The UK’s nuclear watchdog has stopped safety inspections at the planned site of the Hinkley C nuclear power station after EDF Energy ordered a stop to all groundwork, ClickGreen can reveal. Despite recently publishing a list of preferred suppliers for the £24 billion project, the French firm were in behind-the-scenes talks with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), during which they informed them of their decision to mothball the site. In April, bosses at contractors Nuclear New Build Genco (NNB) – a consortium including EDF Energy, China General Nuclear Corporation and investors – introduced a spending cap because of uncertainty surrounding the Final Investment Decision. Preparations for construction continued to move forward, but all work has now been stopped and the site has been placed in a state of “care and maintenance” ONR said it had taken the decision to suspend the production of future inspection reports until after NNB GenCo has made its Final Investment Decision and is ready to remobilise the project. “ONR also intends to suspend attendance at the Cannington Forum until the site exits the current period of Care and Maintenance and resumes its preparations for the start of construction.”
Click Green 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Do the UK government’s sums on Hinkley and climate change add up? It’s a fair question, writes Doug Parr, but one to which we are getting no answers – the government is keeping its sums and energy models secret. It looks as if the energy department, DECC, is making things up as it goes along to justify its pro-nuclear, anti-efficiency and anti-renewables policies. And when it all goes disastrously wrong, who will end up paying for the mess? We will.
Ecologist 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Letter Keith Parker: Alistair Osborne’s commentary piece on Hinkley Point C and new nuclear in the UK (Business, Aug 21) is not the whole picture. For the first time ever, a new nuclear power station is being built without state funding. EDF Energy and its partners are taking the construction risk, not UK consumers or the taxpayer. So while the prime minister may be party to the agreement, the government will not pay for the cost of building the station. The agreed strike price – the guaranteed price paid for electricity produced – gives the private sector the certainty it needs to make one of the largest inward investments in the UK’s history. This price of £92.50 per megawatt hour also covers the eventual cost of decommissioning the site, rather than it being funded by taxpayers, and will only be paid once electricity is generated. More than 25,000 jobs will be created during construction with about 900 full-time jobs during its 60-year operation. Furthermore 60 per cent of contracts will go to UK companies, adding to tax take for the Treasury at local and national levels. The UK needs new energy infrastructure and nuclear can provide reliable supplies of low-carbon electricity at an affordable price for consumers.
Times 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
AN anti-nuclear protest by three women that blocked the main road into Hinkley B power station cost EDF approximately one million euros, it it was claimed at Taunton Magistrates Court on Friday.
This is the West Country 21st Aug 2015 read more »
It would seem that the “camps” will be “proper houses” to be given over to housing associations after the NUGEN New Build, 3 new reactors have been finished. Now, the numbers employed by the Project at peak is supposed to be around 6,000 according to NUGEN scaling down to about 900-1000. So what happens to the unneeded 5,000 or so, if they are locally employed then you have a 5.000 jump in unemployment or if brought in workers, they will leave the area, but whichever way it works we have the boom & bust syndrome again as there is no alternative employment to absorb the surplus workers, businesses will then run down as most are dependent on the Nuclear industry (a one horse town). As to the much vaunted 21,000 jobs, even in their own PR documentation it is 21,000 UK jobs not just Cumbrian jobs. The UK bit has been conveniently dropped in the press and other output from NUGEN to give a misleading impression. Where did the 21,000 number come from? No-one seems to know, it would seem to have been plucked out of the air as at one time it was 9,300 then 14,000.
Radiation Free Lakeland 21st Aug 2015 read more »
On 23 to 25 August, at a camp near the Tregele and Cemaes, the location of WYLFA power station, guests from Japan, who have lived through the Fukushima disaster, will warn the people of North Wales and the pro-nuclear authorities not to go ahead with the planned huge 3 GW reactor WYLFA B. There are countless unknowns that can lead to a nuclear catastrophe and any safety is a completely unrealistic idea in connection with any nuclear devices . Speakers from the campaign against Hinkley point, the nuclear powerstation in Somerset, and representatives from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth will inform us about their progress.
