Nugen’s plans for the three-reactor Moorside plant, near Sellafield, have been slammed in a new report. Radiation Free Lakeland, a nuclear safety campaign group, commissioned the report, published yesterday, through crowd funding. It claims the proposed reactors are “too great a risk to public health and safety”. The report by Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy, written by Pete Roche, claims the AP1000 reactor design, to be used at Moorside, is “not fit for purpose”. It claims it therefore should be refused a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and Statement of Design Acceptability (SDA) by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency. Members of Radiation Free Lakeland handed over the report to Cumbria County Council, the National Park Authority, Natural England and Friends of the Lake District.
Carlisle News & Star 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
Whitehaven News 22nd Nov 2016 read more »
Campaigners continue fight against Sizewell C. Campaigners are rallying with renewed determination to protect Suffolk from the unwanted consequences they fear a new nuclear power plant will bring. EDF Energy’s long-awaited stage-two consultation for Sizewell C was met yesterday with dismay from communities neighbouring the proposed multibillion pound development site. Campaign groups criticised the latest 300-page consultation as merely a “box-ticking exercise” which ignores objections raised four years ago. While there was some support for the inclusion of a “two-villages bypass” on the A12 around Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, other elements of the proposals left campaigners “underwhelmed”. Concerns focused on the accommodation campus proposed for 2,500 temporary workers near Minsmere nature reserve, which residents say will have a “massive impact” on the neighbouring rural communities and environment.
East Anglian Daily Times 24th Nov 2016 read more »
Work on cutting up part of the nuclear reactor infrastructure at Dounreay in Caithness got under way yesterday as strike action threatened to disrupt decommissioning of the site. A remotely operated saw was used to make the first cut needed for separating the concrete liner of a fuel storage “pond” from the outer structure. The next step is to cut the wall into blocks that will be wrapped and transported to the site’s waste processing and disposal facilities. Trials of the technique and operator training were previously carried out at test facilities at T3UK, a division of JGC Engineering and Technical Services, in Janetstown, and Bower.
Energy Voice 24th Nov 2016 read more »
All electricity bought for public services in Wales by the National Procurement Service (NPS) will be from renewable sources by 2017, Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths has announced ahead of her attendance at the global COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh.
Welsh Government 11th Nov 2016 read more »
In 2016, the US President stated that the danger of a terrorist group obtaining and using a nuclear weapon was “one of the greatest threats to global security”. This briefing provides an overview of the key threats to nuclear security, and of UK and international initiatives that seek to address them.
POST 25th Oct 2016 read more »
There is an enormous amount of change going on in energy systems (technology (supply, demand and operation); economics; social preferences; environmental understanding, business models etc) which is leading to uncertainty. Given this situation, energy policy decision-makers, when encouraging innovation: have to make the ‘right’ decisions, then; be constantly vigilant about unforeseen consequences, and then be prepared to ‘re-set’ the policy to get it back on track this requires a clear Vision and Direction This is designing governance (policies, institutions, market and network rules and incentives) to encourage a sustainable future, and then letting markets work within that framework. There is an accompanying paper to the presentation which argues that the GB energy system is likely to suffer serious disruption in the near to mid-term unless GB restructures its governance system to be fit for purpose to enable innovation rather than stifle it, as is the current situation. The paper Sets out general challenges facing energy system transformation; Sets out the additional, specific challenges faced by GB; Sets out principles of institutional reform; Sets out the solutions for the GB problems: the IGov framework.
IGov 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
Despite grand ambitions, Scotland will not achieve 100% renewables electricity generation by 2020, however experts believe it could still generate a healthy 50% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. But what changes need to be implemented in order to achieve this? In 2011 the Scottish government released its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland, a plan of action which called for the delivery of 100% energy generation from renewables by 2020. With just four years to go, it is evident that this target will not be achieved. Instead, a goal of 50% renewable by 2030 could be an alternative target, according to a recent report*, which puts forward key actions for the Scottish Government. , It suggests that heat and transport should be the key focus in achieving this target, along with a continued focus on wind power. The new report comes as the Scottish Government seeks to develop a reformed energy strategy, and backs up pledges from several political parties which also support a 50% renewable all-energy target. The target also corresponds with that announced by industry body Scottish Renewables in its manifesto published in January of this year.
