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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

EDF’s shares down as nuclear reactor outages cut profits

AREVA EDF crumblingEDF Warns on Profit as Nuclear Plant Outages Increase  http://www.wsj.com/articles/edf-warns-on-profit-as-nuclear-plant-outages-increase-1474535674
Standard & Poor’s downgrade of EDF’s debt rating also weighs on share price
  By  INTI LANDAURO and WILLIAM HOROBIN Sept. 22, 2016

PARIS—State-controlled power utility Electricite de France cut its earnings outlook on expectations of lower nuclear output from an increase of plant outages, sending its share price down.

EDF, which last week got the go-ahead from the British government to build the £18 billion ($23.4 billion) Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the U.K., said it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between €16.3 billion ($18.3 billion) and €16.6 billion.

It previously had forecast a range of €16.3 billion to €16.8 billion. The company had already lowered its nuclear output forecast in July, but had maintained its earnings target.

 EDF’s shares downThe French power company said it was forced to close down its nuclear reactor for longer period that planned to carry out inspections after the country’s nuclear safety authority requested to conduct tests on the quality of the steel in the reactors’ vessels.

The profit warning, which sent EDF’s shares down 1.8% to €10.62, is another blow for shareholders, who have seen the value of the company lose more than 20% this year. The utility, which already suffers from low electricity prices in its home country and losses of market share, has recently embarked on expensive new projects that are deemed a political priority.

The French government, which owns about 85% of EDF, pressured the company to take a majority stake in beleaguered nuclear reactor manufacturer Areva NP. The government also pushed EDF to make the final investment decision to build the Hinkley Project in the U.K.

Some senior EDF officials and labor unions worried about the project’s impact on the company’s net debt which already stood at €37 billion last year. One board member resigned over the issue in July as did Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal in March.

The U.K. government’s approval of the Hinkley Point project prompted Standard & Poor’s to downgrade EDF’s debt rating to A- on Wednesday evening, further pressuring the share price on Thursday morning.

To help utility with such onerous projects, the French government has decided to inject €3 billion in new equity in EDF.

EDF’s revised profitability forecast takes into account a decision by the country’s top administrative court to allow the company to raise the regulated prices it charges to some of its customers, despite the opposition from the government.

Write to Inti Landauro at inti.landauro@wsj.com and William Horobin at William.Horobin@wsj.com

September 24, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Eskom makes unreliable prediction of its future cash reserves

Eskom’s R150 billion cash-reserves claim is wishful thinking – Natahsa Mazzone  http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politics/eskoms-r150-billion-cashreserves-claim-is-wishful- Natasha Mazzone |  23 September 2016  

DA says power utility’s profit of R4,6 billion a far cry from the R15 billion need a year to make up amount. The claim by Head of Generation for Eskom, Mr Matshela Koko, that Eskom could pay for the nuclear build programme by using cash-reserves, which he indicated could be R150 billion in 10 years’ time, is wishful thinking.

Eskom recorded a R4.6 billion profit in the 2015/16 financial year, a far cry from the R15 billion in profits it would need to generate consistently for the next 10 years to make up R150 billion.

Considering that by Eskom’s admission electricity demand is down, coupled with economic growth projected at a mere 0.6%, this raises serious questions about the assumptions underlying their projections.

I will therefore be submitting parliamentary questions to Eskom to find out how they intend to generate these massive cash reserves.

The validity of their projections notwithstanding, spending any cash reserves on a nuclear build program would be financially irresponsible. Eskom currently owes its creditors R322 billion underwritten by R350 billion in government guarantees. The entity should rather use excess cash reserves to decrease these liabilities.

Moreover, the fact that Eskom believe they can generate these massive profits whilst pushing for well-above inflation tariff increases on electricity, should be a slap in the face of the majority of poor citizens in our country. Energy and electricity costs are eating into their limited budget and now with these tariff increases, their pockets will be hurting even more.

The big question is why Eskom needs to be building nuclear in the first place when future electricity shortages would be better addressed by cheaper and more sustainable renewable and gas projects. With advancements in storage and battery technologies, these would be the better alternative by 2035.

The Minister is the only person with the prerogative to choose nuclear over any other form of energy, in this vein Mr Koko is overstepping his fiduciary duties to even suggest that Eskom would be investing in Nuclear.

In the context of its massive debt, and repeated requests for above inflation tariff increases, it is irrational to utilise any cash reserves in pursuit of the much maligned nuclear “wonder” programme and once again calls the motivation for the nuke deal into question.

