Daily News Roundup

22 December 2014

Radwaste

Andy Blowers: A Geological Disposal Facility for Nuclear Waste – If not Sellafield then where? In the wake of the publication of the Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper, Blowers looks at political and policy developments in the search for a site for the geological disposal of higher-activity nuclear waste, and argues that the White Paper leaves the way open for further procrastination

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21 December 2014

Nuclear Safety

The nuclear industry and its supporters have contrived a variety of narratives to justify and explain away nuclear catastrophes, writes John Downer. None of them actually hold water, yet they serve their purpose – to command political and media heights, and reassure public sentiment on ‘safety’. But if it’s so safe, why the low limits on nuclear liabilities?

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20 December 2014

Hinkley

Hinkley Point C Review of the Year: The so-called UK nuclear renaissance “increasingly looks less a rebirth than an unsatisfactory assortment of stalling, disjointed projects” according to energy Journalist Tim Probert. At the end of 2014, six years after EDF Energy first announced its intention to develop Hinkley Point C, the Bristol Post says we can finally be reasonably confident the project will go ahead. But the paper still expresses some doubts, because EDF Energy has yet to make the …

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19 December 2014

Moorside

As reported in the Whitehaven News today, Copeland Borough Council’s planning panel, acting against planning officials’ advice, have rejected an application for one 30m high wind turbine for Peterburgh Farm near the village of Beckermet. Whilst regular readers of the newspaper will be familiar with the frequent rejection of wind turbine applications by Copeland Council – whose history of rubber-stamping nuclear plans is well documented – this latest rejection stands apart from all others. For Peterburgh Farm lies towards the …

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18 December 2014

Hinkley

THE chief executive of EDF Energy has said that construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant should begin early next year, despite financial pressures. The French energy firm’s chief executive Vincent de Rivaz made the comments during his speech at a recent Nuclear Industries Association conference. He said more legal and other work is needed to be completed before EDF could give the long awaited final investment decision on Hinkley Point, but he was confident that a decision …

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17 December 2014

Small Reactors

Small nuclear reactors have the potential to revolutionise Britain’s energy market, providing a clean, secure supply of electricity that will help the country to meet its targets to reduce carbon emissions, a parliamentary select committee will announce today. Known as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), this fledgling technology is being designed in such a way that it can be manufactured at a plant and taken to a site fully constructed. As well as generating green electricity, the reactors could be …

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16 December 2014

Dounreay

The finishing date for work to decommission and close the Dounreay nuclear power site in Caithness has been pushed back from 2025 to 2029. Changes in the way radioactive fuel should be handled and a requirement for additional security at nuclear sites has created more work at Dounreay. The changes are required by the UK government.

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15 December 2014

Hinkley

China’s biggest nuclear power generator is preparing to enter Europe’s renewable energy market, snapping up three UK wind farms from French utility EDF in a signal of its intent to build a global generating business. The move by state-owned China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN), set to be announced on Monday, would be its first big acquisition of onshore wind generating capacity in the west. The agreement with EDF could help smooth talks on a bigger deal to build Britain’s first …

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14 December 2014

Old Nukes

The reactors of nuclear power stations across Britain have been shut down 20 times a year because of faults – prompting fears over safety and the UK’s energy supply. An analysis for local authorities reveals that 15 reactors have had 62 unplanned shutdowns in the last three years. They have been hit by electrical, boiler and valve defects, fires, storms, vibrations and the discovery of tiny cracks. The build-up of large amounts of seaweed has twice forced reactors at …

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13 December 2014

Utilities

Three of Britain’s largest energy companies have been fined a total £4.6 million for failing to meet targets to insulate the homes of low-income households. As a result of their failure, more than 2,000 low-income households — almost a third of those covered by the scheme — missed out on loft insulation, new boilers and other measures to cut their bills during the cold winter of 2012-2013. Ofgem said that executives from two of the companies, SSE and Scottish Power, …

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