Chinese Nuclear Investment
CHINA’S nuclear giants are poised to hire new advisers as talks over plans to build a Beijing-designed atomic reactor in Britain reach a critical stage. Last year the UK government struck a deal with France’s EDF and two Chinese developers, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), to underwrite a pair of reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset with decades in guaranteed subsidies. The £16bn project hinged on two conditions: approval from Brussels that the agreement doesn’t violate state-aid rules; and permission for the Chinese to build their own plant on UK soil. The Chinese have pledged to buy up to 40% of Hinkley. Negotiations on both points have reached a critical stage. It is understood that the Chinese are close to appointing Rothschild, the investment bank, to nail down the final details. Sources close to the talks are confident that Brussels will give the green light [to the Hinkley deal] by October, which would pave the way for a final investment decision before the end of the year. In parallel, the Chinese are negotiating with EDF to buy one of the sites designated by the government for new atomic stations. Just one reactor design, the French EPR, has won approval. Beijing wants to get its own approved but the process would take several years.
Sunday Times 31st Aug 2014 read more »
The final shipment of used fuel from the UK’s Sizewell A nuclear power plant has been sent for reprocessing at Sellafield, marking the end of a five-year operation to remove all fuel from the site. Magnox Ltd, which manages the Sizewell A site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, began defueling the site in August 2009. Since then, more than 52,000 fuel elements have been transported in 50-tonnes shielded flasks from the site to Sellafield. The transfer of the last container of fuel from Sizewell A came seven weeks ahead of the target set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
World Nuclear News 29th Aug 2014 read more »
ALMOST two million households will miss out on an energy rebate promised by the Government, while many more will have to wait up to a year before they see any benefit, ministers have admitted. Hundreds of thousands of people who are switching supplier or moving house are expected to lose out on the £12 rebate, as are many of the poorest households, according to official forecasts. Consumers currently pay on average £12 a year on their energy bills to fund the Warm Home Discount scheme, which provides financial help for vulnerable customers. But ministers announced in December that the Government would pick up those costs for two years through taxation, funding a £12 energy bill rebate this year and next to go “directly to customers”.
Telegraph 30th Aug 2014 read more »
THE Liberal Democrats will unleash an election price war over energy bills this week when they offer homeowners £100 a year off their council tax if they make their houses more energy efficient. Ed Davey, the energy secretary, told The Sunday Times that consumers who install cavity wall insulation and energy efficient boilers will get “at least” £100 off for 10 years. Government sources say the Tories are working on their own plans to cut £50 a year from bills by slashing green subsidies. Both proposals are a response to Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy bills for 20 months if Labour wins the next election. Under the Lib Dem plans, people will qualify for the council tax rebate if they raise the rating of their home’s energy efficiency by two bands on the Energy Performance Certificate scale, the measure displayed on documents when people move house. The policy will cost taxpayers more than £300m a year and will be unveiled on Wednesday as part of the Lib Dems’ “pre-manifesto”.
Sunday Times 31st Aug 2014 read more »
Can we be confident that we can handle our nuclear waste in America? On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said – yes. The NRC made a small but incredibly important decision about nuclear waste that could finally get nuclear energy moving forward again. In response to a 2012 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the NRC approved a generic environmental impact statement that clears the way for storing spent nuclear fuel for a hundred years or more (NRC Ruling). New nuclear power plants can now be built without waiting for a final nuclear waste repository to be built.
Forbes 29th Aug 2014 read more »
New York Times 29th Aug 2014 read more »
The Joint Review Panel for the Deep Geologic Repository Project for Low and Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste will begin eight days of hearings at 9 a.m. on Sept. 9 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Kincardine, Ontario. The public hearings are an extension of the hearings held last fall on the nuclear dump and will address six topics: “methodology used to determine the significance of adverse environmental effects; updates to the geoscientific verification plan; expansion plans for the DGR project; relative risk analysis of alternative means of carrying out the project; implications of revisions to the reference waste inventory; (and the) applicability of recent incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to the safety case for the DGR project,” said the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
The Voice 30th Aug 2014 read more »
US sanctions against Iran will hinder talks over the country’s nuclear programme, the Iranian foreign ministry has warned. The comments came as Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said the country should “resist” the measures. On Friday, the US imposed sanctions on more than 25 businesses, banks and individuals it suspected of working to expand Iran’s nuclear programme, support terrorism and help Iran evade existing sanctions.
Guardian 30th Aug 2014 read more »
The six global powers will discuss ways to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Saturday.
Reuters 30th Aug 2014 read more »
Documents reveal contacts between Washington and Jerusalem in late 1960s, when some Americans believed the nuclear option would not deter Arab leaders but would trigger an atom bomb race.
Haaretz 31st Aug 2014 read more »
Some 400 people have joined a protest camp in Newport to protest against NATO. The march comes ahead of next week’s military summit that will see 60 world leaders descend on the area and is already causing considerable disruption to locals. “Nuclear NATO – no, thanks!” or “Iraq, Ukraine – no more wars” read the numerous placards as about 400 protesters took in a march on Saturday against the upcoming NATO summit.
Russia Today 30th Aug 2014 read more »
Channel 4 News 30th Aug 2014 read more »
Whether it’s headlines about rising energy bills, statistics revealing the near rock bottom levels of trust the UK population has in our energy providers or evidence that more families are in fuel poverty than at any time for a decade, it’s clear that our current energy system is under strain and increasingly unfit for purpose. Transforming this essential system is critical if we are going to shape a brighter, sustainable future. But to do so is also very complex and will require a number of big shifts to occur across the system. Without doubt, there will need to be big, centrally-directed overhauls of infrastructure, and large investment from pension funds and big business will be essential. But there is another more exciting aspect of this transformation, which is beginning to take hold, and that has captured the imaginations of people across the UK. Originally driven by a few pioneers with a vision of a more local, cleaner energy future, community energy – local people coming together to generate, own and save their energy – is growing in scale and impact. Since 2008, there have been more than 5,000 UK communities working to transform how they use energy, from owning generation technologies, such as wind turbines and solar panels, to increasing the efficiency of community buildings or local housing stock. And with the recent launch of the government’s Community Energy Strategy, more and more communities are set to receive help and advice on getting projects off the ground.
Positive News 29th Aug 2014 read more »
Low emission fuel cell systems could be deployed in more than five million premises by 2030, enabling homes and businesses to slash their energy bills, while delivering clean and secure energy to the UK, according to a new industry report released this week. The research, carried out by Ecuity Consulting and commissioned by fuel cell developers including Baxi, Ceramic Fuel Cells, Ceres Power, IE-CHP, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and Viessmann, claims fuel cells are suitable to act like “mini-power stations” for 90 per cent of UK households and small businesses – the equivalent of 22 million UK premises.
Greenwise Business 29th Aug 2014 read more »
The Fragile City and the Risk Nexus: a new short book by Tom Burke and leading urbanist Charles Landry. It brings together for the first time two disconnected narratives. The first is about the future of the cities in which half the planet’s population now lives. The second is about the interaction of climate change with food, energy and water security – the risk nexus.
E3G 28th Aug 2014 read more »