Issued by Natasha Mazzone, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, 23 September 2016

September 24, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, South Africa, spinbuster | Leave a comment

China wants its nuclear industry to grow dauntingly fast

 The Economist Sep 24th 2016 LIANYUNGANG   UPON learning (via a terse government statement) that their bustling port city in eastern China had been tipped as the likely site of a plant to recycle used nuclear fuel, residents of Lianyungang took to the streets last month in their thousands. Police, whose warnings against demonstrations were ignored, deployed with riot gear in large numbers but only scuffled with the protesters, who rallied, chanted and waved banners in the city centre for several days. “No one consulted us about this,” says one woman who participated in the protests. “We love our city. We have very little pollution and we don’t want a nuclear-fuel plant anywhere near us. The government says it is totally safe, but how can they be sure? How can we believe them?” she asks.Such scepticism is shared by many in Lianyungang, which already hosts a nuclear-power plant , and elsewhere in China, where the government plans to expand nuclear power massively.  ……

September 24, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, China, politics | Leave a comment

Another secret and dangerous trade deal – the Trade In Services Agreement

secret-dealsThe new TTIP? Meet TISA, the ‘secret privatisation pact that poses a threat to democracy’ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ttip-trade-deal-new-what-is-tisa-privatisation-pact-secret-threat-to-democracy-a7216296.html

Government insists ‘public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal’

  • Ian Johnston
  • Wednesday 31 August 2016An international trade deal being negotiated in secret is a “turbo-charged privatisation pact” that poses a threat to democratic sovereignty and “the very concept of public services”, campaigners have warned.But this is not TTIP – the international agreement it appears campaigners in the European Union have managed to scupper over similar concerns – this is TISA, a deal backed by some of the world’s biggest corporations, such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Walt Disney, Walmart, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.

    Few people may have heard of the Trade In Services Agreement, but campaign group Global Justice Now warns in a new report: “Defeating TTIP may amount to a pyrrhic victory if we allow TISA to pass without challenge.”

    Like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TISA is being negotiated in secret, even though it could have a major impact on countries which sign up.

  • While TTIP is only between the EU and US, those behind TISA have global ambitions as it involves most of the world’s major economies – with the notable exceptions of China and Russia – in a group they call the “Really Good Friends of Services”.

    The Department for International Trade dismissed the idea that public services were at risk from TISA, adding that the UK was committed to securing an “ambitious” deal.

    But according to Global Justice Now’s report, the deal could “lock in privatisation of public services”; allow “casino capitalism” by undermining financial regulations designed to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 recession; threaten online privacy; damage efforts to fight climate change; and prevent developing countries from improving public services.

  • Nick Dearden, director of group, said: “This deal is a threat to the very concept of public services. It is a turbo-charged privatisation pact, based on the idea that rather than serving the public interest, governments must step out of the way and allow corporations to ‘get on with it’.

    “Of particular concern, we fear TISA will include clauses that will prevent governments taking public control of strategic services, and inhibit regulation of the very banks that created the financial crash.”

    He suggested pro-Brexit voters should be concerned at the potential loss of sovereignty.

    “Many people were persuaded to leave the EU on the grounds they would be ‘taking back control’ of our economic policy,” Mr Dearden said.

    “But if we sign up to TISA, our ability to control our economy – to regulate, to protect public services, to fight climate change – is massively reduced. In effect, we would be handing large swathes of policy-making to big business. “

  • The report says the widespread opposition to TTIP, a deal between only the EU and US, had not yet been repeated over TISA.

    “It is vital for elected representatives, campaigners and ordinary citizens to unite against this threat,” it adds.

    “TISA threatens public services. From postal services to the NHS, TISA could lock in privatisation and ensure that big multinationals increasingly call the shots on areas like health, education and basic utilities.”

    A so-called “ratchet” clause in the deal means that after a service – like trains or water or energy – is privatised, this is almost impossible to reverse even if it fails.

  • According to the report, a “standstill” clause also means “no new regulation can be passed that gives foreign companies worse treatment” than when TISA is passed.

    “Taken together, the standstill and ratchet clauses could make it much harder for a future government to renationalise the railways, a move backed by a majority of the British public,” it says.

    “Similarly, it could mean that the creeping privatisation of the NHS becomes more and more irreversible with greater involvement of companies from countries like the US. And forget taking control of the electricity system back from the big six energy firms.”

