The Government legislated in the Energy Act 2008 to ensure that operators of new nuclear power stations will have secure financing arrangements in place to meet the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal costs. Before construction begins, an operator of a new nuclear power station will have to submit a Funded Decommissioning Programme (FDP) for approval by the Secretary of State. The Energy Act is supported by regulations, which were subject to public consultation in spring 2010 and came into effect in April 2011. Since the consultation the Government conducted a further consultation on draft FDP Guidance and published its updated Guidance in December 2011. As a result of views expressed in the consultation and the Governments further work on the Guidance, the Government has concluded that the Current Regulations should be amended. The changes proposed relate to three specific areas of the current regulations: reporting requirements, independent verification and the modification of an FDP. The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on whether or not the proposals strike the right balance in setting a framework which is achievable at reasonable cost to the operator while enabling the Secretary of State to have confidence that the FDP continues to represent prudent provision for the operators liabilities.
DECC 27th April 2012 more >>
Letter David Toke: The FT is right to feature a debate about whether subsidies should go to nuclear power or renewable energy. However, the article is in danger of confusing two things: first, allowing nuclear new build to get the same sort of premium price contracts for supplying electricity as may be given to renewable developers; and second, the government agreeing to underwrite the costs of new nuclear build. Renewable developers do not get their construction cost overruns underwritten by government. If the nuclear industry is asking for additional layers of subsidy compared to that given to renewable developers, the nuclear industry is tacitly admitting it is less cost-effective than renewables. The danger is that nuclear developers may be offered unlimited subsidies to cover any construction cost overruns and that this will be hidden in commercially confidential contracts given to them. This would amount to the government giving nuclear constructors a blank cheque on electricity consumers behalf. What we must demand now is that such moves be made public rather than, as in previous funding streams for nuclear power, hidden from us until it is too late to complain.
FT 28th April 2012 more >>
Hinkley nuclear plant could be delayed by two years: Client EDF claims restrictions on lorry movements could hold up completion of the project.
Building 27th April 2012 more >>
COMMUNITIES across Sedgemoor are being urged to let Government planners know any concerns about proposals for Hinkley Point. Hundreds of people are expected to attend open floor meetings next month where members of the public can address planning officials. People who want to speak at the meetings must have already registered but the meeting is open to the public to attend. A meeting will be held in Bridgwater on Wednesday, May 16, and similar sessions will be held in Cannington on Wednesday, May 9, Combwich on Thursday, May 10, and Stogursey on Thursday, May 17.
This is the West Country 27th April 2012 more >>
One of Wylfas twin reactors ceased generating electricity yesterday after 41 years of safe operation. Originally planned for the 30th April, the reactor shut down five days earlier than planned after an issue was identified with the plant. Normally, the reactor would have returned to service within a few days following an investigation. The decision has been taken, however, not to restart the reactor due to the closeness to the scheduled shutdown date.
NDA 26th April 2012 more >>
Peer review country report: United Kingdom. “In the area of extreme natural hazards all the issues are addressed in the report. During the stress test process, Electricité de France Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd (EDF-NGL) concluded that it was not in position to carry out meaningful margin assessment for seismic, flood or extreme weather conditions in the timescales of the stress test assessment. ONR considers the design basis requirements to be robust and that the design basis events used by licensees are reasonable. Nevertheless ONR considers that existing methodologies may benefit from a review against the latest approaches and that additional, more systematic work on margins is required for beyond design basis events and identification of cliff edges. It is therefore difficult to fully evaluate safety margins at this time.”
ENSREG 26th April 2012 more >>
Councils across west Cumbria are not backing plans for a new nuclear waste dump. The Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) which represents town and parish councils on the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MWES) Partnership will not support any move to look for a suitable site.
Carlisle News & Star 27th April 2012 more >>
The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) has issued a consultation response that indicates that its sole concern about proposals for a dump for high-level nuclear waste to be built under the Lake District is bad publicity to the Lakeland ‘brand’. The proposed Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) (nuclear waste dump) within the National Park would be the first of its kind, would become known throughout the world, and must remain intact and sealed from any groundwater seepage for several hundred thousand years with potentially deadly consequences to the region if it should weaken at any point in that era.
