Dilapidated nuclear waste storage ponds abandoned 40 years ago containing hundreds of tonnes of fuel rods pose an immediate danger to public safety, photographs sent to The Ecologist reveal. The fuel and sludge in the ponds could spontaneously ignite if exposed to air, spreading intense radiation over a wide area.
Ecologist 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Radiation Free Lakeland have been given permission to publish in full the article in The Ecologist by Oliver Tickell and the leaked photographs exposing Sellafield’s neglect of decades of nuclear wastes. For the nuclear industry and government to be colluding to build new nuclear next to this radioactive ticking time bomb is tantamount to state terrorism.
Radiation Free Lakeland 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Nothing paints a better picture of the hesitant commitment to build new reactors at Moorside than the half-hearted resolve of some of NuGen’s consortium partners since their 2009 purchase of an option to develop the 199 hectare site adjacent to Sellafield. For even before the dust has settled on the corporate comings and goings through NuGen’s revolving doors – the departure of Scottish & Southern Electricity (SSE) in 2011 to focus its resources on renewables and carbon capture, Iberdrola’s wholescale abandonment of the project in June this year by selling its 50% share to Toshiba/Westinghouse, and GDF Suez similarly selling 10% of its share to the Japanese conglomerate – it now appears that Toshiba/Westinghouse is itself less than fully committed to the project in the long-term. For just last month, as majority shareholder in NuGen’s plans to build three new reactors (Westinghouse AP1000) on the greenfield site ‘just across the road’ from Sellafield, Toshiba/Westinghouse is reported (Nuclear Engineering International 16th September 2014) as already planning to sell some of its stake in the venture ‘within the first year of plant operations’. The Westinghouse president Danny Roderick is quoted as saying that whilst GDF Suez will take back some of the stake from Toshiba ‘there will be other investors that come in over time’.
CORE 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Letter Mark Hackett NFLA: I compliment The Independent for highlighting the lack of information from the UK Government of what the costs of radioactive waste management will be from the development of new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point (report, 27 October). The European Commission was rightly concerned to understand more fully this critical matter. This is important to the UK taxpayer, who is already paying tens of billions of pounds to resolve the radioactive waste burden from the existing 60 years of the UK nuclear programme.I believe the European Commission is looking separately at the waste transfer pricing element of the contract between the UK Government and EDF, and I urge the Commission to come to a conclusion on this matter as soon as possible. I believe the “small print” of the contract reveals there will be a cap on costs for the nuclear plant operator, EDF. If costs escalate above this cap – and the long-term experience of the nuclear industry shows that costs always escalate – then the top-up costs will fall once again to the taxpayer. This is yet another reason why the Commission should have rejected the deal, and why it has another crucial opportunity to question the waste part of this exorbitant deal. It is another reason why a joint legal challenge by the Austrian Government and environmental groups is urgently required. Otherwise, the taxpayer is saddled with a very bad deal.
Independent 28th Oct 2014 read more »
ANOTHER investigation into the controversial Hinkley C deal has begun. Just two weeks ago the European Commission approved plans for the £16bn nuclear power plant. It had been investigating whether the deal struck between French energy company EDF and the Government for the price of electricity generated at the proposed plant constituted illegal state aid. The National Audit Office has now begun investigating the deal to make sure the subsidy price of £92 a megawatt hour represented value for money. The NAO is a financial watchdog which scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament.
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 26th Oct 2014 read more »
The European Commission has hit out Chancellor George Osborne for failing to reveal all the costs associated with building the UK’s first nuclear power station since the 1990s. The commission approved the construction of Hinkley Point C on the Somerset coast earlier this month following a state aid investigation. However, some members of the Commission were critical that the Government has consistently failed to include other long-term costs when valuing Hinkley Point C, the first of a planned fleet of new nuclear reactors that are expected to reduce household bills by £95 in 2030.
