Britain’s nuclear programme is shrouded in “fog” but a new generation of power stations will be built, says the chief of a company planning a plant in Cumbria. Tom Samson, the chief executive of NuGen, said: “We’re waiting for the fog to lift so we can see the path ahead.” The opening of the UK’s first nuclear plant since the 1990s, at Hinkley Point in Somerset, has been delayed by four years to at least 2023 after tough negotiations with the government over subsidies and the decision by Centrica, owner of British Gas, not to invest in the project. “All parties will want to learn lessons from Hinkley Point. The government will want to get a better outcome,” Mr Samson said. NuGen’s proposed £15bn plant at Moorside, near Sellafield in Cumbria, could be generating by the mid-2020s, he said. The joint venture between Toshiba and Engie (formerly GDF Suez) should take the final decision on investment in 2018.
FT 12th July 2015 read more »
The government is still pressing ahead with a project to build Europe’s largest nuclear power plant just two miles from the Lake District National Park. As the Japanese have discovered at Fukushima, accidents can unfortunately happen. The Lake District’s Moorside plan is for three PWR nuclear reactors. The gamble is over the risk to Cumbria’s Tourism livelihood. The Lake District generates over £1 billion expenditure a year.
Lakestay (accessed) 11th July 2015 read more »
Nuclear power receives unfair criticism – not least because of The Simpsons, according to Lady Judge, Emeritus Chair at the Atomic Energy Authority. ‘You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, you forget that radiation is for X-rays and is medically very important,’ she says. ‘All you can remember is The Simpsons. People who grew up with The Simpsons’ cartoons think of the villain – the owner of the nuclear plant, Mr Burns. It’s ingrained in our heads that nuclear is bad, but the benefits far outweigh the detriments. I have studied the statistics – the accident statistics in rail, aeroplanes, the big accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima – I’m an adviser to the company that has Fukushima. ‘There is a chance you could have a big accident, but if you do the real research, you’ll find that few people have lost their lives, compared with other things.’ Lady Judge sees nuclear energy as vital. ‘It is important to be energy secure and independent and not rely on other countries and sources of energy.
Daily Mail 12th July 2015 read more »
Representatives from Cumbria Trust attended the 23rd June meeting between Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) and the Independent Review Panel (IRP), and others have since reviewed the footage of the meeting. We would point out that Cumbria Trust is not an anti-nuclear organisation but one that wishes to ensure that a rational policy based upon safety not political expedience is followed when dealing with radioactive waste. While we have serious reservations about the process which RWM is beginning, having experienced some rather devious behaviour from DECC / NDA during the previous MRWS process, we were very encouraged to hear members of the IRP challenging RWM’s position. At least two of your members, John Black and Dr Robert Chaplow, appear to agree with Cumbria Trust, that RWM’s role in providing the narrative for the screening guidance may be inadvisable. We believe that the screening process should be conducted independently of RWM, once the screening criteria have been set by RWM in conjunction with IRP. For RWM to provide the narrative to the BGS mapping, leaves open the possibility of actual or perceived manipulation of the output to ensure that certain predetermined areas are judged to be more suitable for a GDF, than should be the case. John Black acknowledged this exact point in response to a question.
Cumbria Trust 13th July 2015 read more »
Kevin Kamps, a nuclear waste expert for Maryland-based Beyond Nuclear, spoke in Port Huron on June 16 about the dangers of the nuclear waste dump proposed for Kincardine, Ontario, about a half-mile from Lake Huron. OPG is proposing a Deep Geological Repository for low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste, one that it claims will be safe. “They note that formation is very stable and very little water flows through there. But even if they’re right, you have to get the nuclear waste down to this site.” “They’re going to pierce this geology,” said Kamp. “Now you’ve created the pathways for water to go down, for water to flood up,” said Kamps. “They’re going to ventilate for the first century or so because they’ll have operations going on down there. So you have pathways for radioactive gases, volatile organic compounds, radioactive particulates to get into the airflow.”
