AN MP has branded Sellafield a cross between science fiction and a nuclear slum. “And it’s probably the biggest nuclear slum in Europe,” claimed Yorkshire TV personality Austin Mitchell, now Labour MP for Great Grimsby. Mr Mitchell was among the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee MPs who yesterday gave nuclear bosses a two hour grilling over Sellafield’s spiralling project costs, big salaries and potential risks. The committee monitors public spending and wants to know whether Sellafield has wasted taxpayers money.
NW Evening Mail 27th Nov 2012 more »
The U.K.’s 110 billion-pound ($176 billion) effort to reform the electricity market is unlikely to deliver on 2020 climate goals, a survey shows. The survey by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP of 101 executives and investors in the U.K. electricity industry found 77 percent do not think the power market reforms will enable the country to meet legally binding goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Many thought the 2020 target to cut emissions 34 percent was over-ambitious, according to the survey.
Bloomberg 28th Nov 2012 more »
EDF, the French power company, and Centrica are closer to building the first new nuclear power station in Britain, following the granting of a Nuclear Site Licence (NSL) for Hinkley Point C by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). The regulator has signalled its confidence that NNB GenCo, the new nuclear build subsidiary of EDF Energy, has developed the required organisation, management structure, plans and procedures needed for the construction, commissioning and operation of its proposed new nuclear power station in Somerset. Conditions of the licence include the development, implementation and maintenance of adequate safety arrangements throughout the life of Hinkley Point C.
Link2 27th Nov 2012 more »
Outlaw 27th Nov 2012 more »
In parallel with its assessment of the site licence application; ONR is working with the Environment Agency to assess the generic design of this reactor. Both regulators, through a process called generic design assessment (GDA), issued interim acceptance for the UK EPR design in December 2011. Subject to the receipt of necessary information from the designers to close a number of issues, they could make a decision on granting final acceptance before the end of 2012. The reactor nuclear island cannot be built in the UK until these issues are resolved.
Nuclear Engineering International 27th Nov 2012 more »
Japanese company Hitachi yesterday completed its acquisition of German energy companies E.ON and RWE’s UK joint nuclear venture Horizon Nuclear Power for £696 million.
Energy Efficiency News 27th Nov 2012 more »
Nuclear power often gets a raw deal, partially for some very good reasons. The waste, for starters. It is difficult to know what to do with nuclear waste. It takes for ever to lose its radioactivity – so long that at the moment the only viable solution is to immobilise and store it. This is not ideal for obvious reasons. Nuclear accidents also get some rather scary press – Chernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island. Not that these weren’t nuclear or industrial accidents, they definitely were, but it is good to be a bit careful about throwing out the baby with the cooling bath water. Despite the downsides, the benefits of nuclear power should not be overlooked. It is not oil. Nuclear fuel does not produce CO2. Nuclear plants are relatively accident-free. There is plenty of radioactive material around currently. Nuclear fuel itself is non-renewable but breeder reactors produce more fuel than they use. The few cons there are, like storage and safety issues, are actually why governments need to fund nuclear energy research. Research monies for making safer reactors and better containment would be nice for a start, but government money needs to be found for “blue skies” nuclear research too.
Guardian 27th Nov 2012 more »
Global Specialist Environmental Support Services business Silverdell PLC will be a platinum sponsor at the 2012 NIA/NI Annual Dinner on 6th December at the Grosvenor Hotel, London. This is THE premier event for the nuclear industry in the UK and brings together key players from across the UK nuclear industry, political scene and academia. The event follows The Energy Choices Conference and Exhibition, which takes place earlier in the day and offers the chance for industry experts to relax and network with colleagues.
Industry Today 27th Nov 2012 more »
Fukushima Crisis Update 20th to 26th Nov.
Greenpeace 27th Nov 2012 more »
Basque company ONA Electroerosion denied on Tuesday charges made by the Spanish tax authorities that it had smuggled machinery to Iran to use in the country’s nuclear programme.
Reuters 27th Nov 2012 more »
Iran is set to be in focus at a UN atomic agency board meeting starting Thursday, not only because of ongoing suspicions of a covert weapons drive but also over safety concerns over its only operating nuclear power plant. As well as highlighting Iran’s continued expansion, the IAEA’s report this month also said that fuel has been unloaded at Iran’s Bushehr reactor, shutting it down. Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said that the move was a “normal technical procedure” but Western diplomats said it raised fresh questions about safety at the 1,000-megawatt plant.
Middle East Online 27th Nov 2012 more »
All over the former Soviet Union, nearly 250,000 tonnes of pesticides and farm chemicals have been stored in ramshackle warehouses, land-filled or dumped. After the USSR splintered the authorities lost the thread, so no one knows exactly where this toxic waste is. Chernogrivov fears such dumps may be a bigger hazard than even nuclear waste because of the confusion surrounding them. France dispatches regular consignments of depleted uranium for processing at Severesk (formerly Tomsk-7), a closed military complex near Tomsk, but this circuit is under control. The same is not true of pesticides.
