AN ANTI-NUCLEAR campaign group chairman has published a new book exploring the legacy of power stations. Professor Andy Blowers, chairman of Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group, has written a “timely reminder of the inevitable risks” of building power stations near communities. Legacy of Nuclear Power compiles stories from Hanford in the US, Stellafield in the UK and Normandy in France. BANNG has been campaigning against a new power station at Bradwell, saying the site is unsuitable.
Braintree & Witham Times 12th Nov 2016 read more »
FASLANE, Ineos and BP are among hundreds of industrial sites across Scotland condemned by the Government’s green watchdog for “poor” or “very poor” performance on pollution. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has named 383 plants guilty of leaks, pongs and breaches in 2015. This is three per cent more than in 2014, which was worse than 2013. There were six incidents involving radioactive materials used on oil platforms and in the health service. Though most polluters are identified, the names of some 50 sites handling radioactivity or supplying water that were rated as poor have been kept secret “for reasons of national security”. The Royal Navy’s submarine base at Faslane on the Clyde was censured as very poor because of a leak of oil from its fuel depot at Garelochhead. According to Sepa, the Navy failed to admit to breaches of discharge limits.
Herald 13th Nov 2016 read more »
Householders are being warned to brace themselves for a rise in their electricity bills as a series of freak events conspires to send wholesale prices rocketing. Safety concerns at France’s nuclear power plants operated by the energy company EDF have led to many reactors being temporarily shut down. There have been similar suspensions in Belgium. In addition, a lack of rain in Norway and Sweden – whose hydro plants generate large amounts of electricity for their European neighbours – has limited both countries’ energy production. The combined effect has been to send the price at which energy companies buy their power through the roof. Last Monday, a UK energy company buying power on a next-day contract would have paid about £150 a megawatt hour. The average price a year ago was £38.10. For companies that had not agreed forward contracts, the cost has soared to more than £1,000.
Observer 12th Nov 2016 read more »
JERSEY Electricity fired up its generators this week at the request of the French authorities, who paid it to produce its own energy following problems with France’s nuclear reactors. And the arrangement meant that the Jersey Electricity Company actually made a profit, which it says will goes towards maintaining the La Collette power station and the company’s Queens Road site. About a third of France’s nuclear reactors were recently shut down after the country’s regulator, RTE, ordered a safety review following the discovery of manufacturing irregularities in crucial steel components.
Jersey Evening Post 12th Nov 2016 read more »
Michael Liebreich: As the world struggles to absorb the implications of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the US general election, no one is facing the future with more trepidation than those working on clean energy, clean transportation, climate and the environment. Hillary Clinton had promised to build on Obama’s substantial progress in this area; now they worry that it may be reversed, and then some. What does the future hold, under a Trump government, and how worried should we be? The first thing to note is that Trump’s comments on energy during his campaign do not add up to a coherent policy. He promised that if he were elected, “the shale energy revolution will unleash massive wealth for America, and we will end the war on coal and the war on miners” – even though the two energy sources are in fact in competition. He dismissed wind and solar as expensive, ignoring all evidence that this is no longer the case. He is pro-nuclear. And, like almost every president since Richard Nixon, he promised US energy independence. On climate change, Trump famously claimed that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. There is no question, then, that we are entering a time of potentially grave peril for the planet and for many of the industries that promise a sustainable long term future. But, just as the election of Obama did not mark “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”, as he claimed when he was first elected president, nor will Trump’s election mark the opposite. For all the “war on coal” rhetoric, US coal’s biggest problem was never Obama, nor would it have been Hillary Clinton. It is cheap natural gas first, cheap renewable power second and flat electricity demand third. With endless shale gas and aging plants, the economics of US coal will continue to worsen, and individual states will continue to pursue action on reducing emissions. Whatever happens in the US over the next four years, technologies such as wind and solar will continue getting cheaper until they beat out fossil fuels; battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles will keep getting better until they render internal combustion engines old fashioned. So the world will continue its inevitable transition to clean energy and transportation, just at a slower rate than if the US were fully committed to leading the process.
Guardian 12th Nov 2016 read more »
Energy giants are demanding the Government relax its 2020 deadline for installing smart meters in every UK home after a series of delays setting up the communications system at the heart of the £11bn scheme. Ministers are also facing fresh questions over the merits of the project after a new official assessment estimated savings would be just £11 per household in 2020, down from the £26 estimated previously. Suppliers have been warned they risk hefty fines if they fail to “take all reasonable steps” to install the meters, which will automatically send them gas and electricity usage data, by 2020. But several major firms are arguing this should be relaxed because the central system required for the meters to work properly only started to go live last week, more than a year later than planned.
Telegraph 12th Nov 2016 read more »
Professor Peter Smith said President-Elect Trump’s plans to withdraw the US from internationally agreed environment targets will accelerate global warming, result in rising sea levels and threaten the supply of food. Smith, a member of the scientific panel which provided the evidence for the UN’s Paris climate change objectives, described Trump’s election as a “punch in the stomach” for those working to protect the environment.
Scotsman 12th Nov 2016 read more »