Prof Neil Hyatt Sheffield University: “We have a good idea of the characteristics and setting of the geology that’s required. We need the geology to be very simple. We need a sufficient volume of rock, of appropriate rock type, with an absence of major faults. Then the third characteristic, is really slow moving groundwater at the facility depth, so we have a long return time to the environment.”
Cumbria Trust 31st July 2014 read more »
Office for Nuclear Regulation
Quarterly report April to June.
ONR 31st July 2014 read more »
Nuclear Waste Transport
THE future of Barrow’s nuclear waste terminal was up for discussion at a public meeting. International Nuclear Services, the company which operates the transfer of nuclear waste between Sellafield and the rest of the world via Barrow docks, held its latest stakeholder group meeting earlier this month. Representatives from Barrow Borough Council, the police, fire and Direct Rail Services gathered at Barrow town hall to hear the latest news from the terminal. Atlantic Osprey, one of the ships based at Barrow which transports nuclear waste, is set to be decommissioned while sister ship Oceanic Pintail is to undergo a refurb. Although the meeting was open to members of the public, only one – anti-nuclear campaigner Martin Forwood, attended. Mr Forwood, spokesman for the group Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment, questioned why money was being spent on Oceanic Pintail – a ship he believes is past its sell-by date. Mr Buchan (of INS) also went into detail about upcoming trials to transport “exotic” nuclear waste from Dounreay in Scotland to Sellafield. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is considering moving the waste to Sellafield and, as part of the options, will investigate possible routes to Sellafield to transport the unirradiated plutonium and highly enriched uranium.
NW Evening Mail 30th July 2014 read more »
EDF Energy exceeded analyst expectations Thursday, reporting operating profits for the first half of the year around 9.3% higher than seen in 2013. The UK arm of French energy giant EDF reported H1 pre-tax earnings of €1,174 million from €1,031 million seen over the first half of last year. The company, which operates the UK’s 9 GW nuclear fleet, said the growth was due to an increase of 6.9% in nuclear power output following reduced planned maintenance outages. Although mild temperatures over the winter months resulted in lower gas sales this was partially offset by 3.2% growth in customer accounts to more than 5.6million, it said.
Utility Week 31st July 2014 read more »
EDF held steady its full-year guidance despite last month’s decision by the socialist French government to block a planned increase in power tariffs, with the utility reporting results in the first half helped by higher nuclear output. Shares in the state-controlled utility fell 8 per cent last month after energy minister Ségolène Royal announced she would block a 5 per cent increase in EDF’s regulated power tariffs that had been scheduled to take effect at the start of August.
FT 31st July 2014 read more »
As Europe and the US move to increase their sanctions on Russia, its state-owned gas company is selling more and more of the stuff to the UK. Documents filed in 2012 and 2013, and analysed by Energydesk, show Gazprom sells more than 12bn cubic meters (bcm) of gas to UK clients including Chelsea, Oxford University, Heinz and the NHS. Gazprom’s deals – built up over the past decade – account for around 15% of the total UK market of 73 bcm a year, making them the country’s fourth largest gas supplier. This reflects its growing gas supplies to (non former Soviet Union) countries in Europe (see below graph).
Energy Desk 31st July 2014 read more »
Energy regulator Ofgem is confusing consumers by publishing inaccurately high estimates of company profits, Centrica has claimed, as it said British Gas earnings had slumped by a quarter in the warm first half of the year. Britain’s biggest energy supplier also revealed it was scrapping plans for a massive multi-billion pound wind farm in the Irish Sea, suggesting the UK should cease building expensive offshore turbines for at least a decade to prevent high costs pushing up consumer bills.
Telegraph 31st July 2014 read more »
The owner of British Gas has attacked the energy industry regulator for making “false” accusations of profiteering in an escalating rift over the size of household bills for electricity and gas. Centrica yesterday revealed a 40 per cent slump in half-year profits, partly due to mild winter weather, and insisted that its profits for the year would be less than half the £106-per-home cited as an industry average by Ofgem this week.
Times 1st Aug 2014 read more »
Engineering support services group Redhall warned on profits after problems in nuclear contracting and delays in work from big customers. Redhall, which makes blast-resistant doors and other engineered products for industries ranging from oil & gas to drugs, said it had revised its forecasts for the year to 30 September and now expected to broadly break even before exceptional items at the operating profit level. It said its manufacturing and engineering businesses were doing well and making acceptable profit, but its nuclear contracting operations would make significant losses due to lower volumes.
Share Cast 31st July 2014 read more »
Insider Media 31st July 2014 read more »
From bin collections to windfarms and fracking, the communities secretary and supposed champion of localism has made it clear localism only stretches as far local opinions that he shares. On Wednesday, the latest in a long line of onshore windfarms was crushed by Pickles, despite approval from the planning authorities, As Mike Parker, at the windfarm’s developer, RWE Innogy UK, said: “Once again we have received refusal, going against the objective and reasoned judgment of an independent and qualified planning inspector.” Pickles might argue that he’s protecting the minority of the public that object to wind farms, but that doesn’t sound very democratic to me.
