The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) submits today its official response to the UK Government and Devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland giving its view on the updated UK strategy for the management of solid low level radioactive waste from the nuclear industry. NFLA‟s view is that the nuclear industry is managing to hide a crisis for the time -being by dispersing radioactive waste around the country. Spreading around the UK radioactive waste previously destined to be disposed of in the engineered facility near Sellafield, is liable to increase the UK population’s collective radiation dose and therefore increase the risk of cancer and other health problems.
Nuclear Free Local Authorities 7th April 2015 read more »
Briefing: UK Strategy for the Management of Solid Low Level Radioactive Waste from the Nuclear
NFLA 7th April 2015 read more »
Letter to The Westmorland Family’s Sarah Dunning: Please Cancel Rheged’s Low Level Waste Conference: Lillyhall, previously nuclear free, is now classed as a radioactive waste dump with emissions to land, groundwater and air. The already dangerous practice of dumping in landfill is made even more dangerous by Energy Solutions having allowed Sellafield to dump higher activity waste. The non-prosecution of Energy Solutions and their contractors FCC sends out the message that companies involved in nuclear waste are like mafia, untouchable. This message is endorsed by the Westmorland Family and others who should be making a stand against the fast escalating nuclearisation of Cumbria. The landfill operators Energy Solutions and FCC have got off not only scot free but with a license to dump a further 1 million cubic metres or more of radioactive rubble into the landfill’s “spare” capacity.
Radiation Free Lakeland 8th April 2015 read more »
The approval for nuclear waste disposal sites can now bypass the planning system, under a new law put through in the final hours of parliament.
CIWM 8th April 2015 read more »
A state-of-the-art British plant designed to re-use spent nuclear fuel so as to cut greenhouse gas emissions is to close after years of what its critics call “commercial and technical failure.” In the 1980s the industry insisted that investment in the giant reprocessing plants was vital because by the millennium there would be 4,000 nuclear reactors worldwide, with too little uranium to fuel them all. In fact, by the end of the century there were only 434 reactors globally, and much more uranium had been found. Some governments, including those of the UK, France, Germany and the US, believed the industry’s sales pitch, even though environmental groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace never accepted it. Critics said the cost of building the reprocessing plants was too high, and feared the consequences of producing vast stockpiles of uranium and plutonium which might never be used in reactors.
Climate News Network 8th April 2015 read more »
Britain’s 480-megawatt Hinkley Point B-8 nuclear power plant is expected to ramp up power on April 19, the National Grid said on Tuesday. The plant, which was taken offline due to a planned maintenance on Jan. 23, will be reconnected to the grid late on April 18, as previously planned, its operator EDF Energy said.
Reuters 7th April 2015 read more »
THE proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant would be worth £5.7 billion to the Welsh economy and create 6,800 jobs at its peak, according to a new report.
News North Wales 7th April 2015 read more »
The planned multibillion-pound investment in the Welsh nuclear industry represents a “once in a generation” opportunity for businesses, according to a Welsh Government report. The report by Miller Research, commissioned by the Welsh Government, investigated the capability of Welsh businesses to take advantage of opportunities in the sector. It is estimated that planning and construction costs for the Wylfa Newydd power plant in Anglesey will be about £14bn, with a further £3.3bn contributed once it is operational.
Insider Media 9th April 2015 read more »
Anti-nuclear campaigners have rubbished claims that a new atomic power plant on Anglesey is a “once in a generation” opportunity for the Welsh economy. Dylan Morgan, of Anglesey anti-nuclear group PAWB, says the costs of decommissioning redundant plants and heavy subsidies required to build new ones mean their value is over-stated.
Daily Post 8th April 2015 read more »
Labour councillor Alex Gallagher has voiced concerns about the impact on the local economy of the closure of the Longannet power station, and the wider implications at Hunterston. The coal-fired power station in Fife is the largest customer using the Clydeport terminal in Fairlie. Councillor Gallagher asked the council’s cabinet for an economic assessment of the effects of Longannet’s closure. He has said ‘the long term success of the coal terminal is now under threat’, and that the future of well-paid job opportunities was ‘bleak’. “We urgently need to know how this will impact in North Ayrshire. When you link this to the fact that we will lose the high value jobs at Hunterston B power station in the next few years, the situation for secure and well-paid employment in this area begins to look very bleak indeed”.
