Plans to build a nuclear waste plant on Romney Marsh have been rejected. Members of Shepway Council in Kent voted 21 to 13 against formally expressing interest in the government’s facility for the geological disposal of nuclear waste. Last week 63% of residents surveyed rejected the scheme, fearing it would contaminate the ground for centuries.
BBC 20th Sept 2012 more >>
Malcolm Grimston: Before the recession it all looked quite clear11 sites, subsequently reduced to eight, had been identified for new nuclear plants. The assumption was that all active nuclear stations, amounting to some 10,000MW, would be replaced by 2025. There was every prospect of further expansion after that. In the late 1990s, 30 per cent of the UKs electricity came from nuclearto return to that level would have required the construction of some 21,000MW of new capacity by 2030, representing around 13 reactors. At about £5bn a throw that was a lot of investment, and three consortia were vying for the contracts. On the surface, government policy has not changedit is still as confused as ever. In a single interview in June, Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, made two incompatible statements: Britain could survive without nuclear power, and Nuclear power is an essential part of the countrys energy mix.
Prospect 19th Sept 2012 more >>
Reactor 1 at Britain’s Wylfa nuclear power plant went offline on Wednesday after an electrical fault on a piece of non-nuclear equipment, operator Magnox said. “Wylfa’s reactor one was taken off line today, following an electrical fault on a piece of conventional plant,” a spokesman said, adding the reactor would resume power generation “in the short term.” The reactor has a maximum capacity of 310 megawatts and was recently granted a licence to continue operating until September 2014.
Reuters 19th Sept 2012 more >>
On Wednesday 26 September, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) will be holding a forum for communities neighbouring Hinkley A and B to hear from inspectors with responsibility for regulating safety and security at the existing nuclear power plants, and for the proposed Hinkley Point C site. The forum will take place at The Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, TA6 4RR.
ONR 10th August 2012 more >>
A report on incidents and accidents during the transport of radioactive material last year has been published. Produced by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and commissioned by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the 2011 review into Radiological Consequences Resulting from Accidents and Incidents Involving the Transport of Radioactive Materials in the UK’ helps ONR to assess the radiological impact from incidents over the course of a year.
ONR 31st Aug 2012 more >>
Put yourselves in the shoes of a senior executive at an energy company or investment bank. You want to invest in new energy infrastructure and have plans in place to do so, but each time you try to move these complex projects forward the policies and regulations that will determine their success or failure threaten to change again. Or envisage yourself as a senior executive at any forward-thinking UK firm. You want to step up investment in renewable energy generation and efficiency projects in order to meet your environmental targets and reduce your long-term operating costs, and yet every time you meet with your finance director or CEO the papers are filled with talk of government dithering on the green agenda.
Business Green 13th Sept 2012 more >>
Swedish utility Vattenfall has announced a reorganization of its business structure, with a focus on nuclear and renewable energy. The creation of a dedicated business division will give nuclear “the special focus it requires.”
World Nuclear News 19th Oct 2012 more >>
The market niche that nuclear power once held is disappearing. The key nuclear indicatorsincluding the number of operating reactors, installed capacity, power generation, and share of total electricity generationall show that the global nuclear industry is in decline. In 2012, nuclear powers competitorsmost notably, wind and solar generationare rapidly gaining market share as long lead times, construction delays, cost overruns, and safety concerns have combined to make nuclear power a risky investment that the markets are increasingly unwilling to make. To renew the aging world nuclear fleet, nuclear utilities would need to surmount a number of major problems, including a short-term manufacturing bottleneck, a shortage of skilled workers, regulatory uncertainty, a skeptical financial sector, and negative public opinion. The aftermath of the Fukushima disaster and the world economic crisis have only exacerbated these problems. The authors write that a realistic scenario that leads to an increase in nuclears share of the worlds electricity is hard to imagine.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Sept/Oct 2012 more >>
Japan’s determination to phase out nuclear power before 2040 looks less certain after the cabinet offered only qualified endorsement of the new long-term energy strategy. In a resolution adopted on Wednesday, ministers said the plan announced last week by the government’s National Policy Unit should be implemented “flexibly” and subject to “constant verification and revision”. The resolution made no mention of the timetable for eliminating nuclear power, an omission that both supporters and opponents of atomic energy interpreted as a sign that the government was backtracking in the face of opposition from business groups.
FT 19th Sept 2012 more >>
Guardian 19th Sept 2012 more >>
Morning Star 19th Sept 2012 more >>
World Nuclear News 19t Sept 2012 more >>
BBC 19th Sept 2012 more >>
Business Green 20th Sept 2012 more >>
Japan’s long-troubled nuclear fuel reprocessing facility will complete its testing phase next year, the plant’s operator said Wednesday, readying for a start-up despite the government’s pledge to abandon the nuclear power plants that would use the fuel it produces. Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., an electric power industry-financed consortium that operates the reprocessing facility, said it would finish construction and testing by October 2013 of its problem-plagued process for encasing high-level waste in glass canisters.
Wall St Journal 19th Sept 2012 more >>
Last weeks announcement by the Japanese government that the country wants to abandon its dependency on nuclear power and become nuclear-free sends a strong message to the government of South Korea. However, ignoring the momentous news from Japan, South Koreas Ministry of Knowledge and Economy (MKE) has in the last few days named the potential construction sites for new nuclear reactors. If the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and specific geological tests are approved, the new reactors will be built.
This confirms that the government is still hell-bent on chasing their nuclear expansion plans rather than listening to the calls from their citizens to go nuclear free.
Greenpeace International 19th Sept 2012 more >>
Iran’s nuclear chief has claimed the country’s nuclear programme has been hit by two attempts of sabotage as sources claim the attacks could be linked to the U.S. military. Irans vice president and the chief of its nuclear-energy agency Fereydoun Abbasi claimed power lines between the holy city of Qom and the underground Fordow nuclear centrifuge facility and others leading to Irans Natanz facilities were blown up with explosives in August. He alleges that ‘terrorists and saboteurs’ might have infiltrated the International Atomic Energy Agency in an effort to derail his nation’s atomic program.
Daily Mail 20th Sept 2012 more >>
THOUSANDS OF homes and offices in Fife could see their energy bills slashed if they were warmed with flood water pumped from long-abandoned coal mines. That is the view of the British Geological Survey (BGS), who said utilising the heat energy in water trapped underground would be feasible if geologists surveyed the vast network of old mine shafts. It follows a similar project in Glasgow where old mine workings have been mapped to help developers identify pools of warm, subterranean water. At the British Science Festival in Aberdeen a fortnight ago, scientists unveiled 3D maps that showed groundwater could be tapped from a flooded network of disused coal mines under Glasgow. Rather than circulating the water through new, dedicated bore holes to draw out heat from surrounding rocks, heat could be extracted directly from water in the mine system. The groundwater wou ld be cooled, depositing the heat extracted from it at the surface, before being returned underground. Already demonstrated in a housing project, the new survey – produced with Glasgow City Council – shows where the heating technique could be used.
Dundee Courier (Not Online) 20th Sept 2012 more >>
The UK government could do better at its efforts to green the countrys built environment, says the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC). In a report card issued this week to mark World Green Building Week, the UK-GBC grades the government on its key policies to improve the energy efficiency of existing and new buildings and address planning issues. The government gets one of its best marks, a B minus, for its flagship Green Deal initiative, which aims to help homeowners with the upfront costs of energy efficiency by providing low-cost loans that can be repaid through energy bill savings. But despite the huge promise of the scheme, urgent improvements to the plans are needed to ensure that it realises its potential, says the UK-GBC. The government fares less well on its policies to cut energy use in existing commercial buildings. A grade C reflects some good work, says the report card, but overall the results disappointing, particularly on the failure to rollout Display Energy Certificates to all commercial properties. From there its downhill, with the governments efforts to improve the planning system, including poorly thought through plans on home extensions, meriting only a C minus. Even worse, though, is the governments scaling back of the previous administrations zero carbon new homes initiative. The Coalitions lack of ambition and failure to pin down a definitive definition of zero carbon nets the government an E minus from the UK-GBC. In so many policy areas, good ideas or grand ambitions are being undermined by half-baked policies or contradictory messages, says Paul King, CEO of the UK-GBC. Judging by our Report Card, the Government has slipped behind with its homework [and] there is clearly plenty of room for improvement all round.
Energy Efficiency News 19th Sept 2012 more >>