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, Adam Vaughan, 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
Russia eyes deal to build Kenya’s sole nuclear plant, The Star, Kenya Mar. 14, 2017, By WEITERE MWITA @mwitamartin Russia has offered to design, finance and build Kenya’s proposed nuclear power plant.
Suitors line up to walk Kenya down controversial path to nuclear energy Standard media UK By Paul Wafula , March 7th 2017
Kenya is on a delicate journey that will see it switch on its first nuclear power plant by 2027. The country plans to put up four nuclear plants in the long term, each generating 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Initial estimates show it will cost between Sh400 billion and Sh500 billion to put up one nuclear reactor. This means one plant will cost slightly more than building the 609-kilometre Mombasa to Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). By the time the plan is complete, the country will have spent about Sh2 trillion – just under the national Budget for a year – to reap the benefits of an additional 4,000MW of energy plugged into the national grid.
Besides the financing headache, the second test for the 10-year dream being championed by the Kenya Nuclear Energy Board (KNEB) is coming up with a location to for the reactors. The board estimates site selection will cost the country Sh1.5 billion in a three-year process. Though the potential sites have remained a closely guarded secret, the power plant will be built next to any of the four biggest water bodies in the country – that is, the Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, River Tana and Lake Turkana.
…………..These plans have excited sellers of nuclear reactors who are now courting the country, with some dangling ‘free training’. The potential suppliers include South Korea, whose companies are constructing nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. Kenya has also been window shopping in China, and with Rosatom in Russia and Westinghouse in the United States. The country’s plans appear modelled on the UAE’s, which awarded a South Korean consortium to build four plants at a cost of Sh2 trillion.
…………Kenya has already signed a memorandum of understanding with China, South Korea, Russia and Ghana. KNEB said the deal with China would help Kenya “obtain expertise through training and skills development, technical support in areas such as site selection for Kenya’s nuclear power plants, and feasibility studies”. China has been offering ‘free’ training and feasibility studies for big infrastructure projects in Africa as a strategy to get into the boardrooms where key decisions are made. This is the same approach it used to land the SGR deal.
………..The country has also signed nuclear power co-operation agreements with Slovakia and South Korea.
…………He added that the Sh500 billion cost per plant for UAE may be cheaper because South Koreans were trying to get into the market. France is also lining up for a piece of the action, with the country offering Kenya technical, engineering and financial support to develop reactors.
…………MAKING THE CASE Juma has defended the cost of the project on the grounds that in the long run, nuclear energy is a cheaper and more stable source of power, with sustainable base loads. The board is looking at having flexible financing options, including public-private partnership where a private developer will finance the plant, construct and operate it for some time to recoup investments and make a profit, before handing it over to the State.
……The agency is looking at plants that will have a lifespan of up to 80 years.
………….it will have a difficult task of convincing local communities that the country is ready to deal with the radiological effects of nuclear.
……The other headache that must be tackled is the development of national strategies for radioactive waste management, emergency preparedness and the nuclear fuel cycle.
……energy experts from Italy and Germany last year, advised Kenya to drop plans to build nuclear reactors and instead harness its vast renewable energy resources, including geothermal, solar and wind, for power generation. They cited massive costs for a nuclear plant, long construction periods of about 10 years and expensive decommissioning at the end of plants’ lifespan, especially disposing of hazardous radioactive waste.
The seventh Nuclear Power Asia conference being held in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday and Wednesday is bringing together the leaders of the Asian nuclear-power industry.
Session participants have concurred that nuclear power, being an economically and environmentally viable source of electricity, has the capacity to contribute greatly to Asia’s sustainable future.
“Sustainable future is impossible without sustainable energy,” said Egor Simonov, director of Rosatom Asia. “Nuclear power [emits] 25-30 times less [greenhouse gas] than coal- or oil-fired power plants. Therefore, nuclear power may be a viable solution for Asean nations willing to fulfil their climate-change commitments.”
