News November 2011

30 November 2011

Old Reactors

Studsvik has signed a seven-year contract with EDF Energy Nuclear Generation for carrying out materials testing on irradiated fuel and fuel components from Advanced Gas cooled Reactors (AGR). The fuel and materials tests will be carried out at Studsvik’s facilities and are made in support of the safety cases and operation of EDF Energy Nuclear Generation’s UK AGR reactors. The seven-year contract is valued at SEK94.5m, and Studsvik intends to extend the contract for a further ten years.

Energy Business Review 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Around 100 delegates attended the latest Hinkley Supply Chain event, entitled ‘How to win business at Hinkley C’, to find out more about the opportunities to get involved in the Hinkley Point C new nuclear development through smart business development and collaboration.

Process & Control Today 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Heysham

EDF Energy, Britain’s biggest nuclear power producer, disconnected its 660 megawatt Heysham 2-8 reactor on Tuesday.

Reuters 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Sizewell

SIZEWELL B nuclear power station is now back at full capacity after repairs were made to one of its two turbines.

East Anglia Daly Times 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Companies

A maintenance firm which employs hundreds of people at Sellafield has won a £300 million contract to work at 10 other nuclear sites. Hertel, the maintenance and construction services firm, has landed a five-year framework contract to work on demolition and asbestos removal across 10 Magnox power stations, including Chapelcross, near Annan.

Cumberland News 30th Nov 2011 more >>

Carbon Pricing

In a clear attempt to redirect the coalition’s green policies, the chancellor told parliament: “I am worried about the combined impact of the green policies adopted not just in Britain, but also by the European Union … if we burden [British businesses] with endless social and environmental goals – however worthy in their own right – then not only will we not achieve those goals, but the businesses will fail, jobs will be lost, and our country will be poorer.” Osborne gave £250m worth of assistance and rebates to the most energy-intensive companies, scrapped a planned rise in fuel duty, announced a massive road-building scheme and hinted at a watering down of regulations to protect British wildlife. The campaigning organisation Sandbag said many of the companies that benefitted from the chancellor’s easing of carbon regulations were the same that had pocketed free carbon permits worth hundreds of millions of pounds in the last few years under the EU’s emissions trading scheme

Guardian 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Independent 30th Nov 2011 more >>

The government’s green ambition is dead, choked by the exhaust fumes and chimneystack smog belched out by the chancellor’s desperate and wrong-headed attempt to restart the economy’s engine. He threw yet more taxpayers’ cash at the carbon fat cats in the highly polluting steel, cement and other energy intensive industries, a sector that has perfected the dark art of special pleading.

Guardian 29th Nov 2011 more >>

George Osborne cheered energy intensive industries by confirming a £250m package of support in a bid to “keep industry and jobs in Britain”, but environmental groups condemned the autumn statement as a “polluter’s charter” that raised questions over the coalition’s ambition to be at the forefront of fighting climate change.

FT 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Telegraph 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Wales

Environment bodies to be merged. Three environment bodies in Wales are to be merged into a single organisation, the Welsh Government has announced. Environment minister John Griffiths said the Environment Agency Wales (EAW), the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) will be brought together. Government officials estimate the transition from three bodies to just one could result in savings of up to £158 million within a 10-year period.

PA 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Europe

Following the nuclear accident in Fukushima, the EU reacted swiftly and agreed on voluntary tests for all of its 143 nuclear power plants based on a set of common criteria. In its Communication published on 24 November, the Commission looks at first findings of these stress tests and points to some policy areas where the new EU nuclear safety framework can be strengthened through common standards.

EU Business 27th Nov 2011 more >>

The European commission last month released a preliminary report on the stress tests carried out on Europe’s nuclear power plants. The document is only 15 pages plus annexes, but some countries seem to have already drawn their own conclusions. The Czech Republic affirms that its nuclear power stations are not at risk from major earthquakes or floods. Belgium considers that its seven reactors are protected against quakes, floods, terrorist attacks and falling planes. The report produced by Brussels puts the case for tighter safety rules, but with only limited scope. It notes that the regulations already in force before the Fukushima disaster in March are still not being applied throughout the European Union.

Guardian 29th Nov 2011 more >>

France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced his support for a nuclear research programme and new nuclear power plants, including the proposed third reactor at the Penly European pressurised reactor (EPR) plant in Normandy. The EPR would be the second in Europe. French power utility EDF is developing the first EPR at the Flamanville plant in Normandy. That project has faced a number of challenges.

Infrastructure Journal 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant ignored warnings that the complex was at risk of damage from a tsunami of the size that hit north-east Japan in March, and dismissed the need for better protection against seawater flooding, according to reports. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) officials rejected “unrealistic” estimates made in a 2008 internal report that the plant could be threatened by a tsunami of up to 10.2 metres, Kyodo news agency said. The tsunami that crippled backup power supplies at the plant on the afternoon of 11 March, leading to the meltdown of three reactors, was more than 14 metres high.

Guardian 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Greenpeace today renewed its demand for the Japanese government to keep its nuclear reactors offline as simulation maps of potential accidents at Japan’s nuclear plants – used in the development of nuclear emergency response efforts – are completely inadequate, and have not been updated since the Fukushima disaster.

Greenpeace 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Pressure from business people and different views of the crisis after the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster, caused Japanese Catholic bishops to delay an anti-nuclear message for six months, according to a church official.

Ekklesia 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has received approval from the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), for the amendment to the safety regulations for nuclear reactor facilities of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan. The contents included in the application are: to set forth the plan required for the activities, to allocate the necessary personnel for the activities, to conduct training for the personnel for the Activities, to allocate the generator trucks, fire engines, fire fighting hoses and other equipments required for the activities, and to have the periodic evaluation on the above actions and take necessary measures based on the evaluation result.

Energy Business Review 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Belarus

Belarus has signed a range of energy agreements with Russia, handing over its gas supply network while cementing progress toward a nuclear power plant to offset the fuel.

World Nuclear News 29th Nov 2011 more >>

North Korea

The building of a nuclear reactor in North Korea is “progressing apace”, officials say, in a further snub to the US and South Korea. State media quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying low-enriched uranium was being produced for the reactor.

BBC 30th Nov 2011 more >>

Guardian 30th Nov 2011 more >>

Green Deal

Changeworks and the Scottish Government recently held five events for community organisations on the UK Government’s Green Deal scheme. The presentations are available here.

Changeworks 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 30 November 2011

29 November 2011

New Nukes

Building new nuclear power stations will make it harder for the UK to switch to renewable energy, said one of the top German officials leading the country’s nuclear energy phase-out. But Jochen Flasbarth, president of the Environmental Protection Agency in Germany, who advises the German government, said: “We are not missionaries, and every country will have to find its own way in energy policy, but it is obvious that nuclear plants are too inflexible and cannot sufficiently respond to variations in wind or solar generation, only gas [power stations] do.”

Guardian 28th Nov 2011 more >>

UK Chancellor George Osborne has been urged to put nuclear power at the forefront of the country’s electricity supply policy by Sir William McAlpine, chairman of the pressure group Supporters of Nuclear Energy (SONE).

New Statesman 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Herbert Smith has advised long time client EDF Energy on its application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) for development consent to construct and operate a 3.2GW nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

The Lawyer 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Recent nuclear news from the United Kingdom includes the public release of plans for new reactors at Hinkley Point and an unconfirmed report that GE-Hitachi may pitch its salt-cooled PRISM reactor as a solution to the country’s excess plutonium problem. For Hinkley Point, British regulators released the 30,000-page application to build a new nuclear plant at the site on the Bristol Channel. EDF submitted plans to build two Areva EPR pressurized water reactors to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on Oct. 31, and the agency released them for public comment last week, the BBC reported. If approved, the project could be finished in 2020.

Nuclear Street 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Heysham

EDF Energy has restarted its 660-megawatt (MW) Heysham 2-7 nuclear reactor on Monday, a spokesman said.

Reuters 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Old Reactors

UK prompt power prices eased Monday on an improved supply outlook, with wind power output remaining high and after the return of two nuclear units, traders said. UK nuclear power generation increased Monday after EDF Energy confirmed the return of its 600 MW Heysham 2-7 unit and the 600 MW turbine 2 at Sizewell B following outages.

Platts 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Radwaste Transport

Photos of protests in Germany.

IB Times 29th Nov 2011 more >>

The Week 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Guardian 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Radwaste

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, earlier this year caused many countries to rethink their appetite for nuclear power. It is also, in subtler ways, altering the fraught discussion of what to do with nuclear plants’ wastes. A prime example is Germany, which decided to shut down all its nuclear power plants by 2022 after the partial reactor meltdowns at Fukushima. That decision is making it easier for Germans to have a calm and focused discussion about a permanent disposal site for the plants’ wastes, analysts say. Previously, opponents of nuclear power worried that backing a permanent solution for the wastes would make it easier for nuclear power plants to continue to exist, according to Michael Sailer, the chief executive at the Öko-Institut in Berlin, a research and consulting group focused on sustainability.

Waste Management World 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Opinion Polls

Public opinion in many countries with nuclear power programmes has become more opposed to the technology since 2005, a new poll for the BBC indicates. But the UK and the United States are bucking the trend with those polled becoming less opposed to nuclear energy than others.

Nuclear Engineering International 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Uranium

Rio Tinto is poised to win a bidding war for a Canadian uranium company after Cameco, the world’s biggest uranium producer, declined to raise its offer for a second time.

