Delay, cost increase announced for U.K. nuclear project

January 27, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

Perspex screens and reduced seating capacity in the Hinkley Point canteens help protect the workforce during breaks, EDF Energy said. Photo: EDF Energy

The unfortunate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on nuclear new-build projects haven’t stopped with Vogtle: EDF Energy this morning reported that the expected startup date for Unit 1 at its Hinkley Point C site is being pushed from late 2025 to June 2026.

In addition, the project’s completion costs are now estimated to be in the range of £22 billion to £23 billion (about $30.2 billion to $31.5 billion), some £500 million (about $686 million) more than the 2019 estimate, EDF said, adding the caveat that these revisions assume an ability to begin a return to normal site conditions by the second quarter of 2021.

Hinkley Point B to be retired earlier than planned

November 30, 2020, 9:30AMNuclear News

Hinkley Point B, in Somerset, England. Photo: EDF Energy

EDF Energy has made a “proactive decision” to move Britain’s Hinkley Point B power station into its defueling phase no later than July 15, 2022—some eight months earlier than previously scheduled—the company announced on November 19.

The two-unit plant, located in Somerset, England, began generating electricity in 1976 and has since produced more than 300 TWh of power, enough to meet the electricity requirements of every home in the United Kingdom for three years, according to EDF.

BBC: U.K. government may be close to greenlighting Sizewell C

November 3, 2020, 3:03PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Artist’s rendering of the Sizewell site, with Sizewell C at right. Image: EDF Energy

A BBC News story from late last week states that the U.K. government “is close to giving the green light” to EDF Energy’s proposed Sizewell C nuclear new build project in Suffolk, adding that details surrounding the project’s financing “are still being hammered out.”

The Sizewell C station, consisting of twin European pressurized reactors (EPRs), would be built next to Sizewell B, a 1,198-MWe pressurized water reactor that began operation in 1995. (The Sizewell site also houses Sizewell A, a 290-MWe Magnox gas-cooled reactor, but that unit was permanently shuttered in 2006.) Sizewell C would be a near copy of the two-unit Hinkley Point C station, currently under construction in Somerset.

Regulator releases report on Flamanville-3 pre-operational safety

August 14, 2020, 7:27AMNuclear News

The Flamanville nuclear plant. Photo: EDF

The French nuclear safety authority, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), has released an International Atomic Energy Agency report on a pre-operational safety review team (pre-OSART) mission conducted in 2019 at the Flamanville nuclear plant to review the safety status of its Unit 3 EPR reactor, currently under construction.

According to the report, the pre-OSART mission at Flamanville-3 reviewed the following areas: leadership and management for safety, training and qualification, operations, maintenance, technical support, operating experience feedback, radiation protection, chemistry, emergency preparedness and response, accident management, human-technology-organization interaction, and commissioning. The review was performed by a team from Canada, Finland, Germany, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States, along with IAEA staff members and observers from Russia and South Korea.

New design center supports construction of Hinkley Point C

July 21, 2020, 9:38AMNuclear News

UK EPR Design Centre, Bristol, England. Image: EDF Energy

EDF Energy has opened a new engineering design facility in Bristol, England, to support the next phase of construction at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, the company announced on July 14. The UK EPR Design Centre at Aztec West brings together nuclear designers and engineers from EDF and British engineering partners and suppliers, including Framatome UK, Atkins, Jacobs, Assystem, Anotech, and Vulcain, the announcement said.

EDF submits application to build Sizewell C station

June 1, 2020, 1:07PMNuclear News

Artist’s rendering of the Sizewell site, with Sizewell C at right. Image: EDF Energy

Électricité de France subsidiary EDF Energy has submitted an application to the United Kingdom government’s Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order (DCO) to build a new power station, Sizewell C, at the Sizewell nuclear site in Suffolk. The agency received the application on May 27, after it had been deferred for two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.