29 December 2015

Bradwell

The news that radioactive discharges into the Blackwater estuary from the former Bradwell nuclear power station now seem set to continue for a further 4 years was met with indignation by the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG). ‘This is scandalous’, said Varrie Blowers, Secretary of BANNG. ‘The deadline for the entry of the former Bradwell nuclear power station into its Care and Maintenace (C & M) state keeps shifting. At the Local Communities Liaison Committee (LCLC) meeting on 3 June, it was announced that the deadline had changed from the much-vaunted date of 2015. It has now changed again: from 2017 to 2019. And no real reasons have been given. I would hazard a guess that there are still big problems with the experimental accelerated dissolution process for the fuel element debris (FED).

BANNG 28th Dec 2015 read more »

DECOMMISSIONING at Bradwell power station could continue until 2019, despite promises it would be finished this year. The power station stopped generating electricity in March 2002 after 40 years and it was expected to be completely decommissioned by 2015. But site operators Magnox have now admitted work is not “as far advanced” as expected and would continue beyond their “initial ambitious target”.

Harwich & Maningtree Standard 29th Dec 2015 read more »

Hinkley

Opponents of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, England, got something to cheer about last summer, when questions over funding brought a halt to preliminary work at the site. The delay gave solar energy advocates an opportunity to assemble more evidence that Hinkley C would result in a colossal shock for UK ratepayers compared to alternative sources. Though the project lumbered back to life last fall thanks to a massive investment by China, solar may have one last chance to make its case. the Hinkley Point C project is a bit of a head-scratcher, given the rapid dropoff in costs for wind and solar energy. The cost of energy storage technology that complements these intermittent sources is also dropping rapidly. In contrast, the cost of Hinkley Point C has been rising, partly due to the use of newly “enhanced” nuclear technology that has not been put into commercial operation elsewhere. Two other projects with a similar design are underway in Finland and France, both suffering from delays and cost overruns that have provided Hinkley opponents with more ammunition. Last October, The Guardian estimated that 30 million electricity customers would be on the hook for at least £4.4 billion for the new nuclear power plant, with potentially £20 billion in government subsidies. Around the same time, the UK’s Solar Trade Association also weighed in with an assessment of the damages. The STA solar power analysis is an interesting attempt to calculate how much subsidy solar power would need to achieve an electricity output equal to that of Hinkley Point C over its 35-year subsidy period.

Clean Technica 28th Dec 2015 read more »

Dounreay

The company responsible for decommissioning the former nuclear plant at Dounreay has confirmed it has shipped 11 tonnes of radioactive material to Cumbria in its most recent financial year. Dounreay Site Restoriation ltd (DSRL), which is undertaking the decommissioning of the site for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), also revealed that pre-tax profits grew 11% to £10.6million in the year to end of March 2015. Accounts filed at Companies House showed the group, which is owned by a consortium of firms led by Babcock International, had an annual turnover of £190.4million in the period up just slightly from £190million on the prior year.

Energy Voice 29th Dec 2015 read more »

Energy Supplies

Wind turbines produced just 10 per cent of their energy capacity during almost a fortnight of the last three months, it was claimed yesterday. Monitors tracking the energy generated from Britain’s wind farms found 12 days when output dropped to 10 per cent of capacity or less, according to the GMB union. It said its ‘wind watch’ figures demonstrated that Britain could not rely on renewable energy and needed nuclear or gas-powered plants to ensure its supply. Britain has invested £1.25billion in wind power, which is now the country’s biggest renewable energy source. But critics have accused the Government and the National Grid of complacency over the risk of blackouts following the closure of coal-fired power stations. A wind shortage last month (November) forced the National Grid to use new ‘last resort’ measures to keep the lights on in homes across the country on November 4.

Daily Mail 28th Dec 2015 read more »

Bangladesh

The Bangladesh state-run Atomic Energy Commission last week signed a $12.65 billion deal with Russia’s state-owned nuclear company, Rosatom, for the construction of two nuclear power plants. The two plants, to be located at Ruppur, northwest Bangladesh, will reportedly have a combined capacity of 2.4 gigawatts (GW). The first unit should come online in 2022 and the second a year later. Russia will finance up to 90% of the total investment cost as credit with an interest rate of Libor plus 1.75%, according to reports. Bangladesh will have 28 years to repay the loan, with a 10-year grace period.