Renewable Energy Focus 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
Letter Dennis White: I AM no expert in the field of moving 17,000 tonne oil rigs around our coasts, but I have great difficulty in accepting the statement from Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) chief executive Sir Alan Massey that the Transocean Winner incident did not signal the need to return to two towing vessels. Even in calm weather, I would have thought that at least two tugs would be required for such a huge structure, in case one broke down, or in the event of an increased sea swell. Sir Alan is reported to have described the weather conditions at the time to be “phenomenal”, yet he still thinks only one tug is sufficient. We are told that there was a leak of some 53,000 litres of oil into the sea, but not to worry as “it is thought there was no damage to the environment”. Is this the strongest statement that can be made, that “it is thought” there was no damage – does no-one know? Has no-one checked? Or is no-one saying? One of the policies of the MCA states: “We regulate vessels in UK waters, working with industry and international colleagues setting standards for maritime safety and security.” Therefore, by definition of its own policy, there has been a failure here on the part of the MCA that should be addressed. It seems to me that Sir Alan is simply defending a UK Government cost-cutting exercise that has gone disastrously wrong, and could have been much worse. I worry for the safety and preservation of the unique environment of our coastlines, as well as for the communities that depend on them.
Herald 24th Nov 2016 read more »
Adriènne Kelbie, chief executive of the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), reflected on a “hectic and rewarding” introduction to the nuclear industry in a recent interview with World Nuclear News (WNN). Kelbie, who joined ONR in January, described a “positive year” for the UK nuclear safety and security regulator, but acknowledged there is still “plenty of hard work ahead” to help ONR be “fit for a busier and more challenging future”.
World Nuclear News 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
EDF has delayed the restart of two nuclear reactors in France after a safety investigation that has thrown the country’s state-controlled nuclear industry into crisis. French electricity prices surged by 9 per cent yesterday after the French energy company said that the restart of its 900 megawatt Dampierre 3 and 1,500 megawatt Civaux 2 reactors had been postponed until December 31, a time when electricity demand is close to its annual peak. The reactors had been due to restart on November 30, but further checks will be required to satisfy ASN, the French nuclear safety regulator, that they are safe. Another EDF reactor, Saint-Laurent 2, has been given permission to restart three days earlier than expected, on November 24. British power prices have increased, too, because the UK usually imports electricity from France. At the moment, it is exporting across the Channel to help to meet its neighbour’s shortfall, raising fears of a supply crunch. ASN launched an investigation in June amid concerns about excessive levels of carbon in the steel used in steam generators, key components in a nuclear power station. High levels of carbon in the steel can make it brittle, which, in turn can allow components to crack, potentially causing an accident. In the past six months regulators have ordered the shutdown of a string of French reactors after the discovery of weak spots in the steel used inside Flamanville 3, a prototype reactor in northern France that is being built to the same design as EDF’s proposed £18 billion nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. “It’s a really serious situation,” said John Large, a nuclear engineer, who believes that some of the French reactors may never be allowed to restart. “Because these components are vulnerable to a fast fracture, you have to be very careful.” He claimed that the steel inside the reactors was significantly compromised, with the level of carbon at roughly double the recommended level, “enough to reduce the toughness of the metal by about 50 per cent”. Eighteen reactors have been checked as part of the review. Six remain in service having been cleared for use. Another eight remain out of service, while four more are due to be shut down next month. A further six are being allowed to remain in service but with conditions, such as reduced output to lower the stress and heat levels inside the reactor. The ASN is investigating alleged falsification of documents by Areva, the reactor manufacturer, at a factory in central France. “On the reactors affected by the problem of carbon segregation, we have carried out checks and handed over a file to the ASN. The investigation is continuing and our objective is to be able to restart them as soon as possible,” EDF said. “We are confident in the solidity of our demonstration.”
