24 December 2015

Nukes vs Climate

Linda Gunter In response to the Dec. 13 column on nuclear power: In 2003 an MIT study recognized that to achieve a significant CO2 reduction, a new reactor would have to come on line every two weeks. With existing construction delays and ballooning cost overruns, it’s an impossible target. The myth that Germany’s renunciation of nuclear led to increased use of coal is contradicted by the facts. Germany is a net exporter of electricity, which has driven a recent increase in coal production. Last August, the world’s largest investment bank, USB, urged investors to join the renewable revolution. USB predicted large-scale centralized power stations like nuclear and coal would soon be not relevant. Solar storage has arrived. In India, wind energy has overtaken nuclear’s contribution to electricity consumption. Nuclear energy is not carbon-free. Uranium, like coal, is mined, releasing CO2, along with radioactive gases, liquids and sludges. No safe, permanent storage solution has been found for radioactive waste

Gainsville Sun 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

Dounreay

Letter: Openness on transportation of uranium in the Highlands is essential.

The National 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

Sellafield

Letter: Recent tragic events in Paris have reminded us all of the seemingly never-ending terrorist threat to innocent lives and national security. In West Cumbria, Sellafield unfortunately could be a target which would have incomprehensible devastation should these extremists achieve their abhorrent aim. Thankfully Sellafield is installing perimeter and inner security fences comparable with Alcatraz which is an undoubted deterrent. However, there are upwards of 6,000 private vehicles bypassing the security fences daily. There seems to be a reluctance for Sellafield management to address this. Are they simply hesitant to upset the mollycoddled nuclear worker who can’t degrade themselves by catching buses or sharing their car journeys? There are vehicles literally abandoned on the Sellafield site daily, parked illegally. Is this the behaviour of nuclear professionals? It is becoming a laughing stock how Sellafield routinely portray nuclear professionals as role models yet the basics of parking aren’t followed. There are simply too many cars driving through the gates and each vehicle is a potential security risk

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Whitehaven News 18th Dec 2015 read more »

Toshiba

Moody’s Investors Services on Tuesday said it downgraded its rating of Toshiba Corp credit to junk after the Japanese conglomerate forecast a record net loss for this fiscal year and cut jobs, following a $1.3 billion accounting scandal. Moody’s cut Toshiba’s long-term senior unsecured bonds to speculative grade Ba2 from Baa3, and said it would review the rating for further downgrade. “The downgrades were prompted by Toshiba’s announcement of its structural reform plan and financial forecast for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2016,” Moody’s senior analyst Masako Kuwahara said in a statement. Analysts have questioned whether such streamlining can help turn around the 140-year-old company considering falling profit margins in the chip industry and a nuclear phase-out in developed countries following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Reuters 22nd Dec 2015 read more »

Plutonium

The U.S. government plans to designate six metric tons of surplus plutonium now stored in South Carolina as waste and ship it to a storage facility in New Mexico, according to a preliminary notice filed on a federal website on Wednesday. The notice, to be posted on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), says its “preferred alternative” for disposal of the six metric tons of surplus plutonium would be to turn it into nuclear waste and store it in New Mexico.

Reuters 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

Nuclear Weapons

Letter to New York Times: Your extraordinary report “1950s U.S. Nuclear Target List Offers Chilling Insight,” NY Times, Dec. 23, coming as it does at the start of the season of peace and goodwill to all men and women, concentrates the mind on how insane was the policy of mutually assured destruction (M.A.D.) throughout the so-called Cold War between the super atomic-armed powers.The key document reported was the MAD target list is titled“Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959, developed in in 1956, the year of my birth in Wales in Great Britain. Eleven years ago, the British equivalent of the National Archives and Records Administration, hosted a blood curdling exhibition opened at its London base, titled ‘Secret State.’. My own home city of Swansea was listed as one of the 20 major cities in a Top Secret report ‘Probable Nuclear targets in the United Kingdom: Assumptions for Planning’- prepared by the Joint Intelligence Committee. (Annex A, File TNA: DEFE 4/224, dated November 2nd,1967).

David Lowry 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

India

India expects to seal a contract with Westinghouse Electric Co LLC to build six nuclear reactors in the first half of next year, a senior government official said, in a sign its $150 billion dollar nuclear power program is getting off the ground. The proposed power plant in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat will accelerate India’s plans to build roughly 60 reactors, which would make it the world’s second-biggest nuclear energy market after China. India wants to dramatically increase its nuclear capacity to 63,000 megawatts (MW) by 2032, from 5,780 MW, as part of a broader push to move away from fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the dangerous effects of climate change.

Reuters 24th Dec 2015 read more »

Renewables – Scotland

Scotland has declared an early success in its battle to meet ambitious green energy targets, with renewable power hitting the equivalent of almost half of electricity demand north of the border. The Scottish government had set an interim target of 50 per cent of gross consumption of electricity to come from renewables by 2015, with the proportion intended to hit 100 per cent by 2020. New data showed renewable electricity generation in Scotland in 2014 was equivalent to 49.7 per cent of Scottish demand, up more than 5 percentage points from 2013, the Scottish government said. “This means that the 2015 50 per cent renewable electricity target has almost been met one year ahead of schedule,” it said.

FT 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

Local Energy

Milton Keynes is using satellite photography to pinpoint neighbourhoods with the best potential for green energy improvements as part of a city-wide smart technology experiment. A coalition of tech companies are taking to the skies in Milton Keynes, harnessing satellite data to help map which communities in the city are most in need of an energy makeover. Launched in November as part of a larger smart city initiative, the Community Action Platform for Energy (CAPE) will use data, including satellite images, to help reduce the energy footprint of a neighbourhood. Upendra Dharmadhikary, a client partner at global IT firm Tech Mahindra and one of CAPE’s project leads, explains that the satellites will be used to pinpoint groups of buildings that are the most thermally inefficient.

Business Green 23rd Dec 2015 read more »

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Published: 24 December 2015