A GROUP of Somerset food and drink producers have been awarded an interim catering contract for EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project. The collaboration group Somerset Larder will deliver the contract until the spring of 2016, when the full contract for catering services at Hinkley Point C will be awarded.
Bridgwater Mercury 1st Nov 2014 read more »
Nuclear power has played a big part in our energy use over the past 30 years with the benefit that it produces much less CO2 than fossil fuels, but it comes at a price; the process produces harmful waste products that must be managed for millennia. By the end of the century, the UK will have around 300,000 cubic metres of higher activity radioactive waste, enough to fill about one quarter of Wembley Stadium. What’s more, the UK pioneered a number of early experimental nuclear reactors that produced waste that is much harder to manage than material from modern reactors. At the moment, most of the UK’s radioactive waste is stored at ground level in vaults and buildings at Sellafield. Zoe Shipton, professor of geological engineering at the University of Strathclyde, says: “This cannot continue long term, as at the surface the waste will be exposed to many possible threats, including terrorism, tsunamis and climate change.” The best – and as far as many experts are concerned, only – option is to put the waste out of harm’s way in a geological disposal facility. This is now happening in a number of countries including the US, France and Finland. Rebecca Lunn, professor of engineering geosciences at the University of Strathclyde, says: “Geological disposal of nuclear waste involves the construction of a precision-engineered facility deep below the ground into which waste canisters are carefully manoeuvred. Before construction of a geological repository can even be considered, an environmental safety case must be developed that proves the facility will be safe over millions of years.”
Observer 1st Nov 2014 read more »
Britain’s ageing power network is holding back the country’s industrial base with a quarter of manufacturers rating it as inadequate, with some of them fearing they could face damaging energy shortages. A fifth of them are calling on the Government to make upgrading Britain’s power supplies the top priority when it comes to investing in infrastructure, according to research by EEF, the trade association for Britain’s manufacturers. The finding comes just weeks after a fire at Didcot B, a gas-fired power station in Oxfordshire, raised the spectre of Britain facing blackouts and surging energy prices this winter.
Telegraph 1st Nov 2014 read more »
Jim Murphy was asked a question about Trident: “Jim, when the Labour Party in Scotland were last allowed to discuss Trident they voted heavily against it> When you lead the Labour Party in Scotland what will your line be?” He replied: “Hugh it’s nice to see you again. I read some of your stuff and enjoy some of it! Of course I want to get rid of all nuclear weapons but in this dangerous modern world when many countries like Iran are trying to get nuclear weapons it’s not a time for us to give them up.” This of course is what I expected. Jim Murphy is not only an arch Blairite, he is a hawk on foreign policy, a keen supporter of the war on Iraq and Afghanistan. He urged the bombing of Syria last year when the House of Commons voted against it. Murphy is also closely connected to US interests as an advisor to the Henry Jackson Society, a right wing foreign policy group. His audience of Labour full timers liked his answer but I suspect that his support of Trident will go down rather badly with the few socialists left in the party and many trade unionists who vote Labour.
Newsnet Scptland 1st Nov 2014 read more »
The Green Party will not collaborate with the Liberal Democrats in any general election pacts, because Nick Clegg and his ministers have become so discredited on the environment, its leader said yesterday. A pact with the Lib Dems was “not going to happen” because they had “blown their green credentials” by backing nuclear power and fracking with their coalition partners.
Independent 2nd Nov 2014 read more »
Unidentified drones illegally overflew five French nuclear power plants overnight, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday, in the latest of a series of unexplained incidents that have raised safety concerns. The small unmanned aircraft were detected late on Friday above the five plants in northern and eastern France, the source said, confirming an earlier report by Agence France-Presse. State-controlled utility EDF, which operates the plants at Penly, Flamanville, Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux, Dampierre and Fessenheim, could not confirm the latest drone incursions, a spokeswoman said. French law bans aircraft of all types from flying within five kilometres of nuclear facilities.
Reuters 1st Nov 2014 read more »
Traders and customers in Iran find a way around UN sanctions as deadline for nuclear agreement draws closer.
