Representatives of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) attended a meeting with the Environment Agency (EA) on 5 August.As agreed unanimously at its Public Meeting on 23 June at West Mersea, BANNG raised the many concerns relating to the discharges arising from the dissolution of fuel element debris (FED) into the Blackwater estuary and the atmosphere.The meeting was constructive and productive and achieved a high degree of co-operation.In particular, it was agreed that: the number of monitoring/sampling sites around the estuary will be increased (BANNG was asked to assist by identifying sites); the saltwater swimming pool at Tollesbury will be included as a sampling site; a system will be put in place to provide monitoring information in a timely manner; monitoring will in future include sampling of grasses because of the discharges of Tritium into the atmosphere; the EA will attempt to fill in gaps in information relating to the substances, including radionuclides, that are being released in the discharges. Given the short programme of discharges (which it is planned will be completed within 18 months), it was agreed that these measures would need to be instigated promptly.
BANNG 6th August 2014 read more »
Members of the Four Villages Bypass Campaign group will be meeting for long-awaited talks with MPs and seeking support for their calls to have the A12 diverted around Marlesford, Little Glemham, Farnham and Stratford St Andrew. People living in the affected villages say congestion has reached intolerable levels and will only worsen if the Sizewell C nuclear power plant is approved. The group’s calls for EDF Energy and the Department for Transport to commit funding for the scheme have so far failed.
Ipswich Star 7th Aug 2014 read more »
The nuclear power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire is receiving a multi-million pound overhaul following the decision to extend its working life. The plant’s operators say the project is delivering a major boost to the local economy. Anti-nuclear campaigners argue the money would be better spent creating jobs in the renewable energy industry and say it is time for the power station to close. Richard Dixon says we don’t need it, we are exporting electricity most days.
BBC 7th Aug 2014 read more »
French nuclear group Areva could find its investment grade credit rating under threat after warning of lower sales last week, which upset the assumptions of the only agency that rates its debt. Areva’s long-term issuer rating from Standard & Poor’s has been at BBB-, just one notch above junk status but with a stable outlook, since December 2011, when it was downgraded two notches from BBB+ after booking a 2.4 billion euro ($3.2 billion) charge for project delays and cancelled orders in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But that stable outlook could be cut to negative after Areva shocked investors on Friday with a 694 million euro loss caused by disappointing nuclear revenue and a writedown on its surprise exit from solar power. It also cut its revenue forecast and admitted its long-held ambition to sell 10 nuclear reactors by 2016 was no longer achievable. Its shares fell 20 percent, their worst fall since Areva was formed in 2001.
Daily Times 8th Aug 2014 read more »
The US Fisheries and Wildlife Service says that the Black-footed Ferret is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and one of the most endangered mammals in the US. It is listed by the Fisheries and Wildlife Service as living in Custer, South Dakota, one of the counties being targeted for uranium mining. In 1987 there were only an estimated 18 left, in the entire world: “The primary reasons the species remains at risk are the same that nearly caused the animal’s extinction: loss of habitat and prey.” Ferret habitat is now only 2% of its original range.
Radiation Free Lakeland 9th Aug 2014 read more »
Energy companies are repeatedly failing customers by not providing a prompt, accurate final bill, with complaints from customers soaring in the past two years. Philip Poulsom had been a loyal customer of Scottish Power for eight years until a billing dispute sparked his decision to switch in June. A meter reader visited the property and took final readings, which Mr Poulsom also noted down. The final invoice arrived several days later – and it came as a shock. The bill for the previous three months totalled £3,899.88, according to the supplier, far more than Mr Poulsom’s typical energy costs for the year. Mr Poulsom, 68, contacted Scottish Power by phone, email and postal letter but the amount was not altered and he received letters requesting immediate payment to avoid further “collection charges”.
Telegraph 8th Aug 2014 read more »
The energy industry has sunk to a new low after the number of the most serious consumer complaints made about companies almost trebled in the past year. The energy ombudsman investigated a record 5,193 complaints last month, compared with 1,844 in July last year. The figure was 24 per cent higher than the 4,178 complaints it recorded in June and is the fourth month in a row that they have risen.
