A new process to find a site for an underground repository for high-level nuclear waste in Cumbria is lacking detail, it has been claimed. Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland council, has expressed concern about the White Paper published last month, saying the process is “a kick in the teeth” for the community. She feels the council’s views put forward after the previous failed search procedure were ignored. At Copeland council’s executive meeting, she said: “They seem to have come up with a process that I’m not convinced that they will deliver.” Ms Woodburn said there were numerous questions to further clarify including which level of local authority has the final say, and what form a test of public support would be. The council will now write to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to raise these fresh concerns. She added: “I feel that this community has had a bit of a kick in the teeth in the process. I’m not sure if this process stays as it is that we would want to participate in it. It means for four years Copeland will be in limbo. Ultimately that will be someone else’s decision in four years’ time.” Further concern was raised about the timescale that the process may take and when a community can exercise its right of withdrawal. Formal discussions involving communities will not begin until 2016. The Government is set to form a community representation working group to lay out how the process will be taken forward, including the specifics of how communities volunteer. The construction of the disposal facility would guarantee around 570 jobs for decades to come and around 1,000 jobs during the construction phase – but it might not be ready until 2050 at the earliest.
News and Star 27th Aug 2014 read more »
CHINESE nuclear power giants want to build an atomic reactor at Bradwell, it has been claimed. The site, home to the partly decommissioned Magnox power plant, has emerged as a favourite for a new Chinese-built and designed plant, according to a report in the Sunday Times. Andy Blowers, chairman of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group, said: “We alerted people some months ago to the fact the Chinese were possibly eyeing up Bradwell. It could still be speculation as there have been discussions about other sites in the UK.” Mr Blowers said in light of the speculation, he would write to the Government’s Head of New Nuclear Policy seeking clarification, as he felt the public needed to know what was happening at Bradwell. Any development of a Chinesedesigned nuclear reactor on British shores is still years away. The agreement between EDF and its partners to build the Hinkley Point reactor, which will take a decade to construct, still has to receive approval from Brussels.
Colchester Gazette 27th Aug 2014 read more »
Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) will decide next month whether the lifetime of the country’s oldest nuclear reactor, Wylfa 1, can be extended, a spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday. The Wylfa 1 nuclear power reactor in Wales is 43 years old. It is scheduled to shut down at the end of September but its owner Magnox Limited has submitted an application to the ONR to prolong operations to December 2015. Magnox sent a Periodic Safety Review (PSR) at the end of last year to the regulator, in which it had to justify the continued use of the site.
Reuters 27th Aug 2014 read more »
The plant was closed for planned maintenance work on reactor one in January, resuming operations in July after the discovery of further problems delayed the restart date twice. Public consultation on the new reactor to be built by Hitachi-GE UK is open until October.
BBC 27th Aug 2014 read more »
A new storage facility designed to keep nuclear waste safe and secure has been completed by Sellafield Ltd. The Encapsulated Product Store 3 (EPS3) in Cumbria, which contains more than 32,000 cubic metres of concrete and 7,300 tonnes of steel, is capable of storing 29,000 waste drums. Pete Lutwyche, Sellafield Programme Director for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said the completion of EPS 3 marks a “major milestone” in the decommissioning of Sellafield. He added: “This facility is a key piece in the jigsaw of projects we need to clean up the most hazardous areas of the site – the NDA’s number one priority task. “Once opened, the building will provide world-class, modern storage of waste for many years to come, pending its ultimate transfer to the safest and most secure method of dealing with this material – disposal in a deep geological facility.”
Energy Live 27th Aug 2014 read more »
At a private dinner in the basement of a hotel in Mayfair in November 2012, an executive from one of the Big Six energy companies was drawing rough charts on a napkin. He was trying to explain how the group’s power stations, which he ran, were operated on a standalone basis from its supply business. “We don’t do them any favours,” he insisted, jabbing a finger at his colleague across the table who ran the supply side. “We operate the generation and supply businesses totally separately.” It was a brazen performance, but if it was intended to silence criticism and avert future questions, it failed. The vertically integrated model followed by all the Big Six, generating power and supplying it to customers, is at the heart of the investigation under way at the Competition and Markets Authority. Centrica, SSE, ScottishPower, EDF Energy, E.ON and npower su pply 95 per cent of the UK’s 26 million households and generate about two thirds of the electricity they use. They argue that this model allows them to balance supply and demand and ultimately is in consumers’ best interests. Critics claim that the Big Six have a stranglehold over the market and operate a cartel that is ripping off consumers. Nigel Cornwall, from Cornwall Energy, a consultancy, says that the dominance of the big groups is a sign of an uncompetitive market. “In most markets, such as insurance or telecoms, you will see fewer larger players and more intermediate players,” he said. “This is what happens in properly competitive markets without cost barriers. We clearly do not have that in energy.”
Times 28th Aug 2014 read more »
Big power stations in Europe could be redundant within 10-20 years as electric cars, cheaper batteries and new solar technologies transform the way electricity is generated, stored and distributed, say analysts at the world’s largest private bank. In a briefing paper sent to clients and investors this week, the Zurich-based UBS bank argues that large-scale, centralised power stations will soon become extinct because they are too big and inflexible, and are “not relevant” for future electricity generation. Instead, the authors expect it to be cheaper and more efficient for households and businesses to generate their own energy to power their cars and to store any surplus energy in their own buildings even without subsidies.The UBS report follows similar analysis by other large financial institutions and energy experts who expect new solar and renewable technologies to drive rapid change in large scale utility companies. Earlier this year, Michael Liebreich, founder and CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “The fact is that wind and solar have joined a long list of clean energy technologies – geothermal power, waste-to-energy, solar hot water, hydropower, sugar-cane based ethanol, combined heat and power, and all sorts of energy efficiency – which can be fully competitive with fossil fuels in the right circumstances.
Guardian 27th Aug 2014 read more »
Green World 27th Aug 2014 read more »
DSIT Solutions Ltd., a subsidiary of Acorn Energy, Inc. said that it has received an order for its underwater security system to protect a European nuclear power facility. The system is expected to be installed on site before the end of 2014. Dan Ben-Dov, DSIT´s vice president for sales and marketing said, “After establishing itself as the world´s provider of underwater security systems for the oil and gas industry, DSIT is extending its product offering to the Nuclear Power sector.”
Financial News 27th Aug 2014 read more »
On 10 April of this year, the mammoth Czech utility CEZ cancelled its tender for two new reactors at the Temelín nuclear power station after the government had declared it would not subsidise the effort. That also meant the end to the mandate of the Czech government’s nuclear envoy Václav Bartuška. He had to oversee that the whole project – tendering and policy development – made sense. His final report makes for interesting reading. Bartuška concludes: “I do not want Temelín 3+4 in a country that does not have a ready network of motorways, high speed trains, the basic infrastructure of a modern state.” His first conclusion is that decisions on nuclear power are only made by presidents and prime ministers, not by private firms or banks. Those latter are only prepared to participate if there are “clear conditions and guarantees promised by the sovereign power.”
Greenpeace 27th Aug 2014 read more »
Iran has conducted “mechanical” tests on a new, advanced machine to refine uranium, a senior official was quoted as saying on Wednesday, a disclosure that may annoy Western states pushing Tehran to scale back its nuclear programme. Iran’s development of new centrifuges to replace its current breakdown-prone model is watched closely by Western officials. It could allow the Islamic Republic to amass potential atomic bomb material much faster.
Reuters 27th Aug 2014 read more »
HENRIK LUND of Aalborg University, Denmark, has told the 21st International Congress of Chemical and Process Engineering (CHISA) that Denmark will be able to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Lund was presenting a plenary lecture at CHISA, in Prague, and said that the switch will require a holistic approach looking at so-called “smart energy systems”, not just considering electricity generation but heating and transport as well. The Danish government’s ambitious target was set in 2006 and includes these three key uses of non-renewable energy. The government has set several interim targets, including that 50% of energy will come from wind by 2020 and that no power plants will burn coal and no households will use oil for heating by 2030. The Danish government has had a long history of efficient energy planning after the oil crisis in 1973, and Lund said that there was almost universal cross-party support for the 100% renewable goal. Energy consumption is already stable, but achieving the government’s ambition will need more than just reducing the energy demand and improving the efficiency of energy production. Currently, around 30% of Denmark’s electricity comes from wind, while 50% comes from small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) plants. The CHP plants not only provide electricity, but heat to homes and businesses in the local area. This ‘district heating’ is much more efficient than individual houses having their own boilers.
The Chemical Engineer 27th Aug 2014 read more »
A nuclear reactor in South Korea has been shut after deadly, heavy downpours in the country. Flash floods hit the city of Busan at the tail end of last week and continued at the start of this week, with reports suggesting at least five deaths as a result. Rising water prompted the safety system to automatically shut unit 2 of the Kori nuclear plant, according to its owner Korea Hydro & Nuclear Plant (KHNP).
Energy Live News 27th Aug 2014 read more »
India is hoping to win Japanese backing for a nuclear energy pact during a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and lure investment into its $85 billion market while addressing Japan’s concern about doing business with a nuclear-armed country.India has been pushing for an agreement with Japan on the lines of a 2008 deal with the United States under which India was allowed to import U.S. nuclear fuel and technology without giving up its military nuclear programme.But Japan wants explicit Indian guarantees not to conduct nuclear tests and more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities to ensure that spent fuel is not diverted to make bombs.
Reuters 28th Aug 2014 read more »
CUMBRIA is unlikely to benefit if Scottish independence results in Britain’s submarines being moved from Faslane, experts have said. A key issue in the debate over Scottish independence is the 8,000 jobs at Faslane where the UK’s nuclear deterrent is stored. If Scotland gains independence, the submarines would need to be moved to England as the Scottish Nationalist Party would make nuclear weapons illegal. The issue has raised the question of where the submarines could be housed. Dave Barlow, chairman of the Barrow branch of the Submariners’ Association, said the tidal system and available space at the docks meant Barrow could not be home to the nuclear deterrent.
NW Evening Mail 27th Aug 2014 read more »
Speaking in Hiroshima in the weeks preceding the sixty-ninth anniversary of the bombing of the city, Yoko Ono stood up for peace declaring that ‘No More Hiroshima’ is a global issue.
Heritage Daily 27th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Just days after announcing work is to start on first phase of MeyGen tidal stream project, Atlantis Resources confirms initial funding for phase two. Atlantis Resources Limited has completed a busy few days, following last week’s announcement it is to start work on the world’s largest tidal stream project with confirmation it has secured a £7.5m contract to supply a new foundation for the second phase of the ground-breaking development. The company announced late last week that it has raised £50m to fund the first phase of the MeyGen project, which will see four 1.5MW turbines submerged on the seabed in the Pentland Firth and connected to the grid.
Business Green 27th Aug 2014 read more »
The government has been banned from promising homeowners that they will make savings through its flagship Green Deal home energy efficiency programme, following a controversial ad campaign in national newspapers that contained a litany of “misleading” statements. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today upheld six complaints against television adverts and a four-page advertorial in the Daily Express sponsored by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), featuring people who claimed to have made savings via the Green Deal energy efficiency financing.
Business Green 27th Aug 2014 read more »
There’s a growing global campaign to stop investments in the fossil fuel industry. The British Medical Association, the World Council of Churches and Stanford University are among those pledging to take their money out of oil, coal and gas firms. But if the idea catches on, it won’t just cause headaches for oil moguls. Investment managers will be scratching their heads too. If they can’t invest in fossil fuel firms, where should they put their money? Clean energy firms simply aren’t big enough to soak up $5 trillion currently invested in oil and gas firms, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). But divesting from coal would be much more feasible, it finds.
Carbon Brief 28th Aug 2014 read more »
Dr David Lowry: One conclusion in the Public Health England report, Review of the Potential Public Health Impacts of Exposure to Chemical and Radioactive Pollutants as a Result of Shale Gas Extraction, actually states: ”If the natural gas delivery point were to be close to the extraction point with a short transit time, radon present in the natural gas would have little time to decay … there is therefore, the potential for radon gas to be present in natural gas extracted from UK shale.” Hence there is undoubtedly a risk of radon gas being pumped into citizens’ homes as part of the shale gas stream.
South Wales Evening Post 27th Aug 2014 read more »