Green groups in the UK are now being subjected to a withering assault on their anti-nuclear position, which is amounting at worst to a campaign of disinformation or at best wishful thinking by the pro-nuclear establishment. Today’s BBC4 report that Friends of the Earth has become pro-nuclear has been quickly denounced by FOE themsleves. But this reflects a growing recent trend to target green groups to get them at least to be neutral on the subject of investments or new research into nuclear power if not outrightly pro-nuclear. The Green Party of England and Wales was the target of a well prepared effort to shift their position last Saturday, although of course the pro-nuclear amendment to the Party’s was rejected by an overwhelming majority. A worrying trend is that there is a drip, drip effort to insert support for technologies such as ‘molten salt’ (fast breeder) reactors, and thorium reactors as if such things were new. These technologies have been abandoned decades ago because they did not even function (if at all) as well as conventional nuclear reactors. But then people new on the scene do not know so much about the actual scientific evidence on the subject, allowing pro-nuclear advocates to pretend that such things are serious as economic and environmentally desirable ‘new’ technologies.
Dave Toke’s Blog 10th Sept 2014 read more »
Meeting the energy needs of a growing global population while tackling climate change is the “biggest diplomatic challenge of the era,” according to leading climate change expert Professor Sir David King. Nuclear energy, he suggests, has a key role to play in most regions of the world to meet this challenge.
World Nuclear News 11th Sept 2014 read more »
SOIL from Hinkley Point will not be used for works to Shepton Mallet cemetery if they get permission to go ahead. The cemetery is almost at full capacity and Mendip District Council plans to create new graves on top of existing burial spots. Readers of the Journal had concerns that the soil used would be contaminated earth from nuclear power station Hinkley Point C. But in a statement, a Mendip spokesman denied these rumours. “We will not be using any soil from Hinkley Point in the landscaping planned for Shepton Mallet cemetery,” he said.
Shepton Mallet Journal 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Transport links in part of Somerset are to be updated ahead of the construction of the Hinkley Point C power station. Funding of £2.8m is due to benefit four projects in Bridgwater and Taunton, including £1.6m towards road maintenance in the area. The scheme will also see £800,000 spent improving Bridgwater railway station and £295,000 on a cycle route linking Hinkley Point to Bridgwater. The money will also fund better access to and from Taunton railway station.
BBC 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Energy Live News 11th Sept 2014 read more »
DoT Press Release 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Surely EDF Energy has already had enough subsidies.
Stop Hinkley 11th Sept 2014 read more »
The West Cumbrian nuclear industry was the focus of discussion at the Nuclear Energy All Party Group meeting last week, where Copeland MP Jamie Reed (Lab) hosted Sandy Rupprecht of NuGeneration, Ian Hudson of NMP, and director of stakeholder relations at Sellafield Ltd, Rory O’Neill. Following the event Peter Haslam, head of policy at the Nuclear Industry Association commented: “West Cumbria has been at the heart of the British Nuclear Industry for over 50 years – every aspect of the industry is taking place on its doorstep, from decommissioning to nuclear new build. The APPG saw one of the biggest turn-outs we have had, which emphasises the importance that is place on this area as a key source for nuclear investment.”
Politics Homes 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Britain risks locking itself into an expensive and unnecessary programme of power plant construction under flawed new policies being pursued by the government, a key committee of MPs has warned. Consumers could be forced to underwrite more than £350m of extra spending in the first year alone if ministers do not put more emphasis on reducing power demand rather than building more capacity, according to the energy and climate change committee. In a letter to energy minister Matthew Hancock the committee chairman, Tim Yeo, also accuses the UK’s main energy infrastructure provider, National Grid, which is playing a key role in the schemes, of being hopelessly compromised. “It is impossible for National Grid to give objective advice to government on this issue since the profitability of their regulated United Kingdom business is directly linked to the construction of new transmission capacity,” he wrote. His committee has been taking evidence in what is called “electricity demand-side measures” to review the role being proposed for those who can help reduce the need for power. This is particularly valuable now, when the UK is facing an energy crisis, because old coal and nuclear plants are being retired and new windfarms or gas plants are not being built quickly enough. Yeo told Hancock that demand-side response (DSR) offered a cheap and greener alternative to building new generating capacity. He added that it should play a crucial and growing role in keeping the lights on in coming years. The £359m annual cost of building new power stations as opposed to reducing demand mentioned by Yeo is taken from a new study, also out on Friday, by NERA Economic Consulting, which is working for DSR companies such as KiWi Power.
