Paul Flynn: Ed Davey produced this explanation of how the Coalition is ratting on their agreement to have no subsidies on nuclear power. Please read carefully and deconstruct. He is saying there will be a subsidy. Perhaps an enormous subsidy. But you, Parliament and the public, will not know what it is until it is too late to change. “Our aim is for a broadly standardised approach to contracts for difference that will allow for comparability between technologies and the introduction of competition for CFDs. I do not think that what is needed is a line-by-line comparison of the terms of each contract. That is not what our policy says or requires. In fact, there are likely to be variations in CFD designs between one technology and another, and perhaps also between different projects within the same technology. What is important is that the terms agreed deliver a similar result across technologies and projects, and that they result in a proper allocation of risk. In addition, each contract will need to deliver value for money for the consumer and be compatible with state-aid rules. A contract with a nuclear developer that does those things would be compatible with our no-subsidy policy.”
Paul Flynn MP 8th Feb 2013
The Treasury has opened the door for a bid from EDF Energy for a state-backed guarantee as it comes under increasing pressure to revive the flagging UK new nuclear industry. The Treasury is willing to negotiate an offer of a UK Guarantee, where the government uses its balance sheet to provide guarantees for major infrastructure schemes. EDF has confirmed to CN that it is aware of the scheme and examining its scope and applicability. Several sources said Centrica’s retreat would lead to increased pressure for the government to use UK Guarantees on the nuclear new-build scheme, with one adding that Centrica’s decision leaves the government “backed into a UK Guarantees corner” on looking at alternative finance solutions.
Construction News 8th Feb 2013
Caroline Lucas: We don’t need nuclear power to meet climate goals and keep the lights on. Renewable energies, together with combined heat and power, energy efficiency, smart grids, demand management and interconnection, are the building blocks of an alternative energy future. The path we take is a matter of political choice, not technological inevitability. With the energy bill set to deliver a backdoor subsidy for nuclear, truly sustainable renewables like wind, solar, waste digestion, wave and tidal are in danger of being sidelined once again.
Guardian 8th Feb 2013
Caroline Lucas: There is far too much secrecy around exactly how much taxpayers will have to cough up if Ministers get their way. In the 2010 Coalition Agreement, the government pledged that, even though it was openly committed to a new generation of nuclear power, there would be “no public subsidy” for it. Yet with the unveiling of plans for Contracts for Difference, a carbon price floor and other measures as part of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR), it has become increasingly clear that ministers are now set on gifting huge windfall payouts to nuclear generators.
Huffington Post 8th Feb 2013
For nuclear proponents, who include David Cameron and his Cabinet, this has been a truly awful start to the year. First, the only area of the UK considering playing host to a long-term storage facility for the country’s nuclear waste, Cumbria, last week pulled the plug on the £12bn scheme. Then Monday brought a double whammy of bad news: Centrica, the only UK firm still involved in the proposed new generation of nuclear power stations, withdrew its investment. Then MPs released a damning report on current waste processing site, Sellafield, warning that its steeply rising lifetime cost – now standing at £67.5bn – shows no signs of slowing. So what does this mean for a construction industry eager to help design and build the UK’s low-carbon energy infrastructure? Sadly, it means even more uncertainty. When the coalition came to power in 2010, nuclear, while controversial, was viewed as one of the more tried-and-tested routes to clean energy. Today, that route is beginning to look more than a little rocky. That is a big problem for firms involved in the nuclear sector such as Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke and Atkins. It also shortens the odds on the government turning to more experimental energy sources, such as the proposed £30bn Severn barrage tidal energy scheme. While this visionary project comes with its own host of major challenges, it is estimated that the Severn barrage could provide as much energy as three or four nuclear power stations. The question is now: which option really looks the most far-fetched?
