Sunday Times 6th Sept 2015

DAVID CAMERON is set to sign a landmark deal next month to allow China to build a prototype nuclear reactor in Bradwell, Essex. The plant would be the first Chinese-designed and operated facility in the West.
It is the price Beijing has extracted in return for its agreement to help pay for two new plants to be built by France’s EDF Energy — one at Hinkley Point in Somerset and the other at Sizewell, Suffolk.

The deal, part of a wide-ranging civil nuclear pact between Britain, France and China, may be sealed in October during the Chinese president’s state visit.

Last week EDF admitted that Hinkley Point, Britain’s first atomic power station in two decades, will be hit with fresh delays. It was originally scheduled to open in 2017, but wrangling over how it will be funded has held up the start of work.

Problems with the EPR reactor design have also stymied progress, and the company admitted last week it would not open before 2024. Whitehall officials are hammering out the final details of an agreement under which two of Beijing’s state power companies, China General Nuclear and China National Nuclear Corporation, will take a large minority stake in Hinkley Point. They would also be junior partners, and cover part of the costs, for a follow-on plant at Sizewell.

EDF would lead the construction and operation of both sites. In return for Beijing’s support on those plants, EDF would sell its rights to a development site it owns at Bradwell. The French would become a minority partner and assist the Chinese through Britain’s approval process for a new reactor design, a process that is among the most arduous in the world. Beijing would then use that certification as a selling point as it bids to become the world leader in nuclear technology. The Chinese design is expected to be capable of producing one gigawatt of electricity — enough to power 1m homes.

All are Welcome to come along to the TASC Jumble Sale.

Donations of good quality clothes. bric-a-brac, plants, cakes & draw prizes would be gratefully recieved. (Contact Joan Girling 01728 837960)

Info about sizewell C will be available

Click here for a copy of this poster

A call for a statutory review of the Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy (EN-1)

Members of TASC have written a Submission to Amber Rudd, The Secretary of State for Energy, calling for a review of the governments policy on nuclear power new build.

Decisions regarding the need for extensive new supply-side infrastructure have driven energy policy for decades and left the demand-side of energy policy inadequately addressed.

This has resulted in a policy requiring the installation of new (supply side) generating capacity without first properly assessing:

  1. Whether such infrastructure is needed in the first place; and

  2. The potential for the demand side alternatives (such as energy efficiency and energy saving) that the government itself says are the cheapest and most cost effective ways of delivering energy policy objectives

New evidence produced by DECC shows that new nuclear power stations will:

1. risk ‘the lights going out’;

2. waste £billions;

3. hamper the achievement of the Government’s stated energy policy objectives;

4. be less effective in meeting energy policy objectives than a more ‘demand-side-led’ strategy; and

5. not satisfy the ‘urgent need’ for new electricity supplies that the Government says are necessary.

Unlike a non-nuclear approach to energy policy

A copy of the submission can be downloaded here


Daily Telegraph 09 Jul 2015

French state-owned nuclear giant Areva has been aware for almost a decade of critical anomalies in its new generation EPR plant in Flamanville, the same model sold to Britain


From The Guardian, 2 July 2015

Nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewable energy join with green group to launch legal action against state aid for new nuclear power in UK

A law suit against ‘boundless nuclear subsidies’ for the project is to be filed within days.

Greenpeace and nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewable energy said on Thursday they are launching legal action against state aid for a new British nuclear power plant, which was approved by the European commission.

Greenpeace and the others in the group said at a news briefing that the lawsuit would be filed with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in the coming days, over the Hinkley Point C project in south-west England.

It would be based on the argument that billions of euros of subsidies for nuclear energy would distort prices in mainland European power markets, which are linked to those in Britain via a small French interconnector.

“We are complaining against these boundless nuclear subsidies, because from an ecological and macro-economic viewpoint, they appear senseless and bring substantial financial disadvantages for other energy suppliers, renewable energies and for consumers,” said Soenke Tangermann, managing director of the Greenpeace Energy co-operative.

The project, due to be built by French utility EDF, is deemed crucial for Britain’s plan to replace a fifth of its nuclear power and coal plants in the coming decade.

Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear and to focus on wind and solar power sets it at odds with decisions in Britain and France to invest in emissions-free nuclear, which they have chosen to play a major role in combating climate change.

The European commission last year approved state aid for the £16bn Hinkley Point plan.

EU member states can choose their individual power generation mix, but have to obey rules respecting the European drive for harmonised internal markets.

The campaigners said price guarantees for Hinkley Point C’s output, calculated over 35 years, would amount to €108bn (£77bn) while state guarantees for the construction of the reactor exceeded another €20bn.

They said the Hinkley Point C could become a precedent for nuclear projects in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, which would run counter to Germany’s intended transition to a renewable-based energy future.

Artificially low prices of electricity derived from subsidised nuclear plants would push up prices German consumers were paying for green energy, they said.

Greenpeace Energy supplies 111,000 customers with renewable power.

The other nine companies in the alliance are Energieversorgung Filstal, municipal utilities (called Stadtwerke) of Aalen, Bietigheim-Bissingen, Bochum, Mainz, Muehlacker, Schwaebisch Hall and Tuebingen, and Austria’s oekostrom.