Guardian 12th Sept 2014 read more »
Telegraph 12th Sept 2014 read more »
Liberalized electricity markets fail to appreciate the value nuclear power provides as a reliable, clean and cost-effective fuel that helps keep the grid stable, Marvin Fertel of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said today.
World Nuclear News 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Angela Knight has quit her job as head of energy industry lobby group Energy UK after just two years in the role. Mrs Knight, who previously led the British Bankers’ Association, said she would leave at the end of the year to pursue “interests in non-executive roles”. The former Tory MP and Treasury minister had divided opinion within the energy industry, which is facing unprecedented scrutiny over profits and prices. Some privately expressed concern over her often combative approach, arguing a more conciliatory tone was required for an industry suffering from chronic low public trust. One insider said she had been a “political battering ram”.
Telegraph 11th Sept 2014 read more »
A Yes vote in next week’s referendum would be “a disaster” for renewables, says Peter Atherton, an energy sector analyst at Liberum, a broker. “The Scottish National party have two major polices, one is this great push into renewables, the other is independence. The two are incompatible.” There is no doubt that Scotland has made a successful push into green energy. It generated 36 per cent more wind power last year than the year before and is responsible for about a third of all the renewable electricity generated in the UK. The subsea cable, a joint venture between ScottishPower Transmission and the National Grid, is testament to that success: there is now so much renewable electricity flowing out of Scotland that the two overhead lines that take it south of the border are full to bursting. But at the minute, the Scottish renewables se ctor is supported by the whole of the UK. The owner of a typical wind farm sells electricity at a wholesale price of about £50 per megawatt hour and receives another Â£40 or so from the UK’s renewable obligation certificate scheme. That top-up makes the eye-wateringly expensive projects worth building in the first place. The cost of those ROCs is spread across all 30m UK households and businesses. Scotland, with about 8 per cent of the UK population, receives 30 per cent of the subsidies. But the UK government says that, if Scotland leaves the union, it should not assume that money will necessarily keep flowing north – for future or existing projects. The UK would probably still import energy from Scotland, it has said, but those decisions would be taken on a “commercial basis”.
FT 11th Sept 2014 read more »
The Scottish Government wants the country to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of its annual electricity demand using only renewable sources by 2020. Its energy targets for 2020, outlined by Energy in Scotland, includes annual renewable electricity generation being the equivalent of 100 per cent of gross annual electricity consumption. A break down of the statistics show a 10 per cent share of biofuels in transport petrol and diesel consumption, 11 per cent of heat demand to be met from renewable sources and a 12 per cent reduction in total final energy usage. But a vote for independence could stop work on renewable power projects that support £14 billion of investments and 12,000 jobs by raising questions about how developers would get subsidies, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Green Energy Plc, which sells electricity to almost 20,000 customers in the UK, said breaking up the union between England and Scotland in a referendum on September 18 would force the two countries to negotiate how to divide payment for electricity.
Trillion Fund 10th Sept 2014 read more »
With nuclear power bouncing back worldwide, and the number of global uranium mines declining, the signs are building that uranium prices are poised to head higher. After stabilizing under $30 per pound, prices have begun to rebound, posting their largest gain in more than 30 months. Since August 4, the cost of uranium has climbed by 13.91%.
