China General Nuclear Power Corp has said it is confident that the Chinese-made Hualong One reactor will pass Britain’s strict approval process in five years. The technology, also known as HPR1000, will be submitted to the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation for its rigorous generic design assessment by the end of this year, the company said. If it passes, the design will be used at the proposed power station at Bradwell, on the east coast of England, which would be the first nuclear project in a developed market to use a Chinese reactor. “We completed all preparatory work regarding the technology’s assessment in July, and we received positive feedback from Britain during a technology conference last year,” said Mao Qing, the project manager at CGN responsible for Hualong One’s assessment. “We have thoroughly studied the technologies that have gone through the process in the past and are confident Hualong One will meet the UK’s stringent safety, security and design requirements.”
China Daily 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Last month, the British government signed off on what might be the most controversial and least promising plan for a nuclear power station in a generation. Why did it do this? Because the project isn’t just about energy: It’s also a stealth initiative to bolster Britain’s nuclear deterrent. For years, the British government has been promoting a plan to build two so-called European Pressurized Reactors (EPR) at Hinkley Point C, in southwest England. It estimates that the facility will produce about 7 percent of the nation’s total electricity from 2025, the year it is expected to be completed. The EPR’s designer, Areva, claims that the reactor is reliable, efficient and so safe that it could withstand a collision with an airliner. But the project is staggeringly expensive: It will cost more than $22 billion to build and bring online. And it isn’t clear that the EPR technology is viable. If the Hinkley plan seems outrageous, that’s because it only makes sense if one considers its connection to Britain’s military projects — especially Trident, a roving fleet of armed nuclear submarines, which is outdated and needs upgrading. Hawks and conservatives, in particular, see the Trident program as vital to preserving Britain’s international clout. A painstaking study of obscure British military policy documents, released last month by the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, demonstrates that the government and some of its partners in the defense industry, like Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems, think a robust civilian nuclear industry is essential to revamping Britain’s nuclear submarine program.
New York Times 10th Oct 2016 read more »
THE first Nuclear Scientist Degree Apprentices will begin at Bridgwater and Taunton College in wake of Hinkley C being given the green light. Degree apprenticeships are at the forefront of the Government’s apprenticeship reform policy, and enable students to combine a full Honours degree with real, practical workplace skills and the financial security of a regular pay packet. They’re designed in consultation with employers to ensure that the education sector delivers the higher level skills that industry really needs, and produces graduates whose thorough understanding of workplace behaviours and cultures enables them to add value to the bottom line from day one.
Bridgwater Mercury 10th Oct 2016 read more »
French nuclear group Areva is in talks with Kazakhstan over a potential investment in the company, although it is too early to say whether a deal can be reached, a spokeswoman for the French industry ministry said on Friday. The French government decided last year to reorganise Areva, hit by low demand for nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. The company plans to split in two and raise 5 billion euros ($5.57 billion) in new capital. Kazakhstan is interested in buying a stake in the French state-controlled group and a delegation from its mining company Kazatomprom met French officials on Thursday in Paris, French TV channel BFM Business reported earlier, citing unnamed sources.
Reuters 7th Oct 2016 read more »
Amid fears of nuclear terrorism, accidents and the erosion of free speech in France’s state of emergency, a coalition of 20 groups from across the top half of France held a rare mass antinuclear protest (Oct 1-2) in the most nuclearized part of the country on Normandy’s English Channel coast. Arriving by busload, shared car and bicycles, thousands converged on a tiny conservative seaside village to vent their opposition to France’s pro-nuclear “orthodoxy” and shake a fist at the industrial giant. Shaun Burnie, a Scotsman with a brogue, said the French nuclear industry is in big trouble. A longtime Greenpeace specialist usually based in Japan, Burnie rattled off a laundry list of issues afflicting it– spent fuel storage problems, radioactive wastewater releases, plutonium transports, drone flights over plants. “La Hague has 12,000 tons of spent fuel. It dumps ten million liters of radioactive water a year into the sea; 160 kg of plutonium oxide powder leave the plant twice a week,” Burnie said of the waste plant dominating the horizon. And Greenpeace just released a “catastrophic” report alleging falsified data and flawed reactor vessel steel in many French reactors, including the EPR, he said. On hand were several British activists. Allan Jeffery, assistant coordinator of Stop Hinkley, called for “a world with clean, decentralized, renewable energy.” Nikki Clark of SWAN (SouthWest Against Nuclear) said it’s time to turn away from “technocratic dynosaurs.”
Alternet 5th Oct 2016 read more »
Flamanville Demo 1st October.
