Wales must maintain nuclear industry, says parliamentary committee

27 July 2016

The proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant can deliver value for money, a UK parliamentary committee looking into the future of nuclear power in Wales has concluded. Meanwhile, it says the Trawsfynydd site is a "standout candidate" for locating a first-of-its-kind small modular reactor (SMR).

The Commons Select Committee on Welsh Affairs launched an inquiry into nuclear power's future of in Wales in January. Since then, six evidence sessions have been held, hearing from 33 witnesses. Members of the committee also visited the two main nuclear sites in Wales - Wylfa and Trawsfynydd. The committee has taken into consideration the decommissioning of shut down plants, the construction of the new plant at Wylfa and the UK government's plans for the development of SMRs. It has now published its conclusions and recommendations.

"Nuclear power has a long history in Wales, supplying power to large parts of the nation and providing thousands of people with well-paying jobs," the report said. "Wales has played a key part in establishing the nuclear industry in the UK, having hosted two first generation nuclear reactors for the past half a century. However, the future for nuclear power in Wales is uncertain. Both the [Wylfa and Trawsfynydd] power stations are now closed, and therefore Wales no longer has any operational nuclear power plants."

Hinkley gets one answer but more questions

29 July 2016

May and Hollande, 21 July 2016 (Tom Evans - Crown Copyright) 80x48Hinkley Point C finally received a positive final investment decision from the EDF board last night, only for the UK government to postpone signing its supporting agreements. Prime Minister Theresa May's new cabinet wants to review the deal and decide in early autumn whether to commit its support.

Japanese institute sees 19 reactor restarts by March 2018

28 July 2016

Seven Japanese nuclear power reactors are likely to be in operation by the end of next March and 12 more one year later, according to an estimate by the country's Institute of Energy Economics. Judicial rulings and local consents will influence the rate of restart, it notes.

Fourth phase complete at Etango

27 July 2016

Etango_demonstration_plant_(Bannerman)-48Bannerman Resources has completed work to de-risk the heap leaching process it intends to use at its Etango uranium project in Namibia. The fifth and final stage of testing is now underway at the Etango heap leach demonstration plant.

Decommissioning milestone at German reactor

28 July 2016

Obrigheim RPV lid section - 48Dismantling of the reactor pressure vessel of the Obrigheim nuclear power plant in Germany has been completed, plant owner EnBW announced yesterday. The plant shut down in 2005 after 36 years of operation and has been in the process of demolition since 2008.

Westinghouse reactors for Kovvada

28 July 2016

The Indian government is working with Westinghouse to develop a project proposal for the construction of a nuclear power plant at Kovvada, atomic energy minister Jitendra Singh has informed the country's parliament.

Canadian government upholds Kiggavik recommendation

27 July 2016

The Canadian government has agreed with a 2015 recommendation by the Nunavut Impact Review Board that the Kiggavik uranium project should not proceed at this time, but said proponent Areva Resources Canada may resubmit the project for consideration in the future.

South Australia's green dream, or its nightmare?

South Australia is being watched closely by both energy companies and renewable energy specialists worldwide as a test case for what happens when high levels of intermittent energy, such as wind and solar, are introduced into a system that is not fully covered by other sources of readily available (dispatchable) power, writes Ian Hore-Lacy.

Recent performance in South Australia - where wholesale power prices have spiked dramatically, household electricity costs are the highest in the nation, and industry is threatening to quit - provides a good reality check. Early in July, electricity prices in South Australia have soared as it struggles with the consequences of an ambitious build of wind farms without firm power backup. 

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