THE boss of French energy firm EDF says the Brexit vote will not make a difference to plans for an £18B nuclear power plant in Somerset. This is despite comments from several quarters casting doubt on whether the firm would continue to want to invest if Britain leaves the EU.
Somerset Live 29th June 2016 read more »
Plans to build the first new nuclear power plant in a generation have not been affected by the Brexit vote, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has said. The new reactor at Hinkley Point, Somerset, is one of a number of large infrastructure projects that have been thrown into doubt by the vote to leave the European Union. Speaking at a conference on business and climate change, Ms Rudd said: “We are still full tilt on Hinkley Point.” She said she had spoken to the chief executive of French energy giant EDF, which is building the power plant, and the company was “absolutely committed” to making a final investment decision on the scheme.
ITV 29th June 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 29th June 2016 read more »
A project to build two new nuclear reactors at EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point site in Britain will not be influenced by the outcome of the country’s vote last week to leave the European Union, energy minister Andrea Leadsom told lawmakers on Wednesday. “I don’t believe the Austrian challenge to Hinkley has any merit … and I do not believe (the project) will be influenced by the results of the referendum,” Leadsom told an energy and climate change committee hearing.
Reuters 29th June 2016 read more »
Edie 29th June 2016 read more »
Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK’s energy and climate change policy faces major challenges, writes Paul Brown, with new nuclear power and a third London runway at Heathrow runway looking like the first casualties. Until the Brexit vote, the UK government was committed to building 10 new nuclear power stations as part of its ‘low carbon’ plan for the energy sector. The programme always seemed improbable, given the state of the nuclear industry worldwide, but getting private investors to support such a policy now seems even less likely. One of the unlooked-for side-effects of the decision is to take the UK outside the Euratom Treaty that safeguards nuclear materials from misuse. Since the UK has the largest stock of plutonium in the world, and a large trade in nuclear materials with Europe, the US and Japan, this creates serious problems over who now regulates the industry.
Ecologist 29th June 2016 read more »
Brexit will NOT derail multi-billion pound plans for a new nuclear power station in west Cumbria. That’s the pledge from NuGen, the consortium behind the three-reactor Moorside plant. They say the proposals, for land next to Sellafield are continuing following the EU referendum result. Copeland MP Jamie Reed was among those who said during the referendum debate that leaving would “increase the risks” to the landmark scheme, claiming that the countries financing the deal were urging the UK to remain in the EU.
Carlisle News and Star 29th June 2016 read more »
One of the nuclear industry’s most experienced executives has postponed retirement from a 45-year-long career for a rare challenge – to deliver a privately backed new build project. As CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power – the UK subsidiary of Japan’s Hitachi – Duncan Hawthorne aims to demonstrate that such a project is able not only to attract investors, but that it will be delivered on time and to budget. Horizon plans to deploy the UK ABWR (Advanced Boiling Water Reactor) at two sites – Wylfa Newydd, which is on the Isle of Anglesey, and Oldbury-on-Severn, in South Gloucestershire.
World Nuclear News 29th June 2016 read more »
A danger zone around an Anglesey nuclear plant has been expanded. After more than 40 years the Magnox plant at Wylfa stopped producing electricity last December. The regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), have now decided to increase the size of the zone under new guidelines. Such areas around nuclear plants are required by law to protect the public from emergencies including radiation leaks. Local councils are also required to draw up an emergency plan ready to activate if anything goes wrong. The ONR regularly assesses the robustness of these arrangements by holding emergency exercises. ONR chiefs have contacted Anglesey council and site owners Magnox over the new zone. The new ‘safety zone’ covers a 2.5km radius from the site, larger than the previous 1.6km which now also fully incorporates the nearby villages of Cemaes and Tregele.
Daily Post 30th June 2016 read more »
A HUGE decontamination project has begun at Bradwell Power Station. An area, the equivalent of five tennis courts, has been cleared by Magnox, the company in charge of the Bradwell site. Around 21 tonnes of metal, sand and sludge has been removed from the station’s underground storage vaults. Scott Raish, Closure Director, said that this project will help to significantly reduce the risk of radiation in the area. He said: “This is a real demonstration of the huge steps forward the Magnox team is making to sagely deal with the hazards at Bradwell.
