Is there anyone left who thinks this unsustainable Hinkley Point C nuclear project is a good idea? Following the latest remarks from a retired nuclear scientist that Hinkley Point C is the wrong design and too expensive, the Stop Hinkley Campaign asks “how many more attacks on the proposals will it take before the Government and EDF finally call a halt?” Includes summary table of critical views on the Government’s nuclear plans
Stop Hinkley 13th Aug 2015 read more »
[Machine Translation] How times change: in Germany, the Essen-based energy group RWE has long lived well from its nuclear power plants and the technology vehemently defended against critics. But since the company struggling to survive, this is all over. In Britain, where the government plans to build the 3,200-megawatt power plant Hinkley Point, the company is now proposing even to the side of opponents of nuclear energy. “We will look back and see again that nuclear power was an expensive mistake,” said the head of the British subsidiary RWE npower, Paul Massara, compared to the “Sunday Times”. His children and grandchildren would find once that “great, centrally planned” projects were the wrong solution to the energy problems.
Manager Magazin 10th Aug 2015 read more »
Letter Barry Snelson: You are right to question the imminent prospect of the Government writing a very large cheque for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station. The Government should concede that electricity supply is too vital to our nation to be surrendered to short-term market forces. I suggest the establishment of a nuclear baseload corporation, to select and build (by competitive tender) four or six identical power plants, then lease their operation (competitively) to electricity distributors. There are several other reactor vendors whose offerings are much more promising than the very troubled European Pressurized Reactor. Those who denounce as heresy the notion of a nationalised corporation building our nuclear stations should consider what exactly they think EDF and the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation are.
Telegraph 14th Aug 2015 read more »
Letter Bill Butler (NFLA): How can a business-friendly government ignore the points made by HSBC’s financial analysts, the lamentable record of EDF/Areva in trying to develop the EPR at other sites in Finland and France, and the legal case made by Austria and Luxembourg to the European Commission on the state aid deal for the project? There are also safety concerns around the EPR being built in France, a potential increase in radiation risks in the South West of England and a higher chance of accidents at a time of deep staffing cuts to public and emergency services. The Government’s intransigent support of Hinkley Point C is at odds with rational business logic and is symptomatic of a highly confused and contradictory energy policy. It is high time for a full energy review, and a change of energy priorities towards other practical projects, such as scaling up renewables, energy storage and local authority-led energy service companies.
Telegraph 14th Aug 2015 read more »
Three women have each been fined £300 after their anti-nuclear protest at Hinkley Point cost EDF one million Euros. Ornella Saibene, Marian Connelly and Carline Hope caused chaos at the power station by lying down in the road to prevent workers from accessing the site. Yesterday, the three pleaded guilty to obstructing the highway leading to Hinkley B nuclear power station on the morning of April 1 this year. Taunton Magistrates’ Court heard their actions cost French energy giant EDF, which runs the plant, €1 million.
Western Daily Press 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Oldbury & Bradwell
Magnox Limited has announced the completion of fuel removal from unit 1 of the Oldbury nuclear power plant in the UK as well as the retrieval of all fuel element debris from underground vaults at the Bradwell site. The unit ceased operation in February 2012, after more than 44 years of commercial operation, with unit 2 closing in June 2011. The two 217 MWe units are owned by the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Oldbury 2 is currently 85% defuelled, with completion scheduled in October, Magnox Limited said. By that time, some 26,235 fuel elements would have been removed from that reactor. In what it describes as a “significant step towards dealing with legacy waste” at the Bradwell site, the company said that more than 200 tonnes of FED have been removed from the vaults over the past three years. The waste has been packaged into drums ready for processing, it said. Decontaminate work at the vaults is under way, with eight of the 12 vaults already completed. Some 10% of the FED has already been treated using a dissolution plant at the Dungeness A plant in Kent.
World Nuclear News 12th Aug 2015 read more »
Hitachi in ‘exclusive’ Wylfa talks with Bechtel and JGC over EPC contracts. Two firms, including one new entrant to the UK market, are in poll position to take the EPC contractor role on Hitachi’s £8bn Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant in Anglesey.
