Two reactors at Heysham 1 nuclear power station were shut down after an electrical fault in a gas turbine set off a sprinkler system on Thursday. Firefighters were called at 22:27 BST and four crews were sent to the scene from Lancaster, Bispham and Fulwood. EDF Energy, which operates the plant, said it had been shut down as a precaution.
BBC 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
Lancaster Guardian 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
Lib Dem activists will be invited at the conference to vote against new nuclear power, in a development that could alarm energy companies. The grassroots will be able to vote either against nuclear entirely, or for it, as long as there is not “any public subsidy for new-build”. Talks between the energy department, run by Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey, and French power giant EDF about a new nuclear plant involve a “contract for difference”. This would give the company a guaranteed price for decades – a subsidy in all but name.
FT 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
Owen Paterson’s much publicised prospect of what appears to be a contrived attack on the ‘rural economic’ impacts (on house prices one presumes) of onshore windfarms is most likely to feature a big cover-up of the impacts of shale gas extraction on rural economies (and house prices!). DEFRA has commissioned a report on the subject of the impact of energy activities on rural economies (ie constituencies that are largely held by the Tories and subject to loss of votes to UKIP). The simple fact is that there is no data on the impact of shale gas extraction on rural economies in the UK since, as yet, there is no shale gas extraction! Therefore DEFRA will be able to commission research on rural impacts of shale gas extraction safe in the knowledge that no impacts for shale gas will be discovered and that it can interpret the future for shale gas extraction as being wonderfully rosy.
Dave Toke’s Blog 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
The French energy bill, which is expected to be put before the national assembly this autumn, will not contain a plan for the dismantlement of nuclear units, in addition to the Fessenheim plant. The energy bill will not contain a schedule for the closure and dismantlement of nuclear units, nor will it contain a list of units that are earmarked for closure, energy minister Philippe Martin said. The bill will include more general measures defining the legal framework that will enable the government to meet its energy goals, including a better mix of sources of energy supply, Martin said. With no firm plans for closures, the role of nuclear power generation in France in 2017 and beyond remains unclear. The government is still firmly committed to the closure of the Fessenheim plant before the end of 2016 and expects state-controlled French utility EdF to cooperate with the closure, the minister said. EdF, which operates all 58 French nuclear units, has said it will contest the closure in order to safeguard shareholder interests.
Argus Media 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
Shinzo Abe, beginning a five-day trip to the Middle East, was not there in person to see Friday’s protest. But the prime minister is acutely aware of the tensions between economic need and civil unease that elections have done little to resolve. Mr Abe’s Liberal Democrats – the only party not calling for the elimination of nuclear power – comfortably won last month’s contest for control of the upper house of parliament. But turnout was low, as it was in December for the lower-house election that put the LDP in charge. Opinion polls show significant shares of Japanese opposed to restarting the 50 reactors shut down in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, all but two of which remain idled. A survey this month by state broadcaster NHK found only 24 per cent of Japanese were in favour of restarting nuclear plants.
FT 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
Radiation levels in Tokyo are no different from those of other major world cities and the worsening crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant should have no impact on the city’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo’s governor said on Friday.
Trust 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
Fukushima Crisis Update 20th to 22nd August. In its most serious move since the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has declared TEPCO’s radioactive water crisis a level 3 (“serious incident”) on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). The rating is contingent upon review by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The NRA made its decision after TEPCO announced on August 19 that 300 tons of highly radioactive water was leaking from a storage tank near reactor #4, and that the water had probably flowed directly into the Pacific Ocean.
Greenpeace 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
THE operator of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant was careless in monitoring tanks storing dangerously radioactive water, the country’s nuclear regulator said, the latest development in a crisis no-one seems to know how to contain. Tokyo Electric Power Company also failed to keep records of inspections of the tanks, Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa said after a visit to the nearby Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
Herald 24th Aug 2013 read more »
Morning Star 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
The operator of Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear power plant sounded the alarm on the gravity of the deepening crisis of containment at the coastal site on Friday, saying that there are more than 200,000 tons of radioactive water in makeshift tanks vulnerable to leaks, with no reliable way to check on them or anywhere to transfer the water.
New York Times 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
Despite all-out efforts and international cooperation, Fukushima, which scared Germany right out of the nuclear power business, still isn’t under control. Proponents of nuclear power promise new and safer technology, but these discussions are filled with “coulds”; no such plants exist. Nor would they reduce the risks of proliferation. (Oh, that little thing.)
New York Times 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
New signs are emerging that international sanctions are taking a deepening toll on Iran’s economy – putting billions of dollars in oil money out of the government’s reach.
Independent 23rd Aug 2013 read more »
The Lithuanian government has made known its deep concerns about Belarus’s nuclear power project near Ostroverts, close to the two countries’ borders and is demanding work be halted at the site until safety issues are addressed. Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius says Belarus’s first nuclear power plant should not commence development until it proves the project complies with international treaties and nuclear safety standards.
Power Engineering International 21st Aug 2013 read more »
Labour could turn opposition to the billion pound Trident replacement into an electoral asset, but instead appears to be sleepwalking to oblivion. Rebecca Johnson makes the case for challenging Trident replacement, and says it’s time to mobilise civil society.
Open Democracy 23rd Aug 2013 read more »