The installation of measures to help homes save energy has collapsed as a result of government policies, campaigners have said. The number of energy efficiency measures installed under national programmes fell 60% in the past year, down from a peak of 1.65 million in 2012/13 to 661,000 in 2013/2014, research commissioned by the Energy Bill Revolution campaign showed. The number of energy efficiency measures, which include cavity wall, solid wall and loft insulation and new boilers, was set to fall again by nearly a quarter (23%) this year, to 507,000. It would see installation rates at their lowest level for more than a decade, the study by the Association for the Conservation of Energy said. Ed Matthew, director of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign, said: “The government’s energy efficiency policies are in free fall. As a result, fuel poverty is getting worse and people are dying. The government must make home energy efficiency an infrastructure investment priority to put the funding in place to end this scandal once and for all.” The government’s flagship green deal programme, which provides loans to householders for installing energy saving measures, had been an abject failure.
Guardian 4th July 2014 read more »
A new book from National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig documents the worst nuclear disaster in history with sobering but stunning images. Ludwig visited Chernobyl nine times in 20 years to tell the stories of the lives of the victims, the exclusion zone and the abandoned city of Pripyat. The book also contains an essay from former president Mikhail Gorbachev on how the accident changed the course of the world’s history by accelerating the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Guardian 4th July 2014 read more »
One of the main men behind Cumbria’s new Moorside nuclear plant has revealed some of the latest details in the £10bn development. John McNamara, head of communications at NuGen, the company overseeing the build, was speaking to a captivated audience at the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster meeting this morning. He stated that although NuGen will aim to use local business to conduct work for the west Cumbrian site, a lot of large forging will come from overseas. Mr McNamara said that NuGen only has around 30 employees, urging Cumbrian businesses to come forward and register their interest in getting involved with the project. He also spoke about the enormous challenges that would be faced in constructing the facility. He said: “We need new lines to export power – if there is no connection there is no power station. The National Grid will have to take on probably a £2-3bn project themselves to upgrade. “It will involve two lines going north to Carlisle and two going south to Heysham. They might even have to put a tunnel under Morecambe Bay.
NW Evening Mail 3rd July 2014 read more »
Japanese industrial giant Toshiba has formally taken a controlling stake in NuGen, the consortium behind plans to build three reactors at Moorside, near Sellafield. The agreement sees Toshiba secure a 60 per cent stake and French firm GDF Suez retain a 40 per cent holding in NuGen, which has formed a new management team with Sandy Rupprecht as chief executive. The consortium has also reached an agreement of around £200m to acquire the Moorside site from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). John Clarke, the NDA’s chief executive, said the sale marks a “significant milestone” in nuclear new-build and “excellent news for the local community in terms of investment and jobs.”
Whitehaven News 3rd July 2014 read more »
‘Bradwell is the worst location on the East Coast for radioactive discharges…… and monitoring is wholly inadequate’, claims expert. On 23 June, on a pleasant, midsummer Monday evening, 200 people crammed into the MICA Centre in West Mersea to listen to independent expert, Tim Deere-Jones, speak on the subject of ‘Radioactive discharges into the Blackwater – Who knows what’s going on?’. Tim argued that nobody knows what is going on as there is wholly inadequate data and monitoring of discharges. He added that inside a shallow estuary, such as the Blackwater, was the very worst type of location on the East Coast to choose for radioactive discharges.
BANNG 24th June 2014 read more »
Senior Plaid Cymru Assembly Members have been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after joining a nuclear fact-finding trip to Japan despite outspoken opposition to nuclear energy. The party has long been opposed to the construction of new nuclear power plants in Wales, but late in June its economic spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth travelled with delegates visiting the country. His trip was paid for by the firm behind the controversial Wylfa B nuclear site planned for Anglesey, which he represents as an AM. Calum Higgins, Welsh Labour’s prospective candidate to stand for the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Westminster seat, said the trip flew in the face of Plaid Cymru’s policy and had undermined the party’s leadership.
