Nuclear Safety – Bradwell
In return for investment in Somerset’s Hinkley Point the Chinese want to take over the decommissioned nuclear station in Bradwell, Essex. Britain is risking a nuclear crisis by letting China build an atomic reactor here, the GMB union has claimed. National Secretary Gary Smith said the Chinese want to use their own parts, which a top expert has criticised, to replace Essex’s Bradwell plant. The government has also been accused of holding up the “white flag” and surrendering Britain’s role as a serious player in the nuclear industry.
Mirror 11th June 2015 read more »
Women living downwind of Hinkley are twice as likelt to develop breast cancer according to Dr Chris Busby.
Burnham-on-sea.com 11th June 2015 read more »
ANTI-NUCLEAR power campaigners in West Somerset have called scientific studies which suggest women living downwind of Hinkley power station are twice as likely to develop breast cancer “very concerning”. Three separate studies by a team of scientists examined the rates of various cancers in communities living close to nuclear power plants. They found the number of women with breast cancer was higher than the national average at three separate sites. The research suggested that in areas around Hinkley it was double the rate expected, and at one power station in north Wales it was five times higher.
Bridgwater Mercury 11th June 2015 read more »
This is the West Country 11th June 2015 read more »
A project to remove asbestos from the former Chapelcross nuclear plant has been completed ahead of schedule. It is said to be the largest known asbestos removal in Europe and second largest in the world. Around 3,300 tonnes of asbestos were removed from the turbine hall, four reactor buildings and 16 heat exchangers. More than one million bags of asbestos waste – equivalent to filling four Olympic-sized swimming pools – were despatched to licensed landfill sites, Magnox claims.
Energy Live News 11th June 2015 read more »
NDA 10th June 2015 read more »
Rio Tinto has withdrawn its support for the expansion of one of the world’s biggest uranium mines, causing shares in its separately listed subsidiary, Energy Resources of Australia, to almost halve in value. The decision by the Anglo-Australian miner underscores the difficulties in the nuclear industry following the Fukushima meltdown in 2011, which prompted Japan to mothball its 43 operable reactors. Since soaring to a record high of US$137 per pound in 2007, uranium prices have fallen to US$35 per pound – a level at which many miners are losing money and new investment does not make economic sense. “After careful consideration, Rio Tinto has determined that it does not support any further study or the future development” of ERA’s proposed underground uranium mine “due to the project’s economic challenges,” the miner said.
FT 12th June 2015 read more »
SERIOUS safety concerns have been raised over new faults discovered in a reactor currently being built at the Flamanville nuclear site – 22 miles from Jersey’s coast. The body responsible for French nuclear safety, IRSN, reported that it had discovered multiple failures in crucial safety valves which could cause a meltdown. The news comes after it was announced just last month that excessive levels of carbon had been found in the structure’s steel reactor vessel, increasing the risk of it cracking which could cause radiation to leak.
Jersey Evening Post 11th June 2015 read more »
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd would consider investing in nuclear company Areva , which is being bailed out with the support of the French government, the president of the Japanese company told the Asahi newspaper. “We will no doubt be consulted (by Areva). Because of our long relationship and, if cooperation is sought, we would consider it seriously,” Shunichi Miyanaga told the Asahi in an interview. “It is something that the French government must decide and there are no concrete talks yet. If they seek (investment), we would appreciate it,” Miyanaga said.
Reuters 11th June 2015 read more »
ENGINEERING firm Atkins managed to shrug off most of the ill effects of the recent plunge in oil prices by moving further into the nuclear power sector, its chief executive said yesterday.
City AM 12th June 2015 read more »
British engineering and consultancy Atkins has won a contract at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant in Japan. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) awarded the contract to analyse fire hazards and assure safety at the nuclear plant. Atkins’ Fire Hazards Analysis will involve a review of plant documentation and on-site inspections to identify fire dangers, determine consequences related to nuclear safety goals and radioactivity release to the environment.
