The UK government should utilise pension scheme demand for infrastructure to help fund a new nuclear power plant in North Wales, according to the chief executive of the Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP). Mike Weston, who has led the PiP since its formation in 2014, said the government should consider a similar funding structure to that employed in 2015 when securing institutional backing for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a project to modernise London’s sewers. The site for the nuclear power station in Wylfa Newydd on the island of Anglesey is owned by Hitachi. The company is reportedly in talks with the Japanese government to secure funding for its construction, but Weston argued that it could be an ideal investment for UK pension funds.
Investment and Pensions Europe 20th Dec 2016 read more »
Regulation Matters – Special Edition: ONR Industry Conference.
ONR 20th Dec 2016 read more »
Scottish nuclear waste strategy gives few clues on disposal locations. Scotland’s latest HAW strategy unveils little new but confirms the government’s unwillingness to consider deep geological facilities.
ENDS 20th Dec 2016 read more »
INSIDE CHERNOBYL’S MEGA TOMB, BBC4, 9pm I WINCED at the silly title of this programme. It seems like it should be attached to something tacky on Channel 5, but this is a grim and fascinating documentary about the race to build a “tomb” to enclose the radioactive poison at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. It exploded in 1986 and threw radioactive material into the air. It created more radiation than 400 Hiroshima-sized bombs and was the world’s worst nuclear disaster. The site became “one of the most deadly places on earth” and Soviet firemen, soldiers and labourers made a superhuman effort to quell the fires and enclose the remains in a huge “sarcophagus”. However, this is now collapsing and so a new “mega tomb” must be built, and built quickly, to contain the poison. Not only are the team working amidst lethal radiation, they’re having to endure the bitter weather of Ukraine.
The National 21st Dec 2016 read more »
Fukushima’s $70billion cleanup leaves foreign firms in cold.
Energy Voice 21st Dec 2016 read more »
Cleaning up Fukushima – a task predicted to cost 86 times the amount earmarked for decommissioning Japan’s first commercial nuclear reactor – is the mother of all salvage jobs. Still foreign firms with decades of experience are seeing little of the spoils.
Economic Times 21st Dec 2016 read more »
Japan has scrapped plans to generate electricity at a multi-billion dollar experimental nuclear reactor, the government said Monday, giving up on the decades-old project due to spiralling costs. Once touted as a “dream reactor,” the Monju facility was designed to generate more fuel than it consumes via nuclear chain reaction, an attractive alternative in a country with few natural resources. But its complex fast breeder reactor technology has been plagued with problems that have left it idle for more than a decade. It has also been a financial black hole since construction began in 1986, given its initial 1 trillion yen ($8.5 billion) construction cost and daily operating costs of 50 million yen, even while shut down.
Daily Mail 19th Dec 2016 read more »
At least 375 billion yen ($3.2 billion) will be needed over 30 years to decommission the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, according to a government estimate revealed on Dec. 19. The mind-numbing estimate and time frame were announced by the government’s committee for fast reactor development. The committee’s proposed plan is to start decommissioning from 2017 and spend five and half years removing spent nuclear fuel from the problem-plagued reactor and complete the entire process in 2047. The government also met with Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa at the science and technology ministry building in Tokyo later the same day and passed on its intention to decommission the Monju reactor without a restart.
Asahi Shimbun 19th Dec 2016 read more »
Dangerous neighbors: German-Belgian nuclear agreement doesn’t fix problem. Can an agreement allay fears of a looming nuclear accident in Belgium? Two of its power stations, situated very close to Germany, are causing considerable alarm. Doel 3 and Tihange 2 are the names of the nuclear power stations that have got many people living along Germany’s border with Belgium very worried indeed. These reactor blocks belong to power stations that were first connected to the grid more than 40 years ago. Over the years, the reactor pressure vessels have sustained damage. Germany’s environment minister, Barbara Hendricks (SPD), gives a forthright response when asked about the two reactors. “We know that there are a lot of hairline cracks in the reactor pressure vessels,” she says. It sounds very alarming.
Deutsche Welle 20th Dec 2016 read more »
South African state-run power utility Eskom has put out a request for information from the market on recent nuclear power costs and financing options as it seeks to add more of the energy source to its grid, the company said on Tuesday. Eskom invited bids last week to build nuclear reactors in the government’s push to increase nuclear capacity despite the concerns of campaign groups and economists.
Reuters 20th Dec 2016 read more »
Premature retirement of US nuclear power plants could be a major threat to efforts to reduce carbon emissions in both the short and long terms, a new report by the Brattle Group has found. A white paper prepared by Brattle economists finds that the retirement of a 1000 MWe nuclear power plant could increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the range of 4.1 to 4.7 million tons per year. Preventing premature retirements is a cost-effective means of limiting carbon emissions and meeting climate policy goals, the report finds.
Worlds Nuclear 20th Dec 2016 read more »
A fascinating study was just released by Yale and George Mason Universities that involved a national survey of American opinions. What this survey found was astonishing. Almost 70% of registered voters in the U.S. believe that their country should participate in international agreements to limit global warming. Only 1 in 8 registered voters believe the U.S. should not participate in such agreements. Similarly, 70% of respondents support limits on carbon dioxide, the most important human-emitted heat trapping gas.
Guardian 20th Dec 2016 read more »
In 2015, for the first time, countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) invested more in renewable energy and added more renewable capacity than the 15 OECD countries combined. This is only a bit of symbolism — the lines have been converging for a while — but it is important symbolism.
Vox 19th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – wind
In a major milestone for the nation’s wind power industry, Britain’s first commercial wind farm celebrate its 25th anniversary today. Located in north Cornwall coast, Delabole wind farm first began generating renewable electricity in 1991, before being later bought by independent renewable energy company, Good Energy. Since 1991 – the same year in which the world wide web was launched – the wind farm has generated over 340GWh of renewable electricity, enough power to boil 3.4 billion kettles and cook more than 40 million Christmas turkeys.
Scottish Energy News 21st Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
A transformation is happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity. This has happened in isolated projects in the past: an especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Nuclear-News 19th Dec 2016 read more »
The solar industry is wary. US president-elect Donald Trump has picked climate sceptics and oil industry executives for key positions in his administration, promising to scrap President Obama’s clean power plan and withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Underlying these concerns is a gnawing fear that the rapid expansion of solar energy generation overseen by Obama could soon be undermined.
Guardian 21st Dec 2016 read more »
An independent review into energy efficiency and home renewable energy measures has called for greater consumer protection through a new framework and quality mark. The review sets out 27 recommendations to tackle consumer confidence in the energy efficiency marketplace, increase uptake and improve standards of installations. It identified that “despite the good intentions of the government” public demand for measures has not increased and “there have been too many instances of poor quality installations” by companies which “do not have the skills, quality levels or core values required to operate responsibly in this market”.
Edie 20h Dec 2016 read more »
Anti-fracking campaigners have lost their legal challenge to a decision to allow fracking to take place in North Yorkshire. Third Energy was granted planning permission to extract shale gas at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale in May. Friends of the Earth and residents had challenged North Yorkshire County Council’s decision in the High Court. Mrs Justice Lang ruled the council had acted lawfully. Campaigners said they were “devastated” by the decision.
BBC 20th Dec 2016 read more »
Barack Obama has permanently banned new oil and gas drilling in most US-owned waters in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, a last-ditch effort to lock in environmental protections before he hands over to Donald Trump. Obama used a 1953 law that allows presidents to block the sale of new offshore drilling and mining rights and makes it difficult for their successors to reverse the decision.
Guardian 20th Dec 2016 read more »
Independent 21st Dec 2016 read more »