Funding worth £13 million has been awarded to develop innovative technologies for current and next-generation nuclear power stations. A total of 15 research and development projects as well as 26 smaller-scale feasibility studies will share the fund. They include remote monitoring and sensors to eliminate the danger of people entering radioactive areas, an ocean imaging system to stop jellyfish blooms blocking cooling water intakes and extending the working lives of existing nuclear power stations. The competition is a joint initiative between Innovate UK, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and DECC.
Energy Live News 5th Nov 2014 read more »
Oilprice.com took a look at the countries whose nuclear power plants would be most vulnerable to a tsunami. We based our list – which is in no particular order – on a report by the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS), part of the European Commission, which mapped out the world’s geographic zones that would be at most risk of large tsunamis. We then cross-referenced those countries with information from the World Nuclear Association, on each country’s nuclear program. According to the CORDIS report, 23 nuclear power plants with 74 reactors were identified in high-risk areas. The riskiest country was China, which has 27 reactors currently under construction, the largest number in the world. Of those 27, 17 are being built in areas considered dangerous for tsunamis.
Oil Price 4th Nov 2014 read more »
A working group at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, at Aldermaston proposed that the government undertake an 18 month study of the feasibility of using controlled nuclear explosions to blast huge cavities where the oil could be stored cheaply. They reckoned they could have the project up and running by 1978, according to documents released this week by the Ministry of Defence after a Freedom of Information request. The explosions would have to be carried out under the sea, our experts noted, because “the urban character of much of Britain is not generally conducive to underground nuclear explosions on land and it is in the creation of oil storage beneath the seabed that the technology of peaceful nuclear explosions may be helpful in offshore oil development programmes.”
Independent 4th Nov 2014 read more »
RUSSIA has dealt a body blow to international efforts to stop terrorists getting their hands on weapons-grade nuclear material after failing to show at crunch talks. Their absence also undermines efforts by US President Barack Obama to make a “safer world” part of his legacy when he departs from office in two years’ time. Obama initiated a string of summits in 2010 aimed at agreeing a strategy to keep nuclear material away from terror groups across the globe. That has seen the number of countries capable of holding the kind of material discussed drop from 39 to 25.
Scotsman 5th Nov 2014 read more »
Reuters 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Belfast Telegraph 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Leaked photos have revealed a decaying nuclear waste dump at Sellafield in Cumbria. Cracked concrete pools filled with water and highly radioactive rods and sludge lie exposed to the open air amid rusting equipment. Nothing stands in the way of the wind and rain. The impact that this contaminated water could have if it seeps out into the environment is bad enough. Yet the water is needed to keep spent nuclear fuel cool. If it leaks the waste will overheat and burst into flames—filling the air with radiation. Sellafield makes a mockery of claims that nuclear power is cheap, safe or clean. Its reactors were abandoned decades ago. Yet we are still paying £1.7 billion a year to decommission the site.
Socialist Worker 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Households are much less worried about energy bills than they were last year, according to an official survey which undermines the case for Ed Miliband’s policy of freezing bills. A third of people said that they worried about the amount they paid for gas and electricity, the lowest proportion since the Department of Energy and Climate Change began its quarterly survey in March 2012. Concern about bills was almost twice as high last summer, shortly before Mr Miliband announced that he would force energy companies to freeze prices for 20 months if Labour won next year’s general election. The survey, of 2,103 households, also found that trust in energy supplier had risen, with more people believing that their power company was transparent and fair.
Times 5th Nov 2014 read more »
Steelwork contractor Caunton Engineering is pioneering a new steel concrete walling system that could radically alter the way nuclear power stations are built. The innovative system, trade marked as Steel Bricks, sandwiches concrete between interconnected steel boxes creating walls with added strength. Now the ground-breaking product is being backed by the Government with nearly £1m in funding from Innovate UK, the newly-named Technology Strategy Board.
Construction Enquirer 5th Nov 2014 read more »
Small manufacturers in the Black Country are set to benefit from specialist support to access the UK’s rapidly developing £60bn civil nuclear new build programme and significant opportunities in decommissioning.
Express and Star 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Business Desk 4th Nov 2014 read more »
HARTLEPOOL College has been named as a key partner in a Government-backed scheme to provide sustainable skills and staff for the nuclear industry.
Northern Echo 5th Nov 2014 read more »
LEADING nuclear expert Professor Andrew Sherry is to leave his role in academia to join the National Nuclear Laboratory, the government-owned Warrington-based organisation.Prof Sherry will join NNL in January as chief science and technology officer after more than 10 years at The University of Manchester, latterly as director of the University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute.
Business Desk 5th Nov 2014 read more »
The Mutual Defence Agreement is a US-UK nuclear deal that lays the foundation for replacing our Trident nuclear weapons system – it must be exposed and challenged.
New Statesman 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Adding to signs of distress in the nuclear force, the Air Force fired two commanders and disciplined a third yesterday. The action was a response to internal investigations of leadership lapses and misbehavior at two of its three intercontinental ballistic missile bases.
