Hopes and costs high for UK’s nuclear energy future

11 OCTOBER 2022/ARCHIVE – HINKLEY, UK — STORY: TT UK Nuclear Power – Hopes and costs high for UK’s nuclear energy future

LENGTH: 08:10

FIRST RUN:

RESTRICTIONS:

TYPE: English/Natsound

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS/EDF ENERGY/AP PHOTOS

STORY NUMBER: 4406595

DATELINE: 11 October 2022/ARCHIVE – Hinkley, UK

UK NUCLEAR POWER

SHOTLIST:

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS/EDF ENERGY/AP PHOTOS

RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

LENGTH: 8:10

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hinkley, UK – 11 October 2022

1. Wide of construction of main reactor building at Hinkley Point C

2. Close zoom of construction

3. Mid of reactor building interior

4. Close of man hammering bolt inside reactor

5. Wide pan right inside reactor

6. Close of man cutting metal

7. Various setup shots of Nigel Cann, project delivery director, Hinkley Point C

8. High shot of reactor interior

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Nigel Cann, project delivery director, Hinkley Point C:

“So here at Hinkley, everything’s on a grand scale. So, this is the largest construction site in Europe, from a density point of view. Eventually we will produce 7% of the country’s electricity, which would be one of the largest power stations in the UK. The turbine… one turbine per-unit here is the largest turbine in the world. So, the Arabelle turbine at Hinkley, once it’s turning at 1,500 revs will be the biggest turbine ever to be producing electricity in the UK. And everything here is on a grand scale, from the impact we have on the regional economy, £4 billion going into the regional economy, we’re the third biggest bus service in the world. We serve more sausages and eggs and bacon than anyone else, I should imagine, in the whole of the UK. So, everything on a grand scale. The important thing is they’re all focused, all that stuff is really focused on generating electricity by 2027.”

EDF ENERGY

Hinkley, UK – 22 May 2022

10. Various aerial shots of Hinkley Point C construction ++MUTE++

ASSOCIATED PRESS

London, UK – 28 October 2022

11. SOUNDBITE (English) Neil Hirst, senior policy fellow for energy, Imperial College London:

++VIDEO CALL++

“There is a huge opportunity right now because everyone wants nuclear, they want it because nuclear provides security at a time when gas supplies are at risk and also because a lot of countries have got this zero by 2050 commitment, which may be quite difficult or even impossible to reach without substantial nuclear.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hinkley, UK – 11 October 2022

12. Mid of workers on scaffolding at Hinkley Point C

13. Various of man pressure washing

14. Wide of turbine hall under construction

15. Close of same, ship in background

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Washington, D.C., US – 1 November 2022

16. SOUNDBITE (English) Jennifer Gordon, director of the Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative at the Atlantic Council:

++VIDEO CALL++

“I think we came into 2022 fresh off of COP26. Everyone extremely excited about decarbonization goals, which I think was actually the start of the moment for nuclear energy. And then, of course, as we all know, February 24th, Russia invades Ukraine and the conversation shifted to, okay, now we need to have energy security. In my mind, and I don’t think I’m alone, nuclear energy is a technology that can provide both.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hinkley, UK – 11 October 2022

17. Wide of digger moving earth

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: Ptolemaida, Greece – 2 June 2022

18. Aerial shot showing cooling towers at coal-fired power station ++MUTE++

19. Wide of power plant including cooling tower

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: Peterhead, UK – 25 August 2021

20. Wide of floating wind turbines, 25 kilometers off Scotland’s coast at Peterhead

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: Kozani, Greece – 2 June 2022

21. Wide of solar park

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Paris, France – 3 November 2022

22. SOUNDBITE (English) Paul Dorfman, Sussex University’s Science Policy Research Unit:

++VIDEO CALL ++

“The point about nuclear is that it’s basically too late. It cannot help us with (the) energy crisis. It cannot help us with the climate crisis. It takes up to 20 years. Looking at its history from planning to first generation, for one nuclear plant to come online, which means that nuclear would be far too late. And that’s simply one nuclear plant.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine – 23 April 2021

