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$70 billion price tag for restarting Taiwan’s No. 4 nuclear plant project , and that’s not counting wastes costs

Restarting No. 4 nuclear plant project could cost NT$70 billion: AEC Focus Taiwan, 2019/03/14   Taipei, March 14 (CNA) It could cost an estimated NT$60-70 billion (US$1.94-2.26 billion) and take at least 10 years to revive the mothballed fourth nuclear power plant at Longmen in New Taipei’s Gongliao District, Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Minister Hsieh Shou-shing (謝曉星) said Thursday.

However, Hsieh said that a decision to search for a final disposal repository for radioactive waste has not been reached and he declined to answer the question of when the location of a final repository can be determined, because no cities or counties in the country are willing to have such a facility in their localities.

Hsieh was responding to a legislator’s questioning about restarting the nuclear plant project during a legislative hearing, as the topic has sparked considerable debate after pro-nuclear energy activists recently proposed a referendum on the issue……..

 the ministry also cited Taipower estimates that it would require about NT$47.8 billion to revive the nuclear plant and put it into commercial operation, adding that the amount could be even higher than that.

(By Liu Lee-jung and Evelyn Kao) http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aeco/201903140013.aspx

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March 16, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Taiwan | Leave a comment

USA Government Accounting Office reports lack of financial oversight at Hanford and other nuclear sites

March 16, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Brazil Seeks Nuclear Pact With U.S. During Bolsonaro’s Visit

Bloomberg, By  Sabrina Valle  March 15, 2019, 
  •  Minister says he wants Brazil open to uranium mining companies
  •  Government also supports construction of new nuclear plants

Brazil’s energy minister said the country plans to sign an accord next week with President Donald J. Trump that could pave the way for U.S. companies to explore the Latin American country for uranium and invest in new nuclear-power plants.

Bento Albuquerque, a former admiral who once ran the Brazilian Navy’s atomic program, met with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Houston this week and discussed creating a bilateral forum on energy cooperation that would include nuclear projects. That’s expected to be part of a memorandum signed by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on his first trip to the White House next week, Albuquerque said Thursday in an interview.

The proposed collaboration is another element of the Bolsonaro administration’s push to align with Trump……https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-14/brazil-seeks-nuclear-pact-with-u-s-during-bolsonaro-s-visit

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Brazil, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce, EDF, Centrica – all trying to sell of their money-losing nuclear businesses

Ian Fairlie 11th Marcvh 2019 UK nuclear going down the pan? Readers will have seen the news that Rolls
Royce is trying to get rid of the main bulk of its civil UK nuclear
business though not Small Modular Reactors, nuclear submarines and Hinkley
Point C involvement.

It has appointed the consultancy firm KPMG to find a
buyer. This follows the earlier revelation that EdF Energy has been doing
the same for at least a year, ie trying to find a buyer for its ageing UK
reactor fleet.

It is unlikely either company will find a buyer, or at least
find one willing to pay a reasonable price . For example, UK energy giant
Centrica[4] has been trying for years to offload its 20% shareholding of
EDF Energy. Back in 2012, after it pulled out of the mooted Hinkley Point C
development (thereby losing £200 million in sunk costs), Centrica
appointed the German investment bank UBS to look for a suitable buyer but
none has ever been found.

The main reason these companies are trying to
offload their nuclear reactor businesses is that they are essentially
unprofitable: the electricity they produce is more expensive than the sales
they generate. And their fuel costs are far more expensive than the
effectively zero fuel costs of electricity from wind and solar.

https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/uk-nuclear-going-down-the-pan/

March 14, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Misleading inaccuracies in BBC report on Hunterston nuclear reactors

Ianfairlie 8th March 2019 On March 8, the BBC published a news item about cracks in the Hunterston B nuclear reactors. Whilst it is good that the story highlighted reporting of the safety issues surrounding the plant and, in particular, included photographs of the cracked graphite core, we wish to correct several inaccuracies.

The BBC article claims that early decommissioning could cause serious energy supply problems. This is simply not the case and is alarmist nonsense: the reality is that Scotland has, if anything, an oversupply of electricity. Both Hunterston and Torness could be closed without problem to Scotland’s electricity supplies.

The BBC article then states that “Concerns have also been raised about the consequences for local jobs if Hunterston closed early.”As pointed out in our article, few if any jobs would be lost if the reactors Hunterston B were closed permanently: dealing with the immense heat rates from radioactive decay even from closed reactors will guarantee jobs there for the first 2 to 3 years.

