Energy firm EdF has received its recommendation for planning approval for its proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. But despite reaching this key milestone by the end of 2012 as planned, EdF has still refused to commit to building the plant. It is to defer its final investment decision until the first quarter of next year although it had previously said it would make its final investment decision by the end of 2012 (NCE 18 November 2011). The Planning Inspectorate has passed on its recommendation to energy secretary Ed Davey that Hinkley Point C is granted a development consent order (DCO) following a three month review period. Its recommendation will not be made public until Davey either decides to uphold or dispute the decision. Davey has three months to decide whether to grant or refuse planning permission.
New Civil Engineer 19th Dec 2012 more »
THE influx of thousands of workers to build Wylfa B has sparked fears slum landlords could fill Anglesey with overcrowded bedsits. More than 6,000 workers are needed for the multi-billion pound nuclear project with biomass, a holiday park and National Grid schemes also expected to bring in vast construction teams. Up to 70% are expected to be accommodated in private housing which will inevitably put a huge strain on island accommodation which currently has just 2,391 private rental dwellings.
Daily Post 21st Dec 2012 more »
Nukes & Climate
Is nuclear necessary to save the climate? All in all, there is no simple answer to this question. If you believe strongly enough that we should phase out nuclear then with sufficiently strong political commitment around the world, this could be done consistently with tackling climate change. However, as a practical matter, we are far from being on course to limit carbon emissions to levels consistent with a 2C target. Ruling out one of the major low-carbon technology options currently available is bound to add to the difficulty and the risk of what is already looking like a very tough challenge. Balancing the problems of nuclear power against its contribution to climate mitigation (and other energy policy objectives) is an inescapable dilemma.
Guardian 21st Dec 2012 more »
Less than 3% of global energy supply: Nuclear power is too expensive & dirty & dangerous to help fighting climate change.
Energiewende Germany 21st Dec 2012 more »
A key comms player in EDF Energy’s Olympic and Paralympic work has been handed a new role as the company readies itself for the first new nuclear plant in a generation. Gareth Wynn has been given the new role of head of comms for EDF Energy’s Nuclear New Build project. His appointment comes as the energy company awaits the final backing from the Government on plans to build the first power stations in decades.
PR Week 21st Dec 2012 more »
GEORGE Osborne and other Tory Cabinet ministers are blocking the green policies advocated by David Cameron before the election, a leading environmental charity has claimed. The Chancellor is a “major source of the problem” and is taking an anti-business stance on renewable energy that could harm the party at the 2015 election, campaigners for the WWF alleged. The comments came as the wildlife and environment charity presented a giant Christmas card to Number 10 calling for the Prime Minister to tackle climate change and support renewable energy. The card, which was signed by more than 40,000 supporters and 25 charities and non-governmental organisations, features a photograph of Mr Cameron “hugging a husky” taken during a trip to the Arctic with WWF in 2006.
Herald 22nd Dec 2012 more »
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is considering a plan to allow radioactively-contaminated metal from nuclear weapons facilities to be “recycled.” This would allow this toxic metal to be mixed with clean recycled metal and enter into normal commerce—where it could be turned into anything from your next pants zipper to baby toys.We’ve fought this battle before. In the late 1980s, NRC adopted a policy it called “Below Regulatory Concern (BRC),” that would have allowed about 30% of the nation’s “low-level” radioactive waste to be treated as normal garbage and dumped in landfills, be burned in incinerators, and yes, be recycled into consumer products. According to the NRC’s own calculations, its BRC policy posed a 1 in 286 risk of fatal cancer over a person’s lifetime.
NIRS 21st Dec 2012 more »
Fukushima Crisis Update 18th to 20th Dec.
Greenpeace 21st Dec 2012 more »
Nuclear engineers have warned the Senate of the threats facing two US nuclear power facilities, which could result in enormous explosions or a Fukushima-like meltdown if natural phenomena or weather conditions cause the facilities to fail. ¬Senator Joe Lieberman is the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs, but will retire in 2013. Two nuclear engineers have asked him to spend his last days in Congress investigating the threats posed by two nuclear power facilities. Paul Blanch, a retired nuclear engineer who used to work at the Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan, N.Y., and Lawrence Criscione, a risk engineer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) headquarters, sent a letter to the senator, warning that a Fukushima-like meltdown is in America’s future if no action is taken to improve the facilities at Indian Point and Oconee.
RT 21st Dec 2012 more »
Swedish authorities have ordered the shutdown of a reactor at its largest nuclear power plant near Gothenburg following a seawater leak. The leak is the latest in a string of similar incidents that have plagued the Swedish nuclear industry. ¬”There is no safety problem” at Reactor 4 of the Ringhals plant, nuclear authority inspector Jan Gällsjo told the national TT news agency. However, the presence of saltwater in the pressurized water system is an irregularity that needs to be repaired.
RT 21st Dec 2012 more »
The Local 21st Dec 2012 more »
After energy minister Ed Davey pledged to fight rising household gas and electricity bills at Monday’s Fair Energy Summit, an interactive, online map has revealed the full nationwide scandal of fuel poverty. The map, put together by Turn2us, part of national charity Elizabeth Finn Care, was created by asking people their income and energy costs. More than 2,800 completed the map to build an alarming picture of a nation beset by fuel poverty. Over two-thirds of those who filled in their details are in fuel poverty.
Independent 21st Dec 2012 more »
Letter: Modern, combined cycle gas-fuelled generation can achieve a thermal efficiency of 56 to 60 per cent, which, allowing for production and transmission losses, results in a net conversion efficiency of about 50 per cent. Significant increases in overall efficiency can be achieved only when electricity generation is coupled with District Heating schemes, which utilise the exhaust heat from combustion to supply space and process heating. This will result in less electricity being needed, less fuel burnt and less pollution emitted. It is vital that new power stations are smaller integrated ones built close to and in conjunction with housing schemes and industrial estates.
Independent 22nd Dec 2012 more »
Electricity generated by onshore wind has gone up more than a third, according to the latest Government Statistics. The Department of Energy and Climate Change said that in the last quarter the amount of electricity generated by offshore wind increased by 54 per cent, while onshore wind went up by 38 per cent due to increased capacity. There are currently just over 4,000 turbines in the UK. Up to mid October this year 310 new turbines were built onshore and 309 offshore. However renewables still make up just under 12 per cent of supply.
Telegraph 20th Dec 2012 more »