Horizon & NuGen
Japan and the UK will expand their existing collaboration in civil nuclear activities – including decommissioning, research and development, and nuclear new build – through a memorandum of cooperation signed yesterday in Tokyo. The document states, “Both sides reaffirm to each other their desire to increase commercial and research collaboration, and to develop their strategic partnership in this field, which both sides recognise as of important mutual benefit.”The memorandum covers cooperation on decommissioning and decontamination, research and development, and global safety and security practices. In a statement, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said, “The UK is a world leader in nuclear decommissioning and waste management, and closer collaboration with Japan will deliver real benefits for both countries in ensuring a sustainable future for nuclear power.” The agreement also covers nuclear new build. It notes that two Japan-led consortia – Horizon and NuGen – are developing proposals to construct new nuclear power projects in the UK. “Horizon’s proposed project on Anglesey and NuGen’s proposed project in Cumbria could create up to 20,000 jobs in the UK and provide close to 15% of the UK’s electricity needs,” BEIS noted. “It is also estimated that they would bring around £20 billion ($25 billion) worth of contracts to the UK’s supply chain companies.”
World Nuclear News 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
What’s in store for Bridgwater? Sedgemoor District Council leader Cllr Duncan McGinty looks ahead to 2017. It has been a busy year for Sedgemoor overall, not only in terms of sustaining the momentum of the last few years in terms of jobs and growth, but also preparing the ground for opportunities to come. Key to this was final go-ahead for Hinkley Point C, ending years of speculation over the development and firing a starting gun on what will eventually be Europe’s largest construction project. There are new jobs being advertised daily and new contracts being awarded to local companies. While it’s not without its challenges, the development at Hinkley Point C offers real opportunities for local people and businesses to get involved. However, Hinkley isn’t the only thing that has happened in Sedgemoor this year.
This is the West Country 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
Stop Moorside Slide Show Advent Calendar for 2016. The images in the slide show are just some of the increasingly rare wildlife to be found on this 1400 acre greenfield site north of Sellafield bought by the public purse and now being stolen away by insane nuclear multinationals. The stolen land includes the floodplain of the river Ehen, ancient woodland and miles of ancient hedgerows. The land should be given back to Cumbria – hasn’t this soil, this river, this floodplain, this sea, suffered enough?
Radiation Free Lakeland 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
The Labour Party should be careful in following Jamie Reed’s local campaigning strategy if they want to retain the Copeland seat in Cumbria containing Sellafield, the giant nuclear waste plant, following his imminent resignation. Despite proclaiming to represent the local nuclear interest in Parliament, his majority has dwindled from 6320 when first elected eleven years ago to 2564 in the 2015 General Election. As Copeland’s MP he has been a robust propagandist for Sellafield and the driving force behinds the plans by NuGeneration (NuGen) to develop a new nuclear power station on its Moorside site directly adjacent to Sellafield. But backing Moorside is very politically problematic. For far too long, the people of Cumbria’s prosperity has been far too dependent on all their economic growth being dependent on nuclear: the Sellafield waste complex and nearby Drigg nuclear waste surface storage site. As local campaign group, Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE) recently argued: “NuGen’s less than subtle ploy to boost its case for infrastructure improvements by lumping together Moorside and Sellafield decommissioning, local communities will not fool long suffering local Copeland voters who know to their frustration that pleas to improve West Cumbria’s chronic road and rail infrastructure have fallen on deaf Government and nuclear industry ears for decades.”
David Lowry’s Blog 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
Tom Greatrex: The political masters of Holyrood have a contradictory stance on power generation. I am never quite clear why the government department that is now BEIS publish the latest breakdown of how power was generated to the grid a few days before Christmas, but it does mean there is less attention than there should be on what those changes show us. For those concerned to see the Holyrood climate targets being met, and who understand the need to effectively decarbonise electricity if we are going to get anywhere close, then there is a lot to be positive about – with the amount of power produced by low carbon sources in Scotland breaking through the 75% barrier in 2015. A combination of established hydro schemes (11%), intermittent renewables (mostly wind) (31%) and baseload nuclear (35%) put Scotland well ahead of the UK overall (but getting through 50% for the third quarter of 2016 across the UK is a good measure too). When we have such variability as was demonstrated in the first fortnight in December between record high and next to no wind power generated, then that requires baseload power to both keep the grid functioning and offset that intermittency effect. Fortunately, we have two reliable nuclear power stations doing just that. While on one day in four, when wind is scarce, power flows from south of the border to north through the grid, it makes little sense to further entrench that imbalance in Scotland’s generation mix. The problem is, of course, that with almost no thermal generation left, and those two low carbon baseload power stations coming towards retiral dates even after lifetime extensions in the years ahead, there is a looming issue to address. However, long after current and former First Ministers have been and gone, the implications of their forthcoming decisions on energy will be felt. When there is seemingly an instincive attraction to the nonsensical position of simultaneously increasing renewable capacity but at the same time failing to reduce the carbon intensity of the power produced, as in Germany, then it is impossible to draw any other conclusion than justifying that prejudice is more important than decarbonising the power supply.
