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Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner linked to unusual dealings about nuclear reactor sales to Russia – Congressional report

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February 21, 2019 Posted by | politics, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Tough times ahead for America’s nuclear industry

U.S. Nuclear Has A Tough Road Ahead https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/US-Nuclear-Has-A-Tough-Road-Ahead.html Pennsylvania is a hard sell for nuclear support as the home of the United States’ most famous nuclear disaster at the Three Mile Island site in Dauphin County 40 years ago. The nuclear industry has continued to function, however, in Pennsylvania in the intervening decades–in fact, it’s the second biggest nuclear power state in the country–it hasn’t been until the recent surge of cheap domestic fossil fuels thanks to the boom of production in the Permian Basin that the sector has hit a rough patch that they are unable to surmount on their own.

Even the notorious Three Mile Island plant itself remains in operation today. It has survived four decades of being synonymous with everything that’s wrong with nuclear in the United States, until now. The Chicago-based owner of the plant, Exelon Corp., has announced that the plant will finally be closing its door on September 30th of this year unless the state of Pennsylvania can pull it out of its financial hole. The Three Mile plant would soon be followed by Beaver Valley nuclear power plant in western Pennsylvania and two nuclear plants in Ohio, which Ohio-based owner FirstEnergy Corp. said they will close within the next three years if Pennsylvania can’t pass a financial package to save them.

In light of this newfound hardship, over the past few years industry leaders in Pennsylvania have been working diligently to rouse support for a financial package like those approved in other nearby states to keep the floundering industry afloat. While nuclear support packages have been approved in New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, the path has not been laid clear for Pennsylvania to follow–those already-approved initiatives have been mired in legal appeals debate between federal energy regulatory authorities, and general outcry against a rise in electricity prices for consumers.

The already-socially-sticky-situation is only made more politically complex by the ongoing litigation surrounding nuclear bailout packages, making the decision to push any such financial package in Pennsylvania a particularly precarious one. “Anything that Pennsylvania does is going to be subject to a degree of policy and legal uncertainty,” said University of Pennsylvania’s Christina Simeone, director of policy and external affairs at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.

Further complicating the issue, the contentious and divisive topic of nuclear energy’s future has recently entered the national spotlight with a new fervor thanks to the Democratic party’s newly unveiled Green New Deal. Although the official bill itself makes no mention at all of nuclear (a striking omission in and of itself), a fact sheet released alongside the bill, made public by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, states outright and in no uncertain terms that the Democrats’ Green New Deal “will not include investing in new nuclear power plants.”

The debates on the national stage as well as on a state level, such as what’s happening in Pennsylvania, are indicative of a larger issue: in a world with rising temperatures and populations and declining reserves of traditional fossil fuels, is the United States willing to follow in the footsteps of other world powers and make politically unpopular moves in order to confront our new energy reality? So far, in Pennsylvania at least, the answer seems to be a resounding “we don’t know.” By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com

February 21, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Britain’s energy policy in a right mess, as new nuclear power stations are shelved

February 21, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Bailout tax: Profitable corporations need to come clean on nuclear energy

Penn Live, By Eric Epstein, Maureen Mulligan and David Hughes, guest contributors

It is the duty of state legislators to draft laws that respond to the needs of the districts that they represent. Some electric utility companies that own low or unprofitable nuclear plants want Pennsylvania lawmakers to enact legislation that will provide subsidies to utilities that own and operate uneconomical nuclear power plants.

Proponents of a nuclear bailout tax frequently argue that these subsidies are necessary for grid reliability and to meet statewide greenhouse gas emissions goals, and that plant closures would create economic hardships in the communities where they operate. While these are all important priorities, the measures the nuclear power industry is proposing would not produce the proclaimed results.

PJM Interconnection, the regional power grid operator responsible for grid reliability for 65 million customers in 21 states including Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region, has published multiple studies making it clear that closing these plants would not affect grid reliability. The lights will continue to shine if uneconomical nuclear power plants retire, thanks in part to increased solar and wind generation coming online throughout the state.

An analysis by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) provides evidence that “continuing to operate these plants does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from current levels.” In fact, more cost-effective, economically productive and environmentally benign options are available.

