Chapelcross – submarine waste
An MSP has warned a Scottish site could become a “nuclear graveyard” if it is chosen to store radioactive waste from redundant Royal Navy submarines. Chapelcross, near Annan, is one of five possible locations across the UK. South of Scotland Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume said he hoped people would get involved in consultation and reject any plans to use Chapelcross. The UK government has pledged that public opinion will be taken into account in deciding the final location. Public meetings on the issue will get under way in the Dumfries and Galloway town this weekend. The other sites being considered are Capenhurst in Cheshire, Sellafield in west Cumbria and Aldermaston and Burghfield, both in Berkshire. Consultation will run until February around all the locations on the shortlist.
BBC 26th Nov 2014 read more »
Doubts are growing doubts that the Hinkley C nuclear power station, the EU’s biggest construction project, will get the final go-ahead from the UK government, writes Paul Brown. And that’s leaving the European nuclear industry, already in serious financial difficulties, facing a struggle for survival.
Ecologist 25th Nov 2014 read more »
A grey seal and her pup have been returned to the sea unharmed after ending up inside Anglesey’s nuclear power station. Seals sometimes get dragged along by the strong currents Wylfa creates and slip through bars in the sea pipe and end up in the cooling chambers. RSPCA staff put them back into the sea at nearby Cemlyn Bay.
BBC 25th Nov 2014 read more »
ITV 25th Nov 2014 read more »
Daily Post 25th Nov 2014 read more »
Britain’s Office of Nuclear Regulation said it had granted permission for three reactors at Hartlepool and Heysham 1 to return to service after more than three months of suspended operations.
Nuclear Street 25th Nov 2014 read more »
The UK’s shut down Bradwell nuclear power plant is sporting a new look as cladding work progresses in preparation for care and maintenance. Meanwhile, UK construction and engineering group Costain plans to develop novel ways to treat irradiated graphite from decommissioned reactors.
World Nuclear News 25th Nov 2014 read more »
Alan Simpson: News of the 25 per cent collapse in French nuclear multinational Areva’s share values triggered an unexpected sliver of sympathy in me. The collapse followed their announcement of further delays in the construction of nuclear power plants in France and Finland. It followed hot on the heels of news of the “secret” British review of whether Hinkley Point C will ever be viable or affordable. Even former chief scientifc adviser to Tony Blair Sir David King, who knows a dead horse when he sees one, has been revising his own position, saying that Britain may not – after all – need any new nuclear power stations. The place that scares the Big 6 the most is Germany. This is why so much effort and money is being thrown into bribing or scaring governments into an “anything but Germany” approach to future energy thinking. It is easy to explain why. Already, 50 per cent of Germany’s electricity generating capacity comes from renewables. People point to the fact that Big Energy only owns about 5 per cent of this generating capacity but they miss an even more important fact. Under Germany’s “merit order” system, the grid takes clean energy before “dirty.” Moreover, once installed, both wind and solar come with near-zero marginal costs, and are key elements in the regular production of German electricity surpluses. The practical effect of this is to have driven wholesale German electricity prices down from €80/MWh in 2008 to €38/MWh in 2013. Nothing illustrates this more graphicly than a look at the daily pattern of German electricity production. There is talk of signing up to the idea of 17 or more “super-cities” to radically drive a new vision of decentralised governance. But this still has more to do with spending rather than earning. Parliament has forgotten that, until 1947, most local authorities earned 50 per cent of their income from the work of their localised utilities. If Germany can already have 180 local authorities taking their energy grids back into public ownership, why should Britain aspire to just 17? Some part of British politics has to be able to reach out for something bolder. Today’s and tomorrow’s radical reclamation of local energy systems will be based on clean, smart, lightness and less. And the first political party to grasp this will leave all others at the starting line.
Morning Star 26th Nov 2014 read more »
Energy firm SSE has declined to comment on reports that its Peterhead power plant, contracted to help guard against blackouts this winter, failed to generate power during a test run. The plant is among three UK power stations under contract from National Grid to provide reserve power in case of higher-than-expected demand. According to Utility Week, Peterhead failed the test run on Thursday. It reported maximum available output unexpectedly fell to zero in the test.
BBC 25th Nov 2014 read more »
The environment is slowly becoming a left-wing agenda, with green Tories being driven or frozen out of the “greenest government ever”. Conservatives have conservation in the very name of their party and their symbol is an oak, yet the Government agenda seems to be to cut the“green crap” and push forward with culling, fracking and selling. Environment is not a purely socialist issue. It is the conservation of our natural heritage and the place in which we live. It is the careful stewardship of resources, creating value from natural capital – surely these are core Conservative values?
