A series of roundtable discussions, organised by the University of Exeter, SSE, Consumer Focus and WWF has found that Governments draft Energy Bill and existing energy efficiency policies will 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.
Solar Power Portal 27th June 2012 more >>
Parish councillor Paul Gripton made an impassioned plea for early morning peace and quiet for his community when the Hinkley C nuclear power station planning hearing held a further public session yesterday. Combwich is the site of a proposed jetty where thousands of tons of construction material would be landed. A huge laydown area is also proposed.
Western Daily Press 27th June 2012 more >>
The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority revealed June 27 that in addition to exploring the use of the GE Hitachi Prism fast reactor for plutonium disposition, it is also in talks with Candu Energy Inc. for burning the NDAs plutonium stockpiles in MOX fuel in a Candu reactor to be built in the UK. The governments stated preferred option for disposing of the UKs 112 tonnes of civil plutonium is to re-use the plutonium in mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel for burning in light water reactors. But in February, the NDA requested proposals for alternatives to the preferred option, and acknowledged it was engaged in talks with GE Hitachi, who was offering its Prism fast reactor for use in plutonium disposition.
i-Nuclear 27th June 2012 more >>
By the time the deadline for expressions of interest had passed, on the 31 March 2012, we had received 4 responses. NDA undertook initial discussions with each respondent and considered that there was merit in progressing two of the alternative proposals alongside development of reuse as MOX in Light Water Reactors. Further detailed discussions have taken place and NDA has subsequently engaged General Electric-Hitachi (GEH) and Candu to provide further information regarding their proposals. The GEH proposal relates to a UK deployment of its PRISM reactor as part of an integral fuel fabrication/reactor plant solution for Plutonium disposition. The engagement is focused on assessing the technical and commercial credibility of the approach, noting that the technology proposed is not currently included in the NDA credible options. The Candu proposal relates to a UK deployment of its Enhanced CANDU 6 reactor and associated facilities to provide a solution for Plutonium disposition. The engagement is focused on assessing the commercial credibility of the approach and refreshing and refining technical studies undertaken previously, noting that the technology proposed is currently included in the NDA credible options.
NDA 27th June 2012 more >>
Candu Energy Inc. (Candu) is pleased to announce it has engaged with the United Kingdom’s (UK) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to assist in providing alternative full lifecycle approaches for managing that country’s fissile material stocks. The UK’s preferred method is to re-use the material as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel.
Sacramento Bee 27th June 2012 more >>
New technology called pyroprocessing takes spent fuel, which leaves the reactor in a hard ceramic form, and chops it up into small pieces in order to convert it back into metal. The metal is then placed in a vat of molten salts, called an electrorefiner, where an electric current is used to separate the uranium from the truly spent fuel. The uranium is then used to recreate a new fuel rod, and the junk is cast into stable glass discs and placed into permanent storage. Whilst the waste material must still be put into permanent storage, this need only be for a few hundred years rather than the thousands of years normally required.
Oil Price 27th June 2012 more >>
AN inquiry by a cross-party group of AMs today urges the Welsh Government to campaign to secure a new developer for the Wylfa B nuclear power plant on Anglesey. The near year-long investigation also pushes for the maximum expansion of renewable energy production from wind and tidal power in Wales. Energy policies have been highly controversial for the Welsh Government with opponents to a new reactor on Anglesey and large scale protests over the impact of wind turbines and power pylons in rural Powys. But AMs on the Assembly environment committee gave majority backing to the Welsh Government’s position on nuclear power that there should be no new sites but the potential at existing nuclear sites, like Wylfa, needs to be exploited as a low-cost form of on demand low carbon energy.
Power Engineering 27th June 2012 more >>
Shareholders of Japan’s electricity companies voted on Wednesday to stick with nuclear power despite rising public opposition after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in March last year. The votes against abandoning nuclear power at the annual general meetings of utilities including Kansai Electric Power Co and Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the company at the centre of last year’s Fukushima disaster, come days before the country’s first reactors are due to come back online. Kansai executives sat stony faced on a podium while shareholders, including the mayor of Osaka, urged them to ditch nuclear power. “We are facing an epochal shift in the energy supply framework,” Mayor Toru Hashimoto told the meeting to applause and shouts of support from other shareholders. “I would like executives to keep that in mind and aim to build a new energy supply system.” But shareholders voted against motions that either called on the company to exit or reduce its reliance on nuclear power, a relief to executives who said keeping the company’s 11 nuclear reactors shut would add 900 billion yen ($11.33 billion) in annual fuel costs.
