The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) see Revenue Asset Base (RAB) financial model as a danger to UK’s public purse

NFLA 16th Sept 2019, The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today its response to
the UK Government consultation on the Revenue Asset Base (RAB) financial
model being proposed to assist the funding of new nuclear reactors.

NFLA see this new model as a real risk to the public purse, providing
preferential treatment to new nuclear over renewable energy investment, is
overly complicated to implement at a time when the ‘climate emergency’
calls for more straightforward and realisable schemes like energy
efficiency and decentralised energy solutions instead.


September 19, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby’s keen propaganda campaign in Indonesia

Nuclear tourism experience in Bandung to be launched in October, THE JAKARTA POST, Jakarta  /  Wed, September 18, 2019  

The National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) is set to launch a nuclear tourism experience on Oct. 30, aiming to introduce nuclear technology to the public.

“We will have an open house to present the results of our research and development team from 2015 to 2019,” said Jupiter Sitorus Pane, head of the Science and Applied Nuclear Technology Center of Batan in Bandung on Wednesday to Antara news agency.

Jupiter said travelers can visit a number of places related to Batan in Bandung, such as reactors, isotopes production lab, the reactor conversion lab and Applied Nuclear Technology Center.

“Our target market is students and those interested in nuclear sciences. As this is a nuclear facility and considered a vital object, visitors must be at least 18 years old,” he said, adding that the tour will be free of charge.

September 19, 2019 Posted by | Indonesia, marketing | Leave a comment

Russia trying to market nuclear power to Uganda (or to anybody, really)

Uganda says Russia to help it develop nuclear energy, KAMPALA (Reuters) 18 Sept 19, – Uganda said on Wednesday it had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia to help the East African country build capacity to exploit nuclear technology for energy, medical and other peaceful purposes.The government of President Yoweri Museveni has previously said it is eager to use the country’s uranium deposits to boost energy production capacity.

In May last year Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to help Uganda build capacity in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

In an emailed statement, Uganda’s energy ministry said the IGA with Russia was signed in Vienna on Tuesday between Energy Minister Irene Muloni and Nikolai Spasskiy, the deputy director general of Russian state corporation ROSATOM……….

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala; Editing by Matthew Lewis


September 19, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Unacceptable risk to consumers: “regulated asset base” system to fund UK’s new nuclear reactors

How can we pay for new nuclear power stations?, Funding methods that work in the water industry cannot be applied to the sector,

We are coming to a crucial moment of decision on the future of nuclear power in the UK, with implications for the industry across Europe and beyond. The basic issue is whether nuclear power can be provided at a cost that does not damage industrial competitiveness or impose an unacceptable burden on consumers. Without a positive answer to that question, nuclear will not be able to play a role in the transition to a lower-carbon economy.

Despite a long standing commitment to build 16GW of new nuclear capacity, only one new plant is under construction — Hinkley Point C in Somerset — which will, when eventually brought on stream, impose a long-term burden on UK consumers. The price agreed in 2013 — £92.50 per MW hour — looked extremely expensive then, but the real burden will come from the agreed index-linking of the price for 35 years. That already gives a price of over £100, a number way above those for competing sources of power such as wind, solar and natural gas.
The latest attempt to reduce this headline price slipped out in a consultation paper from the department for business, energy and industrial strategy in the dying hours of former UK prime minister Theresa May’s administration. The suggestion is that future nuclear power projects should be funded through the “regulated asset base” system. Put simply, the Rab would fund new projects from the moment construction begins through a levy on consumers. This would reduce the borrowing costs for the companies building the projects and thus in turn bring down the level of future bills. £92.50 might come down to £80.

This method of funding is a serious option for long-term projects with high upfront capital costs and has been used effectively in the water industry and elsewhere. As a mechanism for funding new nuclear, however, it is far from convincing. Water projects, such as reservoirs and pipeline systems, require large-scale capital investment. But the technology is proven and the construction risks are low. In new nuclear, however, the construction risks are high and to place them on the shoulders of consumers is unfair.

Of course, the dream of any company is to pass the burden of risk in any project to someone else while collecting a guaranteed stream of income once the project is up and running. In this case, however, the unfairness of such an outcome makes the model unsustainable. Consumers cannot be encouraged by the example of one of the few new nuclear stations being built in Europe — Flamanville on the northern coast of France.

Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.

