News 2014

31 December 2014

Nuclear vs Renewables

Governments are still spending billions on nuclear research, but it looks like being an unhappy new year for the industry as it continues to shrink while renewables grow. With nuclear power falling ever further behind renewables as a global energy source, and as the price of oil and gas falls, the future of the industry in 2015 and beyond looks bleak. Renewables now supply 22% of global electricity and nuclear only 11% − a share that is gradually …

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30 December 2014


On New Years Eve, supporters of a radiation free Lakeland will be taking a 10 minute walk from the centre of the pretty Lakeland village of Beckermet to the biggest crime scene of the year. They will be representing the thousands of people who have already signed a petition to Stop Moorside. The crime is taking place at Petersburgh and Greenmoorside Farm, a beautiful historically fertile lowland area between the Lakeland mountains and the Irish Sea. The drilling of 100 …

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29 December 2014


Small “modular” nuclear power stations should in future be considered for the UK instead of large-scale plants such as the proposed Sizewell C, according to a House of Commons committee. The small plants could be manufactured off-site and assembled on-site, according to the Energy and Climate Change Committee. It wants the Government to work with industry to better understand the economics of small modular reactors (SMRs) and assess the conditions under which they might become cost effective in the UK.

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28 December 2014


Questions have been asked concerning the dangers of drones flying over Hunterston Power Station, during a recent nuclear liaison meeting. With the growing popularity of drones – radio controlled flying devices which can carry cameras and take photographs and videos from the air – questions have been asked in relation to safety near nuclear sites. West Kilbride community councillor John Lamb was curious to know what the rules and regulations were in terms of the EDF owned site. There is …

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27 December 2014


SOUTH-WEST Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has met with the new EU Competition Commissioner to challenge her over the decision to give the green light to the financial deal on Hinkley C nuclear power station. Ms Scott-Cato said the meeting with Commissioner Vestager was an important opportunity to make representations on behalf of the many businesses in the South-West which could be hit by what she claims is the unfair competition the deal represents, and her many constituents who oppose …

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26 December 2014


South Korea is seeking the cooperation of Chinese authorities in a probe into a cyberattack on its nuclear power plant operator after tracing multiple Internet addresses involved to a northeastern Chinese city near North Korea, a prosecution official said on Wednesday.

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24 December 2014

Capacity Market

The UK capacity auction: a backdoor way of staving off the utility death spiral. A mantra is inscribed on the walls of the UK Treasury. It reads ‘No subsidy without additionality’. In layperson’s language, this strange phrase means that the only justifiable purpose of handing a business a cheque is to get it to do something it wouldn’t otherwise do. This golden rule was spectacularly flouted in the UK electricity capacity auction that was concluded last week. A billion …

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23 December 2014

Nuclear Cybersecurity

Britain’s largest generator of nuclear power said it would be looking at the hacking of a South Korean nuclear operator to see if any lessons could be learned – but the UK industry emphasised that its security standards are high and that it is well-equipped to withstand a cyber-attack. A spokeswoman for EDF Energy, which owns eight out of the nine nuclear power stations in the UK, said it took nuclear safety and security very seriously. “This extends to …

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22 December 2014


Andy Blowers: A Geological Disposal Facility for Nuclear Waste – If not Sellafield then where? In the wake of the publication of the Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper, Blowers looks at political and policy developments in the search for a site for the geological disposal of higher-activity nuclear waste, and argues that the White Paper leaves the way open for further procrastination

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21 December 2014

Nuclear Safety

The nuclear industry and its supporters have contrived a variety of narratives to justify and explain away nuclear catastrophes, writes John Downer. None of them actually hold water, yet they serve their purpose – to command political and media heights, and reassure public sentiment on ‘safety’. But if it’s so safe, why the low limits on nuclear liabilities?

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