Reactor Design Assessment
Report provides information on the work that we have been carrying out on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (UK ABWR), and the re-mobilisation of the GDA project for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design, during the period July – September 2014. This has been a period of significant progress when the Regulators completed Step 2 of the UK ABWR GDA and concluded that the project could continue to Step 3. We also began re-mobilising our project team to begin the work required to close out the 51 outstanding GDA Issues for the Westinghouse AP1000 plant design. This included a launch event to familiarise new assessors with the AP1000 technology and to brief all on the design changes that have occurred during the pause period of 2011 – 2014.
ONR 6th Nov 2014 read more »
The cost of subsidising wind farms and other green levies added to energy bills will more than double to £188 a year for the average household by 2020, according to government estimates. The amount paid to “support cleaner energy and keep the lights on” will rise from £62 for the average home this year to £129 in 2020, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said. This includes the cost of subsidising wind turbines and solar panels as well as the back-up generation needed when there is little wind or sunshine. Households will also face higher costs from funding subsidies for insulation and other energy efficiency measures as well as rebates for poorer homes. These costs, which are also added to energy bills, will rise from £27 this year to £58 in 2020. Mr Davey claimed that household energy bills in 2020 would be an average of £92 lower “than they would have been if we just sat on our hands and did nothing”. Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, the consumer watchdog, said: “It’s all very well the government saying that because of its policies energy bills will be coming down, but these heroic assumptions rely upon hundreds of thousands of households buying new energy-efficient fridges and washing machines.
Times 7th Nov 2014 read more »
Telegraph 6th Nov 2014 read more »
The government has today waded back into the ongoing row over the financial impact of green policies on energy bills, with the release of a detailed new report that argues household energy costs are lower than they would otherwise have been, thanks to the coalition’s energy policies. Critics of the government’s low carbon energy policies have repeatedly accused ministers of pushing up energy bills through a combination of subsidies for clean energy sources, energy efficiency schemes, and investment to address narrow supply margins. The campaign against so-called “green levies” on energy bills secured a major victory late last year when David Cameron reportedly instructed officials to get rid of some of the “green crap” on bills and approved the watering down of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) energy efficiency scheme. However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) today reinforced its argument that, when taken as a whole, energy policies are helping to curb both greenhouse gas emissions and domestic energy bills.
Business Green 6th Nov 2014 read more »
Annual Energy Statement 2014.
DECC 6th Nov 2014 read more »
Household energy bills this year are an average £90 lower than they would otherwise have been, thanks to the impact of Government energy policies. An average household dual fuel bill in 2014 costs £1369, compared to £1459 if policies to support cleaner energy, keep the lights on, support vulnerable households, and promote energy efficiency were not present. This includes action to take an around £50 off the average household bill this year announced in December 2013.
DECC 6th Nov 2014 read more »
In this last of the ‘Blog from Berlin’ trilogy I highlight an under-researched area: that of how questions of welfare tie in with successful energy transitions. When analysing and debating transitions we often talk about how to develop new ways of producing and using energy – emphasising environmental aspects of sustainability. This is, of course, incredibly important but we spend relatively less time considering how to make sure that energy systems are transformed in a manner that is sustainable in an equitable sense. At the heart of interactions between welfare and transitions lies the issue of how the costs and benefits associated with redesigning energy systems are being distributed. There are clear dangers of pursuing energy transitions without sufficient regard for questions of welfare and distribution. The politics of the both the UK’s and Germany’s energy transitions (uneven as these might be) are currently centred around affordability and energy poverty. In Germany there are mounting fears about the ability businesses to compete internationally when faced with high energy prices; objections to new overhead power grids but also to the fact that electricity prices are becoming less affordable. In Germany, as in the UK, costs are passed onto consumers – but not all consumers are treated equally with industrial/high volume users shouldering less of a burden.
IGov 6th Nov 2014 read more »
They were labelled a waste of time and money, but in 1957 the bulging tips of two exhaust shafts rising above Sellafield arguably saved much of northern England from becoming a nuclear wasteland. The towers of Windscale Piles have been a landmark for decades but soon the last of these Cold War relics will be gone.
BBC 4th Nov 2014 read more »
Businesses are gearing themselves up for the opportunities provided by the West’s resurgent nuclear sector – and one Gloucestershire firm is at the forefront. The Hinkley C reactor in Somerset will provide huge supply chain potential for industry in the West. And welding and fabrication specialist Arc Energy Resources is celebrating becoming one of the first SME manufacturing companies in the South West to achieve ready to supply status through the Fit for Nuclear (F4N) programme.
Western Daily Press 6th Nov 2014 read more »
Stroud Life 6th Nov 2014 read more »
The Manufacturer 6th Nov 2014 read more »
COMMUNITY groups which have applied for thousands of pounds for projects in West Somerset through the Hinkley C mitigation fund look set to miss out. The Hinkley Point C Planning Obligations Board has been assessing nine applications to the Community Impact Mitigation fund – and is only recommending giving cash to two. West Somerset Council’s cabinet was due to discuss the recommendations on Wednesday before they go to full council. In recommending that seven of the applicants be refused, the Planning Obligations Board said many had not shown a “clear link” between their projects and the ongoing site work at Hinkley C.
Somerset County Gazette 6th Nov 2014 read more »
On November 6, 1944, researchers at the Hanford Site in Washington first created weapons-grade plutonium, the radioactive element used less than a year later in the Fat Man, the atomic plutonium implosion-type bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II on August 9, 1945.