As multiple studies have proved, despite the mythology, nuclear power is not a carbon-free source of energy. Greenhouse gases are emitted in all stages of the life cycle of a nuclear reactor: construction, operation, fuel production, dismantling and waste disposal. In addition, nuclear plants routinely vent some of the deadliest gases known to exist.

And, of course, there is the issue of what to do with the dangerous radioactive waste. Nuclear power is an old and expensive technology. Subsidizing aging, unprofitable reactors on the verge of retirement anyway diverts large financial resources from investments in new technologies and infrastructure and slows renewable energy growth that is driving down emissions without seeking a handout.

The analysis by NIRS highlights that potential job losses can be addressed without making electricity ratepayers pay more to bail out the owners of these uneconomical plants. In fact, the increased energy costs to manufacturers — some of the biggest energy users in the commonwealth — as a result of a nuclear bailout could lead to job losses and lack of economic growth in the state that are the same or worse than a plant closure. …….https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2019/02/bailout-tax-profitable-corporations-need-to-come-clean-on-nuclear-energy-opinion.html

February 21, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

South Africa inquiry hears how former president Jacob Zuma pressed for ‘astronomically expensive’ nuclear deal

#StateCaptureInquiry: ‘If nuclear had proceeded, SA would’ve been in trouble’ https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/statecaptureinquiry-if-nuclear-had-proceeded-sa-wouldve-been-in-trouble-19365917 18 FEBRUARY 2019, ZINTLE MAHLATI  JOHANNESBURG – Former National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile has corroborated former minister Nhlanhla Nene’s evidence regarding pressure to implement the nuclear deal.

Fuzile returned to the state capture inquiry on Monday to finalise aspects of his testimony.
He told the commission of a meeting with former president Jacob Zuma where the nuclear deal was discussed.
He said Zuma made various comments that were concerning. And even with doubts from Treasury and Nene, there was pressure to go ahead with the deal.
Nene had testified when he appeared last year at the inquiry that the nuclear deal would have cost a lot of money and place massive risk on the country’s fiscus.
“The costs associated with it were astronomical. The envisaged 9.6 GW programme would have constituted the largest investment project in SA history. The investment required would have been estimated at R200 billion for a phased approach,” said Nene.
Fuzile said in a meeting with Zuma on the eve of Nene’s firing, officials from Treasury explained to Zuma and other officials why the project would be a risk yet Cabinet moved to approve the first phase of the deal.
“This was the biggest procurement ever in the history of the country, yet the processes were rushed and some of the stuff that was talked about was not followed. If nuclear had proceeded, this country would have been in trouble. The process that was followed was seriously flawed. There was a brushing aside of the true cost of the project,” said Fuzile.
Zuma commented that Fuzile and former minister Pravin Gordhan had stopped the PetrolSA Engen deal and said it was Treasury’s job to find the money.
Nene had testified that he suspects he was fired because of his objection to the nuclear deal.
Lungisa also touched on the PetroSA deal which did not go through, something Zuma appeared unhappy about.
He also testified about concerns from some board members at South Africa Airways (SAA) about the Airbus deal.
Lungisa also noted the resistance for the removal of former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni. He said it did not make sense why there was so much resistance especially as lenders for SAA did not enjoy working with the SAA board led by Myeni
Lungisa’s testimony was largely focused on corroborating information already provided by Nene and Gordhan when they appeared at the inquiry last year.
The inquiry continues.

February 19, 2019 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Focus now on Pennsylvania, in the nuclear industry’s battle to get tax-payer funding

Pennsylvania Is Newest Nuclear Subsidy Battleground, Power Magazine, 02/14/2019 | Sonal Patel, Pennsylvania, the nation’s second-largest nuclear power-producing state, is now definitively a battleground for nuclear power subsidies. 

Last week, in two memos that were circulated in the state House and Senate, seven lawmakers signaled they would soon introduce legislation that would update a 2004 state law—the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS)—to include nuclear power. The law currently requires that 18% of electricity sold should come from renewable sources by 2021, including at least 0.5% of solar photovoltaic power. …….