Energy Live News 11th June 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
Following are the main points of the revised roadmap for decommissioning Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi station, which was wrecked when an earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns in March 2011. This marks the second revision of the roadmap after it was last revised in June 2013. The government did not make changes to the overall goal to complete the decommissioning work in 30 to 40 years.
Reuters 12th June 2015 read more »
Environmentalists in Hungary are hoping the European Commission will scupper a €12.5bn (£9bn) Hungarian-Russian deal to build two new 1,200 megawatt (MW) reactors at the Paks nuclear power station on the River Danube. The expansion, they argue, will produce expensive energy, far beyond market prices, plunge Hungary into debt, and deepen dependence on Russia.
BBC 12th June 2015 read more »
Swiss authorities have searched a house in Geneva, seizing computer material in connection with a possible cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear negotiations. Austria’s government has also launched a probe into similar attacks. It comes after Kaspersky Lab, a top Russia-based software security company, announced that a spyware dubbed Duqu 2 hit hotels which hosted diplomats at nuclear negotiations.
Russia Today 11th June 2015 read more »
Morning Star 12th June 2015 read more »
ITV 11th June 2015 read more »
The United States urged Iran to implement nuclear transparency measures outlined in a preliminary deal reached with world powers in April, in a statement issued in Vienna on Thursday. Laura Kennedy, the U.S. envoy at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, told the IAEA board that it “remains critical for Iran to implement the provisions of Modified Code 3.1 … without delay”. This provision requires from Iran early notification of the construction of new nuclear facilities.
Reuters 11th June 2015 read more »
Renewable Heat – Scotland
New Heat Policy Statement designates Energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority. Energy efficiency will be designated as a National Infrastructure Priority, according to The Scottish Government’s new Heat Policy Statement. The policy, released today, has three aims: reducing the need for heat; supplying heat efficiently and at least cost to consumers; and using renewable and low carbon heat. A key part of the plan will be an Energy Efficiency Programme, providing support for domestic and non-domestic buildings in Scotland for energy efficiency improvements. The Government aims to deliver 1.5 TWh of Scotland’s heat demand by district or communal heating by 2020. Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “We need to totally change the way we produce heat if we are going to get anywhere near our climate change targets, and that is going to be a long, difficult and complex transition. “Heating is also the main element of our energy bills and the key driver of fuel poverty, so there are many ways in which change here can benefit the country. It’s clear that Government is starting to focus on the huge challenges in this area, and on the many different technologies which will be required to start the shift to cleaner energy sources, with measures such as an additional £3 million of funding for the Home Renewables Loans scheme in 2015/16, and recently-announced support for geothermal energy feasibility studies.”
Holyrood 11th June 2015 read more »
Scottish ministers say the country’s heat system should be largely decarbonised by 2050 in an effort to battle climate change. This can be achieved through increasing efficiency and using energy generated from renewable sources, they say. Local authorities will get support to develop a “strategic approach to district heating”, which can provide heat to homes and businesses more cheaply and efficiently. The policy retains the target to have 40,000 homes connected to district or communal heating by 2020.
Scotsman 11th June 2015 read more »
Key points include: Designating energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority. The cornerstone of this will be Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) which will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland – domestic and non-domestic – to improve their energy efficiency rating; The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), launched in March 2015, with £76 million over the first 3 years, to provide tailored project development support for established and start-up infrastructure projects, including heat, across the private, public and community sectors; A support programme for local authorities to develop a strategic approach to district heating and supporting use of the Scotland Heat Map to do so; Retaining the level of ambition to achieve 1.5 TWh of Scotland’s heat demand to be delivered by district or communal heating and to have 40,000 homes connected by 2020.
Scottish Housing News 11th June 2015 read more »
Edie 11th June 2015 read more »
The UK Government’s plan to tackle climate change whilst also reducing subsidy support for solar and onshore wind, is ‘somewhat absurd’, according to global consultancy EY (formerly Ernst & Young). The firm’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) warned that the Conservative’s election victory could prove a ‘double edged sword’ for the renewables industry.