Utility Week 24th Nov 2014 read more »
Last year, in a move that was unprecedented for both agencies, NASA started paying the DOE US$50 million a year to reactivate its long-stalled capability for making 238Pu. That is a tall order: the DOE is now grappling with having to produce the material in facilities that were never set up for it; interviewing retired plutonium technicians for tips on how to manufacture and store the isotope; and designing machines and workflows that can accommodate more than a kilogram of plutonium per year moving through the system.
Nature 25th Nov 2014 read more »
£1 million of government funding has been granted to Costain to carry out a scheme which aims to cut the amount of nuclear waste needing to be stored. Working with partners MDecon, Tetronics International and the University of Manchester, the Manchester-based Costain team will develop new ways to treat irradiated graphite from decommissioned nuclear reactors.
Build 25th Nov 2014 read more »
Poland is clearly far from being a leader on climate action – it still uses coal to generate nearly 90 per cent of its electricity. However, below the doom and gloom headlines there are glimmers of hope that reveal a burgeoning will to join the global transition towards a clean energy future. Indeed, a growing sector of the population is increasingly seeing community energy as a means to a more democratic future.
World Future Energy Council 25th Nov 2014 read more »
US – radwaste
The US government should establish a widely distributed series of regional, government-run sites that would take in the used fuel from the cooling pools of several reactors, thereby consolidating the interim storage of used fuel and putting this nuclear waste into stronger, safer, more secure, more manageable—and ultimately more affordable—dry casks, as a first step toward ultimate disposal. Dry casks have withstood earthquakes and floods, and are designed to withstand the heat of fires and the impact of airplanes; the 100-ton structures are hard to steal or damage, and require no cooling systems or power supplies. These are some of the many reasons why making the transition to dry cask-based interim storage should be made as quickly as possible, regardless of one’s opinion of civilian nuclear power.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
US – new reactors
The last new nuclear reactor to come online in the U.S. was in 1996, but that may change soon. Southern Co. and numerous partners are building a nuclear reactor near Augusta, Georgia. The new Vogtle facility was backed by a $6.5 billion federal loan and many in the power sector are watching its construction closely. The building and commissioning of nuclear power plants in the 1970s was plagued by delays and high costs, CBS Atlanta reported. If the Vogtle plant can be built for close to its estimated final costs – $14 billion – and without considerable delay, it may signal to U.S. utilities and investors that nuclear power generation is once again a smart investment. There are three other new nuclear power plants in various stages of construction, according to The Wall Street Journal, and the outcome of these projects will also influence future power generation decisions. However, Scientific American reported the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing 20 applications for new nuclear reactors, which may signal that a nuclear revival in the U.S. is already underway.
Penn Energy 24th Nov 2014 read more »
US – renewables
For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas. That day appears to be dawning. The cost of providing electricity from wind and solar power plants has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas. Utility executives say the trend has accelerated this year, with several companies signing contracts, known as power purchase agreements, for solar or wind at prices below that of natural gas, especially in the Great Plains and Southwest, where wind and sunlight are abundant.
New York Times 23rd Nov 2014 read more »
It seemed that German Industry Minister had firmly put his foot down and opposed the beginnings of a coal phaseout, but news has trickled in over the past few days that he is negotiating with the coal sector over more or less what was proposed the entire time. Interestingly, the coal phaseout looks a lot like the nuclear phaseout of 2002.
Renew Economy 26th Nov 2014 read more »
The first VVER-1000 reactor at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Indiaunder commissioning tests has been lying idle since 26 September 2014 due toproblems of turbo-generator. Two years before its grid connection, the Russian-madeturbine erected in 2008, was overhauled by a private contractor and this fact was keptas a guarded secret. In spite of the overhaul, KKNPP turbine failed within hours of grid connection and was responsible for five trips, which kept the reactor off-grid for59 days. It could not be revived even after a two-month long maintenance during August- September 2014. Usually the first overhaul of a new turbine is done aftercompletion of 5 to 10 years of work.
Academia.edu (accessed) 24th Nov 2014 read more »
the French had publicly argued for tougher terms in the negotiations and “see their role as to serve, in the words of one Western diplomat, as ‘a significant counterweight on the impulse of ([US President Barack) Obama to make concessions’.” If so, this is a very curious state of diplomatic affairs. Among the several reasons the Vienna talks on Iran’s nuclear program have had to be reconvened this month — and now extended into next year — was that France objected to the deal with Iran being closed off earlier because of Tehran’s contested plutonium production plant at Arak. Whatever doubts the French have over Arak, they seem to be sanguine about Iran’s involvement in uranium enrichment, so much so that they are in industrial partnership with the Iranians in this technology, and have been for four decades since an agreement with the Shah of Iran in 1975. Oddly, this deal never gets reported in the context of the Iran nuclear negotiations. Is there any good reason why not? It ought to be centre-stage in any public diplomacy, but isn’t.
