A TOTAL of 244 businesses based in North Somerset have signed up to be partners for the Hinkley Point C project – something which could be a ‘huge benefit’ to the district’s economy.
Weston Mercury 14th April 2015 read more »
Letter: We should not be surprised at the latest setback for Hinkley C. When you look at the problems besetting the French nuclear industry which has to deal with decommissioning its fleet of ageing reactors, we may be witnessing the demise of civil nuclear power worldwide. Influential groups have been forecasting for years a future dominated by renewable technology. The escalating of nuclear, both in construction and for the future waste handling and decommissioning, so far uncalculated and incalculable combine to give a strike price twice the current rate for civil electricity. The loser will be the consumer forced to pay this inflated price. The recent aircraft tragedy in the Alps should send a shiver through the regulating authorities, as they try to say how they will stop a determined individual from carrying out a suicide or terrorist-inspired nuclear catastrophe in a British reactor. This country is late but not too late to shift its energy policy towards our renewable resources, wind, tide and now cheap solar.
Western Daily Press 14th April 2015 read more »
Nuclear Transparency Watch (NTW), composed of activists and experts from across the continent, released the results of a year-long investigation into the preparedness of European governments and nuclear utilities for a Fukushima-level nuclear accident in the densely-populated region. What they found, which will be no surprise to us in the U.S. at least, is that Europe is not prepared to effectively cope with such an accident. What the report didn’t get into for the most part is that many European nations have even less-stringent regulations for emergency planning and evacuation than does the U.S., for example, sometimes even smaller evacuation zones than the inadequate 10 mile (18 km) U.S. zones–although some countries do distribute potassium iodide to people inside emergency zones much better than do most, possibly all, U.S. states.
Green World 15th April 2015 read more »
In the post-Fukushima era, one of the first steps of Nuclear Transparency Watch (NTW) was to establish a working group on the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R), which has conducted a one-year investigation of off-site EP&R. This report has been presented today in the European Parliament and gave the current challenges with regard to nuclear safety from the civil society point of view.
Nuclear Transparency Watch 15th April 2015 read more »
The Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) is an international nuclear liability regime governed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The convention, signed in 1997, but so far not in force for lack of interest, channels and pins absolute liability onto the operators of the nuclear power plant. In addition, it also acts as a pool from where signatory countries can draw funds if necessary in case of a nuclear accident. With Japan signing and ratifying CSC in January this year, it came into force on 15 April. Many nuclear reactor and equipment supplying companies would want you to believe that the sole purpose of CSC is to help you receive your compensation quickly and speedily after you are hit by a nuclear accident. However, this is not true. The CSC was not created to protect your interest and your rights, but in fact it was created to shield multibillion dollar nuclear reactor manufactures and suppliers from their responsibilities. These companies don’t want to be held liable for damages caused due to an accident at any of their inherently dangerous nuclear plants and hence hide behind the protective shield of CSC.
Greenpeace 15th April 2015 read more »
Greenpeace condemns the new international convention on nuclear liability that came into force today, warning that it protects the nuclear industry, not nuclear victims. The Convention on Supplementary Compensation on Nuclear Safety (CSC) tightens up the industry’s international indemnification and supplier shields, effectively shoving the enormous burden of nuclear risk onto taxpayers and future victims.
Greenpeace 15th April 2015 read more »
It’s all kicking off again. The nuclear repository row, which so enflamed the anger of Cumbrian communities two years ago, is again igniting tempers. The government, in its end of term wisdom, has taken the possibility of an underground dump for nuclear waste out of the hands of local councillors and given it to a future secretary of state for energy. Nifty move. Some might say, sneaky. Others might use stronger language altogether to describe Westminster’s last gasp snatch – since the bludgeoning of local democracy was delivered on parliament’s last day. It’s complicated – these things generally are – but the upshot of the smash-and-grab move looks very much like the deal to bury huge amounts of nuclear waste deep beneath Britain’s loveliest county has just about been done. And with no questions asked. County councillors stymied plans for an underground store last time round. They will not be allowed to do so again because parliament has voted to designate the repository a “nationally significant infrastructure project”… in other words, much too big and important for little locals and country bumpkins.If at once you don’t succeed, silence argument by riding roughshod over all local concerns and take it out of the hands of little folk who have to live with it – within minutes of dissolving parliament. That’s not merely nifty, sneaky nor conveniently underhand. It’s dirty.
