UK Government Approves New Nuclear Plant

The British government today announced that it has approved the expansion of a new nuclear fission power plant to be built at Hinkley point, in Somerset in southwest England. The plant will be financed a consortium which includes French state-owned nuclear company EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Power Corporation. When completed in 2023, the plant is expected to provide 7 per cent of all British energy.

In order to secure the deal, it is understood by Westminster insiders that the British government has agreed that it will purchase electricity from the consortium at around £92.50 per megawatt hour — which is twice the current wholesale price of electricity in the UK, which means that there appears to be no end in sight for the rising of cost of energy in the United Kingdom.

Supporters of the project claim that in the long term it will mean lower carbon emissions and stability and even reduction of energy prices in the long term (compared to alternatives).

British energy secretary Ed Davey said of the deal, “It’s very likely that energy price rises that we’ve seen over recent years, gas prices, that gas will go up. So if we rely on gas and existing sources, we will be really in trouble.”

“By making this sort of investment, actually, we’re making sure we don’t put all our eggs in one basket, we’re making sure we’ve got a mixed energy system with not just gas, but replacing our nuclear power stations and building the renewables as well. We’re going to need all the low-carbon electricity in the future because the carbon prices are going to go up.”

Opponents of the agreement point out that costs could spiral out of control, especially of the agreed-on price of electricity is tied to overall inflation. Details of the yet-to-be-signed contract have not been published. And of course there is the ongoing controversy over safety issues connected with nuclear fission.

Already Britons are facing increases of natural gas prices of up to 10 per cent this winter, and without something dramatic happening on the energy front, the nation seems to be heading to a future of ever-increasing energy prices leading to adverse economic and social impacts.

And again, there seems to be no indication that political or business leaders involved in long-term decision making regarding energy are anticipating any game-changing impact from LENR. I hope for the sake of the UK, and people everywhere, that before long, good news on that front will come along and leaders can re-think their future energy strategies.

  • Doktor Bob

    Cold Fusion Is Hot Again
    Please help me reach out to Richard
    http://www.drboblog.com/cbs-60-minutes-on-cold-fusion/

  • atanguy

    Note that nobody saying anymore that the nuke energy is less expensive that the others energies. The main argument for it now is that there is no CO2 emission…

    The UK government is buying two EPR reactors from EDF. The first order for this type of reactors was sold to Finland(Olkiluoto) in 2005 and initially scheduled to go online in 2009 at a cost of € 3.7 billion. Today, end of 2013, the construction at Olkiluoto is not finished and the estimed cost is at close to € 9 billion.

    • Manuel Cruz

      But have you read further about the reasons why the construction at Olkiluoto is not finished and overbudget, while the one that China bought to the same company is not having any problems? Hint: it has everything to do with the hired european workers not having any clue about how to build a nuclear plant because we haven’t build one in over 40 years.

      • atanguy

        Manuel:

        “Hint: it has everything to do with the hired european workers not having any clue about how to build a nuclear plant because we haven’t build one in over 40 years.”

        Manuel:Get your information right:
        Areva/EDF,the only maker of nuke plant in Europe, since Germany Siemens abandonned it,made 59 nuclear power plants, and only in France since 1960’s. it is finishing its first EPR in Flamanville in 2016. Now if you mean that the Chinese workers work for less that the French workers you are right – But frankly I ‘m not sure that the safety control of these plant’s construction follows the European norms. All my best wishes to our English friends if they decide to buy the EPR made in China…

        • AlainCo

          Chinese can do good job if they decide to (and are paid for).
          Areva have a strong culture of respecting the rules, not far from pathological. I’m more concerned about overengineering, overkill, over regulation, and huge costs…

          Anyway I hope and expect this reacto if build, won’t get loaded.
          it will be less expensive than offshore, solar panel bonanza or ITER, and finally you could convert it into a big LENR powerplant if you reuse the turbines.