Morning Star 26th Nov 2014 read more »
President Rouhani is the face, Ayatollah Khamenei is the master. When negotiating with a theological absolutist, excessive flexibility is not a good idea. And yet abundant flexibility is the cornerstone of Barack Obama’s present negotiating strategy. On Monday evening in Vienna, John Kerry announced a seven-month extension to the nuclear negotiations. He claimed it’s the common-sense approach.
It’s not. It’s a grievous error.
Telegraph 26th Nov 2014 read more »
IF THE conventional wisdom of the mainstream press could sum up the current state of the Iranian nuclear talks in one headline, it would absurdly read “Optimism as talks fail to end”. Even by their standards, this fails to pass the laugh test analytically. Instead, an alarmed pessimism must be the correct response. For after 12 years, including the last nine months of increasingly intense discussions, the Iranian nuclear crisis has hit a brick wall.
City AM 25th Nov 2014 read more »
China is caught between a lump of coal and a nuclear reactor. Over the past decade, it has favoured the coal. More recently, nuclear power has been shunned in the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima earthquake. But the reactor’s pull is increasing. Not before time: China needs to cut pollution. The country is responsible for 30 per cent of the world’s CO2 output. Last year, China’s emissions per capita overtook those of the EU for the first time. This is untenable: pollution is an increasing cause of social unrest as people worry about the impact on health. So this month, China – with the US – outlined new emissions targets. Balancing these against its energy needs, China aims to source one-fifth of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030 – the year slated for peak emissions. To help it reach these goals, China’s nuclear capacity is expected to hit 58GW in 6 years, more than trebling from this year. At that level, 2020 nuclear generation will still equate only to a mere 5 per cent of China’s total 2013 capacity – and only just over half of the US’s current nuclear capacity.
Euro 2 Day 25th Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Businesses and factories will be able to take their solar panels with them when they relocate -allowing them to continue to benefit from lower bills – under proposed changes planned by government.
Scottish Energy News 26th Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – wave
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has confirmed the creation of Wave Energy Scotland to encourage innovation in the industry – similar in some ways to the former National Engineering Laboratory. The new quango will be administered by another Scot-Government quango – Highlands and Islands Enterprise – and will have the power to appoint a new board and tax-payer funded chief executive. It will also recruit a core team of engineering and research staff. The size and skill mix of the team will be established by the quango’s new management team.
Scottish Energy News 26th Nov 2014 read more »
BBC 25th Nov 2014 read more »
A TECHNOLOGY development body set up to encourage innovation in the wave energy industry will not provide jobs on the same scale as a wave power company which has gone into administration, MSPs have been told. Wave Energy Scotland will bring the best engineering and academic minds together to work on furthering wave technology, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said. It has been set up as it was announced Edinburgh-based Pelamis Wave Power, which designs, manufactures and operates wave energy converters which it has been testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, has gone into administration after failing to secure enough funding to develop its technology.
Herald 26th Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – tidal
German engineering giant Siemens has revealed it is seeking to divest from the marine energy industry, in a move that could put 45 jobs at risk. The company announced today it is looking to sell Marine Current Turbines, which it bought in 2012, blaming the slow pace of development in the tidal energy market for its decision to divest.
Business Green 24th Nov 2014 read more »
Heads of European Governments have ignored all the evidence on energy efficiency and failed to set binding targets. What was behind the UK’s opposition? Yet only last month the heads of European Governments set the continent‘s energy policy framework for the next fifteen years – and reverted to the old routine of demoting energy efficiency into an also-ran option, as a nice–to-have-but–not-essential idea. No commitments of any kind were agreed. Only an unambitious (and purely aspirational) target for energy efficiency improvements was even suggested for 2030, achieving which would result in actually reducing the speed of improvements currently being reached. Why did this previous “number one priority” become such a pariah? One can speculate. The New York Times went further. It stated categorically that the reason for such hostility was simply electoral calculation. The majority party in the UK government, the Conservatives, were simply scared that the UK Independence Party would attack them for adopting another European-inspired target. I have no direct evidence as to the accuracy of this conclusion. But I do know that, of all the world’s newspapers, the one that most requires its journalists to justify every word before going into print, is the New York Times.
ACE 25th Nov 2014 read more »
Highly-efficient LED light bulbs are “years ahead” of price and performance expectations, but their energy-saving effects are being dulled by an EU proposal to prolong the shelf life of energy guzzling halogen lamps from 2016 to 2018, an inter-governmental report says. The result could be a £6.8bn of lost efficiency savings, according to Clasp, a leading efficiency standards and labelling group, which contributed to the test report by the Swedish energy agency, Belgian government and the European council for an energy efficient economy (ECEEE).
Guardian 25th Nov 2014 read more »