EDF Energy is on the verge of revealing “a number of preferred bidders” for work on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
Construction News 21st July 2015 read more »
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) submits today its response to the Stage 1 consultation by NuGeneration Ltd to build new nuclear reactors at Moorside, close to Sellafield in West Cumbria. NFLA argues that the project will result in adverse impact which outweighs the benefits and it should be cancelled. NFLA Steering Committee Chair Councillor Mark Hackett said: “This detailed NFLA submission deconstructs the case for new nuclear reactors at Sellafield Moorside. It argues that the design case for the AP1000 has as many weaknesses in it as EDF’s EPR design for Hinkley Point and Hitachi’s ABWR design for Wylfa. In each of these cases, the nuclear industry has failed to get these designs fully off the ground around the world. I always hear that new nuclear will create thousands of new jobs but the question is at what social cost to the local economy and local people? NFLA does not think this proposed project is a good deal for Cumbria or the UK economy and its energy infrastructure.”
NFLA 20th July 2015 read more »
NFLA 20th July 2015 read more »
Expanding Nuclear Military Fences – How Much of Cumbria Will Be Sacrificed?
Radiation Free Lakeland 20th July 2015 read more »
Nuclear industry recruiters have welcomed the news a £10bn nuclear power plant in Cumbria has been confirmed but warned of a persisting skills shortage. Joint venture group NuGen last week announced it paid an undisclosed sum for land near Sellafield, Cumbria, which will become the site of a three-reactor nuclear power plant known as Moorside. But Ben Smith, nuclear team leader at recruiter Eximius, points out this is just one of three such projects of similar magnitude planned in the UK. And with an inherent industry-wide skills shortage, an ageing workforce and a low take up of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects in schools, staffing the projects will be no mean feat. Together, the three projects are expected to create more than 40,000 jobs, he told Recruiter.
Recruiter 20th May 2015 read more »
Japan’s Toshiba Corp said its chief executive was stepping down on Tuesday after an independent investigation found he had been aware the company had been inflating its profits over a number of years. CEO and President Hisao Tanaka will be replaced by Chairman Masashi Muromachi effective Wednesday, the company said in a statement, adding it was considering appointing outside directors to over half of its board seats. Tanaka’s predecessors, Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki and adviser Atsutoshi Nishida, will also step down after the third-party report showed they also played a part in the overstatement of profits going back to the 2008 financial year. The report released on Monday said Toshiba had overstated its operating profit by 151.8 billion yen ($1.22 billion) over several years, roughly triple Toshiba’s initial estimate. The findings are expected to lead to the restatement of earnings, a board overhaul and potentially hefty fines at the computers-to-nuclear conglomerate in Japan’s worst corporate scandal since Olympus Corp was found to have covered up $1.7 billion in losses in late 2011.
Reuters 21st July 2015 read more »
In an accounting scandal that has tainted one of the most fabled brands in Japan and brought pressure on its top executives to step down, Toshiba Corp. said it will correct earnings by at least 152 billion yen ($1.2 billion). The company’s top executives set unrealistic profit targets that systematically led to flawed accounting, a summary of a third-party investigation released Monday showed. The irregularities were “skillfully” hidden from outside observers, according to the summary. The company may sell assets worth 200 billion yen, including part of its stake in atomic power plant maker Westinghouse Electric, the Nikkei reported on July 9, without saying where it got the information.
Bloomberg 21st July 2015 read more »
Toshiba’s top executives played a role in a company-wide accounting scandal involving at least Y152bn ($1.2bn) in inflated profits over a seven-year period, according to an investigative report released on Monday. In an 82-page summary of its findings, a panel of external lawyers and accountants detailed what it said were “institutional” accounting malpractices and a corporate culture in which employees were afraid to speak out against bosses’ push for increasingly unachievable profits. The report said that pressures to meet aggressive, short-term profit targets — known as “the challenge” — existed from the presidency of Atsutoshi Nishida, who headed the company from 2005 to 2009 and remains an adviser. Those pressures escalated as the company’s earnings deteriorated in the wake of the global financial crisis and the March 11 2011 earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear accident. The panel declared that Hisao Tanaka, Toshiba’s current chief executive, and Norio Sasaki, chief executive from 2009 to 2013 and now vice-chairman, were aware that profits were being inflated and did not take any action to end the improper accounting. In some instances, the report added, top executives pressured employees to achieve their targets with suggestions that the company may withdraw from underperforming businesses such as television if they were not met.
FT 20th July 2015 read more »
The accounting irregularities that engulfed Toshiba Corp. have developed into a major scandal that appears likely to result in the resignation of its president and his predecessor over their responsibility for the padding of the major electronics group’s profits to the tune of ¥200 billion over five years to the business year that ended in March 2014. A third-party panel of lawyers tasked to probe the improper accounting will disclose its findings as early as Friday, and Toshiba itself is scheduled to explain the outcome later. The company needs to get to the bottom of the structural problems that allowed accounting irregularities of this magnitude to take place. This, along with clarifying the responsibilities of its top management, will hold the key to its efforts to prevent future problems and regain the public’s trust.
