Is the Government about to start lining the pockets of its nuclear friends? Comments on Vincent de Rivaz’s evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Committee and the forthcoming Energy Bill.
Spin Watch 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Negotiations over the precise content of the Energy Bill could yet result in a cap being placed on new onshore wind farm developments, according to reports in The Times. Columnist Rachel Sylvester yesterday reported that a "possible compromise" between Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey and Chancellor George Osborne was on the cards, which could see the Lib Dem agree to a limit on the expansion of onshore wind farms in return for a "wider Treasury commitment on funding" for low carbon energy projects. It remains unclear whether any deal would result in the Treasury approving plans to create a government-backed company to guarantee financial support for low carbon projects and include a flexible decarbonisation target for the power sector in the final version of the bill. However, BusinessGreen understands a cap on new onshore wind farms has been discussed in return for Osborne’s support for a package of measures in the bill that he had previously opposed, including the crucial decarbonisation target for 2030.
Business Green 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Why Government plans for new nuclear reactors are far-fetched, economically wrong and potentially risky for the climate.
FoE Briefing September 2012 more >>
A call for even wider public consultation is part of the formal response from Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council to how EDF plans to consult about its proposed Sizewell C development. EDF’s Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) is a document that outlines how it would inform and involve the public in its proposals to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell. "Legally, EDF has to produce a SoCC and seek the views of the two main local councils before publishing its final version. Overall the draft SoCC is quite comprehensive but there are one or two major improvements we would like to see, and a few minor tweaks that would give all our local communities a better chance to given an informed comment on the plans," said County Councillor Guy McGregor, Chairman of the Sizewell Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG).
Suffolk Coastal 23rd Oct 2012 more >>
Two councils in Suffolk have called on EDF Energy to widen its proposed public consultation on plans for the Sizewell C development on the north Suffolk coast.
Eastern Daily Press 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Protests are being held around the UK in objection to plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations, starting with the building of Hinkley Point C in Somerset. EDF Energy has applied for planning permission for a new twin-reactor station to replace the existing and ageing reactors in Somerset, to be in use by 2019. This will be the first nuclear power station to be built in Britain in over 20 years and is part of a government scheme that will see at least 10 stations being erected around the country in the near future.
Fresh Times 24th Oct 2012 more >>
A UK government sale of its one-third share of the uranium enrichment company Urenco could lower the credit rating of the company, Standard and Poor’s said. Standard and Poor’s said October 24 it has lowered its long-term corporate credit rating on Urenco Ltd. to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-’. The ratings agency confirmed the short-term corporate credit rating at ‘A-2′. Standard and Poor’s said the credit rating was lowered “amid projections of reduced demand and an uncertain industry outlook.” S&P said it retained its “stable” outlook for Urenco, but said any change in the shareholder structure would be reviewed for potential impact on the group and could lead to increased downside pressure on the ratings.
i-Nuclear 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Rebecca Harms was 18 when she started campaigning for solutions to nuclear waste-storage in Germany. The Green Party MEP is now nearing her 56th birthday, but the country isn’t any closer to burying its radioactive waste. Last year – after decades of on-off drilling at the site of an old salt dome in north Germany and more than a billion euros of public money spent – the federal government announced it was starting from scratch with its search for a suitable site for a “deep geological repository” in which to store spent fuel. Germany is not alone. “None of the countries which started to use nuclear fission for power production 50 years ago have an acceptable solution for nuclear waste and final storage. None,” Harms says wearily, speaking on the telephone from Brussels. Though she is firmly against nuclear power, Harms is strongly in favour of building a geological repository in Germany; essentially a giant cavern in the bedrock, in which the country’s high-level radioactive waste can be sealed away while its isotopes decay over hundreds of thousands of years (in fact, regulations dictate that the repositories guarantee safety for up to a million years). “I’ve been working on this for decades and I’m convinced it is the best way,” she says.
China Dialogue 24th Oct 2012 more >>
SPENDING must be increased by up to ten times current levels to meet the SNP’s own climate change and fuel poverty targets, a new report has found. A study by WWF Scotland found that for the government to meet its commitment of a 36 per cent reduction in emissions from Scottish homes by 2020, it must invest £4.6 billion in improving energy efficiency – three times the current and projected expenditure. Meanwhile, the SNP’s commitment to eradicating fuel poverty will cost £6.3bn, ten times the current spending levels, authors added. The report follows growing criticism this week over the administration’s failure to meet the first of its own carbon emissions targets.
Scotsman 25th Oct 2012 more >>
Conservative MP David Morris said he had wanted to break the coalition agreement over no subsidies for new nuclear power stations "because we need the energy". He warned the UK must use nuclear power or face power cuts within ten years. But Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said nuclear was "not the answer to our energy needs" and claimed the government had failed to look at the "renewable reliable energy courses we need". Jack Straw MP claimed Germany faced an "energy crisis" after abandoning nuclear power. And he predicted a "flight of manufacturing to eastern Europe or elsewhere in the world" due to higher costs.
BBC 23rd Oct 2012 more >>
See also Renewables raise German retail power rate by 7 percent; but lower industry prices by 18 percent.
German Energy Transition 16th Oct 2012 more >>
Bulgarians will vote on whether to build a new nuclear power plant in the Balkan country’s first referendum since the fall of communism in 1989, parliament ruled on Wednesday.The government earlier this year abandoned a 2,000-megawatt nuclear project at Belene, citing a lack of Western investors. But Russian state firm Atomstroyexport, which had a contract to build the plant, last month demanded 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in compensation for the cancellation. The opposition Socialists demanded a referendum to challenge the decision to drop the project, which cost the government popularity against a backdrop of rising electricity prices and high unemployment in the European Union’s poorest country.Parliament voted 106-7 in favor of a referendum.
