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News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

SYKESVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GSE Systems, Inc. (GSE or the Company) (NYSE MKT: GVP), the world leader in real-time high-fidelity simulation systems and training solutions to the power and process industries, today announced financial results for the first quarter (Q1) ended March 31, 2017. 1 Refer to the non-GAAP reconciliation tables at the end of this press release for a definition of “adjusted EBITDA” and “adjusted net income”. Kyle J. Loudermilk, GSE’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “In Q1 2017, GSE achieved 26% year-over-year revenue growth, driven by particularly strong demand for our Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting staffing services and the advancement of three major nuclear simulation projects in our Performance Improvement Solutions division. Our Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting segment achieved record quarterly orders, revenue, and gross profit, while ending Q1 2017 with its highest backlog ever. Our reinvigorated sales team generated total new orders exceeding $19.8 million this quarter and, as we execute on our near-record backlog, we believe GSE is well positioned for revenue growth in 2017. Armed with $22.8 million in cash at the end of Q1 2017, we are seeking and carefully evaluating select inorganic opportunities that can enhance our growth trajectory, enhance organic growth opportunities, and in-turn create additional shareholder value.” Q1 2017 revenue increased 25.9% to $16.3 million, from $13.0 million in Q1 2016, driven by a 61.4% rise in Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting revenue, primarily due to higher staffing demand from a major customer, combined with a 9.4% increase in Performance Improvement Solutions revenue. Performance Improvement Solutions new orders totaled $4.9 million in Q1 2017 compared to $34.8 million in Q1 2016, which included three full scope simulators. Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting new orders totaled $14.9 million in Q1 2017 compared to $5.1 million in Q1 2016. Q1 2017 gross profit increased to $4.1 million, or 25.2% of revenue, from $3.6 million, or 27.9% of revenue, in Q1 2016. Performance Improvement Solutions gross profit for Q1 2017 was $3.0 million, or 31.5% gross margin, compared to $3.1 million, or 35.6% gross margin, in Q1 2016. The year-over-year decrease in Performance Improvement Solutions gross margin percentage in Q1 2017 primarily reflects the advancement of three major lower margin nuclear simulation projects. Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting gross profit for Q1 2017 was $1.1 million, or 16.2% gross margin, compared to approximately $0.5 million, or 11.6% gross margin, in Q1 2016. The year-over-year increase in Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting gross margin percentage in Q1 2017 primarily reflects the Company's ongoing focus on entering higher margin contracts. Selling, general and administrative expenses in Q1 2017 totaled $3.6 million, or 22.0% of revenue, compared to $2.8 million, or 21.2% of revenue, in Q1 2016. The increase in selling, general, and administrative expenses resulted from a $0.7 million year-over-year rise in corporate charges primarily due to a higher non-cash stock compensation expense and higher professional fees. Research and development costs, net of capitalized software, totaled approximately $402,000 and $354,000 for Q1 2017 and Q1 2016, respectively. Operating loss was approximately $57,000 in Q1 2017, compared to operating income of approximately $215,000 in Q1 2016. Operating loss/income included non-cash stock compensation expense of approximately $596,000 in Q1 2017, compared to approximately $247,000 in Q1 2016. Net loss for Q1 2017 totaled approximately $266,000, or $(0.01) per basic and diluted share, compared to net income of approximately $138,000, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share, in Q1 2016. Adjusted net income, excluding the impact of gain/loss from the change in fair value of contingent consideration, restructuring charges, stock-based compensation expense, and consulting support for finance restructuring increased to approximately $629,000, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to approximately $519,000, or $0.03 per diluted share, in Q1 2016. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for Q1 2017 was negative $80,000 compared to $372,000 in Q1 2016. Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes the impact of gain/loss from the change in fair value of contingent consideration, restructuring charges, stock-based compensation expense, and consulting support for finance restructuring totaled approximately $815,000 in Q1 2017, compared to approximately $753,000 in Q1 2016. Backlog at March 31, 2017, increased 8.7% to $79.6 million from $73.2 million at December 31, 2016. Backlog at March 31, 2017, included $67.0 million of Performance Improvement Solutions backlog and $12.6 million of Nuclear Industry Training and Consulting backlog. GSE’s cash position at March 31, 2017, was $22.8 million, including $1.1 million of restricted cash, as compared to $22.9 million, including $1.1 million of restricted cash, at December 31, 2016. Management will host a conference call today at 4:30 pm Eastern Time to discuss Q1 2017 results as well as other matters. Interested parties may participate in the call by dialing: The conference call will also be accessible via the following link: http://www.investorcalendar.com/event/14838 For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, an online webcast replay will be available at www.gses.com or through August 15, 2017 at the following link: http://www.investorcalendar.com/event/14838. GSE Systems, Inc. is a world leader in real-time high-fidelity simulation, providing a wide range of simulation, training and engineering solutions to the power and process industries. Its comprehensive and modular solutions help customers achieve performance excellence in design, training and operations. GSE’s products and services are tailored to meet specific client requirements such as scope, budget and timeline. The Company has over four decades of experience, more than 1,100 installations, and hundreds of customers in over 50 countries spanning the globe. GSE Systems is headquartered in Sykesville (Baltimore), Maryland, with offices in Huntsville, Alabama; Chennai, India; Nyköping, Sweden; Stockton-on-Tees, UK; and Beijing, China. Information about GSE Systems is available at www.gses.com. We make statements in this press release that are considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements reflect our current expectations concerning future events and results. We use words such as “expect,” “intend,” “believe,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “anticipates,” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean a statement is not forward-looking. These