26 January 2017

Sellafield

End in sight for reprocessing at Sellafield. Over the next 4 years, the commercial reprocessing of spent fuel at Sellafield will end, and the site will move to full-scale decommissioning. The decision was taken in 2012 to close THORP in 2018, once reprocessing of the current contracts is complete. It would have taken billions of pounds to upgrade THORP and its support plants to allow it to continue running beyond 2018. This was not a viable option. Instead, funding will be directed towards work to decommission and remediate the site. The Magnox Reprocessing Plant began reprocessing fuel from Britain’s early nuclear reactors in 1964. It is scheduled to complete its operations in 2020 once all of the Magnox fuel has been reprocessed. The closure is scheduled to follow the defueling of the final Magnox station, Calder Hall, in 2019. This will mark the completion of a complex, logistical and procedural process, as outlined in the Magnox Operating Programme.

NDA 24th Jan 2017 read more »

Hinkley

Restrictions on trade and foreign labour caused by the UK’s departure from the European Union could mean cost hikes and delays to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant (pictured), its developer, EDF, has warned. In a submission to MPs the French state-controlled company said the UK would have to import goods and skilled labour from around the world to make the “very substantial investments in new infrastructure” the UK government is planning. “There is a risk that restrictions on trade and movement of labour will increase the costs of essential new infrastructure developments and could delay their delivery,” EDF said in a submission to MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee, newspaperThe Times reported 24 January.

Global Construction Review 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Wylfa

UK-based energy company Horizon Nuclear Power has received approval to procure major equipment for its proposed reactor at Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station. Horizon Nuclear Power has received a licensee certificate issued by French independent assessment organisation Bureau Veritas to confirm the company’s internal arrangements are suitable for the purchase of long lead items (LLI).

Power Technology 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Cumbria

Two mothers with husbands linked to the nuclear industry will slug it out to become an MP in a crunch by-election, it has emerged. The Tories elected Trudy Harrison, 40, as their candidate for the showdown in Copeland, Cumbria.

Mirror 25th Jan 2017 read more »

THE threat of a strike by Sellafield workers has been put on hold after an agreement to hold further talks in a row over pensions. Union leaders met energy minister Jesse Norman over controversial plans to reform the pensions of Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) employees, to make savings of £660 million. The meeting was said to be constructive, leading unions to delay announcing a strike ballot.

Carlisle News and Star 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Radwaste

Implementing Geological Disposal: Working with Communities Call for Evidence Summary Report. This report summarises the responses to the Implementing Geological Disposal Call for Evidence: Working with Communities . The call for evidence was open from 1 July to 4 September 2015, during which time 54 responses were submitted. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is grateful to everyone who took the time to contribute to this exercise.

BEIS 26th Jan 2017 read more »

Decommissioning

Holtec International has unveiled a new “proto-prompt” decommissioning strategy, which the US company says could see the conversion of a nuclear power plant site to greenfield status within about five-and-a-half years after the plant is shut down.

World Nuclear News 24th Jan 2017 read more »

Dalgety Bay

UN Fact-finding mission to contaminated Fife beach.

Dundee Courier 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Industrial Strategy

The UK government has highlighted the role of nuclear power among its responses to a report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee. The parliamentary committee published its Third Report of Session 2016–17, The energy revolution and future challenges for UK energy and climate change policy, last October. The government’s response, which was received by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on 19 December, was published on 20 January. Meanwhile, in its Green Paper on post-Brexit industrial strategy, published on 23 January, the government has warned there are acute and urgent skills shortages in key industrial sectors in the UK, including the nuclear industry. In the UK, a Green Paper is a preliminary report of government proposals that is published in order to provoke discussion. The government said it recognises the potential benefits that small modular reactors (SMRs) could offer the UK, in terms of the possibility of shorter deployment times, reduced costs of nuclear energy and industrial opportunities. To explore this potential, in March last year, it launched phase one of its SMR competition, with the objective of gauging market interest in developing, commercialising and financing SMRs in the UK. Over the summer, officials met with 32 eligible phase one participants, including technology vendors, service providers and potential investors.

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2017 read more »

£28 million for energy innovation projects will help to bring down energy costs, as part of government’s vision. The Industrial Strategy green paper highlighted the government’s commitment to minimise business energy costs and support the competitiveness of UK companies as we pursue our climate change targets in the most cost effective way. Today Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry Nick Hurd attended the Rushlight Awards where he announced funding for a series of energy innovation projects. The funding boost of £28 million will be invested in smart systems, industrial energy reduction and offshore wind demonstrating our commitment to building a low carbon, low cost future. This forms part of the government’s commitment to double support for energy innovation, up to £400 million per year in 2021.

