Radiation from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has for the first time been detected along a North American shoreline, though at levels too low to pose a significant threat to human or marine life, scientists said. Trace amounts of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 were detected in samples collected on 19 February off the coast of Ucluelet, a small town on Vancouver Island in Canada’s British Columbia, said Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist Ken Buesseler. “Radioactivity can be dangerous, and we should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history,” Buesseler said in a statement.
Guardian 7th April 2015 read more »
Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have for the first time detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in a seawater sample from the shoreline of North America. The sample, which was collected on February 19 in Ucluelet, British Columbia, with the assistance of the Ucluelet Aquarium, contained trace amounts of cesium (Cs) -134 and -137, well below internationally established levels of concern to humans and marine life.
Wood Holes Oceanographic Institute 6th April 2015 read more »
Britain’s Wylfa 1 nuclear reactor is ramping up production following an outage that started on March 7, operator Magnox said in a note over the weekend. Magnox said the unit’s output was currently 135 megawatt (MW) and that production would rise to 200 MW by April 7 0100 local time. The 490-MW Wylfa 1 reactor was taken off the grid on March 7 during refuelling after the operator was unable to remove a fuel element.
Reuters 6th April 2015 read more »
A £14bn new nuclear power station at Wylfa in Gwynedd and the de-commissioning of the existing plant will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for Welsh businesses, according to a report publish today – providing a gross value added boost of £5.7bn. The independent research by Miller Research, commissioned by the Welsh Government, investigates the current and latent capability of businesses in Wales to respond to opportunities in the nuclear supply chain over the next 20 years.
Wales Online 7th April 2015 read more »
As many as 400 workers building a new nuclear power plant a HInkley point face being laid off while French company EDF ponders whether to go ahead with the £24.5bn project. Earthworks, drainage, and road works have already been completed for the site, but construction cannot start until EDF decides on its investment in the Somerset site.
Business Green 7th April 2015 read more »
AN INVESTIGATION is under way after “very low levels” of a radioactive substance were found at Torness Power Station. Radioactive tritium was found in water contained in part of the drainage system at the nuclear power plant, near Dunbar, on February 11. The issue has since been reported to both the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the UK Government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).
East Lothian Courier 5th April 2015 read more »
The French government has turned up the heat on the country’s biggest nuclear-power companies to restructure the industry to help stem multibillion-euro losses at state-controlled equipment maker Areva SA. Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron has asked Eléctricité de France SA–the operator of France’s fleet of nuclear power stations which provide most of the country’s electricity—to come to the rescue of Areva by deepening their industrial and possibly financial ties.
Wall St Journal 2nd April 2015 read more »
Radioactive Liquid Release from Drums, Safety Alert-WIPP Prequel 2011.
Radiation Free Lakeland 6th April 2015 read more »
China Power Investment Corp. (CPI) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. (SNPTC) will merge to become the country’s largest nuclear power entity. The new company would be named State Power Investment Group, with total assets exceeding 700 billion yuan ($111.93 billion) and annual sales of more than 200 billion yuan ($32.7 billion), according to the Global Times. When the merger is completed, the new nuclear power businesses will be listed on the stock exchange. The State Council was quoted as saying it would transfer its 66 percent stake in SNPTC to CPI for free.
Power Engineering 6th April 2015 read more »
Turkey has just suffered a massive failure of its electricity grid. A long-lasting blackout spread over more than half of the country, leaving the capital Ankara and many large cities in the dark. It may take a while to investigate the initial cause of that failure, but there already is one clear lesson: it has been a wake up call against the construction of nuclear reactors in earthquake- and blackout-prone Turkey. Every knowledgeable engineer will confirm that a fragile and unstable grid requires more flexible power plants that can quickly turn on and off or promptly change their output, in order to help the electricity network find a new balance and stability. On the other hand, large nuclear power plants are the most unflexible source of energy, because they take several days to start, and while they can stop within seconds, every sudden shut down creates a safety risk and large financial loss. Because of this, nuclear reactors make the grid even more vulnerable, and are definitely not a suitable solution to the black out problems.
Greenpeace 6th April 2015 read more »
Jordan will initiate international tenders for the planning phase of the proposed nuclear power plant this month. The National cited Rosatom State Atomic Energy spokesman as saying: “As for the pre-investment phase of the project, international tenders are already taking place. “In April, it is planned to announce tenders for consulting services, market studies and grid studies.” Recently, Jordan signed a nuclear agreement with Russia to build its first nuclear power plant in Jordan. The first reactor unit of the nuclear power plant is planned to be commissioned by 2021, followed by the second four years later. The two reactors will require an investment of around $10bn, and have a total capacity of 2,000MW, The Jordan Times reported earlier.
