New Power Stations
The world’s first large-scale nuclear power station was completed at Calder Hall in the UK in 1956.
Today there are 131 reactors in Europe, supplying over a quarter of the continent’s electricity, without producing carbon emissions, and providing 500,000 highly-skilled jobs.
The nuclear-building program has started again in many countries. Some countries are still against nuclear however.
|Planned sites||%age share of electricity market|
Hungary – Paks, TolnaPaks is a small town on the banks of the Danube, where a large nuclear power station was built by the Soviets after the 1970s oil crisis, with four reactors gradually connected to the grid in the 1980s, that today supply 40% of Hungary’s total electricity needs. In 2009 the Hungarian government decided to add two new reactors and in 2014 an agreement was struck with the Russian company Rosatom for these to be built from 2015, backed by a 10 billion euro loan from the Russian government. Since 2012, spent fuel that is not sent away for reprocessing, is stored in an on-site storage facility.
Slovenia – KrskoKrsko power station was built by the American company Westinghouse on the banks of the Sava river close to the border with Croatia when the country was joined with Slovenia under the banner of socialist Yugoslavia. The plant was initially going to be retired in 2023 but there have been plans to extend it to 2043, since it still supplies such a large amount of electricity for both countries. Recently the Slovenian prime minister raised the prospect of a referendum in Slovenia on the construction of a new power plant, which would take place in 2014 or 2015.
Hinkley Point, SomersetHinkley Point is located on the Bristol Channel in southwest England, close to the towns of Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgwater, and the site of one of the UK’s first nuclear power stations, Hinkley Point A, built in the late 1950s. This station’s two Magnox reactors, were closed in 2000, but a second power station, Hinkley Point B, remains operational today, with two reactors completed in 1971. In 2013 the UK government announced financing details for a large new plant on the site, Hinkley Point C, which would supply 7% of the UK’s electricity demand for 60 years. Two reactors are envisaged, to be built and operated by France’s EDF Energy, and be completed in 2023, using French company Areva’s European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) design. The financing mechanism has proved controversial, fixing prices at double the current wholesale price of electricity in the UK. The European Commission is also expected to review whether the mechanism contravenes ‘state aid’ rules.
Sellafield, CumbriaSellafield was once a small rural community on the Irish Sea but is today well known in the UK as its most important nuclear site, where nuclear waste is sent for “reprocessing”. It also hosts the world’s first commercial nuclear power station at Calder Hall, and a military nuclear site at Windscale, which are both in the process of being decommissioned, the costs of which are expected to be in the range of 70 billion pounds, or 100 billion euros. The site has raised objections from the Norwegian and Irish governments, over concerns about radiation leaks. But the area is set for a nuclear renaissance after a company called NuGen – which brings together France’s GdF Suez and America’s Westinghouse announced plans for three new AP1000 reactors in 2014.
Wylfa Newydd, AngleseyWylfa Nuclear Power Station is located on the northwest coast of the island of Anglesey, in north Wales, and has two Magnox reactors, one of which was shut down in 2012. The other, operational since 1971, is expected to be shut down in 2014. The site of a potential new plant, called Wylfa B, was among eight potential sites identified by the UK government in 2010. Plans to build a plant there were sold by German energy companies E.On and RWE to the Japanese company, Hitachi in 2012. In 2013 the UK government announced plans for a power station at Wylfa, as part of a £375bn pipeline of infrastructure projects.
Slovakia – Bohunice, TrnavaBohunice Nuclear Power Plants is a complex of reactors located close to the small village of Jaslovské Bohunice in western Slovakia. Three reactors were connected to the grid between 1978 and 1985, but were shut down during Slovakia’s accession talks to join the EU. Two newer reactors are still operating, following upgrades in 2010 so that they produce both electricity and heat and increasing their power output. In 2009 the Slovak government announced the construction of a new reactor, in a partnership between Slovakia’s JAVYS and the Czech energy company CEZ. At the time of writing the new reactor has not been specified.
Lithuania – VisaginasVisaginas is a small city in north west Lithuania sitting on the banks of the country’s largest inland lake, Drūkšiai. Lithuania was forced to close two reactors at nearby Ignalina, as part of negotiations to join the European Union. In 2012, the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania pledged to work together to build a new plant at Visaginas, that would supply all of the Baltic states. The reactor would be supplied by Japan’s Hitachi, which would take a 20% stake in the project.
