Two hundred people turned out for a public meeting to discuss concerns about radioactive discharges being released in the Blackwater estuary. The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) held a public meeting last week at the MICA Centre in West Mersea, attended by representatives from the Environment Agency and Magnox, which runs Bradwell Power Station. Metal casings surrounding spent fuel rods, known as fuel element debris, are being dissolved at Bradwell and effluent from the dissolved magnesium released into the river. Independent marine radioactivity consultant, Tim Deere-Jones, addressed the public meeting about his concerns that there was not enough information or monitoring of discharges and that the shallow estuary was the wrong location.
Essex County Standard 1st July 2014 read more »
Colchester Gazette 1st July 2014 read more »
Maldon & Burnham Standard 1st July 2014 read more »
Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey is up and running again following a five-month closure. Planned maintenance work saw reactor one shut down in January and the discovery of further problems delayed its restart date twice. The work was the last scheduled to take place before the 43-year-old facility is expected to close later this year. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said its return to service was good news for the workforce.
BBC 1st July 2014 read more »
NDA 1st July 2014 read more »
Energy Live News 2nd July 2014 read more »
A Local Impact Report (LIR) is a document that local authorities affected by nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) are entitled to produce and submit to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). Along with National Policy Statements, LIRs are the only documents that must be specifically taken into account when a decision is made on an NSIP application, so they have a special importance. Links to four LIRs produced for Hinkley are available here.
BDB Law 2nd July 2014 read more »
News that Toshiba now has a 60% share in plan for new nuclear build in Cumbria is not a cause for euphoric celebration, despite the triumphalist reports from the BBC, repeated by other media. What is the Purpose of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority? The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has recklessly given Toshiba the option to purchase a 6km square parcel of West Cumbria, beautiful green fields and hedgerows adjacent to Sellafield and running alongside the River Ehen. This huge parcel of wildlife diverse farm land stretches towards Calder Bridge, Beckerment and Braystones To consider any new build at all adjacent to Sellafield’s high level waste tanks would be an act of recklessness. Bizzarely the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is actively encouraging new build even while the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, local politicians and nuclear campaigners have for the past decade repeatedly raised concerns about the safety of the High Level Waste tanks upon which the physical safety of the whole of Cumbria and its international neighbours depends.
Radiation Free Lakeland 2nd July 2014 read more »
News of a big step forward for a new nuclear build in Cumbria has prompted a huge response in the county. The proposed Moorside nuclear site moved closer to reality with a deal between Toshiba and GDZ Suez. Proposals will see three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors used at the new site. Cumbria County Council welcomed the deal, saying Moorside would have the power to support six million homes and would create up to 21,000 jobs over the course of construction. The County Council’s cabinet member for nuclear issues, Cllr David Southward, said: “It’s another important step in the development of this massive project which will be a linchpin of West Cumbria’s economic future. Not everyone in Cumbria has reacted so positively. Marianne Birkby, of Anti-nuclear campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland, remains strongly opposed to a new nuclear build. Mrs Birkby said: “The new nuclear reactors will be the same old technology. What we are being sold is the same old technology using uranium, which has to be dug out of previously nuclear free countries like Peru. “I suspect the reason that they have commandeered such a huge area is also to expand Sellafield for the decommissioning, which means dispersal to the environment. “If you have a new build you will need new sources of water and power to keep waste cool.
NW Evening Mail 1st July 2014 read more »
Nuclear workers have been given a major boost after a £100m power station deal was signed – safeguarding posts and potentially creating new jobs for people from the Fylde coast. Japanese engineering and technology firm Toshiba has signed an agreement to buy 60 per cent of NuGen, the UK-based group that plans to build three new nuclear reactors next to the Sellafield site in west Cumbria – potentially creating 21,000 jobs in the North West. The remaining 40 per cent of NuGen remains with European energy business GDF Suez. Any fuel for the reactors will be made by Westinghouse at Springfields, Salwick.
Blackpool Gazette 2nd July 2014 read more »
A NUCLEAR reactor at Torness power plant has been shut down after a safety alert was triggered. The incident at the plant, which is one of Scotland’s main power stations, happened just weeks after £30 million was spent on the same reactor to get it back online. The shutdown means the power station is now only pumping out around a quarter of the energy it usually produces as the second reactor is currently working at a reduced capacity ahead of scheduled maintenance work. It is not yet clear how long the reactor will be offline with operators, EDF, being unable to give a timescale. However, they did insist there was no danger to the public.
