The Coalition’s plans to keep Britain’s lights on with green electricity have a high risk of failing, the Major Projects Authority has warned. Up to six flagship projects have been classified as “high risk” by the spending watchdog, including new nuclear power stations and key reforms of the electricity market. The authority, set up by David Cameron last year, has described the Coalitions plans to encourage more wind farms and nuclear power stations as feasible. However, the watchdog is doubtful that Britain can have a reliable energy supply from green sources and keep energy bills affordable under the current plans. Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, yesterday defended his reforms as the right thing to do, as MPs on the energy committee argued they were “not fit for purpose”. The Major Projects Authority fears that unpredictable energy prices and high construction costs could jeopardise the £110 billion of new power plants and networks. The damning concerns emerged in a report published by the National Audit Office, looking at the challenges facing the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It raised concerns about the energy projects as far back as October 2011.
Telegraph 27th June 2012 more >>
Davey & Hendry give evidence to the Select Committee on Energy Bill
Parliament 26th June 2012 more >>
UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said June 26 the governments timetable for finalising electricity market reforms (EMR) has not changed and that EDF was fully aware of that timetable when it made passage of the EMR law a condition for taking its final investment decision on Hinkley Point C. EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz had previously told the House of Commons Energy committee that among the three conditions necessary for it to take its final investment decision at the end of this year to build two Areva EPRs at Hinkley Point C was that government keeps to its original timetable of Spring next year for royal assent to the EMR bill. Yeo said that de Rivaz demand for royal assent to the bill by Spring 2013 wont be achieved and asked Davey how that would impact government plans for new nuclear. Our timetable hasnt changed. We havent changed our word. EDF is very much aware of this, Davey replied. He said governments schedule is not news to EDF.
i-Nuclear 26th June 2012 more >>
UK Secretary of State for Energy Ed Davey told members of an energy oversight committee in the Commons June 26 that it was never the intention of the government to underwrite or stand behind contracts for difference (CFD) for new nuclear power and other low carbon generation projects. Davey and Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) officials said that descriptions of the controversial CfDs in government documents that strongly implied a government backing were badly written and unfortunate. Davey said that contrary to widespread belief, backing for the proposed CfDs was always based on the flow of money from electricity consumers, without government guarantees. Some people believe we could have a single party counterparty (for the CfD) where the government is backing that single counterparty. I dont believe we need that, Davey told the Energy and Climate Change Committee. The statement from Davey and DECC officials clearly came as a surprise to the Energy and Climate Change Committee, who, along with key industry executives, believed that the government had switched from proposing a CfD contract with the government as the counterparty, implying government backing, to a CfD with multiple counterparties, namely UK electricity suppliers.
i-Nuclear 26th June 2012 more >>
The energy secretary has promised to look at complaints from power companies that the governments energy bill risks deterring much-needed investment in the sector. Ed Davey broadly defended the proposed reforms and said industry critics were in many cases worried about losing windfall profits made under the previous system. But he promised to look at concerns over the payment system for low-carbon electricity companies set out in the draft bill unveiled last month. But executives at some of the UKs biggest energy companies told the energy committee this month that the proposed legislation was so ill-defined in some areas that potential investors were being scared away. The concern about the payment system in the draft bill relates to a central feature of reforms: long-term contracts guaranteeing a set price for low-carbon electricity. Consultations before the draft bills release had hinted that the government would act as a counterparty for such contracts but it now appears this will not be the case, which some companies fear will raise the cost of capital for investors.
FT 26th June 2012 more >>
The University of Exeter, SSE, Consumer Focus and WWF, along with representatives from 12 other organisations, today published the results of a series of roundtables on UK energy policy. The final communique of the roundtables concluded that the Governments draft Energy Bill and existing energy efficiency policies would in their current state, fail to deliver a secure, clean and affordable power sector for the UK and would result in the UK missing out on some key economic growth opportunities. Managing primary energy demand must be the centrepiece of energy policy, not an afterthought to make decarbonisation easier. The group called for measures to reduce energy demand to be given the same status under the Energy Bill as measures that seek to support the construction of low-carbon generation. Affordability of energy is central to energy policy and policy costs should be recovered in the least regressive manner, by in particular avoiding disproportionate impacts on low-income consumers. Government should use revenues generated from the carbon floor price and EU Emissions Trading Scheme auctions to fund energy efficiency measures. Reducing carbon intensity and environmental risks requires long-term investment certainty for emerging low-carbon technologies to accelerate deployment and cost reductions. The CfD feed-in tariff for renewable technologies should be reviewed so that it is suitable for all technologies. The group also called for a binding 50gCO2/kWh decarbonisation target by 2030 to be inserted in the Energy Bill, with several organisations also calling for the UK to support a binding EU 2030 renewables target. Maintaining security of energy supply means achieving a diverse mix and range of fuel sources including decentralised energy and, in this mix, renewable energy should not be classified as a single energy source. The group agreed that a wide range of system security options would be the best way to maintain system security costs effectively and sustainably, and open up potential export opportunities for the UK.
