Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has challenged a series of “myths” attached to the government’s Energy Bill, arguing the controversial reforms are not a disguised nuclear subsidy and have not been made unnecessary by the discovery of European shale gas deposits. Speaking at a CBI event yesterday evening, Davey tackled a series of criticisms that have been levelled at the Energy Bill, and, in comments that will be interpreted as a direct challenge to some of his Conservative colleagues in the coalition, he rejected suggestions the UK should water down the proposed reforms and instead focus on boosting gas capacity. Davey rejected that the Energy Bill conceals a “stealth subsidy” for nuclear power plants, insisting categorically that there will “be no public subsidy for new nuclear power, unless similar support is made available for other types of low-carbon generation”. However, he added that incentives would be structured differently for the kind of baseload power offered by nuclear power plants and the more variable energy offered by wind farms. Finally, he insisted the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had listened to complaints that the proposed reforms would make it harder for new entrants to compete with the Big Six energy companies, promising that it would report in the autumn on how the government and regulator Ofgem could work to remove any “structural barriers to entry” for smaller energy firms.
Business Green 11th Sept 2012 more >>
The Energy and Climate Change Committee holds the second public evidence session on ‘Building new nuclear- the challenges ahead’ at 10.15am on Tuesday 11 September, in Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster.
Parliament 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Since Eon and RWE withdrew from plans to develop new nuclear power in the UK and put their Horizon joint venture up for sale there has been speculation over who might be potential investors in the project. Top of the list? British newspapers have been naming Russia and China as the potential likely investors. Whether that would get the support of the British public was one of the questions raised today during a hearing by a Select Committee of MPs. They heard from Professor Nick Pidgeon of Cardiff University that it was a material concern for the public but not just for nuclear. Research into public attitudes revealed that it was a interesting question across the whole debate about infrastructure, he said. Concerns about Russian or Chinese influence in the nuclear sector reflected similar concerns around Russian gas for example, news stories about Russian threats to withhold gas supplies from Europe during recent winters. However, the select committee, which conducts its own inquiries into activities around the energy and climate change brief, also took evidence from representatives of engineering institutions that suggested intense local involvement could counterbalance the fears over foreign ownership. The fact that EDF, which owns Hinkley Point B in Somerset and is planning a third plant at the site, is a French company, had not had a material effect on acceptance there, witnesses said. The reason appeared to be that continuing and deep local involvement.
i-Nuclear 11th Sept 2012 more >>
UK nuclear host communities want to have “legacy benefits” in the same way that they have been built into Olympic planning, MPs on the select committee on Energy and Climate Change heard today. Alyn Jones, lead officer of the New Nuclear Local Authorities Group said “by virtue of how [planning] documents are structured they have to focus on construction, because it has the biggest impact” and National Planning Statements should have more discussion of legacy. Jones spoke about a “renaissance” in the supply chain off the back of new-build and warned that local, regional and national concerns should be able to use that business opportunity, saying “it would be a big concern if they did not”. Giving communities around nuclear sites a real understanding of risk was a key concern of all the witnesses. Bob Brown, director of corporate services at Sedgemoor District Council, where Hinkley Point is sited, asked how account could be taken of risk during the process of decidingon a new plant. Although local communities were well-informed, engaging with risk was difficult. “It’s not in the planning process, it’s in the technical consenting regime”, he explained. Jones said, the planning system was “difficult enough, but understandable” whereas scientific consent was not.
Utility Week 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Nuclear construction leaders have insisted a 2019 completion date is achievable for Hinkley Point C, but warned that delays to the programme could lead to job losses among contractors. Giving evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Institution of Mechanical Engineers head of energy and environment Dr Tim Fox said a 2019 completion date with a six-year construction programme was achievable. But CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner warned the committee that the impact of the delay on new nuclear is palpable. Mr Reisner said companies were having to justify employing staff solely for the nuclear sector to their boards at a time when work was not picking up and that companies are taking a view on whether they can sustain jobs in the sector.
Construction News 11th Sept 2012 more >>
A rapid nuclear binge to prevent runaway global warming is not practical and would ignore pressing development issues, a leading UK expert in atomic energy has told RTCC. Speaking to at the sidelines of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Conference at Sussex University, Professor Gordon MacKerron, said it was not inevitable or desirable for countries to pursue large scale nuclear programmes.While nuclear power will remain as a potential option for some countries, the notion that it can play a large role in some kind of global low carbon future seems to me it would be frankly unrealistic and probably undesirable, he said. It is a slow process; nuclear power takes a long time to develop, to pass through regulatory processes and to pass through political hurdles. There are other large scale technologies of which large scale solar is an obvious example that might do just a good a job, cheaper and quicker and with less controversy. Earlier this week, leading UK polar expert Peter Wadhams called for accelerated research into geo-engineering options, as well as increased investment in nuclear energy. Speaking after spending the summer in the Arctic, Wadhams said his recent observations of the regions vanishing sea-ice had convinced him that urgent measures had to be taken.
