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While the UK government announced intention of moving forward with construction of Hinkley Pt. C Nuclear Power Station on Sept. 15th, they did not actually sign the contract until Sept. 29th.

Almost one week before, the French Regulator ASN released an update about defects-quality control problems for this nuclear power station type (as well as others).

Several days before, independent consultant Large & Associates issued a 49 page scathing analysis of the defects and quality problems related to this nuclear power station type (and others).

The Rip Rip off cost of new nuclear-Hinkley Pt. C in both the US and UK is approximately twice that of onshore wind power, and this is excluding the cost of cooling and storing the waste for perpetuity. This also excludes the health and other social costs associated with the legal (and illegal) discharges of radioactive materials into the environment. It is a lethal RIP off.

How much lead is still in the pipes of London? Of the British Parliament?

According to the French Regulator, ASN: “To date, Areva NP has identified 87 irregularities concerning EDF reactors in operation, 20 affecting equipment intended for the Flamanville EPR reactorregardless of their actual safety consequences, these irregularities reveal unacceptable practices; the reviews initiated by Areva NP must therefore be continued and are liable to bring further irregularities to light. ASN is ensuring that the review process is seen through to completion, more specifically by means of inspections at Creusot Forge.” (ASN, 23 Sept 2016)

According to Large and Associates: “Future EPR RPV Components: The same Creusot manufacturing route used for the already installed but yet to be commissioned FA3 RPV upper and lower head shells, may also have been used for and, hence, the same flaws are very likely to be present in Creusot-sourced components for the two Taishan, China EPR NPPs presently nearing commissioning, and could arise in future orders such as Hinkley Point C EPR in the United Kingdom. In fact, to investigate the extent and severity of macrosegregation AREVA chose to destructively test the advance order upper heads manufactured for Hinkley Point C and a now cancelled United States EPR – the available data for these components show that both were below the design-basis specification in material toughness, although this data does not demonstrate that the distribution of excess carbon in the shell of each component is reliably identical.

For these and future new orders of EPR NPPs a number of issues remain outstanding, the most demanding of which is that the flawed Creusot manufacturing route, being reliant upon cropping and upset forging of a single, large conventional ingot, will have to undergo reappraisal and fresh QT to qualify via a Certificate of Conformity. If, on the other hand, this particular manufacturing route is found to be unreliable, which presently and strongly seems to be the case, then for future EPR RPV head forged components a new manufacturing route will have to be developed and technically qualified – it is not immediately obvious that the Lingot a Solidification Dirigée (LSD) technique developed for smaller head components can be readily upscaled for the larger EPR head components nor, indeed, that this process is a guarantee against the formation and retention of positive macrosegregation zones within the finished component.

Resumption of construction and commissioning of the nuclear pressure circuit at FA3 is presently frozen whilst an enforced investigatory phase is undertaken. As previously noted, the evaluation of the FA3 RPV….” (John Large, Large Assoc., 26 Sept. 2016, p. 4) See here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/overview-of-areva-le-creusot-nuclear-parts-defects-impact-on-flamanville-japan-possibly-implicated/

News story
Hinkley Point C contract signed

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
First published:
29 September 2016
Part of:
UK energy security, Energy industry and infrastructure licensing and regulation and China
The Government and EDF have today signed a historic agreement for the UK’s first new nuclear power station for a generation.

During a signing ceremony in London, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, the Chairman and CEO of EDF, Jean-Bernard Levy and the Chairman of CGN, He Yu signed the final documentation to enable Hinkley Point C to go-ahead.

This follows the Government’s decision to proceed with the project following a comprehensive review and revised agreement with EDF.

The signing of the Contract for Difference and Secretary of State Investor Agreement for Hinkley Point C marks a significant step forward for a new era of nuclear power in the UK.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:
Signing the Contract for Difference for Hinkley Point C is a crucial moment in the UK’s first new nuclear power station for a generation and follows new measures put in place by Government to strengthen security and ownership.

Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear power stations like Hinkley play an important part in ensuring our future low-carbon energy security.

The event was also attended by Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and Minister Nur Bekri, the Administrator of the National Energy Administration of China.

Hinkley will provide seven per cent of Britain’s electricity needs for sixty years. UK-based businesses will benefit from more than 60% of the £18 billion value of the project and 26,000 jobs and apprenticeships will be created.

The Hinkley Point C contractual documents are available. ” See link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hinkley-point-c-contract-signed

The Guaranteed price:
The Initial Strike Price is £89.50/MWh (expressed in Money of the Year for the Base Year).” p. 140: https://web.archive.org/web/20160930123711/https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/556763/1_-_Contract_for_Difference__redacted_.pdf


According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), as quoted in the Guardian newspaper, costs for new onshore windfarms in the UK “have dropped to $85 (£55) per megawatt hour (MWh)“. Bloomberg assesses nuclear at over three times the amount $190. “Onshore windfarms cheapest form of UK electricity, report showshttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/07/onshore-wind-farms-cheapest-form-of-uk-electricity-report-shows

The very pro-nuclear US govt EIA shows that onshore wind is around half that of new nuclear, once again excluding cost of nuclear waste, and health-social costs of routine radioactive discharges; nuclear accident: https://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/pdf/electricity_generation.pdf

In essence, the government has guaranteed EDF a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour (Mwh), or £89.50 if EDF develops another new reactor in Sizewell, Suffolk… If the market price of electricity falls below this level, the government has in effect said it will make sure EDF receives the difference between the two prices./ The wholesale price of electricity at the moment is about £44/Mwh. If the wholesale price remains at this level, then EDF will receive an additional £48.50/Mwh. In practice, this money will not come from taxpayers (that would count as a subsidy), but from consumers of electricity…. “Q&A: Nuclear strike price” 21 September 2015

Thank you Nuclear News for pointing out the signing date: https://nuclear-news.net/2016/09/30/low-key-ceremony-for-final-signing-of-hinkley-nuclear-power-project/

EDF says UK go-ahead to Hinkley Point marks Europe nuclear relaunch
Posted:Thu, 15 Sep 2016 05:04:47 -0400
PARIS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – French utility EDF welcomed the British government’s decision to go ahead with plans to build a $24 billion nuclear plant in southern England, which it said came after the

UPDATE 2-Britain approves nuclear plant, easing Chinese, French ties
Posted:Thu, 15 Sep 2016 04:36:56 -0400
LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Britain gave the go ahead on Thursday for a $24 billion nuclear power plant, ending weeks of uncertainty that strained ties with China and France and put a question mark…