Negotiations between the UK government and EDF over the price to paid for nuclear power are dragging and a row has now erupted on the continent over whether nuclear power can qualify for state aid. Steve Thomas from Greenwhich University unravels the hurdles facing any deal.
Energy Desk 23rd July 2013 read more »
A Treasury minister is calling the shots in crucial negotiations between the Government and energy firm EDF over the ‘strike price’ for new nuclear, it was claimed today. At a hearing of the House of Lords’ science and technology committee, Lord Jenkin claimed Lord Deighton is leading the talks rather than the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). While the committee quizzed DECC’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor David Mackay, the peer jumped on the chance to ask how talks were progressing.
Energy Live News 23rd July 2013 read more »
The UK government is “looking closely” at the French model of using nuclear power to help balance the electricity system, Lords have heard today. Giving evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, professor David Mackay, the chief scientific advisor to the Department of energy and Climate Change (Decc), said his team is studying the flexible use of nuclear power by the French as a possible option to help balance the UK electricity system. He added: “Using nuclear power stations for balancing services reduces their lifetime output of electricity and slightly increases the cost of nuclear but it does provide a valuable service to the rest of the system.” Mackay also said the government will continue its research into small modular reactors -reactors rated less than 500MWe – because they “might lend themselves more even more to that kind of load and they might be easier to finance than the current large reactors on the drawing board”.
Utility Week 23rd July 2013 read more »
The “greens” are “finished”, declares the headline above Tim Montgomerie’s latest attack on environmental policy. They put up a good fight, drawing level at half time thanks to a powerful display down the left flank from Obama and Rudd. But they failed to secure the lead they needed in Copenhagen and since then they’ve been utterly outplayed by their opponents’ pragmatically physical approach. The pre-Copenhagen playmakers are demoralised and exhausted, having been out-muscled by the new lad Shale and outmanoeuvred by the canny new gaffer at Number 11. Referee Montgomerie is preparing to blow his whistle and declare Carbon FC the winner (club motto: “Business as Usual”, club logo: a seabird drowned in oil). Montgomerie’s nakedly political attack on “the greens” in The Times yesterday was nothing if not predictable, so much so that it could almost have been written by algorithm. An enterprising intern at a think tank somewhere near Westminster is probably working right now on a labour saving bit of code that automatically selects the most fashionable anti-green canards and presents them in an argument that suggests the failure to tackle grave environmental crises is both inevitable and nothing to get too agitated about.
Business Green 23rd july 2013 read more »
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee is to question Professor David Mackay, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, on the Government’s roll-out of its nuclear energy strategy.
Pareliament 23rd July 2013 read more »
The plan to build 5 AGRs was an economic disaster. The stations were subject to horrendous delays and cost overruns. It would be 30 years before they came close to operating efficiently. The shortfall in capacity did not matter much because the electricity was not needed anyway. Needless to say, the export markets did not materialise. In the 1980s the Thatcher government shut down most of the coal industry, built one new nuclear station – to a proven US design – and privatised the industry. The scale of the economic cost of nuclear was finally revealed; executives who had misled ministers and parliament were more fearful of the consequences of misleading investors. The nuclear plants were pulled from the sale. They were later privatised as British Energy, which went bust and after reconstruction was acquired by Eléctricité de France. Privatisation failed to provide a stable framework for planning new electricity generation.
FT 23rd July 2013 read more »
UK prompt power prices firmed Tuesday due to a combination of supportive supply side factors while demand for overnight power blocks remains strong due to continued warm weather across the UK, market sources said.
Platts 23rd July 2013 read more »
A new short and lightweight pylon that aims to blend into the landscape could be deployed for the first time to transmit power from the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. National Grid today revealed the so-called T-pylon will be considered in proposals for the planned £740m Hinkley Point C Connection, which will transmit power from new sources in the South West of England, including the planned nuclear power plant if it is built.
Business Green 23rd July 2013 read more »
Stop Hinkley Newsletter July 2013.
Stop Hinkley 23rd July 2013 read more »
RWE Npower has sold two sites in Cumbria it had promoted for nuclear development in 2009, following a “strategic review”. The energy company had promoted the sites in Kirksanton and Braystones for potential nuclear development into the government’s Strategic Siting Assessment (SSA) process. However, the government’s Energy National Policy Statement (NPS), published in 2011, did not include RWE Npower’s sites in Cumbria. Following this, the energy company said it had chosen not to challenge the decision and “began looking at possible opportunities for the sites.”
Utility Week 23rd July 2013 read more »
The Joint Guidance on the Management of Higher Activity Radioactive Waste on Nuclear Licensed Sites (commonly referred to as the Joint Guidance) was published in modular form between February 2010 and November 2011. In line with good practice we are reviewing these documents in the light of experience of their use and with respect to changes that have occurred since their publication. We are offering you the opportunity to provide any comments that you may have on the documents. These may relate to experience with using the guidance or on aspects of the text. All comments will be collected and used in reviewing the documents.
ONR 23rd July 2013 read more »
Five of the “big six” energy companies have dropped their policies of offering green tariffs to new customers, in a move which green campaigners fear could undermine the national drive to tackle climate change. Npower announced earlier in July that it was scrapping its domestic green electricity tariff for new customers, while EDF, E.ON, SSE and Scottish Power are also no longer offering a domestic green tariff for those wishing to switch. With all but one of the big six energy companies offering no 100% renewably sourced electricity tariff to new customers, the choice for consumers who are keen to support green electricity has been drastically reduced.
