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

Sunday, October 12, 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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Safety alert shuts down Torness nuclear reactor

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A nuclear reactor at Torness power plant has been shut down after a safety alert was triggered.

The incident at the plant, which is one of Scotland’s main power stations, happened just weeks after £30 million was spent on the same reactor to get it back online.

The shutdown means the power station is now only pumping out around a quarter of the energy it usually produces as the second reactor is currently working at a reduced capacity ahead of scheduled maintenance work.

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UK nuclear clean-up bill rises by £6.6bn

Monday, June 23, 2014

The bill faced by taxpayers for the clean-up of Sellafield and Britain’s other nuclear sites will be £6.6bn more than previously thought, in a sign of the challenges the country faces in dealing with its atomic legacy.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said it had raised its best estimate for the undiscounted cost of the clean-up over the next 120 years to £110bn, a 7 per cent increase, with Sellafield alone accounting for £79.1bn of that. It also raised its total discounted estimate of the costs by 10 per cent to £64.9bn.

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European Commission likely to find Hinkley aid illegal - expert

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The European Commission will almost certainly find that EDF Energy's funding mechanism for the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear unit in the UK is illegal state aid, an Austrian law professor told Platts.

Franz Leidenmuhler, who specializes in EU state aid cases and European competition law, said in an email that he believed "a rejection is nearly unavoidable. The Statement of the Commission in its first findings of December 18, 2013 is too clear. I do not think that some conditions could change that clear result."

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A glowing review

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nuclear decommissioning: Britain is paying dearly for neglecting its nuclear waste

SWILLING around murky ponds in the oldest part of Sellafield, a nuclear research and reprocessing centre in Cumbria, is a soupy, radioactive sludge. For years boffins working on Britain’s first military and civil nuclear programmes abandoned spent fuel and other nastiness into the pools and tanks, which now grow decrepit. Though perhaps not the “slow-motion Chernobyl” which some environmental campaigners make out, the site is subject to one of the most complex nuclear clean-ups in the world.

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Exclusive: Dungeness nuclear power station quietly taken offline for five months over fears of Fukushima-style flood disaster

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The energy giant EDF has been accused of playing down the threat of flooding at Dungeness after it emerged that one of the nuclear power plant’s reactors was quietly shut down for five months last year after experts identified risk of a Fukushima-style disaster.

EDF closed the reactor on the Kent coast on 22 May to allow work on a new flood protection wall, after alerting the Office of Nuclear Regulation that without urgent work the site was at risk of being inundated by sea water.

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