The government finally admitted this week the implementation of its flagship Green Deal scheme has been delayed until 2013, with retrofit work now not expected to come to market until February. The Green Deal was due to start this October, with the industry hoping it would lead to a spike in retrofit work in the final quarter of 2012.
Building 20th Sept 2012 more >>
Britains nuclear new build programme is facing fresh uncertainty amid fears that Cumbria county council will postpone or even reject plans to host a permanent storage facility for the countrys nuclear waste. Local politicians have warned that the council is increasingly wary about volunteering to store hundreds of thousands of tonnes of radioactive material underground amid the rolling hills of the north-west. Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland in Cumbria, home to Sellafield, where waste is currently processed and temporarily stored, said the county council was likely to block the proposals to host the £12bn nuclear research and disposal facility. Mr Reed, who supports the project, warned that a No vote would jeopardise the economic future of the area. Cumbrias David Southward, a local Labour councillor, predicted the cabinet would defer a decision pending further government guarantees of the councils right to pull out further on in the process. I think they will postpone it to January, he said. I blame the government because the white paper was deliberately vague about the right to withdraw and people distrust it.
FT 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Radiation Free Lakeland has just heard on the grapevine that the 3 leaders of the three Cumbrian Councils have been summoned to a meeting in London with the new Minister Baroness Verma. The esteemed Baroness is responsible for implementing geological disposal (!) The Council Leaders will be going to get their arms twisted this underlines the charade of the supposed 3 independent decisions at the same time on the same day .on October 11th. There is nothing free and independent about this whole business, it stinks. If the councils (or more precisely their Cabinet/Executives) hadnt been stupid enough to volunteer in the first place they wouldnt be going along to get their arms twisted to sell Cumbria down the toxic river. Eddie Martin Leader of Cumbria County Council will be busy before the 11th October as he is also going to Canada at the government/industrys expense to be wined and dined and shown the state of the art nuclear dumps in Canada.
Radiation Free Lakeland 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Government officials have been in Beijing this week with their Chinese counterparts for an “unprecedented” collaboration on energy. On the table was new nuclear power, and its role in moving the UK to a low-carbon economy. So far, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) has been relentlessly optimistic about new nuclear, and hopes that its electricity market reform plans for a draft energy bill will do the trick, despite strong and sustained criticism from a parliamentary select committee on energy, and more recently a House of Lords working group who conclude that the reforms are “unworkable”. But Decc is still loyal to the nuclear project and hopes the financial support implied in these market reforms will attract foreign investment. Russia’s Rosatom has recently built the hugely controversial nuclear power plant in Iran at Bushehr, and is ready to help Iran build another power generating unit there, despite reports that Iran has installed an underground uranium enrichment facility, potentially paving the way for nuclear weapons development. In Tibet, the Chinese nuclear industry is engaged in a determined effort to secure uranium deposits located in Amdo, where leaching and open pit extraction are reported to have resulted in significant environmental contamination. Regulation of safety oversight mechanisms is relatively weak in the Chinese nuclear industry.
Guardian 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Structural market distortions remain the main ob¬stacle to creating an internal energy market and integrating wind energy. The level of liberalisation of European electricity markets remains low while large incumbents, high market concentration, con¬tinued massive subsidies to fossil fuels and nucle¬ar energy and regulated prices remain the rule rath¬er than the exception.
European Wind Energy Association 21st Sept 2012 more >>
On 31 October 2011, EdF Energy applied to what was the Infrastructure Planning Commission and is now the Planning Inspectorate for consent to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset (Hinkley Point C). Today, the lead inspector of a panel of five, Andrew Phillipson, has written to parties interested in the application to announce that the examination of the application has closed today, 21 September. The examination took one day short of the maximum six months allowed. The panel of inspectors now have three months to make a recommendation to Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who then has a further three months to make a decision. That means that the decision whether or not to grant EdF Energy’s application must be made by 21 March 2013.