Evening Standard 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Reactionary, evidence-free journalism which provides a small part of a whole picture, thereby giving the wrong view. There are those who argue that Paterson was sacked precisely so he can argue this fact-free nonsense, despite the best efforts of the Committee on Climate Change to illuminate how irresponsible (and wrong) he is. One thing we can be certain of is that it is not the green blob which is somehow taking over parliament. The ‘black fog’ which supports fossil fuels and the conventional energy system is far bigger, and has a far greater impact across the globe, and in Britain.
IGov 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Letter to National Grid, updating the volume of capacity to be procured and other auction parameters for the first capacity market auction.
DECC 27th Oct 2014 read more »
The Nuclear AMRC has joined forces with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to help more than 300 small manufacturers prepare to grab the opportunities of the UK’s rapidly developing £60 billion civil Nuclear New Build sector and £1.5 billion a year decommissioning programme.
Machinery 28th Oct 2014 read more »
Britain’s spare power capacity will fall this winter, forcing emergency measures to prevent blackouts, a report on Tuesday is expected to say. A series of power plant breakdowns and closures in recent months have eroded the safety buffer between maximum supply and peak demand, the report from National Grid is likely to show. The company, which balances energy supply and demand, announced in September that it was invoking emergency measures to pay energy companies to fire up mothballed plants or prevent more plants closing.
Telegraph 28th Oct 2014 read more »
Analysts noted “softer” power prices in the UK’s energy market this morning as a burst of extra nuclear power was made available. The nuclear capacity came from one of the reactors at power plant Dungeness B coming back online with 550 megawatts (MW) last week, with another unit pushed back to restart on Wednesday. Tim Carter, Client Portfolio Manager at npower’s Optimisation Desk said: “As a result power prices look set to open a bit softer with November 14 currently offered 30p below the close.”
Energy Live 27th Oct 2014 read more »
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) English Forum is alarmed to read of a very long list of serious nuclear safety issues at the Faslane and Coulport nuclear weapons facilities, which follows on from a number of serious nuclear safety incidents at other defence nuclear facilities, including Aldermaston, Devonport, Dounreay and Derby.
NFLA 27th Oct 2014 read more »
The deal reached at last week’s European summit on climate change will satisfy no one. The non-binding Europe-wide targets place no responsibility on national governments and provide none of the confidence necessary for the essential investments in supply and infrastructure that are yet to be made. Poland may be the short-term winner – reflecting a clear shift in European decision-making to the east – but the summit failed to address the hard reality that current policies are not working. A new approach is needed. The fractious debate which led up to the summit should be understood as marking the end of the “consensus” on energy policy established in 2008. Anyone wanting to understand the details of the debate should read the excellent summary produced by Carbon Brief which spells out the positions of the key states on major issues. The move to renewables has not given Europe any competitive advantage. Energy costs have risen but the main research and development advances have been made in the US and China. The attempt to establish a carbon price has failed with the result that coal, which as the most carbon-intensive fuel was supposed to be priced out of the market, is back. Most important of all, there has been no global deal, and while some agreement could be reached at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the chances of a comprehensive and deliverable agreement are minimal.
FT 27th Oct 2014 read more »
A minimum 40% plunge in Europe’s CO2 emissions by 2030 agreed by EU leaders last week was a “historic moment” on the road to a global climate deal, enabled by a new British relationship with Poland, the energy minister Ed Davey has told the Guardian. The bloc’s proposed greenhouse gas curb will be studied closely by China, the US and other major emitters ahead of a global climate summit in Paris next year that aims to agree on the first new emissions-cutting treaty since the Kyoto protocol in 1997.
Guardian 27th Oct 2014 read more »
British scientists are to research whether a new type of supposedly safer, smaller, cheaper nuclear reactor could help reduce the UK’s radioactive waste stocks. A team from Cambridge will investigate the potential for using thorium-based fuel in a new reactor under development in the US that would be small enough to manufacture in a factory but produce as much energy as current power plants. Using a combination of the abundant material thorium and plutonium from the UK’s waste stocks to power a nuclear reactor could theoretically reduce reliance on the rarer element uranium and produce waste that was dangerously radioactive for a much shorter period.
