THE LEADER of Anglesey County Council has expressed disappointment at National Grid’s “hugely contentious” decision to erect more electric pylons across the island.
North Wales Chronicle 9th Jan 2015 read more »
North Somerset Council has appointed Sam Bodman to work as a business liaison officer for the Hinkley Point C project. EDF Energy was given the go-ahead to build the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, near Bridgwater, in October. Ms Bodman will work with the Hinkley supply chain team, managed by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, and will promote North Somerset suppliers to EDF.
Weston Mercury 9th Jan 2015 read more »
From Whitehaven News: OPPONENTS of a multi-billion nuclear complex have held a protest near to the earmarked site. Around a dozen supporters of pressure group Radiation Free Lakeland met in Beckermet on New Years Eve to make their feelings against the three-reactor Moorside project known. Armed with banners and placards, they marched towards the site near Sellafield, where assessment work – including borehole drilling – is taking place.
Radiation Free Lakeland 10th Jan 2015 read more »
The Manx branch of the Celtic League has given a cautious welcome to a report into nuclear safety which is expected to be published this year. But it has demanded a defined timescale from the chief inspector of nuclear installations about when it will be available to the public. The League, a non-governmental organisation that represents the interests of Celtic nations including the Isle of Man, raised concerns about fire safety at the Heysham and Sellafield nuclear sites in a letter to the inspector in November. In the letter, Celtic League information officer Bernard Moffatt suggested that a series of incidents at nuclear facilities indicated a ‘culture of complacency’.
Isle of Man Today 11th Jan 2015 read more »
Nukes vs Climate
Letters: Norwich Green Party: Nuclear energy is neither renewable nor zero-emissions and it is extraordinary that a serious academic can make this claim (“Nuclear power is greenest, say top scientists”, 4 January). Recent research published by Stanford University estimates nuclear’s greenhouse gas emissions to be up to 25 times higher per unit than wind power. Ian Ralls Cambridge FoE: Why not invest a tiny fraction of the money spent on research into “new” nuclear and techniques for its waste disposal, in less glamorous technology to reduce the 70 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions not produced by electricity which all the nuclear power in the world will scarcely touch? How about universal free household insulation for example, or proper integrated public transport? Both much cheaper, more effective and with a greater positive impact on people’s lives. RF Stearn: I was excited to read that “Nuclear power is greenest”. I thought perhaps a way had been found to overcome the hazards of nuclear waste, but no mention of waste was made. I cannot help wondering how many “top scientists” would buy a house without any facility to dispose of their toilet waste.
Independent 11th Jan 2015 read more »
Letter Ed Davey: Your editorial shows a complete misunderstanding of the issues surrounding powering the country. In 2010, we inherited a legacy of underinvestment in the energy sector, with a number of power stations due to close by 2020 and ageing network infrastructure, a legacy that put our energy security at risk. To safeguard our energy supplies, we are implementing a long-term plan, though you appear to be totally unaware of this. Our radical reforms have stimulated more than £45bn of investment, mostly in renewable electricity. You dismiss our capacity market, yet this has been extremely successful in securing electricity supply at the lowest cost for consumers, as fierce competition in our auction drove costs significantly below predicted levels. As well as unlocking new investment in flexible plants, we are getting the best out of our existing power stations, which provide reliable and cost-effective capacity, as always planned. We are also determined to make homes warmer and more energy-efficient.
Guardian 9th Jan 2015 read more »
Complaints to the energy watchdog, Ofgem, have almost tripled as bills have soared, according to new figures. A record 52,308 complaints were made last year, amid mounting consumer dissatisfaction, market investigations and Ofgem-imposed sanctions – a 191% increase on 2013 and more than four times the number made in 2012 (11,283).
Observer 10th Jan 2015 read more »
US – Decommissioning
The company dismantling the closed Zion nuclear plant on Lake Michigan is running out of money to finish the job, according to the site’s owner, Chicago-based Exelon. The project, paid for with $800 million collected from state electric ratepayers over decades, is being closely watched by nuclear plant owners around the country who hope to replicate the arrangement. It was the first time regulators allowed a nuclear power plant owner to transfer a plant’s operating license and liabilities to a third-party decommissioner. Utah-based EnergySolutions, the company dismantling Zion, wants to become the go-to decommissioner around the world.
Chicago Tribune 9th Jan 2015 read more »
North Korea has announced it is willing to impose a temporary moratorium on a nuclear test if the US scraps military drills with South Korea this year.
Belfast Telegraph 10th Jan 2015 read more »
Reuters 10th Jan 2015 read more »
Guardian 10th Jan 2015 read more »
The United States slammed an offer by North Korea to suspend future nuclear tests temporarily if Washington cancels military drills with the South as an “implicit threat.” Pyongyang was “inappropriately” linking routine military exercises between Washington and Seoul to the possibility of a nuclear test, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Saturday.
Daily Mail 11th Jan 2015 read more »
Russia is to build 10 more nuclear reactors in India over the next 20 years. During a business trip to New Delhi, Vladimir Putin signed a deal with Narenda Modi that both leaders described as “ambitious”.
Machinery Market 10th Jan 2015 read more »
John Prescott: An alternative is to change our spending priorities by diverting the £30billion earmarked for a new nuclear submarine fleet to the NHS. Let’s save lives not take them. Isn’t it time choice was given to the people? Don’t blame the old, the sick or the staff for this A&E crisis. It’s because government has failed to come up with a long-term funding plan to pay for a 21st century NHS.
