China’s nuclear authorities pledged on Tuesday not to approve the initial loading of nuclear fuels into two reactors until possible safety issues are resolved, media outlets reported. The announcement came after media reports revealed that the Taishan 1 and 2 nuclear reactors in Guangdong Province may have safety issues. A reactors built by one of their suppliers, Creusot Forge, a subsidiary of French state-owned group Areva which supplied reactor parts to French energy group EDF, was found to have potential weak spots, said the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) on April 8. The Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co Ltd was instructed by the National Nuclear Safety Administration to look for and solve any safety problems and to cooperate with the ASN, Tang Bo, a nuclear safety administration official, told the Beijing-based newspaper China Environment News. “Only when problems in reactors … are identified and solved will we allow nuclear fuels to be loaded into the Taishan plant for the first time and for it to begin to operate,” Tang said.
ECNS 15th April 2015 read more »
More than a thousand Sellafield workers have voted for a strike action. Unite the Union said 98% of workers, who are employed at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, backed the industrial action. The decision follows a 10-month dispute over health and safety issues and being refused a full-time union representative. They are currently looking to the management of Sellafield to reason with their requests and will decide what action to take at a meeting next Tuesday.
Energy Live News 16th April 2015 read more »
EDF Energy has been issued with an ‘Improvement Notice’ following an incident at one of its nuclear power stations. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said a failed pipe at the Heysham 1 nuclear power plant led to the release of around 30 tonnes of clean CO2 last month. There was however no release of radioactive material and the two reactors remained operational during the incident.
Energy Live News 16th April 2015 read more »
Computer hackers have begun targeting electric and nuclear power plants around the world, as well as other critical infrastructure sites in increasingly audacious attacks, a senior Israeli cyber security expert warned on Thursday. Col. (res.) Dr. Gabi Siboni, director of the Cyber Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) inTel Aviv, said the recent “major infiltration of Sony Pictures and news that Home Depot and Target were victims of cyber attacks affecting millions of customers is the least of the world’s worries.” “The disruption and possible infiltration of critical infrastructure is the most severe form of cyber attack. Such attacks on airplanes or air traffic control towers, for instance, means that hackers could cause accidents, or even paralyze entire flight systems. As of now, this area of capabilities is the exclusive domain of developed states. I strongly believe however, that the next 9/11 will happen without suicide bombers aboard the plane with box-cutters but will occur because of a cyber incident perpetrated by a terror organization.”
Jerusalem Post 16th April 2015 read more »
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has awarded Amec Foster Wheeler a contract to provide decommissioning and waste management services for sites across the UK. The four-year deal, announced by Amec Foster Wheeler today, will increase the range of services the company currently provides to the NDA. The contract, for which no value has been announced, is to provide an extensive range of nuclear services in decommissioning, waste management and site characterisation across NDA UK nuclear sites.
Process Engineering 16th April 2015 read more »
The inspirational and historic 15 to 30 year green transformation of our economy promised by the Lib Dem, Labour, and to a lesser extent Tory manifestos could yet emerge from this most narrow and dispiriting of election campaigns. It might not seem like it at the moment, but the combination of global economic, technology and political trends means that golden age could really be just around the corner. And Clegg, Miliband, and Cameron could yet help deliver it.
Business Green 16th April 2015 read more »
The Conservative manifesto, launched this week, boasts that the administration it has led has fulfilled the Prime Minister’s pledge to be the “greenest government ever”, citing setting up “the world’s first Green Investment Bank”, “trebling renewable energy generation”, creating “the largest offshore wind market in the world”, and – more controversially for some environmentalists – “signing a deal to build the first new nuclear plant in a generation”. And , yes, its manifesto is again greener than Labour’s.
Telegraph 16th April 2015 read more »
Millions of pounds have been allocated to make the University of Huddersfield a centre for vital nuclear research. The £3.5m grant will enable the construction of a new laboratory facility on the Queensgate campus to confirm the University as one of the world’s leading centres for the analysis of nuclear materials, ensuring the safety of the new generation of reactors.
