Life has been kind to Lydd Airport lately. Manston Airport closed and Lydd is now free to expand, assuming no further appeals against the government’s decision to approve its development. For the residents of Romney Marsh it is a different story – they face additional noise, pollution and urbanisation. But there is a wider concern. This development is dangerous. The introduction of large aircraft such as the Boeing 737 to Lydd will increase the probability of an aircraft accident at the Dungeness nuclear power complex to unacceptable levels. The complex is less than 60 seconds flying time away.
Your Canterbury 10th June 2014 read more »
One of the two nuclear reactors at Heysham 1 power station will be shutdown for planned maintenance on June 11. During this shutdown, known as an ‘outage’, engineers will inspect one of the four boiler units attached to the reactor and also undertake routine refuelling. Last year during a planned maintenance shutdown, routine tests on one of the four boilers units on reactor 1 prompted further investigations. As a result the site took the decision, supported by the Office for Nuclear Regulation, to switch the reactor back on at 75 per cent power with one boiler unit isolated.
Westmorland Gazette 10th June 2014 read more »
Cumbria Trust is interested to learn that West Cumbria Mining plans to extract coal from a mine next to the former Haig Colliery in Whitehaven. The plans have been enthusiastically welcomed by some local councillors. The company itself is quoted as saying: “The area’s geology is well understood”. However, some of the local politicians supporting this project have until recently taken the opposite position – that little is known about Cumbrian geology, certainly not enough to rule out its suitability for deep burial of nuclear waste.
Cumbria Trust 11th June 2014 read more »
The global nuclear fleet is tilting toward increased dominance by pressurized water reactors, as countries favoring that technology build aggressively while only a handful of boiling water reactors are scheduled to be built in the next 10 years. The relative decline in the number of new boiling water reactors is not related to technical issues and only has an indirect connection to the Fukushima nuclear accident, which resulted in core melting at three first-generation BWR units, nuclear industry officials said.
Platts 9th June 2014 read more »
The UK Government should take a risk on nuclear power and utilise its domestic expertise rather than import resources from other nations. That’s the suggestion from Takuya Hattori, President of the Japanese Atomic Industry Forum (JAIF), who was one of the speakers at the ATOMEXPO 2014 event in Moscow this week, which brought together experts from across the global nuclear industry. He told ELN of his surprise that Britain’s nuclear industry isn’t doing enough as most of the technologies and expertise for new nuclear build are imported. Mr Hattori said: “Unfortunately the UK industry, they don’t do it themselves. All the resources, all the technologies are imported from outside. I cannot understand why. The UK can do it but I don’t know why [they aren’t doing it].”
Energy Live News 11th June 2014 read more »
A leading consumer group has warned Ed Davey that his proposed subsidy scheme will encourage the construction of more higher-cost energy projects such as offshore wind farms that might not deliver value for money. Which? has written to the secretary of state for energy and climate change saying plans for electricity market reform “could result in expensive generation projects being prioritised over cheaper, more cost-effective options”. The letter, which was copied to Treasury officials, reflects growing concern about the cost of the low-carbon agenda, something that has been raised principally by energy-intensive businesses and Conservative backbenchers. Which? insists it supports a “green” revolution and does not want to pick winners or losers in the renewable energy field but believes the Contract for Difference (CfD) subsidy regime is flawed.
Guardian 11th June 2014 read more »
On 6 June, UK researchers Jasper Tomlinson and Trevor Griffiths won £75,000 in Technology Strategy Board funding (including £20,000 of contributions-in-kind) to carry out an eight-month feasibility study. The project, which will be managed by mechanical engineer Rory O’Sullivan, aims to develop a ranking of alternatives and configurations of a liquid-fuelled molten-salt reactor, including costs, regulatory, public acceptance and site issues for building and licensing a pilot-scale demonstration reactor in the UK. It would aim to prepare the ground for a full engineering design for the chosen option, to present to potential investors.
