A working group of Lords that was asked by the government to provide pre-legislative comments on the draft energy bill has this week published its verdict, declaring that it has “serious doubts” that the proposed reforms will deliver a competitive market for low carbon electricity. The short eight-page report echoes many of the concerns raised last month by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee of MPs, criticising the government for continued uncertainties surrounding key elements of the bill and the decision to leave many important decisions to secondary legislation, “not all aspects of which will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny”.
Business Green 17th Aug 2012 more >>
The complicated and contentious issue of burying nuclear waste in Cumbria is heading for a milestone on 11 October when the three local councils which have expressed an interest meet to debate further involvement.A useful waymarker has now been published in full, based on the views of some 2,300 people and organisations whose submissions, while often very different and sometimes in direct conflict, have led to changes and hesitations, albeit not altering the general approach of cautiously making headway. The document was summarised on 19 July and you can read a precis of that here. The full report has now gone up online and that is available here. It is the work of the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership which is made up of the councils – Cumbria county and Allerdale and Copeland districts and other groups including the National Farmers Union, the Lake District national park authority and representatives of all the parish councils potentially involved.
Guardian 17th Aug 2012 more >>
Cumberland News 17th Aug 2012 more >>
EDF ENERGY has agreed a £94million cashpot to compensate people living near the site of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station. Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor and West Somerset district councils have spent the past two years urging EDF to cough up more cash for roads, homes and education, should a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point be approved. At a meeting this week, the three councils okayed a legal document, known as a section 106 agreement, which will commit EDF to spending £64million on education, training, transport and housing to mitigate against the impacts of Hinkley C. The section 106 is expected to be signed off this month, and is in addition to £30million EDF has already pledged in relation to site preparation works.
This is the West Country 17th Aug 2012 more >>
Western Morning News 18th Aug 2012 more >>
Consultant Sweett has won three nuclear contracts, including providing commercial services for energy giant EdFs £10bn new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, the consultant announced yesterday.
New Civil Engineer 17th Aug 2012 more >>
EDF Energy’s 550 megawatt Dungeness B22 nuclear reactor was taken off the grid on Friday, Aug. 17, for scheduled refuelling, the company said.
Reuters 17th Aug 2012 more >>
A fire broke out at a nuclear power station in East Lothian. Crews were called to Torness at 12.25am on Friday after lagging on a pipe caught fire. Staff on site had managed to put out the flames before firefighters arrived but they stayed for three hours to make sure the fire did not start again. The fire was not in the radiological part of the power plant, which is operated by French firm EDF energy.
STV 17th Aug 2012 more >>
East Lothian News 17th Aug 2012 more >>
EON & RWE
German utilities Eon and RWE both released first-half results this week and said Europes economic woes were depressing demand for power and prices. Eon warned that it might look at closing power plants after sales from its fossil fuel plants fell 14 per cent to 4.1bn. Both companies have been hit by Germanys decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 in the wake of last years Fukushima disaster in Japan, which led to large write-downs to profits in 2011. The lack of write-downs this time flattered first-half profits, but recession and sluggish economic growth across Europe continues to cause problems for Eon and RWE. One bright spot is renewable energy, in which both companies are investing heavily. Sales from Eons renewables division rose 6 per cent to 1.2bn in the first half, driven by a considerable increase in installations of wind farms and solar plants, especially in the US.
FT 17th Aug 2012 more >>
As continued delays to the return of a number of France’s nuclear reactors from maintenance periods kept up pressure on supply, and a heat wave in France — forecast to last into the middle of next week — pressured demand, OTC prompt power prices in the country rose to levels not seen since the middle of last winter, Platts data showed Friday. France’s nuclear output has been under pressure the last few months as delays continue into late August and September for the return of a number of EDF’s nuclear power reactors from maintenance. Temperatures in the south of France are expected to be typically warmer than the rest of the country, with some sources forecasting temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). EDF also confirmed Thursday that the current spell of hot weather in France has forced it to temporarily ramp down production at a number of its power plants, as river water temperatures have exceeded the level required to cool down a plant.
Platts 17th Aug 2012 more >>
Fukushima crisis update 14th ro 16th August.
Greenpeace International 17th Aug 2012 more >>
Belgiums nuclear safety chief, Willy De Roovere, on Thursday (16 August) said there could be thousands of cracks in the reactor vessel of the ageing Doel 3 nuclear reactor situated 25 km outside Antwerp and 3 km from the Dutch border. The inspector said the cracks are parallel to the surface of the walls and pose no immediate threat but the large number has left him concerned, reports AFP. Repairs, he noted, would be almost impossible.
EU Observer 17th Aug 2012 more >>
A SCOTTISH veteran of 1950s nuclear tests has won a legal victory to force the Ministry of Defence to release radiation exposure records. David Whyte witnessed five nuclear blasts in the Pacific and says the radiation robbed him of the chance of ever starting a family. As well as becoming sterile, the 75-year-old from Kirkcaldy, Fife, has been plagued by other health problems, which he attributes to exposure to radiation. But he was told for years by the MoD that they did not have information on the radiation levels he was exposed to when he served in the army on Christmas Island.
Scotsman 18th Aug 2012 more >>