Carlisle News and Star 15th April 2015 read more »
All of the UK’s high-level nuclear waste from used fuel reprocessing could be buried in just six boreholes fitting within a site no larger than a football pitch, new figures have revealed. Scientists at the University of Sheffield calculated the disposal of nuclear waste and came up with new ways for sealing waste into boreholes, which could see its first field trials in the US next year after being primarily developed in the UK. A borehole could be drilled, filled and sealed in less than five years, compared with the current timescale for a UK mined repository yet to be approved but due to open in 2040 and take its first waste by 2075.
Engineering & Technology 15th April 2015 read more »
The Green Party has attacked Labour’s proposed price freeze saying energy efficiency is a better solution, but added that it could back a Labour government on a case by case basis. Speaking at the launch of their manifesto on Tuesday morning, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said that a significant energy efficiency programme is “the only way to permanently bring down energy bills, unlike Labour’s energy price freeze”.
Utility Week 14th April 2015 read more »
The Green Party’s manifesto for the general election is heavily focussed on fighting fuel-poverty and tackling climate change.
Scottish Energy News 16th April 2015 read more »
Contradictory, cautious and incoherent – Tory manifesto offers confusion for the green economy.
Business Green 14th April 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
A groundbreaking study by American University sociology Prof. Celine Marie Pascale has proven there is a continuing and massive effort by varying world governments and major mainstream media outlets to cover up the horrifying truth of Fukushima. According to the press release made public by the University and Pascale, the media and government (regarding the Fukushima cover up) “largely minimized health risks to the general population”.
Your News Wire 14th April 2015 read more »
The Nuclear Regulation Authority estimates it would take a maximum 16 hours for the approximately 180,000 people living within 30 km of the Takahama nuclear complex on the Sea of Japan coast in Fukui Prefecture to evacuate if a severe disaster occurred, sources said Wednesday. The estimate is 4 hours and 50 minutes longer than calculated by the Fukui Prefectural Government.
Japan Times 16th April 2015 read more »
Japan’s nuclear watchdog chief said Wednesday a landmark court injunction banning the restart of two reactors was based on a judicial “misunderstanding” of basic facts. “Although I haven’t studied it in detail, many things that are based on misunderstandings are written in the verdict,” Shunichi Tanaka told reporters, asked about the court injunction issued on Tuesday. “It is internationally recognised that our new regulatory regime is one of the strictest… but that was apparently not understood (by the judge),” the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) told reporters.
Japan Today 16th April 2015 read more »
Argentina recently announced a deal to buy nuclear reactors from China, one of which is expected to be of original design. The anticipated export of the indigenously developed Hualong One is a symbol of how far China has come in a relatively short space of time. It has been able to manipulate its expanding domestic market to make a meteoric rise in terms of technological development. A relative latecomer to nuclear power, its first reactor was connected to the grid in 1991. Less than 25 years later, China is now aiming to become a major player in the supply of nuclear technology to the world. China is beginning to wrest the nuclear export industry away from dominant Western suppliers. Having used the lure of its domestic market to good effect, it has won technology transfers from leading European and American corporatesand recycled this expertise. It has started selling technology to a group of largely Western-sceptic states and emerging market economies but an important obstacle remains before China can achieve global dominance. Until China demonstrates that its technology is tried and tested, sceptics will remain wary of fully committing to the Hualong One. This will require Beijing to prove its credentials as a responsible nuclear supplier, abiding by, and hopefully enhancing, international nuclear safety and non-proliferation norms. The Chinese strategy for developing nuclear reactors based on technology transfer has succeeded in getting it this far, but international reputation remains an important area where incumbent suppliers still hold an advantage.
