Barring some unlikely bizarre manoeuvres and political chicanery it is impossible for EDF to achieve the terms they need to fund even one nuclear project, namely the 3.2 GWe twin reactor project at Hinkley C. How do I come to this conclusion? Because the sheer cost of the sort of contract that EDF would demand in order to proceed with the project at Hinkley C would be far too prohibitive for the Treasury to accept under the terms of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) as proposed in the recently issued Energy Bill. Using Peter Athertons analysis (Citigroup) of the strike price’ needed by nuclear, (£166 per MWh), then funding of Hinkley C would raise average electricity prices by 8 per cent over 30 years. This figure would be about 6 and a half per cent for domestic consumers and around 10 per cent for industrial consumers. (Under my own analysis of what financial markets would expect nuclear to be paid the figures look even worse for nuclear!) This increase in consumer costs is politically impossible just for the production of 6 per cent of UK electricity (which is all that 3.2 GWe of nuclear is likely to generate).
David Toke 25th June 2012 more >>
The Coalitions energy reforms threaten the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside because they encourage National Grid to cover Britain with pylons, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has warned. Campaigners last night urged Edward Davey, the Energy Secretary, to introduce new protections for Britain’s landscape amid fears the laws will cause a sprawl of infrastructure. The Energy Bill offers companies incentives to build wind farms and nuclear power plants which will require their sub-stations, power lines and other infrastructure. The CPRE fears that without more environmental safeguards efforts to produce more green energy will come “at the expense of the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the countryside”.
Telegraph 25th June 2012 more >>
New report from Friends of the Earth warns UK is heading for second ‘dash for gas’ as ministers prepare to give evidence to MPs over Energy Bill The government will today be urged to “take its foot off the gas” and bolster efforts to increase supplies of renewable energy, in a new report warning ministers they will fuel further geopolitical and price uncertainty through their proposed electricity market reforms. The report, to be published today by Friends of the Earth, aims to assess the role of gas in the UK’s future energy mix by examining how varying levels of demand would impact Britain’s energy security. It concludes that the government’s current Carbon Plan, which will see a continuing role for gas alongside a growing role for renewables and new nuclear power plants, will create energy price volatility and leave the UK heavily reliant on gas imports from geopolitically unstable regions.
Business Green 26th June 2012 more >>
Today I welcome the findings and recommendations set out in Dr Weightmans final report on the events at the Fukushima nuclear site and publish the final Government response to this report. I commend Dr Weightman and his team on the depth and quality of their work.
DECC 25th Jan 2012 more >>
e-Gov Monitor 25th Jan 2012 more >>
Tom Greatrex MP, Labours Shadow Energy Minister, responding to the publication of the Governments response to the Weightman Report on the implications of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami for the UK nuclear industry, said: The safety of the UKs nuclear industry is of paramount importance. As the report highlighted, the Government should always ensure that our regulatory and safety regimes are as robust as possible. Nothing in the Weightman Report called into question a continued role for nuclear power in the UK as part of a more sustainable and balanced future energy mix. Now, the Tory-led Government needs to give investors the support and confidence they need to deliver the construction of new capacity in the nuclear industry.
Labour Party 25th June 2012 more >>
The billions of pounds the Bank of England is pouring into banks in a bid to get lending flowing should have strings attached to ensure that much of the liquidity is directed towards greening the economy, the UK’s former chief scientific adviser has urged. Sir David King attacked the current free market approach that dominates government thinking, arguing that leaving the market to its own devices does not produce good environmental outcomes, and leads not just to potentially disastrous climate change but also the profligate over-use of resources and despoliation of the natural world.
Guardian 26th June 2012 more >>
New research from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows that UK investment in new nuclear could boost the UK economy by £5 billion a year, create new export markets and generate many thousands of jobs. The research by IPPR shows that if nuclear power were used to fill all the 18 gigawatts of additional non-renewable capacity required under government forecasts, the result would be a boost to UK GDP of up to 0.34% a year and an annual economic gain of £5.1 billion. The research was commissioned by EDF Energy.
i-Nuclear 25th June 2012 more >>
Reuters 26th June 2012 more >>
The appetite of UK business leaders for new nuclear generating capacity has not diminished, despite the Fukushima accident, a poll conducted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) of its members shows. The IoD has published a report calling nuclear energy a “clean, cheap and safe” way of generating electricity.
World Nuclear News 25th June 2012 more >>
Save Our Lake District Dont Dump Cumbria! has learned that the MRWS Partnership is no longer considering Longlands Farm for a nuclear dump. This was the site favoured by Nirex in its failed attempt in the mid 1990s. This news comes from a document posted on the MRWS Partnership website on June 18thwhich claims to review the submissions the Partnership received on geology. It does not include in the review the Borrowdale Volcanic group which is the type of rock where Longlands Farm is located. It would appear that the Partnership is now looking elsewhere in Cumbria for the dump, despite the former Nirex Inspector Chris MacDonald and his Technical Assessor Colin Knipe having told them that the probability of finding a site in West Cumbria is low. The Partnership Steering Group had a meeting with the two experts on March 29th.
