Wylfa

NFLA submission on radioactive waste elements of the reactor design for the Wylfa B site – it could increase the UK inventory of radioactive waste by as much as 80%. The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Welsh Forum has submitted its views to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on the radioactive waste elements of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) design proposed for the Wylfa site in Anglesey. The NFLA Welsh Forum has taken a very close eye with the proposed development of Wylfa B and has raised a number of times that a new nuclear reactor in Anglesey is not required. In March 2017 it raised in detail concerns over the design of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor in reference to issues arising from the Fukushima disaster. NRW is consulting on whether it will issue an environmental permit to Horizon Nuclear, wholly owned by Hitachi, for Wylfa B. This is concentrating now on issues around the radioactive waste that would be generated from such a reactor, how it will be managed and stored and for how long it will remain on site. NFLA Vice-Chair Councillor David Blackburn said: “This NFLA submission on Wylfa B’s radioactive waste programme has gone into much detail about the radioactive high burn-up fuel that would be produced from such a reactor, should it ever be built. Such waste would have to remain on site for as much as 160 years and Wylfa B alone could increase the current UK radioactive waste inventory by as much as 80%. NFLA does not see such a waste burden being beneficial to the people of Anglesey or of Wales. There are far safer, less expensive alternatives that do not produce such hazardous materials as what Wylfa will generate. Wales would be far better off then to build solar, tidal, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal energy facilities instead, with energy efficiency and energy storage solutions adequate to deal with intermittency issues.”

NFLA 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Brexit

The nuclear industry lobby is desperate for the UK to remain in Euratom, as it would mean the massive subsidies they receive for research and development via Euratom would be lost. But they don’t believe such concerns would really bother most politicians, but claiming Brexatom would result in loss of radioactive isotope supplies for medical diagnoses, which does concern the public and politicians. So they have made a huge song and dance – successfully- over this red herring claim, to keep the UK in Euratom. Below is the latest in this ongoing saga.

David Lowry’s Blog 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Capacity Market

This winter is the first in which Britain’s electricity Capacity Market comes into play. The Capacity Market (CM) is part of a set of policy measures introduced in 2013 known as the Electricity Market Reform. The basic case made for a capacity intervention in the early 2010s was that increasing amounts of wind power would make average wholesale prices lower as well as making periods of high prices rarer and more unpredictable, with the result that no one would invest in new capacity that could be used as back up when the wind did not blow. At the time of the development of the CM, this was all an issue for the rather distant future; in 2011 wind provided less than 4% of total electricity generated. The challenges of large swings in wind output were expected to materialise only from the mid-2020s. However, the argument was that a capacity mechanism was needed well ahead of time in order to get investment in back up capacity that would be ready when wind power became really important. The idea was that such a mechanism would provide investors with an extra, stable source of revenue and induce them to invest in the plant needed. The policy eventually adopted, the Capacity Market, involves the government (via a counterparty) holding auctions for generators and providers of demand side response and storage, with successful bidders contracted to be available to generate or turn down demand over a specified period. How much resource the government contracts depends on a methodology related to reliability standard that was set as part of the CM. The CM has been highly controversial, being criticised on a number of grounds including: poor value for money; undermining decarbonisation of the power sector by keeping old coal on the system; failure to bring forward major investment in new combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants, leading instead to a surge in new small-scale high-carbon diesel generation; failure to develop much in the way of demand side response (DSR), and too strict a reliability standard, leading to over-contracting of capacity

IGov 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Radwaste

For the benefit of those of you who do not subscribe to Facebook, the following piece and the ensuing replies were posted in response to our item on Tim Knowles yesterday.

Cumbria Trust 16th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Radwaste – France

The French regulator, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), has issued a positive opinion on the safety options for country’s planned deep geological repository for the disposal of high- and intermediate-level radioactive waste. However, it has reservations about the storage of bituminous waste within the facility. France plans to construct the Centre Industriel de Stockage Géologique (Cigéo) repository – an underground system of disposal tunnels – in a natural layer of clay near Bure, to the east of Paris in the Meuse/Haute Marne area. The facility is to be financed by radioactive waste generators – EDF, Areva and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission – and managed by waste management agency Andra. Andra submitted a “safety options dossier” for the Cigéo project to the ASN in April 2016. This sets out the chosen objectives, concepts and principles for ensuring the safety of the facility. The dossier gives Andra the possibility of getting advice from ASN in preparation for the licence application on the safety principles and approach.