FT 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Europe

In the wake of the March Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and Germany’s subsequent decision in June to close all of its 18 nuclear power plants between 2015 and 2022, the European Union is turning its eyes eastwards to new EU members Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia, offering further funding to ensure that its Soviet-era nuclear reactors remain out of service permanently.

Oil Price 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

Masao Yoshida, 56, has been hospitalised for “treatment of illness” and will relinquish his director post at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeast Japan from Thursday. His sudden departure without a specific medical explanation is likely to prompt speculation surrounding the possible connection between his medical condition and exposure to high radiation levels at the plant. However, officials at Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), operators of the plant, declined to comment on whether Mr Yoshida’s illness was connected to radiation exposure.

Telegraph 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Daily Mail 28th Nov 2011 more >>

With the shutdown of unit 2 at Kansai Electric Power Company’s (Kepco’s) Takahama nuclear power plant for a periodic inspection, less than 20% of Japan’s nuclear generating capacity is now in operation.

World Nuclear News 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Tokyo Electric Power said it would raise about Y192bn ($2.5bn) by selling its stakes in KDDI, the telecoms carrier, and Kanto Natural Gas Development to help cover the costs of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. Tepco, which faces an estimated Y4,700bn bill to cover compensation for those affected by the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years, as well as the cost of decommissioning the Fukushima plant, is selling the KDDI stake back to the telecoms group.

FT 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Iran

A large explosion has been reported in the Iranian city of Isfahan as the regime issued conflicting reports apparently designed to deny any suggestions of a sabotage attack on its nuclear facilities.

Telegraph 28th Nov 2011 more >>

The Iranians keep insisting all they want to do is to develop nuclear power, which flies in the face of disturbing evidence to the contrary recently released by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, which suggested that they are actively trying to build a nuclear bomb. The crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme – which has now dominated the international security agenda for a decade or more – is clearly coming to a head, with both the British and American governments pointedly refusing to rule out the possibility of launching military action to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. If Iran were really serious about reaching a peaceful resolution to this crisis it would be seeking to establish a dialogue.

Telegraph 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Bangladesh

Bangladesh has achieved ‘notable progress’ in its nuclear infrastructure development of nuclear power, according to a team of international experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency. An IAEA Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission concluded that Bangladesh has mostly met the conditions for knowledgeable decision-making and is actively preparing for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project.

Nuclear Engineering International 28th Nov 2011 more >>

CCS

THE £1 billion that had been earmarked for carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS) technology will be spent on other projects, the UK government has announced.

Scotsman 29th Nov 2011 more >>

Independent 29th Nov 2011 more >>

The government was forced to reassure the carbon capture and storage industry on Monday after comments from the Treasury appeared to cast doubt on the future of £1bn funding for the technology. Danny Alexander appeared to suggest money set aside for CCS could be subsumed into general infrastructure spending. But the Department of Energy and Climate Change moved to calm fears, insisting £1bn was still available from the government to fund pioneering CCS projects.

Guardian 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Green Deal

Briefing by JDS Associates on the Green Deal and ECO.

JDS Associates 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 29 November 2011

28 November 2011

New Nukes

Fred Pearce: I never thought I’d say this – but the future is nuclear. Or it should be. And I urge Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne – who, like me, has been an opponent of nuclear power – to embrace that future. Our energy bills depend on it. And so may our climate. Huhne’s ‘green tax’ sparked anger last week as it became clear that this surcharge on our energy bills will rise to £280 a year for every household by the end of the decade.

Daily Mail 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Chancellor George Osborne was urged today to put nuclear power at the forefront of the Government’s electricity supply policy. In a letter to the Chancellor, Sir William McAlpine, chairman of the pressure group Supporters of Nuclear Energy (SONE) describes the present energy policy as an imposition on consumers and industry and as failing in its objectives. “The sheer disparity between the cost of other sources – and especially offshore wind – and nuclear is startling when nuclear can reasonably be claimed to provide security of low carbon supply at affordable cost. We suggest this shows that reform of energy policy has a long way to go before it is in a position to achieve its declared objective.

Independent 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Industry

Heavy industry is set to be one of the major beneficiaries of the Autumn Statement with a £250m package of measures aimed at helping firms meet energy regulations. A trio of measures, including compensation to offset the Carbon Price Floor and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, could knock between 5pc and 10pc off electricity bills of energy intensive businesses such as steel and chemicals. The measures include up to £60m per year in compensation for companies affected directly or indirectly by the Carbon Price Floor. There will be up to £50m per year in funding to offset the cost of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. On top of these two measures the Chancellor will announce that relief from the climate change levy for heavy industries that have entered into climate change agreements will rise from 65pc to 90pc. The relief had been expected to rise to 80pc.

Telegraph 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Radwaste Transport

GERMAN police battled thousands of protesters trying to stop a train bringing radioactive waste from France. Security forces told at least 3500 demonstrators around the northern town of Harlingen to move out. With most activists remaining where they were, the police began to remove them one by one. No violence was reported while around 1300 people were detained by police. The train carrying the waste stopped for 18 hours amid the police operation against the demonstrators, and began slowly rolling again overnight. Activists said the duration of the 1200-kilometre journey from a reprocessing centre in northwestern France had now already broken the 92-hour record set last year.

AFP 28th Nov 2011 more >>

ITN 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Morning Star 27th Nov 2011 more >>

BBC 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Guardian 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Telegraph 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Scotland

Scottish ministers are under mounting pressure to reverse their “embarrassing” failures to put in place the policies needed to cut climate-altering pollution. As Environment and Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson arrives in Durban, South Africa, for the world’s next round of climate talks, his Government is under fierce fire at home for slashing spending on environmentally friendly travel and not doing enough to save energy in homes. The Scottish Government is criticised about failing to improve energy efficiency in homes. Although the budget proposes increasing spending on this from £48m to £65m, this is nowhere near enough, say environmental groups.

Herald 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Europe

The European Commission is considering proposing common nuclear power safety rules across the European Union. The suggestion follows analysis of preliminary conclusions from the voluntary “stress tests” of nuclear plants in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in March this year.

Utility Week 25th Nov 2011 more >>

The European Commission has recently proposed to provide further EU assistance of €500 million to support the decommissioning in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. These funds will contribute to the continuation of safe decommissioning of the nuclear power plants Kozloduy, Ignalina and Bohunice. This new financial assistance should support the efforts of the three Member States who are ultimately responsible for nuclear safety, including the financing of decommissioning.

Wired.gov 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

The Nov/Dec issue of CNIC’s English Language newsletter is now available.

CNIC 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Denmark

Danish government proposals on Friday called for sourcing just over half of its electricity from wind turbines by 2020 and all of its energy from renewable sources in 2050. The government also invited the parties in parliament to negotiations on the proposal to shape energy policy to 2020. Denmark will take over the presidency of the European Union for six months from January 1 and aims to promote ambitious climate and energy goals for Europe.

Reuters 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Iran

Iran will bomb Turkey if the U.S. or Israel tries to destroy its nuclear installations, a senior military commander warned today. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guard, threatened to target Nato’s missile defence shield in the neighbouring country. The system which Turkey only agreed to install in September, is designed to prevent Iranian missile attacks on Israel.

Daily Mail 28th Nov 2011 more >>

Iran’s parliament voted on Sunday to expel the British ambassador in retaliation for fresh Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme and warned that other countries could also be punished.

Middle East Online 27th Nov 2011 more >>

FT 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Telegraph 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Trident

The Ministry of Defence is spending £2bn on new nuclear weapons plants before a formal decision has been taken over whether to replace Trident warheads, according to ministers.

Guardian 27th Nov 2011 more >>

See also robedwards.com (with the government’s newly released, but heavily redacted, Trident ‘Value for Money’ review available to download)

Robedwards.com 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Tar Sands

The UK government has been giving secret support at the very highest levels to Canada’s campaign against European penalties on its highly polluting tar sands fuel, the Guardian can reveal. At the same time, the UK government was being lobbied by Shell and BP, which both have major tar sands projects in Alberta, and opened a new consulate in the province to “support British commercial interests”.

Guardian 27th Nov 2011 more >>

A deal to sell tar sands oil in Europe would outweigh any good the UK might do with all its other climate change measures.

Guardian 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 28 November 2011

27 November 2011

Plutonium

America’s General Electric will this week offer to build an advanced nuclear power plant at Sellafield that would consume Britain’s dangerous stockpile of plutonium. Sellafield is home to about 112 tonnes of plutonium, which takes thousands of years to decay. It was produced in the recycling of nuclear fuel and for the atomic weapons programme. Several schemes have been proposed to deal with it, including the construction of a deep underground store and the building of a new plant to turn it into “mixed-oxide” (Mox) fuel for atomic power plants. Sellafield’s first Mox plant turned out to be a white elephant — it cost about £1.4 billion to build and was closed this year with the loss of 600 jobs. This week GE will offer to build its Prism reactor to burn up the plutonium. Experts say the advantage of the GE proposal is its ability to use plutonium as a fuel. “It is a more attractive proposition than building a new Mox plant,” said one senior industry source.

Sunday Times 27th Nov 2011 more >>

New Nukes

The coalition has pinned its hopes on growing the British economy in an age of severe cuts through infrastructure, bringing the unfashionable construction industry to the forefront. An updated National Infrastructure Plan – a £200bn blueprint was produced last year – will offer ideas of how to attract private-sector investment into building roads, bridges and even energy networks.

