Unit 1 at the Torness nuclear power plant in Scotland returned to service July 17 after it automatically tripped offline during testing. Workers with EDF Energy were testing the reactor protection system July 14 when the reactor tripped offline. EDF said in a statement the system is very sensitive and is tested on a regular basis to prove the reactor will always shut down when required. Unit 2 operated continuously through the shutdown.
Power Engineering 17th July 2014 read more »
A consultation begins this autumn on the route of high-voltage power lines to carry electricity from a new nuclear power station at Sellafield.
Carlisle News & Star 17th July 2014 read more »
THE UK’s first commercial nuclear reprocessing plant is celebrating a landmark birthday. Still going strong after 50 years of safe operations, Sellafield’s Magnox Reprocessing Plant opened its doors the same year the Great Train robbers went on trial, and the first episode of Match of the Day hit the first portable televisions. Magnox has lasted for twice the length of time it was designed to, and is still reprocessing fuel and helping to keep lights on around the UK, which Sellafield Ltd says is testament to the skills of the engineers who built the facility.
Whitehaven News 17th July 2014 read more »
Nuclear power advocates believe the technology is essential to building a fossil fuel free world energy system. In fact it is optional, writes David Elliott – and not even very helpful. Efficiency and the ‘new renewables’ can do the job faster, and at much lower cost.
Ecologist 17th July 2014 read more »
The distorted debate surrounding the UK’s energy future is putting investment and opportunity at risk, according to business trade group CBI. The results of the CBI’s latest survey shows business leaders and households underestimate the importance of a low carbon energy transition, whilst overestimating the role played by energy company profits in lifting bills.
Utility Week 17th July 2014 read more »
Short-term thinking is distorting the debate on our energy future, risking investment and opportunity, CBI Deputy Director-General Katja Hall will tell the CBI Energy Conference today. And in a new CBI poll of over 550 business leaders and 2,300 households, businesses rate security of supply as a crucial energy objective for the UK, with 73% citing it as very important. Over half of businesses (57%) also think the UK’s energy security is worse than it was five years ago, reflecting that capacity margins are likely to hit a low next winter.
CBI 17th July 2014 read more »
Almost £8bn was invested in renewable energy in the UK last year, according to a report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The report showed that £45bn has been invested in the UK’s power generation and networks since 2010, supporting thousands of jobs, with an average of £7bn a year in renewables, which now produce 15% of the country’s electricity. As the report was published, the energy secretary, Ed Davey, set out details of the first £10m investment in a pilot scheme under which businesses and organisations will compete for funding for projects that reduce electricity demand. The electricity demand reduction auction, which has a £20m budget, will provide funding for projects that would not otherwise have happened, and will save businesses money on their bills, cut carbon emissions and reduce demand on the grid.
Guardian 17th July 2014 read more »
The Croydon section of the local government pension scheme will no longer invest in tobacco, nuclear power or arms. Cllr Simon Hall (Lab), cabinet member for finance and treasury, said: “The council will be getting a better investment deal as ethical funds are performing favourably against other schemes.
Local Government Chronicle 17th July 2014 read more »
The Ramsden Dock Stakeholder meeting at Barrow-in-Furness today (17th July 2014) was told that trials will be undertaken at Barrow Docks this Autumn to assess the viability of sending Dounreay fuels – already earmarked for transport to Sellafield by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) – by sea through the port’s nuclear terminal at Ramsden Dock. Peter Buchan of International Services (INS – a wholly owned subsidiary of the NDA) confirmed that the upcoming trials related to the ‘exotic fuels’ currently held at Dounreay. The exotic fuels, a sub-set of Dounreay’s nuclear materials holdings now owned by the NDA, comprise a total of around 26 tonnes which include unirradiated plutonium bearing fuels, unirradiated high enriched uranium (HEU) and irradiated fuels (oxide and carbide) – some from Dounreay’s Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR). Providing the trials at Barrow docks prove successful, sea shipments to Sellafield from Dounreay could start as early as ‘a few months after the trials’ and continue for a number of years. Whilst INS was unwilling to provide further detail of the proposed sea transports, it is assumed that the materials would be exported from the Port of Scrabster in Caithness. No indication of the vessel that might be used was given though the current front-runner must be the Oceanic Pintail – the only ship in the nuclear fleet owned by the NDA and currently undergoing ‘a major programme of refurbishment in support of future business’ at Barrow. Controversially, at the age of 27, the vessel has escaped the historic practice of retiring nuclear ships after 25 years of service.
