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Centrica stokes energy fears by revealing EDF nuclear timescale has doubled

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Centrica has ratcheted up fears over Britain’s energy security by warning that its rival EDF will take twice as long as originally planned to build the first of a new generation of nuclear power stations.

The British Gas owner abandoned its 20pc stake in the £14bn project at Hinkley Point in February, opting instead to give £500m back to shareholders and invest in gas in North America.

Sir Roger Carr, Centrica chairman, told its AGM on Monday that since it first considered the project the price had “rocketed hugely”, adding: “Nuclear is not a cheap option.”

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EDF Energy chief ready to quit if Hinkley Point deal collapses

Monday, May 6, 2013

The chief executive of EDF Energy will leave Britain if the French company's £14 billion Hinkley Point reactor project collapses.

Vincent de Rivaz, the longest-serving boss of Britain's Big Six energy companies, has staked his credibility on getting the plan to build Britain's first new reactors for decades off the ground.

However, the chances of the project going ahead are receding, with EDF Energy and the Government in a stand-off over the level of subsidies - funded by levies on consumers' bills - that the company will receive.

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Heysham Power Station reactor shut down as precaution

Friday, May 3, 2013

A nuclear reactor was shut down at Heysham Power Station after smoke was seen coming from the plant.

The Heysham 1 reactor was shut down at 6pm on Thursday as a precaution after smoke within some lagging on a turbine was spotted.

EDF, who run the station, said a dry powder extinguisher was used to deal with the smoke.

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Twitter row after Oettinger dubs UK nuclear plans ‘Soviet’

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A prominent clean energy campaigner has been banned from the European Energy Forum after tweeting remarks made by the EU’s energy commissioner describing the UK’s plan to hand out long-term contracts to nuclear companies as “Soviet”.

Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger’s putdown of the €16.5-billion British plan will likely be met with furrowed brows in London, where the 35-40-year contracts have proved controversial to some because of their length, nature and the scale of the subsidy involved.

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Move to deal with deadly legacy of nuclear power plants

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Britain is set to tackle a 60-year-old problem that has dogged successive governments: how to resolve the deadly legacy from the country's first generation of nuclear power plants.

The UK is home to the world's largest stockpile of plutonium, with more than 100 tonnes of the highly radioactive material.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, whose job it is to look after the plutonium, is preparing to give its recommendation on how the government should deal with the problem, with an announcement expected as early as next month.

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EDF Energy to cut jobs to control cost of building nuclear power station

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

EDF energy is cutting scores of jobs to control costs at the site of its proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The company is in the middle of difficult negotiations with ministers over the level of public subsidy the new reactors will receive over the next 40 years but insisted the project is not being mothballed and that it is not "holding a gun to the government's head".

The company has already spent £800m on developing the £14bn project and lost its junior partner when Centrica pulled out in February. "As part of good project management, and to control costs, EDF Energy has taken steps to refocus its activities at its Hinkley Point C project," said a spokeswoman. "This reflects its priorities ahead of securing the financing necessary for the project."

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Energy security 'at risk' if ministers fail to seal EDF nuclear deal

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Britain's energy security will be put at risk and future generations left to suffer with higher bills if ministers fail to agree a deal with EDF Energy to build Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation, the industry’s main representative body has claimed.

In the starkest warning yet over the £14bn Hinkley Point project, Lord Hutton, chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, argues that failure would undermine Britain’s credibility with investors and threaten other projects across the energy sector.

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Nick Butler: Nuclear power yesterdays technology?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why is it proving so difficult to close the deal on new nuclear in Britain? In part, of course, there is the normal arm wrestling negotiation. This is focused on the so called "strike price" - an energy price below which the suppliers will get compensation from the state - and on the allocation of risk around a £14bn construction contract.

The UK government wants a strike price of around £65 to £70 per MWh which is high but probably politically defensible. They well remember that in 2008 EDF talked about a price of £45 per MWh. EDF now wants something between £95 and £100, but they can probably afford to accept the Government's figure and still make a reasonable profit.

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UK seeks 3bn from uranium group sale

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ministers are looking to raise up to £3bn before the end of the year through the sale of the government's 33 per cent stake in Urenco, the uranium enrichment company, in one of the biggest privatisations in years.

The deal would be a relief to the Treasury, which hopes that a series of sales will put a dent in the country's towering debt. Royal Mail could also be sold this year, raising £3bn-£4bn.

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EDF, U.K. Unlikely to Meet End-March Deadline on Nuclear Subsidy -Sources

Friday, March 29, 2013

French electricity company Electricite de France SA and the British government are unlikely to meet a deadline at the end of March to agree on subsidies that would allow the construction of new nuclear power plants in the U.K., people familiar with the matter said.

The people said in recent days that although discussions are still ongoing, they aren't intensive and neither side appeared to be willing to make any compromises.

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