A Reminder: An outline for sustainable employment on Mon. For those who live on Ynys Môn, one of the most significant debates in recent years has focused on the need for employment on the island and the opportunities offered by the development of 2-3 new reactors at Wylfa. Over the last decade and more, so much emphasis has been placed on Wylfa B as “the way ahead” that, until recently, limited efforts have been made to look at other opportunities for economic development on the island. It is hardly surprising therefore that the public have little confidence that other options for employment are possible.
Stop Wylfa (accessed) 21st July 2016 read more »
The annual report and accounts of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority for the financial year 2015/16.
Civil Nuclear Police Authority 20th June 2016 read more »
Labour MP Jamie Reed thanks Theresa May for taking on Jeremy Corbyn over Trident. A Labour MP has used his question at Prime Minister’s Question to thank Theresa May for defending the Trident nuclear weapons system. Jamie Reed, a figure on the right wing of the Labour party and a vocal critic of Mr Corbyn, is a staunch backer of building more nuclear weapons after Trident expires. Addressing the Prime Minister at her first PMQs from the dispatch box, Mr Reed had warm words for the Tory leader.
Independent 20th July 2016 read more »
From a nondescript office block close to London’s Victoria station, EDF, the French utility company, has quietly built one of the world’s largest and most profitable commodity trading businesses. Over nearly two decades EDF Trading has made billions of euros of profit from trading coal, gas and electricity — markets in which it has grown to rival some of the industry’s biggest names including Glencore and Vitol. But now EDF, keen to promote its low-carbon credentials and strengthen its balance sheet, is looking to sell the trading division’s huge coal operation to a joint venture involving Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, two Japanese utilities. Rivals say the move raises questions about whether state-controlled EDF will retain the remainder of its trading business. With net debt of €37.4bn and negative cash flow, EDF is also scrambling to shore up its balance sheet. It has pledged to sell as much as €10bn of assets by 2020, as it prepares to start the expensive and contentious process of building a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in the UK.
FT 21st July 2016 read more »
On the 15th of July the County’s Development Control and Regulatory Committee took the “delegated decision” to approve a plan on behalf of Cumbria to stack shipping containers of nuclear wastes ever higher and then to cap them and walk away. Councillors at the meeting ignored our petition and reasoned arguments to Lock the Gate on Ever More Wastes going to Drigg and have ignored the dissenting voices opposing this plan. . In the absence of any media reporting that does more than merely parrot the industry’s press release since the decision (with the honourable exception of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking ) I have typed up the handwritten notes I took at the meeting….(any corrections welcomed).
Radiation Free Lakeland 20th June 2016 read more »
New board members appointed to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.
CoRWM 19th July 2016 read more »
EGREMONT-BASED firm James Fisher Nuclear has won a high value contract to help with the clean-up at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Whitehaven News 21st July 2016 read more »
Calm, mild weather hit ScottishPower profits in the first half of 2016 as output from the energy giant’s wind farms dropped by more than a quarter and households used less gas for heating. The UK division of Spain’s Iberdrola reported profits of £727m for the six months to June, down 8.4pc on the same period last year, on an EBITDA basis. The biggest drop came in the ScottishPower Renewables division, where profits fell 34.4pc to £116.6m, driven by a 26pc fall in wind power output. Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer, said the fall reflected the comparison with “extraordinarily high” levels of wind output seen in 2015, and output was only slightly below the level that would be expected in a normal year. Profits from ScottishPower’s retail gas and electricity division fell, primarily due to “milder weather conditions” as well as increases in green levies charged to energy bills.
Telegraph 2oth July 2016 read more »
One of the UK’s newest nuclear-powered submarines has docked in Gibraltar after a collision with a merchant vessel during a training exercise. The Royal Navy said it has launched an immediate investigation after HMS Ambush was involved in the “glancing collision” while submerged off the coast of the British territory. There is “some external damage” but no crew members were injured, it added. The Astute-class attack submarine’s nuclear reactor was undamaged. In a statement on the Ministry of Defence website, the Navy said the incident took place at approximately 13:30 local time on Tuesday.
BBC 21st July 2016 read more »
A Glasgow councillor who once fired a Trident missile said nuclear weapons are “despicable” and shouldn’t be renewed. Feargal Dalton, SNP councillor for Partick West, fired the missile on a test off the coast of Florida in 2009 and was prepared to do it for real if ordered. The councillor was in Westminster on Monday to hear the debate on renewing Trident to support his wife, Carol Monaghan, the SNP MP for Glasgow North West who voted against renewal with his full backing.