Radiation Free Lakeland 21st Aug 2015 read more »
BBC 4’s new nuclear series isn’t specifically about how we power the future but is an unavoidable consideration of every programme. Nuclear physicist Jim Al-Khalili began the series with a trip to Sellafield in a week the world commemorated the 70th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and also as Japan restarted its nuclear programmes four-years after a tsunami caused a reactor to explode. Sellafield is special to us for two reasons. Firstly because it is so close to Ireland and secondly because it houses hundreds of tonnes of spent fuel rods from all Britain’s reactors in the 1980s and is also the site of the THORP reprocessing plant which is taking in nuclear waste from all over the world.
Irish News 15th Aug 2015 read more »
HEALTH monitors at the Sellafield nuclear site will strike next week for the second time in a month. Workers will walk out from Tuesday to Friday in an attempt to move the job of health physics monitor into a higher pay band. Atomic energy union GMB has accused management of anti-union activity and of “seeking to drive a wedge between industrial workers on site.”
Morning Star 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
Perhaps the most widely reported climate angle of the leadership campaign has been left-winger Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that he could reopen coal mines in South Wales. Both Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper have explicitly rejected this, preferring instead to focus on creating jobs in the technology sector – in Cooper’s case, this could include clean coal technology. All four have spoken on the need to turn the UK towards a green economy. For Cooper, this means that growth should not increase carbon emissions, while Burnham wants to see more “green industry” that can create employment. Kendall also sees the development of clean energy technology as offering opportunities for young people to get into high skilled jobs. All candidates have also supported the EU in some shape or form, with the consensus being that membership provides an opportunity to tackle climate change more effectively – although Corbyn appears to have more reservations than his competitors. We have also heard from all candidates on the UN climate talks, taking place in Paris at the end of this year. As the party in opposition, none of them will be in a position to shape the national position going into these negotiations – although Corbyn has stated that the government’s position must be “challenged” as the talks approach. Fracking is one of the most divisive issues in UK energy policy at the moment, and it has also divided the candidates, with Cooper and Kendall in favour of the technology, and Burnham and Corbyn against.
Carbon Brief 21st Aug 2015 read more »
The new head of Friends of the Earth (FoE) may not have known the words of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the Welsh national anthem, but he sang them along with ex-miners in the Blast Furnace Inn pub in Pontlottyn, he says, and the experience of working with them and others to reject the Nant Llesg mine rammed home the point that environmental groups must become relevant again to all kinds of people. This week the government announced plans to open a further 1,000sq miles of rural Britain to drilling and to limit opposition to a few weeks. Aside from thinking it a travesty of democracy, he can see re-runs of the 1990s road protests, and the unlikeliest people manning the barricades. “I would expect massive protests. Government will need thousands of wells to be drilled if they are to meet their promises of lower energy bills, but huge opposition has built up just over the industry’s first few attempts. Multiply those protests by thousands.” “I am particularly concerned about climate change, but local people are right to be worried about everything else. If someone wanted to frack my street, my immediate concern would be noise and air pollution and the threat to water. I totally understand these are the primary concerns of local people. But what we have found in communities threatened by fracking in Lancashire is that they all get the climate change issue, too.” The days when environmentalists cosied up to Whitehall and political parties are over, he says. “In the 1970 and 80s, groups like Friends of the Earth connected to people’s lives. In the 2000s we were successful with policies and we were listened to in government. Now is the time to listen to ordinary people again,” he says. No chance of getting too close to government now, he says. “George Osborne is unleashing an ideological war on all things green. He is dismantling policies that have taken a generation to put together. Cameron is playing to the ideology of the swivel-eyed loons in the Conservative party, throwing bones to its backbenchers. Amber Rudd [energy and climate change secretary] is an ideological hypocrite of the first order. It’s obscene to think that they will get away with what they are doing.
