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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
Original article: nucnet.org/news/investment-in-global-energy-generation-to-fall-by-usd400-billion-5-3-2020

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
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-Policy-support-for-nuclear-in-the-global-en

The impetus for new build is being spurred by a need to reduce reliance on polluting coal China has 10 nuclear units under construction including two Generation III Hualong One plants at Fangchenggang. China, with its state nuclear companies backed by a government hungry for development, is the most active nation for building new nuclear power plants. That trend that is likely to continue, although confirming lucrative export deals for its reactor technology still runs far behind the pace set by Russia, which says it had 39 reactors under construction or planned overseas as of 2018.

This compares to only two reactors under construction overseas by China, both in Pakistan, although in the UK China has a stake in EDF’s Hinkley Point C project and plans for Chinese technology at Bradwell B. At Sizewell C in Suffolk EDF wants to build a clone of Hinkley Point C if it can attract enough private investment. CGN holds a 20% share.

The government has said it wants to build 30 reactors overseas by 2030. China and Russia both see Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity, as something of a golden fleece and are pursuing nuclear agreements, which lay the groundwork for new-build, in a number of African nations. Small modular reactors and floating reactors could be an option for isolated areas. China has already said it is close to starting work on its first floating unit, but reliable details are few and far between.

The impetus for nuclear power in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants. To meet its climate goal as stipulated in the Paris agreement, China will need to reduce its coal power capacity by 40% over the next decade, according to Global Energy Monitor’s analysis. At present, this seems unrealistic. In addition to roughly 1,000 GW of existing coal capacity, China has 121 GW of coal plants under construction, which is more than is being built in the rest of the world combined.

Date: Friday, 24 January 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/china-keen-to-match-pace-set-by-russia-in-overseas-construction-1-4-2020

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
Original article: nucnet.org/news/what-lies-in-store-in-2020-1-4-2020

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
Original article: nucnet.org/news/europe-s-just-transition-loans-should-be-extended-to-nuclear-1-3-2020

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
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsnuclear-not-excluded-from-eu-taxonomy-regulation-7563323

The pursuit of a solution to climate change via the route of fossil gas is a needless and harmful detour, writes Agneta Rising, director general of World Nuclear Association.

Date: Friday, 20 December 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Only-the-atom,-not-fossil-gas,-can-deliv

Climate scientist James E Hansen and others have written to the Financial Times, making the case for the inclusion of nuclear power in the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. The text of the letter, published yesterday, and the list of signatories to it, follows.

Date: Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-EU-must-include-nuclear-power-in-its-lis

Nuclear energy is a mature and proven low-carbon source of electricity, with a 60-year track record of providing reliable and safe operation. Further innovation and technological development will enable even wider applications aimed at deep decarbonisation of economies around the world and supporting sustainable development. This was the message of King Lee, director of the Harmony Programme at World Nuclear Association, to delegates at the UN side event for Sustainable Development Goal 9, held today at COP25 in Madrid.

Date: Wednesday, 04 December 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Speech-Nuclear-energy-innovation-for-clean-growth