EDF operates eight atomic power stations in Britain and has proposed to add Areva reactors at its Hinkley Point and Sizewell sites. Areva, based in Paris, yesterday signed agreements with 25 U.K.-based companies. The pact worth as much as 400 million pounds is to supply equipment and services for two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point C, which won a site licence last month.
Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive at EDF’s local unit, said in a statement that the assessment process didn’t change cost estimates for the reactor. EDF Energy plans to have “main components” of agreements relating to contracts for power from Hinkley Point in the next few weeks, with a final investment decision “at the earliest possible date,” he said.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation in December 2011 gave “interim” approval to Areva and EDF’s design. It asked the companies to address 31 concerns, the last of which was settled on Dec. 7, the watchdog said in a statement on its website yesterday. One of those concerns was added after the Fukushima disaster, Dave Watson of the ONR said in an interview in London. The GDA acceptance doesn’t allow for construction to proceed. That still requires site specific approvals, such as planning permission, environmental permits and nuclear site licences.
March 7, 2012 by Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment in UK
In Italy, an astonishing 94% of those voting in a national referendum in 2011 opposed new nuclear which forced the (then Berlusconi) government to abandon its nuclear plans. In Switzerland, 25,000 attended an anti-nuclear demonstration, and the Swiss cabinet decided against new build: in effect supporting a phase-out programme as its old plants retire.
With Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Ireland and Greece all non-nuclear and phase-out programmes in Spain and Belgium, only four major EU countries – UK, France, Finland and Sweden – remain supportive. But with nuclear problems in Finland and the situation in France shifting, it is little surprise that French and Germany nuclear companies look to the UK as a safe haven for new nuclear projects – with the Con-Dem coalition offering enthusiastic, not to say slavish, support. It is a sobering thought that on the nuclear power issue after Fukushima, the UK appears to be increasingly out-of step with the majority of its European Union neighbours.
It is a sobering thought that on the nuclear power issue after Fukushima, the UK appears to be increasingly out-of step with the majority of its European Union neighbours.