The future of the nuclear industry in Europe took another blow this week when the French state-owned power company EDF again postponed a final decision on whether to build two large nuclear power stations in the UK. Construction will now not start before 2019, the company said. This is the eighth time a “final investment decision” on building two European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs) has been postponed because the company has still to secure enough backing to finance the £18 billion (€23.26 bn) project. The excuse this time was that the Chinese New Year celebrations had held up negotiations with the Chinese backers, who have agreed to put up one-third of the money. This date – 2019 for first concrete pour – is a year after the reactors were originally due to be completed. The timetable has gradually slipped backwards. Last year the date for power to start being generated was put back to 2025, but this new date for pouring concrete makes 2030 more likely – if the reactors are built at all. It looks as though EDF is being careful not to begin building another EPR until it can prove the design actually works.This further postponement of a start date for the new reactors leaves the UK government with a gaping hole in its energy policy, despite it offering to pay double the existing price of electricity for the output from Hinkley Point, a subsidy that will continue for 35 years. Continuing to apply for life extensions for old nuclear stations also saves the company from technical bankruptcy. Once a station is closed its decommissioning costs become company liabilities. With the company’s debts already high, it would not take many closures for EDF’s liabilities to exceed its assets.
Climate News Network 19th Feb 2016 read more »
What mitigation has NuGen put in place for the badger setts on the land between Sellafield and Beckermet? Seemingly none. Were the badgers found on the beach early last year at Seascale a result of the obscenity of 300 boreholes being drilled on greenfields known to contain deep beneath the ground decades of seeping radioactive contamination from Sellafield? The boreholes have brought this radioactive contamination to the surface and the plan is to build a special pumping station in order to pump the borehole ‘binjuice’ directly to the river Ehen. There is more info at the following link regarding the insidious borehole drilling initially described as 100 boreholes – now it is up to over 300 boreholes.
Radiation Free Lakeland 19th Feb 2016 read more »
ALMOST half of new jobs created in Caithness and north Sutherland in the next 14 years will relate to the energy industry, according to estimates revealed in a new economic report. Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) is confident 1600 new jobs will be created locally by 2030, predicting at least 100 new jobs a year. Of that total figure, it forecasts 48 per cent will be related to the nuclear, renewable and oil and gas sector with Dounreay still predicted to be the engine of the Caithness economy over the next few years.
John O Groat Journal 13th Feb 2016 read more »
Letter: Yes, Torness is needed for base load in the foreseeable future in Scotland, as wind frequently collapses, but will only offset some of the technical problems. Wind generation rises and falls rapidly but the output of nuclear power stations cannot be varied to match as Xenon poisoning of the fuel rods would result, probably within a very few hours and take days to resume normal levels.
Herald 20th Feb 2016 read more »
Nukes vs Climate
The electrical power production sector accounts for about 28 percent of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and constitutes by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. That is why supposedly carbon dioxide-free nuclear power plants have frequently been praised as a panacea for addressing climate change. However, in 2013 nuclear electricity contributed just 10.6 percent of global electricity generation, and because electricity represents only 18 percent of total global final energy consumption, the nuclear share is just 1.7 percent of global final energy consumption. Even if generation in nuclear power plants could be increased significantly, nuclear power will remain a marginal energy source. Therefore, the turnaround in energy systems has to prioritize energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy technologies and cogeneration plants, which do not cause any more carbon dioxide emissions than nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants may also contribute to climate change by emitting radioactive isotopes such as tritium or carbon 14 and the radioactive noble gas krypton 85.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 18th Feb 2016 read more »
A senior Belgian nuclear official was secretly monitored by suspects linked to the 13 November Paris attacks, raising fears Isis is trying to obtain radioactive material to make a dirty bomb. In the aftermath of the attacks, which killed 130 people, police in Belgium seized surveillance footage of the high-ranking nuclear official – who has not been identified for security reasons. The scientist could be seen coming and going from his home in the Flanders region during the 10-hour fixed-camera film, La Derniere Heure newspaper reported. The camera was picked up from a bush by two men, who then drove away in a vehicle with the lights off, CCTV from the area later revealed.
Independent 19th Feb 2016 read more »
The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency is to give £500,000 to Innovate UK’s £1.5 million Energy Game Changer fund, which aims to encourage smaller businesses to find new ways of solving some of the energy industry’s technical challenges. The allocation of funding will take place through a competitive process led by Innovate UK, with SMEs welcome to submit stand-alone project ideas or to work collaboratively with partner organisations of any size.
Machinery Market 19th Feb 2016 read more »
On 5 February 2016 the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency sent out a consultation letter to the participating countries in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) transboundary procedure for the planned Swedish system for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The Espoo consultation process for the repository system has been on-going for several years but can now continue because the application for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel was announces as being complete by the Land and Environmental Court on January 29th 2016. The countries are now being asked to send comments on the EIA report and associated documents no later than 15 April 2016, and will be invited to attend to a consultation meeting arranged on the 21 March 2016.
