The UK’s back-end nuclear waste management plans for new-build reactors have yet to be notified to the European Commission for State Aid clearance, the Department of Energy and Climate Change told Platts Wednesday. A notification relating to the Hinkley Investment Contract, ancillary agreements and state credit guarantee was submitted by the UK to the EC on October 22, 2013. It is this notification that the EC has decided to put through an in-depth State Aid investigation. Meanwhile the UK government is preparing another notification to the EC of how it intends to share the costs for managing and disposing of nuclear waste from Hinkley Point C and other new nuclear power plants, DECC said.
Platts 6th Feb 2014 read more »
A DAMNING report on the funding of EDF Energy’s proposed £16billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has been branded ‘interference’. West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger told the County Gazette: “The European Union just wants to interfere with the British energy strategy and see the ‘lights go out’ in Britain. “As for sitting around and waiting for other companies to build without such subsidies, that’s twaddle. “Nuclear is something we need to secure now, not just wait for someone to come along – or we could be waiting forever.”
This is the West Country 6th Feb 2014 read more »
The European Commission wants to decide by the year-end whether to approve the construction of the first nuclear plant in Europe since the 2011 Fukushima disaster – Hinkley Point C, in Britain.If the European Union raises no state aid objections to the project’s 35-year power price guarantees and government-backed loans, it could pave the way for more nuclear plants in the EU.The EU’s antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia said he needed Britain to clarify why state aid is need to build the 19 billion euro plant near Bristol, southwest England, in a deal with French state-controlled utility EDF. “We need the UK authorities’ cooperation. My intention is to be able to adopt a final decision on this before the end of the year,” he told reporters in London.
Reuters 7th Feb 2014 read more »
The government is seeking ways to minimise the cost of hitting the renewable targets within the £7.6 billion budget set out in the Levy Control Framework (LCF) and effectively puts a price on CO2 emissions. Both offshore wind and solar PV have the potential to get costs down significantly, and both industries are aiming for contract for difference (CfD) strike prices below £100/MWh by 2020. Domestic & commercial scale roof feed-in tariff (FiT) rates are also automatically degressed and will be less than £100/MWh by 2020. Solar has a long track record of disrupting policy regimes, and scuppering government departments that tend to pick winners. It will continue to do so.
Solar Portal 7th Feb 2014 read more »
OLDBURY nuclear site has safely removed and recycled its 475V batteries. The batteries previously provided back-up to essential equipment in the event there was a loss of site electrical supplies. However when the station ceased generating, the batteries became redundant. Mike Heaton Oldbury site director said: “The completion of this project marks another successful step in hazard reduction and decommissioning of the site. Our aim is to reduce risk and cost associated with the Magnox programme through innovative approaches to decommissioning.”
Gloucestershire Gazette 6th Feb 2014 read more »
One of the generating units at Torness Nuclear Power Station near Dunbar will be taken offline today, Friday, February 7, for an MOT and service costing more than £30 million. This so called “outage” is the culmination of two years of planning. More than 13,000 separate pieces of work are scheduled to be completed. Major plant investment projects include the replacement of a generator transformer, an increased fuel channel inspection programme and the exchange of turbine and generator rotors. All this work will make sure the power station can continue to provide electricity for more than two million homes in Scotland.
