Nuclear Energy UK – ABWR http://abwr.org/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 16:23:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://abwr.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default-150x150.png Nuclear Energy UK – ABWR http://abwr.org/ 32 32 Iran’s nuclear chief announces expansion of enrichment program https://abwr.org/irans-nuclear-chief-announces-expansion-of-enrichment-program/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 15:55:25 +0000 https://abwr.org/irans-nuclear-chief-announces-expansion-of-enrichment-program/ Iran has announced an expansion of its nuclear enrichment program, in a defiant response to a rebuke from the UN watchdog over the alleged existence of undeclared nuclear sites. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Tuesday it had added the Fordow underground facility to the list of sites where it enriches uranium […]]]>

Iran has announced an expansion of its nuclear enrichment program, in a defiant response to a rebuke from the UN watchdog over the alleged existence of undeclared nuclear sites.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Tuesday it had added the Fordow underground facility to the list of sites where it enriches uranium to the 60% purity level, just in below military grade.

This follows an International Atomic Energy Agency board resolution last week calling on Iran to cooperate on traces of uranium found at three undeclared sites in the country.

“We warned before that political pressure and resolutions would not change Iran’s approach,” Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said, referring to the IAEA statement. “For this reason, we started enriching uranium at Fordow.”

The escalation comes as Iran faces international criticism over the crackdown on protesters in the country and the alleged sale of missiles and drones to Russia that are being used to attack Ukrainian cities.

Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes, although experts say enriching uranium to 60% is a step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.

Tehran also said that old allegations about its nuclear activities had all been dealt with in the nuclear deal it signed with the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China in 2015 and those issues could not be reopened.

Iran’s past activities were glossed over as part of the deal that helped curb its nuclear program in return for lifting most US sanctions.

But after the United States, under President Donald Trump, withdrew from the accord in 2018 and imposed harsh sanctions, Iran rolled back its commitments without formally withdrawing from the accord. A year later, it resumed enriching uranium to 60% while installing advanced centrifuges. The 60% level was reached in April 2021.

The IAEA said this month that Iran held about 62.3 kg of uranium enriched up to 60%, an amount that has raised alarm in Western capitals.

US President Joe Biden has pursued a revival of the 2015 deal, but EU-mediated indirect talks between Tehran and Washington have stalled since August. It was thought the two sides could resume talks after the conclusion of the US midterm elections this month.

Yet Western diplomats in Tehran say it has become virtually impossible to sit down at the negotiating table with Iran if the Islamic republic continues to violently suppress major anti-regime demonstrations. At least 305 protesters, including 41 children, were killed during the protests, Amnesty International said.

Western governments fear a revival of the nuclear deal could tighten the grip of Iran’s leaders, diplomats said, because it would include unfreezing billions of dollars of Iranian assets abroad.

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Jeremy Hunt unveils £55bn budget cut as UK economic outlook darkens https://abwr.org/jeremy-hunt-unveils-55bn-budget-cut-as-uk-economic-outlook-darkens/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 19:07:39 +0000 https://abwr.org/jeremy-hunt-unveils-55bn-budget-cut-as-uk-economic-outlook-darkens/ UK households are set to experience the biggest drop in living standards on record and the highest tax burden since World War II after Jeremy Hunt outlines plans to cut public spending and boost revenues to plug a hole budget of £55 billion. The Chancellor told a somber House of Commons that massive fiscal consolidation, […]]]>

UK households are set to experience the biggest drop in living standards on record and the highest tax burden since World War II after Jeremy Hunt outlines plans to cut public spending and boost revenues to plug a hole budget of £55 billion.

The Chancellor told a somber House of Commons that massive fiscal consolidation, including £30billion in spending cuts and £25billion in tax hikes, was needed to restore Britain’s credibility and controlling inflation.

“We ask more of those who have more,” he said. But forecasts from the Independent Office for Fiscal Responsibility highlighted the pain ahead for the whole country.

The OBR, whose projections underpin the government’s efforts to restore public finances to health after Liz Truss’ disastrous prime minister, said the economy would contract 1.4% next year and not recover. not pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2024.

He added that high inflation, which is expected to remain at 7.4% next year, will erode real wages. Living standards are set to fall the most in six decades, down 7% over the two financial years to 2023-24 – despite more than £100billion in additional government support. The decline would reverse the growth of the previous eight years.

The main aim of the Chancellor’s tax hikes and spending cuts was to reassure markets that the UK had returned to prudent management of national resources.

The pound fell 0.6% to $1.18 against the dollar as UK government bonds rallied after the Chancellor’s speech to end flat on the day.

While former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s September ‘mini’ budget was the biggest tax-cutting plan in 50 years, Thursday’s statement was the biggest tax-raising effort in 30 years outside of the pandemic. The OBR said that by 2027-28 Britain’s tax burden would be 37.1% of gross domestic product, a post-war record.

Much of the fiscal consolidation, including “stealth” tax increases and a sharp cut in public spending, is planned for the years following the general election due in 2024. Labor Treasury spokeswoman Rachel Reeves, said it was an “election trap”. for his party.

But one of the biggest tax increases – freezing national insurance thresholds for businesses – will come into effect from April 2023 and will increase £5.8billion by 2028. A windfall tax on energy companies will bring in £14bn next year.

