Proposed changes to National Grid access charges could undermine the new nuclear power construction programme according to a study carried out for energy regulator Ofgem. Nuclear power projects would not be cost effective and would not get built under a scenario in which high transmission charges in Scotland and subsidies in the south of England were removed, according to a draft report. Ofgem commissioned energy consultant Redpoint to deliver the study under its Project Transmit review of charges.
New Civil Engineer 17th November 2011 more >>
The report from Redpoint on charges is available at
Ofgem 21st Oct 2011 more >>
Radiation Free Lakeland protested today outside the Lake District Still Waters Partnership meeting at the Hydro Hotel, Bowness. Protestors asked delegates to direct a question to the chair Lord Clark (who pulled out of the meeting). Lord Clark is chair of the Lake District National Park Partnership and non executive director of Sellafield. The question is: Where will the freshwater for new nuclear build and wastes come from? Millions of gallons of fresh water are already abstracted daily from Wastwater and other fresh water sources to cool the wastes at Sellafield (salt water is too corrosive). Meanwhile United Utilities are striving to find new freshwater sources for domestic supplies on the West Coast.
Radiation Free Lakeland 18th Nov 2011 more >>
STAFF working near Heysham power stations went so far as to take iodine tablets when they were told there was a leak. But the leak was just a routine exercise, according to EDF Energy. An EDF spokesman said: In a routine exercise at Heysham power stations on Wednesday, the emergency services and local businesses were alerted as if it were a real emergency, although it was immediately established that the incorrect warning message had been issued and it was in fact a station exercise. No nuclear event had taken place whatsoever.
Lancaster Guardian 18th Nov 2011 more >>
EDF Energy restarted its 640-megawatt (MW) Torness 2 nuclear reactor on Friday.
Reuters 18th Nov 2011 more >>
A HAULAGE contractor has been suspended from the Dounreay approved list after a lorry driver on his way to the site to pick up radioactive material was discovered driving while disqualified. The incident happened on the A9 at Tore in the early hours of Wednesday morning. A Dounreay spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the Lancashire-based contractor, Jim Doidge Transport, had been suspended pending investigations.
John OGroat Journal 18th Nov 2011 more >>
ROLLS-Royce is committed to Caithness and has work in the Far North until 2030 and beyond. That was the assurance given by the company to local MP John Thurso in the wake of fears about job losses at Vulcan following an announcement by the Ministry of Defence that it does not see a future for the site after 2015. The Liberal Democrat MP said he met Rolls-Royce management and was assured its previously stated commitment to stay in Caithness beyond 2015 remains firm. The company also pointed out the site has high-value work to 2030 and beyond.
John OGroat Journal 16th Nov 2011 more >>
DOUNREAY workers will next week find out the identity of the sites new operator. Two Anglo-American consortia are vying to take over the running of the remainder of the decommissioning. BDP and Caithness Solutions have each spent millions of pounds preparing their technical cases and making their pitches to land the lucrative contract. According to site owners the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the marathon £5 million tender exercise will more than pay for itself in terms of savings. Not only will it reduce the £2.6 billion cost of the clean-up, it will also mean the cluster of fuel and waste buildings will be decontaminated and levelled earlier than currently scheduled. The NDA has also pledged that the managerial change will not affect rank-and-file workers employed by site licence company DSRL. The preferred bidder will be announced on Wednesday. DBP comprises Babcock International and US nuclear corporations CH2M Hill and URS. URS won the first two management contracts let by the NDA the giant Sellafield site in west Cumbria and the nearby low-level radioactive waste dump at Drigg. AMEC, which had been part of the so-called in-house bid, jumped ship to team up with US-based Energy Solutions to form Caithness Solutions.
John OGroat Journal 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The Science and Technology Committee launches a new inquiry examining risk perception and energy infrastructure. Shortly after the Science and Technology Committees report into Scientific Advice and Evidence in Emergencies was published in March 2011, Japan suffered its worst recorded earthquake, followed by a destructive tsunami. This resulted in several explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi power station and major releases of radioactivity. In response to the crisis in Japan, the German government announced a measured exit from nuclear power. In the UK, the Government responded to nuclear safety concerns by commissioning a review of what lessons could be learnt from the Fukushima accident to enhance the safety of the UK nuclear industry. The Science and Technology Committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry exploring risk assessment, communication, perception and tolerability in relation to energy infrastructure, focusing on nuclear power.