Czech – Temelin, South BohemiaTemelin is a small village close to the largest city in Southern Bohemia - Ceske Budejovice. Construction of the Temelin Nuclear Power Plant began in 1987, with four reactors planned. After the Velvet Revolution in 1990, this was reduced to two, which were finally connected to the grid in 2002 and 2003. The plant is today the largest power source in Czech Republic and employs 1,000 people on site. In 2005 the Czech government re-opened discussion on the completion of a four-reactor plant, and tenders for design and construction were invited by the Czech utility CEZ in 2009 from France’s Areva, Japanese-owned American company Westinghouse and a broad consortium of Czech companies including Skoda, Hochtief and the Russian company Atomstroyexport in which 75% of the parts would be produce locally. The Areva proposal for a European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) was discounted in October 2012, although the company is appealing against this decision.
Bulgaria – Kozloduy, VratsaKozloduy is a town on the banks of the Danube on the border of Bulgaria and Romania, where a nuclear power station has been in operation since 1970, although four of the reactors were taken out of operation during Bulgaria’s accession talks. Two large reactors, built in 1987 and 1991, remain in operation, but four were closed as part of negotiations to enable the country to join the EU. The closures remain a live political issue in the country, as the country had to buy more gas. With gas shortages in 2009, people took to the streets to protest. After a historic referendum on new nuclear power stations, which found the support of 61% of voters, the Bulgarian government announced it would begin construction of a new reactor in 2019, subject to approval by the Council of Ministers, expected in 2014. The reactor is expected to be Russian company Atomstroyexport’s Generation 3 AES 92 model, which was originally planned for another site, at Belene, also on the Romanian border. The Belene plans involved spent fuel being stored for 60 years on site.
Olkiluoto, EurajokiLocated on the shore of an island in the west of Finland, Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant, and is operated by TVO, which is owned by a consortium of 16 Finnish companies that financed the project privately. The plant has two reactors, which were designed and built by Sweden’s ASEA-Atom, and started operation in 1979 and 1982. Major upgrades were carried out to both in 2010 and 2011. In 2005, Finland became the first European country to order a new nuclear reactor in 15 years, when TVO was given permission to use the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) design, which had never been built before. Construction began in 2005 with commercial operation slated for 2010, with the number of on-site workers expected peaking at 4,400, 3,800 jobs created during construction, and 150-200 permanent jobs during operation. 80% of the workers on the construction are from Eastern European countries. However delays with this “first of a kind” project meant that it will not now be operational until 2016, taking costs from EUR3 billion to EUR 8.5 billion. The Finnish regulator found that there were irregularities in the foundation concrete, heavy forgings and the reactor's unique double-containment structure, and pointed to the lack of skills available due to the long pause in nuclear power station construction in Europe. The main contractor is France’s Areva. Japan Steel Works and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have supplied the 526-ton reactor pressure vessel, Germany’s Siemens building the turbine hall Spent nuclear fuel will be deposited at Onkalo deep geological repository, the first such repository in the world, which will be constructed from 2015, and enter operation in 2020. The repository was designed by Sweden’s SKB and built by Posiva, which is co-owned by TVO and another Finnish power company, Fortum.
Hanhikivi, OuluPyhäjoki is an area of western Finland in the province of Oulu, on the northern most part of the Baltic Sea. In 2010 the Finnish government approved a proposal by Fennovoima, a domestic nuclear power company owned by a consortium of Finnish companies, for the area’s first nuclear power station, called Hanhikivi, based on Russian company Rosatom’s AES-2006 model. A final decision is expected in February 2014 for the plant which would be completed in 2024, with a price of less than EUR 5 per kilowatt hour, including all costs of production, depreciation, finance and waste management.
France — Flammanville, NormandyFlammanville is a small port on the English Channel in Normandy, where two nuclear power reactors were built in the mid-1980s, supplying 4% of France’s electricity needs, and employing 671 people. Construction began of France’s first Generation 3 reactor and the first nuclear reactor for 15 years in December 2007, creating 2,500 jobs. In the wake of safety concerns raised by Fukushima, and other technical challenges with the ‘first of its kind’ construction, the plant’s operation was delayed from 2013 until 2016, with the bill growing from EUR3.3 billion (2005) to EUR8.5 EUR billion. The entire design and construction is being carried out by French companies, including EDF (Chief architect), Areva (nuclear steam supply system) and Bouygues Construction (civil engineering.) So far 95% of the civil engineering work has been completed, and 46% of the electric and maintenance work. The reactor took 50,000 hours of design and manufacturing work, including welding, machining and assembly, and was shipped to Normandy from Areva’s Saint Marcel plant in eastern France.