Huddersfield Examiner 16th April 2015 read more »
Business Desk 17th April 2015 read more »
The European Commission estimates that €200 billion of annual investment in energy efficiency, renewables, networks and other clean energy assets is needed to deliver an Energy Union that is consistent with EU 2030 and 2050 climate goals. The EFSI will be a key instrument to deliver these investments. To ensure successful delivering of its high level goals, there needs to be a dual focus on ensuring financing is directed toward the ‘right’ projects and ensuring the ‘right’ projects are actually available for financing.
E3G 15th April 2015 read more »
China’s top government body approved construction of the nation’s first domestically designed nuclear reactor as Beijing looks to ramp up infrastructure spending to combat slowing economic growth. The State Council issued a statement after its weekly meeting that it had approved the first demonstration unit of China’s Hualong-1 nuclear reactor. The reactor, which has been jointly developed by Chinese state-backed nuclear companies, is expected to be constructed at a nuclear project in the southern province of Fujian. The statement gave no details of when construction would start or when the reactor would enter service.
Wall Street Journal 15th April 2015 read more »
Robots armed with new radiation-sensing cameras are performing surveys in areas of the stricken plant where radiation levels are too high for humans to enter. IN THE dark abandoned shell of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Rosemary and Sakura shoot what looks like a dystopian first-person shooter game. Rosemary scans her environment, while Sakura records every move. But this is no traditional film crew. Rosemary and Sakura are robots operated by Tepco, the firm running the plant that went into meltdown following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Using radiation-sensing cameras they perform surveys in areas where radiation levels are still too high for humans to safely enter. The data the robots collect will help plan how to decommission the plant.
New Scientists 16th April 2015 read more »
Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom has commenced construction of a nuclear power plant in Turkey, with an investment of $20bn. Being built in Akkuyu in Mersin province near the Mediterranean shores, the nuclear project is expected to reduce Turkey’s dependence on importing energy from Russia and Iran.
Energy Business Review 16th April 2015 read more »
Germany has set a new record for solar output this week, with output breaking above 25,000MW for the first time on Wednesday. According to the web-site Montero, Germany’s solar power units produced 25,029MW of power between 13:00 and 13:15 CET on Wednesday. The previous output record was reached on June 9 last year at 24,244 MW.
Renew Economy 17th April 2015 read more »
No new U.S. nuclear plant has opened since Watts Bar 1, in Tennessee, in 1996. And 20 more may close, “which makes no sense at all, from a common sense standpoint, or anything else,” Gregg said. Not because there’s something dramatically wrong with them. They’re victims of the success of natural gas, a shortage of power lines, eternal environmental enmity, and the eternally unresolved issue of where to store nuclear waste. Natural gas has driven power prices lower than nuclear’s operating costs. If bad economic trends persist for nuclear, more and more of the U.S. fleet may retire in coming years, leaving the communities they serve at the tyranny of plants powered by fossil fuels.
Bloomberg 15th April 2015 read more »
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that, between 2013 and 2040, nuclear power’s share of total generation in the USA will fall from 19% to 15% in its High Oil and Gas Resource case and to 18% in its High Oil Price case, where higher natural gas prices lead to additional growth in nuclear capacity. EIA published its predictions in its Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015), which focuses on the factors expected to shape the country’s energy markets by 2040.
World Nuclear News 16th April 2015 read more »
With the existence of the Boko Haram insurgency and considering the vulnerability of the country’s uranium stock, it is our opinion that any discussion on the subject must address issues relating to the security of the facilities when they are eventually put in place, especially with what happened in 2013 in neighbouring Niger Republic where al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) suicide bombers attacked a uranium mine owned by the French nuclear company Areva, killing 26 people and injuring 30. AQIM is known to have ties with Boko Haram. Besides security concerns, would the country be able to handle the fallout of a nuclear leakage? We call to mind the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union and a similar challenge in Japan. These are countries advanced in nuclear science and technology.