East Lothian News 7th Feb 2014 read more »
Britain’s ageing nuclear power stations may be kept open for ten years beyond their scheduled lifespan under proposals to keep the lights on while new nuclear plants are built. EDF Energy, which owns eight nuclear power stations in Britain, wants to profit from them for as long as possible and is expected to claim that they can still run safely 45 years after opening. The company, which is majority-owned by the French Government, argues that extending their life will help to fill the “energy gap” being created by the closure of coal-fired power stations. It is preparing to announce that Dungeness B in Kent, due to close in 2018, will remain open for up to a decade longer. It is also considering extending the lives of Heysham 1 and 2, Lancashire, and Hartlepool, Co Durham, scheduled to close in 2019. The extensions will give more time for EDF and two Japanese-led groups to win approval for new nuclear plants in Britain, the first of which is not due to start generating until 2023. EDF does not need to seek specific approval to extend the life of its power stations, but they can operate only if they have an ongoing “safety case” approved by the Office for Nuclear Regulation, an agency of the Health and Safety Executive. Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK, said: “These nuclear power stations are pretty profitable for EDF and its gameplan is to sweat these assets as long and as hard as they can. The older the stations get, the more likely they are to have engineering and safety issues. We just have to trust that the regulator is going to be competent in its job.”
Times 8th Feb 2014 read more »
Children who live near overhead power lines do not have an increased risk of developing leukaemia, a study has said. Data on 16,500 children who developed leukaemia in Britain between 1962 and 2008 was analysed. The paper found no increased leukaemia risk for those living near power lines from the 1980s onwards – but a higher risk did exist in the 1960s and 70s. The researchers said the findings were “reassuring” but work was being done to understand the historical patterns.
BBC 7th Feb 2014 read more »
PLANS for a new elite college which could be built in West Somerset – jointly funded by the Government and nuclear industry – have been welcomed. Last week, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills announced plans to support high level technical skills in the growing nuclear industry. The location for the new college is currently unknown but Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council and West Somerset College have all expressed interest.
This is the West Country 7th Feb 2014 read more »
France – reactor safety
French nuclear watchdog ASN is studying fuel rod casing corrosion problems at a number of nuclear units owned and operated by French state-controlled utility EdF. There is no immediate safety issue or impact on operations, ASN said. The issue is understood to affect as many as 25 of EdF’s 58 nuclear reactors and was brought to ASN’s attention by EdF. ASN continues to investigate and expects to be able to provide more information next week.
Argus Media 7th Feb 2014 read more »
Turkey – new reactors
Turkey’s first nuclear power plant has hit further delays that will push back the start of production by almost a year after Turkish authorities requested resubmission of an environmental report, industry sources and experts said on Friday.Russia’s Rosatom is building the first four nuclear reactors for energy-hungry Turkey, which has embarked on an ambitious nuclear programme led by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, to reduce its $60 billion annual energy import bill.
Reuters 7th Feb 2014 read more »
A meltdown is under way in the nation’s nuclear power industry that has nothing to do with radioactive fuel rods or core reactors. It’s a PR meltdown. And it’s endangering nuclear’s future in the United States. While insisting it is a key player in the fight against global warming and an important provider of future electricity in this country, the insular industry keeps sticking its public relations foot in its mouth.
Tampa Bay Times 7th Feb 2014 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
Fukushima Crisis update to 29th Jan to 4th Feb 2014.
Greenpeace 7th Feb 2014 read more »
Nearly three years after the Fukushima disaster, more than 70 US Navy sailors who participated in rescue operations claim that radiation exposure has left them sickened for life. Dozens of American sailors who assisted Japan during the 2011 nuclear disaster are suing the operators of Fukushima power plant for more than £612 million (US$1bn) in damages, claiming that they have become sick from radiation exposure.
Telegraph 7th Feb 2014 read more »
The Czech tender for the construction of two new reactors in the Temelin nuclear power plant cannot be completed because none of the bidders put into operation a reactor that would show the functioning of its technology, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said Wednesday. “The referential reactors that the bidders promised by the end of 2013 have not been completed yet,” he told CTK. Another reason why the tender has been blocked is a complaint by the French company Areva whose bid was eliminated from the tender, Zaoralek said.
Prague Monitor 6th Feb 2014 read more »
Anti-nuclear campaigners have claimed a convoy carrying nuclear weapons passed through Rutherglen last week. The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament alleged MoD lorries drove along the M74 in the early hours of last Wednesday (January 29) en route to Coulport on Loch Long. CND co-ordinator John Ainslie told the Reformer the 19-vehicle convoy was spotted on the M74 in Lanarkshire before being spotted again approaching Balloch from the south.
