Lessons should be learned from problems with a French reactor that is very similar to one planned in the UK, says Britain’s nuclear safety regulator. French regulators have been informed of “manufacturing anomalies” in components “particularly important for safety” at Flamanville 3 power plant, in Normandy. The reactor is similar to one planned for Hinkley Point, in Somerset. EDF Energy – involved in both projects – said a new series of tests was under way and it was working with regulators. An investigation revealed potential weaknesses in the steel used to make a safety casing around the reactor at Flamanville, near Cherbourg. Areva, which is building Flamanville 3 for EDF, says it is the first plant in the “new French reactor fleet”, and it includes Areva’s new EPR reactor. The UK Office for Nuclear Regulation said it was aware of the French Nuclear Safety Authority’s concerns about the reactor and would continue to liaise with French authorities. These safety issues in France could lead to even further delays in the construction and completion of the proposed £24.5bn Hinkley Point nuclear power plant.
BBC 18th April 2015 read more »
ITV 18th April 2015 read more »
UK nuclear power strategy faces meltdown as faults are found in identical French project.
Belfast Telegraph 18th April 2015 read more »
The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) is demanding that energy utility TVO carry out new tests of the durability of the pressure vessel planned for the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor. This follows a recent discovery by French officials of inconsistencies in the mechanical toughness of a vessel made for a similar reactor, also being built by the French company Areva.
YLE 18th April 2015 read more »
The purpose of this Consultation is “intended to ensure that the strategy remains fit for purpose, reflecting significant changes in the nuclear industry and developments in the UK environment for the management of LLW to keep the strategy fit for purpose”. If “fit for purpose” means deregulating radioactive wastes in order to disperse them to the environment and clear the decks for new build, then Yes the strategy is “fit for purpose”; If “fit for purpose” means ensuring that radioactive wastes are contained and that the public are not exposed to ever increasing releases of radiation from polluted groundwater, air and consumer goods then No the strategy is not “fit for purpose.” Cumbria is bearing the brunt of the nuclear industry and government ambition to clear the decks of nuclear wastes in preparation for more.
Radiation Free Lakeland 18th April 2015 read more »
Intermittent generation is challenging for the existing power systems, which have difficulties in following varying electricity production. To help the generation and demand be in balance, demand response (DR) provides one promising approach. Among many DR applications, residential micro-CHP systems can be advantageous, as these systems typically comprise storage in addition to a controllable cogeneration unit. Current state-of-the-art control strategies for residential micro-CHP systems utilize time-varying electricity price to optimally operate the system. Thus, such systems have the ability to export or import electricity when either one is beneficial.
Applied Energy (accessed) 19th April 2015 read more »
Renewables – small hydro
STARK warnings have been raised over the health of Scotland’s small-scale hydro power industry following “drastic” cutbacks in renewable power subsidies. Trade organisation Scottish Renewables said the future of the hydro sector, which employs about 500 people, now hinges on a delayed review of feed-in tariffs (FiTs), which pay a guaranteed price for each unit of green power generated.
Scotland on Sunday 19th April 2015 read more »
Renewables – tidal
If you wanted a single example of how far all those who aspire to govern us after this election can lose any touch with reality, a good place to begin might be page 56 of the Conservative manifesto. Here, in a section on “Energy”, we are told how the Coalition Government has “unlocked Â£59 billion of investment” to produce “low carbon” electricity to meet our commitments under Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act. All the projects listed are, of course, hugely subsidised, to produce power costing us all twice or three times as much as that from conventional power stations. But there at the end is a mention of “the Swansea tidal lagoon”. I admit that, until recently, I had no mor e idea what this was about than 99 per cent of the population. But I was struck by the remarkable array of backers this scheme has attracted, from the Prudential insurance company and Ed Davey, our Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary, to George Osborne in his recent Budget speech, and the BBC, which has been giving it excitable puffs. Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), the company behind the scheme, is proposing to ship 3.2 million tons of stone from a disused Cornish quarry to south Wales, to enclose a vast area of Swansea Bay in a six-mile breakwater. At the sea end, 16 giant turbines will then use power from rising and falling tides to generate “zero-carbon” electricity for 14 hours a day. TLP insists that its Â£1 billion scheme will only work if it is allowed to charge for its electricity at 330 per cent of the normal wholesale price of Â£50 per megawatt hour (MWh). This would give it a subsidy of Â£118 per MWh, even more than that for offshore wind, making it e asily the most expensive electricity in the world.
Telegraph 19th April 2015 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News: Scotland risks missing its renewable heat target; NE Lincolnshire goes solar; etc
Microgenscotland 17th April 2015 read more »