Edinburgh Evening News 2nd July 2014 read more »
As of 2015, the UK will be the first European country to launch a capacity mechanism that aims at rewarding power plants for the MW’s they can produce rather than the MW’s they actually generate. Similar plans are being prepared in other countries, including Belgium, France and Germany. According to Benedict de Meulemeester, CEO of international energy procurement consultancy E&C, it is understandable that energy companies lobby for capacity schemes, but governments should not heed them. Capacity mechanism, he argues, are an unnecessary subsidy that will only drive prices up for end consumers: they are an expensive solution for a problem that does not exist.
Renew Economy 3rd July 2014 read more »
Electricity distribution and transmission costs should be analysed by the National Audit Office (NAO), MPs were told on Tuesday. Giving evidence to the Energy and Climate Change select committee (ECCC), Andy Manning, head of network regulation at British Gas, said there needed to be “detailed independent analysis” on the returns made by the networks. He added that the NAO would be “an appropriate body to do this”.
Utility Week 2nd July 2014 read more »
The wholesale price of electricity should remain flat and could even fall, according to new research from the rating agency Moody’s which will be welcomed by government and consumers. New offshore wind farms, better insulated houses and the possibility of weaker gas prices are likely to combine to help halt what many expected to be a steady rise in retail prices. The ratings agency also believes that a much-feared energy crunch which could take the lights out as soon as this winter or next will be temporary, with capacity margins rising to reach almost 20% by 2020. Moody’s says it continued to see falling profitability of gas-fired plants, which could affect Centrica more than other utilities such as SSE. Centrica has repeatedly warned about the dangers of the lights going out unless the government does more to encourage new investment. Moody’s concurs with Centrica that a threat to introduce a retail price freeze from 2015 proposed by opposition leader, Ed Miliband, if he gets into Downing Street has already increased political and regulatory risk in Britain making it tougher for the industry to operate.
Guardian 2nd July 2014 read more »
Wholesale power prices are likely to stay at recent low levels for the rest of the decade, ratings agency Moody’s has forecast, in the latest sign that the Government’s green subsidy budget may be exhausted sooner than planned. Ministers have forecast that wholesale power prices will rise to £63 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2020, driven by a looming crunch in spare power capacity and increasing gas prices. But in a report on Wednesday, Moody’s said: “Our view is that power prices will stay around current levels, or £48-53/MWh through the end of the decade.” If power prices do not rise as Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has forecast, more subsidy will have to be paid to each green energy project, using up the Government’s finite budget sooner and so placing other projects at risk.
Telegraph 2nd July 2014 read more »
An influential global body that controls atomic exports is divided over establishing closer ties with India, meaning the nuclear-armed Asian power may have to wait a while longer before joining.Diplomatic sources said different opinions were voiced in a debate on relations with India – a non-signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – at an annual meeting of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) last week in Buenos Aires. The United States, Britain and other members have argued in favour of India joining the trade body, established in 1975 to ensure that civilian nuclear trade is not diverted for military aims.
Reuters 2nd July 2014 read more »
Those of us in Europe who would like progressive energy policies in our own countries tend to look to Germany and Denmark as the examples we should follow. However, New York State is trying to transform its energy system and judging from its Department of Public Service Staff Report, we in Europe should start to take note. New York State and its Public Service Commission (PSC) sets out its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), which includes a detailed run-though of what needs to be done in order to deliver a transformation to a sustainable energy system. What is substantially different about this regulatory report (aside from the fact that one would expect its authors to be NGOs rather than regulators given its content) is that it moves beyond high level description to a detailed unpicking of what it means, and what is needed, to transform an energy system. Not only does it argue that the traditional utility model should be challenged but it also argues that the role of a utility; the role of a regulator; the role of an innovator (or innovation); and the role of a customer should be re-thought. It is for the first time, as far as I am aware, that ideas for regulatory reform of this depth and detail have been ‘mainstreamed’, and the NYPSC deserves to be congratulated for that. It is, for example, in a completely different league from Ofgem’s Project Discovery, the only vaguely similar analysis that Ofgem tried to undertake.
