On January 27, EDF will make its final decision on the proposed construction of two EPR Hinkley Point C in Britain. The Board of Directors of January 27 is definitely a key appointment for EDF. Besides the folder Areva, the final decision to invest in Hinkley Point C (HPC) could also be on the agenda.
Le Figaro 14th Jan 2016 read more »
According to the French newspaper, Le Figaro, EDF could make a final decision on the proposed construction of Hinkley Point C at its Board of Directors meeting on 27th January 2016. Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: “I’ll believe it when I see it. This is the ninth time EDF has said a final investment decision is imminent. Just last October the chairman of EDF, Jean-Bernard Levy, said work would be starting before the end of 2015. It would be completely reckless of the Board to give the go-ahead to this £25 billion project when the Company is in such a parlous state. Is it really sensible for EDF to commit to building two EPRs at Hinkley Point C when the Company is in such a precarious position and there are still no EPRs operating anywhere in the world – it has just been announced that even the Chinese EPRs are about four years late. We know there is considerable unease amongst employee shareholders about Hinkley Point C, which some fear could sink the company altogether. As one commentator put it the debate now is not about whether Hinkley Point C will go-ahead, but whether EDF itself can survive.”
Stop Hinkley 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright described a meeting with a government minister about the financial risk from business rates from the nuclear power station as “positive”. Mr Wright secured a meeting with Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Local Government, to ask for help after an annual £3.9million cut in the power plant’s business rates payable to Hartlepool Borough Council.
Hartlepool Mail 15th Jan 2016 read more »
Hartlepool’s MP and civic leaders will today appeal to a Government minister for a fairer deal after a massive tax bill cut to the town’s nuclear power station. Hartlepool Borough Council saw £3.9million a year in business rates it receives from the power plant wiped out after a review last year.
Hartlepool Mail 14th Jan 2016 read more »
The nuclear safety regime at the Rosyth naval dockyard in Fife has been called into question after an emergency exercise failed to demonstrate adequate arrangements for rescuing casualties from an accident. The UK government’s nuclear safety watchdog has ordered Babcock, the multinational company that runs the dockyard for the Royal Navy, to rerun the exercise, codenamed Nightstar, in March because of mistakes made last September. An inspection by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) concluded that there were flaws in the way that staff looked after injured people during the exercise. There were also communication and command problems in dealing with the imagined accident. The revelation has prompted “unease” about safety at the naval base, according to the local MP. Anti-nuclear campaigners have highlighted the serious risks of accidents, and demanded higher standards.
The Ferret 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Twenty nations with significant atomic stockpiles or nuclear power plants have no government regulations requiring minimal protection of those facilities against cyberattacks, according to a study by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. The findings build on growing concerns that a cyberattack could be the easiest and most effective way to take over a nuclear power plant and sabotage it, or to disable defenses that are used to protect nuclear material from theft. The countries on the list include Argentina, China, Egypt, Israel, Mexico and North Korea. The survey, by one of the nation’s leading nuclear nonproliferation watchdogs, was based on a nation-by-nation review of basic, publicly available data, and some of the countries may claim they have classified protections in place.
New York Times 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Actions of the organizers of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) who suggest developing “instructions” for the UN and other organizations, fundamentally change the concept of the event and are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. “The organizers of the summit have fundamentally changed the concept of the event by proposing to develop some kind of ‘instructions’ for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism as well as the UN, Interpol and the Global Partnership,” the diplomat noted. “Apparently, such recommendations, whatever formal status they may have, will be an attempt to impose an opinion of a limited group of countries on the above-mentioned agencies and groups bypassing their own mechanisms of political decision-making.”
TASS 13th Jan 2016 read more »
Renewables generated nearly as much electricity as nuclear sources during 2015, prompting the continued fall in power supply from coal-fired power stations, according to the latest report from EnAppSys.