Construction News 14th Aug 2015 read more »
Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) is taking the leading role at a meeting of researchers from 24 countries concerned with geological disposal. The Implementing Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste Technology Platform (IGD-TP) Exchange Forum will be hosted by RWM in London on 3-4 November and a number of its senior staff will be closely involved in the proceedings. Dr Jon Martin, RWM’s Head of Research, will be chairing the meeting. “The Forum meeting is an opportunity to explore new ideas that could complement our Strategic Research Agenda,” he said. “Through it we can all prepare future activities and projects that may be developed in the framework of the European Union’s nuclear energy work programme.” Up to 150 delegates from different member organisations – including waste management organisations, research institutes, consultancies and academia – are expected to attend the event.
RWM 13th Aug 2015 read more »
RWM engages with stakeholders in many ways, including the Issues Register, which allows anyone to raise an issue for RWM to address which might affect the implementation of a geological disposal system. We keep the Register under constant review, and have recently updated RWM approach to issues management, which describes how RWM manages such issues. The update reflects changes in RWM’s status, the revised siting process set out in last year’s white paper, and the publication of RWM’s Science and Technology Plan. There are currently 237 issues managed on the register and recent changes are listed in the changes to issues register May to July 2015. Two new issues in the process of being added to the register have been raised by the Office of Nuclear Regulation as part of their Regulatory Issues Resolution Process, and a third issue on the use of bentonite as part of the Engineered Barrier system has been raised by the Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates. This is also in the process of being evaluated so that RWM’s response can be added to the register.
RWM 13th Aug 2015 read more »
The government plans to encourage more insurers to enter the nuclear insurance market, to ensure there is sufficient capacity for planned nuclear power stations in the UK, the parliamentary under-secretary for climate change said this week. Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, parliamentary under-secretary for the department of energy and climate change, was responding to a question from Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock on whether there was sufficient capacity in the UK and European insurance markets, or elsewhere.
Post 13th Aug 2015 read more »
The pledge included a goal for nuclear energy to fulfil at least 20% of Japan’s electricity needs by 2030. Renewable sources — mostly hydropower but also solar — would contribute a minimum of 22%. This would reduce Japan’s carbon footprint compared with the years since Fukushima, when electricity companies bridged the nuclear gap by ramping up the use of coal, oil and, especially, liquefied natural gas. But fossil fuels would still account for more than half the power generated in 2030. Nuclear and renewables would help keep carbon dioxide emissions in check, but overall emissions would be cut by only 18% from 1990 levels. The European Union, by comparison, pledged 40% cuts from 1990. The government sees an especially modest role for wind, projected to contribute only 1.7% of electricity generation by 2030. (Germany, by comparison, already derives around 8–9% of its power from wind.) Iida says there is an “irrational bias” against wind that is deep-rooted in Japan’s energy industry.
Nature 11th Aug 2015 read more »
As a country where fighting climate change is a question of survival, Morocco nowadays is regarded as a forerunner of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy based on high shares of renewable energy in the energy mix. Under the patronage of King Mohammed VI, the kingdom has set an ambitious target to achieve 42% of installed capacity from renewable energy by 2020. And since 2013, as the first project to be executed within the Moroccan Solar Plan (MoSP), Tasselmante has a powerful new neighbor: the 500 MW NOORo solar complex sited on 3000 ha rocky desert land next to the village. The first phase (NOORo I) is a 160 MW parabolic trough Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) installation (with three hours of molten salt thermal energy storage capacity and wet-cooling), the second is a 200 MW parabolic trough, the third a 150 MW CSP tower (both with dry cooling and a minimum of seven hours storage) and the fourth a 50-70 MW photovoltaic. When the third phase is complete, the NOORo solar complex will be among the largest CSP plants in the world preventing the release of 762,000 tons of CO2 per year or 19 million tons of CO2 over a period of 25 years.
World Future Council 12th Aug 2015 read more »
The nuclear energy sector future looks to be in dire straits. Most of the current new builds are in China but in 2014, China paid $9-billion for nuclear while spending $83-billion on wind and solar. French nuclear company Areva, once the standard bearer for nuclear, is now technically bankrupt. Most telling is the fact that no Generation III reactors (the ones South Africa is apparently looking to procure) have come into service in the past 20 years due to continued delays. So what is the attraction?
Daily Maverick 13th Aug 2015 read more »
South African power utility Eskom has signed ZAR200m ($15.6m) deal with Holtec International for the supply of seven new nuclear waste storage casks for its 2x900MW Koeberg nuclear power plant located about 35km from Cape Town. The deal forms the first phase of the planned three-phase spent fuel storage upgrade project to support the operations of the Koeberg facility beyond 2018, reported Reuters.
