28 October 2016

Moorside

A public consultation process begins today looking at a £2.8-million project to connect the future Moorside nuclear power station, with the electricity network. Earlier this week, National Grid announced revised plans to connect the plant near Whitehaven, with 14-miles of underground cables. Original proposals for overhead pylons had sparked concern from conservationists, so new plans outline an underground network A total of 30 public information events are being held across Cumbria and Lancashire.

ITV 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Dounreay

Highland jobs hit by loss of nuclear station.

Energy Voice 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Public Opinion

Public backing for nuclear energy and fracking has fallen in recent months while support for clean energy continues to surge, according to the latest opinion tracker from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The new figures highlight a negative impact on support for nuclear and shale gas exploration in the wake of Government energy policy decisions, with the majority of people across the UK voicing support for the use of clean technologies. Public backing for the use of nuclear energy significantly fell in the past three months, with support falling to 33% from 36% in the previous quarterly review. A quarter were opposed to nuclear strategy, in the wake of the Government’s recent controversial decision to give the go-ahead to the Hinkley Point C power station. In terms of support for shale gas extraction, half of respondents stayed neutral (48%) or said they were unsure (2%), reflecting a general lack of detailed public knowledge. One-third were opposed to fracking, while only 17% provided their backing, representing the lowest level of public support since the tracker began in 2012. The report identified the loss or destruction of natural environment as a major reason for a shift towards opposition.

Edie 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Business Green 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Solar Portal 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Radhealth

Assessment of radioactivity in food and the environment and the public’s exposure to radiation during 2015 – RIFE 21.

Environment Agency 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Energy Supplies

Deepening problems in France’s nuclear power sector are threatening to increase energy bills for UK consumers this winter because of a squeeze on the supply of imported electricity. Safety concerns over the resilience of certain components has led to the shutdown of several French reactors, cutting the amount of French electricity available for export across the English channel. Britain has relied on imports for more than 7 per cent of its electricity so far this year, most of it through subsea interconnectors with the French and Dutch power grids. France’s problems have already caused power price spikes in continental Europe as the country has had to increase its own imports of electricity from Germany and other neighbours to fill its supply gap.

FT 28th Oct 2016 read more »

Utilities

Co-Operative Energy is paying £1.8m in compensation for a series of customer service failings, after becoming the latest gas and electricity supplier to suffer problems with a new IT system. The sum equates to an average of just £7 for each of the 260,000 customers who were affected by the problems, which followed the introduction of the new system in March 2015. The payout nevertheless represents a sizeable hit for the small supplier, which saw its pre-tax profits for the year ended January 2016 collapse by 85pc to £941,000 due to the costs of dealing with the billing fiasco.

Telegraph 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Green energy specialist Ecotricity has acquired rival Good Energy’s largest shareholder holding, bringing its total stake in the company to 24.85 per cent. The acquisition, which was listed yesterday on Good Energy’s website, means Ecotricity is now the largest shareholder in Good Energy, with a share well in excess of founder Juliet Davenport’s 3.9 per cent.

Business Green 27th Oct 2016 read more »

France

At present, 21 of France’s 58 nuclear reactors are offline. The country’s power prices have skyrocketed, as have imports. Power from fossil fuel is increasing, and the country has now postponed its plans to implement a floor price on carbon. “Nuclear doesn’t need coal as a backup like renewables do in Germany,” reads one comment meme. The reading is already silly: Germany backs up renewables with coal because it has cheap coal; if it had gas (or hydro), it would back them up with that. But now, news from France indicates that the model country for nuclear is itself slipping back into fossil. In September, the French generated more power from fossil fuel than in any September since 1984, according to Bloomberg. Back then, the news would have surprised France; after all, the government planned to build 170 reactors by 2000 and become fully nuclear for all energy (not just electricity). It never got far beyond 40 percent nuclear and now aims to reduce the share of nuclear in the power sector from 75 to 50 percent by 2025.

Renew Economy 28th Oct 2016 read more »

[Machine translation] While the nuclear industry wants to forget the past by giving flat all the irregularities in recent months on the French park, Constable of the atom has launched a process that will lead to legal consequences for Areva. But the story does not stop at laboratory tests or tests on heavy sacrificial parts. “There are two unacceptable practices in this issue: not to talk to his client or to the safety authority concerned (and) a number of documents that are related to forgery,” Judge Pierre-Franck Chevet, President the nuclear safety Authority (ASN). In this context, “We were reacted by making a report to the prosecutor of the competent Republic under Article 40 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” he added. Bernard Fontana, a few minutes earlier, assured expect that this case is the prosecution.

