Election candidates in Cumbria and nuclear waste. Letter from Cumbria Trust to the Times and Star. The Cumbria Trust sent a questionnaire to all General Election and Copeland Mayoral candidates. Only 10 out of 34 candidates have responded.
Cumbria Trust 2nd May 2015 read more »
Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd presented a free seminar on the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) technology, supported by the Japan Information and Culture Centre (JICC) at the University of Birmingham on Tuesday 21 – Wednesday 22 April 2015. The University of Birmingham are selected partners with Horizon Nuclear Power, a UK energy company owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, aiming to develop a new generation of nuclear power stations to help meet the country’s need for stable and sustainable low carbon energy. Hitachi Ltd intends to build two 1,350 MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR) on existing Oldbury and Wylfa nuclear power station sites.
Birmingham University 1st May 2015 read more »
Sellafield has won eight awards from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in recognition of its safety record. But it failed to match its performance in last year’s RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards when it won nine golds. That was the best performance ever achieved by a nuclear operator. This year’s haul of five gold and three silver gongs will be presented at a ceremony at ExCel in London on June 16.
Whitehaven News 30th April 2015 read more »
Amec Foster Wheeler has received a 10-year contract to provide radioactive waste analysis to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria, UK. Under the contract, Amec will conduct laboratory-based analysis to characterize waste from the site’s decommissioning program. The company will determine the radioactive and chemical make-up to allow for safe disposal of the waste.
Energy Business Review 1st May 2015 read more »
EDF Energy is to shut down one of the two nuclear reactors at Dungeness B on May 1 for a 10 week, £30M maintenance programme. More than 11,000 separate pieces of work are on the programme, including installation of new equipment. It means an additional 500 extra workers will be on site. Dungeness B’s other reactor is to continue to operate as normal.
New Civil Engineer 30th April 2015 read more »
Forest fires raging near the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear disaster site in north Ukraine are releasing a surge of airborne plutonium particles as radioactive twigs, branches and leaf litter burn.
Ecologist 30th April 2015 read more »
A forest and wildfire, reportedly spanning over some 5,000 – 10,000 hectares in the exclusion zone around Ukraine’s crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant is being combated by Ukrainian emergency services. PM Yatzenyuk states that the “situation is under control”. Interior Minister Avakov states that the situation is worsening. Meanwhile, the burning of organic materials which have bio-accumulated radioactive isotopes since 1986 may cause a new wave of radioactive fallout.
NSNBC 29th April 2015 read more »
Fukushima cleanup crews have collected a hundred and fifty million gallons of radioactive water in more than a thousand temporary storage tanks, and are adding another hundred thousand gallons a day as groundwater seeps into contaminated reactor buildings. They have been able to extract cesium from this water, but getting the strontium out is proving to be a greater challenge. There have already been two leaks from individual tanks, and Buesseler estimates that the total amount of strontium sitting in the remaining tanks is at least a hundred times greater than the amount of radioactive material released in the initial aftermath of the earthquake. It is partly for this reason, he says, that the existing fallout is worth tracking—to see where and how quickly the ocean currents might carry future contamination. Since no U.S. federal agency has taken on the task, he has recruited volunteers like Stevens to collect samples up and down the Pacific coast.
New Yorker 30th April 2015 read more »
Joining the international regime on civil liability and compensation in case of nuclear damage brings distinct advantages to countries when a nuclear accident affects several Member States. This was the message delivered to participants from 41 countries at this week’s IAEA workshop on the legal aspects of nuclear liability and the international legal instruments available.
IAEA 29th April 2015 read more »
Today, Russia still has some 1,780 and the United States has some 1,900 nuclear warheads that can be delivered on several hundred strategic bombers and missiles—far more than necessary to deter nuclear attack. Many of these weapons are primed for launch on warning. Since the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), further progress on disarmament has been stalled due to the severe downturn in U.S.-Russian relations and differences among key nuclear-armed states on the way forward. At the 2015 NPT Review Conference, which is under way in New York, non-nuclear-weapon states must press for specific actions by the nuclear-weapon states to accelerate progress on disarmament and reduce the risk of nuclear war. Russia, the United States, and the other NPT nuclear-weapon states must find new ways to get back on track or risk the fracturing of the NPT regime. To do so, the NPT conference should come together on several practical and overdue initiatives.
