Britain’s Dungeness B22 nuclear power reactor has gone offline in an unplanned outage, operator EDF Energy said on Friday. The 550-megawatt (MW) unit went offline at 01:18 AM BST on Friday.”Unit availability is expected to be 0 MW for the next 7 days,” EDF Energy said on its regulatory website. Britain now has six nuclear reactors offline, with a combined capacity of 3,445 MW.
Reuters 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
Letter Bill Butler: I completely agree with the comments made by Dr John Large over the startling admission made by the company decommissioning the Dounreay site, which has now found much more highly radioactive material than previously thought in the reactor (your report, 19 August). It never surprises me to find out that, in virtually every case of nuclear decommissioning in the UK, the original costs for removing radioactive materials are always seriously underestimated. Now we find out that a much larger amount of highly radioactive material was left in the famous domed reactor when it was defuelled. Yet again taxpayers will have to pay many more tens of millions of pounds to sort out the legacy costs of the nuclear industry. Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) urges the Dounreay operators and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to stop transporting it by rail through our Highland communities and our cities and to abandon any idea of transporting it across the sea, close to the Western Isles. The waste should rather be safely managed near its original source, so as to avoid the risks of an accident or malicious incident in transporting it. If the complete project is to be reassessed, now is the time to stop transportation of such highly radioactive materials across ¬Scotland.
Scotsman 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
FIRST Minister Alex Salmond sees energy as an ace in an independent Scotland’s pack. Enviable renewable energy resources, among the best in Europe, could be at the heart of a world-beating new industry, he argues. The No campaign does not dispute their worth but argues Scottish renewables will only achieve their full potential as part of a UK-wide energy market.
Herald 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
The Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has privately told the boss of the energy giant EDF not to worry about the future of its two nuclear power stations – Torness and Hunterston B. The Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has privately told the boss of the energy giant EDF not to worry about the future of its two nuclear power stations – Torness and Hunterston B.
Channel4 21st Aug 2014 read more »
The boss of one of the UK’s biggest energy companies has blamed Labour’s threatened price freeze for his group’s failure to cut bills, despite the recent slump in wholesale gas prices. Paul Massara, chief executive of npower, made the frank claim in a private letter to the energy regulator, which threatens to further inflame relations between the industry and the Labour party. He said that cutting bills would be too risky because the supplier would be unable to raise them again in response to rising costs if Labour won the election next May and implemented its promised 20-month price freeze.
Times 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
EDF Energy is to pay £3m to help vulnerable customers after an Ofgem investigation found the company had breached complaint handling rules. The investigation followed a 30pc jump in complaints recorded by the energy provider when it was moving customers to a new IT system in 2011. Ofgem found that between May 2011 and January 2012, EDF Energy did not have appropriate procedures in place to properly receive, record and process all customers’ complaints.
Telegraph 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
The UK’s National Grid and Ofgem must be vigilant as the risk of blackouts rises this winter following a string of high stake unplanned outages, a former energy department mandarin has warned. The UK’s safety margins could halve after the unexpected loss of 3 GW of electricity generation capacity in recent weeks. The fire-damaged Ferrybridge coal-fired power plant and four of EDF energy’s nuclear reactors, taken offline due to safety concerns, are due to return later this year but delays would increase the risk of a supply shortfall.
Utility Week 21st Aug 2014 read more »
A claim that redevelopment of Carlisle Airport could lead to it transporting nuclear waste by air is “scaremongering”, says Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler. Radiation Free Lakeland (RFL) made the claim the day after Carlisle City Council approved the controversial plans – for the fourth time. Mr Tinkler said that there was now nothing to stop the £20m redevelopment from finally happening. He believes work on the project – which includes a huge freight distribution depot on the site – could be underway within a few months. But Marianne Birkby, from RFL cited the aviation website azworldairports.com which lists the airport has having permission to transport radioactive freight.
Carlisle News & Star 21st Aug 2014 read more »
Cumberland News 21st Aug 2014 read more »
By 2050, India could rely entirely on renewable energy to create a sustainable energy future. In the coming years, India will face seemingly insurmountable challenges to its economy, environment and energy security. To overcome these challenges India needs to shift to non-polluting sources of energy. As Jeremy Rifkin, an economist and activist, said in New Delhi in January 2012, “India is the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy sources and, if properly utilized, India can realize its place in the world as a great power,” and adding “but political will is required for the eventual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.” The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also has recommended that the world needs a major shift in investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Renew Economy 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded grants worth nearly $67 million (£40.4m) for nuclear energy research and development projects. A total of 83 projects were selected from across the country based on their potential to create “scientific breakthroughs” that help strengthen the nation’s energy security and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Live News 21st Aug 2014 read more »
A 71-year-old former lab worker has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for conspiring with her physicist husband to sell secrets about nuclear weapons. Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, pleaded guilty to plotting to reveal classified nuclear data. Her husband, 79-year-old scientist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, is in federal custody pending his sentencing after admitting to providing weapons plans to an FBI officer masquerading as a Venezuelan agent.