Guardian 23rd July 2013 read more »
A “new regional Cold War” dividing the Middle East, to use the vivid phrase of Toby Dodge, a reader in international relations at the London School of Economics. In this overarching struggle, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the key antagonists: the former representing the civilisation of Shia Persia, the latter guarding the Sunni Arab heartland and its holiest places. Both use the language of sectarian loyalty to rally supporters and demonise foes.
Telegraph 23rd July 2013 read more »
CEZ, the Czech state-controlled utility, is to delay expansion of its Temelin nuclear power plant by a year, as the political crisis gripping the country prevents it from securing a final agreement to start the project. Following the collapse of the centre-right government in June, the future of the estimated €8bn to €12bn project has been caught up in uncertainty over the interim administration installed by President Milos Zeman this month. CEZ was due to choose between two remaining bidders – a Russian-Czech consortium of Skoda JS, Atomstroyexport and Gidropress, and the Japanese-US company Westinghouse – by the end of 2013.
FT 23rd July 2013 read more »
Fukushima Crisis Update 19th to 23rd July: After more than two and a half years of denying that radioactive water was contaminating the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, TEPCO has finally admitted that the damaged plant, site of three nuclear meltdowns, has been steadily leaking toxic water into the sea.
Greenpeace 23rd July 2013 read more »
Two years after the great 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan and the resulting tsunami that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, its operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) finally admitted on Monday that the stricken facility had likely poured contaminated radioactive water into the ocean waters. In a complete turnaround, Tepco confirmed what had been pronounced earlier by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Earlier this month, the NRA said the leakage of contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant continues to this day.
IB Times 23rd July 2013 read more »
Experts estimate that cleaning up radioactivity in Fukushima Prefecture would cost 50 billion dollars, more than 4 times the amount that has been earmarked. Experts from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology studied the cost of decontamination for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. They estimate that decontamination in no-entry zones will cost up to 20 billion dollars, and in other areas, 31 billion dollars.
NHK 24th July 2013 read more »
News came last week that Korea will re-start two nuclear plants that had been down for maintenance. Many investors don’t realize, but Korea’s nuclear fleet has also been decimated of late. Currently, 8 of the country’s 23 reactors are down. Many due to falsified documents discovered in May for parts at the plants. The re-start of two will help. But it still leaves over 25% of Korean nuclear power off-line. Combine this with Japan’s nuclear issues (and an unusually hot summer in the region) and you get “the stars aligning” for a big lift in LNG demand. But it is temporary.
Oil Price 23rd July 2013 read more »
Three US business associations have directly asked the US administration to adopt a more assertive approach to fostering international nuclear trade, urging expedited conclusion of bilateral cooperation agreements and a “pragmatic” approach to uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
World Nuclear News 23rd July 2013 read more »
In the debate about Trident, ethics have scarcely featured. That’s no bad thing. A few years ago in a contribution to a book called Britain’s Bomb: What Next?, I argued that the peace movement’s moralism was futile. Few voters agonise over Britain’s readiness to commit apocalyptic destruction; they care about outcomes. Nuclear deterrence has maintained peace in a system of sovereign states and emerging threats. The philosopher Michael Walzer wrote in Just and Unjust Wars in 1977: “We threaten evil in order not to do it, and the doing of it would be so terrible that the threat seems in comparison to be morally defensible.” That perfectly encapsulates the nuclear dilemma. Policymakers should focus on the more tractable issue of getting the right equipment at the best price.
Times 23rd July 2013 read more »
Nukemap 3D is actually Wellerstein’s third in a series of nuclear strike simulators, though it’s the first to model the explosions and resultant mushroom clouds in glorious, haunting 3D. The map allows you to select any location, and any real nuclear weapon – from the ‘Little Boy’ bomb detonated over Hiroshima to the device tested by North Korea in 2006, and see how the initial blast and resultant fallout cloud would develop over time.
Huffington Post 23rd July 2013 read more »
Wind power developments could be blocked across much of Scotland by new planning policies, a leading green energy group has claimed. Under Scottish Government proposals, progress towards climate change targets could be jeopardised and £2bn of future investment could be lost, according to industry body Scottish Renewables. Measures to control the location of wind farms are included in the latest planning policies, with ministers proposing to extend the distance between such farms and cities, towns and villages. They have also suggested that no wind farms be located in the 19% of Scotland covered by national parks and National Scenic Areas.
STV 23rd July 2013 read more »
Commenting on the latest Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 18th July, Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA) said: “whilst there was a small increase in the number of insulation installations in May compared to April the number of installations in 2013 remains well short of what is required. “There are some 7m solid walls, 5m cavity walls and 7m lofts that still need insulating and in its annual report in June the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) stressed the need to maintain and increase the pace of insulation installations to meet the Carbon Budgets.
National Insulation Association 23rd July 2013 read more »
If fracking could, as the Durham study suggests, lead to a major earthquake, that event would be as catastrophic for shale oil and gas recovery as Three Mile Island was for nuclear power. And if the public comes to believe that earthquakes are triggered by fracking, then the hope of energy independence will be doomed and the 1970s could be replayed.
Oil Price 23rd July 2013 read more »
Cuadrilla prepares to drill for oil in Sussex. The fracking company is hoping to receive a permit from the Environment Agency to allow it to go ahead with exploratory well.
Guardian 23rd July 2013 read more »
Business Green 24th July 2013 read more »
The release of a giant methane pulse from thawing Arctic permafrost could destabilise the climate system and trigger huge costs to the global economy within coming decades, warns a forthcoming paper in the journal Nature.
Guardian 24th July 2013 read more »