House of Commons Science & Technology Cttee 9th Nov 2011 more >>
Proposals to simplify the existing arrangements for radiological protection by bringing all measures, including those in Council Directive 96/29/Euratom, into a new Basic Safety Standards Directive, together with the provisions of Commission Recommendation 90/143/Euratom on the protection of the public against indoor exposure to radon (which it describes as “far more important than exposure from any other radiation source”). In doing so, it also incorporates the latest recommendations from the ICRP, including new methodology to calculate doses based on the latest knowledge of radiation risks), and seeks to harmonise the EU regime with the Basic Safety Standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee 18th Nov 2011 more >>
Restrictions on hundreds of Welsh sheep farms dating back to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster could soon be lifted. A consultation has been launched on whether to remove restrictions on 334 north Wales farms affected since 1986. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) says recent tests have shown that the risk from radioactivity is now very low. Nearly 10,000 UK farms were affected, but restrictions only remain in Wales and on eight farms in Cumbria.
BBC 18th Nov 2011 more >>
France’s nuclear installations are confirmed as being safe – but nevertheless an expert report submitted to the safety regulator is urging the adoption of a set of ‘hard core’ safety requirements to ensure facilities remain stable in the event of beyond-design basis external events.
World Nuclear News 18th Nov 2011 more >>
Fukushima Update 15th to 17th November.
Greenpeace International 18th Nov 2011 more >>
Japan has banned rice shipments from a district in north-eastern Fukushima prefecture after rice grown in the area was contaminated with above the permitted levels of radioactive caesium. The discovery marked the first time rice harvested for sale has been found to be above the state limit for caesium radioactivity, 500 becquerels per kilogramme. It will heighten concerns about contamination from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and undermine sales of agricultural produce from the region.
FT 18th Nov 2011 more >>
A team of international experts completed their assessment of the strategy and plans being considered by the Japanese authorities to remediate the areas off-site TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Their final report, delivered to the Japanese authorities, is available.
IAEA 15th Nov 2011 more >>
In a direct act of rebellion against Tokyo Electric Power Company, which owns the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the local government in Tokyo is moving swiftly to build a huge natural gas facility that would generate as much electricity as a nuclear reactor.
New York Times 17th Nov 2011 more >>
New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming. The findings provide the first comprehensive estimates of contamination across Japan following the nuclear accident in 2011. Food production is likely to be affected, the researchers suggest.
BBC 15th Nov 2011 more >>
TEPCO recently discovered hydrogen buildups within the containment buildings in Fukushima Units 1, 2 and 3. Could there be another explosion, and if so how? Fairewinds conducts a laboratory experiment to show that if oxygen is present with hydrogen in a nuclear power containment, a deflagration explosion might occur. Arnie Gundersen, Fairwinds talks about what this might mean.
You Tube 16th Nov 2011 more >>
The UN’s nuclear watchdog has passed a resolution expressing “deep and increasing concern” about Iran’s nuclear programme. The IAEA resolution called on Iran to clear up outstanding questions about its nuclear capabilities, but did not refer it to the UN Security Council.
BBC 18th Nov 2011 more >>
The US and other Western nations accused Iran yesterday of deceiving the world on nuclear arms, as the UN atomic agency passed a new resolution criticising Tehran’s nuclear defiance. Iran shot back that the West’s allegations were based on fabricated intelligence fed to the International Atomic Energy Agency to try to discredit the Islamic Republic.
Independent 18th Nov 2011 more >>
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton urged Iran Friday to accept an offer of talks on its nuclear programme, after the UN’s atomic watchdog adopted a resolution speaking of its “deep concern”.
EU Business 18th Nov 2011 more >>
Iran says the passing of a new resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency criticising the country’s nuclear programme has only strengthened Tehran’s resolve to continue the work.
