One of the nuclear reactors at Hunterston B power station has been shut down due to excess sea weed. The marine algae was clogging the water intake system, which uses sea water to cool down the two reactors at the Ayrshire plant. Operator EDF Energy said the reactor was shut down on Monday night before any problems arose as a safety precaution. The other reactor is operating at a reduced capacity while tests are carried out.
STV 2nd June 2015 read more »
BBC 2nd June 2015 read more »
Daily Record 2nd June 2015 read more »
Scotland & Europe
Scotland’s First Minister will set out clear the Scot-Government’s Scottish energy policies within the EU in a major speech later today (2 Jun) in Brussels. In her first EU address as First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon will make clear that continuing membership is vital to the Scottish economy – and that positive changes can be made from within the existing treaty. Challenging the Prime Minister to make a positive case for EU membership and to set out his proposals for reform, the First Minister will highlight a number of key priorities for Scotland including: Greater focus on key areas such as developing the single market across the EU in Energy.
Scottish Energy News 2nd June 2015 read more »
New Reactor Types
An advanced nuclear reactor under development by Hitachi could help solve the nuclear waste problem, and University of Michigan researchers were involved in verifying its safe performance through computer simulations. The U-M team worked with colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. After more safety analysis, Hitachi plans to move forward with a prototype of the “resource-renewable boiling water reactor” in the next few years.
Michigan Engineering 28th May 2015 read more »
Nuclear power is uniquely placed to support the socio-economic development of any country thanks to a combination of advantages over other fuels that goes beyond the supply of electricity, industry leaders agreed yesterday. Ten of the nuclear sector’s prominent decision-makers spoke at the plenary session on the first day of the VII Atomexpo conference and exhibition being held in Moscow this week.
World Nuclear News 2nd June 2015 read more »
The UN’s nuclear watchdog is urging the international community to take measures to keep their nuclear facilities safe from ever-growing cyber threats in the first-ever conference on the subject. In front of a crowd of 650 experts from 92 UN member states at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, the agency’s Director General Yukiya Amano warned that the world needed to enforce international measures to protect their nuclear facilities from cyber threats.
Russia Today 2nd June 2015 read more »
AREVA, a leader in nuclear energy solutions, and Kurion, an innovator in nuclear and hazardous waste management, are creating an alliance for nuclear waste decommissioning and remediation services to serve the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex. As a first step of their collaboration, AREVA and Kurion will create a joint venture for work related to the cleanup and closure of the DOE’s Hanford site in Washington state. This new alliance will join AREVA’s engineering and operational expertise in the nuclear energy sector with Kurion’s proprietary technologies and expertise in the access, separation and stabilization of nuclear waste. The goal of this partnership is to provide innovative technology solutions for nuclear waste, particularly to meet the needs of nuclear facilities undergoing decommissioning and cleanup, an expanding market in the United States.
Energy Central 2nd June 2015 read more »
A French expert questioned the wisdom Tuesday of Taiwan Power Co.’s (Taipower’s) plan to ship some of Taiwan’s nuclear waste to a French company for processing, warning that the company could be throwing huge sums of money into an abyss. The French company, AREVA, is on the brink of bankruptcy, although it was the sole foreign company to bid for and win a contract with Taipower to process its nuclear waste, said Yves Marignac during a public hearing hosted by an opposition lawmaker in Taipei. In addition to AREVA’s own problems, French law bans the storage of foreign nuclear waste, including that already processed outside of France, Marignac told the hearing, including Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin, who hosted it. No Taiwanese government agencies can guarantee that none of the highly toxic plutonium or uranium it ships abroad for processing will not be shipped back to Taiwan, he added.
Focus Taiwan 2nd June 2015 read more »
The latest nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) review conference did not make waves. There was hardly a word in the mainstream media. Perhaps it was not surprising. What is there newsworthy in hundreds of diplomats and scores of NGOs over a period of four weeks calling for nuclear disarmament, in effect praising motherhood and apple pie? Yet the UN-sponsored conference in New York did not end in bland consensus. Far from it. It ended in disarray and angry exchanges. Non-nuclear countries, ie most of the world, pointed the finger at the five “official” nuclear powers – the US, UK, Russia, China, and France. South African delegates compared “the sense that the NPT has degenerated into minority rule” to apartheid. Specifically, the US blamed Egypt for an “unrealistic and unworkable” demand – setting a deadline for a conference on a nuclear-free Middle East.
Guardian 2nd June 2015 read more »
An important UN-hosted conference to review progress on curbing the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament has ended in failure. The 2015 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met from 27 April to 22 May in New York and concluded with participating States unable to agree on an outcome document.