Nuclear Engineering International 11th June 2014 read more »
More than 1,200 cubic metres of concrete and over 100 tonnes of steel reinforcement have been installed to support a new piece of machinery at a nuclear research centre. NAMRC, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Waverley Technology Park in Sheffield, is getting a new horizontal boring machine installed. It is believed to be the largest one of its kind in a research facility in Europe, and is capable of manoeuvring work-pieces of up to 100 tonnes in the chuck. Concrete specialist Richlea Developments is the main contractor and it has called on equipment from two specialist Groundforce divisions.
Construction Index 12th June 2014 read more »
The Scottish government has claimed it is on track to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by the end of the decade, despite new figures revealing emissions have risen for the third year in a row. Data published yesterday by the government showed emissions fell by an estimated 26.4 per cent between 1990 and 2012 through domestic action alone. Moreover, when emissions offset through the EU emissions Trading System were taken into account, the reduction in total emissions reached 29.9 per cent against the 1990 baseline. Speaking yesterday in Parliament, Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s minister for environment and climate change, unveiled a package of new measures to ensure Scotland remained on course to meet its 2020 target, including new plans to establish a cabinet sub-committee on climate change to ensure the issue remains high on the political agenda. Ian Marchant, chairman of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group and former chief executive of SSE, said the latest figures should act as a rallying call for more businesses to prioritise climate change in their corporate strategies. “Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group calls on all sectors of Scottish society to reinvigorate efforts to meet the targets,” he said. “The group is founded in business, and by working together to deliver a low-carbon future for Scotland through smarter collaborations and better conversations, everyone can benefit. Scotland should be leading the way and demonstrating its credentials and this is only possible if people realise it’s not going away – climate change is not a scientific myth, and measures to reduce it should be a vital component of any successful business.”
Business Green 11th June 2014 read more »
Telegraph 11th June 2014 read more »
A revised directive introduces EU-wide nuclear safety objectives that aim to limit the consequences of a potential nuclear accident as well as address the safety of the entire lifecycle of nuclear installations (siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of nuclear plants), including on-site emergency preparedness and response. The directive further strengthens the independence and role of the national regulatory authorities. As the consequences of a nuclear accident can go beyond national borders, close cooperation, coordination and information exchange between regulatory authorities of member states in the vicinity of a nuclear installation is encouraged.
EU 11th June 2014 read more »
The EU has agreed on new laws to tighten up safety standards and improve supervision of nuclear facilities. The new Directive builds on lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster and the nuclear stress tests and is based on the latest international standards. A legally binding “safety objective” is set in the regulatory framework for nuclear installations in Europe for the first time, according to the European Commission. It will cover all existing and new nuclear installations across Europe and includes the requirement for greater transparency and the need to provide better public information on the safety record of nuclear sites. It will also introduce a system of European peer reviews to be carried out every six years.
Energy Live News 12th June 2014 read more »
European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: “Nuclear safety is paramount to all European citizens and we need to put all our efforts into making sure that the highest safety standards are followed in every single nuclear power plant across the EU. The new Nuclear Safety Directive, once formally adopted, will help ensure continuous improvement of the safety of our nuclear installations.” Today, the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council of the European Union (COREPER) acknowledged the agreement reached by member states on the Commission’s proposal to amend the 2009 Nuclear Safety Directive. This agreement follows the supportive opinion adopted by the European Parliament in April. The Council still needs to formally adopt the new Directive.
EU Reporter 11th June 2014 read more »
With no plan for a long-term nuclear waste repository in process, the nuclear and utility industries argued that continued collection of the nuclear waste fund fee was unwarranted. Litigation against the US Department of Energy was led by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and of course, by the well-funded lobby group, the Nuclear Energy Institute. The DC Circuit Court ruled in the industry’s favor, and DOE lost its appeal. As a result, collection of the nuclear waste fee (running about $750 million per year) ceased in May 2014. Cessation of fee collection entirely is not reasonable at all. Taxpayers remain liable for having to deal with the industry’s nuclear mess, and neither the ruling nor the cessation of new collections change that fact one whit. Rather, the industry-led move simply ensures that there will be even less money available once work on a repository again begins in earnest and real cost information (rather than just engineering projections) are finally available. The collection stoppage thus becomes yet another example of the nuclear sector sloughing onto taxpayers the liability and financial responsibility for the nasty and risky parts of the nuclear fuel chain.
