Greenpeace Energy, a green energy supplier headquartered in Hamburg, is going before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) with a legal action against subsidies for Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. In 2015, together with other energy suppliers, Greenpeace Energy lodged a complaint with the General Court of the EU in Luxembourg against the EU Commission after the Commission approved billions of euros of State aid for the controversial nuclear project. These subsidies will distort competition on the electricity market in Europe and in Germany at the cost of renewable energies. The General Court dismissed this action as inadmissible in September and Greenpeace Energy has now lodged an appeal. “Especially because Hinkley Point C is seen as a blueprint for many other nuclear projects in Europe, and the General Court completely ignores this fact, we have decided to continue the legal battle against unfair nuclear subsidies and see this through to the end”, says Sönke Tangermann, managing director of Greenpeace Energy. Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia also have plans to build new reactors. As intervenors on behalf of the Commission, these four countries have been involved in this dispute as well as in separate legal proceedings brought before the ECJ by Austria. Plans for new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Europe in coming years foresee the construction of altogether 34 gigawatts of capacity.
Greenpeace Energy 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Greenpeace Energy Factsheet.
Greenpeace Energy 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Molly Scott Cato MEP has welcomed news that Greenpeace Energy, a green energy supplier in Germany, is taking renewed legal action through the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over subsidies for the new nuclear power station. The new action follows a complaint by the supplier lodged with the General Court of the EU in Luxembourg last year against the EU Commission for approving billions of euros of State aid for the controversial nuclear project. The General Court dismissed this action so Greenpeace Energy has now lodged an appeal with the ECJ. Molly has also made her own challenge. In March this year she wrote to the Commission asking it to investigate whether a proposed rescue plan for Hinkley C was in breach of European state aid rules.
Molly Scott Cato 12th Dec 2016 read more »
In a surprise move French energy giant EDF and Chinese nuclear company CGN have consulted Mersea residents over the proposed new nuclear power station on the Bradwell site. This overturns the practice followed by Essex County Council (ECC) and Colchester Borough Council (CBC), who have previously excluded the Five Parishes from planning discussions relating to Bradwell because they are not in the “planning area.” The previous official position was that the Bradwell site is in the Maldon planning area and that Mersea Island (despite being much closer to and directly downwind from the site) need not be included in planning discussions. That position must now be untenable in the light of EDF and CGN’s joint statement to the Courier, which confirms that the partnership will engage regularly with local communities to gather their views. The statement went on to say that: “The Bradwell project is at a very early pre-planning stage and there will be many opportunities over the coming years for the local community and their representatives to find out more and to have their say before detailed proposals are drawn up to allow a planning application to be made.” The story of these consultations unfolded in a curious way: Reports started circulating on social media on Monday Nov 27th of a man with a clipboard outside the post office in West Mersea offering people £50 in cash to attend meetings at West Mersea School on Nov 30th. Sources said that this person asked them some questions and if they fitted his (undisclosed) criteria they were invited to attend one of the two scheduled meetings. These meetings were described as “open” but a resident who arrived uninvited at the evening meeting was refused admittance when she revealed her membership of a local environmental organisation. People who were present at the meetings said that the first questions asked were about national and local concerns, but the main body of the research was centred around the EDF/CGN proposed nuclear power station new build at Bradwell. This led to speculation that the meetings were instigated by Magnox, EDF, or the Environment Agency. One of the most persistent themes in the questioning was concerned with the Chinese involvement in the project, those present being asked if they would feel more positive about the building if it were being designed by British companies. The consensus in the room was that this would indeed improve their attitude towards the project. The Courier contacted Magnox, EDF and the EA to ask them for their comments on the market research meetings.. The Environment Agency replied “The research group was not commissioned by the Environment Agency, and it’s not something we’re aware of…” Magnox did not respond. The Courier welcomes the decision to include Mersea in future planning discussions, no matter how curiously it came about. The EDF/CGN joint statement concluded: “If people want to share their views on the project they can contact us via our community website: www.bradwellb.co.uk”
Mersea Island Courier 10th Dec 2016 read more »
An anti-nuclear energy campaigner has claimed that the local economy on Anglesey had been “allowed to stagnate over decades due to a promise that nuclear power would come and save the day”. Robat Idris from People Against Wylfa B said residents were concerned about nuclear waste from the proposed Wylfa Newydd power plant and were not convinced that any new jobs would be for local people. He said focusing efforts on bringing renewable and community energy schemes to Anglesey would offer more long-term benefits.