Save Our Lake District 25th June 2012 more >>
Tony Cunningham the MP for Workington area has been rewarded with a knighthood for services to politics and the public. From 1994 to 1999 Sir Tony was MEP for Cumbria and North Lancashire, and in 1995 he wrote an influential report on land mines which called for a treaty to instigate an outright ban, now adopted by 150 countries. Radiation Free Lakeland suspect that this timely honour has not a little to do with Tonys silence on the plan to dump high level nuclear waste underneath his Allerdale constituency.
Radiation Free Lakeland 25th June 2012 more >>
The final report on the process of building an underground nuclear storage facility in or around Cumbria is being drafted today. Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council will use the information to decide whether or not to take part in the search for a possible site for the nuclear waste.
ITV Border 25th June 2012 more >>
EDF Energy shut down its 620-megawatt (MW) Hartlepool 1 nuclear reactor in Britain on Saturday and restarted its 550-MW Dungeness B21 unit on Sunday, a spokeswoman said.”Hartlepool unit 1 was shut down on Saturday June 23 for planned refuelling,” she said, adding that a boiler tube leak would also be fixed during this time.
Reuters 25th June 2012 more >>
BOSSES from the energy firm behind plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley have revealed ‘local’ workers could live up to 90 minutes away. Speaking at a business breakfast at The Exchange Conference Centre at Bridgwater’s Express Park last week, EDF representative David Eccles gave a project update and was quizzed by guests. Mr Eccles said at peak there will be 5,600 on site and during operation about 900 workers involved, adding: We estimate between 20,000 and 25,000 people will work on the project during the nine year construction period.
This is the West Country 25th June 2012 more >>
EDF Energy shut down its 610-megawatt (MW) Heysham 1-2 nuclear reactor in Britain on Monday evening for an unplanned outage, the operator said.
Reuters 26th June 2012 more >>
Small-scale nuclear reactors with a capacity of up to 300MW could have an increasingly important role to play in the world’s future energy mix. Short development lead-times, simple plant design and straightforward financing are highlighted by business advisor Steve Robertson, director of Douglas-Westwood, as potential areas of benefit attached to small modular reactors (SMRs).
Edie 25th June 2012 more >>
The first seafood caught off Japans Fukushima coastline since last years nuclear disaster went on sale yesterday, but the fishermens offerings were limited to octopus and whelk because of persisting fears about radiation. Octopus and whelk were chosen for the initial shipments because testing for radioactive caesium consistently measured no detectable amounts, according to the Fukushima prefectural fishing co-operative. They were caught on Friday and boiled so they last longer while being tested for radiation before they could be sold yesterday. Flounder, sea bass and other fish from Fukushima cannot be sold yet because of contamination. It was unclear when they will be approved for sale as they measure above the radiation limit set by the government. The government is testing for radioactive iodine as well, but its half-life is shorter than caesium and thus is less worrisome.
Scotsman 26th June 2012 more >>
Letter: Japan imports uranium fuel for its nuclear reactors from some politically highly unstable regions of the world, such as central Asia. It also has to ship the resulting nuclear waste past the coasts of other unstable areas of the globe for reprocessing in Europe because it has failed so far to establish a reprocessing capability of its own. Being seismically active and geologically unstable, neither is Japan able to provide safe long-term storage for the 1,000 tonnes or so of waste, dangerous for centuries afterwards, that its reactors produce each year when operating. Rather than simply throwing the nuclear switch back on, surely Japans first priority should be to cut wasteful electricity consumption. Despite being almost devoid of natural energy resources (except for its barely exploited geothermal riches), Japan has developed an unhealthy addiction to electricity it can ill afford.
FT 25th June 2012 more >>
On 21 June, the Lithuanian Parliament approved new laws on the Visaginas nuclear power plant project, which will enable a project development company to be established and contracts to be signed.
Nuclear Engineering International 25th June 2012 more >>
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) confirmed its endorsement of Dr. Allison McFarlane as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently. McFarlane has been nominated by President Obama to complete retiring Chairman Gregory Jaczkos term as chair of the NRC.
IB Times 25th June 2012 more >>
It is funny what people choose to worry about. The west is obsessed with stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons. By contrast, Pakistans nuclear programme is not much discussed. And yet, by any sensible measure, Pakistani nukes are much more worrying.
FT 25th June 2012 more >>
Across the UK, households could be losing £1.3 billion by not fully switching off computers, televisions and other electronic devices, the research from the Energy Saving Trust and two government departments revealed. The study, which closely monitored the electricity use of 250 homes, found that the households were spending between £50 and £86 on gadgets in a “non-active” or standby state, equivalent to 9pc to 16pc of the average electricity bill.
Telegraph 26th June 2012 more >>
Guardian 26th June 2012 more >>