FT 15th April 2015 read more »
Government and company officials yesterday launched construction of the Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. The Russian-designed Akkuyu plant in Mersin, on the Mediterranean coast, is the first of three nuclear power plants the country plans to build to help boost its economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports.
World Nuclear News 15th April 2015 read more »
A somewhat “hidden” report was recently released that said France could be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050 (note that this is for electricity, not all energy). If the report is accurate, obviously it is a huge wakeup call about the potential of renewable energy there. If you aren’t aware, France currently gets most of its electricity from nuclear power. The older nuclear reactors clearly can have some safety issues and might be prone to accidents, as we all learned from the Fukushima debacle. So, how could France switch to 100% renewables in just 35 years? By quickly developing wind, solar, and hydroelectric power, says the document.
Renew Economy 15th April 2015 read more »
German energy companies say that construction of over half the country’s planned power plants could be scuppered if the country goes ahead with a leaked plan to set emissions budgets for the country’s biggest polluters. The proposed law would impose stiff financial penalties for the oldest and most inefficient coal and lignite plants, to be paid in the form of emissions trading certificates. Clean energy industries and environmentalists see the plan, which would be phased in from 2017, as an essential step to meeting the government’s energiewende blueprint for a 40% cut in carbon output by 2020. But a German energy industry association survey found that 53% of investors in power plants scheduled to come online in the next decade had frozen their involvement in the projects because of political uncertainty.
Guardian 14th April 2015 read more »
Turkey launched construction of its first nuclear power plant on Tuesday, which the government hopes will open a new era of greater energy self-sufficiency. But the ceremony faced protests from environmentalists.
Deutsche Welle 14th April 2015 read more »
India and Pakistan each possess more than 100 nuclear warheads. Their political establishments really don’t like each other. Correspondingly, we should always pay heed to tensions between the two nations. A new crisis is brewing. Last week, India announced it will establish protected settlements to rehouse about 200,000 Hindus in the Kashmir Valley. Forced out of Indian Kashmir by Pakistan-supported Islamists in 1989-1990, the displaced citizens are a priority for Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government. Conversely, Islamist protests illustrate opposition to Hindu empowerment. India and Pakistan have been fighting over the province of Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947; they have fought three wars over it, in fact. Then on Friday, Pakistan released Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, ringleader of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people across India’s financial capital. While Pakistan’s primary intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, has protected Lakhvi from prosecution, his release is striking. Because Pakistan knows that India knows that Lakhvi’s group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, benefits from the spy agency’s support, guidance and shelter. And it’s releasing him anyway.
Reuters 14th April 2015 read more »
A group of South Florida mayors are escalating their campaign against plans to expand a nuclear power plant near Miami that involves constructing 100-foot (30-meter) tall transmissions lines through some of the area’s toniest neighborhoods. Florida Power & Light Co is seeking federal approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to add nuclear reactors to its Turkey Point plant in south Florida. Public hearings are scheduled for next week.
Reuters 15th April 2015 read more »
Israel hailed an “achievement” on Wednesday in its effort to block an emerging nuclear deal with Iran after President Barack Obama agreed to allow the Senate to vote on any agreement. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a bill providing for the chamber to review a final nuclear deal with Iran after the negotiating deadline of June 30.
Telegraph 15th April 2015 read more »
Independent 15th April 2015 read more »
The US could spend more than $1 trillion (£675bn) over the next 30 years modernising its arsenal of nuclear weapons. It wants to make them faster and more accurate. Other nuclear states are trying to do the same, raising questions about their commitment to disarm. Are we entering a new nuclear arms race?.
BBC 15th April 2015 read more »
Letter: Of the two exhaustive and authoritative studies into alternatives to Trident, the Trident Alternatives Review (July 2013) and the BASIC Trident Commission Report (June 2014), the first was a government report sponsored by the Liberal Democrats and the second a parliamentary commission supported by BASIC (an anti nuclear NGO). Both parties were hoping for a different answer, but both had the good grace to acknowledge the analysis that cruise missiles would be a quite unsatisfactory option for the UK on a number of grounds including cost, timescale, deterrent effectiveness and implications for the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Indeed both studies firmly concluded that submarine based Trident remains the optimum capability for the UK.