Rosatom is Russia’s nuclear regulator, and its Southeast Asian regional branch is in Singapore. …….The Nuclear Power Asia conference is a platform to discuss the latest challenges, trends and achievements in the Asian nuclear industry. The event is annually attended by more than 300 participants from nuclear-energy authorities, energy commissions, nuclear energy programme implementing organisations, international developers and operators, technology suppliers, and academic society. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/breakingnews/30308264
Russia, Tajikistan to cooperate in nuclear energy field, AZER News, 1 March 17 By Kamila Aliyeva
Tajikistan and Russia have agreed to cooperate in atomic energy and border security. The relevant agreements were achieved within the framework of the visit of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Tajikistan on February 27.
Thus an agreement on cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy was signed by Farhod Rakhimov, President of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Alexey Likhachev, Director General of ROSATOM, on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation.
The deal has provided the legal basis for interaction between Tajikistan and Russia in the nuclear power sector for the first time in history while determining a wide range of cooperation areas including design, construction, operation and decommissioning of research reactors; spent fuel and radioactive waste management; rehabilitation of tailing storage areas and utilization of decommissioned uranium mining and reprocessing facilities; production of radioisotopes; use of nuclear technology in industry, medicine, agriculture; education and training of highly skilled personnel for the nuclear power industry, etc.
Besides, the agreement envisages the formation of joint coordination commission with the view of further consulting in the issues relating to the implementation of the above mentioned peaceful uses of atomic energy and search for mutually beneficial opportunities…….http://www.azernews.az/region/109545.html
France joins suitors for Kenya’s nuclear plant venture, Business Daily Africa, NEVILLE OTUKI, firstname.lastname@example.org February 7 2017 IN SUMMARY French Economy and Finance minister Michel Sapin said the nuclear-rich European country was looking to offer Kenya technical, engineering and financial support to develop reactors.
Kenya plans to start building its first nuclear plant from 2022 in a five-year period at a cost of about Sh500 billion
China, Russia, South Korea and Slovakia have since inked various pacts with Kenya in manpower development and skills exchange as they eye a possible deal.
France has joined the list of countries courting Kenya for a multi-billion-dollar deal to build East Africa’s first nuclear power plant.
French Economy and Finance minister Michel Sapin said the nuclear-rich European country was looking to offer Kenya technical, engineering and financial support to develop reactors.
Kenya plans to start building its first nuclear plant from 2022 in a five-year period at a cost of about Sh500 billion.
China, Russia, South Korea and Slovakia have since inked various pacts with Kenya in manpower development and skills exchange as they eye a possible deal.
“We have expressed our readiness to support the construction of the plants. Our support involves everything from expertise to funding,” Mr Sapin said on Sunday after concluding his two-day visit to Kenya during which he presided over the return of Peugeot assembly to Kenya…….
Mr Sapin said that France was seeking pacts with Nairobi like the ones it entered with South Africa on nuclear power development.
France has over the years signed several pacts with South Africa whose two power plants were built by French firm Areva.
South Africa plans to add more nuclear power plants.
Energy experts from Italy and Germany last October, however, advised Kenya to drop plans to build nuclear reactors and instead harness its vast renewable energy resources for power generation. The experts, attending a renewable energy conference in Nairobi, reckoned that Kenya is better off developing more geothermal wells, solar parks and wind farms.
They cited massive costs for a nuke plant, long construction periods of about 10 years and expensive decommissioning of plants at the end of their lifespan, especially disposing of hazardous radioactive waste.
SA’s nuclear build contract still wide open, says France minister, SUNDAY TIMES BUSINESS BY ASHA SPECKMAN, 2017-02-05 France’s finance minister Michel Sapin believes the race between suppliers to win South Africa’s nuclear build is still wide open and that France has a trick up its sleeve.
Sapin addressed the media in Pretoria on Friday after a meeting with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on the same day that he discussed issues related to the nuclear build.
