops flowing, so does the money.

Towns that already have seen nuclear plants shuttered are now dealing with higher property taxes, cuts in services and less school funding — a new reality that may linger for decades.

In Wisconsin, the tiny town of Carlton saw the source of roughly 70 percent of its yearly budget disappear when the Kewaunee nuclear power plant closed four years ago. That resulted in the first town tax in its history.

“Financially, we benefited, but now we’re going to pay the price for the next 40 years,” said David Hardtke, the town chairman.

When operations ceased at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant along Florida’s Gulf Coast, “it was like something going through and wiping out a third of your county,” said Citrus County Administrator Randy Oliver.

To make up the difference, property tax rates went up by 31 percent and 100 county workers were let go — so many that Oliver worries there won’t be enough to evacuate residents and clear roads if a major tropical storm hits.

While the nation’s fleet of nuclear power plants wasn’t designed to last forever, closures are happening earlier than expected because repair costs are astronomical and it’s harder to compete with cheaper natural gas-fired plants and renewable energy sources.

The former head of the nuclear industry’s trade group said last year that economic pressures have put 15 to 20 plants at risk of a premature shutdown.

FirstEnergy Corp. will decide by next year whether to close or sell its plant in Pennsylvania and two in Ohio, including Davis-Besse, unless the states change regulations to make them more competitive……… New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., owner of the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan, announced plans late last year to close in 2018 even though it has a license to keep operating another 14 years…….

what makes recovering tough is that almost all nuclear plants are in out of the way places that have become heavily reliant on them. And they employ specialized workers who are quick to leave for still-operating locations.

To make matters worse, many closed sites can’t be redeveloped for new uses because they’re still storing radioactive waste…….

“We have become a de facto nuclear waste dump. It just sits there, and sits there forever,” said Al Hill, the mayor in Zion, Illinois, where spent nuclear fuel remains stored on prime property along Lake Michigan even though the plant shut down 20 years ago.

On top of that, the closing took away half of the city’s tax base and pushed property taxes to the highest in the state, making it difficult to lure new businesses, Hill said……

It’s had a devastating effect on this town,”  “It’s terrible. Any town with a nuclear power plant in it or near it is in danger of suffering the same fate.” http://www.startribune.com/ripples-from-us-nuclear-plant-closings-overwhelm-small-towns/417116223/

March 27, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, social effects, USA | 1 Comment

The end for nuclear construction in USA – a Westinghouse Electrical nuclear bankruptcy

MIT Technology Review believes a Westinghouse bankruptcy means an end to new nuclear construction in the United States.

Nuclear firm Westinghouse Electric to file for bankruptcy next week http://www.utilitydive.com/news/reports-nuclear-firm-westinghouse-electric-to-file-for-bankruptcy-next-wee/438880/ , March 24, 2017

Dive Brief: Toshiba informed its main lenders today it is planning for Westinghouse Electric Co., the nuclear engineering firm overseeing construction of new generating facilities in Georgia and South Carolina, to file for bankruptcy on March 31, according to sources briefed on the matter, Reuters reports. 

  • Reuters also reports exclusively on preparations utilities are making for the potential bankruptcy of Westinghouse.
  • Toshiba acquired a majority stake in Westinghouse in 2006, but last month was forced to write down $6 billion at the company due to difficulties with its projects. The company is managing construction of new nuclear generation at the Vogtle plant in Georgia and V.C. Summer in South Carolina.
  • Dive Insight: Utilities and other parties are gearing up to deal with the ensuing fallout if Westinghouse files for bankruptcy. According to Reuters, utility clients of Westinghouse have hired advisers in preparation for what could be a protracted financial untangling. Toshiba has reportedly hired a consultancy and law firm to help prepare for anticipated bankruptcy claims.

    Both the Vogtle and VC Summer plants are years behind schedule and costs are mounting. While development of those plants will likely continue, there are rumblings that if Westinghouse goes under, it will likely spell the end of new nuclear development for the time being.