Francois Nicolas 2nd Oct 2016 read more »
Montage video Flamanville Demo.
Irene Gunipin 2nd Oct 2016 read more »
Over the past few years, small modular reactor (SMR) projects have been making substantial progress, with two reactors currently under construction: the CAREM-25 (a prototype) in Argentina and the KLT-40S in the Russian Federation. Interest in SMRs is being driven by a desire to reduce the total capital costs of nuclear power plants and to provide power to small grid systems, leading to more designs reaching advanced stages of development. To attempt to quantify the size of the market that SMRs could represent in the short to medium term, a project was launched at the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to collect and analyse economic and market data on SMRs, including factory production cost estimates. The data for this study – gathered through questionnaires and interviews with SMR vendors and potential customers – were used to assess the potential for SMR commercial deployment around the world.
OECD-NEA 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Clive Lewis has been appointed as Labour’s new shadow business and energy secretary as part of Jeremy Corbyn’s first reshuffle since being re-elected as party leader. In an article for the Co-operative Party website in November 2015 he wrote: “Britain’s 20th century experiment with an energy system dominated by a handful of big centralised energy giants is failing on all fronts – plunging millions of us into a cold, unreliable energy future that is destroying the planet.” In line with current Labour policy, he described community energy as an “exciting grassroots antidote” to the failures of the big six, and chastised former chancellor George Osborne for trying to destroy it by scrapping tax breaks that benefitted community energy schemes. Barry Gardiner has been appointed as a shadow energy minister under Lewis. Up until the reshuffle he was still serving as the shadow energy and climate change secretary despite the Department of Energy and Climate Change being scrapped and folded into a revamped business department almost three months ago. Speaking at the Labour party conference in Liverpool last month, Gardiner announced that the party will force suppliers to put consumers on their cheapest tariffs and introduce a complete ban on fracking, if they win the next general election.
Edie 10th Oct 2016 read more »
A nuclear plant became the target of a disruptive cyber attack two to three years ago, and there is a serious threat of militant attacks on such plants, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Monday. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Yukiya Amano also cited a case in which an individual tried to smuggle a small amount of highly enriched uranium about four years ago that could have been used to build a so-called “dirty bomb”. “This is not an imaginary risk,” Amano told Reuters and a German newspaper during a visit to Germany that included a meeting with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Reuters 10th Oct 2016 read more »
The Register 11th Oct 2016 read more »
ISLAMIC STATE (ISIS) jihadis are plotting to hack into nuclear power plants in Europe and cause widespread disruption, the United Nations warned today. It has also emerged that the Brussels bombers, who targeted the Belgian capital’s airport, had previously researched trying to take out a nuclear power plant in the country.
Express 10th Oct 2016 read more »
National Nuclear Lab
FRENCH nuclear experts have been to Cumbria to learn from the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). They went to Sellafield as part of a programme funded by the French Government to make sure its industry picks up best practice from around the world. The experts – from the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, or CEA), equivalent to the NNL – went to the Cumbrian facility because of its role supporting both the Government and private industry.
In Cumbria 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Global demand for energy per capita will peak in 2030 thanks to new technology and stricter government policies, the World Energy Council has predicted. In a report on a range of scenarios for global energy use, the group of academics, energy companies and public sector bodies outlined a “fundamentally new world for the energy industry” calling it the “grand transition”. The report, launched before the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, forecast demand per person for energy – including transport fuels, heating and electricity – would begin to fall after 2030. Ged Davis, executive chair of scenarios at the World Energy Council, said: “Historically people have talked about peak oil but now disruptive trends are leading energy experts to consider the implications of peak demand.”
Guardian 10th Oct 2016 read more »
The head of Britain’s biggest energy supplier has warned the prime minister against making his company a scapegoat for the perceived failures of business, though he conceded that economic inequality had brought “capitalism into disrepute with voters”. Iain Conn, chief executive of Centrica, owner of British Gas, said Theresa May was right to focus on the problems of “people left behind by globalisation”. But he said the “big six” energy companies were the wrong target for a threatened clampdown on market failures. Last week Mrs May told the Conservative party conference in Birmingham that “where markets are dysfunctional” she was prepared to intervene, citing as an example the “two-thirds of energy customers stuck on the most expensive tariffs”. This fuelled speculation the prime minister is considering energy price caps of the kind once proposed by Ed Miliband, former Labour leader, as part of her pledge to put government “at the service of ordinary working-class people”. The Competition and Markets Authority last June proposed a limited cap on prepayment meters – typically used by the poorest and most vulnerable consumers – after a two-year investigation into alleged overcharging. But the regulator ultimately stopped short of market-wide price controls.
