Mr Joaquín ALMUNIA receives Mr Edward DAVEY, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Wednesday 17th.
EC 12th Sept 2014 read more »
China aims to become a world leader in nuclear power by 2020 under an ambitious scheme to be finalised by April. National Energy Administration director Wu Xinxiong told more than 100 scientific and engineering advisers in Beijing on Tuesday that the plan should meet the central government’s demand that China make the leap from follower to leader by engineering “major technological breakthroughs” and “industrial upgrades”. To take the lead, China will have to overcome some big hurdles, including conflicts of interest among large state-owned companies, technological uncertainties in new-generation power plants and public concerns about nuclear safety. China has imported some of the world’s most advanced nuclear reactor technology in the past few years, including one design from US firm Westinghouse and another from French nuclear giant Areva. Chinese scientists and engineers have sought to adapt the overseas technology to their own. But the American and French designs differ, resulting in two separate Chinese spin-offs.
South China Morning Post 14th Sept 2014 read more »
Belgium’s over-dependence on nuclear power has resulted in a potentially severe energy supply problem. Politicians are now panicking and confusing the cause of the problem with the solution. Indeed, the party leaders negotiating the new agreement said they intend to extend the lifetime of two 40-year-old reactors, Doel 1 and 2. Only a few months ago, the previous government had confirmed that all nuclear reactors reaching the age of 40 would be phased out, with the exception of the Tihange 1 reactor, which can remain open for 50 years. The politicians are changing the phase-out policy because of the forced shut down of three other reactors. Two, Doel 3 and Tihange 2, were off line nearly a year between 2012 and 2013, due to the discovery of thousands of cracks in the reactors’ steel containment vessels. They were shut down again in March 2014, and so far it appears they may never restart again. To add to the woes of politicians and the nuclear industry, sabotage on 5 Aug. by an unidentified member of staff severely damaged the steam turbine of the Doel 4 reactor, causing its automatic shut down. Nobody knows when it will be able to restart, but it will certainly not be before the end of the year.
Greenpeace 13th Sept 2014 read more »
As Japan seeks to end reliance on nuclear power, one of the answers is floating ‘solar islands’, writes Jon Major. A 70MW solar island opened last year, and two additional plants have just been announced. Two companies in Japan recently announced they are to begin building two large solar power islands that will float on reservoirs. This follows smartphone maker Kyocera’s Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar power plant, the country’s largest at 70 megawatts, which opened in late 2013 and is found floating in the sea just off the coast of southern Japan.
Ecologist 13th Sept 2014 read more »
A new study reveals shocking figures about the fate of the children of British servicemen exposed to the nuclear weapons test. Shocking research has exposed the devastating toll Britain’s nuclear tests have inflicted on unsuspecting servicemen in the danger zone. Children born to the 22,000 British troops sent to witness blasts in the South Pacific had 16 TIMES the normal rate of birth defects and the men’s partners suffered 50 PER CENT more ¬miscarriages and stillbirths, a new study reveals. The news comes five months after Prime Minister David Cameron promised to consider setting up a £25million fund for survivors and families.
Mirror 13th Sept 2014 read more »
Letter: Of all the Yes campaign’s pretended moral high-grounds, the promise to remove Trident from Scotland is one where the oxygen is thinnest. It is widely said that nuclear weapons are intrinsically evil, that their only purpose is the mass slaughter of the innocent. It has also been argued that, by enabling their expulsion from Scotland, independence would revive international disarmament. Neither of these claims are true. First, nuclear weapons have more than one use. They could be used to kill masses of civilians indiscriminately, which would indeed be appallingly wrong. Alternatively, they could be used to deter an enemy from attacking, which has been their only use by the UK since it first acquired them more than half a century ago. Imagine how much less constrained in Ukraine the Russians would now be, if they didn’t have to worry about provoking a nuclear-armed Nato. Their troops wouldn’t be skulking in the woods; they’d be driving down the highways in broad daylight. Second, the removal of nuclear weapons from Faslane and Coulport, even if it did precipitate the UK’s unilateral disarmament, would have no effect at all on France or the US, not to mention Russia, China, Pakistan or North ¬Korea. Nuclear weapons are not the cause of international mistrust; they are the symptom. So unilateral disarmament would not automatically make the world a friendlier and safer place. On the contrary, it would encourage the Putins of this world to chance their arm even further. In this, as in so much else, the Yes campaign appeals to our desire for a simpler, purer world, unconstrained by tragedy, moral ambiguity, compromise and risk. The vision is beautiful, but the paradise is a fool’s.
Scotsman 13th Sept 2014 read more »
Renewables – Biomass
This weekend sees the exciting launch of a new biomass boiler at Croft Castle in Herefordshire, marking another great stage in Good Energy’s partnership with the National Trust. This project is the second of five schemes to go live in a £3.5m pilot phase of the charity’s Renewable Energy Investment Programme, which we launched together last year. If successful, the National Trust plans to invest in 43 similar renewables schemes across the country.
Good Energy 12th Sept 2014 read more »
Renewables – Heat Pumps
The first renewable energy scheme in Scotland to draw heat from a river is set to be installed by the University of Glasgow in a bid to lower the university’s heating bill by one-quarter.The revolutionary technology, which has separately been pioneered by Glasgow firm Star Renewable Energy and has been successfully installed in lakes, rivers and estuaries in Scandinavia and Japan, would see a heat pump installed two metres below the surface of the Clyde or Kelvin rivers where latent heat from the sun keeps the temperature of the water between 8C and 10C all year round.
Herald 14th Sept 2014 read more »
Christopher Booker: Scarcely a day goes by when the BBC doesn’t provide another little example of how happy it is to flout its statutory obligation to report on the world “accurately” and “impartially” by pushing its propagandist “party line” on anything to do with renewable energy or climate change. Last Monday, for instance, I caught a local documentary item on a public inquiry into “Britain’s largest solar farm”, planned to help make the Wiltshire town of Swindon “self-sufficient in green energy”. These 160,000 solar panels plonked over an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we were told, would generate “40 megawatts” of electricity. As usual, what the BBC did not tell us was that this refers only to their full “capacity”, when the sun is shining. But official figures show that the actual output of this environmental eyesore would only average a 10th of that, a piddling four MW, scarcely enough on a dark night to keep many of Swindon’s lights on.
Telegraph 13th Sept 2014 read more »