STOP Hinkley and Green Campaigners will be joined by Green MEP for the South West Molly Scott-Cato tomorrow, (September 26), at Hinkley Point. They say they will be demonstrating against the news that the Hinkley C is on the verge of being given the green light from the EU Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia. The European Commission had been investigating whether the terms of the subsidy deal struck with the Government constituted illegal state aid.
Somerset County Gazette 25th Sept 2014 read more »
Anti-nuclear campaigners converged on the site of Somerset’s planned new nuclear station to warn European Commissioners that a deal on the price of electricity it will generate is: “economically bonkers”. Yesterday’s protest followed news earlier this week that the EU’s Competition Commissioner, Joaquim Almunia will recommend a positive decision on the deal agreed between the British Government and Hinkley developer EDF. The 35-year agreement guarantees EDF a price for Hinkley’s electricity of £92.50 per MWh, roughly twice the current wholesale rate. The deal was called in for examination by the Commissioner last year amid fears that it could be seen as state aid. The College of Commissioners is expected to consider Mr Almunia’s recommendation in the next two weeks. Green MEP for the South West Molly Scott-Cato, who has already told Mr Almunia she is “shocked and disturbed” by his proposal, met Stop Hinkley and Green Campaigners at the demonstration. She said there has been dismay across Europe about the anticipated decision. Austria, which has banned nuclear power, has announced that it will oppose the recommendation. There have been reports that it will try to mount a legal challenge, but Conservative South West MEP Julie Girling said yesterday she did not think Austria had the right to make a legal challenge.
Western Daily Press 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Austria has said that it will use EU law to try to block what it describes as the “scandal” of government plans to build Britain’s first nuclear plant in a generation on the Somerset coast. The Austrian government, which is strongly anti-nuclear, is angry that the European Commission has approved the huge subsidies that the government has promised EDF Energy of France to build the £16 billion reactor at Hinkley Point, which the commission is expected to approve fully this month. Politicians in Vienna are alarmed that commission backing for such subsidies means that the Czech Republic could offer sweeteners to revive plans to expand its Temelín nuclear plant, 40 miles from the Austrian border.
Times 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Balfour Beatty has been appointed by Magnox to deliver the £34m Solid Intermediate Level Waste Encapsulation (SILWE) contract at Hunterston A former power station in North Ayrshire. The project marks the final link in Magnox’s process chain of safely encapsulating and storing intermediate level waste as part of the decommissioning of the nuclear power plant. Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the final design of the encapsulation process and construction of the SILWE plant including the complex mechanical, electrical control and instrumentation required.
Builder & Engineer 26th Sept 2014 read more »
We have set out how this national exercise will help communities better understand their area’s geology and how results would help identify a potential site for a geological disposal facility (GDF). Information generated by the screening exercise will help answer some of the initial questions any community might ask, like “do you have enough information to say if our area is likely to be suitable and, if not, how long would detailed investigations take before you would know?” RWM will develop guidance and apply it to existing information about the geology of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and draw all this information together in one place. RWM is also accessing experience of geological screening from other countries. A more detailed explanation about the potential scope of the geological screening exercise will be discussed at a series of public meetings during the autumn, at which RWM will seek the views of a wide range of stakeholders. These meetings will also explain the process and timing of the screening exercise, and how the scientific and academic communities, industry, and wider public can participate in the process. An initial geological event on 30 September will be followed by further public events in the next few weeks.
NDA 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Staking his election campaign on a 10-year plan for building a green economy, Labour leader Ed Miliband this week committed to remove carbon from our electricity supply by 2030. That’s a big ambition, with just 16 years left in which to achieve it. His comments were welcomed by green campaigners. John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK Green Building Council, said Miliband had displayed “clarity of thinking that the global challenge of tackling climate change is not a burden to be shouldered but an opportunity to be grasped”. But critics warned that the target may never be achieved. According to Liberum bank analyst Peter Atherton, it would require a large investment and rapid development of low-carbon power generation infrastructure – a prospect he considered “implausible”.
Guardian 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Japan’s government is trying to get its failing nuclear power industry up and running, write Jim Green and Peer de Rijk. But in the post-Fukushima world, it faces formidable obstacles. Experts believe most reactors will never restart – and Japan’s stricken utilities may have to find $30 billion or more to finance their decommissioning.
Ecologist 26th Sept 2014 read more »
The gargantuan task of moving residents in a nuclear crisis will fall on chartered buses, according to the local governments’ evacuation plans. The problem is there may not be nearly enough vehicles to move huge numbers of people to safety. Some prefectures already realize they would be lucky to assemble just half the number of buses for the job. There is also opposition from bus companies, which say they will not subject their drivers to hazardous radiation risks.
Asahi Shimbun 27th Sept 2014 read more »
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani raises questions about the use of air power to fight terrorism, as he warns time is running out on nuclear deal at news conference on UN sidelines.
Reuters 27th Sept 2014 read more »
Western strategists have long debated the spectre of Iran “breaking out” – suddenly showing the ability to explode an atom bomb. But some see a “sneak-out” less visible to U.N. inspectors as a possibly bigger risk and world powers have calibrated their demands in negotiations with Iran to forestall any such outcome.Under a “sneak-out” scenario, Western officials and experts say, Iran could build a uranium enrichment plant in secret to make bomb material unbeknownst to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, now empowered to visit only Tehran’s declared nuclear sites.