    MIT Technology Review believes a Westinghouse bankruptcy means an end to new nuclear construction in the United States. The news outlet also reports analysts doubt Toshiba will find a buyer for its stake in Westinghouse, nor any construction partners willing to forge ahead with the nuclear plants it planned to build.

    In a recent financial presentation, Toshiba said that it intends to “reduce risk at eight plants currently in progress by thoroughly implementing comprehensive cost reduction measures.” Earlier this year, the company indicated regrets over purchasing Westinghouse.

 

March 25, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

First Energy calls for tax-payer bailout of financially failing nuclear power stations

FirstEnergy exec calls for ‘urgent’ aid, Toledo Blade, Belcher: Davis-Besse’s premature closing is real, OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Calling warnings of the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant’s premature closure “real” and the need for a bailout “urgent,” FirstEnergy Corp.’s top nuclear official left little doubt Friday that Ottawa County’s largest employer is in trouble.

March 25, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Toshiba’s financial meltdown set off by nuclear power plans

Nuclear power plants help ignite Toshiba’s meltdown, http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/tomlinson/article/Toshiba-reveals-real-problem-with-nuclear-power-11019881.php , By Chris Tomlinson  March 23, 2017  Toshiba Corp., one of Japan’s oldest and largest multinational conglomerates, is on the verge of bankruptcy, revealing the real problem with nuclear power plants: They cost too much.

Toshiba revealed last month that it will likely post a $4.4 billion loss because its U.S. subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, has written off $6.3 billion from work on four new nuclear reactors in Waynesboro, Georgia and Fairfield County, South Carolina.

 The Georgia plant is three years behind scheduled and $3 billion over budget. The South Carolina reactors are several years behind schedules and $2.4 billion over budget.

Toshiba’s stock price has fallen from 475.20 yen a share in December to a recent low of 178 yen. Ratings agencies have slashed Toshiba’s credit ratings and warn of an imminent default on the company’s bonds because there are likely more budget over-runs ahead at both facilities.

“The current financial strain on Westinghouse and Toshiba could lead to higher completion costs and further delays,” Fitch Rating Service reported.

And the Japanese government is in no mood to bail Toshiba out.

“Fiscal pressure rose last week as the Japanese government said it was not considering supporting Toshiba and the company missed, for the second time, a reporting deadline for its audited third quarter results,” the Fitch note added. “Its application to delay its results until April 11 was approved, but it remains at risk of being de-listed for failure to meet the requirements of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.”

Analysts at Standard & Poor’s were no less pessimistic.

“Absent unanticipated, significantly favorable changes in the issuer’s circumstances, we see a rising likelihood Toshiba will become unable to fulfill its financial obligations in a timely manner or will undertake a debt restructuring we classify as distressed in the next six months,” S&P wrote.

The Georgia and South Carolina plants were supposed to prove that nuclear power is viable in the United States. Westinghouse touts the AP1000 PWR reactor as the most advanced available based on licensed technology.

The nuclear energy industry is lobbying governments around the world to build more plants because they release no greenhouse gases and supply a steady supply of energy no matter the weather conditions. When it comes to operating costs, nuclear power is cheap.

The capital expenses, though, are huge. And if it weren’t for a regulated electricity market, there is no way these two nuclear power plants could compete with natural gas, wind and coal in a competitive electricity market like we have in Texas.

Reports emerged Tuesday that Toshiba is considering a prepackaged  bankruptcy with Westinghouse’s creditors. The $500 million deal would keep Westinghouse operating until the debt is restructured.

This follows on the heels of reports that Toshiba wants out of the nuclear business altogether.

There are over 60 nuclear reactors under construction around the world. In many places they will make economic sense, while in others, they are government vanity projects.