Some £35billion of savings, by far the largest component of fiscal consolidation, will come from limiting public spending in the next legislature while freezing capital spending.

But Hunt has provided an extra £5billion a year for health and social services and an extra £3billion for schools for the next two financial years to soften the blow of rising inflation.

He also announced inflation-linked increases for pensioners and benefit recipients, confirming he was maintaining the “triple pension lock”. He said: “To be British is to be compassionate.”

The Chancellor insisted the tax hikes and spending cuts were required by an ‘international crisis’ and played down the idea that any of the problems were domestic in origin. “It’s a recession made in Russia, a recovery made in Britain,” he said.

Hunt said Britain’s debt would decline as a percentage of GDP by the end of the five-year forecast provided by the OBR, which was dismissed by Kwarteng.

The Chancellor said his main objective was to help the BoE beat inflation, which hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October.

His tax increase measures include a reduction in the top tax rate threshold by 45% from £150,000 to £125,000. The burden of taxes on dividends and on capital gains will also increase.

He said average household energy bills would be capped at £3,000 a year from April for everyone, while the most vulnerable would receive special help.

The Chancellor also confirmed that EU rules governing the insurance sector, Solvency II, would be rewritten to free up “tens of billions of pounds” of capital to be spent on infrastructure. The Sizewell C nuclear power station would be built.

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Hopes and costs are high for the future of nuclear power in the UK https://abwr.org/hopes-and-costs-are-high-for-the-future-of-nuclear-power-in-the-uk/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 07:11:00 +0000 https://abwr.org/hopes-and-costs-are-high-for-the-future-of-nuclear-power-in-the-uk/ By DANA BELTAJI and MARY KATHERINE WILDEMAN, Associated Press BRIDGWATER, England (AP) — Wedged between the southwestern town of Bridgwater and the Severn Estuary is a 430-acre site where some of Britain’s future electricity hopefuls are pinned. Now reaching more than 100 feet (32 meters) high, construction of the first of two nuclear reactors at […]]]>

By DANA BELTAJI and MARY KATHERINE WILDEMAN, Associated Press

BRIDGWATER, England (AP) — Wedged between the southwestern town of Bridgwater and the Severn Estuary is a 430-acre site where some of Britain’s future electricity hopefuls are pinned.

Now reaching more than 100 feet (32 meters) high, construction of the first of two nuclear reactors at the Hinkley Point C power station is well underway, after years of planning.

Hinkley Point C is expected to be one of Britain’s largest power stations and will generate 7% of the country’s electricity. Around 8,000 workers, many of whom currently live on site, commute to and from work around the clock, seven days a week on the site’s bustling bus network.

“Here at Hinkley, it’s all about scale,” project delivery manager Nigel Cann said as he gestured towards the giant site. “We have the third largest bus service in the world. We serve more eggs, sausages and bacon than anywhere else in the UK I imagine.

political cartoons

Sites like Hinkley are now an integral part of the UK government’s ‘net zero’ strategy by 2050. Some experts say nuclear power will be needed to help countries get rid of fossil fuels, but there are concerns about the cost and timelines of building large nuclear reactors, along with worries about nuclear safety and waste. Other clean energy, such as wind farms, can be built and brought online much faster.

Energy analysts say if Hinkley is successful, it could help determine whether other large nuclear reactors like this will be built in Britain and other countries in the future.

Nuclear energy is generated by fission, the process of separating uranium atoms. The energy released from fission turns water into steam to spin a turbine that generates electricity, a process that does not emit planet-warming gases into the atmosphere. Scientists say that for the world to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), fossil fuel emissions must be drastically reduced, with the rest cancelled.

“Everyone wants nuclear,” said Neil Hirst, senior energy policy fellow at Imperial College London. “They want it because nuclear provides security at a time when the gas supply is threatened. And also because many countries have a net zero commitment by 2050, which can be quite difficult, if not impossible, to achieve without substantial nuclear.

But not everyone wants the costs and delays that come with it.

The Hinkley Point C project is estimated at 26 billion pounds ($30 billion) and is due for completion in 2027. It is already over budget by around 7 billion pounds ($8 billion) and has suffered delays that the Owners EDF — France’s state-owned energy company — say it’s largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic which is causing supply chain issues and labor shortages.

The United States, which still has the largest nuclear power generation capacity of any country, has seen only one new nuclear reactor come online since 2000 – a Tennessee-based project that put decades to end. Meanwhile, plans for at least 21 new nuclear reactors have been canceled since 2007, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. An American project is under construction in Georgia, although the budget has more than doubled, according to calculations by the Associated Press.

France’s Flamanville 3, still under construction and of the same type of reactor as Hinkley Point C, is several times over its original budget, which is now expected to cost 12.7 billion euros (dollars) and has suffered multiple setbacks. Olkiluoto-3 in Finland, which started generating electricity a decade late, saw its costs almost quadruple to about $11 billion.

These massive overruns have “certainly given people reason to hesitate,” said Jennifer Gordon, director of the Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative at the Atlantic Council. “But that said, over the past year the geopolitical calculus has shifted so much” as climate and energy security concerns grow.

But Paul Dorfman, of the University of Sussex’s Science Policy Research Unit, said ‘nuclear would be far too late to help us solve our energy dilemma and unfortunately really too late to help us solve our climate dilemma”. He added that the huge increase in renewable energy shows that it can meet the growing demand for electricity.