Guardian 27th Nov 2012 more »
A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) describes South Korea’s nuclear power policy and ‘logical,’ but warns of the importance of independent regulation and international cooperation.
Nuclear Engineering International 26th Nov 2012 more »
Representatives of Scotland’s green energy sector are to meet with the country’s Conservative Party leader, Ruth Davidson, after she became the latest Tory politician to launch an attack on wind farms. The Scottish Conservative Party leader said Salmond was “devastating” the Scottish landscape by encouraging the development of wind turbines, as part of his government’s efforts to generate 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity from renewables by 2020.
Business Green 28th Nov 2012 more »
The government will this week announce a series of measures alongside its upcoming Energy Bill, designed to raise the profile of its soon-to-be-launched Green Deal scheme and enable some of the most ambitious energy efficiency policies in the world. Speaking to BusinessGreen ahead of the anticipated publication of the Bill later this week, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said the landmark legislation would incorporate a “big announcement” on measures to help curb energy demand. Barker insisted the Bill would also feature “the most ambitious approach to demand reduction we’ve ever seen in the UK”.
Business Green 27th Nov 2012 more »
The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) will today unveil a report showing the budget for energy efficiency measures for the fuel poor in England has been cut by 44 per cent, from £376m in 2009 to £209m in 2013. ACE estimates the cuts will reduce the number of insulation deployments in fuel poor households in England from 150,000 in 2009 to 100,000 next year. The report was commissioned by a coalition of businesses and organisations dubbed the Energy Revolution, which argue that using revenues from the sale of carbon allowances could slash fuel poverty in the UK by up to 87 per cent.
Business Green 27th Nov 2012 more »
Mirror 27th Nov 2012 more »
Retrofitting can cut carbon emissions by at least half in homes, but the costs of retrofitting at this level are still significantly more than the likely limits on expenditure under the Green Deal, the first independent analysis of the UK ’s leading domestic retrofit programme has found. The findings, published today, are the first to come out of the Technology Strategy Board ’s (TSB) £17 million Retrofit for the Future (R4tF) demonstration programme, which was set up to to find innovative green technologies to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of homes. The study also concludes that the supply chain is currently too underdeveloped to support large-scale retrofit.
Green Wise Business 22nd Nov 2012 more »
The Government’s new energy efficiency scheme could slap an extra £94 onto customers’ bills – double the amount previously estimated. That’s according to an independent report commissioned by trade body Energy UK into the Energy Company Obligation, which runs from January 2013 to March 2015. The ECO is replacing the CERT and CESP schemes which pay for energy saving kit such as insulation for the poorest and most vulnerable homeowners in society.
Energy Live News 27th Nov 2012 more »
Green Investment Bank
Vince Cable, the business secretary, has officially marked the launch of the new green investment bank (GIB) by announcing funding of a new waste-to-energy plant and an energy saving scheme. The small projects to build a new anaerobic digestion plant in Teeside and retrofit a panel-making factory in north Wales, involving investments by the GIB of £8m and £5m respectively, will soak up only a tiny fraction of the bank’s total £3bn in funding. Speaking before he formally confirmed the GIB was “open for business” on Wednesday morning in Edinburgh, Cable said these projects were proof of its wider ambitions to develop a low-carbon, clean energy economy. The GIB said the anaerobic digestion plant would be the first of six waste-to-energy power plants which would eventually produce 30MW hours of electricity, diverting more than 550,000 tonnes of waste from landfill. The GIB will spend £80m on that programme, with similar sums from private sources. The energy efficiency project to retrofit a number of factories run by Kingspan is expected to cut energy use by 15% at their sites.
Guardian 28th Nov 2012 more »
We are keen to show how important the renewable energy industry, from the work in the Orkneys on tidal wave energy to the new catapult centre in Glasgow, is to the UK’s overall energy policy. To demonstrate his point, Mr Cable and his Lib Dem ministers will be visiting the Whitlock Energy Collaboration Centre in Rosyth, one of Scotland’s newest education and research centres focusing on the renewable energy sector, before the official launch in Edinburgh.
Independent 27th Nov 2012 more »
Those who oppose natural gas on the grounds that all CO2 emissions are intolerable, are living in a fantasy world. Curbing supplies of natural gas immediately would simply lead to more use of coal and oil because renewable, zero-carbon energy is still relatively expensive. The result would be higher CO2 emissions and greater climate risks. Yet in the long run gas sceptics are correct. If the world is to meet the long-term climate goals that policy makers have embraced, it will need to start turning to zero-carbon sources within a decade or two. That will mean moving away from coal and natural gas, unless a cost-effective way can be developed to capture and store the emissions these create. It also means pursuing renewable energy and nuclear power, which today are the only commercially viable zero-carbon electricity sources. Parties should also agree that gas is far from a permanent climate solution. With that in mind, they should strengthen their efforts, individually and collectively, to promote innovation and development of cost-effective zero-carbon energy options. That would include fostering technologies to capture emissions from gas-fired power plants and laying the groundwork for policies to shift energy systems from natural gas to zero-carbon options when the time is right.
FT 28th Nov 2012 more »