Virtual Lancaster 26th April 2012 more >>
Areva generated consolidated revenue of 2.026 billion euros in the first quarter of 2012, up 2.4% compared with the same period in 2011, the company said April 26. The increase in revenue in the Mining Business Group (+11.9%), the Reactors & Services Business Group (+5.8%) and the Renewable Energies Business Group (+198.2%) offset the expected decrease in revenue in the Front End Business Group (-17.2%), Areva said April 26. The Front End BG reported revenue of 432 million euros for the first quarter of 2012, a decrease of 17.2% compared with the first quarter of 2011. Revenue from the enrichment business decreased, following a decrease in volumes delivered over the period due to the expiration of the legacy contract with EDF for enrichment services from the Georges Besse plant, Areva said.
i-Nuclear 27th April 2012 more >>
On the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Ukraine launched the construction of a new and improved shelter to permanently secure the traumatized plant. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pressed the symbolic button at the construction site, while workers and ambassadors from countries including China and Japan watched on. The president also spoke during the ceremony, which inaugurated the initial assembly of an enormous arch-shaped building that will essentially cover the remnants of the infamous exploded reactor.
IB Times 27th April 2012 more >>
Greek, Polish and Portuguese legislation is not in line with EU law on nuclear safety.
eGov Monitor 27th April 2012 more >>
Foreign Office Minister: Given our expectation that world-wide energy demand is set to double by 2050, and the stark reality that we must reduce global greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, then it is clear that the debate about the peaceful uses of nuclear power and the risks of the spread of nuclear weapons is set to continue. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is at the heart of our approach to this debate. The 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee starting next week in Vienna (30 April – 11 May) will be the first meeting of States Parties to assess our progress and build on the success of 2010. I hope that all states will come ready to discuss the progress they have made and plans for implementation of the NPT action plan. I am pleased that the UK will have an excellent story to tell.
Huffington Post 27th April 2012 more >>
Fukushima update 24th – 26th April 2012.
Greenpeace 27th April 2012 more >>
Tokyo Electric Power, the Japanese nuclear crisis-hit utility, has submitted a recovery plan to the government under which the state will inject Y1tn ($12.4bn) for a controlling stake, banks will lend a further Y1tn, costs will be cut and electricity rates increased. The plan, which has been under discussion since January, aims to ensure Asias largest private utility by sales can shoulder the burden of huge compensation for victims of the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi atomic plant and of de-commissioning its wrecked reactors and fuel ponds. In return for injecting Y1tn, the government will take an initial stake of 50.1 per cent in Tepco along with rights to a further one-sixth of the companys shares that it can exercise later if it deems necessary, according to an official involved in the plan. The official said the nationalisation of the utility was intended to be a temporary measure to keep Tepco afloat and give it a chance to win back public confidence.
FT 27th April 2012 more >>
A nuclear power plant has been forced to shut down because of an infestation of jellyfish-like creatures. Diablo Canyon, in California, was completely closed yesterday after a swarm of salp was found clogging filters meant to keep marine life out and the unit cool. The slimy sea creatures were discovered as part of the Pacific Gas & Electric plant’s routine monitoring system.
Daily Mail 27th April 2012 more >>
The day a nuclear bomb fell on South Carolina: Extraordinary story of how U.S. air force accidentally dropped weapon of mass destruction onto little girl’s playhouse
Daily Mail 27th April 2012 more >>
Act now to create a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East.” This is the message from supporters of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to Ambassador Peter Woolcott, who will this weekend (30 April 2012) chair the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee in Vienna.
Ekklesia 27th April 2012 more >>
Energy bills are soaring and UK consumers are feeling the pinch. Leading politicians and consumer groups are rushing in with a new solution: collective switching. But they should beware. Done wrong, collective switching will take money from the poor and the old and put it in the pockets of the middle classes while undermining competition between energy suppliers. All eyes should instead be on the regulator, Ofgem, whose job it is to fix the UK’s broken energy market.
Guardian 27th April 2012 more >>
Letter Andy Atkins: While it’s encouraging that David Cameron has restated his pledge to lead the greenest government ever, his assertion that it’s already been achieved is jaw-droppingly wide of the mark. Earlier this year the government fired the starting pistol for a new “dash for gas” by allowing new gas-fired stations to be built without any restriction on the amount of carbon they emit until the middle of the century which would leave the UK hooked on expensive fossil fuels for decades. The electricity market reform bill, expected in the Queen’s speech, is an ideal opportunity for the PM to show his government’s commitment to a cleaner future. The aim should be an electricity system almost entirely free from carbon by 2030 and a huge investment in the nation’s substantial clean energy potential.
Guardian 27th April 2012 more >>
This week’s Micro Power News: Solar Power Portal explores financing options; Forrest Housing Association and Dimplex team up to design social housing finance scheme; Westminster Govt releases biomass strategy; Labour attacks solar shambles; Bristol Energy Co-op aims to raise £90k.
Microgen Scotland 27th April 2012 more >>