New Nuclear

There is a very broad National consensus about what we want our energy policy to do, what the goal of British Energy Policy should be. It should be affordable, it should be secure and it should be low-carbon, in delivering the service that people want. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t agree that that trilemma is what we are trying to do. And there is no doubt at all that it can be delivered in the UK, in a way that does not involve nuclear power, and if we were to do that it would be cheaper and more secure than doing it in the way that we are currently trying to do it. We don’t have a problem with technology, we actually have more technology than we can begin to use, and we certainly don’t have a problem with the economics of using low-carbon technologies, or a variety of low-carbon technologies. All the problems we have with getting to the goal, are political problems. They are problems about getting the politics right, not about getting the technologies or the economics right. As we look at that project in the context of what’s going on in the world, as we look around at what is happening in the world, it is very clear that all over the world we are now engaged in a transition, in the so-called energy transition, as we move to a low-carbon economy to make sure that climate change doesn’t destroy civilisation. And as we make that transition, we must make sure that it is a “just transition”. It’s not just as shift of technology it is also a shift of people’s livelihoods and communities, and we must take those communities and those livelihood with us as we make that transition.

Tom Burke’s Blog 16th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

US

SCE&G customers have already paid $1.4 billion for the SCANA nuclear power plants boondoggle. That comes out to an average of $2,000 paid by each of the 700,000 customers from the nine rate hikes to date. With $27 of the average person’s power bill going to the now-abandoned project, if SCE&G does not change this rate, that will cost the average customer an additional $19,440 over the next 60 years — giving SCE&G a total of $13.6 billion to recover the balance of $4.9 billion it spent on the failed project. For the total of $21,440 that customers would pay on average for this abandoned project, they could have purchased solar panels, thereby reducing power consumption and obviating a need for increased generating capacity while lowering their utility bills considerably.

The State 19th Aug 2017 read more »

A rare eclipse set to traverse the US on Monday has sparked a tourism bonanza, as people flock to towns in its path to see the sun’s corona encircle the moon. The control rooms of the nation’s electric utilities will also be watching. That is because thousands of megawatts of solar energy will disappear as skies darken. In California, the grid operator is lining up additional supply from natural gas power plants and hydroelectric dams to accommodate the drop. PJM Interconnection, the grid spanning from Illinois to New Jersey, expects up to 2,500MW of solar power to be lost and will rely on replacement generation.

FT 19th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

France

On Friday, French president Emmanuel Macron received a letter from 45 activists, writers and academics spearheaded by eminent climate scientist James Hansen and Francois-Marie Breon, the lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment report, warning that closing nuclear power plants would be a big step backward for France. Contained in the letter was the comment: “For France, the next necessary step to help combat climate change and improve air quality is to increase clean electricity from all non-fossil sources and massively reduce fossil fuels used in heating and the transportation sector. Nuclear power must play a central role in this.”

Economic Calendar 18th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

Switzerland – radwaste

Switzerland’s Federal Inspectorate of Nuclear Safety (ENSI) said on 17 August 2017 that a planned intermediate storage facility for low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste (LILW) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) can be built and put into service, although conditions including higher seismic safety margins must be met. ENSI said the planned ‘Stapelplatz Ost’ building in Würenlingen, northern Switzerland, will be a low-risk facility that will be used until a deep geologic repository is available.

Nucnet 17th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

India

In Jaitapur, 6 EPR-design nuclear reactors imported from France, are being set up in brazen violation of safety, environmental and seismic regulatory norms besides being undemocratically imposed on the local communities whose lives and livelihoods depend on the fragile ecology that is threatened to be destroyed. The local communities, including farmers, fisherfolk, agro-traders, women and children have been opposing what would be world’s biggest nuclear power park – with a total capacity of 9,900MWs – if it comes through. Apart from grassroots opposition, negotiations on the cost of the reactors, liability in case of potential accidents and terminal crisis of French nuclear industry itself has slowed down the project which has been in offing since 2008. This Sunday, people in the area are going to stage massive ‘jail bharo’ protest against the nuclear project in their area. Speaking to DiaNuke.org, local activist Fakir Mohammad Solkar said that between 1500 to 2000 people are expected to participate in the protest and their primary demand is that the nuclear project must be entirely scrapped.

