Renewables – solar

Schools could miss out on £1.5bn in savings if the Government pushes ahead with plans to scrap solar power tariffs, research compiled for The Daily Telegraph has revealed. The Government late last month confirmed those installing solar panels would no longer be paid for generating solar power or for exporting any excess electricity they generate back to the grid, as they currently are. It said it would be ending the generation tariff and the export tariff from next April, both of which are part of the feed-in tariffs scheme.

Telegraph 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 12 January 2019

Fossil Fuels

A legal challenge against fracking firm Cuadrilla’s environmental permit to drill for shale gas in Lancashire has been rejected by the High Court. Environmental charity Friends of the Earth said the Environment Agency (EA) had failed in its duty to promote the “best available techniques” to reduce the impact of controversial gas extraction at the Preston New Road site. It argued the permit granted to the oil and gas exploration and production company was not based on sufficient evidence that it would effectively deal with contaminated waste fluid.

Independent 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 12 January 2019

Wylfa

Hitachi to suspend all work on UK nuclear plant. Funding deadlock looks set to sink Japan’s last overseas nuclear project. Hitachi plans to put a U.K. nuclear power project on hold as negotiations with the British government over funding hit an impasse, all but closing the book on Tokyo’s vision for nuclear infrastructure exports. The Japanese industrial conglomerate’s board is expected to officially decide next week to suspend all work on the plant, including design and preparations for construction. Hitachi will freeze the roughly 300 billion yen ($2.77 billion) in assets held by its British nuclear business and write down their value, likely booking a loss of 200 billion yen to 300 billion yen for the fiscal year ending in March. The move would bring to a halt Japan’s last active overseas nuclear project after the news last month that a Japanese-led consortium including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was scrapping a project in Turkey. With the aversion to nuclear power that took hold after the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster showing little sign of abating, prospects look grim for a sector that the Japanese government had positioned as a pillar of its infrastructure export drive. Hitachi had taken on the planned construction of two reactors on the Welsh island of Anglesey after acquiring U.K.-based Horizon Nuclear Power in 2012. The company is leaving the door open to a return. The project is “not being abandoned,” a source close to Hitachi told Nikkei, suggesting the company would keep an eye on the situation and resume the project if possible. While negotiations with London are apparently set to continue, reworking the project to the extent Hitachi requires will be no easy task. As things stand now, it appears likely that the company will ultimately be forced to bow out.

Nikkei Asian Review 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Reuters 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Hitachi said “no formal decision” has been made over the future of a UK nuclear plant following a report it would halt construction. The Nikkei Asian Review reported the firm’s board would be likely to decide to suspend all work on the Wylfa Newydd plant next week. Shares in the Japanese company jumped 8% after the report. In December, the firm said it would do its utmost to ensure the nuclear power facility went ahead. It followed mounting speculation that Hitachi was considering scrapping the project due to potential increases in construction costs. On Friday, the firm said suspension of the project remained an option. “No formal decision has been made in this regard currently, while Hitachi has been assessing the Horizon Project including its potential suspension and related financial impacts in terms of economic rationality as a private company,” it said in a statement.

BBC 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Following a report halting construction, Hitachi has revealed “no formal decision” has been made on the future of a UK nuclear power plant. The Nikkei Asian Review reported Hitachi’s firm’s board would be likely to decide to suspend all work on the Wylfa Newydd plant next week (commencing January 14). Shares in the Japanese company jumped eight per cent following the report. In December, Hitachi was adamant the plant’s construction would go ahead. However, the firm has recently said suspension of the project is still an option.

Bdaily 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Japan is struggling to find viable foreign buyers for its reactor technology in an expensive and competitive global nuclear market. Only half a dozen nations currently have credible nuclear export capabilities. And besides Japan, the true export potential of at least two — the U.S. and France — is in doubt. A recent report in the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun said a government strategy to export nuclear power technology had “run aground amid rising safety costs and deteriorating prospects for project profitability.” Proposed projects in Turkey and the United Kingdom had both hit roadblocks, the Mainichi Shimbun noted. The report cited an expert who predicted Japan might have to import Chinese-made reactors within a couple of decades.