Reuters 26th Sept 2014 read more »
French government-controlled Areva – the world’s biggest nuclear company – is understood to be planning legal action against the Australian government over a decision last year to veto mining at its multibillion-dollar Koongarra uranium deposit by including it in the Kakadu National Park. The claim has the potential to open up the Commonwealth to a payment of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Sydney Morning Herald 25th Sept 2014 read more »
Today is the first ever International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. To commemorate this historic occasion, CND Vice-President and veteran peace activist Bruce Kent took to an unusal spot to raise awareness of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system: Lewes Castle. The 84-year-old stuck his head above the parapet (sorry, we couldn’t resist) at the eleventh century fort to drop a banner reading ‘Cut Trident: not jobs, health, education’, highlighting the £100bn earmarked for Trident replacement.
CND 26th Sept 2014 read more »
A GRANDMOTHER-of-nine has hit out at the Crown Office – for refusing to prosecute her. Janet Fenton was one of four people who were arrested and charged with breach of the peace on Monday after blockading Faslane submarine base. The 67-year-old was kept in custody for 32 hours and was due to appear before Clydebank Sheriff Court the following day. But the veteran campaigner against nuclear weapons and her three fellow protesters were suddenly released on Tuesday afternoon with “no explanation”. Ms Fenton, from the Capital, claimed she had been released for “political” reasons.
Edinburgh Evening News 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Friends of the Earth Scotland today launches a new film documenting some of the best examples of community owned and operated renewables from across Scotland. Friends of the Earth Scotland community power campaigner Anne Schiffer said “Community groups across Scotland are leading the way in moving from dirty fossil fuels to harnessing our vast renewable energy potential. This film shows how ordinary people have made this journey, celebrates local success stories and will hopefully inspire others to start their own project.”
FoE Scotland 25th September 2014 read more »
Report: From remote island grids to urban solar co-ops
FoE Scotland 25th Sept 2014 read more »
Bibi van der Zee explores the growing community of energy groups to find out how they are changing the way we think about our energy system and our relationship with it.Carbon Co-op in Manchester,Green Prosperity in Hull and Repowering London are three examples of this community energy revolution.
Guardian 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Renewables – Geothermal
An ancient volcano deep beneath Stoke-on-Trent could help to heat more than a thousand homes. Under a plan costing £52 million, a 2.5km (1.5 mile) borehole would be drilled to an aquifer in which the water is heated naturally to at least 85C (185F). The source of the heat is thought to be a volcano 350 million years old. Professor Peter Styles, of the University of Keele, told The Sentinel: “It’s a bit like having a hot water bottle in the ground.” Stoke City Council is preparing a business case for the project. The government has pledged £20 million.
Times 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Renewables – wind
Scotland approved a wind farm that may produce enough power for as many as 28,000 homes. The government approved Banks Renewables Ltd.’s plan to build a 15-turbine farm in South Lanarkshire with 60-megawatt capacity, it said today in a statement on its website. The project has the potential to generate funding for the local community of 7.2 million pounds ($12 million) over its lifetime.
Bloomberg 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Renewables – hydro
Sunart Community Renewables and the hydro-electric scheme (its first project) have come about after three years’ hard work by members of the local charity, Sunart Community Company (SCC). In March 2011 the SCC identified the potential for a community-run micro hydroelectric scheme on the Allt nan Cailleach burn, approximately 1.5 km north of Strontian. The purpose of this website is to provide a background to the scheme, to inform potential investors about the opportunity it presents, and to keep the local and wider community up to date with progress.
Sunart Community Renewables (accessed) 27th Sept 2014 read more »
Fracking will take place below Britons’ homes without their permission after ministers rejected 40,000 objections to controversial changes to trespass laws. The UK government argued that the current ability for people to block shale gas development under their property would lead to significant delays and that the legal process by which companies can force fracking plans through was costly, time-consuming and disproportionate.
Guardian 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Fracking under homes without owners’ consent must be allowed despite overwhelming opposition to a consultation on the plans, ministers have said. More than 99 per cent of respondents to the consultation opposed the planned law change, which would hand energy companies an automatic right to frack deep beneath homes in pursuit of shale gas or oil. But ministers brushed aside the concerns and laid the proposals before the Lords on Thursday night, insisting the plans would “help bolster our national energy security”.
Telegraph 26th Sept 2014 read more »
Scottish ministers have demanded devolved powers on oil and gas drilling after Westminster announced it will press ahead with plans to allow fracking companies to drill without the agreement of landowners. The UK-wide plan would give companies the right to drill at depths of 300 metres or more under private land without negotiating a right of access. Fergus Ewing, the SNP energy minister, said decisions on oil and gas drilling in Scotland should be made by the people who live there. The Department of Energy and Climate Change ran a consultation this year asking if the government should legislate for underground access to gas and oilbelow 300 metres. More than 99 per cent of the 40,647 respondents opposed the idea, but the DECC said it will continue with the policy, saying it is the “right approach”. Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends Of The Earth Scotland, said: “This is legislating for the 1 per cent. (David) Cameron and (George) Osborne’s dash for gas risks putting the UK on course for climate catastrophe.”
Times 27th Sept 2014 read more »