EDF Energy is stopping site preparation work at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station until a definite decision is made on the plant’s £16bn funding. EDF said: “The next phase of work on site and in the associated developments will require a substantial increase in spending levels, and will begin as soon as the final investment decision has been made.” Around 400 workers are believed to be working on the site. The energy giant said it “has invested significantly in a series of preparatory activities including site preparations (earthworks, drainage works and culvert construction, concrete production facilities and welfare facilities) and roadworks.”
Construction Enquirer 2nd April 2015 read more »
EDF Energy has carried out extensive work with its contract partners to make the Hinkley Point C project ready for a final investment decision. The company has invested significantly in a series of preparatory activities including site preparations (earthworks, drainage works and culvert construction, concrete production facilities and welfare facilities) and roadworks. These works are now nearing completion. EDF Energy will complete roadworks currently in progress at Taunton Rd/Broadway in Bridgwater, the Washford Cross roundabout in West Somerset and the Cannington bypass. The next phase of work on site and in the associated developments will require a substantial increase in spending levels, and will begin as soon as the final investment decision has been made. In the meantime work to ensure the project’s readiness will continue, including project planning, engineering design and commercial supply chain activities.
EDF Energy 1st April 2015 read more »
HINKLEY Point B workers were prevented from getting to work after anti-nuclear protestors chained themselves together blocking the road to the entrance to the plant this morning. Campaigners from South-West Against Nuclear, Nuclear Free Bristol and Bristol CND caused the commotion in an attempt to “shutdown Hinkley Point B”.
Somerset County Gazette 1st April 2015 read more »
Bridgwater Mercury 1st April 2015 read more »
ITV 1st April 2015 read more »
The NuGen consortium proposing to build a nuclear power station in west Cumbria is finalising plans for a public consultation. The 10-week consultation, to start mid May, gives local people and businesses a chance to comment on the scheme for three AP1000 reactors at Moorside, Sellafield. NuGen has also started meetings with technical and planning representatives, to help them understand more about the project and identify potential issues.
Cumberland News 1st April 2015 read more »
Shockingly the Daily Mail is the ONLY paper to expose this – and even that with a somewhat neutered letter on the Letters Page…the original sent to all press is below: Nuclear Waste Scandal: In the last gasp of Parliament before the election, something momentous and awful happened but who knew? Who knew that our government had asked MPs to vote to make nuclear waste dumps Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects? There was no debate or even vote in the lobbies of the Commons, voting was done by filling in a form. MPs voted 277 votes to 33 to dump democracy.
Radiation Free Lakeland 1st April 2015 read more »
Cumbria’s Energy Coast magazine Energy Cumbria.
Cumbria’s Energy Coast Feb 2015 read more »
Scottish Energy Supplies
By 2020, Scotland will be generating a huge surplus of heavily subsidised renewable electricity that it cannot use, sell or store. The cost implications of producing this surplus will run into billions of pounds, and experts are now demanding that the Scottish Government confirms how it will deal with this huge green surplus – just as Scotland’s cheapest source of electricity – Longannet coal-fired power station, faces closure. This crisis has been widely predicted. It is entirely a consequence of reducing Scotland’s ability to balance electricity demand by rapidly increasing the variable supply from wind generated power. Wind power is intermittent, it is not secure, and it cannot be stored in the quantities required.
Scottish Energy News 2nd April 2015 read more »
Election 2015: How could energy policy shape a new coalition? With another hung Parliament on the cards, what are the policy ‘red lines’ for each of the political parties?
Business Green 1st April 2015 read more »
Amec Foster Wheeler has received a contract from EDF Energy to provide project management services to the UK nuclear power stations and technical offices in Gloucester and East Kilbride. Under the nine-year contract, which includes options for two two-year periods, EDF Energy will provide these crucial services to the nuclear stations at Dungeness in Kent, Sizewell in Suffolk, Hunterston in North Ayrshire, Torness in East Lothian, Heysham 1 and 2 in Lancashire, Hartlepool on Teesside and Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Energy Business Review 1st April 2015 read more »
US – radwaste
The Technical Assessment Team (TAT) is an independent team of technical experts that evaluated the mechanisms and chemical reactions contributing to the failure of a waste drum at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). In its report, the TAT concluded that one drum, Drum 68660, was the source of radioactive contamination released during the February 14, 2014, radiological event at WIPP. One intrepid chemist decided to order organic kitty litter instead of inorganic. And organic stuff is made from grains: possibly the chaff from wheat or corn. Which doesn’t really have quite the same properties as our silicates.
Register 1st April 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
Fukushima Prefecture–Hundreds of residents here plan to sue the central government for lifting evacuation advisories near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, saying the decision endangered their lives because radiation levels remained high around their homes. In the lawsuit that will be filed with the Tokyo District Court, the 535 plaintiffs from 132 households in the city just north of the nuclear plant will demand that the government retract its decision to lift the advisories and pay 100,000 yen ($837) in compensation to each plaintiff. According to the plaintiffs, the government’s cancellation of the advisories goes against the Law on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, which states that its purpose is to “protect the lives, bodies and properties of citizens from a nuclear disaster.”
Asahi Shimbun 1st April 2015 read more »
Bulgaria has dropped a deal with US-based firm Westinghouse Electric to build a new reactor at its only nuclear plant because of financial pressures, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced Wednesday. “We cannot uphold the agreement” which is worth $4 billion (3.8 billion euros), Borisov told parliament, adding that the cash-strapped country was unable to shoulder the costs. The hasty deal, signed by the previous Socialist-led government just before it resigned last July, envisaged the building of a 1,100-megawatt AP-1000 reactor at the Kozloduy site, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of the capital Sofia. The agreement had been aimed at weaning Bulgaria off Russia as its main supplier of nuclear fuel, as well as gas used to produce electricity.
