Hinkley

Government ‘dozing at wheel’ over UK nuclear power plans. Irish Government and public urged to comment on Hinkley facility before April 17th. The UK’s nuclear power expansion programme, including the building of the Hinkley Point C facility in Somerset, poses an unacceptable risk to the island of Ireland, according to an alliance of political parties and environmental groups. Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan said the Government “has been dozing at the wheel… and essentially failed the Irish people because we have not had timely opportunity to be consulted” about Hinkley, which is located less than 250km from south east Ireland. Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, she said the UK government was found to have failed to consult neighbouring states under the UN Espoo Convention. After a five-year legal battle, in which Irish environmental groups – An Taisce, Friends of the Irish Environment and the Environmental Pillar – fought to uphold the rights of the Irish public, “a long overdue consultation” began on February 20th. “People can make their submissions to their relevant local authority. We strongly encourage them to do so before April 17th.”

Irish Times 29th March 2018 read more »

EDF is making good progress with its supply chain management at Hinkley C, but there are still some areas that require improvement, according to the leading nuclear watchdog. The Office for Nuclear Regulation ONR recently carried out an inspection of supply chain arrangements after records had found to be falsified at one of the project’s key suppliers – Areva’s Creusot Forge in France, now known as Framatome. The regulator found good progress had been made, with improvements in some area of the supply chain management by the nuclear site licensee NNB GenCo. However the ONR identified five key areas where ‘further improvements are required’ ahead of the planned acceleration of construction and manufacturing at the Somerset site. ONR has rated the overall inspection finding as ‘amber’. This means that some arrangements are below standard and ONR is seeking improvements against a number of Regulatory Issues.

Somerset County Gazette 30th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

New Nuclear

Building Nuclear On Time and On Budget: It Is Possible, and Essential. Large capital projects are hard. They require a huge amount of planning, the logistics are often staggering and depend upon many contractors and suppliers, all who must perform completely in step for everything to come together as planned. The project manager is like the conductor of a large orchestra and as good as all the musicians may be – it only takes one misstep to ruin a beautiful piece of music. Strong leadership and good people are the key. Nuclear projects are often criticized for being delivered well over cost and schedule. Examples abound. Currently we have the Olkiluoto plant in Finland, the Vogtle plant in Georgia and the Flamanville plant in France all running late and over budget while Watts Bar 2, the first unit to enter service in the USA in 20 years was also recently completed well over its original budget. On the other hand, many plants being built in China and Korea are on time and on budget and even the first new plant in a new nuclear country in a long time, Barakah in the UAE, was built on time and on budget, although there are now some delays in the first unit entering into operations.

Energy Collective 29th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

Nuclear Weapons Transport

A nuclear weapons convoy left AWE Burghfield on Thursday March 22. It was later seen on the A1 at junction 49 near Dishforth (15 miles north of Wetherby). The following day it was spotted crossing over to the west on the A66 and then on the M74 just south of Lesmahagow. It then continued around the east of Glasgow on the M73 and past Cumbernauld on the M80 to take a break at DSG Stirling mid-afternoon. It then took the M9, A811 and A82 to RNAD Coulport. On Monday March 26 this convoy left Coulport to return south. Taking a route through Balloch and Stirling then onto the M9 and M8 to the Edinburgh bypass it then took a break at Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik. After continuing south on the A1 passing Berwick on Tweed it passed through Newcastle and after an overnight stop it then continued down the A1. It crossed country to the A34 travelling around Oxford and getting back to Burghfield around 5pm.

Nukewatch 29th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

Energy Supplies

Wind and solar overtake nuclear as source of UK electricity for first time ever. More UK electricity was produced by wind and solar sources last year than by nuclear power stations, for the first time according to the latest government figures. Renewables’ share of electricity generation shot up to 29 per cent, while nuclear sources accounted for around 21 per cent. The increase means low carbon energy sources – which include both renewables and nuclear – now account for over half of all electricity generated.

Independent 30th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

Energy Policy

The Climate Change Act: 10 years on: Claire Perry, MP, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry is looking forward to the next 10 years of action. The groundwork may be laid, but we know that alongside the vast opportunity of clean growth, there are challenges ahead. The transition to a low carbon economy will define the UK’s economy for the next century and I’m confident that with the help of the Climate Change Act, we will continue to lead the charge towards a low carbon future.

