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Consultant WYG takes £3m loss on business it bought for Moorside nuclear development.

WYG points finger at government for Toshiba nuclear decision, Building UK, By Dave Rogers12 November 2018  Consultant forced to take £3m loss on business it bought for Moorside development. Consultant WYG has criticised the government for not being clear enough in its support to build a nuclear power station in Cumbria.

Publishing its annual results in June, WYG said it was forced to book a £3.2m cost on closing a business that it bought because of the work it expected to be carried out at the Moorside plant.

Land and property firm North Associates was snapped up in 2015 but delays on the plant forced the firm to shut the Carlisle-based business in March.

Last week Toshiba said it would wind-up its NuGen business which had been slated to carry out work building the plant at Moorside……….

Toshiba spent 18 months trying to sell NuGen but failed to find a firm willing to invest in the nuclear project. It said winding up the company would cost it £125m.

Engie walked away from NuGen, leaving Toshiba to try and sell the vehicle after posting a $8.4bn (£6.4bn) loss for the year ending 31 March 2017.

South Korean state-owned Kepco was chosen as preferred bidder over China General Nuclear in December last year but lost its preferred status in August after protracted talks hit delays – including a change of chief executive and a new government in Seoul. https://www.building.co.uk/news/wyg-points-finger-at-government-for-toshiba-nuclear-decision/5096491.article

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November 13, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s Wyfa nuclear power project – one hell of a cost to the taxpayer.

Dave Toke’s Blog 11th Nov 2018 ,Greg Clark looks likely to go down in history as the Minister who signs off
on a nuclear construction deal with Hitachi for the proposed Wylfa power plant that led to a stupendous loss for the taxpayer. That loss might be £20 billion or more.

Clark has apparently put no discernable effort into the objective of securing ‘subsidy’ free contracts for onshore wind and solar. However, he has been spending a lot of time concocting a plan to finance the Wylfa nuclear power plant that will, on the basis of past performance, generate huge losses for the public purse years down the line.

All the talk from BEIS (the energy ministry) is of the new ‘Regulated Asset Base’ (RAB) financing of nuclear power plant. Except that what’s really happening is not really an RAB model at all. It’s a piece of brownwash to obscure the reality of Government blank cheque to cover whatever it costs to build the nuclear plant. That’s because the whole plan hinges on the constructors being able to pass on cost-overruns onto the Government.

And that’s the point. Nuclear power stations being built in the west have almost always tended to have large cost overruns. Recent ones have ALL suffered horrendous cost overruns – in the USA (4), France (1) and Finland (1).

Yet, some otherwise sensible, financial analysts seem to ignore this fact as they extol the virtues of RAB financing. They implicitly assume that Wylfa will proceed precisely on target, in which case, they say the Government will deliver the project at a ‘cheaper’ price than Hinkley C through the provision of Government loans with low interest rates.

Sure, the headline price that will be paid by the electricity consumer, over 35 years, will be a bit cheaper. But that’s likely to be at one hell of a cost to the taxpayer.
http://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.com/2018/11/how-greg-clarks-hitachi-deal-could-lead.html

November 13, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Doomed Moorside nuclear project might have provided 2% of UK energy needs, NOT 7%

 Times 12th Nov 2018 , David Lowry 12 Nov 18 Alistair Osborne is correct in his acute analysis of the financial failure of new nuclear in the UK (“No surprise Toshiba went cold on idea”,Times, Nov 9), except for one important matter: he conflates energy with electricity.

The planned output capacity for the doomed Moorside nuclear plant would not have provided “7 per cent of our energy needs”, but of the UK’s power generating capacity, which is the equivalent of about only 2 per cent of current national energy demand. Conflating the two inflates the importance of nuclear to UK energy balance, thus distorting its political salience.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/brexit-and-the-value-of-a-second-referendum-dk8fgmw6w

November 13, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

NuGen’s failing Moorside nuclear project will cost Cumbrian residents a multimillion-pound bill for the preparatory work

Times 10th Nov 2018 Consumers face a multimillion-pound bill for work carried out in preparation for the proposed Cumbrian nuclear plant that may never be built.

National Grid said that it had spent tens of millions of pounds planning the 100-mile power line to connect Nugen’s Moorside plant to the electricity transmission network. Much of the cost is expected to be recovered from households and businesses via levies on their energy bills for decades to come. John Pettigrew, chief executive, said that work on the Moorside line had cost “tens of millions” of pounds and that there was a “regulatory process” to recover the costs.

Nugen is obliged to cover some of the cost, but one industry source said that it was on the hook for a little more than £10 million, while National Grid’s expenditure was thought to be in the high double digits. National Grid is expected to submit a claim to Ofgem, the energy regulator, to recoup the rest from consumers.

