NNWE Executive Brief (29 November 2016)
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NNWE Executive Brief

Welcome to the bi-weekly Executive Brief aimed at distilling the most important market, regulatory and technological updates and delivering it straight into your inbox.

"[Following COP22] the first task is to minimise the impact which the Trump presidency has on the approach to climate change adopted by other countries. In this respect China and the European Union, who together account for over one third of global GDP and over a quarter of the world’s population, are crucially important. Hopefully, these two great trading blocs will not be diverted from the paths on which they are both well set. In each case the hideous air quality conditions created by fossil fuel consumption, which cause millions of premature deaths every year, will be a powerful spur to continue their progress towards a cleaner low carbon economy. At NNWE our role is to analyse what this may mean for the future of the nuclear industry. First and foremost it is clear that the world needs nuclear energy as much as it did two weeks ago, and possibly more so."

Tim Yeo, Chairman, New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE)

4 Things to Know

  • People in Switzerland voting in a referendum have rejected a proposal (55%-45%) to introduce a strict timetable for phasing out nuclear power (Figue 1).
  • Countries accelerated global climate action across a broad range of areas at the 2016 UN climate change conference (COP22) as they fast-tracked the political and practical aims of the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement.
  • The Chernobyl arch moved into place to shield the damaged unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in historic engineering feat.
  • Areva and EDF have signed a contract for the sale of Areva NP's reactor business. EDF will take exclusive control of the new entity, referred to as 'New NP', valued at €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion).
Figure 1
Source: BBC

Quotes of the week...

“It will be necessary to respect the commitment of $100 billion dollars from now until 2020. Faced with the magnitude of what is required for dealing with the impacts of climate change, turning billions into trillions is indispensable. 2017 must be the year of large scale projects, of mobilizing finance, and accessing financial facilities that will be necessary for adaptation.” -- Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

"France, Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada's province of Ontario, have all achieved more than 80% low-carbon electricity generation by using nuclear energy in harmony with renewables... By using nuclear energy, those countries have already achieved the kind of low-carbon generation mixes that the whole world will [need] to adopt by 2050 if we are to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement." -- Agneta Rising, Director-General, World Nuclear Association

"It is obvious that participants from outside Europe [Japan] can be very beneficial to Wenra by bringing more and new ideas into the discussions." Hans Wanner, Chairman, WENRA 

Market Update

Market as of
: 28 November 2016

Uranium Price: $18.50 lb | €17.41 lb
 “[It is] a rare combination of low operating cost and low capital cost. You have large reactors in the US and Europe coming off supply in 2018 – they will come back into the market, China is building 60 reactors. They’re coming into the market at the same time. We’re creating the biggest deficit the uranium market has ever seen.” -- Paul Atherley, Chief Executive, Berkeley

“We know that this demand at some point has to come to the market, [both contract and spot prices] have fallen to levels that are neither rational nor sustainable.” -- Tim Gitzel, CEP, CAMECO

"[Rosatom] has been operating for more than 40 years on the global market, and has been impeccably fulfilling its obligations even throughout uneasy periods in Russia-US relations. Today there is no reasons to doubt the reliability of Russian deliveries.” -- Kyrill Komarov, First Deputy General Director for Development and International Business, Rosatom
Figure 2: 12-month price of uranium
Market as of: 28 November 2016 (courtesy of Ux Consulting Company)

New Nuclear Project Tracker

Prospective developments: 1 (UK)

News: Finnish utility TVO has been awarded a final and binding partial award in the ongoing arbitration proceedings related to delays in the construction of the first-of-a-kind EPR unit at Olkiluoto.
News: EDF Energy has published the timetable for the second stage of formal public consultation for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant - comprising two EPR reactors - in Suffolk, England. The public consultation will run between 23 November and 3 February 2017.

