The Brexit effect on UK nuclear

24 June 2016

EDF Energy, NuGeneration and Horizon Nuclear Power have all stressed their commitment to the UK's nuclear new build program, despite the country's decision to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, the majority vote in favour of 'Brexit' - decided in a national referendum held yesterday - may have implications for investment in new reactors and nuclear research, as well for the UK's future role in meeting climate change targets, industry participants said.

EDF Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Lévy said the UK's decision will have no impact on EDF Energy's strategy to build Hinkley Point C - the first new nuclear power station built in the UK in almost 20 years. Scheduled to begin operating in 2025, the twin-unit plants will provide about 7% of the UK's electricity.

"As of today, we believe that this vote has no impact on our strategy, and the strategy for our UK subsidiary [EDF Energy] has not changed. Our business strategy is not linked to Great Britain's political affiliation with the European Union, so we have no reason to change it," Lévy said. "I would just point out that in the last few days, spokespeople on energy issues for the Brexit camp - notably Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom - have on numerous occasions and again in recent days come out in favour of maintaining the decarbonisation policy, of maintaining the nuclear option, and of maintaining the Hinkley Point project. Therefore there are no consequences from this vote today."

Material testing continues on French steam generators

24 June 2016

SG bottom head - 48Parts of some steam generators at 18 nuclear power units in France may have similar anomalies discovered in the steel of the pressure vessel of the Flamanville EPR, utility EDF has informed the French nuclear regulator.

Construction permits for two more Shin Kori units

23 June 2016

Shin Kori 5 and 6 - 48South Korea's nuclear regulator has today approved the construction of units 5 and 6 of the Shin Kori nuclear power plant. The APR1400 units are scheduled to begin operating in March 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Fennovoima considers own repository for used fuel

22 June 2016

Fennovoima is considering developing its own repository for disposing of used fuel from its planned Hanhikivi nuclear power plant in western Finland. Posiva Solutions is to advise it on site selection.

Mexican dry storage facility nearing completion

24 June 2016

Laguna_Verde_ISFSI_May_2016_(Holtec)-48 An independent used fuel storage installation (ISFSFI) at Mexico's Laguna Verde nuclear power plant has been built in record time, with fuel loading into the facility's storage canisters expected to begin this month.

Executive changes at Westinghouse

23 June 2016

Westinghouse Electric Company has announced changes to its executive leadership, with José Emetrio Gutiérrez becoming acting president and CEO as Danny Roderick becomes president of Toshiba Corporation's Energy Systems and Solutions Company. Westinghouse is a group company of the Toshiba Corporation.

Climate goals call for speedier expansion of nuclear power

22 June 2016

Despite challenging market conditions, the global nuclear industry delivered a strong operating performance and improvements in construction times of new reactors in 2015, according to a new report from the World Nuclear Association. The report says that if the world is to meet its climate change targets then the rate of new build will need to accelerate.

Carbon pricing not enough to help nuclear power

Politically feasible carbon pricing is not likely to provide the long-term revenue needed to support existing or new nuclear power projects. Instead, project-specific activities should be undertaken to keep existing nuclear in operation and to drive investment in new nuclear power plants - with the cost of these activities recovered as a cost of controlling carbon, writes Edward Kee.

Economic analyses of nuclear power projects reflect carbon price revenue, but only as a low-probability upside scenario for equity investors. The benefits, timing, level and certainty of carbon prices will need to change if nuclear power project investors and lenders are to consider carbon price revenue as a key part of project economics.

Carbon prices provide no direct benefit to nuclear power, but increase the cost of fossil fuel electricity in ways that may result in indirect benefits for nuclear power. Higher costs for combustion-based electricity due to carbon prices will make nuclear electricity appear more competitive for traditional electric utilities.

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