Investment in Hinkley Point C should be held until 2019 so problems with a similar reactor design in France are solved, the CFE-CGC Energy Union said. It comes after French firm EDF Energy agreed a deal in principle last year, to invest in the Somerset site. Unions occupy six of the 18 seats on the board of EDF, which is yet to vote on a final investment decision. The £18bn project has been plagued by delays, but publicly the firm has insisted a decision to move forward is imminent. There are many who say that too much has been invested for Hinkley not to happen now. But in France, it seems there are influential voices now trying to derail the new nuclear train.
BBC 1st March 2016 read more »
French nuclear parastatal EDF is facing problem after problem – zombie nuclear projects in the UK, Finland, China and France, a fleet of ‘beyond the grave’ reactors, a dropping share price and its drooping credit rating. But is it really as bad as all that? Jonathon Porritt has exclusive access to the leaked Agenda of its latest board meeting. And the answer is – no. It’s even worse. “Regrettably, our cohort of ‘green ambassadors’ (led by renowned UK environmentalist George Monbiot) has fallen silent. Even the FT has now joined the critics, stating ‘Politically painful it may be, but the case for halting Hinkley Point C is becoming hard to refute’.” EDF’s meltdown at Hinkley Point is already having a significant knock-on impact on other would-be nuclear prospects in the UK – with Horizon, NuGen and even China General Nuclear Corporation beginning to get cold feet. If Hinkley Point does go down the pan, a project that has been given every conceivable financial inducement by both the UK and the French Government, who the hell is going to invest in different but equally dodgy reactor designs?
Ecologist 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Jonathon Porritt 25th Feb 2016 read more »
A final investment decision on the long-awaited Hinkley C nuclear power plant in Somerset could be delayed another year it has been claimed, as a former Energy Secretary dubbed the design a “dinosaur”. Lord David Howell, Energy Secretary under Mrs Thatcher, and a Foreign Office Minister in the early years of the Coalition Government, said the liklihood of French state-owned developer EDF giving final approval to the project is “very iffy indeed.” Last month EDF said: “final steps are well in hand to enable the full construction phase to be launched very soon.” Lord Howell was speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today, hours after the Financial Times reported that a final decision on the £18bn project could be delayed by up to a year.
Western Daily Press 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Public Meeting: The Anniversary Legacies: 30 years since Chernobyl; 5 years since Fukushima.
Blue and Green Tomorrow 29th Feb 2016 read more »
This is the West Country 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Today it was announced that Torness nuclear power station would remain open until 2030. The announcement wasn’t made by the Scottish Government (or even the UK Government) it was made by the French company, EDF. If ever there was a potent sign of the failure of devolution, the futile narrow nature of our putative democracy this was it. This is a massive strategic decision, and, whether you are a supporter of nuclear power or not, it’s telling that we have no control over it. “Over 3,800 nuclear safety events have been reported at 37 civil and military sites across the UK in the last 14 years, according to an official report. The UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has published a list of all the incidents at nuclear power and weapons plants between 2001 and 2015. They include multiple safety breaches, fires, leaks, spillages, equipment failures and workers being contaminated with radioactivity. Since 2009 the number of incidents reported every year has doubled from under 200 to over 400. There were also 286 incidents recorded at the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian and 266 at the Hunterston nuclear power stations in North Ayrshire.
Bella Caledonia 16th Feb 2016 read more »
The director of the Centre of Nuclear Excellence said that Cumbria’s nuclear plan started a decade later than it should have. Paul Howarth, speaking at the Northern Powerhouse International Conference, said that fears of a shortage in energy supply reinforced the idea that Cumbria’s nuclear energy generation was coming too late. Mr Howarth was part of an open discussion on “Powering the Northern Powerhouse” and looking at energy generation in the region and the need for a mixture of industries and technologies. Mr Howarth said: “One of the reasons energy supply is getting tight is because we’re shutting off our generation one plants as they reach the end of their life, and while we’re looking to extend the life of the generation two plants we’ve not got enough of the third generation. “We’re starting our generation three programme 10 years too late. We should have these reactors on the bars now and we wouldn’t have the shortfall that we’re seeing and the spikes in energy prices.