          • atanguy

            Alain:
            How can you say that EPR would be less expensive than wind and solar? even comparing only the cost of construction, and don’t forget the cost of fuel(Uranium/Plutonium) and the cost of getting rid of nuclear waste. I think that you are reading too much of Areva or J.M Jankovici propaganda.

            Anyway for me the future for LENR is in the decentralization of energy production not a centralized one like we know it.

            • AlainCo

              when I say cheaper I say LENR is sure cheaper… for nuke, if you integrate the intermittence, and the subsidies it is probable that even expensive electricity from EPR is cheaper

            • Leonard Weinstein

              Almost anything (fossil fuel or Nuclear, or LENR) is less expensive than full cost for wind and solar when you consider the total system. AlainCo has it exactly correct if you integrate the intermittence, and the subsidies. The use of connection to the grid to act as backup would allow wind and solar to be lower cost at a small amount of total system use, but when wind or solar became a significant fraction of the total system power, the full need for backup and start/stop use of the backup make the total cost LARGER than for the original power source. Battery use for backup is even more expensive. Wind and solar are not available everywhere in useful levels, so the claim for wind and solar are misrepresented in multiple ways.

              • atanguy

                Leonard:

                This is where you are wrong: The nuke dinosaurs represented by the French(Chinese) EPR, (that so far haven’t produce a single watt), have cost billions in development to the French tax payers – Talk about subsidies… Peanuts in regards of wind/PV subsidies.

                Now of course you will have to add the cost of construction of these monsters, the cost of fuel U+Pu (none for wind or solar) the cost of the maintenance to keep in check the radioactivity produced, and last, but not the least, the cost of getting rid of them when they become obsolete – probably as much that they will have cost to build. And,cross your fingers,the cost of an accident like Fukushima.
                Regarding the storage of electricity,there are currently a lot of progress using melted salts batteries or simply compressed air. Sure that solutions would be found by using a fraction of what cost a single EPR…

        • Leonard Weinstein

          Presently, the Rossi 1 MW ECAT is a low temperature system for heat. It is not suitable for efficient electric generation. If somehow ECAT HT versions were available for the same price, it still takes 3 to 4 time the thermal power to generate electric power, so the presently non-existant 1 MW HotCATs would only be slightly less costly, even at the $1 M per MW level. ECAT technology is much more suited for small systems for heating, and eventually power, but for individual homes and buildings.

          • atanguy

            Agree with you on this one: LENR technology,as we know it, will be suited for decentralized energy production and use. To me it’s its main advantage,think about the lost of energy with the high voltage cables by Joule effect,and the cost of the grid. A 500/600 1 MW HotCATs will be competitive with current coal/gas/nuke energy plants.

  • GreenWin

    Here’s one way the Brit guv got debt-ridden EDF (French Energy) to agree to build Hinkley – threaten to tax their existing nukes into the gloaming:

    “French energy giant EDF is increasingly likely to face a windfall tax on its eight UK nuclear power plants – especially if it fails to agree a deal to
    build new reactors…”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10179635/EDF-could-face-windfall-tax-on-nuclear-plants-analysts-warn.html

    • Fortyniner

      No tactic, including industrial blackmail, gerrymandering through partisan legislation, scaremongering, sabotage of the competition (tidal power), misrepresentation of the facts both to parliament and to the public, seems to be beyond the pale for Cameron’s cronies and the technical illiterates of the LibDem party. Only getting rid of this unelected ‘government’ will now derail new nuclear – unles the EU summons the clarity of mind to throw the deal out because it clearly transgresses their rules on utility subsidies.

  • bachcole

    Do you think that China might be interested in LENR?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/super-smog-beijing-china_n_4134226.html

    • AlainCo

      of course they are… Biberian says that 21 Chinese labs work on LENR… anyway they work on all… Emdrive, nuke, wind, solar, wood, coal, oil… one of it may work!