CORE 17th July 2014 read more »
The IEA publishes the annual World Energy Outlook and purports to be the world’s most expert and influential organization on energy issues, or, as the IEA itself puts it, “It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics, analysis and recommendations.” In short, you’d think they know what they’re talking about. Two items this week indicate they don’t. The first is an article posted yesterday by Doug Koplow, probably the nation’s foremost expert on energy subsidies, on the Earthtrack blog. Koplow attended a two-day IEA meeting in April and has now set his thoughts down, including a memo to IEA, about the nuclear power chapter of the next World Energy Outlook as well as another document the agency is preparing on nuclear power issues. Reports Koplow: “When participants discussed subsidies, they were focused solely on subsidies to renewables. Without irony, some of the participants stated in one comment that nuclear itself was not subsidized and in another talked of the importance of government guarantees to nuclear construction on a massive scale. The belief that nuclear was the only viable mechanism to provide large scale, low-carbon power was also widespread.” Compare IEA projections for deployment of renewables compared to Greenpeace’s projections over the decade 2000-2010. Neither got it right–actual renewable deployment exceeded both projections, but Greenpeace obviously was much closer to reality. The lesson? If you want to hear from energy experts, better listen to Greenpeace before the IEA.
Green World 17th July 2014 read more »
Statement of the Nuclear Decommissioning Funding Account for the period from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.
DECC 17th July 2014 read more »
The energy secretary has warned that an independent Scotland risks being left to foot the bill for its “expensive” wind farms because England and Wales could import cheaper renewable energy from mainland Europe. The intervention by Ed Davey marked the first time that the government has questioned the cost of onshore wind farms in Scotland, which has a tenth of all households in Britain but receives more than a quarter of all renewable subsidies. Mr Davey said energy bills in an independent Scotland would be even higher than previously thought if England and Wales imported cheaper renewable energy from France or Belgium. A glut of wind and solar farms, particularly in Germany, has depressed electricity prices in mainland Europe. When conditions are favourable, it is often cheaper for Britain to import power via interconnector cables than to generate it domestically.
Times 18th July 2014 read more »
Yesterday, the new Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority gave its preliminary approval for restart of Kyushu Electric’s two Sendai reactors. In response, seven Japanese clean energy groups issued the statement below, challenging that approval on several grounds. The draft approval does not necessarily guarantee a speedy restart; there are several more step in the process. As Aileen Mioko-Smith of GreenAction put it, “The fight is on!” Joint Statement Protesting Nuclear Regulatory Authorityʼs Draft Approval of Sendai Nuclear Power Plantʼs Conformation to New Nuclear Regulatory Standards 16 July 2014 Issued by: The Nuclear Regulation Authority Citizen Watchdog Group and 7 other organizations
Green World 17th July 2014 read more »
China General Nuclear Power Group, the country’s biggest producer of nuclear energy, plans to appoint ABCI Securities Co., Bank of America Corp. and China International Capital Corp. as joint sponsors for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company, based in Shenzhen, plans to file an application to the Hong Kong stock exchange in the next few months, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. It may seek about $2 billion from the offering, they said. General Nuclear is raising money to expand as the Chinese government curbs coal use in favor of cleaner energy. The country plans to add 8.6 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity this year, the National Energy Administration said in January.
Bloomberg 17th July 2014 read more »
Engineering consultancy WYG has been appointed as a partner in a consortium as preferred bidder to support the development of Poland’s first nuclear power plant over the next ten years.
Insider Media 18th July 2014 read more »
Building 17th July 2014 read more »
US President Barack Obama signaled Wednesday that talks with Iran on its nuclear program may need to extend beyond a weekend deadline, saying negotiations have shown a “credible way forward.”