  • Migrant workers could be classified as “independent service suppliers”, the report says, meaning they would not be eligible for the minimum wage or be allowed to join a union.

    People going to another country may find their visa is tied to their job, so if they were sacked, they would be deported.

    “This sort of system of modern indentured labour is wide open to abuse by unscrupulous employers who may get away with illegal practices safe in the knowledge that they can threaten any employee with deportation if they complain,” the report says.

    “This sort of system is used in countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar and has resulted in working conditions that have been described as being close to slavery.”

    The global economic crash of 2008 was precipitated by the sale of complex financial products linked to unsafe “sub-prime” mortgages. The report says there is a danger the final TISA deal would “undermine efforts to regulate risky financial products” with a proposal that firms should be allowed to offer “any new financial service”.

  • “The danger is that TISA will deter governments from limiting the use of such ‘innovative’ financial products and leave us powerless to stop the next financial crisis,” it says.

    TISA could also potentially prevent governments from favouring renewable energy over fossil fuels – despite the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the health effects of air pollution.

    Private firms would also be allowed to move online data from one country to another under one proposal being considered. While the original country’s privacy laws would have to be respected, the report said it was “not clear how this will be … enforced”.

    While developed countries in Europe have established public services that would not be threatened unless a state’s government decided to open them up to private firms, the same is not true of many developing countries. If they signed up to the deal, it could effectively prevent them from setting up public institutions taken for granted in the West.

  • The TISA negotiations were held behind closed doors for about 18 months until they were publicly revealed by the global trade union group Public Services International (PSI). Information about some of the proposals has been also disclosed through Wikileaks and similar sites.

    Daniel Bertossa, PSI’s director of policy, said: “Anybody who’s interested in maintaining democratic control of national institutions should be very concerned about the Trade in Services Agreement that is being negotiated in secret.

    “It will remove large sections of national sovereignty and the ability of any government, including the UK Government, to regulate important service sectors [on issues] such as energy, such as transport, such as privacy. The Trade in Services Agreement is part of a radical project to limit governments’ sovereign right to regulate and freeze it almost in permanence in the interests of foreign corporations.”

    According to the European Commission, TISA is about “facilitating trade in services”.

    “The EU is the world’s largest exporter of services with tens of millions of jobs throughout Europe in the services sector. Opening up markets for services will mean more growth and jobs,” its website says.

  • The Independent has contacted “Team TISA”, a group of mainly American companies in favour of the deal, asking for a comment. On its website, it says: “Services are the fastest growing sector of the global economy and account for two thirds of global output, one third of global employment and nearly 20 per cent of global trade.

    “The TISA provides an opportunity to expand services trade among over 50 countries, covering nearly 70 per cent of global trade in services.

    “The potential expansion TISA provides will benefit not only global growth, but also US domestic growth.

    “As the world’s largest services exporter, with over $1.3 trillion (about £1 trillion) in annual cross-border and foreign-affiliate sales, the US will benefit tremendously from elimination of services barriers.”

    A Department for International Trade spokesperson said: “Public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal or any other trade agreement. The UK remains committed to an ambitious Trade in Services Agreement.”

September 23, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, EUROPE, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Canada’s SNC Lavalin marketing nuclear reactors to China

nuclear-marketing-crapSNC-Lavalin to build Candu nuclear reactor for China, BERTRAND MAROTTE, MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail, Sep. 22, 2016 SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is closing in on its goal of becoming a major player in China’s thriving nuclear-energy industry with an agreement for the development in that country of the next generation of Candu reactors.

The Montreal-based global engineering giant said on Thursday it has an agreement in principle for a joint venture with state-owned atomic-power and weapons company China National Nuclear Corp. and manufacturing conglomerate Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd. to design, market and build the Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR).

SNC signed an initial memorandum of understanding with CNNC to pursue power generation, mining and nuclear-related environmental projects around the world more than two years ago.

 The joint venture to be created – the new company is expected to be registered in China by mid-2017 – is the first between a foreign company and the Chinese nuclear giant involving the development of new technology…….

SNC bought the Candu unit from Ottawa for $15-million in 2011. But Candu has had a poor track record of selling its technology abroad and questions have also been raised over its cost-effectiveness.

China, however, appears to have endorsed the concept of building reactors that run on recycled uranium…….

