GREEN MEP for the South West Molly Scott Cato has given her backing to Greenpeace Energy’s renewed legal action over subsidies for Hinkley C. The new action follows Greenpeace Energy’s complaint lodged with the General Court of the EU in Luxembourg last year against the EU commission for approving billions of euros of state aid for the nuclear power station in Somerset. The General Court dismissed this action so Greenpeace Energy has now lodged an appeal with the European Court of Justice.
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 17th Dec 2016 read more »
Lady Barbara Judge: Hinkley Point can become the perfect talisman for a successful Britain. In the coming years, the decisions of 2016 at home and abroad will have a profound impact on the UK’s role in the world. The challenge for the government will be how best to mitigate the obvious risks while seizing the opportunities needed to restore confidence in the UK as a global leader. In the energy sector, the clearest example of restoring confidence was Theresa May’s approval of Hinkley Point C, giving Britain a launchpad for securing a diversified, modern, low carbon energy mix. Energy is essential to national security and Hinkley Point is a key part of the UK’s energy security policy. Ensuring sufficient, reliable supplies is a must for any government, and with a diversified energy mix the UK will be safer and more secure in an increasingly unstable global market.
Telegraph 17th Dec 2016 read more »
Calls to ban unsafe flights. FLIGHTS loaded with weapons-grade uranium that are being launched from a Highland airport are in dangerous breach of runway safety limits, according to documents released under Freedom of Information (FoI) law. The revelations have led to angry accusations from politicians and environmental groups that a “horrific gamble” is being taken on these flights and calls for the nuclear transports to be banned immediately. Bombs-grade uranium from Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness is being flown from Wick John O’Groats Airport to America aboard 130-tonne C-17 US Air Force planes, which according to the documents, are too heavy for most of the runway.
Herald 18th Dec 2016 read more »
The “nightmare scenario” is rising for a hacking attack on a nuclear power plant’s computer system that causes the uncontrolled release of radiation, the United Nations’ deputy chief warned Thursday. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told a Security Council meeting that extremists and “vicious non-state groups” are actively seeking weapons of mass destruction “and these weapons are increasingly accessible.” Non-state actors can already create mass disruption using cyber technologies — and hacking a nuclear plant would be a “nightmare scenario,” he said.
Inquirer 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Independent 17th Dec 2016 read more »
Britain’s biggest energy company, Centrica, is facing calls for a boycott after it emerged a US subsidiary gave thousands of pounds to a think tank that promotes climate science denial – even though the company claims to be a “world leader” on action to address global warming. A list of donors to the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), which was leaked to the Texas Observer, shows Direct Energy gave US$20,000 in 2010. And Centrica, which owns British Gas, told environmental campaign group Greenpeace that it had continued to provide funding since then, although it did not provide further figures.
Independent 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Christopher Booker: The best Christmas present Theresa May could give us is a sane energy policy. What is by far the most important Christmas and New Year present Theresa May could give the British people (apart, of course, from a sensible strategy for Brexit)? A clue to the answer might be an extraordinary talk reported on the front-page of last Monday’s Telegraph, given by Andrew Wright, formerly acting head and now a “senior partner” of our energy regulator, Ofgem. Thanks, he warned, to our decision to phase out using fossil fuels to make electricity, in favour of relying increasingly on “intermittent” renewables such as wind farms, we will quite soon be facing such a “supply crisis” that this will make power cuts and blackouts inevitable.
Telegraph 17th Dec 2016 read more »
ScottishPower is demanding the Government overhaul one of its key energy policies after the company’s proposed new gas power station missed out on subsidies for keeping the lights on in favour of old coal plants. Neil Clitheroe, a senior executive at the energy giant, said making consumers pay almost £130m to keep polluting coal plants running through winter 2020-21 instead of investing in cleaner new gas plants was a “waste of money”, given the coal plants were scheduled to close by 2025 anyway. The subsidies, which will be paid for on energy bills, were awarded through the Government’s annual “capacity market” auction earlier this month. ScottishPower, owned by Spain’s Iberdrola, failed to secure a subsidy contract to build a 1.4 gigawatt (GW) combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant at Damhead Creek in Kent.