Earth Track 5th June 2014 read more »
Ukraine’s volatility exacerbates the risk for the country’s 15 Soviet-style nuclear reactors, warn German experts. They demand more attention for the country where the world’s worst nuclear accident took place. The recent news of a water shortage due to a broken pipeline affecting thousands in strife ravaged Eastern Ukraine spells trouble for the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants. That’s because the security and reliability of a country’s critical infrastructure like its electrical power and water grid is essential to safely run nuclear reactors. “Once you have decided to operate a nuclear power plant or like in this case a nuclear reactor park, you must guarantee you don’t have unstable social situations and you definitely can’t have a war,” Michael Sailer, chairman of the German Nuclear Waste Management Commission and member of the German Reactor Safety Commission, told DW.
Deutsche Welle 10th June 2014 read more »
A guidebook with a difference is selling well in Germany. It details nearly 200 renewable energy sites it thinks will appeal to tourists. Growing numbers of German communities think they have found a silver lining: they’re touting renewables as tourist attractions. A guidebook is now available, listing about 200 green projects around the country which it thinks are, in the travel writer’s time-hallowed phrase, “worth the detour”. The publication, which has already run to a second edition after the first sold out, was supported by Germany’s Renewable Energies Agency.
Climate News Network 11th June 2014 read more »
Environmental campaigners have hit back at a leaked intelligence agency report that claimed their activities were undermining India’s economic development and holding back growth by up to three per cent a year. The report highlighted the role of Greenpeace and called it “a threat to national economic security”. In what activists said was an attempt to stifle debate in a country where the issues surrounding development remain controversial, a report supposedly prepared for Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed environmentalists were stalling projects in seven areas including nuclear power, coal-fired power plants and the extractive industries. It claimed many of the NGOs received foreign funding in a way that was in breach of Indian law.
Independent 11th June 2014 read more »
Times 12th June 2014 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon and the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing have given strong backing to the UK’s fast growing offshore wind industry at a major conference, with announcements designed to encourage the UK supply chain in offshore wind and remove important areas of uncertainty for developers taking forward offshore wind farms. During the keynote speeches today at the opening of RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind conference in Glasgow, Mr Fallon said “Offshore wind isn’t just an energy sector, it’s a growth sector – and it’s vital that as the offshore wind sector grows, it strengthens its contribution to economic growth and creating jobs in the UK – more than 6,000 people are directly employed in the industry, with a similar number of indirect jobs in the supply chain”.
RenewableUK 11th June 2014 read more »
Two leading Conservative ministers have today sought to underline the government’s commitment to the green economy, outlining plans to expand the reach of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) and accelerate the development of the UK’s “world-leading” offshore wind industry. Climate Change Minister Greg Barker and Energy Minister Michael Fallon both delivered keynote speeches this morning on the prospects for the green economy at events at opposite ends of the country, in a move that is likely to anger those Conservative MPs who have been calling for the government to dramatically water down its support for the green agenda.
Business Green 11th June 2014 read more »
Energy Minister tells offshore wind industry conference that the government is committed to cementing the UK’s position as the world’s leading market. Scotland is fast becoming one of the world’s energy hubs, with a thriving renewable energy industry. Since 2010 businesses have announced over £14bn of investment in the renewables industry in Scotland – with the potential to support around 12,000 Scottish jobs.
Business Green 11th June 2014 read more »
Kumi Nadoo: Civil disobedience is a way of expressing political opposition that pushes beyond what the law allows you to do, in terms of resistance. It is an act that says “we are deliberately breaking an unjust law.” We often talk about it as a problem. In fact, I would argue that our problem is civil obedience. People too readily accept governments that do not hold to their promises. My first brush with civil disobedience was when I was 15 and in the years since, I’ve learned a few things about its power, and its limitations. Here’s a few of my lessons.
Greenpeace 11th June 2014 read more »
The Transformational Climate Science conference took place at the University of Exeter on 15 and 16 May 2014. As part of this Catherine Mitchell gave two talks on policy and climate change, based on the IPCC Working Group III report. There was also a presentation and video available from WGIII Co-Chair Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer. Further WGIII presentations are available from Professor John Barrett and Professor Simon Caney.
IGov 11th June 2014 read more »