Daily Mail 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Papers reluctantly released by the UK Government in the bomb test veterans’ legal case for compensation reveal what it has long denied, writes Chris Busby – that bomb fallout is rich in uranium, and that most of its radioactivity is concentrated in the ‘forgotten’ but highly active isotope U-234, explaining much of the substantial, long term damage to veterans’ health.
Ecologist 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Opponents say that the government and the nuclear regulator, which has received applications to restart 20 reactors, have focused too heavily on the operational safety of plants, like resistance to shaking and proper venting in the case of a nuclear accident. In their rush to get them back online they have not concentrated enough on readying nearby communities for a future disaster. One of the loudest critics is Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata prefecture, home to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, the world’s largest. In 2007 an earthquake sparked a fire at the plant, cut off roads and stranded rescue workers. Mr Izumida watched the disaster unfold on television because communication lines to his office were down. He frets about what will happen to the 440,000 people living within 30km of the plant if there is another such incident.
Economist 3rd Nov 2014 read more »
US – radwaste
Earlier this year, a violent chemical reaction at a New Mexico facility that stores waste from the making of plutonium bombs broke open a storage drum and sprayed the waste into the air, leading to the closure of the repository. Fortunately, the incident on Feb. 4 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, near Carlsbad, N.M., happened at night when operations were limited; no workers were injured beyond a very small radiation exposure, and only a very small amount of radioactive waste leaked into the environment. But the reaction, which forced the closure of the site, came as a blow to the country’s efforts to clean up old nuclear weapons manufacturing sites and has forced the government to take extraordinary measures to prevent a repetition. The reopening of the waste repository will stretch into next year and cost at least $551 million, according to the Energy Department. Robert Alvarez, a nuclear waste expert and a former special assistant to the energy secretary, said that a safety analysis conducted before the repository opened predicted one such incident every 200,000 years; the mine has been open for 15 years.
New York Times 29th Oct 2014 read more »
North Korea is operating a new nuclear facility that could double its known capacity to produce uranium-enriched fuel for nuclear weapons, a South Korean news report said on Wednesday.The move, if true, would be a further step in defiance of international pressure on Pyongyang to end its nuclear program in the form of layers of U.N. sanctions. The new facility sits right next to a plant where in 2010 the North allowed a team of U.S. nuclear experts to tour what one described as a sophisticated and “industrial-scale” uranium enrichment facility.
Reuters 5th Nov 2014 read more »
A man has rowed almost the entire length of Turkey’s Black Sea coastline, in protest at plans for the country’s first nuclear power station. Huseyin Urkmez spent three months rowing the 1,500km (930 miles) from Hopa, near Turkey’s eastern border, to the port of Ortakoy in Istanbul, the Yesil Gazete website reports. He was greeted by the cheers of environmental activists after his mammoth journey, which he undertook in a standard rowing boat, the website says. Mr Urkmez describes his feat as a “symbolic demonstration” against nuclear power plants in the country, the Hurriyet Daily News website reports. “I wanted to draw attention to demands for a nuclear-free country only through my physical strength. If there is one thing as difficult as rowing against the current, it is challenging the government’s calculations,” he says.
BBC 4th Nov 2014 read more »
German ambitions to generate the vast majority its power from the sun, wind and other renewable sources by the middle of the century are at risk from cuts to solar subsidies and weak EU clean energy targets, industry and experts say. The country’s target of getting 80% of energy from renewable sources by 2050 is one of the few to match the scaling-up of renewable power that the UN’s climate science panel said on Sunday was needed to avoid “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” from global warming. The Energiewende (‘Energy transition’) programme to chisel fossil fuels out of Germany’s energy mix has a breathtakingly ambitious air that has swept through the north city-state of Bremen, where even the football stadiums and funfairs run entirely on clean energy.
Guardian 5th Nov 2014 read more »
Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group today launches the education strand of its Scotland Lights up Malawi campaign – which aims to raise £2.020 million in 20 months and 20 days. The group is raising funds to support Scotland’s efforts in tackling climate justice by investing in solar lights in Malawi and undertaking research into climate justice and educating children in both Scotland and Malawi.
Scottish Energy News 5th Nov 2014 read more »
More than three-quarters of the public support the use of renewable energy to help meet the UK’s electricity, heating and fuel needs, with over a quarter stating that they strongly support renewable technologies. That is one of the key findings from the latest tracker survey of over 2,100 adults from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which again confirms that support for renewables and clean technologies has remained remarkably solid since the polling series was launched in early 2012.
Business Green 4th Nov 2014 read more »
New analysis from WWF Scotland reveals last month the country’s wind turbines provided enough power to meet more than 100 per cent of demand from Scottish households.
Business Green 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 claimed. 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.
Scotsman 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Scottish Energy News 5th Nov 2014 read more »
Despite advice from Desmond Tutu to divest from of coal, oil and gas, the Church of England is choosing to delay a decision until late 2015, says climate activist Bill McKibben.
Guardian 4th Nov 2014 read more »