If you think the London super-sewer is merely the exception in Tory privatisation economics, dream on. It’s more the norm in a whole string of colossal financial scams, all put in place secretly and never sent to Parliament for approval. Another flagrant example of privatising the gains and socialising the losses is the nuclear power station planned at Hinkley Point C in Somerset at a cost of £24.5bn, three times the original proposal, and using the UK taxpayer to guarantee to its French builder EDF a price per unit of output no less than double its current UK wholesale price. The government agreed this in November 2011, yet since then wholesale power prices have fallen by 16%; nevertheless the Tories are still guaranteeing the price of £92.50 a megawatt hour, inflation-linked for 35 years and funded through household bills. So far from being the heroes of competition as they regularly claim, the Tories are driving a pernicious, underhand contempt for market forces to subsidise State-owned foreign companies whilst refusing to offer the same aid to a UK State-owned venture for the same project. Just how bad a deal this is is shown by the fact that Hinkley will provide just 3 gigawatts of capacity, yet for the same price gas-fired turbines could provide about 50 gigawatts, onshore wind 20 and offshore wind 10. The plant will not open till 2023 at the earliest, well past the date of the most acute energy shortage at the end of this decade. And it will cost as much as the combined bill for Crossrail, the London Olympics and the revamped Terminal 2 at Heathrow – beat that for the most expensive white elephant of modern times!
Michael Meacher 14th Aug 2015 read more »
Radwaste – Yucca Mountain
A key study in a series leading to licensing hearings for the long-stalled Yucca Mountain national nuclear waste dump in Nevada finds what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is calling a small chance that radioactive contamination could get into the environment. A Nevada state official said Friday he’ll challenge the NRC findings about the proposed Yucca Mountain project on technical and legal grounds. “They’re saying that the impacts are small,” Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects chief Bob Halstead said. “From my review of the document, I’m skeptical that they have complied with the requirement that they imposed on the Energy Department in 2008” to update an initial 2002 environmental impact report.
Las Vegas Sun 14th Aug 2015 read more »
King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) joined hands with the International Institute of Nuclear Energy (12EN) to train Saudi engineering graduates in nuclear energy programs to achieve its vision 2032, which aims to replace 50 percent of the dependence on traditional fossil fuels with eco-friendly atomic and renewed energy. “K.A.CARE organized a training program of skill development in the field of nuclear energy for 26 trainees from the engineering faculty of King Abdulaziz University (KAU),” a K.A.CARE spokesman said on Thursday. The program was organized in collaboration with the International Institute of Nuclear Energy (12EN), AREVA and EDF Center, he added.
Arab News 15th Aug 2015 read more »
Japan’s weather agency on Saturday told thousands of residents of a city in Kyushu to prepare for a possible evacuation as it upgraded a volcanic eruption warning. Officials raised their alert to its second-highest level after picking up increasing seismic activity around the volcano Sakurajima, which sits just off the coast of Kagoshima, a city of more than 600,000 people. Activity has spiked since early Saturday morning, they said. The volcano is about 50 kilometers from a nuclear reactor that was switched on this week, as Japan restarted its nuclear power program following the 2011 Fukushima crisis when a quake-sparked tsunami set off reactor meltdowns at the now-crippled site.
Japan Today 16th Aug 2015 read more »
Iran has given the U.N. nuclear watchdog information regarding its atomic past, a milestone in potentially meeting a condition for sanctions relief under an accord reached with world powers last month. Alongside the July 14 agreement to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for easing sanctions, Iran signed a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve outstanding questions about the possible military dimensions (PMD) of its past nuclear activities.
Reuters 15th Aug 2015 read more »
A GREEN energy firm backed by FTSE 100 giant SSE could be sold later this year for £100m. Vital Energi, a Blackburn-based renewable energy consultancy, has hired advisers at EY to find a buyer. The company has already caught the eye of a number of private equity firms and industry sources said it could worth as much as £100m. SSE bought 30% of Vital in 2007 but spun off the stake in 2012 into a new joint venture with Scottish Equity Partners, a venture capital investor. SSE still holds a significant interest in Vital and other clean energy assets alongside the buyout firm. Vital Energi is a consultant that specialises in reducing energy consumption. It has worked with Heathrow airport and the University of Edinburgh, and advised on the athletes’ village at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Sunday Times 16th Aug 2015 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 14th Aug 2015 read more »