Britain will have a “special share” in the French-led new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant consortium to safeguard national security, British energy officials told a parliamentary hearing this week. “The UK will have a special share in the consortium,” energy minister Ed Davey said on Wednesday when asked about safeguards for the project, which is led by French giant EDF and should include Chinese partners. The Chinese firms, CGN and CNNC, are expected to get a stake of between 30 and 40 percent. Stephen Lovegrove, permanent secretary to the energy department said the share “will allow us, under certain circumstances, to step in and make certain decisions around the project that would be specifically designed to protect national security.
The Peninsula 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
The Austrian Government has announced its intention to challenge the Commission’s decision. It expects to launch an appeal by April, which could delay a final investment decision by the UK Government for over two years because of the complexity of the case. Stefan Pehringer, an advisor to the Austrian federal chancellory, told The Guardian: “The Austrian government has announced its readiness to appeal against the EC’s decision concerning state aid for the Hinkley Point project, as it does not consider nuclear power to be a sustainable form of technology – neither in environmental nor in economic terms.” A spokesperson for Stop Hinkley said: “Should Austria win this legal action, we foresee considerable benefits to the local community. “If Hinkley C goes ahead it would be the most expensive project of any kind ever built, yet it is not what is needed. “We need renewable energy sources that aren’t going to damage our climate.”
Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
One of the nuclear reactors at the UK’s Hinkley Point B power plant will be taken out of service later today for a maintenance program worth £40 million ($60 million). One thousand extra workers will join the workforce during the ten-week period, providing a boost to the local economy, EDF Energy said. They will carry out 12,000 separate pieces of work, planned over the last two years. The extensive program of work will also see inspections inside the reactor, as well as installation of new equipment at the plant. The biggest projects include replacing two of the gas circulators that cool the reactor, as well as replacing blades on the steam turbine.
World Nuclear News 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
BBC 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
Home and business owners who claim the proposals for a new nuclear power plant in east Suffolk are “blighting” their lives have written to the Prime Minister demanding “immediate mitigation measures”. The campaign group, which formed last October in response to the negative effect they say EDF Energy’s Sizewell C plans have had on their property values, have asked David Cameron to offer compensation to those affected.
East Anglia Daily Times 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
A Cockermouth company has been assisting the Fukushima clean-up.
BDaily 24th Jan 2015 read more »
Times and Star 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
Paul Massara, chief executive of energy supplier Npower, could be axed by its German parent company because of poor performance, reports have claimed, as npower became the fourth of the Big Six suppliers to cut its gas prices.
Telegraph 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
New Reactor Types
Scientists may have uncovered a way of making nuclear power safer and cheaper, but it remains to be seen if the world can re-embrace such a controversial energy source. Nuclear power once promised almost limitless energy to an increasingly industrialised planet. At a time when the grime and smog from the coal and oil industries had become almost intolerable in the developed world, nuclear power proved attractive because it spewed relatively little in the way of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. In October, US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin announced it had made a technological breakthrough that would enable nuclear reactors to be built small enough to fit on the back of a truck. The advantages of this are numerous, with cost reduction and flexibility being the most prominent. Developed at the company’s Skunk Works division over the last four years, the small reactors will potentially offer 100MW of power and will be 10 times smaller than existing reactors. It is hoped the first of these smaller reactors will be ready to use in only 10 years.
New Economy 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
National Security Agency (NSA) obtained communications between key individuals in London and Moscow from the time that Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive material.
Telegraph 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
US – Radwaste
Ceiling collapses at WIPP nuclear waste dump — Officials: Roof has separated — “Ground control a significant concern for all of us” — 6 other areas at risk due to ‘significant bolt loss’ — Failures are exceeding safety levels.
ENE News 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
According to newspaper reports the Indian government has been considering a catastrophe bond type structure, possibly combined with a sovereign guarantee, in order to overcome a fear foreign suppliers have over its nuclear liability laws. The issue has come to the fore as a deal on nuclear power development between India and the U.S. is looking at risk due to foreign suppliers fear over a strict liability law that India introduced.
Artemis 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
Anti-nuclear campaigners from across Wales will converge today to demand that the Trident nuclear missile system is scrapped. Rallies in London and Newport will be held, in the same week that Plaid Cymru and the SNP launched a push in parliament to abandon the nuclear deterrent. Plaid argues that “a £100bn nuclear weapon system” is “morally and financially obscene” at a time of public service cuts.