Nuclear projects need billions of dollars upfront before they start generating electricity and also have the ongoing cost of purchasing fuel, which wind or solar power does not. . They also don’t see a return for several years, so they rely on government support in most cases and, to that end, public support.

This is more feasible in Europe where governments are willing to dip into the public purse, Hirst said. In the United States, it’s harder to get those big costs approved, even with recent incentives for nuclear power, which means the country is likely to move to a newer, cutting-edge technology called small modular reactors. which have less daunting upfront costs and shorter construction time. time limit. That makes it an attractive prospect for many countries, Gordon said.

She added that large reactors could instead act “as a bridge to the next generation of nuclear and also as a bridge to renewables and breakthroughs in storage technology.”

Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind or hydropower, have doubled in capacity between 2000 and 2021 around the world, according to an analysis of data from a global energy think tank. Nuclear energy, on the other hand, grew by only 13% during this period, with more than half of this growth concentrated in China. Renewables are much cheaper per megawatt of electricity generated to build.

Their power is more variable but many solar and wind farms now use batteries to get closer to a 24 hour power supply. Some experts believe nuclear can provide a fallback to other low-carbon energy sources in a future with no or very little fossil fuels, but whether it really has the modern flexibility needed is questionable. to associate with the sun and the wind.

“It doesn’t provide what’s called load flow to account for variability. It’s far too stiff to go up and down with fluctuations in demand,” Dorfman said.

Concerns about nuclear safety and waste also persist following high-profile disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

“The public’s view of the nuclear power industry is one of our main challenges,” said nuclear risk analyst Jenifer Avellaneda. “We had mistakes. But we are doing better and we must do better.

Avellaneda added that the industry’s many regulatory bodies and strict procedures make it a safer bet than many other energy sources, especially those that are highly polluting.

According to a recent report on the state of the industry.

Britain alone has decommissioned three nuclear sites in recent years when they reached the end of their life.

Hirst believes the future of large nuclear reactors, particularly in Europe, will depend in part on the success of Hinkley Point C.

“They’ve had cost overruns before, but not at development scale,” Hirst said, adding that if the site stays on its updated schedule and is “reasonably in touch with original costs, then I think we will see more orders.”

The Bridgwater team understands what is at stake.

“We understand our responsibility to get this plant producing as quickly as possible,” Cann said. “We feel that pressure, we feel the responsibility, but we will never compromise safety or quality.”

Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report. Wildeman reported from Hartford, Connecticut.

The Associated Press’s climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. Learn more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2022 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Power stations are allowed to breach air pollution limits if blackouts loom https://abwr.org/power-stations-are-allowed-to-breach-air-pollution-limits-if-blackouts-loom/ Sat, 12 Nov 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://abwr.org/power-stations-are-allowed-to-breach-air-pollution-limits-if-blackouts-loom/ Coal-fired power stations have also been asked to delay planned shutdown dates to provide assistance if needed, while households are offered payments to reduce demand at peak times. National Grid has warned there is a risk of blackout if Britain cannot import power when needed from the mainland. The breakdowns of the French nuclear fleet […]]]>

Coal-fired power stations have also been asked to delay planned shutdown dates to provide assistance if needed, while households are offered payments to reduce demand at peak times.

National Grid has warned there is a risk of blackout if Britain cannot import power when needed from the mainland. The breakdowns of the French nuclear fleet aggravate the risk.

The company reiterated the warning this week, advising investors that “customer supply disruptions could occur for short periods” in the “unlikely” scenario of a supply shortage.

The regulations apply to so-called “peak” plants, which can ramp up and down quickly to meet demand, meaning they can easily step in if a shortage is imminent.

If factories emit more nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide than allowed within normal limits, they will have to make equivalent emission reductions next year. This means power plants are effectively allowed to ‘borrow’ against next year’s allocations, rather than adding overtime across the board.

Plants within 500m of specially managed areas for nitrogen oxide emissions will not be included in the plans. The easing only applies until the end of December and the Environment Agency has said there are no plans to extend it.

A spokesman for the government’s environment department said it was ‘clear that power stations must still comply with their legal permits and can only operate under the RPS’. [regulatory position statement] in the event of an imminent power shortage.

“A violation of hourly limits in a permit would be dealt with through the normal Environment Agency enforcement process,” he added.

Cuts to Russian gas supplies to Europe as part of its war on Ukraine have raised concerns that all gas-fired power stations in Europe and the UK will have enough fuel to operate at some point. .

Meanwhile, a large part of the French fleet of nuclear power plants is currently offline for maintenance or to fix corrosion issues. EDF, owner of the power plants, has revised its production forecasts downwards for the fourth time this year.

Britain typically relies on some electricity imported from the continent to handle peak demand times, such as when workers go home and cook dinner. It is also increasingly dependent on intermittent wind power.

National Grid must balance the system second by second to avoid outages. To help balance this winter, National Grid is offering to pay home suppliers £3 for every kilowatt hour of energy saved if they are called upon to do so to avoid shortages.

Suppliers will in turn pay households to save electricity at peak times, for example by running the washing machine at night rather than when they return home.

Despite the lingering concern, the outlook for this winter has improved in recent weeks due to warmer weather.

