THE future of the multi-billion pound Hinkley Point C project has again been put into doubt after nuclear reactors designed for the plant were discovered to have “very serious” faults. A reactor vessel already installed at the huge Flamanville plant in Normandy was found to have weak spots in the lid and the bottom which could reduce the resistance of the metal. The company which has designed the vessels, Areva, had orders for five more including two for China, one for America and two for Hinkley. It is not certain whether the Hinkley ones have already been manufactured. This latest set-back for Hinkley was greeted with derision by Alan Jeffery, spokesman for the Stop Hinkley campaign group. He said: “In recent months, we’ve seen legal action from a number of sources including the Austrian government and German Greenpeace. “Now we hear about these very serious defects in the Flamanville reactors. It’s one disaster after another. “EDF Energy should cut its losses and give up on Hinkley C now, so the South-West can get on with developing a sensible sustainable energy strategy. “To tackle climate change effectively we need to get started on energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes now, not waiting around for the nuclear industry to sort out its problems first.”
Somerset County Gazette 23rd April 2015 read more »
Radiation Free Lakeland have sent a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority regarding the lie that Moorside would provide “7% of the UKs energy” “NuGen’s Moorside Project aims to provide approximately 7% of the UK’s current energy requirement…” The fantastic claim in the advertorial in every Cumbrian newspaper that Moorside would provide 7% of the UKs energy is a blatent lie which can easily be disproved: 7% of the UKs energy sounds like magic– but the truth is that if the proposed plant produced 7% of the UKs electricity that would be pushing it.
Radiation Free Lakeland 23rd April 2015 read more »
FROM foreign aid to farming, spending cuts to same-sex marriage, and nuclear new-build to nursing recruitment: the issues that matter most to you were raised at a hustings meeting this week. On nuclear, Mr Reed pointed to “phenomenal” local success stories, adding: “The community has been assertive with the Government, but there needs to be more engagement to be clear on the industry’s obligation to us.” Mr Gallagher said the nuclear industry “needs to be held to account” and Mr Pye said his party “supports a broad base of energy suppliers, including nuclear”.
Whitehaven News 23rd April 2015 read more »
Somewhere in a deep pool in England, miniature submarine robots are delicately plucking up 60-year-old tubes of radioactive medical waste, one by one. Nuclear storage pools are used to stash away the radioactive spent fuel from a plant until it is has cooled enough to be moved into dry storage (though we’re still trying to figure out what to do with it when we pull it up out of the pools). At two of England’s largest nuclear storage pools, that fuel includes cartridges of radioactive cobalt isotopes, most likely cobalt-60, which is used in medicine for radiotherapy and the sterilization of medical supplies. Since cobalt isotopes have relatively short half-lives, the cartridges became less radioactive fairly quickly, but they’ve remained in the bottom of these pools since they were first deposited back in the 1950s and 60s. Now, a team at Sellafield Ltd, a nuclear decommissioning company, is using remotely-operated submarines (ROVs) to pull the cartridges up and place them in dry storage.
Motherboard 23rd April 2015 read more »
The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.” The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain. But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.
New York Times 23rd April 2015 read more »
A coalition of member states is urging the commission to consider allowing nuclear energy to be eligible for EU financing mechanisms. Despite accounting for the largest individual share of the European Union’s domestic production of primary energy, ahead of gas and renewables, nuclear energy has been noticeable for its absence from the European commission’s energy union plans. The strategy presented by the commission acknowledges that nuclear energy produces about 30 per cent of the EU’s electricity but does not refer to it as part of the EU’s low carbon economy. Nuclear is, however, briefly mentioned under the fifth pillar of the energy union, in which the commission stresses that the EU should maintain technological leadership within the nuclear domain.
Parliament Magazine 23rd April 2015 read more »
Russian President Vladimir Putin is to sign an agreement today, during a state visit to Moscow by Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, that paves the way for Rosatom to build a sixth nuclear reactor in the South American country.
World Nuclear News 23rd April 2015 read more »
Japan’s government has proposed making nuclear energy account for between 20 and 22 percent of the country’s electricity mix by 2030, with renewable energy to account for slightly more, media reported on Friday. The proposal on nuclear energy, if adopted, is likely to be unpopular among a public that opinion polls show has been consistently opposed to atomic energy since three meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo in 2011. It will, however, mark a shift away from nuclear power, which contributed to about 30 percent of Japan’s electricity supply before the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Reuters 24th April 2015 read more »
THE world’s biggest nuclear power plant runs along nearly 4 kilometres (2½ miles) of the coast of the Sea of Japan. At full pelt it generates enough electricity to supply 2.7m households. But the seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex sit idle, along with the rest of Japan’s nuclear-power facilities. Four years after meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, all Japan’s 48 usable reactors are the focus of safety concerns. An industry that once produced nearly a third of Japan’s electricity remains paralysed. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is TEPCO’s only remaining viable nuclear facility. The company says it loses ¥100 billion ($835m) per reactor every year that the reactors are down. The plant’s chief, Tadayuki Yokomura, says that TEPCO has poured $2 billion into reinforcing the facility against earthquakes and tsunamis. There is, he insists, no reason why all seven reactors cannot be restarted immediately. The problem is that he has yet to convince the public of that.
