The California Energy Commission’s 186-page report, “Comparative Costs of California Central Station Electricity Generation” found that a 1,000-megawatt pressurized water reactor would generate electricity in 2018 from as little as $0.17 per kilowatt-hour to as much as $0.34 per kilowatt-hour. These results are startling: Most renewable technologies today, even solar photovoltaics (PV), generate electricity for less than that. Only a municipal utility could generate nuclear electricity for less than the cost of solar PV. In an unrelated study for the German Renewable Energy Association, consultants found that nuclear reactors are effectively uninsurable. The 157-page report by Versicherungsforen Leipzig estimated that the premium necessary to insure a nuclear reactor from accident would cost from $0.20 per kilowatt-hour to a staggering $3.40 per kilowatt-hour.Thus, the cost to insure a nuclear reactor — at a minimum — would cost as much as the electricity itself from a nuclear plant coming online in California in 2018.
Grist 4th June 2011 more >>
TEMPERS flared after a nuclear group stopped members of the public from raising concerns about the situation in disaster struck Japan. Sizewell A and B Stakeholder Groups (SSG) AGM had to be
suspended twice in a bid to restore order. Enraged campaigners disrupted proceedings by storming to the front of the meeting and waving placards claiming some members were acting unconstitutionally. SSG chairman Richard Smith previously sent out a letter asking those who attended the AGM to avoid discussing the stricken Fukushima Power Plan, which has been leaking radiation since an earthquake and tsunami struck in March. He said instead there would be a dedicated meeting following the publication of a Government report into the disaster, due out in September. Pete Wilkinson, a member of the SSG , said he felt Fukushima should be discussed. We should be talking about it now, he said. We have got to take every opportunity to discuss the issue of what the implications might be for us and the spectre of Sizewell C. His feelings were echoed by other members, including Bill Howard and Joan Girling, while Marianne Fellowes also felt it was important peoples concerns were addressed.
Evening Star 4th June 2011 more >>
A NUCLEAR ship which served Sellafield and nuclear plants in France and Japan will be towed away from Barrow and sent for scrap. Pacific Sandpiper, run by Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd, is due to be sent to Holland for deep cleaning on Monday before being towed to Belgium to be broken up. The nuclear waste cargo vessel, which was built in 1985, is berthed in the Anchor Line Basin in Barrow docks and will be the fifth Barrow-based nuclear ship to be scrapped in the last decade. The ship was decommissioned and stripped of equipment earlier this year to make way for three newly-built ships which arrived in the town Pacific Grebe, Pacific Heron and Pacific Egret.
NW Evening Mail 4th June 2011 more >>
What amazes me most about the reception given to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s historic decision to abandon nuclear energy is the way so many commentators have mocked the move as “political”. What they really mean is that Merkel has hijacked the Green Party’s agenda just to win votes. They are wrong and they are missing a trick, a brilliant trick. By dropping nuclear and going hell-bent for renewables, Merkel is giving German industry an enormous boost and the chance to lead the world in alternative energies. Germany is already a world leader in clean coal and gas technology, as well as in solar, biothermal and wind power, so it makes complete sense for Merkel to want to encourage their expansion. Siemens is already way ahead of its competitors in solar energy production and is now building solar-powered stations with serious capacity around the world. At the same time, some of the latest cutting-edge renewable technologies are being developed by small German mittelstand engineering companies. By contrast, the nuclear industry is dominated by the US and France, and if Germany had wanted to increase its nuclear programme, it would have needed to rely on more outside expertise not a very German way of doing things.
Independent 5th June 2011 more >>
The Green party said on Saturday the closure of nuclear reactors providing most of France’s power was a condition for forming a coalition with the Socialists, as a poll showed most French dislike nuclear power. With elections due in France in April, the support of the Greens, who won three percent of the vote in the 2007 elections, could prove valuable to the opposition Socialists as they bid to unseat President Nicolas Sarkozy and form a government.
Alert Net 4th June 2011 more >>
The Japanese utility battling to bring its radiation-spewing nuclear reactor under control says it is moving 1,500 more tons of radioactive water into temporary storage. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday that the move is critical to prevent the spilling of highly radioactive water into the ground and the sea. More than 100,000 tons of radioactive water have pooled beneath the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan. TEPCO has said the water could start overflowing about June 20 or possibly sooner with heavy rainfall.
Washington Post 5th June 2011 more >>
Tanks for storing radioactive water are on their way to the crippled nuclear power plant in north eastern Japan where reactor cores melted after the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Tokyo Electric Power Co, the utility that operates the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, said two of the 370 tanks were due to arrive today. Each of the tanks can store either 100 tons or 120 tons of radioactive water. The tanks will continue arriving until August, and will store a total of 40,000 tons of radioactive water.
Wales Online 4th May 2011 more >>
The Japanese government has expressed regret for not disclosing some important results of the radiation monitoring conducted near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant soon after the accident. The central and Fukushima prefectural governments collected the data to determine evacuation measures as well as food and water restrictions for residents. A reading on March 12th, one day after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the plant, shows that radioactive tellurium was detected 7 kilometers away. Tellurium is produced during the melting of nuclear fuel. Three hours before the data was collected, the government expanded the radius of the evacuation area around the plant from 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers.
NHK 4th JUne 2011 more >>
You know that Fukushima reactors 1, 2 and 3 all melted down within hours of the Japanese earthquake. You also know that at least some of the subsequent explosions could have been caused by small-scale nuclear reactions called “prompt moderated criticalities”. But you might not know that nuclear reactions may still be ongoing. Specifically, it is well-known by nuclear scientists that the ratio of iodine 131 to cesium 137 tells a lot about when nuclear reactions have stopped.
Zero Hedge 4th June 2011 more >>
Washington’s Blog 3rd June 2011 more >>
Italy’s top appeals court gave the go-ahead for a referendum on nuclear power on Wednesday despite a government decision to temporarily freeze plans to return to nuclear following the disaster in Japan. Italians will vote on June 12 and 13 in the referendum, which if approved and if turnout is high enough would impose a permanent ban on nuclear power.
France24 1st June 2011 more >>
Interview with Dennis Kyne, 15-year U.S. Army Veteran serving in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, on depleted uranium.
You Tube Accessed 5th June 2011 more >>
This week’s Micro Power News is available including news of the Solar Trade Associations Alternative Solar Revolution Strategy; and plans for solar farms in Oxfordshire, Newport and Somerset.
Microgen Scotland 3rd June 2011 more >>