Engineer 27th Oct 2014 read more »
The US’s shale gas boom has clearly had a significant impact on the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions (although there continues to be disagreement about what other emissions fracking might produce.) But the emissions cut is clearly not just down to burning a different type of fossil fuel. Renewables and falling demand are also important, with their impact often overlooked in favour emphasising the effect of US’s switch to gas. Given the complexity of the energy market, it’s probably prudent not to pin responsibility for falling US emissions on a single factor. But it would also be unwise to underplay the impact that moving from coal to gas is having on the world’s second-largest emitter.
Carbon Brief 27th Oct 2014 read more »
A town in southwest Japan became the first to approve the restart of a nuclear power station on Tuesday, a step forward in Japan’s fraught process of reviving an industry left idled by the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011.Satsumasendai, a town of 100,000 that hosts the two-reactor Kyushu Electric Power Co plant, is 1,000 km (600 miles) southwest of Tokyo and has long relied on the Sendai plant for government subsidies and jobs. Nineteen of the city’s 26 assembly members voted in favour of restarting the plant while four members voted against and three abstained, a city assembly member told Reuters. The restart of Japan’s first reactors to receive clearance to restart under new rules imposed since Fukushima is unlikely until next year as Kyushu Electric still needs to pass operational safety checks.
Reuters 28th Oct 2014 read more »
Japan has been warned have been warned that a volcano on on the southwest island, Kyushu could erupt. A serious issue for the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is that the Sendai nuclear plant is only 40 miles away from the dormant volcano, Mount Ioyama. The government had been planning to reopen the plant despite public resistance after the crisis at the Fukushima power plant.
Metro 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Iran is ready to supply nuclear power to Nigeria to help boost electricity supply in the country, a senior diplomat said. FARS News Agency cited Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria Saeed Kouzehchi as saying: “Iran is ready to share its experiences with Nigeria to use nuclear energy for power generation.
Energy Business Review 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Turkey has published an environmental impact report on plans for its first nuclear generator, inviting opinions and comments from interested parties. The environment ministry has given 10 days for the public to examine the document — more than 3,000 pages long — and lodge any comments or objections with local authorities in Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, the proposed site of the 4,800MW plant.
Argus Media 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
East Anglian farmers – and EDP readers – have disagreed with the environment secretary’s assertion that large scale solar farms are a “blight” on our countryside.
Eastern Daily Press 24th Oct 2014 read more »
A company claiming to have made a breakthrough in technology for electricity storage for power grids will on Tuesday announce plans to create thousands of jobs in the US, with contracts to supply customers in China and Turkey. Alevo, a privately held Swiss company, says it has managed to solve many of the problems usually associated with large-scale batteries, and can transform power grids by providing a cost-effective way to meet demand at peak times with lower pollution than other technologies. It is spending an initial $350m on its new plant in North Carolina, rising to $1bn-plus by 2016, and hiring 500 people next year, with plans to increase staffing to 2,500 in three years. Jostein Eikeland, the Norwegian entrepreneur who is Alevo’s chief executive, said production in large volumes was essential to deliver the economies of scale needed for the batteries to be co mpetitive with other sources of electricity.
FT 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Government response to consultation on the future of ECO.
DECC 27th Oct 2014 read more »
Improved energy efficiency and reduced energy demand are widely expected to provide the dominant contribution to reduced carbon emissions in the short to medium term – and to do so at little or possibly negative cost. For example, the IEA’s ‘450 scenario‘ has improved energy efficiency, accounting for 71% of emission reductions (relative to the baseline scenario) in the period to 2020, and 48% in the period to 2035. However, the link between improved energy efficiency and reduced energy demand (and hence reduced carbon emissions) is not straightforward. The first need not necessarily lead to the second, and both can be interpreted and measured in multiple ways.
Sussex Energy Group 27th Oct 2014 read more »
SSE has added nearly £200 million of unnecessary costs to a project that will be paid for by its customers, the energy markets regulator has said. Ofgem accused the group of overstating the budget for a project to link renewable energy to the grid in the north of Scotland by £174 million, or 14 per cent.
Times 28th Oct 2014 read more »