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NNWE Executive Brief

15 August 2018 

Welcome to the bi-weekly Executive Brief, delivering the latest nuclear energy news. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Things to Know

 (1) The status of new nuclear in the UK

  • Commitment: The Government have issued a clear commitment to developing the UK’s capacity to produce nuclear energy in 2018.

  • Industry: The industry will have to deliver on the Government’s promises to bring down the strike rate for future new nuclear projects, should they want to ensure this price disparity doesn’t become a significant obstacle in securing public and parliamentary support for forthcoming initiatives.

  • Alternative: The Government is expected to publish the Offshore Wind Sector Deal before the end of the year, which, reportedly, will commit approximately £48bn in new investments in the country’s infrastructure and increase offshore wind capacity to 30 gigawatts by 2030.

  • Future: Whilst it is evident that the Government seeks to establish new nuclear as the core of the future UK energy mix, the success of the project will be contingent on finding a solution to the pressing issue of what to do with nuclear waste.

 

(2) Subsidies for ‘mini’ nuclear power plant backed by review

  • Recommendation: Developers of “mini” nuclear reactors in the UK should be offered the same subsidies as those provided to offshore wind to help commercialise the nascent industry.

  • Proposal: The proposal is among several contained in a report by an expert finance working group appointed by the government last year to advise on how small nuclear reactor projects, which range from micro to 600 megawatt reactors, could raise private investment. 

  • Commitment: The UK is one of the few western nations committed to building new nuclear power stations, and the development of a new generation of small atomic reactors is seen as crucial to the industry’s future as it grapples to stay competitive against the rapidly falling costs of renewables, including solar and wind.

  • Quote: Richard Harrington, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: “Advanced nuclear technologies provide a major opportunity to drive clean growth and could create high-skilled, well-paid jobs around the country as part of our modern industrial strategy.”

 

(3) Rosatom seeks to boost cooperation in Eurasia

  • Aggreement: The agreement was signed on 10 August by Alexander Merten, president of Rusatom International Network, and Vsevolod Smakov from the EDB.

  • Areas: The parties agreed to jointly promote the implementation of Rosatom projects in high-technology areas, including: renewable energy sources, thermal power, nuclear medicine, the use of radiation technologies in industry, agriculture, food processing centres, construction and servicing of nuclear power plants and other complex engineering facilities.

  • Financing: In addition, the parties agreed to jointly determine the instruments and various forms of project financing with the participation of Rosatom organisations.

  • Quote: Alexander Merten, President, Rusatom International Network: "The signing of today's agreement between the industry complex of Rosatom State Corporation - Rusatom International Network - and the Eurasian Development Bank creates additional prerequisites for the successful implementation of projects in the field of traditional and renewable energy, nuclear medicine and other areas in EDB member countries where Rosatom enterprises are involved as suppliers of equipment and services, implementing certain projects, and are partners of local state and private companies."

 

(4) Ukraine’s energy liberalisation opportunity should not be missed

  • Reform: The reform and modernisation of Ukraine’s energy market is vital to the future of Ukraine, but can also play a very important role in the energy security and economic development of the region, and the wider European continent.

  • Need: Whilst substantial progress has been made by the Government over the past few years, including the appointment of a new independent regulator and the adoption of the 3rd Energy package compliant Electricity Market Law, a number of measures need to be urgently undertaken by the Ukrainian government and energy market participants.

  • Legislation:  Although the legislative and regulatory framework is largely in place, the devil is in the detail. In practical terms this means the Government, the Regulator, transmission system operator and other bodies need to approve and implement about 100 secondary legislative acts.

  • Support: DTEK is well prepared to make the required operational changes to support Ukraine’s new energy market a success, but – like external investors – cannot bring its resources to bear until the regulatory framework is completed.

 

Quote of the Week


"The industry has been taking climate change impacts into account and taking action. Most reactors will have been long decommissioned by the time any significant sea-level rise takes place."
 

Jonathan Cobb, World Nuclear Association

 

Source: John Vidal, Ensia : "What are coastal nuclear power plants doing to address climate threats?"

