Nick Butler: The Chinese, as reported by my colleague Guy Chazan, are in talks with EDF on sharing the costs of building the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Their price is an unspecified “degree of control”. The Russian company Rosatom announced a couple of weeks ago that it was considering joining the game with the aim of building future nuclear stations in the UK. Perhaps we should be grateful that such nice people have taken an interest in the UK’s energy needs. But before we roll over in gratitude perhaps we should consider the links between energy and security. In most countries the electricity supply system would be classified as a strategic national asset. I cannot conceive of the US or France – or China or Russia – allowing a foreign country to own and control such a strategic asset. That may sound like backward-looking nationalism but it is also a matter of cold realism. Different countries have different interests and they do not always match. From time to time, there will be disagreements and even conflicts.
FT 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) is looking to take a significant role in any potential partnership in UK new nuclear with EDF. In the Financial Times, sources close to the deal said the state-owned CGN, wants to take greater operational control of any new plant it invests in, including Hinkley Point C, while it is targeting a joint operator role at a new plant at Sizewell.
Utility Week 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Twenty-one protesters have been arrested after blockading a road leading to a site which builds warheads for nuclear submarines. Anti-nuclear weapons protesters at Atomic Weapons Establishment’s (AWE) Burghfield site oppose the renewal or replacement of Trident. Burghfield and AWE Aldermaston provide the warheads for the submarine-launched missile system. The activists were held on suspicion of obstruction of a public highway.
BBC 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Meridian 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Petersfield Post 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Get Reading 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Months after the country was on the brink of running out of gas, Britain is heading into the winter with less supplies held in reserve than last year. Storage facilities are only 81 per cent full, equivalent to less than 14 days’ gas consumption, compared with 93 per cent this time last year. More gas is planned to be put into storage, which should push up capacity to about 87 per cent by October 1, but this would still be significantly lower than the 94 per cent level at the same point last year. Analysts said that the gas would not be enough to last in a winter that was colder than average. Meteorologists are forecasting lower than average temperatures in many parts of the UK in October and November, but cannot predict with any accuracy beyond this time.
Times 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Governments are prone to passing atrocious laws in a rush. Goodness knows, the Labour era left a long tally of bad laws. But the lobbying bill arriving in parliament on Tuesday takes the whole packet of biscuits for disgraceful intent and practical incompetence.
Guardian 3rd Sept 2013 read more »
Guardian 3rd Sept 2013 read more »
JAPAN has vowed quick, decisive action, including the use of public funds, to tackle the worsening problem of contaminated water pouring from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, as the authorities step in to help the plant’s embattled operator.
Herald 3rd Sept 2013 read more »
Guardian 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
The crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant “has not ended”, the country’s nuclear watchdog has warned, saying the situation there is “unstable”. Watchdog chief Shunichi Tanaka also accused the plan’s operator of careless management during the crisis. He added that it may not be possible to avoid dumping some contaminated water into the ocean. The comments come a day before the Japanese government is due to unveil plans to rescue the clean-up operation.
BBC 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Japan’s top nuclear regulator has raised safety concerns about hastily built storage tanks and their foundations after signs of more leaks of radiation-contaminated water at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. The latest leak was found over the weekend at a connecting pipe. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said it suspects there may also have been leaks from three storage tanks, because high radioactivity was detected near them. The levels were not considered deadly.
Irish Examiner 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Tokyo Electric Power Co’s plan to manage radioactive water at its wrecked Fukushima plant may include a controlled discharge into the ocean once its toxicity is brought within legal limits, Japan’s nuclear regulator said. Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said today the ocean dump could be necessary as the country’s government prepares to present its plan for handling tainted water at the site that’s increasing by 400 tons a day.
Bloomberg 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
The head of Japan’s nuclear watchdog has flagged dumping radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific, but says the level of contamination in the water would be well within legal limits.
ABC 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Japan pledged nearly $500 million to contain leaks and decontaminate radioactive water from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, as the government stepped up its intervention in the worst atomic disaster in a quarter century. The announcement comes just days before the International Olympics Committee decides whether Tokyo – 230 km (140 miles) from the wrecked plant – will host the 2020 Olympics and the government is keen to show the crisis is under control. Madrid and Istanbul are the rival candidates.
Trust 3rd Sept 2013 read more »
Just one Japanese nuclear power reactor is left in operation following the shut down today of unit 3 of the Ohi plant for maintenance and inspections. Its sister unit, Ohi 4, is scheduled to begin an outage in two weeks.
World Nuclear News 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
New radiation leaks from Fukushima could be ‘lethal within four hours’ as safety concerns at nuclear power plant increase.
Daily Mail 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
Nuclear energy opponents have seen a series of successes recently, from the closing of San Onofre in California to the Paducah plant in Kentucky in May. Yesterday, Entergy Corp. announced it would decommission Vermont Yankee in 2014, the state’s only nuclear power plant. The decision to close and dismantle the plant ends a nasty legal battle between Entergy and the state of Vermont, and is another win for the growing anti-nuclear energy movement. Global electricity generation from nuclear power dropped by seven percent in 2012, after a four percent decline in 2011, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report.
Ecowatch 2nd Sept 2013 read more »
In the mid 2000s, solar power was renewable energy’s Cinderella. Dismissed as too expensive to make a significant contribution to power, especially in cloudier countries like the UK, solar seemed consigned to a limited role in low carbon energy production. But just a few years later, a once-overlooked technology looks set for a significant expansion in this country and worldwide. On a global scale, the solar industry is still relatively small – generating less than half a per cent of the world’s electricity in 2012. But it’s still expanding and it’s getting cheaper. Around the world, solar power has increased by a factor of ten in the past five years. And it has potential to expand even more: In 2011, the International Energy Agency estimated solar power could potentially generate eleven per cent of the world’s electricity by the middle of the century.
Carbon Brief 2nd Sept 2013 read more »