The UK’s “eccentric” determination to build new nuclear power means it is not fit to take part in the “third industrial revolution” of switching to clean renewable energy, according to one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. Prof John Schellnhuber, the current adviser to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and previous adviser the president of the European commission and other governments, said the UK was missing out owing to its failure to replicate the successful use of feed-in-tariffs (Fits) to kickstart its renewables industry. Schellnhuber also said that the world’s energy system could be transformed to a cleaner and cheaper renewable model for the same expenditure already paid out in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. “The myth of a low-cost, safer and easily manageable nuclear alternative [to renewables] is keeping the UK from becoming a member of the fitness club for the 21st century and a real partner for countries like Germany in the third industrial revolution.”
Guardian 15th Nov 2011 more >>
A new report by the World Energy Council into countries’ energy policies has determined that a mixture of generating technologies and strategies is best for ensuring sustainable energy production. The report released yesterday, Policies for the future: 2011 Assessment of country energy and climate policies, ranks country performance according to an energy sustainability index – in other words how well they perform in the three pillars of energy policy – energy security, environment and affordability. The best performers: Switzerland (40% nuclear for electricity), Sweden (40% nuclear), France (75% nuclear), Germany (30% nuclear prior to reactor shut down earlier this year) and Canada (15% nuclear); are those which, according to the authors, have the most coherent and robust energy polices and which most successfully manage the trade-offs between the three pillars. They all have diversified energy portfolios and promote energy efficiency. Notably, no country leads in all three areas.
World Nuclear News 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The economics of nuclear make it a no-brainer no-go says Jonathon Porritt. It’s fumbled the ball for 60 years and, unless governments cut it off, will continue doing so. The people who don’t think so have bought the nuclear industry’s kool aid or work in the industry itself. Porritt also notes the great importance and transformational potential of a global price on carbon. Hopefully it won’t be long before we see that. And, similar to Leggett, Porritt notes that it won’t be long until solar hits grid parity. And when it does, “the world changes,.. the world changes.” Watch the full video here.
IB Times 16th Nov 2011 more >>
Lawyers working with the campaigning group Energy Fair say that some existing and proposed new subsidies for nuclear power in the UK may be unlawful under EU laws designed to promote fair competition between businesses. A formal complaint about subsidies for nuclear power is now being prepared for submission to the European Commission. Research by Energy Fair has shown that there are several existing or proposed subsidies for nuclear power. Withdrawal of any one of them, via legal or political action, is likely to make new nuclear power plants uncompetitive. Our research is in line with what others have been saying says Dr Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of Energy Fair. MPs have already raised concerns about provisions in the recent Finance Act that will produce windfall profits for the nuclear industry. The Government itself says that the industry will benefit by £50 million per year, and calculations by WWF and Greenpeace show that the subsidy could be as much as £3.43 billion between 2013 and 2026.
Response Source 16th Nov 2011 more >>
Town councillors in Burnham-On-Sea have this week expressed concern over plans for liquid effluent to be discharged into the Bristol Channel from the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Councillors raised a number of issues during a meeting where they assessed the proposals.
Burnham-on-sea.com 16th Nov 2011 more >>
A SUSPECTED nuclear leak at Heysham 1 and 2 power stations was not a real emergency but an exercise, according to EDF Energy. An EDF spokesperson said: In a routine exercise at Heysham power stations today, Wednesday, November 16, the emergency services and local businesses were alerted as if it were a real emergency although it was immediately established that the incorrect warning message had been issued and it was in fact a station exercise. No nuclear event had taken place whatsoever.
Lancaster Guardian 16th Nov 2011 more >>
Lancaster Citizen 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The Visitor 16th Nov 2011 more >>
HORIZON has not ruled out forcing through the sale of land with Compulsory Purchase Orders so Wylfa B can be built but it would be a last resort. The company came in for heavy criticism after being accused of trying to force a family to sell their farm, and while more land is needed, a CPO is something they would have to consider.
Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 16th Nov 2011 more >>
THE company behind the proposed construction of a nuclear power plant on Anglesey has said they do not think a third crossing to the Island is necessary. In September, Anglesey Council received a report from independent consultants Grontmij, which said that a third crossing may be needed to cope with increased traffic as a result of congestion caused by the construction of Wylfa B. However, Horizon Nuclear Power, the company behind the proposed construction of the new plant, near Cemaes Bay, said a third construction is not part of their plan.
