The Norwegian Energy Minister has mocked the decision of the British government to back the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. Speaking at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Energy Summit on Monday, Tord Lien, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, also declared his country’s support for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology and pointed to the Scandinavian example of inter-governmental co-operation as a model for the European energy union. Later, Baroness Lucy Neville Rolfe, UK minister of state for energy, defended the government’s decision to back the development of the controversial nuclear power plant in a keynote speech at the annual clean energy event. In response to a question on the merits of approving the go-ahead for Hinkley, Mr Lien told the audience the experience of Norway’s neighbours Finland informed his opinions.
Power Engineering International 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Letter Greg Clark to Angus MacNeil: Further to my previous oral statement to the House on 15 September 2016, I am pleased to announce that the EDF Board has approved the condition on Hinkley Point C project to include additional protections allowing the Government to prevent the sale of EDF’s controlling stake before the completion of construction. Following EDF’s decision, I gave a direction to the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) to offer a Contact for Difference (CfD) to NNB Generation Company (HPC) Ltd (the developer) for Hinkley Point C.
Parliament (posted) 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Fears are being raised about a proposed reduction in the firefighting capability of the in-house service at the Capenhurst nuclear site. Trade union GMB says 25 male and female emergency response and rescue staff at Urenco’s uranium enrichment plant have balloted for strike action because their roles are threatened with redundancy.
Chester Chronicle 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Troops launch mock attack on Trawsfynydd.
Daily Post 11th Oct 2016 read more »
China to sell portable nuclear reactor based on ‘fundamentally unsafe’ design used in 1970s Soviet subs. Reactor will be used to help Beijing take control of disputed islands in the South China Sea by supplying power for new settlements. China has developed a nuclear power plant so small it can fit inside a shipping container – to help Beijing’s efforts to take control of disputed islands in the South China Sea. The reactor, which was partly funded by the People’s Liberation Army, will be used to supply electricity to new settlements and desalinate sea water for drinking. The reactor is based on a design used in 1970s Soviet submarines, which one British expert described as “fundamentally unsafe”. The UK Government has expressed an interest in using small modular nuclear reactors, which could provide heat to local communities as well as generating electricity. But John Large, a British independent nuclear consultant who advised the Russian government after the nuclear submarine Kursk sank in 2000, dismissed the suggestion the Chinese reactors might be an option. “The lead-bismuth reactor, in my opinion, wouldn’t be developable to an acceptably safe point because it is fundamentally unsafe,” he said. Mr Large said while the Soviet submarines powered by the reactors had been “very, very fast”, reaching speeds of up to 45 knots, they were also “well-known for killing off their crews with radiation”. And a marine environment researcher at the Ocean University of China, who asked not to be named, also expressed concerns to the South China Morning Post.
Independent 11th Oct 2016 read more »
In stark contrast to most of the world, China is building nuclear power stations like there’s no tomorrow, with eight approved last year and 40 to be constructed by 2020. Beijing will fund the controversial Hinkley Point plant in Somerset and may build another in Essex. Its latest trick involves developing a nuclear plant so small it can be packed into a standard shipping container and dispatched to support Beijing’s aggressive island-building campaign in the disputed South China Sea. The small, lead-cooled reactor, which could be installed within five years, would generate ten megawatts of heat, enough to power 50,000 households, the South China Morning Post has reported. “Part of our funding came from the military, but we hope – and it’s our ultimate goal – that the technology will eventually benefit civilian users,” Huang Qunying, a nuclear scientist, said. He admitted that it wo uld be a challenge to convince citizens of the safety of the technology, which is similar to that used in Soviet nuclear submarines in the 1970s.
Times 12th Oct 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 11th Oct 2016 read more »
The risks of transporting nuclear materials by sea from Scrabster to Barrow-in-Furness Tim Deere-Jones – Marine Radioactivity Research Consultant: With over 30 years experience of field and desk research, Tim Deere-Jones, has become one of Europe’s leading independent marine radioactivity researcher/consultants. On the issue of Nuclear Transports by sea, he has acted as consultant to a wide range of campaign groups from Australia to the UK and Europe, including Greenpeace International, the UK& Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) and KIMO International (Local Authorties International Environmental Organisation). Marine Life in the North West Highlands. Noel Hawkins – Living Seas Communities Officer (Scottish Wildlife Trust): Noel Hawkins is based in Ullapool and and conservation with local communities and increasing public is responsible for raising awareness of good knowledge on the sustainable uses of our seas. At 7.30 pm on Friday 28 October 2016 – Ferry Terminal, West Shore Street, Ullapool, Ross-Shire, IV26 2UR
Highland Against Nuclear Transport 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Nuclear bomb convoys on the M6 are putting more than a quarter of a million people at risk from radioactive contamination in Lancashire, according to a report by campaigners.