Wales Online 3rd July 2013 read more »
The NFLA Chair, NFLA Secretary and independent marine pollution consultant Tim Deere-Jones will be meeting the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Koji Sekimizu, to discuss the concerns it has raised over the regulation of certain “roll on roll off” vessels transporting nuclear materials around the world. The NFLA report considered a major fire incident in Hamburg affecting the vessel „Atlantic Cartier‟ in May 2013. The vessel had a cargo which included uranium hexaflouride, other chemicals, explosive materials and a fleet of cars. A serious emergency incident was only narrowly averted.
NFLA 3rd July 2014 read more »
The early contracts for difference (CfDs) awarded to eight renewable energy projects were needed to bring forward a competitive electricity generation market, according to officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). Giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Decc officials were responding to a report from the National Audit Office which criticised the department for failing to protect consumers by awarded in the contracts without any price competition. Contracts worth £16.6 billion were awarded under the Final Investment Decision enabling for Renewables (FIDeR) scheme, committing 58 per cent of Decc’s budget for renewable energy projects under the Levy Control Framework until 2021.
Utility Week 3rd July 2014 read more »
It’s a safe bet to say that Europe’s internal energy market (IEM) will be ‘incomplete’ for some time yet and that, to avoid further embarrassment, the stale rhetoric saying that it will be “completed by 2014” will, if not already, soon be consigned to the archives. Good political leadership would have already clarified this a while back. But in the absence of that (and still at least in the presence of Oetti) a few notes here may be useful.
Mark Johnstone 4th July 2014 read more »
France has signalled it is ready to sell some of the state’s €100bn corporate shareholdings in companies to help pay down debt and invest in areas such as energy and housing. The sales would not include ending the state’s decisive role in strategic companies. The state has majority or large shareholdings in companies including EDF, the utility, Areva, the nuclear group, Renault, the carmaker, Airbus, and Orange, the telecom group. Last month, it took a 20 per cent stake in Alstom as part of the engineering group’s deal to sell its energy business to General Electric of the US. But Mr Sapin said some sales could be made to aid a recently outlined energy transition plan to lower France’s reliance on nuclear power, and to boost the housing stock. “It is wealth that can be used for investment,” Mr Sapin said.
FT 3rd July 2014 read more »
Netherlands – MoX
The Borssele nuclear power plant operated by the Dutch utility EPZ has just started generating electricity for the first time from MOX fuel supplied by AREVA. EPZ was licensed by the government in 2013 to load 8 MOX assemblies in its 500 MWe nuclear reactor in 2014, and 12 assemblies per year thereafter, i.e. 40% of the assemblies loaded in the reactor. The fuel was fabricated in 2013 at the MELOX plant in southern France with recycled plutonium from used fuel treatment operations performed at AREVA’s la Hague plant.
Penn Energy 1st July 2014 read more »
Germany – renewables
The German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern generates 120% of its electricity from renewable sources. “We cover more than 120 percent of our electricity needs from renewable energies and thus are far ahead of all federal states. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has become in 2013 the final exporter of green electricity. The main reason for this is the development of wind turbines on land and in photovoltaics,” explained Rudolf Borchert, energy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group (the Social Democratic Party). This party is for economic growth that is environmentally sustainable. Borchert is also Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Infrastructure and Regional Development.
Renew Economy 4th Jul;y 2014 read more »
US – nuclear security
Despite the implementation of security reforms at US nuclear weapons and research and development facilities from 2009 to 2012 that “generally varied among National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) sites … some of these efforts helped manage security costs and enhance productivity … but may also have increased security risks and reduced security performance at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) in Tennessee and other NNSA sites, depending on how the sites implemented the reforms,” a new government audit report said.
Homeland Security Today 1st July 2014 read more »
India – nuclear costs
As India and France inch towards a deal on setting up two nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, issues other than the nuclear liability law are holding back the clearance of this ambitious power project. Diplomatic sources told The Hindu that rather than the nuclear liability law, the price at which electricity would be generated by the two 1,650-MW reactors, has become a major topic of negotiations between Areva, the French supplier, and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “We cannot have power supplied at rates higher than what other foreign competitors, including Russia and the United States, offer,” the sources said.
