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International engineering group Assystem has been appointed as an alliance partner on the new Hinkley Point C (HPC) Commissioning Alliance. The company said this new multi-year contract will be key to bringing the UK's first new nuclear power plant in more than 30 years into operation.

Date: Friday, 21 January 2022
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EDF says ‘replication effect’ from EPR project can benefit proposed reactors at Sizewell C The the ring, which is 47 metres in diameter and 17 metres high, was built 25% more quickly than the same part on Unit 1. Courtesy EDF. Big Carl, the world’s biggest crane, has been used at Hinkley Point C to place the first of three massive prefabricated steel containment rings which form the reinforced cylinder around the nuclear reactor onto the second reactor building, just 11 months after the same operation on the first unit.

EDF Energy, the UK arm of France’s state utility EDF, which is building two EPR units at the Somerset site, said the installation shows how building an identical copy of the first reactor drives efficiency and saves time. It said the ring, which is 47 metres in diameter and 17 metres high, was built 25% more quickly than the same part on Unit 1, requiring thousands of hours less labour to manufacture.

The company said this “replication effect” will benefit the proposed identical Sizewell C project in Suffolk. The government recently announced funding of £1.7bn in the Sizewell C nuclear power station project as it pushes to reach a final investment decision within three years and begin a programme of new-build that will replace the nation’s aging reactors. The government has also announced legislation to introduce a new financing model, known as the regulated asset base model, for new nuclear.

Big Carl is 250m tall and has a reach of about 270m. It moves on rail tracks and will eventually lift pieces weighing more than 1,000 tonnes. The ring was placed on 96 hydraulic jacks which lowered it into its exact position.

Date: Wednesday, 17 November 2021
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NIA says nuclear has saved UK more than 2.3 billion tonnes of carbon emissions Most of the UK’s existing fleet of 13 reactors, which supply about 15% of the country’s electricity, are being retired this decade. Courtesy EDF Energy. Britain’s commercial nuclear fleet has reached 2,000 terawatt hours of clean power generation – enough zero carbon electricity to power all the UK’s 29 million homes for 18.5 years, the London-based Nuclear Industry association said, as it called for new nuclear construction.

As world leaders meet in Glasgow, Scotland, for the Cop26 climate summit, the NIA said the country’s commercial nuclear reactors are the most productive low-carbon assets in British history, saving 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon emissions between them. That is higher than all UK emissions from 2018 through 2020.

Hinkley Point B in Somerset, England, and Hunterston B in North Ayrshire, Scotland, were the first of today’s fleet to come online in 1976 and were joined by six more stations, which have been powering the UK for 45 years.

Date: Wednesday, 03 November 2021
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The UK government has announced up to GBP1.7 billion (USD2.3 billion) in funding for a large-scale nuclear power plant in its autumn budget and spending review. It said it is in "active negotiations" with EDF over the Sizewell C project in Suffolk. The announcement comes days after the government introduced legislation for funding future nuclear power stations in the UK.

Date: Friday, 29 October 2021
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Ambitious target says country will be powered entirely by clean electricity by 2035 ‘subject to security of supply’ Two EPR plants at Hinkley Point C are the only commercial nuclear reactors under construction in the UK. Courtesy EDF Energy. The UK will secure a final investment decision on a large-scale nuclear plant by the end of this parliament – potentially in 2024 if a general election is called – and launch a new £120m ‘Future Nuclear Enabling Fund’ with options for future nuclear technologies including small modular reactors.

In a net zero strategy published on Tuesday the government said the new fund will provide targeted support for the development and deployment of new reactor technologies. Details of the fund will be announced in 2022, along with a roadmap for deployment.

The strategy says the government will also take measures to finalise investment decisions during the next parliament on further nuclear projects.

It says the UK will be powered entirely by clean electricity by 2035, subject to security of supply, with most of its electricity coming from the wind farms of the North Sea or state-of-the-art British nuclear reactors. This will “reduce the country’s vulnerability to sudden price rises caused by fluctuating international fossil fuel markets”.

Date: Thursday, 21 October 2021
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Country needs about 30 GW of new nuclear and a fleet of SMRs, says NIA head Tom Greatrex: ‘To get to net zero and a decarbonised power supply, in the UK we need four times the amount of clean power that we currently have.’ Courtesy NIA. The energy crisis in the UK has led to renewed calls for more reactors. NucNet asked Tom Greatrex, head of the London-based Nuclear Industry Association, about the role nuclear can play in a market hit by rising prices and facing the imminent shutdown of ageing plants.

Lower supply, higher demand, and poor wind performance led to record increases in power spot pricesThe UK nuclear reactor fleet will almost entirely shut down by 2030, curbing low-carbon generation capacityThere has been a positive shift in opinions of the role nuclear can play At at least 10 GW of new nuclear needed by mid-2030s in the UK, and possibly an additional 20 GW to meet net-zero in 2050

NucNet: The Nuclear Industry Association has been warning policymakers about the risks of energy supply based largely on renewables and natural gas. Power prices in Europe have increased to unsustainably high levels in recent months, sparking an energy crisis in many countries, especially the UK. Perhaps you can tell us why this has happened?

Date: Tuesday, 12 October 2021
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The UK's gas and electricity markets regulator, Ofgem, has granted an electricity generating licence to Bradwell Power Generation Company Ltd, which is proposing to construct the new Bradwell B nuclear power plant in Essex. 

Date: Tuesday, 22 December 2020
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Bradwell Power Generation Company Limited, which is proposing to construct the new Bradwell B nuclear power plant in Essex, has been granted an electricity generating licence by the UK's gas and electricity markets regulator Ofgem. A final decision has yet to be made to actually construct the plant, planned to feature a Chinese-designed Hualong One reactor.

Date: Saturday, 19 December 2020
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The European Court of Justice on 22 September rejected Austria's appeal against the European Commission's (EC’s) 2014 decision to approve UK government aid for the construction of two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point C, in Somerset, England. 

Date: Friday, 25 September 2020
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UK-based Horizon Nuclear Power announced that it will cease its activities to develop nuclear new-build projects at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and at Oldbury on Severn in South Gloucestershire. This followed the decision by Horizon’s parent company, Japan’s Hitachi Ltd, it would end business operations on the UK NPP construction project, which was suspended in January 2019.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
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