Kallanish Energy 29th Dec 2015 read more »

India

India has signed cooperation agreements with Russia in various fields including nuclear energy and solar power. Russia will construct 12 atomic plants in India, in partnership with local companies.

Energy Business Review 28th Dec 2015 read more »

Egypt

Egypt and Russia are going to sign a final contract on the Dabaa nuclear plant next month, after Russia made the best of three offers, Egypt’s electricity minister told reporters Monday. Minister Mohamed Shaker said in a press conference that Egypt considered offers from Russia, China and South Korea but he refused to disclose how much the deal is worth “so that the negotiations are not affected.”

Aswat Masriya 28th Dec 2015 read more »

Sudan

The legislative council of Sudan’s Northern State will discuss an urgent issue regarding claims that Chinese companies have buried radioactive nuclear waste in the desert during the construction of the Merowe dam.

Sudan Tribune 15th Nov 2015 read more »

Iran

Iran shipped 25,000lb (11,000kg) of low-enriched uranium to Russia, marking a step towards fulfilling its commitments under a historic nuclear deal struck in July. The move is aimed at reducing Iran’s ability to make nuclear weapons — something Tehran has long maintained it has no interest in.

IB Times 29th Dec 2015 read more »

Renewables – wind

This article discusses the economics of wind in both the developed and developing worlds compared to other renewable energy sources. At the recent climate conference in Paris, 70 countries highlighted wind as a major component for their emissions-reduction schemes. I spoke with Giles Dickson who is CEO of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). I asked him economic questions related to the wind industry and I also asked him to look into his crystal ball and describe the future of wind. Mr. Dickson is in a great position to answer these questions because his organization includes 600 members who represent wind industry manufacturers, operators, and companies comprising the full wind-energy supply chain.

Guardian 28th Dec 2015 read more »

Community Energy

From large scale wind farms to small scale hydro projects, over £10 million was last year ploughed back into communities from renewables and Community energy can go from strength to strength following a strong year for the sector, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today. He hailed recent achievements in the sector as he looked ahead to further benefits for Scotland’s communities in 2016: 154 projects are on the community renewables register, with over £10 million paid out this year to communities from renewables developments; The target for community or local ownership of renewables was met five years early, with 508 Megawatts of capacity now operational, exceeding the 500 Megawatts target by 2020; The Scottish Government’s first ever Community Energy Policy Statement was published in September, promoting the economic and social benefits of shared energy ownership.

Scottish Energy News 29th Dec 2015 read more »

Demand Side Management

Scotland could avoid the need to build new fossil-fuel power stations and more rapidly cut climate emissions if political parties committed to a national strategy to help businesses and consumers reduce and manage their demand for electricity, According Edinburgh-based Flexitricity and WWF Scotland, such a strategy must go beyond energy-efficiency, and include measures to increasingly tap into the existing “invisible” power network of industrial, commercial and public-sector organisations.

Scottish Energy News 29th Dec 2015 read more »

Political parties in Scotland should commit to a national strategy to help businesses and consumers reduce and manage their demand for electricity, environmental and energy groups have said. WWF Scotland and Edinburgh-based company Flexitricity have stressed that implementing a concerted strategy regarding electricity consumption would mean Scotland could avoid the need to build expensive new fossil fuel power stations and more rapidly cut climate emissions.

Herald 29th Dec 2015 read more »

Scotsman 29th Dec 2015 read more »

Energy Storage

Germany’s grid operators have excelled at managing the variable loads that come with renewable energy, and they have done so without any meaningful energy storage capacity. While Germany has not needed energy storage to source around one quarter of its electricity from renewables up until now, deeper penetrations of solar and wind will likely require expanded use of batteries and other storage technologies to smooth out the fluctuations in power generation. Apart from some few pilot projects, the energy storage market is almost negligible in Germany at the moment. According to some experts, the energy storage market can only flourish in Germany once the renewable energy’s total share grows above 40 percent.

Oil Price 28th Dec 2015 read more »

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Published: 29 December 2015