Telegraph 17th Dec 2016 read more »
EU leaders are poised to green-light Hungary’s controversial deal with Russia to build two new nuclear reactors, shrugging off a series of concerns that might be expected to set off political and economic air-raid sirens in Brussels. The plan, known as Paks II, has faced only minor regulatory hurdles, and senior EU officials, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, have said virtually nothing about it. The EU’s silence stands in sharp contrast to its position in 2014, when Commission President José Manuel Barroso interceded personally, and in remarkably public fashion, to derail Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline project. The controversies swirling around the Paks II project include: A no-bid contract to build the reactors was awarded to Rosatom, the Kremlin-owned power conglomerate, at a time when Europe has been working aggressively to curtail its energy dependence on Russia, especially in the East. Some €10 billion in financing for the €12 billion project is being funneled through the Kremlin’s Vnesheconombank, which is under EU sanctions — barred from accessing Western capital markets because of Russia’s military meddling in Ukraine. The economic prospects of Paks II are highly dubious, experts say, requiring potentially illegal state aid and likely forcing Hungarians to pay high electricity rates to help the government recoup the cost of the reactors. The environmental implications are ominous, green energy advocates say, with Budapest locking itself into a 50-year commitment to atomic power and nuclear waste at a time when renewable technologies are advancing and costs for them are plummeting. (Like nuclear, renewables have zero emissions but also no waste.)
World Nuclear Industry Status Report 16th Dec 2016 read more »
[Machine Translation] Areva’s Finnish customer “very worried about the future”. Between France and Finland, the current no longer passes. Finnish electricity producer TVO, the future operator of the EPR reactor built by Areva in Olkiluoto, is “angry” against EDF and its management since the restructuring of the French nuclear sector. Interview. It is a Pharaonic project which will have shed a lot of ink. The EPR reactor built by Areva in Finland, the first to emerge, is still causing severe tensions between stakeholders. While France has embarked on a major restructuring of the nuclear sector, with the takeover of the construction arm of Areva by EDF, the vice-president of TVO (the future Finnish operator) Anna Lehtiranta, Express of his concern “about the future of the mastery of this technology”. Obviously, between TVO and EDF, the current still does not pass.
l’Express 16th Dec 2016 read more »
A worker exposed to radiation when disaster struck the Fukushima nuclear plant has been found to have developed thyroid cancer caused by an industrial accident, the labor ministry said. The employee of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is the third person determined to be entitled to benefits due to illness caused by exposure to radiation released when three reactors melted down in the days after a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami in March 2011. The man is the first to be certified for developing thyroid cancer because of the nuclear disaster. The first two persons suffer from leukemia.
Japan Today 18th Dec 2016 read more »
The Monju fast-breeder reactor may be shut down. It was expected to play a major role in nuclear fuel recycling, but it operated for just 250 days over the course of 22 years. How is Japan’s nuclear policy changing? We take a behind-the-scenes look at this important issue.
NHK 17th Dec 2016 read more »
The U.S. Energy Department said Friday that its long-troubled attempt to build a plant to process highly radioactive sludge at a former nuclear weapons site in central Washington state will cost an additional $4.5 billion, raising the project’s price tag to $16.8 billion. The Hanford treatment plant, a small industrial city with some two dozen facilities on a desert plateau along the Columbia River, is more than a decade behind schedule and will cost nearly four times the original estimate made in 2000.
LA Times 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
Solar power is becoming the world’s cheapest form of new electricity generation, data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests. According to Bloomberg’s analysis, the cost of solar power in China, India, Brazil and 55 other emerging market economies has dropped to about one third of its price in 2010. This means solar now pips wind as the cheapest form of renewable energy—but is also outperforming coal and gas.
Fortune 15th Dec 2016 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 16th Dec 2016 read more »