Tagged: Toshiba

Moorside Nuclear Plant Takes ‘Double Step Forward’

Japanese industrial giant Toshiba has formally taken a controlling stake in NuGen, the consortium behind plans to build three reactors at Moorside, near Sellafield.

The agreement sees Toshiba secure a 60 per cent stake and French firm GDF Suez retain a 40 per cent holding in NuGen, which has formed a new management team with Sandy Rupprecht as chief executive.

The consortium has also reached an agreement of around £200m to acquire the Moorside site from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

John Clarke, the NDA’s chief executive, said the sale marks a “significant milestone” in nuclear new-build and “excellent news for the local community in terms of investment and jobs.”

The Whitehaven News reported last week that NuGen plans to be back on site next month to begin geographical surveys. It is hoped that site suitability will be determined next year, planning permission and licensing granted in 2018, allowing for construction to begin in 2020. The first AP1000 reactor would go on stream in 2024 and all three, with a combined 3.4GW capacity, operational by 2026.

Mr Rupprecht said: “Moorside is the most exciting new nuclear build project in Europe.

“We will be taking forward our project in West Cumbria – the UK’s nuclear heartland – and we expect the national and regional economies to benefit extensively.”

The announcement has been roundly welcomed. Copeland MP Jamie Reed said: “I don’t believe that there is another area of comparable size in the UK set to receive the sheer scale of economic investment that we are in West Cumbria – and every penny has been hard won.

“NuGen has rightly called our area Britain’s nuclear heartland, and we are about to commence Europe’s biggest new nuclear project.

“None of this has happened by accident, but close to a decade of work is beginning to pay off: we are beginning to turn the corner, we are building a new West Cumbria.”

The Sellafield Workers Campaign, which last month held an industry day to promote the benefits of new-build, welcomed the creation of new jobs during construction and when the plant becomes operational.

Craig Dobson, SWC secretary, added: “Low carbon nuclear power represents a major way forward for the world and the UK to drastically cut those emissions, protect our environment and keep the country’s lights on.”

Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council, said: “This is another significant step in the journey towards billions in investment and thousands of jobs, and we are delighted.”

David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for nuclear, said: “It’s another important step in the development of this massive project which will be a linchpin of West Cumbria’s economic future.”

Source: Whitehaven News

Nuclear News Round Up (1st May – 8th May 14)

Toshiba stake in UK new-build

Toshiba stake in UK new-build

Iberdrola has agreed to sell its 50% stake in the UK’s NuGeneration (NuGen) consortium to Toshiba for £85 million ($139 million). NuGen is the would-be developer of the proposed Moorside nuclear power plant.

AP1000 cutaway
AP1000: reactor of choice for Moorside?
(Image: Westinghouse)
Spanish company Iberdrola has notified Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, CNMV) of its 21 December agreement to transfer its shareholding in Belgian company NNB Development Company SA, which is itself the owner of the entire capital of NuGen, to Toshiba Corporation of Japan.The move is described as part of Iberdrola’s strategy of “divesting from non-strategic businesses”. The transaction is subject to obtaining the relevant authorisations and consents, the extension of an option to purchase land for the project, and the release of project-related guarantees granted by Iberdrola.NuGen was originally owned 37.5% each by Iberdrola and GDF Suez of Belgium, and 25% by Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), with Iberbrolda and GDF Suez becoming 50:50 owners after SSE decided to withdraw from the project in 2011. The consortium has an purchased an option on the 190 hectare site to the north of the Sellafield complex from the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Agency in 2009. The plot of land and the plant project are called Moorside.

Moorside is one of five proposed sites for nuclear new build in the UK, alongside EDF’s Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C and Horizon’s Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury B sites. If built, Moorside is likely to comprise up to three Westinghouse-designed AP1000 pressurized water reactors. Toshiba is majority owner of the US-based reactor vendor.

Eight AP1000s are under construction in China and the USA, and the reactor is in the final stages of generic design assessment (GDA) by UK regulators. The GDA forms part of the approval process for new reactor projects in the UK, allowing regulators to assess the safety, security and environmental implications of new reactor designs separately from applications to build them at specific sites. To complete the process the AP1000 needs a customer and a specific site for certain engineering details.

The EPR has already completed the GDA process, receiving a Design Acceptance Confirmation and Statement of Design Acceptability in December 2012, while a GDA was started for Hitachi-GE’s ABWR in April 2013. EDF plans to build two Areva-designed EPR pressurized water reactors each at Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C, while Horizon’s proposals feature Hitachi-GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWRs).

The involvement of Toshiba in NuGen would mean that all UK nuclear new build projects feature part or full ownership by a reactor vendor. Areva will take a 10% stake in Hinkley Point C, while Hitachi owns Horizon.

Source: World Nuclear News

Toshiba Buys British Nuclear Firm NuGeneration

Toshiba Buys British Nuclear Firm NuGeneration

Seeking to increase foreign sales, Toshiba will buy a controlling stake in a company planning a new nuclear plant in the UK.

Nikkei reported last week that Toshiba will purchase half of NuGeneration for roughly $200 million. That company was founded as a joint venture by GDF Suez and Iberdrola. Interest from Asian companies in the British nuclear program has ramped up in recent years. Toshiba rival Hitachi purchased Horizon Nuclear Power last year from RWE and EON, which were planning reactors at Wylfa, Oldbury and Anglesey.

NuGeneration in 2009 secured a purchase option from the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to buy land near Sellafield for 3,600 megawatts of new nuclear generation. The government deemed the site suitable for new reactors in 2011, according to the company’s website, and NuGeneration has been developing detailed site plans in anticipation of an investment decision in 2015.

