Daily News Roundup

31 October 2014

Bradwell

A DEFECTIVE pipe caused an acid leak at Bradwell nuclear power station sparking an investigation at the plant. In late September a “small quantity” of acid escaped from a pipe with all of the fluid contained at the site, on the banks of the River Blackwater. A Magnox spokesman said: “During ongoing decommissioning work of a new water treatment plant, a defect was located within a pipe that allowed a small quantity of acid to escape into a further containment …

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30 October 2014

Hinkley

The UK Government promises that the Hinkley C ‘EPR’ nuclear reactor will lower electricity bills, but Keith Barnham shows that this is the very reverse of the truth. Our best hope is that it will never be built. Legal challenges aside, no sane investor will commit until one of the two EPR prototypes is working, which will be in 2016 at the earliest.

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29 October 2014

Politics

In his campaign to stamp out onshore wind power, communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles has just halted his 50th onshore wind project. Accused by Labour and Lib Dems of exceeding his powers, he overrides local planning systems and inspectors, pulling 85% of wind energy capacity out of the standard process for purely political purposes. Just as onshore wind becomes the cheapest renewable energy source, the Conservatives have committed to effectively abolishing it: their manifesto will pledge to remove …

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28 October 2014

Sellafield

Dilapidated nuclear waste storage ponds abandoned 40 years ago containing hundreds of tonnes of fuel rods pose an immediate danger to public safety, photographs sent to The Ecologist reveal. The fuel and sludge in the ponds could spontaneously ignite if exposed to air, spreading intense radiation over a wide area.

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27 October 2014

Hinkley

Chancellor George Osborne has been criticised by the European Commission for failing to reveal all the costs associated with building the UK’s first nuclear power station since the 1990s. Some members of the Commission were critical that the Government has consistently failed to include other long-term costs when valuing Hinkley Point C, the first of a planned fleet of new nuclear reactors that are expected to reduce household bills by £95 in 2030. Buried deep in commission minutes from 8 …

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26 October 2014

Hinkley

ANOTHER investigation into the controversial Hinkley C deal has begun. Just two weeks ago, the European Commission approved plans for the £16bn nuclear power plant. They had been investigating whether the subsidy deal between energy company EDF and the Government constituted as illegal State aid. While the project was approved, the National Audit Office has now begun investigating the deal to make sure the subsidy price of £92 a megawatt hour represented value for money. The Stop Hinkley Campaign welcomed …

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25 October 2014

Energy Policy

Britain will no longer be forced by the European Union to build wind and solar farms under a climate change deal which gives member states flexibility over how they cut emissions. The agreement means that all 28 member states have accepted emissions targets for 2030 which are similar in scope to the target Britain had already set itself. In practice, this means Britain could decide to cut emissions by building nuclear power stations and adding carbon capture systems to …

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24 October 2014

Hinkley

David Lowry: Overlooked in the political frenzy over the success of Ukip in the two by-election results is Nigel Farage’s curious backing for Brussels’s support for massive multibillion-pound subsidies for new nuclear power plants in Britain. In fact the costs of this giant twin reactor project have continued to escalate as planning has gone ahead by the coalition government, with the full support of Labour’s leadership — if not its membership. Back in 2006, the current Lib Dem Energy Secretary …

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23 October 2014

Hinkley

Cambridge nuclear engineer casts doubt on whether Hinkley Point EPR nuclear plant can be constructed. ‘The EPR is safe, very safe’ said Tony Roulstone at a lecture in Oxford on Tuesday 21st October. But the complexity of the design means it is extraordinarily difficult to build. This type of reactor is, he said, perhaps in an unguarded moment, ‘unconstructable’. Areva, the French company that owns the EPR design, is no longer actively selling power stations of this type. In those …

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