BBC 12th Dec 2016 read more »
The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales are asking for your views on their environmental assessment of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR) nuclear power station design. The consultation closes on 3rd March 2017
Environment Agency 12th Dec 2016 read more »
A consultation on design plans for a proposed nuclear power plant on Anglesey has begun. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Environment Agency are looking at the plans for Wylfa Newydd. The organisations will look at safety, security, environmental protection and waste management. NRW’s Tim Jones said: “Our purpose is to ensure that the natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used.” People are able to have their say on the proposals until 3 March. But the public will have no influence on the technology used or the site location.
BBC 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Energy Live News 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Process Engineering 12th Dec 2016 read more »
The possible design of a nuclear power station planned near Bristol has been revealed as part of consultation for the scheme. The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, working with the Office for Nuclear Regulation, are consulting on their assessment of a new nuclear power station design from Hitachi-GE. This process helps ensure that any new nuclear power stations built in the UK meet high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management. It also helps enable developers to avoid potential cost and time delays during construction arising from late identification of modifications to meet UK requirements.
Bristol Post 12th Dec 2016 read more »
On the road to Druridge is a plaque commemorating a victory won over 20 years ago. People battled against plans to build a nuclear power station in the middle of the Bay. They won but now Druridge Bay is the site of another battle. The same arguments for and against the nuclear power station are being used in the fight over a proposed opencast coal mine. Just as the Brexit debate has split our country down the middle, the proposed Highthorn mine has torn a rift in our community with passionate voices speaking on both sides.
The Ambler 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Existing fossil fuel and nuclear plants have taken the lion’s share of capacity auctioned in December, although DSR and electricity storage have made some progress.
ENDS 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
The Scottish Trade Union Congress and Friends of the Earth have today agreed to work together on industrial policies which can create a ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon economy for Scotland to save and/or create new jobs in the Scottish energy sector. As the new Scottish Energy Strategy is being drafted, they will be pressing for bold measures which show that the Scottish Government is determined to make change happen. In a joint statement – also supported also by WWF Scotland and the Unite, UNISON, PCS, UCATT, UCU and CWU trade unions – they share their concern that plans so far have been too slow and not ambitious enough.
Scottish Energy News 13th Dec 2016 read more »
Bill Gates and more than a dozen of the world’s wealthiest individuals revealed a new $1 billion investment fund late Sunday to foster major advances in clean energy production. Dubbed Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the 20-year fund is backed by a mix of technology luminaries and heavyweights from the energy industry. The goal is to pump money into risky, long-term energy technology that could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a statement. The investments will likely go into areas such as electricity generation and storage, agriculture and transportation.
Bloomberg 12th Dec 2016 read more »
NDA report provides an overview of the NDA’s strategic Research and Development programme for 5 financial years (FY2014-15 to FY2018-19).The R&D programme can be broken down into five areas: Direct Research Portfolio; Technical Innovation – Supply Chain; International Collaboration; Radiation Epidemiology and Radiobiology Research; Radioactive Waste Inventory.
NDA 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Based on the third edition of NDA’s Strategy, published in April 2016, this Draft Business Plan sets out objectives and expected progress for all 17 of the NDA’s nuclear sites over the next 3 years, in line with the funding agreed with as agreed with HM Treasury and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Also included is a 20-year overview of forthcoming activities across 17 of the UK’s earliest nuclear sites.
NDA 12th Dec 2016 read more »
NDA Blog: Every year we consult on our Draft Business Plan that sets out the next 3 years of key activity in the NDA’s mission to clean up and decommission 17 of the UK’s earliest nuclear sites. These 17 sites include the nation’s first nuclear power stations, various research and fuel facilities, including Sellafield in Cumbria, our largest and most complex nuclear site. In the last 10 years, we have developed a detailed understanding of the UK’s nuclear legacy. Our Site Licence Companies are now successfully delivering a national decommissioning strategy in collaboration with a thriving supply chain.
NDA 12th Dec 2016 read more »
French utility Engie said on Tuesday that provisions for its nuclear activities would go up by 1.8 billion euros (1.51 billion pounds), following a review of its Belgian reactors that could see them halted or dismantled. Engie is currently undergoing a three-year restructuring, which will see it sell assets and invest more in areas such as renewable energy production, gas and distributed energy.