Independent 2nd Nov 2014 read more »
Sweden is reconsidering phasing out nuclear power in favor of a 100% renewables power mix. The country’s 10 operating nuclear power plants produce about 40% of the Scandinavian country’s power. The remainder mostly comes from hydropower, depending on the season. The fourth-largest country in the European Union, Sweden’s electricity consumption has been gradually rising.
Power Mag 1st Nov 2014 read more »
Momentum is growing behind the Sunday Mirror-led campaign to recognise and recompense for the survivors of horrific 1950s nuclear bomb tests.
Mirror 1st Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
As the barge steamed away from the TAG Energy Solutions factory on the Tees, Stuart Oakley knew his company’s days were numbered. TAG specialised in making the 200ft-long foundation tubes for offshore wind turbines. On August 28, its last of its 650-ton tubes rolled off the line, destined for the Humber Gateway wind farm being built by energy giant Eon five miles off the Yorkshire coast. Oakley, TAG’s former chief executive, did not have another contract to keep his workers busy. “We knew that without another order we were looking into the eyes of administration,” he said. The Gateway contract was TAG’s first and last. In September the company laid off its remaining 74 staff; last month it went into administration. TAG’s demise is indicative of more than just a start-up running out of luck. It is an example of what industry sources say is a dawning reality that the government is loath to admit to: 13 years after the installation of the first offshore turbine in Blyth harbour in northeast England, the offshore wind industry is still struggling to take off. It may never. This sounds counterintuitive. Thanks to billions in taxpayer subsidies, more wind turbines churn above British waters than in the rest of the world combined. But behind the headline a more nuanced picture emerges. Siting wind turbines at sea is the priciest way to produce electricity. A modern gas-fired station of equal capacity can be built for one-fifth the price and run round the clock, unaffected by the uncertain nature of wind. Yet the Department of Energy and Climate Change put offshore wind power, with nuclear reactors, at the heart of its £200bn plan to replace fossil-fuelled power stations with cleaner alternatives. These next-generation plants are wildly expensive but we will be compensated in three ways, the government has long argued. Around the time TAG was undergoing its expensive overhaul, the Treasury had begun to take a keener interest in what the energy department was up to. George Osborne was alarmed at the cheques department mandarins were signing. His solution was the levy control framework, which set a ceiling of £7.6bn on public funds available for subsidies for all renewable energy — solar and wind, biomass and geothermal — up to 2020. Until now, offshore projects have secured deals guaranteeing them £155 or more for each megawatt hour produced — roughly three times the wholesale electricity price. The inflated rates were blended into household energy bills. Led by the Treasury crackdown, the energy department has cut both the length of subsidy guarantees — from two decades to 15 years — and the level of support, from £155 per megawatt hour towards what will probably be about £140. The aid cuts convinced several energy giants to slash their offshore plans or pull out entirely.
Times 2nd Nov 2014 read more »
The world is on course to experience “severe and pervasive” negative impacts from climate change unless it takes rapid action to slash its greenhouse gas emissions, a major UN report is expected to warn on Sunday. Flooding, dangerous heatwaves, ill health and violent conflicts are among the likely risks if temperatures exceed 2C above pre-industrial levels, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will say. Yet on current trends, continued burning of fossil fuels could see temperature increases of between 3.7C and 4.8C by the end of the century, the report warns, according to a draft seen by the Telegraph. Warming beyond 4C would likely result in “substantial species extinction, large risks to global and regional food security, impacts on normal human activities”.
Telegraph 1st Nov 2014 read more »
CARBON DIOXIDE emissions must be reduced by almost half by 2030 or global temperatures will eventually rise by between 2C and 5C, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will warn today. Kirsty Gogan, director of the pro-nuclear lobby group Energy for Humanity, said more nuclear power plants may help to tackle the problem. “It seems unconscionable for those most concerned about climate change to prioritise the abandonment of nuclear energy over the abandonment of coal, as is now happening in Germany,” she said.
Times 2nd Nov 2014 read more »
The unrestricted use of fossil fuels must end soon if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change. That’s one of the key messages in a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC outlines an approach that could see most of the world’s electricity produced from low carbon sources by 2050. Fossil fuels, without carbon capture and storage (CCS), would be phased out “almost entirely” by 2100.
BBC 2nd Nov 2014 read more »