Brexit

Energy would almost certainly keep flowing across the undersea links between the UK, France and the Netherlands in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, industry insiders have said no-deal would introduce more friction in electricity trading. The impact could be much more serious in the case of Northern Ireland as internal government documents suggest it could face blackouts while new cross-border arrangements are drawn up. Leaving without a deal would mean the UK crashes out of the EU’s flagship climate programme, the Emissions Trading System. The Treasury has said it would impose a unilateral carbon tax on electricity generators to compensate for the exit. No-deal would therefore mean some modest relief for coal and gas power station owners, because the UK plans a charge of £16 per tonne of carbon, versus the current €23 per tonne under the EU scheme. However, no-deal would pose headaches for the nuclear sector, both in terms of freedom of movement for skilled workers and the transport of nuclear materials across borders. Research into nuclear fusion, in which the UK is considered a world leader, would also be hit.

Guardian 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Energy Costs

Households may be granted a reprieve from rising gas bills in the New Year as record gas shipments into European ports slash market prices by a fifth. Tankers filled with liquified natural gas (LNG) are turning from Asia towards buyers in the UK and Europe in a boost for the UK’s energy markets after a year of break-neck price shocks and gas supply fears. The market price for winter gas has already plummeted by over 20pc in the last three months due to the deluge of liquified natural gas (LNG). It fell from highs of 84.4 pence per therm in September to 66.3p/th at the end of last month. The current near-term gas price is around 62p/th.

Telegraph 31st Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Radhealth

Mel Greaves has a simple goal in life. He is trying to create a yoghurt-like drink that would stop children from developing leukaemia. The idea might seem eccentric; cancers are not usually defeated so simply. However, Professor Greaves is confident and, given his experience in the field, his ideas are being taken seriously by other cancer researchers. Based at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, Greaves has been studying childhood leukaemia for three decades. On Friday, it was announced that he had received a knighthood in the New Year honours list for the research he has carried out in the field. “For 30 years I have been obsessed about the reasons why children get leukaemia,” he says. “Now, for the first time, we have an answer to that question – and that means that we can now start thinking about ways to halt it in its tracks. Hence my idea of the drink.”

Observer 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Uranium

My name is Anna Benally and I am a member of the Navajo Tribe. I am a resident of Redwater Pond Road Community and have lived here all my life. My clan is Redhouse and Yellow Meadow people. I am currently a registered voter with Coyote Canyon Chapter House. I remember at a very young age when mining came into our community. It was the United Nuclear Corporation (UNC) and Kerr-McGee companies that moved operations in about one mile from where I resided. The two mines were about a half mile from each other. The mine operation was a 24/7 operation in my backyard for about ten to fifteen years of my life. I request that the damage that was done to our community, our families and to Mother Earth be amended. We have waited nearly 40 years for reconciliation, for the land to be made well again and for our families to not live in fear. I request a thorough and complete clean-up of the remaining uranium be done, and that following the clean-up, regular tests on the water and soil be completed in order to ensure that only safe levels remain. Finally, I request a thorough health study be done on the members of the original mining community and on their children, grandchildren and beyond. It is our right to both understand the full effects of this devastating accident and be empowered with the knowledge of how best we can move forward. Our community will continue to stand strong and independent and will strive toward harmony with Mother Earth as we advocate on behalf of a cleaner, safer environment. This is my testimony.

Beyond Nuclear 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Submarines

The Ministry of Defence hatched a plan to dump nuclear submarines off the coast of Scotland, newly-released government papers reveal. The confidential survey from 1989 proposed moving decommissioned warcraft from Rosyth naval dockyard and storing them on the seabed near Skye, Mull and Barra. Fife MP Douglas Chapman told The Ferret website that the plan, which was dropped without being made public, shows how the MoD sees Scotland as “some sort of convenient nuclear dustbin”. Defence officials drew up highly-detailed plans for the seabed storage, believing it was “feasible” and would keep the rusting crafts out of view. Six sites on the Western Isles were identified in the document and the plan was they would be hidden for at least 60 years to buy time for a more suitable alternative.

Dundee Courier 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Japan

Japanese company JERA, a joint venture between TEPCO and Chubu Electric Power Company, has acquired stakes in offshore windfarms in Taiwan and the UK, and plans to establish bases in both countries. The deals are the first forays into the offshore wind energy sector by a company that said it wants to move further into renewable energy. “Offshore wind is a mature industry in Europe. However, JERA recognizes that this business is still at an early stage in Asia, including Japan, having much room to develop. JERA also believes that it is able to capitalize on its strengths considering its business scale and expertise in conventional power project development,” the company said. The Taiwanese deal saw JERA enter into an agreement with Macquarie Capital and Swancor to acquire a 32.5% equity interest in the Formosa 1 offshore windfarm off the northwestern coast of Taiwan. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals.

Offshore Wind Journal 31st Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Brazil

Brazil is one of only three Latin American countries, along with Argentina and Mexico, to have operating nuclear power plants, and the country still mines its own uranium. There is currently only one two-reactor nuclear power plant operating in Brazil— at Angra I and 2 — supplying just 3% of the country’s electricity. A third Angra reactor has been on and off since 1984 and was halted again in 2015. The proposed nuclear plant in Peruíbe was shelved, along with similar plans in Iguape and São Sebastião, due to the endless series of accidents, malfunctions and stoppages occurring at the Angra nuclear plant. Angra could still bring nuclear catastrophe to Brazil. The country continues to face other ecological disasters from deforestation, mining, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, forest fires, oil spills and other man-made disruptions. But at least in Peruíbe, for now, there is reason to celebrate.

Beyond Nuclear 30th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Spain

Spain says goodbye to coal with the closure of all mines. The last 26 deposits have to close on January 1 or return more than 500 million aid. Nine of the 15 thermal power plants that burn this combustible pollutant will stop working in 2020.

El Pais 28th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

India

French company EDF has submitted a techno-commercial proposal to the government for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP), in a significant step towards the progress of the project, sources said. A techno-commercial offer is an important step in the negotiations process as it helps the two parties determine the cost of the project and tariff of the electricity generated from it.

Business Today 24th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018

Pakistan

The John Major government did not declare it openly but confidential documents reveal that in 1993 it had evidence that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was not ‘peaceful’, as the then Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, often claimed. Sharif wrote to Major on February 17, 1993, on the eve of the latter’s visit to the United States, harping on Islamabad’s long-standing claim that its nuclear programme is “entirely peaceful”, declassified documents released by National Archives on Friday show. However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office rejected the claim five days later in a note to 10, Downing Street, stating that Sharif’s three-page letter to Major “contains nothing new”.

Hindustan Times 29th Dec 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 December 2018