Moorside – Engie
[Machine Translation] The French group is trying to abandon its projects in Turkey and Great Britain. A split of the Belgian subsidiary is envisaged. Nuclear power is soon over for Engie. For a few months, the French energy company has begun a major strategic shift by focusing on renewable energies. But this volte-face requires first of all to get rid of its historical activities. According to several sources close to the management, the group seeks to emerge from its two major nuclear projects in Turkey and Great Britain. “Engie wants to give it up because it no longer has the resources to finance such expensive projects,” says one of these sources, “but this is problematic because we have to get out of partnerships with Areva and Toshiba.” In 2013, Engie won a € 17 billion contract in Turkey for four medium-power reactors (Atmea) in cooperation with Areva. Difficult to “let go” this alliance Franco-French while the specialist of the atom is in full public rescue. He would risk losing one of the few future contracts that hold out his arms. Three years ago, it was an alliance with the Japanese Toshiba that had been launched for the construction of three reactors in Britain for 12 billion euros. Here again, an exit of this project would require to break with an old partner: Toshiba-Westhinghouse. The manufacturer of nuclear power plants that built Engie’s in Belgium. It is now all the more difficult to abandon these British reactors that the French State (33% shareholder of Engie) pushed for EDF’s two EDF at Hinkley Point. Engie does not want to officially announce its exit from nuclear power because the group still owns seven reactors in Belgium. The group is waiting for the green light from the Belgian regulator to extend the life of the plants from 40 to 50 years. “Once we have visibility, we can relaunch the split Electrabel” acknowledges a close to the management. The Belgian subsidiary of Engie could thus be split from the group to get rid of it. The group will then definitely turn its back on its history in the nuclear
BFM Business 7th Dec 2016 read more »
Moorside – AP1000
We are aware of the Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy report on ‘The AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design’ commissioned by Radiation Free Lakeland. Westinghouse is in the closure phase of the nuclear regulators’ Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process, which is due to complete in March 2017. This is the first detailed technical assessment phase in the regulation of new reactors proposed for construction on GB nuclear-licensed sites, and typically takes four to five years to complete. It is a robust, wide ranging and challenging process and part of one the most rigorous nuclear regulatory regimes anywhere in the world. However, completing this process does not mean that a reactor design can be constructed immediately. It is only one part of the process. To operate a nuclear plant, a nuclear site licence and a number of further permits and regulatory ‘permissions’ are required to enable the start of construction and to progress to operations. ONR published its assessment findings at the end of Step 4 of the AP1000 GDA in 2011. Westinghouse then paused the GDA process and re-entered in 2014. These issues must be resolved before ONR will consider issuing a Design Acceptance Confirmation and therefore allowing the GDA process to conclude. Since 2014 we have published reports setting out the progress of the project and the technical issues; and the last one was issued in October 2016. These reports highlight progress of the AP1000 GDA in all technical areas. We will publish the results and conclusions of our assessment at the end of March 2017, in a series of detailed regulatory assessment reports.
ONR 24th Nov 2016 read more »
Community leaders who met to discuss Suffolk’s latest nuclear power station proposals have agreed its developers need to offer a better deal for the county. Nearly 80 town and parish representatives along with members of the Joint Local Authority Group (JLAG) concluded that EDF Energy’s stage two consultation for Sizewell C has failed to make enough progress from its proposals four years ago. The key concerns raised at the summit held on Tuesday focussed on the proposed accommodation campus, whose location near Therberton is feared to lack the required infrastructure to transport up to 2,400 workers to and from the construction site. Other issues included EDF’s alleged failure to “fully understand the communities of east Suffolk” and their concerns. The summit also heard that EDF’s proposals to have 35 metre high “spoil heaps” would have a significant impact on the those living and visiting the area and it was not yet clear what mitigation would be provided. Transport routes for construction material were also said to be unclear, with EDF urged to provide more detail about how much would be brought in by road, sea and rail.
Ipswich Star 8th Dec 2016 read more »
Media coverage of Hinkley Point C has tended to focus on EDF Energy’s financial agreement with the UK government and is only now being recognised for the economic benefits it will bring to the local economy, Nigel Knee, head of the company’s nuclear policy, said yesterday. EDF Energy’s updated analysis shows that almost £4 billion ($5 billion) will go into the regional economy of the South West of England over the lifetime of the project, Knee told delegates at the Budapest Energy Summit.
World Nuclear News 7th Dec 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
British Carbon Trust tells Holyrood MPs that carbon-capture and storage is central to Scottish Energy Strategy policy on heat and transport.
Scottish Energy News 8th Dec 2016 read more »
Scottish Green MSPs expressed disappointment after other parties voted down proposals to set a target of Scotland producing half of all the energy it consumes from clean, renewable sources. The Greens believe the target, which is backed by industry and charities, would help create more jobs, reduce climate change emissions and air pollution, and cut fuel poverty. In today’s Holyrood debate on Scotland’s Renewables, an amendment from Green MSP Mark Ruskell proposed that the forthcoming energy strategy should set a target to ensure that 50 per cent of all Scotland’s energy needs across the heat, electricity and transport sectors are met by renewables by 2030. The amendment was voted down by SNP, Conservative and Lib Dem MSPs, while Labour abstained.
