AT A high-powered PR summit in London, energy giant EDF’s head of communications proudly reported that sponsoring the Olympics had “added value to the nuclear brand.” Flushed with this success, EDF now plans to harness a new team of company volunteers who will “go out into the community and schools to tell the story.” Their Bringing Nuclear to Life initiative will unleash hundreds of volunteer EDF joggers onto the streets, each carrying the torch for new nuclear. Their stated objective will be to “normalise nuclear to consumers.” So, just when you thought it might be safe to step out a bit more — when double glazing salesmen, charity fundraisers and energy company “swappers” might be taking a breather — a new sort of “chugger” is about to hit the streets.
Morning Star 6th May 2014 read more »
For more than 15 years, nuclear engineer Sarah Kovaleski has worked in an industry where there are nine men to every woman. She explains how she became a leader in her field – and that belonging can mean being different.
Independent 6th May 2014 read more »
The government must urgently establish a strategic authority to oversee the future growth of Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure, a study argues on Tuesday. Academics at Newcastle University challenge the government’s market-based approach, saying the £100bn needed to secure energy security is not being delivered by a fragmented system that lacks central direction. The academics, led by Prof Phil Taylor, argue that the country needs a “systems architect” and that energy, at least for the bulk of the population, is too cheap, which is leading to waste. While the Labour party has already said it wants an energy security board, one leading figure in the industry has said that Taylor was highlighting that “nobody is in charge” of the country’s energy policy. Before Tuesday’s launch of the university’s latest energy briefing note, Taylor, who leads its Institute for Research on Sustainability, said: “The current pricing model does not accurately reflect the high economic and environmental cost of generating, storing and distributing energy. In fact, because of the way energy is sold today, it becomes cheaper the more we use. This is unsustainable.
Guardian 6th March 2014 read more »
A group of 200 former Gurkhas in Farnborough, Hampshire, have clubbed together to invest £600,000 to set up their own energy provider. Called Gnergy, it is probably the most unusual of the new breed of independent suppliers. The community-owned company, set up in December, has only 250 customers but will launch nationwide this month. Initially targeting the 80,000-strong Nepalese community living in the UK, it claims to offer tariffs 5 per cent cheaper than the rest of the market. Tikendra Dal Dewan, a retired major and chief executive of Gnergy, said: “We have got the green light to take it across the UK and open it to anyone. There will not be any small print or obligations. People can come to our offices.” Gnergy is based in the Gurkha Bhawan community centre in Farnborough, where many ex-Gurkhas live.
Times 6th May 2014 read more »
News that Horizon Nuclear Power is expanding its local workforce has been welcomed by County Council Leader, Cllr Ieuan Williams. Horizon announced a number of new, local staff appointments last week, in addition to the full-time staff and contractors already based at its Anglesey office. A new team of 12 security personnel is now in place at the Wylfa Newydd site, with three experienced project engineers also joining them shortly. All have been recruited from across Anglesey and North Wales.
News Wales 5th May 2014 read more »
Climate vs Nukes
Allan Jeffery is the assistant co-ordinator of the Stop Hinkley campaign. Here he outlines why he believes nuclear is not the answer to our energy needs. Climate change is widely acknowledged as being one of the most pressing issues for the global community – affecting many aspects of the environment and society, including, human health, ecosystems, agriculture, water supplies, local and global economies, sea levels and extreme weather events. However, the nuclear industry tries to depict nuclear energy as the most effective way to solve the climate problem. This claim has no basis in fact. Nuclear energy is neither effective nor viable. It is not a sustainable source and it causes devastating problems that humanity is not able to handle.
Western Daily Press 2nd May 2014 read more »
Warrington’s nuclear hub at Birchwood is being boosted by the arrival of two major businesses. Nuclear energy specialist AREVA RMC has already set up an office at Birchwood and it is soon to be joined by a new three-way joint venture established between Mace, Areva and Atkins. The new joint venture has been selected as preferred bidder for a £1bn contract with Sellafield to build a encapsulation plant, and will take the Sellafield project through detailed design, construction, manufacture, procurement, installation, and inactive commissioning.
Manchester Evening News 6th May 2014 read more »
Climbers face an array of risks when scaling Mount Everest – from freezing temperatures to altitude sickness – and now a scientist has found one that could leave more lasting effects. Scottish radiation expert Bob Kerr climbed the Nepalese mountain and, with help from his guide, recorded exposure levels at its summit using a Geiger counter. The 36-year-old found that the high-altitudes expose climbers to an extra 1milliSievert (mSv) of radiation, which is five times more than the average annual exposure in a nuclear power plant.