FT 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Policy needs to be “more flexible” and “more agile” to keep up with the revolution in the UK’s energy system, the former boss of National Grid has argued. The fast pace of change means many policies are “already out of date” by the time they are put into practice. “When you’re in the middle of revolution it’s really hard for government to set out a policy that’s going to last for 10 years,” said former National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday. “It’s really tough.” Speaking at an event held by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit in London, he added: “Our political system is risk averse in a sense because people don’t like coming out with a policy unless it’s been stress-tested and consulted on for 18 months, in which case, I’d argue, by the time it’s implemented its already out of date to a certain extent.”
Utility Week 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
Half of all the energy used in Scotland could be produced by renewable technology in less than 15 years, according to a new report. It painted a picture of a country that exports vast amounts of electricity to the rest of the UK by producing 40 per cent more than it needs, where half of the buses and a third of cars are electric – improving air quality and public health – and where fuel poverty is “eradicated”. However the report, called The Energy of Scotland, warned that while a low-carbon future was “achievable and desirable”, Scotland was currently on track to miss its climate targets, getting less than 30 per cent of energy from renewables by 2030. Writing in the report, which was commissioned by the Scottish branches of WWF, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB, Lang Banks, WWF-Scotland’s director, said: “Scotland is in the enviable position of having fantastic renewable energy potential. “Successfully unlocking this potential will not only secure our climate goals but provide the means to deliver economic opportunities across Scotland, bring social benefits and improve public health.” However he said bringing about this future would require “significant changes to the way we heat our homes and organise our transport” and “new, bold policies”. The report, by consultants Ricardo Energy and Environment, found emissions from electricity power stations could drop to near zero with an “almost entirely renewable” supply, creating 14,000 new jobs. It said fossil fuel emissions from transport should fall by 40 per cent by 2030 with renewables providing 20 per cent of the energy consumed – up from just four per cent today.
Independent 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Holyrood 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Daily Record 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Scotsman 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Herald 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Third Force News 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Scottish Housing News 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Blue & Green Tomorrow 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Another setback for the “nuclear renaissance”: Switzerland voted on Friday to focus more on renewables and efficiency. For the first time ever, new nuclear plants are officially off the table—though admittedly, none were planned. The Swiss just “adopted the Energiewende,” writes the Neue Züricher Zeitung. Is no one paying attention?
Renew Economy 11th Oct 2016 read more »
The Swiss government opposes a popular initiative to be voted on in November that would ban new nuclear power plants and shut down three existing ones next year, Energy Minister Doris Leuthard said on Tuesday. While the government still wants to exit nuclear energy, the proposal to be voted on next month would do this prematurely, leaving the country unable to replace power output with energy from renewable sources, she said in a statement ahead of a news conference.
Reuters 11th Oct 2016 read more »
The scandal over BAE Systems’ decision to use French steel to build Britain’s new Trident submarines has intensified, with claims the metal could have been produced in UK after all. Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon ceremonially started work on the £41bn project last week, with a cutting of the first steel plate for the “Successor” submarines at BAE’s plant in Barrow on Furness. However, the event was overshadowed by news the steel came from French group Industeel – sparking a row about buying British as the UK steel industry is being ravaged by a crisis which has claimed thousands of jobs.
Telegraph 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Britain’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are keen to make the switch to 100% renewable energy-powered operations, but many are not receiving enough support from energy suppliers in order to do so, a new survey has revealed. An in-depth survey of decision makers within 100 SMEs across the country found that 72% want their energy suppliers to be more committed to renewable energy, with just one in 10 rating their current supplier’s renewable energy support as “excellent”. Almost three quarters (71%) of SMEs agree that the process of switching suppliers should be made much simpler – a key factor in the fact that just one in five businesses that have tried to switch ended up not switching supplier at all, according to business electricity provider Haven Power, which commissioned the survey.
Edie 10th Oct 2016 read more »
HG Wells may not have chosen the road from Rotherham to Rainham for his time machine. However, the zero-emission hydrogen car of the future completed its first long-distance public outing yesterday from a wind-powered electricity-to-gas refuelling station in South Yorkshire, arriving 180 miles and three and a half hours later just east of Dagenham, to be recharged on solar power. It was a good job the day was breezy and sunny. Today is the official opening of Britain’s 15th hydrogen fuelling station, at Rainham, on the site of the old Ford car factory.