IGov 2nd July 2014 read more »
Workers are preparing to enter one of the most dangerous rooms on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation – the site of a 1976 blast that exposed a technician to a massive dose of radiation, which led to him being nicknamed the ‘Atomic Man.’ Harold McCluskey, then 64, was working in the room when a chemical reaction caused a glass glove box to explode. He was exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the chemical element americium ever recorded — 500 times the occupational standard.
Daily Mail 3rd July 2014 read more »
Japanese stocks were flat in a choppy early session on Thursday as investors took time out ahead of the U.S. jobs data later in the day, while Toshiba Corp soared on a report that its U.S. subsidiary is expected to win a deal in Bulgaria.
Reuters 3rd July 2014 read more »
Negotiators from six world powers and Iran on Wednesday began a final two-week long push to secure a deal on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions with few expecting a last-minute breakthrough. Since February, diplomats have attended increasingly frequent meetings in Vienna to stitch up an agreement permanently limiting Iran’s ability to produce an atomic weapon – in exchange for relief for the Islamic republic from a punishing international sanctions regime.
FT 2nd July 2014 read more »
Britain’s $170 billion Trident nuclear missile program has won the support of an independent cross-party commission tasked with identifying the value of the UK’s deterrent, due for renewal in 2016. This comes despite the commission’s acknowledgement of Britain’s total dependence on US systems. The commission’s findings come as a blow to anti-nuclear campaigners, who are calling for the program to be drastically scaled back or the total disarmament of the UK’s nuclear-armed submarine fleet, arguing the money spent on an extremely costly system could be better spent on social needs and jobs at a time of austerity throughout the UK. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) estimate that the £100 billion required to renew Trident could employ 150,000 nurses, build 1.5 million homes or 30,000 new primary schools in the country.
Russia Today 1st July 2014 read more »
Against the Tide is CND’s response to the Concluding Report of the Trident Commission. In Against the Tide we argue the Trident Commission should have listened to the majority of the British people who oppose Trident replacement – and the overwhelming majority internationally who want to see a world free of these monstrous and outdated weapons. Instead the Commission has produced a rehash of Cold War thinking which fails to acknowledge that the world has moved on.
CND 2nd July 2014 read more »
The H1616 is a certified “Type B” package for the transport of radioactive tritium reservoirs by the Department of Defense (DoD), United Kingdom (UK) Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), and Authorized Users (Savannah River Site (SRS), Pantex).
Savannah River June 2014 read more »
A long-running campaign for official recognition of the “shameful chapter in Britian’s nuclear history” and a £25 million “benevolent fund” for veterans and their families took a step forward today when the Prime Minister gave formal recognition to the nuclear test veterans.
ITV 2nd July 2014 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The Dudgeon offshore windfarm has got the green light after developers Statoil and Statkraft announced they will start construction in 2016. The onshore cables and onshore substation will be the first elements to be built, and the windfarm, 32km off the coast of Norfolk, is expected to be completed by late 2017. A total of 67 wind turbines will be built, each one with a capacity of 6MW, and so the site is expected to generate 1.7 TWh annually.
Utility Week 1st July 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
A SCOTTISH company has been awarded a seven-figure contract to install a series of solar PV panels for a council in England. Glasgow-Based Campbell & Kennedy have secured their second deal with Bambergh District Council following a the completion of a “phase 1” trial. The company was appointed by Breyer Group last month, through the LHC Procurement Framework. It will now work on thousands of homes across both the Bamberg and neighbouring Mid Suffolk councils, as they authorities work towards the energy efficiency standards recently set by Westminster. The project itself is the largest of its kind to be carried out in the UK, with around 2,200 panel systems to be installed over the next 15 to 18 months.
Herald 3rd July 2014 read more »
Europe is on course to halve greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 2030 by securing nearly $1tr of investments in renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar farms. That is the conclusion of a major new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance published today, which predicts global renewable energy investments will soar to $5.1tr during the next decade and a half. In Europe, renewables are set to make up 60 per cent of electricity generation in 2030, up from 40 per cent today, with falling costs ensuring solar and onshore wind in Europe will be subsidy-free during the 2020s, the report predicts.
