There has been a lot of talk about Nuclear energy since the near meltdown after the devastating tsunami in Japan earlier this year. So, we thought it might be cool to look at the pros and cons of not only Nuclear, but other less harmful, sources of renewable energy. Graphices designed to give a better understanding of the good and bad things that come with each different source.
Oil Price 1st Sept 2011 more >>
THE Sellafield Stories oral history exhibition, on display at Lamplugh Village Hall over the bank holiday weekend, saw a steady stream of visitors.
Whitehaven News 1st Sept 2011 more >>
INDUSTRIAL giant Rolls-Royce yesterday snapped up American civil nuclear reactor servicing outfit R Brooks Associates for an undisclosed sum. Lawrie Haynes, president of Rolls’ nuclear unit, said: “Our investment in Brooks is a step towards growing our civil nuclear business. Brooks has an enviable reputation for unique inspection technology and has some of the best people in the industry.”
Scotsman 2nd Sept 2011 more >>
New Civil Engineer 1st Sept 2011 more >>
Rolls-Royce is set to become an inspector of nuclear reactors after buying an American specialist for an undisclosed sum.
Times 2nd Sept 2011 more >>
An environment watchdog has published a detailed report on radiation linked to Fukushima detected in Scotland. Very low levels of iodine-131 were detected in air samples from across Scotland after the Japanese nuclear plant was crippled by an earthquake. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said the incident had not posed a significant risk to Scotland. Iodine-131 believed to be from the plant was first detected in March. According to Sepa’s new report, it continued to be picked up from samples in some parts of Scotland until early May.
BBC 1st Sept 2011 more >>
Letter: Professor Colin McInnes failed to address the expensive side of the nuclear industry in his article. Toxic nuclear waste has a long half-life and requires safe disposal. While I am not against nuclear energy in principle, it should not be allowed on the agenda until a permanent and safe solution has been found to disposing of nuclear waste. For this reason the Scottish Governments stance should be supported. It is unlikely that the private sector can be relied on to deal with disposal reliably. Bargains may well be made by the industry indicating the taxpayer wont pay. However, experience tends to suggest that after the profitable period is over, the company will go belly up and the taxpayer will once again have to pick up the tab.
Herald 2nd Sept 2011 more >>
An independent investigation panel has confirmed that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency asked utilities in at least three cases to mobilize their employees for government-sponsored symposiums on nuclear power and express supportive or neutral opinions.
Japan Times 31st Aug 2011 more >>
There are 14 potentially active fault lines in areas near the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and other nuclear-related facilities, the government has announced. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency announced the results of research undertaken by power utilities following the Great East Japan Earthquake. The 14 faults discovered to be potentially active were previously considered unlikely to cause earthquakes.
Daily Yomiuri 1st Sept 2011 more >>
The cost of generating nuclear power in Japan is one-third higher than Tokyo’s last cost assessment in 2004 and 50 percent higher if compensation costs for the recent nuclear crisis are included, but still cheaper than fossil fuels, a study showed this week. The study by the country’s top energy research firm could provide fodder for both sides of Japan’s nuclear power debate, which is expected to heat up amid public wariness over nuclear safety despite the prospect of protracted power shortages.
Reuters 1st Sept 2011 more >>
HeliHub.com has heard that one or more of the current Doctor Heli fleet have become contaminated by radioactive material as a result of flying too close to the Fukushima nuclear plant which had the devastating failure resulting from Marchs tsunami. After being passed as fit-to-fly by the authorities, Doctor Heli (or possibly one of their current operators) purchased a Geiger counter the equipment to measure radioactivity and the results they found gave them sufficient concern to immediately condemn the airframe(s). Industry sources suggest that the affected helicopter(s) are to be buried in concrete.
Helihub 2nd Sept 2011 more >>
During the first half of 2011, Germany for the first time generated more than 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, a new report says.
Environment 360 1st Sept 2011 more >>
A quarter century of drilling and 1.5bn ($2.1bn) in expenditure have created 11km of tunnels. About 170 men are blasting 40m of new tunnel every week. Scientists have found nothing to suggest that the research mine is not up to the task, Mr Konig says. There is no sign of groundwater that would corrode nuclear storage bins or of any rock seams that could disrupt the integrity of the ancient salt strata. And yet, despite this Germanic thoroughness, Gorleben remains the focus of a bitter standoff about using this rural site to bury nuclear waste for hundreds or thousands of years. So undemocratic was the 1977 decision by the state of Lower Saxony to designate Gorleben for nuclear disposal that it remains an affront to many locals, as well as to national politicians.
FT 1st Sept 2011 more >>
GERMANYS energy network agency will not be ordering a nuclear plant to act as a back-up during winter, declaring the situation manageable but tricky. The agency, known as the Bundesnetzagentur, had previously been considering keeping one of the seven plants taken offline in the wake of the Fukushima disaster on standby. It reasoned that in the event of the countrys grid becoming unstable due to adverse weather and excess demand, it could quickly restart the facility to deal with the emergency. A new study, however, has led it to conclude that Germany will manage to stay powered up, though with only a thin margin for error.