Japan Times 20th July 2015 read more »
The Anglesey power plant project has come under fire after it emerged that 25% of workers hired to build the facility will be local. Backers of a proposed £8bn nuclear plant say there will be “ample opportunity” for local firms to bid for contracts associated with the project. Concerns were raised after it was announced that only around 25% of the planned 8,500 construction jobs on Anglesey’s Wylfa Newydd were expected to go to workers within a 90 minute radius.
Daily Post 20th July 2015 read more »
Nuclear developer Hitachi-GE has been hit with a second regulatory issue by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) concerning the safety of its proposed advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR). Following a first issue relating to “chemistry matters”, issued in June, the regulator has said Hitachi’s arguments supporting its safety claims “do not meet the relevant expectations”, as they are “insufficient to provide a reasonable understanding” of the risk of using the reactor. “The concerns identified by ONR in the regulatory issue will need to be addressed to our satisfaction before we would consider whether a design acceptance confirmation could be granted,” the regulator said. In response to the ONR, Hitachi-GE said it “acknowledges” that its submissions, made in December 2014, “did not meet UK regulatory expectations”. “As a consequence Hitachi-GE must develop a revised approach in line with UK good practice, in order to build UK regulator’s confidence in our ability to deliver a suitable and sufficient full scope, modern standards, [probabilistic safety assessment] PSA by June 2016 as committed in generic design assessment step two,” it added.
Utility Week 20th July 2015 read more »
Hundreds of staff who carry out radiation checks at the nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria have voted to go on strike. The GMB union has announced nearly four hundred health physics monitors responsible for checking radiation levels on staff and equipment are walking out next Tuesday 28 July in a long-running dispute over pay. Sellafield bosses say the site will continue to be managed safely and securely throughout the industrial action.
ITV 20th July 2015 read more »
I am pleased to announce today the publication of the fifth annual report of the Government’s Implementing Geological Disposal Programme. The programme is focused on implementing the geological disposal of higher activity radioactive waste. The UK Government remains firmly committed to geological disposal as the right policy for the long-term safe and secure management of higher-activity radioactive waste, and continues to favour a voluntarist approach based on working with communities that are willing to participate in the siting process. The publication of the Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper in July 2014 set out the policy framework for the future implementation of geological disposal in the UK. Government has been progressing the ‘Initial Actions’ set out in the White Paper, and formal discussions between interested communities and the developer will not begin until the ‘Initial Actions’ have been completed. The 5th annual report can be found at: http://www.gov.uk/decc. I have also written to the Chairs of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, and I have made available copies in the Libraries of the House.
DECC 20th July 2015 read more »
There is no way of spinning it, the first two and a half months of the new parliament have not been kind to the UK’s green economy. In fact, they seem to be reaching playground bully levels of unkind. The appointment of Tory modernisers to key environmental positions and the reassertion of the government’s commitment to the Climate Change Act meant environmentalist’s worst fears about a climate sceptic coup at CCHQ proved unfounded, but that has been pretty much the only positive development green businesses and investors have seen since May. Instead of the strategy for delivering cost-effective decarbonisation that was promised, low carbon industries have received a series of policy blows, many of which were not mandated by anything as democratically legitimate as a manifesto commitment. As MPs depart on their lengthy summer recess, what policies should the government be working on to ensure that by the time parliament returns in the autumn the credible cost effective decarbonisation strategy that was promised in the manifesto actually materialises?
Business Green 20th July 2015 read more »
Next month, Japan may restart its first nuclear reactor in nearly two years. It would be the first time since the tsunami-triggered meltdowns four years ago that the government’s new regulatory agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), has authorized the restart of a reactor. The NRA was created to rebuild public trust in the wake of the devastating meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in 2011. But the potential decision to enable a return to nuclear power to generate electricity is not supported by public opinion.
Washington Post 20th July 2015 read more »
Many families emigrated to the UK from Japan after the tsunami and earthquake in 2011 to escape the Fukushima nuclear crisis. But the long standing effects of nuclear radiation makes it difficult for them to return to homeland, Japan. How they choose to live in this dilemma? In this documentary, explore their reasons for living in the UK and the concerns for the future of Japan.
Vimeo 20th July 2015 read more »
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency has completed an operational safety review of a nuclear station in Japan. The Japanese Government asked the IAEA to inspect the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station. In a 14-day review, the Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) noted a series of good practices and made recommendations to reinforce some safety measures during the mission, stated the IAEA.
Energy Live News 21st July 2015 read more »
North Korea has been exporting thousands of labourers to around 40 countries where they toil in mines, as construction labourers and in textile factories. While it might appear as if the labourers might be leading a better life outside the dictatorship the reality is quite the opposite. According to ABC, Kim Jong-un is using the money sent home by around 90,000 North Korean ‘slave labourers’ to fund Pyongyang’s nuclear programme and building projects, recently doubling the size of the country’s foreign labour programme.