23. Tourists taking photos of Chernobyl nuclear plant

24. Various of tourists outside nuclear plant

25. Close of radiation hazard sign

AP PHOTOS

ARCHIVE: Pripyat, Ukraine – 1986 (exact date unknown)

26. This 1986 aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine shows damage from an explosion and fire in reactor four on April 26, 1986 that sent large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. (AP Photo/Volodymyr Repik)

AP PHOTOS

ARCHIVE: Pripyat, Ukraine – April 1986 (exact date unknown)

27. An aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident, is seen in April 1986, made two to three days after the explosion in Chernobyl, Ukraine. In front of the chimney is the destroyed 4th reactor. (AP Photo)

AP PHOTOS

ARCHIVE: Pripyat, Ukraine – 1986 (exact date unknown)

28. This 1986 aerial view of the reactor four at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine shows damage from an explosion and fire on April 26, 1986 that sent large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. (AP Photo/ Volodymyr Repik)

AP PHOTOS

ARCHIVE: Warsaw, Poland – 30 April 1986

29. A nurse administers an iodine solution to combat possible radiation poisoning following the Soviet nuclear power plant accident to a three-year-old girl, held by her mother at a Warsaw children’s medical clinic, Wednesday, April 30, 1986. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan – 11 March 2011

30. Various of moment tsunami hit Japan’s coast

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan – 15 April 2011

31. Wide of police in protective uniforms walking across tsunami-devastated area in front of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

32. Wide of towers of Daiichi nuclear plant

33. Wide of police walking through devastated area

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARCHIVE: Fukushima, Japan – 11 November 2011

34. Various of damaged buildings at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Texas, US – 1 November 2022

35. SOUNDBITE (English) Jenifer Avellaneda, nuclear risk analyst:

++VIDEO CALL++

“Public perspective regarding the nuclear energy industry is one of our main challenges, because of the access of information, as you previously mentioned, we have experienced unfortunate, very unfortunate events. And now with this armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, people can just quickly turn on their computer, put nuclear power plant, and they’re going to see terrible, terrible news. All industries have that. Every industry has terrible news. Unfortunately, we’re humans, we have errors, but we do better, and we must do better.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hinkley, UK – 11 October 2022

36. Various of simulation training room where workers are being trained how to operate and control Hinkley’s reactors when they go online

37. SOUNDBITE (English) Nigel Cann, project delivery director, Hinkley Point C:

“We feel that pressure. We feel the responsibility, but we will never compromise safety or quality. We need to make sure we build a plant that will last at least 60 years, if not 80. And that’s the thing that we focus on every day.”

EDF ENERGY

Hinkley, UK – 22 May 2022

38. Aerial shot of Hinkley Point C construction ++MUTE++

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hinkley, UK – 11 October 2022

39. Wide of cranes at construction site

40. Close of crane

41. Low angle shot of crane moving

42. Mid of construction workers posing under sign, reading: (English) “Welcome to Nuclear Island 1 – Safety starts here.”

LEADIN:

Scientists say that for the world to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, fossil fuel emissions must be cut dramatically.

Some experts believe nuclear energy could help nations become less reliant on fossil fuels. But there are concerns about the high cost of nuclear, as well as worries over safety and nuclear waste.

STORYLINE:

Welcome to Europe’s largest construction project.

This 430-acre site in southwest England is where some of the UK’s future electricity hopes are pinned.

Now reaching over 100 feet (32 meters) high, construction on the first of two nuclear reactors at the Hinkley Point C generating station is well underway.

Hinkley Point C is set to be one of the biggest power stations in Britain and will generate 7 percent of the country’s electricity.

Around 8,000 workers, many of them living on-site, are shuttled between work and home at any hour of the day, seven days a week, on the site’s bustling bus network.

“Here at Hinkley, everything’s on a grand scale,” says project delivery director, Nigel Cann, as he gestures toward the giant site.

“We have the third biggest bus service in the world. We serve more eggs and sausages and bacon than anywhere else in the UK, I imagine.”

Sites like Hinkley have become integral to the UK government’s “net zero” by 2050 strategy.

Some experts say nuclear energy will be needed to help nations wean themselves off fossil fuels.

“Everyone wants nuclear,” says Neil Hirst, a senior policy fellow for energy at Imperial College London.