Lancashire Evening Post 12th Oct 2016 read more »
THE INTERNATIONAL Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has warned that a serious cyber attack on a nuclear plant a couple of years ago put the wind up just about everyone who was involved. Reuters was at a press conference in Germany when Yukiya Amano, director of the IAEA, spoke out, and perhaps explained why there was a time when no-one would speak about a certain plant for a while. Amano told reporters that there had been a cyber attack and at least one incident when someone tried to walk into a nuclear facility with a suitcase full of uranium.
The Inquirer 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Dr Alan Whitehead has returned to his previous post as shadow energy and climate change minister, just months after resigning in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Whitehead becomes the latest in a growing band of Labour MPs to agree to return to the front bench following Corbyn’s overwhelming victory in this summer’s leadership race.
Business Green 11th Oct 2016 read more »
The UK has fallen out of the top 10 of a respected international league table of countries’ energy sectors for the first time. The World Energy Council blamed the government’s lack of clarity and myriad changes which it said have left the country facing a potential gap in energy supply. The UK has previously been one of the top performers in the council’s “Trillema Index”, which has ranked countries on energy security, costs and decarbonisation efforts for the last six years. But the Brexit vote, cuts to renewable energy subsidies and planned changes on foreign ownership have created investment uncertainty and significant challen ges for the UK, according to the latest edition of the index for the London-headquartered agency, whose members include energy companies across the world. The UK was also added to a watchlist of countries where negative changes are expected imminently, alongside the US, Germany and Japan. Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland took the top three positive slots in the ranking, with the UK now 11th. Despite the recent decision to go ahead with new nuclear reactors at Hinkley in Somerset, the UK had a “distinct lack of policy direction”, the council’s chief said. “Challenges in terms of improving affordability, and delivering security of supply as North Sea assets deplete, coupled with the rundown of worn-out legacy infrastructure, including coal-fired generation, has left the UK with a potential energy gap,” said Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the council. “Renewables are increasing as a percentage of the UK energy mix but their output is not yet at a level where energy security can be guaranteed.”
Guardian 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
Green groups, environmental charities and politicians from across Scotland have welcomed a new report which claims that a 50% renewable energy target by 2030 is necessary and achievable for the nation. The report from WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth and RSPB Scotland outlines the key governmental actions that will need to be taken to hit the 50% target, which it refers to as the most cost-effective method of meeting Scotland’s broader climate goals. WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “This report shows that a 50% renewables target for all of our energy needs by 2030 is not only needed, but that it is achievable. “Ministers should now make this a Scottish Government target and bring in the policies needed in its forthcoming energy strategy. Doing so would enable Scotland to enjoy the many economic and social benefits that the report suggests would take place as result of generating half of all our energy needs from renewables. “Scotland is already seeing the economic and social benefits of shifting our electricity system to clean, climate-friendly, renewables generation. However, with electricity accounting for just one quarter of our energy use, it’s time to begin to reap the same benefits by increasing the use of renewables in our heat and transport sectors.”
Edie 11th Oct 2016 read more »
EDF unveiled an agreement on Tuesday to sell its coal trading business to Japan’s Jera, as the French utility seeks to strengthen its strained balance sheet and burnish its low carbon credentials. The operations are poised to be subsumed into Jera Trading Singapore, a subsidiary of Jera, which is a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, two of Japan’s biggest utilities. EDF Trading is less well known than rivals such as Glencore and Vitol but is one of the world’s largest and most profitable commodity trading businesses, specialising in coal, gas and electricity. The company last year traded 845m tonnes of coal and related derivatives: a volume equivalent to the annual US consumption of the fossil fuel.
FT 11th Oct 2016 read more »
NEW DELHI: In yet another stinging reply to Pakistan, India on Monday told United Nations there was a dangerous correlation between Pakistan’s unchecked development of nuclear weapons and the close nexus between the State and jihadi groups. And this posed the greatest threat to the world.