Mirror 10th Jan 2015 read more »
The opportunity cost of nuclear weapons is a thought-provoking concept in Pakistan, North Korea and India where the development of nuclear weapons takes place against a backdrop of prevalent poverty and unmet basic needs. Therefore, some prominent nuclear physicists in Pakistan i.e. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy and Dr A H Nayyar insist that the development of nukes by Pakistan is a main source of its economic deprivation and paranoia. For them, the nuclear testing of 1998 was the main reason behind the economic crises in Pakistan. This is exactly a guns versus butter debate, a selection between taking care of the people who serve or the equipment they need to contest and prevail in current and future conflicts.
Pakistan Daily Times 11th Jan 2015 read more »
China last year extended its lead over the US as the world’s largest investor in renewable energy, with continued growth in its solar and wind power industries, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research company. China’s investment in “clean” energy, including renewables and efficiency improvements, rose 32 per cent to a record $89.5bn, with about three quarters of that going into wind and solar power. The US was in second place with 8 per cent growth to $51.8bn, the largest amount since 2012. Its investment was about 58 per cent of China’s. China last year accounted for 29 per cent of all global investment in clean energy, and is expected to remain the global leader.
FT 10th Jan 2015 read more »
More than a million households are cannot afford to keep their homes warm this winter even though they are in work, a think-tank warned today. There are as many as 2.3million households in England struggling with fuel poverty. But while many might assume those at risk are most likely to be the elderly or households where no one is employed, as many as half are in work, the Policy Exchange said. Fuel poverty remains an issue for millions as incomes continue to stagnate while energy bills rise, it added.
This is Money 9th Jan 2015 read more »
GEORGE OSBORNE is working on an emergency tax cut to reverse an alarming decline in investment that threatens the future of the North Sea. The chancellor told The Sunday Times that “more action” was needed to help the industry after the oil price plunged to $49 a barrel — a 57% dive in just six months. The collapse has led to a sharp drop in North Sea drilling and a flurry of job and pay cuts. The industry employs 375,000 people and is one of the biggest contributors to the exchequer. Executives want action to prevent a full-blown crisis. The chancellor said he may use the budget in March to unveil a tax bailout.
Sunday Times 11th Jan 2015 read more »
Doomsayers warned that a new era of cheap crude could deliver the death blow to the North Sea. Although its demise has been proclaimed many times, old hands say this downturn, given the basin’s advanced years and dwindling returns, will be crippling. The region was already grappling with a high tax rate of up to 80% and a cost base — thanks to years of $80 to $120 oil — that had soared out of control. After decades of production, only small and, at these prices, barely economic fields are left. So news that the chancellor George Osborne is pondering the unthinkable — huge tax cuts for an unpopular industry months before an election — is hardly surprising. It is unclear whether halving the basic rate from 60% to 30% for new prospects, as the industry has demanded, would be enough to arrest the decline. But doing so would be a recognition of the reality. Big Oil has largely abandoned the North Sea. Most of the companies handed new licences in the recent round do not have the expertise, money, or even the intention to develop their acreages.
Sunday Times 11th Jan 2015 read more »
BRITAIN’S last three deep coalmines are pleading with the government for £300m of state aid to delay their closures until 2018. UK Coal, which runs Kellingley in Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, is expected to submit an application this week for government funds to dig for new reserves and soften the impact of the pits’ closures on local communities. Hatfield Colliery, in Labour leader Ed Miliband’s Doncaster North constituency, is also believed to be preparing an application for support. The pits, owned by employee benefit trusts, are racing against time. With the election looming, they need the backing of the coalition, which in turn needs the grants rubber-stamped by the European Commission. The three pits are all that remain of Britain’s once-mighty mining industry, and under current plans the last – Hatfield – is due to close by summer 2016. Thoresby is winding down towards closure in July. Together they employ about 1,500 miners, a fraction of the industry’s heyday a century ago when it employed more than 1m.
Sunday Times 11th Jan 2015 read more »
Richard Dixon: CIRCUMSTANCES are conspiring to ensure that in the next few months, the SNP will have to come off the fence and either decisively stop the unconventional gas industry north of the Border or admit that they are happy to let big companies like INEOS drill and frack significant parts of Scotland. While the UK government has shamelessly courted the frackers, the Scottish Government has been more cautious. It has put in place tough new planning rules, objected to plans for Westminster to take away the right of people to say “no” to fracking under their homes, and promised new work looking into health impacts and gaps in environmental protection. That’s all well and good, but unlike Ireland, the Netherlands and many others, they haven’t actually acted to stop unconventional gas extraction, despite having the powers to do so. This may come as a surprise to the SNP’s 60,000+ new members, many of whom were left with the impression from the referendum campaign that the SNP was outright opposed to shale gas fracking (and other forms of unconventional gas extraction). In communities across Scotland groups are coming together to oppose unconventional gas. People’s concerns include health impacts, the risk to house prices and the climate change consequences of producing yet more fossil fuels. In crowded community centres around the country, people are asking why the SNP has not already stopped this dirty industry. So far the SNP has talked a good game, but big plans from INEOS to frack across the Central Belt and proposals for the nightmare that is underground coal gasification under the Forth mean that ministers need to act soon, before the planning applications start piling up and the industry becomes unstoppable.
Scotland on Sunday 11th Jan 2015 read more »