Bircham Dyson & Bell 21st Sept 2012 more >>
BBC 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Only the wildlife seems entirely happy amid an impasse over plans to build two new reactors. A bat house, two huts for four badger families, a barbed-wire fence and an empty muddy field are not much to show for Britains much-vaunted renaissance in nuclear power. EDF Energy has spent more than four years and, with its partner Centrica, the best part of £1 billion preparing to build Britains first new reactors for decades at the Hinkley Point C site in Somerset. Visitors have to wear overalls, boots, gloves and hard hats because it was officially declared a construction site in February. But the only sizeable structures put up so far are those housing wildlife. EDF and Centrica have promised to decide whether to go ahead at the end of the year, even if getting the green light is no longer the certainty that locals and staff had been led to believe. Construction costs have soared by an estimated 40 per cent, which means the project will need the Government to agree an even bigger subsidy, paid for by a levy on consumers bills. While EDF haggles with officials over the level of nuclear payments it should receive, the Treasury is drawing up an alternative plan to build more gas plants instead, if no agreement is reached. Mr Cann, who has moved from Kent for the project, admitted: Ill be looking for a new job if Hinkley Point C doesnt go ahead. Not all locals want what would be one of Europes biggest construction projects on their doorstep. Building the two reactors will take at least seven years and cause huge disruption. To level the site, the equivalent of almost three Wembley Stadiums full of earth will have to be tipped into an adjoining valley. At the construction peak, 500 lorries a day will move along a busy, single-lane road that also serves surrounding villages. Thousands of construction workers will be housed in accommodation complexes, bed and breakfasts and private homes. At the Friendly Spirit pub, in the nearby village of Cannington, people make clear their opposition to the project. Lesley Flash lives in the village of Stogursey, a little over a mile from Hinkley Point: The parish is going to be ruined. People like Stogursey because its a rural backwater. She argues that just because locals already put up with one reactor doesnt mean they should have to accommodate two more. Dont call us Nimbys. How would you like to have that in your back yard?
Times 22nd Sept 2012 more >>
Electricite de France SA said it plans to begin a formal public consultation for a proposed new nuclear plant at Sizewell in Suffolk, eastern England by the end of November, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. EDF said its sending a draft Statement of Community Consultation today to authorities in Suffolk, the first formal step in the consultation process. U.K. planning authorities tomorrow will end a separate examination into EDFs plans for a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset amd have up to three months to make a recommendation ot the government, the French utility said.
Bloomberg 21st Sept 2012 more >>
EDF Energy, the UK arm of France’s state-owned utility, on Friday started planning procedures to build a second new nuclear plant in Britain, despite searching for a partner to help finance its first new UK nuclear plant in Somerset.
Reuters 21st Sept 2012 more >>
FRENCH-owned EDF has today started to progress its proposals for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast. Officials have sent a draft Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) to both the county council and Suffolk Coastal District Council for its plans for Sizewell C. The document outlines how the energy company is hoping to engage with members of the public. It is now inviting both authorities to comment on its proposed consultation programme and highlight any areas that may or may not need improving.
East Anglian Daily Times 21st Sept 2012 more >>
The Engineer 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Alan Whitehead MP: It almost seems churlish to have a go at a department that is so clearly under siege from the rest of government, but needs must, I am afraid. We are now told that the Energy Bill – the flagship of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) energy market reform fleet – is due to sail into Parliament at the end of October. Missing from the draft Bill was anything that might promote energy efficiency measures as part of the overall drive for low-carbon electricity in the future. Decc was rather apologetic about this, and in the draft Energy Bill preamble declared: “We are currently reviewing the potential for incentivising further demand reduction in the energy sector. This work will report over the summer, in time to fit legislative timetables, should it be required.” So work was going on, one thought, and, well, they’ve promised that whatever it is will fit in with the legislation. This is comforting, especially since most informed commentators (including this journal) agree that the Bill really does need some robust clauses in it that apply the same sort of incentive to removing energy demand as there may be for lowering the carbon content of the energy that we do use.
Utility Week 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse is preparing to assemble a new multidisciplinary construction team to build reactors for operator Horizon at Wylfa in north Wales and Oldbury in Gloucester, it emerged this week. The firms original team known as Nuclear Power Delivery and comprising contractors Laing ORourke and Shaw plus engineering giant Toshiba was dissolved in March after Horizon suspended its new build programme when it was put up for sale. The bidding process to buy Horizon from current owners German energy firms RWE and Eon, is now underway after a decision to sell was announced in March. Westinghouse is moving to secure the best team and be ready to bid when the new owner is announced. Westinghouse is understood to be bidding with Chinas State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) to buy Horizon from RWE and EON. Rival firm Areva is understood to be bidding with Chinas Guangdong Nuclear Power.
New Civil Engineer 20th Sept 2012 more >>
Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat Treasury chief secretary, has accused his Conservative coalition partners of waging a “constant war of attrition” on green issues, warning that it is endangering billions in green investment, as well as the whole government growth strategy. Alexander describes how the government is having to deal with Tory backbenchers including those he calls “luddite” climate change deniers opposing green technologies such as windfarms. “I just don’t think the British economy can any more afford to have a blue roadblock to green growth,” he says.