Daily Record 7th Feb 2014 read more »
Renewables – Tidal
A ” giant man-made lagoon” in Swansea bay could be used to generate electricity for 120,000 homes a year, if the government says yes to a new planning application. But what exactly is a tidal lagoon – and what does the proposal mean for the UK’s electricity supplies?
Carbon Brief 7th Feb 2014 read more »
Renewables – Islands
Caribbean islands that pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world are in line for more than $1bn of green energy loans to reduce bills following an agreement between governments, companies, energy experts and financiers. Projects that can be shown to increase energy efficiency or generate renewable energy are now expected to be rapidly approved by the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), US energy giant NRG, the German government, and others. In addition, eight islands, including St Lucia, St Kitts, Dominica, Turks and Caicos and Aruba have pledged to retrofit hospitals and schools and construct solar projects.
Guardian 7th Feb 2014 read more »
Renewables – Germany
It was conceived as a plan to draw Germany together, a 500-mile (800km) energy highway that would link the gale-beaten windfarms of the north with the energy-hungry south. But with resistance growing in Bavaria, the project looks more likely to divide the country that unite it. Renewables produced almost 25% of Germany’s energy in 2013. But production is uneven and expected to get even more so: while windfarms in the northern flatlands are forecast to eventually outstrip the area’s power needs, the highly industrialised south is still heavily reliant on nuclear energy. Solar power, though more prevalent in the south, is still too unreliable to compensate for the planned phasing out of five nuclear power stations in the southern half of the country. Currently, public support for Energiewende is still high: a survey in October last year showed 84% of Germans back the nuclear phaseout. But the rising cost has become a growing concern, and last month the new energy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, vowed to cut subsidies for wind, solar and other renewables – a move criticised in the north and cheered in the south. Unless the new government manages to reconcile national priorities with the dynamics of its federal system, the mood could quickly turn against Germany’s green revolution.
Guardian 7th Feb 2014 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News: community wind projects on Harris and Northern Ireland; energy co-ops transforming housing estates in London; Glenfiddich installs anearobic digester; small wind goes from stregth to strength.
Microgen Scotland 7th Feb 2014 read more »
The Energy Saving Trust has rejigged its figures for what a new boiler or loft insulation can achieve – but not everyone is convinced. This week EST revised the savings that can be achieved as a result of measures such as loft insulation or a new boiler. It had been expected to lower the amounts, but has mystified green experts by upping some of the figures substantially.
Guardian 8th Feb 2014 read more »
The cost of policing a two-month anti-fracking protest is set to reach £1m amid accusations by campaigners of police violence and disproportionate levels of force being deployed to ensure drilling can go ahead. The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Sir Peter Fahy, said the daily demonstrations at Barton Moss in Salford were diverting manpower away from crime investigations and community operations. Opponents of the controversial fracking technique, in which gas is blasted from rocks using water and sand, have been camped out since November on the side of a lane opposite an exploratory drilling site run by IGas, the operator of the largest number of onshore oil and gas wells in Britain. It is claimed that up to 100 officers are routinely deployed against 30 protesters. So far 117 people have been arrested and 114 charged with a variety of offences including obstruction and breach of bail.
Independent 7th Feb 2014 read more »
The good news, from the climate’s standpoint, is that while global demand for energy is continuing to grow, the growth is slowing. The bad news is that one energy giant predicts global carbon dioxide emissions will probably rise by almost a third in the next 20 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020 and then decline if the world is to hope to avoid global average temperatures rising by more than 2°C over pre-industrial levels. Beyond 2°C, it says, climate change could become dangerously unmanageable. But BP’s Energy Outlook 2035 says CO2 emissions are likely to increase by 29% in the next two decades because of growing energy demand from the developing world.
Climate News Network 7th Feb 2014 read more »