The Chinese Premier is expected to sign a deal for China’s investment in a new British nuclear power plant this week. ELN understands China’s senior politician, Li Keqiang, who is in the UK for a state visit with Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to put pen to paper on Anglo-Chinese nuclear co-operation. This could include support for the £16 billion Hinkley Point C project. China’s National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) have agreed to back the project with EDF Group and AREVA, in a consortium called NNB GenCo. However the Chinese firms have yet to cement any deal. The Asian superpower is building 28 nuclear plants and a deal with the UK would give it a foothold in Europe to sell its nuclear expertise.
Energy Live News 16th June 2014 read more »
In his report into the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the 2011 Fukushima accident, ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector recommended a formal review of ONR’s Safety Assessment Principles (SAPs). The SAPs are ONR’s highest-level internal guidance to our inspectors for assessing safety. The review concluded that while no urgent changes were required, the SAPs should nevertheless be updated to reflect both learning from Fukushima and wider changes in the industry since the SAPs were last revised in 2006. Following extensive work by ONR inspectors, other regulators such as Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator, and other government departments, the project to revise the SAPs is now nearing completion, and proposals for an update have been drafted. Recognising that our safety assessment standards are important to the wider nuclear industry, ONR is offering site licence holders, non-governmental organisations and other interested parties an opportunity to comment on our proposals. ONR’s proposed changes are being consulted on until 11th August.
ONR 16th June 2014 read more »
On the 27 November 2013 there was a partial loss of power to some facilities on the Sellafield nuclear licensed site in Cumbria due to an on-site electrical distribution fault. As a consequence the ventilation system shut down in the Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP) Line 3 facility and radioactive material was released from in-cell areas to the plant working areas.This event was investigated by ONR and the Environment Agency and although no member of staff was contaminated or radioactive material released to the environment it was considered by both regulators that enforcement action was necessary. ONR considered that the failure of the company to have in place adequate containment arrangements on the Waste Vitrification Plant Line 3 warranted enforcement action for breaches of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 and issued an Improvement Notice on Sellafield Limited on the 14th May requiring the company to improve the nuclear site licence condition compliance arrangements with respect to the physical containment barriers and resilience of the facility’s ventilation systems by end of October 2014. On the 6 June 2014 the Environment Agency issued Sellafield Limited with a warning letter for two breaches of their permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.
ONR 10th June 2014 read more »
The Sellafield Workers’ Campaign is stepping up efforts to back nuclear new build. It is hosting an ‘industry day’ at Energus, Lillyhall, Workington, on Friday to focus attention on the need to press ahead with three reactors at Moorside near Sellafield. The NuGen consortium has an option to build there. The project could bring £10bn of investment and create up to 21,000 jobs over the construction period and 1,000 permanent jobs once operational. Steve Nicholson, communications officer for the campaign, said: “Our industry day will focus on the need for government and industry at all levels to press ahead with the proposal by NuGen.
Cumberland News 16th June 2014 read more »
Dear Jamie Reed MP. Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to members of Radiation Free Lakeland at our Alternative Sellafield Story in Whitehaven. As promised we are writing to you with information about the flytipping of radioactive waste in Lillyhall Landfill. There has been an unexpected turn of events with the company responsible for nuclear oversight of the landfill, Energy Solutions now planning to sue the government for £200M with regard to not being awarded nuclear “clean up” contracts.
Radiation Free Lakeland 16th June 2014 read more »
Nuclear Strike Price
I previously posted the response from Michael Fallon (Minister of State for Business & Energy) to a number of questions I asked my MP (Peter Aldous). The question was about how the strike price for nuclear (£92.5/MWh) was justified given DECC’s own analysis of future electricity prices. The response said that the DECC analysis I quoted was only a small part of the analysis carried out by DECC but the other analysis was not being released since it ‘could prejudice the ongoing negotiations’.
Peter Lux 16th June 2014 read more »
Russia’s state energy firm cut gas flows to Ukraine yesterday after months of threats and deteriorating relations between the neighbours, with officials in Moscow warning of potential disruption to supplies elsewhere in Europe.
Independent 16th June 2014 read more »
Germany is throwing its weight behind a tough new target to cut EU energy consumption in a further sign of how the crisis in Ukraine is prodding Europe to try to ease its dependence on Russian gas. In documents submitted to the EU, Germany argued that a binding target for energy efficiency would offer the “right impetus” to overhaul the continent’s energy infrastructure. Denmark and Germany are leading the push for a robust energy savings target, which diplomats say would require EU countries to burn 30 to 35 per cent less fuel in 2030 than they were expected to consume in projections from 2007. As the EU’s biggest economy, Germany’s support for such a measure is vital if it is to win adoption. If agreed, a target on energy savings would form part of an EU package on energy and climate rules for 2030, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation must be finalised by October. Much of the debate in Brussels focuses on mathematical models estimating the percentage of gas imports that could be reduced following higher levels of efficiency. According to a draft of the commission’s estimates, a 25 per cent target is expected to reduce EU gas imports by 9 per cent, while a 35 per cent target would cut gas imports by 33 per cent by 2030. The EU already has a 20 per cent energy efficiency target as part of its broader 2020 climate goals – but it is only voluntary. To meet a mandatory target, EU countries would have to overhaul building standards, insulation, heating networks, lighting and electricity grids. Energy efficiency is considered the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Germany has made it a key component of its exit from nuclear energy. The country is aiming for a “virtually carbon neutral” building stock by 2050, and big cuts to energy consumption in the transport sector. Britain favours a robust goal for slashing greenhouse gas emissions but does not believe that a separate efficiency target should be obligatory, saying nations should be free to choose how they make their cuts.