As attractive as it might seem, though, new nuclear power plants still haven’t shown that they’re economic in the United States, and the dire status of Toshiba and Westinghouse is proof.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

As Toshiba’s $500m nuclear bankruptcy looms, Brtitain’s Moorside project looks doubtful

Fears for Moorside as Toshiba ‘lining up’ $500m bankruptcy backstop for Westinghouse nuclear arm,Telegraph UK  21 MARCH 2017 Fears that Toshiba’s struggling nuclear business Westinghouse could be on the brink of going under have been reignited following reports that it is lining up a US bankruptcy protection finance package.

The company is reportedly reviewing proposals from financial institutions and investment firms for a so-called debtor-in-possession loan to keep the company afloat while it undertakes a bankruptcy process.

According to Reuters, people familiar with the matter have said the loan is likely to be over $500m to enable the heavily indebted company to pay employees and complete the work on four nuclear power plants in the US. The projects are the first nuclear reactors to be built in the US for thirty years, but heavy delays have saddled Toshiba with writedowns of 712.5bn yen (£5bn).

The sources warned that the talks are at an early stage and that no final decision has been made to wind down the company. A UK spokesman for the company was not immediately able to comment.

A potential bankruptcy procedure raises serious questions over the future of a key £10bn nuclear project which plans to use the AP1000 nuclear reactor designed by Westinghouse.

Toshiba is a 60pc shareholder in the NuGeneration consortium, which plans to develop the Moorside project alongside France’s Engie, formerly known as GDF Suez.An early exit from Toshiba could heavily delay the start up of the 3.2GW Moorside project while NuGen scrambles to find new investment and approve a new nuclear reactor design to use in the project……
The company said it will deliver its full year results on April 11, its third scheduled date after failing to disclose the full impact of its Westinghouse woes twice before. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/03/21/toshiba-lining-500m-bankruptcy-backstop-say-reports/

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

American electricity consumers in Eastern States stand to lose $3.9 Billion because of aid to nuclear industry

U.S. Consumers May Be $3.9 Billion ‘Losers’ From Nuclear Aid, Bloomberg by Jonathan Crawford  March 23, 2017, 

  • New York and Illinois have approved help for Exelon reactors
  • Operators seeking aid amid historically low power prices

Expanding state aid to money-losing nuclear reactors across the eastern U.S. may leave consumers on the hook for as much as $3.9 billion a year in higher power bills. Nuclear plant owners are seeking subsidies in Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey after Exelon Corp. won state aid for reactors in Illinois and New York last year. Should all 28,000 megawatts of nuclear power across northeast and mid-Atlantic states win subsidies at the same level as New York, ratepayers would face an annual $3.9 billion hike, according to a report by Bloomberg Intelligence Tuesday……

“The losers would be customers and rival plants,” Kit Konolige, a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence in New York, said by phone. “I think there’s a good chance it will pass in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.”…..

New York regulators in August approved subsidies totaling about $500 million a year for the R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants owned by Exelon, and the James A. FitzPatrick plant it is purchasing from Entergy Corp. Those payouts equal about $17 a megawatt-hour, according to Bloomberg Intelligence…..

Illinois approved annual payouts of about $235 million for 10 years to keep Exelon’s Quad Cities and Clinton reactors open. The prospect of expanding subsidies has caught the eye of federal energy regulators, who plan to explore the impact of payouts on competitive markets…..

After wins in New York and Illinois, Exelon is pushing for aid for its three Pennsylvania reactors and one New Jersey plant, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. FirstEnergy Corp. needs Ohio subsidies to keep its Davis-Besse and Perry reactors open.

“It’s fair to assume that every nuclear plant is going to explore a subsidy,” Konolige said. “They’re going to say if they got in it New York, maybe I can get it in New Jersey.”

