UK Nuclear Reactor Construction Haulted, Large Problems With The Program

EDF has announced they will stop the planned construction of 4 reactors in the UK. They cited problems at the Flamanville EPR reactor and re-evaluating the conditions in the UK. We previously wrote about the massive technical and construction failures of the EPR reactor at Flamanville here.

Citibank had warned investors back in 2009 of the economic viability of new nuclear programs in the UK, stating they were simply not profitable.

Now the UK government is announcing that the UK taxpayers will be stuck with the 100 million pound cost to decommission the British Nuclear Fuels failed MOX plant.

There are also some mentions that the Sheffield Forgemaster’s may be taking on some reactor building in the near future. What is not clear is exactly what they would be doing. This article mentions the facility size needed to produce reactor vessels for next generation EPR and AP1000 reactors.  Sheffield is said to be increasing their capacity by 2013 to handle such work. But with the EPR reactor project on hold it is unclear if this would actually happen.

A BBC news article today outlines a 36 million pound loan to the Forgemaster’s plant after a larger one earmarked for creating nuclear power plant parts was scrapped. The new loan vaguely mentions upgrades and nothing about nuclear equipment. The nuclear industry may have spilled the beans on the new loan in their excitement to announce that Sheffield is upgrading equipment to be able to forge next generation reactor vessels. Equipment upgrades are what the 36 million is earmarked for. This could just be a public relations dodge to avoid public scrutiny into more uses of taxpayer money to fund nuclear expansion.

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