Nuclear chiefs say 22 components in the pressure vessel “heart” of the Sizewell B power station were made at a discredited French forge – but all are safe and will not be removed. The parts have been operating satisfactorily since 1995 and have now been thoroughly inspected by EDF Energy and independent experts and given a clean bill of health. Concerns arose following the revelation from engineering firm Areva that information on the safety of the reactor pressure vessels it has been manufacturing for nuclear plants for the past 50 years at Creusot Forge in France was either missing or wrong, and the company could not rule out falsification. Andrew Holt, of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), told the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG), that confirmation had been sought from Areva to identify all the components in Sizewell B that might have been affected by the anomalies.; There were 22 components in the reactor pressure vessel and steam generator but Areva had said that it had not identified any anomalies with any of those elements. The ten-year inspection carried out of the pressure vessel in the past few weeks as part of a planned shutdown of the power station had inspected every part and found no reportable defects.
East Anglian Daily Times 11th June 2016 read more »
Moshe Kantor, head of the Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, claims terror group is hellbent on targeting a Western capital. A ‘dirty bomb’ terror attack on a European city is more likely than at any time since the end of the Cold War, nuclear experts claim. Islamic State terrorists want to seize nuclear materials to strike terror in the West and have already launched many chemical attacks in Iraq and Syria.
Mirror 9th June 2016 read more »
Express 10th June 2016 read more »
Independent 9th June 2016 read more »
Europe’s most efficient gas power station, near Munich, is in mothballs. The ending of power generation at Longannet was one of a long series of closures which has not yet run its course. Stations which managed to stay open now fight for run-hours. Over the past five years, wholesale electricity prices across Europe have halved. Yet infrastructure is booming. A Norwegian consortium recently applied for permission to connect Peterhead with southern Norway with an undersea cable. Scottish Power’s ‘Western Bootstrap’ will soon join Ayrshire to the Wirral. In a few years, Britain will sit at the centre of a cat’s cradle of gigawatt-scale submarine power lines. At Flexitricity, we are currently besieged by battery developers, a breed of entrepreneur unheard of until recently. They’re all working on small energy storage projects that, collectively, would take Britain’s ability to store electricity from zero to more capacity than the nuclear industry had at its peak.
Scotsman 10th June 2016 read more »
Dr Roger Coates was awarded the OBE for services to nuclear safety and radiological protection. And Dr Graham Fairhall receives the MBE for services to the nuclear energy sector. Dr Coates, 69, originally from Halifax, has lived at Bouth near Ulverston for 20 years. He said: “I feel very, very privileged. As well as having that personal honour, it’s also nice to see work in nuclear safety and radiation protection recognised.” Dr Coates joined the health and safety department at Sellafield in 1975 and worked for British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) for more than 30 years. Having become acting director of environment, health and safety, for BNFL in 2000, he retired in 2006.
In Cumbria 10th June 2016 read more »
Shares in Toshiba rose to six-month highs after its US unit Westinghouse clinched a nuclear deal in India — a rare bright spot for the Japanese conglomerate that has suffered record losses and streamlined its operations in the wake of a $1.3bn accounting scandal. The Westinghouse deal would mark the first order since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, and sent Toshiba’s shares up as much as 6.4 per cent on Thursday. The US and India this week set a June 2017 deadline to conclude negotiations for Westinghouse to build six AP1000 nuclear reactors in South India.
FT 9th June 2016 read more »
Spike in number of US sailors dying after Fukushima radiation exposure — Now over 400 veterans suffering serious illnesses — Former Japan Prime Minister breaks down crying, “This can’t be ignored any longer… The number of sick people is increasing and their symptoms are worsening”
ENE News 8th June 2016 read more »
A groundbreaking ceremony has been held to launch the start of construction of a new laboratory building at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre at Karlsruhe in Germany. The new building will replace older ones on the site.
World Nuclear News 9th June 2016 read more »
Sweden has thrown its weight behind the stuttering revival of nuclear power in Europe, saying it could build up to 10 new reactors in the coming years. Sweden aims to produce all of its power from renewable sources by 2040 but in the meantime will build new nuclear plants to replace old ones being phased out, according to an agreement between government and opposition parties on Friday.
FT 10th June 2016 read more »
It has been announced that Sweden will phase out its nuclear capacity tax on its existing reactors and will allow new reactors to be built to replace them. Agneta Rising, Director General, World Nuclear Association said, “It is excellent news that this tax will be removed, but it should never have been implemented in such a way as to distort the market and put at risk the operation of Sweden’s nuclear power plants, which provide affordable and reliable electricity and form a vital part of its low carbon generation mix.” The nuclear tax had been repeatedly raised and had reached a level where it was equivalent to more than double the staff costs or more than a third of the operating costs of the plant.
