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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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Sellafield poses no health risk to State, says report

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Sellafield nuclear site on the edge of the Irish Sea in Cumbria poses no health risk to Ireland, according to a report commissioned by the Government. Even the worst-case incident such as a massive explosion would not produce “observable health effects in Ireland”, the report states.

Put together over several years by eight mostly US experts, the report was released yesterday by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.

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Britain's nuclear push may stall as risks mount

Thursday, November 8, 2012

(Reuters) - Britain's nuclear power generation future may be at risk as the list of potential operators shrinks due to concerns about the high costs of entry.

The British government wants to build around 10 nuclear power stations by 2025, which it says are necessary to keep the lights on in future decades, reduce dependence on foreign gas and meet tougher carbon targets.

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China in talks to build UK nuclear power plants

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

China is poised to make a dramatic intervention in Britain's energy future by offering to invest billions of pounds in building a series of new nuclear power stations.

Officials from China's nuclear industry have been in high-level talks with ministers and officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) this week about a plan that could eventually involve up to five different reactors being built at a total cost of £35bn.

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Government to rip up rulebook and subsidise new nuclear plants

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Government is planning to write a "blank cheque" to the nuclear industry by underwriting the cost of new power stations, leading energy academics have claimed in a letter to The Independent.

Under a major policy U-turn being considered by ministers, the taxpayer would be left to cover the cost of budget over-runs or building delays at new nuclear plants. Costly setbacks are almost inevitable with such complex construction projects.

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Spanish say adios to UK nuclear

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The owner of Scottish Power has pulled out of a multibillion-pound plan to build atomic reactors, dealing a blow to Britain’s faltering nuclear renaissance.

The decision by Iberdrola, the Spanish energy giant, means there is now a question mark over two of the three groups that planned plants. Ministers hoped the trio would build a dozen reactors generating roughly a fifth of Britain’s power over the next 20 years.

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