AT THE grand opening of Cannington Court last week the EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz announced the green light for the construction of Hinkley C was “weeks” away. He was unable to give a start date in part due to issues over the building of the reactor, while the Mercury understands there is still a funding gap with complex legal work yet to be completed to tie up the deal with EDF and the Chinese Government. However his optimism and that of the Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell Grainger have been rejected by the anti-nuclear group Stop Hinkley. Cannington-based Roy Pumfrey of the organisation said: “Mr Liddell Grainger talked about April as the start time – but which April? Let’s not forget that the construction products association had it that even if the final investment decision was signed when the Chinese premier was here in October it would be 2018 before anything actually happened.”
Bridgwater Mercury 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Amec Foster Wheel has been awarded a 12 month contract for the design and safety case of the store, developing the concept into a fully detailed manufacturing design with a combined safety case submission. Local contractor J Gunn & Sons has been awarded the contract for the site enabling works. This is a four-month contract that started at the end of October.
Construction Index 25th Nov 2015 read more »
The National Grid has launched a public consultation, which is set to close in mid-December, considering how to connect the planned Wylfa Newydd power station to the main electricity network.
Daily Post 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Cumbria Trust’s response to the RWM National Geological Screening Guidance consultation. Cumbria Trust welcomes Radioactive Waste Management’s (RWM’s) national geological screening exercise. This has the potential to be a solid foundation for the next siting process for geological disposal. We also welcome the involvement of the Independent Review Panel (IRP) to oversee the screening process and to provide much needed scrutiny. However, we have some serious reservations about the proposed geological screening process itself and especially how its findings will be presented and utilised. These are given below in our detailed response. In particular it isn’t yet clear that the output will be sufficiently detailed to allow potential host communities, however those are eventually defined and that remains a very contentious subject, to adequately understand the potential suitability of the geology found beneath them. There is no indication that suitability relative to other parts of the UK will be considered by the exercise. There is also no suggestion that regions with relatively unsuitable geology will be prevented or discouraged from volunteering or conversely that regions with potentially suitable geology will be actively encouraged to volunteer. A screening exercise which is certainly a step in the right direction, may in effect prove worthless if there is a reluctance to screen out less suitable areas.
Cumbria Trust 28th Nov 2015 read more »
New safety requirements on nuclear emergency preparedness and response published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) incorporate lessons learned and developments since 2002, including lessons from Fukushima.
World Nuclear News 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Toshiba president Masashi Muromachi apologised for failing to disclose past impairment losses of $1.3bn booked by its US nuclear unit Westinghouse, in the latest setback for the scandal-mired Japanese industrial group. The company on Friday released financial details of the unit for the first time, showing an accumulated operating loss of $290m since Toshiba acquired a majority stake in the company for $5.4bn in 2006. “We deeply regret not having actively disclosed information at a proper timing,” Mr Muromachi said at a news conference on Friday. He denied any attempts to cover up Westinghouse’s losses. Danny Roderick, chief executive of Westinghouse, said on Friday that the company expected to win 50 new contracts in India and China over the next decade. “[The leaders of the world] are recognising that you cannot establish any long-term clean air policy and not have nuclear power as part of that solution,” he said. The recovery of Toshiba’s nuclear business is critical after the company reported an operating loss of Y90.5bn for the April to September period, due mainly to a slump in its laptops and televisions businesses.
FT 27th Nov 2015 read more »
“Globally there are no alternatives that can replace nuclear power”, but with the growth of renewables, “the demand for very large nuclear reactors will drop”. That is the view of Kirill Komarov, First Deputy CEO of the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom. “Fast-neutron reactors with a closed fuel cycle will secure baseload and low and medium capacity reactors will serve balancing needs”, says Rosatom’s “number two” man in an exclusive wide-ranging interview in which he speaks frankly about sensitive issues such as Iran, radioactive waste, the Hinkley Point C project in the UK, “dependence” on Russia and competition from renewables. The interview was first published by World Energy Focus, a publication of the World Energy Council produced by Energy Post. Since intermittent sources will account for the major part of this growth, it means we will have different configurations of power grids and higher demand for load following sources. Naturally, such a trend is a gamechanger for nuclear power engineering to a certain extent. The demand for high-energy reactors (like EPR’s with capacity of 1,650MW) will drop, while the demand for low and medium capacity reactors featuring better flexibility in terms of capacity will grow. EPR being a FOAK project it does cost more than projects that we build. The British market is, undoubtedly, attractive for us. Our VVER technology today is the only mature – in the full meaning of the word – technology of the III and III+ generation with completed construction projects and experience of safe commercial operation. These projects already exist, they are real. Therefore I think we would have been able to make a competitive offer. It is difficult to give any certain figures now, but I believe that our technology could have been delivered at a lower price than the current price for Hinkley Point C.
