During a meeting with councillors in Bridgwater this morning, National Grid revealed its preferred route corridor for a 400000 volt line between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth.
Burnham-on-sea 29th Sept 2011 more >>
EDF Energy stopped its 640-megawatt (MW) Torness 2 nuclear reactor on Friday for repairs to a cooling system, the operator said. “EDF Energy took the decision to take unit 2 at Torness power station offline on 30 September to carry out a repair to one of the auxiliary cooling systems,” a spokesman said.
Reuters 30th Sept 2011 more >>
An extraordinary spat over the future development of the renewables industry in Scotland showed a clear split in views amongst the business community this week. Scottish chambers of commerce chairman Mike Salter dared to raise the issue of the huge cost of renewables in his address to members at the organisations annual dinner. the costs of these projects is going through the roof. A recently announced second round project in the Irish Sea speaks to an investment of £1.6bn for a wind farm of 389MW capacity- this is £4.1million/MW which is 25-35% more expensive than the next closest technology and 25% more expensive than the estimates of 18 months ago. the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. The Edinburgh Chamber which happened to organise two-day Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference which finished at the Edinburgh International conference centre on the same day as the SCC dinner said it believed the Low Carbon debate had moved on from the points made by Salter. Chief executive Ron Hewitt said: During the two days of the conference we have heard from a multitude of leading figures from utilities, from finance, from companies operating and investing in renewable, and from Government. All of them said the same thing the sector represents the greatest of opportunities for Scotland.
Business7 29th Sept 2011 more >>
THE amount of electricity produced in Scotland from renewable sources such as turbines fell last year because of low wind and rainfall, casting doubt over the government’s energy ambitions. Figures released by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal renewable generation, particularly from sources such as hydro power, which includes wave and tidal turbines, fell in 2010 for the first time in seven years. The Scottish Government has pledged to have all the nation’s electricity needs provided by renewables by 2020. Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The figures show that even in an exceptionally dry and cal m year, renewables provided over 30 per cent of all electricity consumed in Scotland. This reinforces that the sector is now a major part of our energy mix, and a significant part of our economy.
Scotsman 1st Oct 2011 more >>
Herald 1st Oct 2011 more >>
His administration is pledged to have Scotland generating all its electricity needs from renewables by 2020. Now business and domestic consumers are left to wonder just how reliable these targets are and the advisability of having heavy dependence on variable weather. More setbacks like these and we could be going back to bearskin rugs. Surely the First Minister doesn’t want to be known as Scotland’s Fred Flintstone?
Scotsman 1st Oct 2011 more >>
Plans for electricity connectors between the National Grid and other European countries offer the prospect of a back-up supply, by which Scotland could export surplus wind power on gusty days and import hydro or solar power on calm ones. In the meantime, the requirement for constant, reliable and affordable electricity for homes and businesses means the energy mix must continue to include nuclear until the technology to take advantage of a greater variety of natural resources has been sufficiently developed to guarantee that the lights will not go out.
Herald 1st Oct 2011 more >>
EDF Energy has established a Nuclear New Build business unit, which will engage with companies prepared to invest in the necessary skills and infrastructure for the UKs future energy strategy. NOF Energy is already working with EDF Energy to provide North East businesses with knowledge of the companys supply chain requirements and access to its key personnel. In fact, we are hosting a networking event in Newton Aycliffe next month with EDF Energy where delegates can gain an insight into the latest developments in the nuclear sector network and with company representatives.
The Journal 29th Sept 2011 more >>
Consultant Mace has won two nuclear decommissioning contracts from nuclear contractor Magnox at the Sizewell and Berkley sites.
New Civil Engineer 30th Sept 2011 more >>
Construction Index 30th Sept 2011 more >>
It has to be acknowledged that, irrespective of Fukushima, new nuclear build was never going to be plain sailing from a technical or financial standpoint. Just ask EDF, the French state-controlled utility which is currently building the first new nuclear plant in that country for 15 years with subsequent plans to build Britains first two plants for a generation. Work started on the plant at Flamanville (France) in 2006, which uses the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) design, the same type that will be adopted at Hinkley Point and Sizewell should they go ahead. At the time EDF estimated that each plant would cost 3.3 billion (£2.6bn) and take five years to complete. Earlier this year it admitted the timetable had slipped somewhat revising its projection to a completion date of 2016 and a cost of 6bn (£5.2bn). There have been problems behind the scenes too, with Frances nuclear watchdog the ASN recently writing to EDF to highlight a series of gaps and weaknesses in work being carried out. Complaints centred around safety conditions for workers (there have been a number of fatalities) and aspects of the reactor design. Nevertheless, EDFs UK subsidiary said it remains absolutely committed to nuclear power, adding that lessons will be learned from the experience at Flamanville. It is due to announce this autumn a new date for the start-up of its UK plant (originally set for 2018) following regulatory delays and a review of reactor designs in the wake of Fukushima. Meanwhile, the Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture between RWE and E.ON plans to invest around £15bn in around 6 gigawatts of new nuclear in the UK by 2025, but the group has yet to take its final investment decision or select the reactor technology.
Engineer 30th Sept 2011 more >>
SciDev.Net reporters from around the world tell us which countries are set on developing nuclear energy despite the Fukushima accident.
Guardian 30th Sept 2011 more >>
A team from Canada has won the inaugural International Nuclear Energy Olympiad, which has been held in Seoul, South Korea. The contest was organized by the World Nuclear University (WNU) and hosted by the Korean Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (Konepa). The theme of the competition was gaining public acceptance for the use of nuclear power.
