Hinkley & Scotland
A report for the Scottish Greens published today (9 Jan) shows how more low-carbon power could be generated for less money by devolving control over Scottish consumers’ electricity bills. Across the UK, electricity consumers are set to pay around £16 a year for 35 years for the UK government’s new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset but analysis by Dr David Toke, Reader in Energy Politics at the University of Aberdeen, shows that for the same amount, Scots could fund almost twice as much power from onshore and offshore wind farms. Mark Ruskell MSP, Energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said: “Scotland is missing out as wind power costs fall rapidly, with some especially low prices being reported in Denmark and the Netherlands. With devolution of control over energy payments, we could achieve better value for money for Scottish consumers.”As well as not supporting the UK government’s love of nuclear with its toxic legacy, devolution of this funding mechanism would enable us to agree cheaper prices with renewable energy providers over a longer period, ending the uncertainty caused by the Tories’ anti-renewables position. The report we publish today shows how to get more low-carbon energy for less money. This merits serious consideration by both Scottish and UK governments.”
Scottish Greens 9th Jan 2017 read more »
A SCOTTISH energy expert believes the costs of delivering more low-carbon power could be reduced substantially if the Scottish Government was given powers to fund its own renewable energy programme. In his report for the Scottish Greens, Dr David Toke, reader in energy politics at Aberdeen University, said this could be done by giving the Scottish Government control to spend money that would otherwise be added to Scottish electricity customers’ bills to fund the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant. He said that every electricity customer will have to spend an extra £16 a year over the next 35 years to pay for the HPC but if Scottish consumers’ money was spent on supporting renewable energy, rather than paying for their share of Hinkley Point, then almost wind power would generate at least double the amount of electri city than that produced from HPC Mark Ruskell MSP, Energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said Toke’s report shows that for the same amount of money, Scots could fund almost twice as much power from onshore and offshore wind farms.
The National 9th Jan 2017 read more »
A REDDITCH contractor has completed a project at the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. SPE was contracted to complete the installation and commissioning of a 150-person sewage treatment plant and pumping station, which will service the offices housing the staff and other agencies during the construction of the new power station. The work included the design, supply and fit of a large electrical control kiosk including pipe work and wiring for blowers and UV filters and their associated control systems, the design and installation of a sampling point and an operating manual.
Business Desk 9th Jan 2017 read more »
Is the £18 billion contract for EDF to build the new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant a deal good value for money? What will happen if it is not built on time? Why do UK energy intensive businesses face amongst the highest industrial electricity prices in Europe? And is the UK’s energy supply secure? Does the increasing reliance on intermittent renewable sources of energy affect this security? These are some of the hot questions which members of the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee are likely to lob at British energy minister Greg Clark in the Westminster parliament on Tuesday 10th Jan. This evidence session is part of the Committee’s inquiry into ‘The Economics of UK Energy Policy’. Jeremy Pocklington, Director General of Energy and Security at the Dept of Trade and Energy will also be giving evidence.
Scottish Energy News 9th Jan 2017 read more »
House of Lords 9th Jan 2017 read more »
In the 321 pages of the 2nd consultation document there is no mention at all about the use of mains water. When I asked a Sizewell “expert” during the stage 2 consultation roadshow, he was unaware that Sizewell C would require 1,600 m3 mains water per day, and thought that I was asking about water that would be used to make tea and flush the toilets. When I explained how much water would be required, he suggested that it was not EDF’s problem as they would just buy the water from the water company and let them work out where it is to come from. That answer was wrong.
Peter Lux 9th Jan 2017 read more »
Businesses from across Suffolk are being invited to hear how they could benefit from a multi-million pound contracts bonanza should the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station get the go-ahead. EDF Energy and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce are hosting a free business breakfast at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Friday to explain the process and opportunities on offer.
Ipswich Star 8th Jan 2017 read more »
Small Modular Reactors
The beleaguered engineering giant Rolls-Royce is teaming up with a host of rivals including Amec Foster Wheeler and Arup to develop mini-nuclear reactors. The FTSE 100 company is also partnering with the nuclear specialist Nuvia to draw up plans to build small modular reactors (SMRs), next generation technology that Rolls believes could support as many as 40,000 jobs if the industry flourishes.
Telegraph 8th Jan 2017 read more »
In the 2015 Autumn Statement, the government launched a £250m nuclear research programme to identify the best-value SMR design for the UK. Rolls-Royce has been vying for government backing in the initial bidding phase of a competition, announced last March, along with dozens of other companies. The project, however, appears to have slowed, though many companies will be looking towards an industrial strategy green paper that is expected to be published later this month.
