Hitachi suspends Wales nuclear plant – what is the business case for Hinkley C

Hinkley C is leaking out money from Devon via the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, whose board (past and present) includes people with direct and tangential interests in the nuclear industry and that particular site.

Now we hear that Hitachi is suspending work on the nuclear plant it was meant to build in Wales. It is prepared to take a hit of more than £4 billion to walk away.

It begs questions:

How can the French (EDF) and Chinese – who now own Hinkley C – make a business case for Hinkley C even with the massive subsidy for its (eventual) electricity?

Just how much of OUR money is propping up these French and Chinese businesses?

What is the Plan B if one or both of the companies fail; how much of OUR money will be used to plug financial holes?

What effect has this had on renewable energy sources in Devon and Cornwall?

How much more money is our LEP going to divert to this project?

Disaster for some LEP members with fingers in Wales nuclear pie

Several members of our Local Enterprise Partnership also have an interest in this nuclear power plant in Wales …..

“Hitachi set to cancel plans for £16bn nuclear power station in Wales”

… Just one new nuclear power station, EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C in Somerset, has been given the green light and begun construction. The French company and Chinese firm CGN both want to build more.” …

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/11/hitachi-cancel-plans-nuclear-power-station-angelsey-wales

“UK’s nuclear plans in doubt after report Welsh plant may be axed” but too late for Hinkley C …

… which absorbs much of our regional funding via our Local Enterprise Partnership and its nuclear-benefitting business members.

Fresh doubts have been raised over prospects for the UK’s new nuclear power programme after a report that Hitachi is considering axing plans for a plant in Wales.

The Japanese conglomerate’s mooted 2.9GW nuclear power station on Anglesey is next in line in the UK’s nuclear plans after EDF Energy’s 3.2GW Hinkley Point C scheme in Somerset.

However, Japan’s TV network Asahi reported that the Wylfa Newydd scheme may be scrapped, sending Hitachi’s shares up by almost 3%, before ending up by 1%.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/10/uk-nuclear-plant-hitachi-wylfa-anglesey

France reducing its dependence on nuclear energy, upping renewables …

….. while building Hinkley Cin the UK!

“… In a long-awaited speech on energy strategy, President Emmanuel Macron said France would reduce the share of nuclear in the power mix to 50 percent by 2035, down from 75 percent today, rather than the total phasing out planned by neighbour Germany.

The fate of EDF, long a symbol of French industrial might and a world leader in nuclear technology, is a politically sensitive issue in France. It has already led to the resignation of Macron’s former ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, who accused the president of dragging his feet on nuclear power.

“I was not elected on a promise to exit nuclear power but to reduce the share of nuclear in our energy mix to 50 percent,” Macron said in an hour-long address, adding that 14 of EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors would be closed by 2035.

EDF shares fell up to 4 percent on news of the plans, which a source close to the president’s office said could involve the state increasing its stake in the company. By 1630 GMT the shares were down 0.25 percent.

Macron’s action plan is broadly in line with EDF’s desire not to close any reactors before 2029, besides the previously scheduled closure of Fessenheim’s two reactors near the German border. No further closures are planned before the end of Macron’s term in 2022

Another two will be shut down over 2027-28 and a further two could face closure as early as 2025-26 if there is no risk of jeopardising France’s power supply.

In his election campaign, Macron promised to stick to the former Socialist government’s target of reducing the share of nuclear to 50 percent by 2025. But he rowed back on the pledge a few months after taking office, angering environmentalists.”

In a long-awaited speech on energy strategy, President Emmanuel Macron said France would reduce the share of nuclear in the power mix to 50 percent by 2035, down from 75 percent today, rather than the total phasing out planned by neighbour Germany.

The fate of EDF, long a symbol of French industrial might and a world leader in nuclear technology, is a politically sensitive issue in France. It has already led to the resignation of Macron’s former ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, who accused the president of dragging his feet on nuclear power.