Reuters 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Despite more plot twists than a Hollywood blockbuster, the fate of the aging Santa María de Garoña plant in Spain has finally been sealed. Or has it? The word ‘rocambolesco’, loosely translating as ‘bizarre’, is a handy descriptor for many aspects of the Spanish energy market. But it has perhaps never been more appropriate than in the case of the closure of Santa María de Garoña, a 41-year-old nuclear plant in Burgos, Northern Spain. In recent weeks observers have been nonplussed by a succession of about-turns, opaque statements and left-field curve balls concerning the closure of the 466MW boiling water reactor, which is operated by Nuclenor, owned by the Spanish utilities Iberdrola and Endesa. Garoña was originally supposed to have closed down in July 2009, but was granted a potential reprieve when the regulator, the Nuclear Safety Council (Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear or CSN in Spanish), said it would be safe to operate for another decade, subject to technical upgrades. The final word, though, went to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade within the then-socialist government, which had traditionally adopted an anti-nuclear stance. Perhaps hoping to strike a balance between pleasing the utilities and satisfying its voters, the administration only granted a four-year extension. Nuclenor claimed the move was an “arbitrary act without justification in law.”However, the “curious decision by the Spanish government”, as World Nuclear News described it at the time, was nothing compared to the events that have played out this year.
Nuclear Insider 24th Oct 2012 more >>
E.ON has announced it is leaving the Finnish nuclear new build company Fennovoima! This means it is very likely the whole project will collapse. The Fennovoima project was composed of E.ON with 34% ownership + almost 70 small investors. No-one else believes the small investors could finance an NPP by themselves but there’s still a risk that another big investor will be found. However, this is not so likely as the construction works should start in less than three years or the permission will be withdrawn.
E.ON press release 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Bloomberg 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Deutsche Welle 24th Oct 2012 more >>
China has restarted its nuclear programme after a year-and-a-half hiatus, but said it would build "only a few" new nuclear power plants between now and 2015 as it implemented radical new safety standards. Beijing suspended approvals for new nuclear projects in March last year, following the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan, and undertook a big review of its nuclear safety practices. The culmination of that review came late on Wednesday night, when a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao approved the nuclear roadmap for the next decade. Under the new plan, China will require new plants to be built with "third generation" technology, which refers to the latest technologies pioneered by companies such as Westinghouse, owned by Japan’s Toshiba, and France’s Areva. China is the world’s most enthusiastic builder of nuclear plants and accounts f or more than 40 per cent of reactors under construction today, so its shift toward "third generation" will be significant for propelling the use of the new technology.
FT 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Guardian 25th Oct 2012 more >>
Scotsman 25th Oct 2012 more >>
Morning Star 24th Oct 2012 more >>
World Nuclear News 24th Oct 2012 more >>
China’s installed nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 40 GW by 2015, according to ‘China’s Energy Policy 2012,’ an official white paper released on 24 October. The document states that nuclear power development “is of great significance” to China for optimizing its energy structure and ensuring its energy security. It also pledges to invest more in nuclear technology, improve equipment levels and place greater importance on personnel training. Currently just 1.8% of China’s total power output comes from nuclear power, compared with a world average of 14%. In 2011, the county had fifteen nuclear power generating units in operation, with a total installed capacity of 12.54 GW. This compared with 230 GW of hydropower, 47 GW of wind power, three GW of solar PV, the document said, along with a large amount of fossil-fuel generation. Another 26 nuclear units, or 29.24 GW of capacity, were under construction, “leading the world,” the policy said.
Nuclear Engineering International 24th Oct 2012 more >>
September was tied for the hottest of any September on record globally. It was also a very hot month for renewable energy in the US. According to figures from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, wind and solar accounted for all new electricity capacity added to America’s grid in September. The projects consisted of five wind farms totaling 300 megawatts and 18 solar installations totaling 133 megawatts.
Climate Progress 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Tehran is considering a harder line in nuclear talks with world powers, with Iranian officials saying they may threaten to step up the uranium enrichment programme unless the West makes immediate concessions on sanctions.
Independent 24th Oct 2012 more >>
A Cornish port could become home to Britain’s nuclear missiles if Scottish independence is achieved, experts suggest. Falmouth has been deemed the most suitable location for the storage of weapons from nuclear submarines based at Devonport. The revelation came as a parliamentary inquiry found Plymouth’s naval base "appeared to be the most popular" alternative location to Faslane for the four Vanguard-class vessels, which carry the Trident deterrent, in the event of the Scots voting to go it alone in 2014. The select committee report is to be published today.
Western Morning News 25th Oct 2012 more >>
REMOVING Trident from an independent Scotland could mean removing the nuclear deterrent from the whole UK for "an indeterminate period" –possibly 20 years, MPs will claim today. In a report, the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee – which does not have SNP representation – calls on the UK and Scottish Governments to work out a contingency plan before people vote in the autumn 2014 poll.
Herald 25th Oct 2012 more >>
BBC 25th Oct 2012 more >>
STV 25th Oct 2012 more >>
Scotsman 25th Oct 2012 more >>
Telegraph 25th Oct 2012 more >>
If you’ve ever wondered how nuclear fusion power might become a commercial reality or what exactly happens to the tax money funnelled into Europe’s big fusion research projects then this is your opportunity to find out. We’ve lined up experts from world’s largest fusion experiment, JET, and its planned follow-up project ITER, to answer your questions.
Engineer 24th Oct 2012 more >>