After that decommissioning will provide more jobs then when the reactors operated, just as is occurring at the closed reactors at Dounreay. The BBC cites Councillor Tom Marshall as stating: “Most of the large employers round about here have disappeared – and this is one of the last major employers.

So, if it is safe to run most people locally would be happy to see it running.” We obviously share the concerns of local people about deindustrialisation and the appalling effects of the UK Government’s uncivilised austerity programmes in Scotland. But local councillors should\ not be misled by incorrect statements by the nuclear industry. Closing
Hunterston B for good will not lead to large numbers of job losses: the contrary in fact.

https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/incorrect-statements-in-bbc-news-hunterston-b-pictures-show-cracks-in-ayrshire-nuclear-reactor/

Dave Toke’s Blog 8th March 2019

https://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-real-story-about-stricken.html

March 10, 2019 Posted by | employment, media, UK | Leave a comment

A billion dollar bailout for Three Mile Island Nuclear Station?

Bailout bill proposed for Three Mile Island nuclear plant, 21 News, by Jessie McDonough, March 9th 2019  MIDDLETOWN, PA — A 981-million dollar bailout will be proposed next week to keep Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant afloat.

Republican representatives want to amend Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio

MIDDLETOWN, PA — A 981-million dollar bailout will be proposed next week to keep Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant afloat.

Republican representatives want to amend Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard by adding nuclear energy to the plan. Energy providers will have to buy a certain percentage of nuclear which would lead high utility bills for you the consumer.

The proposal would bail out two nuclear energy plants. One of those is Exelon’s Three Mile Island.

Not everyone is on board with the proposal and its’ hefty price tag.

“We are talking almost a billion dollar nuclear bailout and basically it is a tax on consumers. It is going to force energy prices to be higher”, said Commonwealth of Pennsylvania CEO Nathan Benefield.

Some residents in Middletown where the plant is located are also worried about increases in their electric bill……. https://local21news.com/news/local/bailout-bill-proposed-for-three-mile-island-nuclear-plant

March 10, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear workers still facing radiation danger, eight years on.

Eight years after Fukushima nuclear meltdown, workers still facing radiation risk https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/eight-years-after-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown-workers-still-facing-radiation-risk/  February 22, 2019   BY SHIMBUN AKAHATA  eight years since the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The NPP operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), says that it will soon conduct a probe into the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor in order to find out the condition of the melted nuclear fuel inside, which means that TEPCO has yet to obtain even such basic information.

TEPCO officials recently said to Akahata that high-risk zones in the Fukushima Daiichi plant have become smaller and that now workers do not need to wear a full-face mask and a protective suit in 96 percent of the plant premises. This is because the level of radioactive materials in the air has decreased as a larger area of the site is now covered with concrete, according to officials. At the crippled nuclear power plant, the number of workers coping with the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear accident, though, is still more than 4,000 per day.

However, the hidden reality regarding contamination risks seems to differ from the impression the utility wanted to create by citing the figure “96 percent.” In a recently published survey of Fukushima workers conducted by TEPCO, of the respondents who are anxious about their exposure to radiation, nearly half feared that their health would be damaged in the future. In another question in the same survey, more than 40 percent were concerned about working at the nuclear power plant.

The most common reason for their concern was that they have no idea how long they need to work at the plant because it is unclear how much work remains to be done. They are also worried about the risk of radiation-induced health damage in the future with no guarantee of a stable income. Without a worker-friendly environment, the decommissioning of the crippled reactors will be extremely time-consuming.

The storage of radiation-contaminated water is another major issue. Around 100-150 tons of polluted water is produced every day at the plant, which means that a 1,000-ton tank is filled up in seven to ten days. Currently, around 1.1 million tons of radioactive water are stored on the plant premises, but under TEPCO’s plan, the maximum planned storage capacity is only 1.37 million tons.

In another survey of residents conducted by municipalities near the Fukushima plant, among the respondents who decided not to go back to their hometowns and who cannot decide whether to do so, many cited worries about the safety of the plant as a reason.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, is still encouraging Fukushima evacuees to return to their homes, but as the nuclear disaster drags on.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

All use of nuclear power will end in Germany by end of 2022

Nuclear “finished” in Germany, plant operators affirm  https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/nuclear-finished-germany-plant-operators-affirm Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung  04 Mar 2019,    Benjamin Wehrmann

The use of nuclear power in Germany will come to an end by the end of 2022 as planned, operators of the country’s remaining nuclear plants have told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in reaction to a survey in which almost half of the respondents said nuclear plants should run longer than coal plants. Energy company EnBW said that the political regulation means that “nuclear energy is finished in Germany,” adding that its two remaining plants would be deconstructed right after they are taken off the grid. Ralf Güldner, head of the German Nuclear Forum, said ending nuclear power while at the same time phasing out coal and struggling to expand the power grid could mean that Germany’s autonomous power supply security becomes threatened. However, Güldner too said the political situation was “very clear.” Plant operator Preussen-Elektra said “we certainly don’t think about any plan B.” According to the article, operators say that they will not have qualified staff anymore to keep nuclear plants running longer than agreed.

