Image: The Westinghouse reactor proposed for Moorside is being built at a number of sites across the world
The site of a £10bn nuclear power plant in Cumbria has been confirmed after a deal to secure land near the existing Sellafield complex was completed.
Joint venture group Nugen said it had paid an undisclosed sum for the vast tract of land at Moorside.
The project will see three nuclear reactors constructed on the site, which was owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
The sale follows months of tests to ensure the area was suitable.
The three Westinghouse reactors planned for Moorside will have a combined output of 3.4 gigawatts. Nugen said they will be able to supply almost 7% of the UK’s electricity requirements.
Each of the reactors will take about four years to build.
Image: Sellafield Ltd
Nugen chief executive Tom Samson said: “This is great news for the North West and particularly for West Cumbria, the UK’s nuclear heartland.
“We are delighted to be taking forward Moorside, a massive development which will supply some 7% of the UK’s future electricity.”
John Clarke, CEO of the NDA, said: “The completion of the land sale supports the initiative to have West Cumbria recognised as a centre of nuclear excellence, building on over six decades of nuclear expertise in the area, whilst delivering excellent value for money for the taxpayer and the national economy.”
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom added: “Backing the next generation of nuclear projects is a key part of our long-term plan to power the economy with clean, secure energy and keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses.”
Copeland MP Jamie Reed said: “We have lobbied long and hard for new nuclear build to complement the array of world-class nuclear skills we already have here.
“It’s taken 10 years to reach this point. This latest news is warmly welcomed and further proof that West Cumbria’s best days are ahead of us.”
Source: BBC News
EDF to miss its own deadline for Hinkley Point nuclear decision
French energy giant does not expect to take final investment decision on Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation until the autumn, missing its own target of July
EDF expects to miss its own deadline for deciding whether to build Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation, the Telegraph can disclose.
The French energy giant announced in October that it planned to take a final investment decision on the £16bn Hinkley Point C plant by July, after striking a landmark subsidy deal with government.
But it now believes that an ongoing European Commission investigation into whether the subsidies are illegal state aid will not be fully resolved until autumn, forcing its decision on the Somerset plant back until then.
The delay could threaten EDF’s plans to deliver first power from the plant in 2023 – a timescale it had said was “subject to a final investment decision by July 2014”.
It also pointed out many key details of the deal, including a £10bn-plus loan guarantee from the Treasury, could not be scrutinised as they were yet to be finalised. It is understood the loan guarantee may not be finalised until May.
Amid intense scrutiny of the Hinkley plan, EDF is also lobbying strongly against a long-term freeze of the UK’s rising carbon tax, which it fears would weaken the case for Hinkley by pushing up the bill for direct subsidies for the plant.
Under October’s deal, EDF has been guaranteed a price for the power the plant generates of £92.50/MWh, almost double the current market price for power, with the difference subsidised through levies on consumer energy bills.
A rising UK carbon tax would push up the market power price, reducing the total direct “top-up” subsidy to Hinkley and potentially making the deal more palatable to politicians and the EC alike.
But under pressure to tackle rising energy bills the Chancellor now is expected to announce a freeze of the carbon tax in next week’s Budget.
EDF – whose existing nuclear power plant fleet would also benefit significantly from the rising carbon tax – is understood to be urging the Chancellor to guarantee that any freeze would last no more than a two years and that the tax would then revert to its upwards trajectory.
The company, which is still in talks with potential investors to take stakes in the Hinkley Point project, also argues that a policy u-turn on the carbon tax would damage the UK’s attractiveness.
EDF has been at pains to insist it can deliver Hinkley “on time and on budget”, despite its Flamanville reactor in France being dogged by cost blowouts and years of delays.
However, it has already publicly set and then missed a string of deadlines for Hinkley, which was once supposed to be running by 2017, while the cost has “rocketed hugely”, according to former partner Centrica.
A damning 70-page critique published by the EC in January raised a series of concerns with the subsidy deal, arguing that it may be unnecessary, risked handing EDF excess profits and could severely distort competition.It said that total public subsidy could reach £17bn – more expensive than the plant itself.
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£79m investment in next generation nuclear submarines
The Defence Secretary has announced £79 million of investment in the next generation of Royal Navy submarines.
The Successor submarines, which will carry the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent will be the largest and most advanced boats operated by the Navy and their design and construction will be the most technologically complex in the history of the UK.