statements are not guarantees of our future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that could cause our actual performance or achievements to be materially different from those we project. For a full discussion of these risks, uncertainties, and factors, we encourage you to read our documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those set forth in our periodic reports under the forward-looking statements and risk factors sections. We do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures of financial performance under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Management believes EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, in addition to operating profit, net income and other GAAP measures, are useful to investors to evaluate the Company’s results because it excludes certain items that are not directly related to the Company’s core operating performance that may, or could, have a disproportionate positive or negative impact on our results for any particular period. Investors should recognize that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA might not be comparable to similarly-titled measures of other companies. This measure should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for or superior to, any measure of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of non-GAAP EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable GAAP measure in accordance with SEC Regulation G follows: Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS Reconciliation (in thousands, except per share amounts) Adjusted Net Income and adjusted earnings (loss) per share (adjusted EPS) are not measures of financial performance under GAAP. Management believes adjusted net income and adjusted EPS, in addition to other GAAP measures, provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our operational performance. Our management uses Adjusted Net Income and other non-GAAP measures to evaluate the performance of our business and make certain operating decisions (e.g., budgeting, planning, employee compensation and resource allocation). This information facilitates management's internal comparisons to our historical operating results as well as to the operating results of our competitors. Since management finds this measure to be useful, we believe that our investors can benefit by evaluating both non-GAAP and GAAP results. These measures should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for or superior to, any measure of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of non-GAAP adjusted net income and adjusted EPS to GAAP net income, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, is as follows: (a) During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company reported a GAAP net loss and positive adjusted net income. Accordingly, there were 407,675 dilutive shares from options and RSUs included in the adjusted earnings per common share calculation that were considered anti-dilutive in determining the GAAP diluted loss per common share.

Flash Physics is our daily pick of the latest need-to-know developments from the global physics community selected by Physics World's team of editors and reporters It should be possible to create a matter-wave tractor beam that grabs hold of an object by firing particles at it – according to calculations by an international team of physicists. Tractor beams work by firing cone-like "Bessel beams" of light or sound at an object. Under the right conditions, the light or sound waves will bounce off the object in such a way that the object experiences a force in the opposite direction to that of the beam. If this force is greater than the outward pressure of the beam, the object will be pulled inwards. Now, Andrey Novitsky and colleagues at Belarusian State University, ITMO University in St Petersburg and the Technical University of Denmark have done calculations that show that beams of particles can also function as tractor beams. Quantum mechanics dictates that these particles also behave as waves and the team found that cone-like beams of matter waves should also be able to grab hold of objects. There is, however, an important difference regarding the nature of the interaction between the particles and the object. Novitsky and colleagues found that if the scattering is defined by the Coulomb interaction between charged particles, then it is not possible to create a matter-wave tractor beam. However, tractor beams are possible if the scattering is defined by a Yukawa potential, which is used to describe interactions between some subatomic particles. The calculations are described in Physical Review Letters. Household WiFi routers can be used to produce 3D holograms of rooms. The futuristic imaging process has been developed by Philipp Holl and Friedemann Reinhard of the Technical University of Munich in Germany. Using one fixed and one movable antenna, they measure the distortions in the router's microwave signal caused by it reflecting off and travelling through objects. The data are then fed through reconstruction algorithms enabling the researchers to produce 3D images of the environment surrounding the router at centimetre precision. The technique is simpler than optical holography, which relies upon elaborate laser equipment, and will have improved resolution when future WiFi technology has increased speed and bandwidth. The research has, however, raised concerns about privacy. "It is rather unlikely that this process will be used for the view into foreign bedrooms in the near future." Reinhard says to address these worries: "For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed." The method is also limited because microwaves come from so many devices and from multiple directions. Instead, Holl and Reinhard hope the technology, presented in Physical Review Letters, will be applied to recover victims buried under collapsed buildings or avalanches. Unlike conventional methods, it could provide spatial representation of the structures surrounding victims, allowing swifter and safer rescue. The UK Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has called on the UK government to work closely with the nuclear industry to avoid a "cliff-edge" scenario after the country leaves the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). In its report – Exiting Euratom – the trade association for the UK's civil nuclear industry, which represents more than 260 companies, outlines six priority areas for negotiations with the European Commission as part of the "Brexit" negotiations. These include agreeing a new funding arrangement for the UK's involvement in Fusion 4 Energy, which is responsible for providing Europe's contribution to ITER fusion reactor in France, as well as setting out the process for the movement of nuclear material, goods, people and services post Brexit. The NIA also says that if a new Euratom deal is not agreed by the time the UK leaves the European Union in 2019 then the existing arrangement should continue until a new one is implemented.