Renewable Energy Focus 14th Sept 2016 read more »
Energy companies should play fair with consumers by lowering prices. Research published yesterday claimed consumers are being over-charged by £3 bn on their energy bills. The report from Energyhelpline showed that over the last two years, wholesale gas prices have dropped 51 per cent while electricity prices have fallen 33 per cent. “This could have been passed through as price cuts of around 25 per cent on gas and 11 per cent on electricity for UK households, yet all loyal customers have seen is an average of 5 per cent off gas bills and nothing off electricity bills,” pointed out Mark Todd of the comparison site.
Independent 14th Jan 2016 read more »
The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament today (14 January) presented the third study in a series on the Belgian nuclear reactors Doel 3 and Tihange 2, which was commissioned from materials scientist Dr. Ilse Tweer. The study presents new information on flaws in the reactor pressure vessels and underlines that continued operation of the reactors would be irresponsible. Commenting on the study, Greens/EFA Co-President Rebecca Harms said: “Operating these two reactors, which contain thousands of cracks, is irresponsible. This study comes to the clear conclusion that there is no evidence how and when these cracks appeared in the reactor pressure vessels nor if they have changed whilst the reactor was in operation or how they might do so in the future. There is simply no evidence to support the claim by Electrabel that the flaws are ‘most likely’ hydrogen flakes, introduced during the manufacture of the steel and unchanged since then. The only way to determine this would be by destroying the pressure vessels.
EU Reporter 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Taiwan is facing a phase-out of atomic power, with nuclear sceptic Ing-wen Tsai tipped to win a presidential election on Saturday. The island state’s three operating nuclear plants are due for retirement by 2023. A fourth, 90% built, was mothballed last year in response to protests from a public spooked by Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Opinion polls predict a landslide victory for Tsai, with her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in with a chance of its first ever parliamentary majority.
Climate Home 14th Jan 2016 read more »
China is coming to a crossroads as it hurriedly increases nuclear power production to cope with rising electricity demand and cut carbon emissions: Should it reprocess its nuclear waste or store it? Nonproliferation advocates warn that recycling waste would generate weapons-usable plutonium, posing a security risk and potentially stirring a nuclear rivalry in East Asia. A new Harvard University study, co-authored by a senior Chinese nuclear engineer, gives another reason against reprocessing — it doesn’t make economic sense. The study says China could save tens of billions of dollars by storing the spent fuel, and the savings could be spent on research and on building nuclear reactors. It recommends postponing major investments in reprocessing and so-called “breeder” reactors that produce more plutonium than they consume.
ABC News 14th Jan 2016 read more »
SOMETIME in the next few days Iran’s “Implementation Day” is almost certain to be declared. That is the moment when Iran is deemed to have complied with all its obligations in dismantling those parts of its nuclear programme that would soon have put it weeks away from being able to build a bomb. All nuclear-related sanctions, including the freezing of $100bn of Iranian assets, will be lifted. At the same time, Iran will apply the Additional Protocol of its safeguards agreement (subject to ratification by its parliament, the Majlis) with the International Atomic Energy Agency, a measure which gives the agency’s inspectors access to materials and sites beyond declared nuclear facilities.
Economist 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Iran has removed the sensitive core of its Arak nuclear reactor and UN inspectors will visit the site to verify the move crucial to the implementation of Tehran’s atomic agreement with major powers, state television said.
Christian Today 15th Jan 2016 read more »
Testing of the instrumentation and control (I&C) systems of the EPR under construction at Finland’s Olkiluoto site is under way, utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has announced. The unit is expected to start up by 2018.
World Nuclear News 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Kim Jong Un calls for an expansion of his country’s nuclear arsenal on Wednesday, a day after the U.S. House voted to ratchet up sanctions on North Korea. Reuters’ Tony Munroe explains the difficulty of cutting off the already isolated country.
Reuters 13th Jan 2016 read more »
Simon Jenkins: How did Hilary Benn, Maria Eagle, Charles Falconer and Paul Kenny, among others, come to choose the Trident nuclear missile as the totem of revolt against the Corbynites? Amid all the rubbish the Labour left espoused, defence has stood out as a beacon of sanity.