Usine Nouvelle 26th Oct 2016 read more »

US

America’s pre-rotted “new” nuclear reactor has been listed by the US NRC as having power status of zero percent for several days. Commercial operation for Watts Bar Unit 2 lasted for only four days or less. While the media lauded this antiquated structure as a new nuclear reactor going online, they haven’t bothered to notice that it’s offline. The US NRC hasn’t bothered to explain why it’s at 0% power output. To drop from 100% to 0% suggests that there was an urgent SCRAM. Watts Bar Unit 2 even had a fire at the end of August. If people are smart they will indeed scram as far away from this antiquated nuclear reactor as possible – the origin of the word according to the NRC historian. Nuclear reactors are not made to just turn off and on, either, because it adds additional stresses to materials.

Mining Awareness 26th Oct 2016 read more »

Nuclear power will come to an end in the U.S. if the industry doesn’t get more government support, according to Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s largest investment firms. The nation’s nuclear reactors need more subsidies to keep running, such as a federal carbon tax that’ll reward them for their zero-emissions power, Bob Mancini, co-head of Carlyle Group’s power unit, said at a conference in New York. Carlyle, which has $176 billion in assets under management across funds, invests in natural gas- and coal-fired power plants and renewable energy projects.

Bloomberg 25th Oct 2016 read more »

Four environmental and public policy groups are looking to block a proposed nuclear waste depository in Texas. The groups — Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Public Citizen and the Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition — wrote a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week asking the board to stop reviewing a license application for the waste site in Andrews County, Texas.

The Hill 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Exelon expects to achieve “clarity” before the end of the year over the future of its nuclear plants in the states of New York and Illinois, president and CEO Chris Crane said yesterday. Crane made his comments during a conference call of the company’s third quarter results. The company’s key priority remains finding an economically sustainable path for its financially challenged nuclear power plants, he said, although the quarter had been “operationally strong” with Exelon’s nuclear plants achieving a capacity factor of 93.6%.

World Nuclear News 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Disarmament

United Nations member states have voted overwhelmingly to start negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, despite strong opposition from nuclear-armed nations and their allies. In the vote in the UN disarmament and international security committee on Thursday, 123 nations were in favour of the resolution, 38 opposed and 16 abstained. Nuclear powers the United States, Russia, Israel, France and the United Kingdom were among those that opposed the measure.

Guardian 28th Oct 2016 read more »

CND 27th Oct 2016 read more »

History was made at the United Nations today. For the first time in its 71 years, the global body voted to begin negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Eight nations with nuclear arms (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, and Israel) opposed or abstained from the resolution, while North Korea voted yes. However, with a vote of 123 for, 38 against and 16 abstaining, the First Assembly decided “to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.”

Huffington Post 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction not yet explicitly banned by an international treaty, unlike chemical and biological weapons. But that could soon change. Today, Thursday 27th October, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on a draft resolution starting negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The draft resolution would convene a UN conference to “negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination” and would take place in 2017. The adoption of this resolution would mark a major breakthrough for nuclear disarmament. Nearly 25 years after the end of the Cold War there are still estimated to be 16,300 nuclear weapons at 98 sites in 14 countries. Rather than disarm, the nine nuclear-armed states continue to spend a fortune maintaining and modernising their arsenals. As long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of accidental or deliberate use will be present.

Greenpeace 27th Oct 2016 read more »

100% Renewables

Sweden is on target to run entirely on renewable energy within the next 25 years, a regulatory official has said. Last year, 57 per cent of Sweden’s power came from renewables such as hydropower and wind sources, with the remainder coming from nuclear power. The country now plans to tap into its “large potential” for onshore wind power, in order to make the country completely fossil-free by 2040 – a goal set by Sweden’s prime minister at the UN General Assembley last year.

Independent 26th Oct 2016 read more »

Renewables

Renewable energy – increasingly reliable and cost competitive with conventional energy sources – is becoming an ever more crucial part of corporate strategy. More than 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies and at least 60 per cent of Fortune 100 companies now have targets relating to renewable energy procurement, energy efficiency or cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Yet for many businesses, running on renewable power is easier said than done – how easy it is to install, and how much it costs, depends on the resources, size and location of the company. So how can businesses best secure 100 per cent renewable electricity for their operations? Certainly, there are major global corporations such as IKEA with the wherewithal and drive to invest, construct and operate their own renewable power projects with the aim of becoming ‘energy independent’. But not all companies have that option, and must procure their energy from elsewhere. According to the WBCSD, direct procurement of energy from suppliers via Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) may offer the simplest and most cost-effective answer. It is seeking to encourage more businesses to consider PPAs for renewables, and has commissioned a new guide specifically looking at the challenges involved and the different options available.

Business Green 27th Oct 2016 read more »

Energy Efficiency

There will be 315 Passivhaus buildings around the world open to the public over the weekend of Friday 11th November to Sunday 13th November, of which 15 are in the UK. They range from new-build single family houses to a Passivhaus retrofit of a Victorian end of terrace house, to the refurbishment of a block of flats. For full details, and whether any booking is necessary, visit the Passive House Database on the link below, click on Advanced Search, select United Kingdom and under ‘Passive House Day options’ click on the dates you are interested in, then click Search.

Passive House Database (accessed) 28th Oct 2016 read more »

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Published: 28 October 2016