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      The smog headline is for real. But it’s a bait & switch to show a farcical slideshow for the 10 most polluted countries. The slideshow is a joke and has nothing to do with pollution. It cites gross tonnage of CO2 emmissions. A pollution problem should be based on particles per cubic volume of air. CO2, IMO, is not a pollutant. It’s a plant nutrient. In this case, CO2 is a nutrient to grow government grants for entrenched research institutions.

      • Quiet Wine Guy

        Your ‘plant nutrient’ is also a poison; it can kill. And declaring it to be a ‘nutrient’ won’t bring back those who have died.

        • bachcole

          Name one person who ever died of atmospheric CO2 poisoning.

          • Quiet Wine Guy

            I work in the wine industry where the greatest danger is excess CO2 concentration. Google it.

            Whether you like it or not, excess concentration has unpleasant effects.

            • bachcole

              Obviously it can asphyxiate. In NO atmospheric concentration has ANYONE died from it for the past 650 million years.

              Iggy was mistaken for mentioning CO2. He just gets off on stirring up AGW advocates. Real air pollution is dreadful. In the late ’60s our swimming team would travel to Los Angeles and we HURT because of the air pollution. It has gotten better, I hear.

              • Iggy Dalrymple

                Roger, maybe your article did not have a slideshow at the bottom. Your link that I clicked, had a slideshow that showed the the 10 nations with the highest aggregate CO2 emmissions.

              • Iggy Dalrymple

                OK, my mistake. Right below your article at HuffPo, was another article about CO2 emmissions. I thought it was a continuation of the 1st article.

            • AlainCo

              ah aha…
              believe me wine is more dangerous !
              (i’m french)

            • Iggy Dalrymple

              “Googling” is like a hen seeking advice from a fox.

              • bachcole

                I use Startpage, so I guess that would be “Startpaging”. Is that any better?

            • Iggy Dalrymple

              Roger & I have a friend in France who tends a vinyard and his problem has been the cool weather. I’ve yet to hear him complain about CO2 poisoning.

              • bachcole

                Iggy, I think that Quiet Wine Guy was referring to the concentration of CO2 in the wine cellars, which could asphyxiate a person I suppose. I don’t know anything about it, so I am taking his word for it. As far atmospheric CO2 is concerned, it is definitely a nutrient for plants.

            • Warthog

              Yeah, if you decrease the oxygen content with any non-oxygen gas, you’ll die. It’s called asphyxiation. I almost got done in by nitrogen once. But CO2 is NOT “a poison”.

            • bachcole

              Quiet Wine Guy, I want to assure you that not everyone on this LENR forum is anti-AGW. I would guess that we seem to be split down the middle. But, the argument may be interesting, but it is moot in light of the fact that LENR is proven and will eventually take over the world.

            • Fortyniner

              The difference between atmospheric CO2 concentration and a toxic level is a factor of at least 150.

              http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/233-at-what-concentration-does-co2-becomes-toxic-to-humans.html

              Frankly this seems to be a rather desperate and uninformed argument.

        • AlainCo

          the dose, the dose !

          water can kill you, not even by drwning… just drinking 20l should kill you.
          this is why the maximum daily dose is 20cl…
          after you take a risk to dy on the long term.
          😉

          about CO2 is can be a poison, like oxygen, and for atmosphere it is a suspected modifier of climate, like water, soot, land usage,clouds,plants, methane, ocean, sun, sulfur oxydes, and bad luck.

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          “Increasing CO2 in air is making deserts greener”

          Scientists call this a “carbon dioxide fertilization effect.” It has caused a gradual greening of arid regions on Earth from 1982 to 2010.

          Scientists have long suspected that a flourishing of green foliage around the globe, observed since the early 1980s in satellite data, springs at least in part from the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Now, a study of arid regions around the globe finds that a carbon dioxide fertilization effect has, indeed, caused a gradual greening from 1982 to 2010.
          http://earthsky.org/science-wire/elevated-carbon-dioxide-making-arid-regions-greener

      • bachcole

        Iggy, the article did not mention CO2. CO2 is invisible, but the article mentioned particulates.