The memo specifically cites concerns about Beaver Valley and Three Mile Island, which, barring legislative remedy, will shut down soon because they cannot compete with cheaper sources of generation in PJM Interconnection’s wholesale electricity market.

FirstEnergy Solutions Banks on Reforms

FENOC, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) that sought bankruptcy protection in March 2018, last year notified PJM Interconnection it would shutter Beaver Valley in 2021 (as well as two Ohio plants, the single-unit 908-MW PWR at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor by 2020, and the single-unit 1,268-MW BWR at the the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry in 2021). At the time, a company executive said, “Though the plants have taken aggressive measures to cut costs, the market challenges facing these units are beyond their control.”…….

Pennsylvania Could Be Newest Victory for Exelon

Meanwhile, Exelon in May 2017 announced it would shutter Three Mile Island in September 2019 unless policy reforms are enacted in Pennsylvania. Industry observers, however, point out that the gambit is similar to one employed in Illinois to help enact the Future Energy Jobs Act in December 2016 (it went into effect in June 2017), keeping Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities plants running. Exelon also strongly backed New York’s Clean Energy Standard, a measure that became effective in April 2017, to preserve the at-risk Nine Mile Point, FitzPatrick, and Ginna reactors in upstate New York. And in 2018, New Jersey also enacted zero-emission credits (ZECs) to bolster profitability of the Hope Creek plant, which is owned by PSEG, and Salem, whose output Exelon owns jointly with PSEG. 

As financial documents Exelon filed on Feb. 8 show, the New York and Illinois ZEC measures have proven beneficial for the company, whose 32.7 GW generation portfolio comprises a 20.3 GW nuclear fleet—the largest in the nation. In 2017, Exelon recorded ZEC revenues from New York and Illinois of $343 million. For the full year of 2018, Exelon Generation recorded a net income of $370 million, while adjusted operating earnings for 2018 soared to $1.3 billion (its net income was $2.7 billion in 2017, and adjusted operating earnings were $989 million).

The company noted that 2018 adjusted operating earnings reflect “the favorable impacts of New York and Illinois ZEC revenue (including the impact of ZECs generated in Illinois from June 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2017), increased capacity prices, tax savings related to the [2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act], realized gains on nuclear decommissioning trust (NDT) funds and decreased nuclear outage days, all of which were partially offset by lower realized energy prices and the absence of earnings from Exelon Generation Texas Power due to its deconsolidation in the fourth quarter of 2017.”……..

Widening ZEC Horizons

If Pennsylvania backs nuclear subsidies, it will become the fifth state in the U.S. to do so on a statewide basis. Along with Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, in 2017, Connecticut also enacted legislation to allow Dominion’s Millstone nuclear plant to become eligible for a state procurement process for ZECs, upon certification of financial need. ……..

The nation’s 98 licensed nuclear power reactors at 59 sites in the U.S. generate about 20% of the nation’s power. However, the nuclear sector is facing severe financial pressure from cheaper power produced by natural gas plants, growing supplies of renewables, and stagnant electricity demand. Between 2013 and 2018, seven U.S. reactors were permanently shuttered, and 12 others are planned for closure through the mid-2020s. Dismal economics have stymied plans to build up to 30 new U.S. reactors, which were announced over the past 10 years. Only two reactors are under construction today—at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, which continues to face major challenges.   https://www.powermag.com/pennsylvania-is-newest-nuclear-subsidy-battleground/?pagenum=1

February 16, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear modernisation in America – should go along with maintaining arms control treaty

February 16, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry lobbies for tax-payer subsidies to try to make “new nukes” a commercially viable export industry

U.S. Nuclear Energy Industry Asks Washington For Help In International Expansion, Oil Price, 

It seems U.S. nuclear plant builders feel left out of an international race that could be very profitable.

“There is competition around the globe, and we want to be part of it,” Bloomberg quoted the chief executive of Exelon Corp., Chris Crane, as saying.

The help that the industry is seeking from the government involves “financial assistance” to make their products more competitive with other companies that are already receiving financial support from the governments, notably Russian and Chinese companies, but also French reactor builders. All these are also on an international expansion drive.