The proposed joint venture follows the signing of a framework agreement in 2014 and is subject to government and regulatory approvals, SNC said. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/snc-lavalin-strikes-deal-to-build-nuclear-reactors-in-china/article32000350/

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Canada, China, marketing | Leave a comment

USA could lend $billions to India – anything to sell nuclear reactors!

Toshiba WestinghouseIndia Could Get Billions from the U.S. To Build a Nuclear Reactor, Fortune, by Reuters SEPTEMBER 22, 2016   If a lending freeze doesn’t get in the way.

India is negotiating with U.S. Export-Import Bank for an $8-9 billion loan to finance six Westinghouse Electric nuclear reactors, two sources familiar with the talks said, although a lending freeze at the trade agency threatens progress.

The mega-project, the result of warming U.S.-India ties in recent years, could open up billions of dollars of further investment in India’s nuclear power sector, ……..

The Westinghouse deal, however, is contingent on financing and Ex-Im cannot approve loans of more than $10 million, owing to a row in the U.S. Congress over board appointments stemming from a campaign by conservatives to close the government lender……..

“Financing of the reactors is the critical piece; everything is down to this,” said one source involved in protracted negotiations to build the reactors in the south-eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The source, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said Indian negotiators and Ex-Im officials were trying to set the terms of the financial package in the hope that the freeze on the bank, affecting potential sales of several major U.S. companies, would lift soon.

Westinghouse is owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp but is based in the United States……..

In addition to U.S. Ex-Im, India is also seeking funding from Japan and South Korea for the reactors to be built in Kovvada, two sources familiar with the talks said……..

While negotiators are unlikely to nail down a contract under Obama, who steps down in January, their challenge will be to come up with concessional financing terms that will make Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactors affordable.

Westinghouse did not respond to a request for comment, while a U.S. Ex-Im Bank spokeswoman declined to comment. An NPCIL official said the firm had nothing to say at this stage…….

ndia is also in talks with Russia to build four more reactors on top of the two already completed in Kudankulam in southern Tamil Nadu state, as well as with France’s EDF for the construction of six reactors of 1650 MW each in western India, which would be the world’s biggest nuclear power complex.

But talks with Westinghouse are more advanced than those with the French, with the two sides aiming to sign an early works agreement next month, sources familiar with their progress said.

A delegation from the U.S.-based firm visited New Delhi earlier this month to finalize the pact that would include the timeline and up-front costs such as land acquisition and site preparation, said a source familiar with the matter. http://fortune.com/2016/09/22/india-nuclear-power/

September 23, 2016 Posted by | India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Russia warns: if Hinkley nuclear project fails it will discredit the entire global nuclear industry

scrutiny-on-costsIllustration of Hinkley Point C nuclear station. Image: EDF Energy/PARussia issues Hinkley nuclear warning, climate news,network  September 19, 2016, by Terry Macalister  State-owned Russian nuclear corporation says the industry’s credibility is at risk if building the new UK power plant is delayed or runs over budget.

LONDON, 19 September, 2016 – A major nuclear developer has warned the French energy giant EDF that it must deliver the Hinkley Point project in the UK on time and on budget or risk damaging the credibility of the wider industry.

In an exclusive interview with Climate News Network, Kirill Komarov, first deputy chief executive of Russian state-owned corporation Rosatom, expressed fears that problems at other EDF schemes − such as Flamanville in France andOlkiluoto in Finland − could be repeated.

Rosatom believes the decision by the UK prime minister, Theresa May, to give the go-ahead to the first new nuclear reactors in Britain for over 20 years was a major step forward, but knows that the eyes of the world will now be on a good performance at the Hinkley power plant in southwest England.

Komarov said: “It’s a good signal that the government confirmed its commitment to nuclear. At the same time, record-high cost and the risks of possible delays and cost overruns might undermine the reputation of the sector.”

The Russian group, which is constructing nuclear reactors in China, India and the Middle East, believes its own prices are up to 30% lower than EDF’s…………

Rosatom believes the UK should be wary of the potential delays attached to the new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) designs that are being trialled at Olkiluoto, Flamanville and soon at Hinkley.

The company also reckons that the 1600 megawatt capacities of EPRs may be too large for the needs of the modern world. It believes its own VVER-designed 1000-1200 MW reactors are more suitable, especially in developed countries where power demand is unlikely to grow too much, because of energy efficiency and demand reduction policies.