Largs and Millport Weekly News 8th April 2015 read more »
French nuclear power giant Areva has found a high-carbon anomaly in the steel used for portions of the reactor vessel head and reactor vessel bottom at the Flamanville 3 project in Normandy, France, the French regulator, the Authority of Nuclear Safety (ASN) said Tuesday.
Nuclear Street 8th April 2015 read more »
US – radwaste
The conventional wisdom scribes have been falling all over themselves since Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced last month that he won’t run for re-election to spout what is obvious to all of them: Reid’s exit means Yucca Mountain will finally open. After all, Super Harry has been single-handedly preventing Yucca from becoming the nation’s single most lethal plot of land. But likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also opposes Yucca Mountain. As does the state’s other Senator Dean Heller, a Republican. And the Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval, as well.
Green World 8th April 2015 read more »
According to an Iranian news report, Iran is planning to use its advanced IR-8 centrifuges as soon as a nuclear accord with the world powers is agreed, although this would appear to entirely contradict the United States’s interpretation of the deal under discussion. Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) agreed last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, a framework to a comprehensive deal, paving the way for negotiations to begin over the technical details of a potential accord, which must be agreed by June 30. However, both sides have since emphasised differing aspects of the nascent deal, indicating that a final agreement remains far off.
EU Reporter 9th April 2015 read more »
Electrabel has described as “confiscatory” the tax Belgium seeks to levy on nuclear power plant operators based on new calculations by the country’s electricity and gas market regulator. The Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas (Commissie voor de Regulering van de Elektriciteit en het Gas, CREG), using its own methodology, has assessed the profits that would be derived from nuclear activities in Belgium. The assessment – conducted at the request of the federal energy minister – follows a similar one performed in 2010.
World Nuclear News 8th April 2015 read more »
Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is unusual. On one hand, it has sold nuclear secrets to Iran in the past through a network run by former chief Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. The network also sold nuclear technology or know-how to Libya and North Korea. On the other, it has faced allegations of promising Saudi Arabia a nuclear umbrella against Iran.
Voice of America 7th April 2015 read more »
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party on Thursday promised to renew the country’s ageing nuclear submarine fleet if it wins a May 7 national election, hoping to put pressure on their main rivals Labour to match the commitment. Replacing the vessels carrying the Trident missiles — four Vanguard-class submarines — is expected to cost 20 billion pounds with a final decision on the renewal due to be taken in 2016. Opponents argue replacing Trident could cost as much as 100 billion pounds and Britain should consider cheaper alternatives.
Reuters 9th April 2015 read more »
Independent 9th April 2015 read more »
Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, will warn that Labour could end up getting rid of the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent as part of a deal with the SNP if there is another hung Parliament after next month’s election.
Telegraph 8th April 2015 read more »
Guardian 9th April 2015 read more »
Times 9th April 2015 read more »
Paul Ingram: It may sound like an oxymoron but we need a new global conversation which engages all nuclear-armed states en route to disarmament.
Open Democracy 8th April 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
The Contracts for Difference (CfD) register released by the Low Carbon Contracts Company – the administrator of the CfD scheme – has confirmed that neither of the two solar projects that won CfD contracts for this financial year will go ahead. A spokesman for the Solar Trade Association commented: “This confirmation shows that what everyone in the industry was saying was right: the £50/MWh bids wouldn’t get built. With the RO now closed to >5MW solar farms, and no CfD projects going ahead for the next year, it is a struggle for many companies. There will be some large-scale projects built under grace periods for the RO. In contrast, two separate reports by Deutsche Bank and Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie forecast a bright future for solar power across the globe. Deutsche Bank says the Cost trajectory of solar on pace for a further ~40%+ reduction by the end of 2017 and Coal based wholesale electricity, currently the lowest cost for generating electricity, is currently half the cost of solar but solar will match it over the next 12-18 months. Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Association, said: “These reports recognise solar as a game-changer in terms of its potential to deliver cost effective decentralised energy solutions and security for states across the world.
