Partners for Polish project

06 September 2012 Four state-owned companies have signed a letter of intent for participation in the preparation, construction and operation of Poland’s first nuclear power plant. An agreement could be signed by the end of the year. Seeking to diversify their energy generation portfolios, utilities Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), Tauron Polska Energia and Enea, together with copper giant KGHM Polska Miedz, signed a letter of intent concerning the acquisition of shares in PGE EJ 1 – a company set up by PGE specifically for the preparation of an investment process for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant in Poland. The companies plan to reach an initial agreement about the partners’ project-related rights and obligations, based on the assumption that PGE will play the leading role in the investment project. At this stage, the letter of intent – which is valid until the end of this year, but could be extended – does not represent an obligation for the partners to participate in the project. The agreement notes that PGE has already begun preparatory work on construction of the plant, including activities related to the identification of, and compliance with, international standards regulating nuclear power investments. Commenting on the company’s decision to allow other companies to participate in the project, president of PGE Krzysztof Kilian said, “This may have a positive impact on increasing the project’s business effectiveness, e.g. risk diversification or a more efficient management of the key elements of the investment process.” He added, “It is a crucial moment for the nuclear power generation sector in Poland because the country’s largest companies have expressed their intention to work together on this project of key importance for the national economy.” Tauron Polska Energia president Dariusz Lubera noted that, as part of its strategy to diversify fuels in power generation, the company “plans to have a few hundred megawatts of nuclear generation capacity in its portfolio around 2025.” He said, “We have been willing to participate in Poland’s first nuclear project for a few years.” “We have to find other sources of energy which allow us to continue our operations in 20 to 30 years’ time,” commented Enea president Maciej Owczarek. “An important issue for all of us is what to replace coal and lignite with.” The letter of intent follows the signing of a framework agreement in July between the four companies and Poland’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company...
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Agneta Rising selected for WNA

06 September 2012 Agneta Rising will take over as director general of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) from 1 January 2013, upon the retirement of current head John Ritch. The WNA is the international trade organization that promotes nuclear energy and supports the companies that make up the global nuclear industry. It organises industry expert working groups, international conferences and communicates with the public on nuclear issues through services including World Nuclear News. Rising’s appointment will continue a long affiliation with the WNA – she was chairman of the Uranium Insitute in 2001 at which time it was transformed into the WNA. In that period Rising cooperated with Ritch to achieve the increase in scope. Current WNA chairman Tim Gitzel of Cameco said the two would cooperate again to ensure a seamless transition for the organisation and its Secretariat. Gitzel said that Rising’s “wealth of experience will ensure that WNA continues to grow in its vital role.” Rising previously held the position of vice president environment at Swedish utility Vattenfall. During her nuclear career she co-founded Women in Nuclear (WIN) and served as its president; she is also a former president of  both the European Nuclear Society and the Swedish Nuclear Society. Over the past two decades, Agneta Rising has been appointed by the Swedish government, the EU Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency to several significant expert and advisory positions relevant to the future development of nuclear power. Among these, Rising served for four years on the IAEA’s International Nuclear Safety Group. Ritch said: “I cannot think of anyone who better combines industry experience, skill in collegial leadership, and a winning public persona. She can be expected to build on WNA’s past progress.” Fuente:...
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Magnox awards construction contract

06 September 2012 Two companies have won a framework contract worth nearly £300 million ($477 million) for construction work at ten UK sites as former Magnox plants are prepared to enter care and maintenance. Magnox Ltd, which operates the sites on behalf of the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, awarded the contract to Costain Group and Balfour Beatty. Between them, the companies will deliver design, construction and maintenance of permanent buildings and structures, infrastructure maintenance and extension work incorporating construction and civil engineering structures and ground work projects. Magnox is responsible for Wylfa, the only UK Magnox reactor which is still generating electricity, as well as sites at Oldbury, Chapelcross, Dungeness A, Sizewell A, Hunterston A, Berkeley, Hinkley Point A, Bradwell and Trawsfynydd. The framework contract is worth around £30 million ($48 million) per year for up to ten years: an initial five years, with an option to extend for a further five years by mutual agreement by the parties. Magnox program director Alan Bladon explained the importance of construction, infrastructure and maintenance work in preparing the sites to enter a state of care and maintenance. “Most people associate decommissioning with demolition, but there is also a requirement to build additional facilities which will help reduce the hazards associated with the legacy from nuclear generation on our sites,” he said. Both Costain and Balfour Beatty have a history of undertaking work at UK nuclear sites. Balfour Beatty is trying to increase its involvement in power-related markets, and chief executive Ian Tyler said his company was delighted to have won the contract. “Our role in the framework highlights Balfour Beatty’s strengths in the design, delivery and maintenance of infrastructure assets in the power sector,” he said. Costain chief executive Andrew Wyllie said the selection of his company for the role was “testament to our growing reputation for providing specialized engineering solutions to customers and industry sectors which have highly complex requirements.” In 2011, Costain was one of six companies to be awarded a framework contract by Magnox to provide waste retrieval, processing and filling services at eight of their nuclear power plant sites as part of a joint venture with Amec and Jacobs Engineering Group. Fuente:...
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Steam injures two at Fessenheim

05 September 2012 Steam produced by a chemical accident has caused burns to two workers at France’s Fessenheim nuclear power plant. Although initially reported as a fire, the event at Fessenheim is understood by World Nuclear News to result from hydrogen peroxide making contact with oxygenated water. The cloud of steam that suddenly resulted caused burns to the hands of two workers, but the injuries were described as ‘not severe’. The Fessenheim nuclear power plant is located in France’s eastern region of Alsace, on the German border. It comprises two pressurized water reactors of 880 MWe each. Fuente:...
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Handover planned for Bushehr

05 September 2012 Iranian engineers will control the Bushehr nuclear power plant from the end of this year, while Russian support will remain in place for three further years. The new pressurized water reactor reached 100% power six days ago. This milestone normally comes shortly before the status of commercial operation is announced, at which time a reactor vendor passes control to the customer utility. According to Rosatom, the parent company of AtomStroyExport (ASE) that built the plant, this is planned for ‘the end of December’ at Bushehr. However, the training of Iranian staff to take complete operational control is not yet sufficient, said ASE. It is now finalizing the details of an agreement to remain at the plant in support of Iranian workers for three subsequent years. At the time of reaching full power, ASE’s Igor Mezenin said that the Bushehr plant is of a unique design: “Our nuclear industry has managed to integrate Russian technology into equipment built by the Germans, incorporating about 12,000 tonnes of German equipment. Much work was done to assess the condition and suitability of the German equipment, buildings and structures.” He added, “The designers had to develop and implement a number of original ideas and technical know-how in order to adapt the Russian technology to the existing facilities at the site.” Nuclear fuel for the reactor – including uranium mining, enrichment and fuel fabrication – is provided by Russia, where it will return after use. The power plant operates under the full safeguards regime implemented by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Fuente:...
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