Flamanville began construction in 2007 and was due to come on stream in 2012. When I was working in government a decade ago, I was told that Flamanville would set the example for all new nuclear stations to be built in the UK. Today, Flamanville is still under construction. Earlier this year further faults were found by the French regulator and the commissioning of the station has been put back. The operator EDF has so far been unable to name the date when it will come on stream but has talked of a further delay of perhaps another three years. The cost of the plant was originally set at €3.3bn. Now the estimate is €10.9bn.

Under the Rab funding system, consumers would have been paying a surcharge on their bills since 2007 with nothing to show for it. They would have no leverage over the company building the plant and no scope for compensation. They would also of course have to pay in addition the cost of buying the power they need from someone else. Such an allocation of risk is unfair and unacceptable, and it is hard to think that ministers in a UK government, highly attuned to public opinion when it comes to energy prices, will impose such a system.

What are the implications of this? If the private sector will not fund new nuclear, and if no fair system of allocating costs and risks can be found, the 16GW of capacity required under current energy policies will not be built. That will be true not just in the UK but across most of Europe and perhaps even France, a country committed to nuclear power in the past and where a decision on new nuclear facilities is due to be taken in the early 2020s. Over time, nuclear power will become a source of power only in countries, such as China, where the state can provide full funding for new developments, as well as subsidies to conceal the costs to business and other consumers.
Nuclear’s future in Europe, Japan and the US is limited by these unanswered challenges. Of course there are alternatives. Wind and solar are becoming cheaper, and there is huge scope for energy efficiency. But until large grid-level storage capacity is available, economically viable renewables will always need some back-up — which means gas or, in many countries, coal. If Rab pricing systems are not the answer, is there another way through this dilemma? Next week, I will look at one possible option. The writer is an energy commentator for the FT and chair of The Policy Institute at King’s College London

September 10, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Excessive costs of nuclear power for Bangladesh!

Rooppur plant’s cost higher as it is a new experience for Bangladesh , Daily Star. 8 Sep 19, Science and Technology Affairs Minister Yeafesh Osman tells JSScience and Technology Affairs Minister Yeafesh Osman today said that the installation cost of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) is higher than that of India as Bangladesh is new to implement such a power plant.

He also spelt out a number of reasons behind the excessive cost of the power plant compared to Kudunkulam Nuclear Power Plant in India.

The minister made the statement while responding to a tabled starred question from BNP MP Rumeen Farhana in the Parliament. She in her question said that the capital expenditure of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is Tk 45,000 crore higher than that of Kudunkulam Nuclear Power Plant in India.

Yeafesh said that the infrastructural expenditure of the nuclear power plant in Bangladesh is comparatively higher than that of India as the country is new in setting up nuclear power plant.

“India is operating and managing nuclear power plants for more than 50 years. As a result, they are self-sufficient in the setting of nuclear power plant,” he said…..

September 8, 2019 Posted by | ASIA, business and costs | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is uninsurable. Britain’s Sizewell C and Bradwell B are not done deals

Energy Voice 3rd Sept 2019 Sizewell C and Bradwell B are not yet wholly done deals though groundwork
is under way with contracts issued and limited employment generated. At the end of July, for example, Atkins was awarded a £5m contract for preparatory works at Sizewell C for EDF. It is the first programme of construction work to start at the proposed nuclear power station, which will be located next to the existing Sizewell B plant on the Suffolk coast.

The situation at Bradwell in Essex is more complex, with the original power station now being decommissioned and China Electric pushing hard to get the green light for the new B station. In January, the new boss at Bradwell B peddled the claim that the nuclear plant “will bring significant benefits” to the community. Alan Raymant, a local lad, claimed: “The need for the reliable, low-carbon energy that nuclear provides continues to grow strongly. “Bradwell B will be a major part of Britain’s energy future, powering the national, regional and local economy for many years to

The project is being headed by China General Nuclear Power Group and EDF. UK technology content will be very limited. Same for Sizewell C. Neither project is slam-dunk. The case for their cancellation is very strong, not least that competitive civil nuclear is a total lie.

There is no such thing as economic or environmentally responsible nuclear. It is hugely expensive and most certainly not low carbon. Until now, all nuclear plant– more than 650 reactors – around the world has ridden on the back
of defence programmes and been subsidised.

And no one anywhere has solved the nuclear waste legacy, which is a trans-generational challenge and absolutely cancels out any of the contrived profit.

Moreover, early, high-capacity nuclear energy countries such as the UK, Canada and France have still not dismantled any of their reactors. These stations spend more time as industrial sarcophagi than they do generating electricity and

According to a fresh study published in July by Deutsche Welle of Germany, the challenges of the long-term storage of nuclear waste have been basically ignored, to the extent that today there are no long-term storage facilities for highly radioactive waste in operation.

