Europe

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Finnish government rejects Olkiluoto 4 nuclear permit extension

Friday, September 26, 2014

HELSINKI, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Finland's government has rejected an application from utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) to extend a permit for a new nuclear reactor in the west of the country, Economy Minister Jan Vapaavuori told reporters on Thursday.

TVO had requested a five-year extension to the Olkiluoto 4 reactor project because it was dealing with delays and overruns at its predecessor, Olkiluoto 3.

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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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Spain's Almaraz I nuclear power station stopped after pressure drop -regulator

Thursday, September 18, 2014

MADRID, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Spain's 1,000-MW Almaraz I nuclear power station was automatically shut down late on Wednesday after the protection system was triggered by a pressure drop in the reactor, the Nuclear Security Council reported.

The cause of the pressure drop has been identified and, for the moment, the plant remains offline and secure, the regulator said.

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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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S&P to decide in 30 days whether to downgrade Areva to junk

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

PARIS, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has put French nuclear power engineering group Areva on "credit-watch negative" and will decide within 30 days whether to downgrade its credit ratings by one notch into non-investment grade territory.

A downgrade into the junk category would make its shares and bonds unattractive for investment funds who only seek investment-grade securities, but Areva's finance chief said the firm was not worried about its liquidity or borrowing costs.

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Ukraine to sign reactor contract in months

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ukraine plans to sign an agreement to construct new nuclear power reactors by the end of this year, Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the country's cabinet of ministers today.

"The problem is that the [planned] units were designed according to Russian reactors, but we are finding a solution and intend to sign an agreement on the construction of new units by the end of this year," Yatsenyuk said, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

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Olkiluoto 3 to be ready in 2018

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) and Areva bickered at one another on Monday over an updated schedule for the completion of construction and start-up of a third unit at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Satakunta.

Areva on Monday revealed that it expects to complete construction on the site in 2016 but reminded that commissioning the new unit will require an additional two years. As a result, the third unit is not expected to generate electricity to the national grid until the end of 2018.

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Russia claims it is still talking with Ukraine over nuclear project

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom has said that negotiations are still underway on expanding Ukraine’s Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Plant despite reports this week that Ukraine had cancelled the project.

As tensions mounted in Ukraine yesterday, with its government announcing the capture of nine Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory, a Rosatom representative told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that it had not received any notice about Ukraine’s pulling out of the construction project to build the third and fourth power units at the plant, and that both sides are continuing negotiations.

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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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Westinghouse urges EU to break dependency on Russian nuclear fuel

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Westinghouse, the Japanese-US atomic group, is pressing the EU to introduce competition rules that will break eastern Europe’s dependence on Russian nuclear fuel.

While the crisis in Ukraine has focused attention on Europe’s vulnerability to a cut in supplies of gas from Russia, Westinghouse argues that Brussels must also respond to similar security risks posed by Moscow’s control of nuclear fuel in the eastern EU.

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