Business Green 30th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

Fukushima

The decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear power plant will cost an annual US$2 billion (220 billion yen) until 2021, an unnamed source told the Japan Times. Half of the money will be used to tackle the radioactive water buildup at the site of the plant and for removing radioactive fuel from the fuel pools. A small amount of funds will be used to research ways of retreating melted fuel from the reactors that got damaged during the 2011 tsunami disaster. The US$6 billion for the three years is only part of the total estimated cost for taking Fukushima out of operation. The total decommissioning tally came in at US$75 billion (8 trillion yen), as estimated by the specially set up Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp (NDF). That’s four times more than the initial estimate of the costs around the NPP’s decommissioning. Now the operator of Fukushima, Tepco, and the NDF are due to submit their financial plan for the facility to the government for approval by the energy industry minister. In addition to the US$6 billion allocated for the cleanup, Tepco will spend another US$1.88 billion (200 billion yen) on preparing to start extracting the melted fuel from the three damaged reactors. This seems to be the biggest challenge for the cleanup efforts because of the still high radiation levels as well as technical difficulties.

Oil Price 30th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

Japan

Kyushu Electric Power Co. stopped generating electricity at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture on Saturday after a steam leak was detected in a reactor the previous day. The utility said that no radiation leaked and that it will inspect the reactor, which resumed operation just a week ago. According to Kyushu Electric, at around 7 p.m. Friday staff discovered steam leaking from the pipe of a device used to remove oxygen and other dissolved gases from feedwater used in steam generators. Reactor 3 resumed operation on March 23 after being offline for over seven years amid concerns about how to evacuate residents near the plant in a serious accident. It resumed power generation two days later.

Japan Times 31st March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

US

Citing “market challenges,” electric utility FirstEnergy says it will close three nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, while at the same time asking the Department of Energy for immediate help to keep its fleet of coal and nuclear plants open. The company, which could be near bankruptcy according to a report at cleveland.com, gave regional grid operator PJM interconnection notice that it will deactivate Beaver Valley Power Station and two other plants — Davis-Besse in Oak Harber, Ohio, and Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio — by 2021. The company says 2,300 employees would be impacted by the closures; most would be laid off, a spokesman said. The plants produce 4,000 megawatts of power, enough electricity to power about 4 million homes.

State Impact 29th March 2018 read more »

Washington Post 29th March 2018 read more »

Sixty years ago, nuclear power was the energy of the future, promising a nearly limitless supply of clean, cheaper power. That future has yet to arrive. In fact, today, utilities are increasingly transitioning out of nuclear generation, shuttering aging reactors and shelving plans to reinvest in new technology. This is more than just a shift from one fuel to another, says David Gattie, an associate professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia. The decline in interest in nuclear energy has significant impacts on America’s national security. “Nuclear energy is a unique resource because of its unmatched energy density and dual-purpose utility for electric power generation and nuclear weaponry,” Gattie writes in a recently published paper. “Triple-purpose if applications in medicine are included. However, the U.S. made critical policy decisions in the past that have carried forward and compromised America’s capacity to advance in the civilian nuclear power space.” Although American scientists began the atomic age, more recently, research and development in nuclear technology, including civilian nuclear, has decreased to a level that threatens American primacy and, by extension, national security.

Inside Sources 29th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

Poland

Krzysztof Tchórzewski, Poland’s Minister of Energy, has said that he wants a decision on the construction of a nuclear power plant to be taken as quickly as possible. His statement comes as the Polish energy industry is beginning to feel the pressure of the country’s race against time to reduce its CO2 emissions. “We need to decide on investment in nuclear energy. All our analyses show that we must go in this direction,” Mr Tchórzewski said during a debate at the Welconomy Forum in Toruń. The minister’s statement demonstrates that the government is aware of the need to accelerate its decision making. In January, Mr Tchórzewski had announced that a decision on nuclear energy would not be made until the middle of the year.

Emerging Europe 30th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018

Belgium

The federal government, meeting in a restricted Council of Ministers, has reached an agreement on the energy pact. Charles Michel confirms the exit of the nuclear power in 2025 and announces a bill allowing new production capacities. New areas will be defined for wind farm construction.

Le Soir 30th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 March 2018