Building 8th Feb 2013
Communities could be offered millions of pounds in return for accepting new nuclear power stations under plans to be announced by the Government. In an interview with The Times, Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, said that ministers would be announcing proposals to offer long-term “community benefits” to residents in return for taking nuclear plants and other large energy infrastructure projects. It will be up to local authorities how to spend the windfall, but benefits could include giving residents money off their energy bills or providing loans for start-up businesses in the area.
Times 9th Feb 2013
New regulations on security at civil nuclear sites undergoing construction have been laid before Parliament. The new regulations extend the scope of security regulation set out in the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (as amended) and are due to come into force on 28 February.
Build 8th Feb 2013
FoE letter to Ed Davey: I am writing on behalf of West Cumbria & North Lakes Friends of the Earth in support of Cumbria County Council’s decision to withdraw from the MRWS process. It was a decisive vote which recognised the many concerns expressed by a very large number of people and organisations. We were heartened to hear your subsequent confirmation that this brings the MRWS process in Cumbria to an end, in line with the assurance given by former Minister Charles Hendry and his successors to the effect that only ‘three green lights’ would be sufficient to allow the process to go ahead.
FoE West Cumbria & North Lakes 8th Feb 2013
A SENIOR member of Cumbria County Council’s cabinet has resigned following the decision not to search for a nuclear repository in the county. Councillor Tim Knowles, who represents Cleator Moor North, has stepped down from his position as a member of the council’s cabinet following the decision on January 30. Cllr Knowles has served as the chairman for the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, the organisation that was leading the search for a site for the prospective repository.
NW Evening Mail 8th Feb 2013
Nuclear site operator Sellafield Ltd this week pleaded guilty to sending four bags of radioactive waste to the wrong disposal facility. The Environment Agency and Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) are prosecuting the company after a monitor error caused general waste from controlled areas of the site to be sent to a landfill site instead of a low level waste repository.
New Civil Engineer 8th Feb 2013
Wigan Today 8th Feb 2013
Carlisle News & Star 8th Feb 2013
The URS- led consortium charged with spending £1.6bn a year decommissioning the Sellafield nuclear site is ripping off taxpayers, the Public Accounts Committee of MPs has claimed. The committee has hit out at the deal between the Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) consortium of URS, Amec and Areva and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. NMP is paid on a cost reimbursable basis regardless of results. In the last financial year the consortium was paid £54M in fees, despite only two out of 14 major projects being on track. The consortium also claimed £28M in salaries for staff seconded to carry out special projects.
New Civil Engineer 6th Feb 2013
COMMUNITIES likely to be most affected by the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station last night said they have to assume the project will continue – despite a major backer pulling out.
East Anglian Daily Times 6th Feb 2013
Power Engineering 8th Feb 2013
Tim Yeo, a former minister, has tabled an amendment that would force electricity generators to remove coal-fired and gas-fired power stations from their networks by 2030, unless those plants were equipped with machinery to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions. The amendment, which was co-sponsored by the Labour MP Barry Gardiner, says the should be subject to a decarbonisation target governing how many grammes of carbon dioxide could be emitted for every kWh of electricity. In effect, the targets they suggest – which are in line with those proposed by the Committee on Climate Change, the statutory body set up to advise ministers on how to meet the UK’s long-term carbon reduction targets – would rule out new coal power plants, and mean that any existing or new gas-fired power stations operating in 2030 would have to use technology to capture and store at least some of their carbon emissions.
Guardian 8th Feb 2013
Europe should seize the chance to develop a new generation of “plug and play” micro nuclear reactors that could compete with wind farms as a safe, low-carbon energy source, the head of nuclear fuel firm Urenco said.
Engineering & Technology 8th Feb 2013
Today is an incredibly important day for Europe and for the fight against climate change. European Heads of State and Government have taken up the Commission’s suggestion to commit at least 20% of the entire EU budget from 2014-2020 to climate-related spending.