News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The UK nuclear industry has issued its strongest warning yet to ministers on the problems it faces if the government is unable to strike new international atomic power deals during Brexit talks. Failure to put in place alternative arrangements to replace the existing European nuclear treaty, Euratom, which the UK is quitting as part of the article 50 process, would have a “dramatic impact” on Hinkley Point C and other new power stations around the country, the industry said. Ministers must avoid a “cliff edge” when the UK exits Euratom or face “major disruption to business across the whole nuclear fuel cycle”, the Nuclear Industry Association will warn the government on Wednesday. The stark briefing to officials, seen by the Guardian, comes just a day after MPs said the continued operations of the UK nuclear industry were at risk from exiting the Euratom treaty. A Lords committee on Tuesday also said the UK risked losing access to markets and skills when leaving Euratom. Tom Greatrex, the chief executive of the NIA, said: “We’ve had today two select committee reports that have both touched on this. The industry has been and is clear to government we are ready to do what we can – but it needs the government to get on with this and engage now, regardless of all the other issues they have to deal with.” Theresa May’s decision to call a general election had made matters worse, he added, because it had squeezed the time available to establish alternatives to the treaty. Euratom was first signed in 1957 by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and covers nuclear power station inspections, trade of materials and research. The UK’s departure will mean the government needs to agree a new inspections regime with the International Atomic Energy Agency to replace Euratom inspectors. “If the UK has not replaced the Euratom safeguards regime with its own system by the time it left Euratom, normal business could be disrupted right across the nuclear industry,” the NIA paper said. Falling back on World Trade Organisation standards would risk putting the UK in breach of its obligations in international nuclear law, the organisation added. Nuclear cooperation agreements (NCAs) would also need to be put in place with key nuclear countries outside the EU, including the US, Japan and Australia, because the UK’s agreements with those governments are currently based on its membership of Euratom. The report said: “Leaving the Euratom treaty without alternative arrangements in place would have a dramatic impact on the nuclear industry including the UK’s new build plans, existing operations and the waste and decommissioning sector which all depend, to some extent, on cooperation with nuclear states.” Greatrex said that matters were complicated by the fact that things had to be done in sequence, rather than in parallel. The new safeguards and inspection regime needed to be in place before the NCAs were struck, for example. Nuclear experts said that despite the dire warnings, the industry was not exaggerating the risks. Dame Sue Ion, honorary president of the Nuclear Skills Academy and former chair of the Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board, said: “It’s absolutely real [the impact if alternatives are not in place]. It literally does mean you cannot move material or IP [intellectual property] or services or components or medical isotopes.” She was echoed by Rupert Cowen, a senior nuclear energy lawyer at Prospect Law. “I don’t think they’re overstating the case,” he told the Guardian. Cowen was critical of officials in government who he called “ignorant” of the impact of leaving Euratom and who “think it’ll be alright on the night. It won’t.” The NIA urged the government to give “strong consideration” to remaining a member of Euratom if it had not thrashed out new deals and arrangements by the end of the two-year window triggered by article 50.

