26 June 2013


Ministers could announce strike prices for clean energy projects as early as this week as the government seeks to accelerate infrastructure investment. The government could this week announce measures designed to unlock billions of pounds in green energy investment, after sources indicated ministers are preparing to bring forward confirmation of new support contracts for clean energy projects. It remains unclear whether the announcement will include the draft strike prices for all clean energy technologies, given that negotiations on the financial support for EDF’s proposed Hinkley Point nuclear plant are on-going.

Business Green 26th June 2013 read more »


Cumbria County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a radioactive waste dump in west Cumbria is the subject of a Public Inquiry this week.

ITV Border 25th June 2013 read more »

ITV Border 25th June 2013 read more »

BBC 25th June 2013 read more »

Artists Impression.

ITV Border 25th June 2013 read more »

“Nuclear industry desperate to get rid of waste anywhere” says campaigner.

ITV Border 25th June 2013 read more »


The cost of closing and clearing up Britain’s old power stations could go up by billions of pounds. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority released its annual report yesterday which included predictions for spending on the decommissioning over the next century, known as the “Nuclear Provision”. The NDA is tasked by the Government to run the clean-up of old plants like Sellafield in Cumbria and Dounreay in Scotland, at a total of 19 nuclear sites. In its report, the organisation emphasises costs are being trimmed while chief executive John Clarke said lifetime costs – which the NDA defines as everything needed to completely decommission a site including making it ready for future use – are “reducing”.

Energy Live 25th June 2013 read more »

Energy Policy

The UK is on track to miss its carbon targets in the 2020s, the government’s advisers on climate change warned on Wednesday. Efforts to cut emissions are not happening quickly enough, and a looming “policy gap” will lead to a shortfall in the investment and infrastructure needed for a low-carbon economy, they said. Last year, UK greenhouse gas emissions rose by 3.5%, in a setback to the government’s plans for stringent “carbon budgets” that stipulate steep falls in emissions from now to 2027. The rise was owing to the cold winter and more power coming from coal, which is currently cheap. The committee on climate change, in its annual progress report, said this was a temporary increase and the UK was likely to meet its carbon reduction goals for 2017. But it warned that without strong measures the UK would miss its carbon reduction targets from 2017 to 2027. When the effects of last year’s rise are stripped out, the underlying emissions trend is for a 1% to 1.5% decrease in emissions each year – less than half the 3% annual reductions needed to meet longer-term climate goals. Recent progress on cutting emissions, with new windfarms being constructed, millions of lofts and a rising number of cavity walls being insulated, and improvements in the efficiency of cars, is unlikely to be repeated at the same rates unless new measures are brought in. The new windfarms were planned under the generous “renewable obligation” subsidy scheme, which is being replaced with a more complex system of long-term energy supply contracts, and the rise in home insulation occurred under an old regime of financial support from energy companies which is also being replaced, with the green deal system of loans to homeowners that are repaid through additions to energy bills.

Guardian 26th June 2013 read more »

Britain is on course to miss 2025 climate change targets unless households start to collect food waste separately, insulate their lofts and drive more efficiently, Government advisers have said. The Committee on Climate Change, which monitors the Government’s progress on cutting carbon, said targets up to 2017 will only be comfortably met because the recession means the UK is using less energy – not just because more wind farms were built. Targets to cut greenhouse gases in half by 2025 will fail unless more is done to cut energy use through improving the efficiency of homes and cars, increasing use of public transport, cutting food waste and switching to renewables.

Telegraph 26th June 2013 read more »

Energy infrastructure is high on the government’s priority list with officials expecting an announcement on the construction of new offshore wind farms and a progress report on new nuclear, although the government and EDF Energy are yet to agree a deal on the £14bn Hinkley Point plant in Somerset. The government is also poised to announce a relaxation of the regulatory hurdles around shale gas drilling licences in an effort to accelerate exploration of reserves.

FT 25th June 2013 read more »

Nuclear Policy

“The UK was the first country successfully to develop, deliver and safely operate nuclear power stations… We can now look back on nearly 60 years of successful and, above all, safe exploitation of low-carbon nuclear power…” If a major policy initiative is based on a hopelessly distorted view of the past, this does not augur well. The above official assessment of the history of nuclear power in Britain is sheer fantasy. It is disturbing to reflect that the officials who drafted the text, as well the two cabinet ministers who signed it, presumably believed it to be true. Long ago, in May 1976, I gave a public lecture on what I described as two costly British government-sponsored errors: one was the Concorde programme, and the other the AGR programme. The estimates I then offered for the losses involved were arguably not far off the mark, and in a subsequent radio talk I suggested that these might be ‘two of the three worst civil investment decisions in the history of mankind’ (the third being the Soviet counterpart to Concorde). Since then I have learned of other ventures which could count as equally ill-starred; and one of these is the British fast reactor programme. This was finally brought to an end after nearly half a century of virtually fruitless public expenditure, leaving behind it only further heavy and still-continuing commitments of expenditure for reactor decommissioning and site cleaning. The possibility (much disputed) that at some remote future stage fast reactors will become a competitive source of power in no way justifies the huge losses, past and prospective, that have been chalked up to little purpose.