World Nuclear 10th June 2016 read more »
World Nuclear News 10th June 2016 read more »
Argentina’s new government is looking to the icy winds that make the vast plains of Patagonia inhospitable to entice foreign investment and re-energise a flagging economy. With a large expanse of semi-desert in its north, Argentina is one of the windiest and sunniest places in the world. Centre-right president Mauricio Macri is hoping to attract up to $20bn over the next decade as part of a target to generate a fifth of Argentina’s power from renewable energy sources by 2025 — compared with less than 1 per cent today.
FT 9th June 2016 read more »
Artificial lakes, fishing spots and solar farms dot the landscape in France’s Limousin region, where uranium operations have gradually come to an end. This transformation would not have been possible without stakeholder involvement, transparent processes and well-coordinated activities, said Yves Marignac, the coordinator of the French Pluralistic Expert Group (GEP), involved with remediation activities in the region. The local population had an important consultative role during the environmental remediation programme, and they now use the former mining sites for recreation.
IAEA 24th May 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
THE world’s first offshore windfarm that can store generated energy equal to the capacity of 2 million iPhones is set to be installed off the coast of Scotland. Dubbed ‘Batwind’, the project will see five floating turbines positioned in waters north of Aberdeen acting as a windfarm battery system which could prove revolutionary to the industry, Statoil, the gas and oil firm behind the innovative project, is installing the floating turbine project about 15 miles off the coast of Peterhead,
Herald 11th June 2016 read more »
Offshore energy company Dong Energy has begun trading on the Nasdaq Copenhagen stock exchange this morning following a £10bn flotation that is expected to be the largest European listing of the year.
Telegraph 9th June 2016 read more »
Renewable – solar
The solar power industry says it has seen the loss of more than half its 35,000 jobs due to recent changes in government energy policy, just at a time when solar power has eclipsed coal as a major generator of Britain’s electricity. Experts believe ministers had cut subsidies too far and too fast, praising the “seismic”, record-breaking growth of solar in recent years. This month the Solar Cloth Company became the latest to be put into administration, following the liquidation and 170 job losses at Solarlec two weeks ago. The biggest single collapse was late last year when the Mark Group went into administration with almost 1,000 redundancies. The Solar Trade Association (STA), which represents the industry, said it was collecting exact statistics to be published soon but believed up to 18,000 jobs had gone in less than 12 months.
Guardian 10th June 2016 read more »
The Melbourne renewable energy project, conceived and managed by the city council, has been two years in the making. Thirteen major institutions operating in the city have formed a consortium that will sign an agreement to purchase a large chunk of their electricity from a new large-scale renewable energy project. The consortium members are the city of Melbourne, Australia Post, National Australia Bank, the University of Melbourne, RMIT, data centre operator NEXTDC, Zoos Victoria, the city of Port Phillip, Moreland city council, the city of Yarra, Citywide, Melbourne convention and exhibition centre and Bank Australia. If the project goes ahead, it will reduce Melbourne’s carbon emissions by 138,000 tonnes per year. A tender process is underway to find a proponent to provide 110GWh of renewable energy each year, enough to power 28,000 homes. The tender deadline is 20 June and, as the process is confidential, the council has not revealed which energy companies have submitted proposals.
Guardian 10th June 2016 read more »
Anti-fracking campaigners have claimed that a decision to allow energy companies to drill for shale gas in Yorkshire could be challenged in court. The fracking firm Third Energy was given permission last month to carry out test drilling at a site in Kirby Misperton in Rydale, North Yorkshire, even after locals opposed the application. Friends of the Earth and a local campaign group, Frack Free Ryedale, have written to North Yorkshire county council claiming the decision could be illegal. They have warned their letter could be followed by an application to the courts to have the decision overturned.
Guardian 10th June 2016 read more »
Carbon dioxide has been pumped underground and turned rapidly into stone, demonstrating a radical new way to tackle climate change. The unique project promises a cheaper and more secure way of burying CO2 from fossil fuel burning underground, where it cannot warm the planet. Such carbon capture and storage (CCS) is thought to be essential to halting global warming, but existing projects store the CO2 as a gas and concerns about costs and potential leakage have halted some plans. The new research pumped CO2 into the volcanic rock under Iceland and sped up a natural process where the basalts react with the gas to form carbonate minerals, which make up limestone. The researchers were amazed by how fast all the gas turned into a solid – just two years, compared to the hundreds or thousands of years that had been predicted.
Guardian 9th June 2016 read more »