It’s a Very Small World when it comes to radioactivity

In the United Kingdom we hear little about Fukushima these days. It is as though the nuclear accident never happened as we get on with organising the finance, at taxpayer’s risk and expense, of new nuclear generating power stations in so called partnership with the French energy firm, EDF. However, the world is a small place and radioactivity from the Fukushima accident is beginning to spread,

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Be Prepared

“British Energy Policy” is a contradiction in terms. There has been no energy policy for at least twenty years, just a collection of ill thought out statements backed by political dogma which ignores the reality of what the United Kingdom needs for energy and how it can be done. It is likely that the next very cold winter that the United Kingdom experiences will see power cuts and gas shortages. Continue reading

Leave for Warmer Climes When the Winter Comes

EDF is a French energy company. It is one of the six energy companies that control the United Kingdom’s energy supply and enjoys the rights privileges and advantages of it being part of an oligarchy. It specialises in nuclear power and has a number of nuclear generating plants which create heat by means of a chain reaction, uses the heat to make steam which drives a turbine which in turn generates electricity which in turn is fed into the national grid. The nuclear plants create nuclear waste in copious quantities which takes thousands of years to decay into a condition in which the waste in not dangerous. Continue reading

Will EDF Get its Subsidy?

EDF the energy giant has already spent, it says, more than a million pounds every day to keep the project at Hinkley Point where it wants to build a nuclear power plant, viable. It does not want a subsidy. It wants a forty year commitment from the UK government to buy or underwrite the price it will get from the energy generated from the yet to build nuclear plant. It wants a price guarantee of £100 per mWh for 40 years. This is significantly higher than the price guarantee that the UK government gives to producers of electricity from wind power, where they pay out around £80 per mWh for 15 years, not 40 years. Continue reading

We shall force the future generations to make sacrifices for us…

As the United Kingdom and EDF are working out the final terms of the long term contract that EDF requires before it builds a nuclear power plant in Hinckley Point in Somerset, Tokyo Electric Power Company announced that the electricity supply to the cooling system at the damaged Fukushima power plant had failed for four spent reactor ponds at three reactors. Apparently a rat had bitten through the electrical supply shutting down some of the cooling systems. Continue reading

It Makes you Wonder

It makes you wonder why they do it. Greenpeace is an organisation that is against nuclear energy. They share my views on the dangers of nuclear energy as do probably tens of millions of people. EDF is a business that owns and runs most of the nuclear powered power plants in Englandand France. Nuclear power is core to their business. Continue reading

British nuclear power stations EDF and poor government energy policy

British Energy’s nuclear power stations are still under UK control – for the time being. The government wanted the company to sell its shares to Electricité de France (EDF) and this was being presented as a “done deal” when I criticised the principle of the government losing control of the nuclear generated electricity in this country to EDF which is owned by the French state.

The directors of British Energy have decided that the French offer undervalues the shares by around 30%. This was reported as killing the deal, but I doubt it. It will be worth the extra money to gain control of 25% of the UK’s future electricity supply with the Government now openly demanding that we build more and more nuclear power stations as a matter of urgency.

From the Government’s point of view the urgency is that the lights may go off in ten years without the nuclear energy; that simply shows the level of carelessness and incompetence embedded in the Government’s energy policy for the past eleven years.

Apparently the Government thought that EDF’s offer was excellent value for money. British Energy’s board, after discussing the bid with other shareholders thought differently. Unlike the Government the shareholders (the Prudential amongst them) had twigged that energy supply is inevitably going to become more and more profitable and this makes the shares more valuable that the Government thought.

John Hutton, business secretary is quoted as saying that this development is disappointing. Clearly he feels that it is more important to sell of British Energy and make a quick start on building nuclear reactors than to sell the nation’s shares in British Energy at a correct valuation. John Hutton, let me remind you is the Business secretary. This is a strange way to run a business – selling shares for less than they are worth. Did he take advice on the share value and if so why was the advice he got so different from the view of the value formed by the Prudential and other investing shareholders?

But that is a diversion. The real issue is do we want a quarter of our electricity generation (that is to say the only part of our energy generation not dependent on foreign imported fuel) to be in the hands of a foreign Government? Would the French permit it? I doubt it.

The Government wanted British Energy in the hands of EDF so as to enable the planning and building of new and as they regard badly needed power stations to be  undertaken quickly. The official line after this had been scuppered was that it would now take longer. there we have it; a demonstration of how powerless the Government is and the country will be when the real decisions are made about our national energy and power supplies not by the Government but by EDF and the Prudential.

UK’s nuclear energy will cease to be under government control

The UK’s nuclear energy will shortly cease to come under government control.

Centrica (the energy company which owns British Gas) is buying 25% of British Energy, the nuclear generating plant, from EDF. The UK Government owns 35% of British Energy, which is worth according to the price that Centrica paid for its shares, around £4.3 billion. Having sold 25% to Centrica, EDF will now buy the UK Government’s 35%, giving EDF (which stands for Electricté de France) control of the UK‘s nuclear generating industry which is expected to be expanded greatly if the unimaginative Secretary of State John Hutton has his way.

The astonishing thing about this is that the Government is so willing to dispose of an industry which it thinks critical to our energy future, and see it disposed of into foreign hands. Continue reading

Gas and electricty prices rise again, a pain and a scramble

Gas and electricity prices rise again; the pain is just starting.

Following up on Centrica’s statement last week that their prices would rise so that an average consumer would be paying £1000 a year for gas, EDF has announced an actual price rise. For those without a capped energy price gas will cost 22% more and electricity 17% more than it does today. The new prices are from 25th July so they are already biting into the pockets of domestic consumers. Continue reading