Daily Mail 5th May 2014 read more »
A group of 100 former officials, peace advocates and issue experts criticized the White House for planning to cut nuclear security funding next year. In a letter to President Obama, the mainly left-leaning critics argued that the fiscal 2015 budget request would signal a “major retreat” in efforts to secure nuclear materials worldwide. Specifically, the experts lamented a planned reduction to the Global Threat Reduction Initiative of 25 percent, and cuts to the International Nuclear Materials Protection Program totaling 27 percent. Also affected: The Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction budget, which is slated to be cut by 27 percent, according to the signers. The administration has said preventing terrorists from acquiring atomic material to build nuclear weapons, even in crude form, is a key thrust in the president’s national security agenda. Officials have previously defended reductions to some nonproliferation programs, arguing that objectives could still be achieved under a reduced funding profile. They also have pointed to the fact that budgets are shrinking across all government functions.
National Journal 5th May 2014 read more »
The Non-proliferation Treaty has survived for nearly half a century but it has not fostered nuclear disarmament—and it could be facing decay.
Open Democracy 5th May 2014 read more »
AN INDEPENDENT Scotland might be forced to postpone banning nuclear weapons from its territory in exchange for an easier passage into Nato and the European Union, a leading defence expert has claimed. In an analysis of what might happen after a vote for independence in Scotland, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, research director of the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), argues that the SNP would be forced to use the nuclear weapons based at Coulport and Faslane on the Clyde as a “bargaining chip” in negotiations and would not automatically be able to get rid of them by May 2020 as currently planned. However, Prof Chalmers also praises the SNP blueprint for defence after independence as “reasonable” and says the plans set out important principles on how it could work.
Scotsman 6th May 2014 read more »
The Navy admiral fired last fall as the No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces was given a letter of reprimand Monday and ordered to forfeit $4,000 in pay but will be allowed to remain on duty as a Navy staff officer, the Navy said. In a brief statement, the Navy said a superior officer determined that Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina’s involvement in a casino gambling case violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice on two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. The first count involved Giardina lying to an investigator and the second related to his failure to surrender – and his subsequent use of – counterfeit poker chips that he claimed he had found at the casino, the Navy said.
Daily Mail 6th May 2014 read more »
China’s flagship nuclear power operator has outlined plans to raise up to $2.6bn in an initial public offering, as part of a larger drive by state-owned companies to diversify funding sources after tapping out loans from the country’s banking system. China National Nuclear Power, a unit of China National Nuclear Corporation, or CNNC, plans to list 25 per cent of its shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, in what will be the largest domestic listing since mid-2010. The proceeds will be used to fund construction of four nuclear plants, the company said.
FT 5th May 2014 read more »
IB Times 5th May 2014 read more »
Britain has already approved enough renewable energy projects to hit its EU targets, rendering all 1,000 projects still in the planning system surplus to requirements, new analysis claims. Government figures show that 35 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity – mainly wind and solar farms and wood-burning biomass plants – is already built, under construction or has planning consent. This will be more than enough to hit the legally-binding target of sourcing 15pc of energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to a report by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF).
Telegraph 6th May 2014 read more »
A thousand applications for renewable energy projects, including wind and solar farms, may be causing needless anxiety for homeowners because enough have already been granted planning permission to meet Britain’s 2020 green targets, a study has found. The projects that are said to be surplus to requirements include about 3,000 onshore wind turbines, 3,000 offshore ones and 100 solar farms of five acres or more. A total of 16 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity has already been built, producing enough electricity to supply 11 million homes. Another 19GW is either under construction or has been granted permission and is awaiting construction. Once built, these projects will produce at least 30 per cent of total electricity, which is the contribution required from the power sector to meet Britain’s legally binding target set by the European Union. Under the targets the UK is required to produce 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2020. The Renewable Energy Foundation, which analysed figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), found that another 18GW of projects was in the planning system awaiting consent. If these were all built, Britain would produce almost 50 per cent more renewable electricity than is required under the EU directive.
Times 6th May 2014 read more »
A Yougov poll, commissioned by Greenpeace, has found that 74% of those questioned would oppose any move to allow drilling by shale gas companies under private land without permission. The move was proposed to accelerate shale gas exploration and is expected to form part of the government’s upcoming infrastructure bill – would be supported by just 13% of the public, according to the survey which found an identical number were undecided on the move.
Energy Desk 2nd May 2014 read more »
Dundee Courier 6th May 2014 read more »
FT 6th May 2014 read more »