Regulators are concerned about a safety report for a planned new reactor at Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on Anglesey. Horizon Nuclear Power hopes the plant will start operating in the early 2020s and employ more than 1,000 people. But the reactor’s technology provider, Hitachi-GE, has been told to address a “serious regulatory shortfall”. The issue surrounds a lack of information over the use of Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) in the £8bn development. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) wants more details to “undertake a meaningful assessment against regulatory expectations”. Hitachi-GE said it had since submitted a resolution plan. The ONR uses a Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) in its generic design assessment (GDA) for the UK ABWR.
BBC 27th July 2015 read more »
A bid for a £20 million expansion of Coleg Menai is due to go before council chiefs next week. The planning application, which goes before Anglesey Council on Wednesday outlines a large swathe of land to the east of the existing campus. A site visit ahead of a final decision on the expansion will be held on August 19. College leaders want to expand the campus at Llangefni to reap the rewards of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant. In preparation for the 8,500 construction workers and the permanent 1,000 Wylfa Newydd staff, the campus at Llangefni is set to expand to accommodate a specialist technology and energy centre and engineering site. Horizon, the firm developing the power station, say they hope local people will make up at least 20% of the construction workforce.
Daily Post 25th July 2015 read more »
Nuclear Tosh(iba) Reigns Supreme While Cumbria is Stitched Up By Those Who Should Be Protecting People and this Magical Corner of the Planet As the first consultation for Moorside drew to a close on the 25th July the company behind NuGen, Toshiba was caught cooking the books while Cumbria County Council waxed lyrical about “nuclear aspirations”. Give us a break, Cumbria’s ONLY nuclear aspiration should be to ensure protection from the already intolerable and (even without Moorside) accelerating nuclear burden of ‘decommissioning’ and reprocessing.
Radiation Free Lakeland 26th July 2015 read more »
Matt Ridley: Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, said in her speech on Friday, that she wants a “strong, ambitious, rules-based agreement that makes the shift to a clean global economy irreversible” – knowing full well that such a thing is vanishingly unlikely to emerge in a form that commits us to anything. She is meanwhile boldly trying to rein in some of Ed Miliband’s and Chris Huhne’s regressive stealth taxes on ener gy bills, which have been subsidising crony capitalists in the renewable energy industry and driving jobs abroad. Since these measures have been bringing down emissions very little and at a cost per tonne far exceeding the damage likely to be done by climate change, this is sensible reform. The spectacle of Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians lamenting the harm these reforms will do to the confidence of wealthy investors in the wind industry is a wonder to behold. It is not as if the Tory manifesto’s promise to stop onshore wind farms was a secret, and it allows Conservatives to champion the poor, on whom the cost of these green measures has fallen disproportionately, through their energy bills. Our electricity prices are twice as high as America’s. It was always fanciful to think that wind and solar farms could stop global warming. Despite vast subsidies, their deployment is not even keeping up with the increase in energy demand. To the nearest whole number, w ind produced 1 per cent of global energy (ie, 3 per cent of global electricity) in 2014; solar, 0 per cent. Fossil fuels’ share was 87 per cent, unchanged from ten years earlier. With current technology, only a vast expansion of nuclear power, a switch from coal to gas and a surge in energy efficiency, especially in China and India, can slow down the rise in emissions significantly, let alone affordably. (As always, I declare an interest in fossil fuels, mainly coal.)
Times 27th July 2015 read more »
As the country ranked 174 out of 187 in the United Nations’s Human Development Index, it is no surprise Malawi is also one of the most energy-poor nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Less than one per cent of its rural population is able to access its national grid and that figure rises to only nine per cent across the country. But victories are now being won in the battle to bring clean, green power to the country – and it is Scotland which is helping the fight. Results published today show that a three-year renewable energy scheme led by Strathclyde University has benefited nearly 80,000 people in rural Malawi and brought reliable electricity supplies to schools, homes and health clinics in some of the country’s poorest areas. Funded by the Scottish Government to the tune of £2.3 million, the Malawi Renewable Energy Acceleration Programme (MREAP) has applied Scotland’s expertise in renewable energy to schemes in 48 communities across the country, resulting in initiatives such as a project to place solar panels on health facilities in the Chikwawa district, where malaria is rife.
Herald 27th July 2015 read more »
The fate of the nuclear power plant project of Fennovoima was on the agenda as Olli Rehn (Centre), the Minister of Economic Affairs, visited Moscow on Thursday. Rehn revealed that he and Arkady Dvorkovich, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, discussed the ongoing negotiations between Fortum, Gazprom and Rosatom over a joint hydro-power venture that Fortum has set as a condition for its participation in Fennovoima. Russia is according to Rehn “very committed” to the nuclear power plant project. The project is important for Rosatom as the state-owned Russian nuclear power plant operator holds one-third of the shares in Fennovoima. Finnish authorities have prescribed, however, that a minimum of 60 per cent of shares in the nuclear power consortium must be held by parties domiciled within the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA). The ownership requirement has yet to be fulfilled. All eyes are yet again on Fortum after Rehn turned down a proposed investment in Fennovoima by Croatia’s Migrit Solarna Energija. Could the energy utility be willing to invest in Fennovoima?