“The United States needs to maintain a leadership position,” Exelon’s Crane told media…… The U.S. nuclear industry is hard pressed to find new markets as local power plants age and become uncompetitive with renewable energy installations, following the path of coal-powered plants. Since the domestic market seems to be saturated with nuclear plants, the only viable option is expanding abroad.

Also, approval for new reactor technology would come in handy. The industry is working on next-generation reactors as well as smaller, modular nuclear reactor technology–but these need to be approved at the highest level before joining the competition. https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/US-Nuclear-Energy-Industry-Asks-White-House-for-Help-In-International-Expansio.html

February 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

The danger of ‘dual use’ nuclear facilities – for both military and commercial purposes

Nuclear watchdogs warn against blurring energy, military uses at Ohio fuel plantNuclear watchdogs warn against blurring energy, military uses at Ohio fuel plant,  Energy News,  BY Kathiann M. Kowalski, 13 Feb 19, 

Combining the capability to make fuel for nuclear reactors and material for weapons undercuts nonproliferation efforts, critics say.

A planned nuclear fuel plant in Ohio could help enable the nation’s next wave of carbon-free electricity, a fleet of small reactors providing continuous power to the grid.

The U.S. Department of Energy fuel facility would be unique in part because it could also produce material for use in nuclear weapons. That crosses a potentially dangerous line, nuclear watchdog groups say — one that could undercut efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

The Department of Energy announced plans last month to contract with Centrus Energy Corp.’s American Centrifuge Operating subsidiary to reopen a nuclear fuel plant in Piketon, Ohio, about 70 miles south of Columbus where Appalachia’s foothills start rising from sprawling farmland.

The new project would likely resemble an earlier pilot program there that ended in 2015, but with various updates and technical fixes. It would also require U.S.-only sources, in lieu of some foreign components and technology.

Dual uses envisioned

DOE is proposing the company as the sole source for the work, and the agency’s notice suggests the demonstration project’s fuel could be used for both civilian and military purposes.

On the civilian side, the project’s fuel would be used for research and development of next-generation nuclear reactors. Designs for those smaller reactors call for fuel known as HALEU, which stands for high assay low-enriched uranium.

HALEU can have between 5 and 20 percent of uranium’s U-235 isotope. That’s the form that undergoes fission readily. In contrast, most U.S. commercial reactors use fuel with 3 to 5 percent U-235. Natural uranium is about 99 percent U-238.

On the defense side, HALEU could be used for small mobile reactorsto power on-the-go military operations. Beyond that, DOE’s requirement for U.S.-only technology could also let the plant’s fuel be used to make tritium. That radioactive isotope of hydrogen is used innuclear weapons.

Foreign policy fears

The possible crossover uses for the Piketon plant’s fuel could conflict with the country’s positions on nuclear nonproliferation.

The United States signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in1968 in hopes of curbing the risk of global nuclear war. The treaty recognizes the rights of countries to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes but forbids countries that didn’t already have nuclear weapons from building or obtaining them. Supplemental treaties apply to transfers of goods and technology and other matters.

Those treaties account for the “U.S.-only” requirement for any facility or technology that would produce nuclear fuel that could be used for the country’s nuclear weapons program. But critics see a problem in blurring the lines of civilian and military uses of Piketon’s fuel.

“Our entire nonproliferation endeavor where our reactors are concerned has been to prevent our civilian programs from being used in support of military bomb-making programs,” said Peter Bradford, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who later taught at Vermont Law School. “One of the pillars of that undertaking has been to keep them separate in the U.S.”

An exception has been the irradiation of rods in a light-water reactorat the Tennessee Valley Authority, using “U.S.-only” fuel. Tritium is then extracted from those rods at DOE’s Savannah River Site.

A dual use for the Piketon plant would expand the fuel supply for those or similar operations. But it would also add another site blending civilian and military uses of nuclear technology…………

Conceptually, I think that is a very bad image for the U.S. to project at this point when the U.S. is trying to dissuade other countries from building their own facilities,” said Edwin Lyman, acting director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Nuclear Safety Project. ……

“The proposed demonstration is very good news for the entire U.S. nuclear industry,” said Centrus Energy spokesperson Jeremy Derryberry. “If America wants to be competitive in supplying the next generation of nuclear reactors around the world, we need an assured, American source of high-assay low-enriched uranium to power those reactors. We stand ready to work with the department to get the proposed project underway as  quickly as possible.” The Nuclear Energy Institute likewise hailed the news. …….

