Damian Carrington: A sober analysis of what is needed to make the global nuclear power industry safe and secure reveals a mountain to climb. It’s a clear-eyed assessment, in my view. If these measures were implemented, I’d be pretty comfortable with the safety and security of nuclear power, although the price tag would be great. But my judgement is they will not be. To be clear, I am absolutely not backing coal, some of the tragic consequences of which are being played out in Wales as I write. I back renewables and efficiency. Making those work at sufficient scale is of course a huge challenge. But making the nuclear industry around the world safe and cost-effective is a greater one.
Guardian 16th Sept 2011 more >>
The explosion at the French nuclear plant is a timely reminder of the dangers of nuclear energy. It should be another wake-up call for the UK government, says Kate Hudson.
Counter Fire 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Electricity Market Reform
Government climate change targets will put £500 on the average family’s fuel bill within four years, a study warns today. The report warns that the political elite’s obsession with renewable energy will damage Britain’s competitiveness without necessarily doing anything to tackle climate change. It suggests that the Coalition’s drive to cut greenhouse gases will add £10billion to fuel bills by 2015 – equal to almost £500 per household. Dr Richard Wellings, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, says: It is clear the Governments current plans will impose severe burdens on both business and households yet will fail to make a significant difference to the climate.
This is Money 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Consumers must take some of the blame for high energy bills because they cannot be bothered to shop around for the best deals, Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, says. Mr Huhne told The Times that families could treat themselves to a £300 mini-break if they showed as much interest in hunting for gas and electricity bargains as they did with smaller items. They do not bother, he said. They frankly spend less time shopping around for a bill thats on average more than £1,000 a year than they would shop around for a £25 toaster.
Times 17th Sept 2011 more >>
If it is that easy, why have half of consumers never switched suppliers? Laziness isnt the prime culprit. Many of us have become addicted to logging on to get a good deal: we change our car insurance at a shot. The energy companies are to blame. They have cowed us into inaction with their bills riddled with jargon and bewildering array of deals. In March, industry regulator Ofgem said consumers were being bamboozled with 300 different energy tariffs. Huge price variations within tariffs based on energy use, method of payment and consumers postcodes means that there are actually thousands of plans on the market. Comparison websites do their best to shine a light into this murky haze, but the churn of new deals is so great that even a customer who switches is unlikely to remain on the suppliers best deal for long.
The Times 17th Sept 2011 more >>
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been chosen by the Government as the countrys Green Pathfinder LEP, to play the lead role within the national network of LEPs in the onward development of the low carbon sector. The conference also included a presentation on the opportunities for companies in the region represented by EDF Energys plans for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell. Tom McGarry, senior communications manager for the companys Sizewell C project, pledged that EDF would work to maximise supply chain opportunities for local firms.
East Anglian Daily Times 15th Sept 2011 more >>
There’s growing concern in Cumbria that a trail of electricity pylons could blight one of the most beautiful landscapes in Britain. The network of pylons will be needed to transfer electricity from a new generation of nuclear power stations and offshore wind farms on the west coast.The problem is the existing infrastructure won’t be good enough to cope with the amount of energy generated by new nuclear stations at Sellafield and Heysham, let alone the new turbines.
BBC 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Summary of Radiation Free Lakeland presentation to Cumbria County Council Cabinet meeting on 15th Sept.
Radiation Free Lakeland 16th Sept 2011 more >>
UK based engineering support services organisation, Babcock has been awarded a contract by Magnox for an intermediate level waste (ILW) retrieval and processing project, at its Berkeley site – the first commercial nuclear power station in the UK to be decommissioned.
Waste Management World 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Westinghouse is in talks with a number of Polish and international contractors to team up with the company in its bid to build Poland’s first nuclear power reactor, Westinghouse CEO Aris Candris said on Thursday. Westinghouse is also bidding to supply nuclear reactor technology for Britain’s nuclear new build programme and is in constant discussions with the Horizon consortium grouping RWE and E.ON to build a reactor on their Wylfa site.
Reuters 15th Sept 2011 more >>
EDF, one of the UK’s Big Six power suppliers and a key nuclear generator, has admitted that the public has lost confidence in the energy industry and said that a Competition Commission inquiry might be needed to clear the air. The surprise admission came as the French-owned company became the latest to raise its UK retail prices putting up gas bills by over 15% and electricity by 4.5% bringing condemnation from consumer groups.
