Giant robots will be used to destroy the part of the Sellafield nuclear plant that caught fire 56 years ago, spewing radioactive contamination around Britain and northern Europe.
IB Times 18th Aug 2013 read more »
The worst time to try to sort out a difficult argument is after the fighting about it has begun. The UK government, by appearing to rush to judgment in favour of fracking for gas, has lost any power of persuasion it might have had in the more measured debate that remains necessary but now seems increasingly unlikely. Similarly, by choosing its first exploratory oil drilling site in the south in a picturesque village within easy reach of London just as the politicians go on holiday, the energy firm Cuadrilla has predictably aroused the kind of alliance between celebrities, environmentalists and not-in-my-back-yard Tory voters that has barely been seen in a generation. This is no way to resolve a complex question that could shape the cost and security of the UK’s energy supplies for decades. The energy bill, now in the House of Lords, includes a commitment to set a carbon intensity target from a start date of 2016. Adopting the amendment backed by a cross-party group of MPs on the climate change select committee in the Lords to bring it forward to next year would be an important symbol of renewed determination to tackle emissions. So would offering the kind of tax incentives to develop renewables that shale gas exploitation is set to enjoy. One overlooked area is greater use of biogas like methane from household waste. If the government’s green energy effort matched its shale gas effort, it might have a real argument to make to an audience readier to listen to what it has to say.
Guardian 18th Aug 2013 read more »
This letter from Dr Carl Clowes in Wednesday’s Western Mail provides a very welcome perspective on how unlikely it is that Wylfa B will ever be constructed. Despite numerous attempts by pro-nuclear politicians to push the propaganda that Wylfa B will go ahead, there is little chance it will ever be built – we have been here before! Mrs Thatcher could not fulfil her nuclear dream and there is little chance of David Cameron doing so. The main difference in the interim, as Germany and other countries have seen, is the increasing emphasis on energy conservation and the rapid development of alternative energies. Developed sensitively, these resources, some of the best of which are found on and around Ynys Môn, have the capacity to more than meet the energy requirements of Wales and meet our own particular employment requirements on the island. Why are we even contemplating the risk?
Idea for Independent Wales 17th Aug 2013 read more »
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove a record amount of 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale. More than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together and containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area, the media write.
World Nuclear Industry Status Report 18th Aug 2013 read more »
Aside from a pair of research reactors, Australia hasn’t shown much interest in nuclear power. Will that change? It could, at least as far as the Royal Australian Navy is concerned, according to a green paper by University College London (UCL). Published on August 12, the discussion paper argues that it is entirely feasible for Australia to replace its aging fleet of diesel submarines with nuclear-powered craft for about the same cost as the conventional design currently under consideration.
Gizmag 18th Aug 2013 read more »
Lang Banks: Orkney is at the centre of a number of ground-breaking initiatives involving oysters, penguins and brown crabs, all of which could help to define a more sustainable future for Scotland and beyond. The Oyster and the Penguin are the names of just two of a number of giant wave and tidal power machines being tested off the coast of the islands, while the brown crabs are exactly that. As I have come to learn, Orkney is home to the largest brown-crab fishery in the UK and, with landings clocking in at thousands of tonnes every year, it is responsible for up to one-quarter of the annual Scottish brown crab catch. Orkney is still very much a hive of activity when it comes to renewables. Thanks to the presence of the European Marine Energy Centre on the main island, Orkney is now home to the greatest concentration of experimental wave and tidal power devices anywhere in the world. With continued support from politicians, plus the data from this and other projects, it is possible that, by the end of the decade, Orkney will become the global launch pad for dozens of commercially viable, pollution-free wave and tidal power devices, creating jobs and potential export opportunities.
Herald 19th Aug 2013 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgenscotland 16th Aug 2013 read more »
The government has been urged to develop a more targeted approach to rolling out its energy efficiency policies such as the Green Deal after new figures showed huge regional variations of household energy consumption around the UK. The Office for National Statistics unveiled data late last week showing that homes in England and Wales are using nearly a quarter less energy since 2005. Richard Griffiths, of the UK Green Building Council, called on the government to deliver more incentives to boost uptake of the Green Deal, such as tying energy efficiency improvements to stamp duty or council tax breaks, or extending the existing £125m scheme that provides cash-back for early adopters of the Green Deal.
Business Green 19th Aug 2013 read more »
Council chiefs are demanding 10 per cent of the profits made by energy companies if they press ahead with fracking for shale gas in their areas. The call comes as anti-fracking activists are expected to try to gain access to an oil-drilling test site in Sussex today, 24 hours after more than 1,000 protesters marched on the site in Balcombe. The Local Government Association has called for a meeting with Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, and Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, to press for substantially higher compensation payments where fracking goes ahead.
Times 19th Aug 2013 read more »