Chemical Engineer 1st Sept 2011 more >>
Two of the three nuclear reactors in a southern New Jersey county have powered partway down because debris from Hurricane Irene is blocking cooling water intakes. PSEG Nuclear spokesman Joe Delmar said on Wednesday that the Salem I and Salem II units in Salem County are getting unusual amounts of grass and trash at the screen where water is taken in from the Delaware River.
Daily Mail 1st Sept 2011 more >>
Nuclear regulators said Thursday they want the operators of all 104 U.S. commercial reactors to conduct new assessments of their facilities’ vulnerability to earthquake damage. The decision was motivated by the increased awareness that seismic risks may have been underestimated by nuclear-power industry and regulators in the past, especially for the central and eastern U.S.
Wall St Journal 1st Sept 2011 more >>
An Iranian effort to show increased openness about its disputed nuclear program is doing little to dispel Western suspicions about Tehran’s atomic ambitions, with one Vienna-based envoy dismissing it as a “charm offensive.”
Reuters 1st Sept 2011 more >>
Belgian energy company Electrabel has signed an agreement with a consortium of Belgian industrial energy users to invest in thermal and nuclear energy production capacity. The agreement should allow heavy users of energy to rely on their own electricity supply instead of buying more expensive energy from utility suppliers.
Environmental Finance 1st Sept 2011 more >>
Today, 1,500 nuclear explosions later, we have an historic opportunity to learn from the failures of the past. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions, everywhere, by everyone. Testing virtually ended in 1996, when the treaty became available for countries to adopt. More than 180 did, and committed themselves to a planet free of nuclear explosions. But the treaty hasn’t yet entered into force. Nine countries must first ratify it. Until then, nuclear tests are not outlawed, and their absence relies on moratoria. Unfortunately, history has shown just how unreliable moratoria can be. As a result, we could see yet another volley of blasts, another obscene megaton-range competition, and another fatal countdown between nuclear-armed states, whose numbers have increased.
Scotsman 2nd Sept 2011 more >>
French utility giant EDF is divining into the tidal energy expertise of Irish firm OpenHydro to create a 16m offshore tidal installation off the coast of Paimpol-Bréhat, France. When installed in 2012, it will be the worlds largest tidal array, generating power for the French electricity grid. The alliance, announced this morning, between OpenHydro and EDF also signals France’s foray into offshore tidal installation.
Silicon Republic 1st Sept 2011 more >>
Britain’s solar sector is reeling from an overhaul of the Government incentives offered to those installing the technology, the head of the industry’s trade association warned yesterday. Howard Johns, the chairman of the Solar Trade Association, said forecasts that last month’s revamp of the feed-in tariff rules would damage the sector and Britain’s efforts to generate more energy from renewables were already proving correct. The revamp, introduced at the start of August, saw the Government reduce what is paid to those who generate more power than they need from solar installations. In most cases, the tariffs on offer to installations feeding such energy back into the national power grid are now much lower. While the cuts did not affect the smallest solar installations with domestic homes that have fitted the technology still benefiting fro m higher rates these projects provide far less energy than panels on large commercial premises. However, Mr Johns warned that in many cases, these bigger projects, which could have substantially increased the amount of energy generated by solar power, were not economically viable under the new feed-in tariffs. “We cannot understand why, at such a critical point, the UK is turning its back on a major opportunity to strengthen its position in what will be the biggest and cheapest energy generation technology,” Mr Johns said.
Independent 2nd Sept 2011 more >>
China is emerging as the dominant force in the manufacture of solar panels in a world desperate for renewable sources of energy, as collapsing prices and disillusion over government subsidies has hobbled US efforts to take a lead in the development of the new industry. Prices of solar panels have fallen by more than 40 per cent in the past year, as a result of increased manufacturing capacity and disappointing demand, and the US was reeling yesterday from news that taxpayers may have lost more than half-a-billion dollars on one solar energy firm that shut its doors this week.
Independent 2nd Sept 2011 more >>
After the failure of Solyndra, a much-hyped Californian solar power company heavily backed by the US government, there has been a renewed spate of speculation that the American solar industry is in terminal decline. Reports of its death have been exaggerated. However, the market segments and technologies where money can be made are changing. Companies that are badly positioned, particularly high-cost manufacturers, are likely to see further closures, bankruptcies and rationalisation. As Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, a British solar equipment company, says: Its the inevitable shake-out of an industry that is coming of age. On Wednesday Solyndra sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the third US solar company to collapse last month, following Evergreen Solar of Massachusetts and SpectraWatt, a spin-off from Intel. Yet while these failures hav e cast a pall over the industry, the worst of the gloom is concentrated in one area: the manufacture of solar modules. This relatively labour-intensive business has become dominated by Chinese production, from companies including Suntech Power, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy, backed by loans from the state-controlled China Development Bank. Aggressive expansion by Chinese and other companies worldwide has created huge oversupply of modules: there is enough capacity to supply the expected global market this year twice over. As a result, prices of modules have plummeted, from $3.50 per watt of generation in 2008, to $1.43 today, according to GTM Research. The Chinese companies have suffered a margin squeeze and higher-cost manufacturers are being forced to adapt or die.
FT 2nd Sept 2011 more >>