 

Market Update

Uranium Price: $26.00lb  | €22.49lb 
(Change: $ = +8.8% | € = +9.9%)

New Nuclear Projects Under Construction


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Decarbonisation

Realising the UK’s nuclear power ambitions for a low carbon future

Nuclear sector highlights low-carbon energy roleas new figures released
 

Industry

Chinese research reactor sets operational record

Waste package in place ahead of MSSS clearance

Miniature nuclear reactors could give the UK energy freedom

UK Group pushes Advantages of Nuclear SMRs

Nuclear still UK’s main low-carbon power source

Moorside nuclear bidder stripped of preferred status

Kepco loses preferred bidder status for NuGen

Belarusian nuclear power plant to get nuclear fuel in November

Hungary's Paks nuclear plant lowers output on malfunctioning

NNWE News

Reuters| EDF's Flamanville reactor start again delayed to 2020

World Nuclear News| Costs will dictate future of UK nuclear, says university

Utility Week | Government recruiting for nuclear projects financing position

Nuclear Engineering International | UK National grid link for Hinkley Point C
 

Politics

Call for UK government to back small nuclear projects

French, British regions unite for nuclear growth

Allow nuclear waste disposal under national parks, say MPs

Russia on an international offensive to sell its nuclear plants

Turkey to build third nuclear power plant together with China

India to raise indigenous content in upcoming nuclear power projects
 

Regulation

Safety review sought for new Japanese reactor

Outstanding concerns about nuclear regulator's Brexit preparations raised by committee

Innovation

Wood Group awarded three-year research dealas UK builds up nuclear expertise

Rosatom creates life-long nuclear reactor for submarines

NNL, Wood contracted for nuclear fuel research

Released Documents

HM Government | White Paper: The future UK-EU relationship

International Atomic Energy Agency | IAEA Unveils Unique World Uranium Map

NNWE View

Press Release | Official statistics confirm nuclear largest source of low carbon power in UK

Press Release | NIA responds to the independent report from the Expert Finance Working Group on Small Reactors

Press Release | A year of hazard reduction
 

"The best way to provide consumers with reliable affordable and greener energy is to accelerate investment in low carbon sources of energy. These low carbon sources include nuclear and renewables. Both have an important role to play. Nuclear power currently provides over 11% of the world’s electricity.

At present, until large scale, flexible, long term, affordable electricity storage is widely available, to overcome intermittency and large scale dispatchability limitations, nuclear energy is the only source of low carbon dispatchable baseload electricity."

Tim Yeo, Chairman, NNWE

NNWE Executive Brief

1 August 2018 

Welcome to the bi-weekly Executive Brief, delivering the latest nuclear energy news. 
 

 

4 Things to Know

 

(1) EU energy chief pushes for tougher emissions targets

  • Target: Under the new target proposed by Mr Cañete, the EU would increase its carbon reduction target to 45 per cent by 2030, up from the current target of 40 per cent, relative to 1990 levels.

  • Requirements: To reach the new energy and climate change targets will require a mixture of public and private investment of €379bn a year between 2021 and 2030, as well a 50 per cent increase in the amount of new renewables installed each year.

  • Ministers: Energy ministers from 14 member states — including France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands — wrote to the commission in June requesting it raise its ambitions, some for as much as a 55 per cent reduction by 2030.

  • Quote: Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network Europe: “We are happy to see that there is growing momentum among member states for scaling up EU climate action from incremental to transformational ... The increase needs to go far beyond what is currently on the table, and definitely exceed the recently raised energy targets.”

 

(2) Allow nuclear waste disposal under national parks, say MPs

  • Plan: Highly radioactive nuclear waste could be permanently buried under national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs), under government plans backed by a committee of MPs.

  • Support: New plans by ministers were published in January and have now been backed by the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) select committee of MPs, who said the safest site should be chosen, regardless of location.

  • Construction: Construction of the geological disposal facility (GDF) would create 1,000 jobs and running it would create 600 more. The facility would be 200 to 1,000 metres below the surface. GDF would be designed in a way that would be acceptable to communities, preserve the socioeconomic benefits that national parks and AONBs currently bring them and avoid any intrusive surface facility in conservation areas.

  • Quote: Richard Harrington, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: "I am not saying we should have them on national parks, but it would be very wrong to exclude them at the moment. Government wants to ensure that the siting process has sufficient flexibility to identify the safest location for a GDF over the lifetime of the facility."

 

(3)  China's long game to dominate nuclear power relies on the UK

  • Aim: China wants to become a global leader in nuclear power and the UK is crucial to realising its ambitions.

  • Benefit: While other countries have scaled back on atomic energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, state-backed Chinese companies benefit from the fact that China is still relying on nuclear energy to reach the country’s low-carbon goals.

  • Target:  The UK, where as many as six new nuclear power stations could be built over the next two decades, is an obvious export target for Chinese nuclear.

  • China's role: If state-owned China General Nuclear Power (GNP) – the main player in China’s nuclear industry – buys a 49% stake in the UK’s existing nuclear plants, as it was recently reported to be considering, that would mark a significant expansion of China’s role in the UK nuclear sector.

