Fukushima

Three former Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives are set to stand trial this week on the only criminal charges laid in connection to the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster, as thousands remain unable to return to their homes near the shuttered facility.

Japan Times 28th June 2017 read more »

Daily Mail 29th June 2017 read more »

Three former Tokyo Electric Power Company executives have denied responsibility for the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Energy Voice 30th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

US

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a number of energy initiatives, including a review of U.S. nuclear energy policy and efforts to make sure new coal plants are built overseas. The announcements came during a speech on achieving American “energy dominance.” The position is similar to previous administrations’ goals of achieving “energy independence,” dating back to the 1970s. President Barack Obama paved the way for Trump by lifting a 40-year ban on exporting U.S. crude oil and by approving about two dozen liquefied natural gas export licenses. On Thursday, Trump said his administration will attempt to expand the nuclear energy sector by launching a “complete review” of current policy to identify ways to revive the industry.

CNBC 29th June 2017 read more »

President Donald Trump has a plan to help the aging fleet of U.S. nuclear reactors estimated to be losing nearly $3 billion a year: study the issue. At the culmination of the White House “Energy Week,” Trump is set to announce a comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear regulation, stopping short — for now — of the big federal interventions advocates say are needed to revitalize the industry, which is struggling to compete against cheap natural gas and dispose of its radioactive waste.

Bloomberg 29th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Chernobyl

Fire RAGES in Chernobyl nuclear meltdown disaster zone

Daily Star 29th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Local Energy

More than 7,400 cities and local councils have signed up to a ‘Global Covenant of Mayors’ to fight climate change, galvanised by Donald Trump’s dismissal of scientists’ concerns for the future. “What President Trump has done is he has – unintentionally as he does with so many things – organised and focussed people who have been doing a number of good things in hundreds of different places. “Now mayors are communicating and working in a fashion that I have not seen during my seven years in office. Mr Reed said Atlanta had committed to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2035, among a raft of other measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And he said, regardless of Mr Trump’s policies, American cities had the power to meet the carbon targets laid out in the Paris Agreement, which was ratified by Barack Obama.

Independent 29th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Renewables – offshore wind

Bent Christensen, who is responsible for cost projection for Siemens’s wind power division, has estimated that Europe’s offshore wind industry has reached a milestone three to four years ahead of schedule: achieving wind energy at €100 ($113) per megawatt hour (MWh). This means that offshore wind farms could be built without government subsidy because they are economically viable without additional support.

Futurism 28th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Renewables

The use of renewables for power, transport and heating accounted for almost 9% of UK energy consumption in 2016, official figures show. A quarter of electricity (24.6%) came from clean technology such as wind power last year, renewables such as heat pumps and wood burning made up 6.2% of total heating consumption, and 4.5% of transport energy came from biofuels. Overall, energy coming from renewables amounted to 8.9% of the total in 2016, exceeding goals for the year, according to the data which tracks the UK’s progress towards 2020 EU targets to source 15% of energy from renewables.

Energy Voice 30th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Fusion

The UK government has committed to funding nuclear fusion research alongside the European Union until the end of 2020. The Joint European Torus (JET) project, which is based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, is home to an advanced nuclear fusion reactor, and 600 highly skilled scientists and engineers. Signalling the UK government’s commitment to the project, business secretary Greg Clark said: “JET is a prized facility at the centre of the UK’s global leadership in nuclear fusion research, which is why the government is taking every possible step to secure its future and to maintain highly-skilled jobs in the UK.” The current contract, which includes £60m funding – or 88% of the running costs – per year from the EU, is due to end in December next year. The UK’s commitment to continue funding the facility will apply if the EU were to approve extending the UK’s contract to host the facility until 2020. A discussion will then take place on the appropriate funding split.

Process Engineering 29th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Transport

A number of London’s street lamps are being adapted so they can also charge electric cars, making it easier for drivers to use the vehicles around the city. German firm Ubitricity is working with a number of the capital’s boroughs to install the streetlamps with energy efficient LEDs. Owners of hybrid and electric cars can order a charging cable with an in-built electricity meter and will be able to charge their vehicles using lampposts in areas of Barnes, Hounslow, Twickenham, Kensington and Westminster. The charging points offer a solution to the challenges of installing dedicated EV parking bays and removing parking spaces from the general supply, by giving resident s who do not have access to off street parking the opportunity to charge their cars locally. However, the sockets offer lower power charging.

