Government (with help from Lib Dem MPs) blocks attempts to challenge nuclear subsidies via Carbon Floor Price in the Finance Bill. (See Clause 77)
UK Parliament 9th June 2011 more >>
The government is talking the talk, but failing to walk the walk when it comes to its green policies, according to the CBI’s latest progress report. The business body’s latest Climate Change Tracker report will be published later today and will argue that out of 13 low-carbon indicators, only one area nuclear is showing progress.
Business Green 7th June 2011 more >>
Letter: WHAT a splendid article from Tony Lodge about the nuclear industry. It is about time that someone with full knowledge of industry talked some sense about such an important and cheap source of energy without which the future prosperity of this country is at stake. Of course, the whole debate at the moment has been sparked off by the damage to the Fukushima reactors in Japan after the tsunami. The Japanese have done a great job in coping with such a potential disaster, and as far as I am aware there hasnt been one life lost in the process.
Yorkshire Post 11th June 2011 more >>
Letter David Farquhar University of Texas: The article entitled No leukaemia cluster… thats just not true! by Corrina Thomson in last weeks John OGroat Journal leaves the reader with the distinct impression radioactive discharges and pollution from Dounreay may have contributed to the reported childhood leukaemia cluster in the surrounding area. While a few may subscribe to this notion, a massive body of scientific evidence suggests otherwise. Indeed, there is a strong probability the observed leukaemia cluster has no relationship, whatsoever, to any operational activity conducted at the facility. Ms Thomson begins the article by noting the 14th report of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) in which it is concluded no evidence exists of an increased risk of leukaemia in under-fives living around UK nuclear plants in the 35-year period between 1969 and 2004. She adds this study was prompted, in part, by a 2008 German study (KiKK) which reported children are more likely to contract leukaemia the closer they live to a nuclear plant. She further notes the KiKK study and its scientific method were investigated by two German government oversight agencies, one of which published a final assessment of the KiKK report in which it stated: The central finding of the [KiKK] study on childhood cancer in the vicinity of nuclear power plants is… confirmed.
John O Groat Journal 10th June 2011 more >>
NIGEL Lowe will be joining the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to take up the position as head of programme DSRL, Dounreay, later this summer in Freswick House at Forss. Nigel joins the NDA from the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston where he has worked since October 2006. He started his career in the nuclear industry with the UKAEA before moving to fast-moving consumer goods, management consultancy and pharmaceuticals.
Caithness Courier 7th June 2011 more >>
ScottishPowers surprise 19 per cent rise in gas bills is partly the result of an increase in carbon tax and will mark the beginning of more than a decade of climbing domestic electricity and gas charges, according to a rival supplier. But Volker Beckers, the chief executive of RWE npower, believes that the size of ScottishPowers increase, announced this week, could deter other big suppliers from raising prices in the short term in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage as consumers switch to the best deal. Mr Beckers argues that the Arab spring, the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and Germanys announcement that it will phase out atomic power have had a direct effect on the recent rise in the wholesale price of gas. However, the Treasurys decision to tax polluting power stations is, in his opinion, having a knock-on effect. The Government is implementing a carbon price floor at £4.64 a tonne over the prevailing price of carbon penalties from 2013, rather more than the figure industry had been expecting of a rise of about £1 a tonne and even then only from 2015. The Department for Energy and Climate Change has conceded that its electricity market reforms to incentivise the building of more expensive nuclear and renewable energy installations by engineering higher power bills will result in an increase in domestic bills for about 15 years. DECC says that, by the late 2020s, bills could be by about a third higher. Others believe that they could be far higher.
Times 11th June 2011 more >>
Letter: FoE, WWF & RSPB: YOUR report that Mackay Consultants claim the Scottish Governments target of generating 100% of Scotlands electricity from renewable sources by 2020 is unrealistic and unachievable. This is simply not the case. A recent report from one of the worlds leading energy consultants, GL Garrad Hassan, shows that Scotlands renewable electricity generation can grow to comfortably exceed our electricity needs, and that the Scottish Governments target of 100% renewables by 2020 is completely and relatively easily achievable. In fact, Scotland could phase out all fossil fuel and nuclear power by 2030, maintain a secure electricity supply, and have renewables providing 185% of Scotlands electricity requirements by that time without endangering protected sites and biodiversity. With increased investment in demand red uction and energy efficiency measures this target could be achieved even sooner. Any claim from Mackay Consultants should be taken with a large pinch of salt. This is the same consultancy that, for example, claimed in 1996 that the Cairngorm Funicular would be an economic success, yet the taxpayer had to bail out the operator just seven years after its launch as it was nearing receivership. It might be interesting if Mackay Consultants could disclose who commissioned its latest report? Scotland has ambitious targets to meet in terms of reducing its carbon emissions, and organisations like ours will work with the Scottish Government to ensure that these are achieved in part through the transition to renewables.
Herald 11th June 2011 more >>
Letter Dr Gerry Wolff: A large pinch of salt is needed when reading r eports that targets for renewables are unachievable. A recent report by the German Renewable Energy Agency evaluated energy forecasts from the last few decades and compared the predicted levels with the actual development of renewable energy sources. The majority of the 50 forecasts examined underestimated the proportion of energy provided by renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources often reached the predicted values several years in advance and surpassed these values by several hundred percentage points. In general, renewables can be built much faster than nuclear power plants, for example. Last year, Germany installed 8.8 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar panels, producing about the same amount of electricity as a 1gw nuclear plant. But it would take much longer about seven years to build that nuclear plant.