Dianuke.org 19th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

Weapons Convoys

Scotland is “wholly unprepared” to deal with an accident or an attack on the nuclear bomb convoys that regularly travel across the country, according to a new report. Local authorities are accused of breaching their legal duty to safeguard the public by failing to assess and warn of the dangers. Scottish Ministers are under fire for failing to make councils comply. Campaigners are demanding an urgent review of measures to protect people from radioactive contamination from convoy crashes. They say that an accident could spread plutonium and other toxic materials over miles. Anti-nuclear groups have previously attacked the UK government for failing to ensure the safety of nuclear weapons transports. But now they are targeting Scottish central and local government for not doing enough. According to the nuclear-free group of local authorities (NFLA), the report showed there was “confusion” over the response to convoy accidents. One problem was that councils weren’t informed of convoy movements, it argued. “There needs to be a wider rethink about such convoys and greater cooperation with all emergency responders, including councils, so that the risks to the public can be fully unpacked and considered,” said NFLA Scotland representative, Audrey Doig, an SNP councillor from Renfrewshire.

Herald 20th Aug 2017 http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15483954.No_safety_assessments_carried_out_for_nuclear_convoys_in_Scotland/

Posted: 20 August 2017

Nuclear Weapons

COUNCIL leaders are backing a call by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities devastated by US atomic bombs 72 years ago, to accelerate international moves for a nuclear ban. They are calling for the UK and other nations to renew their nuclear disarmament efforts in a bid to defuse growing fears of nuclear war in the wake of destabilising tensions between North Korea and the Trump administration. A conference of ‘Mayors for Peace’ in Nagasaki earlier this month passed a resolution urging countries to ratify a new United Nations (UN) treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons as soon as possible. The treaty has been agreed by 122 countries but opposed by nuclear weapons states, including the UK.

Herald 20th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

Renewables – Africa

The International Renewable Energy Agency says that Africa has the potential and the ability to utilise its renewable resources to fuel the majority of its future growth. It adds ‘doing so would be economically competitive with other solutions, would unlock economies of scale, and would offer substantial benefits in terms of equitable development, local value creation, energy security, and environmental sustainability’. Simply deploying solar PV locally, off grid, with panels put on individual homes, schools and the like, although helpful, is not enough to make more than a limited dent on problem of providing full access to energy. At present, 57% of Africa’s mostly rural population does not have access to electricity. Grids, including local mini grids, are also needed New cheaper power inputs also also needed- but they are on the way. A new assessment by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options in Africa and can contribute significantly to the rising demand, which could triple as African economies develop.

Environmental Research Web 19th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

CCS

The stench of tons of compressed waste is something you get used to. High above the warehouse floor, tightly packed bales of British rubbish are stacked and waiting to be burned, across the North Sea from the homes in Bristol and Birmingham that produced them. In a modern plant wedged between pine and granite on the edge of Oslo, Nordic power company Fortum is using British rubbish to generate electricity and warmth for a nearby district-heating project. This energy- from-waste plant alone incinerates 45 tons of rubbish at 850 degrees Celsius every hour. “It’s the smell of money,” laughs Pal Mikkelsen, the plant’s director. For years Norway has charged British cities to take their waste while creating a valuable source of heat and energy on the side. Now it has plans to create a third source of income from UK rubbish. Mikkelsen is eager to explain how the work being done at his plant could play a role in helping his country take Britain’s carbon emissions too. The Fortum plant is vying with other high-carbon industrial players to be part of a radical national programme to turn carbon capture into a new pan-European industry, with Norway in the driving seat.

Telegraph 19th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 August 2017

Bradwell

AN Essex based estate agent has been slammed by BANNG for a press release making light of the effects of nuclear fallout. eMoov, an online estate agent released an article called ‘Nuclear House Hunting – Option for Homebuyers Outside of a Nuclear Impact Zone’, which showed the property hotspots outside predicted blast zones if the UK’s 20 biggest cities were nuked. The estate agent said: “With tensions between the US and North Korea escalating, eMoov.co.uk has highlighted some options for home buyers that should (hopefully) keep them clear of any nuclear impact from World War Three.

Braintree & Witham Times 18th Aug 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 August 2017