Guardian 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Geoffrey Lean: The Tories are clean out of their mind to want new gas plants. The Chancellor, George Osborne, and Danny Alexander, his deputy, are poised to go head to head over how to power the economy. More than £100 billion is at stake quite apart from the Governments climate-change policies and the small matter of Britains future as an industrial nation. It is an important moment. Over the next 10 years, one fifth of Britains electric power stations are due to close, as nuclear reactors reach the end of their licensed lives and coal-fired plants fall foul of pollution laws, causing, as Energy Secretary Ed Davey puts it, the biggest overhaul of our energy infrastructure for decades. Successive governments have dithered, but things have grown more acute as nuclear new-build plans have slipped seriously and wind power receives only about a fraction of the required resources. Instead, new gas plants are being built. Mr Osborne has been campaigning for months to expand and institutionalise this, aiming to establish Britain as a gas hub, while cutting government incentives for renewables. He has been planning to announce a new dash for gas at the Conservative conference next month.
Telegraph 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 18th to 20th Sept.
Greenpeace 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Russian nuclear energy giant Rosatom spares neither trouble nor expense to dispel the many doubts about its future nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad, despite the fact that the company started the large-scale construction without having any investors or electricity sale deals. Rosatom, builder of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), keeps organizing events for Lithuanian and international reporters a trip to Saint Petersburg to show off the ageing Leningrad Plant, a conference on nuclear energy in Moscow. Last week, a group of Lithuanian and Polish journalists were invited to see the construction site just outside Neman, Kaliningrad Oblast, where the company had laid foundations for the future plant this February.
15 mins 19th Sept 2012 more >>
Member states of the U.N. atomic agency passed a resolution by consensus on Friday that “strongly urged” North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme, underlining Pyongyang’s international isolation.
Trust 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Is an Iranian nuclear weapons capability something to be deplored or tolerated? No, they cannot be tolerated just as nuclear weapons anywhere cannot be tolerated. What we do not want for Iran should not be tolerated for Israel. We are told that Israel can have nuclear weapons because they are less dangerous for regional peace than if Iran has them. That is very disputable. A survey a few years ago showed that the majority of Europeans thought Israel was the most dangerous country for peace. Let us be consistent and demand all the countries, without exception, get rid of such weapons.
Independent 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Canadian nuclear regulators will hold a hearing on Nov. 13-14 to consider province-owned generating company Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) request to refurbish the four reactors at the 3,512-megawatt Darlington nuclear power plant. OPG wants to refurbish the four reactors at Darlington so they could operate for another 30 years. The company said on its website the refurbishment was expected to start in 2016.
Reuters 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Barrow-built HMS Dreadnought is among 27 Royal Nuclear submarines due to be decommissioned in the next few years. The Ministry of Defence is expected to release a report early in 2013 following a consultation on what to do with the boats following their decommissioning. A spokeswoman for the MoD said she could not confirm whether boats would be sold off or broken up following the decommissioning process, but said breaking up the boats could be a feasible solution. Campaigners have said a possible return to Barrow for HMS Dreadnought following decommissioning would be a huge boost to the town.
NW Evening Mail 21st Sept 2012 more >>
BAE Systems new nuclear submarine Ambush has incredible capabilities which are just simply astounding. The subs motto Hide and Seek seemed a fitting title for a vessel that can circumnavigate the globe and disappear beneath the waves without a need to surface for months, even years. The fact she is able to do this is down to nuclear technology enabling her to create fresh water from the sea and make her own oxygen. Yes, there are incredible tomahawk missiles too, but they seemed to be something of a sideline (as it is hoped there are never used). Her main job was that of surveillance, from the English Channel Ambush can hear a boat leaving New York and her engine is so quiet that she is virtually undetectable by other vessels.
The Manufacturer 21st Sept 2012 more >>
This weeks Micro Power News: Solar installations have fallen since last FiT cut; 7 English Cities share £12m to kick start Green Deal; domestic renewable heat incentive consultation launched; Govt poor score on green buildings; 100 solar homes for Scunthorpe; Northern Ireland community wind share offer; Sheffield Co-op share offer; Gloucestershire wind co-op; carbon negative social housing in South Tyneside; Gloucestershire County Council going solar.
Microgen Scotland 21st Sept 2012 more >>