A new nuclear power station planned for Cumbria is one of the schemes flagged up by campaigners calling on the Government to do more to protect England’s national parks. A new report says that the Moorside plan and associated pylons would impact on the Lake District National Park, and may affect its bid for World Heritage Site status. The Campaign for National Parks, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the National Trust have commissioned the research which they say shows that short-term economic priorities are resulting inappropriate developments in national parks. Conducted by Sheffield Hallam University, the study looked at national policy to restrict “major development” in national parks. It found that interpretations of major development vary between areas, and planning decisions often reflect the Government “mood” at the time, with policy changes that lean toward economic growth rather than environmental protection.
News and Star 6th Dec 2016 read more »
The Lake District National Park is currently bidding for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. “A planned nuclear power station and linked electricity pylons would impact the setting of the park, and while it is currently proposed to underground power lines within the park itself, this is still subject to final approval.” – REPORT, SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY
ITV 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Electricity giants National Grid have been urged to explain how building a tunnel head at Middleton would affect the lives of homeowners who live just 40m away. The works close to the Middleton electrical substation would be part of a new £2.8bn power line under Morecambe Bay. The new connection – including 163km of overhead lines and underground cables from Harker near Carlisle to Heysham and a tunnel under the Bay between Middleton and Roosecote in Barrow – would connect a new station at Moorside near Sellafield to the electricity network. But Lancaster City Council has revealed major worries about the Middleton end of the project.
The Visitor 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Horizon Nuclear Power has released a film showing the work it has been conducting offshore as part of its planning for Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey. The studies – carried out at Porth-y-pistyll close to Cemlyn Bay – are vital in helping Horizon understand the geological conditions of the seabed in the area. The results will allow the company to develop its final proposals for the cooling water intake structure, a Marine Offloading Facility (MOLF) and a new breakwater.
Daily Post 6th Dec 2016 read more »
An alert was sparked at Heysham 2 power station in Lancashire today after hydrogen was detected on site. Operators EDF Energy said staff at the nuclear plant were “mustered” as a precaution. There was no evacuation and staff returned to work. Around 520 full time EDF Energy employees plus over 250 full time contract partners work at the site.
Lancaster Guardian 6th Dec 2016 read more »
IAEA secretary general Yukiya Amano opened the conference with words: “Ensuring effective nuclear security is important for all countries, including those which possess little or no nuclear or other radioactive material. Terrorists and criminals will try to exploit any vulnerability in the global nuclear security system. Any country, in any part of the world, could find itself used as a transit point. And any country could become the target of an attack. That is why effective international cooperation is vital….we can never relax our guard. Continued vigilance is essential as the threat evolves. The IAEA will continue to play its part in helping to ensure that all countries are able to make the best use of available technology and to ensure state-of-the-art nuclear security. But the British minister is known her name is Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe- and her speech, rather than concentrate on nuclear security, disgracefully used the conference platform to try to cheerlead for the UK nuclear industry supply chain and nuclear new build. She made no attempt to consider the very serious implications for UK, or indeed or wider global security, of expanding the nuclear industry, although she made several meaningless assertions that “Our Government is fully committed to further strengthening the global nuclear security architecture.” Her decision to present such a promotional speech, and the departmental or security service officials who drafted it ignorant of nuclear security implications, is very worrying.
David Lowry 6th Dec 2016 read more »
UK Government Statement to IAEA.
Wired Gov 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Drax, the owner of Britain’s biggest power station, is to buy leading challenger business energy supplier Opus for £340m and build up to 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of new gas plants in a strategic overhaul.
Telegraph 6th Dec 2016 read more »
[Machine Translation] How difficult the verdict on the nuclear phase-out is to be understood, showed up on Tuesday at the Börsenenkurs of RWE. After the first urgent reports spread that the Federal Constitutional Court had granted the nuclear power plant operators a claim for compensation, the share of the electricity company increased by almost 5 percent. But by the afternoon much of this profit had disappeared. Investors have also noticed that the nuclear power plant operators are at most a fraction of their demands, which were originally at 19 billion euros. How much it will be exact, on Tuesday neither the complaining corporations nor the defendant federal government wanted to express itself. “A precise analysis of the judgment cannot be made on the amount of compensation claims,” explained RWE. However, an upper limit can already be seen in the judgment. After all, the electricity which the companies were allowed to produce after the old nuclear phase-out of red-green would have to be compensated by the new exit of black-and-yellow. This has a value of 160 million euros on the stock market; Less than half the costs of production.
