Wylfa

An extraordinary meeting of Anglesy County Council’s planning committee next week is set to accelerate development of the Wylfa nuclear power station. Horizon Nuclear Power wants permission to clear 299ha of land to prepare for construction of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant. If approval is given, the project promoter will set up the main site compound carrying out other enabling works at the site. Horizon says it has cut the time needed to do this initial work from 15 months to 13 and getting permission will give it a head start on the main construction programme, if a development consent order for the whole project is granted. Council officers are recommending that permission is given, subject to conditions, including that work is carried out within two years of permission being granted. The move comes at a time of potential political sea change in some attitudes towards nuclear power in Wales. Leanne Wood, the current leader of Plaid Cymru has said she will fully review its energy policies if she is re-elected in next month’s leadership election – there has been support for projects because of the jobs they bring, but Wood has reportedly said that she doesn’t want the dependence on Westminster funding that the project would bring.

New Civil Engineer 31st Aug 2018 read more »

A vast swathe of land the size of more than 500 football pitches is to be cleared to make way for the new Wylfa power station. Horizon wants to spend 15 month on the project, which will see a 740-acre area prepared ahead of the construction of the nuclear plant. It will involve clearing field boundaries, demolishing buildings and relocating protected species. With the timescale for getting the go-ahead for the nuclear plant, known as a Development Consent Order (DCO), likely to take up to 18 months itself, Horizon wants to get on with clearing the site now. It is going before planning chiefs with its proposals next week at a special meeting focusing solely on the Wylfa bid. Anglesey council’s committee has been advised to approve the proposals, but there is opposition from local groups who feel no work should happen until and if the DCO is approved by the Planning Inspectorate. The developers have said they’ll put the site back to how it is now should the DCO not be granted. The North Anglesey Partnership, consisting of Amlwch, Llaneilian, Llanbadrig, Rhosybol, Mechell and Cylch y Garn community councils, has raised concerns over the timing and lack of information made available by Horizon, stating that with “so many unanswered questions,” no site clearance should take place until full approval is in place. Llanbadrig community council’s own submission, while backing the nuclear plant in principle, went on to say: “There is still much doubt about whether this project will proceed, particularly in the prevailing environment of uncertainty exacerbated by the era of Trump and Brexit. “Horizon seem to recognize this uncertainty in their reluctance to proceed with the bypasses ahead of DCO approval. Site clearance should only proceed in parallel with the construction of bypasses when there is certainty that both are necessary.

Daily Post 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Hinkley

The French energy firm EDF has announced that it is to start dumping 320,000 tonnes of allegedly radioactive mud from the Hinkley Point nuclear complex just a mile off Penarth next Thursday – (September 6th 2018) . There’s so much mud to get rid of, it will take “ three to six months” to complete this phase of the dumping operation. However now the firm has also revealed – for the first time – that there will be yet more mud to come after that.

Penarth News 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Dounreay – nuclear transports

Dozens of anti-nuclear campaigners from across the north are to descend in Inverness tomorrow in protest over the transportation of radioactive waste from Dounreay in Caithness through the city en-route to Sellafield in England. Campaigners from both Highlands Against Nuclear Transport (HANT) and Cromarty Peace Group (CPG) will join forces at the city’s train station to highlight the dangers they claim are being imposed to the region. The demonstration, taking place from 10am, comes just one month after a train carrying nuclear waste skipped a red signal near Kingussie as the Caledonian Sleeper service was heading north. HANT chairman Tor Justad said the incident “should concern everyone in Scotland.” Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey MP Drew Hendry echoed his sentiments, claiming it was completely unacceptable. He welcomed the news that residents across the region were continuing to take a strong stance on the matter. He said: “Disappointingly, the incident at Kingussie reaffirms the dangers of operating nuclear facilities and moving toxic nuclear waste through communities, and for DRS to say that there was no risk is simply not acceptable.

Press & Journal 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Sellafield

Today BBC Radio 4 treated us to some of the most vile propaganda dressed up in chocolate box stylee. You can listen to the programme here. Below is my complaint – the more who complain the better – they really are getting away with murder. Hotspot – “The Sellafield Effect” I listened to Hotspot with growing alarm and anger. The programme presenter enthuses “Copeland is how it used to be in the good old days of buying a house” and goes on to say this is the “Sellafield Effect.” The presenter states inaccurately that “the nuclear power plant generating one the most modern forms of energy has given people a traditional old fashioned way of life.” This is propaganda.