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          The “slideshow” did mention CO2, in fact it emphasized CO2.

          • bachcole

            Oh, sorry. I didn’t even read the article until you mentioned CO2 above. Just goes to show you how opinionated I am. (:->)

      • Buck

        As a plant nutrient, does this mean that CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas and does not trap the thermal infrared range of solar radiation?

        LINK>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

        • bachcole

          “trap” is a nebulous term. There is plenty of time during the night for all practical CO2 “trapped” heat to radiate out into space. But on humid nights, notice that the temperature does not drop very much. It is all about water, clouds, snow, rain, water vapor, glaciers, IM~HO. {IM~HO means “In My Not so Humble Opinion}. (:->) I believe that the rise of CO2 is due to a raise in ocean temperature, not the other way around. CO2 is so insignificant compared to H2O that it is next to impossible to see the signal of CO2 amidst the noise of the H2O. The so-called climate scientists are basing their theories on computer models.

          They said that global warming would result in worse weather, but this year the reverse is the case, fewer tornadoes, fewer hurricanes, fewer wildfires, etc.

  • bitplayer

    off topic

    The following article describes how scientists have difficulty being objective and honest even within accepted, funded research areas. This is a data point in extrapolating their relative subjectivity and mendacity when it comes to areas like LENR that threaten their paradigms and funding.

    http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21588057-scientists-think-science-self-correcting-alarming-degree-it-not-trouble

  • PD

    I sincerely hope that LENR technology is
    validated and is commercially available within 6 months. The final
    contract for the nuclear power station will not be signed until the Summer of
    2014. Investors will not want to invest
    in fission technology if a more sustainable fusion technology is
    available.

    • Fortyniner

      I hope you are right. Meanwhile:

      “The coalition government having dug themselves into a hole – desperate
      as they are to implement their half-baked energy strategy, it seems
      don’t know when to stop digging – they’ll go to any lengths to create
      more nuclear power stations.”

      Nikki Clarke of the Stop Hinkley campaign.

      http://www.stophinkley.org/PressReleases/pr131020.htm

  • JonnyB

    I mentioned L.E.N.R. to my M.P. around 2 years ago. Did not seem to know anything about it and thought even if it was plausible/credible that it would be 15 to 20 years before it could be rolled out.

  • GregL

    I have tried to alert the UK government of the possible new possibilities from LENR.
    The best I got from the dept of Energy was that they are ‘keeping watch’ on Rossi and LENR developments.
    I guess someone else higher up the chain said ‘if it ain’t proven then …’

    • fortyniner

      Probably the biggest and costliest mistake Cameron and his cronies will ever make on behalf of UK plc. It is absolutely inevitable that at some time over a 35 year time-span, better alternatives will come to the fore and this disastrous dinosaur will become redundant – complete with decommissioning costs. No matter, the UK taxpayer will underwrite the losses via the ‘guarantee scheme’ sneaked through behind the outrageous ‘strike price’ for nuclear energy.

      As for being beholden to the French state (bad enough) and the Chinese state (out of their minds) for a huge chunk of our national power supply it is difficult to find words. Camoron has a lot to answer for – but I image he will be too busy enjoying his retirement (in France?) to worry too much about that.

      • fortyniner

        Admin – I can’t login and the edit function seems to have disappeared.

      • scrunt

        It is a complete joke. The UK government is willing to invest up to 80 billion on HS2 – the high speed rail network no one wants – which is electric naturally. Yet it is unable can’t invest for 2 or more nuclear power plants that are needed to keep the lights on, state controlled and making electricity at a reasonable £kwh rate for its citizens.

        • Fortyniner

          It does make you wonder what passes for reason in these people – I guess the old adage about ‘follow the money’ would probably be a good place to start. It seems that where the US leads, the UK follows closely behind in nearly all respects.