Independent 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Companies

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has been examining the possibility of buying RWE’s North Sea oil and gas assets for up to €2bn (£1.7bn). The move comes as German power company RWE looks to sell assets, including all or part of its oil and exploration unit RWE-DEA, to bolster its debt-laden balance sheet.

Telegraph 27th Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

How the crisis at Fukushima developed.

Telegraph TV 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Germany

Anti-nuclear protesters have scuffled with police in northern Germany where activists are holding demonstrations to try to disrupt a train carrying nuclear waste from France.

DW-World 27th Nov 2011 more >>

German police said 20 officers have been injured during clashes with protesters ahead of the arrival of a shipment of nuclear waste in the north of the country.

Express 26th Nov 2011 more >>

Anti-nuclear protestors demonstrate yesterday against the transport of nuclear waste containers in Berg in southwest Germany near the French border. The containers are on their way to the intermediate nuclear storage facility in the northeast German town of Gorleben. The text on the placard reads “The dark side of the future.”

Waste Management World 26th Nov 2011 more >>

Microgeneration

Round-up of the news of the fight against FiT changes and other news.

Micogen Scotland 26th Nov 2011 more >>

Energy Efficiency

Local authorities and other public bodies, already struggling with spending cuts, will be obliged to fit schools, swimming pools and libraries, with state-of-the-art insulation, boilers, generators and windows. Councils say the plan as it affects them alone would cost taxpayers up to £50bn. The draft Energy Efficiency Directive states public bodies should “lead by example” and “purchase only products, services and buildings with high energy efficiency performance”. Public bodies will also be obliged to refurbish 3% of their properties to the high energy-efficient specification each year, under the plans.

Telegraph 26th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 27 November 2011

26 November 2011

Hinkley

Somerset residents who want to have a say on the Hinkley Point nuclear power station proposal are being invited to a series of drop-in sessions. The Infrastructure Planning Commission yesterday announced that it is satisfied it can proceed to decide the application, submitted by EDF Energy.

This is Somerset 25th Nov 2011 more >>

The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has formally accepted for examination EDF Energy’s application to build a nuclear power station at the existing Hinkley Point nuclear site on the north Somerset coast. Provided all goes to schedule the multi-billion pound project should be determined by the energy secretary early in 2013 following consideration by the IPC and its successor, the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit (MIPU).

Utility Week 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Sellafield

CORE Briefing on NDA Options for THORP. An estimated 400 tonnes of overseas spent fuel that should have been completed around 2004, plus some 2000 tonnes of UK AGR fuel remains to be reprocessed. In addition, a further 4000+ tonnes of spent AGR fuel (including the currently expected lifetime arisings from the UK’s fleet of AGR power stations) are destined either for long-term storage at Sellafield prior to disposal or for reprocessing – at the NDA’s discretion. Should 5-year extensions be granted to the AGR power stations, a further 900 tonnes of spent fuel would arise.

CORE 25th Nov 2011 more >>

There’s a hole in DECC’s Bucket / Energy Policy: The nukes are too hot, dear Liza, dear Liza, the nukes are too hot, dear Liza, too hot. Then cool them, dear Hendry, dear Hendry, dear Hendry, then cool them dear Hendry, dear Hendry, cool them.

101 uses for nuclear power 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Heysham

Heysham power station bosses have apologised for frightening neighbours with a loud noise. The disturbance was caused by a relief valve opening to emit steam at high pressure at about 9.30pm on Thursday November 24. Operators EDF said Heysham 2 unit 7 was returning to power from a planned maintenance outage when the valve automatically opened as part of the plant’s return to service. EDF said this caused some very loud noises for a few minutes which could be heard near to the station.

The Visitor 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Sizewell

THE proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station is on a list of 72 projects which the UK’s construction industry would most like to see “unlocked” by Government action.

East Anglia Daily Times 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Old Nukes

A total of 3,970 MW of nuclear capacity is offline at the moment.

Reuters 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Dounreay

WORK has started on a £100 million project to build six 65ft-deep vaults to store nuclear waste at Dounreay, each covering an area the size of a football pitch. Around 100 jobs are expected to be created in the construction of the facility which will be the first of its type to be built in Scotland since the 1950s and the first ever to be granted planning permission.

Herald 26th Nov 2011 more >>

BBC 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear consortium Babcock Dounreay Partnership has been selected as preferred bidder to take over ownership of decommissioning company Dounreay Site Restoration in northern Scotland.

New Civil Engineer 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Waste Transport

Link to the english version of a news ticker made by activists about the nuclear waste being transported from France to Germany. On the ticker it’s possible to see where the castor currently is and what actions are happening.

Linksunten 25th Nov 2011 more >>

A French train carrying 150 tonnes of reprocessed nuclear waste entered Germany on Friday en route to a storage site after a 24-hour stop at the border following clashes between riot police and anti-nuclear activists.

Reuters 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Thousands of German anti-nuclear protesters mobilised Friday against a train carrying radioactive nuclear waste from France that has already sparked violent opposition. The train with 11 wagons of reprocessed German nuclear waste crossed the Franco-German border early on Friday, stopping for more than five hours at the small German town of Neunkirchen to change engines. Protests had been “peaceful”, said authorities.

AFP 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Telegraph 25th Nov 2011 more >>

BBC 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Opinion Polls

A worldwide poll has shown widely varying levels of support for the use of nuclear energy. A large majority in countries that use nuclear want to keep doing so, but only a few nations showed strong support for new build.

World Nuclear News 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Public opposition to nuclear power has grown since 2005, according to a survey of 23,231 adults in 23 countries. Conducted by GlobeScan for the BBC, the survey shows that many people believe renewable and not nuclear energy can meet future needs.

Engineer 5th Nov 2011 more >>

Decommissioning

Slithering into confined spaces, tackling tasks too difficult or dangerous for humans, the Snake-arm robot can “reach the unreachable” say its UK inventors, OC Robotics.

CNN 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Radhealth

Dr Ian Fairlie has a new website. See for example “Are Radiation Risks Overrated?” During 2010 and 2011, several newspaper articles claimed that the risks of low levels of ionising radiation have been exaggerated and that radiation limits should be relaxed. These reports have cited, in particular, a retired scientist, Dr Wade Allison, who proposes that there are no observable effects from radiation exposures below a level of 100 mSv or 200 mSv. In his best selling 2009 book “Bad Science”, Ben Goldacre roundly criticised the many distorted and misleading science articles found in UK newspapers and media. The above newspaper articles and BBC programmes are further examples of such bad science. But they have created concern and confusion in many people’s minds: it’s necessary to try and set the record straight.

Ian Fairlie 24th Nov 2011 more >>

India

Since August 2011, Tamil Nadu has witnessed renewed protests against the commissioning of the first of two 1,000 MW power plants as part of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). While protests have been ongoing against the project since the proposal was mooted in 1988, the impending commissioning of the reactors in light of the devastating and uncontrollable nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, has rightly triggered a wave of concern among thinking people in India.

Weekend Leader 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Iran & Kuwait

As the sabre-rattling against Iran becomes more deafening – with threats of potentially creating a few Chenobyls or a Fukushima by bombing working nuclear power plants – another potential nuclear madness is planned. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) appears to be behaving in a partisan and shameless way regarding Iran, much as it did with Iraq. Consider then the case of Kuwait which is “blessed with an abundance of natural petroleum resources,” and that it has advanced plans for up to four nuclear power stations – two to be built on the islands of Warba and Bubiyan.

Morning Star 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: A nuclear Iran would trigger nuclearisation of the entire Middle East and it must be prevented.

Conservative Home 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Poland

Poland’s top utility PGE shortlisted three sites by the Baltic coast on Friday as possible locations for the country’s first nuclear power plant, which it hopes will help to lessen its reliance on highly polluting coal.

Reuters 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Renewables

Senior officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are sceptical that solar can play a significant role in the UK’s future energy mix and are committed to restricting demand for the technology to a level where it becomes little more than “a toy for rich boys”. BusinessGreen has learned senior figures within the department recently met solar panel manufacturers in an attempt to explain its heavily criticised handling of the proposed cuts to solar feed-in tariffs and secure support for its plans to limit access to solar incentives to buildings that meet demanding energy-efficiency standards.

Business Green 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Businesses and communities across Britain will from Monday be able to apply for a heat tariff payment, ushering in a new era of clean green heat technology, Greg Barker said today. The world’s first Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will be open to applicants from Monday 28 November, providing payments for heat generated from renewable technologies including biomass boilers, solar thermal equipment and heat pumps installed since 15 July 2009.

DECC 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Climate

The will to act on climate change is out of political energy, running on empty. The problem is (relatively) distant, complex and intractable. The solution is costly, immediate, and the gains uncertain. It is the kind of slow-burn crisis that democratic politicians only tackle under sustained popular pressure and right now western voters have other things on their minds. Here, the government that promised to be the greenest ever is allowing emission-cutting policies to appear an indulgent hangover from a more prosperous age. Starting on Monday, when the 17th climate change conference opens in Durban, Africa has the opportunity to remind the rest of us why inaction is not an option.

Guardian 25th Nov 2011 more >>

It will involve 10,000 officials from 194 countries in a massive, complex negotiation. But pessimism is in the air as the world community comes together again on Monday to try to negotiate a new deal on climate change.

