The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has reached an agreement with Toshiba and its partner GDF Suez on the key commercial terms of an updated option agreement for land in the NDA’s ownership at Moorside near Sellafield in West Cumbria. This is a key step forward in enabling the development of a new nuclear power station at Moorside. Toshiba and GDF Suez intend to build three reactors at Moorside, to come online from 2024. They will deliver around 3.4GW of new nuclear capacity, enough to power up to 6 million homes. It is estimated that the project will result in 21,000 jobs over the construction period, including peak on-site employment of more than 6,000 people. In the operational phase the three reactors will sustain around 1,000 permanent jobs over the course of the reactors’ lifetimes.
NDA 1st May 2014 read more »
DECC 1st May 2014 read more »
Japan’s Toshiba and France’s GDF Suez have reached an agreement on key terms with Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to manage the land at Sellafield where the companies plan to build three new nuclear reactors.The agreement marks an important step in Britain’s bid to construct a new generation of nuclear plants and shows Toshiba’s commitment to its British joint venture which it bought into by taking over Iberdrola’s stake only four months ago. The option agreement on the nuclear site, which the joint venture bought in 2009 for 19.5 million pounds, was due to expire soon and the government had considered re-opening the site for auction due to slow progress before Toshiba got involved.The NuGen joint venture plans to start operating its first new nuclear reactor at the Moorside site in 2024 and estimates 21,000 people will be directly and indirectly employed during the plant’s construction phase.
Reuters 1st May 2014 read more »
Britain’s nuclear power industry was given a boost on Thursday as one of Japan’s largest companies took a step closer to building a £10bn nuclear power plant in the north-west. Toshiba, the engineering and technology company, signed an agreement giving it the right to build at Sellafield, in west Cumbria, during a visit by Shinzo Abe, Japanese prime minister, to London, in an effort to boost trade and investment between the two countries. The land option agreement for the new nuclear site will involve total payments by Toshiba and its partners to Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority of over £200m by the time the option is exercised, the energy department said.
FT 1st May 2014 read more »
Japan’s Toshiba and partner GDF Suez are to pay more than £200m to extend the right to build a new nuclear power station at Moorside in West Cumbria, the Prime Minister has announced. Toshiba signed a preliminary £102m deal to buy a 60pc stake in the NuGen nuclear venture in January, as Spain’s cash-strapped Iberdrola sells out of the project. Extending the lease for the Moorside site is understood to have been one of a number of outstanding issues before the deal can complete.
Telegraph 1st May 2014 read more »
Professional Engineer 1st May 2014 read more »
Westmorland Gazette 1st May 2014 read more »
Carlisle News and Star 1st May 2014 read more »
NW Evening Mail 1st May 2014 read more »
Engineering & Technology 1st May 2014 read more »
The NDA has today published a paper to summarise Sellafield’s positive contribution to the regional and national economy and set out the activities that are underway to harness greater economic benefit. The paper is a response to Recommendation 6 of the Public Accounts Committee hearing held in November 2013.
NDA 30th April 2014 read more »
Sellafield Ltd. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) signed a cooperation statement for Sellafield to help with the clean up at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The agreement is the first step in enabling formal arrangements to give both companies access to skills and information in decontaminating nuclear sites. Sellafield workers are currently decontaminating a nuclear site in Cumbria, England, while TEPCO is beginning the process of decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Sellafield Ltd. Managing Director Tony Price said the agreement is a major step in advancing decommissioning and decontamination projects.
Power Engineering 1st May 2014 read more »
Nuclear energy has been highlighted as a key area for increased cooperation between the UK and Japan as the two countries pledge to work together to tackle climate change and energy security in the run-up to the next meeting of G7 energy ministers. In a joint statement issued at the start of a two-day visit to the UK by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, the two nations recognise the “severity” of the challenge posed to the world by climate change. Citing the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fifth Assessment Report, the statement says that the UK and Japan share the view that “ambitious” action is needed at the national and international level to combat the “urgent and potentially irreversible threat” posed by climate change.
World Nuclear News 1st May 2014 read more »
One hundred buildings have now been demolished at Sellafield as part of a clean up programme at the site. Work to decommission the site began in 2007. Some of the buildings demolished so far include the old Research and Development facilities, waste stores and reactor cooling towers. There are over 1000 facilities at Sellafield that will have to be decommissioned over the next 100 years.
ITV 1st May 2014 read more »
“The most reliable estimate of the cost of decommissioning [a nuclear power plant] is 10-15 percent of the construction cost, contrary to some highly inflated estimates … Modern serious studies of the disposal problem indicate that satisfactory isolation is technologically feasible, even for the long term.” So wrote MIT nuclear engineering professor David Rose in the November 1985 issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. How misguided that view seems now, with the advantage of decades of experience. The Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Rowe, Massachusetts, took 15 years to decommission—or five times longer than was needed to build it. And decommissioning the plant—constructed early in the 1960s for $39 million—cost $608 million.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 28th April 2014 read more »
Economic modelling used by the UK Treasury to assess the costs of action on climate change ‘should be treated with extreme caution’, according to a new report commissioned by Friends of the Earth and WWF-UK. The report, entitled ‘(Mis)understanding Climate Policy’, investigates the modelling conducted by HMRC, which assesses the impact of the UK’s carbon budgets on GDP. It reveals that the current model ignores the economic impacts of climate change – such as the recent floods – along with the job-creation potential of the ever-growing low-carbon industries.