Maldon Standard 28th June 2016 read more »
The UK’s nuclear power generation dropped to a 10-day low this morning, after an unplanned nuclear plant unit outage coincided with two planned outages over the weekend. Nuclear power output was hovering around the 6.8GW mark this morning, down from an average of 8.5GW on the previous working day, 24 June, and an average of around 7.6GW so far in June. The drop in power production from nuclear facilities came after the 620MW unit 2 at Hartlepool and 585MW unit 2 at the Heysham 1 plant were taken offline for planned outages that were expected to last until 18 August and 8 July respectively. And the 500MW unit 8 at the Hinkley Point B plant then suffered an unplanned outage during the early hours of this morning, with the unit expected to be kept offline until at least 2 July. The UK’s total installed nuclear power generation capacity stands at around 8.6GW. The three units add to the shutdown at the 550MW unit 21 at the Dungeness B facility, which has been offline since 21 June, although it is scheduled to return to service tomorrow evening.
Argus Media 27th June 2016 read more »
The government is seeking views on proposals to revise the Nuclear Installations (Prescribed Sites) Regulations 1983. Proposed changes to the Nuclear Installations (Insurance Certificate) Regulations 1965 and the Nuclear Installations (Excepted Matter) Regulations 1978 are also covered by the paper.
DECC 29th June 2016 read more »
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd today sought to reassure green businesses and investors of the government’s continued commitment to securing clean energy supplies and building a low carbon economy in the wake of last week’s decision to leave the European Union. In her first major speech since the referendum result, Rudd – who was a leading backer of the Remain campaign – stressed that while she still believed Brexit would result in a “harder road” for the UK as it worked to meet its climate goals, the government remained firmly committed to the emission reduction targets set out in the Climate Change Act. She also confirmed the government would announce its decision on the long-awaited Fifth Carbon Budget tomorrow, the day of the legally binding deadline for approving new carbon targets for the early 2030s. Appearing at the Business and Climate Summit in London, Rudd reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the Hinkley Point nuclear power project, and emphasised that she would strive to make sure the UK secured a strong Brexit deal with the EU that supported continued investment in clean energy infrastructure. She sought to downplay speculation that the high profile Hinkley Point nuclear project could be derailed by Brexit, insisting new nuclear power was going to be a “big part of the low carbon future in the UK”. “I have spoken to the EDF chief executive [since the referendum],” Rudd said. “They are absolutely committed to going ahead with the final investment decision. We hope to have the final investment decision very soon.”
Business Green 29th June 2016 read more »
Brexit will make it harder for Britain to play its role in tackling climate change, the UK energy and climate secretary has said. But Amber Rudd said that the UK remained committed to action on global warming and Whitehall sources have told the Guardian that on Thursday she will approve a world-leading carbon target for 2032.
Guardian 29th June 2016 read more »
Ministers are expected to announce that the UK will cut carbon emissions by 57% by 2032, from 1990 levels. The announcement will help reassure the investors needed to overhaul the UK’s ageing energy system. The energy industry will be relieved after cuts in renewables subsidies and the vote to leave the EU, which influences so much of the UK’s energy. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said climate change remained one of the most serious long-term risks to the economy. Speaking at a business and climate summit in London, Ms Rudd said: “Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat.
BBC 30th June 2016 read more »
Amber Rudd’s speech.
DECC 29th June 2016 read more »
Tom Greatrex: The full effects of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union are yet to be fully understood, and is unlikely to be until well after Article 50 is activated and negotiations formally begin. The decision to leave will effect pretty much every industry in the UK, but with no real contingency planning undertaken prior to the referendum, we will all simply have to wait. It will be important the new cabinet unit created to understand the implications fully engage with industry to ensure the best possible outcome for UK business. Despite this, today and for probably at least two years, the UK remains a member of the European Union. More importantly for the energy sector, the result to leave, just as had there been a result to remain, does not change the UK’s energy challenge. More than 24GW of generating capacity has come offline in the last six years and needs to be replaced, whether in or out of the EU. As a result, we must use the mechanisms already in place as the starting point to attract investment in the reliable, low carbon electricity generation needed to keep the lights on and meet our domestic and international emissions commitments. In fact, outside of the EU, solving this energy crisis in as low carbon a way as possible is perhaps more pertinent because we must reduce our exposure to the long term volatility of fluctuating fossil fuel prices, which would hit consumers and businesses.