Independent 26th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 26 November 2011

25 November 2011

Opinion Polls

There is little public appetite across the world for building new nuclear reactors, a poll for the BBC indicates. In countries with nuclear programmes, people are significantly more opposed than they were in 2005, with only the UK and US bucking the trend. Most believe that boosting efficiency and renewables can meet their needs. Just 22% agreed that “nuclear power is relatively safe and an important source of electricity, and we should build more nuclear power plants”.

BBC 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Sellafield

THERE will be no new business for Thorp after it finishes its present contracts. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority confirmed this week that there was no “viable market” for oxide fuel reprocessing in Sellafield’s flagship plant beyond 2018. It’s a blow for the 10,000 workforce and their union representatives who have been fighting hard to put up a case for more Thorp business. But yesterday Sellafield management allayed fears that it would mean substantial job losses. An NDA spokesman said: “We have been investigating whether the current strategy for managing our oxide fuels, compared to other credible alternatives, remains the most cost-effective means. The review has concluded that completion of the reprocessing contracts in Thorp remains the most viable and cost effective option. Any remaining fuels will be placed into storage pending disposal in a geological disposal facility.”

Whitehaven News 24th Nov 2011 more >>

WORK should start soon on testing the ground on which a new power station is expected to be built at Sellafield. Energy giant NuGen has been given the green light to carry out detailed investigations which will include a series of boreholes. NuGen wants to confirm that the site is suitable for up to three electricity-producing nuclear reactors. Copeland Council has given formal planning permission for the preliminary work now that consultations with local people, including farm tenants on which the power station will be built, have been completed. The Spanish-led consortium has an option to buy 470 acres of agricultural land outside the existing Sellafield licensed nuclear site.

Whitehaven News 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Uranium Supplies

Due to a decrease in ore grade uranium production will get much more energy intensive; CO2 emissions at low ore grades can increase to over 200g CO2/kWh (renewables: 3 – 60 g kWh). Assuming the low growth scenario of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) and the IAEA data on uranium resources, would make the currently operated uranium mines last until 2055.

Austrian Ecology Institute 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Hinkley

The IPC has today decided to accept the Hinkley Point nuclear power station application, made by EDF Energy, five days earlier than it had to. It has also published the application documentation in full. Make space on your computer – I calculate that it runs to 4,700 megabytes of data.The objection period will only start once EDF Energy issues formal public notices that the application has been accepted.

Bircham Dyson & Bell 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Reuters 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Independent 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Earlier this month, councils in the area said that the promoters of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station could have done more to involve local people in debate over the project. In a joint report submitted to the IPC, Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor and West Somerset District Councils agreed that EDF Energy generally carried out the consultation activities promised before lodging its development consent order last month. However, they said the energy company could have done more to engage with hard-to-reach groups in Bridgwater. They also voiced concern about the quality of some information presented for consultation and a lack of detailed evidence on some topics.

Planning 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset have been released to the public. EDF Energy handed its application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), which deals with large-scale projects, on 31 October. The 30,000-page document has now been accepted by the IPC allowing its release to the public for scrutiny. Further public consultation will take place and the final decision will be made by the energy secretary.

BBC 24th Nov 2011 more >>

This is Somerset 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Wylfa

AN Anglesey farmer who is refusing to sell his land to the developers of the Wylfa B nuclear power station has received a letter from energy regulators Ofgem, which allows for a compulsory survey of his land.

North Wales Chronicle 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

THE company behind the proposed construction of a nuclear power plant on Anglesey has said they do not think a third crossing to the Island is necessary.

North Wales Chronicle 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Cumbria

Plans showing six possible routes of pylons and cabling from a new nuclear facility in Cumbria have been revealed. A new nuclear power station is planned to be built beside Sellafield by 2023. The project will include a route of pylons or a series of underground cables running from Sellafield to Heysham, or through the Lake District National Park.

BBC 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Dounreay

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) confirmed yesterday that the Babcock Dounreay Partnership (BDP) – a joint venture between Babcock, CH2M HILL and URS, with Babcock holding a 50 per cent share – will take ownership of Dounreay Site Restoration Limited. The annual NDA budget for the contract is around £150 million.

Construction News 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear Waste Transport

A French train transporting 150 tonnes of radioactive waste was at a standstill near the German border for a planned halt on Thursday, waiting to resume its journey to a storage site in Germany, the French interior ministry said. The train had left Areva’s nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Normandy on Wednesday after a scuffle between police in riot gear and several hundred protesters who tried to occupy the train tracks near the town of Valognes. “It could take two hours or two days until the train resumes its journey,” a French interior ministry spokesman said. “Whatever the time it takes, the important thing is that public order is guaranteed both on the French and German sides.”

Reuters 24th Nov 2011 more >>

French authorities ordered a train carrying reprocessed nuclear waste to Germany to stop near the border for 24 hours on Thursday to try to avoid more mass protests.

AFP 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Police in northern Germany have used water cannons against demonstrators waiting for the arrival of a shipment of nuclear waste from France. Scuffles broke out between police and protesters after fireworks and paint were thrown at officers. Protesters had tried to block a crossroads at Metzingen, near the shipment’s destination. French authorities have stopped the train in Remilly, short of the border.

BBC 24th Nov 2011 more >>

IB Times 24th Nov 2011 more >>

RWE

RWE, the German power company, has singled out oil and gas concessions in Egypt for sale as part of a €9bn divestment programme that is meant to bolster a balance sheet bruised by Germany’s accelerated nuclear exit.

FT 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Energy Prices

The head of Ofgem was the focus last night of an extraordinarily withering attack from a FTSE 100 energy chief, who accused the regulator of cheap attacks on the industry in a campaign that he blamed for rising power prices. Rupert Soames, who runs the Aggreko mobile electricity generating group, went to war with Alistair Buchanan in a speech to a dinner audience of oil and gas industry professionals in Aberdeen. Mr Soames’s £4.5 billion company is not regulated by Ofgem but he took up the private complaints of Britain’s big six domestic energy suppliers, which believe that Mr Buchanan has been unbalanced in his oversight of the industry. Mr Soames, a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, said that he could not understand why ministers were surprised that investors appeared unwilling to put up the £200 billion needed to transform the domestic energy market.

Times 25th Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

During court proceedings concerning a radioactive golf course, Tokyo Electric Power Co. stunned lawyers by saying the utility was not responsible for decontamination because it no longer “owned” the radioactive substances.

Asahi 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Netherlands

Greenpeace has hung signs in 64 Dutch towns and cities warning of the dangers of underground nuclear waste storage. Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen is planning an underground repository for the radioactive waste from a new nuclear power plant, the environmental group claims. Greenpeace is calling on the minister to reveal the possible location of such a dump. “If Mr Verhagen so much wants a second nuclear power plant, he should have the courage to say where the waste will be buried,” the group says.

Radio Netherlands 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Lithuania

Lithuania on Thursday slammed a funding plan from Brussels to help it decommission a Soviet-era nuclear reactor which was shut down under the terms of its European Union entry four years earlier. “The current proposal is not acceptable for us, as it does not comply with the commitments enshrined in the accession treaty of Lithuania,” Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said in a statement. Earlier Thursday the European Commission — the EU’s executive body — offered Lithuania 210 million euros in decommissioning funds from 2014 until 2017.

EU Business 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Iran

An influential Iran parliamentarian has claimed that the country has arrested 12 CIA agents. Parviz Sorouri, who sits on the powerful committee of foreign policy and national security, said agents had been operating with Israel’s Mossad as well as other regional agencies, and targeted the country’s military and its nuclear programme.

Daily Mail 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Telegraph 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Guardian 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Switzerland

Shutting down Switzerland’s five nuclear power stations will cost about 20.7 billion Swiss francs (16.8 billion euros, $22.5 billion) and take about 20 years, Swiss authorities said on Thursday. A study published by the Federal Office of Energy said that the cost had risen by 10.0 percent compared with a 2006 estimate. The most expensive part of the process will be the long-term management of radioactive waste, it said. The Swiss parliament approved a phased exit from nuclear energy at the end of September, six months after the Fukushima plant catastrophe in Japan. Strong public opposition to nuclear led to a recommendation that SWitzerland’s five reactors not be replaced when they come to the end of their operation in 2034.

EU Business 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Spain

Spain’s nuclear lobby is attempting to whet the appetite of the country’s new conservative government for new nuclear power. The Strategic Nuclear Research and Development Committee (CEIDEN) has published a report that outlines a new nuclear programme as a means of economic regeneration. While the outgoing socialist government was explicitly opposed to new nuclear power, the newly elected People’s Party has not ruled it out.

Utility Week 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Missile Shield

Russia has threatened to deploy missiles to target the US missile shield in Europe if Washington fails to assuage Moscow’s concerns about its plans. The harsh warning reflects deep cracks in US-Russian ties despite Barack Obama’s efforts to “reset” relations with the Kremlin.

Guardian 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Test Veterans

A group of nuclear test veterans and their relatives were at Holyrood to continue their campaign for recognition and compensation from the UK Government.

STV 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Climate

Some leaders of the rich and big-emitting countries have lost interest and political momentum and want to consign the talks, like those on world trade, to a never-ending, never-achieving, low-grade, low-profile discussion to take place in backrooms without anyone listening or caring much. They may profess concern, but there is little evidence they want to act. But something else has changed since 2009, too. The 175 or more developing countries are now talking more as one, and the great illusion trick of the rich world is wearing thin. What has changed, they ask? The science of climate change is firmer than it ever was. A 2C-4C temperature rise still means that Africa fries and the polar bears die out, that Bangladesh and Egypt drown, the droughts in Latin America and Ethiopia continue to worsen, and the poorest communities and small-island states, who have the least resources to adapt, will be hurt the hardest.