FT 16th June 2014 read more »
Europe is facing gas supply disruptions after Ukraine failed to broker an 11th-hour deal with Russia in a feud that has stoked the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. Ukraine hosted the last-gasp talks hoping to keep an energy shortage from compounding the new pro-Western leaders’ problems as they confront a two-month separatist insurgency threatening the very survival of their ex-Soviet state. But Russia’s state gas firm Gazprom said it had switched Ukraine to a prepayment system at 7am UK time – a move that effectively halts all shipments because Kiev has not forwarded any money for future gas deliveries to Moscow.
Telegraph 16th June 2014 read more »
Today, Russia’s Ecodefense, the leading anti-nuclear power organization in the country, was branded a “foreign agent” by the Russian government. Under Russian law adopted recently, non-profit organizations that fail to register as a “foreign agent” but are found to be one can be subject to large fines and dissolution of the organization. While part of the international NIRS/WISE network, Ecodefense was founded in Russia, is based in Russia, and has focused on issues affecting Russia. It has, for those reasons, refused to register as a “foreign agent,” which in Russia is tantamount to an admission that the organization is controlled from abroad and effectively is undertaking espionage activities on behalf of other nations–neither of which is true in the case of Ecodefense.
Green World 16th June 2014 read more »
ALEX Salmond’s bid to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons has been rejected by voters, with more people wanting to keep Trident in the event of independence. A survey shows 41 per cent believe the missile system should stay at Faslane on the Clyde if there is a Yes vote in September. This compares to 37 per cent who want it to go.
Express 17th June 2014 read more »
MORE Scots believe Trident nuclear missiles should stay in the country if it becomes independent than think the weapons should be removed, research has revealed. Two-fifths of people north of the Border said that if there was a Yes vote in the referendum, Britain’s nuclear submarines – currently sited at the Faslane base on the Clyde – could continue to be based there. But 37 per cent did not agree with the weapons remaining in Scotland if the country voted for independence. Alex Salmond’s Scottish Government has made its opposition to nuclear weapons clear, and wants the Trident submarines out of Scotland in the event of a Yes vote. In England and Wales, just over a quarter (26 per cent) of people agreed that Britain’s nuclear weapons should continue to be based in Scotland if it became a separate country, while 63 per cent said they should either “definitely” or “probably” be moved elsewhere.
Scotsman 17th June 2014 read more »
Herald 17th June 2014 read more »
Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pitched nuclear disarmament against unionists’ offers of more devolution yesterday as she unveiled the SNP’s draft post-independence national constitution. The move would place a constitutional duty on a Scottish government of any stripe to remove HM Faslane’s nuclear warheads from Scottish soil in the event of a vote for independence.
Morning Star 17th June 2014 read more »
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) warned yesterday that the world’s nuclear weapons powers appear determined to maintain their nuclear capacity indefinitely. Sipri said that, although there has been a steady decline in the number of nuclear warheads over the past five years, the nine nuclear weapons-capable countries still hold around 16,300 weapons. This was down by around 5.6 per cent from last year, but the pace of reduction seemed to be slowing compared with a decade ago, the Swedish institute said.
Morning Star 17th June 2014 read more »
Guardian 16th June 2014 read more »
A FILM which shows the horrors suffered by nuclear test veterans is set to be screened at the Houses of Parliament. The video forms part of a renewed effort by hundreds of servicemen, including ex-RAF man Archie Ross (pictured), of Oak Close, Castle Gresley, to try to finally get recognition from the British government for what they went through.
Burton Mail 16th June 2014 read more »
Renewables – Hydro
Freeman’s Reach set to become the UK’s first city centre development incorporating a hydro power generator, following the installation of an innovative new water turbine. A key aspect of the hydro power turbine installation at Freeman’s Reach in Durham City is the ‘Archimedean screw,’ which will harvest energy from the River Wear to drive a 100kw generator that is capable of supplying 75 per cent of the total energy requirement of the development.
Renewable Energy Focus 16th June 2014 read more »
Renewables – tidal
A project to build tidal turbines off the coast of Scotland has secured £1.85m funding from European investors. Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation and green energy company ELSA from Belgium have teamed up to build the Shetland Tidal Array. The project comprises five 100kW tidal turbines in the Bluemull Sound site that will power the equivalent of 300 homes. The array will be developed in two phases with commissioning of the first three devices by the end of 2015. Scottish Enterprise is also supporting the project with £1.9m of grant and loan funding. Energy minister Fergus Ewing MSP said: “ELSA’s decision to invest in Scotland is a testament to the confidence felt by international investors to help develop the huge wave and tidal energy resources from the waters around the Scottish coast.
