Professor Andy Blowers, the Chair of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), has been appointed by the Environment Agency as a member of the Oversight Group Reviewing Public Involvement in New Nuclear Reactor Designs (Generic Design Assessment). Professor Blowers commented: ‘This could be very interesting work in light of the possibility of new reactor designs being employed by Chinese state companies for a putative new nuclear power station at Bradwell. I am a great believer in public engagement and will try to ensure that issues of public concern are fully taken into account’.
Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group 15th Nov 2014 read more »
Construction of additional safety features at unit 1 of the Ohma nuclear power plant, being built in Japan’s Aomori prefecture, will be completed by the end of 2020, the Japan Electric Power Development Corp (J-Power) has announced. Work to build the 1383 MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) was about 40% complete in March 2011 when a tsunami caused the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Construction of Ohma 1 was suspended following the accident, but was resumed in October 2012. At that time, J-Power said it would strive to establish a safe power plant by, among other things, ensuring that reinforced safety measures are implemented that take into account the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident. J-Power plans to use all mixed oxide (MOX) uranium and plutonium nuclear fuel in the reactor core of Ohma 1. It would be the first Japanese reactor built to run solely on MOX fuel incorporating recycled plutonium. It will be able to consume a quarter of all domestically-produced MOX fuel and hence make a major contribution to Japan’s “pluthermal” policy of recycling plutonium recovered from used fuel. This policy increases Japan’s self-sufficiency in energy fuels from 4% to 18% by making maximum use of imported uranium.
World Nuclear News 14th Nov 2014 read more »
US – MOX
A 10-year extension for construction of the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site has been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. According to a news release, the NRC signed an order Thursday extending the completion deadline until March 30, 2025. CB&I Areva MOX Services, the facility’s contractor, asked for the extension in May after numerous construction delays, some caused by lower-than-projected annual funding from Congress and delivery delays for components.
Augusta Chronicle 14th Nov 2014 read more »
The elegant halls of the Coburg Palace Hotel in Vienna will be the setting this week for a final effort to resolve the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. American and Iranian diplomats – along with those from Britain, Russia and three other world powers – will meet on Tuesday to start hammering out a comprehensive agreement designed to ensure that the Islamic Republic never produces the ultimate weapon. The stakes could not be higher. If America and Iran settle the nuclear issue, they will have overcome 35 years of poisonous confrontation that began with the Iranian revolution in 1979. The shadow of America going to war to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon will have been lifted. For once, the Middle East will have become less of a dangerous tinderbox.
Telegraph 15th Nov 2014 read more »
Nicola Sturgeon, the new nationalist leader, says she will put Ed Miliband in No 10 if he abandons austerity measures and removes Britain’s nuclear arsenal from Scottish waters. Polls suggest Labour are on course to lose swathes of seats in Scotland in 2015, and could be reduced to 10 or as few as four, with many of its heartland seats in areas that saw the strongest turnout for the separatist yes campaign. That could leave the Scottish Nationalist Party as the third biggest in Parliament.
Telegraph 15th Nov 2014 read more »
Four films showing an interview with Bruce Kent.
Talkworks 14th Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – Offshore Wind
As European governments start to curb offshore renewable power subsidies, utilities, wind turbine makers and installers are racing to cut costs to help the industry survive.Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, wary of committing billions of euros when budgets are tight, have announced subsidy cuts in the past 18 months – a blow to the European offshore wind industry which employs nearly 60,000 people. This has led the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) to slash its forecasts for installed offshore capacity in Europe to about 25 gigawatts (GW) by 2020, from a 2009 forecast for 40 GW, still more than triple current capacity of about 7 GW. However, utilities remain keen to invest in offshore wind – which the EWEA says is the fastest-growing power technology in Europe. Unlike onshore farms, marine parks face less opposition from civil groups who say they blight the landscape, so there is no limit on turbine size. Steady seawinds also allow turbines to turn about 42 percent of the time, about double the “load factor” onshore.
Reuters 14th Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – Investment
Ben Goldsmith has corralled a gaggle of City tycoons and resources billionaires to back a new £150m investment fund focused on energy efficiency and renewables companies. The 34-year-old son of the late Sir James Goldsmith expects to list BGT Capital on the London Stock Exchange in the new year. The investment trust will be chaired by Sir Ian Cheshire, marking the first new job for the outgoing boss of Kingfisher who steps down from the owner of B&Q in February after seven years at the top. Goldsmith is understood to have secured £90m from a clutch of deep-pocketed individuals. Aditya Mittal, son of Britain’s richest man Lakshmi Mittal, has invested and will sit on the board. Other backers include Telis Mistakidis, a Glencore executive, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and Louis Bacon, the founder of Moore Capital. The fund will be run by chief executive Graham Thomas, the former head of private investments at RIT Capital Partners, manager of Lord (Jacob) Rothschild’s family fortune.
Sunday Times 16th Nov 2014 read more »
A new coalition of 26 community and environmental groups is urging the Scottish -Government to ban fracking for shale gas and drilling for underground coal-gas. The groups, led by Concerned Communities of Falkirk (CCoF) and Friends Of The Earth Scotland, are demanding a moratorium on unconventional gas development in Scotland, saying risks to public health, staff and the environment are “impossible to regulate away.”
Herald 16th Nov 2014 read more »