Scottish Energy News 9th April 2015 read more »
In recent years, the growth of the rooftop solar market has been astounding. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the growth rate for at-home solar has been above 50 percent for three years running (2012, 2013, and 2014). But if a new study is to be believed, the changes have only begun. The way we get power is “at a metaphorical fork in the road,” says the new report released today by the Rocky Mountain Institute, an influential energy policy think tank. The reason is not just rooftop solar but, beyond that, the growing feasibility of home electricity systems combining solar panels with batteries for storage of energy. The Rocky Mountain Institute study looked at five different U.S. cities in very different regions — Louisville, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Westchester, N.Y. — and modeled how soon it would make economic sense for people in each place to shift first to rooftop solar (or PV) and, second, to rooftop solar with battery storage. The upshot is that — at least based on the models used in the study — the revolution starts surprisingly soon in many places.
Washington Post 7th April 2015 read more »
Every school in the country will be offered help with installing solar panels on their roofs under plans being considered by Labour. Schools would not only be able to reduce their bills, but could also raise revenues by selling surplus electricity back into the national grid. It is estimated that the initiative could earn schools involved an average of around £8,000 a year. The government’s role would be in helping headteachers to crowdsource funds for the panels. Civil servants would also deal with linking up schools to the national grid and payments.
Guardian 5th April 2015 read more »
Scots visitors view German community energy scheme that supplies electricity at 40% below retail prices. Community Energy Scotland’s Julia Guttierez has recently returned from Feldheim, Germany, where she led a study trip for 14 delegates from Scotland. Representatives of Scottish community organisations, housing associations and from Local Energy Scotland saw at first-hand the benefits which renewable energy has made to a German locality.
Scottish Energy News 9th April 2015 read more »
When the grid says ‘no’ to wind and solar power, this company’s technology helps it say ‘yes’ again.
PRI 7th April 2015 read more »
Flywheel plant being built in Ireland with potentially unlimited storage capability could solve the problem of clean energy supply shortfalls when there is insufficient sun or wind. Foundations for an energy storage plant in Ireland that could “revolutionise” the integration of renewable power into electricity supplies will be laid within weeks. The plant will use a motor-generated flywheel to harness kinetic energy from the grid at times of over-supply. This will then be released from submerged turbines at times of supply shortfalls. The project in Rhode, County Offaly, is expected to launch commercially in 2017, with an operating capacity of 20MW. Although the system will initially feed off all energy in the grid – clean and dirty alike – it has the potential to resolve the transmission system operators’ dilemma of how to store large amounts of energy created during windy or sunny conditions for instantaneous use when the weather changes.
Guardian 8th April 2015 read more »
A transportation hub, Cushing, Oklahoma, is home to just 8,000 people and 87 million barrels of oil. Due to fracking, it’s now one of the most active seismic areas in the US – and potentially the scene of a catastrophe.
Independent 6th April 2015 read more »
Bloomberg Philanthropies will invest an additional $30m to help reduce US reliance on coal, Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday. The $30m will go towards expanding the environmental lobby group the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, the former New York mayor said in a piece for CNN Money. Bloomberg’s investment in fighting Big Coal will now total $80m. In 2011, Bloomberg Philanthropies gave $50m to the campaign. The initial grant was used to expand the Sierra Club’s campaign to 45 states from 15.
Guardian 8th April 2015 read more »
The exploration company UK Oil & Gas Investments says that it has struck significant oil reserves at a well it has drilled in Horse Hill close to Gatwick airport in West Sussex. The company announced that analysis conducted on the site means that the well could yield up to 158 million barrels of oil per square mile. The company’s licenses cover 55 square miles of the Weald Basin, a region spanning Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. This suggests that the site could hold over 8.6 billion barrels of oil – just under a fifth of the amount that has been pumped out of the North Sea in the past 40 years.
Telegraph 9th April 2015 read more »