Guardian 21st Aug 2015 read more »
Energy Supplies – Scotland
Brian Wilson: To compartmentalise the “cost” of transmission charges in respect of Longannet in order to justify killing it off four years early, or perhaps even more outrageously to brand Cockenzie too uneconomic to proceed with, and thereby break the promise of a new gas plant, is a denial of all the responsibilities which came with the acquisition of Scottish Power. Why is the Scottish Government not saying so? For Iberdrola, it is a case of take, take, take. Fair enough – their obligation is to their investors, the largest of whom is the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Qatar. The scandal is that Ewing, scion of the patriotic dyn asty, should rush to the defence of this behaviour solely because he sees political advantage in turning it – quite falsely – into a Scotland v England conflict; a misrepresentation that Iberdrola are understandably anxious to facilitate. A large part of Iberdrola’s UK customer base is in the north-west of England and north Wales, as a result of Scottish Power having bought Manweb in 1995. They also have extensive generation interests in these areas – and therein lies another aspect of this sorry tale. Iberdrola are investing in the Western Link sub-sea cable between Hunterston and Holyhead. For Scottish consumption, this was presented as a means of exporting Scottish renewables. For other audiences, the story is reversed. The Western Link will be capable of importing 3.9 gigawatts of power into Scotland, equating to 70 per cent of maximum winter demand. With Longannet and Cockenzie closed, not to mention Hunterston and Torness thereafter, Scotland will become mass ively dependent on electricity produced in England from coal, gas and nuclear power. What a triumph for Scottish Nationalism.
Scotsman 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
Pakistan has commenced construction of the 1,100MW Karachi Nuclear Power Plant II (Kanupp II), to help meet the increasing power demands in the country. Being built by China National Nuclear (CNNC), the Kanupp II station is a part of a $10bn project, which also involves construction of the 1,100MW Kanupp -3. The Kanupp II project will feature two CAP1400 Nuclear reactors which are based on AP1000 Westinghouse Electric Company Pressurized water reactor technology.
Energy Business Review 21st Aug 2015 read more »
Emirates Nuclear Energy (ENEC) has awarded contracts worth $2.5bn to UAE companies for the construction of the country’s first nuclear energy plants. This achievement further facilitates the development of a local nuclear energy industry supply chain and contributes directly to the growth of the UAE’s economy. The contracts with local companies have been awarded over the past five years through collaboration between ENEC, the entity responsible for the construction and operation of the UAE’s first nuclear energy plants, and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), ENEC’s Prime Contractor. Some of the companies include Emirates Steel, National Cement, Dubai Cable Company (DUCAB), National Marine Dredging Company, Western Bainoona Group, and Hilalco.
Energy Business Review 21st Aug 2015 read more »
So much for renewable energy destabilizing the German grid: Yesterday, Germany’s Network Agency published the SAIDI figure for 2014, showing that the number of downtime minutes fell to an all-time low. It’s getting hard to count the minutes of power outages in Germany. And it’s getting hard to improve the figure. As recently as 2006, Germany had 21.53 minutes of power outages, as counted in the SAIDI metric.That number has now fallen to 12.28 minutes as of last year, according to the official statistics from the Network Agency. Since 2009, the figure has hovered around 15 minutes, so this decrease of around 2.5 minutes represents a considerable improvement.
Renewables International 21st Aug 2015 read more »
The Korean peninsula was braced for war tonight amid fears that the North could fire nuclear missiles in a row over cross-border propaganda broadcasts. The crisis erupted as South Korea refused to silence giant loudspeakers – in defiance of a warning by the North. The two countries have already put troops on war footing and fired conventional missiles into border areas as tension escalates between the rivals.
