Mostly unknown to the public, and the general circulation news media, some of the best, and freely available reporting on the global nuclear industry comes from two sources. They are World Nuclear News based on London and NucNet based in Brussels. In addition to daily news feeds available via email you can also follow them on Twitter. See their respective web sites for details. For a more wide ranging collection of daily nuclear news see the clipping site Nuclear Town Hall.
Like many nuclear energy bloggers, I subscribe to these feeds for the information and insights they provide on the global nuclear industry which I don’t get anywhere else. Also, like some nuclear energy bloggers, I use a brief summary of their reports in my own, with appropriate citation. Today’s news summary borrows with attribution from these sources.
Nuclear energy is a national asset
26 Feb (WNN) Nuclear power is a national asset writes the conservative think tank R Street, which studies energy public policies. The author, George David Banks, was Republican deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee and also serves as senior fellow for nuclear energy policy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. In this report he makes the following key findings
- The biggest obstacles to adoption of nuclear energy isn’t public fear of radiation. Instead, it is the collection of subsidies for other forms of energy along with cheap natural gas.
- EPA’s proposed Clear Power Plan gives inadequate recognition to nuclear energy. Recently, agency officials said they would fix that, but until the revised report is public, all we have are their promises in a congressional hearing.
- Nuclear energy R&D sponsored and paid for by the government should undertake the “high-risk, high reward” work that industry cannot afford because of the long lead time from bench scale experiment to commercial success.
- Work on fast reactors that can burn spent nuclear fuel is especially crucial.The government should develop cost sharing relationships between the public and private sectors to speed up this work.
Red Ink in France
27 Feb (NucNet): France’s energy minister said on Feb 23 that an overhaul of the country’s state-controlled nuclear energy industry was imminent. The statement follows Areva’s report in a preliminary statement that it expected a 2014 net loss of about €4.9 billion ($5.6 billion) compared with a loss of €500 million a year earlier.
The minister, Ségolène Royal, said France’s main nuclear power companies “should organize themselves to refocus on their core business, to forge alliances between major French enterprises and to win bids at the international level”.
Areva cited a number of reasons for the projected loss, including asset write-downs and provisions against losses at the Olkiluoto-3 EPR nuclear power station project in Finland. It is behind schedule and over budget.
Areva will release its formal financial reports this coming week along with a new strategic plan for getting back in the black.
Renewable subsidies undermine profits of nuclear plants in Finland
27 Feb (NucNet): Subsidised investments in renewable energy have led to an increase in electricity supply which, combined with increased costs, has undermined the profitability of nuclear power-produced electricity in Finland, Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said in financial statements published on Feb 25.
TVO, which owns and operates the two-unit Olkiluoto nuclear power station and is building Olkiluoto-3, said the market price of electricity has decreased. The subsidies to renewables distort the market TVO said.
Jordan to get two Rostatom 1000 MW VVERs
(Feb 25) Jordan’s Council of Ministers has approved a project development agreement signed in September by the country’s atomic energy commission and Russia’s Rusatom. The agreement set the obligations of the parties for the first stage of the construction of two 1000 MW VVER nuclear reactors in Jordan’s Zarqa province. Rosatom’s reactor export subsidiary AtomStroyExport won the tender last year.
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