World Nuclear News 30th Sept 2011 more >>
Co-operative Energy has announced above-inflation rises in gas and electricity prices of 18% and 11% respectively just four months after entering the energy market. The firm, which describes itself as the “ethical energy provider” said it had to increase charges, which will affect 14,000 customers, because of price rises in the wholesale energy market.
Guardian 30th Sept 2011 more >>
Whatever your political persuasion, the economics remain the same if you want to reduce the deficit. You have to generate employment so that people and businesses can earn and pay taxes. And, when even heavily protected sectors like the arms industry, which can pull favours at the highest political levels to get contracts, subsidies and beneficial treatment by the legal system, begin to suffer, you know you have a problem. In the wake of BAE announcing the loss of 3,000 jobs in the middle of party conference season, and in spite of the nature of its business, there have been calls from across the political spectrum to protect the jobs. But why protect when you can convert? The arms industry is notoriously capital, not labour, intensive. In spite of its supposed importance to the UK economy, the arms sector represents just 0.7% of total UK employment. A study by the University of Massachusetts looked at employment creation in various sectors for every dollar spent. Compared with arms manufacture, building houses and work on energy efficiency generated 50% more jobs, the figure for investing in public transport 131%, health 50% and education 107%. More than that, of course, spending on arms is politely referred to as “unproductive expenditure” by economists, partly because the products, rather than laying the foundations or providing the infrastructure for additional productive economic activity, do exactly the opposite. Engineering skills are very much needed, precisely in the areas that are vital to building a modern, low-carbon economy. It’s time to retrain for the green-collar economy. And now provides an ideal opportunity, as even the IMF suggests the government rethink its economic strategy in a more progressive direction.
Guardian 1st Oct 2011 more >>
Fukushima Update 27th-29th September.
Greenpeace International 30th Sept 2011 more >>
Japan will let children and pregnant women return to certain areas near the Fukushima nuclear plant, the trade minister said on Friday, following an improvement in living conditions after a huge earthquake and tsunami in March. Schools have been shut down in these areas located within the 20-30 km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where about 60,000 people lived prior to the radiation leaks from the nuclear plant. Though evacuation was not mandatory for residents as the radioactivity was within limits, some 30,000 left these areas, a spokesman at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.
Trust 30th Sept 2011 more >>
The opposition-controlled Upper House unanimously passed a bill Friday to form an independent panel of experts tasked with probing, in a more trustworthy and transparent manner, the reasons behind the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The government set up a separate panel in July, headed by Yotaro Hatamura, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, to conduct a similar investigation, but opposition parties have insisted that a government panel will not be able to thoroughly investigate what the state has done. Some lawmakers, however, doubt whether having two panels doing similar tasks is a good idea.
Japan Times 1st Oct 2011 more >>
A limited amount of plutonium has been detected in soil outside Japans troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant which was crippled by the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster, the government said Friday. It was the first time plutonium had been found in government tests outside the plant, presumably due to the nuclear accident, the education and science ministry said in a statement. Plutonium was detected in soil at six places in a survey which was conducted in June in an area within 80 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the ministry said.
Japan Today 1st Oct 2011 more >>
ELECTRICITY OF VIETNAM (EVN) has signed a contract with Japan Atomic Power Corporation to carry out a feasibility study into the construction of a new nuclear power station in Vietnams Ninh Thuan province. The study into the Ninh Thuan 2 power station will take 18 months, is expected to cost ¥2b (US$26m), and will be funded by the Japanese government. JAPC will carry out surveys to determine the most suitable place to build the plant and will look into the investment required for it. EVN hopes to build a 2000 MW capacity plant with two advanced light water reactors in the Ninh Hai district of Ninh Thuan. It will be Vietnams second nuclear power plant.
Chemical Engineer 30th Sept 2011 more >>
Oil Price 1st Oct 2011 more >>
Renewable Heat Incentive
Confidence in the government’s commitment to a green energy agenda was dealt another major blow on Friday when an £860m scheme to subsidise renewable heating systems was pulled at the last minute. The Department of Energy and Climate Change insisted that its groundbreaking Renewable Heat Incentive was being delayed rather than abandoned, and blamed the European commission for failing to give it the immediate go-ahead. But the industry described the news as “desperately disappointing” and was angry that the final decision from DECC came just hours before the RHI was meant to come into force.
Guardian 30th Sept 2011 more >>
This weeks Micro Power News Edinburgh and Bath join the local energy revolution.
Microgen Scotland 30th Sept 2011 more >>
Even in the keenest households, smart meters are only reducing electricity usage by 3 per cent. Smart meters are billed as the key to solving Britain’s looming energy crisis. But while a live display of energy costs and consumption may help parents bribe teenagers to spend less time in the shower, the results of a key trial indicate the meters will barely affect overall power consumption. Between 2014 and 2019, every British home and small business will have a smart meter installed, displaying exactly how much energy is used for every activity, from boiling a kettle to watching television.
Independent 1st Oct 2011 more >>
A consultation on controversial plans for a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire ends on Friday – with objections nearing 20,000. Ayrshire Power wants to build a plant with experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at the site. Campaigners claim the plant would harm wildlife and the environment and say thousands of people are opposed to it.
BBC 30th Sept 2011 more >>