Guardian 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Speaking days ahead of next week’s Durban climate change conference, Huhne said the UK was showing “leadership” in insisting on new treaty, rather than the “bottom-up” approach favoured by some, under which individual countries and industries would set their own greenhouse gas targets.

Guardian 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Renewables

New analysis by strategic energy consultants Element Energy, commissioned by Friends of the Earth and the Cut Don’t Kill campaign has revealed that the Government’s planned cut to the Solar PV Feed-in Tariff will destroy up to 29,000 jobs and cause the Treasury to lose up to £230 million a year in tax income. The research highlights the remarkable fact that this cut will cause the Government to lose sizeable amounts of money through reduced income taxes and National Insurance. Campaigners have described the cut as “utterly counterproductive”.

FoE Press Release 23rd November 2011 more >>

Even with the new feed-in-tariff rates of 21p coming into force, a good return on your solar PV system can still be made. We are seeing that new customers to Ecosource Solutions are still set to achieve an ROI on their solar panels of around 7–10% which is fantastic! However, the primary goal for any renewable energy project (solar photovoltaic, wind, hydro, etc) should be to generate as much electricity as possible, and, secondary to this, should be a real drive to utilise as much of the freely generated electricity as possible. Traditionally, over the course of a year approximately 25%–35% of the generated electricity is consumed within the property with the majority of the generated electricity being exported automatically when generation is higher than usage.

Low Carbon Economy 24th Nov 2011 more >>

The government is considering a ‘capacity trigger’ system to reduce the amount of subsidy solar photovoltaic systems are given, and spread the subsidy over more installations. It’s one idea that will be proposed in consultation documents which DECC is expected to publish before the end of the year, and it is known to have the support of both the secretary of state, Chris Huhne, and energy minister Greg Barker.

Link2 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Green Deal

£200m of new and additional Government funding has today been announced to provide a special time-limited ‘introductory’ offer to boost the early take up of the Government’s Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.

DECC 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Guardian 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Gov’t expected to confirm start of the Renewable Heat Incentive as well as £200m additional funding for Green Deal.

Business Green 24th Nov 2011 more >>

The microgeneration industry has expressed its “disappointment” at the government’s consultation on its proposed Green Deal scheme, arguing it fails to provide sufficient detail how the energy efficiency scheme could be used to accelerate the roll out of small scale renewable energy technologies.

Business Green 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Rising gas prices are set to push up costs for consumers, but energy saving policies will help to save £94 on household bills by 2020, Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne claimed yesterday.

Independent 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 25 November 2011

24 November 2011

Dounreay

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority today named Babcock Dounreay Partnership as its preferred bidder to acquire Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. Babcock Dounreay Partnership is a consortium of Babcock International Group, CH2M HILL and URS. Subject to legal, contractual and regulatory clearance, it will formally acquire the site licence company on April 2, 2012, from its existing parent body, UKAEA Ltd, part of Babcock International Group.

DSRL 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

City AM 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Share Cast 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

BBC 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Almost half the stock of nuclear fuel left over at Dounreay from its research role in the last century is to begin leaving the site next summer. Forty-four tonnes of breeder material from the Dounreay Fast Reactor will be moved by rail from Caithness to Cumbria over a 4-5 year period. The material is to be reprocessed at the Sellafield nuclear site to recover fuel that could be used to generate electricity in the future.

DSRL 21st Nov 2011 more >>

THE quango in charge of cleaning up the UK’s civil reactor sites has given the green light for the transfer of spent fuel from Dounreay to Sellafield in Cumbria. Anti-nuclear organisations are against the proposed rail haulage of the highly radioactive material, due to get under way next summer. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority okayed the plans to move loads from the former UKAEA reactor sites at Dounreay and Harwell for reprocessing at Sellafield.

John O Groat Journal 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Wylfa

The company behind plans for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey has been accused of attempting to bully a farmer who is refusing to sell it his land. Horizon Nuclear Power rejects claims of bullying and says it needs to carry out an ecological survey in the area. Farmer Richard Jones does not want the company’s staff on his land. Now Horizon is threatening to use special access powers.

BBC 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Cumbria

MASSIVE pylons could soon be crisscrossing the south Cumbrian countryside. The project is part of a £2bn package which could see new nuclear power stations built at Sellafield and Heysham in Lancashire. A new connection linking the Sellafield site to the electricity supply network is needed before a new nuclear power station in Sellafield can begin to supply electricity. The proposed routes show a rough guide to which areas could be affected by the connection.

NW Evening Mail 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Stress Tests

The European Commission is tomorrow expected to publish a progress report on nuclear power station stress tests. The latest publicly available data reveals that the tests have entirely ignored evacuation plans for towns and cities near nuclear plants. Most have not looked at multiple reactor failure, which is what happened at Fukushima, or the threat from crashes by large aircraft.

Greenpeace International 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

How safe are Europe’s nuclear power plants? The European Commission is due to present an authoritative answer this Thursday. It will be based on EU-wide safety checks which were begun in June, after the nuclear crisis in Japan. The European Union has 143 reactors. But on the eve of the Commission publishing its findings, the Greens in the European Parliament have been saying that not nearly enough factors may have been taken into account, nor enough detail and clarity.

Euronew 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Decommissioning

Two north west firms have been appointed to a £304m five-year nuclear decommissioning framework to demolish 10 outdated first-generation power stations. They were chosen by Magnox, which operates the sites on behalf of owner NDC. It has selected Warrington-based nuclear specialist Nuvia, and an alliance of firms including Manchester demolition specialist KDC for the project, which involves removing plant, demolishing buildings and bulk asbestos removal at the sites.

Manchester Evening News 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Merseyside plant and tool hire giant Speedy Hire has secured a £2m contract to supply equipment for the decommissioning of nuclear power stations. Newton-le-Willows-based Speedy has signed a three-year deal with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to supply lifting consumables to the nuclear processing sites at Sellafield, Magnox, Dounreay and the remainder of its estate.

Liverpool Daily Post 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear R&D

It comes as something of a shock to see the House of Lords’ science and technology committee warning of ‘complacency’ over nuclear R&D in the UK. ‘It’s as though we’re setting off on a long journey without a map, without a driver, and without anyone to fix the car if things go wrong,’ said committee chairman Lord Krebs.

Engineer 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Many nuclear experts are nearing retirement age and the Government is not doing enough to replace them, a Parliamentary report warned yesterday. The Lords Science Committee accused the coalition of being too “complacent” and urged it to come up with a long-term plan to ensure the UK has a new generation of experts.

Western Daily Press 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Proliferation

A BUSINESSMAN from Guildford who exported machine parts to Iran that could have been used in the country’s nuclear programme was facing jail last week. Dr Ramin Pouladian-Kari, 45, of Little Warren, Guildford, sold 361 electrical switchgears to the regime in breach of strict regulations requiring an export licence.

Get Surrey 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Dalgety Bay

A SCOTS beach riddled with radioactive debris could become a permanent no-go zone, environment chiefs warned yesterday. They said they would move to declare Dalgety Bay in Fife Britain’s first site of contaminated radioactive land if the Ministry of Defence do not remove all traces of contamination by March. The number of finds of the particles – the legacy of dumped radium-coated instrument panels from World War II aircraft – is escalating. And the radioactivity of just one particle is equivalent to that of 5000 chest X-rays, raising serious health concerns for people in the area.

Daily Record 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

France

Hundreds of French anti-nuclear protesters clashed with police in Normandy on Wednesday when a train convoy was preparing to transport radioactive waste to Germany. Five activists were arrested.

France24 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

BBC 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Sky News 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Reuters 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Euronews 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Russia

On 18 November, following a meeting of the Russian-France commission on issues of bilateral cooperation at the prime ministerial level, the two nations signed a declaration of cooperation in the field of nuclear power. Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed on behalf of Russia, while inking the document for France was French Prime Minister Francois Fillon. Not surprisingly, details of the agreement were not announced, but a Russian source familiar with the negotiations stated that a high priority of Moscow was its interest in expanding the involvement of French companies in building the 2,300 megawatt Kaliningrad Nuclear Power Plant, also known as the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant, particularly in raising investment and utilizing French companies’ technologically advanced energy equipment.

Oil Price 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

Polls show the public turning against nuclear energy after Japan’s Fukushima disaster. But low coverage of protests and powerful business and political interests have complicated efforts to promote change.

Christian Science Monitor 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

A magnitude-5.9 earthquake hit Japan early Thursday on the east coast of Honshu, a region close to the site of the nuclear power plant that was hit by a powerful tsunami earlier this year. No injuries or damage has yet to be reported.

IB Times 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Spain

The environment for Spanish nuclear power appears to be changing with the election of a People’s Party government and publication of a study on the country’s new-build capabilities.

World Nuclear News 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Renewables

Tony Juniper, has put together an in-depth response to thye BBC on Why Panorama got it wrong on renewable. BBC’s Panorama suggested that green energy is pushing your bills up. They were wrong. Chair of Action4 Renewables Tony Juniper explains why.

