28 June 2015

Radwaste

The president of the company that designs and sells the giant concrete and steel casks that will store Vermont Yankee’s waste for the foreseeable future told a Vermont panel Thursday night his invention will last for 300 years. Kris Singh, president and chief executive officer of Holtec International told the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel that his casks love cold weather and even love being flooded. He said the casks, which are made of two-inch thick stainless steel and a special, high-density concrete, can withstand high-impact attack, high temperatures, and even an F-16 loaded with jet fuel crashing into them. The casks can withstand bullets and missiles, he said.

Rutland Herald 27th June 2015 read more »

Iran

Iran and six world powers are in the final stretch of trying to seal a deal curbing Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of sanctions. The sides have set themselves a deadline of 30 June to finalise an agreement, though some countries in the Middle East are worried it will not go far enough.

BBC 27th June 2015 read more »

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has said he remains hopeful of an agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear programme, despite warnings from other diplomats that the talks under way in Vienna face several major sticking points.

Independent 27th June 2015 read more »

Nuclear negotiators for Iran, obligated to dispose of tons of enriched uranium under an approaching deal, are focusing on a US-backed plan to have Tehran export the material for sale by a second country as reactor fuel, diplomats told the Associated Press on Saturday.

Guardian 27th June 2015 read more »

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is pursuing its own nuclear projects and building alliances to counter Iran, which is days away from a potential atomic deal Riyadh fears could further destabilise the region. On Wednesday, France and Saudi Arabia announced a feasibility study for building two nuclear reactors in the kingdom. Like its neighbour the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia wants to diversify its energy sources and has plans for 16 reactors. The Paris pact is the third nuclear accord Riyadh has signed this year. Last week, it reached a deal with Russia on economic, technical and scientific ties for the peaceful use of atomic energy. In March, the kingdom signed a preliminary deal for nuclear cooperation with South Korea.

Middle East Online 26th June 2015 read more »

Renewables – onshore wind

SCOTTISH ministers are to hold an emergency summit with the green energy sector after the Conservative government announced it plans to axe a subsidy scheme for onshore wind farms a year early. The SNP has already spoken out against plans to scrap the renewables obligation, while Scottish Renewables, the representative body for the country’s renewable energy industry, has warned that the move could put up to £3bn of investment in Scotland at risk. Fergus Ewing, the Scottish energy minister, has pressed the Westminster energy secretary Amber Rudd on the issue in talks in London. Now he has announced he is holding an emergency summit with the green energy sector in Glasgow next month, so he can hear first hand their concerns, ahead of further talks. While the move has been welcomed by anti-wind farm campaigners who claim th at Scotland’s countryside has been blighted by too many turbines, Ewing said: “There are many communities and companies that have invested significant amounts of money in renewables schemes and they have now found the goalposts have been moved, putting crucial investment and jobs at risk.

Sunday Times 28th June 2015 read more »

Proposed wind farm projects in the Northern and Western Isles could be the only onshore projects in Scotland to be unaffected by the UK Government’s recently announced plans to scale back subsidies for the sector, it has emerged. Scotland’s onshore wind sector – which claims that £3 billion of investment is now under threat – had been hoping that a statement in the House of Commons by energy secretary Amber Rudd on Monday would clarify how many proposed wind farm projects in Scotland would qualify for transitional support after Rudd earlier this month announced the government would bring forward the qualifying date for support under the Renewables Obligation Contract (ROC) scheme by one year, from March 2017 to March 2016. This would mean that any onshore wind project completed after that date would instead have to apply for support under the less generous Contracts for Difference (CfD) subsidy scheme. But last week, Rudd hinted that the government was also considering closing the CfD scheme to onshore wind. Although Rudd said that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) would implement a “grace period” for projects which meet three specific conditions (having planning permission, ownership of land or a lease and the installation of a grid connection) there is continuing confusion over whether the qualifying date of 18th June for the meeting the first two conditions would also apply to the third.

Herald 28th June 2015 read more »

WIND farm operators could have to rely on taxpayer subsidies for another decade, the chief executive of power group Vattenfall has admitted. However, Magnus Hall, who took the helm of the Swedish state-owned firm in October, said it was putting “real pressure” on turbine suppliers in an attempt to drive down costs.

Scotsman 27th June 2015 read more »

Renewable Investment

Green-minded individuals looking for potential returns of as much as 9% a year, and who are prepared to take some risks with their money, are being targeted by a range of new investment schemes. These include one launched this week that aims to raise £2.75m to help finance a community solar project near Bristol that is expected to generate enough energy each year to power 1,160 homes. Locally run green energy schemes have been one of the ethical investment success stories of recent years. However, those thinking of signing up need to be aware there are risks attached, and some will take the view that a safer bet would be an ethical fund investing in many different companies.

Guardian 27th June 2015 read more »

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Published: 28 June 2015