The government’s energy policy took another blow on Friday as major energy provider RWE reviewed whether to scale down or abandon its UK nuclear programme. The German-owned utility, which owns the npower supply business, has started an internal probe of its plans to construct two possible atomic power stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Well-placed sources told the Guardian that the company was looking at all possible aspects of the Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture it operates with E.ON, that would build at Wylfa and Oldbury. “There is a strategic review going on and there are a lot of discussions about all aspects of it including whether new partners could be brought in,” said one of the sources. “It’s not surprising [RWE] scrutiny has intensified given what has happened in Germany and the way the British nuclear projects have been left out on a limb.”
Guardian 7th Oct 2011 more >>
ANTI-nuclear politicians and protestors will attend a forthcoming conference in Caernarfon. People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) will host the Wales Green and Nuclear Free conference at Galeri Caernarfon on October 28.
North Wales Chronicle 14th Oct 2011 more >>
A KNIGHTON woman led a group of protesters from across Wales to Somerset to fight EDF Energys plans to build two new nuclear reactors next to the existing nuclear site. Angie Zelter, a resident of Knighton and Knighton Peace and Justice member, helped organise the blockade on Saturday, October 1, to the EDF regional HQ in Bridgwater, and at the Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station in Somerset on Monday, October 3.
Powys County Times 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Britain’s largest nuclear power operator, EDF Energy , has raised output capacity at its 580-megawatt (MW) Heysham 1-2 nuclear reactor to around 96 percent, after five years of reduced production, the utility said on Friday.
Reuters 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Telegraph 8th Oct 2011 more >>
The National Grid has said it will try to minimise the impact on the Lancashire countryside of power cables from a new nuclear power plant. Connecting Heysham Power Station to the National Grid could mean pylons and cables are run across Morecambe Bay and the Trough of Bowland. Campaigners are calling for any new power lines to be placed underground.
BBC 7th Oct 2011 more >>
EDF Energy , Britain’s largest nuclear power producer, restarted its 640-megawatt (MW) Torness 2 nuclear reactor on Friday, a spokesman said.
Reuters 7th Oct 2011 more >>
AN expanded airport near Rye would cause a major nuclear risk – that was the message from protesters as a six-moth public enquiry closed. Lydd Airport wants to build a new passenger terminal and extend its runway, allowing it to take larger jet aircraft. It says this would create hundreds of new jobs and help regenerate the Rye and Romney Marsh area. But protesters claim it would damage an environmentally sensitive area of Romney Marsh and pose a huge risk due to its proximity to the nuclear power station at Dungeness. Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG), in a dramatic closing statement, outlined evidence supporting its case and appealed to the Secretary of State to reject the planning application. The group claimed new evidence had strengthened its case for objecting on nuclear safety grounds. Louise Barton, from LAAG, said: The Office for Nuclear Regulation made its original decision not to oppose Lydd Airports development in 2007, based only on a safety assessment of Dungeness B, the operational nuclear power station at Dungeness. No safety assessment was made of Dungeness A because it had ceased power generation at the end of 2006. The ONR recently reversed its opinion according to evidence revealed late in the inquiry. This shows it now regards Dungeness A to be more dangerous than the operational Dungeness B. Despite this, no safety assessment has been conducted for Dungeness A.
Rye & Battle Observer 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Radioactive material has leaked at the site of the former Dounreay nuclear power station in Caithness, it has been confirmed. Radioactive liquid effluent is understood to have leaked inside a treatment facility. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said the leak was minor and did not get outside the plant. Sepa has launched an investigation. Dounreay is currently undergoing a £2.6bn decommissioning process. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said that nobody was put at risk by the incident.
BBC 7th Oct 2011 more >>
PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF has signed a deal with the UKs Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to provide technical support for the development of a long-term geological disposal site for nuclear waste.
Chemical Engineer 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Edie 7th Oct 2011 more >>
A Swiss firm will compete for $200,000 (£129,000) of funding in London this month after developing technology that could improve efforts to catch smugglers and terrorists handling nuclear materials.
The Engineer 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Smaller manufacturers are being shown how to tap into the UKs £43 billion civil nuclear power programme by the South Yorkshire-based Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
Sheffield Star 7th Oct 2011 more >>
CATRIONA Munro was studying in Minsk when the Chernobyl nuclear plant was hit by a series of explosions in 1986. Twenty-five years on, she believes her terminal breast cancer may be linked to the fall-out from the disaster and is trying to trace fellow students to investigate whether any have also become ill. Ms Munro, 46, who lives in the Black Isle, was onbe of a number of language students from the UK studying Russian in Belarus, in the former USSR, at the time. Her quest is highlighted in a BBC documentary tomorrow, which says the collapse of the Soviet Union meant no definitive research was carried out into the effect of the Chernobyl disaster on human health.
Scotsman 8th Oct 2011 more >>
Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, discovered the perils of social media last night when he appeared to accidentally post a private message to his almost 8,000 followers on Twitter. Within minutes, it was shared and forwarded across the web before the minister hit the delete button. Mr Huhne wrote: “From someone else fine but I do not want my fingerprints on the story. C” The mistake is intensely embarrassing, because it appears to suggest that Mr Huhne was conspiring to get information into the public domain, hoping that no one would know he was involved.
Independent 8th Oct 2011 more >>
Caroline Flint MP is new shadow secretary of energy and climate change in the Shadow Labour Cabinet. Caroline Flint MP was named today as shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change in Labour’s shadow cabinet. She replaces Meg Hillier MP. Caroline Flint is the MP for the former coal-mining constituency of Don Valley and had been shadow secretary of state for communities and local government since October 2010. As part of the big intake of new Labour MPs in 1997 she was immediately prominent as one of the highest profile of the so-called ‘Blair babes’. She has had government experience with spells as minister for Europe, housing minister and ministerial posts in three other departments: Home Office, Health and Employment and Welfare Reform. She was also minister for Yorkshire and the Humber between June 2007 and January 2008.