John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, said this week that mild temperatures had helped keep European gas stocks full, “which certainly can’t hurt”.

National Grid’s base case remains that there will be sufficient generation to meet demand.

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FTSE 100 companies pay billions in dividends to Qatari investors | FTSE https://abwr.org/ftse-100-companies-pay-billions-in-dividends-to-qatari-investors-ftse/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://abwr.org/ftse-100-companies-pay-billions-in-dividends-to-qatari-investors-ftse/ Some of the UK’s largest listed companies, including water and energy giants, have handed over nearly £500m to Qatari public investors this year, raising concerns that company profits Blue chip companies are backing the controversial World Cup host. The dividend payouts are the result of the Gulf nation’s investments in a series of FTSE 100 […]]]>

Some of the UK’s largest listed companies, including water and energy giants, have handed over nearly £500m to Qatari public investors this year, raising concerns that company profits Blue chip companies are backing the controversial World Cup host.

The dividend payouts are the result of the Gulf nation’s investments in a series of FTSE 100 companies, including Barclays, Shell and a utility company Thirty Severnwhich posted strong profits amid a cost of living crisis and the UK’s worst drought in centuries.

The figures, compiled by the Guardian, cover funds distributed to Qatari state shareholders in the 10 months leading up to November’s controversial tournament.

However, the Qatari state’s revenue from UK-listed companies has likely amounted to billions of pounds since it won the right to host the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

The figures will raise concerns about how daily spending by British consumers, through banking, groceries and air travel, could inadvertently support the Qatari host, who has criminalized homosexuality and has been accused of exploit migrant workers to build World Cup infrastructure.

Although the holdings of listed companies are publicly available, little is known about the types of investors who hold shares in UK companies.

Amnesty International UK’s director of economic affairs, Peter Frankental, said UK companies needed to be more upfront about where dividend payments go.

“Qatar’s considerable wealth and vast portfolio of overseas investments have been accompanied by the systematic exploitation of its vast migrant workforce, many of whom have worked for years for abusive employers with the connivance of the Qatari authorities,” Frankental said.

“UK companies must be transparent about any human rights abuses that may have taken place across their chain of investors, including those stemming from Qatar’s notorious construction sites.”

Qatar’s $450bn (£389bn) sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has taken a huge interest in UK-listed investments over the past few decades, spending billions to acquire stakes in a series of blue-chip UK companies such as the London Stock Exchange Group and Royal Dutch Shell.

UK stocks make up almost a fifth of the QIA’s equity portfolio at 17% and are worth a total of $8.8 billion. This makes the UK the authority’s third largest equity investment destination, behind Germany which accounts for 29% of the portfolio worth $15 billion, and Qatar where equities account for nearly 19% of the portfolio. at $9.6 billion.

These British stakes meant that the investment authority – and therefore the Qatari state – benefited from the profits of British companies, which were then returned to shareholders through buyouts and dividends.

Guardian analysis of publicly available data shows Qatari vehicles, including QIA, have pocketed around £475million in dividends since January alone, helping to prop up Qatari finances at a time when the The state has spent around $200 billion preparing to host the World Cup.

“Built on farm”: the real price of the World Cup in Qatar – video explanation

Including Shellwhich paid nearly $17 million in dividends to Qatar in a year it posted record profits thanks to soaring energy prices linked to war-induced shortages in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the QIA has gained £13m from its 4.6% stake in Coventry-based water company Severn Trent, which has come under fire for one-off payments to executives – including £3.9m for his boss Liv Garfield – even though the country has suffered the worst drought conditions in centuries.

The QIA also earned £11m from the London Stock Exchange Group, in which QIA still has a 7% stake, and a further £33m of its stake in supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

This is on top of £64million from a 6.3% stake in banking giant Barclays. His stake in the UK bank is a remnant of his controversial involvement in the bank’s emergency fundraising at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. The funding arrangement helped Barclays avoid a public bailout that reportedly placed it under government control, but then led the Serious Fraud Office to accuse three former Barclays bankers of funneling secret charges to Qatar in exchange for the emergency funding. A jury found these executives not guilty in early 2020. The bank itself is now appealing against a regulatory fine for the deal.

One of the biggest sources of UK dividend income comes from the UK-listed mining giant glencore, which has paid Qatar Holding – a subsidiary of the QIA – a total of $387m (£347m) since January. Dividends are the result of an 8% stake in the company.

Although Glencore is headquartered in Switzerland rather than the UK, most UK pension schemes will have a stake in the FTSE Company listed on the 100, which trades in metals used in key technologies such as electric batteries. Glencore has become one of the world’s biggest commodities companies thanks to a £50bn merger with mining firm Xstrata, sealed in late-night talks involving Tony Blair and billionaire Qatari politician Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani .

Other dividend payouts came from stakes in disinfectant Dettol and maker of Nurofen Reckitt Benckiserwhich paid £382,000 to QIA, and private equity group Melrose Industries, which owns GKN, £14,000.

State-owned Qatar Airways also has a 25.23% stake in British Airways owner IAG, although the group – which is still recovering from the Covid pandemic – has yet to pay a dividend this year. .

The QIA, Glencore, Barclays, Severn Trent and the London Stock Exchange declined to comment. Melrose Industries did not respond to requests for comment.