North Wales Chronicle 17th Nov 2011 more >>
Dr Lyn Evans the Aberdare scientist at the head of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project in Switzerland told the Western Mail Wales should look to emulate France in developing nuclear power and selling on the energy.
Wales Online 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The defuelling of a south of Scotland nuclear plant has reached the halfway stage after more than two years. The Chapelcross site, near Annan, was given permission to start removing more than 38,000 fuel rods in July 2008 and began the operation the following year. More than 19,000 have now been taken off the site and moved to Sellafield in Cumbria for reprocessing. Defuelling should be complete by 2013 but is just one part of the £800m decommissioning process of the plant. It is hoped the site can reach a “care and maintenance” state by about 2023.
BBC 17th Nov 2011 more >>
SIZEWELL B nuclear power station is currently running at half power after a turbine was taken offline following a steam leak.
Evening Star 16th Nov 2011 more >>
EDF Energy stopped its 630-megawatt (MW) Sizewell B2 nuclear reactor on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said without specifying a reason for the shutdown. The outage follows an unplanned shutdown of the nuclear operator’s Torness 2 nuclear reactor on Monday, which was stopped manually after a fault with a refuelling machine.
Reuters 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The following talk was given by Dr Stan Prokop to Croydon CND, Greenpeace and FOE earlier this year. He has kindly given permission for it to be published.
Radiation Free Lakeland 15th Nov 2011 more >>
The question of what to do with spent nuclear fuel from civilian power reactors has stirred renewed interest in reprocessing that is, chopping up the fuel, retrieving materials that can power a reactor and possibly recovering the most troublesome waste products so they can be broken up in the reactor into easier-to-handle elements. But the Energy Department, which is supposed to is evaluate different ways that the used fuel could be recycled, has a long way to go, according to the Government Accountability Office. In a report released on Wednesday, the auditors noted that the Department of Energy had listed a huge number of potential ways to do the job and classified the methods according to the degree of promise that each held. Still, the departments evaluation does not indicate the state of technical progress for the many technologies that would be needed, the report said.
New York Times 16th Nov 2011 more >>
Centrica, the owner of British Gas which yesterday cut 850 jobs, warned profits this year will be hit by unusually warm weather, the flagging economy and an exodus of consumers after its recent price increases. Due to milder weather and improved energy efficiency in homes, average residential customer bills for the first ten months of the year were slightly lower than for the same period last year. Gas consumption fell 17pc and electricity consumption was 3pc lower.
Telegraph 17th Nov 2011 more >>
Times 17th Nov 2011 more >>
EDF, a part of which has always been hostile to the EPR, developed by Areva and Siemens, offers a way out of the confrontation between Greens and PS on the Flamanville EPR, showing its willingness to drop this model. Hervé Machenaud, executive committee member of EDF, in charge of production and engineering, began to unveil the line at a press conference Thursday on the Flamanville (Manche). “A reactor of any kind, is never the end of a technological history. The EPR is the model that is available right now, we are building here and in China, hopefully soon in Britain, but also in Poland and the Czech Republic. But that does not mean that we stop thinking in the following model.”
La Tribune 13th Nov 2011 more >>
Contractor Morgan Sindall has this week completed construction on a £5.5M nuclear research centre in West Cumbria for the University of Manchester, which will support nuclear engineering and decommissioning research.
New Civil Engineer 16th Nov 2011 more >>
Electricite de France SA slumped to a seven-week low in Paris trading after the opposition Socialist and Green parties united to campaign for the closure of 24 nuclear reactors by 2025 in next years presidential elections.
Bloomberg 16th Nov 2011 more >>
EDF shares fell 4 per cent on Wednesday as investors digested the news that an incoming Socialist president in France would cut the countrys number of atomic reactors from 58 to just 34 by 2025. Analysts calculated that such a cut could reduce the companys yearly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by between 3.5bn and 5bn, although the full impact would not be felt until 2025. The plan to scrap 24 reactors was unveiled as part of an electoral pact between the French ecologist party and François Hollande, the Socialist frontrunner in next years presidential election. Mr Hollande has promised to reduce the amount of French electricity produced by nuclear power from 75 per cent to 50 per cent.
