Already struggling to meets its currently scheduled closure date of December 2019 (extended a number of times from its original 2012 closure date) a ‘system blockage’ which forced the B205 magnox reprocessing plant to shut down on 23rd February not only flags up yet another failure by the plant to meet its annual target (for the ninth successive year) but also bears the hallmarks of having more serious implications for the 50-year old plant than Sellafield Ltd or the Regulators are currently prepared to admit.
CORE 16th April 2014 read more »
On 7 April 2014, FORATOM responded to the EC’s Public Consultation on the investment contract for the construction of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant that the UK Government proposed in October 2013. FORATOM’s response addresses a number of the reservations about the HPC deal that the EC expressed in its letter to the UK Government on 18 December 2013. These relate especially to the failure of the market to deliver the high-capital low-carbon investments needed to meet the EU’s (and the UK’s) energy policy goals.
Foratom 10th April 2014 read more »
Nuclear waste from across the British Isles could potentially be shipped and stored on Anglesey as part of new plans unveiled by the Government. But the resulting fallout from the proposals has already generated a storm of objections on the island, with one politician saying that residents should make every effort to stop it turning into a “nuclear waste depository”.
Daily Post 16th April 2014 read more »
Sir Tony Cunningham writes to DECC: Why have Lillyhall Landfill operators not been prosecuted?
Radiation Free Lakeland 16th April 2014 read more »
The Committee of Radioactive Waste Management is coming to Cumbria on 30th April to tell us about their work in advising government. Originally scheduled to take place in Workington centre, demand was so great that the venue has changed to accommodate more people . Rather surprisingly the venue has changed to the Hunday Manor Hotel, out on a limb and inaccessible by public transport.
Radiation Free Lakeland 16th April 2014 read more »
Paper presented by David Lowry at the European Environment Foundation Convention of Environmental Laureates, in Freiburg, Germany.: The final communiqué of the Global Nuclear Security Conference that was held last month in The Hague insisted that “measures to strengthen nuclear security will not hamper the rights of States to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes”. Dr Victor Gilinsky, a former member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, noted in 2009 that “even so-called arms controllers fall over themselves trying to establish their bona fides by supporting nuclear energy development and devising painless proposals…”
David Lowry 16th April 2014 read more »
Coupling commercially available spectral X-ray detectors with a specialised algorithm can improve the detection of uranium and plutonium in small, layered objects such as baggage. This approach, described in the Journal of Applied Physics, is claimed to enhance the detection powers of X-ray imaging and may provide a new tool to impede nuclear trafficking.
Engineer 16th April 2014 read more »
When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station—that caused most of the harm. A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.
R&D Mag 16th April 2014 read more »
World Nuclear News 16th April 2014 read more »
France’s nuclear watchdog singled out three of EDF’s 19 nuclear power stations for having a below-average safety performance in its annual safety report, which also asked for more enforcement powers such as the ability to impose fines. The watchdog said on Wednesday the state of nuclear safety in France in 2013 was satisfactory overall but said the French utility’s Bugey, Chinon and Civaux plants had recurring problems that required improvements.
Reuters 16th April 2014 read more »
Twenty-eight years after its Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded, Ukraine confronts a nuclear specter of a different kind: the possibility that the country’s reactors could become military targets in the event of a Russian invasion. Speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in March, Andrii Deshchytsia, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, cited the “potential threat to many nuclear facilities” should events deteriorate into open warfare.
Inquirer 16th April 2014 read more »
More than five years of international intrigue went out with a whimper on April 10th as Czech utility company ČEZ officially cancelled the planned expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant (120 km south of Prague in the South Bohemia region)—the project undone by a collapse in market electricity prices and hard-learned lessons from a botched state energy scheme in years past.
Economist 16th April 2014 read more »
Renewables – wind
Giant inflatable wind turbines that float in the sky to generate electricity could be heading to Britain. The buoyant airborne turbine is designed to harness energy from stronger winds high above the ground and produce more power than traditional turbines. Four prototypes have been developed and the first commercial product will be tested by Altaeros Energies, an American green energy company, in Alaska next year. The round helium-filled devices channel wind through the turbine and could generate electricity at a much lower cost for customers.
Times 17th April 2014 read more »
Yesterday we sat in the Falkirk Stadium listening to parties’ lawyers read from pre-prepared statements summarising the key points of each case against Dart’s plans for coal bed methane at Airth. It’s quite funny because its clearly not the lawyers’ idea of a good day at work to be limited to simply reading aloud. FoES and CCoF’s arguments will be pretty familiar to people following this blog. Stirling Council stuck to their guns on the proposal being against the local development plan, precautionary principle, and on grounds of cumulative impacts. Falkirk gave a carefully constructed argument about the deficiencies in information and baseline data before the Inquiry and in Dart’s understanding of the geology. The Council then made a legal submission that it is not appropriate to fix these deficiencies with planning conditions and legal agreements, therefore suggesting the Reporters have no choice but to turn the application down.
FoE Scotland 16th April 2014 read more »
Ken Livingstone:This week a court in Brighton will deliver its verdict on the Green party MP Caroline Lucas who is being prosecuted for causing an obstruction outside the Balcombe gas fracking site. The possibility that one of the most sensible politicians in parliament could receive a criminal record, rather than the medal she deserves, for standing up against greedy energy bosses tells us everything we need to know about the topsy-turvy state of British politics on the environment.
Guardian 16th April 2014 read more »
As congressional pressure builds on the Obama administration to quicken gas exports to Europe to reduce its dependence on Russia, it may be tempting to gaze upon a marshy, alligator-infested Louisiana inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. There 3,000 workers are installing a huge set of turbines, pipelines and refrigeration units, building a terminal that will send American natural gas around the world by the end of next year. By 2017, the facility built by Houston-based Cheniere Energy could handle roughly a sixth the amount of gas that flows from Russia to Europe every day.
New York Times 7th April 2014 read more »