Utility Week 7th Oct 2011 more >>
The axing of Hillier had been rumoured for some time, after the shadow energy and climate change team faced particular criticism for failing to make more political capital out of a series of u-turns at DECC, such as the watering down of the Green Investment Bank, delays to the Green Deal legislation, and controversial cuts to solar energy feed-in-tariffs. There were also complaints that Labour was failing to take full advantage of dissatisfaction over rising energy bills, and a series of negative headlines attacking energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne. Flint will now be expected to orchestrate the opposition position on a raft of upcoming green policies, such as the Green Deal, Green Investment Bank and electricity market reforms. In particular, she will be expected to flesh out proposals put forward by Ed Miliband last week to break up the dominance of the Big Six energy providers, and re-assert Labour’s appeal to green businesses and voters after the Conservatives this week appeared to back away from the government’s environmental agenda.
Business Green 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Finally, the US Department of Energys First Quadrennial Technology Review, released last week, identifies Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing as the technologys primary obstacle. It would seem obvious to most anyone that better new designs and applying experience would offer a safer, cheaper and more efficient production of nuclear power. It just isnt so in the U.S. and that fact is a huge embarrassment for an economy, a lost opportunity for ratepayers, stockholders, and job seekers, and a major intrusion into the effort for abundant energy. Simply said, experience worldwide and intellectual progress cant get into the U.S. nuclear power sector because of political intrusion. The U.S. has squandered nearly 40 years, two generations, on law and the subsequent bureaucracy for honesty nothing.
Oil Price 7th Oct 2011 more >>
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will carry out inspections of major nuclear fuel cycle facilities in the country. Under the temporary instruction, NRC inspectors will evaluate the adequacy of emergency prevention and/or mitigation strategies for consequences of natural events that exceed a licensee’s safety or licensing basis. The temporary instruction will cover all commercial uranium enrichment plants, nuclear fuel fabrication plants, and uranium conversion facilities currently operating in the US. Inspections will be tailored to the individual facilities, but at a minimum they will evaluate seismic hazards, external flooding hazards, internal flooding hazards, wind and tornadoes, extended loss of AC or emergency power and fire impacts.
Energy Business Review 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Russia’s commitment to civil marine nuclear power is growing. Power units for three new icebreakers are seen as the forerunners of a small reactor design for next-generation floating nuclear power plants. The current fleet of four nuclear-powered icebreakers is slated to continue operation until 2020, working the freezing ports in Russia’s Arctic coast and maintaining the Northern Sea Route.
World Nuclear News 7th Oct 2011 more >>
It is business as usual for Formula One this weekend despite earlier fears about the Fukushima power plant nuclear crisis. Red Bull denied reports it made special arrangements for Suzuka to avoid contaminated food, and Ferraris Fernando Alonso said his own routine is also unaffected.
Formula1 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Joining the local energy revolution this week: Royal Berkshire Hospital, Slough Borough Council, Derry City Council, Network Rail. Plus more than £4m of loans for Scottish Community Energy Projects.
Microgen Scotland 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Soaring energy costs have left a quarter of households struggling to pay their bills. The average cost of gas and electricity is now £1,293 a year and getting closer to a £1,500 a year affordability ceiling. Research from uSwitch suggests that if that level is reached, three-quarters of households will start to ration energy, three-fifths will go without adequate heating and more than a third of homes will be forced to turn their heating off entirely. “People should not be in a position where they are forced to choose between whether they heat or eat, especially while fuel companies are generating considerable profits,” says Alison Taylor, director of Turn2us, a charity which helps hard-up people find benefits and grants they may be entitled to. This month the charity aims to highlight the issue of fuel poverty through a online social media campaign that encourages people to tweet the amount they pay for gas and electricity as a percentage of their income.
Independent 8th Oct 2011 more >>
There has been mounting speculation that ScottishPower, which leads a consortium bidding to build a 1bn prototype CCS project at Longannet Power Station in Fife, is about to withdraw from the Westminster competition. It has been suggested talks between the department of energy and climate change and ScottishPower’s parent company Iberdrola had broken down possibly over a multi-million-pound shortfall in funding. If true, it could have a devastating impact on the Scottish economy and jobs market and for the wider CCS sector. A ScottishPower spokesman said: ”Negotiations with the department of energy and climate change over the next phase of the CCS demonstration competition are continuing.” A department spokesman said: ”All we can say at the moment is that negotiations are continuing but no decisions have been made at present.” But insiders said it could be the end of the road for the far-reaching scheme amid claims the consortium has concerns about its commercial viability without more investment. Dunfermline and West Fife MP Thomas Docherty said he would speak to ScottishPower this week urging them and the UK Government to get back around the table.
Dundee Courier 8th Oct 2011 more >>
Electricity generator Scottish Power is threatening to withdraw from a project to build a flagship pilot carbon capture & storage (CCS) facility at Longannet coal-fired power station near Fife, Scotland, unless the Treasury gives it £0.5 billion more funding.
Energy & Environmental Management 7th Oct 2011 more >>
Europeans believe that dangers of climate change represent a more serious problem than the current financial turmoil, according to a new poll. The Eurobarometer poll (pdf) suggests that the majority of the public in the European Union consider global warming to be one of the world’s most serious problems, with one-fifth saying it is the single most serious problem. Overall, respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty.
Guardian 7th Oct 2011 more >>