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The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) has outlined a range of options for financing new nuclear power plants.

Date: Saturday, 23 May 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newssouth-africas-niasa-looks-at-nuclear-financing-and-smrs-7936871

Government appears to favour ‘Boot’ model alread used by Russia Koeberg, near Cape Town, is the only commercial nuclear power station in South Africa. The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) has proposed six possible funding options for new nuclear, but government officials have suggested the most likely is a “build, own, operate and transfer” (Boot) model similar to that used by Russia for project including Akkuyu in Turkey.

Niasa told Engineering News that the very high proportion of the cost of energy that comes from the repayment of capital means interest rates will be fundamental to the viability of any new nuclear project in South Africa.

The association said real interest rates – which are adjusted for inflation – on state debt could be in the range of 2% to 3%, while real interest rates on high risk equity finance could vary from 10% to 15%. It said this explains why some new nuclear projects such as state-supported projects in China could be very competitive while others, such as the private equity funded Hinkley Point C in the UK, needed some kind of state guarantee such as long-term power purchase agreements.

Niasa identified six financing options that could be used to fund a new nuclear programme. The first was state funding for the entire project or state provided sovereign loan guarantees using reserves and cash flows from state-owned companies, as was the case with the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah project.

Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/industry-association-proposes-financing-options-for-new-build-5-2-2020

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

Used fuel assemblies, which had been lying for decades at the bottom of Building 5, an ageing used fuel store at Russia’s Andreeva Bay in the Arctic northwest, have been removed and secured. The complex operation that was the first of its kind, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on 26 November.

Date: Friday, 29 November 2019
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsmore-progress-in-andreeva-bay-clean-up-7531300

The Czech Republic will have to build new NPPs to replace ageing coal and nuclear capacity even if this means breaching European law, Prime Minister Andrej Babis told the European committee of the lower house of parliament on 16 October. “Energy security is our priority and there is no way around it.” Power utility CEZ, which is 70% state-owned, has said it plans to phase out its coal-fired power plants by 2040 when only its newest lignite power station would remain operational. The government wants CEZ to be responsible for the new nuclear projects, but CEZ is insisting on state guarantees to ensure that the plants would be both viable and deliver returns to shareholders. This is now under discussion, with the government saying only that it would cover the risks of regulatory and legal changes that might complicate construction and operations.  Some minority shareholders at CEZ believe a nuclear newbuild programme would affect dividends is CEZ finances construction from its own sources.

Date: Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsczech-premier-willing-to-breach-eu-law-to-build-new-reactors-7467792

A group of French companies on 17 September, during the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna, announced a joint project, Nuward, aimed at the development of a small modular reactor (SMR) to meet the growing world demand for decarbonised, safe and competitive electricity generation.

Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfrance-looks-to-develop-smrs-7420820

The first batch of used fuel assemblies from Russia’s Lepse floating technical base (PTB) was delivered to the Atomflot base in Murmansk, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced in late September.

Date: Wednesday, 02 October 2019
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newstransfer-of-damaged-used-fuel-begins-from-russias-lepse-7430982

The United Nations, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Energy Council (WEC) are drawing global attention to the inherent qualities of nuclear power as a clean and reliable source of electricity. Now into its seventh decade, nuclear energy is seen by these and other prominent organisations as an existing and proven solution to the 21st Century challenges of climate change and a sustainable energy transition.

Date: Friday, 06 September 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-power-is-the-silent-giant-being-invited-fi