FRENCH energy giant EDF has reiterated support for its delayed new nuclear power station in Somerset – although a long-awaited final investment decision is still to be made. EDF has been consulting with unions in France, some of which have voiced concern about the financial impact of the £18 billion project to build Hinkley Point C, on the company. The firm’s Central Committee met on Monday at the end of the consultation, with unions deciding not to issue an opinion. A statement said: “EDF relies on sensitivity studies already communicated to staff representatives and considers this vote does not change the fundamentals of the project, nor the desire of players to engage in it.”
Somerset County Gazette 4th July 2016 read more »
French energy company EDF has repeated its support for the new nuclear power station at Hinkley, even though a final investment decision for the £18 billion plant is still to be made. French unions had expressed their concerns over the impact of the project. The director of Greenpeace comments that, in the wake of Brexit, it would be foolish to pursue the deal. He says the Government should be thinking in terms of renewable energy as a Plan B.
ITV 4th July 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 4th July 2016 read more »
Bosses at French energy giant EDF say they have “full confidence” in pressing on with the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant project, despite new headwinds from the Brexit vote last month. In a statement today that marks the end of a consultation with its works council of employee representatives, the company affirmed its positive stance on the development and said the vote for the UK to leave the European Union is “no barrier”, Reuters reports. EDF said it could now proceed to make a final investment decision, to be approved by a vote of its board in September. The comments contradict a series of reports that the Brexit vote had created a new set of obstacles for the already controversial plans. On Friday, The Guardian reported the EDF board was “fracturing… as former supporters of the project worry about Brexit”.
The Week 4th July 2016 read more »
Express 4th July 2016 read more »
[Machine Translation] The central committee of EDF company decided Monday not to issue an opinion on this controversial project, because it was not sufficiently informed. Leaders now push for a quick signature. While EDF unions are fighting for months to push the English EPR project, the central works council (CEC) of the group finally decided on Monday … not to pronounce on the subject. EDF management had launched a consultation with staff representatives on this process two EPR construction project at Hinkley Point in southwest England. “Elected officials of the CEC, mostly, considered that they were not in ability to motivate and give their opinion,” said the secretary of the CEC Jean-Luc Magnaval. A reminder that EDF did not play the game of consultation until the end, according to the CEC. “At the end of the meeting this [Monday] morning, delegations of CGT staff representatives, FO and CFE-CGC approved a resolution saying do not be able to issue an opinion on the project. The representatives of the CFDT staff abstained, “said his side EDF in a statement.
Les Echos 4th July 2016 read more »
The company behind plans to build a new nuclear power plant on Anglesey has started an investigation of the seabed. Horizon Nuclear Power said the work will give it a better understanding of the geological conditions offshore from the proposed Wylfa Newydd site. Samples will be taken from the seabed and coastline throughout July and August. The company claims the £8bn plant will employ 1,000 people once it begins working in the first half of the 2020s.
BBC 4th July 2016 read more »
Work by Horizon will investigate if seabed suitable for cooling water intake structure, a Marine Offloading Facility (or MOLF) and breakwater. Horizon Nuclear Power has started its detailed offshore ground investigation works to gain a better understanding of the geological conditions offshore from the proposed Wylfa Newydd site. Alongside subsea specialists Fugro Geoservices Ltd, and supported by Atkins’ geotechnical team, Horizon will be carrying out the offshore research throughout July and August to take samples from the seabed and coastline. Two barges, which are floating drilling platforms, will be positioned in the near shore area of the sea at Porth-y-Pistyll, adjacent to the existing Magnox station.
Daily Post 4th July 2016 read more »
NDA’s response to a request for information on the latest status of the Magnox dissolution plant at Bradwell site, Essex.
NDA 4th July 2016 read more »
Ian Stewart has been appointed new station director at Kent’s nuclear power plant in Dungeness. He will take over the role at Dungeness B as of midnight on Sunday, July 10. He replaces Martin Pearson who has left power firm EDF – which runs the plant – to become managing director at Urenco, a nuclear fule supply chain firm.
Kent News 4th July 2016 read more »
EDF aims to snare a sizeable share of the global nuclear decommissioning market, worth an estimated 200 billion euros (168 billion pounds) over the next 15 years, by virtue of experience gained in dismantling its old reactors. The French state-controlled utility is in the process of dismantling nine reactors and has 58 others in operation, supplying France with about 75 percent of its energy needs.