Rosatom is clearly keen to sell its reactors in the UK, which has relatively tight regulations and is seen by EDF and others as a good shop window for the world http://climatenewsnetwork.net/russia-issues-hinkley-nuclear-warning/

September 22, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Nuclear dangers: the 15 costliest nuclear disasters


safety-symbol-SmThe 15 costliest nuclear disasters and the nuclear risks of the future,
Treehugger, Christine Lepisto (@greenanswer)  September 20, 2016 The names Chernobyl and Fukushima connote nuclear disaster. But do you remember Three Mile Island? Have you ever heard of Beloyarsk, Jaslovske, or Pickering? These names appear among the 15 most expensive nuclear disasters.

  1. Chernobyl, Ukraine (1986): $259 billion
  2. Fukushima, Japan (2011): $166 billion
  3. Tsuruga, Japan (1995): $15.5 billion
  4. Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, USA (1979): $11 billion
  5. Beloyarsk, USSR (1977): $3.5 billion
  6. Sellafield, UK (1969): $2.5 billion
  7. Athens, Alabama, USA (1985): $2.1 billion
  8. Jaslovske Bohunice, Czechoslovakia (1977): $2 billion
  9. Sellafield, UK (1968): $1.9 billion
  10. Sellafield, UK (1971): $1.3 billion
  11. Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (1986): $1.2 billion
  12. Chapelcross, UK (1967): $1.1 billion
  13. Chernobyl, Ukraine (1982): $1.1 billion
  14. Pickering, Canada (1983): $1 billion
  15. Sellafield, UK (1973): $1 billion

A new study of 216 nuclear energy accidents and incidents crunches twice as much data as the previously best review, predicting that

“The next nuclear accident may be much sooner or more severe than the public realizes.”

The study points to two significant issues in the current assessment of nuclear safety. First, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves the dual masters of overseeing the industry and promoting nuclear energy. Second, the primary tool used to assess the risk of nuclear incidents suffers from blind spots.

The conflict of interest in the first issue is clear. The second issue may not be transparent to the layperson until they understand more fully how industry conducts the probabilistic safety assessments (PSAs) which are the source of the standard predictions of the risk of nuclear accidents. …….http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/15-costliest-nuclear-disasters-and-nuclear-risks-future.html

September 22, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, incidents, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

Finland ready to grasp a nuclear marketing opportunity in South Australia

nuclear-marketing-crapflag-FinlandFinland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia, The Advertiser Daniel Wills, Helsinki, Finland, The Advertiser September 21, 2016 OPERATORS of the world’s most advanced nuclear disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia and form an alliance to help the state develop its own commercial facility to take waste from around the world.

At a briefing with Premier Jay Weatherill at Finland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility, Posiva Solutions Oy managing director Mika Pohjonen said his company would be willing to licence intellectual property and engineering solutions to SA if it were to proceed with expanding the local nuclear industry.

Posiva is a joint venture owned by two of Finland’s biggest energy companies — Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and Fortum Power and Heat. It is set to become the first organisation in the world to bury a canister of spent nuclear fuel when they begin inserting them into the bedrock from 2020. Mr Pohjonen said SA could hope to move from site selection to burying canisters within about 15 years, less than half the time taken by Finland, because the Scandinavians had already undertaken the slow work of proving the technology………

The Onkalo disposal site is about 10 times smaller than that conceived by SA’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.……

Mr Weatherill will by the end of the year declare a formal State Government position to Parliament on expansion of the industry………

“The next major step is a threshold question about whether we maintain our prohibition against a facility for spent fuel or whether we take a step to explore it further.”-  Mr Weatherill said ….

weatherill-nuclear-dream

….http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/finlands-onkalo-nuclear-waste-disposal-facility-want-to-export-the-technology-to-south-australia/news-story/5b26cc6e0bf9f342bac97fa5ba81c444

September 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Finland, marketing | Leave a comment

European Court of Auditors see nuclear decommissioning funds shortfall

nuke-reactor-deadEU auditor sees nuclear decommissioning funds shortfall, Reuters,  By Alissa de Carbonnel, 20 Sept 16,  | BRUSSELS European Union plans for financing the decommissioning of nuclear plants in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia are inadequate and more resources need to be put aside, the European Court of Auditors said in a report.

The report criticizing costly delays and warning of technical hurdles ahead shines a spotlight on the challenges facing Germany and other nations within the bloc that are planning to retire their nuclear reactors.

The EU’s spending watchdog said the estimated cost of decommissioning the three Soviet-era plants closed more than a decade ago had risen 40 percent since 2010 to at least 5.7 billion euros ($6.4 billion) by 2015. That figure doubles if the cost of disposing spent fuel once and for all is included.