NEI Magazine 21st June 2013 read more »


The purpose of this intervention was to measure progress made against the Heysham 2 “open” issues identified within the ONR Civil Nuclear Reactor Programme (CNRP) Issues Database and to review the work that is to be undertaken as part of the upcoming Reactor 8 outage. This intervention was undertaken in line with the planned inspection programme contained in the Heysham 2 Integrated Intervention Strategy (IIS).

ONR 25th June 2013 read more »


A new £21.7m facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston is to be built as a further part of the UK’s contribution to the nuclear weapons information project with France. According to the parliamentary sources, the overall investment in Project Teutates will amount to £48.7m. The deal to share resources, in order to cut cost of military projects, between the UK and France was signed in 2010 by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Both countries committed to invest into new centres dedicated to experiments on warhead materials and parts.

Engineering & Technology 25th June 2013 read more »


A British electronics company has been awarded a contract worth £16.1 million to support EDF Energy’s nuclear projects in the UK. Under the agreement, Ultra Electronics – which serves the defence, security, transport and energy industries – will manufacture and supply safety-critical nuclear reactor equipment for use in EDF Energy’s current UK nuclear power stations.

Energy Live News 26th June 2013 read more »


Deep problems in Europe’s carbon trading scheme – its flagship climate change policy – are set to cancel out over 700m tonnes of emissions saved through renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts, according to a new report. The study, by carbon trading thinktank Sandbag, found that a huge oversupply of carbon pollution permits means many are being banked to enable emissions after 2020, when efforts to tackle global warming should be intensifying. These emissions, nearly equivalent to Germany’s annual carbon pollution, will cancel out efforts made in other areas to cut carbon.

Guardian 25th June 2013 read more »


Fukushima Crisis update 21st to 24th June. In yet another embarrassment for TEPCO, the utility announced this week that it has discovered two more leaks at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Greenpeace 25th June 2013 read more »

For sixty years the nuclear industry has gambled with the lives and safety of millions of people. It has bet that nothing will ever go wrong with their reactors. This gamble puts all the risks on the public. In Tokyo, Greenpeace Japan has staged a couple of interventions over the past few days in an attempt to get nuclear gamblers Hitachi and Toshiba to admit the reactors they built for Fukushima were part of the disaster problem. Their bet was that there would never be a problem. They were wrong. The bet was a bad one for the people of Japan who are now paying for the disaster, not the nuclear industry.

Greenpeace 25th June 2013 read more »


Barack Obama pledges to bypass Congress to tackle climate change. US president says country is already paying price of inaction and backs nuclear energy and fracking in comprehensive strategy.Obama broke with campaigners, and even many of his fellow Democrats, embracing America’s natural gas boom, made possible through fracking, as a transition fuel. He also reiterated support for nuclear power.

Guardian 25th June 2013 read more »

Independent 25th June 2013 read more »

President Obama’s much anticipated Climate Action Plan, launched this morning, introduces a spate of new regulations to help the US cut greenhouse gas emissions. Congress failed to pass climate legislation in Obama’s first term, forcing the President to find other ways to get the US to act on climate change. The new plan outlines how Obama’s administration intends to increase support for clean energy, improve energy efficiency, lead the international community, and make the US more resilient to climate threats. But while it starts with a strong statement of intent – urging the US to take up its “moral obligation to act on behalf of future generations” – the measures it outlines are pretty limited.

Carbon Brief 25th June 2013 read more »

Henry Sokolski: In his clean climate energy speech today, President Obama pushed nuclear power domestically and internationally as being essential to reducing global warming. The President gave lip service to the goal of nonproliferation and safety, but it is clear that his primary goal was to expand nuclear power worldwide. This gets our security priorities backwards, especially as we do not have adequate international controls to prevent military nuclear diversions from civilian programs. Decades of experience assisting “peaceful” nuclear projects abroad — a case in point is Iran — have demonstrated this. It is odd that a President dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons would miss this. Yet, his inattention to the proliferation consequences of spreading civilian nuclear energy technology, as well as to less expensive ways to reduce greenhouse gases, is shared by the most ardent proponents of spreading nuclear power globally. It is a view that recently was showcased in the controversial film, Pandora’s Promise. Below is a critique of this film’s argument, which Victor Gilinsky and I wrote this week for Nuclear Intelligence Weekly. The film showcases the views of global warming warriors who downplay the risks of nuclear power, including its proliferation dangers. As to that, Mr. Obama would fit right in.

