Work has begun on a major overhaul of the nuclear power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire. It follows the decision to extend the station’s working life by a further seven years. Hunterston B opened in 1976 and was originally scheduled to be decommissioned in 2011, but will now generate electricity until 2023. EDF Energy says it is investing more than £20m to ensure it continues to operate efficiently and safely. Station director Colin Weir told BBC Scotland: “As the plant ages, we have to look at what’s ageing and replace some components. “More importantly, we also test and inspect our components, much as you would with a vintage car. “We take a great deal of care with our nuclear power plant.”
BBC 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Could GE Hitachi’s Eric Loewen deliver the next generation nuclear reactor capable of providing the clean energy the world desperately needs? An opportunity that last month saw Loewen visit the UK to give evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee of MPs. GE Hitachi is one of three developers in the running for the contract to handle the disposition of the UK’s waste plutonium, competing with rival bids from Canadian firm Candu Energy and French engineering giant Areva. Earlier this year, the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) threw a competition that appeared to be stacked in favour of Areva’s MOX project wide open, with a report that declared that all three projects presented “credible reuse options” for the country’s plutonium stockpile. “We note all the technologies being considered have pros and cons and that no ‘perfect’ solution exists,” the report added, “it may be that a multi-track approach offers best value for money.”
Business Green 6th Aug 2014 read more »
This action plan sets out a number of commitments by DECC and Ofgem in response to a range of concerns raised by independent energy suppliers through the Challenger Business Programme.
DECC 6th Aug 2014 read more »
Senior U.S. and Iranian officials will hold nuclear talks in Geneva on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said, as the two sides seek to break a logjam over Tehran’s atomic programme.
Reuters 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Tax credits and low-interest loans will be used to generate about €10 billion ($13.4 billion) for a new energy plan in France. About half the money will be loaned by Caisse des Depots et Consignations, a government-owned lender, and some will also come from non-state banks. French President Francois Hollande wants France to reduce its reliance on atomic power from 75% to 50% by 2025. Such an investment is necessary to help with this transition. France is one of the most nuclear-dependent countries in the world. This situation is surely reasonable, because at one point several decades ago, France was overly reliant upon oil for the generation of electricity. When the oil crisis of the early 1970s hit, spiking petroleum prices put France (and other nations) in a financial headlock. Unlike many other countries, France doesn’t have large supplies of coal so couldn’t fall back on that energy source. Thus, it pursued nuclear power.
Renew Economy 7th Aug 2014 read more »
The reactor pressure vessel for China’s Sanmen 2 has been delivered to the construction site in preparation of its installation. It is the first AP1000 vessel to be domestically produced. A ceremony was held on 5 August to mark the successful delivery of the vessel, manufactured by China First Heavy Industries (CFHI) under the supervision of Westinghouse. Attendees included representatives from the National Energy Board, China’s National Nuclear Security Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as well as from the Dalian municipal government. Two AP1000s are under construction at the Sanmen site in Zhejiang province, eastern China, with another two being built at Haiyang in Shandong province.
World Nuclear News 6th Aug 2014 read more »
The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s third reactor building was even worse than initially believed, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has announced. In fact, the power company’s new appraisal of the Fukushima No. 3 reactor building shows that all – or nearly all – of the fuel rods contained inside were melted, dropping onto the floor of the containment vessel. If true, the news means the power plant could be even tougher to decommission. According to the Japan Times, TEPCO first estimated back in November of 2011 that roughly 63 percent of the reactor’s fuel rods had melted. But TEPCO now believes that after studying conditions surrounding the fuel core, the reactor’s cooling system stopped functioning more than five hours earlier than previously estimated. As a result, the meltdown would have started around that same time period.
Russia Today 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Too much high-level nuclear waste is already being stockpiled at the Savannah River Site, an ecologically sensitive location in South Carolina about 25 miles southeast of Augusta, Ga., that wasn’t designed for long-term storage of the dangerous material. So the last thing we should be doing is importing more nuclear waste into the site from Germany. But that’s the plan the federal government is working on. About 455 casks of German waste are scheduled to be shipped to the site over the next three years.
Sun Journal 5th Aug 2014 read more »
Policy and guidance for nuclear and radiological safety and environmental protection management of nuclear weapons programme activities.