Edie 1st May 2014 read more »
Guardian 1st May 2014 read more »
Out to 2020, DECC’s UK Renewable Energy Roadmap tells us that, taking account of attrition in development, there will be about 9.1 GW of new onshore added to the 6.6GW already operational. National Grid’s Gone Green scenarios for development out to 2030 adds another 2GW to that total post 2020. So let’s assume, for the reasons I’ve set out, that much of this of this presently assumed development doesn’t take place with a new onshore regime and that the additional 2GW of capacity after 2020 certainly doesn’t get built. On a reasonable estimate, that’s about 8GW of otherwise accounted for capacity that’ll be lost. James Murray, in a great blog piece makes the point that if you a) stand by climate change and, in principle, to low carbon energy targets but b) pull the rug from under the most successful and economic component of those targets, you ought to c) set out what you are going to put in its place. He’s quite right, of course, since it would take rather a lot of ‘something else’ in place of onshore wind to get low carbon energy deployment back on track. the replacement capacity would have to be found. Not from gas and …er…not nuclear, because you can’t magic up two new plants in six years, but maybe from …what? Biomass, tidal impoundment? Hmm, all these technologies have underwritings far higher per kWh than onshore does, so presumably you’d need to adjust that Levy Control Framework ceiling considerably. So it’s looking improbable that Dave will do what James outlines in his piece, and try to make it all fit together logically.
Alan Whitehead MP 1st May 2014 read more »
A new study by the influential UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has said – in very academic terms – what most of us already know, there is quite a lot of uncertainty about the UK’s chances of meeting its carbon targets. But that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. The academics, who together make up many of the leading experts on energy in the UK, have gone into some detail on the key uncertainties and what can be done about them. Here’s our quick and dirty digest: We need to spend more and more on clean energy – but the funding is a little shaky; Technology costs are uncertain; Public support is both uncertain and misunderstood in policy planning; We aren’t really sure how much shale we’ll have or how much gas we’ll need; If it all goes to pot efficiency might be a good idea.
Energy Desk 30th April 2014 read more »
The best quote of the night was from Professor Laurence Williams of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management when the microphone conked out : “its always the technology that lets us down” Quite – thats what we think about the plan to use previously unused and scientifically impossible to predict “engineered barriers” 1000 metres underground with geology as the last line of defence when the barriers inevitably deteriorate. The government is keen to show that “steady progress is being made in the implementation of geological disposal working within the underpinning principles of voluntarism and partnership with local communities” WE SAID NO – AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN
Radiation Free Lakeland 1st May 2014 read more »
On 26th April The Ecologist magazine accurately reported on the launch of a new website Arrest Monbiot “that calls for the arrest of writer George Monbiot for ‘Nuclear Crimes against Humanity and the Environment’….Monbiot was selected for this dubious honour as a result of his high profile but paradoxical conversion to the virtues of nuclear power, triggered by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. It also reflects Monbiot’s own campaign to arrest Tony Blair for his ignominious role in going to war against Iraq. Five people have already won sums of several thousand pounds for attempting to arrest Blair and over £7,000 remains in the ‘pot’. However anyone attempting to arrest Monbiot will not receive the money themselves. The £100 will instead be donated to Radiation Monitoring in Cumbria (RADMIC) an independent community initiative to monitor and assess the effect of the nuclear industry”.
Radiation Free Lakeland 1st May 2014 read more »
A YouGov poll commissioned by RenewableUK Cymru, has found there is continued support for renewable energy in Wales. Almost two thirds (62%) of the people questioned for the annual survey said they support the development of wind power as part of a mix of renewable and conventional energy. The survey asked a total of 1,174 adults in Wales with the majority, 397, being between the ages of 40 and 59. A total of 64% said they are in favour of large scale wind projects in their local council area, compared to just 22% for shale gas and 31% for nuclear. The highest support was for solar energy, with 81%of people in support of this being built locally.
Wales Online 1st May 2014 read more »
Almost four million households are currently in debt to their energy supplier, owing an average £128. The research by price comparison site uSwitch claims that, collectively, Britons are now £464m in debt to energy companies. With the average household energy bill £53 higher than last year, a third of those in debt owe more than they did a year ago. Twenty one per cent of those in debt plan on paying the money off with a lump sum, while one in ten intend to seek a repayment plan with their energy supplier.
Telegraph 2nd May 2014 read more »
New satellite imagery indicates North Korea has been testing the engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile, a US thinktank has said, amid concerns the North is preparing a nuclear test. The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said images of the North’s main rocket launch site suggested one “and maybe more” tests of what was probably the first stage of a KN-08 road-mobile ICBM.