Leadership 16th April 2015 read more »
A long-term uranium supply contract signed by Cameco and India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has been welcomed by the two countries’ prime ministers as they look to further cooperation and collaboration between their nations.
World Nuclear News 16th April 2015 read more »
The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had a “constructive exchange” with Iran this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough on aspects of its nuclear programme that the agency says Tehran has failed to fully address. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is investigating Iran’s nuclear programme in parallel to talks between Tehran and six world powers that aim to broker a deal by the end of June to scale down the programme in exchange for sanctions relief. In any final deal, the IAEA would play a major role in monitoring Iran’s compliance.
Reuters 16th April 2015 read more »
The Scrap Trident Coalition’s Bairns Not Bombs demonstration aimed to shut down the base, which is home to the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. With an election looming, the blockade was aimed at focusing attention on the UK’s nuclear deterrent in the run up to next month’s general election. Anti-nuclear campaigner Liz Findlay, from Innerleithen, said: “It is good to have the freedom to demonstrate against Trident. We have an opportunity next month to begin the journey towards disarmament.”
Peebleshire News 16th April 2015 read more »
The countryside will be blighted by thousands more wind and solar farms unless millions of homes are fully insulated to reduce energy use, a study commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England has found. Up to 14,000 extra giant wind turbines would be needed even if “all practical upgrades” were made to homes to reduce their energy consumption, the study found. Britain has 4,800 onshore turbines and 1,200 offshore. Thousands of extra pylons would also be needed to link wind farms to the grid, blighting even more countryside.
Times 17th April 2015 read more »
In a novel example of the transition from high to low carbon infrastructure, researchers in Nottingham have discovered how abandoned coal mines could produce renewable heating for tens of thousands of homes and offices in the UK. As part of a two-year project, researchers at Nottingham Trent University worked with renewable energy firm Alkane Energy to explore how water at the former Markham Colliery in North East Derbyshire could be condensed in a heat pump and fed through a district heating network.
Business Green 14th April 2015 read more »
What if you could change your decades-old house into a modern, comfortable, energy-efficient home in less than ten days without having to move out or pay extra? Does it sound too good to be true? That’s exactly what a consortium of construction companies and social housing corporations are doing in the Netherlands. The ambitious program that could drastically cut Dutch residential energy consumption is called the Rapids (de Stroomversnelling in Dutch). Its aim is to collaboratively develop an industrial approach to net-zero retrofitting of the Dutch housing stock, while retrofitting 111,000 social houses by 2020. Social houses are owned by social housing corporations, which rent at least 90 percent of their housing stock to people with a relatively low income. The Rapids focuses primarily on typical Dutch terraced houses that were built in large quantities from the 1950s until the 1970s, making them a significant part of the Dutch housing stock.
Renew Economy 17th April 2015 read more »
RMI 16th April 2015 read more »
ANTI-fracking campaigners clashed with petrochemical giant Ineos at the first public meeting over the company’s controversial plans to extract shale gas in Scotland. The owners of the Grangemouth petrochemical refinery were greeted with bursts of laughter after they stressed to residents and opponents of their plans how they took safety and environmental regulations seriously. Campaigners labelled the plans “a mad misadventure to make money” by beginn at a packed meeting in Denny High School in Stirlingshire. The company plans to give six per cent, around £2.5 billion, of its profits to communities. The meeting was organised to allow both sides of the debate to put the case for and against the extraction of shale gas from the ground. In the first of a series of meetings, more than 100 residents gathered to hear a presentation by Tom Pickering, Ineos development director, at the first in a series of public consultation exercises, described by environmentalists as a campaign of ‘love bombing communities’. Friends of the Earth Scotland has accused the company, which offered up to £2.5bn to communities across the UK in return for hosting fracking sites, of resorting to “spin-doctors and glossy videos” in an effort to win over communities.
Herald 17th April 2015 read more »