A new law is being drafted in Germany to regulate investigations aimed at finding suitable sites for permanent nuclear waste storage. The search can take many years – and Germany’s neighbors are facing similar obstacles. The EU has called on its member states to draw up plans by 2015 outlining how and where they are planning to store nuclear waste. The search for suitable sites is becoming frantic, but in some countries it is even more difficult than in others.
Deutsche Welle 14th April 2014 read more »
Cumbria Trust 14th April 2014 read more »
A study to assess any potential impacts on health and wellbeing has been commissioned as part of the proposed development of the Wylfa Newydd Nuclear Power Station in Anglesey. Andrew Jones, Executive Director of Public Health for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is the independent Chair of the Wylfa Health Impact Assessment Steering Group.He said: “We are currently at an early stage of this process which will involve engagement with local communities.
News Wales 14th April 2014 read more »
The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE:BWC) is announcing plans to restructure its mPower Small Modular Reactor program to focus on technology development. B&W continues to believe in the strength of the mPower technology, but without the ability to secure significant additional investors or customer Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts to provide the financial support necessary to develop and deploy mPower reactors, the current development pace will be slowed.
B&W 14th April 2014 read more »
Charlotte Observer 15th April 2014 read more »
Manufacturers of nuclear fuel within the European Union will be eligible for national subsidies to cope with the additional costs of using electricity generated by renewable sources in operations, according to new rules announced by Brussels. The European Commission said last week that it would approve support offered by EU governments to energy intensive industries as a response to the burden imposed by the high electricity prices coming from taxes and levies intended to finance renewable energy.
World Nuclear News 14th April 2014 read more »
A court in Hamburg ruled Monday that a nuclear fuel rod tax imposed on Germany’s power suppliers must be reimbursed until its compatability with European and domestic law is established. German tax authorities must repay more than 2.2 billion euros ($3.0 billion) in levies to the country’s five biggest power suppliers until Germany’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice reach a final ruling on the controversial tax, Hamburg’s Finance Court said in a statement.
EU Business 14th April 2014 read more »
If hawks could crow, that would be the baleful sound from exultant hardliners on both sides of the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear programme. The third round of negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s ambiguous nuclear ambitions ended this weekend in the shadow of a spectre from the past – the crisis triggered when radical students took hostage 52 Americans at the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 Islamist revolution.
FT 14th April 2014 read more »
CUMBRIA is the best place to store nuclear waste from decommissioned submarines, it has been claimed. Sellafield has been shortlisted as one of five potential sites to store intermediate level waste removed from nuclear-powered submarines. The Ministry of Defence is undergoing a consultation to determine where radioactive material from 27 submarines will be stored once they are decommissioned, with a decision expected next year. Each Trafalgar-class submarine will contain around 225 tonnes of nuclear waste. Last month, the MoD announced that the UK’s submarines will be dismantled at Rosyth in Scotland and Devonport in Plymouth. The nuclear waste will need to be stored at a site before an underground waste repository is built some time after 2040. The last time the idea of an underground nuclear waste repository was debated, Cumbria – which already stores 70 per cent of the UK’s nuclear waste – was ruled out because the county council objected. Councillor David Moore, leader of the Conservatives on Copeland Borough Council and chairman of the Sellafield Stakeholders Group, believes West Cumbria is “the best site to deal with and store the waste” but warned the government that the right benefits package must be put in place.
Whitehaven News 14th April 2014 read more »
Alex Salmond’s plan to scrap Trident after Scottish independence would put the UK’s nuclear deterrent “in jeopardy”, more than a dozen of Britain’s most senior defence veterans have warned. Removing Trident nuclear weapons from Scotland after a Yes vote would endanger thousands of jobs and cast a “dark shadow” over relations with allies, the former army and defence chiefs warned. They said the SNP’s proposed timescale for scrapping Trident would create “huge practical problems” and “inevitably sour” post-independence negotiations, adding that such an anti-nuclear stance would be “unacceptable” to Nato allies.
Telegraph 14th April 2014 read more »
THE SNP’s plan to scrap Trident would cast a “dark shadow” over the international reception given to a newly independent Scottish nation, according to a dozen high-ranking defence veterans.
Scotsman 14th April 2014 read more »
Express 14th April 2014 read more »
Guardian 15th April 2014 read more »
Former military chiefs have warned Alex Salmond that his plan to expel Trident nuclear weapons from an independent Scotland would cost ¬billions of pounds, sour relations with the rest of Britain and leave the fledging state “deeply resented”.
Times 14th April 2014 read more »
ANY removal of Trident nuclear weapons from Scotland after independence would take longer than the timescale set out by the SNP, the UK’s Defence Secretary will warn today. Philip Hammond will say any prospect of a speedy removal of Trident is “just plain wrong”, and that “long and complex negotiations” will be needed should Scotland vote Yes in September’s referendum. His remarks come just a few weeks after Alex Salmond reiterated that the weapons would be gone by the end of the first parliament after independence, set to be in 2020. The First Minister has also firmly ruled out any deal allowing them to remain if Scotland is allowed to keep the pound after a Yes vote.