FT 16th April 2015 read more »
This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, TX, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant renewable resources (e.g. Tucson, AZ) are stuck with a majority-coal-fired electricity supply. If cities had these keys, many could obtain 100% renewable energy at a surprisingly low cost.
Renew Economy 16th April 2015 read more »
The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back. The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels, according to an analysis presented Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit in New York. The shift will continue to accelerate, and by 2030 more than four times as much renewable capacity will be added.
Bloomberg 14th April 2015 read more »
A group of islands located halfway between Norway and Iceland is set to host Europe’s first ever commercial deployment of a wind farm-connected battery storage system, as part of an effort to cut the archipelago’s dependence on oil, while meeting its growing energy needs with renewables. A 2.3MW lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS) will be installed at Faroe Islands in a joint effort by industrial battery maker Saft and German wind turbine maker Enercon, together with the islands’ power producer and distributor, SEV.
Renew Economy 15th April 2015 read more »
In 2014, a chorus of analyses from major financial institutions—including Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Fitch Ratings, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and UBS—found that solar-plus-battery systems pose a real and present threat to traditional utility business models. Many of them directly cited RMI’s report The Economics of Grid Defection, which assessed when and where distributed solar-plus-battery systems could reach economic parity with the electric grid, creating the possibility for defection of utility customers. Their perspectives varied, but all echoed the common theme of increasing challenges for the current utility business model. However our recently released report, The Economics of Load Defection, shows a much more likely scenario—one that is coming sooner for more customers in more places, with arguably far greater implications than grid defection—the migration of load from central systems to distributed ones, what we call load defection. The customers don’t leave, but their load does, “defecting” from grid supply to behind-the-meter, grid-connected solar PV and batteries. They thus risk becoming phantom customers.
Renew Economy 15th April 2015 read more »
BP pumped billions of pounds into low-carbon technology and green energy over a number of decades but gradually retired the programme to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuel business, the Guardian has established. At one stage the company, whose annual general meeting is in London on Thursday, was spending in-house around $450m (£300m) a year on research alone – the equivalent of $830m today. The energy efficiency programme employed 4,400 research scientists and R&D support staff at bases in Sunbury, Berkshire, and Cleveland, Ohio, among other locations, while $8bn was directly invested over five years in zero- or low-carbon energy.
Guardian 16th April 2015 read more »
The University of Edinburgh is expected to divest its £292m endowment from coal and tar sands companies following a recommendation from senior management on Tuesday. Student representatives were informed of the response from the Central Management Group ahead of the final decision, which will be announced in May. In October, Glasgow University became the first academic institution in Europe to commit to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The University of Bedfordshire followed suit in January.
Guardian 15th April 2015 read more »
A week ago, UK Oil & Gas Investments, of which Lenigas is chairman and owns a 4.4pc stake, announced that there could be as much as 100bn barrels of fossil fuels under a large stretch of Sussex and Surrey Weald. To put that into context, Iran – which has almost 10pc of the world’s oil – has 160bn barrels of reserves, while the North Sea has delivered just 45bn barrels over the past 40 years. Testing by an American consultancy had found that between 3pc and 15pc of the oil might be extracted – up to 15bn barrels. News of the apparent signficance of the so-called “Horse Hill” licence – which sits close to Gatwick Airport and in which UK Oil & Gas Investments has a 20.36pc interest – was unsurprisingly greeted with great gusto by investors and the media alike. But for a company with a market capitalisation of less than £20m at the time, the news received an inordinant amount of media coverage. The statement came down to one crux sentence: “The oil in place (OIP) hydrocarbon volumes estimated should not be considered as either contingent or prospective resources or reserves.” In other words, although Horse Hill might contain 100bn recoverable barrels of oil, it equally might contain zero.
Telegraph 15th April 2015 read more »