Energy Business Review 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Kim Jong-un could be boosting his stockpile of nuclear weapons, according to an expert analysis of satellite images of North Korea. Pyongsan, the secretive republic’s most important uranium plant, is getting a major refurbishment – which could mean it is set to produce more material for nuclear weapons. Leading nuclear weapons expert Dr Jeffrey Lewis, director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) in Washington DC, has concluded that the secretive republic “is expanding its capacity to mine and mill natural uranium” after studying images of the site.
Independent 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Telegraph 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Daily Mail 13th Aug 2015 read more »
The third Astute Class submarine built at a Cumbria shipyard for the Royal Navy has set sail for its sea trials. HMS Artful, a 97m-long (318ft), 7,400-tonne, nuclear-powered vessel is one of seven being built by BAE Systems. The sea trials with the Royal Navy put the submarine through its paces, proving all of its systems before it officially becomes part of the fleet.
BBC 13th Aug 2015 read more »
A candidate to be the next leader of the Labour party has confirmed that he would spend billions renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system in full. Andy Burnham said he could not be certain that Britain would not need the £100bn system, which has never been used.
Independent 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Nuclear detonations from 1945 to present plotted on a world map – video.
Guardian 14th Aug 2015 read more »
Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling fast, mainly because of the rapid spread of the wind turbines and solar panels that are replacing fossil fuels for electricity generation. European Union (EU) data shows that once countries adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), they often exceed their targets—and this finding is backed up by figures released this week in a statement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Ecowatch 12th Aug 2015 read more »
The UK’s renewable energy industry generated a record level of power during the first quarter of this year, according to new government figures. Data published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) today confirms renewables provided 22.3 per cent of power in the first quarter of the year, an increase of 2.6 per centage points on the share delivered in the same quarter in 2014.
Business Green 13th Aug 2015 read more »
A plan to build a community-owned solar farm has been submitted by a group of villages in East Sussex. If approved it is hoped the new solar farm in Berwick would generated enough power for 900 homes and raise money each year for a community fund. It would be be built on land adjacent to the newly constructed commercial Berwick Solar Farm. Alister Scott, chairman of the Cuckmere Community Solar Company, said the scheme was “pioneering”. He said: “Solar technology now puts power in our hands, giving us the opportunity to generate clean power and local revenue that we can do great things with.” He added that the community project was also unique in the partnership that had developed between it and the nearby commercial solar farm.
BBC 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Against the backdrop of recent Government policy changes on renewable energy, Heartland Community Wind has announced its project will be moving forward. The board of Heartland Community Wind have confirmed that the twin turbine project in Perthshire will definitely be installed in October this year. This is following a community share offer which has raised just over £1.4 million so far. Although the share offer is not yet fully subscribed, the board have recently renegotiated payment terms so that the installation can go ahead while the share offer continues to raise the remaining £300,000.
Scottish Energy News 14th Aug 2015 read more »
The Scottish Biofuel Programme has been granted a further £219,000 to help businesses to realise value from unavoidable organic residues by processing to renewable energy. The programme which is hosted by the Biofuel Research Centre at Edinburgh Napier University – now aims to support a further 40 businesses and it hopes to take nine of them further on their journey to implementation of low-carbon and waste-saving projects. The programme provides tiered support, awareness raising, identification, evaluation and development of opportunities, and development of networks and partnerships.
Scottish Energy News 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Greater Manchester’s economy could be on course to become one of the greenest in the UK, after a regional initiative saved business £100m by helping them shrink energy, water, and material use. Manchester Growth Company (MGC) offers a “green growth” service to businesses across Greater Manchester and Cumbria, which is delivered by NGO ENWORKS. The service, which has been running since 2011, announced it hit the £100m milestone late last week. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the scheme offers a range of services, including green intelligence monitoring, workshops, and on-site reviews, to help businesses identify where efficiency improvements could be made. It also claims to have reduced energy demand by 552GWh, saved five million cubic metres of water, and diverted 372,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.
Business Green 11th Aug 2015 read more »
A joint working paper from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency (C2E2) illuminates crucial synergies that can help to ensure a sustainable global energy future. The interplay between energy efficiency improvements and the deployment of renewable energy technologies is complex. If the respective potentials in these two fields are combined, total global energy demand can be reduced by up to a quarter by 2030, IRENA and C2E2 find. Energy efficiency measures would account for half to three-quarters of the total energy savings, with renewables delivering the rest.