Reuters 27th June 2012 more >>
Engineering & Technology 27th June 2012 more >>
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), owner of the crippled Fukushima reactors, is committed to restarting another nuclear plant next year that is the worlds largest and itself was damaged in a 2007 earthquake. Bringing the Kashiwazaki Kariwa power station online, even though it sets up the state-controlled utility for further conflicts with a nuclear-weary public, is part of Plan A,President Naomi Hirose, 59, said in an interview. The plan refers to a 10-year business reconstruction that handed control of the power company known as Tepco to Japans government.
Bloomberg 28th June 2012 more >>
Letter: Whatever the strength of Gideon Rachmans argument that nuclear-armed Pakistan is a more alarming menace than a future nuclear-armed Iran, there is an important difference between the two countries that he does not discuss: Iran has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Pakistan has not. As a member of the NPT, Iran is prohibited from manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons. Doing so, if this is Irans intention, would create an alarming precedent.
FT 27th June 2012 more >>
Letter: While the UN Security Council affirms that it would suspend the sanctions if Iran suspended all enrichment-related activities, the US sanctions regime gives no such undertaking. In fact, it goes beyond the nuclear issue, and imposes conditions on Irans internal matters such as civil liberties and penal reforms no country, not even among US allies, would adhere to such conditions. This means that even if Iran were to stop its nuclear weapons programme and dump all its centrifuges into the sea, Iran would still be sanctioned by the US. The west, instead of conflating regime change with nuclear proliferation, should declare, without conditions, that the core goal of its policy in Tehran is not regime change, but policy change. Once the horse of no regime change is placed in front, it is quite possible that Irans cart of nuclear non-proliferation may follow.
FT 27th June 2012 more >>
AN energy company’s decision to abandon plans for a controversial new coal-fired power station with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology was blamed yesterday on the preferential subsidies given to wind farms. Ayrshire Power is withdrawing its planning application for the facility at Hunterston, which was due to be the subject of a public inquiry later this year. It said the economic slowdown and funding uncertainty were responsible, and also confirmed it was withdrawing the project from the Government’s CCS competition, which offers up to Â£1billion for schemes that trap and bury carbon dioxide from power plants in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ministers said the withdrawal of the plan, which attracted more than 20,000 objections, was a commercial decision for the firm. But according to the Renewable Energy Foundation, the high subsidies on offer to wind farm developments – at the expense of other technologies – must have played a major role in the move. John Constable, director of the charity, which campaigns for a balanced energy policy, said the abandonment of the project showed a great deal about the state of the energy market in Scotland. He added: “The widespread concern is that the markets are so distorted by subsidies, particularly to wind, that it is making practically everything else uninvestable, especially something complex and new like CCS. The subsidies have a distorting effect in that they force in, or mandate, a particular technology, in this case wind, which makes it very difficult for investors to see how they are going to make a return on their capital in the future.” Mr Constable told BBC Radio Scotland that there were signs the Treasury had realised the subsidies for wind were too high and was looking at reducing them.
Daily Telegraph (Not Online). 28th June 2012 more >>
Letter from Cllr Alex Gallagher: North Ayrshire Council voted unanimously against Ayrshire Power’s application for a coal-fired power station at Hunterston. The carbon-capture part of the plan was never technically feasible and doubts about funding have been persistent since Dong Energy withdrew from the consortium. The application’s withdrawal is therefore welcome news for the community. It does, however, leave serious questions about the future of the Hunterston site and of the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieve “100% green energy by 2020”. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says the decision was a commercial one. That may be, but carbon capture and storage is a long way off delivering clean energy and Scotland and the UK face an energy gap in this decade. Nationalist ministers must tell us their plans to meet that energy gap, how they plan to deliver 100% green energy by 2020 and, just as importantly for local people, what part the Hunterston site plays in those plans.
Herald 28th June 2012 more >>