Sainsbury’s said in a statement it did not choose its shareholders and the majority were UK pension funds and private investors, including Sainsbury’s staff.

Reckitt Benckiser said the company had recently strengthened its policies to prevent modern slavery and had a zero-tolerance policy on human rights abuses. “We are used to working throughout our supply chain to strengthen human rights and labor standards, excluding suppliers where our standards are not met, and working with suppliers, peers and civil society to enable large-scale change.”

Shell did not directly comment on the dividend payouts, but did share a statement regarding its approach to separate investments in Qatar. “A commitment to worker welfare and respect for people is fundamental to the way Shell Group companies operate globally, including in Qatar.”

These dividends from listed companies come on top of valuable stakes in UK private companies such as Harrods, Heathrow, The Shard and Starling Bank.

In December, engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce announced that the QIA was spending £85 million to take a 10% stake in a UK government-backed project to develop small nuclear power plants, known as the Rolls-Royce SMR.

QInvest, another Qatari royal family investment vehicle, also maintains a 43% of the stockbroker’s capital and the investment bank Panmure Gordon, which published its first profit in three years in 2021.

Meanwhile, Farnborough-based arms company BAE Systems announced in March that it had signed an agreement to develop naval vessel support for the naval force of the Emir of Qatar. And amid the UK energy crisis, Qatar’s participation in the South Hook LNG terminal has become a priority. State-owned Qatar Energy has a 67.5% stake in the Pembrokeshire-based terminal.

Qatar is one of the UK’s biggest sources of liquefied natural gas (LNG), a role that led Boris Johnson to discuss increasing supply from the Gulf state in late 2021, as world gas prices were skyrocketing.

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The Observer’s take on Britain’s urgent need to commit to nuclear power | Observer Editorial https://abwr.org/the-observers-take-on-britains-urgent-need-to-commit-to-nuclear-power-observer-editorial/ Sun, 06 Nov 2022 09:58:24 +0000 https://abwr.org/the-observers-take-on-britains-urgent-need-to-commit-to-nuclear-power-observer-editorial/ For a moment last week, our cash-strapped government seemed ready to scrap a project that many experts say is central to our plans to achieve energy independence and net zero emissions. According to the BBC, the The Treasury had indicated the planned new Sizewell C nuclear reactor was on a list of major construction projects […]]]>

For a moment last week, our cash-strapped government seemed ready to scrap a project that many experts say is central to our plans to achieve energy independence and net zero emissions. According to the BBC, the The Treasury had indicated the planned new Sizewell C nuclear reactor was on a list of major construction projects that were being reviewed for possible cancellation. His days could be numbered, it has been suggested.

The threat has since been denied by Number 10. The new atom factory in Suffolk will go ahead, he insisted. For a nation hoping to wean itself off its dependence on fossil fuels and its reliance on imported natural gas, this is good news. The future prosperity of the UK depends on its ability to generate electricity, independently and at low cost, and nuclear energy should play a vital role in this. The problem is that these plans have very shaky foundations, as was revealed last week when uncertainties about Sizewell C first surfaced.

Britain has pledged to close all of its coal-fired power plants by 2024 while those that burn oil and gas are to be eliminated by 2035. After that, a mix of renewables and nuclear power plants should fill that capacity, light and heat our homes, run our factories, and keep our electric trains and cars moving.

For their part, renewable energies are doing well, with wind and solar power plants provide healthy morsels electricity for the UK grid. However, this is not the case for the nuclear component of this energy package. As the country’s fossil fuel power plants are shut down, the reactors are providing less and less electricity to the country. In the 1990s, atomic energy produced 25% of UK electricity. By 2020, that figure had fallen to 16% and it will continue to fall as our aging nuclear plants are shut down.

Of the six reactors currently in operation, five are intended for closing by 2028. An additional new reactor, Point Hinkley Cshould be in operation by then, leaving Britain with two reactors and a limited supply of fossil fuels – in addition to renewable sources – to supply the nation with electricity.

Unless new reactors are built, by 2050 Britain’s nuclear capacity – the proposed cornerstone of the nation’s energy supply for the future – will be a third of what it is today. Solar and wind power will no doubt do their part, but on a freezing, windless winter’s evening, the UK’s lack of central generating capacity will be sorely exposed. Breakdowns will be inevitable.

The Sizewell C reactor project will therefore be welcome, even if the plant alone will be insufficient for the needs of the nation. Britain will need at least half a dozen such reactors to supply the gigawatts of electricity it will depend on for a future that lacks the energy to run our homes and run our factories.

The problem is that a new nuclear plant takes about a decade to build once it has been approved. According to this arithmetic, time is now desperately tight if the UK is to have the numbers it needs to generate the energy the country will need.

Nuclear energy is certainly not free from flaws. Construction costs and waste storage are two clear examples. However, the government has committed the nation to atomic energy. With that done, he is now compelled to act with a speed that will supply the country with enough nuclear power – and keep the light on for the next two decades.

