Barring a last minute intervention by the Treasury, the UK government will publish its new energy bill within the next few days. As it stands, the bill is a triumph of politics over economics and common sense – a symbolic victory for the Liberal Democrats designed to keep the coalition’s unhappy marriage together. The problem is that serious investors will not believe a bill that reinforces subsidies to onshore wind, puts no hard numbers on the subsidies necessary for nuclear new build, sidelines the potential of energy efficiency and further technological advances, and completely ignores the issue of energy costs and competitiveness. At the heart of the disbelief is the decision by the prime minister and the chancellor to put into the Energy Department at the last reshuffle, someone who does not share the views on which the new bill is based. Few believe that was an accidental move.
FT 9th Nov 2012 more >>
National Policy Statements
It was the lack of a proper strategic environmental assessment which led to the second consultation round on the energy National Policy Statements, prompted not by internal advice but by a letter from Friends of the Earth. A former civil servant at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Christine Hemming, has revealed a lack of co-operation between government departments as one of the main reasons for the initial delay in the production of National Policy Statements (NPSs). In a paper entitled ‘The Road to Hell?’ she sets out a personal analysis of the introduction of the Planning Act regime and reveals what went on behind the scenes at the time. She starts with the general proposition that governments do not use evidence to decide policy, but select evidence to fit the policies that they have already decided. Evidence is used ‘like a drunk uses a lamppost – for support rather than enlightenment’.
BDB 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Government ministers will not force Cumbria into accepting a nuclear waste repository, a leading county councillor has pledged. County cabinet member Tim Knowles has spoken out in response to comments made by Energy Secretary Ed Davey in the House of Commons last week. The Secretary of State appeared confident that Cumbria would agree to have an underground repository, the Government’s preferred way of dealing with higher-activity nuclear waste. The Government is keen for the councils to continue because withdrawal could jeopardise its nuclear new-build programme, including a power station at Sellafield. Senior county councillors believe that new build can happen only if there is process in train to deal with the waste created by a new generation of nuclear power plants. The repository would potentially cover an area as big as Carlisle underground. Construction and operation costs are estimated at between £12 billion and £20bn and work would start in 2025.
Carlisle News and Star 9th Nov 2012 more >>
EDF Energy has published a document setting out how it plans to consult with local people about its proposals for a new power station at Sizewell and its associated development. In its Statement of Community Consultation (SOCC) published today EDF Energy also gives details of exhibitions where the public can have their say on plans for Sizewell C. Following feedback from Suffolk County and Suffolk Coastal District Councils the consultation period on the initial proposals and options for Sizewell C will last for eleven weeks, beginning on 21 November, and closing on 6 February 2013.
EDF Energy 8th Nov 2012 more >>
EDF Energy has awarded a £30 million contract to build a temporary sea jetty at the site of its proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. EDF has awarded the contract to Hampshire-based Dean & Dyball Civil Engineering, part of Balfour Beatty. It will be built subject to a final decision from EDF to proceed with the new nuclear project, which is expected early next year, following negotiations with the Government.
Western Morning News 8th Nov 2012 more >>
This is the West Country 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Chancellor George Osborne has said the UK must take a global lead in developing a series of low carbon technologies, including energy efficient computing and energy storage, in his first major speech on scientific issues.
Guardian 9th Nov 2012 more >>
The UK’s former energy minister Charles Hendry has delivered a stinging attack on his successor for sending mixed messages over the government’s commitment to renewables.
Recharge 7th Nov 2012 more >>
French nuclear group Areva has developed a new service for nuclear operators that would save them time and money when sourcing new and replacement spare parts. The latest service, which is called ERVATM, would help to integrate replacement parts no longer needed of decommissioned plants, in other still operating plants. ERVATM will support the customer with qualification processes or component reengineering, in addition to providing equipment, replacement parts and validation.
Energy Business Review 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Tiny cracks have been found in tunnels at a nuclear plant in South Korea, increasing concerns about nuclear safety in the country following a recent scandal involving the use of unverified parts. The reactor where the cracks were found will remain offline for weeks as regulators investigate the problem, putting extra strain on South Korea’s already stretched power supply going into the winter months. The utility Korean Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) said it detected microscopic cracks in six control rod tunnels at Unit 3 of its Yonggwang nuclear plant in the southwest of the country. Control rods are used to regulate the speed of nuclear reactions taking place inside reactors.
CNN 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 6th to 8th November.
Greenpeace 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas says his government is finalizing a plan to dramatically increase the country’s nuclear power production. Under the plan, at least two more reactors would be built at the Temelin nuclear plant and another at the Dukovany plant, both located near the border with Austria. The Czech Republic’s current six nuclear reactors produce a third of its electricity. Necas said Thursday the government wants that output to increase to at least 50 percent. U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Co. and a consortium led by Russia’s Atomstroyexport are already bidding for the Temelin project.
Bloomberg 8th Nov 2012 more >>
World Nuclear News 9th Nov 2012 more >>
United Nations officials confirmed today that they will meet in Tehran next month to try to restart stalled talks aimed at inspecting the country’s nuclear energy project. International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman George Webb said the meeting would take place on December 13 with the aim of working out how to resolve "outstanding issues" which include restrictions on inspections at military sites.
Morning Star 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Reuters 9th Nov 2012 more >>
SINCE India began its nuclear programme in the 1950s, it has aimed to tap the ample thorium reserves that lie within its borders. Construction is finally set to begin on a reactor that will produce electricity from India’s most convenient fuel for the first time. But with a checkered past on the subject, the country’s promises of a new dawn for nuclear rest on shaky ground.
New Scientist 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Money raised from carbon taxes on energy bills should be used to lift millions of households out of fuel poverty and boost the economy, it has been suggested. The Treasury will receive billions of pounds a year from 2013 as energy companies are made to pay for carbon emissions, and the cost on energy bills will be viewed as a stealth tax unless it is spent helping consumers, ministers were told.
Guardian 9th Nov 2012 more >>
Zoe Leader, Energy Efficiency Policy Officer at WWF-UK said: "WWF has long called for the use of our environmental taxes to support energy efficiency and the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. This report by Consumer Focus provides us with even more evidence that such a policy should be imp lemented and implemented quickly. "With the publication of a new Energy Bill imminent and the need for robust solutions to bring us out of recession the timing for a policy of this calibre has never been better. We urge the Government not just to take note but to take action." The National Energy Action (NEA) also said a policy is crucial, else it will have "severe impacts" on poor and vulnerable homes.
Energy Live News 9th Nov 2012 more >>