Ministers have been accused of “conning” energy consumers over promised bill cuts after it emerged that a £5 “one-off reduction” in charges by network companies next year will have to be repaid the year after – with interest. The Coalition unveiled plans at the start of December to cut £50 off an average dual-fuel energy bill. As part of this, it announced: “Electricity distribution network companies are willing to take voluntary action to reduce network costs in 2014-15. “This would allow a one-off reduction of an average of around £5 on electricity bills, which energy suppliers will be able to pass on to their customers.” The Telegraph has learnt that the majority of the electricity networks companies plan to reclaim that £5 in full in 2015-16.
Telegraph 25th Dec 2013 read more »
At least the energy companies gave the banks a run for their money in the contest to be Britain’s least favourite sector. The big six firms were accused by the energy minister of treating their customers as cash cows, after the firms announced inflation-busting increases to customer bills. The leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband changed the political game with his pledge to freeze energy bills, prompting a panicky reaction from the coalition government to roll back green costs, a move that knocks £50 off the average household bill. But energy bosses warned MPs that prices were certain to rise again.
Guardian 25th Dec 2013 read more »
The UK has been accused of favouring nuclear energy over wind developments. This is according to Scottish minister Fergus Ewing, after all three of Scotland’s upcoming offshore wind farms were left out of the Electricity Reform Market (ERM) plan, published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last week (December 19th).
ACE 24th Dec 2013 read more »
A rail freight wagon carrying nuclear waste has derailed at a depot in Drancy, 3km northeast of Paris. The town’s mayor said there was no leakage of nuclear waste, About 4,000 freight wagons carrying radioactive or chemical waste pass through the station each year, Jean-Christophe Lagarde said, calling the incident “intolerable”. France’s “Europe Ecologie Les Verts” (EELV) Green party called for an end to the transportation of radioactive waste through urban areas and busy stations following the incident.
RTE 23rd Dec 2013 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
USS Reagan & Fukushima cancer levels are miles above comparative levels, according to John Ward. Slowly, the world is waking up to the realities of Japan’s nuclear catastrophe: this disaster is real. Evidence is coming through to flatly contradict Establishment reassurances about cancer levels both among Fukushima residents, and on board USS Ronald Reagan – the US aircraft carrier that sailed offshore from Fukushima after the 2011 tsunami to bring aid and relief to a stricken population.
Ecologist 25th Dec 2013 read more »
Many Japanese seafood firms are under threat as there are five prefectures possibly affected by contamination in the sea, accounting for almost 40,000 tons of fish per year, RT’s Aleksey Yaroshevsky reports from Soma, a coastal town in the Fukushima prefecture. Fish factories around the Fukushima prefecture now have to take radiation measurements. “We’re taking samples from every catch we make and if we ever find even the slightest trace of radiation, we’ll destroy the whole catch. So far there has been none, this fish is safe,”Akihisa Sato assured RT, a worker in a fish laboratory in Soma, Japan. But Japanese fishermen can’t convince customers that their fish is safe, even though the authorities insist they’re doing their best to show they’ve got a grip on the problem. In September, South Korea became the first country to ban seafood imports from Japan.
Russia Today 25th Dec 2013 read more »
An estimated 225 tons of radioactive rainwater likely leaked from cracks in the barriers surrounding storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, seeping into the surrounding soil, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Dec. 24. The utility said this appears to be the largest amount of radioactive rainwater escaping to date from the barriers around tanks holding contaminated water.
Asahi Shimbin 25th Dec 2013 read more »
Electric power companies have filed formal applications with the Nuclear Regulation Authority for permission to restart 14 idled nuclear reactors on grounds the facilities meet new regulatory standards. The Abe administration is keen to allow utilities to bring their reactors back online. But the grim reality is that efforts by local governments to develop emergency evacuation plans have not made satisfactory progress. Before any of the offline reactors are restarted, a workable plan must be in place in preparation for a possible serious nuclear accident. No matter what precautions are built into a safety system, a totally unexpected situation can occur at any time. That’s a bitter lesson to be gleaned from the 2011 disaster that crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Asahi Shimbun 24th Dec 2013 read more »
Energy giants Enel and ArcelorMittal will pull out of the construction of two nuclear reactors in Romania after a Chinese company entered the deal, Romanian officials said Monday. Italy’s Enel and the Romanian subsidiary of ArcelorMittal “have decided to sell their stakes of respectively 9.15 and 6.2 percent in EnergoNuclear,” the project company, said Nuclearelectrica, a Romanian state-owned enterprise holding the remaining 84.65 percent. Enel said “a change in the shareholder structure, with a company other than Nuclearelectrica set to become the majority stakeholder, is incompatible with its investment strategy,” Nuclearelectrica added. ArcelorMittal said it was no longer interested in the project, which is estimated to cost more than 5.4 billion.
Menafn 23rd Dec 2013 read more »
China has committed $6.5 billion (£3.97 billion) to finance the construction of a major nuclear power project in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi as it seeks to strengthen ties with its strategic partner, Pakistani officials said.
Reuters 24th Dec 2013 read more »