Final Report on the ONR Generic Design Assessment.
Large Associates 6th June 2013 read more »
A PROSECUTION in the “radioactive bags” case will reach its conclusion in Carlisle Crown Court on Friday, when Sellafield Ltd appears for sentencing. Several bags containing low-level radioactive material were wrongly and unlawfully sent from Sellafield to be disposed of in landfill at Lillyhall. Sellafield Ltd admitted the offences at West Cumbria Courthouse in Workington in February but sentencing has been left to a higher level at Crown Court. Health & Safety Executive prosecutor Barry Berlin told magistrates that ‘complacency and negligence’ had led to the bags being dumped at the landfill site. But the company disputed this, saying a monitoring error has passed the bags as general waste, making them exempt from strict disposal controls.
Whitehaven News 13th June 2013 read more »
Having pleaded guilty at Workington Magistrates Court, Workington earlier this year to a range of charges brought by the Environment Agency (EA) and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), Sellafield Ltd was today fined £700,000 at Carlisle Crown Court. Handing down the fine for the offences caused by what he described as ‘basic management failures that demonstrated a culture too lax and, to a degree, too complacent’, Judge Peter Hughes said ‘that such a mistake should occur in an industry that needs to be managed with scrupulous care for the public and the environment is bound to be a matter of great concern for everyone, particularly the people of Cumbria’. The offences related to the sending of 4 bags of Low Level Waste (LLW – 1 bag containing material in the Intermediate Level Waste range) to the Lillyhall landfill site at Workington on 12th April 2010. The delivered bags had been incorrectly classified as general ‘exempt’ waste by faulty monitoring equipment at Sellafield rather than LLW which should have been sent to the LLW facility at Drigg. The mistake was only discovered by chance following a training exercise on the faulty equipment 20th April, and the bags containing various materials collected from within controlled areas of the Sellafield site eventually recovered from the Lillyhall landfill site between 22nd and 29th April and dispatched to Drigg.
CORE 14th June 2013 read more »
Nuclear firm Sellafield has been fined £700,000 and ordered to pay more than £72,000 costs for sending bags of radioactive waste to a landfill site.
Argus 14th June 2013 read more »
Lancashire Evening Post 14th June 2013 read more »
Carlisle News & Star 14th June 2013 read more »
Guardian 14th June 2013 read more »
FT 14th June 2013 read more »
BBC 14th June 2013 read more »
Times 15th June 2013 read more »
It is almost incredible, but true, that the Government can build a MOX (mixed oxide) plant at Sellafield costing £1.5bn which lamentably and comprehensively fails to meet its manufacturing targets and therefore has to be closed down, yet then is determined against all the odds to build another one at a cost of £2-3bn. These were criticisms which I and many other critics on the outside levelled against the MOX scheme, but which both ministers and the nuclear industry ignored and belittled. However an FOI request last month has now uncovered that the BIS Department and its ministers privately agreed with our assessment of the high cost, low efficiency and poor effectiveness of the plant. This internal official assessment confirmed that the projected annual throughput was 120te, but SMP (the Sellafield Mox plant) actually manufactured just 13.8te of MOX fuelthroughout its whole 11-year operating life.
Michael Meacher 13th June 2013 read more »
EQUIPMENT used at beaches near Dounreay to find radioactive particles has been modified to improve detection rates following the discovery of a particle with an unusual radioation signal. Changes have been made to its detection equipment follow the discovery of the particle at Sandside Beach in February last year, when it was found to contained Beta radiation rather than Gamma radiation usulaly associated with found particles. After discussion between beach monitoring contractor Nuvia, independent experts and regulators it was decided to replace the plastic covering which protects the deteection sensors with a carbon fibre covering. DSRL has also applied for a new authorisation under the Radioactive Substances Act, under which the beaches monitoring programme may change. In its assessment issued as part of the Authorisation consultation process, SEPA concluded that that the continued monitoring of some beaches may not be warranted and that for others the frequency of monitoring could be reduced. In its response to the consultation, DSRL requested that SEPA consider maintaining the existing schedule and frequency of monitoring for the time being at the beach where the unusual particle was found and the Dounreay foreshore.
John O Groat Journal13th June 2013 read more »
DSRL 13th June 2013 read more »
Dounreay’s operators say there will be no underwater sweeps for radioactive particles this year. The seabed has been scanned for several months each year since 2008. By the end of 2012 2200 particles had been removed. 409 of these were considered to be significant in terms of their potential impact on health.
Caithness Courier [not on web] 12th June 2013 read more »
Suffolk’s nuclear power station is back online following a planned refuelling outage. An extra 1,200 specialist workers have been helping out at EDF Energy’s Sizewell B, completing 14,000 tasks. Along with refuelling the reactor, a high-pressure rotor was changed on one of the two turbines and the low pressure rotors were taken apart, with each blade and bolt inspected. A routine pressure test of the well known dome was also completed, which proved the integrity of containment that houses the nuclear reactor.
East Anglian Daily Times 13th June 2013 read more »
Deep under rolling green farmlands in northeastern France, scientists study clay geology to see if it can safely house the country’s deadliest nuclear waste. Above ground, some people in the village of Bure are saying: Non! France, which gets 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy — the most in the world — is seeking the safest option for its mounting stockpiles of highly radioactive and long-life nuclear waste at a manageable cost for operators Electricite de France SA, Areva SA (AREVA) and CEA. The planned repository, half a kilometer, or a third of a mile, underground has provoked noisy protests with the first meeting on public consultations canceled in May. A second is set for June 17.