In countries such as Germany, the UK and the US, the search for a suitable location has gone on for decades with governments all too ready to bribe communities to accept nuclear waste dumps on their doorstep, fortunately unsuccessfully.

Oh, and one more thing that no one talks about here. Civil nuclear is virtually uninsurable. So what if there is an accident? The answer is simple. According to Deutsche Welle: “Society will be asked to bear a very large proportion of these costs. The fact that nuclear power plant operators are not insured against the risk of accidents makes this abundantly clear.  Worldwide, there are no financial service organisations that offer insurance to them.”

September 5, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

The Golden Rule of nuclear economics

Jim Green 2 September 19, The Golden Rule of nuclear economics: Add a zero to nuclear industry cost estimates and your figure will be more accurate than the industry’s.

The Golden Rule works perfectly for AP1000 reactors in the US. In 2006, Westinghouse said it could build an AP1000 reactor for as little as US$1.4 billion (A$2.0 billion) ‒ 10 times lower than the current estimate for the Vogtle project in Georgia.

The Golden Rule holds for EPR reactors under construction in the UK. A decade ago, the estimated construction cost for one EPR reactor in the UK was £2.0 billion (A$3.7 billion) ‒ current estimates for the Hinkley project are seven times higher.

The Golden Rule applies to the small modular reactor under construction in Argentina, with current cost estimates 21 times higher than 2004 estimates.

Admittedly, there are exceptions to the Golden Rule. For example, cost estimates for small modular reactors in China and Russia increased two-fold and four-fold, respectively, but they have not been subject to order-of-magnitude increases. Initial cost estimates for EPR reactors in France and Finland (around A$5 billion) have increased by more than A$10 billion (to around A$17 billion) but that ‘only’ amounts to a three-fold to four-fold increase.

September 2, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

The rocketing costs of Jules Horowitz materials testing reactor (JHR) hastened the demise of the Astrid fast nuclear reactor project

Jim Green  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia     The World Nuclear Association noted in June 2019 that the development of a commercial fast reactor is no longer a high priority in France.
Indeed the Astrid project ‒ a planned demonstration fast reactor ‒ is in the process of being indefinitely postponed or abandoned altogether, Le Monde reported in August 2019: pre-project design studies will be completed then shelved; the 25-person unit coordinating the project has been disbanded; the project might be pursued in the second half of the 21st century according to CEA (while a CEA inside source told Le Monde that the project is “mort” (dead); Astrid has been removed from budget allocations; and the project lacks support from energy utility EDF.
One of the reasons the Astrid project has been cancelled (or deferred to the second half of the century) is belt-tightening in the wake of another failing project: the 100 MW Jules Horowitz materials testing reactor (JHR). The cost of JHR has increased from €500 million to €2.5 billion and will increase further before completion. Completion of JHR will be at least eight years behind schedule if the current completion date of 2022 is met (the planned five-year construction schedule has been pushed out to 13 years).

September 1, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

The Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor – a nightmare site for EDF.

Le Monde 30th Aug 2019 The Flamanville EPR, a nightmare site for EDF.

The third-generation Normanreactor, scheduled to be launched in 2012, will not start until the end of 2022 due to faulty welds on the site. Launched in 2007, the third generation EPR reactor was initially to be connected to the electricity grid in 2012, and cost around 3.5 billion euros. In practice, it will not
start before the end of 2022, at the earliest, and the bill will rise to
more than 11 billion euros. An amount likely to be further revised upwards
depending on the work that remains to be done.

August 31, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France | 1 Comment

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power – Reports, Moscow Times, 30 Aug 19, Russia is working to win influence in at least 10 African states with high-cost nuclear technology that for the most part does not suit their needs, researchers and NGOs have told The Guardian newspaper.

With booming exports, nuclear energy is one example of Russia’s increasing presence in Africa in recent years. Elsewhere, a businessman known as “Putin’s chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, is widely reported to be spearheading Russia’s push to exchange security and electioneering services for mining rights in Africa.

Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom has approached the leaders of “dozens” of African countries with various nuclear energy projects in the past two years, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Rosatom has existing deals with Egypt and Nigeria and other various agreements with other countries on the continent.

Few African countries have the capacity to distribute the amount of nuclear energy generated by the type of reactors that Rosatom is exporting, experts told the outlet. Observers also noted that the costly projects favored by Rosatom likely wouldn’t benefit Africa’s poorest populations……..

August 31, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Japan to decommission reactors at world’s biggest nuclear plant?

