New Nuclear

Toshiba, the troubled Japanese electrical and electronics conglomerate and former owner of the bankrupt Westinghouse, Corp., decided last week cancel its Moorside nuclear project in the UK. If completed, this large nuclear power station would have provided about 7 percent of the UK’s electricity needs. Not that this announcement was a surprise. Let’s review the UK’s nuclear energy plans. There were at a minimum three large facilities planned. One for Cumbria, the Toshiba NuGen entity, is now cancelled. The Hinkley Point C units, being built by a French and Chinese consortium, are under construction and slated for commercial service in 2025-27. Lastly, Hitachi had a planned nuclear site in Wylfa. Given the turmoil surrounding new nuclear construction, we have our doubts about the financial viability of Wylfa. This plant would cost at least 20 billion pounds ($26 billion). Press reports indicate government support would be necessary for close to two thirds of that amount. To further encourage developers, a government minister said in June that the government might directly invest 5 billion pounds into the project for a one third ownership share. We are not certain how the government intends to rationalize its latest plunge into the nuclear construction abyss. But we do believe the present government deserves praise for acknowledging one thing at least: that yes, new nuclear construction will require government money. Whether those monies might be better spent elsewhere is another matter. In conclusion, the UK’s energy plan was fairly simple, perhaps a little too simple. Retire aging coal plants and replace them with base load nuclear. It’s not working out.

Oil Price 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Heysham

A serious incident at Heysham Nuclear Power Station has left three people injured in hospital. The men were injured in a serious industrial incident at the nuclear power station at 10.30pm last night. A spokesman for the EDF operated power station said an accidental ‘steam release’ at Heysham 1 caused high-temperature steam to escape. The spokesman said the steam was ‘clean’ and did not pose a threat to the public or the environment. She said: “This is not a common occurrence, and we do regard it as a serious incident due to the injuries to the three people on site. We do plan for these incidents and we have an emergency response team prepared for these types of incidents.

Leyland Guardian 20th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Sellafield

The reprocessing of commercial nuclear fuel from across the world has come to an end at the Sellafield site in Cumbria. Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said the last of the nuclear fuel was sheared, i.e. when nuclear fuel is cut into pieces at the beginning of the reprocessing site, at Thorp (Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant) last week. It marks one of the final steps in Sellafield’s transformation towards becoming a site that is solely focused on decommissioning and hazard reduction. The decision to end nuclear fuel reprocessing at Thorp this year was decided in 2012 due to the majority of its customers opting to store their fuel rather than reprocess it. Nuclear Energy Minister Richard Harrington said: “This marks a new and welcome chapter in Sellafield’s decommissioning and environmental clean-up journey, protecting the public from hazards, ensuring the land can be re-used in the future.”

Energy Live News 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Gen IV Reactors

The UK has ratified the Generation IV International Forum framework agreement for international collaboration on research and development of Generation IV nuclear energy systems, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced today. Becoming a party to the agreement allows the UK to “actively engage” in research and development projects related to Generation IV systems, with participation to begin in 2019, BEIS said. The document was signed by Jeremy Hunt, UK secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, and deposited to the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency by Ian Johnson and Rob Arnold from BEIS on 17 October.

World Nuclear News 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Energy Policy

Heavy industry and heavy duty transport could operate with net zero transport emissions by 2060, at a cost of less than 0.5 per cent of global GDP, according to new analysis today by the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC). Based on consultations with over 200 industry experts, the influential research body suggests some of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise could slash carbon emissions in time to meet global climate targets at an affordable cost.

Business Green 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Based on six-months of work taking in consultations with more than 200 industry experts, the ETC today delivered a “pragmatic” blueprint for grasping these higher-hanging fruits in the Paris Agreement tree, complete with pathways and policy recommendations for ensuring they emulate the power and automative sectors and deliver a technoligically and economically feasible decarbonisation path.

Business Green 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Reaching net-zero carbon emissions from heavy industry and heavy-duty transport sectors is technically and financially possible by mid-century – 2050 in developed countries and 2060 in developing countries. The report Mission Possible: Reaching net-zero carbon emissions from harder-to-abate sectors by mid-century outlines the possible routes to fully decarbonize cement, steel, plastics, trucking, shipping and aviation – which together represent 30% of energy emissions today and could increase to 60% by mid-century as other sectors lower their emissions.

Energy Transitions 19th Nov 2018 read more »

A new report on the potential of heavy industry to combat climate change offers a rare slice of optimism. Sectors like steel, chemicals, cement, aviation and aluminium face a huge challenge in cutting carbon emissions. But a group including representatives from business concludes it is both practical and affordable to get their emissions down to virtually zero by the middle of the next century. The report’s been described as wishful thinking by some environmentalists. The group, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), says we can. It calculates that industrial emissions can be eradicated a cost of less than 1% of global GDP, with a marginal impact on living standards. The ETC – a coalition of business, finance and civil society leaders from energy producers and users – supports the aim of the 2015 Paris climate deal of limiting global warming to 1.5C, or at the very least, well below 2C. It sees benefits to society of cutting industrial emissions because this would save the costs associated with pollution and climate change impact.

BBC 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Telegraph 19th Nov 2018 read more »

FT 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Energy Policy – Scotland

Safe Energy Journal No.80 November 2018 is now online.

No 2 Nuclear Power 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Politics

Trade unions have written to the top official in the business department to raise concerns about claims that the energy minister, Claire Perry, has sworn and screamed at civil servants, the Guardian understands. Representatives of three unions representing Whitehall officials wrote a joint letter to Alex Chisholm, permanent secretary at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), citing wider concerns about the behaviour of its ministers. The letter, from the PCS, FDA and Prospect unions, said the claims had been raised by BEIS staff, but that the unions could not detail specific instances owing to concerns that individuals involved could be identified.

Guardian 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Old Nuclear

What do we gain by breathing some extra life into these plants? Proponents say “zero-carbon emissions.” That’s if we choose to ignore the emissions associated with mining and processing uranium, building nuclear power stations, managing nuclear waste, and — on those rare but horrific occasions — dealing with the consequences of a major nuclear disaster.

Wbur 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Cybersecurity

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy publishes report on UK’s critical national infrastructure. The threat to the UK’s CNI is both growing and evolving. The cyber threat to the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI) – 13 sectors including energy, health services, transport and water – is as credible, potentially devastating and immediate as any other threat faced by the UK. However, the Government is not acting with the urgency and forcefulness that the situation demands. The Report on Cyber Security of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure says the UK’s CNI is a natural target for a major cyber attack because of its importance to daily life and the economy.Major cyber attacks are categorised by the Government as a top-tier threat to national security. As some states become more aggressive and non-state actors such as organised crime groups become much more capable, the range and number of potential attackers is growing.

Parliament 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

SMRs

Business secretary Greg Clark visited the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) (www.namrc.co.uk) at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham at the end of October to see its work supporting the next generation of nuclear power and to meet some of the centre’s young engineers and apprentices. During his tour of the workshop, Mr Clark saw a range of advanced machining, joining and robotic technologies that can significantly increase productivity in the manufacture of a new generation of small modular reactors.

Machinery Market 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018