AP1000 (Westinghouse-Toshiba) Gen III+
Future development: 6 (China), 4 (US), 6 (India)
News: The UK ONR GDA periodic report highlights that the AP1000 is still on course for 2017 approval but requires further work to reach the proposed deadline.
ATMEA1 (Areva-Mitsubishi) Gen III+
Prospective developments: none
News: The IAEA has conducted a seismic review of the Atmea 1 reactor design. This is the first such review it has carried out on a new nuclear power reactor design.
ABWR (GE Hitachi-Toshiba) Gen III
Prospective developments: 4 (Japan), 2 (UK)
News: The UK ONR GDA periodic report highlights that the ABWR is now moving towards finalising additional safety case issues and is on course for 2017 approval
APR1400 (Kepco) Gen III
Prospective developments: 4 APR+ (Gen III+) in South Korea
Shin Kori 4 is undergoing a re-cabling of some of its systems and is due to come online in January 2017.
VVER-1000 (Rosatom) Gen III, VVER-1200 (Rosatom) Gen III+
Prospective developments: 14 (Russia), 2 (China), 12 (India), 1 (Finland), 3 (Turkey), 2 (Hungary)
News: Russia's Atomtechenergo received a licence for the nuclear power plant under construction in Ostrovets, Belarus. The license will enable Atomtechenergo to work towards commissioning the first and second units.
News: A short circuit has temporarily shut down unit 6 at Russia’s Novovoronezh NPP, the first AES-2006 series generation 3+ reactor.
Hualong1 (CGN) Gen III+
Prospective developments: 1 (UK), 6 (China)
News: CGN are looking to propose their plans for the Hualong 1 development at Bradwell in
the UK for GDA approval before the end of the year. 
Prospective developments: none
 Kakrapar Unit 3 is due to come online at the end of 2016 but may be delayed as final checks are concluded.

Global Decarbonisation

U.S. to push ahead on climate pact before Trump takes over.

Germany’s coalition government has reached an agreement on a climate change action plan which will reduce GhG emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050.

Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have stayed flat for the third year in a row in  a “clear and unpredicted break” in efforts to curb climate change.

Industry News

OKG AB, operator of the Oskarshamn NPP in Sweden, will reduce its workforce by 280 to 600 by 2019. The move is intended to "adapt the organization to the long-term operation of Oskarshamn 3 in parallel with responsible dismantling of units n 1 and 2".

European power prices spiked higher early November as unscheduled nuclear outages in France continued to squeeze supply margins across much of Northwest Europe.

Leigh Fisher, which advised the UK government over the Hinkley Point NPP, has been accused of a potential conflict of interest after it emerged the same company was also working for EDF.

Half of Russia's nuclear generation in 2015 came from units which had been upgraded for long-term operation, adding 3 GWe of generating capacity - roughly equivalent of three new reactors.

Energoatom, Ukraine's state-run NPP operator, plans to more than double its operating budget next year to $539m on its 15 units.

NNWE in the news

Nuclear Report

Infrastructure Intelligence
Sunday Telegraph

NNWE Blogs

- The Future of the Nuclear Energy Industry Following the US Election
Tim Yeo, Chairman of NNWE Gives a Keynote Speech at the 4th European Nuclear Power Briefing 2016
Pan-European CfDs' called for at EU nuclear Conference
NNWE reflects on the 60th anniversary of Calder Hall nuclear power station

- New nuclear power heralded at Conservative Party conference
- NNWE Briefing Results in Calls for Greater Standardisation of Nuclear Components
Following Hinkley, the UK nuclear industry is now at a turning point


European Parliament calls for international supervision of the Belorussian NPP project.

The European Commission has cleared Hungary's award of a contract to Russia's Rosatom to build two new units at the Paks NPP.

Japan is now an observer to the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA).

Japan and India signed a civilian nuclear accord opening the door for Tokyo to supply New Delhi with fuel, equipment and technology for nuclear power production.

Rosatom has signed nuclear agreements with Tanzania and Uganda - following similar deals with Kenya, Zambia, Ghana and Nigeria - signalling their intention to become a key player in Africa.

UK to keep domestic carbon price floor frozen until 2020 as the government outlined its budget for the next fiscal year

The Vietnamese government has cancelled the Ninh Thuan NPP project, after cost estimates for the plant nearly doubled

Nuclear Regulation

Swiss utility Axpo has submitted "verifiable proof" to the country's nuclear safety regulator that aluminium oxide inclusions in unit 1 of its Beznau NPP do not affect the unit's safety.

Czech utility CEZ have decided to extend the annual outage of unit 1 at the Temelín NPP until mid-December, because several operational checks took longer than initially expected.

Innovation (Gen IV)

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom will receive an additional $42.3m from the state budget in 2017 to contribute to the Iter project.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plans to establish a framework for cooperation on the technological and scientific development of molten salt reactors.

New Reports

Office for Nuclear Regulation: Assessing new nuclear reactor designs - Generic Design Assessment Periodic Report (May 2016 – October 2016)

International Energy Agency (IEA): World Energy Outlook 2016

About New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE)

Chaired by Tim Yeo (Former MP and Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee) we campaign to ensure nuclear power is recognised as a desirable way for EU governments to meet their long-term security needs. 

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