Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A lot to do before nuclear gets the green light!

New Nukes

Behind Mr Huhne's bullish claims, an awesome array of hurdles must be cleared, with unprecedented timeliness for the 2018 deadline to be met. Britain faces a looming energy gap as coal power stations are turned off in 2015 to comply with European clean air legislation. And the replacement of obsolete fossil fuel plants with zero-carbon renewable or nuclear generation is central to meeting targets to cut UK carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020. Mr Huhne's efforts to allay fears of delay followed a Confederation of British Industry report warning that 150bn of private sector investment in low-carbon infrastructure including nuclear is being threatened by uncertainties in the planning regime. But the planning process is just one of a dizzying array of regulatory, political and financial questions that need answers in the next 18 months if construction is to start at EDFEnergy's Hinkley Point si! te in Somerset by next year, as is currently planned. The first milestone is for the Nuclear Industry Association's detailed justification for new sources of ionising radiation to be passed by Parliament. The submission will be put before the House this autumn by the Secretary of State, and will therefore be the first major test of Liberal Democrat Mr Huhne's uncertain commitment to new nuclear. Meanwhile, the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) to license all-new reactor designs from Areva and Westinghouse is already underway. The process is due to complete next June, but at the same time the regulator needs to be entirely restructured, scaling up from the low-level oversight function of recent years to take on both the GDA itself and the vastly important site licensing process that will follow. The straitened public finances and government search for savings is already ringing alarm bells in the industry. "This is not an area where there can be cuts," one source sai! d. EDF expects to put in planning applications for Hinkley and! Sizewel l this winter. But before the necessary permissions can be granted needed by the end of next year major changes to the planning system itself also need to be worked through. First is the National Policy Statement (NPS), a strategy document designed to streamline the planning procedure but that needs to be consulted upon, agreed, and ratified by Parliament first. The timetable for the energy sector NPS has already slipped by six months. A revised draft is now due for consultation this autumn, to be ratified by March. The biggest hurdle for new nuclear is that the power stations are hugely expensive, and the cost of power too unreliable to provide a sufficiently secure return. It is therefore incumbent on the government to create a policy framework that will provide incentives for private sector investment. The Government has committed to a carbon floor price to help give extra stability to the volatile, and low-priced, EU Emissions Trading Scheme. But until details such as th! e level of the floor price are clarified, the efficacy of the scheme remains in question. Considerable work is also required on how liability for as-yet-unknown decommissioning costs will be apportioned. "One person's incentives are another person's subsidy," an industry source said. "If nuclear gets anything it is seen as a subsidy, but if the review doesn't make the economics make sense then companies won't build." Worryingly, the last electricity market reforms, after privatisation, took several years. "This is the most important piece of the jigsaw," Professor Helm said. "We will be extremely lucky to get it sorted out by the end of 2011."

Independent 10th Aug 2010

1 comment:

  1. The above article in the Independent has a couple of inaccuracies:

    1. The NPS is actually in delay by 12 months not 6!
    2. The Planning Act does allow for planning consent to be granted without an NPS ratified by parliament. The Act makes provision for such an application to be considered by the IPC who then make recommendations to the Secretary of State who makes the final decision. So there is nothing to stop an applicant carrying on without it.

    Have you seen the press coverage of whats happening in the US. Even with subisides it is looking increasingly unlikely that they will ever go ahead.

    See for example

    Seems to me that new nuclear without subsidy is nothing but a pipe dream.


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