Action 4 Renewables 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Families will pay £280 a year in ‘green taxes’ by 2020 to fund the shift to wind, solar and nuclear power, ministers admitted yesterday. The huge cost faced by ordinary people will pay for the Government’s pledge to cut carbon emissions and be ‘the greenest ever’. Households currently pay £89 a year on their bills for the green energy drive.

This is Money 24th Nov 2011 more >>

BBC 24th Nov 2011 more >>

The Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) study, funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, has found that development of an interconnected transmission network within the decade would help drive further growth in the renewables sector, create jobs, generate revenues and ensure future sustainable energy supplies by better connecting and exporting electricity.

Scottish Government 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

SCOTLAND and Ireland’s power grids could be linked by a vast network of undersea cables stretching from the Western Isles to the north tip of Ulster, as part of plans to boost the reach of new wind, wave and tidal farms, government ministers said yesterday.

Scotsman 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Solar panels and wind turbines are a “volatile” source of power with fluctuations in the electricity supply risking “grid instabilities” and triggering wide-scale blackouts. Ageing infrastructure and increasingly cross-border electricity networks have heightened the likelihood of a devastating collapse of power supplies lasting months and covering several continents, according to the joint report by Allianz and the Chief Risk Officer Forum.

Telegraph 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Caroline Flint challenges Chris Huhne to defend government’s position at opposition day debate. Around 500 people today protested and lobbied their MPs in Parliament to vote against plans to slash feed-in tariffs for solar power with effect from next month.

Business Green 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Video Footage.

Business Green 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Green Deal

Greg Barker announces on Twitter details of the energy efficiency scheme will be accompanied by analysis of future energy costs. The long-awaited consultation on the government’s Green Deal scheme is set to be published later today, including details of how the coalition intends to incentivise uptake of energy efficiency measures. Climate change minister Greg Barker took to social media site Twitter this morning to make the announcement on the government’s flagship emissions-cutting policy, which was a major component of the Energy Act granted Royal Assent last month.

Business Green 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Households will be offered a £150 cash incentive to insulate their homes from next year, under plans unveiled by the government on Wednesday. Within two years, households taking up the offer should be saving money on their energy bills, as new government policies come into force, Chris Huhne pledged. By 2020, according to government estimates, the average household should pay £94 a year less for energy than they would without the policies. The energy and climate change secretary was seeking to refute claims that the government’s green policies – such as renewable energy subsidies and charges on carbon for businesses – were driving up bills. He said the real cause was soaring international gas prices, and that green policies that improved efficiency and made the UK less reliant on gas would pay off in the short as well as the long term. Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: “It’s difficult to see how hard-pressed homeowners will have confidence in how the ‘green deal’ might work for them if the suggested savings are initially based on averages rather than on their personal energy use. “The ‘golden rule’ was supposed to reassure people that green deal repayments would not exceed the savings made on energy bills. But if this is based on average figures then it could be meaningless for many.

Guardian 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

How a leaky terraced house cut its bills by 69%.

Guardian 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Chris Huhne’s drive for a clean, green energy system and warm, efficient homes has risks, but the alternative leads to economic and environmental chaos. Take a look at the International Energy Agency’s most recent report: it predicts only 20% of all gas will come from fracking by 2035. Handy, but it’s no gamechanger. The cost of all support for renewable energy passed on the energy customers is currently £20 and (1.5%) will be £54 (4%) in 2020. Not hundreds, not thousands, but £54. The sum of all the fuel poverty and environmental measures in 2020 will be £280, Decc predicts, but the savings will be £373. About £53 of that saving is ascribed to the Green deal, the government’s scheme to increase the energy efficiency of the nation’s ageing and leaky homes, for which full details were released today. It is ambitious and absolutely necessary, and solves the problem of people not having the cash available to invest in efficiency measures. It does this by creating loans for which the repayments are smaller than the savings the measures deliver on energy bills. But the crux is take-up. Scheme after scheme has shown before that often you literally can’t give insulation away. Decc reckons that is because people are worried about letting cowboy builders into their homes and will therefore accredit Green deal providers.

Guardian 24th Nov 2011 more >>

The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (Decc) consultation – expected on Wednesday – must answer some major concerns about the practicality of the scheme. Without a reality check, the scheme will get nowhere near the 14m homes ministers want to reach by 2020. In order for the green deal to be a success, it is critical that the government addresses the three biggest barriers for consumers – the cost, the hassle and the lack of trust in the energy sector.

Guardian 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Gas

Weir Group has increased its bet on the American fracking industry with the £430 million acquisition of a shale gas services group. The Scottish engineering company has been the surprise industrial package of the past two years, soaring into the FTSE 100 on the back of its expertise in the oil, gas and mining industries. Weir, whose kit gives explorers and producers the ability to pump water and chemicals into rocks, known as fracking, to unlock hydrocarbons, has acquired the Houston-based Seaboard Holdings. The deal takes its shale gas expertise to the wellhead, where Seaboard provides kits for several explorers.

Times 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Missile Shield

DMITRY Medvedev, the Russian president, embraced the fiery rhetoric of the Cold War yesterday as he threatened to target and if necessary destroy America’s European missile defence shield once it is built. In what may be the most serious blow to US-Russia relations since President Barack Obama came to power, Mr Medvedev raised the prospect of Russia launching missile attacks on European Union member states such as Poland, Romania and Spain as well as Turkey, a NATO member.

Irish Independent 24th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 24 November 2011

23 November 2011

Nuclear Research

British hopes of seeing a raft of shiny new nuclear power stations coming online by 2025 have suffered another blow after peers denounced the government’s plans as ‘simply lacking credibility’. The coalition has become ‘complacent’, with an ‘absence of leadership and strategic thinking’ over the programme, the House of Lords science and technology select committee has found. In a forthright report, it said low spending on research and development into the technology risks putting Britain’s future nuclear aspirations in jeopardy.

This is Money 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Chemical Engineer 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

World Nuclear News 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

New Civil Engineer 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

The Register 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

The noble Lords of the Upper House has delivered a stinging criticism of successive governments’ failure to invest in research and development of “vital” nuclear energy and has concluded that there is no “credible plan” to effectively use nuclear energy to meet the 2050 climate targets. This is the verdict of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee. In essence, the committee says that the government is abdicating responsibility to ensure nuclear energy is a viable option for the future. According to government policy nuclear energy would deliver 16 Gigawatts of power by 2025 and increase that up to 40% by 2050. But the committee says there is no “roadmap” or “plan” to get there.

eGov monitor 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

The government’s reliance on nuclear power to meet up to half of UK power demand by 2050 could come unstuck because of a lack of expertise in the industry, a select committee has warned.

Planning 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Sizewell

CONSERVATION projects on the Suffolk coast are set to benefit from a new fund set up to mitigate the impact of new development at the Sizewell nuclear power site.

East Anglia Daily Times 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Dounreay

Councils would be advised in advance about the movement of nuclear fuel from Dounreay by rail, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has said. The NDA has sought approval from two independent regulatory bodies for its plan to transport breeder material to Sellafield for reprocessing. Local authorities would receive some information to pass on to communities. However, the NDA said the exact timings of the trains and security measures would remain confidential. Dounreay’s other materials containing plutonium are the subject of an NDA assessment of how best to manage it. One of the options is to transport it to Sellafield. The NDA is expected to publish a paper on the assessment early next year.

BBC 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear fuel from a decommissioned site is to be transported by train through Cumbria from Scotland, under plans from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The NDA wants to use special freight trains to carry tonnes of nuclear fuel from Dounreay in Caithness to Sellafield in Cumbria. The material will be reprocessed and stored at Sellafield, which is better placed to deal with the material. It will take between four and five years to move the material, which comes from the site’s two breeder nuclear reactors. Forty-four tonnes will be moved in around 40 journeys between Scotland and Cumbria.

Carlisle News and Star 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Press & Journal 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

A new owner of the company leading the demolition and clean-up of the Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness is expected to be announced later. Caithness Solutions and Babcock Dounreay Partnership have been bidding to take over Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) from the UKAEA. Caithness Solutions comprises of Cheshire-registered engineering firm Amec and Salt Lake City-based nuclear services company EnergySolutions. Babcock Dounreay Partnership involves London headquartered Babcock, US-based CH2M Hill and URS, which has its headquarters in San Francisco.

BBC 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Torness

EDF Energy stopped its 640-megawatt (MW) Torness 1 nuclear reactor on Tuesday due to a grid connection issue.

Reuters 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Staff and contractors at Torness Nuclear Power Station at Dunbar have taken safety to a new level, achieving more than 1,000 days without an injury at work.

East Lothian News 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Dalgety Bay

THE Ministry of Defence has been given three months to devise a “credible, long-term” plan to tackle radioactive pollution on Dalgety Bay, after the most dangerous particle yet was found on the beach. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has warned it will make the Fife beauty spot the first designated Radioactive Contaminated Land area in Scotland if a solution is not found by the end of February. At that stage, legal action would begin to force the MoD to take action. The move follows a meeting of the Dalgety Bay Forum yesterday, involving representatives of Sepa, the Scottish Government and the MoD, where it was revealed that three more radioactive clusters were found at the weekend. One of those measured 76 megabecquerels (MBq), the highest reading ever found on the stretch of Fife coastline. The previous highest was 13MBq. The other two found at the weekend measured 3.6MBq and 4.5MBq.