Red Cross 1st June 2015 read more »
188 states, members of the UN, have signed up to the NPT, as have the Holy See and Palestine (both UN ‘observer’ states). The United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China are recognised in the Treaty as being ‘nuclear weapon states’ and are also permanent members of the UN Security Council, the ‘P5’. Four other states have nuclear weapons – Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, none of which are signed up to the NPT and therefore cannot (legitimately) take part in the Review Conferences. This was the ninth RevCon since the first was held in 1975. It also marked the 20-year anniversary of the NPT’s indefinite extension agreed in 1995, and that should tell you something. The P5 will do what they can to delay fully implementing the Treaty; they call it a ‘step by step’ process, though in which direction is unclear. Article VI of the Treaty states: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” In other words, the Treaty is not just about preventing the spread of these dreadful weapons. Its end aim is total disarmament, not something the P5 want, for while the US, backed by Nato is busy trying to create a new Cold War with Russia, and fomenting another with China, when it comes to hanging on to their nuclear weapons, they are all allies, used to bullying the less powerful states. Only this time it didn’t work. Non-nuclear states were no longer going to be dismissed by the P5 and their few allies. Austria, having prepared the Humanitarian Pledge which calls on states “to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” spoke on their behalf, and indeed for all of humanity, in recognising the appalling humanitarian consequences that even the detonation of one nuclear weapon would cause.
Bella Caledonia 2nd June 2015 read more »
Iran has increased its stockpile of nuclear fuel by around 20 per cent during the last year-and-a-half of negotiations with six world powers, international inspectors have found. The discovery, disclosed in a report published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), potentially jeopardises the Obama administration’s hopes of persuading a sceptical United States congress to accept a final deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme, with a June 30 deadline looming.
Telegraph 2nd June 2015 read more »
US President Barack Obama has said the forthcoming nuclear deal between the world powers and Iran is the best way to ensure that Tehran does not possess a nuclear weapon in the future. In a preview aired on Israeli Channel 2 on Monday of an interview with veteran journalist Ilana Dayan, Obama said that a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities will not destroy the Iranian nuclear programme.
Middle East Monitor 2nd June 2015 read more »
Russia state-run atomic energy company Rosatom is planning to start construction of the second nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran, later this year. The Bushehr-2 nuclear power plant, which will be jointly developed by Rosatom and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), will feature two reactors, each with a power generation capacity of 1,000MW. Press TV cited AEOI head Ali Akbar Salehi as saying: “We are expecting our second nuclear power plant to go online in a matter of eight years.”
Energy Business Review 2nd June 2015 read more »
Russia and Tunisia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The document was signed yesterday by Rosatom deputy director general and director for international business, Nikolai Spassky, and the ambassador of Tunisia to the Russia, Ali Gutali.
World Nuclear News 2nd June 2015 read more »
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Scotland Forum will be holding a special seminar this Friday, 5th June in Renfrewshire House, Paisley to consider some of the serious allegations made by Trident whistleblower William McNeilly, and other key issues around the Trident nuclear weapons programme. The allegations made by Able Seaman William McNeilly of security lapses and key breaches of health and safety on Trident submarines based at Faslane was broken in the media by Sunday Herald Environment Editor, Rob Edwards. Rob Edwards will talk about the origins of this important story, the serious allegations made and the aftermath of issues that remain to be fully answered. In the NFLA’s view, the Ministry of Defence has not made a full, frank and open response to the allegations made by Able Seaman McNeilly, and it is looking forward to hearing from Rob Edwards about the detailed points made by McNeilly.
NFLA 2nd June 2015 read more »
The SNP has accused David Cameron of a lack of respect towards Scotland after the Prime Minister ministers created a new cabinet sub-committee on Trident. The Tory leader has also order 10 new ‘taskforces’- designed to push policy through Whitehall. The National Security Council (Nuclear Deterrence and Security) sub-committee will be chaired by the Prime Minister. Other members include the Chancellor George Osborne, the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond the Home Secretary Theresa May and the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. The committee is designed to consider issues relating to nuclear deterrence and security. The Conservative government has pledged to push ahead with a like-for-like replacement of the ageing nuclear weapons system, despite opposition from most Scottish MPs. The party points to opinion polls which show that public feeling on the issue north of the border is more mixed.
