Electricity Market Reform
Nic Dakin MP: In a written answer to a parliamentary question, the Economic Secretary confirmed that the carbon price support provisions would put up consumer energy bills and deliver windfall profits of £50 million a year from 2013 to existing nuclear reactor operators. Greenpeace has calculated that the figure exceeds £1.3 billion up to 2020. The Governments proposal is therefore a bad deal for bill payers. Almost £1 billion will be given to the nuclear industry for doing absolutely nothing new. The proposal will add nothing to energy output or Britains energy security, and there will be no requirement for the companies to invest the windfall in national priorities such as energy efficiency programmes or meeting our renewable energy targets. I am afraid, therefore, that in its present form the carbon floor price is a badly designed tax. It will not drive the significant investment needed to develop clean, safe alternatives to fossil fuels or the technological improvements needed in energy-intensive industries. As research by Waters Wye Associates concluded: The outcome of implementing policies as they are currently conceived will be poor both economically and environmentally. Global greenhouse gas emissions may well increase as well as hitting both investment and jobs. The current approach risks penalising British industry and endangering British jobs. It will hurt the consumer and fail to deliver our green ambitions. I urge the Government to think again.
Caroline Lucas MP: The truth is that the price people pay for nuclear power does not represent its true cost in terms of liabilities, decommissioning and clearing up after an accident. People in Japan are not paying the true cost of clearing up after Fukushima. That £250 billion was not included in peoples energy costs. Nuclear subsidies are incredibly untransparent, but, essentially, people are paying a great deal more for nuclear power. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we need electricity prices that people can afford, but the answer is to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will become far more competitive and far cheaper than nuclear power very soon if we give them the support they require. If the Government recognise that this is a subsidy, they should claw it back through a windfall tax. I tabled a new clause that would have allowed them to do exactly that, but, sadly, it was not selected for debate.
Hansard 5th July 2011 more >>
At the British Nuclear Industry Association conference, hundreds of delegates are gathering to hear about plans for Britains nuclear renaissance and specifically how nuclear power is going to keep the lights on or not towards the end of this decade. But anyone expecting even a hint of sinister intrigue – even robust self-confidence would be disappointed. This is an industry still on the back-foot.Alan Rayment, of Horizon Nuclear Power (an outfit created by German energy giants E.ON and RWE which wants to build a new reactor on Anglesey) ran through what was needed before the reactor could be built. One of the necessary hurdles, a Welsh language Assessment. Britain is facing an energy crisis the likes of which it has not seen since the War and they are worrying about whether the turbines will spin in Welsh or English. There was talk of partnerships, working with schools. No white heat of technology, instead everyone was talking fluent Town Hall. In 2016 we lose Hunterston and Heysham and Dungeness B will close in 2018. It gets worse; at the same time we shall lose two or three big coal stations as well. By 2023, if we build no replacements, there will be only one existing nuclear reactor, Sizewell B, operating and Britain will have lost about a third of its generating capacity. So we need new nuclear plant and fast. And no, windmills will not be able to make up the shortfall.
Daily Mail 5th July 2011 more >>
The nuclear industry is on the brink of its biggest renaissance in over half a century and will not be knocked off course by the Fukushima disaster, Charles Hendry said yesterday. The Energy Minister said plans for new nuclear could generate 10,000 South West jobs, and make Britain the number one nation for the technology.
Western Daily Press 6th July 2011 more >>
Bristol Evening Post 6th July 2011 more >>
Why Fukushima is a moral issue. In this paper Andrew Blowers asks is Fukushima is a turning point, a moment of truth for the nuclear renaissance or merely a blip, a traumatic interlude, before business as usual resumes. Resurgence or relapse will depend on how the ethical issues the tragedy arouses will be resolved. The outcomes look uncertain with some countries abandoning nuclear while others continue to embrace it.
Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 21st June 2011 more >>
Britain’s nuclear strategy is “uninvestable” for private clients, who are only likely to put money into new plants if the government shoulders more of the risks involved, Citigroup’s head of European utilities research said on Wednesday.
Reuters 6th July 2011 more >>
WHEN the Fukushima nuclear power plant went into meltdown following the Japanese earthquake the company and the authorities there repeatedly lied about the severity of the problem. Now its revealed that our own Government and the nuclear industry also tried to play down the risk because they were afraid it would set back plans to build more atomic power stations. But of course theyve been found out and the result is that we now believe we havent heard the half of it, or do I mean the half-life? PR spin almost always has the opposite effect its meant to have.
Express 6th July 2011 more >>
MORE than 350 radioactive particles have been recovered from the seabed off Dounreay in the past nine weeks, with 38 said to be large enough to pose a significant health risk. The particles were retrieved using a remotely operated vehicle working at depths of up to 30 metres. Over an area equivalent in size to 36 football pitches, the vehicle picked up 351 particles. The latest haul, recovered in an operation which began in May and ended last week, takes the total number of radioactive particles found on the seabed and beaches near the Caithness nuclear site to more than 2,300. Data from the operation is now being compiled and will be shared with the Particles Recovery Advisory Group, a team of independent experts who advise the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), the company overseeing the decommissioning of the nuclear plant.
