Nuclear industry jeopardized – Global nuclear power industry is facing major hurdles as bankruptcy of two leading groups halts program

Nuclear power financing is embroiled in a global bankruptcy with the top two, Toshiba-Westinghouse, US subsidiary of Toshiba of Japan and its French equivalent, the state-owned AREVA facing a financial debacle. Toshiba Westinghouse, afflicted with technical problems, time and massive cost overruns at construction projects V C Summer and Vogtle in the USA, filed for bankruptcy protection of its American subsidiary. AREVA went technically bankrupt as a sequel to a cumulative six-year loss of US$ 12.3 billion. The French government came out with a bailout for US$ 5.3 billion, allowing the process of a break-up of the state utility EDF. The rescue scheme was through by the European Commission, although AREVA remains delisted from the Paris stock market since August 2017.

The French major has to struggle facing accusation of ‘a vast quality-control scandal that led to the provisional shutdown of a dozen reactors in France. Thousands of fabrication dossiers have to be examined for irregularities or falsifications. The safety implications remain to be assessed’, revealed the Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017 (WNISR2017), just released in Paris. The presenter was Mycle Schneider, international consultant, lead author and publisher, alongside co-authors Juan C Rodriguez, equity analyst at Alpha Value and Andreas Rüdinger, independent consultant and associated researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI).

The spread of the fallout is unprecedentedly wide. In Europe, energy utilities Centrica (UK), EDF, Engie (France), E ON, and RWE (Germany) were downgraded by credit rating agencies last year. As of early July 2017, compared to their peak values during the past decade, the loss of share values by major utilities were RWE of –82 per cent, E ON of Germany –87 per cent, EDF –89 per cent and Engie –75 per cent (both of France). In Asia, the share value of Japanese utility TEPCO, de facto nationalised after the Fukushima disaster, fell by 89 per cent in July this year from the peak value in 2007. The Chinese utility CGN, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange since December 2014, has been reeling in crisis as during last year and a half, it failed to recover from the 60 per cent loss of share value compared to the peak in June 2015.The Korean utility KEPCO, the only major nuclear utility to reach its peak share value in 2016, too incurred a loss of 37 per cent in value over the past year following tariff cuts, increased operating expenses and the temporary shutdown of four reactors.

via Millenium Post Nuclear industry jeopardized

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