The subsidies offered by New York and Illinois are being challenged in court by opponents. A court decision on the New York dispute could come in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-21/consumers-would-be-3-9-billion-losers-from-nuclear-subsidies

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nearly 70 locally elected officials in New York call to stop pro nuclear subsidies

Local leaders join opposition to New York nuclear plant aid http://www.recordonline.com/news/20170321/local-leaders-join-opposition-to-new-york-nuclear-plant-aid, TIMES HERALD,  Press ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nearly 70 locally elected officials in New York are calling on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to halt a tax subsidy program that would allow three aging nuclear power plants to remain open upstate.

Legislators, town supervisors and councilmembers from more than two dozen counties signed a letter Monday to Cuomo requesting the state pause the program set to begin April 1 and publicly reassess clean energy options. Cuomo has said keeping the plants open would provide reliable energy as New York transitions half its power to renewable sources by 2030.

Some environmental advocates who oppose the program estimate its cost at up to $7.6 billion over 12 years.

The Public Service Commission says the program will cost about $1 billion in the first two years but cannot predict additional costs.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, opposition to nuclear, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese companies exploit refugees for Fukushima radioactive clean-up work

Spotlight: Fury sparked in Japan as companies found duping foreign refugees into decontamination work in Fukushima 2017-03-17 TOKYO, March 17 (Xinhua)— “Such scams are a shame to Japan,” said a reporter from Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting Corp., referring to a recently-exposed scandal involving labor dispatch agencies duping foreign refugees into doing decontamination work in Fukushima.Various local media have exposed recently that some Japanese companies have swindled foreign refugees into doing decontamination work in Fukushima with empty promises that such work might help extend their visas to stay in Japan.

Fifty-year-old Hosein Moni and 42-year-old Hosein Deroaru from Bangladesh were both caught in such a scam, according to a recent report by the Chunichi Shimbun, one of the largest newspapers in Japan.

The two came to Japan in 2013 seeking to be recognized as political refugees. In Japan, foreigners are given temporary permission to stay for up to six months at one application before they are recognized as refugees and given status as residents.

According to government data, the number of refugees actually afforded recognition as refugees in Japan is disproportionately low among developed nations, while the numbers of those applying for refugee status has been rapidly increasing in recent years in Japan.

The government received some 5,000 such applications in 2014, but only 11 were granted refugee status, according to the data.

Moni and Deroaru were told by a so-called labor dispatch agency in Nagoya that they could do decontamination work in exchange for an extension of their visa.

The two, knowing little Japanese and trying to seize every opportunity they could, accepted the job and worked in Fukushima for three months in 2015.

But when they finished their work and went to the local immigration bureau to extend their stay, they were told by officers there that they knew nothing about such a policy.

They later found out that the construction company that had hired them had changed its company name, and its Fukushima branch had closed.

Half of the 20 workers that they had worked with in Fukushima were foreigners, many of whom had been applying for refugee status in Japan, the pair later recalled. Their work mainly involved clearing away contaminated soil with spades, and while they were at work might well have been affected by high levels of radiation. “The radiation detectors we brought with us kept sounding alarms, which was rather scary,” they were quoted as saying.

The incident, after been exposed by local media, also caused a splash on social network sites. Many Japanese netizens felt indignant that such scams were happening in their homeland…….

Most of the foreign workers could hardly speak Japanese. As anti-radiation brochures provided by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), were only available in Japanese or English, many of the workers could not understand it, Ishikawa was quoted as saying.

The foreign workers, to some extent, saved the contractors and TEPCO by pushing forward the decommissioning work of the nuclear plant, remarked the report…..http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/17/c_136137295.htm

March 20, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, employment, Fukushima continuing, Japan | 1 Comment

Massive economic costs of climate change

ECONOMIC COST OF #CLIMATECHANGE ARE ‘MASSIVE’, JPratt27, 17 Mar 17 Funding efforts to fight climate change is “a waste of your money,” the director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney said in a press conference today.