Energy Voice 24th Dec 2016 read more »
The United Nations General Assembly today approved a historic resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The vote follows a decision on 27 October by the General Assembly’s First Committee – which deals with disarmament and international security matters – to begin work on the new treaty despite fervent opposition from some nuclear-armed nations.
ICAN 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
Good, and not so good: “With Monju’s shutdown, Japan’s taxpayers are now left with an estimated bill of at least 375 billion yen ($3.2 billion) to decommission its reactor, on top of the 1 trillion yen ($8.5 billion) spent on the project. Japan is still committed to trying to make the technology work and will build a new experimental research reactor at Monju, the government said. “We need to terminate the impossible dream of the nuclear fuel cycle. The fast breeder reactor is not going to be commercially viable. We know it. We all know it,” senior LDP lawmaker Taro Kono said recently at a Reuters Breakingviews event in Tokyo.”
Fukushima 311 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
The “decommissiong czar” overseeing the complicated $4.4 billion teardown of the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be a couple of czars – Los Angeles-based AECOM and Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions, Southern California Edison announced Tuesday. The news was greeted with sneers from some activists, who oppose leaving millions of pounds of spent fuel in dry storage on-site for what could be many decades. “It’s basically a ‘look at the shiny object’ hoax,” said Ace Hoffman of Carlsbad. “The real concern is not this,” Hoffman added. “It’s the 3.6 million pounds of extremely toxic spent nuclear fuel which is going into inadequate containers to be stored indefinitely on our beaches in an earthquake and tsunami zone, under several major air traffic routes, near a busy highway, vulnerable to terrorism and accidents, and not able to be inspected.”
Orange County Register 20th Dec 2016 read more »
A Maryland-based anti-nuclear advocacy group is calling for the immediate shutdown of 19 reactors around the country, including Unit 2 at the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, until federal inspectors verify the safety of some key components. Beyond Nuclear announced Thursday that it is preparing to submit an emergency enforcement petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission demanding shutdowns of 19 reactors at 11 sites that have potentially defective parts made by AREVA, a French company. Flaws found in the manufacturing processes at AREVA’s Le Creusot Forge have prompted the shutdown of 20 plants with AREVA components in France, but the NRC has thus far not taken any action at U.S. plants with AREVA parts, said Paul Gunter, director of the reactor oversight project for Beyond Nuclear.
The Day 22nd Dec 2016 read more »
Today, the government is to give an approval to provide 313 million CZK (259 million without VAT) from the nuclear account for state enterprise DIAMO without any public tender to ensure the operation of the Underground Research Laboratory (URL) Bukov until 2019. Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) commissioned the URL Bukov to be build in finishing underground uranium mines in Dolní Rožínka, where URL Bukov ought to serve for geological works associated with the siting process for a deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel. However, until this day there have not been developed and presented the results of technical-economic study of the suitability of this site for research program for a deep repository in URL Bukov, which should have been completed in 2016 with the ultimate standpoint of the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SONS) pursuant to Governmental Resolution no. 50/2016. In 2015, SONS himself questioned the investment in the URL Bukov. Draft project solutions for URL Bukov, including the necessary technical background, should also only be processed as part of a controversial project called “Research support for project solution for a deep repository”, which is supposed to be provided for RAWRA by the Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT).
Nuclear Heritage 19th Dec 2016 read more »
Hungary’s €12 billion plan to build two new nuclear reactors could push the country’s budget deficit over the limit set by EU rules, critics of the projects have warned, and regulators may be in the dark about its true costs. In mid-July, the EU Council of Ministers warned the country is close to breaching the fiscal safeguards. With construction on Paks II expected to begin in 2018, there are concerns that the project’s costs could balloon beyond official estimates.
Politico 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
France opened the world’s first “solar highway” yesterday, a stretch of road covered with panels that convert sunlight into electricity.
Times 24th Dec 2016 read more »
Independent 23rd Dec 2016 read more »
Green Investment Bank
Some 50 top banker jobs are set to vanish from Edinburgh as the UK government nears its sell-off of the Green Investment Bank, which is based in the Scots capital. Driven forward by Vince Cable, the then Liberal Minister for Trade and Enterprise, the bank was set up in 2012 under the previous coalition government. Despite a ‘rock solid’ British government pledge that the bank will retain its head office in Edinburgh after Australia’s MacQuarrie bank completes its £1 billion take-over, this ‘pledge’ will likely end up as a brass plate in the New Town, probably next to the UK government’s Scotland Office in Melville Crescent.
Scottish Energy News 24th Dec 2016 read more »