AFP 1st April 2015 read more »
John Kerry bargained all night with his Iranian counterpart, finishing their last meeting shortly before 6am on Thursday, as the US secretary of state tried to reach a deal over Tehran’s nuclear programme. On day eight of the talks in Lausanne, Mr Kerry has now conducted the longest continuous negotiation ever carried out by any secretary of state since the Camp David summit in 1979.
Telegraph 2nd April 2015 read more »
World leaders and Iran stretched marathon talks on Tehran’s nuclear program into a second day past their deadline, with diplomats saying prospects for a preliminary agreement were finely balanced between success and collapse in the coming hours.
ITV 2nd April 2015 read more »
In a secret meeting with Washington officials, Russia said it was looking at a range of actions over the threat of the West supplying weapons to Ukraine. They also threatened civil disturbance by Russian nationals in the former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who are feeling increasingly threatened by their powerful neighbour. A report of last month’s meeting, seen by The Times newspaper, said attempts by Nato to return the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine would be met “forcefully including through the use of nuclear force”.
Express 2nd April 2015 read more »
Renewables – wind
A night of stormy weather and strong winds this week caused chaos on the roads and felled trees. But it was good news for the renewable energy sector, which generated record volumes of wind power on Tuesday. RenewableUK said just over 209 gigawatt hours (GWh) was generated by wind farms across Britain on 31 March, which was equal to 23 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.
Business Green 2nd April 2015 read more »
SCOTLAND’S wind energy output has jumped by 16 per cent since this time last year, but more support is needed to boost storage and aid efficiency, environmental charity WWF Scotland has warned. A study by the group found the wind energy produced last month had increased significantly from the same period last year, generating enough electricity to power every home in Scotland. Despite the increase, the group said that energy efficiency and storage needs to be improved.
The National 2nd Apr 2015 read more »
Herald 2nd April 2015 read more »
Overall, wind power generated the equivalent of 57% of Scotland’s total electricity consumption – domestic and non-domestic – for the month. Maximum output was on Tuesday, when generation was an estimated 61,858MWh, enough to supply over 5 million homes. Wind generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on 15 out of the 31 days of March, according to the WWF analysis. For homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 75% of the electricity needs of an average home in Edinburgh, 71% in Inverness, 68% in Aberdeen, and 60% in Glasgow. WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “Even though Scotland is generating so much renewable energy, it’s vital that our politicians don’t forget to keep supporting investment in demand reduction and energy storage, such as pumped hydro. “Doing so makes hitting our renewables targets easier and helps on those days when the wind isn’t blowing so strongly.
Aberdeen Press and Journal 2nd April 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Analysing public data on offshore wind in Denmark, energy consultant Mike Parr concludes that existing offshore wind is already cheaper than gas-fired power plants. Future offshore wind farms will be cheaper still – and up to 60% less expensive than the proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C in the UK. This means, writes Parr, that government support for offshore wind can be quickly and substantially reduced. Offshore wind is routinely criticized for being too expensive. It is true that some offshore wind farms are getting large subsidies. But that does not mean they are expensive. It rather means that their operators are making a lot of money. In fact subsidies can go down considerably and probably will, as I will show in this article.
Renew Economy 2nd April 2015 read more »
The Edinburgh-based UK Green Investment Bank has raised £463m of capital at first close, to be invested in UK offshore wind projects in the world’s first dedicated offshore wind fund. Investors include include UK pension funds and a sovereign wealth fund.
Scottish Energy News 2nd April 2015 read more »
Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund and two English local authority pension funds have invested a total of £263m in a new dedicated offshore wind fund established by the Green Investment Bank (GIB), BusinessGreen understands. The GIB confirmed today that it had closed the first £463m stage of fundraising for its new offshore wind venture, which includes £200m from the GIB and £263m of private capital.
Business Green 1st April 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
Dozens of giant solar farms have sprung up in fields around the country in recent weeks as developers raced to complete them before the end of a lucrative subsidy scheme. The number of solar farms winning planning consent has more than quadrupled since 2012, according to an analysis of government figures. Planning permission was granted last year for 220 solar farms, each covering at least 25 acres with panels, up from 133 in 2013, 48 in 2012 and only 11 in 2011, the analysis by Pinsent Masons, the law firm, found.The Solar Trade Association said 60 farms were completed in the first three months of this year, before the closure of the Renewables Obligation scheme for farms with a capacity of more than five megawatts. Farms needed to be connected to the grid by March 31 to obtain the subsidy.
Times 2nd April 2015 read more »
A CONSUMER watchdog has raised concerns over whether low carbon district heating schemes increasingly used at high profile developments to cut energy bills actually offer a fair deal after finding widespread dissatisfaction with costs and poor customer service. Which? has called for Scottish Government action to better protect consumers after officials announced ambitious new targets earlier this month that would see Scotland deliver five times more heat through district heating to help Scottish householders and businesses lower their energy bills. The proposals commit the Scottish Government to quadruple the number of homes on district heating by 2020, from 10,000 to 40,000 homes. There are already a number of high profile projects using district heating including Glasgow’s Common wealth Games’ Athletes Village and Emirates Arena with other networks planned by Glasgow’s City Council throughout the city. But Which? says the majority of Scottish homes connected to mains gas, district heating schemes are not regulated so many customers have no opportunity to switch supplier or right to redress should the service they receive fail to meet expectations.
Herald 2nd April 2015 read more »