STV 15th June 2014 read more »
Daily Record 15th June 2014 read more »
Herald 15th June 2014 read more »
One cheer for the Government’s community energy strategy: The Government has launched a discussion document aimed at ensuring that local people have the opportunity to gain shares or income from renewable energy developments, but in typically British centralising fashion it is ironic that this discussion seems to focussed on what the electricity majors want or are prepared to allow.
Dave Toke’s Blog 16th June 2014 read more »
The union Unison is proposing an energy review of homes which it says will save money and reduce the need for fracking. It suggests a free door-to-door assessment programme for households, that would identify remedial works required for every house to meet minimum energy efficiency standards. It says this would save households between £300 and £600 each year. Low-income households would receive the work for free, while others would be granted an interest-free loan. Unison says the UK is “reaching crisis point with dwindling gas supplies”, and adds that, within the next five years, the country will need to import up to 70% of gas from abroad.
BBC 15th June 2014 read more »
UNISON launched its own solution to the energy crisis today, at the union’s energy conference in Brighton. The aims of the union’s “holistic approach” to domestic energy efficiency, said energy national officer Matthew Lay, included “eradicating fuel poverty, reducing the reliance on imported gas and investing in jobs”. The document, Warm homes into the future: meeting the UK’s energy challenges, states that: five million households are suffering from fuel poverty; the UK has the oldest housing stock in Europe; spending on energy in UK households has doubled since 2003, from £15bn to £32bn; the country is “fast running out” of indigenous gas supply and by 2020 may need to import as much as 70% of demand. “UNISON is demanding change and serious action now,” the document says, while accusing the government of failing to deal with the extent of the challenge. The union’s action plan for the government includes ensuring that every UK home is classified according to its Energy Performance Certificate, via a free, national door-to-door assessment programme. Low income households should receive remedial works free at the point of delivery, capped at £10,000. Those not classed as low income should be able to access an interest-free loan, repayable over 10 years.
Unison 16th June 2014 read more »
Report; Warm Homes Into the Future.
Unison 16th June 2014 read more »
UK homes are using less energy than they used to. Demand for energy had been rising inexorably for decades, but has fallen about 11 per cent over the last ten years. So what changed? And will the trend continue? At a conference last week energy secretary Ed Davey spoke of his desire to create an “energy saving society”. Homes are using around a fifth less energy than they were in 2004, he said, and still more could be done. A minor quibble with Davey’s figure is that overall household energy demand in 2013 – the latest year available – was only 11 per cent below 2004 levels. Only in the particularly warm year in 2011 was demand 20 per cent down. Still, demand really is falling. This is particularly impressive as the number of households is 6 per cent higher than it was in 2004.
Carbon Brief 16th June 2014 read more »
Zero Carbon Housing
Alan Whitehead MP: Since 2007 there has been a mechanism (the Code for Sustainable Homes) which moved house building up through the code levels (1-6) so that, as building regulations were revised, new homes would be ‘zero carbon’ by 2016. This would not have been a prescription for exactly how houses should be built, but a palette of measures, within rules that were the same for everyone. But since then efforts to dilute and dissipate that process have gathered pace. 2011 saw a new definition of what a ‘zero carbon’ home was, which retreated from a number of measures that had previously been included in the definition. Then there was an examination of what constituted ‘allowable solutions’ to the question of whether all zero carbon qualifying measures had to be attached to the house in question. Could measures be ‘off site’ or even further, could developers do work elsewhere that compensated for the fact that the house to be built was not in itself ‘zero carbon’? now being put forward for legislation, which would allow builders to contribute a limited amount of money on a time limited basis to offset the level to which the house would be built: code level four. So this means that new houses marginally above present building regs will be acceptable if some money goes elsewhere. But of course the non-zero carbon home stands long after the money has stopped being provided. Oh, and by the way, a substantial element of new build from ‘smaller builders’ will be exempted altogether. These new houses will merely be required to keep up with building regs as they are.
Business Green 16th June 2014 read more »
Former Treasury economist Lord Nicholas Stern will today reiterate his call for governments to put a strong price on carbon with a new paper that warns the bulk of research to date on the topic may have underestimated the costs of climate change. In a paper due to be published in The Economic Journal, Stern and his colleague at LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, Simon Dietz, produce an updated model for predicting the risks associated with rising concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The paper concludes that the world could see potentially large impacts on growth and wealth if the world continues to emit greenhouse gases at their current pace. As such, it argues a carbon price should be put in place of between $32 and $103 per tonne of CO2 from 2015, which would rise to $82 and $260tCO2 by 2035.
Business Green 16th June 2014 read more »
Carbon Brief 16th June 2014 read more »