One million cubic metres of waste near Sellafield are housed at a site that was a mistake, admits Environment Agency. Britain’s nuclear dump is virtually certain to be eroded by rising sea levels and to contaminate the Cumbrian coast with large amounts of radioactive waste, according to an internal document released by the Environment Agency (EA). The document suggests that in retrospect it was a mistake to site the Drigg Low-Level Waste Repository (LLWR) on the Cumbrian coast because of its vulnerability to flooding. “It is doubtful whether the location of the LLWR site would be chosen for a new facility for near-surface radioactive waste disposal if the choice were being made now,” it says.
Guardian 20th April 2014 read more »
Customers will be able to switch more quickly between electricity and gas companies under a deal to be announced within days. The “big six” energy firms have agreed to halve the average delay of five weeks faced by households who want to cut their bills by changing supplier.
Independent 20th April 2014 read more »
The Big Six energy supplier EDF is planning to axe 150 customer service jobs in Sunderland and across the South in a cost-cutting move that unions fear will lead to a wider redundancy programme. The job losses come just weeks after EDF’s rival SSE announced plans to chop 500 people from its workforce – a move that some critics believe stems from the possibility of an incoming Labour government and its stated policy of freezing energy bills.
Independent 21st April 2014 read more »
Two French companies are on the brink of completing a unique business double in Britain. EDF, the state-controlled power group, is already the biggest electricity producer and next year Total, the nation’s flagship oil company, will become the leading oil and gas producer in the UK sector of the North Sea.
Telegraph 20th April 2014 read more »
Japan suffered its largest-ever trade deficit last fiscal year, underlining a wrenching structural shift for an economy long renowned as an export powerhouse. Japan’s energy import bill has risen sharply in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. All of the country’s operable atomic reactors are offline pending safely reviews, robbing Japan of a power source that provided 30 per cent of its electricity before the disaster. Utilities have been forced to buy more foreign oil and gas to make up the difference, and a weaker yen has made each barrel that much pricier. National fuel imports jumped by 18 per cent by value last year, according to Monday’s trade data.
FT 21st April 2014 read more »
Iran and world powers will begin work drafting a long-term settlement of Iran’s disputed nuclear programme at expert-level talks in New York next month, the official state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.During the May 5-9 meeting, the P5+1 world powers and Iran will start “writing draft of comprehensive agreements which will be a complex and difficult work,” said senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi, according to IRNA.
Reuters 20th April 2014 read more »
Tehran’s heavy water reactor at Arak, one of the key issues in the talks, has been ‘virtually resolved’, according to vice-president.
Guardian 20th April 2014 read more »
ONE of Britain’s best known nuclear weapons protestors is heading to Wearside to give a powerful talk. Bruce Kent, former chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) will visit Sunderland Minster tomorrow as part of his No Faith in Trident Tour. Called Nuclear weapons spending in an age of austerity, the talk is the first that Bruce will have given in Sunderland.
Sunderland Echo 21st April 2014 read more »
Down an unmarked country lane in deepest Berkshire lies the nerve centre of National Grid — the operation responsible for keeping the lights on in Britain. The single-storey building bears no company logo, in order to avoid attracting attention. National Grid takes the threat to its security so seriously that it has even set up an identical back-up control room at a secret location nearby. Traditionally Easter had been a time when the company could relax, as the onset of summer led to falling demand. However, it is preparing to play its biggest role yet in coping with the twin challenges of increasing wind and solar power and a looming power crunch this winter.
Times 21st April 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Cooking using just the power of the Sun is not a new technology. Dozens of designs of solar cookers using mirrors and other shiny surfaces to concentrate the Sun’s rays are popular across the world, especially where electricity and wood for fires are in short supply. Many thousands are in use in Africa, and they are very popular for large-scale communal cooking in China. They can be designed for boiling water, cooking stews, frying and baking. But one problem is how to keep ovens hot enough, long enough, to cook such staples as bread, and how to maintain the temperature when the Sun goes in or at night. Now an Ethiopian student working with colleagues in Norway thinks he has solved the problem. Instead of cooking the food directly with the Sun’s rays, his design concentrates the heat on a container holding a mixture of salts.
Climate News Network 20th April 2014 read more »
Road casualties in areas where street lights have been turned off have risen by 20 per cent in four years, raising fears that cost-cutting and carbon emissions targets are claiming lives. Research by The Times has found that 324 more people were killed or seriously injured in crashes at night on roads where street lights were unlit in 2011-12 than in 2009-10.
Times 20th April 2014 read more »