Politics Home 30th June 2016 read more »
The licence application by Sweden’s radioactive waste management company for an integrated system for the final disposal of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste has been endorsed by the country’s Radiation Safety Authority (SSM). A final decision to licence the facilities will be made next year. Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) submitted applications to build the country’s first repository for used nuclear fuel, together with a plant to encapsulate the fuel prior to disposal, to the SSM in March 2011. The integrated facility – the encapsulation plant and the Clab interim storage facility – is referred to in SKB’s application as Clink. SKB has since made both clarifications and additions to the applications. The company has also submitted an application to extend the storage capacity of the Clab facility from the current 8000 tonnes of fuel to 11,000 tonnes. The applications are being reviewed by the SSM and the Land and Environment Court in Stockholm. The SSM is considering questions of nuclear safety and radiation at the facilities as laid down in the country’s Nuclear Activities Act. The review undertaken by the Land and Environment Court is based on the Environment Code. In March, the SSM gave a positive assessment of SKB’s application for its planned used nuclear fuel encapsulation plant next to the Clab interim storage facility in Oskarshamn. The regulator has now also assessed that SKB has the potential to comply with SSM’s nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements for the final disposal of used fuel in its proposed repository at Forsmark. The SSM has recommended to the Land and Environment Court that the repository system “should be deemed a permissible activity according to the Swedish Environmental Code”.
World Nuclear News 29th June 2016 read more »
During the past year, cyber criminals have targeted coal mines, an oil refinery, hospitals and an international port as the levels of cyber terrorism soars. Hacking expert Eugene Kaspersky revealed the world is entering a “dark age” of online security. NUCLEAR power stations are vulnerable to attack from cyber terrorists.
Daily Star 30th June 2016 read more »
Express 30th June 2016 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
Could Brexit deliver some unexpected benefits to the UK’s embattled onshore wind industry? That is the question being asked today at RenewableUK’s Scottish Renewables Onshore Wind Conference in Glasgow, where the trade body’s chief executive, Hugh McNeal, this morning argued Brexit could present new opportunities for a sector currently hamstrung by the government’s block on new onshore wind subsidies. “I believe we should reflect on what we can offer; cheap, home-grown electricity able to deliver hundreds of millions of pounds of capital investment for our economy over the next few years, helping companies all over Britain just at a time when we need it most.” He added that there was a pipeline of onshore wind projects that are “ready to build now, ready to be financed; projects that can generate economic activity and capital investment, projects it makes sense to build given the benefits they will bring and the challenges we now face”. However, new projects are currently struggling to identify a route to market following the government’s decision to end Renewables Obligation subsidies early and ongoing uncertainty over whether onshore wind will be able to access price support contracts offered to offshore wind projects.
Business Green 29th June 2016 read more »
The Perth-based energy firm SSE has published a new report making the case for increased use of district heating to help combat heating efficiency and affordability. The report – ‘Sustainable Heating: Reducing Costs, Improving Comfort and Lowering Carbon Emissions‘ – found that one retrofit project at the Wyndford housing scheme in Glasgow has delivered a 62% reduction in CO2 emissions since it was installed in 2012. The results also show that lives have significantly improved, comfort has increased, and jobs and economic value have been created.
Scottish Energy News 30th June 2016 read more »
Heat networks investment project consultation. The UK is a long way from fully exploiting the potential of heat networks. We are keen to accelerate the deployment of heat networks in the UK, as a cost effective way of cutting carbon emissions and providing reliable and affordable heat to customers. At the Spending Review over £300 million of capital was announced to support investment in heat networks. This is part of our efforts to build an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st Century after decades of underinvestment. Our aim is to support the development of heat networks and help create a market that will become self-sustaining, while providing the reliable, clean, and affordable energy we need.
DECC (accessed) 30th June 2016 read more »
The Scottish Government has finally – and formally – admitted that it will not meet its target to end fuel poverty in Scotland. The Scottish Government has a statutory duty under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 to ‘ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland by November 2016’. Until now, Scottish Ministers have insisted that they remained committed to the target despite all indications that the gulf could not be bridged. With the most recent official figures for the year 2014 showing that around 35% of Scottish households remain in fuel poverty, it was clear that efforts would not be sufficient. There are currently around 845,000 households in fuel poverty in Scotland.
Scottish Energy Nerws 30th June 2016 read more »
Lithium-Ion Battery Prices Fell 70% in the Last 18 Months. Tesla’s battery factory gets a lot of attention. When completed, the so-called Gigafactory will manufacture more lithium-ion batteries each year than were produced globally in 2013. That will help push prices further downward. But a few other large producers — LG Chem, Panasonic and Samsung — are already making batteries at unprecedented scale. There are numerous giga-scale factories producing cells and battery packs for electric cars and stationary applications throughout Asia. And the recent wave of capacity is already impacting pricing in a big way.
Greentech Media 28th June 2016 read more »