WWF 27th June 2012 more >>
MPs investigating the impact of the Energy Bill have accused the Treasury of interfering with the coalition’s green growth agenda, after the Chancellor yesterday froze a planned fuel duty rise and Treasury ministers refused to give evidence about their influence on low carbon subsidies. MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee had hoped Economic Secretary Chloe Smith would appear at a hearing yesterday to answer crucial questions on the levy-cap the Treasury has set for low-carbon subsidies. Tim Yeo, the chairman of the Committee who had previously written to Smith requesting her attendance, has now written demanding written answers to 18 questions by the end of the month. The Committee said it has heard a number of concerns from energy companies and investors regarding the Treasury’s role in electricity market reform, including whether its decision not to directly underwrite the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) could push up the cost of capital. The government last year suggested it would back CfDs as a single counterparty, but the draft Energy Bill launched last month instead proposed a multi-party contract model that some investors believe could increase investment risks. Speaking at the hearing yesterday, Phillip Lee, Conservative MP for Bristol, suggested the Treasury had interfered with the bill’s proposals in order to reduce its liability for green investments.
Business Green 27th June 2012 more >>
Despite this being the most even handed BBC coverage of the nukiller dump so far, Tom, the Countryfile presenter repeats the myth being put out to the world that Cumbria is a willing community for a nukiller dump. This willingness is based on an officially dodgy Ipsos Mori telephone poll. The democratic vote of Parish and Town Councils in Cumbria who have unanimously voted no in the Sellafield area is being ignored as it is not part of the official narrative. A Willing Community is required to keep this insane process going to its diabolic conclusion.
Radiation Free Lakeland 26th June 2012 more >>
Planners are meeting to discuss the potential impact of a decision to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley. Around 5,000 construction workers would move into the area if the government approves the plans by EDF Energy. But increases in traffic, demand for homes and crime levels, will be highlighted at a meeting in Bridgwater, Somerset. Local authorities, Natural England, and police and fire service representatives are attending. The hearing is being held by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) and will also hear about environmental considerations from the Environment Agency. The Innovia company which owns a large site in Bridgwater where EDF Energy wants to build accommodation for its workers, will also give its views. Avon and Somerset police has predicted an increase in crime or anti-social behaviour of more than 350 incidents by 2016 based on an influx to the region of 5,000 people.
BBC 26th June 2012 more >>
A nuclear revival could boost the UK economy by £5 billion a year, according to new research commissioned by EDF Energy.
Energy Live 26th June 2012 more >>
Platts 26th June 2012 more >>
Your Industry News 26th June 2012 more >>
Dow Jones 26th June 2012 more >>
World Nuclear News 26th June 2012 more >>
Metro 26th June 2012 more >>
East Anglian Daily Times 27th June 2012 more >>
Following the decision in March by German utilities RWE and E.on to withdraw from plans to build plants at Wylfa on Anglesey and at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, and put their Horizon, nuclear joint venture up for sale, well-placed observers say three consortia are interested in acquiring the joint venture.
Hazard Ex 26th June 2012 more >>
THE decommissioned Magnox power station site in Berkeley has won the Order of Distinction at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012.
Stroud Life 27th June 2012 more >>
A NUCLEAR accident response exercise is set to take place tomorrow as part of the Ministry of Defence contingency planning arrangements. The Vulcan Naval Nuclear Reactor Test Establishment will hold the exercise, named LONESTAR 2012, in accordance with Radiation Regulations 2001 which require the MoD to develop plans for responding in the unlikely event of an accident involving the reactor. Minimal exercise play will take place at Vulcan and Dounreay when the alarm will sound at 10am.
John O Groat Journal 26th June 2012 more >>
THE National Skills Academy for Nuclear, in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), is rolling out a seventh round of its high successful Nuclear Bursary Award Scheme. This latest round of the bursary scheme is aimed at quality individuals on programmes of study relevant to the nuclear industry with a particular emphasis on nuclear professionalism.
Whitehaven News 26th June 2012 more >>
Two prominent seismologists said on Tuesday that Japan is ignoring the safety lessons of last year’s Fukushima crisis and warned against restarting two reactors next month.
Reuters 26th June 2012 more >>
Asahi 26th June 2012 more >>
A pool brimming with hundreds of tonnes of spent nuclear fuel rods perched 30 metres above the ground in a shattered building next to a damaged reactor. While much has been made of the meltdowns in reactors one, two and three at Fukushima, not so well known is the precarious state of the fuel storage pool in reactor four.
Radio Australia 26th June 2012 more >>
A heavily damaged reactor building at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has a slight tilt, but the tilt does not pose a risk to the integrity of the building, according to the plants operator. The latest findings could add to concerns over the state of the No. 4 reactor building, which houses on its upper floors a cooling pool filled with 1,331 spent and 204 unused nuclear fuel assemblies. Each assembly contains approximately 50 to 70 rods. Some experts say that the building ravaged in a hydrogen explosion in the early days of the disaster in March 2011 is not strong enough to support the fuel pool, especially if another earthquake hits the region.