European Commission 8th Feb 2013
French nuclear major Areva is set to receive a consignment of 6.7t of spent nuclear fuel from the Borssele nuclear power plant in the Netherlands for recycling purposes. Elektriciteits-Produktiemaatschappij Zuid (EPZ) is the operator of the 485MW Borssele nuclear power plant, located in the northwest of the Netherlands. Three casks of used fuel are being rail transported to Areva la Hague plant in France, where it will be processed to recycle 96% of the valuable materials.
Energy Business Review 8th Feb 2013
India is developing a new, long-range missile capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads to different targets, a senior defence industry official said on Friday.
FT 8th Dec 2013
After three year outage and $1.3 billion, Duke Energy pulls plug on Florida’s cracked Crystal River 3.
Beyond Nuclear 7th Feb 2013
North Korea’s anticipated nuclear test could trigger an eruption of Mount Paektu, the supposed “sacred” birthplace of Kim Jong-il, according to a leading volcano expert.
Telegraph 8th Feb 2013
Belgian Renewable Energies Association, Apere, announced yesterday that Belgium surpassed 2.6 GW of installed photovoltaic capacity at the end of 2012. Overall, the renewable energy accounts for 2.8% of the country’s total electricity consumption.
PV Magazine 8th Feb 2013
Germany paving the way for solar storage rollout, the next phase of renewables. With subsidies starting to wither away and module prices falling, opportunities for solar energy storage systems appear to be growing. As they say, as one door shuts – or several as may be the case – another one opens.
Natural Group 4th Feb 2013
Fukushima crisis update 5th to 7th Feb.
Greenpeace 8th Feb 2013
The Ministry of Defence is offering up £200 million of construction and infrastructure work across its estate, including at the home of Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent Trident in Clyde, Scotland.
Construction News 8th Feb 2013
The cost of creating a nuclear submarine support facility at a Royal Navy base could be £145 million more than the initial estimate. Experts originally quoted an £89m target figure for the facility at the Faslane base in Argyll and Bute. But yesterday, Mr Justice Coulson said the current “agreed maximum price” was around £140m. However, engineers thought the “ultimate cost” could be as much as £235.7m.
Herald 9th Feb 2013
A report out today by the Centre for Public Integrity in Washington says that the Obama administration has made the decision that the US can make do with just two thirds of its current arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
Guardian 8th Feb 2013
Britain is building more wind turbines this year than ever before with more than 1,200 turbines due to start spinning throughout the countryside and around the coast over the next 12 months. The “dash for wind” has been prompted by a cut in subsidies due this year and an apparent relaxing of the planning rules. Some 763 turbines are due to be built onshore in 2013, up 60 per cent from last year. Already there are 4,366 turbines in operation in the UK providing 8.2GW of power, enough to power 4.5 million homes for a year.
Telegraph 8th Feb 2013
Energy secretary Ed Davey gives green light for Heckington Fen turbines, just north of energy minister John Hayes’s constituency.
Guardian 8th Feb 2013
Ian Breach, who died in January, and I covered the 100-day-long Windscale inquiry into nuclear waste in Cumbria. Ian’s grasp of the subject was as formidable as his capacity for the odd glass at the end, and sometimes at the beginning, of a long inquiry day. One night after he had filed his copy to the Financial Times, we shared too many glasses. When we arrived late back at our hotel in St Bees, the owner had locked up. He had omitted to close an upstairs window so Ian promptly decided that was the way in and up he climbed. Unfortunately, the hotel was next to a bank and his antics triggered an alarm; sure enough, the boys in blue arrived to arrest him. Ian’s charm won out and the hotel was duly opened up. On the final day of the inquiry, Ian failed, for the very first time, to appear until very late on. When he arrived, the hearing was on the point of ending. Ian smartly grabbed my own words and rewrote them in FT style, with considerable speed and depth. Mr Justice Parker summoned us to give us an unexpected judicial pat on the back, particularly for Ian’s worthy reporting. We then repaired to the nearest bar to celebrate.
Guardian 8th Feb 2013