Scottish Greens 6th Dec 2016 read more »
The public sector should put its money where the Scottish Government’s mouth has been on the subject of green energy, an expert claims. According to Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at industry body Scottish Renewables, public bodies have the potential to lead the next stage of the country’s green energy journey. Local authorities, NHS Boards, National Park Authorities, enterprise agencies, emergency services and other public organisations could all play a key role in Scotland meeting its future climate change targets – including switching to using more renewable power, heat and transport.
Herald 8th Dec 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Wales
Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Environment & Energy Minister, has set out the steps her government will take to reduce the amount of energy used in Wales and to move from its traditional association with fossil fuels to a ‘nation renowned for its clean energy.’ She told the Cardiff-based assembly how the Welsh Government will fully use its devolved powers to take advantage of the many opportunities Wales has to deliver secure and affordable low carbon energy.
Scottish Energy News 8th Dec 2016 read more »
The USA has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor and verify the disposition of surplus plutonium in South Carolina, US energy secretary Ernest Moniz said on 5 December. Moniz’s announcement was made at an IAEA conference which aims to strengthen global nuclear security.
World Nuclear News 7th Dec 2016 read more »
TERROR groups including Islamic State are trying to get their hands on radioactive material to make a nuclear “dirty bomb”, former Defence Secretary Lord Browne. The bomb could contaminate large areas and cause deadly illnesses such as cancer. At the same time a Russian expert warned that America and Russia are in danger of triggering an “uncontrolled arms race” by failing to negotiate over nuclear weapons. The stark warnings were issued at a London conference of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear catastrophe. Lord Browne said terrorists are working to get the components needed for a crude dirty bomb. Radioactive materials such as caesium-137, cobalt-60 and iridium-192 are widely used in hospitals around the world, often as part of life-saving treatments. But they could also be mixed with explosives to create a dirty bomb.
Express 7th Dec 2016 read more »
France has reportedly opened an investigation into an activity of its oldest power plant, Fessenheim, after Greenpeace reported that the reactor has numerous abnormalities and is endangering people’s lives. The investigation was launched by the Paris Prosecutor’s office, AFP reported on Monday evening, citing judicial sources. The Fessenheim power plant is in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace, eastern France, near the German and Swiss borders. The plant’s activity is endangering the lives of people and it has equipment which doesn’t fulfill the requirements of safety, according to the AFP report.
Russia Today 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, yet the French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis. The liabilities of Électricité de France (EDF) − the biggest electricity supplier in Europe, with 39 million customers − are increasing so fast that they will soon exceed its assets, according to a report by an independent equity research company. Bankruptcy for EDF seems inevitable − and if such a vast empire in any other line of business seemed to be in such serious financial trouble, there would be near-panic in the workforce and in governments at the subsequent political fall-out. But it seems that the nuclear-dominated EDF group is considered too big to be allowed to fail. So, to keep the lights on in western Europe, the company will have to be bailed out by the taxpayers of France and the UK.
Eco Business 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Japan will increase an interest-free loan to the operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power, by more than a third to 14 trillion yen (97.30 billion pounds)a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Spiralling costs from the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 are threatening the viability of the utility known as Tepco and hampering its ability to clean up its wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The increase in the loan from 9 trillion yen is to cover the costs for compensation and decontamination areas around the plant, according to the source, who is not authorized to speak to the media.
Reuters 8th Dec 2016 read more »
The village of Satlykovo, just east of the Ural mountains in Russia, is no more. The main street is knee-high in nettles, its houses bulldozed. All around, the land is blooming. Nearby forests harbour elk and wild boar. The lake is home to radioactive carp. One morning 59 years ago, soldiers came and ordered the villagers to leave. “Their cattle were destroyed and buried, and they could not even take with them the clothes they stood up in,” says Islam Bagautdinov, who has driven me here through military checkpoints. There were no explanations. The troops didn’t say that there had been an explosion at a factory a few kilometres away; or that the blast had propelled radioactive dust into the air, forming a deadly plume that rained out across Satlykovo and the surrounding countryside. The very existence of the Mayak complex, where weapons-grade plutonium was made, was a military secret.
New Scientist 7th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
In a country where only 16% of rural homes have power a government-led scheme is bringing electricity to thousands of villages. Thousands of off-grid projects are being rolled out across Myanmar as part of a huge government-led scheme, which involves private companies too, to bring electricity to the entire country by 2030. As of 2014, only16% of rural households had an electricity connection. Myanmar Eco Solutions, a for-profit renewable energy firm, is part of a burgeoning industry looking to contribute to the development of off-grid solutions. It recently set up a solar-powered irrigation system for rice farmers near Pathein, a remote agricultural region in the Ayeyarwady delta in southern Myanmar. The submersible pump is mounted on a raft, meaning it can travel up and down the river supporting multiple villages.
Guardian 2nd Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Tidal power specialist Atlantis Resources said its pioneering MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth has taken a major step forward with the first installed turbine now operating at full power. The firm, which has its head office in Edinburgh, revealed the news about the Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbine, which can generate 1.5 megawatts of power at certain water speeds. Once the scheme is completely operational, it is set to use up to 269 turbines producing enough energy to power 175,000 homes, and Atlantis said the latest development is “significant as it allows for validation of the power curve models which underpin the financial assumptions of the project”. It also deemed it “another significant de-risking event for the industry”.
Scotsman 7th Dec 2016 read more »
Herald 7th Dec 2016 read more »
Transitioning to a fully renewable energy system, with over 50% coming from solar PV, would be the cheapest option for South America and it is possible in the next 15 years, according to research conducted by the Lappeenranta University of Technology.
Renew Economy 8th Dec 2016 read more »