“I was not elected on a promise to exit nuclear power but to reduce the share of nuclear in our energy mix to 50 percent,” Macron said in an hour-long address, adding that 14 of EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors would be closed by 2035.

EDF shares fell up to 4 percent on news of the plans, which a source close to the president’s office said could involve the state increasing its stake in the company. By 1630 GMT the shares were down 0.25 percent.

Macron’s action plan is broadly in line with EDF’s desire not to close any reactors before 2029, besides the previously scheduled closure of Fessenheim’s two reactors near the German border. No further closures are planned before the end of Macron’s term in 2022

Another two will be shut down over 2027-28 and a further two could face closure as early as 2025-26 if there is no risk of jeopardising France’s power supply.

In his election campaign, Macron promised to stick to the former Socialist government’s target of reducing the share of nuclear to 50 percent by 2025. But he rowed back on the pledge a few months after taking office, angering environmentalists.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-energy/edf-restructuring-expected-as-france-reduces-reliance-on-nuclear-idUKKCN1NW14A

[EDF]Heysham 1: Three hurt in nuclear plant accident

“Power company EDF, which owns Heysham 1 power station, said the employees were taken to hospital following an “accidental steam release”.
The BBC understands one person suffered burns, one a broken hip and the other a broken back.

EDF said Monday night’s incident was not related to the nuclear process and there was no danger to public safety.

The casualties were said to be conscious and speaking when they were taken to hospital.

Five fire crews attended the incident at 22:40 GMT and remained at the site for more than two hours as a precaution.

A spokeswoman for EDF said a “full investigation” would now be carried out to determine the cause. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-46275104

“UK nuclear power station plans scrapped as Toshiba pulls out”

Makes you wonder what’s going to happen at our LEP’s favourite (highly vested interest for many board members) project – Hinkley C.

“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 only new nuclear power station to get the go-ahead so far is EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which started construction in 2016 and is expected to be operational between 2025 and 2027. As well as EDF, Chinese and Japanese firms hope to build further nuclear plants in the UK. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/08/toshiba-uk-nuclear-power-plant-project-nu-gen-cumbria

“Why The Hinkley Point C Power Station Is The Subject Of A Court Battle”

“A Cardiff court will play host to a group of activists on Tuesday, as they fight for an injunction to stop 300,000 tonnes of “nuclear mud” from a Somerset power station being disposed of just outside Cardiff.

The unusual dispute centres on the “Hinkley Point C” building site, where energy supplier EDF are currently in the process of constructing two new nuclear reactors.

In order to drill the six shafts needed for the reactors, EDF is clearing 300,000 tonnes of mud and sediment – and planning to dispose of it just off the Welsh coast, on the Cardiff Grounds sandbank.

The prospect of that amount of waste being ditched a mile and a half away hasn’t exactly excited locals or environmental campaigners, but there’s another factor causing added concern.

For decades, Hinkley Point has been a nuclear power hub, with its first station – “A” – operating for 35 years before closing in 2000. Hinkley Point B was opened in 1976 and is still functioning today.

The presence of these two plants has led to concerns over whether the mud there is radioactive and when the plans were announced, various online petitions calling for the Welsh Assembly to look into the matter were launched online, gathering a total of 100,000 signatures by mid-September.

Throughout the process, energy suppliers EDF have remained adamant that public safety is not at risk, with a spokesperson previously stating, on numerous occasions: “The mud is typical of sediment found anywhere in the Bristol Channel and no different to sediment already at the Cardiff Grounds site.”

Natural Resources Wales have backed them up too and say on their website that mud tested in a laboratory “did not have unacceptable levels of chemicals or radiological materials and was suitable for disposal at sea”.

But these statements have not satisfied campaigners – who count among their number a member of welsh band Super Furry Animals.

Keyboard player Cian Ciarán has become something of a spokesperson for the campaign and recently told the Guardian that he’s “involved as a Welshman and a concerned earthling”.

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/hinkley-point-c-super-furry-animals-mud_uk_5bb22f81e4b0c75759677a09?guccounter=1