But Mulvaney is dangerously wrong: in fact, experts say that that the economic costs of climate change are so massive that delayed action, or inaction, is the most expensive policy option out there.
Mulvaney was defending President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, which cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent — making good on Trump’s threat to dismantle the agency.

“Regarding the question as to climate change, the president was fairly straightforward,” Mulvaney said.

“‘We’re not spending money on that anymore.’”
That’s a really bad idea, for a couple of reasons.

But first, let’s get this out of the way: there is overwhelming evidence that climate change is real, and caused by carbon emissions.

Scientifically, the debate’s over and this is our fault — no matter how much Scott Pruitt or Ryan Zinke try to duck responsibility on behalf of humankind.
Sitting out on global warming is a bad deal for America

Second, there are big chunks of the US economy that depend on the global temperature staying put — like the agriculture and fish industries, for example. …….as global temperatures climb, severe droughts, extreme rain and snowfall, flooding, and heatwaves have already started to increase — making it a lot harder to grow crops no matter how much they love guzzling down that CO2.

Unchecked climate change will hit farmers where it hurts
We’ve started seeing some of the consequences of climate change on agriculture already, according to a government report: high temperatures in 2011 cost meat producers more than $1 billion dollars in what the EPA called “heat-related losses.” …..

Nationwide, The Risky Business Project estimates that anywhere from $66 billion to $106 billion of coastal real estate is probably going to hard to enjoy without a snorkel by the year 2100.
This is bad for more than just Mar-a-Lago: massive coastal flooding could also have major ripple effects on the economy, according to a report by government-sponsored mortgage company Freddie Mac.

Coastal businesses could relocate or simply go under, taking jobs with them.

Lenders and mortgage insurers could also suffer huge losses because, the report says, “It is less likely that borrowers will continue to make mortgage payments if their homes are literally underwater.”

It gets worse: “Non-economic losses may be substantial as some communities disappear or unravel. Social unrest may increase in the affected areas.”
“It is less likely that borrowers will continue to make mortgage payments if their homes are literally underwater.”
Big picture, global warming could cause the global economy to plummet — leading to a 23 percent drop in gross domestic product per person by the year 2100, according to a 2015 study published in Nature.

“We’re basically throwing away money by not addressing the issue,” Marshall Burke, an assistant professor at Stanford University, told TIME.
Even bankers agree — and they’re not known for being tree-huggers……….

waiting to start fighting global warming — or sitting out the fight altogether — is a bad deal for America’s future. Given President Trump’s claims about his business acumen, he, of all people, should see that.

Press link for more: The Vergehttps://jpratt27.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/economic-cost-of-climatechange-are-massive-auspol-science/

March 17, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

UK plans for small nuclear reactors stalling. Bechtel pulls out.

Bechtel pulls out of mini-nuclear development, Construction News, 17 MARCH, 2017 Bechtel is to pull out of small modular reactor development, the US engineering giant has confirmed. The company said it would no longer be attempting to create its own SMR reactor after it was unable to find investment for its programme, or a utility company that would provide a site.

Bechtel’s SMR aspirations were as part of mPower, a joint venture with energy giant Babcock & Wilcox…..

Bechtel will take itself out of the government’s SMR reactor design competition.

In March 2016 the government launched its £250m SMR competition which set out to identify the preferred reactor technology to be rolled out across the UK over the next 15 years. The Bechtel team was listed as one of the 33 parties to have made it past the first round of the competition, including engineering firms such as Atkins and contractors such as Costain.

Alongside firms such as Westinghouse and NuScale Power, the mPower JV was one of the companies capable of developing the technology after its reactor design was recommended for “further government investigation” by the National Nuclear Laboratory in 2014.

The competition has stalled ever since, with sources telling Construction News that they have been largely left in the dark by the government over the next steps……

March 17, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, technology, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Moorside nuclear project in more doubt, with Toshiba’s crisis

Toshiba delay causes further Moorside uncertainty, ITV, 14 Mar 17,  Toshiba has delayed reporting its third quarter earnings for the second time, leading to further uncertainty over the future of a major nuclear development in Cumbria.