Guardian 2nd May 2014 read more »
The early hours of July 21!” That was the recent prediction of a European diplomat involved in the multilateral, multi-stage talks with Iran over the country’s nuclear programme. The target date for a deal is July 20. The little joke embedded in the diplomat’s forecast was that past experience suggests that the talks will go right down to the wire and then a few hours beyond, as the sides jostle for last-gasp advantage, before concluding in the middle of the night.
Guardian 1st May 2014 read more »
The smallest of the Canary Islands will become the first island to be fully powered by wind and water when it opens a new wind farm this summer. Around 10,000 people live on El Hierro, the most southern of the Spanish islands, and when the wind plant is switched on it will take the strong winds that whip of the cliffs and mountains of the volcanic island and power it. The energy harvested at the plant will be used to pump water up to a large reservoir in a volcanic creator 700 metres above sea level. When there is less wind, that water will run back down and through turbines, giving the island a continuous supply of electricity.
Independent 1st May 2014 read more »
Many people in the electricity industry long thought that the two renewable sources of electricity that vary widely over time—windpower and solar photovoltaics (PVs) —could provide only a few percent of total generation without endangering reliability. Those who still believe this now face increasingly severe reality tests. As we’ll see, Germany and other countries are successfully powering their grids with astonishingly high fractions of renewable generation by combining five techniques: a) leveraging diverse generation sources across interconnected regional and national grids, b) improving renewables’ forecasting and predictability, c) integrating dispatchable renewables, d) adding distributed storage, and e) leveraging demand response.
Rocky Mountain Institute Winter 2014 read more »
When the Community Energy Strategy was first published, I was invited to comment via a blog for Respublica. I speculated on how the industry would react to Ed Davey’s desire for commercial project developers to offer interested communities the chance to buy into their projects (incidentally, things may be quiet on this front, but expect more to come out over the summer). Whilst welcoming the thrust of the Strategy, I lamented the fact that despite all the discussion about lowering energy bills “the fact of the matter is, that licensed electricity suppliers are not allowed to have localised tariffs. Ofgem prevents them from doing so and Government seems content to let this situation remain”. I went on to conclude that if the only way to achieve a genuinely lower tariff in the area surrounding a renewables project was via a new “licence lite” supplier then there was “going to be limited uptake [as] it’s not an option that’s likely to appeal to community energy companies widely”. So has the OVO community launch this week changed things? In a way it has. It will result in local authorities or community groups being able to charge a different tariff in the locality of their project or projects.
Business Green 1st May 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
The large-scale solar sector is braced for an “imminent” government review into the Renewables Obligation (RO) support mechanism.
Utility Week 1st May 2014 read more »
This graph, from a recent presentation from Canadian Solar, the world’s third biggest solar PV module manufacturer, gives a fascinating insight into the changing shape of global demand for solar – not just it’s massive growth, but also its geographical shift. In 2011, for instance, Italy was the largest market for solar PV in the world, followed by Germany. Together they accounted for more than 60 per cent of global demand, thanks to their favourable feed in tariffs at the tim. The next year, demand from the world’s three biggest economies awoke. In 2014, China, Japan, and the US will be the world’s three biggest markets, showing compound growth rates since 2009 of between 69 per cent and 165 per cent in the case of China.
Renew Economy 2nd May 2014 read more »
Households carrying out energy efficiency improvements on their home can now get more money back to offset the cost of having the work done. From June, people in England and Wales will be able to get up to £7600 back through a new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund so they can take control of their bills and have warmer, greener homes. The scheme helps people to install energy efficiency measures such as solid wall insulation and new heating systems by providing them with money back on the contributions they make towards improvements.
DECC 1st May 2014 read more »
Telegraph 1st May 2014 read more »
The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, starting next month, is open to all owner-occupiers and landlords, regardless of income. However, homeowners can only claim the grants if the work is carried out by installers who have obtained specific government approval. Thousands of trained and registered heating engineers and builders will be excluded from the scheme because they have not spent up to £2,000 obtaining the required approval. This means many homeowners will not be able to use the local firms they trust. Ministers have allocated £120 million for the scheme this year, but the restrictions mean that only a fraction of this could be claimed by homeowners, according to the Association for the Conservation of Energy, which represents the insulation industry. Andrew Warren, head of the association, said: “We need to be certain that take-up of this cashback scheme is 100 per cent of the available [funding], rather than the 4 per cent achieved under its predecessor scheme. “To do this, we need to ensure that every trained and insured builder, heating engineer, plumber, insulation or double glazing installer is permitted to undertake the relevant work. Given the substantial cost of acquiring all the extra paperwork qualifications, I think it is foolish to be cutting so many skilled tradespeople out of the new scheme.”
Times 2nd May 2014 read more »
The West Cumbrian coalfield is one of five coastal sites around the UK that Cluff Natural Resources is considering with a view to establishing a “coal gasification” operation in deep coal reserves. Underground coal gasification – or UCG – involves drilling a deep hole and igniting the coal before piping the gas to the surface. By pumping oxygen and steam into the seams, gas is released which can be collected and used to supply the National Grid.
Whitehaven News 1st May 2014 read more »