Non Proliferation Policy Education Centre 21st June 2013 read more »

President Obama’s much-anticipated speech at Georgetown University unveiling America’s new climate change strategy offers welcome re-affirmation of the US government’s recognition of global warming dangers. Plans to regulate coal plants, beef up defences against flooding and sea level rise, increase energy efficiency for homes and businesses, and fast track permits for renewable energy on public lands, are critical steps forward. But the new climate strategy remains fatally compromised by Obama’s unflinching commitment to the maximum possible exploitation of fossil fuels – a contradiction that has set the world on course to trigger unmitigated catastrophe in coming decades.

Guardian 25th June 2013 read more »


It is often claimed that Germany’s energy transition does not have a roadmap, but that’s not completely true. On the one hand, the country, like all EU member states, has a Renewables Action Plan, though that only stretches up to 2020 and does not cover all fields. The Environmental Ministry’s Leitstudie 2011 is more exhaustive. Nonetheless, a lot of details remain unclear. A roadmap proposal published in December by IFEU and Fraunhofer IBP aims to fill that gap. It recommends a focus on onshore wind power distributed throughout the country and calls for a reduction of “must-run” capacity (such as nuclear). It also discusses the need for efficiency, energy democracy, and a shift to electric mobility – and mentions one of Martin Pehnt’s favorite topics: changing behavior and raising energy awareness. For instance, people would begin sharing everything from cars to household appliances.

Renew Economy 26th June 2013 read more »

North Korea

Satellite photos show signs of new tunnel work at North Korea’s underground nuclear test site, a US research institute said on Tuesday. The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said in an analysis that it does not appear to indicate another underground blast is imminent at the Punggye-ri site in the country’s northeast. But it suggests North Korea has continued to work on its nuclear weapons programme, despite a recent easing of the tensions that followed its atomic test in February.

News24 25th June 2013 read more »


Sweden’s Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has become the 12th member of the Multinational Design Evaluation Program (MDEP). The program pools resources of national regulators for reviewing new nuclear power reactor designs. Administered by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), MDEP is a program through which national regulators are working to share technical data and standardize regulations and practices in order to avoid duplication of work.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2013 read more »


Meanwhile, tributes will be paid at the festival on Saturday to well-known Sedgemoor man, Crispin Aubrey, who led a 25-year campaign against the development of the ‘Hinkley C’ new nuclear reactor – around 30 miles from the festival site. Crispin, from Nether Stowey, was press officer for Glastonbury Festival since the 1980s, but died suddenly last autumn. His wife, Sue Aubrey, said: “This being the first festival without Crispin, there are a number of celebrations of his life planned for the festival – including a tribute by Billy Bragg on the Pyramid and ‘Stop Hinkley’ stall being run in his memory in Green Futures.”

Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 25th June 2013 read more »

Green Investment Bank

The Green Investment Bank committed £635 million to 11 low carbon projects in its first year, according to its annual report out today. The transactions, supporting offshore wind, waste-to-energy, biomass and energy efficiency are expected to cut emissions 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year when up and running. Every £1 of direct investment by the GIB mobilised £3 of private sector investment, the report said. The overall value of the investments was £2.3 billion.

Utility Week 25th June 2013 read more »


The Scottish government came under pressure last night not to cave in to the renewables industry, as a poll indicated overwhelming support for wind farms to be banned from wild land. Environmentalists privately fear that Alex Salmond, the First Minister, could backtrack on pledges to protect scenic areas from turbines in the face of strong lobbying by the green energy sector. A new poll by YouGov, released today by the John Muir Trust, indicates 75 per cent support for the proposal that “the 20 per cent of Scotland’s landscape identified as ‘core wild land’ — rugged, remote and free from modern visible human structures — should be given be special protection from inappropriate development including wind farms”. Forty-three areas, constituting about 20 per cent of the country, have been designated “wild land” in a draft Scottish planning policy, published in April. These, in common with existing national parks, are likely to receive protection from any form of development if the policy becomes law.

Times 26th June 2013 read more »


Published: 26 June 2013