Wales Online 24th Jan 2015 read more »
Renewables vs Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuel companies have taken up majority positions in key renewables trade groups steering them towards a pro-gas stance that influenced Europe’s 2030 clean energy targets, industry insiders claim.
Guardian 22nd Jan 2015 read more »
One charity, Liter of Light, has pledged to create a million green, off-the-power-grid lights in 2015 using an ingenious design that is, frankly, rubbish. Liter of Light has developed a solar-powered light that is cheap and relatively easy to assemble and whose main feature is a plastic bottle: the kind that holds a litre of fizzy drink, and that is usually thrown away once empty.
Independent 21st Jan 2015 read more »
In 2013, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Davey, announced “a community energy revolution”. The big six companies who currently dominate the supply of energy in this country, ripping off their customers while ensuring that we remain locked into the fossil fuel economy, would, the government promised, be replaced with “the big sixty thousand”. This was the future promised to the UK by Ed Davey’s department. In this oligarchs’ island paradise, whose government often seems to be little more than a channel for corporate power, it sounded too good to be true. And it was. His coalition partners have now sabotaged Davey’s community energy revolution. The big six can relax: their inordinate profits remain safe on these shores. First, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) changed the rules under which energy co-operatives could be established. As a result of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act passed into law last year, the model that has proved so successful in Germany has been deemed ineligible here. The FCA has been rejecting attempts to establish new energy co-ops on the grounds that they sell the electricity they produce on to the grid, rather than to their members.
Guardian 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
This Week’s Micro Power News: Staffordshire Community Solar Project, Will Solar carports be the next big thing? Green gas.
Microgen Scotland 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
New Labour party research has found that street lights across the country are being dimmed during the evenings as a cost-cutting measure by local councils. As many as 75% of the UK’s local councils are dimming or even extinguishing lights altogether, leaving many public areas totally unlit during the dark evenings throughout winter. In light of the revelations, light bulb retailers BLT Direct are speaking out to encourage local councils to think ahead. Though dimming their existing lights might trim the electricity bills in the short-term, there are real long-term savings to be made by switching to super-efficient LED light bulbs. By consuming up to 90% less energy than regular bulbs, they can cut electricity bills significantly and put money back in the pockets of local authorities – if they have the foresight to invest in them today. The AA has already spoken out against the move to dim lights, saying darker streets are contributing to an increased number of car accidents – but with council budgets being slashed, experts say there are tough decisions to be made regarding where money should be spent. Steven Ellwood, Managing Director of BLT Direct, says, “It’s a real shame that councils are resorting to dimming their lights to save money – especially when such extensive research and development has led to the advanced, efficient lighting solutions we have on offer today. We’ve seen many examples of councils rolling out low-energy schemes that have been a huge success, and the projected savings are highly impressive. Over the coming years, we hope to see more councils converted to the benefits of low-energy lighting, which provide high-quality light output at a 90% energy reduction.”
BLT 21st Jan 2015 read more »
That Cuadrilla’s application to frack in Lancashire has been recommended for rejection may have come as some surprise to the ‘London bubble’. Some of the commentariat certainly seemed surprised and responded by accusing Nimbys of selfishness and, quite ridiculously, potentially causing blackouts, as in Andrew Critchlow’s histrionic column in the Daily Telegraph. But should we be surprised by the decision? After all, Lancashire County Council has received over 27,000 objections. While some may argue anti-fracking campaigners have spread misinformation, when we look at the various mishaps by Cuadrilla, perhaps we should not be surprised the local community appears generally unfavourable to its plans.
Tim Probert 24th Jan 2015 read more »
The shale gas company Cuadrilla has asked a council to defer a decision on whether to allow two new fracking sites in Lancashire. Planning officers recommended that Lancashire county council should refuse Cuadrilla permission to explore for shale gas at two sites between Preston and Blackpool due to the noise and traffic the work would cause. The council’s development control committee had been due to make a decision on the proposed sites next week. Cuadrilla has written to the committee with details of measures to address the noise and traffic concerns, and asked for the decision to be deferred so the information can be properly considered.
Guardian 23rd Jan 2015 read more »
Telegraph 23rd Jan 2015 read more »