In Cumbria 29th Feb 2016 read more »
The outcome on the consulations on the Business Plan b and Strategy will be published in April.
NDA 29th Feb 2016 read more »
In January 2016, the State of New York Public Service Commission ruled that the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) portfolio must include nuclear power plants among its non-carbon-emitting generation resources. The decision – which came as a boost to the nuclear industry in the US – represents the latest step forward for nuclear power, in its efforts to gain global recognition as a key component of efforts to tackle climate change. It’s a message that’s already being heeded in the UK. Currently, nuclear power accounts for 16% of Britain’s overall electricity supply – a figure projected to rise to around 25% by 2025. Its pursuit of this goal has seen the UK become the first country to start to build new private sector-funded nuclear power stations in a competitive electricity market. Also, nuclear’s classification as a low-carbon technology under the UK’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme means it can take advantage of mechanisms such as Contracts for Difference. Meanwhile, on the global stage, the potential role of nuclear in reducing carbon impacts from power generation was a central theme of last December’s COP21 summit in Paris. During the event, Loreta Stankeviciute – Energy Economist at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – stressed that nuclear energy should be considered on equal footing with other low-carbon energy sources in weighing the energy options for mitigating climate change, in recognition of its broader potential for contributing to sustainable development.
PWC 24th Feb 2016 read more »
Five years after Fukushima.
OECD-NEA 29th Feb 2016 read more »
OECD-NEA 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Three former executives of the operators of the ruined Daiichi Fukushima power plant, have been charged with mishandling the 2011 nuclear crisis. The indictment means that a court will, for the first time, investigate the failure of the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) to prevent the world’s worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Tsunehisa Katsumata, the company’s former chairman, and two former vice-presidents, Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro, will face charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.
Independent 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Morning Star 1st March 2016 read more »
Public Opinion – Scotland
The vast majority of Scots prioritise investment in renewable energy over oil and gas, shale gas or building new nuclear power stations, according to a new poll by YouGov. Scottish Renewables commissioned the poll of 1,013 people, finding that 70 per cent want to see more renewable energy, while 42 per cent of respondents said government should not prioritise building new or extending the life of fossil fuel power stations. Only 33 per cent of those polled said new nuclear power plants should be treated as a priority, with 19 per cent choosing to back fracking.
Holyrood 1st March 2016 read more »
A small video camera stashed in a row of bushes silently recorded the comings and goings of the family of a Belgian man with an important scientific pedigree last year, producing a detailed chronology of the family’s movements. At one point, two men came under cover of darkness to retrieve the camera, before driving away with their headlights off, a separate surveillance camera in the area revealed later. The Belgian police discovered the secret film on Nov. 30 while searching the home of a man with ties to ISIS. But they became far more alarmed when they figured out that its star was a senior researcher at a Belgian nuclear center that produces a significant portion of the world’s supply of radioisotopes. Belgian authorities have since speculated that the group was trying to figure out a way to collect materials from the nuclear center as the first step in building a bomb.
NBC 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Materials used in nuclear weapons have been flown between the UK and the US 23 times in the last five years, the Ministry of Defence has admitted. Though the MoD does not give details, the flights are believed to have carried tritium, plutonium and enriched uranium, all vital ingredients of Trident warheads. They probably started or ended at the RAF base at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The flights have alarmed politicians and campaign groups, who are worried about accidents causing widespread radioactive contamination. The MoD, however, insists that the transports complied with stringent safety rules.
Guardian 1st Mar 2016 read more »
A reactor at the Takahama nuclear power plant in central Japan has shut down automatically due to a malfunction, 3 days after it was restarted. Kansai Electric Power Company, operator of the plant in Fukui Prefecture, says an alarm indicating trouble inside the generator at the No.4 reactor went off shortly after 2:00 PM on Monday. The turbine and reactor then automatically deactivated. The utility says the trouble occurred during ongoing work to send power to the grid by connecting the generator to the transmission facility in the central control room.
