Five Notable Developments in Nuclear this Week 29.03.19

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

1. MAGNOX announces new CEO

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced that Gwen Parry-Jones OBE has been appointed Chief Executive Officer at Magnox Ltd. Gwen will assume the role in September 2019 following a secondment to the NDA. At the NDA she will support the incoming Magnox leadership team in preparation for the NDA subsuming Magnox later this year. Commenting on the decision, Gwen said that ‘the Magnox sites have always been at the leading edge of the nuclear industry – leading the programme to decommission them is a fantastic and exciting challenge. I look forward to working with my new colleagues across NDA estate, and with Magnox’s highly skilled workforce.’

(Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Gwen Parry-Jones OBE announced as Magnox Chief Executive Officer, 26 March 2019 Link)

2. Contract signed to secure the future of jet

A contract extension has been signed by the UK and European Commission to secure the future of the Joint European Torus (JET). JET is the world’s largest operational fusion research facility and the extension will secure at least €100 million in EU investment. Currently JET employs over 500 staff at their site in Culham and the funding will guarantee their operations until the end of 2020.  Scientists from 28 European countries contribute to JETs research into the potential for carbon-free fusion energy. The facility’s future had been uncertain since 2017 as is work was covered by the Euratom Treaty which the UK is planning to leave as part of the Brexit process.

(UK Atomic Energy Authority, Future of JET secured with new European contract, 29 March 2019 Link)

3. EDF challenged on Sizewell C impact to Minsmere Nature Reserve

Minsmere Nature Reserve has been told that it’s European Diploma for Protected Areas will be approved but only if ‘the construction of the new reactor will not be at the detriment of the Minsmere Reserve.’ The diploma is awarded by the Council of Europe and one of their spokespeople stated that there is ‘worrying insufficient information regarding the environmental effects of the project of a third reactor in the Sizewell nuclear power plant.’ The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is now calling for EDF Energy to provide a comprehensive impact assessment of its development plans.

(Ipswich Star, 26 March 2019, Link)

4. International Energy Agency report shows growth in nuclear generation but drop in market share

The latest data released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that last year nuclear generated 2724 TWh of electricity globally. Despite being a 3.3 per cent increase on the previous year, nuclear still only accounted for 10 per cent of global electricity generation. This is down from a 17 per cent market share in 2000. Also worth noting is an increase in renewable generation. Renewables went from 6 per cent generation growth in 2017 to 7 per cent in 2018. This in part due to record-breaking levels of renewable energy in several countries including the UK and Germany.

(World Nuclear News, 26 March 2019, Link

5. Nuclear Decommissioning Authority publishes its annual Direct Research Portfolio report.

The report states that the NDA’s research and development investment totalled approximately £101 million from 2017 to 2018. The majority of spending was targeted at specific on-site challenges identified during decommissioning. The Direct Research Portfolio accounted for around £5 million of annual investment and is designed to shape the NDA’s strategy, deliver innovation and develop technical expertise for the future.

(Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Direct Research Portfolio Annual Report 2017 to 2018, 27 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.