However, Piketon isn’t the only option for supplying smaller, new nuclear reactors. “There is actually an enrichment facility in the United States in New Mexico that would be capable of supplying any civilian nuclear power plant,” said Lyman at the Union of Concerned Scientists……..

That “midnight-hour resurrection” of production at Piketon raises “a lot of questions about not only the viability of the project, but the need for it, and the consequences of getting it restarted at this point after this has been shut down for three years,” Lyman said.

“The plan and the intent have been to clean the Piketon plant up and to deal with all the radioactive contamination there,” Judson said. “This is a step in the wrong direction.” https://energynews.us/2019/02/13/midwest/nuclear-watchdogs-warn-against-blurring-energy-military-uses-at-ohio-fuel-plant/

February 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Spain plans to close all nuclear plants by 2035

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/spain-plans-to-close-all-nuclear-plants-by-2035-11239490, 13 Feb 19, MADRID: Spain aims to close all seven of its nuclear plants between 2025 and 2035 as part of plans to generate all the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

Energy Minister Teresa Ribera announced the move on Tuesday (Feb 12), just as the Socialist government gears up to call an early national election in anticipation of losing a budget vote.

Overhauling Spain’s energy system, which generated 40 per cent of its mainland electricity from renewable sources in 2018, will require investment of 235 billion euros (US$266 billion) between 2021 and 2030, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said last month.

Ribera said the government would present a draft plan to combat climate change, which had been due to be sent to the European Union for approval by the end of last year, to parliament on Feb 22.

Under a draft bill prepared last year, the government aims to ban sales of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2040 and encourage the installation of at least 3,000 megawatts a year of renewable capacity such as wind farms and solar plants.

Phasing out nuclear power, which accounts for a little over 20 per cent of mainland Spain’s electricity, was a campaign pledge for the governing Socialists, who took office last summer after toppling their conservative predecessors in a confidence vote.

Spain’s nuclear plants, which started operating between 1983 and 1988, are owned by Iberdrola, Italian-owned Endesa, Naturgy and Portugal’s EDP.

February 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, Spain | Leave a comment

Record USA national debt – topping $22 trillion, and nuclear industry STILL wants tax-payer handouts !

National debt hits new milestone, topping $22 trillionabc 22 now, by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics WriterWednesday, February 13th 2019 WASHINGTON (AP) — The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time.

The Treasury Department‘s daily statement showed Tuesday that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017.

The debt figure has been accelerating since the passage of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year to increase spending on domestic and military programs.

The national debt is the total of the annual budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s deficit will be $897 billion — a 15.1 percent increase over last year’s imbalance of $779 billion. In the coming years, the CBO forecasts that the deficit will keep rising, top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and never drop below $1 trillion through 2029. Much of the increase will come from mounting costs to fund Social Security and Medicare as the vast generation of baby boomers continue to retire.

The Trump administration contends that its tax cuts will eventually pay for themselves by generating faster economic growth. That projection is disputed by many economists…….https://abc22now.com/news/nation-world/national-debt-hits-new-milestone-topping-22-trillion

February 14, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy developers want Trump administration to subsidise their business, in hopes of exporting “new nukes”

CEOs Ask Trump to Help Them Sell Nuclear Power Plants Abroad, Bloomberg, By Jennifer A Dlouhy,  Ari Natter, and Jennifer Jacobs, February 13, 2019,   Executives say they compete with China, Russia and France,  Thriving nuclear development key to U.S. security, they say

U.S. nuclear energy developers on Tuesday met with President Donald Trump and asked for help winning contracts to build power plants in the Middle East and elsewhere overseas……..

……..The push comes as developers seek U.S. government approval of next-generation advanced and small modular nuclear reactors — and the administration’s help in selling their products to the world. The International Atomic Energy Agency predicts that some 554 gigawatts of nuclear electric generating capacity will come online by 2030, a 42 percent increase over current levels.