Guardian 31st July 2014 read more »
NFLA submits comments on Irish Government’s Green Paper on energy –Ireland should say no to ‘small’modular nuclear reactors and realise instead its huge renewable energy potential.
NFLA Press Release 30th July 2014 read more »
Submission to Irish Green Paper on Energy.
NFLA 28th July 2014 read more »
Areva and Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) may get some help from EDF S.A. to complete construction of a nuclear power reactor in Finland. Areva and TVO have requested the help of EDF to complete the 1,600-MW Olkiluoto 3, according to Bloomberg. An official with EDF was quoted as saying that the Finnish EPR has specific problems that can’t be generalized to that reactor, but EPRs being built at Flamanville in France and Taishan in China are progressing as planned, the article said. Areva and TVO have blamed each other for costly overruns and schedule delays in building the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) in Finland. A legal dispute to determine who will ultimately be responsible for the overruns is in arbitration. Areva is developing the EPR with Siemens. The plant was supposed to be completed in 2009, but the date has been moved back to 2016.
Power Engineering 31st July 2014 read more »
GDF Suez warned Thursday that the closure of two nuclear power plants it operates in Belgium will hit its profit in the second half of the year by 40 million euros ($54 million) for each month the plants are closed. The French power utility adjusted its full-year financial target saying its recurring net profit will be lower than the target of between EUR3.3 billion and EUR3.7 billion it announced two quarters ago to take into account the months of effective outage of the two nuclear reactors during the second half of the year. Last month, GDF Suez had said the halting of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 reactors would last longer than initially expected for additional tests to be carried out. The company expected to restart the reactors in July. The additional delay is another blow to GDF Suez’s European thermal power production business. The company faces stiff competition from substantially subsidized renewable sources, while the lasting economic crisis has lowered energy consumption in Europe. The two nuclear reactors were shut down in late March by the Belgian authorities following tests on the reactors’ pressure vessels that showed “unexpected results” regarding their resistance. Both reactors had already been shut in 2012 after micro-cracks were found on their pressure vessels, which enclose the reactors’ cores.
Wall Street Journal 31st July 2014 read more »
France will cap its nuclear power capacity at the current 63.2 GW, forcing closures if new reactors come online, and instead boost renewable generation if a bill unveiled by its energy ministry in mid-June becomes law.
Power Magazine 1st Aug 2014 read more »
Bulgaria’s outgoing government greenlighted on Thursday a last-minute deal with Toshiba’s US nuclear engineering unit Westinghouse to build a new reactor at the country’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant. Energy is an extremely sensitive issue in the European Union’s poorest country, which is seeking to wean itself away from almost total dependence on Russia for its gas and nuclear fuel imports amid flaring tensions over Ukraine. The Socialists-backed government, which resigned last Wednesday, has come under strong media pressure not to sign any last-minute agreements.
EU Business 31st July 2014 read more »
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) says angst is a main driver behind the Energiewende, which will fail to reduce emissions without shale gas, especially without nuclear. Craig Morris says some critics sound like they are a bit afraid themselves – that the Germans might pull off their transition without fracking or nuclear.
Energy Transion 24th July 2014 read more »
The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) has proven to be the most successful policy for climate protection and sustainable development. As the cornerstone of overwhelming renewable energy development worldwide, it has resulted in significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, green jobs, revenues for governments and citizens and cost-competitive alternatives to harmful fossil fuels. Despite all that, the FiT is currently under attack. This is especially so in frontrunner country Germany, where the government has approved the phase out of the FiT through recent reform. But as Anna Leidreiter explains, the Feed-in Tariff is a better policy than is commonly understood.
Energy Transion 31st July 2014 read more »
The US nuclear power industry has so far spent about $3 billion taking actions and making plant modifications to address lessons learned from the 2011 Fukushima I accident in Japan, a utility official told the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a briefing Thursday. NRC ordered US nuclear power plant operators in March 2012, almost exactly a year after the accident, to comply with new requirements designed to strengthen their ability to keep reactors and spent fuel cooled during severe external events, such as the earthquake and tsunami that hit the station in Japan.
Platts 31st July 2014 read more »
Hippies in a slate quarry in Wales are celebrating four decades of green revolution this weekend, having transformed the character of a local town, pioneered new energy technologies and constructed a water-powered railway. The Centre for Alternative Technology (Cat) near Machynlleth also created hundreds of jobs and a tourist attraction that draws in around 70,000 visitors a year. Many of the radical ideas from the centre in mid-Wales are now thoroughly mainstream. Alternative technologies are no longer alternative, as the world seeks to tackle climate change and diversify energy supplies.