IB Times 20th July 2015 read more »
As far as the risk of nuclear weapons is concerned, there is no fundamental difference between the Cold War and today’s world. Research has found that terrorist groups are not too keen to acquire nuclear devices. Most of the countries that Western societies would regard as especially risky today (such as Iran and North Korea, Pakistan and India) already began their nuclear programmes during the Cold War. Moreover, history has shown that what matters in terms of risk is not whether or not a country has nuclear weapons: it’s what it intends to do with them. And that we often don’t exactly know.
The Conversation 21st July 2015 read more »
How far can we go? Presentation by Catherine Mitchell.
IGov 20th July 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, welcomes the latest report by BVG Associates, which outlines how advances in technology the supply chain and policy have combined to put the industry on track to become sustainable without financial support from consumers. BVG’s report highlights the costs of offshore wind are starting to fall sharply as a result of the introduction of large turbines and advances in foundation technology. Continued downward pressure on the cost of energy due to the introduction of even larger and more efficient turbines after 2020 will see offshore wind projects going into construction in 5 years-time that are competitive with new gas plant. From the late 2020’s the repowering of the oldest projects with more advanced technology could see the advent of offshore wind that is below the cost of gas generation, even under the Governments lowest price forecast. This marks a radical step towards subsidy free offshore wind and will enable the UK to continue to decarbonise through the 2020’s cost-effectively, providing “return on investment” for successive governments that have established the UK as the world leader in the industry.
Statkraft 19th July 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
Melbourne parish church is one of hundreds of religious buildings across the country to have taken the pioneering step of installing solar panels, spurred on by the twin aims of shrinking the building’s carbon footprint and slashing electricity bills. The returns are good, particularly for those churches that went solar prior to the Government’s 2012 decision to reduce the tariff paid to generators who sell surplus energy back to the National Grid. The latest figures from ChurchCare – the Church of England’s division that helps churches look after their buildings – show that over the past decade, 376 of its churches, halls, schools, vicarages and even a cathedral now have photovoltaic panels and are generating thousands of pounds.
Independent 19th July 2015 read more »
More than 200 businesses have put their names to a letter today (20 July) calling on Chancellor George Osborne to reconsider ending the Government’s plans for zero-carbon homes. The Productivity Plan launched earlier this month by the Chancellor unexpectedly scrapped the policy which was initially designed to ensure new homes built from 2016 met zero-carbon standards.
Edie 20th July 2015 read more »
Business Green 20th July 2015 read more »
A London-based energy storage firm has launched a new crowdfunding campaign for a system which could rival Tesla, Powervault and other players in the UK’s surging battery market. Moixa is seeking to raise £875,000 via the investment site Crowdcube in exchange for 6.48% equity in the company, meaning the company could be worth around £13.5m.
Edie 20th July 2015 read more »
Energy storage represents a huge opportunity for cost savings and grid management. Storage would help provide energy security in the long-term and alleviate short term issues caused by intermittent generation. Storage now faces regulatory and legislative barriers to level the playing field to achieve breakthrough in the UK. A spokesman for the Renewable Energy Association – the largest UK renewables body – said: “It is essential that the government adopts new technologies to solve these ongoing grid problems, both to prevent increasing bills for consumers and to provide energy security. A new report on solar in the UK will be released this week to explain how energy storage would operate in the grid alongside solar and will show how, as part of a coordinated strategy storage can help the UK move away from carbon intensive generation. Solar is the fastest growing generation technology with over 8 GW installed already in the UK. Combined with energy storage solar can also be one of the most flexible sources of power, even contributing to peak demand in winter.
Scottish Energy News 21st July 2015 read more »
Cluff Natural Resources is claiming “significant progress” in its venture to extract gas from under the Firth of Forth. The AIM-quoted energy group headed by Algy Cluff said its agreement with oil services giant Halliburton was accelerating development of its gas and underground coal gasification (UCG) assets in the UK. The partners were currently working together on the drilling of one or more wells on the company’s five conventional licences in the Southern North Sea. At the same time Halliburton was providing technical and geological assistance for those projects and for the Kincardine UCG project in the Firth of Forth. The company said the current work would lead to submission of a planning application for a UCG production test at Kincardine.
Herald 21st July 2015 read more »
Scottish Energy News 20th July 2015 read more »
An unprecedented coalition of the UK’s most eminent scientific, medical and engineering bodies says immediate action must be taken by governments to avert the worst impacts of climate change. But the joint communique, issued by 24 academic and professional institutions, also says that tackling global warming would drive economic progress, benefit the health of millions by cutting air pollution and improve access to energy, water and food. To have a reasonable chance of keeping warming below 2C, the internationally agreed danger limit, the world must end all emissions within the next few decades, the communique warns.
Guardian 21st July 2015 read more »