Hunterston

A project to drain around a million gallons of water and remove over 10 tonnes of redundant equipment from the largest used fuel storage pond in the Magnox fleet has been completed. Finishing the complex work to empty and decontaminate the former used nuclear fuel storage pond at Magnox’s Hunterston A Site, which is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has seen one of the site’s highest hazards removed. The project has overcome several unique decommissioning challenges including the removal of radioactive sludge and fixed equipment on the pond floor under around nine meters of water. The team at Hunterston A pioneered several innovative decommissioning approaches such as decontamination of the pond walls using ultra-high pressure water jetting and ‘concrete shaving’ on some of the surfaces.

Magnox Sites 26th Sept 2018 read more »

Where do you think that million gallons of water and all that jetwashing water ended up ?

Radiation Free Lakeland 29th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 September 2018

Energy Policy

For the green movement, there was a lot to be pleased with. Clean growth and a focus on sustainability was a main strand of Corbyn’s speech but, oddly, these were not the most impressive environmental announcements during the week. While the creation of 400,000 skilled jobs in green industries, a target of 85 per cent renewable electricity within 12 years of coming to power, and a plan to make every house in the UK more energy efficient, were to be welcomed, more ambitious policies could be found elsewhere. On Monday, Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, announced an ambition for the UK to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions within 30 years. Along with a letter to the prime minister last month from over 130 MPs from all parties, this announcement placed net zero right at the heart of the political mainstream and laid the groundwork for the UK to continue its proud history of world leading climate action. More importantly, it was accompanied by solid policy proposals (repeated two days later in the leader’s speech) that would allow the UK to deliver in the short term and start on the road to net zero now. At the Greener UK event on Sunday, Sue Hayman, shadow secretary for environment, food and rural affairs, promoted The green transformation, a joint report by her and the shadow business secretary that identified the environment as the bedrock of the economy. The need for environment and climate not to be addressed solely by their respective departments, but to be central to government thinking as a whole, was highlighted by two policies in particular: a mandate on the Office for Budget Responsibility to model the impacts on the public finances from climate change; and a National Transformation Fund that would invest £250 billion over ten years to place the economy on a low carbon, sustainable footing.

Green Alliance Blog 28th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 September 2018

Fukushima

In the years since the initial disaster there have been disparities between the official radiation exposure estimates and the subsequent health problems in Japan. In some cases the estimates were based on faulty or limited early data. Where a better understanding of the exposure levels is known there still remained an anomaly in some of the health problems vs. the exposure dose. Rapid onset cancers also caused concern. The missing piece of the puzzle may be insoluble microparticles from the damaged reactors.

Simply Info 7th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 September 2018

US

Not many people can name the plant that their electricity comes from. But in Jefferson, at a gathering sponsored by Jackson EMC, plenty of customers were familiar with the trials and tribulations of expanding Plant Vogtle. Among the people who gather annually for chicken dinners, gospel music and raffle drawings put on by the electric cooperative, there are worries about the mounting headaches 130 miles away. Plant Vogtle — the only nuclear power plant under construction in the United States — keeps ending up in the news because of its ever escalating pricetag. And those soaring costs are likely to end up in the monthly bills of customers of Jackson EMC and most other Georgia utilities, which are on the hook to pay for the project.

Atlanta Journal Constitution 28th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 September 2018

Israel

Last week, Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission chief Zeev Snir said that the country has taken extra measures lately to secure the Dimona site from foreign missile and other threats. But he did not say a word about the fact that the reactor may not last past 2023 due to its own internal limitations. According to foreign sources, the material for the 80 to several hundred nuclear weapons that Israel possesses was produced in Dimona; if the nuclear reactor was no longer operational, the country could no longer produce new plutonium for new weapons. Dimona’s nuclear reactor was originally built to last only 40 years, until 2003.

Jerusalem Post 29th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 September 2018

France

Narbonne: the barrel that exploded on the Orano nuclear site comes from a military activity. More than a week after the accident that occurred on 19 September on the Malvési nuclear site at the Orano plant, the veil is gradually rising. On the occasion of the meeting of the Discharge Observatory held on Thursday, the factory officials responded, in a precise and detailed manner, to the questions asked by the environmental protection association Eccla presents around the table as well as elected officials, and representatives of the prefecture, sub-prefecture and Dreal. The bursting MUR drum (explosive uranium material) is part of a set of 221 drums that are divided into ten batches of different sizes. They arrived on the Narbonne site in the late 1980s from a company related to military activities. They have been stored on site for all these years. It is only recently that the company, which is gradually cleaning the site, has launched their inspection to determine their future.

L’independent 28th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 September 2018

Saudi Arabia

If there wasn’t already enough geopolitical tension in the Middle East, particularly as arch rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to square off on opposing sides in the Syrian Civil War, fighting in Yemen, and other issues, competition to be the region’s first nuclear power could also soon be underway. On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia put the U.S. on its shortlist of potential partners competing to build nuclear-power plants, while the country continues to negotiate with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on how to strike such a deal without spreading nuclear weapons. Perry said that working on non-proliferation would remain a challenge. In fact, talks are stalling over what Reuters said was the kingdom’s desire to relax nonproliferation standards and potentially allow the country to enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium. Moreover, these are technologies that non-proliferation experts claim could be covertly altered to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. It’s the same argument we have heard for years over Iran’s nuclear development ambitions, a poignant worry considering the geopolitical problems in the Middle East.

Oil Price 29th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 September 2018

Radwaste

The National Trust and 18 other conservation groups have urged ministers to rule out burying nuclear waste below national parks as fears grow that the Lake District is being eyed as a potential site. In January, the government restarted its attempt to find a community willing to host such a facility, after a previous search collapsed five years ago. Ministers have refused to exclude national parks from the process. The green groups argued putting a nuclear dump under a national park would threaten the £6bn spent by millions of visitors. “We recognise that safe disposal of nuclear waste is one of the key challenges our society currently faces, but this should not be used as an excuse to put at risk the huge range of benefits these areas deliver for society, the environment and the economy,” the groups said in an open letter to the nuclear energy minister, Richard Harrington. The Lake District national park is seen as a potential location for the underground facility given Cumbria’s nuclear history and proximity to Sellafield, where most of the UK’s nuclear waste is currently stored. The groups, which include the Woodland Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said Harrington risked undermining “long-established protections” afforded to national parks by comparing the prospect of a deep nuclear waste facility to a potash mine in North Yorkshire. Roy Payne, the executive director of GDF Watch, which is monitoring the siting process, said even if parks were not ruled out, the chance of the facility being built beneath one was “close to zero”, given local communities had the final say.

Guardian 28th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 29 September 2018

Wylfa

The new nuclear plant being planned in Anglesey will be “considerably cheaper” than Hinkley if it is developed, the project’s director has said.

Utility Week 28th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 29 September 2018

Hinkley

EDF Energy has awarded Serco a contract to provide fire and rescue services during the construction phase of Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station. The contract, starting on 1 October, has a total value of £6.5 million over six years. As a result of the contract award, Serco sees the opportunity to create apprenticeships, which will benefit local employment and it will use this model to recruit new firefighters through the contract duration.

FM World 28th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 29 September 2018