Radiation Free Lakeland 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Utilities

Britain’s Big Six energy suppliers are on the cusp of becoming five after the competition watchdog gave the green light to the merger of SSE and Npower. The Competition and Markets Authority has proposed approving the deal unconditionally after concluding that earlier fears that it would raise energy bills were unwarranted. The companies were “not close rivals” for customers on expensive standard tariffs and their merger was therefore unlikely to push up prices, it said. However, Alan Whitehead, the shadow energy minister, said that the decision was “concerning” and that job losses at the two companies must be avoided at all costs. SSE and Npower are respectively Britain’s third and sixth largest household energy suppliers and together supply gas and electricity to more than seven million homes. SSE is part of the FTSE 100 energy group of the same name, which also operates power plants and energy networks. Npower is owned by the German company Innogy.

Times 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Herald 31st Aug 2018 read more »

FT 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Guardian 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Energy Policy

Capitalism and global sustainability are incongruous with one another, according to a recent paper for the UN’s 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report. The team of researchers from various academic institutions throughout Finland who wrote the report gave a sobering assessment of the planet’s future if the current economic order continues unabated. Namely, that all rich Western countries have based their societies on an abundance of cheap energy, which the scientists say is no longer a reality. “Economies have used up the capacity of planetary ecosystems to handle the waste generated by energy and material use,” the paper reads. “[D]ominant economic theories as well as policy-related economic modeling rely on the presupposition of continued energetic and material growth. The theories and models anticipate only incremental changes in the existing economic order. Hence, they are inadequate for explaining the current turmoil.”

Grit Post 28th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Proliferation

Shellenberger: For Nations Seeking Nuclear Energy, The Option To Build A Weapon Remains A Feature Not A Bug. Under the rules of the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, nations are allowed to have facilities to enrich uranium, and extract plutonium from spent fuel, which could be used to build a weapon. Using enrichment or reprocessing facilities to create weapons-grade materials would require expelling international inspectors and risking trade sanctions — or worse. In 1981 and 2007, for instance, Iraq and Syria, respectively, suffered bombing attacks carried out by Israel on their nuclear facilities. But when push comes to shove, nations that feel they need a weapon will take those risks. In the 60 years of civilian nuclear power, at least 20 nations* sought nuclear power at least in part to give themselves the option of creating a nuclear weapon. The flip side also appears true: nations that lack a need for weapons latency often decide not to build nuclear power plants, which can be more difficult and expensive than fossil fueled ones.

Forbes 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Fukushima

Kyodo News wrote about a new admission at Fukushima Daiichi. The ALPS water decontamination systems are not removing almost all of the contamination as previously claimed. TEPCO admitted new levels of specific radioactive isotopes in the treated and stored water. Iodine 129 has a half life of 15.7 million years; Ruthenium 106 has a half life of 373.59 days; Technetium 99 has a half life of 211,000 years. All are considered to pose enough of a public health risk that they need to be controlled. Iodine 129 levels found in the water samples exceeds the legally admissible levels. The other two isotopes fall below the legal level. The considerable total amounts of these radioactive substances make them a concern.

Fukuleaks 20th Aug 2018 read more »

The government of Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan has announced it will terminate in March 2020 the provision of free temporary housing to most of the evacuees from areas in four towns and villages rendered difficult to live in due to fallout from the 2011 triple core meltdowns at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

Mainichi 28th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

France

A report commissioned by France’s government proposed building five new nuclear reactors, Les Echos reported on Thursday, two days after Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot resigned and said that progress on goals such as a shift to renewable energy was too slow. The report, prepared for Hulot and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, examines how to maintain the industrial capacity of a French nuclear sector that slowed reactor construction in the 1990s, the business daily said. Among its proposals is the building of five new EPR reactors starting in 2025.

Reuters 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

US

In the two weeks since a worker at the San Onofre nuclear plant blew the whistle on a serious near-miss accident, Southern California Edison, the company that operates the facility (stock symbols: SCE-E and EIX), has halted work on moving the toxic fuel from cooling pools to new dry-storage silos in the ground near the world-famous San Onofre beach. A massive, 100-ton canister filled with deadly nuclear waste accidentally snagged on a small metal ledge as it was being lowered into its silo and remained perched in the air with no rigging to restrain it, unnoticed by the crane operators. The canister could have fallen 18 feet to concrete floor. Known by some as “Chernobyl in a Can,” the canister contains as much radiation as was released during the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in 1986. This is the second such halt this year. In March of 2018, loose bolts were discovered inside a canister that was about to be loaded with the toxic fuel. Southern California Edison (SCE) halted work for 10 days in March before resuming with an older canister design that did not use such bolts.

DanaPointer 27th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018