Telegraph 18th Nov 2011 more >>
New rules published on 11 November have clarified the amounts that nuclear material and equipment suppliers may find themselves liable for in the case of a serious accident at an Indian nuclear power plant. In August last year, the Indian government approved the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act the aim of which is to provide for prompt payment to victims of any nuclear accident that takes place within the country. The act broadly conforms to the usual principles of nuclear civil liability although several unique features proved controversial. One of these was that the act allowed operators of nuclear facilities to have ‘right of recourse’ against equipment suppliers if “the nuclear incident has resulted as a consequence of an act of supplier or his employee, which includes supply of equipment or material with patent or latent defects or sub-standard services.” No other nuclear country includes such a condition, as it sits uncomfortably with the principle of exclusive liability, which states that the operator is the one responsible for paying compensation in the case of an accident.
World Nuclear News 18th Nov 2011 more >>
It is in rising BRIC economic superpower India that the ultimate future of nuclear power may be decided, as current and proposed nuclear power plant facilities come up against growing public opposition in the worlds largest democracy.
Oil Price 17th Nov 2011 more >>
A NUCLEAR power plant made up of small modular reactors will be built in Chinas Fujian province, providing the city of Zhangzhou with electricity, heat and water desalination.
Chemical Engineer 18th Nov 2011 more >>
Consultant Atkins has this week been appointed technical adviser for the United Arab Emirates nuclear energy programme. Atkins will be responsible for providing independent technical assessment of the programme, which will deliver four new reactors for the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec).
New Civil Engineer 18th Nov 2011 more >>
World church leaders have met in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, to discuss plans to rid the world of nuclear weapons and to hold discussions with civic and political leaders. The nuclear weapons seminar has been taking place this week and on 16 November 2011, the leaders met with Bruce Crawford MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy to find out about the context of the nuclear debate in Scotland and the impact of the independence debate. The World Council of Churches group have also held talks with the Cross Party Group for Nuclear Disarmament in the Scottish Parliament. The group also shared ideas about campaigns and church action with former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr Alan McDonald and the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith OBrien.
Ekklesia 18th Nov 2011 more >>
Morocco’s hopes of turning its deserts into a global renewable energy hub took a big step forward on Thursday when the World Bank gave the green light to help pay for one of the world’s biggest concentrated solar power plants. The Ouarzazate solar complex, south-east of Marrakesh, will cover an area the size of several football fields, and have a capacity of 500 megawatts when completed, enough to power around 90,000 homes. Its first phase, a 160MW plant, will cost around $1bn and is to be built and operated by a private company that is due to be selected early next year. The World Bank, which has been criticised by environmental campaigners in the past for not doing enough to back clean energy projects, will finance this first phase with a $200m loan, and another $97m will be lent through a clean technology fund it oversees.
FT 18th Nov 2011 more >>
An urgent message from the UK solar industry. Ten of thousands of jobs are at risk within the next few weeks.
Our Solar Future 18th Nov 2011 more >>
Using the Prime Minister’s own speech about the necessity of feed-in tariffs given 3 years ago, the video dubs these words over lip-synching employees of the emerging solar industry. The message is clearDavid Cameron has argued forcefully for feed-in tariffs and supporting a UK-based clean energy economy, and he is now going back on his word.
Treehugger 18th Nov 2011 more >>
A COMMUNITY wind turbine project led by two Edinburgh voluntary groups has made it through to the final round of a UK-wide competition to win up to £100,000. Pedal and Greener Leith hope to build Scotlands first community-owned urban wind turbine on Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works in Edinburgh. Just 19 projects have made it into the final round of voting. Winning the grant is incumbent on support from local residents and the groups are now appealing for backing for the project, which can be registered at www.energyshare.com/voting until December 3.
Evening News 18th Nov 2011 more >>
This weeks Micro Power News available with updates on the FiT Cut Scandal; Nov 20 is Occupy Rooftops Solar day; Newcastle housing going solar.
Microgen Scotland 18th Nov 2011 more >>