Japan may decommission reactors at world’s biggest nuclear plant,  

Plant operator Tepco says it may start decommissioning at least one reactor five years after restarting two others.  Japan‘s Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said  on Monday it may start to decommission at least one nuclear reactor at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant, the world’s biggest nuclear plant by capacity, within five years of restarting two of the reactors at the site.Tepco President Tomoaki Kobayakawa made the comments in a statement outlining its response to a request for plans on the station’s future by the government of the city of Kashiwazaki in Niigata prefecture, where the plant is located.

In 2017, Tepco received initial regulatory approval from the Japanese government to restart reactors 6 and 7 at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, each with a capacity of 1,356 megawatts (MW). The plant site has seven reactors with a total capacity of 8,212MW, equal to 20 percent of Japan’s nuclear capacity.

The facility is Tepco’s last remaining nuclear plant after it announced plans to shut its Fukushima Daini station, near the Fukushima Daichi plant where a massive earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdown of three of the site’s reactors in 2011.

Kashiwazaki’s Mayor Masahiro Sakurai demanded in 2017 that Tepco submit plans to shut at least one of reactors 1 to 5 in return for approval of the restart of reactors 6 and 7, a city official told the Reuters news agency by phone on Monday. The Kashiwazaki mayor will take about a month to evaluate Tepco’s plan, the official said.

Tepco said on Friday that Kobayakawa would brief local officials on Monday about its answers to the city’s request.

Tepco may take steps to decommission more than one of reactors 1 to 5 within five years after the restart of reactors 6 and 7 if it is confident it can secure enough non-fossil fuel energy sources, according to the statement.

A Tepco official said on Monday the company is aiming to have renewable and nuclear power produce 44 percent of total output by 2030.

Tepco has been trying to convince local authorities near Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, who have sign-off rights on nuclear restarts, that it has overcome operational failings revealed at Fukushima.

Eight years ago, nearly 20,000 people died in an earthquake and tsunami that precipitated what became Japan’s worst nuclear disaster. At least 160,000 people were forced to leave their contaminated homes.

In April, Japan partially lifted an evacuation order in one of the two towns, Okuma, for the first time since the disaster, but many former residents are still reluctant to return.

The other town, Futaba, remains off-limits, as are several other towns nearby.

August 26, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Santee Cooper officially cancels contract to end dispute over nuclear parts

Santee Cooper officially cancels contract to end dispute over nuclear parts, Post and Courier By Andrew Brown, Aug 26, 2019  

antee Cooper pulled out all the stops last week in an effort to end a dispute over the ownership of valuable equipment sitting idle at the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.

The state-run utility has been attempting to maintain billions of dollars of pumps, motors, generators, electrical cable, steel beams and one-of-a-kind components that were left over when the project in Fairfield County was canceled two years ago.

When the materials were first purchased, they cost billions of dollars. The hope is that Santee Cooper will be able to resell some of the parts to offset the debt it incurred from the two unfinished reactors. ……

In an effort to end the legal dispute, Santee Cooper officially terminated the contract it initially signed with Westinghouse in 2008.

Santee Cooper believes ending that construction contract will end any chance Brookfield had at staking a claim on the massive stockpiles of equipment.

The utility’s attorneys said it should remove “any doubt” about who the legal owner is.

It’s up to the court to decide whether that’s the case. A hearing on the issue has not been scheduled.

August 26, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Safety concerns about floating nuclear reactors, and Rosatom admits that electricity from small floating nuclear reactors is more expensive.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, business and costs, Russia, safety, technology | Leave a comment

FirstEnergy Solutions moves to ditch union contracts for bailed out nuclear plants, drawing Democrats’ ire

FirstEnergy Solutions moves to ditch union contracts for bailed out plants, drawing Democrats’ ire

FirstEnergy Solutions’ veteran nuclear plant workers would lose traditional pensions if a bankruptcy court agrees with the latest FES restructuring plan, Utility Dive,   John Funk Aug. 15 2019, “…….

On the same day in July that Ohio lawmakers approved state-wide customer charges to give FirstEnergy Solutions a six-year $1.1 billon nuclear plant subsidy, the company told a bankruptcy court it could not honor existing contracts with unions representing power plant employees and intended to negotiate completely new bargaining agreements once it emerged as a reorganized company.
That revelation emerged Friday in an objection to the company’s latest reorganization plan by lawyers representing locals of the Utility Workers Union of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The unions were among more than half dozen parties in the case filing objections.