World Nuclear News 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Chernobyl

Solar power plant to open at site of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. €1m energy facility constructed metres from damaged reactor that spewed radioactive cloud across Europe. A solar energy plant will begin operating within weeks at the site of the Chernobyl disaster. The €1m (£889,000) facility, capable of powering a small town, has been built in Ukraine at ground zero of the worst nuclear accident in history. The one-megawatt plant, fitted with 3,800 photovoltaic panels across an area the size of two football pitches, sits just 100 metres from the gargantuan steel “sarcophagus” that was placed over Chernobyl’s damaged reactor two years ago to lock in remaining fallout.

Independent 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Oil Price 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Alphr 15th Jan 2018 read more »

IB Times 16th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia plans to prequalify for bidding firms from two or three countries by April or May for the first nuclear reactors it wants to build, a consultant for the government body working on the nuclear plans said on Monday.

Reuters 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

China

If there is to be an effective response to climate change, it will probably emanate from China. The geopolitical motivations are clear. Renewable energy is increasingly inevitable, and those that dominate the markets in these new technologies will likely have the most influence over the development patterns of the future. As other major powers find themselves in climate denial or atrophy, China may well boost its power and status by becoming the global energy leader of tomorrow. President Xi Jinping has been vocal on the issue. He has already called for an “ecological civilization”. The state’s “green shift” supports this claim by striving to transition to alternative energies and become more energy efficient. But there are material benefits as well. China’s proactive response has impacted on global energy markets. Today, five of the world’s six top solar-module manufacturers, five of the largest wind turbine manufacturers, and six of the ten major car manufacturers committed to electrification are all Chinese-owned. Meanwhile, China is dominant in the lithium sector – think: batteries, electric vehicles and so on – and a global leader in smart grid investment and other renewable energy technologies.

The Conversation 12th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Hydrogen

Eco-friendly hydrogen trains could be introduced on to one of Britain’s busiest rail networks under plans to phase out dirty diesel engines. The government said that the technology should be considered on the Great Western network between London and the West Country. The Department for Transport indicated that hydrogen could be used as an alternative power supply on smaller branch lines that will never be electrified. Ministers are believed to be keen on hydrogen trains as a cheaper alternative to converting lines to electric power, which has proved to be hugely expensive. Alstom, the company behind the world’s only hydrogen-powered trains, has already been in talks with British operators about the technology. It recently signed a deal to build and operate 14 zero-emission hydrogen trains in Lower Saxony, German y. Trials on the line are expected to take place from this spring and it is expected that passengers will be carried from December 2021. The Coradia iLint train can cover up to 620 miles at a time and reach a maximum speed of 87mph.

Times 16th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018

Heat Networks

District heating warms cities without fossil fuels. Many cities which endure cold winters are adapting district heating schemes to keep people warm without the use of fossil fuels. As a way of providing warmth for thousands of homes, typically in multi-storey apartment buildings, district heating has a long history in eastern Europe and Russia. But the hot water it distributes typically comes from power stations burning coal or gas, which means more greenhouse gas emissions. Tapping into other forms of producing hot water, from renewable energy, bio-gas or capturing waste heat from industrial production, supermarkets or IT systems, provides alternative sources of large scale heating without adding to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Sweden has pioneered the switch from fossil fuels to other ways of heating water. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency says the country has gone from almost exclusively relying on fossil fuels to being 90% powered by renewable and recycled heat in 2017. Today Stockholm, the capital, which needs heating for nine months of the year, contains 2,800 km of underground pipes connecting to more than 10,000 buildings, says Erik Rylander from Fortum, an energy company active in Nordic and Baltic countries. “As long as you have a water-based heating circuit in your building (which basically all bigger buildings in Sweden have), the connection is easy,” he explains. “A heat exchanger is placed in the basement which connects the district heating system to the building’s heating system.” The system uses biofuels – wood chips, wood pellets and bio-oil – as well as household waste and recovered heat from the city’s data centres and industries. It also draws energy from the sea using large heat pumps, Rylander said. Further south in Spain, where heating is mostly required only in the winter months, winning public acceptance for the need to install district systems has been more difficult. The involvement of citizens is a key issue for smart city initiatives, said José Ramón Martín-Sanz García, energy efficiency engineer at Veolia, a partner in a Spanish project near Valladolid. “One of the biggest challenges was convincing homeowners that it was necessary. It required a communication plan,” he said. About 31 buildings, a total of 1,488 dwellings with more than 4,000 residents, have been retrofitted since 2014 to decrease buildings’ energy demands by 40%. While many district heating schemes are quite large-scale others can be much smaller, using waste heat from one building to heat another nearby. The strategy is that heat will be supplied from local sources of waste heat such as retail outlets, buildings and IT server rooms, as well as from renewable sources such as solar power and heat pumps – and often in combination with thermal storage.

Climate News Network 15th Jan 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 January 2018