 

(4) Why nuclear power must be part of the energy solution

  • Energy source: Pulitzer Prize-winning author argues that nuclear is safer than most energy sources and is needed if the world hopes to radically decrease its carbon emissions

  • Carbon-free: Since nuclear produces energy via nuclear fission rather than chemical burning, it generates baseload electricity with no output of carbon, the villainous element of global warming.

  • Higher capacity: Nuclear power plants operate at much higher capacity factors than renewable energy sources or fossil fuels.

  • Less radiation: Nuclear power releases less radiation into the environment than any other major energy source. This statement will seem paradoxical to many readers, since it’s not commonly known that non-nuclear energy sources release any radiation into the environment. They do.

 

Quote of the Week


"Nuclear energy is not as risky as climate change. We need to create a world where future generations don't have to deal with the worst climate impacts.

Modern reactors have more flexibility than ever, especially with new engineering solutions that provide a fast switch-off option to dial back power generation."
 

Dr Ben Britton, Deputy Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering

 

Market Update

Uranium Price: $23.80lb  | €20.36lb 
(Change: $ = +2.0% | € = +1.1%)

 

 

New Nuclear Projects Under Construction


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Decarbonisation

UK to hit EU decarbonisation targets but power generators face price uncertainty

Nuclear sector highlights low-carbon energy roleas new figures released

Incentivise grid flexibility to drive deep decarbonisation, UK energy firms urge

It's time to talk about solving the decarbonisation challenge

 

Industry

Nuclear and hydro energy power EDF earnings uplift

EDF’s Flamanville nuclear reactor to face further delays

Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant to function until 2051

Pakistan’s pivot to coal to boost energy gets critics fired up

Engie reassures investors after warning of Belgian nuclear outages

Unplanned outages hit first-half earnings at Drax

Rolls-Royce threatens to end ‘mini-nuke’ projectfor lack of support

Toshiba opens door to alternative buyers for NuGen nuclear unit

Fate of new Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria in doubt

Wylfa nuclear advisers Arup and PWC in conflictof interest row

Russia’s Rosatom to develop two nuclear reactors for SA to fight cancer

 

NNWE News

Guardian | Beware China’s role in UK nuclear industry

Euractiv | Decarbonisation not just an option but an opportunity, insist energy experts

Energy Post | No plans to phase out coal in Romania, despite diverse energy mix

Nuclear Engineering International |Europe’s heatwave affects NPPs

The Times | The Brexit nuclear option should concern us, but the fallout fears are overblown

 

Politics

UK Government criticised for not addressing clean energy investment collapse

Japan and Hitachi pin nuclear export hopes on U.K. project in Wales

Russia's Putin raises nuclear deal at Ramaphosameeting during BRICS

SA rejects Putin nuclear deal

South Africa's Ramaphosa says to discuss nuclear with Putin in future

Nairobi and Rosatom cosy up on a nuclear deal

MPs Trudy Harrison and John Woodcock urgeGovernment to "get a grip" on energy policy

 

Regulation

UK nuclear regulator - timeline for post-Euratom domestic safeguard will be met

Government confident of nuclear safeguardingafter Euratom

UK energy regulator gives go-ahead to National Grid for power grid upgrade

Hinkley remains ‘on track’ despite delays to French plant

 

Innovation

Nuclear power looks to shrink its way to success

Huge nuclear research building could be built in Derby

 

Released documents

HM Government | White Paper: The future UK-EU relationship

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2018

 

NNWE View

Press Release | Official statistics confirm nuclear largest source of low carbon power in UK

Press Release | National Grid’s 2018 Future Energy Scenarios report

Press Release | European solidarity on Energy: Better integration of the Iberian Peninsula into the EU energy market

Press Release | South West contracts for Hinkley Point C top £1.3bn
 

"To prevent dangerous and unavoidable climate change it is necessary to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity generation industry to zero by mid-century or sooner.
 
We believe that goal can only be achieved if nuclear energy is a significant part of the global energy mix. So, the purpose of NNWE is to secure recognition of the essential role of nuclear in averting dangerous climate change.
 
Nuclear energy clearly meets 2 of the 3 principal aims of energy policy.

First. It is sustainable because of its low carbon footprint. Second, it improves energy security because fuel for nuclear reactors is available from a wide range of suppliers.

But to play its full role nuclear must also be affordable. Nuclear needs to compete on price with other low carbon technologies, many of which, like solar and wind, are rapidly becoming cheaper."

Tim Yeo, Chairman, NNWE