Arms Control Association 1st May 2015 read more »
The European Commission has launched a state aid investigation into the impact capacity mechanisms have on the working of the EU’s single energy market. The Commission said it would probe the workings of 11 capacity markets of EU countries – Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden – but if any distorting affects are discovered, the investigation could be extended to other member states, including the UK.
Utility Week 1st May 2015 read more »
In our new report, “Rising Sun, Sinking Influence?”, E3G is charting the economic, geopolitical and security impacts of Japan’s decisions to consistently temper its actions to curb climate change. Of course, Fukushima played a big role. The monumental disruption the reactors caused was something unseen for a generation. Japan lost virtually 30% of its energy supply overnight. the world is no longer waiting for Japan. Global progress towards fossil fuel phase out is accelerating and inevitable, but time is of the essence. The US-China agreement has underscored Japanese inadequacies in dealing with climate change, whilst Germany proves that it’s possible to decarbonise and phase out nuclear. Japan’s government is becoming ever more politically and economically exposed due to the historic global progress in addressing climate change.
E3G 1st May 2015 read more »
Nuclear power is not the answer to our energy needs, the Cyprus Green Party and the Turkish Cypriot party New Cyprus said on Saturday, denouncing plans by Turkey to build a nuclear station near Akkuyu, opposite Cyprus’ northern coast.
Cyprus Mail 25th April 2015 read more »
THE Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power outrageously blamed its nuclear-free Arab neighbours on Thursday for the failure of progress towards a Middle East clear of nuclear weapons.
Morning Star 2nd May 2015 read more »
Does Finland suffer from a nuclear death wish? So it seems, writes Ulla Klötzer. Its government responded to the world’s two greatest nuclear disasters by … ordering a new nuclear plant. And as the Olkiluoto nuclear project descended into face and litigation over a disputed €5 billion, they resolved to build two more. This time, supplied by Russia’s nuclear weapon-maker Rosatom.
Ecologist 1st May 2015 read more »
Where in the world would a school be run by an arms manufacturer? China? Russia? Syria? Or…Barrow in in Furness, Cumbria? BAE builds nuclear submarines in Barrow, where, we are told reassuringly, radioactive emissions from the dockyard are masked by the greater emissions from Sellafield, just across the Duddon Estuary. Not content with poisoning us, the nuclear weapons industry wants to poison children’s minds too.
Radiation Free Lakeland 1st May 2015 read more »
Ed Miliband asserted in Thursday’s BBC Question Time TV debate with the audience in Leeds “I’m not going to give in for SNP demands around Trident”. Even assuming he sticks to this pledge post-election, if he is prime minister, he will still have to negotiate on Trident, not with SNP, but with 190 governments. As the Leeds debate was being held, the biggest global conference addressing nuclear security and disarmament was under way at the United Nations in New York. having opened on Monday, and running until 22nd May.The190-member state Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), dating from 1968, and for which the UK, along with United States and Russia, is a ‘depositary state’, sets out at its article 6:“to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament….”
Dr David Lowry 1st May 2015 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Tidal turbines for a renewable energy scheme in the Pentland Firth are to be tested and assembled at a yard in Easter Ross. Developer Atlantis has agreed to lease space at Nigg Energy Park on the Cromarty Firth for the work. Atlantis proposes to install four devices in the first phase of its MeyGen project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The company eventually plans to have up to 269 turbines on the seabed.
BBC 29th April 2015 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
Scottish Power reiterated its support for “vital” onshore windfarms as it officially opened a repowered project on Thursday, despite Conservative plans to ban new projects.
Utility Week 30th April 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
Britain has more giant solar farms than Spain, France and Italy combined despite those countries getting far more sunshine. There are now 408 “utility scale” solar farms in Britain, each covering at least 25 acres. Spain, where solar panels generate a third more power than those in southern England, has only 172, and France and Italy have 91 each. The US is the only country with more solar farms than the UK, with 553, according to figures compiled by the website Wiki-Solar. China has 315 farms but double the total capacity of British farms because the average Chinese one is much larger. The number of British solar farms leapt by 120 in the first three months of this year as developers rushed to beat a deadline of March 31, when they ceased to qualify for the lucrative Renewables Obligation subsidy scheme. Philip Wolfe, founder of Wiki-S olar and former chief executive of BP Solar, said another 299 solar farms had planning consent but it was unclear how many of them would be built because the industry was adjusting to a new, more competitive subsidy scheme, Contracts for Difference. He said the growth in solar farms would “slow in the short term” but the overall number in the countryside would continue to grow. Several solar farms are being planned in Scotland despite it receiving a third less solar energy than parts of the south coast, including the Isle of Wight.
Times 2nd May 2015 read more »
One of the most interesting solar projects around, TuNur, hopes to generate two nuclear power plants’ worth of renewable electricity in the Tunisian desert, export it to Italy via a 1,000km high-voltage DC cable and connect it to European grids as far afield as the UK, where it could power over 2m homes. Three developments are helping and could set a precedent for further projects: strides in the cost-effectiveness both of undersea transmission cables and solar power, the EU’s Energy Union and climate packages, and the new Tunisian government’s liberalisation of its energy laws. In technological terms the project looks achievable. A 10bn euro joint venture between British solar developer Nur Energie and a group of Tunisian, Maltese and British investors including London-based Low Carbon, TuNur pla ns to use Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) – unlike solar photovoltaic panels (PV) – to generate a potential 2.5GW of electricity on 100km2 of desert in South West Tunisia by 2018. Thousands of mirrors will concentrate sunlight onto a central tower to heat up molten salts, create steam and drive turbines. The cable to Italy is expected to lose only 3 per cent of its electricity along the way. An additional innovation is the storage capability, which enables reliable renewable energy generation by heating the molten salts during the day and releasing the heat by night.
FT 1st May 2015 read more »
The fuel cell industry can help to shape the future of the global energy landscape, to meet the requirements of reliability and sustainability. Cost reduction through technological innovation is bringing fuel cells closer to commercialisation, just as it has done with wind and solar power.
Renewable Energy Focus 30th April 2015 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News: Dorset Council and Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority go solar; Ecology Building Society invests in social housing solar; and more.
Microgen Scotland 1st May 2015 read more »
Tesla Energy’s new mains power battery has just transformed the energy market – giving a huge boost to small scale renewable energy and killing off both fossil fuelled and nuclear power in the process.
Ecologist 1st May 2015 read more »
Household batteries that will save consumers hundreds of pounds a year by collecting solar power and cheap off-peak electricity are to become as common as washing machines after a scientific breakthrough, experts have predicted. The device, unveiled yesterday in the United States, was hailed as the start of a new era of cheaper electricity and home-generated renewable energy. The wall-mounted battery stores energy collected by roof-mounted solar panels and garden wind turbines. It can also suck cheap electricity from the grid in the middle of the night for use in peak daytime hours. As many as eight of the units, called Powerwall and manufactured by the American company Tesla, can be linked together to provide extra storage capacity for homes with high electricity demands.
Times 2nd May 2015 read more »
FT 1st May 2015 read more »
“The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world,” Tesla founder Elon Musk told reporters as he launched the electric car company’s new home power storage battery on Thursday. “This is actually within the power of humanity to do. It is not impossible.” Electricity storage is the “missing link” in weaning the economy off fossil fuels, said the entrepreneur with characteristic understatement.
Guardian 1st May 2015 read more »
Telegraph 1st May 2015 read more »
MILLIONS of households face the prospect of being able to make big savings on their electricity bills by using batteries to covert solar energy into power for their homes. The wall-mounted packs harness energy from solar panels on roofs while also providing a back-up source during power cuts. Its manufacturers, who have just launched the devices in the US, say they could become in the home as common as washing machines and will ‘fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.’
Herald 2nd May 2015 read more »
It would be almost three hours until Tesla’s big announcement, but inside a Northwestern University classroom near Chicago Thursday night, the famed nuclear critic Arnie Gundersen had the inside scoop: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was about to announce an industrial-scale battery, Gundersen said, that would cost about 2¢ per kilowatt hour to use, putting the final nail in the coffin of nuclear power. Thus Tesla’s big news broke first not amongst the throng of reporters gathered under swirling colored lights at the carmaker’s Hawthorne, Calif. headquarters, but in the middle of a debate on the future of nuclear power sponsored by students agitating for a “Fossil Free NU.” It was Gundersen vs. Jordi Roglans-Ribas, the director of the Nuclear Engineering Division of Argonne National Laboratory. “We all know that the wind doesn’t blow consistently and the sun doesn’t shine every day,” he said, “but the nuclear industry would have you believe that humankind is smart enough to develop techniques to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, but at the same time human kind is so dumb we can’t figure out a way to store solar electricity overnight. To me that doesn’t make sense.” Then Gundersen told the audience of about 80 students and visitors that it was a momentous day in history—because of something that was about to happen in California. He evoked Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal PayPal, chairman of SpaceX and SolarCity, and the product architect for Tesla Motors: “At about ten ‘o’clock tonight he’s going to hold a press conference and he’s going to announce that he’s going to build industrial scale storage batteries. While the announcement is still two hours away, it appears that they’ll be able to produce these large batteries for about 2¢ per kilowatt hour. That’s an enormous breakthrough,” Gundersen said. “So the nuclear argument that they’re the only 24-7 source is off the table now.
Forbes 1st May 2015 read more »
As was widely expected, Tesla announced that it is offering a home battery product, which people can use to store energy from their solar panels or to backstop their homes against blackouts, and also larger scale versions that could perform similar roles for companies or even parts of the grid. For homeowners, the Tesla Powerwall will have a power capacity of either 10 kilowatt hours or 7 kilowatt hours, at a cost of either $ 3,500 or $ 3,000. The company says these are the costs for suppliers and don’t include the cost of installation and a power inverter, so customers could pay considerably more than that. Tesla isn’t the only company in the battery game, and whatever happens with Tesla, this market is expected to grow. A study by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association earlier this year found that while storage remains relatively niche — the market was sized at just $128 million in 2014 — it also grew 40 percent last year, and three times as many installations are expected this year. The major upshot of more and cheaper batteries and much more widespread energy storage could, in the long term, be a true energy revolution — as well as a much greener planet. Here are just a few ways that storage can dramatically change — and green — the way we get power.
Washington Post 1st May 2015 read more »
Boosted by huge growth in solar and wind power, demand for energy storage is expected to go from 0.34 GW installed in 2012 and 2013 to 6 GW in 2017 and more than 40 GW by 2022, according to the Energy Storage Association.
Climate Progress 1st May 2015 read more »
Tesla, the maker of luxury electric cars, has unveiled a series of batteries that will allow homes and businesses to store renewable energy, as it attempts to solve a major challenge facing the transition to the low carbon economy. Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and chief executive, made the much anticipated announcement last night, confirming the new modular Powerwall system would sell at $3,000 (£1,954) for a 7kWh battery, rising to $3,500 for a 10kWh unit. Deliveries are expected to start in late summer in the US. Catherine Mitchell, professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, called the announcement “a nail in the coffin” for conventional utilities.
Business Green 1st May 2015 read more »
Power network operator Electricity North West (ENW) said its trial power saving scheme had helped people reduce their electricity usage by more than 10 per cent in its first six months . ENW conducted the trial to help eliminate the need to build costly new substations to cope with growing electricity demand which, network strategy and technical services director Paul Bircham points out, is set to double by 2050, bringing with it increased costs to consumers. “Building a bigger network to meet predicted demand could cost hundreds of millions – which would ultimately come from customers’ bills. We wanted to work with the community to encourage customers to reduce consumption so that there’s less need to invest in costly new infrastructure,” he said. The ‘Power Saver Challenge’ was launched by the network in November last year, and saw 260 Stockport residents strive to become more energy efficient. The results of the trial will now be shared with other network operators across the country and could be rolled out across the north west.
Utility Week 30th April 2015 read more »
Fracking could wipe thousands of pounds off the value of homes in areas where the controversial mining technique is allowed to go ahead. The first extensive estate agents’ survey in Lancashire, Manchester and Sussex – areas in which energy firms have applied to start extracting shale gas – showed that two thirds of respondents thought house prices would suffer. The majority of agents thought the loss of value per property could be as much as 10pc, while a handful estimated that prices could fall by up to 70pc.
Telegraph 1st May 2015 read more »