The EU auditors said while the bloc’s budget covered the vast majority of the costs of shutting down the reactors in the three member states, significant funding was still needed to take the plants offline completely.

They said the reactor buildings at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy, Lithuania’s Ignalina and Slovakia’s Bohunice had yet to be dismantled and no solution had been found for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel……..

The only repository for spent fuel being dug deep underground in Europe has been under construction in Finland for nearly 40 years and won’t be ready until after 2020…….

A working paper by the European Commission, seen by Reuters in February, showed the bloc was short of more than 118 billion euros needed to dismantle its nuclear plants. ($1 = 0.8945 euros)(Editing by David Clarke) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-nuclearpower-idUSKCN11Q12A

September 22, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

China’s nuclear marketing plan gets a big boost from Theresa May’s decision to go ahead on Hinkley project

Buy-China-nukes-1British Project May Clear Way for China’s Nuclear Exports to the West VOA, Saibal Dasgupta, 20 Sept 16  BEIJING — 

There’s a whole lot more in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to allow a Chinese company to invest in the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant than mere business.

Chinese investment is limited to investing funds in the $24 billion project, which will use two French reactors supplied by Electricity de France. But the project could clear the way for Chinese involvement in a more crucial project at Bradwell, east England, which would allow China to export its nuclear technology to the Western world, analysts say.

China General Nuclear Corporation, the investor in Hinkley Point, already has signed a pre-feasibility agreement for the Bradwell project……..

Only a few developing countries like Pakistan are using Chinese reactors. These countries are not known to have the kind of strict regulatory control seen in the West.

The Bradwell B project could be a game changer. Getting regulatory approval in Britain for its reactors is crucial for China because it can open the doors for Chinese nuclear exports to the West……..

But there’s many a slip between May’s lip and China’s cup of hope. Britain already is in the midst of fierce debate with critics voicing concern about security issues. Critics question a provision in the contract that provides for a fixed electricity rate for 35 years at a time when energy prices are falling, and are expected to be much lower in the future……..

For Beijing, British approval for the Hinkley Point project is a major image booster, analysts say. Chinese business is seen in the West as an acquirer of property and trader of low-tech, unbranded goods, they point out…….http://www.voanews.com/a/british-project-china-nuclear-exports-west/3517485.html

September 21, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing, UK | Leave a comment

Wisconsin nuclear plant: licensee wants license to be terminated

Decommissioning Debate Continues At Former Nuclear Power Plant Near La Crosse
New License-Holder Wants Some Land Released From License Requirements 
Wisconsin Public Radio,  September 20, 2016, By Chuck Quirmbach. The next step in decommissioning the former nuclear power plant in Genoa, Wisconsin, will be the subject of a public meeting Tuesday night.

The session will focus on the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor, which was shut down in 1987.

La Crosse Solutions, the decommissioning firm that took over the license from Dairyland Power Cooperative this year, is seeking federal approval of its plan to officially close the books on the nuclear facility. Known as a license termination plan, it includes radiological information, decommissioning steps that need to be taken and plans for future radiation surveys of the site……..http://www.wpr.org/decommissioning-debate-continues-former-nuclear-power-plant-near-la-crosse

September 21, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Practically permanent plunge for the uranium market

cliff-money-nuclearWhy Uranium Investments Will Remain Radioactive No commodity faces the unique pressure that uranium and nuclear fuel do and there is little prospect of a near-term recovery WSJ  By  SPENCER JAKAB Sept. 18, 2016

There is too much of nearly every commodity in the world today. Then there is uranium.

The outlook for the element that powers nuclear reactors may be worse than for any other, and there is almost no prospect for improvement soon. Unlike other commodities, low prices won’t stimulate demand.

There are several reasons for the weakness, some obvious, others surprising. The result has been the price of triuranium octoxide, which surged 1,400% in the five years through June 2007 to $136 a pound, is now about $25. And the price of fuel processing has dropped by nearly two-thirds since 2010.

The obvious reasons are the shutdown of nuclear power plants after the 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan. Plants also shut down in Germany, Sweden, and elsewhere, while Belgium and Taiwan may be next. Even China, the leading growth market for nukes, enacted a delay in plant approvals. Meanwhile, the fracking revolution made some planned and existing U.S. plants uneconomical……..

