Dounreay

An emergency exercise will take place at Dounreay on the morning of Thursday 17 January. The site alert will be sounded to initiate the exercise. This notice is to inform the public not to take any action on hearing the alarm.

Dounreay 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Hinkley

Gwent businesses have the opportunity to find out more about work available at Hinkley Point C at an event in Newport next week. The Introduction to Hinkley Point C event is being held at Malpas Court on Wendesday, January 16 from 9am to 12.30pm. The nuclear power station project will require construction civil, mechanical and electrical capabilities and Gwent businesses can attend the Newport event to find out more about what is on offer and how they can apply to tender for the work.

Free Press Series 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Hunterston

EDF Energy ‘excluded’ from Hunterston B parliament briefing. EDF Energy has claimed that it was “excluded” from a Scottish Parliament meeting today on the future of its Hunterston nuclear power facility.

Energy Voice 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Energy Policy

Dave Elliott: Set up in 2007, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) brings together researchers at Loughborough, Nottingham and Birmingham universities and elsewhere to look at system-level energy issues in a £400m UK industry–government partnership. That scheme finishes at the end of this year. So, although we will no doubt hear more from the ETI in its last year, and from the various Catapult groups that have emerged, the Institute has brought together some of its conclusions into something of an early “goodbye” overview of the various options. The report is based on the ETI’s Clockwork and Patchwork scenarios, now revised since their original publication three years ago, for example taking account of the downward trends in energy service demand, which the ETI says “tend to make carbon targets easier to meet”. The high-level conclusion is that “a balanced, multi-vector approach can deliver an affordable, low carbon UK energy transition, with costs rising to around 1% of GDP by 2050”. But it says “without certain key technologies, meeting carbon targets would be much harder, jeopardizing industry and severely limiting lifestyle choices”. Although it warns that, given the potential for innovation across a range of technologies, “we cannot be prescriptive about the precise mix over a 30-year period”, it does push some ideas forward, and adopts quite a challenging approach. For example, the ETI notes that “sustainably grown biomass has the potential to become a critical resource for the UK energy system”, since it can be burned directly for heat and power, or converted into low-carbon gases and liquid fuels to decarbonize hard-to-treat sectors. That’s not a popular view, given the land-use constraints and biodiversity issues. It’s more usual these days to look to farm, food and municipal bio-wastes as a bio-energy source. The ETI also says that “carbon capture and storage (CCS) offers a versatile solution with applications across power, industry and hydrogen production”, arguing that “without CCS, UK carbon abatement costs could be double by 2050”. Given the low state of CCS work at present that’s also provocative.

Physics World 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Utilities

Energy regulator Ofgem is to tighten up the rules for new suppliers of gas and electricity after nine new entrants ceased trading. The latest to collapse was Economy Energy, which ceased trading on Tuesday. Ofgem is looking for a new supplier for its 235,000 customers. Mary Starks, Ofgem’s executive director for consumers and markets, told the BBC that there was “room for improvement” in the licensing regime. She also defended the new price cap. This caps prices at £1,137 a year for an average dual-fuel customer who pays by direct debit. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Starks said that new suppliers were subject to rigorous background checks and subject to financial requirements.

BBC 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Cumbria

Network Rail is investing the cash to replace 5,000 yards of ageing track between Silecroft and Bootle in West Cumbria to provide smoother, faster and more reliable journeys for passengers. This means that over the next six Sundays, buses will replace trains between Whitehaven and Millom while the railway is closed for the work. Eight mid-week nights, when trains aren’t running, will also be used to complete the upgrade.

Times and Star 3rd Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

AP1000

Unit 2 of the Haiyang nuclear power plant in China’s Shandong province has completed 168 hours of full-power continuous operation and is now deemed to be in commercial operation. It becomes the fourth AP1000 unit in China to reach the milestone.

World Nuclear News 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Fukushima

A nuclear physicist who has drawn attention for tweeting about fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has admitted that he and a colleague underestimated radiation doses in an article for an international scientific journal. Ryugo Hayano, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, said the error, which he recognized on Jan. 8, was “unintentional.” The article, carried in the Journal of Radiological Protection’s online edition in July 2017, listed average radiation doses that were one-third of the actual levels for people in Date, a city around 60 kilometers northwest of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, he said. Hayano’s admission came after an atomic nucleus expert contacted the journal last year to point out unnatural data carried in the report and call for a correction. The radiation doses in the article were based on figures kept by Date residents after the nuclear accident unfolded in March 2011.

Asahi Shimbin 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Fusion

A UK-based nuclear-fusion facility that is largely funded by the European Union has secured a temporary extension to its contract that will allow it to run until 28 March — the day before Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union. The Joint European Torus (JET) near Oxford, UK, is testing technologies for the world’s largest nuclear-fusion experiment, ITER, which is being built in southern France.

Nature 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

US

Trump administration wants to reclassify leaking nuclear waste to avoid cleaning it up, say officials. ‘This is unacceptable, and we will not stand by while this administration plans to abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess’. Donald Trump’s administration has been accused of trying to downplay the danger of nuclear waste so it can “abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess”. A federal government plan to reclassify this waste as less dangerous has been fiercely criticised by officials in Washington state, who said the move would allow it to walk away from its responsibility to clean up millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive material.

Independent 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Last year the Trump administration’s Energy Department announced the launch of a media campaign to counter what an official called “misinformation” about nuclear power. We haven’t noticed an upsurge in pro-nuclear news—because there is none to report. On the first day of 2019, the energy industry trade journal Power asked whether new technology can save nuclear power by making new reactors economically feasible—not only to replace coal and natural gas but also to compete with the rapidly dropping cost of renewable energy. The verdict from Peter Bradford, a former member of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission: [N]ew nuclear is so far outside the competitive range. . . . Not only can nuclear power not stop global warming, it is probably not even an essential part of the solution to global warming. His bleak outlook is shared by the authors of a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors—an engineer, an economist and a national security analyst—reviewed the prospects for so-called advanced designs for large nuclear reactors, and for much smaller modular reactors that could avoid the billions in construction costs and overruns that have plagued the nuclear energy industry since the beginning. They concluded that no new designs can possibly reach the market before the middle of the century. They cite the breeder reactor that, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, received $100 billion in public development funds worldwide over six decades and still did not get off the ground.

Ecowatch 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Nuclear: end of game for American MOX plant in Orano. The project, which was born under an agreement between the United States and Russia, has already cost more than $ 7 billion.

A painful start to the year for employees at the MOX fuel plant yard in the United States. Some 600 people (one third of the workforce) have started to leave the joint venture, which is 30% owned by the French group Orano (formerly Areva) and 70% by the American CB & I, after the notification, by the US administration in October, the end of the project.

Les Echos 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019