Energy Post 24th Nov 2015 read more »
French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron will head to Finland in the coming weeks to try to defuse a dispute between an Areva-Siemens consortium and Finnish utility TVO over delays to a nuclear reactor. “I will make a trip in the coming weeks, at the end of the year or in the new year to discuss this subject,” Macron told journalists. “The idea is to find an agreement, and that things progress as best as possible.” The long-delayed reactor project in Olkiluoto, Finland, has weighed heavily on state-controlled Areva’s finances. Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) has a 2.6 billion euro (2 billion pound) claim against the Areva-Siemens consortium at the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) arbitration court. Areva-Siemens have a 3.4 billion euro counter-claim.
Reuters 26th Nov 2015 read more »
State Specialised Enterprise ChNPP said yesterday that the first 10 canisters for the dry interim fuel storage facility (ISF-2) had been delivered to the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. ISF2 is in the final construction stage under a contract Ukraine signed with US-based Holtec International in 2007. To be completed this year, it will be used to store all the used fuel on the site for at least 100 years.
World Nuclear News 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Finland – Radwaste
Professor Cherry Tweed, Chief Scientific Advisor at Radioactive Waste Management, reflects on the importance of the recent announcement by the Finnish government. The announcement that construction can start on a geological disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel marks a world first and represents a major step towards the realisation of geological disposal for higher activity radioactive waste.
NDA 25th Nov 2015 read more »
Canada – Radwaste
The federal environment minister has put off for three months the hot-button decision about whether a nuclear waste vault can be built beneath the shores of Lake Huron near Kincardine. Activists lobbying against the site applauded the delay, to March 1, 2016. “I’m not surprised and I think it’s a good thing to do,” said David Ullrich, executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a group of 119 mayors in Canada and the U.S. that had collectively opposed the plan. Ontario Power Generation is asking approval to bury dry waste from its nuclear power facilities into a limestone vault 680 metres underground, 1.6 kilometres from Lake Huron near Kincardine. After months of hearings and examining tens of thousands of pages of documents, a joint review panel recommended the federal environment minister endorse the plan. A decision was originally to have been made before the federal election in October, then was delayed until the beginning of December.
London Free Press 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has found that a wall it built 30 meters into the ground to block the flow of radioactive water is leaning slightly.Tokyo Electric Power Company built the steel barrier along a coastal embankment to stop contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea. The utility finished building the wall in late October.TEPCO inspectors found that the wall is leaning up to some 20 centimeters toward the sea. They say this is due to the pressure of the groundwater flow.The officials also blamed rising groundwater levels for cracks found in the embankment’s pavement.The utility says workers are buttressing the wall with steel pillars. They are also repairing the cracks to keep out rainwater so groundwater levels don’t rise further.TEPCO says the lean doesn’t affect the wall’s ability to block contaminated water.
NHK 25th Nov 2015 read more »
Early this year, France’s state energy and environment agency was set to publish a study that found the country could realistically abandon nuclear reactors and rely completely on renewable power in decades to come. But the presentation was scrapped under political pressure, with Energy Minister Segolene Royal later saying the agency needed to be “coherent” with government targets. The episode illustrated the tensions surrounding energy policy in a country steeped in nuclear power since the 1970s and which relies on it for three-quarters of its electricity – more than any other nation. Any suggestion of abandoning the atom is unthinkable for many in France, where scientists played a key role in discovering radioactivity, atomic energy is broadly accepted by all major political parties except the greens and the nuclear industry employs 220,000 people.
Daily Mail 26th Nov 2015 read more »
The European Commission opened what it called “an in-depth state aid investigation” into Hungary’s plans to provide financing for the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Paks 2 nuclear station.
Nucnet 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Russia has used innovative techniques at one of its nuclear power plant to reduce its impact on the environment. That was the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) team of experts, which added the Novovorenezh Nuclear Power Plant has improved safety in recent years. It follows the Operational Safety Review Team’s (OSART) 19-day mission to assess the safe operation of the nuclear plant.
Energy Live News 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week lifted restrictions and sanctions on Iran, allowing nuclear equipment exports to resume, and strengthening cooperation in the sector, Kallanish Energy learns from a Kremlin spokesperson. During Putin’s visit to Tehran on Monday, several bilateral agreements were signed. Russia is ready to allocate a state export credit of $5 billion to roughly 35 Iranian projects in such sectors as energy, construction, electricity generation and infrastructure.