Times 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Renewables – wave
A burglary at an innovative Scottish wave-power company went forgotten, until a very similar project appeared in China. It was an unusual burglary, in which four or five laptops were stolen from a Scottish renewable energy manufacturer in the dead of a March night in 2011. So innovative was the company that it had been been visited by a 60-strong delegation led by China’s then vice-premier only two months before. Nothing else was taken from the company and the crime, while irritating, went unsolved and forgotten – until a few years later pictures began emerging that showed a remarkably similar project manufactured in the world’s most populous country. Then some people who were involved in the Scottish company, Pelamis Wave Power, started making a connection between the break-in and the politician’s visit, which was rounded off with dinner and whisky tasting at Edinburgh Castle hosted by the then Scottish secretary, Michael Moore. Max Carcas, who was business development director at Pelamis until 2012, said the similarities between the Scottish and Chinese products were striking. Speaking publicly for the first time, he said: “Some of the details may be different but they are clearly testing a Pelamis concept.” It might be that China’s engineers had been working along roughly the same lines as the UK engineers. Or it may be that China attempted to replicate the design based on pictures of the Pelamis project freely available on the web. Or there could be a darker explanation: that Pelamis was targeted by China, which has been repeatedly accused of pursuing an aggressive industrial espionage strategy. The answer matters, given security concerns raised by the government’s award of the Hinkley Point nuclear contract to China.
Guardian 10th October 2016 read more »
The Scot-Govt. has had to write-off more than £40 million in taxpayer funding in two prominent corporate casualties in the home-grown wave energy sector. Through its Scottish Enterprise and Highland Enterprise job-creation quangos, the government sunk £17.2 million into Edinburgh-based Aquamarine Ltd, alongside another £9.4 million in direct funding from the UK and Scots governments. Scottish Enterprise also lost another £16.3 million after another Pelamis – another Edinburgh-based ocean energy developer – sank into administration in 2014. Shortly afterwards, the Scottish Government set up a new directly funded wave energy quango with an additional tax-payer financed budget of some £13 million a year.
Scottish Energy News 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Community Energy Scotland has recruited six new staff to boost its support for projects in Edinburgh, Inverness and Orkney and also to strengthen the support team.
Scottish Energy News 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Businesses are front and centre of Sadiq Khan’s ambitious plans to create “the greenest city in the world”, the London Mayor told edie as he unveiled detailed proposals to improve the capital’s air quality. Khan’s wide-ranging action plan to tackle toxic air in the capital forms part of a broader mayoral strategy to ignite a “clean energy revolution”, with the ultimate aim of running London on 100% green energy by 2050. Khan, who succeeded Boris Johnson in May, has previously pledged to create more plug-in points for electric vehicles (EVs) and implement “clean bus corridors” across the city as ways to reach that goal. Today, Khan also underlined his support for plans to develop a new business district in west London which could transform the capital into a global centre for cleantech development, with the Mayor insisting that innovation and technology will play a key role in accelerating Britain’s green economy. “Innovation and technology are crucial,” Khan said. “With technological advances, electric car batteries now run far better than they did five years ago. We’ve got to use this innovation to make sure we encourage people to change their behaviours, and I’m sure we can do that.”
Edie 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Data has been transmitted across a national electricity grid for the first time, in what could be a significant step towards the creation of virtual power stations, where many thousands of homes and businesses combine to manage electricity use more smartly. The new technology could lead to lower energy bills for consumers who allow small variations in the energy consumption of their appliances, such as water heaters or freezers. The flexibility provided by thousands of appliances combined could reduce peaks in energy use and remove the need for some large new gas or nuclear power stations or polluting diesel generator farms that are started up in times of short supply. The new data system, created using telecoms technology by Reactive Technologies (RT) and now successfully tested on the UK’s National Grid, could also allow the optimum use of intermittent renewable energy, an important feature given the fast-rising proportion of green energy on the grid. Unlike the smart meters being rolled out by the UK government, the new system is anonymous, with no data on household energy use being collected and therefore avoiding concerns about privacy. Catherine Mitchell, professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, said: “This is a really important next step technologically.” She said it would allow customers to choose which appliances are used to manage demand. “This implies that more people would be content to join [such] programmes – a very good thing.” But she said government policy had to keep up with the energy revolution by providing a transparent way to pay consumers for the service they provide.
Guardian 11th Oct 2016 read more »
The UK has “multiple gigawatts” of energy storage capacity that is proposed or in the development pipeline, but this will fail to come to fruition without a joined-up and more supportive policy structure from Government, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has claimed. In a report released last week, the REA indicated that the total gigawatt capacity of applications for storage to the distribution network has reached double digits, but that clear market improvements to the policy framework will be needed in order to unlock this potential.
Edie 10th Oct 2016 read more »