Herald 11th June 2011 more >>
Letter Andy Myles: Michael Kelly’s opinion piece on energy futures (Perspective, 9 June) is based on the preposterous assertion that “world demand, particularly from emerging economies, has heralded an end to cheap energy, probably forever”. If fossil fuels or nuclear power were the only answer he might have a point – just. But they are anything but the only solutions to our current energy problems. Solar and lunar energy exist all around us, in the forms of waves, sunshine, tides, biomass and winds. Geothermal energy exists abundantly beneath our feet. At long last, and very rapidly, we are learning how to harness these resources efficiently, and the trajectory for the costs of electricity and heat production from these sources marches steadily downwards, year on year. I am delighted that for the past ten years Scotland has been a leading player in driving the markets to understand this. What is more, these clean, renewable energy sources are available almost wherever we need them on the planet, in one form or another. Instead of constant pessimism about rising costs and snide comments at environmentalists, Mr Kelly and others should be directing their concern towards the giant, centralised energy corporates which do all in their power to hold back the investment in renewables that is required to make the fastest possible technological leap into abundant, cheap, decentralised, sustainable energy production – while they continue to enslave us with highly centralised, dirty, unsafe production technologies and bind us to their grids. People should also be bringing pressure to bear on the UK and other dinosaur governments, pointing to the Swiss, German and Scottish examples of having a little bit of faith in the power of human ingenuity and economic sense. Renewables will prevail and, within years, produce the cheap energy we crave once again.
Scotsman 11th June 2011 more >>
Letter FoE, WWF, RSPB: As per Herald Letter above.
Scotsman 11th June 2011 more >>
More than 100 countries will pledge to strengthen national nuclear regulators and improve safety standards at a high-profile meeting this month called after Japan’s atomic disaster, a draft declaration showed. The vaguely-worded text — obtained by Reuters ahead of a June 20-24 ministerial conference at the U.N. nuclear agency — may disappoint those hoping for concrete and quick international action to avert any repeat of the Fukushima emergency.
Reuters 10th June 2011 more >>
Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia and Turkey have agreed to join Europe in undertaking stress tests of existing nuclear power facilities.
Energy Efficiency News 10th June 2011 more >>
Protesters in Tokyo are staging mass demonstrations against the use of nuclear power, as Japan marks the three-month anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that killed tens of thousands and triggered one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.
Belfast Telegraph 11th June 2011 more >>
FROM THE countryside of post-disaster Japan come two starling stories: 8,000 schoolchildren in Date City, 60km from the ruined Fukushima nuclear power plant, are to be given dosimeters to measure radiation. Thousands more children in day-care centres, kindergartens and primary schools in towns and villages around the area are likely to follow suit.Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometres southwest, officials in Shizuoka Prefecture, home to the nations tea-growing industry, have reportedly asked Tokyo retailers to refrain from informing consumers that above-normal levels of radiation have been detected on tea leaves. The prefecture felt that issuing the warning could fan public anxiety, said Kyodo News.
Irish Times 11th June 2011 more >>
As the dire news continues to leach out of Fukishima, the silver lining in its nuclear cloud is that renewable energy technologies, despite their daunting start-up costs, are receiving renewed scrutiny. Make no mistake – given the trillions of dollars invested over the last five decades in nuclear energy, the industry and its lobbyists will not go down without a fight, promoting new, “safe” reactor designs. But the Fukushima debacle has finally bared the industry’s darkest secret, it inability to manage its nuclear waste. The six reactor TEPCO Daichi Fukushima stored all its waste onsite, and the spent fuel rods and their lack of cooling have been a major contributor to the high radiation levels observed around the facility. Worse for nuclear power proponents has been the reluctant admission by TECPO that three of the complex’s six reactors apparently did in fact suffer a meltdown.
Market Oracle 10th June 2011 more >>
Lawrence Davidson considers the roles of Israel, the Israeli lobby in the USA and the conservative Arab Gulf rulers in creating and sustaining the fantasy of an Iranian nuclear threat, and highlights the failure through cowardice, expediency and duplicity of politicians who know better and the media to challenge this fantasy.
Redress 11th June 2011 more >>
The changing landscape of German nuclear politics will provide opportunities for service and maintenance companies, whether plants are kept or scrapped, a fund manager said.
Reuters 10th June 2011 more >>
On Sunday and Monday, voters will decide Italys stance on nuclear power. In a similar 1987 referendum following the Chernobyl disaster, Italians voted to abandon nuclear power. Prime minister Berlusconi overrode this decision in 2008 and had planned to start construction of nuclear power plants in 2014.
Italy Mag 10th June 2011 more >>
BBC 11th June 2011 more >>
Following the recent announcement that the next generation of submarines to carry the UK’s nuclear deterrent will be powered by a new nuclear propulsion system, the MOD’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Mark Welland, here discusses the safety of the Navy’s nuclear reactors.
Ministry of Defence 10th June 2011 more >>
Theres a joke in the solar industry about when grid parity the time when solar becomes as cheap as fossil sources will happen. Ron Kenedi, the former VP in Sharp Solars U.S. business liked to throw out random dates, telling me once November 21, 2012 in jest. The truth is, it will happen in phases one market and one technology at a time. But according to two top solar executives Tom Dinwoodie, CTO of SunPower and Dan Shugar, formerly of SunPower and current CEO of Solaria ferocious cost reductions, are accelerating that crossover in a variety of markets today.
Climate Progress 9th June 2011 more >>
This weeks Micro Power News – more outrage from the solar industry about the Government’s decision to go ahead with cuts in the Feed-in Tariff and news that a Judicial Review is to go ahead; but the Anearobic Digestion industry isn’t very happy either. WWF is campaigning to get 150,000 of Scotland’sd most poorly insulated houses sorted asap.
Microgen Scotland 10th June 2011 more >>