Industry to G7: Back current fleet, speed deployment of advanced units

April 18, 2023, 12:22PMNuclear News
Representatives of six nuclear organizations sign a declaration in Sapporo, Japan. Seated, left to right, are George Christidis (representing CNA chief executive officer John Gorman), Shiro Arai, Maria Korsnick, Tom Greatrex, Yves Desbazeille, and Sama Bilbao y León. (Photo: World Nuclear Association)

G7 governments should support life extension for today’s power reactor fleet, restart operable units, and accelerate the deployment of advanced reactors, states a joint declaration issued April 16 at the Nuclear Energy Forum, a first-of-its-kind colloquy held on the margins of the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo, Japan.

U.K. to label nuclear “green” and launch SMR competition

March 20, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News


In his spring 2023 budget speech to the House of Commons last Wednesday, U.K. chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt confirmed that, subject to consultation, nuclear power will be classified as environmentally sustainable in the U.K. green taxonomy, providing potential private investors in nuclear projects access to the same incentives currently enjoyed by investors in renewables. (Last year, the European Union added nuclear and natural gas to the list of green technologies covered by its taxonomy, but only on a transitional basis under what the European Commission termed “clear and strict conditions.”)

“We have increased the proportion of electricity generated from renewables from under 10 percent to nearly 40 percent,” Hunt declared. “But because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, we will need another critical source of cheap and reliable energy. And that is nuclear.”

U.K. government reaffirms backing of Sizewell C project

November 23, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News


U.K. chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt last week assuaged any concerns that Britain’s nuclear energy advocates might have been harboring regarding the new government’s support for the proposed Sizewell C plant. (The United Kingdom is on its third prime minister since July, when Boris Johnson’s government granted EDF Energy its long-awaited development consent order for the new nuclear build project.)

What he said: In his November 17 Autumn Statement, while noting the United Kingdom’s status as “a global leader in renewable energy,” Hunt added, “We need to go further, with a major acceleration of home-grown technologies like offshore wind, carbon capture, and storage, and, above all, nuclear. This will deliver new jobs, industries, and export opportunities and secure the clean, affordable energy we need to power our future economy and reach net zero."

U.K., France declare support for Sizewell project

October 11, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

On the sidelines of the first European Political Community (EPC) summit in Prague last week, U.K. prime minister Liz Truss and French president Emmanuel Macron met to discuss bilateral cooperation, with a particular focus on the energy sector. (Macron proposed the creation of the EPC earlier this year, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Representatives of 44 European countries participated, as did the presidents of the European Council and European Commission. Conspicuously uninvited were Russia and Belarus.)

U.K.’s Hinkley Point B retired

August 5, 2022, 9:26AMNuclear News
EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point B nuclear power station, in Somerset, England. (Photo: EDF Energy)

By all accounts the most productive nuclear power plant in British history, Somerset’s Hinkley Point B station closed for good on August 1, with the shutdown of its B1 unit, a 485-MWe advanced gas-cooled reactor. (The plant’s B2 unit, a 480-MWe AGR, was shuttered early last month.)

The station employed around 500 staff and 250 contractors and contributed approximately £40 million (about $48.7 million) per year to the Somerset economy, according to EDF Energy, owner and operator of the United Kingdom’s power reactor fleet.

U.K. greenlights Sizewell C project

July 21, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
A computer-generated rendering of the Sizewell site on the Suffolk coast. Sizewell A and B are to the left and center (respectively) in this image; the section to the right is the Sizewell C area. (Image: EDF Energy)

The U.K. government has granted a development consent order (DCO) for EDF Energy’s proposed Sizewell C plant near Leiston in Suffolk, moving the new nuclear build project closer to a reality.

Nuclear New Build (NBB) Generation Company, an EDF Energy subsidiary, submitted the DCO application to the government’s Planning Inspectorate in May 2020, setting out the range of measures the project would implement to mitigate construction effects and maximize community benefits. The Planning Inspectorate accepted the application in June 2020 and completed its examination in October 2021. Recommendations were made to the secretary of state for business, energy, and industrial strategy this February.

U.K. endorses nuclear for green hydrogen future

February 24, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

Nuclear power could produce as much as one-third of the United Kingdom’s clean hydrogen needs by 2050, posits the Hydrogen Roadmap, a 12-page report recently approved by the Nuclear Industry Council (NIC) and released last week by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA).

The NIC, co-chaired by the British government’s minister for business, energy, and clean growth, and the chairman of the NIA, sets strategic priorities for government-industry collaboration to promote nuclear power in the United Kingdom.

The road to net zero: The report outlines how large-scale and small modular reactors could produce both the power and the heat necessary to produce emissions-free, or “green,” hydrogen. Existing large-scale reactors, it says, could produce green hydrogen today at scale through electrolysis, as could the next generation of gigawatt-scale reactors. Also, according to the report, SMRs, the first unit of which could be deployed within the next 10 years, could unlock possibilities for green hydrogen production near industrial clusters.

U.S. companies said to be in talks with U.K. on Welsh nuclear project

November 11, 2020, 3:00PMNuclear News

Artist's concept of the Wylfa Newydd project. Image: Horizon Nuclear Power

The London-based newspaper Financial Times is reporting that a consortium of U.S. firms is holding discussions with the U.K. government to revive Wylfa Newydd, the nuclear new-build project in Wales from which Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd. withdrew in September. According to the November 10 FT story—which is based on an anonymous source—the consortium is led by Bechtel and includes Southern Company and Westinghouse.