Daily Mail 21st Aug 2014 read more »
On September 18, the residents of Scotland will determine whether to remain in the United Kingdom or become independent for the first time since 1707. On the surface, this referendum seems to only affect those living in the United Kingdom, but a more detailed look reveals an issue of significant international importance—the future of Great Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 20th Aug 2014 read more »
Government energy policy is caught between apparently conflicting objectives, writes Mark Hackett. But there is a solution that is already working in the UK and abroad – to encourage the active participation of local authorities in delivering low carbon energy to the communities they serve.
Ecologist 21st Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Solarcentury founder and green business campaigner Jeremy Leggett has launched a new effort to boost investment in clean technologies by tapping into the vast financial reserves held by philanthropic foundations and trusts. Leggett, who also serves as chairman of charity SolarAid and NGO Carbon Tracker Initiative, this month kicked off a fund-raising push on crowd-funding platform IndieGoGo to raise £30,000 to support the launch of the “Big Boost Climate Project”.
Business Green 21st Aug 2014 read more »
EDF and E.ON, two of the largest offshore wind project developers in the UK have backed the department of energy and climate change’s (DECC) plans to cut support for large-scale solar under the renewable obligation (RO) scheme. The companies’ responses to the consultation, released after a Freedom of Information request by PV Tech’s sister site Solar Power Portal, show support from the pair for solar’s removal from the RO mechanism. Currently, large-scale solar shares a budget with subsidies for offshore wind and a number of other technologies.
PV-Tech 21st Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – tidal
The construction of a major tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth is set to begin later this year. The MeyGen scheme has secured £50m in funding. More than £20m will come from the Scottish government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The scheme’s backers say that, when completed, it will include up to 269 turbines submerged on the seabed and generate enough energy for 175,000 homes. The Crown Estate, which manages the UK seabed, has invested £10m in the project.
BBC 21st Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
THE rebirth of a former fabrication yard as a manufacturing ‘super hub’ for the offshore wind industry is a step closer with ministers giving their backing. Some predict it could herald a jobs bonanza for the area around Ardersier on the Moray Firth. The Port of Ardersier’s chief executive, Captain Steve Gobbi, said the green light from the Scottish Government and regulators Marine Scotland and Transport Scotland was a “major milestone” for the 400-acre facility. He said: “There are few, if any, vacant sites of this scale in the northern North Sea offering deep water access and the potential to undertake manufacturing, assembly, operations, maintenance and decommissioning from a single location. We now have the all-clear to commence site works and undertake major dredging which will see the port open for business next year.”
Herald 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
The renewables revolution is fast gathering pace and we are now just a few pieces of the jigsaw away from an ultra-low emission grid. On Sunday, one out of every five light bulbs in your home was powered using wind energy. If you own three TVs and two games consoles (you know who are), one of those was powered using wind energy as well. You would need 10 light bulbs to find one that was powered using coal. This surge in wind power was the result of particularly favourable weather conditions, but this weekend was not quite the anomaly its record performance suggests. According to new government figures, renewable energy generation was up 43 per cent during the first quarter of the year, meeting nearly a fifth of demand. Yes maths fans, you’re right, that means every fifth light bulb was lit using renewables during those cold winter months. Something truly remarkable is happening. Renewables are working; in most cases even better than their advocates suspected was possible. The share of clean energy on the grid in many of the world’s most powerful economies is increasing at a rapid clip, and all without the blackouts or serious technical challenges critics predicted. The idea of a renewables-dominated energy future is no longer the sole preserve of eco-activists, in fact in some influential quarters it is becoming close to orthodox thinking. Renewables are now part of the mainstream, statistically, conceptually, and politically.
Business Green 19th Aug 2014 read more »
Devices to convert wave and wind power into sustainable energy can be tested before installation in a purpose-built centre for renewable technology A century ago, the Northumberland town of Blyth was a thriving hub of the British shipbuilding industry. Now, a new industry is springing up there that capitalises on Britain’s expertise in marine engineering and easy access to the sea. In Blyth’s Victorian dry docks, where ships such as HMS Ark Royal were built, there is a state-of-the-art operation to test offshore renewable energy kit. Devices to convert wave and tidal power into renewable energy can be trialled and tweaked there before installation.
Times 22nd Aug 2014 read more »
Five years ago the term “deep energy retrofits” was virtually unknown. No magazine was devoted to them, conferences did not focus on the issue, there was very little discussion on the subject, and there were no service providers to provide them if you asked. There were also few built examples that one could see, just a glimmer of possibility. Fast forward to 2014: Now there is a flourishing industry around deep energy retrofits, and energy service companies are in competition—each trying to outdo the other in demonstrating their ability to go deeper and save more energy more cost effectively. Conferences are organized around them, magazines are devoted to them, and the Internet is aflutter with the latest, greatest examples of every shape and scale. Towering undeniably in the center of this cyclone is the Empire State Building. This iconic building is an unlikely hero, seemingly an immensely difficult candidate to show how to save energy. Yet eight simple energy saving measures, carefully coordinated, save over 38 percent of the energy use with only a three-year payback. The Empire State Building retrofit, launched in 2009, clearly makes the business case, showing deep energy retrofits can be done, demonstrating the practicality of an integrated design approach, and delivering enviable financial and energy performance.
RMI 14th Aug 2014 read more »
Scientists in the US have established that chemicals used in fracking to extract gas and oil could represent health and environmental hazards, writes Tim Radford. Among the greatest hazards: biocides and corrosion inhibitors.
Ecologist 21st Aug 2014 read more »