Scotsman 7th July 2011 more >>
SPECULATION that German power giants are considering dropping their plans for Wylfa B have been denied by the companies. RWE and E.on are the utility firms behind Horizon Nuclear Power, that hopes to build a new generation of nuclear reactors on Anglesey. But a German media outlet was yesterday reporting a source had revealed the parent companies could struggle to persuade investors to back the building of new reactors in the UK. It follows the German government announcement that it was looking to phase out nuclear plants in Germany by 2022. But yesterday E.on said: There has been no change in our plans regarding the Horizon Nuclear Power project.
Daily Post 6th July 2011 more >>
The Lib Dem MP for Wells has described damage to the countryside caused by pylons as “beyond belief” in a bill put forward in the House of Commons. She has called for underground or undersea cabling to be considered as a viable alternative. The National Grid wants to erect pylons between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth but opponents say they should go under the Bristol Channel.
BBC 6th July 2011 more >>
A cellophane company has applied for a judicial review of a decision by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) to allow an energy firm access to land it owns. NNB, part of EDF Energy, wants to access the site to carry out surveys as part of its plans to build the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Planning Resource 6th July 2011 more >>
CAMMELL Laird is progressing its civil nuclear energy ambitions with an open day for potential suppliers and sub-contractors next week. The Birkenhead shipyard, which wants to expand its maritime skills into other sectors, announced a partnership with civil nuclear engineers Nuvia, of Warrington, last August. Lairds hopes the workshop on July 13 at lobby group Mersey Maritimes office, in Monks Ferry, Birkenhead, will encourage new suppliers.
Liverpool Daily Post 7th July 2011 more >>
Events in Japan earlier this year have sent policy shock waves around the globe as governments react to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. George Archer gives an overview of these reactions and considers what they might mean for British manufacturers who were wooed by promised riches in supplying UK nuclear new build.
The Manufacturer July 2011 more >>
With only 19 of its 54 reactors operating, country hopes stress tests will allay safety fears and allow more to reopen. Japan is planning to conduct “stress tests” on all of its nuclear power plants to address safety fears and avoid possible power shortages when demand reaches peak levels later this summer. The shutdown of reactors following the 11 March accident at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and delays in restarting others already undergoing regular maintenance checks mean that only 19 of Japan’s 54 reactors are currently operating. The government has warned that unless more rectors are restarted the country could experience power shortages, but acknowledged it needs to demonstrate their ability to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis of the force that sparked the Fukushima crisis.
Guardian 6th July 2011 more >>
The first restart of Japanese nuclear reactors since the March 11 earthquake triggered a radiation crisis was thrown into doubt on Thursday after a government bid to reassure a sceptical public by ordering stress tests on all reactors backfired.
Reuters 7th July 2011 more >>
Japanese Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said on Thursday he would take responsibility for confusion on nuclear power restarts at a suitable time.
Reuters 7th July 2011 more >>
Expanding uranium enrichment, a new atomic energy chief said to have military expertise, missile tests — Western analysts see fresh signs that Iran may be seeking to develop the means to build nuclear warheads.
Reuters 6th July 2011 more >>
Russias state nuclear concern Rosatom according to its press office has formed a special company, Rosatom Finance, to provide foreign currency funding to its enterprises. Rosatom Finance is registered in Cyprus and is wholly owned by OJSC Atomenergoprom and will provide financial support to Russian companies involved in nuclear energy such as CJSC Atomstroiekhsport, which builds nuclear power plants abroad, nuclear fuel producer TVEL and nuclear materials exporter Techsnabekhsport, among others.
Oil Price 6th July 2011 more >>
For the first time, different sides of the nuclear development debate are openly discussing the issue in China, after the Fukushima crisis prompted China to suspend the approval of all new reactors whilst working out a national nuclear safety strategy.
Chemistry World 6th July 2011 more >>
A huge solar farm in Lincolnshire and another in Cornwall started generating green electricity on Thursday to become the UK’s two biggest solar installations, as developers rushed to beat an imminent cut in government subsidies. The 1MW Fen Farm solar park and the 1.4MW Wheal Jane park in Truro are two of several such large-scale projects rushing to connect to the grid. They are trying to benefit from a higher level of feed-in tariff payments before the government cuts the rates by up 75% on 1 August.
Guardian 7th July 2011 more >>
Independent 7th July 2011 more >>
The government has taken an axe to funding for marine energy despite the prime minister’s promise before he took office to put “rocket boosters” under the sector. Ministers have decided to give £20m to kickstart commercial wave and tidal operations, instead of the £50m that was originally set aside under the marine renewables deployment fund.
Guardian 6th July 2011 more >>