Times of India 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Germany is taking steps to curb its booming windfarm sector in what it claims is a necessary move to stop the renewables revolution from undermining its own success. Critics, however, say the step will deal a blow to the country’s reputation as a leader in green energy. According to leaked plans from the German federal network agency, published on Tuesday in the Suddeutsche Zeitung, the government has had to halve its original target for expanding its windfarms in the gale-beaten northern flatlands because it cannot extend its power grid quickly enough to the energy-hungry south. Germany’s plans to phase out nuclear energy is creating diplomatic headaches, too. Cheap excess energy produced by German windfarms and coal power stations is often exported to neighbouring states such as Poland, the Czech Republic or Austria, where it plays havoc with local networks and impedes those countries from building up their own sustainable systems. While the German government admits that transforming its energy infrastructure is a more complex undertaking than originally thought, officials insist that it remains on track to meet ambitious goals, including a 50% share for renewables in gross electricity consumption by 2030.
Guardian 11th Oct 2016 read more »
The German cabinet is due to take a decision on final funding from Germany’s top utilities in return for handing over responsibility for the storage of nuclear waste on Oct. 19, government and commission sources told Reuters on Tuesday. The country’s top four energy groups — E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall — are in final talks with Berlin to nail down the details of a deal proposed by a government-appointed commission in April. Under the plan, the utilities are to transfer 23.3 billion euros ($26.10 billion) in funds to the state, along with responsibility and liability for storing their nuclear waste.
Reuters11th Oct 2016 read more »
Twenty-three of 58 nuclear reactors are shut down in France, which pushed up wholesale prices. The creation of an “anti-cut mechanism”, to ensure security of supply could occur very soon.
Les Echos 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Construction of an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in southern France is in full swing as cost estimates balloon to nearly four times the original budget.
Reuters 11th Oct 2016 read more »
After the euphoria of the early ratification of the Paris Agreement comes the short, sharp shock of the reality check. The news that global clean energy investment slumped markedly during the third quarter of this year – continuing a trend that means 2016 will not match the record investment levels seen in 2015 – is not as disastrous as some critics of clean technologies will make out. But it is definitely suboptimal, to put it mildly. the biggest warning light of them all for the long-term health of the global economy: investment in renewable and energy-smart technologies has stalled. The latest figures from the influential Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show clean tech investment in the third quarter of this year crashed 43 per cent year on year to $42.4bn, marking the worst quarterly performance since 2013. This follows a first half of the year that was down 23 per cent year on year. Instead of unleashing an immediate surge in investment, the Paris Agreement marked the end of 2015’s renewables boom.
Business Green 11th Oct 2016 read more »
Renewable heat specialist Sunamp is preparing a pioneering project to transport heat from a waste treatment plant to the homes and businesses of Bristol – by barge. The company is in the process of applying to Innovate UK for funding for the novel scheme, which will see Sunamp extract heat from a waste processing plant in Avonmouth, store it in shipping containers and transport it by barge up the River Avon for use in Bristol’s district heating system.
Business Green 7th Oct 2016 read more »
A recent thermal energy conference has emphasised the importance of the UK government’s new focus on decarbonising heat. And renewable experts – led by Glasgow-based Star Renewable Energy – are urging energy users to invest in renewable heating technology for the future while government incentives to support the uptake of heat-pumps last.
Scottish Energy News 12th Oct 2016 read more »
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has published the results of three case studies which show how farmers can diversify their income and increase the productivity of their land by planting energy crops.
ETI (accessed) 11th Oct 2016 read more »
A revolutionary technique to capture carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations has been shown to work on a commercially viable basis for the first time, the company behind it has claimed. If true, the breakthrough could allow coal to continue to be burned on a large scale around the world without producing the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Anglo-Indian firm Carbon Clean Solutions Limited (CCSL) predicted its research – part funded by a £4.2m grant from the UK Government – would be a “game-changer”. While carbon-capture-and-storage systems have been tested on power stations, they have remained too expensive to make economic sense. But a 10-megawatt power station in Chennai, India, is currently using CCSL’s system to generate electricity on a commercial basis while capturing some 97 per cent of its carbon emissions, the firm’s chief executive Aniruddha Sharma told The Independent. And he said it could run at 100 per cent.
Independent 11th Oct 2016 read more »