British spies are expected to scrutinise computer systems at new nuclear plants built by Chinese firms to address national security fears. Listening post GCHQ will be responsible for ensuring the country’s energy network is not made vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to The Times. The safeguard emerged as President Xi Jinping arrives for a four-day state visit hailed by David Cameron as a symbol of a “golden era” in relations with Beijing.
EDF said its hopes to announce a deal with Chinese investors to build a nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in the coming days. The French company’s chief executive Jean Bernard Levy said it was in the final negotiations with its Chinese partners. However he said he did not want to anticipate what would happen later this week as China’s President Xi Jingping to Britain.
Russian nuclear organisation Rosatom is in final talks toward a contract to build four reactors in Egypt as it pushes to expand across the Middle East, one of the world’s most attractive markets for atomic power
Amec Foster Wheeler has been selected to lead a new project to set up a high-temperature facility (HTF) for nuclear industry research.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer plans to lead a trade delegation to Iran next year if the country stays committed to a nuclear deal with other world powers. According to the Financial Times, the move would be made after six world powers agreed earlier this year to lift sanctions in return for the Islamic Republic accepting long-term curbs on a nuclear programme.
An Aberdeen firm best known for its photographic work on offshore installations and at crime scenes is to carry out a technical survey as part of the decommissioning of the Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness. Return To Scene (R2S) will use its visual asset management (VAM) system to produce images of part of the complex, which will in turn be used in support of dismantling and restoration work at the site. The R2S team is already on location and project delivery is anticipated by mid-October.
Amec Foster Wheeler hosted a hands-on nuclear industry intern programme for engineering students from the United Arab Emirates.
Energy giant EDF has announced a delay in building a new nuclear reactor in northern France, but said it will have no impact on its planned new power station in the UK. The European pressurised reactor (EPR) nuclear plant at Flamanville in Normandy will not be up and running until 2018, a year later than previously announced. Two more EPRs are under construction in China and EDF plans to build two at Hinkley Point, Somerset.
Iran’s supreme leader says world powers must lift international sanctions and not merely suspend them as part of a landmark nuclear agreement. Speaking to a group of clerics, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “there will be no deal” if the sanctions are not lifted. His remarks were read by a state TV anchorman.
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., the company developing the Gulf Arab region’s first nuclear power plant, is reviving plans to borrow from banks and other financial institutions to help fund the $25 billion project, four people with knowledge of the matter said. Export-Import Bank of Korea will provide about $1.5 billion for the project, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Enec, as the company is known, is also in talks with five banks to provide about $250 million for the project, they said. HSBC Holdings Plc is advising Enec on the deal, and Standard Chartered is advising Korea Electric Power Corp., which will build and operate the nuclear plant, the people said.
Anti-nuclear public opinion following the 2011 Fukushima disaster is leading to a decline in the capacity of nuclear power plants around the world, according to research consultants Globaldata.
A power plant operator in southern Japan has restarted a reactor - the first to begin operating under new safety requirements following the Fukushima disaster. Kyushu Electric Power said it had restarted the No 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant in Satsumasendai, southern Japan, as planned. The restart marks Japan’s return to nuclear energy four and a half years after the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the north east following an earthquake and tsunami. National broadcaster NHK showed plant workers in the control room as they turned the reactor back on. Tomomitsu Sakata, a spokesman for Kyushu Electric Power, said the reactor was put back online as planned without any problems.
Two specialist decommissioning firms - one from the offshore and the other from the nuclear sector - are to work together to share each other's expertise.
Finnish companies signed up to help fund a nuclear plant in the far north as a government deadline loomed to line up financing. State-controlled utility Fortum Oyj, stainless steel maker Outokumpu Oyj and real estate developer SRV Oyj on Wednesday announced plans to either buys stakes in the Fennovoima Oy project or increase their current holdings. Finnish investors had been deserting the project, approved more than five years ago, in droves as electricity prices declined and the country’s economy contracted. The last minute commitments from some local powerhouses may allow the government to fulfill its publicly stated goal of having 60 percent ownership for the new reactor from within the European Union and European Free Trade Association.
Controversial plans to build the first UK nuclear power station in over 20 years have taken a huge step forward with an announcement of which companies are set to be involved in the giant energy project.
Iran’s quest to rejuvenate its energy industry after decades of sanctions is attracting renewable energy developers eager to plant turbines on windy ridges across the country. Since 2012 the government has pushed renewables as an alternative to the fossil fuels that supply 94 percent of its electricity. Developers such as GI Umweltconsult and turbine suppliers including Nordex SE are preparing to enter the market. While Iran’s renewables industry is concentrated mainly on hydro plants, the government plans to bolster wind as a way of preserving crude oil for export, and feeding the electricity needs of its more than 80 million people. With an ambition to install 5 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2020, Iran would rank alongside France and the UK as an industry leader.