Glasgow Evening Times 20th July 2016 read more »
Medical and Legal Teams Testify to Violence Against French Nuclear Waste Dump Protestors-Ancient Forest Protectors: 5 People with Injuries and Open Wounds to the Head and Multiple Injuries to the Back and Limbs.
Mining Awareness 20th July 2016 read more »
French nuclear sector regulator ASN said on Tuesday it had suspended the test certificate for a steam generator at EDF’s 900-megawatt-Fessenheim 2 reactor over irregularities revealed by a quality audit.ASN launched an investigation after the audit by Areva at its Le Creusot site showed irregularities in the manufacturing tracking records of equipment for nuclear power plants. “The suspension follows the discovery of irregularities in the manufacture by Creusot Forge Areva,” ASN said in a statement, adding that it had been informed by EDF that power production at the reactor was halted on June 13 and is due to restart on Aug.29. Areva said in a separate statement that it had taken note of ASN’s decision and that technical analyses conducted have so far concluded that the irregularities did not affect operational safety.
Reuters 19th July 2016 read more »
A serviceability certificate for one of the three steam generators installed at unit 2 of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, currently offline for maintenance, has been suspended by the French nuclear safety regulator. A number of anomalies were discovered last month in the steel of the component’s lower shell. Last month, EDF informed the ASN that parts of some steam generators at 18 nuclear power units in France may have anomalies similar to those found in the steel of Flamanville EPR vessel. At Fessenheim 2 this includes the steam generator’s lower shells. Steam generators are heat exchangers between the water circulating in the primary circuit – at a temperature of about 350°C and a pressure of 155 bar – and the water in the secondary circuit that supplies steam to the turbines. There are three steam generators in 900 MWe pressurized water reactors, while the larger ones feature four.
World Nuclear News 20th July 2016 read more »
The European Commission has launched an investigation to determine whether the French government’s contribution of €4.0 billion ($4.4 billion) towards the financing of the restructuring of Areva meets EU rules on state aid.
World Nuclear News 20th July 2016 read more »
The Commission today presents a package of measures to accelerate the transition to low-carbon emissions in all sectors of the economy in Europe. The Commission is working to keep the EU competitive as the global social economic model changes following the impetus to move towards a modern and low-carbon economy set by the Paris Agreement on climate change. Today’s proposals set clear and fair guiding principles to Member States to prepare for the future and keep Europe competitive. This is part and parcel of the Energy Union and a forward-looking Climate Change policy.
EC 20th July 2016 read more »
Mark Johnston 20th July 2016 read more »
Key European Commission climate proposals published today, covering 60% of EU greenhouse gas emissions, do not adequately reflect the EU’s international Paris pledge to keep global warming well below 2 °C, and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 °C. Instead, the proposals introduce flexibility measures which would allow Member States to avoid taking necessary action. For example, Member States can transfer cheap carbon credits across from the Emissions Trading System and use carbon-absorbing forests to count towards their emissions reduction goal. “It seems baffling that the Commission can so quickly ignore the Paris Agreement and its temperature goals, especially since Climate Commissioner Arias Cañete has been openly endorsing 1.5°C as the temperature threshold to aim for.”
WWF 20th July 2016 read more »
As India seeks to ramp up its nuclear power generation with new plants, it may well draw upon its experience in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. With the Union government opting to have plants of all commercial designs in the market, Kudankulam holds valuable lessons on how to install and operate new nuclear power technology. Experts suggest that the first unit in any of the proposed sites should be run by the equipment supplier for a few years until Indian engineers learn the ropes.
Times of India 15th July 2016 read more »
NRA has instructed TEPCO to deal with the radioactive water in the reactor building basements at Fukushima Daiichi. The request included reducing the radioactive contamination in the water and also the volume. The addition of more holding tanks was included in the request. NRA appears to be concerned with contaminated water leaking out of the reactor buildings or being flushed out by a tsunami at the plant. Current ground water levels around the reactor buildings had trended downward but also appeared to be strongly influenced by the amounts of rain at a given time.
Fukushima Project 20th July 2016 read more »
The much-hyped ice wall at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has failed to stop groundwater from flowing in and mixing with highly radioactive water inside the wrecked reactor buildings, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. has admitted. Tepco officials also said at a meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Tokyo that it is not the utility’s ultimate goal to shut out groundwater with the ice wall, which has been built around the four damaged reactor buildings at the plant. Tuesday’s announcement was apparently the first time the utility publicly said it is technically incapable of blocking off groundwater with the frozen wall.