Reuters 13th Dec 2016 read more »
Four Russian cities have expressed an interest in using small reactors to supply heat and power, according to Yuriy Kuznetsov of NA Dollezhal Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (NIKIET). A Rosatom feasibility study has concluded that up to 38 cogeneration reactors could potentially be deployed at 14 sites for this purpose. In many Russian cities district heating is a common feature that sees a local power plant supply up to around 250 MWe to the grid, as well as process heat to a communal system to warm homes, schools, factories and offices. These systems have traditionally relied on fossil fuels but will need to change in line with incoming goals to gain in efficiency and to decarbonise, as set out by a Presidium of the State Council which specifically mentioned nuclear as a potential technology.
World Nuclear News 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Operators at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are aiming to restart waste emplacement by the end of December, the manager of the DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) said on 7 December. A DOE operational readiness review team has said the facility can be authorized to restart waste emplacement after 21 identified issues have been addressed.
World Nuclear News 9th Dec 2016 read more »
The government of Japan admitted Friday 9 December that the bill for decommissioning the wrecked nuclear power plant at Fukushima, and compensating victims of the 2011 disaster, would soar to nearly twice its previous estimate, to $188bn (21.5 trillion yen). The projected cost of scrapping the reactors quadrupled from 2 trillion yen to 8 trillion, while the cost of decontaminating the surrounding land nearly doubled, from 2.5 trillion yen to 4 trillion, theNikkei Asian Review reports.
Global Construction Review 12th Dec 2016 read more »
India – EPRs & AP1000s
India has asked American and French nuclear companies, which propose to build atomic plants in the country, to furnish details of functional reactors designed by them as proof of their efficacy. Sources said French company EDF and US firm Westinghouse are still not ready with fully operational “reference plants”, a pre-requisite before a final General Framework Agreement could be signed with these entities. The EDF proposes to build six EPRs of 1650 MW each in Jaitapur and Westinghouse another set of six AP1000 reactors in Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh with an individual capacity of 1000 MW. A senior government official said designs presented by the two companies are new, so even the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) wants to see how the technology works. “We have told them to show a reference nuclear plant, which is functional and produces electricity. On paper, the designs of these companies look nice, but we should also know whether they work well or not. This will also help in getting clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, the nuclear watchdog in the country,” the official said. India specialises in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors while the one which foreign companies are building are Light Water Reactors (LWRs) with some distinction from one another. Interestingly, the Russian have built Kudankulam units one and two, a VVER technology. The EDF, which is now negotiating with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), said it had given Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant 3 as the reference plant. The French government-owned company said the Flamanville plant with a capacity of 1630 MW should be operational by next year. However, sources said it might take a tad longer for the plant to become operational. EDF is also building another EPR reactor Taishan in China and that is expected to be commissioned before Flamanville.
New Indian Express 11th Dec 2016 read more »
EDF confirmed on Monday that seven nuclear reactors shut down for safety checks would be up and running again by the end of December and there would be no problem with power supplies this winter. The company said its reactors were safe and also confirmed revised 2016 targets for nuclear production of 378-385 terawatt hours, as well as for its core earnings. Grid operator RTE said in a report on Saturday that three of the seven reactors offline – Gravelines 2, Dampierre 3 and Tricastin 3 – would resume production from Dec. 20 and that four more would restart before Dec. 31. EDF confirmed the report. The seven reactors are among 12 that have been slated for inspections under orders from the nuclear regulator ASN. Another four of the 12 earmarked for checks – Fessenheim 1, Gravelines 4, Civaux 1 and Tricastin 2 – will go offline this month and resume production before Jan. 15, EDF officials said.
Reuters 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 12th Dec 2016 read more »
The German government has cut a deal with the nuclear power companies operating in the country that would guarantee them a ceiling on costs related to radioactive waste, lawmakers said Monday. Germany’s E.ON SE, RWE AG, EnBW AG and Sweden’s Vattenfall AB already set aside about €17 billion ($18 billion) to finance the disposal of radioactive waste after the government moved to ban nuclear power five years ago. Under Monday’s deal, they would pay an additional €6 billion into a public fund but be off the hook for any further payments if the cost of processing the radioactive material were to balloon out of control in the decades to come, as many experts fear. The companies have also agreed to drop some of the lawsuits they filed against the government after the nuclear ban.