Business Green 2nd July 2014 read more »
Two thirds of the investment for building new power plants by 2030 may go to renewable energy, a new report has predicted. Figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predict that, as declining costs make renewable energy more competitive, as much as $5.1 trillion of a predicted $7.7 trillion of energy investment could be spent on renewables. About half of the investment will be in Asia, where power capacity will grow the most. Asia will account for $2.5 trillion of the $5.1 billion investment, the Americas $816 billion and Europe $967 billion, New Energy Finance said, the Middle East and Africa will invest another $818 billion. The report predicts that global carbon dioxide emissions will peak by the end of next decade, before declining thanks to renewable use.
Trillion Fund 2nd July 2014 read more »
European leaders have directed officials to come up with an energy efficiency target for 2030, prompted by ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The conflict over one of Europe’s key gas supply routes has given fresh impetus to the drive to cut energy consumption and dependence on imported fuels. The European Commission is considering an energy saving target of between 27% and 35% by 2030, with the final proposals due out later this month. There are reportedly internal divisions over the level of ambition to recommend. The leaders of European member states stressed the importance of energy efficiency at a European Council meeting last Friday. Despite the endorsement from national leaders, some parties are reluctant to commit to an ambitious target as this could undermine the role of carbon pricing. Sources close to the matter say climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard is pushing to cut energy consumption by 30% to 35% compared to business as usual projections. The carbon market was intended to reduce emissions as efficiently as possible. Yet the price of allowances is chronically low, at around €5, making it a weak signal for low carbon investment. Advocates of the ETS blame the industry-specific renewables and energy efficiency targets for undermining the market. Brook Riley, director of EU climate policy for Friends of the Earth, acknowledged the trade-off, but said energy savings and renewables should not be sacrificed to focus on the ETS. “Why not do the smart thing and go for a higher greenhouse gas target which would require all the policy options to pull their weight?” he said.
RTCC 1st July 2014 read more »
A major new study finds that, as suspected, it is new, unconventional gas wells that are far more likely to leak heat-trapping — and tap-water igniting — methane than older, conventional wells. After examining the publicly available compliance records of more than 41,000 wells in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Cornell-led researchers have dropped this bombshell: About 40 percent of the oil and gas wells in parts of the Marcellus shale region will probably be leaking methane into the groundwater or into the atmosphere…. This study shows up to a 2.7-fold higher risk for unconventional wells — relative to conventional wells — drilled since 2009.
Climate Progress 2nd July 2014 read more »
In a political sense who is responsible for addressing and managing climate change risks and their associate impacts? With such a globally existential issue the answer should be the world’s national leaders, but often responsibility for action on climate change is delegated to environment ministers, or, on occasions, energy ministers. However, with international climate change efforts to date delivering decidedly mixed results is it time for a new approach? A new form of governance that better ensures the long-term interests of the planet and the economy are well served? Do government’s need to appoint a minister for planetary issues? That was the fascinating proposal put forward earlier today by Brice Lalonde, former French Environment Minister and ambassador for climate change and current special adviser on Sustainable Development to the UN Global Compact green business initiative.
Business Green 2nd July 2014 read more »
Andrew Simm: I tried being miserable and expecting the worst about big world problems (nuclear devastation, acid rain etc) as a teenager and it just made me miserable and expect the worst. It made everyone around me miserable too. Being defeatist makes it harder to get off your arse to do something that might actually change things and bring about a better outcome. Doing something also makes you feel better and hence likely to do more, creating a positive cycle. Win, win. At the same time, I want to stare the challenge in the face, such as global carbon emissions hitting a record high. Being in denial of the facts would be like walking backwards down a motorway, against the flow of traffic, and that would make me nervous. To ignore the facts would also mean never considering answers big enough for the size of the problem and so not even looking to see if they existed – which would be a shame if they do (I think they do) as we’re talking about preserving a climate fit for civilisation. Being positive about the possibility of overcoming seemingly insuperable odds has history on its side: abolition, suffrage, civil rights, ozone depletion, universal healthcare (surprises are everywhere, in spite of all you read to the contrary. For example, the NHS is, objectively, the world’s best health system). And, regardless, you really never know how big, complex problems are going to work out. Staying in bed too long contemplating the potential pointlessness of it all gives me a headache. Being positive, yet aware of just how precarious things are, feels realistic, open and an important acknowledgement that I’m fortunate to be able to act. It also gets me out of bed in the morning to make a cup of tea, and I like tea. And, I can’t think of a better way to be alive in the world than trying to solve the great challenges of the age.
Guardian 1st July 2014 read more »