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Further delays for European EPRs
28 January, 2020
The original schedules and cost estimates for the European EPRs (at Olkiluoto, Flamanville and Hinkley Point), with the benefit of hindsight, look wildly optimistic.
Nuclear in China – where now?
28 October, 2018
Completion of the world’s first EPR and AP1000 reactors marks a major milestone for China, but the country’s ambitious nuclear expansion programme is no longer on track. Steve Kidd examines why.
Clearing the way for Finland’s next nuclear power plant
26 March, 2018
In a remote part of northern Finland, Fennovoima is pressing ahead with plans to build a 1200 MW Russian-designed VVER-1200-based nuclear power plant, Hanhikivi 1, named after the peninsula upon which it will be located. Caroline Peachey, editor of Nuclear Engineering International
How to make nuclear power affordable
11 January, 2018
The much vaunted “nuclear renaissance” has not worked out as planned, with projects running many years behind schedule and hugely over budget. A major concern about nuclear power used to be safety now it is also affordability. Conventional nuclear power plants are too big, take too long to construct and are much too expensive. As a near term remedy, small modular reactors, based on well established technologies such as the PWR, look promising.Tony Roulstone
The UK new build programme – does it make any sense?
13 June, 2017
Not at all, says Steve Kidd (East Cliff Consulting), who points to the disadvantages of pursuing a number of different reactor designs rather than having one proven standardised plant replicated across as many projects as possible.
Loviisa reactors restart with Rolls-Royce digital I&C systems
23 February, 2017
Two years after being awarded a contract to upgrade safety-critical instrumentation and control systems at Fortum’s Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland, Rolls-Royce has successfully installed and commissioned the first digital I&C systems during the planned 2016 outage.
Engineers and constructors
10 November, 2016
Share price trends over the past five years are discussed for five engineering/construction companies active in the power plant business: Abengoa; Amec Foster Wheeler; Areva; Fluor; and WS Atkins. David Flin
Preferred site identified for first NuScale SMR plant
31 October, 2016
The attractiveness of small modular reactors has been an enduring theme within the nuclear industry for many decades, with a very large number of designs proposed over the years that have not progressed very far. The concept, however, now seems to be gaining some real traction, not least in the USA and notably UK, where the saga of Hinkley Point C – which has been characterised as “too big to fail, too huge to succeed” – has highlighted the challenges posed by “conventional” large nuclear.
Brexit provides an energy market opportunity
04 August, 2016
Britain (in the referendum on 23 June to decide European Union membership) has spoken its mind. The value proposition of Brexit was for a better future for Britain. But how does Brexit impact the UK’s energy future, and do the opportunities outweigh the risks? By Jeremy Wilcox
Multinational technology corporations
08 July, 2016
Share price trends over the past five years are examined for four multinational technology corporations with substantial activities in the power sector: ABB; GE; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; Siemens. By David Flin
A French nuclear farce
11 June, 2016
Both the UK and China need to invest in nuclear power, and both for the same pivotal reasons of reduced fossil fuel emissions and increased base load supply reliability to meet demand growth. Yet while China committed to more than double its nuclear capacity by 2020 under its latest Five Year Plan the UK’s nuclear ambitions are being held hostage by the corporate-political machinations of state-owned EDF.
Waiting for the fog to lift over Hinkley Point
07 October, 2015
It is now about two years since loan guarantee arrangements were agreed between EDF and the UK government for the planned Hinkley Point C (2 x 1670 MW EPR) nuclear power project and around 18 months since initial agreement was reached on what some would see as a reasonably generous “investment contract” for the plant, which includes a 35-year “contract-for-difference” with a strike price (essentially guaranteed income) of 9.25p/kWh (or 8.95p/kWh if the follow on twin- reactor plant, Sizewell C, also gets built).
Germany sets course for 2 GW of new offshore capacity in 2015
01 June, 2015
Not surprisingly German offshore wind has had no shortage of teething problems, but 2015 seems to be proving productive for projects in the German North Sea, with seven large (300-400 MW range) wind farms in various stages of start up/commissioning. These, when fully commercial, will add some 2071 MW to Germany’s North Sea offshore wind installed capacity, taking the total from about 856 MW (including Blackstone-financed Meerwind Sud/Ost (288), the troubled Bard Offshore One (400 MW), Riffgat (108 MW) and Alpha Ventus (60 MW test facility)) to nearly 3 GW (the current stated goal for offshore wind installed capacity being 6.5 GW by 2020 and 15 GW by 2030).
Modernising Loviisa, learning from LARA
01 January, 2015
Loviisa’s first attempt at a full upgrade of its I&C systems, a project called LARA, proved unsuccessful because of the complexity and sheer scale of the undertaking. Building on the painful lessons of that experience a new project, ELSA, with new contractors, is underway. The scope is somewhat reduced, but the project remains ambitious and the schedule tight, with completion by 2018.
New record established for AC switching voltage
01 January, 2015
ABB has installed and commissioned in India an AC circuit breaker that at 1.2 million volts is established as the highest AC voltage breaker installed anywhere in the world. It will support the country’s plans for its ultrahigh voltage grid.
Largest WTG yet makes its debut
01 May, 2014
In the endless leapfrogging to create the largest available wind turbine for offshore deployment Vestas seems to be inching ahead with its V164-8MW. After a successful run on test in Østerild the giant machine looks set to reach its next milestone – commercial deployment in the UK North Sea.
Power developments in Turkey
01 March, 2014
Review of recent power developments in Turkey
Energy storage: roundup
10 February, 2014
Review of recent developments in energy storage. Featuring Alstom, A123 and ITM.
Full steam ahead for Flamanville 3 EPR turbine island construction
01 May, 2010
The 1750 MWe ARABELLE™ turbine generator is the world’s largest engine. The first such machine in Europe is currently under construction at EDF’s Flamanville 3 site. The turbine island at Flamanville 3 has now progressed from the manufacturing phase to construction, with the focus currently on site work and installation of major components.