Taz 6th Dec 2016 read more »
The ruling suggests that utilities will only be able to recoup a fraction of the 19 billion euro maximum (16.01 billion pounds) of damages they are seeking, while actual payments could take years due to lengthy court cases that are expected to follow.
Reuters 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Germany’s highest court has ruled in favor of three power companies in a dispute over a government decision to phase out nuclear energy. The companies claimed compensation for shutting down their expensive plants.
DW 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Germany’s highest court on Tuesday upheld the government’s decision in 2011 to shut its nuclear reactors ahead of schedule, but it ruled that power companies must be compensated for losses incurred as a result of that decision. The ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe brings to an end a long, bitter dispute between the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel and German power companies on the decision in 2011 to abandon nuclear power in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.
New York Times 6th Dec 2016 read more »
BBC 6th Dec 2016 read more »
This new report covers the post meltdown location of the melted fuel, the generated decay heat and related issues critical towards understanding the disaster and development of recovery methods. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team.
SimplyInfo 6th Dec 2016 read more »
France’s nuclear regulator, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), has approved the conditional restart of 10 nuclear reactors in France that have been offline while the safety case for the units has been under review. ASN said in a statement on 5 December 2016 that together with its technical support organisation, the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), it had reviewed information provided by nuclear operator EDF concerning reactors whose lower heads on the primary side of steam generators were manufactured by Japan Casting and Forging Corporation (JCFC). The reactors concerned are ten 900-MW and two 1,450-MW units. ASN said EDF can restart the ten 900-MW units once the safety case has been confirmed by a programme of further tests. Each reactor restart will still be subject to ASN’s agreement.
Nucnet 6th Dec 2016 read more »
The French nuclear safety authority has accepted analyses submitted by EDF on the serviceability of ten of its 900 MWe reactors in which some steam generator parts were found to contain high concentrations of carbon. The utility will soon submit analyses for two 1450 MWe units. In June, the French regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), said it had identified 18 French nuclear power reactors operated by EDF – of both 900 MWe and 1450 MWe capacity – whose steam generators could contain high carbon concentrations. Of these, 12 are equipped with channel heads manufactured by Japan Casting and Forging Corporation (JCFC) “liable to contain a particularly high carbon concentration”. A high carbon content in steel can lead to mechanical properties lower than expected. EDF has since provided ASN with data aimed at demonstrating the operating safety of the 12 reactors concerned. However, the regulator called for additional inspections to be carried out to verify whether each of the channel heads concerned conforms to the data submitted by EDF. These inspections have already been conducted or are in progress during scheduled outages.
World Nuclear News 6th Dec 2016 read more »
EDF will spread out through to the end of the year the restart of the reactors that have been fully checked and soon expected to obtain final clearance from French nuclear safety authority ASN, an EDF spokesman said Tuesday.
Platts 6th Dec 2016 read more »
At the end of last year, Germany switched on a new type of massive nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, and it was successfully able to contain a scorching hot blob of helium plasma. But since then, there’s been a big question – is the device working the way it’s supposed to? That’s pretty crucial when you’re talking about a machine that could potentially maintain controlled nuclear fusion reactions one day, and thankfully, the answer is yes.
Science Alert 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 6th Dec 2016 read more »
This website aims to provide those who live in England and Wales with an easily accessible picture of how renewable energy is doing in their area. It shows how much of the electricity and gas they use comes from renewables and how well places are performing compared to others. In the year from 2015 to 2016, England and Wales added over 4,300 MW in capacity, three quarters of which coming from new offshore wind and solar PV projects. This is equivalent to powering nearly a million homes.