Guardian 13th Jan 2016 read more »
Labour MPs go ballistic at Red Ken’s latest Trident jibe as he insists a review of the nuclear deterrent can be completed in as little as eight weeks.
Daily Mail 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Ken Livingstone tells The Independent that it’s the foreign policy of the US that is threatening world security, not the prospect of unilateralism.
Independent 14th Jan 2016 read more »
In 2015 investment in clean energy soared, jumping four per cent on 2014 figures to hit a record-breaking $329bn, according to new data released today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). However, this headline-grabbing figure was by no means the only good news for the renewables sector this week, as a flurry of end-of-year reports have revealed rising deployment, record-breaking generation and surging market demand.
Business Green 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
Severn Trent Water (SVT) has installed its third solar array at one of its water treatment works near Birmingham, as part of its plan to generate half of its own power from renewables by 2020. The 550kW array, which cost the company £600,000, is the third to be built. The firm said it aims to have around 40 similar arrays up and running at its sites by the end of March. Once the programme is complete, SVT will focus on anaerobic digestion (AD) from waste, food and crops as its primary source of renewable electricity.
Utility Week 14th Jan 2016 read more »
The Feed-in Tariff rate which is paid out for rooftop solar electricity sold into the grid comes into effect today (15 Jan 2016) Householders who go solar will from now onwards be eligible for the new rate of 4.39p/kWh. Whilst lower than what the solar power industry wanted, the Government greatly improved on its original proposals for the new solar Feed-in Tariff scheme after a campaign by the Solar Trade Association, businesses and an unprecedented response by the public. For householders the new rate mean a return on investment of around 5% – a tax free, inflation-linked return, higher than any rates on offer today for savings accounts, where interest rates are at a record low. A competitively priced solar installation is likely to be paid back – the breakeven point on the investment – in around 13 years and it is possible for householders to improve payback further through intelligent use of their system.
Scottish Energy News 15th Jan 2016 read more »
The cost of solar panels could soon go up by as much as £900 for the average home after the government said they should no longer qualify for a lower rate of VAT because of EU state aid rules. A consultation on the VAT change ends on 3 February. The Solar Trade Association said solar was still attractive even though the payback period for an average system – costing about £6,000 – would now be about 14 years, up from eight years with the current incentive rates.
Guardian 14th Jan 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Global tidal power giant Atlantis has appointed Cameron Smith as its new Director of Project Development. He was previously the chief operating officer (offshore) of Mainstream Renewable Power. He has joined Atlantis’ new management group based at its corporate headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland and will report directly to Chief Executive Tim Cornelius. Smith will have responsibility for the development of the entire Atlantis portfolio including the next phase of the MeyGen tidal array build in the Pentland Firth, the recently announced Sound of Islay project and Atlantis’ interests in Canada and Asia. He will also be responsible for looking for new project development opportunities with a global remit.
Scottish Energy News 15th Jan 2016 read more »
Renewables – Scotland
NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after launching a stinging attack on cuts to renewable energy subsidies. The First Minister claimed Scotland’s green power potential was “at risk of being switched off” by UK Government policies which she condemned as “an absolute, total disgrace”. Her comments, during First Minister’s Questions, came a day after Finance Secretary John Swinney confirmed he was axing Â£10million of tax breaks for renewable firms in Scotland and were seized on by Conservative and Labour MSPs. Murdo Fraser, the Scots Tories economy spokesman, accused her of “rank hypocrisy” and Sarah Boyack, Labour’s environmental spokesman, said the First Minister had been “posturing” when she talked up Scotland’s record on green energy during last month’s Paris climate summit. Mr Swinney signalled in his budget last month that rates relief for renewable energy would end later this year. From April 1, only community-run schemes will qualify for the subsidy, known as the Renewable Energy Generation Relief Scheme, which offers green power companies rates rebates of up to 100 per cent. Scottish Renewables, the industry body which represents green power producers, said the decision was “disappointing” and would make the country’s renewable energy sector less economically viable.
Herald 15th Jan 2016 read more »