Scotsman 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Herald 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Radhealth

Monbiot: Chris Busby’s theories on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and a ‘leukaemia cluster’ in north Wales are baseless scaremongering – even the anti-nuclear lobby must oppose him

Guardian 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Areva

Areva wants to sell its 63 percent stake in Canadian gold mining company La Mancha and close U.S. nuclear fuel plants in Virginia and Tennessee as part of a plan to shore up its finances, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information. The plan, to be presented next month, includes 1,000 to 1,200 job cuts in France through attrition and voluntary departures, and plant closures in Germany and Belgium, AFP said. The company aims to save 500 million euros ($677 million) in 2013, and 750 million euros annually from 2015, the news agency said. Areva yesterday denied AFP’s report about job cuts in France.

Bloomberg 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

France

Anti-nuclear activists are protesting as a train carrying highly radioactive waste prepares to cross France en route to a German storage facility. Demonstrators fear the transport is a major accident waiting to happen.

Euro News 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

Fukushima nuclear crisis update 18th to 21st November.

Greenpeace International 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

As our team in Japan continues to monitor the radioactive contamination of land and sea that resulted from the destruction of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, we’re still finding very disturbing evidence. The results of another round of analysis of seafood caught in Japanese waters are in and show us once again that the Japanese government and retailers are still not doing enough to protect people from the contamination.

Greenpeace International 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

8 percent of Japan’s land area, or more than 30,000 square kilometers, has been contaminated with radioactive cesium from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after it was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, according to the science ministry.

Pan Orient News 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

ABC 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Iran

Iran has dismissed new Western sanctions imposed against it because of growing concerns about its nuclear programme. A senior Iranian official said the sanctions would unite the Iranian people, would have no impact and would be “in vain”.

BBC 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Israel

Syria has claimed Israel represents a “grave and serious threat” at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The accusation, about Israel’s nuclear capabilities, was made by Syrian delegate Bassam al-Sabbagh. But according to another delegate present, comments made by other Arab nations were less hostile towards Israel than on previous occasions.

Jewish Chronicle 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

UAE

Atkins has been appointed to act as lender’s technical adviser for the United Arab Emirates’ civil nuclear energy programme. Atkins will be responsible for providing an independent technical assessment of the programme which will deliver four new reactors under the leadership of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC). Atkins’ advice will inform the investment decision of the private lenders – a combination of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) and commercial banks.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

India

The Indian government wants the country’s economic growth to continue, but needs power to fuel it. Coastal areas in states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra may be transformed by the building of nuclear plants. But some local people are not happy.

BBC 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Shale Gas

The UK will fail to meet its climate change targets if industry and politicians back controversial new plans to go ahead with widespread drilling for shale gas, according to a report published on Wednesday. About 2tr cubic feet of natural gas trapped in dense shale rocks is estimated to lie beneath Lancashire according to Cuadrilla Resources, the main shale gas company operating in the UK. Further exploration in Wales, Scotland and other parts of England could add substantially to this total. But burning it for fuel results in large-scale carbon dioxide emissions, and scientists from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, in a report commissioned by the Cooperative Group, warned that exploiting even a minor proportion of this gas would generate so much carbon dioxide that the government’s greenhouse gas emissions targets would be rendered unreachable. Paul Monaghan, head of social goals at the Cooperative, said: “It is shocking how little scrutiny and thoughtful consideration has been demonstrated by the UK government and its environmental agencies when it comes to shale gas. Not least because, evidence is now emerging which indicates that gas derived from shale may have a significantly greater carbon footprint than previously thought, seriously questioning whether it can play any role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The calls from ‘big gas’ for the abandonment of renewables targets must be rebuffed, and here is the science to do just that.”

Guardian 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Independent 23rd Nov 2011 more >>

Renewables

Solar subsidy cuts damage UK’s attractiveness to clean energy investors. Ernst & Young quarterly survey sees UK fall to sixth among 40 countries analysed, as emerging economies start to rise

Business Green 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Global investment in renewable energy infrastructure will double over the next 10 years, soaring to $395bn a year by 2020, according to a major new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Business Green 16th Nov 2011 more >>

The coalition will seek to head off one of the biggest rebellions on policy yet on Wednesday when MPs debate drastic cuts to the subsidies that have sparked a 39,000-job boom in solar power. More than 20 Liberal Democrat MPs are likely to vote against the plans, in a revolt that observers say is likely to outdo the vote on tuition fees, when 21 of the party’s number broke ranks. The rebellion extends to ministerial level, with Norman Baker, the transport minister, writing to the climate secretary and fellow Lib Dem Chris Huhne to protest about the cuts, under which incentives to install solar panels would be halved, with potentially disastrous results for the fledgling industry. Baker said: “I have reservations about the speed and level of the proposed changes for community size projects [usually for panels to be installed on social housing] and I am therefore asking the secretary of state to examine urgently the case for some flexibility to mitigate any adverse effects of the changes.”

Guardian 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Fuel Poverty

Fuel Poverty Action Group campaigns outside EDF Energy headquarters to highlight awareness of the 25,700 excess winter deaths in the UK in 2010-11

Guardian 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Take Action to End Fuel Poverty.

Greenpeace 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 23 November 2011

22 November 2011

Nuclear Security

The economic crisis has triggered a significant increase in the number of nuclear workers vulnerable to bribes, the government’s nuclear security watchdog has warned. Roger Brunt, who was director of civil nuclear security with the Office for Nuclear Regulation, has revealed that growing numbers of workers vetted for national security reasons have run into financial difficulties, and had their clearances reviewed. In a report to ministers covering 2009-11, released online today, Brunt also expressed concern about the vetting of foreign workers. He disclosed a problem with the security of nuclear information, and said that the proportion of nuclear police who were armed had risen.

Rob Edwards 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear Research

The Government is too complacent about the UK’s nuclear research and development (R&D) capabilities, and associated expertise, which will be lost unless there is a fundamental change in the Government’s approach. This is just one of the conclusions of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, which publishes its report today.

House of Lords 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

As a matter of urgency, the committee urges the development of a research and development strategy looking beyond 2025, and the establishment of a board drawn from academia, industry and government agencies to implement that strategy. Part of the strategy should be to re-activate membership of the Generation Four International Forum, the body that is co-ordinating research on the next generation of reactors intended to be safer and more efficient than current designs.

BBC 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear Safety

The nuclear accident at the Fukushima power plant in Japan has prompted the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), the industry’s self-regulating body, to broaden its remit from accident prevention to regulating and verifying how well plants are prepared to cope with a serious nuclear accident and mitigate its consequences. But WANO seems likely to stop short of publicly identifying plants that have failed to address safety and other issues — sticking instead with its two-decades-old policy that any information shared by its members should remain confidential.

Nature 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Scotland

One of the candidates in the Scottish Labour leadership race is urging the party to come out in favour of the construction of new nuclear power stations north of the Border. Tom Harris, the MP for Glasgow South, said that the party should put aside its equivocation on the issue and recognise that nuclear generation was the only way of ensuring that any future energy gap was filled. He told a meeting of Labour students that increased nuclear power was also the best way of meeting targets for cutting carbon emissions. He said: “We are in love with renewables and while renewables have an important place in the energy mix, they cannot meet all our energy requirements.

Times 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Hinkley

WEST Somerset, Sedgemoor and Somerset County Council have said they are concerned about a lack of ‘detailed information’ surrounding transport proposals for EDF Energy’s planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. In a report submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) – which deals with large projects – the three councils also expressed concern over ‘the quality of the information that was consulted upon’ and a lack of ‘detailed evidence’ on ‘some topics’, a spokesperson for Somerset County Council said. But overall the councils were happy with the way in which EDF carried out its consultation activities.

This is the West Country 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Sellafield

Michael Harrison from the Environment Agency telephoned Radiation Free Lakeland this morning to confirm that there have been discussions about a desalination plant to enable a secure supply of freshwater for Sellafield wastes and proposed new build.

Radiation Free Lakeland 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Dounreay

The proposal, which will remove nearly half of the fuel left at Dounreay from the site, has been approved by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

STV 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Trains are to start moving tonnes of nuclear fuel from Dounreay in Caithness to Sellafield in Cumbria from next summer.

BBC 21st Nov 2011 more >>

RADIOACTIVE fuel from a decommissioned nuclear site is to be removed from Scotland by train, under plans from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The NDA want to use special freight trains to carry tonnes of nuclear fuel from Dounreay in Caithness to Sellafield in Cumbria. The material will be reprocessed and stored at Sellafield, which is better placed to deal with the material. It will take between four and five years to move the material, which comes from the site’s two breeder nuclear reactors. Forty-four tonnes will be moved in about 40 journeys between Scotland and Cumbria. The NDA will now need regulators to approve the plans before they start moving the nuclear fuel.

Scotsman 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Nuclear fuel from a decommissioned nuclear site is to be removed from Scotland by train, under plans from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The NDA want to use special freight trains to carry tonnes of nuclear fuel from Dounreay in Caithness to Sellafield in Cumbria.

Rutherglen Reformer 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Radwaste

Cumbrians are to be asked their views on whether west Cumbria should take part in the search to find a suitable site for a deep underground disposal facility. The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership has produced a consultation document setting out its initial opinions on a range of issues involved in deciding whether the area should participate in the Government’s search for a suitable location to engineer a repository. They include geology, safety, what would go into a repository, what impacts a repository might have on the area and what additional community benefits there might be.