The White House meeting included representatives from a range of nuclear developers, including NuScale Power LLCTerraPower LLCWestinghouse Electric Co. LLC and General Electric Co, as well as suppliers Centrus Energy Corp. and Lightbridge Corp. and other companies. It was initiated by Jack Keane, a retired Army general and the co-founder of IP3 International, a company that has advocated American nuclear power development in the Middle East, according to two people familiar with the session.

The executives sought to enlist Trump in their bid to make U.S. nuclear power more competitive globally, such as with financing assistance to vie against subsidized companies. Russia, China and France are also seeking to build nuclear plants overseas……….

The developers argued that U.S. national security would be jeopardized if the country cedes its role as a chief developer of civilian nuclear power plants. As the domestic nuclear fleet ages — and the prospects for building a new wave of plants diminish — exporting the technology globally is a way to ensure a robust and thriving U.S. brain trust on nuclear power.

……..One possibility: A directive laying out U.S. nuclear power development as a chief national security goal.

Also on the table: Efforts to secure agreements to share U.S. nuclear technology with Middle East nations, including Jordan and Saudi Arabia. While negotiations for a so-called 123 agreement with Saudi Arabia were damaged after the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, an agreement with Jordan is also a possibility.

Some nuclear executives also expressed concerns about a raft of policies designed to boost their competitors generating renewable power. The industry representatives meeting with Trump promised to come back in a few months with more concrete ideas.

Separately Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would require any nuclear sharing agreement between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. meet the so-called “gold standard” barring enrichment and reprocessing of uranium.

The White House has vowed to help the nuclear power industry, which is struggling to compete with electricity from cheaper natural gas and renewables, but the administration so far hasn’t been able to formulate a plan to do so.

IP3 International is backed by several prominent national security figures, including Keane, whom Trump has considered as a possible defense secretary.

Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to making false and fraudulent statements to the FBI, has been linked to IP3 and was accused of failing to disclose private travel and meetings tied to a plan by Russia and Saudi Arabia to build nuclear plants while seeking a government security clearance.

Representatives of IP3 did not respond to a request seeking comment. A NuScale representative referred questions about the meeting to the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the White House declined to comment.

— With assistance by Alyza Sebenius https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-12/trump-said-to-meet-with-nuclear-developers-looking-globally

February 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

France considers fully nationalising EDF nuclear energy company

France Mulls EDF De-Listing Amid Nuclear Challenge This was already looking like being a significant year for EDF after President Emmanuel Macron outlined his vision for French energy policy to shift in favor of renewable energy. From the point of view of investors, re-regulating and restructuring the company’s reactor fleet could be a big value driver, Vincent Ayral, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in Jan. 30 research note.If the government opts for nationalization, the process would be long and require the approval of European antitrust authorities, the person said. France would at the same time have to get the region’s regulator to approve new rules for nuclear power because the current system, designed to boost competition in the French electricity market, expires at the end of 2025, the person added.

Last November, Macron said EDF would halt up to 14 reactors by 2035, with the aim of reducing nuclear power to 50 percent of the electricity mix from 72 percent currently. He delayed a decision to build new atomic plants until at least 2021 and presented plans to boost wind and solar. The president also called for a new regulation of EDF’s nuclear power prices to keep electricity bills under control amid weekly protests against energy costs and taxes.

  • Utility needs funds to maintain or replace aging reactors
  • Restructuring could help EDF to meet long-term challenges

The French government is considering buying out minority shareholders of Electricite de France SA, the first step in a corporate restructuring to address the challenge of replacing the country’s nuclear-power backbone, people familiar with the matter said.

The government has asked EDF, of which it owns 84 percent, to propose changes in its structure. The utility’s cash flows are vulnerable to volatile power prices and intensifying competition, and it’s already struggling to fund billions of euros of investments to maintain or replace its aging reactors.

Major Restructuring

Nuclear dominates French electricity supply, but the government wants a change

EDF is likely to be be taken into full state ownership, with nuclear operations being placed in a parent company and other businesses such as renewables placed in units, said one person at the utility, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Nationalization could help the utility cope with the state’s plan to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear power by phasing out some reactors, while also giving it the means to participate in the development of renewable energy, said a person familiar with the government’s thinking.

