Nuclear Waste Transport
RADIOACTIVE debris was found on a rail wagon used to carry flasks of spent nuclear fuel from Oldbury power station, through Berkeley and on to Sellafield. The small fragments were discovered during monitoring of the wagon when the fuel arrived at the Sellafield reprocessing site on Friday, May 30. It is thought the contamination was picked up on the feet of a flask when it was in a cooling pond at Oldbury, which is in the process of being decommissioned. Although the flask was monitored before leaving the plant, the contamination was not detected, possibly because the flask’s feet were ‘rough’.
Gloucestershire Gazette 4th Aug 2014 read more »
One of the two units at Hunterston B power station was switched off on 1 August for its statutory outage: one of its biggest yet. More than 13,000 separate pieces of work are scheduled to be completed, with a total spend of more than £20 million. One of the main jobs is replacing the generator transformer, a £5 million project. The three phases were delivered by barge and then reversed down the approach road to Hunterston.
Nuclear Engineering International 5th Aug 2014 read more »
Nuclear Power Stations
Several units at British nuclear power stations are offline for the start of August which means the power supply is likely to “tighten” for the next week or so. As a result power contract prices for the “prompt” – i.e. very soon – opened slightly higher this morning. That’s according to the daily market report from npower which looks at what is affecting power, gas and oil prices in the UK energy market. Steven Walker, Client Portfolio Manager at the supplier said in the market report: “Analysis of near dated changes to power station availability included Heysham for a couple of days from the 6th [of August, which removes] around 400MW of availability.” He also said Dungeness work affects between 200 and 500MW of availability in the first week of August.
Energy Live News 5th Aug 2014 read more »
It appears the UK now has a full suite of environment and energy ministers who actually accept that dangerous climate change is being driven by human activities and needs to be tackled. What? You say that should be the minimum qualification for such important roles? Well, you are right. But, given the recent occupants of these offices of state, we should celebrate good news where we find it. It was, however, weirdly tricky to establish.
Guardian 5th Aug 2014 read more »
People found guilty of rigging wholesale gas and electricity prices could face up to two years in jail. The proposed new powers for UK energy regulators to safeguard consumers and provide a deterrent against abuses will be put forward by Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, on Wednesday.
Telegraph 6th Aug 2014 read more »
Times 6th Aug 2014 read more »
The long-awaited restart of Japan’s nuclear power plants is facing yet another setback and may be delayed until 2015, Japanese media said on Wednesday, piling pressure on struggling utilities to push for fresh price hikes.Kyushu Electric Power’s two-reactor Sendai plant, located about 1,000 km (600 miles) southwest of Tokyo, is likely to be the first nuclear plant to be allowed to restart under tough new safety regulations after the 2011 Fukushima crisis.The Sendai plant cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s (NRA) initial safety hurdle last month, but the utility was supposed to hand in additional, detailed paperwork on specific safety features at the site and how they planned to construct them.Japan’s public broadcaster NHK and other media said that Kyushu Electric said documentation issues meant final deliberations on the restart would be pushed back by the regulator, delaying the restart until after winter.
Reuters 6th Aug 2014 read more »
Prosecutors need to take a recent decision by a judicial panel of citizens seriously and look hard again at whether Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s former top executives should be held criminally responsible for the March 2011 disaster at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The government and power companies, meanwhile, need to see the decision by the Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution as a stern warning from citizens against their moves to restart the nation’s idled nuclear power plants before demonstrating they’ve fully grasped the lessons of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. The prosecution inquest panel on July 31 voted that three former Tepco executives, including ex-chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, should be indicted on a charge of professional negligence for failing to take appropriate steps to prevent the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima plant.
Japan Times 5th Aug 2014 read more »
Iran and six world powers will probably discuss a potential deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) in September, the state news agency IRNA quoted a senior Iranian negotiator as saying.Negotiations are to resume in Europe next month after Iran agreed with the powers – the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China – in July to extend the process by four months after they failed to meet a July 20 deadline.