In the survey, 49.5 percent of respondents said the planned decommissioning of the last nuclear plant by 2022 and of the last coal plant by 2038 is the right order, while 44.1 percent said closing nuclear plants before coal plants is wrong from a climate perspective.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Greece, politics | Leave a comment

Russia ready to enter deal to build nuclear power plant in Czech Republic

CZECH-RUSSIAN TALKS INCLUDED DISCUSSIONS ON CONSTRUCTION OF NEW NUCLEAR POWER BLOCKhttps://www.radio.cz/en/section/news/czech-russian-talks-included-discussions-on-construction-of-new-nuclear-power-block  Tom McEnchroe,  06-03-2019

If the Czech Republic issues a tender to build a new nuclear power source, Rosatom will send a proposal, the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov told journalists after a bilateral intergovernmental commission on Wednesday.

His Czech counterpart Marta Nováková (ANO) said one tender conditions would be that the third nuclear power source remain fully under the administration of the Czech Republic once finished.

The intergovernmental commission also discussed mutual cooperation in supporting small- and medium-sized businesses, mutual exports into third-countries and cooperation within the aircraft industry.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia keen to have Bulgaria go into debt to Russia, to implement Belne nuclear station

Russia Ready To Take Part in Bulgaria’s Belene Nuclear Power Plant, Medvedev Says,  Moscow Times 

March 7, 2019 Posted by | Bulgaria, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia to lease nuclear-powered attack submarine to India for a cool $3 billion

March 5, 2019 Posted by | India, marketing, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Texas-based Uranium Energy Corporation strongly lobbying Trump administration, and demonising Canadian company Uranium One

The Nuclear Energy Industry Goes MAGA to Win Over Trump

A U.S. uranium company set up shop at CPAC and started spreading Clinton scare stories.  The Daily Beast, Lachlan Markay, 03.03.19   A leading U.S. uranium producer is confident that President Donald Trump is going to crack down on its foreign competitors. But in the spirit of not taking any chances, the company rented space at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, enlisted a top Trumpworld public relations executive, and invoked a well-worn Trump attack line on his 2016 campaign opponent to try to nail down a policy win.

March 5, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, politics, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

New defects, after a series of problems and delays, in France’s supposed “nuclear flagship” Flamanville

France Info 1st March 2019  Machine Translation] Cracks, failed welds … How the site of the EPR Flamanville has turned into a fiasco to nearly 11 billion euros.

The third generation nuclear reactor, which was to take office in 2012, will finally be operational only in 2020 after the discovery of new defects. Back on those days when the yard slipped. It was to be the flagship of the French nuclear industry, the EPR of Flamanville (Manche) is today its ball.

The construction site of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) experienced numerous delays, the last of which occurred on July 25, 2018, after the discovery of poorly made welds. Originally scheduled for 2012, its entry into service is (for the moment) postponed to 2020. And nothing says that the yard will be spared by new counter-time. The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) thus pinned EDF on Wednesday (February 27th) for a lack of “traceability” of certain equipment qualification operations on the EPR.

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/nucleaire/fissures-soudures-ratees-comment-le-chantier-de-l-epr-de-flamanville-s-est-transforme-en-un-fiasco-a-pres-de-11-milliards-d-euros_2874077.amp 

March 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, helping Saudi Crown Prince towards getting nuclear weapons?

Jared and the Saudi Crown Prince Go Nuclear? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/02/opinion/sunday/saudi-arabia-jared-kushner-nuclear.html

There are too many unanswered questions about the White House’s role in advancing Saudi ambitions. By Nicholas Kristof, March 2, 2019

Jared Kushner slipped quietly into Saudi Arabia this week for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, so the question I’m trying to get the White House to answer is this: Did they discuss American help for a Saudi nuclear program?

Of all the harebrained and unscrupulous dealings of the Trump administration in the last two years, one of the most shocking is a Trump plan to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Even as President Trump is trying to denuclearize North Korea and Iran, he may be helping to nuclearize Saudi Arabia. This is abominable policy tainted by a gargantuan conflict of interest involving Kushner.

