PWR

Pressurized water reactor

Nuclear Test Risks Blowing Lid Off U.K.’s Plan to Keep Lights on

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Builders of the U.K.’s first nuclear plant in two decades are about to take a vital component and break it.

The 110-ton spherical steel lid was destined to sit atop a reactor at the Hinkley Point site in Somerset. Instead it will be sacrificed to test the strength of a part already welded in place at similar atomic projects in France and China.

The tests are essential after regulators found potential weaknesses in the steel used to contain radiation. The results may derail countries’ nuclear programs that are relying on the EPR reactors. They also threaten a generation of atomic plants that developer Areva SA has billed as the world’s safest.

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One station would cost the same as eight carriers, or two Crossrails, or forty new hospitals. So is new nuclear power really worth it?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cheap gas and new technology make the Hinkley Point power plant look expensive

David Cameron is about to sign you up to pay for one of the most expensive man-made objects in the world.

The proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset will cost an estimated £24.5bn, take a decade to construct, and tie British households into an astonishingly expensive electricity subsidies until 2060.

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Next-generation nuclear reactors may not be safer - French watchdog

Monday, April 27, 2015

PARIS, April 27 (Reuters) - The next generation of nuclear reactors being developed in countries such as France, Russia, China and Japan may not be safer than those being built today, French nuclear safety watchdog IRSN said on Monday.

In a study of six future reactor designs being worked on by the U.S.-led "Generation IV International Forum", the IRSN said only the sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) model was far enough along in the development process to envisage building a prototype during the first half of this century.

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UK nuclear strategy faces meltdown as faults are found in identical French project

Monday, April 20, 2015

A “very serious” fault has been discovered in a French nuclear power station which is at the heart of David Cameron’s strategy to “keep the lights on” in Britain in the next decade.

The future of two nuclear reactors planned for Hinkley Point in Somerset has been thrown into doubt by the discovery of a potentially catastrophic mistake in the construction of an identical EPR power plant in Normandy.

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EU regulators set to clear Britain's 19 billion euro nuclear project - sources

Thursday, September 18, 2014

(Reuters) - European Union state aid regulators are set to approve Britain's 19-billion-euro (£15 billion) plan to build a nuclear plant with French utility EDF, several people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The case is important for Britain, which wants to replace a fifth of its ageing nuclear power and coal plants over the coming decade, and for France, whose nuclear sector would benefit from the major export contract.

Other EU countries such as Germany, which is phasing out nuclear energy, and pro-nuclear Lithuania and Poland are also following the case for guidance on the level of state aid allowed for such projects.

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Russia claims it is still talking with Ukraine over nuclear project

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom has said that negotiations are still underway on expanding Ukraine’s Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Plant despite reports this week that Ukraine had cancelled the project.

As tensions mounted in Ukraine yesterday, with its government announcing the capture of nine Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory, a Rosatom representative told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that it had not received any notice about Ukraine’s pulling out of the construction project to build the third and fourth power units at the plant, and that both sides are continuing negotiations.

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EDF nuclear deal is a bad economic bet

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rising renewables output makes promise to buy Hinkley Point electricity at twice its current price a costly gamble

It has always been difficult to see what was attractive about the proposed deal with EDF to build a nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset. To bring this off the government is offering to sell 35 years of index-linked tax receipts to the French government to buy electricity at twice its current price.

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Westinghouse urges EU to break dependency on Russian nuclear fuel

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Westinghouse, the Japanese-US atomic group, is pressing the EU to introduce competition rules that will break eastern Europe’s dependence on Russian nuclear fuel.

While the crisis in Ukraine has focused attention on Europe’s vulnerability to a cut in supplies of gas from Russia, Westinghouse argues that Brussels must also respond to similar security risks posed by Moscow’s control of nuclear fuel in the eastern EU.

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Areva's stock plunges on sales warning

Sunday, August 3, 2014

PARIS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Shares in French nuclear power group Areva closed 20 percent lower on Friday, the worst fall since the company was formed in 2001, as it posted a first-half loss, exited a thermal solar power business and cut sales targets.

The shares were down by as much as 23 percent earlier in the session with trading the busiest by volume since late February, when Areva posted a net loss of nearly half a billion euros.

Chief Executive Luc Oursel dropped a long-held target to sell 10 nuclear reactors by 2016, saying it would "take a few more years" and the firm warned that 2014 revenue would fall 10 percent, more than the 2-5 percent decline forecast in February.

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Finnish nuclear plant delayed again as Areva, TVO bicker

Monday, March 3, 2014

HELSINKI/PARIS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Finland's TVO was unable on Friday to estimate a start date for its long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor as the utility and French supplier Areva, already battling in court, blamed each other for the latest delays.

Finnish daily Kauppalehti cited sources from the site saying the startup of the reactor could be delayed until at least 2018 as work had slowed.

Early last year, Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said the start might be delayed until 2016. Construction of the Areva-designed EPR reactor began in 2005 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2009.

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