News March 2014

31 March 2014

Magnox

A private sector consortium will be told on Monday it has won the £7bn job of decommissioning Britain’s oldest nuclear power plants. The work is one of the largest and most sensitive public sector contracts to be awarded in the UK so far. Currently the sites are being run by Magnox, a company owned by Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions. It is bidding for the new work in partnership with Bechtel. The only Magnox station still in use is in Wylfa …

read more »

30 March 2014

Utilities

The prospect of unpopular electricity generators being taken to task by no fewer than three regulators has been widely welcomed. But as Terry Macalister reports, there are hard truths to tackle beyond ever-increasing utility bills. It will take more than a competition probe to restore faith in British energy policy. There are six questions the energy industry needs to answer as it tackles the wider issue of how Britain can modernise and decarbonise its power industry without pushing up prices …

read more »

29 March 2014

Earth Hour

Millions of people around the world are expected to switch off lights in homes, offices and famous landmarks at 8.30pm local time for an hour on Saturday to mark WWF’s annual Earth Hour. Now in its eighth year, the mass participation event to show support for environmental issues comes as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to launch its latest report in Japan on Monday, outlining how global warming will affect wildlife, food supplies, water and the weather.

read more »

European Commission invites comments on proposed new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point

The proposed new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in south-west England depends heavily on subsidies (see below) and is unlikely to go ahead without them. There is no valid justification for these subsidies. They divert resources away from other options that are altogether better and cheaper.

The European Commission is now inviting comments on the Hinkley Point proposal. It’s announcement is available here.

Please write to the Commission to oppose the subsidies. The deadline for responses is the 7th of April …

read more »

28 March 2014

Hinkley

Ireland’s National Trust has been given permission to challenge a decision giving permission for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station. An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, is challenging the legality of the March 2013 decision by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to grant development consent for the EDF project in Somerset – about 150 miles from Ireland. Their case was dismissed last December, but a Court of Appeal judge has now granted them a judicial …

read more »

27 March 2014

Nukes vs Climate

Jonathon Porritt finds Mark Lynas’s latest pro-nuclear tome ‘gratifyingly short’ and reasonably open-minded. But Lynas falls into the trap of seeing nuclear technologies as fast developing, while renewables are stuck – when the reverse is the case! It was with something of a sinking heart that I picked up Nuclear 2.0, the latest piece of pro-nuclear advocacy from Mark Lynas. This stuff just makes me grumpy, particularly the banal repetition that one usually finds of half-truths about the …

read more »

26 March 2014

Rosatom

Plans to allow Russia to build nuclear power plants in the UK are under review because of the Ukraine crisis, the Government has said. Ministers signed a nuclear energy co-operation pact with Russia’s state nuclear firm Rosatom in September in order to enable it “to prepare for entry into the UK civil nuclear market”. The agreement described the prospect of working together on British soil as “a realistic longer-term ambition”. But the Department of Energy and Climate Change said on …

read more »

25 March 2014

Rosatom

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) is reviewing its initial agreement with Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom because of the continuing political situation in Ukraine. UK energy minister Michael Fallon signed the initial deal with Rosatom in September 2013, to study the possibilities of agreeing nuclear “commercial co-operation” that would involve Rosatom building and maintaining nuclear power plants in the UK. Rosatom has since agreed to progress its UK nuclear plans in a joint venture with Finnish …

read more »

24 March 2014

Hinkley

The Hinkley C nuclear power plant deal will give nuclear power a clear competitive advantage over solar pv in what will be a growing electricity for motor vehicles market. The combination of declining costs of solar pv and the growth of effectiveness and use of electric vehicles (EVs) will mean that within 15-20 years (maybe even sooner) solar pv, operating by then without any guaranteed premium prices at all, will be attracting large portions of the electricity market. However, the …

read more »

23 March 2014

Hinkley

THE potential impact and benefits of EDF’s plans to build Hinkley Point C nuclear power station have been aired at a fiery meeting in Glastonbury – with the possible threat of a terror attack among the key concerns. Police stepped up patrols for last week’s Glastonbury Town Council meeting, knowing it would be packed with people frustrated at being unable to press the company at a public meeting which had been cancelled in the town. Members of the public were …

read more »