Renewable Energy Locator 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Building turbines and photovoltaics at the same location can reduce grid and battery costs and level out power supply. What’s keeping solar and wind power from fully taking over the electric grid? For starters, the sun only shines during the day. Wind blows intermittently, is seasonally variable, and is not always blowing when the energy is needed. But what if solar and wind work together? “Wind resource tends to complement solar resource,” says Sarah Kurtz of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Here in Colorado, for instance, the windiest time is during the winter and spring months. In winter, we don’t have as much sunshine, but we tend to get more wind and stronger wind.” A handful of enterprising renewable energy developers are now exploring how solar and wind might better work together, developing hybrid solar–wind projects to take advantage of the power-generating strengths of each — with the two technologies in tandem serving as a better replacement for climate-warming fossil fuels than either could be alone.
Scientific American 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Google has confirmed it will hit its target of offsetting 100% of the energy used at its data centres and offices against power from renewable sources. The firm first made the commitment in 2015 to go 100% renewable by 2017. In a blog, the company said it was now the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world.
BBC 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Guardian 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Tech giants are jockeying to be the first to hit a 100% renewable energy goal. Google, which has invested in solar and wind energy for a decade, intends to get there by 2017. Google is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, and plans to buy enough wind and solar energy to offset all the electricity used by its 13 data centers and offices in 150 cities worldwide, the company said Tuesday. Apple seems close to reaching its own 100% goal as well. The company said it achieved 93% in 2015. An Apple spokeswoman said the company has yet to set a year for when they would likely cross the finish line.
Guardian 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Atlantis, a global leader in the tidal power sector, has announced another significant milestone with the first installed Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbine (TTG#1) now operating at full power. Each MeyGen turbine is capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of power when the water speed reaches just over 3.0 meters per second, or around six knots of flow. Operation at full power is significant as it allows for validation of the power curve models which underpin the financial assumptions of the project.
Scottish Energy News 7th Dec 2016 read more »
In a joint letter to Economy Secretary Keith Brown more than 20 business men and women have urged clear direction for the energy efficiency industry claiming it could create up to 9000 jobs across Scotland. The letter urged taking a “long-term, infrastructure approach to tackling poor housing as a cause of fuel poverty” by investment in a “growing industry”. This letter was written with the backing of the Existing Homes Alliance which said in a budget submission to ministers: “Housing is an area where Scotland has made relatively little progress in reducing emissions. “Once adjustments for temperature are made, emissions have fallen by less than 0.8% per year in the residential sector since the Climate Change Act was introduced in 2009.”
Scottish Energy News 7th Dec 2016 read more »
British Gas owner Centrica has launched a £19m trial to develop a ‘virtual energy market’ in Cornwall that will allow local businesses to sell their flexible energy capacity to the grid and the wholesale energy market.
Edie 6th Dec 2016 read more »
If the grid is powered by “variable renewable energy” (or VRE), such as wind and solar (see graph above), what will happen when, as the detractors say, the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine? The answer, of course, is storage. But not nearly as much as the cynics suggest. And at not nearly the cost.
Edie 7th Dec 2016 read more »
The fall in the level of fuel poverty in Scotland, as announced today (6 December) is welcome news in that the figure is moving in the right direction and means fewer people are living in cold, damp homes compared to the previous year. But unfortunately the change does not signify ‘job done’ as the new figure for 2015 is still higher than the first ever measurement of fuel poverty in 1996. Norman Kerr, Director of the national fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland said: “Just last month the statutory duty under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 for the Scottish Government to eradicate fuel poverty expired and the target was missed. Two working groups were tasked to advise Scottish Ministers on their next steps and they have made over 100 recommendations. It is now vital that the Scottish Government uses this advice to develop a new strategy, set a new fuel poverty target and increase funding for its programmes in the upcoming Budget Statement. “The progress to date on solving the problem of cold, damp and unaffordable to heat homes must not be lost, but can and should be built upon.”
Energy Action Scotland 6th Dec 2016 read more »
The new figures show that fuel poverty has dropped from 34.9% in 2014 to 30.7 in 2015 with around a third of the decrease due to home energy efficiency measures and half due to lower domestic energy prices.
Scottish Energy News 7th Dec 2016 read more »