Two contracts worth £47 million and £32 million have been awarded to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines, based in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, who are leading on the design of the vessels.
The investment will allow BAES, who currently have more than a thousand people working on the Successor programme, to begin work on some initial items for the submarines that are due to replace the Vanguard Class from 2028. It is essential these items, which include structural fittings, electrical equipment, castings and forgings are ordered now to ensure the submarines are able to meet their in service date.
The Successor design and build programme is amongst the most complex ever undertaken by British industry. The total number of MoD and industrial staff currently working on the Successor programme is around 2,000, with more than half working as engineers and designers. Over 850 potential UK suppliers have so far been identified as benefiting from investment in the programme and as many as 6,000 people will be involved by the time that the construction reaches a peak.
AMEC alliance wins contract extension at Sellafield
The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has today confirmed its intention to extend Nuclear Management Partners’ (NMP) role as the Parent Body at Sellafield for a further five years.
This is the first renewal of a contract which has the potential for further extension periods, subject to performance, up to a total life of 17 years. The value of the contract has not been announced.
Clive White, President of AMEC’s European Clean Energy business, said: “Sellafield is the one of the world’s most complex and challenging nuclear sites. NMP’s learning curve over the first five years has been a steep one, with many accomplishments as well as areas for improvement.
“We will use the experience we have gained to ensure this programme continues to be carried out safely and effectively, delivering value for money to our customer and the UK taxpayer. We will be focused on accelerating the clean-up of the high hazard legacy ponds and silos, which are acknowledged as the priority area.”
NMP, a consortium comprising three world-class nuclear specialists, AMEC, AREVA and URS, was first awarded the role of parent body organisation (PBO) in late 2008. As PBO, NMP owns the Sellafield Site Licence company, Sellafield Limited, which in turn manages and operates, on behalf of the NDA, the reprocessing and waste storage facilities at Sellafield, the former nuclear power stations Calder Hall and Windscale (all in West Cumbria), and an Engineering Design Centre at Risley in Cheshire.
AMEC’s share of NMP revenues relate solely to recharges of costs of AMEC management working on the contract, whilst potential annual earnings will reflect AMEC’s share of a dividend which is subject to performance against targets agreed with the NDA.
Source: Your Nuclear News
Sellafield Ltd welcomes mammoth module delivery by sea
The completion of the UK’s largest current nuclear project, Evaporator D, moved a stage nearer today with the successful completion of the module sea delivery phase.
The height of six double decker buses, the module was an imposing sight as it was loaded onto the barge prior to sailing the 65 miles north to a beach adjacent to the Sellafield site on the West Cumbrian Coast. The module includes the large 58 tonne evaporator vessel, the heart of the plant, and weighs in at an impressive 500 tonnes.
The delivery started with the 27 metre high module being transported a distance of 1.5 kilometres via Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) from the Interserve Pioneer Point facility in Cheshire across a bridge spanning the M53, to the specialist barge the Terra Marique, moored on the Manchester ship canal.
On arrival at the Sellafield beach the module was off loaded from the barge and driven across a purpose built temporary bridge spanning the River Ehen, which runs parallel to the site.
The final leg of its momentous journey was carried out on the Sellafield site as the module was transferred to the site of the Evaporator D facility and lifted vertically from the horizontal, transportation position.
Over the next few weeks preparations will be carried out for the module to be transferred into the Evaporator D facility through a pre constructed opening in the side of the building, which has a tolerance gap of only 70mm, to be positioned in its final resting place within the heart of the Evaporator D facility.
Duncan Basnett, Construction Engineer said: ”This phase of the project presented us with a unique logistical challenge, and all the parties involved are proud of the fact that we have successfully and safely delivered this module to a site of this size and complexity.”
Evaporator D is essentially a giant kettle which is used to reduce the volume of high level liquid waste before it is turned into a glass form and stored. Evaporator D will provide replacement capacity to the site’s existing evaporators, which continue to play a pivotal role in the delivery of nuclear fuel reprocessing contracts and in maximising the reduction of risk to the public and the environment from site operations.
Chinese want bigger new nuclear role with EDF
China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) is looking to take a significant role in any potential partnership in UK new nuclear with EDF.
In the Financial Times, sources close to the deal said the state-owned CGN, wants to take greater operational control of any new plant it invests in, including Hinkley Point C, while it is targeting a joint operator role at a new plant at Sizewell.
Source: Utility Week