The end of a U.S.-Russia deal to convert old Soviet warheads in 2013 took the equivalent of 20 million tons of triuranium octoxide ore, or 10% of annual supply off the market. That should have been good news for prices. But in anticipation of the end of the deal, processors that turn their ore into fuel built arrays of expensive centrifuges.

Once built, these centrifuges must be run constantly. This has encouraged processors to engage in “underfeeding”—using less ore but enriching it more intensely to create extra fuel. It is the equivalent of mining about 15 million pounds a year of extra ore saysJonathan Hinze, executive vice president at Ux Consulting. U.S. stockpiles of all types of ore and fuel combined have risen by a third in four years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Miners are partially cushioned by fixed long-term contracts with many customers. Canadian miner Cameco reported a cash cost of mining of over $27 a pound in the first half of 2016 but expects to realize an average price above $40 this year. Its capacity isn’t all needed, but shutting down uranium mines is expensive and difficult to reverse…….

Cameco, which has seen its share price drop by 84% since its 2007 peak, is one of the few pieces of the supply chain reacting to the dismal outlook. The miner shut down its Rabbit Lake mine, the longest-operating uranium mine in North America, this summer.

But such painful cuts alone won’t bring the market into balance for what feels to investors like a lifetime—or at least a half-life.http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-uranium-investments-will-remain-radioactive-1474225882

September 19, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Gloom pervades The World Nuclear Association (WNA) Symposium 2016

radiation-sign-sadIn the news: The Nuclear Industry, Proactive Investors 16 Sep 2016 FROM THE BROKING DESK The World Nuclear Association (WNA) Symposium 2016 was held in London this week. Naturally, I took the opportunity to hop on the bus to the Park Plaza Hotel in Waterloo to gauge the mood. It was pretty sombre……….

Sadly, for the last five years this inflection point has always been ‘next year’. Utilities have not bought into the long-term contract market and will need to catch up quickly to rebuild their stockpiles. Large chunks of marginal production from majors such as Cameco have been shut down over the last two years, and the talk is that Cameco could cut supply further by closing its US operations. Kazakh production is surely peaking, potential new supply from Africa is not high enough grade and the possible new supply from the Athabasca Basin is too far off. The list of reasons why the uranium price will turn ‘next year’ goes on, and all of them make sense. But it hasn’t, has it?

burial.uranium-industryUranium executives radiate sunny optimism at the start of each year when pitching their new project. This then disappears by the summer after it becomes clear that it’s not in fact next year, but the year after that. This time even that optimism has gone. All the executives I spoke to looked about as miserable as England football fans in the second week of a major tournament. …..

Let’s just have a quick look at the Hinkley C announcement. …..the decision to go ahead is probably a mistake, but not one the new prime minister could get out of without starting a war with France and China. The problems with Hinkley C are multiple. Yes, it is probably too expensive, yes, we should be looking at new technologies that create decentralised power generation, yes, the Chinese are probably spying on us and could turn the lights off at any time, and, yes, it just props up an ailing French nuclear industry and stops EDF from going bankrupt. Also, the, ahem, elephant in the room is that there is no actual evidence that European Pressurised Reactors even work. Bonne chance. http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/columns/the-rfc-ambrian-metals-mining-and-oil-gas-overview/26047/in-the-news-the-nuclear-industry-26047.html

September 17, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

South Africa’s economy will be destroyed by this unnecessary nuclear power build

Watch: How South Africa’s nuclear plans will destroy the economy http://businesstech.co.za/news/energy/136935/watch-how-south-africas-nuclear-plans-will-destroy-the-economy/ By  September 16, 2016 

The video shows how South Africa’s nuclear plans came to be – from being secretly signed off on in 2013, to being pushed forward by under-handed deals with Russia – including who stands to benefit most from the plans.

According to Outa, it is estimated that South Africa will have to borrow as much as R1.2 trillion to fund the plans, which would cripple the economy with R100 billion a year repayments needed.

The debt would be added to the over R1.89 trillion in debt the country already has, pushing the total to R3 trillion – a ‘nuclear bombing’ of the economy.

Outa argued further, saying that the nuclear build is unnecessary (echoing sentiments from energy expert Chris Yelland), with various renewable energy projects set to contribute more than enough power to the grid to meet needs over the next 15 years.


South Africa’s ‘s Nuclear Bomb – Why Government’s #Nuclear Deal Will Destroy SA

 

 

September 17, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, South Africa | Leave a comment