The Atlantic 6th Nov 2014 read more »
Japan – reactor restarts
A local governor in Japan has given final approval to restart a nuclear power plant in southern Japan, the first to resume operations in the country under new safety rules imposed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami. Kagoshima governor Yuichiro Ito said restarting two reactors at the Sendai nuclear power station would go ahead despite the concerns of local residents. “All things considered, I must say that we still need to rely on nuclear energy, and it is extremely important for us to steadily carry out the plan,” Ito told a news conference. The announcement marks the final step before the Sendai reactors are expected to go back online early next year following regulators’ on-site checks. Japan’s nuclear regulation authority in July gave them passing grades under stricter safety requirements that factored in the lessons of the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns.
Guardian 7th Nov 2014 read more »
Reuters 7th Nov 2014 read more »
France – drones
Three people have been arrested with drones near a nuclear power plant in the Cher region south of Paris, as sources told the Guardian that the true number of French nuclear facilities being targeted may have been underplayed. The three twentysomethings, detained near Belleville-sur-Loire plant on Wednesday night with two drones, are thought to be model plane enthusiasts and unconnected to the recent spate of drones spotted over nuclear reactors in recent weeks by mystery operators. Blueberry Radio, a local station, reported that they had inadvertently strayed into a plant security zone during a post-birthday trip to film a remote-controlled boat on a lake. The three, who include a locksmith and s tudent couple, now face possible one-year prison sentences and 75,000 euro fines. “These people do not have any link with the other flights done in the last weeks,” Yannick Rousselet, Greenpeace France’s nuclear campaigner told the Guardian. “It looks like they wanted to play with their drones close to the plant, which was not a good choice.” The French nuclear operator EDF admits 13 drone incidents in the last month, but the Guardian has learned that other nuclear facilities may have also been targeted for surveillance by the drones. Sources say that drones also overflew sites including an Areva spent fuel reprocessing plant in Flamanville on the Cotentin peninsula on 27 October and nuclear research centres in Saclay, south of Paris, and Cadarache, in Bouche-du-Rhone.
Guardian 6th Nov 2014 read more »
IB Times 6th Nov 2014 read more »
A secret letter sent by Barack Obama to Iran’s religious and political leader suggested that diplomacy between the two adversaries over the nuclear issue might presage a broader rapprochement, despite the Obama administration’s denials. The letter, penned in October and sent to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reportedly referenced a shared interest between the US and Iran in combatting Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq and Syria.
Guardian 6th Nov 2014 read more »
There is an old joke that physicists like to wheel out every now and then. It goes like this: fusion power is just 20 years away and it always will be. The gag has been doing the rounds again, because the US defence research contractor Lockheed Martin has spoiled the punchline. It announced that it already has a small-scale fusion energy generator. In ten years’ time, it says, it will have developed a reactor large enough to power a city and small enough to sit on the back of a truck. Make of this claim what you will; there is little evidence to support it. Most experts dismiss it as improbable – after all, we’ve been trying to achieve this since the 1920s; why would Lockheed Martin suddenly have the answer?
New Statesman 6th Nov 2014 read more »
Yesterday Parliament debated for the first time in 20 years an obscure treaty between the UK and US on mutual support for their programmes of nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). It ought not to be obscure, as it underpins the entire Trident nuclear WMD project. Let me put this in a historical context, as its importance in 2014 can only be understood by comprehending what happened to lead us to this important moment for security policy, diplomacy and Parliamentary scrutiny of British nuclear weapons of mass destruction. When the United States detonated the first atomic bomb in anger over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on that fateful day of 6 August1945, the then British Prime Minister Clem Attlee and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a joint statement. It revealed that: “under the general arrangements then in force for the pooling of scientific information, there was a full interchange of ideas between the scientists carrying out this work [on the atom bomb]in the United Kingdom and those in the United States.”
David Lowry’s Blog 6th Nov 2014 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn MP: Today for three hours there will be a debate in Parliament’s Westminster Hall on the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA). This debate has been jointly sponsored by me and Julian Lewis MP. This might sound an odd combination as I am passionately opposed to nuclear weapons in any shape or form – and Julian Lewis holds a very different view of the world, believing in the strategic importance of such weapons. However, we are debating the Mutual Defence Agreement between Britain and the United States for the first time in more than 20 years.
Morning Star 6th Nov 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Businesses and individuals are being offered the opportunity to invest in Europe’s largest crowd-funded solar power scheme to date, which could see 2.5MW of new solar capacity installed across rooftops in the Scottish borders. The Oakapple Berwickshire project is being funded by Abundance Generation, a crowdfunding platform which allows people to invest as little as £5 in renewable energy projects across the UK. The company is seeking to raise between £500,000 and £3.1m to install nearly 750 solar installations on rooftops in Berwickshire. Helen Forsyth, chief executive of Berwickshire Housing Association, whose houses will have the panels installed, said the project could help cut tenants’ energy bills by nearly one third.
Business Green 6th Nov 2014 read more »
DECC Minister Amber Rudd has refused to repeat Environment Secretary Liz Truss’s accusation that solar farms are “ugly”, but nevertheless warned that such projects are now unwelcome around the UK. Speaking in the House of Commons this morning, the Conservative MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reiterated the government’s ambitions to drive solar investment towards rooftop projects and away from ground-mounted solar farms. Rudd said solar farms are “not particularly welcome as we go forward”, as they should “be on roofs, buildings and homes roofs, not in beautiful green countryside”.
Business Green 6th Nov 2014 read more »
MUCH MORE effort is needed to tackle the problem of fuel poverty in Scotland’s remote and rural communities, campaigners have demanded. Energy Action Scotland director Norman Kerr said that living in more isolated parts of the country could “add significantly to people’s cost of living”, with many families in such areas living in homes that are not connected to mains gas and are more difficult to insulate effectively.
Scotsman 6th Nov 2014 read more »