Bloomberg 13th June 2013 read more »
It’s not every day that two of the richest men in the world decide to back a documentary film that takes on a topic that has long been an environmental taboo. But that’s exactly what happened with Pandora’s Promise, a new film directed by Robert Stone, opening in 30 cities across the U.S. on Friday June 14. Stone’s exploration of several environmentalists who have come to support the use of nuclear power won over both Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.
Forbes 14th June 2013 read more »
Ofgem’s new proposals for liquidity in the wholesale electricity market, out this week, have already attracted a lot of attention. The press release says that : “Industry has responded positively to some of the challenges Ofgem has set for increasing liquidity in the wholesale power market”, but reports are already filtering through that the Big Six are, not surprisingly, unhappy. If the changes do come through, it is unclear what the implications would be for movement towards a more sustainable energy system, including more renewable generation, energy efficiency and demand-side response. In theory, a more liquid long-term market could mean less volatility in the day-ahead market, with fewer spikes in the reference price that will be used as the basis for the contract for difference (CfD) under the electricity market reforms, which would be good for renewable generators. But in practice the whole system could be vulnerable to gaming, and some smaller players, such as Ecotricity, remain sceptical.
IGov 14th June 2013 read more »
EDF and the consumer group Which? are calling for suppliers to offer a national unit rate for electricity and gas for each tariff, scrapping regional variation in prices and standing charges. EDF said the move to “petrol forecourt-style pricing” would mean “consumers would be left in no doubt as to which suppliers were offering the best deals”. But other major energy suppliers came out against EDF’s proposal, warning it could cost the majority of users £100 extra and could benefit second home owners at the expense of vulnerable families.
Telegraph 15th June 2013 read more »
Times 15th June 2013 read more »
Energy firm EDF Group has selected InStep Software’s predictive asset analytics software to monitor its nuclear power plant fleet in France. Under the deal, EDF will use InStep’s PRiSM software for continuous real-time asset monitoring of 58 nuclear units at 19 sites. InStep said the software will be used to identify and alert personnel of subtle changes in equipment behavior to provide early indication and diagnosis of asset health and performance problems.
Energy Business Review 14th June 2013 read more »
Britain has stepped up efforts to let India join an influential global body controlling nuclear exports, a move that would boost New Delhi’s standing as an atomic power but which has faced resistance from China and other countries. The diplomatic tussle centres on whether emerging power India should be allowed into a key forum deciding rules for civilian nuclear trade, even though it has refused to join an international pact under which it would have to give up its nuclear weapons.
Reuters 14th June 2013 read more »
Fukushima crisis update 11th to 13th June.
Greenpeace 14th June 2013 read more »
The US has joined forces with the Czech Republic and signed an agreement for a joint civil nuclear co-operation centre in Prague. It will facilitate joint programmes and support regional initiatives in the fields of nuclear energy and security and is part of the nations’ plans in expanding their energy collaboration.
Energy Live News 14th June 2013 read more »
Russia is “ready to build, operate and finance investments in nuclear power plants” in Brazil, according to Rosatom deputy director general Kirill Komarov.
Modern Power Systems 14th June 2013 read more »
‘Which is the most cost effective renewable technology?’ It’s a bit like asking what is the best vehicle in the world. If you want to go very fast you’d have to say a Bugatti Veyron, if you want to transport 20 tons of bricks it would be an articulated lorry, and if you wanted to have the least environmental impact you’d say an electric car, powered by solar PV! You get the picture. It’s all about what you want to achieve.
Renewable Solutions 14th June 2013 read more »
If you want to use solar power at night or wind power on calm days, you need batteries that can store energy after it’s produced. But why bother with two pieces of equipment when you could have one? Engineers are now beginning to build batteries directly into wind and solar systems.
Grist 14th June 2013 read more »
Energy from Waste
For a country blessed with bountiful oil supplies, it may appear incongruous. But Norway is importing as much rubbish as it can get its hands on, in an effort to generate more energy by burning waste in vast incinerators. The Eurotrash business may sound like an unpromising enterprise, but it’s one that is increasingly profitable. The UK paid to send 45,000 tonnes of household waste from Bristol and Leeds to Norway between October 2012 and April this year. “Waste has become a commodity,” says Pål Spillum, head of waste recovery at the Climate and Pollution Agency in Norway. “There is a big European market for this, so much so that the Norwegians are accepting rubbish from other countries to feed the incinerator.”
Guardian 14th June 2013 read more »
Cuadrilla has had a confusing week in the media. Yesterday’s announcement that Centrica would buy a stake in the shale gas company’s Bowland shale licenses has prompted new assertions of the benefits a shale gas boom could bring to the UK. But earlier in the week, a Cuadrilla representative appeared less than convinced that the resource would bring down UK energy bills. We look at the sometimes tricky business of predicting the future of a new energy source.
Carbon Brief 14th June 2013 read more »
Lord Lawson’s climate-change think tank faces being dismantled or even wound down after a formal complaint that it has persistently misled the public prompted the statutory regulator to probe into the group.
Independent 14th June 2013 read more »