FT 16th Nov 2011 more >>
France needs to upgrade the protection of vital functions in all its nuclear reactors to avoid a disaster in the event of a natural calamity, the head of its nuclear safety agency said, adding there was no need to close any plants.
Reuters 17th Nov 2011 more >>
Fukushima update 11th to 14th November.
Greenpeace International 15th Nov 2011 more >>
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has fought an eight-month battle to decontaminate the massive amounts of radioactive water in the reactor basements of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, and the struggle is far from over.
Japan Times 15th Nov 2011 more >>
Brazil has announced an aggressive expansion of its nascent nuclear programme. The Brazilian nuclear programme envisages the construction of eight additional nuclear power plants, for which the location studies have already begun, Brazil told the International Atomic Energy Agency last year.
FT 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The latest IAEA report has not released any new information supporting suspicions of the existence of nuclear weapons activity in Iran, argues Abolghasem Bayyenat.
Middle East Online 16th Nov 2011 more >>
In pursuit of a functioning government Belgium has reversed a 2009 agreement and proposed a crippling tax on nuclear power, leading utilities to threaten court action. GDF Suez reacted strongly to the moves today with the assertion that the last negotiated nuclear agreement with government was binding on both sides. The company said it had kept its side of the bargain and would contest the new coalition’s proposals using “all legal means at its disposal.”
World Nucler News 16th Nov 2011 more >>
Energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power has welcomed Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear energy. It says this decision has promoted green hydrogen to the top of the agenda, as a necessary adjunct to the expanding renewable share of electricity generation.
Money AM 17th Nov 2011 more >>
Britain and a clutch of European Union states are protesting the removal from the EU budget of a next-generation nuclear reactor and an Earth observation satellite they consider vital for Europe.
EU Business 16th Nov 2011 more >>
Please vote for Portobello and Leth Community Wind Turbine.
Energy Share 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The fallout from the government’s controversial decision to slash feed-in tariff incentives for solar installations from next month continued today with news that one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers could scale back its UK factory. According to reports in The Daily Telegraph, Sharp Solar, which employs around 500 people at its manufacturing plant in Wrexham, has sent a private briefing document to David Cameron warning that the proposed cuts will force the company to review its presence in the UK.
Business Green 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The Daily Telegraph reported this week that Climate Minister Greg Barker is considering phasing in the proposed cuts, although it is worth noting that the logic-defying timeline for the consultation means that Barker could not legally announce any delay to the changes until after the crucial 12 December cut off date. As such, the mishandling of the proposed changes will have a chilling effect on the solar industry over the next few months regardless of whether some form of compromise can be reached. However, while much of the reporting of the controversial consultation has focused on the impact on the solar industry, it is worth asking what the proposed changes mean for those businesses and households considering deploying solar technologies.
Business Green 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The Government is under huge pressure over the turmoil caused to people and businesses because cuts to the feed-in tariff scheme are coming in so quickly on December 12. Thousands of homeowners have been caught out because their applications for new panels are stuck in the planning system or waiting for a connection to the power grid. They have paid up to £4,000 in deposits for their installations but there is little hope of meeting the deadline before the subsidy is halved, which is likely to make their investment uneconomic. Concerned by the backlash, Greg Barker, the Climate Change Minister, is considering whether to phase in the cuts to help people who are losing out because they will narrowly miss the deadline, according to sources in the department.
Telegraph 14th Nov 2011 more >>
But the call from a right-wing think tank to exempt the UK coal industry from taxes on carbon could not be more wrong-headed. It is mounting a Canute-like stand against the tide, rather than swimming with it. Carbon emissions have to be curbed to prevent climate chaos and in the UK this is legally binding. For the 6,000 coal workers in the UK, the solution is not to subsidise their jobs in a hopeless attempt to compete with Poland, China and elsewhere. The answer is to re-skill them for the industries of the future: clean, sustainable energy. There’s an unpleasant irony in the Centre for Policy Studies trying to save the UK coal industry: the think tank was founded by Margaret Thatcher who so unflinchingly destroyed its core in the 1980s. Today, protecting uneconomic jobs in a dying industry – coal mining in the UK – is not acceptable, but neither is abandoning those workers to the dole. But the clean, sustainable energy industry is growing in the UK and will need new, skilled staff.
Guardian 15th Nov 2011 more >>