Japan Times 20th July 2016 read more »
“The duck has landed,” writes California-based energy expert Meredith Fowlie about renewables pushing demand for conventional power at midday below the overnight level. But what Californians call a technical limit is, in reality, a political one, as Craig Morris’s comparison with Germany reveals. Recently, I wrote about how California and Germany see the world differently when it comes to renewables. Simply put, Californians believe they have “excess” renewable electricity at a point where the Germans would say California hasn’t broken a sweat yet. Here we see what the Germans call the “residual load” and what Fowlie’s blog post at UC Berkeley’s Energy Institute calls the “net load” – peak demand for non-renewable electricity. In 2013, the level was around 22,000 MW at noon, but solar power production at midday is reducing that level to 14,000. Fowlie concludes that “renewables integration challenges (sic) are showing up more or less on schedule.” She says that “the duck’s growing belly highlights the near-term potential for ‘over-generation.’” She adds that “California is not alone in creating and confronting unprecedented renewable integration complications” but otherwise only refers to Hawaii. Wow, sounds like California is entering new territory with renewables!
Renew Economy 21st July 2016 read more »
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) recently started the process of shutting down the Diablo Canyon generation facility, the last active nuclear power plant in California. The power plant, located near Avila Beach on the central Californian coast, consists of two 1,100 megawatt (MW) reactors and produces 18,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity a year, about 8.5 percent of California’s electricity consumption in 2015. It has been, up until this point, the single largest electrical generation facility in the state. A number of significant unanswered questions remain about this ambitious energy policy, as the planned closing by 2025 of Diablo Canyon illustrates. Can utilities supply electricity around the clock using these alternative generation sources? And crucially, can energy storage technologies provide the power on demand that traditional generators have done? In order to meet customer electricity demand at all hours, energy storage technologies, alongside more renewable sources and increased energy efficiency, will be needed. There are many different energy storage technologies currently available or in the process of commercialization, but each falls into one of four basic categories: chemical storage as in batteries, kinetic storage such as flywheels, thermal storage and magnetic storage. California’s commitment to renewable energy sources has helped shift the state to using less fossil fuels and emitting less greenhouse gases. However, careful planning is needed to ensure that energy storage systems are installed to take over the baseline load duties currently held by natural gas and nuclear power, as renewables and energy efficiency may not be able to carry the burden.
The Conversation 20th July 2016 read more »
Absolute Solar and Wind has appointed Edinburgh-educated Graham Provest as its new Managing Director. He has been promoted to the post in the family-owned business after joining Absolute last year as sales and marketing director. Tom Newall, the previous Managing Director and son of Founding Director Mark Newall, continues in his role as a Director of Absolute with specific responsibility for key projects, building relationships and the expansion of the site and demonstration renewable energy developments at the company’s base at Gartocharn, near Loch Lomond. Since joining from the Mark Group last year, Provest has been responsible for increasing Absolute’s sales and marketing focus and for launching a number of new products that will save clients money on their energy bills whilst not being reliant on the government’s ever decreasing incentives. Over the past 10 years Absolute has worked with a range of customers who include AG Barr, Mackies and Scottish Water to deliver bespoke renewable energy systems.
Scottish Energy News 21st July 2016 read more »
Slurry from a Scots farm running an AD-power (anaerobic digestion) scheme has helped the developer scoop a UK industry award. Biogest was awarded the prize for “Best international micro-scale plant” for its Biogest Power Compact technology, specially designed for dairy farms, operating on 100% slurry at the Littleton Farm in Dumfries-shire. Power Compact biogas plants with an electric supply of 100–300 kW have certain advantages concerning plant operation, energy efficiency and operation safety. Currently, four Power Compact biogas plants – built and financed by Biogest – are in operation in the UK. They are operated by partners in the agricultural sector and supported by Biogest technically and with regard to biological issues. The biogas has 124 kW electrical capacity and is able to cover not only its own energy needs, but also to supply approximately 370 households with energy, by feeding in to the public net-work. Thermal energy is used for drying sawdust and woodchips. The plant is fuelled exclusively with slurry, which, after processing within the biogas plant, is available as high-quality ecologic fertilizer.
Scottish Energy News 21st July 2016 read more »
An innovative project involving the world’s third largest ice cream manufacturer, R&R Ice Cream, Iona Capital and resource management company, Veolia, is using ice cream by-product for biogas to power the National Grid. The by-product consisting of sugar, fat and protein, which is left behind after production line cleansing, is to be transformed into biomethane, a biogas. This will then go to the National Grid to heat UK homes, thanks to the nearby Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility funded by Iona Capital and operated by Veolia. The R&R factory, based in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, is the UK’s largest producer of own label ice cream as well as top brands such as Nestlé’s Fab, Rowntrees’ Fruit Pastille lollies, and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate sticks, and now what’s left over from the production of these sweet treats will help power local homes.