Kallanish Energy 27th Nov 2015 read more »
A Cabinet minister has appeared to question whether Britain could continue to afford well-equipped schools and hospitals if it spends money on new nuclear weapons. Matthew Hancock, the cabinet office minister, was appearing on BBC One’s Question Time programme.
Independent 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Amber Rudd, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, in last week’s speech on a new direction for UK energy policy, had a welcome section on the importance of innovation. However, it was also slightly inconsistent. Rudd said that we need to develop cheap and green technologies and that it is the government’s role to be an ‘enabler’. She also outlined the importance of creating new jobs in low carbon sectors such as offshore wind. So far so good. However, she also suggested that ‘Energy research and development has been neglected in recent years in favour of the mass deployment of all renewable technologies’. Juxtaposing innovation/R&D on the one hand and deployment on the other is not particularly helpful as research shows that a credible political commitment to deployment is key for stimulating companies’ investment in innovation and bringing down costs. In addition, phasing out competing established technologies – like the coal phase out Rudd also announced – could also become a key stimulus for investment in low-carbon innovation, as recent research from Germany shows.
SPRU 25th Nov 2015 read more »
Many European nations are far from reaching their current targets on renewable energy consumption, according to figures published by Eurostat. Based on the growth between 2010 and 2013, 11 out of 29 European countries will miss their 2020 targets – including the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Germany. However, radical changes in energy policies may impact these trends. The UK, which is currently considering several different energy sources such as nuclear and solar, saw more energy come from renewables than coal for the first time ever this year. However, the UK is the European nation furthest from its target, which requires the UK to get 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020. The UK currently has the largest gap between its current use – based on the latest data, in 2013 – and its 2020 target, with a shortfall of 9.9 per cent.
Telegraph 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Renewables – Tidal
Plans have been drawn up for a new £12bn tidal power project spanning Cumbria and south-west Scotland, and supplying energy to millions of homes. Energy company North West Energy Squared is exploring the possibility of developing the 67-mile Solway Tidal Project between Workington in Cumbria and Stranraer (pictured) in south-west Scotland. The company claims that the tidal barrage would create more than 12MWh a year of energy per year, enough to power 2.5m homes. It would also involve the construction of a 67-mile road, running along the top of the barrage, which would cut the journey time between Scotland and Cumbria by 70 miles. The Solway Tidal Lagoon Project is the biggest of six tidal projects across the North-west of England that have been proposed by the company.
The other planned projects include the Mersey Tidal Gate Way, the Ribble Estuary Gate Way, north of Southport, and the Dee Tidal Gateway linking Prestatyn to West Kirby in Merseyside. North West Energy Squared’s plans also include the development of the Morecambe Bay Tidal Gateway, linking Heysham to Barrow on the Fylde Coast.
Construction News 27th Nov 2015 read more »
BBC 27th Nov 2015 read more »
Micro Power News: Barker outlines solar future; a northern municipal power company? Cities sign 100% renewable pledge.
Microgen Scotland 27th Nov 2015 read more »
The UK has drawn headlines for its announcement that it plans to shut down coal power production within the next decade. Everyone seems to have overlooked Austria’s announcement – if there ever was one. The Austrian plan allegedly“follows the announcement” by the UK government to close all coal plants by 2025, but in fact the news first leaked at the beginning of November. One reason why we haven’t heard more about the breakthrough in Austria is that the Austrians themselves are hardly banging the drum. The news apparently comes from this organization, which has yet to publish anything on its website about the news. And there are no reports about it on the web otherwise. On the contrary, Austrian Environmental Minister Rupprechter is quoted on November 22 saying, “We have to phase out coal” – as though it were not happening.
Renewables International 25th Nov 2015 read more »
Controversial petrochemicals giant Ineos – who own fracking licenses covering 329 square kilometres of central Scotland – are pressing ahead with a massive £17m office complex in Grangemouth, which will act as their new headquarters. This week, the contractor for the new building was announced through the trade press, with the construction company commenting that it’s nice working “with a client that already knows exactly what they want.” Few would dispute that INEOS know exactly what they want. But given that the firm have publicly stated that they’ll shut down their Grangemouth refinery if fracking doesn’t get the go-ahead in Scotland, it does beg the question – do INEOS know something that the rest of us don’t?
A Thousand Flowers 27th Nov 2015 read more »