Reuters is reporting that the planned new nuclear construction project at Hinkley, Somerset in the UK could still be scrapped. The French project is now looking at funding from Saudi Arabia and China. The British government has agreed to vast subsidies raising the ire of the British public. No final decision to greenlight the project has yet been taken. The prototypes for the EPR reactor design planned for Hinkley -- in Finland and France -- have proven disastrous. Costs continue to sore, delays mount and in-fighting and the blame game characterize the business partnerships.
The Nuclear Retreat
We coined the term, "Nuclear Retreat" here at Beyond Nuclear to counter the nuclear industry's preposterous "nuclear renaissance" propaganda campaign. You've probably seen "Nuclear Retreat" picked up elsewhere and no wonder - the alleged nuclear revival so far looks more like a lot of running away. On this page we will keep tabs on every latest nuclear retreat as more and more proposed new nuclear programs are canceled.
The ever moving "completion" date for EdF's Flamanville EPR on the Normandy coast was this week pushed one more year into the future according to the embattled French government-owned utility. EdF now estimates a 2017 completion date but given the endless delays, cost-overruns and bickering, it is an open question whether the reactor will ever be done. This time, EdF is blaming supplier, Areva, for failure to deliver parts.
Meanwhile, Areva saw its stocks plummet as a result of such delays and warned of an "uncertain outlook" for its business.
As reported by FierceEnergy, FirstEnergy has essentially declared war on renewables and efficiency, and is attempting to massively gouge ratepayers, as well as taxpayers, to prop up failing plants like its Davis-Besse atomic reactor. This according to a report by IEEFA -- the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
The article quotes Tom Sanzillo, IEEFA's director of finance:
"FirstEnergy's CEO has called this the 'lost decade. But it has not been a lost decade for other utilities investing in renewables and alternatives to coal,'" Sanzillo said. "FirstEnergy's corporate leadership is lost, and they are asking shareholders, ratepayers and government officials to pay for their management blackout."
As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has warned about FirstEnergy's attempts at "regulatory capture and ratepayer bailouts as it struggles to reverse a deepening spiral of debt service and revenue declines."
FirstEnergy is seeking permission from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) for a $3 billion ratepayer bailout, in order to prop up its uncompetitive Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore east of Toledo, and its Sammis coal plant on the Ohio River in southeast Ohio.
Beyond Nuclear is most familiar with FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) regulatory capture of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Beyond Nuclear, and environmental allies Citizen Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio, have been officially intervening against FENOC's application for a 20-year license extension at the age-degraded, problem-plagued Davis-Besse reactor since Dec. 27, 2010. Every single contention filed by the environmental coalition's legal counsel, Terry Lodge of Toledo, has been vociferously opposed not only by FENOC's team of lawyers, but also by NRC staff and NRC Office of General Counsel. And every single environmental coalition contention has ultimately been rejected by the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, and/or the NRC Commissioners.
In his July 2013 report "Renaissance in Reverse," Vermont Law School energy economist Mark Cooper listed Davis-Besse as one of the top reactors in the U.S. at near-term risk for permanent shutdown.
From Reuters: "Finland's government has rejected an application from utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) to extend a permit for a new nuclear reactor in the west of the country, Economy Minister Jan Vapaavuori told reporters on Thursday. TVO had requested a five-year extension to the Olkiluoto 4 reactor project because it was dealing with delays and overruns at its predecessor, Olkiluoto 3. TVO, whose biggest owners include paper companies UPM-Kymmene and Stora Enso as well as utility Fortum, has until next summer to submit a construction plan for Olkiluoto 4 to the government."