Middle East Online 17th July 2014 read more »
Nuclear Weapons Convoy
A CONVOY – believed to be transporting nuclear weapons – was allegedly interrupted by anti-nuclear weapons protesters near Helensburgh. A spokesman for Police Scotland said four arrests were made on Friday, July 11, at about 1am on breach of the peace charges following an incident ‘involving a military vehicle’ on A817 Haul Road. Following news of the convoy passing through the area, local SNP and Labour politicians clashed after Stuart McMillan called the practice ‘chilling’ whilst Jackie Baillie claimed the transportation is heavily guarded and well-established. Scottish CND, which have spoken out against the MoD convoys travelling through populated routes, claimed more than 20 military vehicles drove through Glasgow, and along the M74, on their journey from the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Burghfield to Coulport.
Helensburgh Advertiser 17th July 2014 read more »
Some of the UK’s largest cities and local authorities are moving into the energy business – according to a new report from think-tank IPPR. The projects, mapped by Energydesk, are currently small-scale and may be doing little to trouble the Big Six utilities. However, the report suggests cities and local authorities could in future disrupt the business model of massive commercial players by investing significant sums in low-carbon energy.
Energy Desk 16th July 2014 read more »
Cities and local authorities across Britain can provide alternatives to the ‘big six’ by creating affordable renewable energy, according to a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). The report, ‘City energy: A new powerhouse for Britain’, states that Britain’s cities should take on the challenge of tackling the energy crisis and contribute to the nation’s renewable energy targets.
Edie 17th July 2014 read more »
DECC 17th July 2014 read more »
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has unveiled details of a new £20m fund to incentivise businesses, industry and other organisations to improve energy efficiency. Announced at the CBI’s Energy Conference earlier today (17 July), the Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) auction will allow firms to compete for cash to fund projects that reduce electricity demand.
Edie 17th July 2014 read more »
Households could pay millions of pounds on their energy bills to provide supermarkets and airports with free LED lighting, under energy department plans to cut the UK’s power usage. Ed Davey, the energy secretary, on Thursday announced £20m taxpayer cash for a trial scheme in which businesses will be offered funding to carry out energy efficiency improvements “like replacing old light bulbs with LEDs or improving motors and pumps”. Firms will compete for the funding in a reverse auction, and will be able to bid for the entire cost of the work to be covered, or for it to be partially subsidised. They should then enjoy cheaper energy bills as a result, Mr Davey said. More than 300 organisations including “hospitals, airports and supermarket chains” have already express interest in the auction, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said.
Telegraph 17th July 2014 read more »
There is an implicit incentive in traditional economic regulation which compels utilities (meaning the main components of energy systems (producers/generators, transmitters, distributors and retail / supply) to encourage consumption rather than to reduce energy use. Utilities make more money selling energy than they can when encouraging an efficient use of it. This is at odds with current energy policy and is sometimes known as the throughput incentive. Many utilities in the US have dealt with this problem by ‘decoupling’ utility revenues from throughput incentives, and this is talked about in a short-hand way as decoupling. The energy system structure and its regulation is different in the US than in GB. GB already has some regulation which is meant to ‘decouple’ the incentive to supply from revenues. The question is whether US decoupling regulation is preferable and/or better to that in place in the UK?
IGov 18th July 2014 read more »
East Ayrshire Council has sacked its head of planning over a £132m shortfall to restore former opencast mine sites. The huge clean-up bill was left behind by the collapse last year of Scottish Coal and another firm, ATH Resources. Alan Neish was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday. He has a right to appeal the decision. The action came after an independent review of the council’s planning authority role highlighted widespread failures among officials.
BBC 17th July 2014 read more »
Scotland is on the cusp of a shale gas bonanza, experts predicted yesterday, after the country’s only oil refinery was secured by a multimillion-pound pledge from the UK government. Ineos, the owners and operators of Grangemouth, who threatened to close a petrochemical plant on the troubled refinery site last year, have been given a £230 million loan guarantee from the Treasury to build a terminal to import and process shale gas from the US. The company said that the facility would lead to the exploitation of shale gas in Scotland, and the rest of the UK. Other supporters of the gas urged the Scottish government to make the same “dash for gas” as being pursued south of the border. But environmentalists said investing in any fossil fuel was a waste of money because it was unlikely to be viable for more than a decade, and risked severe damage to the planet.
Times 18th July 2014 read more »