Reuters 4th July 2016 read more »
French regulatory agency the Nuclear Security Authority (ASN) has revealed that it has concerns that 18 reactors operated by EDF could have similar anomalies to that discovered at the Flamanville reactor in Normandy. A statement on the ASN’s website said that analyses carried out by EDF since 2015 concluded that the steel making up some steam generators could have higher carbon concentrations than expected, which “may lead to lower mechanical properties than expected”. The investigation was conducted at the request of ASN to check if any other EDF plants had anomalies similar to that found in the containment vessel of the EPR third-generation pressurised water reactor at Flamanville. An excess of carbon could lead to weaknesses in parts of the reactor that have to withstand high pressures.
Global Construction Review 4th July 2016 read more »
Britain’s worst-performing energy company is to be investigated by Ofgem after a huge surge in customer complaints. The energy market regulator said that it would examine whether Extra Energy had violated rules related to billing, customer service and the handling of complaints. Extra Energy, which is the UK’s fastest-growing energy supplier, has been targeted after receiving a record number of complaints between January and March. The start-up, which was launched in 2014, received 1,682 complaints per 100,000 customers, according to the latest quarterly figures from Citizens Advice. That was the highest proportion of customer complaints recorded over the league table’s five-year history and represented an increase of more than 7 per cent from 1,553 complaints during the same period last year, Citizens Advice said.
Times 5th July 2016 read more »
It’s already been more than five years since three reactors melted down at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, but the consequences of the disaster will linger for a while yet. Those monitoring the situation have received some good news, however, with scientists reporting that after suffering the largest ever release of radioactive material into the world’s oceans, radiation levels across the Pacific are fast returning to normal.
Gizmag 4th July 2016 read more »
The Chernobyl disaster occurred in the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, killing 49 people immediately and – according to a United Nations study – causing an estimated 4,000 premature deaths from cancer as a result of the radiation. In this video, workers enter the remains wearing anti-radiation suits and survey the old station – which is full of rubble and has been destroyed by radiation. Spookily the clock inside the reactor has been frozen at the exact time of the explosion, 1.23am, on April 26 1986.
Daily Star 4th July 2016 read more »
Three new nuclear power reactors in China have recently reached significant milestones toward their operation. First criticality has been achieved at Fuqing 3 and Fangchenggang 2 – both CPR-1000s – while cold hydrostatic tests have been completed at the Haiyang 1 AP1000.
World Nuclear News 4th July 2016 read more »
Poland is “taking all the necessary measures” to ensure its nuclear power program meets the highest standards of safety and security and best international practice, Józef Sobolewski, director of the nuclear energy department of the country’s Ministry of Energy, has said. Sobolewski’s comments followed the conclusion of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Poland has implemented all the recommendations and suggestions of a 2013 Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission.
World Nuclear News 4th July 2016 read more »
A farmer is allegedly in line to receive £1 million of public money over the next 20 years for heating an empty shed due to a Stormont failure to control a renewable energy scheme, auditors have revealed. The claim of a burning-ash-for-cash racket was made by a whistleblower and outlined in a damning Northern Ireland Audit Office report on the running of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Large factories in Northern Ireland are also allegedly on course to pocket £1.5 million over two decades for running incentivised biomass boilers all year round in premises that previously were not heated. More than £1 billion of public money will be paid to Northern Ireland-based businesses by 2036 after they installed new appliances under the RHI scheme, which is now closed.
Energy Voice 5th July 2016 read more »
It seems almost every other renewable energy project under development in the UK now has some form of community involvement, whether that be a community fund set up by developers or share offers allowing local residents to own their own slice of the clean energy pie. Only today there came news that the UK’s first solar farm funded by council-backed solar bonds has started generating electricity. The 5MW Swindon Community Solar Farm was part funded through £1.8m worth of council solar bonds, alongside £3m of investment from Swindon Borough Council. Some 65 per cent of the farm’s profits will be used to fund local community initiatives, with the remaining 35 per cent going to the council. Community projects are not just growing in importance for the solar industry. Last month we reported on the start of work at Scotland’s first community-led urban hydro scheme, which will channel its profits into a community fund to support local social and environmental initiatives, such as initiatives to improve the local riverside. Meanwhile, some community groups are seeking to take ownership of the energy market, dictating the terms of supply as well as production. For example, in Edinburgh residents may be poised to benefit from cheaper energy bills after a new green energy scheme was today awarded more than £800,000 in funding from the Scottish government. The Tower Power project will use the cash to fund a community project called 20 More, which aims to secure residents of the Dumbidykes housing estate in Edinburgh a better deal on their energy through collective purchasing agreements. All these examples demonstrate the clean energy industry has grasped the importance of winning community buy-in for local renewables projects – a lesson the government didn’t learn quickly enough for onshore wind, according to former Labour leader Ed Miliband. “I feel in retrospect we underestimated the extent to which we needed to get community buy-in around renewable energy, in particular for wind turbines. I wish that earlier on we had done more to give community benefit,” he said at a panel debate in London last week. “I know now of a lot of projects in my constituency where there is community benefit and it totally changes local perception about onshore wind, because it’s providing a new village hall or there’s some other community benefit – you don’t feel that it’s just going to a big multinational. That makes a big difference, and I don’t think we took that aspect of consent seriously enough.”