The regulator can refuse to allow expenditure it deems inefficient, but the rules are thought likely to allow the company to recover at least half of its costs. The eventual £2.8 billion proposal included £1.9 billion of “measures to reduce its impact on people, places and the environment”, including burying the lines through a 14-mile stretch of the Lake District and a 13-mile tunnel under MorecambeBay.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/f1630fa6-e458-11e8-9838-efa7e96cbe2b

November 12, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

For Britain’s next nuclear boondoggle – Wylfa project, households might have to pay upfront for the construction.

Times 11th Nov 2018 The business secretary Greg Clark held a crunch meeting with Hitachi in Tokyo last week over its planned £15bn Welsh nuclear power station, as a rival Japanese project collapsed. Toshiba killed off its NuGen power station plan in Cumbria last week after the ailing industrial giant struggled to find a buyer – denting Britain and Japan’s nuclear ambitions.

Toshiba’s exit leaves Britain’s nuclear power renaissance reliant on France’s EDF and Japan’s Hitachi. Clark is understood to have attended a dinner with the Hitachi chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi during a visit to Japan, where they discussed sealing a deal on Hitachi’s Horizon power station on Anglesey by Easter.

The British and Japanese governments are expected to take equal equity stakes in Horizon alongside Hitachi. Whitehall is also expected to provide all the debt for the 2.7 gigawatt project, which would be sold once it has started generating power. Clark agreed to help bankroll the Horizon project in June, marking a departure from previous policy.

Ministers want Horizon and Hinkley to replace a string of ageing coal and nuclear power plants that are due to close over the next decade. Under pressure from ministers, Hitachi is considering using a different form of financing – a regulated asset base – for future reactors on Anglesey and in Gloucestershire.

However, that risks further controversy as it would mean households fund the project before it has been completed. Clark’s latest visit also reflects growing tension between Tokyo and London over Brexit.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/97c7a1de-e514-11e8-aa8a-1a554b586cbd

November 12, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Cumbria Trust questions the independence of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)

Cumbria Trust 11th Nov 2018 , The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) which advises BEIS on dealing with nuclear waste, has recently published a paper which Cumbria
Trust believes calls into question their independence. They are supposed to
act as an independent body, but some of their recent actions suggest to us
that they are too close to BEIS and failing to adequately perform their
advisory function and to challenge poor decision-making. A government
department which surrounds itself, and only listens to people who agree
with it, is at significant risk of repeating past mistakes. Cumbria Trust
have written the letter (below) to CoRWM expressing our concerns.
https://cumbriatrust.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/has-corwm-lost-its-independence/

November 12, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Toshiba’s failure shows business can’t deliver a nuclear future 

Guardian,9 Nov 18 , Phillip Inman As Cumbria reactor plan stalls, it is clear that huge resources are needed for such projects.  If the government was keen to boost Britain’s nuclear industry, it was always clear that the private market would struggle to deliver.

The decision by Toshiba to close down its UK operations is a case in point. After the deal to build new reactors at Hinkley Point with the French firm EDF, Toshiba was favoured by ministers to design and construct a smaller power station on the Cumbrian coast.

Hinkley was a deal that appeared to be with a private company but the really meaningful talks were between Whitehall officials and their counterparts in the French government, EDF’s controlling shareholder. It took years of agonising brinkmanship to conclude the talks, much of them conducted on the French side by the then economy minister, Emmanuel Macron.

Toshiba, on the other hand, is a private company struggling on its own to navigate the complex politics surrounding nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

In 2006 it bought the US nuclear business Westinghouse, part of British Nuclear Fuels and home to much of the UK’s nuclear power industry. With climate change creeping to the top of the agenda and demand for new nuclear plants around the world growing, it seemed like a good idea.

However, the 2011 Fukushima disaster changed all that. Governments in Japan and other countries halted the development of new nuclear plants. Last year, cost overruns on building the first new US nuclear power plants in three decades pushed Westinghouse into bankruptcy and Toshiba into financial meltdown. The future of the Cumbrian nuclear plant has been in doubt ever since.

Earlier this year Toshiba sold Westinghouse to a private equity outfit as a services provider for existing nuclear plants. The construction of new reactors was not on the agenda. To no one’s surprise, Toshiba has now confirmed it has abandoned building any new plants in the UK.

Without entering the argument about whether nuclear is a good option – and the government advisory body, the National Infrastructure Commission, is unequivocal that renewables such as wind and solar were going to be a safer, cheaper option – it is clear huge commitments of time, resources and political capital are necessary for infrastructure projects of this scale to get off the ground and through to completion.https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/08/toshibas-failure-shows-business-cant-deliver-a-nuclear-future

November 10, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been scrapped

UK nuclear power station plans scrapped as Toshiba pulls out, Guardian, Adam Vaughan@adamvaughan_uk,  8 Nov 2018  Firm’s nuclear arm to wind up next year and scrap Cumbria plant leaving big hole in UK energy plans Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria have been scrapped after the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba announced it was winding up the UK unit behind the project.

