UK names ten nuclear sites, sets out waste repository plan
The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has approved ten locations and rejected four others as suitable sites for a new fleet of nuclear power stations.
Ten of the 11 sites nominated by the industry in March of this year have been assessed as potentially suitable for new nuclear deployment by the end of 2025: Bradwell, Braystones, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point, Kirksanton, Oldbury, Sellafield, Sizewell and Wylfa. Dungeness was also nominated but has not been listed because the government did not believe potential environmental impacts at this site could be mitigated.
Druridge Bay in Northumberland, Kingsnorth in Kent and Owston Ferry in South Yorkshire were also ruled out by DECC as not being credible for deployment by the end of 2025.
Meanwhile, radioactive waste from the new generation of nuclear power stations could be buried deep underground in a storage facility that could cost up to à‚£18bn ($30bn).
Ed Miliband, the Energy Secretary, has given the green light to the construction a ‘deep geological repository’ for the permanent disposal of the 200 tonnes of high-level waste that will be produced annually by the ten new reactors.
Capgemini: Economic crisis cuts utility investment by 15 per cent in Europe
The global economic crisis has cut investment in the European gas and electricity sector by around 15 per cent, according to Capgemini.
Figures for 2008 showing that investment in renewable energy fell 14 per cent during the second half of the year. The market analyst calculates that only eight per cent of power generation capacity now under construction in Europe is for renewable sources, while half is for gas fired and 24 per cent coal. Capgemini said that electricity consumption was down by around five per cent in most European countries while gas consumption fell by eight per cent in the first half of 2009.
Vattenfall’s Josefsson calls for binding emissions cuts to invest in green power
Vattenfall’s CEO Lars Josefsson has called on governments to agree on binding climate change emission to facilitate investment in low-carbon power generation.
Josefsson said business was ready to act but would not do so without a clear regulatory framework. “The investments will only be made when you have a binding treaty and legislation. About 80 per cent of the money will come from the private sector. That can only come when there is a stable legal framework.”
Westinghouse appoints Shaw Group to lead UK nuclear construction plans
Nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse has appointed US-based Shaw Group to head up its à‚£10bn ($16.5bn) UK nuclear programme, passing over engineering rival, Fluor Corporation, who had been the favourite.
Shaw is likely to source far more reactor components from overseas than Fluor, which has close relationships with many British manufacturers.
A spokesman for Westinghouse said Shaw had been appointed but claimed that “up to 80 per cent” of the components would be sourced from the UK. He admitted that this was not finalized because none of the supplier contracts had been signed. He added that Shaw had teamed up with British construction firm Laing O’Rourke for the bid, but the firm would not be involved in providing any of the high specification reactor components.
Japanese firm Toshiba owns 77 per cent of Westinghouse, with 20 per cent owned by Shaw Group.
Westinghouse is hoping to secure contracts to build at least four of its AP1000 reactors with E.ON and RWE npower, who have formed a nuclear joint venture in the UK, before year-end or shortly thereafter.
Alstom and Schlumberger forge CCS pact
Alstom and Schlumberger are to jointly offer carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) ready studies.
These studies will conduct a technical analysis of a power plant to identify how it should be adapted to accommodate an Alstom CCS system.
The studies will also include an evaluation of potential CO2 storage sites for the power plant, as well as an evaluation of required investments for future CO2 transport and storage.
The offer is designed to facilitate the future conversion of power stations to CCS and the securing of environmental permits, as well as optimizing both time-to-market periods and associated costs.
NordPool launches ‘negawatts’ pricing model in Denmark
A negative electricity rate pricing model was introduced on the Nordic power exchange NordPool in Denmark on 30 November.
The aim of the so-called ‘negative electricity rates’ is to create financial incentives for electricity producers to cut down on production at power stations during periods of low-electricity consumption.
The new model means that electricity producers will have to pay DK1.70 ($0.34) per kWh when producing electricity at times when there is no demand for it.
Belgium: GDF Suez subsidiary Electrabel and Ackermans & van Haaren will convert the Rodenhuize 4 coal fired unit, near Ghent, into a 100 per cent biomass fired unit with a capacity of 180 MW. The conversion will cost €125m ($185m).
France: EDF has forecast the availability rate of nuclear power plants in France to be 78 per cent (390 TWh) in 2009 ” compared to 79.2 per cent in 2008 and 83.4 per cent in 2005 ” the lowest production figure since the end of the 1990s.
Germany: Statkraft of Norway has plans for a second power plant in the Knapsack industrial estate at Hàƒ¼rth in Germany. The plan calls for a €300m ($442m), 400 MW gas plant, which should be completed in 2012.
Ireland: Bord Gais has signed a €1.8m ($2.7m) deal with Ceres Power to provide small-scale combined heat and power products to the residential market in Ireland. A full market roll-out is expected in 2012.
Malta: The EU has given a second reading to the 2010 Budget that includes a €20m ($30m) allocation for Malta to partly finance an electricity interconnector with Italy.
Netherlands: Parliament has voted in favour of capping the amount of emissions Dutch energy firms can produce. It is anticipated that power producers will therefore restrict activities relating to coal fired power production.
Spain: The country’s 18 GW wind energy capacity has produced a record 53 per cent of Spain’s electricity. Prior to this, the country had not generated more than 43 per cent of power from wind.
UK: A consortium of Denmark’s DONG Energy, Germany’s RWE and Peel Energy have pulled out of the government-run competition to fund development of a coal fired power plant fitted with carbon capture and storage technology. Iberdrola’s UK unit ScottishPower remains the only other candidate for funding of carbon capture at its Longannet coal fired plant in Scotland.
UK: Vattenfall’s CEO Lars Josefsson, in an interview with Power Engineering International, said the state-owned Swedish utility will look to invest in nuclear power stations in the UK after 2010 despite dropping plans under pressure from the Swedish government earlier this year.