The managing director of nuclear new build at EDF Energy has topped Insider’s Power 50, the annual list which ranks the individuals with the greatest influence in the South West. Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson will play a crucial role in the delivery of Hinkley Point C, the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK in a generation. The planned £16bn nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset was given the green light by the European Commission earlier in October following months of scrutiny.
Insider Media 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
Professor Robin Grimes, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, will give a lecture on 6th November at the Storey in Lancaster on “What New Nuclear Build Means to the North West.” Radiation Free Lakeland will be holding a demonstration and leafleting outside the event from 5pm. The lecture begins at 6pm. Professor Grimes is an enthusiast of new nuclear build as a solution to climate change, despite there being no solution to the problem of dangerous nuclear wastes.
Radiation Free Lakeland 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
Russia failed to show up at meeting planning a 2016 nuclear security summit, US and European officials said on Monday, leaving unclear Moscow’s intentions for future participation in talks. The officials were unsure whether Russia meant to boycott the summit itself or was staging a temporary show of displeasure over western condemnation and sanctions for its role in the unrest in Ukraine. Three or four planning meetings are scheduled before the spring of 2016 when the summit is tentatively set to open. With Russia one of the world’s five formally recognised nuclear powers, its input is crucial to setting an agenda. In 2010 Barack Obama initiated a series of summits aimed at preventing terrorists from getting their hands on weapons-grade nuclear material. Since then the number of countries thought to have enough material to build a nuclear weapon has fallen from 39 to 25. At the last summit this year in The Hague 35 countries pledged to turn international guidelines on nuclear security into national laws and allow independent scrutiny of their procedures for protecting their nuclear installations. The summit also featured new reduction commitments, with Japan, Italy and Belgium agreeing to cut their stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
Guardian 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Climate & Nukes
The International Panel on Climate Change was formed in 1988 by the UN. The IPCC report on Response Strategies in 1990 originally seemed fairly neutral about strategies, proposing “[e]xpansion of conventional nuclear power plants” along with “[s]tandardized design of nuclear power plants to improve economics and safety” as short term options to avert climate change. The report likewise projected that “West European countries [as well as North American and Pacific OECD countries may be able to stabilize or reduce C02 emissions by early in the next decade through a variety of measures including …[fuel switching to] nuclear power. IPCC’s second report in 1996 affirmed that “Nuclear energy could replace baseload fossil fuel electricity generation in many parts of the world, if generally acceptable responses can be found to concerns such as reactor safety, radioactive-waste transport and disposal, and proliferation,” though they noted that nuclear power development had been in decline since IPCC I due to capital costs and safety concerns (Executive Summary). IPCC III, released in 2001 was starting to get a bit cagey about nuclear power, proposing that “[l]ow-carbon energy supply systems can make an important contribution …through the use and lifetime extension of nuclear power plants.” Suggestively there is no mention of new builds. They also emphasized the caveat that “[e]nvironmental, safety, … proliferation concerns may constrain the use of some of these technologies (Section 3.8.4; Summary for Policymakers).
Picture Framing 2nd Nov 2014 read more »
The more realistic option than either batteries or super-connectors is the use of small-scale back-up generators – probably gas or nuclear – to fill the gap when renewable electricity isn’t available. These have the advantage of flexibility, they can be switched on or off at short notice, and crucially the technology already exists. Combined with the smart meters, which we’re about to roll out across the country, these can help us move to a world of more efficient demand management.
Conservative Home 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
The head of the UK’s largest coal-fired power plant has moved to defend the energy costs passed on to homeowners amid continued concerns of over-charging. Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax, said consumer bills were the by-product of demands for a “well connected grid” and “security of supply”, as she noted bills are lower than those in the US, Germany and Italy. Mrs Thompson went on to say that, although she expects the UK will be able to maintain energy supply this winter – despite fears about keeping the lights on – she is “uneasy” around energy plant failures, which she believes are the result of low maintenance due to a lack of investment returns.
Telegraph 4th Nov 2014 read more »
The main components of the government’s nuclear fuel recycling project have all been sidelined. But the program was already in a state of collapse even before the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster led to a shift in Japan’s energy policy. After the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the Democratic Party of Japan-led government considered reviewing the recycling program. However, the current Liberal Democratic Party-led government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has clearly said in its basic energy plan that it will maintain the recycling program. Abe is now stuck with a recycling project that shows no signs of functioning properly. Completion of a facility that will create mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel consisting of plutonium and uranium has been postponed.
Asahi Shimbun 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
FRENCH security officials voiced concerns today over a spate of mysterious and illegal flights by tiny drones over nuclear power stations. The prime minister’s general secretariat for defence and national security (SGDSN) disclosed that authorities had counted about 15 drone flights over half a dozen nuclear sites since October 1. They insisted that France’s nuclear facilities were designed to withstand seismic and security risks, including those possibly posed by drones. “Drone overflights are currently being carried out in a repeated and simultaneous manner over certain nuclear sites in our country,” said an SGDSN official. “The objective apparently sought by this type of organised provocation is to disrupt the chain of surveillance and protection at these sites.” Environment Minister Segolene Royal told French media at the weekend that investigators had no leads about who was behind the flights.
Morning Star 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
Times 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Today, 35 clean energy organizations from across the country submitted formal comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) urging it to end its nuclear loan program. The comments are in response to a DOE solicitation seeking to revive the failed program which, after seven years, has succeeded only in providing one loan to a nuclear project (the Vogtle reactors in Georgia) whose executives publicly said they didn’t need it and offering a loan to another project (Calvert Cliffs-3 in Maryland) for which it would have been illegal for its principal to receive it.