City AM 8th Jan 2017 read more »
A panel of scientists and linguists asked this question in 1981 when the US Department of Energy commissioned them to find a method of ensuring that whatever is left of humanity in 10,000 years’ time is warned off the sites we’ve been filling with radioactive sludge. The panel reasoned that since few people can read texts that are only 1,000 years old, written warnings guaranteed to be understood by future humanity could be difficult to create. The answer may lie in “nuclear semiotics” – future-proof signs. Other options include hostile architecture, obelisks – or cats. In 1984, writer Françoise Bastide and semiotician Paolo Fabbri suggested the answer could lie in breeding animals that “react with discoloration of the skin when exposed” to radiation. “[Their] role as a detector of radiation should be anchored in cultural tradition by introducing a suitable name (eg, ‘ray cat’).” In short: cats that turn, say, green when near radioactive material. A legend, passed on through the millennia, would trigger a response in humans to get out as soon as possible. The idea has recently gained fresh traction: the Ray Cat Solution movement, formed in 2015, is working to “insert ray cats into the cultural vocabulary”. They say it may be possible to harness some animals’ innate capacity to become fluorescent, or to absorb and emit light – but cats don’t have the physiology to do that. Another way would be to engineer cats to glow using enzyme interaction – a mechanism used to study cellular activity. Far fetched, but it could just work.
Guardian 8th Jan 2017 read more »
A restricted internal Ministry of Defence report has strongly criticised an investigation into major security lapses at a secret nuclear weapons site. The report was produced following an investigation into allegations that MoD police officers protecting the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s site at Burghfield, Berkshire, where the warheads for the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent are assembled and maintained, were failing to conduct routine patrols and sleeping on the job. It suggests that junior staff were made scapegoats for the lapses while senior managers avoided sanction and remained in their posts. After the authorities were alerted by a whistleblower in 2013, the MoD claimed that “at no point was the security of the site or its nuclear assets compromised”. It set up Operation Pease, conducted by the MoD police force’s professional standards department, to investigate the incident.
Guardian 8th Jan 2017 read more »
Nuclear Information security 7th Jan 2017 read more »
South Carolina is on pace to fine the federal government another $100 million this year because of a missed plutonium recycling deadline at a nuclear plant in Aiken. The U.S. agreed, in a 2000 agreement with Russia, to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. Under the agreement, Russia is expected do the same. The U.S. is using a method known as MOX, which would convert the plutonium into nuclear fuel by using a facility at the Savannah River Site near Aiken. That facility, known as the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, is still under construction.
Post and Courier 8th Jan 2017 read more »
Japanese research firms commissioned by the government have given a questionably low estimate for the maximum amount of lateral shaking from earthquakes that could affect a nuclear power plant in Turkey being built by a Japanese-French joint venture, sources privy to the matter said Saturday.
Mainichi 8th Jan 2017 read more »
The aging Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City will close within about four years under a deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has long argued it should be shuttered to protect the millions of people living nearby. Under the arrangement, plant owner Entergy Corp. will shut both reactors at the Westchester County facility by April 2021. A person familiar with the agreement but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed the agreement on the condition of anonymity on Friday.
Japan Times 7th Jan 2017 read more »
Renewables – Scotland
Scotland set two new wind power records at the end of December, according to figures released by an environmental group. WWF Scotland said wind turbines generated enough power for all the nation’s electricity needs over a record four straight days. Turbines have previously generated more power than needed in a single day, but this is the first time four consecutive days have been recorded, on December 23, 24, 25 and 26. A new record was also set on Christmas Eve for the most amount of wind-generated power in a single day with 74,042MWh of electricity sent to the National Grid. Total electricity demand on the same date was 56,089MWh which meant wind turbines generated the equivalent of 132% of Scotland’s total electricity needs that day.
STV 9th Jan 2017 read more »
The National 9th Jan 2017 read more »
Energy Voice 9th Jan 2017 read more »
The presenter of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud, has praised the Government’s approach to housing with its forthcoming White Paper, as he launched a mini-bond to raise £3m for his eco-home building company. HAB Land, of which Mr McCloud is a director, will use the money to acquire land and help develop housing schemes that are located across the West Country and towards the south of England. He said: “I think the Government takes it seriously. For the first time since the recession we have seen a serious commitment to house building. Mr McCloud said: “We want to build high-quality, well-insulated, ecological homes.” The developments include car clubs, electric bicycles and allotments. Buyers can work with the company to customise their new house, and even build part of it themselves. Mr McCloud said the firm aims to build 600 to 800 homes a year by 2020. The mini-bond offers an 8pc return after five years, but investors can exit after two. He said the company was raising money through a mini-bond because it created flexibility, with investments starting from £1,000. The company has already raised £600,000 from early-stage investors.
Telegraph 8th Jan 2017 read more »
Green Investment Bank
The government is facing calls for its multibillion-pound privatisation of the Green Investment Bank to be halted amid concerns that the preferred bidder is preparing to “asset strip” the organisation. Macquarie is in line to take over the state-owned lender for about £2 billion, but there are fears about its intentions after it emerged that the Australian bank has been sounding out potential acquirers of the GIB’s assets before its purchase has been completed. Lord Barker of Battle, the former Conservative energy minister, called for the sale to be abandoned and for the bank to remain in public ownership under the direction of the business department.
Times 9th Jan 2017 read more »