Thursday 28 July 2011

Nuclear Power: Quote of the Day*

Well, M.Rivaz promised us a large-scale PR push this autumn, and here's the first installment.

"The likelihood of the UK nuclear project is greater and stronger and we're fully committed. It is robust economically and our determination is intact."
- Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy

Slightly undermined by the Telegraph's choice of headline - EDF's reputation faces risk of meltdown - but there we go.

Obviously his PR people have helped him craft this ringing call to action, hence the 'likelihood' bit. But 'robust', mon vieux ? Don't we normally say 'needs just a leetle bit more public support, pour la certitude' - ?


*Monday actually but I only just saw it


Old BE said...

I am convinced that this morning I saw a headline relaying the news that EDF were holding fire on commissioning their first new one. Hmm.

Can't remember where, though.

Nick Drew said...

EDF is certainly prevaricating again, though no-one need be surprised because (not unreasonably) they have long said they will not proceed with UK nukes until they have learned all the lessons from Flamanville and the one in Finland - and for my money (& it is my money!), that must surely include commissioning the new design, which won't be until 2016 earliest. So: no decision before then, we might guess - which pretty much rules it out as a contributor to energy policy

there are several headlines today reporting the call for Centrica (EDF's putative partner in building new nukes, and actual partner in ownership of the other 'BE') to pull out of the new build

and quite right too - though who knows what contractual obligations they have (Mr W ? anyone ?? - the usual free subscription for good gen)

I feel the normally quite adroit Centrica screwed up on that one: another post on this, perhaps

rwendland said...

I've not followed the Centrica angle, but you'd have thought they would have an option to withdraw if the cost of EPR's electricity increases by 20+% (probably around +40% on 10% discount rate spreadsheets), as seems to be the effect of the latest Flamanville announcement.

Obviously investors think uranium futures outlook is seriously negative, with Bloomberg reporting Areva Faces Asset Writedown as It Cuts Nuclear New Build Outlook mostly from write down of the value of uranium mines.

By the official dates, I suspect the two Chinese EPR's being built at Taishan are scheduled to go live before either of the official pilot plants in Finland or France now. Interesting to watch for delay announcement there now.

Anonymous said...

All this talk of Nuclear power geration and its safety would be more acceptable to the general population if one or two new ones were built in government ministers constuencies or in greater London, remember the stink created when anything even vaguely proposed wind farms, or anything else that destroy their view, if it is good for the general population it is good enough for government ministers.

Philipa said...

Well it doesn't get my support. Not at all. Anon definitely has a point.

Anonymous said...

A rumour is that the Chinese have slowed work on their EPRs - so that the EPR in Finland and/or Flamanville can experience the first-of-kind start up issues.

rwendland said...

Yep, the Chinese would want to be two years behind the first to be able to easily schedule in any fixes. Must be tricky for them.

Looking at the current construction time estimates is interesting:

Olkiluoto 3: ~7.5 years
Flamanville 3: ~8.5 years
Taishan 1: 4.2 years
Taishan 2: 4.5 years

Interesting the French schedule is now the slowest, after all that earlier slagging off of the Finnish contractors. Last Olkiluoto reschedule was a year ago - I wonder if we are now due another?

The Chinese could easily use Fukushima now as an excuse for announcing a big slip. Sounds better than taking the flak later for slips.

Old BE said...

The Chinese will use their rail crash as a reason to slow down, even if not publicly. Nobody is going to be buying Chinese safety-critical stuff for a while...