BEIS 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Government has launched a competition with up to £9 million available to reduce the cost of energy storage technologies (including electricity storage, thermal storage, and power-to-gas technologies). This includes a further £600,000 to support feasibility studies for a potential first-of-a-kind, large-scale future storage demonstrator.

BEIS 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Radhealth

We investigated the relationship between epidemics and soil radiation through an exploratory study using sentinel surveillance data (individuals aged <20 years) during the last three epidemic seasons of influenza and norovirus in Japan. We used a spatial analysis method of a geographical information system (GIS).

Cambridge University Press 16th Jan 2017 read more »

Energy Policy Scotland

The Scottish Government as outlined plans to meet half of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030. Launching a consultation on the plans , Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the draft Scottish Energy Strategy sets out “a modern, integrated energy system that delivers reliable, low carbon energy at affordable prices to consumers in all parts of Scotland” by 2050. The Strategy aims to build upon the existing strength of Scotland’s energy sector, protect energy security and set out an approach to tackle fuel poverty. The plan includes £50 million in funding support to 13 projects demonstrating renewable energy or low carbon solutions for electricity, heating and storage across Scotland. Last week the Scottish Government published a draft climate change plan which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 66 per cent by 2032. Mr Wheelhouse also confirmed underground coal gasification (UCG), a process used to extract gas trapped in coal seams, “will play no part in our energy mix”.

Daily Record 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Clean Technica 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Weapons Convoys

Retired classics teacher, 78, ‘single-handedly stopped a nuclear convoy by sitting in the middle of the road in front of four lorries in a protest over Trident’

Daily Mail 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Scotsman 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Fukushima

A plan to remove spent nuclear fuel from Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings Inc’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant hit by the March 2011 tsunami has been postponed again due to delays in preparation, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday. Work is now set to begin in fiscal 2018 at the earliest, the Nikkei said. Removal of the spent fuel from the No. 3 reactor was originally scheduled in the first half of fiscal 2015, and later revised to fiscal 2017 due to high levels of radioactivity around the facilities, the Japanese business daily reported.

Reuters 25th Jan 2017 read more »

France

The board of directors of French utility EDF yesterday approved the terms of the protocol negotiated between the company and the government for setting compensation for the closure of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant. Under France’s energy policy, Fessenheim – the country’s oldest nuclear power plant – must close when the Flamanville EPR is commissioned in late 2018.

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2017 read more »

US

Beyond Nuclear, a national anti-nuclear advocacy group, along with co-petitioners from around the United States, have requested that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) take emergency enforcement action at U.S nuclear power plants that AREVA notified may be operating with potentially defective large components. The parts were manufactured and imported from France’s Le Creusot Forge and are at the center of an international nuclear safety controversy. The 17 affected units at U.S. nuclear power plant sites were confirmed by AREVA to the NRC in an attachment to a December 15, 2016 letter. The at-risk reactors and components are: Reactor Pressure Vessels: Prairie Island 1 & 2 (MN) (pictured); Replacement Reactor Pressure Vessel Heads:Arkansas Nuclear One 2 (AR), Beaver Valley 1 (PA), North Anna 1 & 2 (VA), and Surry 1 (VA); Steam Generators: Beaver Valley 1 (PA), Comanche Peak 1 (TX), V.C. Summer (SC), Farley 1 & 2 (AL), South Texas 1 & 2 (TX), Sequoyah 1 (TN) and Watts Bar 1 (TN), and; Reactor Steam Pressurizers: Millstone 2 (CT) and Saint Lucie 1 (FL).

Beyond Nuclear 24th Jan 2017 read more »

Seven protesters from the environmental group Greenpeace climbed a 270-foot crane Wednesday at a construction site in downtown Washington and unfurled a “Resist” banner visible from the White House to demonstrate opposition to President Trump. Greenpeace spokesman Travis Nichols said the huge yellow and orange banner with the word “Resist” is a continuation of protests that started with Trump’s inauguration last week. “The activists from around the country are still in place, calling for those who want to resist Trump’s attacks on environmental, social, economic and educational justice to contribute to a better America,” the environmental group said in a statement.

USA Today 25th Jan 2017 read more »

Renewables

Until relatively recently, generation of electricity with wind and solar has not been cost competitive. Growth has largely been due to subsidies and renewable energy mandates. Due to decreasing cost, wind and solar are now cost competitive with fossil fuels in favorable locations. The continuing decrease in wind and solar costs is a very positive development. However, this trend may reverse as the percentage of variable renewable energy (VRE) – energy that isn’t available on-demand but only at specific times, such as when the wind is blowing– reaches high levels. Countries such as Germany that have integrated significant amounts of wind and solar have already seen price increases.

