Eversheds has joined the list of firms taking a lead role on the £16bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, advising stated-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) on its investment. The Somerset-based project, which was given the final go-ahead last October and aims to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, is due for completion in 2024 and will comprise two reactors to capable of producing 3,200 MW of energy. Last year developer EDF Group and the UK government agreed on key commercial terms for the project, with a final consortium of industrial partners including EDF, AREVA, China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) and CNNC. It was announced that the state-owned Chinese companies, who already operate nuclear power projects in other parts of the world, will together take a 30-40% interest in the project.
Legal Week 5th June 2014 read more »
LARGE 737 jets are already operating from Lydd Airport despite the runway extension being uncompleted. The move was described as a ‘disturbing development’ by Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG), who fear an increased risk of an aircraft colliding with the nuclear power station at Dungeness.
Rye & Battle Observer 4th June 2014 read more »
Changing the rules by which nuclear power stations are judged to be safe or not may sound unpalatable to some, even outright dangerous. But this is what the Office of Nuclear Regulation is considering in order to extend the life of Britain’s ageing reactor fleet. Rest assured, however, such things are done carefully. Amidst all the talk of graphite one risks missing another story from recent days concerning nuclear safety regulation. This other news concerns claims of conflicts of interest, with the same nuclear companies it regulates also providing the Office of Nuclear Regulation with technical advice. Given that public trust is so often an issue of trust in institutions and people, rather than in technologies or science, it is this other story that perhaps deserves to be getting more attention.
The Conversation 5th June 2014 read more »
The firm behind a £120m holiday village on Anglesey are set to start recruiting. The divisive proposals for Holyhead by Land and Lakes include a holiday village at Penrhos nature reserve of up to 500 lodges and cottages, 315 lodges and a hotel at Cae Glas, and 320 houses in Kingsland. The plans were passed by the planning committee at Anglesey council in November last year and despite requests to call the scheme in the Welsh Government allowed the decision to stand in March. Under the proposals the sites would initially house workers on the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant project before converting into a holiday park, employing 600 people.
Daily Post 4th June 2014 read more »
Steria, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services, has today announced that it has won a contract with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to provide and support a secure information system for NNL at its Sellafield site. The contract, starting this year and running until 2021, demonstrates Steria’s expanding footprint in secure systems thanks to its specialist expertise and its commitment to building trusted partnerships with clients.
Real Wire 5th June 2014 read more »
A site for a £7m centre for nuclear and low-carbon companies in Somerset has been approved. Somerset County Council has decided to purchase land on Bridgwater’s Woodlands Business Park for the centre. The project, designed to capitalise on the nuclear power plant due to be built at Hinkley Point by EDF Energy, was due to be sited at Bridgwater Gateway. But, with a June 2015 completion date required to secure funding, the council decided on a “deliverable alternative”.
BBC 5th June 2014 read more »
Electricity Market Reform
Crucial regulations for electricity market reform (EMR) have been delayed, Utility Week can reveal. Secondary legislation to deliver a new subsidy regime and capacity market was expected alongside the Queen’s speech on Wednesday. However, Parliament’s lawyers reportedly need more time to scrutinise the text. An industry source said the contracts for difference (CfD) proposals to support low carbon generation are thought to be 3 or 4 weeks behind schedule. The capacity market, to promote security of supply by paying generators (primarily gas-fired plant) to be available, is believed to need even more work. The delay raised concerns the first capacity auctions, scheduled for December, may have to be put back. That would jeopardise the government’s stated aim to deliver new capacity by winter 2018, extending a forecast “capacity crunch”.
Utility Week 4th June 2014 read more »
BHP Billiton was counting on Chinese demand for energy and fertiliser to take up the slack as the steel sector softened, its chief executive said in Beijing as he wound up a visit to the company’s largest Asian customers. The company could adjust output at its Olympic Dam in Australia depending on when China’s ambitious expansion of nuclear generating capacity revives the uranium market, which is still depressed by the aftermath of the meltdown of the Fukushima reactor in Japan. Mr Mackenzie’s division pulled the plug on a long-delayed expansion of Olympic Dam the year after a tsunami devastated the Fukushima plant.