News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

Inside the U. S. nuclear energy industry, there is a high level of respect and admiration – along with a barely suppressed tinge of jealousy – for the way that the Republic of Korea (aka South Korea) has steadily developed its world class nuclear power plant manufacturing and construction industry. Starting from zero operating plants in the mid 1970s, South Korea now has 28 units that reliably supply one third of its electricity. Current plans call for a continued building program to increase that capacity by 70% to 38 units by 2029. It has also won oversees contracts with the most visible one being a $20 billion dollar construction contract for four APR-1400 reactors. Successful progress on that construction project was a factor in winning a contract to operate the facilities, valued at nearly $50 billion over a 60 year period. That shining light for the nuclear industry is being threatened by an upcoming election. With the consistent backing of the government and a highly organized network of suppliers providing materials and components to the state-owned monopoly utility company responsible for building the plants, the South Korean nuclear enterprise has achieved remarkable success. Unlike almost every other country, it has steadily increased its capability, trained new workers, refined manufacturing techniques, learned how to schedule complex projects – even in distant lands like the United Arab Emirates – and managed to deliver final products that work on a schedule and within a budget. According to a recent study led by Jessica Lovering, the Director of Energy at the Breakthrough Institute, the South Korean method of steady learning and improvement worked. That success is not surprising to anyone who understands the importance of practice, steady effort, predictable investments and growing sophistication in an environment where the government and the public are generally supportive instead of antagonistic. All has not been rosy in recent years; there have been several parts and component related scandals that have caused significant periods of forced outages in order to inspect plants and, in some cases, replace counterfeit materials or components. There has also been a widely publicized incident of computer hacking involving a company that is part of the South Korean nuclear power enterprise. From the other side of the world, though, it appears that most of those issues have been addressed and recovery is well underway. Since the great Northeast Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, there has been an increasingly vocal movement that resisting the continued development of nuclear power plants and is even agitating for efforts to close and destroy plants that are already completed and not even close to the natural end of their operating lives. One of the more visible and politically important members of the movement seems to be Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, South Korea’s largest city. In a piece titled Solar Seoul Shows How Eco-Friendly Cities Can Work, Park clearly laid out his thoughts on energy supplies. More worryingly, Park Geun-hye, formerly the President of South Korea, was impeached following revelations that she had abused her political office. In cooperation with a friend and a former aide, she pressed large enterprises to send money to foundations set up to support her political objectives. Park’s impeachment was upheld by the Supreme Court in early March, starting a 60 day clock that will result in a new election before mid May. Moon Jae-in, a leading candidate from the leftist Democratic Party, has promised to take action to reduce coal consumption, phase out the nuclear industry by 2060 and replace both with additional imports of natural gas, both in the form of LNG and potentially via a pipeline through North Korea. Moon has also pledged to pave the way for achieving ‘nuclear zero’ by around 2060, to address growing public fears about safety, particularly in the wake of the country’s biggest earthquake in September last year, which forced four nuclear reactors to close for three months. “I will make South Korea build no more nuclear reactors and close down aged nuclear reactors when their lifespan expire,” Moon said. “Through this, South Korea can arrive at nuclear zero in 2060, and until then, we can develop alternative sources,” he said. The best alternative to coal and nuclear, Moon said, is renewable sources, but it would take a long time for them to meet electricity demand. “So, South Korea needs to consider purchasing natural gas from neighboring Russia by building a pipeline,” he said. South Korea’s state-run Korea Gas Corp. signed a preliminary agreement with Russia’s Gazprom in 2008 to buy 10 Bcm/year of Russian gas for a 30-year period, beginning 2015. During the past several weeks, as tensions have dramatically increased on the Korean Peninsula, Ahn Cheol-soo, a relative political newcomer has been rising rapidly in the polls. Many of the conservatives that worry about Moon’s interest in moving closer to North Korea are telling poll takers that they favor Mr. Ahn, even though his party only holds 40 seats out of the 300 seats in Parliament. He’s a former medical doctor, a successful software entrepreneur, an academic dean, a graduate of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a populist. He is both a friend of the United States and an reformer who wants to address rising income inequality and restructure the chebol, the large, integrated conglomerates that dominate the South Korean export-based economy. His stance on nuclear energy is less specific than Mr. Moon’s, but he has indicated in the past that he is skeptical about the plan to build a significant number of new nuclear plants in South Korea and would favor increasing dependence on imported LNG. With my long distance perspective, it appears that Mr. Ahn’s skepticism on nuclear energy may be related to its status as being state-owned and controlled by the same kind of people that run the chebol. Since he is not a career politician, Ahn might be more interested in a sensible discussion about the benefits of nuclear energy than his more ideologically driven opponent. The scandal that led to the ouster of Park Geun-hye has resulted in increasing opposition to the status quo of a South Korea whose economy is led by enormous, export oriented manufacturing enterprises. If the reaction leads to the election of an avowed opponent to continued nuclear energy expansion, he might single-handedly reverse the progress that the Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO) has achieved in learning how to build large nuclear plants. If the country stops building reactors at home, it will have substantially more difficulty maintaining its ability to successfully export the technology. If a shift away from nuclear energy production is implemented, it will result in a South Korea that is increasingly dependent on a natural gas supply from Russia through North Korea and on imports of liquified gas. That situation would have rippling effects through both the energy industry and world geopolitics. It almost goes without saying that there are plenty of suppliers in the natural gas industry that would love to profit from increased sales to South Korea. The increased demand will help keep world prices high and profitable while every commodity business enjoys situations that increase their sales volume. There are also plenty of interests in Russia, North Korea and China that would like build more links binding South Korea to their fuel exports, making the government less willing and able to cooperate with the United States. Note: A version of the above was first published on Forbes.com. It is republished here with permission. The post Implications Of South Korean Presidential Election On Its World Class Nuclear Industry appeared first on Atomic Insights.

