A US-Japanese consortium has been created to build the £14bn Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant. Horizon Nuclear Power has today appointed Menter Newydd to help deliver the company’s lead nuclear new build project on Anglesey. Menter Newydd is a joint venture of Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, US giant Bechtel Management Company and Japanese firm JGC Corporation (UK) and will be responsible for the construction of Wylfa Newydd, overseen by Horizon Nuclear Power. The Menter Newydd partners have been involved in the delivery of more than 170 nuclear power stations around the world, as well as a huge array of complex infrastructure “mega-projects”.
Daily Post 20th May 2016 read more »
Hitachi has unveiled a construction consortium to build a £10bn nuclear power station in Wales “on time and on budget”, as a rival to the French-backed plans for Hinkley Point C. There are no British firms involved but among the partners of the Japanese firm are are Bechtel of the US, which has just brought a new atomic power plant online in America, but is better known here for work on the Channel tunnel and CrossRail. Hitachi has yet to reach agreement on financial subsidies from the UK government for the planned new plant at Wylfa, in Anglesey, and its reactor design is yet to be officially approved in this country.
Guardian 20th May 2016 read more »
The UK’s Horizon Nuclear Power has today appointed a joint venture responsible for construction of its Wylfa Newydd plant. The newly created company, Menter Newydd, is a joint venture of Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel Management Company and JGC Corporation (UK).
World Nuclear News 20th May 2016 read more »
Plans to build a nuclear power station in Wales have taken an “important” step forward with the announcement of a delivery team for the £10 billion project. Menter Newydd, meaning New Venture in Welsh, is a joint venture of Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel Management Company and JGC Corporation (UK) and will be responsible for the construction of Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey, overseen by Horizon Nuclear Power
ITV 20th May 2016 read more »
Utility Week 20th May 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 20th May 2016 read more »
The Green Party today accused the United Nations Economic and Social Council of ‘pulling punches’, following their finding that Britain has breached the Espoo convention, but failure to deliver a recommendation. UNESC found that Britain failed to notify neighbouring states and the general public of the threat of trans-boundary nuclear pollution from Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the event of a major accident or to provide a consultation process for the public. Commenting on the developments, Green Party Councillor and anti-nuclear campaigner Mark Dearey, said: “The recommendation that Britain now enter into discussion with neighbouring states to decide on ‘whether notification is useful at this stage’ is surprisingly weak as a definitive view would have been appropriate given the findings. “This has the appearance a pulled punch from the UNESC. “Nonetheless, Ireland now needs to take the opportunity to insist on a notification process so that we the public, can have our say on the potential threat posed by Hinkley. “I am sure An Taisce are weighing up their options following their defeat in the UK courts on the same issue last year, but there can be no doubt that this ruling adds significantly to their case should they wish to re-enter it.
Irish Green Party 9th May 2016 read more »
Mining Awareness 18th May 2016 read more »
Highland MP Paul Monaghan has referred the UK Government’s plan to transport nuclear waste from Dounreay to the United States to the European Commission. He has written to its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, claiming the arrangement contravenes the Euratom Treaty. Signed in 1957, it established the European Atomic Energy Community as a way of coordinating member states’ research programmes for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It also guarantees high safety standards and prevents nuclear materials intended principally for civilian use from being diverted to military purposes.
Energy Voice 20th May 2016 read more »
Blu-Tack has been used to take samples from inside the core of a nuclear reactor, saving thousands of pounds in developing a specialist tool. A team at Dounreay were faced with the challenge of retrieving small pieces of radioactive metal from inside the site’s Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR). They came up with placing a blob of the tacky substance on a 10m (32ft) rod which was inserted deep into the PFR. The metal sticks to the soft adhesive and can then be collected for analysis.
BBC 21st May 2016 read more »
In just one day 85% of 1268 Cumbrians said NO to the nightmare of new build while NuGen peddle their “sleeping beauty” fairy story. This poll is far larger than the responses to the first NuGen CONsultation and we suspect far more representative of Cumbria. Many Sellafield workers who oppose Moorside would be reluctant to take part in a CONsultation which requires the consultee to provide personal information. At the sleepy village of Beckermet yesterday Nugen peddled their “sleeping beauty” fairy tale. I spoke to some villagers who feel absolutely wretched and desperate but also unable to organise and make a stand against the nightmare which is already beginning on the flood plain of the river Ehen and out at sea with over 300 boreholes. There was no planning permission given or “necessary” for the boreholes which were given the ok by one delegated Copeland council official. The Moorside plan “needs” no proper independent scrutiny or planning inquiry – all it needs is a Development Consent Order from government and that is due in 2017. The people of Beckermet and surrounding villages must find the strength of will to fight this and say an unequivocal NO NO NO! If allowed to continue without waking up from this nightmare it will not end well for sleepy Cumbrian villages or for our neighbours.
Radiation Free Lakeland 20th May 2016 read more »
Plans for temporary accommodation to house nuclear workers have been slammed by Copeland’s mayor. Mike Starkie told a public meeting that he was “dead against” plans by NuGen to create three villages for construction workers building its Moorside nuclear power plant. The mayor added that the incoming workers, estimated to be in the region of 4,000 people, should be “integrated into the community” rather than living in the vast temporary villages, planned for Mirehouse, Corkickle and Egremont.
Whitehaven News 19th May 2016 read more »
A series of possible designs for the new Moorside nuclear development in Cumbria have been drawn up. NuGen invited designers from around the world to come up with ideas for what would become Europe’s biggest new nuclear power plant. Here are some of the schemes have been shortlisted for different parts of the nuclear development.