Herald 2nd June 2015 read more »
Nuclear weapons have a people problem. In May a 25-year-old submariner in Great Britain’s Royal Navy, able seaman William McNeilly, published an 18-page statement online that listed dozens of safety and security risks he observed in his time working on the HMS Victorious from January to April 2015. His allegations have caused a great stir among politicians and the press. In fact, though, the kind of nuclear security breaches he cites are neither new nor surprising. In 2009, British and French nuclear submarines collided with one another in the course of conducting routine patrols in the Atlantic Ocean. In 2011, Britain’s Ministry of Defence issued a report saying that submarines’ nuclear reactors were “potentially vulnerable.” In 2013, a crew member committed suicide on board a nuclear submarine, and in 2014, a government watchdog found that the Atomic Weapons Establishment had mishandled nuclear waste. And that’s just in the United Kingdom.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 1st June 2015 read more »
Storing and maintaining Britain’s 19 laid-up nuclear submarines has cost taxpayers nearly £16m over the last five years, it has emerged. The out-of-service vessels have been stored at Rosyth in Fife since 1980 and Devonport in Plymouth since 1994. Campaigners have raised concerns about the hulks’ safety, blaming a “lack of decision” for the delay in dismantling. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it took its duty to manage disposal of submarines “very seriously”. A Freedom of Information request to the MoD by the BBC revealed the combined cost of preventing any nuclear materials on board getting into the environment from the seven submarines at Rosyth and 12 in Devonport.
BBC 3rd June 2015 read more »
Campaigners have raised fears over the safety of nuclear reactors in Plymouth after it emerged the MoD is spending £16million to store old submarines it no longer wants – 12 of them in the city.
Plymouth Herald 3rd June 2015 read more »
Could the Apollo Programme and its vision for low cost clean energy challenge the Northern Powerhouse for Chancellor George Osborne’s affections? It is an important question, given the project’s ability to meet its goal of bringing down renewable energy costs to below that of coal power depends to a large extent on the ability to secure the $15bn a year needed to make its R&D programme a reality. It may also yet result in a surprising answer.
Business Green 2nd June 2015 read more »
Plane journeys rarely end with a plan to save the world. But that is how the Global Apollo Programme (GAP) came about, as a result of cabin chit chat between former government chief scientist Sir David King, Lord Gus O’Donnell, the former UK cabinet secretary, and LSE economist Lord Richard Layard. Now the Lords’ resulting plan – a global, coordinated effort to increase research and development spending in a bid to lower the cost of solar power and wind energy below that of coal within 10 years, while addressing the key problems of renewable energy intermittency through electricity storage and smart grids – will take another major step forward today. Designed to capture the spirit of the 1960s NASA programme to put a man on the Moon, the GAP is exhorting countries to come together to tackle climate change, an issue King describes as a “looming catastrophe”, while maintaining disaster can be averted by accelerating trends such as the falling price of clean energy technologies. The cost of a solar PV panel alone has plummeted by around a factor of 10 in the past decade. Experts from across the economic and scientific spectrum have been enlisted to take up the challenge; launching the programme yesterday alongside King, O’Donnell, and Layard were former BP chief Lord John Browne, Stern report author Lord Nicholas Stern, Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees, and former Committee on Climate Change chairman Lord Adair Turner.
Business Green 2nd June 2015 read more »
If only clean energy was less costly than coal, oil or gas, then global energy use could rapidly become zero-carbon and fossil fuels would be left underground. To get there, the world needs a major publicly-funded research initiative, on a similar scale to the 1960s US Apollo programme, which, in today’s money, cost around $15 billion a year over the course of a decade. Spending the equivalent – around 0.02% of global GDP – to develop renewables, smart grids and energy storage could make zero-carbon baseload electricity cheaper than coal within 10 years. That’s the idea behind the Global Apollo Programme to Combat Climate Change, launched today by the London School of Economics. Heavyweight supporters include: Sir David Attenborough; Sir David King, UK special representative on climate change and former UK chief scientist; Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and former president of the Royal Society; Lord John Browne, former head of BP; and Lord Gus O’Donnell, former head of the UK civil service.
Carbon Brief 2nd June 2015 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
The UK renewable energy industry has warned the government’s new climate secretary that she will face a legal challenge if she oversees the “wilful destruction” of the industry by retrospectively curtailing subsidies. Later this week, the Department of Energy and Climate Change will announce that the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind power will be closed a year earlier than it was due to, according to a source close to the process. Such a move would be a major blow to the industry and go further than the Conservative party had pledged in its manifesto. It had said that it would “end any new public subsidy” in a bid to “halt the spread of onshore windfarms”.
Edie 2nd June 2015 read more »
A new bladeless wind turbine that promises to be more efficient, less visually intrusive, and safer for birdlife than conventional turbines has been welcomed by two of the UK wind energy industry’s most vocal critics. The RSPB and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which have both expressed concerns over the impacts of industrial-scale windfarms on the landscape and wildlife, said the new turbine was encouraging news for birds and had the potential to open up more urban environments to the sector.
Guardian 1st June 2015 read more »
‘Closer to home’ presents the results of a study commissioned by Citizens Advice to investigate national models for locally-led delivery of energy efficiency and fuel poverty services. Led by the Association for the Conservation of Energy with support from CAG Consultants, the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Dr Joanne Wade, the research comprised in-depth interviews with 40 expert stakeholders, five workshops and a survey of 70 local authorities – to develop proposals for a framework to govern greater locally-led delivery.
ACE 2nd June 2015 read more »