News Article | May 6, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The Brexit spotlight swung last week away from the familiar cast of bankers quitting the City and coffee-shop chains worried about recruiting staff to the fate of the energy industry tasked with powering the economy when the UK leaves the EU. The loudest warnings came from MPs, peers, engineers and the industry itself over the impact that blocks to trade or freedom of movement would have on the nuclear and oil sectors. However, the UK’s departure from the union also risks damaging urgent efforts to make the continent’s energy systems greener and more efficient, an adviser to the head of the United Nations has told the Observer. Rachel Kyte, special representative on sustainable energy to UN secretary general António Guterres, said anything that hampered the global switch to lower carbon power would be regrettable. “Brexit is at best a distraction, at worst a disruption of the need to continue to drive energy productivity across the UK and Europe – of having a much less energy-intensive economy and getting more productivity from each unit of energy, of having a cleaner energy system, of having much less use of carbon-intensive fuels,” said Kyte. The former World Bank executive highlighted the increasing amount of renewable energy generation in the UK, which had led to what she branded “breakthroughs”, such as the country’s grid recently going a whole day without coal power. As Europe gets an increasing amount of power from wind, solar and hydro, Kyte said it was vital that Brexit did not harm the growing number of interconnector cables being built. “We are seeing the beginnings of a highly interconnected European market and there are benefits to the UK of being part of that, so one hopes that interconnectedness will not be affected,” she said. From the power that keeps Britain’s homes lit to the crude that keeps its cars running, here is how Brexit could affect the energy sector: At least eight cables are being laid under the sea or through the Channel Tunnel to trade power between the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Denmark and Norway, tripling the existing number of UK interconnectors. Billions of pounds are committed to the projects under way, and ones even further afield have been mooted, such as a cable to bring Iceland’s volcanic power to the UK. The government hopes these interconnectors will continue to operate post-Brexit, and wants more beyond those planned already. “The ambitions are to go higher,” business secretary Greg Clark recently told MPs, citing a UK-France connector approved in February as a sign that leaving the EU was not affecting investor confidence. A UK that is more reliant on the variable nature of wind and solar power would make such interconnectivity with other countries even more important, he said. Key to the future prospects for interconnectors will be whether the UK continues as a member of the EU internal energy market, in a similar fashion to Norway. Alternatives include tracking the EU regime without any formal arrangement, or striking a series of bilateral arrangements similar to those Switzerland has made with the bloc. Being outside the EU market would be worse, according to experts. Silke Goldberg, a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, said: “While the UK government is supportive of interconnectors, there are some concerns among investors that the economic case for new interconnectors in the Channel may be affected if the UK is not part of the internal energy market and electricity imports are subject to trade tariffs.” Those building the cables, which are made from vast amounts of copper, appear undeterred. “As long as there is a need on both sides to do trade, there is not really a worst case I can see, as the interest is on both sides,” said Auke Lont, head of the Norwegian state grid operator Statnett, which is building the world’s longest undersea cable between the Norway and the UK. The North Sea Link interconnector is expected to mostly be used for exporting hydro power from Norway to the UK when complete in 2020, after Brexit, but will also export surplus wind power from Britain in the other direction. “The moral of the story is there is enough economic interest on both sides that it will easily withstand the fact that the UK now leaves the EU,” Lont said. The nuclear industry potentially stands to lose the most from leaving the EU. Buried in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit bill in January was the news that Britain would quit a vital atomic power treaty: Euratom, which underpins the transport of nuclear fuel and other materials across Europe. Last week saw a flurry of warnings from the industry, MPs and peers over the consequences of that decision. The nuclear trade body raised the prospect of disruption across the industry if alternatives are not in place within two years, urging ministers to avoid a “cliff edge”. Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said the difficulty was not the technicalities of putting in place new cooperation agreements with nuclear states or new inspection regimes for nuclear material, but the time window imposed by the article 50 process. “It’s an extremely pressing timeframe,” he told the Observer. “We’ve already lost three months by the time the general election is factored in.” Britain quitting the treaty has also raised doubts over the future of its involvement in research and development on nuclear fusion, a cleaner form of atomic power. The Joint European Torus (JET), a fusion research project at Culham in Oxfordshire, receives £50m a year from Euratom. But the current contract runs out in 2018, halfway through Brexit talks. One way for the UK’s nuclear industry to get back on the front foot after leaving would be to focus on a new generation of mini-reactors, according to a leading engineering body. “Pushing ahead on the demonstration and commercialisation of small modular reactors would be a key way for the UK to once again become a world leader in the