The Japanese company owns a 60 percent stake in NuGen, the company behind the proposed Moorside nuclear project in west Cumbria.

However, Toshiba is expected to announce huge losses for 2016, and that it will pull out of nuclear projects outside Japan.

This is to do with its US nuclear unit Westinghouse, which is reported to have overpaid for another nuclear company by billions of dollars.

Westinghouse would supply three nuclear reactors to the Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria. Toshiba first delayed announcing its third quarter financial results in February, after which the company’s chairman stepped down, and the further postponement was revealed this morning……..http://www.itv.com/news/border/2017-03-14/toshiba-delay-causes-further-moorside-uncertainty/

March 15, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Toshiba might have to pay the buyer, to take failed nuclear unit off its hands.

Toshiba pushes sale of nuclear unit Westinghouse as crisis deepens, Reuters,  By Makiko Yamazaki and Taiga Uranaka | TOKYO, 14 Mar 17 

Toshiba Corp (6502.T) is ‘actively considering’ a sale and other strategic options for U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse, the group said on Tuesday, as it expanded a probe into problems there that caused it to miss an earnings deadline for a second time.

The Japanese conglomerate said it believed it could find buyers for a majority stake in Westinghouse despite the potential for future losses as the unit had a stable fuel and services business.

But Chief Executive Satoshi Tsunakawa sidestepped questions about a potential Chapter 11 filing for Westinghouse, saying only there were various options. Sources have said bankruptcy lawyers have been hired as an exploratory step.

A sale would represent the latest in a series of drastic steps as Toshiba grapples with a multibillion dollar financial maelstrom stemming from Westinghouse’s ill-fated purchase of a U.S. nuclear power plant construction company in 2015.

It has already put up most or even all of its prized memory chip business for sale to cope with an upcoming $6.3 billion writedown for the nuclear business and to create a buffer for potential losses down the road.

Westinghouse has been plagued by huge cost overruns at two U.S. projects in Georgia and South Carolina and liabilities related to those projects mean it is unlikely to be an easy asset to sell, despite attractive technology.

Tsunakawa emphasized that the projects were only a small part of Westinghouse’s business.

“Around 80 percent of Westinghouse’s revenues come from stable businesses in services and fuel-related businesses so I think that will be taken into consideration too,” he told a news conference.

He added, however, that it was not yet clear yet whether Toshiba would be paid by the buyer or would have to pay the buyer to take Westinghouse off its hands.

Toshiba aims to have Westinghouse off its consolidated accounts by the end of the next financial year in March 2018, he said.

South Korea’s KEPCO is seen by industry executives as the only potential buyer, as it expands in nuclear after a successful deal in the United Arab Emirates……..http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshiba-accounting-idUSKBN16L02X

March 15, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Toshiba Corp will miss its second deadline to report third-quarter earnings,

Toshiba misses earnings deadline again, faces delisting risk, Straits Times, 14 Mar 17, TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Toshiba Corp will miss its second deadline to report third-quarter earnings, delivering another blow to investor confidence and moving a step closer to being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The company applied for an extension until April 11 with authorities, citing the need for more time to complete an auditor review of the results for the period ended Dec 31, it said in a statement on Tuesday (March 14). If the application is rejected, the company has an eight-day period until March 27 to submit earnings to the TSE or face delisting.

Toshiba shares fell as much as 5.1 per cent during morning trading…….

Even if Toshiba clears these hurdles, there is a longer-term threat to stakeholders. The nuclear business writedown has pushed Toshiba’s liabilities beyond its level of assets. If the company can’t reverse the situation by the end of the fiscal year in March, it could face demotion to the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In turn, that would force an automatic selloff by some index funds……..http://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/toshiba-asks-again-to-extend-deadline-for-q3-earnings-filing

March 15, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment