The two largest electricity utilities in Germany E.ON and RWE have declared they will build no more fossil fuel generation plants because they are not needed, challenging a widespread belief that the phasing out of nuclear in Europes most industrialised economy will require more coal-fired generation to be built. Both E.ON and RWE say the rapid expansion of renewable energy, particularly solar but also wind, would make up for the loss of capacity from nuclear. We wont be building any more gas and coal power generation plants in western Europe, because the market does not need them, a spokesman for E.ON told reporters at a briefing at the groups headquarters on Friday. RWE made a similar statement a week earlier. A third major operator, Vattenfall, agreed that the market in Western Europe is oversupplied but said some limited capacity may be needed in the southern part of Germany. The nuclear industry has been trying to ridicule Angela Merkels decision to exist nuclear, suggesting that without nuclear grid operators will simply turn to more polluting energy sources such as coal or gas. Germany is their Exhibit A, where they insist that 20GW of coal-fired power will be required to be built to substitute for retired nuclear plant. But thats not happening. The only fossil fuel plants that are being built are those committed to, or commenced, before the nuclear phase out was announced.
RE New Economy 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Improving global nuclear safety after last year’s Fukushima disaster must remain an urgent concern, despite improvements already made, the U.N. atomic agency chief said on Monday. “Much work remains to be done and we must not relax our guard,” said Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, at the start of an IAEA-hosted conference aimed at enhancing international standards to prevent any repeat of Japan’s reactor meltdowns. “The accident may have faded from international headlines but it is essential that all of us – member states, the IAEA and other key stakeholders – maintain our sense of urgency,” the veteran Japanese diplomat said.
Reuters 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Norwegian environmental organisations are shocked by the amount of nuclear waste dumped by the Russians in the Kara Sea and parts of the Barents Sea. A report by Aftenposten reveals that among the waste Russia has dumped in its northern waters, are three nuclear submarines, 19 vessels loaded with solid nuclear waste and more than 17,000 containers filled with nuclear waste, in addition to a number of smaller units. The report is based on information sent by the Russian authorities to the Norwegian National Radiological Protection Board (Strålevernet).
Norway Post 28th Aug 2012 more >>
As well as the beauty of Kremlin’s golden cathedral spires, sinister nuclear missiles will also welcome tourists to Moscow, according to bizarre billboard advertisements from Russia’s national airline.
Telegraph 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Bulgaria has relaunched its nuclear power programme, hiring Westinghouse to prepare a proposal for a third reactor at its Kozloduy site, having shelved plans to build a new plant at Belene in March after failing to attract foreign investors.
Reuters 27th Aug 2012 more >>
AQ Khan, the renegade Pakistani nuclear scientist, has launched his own political movement targeting the youth vote as the country gears up for an election. Khan’s entry into politics could alarm many in the west, after his involvement in spreading nuclear technology to customers including Iran and Libya. He enjoys hero status in Pakistan, while the religious right lauds him for having created the “Islamic bomb”. Khan said he wanted the growing younger population to cast its ballot, and “not sit at home”, against the established politicians.
Guardian 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Belgium will not reopen a nuclear power reactor which was closed over safety concerns until at least the end of the year, the government said on Monday.
Reuters 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Nuclear energy is a French “industry of the future, the countrys minister for industrial renewal said on Sunday in a comment that has upset environmentalists in coalition with the government. We need energy that is not too expensive, Arnaud Montebourg told BFM TV. France’s existing nuclear infrastructure is a huge asset, giving us cheap and affordable electricity. It is a strategically important asset and we will continue investing in Frances nuclear future. France, which has 59 nuclear reactors, is the worlds biggest consumer of atomic energy, which accounts for more than 75% of all electricity produced in the country. (The USA actually produces more, but it accounts for less than 20% of total consumption). During his successful 2012 presidential election campaign François Hollande, courting the support of the Europe-Ecologie-les-Verts (EELV) grouping of Green parties, pledged to find ways to reduce Frances reliance on atomic energy. In coalition negotiations with the EELV, he promised to launch a big debate and to start a process that would see the nuclear share of the energy market drop from 75% to 50% by 2025. But so far, only one of Frances 59 nuclear reactors, at Fissenheim in eastern France, is due to be decommissioned. In operation since 1978, it is Frances oldest nuclear plant. Hollande has also committed to finishing the construction of the 3rd generation EPR reactor in Flamanville, Normandy, which is expected to go into service in 2016. French energy giants Areva and EDF (the French state is majority shareholder in both companies) have already sold three EPR reactors (one to Finland and two to China) and are hoping to expand exports of the EPR model to global markets once they are operational.
France24 27th Aug 2012 more >>
French Labor Minister Michel Sapin Tuesday said nuclear energy will represent half of the country’s capacity to generate electricity for decades, after an industry minister clashed with the ecologist party, the government’s junior partner, over what importance to give to the industry. “An industry still representing 50% of the potential generation of electricity is an industry with future,” Sapin said. “The energy of the future is renewable energy.”
Fox Business 28th Aug 2012 more >>
JinkoSolar Holding has been awarded a 30MW supply contract by China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development. The modules will be used for a PV power plant that is being developed in Hami City, Xinjiang Province, China.
PV-tech 27thAug 2012 more >>
Iran indicated on Monday it might allow diplomats visiting Tehran for this week’s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit to go to the Parchin military base, which U.N. nuclear experts say may have been used for nuclear-related explosives tests.
Reuters 27th Aug 2012 more >>
New Nuclear Information Service newsletter. Stories includce: Trident warhead store at Coulport to be privatised; Atomic Weapons Establishment court hearing delayed; Approval finally given for HMS Ambush power range tests; French submarine visits Faslane Naval base; Government responds to Weightman Report; Convention on Nuclear Safety meets to discuss Fukushima implications; UK publishes details of civil fissile materials holdings’ Concern over planned privatisation of military equipment agency.
Nuclear Information Service August 2012 more >>
Vestas, the struggling Danish wind turbine manufacturer, is in talks on potential strategic co-operation with Japans Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The worlds largest wind company by sales on Tuesday did not disclose any details of the discussions but analysts have long speculated that Vestas could be a takeover target. Japan launched subsidies for renewable energy last month as it seeks to move away from its reliance on nuclear power following the accident at Fukushima. Wind power is subsidised at a rate more than four times higher than that in Germany. Japanese electricity companies are required to buy wind as well as solar and geothermal power at set rates for two decades.
FT 28th Aug 2012 more >>
The renewable energy companies competing for the £10m Saltire Prize will be announced by the Scottish government later. The announcement will be made in Orkney, where members of the Scottish Cabinet will meet on Wednesday. The competition was set up to encourage the development of wave and tidal energy devices in Scottish waters. Renewable energy firms will compete to see which device can produce the most electricity over two years. The rules state: “The Saltire Prize winner will be the team that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100 gigawatt hours over a continuous two-year period, using only the power of the sea.”
BBC 28th Aug 2012 more >>
First new council houses to be built in Lincoln for 20 years will have solar panels; The Isle of Wight could find itself at the heart of global efforts to decarbonise island communities; Local authorities increasingly interested in social benefits of investments in energy efficiency; Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to install almost 200 solar panels. This and more Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 24th Aug 2012 more >>