Toshiba said it would take a 18.8bn Japanese yen (£125m) hit from closing its NuGeneration subsidiary, which had already been cut to a skeleton staff,after it failed to find a buyer for the scheme.

The decision represents a major blow to the government’s ambitions for new nuclear and leaves a huge hole in energy policy. The plant would have provided about 7% of UK electricity.

“This is a huge disappointment and a crushing blow to hopes of a revival of the UK nuclear energy industry,” said Tim Yeo, the chair of pro-nuclear lobby group New Nuclear Watch Institute and a former Tory MP.

Greenpeace UK’s executive director, John Sauven, said: “The end of the Moorside plan represents a failure of the government’s nuclear gamble.”

After a board meeting of Toshiba on Thursday, the company said it was winding up NuGeneration because of its inability to find a buyer and the ongoing costs it was incurring. The firm has already spent more than £400m on the project.

“Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen,” the firm said in a statement………

Some industry watchers said the collapse of the scheme should be seen as an opportunity rather than a risk, for the UK to prioritise renewables instead.

Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the ECIU thinktank, said: “Shifting away from expensive, complicated technology towards cheaper and easier to build renewables gives the UK the opportunity to build an electricity system that will keep bills for homes and businesses down for years to come.”

The government’s infrastructure advisers recently urged ministers to rethink their nuclear plans and focus on renewables instead……..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/08/toshiba-uk-nuclear-power-plant-project-nu-gen-cumbria

November 10, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Toshiba dumps its UK nuclear business

Toshiba Ditches UK Nuclear Business, U.S. LNG Operations, Oil Price.com Toshiba will also liquidate another nuclear subsidiary in the UK, Advance Energy UK Limited. The loss that the company will book from the wind-ups will come in at US$130 million (15 billion yen) and will be booked in its 2018/19 results………

Earlier this year, Toshiba sold its U.S. nuclear power business, Westinghouse, for US$4.6 billion to a group of investment companies led by Brookfield Asset Management. The deal puts an end to a major headache for the Japanese conglomerate, which last year warned that it might have trouble surviving if it didn’t find a buyer for the nuclear power plant constructor, which it acquired in 2006 for US$5 billion.

Plagued by project delays and cost overruns that came up to US$6 billion for two large-scale projects in the United States, Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last March. The business had by that time generated US$6.3 billion in writedowns for the parent company that resulted in Toshiba reporting a net loss of US$9.1 billion for 2016……..https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Toshiba-Ditches-UK-Nuclear-Business-US-LNG-Operations.html

November 10, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s Bradwell nuclear project under scrutiny- risks of flooding, water overuse, environmental degradation

BANNG 7th Nov 2018 , BANNG’s visit to the Bradwell B site (reported on in the October edition)
gave an opportunity to discuss the early site assessment undertaken by the
company.

The question in all our minds was: ‘is this a suitable site for
the Bradwell B nuclear complex?’ At this stage the developer’s answer
is nuanced: a case of we hope so but we are a long way from knowing.

The Bradwell project is currently under scrutiny by the regulatory authorities
in a process known as Generic Design Assessment. Taken together the site
assessment and the GDA provide an opportunity for BANNG to press concerns
about three key issues which, we believe, make the site wholly unsuitable
and unsustainable.

The first is the high probability risk of flooding
‘especially during the later stages of operation and decommissioning of a
potential nuclear power station’. Second, is the issue of providing the
vast quantities of water needed to cool the reactors. The third issue is
the environmental destruction this project would cause.
https://www.banng.info/news/bradwell-b-an-unsuitable-site-for-development/

November 10, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Toshiba closes down its UK operations – showing that nuclear power is just not commercially viable

Toshiba’s failure shows business can’t deliver a nuclear future, Guardian, 9 Nov 18  Phillip Inman

As Cumbria reactor plan stalls, it is clear that huge resources are needed for such projects.  If the government was keen to boost Britain’s nuclear industry, it was always clear that the private market would struggle to deliver.

The decision by Toshiba to close down its UK operations is a case in point. After the deal to build new reactors at Hinkley Point with the French firm EDF, Toshiba was favoured by ministers to design and construct a smaller power station on the Cumbrian coast.

Hinkley was a deal that appeared to be with a private company but the really meaningful talks were between Whitehall officials and their counterparts in the French government, EDF’s controlling shareholder. It took years of agonising brinkmanship to conclude the talks, much of them conducted on the French side by the then economy minister, Emmanuel Macron.