Reuters 5th Aug 2014 read more »
In this 69th year since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the inhumanity of nuclear weapons is being highlighted anew. Momentum is surging among nations that are seeking total nuclear disarmament and asking, “Why can’t we ban nuclear weapons altogether on humanitarian grounds?”
Asahi Shimbun 6th Aug 2014 read more »
Hiroshima marked the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing Wednesday, as survivors of the attack and others gathered at the city’s Peace Memorial Park early in the morning to pay their respects and to attend an annual ceremony commemorating the event. At the ceremony, held just a few hundred meters from the hypocenter of the bombing, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to work to bridge the gap between nuclear weapons states and the rest of the world in the quest for global nuclear disarmament.
Japan Times 6th Aug 2014 read more »
The Los Alamos National Laboratory fired James E. Doyle, a respected nuclear security expert, in early July after more than a year of persecution stemming from a scholarly article he had published calling for nuclear disarmament, according to an account published Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity.
World Socialist Web 5th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Scientists at the University of Sheffield have made a major breakthrough in developing spray-on solar panels from a new material that could potentially slash the costs of renewables. Professor David Lidzey and a team from the university’s Physics and Astronomy and Chemical and Biological Engineering departments announced this week that they have used perovskite for the first time in spray-on technologies.
Business Green 5th Aug 2014 read more »
More than 1GW of modern wood heating systems have been installed under a government scheme designed to accelerate the roll out of greener boilers. Ofgem figures show the sector broke through the milestone last week following strong demand from commercial, industrial, and public sector organisations since the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was launched in late 2011. The scheme, which offers payments to renewable heat generators, was subsequently expanded to include households from April this year.
Business Green 5th Aug 2014 read more »
In 2012 Glyndebourne Festival became the first opera festival to be powered by renewable energy, following the installation of a 67-metre wind turbine a short distance from the opera house. This ambitious project represents just one part of a much larger effort to reduce our impact on the environment, and it’s working: in July 2014 we achieved the highest possible rating for environmental performance for the second year running. The three star Industry Green rating, awarded by independent environmental organisation Julie’s Bicycle, is currently held by just three other arts venues and five outdoor festivals. So how did we do it? Here are Glyndebourne’s top tips for organisations keen to address their long-term impact on the environment.
Guardian 5th Aug 2014 read more »
Investment bank Morgan Stanley says the global electricity utility industry is still underestimating the potential of EV maker Tesla to achieve a dramatic reduction in battery storage costs, luring more and more consumers to go “off-grid.” In a detailed report released in late July, Solar Power & Energy Storage, Morgan Stanley said that energy storage, specifically that being developed by Tesla in its so-called “giga-factory” could be disruptive in US and Europe, and elsewhere.
Renew Economy 6th Aug 2014 read more »
The cost of generating wind and solar power has been sinking like a stone, but the cost of storing all that energy for a rainy day has remained stubbornly high. With that in mind let’s take a look at a new advanced energy storage development announced by our friends over at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Considering all the other advances in utility scale energy storage and new smart grid technology, it really is only a matter of time before wind and solar become just as steady and reliable as any mainstream fossil fuel.
Clean Technica 4th Aug 2014 read more »
Gas plays an essential role in the UK’s energy mix, providing heat for homes and electricity to sockets. While that’s not likely to change in the short term, the fuel will need to be increasingly phased out as the government seeks to decarbonise the energy sector. A trawl through new government data shows how far the UK’s come in recent years, and hints at challenges to come. The UK currently uses three trillion cubic feet of gas each year. That demand may need to fall by as much as 20 per cent over the next two decades if the UK is going to hit its 2020 climate target. The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Digest of UK Energy Statistics, released last week, shows how much would need to change for that to happen. DECC’s data shows gas demand has fallen 17 per cent in the last five years. But while demand has fallen significantly from 2011’s high, it’s plateaued in recent years. Demand was only one per cent lower in 2013 compared to a year before.
Carbon Brief 5th Aug 2014 read more »