Forbes 24th Jan 2017 read more »

Renewable power will be the fastest-growing fuel source over the next two decades, with output more than quadrupling by 2035, BP believes. Wind, solar, biomass and geothermal electricity account for about 7 per cent of global power generation. However, that is forecast to increase to almost 20 per cent by 2035, as renewables grow faster than other electricity sources at 7.6 per cent a year, the oil major said in its annual Energy Outlook report. China will add more renewable power than the European Union and the United States combined as it restricts its use of polluting coal, BP said. The strong growth forecast was “underpinned by the view that the competitiveness of both solar and wind power improves significantly”.

Times 26th Jan 2017 read more »

Renewables – offshore wind

U.K. offshore wind power is on target to become the cheapest source of large-scale clean energy, surpassing the government-mandated price target four years early. The levelized cost of energy for offshore wind — a benchmark measuring affordability over the lifetime of generation assets — dropped below 100 pounds ($125) a megawatt-hour in 2016, according to a report published Tuesday by the the U.K.’s Offshore Wind Programme Board, a group that includes industry and government representatives. The goal had been to pass the 100-pound threshold by 2020. “This growing industry will be an important part of the government’s new industrial strategy, and will be underpinned by 730 million pounds of annual support for renewable energy over the course of this Parliament,” said U.K. Energy Minister Jesse Norman.

Bloomberg 24th Jan 2017 read more »

Energy Storage

The UK government has announced £28 million in new funding for energy innovation projects that will help bring down energy costs. The announcement was made by British climate-change minister Nick Hurd as part of the government’s new Business and Energy strategy, which aims to lead to new products, services, and more effective ways of doing business with a lower carbon impact. Under the new investment, up to £9 million will be spent on a competition to reduce the cost of energy storage, including electricity, thermal, and power-to-gas storage and up to £600,000 for feasibility studies for projects that can store energy on a large scale, for use when it’s needed. Up to £7.6 million will be available for advancing energy demand side response technologies that can help both private and public sector organisations reduce energy use in peak times. To reduce the cost of energy for industry, the government will invest around £9 million in a competition for ‘industrial energy efficiency accelerator’. The competition would help to find new ways of improving the energy efficiency of UK industry, helping to develop industry-specific options for a low carbon future.

Scottish Energy News 26th Jan 2016 read more »

Renewables – Small Wind

SCOTTISH small wind turbine manufacturer Gaia-Wind yesterday celebrated the production of its 1000th turbine since the company moved its operations from Denmark to Glasgow in 2011. The milestone was acknowledged as Gaia-Wind confirmed new orders from Japan and Italy. The 1000th turbine also marks the beginning of a relationship with Scottish Water Horizons Ltd – a commercial subsidiary of Scottish Water – which is rapidly growing their renewable energy portfolio across the Scottish Water estate. It has been a busy 18 months for Gaia-Wind, with the company winning the Scottish Green Energy Award for exports; achieving certification of its G-W133 turbine in Japan and opening a Japanese subsidiary; and exporting more than 90 per cent of production for the second consecutive year. They were also finalis ts in the Scottish Export Awards. Gaia-wind turbines are now installed in Tonga, Japan, Australia, the United States, the Caribbean, Sweden, Denmark and Italy, as well as all over the UK. By 2020, Gaia-Wind turbines are expected to deliver a good economic return in almost every market without any form of government subsidy.

The National 26th Jan 2017 read more »

Transport

The world is likely to have 100 million electric cars on the road within the next two decades, according to a forecast from BP. The oil and gas company said that it expected enormous growth in electric car numbers, from about 1.2 million in 2015 to some 100 million by 2035, as the cost of battery technology falls. The forecast, in its annual report of future trends in world energy, also represents a substantial increase on the estimate of 70 million by 2035 that it published a year ago. Despite this, electric vehicles will still account for only 6 per cent of the total number of cars in the world, which is forecast to double to 1.8 billion by 2035, the report said. Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said: “Even if electric cars grew two or three times more quickly than we expect, to 200 million or 300 million, you’re still only talking about three or four million barrels of reduced growth in oil demand, in a market that looks like it’s growing by about 15 million barrels per day.”

Times 26th Jan 2017 read more »

Global demand for oil will still be growing in 2035 even with an enormous growth in electric cars in the next two decades, with numbers on the road rising from 1m to 100m, BP has predicted. The oil and gas giant predicted that despite electric cars spreading rapidly and renewable energy recording exceptional growth, oil demand would still rise because of rising prosperity in the developing world. BP said electric cars would not be a “game-changer” for the oil industry.

Guardian 25th Jan 2017 read more »

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Published: 26 January 2017