Green World 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
The US is providing $13 million (£8m) for nuclear energy research and development projects that support advanced reactor technologies. Five companies will team up with universities and research institutions to address technical challenges to the design, construction and operation of next-generation nuclear reactors. It is part of the Department of Energy’s programme, launched last year, to partner with industry in developing reactors that have the potential to achieve “significant advances” in safety, efficiency and economics. Companies that will share the cash include AREVA, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, General Atomics and Westinghouse Electric Company.
Energy Live News 4th Nov 2014 read more »
According to a study based on analysis of grid data, there have been 21 power outages at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) from Oct 22, 2013, to Oct 22, 2014. Of these 21 outages, 14 are “scrams” or trips caused by faulty equipment or poor oversight, or both, and, according to experts, can be potentially catastrophic.
Times of India 29th Oct 2014 read more »
A question in parliament this week laid bare a contradiction at the heart of Britain’s nuclear weapons policy. Jeremy Corbyn MP asked foreign office minister Tobias Ellwood whether Britain would be attending a conference in December, hosted by the Austrian government, to discuss the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. The minister replied that the invitation had been received and the government is considering its answer.
Huffington Post 31st Oct 2014 read more »
The US air force has fired two more nuclear commanders and disciplined a third, fresh evidence of leadership lapses in a nuclear missile corps that has suffered several recent setbacks including the removal of its top commander.
Guardian 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Dorothy Thompson is a woman on a mission. A mission to convince the world that burning wood can create energy more efficiently and more effectively than other methods. Given that this was the way that fire was first discovered up to 2m years ago, or thereabouts, it shouldn’t be that much of a problem. But given that Thompson is talking about wood in the form of biomass – basically all the fibre, grass and other unwanted detritus one finds on the floor of a forest – it is. Or it certainly was. The first lady of the British energy firmament – she is the only female chief executive in the sector – Thompson has spent the past nine years tr ying to prove that Drax, western Europe’s largest power station, which provides 7pc of the UK’s electricity, can run on biomass.
Telegraph 4th Nov 2014 read more »
The UK’s renewable energy industry is today launching a new initiative, supported by the Energy Secretary Edward Davey, to give local communities the opportunity to invest in local renewable energy projects such as onshore wind farms, as well as solar and hydro power. When Mr Davey published the Community Energy Strategy in January, he asked the renewables industry and the community energy sector to work together to establish a voluntary agreement on shared ownership. The Shared Ownership Taskforce, led by RenewableUK has today published its report to the Secretary of State explaining how these objectives will be achieved.
Renewable UK 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
Report for government says windfarm communities will be able to invest in new projects in a shared-ownership scheme designed to win over opponents of the turbines.
Guardian 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
The renewable energy sector has called for a special “green bond” to be set up which would allow savers to invest in the technology. The proposal has been floated in a Scottish Renewables “blueprint” for next year’s general election. Its manifesto argues that a green bond could offer savers across the country “a decent return” on their money. It also claims the bond would provide the renewable sector with cash which is needed to invest in infrastructure. Scottish Renewables proposed that the Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank would oversee the scheme.
BBC 4th Nov 2014 read more »
October was a “bumper month” for renewable energy in Scotland, with wind power alone producing more than enough electricity to meet the needs of every home in the country, campaigners have said. Wind turbines generated an estimated 982,842 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity last month — with environmental group WWF Scotland suggesting this was enough to power 3,045,000 homes, the equivalent of 126% of the electricity needs of every home in Scotland. WWF Scotland analysed figures from the WeatherEnergy organisation, looking at the estimated amount of power produced by the wind and the sun in Scotland.
STV 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Energy Voice 4th Nov 2014 read more »
WIND power produced more than enough electricity to meet the needs of every home in the country last month, campaigners have claimed. Turbines generated an estimated 982,842 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in October – with environmental group WWF Scotland suggesting this was enough to power 3,045,000 homes, the equivalent of 126 per cent of the electricity needs of every home in Scotland. WWF Scotland analysed figures from the WeatherEnergy organisation, looking at the estimated amount of power produced by the wind and the sun in Scotland. For buildings fitted with solar PV panels, it is estimated there was enough sunshine last month to provide almost half (46 per cent) of the electricity needs of the average home in Edinburgh, while houses in Inverness could get 38 per cent of the electricity needs this way, compared to 37 per cent for homes in Glasgow and 33 per cent for Aberdeen.
Herald 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
John Smiths is famously a no nonsense beer, so it is no surprise to find a giant solar system on its brewery in Tadcaster. More than 4,000 panels have been fitted on the building in North Yorkshire, enough to cover an area equivalent to five Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Business Green 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
The CBI has today underlined its support for the campaign to make energy efficiency one of the government’s national infrastructure priorities, arguing that energy saving has been “overlooked” for too long and needs to move up the political agenda in the next parliament. The call accompanies a new survey of 443 senior business leaders, published by the CBI in partnership with engineering giant URS, which highlights mounting concern over the UK’s infrastructure strategy.
Business Green 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
Across the social sciences a great many scholars are engaged in trying to understand policy and institutional change – not least within political science. One reason for mounting interest in change has been the growing awareness of anthropogenic climate change, of continued growth in global emissions and of what kinds of (varied) implications this might have for societies around the world. Energy has received a great deal of attention, not least because current (fossil fuel) systems are responsible for high percentages of emissions globally but also because demand growth for various energy services is estimated to be sustained over many decades to come. Across the many disciplines researching change in energy practices there is, however, a growing awareness that innovative governance is central to enabling profound change in current behaviours and in how we produce and use energy.
IGov 3rd Nov 2014 read more »