Oil & Energy Investor 10th Sept 2014 read more »
With an increase of more than 7% in the world’s identified uranium resources over the past two years, the resource base is more than enough to meet the needs of the nuclear power sector, which is set to grow for the foreseeable future, according to the latest edition of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA)’s flagship publication. Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand is the 25th edition of the report, commonly known as the Red Book. Reflecting information current as of 1 January 2013, it features a comprehensive assessment of uranium supply and demand in 2013 as well as projections to 2035. The information is drawn from data from 45 uranium producing and consuming countries.
World Nuclear News 10th Sept 2014 read more »
The European Union’s 28 member states have been stockpiling gas in record quantities as they prepare for the possibility that Russia may turn off the tap that provides a vital energy lifeline to the continent. And for the first time ever, Europe’s collective storage tanks are almost full – containing almost 80 billion cubic metres of gas – almost a fifth of the bloc’s yearly useage. The EU is also drawing up contingency plans that would ban companies from selling tanker cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) outside Europe and order industry to stop using gas. LNG is produced by liquefying the gas to 1/600th of its original size.
Independent 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Here at IGov we are starting to conduct some comparative analyses between UK governance for sustainable energy innovations and governance in Germany, Denmark, California and Texas. We are doing this partly in order to understand more about governing for transformation, but also to try and draw some lessons for the UK. We do, however, seek to draw lessons in a manner that is sensitive to the notion that energy and climate governance takes place within distinct national social, political and economic contexts. As such an approach or policy that works in one country may need to be altered to find acceptance and success in a different national context. Earlier this summer, as a first attempt at building some comparative understandings, I spent some time in Berlin meeting with policy analysts and government advisors. Much of the recent discussion about German energy and climate policy has focussed on pull-backs in the EEG (the German FiT) and growing coal usage given the demise of nuclear. What my time in Berlin, however, revealed is that there are other interesting things still going on and one is the continued appetite and support for distributed energy generation, distribution and supply. Distributed renewable energy production and supply is one aspect of Germany’s energy transition that sets it apart from what has been happening in the UK. For example, the Big 4 national electricity and gas companies only own 5% of renewable capacity. It is also a part of what makes Germany so interesting to those analysts that think that distributed energy is an integral part of a sustainable energy system.
IGov 11th Sept 2014 read more »
The European Commission’s energy and climate portfolios have been merged in an announcement which also named new commissioners and their designated roles.
Utility Week 10th Sept 2014 read more »
The late manager of Japan’s destroyed Fukushima plant questioned the safety of large nuclear facilities, documents showed on Thursday, potentially affecting the debate over the restart of the world’s biggest nuclear power station. Masao Yoshida, who led the emergency response at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi plant after the March 2011 nuclear disaster, told investigators five months later that facilities with six or seven reactors were difficult to operate and had inherent safety risks, according to transcripts released by the government. His comments have implications for the debate over the world’s biggest power station, Kashiwazaki Kariwa, Tepco’s only hope of reviving idled reactors as it faces a decades-long cleanup of Fukushima.
Reuters11th Sept 2014 read more »
Ontario Power Generation is understating the hazards associated with the waste it is proposing to bury at its deep geological repository facility near Tiverton, according to a former OPG scientist. Dr. Frank Greening told the joint review panel looking into the proposed facility for low- and intermediate-level waste on Wednesday, that OPG is not doing enough sampling to properly determine the level of radiation in the waste, while some compounds are even going unreported.
Owen Sound Times 11th Sept 2014 read more »
CTV News 10th Sept 2014 read more »
A former Japanese Prime Minister has told a conference in Dublin that Ireland should not go down the nuclear energy route for safety reasons. Naoto Kan was prime minister during the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster when 15,000 people died. He has since campaigned against the use of nuclear energy. The conference was organised by Glen Dimplex. CEO Sean O’Driscoll urged Ireland to reduce its dependency on fossils fuels. He said the country imports €6bn worth of fossil fuels every year, which amounts to a permanent wealth transfer. Mr O’Driscoll criticised the lack of a national energy policy and he said the recently published green paper was not ambitious enough. He said a complete, coherent national energy policy was needed.