Mirror 21st Aug 2015 read more »
SCOTTISH Labour’s new deputy leader has called for a referendum to decide whether Britain renews the Trident nuclear deterrent and said left winger Jeremy Corbyn would make a “first class” boss of the UK party. Alex Rowley, who became party number two last weekend, also revealed that he is putting his political career on the line at next year’s Holyrood election by pledging to quit his new job if he is not re-elected in his Cowdenbeath constituency. In his first major interview since winning the deputy contest, the former Fife Council leader warned that it was “obvious” that his party must change and regain trust or face annihilation in Scotland. On Trident, he said he did not believe the case had been made for renewal, potentially signalling a split at the top of the party. Party leader Kezia Dugdale has said a debate over Trident at October’s party conference is “not impossible”, but is known to favour multilateral disarmament meaning international agreements would be struck before Britain’s nuclear arsenal is reduced or eliminated.
Herald 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
We’ve seen several transparent solar cell concepts on Inhabitat, but perhaps none with such ambitious claims as those made by SolarWindow Technologies. In a webinar today, the Maryland-based startup announced that their revolutionary power generating windows, which they claim can generate 50 times more energy than conventional solar panels, would soon hit the market. Unlike traditional and opaque PV technology, SolarWindow can be readily applied as a coating to any glass window or plastic surface and instantly generate electricity, even in artificial light and shade. The company claims that the SolarWindow technology can produce more energy at a lower cost and offers an incredibly fast ROI of just one year. That’s incredible, considering that conventional solar systems require at least 5 to 11 years for payback.
Inhabitat 20th Aug 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
A company that is majority owned by the Danish government has taken full control of one of the world’s biggest offshore wind-farm projects, in the North Sea. The giant wind farm, which lies in the Hornsea zone off Hull on the Yorkshire coast, has been acquired by Dong Energy, a company based in Fredericia, Denmark, in which the Danish state holds a 76 per cent stake. The Hornsea zone covers an area twice the size of Greater London. If fully developed, it could contain nearly 600 7-megawatt windmills, generating a maximum of 4,000MW when the wind blows, or enough to power more than three million homes.
Times 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
Local councils were on a collision course with the government last night as a battle loomed over the awarding of almost 160 new fracking licences. Councillors across England expressed fury at government plans to fast-track approval for dozens of new fracking projects in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and at threats to overrule councils if they drag their heels on planning decisions. Gina Dowding, a councillor on Lancashire county council, which rejected plans by the shale gas firm Cuadrilla to drill wells on the Fylde coast in June, said it was “extremely shocking” that the government felt it could override local democracy. “People who object to fracking are not going to roll over,” said Ms Dowding, who added that the council would continue to fight any application to frack in Lancashire. “Why else do we have local planning committees other than to give local peo ple a voice?”
Times 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
It’s being hailed as a “fracking gold rush”, the biggest bid yet to extend the controversial technology across Britain’s broad acres. But this weeks announcement of plans to issue licences to explore for shale oil and gas across vast new areas of England is, unfortunately, more likely to impede fracking as to spur it on. Not that they are lacking in ambition, or ministers in determination. On Tuesday the Government announced that it would be awarding the licences in 27 new blocks of land, covering over 1000 square miles of Northern England and the East Midlands. And it launched a consultation over proposals to provide another 132 in more environmentally sensitive areas spanning another 5000 or so square miles. Together the two sets of licensing would almost double the amount of Britain where the technology could be employed. the opening of new areas to fracking risks broadening what is already rapidly increasing opposition to the technology. Friends of the Earth boasts that “wherever fracking has been proposed, it h as been opposed by local people”, and if anything that is understating it. More than 200 protest groups have sprung up across the country, including some in areas where it has not yet been planned, in what is far deeper and wider resistance than there has been to any other source of energy at such an early stage of its exploitation. Doubling the area where the technology can be practised, will surely lead to the establishment of many more. Indeed the new areas have had to be limited to England, since Wales and Scotland have already imposed temporary bans. Worse still, a new Government survey shows fracking to be more unpopular than ever, with 28 per cent of Britons opposed and only 21 per cent in favour. True that leaves half undecided, still open to persuasion either way. But the survey also shows that the more people know about fracking the less they like it. Indeed the only group of respondents that it found to be in support of the technology were those who had hitherto never heard of it.
Telegraph 21st Aug 2015 read more »