NHK 29th Feb 2016 read more »
There are around a million tons of helium-3 on the moon’s surface down to a few metres. This helium-3 could be extracted by heating the lunar dust to around 1,200 degrees F before bringing it back to the Earth to fuel a new generation of nuclear fusion power plants.
Telegraph 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Australia – radwaste
Representatives from six sites flagged by the Australian government as possible locations for the nation’s radioactive waste have taken their fight to Canberra. But back home, the proposal is turning friends and neighbours against each other.
Guardian 1st Mar 2016 read more »
EMERGENCY services will be put to the test next week when a nuclear-powered submarine emergency exercise takes place on Portland. The planning exercise will take place at Portland Port on Wednesday, March 9.
Dorset Echo 29th Feb 2016 read more »
HUNDREDS of crimes, including serious fraud and sex assaults, have been investigated at Scotland’s naval base on the Clyde. Since 2013, the Ministry of Defence police have looked into 211 crimes at the base, including counterfeiting, taking indecent pictures of children and possession of drugs.
Scotsman 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Many developers hoping to secure accreditation under the revamped feed-in-tariff incentive scheme had their hopes dashed this month, after multiple technology categories spanning wind, solar and anaerobic digestion, reached their quarterly subsidy cap limit within minutes of the scheme opening for applications. For some unlucky developers, the decision may have come down to the millisecond. Feed-in tariff accreditations for wind projects between 50kW and 100kW in capacity reached their 0.3MW cap limit 15 minutes, 14 seconds and 43 milliseconds after the scheme opened for applications at midnight on February 8, according to new data released late last week by Ofgem.
Business Green 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The Offshore Renewable Energy-Catapult has ‘launched’ its 7MW demonstration offshore wind turbine in Levenmouth, Fife. Acquired by ORE-Catapult from Samsung Heavy Industries in December 2015, it is the world’s most advanced, open access, offshore wind turbine dedicated to research, and offers complementary opportunities for economic growth, training and development of skills vital for the future of the offshore wind industry.
Scottish Energy News 1st Mar 2016 read more »
The UK must keep investing in community energy, which is the “sector of renewables that will weather the storm” of political uncertainty, former energy secretary Ed Davey has insisted. Speaking at an investor conference, Davey, who is chairman of community energy firm Mongoose Energy, called for continued investment in renewable community energy resources “despite some fairly unwelcome announcements from the election”.
Utility Week 29th Feb 2016 read more »
The National Trust, WWF, RSPB and Greenpeace are among a coalition of the UK’s most prominent environmental organisations challenging the next London Mayor to transform the capital into a world-leading sustainable city. As part of Greener London Week, the coalition has today (29 February) laid out a list of key recommendations to create a greener capital – with aspects such as air quality, solar systems and recycling all highlighted as focus for Boris Johnson’s successor.
Edie 29th Feb 2016 read more »
There are perhaps a hundred and fifty Passive Houses in America today. The super-efficient building standard is big in Europe but a niche product in North America; anyone who proposed that it actually become the minimum code requirement would be laughed out of town. But in Ireland’s Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County, a near suburb of Dublin, it’s now the law. And for all of those who think this must be extreme, it in fact wasn’t that big a step. The building codes there are pretty tight already. And it’s not completely a done deal; the national Minister of the Environment, of all people, may challenge it out of concern that it might raise the cost of housing. However the local Passive House Association says that it’s not necessarily true, and showed case studies demonstrating that in fact they could build passive houses “at or below conventional build costs.”
Treehugger 23rd Feb 2016 read more »
Scottish Power has completed a two-year feasibility study to determine whether it is possible to expand its 440 megawatt (MW) Cruachan Pumped Storage hydro plant near Oban. The findings show that it would be possible to develop between 400-600 MW additional capacity, with investment of between £300 million to £400 million. Scottish Power will now consider the next steps for the project, including discussions with government on potential support mechanisms.
Scottish Energy News 29th Feb 2016 read more »
Scotsman 1st March 2016 read more »
Herald 1st March 2016 read more »