“They want it because nuclear provides security at a time when gas supplies are at risk. And also, because a lot of countries have got a net zero by 2050 commitment, which may be quite difficult or even impossible to reach without substantial nuclear.”

Jennifer Gordon, director of the Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative at the Atlantic Council, says nuclear power should play an important role in future energy security.

“I think we came into 2022 fresh off of COP26. Everyone extremely excited about decarbonization goals, which I think was actually the start of the moment for nuclear energy. And then, of course, as we all know, February 24th, Russia invades Ukraine and the conversation shifted to, okay, now we need to have energy security in my mind. And I think, I don’t think I’m alone, nuclear energy is a technology that can provide both.”

But there are concerns over the substantial cost and timescale of building large nuclear reactors as well as worries over safety and nuclear waste.

Paul Dorfman, from the University of Sussex’s Science Policy Research Unit, says other forms of clean energy, such as wind farms, can be built and come online much faster.

“The point about nuclear is that it’s basically too late. It cannot help us with energy crisis. It cannot help us with the climate crisis. It takes up to 20 years. Looking at its history from planning to first generation for one nuclear plant to come online, which means that nuclear would be far too late. And that’s simply one nuclear plant.”

High-profile disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima present a PR challenge for the industry, says Jenifer Avellaneda, a nuclear risk analyst.

“We have experienced unfortunate, very unfortunate events. And now with this armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, people can just quickly turn on their computer, put nuclear power plant, and they’re going to see terrible, terrible news. All industries have that. Every industry has terrible news. Unfortunately, we’re humans, we have errors, you know, but we do better, and we must do better,” says Avellaneda.

Avellaneda adds that the industry’s many regulatory bodies and strict procedures make it a safer bet than many other energy sources, especially high-polluting ones.

Cann says safety is a key priority at Hinkley Point:

“We feel that pressure. We feel the responsibility, but we will never compromise safety or quality. We need to make sure we build a plant last at least 60 years, if not 80. And that’s the thing that we focus on every day.”

Nuclear power is generated through fission, the process of splitting uranium atoms.

The energy released by fission turns water into steam to spin a turbine that generates electricity, a process that doesn’t emit planet-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The Hinkley Point C project is estimated to cost up to 26 billion pounds ($30 billion) and is set to be completed in 2027.

It’s already around 7 billion pounds ($8 billion) over budget and has suffered delays which owners EDF — the French state-owned energy company — say are largely down to the COVID-19 pandemic causing supply chain issues and labor shortages.

Nuclear projects need billions of dollars upfront before they start generating any electricity and also have the ongoing cost of buying fuel, something not true of wind or solar energy.

They also don’t see a return for several years, so rely on government backing in most instances, and to that end, public support.

This is more feasible in Europe, where governments are willing to dig into the public purse, Hirst says.

In the US, it’s more difficult to get these big costs approved, even with recent incentives for nuclear power, meaning the country is likely to skip ahead to a newer advanced technology, called small modular reactors, that have less daunting upfront costs and shorter construction timescales.

Gordon adds that large reactors could instead act “as a bridge to the next generation of nuclear and also as a bridge to renewables and breakthroughs in storage” technology.

Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind or hydropower, doubled in capacity between 2000 and 2021 worldwide, according to an analysis of data from a global energy think tank.

Nuclear power, meanwhile, grew by just 13 percent during that time, with more than half of that growth concentrated in China.

Renewables are far cheaper per megawatt of electricity generated to build.

Their power is more variable, but a lot of solar and wind farms now use batteries to get closer to a 24-hour electricity supply.

Some experts believe nuclear can provide back-up for other low-carbon energy sources in a future with no or very few fossil fuels, but there are concerns over whether it really has the modern flexibility needed to pair with sun and wind.

Britain alone has decommissioned three nuclear sites in recent years when they came to the end of their lifespans.

The share of nuclear energy for electricity generation worldwide has dropped to 9.8 percent, the lowest share in four decades.

Whether Hinkley is a success, energy analysts say, could help determine whether more large nuclear reactors like it are built in Britain and other countries in the future.

====

Clients are reminded:

(i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: [email protected]

(ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service

(iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory.

Comments are closed.