South Korea is seeking the cooperation of Chinese authorities in a probe into a cyberattack on its nuclear power plant operator after tracing multiple Internet addresses involved to a northeastern Chinese city near North Korea, a prosecution official said on Wednesday.
Reuters 24th Dec 2014 read more »
TWO power station workers have scooped prestigious awards. Hartlepool power station’s Adam Johnstone took centre stage at the EDF Energy’s apprentice graduation ceremony. He won the ‘going the extra mile’ award while colleague John Flint lifted the apprentice of the year award.
Hartlepool Mail 26th Dec 2014 read more »
Kansai Electric Power Co. on Dec. 24 applied to the industry ministry for permission to raise electricity rates again in April, citing unexpectedly higher fuel costs of thermal power generation. The electric utility last raised its power charges in May 2013. This time, it plans to raise rates for households by 10 percent and charges for corporate customers by more than 13 percent. Kansai Electric Power, or KEPCO as it is more commonly known, has expanded its output capacity by burning fossil fuels to compensate for the loss of nuclear power generation following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011. The nuclear disaster raised serious doubts in the public’s mind about the safety of nuclear power generation. Although it is spending heavily to ensure the safety of its nuclear facilities, KEPCO still faces a formidable challenge in trying to win approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority and public support for bringing its reactors back online. Nine of the 11 nuclear reactors operated by the utility will have been in service for more than three decades by the end of next year. The company’s future will remain bleak as long as it continues to rely heavily on atomic energy for power generation. Higher electricity bills will prompt businesses and local governments in the Kansai region to purchase power from other suppliers. Already, more than 10,000 workplaces have switched to new power suppliers offering lower rates. Power consumption by households has been trending down as a result of efforts to save on energy use. The planned liberalization of the power retail market in 2016 could accelerate the defection of households from KEPCO. The utility is at a crossroads. It should map out a long-term strategy for crafting for itself a future without having to reply on nuclear energy.
Asahi Shimbun 26th Dec 2014 read more »
US – radwaste
Top officials from Nevada are insisting that an agreement with the federal government that includes discussions involving a relatively small amount of radioactive waste from Tennessee does not constitute a change in the state’s opposition to development of a federal repository at Yucca Mountain. But it does involve Nevada taking on radioactive waste from another state, which would be buried at the Nevada National Security Site, formerly the Nevada Test Site.
Nuclear Street 24th Dec 2014 read more »
Renewable energy is now the most cost-competitive source of power in many parts of the world. Research by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) shows that a doubling of the world’s share of renewable energy by 2030, from about 18% in 2010 to 36%, would help avoid the worst effects of climate change and would be cheaper than not doing so. When considering factors like the cost of ill health and environmental damage due to pollution, switching to renewable energy could save up to $740bn (£476bn) per year by 2030. If these costs were factored into energy prices, renewable energy and energy efficiency measures would be cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. To accelerate the scale-up of renewables to the level required to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need urgent, bold steps, from leaders willing to take the short-term hits from those who would rather carry on with business as usual. This needs to happen at global and local levels, engaging everyone from governments and corporations to investors and individuals. Vested interests and short-term thinking must be overcome. It will be a battle. But it is a battle we simply cannot afford to lose.
Guardian 24th Dec 2014 read more »
As winter takes hold, fuel poverty is again firmly back on the political agenda. The harsh reality is that thousands of people die because they simply can’t afford to turn on their heating. Two million children are growing up cold. They face twice the likelihood of contracting respiratory diseases like asthma, are more susceptible to multiple mental health issues and suffer a lower educational attainment than their peers in warmer homes. New research by the prestigious Cambridge Econometrics brings hope. It has found that a major investment programme in home energy efficiency could not only bring down bills and end fuel poverty, but have much wider benefits. Their work found that households in the UK could save £5 billion on their energy bills, £3.20 in growth would be achieved for every £1 invested, gas imports would be cut by a quarter and up to 108,000 jobs created. In addition, the programme would pay for itself within 8 years and then turn into a net revenue generator for the Treasury.
E3G 12th Dec 2014 read more »