A Conservative former energy secretary has insisted the “elephantine” Hinkley C nuclear project is “one of the worst deals ever” for British consumers and industry. Lord Howell of Guildford told peers he would “shed no tears” if the multi-billion pound development in Somerset by French giant EDF Energy was abandoned in favour of smaller nuclear plants at a later date. He warned no reactor of the kind planned for Hinkley C has “ever been completed successfully”.
Iran’s parliament is set to review the landmark nuclear deal reached with world powers last week. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who headed the Iranian negotiating team during the talks in Vienna, sent the text of the agreement to the house, state media reported. Under Iran’s constitution, parliament has a right to reject any deal - even one negotiated by the foreign ministry. However, it is not clear whether politicians will vote on the deal or whether they will simply discuss it and possibly express concerns about it.
China is set to become Asia’s nuclear powerhouse as it is predicted to surpass South Korea and Russia in generating energy capacity by 2020. The country has been increasing its nuclear output in recent years which, according to new analysis, it plans to leverage so it can take an “ownership role” throughout the entire supply chain. Data from the EIA (Energy Information Administration) shows nuclear output currently makes up slightly more than 2% of the country’s total power generation.
Russia’s government is ready to help South Africa fund new nuclear plants, estimated to cost as much as $100 billion, if state-owned Rosatom Corp. is awarded the construction contracts, a company official said. Moscow-based Rosatom has suggested several funding models, including helping South Africa secure a Russian loan, Viktor Polikarpov, regional vice president for sub-Saharan Africa, said in an interview in Cape Town on Thursday. The loan duration might be 20 years and South Africa would only start repayment when the first plant starts operating, he said.
Disputes over attempts to probe Tehran’s alleged work on nuclear weapons are unexpectedly persisting, threatening plans to wrap up an Iran nuclear deal. Diplomats say at least two other issues still need final agreement. These are Iranian demands that a UN arms embargo be lifted and any UN Security Council resolution approving the deal no longer describes Iran’s nuclear activities as illegal. With few signs that Iranian or US negotiators are prepared to give ground, the high-stakes game of brinksmanship looks set to force a fourth extension of talks since the current round began 17 days ago.
Welcome to Japan, land of cherry blossoms, sushi and sake, and 17,000 metric tons of highly radioactive waste. That’s what the country has in temporary storage from its nuclear plants. Supporters of atomic power say it’s cleaner than fossil fuels for generating electricity. Detractors say there’s nothing clean about what’s left behind, some of which remains a deadly environmental toxin for thousands of years. Since atomic power was first harnessed more than 70 years ago, the industry has been trying to solve the problem of safe disposal of the waste. Japan has been thrown into the center of the conundrum by its decision in recent months to retire five reactors after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
An agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program could create a bonanza for US defense contractors who already are benefiting as the Obama administration tries to assuage Israeli and Gulf Arab concerns by cutting deals for more than $6billion in military hardware. The details of a potential deal being negotiated between Iran and six world powers -- China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and US -- would determine what steps the U.S. takes to help its allies. A nuclear agreement is likely to prompt Mideast partners to seek improved defense systems from American contractors such as Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co. as well as weapons-makers in France and elsewhere. “In theory, an Iran deal could lead to a reduction in tensions in the region that would reduce the demand for advanced weaponry,” said William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy in Washington. “In the short-term, a deal could actually boost the demand for arms.”
World powers and Iran are on the verge of missing another deadline in Vienna, where diplomats are in a 10th straight day of talks seeking an accord over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks until early Tuesday in the Austrian capital, along with their counterparts from China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K. After their meeting broke up, lower-level officials and technicians continued negotiations into the night. Iran’s interlocutors say that while differences have continued to narrow, agreement isn’t assured by the time their latest deadline expires at midnight on Tuesday. “We’re not there yet,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in Washington. After almost two years, diplomats say they’re closer than ever to sealing an accord that would return energy-rich Iran to world markets while giving regional rivals guarantees that the Islamic Republic can’t produce nuclear weapons. Iran says its program has always been peaceful, a claim the West disputes.
US Secretary of State John Kerry tempered expectations that a nuclear deal with Iran is imminent as foreign ministers from world powers rejoined a record ninth straight day of negotiations. While progress continues to be made at the talks, “we are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues,” Kerry told reporters on Sunday at Vienna’s Palais Coburg, where he’d been meeting for much of the day with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. An agreement will allow energy-rich Iran back into global oil and natural-gas markets as sanctions are lifted. The US, whose allies in the region are wary of Iran’s influence, says it will only sign a deal that restricts the Islamic Republic’s ability to make nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is entirely peaceful.