Energy Business Review 6th April 2015 read more »
The White House is emphasising the incomplete nature of its tentative nuclear deal with Iran as Barack Obama leads a flurry of phone calls to sceptical lawmakers in Washington to buy time to complete key negotiations. In contrast to the triumphant tone of last week’s announcement of a framework agreement in Lausanne, US officials acknowledged on Monday that important differences remain between negotiators over exactly when and how economic sanctions on Iran would be lifted. Though stressing this was “just a sequencing argument” rather than a major obstacle, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest argued it was another important reason for Congress to wait until a final version in June before acting on the deal.
Guardian 6th April 2015 read more »
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet said on Monday it welcomed an interim deal between Iran and world powers over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme and that it hoped a final deal would rid the region of weapons of mass destruction.
Reuters 6th April 2015 read more »
IN some ways the Scrap Trident demonstration in Glasgow on Saturday was much like the many others which have taken place over the years. The chants had been heard before, the slogans were nothing new, and many of the faces would have been familiar to those who have been campaigning against nuclear weapons for decades. Many of the key arguments are familiar too. Nuclear weapons cannot be used solely against military targets; they are weapons of mass civilian slaughter and are therefore illegal as well immoral. The strategic case for nuclear weapons was based on the Cold War context, and has no relevance to modern threats to our security. The vast expense involved is an absurd waste of money, all the more so when socially useful investment is being cut. Yes, all this is well-worn stuff. But as the marchers marched and as the speeches began on Saturday there was something new in the air. Everyone present was keenly aware that the new UK Government and the MPs who are elected in just a few weeks’ time are due to make a final decision on replacement of Trident next year. This will be a crucial moment in a very long-running campaign, and it is approaching at a time when momentum is building for a global ban on nuclear weapons. The UK has the chance to add to that momentum, or to undermine it by pressing ahead and deploy a new generation of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde.
Daily Record 6th April 2015 read more »
Ile de Sein, a small island off the coast of Brittany, dreams of becoming powered by 100 per cent locally-produced, community-owned renewable energies. The island has a permanent population of just over 100 inhabitants and over 40 of them are pushing for their homes and businesses to rely solely on renewables in the future. They show that by harnessing the natural resources of the wind, sea and sun they could power their homes and rid themselves of the fossil fuels on which they are currently reliant. Today, the island receives its electricity from three generators that use 420,000 litres of oil a year.
Renew Economy 7th April 2015 read more »
Local Energy (Scotland)
The Local Energy Challenge Fund (LECF) Round 2 is now open for applications. The Local Energy Challenge Fund is available to commercial businesses, manufacturers, universities, housing associations, local authorities and community groups in order to support large-scale local low carbon demonstrator projects which show a local energy economy approach linking local energy generation to local energy use. In the first round of funding, 114 applications were submitted and 17 projects were awarded phase 1 support. Six projects across Scotland will now benefit from more than £20 million in funding from the first round of support from the LECF that will help reshape how energy is delivered and used in communities throughout the country.
Scottish Energy News 7th April 2015 read more »
As the southernmost inhabited islands of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland Barra and Vatersay bear the brunt of whatever weather the Atlantic throws at them. Not that the locals mind with a community owned turbine harnessing the gales to generate electricity; the income generated from the sale of the electricity is set to provide the local community with an annual income for the foreseeable future
Informed Comment 6th April 2015 read more »
Scientists have dramatically increased the efficiency of producing clean hydrogen fuel from plant waste in a breakthrough that could one day lead to petrol stations being replaced by a network of roadside “bioreactors” for refuelling cars.A study funded by Shell Oil has shown that it is possible to convert all 100 per cent of the sugar stored in corn stover – the stalks, cobs and husks leftover in a harvested maize field – into hydrogen gas with no overall increase in carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. The researchers perfected the process by mixing the raw biomass with a watery solution containing a cocktail of ten enzymes that turned the plant sugars xylose and glucose into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, said Professor Percival Zhang of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Independent 6th April 2015 read more »
The introduction of battery storage – both as an economic addition to home and business use, and to avoid expensive upgrades of poles and wires in electricity networks – is adding a new element to the equation. But here’s a new take on the storage issue from Navigant Research. It suggests that battery storage could make gas-fired peaking plants virtually redundant, by combining storage with combined cycle plants, which are usually used for baseload or intermediate applications. Storage – be it battery or in the form of salts for solar thermal – is being paired with renewables such as wind and solar to provide the same service. The ability to pair it with an existing gas plant, however, creates some interesting options. It also means the amount of fossil fuel plant needed in the current system, or in a renewables-based system, will be significantly reduced.
Renew Economy 7th April 2015 read more »