Responding to Climate Change 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Any delays to building the UK’s first new nuclear plant since the 1990s could hold up other atomic projects and deepen the country’s dependence on potentially insecure fuel imports, a panel of British civil engineers said on Tuesday.The engineers told British parliamentarians they were worried about threats to the timetable for EDF Energy’s planned nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in the English county of Somerset.
Reuters 11th Sept 2012 more >>
A DROP-IN event is taking place at Bridgwater town hall today where people can learn about three proposed environmental permits, including one for the disposal of radioactive waste from Hinkley C. The other two permits sought by EDF Energy concern discharging liquid into the Bristol Channel, and using diesel generators as a standby power source.
This is the West Country 11th Sept 2012 more >>
The prospect of Britains first new nuclear reactor in a quarter of a century moved closer last night after deal-breaking local opposition to the project was dropped. French utility giant EDF is leading the project to erect a generator at its Hinkley Point site in Somerset. But criticism from three local authorities closest to the plant threatened to derail the venture before spades even hit the ground. In order to win ministers and planners approval for the £7bn operation, the company needed the backing of the councils. But its previous attempts to placate opposition by offering £30m of investment into the local area were not sufficient. Time was running out for the company, which needs to have planners approval in order to present its spending plan to investors before the end of the year. Now it has agreed to pour £64m into the local area across housing, schools and community centres. In exchange, the three councils lined up to back the nuclear new-build venture. Some of the money EDF is offering will directly relate to the project. But a large portion of it is going into unrelated schemes such as a £20m community fund.
This is Money 11th Sept 2012 more >>
EDF Energy stopped its 610-megawatt (MW) Heysham 1-2 nuclear reactor in Britain on Wednesday for planned refuelling work, a spokeswoman said.
Reuters 12th Sept 2012 more >>
Architects Grimshaw and Canaway Fleming have been appointed to draw up the plans for EDFs new nuclear plant at Sizewell in Suffolk. The plant will be the second of the electricity firms new fleet to be built after work starts on its new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The architects will support EDF in the development of the Suffolk scheme, which is due to be consulted on later this year.
Building 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Construction News 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Claims by Labours energy spokesperson Tom Greatrex questioning the SNPs ongoing opposition to dangerous and unnecessary new nuclear power stations have been rubbished and rebounded on Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont. SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP dismissed Mr Greatrexs claims at the TUC conference and challenged Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont to clarify her partys position on new nuclear. In 2007 Labour opposed new nuclear while waste disposal problems remain unresolved; In a debate on 5 October 2011, Labours Infrastructure and Capital Investment spokesperson Richard Baker claimed: Our partys position has not been to rule in new nuclear power for the future of Scotlands energy production and consumption, but neither have we ruled it out. Mr Greatrex now appears to be cheerleading for the nuclear industry.
SNP Press Release 10th Sept 2012 more >>
Letter Councillor Fariha Thomas, Nuclear Free Local Authorities, Scotland Convener: I read with interest Councillor Alex Gallagher’s letter on the potential benefits of a new nuclear power station at Hunterston. Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Scotland is also disappointed with Scottish Government energy policy. We agree with the policy of “no new nuclear build” but believe that Scotland’s existing nuclear power stations can be closed much earlier than the potential date of 2023. I encourage Mr Gallagher to read our reports on the future development of Scottish energy policy (see our website www.nuclearpolicy.info). These outline the many exciting ways Scotland can harness various forms of renewable energy, microgeneration and energy efficiency to bring about the sort of radical changes that will benefit the country and bring in thousands of new jobs. For example, here in Glasgow I am excited by the real possibilities of geothermal energy for the city and the west of Scotland. It has been calculated that as much of 40% of Glasgow’s heating requirements could be met through tapping into flooded mines. By doing so we would be taking advantage of works from a previous energy source (coal) to harness a much cleaner, greener and sustainable form of energy. Our report clearly shows we don’t need to look to new nuclear as the answer to our future energy needs. Scottish councils can also play a major part in delivering them, as many are already doing.
Herald 12th Sept 2012 more >>
On the 10th of September the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will enter the debate around a new problem concerning the burial of long-lived nuclear waste, whose radioactivity lasts for thousands of years. The steering committee of a new programme, GEOSAF2, targeted at studying the methods of development of storage centres of this nuclear waste, will meet for the first time. Until recently the feasibility of the concept was analysed. Now it concerns making the link between the long-term security of the storage and the safety of the installation in its development phase explains Michel Tichauer, president of the committee and researcher at the French Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRNS). For a hundred years after the decision to create a deep storage site, it will be necessary to excavate the galleries and install the necessary equipment there, at the same time as starting to develop it, that is, to emplace the waste containers. Safety during the development phase is one of the subjects that most demands our attention maintains Marie-Claude Dupuis, director of the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive waste (Andra). She directs the French project of the Industrial Centre of geological storage (Cigéo), which should be put into service in 2025. Le Monde | 28 Aug 2012 (online), published 29 Aug 2012 By Hervé Kempff, translated from the French by David Smythe.