Communicating through a translator, he said he had reminded Gordhan of the “quality and the know-how of French companies” which operate in the nuclear sector and has asked for “full transparency” on the process. The talks had also broached the questions of price, financing and affordability of the project. But Sapin declined to go into further detail.
Russia’s Rosatom was rumoured to be a frontrunner in the bidding for the multibillion-rand nuclear contract. But last month it denied it had made an official bid. French nuclear companies EDF Group and Areva intend to put in a joint bid but had not yet done so, Sapin said. “I still have a feeling the competition is open and we’ll see how it unfolds. France is not afraid of competition … We have trump cards up our sleeves,” he said.
Sapin’s was a working visit to deepen relationships and did not involve signing agreements. It forms part of a concerted drive by the French government to expand its partnerships in the wake of Brexit,which would have major trade implications……..http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/businesstimes/2017/02/05/SAs-nuclear-build-contract-still-wide-open-says-France-minister
Strong response on Nuclear – Eskom , AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY 1 February 2017 Johannesburg – Eskom said on Wednesday that it was receiving positive response from the market to the Request for Information (RFI) issued in relation to the proposed South African Nuclear New Build Programme.
The power utility said some 27 companies had stated that they intended to provide a response to the RFI, including major nuclear vendors from China (SNPTC), France (EdF), Russia (Rosatom Overseas) and South Korea (KEPCO).
Eskom’s interim group chief executive Matshela Koko said: “Eskom is looking forward to the information supplied to confirm our understanding of the key issues that impact the timing and affordability of a nuclear programme.”……
Eskom issued the RFI on its website in December 2016 and asked companies that felt they could provide relevant information to confirm by January 31 that they would be submitting a response to it.
Cabinet in June designated Eskom as the procurer, owner and operator for the multi-million rand nuclear build programme to initially provide 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy at least by 2030.
But according to the base case scenario in the Integrated Resource Plan unveiled by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in November, only 1 359 megawatt of nuclear power would be added to the country’s energy mix by 2037 and the volume of renewable energy would rise significantly.
Russia’s Rosatom submits bid for South African nuclear project – TASS, Reuters Jan 24 Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom has submitted a bid for a nuclear power project in South Africa, TASS news agency cited the company’s General Director Alexei Likhachev as saying on Tuesday.
Rosatom had been considered the leading candidate for a tender to build 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity in South Africa by 2030, but South African nuclear state agency Necsa said last year it was no longer “the frontrunner”. (Reporting by Alexander Winning; Writing by Jack Stubbs) http://www.reuters.com/article/russia-safrica-nuclear-idUSR4N1F7023
UAE gets licence to transport, store nuclear fuel, Gulf News 22 Jan 17
Nuclear fuel to be shipped from South Korea to the UAE before being transported to the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant “….t
he Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) announced on Sunday that it approved the licensing for transporting and storing nuclear fuel at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
The two licences have been granted to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Nawah Energy Company respectively, with the former getting the licence to transport the nuclear fuel, and the latter getting the licence to store the nuclear fuel at the Barakah site…..
Ian Grant, Deputy Director General for Operations at FANR, explained that the nuclear fuel would be shipped in transport casks from South Korea to the UAE, and then loaded onto trucks to transport the fuel to the nuclear reactor site.
“The fuel assemblies are loaded into transport casks and shipped from the Republic of Korea, [afterwards they are] trucked by road from the UAE port to the Barakah site. The transport casks are unloaded, checked and opened. [The] fuel assemblies are inspected individually and moved to the storage locations.”……http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/environment/uae-gets-licence-to-transport-store-nuclear-fuel-1.1966008
Russia, Kuwait Discuss Possible Construction of Nuclear Power Plant MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and Kuwait discussed possible construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) as well as cooperation in the spheres of petroleum services and gas, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 broadcaster on Sunday…….https://sputniknews.com/business/201701221049880931-russia-kuwait-nuclear-power-plant/
Russia extends $11.38 bln loan to Bangladesh to build nuclear power plant http://tass.com/economy/925025 January 13 Bangladesh will repay the actually spent loan in equal six-month installments over a twenty year period MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Russia’s government has extended a $11.38 billion loan to Bangladesh to build the Rooppur nuclear power plant. The relevant document was published on the government’s website containing legal information.