field,” said Jenifer Baxter, head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. But delays to a government competition to develop such reactors do not bode well. The government has given no hints on whether it will retain membership of the EU’s flagship climate change regime, the Emissions Trading System. The carbon market currently costs industries such as oil, cement, and steel just under €5 per tonne of carbon they emit. The oil and gas industry are among the sectors seeking clarity on whether the UK will stay or go. Some experts think the market’s links to EU institutions may mean an exit is inevitable. “The government has not announced plans to leave the ETS, although disputes are handled by the European court of justice, which may be a red line,” said the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit thinktank. When Nick Hurd, the climate minister, was recently asked if the UK had an alternative lined up to the ETS, he said: “We’re analysing it, as you’d expect us to do.” An obvious time to leave would be before the current phase of the scheme ends in 2019. On green energy, Clark maintains no decision has been taken on whether the UK will stick to the EU’s renewable energy directive after leaving the union. But government sources have said that after Brexit the UK will probably scrap the EU target to get 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020. That would seem likely if the Tories win the general election. The UK has lobbied Europe in recent years in favour of carbon-cutting targets and against ones for renewables, to leave ministers free to pursue their preference to largely use new nuclear to meet climate goals, rather than wind or solar. The big post-EU concern for the UK’s ailing oil and gas industry is the prospect of new tariffs being imposed. Industry body Oil & Gas UK warned last week that a hard Brexit, falling back on World Trade Organisation rules, would see trading costs almost double from £600m a year to £1.1bn because of changing tariff rates. At best, trading costs might go down £100m if the UK can strike more favourable deals outside the UK. In a letter to Theresa May, the industry also stressed the international nature of its workforce, and called on the government to prioritise “frictionless access to markets and labour” during Brexit talks.

News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.theengineer.co.uk

Industry and government are apparently in-step on the UK’s nuclear post-Brexit priorities, but will their concerns make it to the negotiating table? The government’s announcement that an exit from the EU also means an exit from Euratom – the body that regulates European nuclear trade and activity – has been causing consternation in the sector since it was announced in February’s “Brexit” white paper. These concerns reached fever pitch this week with the launch of three reports. They warn of the disastrous impact on the sector – such as by deterring international investment, derailing UK nuclear R&D, and potentially threatening the UK’s supply of energy – if Britain fails to devise a credible alternative by the time the UK leaves the EU. Perhaps the most strongly worded of these reports is “Exiting Euratom” published on Tuesday by the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) – the trade body which represents companies operating in the UK’s civil nuclear sector. The paper sets out the priority areas for negotiations with the European Commission as the UK ceases to be a full member of the Euratom community, and outlines a series of steps government will need to take to enable the nuclear sector to continue its work with other countries within and outside the EU. These include replacing the Nuclear Co-operation Agreements (NCA) with key nuclear markets; agreeing a new funding arrangement for the UK’s involvement in European Union nuclear R&D, and generally maintaining confidence in the sector in order to secure critical investment. Warning that failure to ensure all of this is in place by the time Brexit negotiations conclude will be damaging for the sector Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “Without new arrangements in place by the time the UK leaves the Euratom community, there is scope for real and considerable disruption.” Nevertheless the report warns that replacing the mechanisms of EURATOM with an effective alternative in just 22 months will be exceptionally difficult. And it calls on the government to seek an agreement with the EU that existing arrangements will continue to apply until the process of agreeing new arrangements is concluded. Gratifyingly, these concerns are echoed by two separate government reports: one from the House of Lords Science & Technology Committee, and the other from the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee. Both reports call on the government to delay its exit from Euratom and stress the need for government to work closely with industry on the development of a plan that preserves the essential benefits of Euratom membership. The BEIS committee report goes onto say that if energy policy strays too far from agreed European standards, the UK risks becoming a “dumping ground” for energy inefficient products. Few – if any – areas of UK industry have been spared the uncertainty prompted by last June’s referendum result, but the UK nuclear sector faces arguably one of the most complex and high stakes situations. A failure to secure a suitable replacement to Euratom could derail the UK’s nuclear ambitions, impact our energy supply and  – as we’ve previously written – put the UK at risk of losing its lead in fusion and other areas of nuclear research. If there’s cause for optimism, it’s that away from the posturing and “tough talk” of the Brexit negotiations there does appear to be a genuine consensus across industry and government that simply crashing out of Euratom is not an option. A failure to resolve these concerns constitute an act of industrial and economic vandalism. Let’s hope Britain’s “crack” team of Brexit negotiators are listening.