Times 9th Aug 2014 read more »
US – Radwaste
Loving County is big, dry and stretches for miles, and is the perfect place, local officials say, to store high-level radioactive waste. Officials here hope to entice the federal government — with $28 billion to spend on the disposal of high-level radioactive waste — into considering the possibility. “With the money that this would generate for the county, we might even be able to pay the taxpayers back,” said the county judge, Skeet Jones. “We could build some roads. We could bring in some more water. We could have a town that’s incorporated, have a city council, maybe even start a school.” Loving County had a school, but it has been boarded up for years, and students are bused to neighboring Winkler County. “Maybe even have a Wal-Mart,” Jones mused.
New York Times 7th Aug 2014 read more »
Telegraph 8th Aug 2014 read more »
US – nuclear weapons
The United States halted production of new nuclear weapons in 1989, with the end of the Cold War. But the US nuclear weapons complex—composed of eight key facilities that have an annual budget exceeding $8 billion—has stumbled on, in the form of a massive, decaying empire that in many cases does its work poorly or dangerously, or both. The Y-12 National Security Complex is the poster child for much of what ails the weapons complex. Although Y-12 has not produced weapons for some 25 years, its annual budgets have increased by nearly 50 percent since 1997, to more than $1 billion a year.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 4th Aug 2014 read more »
The nuclear reactor Doel 4, near Antwerp, has probably been sabotaged. The reactor automatically came to a standstill on Tuesday, due to an oil leak. The first assumption was that this was due to a technical failure, but now it turns out the incident was the result of human intervention. “Investigation into the incident showed that the tank containing lubricating oil had been opened, probably a deliberate move by somebody”, explains Geetha Keyaert of Electrabel that manages the nuclear power plant.
Flanders News 8th Aug 2014 read more »
Power Engineering 8th Aug 2014 read more »
TV Host: I’m studying Fukushima every day — “They have no idea what they’re going to do… There’s no solution… It’s a nightmare” — Tens of thousands of gallons of radioactive water spill into Pacific Ocean each day — “We really need to shut down all reactors”
Energy News 8th Aug 2014 read more »
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the damage to nuclear fuel in one of its reactors may be worse than previously thought. Tokyo Electric Power Company engineers have been working to size up damage at the plant from the March 2011 accident and start the process of decommission. Officials with the utility now say most of the nuclear fuel in the No. 3 reactor melted through the reactor core and is now resting at the bottom of the containment vessel.
Fukushima is still news 6th Aug 2014 read more »
The government on Friday offered to give ¥301 billion in subsidies to local authorities in Fukushima Prefecture if they agree to store soil tainted by the Fukushima nuclear disaster for the next 30 years. After an unofficial proposal of around ¥100 billion was dismissed last month, the central government decided to triple down on its offer as it searches for places to store debris accumulating from decontamination operations for about 30 years.
Japan Times 9th Aug 2014 read more »
According to new numbers released by the Chinese government, China added 3.3 gigawatts of solar capacity in the first six months of the year ending June 30, marking a 100 percent increase over the same period last year. That brings China’s total solar supply to 23 gigawatts — 13 shy of the country’s goal of installing 35 by the end of 2015. In 2013 China installed around 11.3 gigawatts of solar, representing 37 percent of global growth, and the bulk of this year’s installations will come in the second half of the year. The agency vows to install 13 gigawatts of solar power capacity this year, which would mean an average of more than one gigawatt a month for the rest of the year — an amount equatable to South Korea’s total installed capacity as of 2013.
Climate Progress 8th Aug 2014 read more »
The Polish unit of Greenpeace has filed a complaint to the regional administrative court in Warsaw regarding the National Nuclear Energy Program, the organization said on Friday. “Despite repeated requests, Prime Minister Donald Tusk did not give satisfactory answers to questions about the program,” Greenpeace said. In the organization’s opinion, the approval of the program breached both national and international law. Greenpeace stressed that the Polish government has failed to prove that the choice of nuclear energy was made after a wide-ranging analysis. Various aspects, such as a comparison with other types of energy, possible breakdowns of nuclear power plants and the storage of radioactive waste, were ignore, the statement said. Poland’s government adopted the nuclear scheme on January 28, 2014. It stipulates for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power unit by the end of 2024.
WBJ 8th Aug 2014 read more »
A VETERAN peace campaigner has backed independence as a way of getting rid of nuclear weapons. CND UK vice-president Bruce Kent said it would strike a blow for world peace by removing Trident from the Clyde. London-based Kent, 85, said: “A Yes vote in September would lead to the removal of immoral and illegal Trident from Faslane and Scotland.”