MoD 6th August 2014 read more »
A sombre Caroline Kennedy attended a memorial today for those killed in the nuclear strike on August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima. The US ambassador to Japan attended the ceremony to those killed 69-years ago wearing a plastic raincoat the guest of honour sat near to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Daily Mail 6th Aug 2014 read more »
This week marks the 69th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9). Crises around the world serve as a reminder of the continued existence and threat of nuclear weapons, and a recent colloquium examined how the Catholic Church could once again be at the fore of disarmament campaigns.
Tablet 6th Aug 2014 read more »
TAXPAYERS in Scotland will face a multi-billion pound bill to pay for a new generation of nuclear weapons if plans to renew Trident are backed, Veterans Minister Keith Brown has warned. The UK Government is due to make a decision about renewing the programme in 2016. The Scottish Government has set out plans to remove Trident from Scotland if the country backs a Yes vote in the independence referendum.
Daily Record 6th Aug 2014 read more »
An energy co-operative has been given the green light to build a wind turbine in Derbyshire having raised more than £2.6m through a successful public share offer with 600 local investors. Four Winds Energy Co-operative now has planning permission for two wind turbines and has been raising money for the projects. The locally funded turbines offer members of the public a stake in the renewable energy source and will receive benefits from the sale of green electricity produced during the lifecycle of the turbines.
Edie 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Offshore wind farms could be blocked from connecting to the national grid after the energy regulator said developers did not have the right to force their way on to people’s land. Ofgem’s refusal to approve RWE’s request for “compulsory rights of entry” could undermine the government’s plan for thousands more giant offshore turbines around Britain’s coast. The regulator’s announcement is a victory for landowners who object to their land being dug up to lay cables from the coast to the national grid.
Times 7th Aug 2014 read more »
The declining popularity of the traditional washing line is costing British families at least £120m a year, as tumble dryers are routinely used throughout warm summer months. More than half of all households who own a tumble dryer use it at least once a week during the summer, according to the Energy Saving Trust. The organisation, a charitable foundation which offers advice on cutting energy bills, said that a typical household could save £18 from their annual electricity bills “by line drying clothes instead of tumble drying” during June, July and August.
Telegraph 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Pioneering UK lighting retailer BLT Direct is emphasising the fact that Britain could save £1bn in energy bills every year simply by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs – the equivalent of £50 per household, per year. The experts in energy-saving lighting solutions are calling on homeowners to revamp their home with advanced light bulbs that could save around 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Figures show that if everyone in the UK switched to LED light bulbs, or a similarly efficient alternative, we could viably save the amount of energy generated by two whole power stations every year. The power saved could be funnelled elsewhere, or removed from the system entirely with the shutting down of these emission-heavy plants. The average number of light bulbs in a UK household is 24 – and if everyone managed to switch their bulbs for retrofit LED alternatives, the savings in both power and money would be staggering.
BLT Direct 5th Aug 2014 read more »
SCOTTISH households could save £356 million by making simple changes to their energy use, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Around 594,000 tonnes of carbon emissions could be cut by improvements such as installing solar panels, switching to LED bulbs and switching appliances off rather than on standby, the organisation said. Mike Thornton, director of Energy Saving Trust Scotland, said: “Our homes are in better shape than a decade ago. Millions of cavity walls have been insulated in recent years and virtually no totally uninsulated lofts remain. “We’ve now got to address leaky homes through energy-efficiency measures from lower cost draught excluders to higher cost wall insulation, encourage more people with suitable homes to invest in renewables and LED lighting and get people thinking about how, when and where they use energy.” Almost half say their homes have draught problems, 38 per cent experience condensation and 29 per cent have mould.
Herald 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Al Gore & David Blood: The call for investors to divest from coal assets, one of the most carbon-intensive energy sources, has been primarily based on the harmful social and environmental outcomes linked with carbon emissions. These would by themselves be sufficient to convince many investors to sell coal assets. However, it is also a smart investment decision for purely financial reasons. It is critical that investors understand the risks they are taking and ensure they are well compensated for them. The economic case for selling coal assets and investing instead in the transition to a low-carbon economy is strong today, and likely to become more robust in the immediate future for three reasons.
FT 6th Aug 2014 read more »