Five Notable Developments in Nuclear this Week 22.03.2019

1. EDF faces pushback on plans for new nuclear in Suffolk

Local authorities are asking to receive a more detailed proposal for EDF Energy’s Sizewell C scheme. Concerns about the construction process, in particular the delivery of materials, are preventing Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council from fully supporting the project. Fears that local Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be ruined have raised the issue’s profile and a series of actors, broadcasters and entrepreneurs have voiced opposition to EDF’s plans.

(Energy Voice, 20 March 2019, Link)

(The Telegraph, 20 March 2019, Link)

2. Hunterson B sees outage extension

Nuclear reactors at Hunterston B have had their outages extended as EDF waits for the Office of Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR) safety assessment. Last year, during a routine safety inspection, cracks were discovered in Hunterston B-8 and B-7’s graphite cores. Further inspection determined that these cracks were spreading at a faster rate than modelled. Since being taken offline, EDF has completed an extensive inspection programme to determine the condition of the cores. EDF has submitted its findings to the Office of Nuclear Regulation as well as a safety case for their return to service. It is currently expected that Hunterston B-8 reactor will restart on 30 April 2019 and Hunterston B-7 on 29 June 2019. This is later than forecast by a month and two months, respectively.

(EDF Energy, Hunterston B – Community Update, 18 March 2019, Link)

3. Silos Maintenance Facility (SMF) declared ready for action

The Silos Maintenance Facility, a mechanical handling plant on the Sellafield site, has been officially declared ready for use. The SMF is a support plant that will enable Sellafield to empty waste out of legacy silos. The project was part of a joint venture with Cavendish Nuclear and was delivered on schedule and within its sanctioned budget.

(Nuclear Industry Association, 21 March 2019, Link)

4. BEIS releases an independent report on the characteristics of micro nuclear reactors

The report published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy outlines the key technological characteristics of Micro Nuclear Reactors (MNRs). It places particular emphasis on assessing the market and regulatory challenges that would be linked to their deployment. The study concludes that MNRs are a viable, economically beneficial energy source and could achieve widespread market penetration by 2030. Their success would, however, require political, regulatory and financial support.

(Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Market and technical assessment of Micro Nuclear Reactors, 22 March 2019, Link)

5. BEIS’ impact assessment for the amendment of regulation of nuclear Sites deemed fir for purpose.

The Regulatory Policy Committee has published its opinion on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) consultation stage impact assessment for the amendment of regulation of nuclear sites. BEIS is proposing to amend regulatory arrangements in order to align NIA65 with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency’s recommended ‘Paris Convention Decommissioning Exclusion Criteria.’ This amendment would result in an estimated saving of £383.1 million for businesses seeking to decommission nuclear sites.

(Regulatory Policy Committee, Amendment of regulation of nuclear sites: RPC Opinion, 20 March 2019, Link)

Brevia Consulting provides straightforward political advice and support to businesses and organisations.

Discover how Brevia can provide public affairs support to your organisation by calling the Brevia Energy Team on 020 7091 1650 or emailing contact@brevia.co.uk.

LATEST NEWS

Energy

What the Energy Security Strategy tells us about the Government’s current priorities

After several weeks of reported delays, disagreements and leaks, the Government has finally published its Energy Security Strategy. Crucially, the Strategy provides us with an insight into the main influences and influencers of this Government. With the next general election a mere two years away, the Prime Minister appears to be moving away from the climate focus seen at COP26. Instead focusing on internal party politics and maintaining support within the Conservative . Below, Brevia has unpacked some of the telling signs of what is currently influencing Government direction on energy policy.

Read More »
Brevia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will impact UK energy policy

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the world. The ways it has done so are yet to be fully understood. Many of our post Cold War assumptions have been upended: Germany has abandoned its longstanding policy of maintaining a limited armed forces to commit €100 billion to defence spending; Switzerland has departed from its historical neutrality to apply sanctions to Russia; Finland is now openly discussing NATO membership and things we had assumed would never happen continue to do so on a daily basis. Set against the human tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine, these events can seem small or insignificant in comparison. Nonetheless, they are likely to have enduring consequences for everyone in Europe. Particularly when it comes to how Europe, including the UK, powers itself.

Read More »
General

What did the White Paper tell us about the Levelling Up Agenda?

Last week, the Government published its long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper. The White Paper goes some way to answering the vexed question of ‘What is levelling up?’, by setting out twelve missions the Government hopes to accomplish by 2030. In addition, the Paper sets out a framework for extending devolution in England which could increase the transparency of the process. However, new funding commitments are thin on the ground, and critics suggest the Government has not provided enough money for Levelling Up to succeed.

Read More »
  • Get in touch to arrange your free monitoring trial.