FT 5th June 2014 read more »
State-controlled nuclear group Areva’s headquarters and the homes of former executives were searched on Tuesday by France’s financial prosecutor as part of an investigation into Areva’s $2.5 billion acquisition of Canadian uranium mining company UraMin in 2007, a judicial source said.The source told Reuters that a total of 11 searches had been carried out, including at the home of former Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon and Areva’s former mining director Sebastien de Montessus. Lauvergeon and de Montessus were not immediately available for comment.
Reuters 3rd June 2014 read more »
President Obama’s plan to cut US emissions was launched with great fanfare earlier this week. Analysts are now scratching their heads trying to work out the details. Here’s three of the plan’s key components.
Carbon Brief 5th June 2014 read more »
Japanese company Toshiba has withdrawn as a strategic investor from the project covering construction of seventh unit at Kozloduy nuclear power station located in Bulgaria. As a result of Toshiba’s withdrawal, Westinghouse Electric has been selected as a strategic investor for the project as replacement. The Sofia Globe reported the cabinet as saying in a statement in Sofia that the Westinghouse’s AP 1000 pressurised water reactor technology can be used in the Kozloduy unit VII project.
Energy Business Review 5th June 2014 read more »
Israel has condemned as unacceptably slow Iran’s cooperation with a U.N. watchdog inquiry into suspected atomic bomb research and accused Tehran of providing “false” explanations for its disputed activities.At a weekly board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said Iran had finally begun to engage with an investigation into allegations that it has worked on designing a nuclear warhead.
Reuters 5th June 2014 read more »
The UK government drew up a top secret list of 106 cities, towns and bases across the country seen as “probable nuclear targets” in the early 1970s, according to documents released by the National Archives. During the cold war, a list of the places thought likely to come under nuclear attack by the Soviet Union was agreed by military commanders, the intelligence services and the Cabinet Office under Conservative prime minister Edward Heath. Although most major cities were included, there were some notable omissions. Cambridge was on the target list but not Oxford; Bristol but not Brighton; and Edinburgh but not Aberdeen.
Guardian 5th June 2014 read more »
Renewables – Wave
The trade association representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, RenewableUK, is hailing the opening today of a new marine energy test centre at the University of Edinburgh as another positive example of the progress being made by the sector. The new £9.5m FloWave Ocean Energy Research facility will have the capability to recreate scale version equivalents of waves reaching 28 metres in height and fast-moving currents of up to 14 knots which are typical off coastlines around the UK and Europe. The opening of this new state-of-the-art site, based at the University of Edinburgh’s science campus, marks another step towards the commercial development of wave and tidal energy at a potentially lower cost.
Renewable UK 5th June 2014 read more »
Renewables – Onshore Wind
RenewableUK has published a new guide highlighting the massive potential for local companies to win contracts to plan, build and maintain onshore wind farms, and to provide a wide range of support services for those involved in Britain’s onshore wind industry. It shows. The “Local Supply Chain Opportunities in Onshore Wind – Good Practice Guide” takes companies right through each phase of developing an onshore wind farm in detail. It explains how local businesses can work with developers to secure contracts – maximising the local content of projects in their area.
Renewable UK 5th June 2014 read more »
Imagine if you could take the CO2 you’ve just emitted, capture it and store it deep underground. The technology exists. A British firm has been asked by Cyprus to create a carbon-capture solution that could potentially house unwanted greenhouse gases from other countries as well. “Today the world is treating CO2 emissions the way we treated rubbish in the past,” says Stuart Haszeldine, a professor of carbon capture and storage at the University of Edinburgh and director of Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS). “We produce them and emit them into the atmosphere just like we used to put our rubbish on the street because it was cheaper.”
Guardian 6th June 2014 read more »
Heatwaves with the potential to kill hundreds of people and melt roads are likely to hit Britain every other year by the 2040s, according to weather experts. Speaking at a hearing of a London Assembly committee investigating the capital’s resilience against extreme weather, Dr Matt Huddleston of the Met Office said severe summer heatwaves will become the norm within a few decades.
Telegraph 5th June 2014 read more »
Fracking poses a much bigger risk of water contamination in Britain than the US, an expert has warned. David Smythe, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Glasgow, says those citing the US as an example of where fracking has worked are ignoring a fundamental difference to here. His research suggests there are 400 more fault lines beneath the surface in the UK, dramatically increasing the risk of gas and oil leaking into water sources or to the surface.
Daily Mirror 4th June 2014 read more »