Nuclear & Climate
Nuclear power is socially, environmentally and economically unsustainable. Nuclear energy has no role to play in a fully decarbonized power sector in transition to phasing out all fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all, as early as possible, but not later than 2050. Any climate agreement such as the one to be agreed in Paris in December 2015 must prioritize its efforts for climate change mitigation within the energy sector on sustainable renewable energy and energy efficiency. Governments should not incentivize or rely on nuclear power in their mitigation planning including within their INDCs. Nuclear power as an inherently unsustainable energy source shall not be eligible under any existing or new GHG compliance market mechanism for any carbon credits. Nuclear power is not fit for any climate finance and therefore shall also be barred from receiving any financial support under either international or bilateral co-operations such as IFI, the GCF or ODA.
Climate Action Network 30th March 2015 read more »
As many as 400 workers at the site of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point face being laid off while the French owners of the project decide whether to make an investment in the £16bn project. Phil Whitehurst, the GMB union’s national officer, described the news as devastating. “The problem seems to be the stalled final investment decision. This should now be a wakeup call for the next UK government to take charge and manage the failing energy policy we have in place,” he said. “We cannot tolerate our energy new-build destiny being managed by companies who are in such disarray on funding when so deep into a project’s development. If we do, then the lights will surely go out,.” EDF, however, is still negotiating with UK authorities about government debt guarantees for the project, along with decommissioning costs and other details. It is also negotiating with two Chinese utilities about their role in Hinkley Point and possible future UK nuclear projects with EDF.
Guardian 2nd April 2015 read more »
It seems we’re still wasting energy on game playing when it comes to the planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Up to 400 contractor jobs are at risk because the French state-owned EDF Energy won’t start work until a “final investment decision” has been made. Unions have called on the French company to explain itself, complaining that it’s the second time its done this. Heard the term “nuclear blackmail” before? EDF is acting up like this because it can. That’s what you get when you leave yourself in hock to another country for your energy needs. Apparently there will be 250 workers remaining on site to continue getting things ready for construction to start. If it starts. But this should really have been settled a long time ago and because it hasn’t been, the next government is going to find itself having to add this problem to its long list of headaches.
Independent 3rd April 2015 read more »
Four hundred jobs at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station construction site are to be axed, EDF announced yesterday. The redundancies are a consequence of the French energy giant’s delay in making a final decision on whether or not to proceed with the project to construct Britain’s first new nuclear power station in two decades until after the general election.
Independent 3rd April 2015 read more »
Around 400 workers face losing their jobs as EDF stopped work on preparing the site for the £20 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor. The workers – all employed by other firms contracted in to the west Somerset site – are set to be out of work after EDF said it was not prepared to carry on spending millions of pounds every month on the new power station, until it knew for certain the deal to go ahead with the entire project had been sealed. The news came on the day three anti-nuclear power protestors from the Stop Hinkley campaign group managed to stop all access to the Hinkley B site, simply by chaining themselves together across the road to the site.
Western Daily Press 2nd April 2015 read more »
EDF Energy is suspending preparatory work at Britain’s Hinkley Point C site and is cutting 400 jobs until a final investment decision on the nuclear reactor project has been taken, its French parent company EDF said on Thursday.
Reuters 2nd April 2015 read more »
BBC 2nd April 2015 read more »
Energy Voice 2nd April 2015 read more »
Four hundred construction jobs are to be cut at the site of Britain’s Hinkley Point nuclear power plant after France’s EDF called a halt to work for the first in a new generation of reactors. The cuts follow news in February of a delay to an investment decision on the £24.5bn project, now likely to be months away as negotiations with potential investors continue. EDF Energy, the group’s UK unit, has said it is “working hard” to finalise a deal on Hinkley Point C and “making progress” in discussions with possible partners, including with the Chinese companies involved. There were signs that negotiations with the partners — China General Nuclear Power Corp, China National Nuclear Corp, France’s Areva, Saudi Electric and several pension funds — had stalled over Chinese demands. The Chinese energy companies, which are rivals, have been at odds over their precise share of the project. Both have been pushing for a substantial share of the supply chain contracts — a demand that has held up negotiations, although it is now understood to have been met. They are also interested in buying into proposed reactor projects at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex, the second of which they want to use to pioneer their own reactor design. This has been a stumbling block. Potential investors are also understood to want to see government agreement on the contract for difference, or price at which the power will be sold, before making a final commitment.
FT 2nd April 2015 read more »
EDF said in October 2013 that it intended to retain only a 45pc to 50pc stake in Hinkley Point. As well as Areva’s 10pc stake, EDF planned to sell a combined stake of between 30pc and 40pc to two Chinese groups, China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation, and up to 15pc to other parties. The Chinese have been pushing for guarantees from the French government, which owns 85pc of both Areva and EDF, to protect them against cost overruns or Areva going bust. The French government is now in talks with Areva over a possible bail-out and is considering a wider restructuring of the French nuclear sector, potentially forcing greater ties between EDF and Areva. However, concern has grown that reaching an agreement with the UK government to proceed with the scheme may be delayed.
Telegraph 2nd April 2015 read more »
There have been a number of stumbling blocks as the Chinese demanded a share of the supply chain contracts and expressed interest in buying into other proposed reactor sites, at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. The Chinese have also raised serious concerns about Hinkley Point’s European pressurised reactor design from Areva, the loss-making French group. Projects to build the same reactors at Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto in Finland have been delayed by at least five years and are more than three times over budget. The Chinese want a promise from the French government that it would bail out Areva if necessary, and cover their share of cost overruns.
Times 3rd April 2015 read more »
The next government needs to make the resolution of the issues facing Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station a priority and ensure plans for the new Somerset plant remain on track, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Thursday 2 April). Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said: “The next government will need to resolve the issues facing Hinkley Point as a matter of urgency, so this important project can remain on track.
Unite 2nd April 2015 read more »
Campaigners from South-west Against Nuclear, Nuclear Free Bristol & Bristol CND yesterday shut down the EDF nuclear power station at Hinkley Point B in Somerset, in a protest against expensive work being carried out to extend the lifetime of one of Hinkley’s reactors. £40 million is expected to be spent on the work.
CND 2nd April 2015 read more »
Hartlepool has two advanced gas cooled reactors with a net generation capacity of 1,180 MWhs. Both units are in service at a reduced capacity so as to limit boiler temperatures until modifications have taken place. Reactor 2 will be offline for refuelling for 11 days from 21 March.
EDF Energy February 2015 read more »
In the last act of the dying Parliament, MPs quietly voted to dump democratic planning processes to expedite a ‘facility’ for the high level nuclear waste in geologically fractured Cumbria, writes Marianne Birkby – so over-ruling strong and highly effective local opposition. Shame on them!
Ecologist 2nd April 2015 read more »
A recent IGov Discussion Paper argued that GB needs a fundamental restructuring of its energy institutions to better suit the newly available energy technologies, and to better meet the long term needs of transforming the energy system. It argues that the current energy institutions are so enmeshed in the current energy system that they think and act in ways which suit the current system, thereby perpetuating it. The discussion paper put up a straw model for an energy institutional framework called Public Value Energy Regulation(PVEG) and asked for comments by the end of June. The straw model argues that there are three fundamental issues of our current regulatory process which needs to be dealt with: the lack of legitimacy within our energy policy process which leads to an increasing separation between the policy wishes of Government and/or the energy industry incumbents and with society; the lack of nimbleness in its decision-making, which means that there is a gap between removal of regulatory barriers and technology take-up, so that practice change is slow; and the way that its rules and incentives suits the characteristics of fossil and nuclear technologies and business practices, thereby undermining new business models and competition and perpetuating the current system and current ways of thinking
IGov 2nd April 2015 read more »
Consider the potential nuclear aspirants. Israel and Arab nations, above all the Persian Gulf monarchies, have watched the unfolding Iran diplomacy in Lausanne with apprehension, growing into alarm. Much of their fear has little to do with nuclear weapons, and stems more from their conviction that Iranian power has ineluctably grown over the past decade, in part thanks to American fecklessness and timidity. They view the emerging deal as unduly generous to Tehran, and therefore likely either to collapse or fall prey to Iranian cheating.
Telegraph 3rd April 2015 read more »
US – Radwaste
In an interview with Don Hancock re WIPP, “Insight New Mexico“, he mentions 16 or 17 Curies of Plutonium and Americium emitted from the drum, i.e. 629 billion becquerels. The situation at WIPP seems to be like a murder in plain sight, which no one sees. All of the information is there. Not only was it designed to fail due to salt creep slowly closing up the rooms, which would eventually crush the containers and increase any gas pressures because less volume is greater pressure, but it’s even worse. And, the problems have been known for over a quarter of a century, as discussed in “The WIPP Trail” documentary.
Mining Awareness 27th March 2015 read more »
Why the framework nuclear agreement with Iran is good for both sides.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 2nd April 2015 read more »
Iran and world powers took their biggest step toward ending a decade-old nuclear standoff, saying they agreed on the main outlines of an accord after more than a week of grueling talks. The deal announced in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday doesn’t commit either side to immediate action, and leaves three more months for diplomats to fill in details. But by outlining areas of consensus, from a timetable for lifting sanctions to the repurposing of Iranian nuclear facilities, it brings the Islamic Republic closer than at any time since the 1979 revolution to international normalcy.
Energy Voice 3rd April 2015 read more »
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed the Iran nuclear deal, claiming it threatens the Jewish state and puts his people in mortal danger. After speaking to President Barack Obama on the phone, he said in a televised statement just hours after the agreement was signed on Thursday: ‘A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. He added: ‘Such a deal would not block Iran’s path to the bomb. It would pave it.’
Daily Mail 3rd April 2015 read more »
President Obama said a framework agreement reached on Thursday in Lausanne is ‘a good deal’ that would, if fully implemented, prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Under the deal, Iran would shut down more than two-thirds of its centrifuges producing uranium that could be used to build a bomb, and dismantle a reactor that could produce plutonium and accept intrusive verification. In return, economic sanctions on Iran would be lifted.
Guardian 2nd April 2015 read more »
Spain got 47% of its electricity from renewables in March.
Climate Progress 2nd April 2015 read more »
Renewables – wave
An Irish company has landed a contract to build a wave energy park off the coast of Cornwall
Irish Independent 1st April 2015 read more »
Coal-fired power plants are set to be taken offline this year as a result of the doubling of the UK’s top-up carbon tax on Wednesday, according to market analysts. The carbon floor price went up from £9.54 to £18.08 per tonne of CO2, raising the cost of a tonne of carbon for British power plants to £23, when allowances on the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) are factored in. The carbon floor price was designed to set a minimum price, related to emissions from fossil fuels, which would rise annually and encourage manufacturers to switch to greener fuels. It was introduced in 2013.
Guardian 2nd April 2015 read more »