Scotsman 15th April 2014 read more »
Letter: Yet again Nicola Sturgeon has underlined the SNP’s determination to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons as quickly as possible However, the Scottish Government proposes to permit completion of two aircraft carriers at Rosyth and to pursue building on the Clyde the next generation of destroyers/frigates for the Royal Navy; all of these have the potential to deploy nuclear weapons.
Herald 15th April 2014 read more »
India has abundant thorium reserves, and the country’s nuclear-power programme, which is intended, eventually, to supply a quarter of the country’s electricity (up from 3% at the moment), plans to use these for fuel. This will take time. The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research already runs a small research reactor in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai plans to follow this up with a thorium-powered heavy-water reactor that will, it hopes, be ready early next decade. China’s thorium programme looks bigger. The Chinese Academy of Sciences claims the country now has “the world’s largest national effort on thorium”, employing a team of 430 scientists and engineers, a number planned to rise to 750 by 2015. This team, moreover, is headed by Jiang Mianheng, an engineering graduate of Drexel University in the United States who is the son of China’s former leader, Jiang Zemin (himself an engineer). Some may question whether Mr Jiang got his job strictly on merit. His appointment, though, does suggest the project has political clout. The team plan to fire up a prototype thorium reactor in 2015. Like India’s, this will use solid fuel. But by 2017 the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics expects to have one that uses a trickier but better fuel, molten thorium fluoride.
Economist 12th April 2014 read more »
Plans to install wave and tidal power devices around the coast of the Channel Islands and northern France have taken a step forward after Guernsey, Sark, Alderney and Jersey signed an agreement with the Basse-Normandie region to collaborate on the development of emerging marine energy technologies.
Business Green 14th April 2014 read more »
The latest IPCC report urges a dash for gas to allow us to reduce the burning of coal. And it accepts the use of shale gas, which threatens to be far more polluting than originally thought. The report is the third and final part of the latest IPCC assessment on climate change (known as AR5). While it puts considerable emphasis on the need for more renewable energy – including solar, wind and hydropower – it says emissions of greenhouse gases can be cut in the medium term by replacing coal with less-polluting gas, though the gas will itself ultimately have to be phased out. Ironically, the clean energy world the IPCC seeks need be no more than 15 years away, according to one US expert. Mark Z Jacobson is professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, California, and director of its atmosphere and energy program. He believes that wind, water and solar power can be scaled up cost-effectively to meet the world’s energy demands, ending dependence on both fossil fuels and nuclear power. Professor Jacobson described in Energy Policy in 2010 how he and a colleague had analysed “the feasibility of providing worldwide energy for all purposes (electric power, transportation, heating/cooling, etc.) from wind, water, and sunlight (WWS)”.
Climate News Network 14th April 2014 read more »
Some media outlets have focused on an IPCC spokesperson’s apparent endorsement of shale gas as a way to mitigate global warming. But a look at the summary reveals gas has to be deployed with caution if countries are to reduce emissions and limit the extent of climate change. According to the text, emissions from energy supply could be significantly cut “by replacing current world average coal-fired power plants with modern, highly efficient natural gas combined-cycle power plants or combined heat and power plants”. That’s on the condition that there’s natural gas available, and emissions associated with extracting the gas and piping it to power sources are kept low. Replacing coal plants with highly efficient gas plants could serve as a “bridge technology” to other, lower carbon energy sources, the report notes. But to be consistent with limiting warming to two degrees, gas production would need to peak and decline to below current levels by 2050, and decline further in the second half of the century. IPCC indicates that natural gas could play a role in the decarbonisation effort – but only in a controlled way, as a substitute for higher-emitting coal, and with emissions from the energy sector as a whole shrinking rapidly throughout this century.
Carbon Brief 14th April 2014 read more »
The overall message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s newest report is simple: a rapid shift to renewable energy is needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The science behind that message, however, is less simple. In an attempt to make the message more clear, the IPCC’s report — produced by 1250 international experts and approved by every major government in the world — uses a number of charts to get its point across. Though the charts themselves are very complex, they provide a way to visualize increases in human-caused greenhouse gases, where those gases come from, and what they could do to our climate. Here are three of the most sobering charts from that report, and what they tell us about the state of our warming world.
Climate Progress 13th April 2014 read more »
Jim Skea: The IPCC’s message is clear: it’s the end of business as usual for fossil fuel users. The UN’s climate change panel is unambiguous – we need to make huge policy changes to wean ourselves off CO2 producers. This could imply a tripling or quadrupling, by 2050, of cleaner electricity sources such as renewables, nuclear or fossil fuels, along with carbon capture and storage, and the aggressive pursuit of energy efficiency opportunities. There will be no single solution across the world but rather a patchwork of responses as countries make their own choices. However, the expansion of renewable energy is likely to be ubiquitous.
Guardian 14th April 2014 read more »
Reactions from leaders and experts here.
Guardian 14th April 2014 read more »