Toshiba, on the other hand, is a private company struggling on its own to navigate the complex politics surrounding nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

In 2006 it bought the US nuclear business Westinghouse, part of British Nuclear Fuels and home to much of the UK’s nuclear power industry. With climate change creeping to the top of the agenda and demand for new nuclear plants around the world growing, it seemed like a good idea.

However, the 2011 Fukushima disaster changed all that. Governments in Japan and other countries halted the development of new nuclear plants. Last year, cost overruns on building the first new US nuclear power plants in three decades pushed Westinghouse into bankruptcy and Toshiba into financial meltdown. The future of the Cumbrian nuclear plant has been in doubt ever since.

Earlier this year Toshiba sold Westinghouse to a private equity outfit as a services provider for existing nuclear plants. The construction of new reactors was not on the agenda. To no one’s surprise, Toshiba has now confirmed it has abandoned building any new plants in the UK.

Without entering the argument about whether nuclear is a good option – and the government advisory body, the National Infrastructure Commission, is unequivocal that renewables such as wind and solar were going to be a safer, cheaper option – it is clear huge commitments of time, resources and political capital are necessary for infrastructure projects of this scale to get off the ground and through to completion.https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/08/toshibas-failure-shows-business-cant-deliver-a-nuclear-future

November 9, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Frazer Nash nuclear helps nuclear lobby to infiltrate academia

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

NuGen nuclear power project in Moorside, Cumbria, UK, soon to bite the dust?

Sunday Times 4th Nov 2018 Plans to build a nuclear power station to provide up to 7% of the
country’s electricity could be ditched within days after talks with a
potential buyer stalled.

The planned NuGen plant in Moorside, Cumbria, has
been in trouble since financial problems emerged in 2016 at the owner,
Toshiba, and its nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse Electric filed for
bankruptcy protection.

Toshiba has been trying to sell the project.
However, talks with South Korea’s state-owned Korean Electric Power
Corporation (Kepco) have yet to lead to a deal, and Kepco was stripped of
preferred bidder status in August.

It is thought that Toshiba’s board is
set to meet in Tokyo on Thursday, when directors will decide whether to
continue trying to find a buyer or to wind up the project, which is
believed to have been costing millions of pounds a month.

Winding up NuGen— seen as the likely outcome — would deal a big blow to the
government’s energy strategy. NuGen had been due to start powering about
6m homes from 2025. The private equity firm Brookfield, which bought
Westinghouse, was also in talks with Toshiba over the deal but it is
believed these have collapsed. China’s CGN has also been interested.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/crunch-talks-to-rule-on-cumbria-nuclear-plant-gvtg2ztrh

November 5, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

UK could be running solely on zero carbon renewable in summer months 2050.

Business Green 2nd Nov 2018 The UK power market will be able to withstand huge volumes of new renewable
generation coming on line according to new research, which suggests the
country could be running solely on zero carbon power during the summer
months by 2050.
The paper, released today by Aurora Energy Research,
explores what happens to the UK power market as it transitions to a high
level of renewable power. Aurora modelled a 2050 scenario where power
demand has risen by two-thirds from today, thanks to the rise of EVs, and
the grid now boasts 130GW of nuclear, wind and solar generation capacity.
Low power demand and a seasonal spike in renewables generation could
effectively lead to zero-carbon summers for the UK electricity grid under
this scenario, according to Aurora. But such large volumes of renewable
power would also “fundamentally alter” the workings of the power market,
with price crashes in the summer months as green power generation soars.
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3065602/aurora-er-uk-could-enjoy-zero-carbon-summer-power-by-2050

November 5, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Sellafield nuclear decommisioning ‘a misuse of public funds’

CORE 31st Oct 2018 The findings of the spending watchdog’s latest report on the status of
Sellafield’s clean-up projects and costs makes yet more dreary reading
for the UK taxpayer – the costs described as ‘a misuse of public
funds’ by a spokesman for the report’s authors the Government’s
Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The PAC report pulls few punches in its
criticism of the way the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is
managing many of the major projects needed to clean up Sellafield. The site
currently receives some £2Bn of public money every year and, over the next
100+ years of decommissioning is expected to cost a total of £91Bn.
In a slight but revealing departure from the pattern of previous reports, PAC
raises the spectre of the UK’s plutonium stockpile (40% of the world’s
global stock) and the latest thinking by Government on its long-term
plutonium management options. [An NDA FoI response to CORE (29.10.18)
suggests an update on its plutonium plans is currently being finalised by
the NDA and could be published in the next month or so]
http://corecumbria.co.uk/briefings/spendthrift-sellafield-wayward-governance-and-the-latest-plutonium-view/?doing_wp_cron=1541014253.9727599620819091796875

November 3, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, politics, UK | Leave a comment