Renewable Energy Focus 20th July 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
A former energy minister has claimed “offshore wind in Scotland is pretty much dead” after a legal challenge against four major projects. A judge upheld RSPB Scotland’s challenge to consent for turbines in the Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay. Brian Wilson said the charity now “hold all the cards” over the schemes, which were to include hundreds of turbines. The Scottish government said it remained “committed” to renewable energy but wanted to study the ruling. And Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said Mr Wilson’s comments were “irresponsible, incorrect and ill-informed”. Former Labour MP and UK energy minister Mr Wilson, a longtime critic of the SNP’s energy policy, said the legal challenge was an “extremely serious setback”. He said: “On the face of it, offshore wind in Scotland is pretty much dead. The RSPB now hold all the cards. “They were forced into this comprehensive action because the Scottish government delayed consent and then clustered these four wind farms together, so the RSPB went to court on the basis of cumulative impact. “What they have to decide is if they want to kill all four schemes or prepare to take a more balanced view, but the ball is in the RSPB’s court without a doubt.” Minister for business, innovation and energy Mr Wheelhouse said the government remained “strongly committed” to offshore wind energy in Scotland. He added: “Brian Wilson’s comments about the future of offshore wind are, in my view, irresponsible, incorrect and ill-informed. The offshore wind energy sector has a very bright future in Scotland – not least in terms of existing and new projects; most notably with the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm which has reached financial close and is now being constructed using significant input from the Scottish supply chain. “The Scottish government, the RSPB and renewables developers all recognise the importance of decarbonising our electricity supply and have all made very clear, following Lord Stewart’s judgement, that we will work together to ensure delivery of more offshore wind energy projects.”
BBC 20th July 2016 read more »
Former Labour MP and Scottish Energy Minister Brian Wilson has declared the offshore wind industry in Scotland ‘pretty much dead’ after a legal appeal against four major developments was upheld at the Court of Session yesterday. RSPB Scotland raised the judicial review action against the Scottish Government for failing to fully consider the potentially adverse impact of the projects on bird life.
Scottish Energy News 20th July 2016 read more »
Scotsman 20th July 2016 read more »
A new project to design, build and operate combined heat and power (CHP)-based district heating networks is set to get underway in the UK.The project is a joint venture between renewables investment fund Low Carbon and Energy Networks Europe (ENE), a consortium that includes construction firm Urbis Living and CHP project developer First Generation Ltd. Low Carbon announced this week that it has now acquired a majority stake in ENE and the first project is set to begin as part of an urban regeneration project in co-ordination with Bristol City Council. Low Carbon said the project will involve building a replicable, scalable development and financing model for CHP-based district heating networks across the UK.
Decentralised Energy 19th July 2016 read more »
Google says it has cut its vast data centres’ energy use by 15% by applying artificial intelligence to manage them more efficiently than humans. The servers that power billions of web searches, streamed films and social media accounts are estimated to account for around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Google is believed to have one of the biggest fleets of them in the world. On Wednesday, Google said it had proved it could cut total energy use at its data centres by 15% by deploying machine learning from Deepmind, the British AI company it bought in 2014 for around £400m. Such centres require significant energy for cooling, as well as constant adjustments to air temperature, pressure and humidity, to run as efficiently as possible.
Guardian 20th July 2016 read more »
A new book analysing energy and environmental law and policy in Europe and the US features contributions by two Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) researchers who argue that reducing energy demand will prove more challenging than is commonly assumed and that current policy approaches are insufficient. They argue that a multidisciplinary approach that combines social and technical considerations and emphasises the need for wider changes to energy systems is needed to deliver the transformation required.
Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand 20th July 2016 read more »
Businesses could provide electricity equivalent to output of six new power stations by flexing demand and utilising better-enhance onsite generation projects, a new report from the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has claimed. The Flexibility on Demand report, released on Tuesday (19 July), has revealed that businesses venturing in to demand response initiatives could establish a 10-fold increase in revenue streams – having already gained £100m from the Government’s Capacity Market.The report notes that UK energy consumers would save £2.3bn by 2035 and that more business-led demand response initiatives would reduce demand on the electricity grid and lower national costs by £8.1bn by 2030 – more than £300 per household. ADE’s director Tim Rotheray said: “Keeping the lights on and our factories running is becoming increasingly challenging as the electricity market changes. We are building more wind and solar, which cannot always be depended on, and we are seeing our traditional large nuclear and coal power plants close down.
Edie 20th July 2016 read more »