France’s nuclear safety authority has warned that two nuclear reactors nearing completion in Guangdong could face safety problems after weaknesses were found in steel supplied to a French reactor by the same manufacturer. The French reactor, at the Flamanville EPR nuclear power plant, is a third-generation pressurised water reactor of similar design and build to the two reactors being installed at a new plant in Taishan. Quality inspectors at Flamanville found an abnormally high concentration of carbon in steel parts capping the reactor vessel’s top and bottom during a series of tests carried out by French nuclear company Areva, which is building the reactor. The excessive carbon would lead to “lower than expected mechanical toughness values”, nuclear regulator ASN said in a press statement on its website, without giving more details.
South China Morning Post 10th April 2015 read more »
EDF Energy says it has almost completed early site preparation works for the planned Hinkley Point C project. However, pending a final investment decision (FID), some 400 jobs at the site are at risk.
World Nuclear News 9th April 2015 read more »
A radiological study is to be carried out on a former Highland quarry where WWII planes are believed to have been buried. The Highland Council is carrying out ground investigations and surveys at the former Kingsteps Quarry in Nairn. The works are being carried out to ensure the site can be used safely by the public as an amenity area in the long term. “Surveys will be undertaken as a precautionary measure due to anecdotal evidence of possible buried WWII military aircraft at the site and to assess any impact from historical fly-tipping in the area.
Scotsman 10th April 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
Recent news stories are suggesting that TEPCO is considering evaporating the large quantities of radioactive water held in thousands of tanks at Fukushima. Disposing large volumes of highly tritiated water is a serious problem for TEPCO but its evaporation proposal is quite dangerous. It is based on several misconceptions.
IanFairlie.com 10th April 2015 read more »
A robot on Friday crept into the deadly primary containment vessel of reactor 1 of the Fukushima No. 1 power plant to surveil its damaged interior, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. It is the first time a robot has entered the PCV of any of the three stricken reactors at the meltdown-hit plant, and the snake-like contraption might give the utility a better idea of what happened to the pressure vessel and its core in the disaster. Tepco plans to have the robot check half of the first floor of the bulbous PCV on Friday and examine the other half on Monday.
Japan Times 10th April 2015 read more »
It resembles a 2ft brass snake with glowing eyes, which folds itself upon command into a backwards-walking crab. Its creators call it the “shape shifter robot”, and today it came closer than anyone or anything to the heart of Japan’s nuclear nightmare. Engineers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station sent the shape shifter inside one of the plant’s melted reactors to gather crucial information on the toxic nuclear mess within. They will report back next week on what it found, amid levels of radiation which would quickly kill human workers.
Times 10th April 2015 read more »
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sparked fresh speculation over a possible breakthrough on the Rafale aircraft deal and an agreement on the Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra during his visit to France, with indications that negotiations are heading in a positive manner.
Hindu 10th April 2015 read more »
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has approved parliament’s ratification of an intergovernmental agreement with Japan to build a nuclear power plant at Sinop, according to a statement on his website yesterday.
World Nuclear News 10th April 2015 read more »
The Bishops in Scotland on Friday sent out the text of a pastoral letter ahead of the General Election on 7 May that will be read out in parishes this weekend. The letter sets out principles of Catholic social teaching that will cover the major issues before voters including the question of nuclear weapons. In the text, the bishops say that nuclear weapons represent a “grave threat to the human family” and they question extra spending on arms.
Tablet 9th April 2015 read more »
THE issue of renewing Trident has been fired into the spotlight after the Tories accused Labour of preparing to “stab the UK in the back” and trade away Britain’s submarine-based nuclear deterrent in order to secure power in a backroom deal with the Scottish Nationalists. Today we take a closer look at the position of the SNP, Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
NW Evening Mail 10th April 2015 read more »
The UK’s peak grid power demand this summer is set to be the lowest yet, as consumers increase their reliance on embedded renewable sources, National Grid has said. The transmission system operator does not meter power produced from decentralised solar pv which is connected directly to regional distribution networks, and has effectively removed around 900MW of demand from the grid over the last year. As a result National Grid estimates that this summer will see peak demand reach just 37.5GW, as solar pv capacity increased by 2GW in 2014. The lowest predicted demand level is set to be around 18.6 GW, in line with the lows predicted for summer last year. “It is likely that embedded solar generation will lead to a permanent reduction in summer peak demands,” its outlook report said.
Utility Week 9th April 2015 read more »
Vancouver has become the latest city to commit to running on 100% renewable energy. The city of 600,000 on Canada’s west coast aims to use only green energy sources for electricity, and also for heating and cooling and transportation. Cities and urban areas are responsible for 70-75% of global CO2 emissions and that’s where “real action on climate will happen” said Park Won-Soon, Mayor of Seoul, South Korea at the ICLEI World Congress 2015, the triennial sustainability summit of local governments where Vancouver made the announcement.
Guardian 10th April 2015 read more »
THOUSANDS of people from around the world are expected to descend on Glasgow next month when a flagship renewable energy conference will be held in the city. Described by organisers Reed Exhibitions as the UK’s largest renewable energy event, All Energy 2015 will be held at the SECC in Glasgow on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 May. The event will feature conference sessions and trade exhibitions covering areas ranging from offshore wind power to developing sustainable cities. Prominent energy industry figures such as Ian Marchant, the former chief executive of SSE who chairs the Infinis renewable energy business, will speak. All Energy is being held in Glasgow for the first time after 14 years of events in Aberdeen.
Herald 11th April 2015 read more »
Investors who have dumped holdings in fossil fuel companies have outperformed those that remain invested in coal, oil and gas over the past five years according to analysis by the world’s leading stock market index company. MSCI, which runs global indices used by more than 6,000 pension and hedge funds, found that investors who divested from fossil fuel companies would have earned an average return of 13% a year since 2010, compared to the 11.8%-a-year return earned by conventional investors.
Guardian 10th April 2015 read more »
The UK and Germany like to think of themselves as climate leaders. But how does their progress in cutting carbon stack up against the US, which has famously failed to pass climate laws? Over the past two weeks the results came in, with each country publishing carbon dioxide emissions figures for 2014. Carbon Brief slices up the data to find out who’s winning the climate showdown. A couple of years ago US emissions had dropped “because of shale gas”, while the UK and Germany’s were increasing “because of coal”. Now US emissions have risen for two years running while the UK and Germany’s are falling. One of the few certainties is that the picture will shift again in 2015. The US is expected to see anything from 13 gigawatts of coal capacity to 23 gigawatts retired this year because of air quality rules. In the UK coal use has fallen to levels last seen during the 1850s industrial revolution, causing a significant part of the large emissions reduction last year. The UK’s three main political party leaders have pledged to phase out unabated coal. Germany, meanwhile, wants to close down its oldest coal plants to avoid missing its 2020 climate targets. These developments illustrate another certainty: the future of coal in the US, UK and Germany will have a huge impact on how their emissions change this year, and for years to come.
Carbon Brief 10th April 2015 read more »