Business Green 4th July 2016 read more »
A new green energy scheme in Edinburgh will receive £821,200 funding to help bring down energy bills for residents. Residents living in the Dumbiedykes estate will benefit from the ‘Tower Power’ scheme – which is partnered with Community Energy Scotland and community development agency Comas – and aims to secure a better deal for energy users through negotiating collective deals and maximizing local options for power generation. Comas chief executive Ruth Campbell said: “Fuel poverty is a major aspect of the experience of poverty in Scotland. This initiative is a practical solution which, coupled with action on food security and welfare benefits, can change a community for the better, financially and environmentally.” The government’s challenge fund project manager said that community energy “represents tremendous potential to empower people to make the most of their local resources” and hopes that the fund will help tackle “pressing energy issues”.
Utility Week 4th July 2016 read more »
A new community wind turbine project in Grampian has reached financial close – thanks to mostly locally-based subscribers and Local Energy Scotland. Construction will begin this month on installing the 500kW Enercon wind turbine, which will be built on Greenmyres Farm, near Huntly, Aberdeenshire. The project has been developed by the community and supported by Local Energy Scotland, with funding coming from the Scottish Government’s CARES scheme, Clydesdale Bank and Social Investment Scotland. The farm is owned by Huntly Development Trust and its wholly owned subsidiary, Greenmyres Renewables Energy Ltd will own and operate the wind turbine. GRE is planning to do a community share offer to replace some of the bank lending with community investment.
Scottish Energy News 5th July 2016 read more »
Imagine a room packed with more than 1000 mayors from all parts of the world. Add different civil society representatives, stakeholders from the private sector as well as legislators from regional and national governments. Now picture them discussing on round tables how their cities could become more sustainable. Imagine then a concluding session in the plenary where all findings would be boiled down to five key recommendations. What’s the result? Well, “building political will” is definitely among these five key findings. Why am I so sure? Because I experienced these sessions literally a hundred times. Political will is indeed lacking when it comes to making our cities greener, cleaner and more liveable. But frankly, that’s not the point. The question is: what will actually generate this political will and what are the causes of its absence? What do we have to change so that mayors, local authorities and governments will actually start to act? Certainly the different measures for making cities more sustainable need to make economic sense. They need to fit the needs of the people and they have to be compatible with the social DNA of every single place. But that’s not enough. They also need to be supported by national governments. Most importantly, the different governmental levels need to work better together. This article focuses on this latter point. How do we overcome the competition for power between national, regional and local governments? How do we ensure that representatives from across levels of government really understand that sustainable development requires them to collaborate much more closely? How do we make better use of integrated urban development policy approaches? Just as the legendary Leipzig Charter from the year 2007 states.
Power to the People 4th July 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
UK solar power generation reached a record high last month of 23.9% of UK electricity demand, according to new analysis by MyGridGB. And the analysis also shows that the UK now has almost 12GW of solar PV, across homes, offices, schools, warehouses and on solar farms – which is sufficient to power the equivalent of 3.8 million homes. According to the latest statistics – published yesterday by the Solar Trade Association to mark its third annual Solar Independence Day – there are now more than 800,000 homes with solar PV and another 200,000 with solar thermal, which means that the UK now has just over 1 million solar homes.
Scottish Energy News 5th July 2016 read more »
Even at current market prices, various different energy storage options make economic sense for renewable energy projects in some locations, according to new research from MIT. The energy storage options profiled by the study included: battery systems, pumped hydroelectric storage, and compressed air energy storage, amongst others. While these options are economically a good choice in some locations, in other locations, they are not. The study also found that “regardless of the particular circumstances at a given location, certain features of how electricity prices fluctuate are common across locations and do favor some specific types of storage solutions over others.”
Renew Economy 5th July 2016 read more »