Helsinki Times 24th July 2015 read more »
China, as part of its 13th five-year plan, is considering a solar target of 200 GW by 2020. If you have been following recent reports, that’s the milestone globally installed solar PV capacity is expected to cross in the (very) near future.
Renew Economy 27th July 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe, which began in March 2011, has had enormous consequences for the people of Japan. Over 160,000 people were evacuated and displaced from Fukushima prefecture, many tens of thousands of whom, four years after the start of the accident, remain living in ‘temporary’ accommodation. It has also inflicted a devastating blow to Japanese nuclear utilities. Not a single nuclear reactor has operated in Japan since September 2013. Over four years later, the majority of the Japanese public remains opposed to any future nuclear plant operation. The major nuclear power companies are in a state of crisis and so is Government energy policy.
Greenpeace (accessed) 27th July 2015 read more »
Iran’s leaders are under mounting pressure to defend the nuclear agreement as experts highlight the scale of the concessions made by the country’s negotiators. While US President Barack Obama tries to persuade Congress to endorse the deal, the mirror image of Washington’s debate is taking place in Tehran. In both capitals, the criticism of their respective negotiating teams is strikingly similar.
Telegraph 27th July 2015 read more »
Launching nuclear powered-propulsion units have serious risks NASA’s failed meteorological Nimbus B1 satellite blew up on launch in 1968, containing . plutonium batteries. The nuclear pack in this case was tiny and later recovered, but in the much bigger rockets now under discussion could much bigger dangers if an accident took place on launch
Dr David Lowry 26th July 2015 read more »
Margaret Ferrier MP expresses concern at nuclear convoys as she hosts a Westminster debate on Trident The SNP member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West was speaking after questioning the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt MP, on the issue of nuclear convoys.
Daily Record 27th July 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
Commercial solar continues to underperform, according to the latest data from the Department of Energy (DECC). The DECC has published its monthly statistics on how much solar is being deployed under the Feed-in Tariff and how that is going to affect tariff levels. Their data has shown only slight increase in deployment in domestic solar and relatively low deployment for commercial roofs. The Solar Trade Association said that while it isn’t the success story they hoped for the small reductions in tariffs are becoming less and less important as tariffs come down.
Scottish Energy News 27th July 2015 read more »
A top 20 UK firm of accountants has warned that government cuts to solar subsidies will ‘severely undermine’ consumer confidence. The Government has recommended that after April small solar farms of 5MW and under will no longer qualify for support under the Renewable Obligation. The decision has been taken ostensibly to keep the cost of energy to the consumer down by removing the contribution they make to the subsidy system. However, some commentators have estimated this to be in the region of just £1.20 per year on the average annual household electricity bill.
Scottish Energy News 27th July 2015 read more »
While the cost of electricity is a constant bugbear in many countries, South Africans face a bigger problem: keeping the lights on. These blackouts prompted Cape Town native Charlotte Slingsby to seek out a solution after her family home was found to be unsuitable for solar panels. The result was Moya (wind in the Xhosa language), a new energy generation system: sheets of plastic have wave-like filaments attached that capture tiny amounts of wind energy that can then be stored in a battery.
Guardian 26th July 2015 read more »
Renewables – wind
Donald Trump’s relationship with green energy is a bit more complicated than it would appear after it was revealed he’s invested in a wind farm firm. The disclosure the 69-year-old business mogul owns shares in Nextera Energy Inc – who claim to be one of the world’s largest generators of wind power – is revealed in paperwork he gave to the authorities last week as part of his bid to become the next President of the United States.
Sunday Post 26th July 2015 read more »
Norway is hoping to become the “green battery of Europe” by using its hydropower plants to provide instant extra electricity if production from wind and solar power sources in other countries fade. Without building any new power stations, engineers believe they could use the existing network to instantly boost European supplies and avoid other countries having to switch on fossil fuel plants to make up shortfalls. Norway has 937 hydropower plants, which provide 96% of its electricity, making it the sixth largest hydropower producer in the world − despite having a population of only five million. The problem at the moment is that even hydropower is not instant. This is because water takes time to flow through the vast network of pipes and the turbines to reach the correct speed to provide stable power to the grid at the correct frequency of alternating current. By creating a sealed surge chamber in rock close to the turbines, engineers can feed electricity, at the right frequency, into the grid immediately. The empty chamber contains air that is compressed as the space is filled with water. So, when the valves are open, the water can instantly turn turbines at the correct speed.
Climate News Network 26th July 2015 read more »