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EDF: when the state becomes fully capitalist https://abwr.org/edf-when-the-state-becomes-fully-capitalist/ Mon, 31 Oct 2022 17:23:58 +0000 https://abwr.org/edf-when-the-state-becomes-fully-capitalist/ Analysis October 31, 2022 What happens when a public energy company becomes multinational? In the second installment of his Heat the Rich series on Britain’s Big Six energy giants, Corporate watch honors EDF Energy. EDF is the fifth largest energy supplier in the UK currently controlling over 10% of the market. The French multinational is […]]]>

Analysis

October 31, 2022

EDF is the fifth largest energy supplier in the UK currently controlling over 10% of the market. The French multinational is best known for “Leading the UK’s Nuclear Renaissance” exploit everything eight of the UK’s nuclear power stations.

It is owned by Electricité de France SA (Electricity of France, EDF). A predominantly multinational energy producer and supplier (and soon to be only) belonging to the French State. He is one of the top five utility companies in the world.

Created in 1946 by the French government, EDF was created with the intention of rebuilding the French power grid after World War II. Today, 70 years later, EDF has diversified far beyond France, taking advantage of energy consumers from the United States to India. The group is now made up of 144 subsidiaries.

Despite its name, EDF is not only in the field of energy. EDF is also involved in the data software, vehicle traceability, investment, and real estate sectors, to name but a few.

EDF uses partnership agreements to build its brand, for example, the company is a ‘premium partner’ (and official energy supplier) for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.

How many UK energy customers does EDF have?

Electricity (excluding prepayment): 3 million

Gas (excluding prepayment): 2.1 million

Who owns it?

EDF Energy (UK) Ltd is ultimately owned by EDF SA, Majority-owned French company (84%) by the French government and listed on Euronextthe French stock exchange.

In July 2022, the French government announced that it would buy back the outstanding 16% of EDF shares, canceling partial privatization company in 2005. But it hit a brick wall when investors threatened to sue the government for losses. The French State has begun to finalize its takeover of 100% of EDF shares in September. But at what cost ? The other shareholders claim a fortune, the government having to pay a total of 9.7 billion euros (£8.7 billion) of French taxpayers’ money. It should be noted that the shareholders who stand to benefit from this nationalization are investment giants Blackrock and Vanguard Group.

Is EDF suffering from the cost of living crisis?

At first glance, it does appear that EDF’s profits have plunged in recent years. According EDF Energy (UK) Ltd 2021 accountsEDF posted a loss of €4.8bn (£4.2bn) compared to €268m (£239m) in 2020. No dividends have been paid by EDF Energy (UK) Ltd. in 2021 nor in 2020. However, another UK subsidiary, EDF Energy Holdings Ltd, paid dividends of £1 million in 2021 and £60 million in 2020.

Despite these losses, at the end of 2021, EDF Energy (UK) Ltd still had net assets of €17.9 billion (£16 billion).

Whatever the accounts of the British subsidiary, the EDF group has made all its financial objectives in 2021. The group’s turnover for the year amounts to £8,720m, an increase of 8%. The Group made a profit of €360m (£324m) in 2021a complete reversal in performance from 2020, when the Group recorded a loss of €2.6bn (£2.3bn).

But what about the future? EDF should stack up €100bn (£87.8bn) in debt this year and the French government already pump 3 billion euros (£2.6bn) into the business in the spring. But as you’ll see below, no matter how bad things get, there’s always room for give the CEO a raise.

Who runs EDF?

Jean-Bernard Lévy, the group’s current CEO, is due to leave six months early after a fallout at the top between Lévy and French President Emmanuel Macron over nuclear energy. Lévy is – however – unlikely to be out of work after EDF. It was Previously CEO of arms company Thales and media company Vivendi, and even had a stint as a technical adviser to a government ministry. In 2020, Lévy was listed as the 9th highest paid CEO in the utility industry worldwide, winning a salary of €450,000 (£389,500) and €3,660 (£3,150) benefits.

Moreover, Lévy’s probable successor, Luc Remont, handpicked by Macron (whose nomination is just pending parliamentary approval), will start on a profit-making basis after the The French government announced that she wants to increase the salary of the new CEO of EDF to attract more candidates. The salary of the CEO of the company is currently capped at 450,000 (£389,500). Although no figures have been made public, the EDF group is known to pay high salaries. In 2013, it was revealed that former UK CEO Vincent de Rivaz had received pay of £1 million per year in compensation.

Simone Rossi has been with EDF since 2004, Rossi rose from head of the international division to UK CEO in 2017. But Rossi’s influence goes far beyond the British Isles. As a member of the Executive Committee, Rossi is at the top of the EDF Group. At first it looks like Rossi took a big pay cut, with a 2017 payment package capped at just over £100,000. A modest salary compared to his predecessor, de Rivaz, who was on £1 million per year. But it is very likely that Rossi’s remuneration will now be identical to that of Rivaz at £1 million, as the highest paid director in EDF Energy Holdings Ltd.

Workers’ struggle within EDF

Customers are not the only beneficiaries of EDF’s profit-driven strategy. Cashmere Singh, Prospect union organizer, fighting racism and discrimination in the workplace for half a century. Singh was given a 50-year seniority award in 2021 by Simone Rossi. But Singh’s union released a statement explaining how, during his career, he had been the victim of two grievance and disciplinary procedures for daring to raise EDF’s inability to hire and promote staff of Asian or Black (ABLE) origin.

