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Austria to launch lawsuit over Hinkley Point C nuclear subsidies

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Austria is to launch a legal challenge against the European Union’s (EU) decision to allow billions of pounds of subsidies for Hinkley Point C, casting fresh doubt over the UK’s first planned nuclear reactors in 20 years.

In October, the EU approved the controversial £17.6bn subsidy deal for the power station, which is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s electricity by 2023. David Cameron had previously hailed the subsidy deal between the French state-owned EDF and the UK government as “a very big day for our country”.

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Global nuclear decommissioning cost seen underestimated, may spiral

Monday, January 19, 2015

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - German utility E.ON's breakup has led to worries that funds set aside for decommissioning reactors will not suffice, but globally the cost of unwinding nuclear is uncertain as estimates range widely.

As ageing first-generation reactors close, the true cost of decommissioning will be crucial for the future of the nuclear industry, already ailing following the 2011 Fukushima disaster and competition from cheap shale gas, falling oil prices and a flood of renewable energy from wind and solar.

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UK accused of hypocrisy over plans to limit enforcement of EU climate goals

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

British lobbying to reduce monitoring of EU countries’ action on climate change has sparked outrage among MEPs and environmentalists.

EU states agreed last October to cut their carbon emissions 40% by 2030, but a UK plan co-authored with the Czech Republic proposes that countries’ emissions cuts should only be overseen with a ‘light touch’ regime with a diminished role for Brussels.

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Austrians resist EU funding for UK's Hinkley Point nuclear project

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Austrian premier Werner Faymann will today (18 December) protest at the British inclusion of landmark nuclear energy projects – including Hinckley Point – within its list of infrastructure eligible for funding under the proposed €315bn Juncker investment plan.

The UK has listed several nuclear-related projects within the Juncker plan, a list of 2,000 projects drawn from across all member states, which will be considered for funding under the investment plan.

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Alarm after serious breakdowns at ageing Hunterston nuclear plant

Monday, October 13, 2014

One of the reactors at the ageing Hunterston nuclear power station in North Ayrshire has been plagued by two serious new breakdowns.

Two large gas circulators vital for cooling the reactor and preventing meltdown were damaged when the lubricating oil was mistakenly switched off. And on Thursday the reactor had to be shut down because its turbine generator was shaking more than it should.

These latest mishaps come after the discovery of two new cracks in the reactor's graphite bricks, as well as a rash of nuclear incidents across Scotland during the week.

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Urenco's owners set year-end deadline for indicative bids- sources

Saturday, October 11, 2014

(Reuters) - Britain, Germany and the Netherlands have asked prospective buyers for their jointly-owned nuclear fuel enrichment firm Urenco to submit indicative bids by year-end, sources familiar with the process said.

The governments, which each own a third of Urenco, have agreed to test the market's appetite for the world's second-largest nuclear fuel vendor before deciding whether to kick-start a privatisation process that could fetch up to 10 billion euros ($13 billion), said the sources.

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Farage and Putin help Hinkley Point clear EU hurdle and put UK's nuclear programme back on track

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fears over energy security raised by Ukraine and a potential in/out referendum on Europe may have helped the EU do a U-turn on new reactors

Anti-nuclear campaigners looking for someone to blame if Hinkley Point in Somerset finally gets the green light for two new reactors might point the finger at Nigel Farage. Vladimir Putin could also be a scapegoat for the European competition commissioner's decision to back the UK government's support for the first new atomic power stations in a generation. But others would say it is less about the politics of European togetherness or energy security and more about the EC commissioner himself, Joaquín Almunia.

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Austrian minister for legal action against EU over UK nuclear plant

Friday, September 26, 2014

(Reuters) - Austria's environment minister would back legal steps to annul any European Union decision to clear British plans to build a nuclear plant with French utility EDF.

The project at Hinkley Point in southwest England is crucial for Britain's plan to replace a fifth of its ageing nuclear power and coal plants over the coming decade. France sees it as a major export contract that will boost its nuclear industry.

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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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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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