Independent 29th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Just Transition

New PCS pamphlet Just Transition and Energy Democracy: a civil service trade union perspective. We urgently need to transition to a zero carbon economy but this doesn’t have to come at a price for workers and communities This new pamphlet makes the case for a just transition and energy democracy from the perspective of a civil service trade union, based on public ownership and democratic control of energy that provides an opportunity to re-vision and rebuild our public services for people not profit. Moving motion A41 calling on PCS conference to formally adopt and widely promote the pamphlet, PCS NEC member Clara Paillard said that climate change is not about science or technology, but how we organise as a society. Therefore as a union we need to start seeing climate as part of our industrial agenda and ensuring working class people do not pay for the climate crisis. PCS is developing a programme to distribute the pamphlet across the union, including holding meetings with reps and members to take forward its demands. The Union’s ten demands include: A national plan to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050; Energy democracy based on the public ownership and democratic control of energy; Direct government intervention to create a National Climate Service and related bodies as articulated in the One Million Climate Jobs campaign.

PCS 28th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 June 2017

Hinkley

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is in broad support with the scathing criticism made by The Times newspaper in its editorial on the Hinkley Point C new nuclear project and wider UK energy policy. The Times editorial notes that the economics making nuclear power genuinely affordable has reduced from ‘slim to vanishing’ It notes that UK politicians tend to rely on civil servants for energy advice but in this case it is clear the technological challenges with new nuclear in comparison to the relative ease of developing renewable energy projects have moved much faster. The long-term costs of Hinkley represent a quintupling of power prices compared to other energy sources, particularly renewables. It sees Hinkley Point C as a ‘white elephant’ and is critical that no government minister had the courage to cancel the project when it was possible to do so, thus exposing taxpayers to a compensation claim as high as £22 billion if the government was to pull the plug on the project later on, as a report by the National Audit Office notes. This week reports are coming out that an EDF review of the project now sees it not being finally constructed until 2027 (rather than 2025 – let’s remember EDF UK Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said in 2007 it would be operating by the end of 2017) and its construction cost is likely to go up again from £18bn to over £20bn. Added to that are reports in France that the lid of the reactor pressure vessel on the proposed Flamanville new nuclear reactor site – identical to that being planned for Hinkley Point – may only be able to last for a few years, rather than the 40 – 60 year operation of a new nuclear reactor. For a year now the French nuclear regulator has been considering the safety of the Flamanville reactor, putting at risk the entire project.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities 28th June 2017 read more »

EDF has told investors it is still reviewing the costs and schedule of its Hinkley Point C power plant following press reports of cost overruns.

Burnham-on-sea.com 27th June 2017 read more »

Britain’s investment in the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant and its bias toward wind power over solar is wrong for the country, according to Britain’s largest closely held company. Hinkley is a “disaster” that’s “doomed to failure” because it’s using unproven technology on too large a scale, according to Tom Crotty, a director at chemical maker Ineos AG. The U.K. has also over-committed to wind power and should be investing more in solar energy, he said. Without a sound energy policy, the country risks falling behind other countries trying to develop low-carbon energy capacity. Big energy users such as Ineos also need stable policies when making their long-term investment plans. “The government has done quite a lot, let’s be clear, and we wouldn’t blame them for excitement over nuclear,” Crotty said in an interview in London. “We just think the strategy is totally wrong.”

Bloomberg 27th June 2017 read more »

Taxpayers’ money and government time is wasted by ministers backing the “wrong” infrastructure projects with a risk that poor decisions could lock in harmful effects on the economy, a think-tank has warned. The Institute for Government (IfG) said Britain “struggles” to make decisions on infrastructure and warned that the decision-making process risked the creation of “white elephants” that wasted public money and failed to deliver economic benefits. Describing it as a “serious problem”, the think-tank identified six reasons why Britain struggled to make decisions on infrastructure, including the lack of a national strategy for investment. The lack of an over-arching long-term vision was evident with the HS2 high-speed rail link, with its purpose shifting over time from cutting journey times to dealing with excess demand and regenerating the West Midlands, the report said. The think-tank said that Heathrow also demonstrated the use of “questionable” economic models to illustrate the benefits of such projects. As is also the case with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, “detailed future economic analysis, particularly for complex outcomes such as employment, investment and regeneration, is where governments traditionally struggle.” “Despite these concerns, successive governments have failed to communicate the inherent difficulties of modelling large projects with long-term payoffs, and continue to put more weight on these estimates than may be justified.” In other cases, ministers could fail to understand the risk involved in infrastructure investment with little contingency planning.

Energy Voice 29th June 2017 read more »

Detailed value for money assessment. Hinkley Point C will be the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in a generation. It will produce 3.2GW of clean and reliable electricity for 6 million homes. The documents published here detail the contractual obligations that government has entered into, including the analysis in the Value for Money assessment that allowed ministers to make the decision to proceed with the project.

BEIS 23rd June 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 June 2017