Economist 25th April 2015 read more »
Chinese experts believe the Stalinist state has 20 warheads – and the ability to make another 20 every year – meaning that North Korea’s arsenal could overtake Britain’s within a decade.
Telegraph 23rd April 2015 read more »
As the US administration releases the first instalment of an ongoing program to draw up a roadmap for the country’s future energy policy, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) is urging the Department of Energy (DOE) to include an electricity generation portfolio – especially nuclear energy – in its long-term planning.
World Nuclear News 23rd April 2015 read more »
AN anti-nuclear campaigner has urged Plymouth people to take to the streets to protest over the future of the “illegal and immoral” Trident weapons system. Tony Staunton, a member of the CND’s National Council, believes a wave of anti-Trident sentiment is growing across the country and says the issue should be at the heart of the city’s political debate.
Plymouth Herald 23rd April 2015 read more »
A government watchdog has reprimanded the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine base at Devonport in Plymouth after a string of safety breaches. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has served the base with a legal enforcement notice to remedy flaws in the arrangements for protecting workers from radiation. It has also disclosed five incidents in which safety rules were broken between October and December last year, and described the procedures for reporting incidents as “significantly below standard”.
RobEdwards 22nd Aprl 2015 read more »
A new French government study shows that the cost to the French consumer of a 100% renewable scenario is more or less equal to a scenario close to today’s, with only 40% renewables. It is yet another instance of leading energy experts asserting that a 100% renewable future is possible, writes Terje Osmundsen, Senior Vice-President of Norwegian independent solar power producer Scatec Solar. Something remarkable is taking place that is bound to lead to a deep reshaping of the energy debate, starting in Europe and North America. It used to be the visionaries and the NGOs who talked about a 100% renewable future, but now leading number-crunchers and energy experts are joining the chorus. In California, the government energy regulator were recently quoted saying that California’s power grid could handle 100% renewables. The city of Vancouver is an example of a big city that recently committed to run 100% on renewables for power, heating and transportation within 20 years. New studies have been released showing the US can get to 100% renewables by 2050, at marginal extra cost.
Renew Economy 24th April 2015 read more »
Renewables – tidal
James Fisher Marine Services has secured the contract to complete the offshore installation activities associated with the development of Phase 1A of MeyGen’s 398MW tidal array project in the Pentland Firth. Once fully completed, the MeyGen project will have the potential to provide clean, sustainable and predictable power for 175,000 homes in Scotland, from up to 269 tidal turbine secured on the seabed.
Scottish Energy News 24th April 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
You can easily find solar panels on rooftops, in fields and even on a plane, but now solar technology has found another way to leave firm land in the form of two floating solar farms in Japan. Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation announced this week that their high profile plans to build two “floating mega-solar power plants” at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City in Hyogo Prefecture have been successfully completed.
Business Green 22nd April 2015 read more »
Renewables – wind
GLASGOW-based Urban Wind has agreed a funding deal that could help tackle one of the biggest problems facing people who want to develop onshore renewable energy projects. The wind turbine specialist has enlisted Zouk Capital to provide £30m investment in schemes that have gone through the planning process but currently lack the funding necessary to develop them. The company expects the funding will be sufficient to fund around 20 developments across the UK. The programme could have a notable impact in Scotland where Urban Wind is working on seven consented sites which are going through the funding process. The privately-owned company has advised clients on two sites that are operational in Scotland, with three in the build phase. Urban Wind expects the cash provided by Zouk to be used to fund the development of small fa cilities that could generate enough power for around 90 homes. Scottish Renewables welcomed news of the funding deal, stating that small and medium scale wind installations can play a key role in helping communities, landowners and businesses reduce their electricity bills and help to meet renewable energy targets.
Herald 24th April 2015 read more »
The joint venture between environmental charity Changeworks, the Energy Saving Trust and Everwarm, funded by the Scottish government, will begin in September, and is part of a contract worth £224 million over a seven-year term. Energy Saving Trust director of government services Mike Thornton emphasised that the scheme will give people living in fuel poverty “really practical support”. He said: “The initiative provides a more integrated step-by-step service to customers, from the initial referral through to the installation and beyond. “Each customer will receive their own personal adviser and be supported through any complex issue or challenge they may face. This project will continue to help improve the lives of people in Scotland by making their homes warmer and more comfortable.”
Utility Week 22nd April 2015 read more »
Business Green 23rd April 2015 read more »
The influx of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into energy markets is forcing coal and gas fired generation out of the market, quicker than most analysts expected. In a new analysis, the energy market team at UBS note that the pace of closures in the coal and gas sector in Europe is accelerating – even as the growth in renewables steadies and, in some countries, slows. According to their data, some 70GW of coal and gas-fired generation shut-downs have occurred in the last five years, and the pace is increasing.
Renew Economy 24th April 2015 read more »
More than one in five Liberal Democrat and Labour election candidates have pledged to oppose fracking in defiance of their parties’ promises to foster the industry during the next parliament. Seven of the Lib Dem front bench team, including spokespeople for the environment and energy, voiced their opposition to the party line. The pledge, circulated by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, asked candidates to promise: “If my constituency is at risk of fracking, I will oppose it. If my constituency is not at risk, I will oppose fracking nationwide.”
Guardian 23rd April 2015 read more »
Business Green 23rd April 2015 read more »