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Investing in nuclear power as part of the post-virus recovery would help stimulate the economy and ease the path towards carbon neutrality, World Nuclear Association said on 29 May, following the ministerial roundtable on Mobilising Investments for Secure and Sustainable Power Systems that was co-hosted earlier that day by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UK government.

Date: Tuesday, 02 June 2020
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Construction of the 49,000-tonne concrete basemat for the nuclear island of the second unit at Hinkley Point C has been completed. EDF Energy said the milestone had coincided with its ambition to spend GBP1.5 billion (USD1.9 billion) with regional businesses in South-West England five years ahead of target.

Date: Tuesday, 02 June 2020
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Nuclear schedules have been hit, but sector is less volatile Only four new plants started construction in 2019, including Unit 2 at Hinkley Point in the UK.Photo courtesy EDF Energy. Investment in global energy will fall by $400bn this year, the biggest slump in the industry’s history, as the Covid-19 pandemic fuels a collapse in energy demand.

The International Energy Agency said in a report the unprecedented investment slump follows the most severe plunge in energy demand since the second world war.

The IEA said the decline in investment is “staggering in both its scale and swiftness” and will impact every major sector, from fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal to renewable sources including wind and solar power.

The IEA said the decline in investment in areas such as clean energy technology could undermine the transition to renewable, sustainable sources of energy.

Date: Thursday, 28 May 2020
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Europe’s advocate general says case should be thrown out File photo of construction at the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in southwest England. Courtesy EDF. Austria’s attempt to stop the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project in the UK has been dealt a setback with a magistrate for the European Union’s top court saying on Thursday that the case should be thrown out.

The nonbinding advisory opinion from advocate general Gerland Hogan recommended that the European Court of Justice uphold a lower court decision to dismiss a complaint alleging unfair government funding of Hinkley Point C.

“It is clear that the development of nuclear power is, as reflected in the Euratom Treaty, a clearly defined objective of EU law,” Mr Hogan wrote.

The Court of Justice is not required to follow the advice in advisory opinions, but it does some 80% of the time.

Austria in 2015 challenged the European Commission’s decision to back the UK measures, after a number of agreed changes. Austria lost in 2018 and appealed one last time.

Date: Saturday, 09 May 2020
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A group of more than 100 scientists and environmentalists have written to the European Commission calling for a "timely and just assessment" of nuclear energy in the EU Taxonomy. The letter was sent by Satu Helynen, acting president of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP), and addressed to EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and to two European Commission vice-presidents, Valdis Dombrovskis and Frans Timmermans.

Date: Thursday, 30 April 2020
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The main challenges facing the nuclear industry are not in the production and delivery of electricity, but in securing the policy support required for it to expand its contribution of sustainable and low-carbon energy. This was the message of Philippe Costes, senior advisor at World Nuclear Assocation, to delegates at the Nuclear Power Plants Expo & Summit in Istanbul this week.

Date: Friday, 06 March 2020
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The UK will no longer fund coal projects overseas, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today during his opening address at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London. Instead, the government will "turbo-charge" its support for low-carbon energy sources, he said, noting that the UK has cut its CO2 emissions by 42% from the 1990 level. The country is the host of the next round of UN climate talks - COP26 - in November.

Date: Tuesday, 21 January 2020
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New-build projects are making progress, but governments are still struggling with finding the right financing package for large reactors The delayed Flamanville-3 is one of three EPR units under construction in Europe. The others are at Olkiluoto in Finland and Hinkley Point in the UK. Photo courtesy EDF. Western Europe

The UK is facing a major challenge to replace its aging fleet of Generation I nuclear power plants, many of which are scheduled to shut down in 2023.

The project by French state utility EDF to build two Generation III EPR units at Hinkley Point C in Somerset is on track for connection to the grid by 2025. Once in commercial operation the two units will provide up to 7% of the total electricity demand. Two similar units are planned for the Sizewell site in Suffolk.

However, press reports have suggested EDF is in “a race against time” to secure a funding deal for Sizewell C as delays risk making the project prohibitively expensive.

According to The Times newspaper EDF has hired Rothschild as financial adviser for the project and says it wants a “definitive way forward” from the government this year so it can start construction in 2022.

Date: Friday, 17 January 2020
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Low-carbon nuclear is an essential component of a low-carbon economy, says industry group The Brussels-based nuclear industry group Foratom has welcomed the EU’s goal of providing financial support to coal-dependant regions to help them in their decarbonisation efforts, but said it regrets the European Commission’s proposal to exclude such funds being used for nuclear plants.

The funding proposal is part of the commission’s “just transition mechanism” (JTM), details of which were announced on Tuesday along with €1 trillion in funding for the European Green Deal, which was adopted by the commission last month and sets out ambitious climate and environmental objectives for the bloc.

The JTM, and an associated just transition fund, was one of the proposals in the Green Deal, which is the major initiative in the bloc’s efforts to become zero-carbon by 2050.

The total investment expected to be mobilised under the proposed JTM will be €100bn over 2021-2027 with financing coming from the EU budget, co-financing from member states, EU regional aid programmes and the European Investment Bank, the commission said.

Date: Thursday, 16 January 2020
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European Union (EU) lawmakers and member countries on 16 December agreed on a deal to promote environmentally-friendly investment after weeks of discussions on whether to exclude nuclear projects.

Date: Friday, 20 December 2019
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