IRENA 13th Aug 2015 read more »
German energy company E.ON has started constructing the world’s first modular large-scale battery in the German town of Aachen. The modular aspect of the design means that various battery technologies can be ‘plugged in’ to the system – a world-first for a battery of this size. The system, known as M5BAT, will be housed in a former office building that is being converted specially for the installation. In total, the batteries and other components of the storage system will stretch over two floors and the roof, covering around 500 m² of floor space.
Edie 13th Aug 2015 read more »
UK ministers have announced a series of measures designed to fast-track shale gas planning applications. The government says shale gas is a “national priority” and today’s measures will ensure the industry gets up and running without delay. Carbon Brief runs through the changes and explores the government’s argument for fracking. In her Sunday Timesarticle, Rudd says shale gas is needed to “help meet our objectives for secure energy supplies, economic growth and lower-carbon emissions”. However, shale gas can only provide climate benefits if it replaces coal, and if other toughconditionsare met. Rudd does say the UK needs shale gas as part of the shift away from coal, “our dirtiest energy source”. Yet this is unlikely to be possible. Estimates suggest UK fracking would need until the mid-2020s to scale up. Government projections are that coal will generate 1% of power in 2025. Rudd also says gas will be needed for “many years to come” for heating, cooking and industry and that it should be sourced at home, rather than imported. Domestic demand has been falling rapidly, however, and the Climate Change Act will squeeze the carbon space for burning gas in future. Jim Watson, director of the UK Energy Research Centre told Carbon Brief in June that very little gas could be used for power in 2030. Domestic and industrial uses would need to fall “quite rapidly” into the 2030s, he added.
Carbon Brief 13th Aug 2015 read more »
The double standards inherent in the government’s plans to fast-track planning decisions for the fracking industry are as obvious and shocking as a gas flare towering above a rural meadow. It is as if someone took the brass neck required to condemn ‘benefits cheats’ while rinsing parliamentary expenses and decided to turn it into a workable energy policy. Amber Rudd and Greg Clark deserve immense credit for managing to announce the apparently ‘one nation’ plan without turning to the affected communities and renewable energy developers, shrugging their shoulders, adopting their best impression of New York accent, and declaring ‘whad ya gonna do’?
Business Green 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Ministers will today threaten to rescind the power of local councils to decide on fracking planning applications if they seem to be taking too long to reach a decision, in the latest government attempt to kick start the UK’s embryonic shale gas industry.
Business Green 13th Aug 2015 read more »
There is a clear logic that can be applied to the global challenge of addressing climate change: when you are in a hole, stop digging. If we are serious about tackling the global climate crisis, we need to stop exploring, expanding, and ultimately exploiting fossil fuels. This is especially true for high cost, high carbon, high risk frontier projects such as offshore Arctic oil. While the Obama Administration has been clear on its commitment to climate action, they continue to allow companies like Royal Dutch Shell to sink billions of dollars in the hunt for unburnable carbon in the U.S. Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska. This report lays bare the case that Arctic oil is wholly irreconcilable with stated national and international objectives to address climate change. Put very simply: Arctic oil fails the climate test.
Oil Change International 13th Aug 2015 read more »
Government attempts to fast-track Britain’s shale gas revolution face formidable opposition among the rolling hills of North Yorkshire, the next battleground in the fight over “fracking”. A retired bishop and the son of a former Tory MP are among those opposing plans for fracking in the Conservative-supporting countryside around the picturesque market town of Pickering. Third Energy wants to use the process – in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped underground to fracture oil- or gas-bearing shale – at an existing gas well.
FT 13th Aug 2015 read more »
SCOTLAND could miss out on a shale gas boom as firms south of the border get the green light for fracking, it has been warned. The UK Government has said that fracking applications will be fast-tracked south of the border, and has indicated its intention to override planning refusals by local authorities. Meanwhile, a moratorium exists in Scotland, with the Scottish Government stating that further research and a consultation will be carried out before it is decided whether fracking is allowed. Ineos, the firm that owns the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, has fracking exploration licences across large swathes of central Scotland and believes the controversial technique for shale gas extraction would provide a huge boost to the Scottish economy. It welcomed the UK Government announcement, raising speculation that it may focus investment in sites in which it wants to carry out fracking south of the border. The Scottish Conservatives warned that the country could miss out on thousands of jobs, and accused the SNP of failing to look at the issue rationally.
Herald 14th Aug 2015 read more »