Edie 11th June 2015 read more »
Business Green 11th June 2015 read more »
There’s a fast-growing city in Texas that also has one of the most progressive energy programs in the country — and it’s not Austin. Located about 30 miles north of the Texas capital in a deeply conservative county, the city of Georgetown will be powered 100 percent by renewable energy within the next couple years. Georgetown’s residents and elected officials made the decision to invest in two large renewable energy projects, one solar and one wind, not because they reduced greenhouse gas emissions or sent a message about the viability of renewable energy — but because it just made sense, according to Mayor Dale Ross.
Climate Progress 11th June 2015 read more »
This week a team led by Stanford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Mark Jacobson presented the latest results of its work on the technical and economic feasibility of moving the United States to 100% renewable energy by 2050. This includes state-by-state assessments and covers all forms of energy: Electricity, transit, heat and industry.
Energy Media Society 11th June 2015 read more »
Utilities have traditionally earned profits by simply selling more energy and building more power plants and infrastructure, which put their financial motivations squarely at odds with the goal of greater energy efficiency. Luckily, that business model has started to change, which is good news for the nation’s economy, environment, and for consumers who want more options for saving energy in their homes and businesses. With the proper regulatory tools in place, utilities’ financial motivations can be aligned with energy efficiency outcomes. As regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders begin to consider utility business models for the 21st century, they can look to recent state experience for insight into how to effectively incorporate energy efficiency as a utility system resource. ACEEE has been researching this issue for years, and today we are releasing a series of three new reports on a range of topics related to utility business models and energy efficiency. We examined practices state by state across the United States, interviewed stakeholders for case studies of several state examples, and documented lessons learned.
ACEEE 10th June 2015 read more »
The smart meter roll out should be used as an opportunity to assess every home for their energy efficiency performance, Labour peer Lord Whitty has urged.
Utility Week 11th June 2015 read more »
Elon Musk has announced plans to double the capacity of Tesla’s forthcoming Powerwall battery pack – at no extra cost. Speaking at a shareholder meeting this week, Musk said the Powerwall would undergo the upgrade because he “took some negative feedback to heart” after the May 1 launch. Potential buyers reportedly claimed that the 2 kilowatt hour (kwh) output was not enough to run a standard house. Continuous-use capacity will now go from 2.2kwh to 5kwh, while at peak usage, the system will be able to deliver 7kwh.
Edie 11th June 2015 read more »
Shale oil has seen America replace Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer, but it has also caused prices to plunge and, as Environment Editor Tom Bawden reports, that could spell disaster for the mature North Sea industry.
Independent 11th June 2015 read more »
International talks in Bonn have made progress towards a new global deal on climate change, says the UN, amid calls from NGOs for a faster pace. Countries are working towards options to limit greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 in time for a crunch Paris summit. The UN said progress had been made towards streamlining the text of a new agreement at talks in Bonn. Environmental groups said ”difficult issues” such as finance and emissions cuts had yet to be addressed. The 11-day meeting is designed to pave the way towards a new global deal on climate change to be signed in Paris at the end of the year.
BBC 11th June 2015 read more »
Climate change negotiators meeting in Bonn on Thursday came up with a last-minute compromise that observers hope will put the talks on track for a new global agreement on greenhouse gases. Slow progress was made until the final hours, as nations wrangled over the wording of an 89-page draft text, intending to cut it down to a more manageable size. After two weeks, the text had been cut by just four pages to 85. But shortly before the talks were scheduled to finish, countries agreed that the co-chairs of the negotiations should be allowed to make their own alterations to the text, and present it to all countries for approval, probably in late July. This should be a quicker process, though there is no guarantee that countries will not try to re-draw the new draft when it becomes available.
Guardian 11th June 2015 read more »