In a reference to the FES reorganization plan filed July 23 — less than 12 hours after House Bill 6 had been approved by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine — the unions argue that the company intends to use the court to emerge from bankruptcy without its union contracts. And that contradicts the testimony of David Griffing, the company’s vice president of governmental affairs, the union filing to the court charges.

Griffing assured lawmakers in April before an Ohio House subcommittee that “that new [collective bargaining agreements] were in essence agreed upon … Both parties … believe the negotiations were acceptable.” But Friday’s filing on behalf of the union locals indicates that the company has neither agreed to assume the existing contracts nor reached new ones with the unions at two of the three FES nuclear plants, Perry, east of Cleveland and Beaver Valley, near Pittsburgh.

The struggle between the company and its unions is erupting publicly just weeks before court hearings are scheduled on the company’s bankruptcy reorganization plan and also comes at a time when opponents of HB 6 are gearing up a referendum petition drive to put the subsidy issue before voters on the November 2020 ballot.

The union is basing its position in the bankruptcy struggle to remain viable at the power plants on the argument that “successorship clauses” in the contracts obligate FES to require any new company — including a reorganized FirstEnergy Solutions — to assume the contracts as they were agreed to.  The unions point out that FES abided by that contract language when it sold other power plants to outside companies.

FES: Can’t assume the contract

The company position, as laid out in its July 23 reorganization plan, is that the reorganized FES cannot assume the contract because “the collective bargaining agreements require the Debtors to provide benefits to their employees under health care, severance, welfare, incentive compensation, and retirement plans sponsored by FirstEnergy Corp.”

Instead, FES wants to negotiate new terms “consistent with the business plan” of the reorganized company. FES also held out the possibility that it might ask the court to throw out the contracts.

The unions are countering that under the bankruptcy code and existing case law, the company must declare before reorganization whether it is rejecting the contract. “They simply want the benefit of plan confirmation, without deciding whether to assume or reject,” the union attorneys wrote. “However this is not what the law provides.”

The union filing reveals that in bargaining talks over the past few months the company has contended that the benefits in the existing union contracts, particularly the pension benefits, “are non-replicable.”

The union filing also notes that it would have the right to file an “administrative damage claim” later if the issue is not resolved now and the company later decides to reject the contracts out of hand.

Unions play key role in HB 6

The power plant unions played what has been described as a key role in the company’s media and lobbying campaigns to persuade Democrat lawmakers of the necessity of approving the unprecedented bailout in Ohio of an unregulated power plant company……
 Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, issued a statement Monday questioning FirstEnergy Solutions’ move and praising unions for quickly filing their objection in bankruptcy court.

“HB 6 was problematic because I thought it was a bad idea to direct rate payer money to a corporation who refused to unequivocally agree to protect and support union contracts and the men and women who rely on those contracts to put food on their table,” Sykes wrote.

“Less than 12 hours after the bill was signed into law, the ink hardly dry, FirstEnergy Solutions began backing away from the workers who depend on those jobs. FES can make this right by coming to the table and affirming and recognizing these union employees who deserve to be treated fairly through this process,” she continued………

August 22, 2019 Posted by | employment, Legal | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce in talks to sell French nuclear business to Framatome

Rolls-Royce in talks to sell French nuclear business to Framatome

Aero-engine group’s restructuring under chief Warren East continues,  

Rolls-Royce is in talks to sell its French civil nuclear business to Framatome, a company controlled by France’s EDF, in the latest move by the FTSE 100 engineer to reshape its operations. Two people close to the sales process said on Tuesday night that talks with the French company were continuing. The aero-engine group confirmed in March it had hired consultants from KPMG to review options for its international civil nuclear business, estimated by analysts to be worth up to £200m.

The business makes instruments and controls to monitor radiation and temperature. Its operations in France employ about 600 people and produce instrumentation systems for nuclear reactors around the world. It also has sites in North America focused on services such as the provision of data analytics tools. Rolls-Royce initially wanted to dispose of the operations as one package but failed to find a buyer, so decided to market them separately, according to one person familiar with the situation. France’s EDF holds a 75 per cent stake in Framatome. The balance is held by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with a 19.5 per cent stake and another French company, Assystem, holding a 5 per cent share.
  The civil nuclear business is a small part of Rolls-Royce’s overall operations, which generated underlying revenues of £15bn last year. The sale also does not include the bulk of Rolls-Royce’s civil nuclear work in the UK, in particular its work on Hinkley Point in Somerset, the first nuclear power plant to be built in Britain in a generation. It also does not include its project to develop small modular reactors or its nuclear submarine reactor business.  ……..

August 22, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment