One of Scotland’s nuclear reactors had to be unexpectedly shut down on Christmas Day because of a faulty valve, its operator has said. In a letter to stakeholders yesterday, EDF Energy disclosed that reactor number 4 at the Hunterston B nuclear power station in North Ayrshire was taken offline just after 11am on 25 December “after an issue with a pneumatic valve when its air supply line failed”. “We decided to shut down the unit so we could carry out repairs and it was brought back into service on Sunday 28 December 2014 at 17.30,” said the station director, Colin Weir.
RobEdwards 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Sellafield procurement bosses have confirmed M + W Group has won the job to complete the unfinished waste store building project at the site with a £150m bid. A previous bid competition to deliver the Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store and Direct Import Facility was abandoned in 2013 after failing to attract sufficient interest. M+W Group, which is based in Stuttgart, will use local Cumbrian firm James Fisher & Sons as it civils contractor.
Construction Enquirer 20th Jan 2015 read more »
EDF Energy has today announced it is to extend the life of the Dungeness B nuclear power station by at least 10 years, offering low carbon electricity to around 1.5 million homes each year through to 2028. The company said the extension had been made possible by a £150m investment programme that included £8m to improve flood defences at the Kent site and a £75m upgrade to the control room computer systems. EDF said the upgrades were part of a programme to extend the lives of its eight UK nuclear power stations. It added that the case for investment in the upgrades had been supported by the launch of the government’s new capacity mechanism, which promises suppliers payments if they can commit to providing back up power to the grid at peak times.
Business Green 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Kent Messenger 21st Jan 2015 read more »
Process Engineer 20th Jan 2015 read more »
World Nuclear News 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Utility Week 20th Jan 2015 read more »
BBC 20th Jan 2015 read more »
EDF said all its AGRs would continue in operation until 2023, when Somerset’s Hinkley Point B station will be decommissioned. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson said there were signs Dungeness B was “already struggling to cope.” She pointed to an increase in the weight-loss limit for graphite bricks at the plant from 6.2 per cent to 8 per cent last year. “Last June an essential safety limit at the plant was modified as the bricks in the reactor were cracking and losing weight due to radiation,” she said. “Extending operations there for another 10 years will only make the situation worse. “Nuclear power is a dirty energy source with no future, and Britain should be investing in new forms of energy, not keeping old nuclear power stations open.”
Morning Star 21st Jan 2015 read more »
Decommissioning of Dungeness A is being broadcast live on the Magnox website as the turbine hall is knocked down. Demolition of the 26 metre high structure, which is the largest building to be demolished as part of the current phase of decommissioning, began this week.
Magnox Sites 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Engineer Babcock International has won an extension to its contract to service EDF Energy’s nuclear power stations in the UK. Babcock’s Cavendish Nuclear subsidiary will continue to provide fuel route and other services to the EDF fleet of advanced gas-cooled (AGR) reactor and pressurised water reactor stations, currently worth over £40m per year. Babcock said the agreements, which will be in place until the last of the AGR stations stop generating electricity in an estimated 16 years’ time, also create “the potential for growth through the provision of additional services”.
Share Cast 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Plans to erect more than 140 pylons connecting Hinkley Point to Avonmouth could be delayed by up to three years. National Grid wants to install overhead electricity lines from the new proposed nuclear power station, Hinkley C. The pylons were due to be installed by October 2019, if approved, but at the start of a six-month inquiry the date has been pushed back to October 2022. The Planning Inspectorate is due to make a recommendation on the plans to the Secretary of State in the summer. The National Grid plans were submitted in May 2014. A company spokesman previously said it had taken “five years of consultation”. It will see 30-miles of overhead wires carried on pylons and a five-mile section under the Mendips, connecting the station, near Bridgwater, Somerset, to the National Grid’s 400,000 volt substation at Avonmouth.
BBC 19th Jan 2015 read more »
A Dark Age cemetery with 100 burials, is part of the remarkable history of Hinkley Point brought to light by excavations ahead of power station construction.
Western Daily Press 19th Jan 2015 read more »
Tomorrow at 2pm Copeland Borough Council’s Development Control Committee will be discussing once again the one 30 metre wind turbine for Petersburgh Farm. Councillors went against the advice of their officers and turned it down on the grounds of wildlife, beauty, noise and the like. This contrasts with NO SCRUTINY for 100 boreholes up to 15o m in the same area, the decision to go ahead with the 100 boreholes was left to one Development Manager.