Voice News 9th July 2015 read more »
A comprehensive deal on the future of Iran’s nuclear programme will be announced as early as Monday after consensus was reached over the weekend on the main outstanding issues, according to western diplomats at the negotiations in Vienna. The diplomats pointed out that there could still be last-minute surprises sprung by one of the parties to the talks, or squabbling over the language of the final text. Barring such unforeseen obstacles, they said, only technical issues had to be resolved. After that it would take some hours for the text of the agreement, the English version of which stretches to more than 80 pages including five annexes, to be “scrubbed” or proofread and reviewed by law yers. Translations would then have to be completed before the final text was sent to the relevant capitals for approval by national leaders.
Guardian 12th July 2015 read more »
Eerie images show the empty shell of an abandoned nuclear power plant that was never used. The deserted building in Elma, Washington, was part of the largest nuclear power plant construction project in U.S. history. But the 481-foot cooling towers on the site were never used, after the multi-billion dollar development was scrapped in 1983.
Daily Mail 12th July 2015 read more »
Renewables – floating turbines
A new report – which sets out the current state of the floating wind industry – shows the opportunity for Scotland to take the lead in commercialising floating wind technology. The Carbon Trust report – recently launched by Scottish Energy Energy Fergus Ewing MSP – has set out the current state of the floating wind industry and identifies key technical barriers that need to be addressed to make it a commercial reality.The report reveals best estimates for the industry are for power to reach an impressive £85-£95/MWh if floating wind reaches commercial scale deployment in Scotland.
Scottish Energy News 13th July 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
An initiative has been set up between the governments of Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to promote a more strategic approach to harnessing the renewables resources of the ISLES zone to enable efficient coordinated development and enhanced connections between the two electricity markets. Oriel Windfarm Ltd. and Gaelectric Holdings plc have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-develop a significant offshore wind farm in the north Irish Sea.
Scottish Energy News 12th July 2015 read more »
Renewables – AD
The UK’s biggest railway stations have signed up to a new project turning coffee waste into fuel. Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo, all in London, generate nearly 700 tonnes of coffee waste each year between them. Rather than sending it to landfill, where it would release more than 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, this waste will now go to a factory run by the bio-bean firm to become carbon-neutral biofuels for heating homes, offices and factories. Each tonne of waste coffee grounds creates over 5,700 kilowatt hours of energy, with the 700 tonnes enough to power 1,000 homes for a year.
Herald 13th July 2015 read more »
Communities from Glasgow to western Harris are set to benefit from £500,000 in funding for demonstrator projects designed to encourage the use and local ownership of renewable energy. A third of the projects are specifically focussed on town and city areas, building on the already established trend for community ownership of renewable energy sources in more rural areas. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced last month that community and locally owned energy capacity in Scotland could generate enough electricity to power approximately 100,000 domestic households. It is the second tranche of funding from a government fund. Each project has received funding of up to £25,000 for feasibility work and, if successful, may be able to compete for significant capital support. The 23 projects include a scheme, Community Energy Supply for Urban Areas, which will allow residents or landlords of multi-occupancy blocks in Glasgow and Edinburgh to form Local Energy Supply Companies.
Herald 13th July 2015 read more »
Green groups and house building organisations have lambasted the Government’s latest plan to axe ‘zero-carbon’ plans for future UK homes. The Treasury announced today (10 July) it will be scrapping regulations on house building to streamline development, including ending the proposed zero-carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme and the planned 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards.
Edie 10th July 2015 read more »
The economic benefits for a country from tackling climate change easily outweigh the costs, according to a study that seeks to highlight the incentives for individual nations to take urgent action to cut emissions. Countries stand to gain more than they would lose in economic terms from almost all of the actions needed to meet an agreed global warming limit of no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, according to the paper published by two research institutes at the London School of Economics. It is the latest research to underscore the apparent economic gains from limiting emissions, which include new jobs an d improved health, even before the benefits of preventing dangerous climate change are taken into account.
Guardian 13th July 2015 read more »