Guardian 15th Sept 2011 more >>
In 2003, the seizure of sensitive nuclear equipment on a ship in an Italian port played a key role in the unraveling of a vast, international smuggling ring led by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan that supplied nuclear technology to some of the world’s most dangerous regimes. Prosecuting those involved in this proliferation network, however, has proved difficult. Today none of the people associated with the so-called Khan network remain in prison.
Time Magazine 16th Sept 2011 more >>
With world opinion cooling towards nuclear power after Fukushima, LNG markets could benefit from the recent slowdown in nuclear capacity expansion. IFandP tracks the latest developments in the LNG market.
Industrial Fuel and Power 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR) Friday looked to reassure French authorities that it was proposing extra measures to ensure the security of its nuclear plants, as the country’s nuclear safety regulator began to analyze a lengthy stress test report issued by the energy giant. For the last four months, 300 EDF engineers inspected the company’s 19 French nuclear installations to answer questionnaires issued by the country’s nuclear safety regulator. In a statement, EDF said its French plants had a “good level of safety.”
Fox Business 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Additional report from the Japanese Government to the IAEA on Fukushima.
Japanese Govt Sept 2011 more >>
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for September 13th-15th.
Greenpeace International 16th Sept 2011 more >>
The total volume of radiation-contaminated soil in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, that may have to be removed could reach 100 million cubic meters, a researcher said Thursday. The amount is almost equivalent to the combined remaining capacity of garbage treatment facilities across the country, said Yuichi Moriguchi, professor of environmental system engineering at University of Tokyo.
Jiji 15th Sept 2011 more >>
The United States has lost sight of enough nuclear material, which was provided to friendly countries for civilian energy use, to manufacture hundreds of nuclear warheads.
All Gov 15th Sept 2011 more >>
The U.S. solar industry grew 102% last year and is on track to grow another 100% this year. What other industry doubled its growth during one of the worst economic periods in our history?
Climate Progress 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Northern Ireland’s geography gives it the opportunity to become a global leader in renewable energy production, creating 30,000 new jobs in the process, the Assembly has been told. The region could take advantage of unlimited wind and tide resources to develop a green economy the envy of the world, the Alliance party said.
Belfast Telegraph 12th Sept 2011 more >>
One of Scotlands most dynamic wind energy companies went into administration last night with the loss of 55 jobs after the catastrophic failure of one of its top-selling turbines. Proven Energy, of East Kilbride, revealed earlier this week that an acute and dangerous defect made its P35-2 turbine unsafe. A faulty braking mechanism could cause its blade to fly off. The turbine, which costs up to £70,000, had been installed at hundreds of locations around Scotland, and across a network of 60 countries. Last night, the receivers, KPMG, said that the 30-year-old company had been left fatally exposed by the faulty product design.
Times 17th sept 2011 more >>
Scotsman 17th Sept 2011 more >>
The government has given the go-ahead to a huge wood-burning plant which it claims will provide power for a quarter of all Welsh homes, sparking outrage among green campaigners who fear British forests could eventually be lost. Charles Hendry, the energy minister, said the 300MW power station on the coast of Anglesey would provide a “secure, flexible and renewable source of power” while creating hundreds of jobs. The Holyhead biomass facility would help Britain meet its renewable energy targets. But Friends of the Earth argues this is just the first of a huge number of new schemes which could create as many environmental problems as they cure.
BBC 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Simon Kuper: We in the west have recently made an unspoken bet: were going to wing it, run the risk of climatic catastrophe, and hope that it is mostly faraway people in poor countries who will suffer. When policies focused on economic growth confront policies focused on emissions reductions, it is economic growth that will win out every time. The global economy is becoming less carbon-efficient per unit of output, as more countries turn to coal. When Japan and Germany decided to go off nuclear after the Fukushima disaster, they werent thinking about climate. Ordinary people sense the cause is lost. The wasteful minutiae of daily life that might once have worried us running a big bath, eating a steak, idly googling old classmates we now just do. Governments arent taxing this waste much. Rich countries now have a semi-conscious plan: whatever happens, well have the money to cope. Well build dikes, or pipe in more water from somewhere else, or turn up the aircon if it gets too hot. Our model is the Netherlands: the country below sea level protects itself against flooding through a network of dams, sluices and barriers. This costs about 45 per Dutch person per year. The Dutch think that even as climate change raises sea levels, their defences can cope for another four centuries. By then therell be new technologies. In short, rich countries will buy protection. If they need to abandon vulnerable cities like New Orleans or Venice, they will. The bigger problem is for poor countries. If Bangladesh floods or Nigeria dries up, they probably wont cope well. But then our mental health in the west is built on not worrying too much about what happens to Bangladeshis or Nigerians.
FT 17th Sept 2011 more >>