ITV 20th May 2016 read more »
Planned maintenance has been taking place on one of the two nuclear reactors at the Hunterston B nuclear power station in North Ayrshire. As part of routine inspections, engineers looked at the reactor’s graphite core which is made up of around 6,000 graphite bricks. This is the second graphite core inspection EDF Energy has carried out this year and follows an inspection of one of the reactors at Hinkley Point B in February. The inspection monitored the two graphite bricks which were found to have cracks during an inspection in October 2014. As expected, there has been no significant increase in the cracking of the two bricks. As the reactor continues to operate further cracks are expected to occur due to the ageing of the graphite. During this inspection we identified two additional cracked bricks as a result of keyway root cracking. This is in line with our expectations at this stage of the reactor life, there are no safety implications and it does not affect the operation of the reactor.
EDF Energy 19th May 2016 read more »
Routine inspections at Britain’s 500 megawatt Hunterston B nuclear reactor revealed no significant increase in cracking in parts of the graphite core, plant operator EDF Energy said. Two out of 6,000 graphite bricks were found to be cracked during an inspection in October 2014, though this is a normal part of the ageing process for nuclear reactors, the company said. “During this inspection we identified two additional cracked bricks as a result of keyway root cracking,” it said, adding that this was in line with expectations. It said that inspections on other stations found similar results in October 2014.
Reuters 20th May 2016 read more »
Levy Control Framework
Households will be paying £100 more for their annual bills within five years to fund four government policies designed to keep the lights on and support low-carbon electricity, according to a review. Independent consultancy Cornwall Energy said energy subsidies will have risen by 124% by 2020-21 due to the cost of the capacity market, renewable obligations, contracts for difference and feed-in tariff schemes. The cost estimates will anger Conservative backbenchers opposed to subsidising green energy, even if it is designed to play a key role in the fight against climate change. “While the future path of wholesale prices remains uncertain, policy costs are moving only in one direction,” said Jo Butlin, the managing director of Cornwall. “Our research shows a confluence of factors serving to push these costs up notably in the next couple of years, though important drivers that could yet change the outlook remain beyond anyone’s control.” Cornwall estimates that three of the renewable energy subsidies, excluding the capacity market energy security scheme, will have cost £7.7bn by 2020 – £100m more than the spending limit of the levy control framework.
Guardian 20th May 2016 read more »
A surge in solar and wind farms has helped drive down UK energy prices so much that power stations have started paying for some of their electricity to be taken off their hands. On one sunny Sunday this month, May 8, when overall power demand was low and there was a glut of electricity, generators paid more than £30 a megawatt hour as prices briefly went negative, according to the energy data company, Enappsys. On Boxing Day last year, when demand was also low and renewables supplied a third of the country’s electricity, generators paid £73 per MWh to Elexon, the body handling payments in the small but important “balancing” market that grid operators use to fine-tune power supplies. Although negative prices have only occurred sporadically for as little as half an hour at a time, they are expected to become more common as renewable generation grows, eventually feeding into the larger wholesale power market. “This is a phenomenon we’re just going to see more and more of as more and more subsidised renewable generation comes on to the network,” said Julian Leslie, head of electricity network development at National Grid, the UK’s main power transmission company. The UK has about 22 gigawatts of renewable generating capacity, according to National Grid. But demand for power on a weekend can drop to as low as 17GW, boosting the chance of surplus electricity on sunny, windy days.
FT 20th May 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The hope is that a new generation of giant offshore wind turbines can help developers meet the government’s goal of delivering offshore wind power at a cost of below £100/MWh. Tommerup is confident the new 8MW turbine can play a key role in helping to meet the target. “When we were established as a joint venture we wanted to reduce the cost of energy and we also wanted to bring competition to the market,” he says. “Bringing a new technology – not only a turbine of this size, but one that is specifically designed for offshore use – will be a big part of the journey to bringing down costs.” Turbines only make up between 30 per cent and 35 per cent of the cost of offshore wind power, but Tommerup is optimistic that by working with developers its 8MW turbine can meet the £100/MWh goal. “With this configuration we have today it is possible to reach the £100 target,” he says, adding that bringing the new turbine to market has already improved the efficiency by 30 per cent since 2012.
Business Green 20th May 2016 read more »
As specialists in designing extremely energy-efficient homes, at ACA we are often on the lookout for exciting new forms of energy-saving technology. Right on our doorstep in East Lothian, Sunamp design and produce non-toxic, compact Heat Batteries that can store heat from a variety of applications – including many renewable and low-carbon technologies. We’ve been quite intrigued by Sunamp as it has developed; it has emerged as a sensible option for Self Builders who want to get the most from their renewables. The Heat Batteries deliver heat and hot water on demand, and work with the likes of Photovoltaic (PV) panels. Earlier this year we put our questions to Sunamp’s Joan Pisanek, to find out a little bit more, and here’s what she had to tell us about the Sunamp Heat Batteries:
AC Architects 18th May 2016 read more »
Through the decades, the English countryside has been known to American audiences as the background for classic, beloved shows: Brideshead Revisited, All Creatures Great and Small, Downton Abbey. The casual Netflix viewer today is familiar with Britain’s brick villages, hedgerows, and quaint, narrow streets. Kirby Misperton (pop. 370) is such a village. It has been perched in the gently rolling hills of northeast England for, literally, a thousand years. “New” houses here were built before the United States fought a civil war. But over a stone-edged bridge, on the other side of a narrow roundabout, and across from a picturesque dairy farm, sits a cement pad that could forever alter the future of the village.
Climate Progress 20th May 2016 read more »