Guardian 1st Aug 2014 read more »
Ed Davey: “The government’s investment in renewable energy is paying off: renewable electricity has more than doubled in just four years – with around 15 per cent of Britain’s electricity already coming from clean renewable sources like wind, solar and hydro. “This massive investment in green energy is accelerating, with 2013 a record year, with almost £8 billion invested across range of renewable technologies. Having a strong UK renewable sector helps to reduce our foreign imports of energy, improving our energy security, as well as helping us tackle climate change and creating new hi-tech green jobs. A green energy future that once seemed impossible for Britain is fast becoming a reality.”
DECC 31st July 2014 read more »
Electricity from renewable sources increased 30 per cent over 2013 to account for 14.9 per cent of total generation, government figures have today confirmed. The increased share marks a rise of 3.6 percentage points on 2012, when renewables made up 11.3 per cent of total electricity generation, according to the latest energy statistics released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Business Green 31st July 2014 read more »
Britain used record levels of green energy last year, as more than 900 new wind turbines were built at land and sea and the annual bill for subsidies reached an estimated £3bn. The UK generated almost 15 per cent of its power from renewable sources in 2013, an increase of almost one third from 11.3 per cent in 2012, according to Government statistics released on Thursday. But despite expensive efforts to go green, the UK still relied most heavily on burning coal – one of the dirtiest form of power plants.
Telegraph 31st July 2014 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The UK’s offshore wind industry has suffered a fresh setback today, after Centrica and DONG Energy confirmed they have shelved plans for the giant Celtic Array offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea. Announcing the news in its interim results, Centrica said the project had proved uneconomic and would lead to a writedown of around £40m.
Business Green 31st July 2014 read more »
A huge wind farm project planned for 12 miles off the coast of Anglesey has been scrapped. Council chiefs on the island voiced their disappointment today as backers pulled out of the proposed 2.2GW Rhiannon wind farm. It was to have been developed by Celtic Array Ltd and would have powered around 1.5m homes with low carbon electricity from its 440 turbines.
Daily Post 31st July 2014 read more »
The government has launched an online tool to help consumers calculate the money they could earn by installing renewable heat technologies, such as solar thermal panels or ground source heat pumps. The new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) calculator is available in England, Scotland and Wales, and will show users instantly how much money they can expect to earn through the subsidy scheme, which launched earlier this year for the domestic market.
Business Green 31st July 2014 read more »
And so the trio is completed. The European Commission’s opinion on what Europe should be doing with the energy efficiency strand of the 2030 Climate and Energy Package was published last week. They say we are doing just fine with progress to meeting the 20% energy savings 2020 target – missing it by only 1-2%. And they advise a 30% energy savings target in 2030 to fit with a 40% GHG target and a 27% renewable target. “Ambitious but realistic” – great! But is it? In fact, only 12-13% of the energy saved in the EU between 2010-2020 will be linked to real energy efficiency improvements. But digging deeper, we are starting to learn what works and what doesn’t. The EUETS has a minimal effect – regulation and labelling on the other hand have worked very well. In areas where mandatory European-led regulation has been introduced – such as the CO2 in cars regulation that has driven up fuel efficiency; regulations on energy use by new buildings that require housebuilders to fit insulation and superefficient windows; and appliance efficiency standards – there has been a big impact in reducing energy use in Europe. Rising energy prices have driven efficiency gains in industry – but the picture is mixed, with huge opportunities to further reduce energy use in many central and eastern European countries.
E3G 30th July 2014read more »
In a new E3G briefing note, Simon Skillings argues that deeply-ingrained biases are working against demand side resources and in favour of supply side measures, and institutional reform is needed for a demand-side market that truly succeeds.
E3G 29th July 2014 read more »
Six charts that show how challenging decarbonising the UK really is. Despite a surge in renewables and plummeting energy use the UK remains a long way from the green energy champion it must become if we are to reach our ambitious climate targets, new data from the department for energy and climate change (DECC) shows.
Carbon Brief 31st July 2014 read more »
A retired scientist who argues that fracking is dangerous and gives evidence against drilling applications has been accused of making a false claim about his qualifications. The Geological Society has written to David Smythe to demand that he stop claiming that he is a chartered geologist.The University of Glasgow, where Mr Smythe worked 16 years ago, has also written to him asking him not to suggest that its academics share his views.Mr Smythe, who uses the title “Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow”, last week helped to persuade west Sussex county council to reject an application to drill an exploratory shale well. He described Celtique Energie’s application as “incomplete, incompetent, and disingenuous” and said the high number of faults in England’s shale rock meant fracking could contaminate ground water.
Times 1st Aug 2014 read more »
British businesses and families are funding Russian “coaligarchs” with ties to the Kremlin to the tune of £1 billion a year. As the European Union stepped up sanctions on Moscow in response to the shooting down of a passenger jet by suspected pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists, an analysis by Greenpeace reveals the extent of the UK’s reliance on coal companies linked with the Russian state.
Times 1st Aug 2014 read more »