Wall St Journal 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Russian company Rosatom announced on Friday it has received 620 million euros ($660 million) from Bulgarian energy firm NEK in compensation over a cancelled nuclear project. Bulgaria cancelled the Belene project on the Danube River after failing to find foreign investors and under pressure from Brussels and Washington to limit its energy dependence on Russia. An international arbitration court ruled in June that Bulgaria should pay compensation for nuclear equipment it ordered from Rosatom before cancelling the 10 billion euro project in 2012.
Reuters 9th Dec 2016 read more »
Energy Business Review 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
A failed £18m tidal energy project in Pembrokeshire stopped generating electricity after just three months because of a fault, its operators have admitted. Tidal Energy Ltd went into administration in October, but the 400KW, 39ft high turbine in Ramsey Sound, had not worked since March. Development director Chris Williams defended the research project. The Welsh Government said a buyer was being sought. Mr Williams said the DeltaStream device was never intended to generate massive amounts of electricity, but it did work for a period of time after its installation in December 2015. The scheme received £8m in EU funds but market forces had led to the company’s financial struggles causing its collapse, he previously revealed.
BBC 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The United States’ first offshore wind farm has opened off the coast of Rhode Island, ushering in a new era in the country for the industry. GE and Deepwater Wind have partnered to build five massive turbines three miles off Block Island to power about 17,000 homes, a project costing about $300 million (£235m). It announced on Monday that the wind farm has begun producing energy for the grid and started delivering power to the New England grid on December 12.
Telegraph 13th Dec 2016 read more »
The Government should pay factory owners to help keep the lights on in homes by switching off their machinery to ease electricity demand, according to the lobby group for big manufacturers. The EEF believes that Government cash incentives for cutting energy consumption at peak times or when wind and solar farms aren’t working would ease strain on the grid more cheaply than building new power stations. Such “demand side response” schemes have been used by the National Grid over recent winters as a “last resort” measure to help keep the lights on in an emergency as the closure of old power plants tightens UK supplies.
Telegraph 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Some of the UK’s largest manufacturing organisations have today called on the government to step up support for energy efficiency and demand response in order to drive down energy use across UK industries. A new report released today by the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, finds significant opportunities for cost-effective energy efficiency measures remain within the manufacturing industry, but are not being exploited through current policy mechanisms. Despite having cut electricity consumption by 18 per cent since 2000, the report, Upgrading Power: Delivering a Flexible Electricity System, suggests the manufacturing sector could go much further in curbing energy use and associated bills and carbon emissions. Using the conclusions of energy efficiency audit reports conducted under the Energy Savings Obligation Scheme (ESOS), the report suggests manufacturers could save a further 14 per cent from their annual electricity consumption through better management of electricity use and the installation of established energy saving technologies such as LED lightbulbs and high efficiency motors.
Business Green 12th Dec 2016 read more »
Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet. The aligning interests between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s choice for U.S. president (Donald Trump), and Big Oil represents the gravest threat to humanity (and democracy) since the rise of the Axis powers in the 1930s. That’s because while Trump may not be able to destroy global climate action and the landmark 2015 Paris climate deal all by himself — as he pledged to do during the campaign — he probably could do that with help from Russia and the trillion-dollar oil industry. So much is explained by Trump’s Secretary of State choice. Media reports now say it will be Rex Tillerson, CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, which had made a $500 billion oil deal with Putin that got blocked by sanctions.
Climate Progress 11th Dec 2016 read more »
Grist 10th Dec 2016 read more »
When I first saw New York Times reporters tweet the news that Donald Trump claimed in an interview to have an “open mind” about climate change and the Paris climate agreement, I thought, Who cares? He is packing his administration with fossil fuel promoters, so his latest comments just suggest that he’s camouflaging his climate denial with doublespeak and pandering. Then I read the full transcript published Wednesday and was horrified by how these comments had been wildly misinterpreted by so many media outlets and commentators. A CNN subhead: “A new view on climate change?” An Associated Press lead sentence: “President-elect Donald Trump changed his tune on several topics — among them climate change and prosecuting Hillary Clinton — in statements Tuesday to The New York Times and on Twitter.” They’re wrong. If you look at what he actually said in context, it’s clear that Trump hasn’t changed his mind on anything.
Grist 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
Atmospheric concentrations of methane, are growing faster than at any time in the last 20 years, putting further pressure on the historic Paris Agreement to deliver substantial cuts in emissions very soon. Some scientists say the world now needs to change course and do more about methane to have a chance of keeping average global temperatures from rising by more than 2°C.
Climate News Network 12th Dec 2016 read more »