A Suffolk MP believes much more needs to be done to mitigate the expected impact of traffic on communities across the east of the county if the Sizewell C nuclear power station is built.
East Anglian Daily Times 17th Feb 2017 read more »
All but one of the candidates in next week’s Copeland by-election are backing a massive new nuclear power station in the constituency that would cost us tens of billions of pounds. Only the Green Party’s Jack Lenox is resisting the spin, hypocrisy and outright lies that his rivals have swallowed whole. Here he explains why this risky, unaffordable white elephant must be scrapped.
Ecologist 17th February 2017 read more »
Workers’ pensions were the focus of a visit to a nuclear firm by Labour’s by-election hopeful Gillian Troughton.
Whitehaven News 17th Feb 2017 read more »
A Hunterston ‘C’ nuclear power station features in the new North Ayrshire Council development plan consultation. Hunterston is currently not recognised as a ‘national development’ within National Planning Framework despite being previously designated. NAC believe securing national development status is essential to standing this deep-water port location out as one of Scotland’s key infrastructural investment priorities. The report states: “Over the next two decades, the UK, as a whole, faces major challenges to replace its electricity baseload capacity especially following future closure of several power stations, including Hunterston B in 2023. Hunterston Port Energy Hub is described as ‘a key strategic opportunity’ that offers significant new economic development opportunities, and providing highly skilled jobs for hundreds of people, many living locally.
Largs and Millport Gazette 17th Feb 2017 read more »
Meltdown of Toshiba’s Nuclear Business Dooms New Construction in the U.S. Toshiba’s four massive nuclear plants now under construction in the southern United States are AP1000 pressurized-water reactors, which use a simplified design that was supposed to accelerate construction. But the Vogtle project in Georgia and the V.C. Summer project in South Carolina are both around three years behind schedule and, together, billions of dollars over budget. The company said those projects will continue, but many energy experts believe Toshiba’s decision to cease building new reactors spells the end of any nuclear construction in the United States for the foreseeable future. Analysts doubt Toshiba will find a buyer for its Westinghouse stake, or any willing construction partners to move ahead with dozens of additional plants it had once planned.
Technology Review 17th Feb 2017 read more »
Toshiba shares plunged more than 9 per cent to their lowest in almost a year yesterday on fears that the embattled Japanese conglomerate’s credit rating could be cut even further to junk. S&P, the credit rating agency, warned that it could downgrade Toshiba’s rating by several notches if the company received any form of debt restructuring that it defined as “selective default”.
Times 18th Feb 2017 read more »
Toshiba is struggling to avoid bankruptcy because of the cost overruns at the two US sites constructing its subsidiary Westinghouse’s AP 1000 nuclear reactors. Latest estimates suggest that these new plants will absorb almost as much cash as Hinkley Point C per kilowatt of generating capacity. The cost of electricity delivered by a nuclear power station is very largely determined by the amount of capital expended during its construction. This suggests that the AP1000 design will need a contract price for its power generation similar to the £92.50 plus inflation agreed for EdF’s Hinkley Point proposal. This number is now probably higher than the cost of offshore wind and substantially larger than the costs of solar or onshore turbines. The Financial Times reports that the government wants to cut the rate paid to future nuclear stations by 20% or more. If neither the EPR design for Hinkley Point nor the AP1000 proposed for Moorside in Cumbria can achieve this, are other contenders available that might offer better cost control? The best example to look at is probably the four reactor project in the United Arab Emirates. Constructed by Kepco, South Korea’s dominant electricity supplier, this 5.6 gigawatt scheme is on track to start up the first reactor at some stage in 2017 and complete the final plant in 2020. So far, the evidence is that the design will probably cost about half the EPR and AP1000 per unit of generating capacity. My approximate calculations suggest that the Korean competitor can probably provide power to the UK at around £56 per megawatt hour, slightly lower than onshore wind today. The crucial point seems to me that if the UK wants nuclear – and people will have very different opinions on this – it needs to transfer its attention away from the increasingly complex business of getting Toshiba and its partners to construct Moorside and look instead to the world’s most successful nuclear power station constructors. Kepco stands out. I guess it could achieve the UK government’s current objectives for electricity generation costs. So might the Russians and the Chinese, but their offerings are politically highly problematic, to put it mildly.
Carbon Commentary 16th Feb 2017 read more »
The future of Fylde nuclear jobs, which this week faced a potential blow with the news that financially troubled Toshiba is cooling on a new project in the region, could face a new threat from the UK’s Brexit move. A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers says the plans to leave the EU, and consequently the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), could threaten plans to build new nuclear reactors such as at Moorside where the fuel would be supplied by the Springfields site at Salwick, and decommissioning activities, as well as jeopardise energy security due to the impact on nuclear fuel supplies.
Blackpool Gazette 18t Feb 2017 read more »
Work is progressing on taking apart one of the “highest hazards” in the UK civil nuclear industry. The Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) is housed inside the dome at Dounreay, near Thurso in Caithness. The DFR is being dismantled as part of work to decommission the wider experimental nuclear power complex. Workers have just completed the removal of one of hundreds of concrete blocks from one of two pits that were used to shield against radiation in the DFR. Resembling swimming pools and called ponds, the 6m (19.8ft) deep pits were once filled with water and protected people working in the DFR from radiation emitted from spent fuel.
