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EDF confirms it wants 40-year contracts to build nuclear plants

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Electricity firm EDF has confirmed it wants the UK government to sign 40-year contracts to support building new nuclear reactors in Britain – as the national energy regulator warned prices are likely to rise higher than expected.

The French-owned company is in talks with ministers over "contracts for difference" funding, under which the government guarantees generators will be paid a minimum price for electricity from new nuclear plants: if the market price falls lower than this "strike price" then a surcharge will be added to customers' bills; if it rises higher there would be a refund.

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Nuclear power: ministers offer reactor deal until 2050

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The government is launching a last-ditch attempt to sign up energy companies to build new nuclear power stations by proposing to sign contracts guaranteeing subsidies for up to 40 years.

The coalition agreement reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2010 promised that nuclear power stations would be built only if the industry got no public subsidy, but costly overruns for new reactors overseas and the exit of several major utilities from the UK programme, most recently Centrica, have driven ministers and officials to backtrack on that pledge and accept they will have to provide financial support.

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EDF aims to strike CfD deal in next three months

Thursday, February 14, 2013

EDF is aiming to complete negotiations with the UK government over new nuclear Contracts for Difference (CfDs) by the end of the first quarter of 2013, it confirmed today. The French-owned firm plans to make an investment decision on Hinkley Point C "as soon as possible" after that.

At its annual results presentation, chief executive Henri Proglio said EDF was seeking a 40-year contract for Hinkley Point C. Potential partners had come forward but nothing would be agreed until the contracts were in place and approved by Brussels.

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Sellafield to be prosecuted for sending radioactive waste to wrong disposal site

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sellafield has pleaded guilty to sending several bags of radioactive waste to the wrong facility, according to the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

The nuclear power company admitted sending four bags of mixed general waste to the Lillyhall landfill site in Workington, Cumbria, in April 2010.

The bags, which contained waste such as plastic, tissues and clothing, should have gone to the low level waste repository, at Drigg.

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EDF May End U.K. Nuclear Plan Unless Profit Guaranteed, CEO Says

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Electricite de France SA’s chief executive officer said he’s willing to join Centrica (CNA) Plc in walking away from building the U.K.’s first reactors in two decades unless the government ensures the project is profitable.

“We won’t do it” if if the price for their power isn’t high enough, CEO Henri Proglio said in an interview in Bure, eastern France. “I won’t qualify myself as confident, but rather conscious that an agreement can be reached” on prices.

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Centrica pulls out of new UK nuclear projects

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

LONDON (Reuters) - Utility Centrica has pulled out of plans to build new nuclear power stations in Britain with partner EDF, paving the way for Chinese investors to enter the UK market through a partnership with the French firm.

Centrica said it had decided to waive an option of taking a 20 percent stake in four new reactors - two at Hinkley Point in Somerset and two at Sizewell in Suffolk.

Centrica's decision was largely expected, but it casts some doubt on the UK government's plan to attract investment to revive the nuclear industry.

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Secret UK uranium components plant closed over safety fears

Friday, January 25, 2013

A top-secret plant at Aldermaston that makes enriched uranium components for Britain's nuclear warheads and fuel for the Royal Navy's submarines has been shut down because corrosion has been discovered in its "structural steelwork", the Guardian can reveal.

The closure has been endorsed by safety regulators who feared the building did not conform to the appropriate standards. The nuclear safety watchdog demands that such critical buildings are capable of withstanding "extreme weather and seismic events", and the plant at Aldermaston failed this test.

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Toshiba plots bid for Britain’s nuclear fuel maker

Monday, January 21, 2013

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Toshiba Corp. is weighing plans to bid for Urenco, the nuclear fuel producer backed by the U.K., the Netherlands and two German energy giants, the Sunday Times reports without citing sources.

The newspaper says the Japanese industrial giant, which owns the nuclear reactor builder Westinghouse Electric, wants to bid for the business if and when it comes on the market.

Urenco, which enriches uranium for nuclear fuel, is owned by the U.K. and Dutch governments and German firms RWE A.G. and E.ON S.E., who own a third each.

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Areva and EDF defend project costs

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Areva and EDF, the French nuclear groups, have both defended the cost of new nuclear projects despite the €2bn of extra cost overruns on their flagship next-generation reactor at Flamanville in Normandy.

The news that the reactor, the first built in France for 15 years, is expected to cost €8.5bn rather than the €3.3bn first forecast comes as questions are raised about whether nuclear power remains affordable.

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Centrica writes off £200m to quit nuclear power project

Monday, December 3, 2012

British Gas owner Centrica is expected to write off £200m when it pulls out of the country's nuclear new build programme in the new year.

Centrica has the option of taking a 20 per cent stake in building nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk alongside French group EDF.

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