News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

There’s not enough time to get all the pieces of a new relationship with Euratom in place to meet the needs of the UK nuclear industry. Parliament agrees with the industry that the government needs to have a strategic plan to assure reliable fuel deliveries to current and future nuclear power stations. Nobody in the British nuclear industry is happy right now with the state of affairs regarding the UK exit from the European Union. The industry is unhappy with Prime Minister Teresa May’s lack of attention to its issues especially the relationship with Euratom. The UK Parliament is similarly unhappy over the lack of strategic planning for the exit and the possible consequences of failing to plan for an orderly change in bilateral and multi-lateral relationships. Both sets of stakeholders, who’s members undoubtedly voted to “stay,” are gearing up to influence the election called by PM May to buttress her standing with voters. While it is probably too late to put the Brexit horse back in the barn, the nuclear industry is telling the public that it still needs to be corralled if they want the lights to stay on. (NucNet): The UK’s civil nuclear sector has been blighted by the indecision of successive governments and with an election in June 2017 it is critical for the new government to set out a decisive future for this industry, a House of Lords report says. The science and technology select committee report, published on May 2, 2017, also sets out the risks to the UK nuclear sector if membership to Euratom expires at the end of the two-year Brexit negotiating period without a replacement. The UK risks losing access to the markets and skills it needs to construct new nuclear power plants and existing power plants could be unable to acquire nuclear fuel. The report notes that despite the additional £250m (€295m, $322m) over five years promised by the government in 2015, the amount of UK funding for nuclear research, development and innovation is much lower than public funding levels in other leading nuclear nations, including the US, France and Japan. The report concludes: “The government has highlighted the importance of the nuclear sector . . . and must develop a clear, long-term vision and set of goals for civil nuclear strategy.” The report,’ Nuclear research and technology: Breaking the cycle of indecision’, is online: http://bit.ly/2p1hDQz UK Should Consider Delaying Euratom Exit, Says Parliamentary Committee (NucNet): Members of a British parliamentary committee share the nuclear industry’s concern that new arrangements for regulating nuclear trade, including reliable fuel deliveries for current and future reactors, will take longer than two years to set up and the government should consider delaying the country’s exit from the Euratom Treaty to be certain that new arrangements can be in place in time for Brexit. Committee chairman Iain Wright said the impact of Brexit on Euratom has not been thought through. “The government has failed to consider the potentially disastrous ramifications of its Brexit objectives for the nuclear industry. Ministers must act as urgently as possible. The repercussions of failing to do so are huge. The continued operations of the UK nuclear industry are at risk.” In a position paper published on May 3, 2017, the London-based Nuclear Industry Association, which represents more than 260 member companies, said the government needs to work closely with industry to bring about replacement arrangements for Euratom to avoid “a cliff edge” for the nuclear industry. The paper sets out priority areas for negotiations with the European Commission. The paper also sets out steps the UK government needs to take to avoid “serious disruption” to normal nuclear business in the UK and across the EU. The 1957 Euratom Treaty governs the peaceful use of nuclear energy within the EU. The NIA paper is online: http://bit.ly/2p51cmo WNN notes that the government announced the UK intends to leave Euratom in explanatory notes to a bill it published in January authorizing Brexit. The bill empowers the prime minister to leave both the EU and Euratom. On March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, marking the start of two years of negotiations to thrash out a deal for Brexit. Earlier this month, May called a snap general election for 8 June, stating that divisions in Parliament risked hampering the talks. If she wins a clear majority of seats, she will have a stronger hand in negotiations with the European Union and less back biting at home. NIA sets out six priorities for Euratom exit (WNN) The UK government needs to work closely with industry to bring about replacement arrangements for the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in a timely manner for the country’s nuclear industry, the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) says in a position paper. The NIA said its paper sets out the priority areas for negotiations with the European Commission as the UK ceases to be a full member of the Euratom community alongside the process to leave the European Union. It also sets out the steps the government needs to take “to avoid serious disruption to normal nuclear business” in the UK and across the EU. The NIA has listed six key steps it wants the government to take: The London-based nuclear trade