The Hindu 4th July 2014 read more »
Ukraine – PLEX
Unit-1 of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, a Russian-designed and manufactured VVER-1000 Pressurized Water Reactor, is more than 30 years old and aging fast. But, like nuclear utilities just about everywhere, Ukraine’s Energoatom wants to extend the operating license of this reactor–again. The reactor, which was licensed originally to operate for 30 years, received a ten-year license extension just last year–after its 30th birthday. To bolster its case, it asked the Nuclear Research Institute Rez, in the Czech Republic, to perform a study of the reactor, no doubt assuming the study could be summarized in three words: full speed ahead! But it didn’t turn out that way. The report was made available to NIRS, and it came up with some findings that cast real doubt on the merits of running the reactor another 10 or 20 years–or even another 10 or 20 days.
Green World 3rd July 2014 read more »
The Israel Defense Force has said a tweet warning of a ‘nuclear leak’ following a rocket attack was false – claiming their Twitter account had been hacked.
Belfast Telegraph 3rd July 2014 read more »
Iran has reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment programme in talks with world powers although Western governments are urging Tehran to compromise further, Western diplomats said on Thursday.
Reuters 3rd July 2014 read more »
BBC 3rd July 2014 read more »
Japan – reactor re-starts
Japanese government officials no longer expect the world’s biggest nuclear plant to restart this year, sources said, a delay which deals a blow to turnaround plans for operator Tokyo Electric Power. Starting the Kashiwazaki Kariwa facility, 300 km (180 miles) northwest of Tokyo, is a pivotal part of Tokyo Electric’s (Tepco) attempts to shore up its finances three years after its Fukushima site suffered three nuclear meltdowns. The company had slated the restart of two reactors at Kashiwazaki for this month, but critics have long said that goal was unrealistic and four sources with direct knowledge of the matter said it would be postponed. One source said the timetable could be pushed back by a year.
Reuters 3rd July 2014 read more »
A NUCLEAR-powered submarine will sail into Portland next week for a six-day visit. Schoolchildren, sea cadets and potential Royal Navy recruits are set to pay a visit to HMS Torbay. The hunter killer submarine is set to arrive on Tuesday when the ship’s company will have an opportunity for some well earned rest and recuperation.
Dorset Echo 4th July 2014 read more »
CAMPAIGNERS trying to stop plasns to renew Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons have been knitting for peace. Stoke Quakers has teamed up with the South Cheshire and North Staffs (SCANS) branch of CND to create a pink peace scarf as part of the national ‘wool against weapons’ initiative.
Stoke Sentinel 3rd July 2014 read more »
The debate on nuclear weapons will come to Bethnal Green next week. A panel of MPs and experts will encourage young adults to air their views at Rich Mix as part of Talking Trident, a national initiative giving youngsters a voice ahead of the government’s decision whether to renew its nuclear weapons system in 2016. The free event has been organised by WMD Awareness and the British and American Security Information Council.
East London Advertiser 3rd July 2014 read more »
News the Prime Minister has finally recognised Britain’s nuclear test veterans has “made the day” of a former serviceman from Hoghton. George Harrison, 78, of Rhodesway, was an engine fitter for the Royal Engineers stationed on Christmas Island, off the coast of Australia, when he witnessed three test explosions in 1957 – one atomic and two hydrogen bombs.
Lancashire Evening Post 3rd July 2014 read more »
The European Commission seems fixed on an unambitious energy efficiency strategy, despite member state protests and the consequences for growth, security, jobs and emissions. It is not too late to change path, writes Monica Frassoni, president of the European Alliance to Save Energy.
Eurativ 30th June 2014 read more »
The UK’s complex geology will pose challenges for fracking companies wanting to avoid water contamination in some parts of the country, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS). New maps of underground Britain released by BGS and the Environment Agency show that almost half the area of England and Wales where major drinking water aquifers are located have shale gas deposits below them.
Guardian 3rd July 2014 read more »
The risk of water supplies being contaminated as a result of fracking is much lower in Britain than in the United States because almost all the recoverable shale oil and gas is at least 650m (2,132ft) below groundwater layers, a study has found.
Times 4th July 2014 read more »