Cumberland News 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Radhealth

Dr. Ian Fairlie joins Dr. Caldicott on the program in this interview recorded in July, a few months after the Fukushima accident. Dr. Fairlie is a radiobiologist from Great Britain. He works as an independent consultant in the field of radioactivity in the environment and advises environmental organizations, the European Parliament as well as local and national authorities in several countries. Dr. Fairlie studied chemistry at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and radiobiology at Barts Medical College in London. He wrote his doctorate on the effects of radioactive contamination in the vicinity of Sellafield and La Hague.

If you Love this Planet 21st Oct 2011 more >>

The Green party’s former science and technology spokesman is promoting anti-radiation pills to people in Japan affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, that leading scientists have condemned as “useless”.

Guardian 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Energy Security

Centrica has expanded its footprint in the North Sea after the energy group bought stakes in oil and gas fields from Norway’s Statoil in a £1bn deal. The British Gas owner has also struck a long-term supply deal with the Norwegian national oil and gas company worth £13bn that will meet the needs of 3.5m homes a year

Guardian 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Independent 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

Dismissed as a “nobody” by Japan’s nuclear industry, seismologist Katsuhiko Ishibashi spent two decades watching his predictions of disaster come true: First in the 1995 Kobe earthquake and then at Fukushima. He says the government still doesn’t get it. The 67-year-old scientist recalled in an interview how his boss marched him to the Construction Ministry to apologize for writing a 1994 book suggesting Japan’s building codes put its cities at risk. Five months later, thousands were killed when a quake devastated Kobe city. The book, “A Seismologist Warns,” became a bestseller.

Bloomberg 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Iran

The British government is cutting its financial ties with Iranian banks over fears about the country’s nuclear programme. “We are doing this because of international evidence that Iran’s banks are involved in the development of Iran’s weaponised military nuclear weapon programme. We are doing this to improve the security not just of the whole world but of the national security of the UK”, George Osborne said on Monday.

Huffington Post 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Belfast Telegraph 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Scotsman 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Independent 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

Telegraph 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Channel4 News 21st Nov 2011 more >>

The US and Britain are leading a new wave of international sanctions targeting Iran’s banks and oil industry following the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report earlier this month that said Tehran worked for many years to develop nuclear weapons and may still be doing so.

Guardian 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Israel and its Arab neighbours sat in the same room Monday for rare discussions on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East, although the meeting was marred by the absence of boycotting Iran.

Reuters 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Germany

After recent events in Japan, Germany has elected to restructure its energy system, as Professor Dr Jörg Hacker, of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, highlights.

Public Service 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Renewables

Prince Philip has labelled wind farms “useless” claiming they are completely reliant on subsidies. Is this true? Polly Curtis, with your help, finds out. Windfarms produce electricity but currently at a higher cost to fossil fuels. However, over the longterm today’s onshore windfarms will prove cheaper than coal and nuclear and those built from 2017, are predicted to be cheaper than gas as well.

Guardian 21st Nov 2011 more >>

“WE were going to get the whole village covered in them,” says Ettie Spencer, indicating the solar panels fixed to her cottage and sweeping her hand across an imaginary roofscape filled with more of the same. If the plan hadn’t been stopped in its tracks, the first dozen would have turned into a lot more.” The 60-year-old is standing in a lane behind her home in the East Lothian conservation village of Stenton. As well as the 10 panels on her own roof, there are 16 more on her neighbour’s house and another 18 on the village hall.

Herald 22nd Nov 2011 more >>

SUPPORTERS of Scotland’s burgeoning solar power industry, estimated to be worth £50 million to the Scottish economy, have warned that the UK Government’s threat to slash consumer subsidies for solar projects by 50% threatens “thousands of jobs” in the emerging sector. Scotland has 140 companies listed as supplying solar power equipment. Industry figures are warning of mass lay-offs if the planned cut drives down demand and companies go out of business. Daniel Borisewitz of industry group Scottish Renewables told the Sunday Herald that the move would have “a real impact on the feasibility and economic viability of businesses supplying and installing while also damaging consumer and investor confidence in renewable energy incentive schemes.”

Sunday Herald 20th Nov 2011 more >>

Solar21 has succeeded in building a fund of more than €100m from Irish investors. The fund, which invests in solar photovoltaic (PV) farms across Europe, expects to morph to €500m in the next 18 months, as investors are increasingly looking to solar energy as a viable investment route in the midst of volatile equity markets. Currently, the majority of Solar 21’s funds are invested in photovoltaic solar farms to provide renewable energy to the German and Italian national grids, which are backed by 20-year feed-in-tariff agreements, guaranteed by the EU and the respective governments.

Silicon Republic 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 22 November 2011

21 November 2011

Radwaste

People in West Cumbria are being asked for their views on whether the area should be used to bury nuclear waste. The government needs a permanent home for much of the radioactive waste currently stored at Sellafield. Several local authorities in the county have already expressed an interest in hosting an underground repository. The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, which includes many Cumbrian councils, begins the four-month consultation on Monday.

BBC 20th Nov 2011 more >>

Sellafield

A brief reference to raised levels of radioactivity in some Seascale road drains in the recently published Radioactivity in Food and the Environmernt Report for 2010 (RIFE 16) will rightly be ruffling feathers at Sellafield and with the Regulators. For some road drains located on the main approach road to the village centre (Drigg Road) have shown a significant rise in levels of Caesium-137 (Cs-137) and Americium 241 (Am-241) in 2010 compared to previous years.

CORE 20th Nov 2011 more >>

Wylfa

Ofgem has received an application from Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa for consent to exercise their exploratory rights under the Electricity Act 1989 and SLC 15. We are inviting interested parties to provide us with their views on this request for consent.

Ofgem 16th Nov 2011 more >>

Areva

France’s nuclear giant Areva will cut 1,300 jobs in Germany and close down two of its sites after Berlin’s decision to abandon nuclear energy, news weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday. The firm will slash its workforce by around 20 percent at its main site in Erlangen in central Germany, as well as making cuts at other sites across the country, Spiegel said, without citing its sources. The extent of the job cuts would be nearly twice as high as the 800 redundancies cited in the French press. The company is expected to announce the move on December 13 in Paris.

France24 20th Nov 2011 more >>

Japan

They have been deserted for eight months, and could stay that way for years, their former inhabitants now scattered around north-east Japan. But the towns of Okuma and Futaba, located in the shadow of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, have shown that civic life must go on, even in the wake of a major nuclear accident. In one of the more surreal episodes of world democracy, tens of thousands were eligible to vote on Sunday for regional assemblies and mayors in towns that have all but ceased to exist.

Guardian 20th Nov 2011 more >>

France

France’s opposition Green and Socialist parties sealed an electoral alliance over the weekend, saying they would reduce the country’s longstanding reliance on nuclear energy if they have an opportunity to form a coalition government after the spring 2012 presidential election.

Wall St Journal 20th Nov 2011 more >>

Uranium

The future of nuclear power is so bright that the industry’s richest takeover offer may still not be enough to let Rio Tinto Group win a bidding contest for Hathor Exploration Ltd. Hathor, which owns a Canadian uranium deposit, climbed to C$5.06 last week after the world’s third-largest mining company raised its deal price to C$4.70 a share. While the 65 percent premium that Rio agreed to pay topped Cameco Corp.’s hostile bid, arbitragers that pushed Hathor to an all-time high are now betting that Cameco will increase its offer for a second time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Renewables

You have to hand it to the Duke of Edinburgh. At 90, he is still as incisive as ever. Once again, the Royal Family has articulated what ordinary people, without the ear of the media, have long felt. His son might have called the wind farms that are besmirching our mountains and waving their giant arms inanely out at sea “a monstrous carbuncle”. Prince Philip chose “disgrace”. So they are. The politicians who foisted them upon us should be put in the stocks.

Telegraph 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Britain’s first bank-financed biomass plant for 12 years is set to get the go-ahead after a three-year struggle to raise the cash. David Williams, chief executive of Eco2, the company behind the plant, which burns straw to make electricity, told The Times that the tortuous process underlined how scarce credit was for biomass developers. Royal Bank of Scotland, UniCredit, Siemens Financial Services and NIBC are expected to sign off in the next fortnight on £120 million of financing to build the Lincolnshire plant, although completion could be delayed again.

Times 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Caroline Lucas: The solar industry is still struggling to come to terms with the scale of the damage inflicted on them by the Government’s sudden announcement last month that feed-in tariffs to support the installation of solar PV are to be more than halved.

Touchstone 19th Nov 2011 more >>

Energy Efficiency

Government ministers have heralded it as “the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War”, but their own economists predict the number of homes insulated under the Green Deal will slump, not rise. The revelation could undermine confidence in the programme that Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, is banking on to deliver efficiency savings and slash bills to cushion households from the rising costs of fossil fuels and wind farms over the next decade. Mr Huhne declared that all the UK’s 26 million households could benefit from the Green Deal by 2020. He also said it would inspire an insulation boom, supporting a quarter of a million jobs over the next 20 years. Yet government figures seen by The Times are forecasting that as few as 6.5 million insulation jobs in total could be carried out by 2020.

Times 21st Nov 2011 more >>

Climate

Governments of the world’s richest countries have given up on forging a new treaty on climate change to take effect this decade, with potentially disastrous consequences for the environment through global warming. Ahead of critical talks starting next week, most of the world’s leading economies now privately admit that no new global climate agreement will be reached before 2016 at the earliest, and that even if it were negotiated by then, they would stipulate it could not come into force until 2020.

Guardian 20th Nov 2011 more >>

Posted: 21 November 2011