Times 24th Nov 2016 read more »
French nuclear is in a “very worrying” situation, says the Nuclear Safety Authority. A highly publicized concern, which serves to gain points in his battle against the nucleocrats. The situation has become very worrying. “When these remarks apply to French nuclear power plants and are held by Pierre-Franck Chevet, president of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), the gendarme de l’atom, there Has enough to experience some cold sweat! In an interview given on Wednesday (November 23rd) at the “Figaro”, Chevet does not go with the back of the spoon, telling how since 2015 the Authority discovered that certain parts manufactured by Areva for nuclear reactors were ” Poor quality, concealed by falsified records (see our detailed survey on this subject). And it is a safe bet that in the coming weeks and months, the ASN president will continue his campaign of media alert. Why ? Because it is in his interest to take public opinion as a witness of the problems facing the tricolor nuclear industry.
Nouvelle Obs 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
Is Fukushima still safe after the latest earthquake? The earthquake caused a circulation pump in the used fuel cooling pond of Fukushima Daini reactor 3 to shut down. After checking the system, the pump was restarted after 99 minutes, and operator TEPCO said the plant had suffered no lasting damage. The situation might have been more serious were it not for the fact that Fukushima Daini, like most of Japan’s nuclear power stations, has been out of action ever since the disaster at its neighbouring station prompted Japan to shut down all of its nuclear reactors for safety checking and upgrades. Before the 2011 meltdowns, there were 54 nuclear power reactors operating in Japan. Since then, only three reactors have completed all of the required modifications and safety inspections and returned to operation, and one of these is currently shut down for routine refuelling. Currently 42 reactors will potentially be restarted, 24 of which are slowly going through the restart approval process.
Reaction 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
A former worker at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant filed suit against plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) as well as Kyushu Electric Power Co. at the Tokyo District Court on Nov. 22 demanding 59 million yen in compensation. The 42-year-old plaintiff had been granted work-related compensation after he developed leukemia following his time at the stricken nuclear station. The man from Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture is demanding compensation including consolation money under the Nuclear Damage Compensation Law, citing the high likelihood that his leukemia was caused by radiation exposure at work. It is the first lawsuit of its kind filed by a nuclear plant worker who was granted work-related compensation in the wake of the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Mainichi 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday that Bechtel Corp and AECOM Energy and Construction Inc have agreed to pay $125 million to resolve allegations they improperly charged the government for work at a nuclear treatment plant in Washington state. Bechtel Corp and URS Energy and Construction Inc, now known as AECOM, allegedly charged the Energy Department for deficient nuclear quality materials, services, and testing that was provided at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Reuters 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
The fossil fuel industry has been obsessed by its battles with renewable energy – wind and solar in particular – as it struggles to prop up its disintegrating business model. But in Europe, another more dangerous nemesis is emerging – energy efficiency, an unfashionable yet economically alluring investment that analysts at Citigroup say could reshape power markets for ever, and remove fossil fuels as the primary driver of market prices. Energy efficiency has long been held by its enthusiasts as the most obvious lever to reduce emissions, and save costs. A megawatt hour of electricity not used is the cheapest form of abatement, they say, and have even coined a term – the “negawatt” – to market the idea. But try as they might – and despite the almost immediate returns on investment from energy efficiency – the idea never really captured the attention of the public or politicians. And the powerful fossil fuel generators in Australia used their regulatory influence to ensure that any major initiatives were quietly jettisoned. In Europe, however, the opposite has occurred, and Citigroup says the combination of EU-wide energy efficiency targets, its renewable energy policies and the emergence of ultra efficient appliances and zero carbon homes will have a big impact on power markets. In effect, the combined impact will be to significantly reduce demand to the point that fossil fuel generators will largely lose their pricing power. The Citigroup analysts also suggest the market will also have to “say goodbye to peak demand too,” as the combination of reduced residential demand, lower lighting demand, and an increase focus on demand side response and storage development will likely result in peak demand becoming gradually less pronounced. This is a radical reshaping of energy markets, but one that Citigroup says is poorly understood.
Renew Economy 24th Nov 2016 read more »
Orkney could become a major base for the supply of liquid natural gas (LNG) to the north of the UK and North Sea. ExxonMobil has formed a consortium, which has signed an agreement with Orkney Islands Council. New regulations come into force on emissions from shipping in 2020, which could inflate the demand for LNG.
BBC 23rd Nov 2016 read more »
Thanksgiving advice: How to deal with climate change denying Uncle Pete.
Bulletin in Atomic Scientists 21st Nov 2016 read more »