Subsidiaries in tax havens

EDF Energy (UK) Ltd owns EDF Energy Holdings Ltd, the ultimate holding company for EDF’s UK subsidiaries. While EDF Energy (UK) accounts from 2021 details of €905m (£780m) tax payments corporate tax in 2021some of its subsidiaries are registered in notorious tax havens, including a holding company registered in Hong Kong and an insurance company in Guernsey.

Over the past two decades, EDF financed the conservative party up to £38,499.

More recently, last October EDF Energy Renewables Ltd has donated £4,999 to Conservative Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen. And like clockwork, by March 2022 EDF has announced plans to build a new hydrogen production center near the former Redcar steelworks on Teeside. The center is called Tees Green Hydrogen.

EDF also made two donations of £6,000 to the Labor Party in October 2003 and September 2005. The timing of these donations coincided with Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair’s announcement. in November 2005 that the government was considering new nuclear for the UK’s future energy supplies. This started the ball rolling for EDF’s £18bn government contract for the construction of the Hinkley Point C power station.

Does the company have close relations with the government?

Over the past decade, EDF has become increasingly close to the government. The company had at least five independent opportunities to promote his program in meetings with British prime ministers, once with David Cameron and four times with Boris Johnson. Company representatives even had an intimate conversation one-on-one with Johnson in January 2022 to discuss the supply of nuclear energy to the United Kingdom, of which EDF has a monopoly.

Since 2012, business representatives also attend at least 151 meetings with government ministersincluding 24 solo meetings with the former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, now Chancellor of the Exchequer, responsible for British economic policy.

And comfort is not ready to end anytime soon, EDF is in a good place under Liz Truss. The new PM named former EDF lobbyist Michael Stott as Downing Street’s new commercial link. Stott, who is also a former Conservative press secretary, is expected to lead the government’s new nuclear program.

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Poland chooses US company to build 1st nuclear power plant: PM https://abwr.org/poland-chooses-us-company-to-build-1st-nuclear-power-plant-pm/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 21:13:21 +0000 https://abwr.org/poland-chooses-us-company-to-build-1st-nuclear-power-plant-pm/ Poland chose US firm Westinghouse on Friday to build its first nuclear power plant, as the country tries to bolster its energy security at a time of rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine. Westinghouse beat out competing bids from France’s EDF and South Korea’s KHNP for the multi-billion dollar (euro) deal, although Poland has considered […]]]>

Poland chose US firm Westinghouse on Friday to build its first nuclear power plant, as the country tries to bolster its energy security at a time of rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

Westinghouse beat out competing bids from France’s EDF and South Korea’s KHNP for the multi-billion dollar (euro) deal, although Poland has considered the possibility of further nuclear tenders in the future.

“We confirm that our nuclear energy project will use reliable and safe technology from @WECNuclear,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Twitter.

Morawiecki said the decision would be formally adopted at a cabinet meeting in Warsaw on Wednesday.

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm welcomed Poland’s announcement, tweeting, “This is a huge step in strengthening our relationship with Poland for future generations.

“I think this sends a clear message to Russia that the Atlantic Alliance is united in diversifying our energy supply…and in resisting Russia’s militarization of energy,” she said in a statement. video.

Granholm said Poland chose Westinghouse “for the first part of its $40 billion nuclear project,” without specifying the amount of the investment.

A senior US government official speaking on condition of anonymity only said the deal was valued at “billions” and would create “thousands of well-paying jobs”.

“It’s a big deal because it’s not just about a commercial energy project, it’s about how we’ll define what I would call interdependent security for decades to come,” said the responsible.

– Online by 2033 –

The decision “sends an unequivocal message to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin about the strength and network of the US-Polish alliance,” the official added.

And US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet that he was “very pleased” with the deal to “help produce safe, clean and reliable nuclear energy”.

“The United States is proud to be Poland’s strong energy and security partner,” Blinken tweeted.

Poland has been planning for a civilian nuclear power capability for years, but the issue of energy security has taken on added urgency due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Denmark, Norway and Poland unveiled a new pipeline last month that will transport Norwegian gas to Poland via Denmark after Russia cut off supplies from Warsaw.

The Polish government has said it wants its first nuclear power plant to be commissioned in 2033.

She chose the village of Choczewo near the Baltic coast as the site for the factory.

The first plant is expected to have three reactors and the government has said it plans to select a supplier to build three more reactors in the future.

“The second set (of 3 reactors) will arrive at a date to be determined subject to a decision by the Polish government and we expect this will also be Westinghouse,” the US official said.

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October 26 live updates: Meta shares fall, US mortgage rates hit 21-year high https://abwr.org/october-26-live-updates-meta-shares-fall-us-mortgage-rates-hit-21-year-high/ Wed, 26 Oct 2022 22:40:33 +0000 https://abwr.org/october-26-live-updates-meta-shares-fall-us-mortgage-rates-hit-21-year-high/ ©REUTERS General Dynamics recorded its first war-related order in Ukraine as a government contracted the US aerospace and defense group for munitions. Chief Executive Phebe Novakovic confirmed the order during a third-quarter earnings call with analysts on Wednesday, but did not provide details. She said the company received ammunition and ordnance orders totaling $370 million […]]]>
©REUTERS

General Dynamics recorded its first war-related order in Ukraine as a government contracted the US aerospace and defense group for munitions.