According to the draft inter-governmental agreement, the loan will be used from 2017 to 2024. Bangladesh will repay the actually spent loan in equal six-month installments over a twenty year period. The first installment will be paid out on March 15, 2017.
Two units of the Rooppur nuclear power plant, with a capacity of 1,200 MW each, which are being built with Russia’s assistance, are planned to be put into operation in 2022 and 2023.
In mid-December 2015, Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation signed an EPC contract for a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.
The construction work is being done in accordance with the inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in building a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh, dated 2011. The nuclear power plant will be located on the eastern bank of the Ganges River, 160 kilometers from the country’s capital of Dhaka.
South Korea says minister, British counterpart discussed nuclear power cooperation http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-nuclear-uk-idUSKBN14508N 15 Dec 16
South Korea’s energy minister Joo
Hyung-hwan discussed cooperation on British nuclear energy projects in a meeting in London on Thursday with Britain’s business minister Greg Clark, South Korea’s energy ministry said in a statement.
The statement from Seoul didn’t disclose details of discussions on nuclear energy, but said the two countries will hold a follow-up meeting in the first half of next year.
A British government statement issued said the two countries underlined a commitment at the meeting to keep working together on science, innovation and technology, without mentioning nuclear power.
Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy and the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, is keen to export its nuclear reactor technology, developed through state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO).
Earlier this year, Britain gave the green light to the $24 billion Hinkley Point C project, its first new nuclear power plant in decades.
Along with that project, NuGen, a joint venture between Toshiba and French utility company Engie, plans to build three reactors at the Moorside site on the coast of Cumbria, in northwest England.
According to Seoul’s statement on Friday, Korea’s energy minister also had a meeting with NuGen chief Tom Samson during his British visit. The minister said Korean participation in Nugen projects would contribute to their success.
Earlier this year a person familiar with the situation told Reuters KEPCO had engaged in talks with Toshiba and Engie about buying a stake NuGen. A NuGen spokesman declined to comment on whether talks were taking place with KEPCO, which also declined to comment.
(Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
China eyes nuclear project in Bulgaria http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/china-eyes-nuclear-project-in-bulgaria/ A delegation from the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the country’s largest state energy company, visited Sofia and met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, to possibly resuscitate a shelved nuclear power plant project.The Belene nuclear power plant, situated near the Danube, was frozen in 2012, reportedly due to a lack of funds.
Mitsubishi Heavy, Japan Nuclear Fuel to invest in struggling Areva http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Deals/Mitsubishi-Heavy-Japan-Nuclear-Fuel-to-invest-in-struggling-Areva, 7 Dec 16,
Japanese companies eye nuclear power plant exports amid low domestic demend TOKYO — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Japan Nuclear Fuel are finalizing plans to invest in French nuclear giant Areva, which is currently in the throes of restructuring.
The two companies will take stakes in Areva to a combined 10% by jointly injecting 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($352 million to $440 million) by January 2017.
With demand for new nuclear power plants not expected in Japan, the companies will buttress exports for emerging countries through the partnership with Areva.
Currently, the French government has an investment of less than 90% in the company, both directly and indirectly. The government plans to split off the company’s unprofitable businesses and rehabilitate the French company. It will lower its holding to under 70% and accept foreign investment to make up the rest
Along with Mitsubishi Heavy and Japan Nuclear Fuel, China National Nuclear Corp. may also become an investor.
Mitsubishi Heavy has already revealed plans to invest in Areva and a subsidiary while holding talks with the French government and the struggling company over the deal.
Areva has booked significant losses following a series of delays and cancellations to plant-construction projects and now finds itself going through a financial crisis.