association said addressing these priority areas will enable the nuclear sector to continue its work with other countries, both within and outside the continuing EU, as the UK ceases to be a member of the EU. Given the amount of work to be concluded within the next 22 months, however, there is a risk that new arrangements will not be in place, the NIA said. It just isn’t enough time to get it all done. Tom Greatrex, NIA chief executive, said: “The clock is ticking, and this is a priority of increasing urgency. This new report demonstrates that without new arrangements in place by the time the UK leaves the Euratom Community, there is scope for real and considerable disruption. The industry has not only set out the priority areas to be addressed, but also the steps we think the government needs to take to address those issues.” “The government now needs to get down to the work of putting such arrangements in place, including a prudent approach to ensuring there are transitional arrangements in place, to avoid a gap in regulation. That would not be in the interests of the EU, the UK or the industry globally.” The 1957 Euratom Treaty governs the peaceful use of nuclear energy within the EU. The Euratom Community is a separate legal entity from the EU, but it is governed by the bloc’s institutions. The Euratom framework also includes nuclear cooperation agreements with third party countries, including Canada, Japan and the USA. It facilitates UK participation in long-term research and development (R&D) projects, and it also provides a framework for international nuclear safeguard compliance including access to uranium for nuclear fuel used by commercial nuclear reactors. Nuclear Industry ‘Frustrated’ By Lack Of Progress On UK’s SMR Policy (NucNet): The UK nuclear energy industry shares the frustration of a House of Lords committee that the first stage of the government’s small modular reactor (SMR) competition has been left hanging in the air, and that the roadmap industry was promised last autumn “seems to have got lost somewhere in Whitehall.” Commenting on the House of Lords science and technology committee report, Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the London-based Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), said with a potential global market for SMRs valued at £250bn-£400bn, the government must provide clarity as soon as possible after the general election in June 2017 if the energy, industrial and export opportunities of a UK SMR are to be realized. “Otherwise, that promising opportunity of recent years (SMRs) will be lost to others, including the US, Canada and China, who are progressing with SMR development programs,” he said. The committee said it is disappointed that the government launched a competition for SMRs and has not kept to its timetable. This has had a negative effect on the nuclear sector in the UK and if the government does not act soon the necessary high level of industrial interest will not be maintained. “It is particularly alarming that the results of phase one of the competition, which does not involve the selection of an SMR design, have yet to be announced by the government,” the committee said. The report,’ Nuclear research and technology: Breaking the cycle of indecision’, is online: http://bit.ly/2p1hDQz

Quan Z.-G.,Nuclear Industry Company | Xu G.-Z.,Nuclear Industry Company | Fu C.-M.,Nuclear Industry Company | Liu L.,Nuclear Industry Company | And 3 more authors.
Northwestern Geology | Year: 2012

The paleo-interlayer oxidation is an interlayer oxidation that it formed at a certain stage of basin geological tectonic evolution process. The uranium deposit formed and preserved by this interlayer oxidation is called paleo-interlayer oxidation zone type uranium deposit. Middle-lower Jurassic coal-bearing rock series grown widely for paleo-interlayer oxidation forming and relevant type uranium mineralization growing founded basis. Badly uplift denudation at early Cretaceous period late-stage to Palaeogene period earlystage is the formation period of interlayer oxidation zone and relevant type uranium mineralization. Largescale reverse thrust tectonic causes interlayer oxidation zone and relevant type metallogenic system have been altered badly, paleo-interlayer oxidation zone and relevant type uranium mineralization formed and preserved. On the basis of its difference of alteration, destroy and conservation, the paleo-interlayer oxidation type sandstone-hosted uranium mineralization can be divided into 3 sub-type: folding-downed conserved, folded-faulting conserved and structure-uplifted destroy sub-type. The folding-downed conserved and folded-faulting conserved two sub-type cause paleo-interlayer oxidation zone sandstone uranium ore body can conserve well for blind ore, which is a key prospecting direction in future, its example are Beidatan and Lenghu Shide 26 uranium ore spot. Structure-uplifted destroy sub-type cause paleo-interlayer oxidation zone sandstone uranium ore body shows residual state or denuded. On the base of geological structural feature and prospecting criteria of different reformation subtype, and then synthetically analyzed its metallogenc characteristics, the metallogenic model of typical paleo-interlayer oxidation type sandstonehosed uranium mineralization is established.

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