Radiation Free Lakeland 20th Jan 2015 read more »
In October 2014, plans for Britain’s new nuclear fleet moved forward with the European Commission approving arrangements between EDF Group and the government for the construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset. EDF plans also to build a twin EPR power station at Sizewell in Suffolk, and Hitachi-owned Horizon Energy is moving forward with its proposed Advanced Boiling Water Reactors at Oldbury and Wylfa. Looking much further forward, Canada’s Terrestrial Energy is collaborating with the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop its molten salt reactor to the engineering blueprint stage. By 2020 the UK will have lost a quarter of its electricity generating capability and new nuclear will be nowhere near ready to help fill the gap left by the closure of coal, gas, nuclear and oil facilities.
The Engineer 19th Jan 2015 read more »
New Reactor Types
Nuclear energy is suddenly fashionable — as new companies are looking to supplant the world’s large, uranium-fueled nuclear reactors with kinds that use different fuels and coolants or perhaps even replace fission with fusion. Two weeks ago, Martingale Inc. unveiled its plans for a molten-salt reactor. Last summer, LPP Fusion raised $180,000 on IndieGoGo to finance some of its research. And these two companies are competing with half a dozen other innovators — some with deep-pocketed backers. America’s reactor fleet, which provides about 20 percent of the country’s electricity, is aging. And while five reactors are now being built, four others have been shut down in the past few years, and a dozen more could be shuttered by the end of this decade. The only viable pathway for a domestic renaissance in nuclear energy is through construction of smaller, safer and drastically cheaper reactors.
Bloomberg 20th Jan 2015 read more »
A £1.5m support boost was unveiled today to help manufacturers enter, or expand, their presence in the growing nuclear sector. Fit For Nuclear (F4N), which was developed by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) and delivered with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), is offering grants of around £10,000 to Merseyside companies that want to meet industry standards and compete for work in the civil nuclear sector.
Liverpool Echo 21st Jan 2015 read more »
Yorkshire Post 21st Jan 2015 read more »
Express and Star 21st Jan 2015 read more »
Worcester News 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Stroud MP Neil Carmichael visited the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) in Stonehouse last week. NNL provides research, development and testing services to the nuclear industry. NNL has an office in Stonehouse and employs 1,000 staff across six sites in the UK. Mr Carmichael met members of staff and learned about the essential services that NNL provides to energy companies and the nuclear industry, with developing links to universities. Neil and directors Charles Potter and Adrian Bull discussed the future role of nuclear power in the UK, and the importance of raising the profile of careers in manufacturing and engineering including his initiatives such as FESTOMANE and Berkeley GREEN UTC.
Stroud Life 20th Jan 2015 read more »
A £1m project at Huddersfield University aims to provide the nuclear power industry with the data it needs to produce future reactors and radioactive waste storage facilities that remain safe and reliable. The University believes the three-year project will also help in addressing the UK’s shortage of nuclear scientists and engineers.
The Engineer 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Despite the fact that the EPR in Flamanville (Cotentin, France) has been under construction for seven years, French power utility EDF has yet to provide a satisfactory answer to some fundamental questions about nuclear safety. So much so that French official experts are calling a recent choice by EDF about the EPR’s safety “a step backwards”. Time is running out for the French utility, who has only a few months remaining to complete a demonstration of the safety of the EPR. Not only are the additional costs, delays and faulty workmanship of the EPR in Flamanville never-ending, but the very notion of the nuclear safety of the reactor is still a work in progress. Still, EDF touts the EPR as a nuclear reactor “equipped with a very high level of protection.” According to the designer and supplier of the EPR in Flamanville, Areva, it is “a reactor with an unparalleled level of security, extremely resistant to both internal and external risks.” Experts at the French official Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) paint another picture.
Le Journal de l’Energie 21st Jan 2015 read more »
The energy market in Germany’s saw a spectacular change last year as renewable energy became the major source of its electricity supply − leaving lignite, coal and nuclear behind. But researchers calculate that, allowing for the mild winter of 2014, the cut in fossil fuel use in energy production meant CO2 emissions fell by only 1%. Wind, solar, hydropower and biomass reached a new record, producing 27.3% (157bn kilowatt hours) of Germany’s total electricity and overtaking lignite (156bn kWh), according to AGEB, a joint association of energy companies and research institutes. This was an achievement that many energy experts could not have imagined just a few years ago.
Climate News Network 20th Jan 2015 read more »
A worker at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant died on Tuesday after falling into a water tank, the country’s nuclear operator said, the second fatal accident to blight efforts to stabilise the tsunami-battered facility. Separately on Tuesday, another worker died because of an incident at the nearby Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, which is located several miles south of the damaged plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) said.
Telegraph 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Guardian 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Russia said that it will assist Indonesia in developing nuclear power facilities aimed for development and peaceful use. ANTARA News agency cited Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Mikhail Galuzin as saying: “Russia has experience in managing nuclear. Therefore, if requested, we are ready to help develop nuclear power plants and nuclear energy in Indonesia.”
Energy Business Review 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Labour joined the Government to crush a call not to go ahead with the replacement of the Trident nuclear submarine fleet, at a claimed cost of more than £100 bn in the House of Commons tonight. The surprise move – Labour was expected originally to boycott the debate, which was called by the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Greens – gave the pro-Trident lobby a big margin of 364 to 37 when a vote was called. The anti-Trident call did win support from 19 Labour MPs (including just six representing Scottish constituencies), four Liberal Democrats and a Tory. plus independents and three Northern Irish MPs.
Newsnet Scotland 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Scaling back Britain’s nuclear deterrent would have a devastating impact on Plymouth where 25,000 jobs are reliant on Trident according to the Tory MP.
Plymouth Herald 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell and West of Scotland MSP Stuart McMillan have jointly called on Argyll and Bute Council to postpone a meeting to discuss a planning application to erect a Nuclear Support Hub (NSH) at Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde. The meeting of the Council’s Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee, is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday, January 21). Commenting on the hearing date for the planning application, Michael Russell said: “I am dismayed to hear from constituents who have received letters from Argyll and Bute Council dated January 14. Given that many of these letters did not arrive before the weekend, most people would have had two days’ notice of the meeting of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee of Argyll and Bute Council, which is due to discuss erection of a NSH at Faslane.
Buteman 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Would Labour support for Britain’s nuclear deterrent scupper a post-election deal with Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Greens? Plaid Cymru confirmed at the weekend that “in no circumstances would it prop up a government committed to wasting billions of pounds on a Cold War relic which could be better spent on health, education and transport to name but a few”. That seemed clear enough, although one could debate the meaning of “prop up”. Does that mean Plaid Cymru would not enter a “confidence and supply” arrangement with a minority Labour government unless it got rid of the Trident missile system? It is, as we say in this age of coalition politics, a non-negotiable “red line” in any talks after polling day? Would it scupper a deal?
BBC 20th Jan 2015 read more »
UK electricity demand hit its highest level this winter on Monday – while wind turbines generated their lowest output, official figures show. Cold weather saw UK demand hit 52.54 gigawatts (GW) between 5pm and 5.30pm, according to National Grid. At the same time, low wind speeds meant the UK’s wind turbines were producing just 573 megawatts of power, enough to meet only one per cent of demand – the lowest of any peak period this winter, Telegraph analysis of official data shows.
Telegraph 20th Jan 2015 read more »
It’s not been a good few days for the wind industry, one of the most highly subsidised parts of the UK economy. The cold weather means that the public is, naturally enough, consuming far more energy to keep warm. Electricity demand reached its highest level this winter on Monday, as my colleague Emily Gosden reports, and yet on that very same day wind turbines generated their lowest output of the season. It was an embarassing moment for an over-hyped industry.
Telegraph 20th Jan 2015 read more »
Labour was accused of trying to make fracking easier in the north of England than in the south last night as the party tried to counter the increasing electoral threat of the Greens. MPs are due to vote on changes to trespass laws that allow companies to drill for shale gas 300 or more metres below properties without householders’ permission. Labour wants the limit extended to 1,000 metres as it waits for more scientific evidence about the possible risks of fracking. Critics claim that this change would make the new technology all but impossible in areas such as the Weald, in Sussex, where shale reserves are relatively shallow, while allowing drills to be sunk in most of the deeper reserves in the north.
Times 21st Jan 2015 read more »