Green Tech Media 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

Radwaste

Cumbria Trust welcomed the 2014 decision to conduct a national geological screening exercise – something which we had been pressing for since our formation a year earlier. At the time it was one of the few positive signs in the 2014 White Paper that DECC had learned lessons from the failure of the MRWS process and was beginning to listen to opinions other than its own. MRWS had illustrated the need for a new approach, since the only area to volunteer was West Cumbria (Allerdale and Copeland), despite the area previously been investigated at great expense and ruled unsuitable. MRWS conducted a geological screening exercise, limited to West Cumbria, as stage 2 of the process. Unfortunately the way this screening exercise was conducted was an example of the dishonesty and lack of transparency which blighted much of the MRWS process. A draft screening report was finalised in July 2010 by the British Geological Survey (BGS). However, it reached a conclusion which was a long way from DECC’s desired outcome, in that it effectively ruled out those parts of the borough of Allerdale which were outside of the National Park. The logical consequence of this, assuming that Allerdale wouldn’t support a GDF within the Lake District, would be for Allerdale to withdraw from the process, leaving only Copeland. Rather than accept and publish this report as planned, a decision was taken behind closed doors to ask the BGS to amend the screening report to produce a version which suited DECC’s plan. This was politics taking precedence over science. Three months later, in October 2010, a new version of the screening report was published, and this time an area of northern Allerdale close to Silloth, large enough for a GDF, was no longer excluded. The draft version was suppressed and all requests to see the draft report were refused. Fortunately, someone within the BGS decided that they could not go along with this behaviour, and leaked the draft report, which is how we discovered the scale of the manipulation which had taken place.

Cumbria Trust 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

Hunterson

Powerpoint presentations delivered in the Scottish Parliament on 9th Jan by Ian Fairlie and Pete Roche

NFLA 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Briefing on Hunterston jobs and just transition, by Pete Roche.

NFLA 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Hunterston safety briefing by Dr Ian fairlie.

NFLA 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

Sellafield

Allerdale council is behind plans to build a new shared stadium for Workington Reds and Workington Town on the site of the current Borough Park and former dog track, Lonsdale Park, in Workington. And now the authority has revealed that it is in talks with Sellafield Ltd, after the company expressed an interest in becoming a partner. A report which will be discussed by Allerdale’s executive committee on Wednesday said the authority initially wanted to submit a planning application in December 2018, however after Sellafield’s expression of interest in November, plans had to be redrawn.

In Cumbria 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

Energy Costs

A potentially “significant” increase to the energy price cap is likely to be announced within weeks despite the recent drop in wholesale costs, the regulator has confirmed. The cap came into effect on January 1 and forced big suppliers to cut prices for 11 million households on standard tariffs by an average of £76 a year. Ofgem is due to announce early next month how it will adjust the cap from April to reflect changes in the costs of supplying gas and electricity. Although wholesale prices have fallen sharply over the past few months, Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, confirmed that the way the cap was calculated meant an increase was still on the cards. “Wholesale costs have risen significantly over the past year. As a result it is likely that we will announce an increase, and potentially a significant one, in the level of the cap,” he said.

Times 11th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

Utilities

The energy industry regulator has admitted that there are too many unsustainable energy suppliers providing gas and electricity to British homes after it encouraged a stampede of start-ups into the market. The chairman of Ofgem, Martin Cave, said customers had faced a string of energy company failures, “unacceptable” pricing tactics and “shoddy customer service” as the market has grown to more than 80 suppliers. The “downsides” of the market’s growth meant that “arguably too many suppliers have come into the market with unsustainable business models”, he told an industry conference. It is the first time Ofgem has admitted that it has allowed too many financially shaky companies to take charge of providing an essential service to customers. It comes after four suppliers collapsed in as many months, leaving more than 700,000 homes in limbo while the regulator appoints a new supplier.

Telegraph 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

France

Creusot: 5 EDF reactors still without ASN green light. Five nuclear reactors are still waiting for an operating license from the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) as part of the investigation of the manufacturing records of the Creusot plant, while the other 53 have already received fire green, said Wednesday to Montel his spokesman. “We are still waiting for elements of answers from EDF,” she said to explain the delay of the investigation which was to end on December 31, 2018. The five reactors concerned are Cattenom 4 (1,300 MW ), Fessenheim 1 (880 MW), Flamanville 2 (1,330 MW), Golfech 1 (1,310 MW) and Tricastin 2 (915 MW). All five reactors will be shut down for maintenance in the coming weeks, as follows: Cattenom 4 (January 19th to April 11th), Fessenheim 1 (January 19th to March 20th), Flamanville 2 (January 10th to July 10), Golfech 1 (February 16 to March 23) and Tricastin 2 (January 26 to April 1). The reactors will not be able to restart without prior approval from ASN.

Montel 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Gravelines The nuclear power plant “can potentially accommodate two EPR” While EDF has just unveiled the balance sheet of the site for the year 2018, the Gravelines power station is preparing to live on other sites in 2019, including the work of a protective dyke around the site. As for the construction of an EPR, the state will give its decision only in 2021.

La Voix du Nord 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

Russia

Russian nuclear officials say they have taken a Soviet-built nuclear reactor have out of operation after 45 years of service, in what is only the third project to decommission a civilian reactor that Moscow has undertaken. The state-controlled Rosatom corporation reported shortly before Christmas that Reactor No 1 at the Leningrad nuclear power plant has been shut down as planned and said its uranium fuel would take until 2023 to fully unload. The power station’s energy production will eventually be replaced by reactors at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant II, which is currently under construction alongside the first in the town of Sosnovy Bor, 70 kilometers west of St Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland.

Bellona 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019