Helen Caldicott: Now that the “nuclear renaissance” is dead following the Fukushima catastrophe, when one sixth of the world’s nuclear reactors closed, the nuclear corporations — Toshiba, Nu-Scale, Babcock and Wilcox, GE Hitachi, General Atomics, and the Tennessee Valley Authority — will not accept defeat. Their new strategy is to develop small modular reactors (SMRs), allegedly free of the dangers inherent in large reactors: safety issues, high cost, proliferation risks and radioactive waste. But these claims are fallacious, for the reasons outlined below.
Huffington Post 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Nuclear vs Climate
(Old but interesting) In Nuclear 2.0: Why a Green Future Needs Nuclear Power, British environmental activist and author Mark Lynas proposes a solution to Earth’s most pressing problem: To halt global warming by 2030—that is, to keep the average temperature from rising more than 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) between now and then—the world must build 800 new nuclear power plants. If it doesn’t, he says, all the world’s ice may melt, and places as fertile as Nebraska might become deserts. But if the nuclear plants are constructed, warming can be reversed. Nuclear 2.0 was originally meant to accompany the movie Pandora’s Promise, a documentary released in June that stars Lynas and four other former anti-nuclear activists, all of whom switched over time from opposing to supporting nuclear power generation. Unfortunately, the film is as mistaken as this book.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 11th September 2013 read more »
Ofgem may be to blame for high profits and prices, five former regulators have warned competition authorities investigating the sector. The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an 18-month probe into the energy market at the request of Ofgem, after the energy regulator concluded that millions of households were paying too much for their gas and electricity because of a lack of competition across the sector. In a submission to the CMA, to be published on Monday, five former energy regulators including Stephen Littlechild and Sir Callum McCarthy suggest that Ofgem may have weakened competition through poorly designed regulation imposed since 2008.
Telegraph 9th Aug 2014 read more »
Germany – Energy Supplies
Given that about 30 per cent of the EU’s overall gas consumption – 161.5 bcm out of 541 bcm, according to CIEP citing Gazprom 2013 export data – is covered by Russian natural gas imports, it is no wonder that the EU may want to reconsider its ‘tough’ stance before the winter. The EU cannot have an interest in joining the Russian Bear in what might be called “economic hibernation” due to severe repercussions in the energy realm on both sides. A 2006 Russian natural gas shutoff left many Europeans without heating fuel during a bitter cold winter. In light of this threat a timely study by experts from the renowned German Frauenhofer Institute (IWES), commissioned by the German Green Party faction in the German parliament, explains how – along with a realistic time frame – Germany could completely wean itself off Russian natural gas imports. The study titled in German “Erdgassubstitution durch eine forcierte Energiewende” (“How a turbo-charged ‘Energiewende’ can replace natural gas imports”) concludes that Germany could be independent of Russian gas imports by 2030 at the earliest.
Energy Collective 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Canada – radwaste
Aboriginal communities aren’t happy with Ontario’s plans to store nuclear waste underground. And they say they have a veto. In a brief to the federal review panel that will eventually rule on the plan, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation reminds OPG of its assurance that no nuclear waste dump will be built without aboriginal consent. Will that consent be given? The First Nation doesn’t say. But in its brief, it does express profound unease with what it calls OPG’s vague and open-ended scheme.
The Star 10th Aug 2014 read more »
U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas proposal for existing power plants doesn’t do enough to boost nuclear energy, advocates for the industry say. Two months after EPA unveiled the proposal — and just over two months before the end of the public comment period — companies that have invested billions of dollars in the United States’ primary source of zero-carbon baseload energy say they are still reviewing the draft. But while the industry has yet to reach a consensus position, some utilities say they are discouraged by the way the June 2 proposal treats new nuclear projects that are coming online or attempts to help existing facilities overcome the economic factors that threaten them with retirement. The agency has proposed tougher state carbon intensity targets for states that host nuclear in the hopes of encouraging them to provide incentives for the industry, but some advocates say it hasn’t rewarded states for past nuclear investment.
EE News 8th Aug 2014 read more »
Protesters have unveiled a seven-mile “peace scarf” as part of a protest against replacing the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. The scarf, which took thousands of hours and volunteers all over the world to knit, was stretched for the seven miles between the atomic weapons establishments in Aldermaston to Burghfield in south-east England. These sites provide the warheads for the submarine-launched missile system. Activists from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Action Atomic Weapon Eradication (AWE) have spent the past eight months putting the scarf together. The Wool Against Weapons campaign has been almost two years in the making, and has received contributions from over 5,000 knitters from around the UK and as far as Africa, the Middle East, and South America.
IB Times 9th Aug 2014 read more »
CND 9th Aug 2014 read more »
ITV 9th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – Heat Pumps
More than 20,000 homes could be heated by drawing energy from just 40 urban rivers and estuaries, from the Tyne in Newcastle down to the Stour in Bournemouth, according to new government research.The Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, wants to see quick development of water-source heat pumps. These draw residual heat from rivers, which is then fed into local networks or single buildings to provide a low-carbon form of energy. The Department of Energy has today published a “heat map” (see graphic) to help developers and local authorities identify the best locations to install the pumps, aligning them to areas with high demand for heat.
Independent 10th Aug 2014 read more »
Rumours of a massive oil find to the west of Shetland are growing after Prime Minister David Cameron made a secret visit to the islands just under two weeks ago. On July 22nd Mr Cameron turned up in Shetland unannounced. At the airport the Prime Minister was accompanied by the Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael. The secret visit, the first by a serving UK Prime Minister for 34 years, angered national media who were unable to despatch journalists to Shetland in time. Commenting on the visit, Scottish Secretary Carmichael told a local newspaper that the visit was, “the closest to a secret I’ve known in Shetland”.
Newsnet scotland 3rd Aug 2014 read more »
Saturday 23 August 2014 – Lausitz, Germany. A human chain for the energy revolution and a future without brown coal.
Human Chain 9th Aug 2014 read more »