BBC 17th Feb 2017 read more »
The world is going backwards on nuclear proliferation – this is not a mistake we can afford to make. Apart from the successful conclusion of the deal on the Iranian nuclear programme of 2015, there has been no further progress on enhancing the nuclear non-proliferation system and regimes. The 2000 US-Russia agreement on plutonium disposition has been suspended, as has the programme of scientific collaboration on nuclear energy, thus terminating the last vestiges of a quarter century-long broad cooperation on safety and safe elimination of nuclear weapons and materials. The deplorable reality is that none of these issues are presently receiving serious attention from decision makers and public opinion. When he addresses the Munich conference on Friday, Mike Pence would do well to provide reassurance that the administration recognizes the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. The best way to do this is to reaffirm principles set down after the Cold War – that nuclear war must never be fought and can never be won.
Telegraph 17th Feb 2017 read more »
The Dreadnought today is a source of embarrassment rather than pride for the Senior Service. The submarine was decommissioned in 1980 and has been laid up afloat at Rosyth Dockyard ever since. It has now spent double the time tied up in Fife than it did on active service. Another six decommissioned nuclear submarines have since joined Dreadnought at the former naval base. The cost of storing and maintaining them was £1.6 million in 2013/14, down from £3.8m the year before. A total of £16m was spent in a five-year period on 19 laid-up submarines at Roysth and Devonport on the south-coast of England. Although all the vessels in Fife have been defuelled, they cannot be scrapped until their radioactive parts have been removed – a process that will take decades. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced in December it had finally began this gradual process, beginning with HMS Swiftsure, which has been laid up at Rosyth since 1992. “We have begun initial dismantling on time and as planned in Rosyth, and are committed to ensuring that submarine dismantling is undertaken in a safe, secure, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner,” an MOD spokeswoman told The Scotsman.
Scotsman 17th Feb 2017 read more »
ROBOT probes sent into a wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactor suggest that the clean-up process faces worse than anticipated problems, the plant operator admitted yesterday. Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said that the remote-controlled “scorpion” robot had been sent into the Unit 2 reactor’s containment vessel on Thursday to investigate the area around the core that melted six years ago. However, its crawling function failed while climbing over highly radioactive debris.
Morning Star 18th Feb 2017 read more »
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) yesterday sent a robot into the primary containment vessel of the damaged unit 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. Although the robot was unable to reach the part of the vessel directly under the reactor pressure vessel, the company said the information it gathered will help it determine how to decommission the unit.
World Nuclear News 17th Feb 2017 read more »
[Machine Translation] Decommissioned on 9 February after a fire start, reactor 1 of the Flamanville nuclear power plant will remain disconnected from the grid until 31 March. Reactor 1 of the Flamanville (Manche) nuclear power plant, which was decommissioned on 9 February following a fire start in a non-nuclear zone, will eventually be disconnected from the grid until 31 March, “Said EDF on Friday. The full analysis of the damage caused by this incident has shown the need to carry out operations “on the system of discharge of energy that is under the alternator”, explained EDF to the AFP. Initially, EDF was planning to reactivate this 1,300 megawatt reactor on 19 February. On Thursday, 9 February, a “detonation and a fire start”, under the terms of the Nuclear Safety Authority, took place under this alternator in the engine room of the reactor, in a non-nuclear zone of the plant. On Friday, nine reactors were out of 58 on the French nuclear fleet, according to data provided by the electrician and published on the RTE website.
BFM 17th Feb 2017 read more »
Last year’s solar deployment numbers just came in, and they are, in a word, phenomenal. Utilities bought more new solar capacity than they did natural gas capacity: an astounding 22 states added more than 100 MW of solar each. At the same time, there is grim news about delays in construction and associated cost over-runs for nuclear plant construction projects in Georgia and South Carolina. SCANA—owner of South Carolina Electric & Gas and sponsor of the VC Summer Nuclear Project—has just reported new delays in the in-service dates of its new reactors to 2020. Construction started more than 7 years ago, with energy deliveries promised to begin in 2016.
Union of Concerned Scientists 15th Feb 2017 read more »
Renewables – solar
Recent stats by the government’s new department for tepid yellow show that UK solar managed to increase by 7% in 2016 While this won’t make much of a dent in the giant climate compromise that’s heading our way (and it’s a balloon-hissing 21% less than 2015’s increase), perhaps this increase is not too bad considering the giant lurches of the ships’ deck on which those of us trying to build new solar PV installations have to operate. While the FIT changes have dropped the installation of new solar installs dramatically, they haven’t killed it. It’s true that the big growth areas of the previous years – notably solar farms – are dead ducks. Yet plucky homeowners continue to add solar to their houses. And there remains a great opportunity in the churches, schools, factories that people like BEC specialise in. That’s not to say it’s going to happen overnight. But we are still building new solar systems.
Brighton Energy 17th Feb 2017 read more »
The BIG Energy Upgrade is a regional flagship £14.9 million project, part financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund, addressing the priority needs of both reduction in carbon emissions and the creation of jobs. To address the issues in an integrated approach the University of Sheffield has brought together a multidisciplinary team of academics working alongside Local Authorities, ALMOs, social housing providers and an energy services company. The BIG Energy Upgrade, is delivered by a consortium of local authorities and social housing providers, led by Kirklees Council. It is a very ambitious project as, for the first time in the UK, the Partners will work together in adopting a fully integrated, whole-house approach while installing energy efficiency measures and micro generation technologies in households. Through individual household assessments the project will identify a highly individual package of measures for each of the households which will provide optimal insulation and energy control to the house.
Sheffield University 17th Feb 2017 read more »