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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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Russian state nuclear firm in talks to build power station in the UK

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Britain is in talks with the Russian state nuclear company about building a nuclear power station in the UK, an official said on Tuesday.

Hergen Haye, head of new nuclear development at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), told students at Edinburgh University that active discussions were taking place in London after a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Russia. "I can tell you that, behind closed doors and with microphones switched off, there are interesting debates happening in Whitehall," he said. "Russia wants to build a nuclear power station in the UK."

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Risk of nuclear leak sparks call for installation of flood defences

Monday, February 24, 2014

Managers of a nuclear waste dump on the Cumbria coast have been ordered to start preparations to defend the site against floods and erosion, amid fears that radioactive material could one day leak into the sea.

Much of the waste buried in vaults and concrete trenches at the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) near the village of Drigg originates from one of the world's most contaminated nuclear sites, Sellafield, a few miles away. The waste dump is expected ultimately to require protective flood barriers.

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UK 'still to notify EC on back-end nuclear waste management plan': DECC

Friday, February 7, 2014

The UK's back-end nuclear waste management plans for new-build reactors have yet to be notified to the European Commission for State Aid clearance, the Department of Energy and Climate Change told Platts Wednesday.

A notification relating to the Hinkley Investment Contract, ancillary agreements and state credit guarantee was submitted by the UK to the EC on October 22, 2013. It is this notification that the EC has decided to put through an in-depth State Aid investigation.

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Brussels says state aid deal for Hinkley Point is illegal

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Plans by EDF Energy to build Britain's first nuclear reactor for a generation were in disarray last night after Brussels said that the controversial subsidy deal agreed with the Government could amount to illegal state aid.

In a withering initial assessment, the European Commission said that consumers would end up paying up to £17.6 billion of "super-normal" subsidies via their energy bills to EDF Energy, which is controlled by the French Government.

Its most damning objection was that the subsidies were entirely unnecessary, since nuclear power would become economic by the end of the next decade, according to the Government's own forecasts.

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Areva may use French fund to help pay for UK nuclear plant - paper

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

PARIS (Reuters) - Areva is in talks with the French government to release some funds set aside for dismantling its nuclear installations in France to help the company finance a new British nuclear reactor, a newspaper reported.

Britain signed a deal with France's state-owned utility EDF in October to build a 16-billion pound nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in southwest Britain, the first new plant in Europe since the Fukushima disaster.

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