RTE 11th Sept 2014 read more »
A small Polish community has won the European Commission’s ManagEnergy Award 2014, the top prize for outstanding local and regional sustainable energy projects. The town of Kisielice and Mayor Tomasz Koprowiak received the Award for their project, Energy self-sufficient Commune of Kisielice, which aims at reducing emissions, abandoning dependence on coal, improving air quality and becoming energy independent.
Renew Economy 12th Sept 2014 read more »
Cancer caused almost 70% of the 3,887 health-related deaths in the atomic energy hubs across the country over the last 20 years, an RTI reply has revealed. In all, 2,600 succumbed to cancer in 19 centres between 1995 and 2014. The query to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), which, like the others, is under the Department of Atomic Energy, had another shocking revelation: 255 employees took their own lives while in harness in the same period, meaning an average of almost one every month over 20 years. Investigations showed they were mostly over prolonged illness or family problems.
Times of India 7th Sept 2014 read more »
Iran and world powers have a “difficult road” ahead as they attempt to agree a nuclear deal by a November deadline, with major differences remaining, Tehran’s lead negotiator said Thursday. “We are always optimistic. But we have a difficult road to go,” Abbas Araqchi told reporters after a day of talks in Vienna with officials from France, Germany and Britain. He added after “useful” discussions that the differences between the two sides remain “big” as they attempt to nail down what would be an historic accord before November 24.
EU Business 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Russia has carried out a successful test of its new Bulava missile capable of striking with 100 times the force of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The12-metre long intercontinental missile designed to carry six to ten nuclear warheads, was launched from aboard a submarine in the White Sea and hit its target in Russia’s far east, Russia’s Naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov revealed.
Engineering & Technology 11th Sept 2014 read more »
IB Times 11th Sept 2014 read more »
Researchers at Glasgow University have claimed a breakthrough in producing hydrogen fuel from water. They said their process is fast, clean and cheap. It can store energy from the sun and wind. Writing in the journal Science, the Glasgow researchers said their process is thirty times faster than the current method. Without using any more energy, it is claimed to store the hydrogen in a carbon-free liquid. Prof Lee Cronin, of the university’s School of Chemistry. said: “The process uses a liquid that allows the hydrogen to be locked up in a liquid-based inorganic fuel.
BBC 12th Sept 2014 read more »
Herald 12th Sept 2014 read more »
Rowan Williams: The past year has seen the obstacles blocking action on climate change beginning to crumble. Opposition on scientific grounds looks pretty unpersuasive in the light of what has come from the experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their seven-year study states that they are now 95% certain that human activity is a significant and avoidable element in driving climate change around the world. Predicted changes in the climate are now being observed in the most vulnerable countries, confirming the predictive models that have been used. The suggestion that action on this would have too great an economic cost is likewise looking increasingly shaky. This month the New Climate Economy report will be published by a global commission, including Felipe Calderón, the former president of Mexico; Paul Polman, the chief executive of Unilever; the economist Nicholas Stern; and Chad Holloway, the chairman of the Bank of America – as well as a substantial number of finance ministers from around the world. This report will show that action on climate change is entirely compatible with economic growth in almost all countries and that the economic benefits, both short and long term, will outweigh the costs.
Guardian 9th Sept 2014 read more »
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has named Frontier Economics director Matthew Bell as its new chief executive. He will be replacing David Kennedy, who left the position in June this year. Bell will start his new role in November, leaving the economic consultancy he joined in 1999 and served as director of Frontier’s public policy practice since 2012. Bell said in a statement that he intends to use his position to tackle the economic challenges inherent in the climate action debate in providing advice to policy makers.
Utility Week 11th Sept 2014 read more »