Kushner’s family real estate business had been teetering because of a disastrously overpriced acquisition he made of a particular Manhattan property called 666 Fifth Avenue, but last August a company called Brookfield Asset Management rescued the Kushners by taking a 99-year lease of the troubled property — and paying the whole sum of about $1.1 billion up front.

Alarm bells should go off: Brookfield also owns Westinghouse Electric, the nuclear services business trying to sell reactors to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi swamp, meet American swamp.

It may be conflicts like these, along with even murkier ones, that led American intelligence officials to refuse a top-secret security clearance for Kushner. The Times reported Thursday that Trump overruled them to grant Kushner the clearance.

This nuclear reactor mess began around the time of Trump’s election, when a group of retired U.S. national security officials put together a plan to enrich themselves by selling nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia. The officials included Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, and they initially developed a “plan for 40 nuclear power plants” in Saudi Arabia, according to a report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The plan is now to start with just a couple of plants.

As recently as Feb. 12, Trump met in the White House with backers of the project and was supportive, Reuters reported.

These are civilian nuclear power plants, and Saudi Arabia claims it wants them for electricity. But the Saudis insist on producing their own nuclear fuel, rather than buying it more cheaply abroad. Producing fuel is a standard way for rogue countries to divert fuel for secret nuclear weapons programs, and the Saudi resistance to safeguards against proliferation bolsters suspicions that the real goal is warheads.

Trump may be vigilant (destructively so) about Iran’s nuclear plants, but in the Saudi case his response seems to be: There’s money to be made! When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised objections to the transfer last year, Axios reported, “Trump and his advisers told Netanyahu that, if the U.S. does not sell the Saudis nuclear reactors, other countries like Russia or France will.”

Trump seems to believe that the Saudis have us over a barrel: If we don’t help them with nuclear technology, someone else will. That misunderstands the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The Saudis depend on us for their security, and the blunt truth is that we hold all the cards in this relationship, not them.

Why on earth would America put Prince Mohammed on a path to acquiring nuclear weapons? He is already arguably the most destabilizing leader in an unstable region, for he has invaded Yemen, kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister, started a feud with Qatar, and, according to American intelligence officials, ordered the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The prince has also imprisoned and brutally tortured women’s rights activists, including one who I’m hoping will win the Nobel Peace Prize, Loujain al-Hathloul. As Representative Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, has noted, “A country that can’t be trusted with a bone saw shouldn’t be trusted with nuclear weapons.”

There’s another element of Trump’s Saudi policy that is simply repulsive: the fawning courtship of a foreign prince who has created in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, murdered a journalist and tortured women’s rights activists. The White House genuflections are such that Prince Mohammed had a point when, according to The Intercept, he bragged that he had Kushner in his “pocket.”

No one knows whether Prince Muhammed will manage to succeed his father and become the next king, for there is opposition and the Saudi economic transformation he boasts of is running into difficulties. Trump and Kushner seem to be irresponsibly trying to boost the prince’s prospects, increasing the risk that an unstable hothead will mismanage the kingdom for the next 50 years. Perhaps with nuclear weapons.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce largely getting out of the nuclear industry

Times 3rd March 2019 Rolls-Royce is selling the vast bulk of its civil nuclear business, dealing a new blow to efforts to rebuild Britain’s atomic power industry. The FTSE 100 engineer has hired consultants from KPMG to find a buyer for the
nuclear division, which could fetch up to £200m.

The move marks the end of an era for the country’s premier engineering company, which has more than 50 years’ expertise in nuclear power but is being slimmed down by chief executive Warren East to focus on jet engines, power generators and defence. The nuclear business makes instruments and controls to monitor radiation and temperature and prevent reactors overheating. Its equipment is installed in more than 200 reactors around the world, and it has a big presence in France, where it works with the state-backed engineering firm Orano , [formerly Areva, which went bankrupt]

Rolls-Royce’s retreat from civil nuclear work reflects the industry’s broader problems. Plans for new power stations in Britain have been left in tatters after the Japanese industrial giants Toshiba and Hitachi withdrew, leaving just Hinkley Point in Somerset under way.

The Japanese exit has triggered an inquiry by the Commons business committee into future investment in energy infrastructure. The sale will not include Rolls-Royce’s work on Hinkley Point, which is ringfenced, the company’s
project to develop small reactors or its nuclear submarine reactor business.

Rolls-Royce has been in talks to install its equipment at a plant in Essex planned by China General Nuclear, to help assuage security concerns. This work is likely to be transferred to the new owner. Sources said the business, which has more than 1,000 staff, was likely to go to a trade buyer. A Chinese deal is unlikely.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/rolls-royce-to-offload-civil-nuclear-unit-zsq59zlmm

March 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment