Matt Ridley: Hinkley Point C ‘is no nuclear option for the UK and its technology is untested and obsolete’ Its cost is outrageous, its delays are obscene and the project must be cancelled so that the UK can start fracking.
The Sun 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Hinkley C set to be on the agenda as Prime Minister heads to China this weekend. The Hangzhou summit will be the new PM’s first opportunity for face-to-face talks with China’s leaders since she angered Beijing by delaying a final decision on the Chinese-backed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. In an article for the state-run China Daily, China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming urged Britain to “continue to be pragmatic and stay open to Chinese businesses” after the Brexit vote. Mr Liu made no direct reference to Hinkley, but said “a number of steps need to be taken in order to maintain the momentum in the relationship” between London and Beijing. A decision is expected in the autumn amid speculation that Mrs May is concerned about the involvement of Chinese state-owned CGN in the project and any further agreement for China to build reactors in Bradwell, Essex.
Bridgwater Mercury 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Theresa May is expected to come under pressure from China at the G20 summit over her decision to review the proposed Hinkley nuclear plant, after the issue was raised by Beijing in a meeting with the British energy minister. The new British prime minister will have her first face-to-face meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese premier, at the summit on Sunday or Monday, amid continuing tensions over Hinkley Point in Somerset. May angered Beijing by deciding in July that approval of the French- and Chinese-backed £18bn nuclear plant would be delayed, apparently as a result of security concerns over Chinese involvement. The Chinese government has been publicly making its clear it wants the project to go ahead, but May and her ministers have stuck to the position that the government is “considering all the component parts of the project before making its decision in the early autumn”.
Guardian 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Great news. Thanks to donations from more than 4,000 people, today we’ve run an ad in The Times to expose just how unpopular Hinkley nuclear plant is. The ad features quotes from The Economist, HSBC and other influential voices — all of whom are united in opposition to the troubled nuclear plant. Take a look at the photo above to see the ad, or scroll down to read the quotes in full. A HUGE thank you to everyone who chipped to get the advert printed.
Greenpeace 31st Aug 2016 read more »
The 900 direct permanent jobs which could be created at Hinkley Point C would cost electricity consumers an extra £800,000 per job per year compared to jobs in renewables in terms of increased costs of electricity. Renewable energy is a far better job-creator than nuclear, and already employs three times more people, according to Dr Ian Fairlie writing on The Ecologist website. The Trade Unions currently calling for Hinkley Point C to go-ahead should instead give their support to renewables which could become an even greater jobs provider than they are already especially if we seize the opportunities quickly and develop a global export trade in key renewable energy technologies.
Blue & Green Tomorrow 31st Aug 2016 read more »
With Labour trying to face several ways at once it looks more like chaos as the front bench tries to please everybody and fails to satisfy anybody at the same time. Jeremy Corbyn is quoted (quite rightly in my view) as saying that ‘Tories have just put up the cost of your electricity by giving a blank cheque to EDF for a power station that doesn’t work’ On the other hand, Labour’s energy spokesperson Barry Gardiner is said to be in favour of the Hinkley C power station but at a lower cost to the consumer.
Dave Toke’s Blog 1st Sept 2016 read more »
THE long-running saga over a planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has taken a fresh twist after French union officials started legal action against a decision by energy giant EDF to go ahead with the project. Five directors of EDF, representing workers, started proceedings in Paris aimed at annulment of the group’s investment in the £18 billion scheme. EDF’s board voted last month to press ahead with building the power station in Somerset, but the UK government made a shock announcement that it wanted time to study the already-delayed scheme.
Somerset County Gazette 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Campaigners have criticised the firm behind a proposed nuclear plant on Anglesey for wanting to delete policies designed to safeguard the Welsh language. Horizon says the language measures contained in the proposed Gwynedd and Anglesey Local Development Plan are “too restrictive”, and that failing to make changes could jeopardise the Wylfa Newydd project. But opponents have accused the company of showing its “true colours” in relation to the language, and of undermining local authorities’ efforts to assess the impact of the development on Welsh in the area. In a statement prepared on Horizon’s behalf by a consulting company, the firm objects to the the proposal that councils could refuse developments which would cause “significant harm to the character and language balance of a community”. Horizon wants the measure deleted from the final plan, which is currently at the independent scrutiny stage. The company also claims the proposed Gwynedd and Anglesey plan is contrary to guidelines issued by the Welsh Government regarding the use of Welsh in planning policies. Horizon does not object to signage at the site being bilingual or Welsh names being used for the new developments. Dylan Morgan, of anti-nuclear campaign group PAWB, said: “They know that, by bringing in 8,000 construction workers from outside the travel to work area, the language will be under severe pressure in our communities, and they plainly don’t care. “Interestingly, Horizon have commissioned a language impact assessment for Wylfa B, but this report hasn’t been published. “It is clearly a time for plan B not Wylfa B, and that is a comprehensive programme of developing renewable energy technologies and improving energy efficiency and energy conservation.”
Daily Post 1st Sept 2016 read more »
On 31 August the Japanese (Hitachi) owned Horizon Nuclear published a mammoth 684 page public consultation document on its proposals to build a new nuclear power plant, Wylfa Newydd, on Anglesey. As the primary reason for the halt in the go ahead for the Hinkley C nuclear plant on Somerset’s north coast, just across the Bristol Channel from Cardiff, Newport, and Swansea is unresolved security matters, I looked at Horizon’s consultation document to see what it says about security at Wylfa Newydd. The answer is worryingly little; and what it does say is so general as to be worthless.
Daivid Lowry’s Blog 1st Sept 2016 read more »
THE new Energy Minister has underlined the Government’s commitment to nuclear energy, boosting hopes of a new power plant in west Cumbria. Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe was making her first visit to Sellafield following her appointment as Energy Minister in July. One of the first actions of Theresa May’s new administration was to delay a decision on a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The surprise announcement cast doubt on NuGen’s plans to build three nuclear reactors at Moorside, Sellafield. But Baroness Neville-Rolfe made it clear that the Government remains committed to nuclear in principle, whatever reservations there may be about the Hinkley Point project.
News and Star 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
French nuclear group Areva said on Tuesday it had formally started the process to transfer its nuclear fuel cycle activities to a new company. The move follows a decision last year to reorganize the company hit by low demand for nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan 2011. As part of a restructuring, under which 87 percent state-owned Areva will sell its nuclear reactor unit to utility EDF, Areva was expected to transfer its uranium mining, nuclear fuel production and decommissioning activities into a new company, provisionally named NewCo. Areva said in a statement that it will convene an extraordinary general meeting on Nov. 3 to approve the draft partial transfer agreement, adding that it was valuing the NewCo post-transfer at 2 billion euros ($2.23 billion). Areva said it will also convene a meeting with Areva bondholders on Sept. 19 to approve the proposed partial transfer of assets from AREVA SA to the NewCo and the simultaneous transfer of the bond debt. The company confirmed a planned capital increase of 5 billion euros, divided into 2 billion euros for AREVA and 3 billion euros for the NewCo, in line with financing requirements of the two companies. “Discussions with third party investors have progressed in recent weeks and several expressions of interest have been made,” it said. If the plans are approved by European regulators and implemented, France will hold at least two-third of NewCo’s capital either directly or through AREVA alongside third-party investors, while AREVA will hold a minority stake.
Reuters 30th Aug 2016 read more »
Police guarding the UK’s nuclear sites have revealed there have been 130 security breaches over the past five years – including a missing gun. The information was obtained by the BBC after a freedom of information request to the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. The force said other incidents included the keys to Hinkley Point power station being lost and confidential information being shared. It said it took security issues “extremely seriously”. Of the 130 breaches recorded, two were classed as high risk and two as medium risk. Low-risk incidents included the loss of electronic equipment and papers, and windows being left open. High-risk breaches include ; In July 2012 an unloaded handgun went missing from the National Shooting Centre in Surrey. It was reported to Surrey Police but the force could not identify whether it had been lost or stolen. In October 2012 confidential information was texted to an officer at Sellafield in Cumbria.
BBC 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Armed police officers who patrol the site could be made to work five years longer than other officers after losing the challenge yesterday. The Civil Nuclear Police Federation said that the change, due in April, would leave the Civil Nuclear Constabulary “out of step” with the vast majority of other officers. A hearing, which took place last week, asked for a declaration that the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) were “members of a police force” for the purposes of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and that their pension age must be 60 like most other officers. However, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies dismissed the claim. It was argued the operational demands on officers in other territorial forces were much more variable and there were likely to be posts they could move to if they did not meet the highest standards.
Whitehaven News 1st Sept 2016 read more »
This POSTnote describes the state of the plutonium stockpile, current plutonium policy and the options for managing the plutonium: indefinite storage, reuse in UK power plants, conversion to fuel to send overseas and disposal as waste. It then outlines the safety, security, economic and energy policy implications of these options.
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 1st Sept 2016 read more »
A BBC documentary claiming to lift the lid on the “shocking state” of safety at Sellafield will be broadcast next week. The episode of Panorama – Sellafield’s Nuclear Safety Failings – sees an investigative reporter “uncover the truth” about the nuclear site, says the BBC. Previewing Monday’s half-hour show described as a “special investigation into the shocking state of Britain’s most hazardous nuclear plant”, the BBC says: “With a high-level whistle-blower, hundreds of leaked documents and exclusive access to former senior managers, reporter Richard Bilton uncovers the truth about Sellafield. “He finds an ageing and run-down plant, where nuclear waste is stored in dangerous conditions and insiders fear a serious accident.” A spokesman for Sellafield Ltd said: “Since being approached in February 2016, Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have been co-operating with Panorama. As public bodies, we respond as openly and transparently as possible to public and media interest, whilst recognising that safety and security of the site remain the priority. Panorama: Sellafield’s Nuclear Safety Failings will be broadcast on BBC1 on Monday at 8.30pm.
Whitehaven News 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Energy Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, has praised Sellafield’s workers on her first visit to the nuclear power station today. The Minister saw the progress being made in the decommissioning programme during a tour with David Gauke MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The pair were shown three of the ‘big four’ historic waste facilities prioritised for clean-up by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, collectively known as the ‘legacy ponds and silos’.The visit came in the same week that Sellafield Ltd took a leap forward in the decommissioning of these historic waste stores – Pile Fuel Cladding Silo – following the arrival of six huge steel doors which will help unlock its radioactive contents.
ITV 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Airport roads to shut for nuclear waste flights to US.
Energy Voice 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Roads around Wick Airport will be regularly shut over the next 18 months so nuclear waste can be taken be flown to the US. Plans to transport highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Dounreay in Caithness to the US emerged late last year. Politicians and activists have condemned the move, warning that flying the material is excessively
Press & Journal 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Following successful loading operations, the vessel Pacific Grebe departed the UK on Thursday 1st September carrying five transport flasks of highly active waste bound for Japan. The ship will travel to Japan and arrive in the second half of October 2016.
RAAI 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Boulder, Colorado, announced Wednesday that it would commit to being powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, making it the 17th U.S. city to make such a pledge. The commitment only covers the city’s electricity — it does not cover sectors like transportation, which could still be powered by fossil fuels. Electricity generation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases in the United States, however, accounting for 30 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2014.
Renew Economy 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Climate Progress 1st Sept 2016 read more »
In 2014 Burlington, Vermont became the first city in the United States to run on 100% Renewable Energy. But how do they actually do it? What’s their secret?
The Good Stuff 21st July 2016 read more »
A new option for corporations interested in fueling their operations with clean energy is arising: community-scale solar. An insight brief from RMI’s Shine initiative, which aspires to aggressively accelerate the deployment of community-scale solar systems in the US, details the opportunities that community-scale solar offers. Corporations are entering the renewables market in force, and they will find much to like in the community-scale solar market segment.
One Off the Step 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Renewables – Hydro
The National Trust has been attacked for being “actively involved” in a hydroelectric scheme that could reduce the Conwy falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in north Wales, to a “trickle”. A vital component of the Â£12 million scheme, which is yet to receive approval because of concerns about its environmental impact, is on trust land at Betws y Coed in Snowdonia.
Times 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Letter Alan G Melville: I wonder if any MSPs understand what we would require to replace conventional power such as the recently closed Longannet power station’s 2.4 GW capacity. My rough calculations indicate that, due to the poor performance of wind, we would need to at least double Longannet’s capacity with wind farms to replace it with wind. To put that into perspective, 4.8GW of wind farms would cover around 480 square miles, or more simply, all of Fife. Given the unproven status of tidal turbines, and the long-noted hostility of the sea to machinery, it will be interesting, to say the least, to see the performance of this technology. I confess to being less than hopeful about yet another loudly-hailed new dawn. As to the WWF’s Lang Banks suggesting the Scotland might become a “fully renewable nation”, the unreliability of renewables and the monstrous subsidy regime they require ensure that this is nothing more than a pipedream. Clearly, such ideologues are more interested in virtue signalling than in providing the affordable reliable power upon which our economy and our very society depend.
Herald 2nd Sept 2016 read more »
Renewables – marine
A new international network between Scotland, N. Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has been launched to progress development of ocean energy around their coasts. Comprising three state bodies – the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Invest Northern Ireland and Scottish Enterprise – the new Ocean Power Innovation Network has held its inaugural meeting in Dublin.
Scottish Energy News 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
The government remains bullish about the future for solar PV deployment in the UK, despite the latest statistics indicating levels of new capacity coming online have dropped sharply since subsidy changes took effect in spring 2016. New statistics show more than a gigawatt of additional solar PV capacity was installed across the UK during the first six months of this year, roughly the same as the amount deployed during the second half of 2015. However, the figures published last week point to a flurry of capacity coming online in March 2016 just before the Renewables Obligation scheme closed to small-scale solar PV installations between 50kW and 5MW, and just before the final closure of the RO to grace period sites larger than 5MW. The government also brought in changes to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) regime in February, which saw incentive rates for small scale solar installations drop by as much as 63.5 per cent, on top of changes to FiT rates for other renewables and an overall cap on the government’s FiT spending through to 2018/19.
Business Green 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Energy-gobbling halogen spotlights will be phased out across Europe from Thursday, in a boost for super-efficient LEDs ahead of a wider halogen bulb ban in 2018. Directional halogen bulbs already in stores can still be sold after today but no new retailer orders will be possible for the spotlights, which can waste up to 10 times more energy than LEDs. First hit by the ban will be GU10 halogen spotlights and PAR30 halogen floodlights (big reflector lamps). Bulbs with an energy label rating of B or above, such as low-voltage halogen spotlights, will not be affected. Which? magazine last month advised its readers to switch to LEDs, which can cut lighting electricity bills by up to 90%, according to the cool products efficiency campaign. A 50W Osram halogen spotlight for a kitchen or bathroom currently retails at around £1.50 per bulb, considerably cheaper than a £4.99 high quality LED. But the halogen lights also fail so fast that eight are needed to match the lifetime of a single LED spotlight. LED spotlight prices have fallen by more than 80% in the last five years, according to the market experts, prompting Ikea to remove halogen bulbs from its stores last year.
Guardian 1st Sept 2016 read more »
Much has already been written on the dismay across large parts of the energy sector in response National Grid’s announcement that they are scrapping the Demand Side Balancing Reserve scheme (DSBR). This is such an important topic, however, that I make no apology in adding my own views. The UK has been a consistent thought leader on smart grid and smart energy solutions. There is a strong consensus across industry and government that developing the smart grid is not just beneficial but essential for ensuring a resilient, clean and lower cost energy network. SmartGridGB, the predecessor organisation to SmarterUK, published a series of reports that demonstrated this time and again. The first of those, Smart Grid: A Race Worth Winning? identified £19bn of direct cost savings, benefits to the supply chain of £13bn GVA, 8,000-9,000 additional jobs and £5bn in export value. The potential benefits in secondary industries dwarfs even these numbers, running into the high tens of billions. The report concluded there is a strong investment case for moving forward with smart grid development sooner rather than later. Of particular interest was the identified cost of inaction which could be considerable, perhaps as high as £126bn net present value (NPV) by 2050. The report also highlighted something that should not be in dispute – that dynamic Demand Side Response (DSR) is a core element of the smart grid, and is fundamental to the business case for the eye-wateringly expensive smart meter roll out programme. I would challenge anybody to come up with a coherent vision of the UK’s future energy system that does not include the smart grid; and to show a business case for the smart grid that does not place DSR front and centre. The benefits to the UK of developing a smart grid and an effective DSR capability are clear, but no one has pretended this will be easy. There are multiple challenges, and due to the highly regulated and prescriptive nature of the UK energy market this is not something that can be achieved by the private sector alone. Overcoming the challenges and enabling a DSR sector that can eventually stand on its feet alongside other industry players requires careful shepherding by the government, and by public and quasi-public bodies such as Ofgem – and I include in this National Grid.In a series of remarkable exchanges during our evidence session on 2 September 2014 the National Grid representative consistently failed to satisfy the committee over a number of concerns. He admitted that turning on a bank of diesel generators counted as DSR for the purposes of its demand side balancing reserve (DSBR) programme; could give no satisfactory answer why, following months of consideration, DSR companies were given just five weeks to bid into the process; and could not answer why the DSR sector was forbidden from taking part in the so-called Transitional Arrangements and bid into the enduring Capacity Market auction. This meant that the very arrangement which was billed as helping the DSR sector to ease into the process, actually had the effect of barring the DSR sector from more than 95 per cent of the available market.
Business Green 30th August 2016 read more »
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has joined forces with city leaders from around the world to call on governments to take urgent action on climate change. Ahead of a meeting of the G20 group of leading nations in Hangzhou, China, 30 mayors from cities including London, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, New York, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro called on national leaders to work with them to “build a low carbon, climate safe world”. Labour urges Theresa May to speed up Paris climate deal ratification. In an open letter, the mayors from the C40 group of cities championing climate action said: “To limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020. “Achieving such a rapid shift is probably one of the greatest political, economic and practical challenges faced by every national leader, but you do have great allies in this task: we, the mayors of the megacities of the world.” They said they were already dealing with the consequences of climate change in their cities, battling floods to heatwaves. But city leaders were also taking action such as banning the most polluting cars, rolling out fleets of electric buses and improving energy efficiency, which also had benefits for health, well-being and economic growth, they said. “For the major cities of the world it is already clear that the faster we move to a low carbon economy, the greater will be the improvement in urban citizens’ standards of living, and the stronger and more sustained will be the economic development that makes that possible.”
Guardian 2nd Sept 2016 read more »