Five Notable Developments in Nuclear this Week 22.03.2019

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

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



Energy White Paper Audit

Last week Brevia Energy released the findings of its audit of the Government’s 2020 Energy White Paper. The results, which were covered by Energy Live News, highlighted how nearly half of the commitments included in the Energy White Paper have been hit or look likely to be reached. However, the research also showed that answers to the ‘Who Pays?’ question remain needed. With the Government expected to publish both its Net Zero Strategy and Heat and Buildings strategy soon, greater detail on that may be soon forthcoming. That is likely to provoke debate about the direction of policy and open new fronts for businesses to make their case about how the net zero transition should be delivered.

Read More »

At-risk suppliers have put the energy supply industry at risk

Since the beginning of August 2021, the UK has experienced a record increase in gas prices, which has grown into a retail energy crisis that has already caused ten suppliers to exit the market this year. This crisis is the product of several factors, which the UK Government will seek to remedy in the short term and avoid in the long term. This means regulatory reforms are almost inevitable. Once the crisis is over and government turns to reforming the UK’s retail energy market, businesses that operate within it must actively engage with policymakers and regulators to ensure their voices are heard.

Read More »

COP26 Update: New Energy Minister

With less than 50 days until the COP26 Summit, Brevia will be tracking the latest milestones in the UK’s preparations for the upcoming climate conference. This week the Prime Minister carried out an extensive reshuffle of his ministerial team, including a shake up at BEIS, with Greg Hands MP becoming the new Energy Minister. Other notable highlights this week include the publication of the funding details for the upcoming Contracts for Difference (CfD) Round 4 auction.

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