Source: Nuclear Street

UK starts ABWR design assessment

UK starts ABWR design assessment

The generic design assessment (GDA) for Hitachi-GE’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) has officially begun with the signature of agreements by the company and UK nuclear regulators.

ABWR (Hitachi) 460x120
The ABWR could be the UK’s first commercial boiling water reactor (Image: Hitachi)The agreements follow a January 2013 request by then-UK energy minister John Hayes for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency to conduct the GDA process for the ABWR, which Horizon Nuclear Power is proposing to build at two UK sites. The signature of a formal charging agreement and regulatory nuclear interface protocol by the regulators and the reactor vendor mean that the process can now begin in earnest.

ONR and the Environment Agency will now begin formal preparatory work with Hitachi-GE on the timescales and resources needed for the assessment. Under the terms of the newly signed agreements, Hitachi-GE will assume all the costs for the design assessment.

Horizon chief operating officer Alan Raymant and Hitachi Europe general manager for licensing Ken Sato welcomed the agreements, which Raymant said would enable the companies to begin “meaningful” preparations for their first major submissions to the regulators, to be made later this year.

The GDA process allows regulators to assess the safety, security and environmental implications of new reactor designs, separately from applications to build them at specific sites. The UK’s first GDA process began in 2007, when four designs – Areva and EDF’s EPR, Westinghouse’s AP1000, GE-Hitachi’s ESBWR and AECL’s ACR-1000 – were submitted for initial consideration. The ESBWR and ACR-1000 were subsequently withdrawn or suspended from the process at the request of the vendors.

The EPR became the first reactor design to complete the UK GDA process and receive a Design Acceptance Confirmation and Statement of Design Acceptability in December 2012. The regulators have currently suspended work on the AP1000 GDA at Westinghouse’s request, as the company wishes to secure a UK customer before working to address issues raised in the assessment process.

The ABWR is a so-called Generation III reactor design, and is offered in slightly different versions by GE Hitachi, Hitachi-GE and Toshiba. Four ABWR units are already in operation in Japan, and the design is also licensed in the USA and in Taiwan, where two are under construction.

Horizon, which was acquired by Hitachi of Japan in November 2012, plans to build between four and six ABWRs in the UK at its sites at Wylfa and Oldbury. The units would be the first commercial boiling water reactors in the country.

Source: World Nuclear News

Nuclear News Round Up (11th Mar – 15th Mar)

Fennovoima selects Toshiba but keeps options open

Fennovoima selects Toshiba but keeps options open

Finland’s Fennovoima has launched a study into the possibility of building a mid-sized nuclear reactor at Hanhikivi despite inviting Toshiba to take part in “direct negotiations” about proposals for a 1600 MWe boiling water reactor at the site.

Hanhiviki EU-ABWR (Fennovoima)_460Toshiba’s vision of an EU-ABWR at Hanhiviki (Image: Fennovoima)

Two commercial bids were submitted for the planned single-unit plant near Pyhäjoki on the western coast of Finland in January 2012: Toshiba’s EU-ABWR and Areva’s EPR advanced pressurised water reactor. Negotiations have been ongoing with both companies, who submitted final updates on their bids in January. As a result of its evaluations, Fennovoima’s board of directors has now decided to terminate the bidding process and instead to proceed with a new supplier selection process. The company has accordingly elected to continue direct negotiations about the 1600 MWe EU-ABWR with Toshiba, starting immediately.

However, in parallel to the negotiations on the 1600 MWe unit, Fennovoima has also started work on a two-stage process to assess whether a mid-sized unit would be a better option. The first phase, a survey, is to be completed by the end of March 2013. It will comprise a preliminary assessment of different alternatives for a single-unit light water reactor of 1000-1300 MWe capacity and will include technical feasibility, licensability, economic and financial feasibility and project schedule. A second, bidding, phase in which the company will invite bids from the options it decides are suitable would follow, with a detailed schedule agreed on a case-by-case basis.

Recent changes in Fennovoima’s ownership structure have prompted the decision to look into mid-sized reactors, the company notes, while emphasising that the “current owners’ need for Fennovoima’s electricity has not changed.” Voimaosakeyhtiö SF recently assumed full control of the company after purchasing the 34% stake formerly owned by Germany’s EOn. Voimaosakeyhtiö SF is a co-operative of 67 firms including municipal utilities and various other companies from trade and industry.

The reactor must fulfil Finnish safety requirements and all other requirements of the Finnish authorities. Fennovoima says it regards mid-sized reactors from Toshiba, Areva and Rosatom as potentially suitable alternatives, although notes that “other suppliers and reactors” may be considered.

Fennovoima has not elaborated further on the reactors that will be included in its survey phase, although it has previously taken Areva’s 1290 MWe Kerena BWR into consideration as a possible option for the Hanhikivi plant.

Toshiba Power Systems vice president Kiyoshi Okamura said the company would be able to respond to Fennovoima’s needs and could offer a 1300 MWe EU-ABWR as well as a 1600 MWe unit. “We would be very pleased to provide our most advanced EU-ABWR equipment and to contribute to ensuring the long-term stability of Finland’s power supply,” he said.

Finland’s four operating nuclear reactors include both boiling water and pressurised water reactors. Areva is currently building a 1600 MWe EPR at Olkiluoto 3, but construction of Finland’s fifth nuclear unit has been subject to delays which have seen the anticipated start-up date pushed back from 2013 to 2016. TVO is also planning to build a fourth unit at Olkiluoto, although no decision on a vendor has yet been made.

Whether it decides to go for a large or mid-sized reactor, Fennovoima says it intends to select a plant supplier for Hanhikivi during 2013.

Source: World Nuclear News