New York Times 26th June 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 22nd June to 25th June.
Greenpeace International 26th June 2012 more >>
Asia-Pacific countries must work together to ensure that nuclear power can continue its important role in the region’s energy mix despite the experiences of Fukushima, according to a declaration from energy ministers.
World Nuclear News 26th June 2012 more >>
The first seafood caught off the Fukushima coastline since last year’s Japanese nuclear disaster has gone on sale. Octopus and whelk, a kind of marine snail, 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. Flounder, sea bass and other fish from Fukushima cannot be sold yet because of contamination.
Telegraph 26th June 2012 more >>
A new cost estimate and construction schedule for a massive waste plant being built at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site will be delayed at least a year as workers try to resolve serious technical problems raised by whistleblowers about design and safety, the U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday. The announcement seemed certain to spark new fears about the long-term viability of the project that has already been the subject of numerous lawsuits and remains a top priority of Washington and Oregon despite its ballooning budget and delays. The $12.3 billion waste treatment plant is currently scheduled to begin operating in 2019, under a consent decree with Washington state, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. The plant, long considered the cornerstone of the cleanup at Hanford, is being built to convert highly radioactive and toxic waste into a stable glass form for permanent disposal underground.
AP 27th June 2012 more >>
Slovakia’s prime minister said Tuesday he wants more than twice as much EU cash to fully decommission two Soviet-era nuclear reactors that were closed after the country joined the European Union. “We will ask for the already allocated 115 million euros ($143 million) to cover the costs of the decommissioning process to be raised to at least 300 million euros,” Robert Fico told journalists in Bratislava. “Otherwise we won’t continue,” the Slovakian premier warned. “Right now we can’t afford to spend money on decommissioning two reactors that we didn’t want to decommission in the first place,” Fico explained.
EU Business 26th June 2012 more >>
It ought to be a tourist areas dream: The Lake Huron shoreline north of Kincardine is gaining a reputation across the U.S. But the attention coming from states as far-flung as California, Missouri, Tennessee and Florida isnt centred on the lakes blue water and white beaches. Its coming from Americans who are angry that Canada would consider building a storage area for low and intermediate level nuclear waste beneath the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes.
Toronto Star 26th June 2012 more >>
THE First Minister has been criticised for saying he would welcome the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet in West Wales. Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said keeping the weapons close to the oil refineries of Milford Haven lacked common sense and disregarded workers’ safety. Mr Thomas had Carwyn Jones recalled to the chamber after the First Minister said he would welcome the Trident fleet to Wales if it was removed from its base in Clyde, Scotland, as is the wish of the Scottish National Party. After the session Mr Thomas said: “I understand a former MoD report ruled out Milford as a suitable location for nuclear missiles in the 1960s on the basis it was too hazardous next to the oil refinery. Today we have two refineries and the LNG pipeline which handles more than 20 per cent of the UK’s energy. It is common sense oil, gas and nuclear missiles don’t mix. The Labour party must state whether they will abandon the many workers in Milford in favour of weapons of mass destruction.
Carmarthen Journal 27th June 2012 more >>
The Welsh Liberal Democrat leader has told the First Minister he risks ‘stooping to new depths’ by refusing to answer written questions on his controversial calls to relocate the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet to Wales.
ITV Wales 26th June 2012 more >>
Carwyn Jones today appeared to row back from his call for the UKs nuclear deterrent to be brought to Wales, saying that arguments over such a move were entirely academic. Mr Jones appeared keen to bring the debate to an end by telling the Senedd that the UK Government had made clear they would remain in Scotland. It follows rumours of Cabinet unrest and five Labour MPs publicly voicing their opposition to siting Trident in Wales.
Wales Online 26th June 2012 more >>
THE announcement this week by Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, that he was placing a £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion) order with Rolls-Royce for nuclear reactors to power the successors to Britains fleet of four Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines set off a flurry of controversy. Getting rid of the countrys nuclear weapons has at times divided the Labour Party in fratricidal acrimony. These days, however, the divisions are felt most keenly within the coalition government.
Economist 23rd June 2012 more >>
Controversial plans to build a major coal-fired power station in Ayrshire using unproven “clean coal” technology have been abandoned, to the delight of environmental campaigners. The developers, Ayrshire Power, blamed their unexpected decision to withdraw plans for a new 1852MW carbon-capture power station at Hunterston on the recession and anxieties about winning funding from the government and European commission. Their announcement, just days after the dates for a public inquiry into the project were agreed by a Scottish planning inspector, is another blow to the UK and Scottish government’s attempts to promote carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a centrepiece of their efforts to combat climate change.
Guardian 26th June 2012 more >>
RobEdwards 26th June 2012 more >>