Scotland Now 9th Aug 2014 read more »
Nagasaki on Saturday marks 69 years since the atomic bombing of the city by the United States, with an annual ceremony to be held in the Peace Park to mourn the victims of the attack. In his speech at the ceremony, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue is expected to pledge the city’s continued push for the elimination of nuclear weapons and touch on the government’s controversial decision last month to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, or coming to the defense of allies even when Japan is not under attack.
Japan Times 9th Aug 2014 read more »
Rolling out a seven mile knitted pink peace scarf between the Atomic Weapons Establishment complexes at Aldermaston and Burghfield on Nagasaki Day may sound crazy. It isn’t as insane as letting the UK government spend another £100 billion on building a new nuclear weapons system to replace Trident.
Open Democracy 8th Aug 2014 read more »
The issue of nuclear weapons has remained a serious concern of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for the past 69 years. We voiced our concern about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons after their use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Japan Times 8th Aug 2014 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News includes: Four wind co-op has raised £2.6m; Bath & North East Somerset Council has completed the installation of solar panels on Keynsham Civic Centre; Belchford Community Solar Co-operative now looking for investment; Kingussie Hydro Project video; Harlaw Hydro to start work.
Microgen Scotland 8th August 2014 read more »
Just a few years ago, funding for energy efficiency projects seemed doomed. But now it’s surging back: Deutsche Bank has issued $104m in bonds to fund residential energy efficiency projects; In France, state bank Caisse de Depots et Consignations will set aside €5bn (about $6.69bn) for energy programs with half dedicated to building efficiency and zero interest loans for homeowners; California-based start-up Renewable Funding recently obtained a $300m line of credit to retrofit homes for efficiency in California, Hawaii and Pennsylvania among other places; Connecticut’s Clean Energy and Finance Authority is working with private investors to secure up to $30m in commercial efficiency upgrades; New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY Green Bank has raised nearly $220m to spur efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Guardian 8th Aug 2014 read more »
Bell founded her company Tempus Energy two years ago. In November it will become an energy supplier, using complex mathematical algorithms to make sure whoever signs up gets the most cost-effective energy source possible. It will do this by sticking a clever box into a customer’s business premises (homes will follow later), which will talk to the devices you use and switch them on when energy use is at its cheapest. To the untrained ear, it sounds like a fancier version of Economy 7. Bell acknowledges that the technology to make this happen isn’t new. What is different, is the maths that the PhD student she funds at Manchester University has come up with, which ensures that every customer’s need for energy. Whether that’s inflexible such as wanting to make a cup of tea right now, or flexible such as an industrial washing machine, it can be optimised to respond to market prices, which change by the hour. Energy bills, Bell says, drawing a picture for me, are made up not just of the commodity cost of each kilowatt unit used, but include transmission charges, distribution charges, imbalance charges, and capacity charges. You don’t need to understand what each of those does to grasp her point: by using algorithms, she can “push the customer into the cheapest possible price point for every unit they use”. “Energy efficiency and this type of optimisation go hand in hand,” Bell says. “Demand response and energy efficiency totally complement each other: the more you invest in insulation, for example, the more flexibility you have.”
Guardian 8th Aug 2014 read more »
THE man who is leading Royal Dutch Shell’s pioneering project to store carbon dioxide produced at Peterhead power station under the North Sea has said locals seem to be excited about the plan as he underlined the oil and gas giant’s confidence in the technology’s potential. Bill Spence said he was very encouraged by the response the company has had in the north-east town after completing the latest stage in consultations about the scheme to develop a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at Peterhead. This is expected to send up to 10 million tonnes of the carbon dioxide that is a by-product of the power generation operations at Peterhead for storage in a depleted reservoir on the Goldeneye facility about 60 miles offshore.
Herald 9th Aug 2014 read more »
In the 21st century, it’s hard to take anyone seriously who thinks coal, not clean energy, is the future for dynamic, emerging economies. But that’s exactly what Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, did this week during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Dr. Kim disparaged clean energy as incapable of powering development and even worse, suggested coal needed to remain on the table for the World Bank to be “taken seriously.”
Huffington Post 8th Aug 2014 read more »
What happens if humans keep emitting greenhouse gases? Answering that question is at the core of a lot of climate change research. But communicating the often complex findings isn’t easy. WRI’s infographic is based on four scenarios used in the IPCC’s reports, known as representative concentration pathways (RCPs).Late last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released three reports synthesising what the latest research had to say on the matter. Those documents were quite dense, so thinktank the World Resources Institute (WRI) has tried to condense the information into four, colourful panels.
Carbon Brief 8th Aug 2014 read more »