Austria To Challenge Hinkley Point Deal

Posted: March 31, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, Politics
Tags: ,


Could be a good test case showing who gets to decide what in national energy policy.


By Paul Homewood


Austria are still fighting the Hinkley Point nuclear deal, as an “unworthy subsidy”.

PEI report:

The Austrian government has reiterated its determination to take the European Commission to court once the approved decision on Hinkley Point nuclear power plant is officially entered into law.

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  1. oldbrew says:

    Two flavours of subsidy: ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’. Is there a definition of these terms somewhere by any chance?

    Maybe the Austrians are doing a job for anti-nuclear Germany here 😉

  2. thefordprefect says:

    Nuclear problems in France:

    France’s Nuclear Decline Exposed as Areva Confronts Cash Crunch by Tara Patel, 27 Mar 15, (Bloomberg) – For decades France’s nuclear industry was seen as a source of economic strength, providing cheap power for factories, high-tech exports and tens of thousands of well-paid jobs. Today, it’s looking more like a liability.

    Electricite de France SA, the world’s largest nuclear operator, must spend $63 billion over the next decade to keep the country’s aging fleet of 58 reactors running safely. More urgently, nuclear engineer Areva SA, touted as an export champion for a new atomic age, has lost billions from a project in Finland and investments in African uranium mines, raising the prospect of a state bailout…. The financial “sickness” at Areva could prove contagious to the whole nuclear industry, said Juan Camilo Rodriguez, an analyst at Alphavalue SAS…..

    “The situation is difficult for Areva,” French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said Monday, just hours after the company shocked investors by saying losses for 2014 would be about 4.9 billion euros ($5.5 billion), more than its market capitalization……

  3. thefordprefect says:

    Deepening financial troubles at the state-controlled company have thrown that investment in doubt, causing further delays to the delivery of Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation.

    On Wednesday Areva reported a much-widened €4.8bn loss for 2014 – more than its market cap of €3.6bn – in part due to massive cost overruns and delays constructing an EPR at Olkiluoto in Finland. Another EPR being built at Flamanville in France has been subject to similar problems.

    Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy chief executive, on Thursday declined to confirm that Areva would end up with a 10pc stake. “We’ll see,” he told Bloomberg. “It’s not existential for Hinkley Point.”

  4. oldbrew says:

    Areva has a finger in the ‘small nuclear’ pie – if there is one.

    ‘The firm needs an infusion of new capital to participate in the new nuclear build in the UK where it is partnered with EDF. The Hinkley Site, which will build two 1650 MW Areva EPR reactors, has delayed completing its investment commitments though it is supported by a UK government price guarantee plan. Areva is not an equity partner for the project.’

    The Austria move might be a delaying tactic.

  5. Roger Clague says:

    Good to delay. The Hinkley deal is too expensive. Better to wait for these 50MW modules

  6. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Oldbrew; Good catch of article and the links.

    Nuclear energy is the only long term solution for Industrial levels of electrical energy production.
    Getting it done correctly is the only question.

    Areva is a French government entity, bureaucrats always spent more then their income, so of course they need an infusion of more money from the French taxpayers. Cheap power is French government policy so the bills must be paid by someone. At least they are providing dependable power, a far better deal for the tax/rate payers then wind and solar will be.

    The disaster in Japan proved just how safe nuclear reactors can be when they are in the middle of a massive quake. The following tidal wave after, demonstrated stupid design flaws in it’s layout. Electrical systems in the basement and spent fuel storage tanks on the roof!

    Nuclear power industry has always been a government stepchild and as such prone to stupid and over spending as faceless bureaucrats make engineering and financial decisions.

    Now Austria is throwing a wench in to the gears! Normal behavior for them. IIRC they started WW1 and 2, now maybe the destruction of the EU is their next contribution to European prosperity.

    Time to tell them to “bugger off” pg

    [reply] a wrench not a wench – I hope 🙂

  7. michael hart says:

    Yes, google searching on Austrian wenches is not for the delicate.

  8. Doug Proctor says:

    Ideological truth trumps economic truth, emotional truth trumps ideological truth, computational truth trumps none of the three but serves all. Representational truth – what is really keeping the light s on at night and the heat on during the winter – trumps all other truths but doesn’t show itself except in a crisis.

    Just as we need a prolonged global cooling to end the war on fossil fuels, we need widespread brownouts to reverse public energy policies, to place security ahead of romantic ideology. I say public, note. Germany already has turned to more coal power, but from outside German borders. France support s the European grid with nuclear power but no one but the French have to admit to the source of each day’s electricity. Reality still lurks in the background. But it is there, which is progress.

    Something unfortunate has to happen to get people to change their established but unproductive ways. Reality has to intrude and do so forcefully. A slow intrusion is like quietly raising the frog’s bath water temperature: the frog doesn’t notice until it is dead. The economic decline of European nations has been similarly slow. The reliance on Russian gas occurred by increments without alarm because it happened slowly. We need sharp and shocking events to seize our attention.

    The childish self-indugence of the liberal eco-green, the emphasis on good feelings rather than good actions, is the leading us towards social chaos, not order. Russia, China and, now, Venezuela demonstrate what being lead by feel-good slogans does. And where it leaves us: in crisis.

    The best thing that could happen in the next five years for the democratic world would be a global 0.4C drop in temperatures and the Russians to crank shut the export pipelines. Reality can’t be talked away when you are wearing two sweaters while watching your neighbors shovel snow from their driveways.

  9. p.g.sharrow says:

    WRENCH is the word, my bad. Not sure if the wrenches are wenches.
    🙂 nice to see that someone reads my drivel.

    Providing dependable, low cost, electrical power is of prime importance in our industrial age for creation of prosperity for all of a nations population. In my 60 plus years of studying this problem, only Nuclear fission seems to be a valid long term solution. Plasma fusion seemed to be an invalid concept. Wind generation is a Congame to raid the public purse and terrestrial solar electrical generation is a waste of resources for the energy that is produced.

    Modern Fission energy creation is one half of the solution. Dealing with the radioactive waste is the other. The A.Rossi Ecat device is crude but points us to a possible solution to this problem. It passivates unstable atoms through it’s action and generates usable energy as well. This may well be one of the most important developments of this century. pg

  10. oldbrew says:

    Today’s news: ‘Hinkley Point nuclear site workers face lay-off’

    Report: ‘Hundreds of workers at the site of a new nuclear power station face being laid off as preparation work comes to an end ahead of a final investment decision.’

    Union official: ‘Questions now need to be answered by the French government-owned company whether they will complete the new build.’

  11. Tenuc says:

    This one is an oldie but a goody, “THE NUCLEAR ENERGY OPTION” by Professor Bernard Cohen,
    University of Pittsburgh, 1990….

    Looking at the present situation, after the Wests 25 years in the green wilderness, what he had too say back then is even more relevant to our energy policy makers of today than it was for the previous generation.