BRITAIN’S Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) bungled the award of a £7bn contract to clean up a dozen nuclear power sites, a jilted bidder has claimed in a High Court writ. Energy Solutions, an American engineer, is demanding more than £200m in damages, lost profit and costs from the state-owned body, which handed the 14-year Magnox contract to Cavendish Fluor, a consortium of Babcock and Fluor. Energy Solutions was the incumbent tasked with winding down the 12 nuclear sites. It was partnered with the US engineer Bechtel for its unsuccessful bid. Bechtel is not challenging the contract award. Documents lodged with the High Court claim the NDA did not follow its own procedures, and should have knocked the winning bidder out of the competition while awarding Energy Solutions more points in the scoring that decided the award. Energy Solutions lost out to Cavendish Fluor by just one percentage point, based on the NDA’s scoring system.
Times 15th June 2014 read more »
The Coalition has been “sleepwalking into an energy crisis” and must adopt a £65bn plan to insulate Britain’s homes, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has claimed. Unison, which has 1.3 million mainly public sector members, will launch a report at its energy conference tomorrow that outlines the benefits of making every home in Britain reach a minimum energy efficiency standard over 15 years. Nearly 7 million homes in England are currently rated in the lowest three bands of E,F and G for energy efficiency, but Unison claims that bill payers could save £300-600 a year if their dwellings were insulated to at least a C rating. Unison argues the scheme would reduce winter related deaths. In the 2012-13 winter, 31,000 people died from the cold or related illnesses like influenza, up 29 per cent on the previous year.
Independent 15th June 2014 read more »
The removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil should be part of a post-independence constitution, according to Scotland’s deputy first minister. Nicola Sturgeon said a legal obligation to work for nuclear disarmament should be enshrined in the document. It would place a duty on the Scottish government to work to remove submarine-based Trident nuclear weapons.
BBC 15th June 2014 read more »
Scotsman 15th June 2014 read more »
Labour’s social justice spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “If ridding the world of nuclear weapons was as simple as writing it in a constitution, the world would already be a far safer place but the reality is very different and Nicola Sturgeon knows this. “By moving nuclear weapons down the coast, Scotland will not be any safer. “We would lose thousands of jobs and lose the security of NATO. “It would be better to rid the whole world of nuclear weapons through international negotiations rather than isolate ourselves from the global community.”
Daily Record 15th June 2014 read more »
More than 1,000 protesters assembled before the prefectural government building here June 13 to oppose moves to restart a local nuclear power plant. If the Sendai nuclear plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, were to go back online, it would mark the nation’s first restart under new safety standards brought in after the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture. The rally, which organizers deemed a “critical phase” in their anti-nuclear efforts, coincided with the start of the prefectural assembly session.
Asahi Shimbun 14th June 2014 read more »
It will be a mile long and 82ft deep; cost nearly £200 million, and rack up an electricity bill of £6 million a year. It is the Fukushima ice wall – and if it works, it will help to protect northern Japan from disaster. Three years after the tsunami that caused three nuclear reactors to melt down and forced 80,000 people from their homes, Japanese authorities are once again trying to turn back time. It sounds like science fiction – an underground wall of vertical tundra intended to absorb radiation leaking from the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. However, scientists opposed to the plan question its effectiveness, safety and cost. The “frozen earth barrier”, as its creators call it, is intended to deal with one of the biggest problems at Fukushima – 400 tons of radioactive water that pass out of the broken reactors every day.
Times 14th June 2014 read more »
Iran is seeking a deal with major world powers within weeks that would end years of dispute over the country’s nuclear programme and economic sanctions imposed on it by western powers, President Hassan Rouhani has said. He said he wanted to reach an agreement by 20 July, adding that the the international sanctions regime had crumbled and would not be rebuilt – even if no final nuclear deal could be reached. Rouhani also said he would be willing to work with the White House to meet the danger posed by Islamist extremists who have taken towns in northern Iraq, in a sign of shifting attitudes towards the US in Tehran.
Guardian 14th June 2014 read more »
Only a few hundred nuclear test veterans out of 22,500 remain alive, but later this month they will finally get their day before the British government. A video of what nuclear test veterans experienced on Christmas Island in the 1950s will be shown to MPs in parliament on Wednesday, June 25.
Spalding Guardian 14th June 2014 read more »
Five questions. They have changed the way they measure it to take into account households with both high energy bills and low incomes. Under the old measure, which included everybody who had to spend more than 10 per cent of their income to heat their homes properly, some 4.5 million English households were in fuel poverty in 2012, a huge increase on the 3.2 million in 2011 and almost double the number – 2.28 million – included in the new measure.
Independent 14th June 2014 read more »
The three-turbine Loch Carnan Community Wind farm, which began generating in March 2013, has earned over £2m gross income to the end of April 2014. So very belated congratulations to Stras Uibhist, the community-led body which since the buyout in 2007 owns and manages 93,000 acres of land covering almost the whole of the islands of Benbecula, Eriskay and South Uist, as well as a number of other small islands. Community buyouts all look to establish a reliable income stream to finance their stewardship of local land. Gigha, for example, has had three turbines which have done that for years…the Three Dancing Ladies, Faith, Hope and Charity which were joined in December by a fourth christened Harmony. Stras Uibhist now has its reliable wage earner in Loch Carnan. During the last 12 months Loch Carnan generated slightly more than expected from the financial projections. This was despite initial teething problems with the turbines and the delay in installation of SSE equipment that resulted in a reduction in the allowable generation by the turbines until July last year.
Herald 13th June 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Households that installed solar panels to reduce energy costs are instead facing larger bills because meters are incorrectly measuring the electricity supplied. Some digital meters are adding the electricity produced by solar panels to the electricity being supplied to the property, so customers end up being charged for power they have generated.
Telegraph 15th June 2014 read more »
According to a new report from the Fabian Society, Pride of Place, this grassroots, people-power approach is on the money. Not only is this a trend – it’s also something that needs to happen if environmentalism is to have any chance of mainstream traction in the UK and, you might contend, any chance of achieving anything significant. As it stands, environmentalism is not pulling in the punters. The report’s authors, Natan Doron and Ed Wallis, lay the blame at the feet of a movement with too great a dependency on three things: elite-level engagement, the rationalism of climate science and the agency of top-down legislation. Environmentalism, they argue, should begin at home, focusing on issues that people are actually concerned with, rather than “abstract” international issues, such as climate change.
Observer 14th June 2014 read more »
Work has begun on a project to construct a coalmine that will extend beneath the Irish Sea in an area last mined a generation ago. West Cumbria Mining hopes to begin drilling bore holes in the coming months to examine the possibility of mining the Cumbrian coalfield. It wants to build a mine at Whitehaven, next to the Haig Colliery, which operated between 1914 and 1986 and ran four miles under the Irish Sea. The company raised £14.7 million from an Australian private equity backer last week to conduct an early-stage study, with offshore tests due next year.
Times 14th June 2014 read more »
Environmentalists have bitterly condemned a new EU research fund which invites shale gas firms to apply for €113 million of subsidies, under a programme designed to encourage ‘competitive low carbon energy’.
Euractiv 13th June 2014 read more »
President Barack Obama said denying climate change is like arguing that the moon is made of cheese, as he issued a call for action on global warming to Saturday’s graduates of the University of California, Irvine. Obama told the tens of thousands gathered at Angel Stadium that Congress “is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence” and say climate change is a hoax or fad, while others avoid the question.
Telegraph 15th June 2014 read more »