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German power giants to pay into public fund to finance nuclear phase-out
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) April 27, 2016

BWXT tapped for nuclear reactor components, fuel
Lynchburg, Va. (UPI) Apr 27, 2016 - U.S. Navy contracts for nuclear reactor components and nuclear fuel have been given to subsidiaries of BWX Technologies Inc.

BWXT said Wednesday that the award for the supply of nuclear reactor components was given to BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, while the nuclear fuel contract was given to its Nuclear Fuel Services Inc.

The awards have a combined value of $3.1 billion. About $1.2 billion has been received this year, while the bulk of the remaining contract awards are expected to be received in 2017 and 2018, subject to annual congressional appropriations, the company said.

The awards were issued under the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

"We look forward to providing the critical nuclear components and fuel that power the Navy's submarines and aircraft carriers and help keep the United States and its allies safe," said Peyton S. (Sandy) Baker, BWXT's president and chief executive officer. "The awards of these contracts demonstrate the continued reliability placed on BWXT to execute this important work for the U.S. government in a safe and cost-effective manner."

The manufacture of reactor components will mainly support Ford-class carrier construction, Nimitz-class carrier refueling, Virginia-class submarine construction, and preliminary Ohio-class submarine replacement work.

At NFS, the primary scope of work includes the manufacture and delivery of fuel and support activities for the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, as well as development of material for future Naval Reactors programs.

Germany's nuclear power plant operators are to pay more than 20 billion euros ($23 billion) into a special public fund to cover the cost of dismantling their atomic generators, a special government committee announced on Wednesday.

The committee was set up to ensure that the provisions set aside by the power giants would be sufficient and immediately available when needed.

Germany currently has eight nuclear power plants in operation, but plans to phase them all out completely by 2022 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan five years ago.

The cost of dismantling the plants and storing the waste from them is expected to cost tens of billions of euros and the operators -- E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW -- have set aside 40 billion euros in their accounts for the purpose.

But the companies' current financial difficulties, caused by successive writedowns and restructuring, have given rise to concern that the money will not be readily available when the time comes.

To make sure it is, the commission has proposed that more than half of the sum -- around 23.3 billion euros for transporting and storing the nuclear waste -- be transferred as early as possible to a special fund run by the government.

For now, the operators have already set aside 17 billion euros in provisions to cover the waste from the plants.

But the committee is demanding an additional "risk premium" of 6.3 billion euros in exchange for which the fund would take the issue off their hands completely.

Nevertheless, the companies insist that they are not financially in a position to put up the additional funds.

Investors, on the other hand, appeared to view the matter differently and RWE shares were showing gains of nearly eight percent and E.ON shares more than four percent in the wake of the committee's decision.

At the same time, the committee ruled that the actual dismantlement of the power plants should remain the task of the operators, both financially and legally.

The committee's findings are likely to be adopted by the government and voted into law by parliament, either at the end of this year of the beginning of next year.




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