Le Monde 29th Aug 2012 more >>
Radiation Free Lakeland 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Consultation on plans to build a nuclear waste processing plant on the Romney Marsh has seen 63% of residents and 50% of businesses reject the idea. The government is implementing a policy of geological disposal of nuclear waste and has invited communities’ opinions on the planned facility. Councillors are due to vote on 19 September, on whether to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
BBC 11th Sept 2012 more >>
An organization representing the nation’s scientists called on the government Tuesday to drop its plan to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste deep underground, saying the risk of geological-based problems is too high. The Science Council of Japan proposed keeping the waste in “temporary safe storage” sites during a moratorium that could last hundreds of years while efforts are made to establish a safe way to dispose of the lethal substances. The council compiled the proposal in response to a request by the Atomic Energy Commission to look into the current efforts to select a final repository for high-level radioactive waste a situation that is currently in a stalemate.
Japan Times 12th Sept 2012 more >>
80% of Denmark’s energy used to be dependent on imported oil, but now Denmark is a net exporter of energy? They have the largest windmill company in the world, employing over 30,000 people. The average Danish family consumes less than half the energy of the average American family. And one more thing: if you think that must have hurt economic growth somehow… nope, sorry: Denmark’s energy use has not grown at all in the last 20 years while it’s economy has grown 78%– during which it cut carbon emissions in half!
Next World TV 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 7th to 10th Sept 2012.
Greenpeace 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Japan aims to quit nuclear power in the 2030s in a new energy strategy to be unveiled soon, media said on Wednesday, a major shift from a pre-Fukushima disaster goal of boosting atomic energy to produce more than half the country’s electricity.
Trust 12th Sept 2012 more >>
India’s ambitious plans for a huge expansion of its nuclear power capacity to help ease the country’s crippling power shortages have provoked a bitter backlash. On Tuesday one of the country’s top nuclear scientists called for a temporary moratorium on commissioning any new nuclear power plants in the country until New Delhi can win the support of the local communities that will live in the shadow of the reactors. A. Gopalakrishnan, who served as chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board from 1993 until 1996, criticised the government and its secretive nuclear establishment for attempting to “ram through” new nuclear reactors without a “proper dialogue” with the public. “I would like them to stop all nuclear projects and take a complete relook at the way they are managing the nuclear sector, vis-a-vis the public,” he told the Financial Times. “The problem is a tremendous lack of transparency.”
FT 11th Sept 2012 more >>
The White House on Tuesday denied reports of a rift with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he and President Barack Obama have reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Telegraph 12th Sept 2012 more >>
The head of MI6 has made an extraordinary secret visit to Israel to urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to give the go-ahead to plans to bomb Iran, the Daily Mail can reveal. In an indication that the Government believes a strike on Tehrans nuclear programme could be imminent, Sir John Sawers is understood to have made a personal mission to deliver a clear message that Britain is opposed to action now.
Daily Mail 12th Sept 2012 more >>
Iran studied the destructive power of a nuclear warhead by using computer models in the period before 2009, according to new information passed to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Telegraph 11th Sept 2012 more >>
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has warned that if the US fails to set clear “red lines” for Iran over its nuclear programme, it cannot “place a red light” in front of Israel should the Jewish state decide to launch a military strike. “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday, following clear indications from the US that it would not be bounced into hardening its position.
Guardian 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Six world powers at a U.N. nuclear meeting are set to voice deep concern about Iran’s expanded uranium enrichment and urge it to open up to investigations, diplomats said on Tuesday, in search of a breakthrough to head off a risk of Israeli military action.
Reuters 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Quebec’s new government has confirmed it won’t proceed with the multibillion-dollar refurbishment of the province’s lone nuclear reactor and will instead shut it down. A spokesman for incoming premier Pauline Marois gave the confirmation Tuesday, one day after the first public screening of a new film on the reactor that raises questions about its safety for people living nearby. The government of outgoing Premier Jean Charest decided in 2008 to rebuild the Gentilly-2 nuclear plant at a cost of about $2 billion, but stopped work after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.
CBC 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Four state-owned companies have signed a letter of intent to participate in the preparation, construction and operation of Poland’s first nuclear plant. Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), Tauron Polska Energia, Enea, and copper giant KGHM Polska Miedz have agreed to prepare a draft agreement to acquire shares in PGE EJ 1, a special purpose company responsible for the preparation, construction and operation of the for the first Polish nuclear power project.
Nuclear Engineering International 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Russia has raised to one billion euros ($1.3 billion) its compensation claim against Bulgaria over Sofia’s decision to drop a deal for a Russian firm to build a new nuclear power plant. “The increased damages claim now amounts to no less than one billion euros,” Russia’s Atomstroiexport said of the claim made with the International Court of Arbitration. The new claim is a sharp increase on the previous sum of 58 million euros ($75 million) Atomstriexport had sought at the Paris-based court from Bulgaria’s national power company over the deal for the Belene power plant.
EU Business 11th Sept 2012 more >>