EDF is likely to be be taken into full state ownership, with nuclear operations being placed in a parent company and other businesses such as renewables placed in units, said one person at the utility, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Nationalization could help the utility cope with the state’s plan to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear power by phasing out some reactors, while also giving it the means to participate in the development of renewable energy, said a person familiar with the government’s thinking.

This was already looking like being a significant year for EDF after President Emmanuel Macron outlined his vision for French energy policy to shift in favor of renewable energy. From the point of view of investors, re-regulating and restructuring the company’s reactor fleet could be a big value driver, Vincent Ayral, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in Jan. 30 research note.

If the government opts for nationalization, the process would be long and require the approval of European antitrust authorities, the person said. France would at the same time have to get the region’s regulator to approve new rules for nuclear power because the current system, designed to boost competition in the French electricity market, expires at the end of 2025, the person added.

Last November, Macron said EDF would halt up to 14 reactors by 2035, with the aim of reducing nuclear power to 50 percent of the electricity mix from 72 percent currently. He delayed a decision to build new atomic plants until at least 2021 and presented plans to boost wind and solar. The president also called for a new regulation of EDF’s nuclear power prices to keep electricity bills under control amid weekly protests against energy costs and taxes.

This was already looking like being a significant year for EDF after President Emmanuel Macron outlined his vision for French energy policy to shift in favor of renewable energy. From the point of view of investors, re-regulating and restructuring the company’s reactor fleet could be a big value driver, Vincent Ayral, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in Jan. 30 research note.

If the government opts for nationalization, the process would be long and require the approval of European antitrust authorities, the person said. France would at the same time have to get the region’s regulator to approve new rules for nuclear power because the current system, designed to boost competition in the French electricity market, expires at the end of 2025, the person added.

Last November, Macron said EDF would halt up to 14 reactors by 2035, with the aim of reducing nuclear power to 50 percent of the electricity mix from 72 percent currently. He delayed a decision to build new atomic plants until at least 2021 and presented plans to boost wind and solar. The president also called for a new regulation of EDF’s nuclear power prices to keep electricity bills under control amid weekly protests against energy costs and taxes

February 14, 2019 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Theresa May says that UK is still in talks about Wylfa nuclear station plan

Wylfa Newydd: Nuclear plant talks to continue, says May  BBC 13 Feb 19, The UK government will continue talks with the company behind plans for a new nuclear power station in Anglesey, Theresa May has said.The prime minister told MPs that ministers will “support” discussions with Hitachi.

Last month the company announced it would suspend work on the £13bn Wylfa Newydd project because of rising costs.

The government said at the time it had failed to agree terms with Hitachi…….https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-politics-47229383

February 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK Labour plans for a “just transition” to a green economy

Guardian 12th Feb 2019, Labour is to set out how the UK can move swiftly to a decarbonised future
to tackle the unfolding climate crisis and put “meat on the bones” of its
promise to create hundreds of thousands of high-skilled, unionised green
jobs. Trade unionists and industry leaders will come together with
academics, engineers and public institutions to build detailed regional
plans setting out the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The proposal, due to be outlined on Wednesday by Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business
secretary, will involve a national call for evidence and a series of
regional events to build “a detailed action plan” to maximise the benefits
of moving to a zero-carbon future. A future Labour government would oversee
an economic revolution to tackle the climate crisis, using the full power
of the state to decarbonise the economy and create hundreds of thousands of
green jobs in struggling towns and cities across the UK. “We’re launching
an unprecedented call for evidence about what this means for your town,
your city, your region,” she said. “We want to bring unions, industry,
universities, the public sector and others together to build this vision
out into a practical reality.”

Labour says a key plank of its plan will be
to ensure a “just transition” to high quality green jobs for those
currently working in carbon-emitting industries. To do that it will have to
persuade its trade union backers, who represent people in high-carbon
industries, that there is a viable economic alternative. The party hopes
that once the evidence has been collected it will form the basis of a green
paper to be published in autumn 2019 at party conference, with plans for
how each region might move to a decarbonised future.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/12/labour-plan-decarbonise-uk-green-jobs-climate-crisis

February 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment