British lobbying to reduce monitoring of EU countries’ action on climate change has sparked outrage among MEPs and environmentalists. EU states agreed last October to cut their carbon emissions 40% by 2030, but a UK plan co-authored with the Czech Republic proposes that countries’ emissions cuts should only be overseen with a ‘light touch’ regime with a diminished role for Brussels. The unpublished paper places equal emphasis on business competitiveness and greenhouse gas reductions. It also calls for nuclear power and experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to be given the same status as renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, and energy efficiency. “It is very worrying that the UK government is now discussing how to ensure a light touch on the 2030 targets,” the Labour MEP Seb Dance told the Guardian. “In the past, the UK has led the way towards decarbonisation but that has to be combined with developing renewable and low carbon alternatives.” “This paper is further proof, if anyone needed it, that the Tory[-led] government has totally given up on being ‘the greenest government ever’, as they once claimed,” he added. Brook Riley a spokesman for Friends of the Earth Europe said “It is very hypocritical for the UK to say that urgent action on climate change is needed and then oppose the common EU policies required to deliver it. This is exactly the kind of leave-us-alone approach the UK will be condemning at the Paris climate summit later this year.” The new paper advocates EU support for countries that want to use nuclear energy or CCS and calls for the commission “to present a new CCS strategy for Europe as early as possible” in 2015.The British alliance with a Czech government seen as pro-coal and anti-renewable energy “shows that they have no interest in a better energy policy at all, just renationalising powers and destroying a strong EU [climate] approach.
Guardian 6th Jan 2015 read more »
The final shipment of waste from Scotland’s Dounreay nuclear plant to has arrived in Belgium. The waste was created during the reprocessing of material from Europe as part of a contract between the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Belgian firm SCK/CEN in the 1990s. A total of 123 drums of waste have been repatriated to Belgium in 21 separate shipments since August 2012. In October, a fire on one of the ships carrying a shipment of cemented waste forced the evacuation of an oil platform when the vessel began drifting towards it. The blaze on the MV Parida caused the ship to begin floating towards the Beatrice facility, which was shut down and evacuated as a precaution.
STV 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Press & Journal 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Human translation: The public-private nuclear group Areva is collapsing as its share price ends its market year with a decline of 52% (its share price in late 2014 is only 9.12 euros). This is the result of financial difficulties caused by mismanagement, hazardous speculations and acquisitions, repeated technical fiascos ( ie the EPRs in Finland and Flamanville), the regression of global nuclear market, and especially the cessation of the Japanese market since the Fukushima nuclear disaster. All the economic and financial press in France is concerned, and the State with it,about this “great leap backwards” for nuclear power. For citizens who oppose the nuclear traditionalists, it is good news that should lead to an immediate end to this criminal aberration.
Co-ordination Antinucleaire Sudest 1st Jan 2015 read more »
Bechtel and Westinghouse Electric Company have partnered to provide decontamination and decommissioning services for nuclear power plants throughout the US. Under the terms of the agreement, the alliance will provide a single contracting group to manage and deliver their decommissioning projects for their customers.
Energy Business Review 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Small and medium sized manufacturers must focus more emphasis on quality and health and safety if they are going to make the most of the £60bn+ nuclear new build and decommissioning opportunity. The rallying call was made by Fit For Nuclear (F4N) Assessor John Ransford, who is helping a number of companies from across England stake their claim for work ranging from fabrication and maintenance, to precision components and technical design.
Works Management 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Torness Protest 1978 (From 20.38).
BBC Alba 5th Jan 2015 read more »
Altedinburgh (accessed) 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Nuclear vs Climate
A group of 75 biologists, including professors from Oxford and Cambridge, co-signed an open letter arguing that nuclear power must be deployed to replace the burning of fossil fuels, “if we are to have any chance of mitigating severe climate change”. Responding to the letter, Greenpeace UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr told edie: “The ‘next generation’ of nuclear reactors are always clean, safe, cheap and just over the horizon. But, mysteriously, the reactors that get built are always the exact opposite. “By contrast, photovoltaics are clean, safe, getting cheaper by the day and available now. They can be installed in heavily populated cities, on dual-use agricultural land and even in shallow water. And no-one will lie awake at night worrying about terrorists getting access to a solar panels or wind farms.” The Greenpeace online briefing on nuclear energy says that even 10 new reactors in Britain would only deliver a 4% cut in carbon emissions sometime after 2025. Writing in a recent blog for edie, resource efficiency expert Dr Craig Jones explains the “many environmental and economic issues with nuclear”, concluding that “nuclear remains a controversial choice, and for good reasons”.
Edie 6th Jan 2015 read more »
International Nuclear Services
Mark Crowther, former head of International Nuclear Services’ Japan business, has been appointed an MBE. Mr Crowther is mentioned in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List and his honour is for services to the British nuclear industry in Japan. In 2002, Mr Crowther joined INS Japan, a subsidiary of INS, and became president in 2006. Mr Crowther’s unique blend of Japanese nuclear industry knowledge, relationships and language fluency quickly enabled him to establish excellent senior level relationships within Japan’s nuclear industry and government. He managed the nuclear relationships between the UK and Japan during a period when high-level waste shipments were made between the two nations via the Barrow terminal. He was also instrumental in the nuclear industry’s response to Japan’s industry following the Great Easter Earthquake in March 2011.
NW Evening Mail 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Oil prices have plummeted in recent months, with the price of oil today hitting its lowest point for five years. That’s led to lots of speculation about the impact of falling oil prices on the world’s efforts to cut emissions by decarbonising the energy sector. There’s little consensus. Some analysts argue that the falling oil price could end the world’s slow march towards zero carbon energy. Others say renewables are established enough to see out the storm. There are good reasons for such uncertainty. The renewable energy industry’s fate rests on a number of factors that are very hard to predict. We take you through the key elements of what’s likely to continue to be a major story in coming months.
Carbon Brief 6th Jan 2015 read more »
There’s no doubt that US-based fracking – the process through which oil and gas deposits are blasted from shale deposits deep underground – has caused a revolution in worldwide energy supplies. Yet now the alarm bells are ringing about the financial health of the fracking industry, with talk of a mighty monetary bubble bursting − leading to turmoil on the international markets similar to that in 2008. In many ways, it’s a straightforward case of supply and demand. Due to the US fracking boom, world oil supply has increased. But with global economic growth now slowing – the drop in growth in China is particularly significant – there’s a lack of demand and a glut in supplies, leading to a fall in price of nearly 50% over the last six months. Fracking has become a victim of its own success. The industry in the US has grown very fast. In 2008, US oil production was running at five million barrels a day. Thanks to fracking, that figure has nearly doubled, with talk of US energy self-sufficiency and the country becoming the world’s biggest oil producer – “the new Saudi Arabia” – in the near future.
Climate News Network 6th Jan 2015 read more »
That Scotland saw impressive records broken last year is of no real surprise to those who followed news of their monthly wind energy generation numbers. New numbers published early January have only confirmed that sense of record breaking, with another record month and a “massive year” in total. 1GW of wind power Scotland WWF Scotland provided the information, by way of Weather Energy, and found that for December, wind energy provided 164% of Scottish household electrical needs – a massive record, well up on what had already seemed to be a mammoth record, set in October, when wind energy provided 126% (though, as it turns out, before Scotland’s performance was brought to my attention, they hit 163% in February). Specifically, wind energy delivered 1,279,150MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough for 3.96 million homes. In fact, wind energy generated enough energy to supply over 100% of Scottish household needs on 25 out of the 31 days of December. “December turned out to a record-breaking month for wind power, with enough green energy generated to supply a record 164% of Scottish households with the electricity they need,” said WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks. “Even on calmer days, wind still supplied the equivalent of over a third of electricity needs of every home.” For 2014 as a whole, wind energy delivered an estimated 8,958,130MWh of electricity to the National Grid, or an average of 746,510MWh each month. That’s enough to supply the electrical needs of 98% of all Scottish households.
Clean Technica 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Control systems at South Korean nuclear plants have not been harmed by recent attacks by hackers, but nevertheless Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power is increasing its security efforts to defend against a possible additional attack, the company’s CEO Cho Seok told legislators on Tuesday. An investigation had found traces of a low-risk worm that had been removed from PCs and portable devices connected to the nuclear plant’s control system, but no malicious code linked to a cyber attack was found, according to the country’s Energy Ministry. The government began the investigation last week after an anti-nuclear-reactor group threatened to launch a cyber attack after leaking a batch of the company’s internal documents.
Network Asia 5th Jan 2015 read more »
South Korea says its northern neighbor has developed compact nuclear warheads that could reach mainland America. Seoul also alleges Pyongyang shows no signs of stopping its nuclear program and has gained access to tons of weapons-grade plutonium.
Russia Today 6th Jan 2015 read more »
South Korea’s defence ministry say that the North has evolved its nuclear and missiles threats, and built a 6,000-strong cyber-army. According to a white paper released by the ministry and assessed by Yonhap news agency, North Korea appears to have achieved “a significant level” of technology, miniaturising nuclear warheads to fit on ballistic missiles. These missiles could potentially reach the US mainland, South Korea’s defense ministry claimed. The report also said that North Korea has a 6,000-strong “cyber-army”, dedicated to disrupting the South’s military and government.
Independent 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Sky News 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Telegraph 6th Jan 2015 read more »
IB Times 6th Jan 2015 read more »
The threat of launching a nuclear attack on US cities has long been one of North Korea’s most blood-curdling but least credible pieces of rhetoric. According to the South Korean government, however, Pyongyang has moved closer to being able to carry it out. Seoul’s defence ministry said yesterday that North Korea had had success in miniaturising its nuclear warheads, a crucial step in successfully launching them against its enemies. The regime also had ballistic missiles capable of “threatening” the US mainland, it said.
Times 7th Jan 2015 read more »
The next round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers will begin on January 18 in Geneva, Tehran’s chief negotiator was quoted by the official news agency IRNA on Tuesday as saying.
Reuters 6th Jan 2015 read more »
Many in the West suddenly seem to think we’re on the road to a new Cold War. Talk of a return to the era of nuclear rivalry swirls around Russia’s muscular and belligerent grandstanding over Ukraine, and the conflict has certainly cut the chances for a new treaty to further reduce nuclear stockpiles. But the idea that a wholesale breakdown of nuclear arms control is imminent is misguided. It overlooks the specific military and defence-political context in which the current debates occur – and it’s based on a very limited understanding of what arms control is actually for.
The Conversation 7th Jan 2015 read more »
A handful of anti-nuclear activists gathered outside the Lawrence Livermore Lab on Tuesday urging a halt to plans to test plutonium using the National Ignition Facility laser. Members of Tri-Valley CAREs and the Catholic Worker Farm held an early morning vigil outside the lab’s East Gate, where they recited scripture and distributed flyers to lab workers and passing motorists, warning of health risks and demanding an environmental review before the tests are conducted. “We’re here to say no to plutonium experiments in the National Ignition Facility,” said Tri-Valley CAREs Executive Director Marylia Kelley. “Most lab workers don’t know it’s going to happen … We’re here to involve the workers in decisions that affect their daily lives.”
Contra Costa Times 6th Jan 2015 read more »
iPower, a low-carbon developer and social enterprise, has launched a scheme to install fuel cells across Scotland, for free, to combat fuel poverty funded by £1million Goverment investment. The investment, from the Social Growth Fund – managed by Social Investments Scotland, will enable iPower to install around 70 micro Combined Heat and Power (mCHP) fuel cells, called BlueGEN, throughout Scotland. The fuel cells convert gas to electricity and heat at the point-of-use which can significantly cut energy consumption and bills as, despite being only the size of a washing machine, they are capable of producing the same amount of energy as half a tennis court of solar panels.
Scottish Energy News 7th Jan 2015 read more »
Renewables – wave
Forecasts for Scotland’s nascent marine energy industry are “wildly overoptimistic”, and much of the public money invested has been poor value, according to a leading economist. He also says Alex Salmond’s description of Scotland as the “Saudi Arabia of marine energy” may well come back to haunt him. Tony MacKay, of Inverness-based Mackay Consulants comments on the industry in the North East Scotland Economic Monthly Report. He says: “December was a bad month for Scotland’s fledgling marine energy industry, with problems at two of the leading companies. Pelamis Wave Power closed down, with the loss of another 16 jobs bringing the total to 56, and Aquamarine Power laid off more than 30 of their staff. ” He says the Scottish Government’s main reaction was to set up another quango, but he is sceptical it would do any better than “the plethora of existing public bodies involved.”
Herald 7th Jan 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The Scottish National Party has warned that uncertainty caused by UK government policy could put the offshore wind industry in jeopardy and risk the potential to create a substantial number of jobs in Scotland as well as clean, sustainable energy. Mike Weir MP, the SNP Energy spokesperson, moved a debate on the future of the industry due to the impact of the current Contract For Difference (CfD) regime. Speaking in the Westminster debate last night, Weir said: “Scotland has huge potential to provide a large proportion of energy from offshore wind – yet uncertainty caused by the UK government puts this all at risk.
Scottish Energy News 7th Jan 2015 read more »
All you need to get access to up to date news and independent views on renewable energy developments and policies in the UK and globally. This is the main access site for Renew and NATTA- the Network for Alternative Technology and Technology Assessment. NATTA was set up as an independent information service in 1976, and Renew, its bimonthly newsletter, started up in 1979, with a free electronic version, Renew On Line, starting up after issue 100 . This site replaces the old NATTA web site which gave access to Renew on Line, as a PDF file, and some other info sources.
Renew 4th Jan 2015 read more »
SHE Transmission, a subsidiary of SSE, has invested £39million in part of the Caithness to Moray Transmission Project while construction work is underway on the first of two substations at Spittal. The new subsea link, which will feature over 100 miles of underground and subsea cable, is needed to transmit a large volume of electricity from renewable sources in the north of Scotland.
Scottish Energy News 7th Jan 2015 read more »
The UK government has provided well over a billion pounds in loans to fossil fuel projects around the world despite a pledge to withdraw financial support from such schemes, an analysis of loans made by the UK’s export credit agency has revealed. Gazprom in Russia, Brazil’s state-owned oil company and petrochemical companies in Saudi Arabia are among the companies benefiting from around £1.7bn in government funding over the course of the parliament, Greenpeace found. The UK Export Finance (UKEF) deals appear to fly in the face of the 2010 coalition agreement, where the Conservatives and Lib Dems pledged to clamp down on funding for fossil fuel operations abroad.
Guardian 6th Jan 2015 read more »