Chief Executive Phebe Novakovic confirmed the order during a third-quarter earnings call with analysts on Wednesday, but did not provide details. She said the company received ammunition and ordnance orders totaling $370 million during the quarter.

For Ukraine’s fight against invading Russian forces, GD expects US military “to tell us they want more ammunition and ammunition, so we are working with them to increase production” , Novakovic said.

There is growing interest in GD’s land-based weapons systems, including its Stryker, Abrams and MPF battle tanks, she continued. In August, Poland placed an Abrams order for $1.1 billion.

GD earned $3.26 a share on revenue of $10 billion in the quarter through September, compared with $3.07 on revenue of $9.6 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $3.15 a share on revenue of $9.9 billion.

Demand for private jets contributed to a 5% rise in GD’s quarterly profit to $902 million. Affluent individuals embarked on private flights at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and interest remains high.

Novakovic said aircraft maker Gulfstream entered the “hottest” demand market it had ever seen in February 2021, and while third-quarter demand “wasn’t as overheated” , there was strong demand from the United States, Fortune 500 companies, Middle East and Southeast Asia, including first-time buyers, despite a global economic slowdown.

However, the aerospace group’s defense activity has been hampered by the lack of contractors for its government clients.

Many customers of GD’s technology mission systems “have a severe shortage of contract agents which has hampered their” order tracking, Novakovic said.

“In addition, and quite understandably, customer orientation has been reoriented in some areas to meet Ukraine’s most pressing demands.”

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Utility begins loading fuel into new Georgia nuclear power plant https://abwr.org/utility-begins-loading-fuel-into-new-georgia-nuclear-power-plant/ Fri, 14 Oct 2022 17:58:33 +0000 https://abwr.org/utility-begins-loading-fuel-into-new-georgia-nuclear-power-plant/ Workers have begun loading radioactive fuel into a new nuclear reactor in Georgia, utilities said Friday, putting the first new U.S. nuclear reactor built in decades on track to start producing electricity within months. coming. Georgia Power said workers would transfer 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor core at the Vogtle plant, southeast of Augusta, […]]]>

Workers have begun loading radioactive fuel into a new nuclear reactor in Georgia, utilities said Friday, putting the first new U.S. nuclear reactor built in decades on track to start producing electricity within months. coming.

Georgia Power said workers would transfer 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor core at the Vogtle plant, southeast of Augusta, in the coming days. There are already two reactors in operation at the plant, with fuel being loaded into a third unit and a fourth unit still under construction.

Chris Womack, president and CEO of Georgia Power, Atlanta-based Southern Co.’s largest unit, said in a statement that fueling is showing “steady and clear progress” at Vogtle.

“We are making history here in Georgia and in the United States as we approach the coming online of the first new nuclear unit to be built in the country in over 30 years,” Womack said. “These units are important in building the energy future and will serve as clean, emission-free energy sources for Georgians for the next 60 to 80 years.”

Once the 90 tons (82 metric tons) of uranium oxide has been crane-loaded into the reactor, operating company Southern Nuclear will test whether the plant’s cooling and steam supply system is working. while the fuel is inside the reactor at very high temperatures and pressures. created by splitting atoms. Operators will then start generating electricity and connect the plant to the transmission grid, with the reactor expected to enter commercial service by the end of March.

The Georgia Public Service Commission approved the new reactors in 2012, and the third reactor was expected to start producing electricity in 2016. The cost of the third and fourth reactors has risen from an initial estimate of $14 billion to more than $30 billion.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the fuel loading plans in August. Approval was delayed because much of the third reactor’s wiring had to be redone after federal regulators found major flaws. Southern Co. also fell behind on inspection paperwork that needed to be completed before the NRC could approve.

Georgia Power’s 2.7 million customers are already paying part of the cost of financing, and state regulators have approved a monthly rate increase of at least $3.78 a month once the third unit begins generating power. ‘electricity. But the Civil Service Commission, made up of five elected members, will decide later who will pay the rest of the costs. The utility has other unrelated rate increases pending a decision.

The fourth unit is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The two new units combined are expected to produce enough electricity for more than 500,000 homes and businesses.

Vogtle is the only nuclear power plant under construction in the United States. Its costs and delays could deter other utilities from building such plants, even if they produce electricity without emitting climate-altering carbon emissions.

Georgia Power owns 45.7% of the two reactors, while Oglethorpe Power Corp. holds 30% on behalf of 38 electricity cooperatives. The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia owns 22.7% on behalf of 49 city-owned utilities, while the City of Dalton Utility owns 1.6%. MEAG has contracts to sell electricity from Vogtle to the municipal utility in Jacksonville, Florida, and to certain electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Vogtle’s other owners are trying to shift the costs onto Georgia Power. Oglethorpe, MEAG and Dalton all sued Georgia Power earlier this year, claiming the company was trying to squeeze nearly $700 million out of them by unilaterally changing a contract.

As part of a 2018 deal, Georgia Power agreed to bear all cost overruns above a certain level. In exchange, the co-owners would sell a portion of their ownership shares to Georgia Power. Oglethorpe and MEAG say the projected overruns have reached that level, but Georgia Power said the threshold is $1.3 billion higher than the level claimed by the co-owners.

Georgia Power settles MEAG’s lawsuit in exchange for payments of at least $76 million to MEAG.

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Follow Jeff Amy at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

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