MKG 5th Feb 2016 read more »
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) signed an agreement that gives UAMPS a site permit for a nuclear power plant in Idaho. UAMPS plans to build and operate a 570-MW nuclear plant using several of NuScale’s 30-MW small modular nuclear reactors, according to The Energy Collective. The 110-year agreement period includes a 10-year licensing period, site preparation and plant construction followed by 99 years of plant operation and retirement, the article said.
Power Engineering 19th Feb 2016 read more »
World Nuclear News 19th Feb 2016 read more »
It’s widely agreed here in the rapidly Disuniting States of America that the most notorious of the Republican presidential candidates have not only abandoned, but torn up the rulebook of acceptable behavior. Lies, taunts, profanities all have become the norm. But what if one of those candidates promised, if elected, to risk the death or permanent exile of a quarter of the country’s population? That would surely evoke the well-used slur of the Right: ‘unpatriotic!’ And insane, you say. Except that being certifiably unhinged doesn’t seem to be a disqualifying factor in US presidential campaigns these days. Still: purposely putting your electorate at risk when other choices are open to you certainly smacks of treachery. Former Soviet Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, who led the then USSR during the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine; and Naoto Kan who was prime minister of Japan when the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began, both now travel the speakers’ circuit extolling the need to abolish nuclear power. Kan, now 69, who resigned the premiership in August 2011, has become a ubiquitous and compelling voice for the global anti-nuclear movement. Gorbachev is equally on board but, due to age and infirmity (he turns 85 on March 2nd) is less often in evidence. Kan made his case in January during a presentation at the UK’s House of Commons co-organized by Nuclear Free Local Authorities, Green Cross International (the group Gorbachev founded) and Nuclear Consulting Group. Gorbachev was scheduled but had to cancel.
Truthout 19th Feb 2016 read more »
A film set in northeastern Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster was awarded the Heiner Carow Prize at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival Friday.
Japan Today 20th Feb 2016 read more »
Radwate – US
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) issued preliminary notices of violation (PNOV) to Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC (NWP) and Los Alamos National Security (LANS) for violations of nuclear worker safety and health and nuclear safety requirements. The issuance of the violations ends DOE’s investigations regarding two events at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. The violations by NWP at WIPP are associated with two events that happened in February 2014. The first involved a fire in a salt haul truck in the WIPP underground, and the second was a radiological release. The violations by LANS at the lab are associated with processes used by LANS to package and remediate transuranic waste drums, one of which has been linked to the radiological release at WIPP. The NWP PNOV cites four Security Level I violations and seven Security Level II violations related to worker safety and health and nuclear safety requirements. The LANS PNOV cites two Security Level I violations and two Security Level II violations related to nuclear safety requirements. WIPP has been shut down since fiscal year 2014, and NWP has not been able to earn a fee of approximately $7.6 million. NNSA reduced the contract fee and length by two years. Due to the adverse contract changes, DOE did not impose a civil penalty.
Power Engineering 19th Feb 2016 read more »
Germany’s nuclear operators could face only limited long-term liability for the costs of the country’s nuclear phaseout, according to a paper from a government-appointed commission seen by Reuters on Thursday. The paper indicates that the commission took on board concerns of the four utilities – E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall – which have earmarked nearly 40 billion euros in provisions to pay for the dismantling and storage of waste from their nuclear plants. The last plant will be closed in 2022. Worries over their financial health have raised fears that the companies may be unable to turn the provisions – including some illiquid assets – into liquid funds, eventually leaving taxpayers to foot some or much of the bill. The paper said an unlimited liability would lead to excessive demands being made of the operators and that this would ultimately not be beneficial to society.
Reuters 18th Feb 2016 read more »
The massive expenditure of billions proposed for a new Trident should be spent on the real needs of our people and the planet. March with us for a nuclear weapon-free world on February 27, urges BRUCE KENT
Morning Star 20th Feb 2016 read more »
A CUMBRIAN MP has criticised a suggestion to scrap nuclear submarines in favour of cheaper airbourne alternatives. Reports claim that the Labour party is considering backing a plan to replace Trident submarines with nuclear-armed planes. The proposal, which was originally drafted for a Liberal Democrat think-tank, is reportedly being considered by shadow defence secretary, Emily Thornberry, as part of Labour’s defence policy review. The plan would see the Barrow-built submarines scrapped and replaced with a new system that would see nuclear weapons dropped from the air by specially-adapted fighter planes.
NW Evening Mail 19th Feb 2016 read more »
Barmy Labour tries to scrap Trident submarines – but wants nuclear PLANES instead.
Express 19th Feb 2016 read more »
This week’s micro power news. Includes news that UK solar capacity has reached 10GW.
MicrogenScotland.org.uk 19th Feb 2016 read more »
The UK government is considering two new interconnectors, including another link with Norway, which would pass through the 4.8GW Dogger Bank projects. A number of new projects that will nearly triple our interconnection capacity are already in the pipeline, and we are looking at the viability of other interesting proposals,” said a UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) spokeswoman. Currently, the UK has 4GW of interconnection capacity with a further 6.7GW approved, including the Nemo Link between the UK and Belgium and the NSN Link between the UK and Norway. Both these priojects are already under construction.
WindPower Monthly 15th Feb 2016 read more »