France launches international wing of nuclear agency

Thursday, May 8, 2008

PARIS, May 7 (Reuters) - The French cabinet passed a decree on Wednesday allowing the country's Atomic Energy Commission to promote French nuclear expertise and safety standards globally.

The Commission's new international division will help other countries build nuclear power stations safely and without harming the environment, while ensuring the technology is not used for weapons, the government said in a statement.

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British Energy bidding war hopes recede

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hopes of a bidding war for British Energy were dealt a blow yesterday after it became clear that Vattenfall, Suez and Eon were not planning to bid for the UK nuclear group.

This leaves RWE of Germany and France's EDF as the most likely bidders for the UK government's 35 per cent stake in British Energy before the deadline of Friday, May 9. Both companies - which have power generation operations in the UK - declined to comment.

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British Energy denies Torness outage was unplanned

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

British Energy planned to take its Torness reactor in Scotland offline over the weekend and was not forced to do so, chief executive Bill Coley told an investor day presentation at Heysham, Lancashire Tuesday.

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Defects found in nuclear reactor the French want to build in Britain

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Safety investigators uncover cracks in the concrete base and substandard welds. Lack of recent experience in building nuclear plants said to have caused problem.

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Centrica in £10bn bid to control nuclear power plants

Monday, April 7, 2008

British Gas owners Centrica may join a £10billion consortium vying to control the UK's nuclear power plants.

Centrica hopes to lead a continental group bidding for British Energy, which runs all of the UK's nuke sites.

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French vision for a nuclear future

Monday, April 7, 2008

It is only a matter of time. Since the UK government gave the go-ahead for new nuclear power plants, a takeover of British Energy has become all but inevitable. The nuclear power generator owns the sites on which future plants are likely to be built. It is a tasty target for EDF and other big continental European suppliers who want a slice of the UK's nuclear revival.

Placing the nuclear industry in the hands of a sole foreign owner might seem unpalatable. Yet a foreign buyer, particularly a French one, could be in the UK's interest.

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Suez says prefers industrial role in UK nuclear

Thursday, March 27, 2008

PARIS, March 27 (Reuters) - Suez is interested in an industrial cooperation with British Energy rather than a purely financial investment in the UK nuclear power producer, the head of the French utility said on Thursday.

"If we can play an industrial role, let's talk about it ... but if this is strictly a financial role, then we are not interested," Suez Chief Executive Gerard Mestrallet told reporters on the sidelines of a nuclear conference in Paris.

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Bill Coley

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Firing up the nuclear sector

As the man who holds the fate of the UK's biggest nuclear energy producer, including key sites and nuclear expertise, in his hands, Bill Coley is to be taken seriously.

He hasn't always been treated with such regard since taking over British Energy in March 2005, in spite of vowing to improve the reliability of its eight nuclear plants.

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For sale: Scots atomic pride

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back in 2002, British Energy, the largest power generator in the UK, hosted a Burns Night dinner. Appropriately for a company fiercely proud of its Scottish roots, it was held at the historic Caledonian Club close to Hyde Park Corner in London. Its then chief executive, Robin Jeffrey, wore a kilt, as did many other employees, along with supportive Scottish politicians who attended. In keeping with tradition, diners stood to attention as the cook, accompanied by a bagpiper, brought in the haggis on a large dish. Jeffrey, himself a Scotsman, led the toasts, even reciting a witty ditty - witty to the audience, anyway - asking the government for a larger subsidy.

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UK government seeks power sale

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Britain’s leading energy suppliers have been approached by government advisers to sound out interest in its 35.2 per cent stake in British Energy, which is valued at £2bn-plus.

The government has mandated UBS to help with a potential sale process, while British Energy has appointed NM Rothschild as its adviser. Eon and RWE of Germany, Électricité de France, Iberdrola of Spain and Centrica of the UK have all been asked if they would be interested in acquiring part of the stake, people close to the situation said.

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