A CAMPAIGN group has said it is ‘shocked and disappointed’ after councillors agreed plans to store more nuclear waste at Bradwell. Magnox applied to Essex County Council to remove a planning condition barring it from storing waste removed from other power plants at Bradwell. The intermediate level waste, which would come from Sizewell in Suffolk and Dungeness in Kent, typically consists of sludge, sand, gravel and metal. It is likely the waste would be transported by train and road. Last month Essex County Council’s development and regulation committee approved the plans by five votes to two. Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (Banng) objected to the proposals and attended the meeting where vice chairman Barry Turner spoke. Member Peter Banks, who attended the meeting, said: “For me and the BANNG team I travelled with it was both shocking and disappointing.
Maldon Standard 8th Oct 2016 read more »
Letter: Mr Farmery raises a number of issues about the level of support which West Somerset Council has offered, and is offering, the communities most affected by the Hinkley Point C development in Stogursey Parish. It is important to highlight that it was not West Somerset Council that granted consent for the power station, works on the ‘southern land’ or the on-site campus; it was the Secretary of State who followed the recommendation of a Panel of Examining Inspectors appointed by the Planning Inspectorate. West Somerset Council supported residents in their objection to the campus throughout discussions and formal stages of consultation with EDF Energy and during the majority of the six-month examination into the development. The withdrawal of our objection at the end of the examination was a reflection on the written exchanges and the hearings into the subject.
West Somerset Free Press 7th Oct 2016 read more »
A second rock fall has been discovered at a nuclear waste facility in New Mexico, the Department of Energy announced today. The salt rock debris was found Monday during routine inspections of the underground cavern at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) near Carlsbad. Officials say neither this incident, nor another rock fall discovered Sept. 27, pose a threat. “The rock fall does not cause any threat to the workforce or the public,” a DOE spokesperson told AMI Newswire. Both incidents occurred in areas of the facility that have not been used since 2010. These incidents mark the first reported rock falls at WIPP since December 2015. The site – which occupies approximately 16 square miles and includes disposal rooms 2,150 feet underground carved out of a 2,000 square foot thick salt formation – has suffered from more severe problems in the past. On February 14, 2014, an explosion there resulted in one of the costliest nuclear accidents in American history. The explosion caused an estimated $2 billion in damage and exposed 21 workers to radiation. The facility has remained closed since then. Don Hancock of Southwest Research and Information Center, a nonprofit group focused on the environment and social justice, said he worries about transparency regarding incidents at WIPP: “When information becomes available is an ongoing issue with the WIPP facility,” he said. “When the February 2014 accident occurred, initial statements suggested there had been no radiation release, and it wasn’t five days later until that information was made available to the public.”
Newswire 5th Oct 2016 read more »
The Energy and Climate Change Committee is holding a hearing to examine some of the innovative technologies that could revolutionise the energy sector, and probe the Government’s role in supporting the development of the future energy market.
Parliament 7th Oct 2016 read more »
Molly Scott Cato- Two events this week show a world in a tug-of-war. First, the Government overturned Lancashire County Council’s rejection of a fracking site, paving the way for shale company Cuadrilla to drill in the county. Second, the European Parliament ratified the Paris Agreement, committing nations to limit global temperature rise to 2°C. Two apparently contradictory events, pulling in opposite directions. As an economist, I see how finance plays a crucial role in this contradiction. The fossil-fuel industry needs to undermine action on climate change. It is currently sitting on a very large “carbon bubble”, a vast overvaluation of fossil-related assets. This is because the ratification of the Paris Agreement means that75 per cent of known fossil fuel reserves have to be kept in the ground if we are to stay within the 2C global warming limit. Banks, pension funds and insurance companies have big fossil-fuel assets on their books and McKinsey and others have estimated that 30 to 40 per cent of fossil-fuel companies’ value could be threatened by this carbon bubble. Even Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has got in on the act, issuing warnings to the financial sector about the “stranded assets” they face from a shift to a low-carbon economy. No surprise, then, that fossil-fuel companies are seeking to undermine decarbonisation and want us to keep our foot on the gas. Financing our decarbonisation is a chance to create not just a new green economy but also to revolutionise the way we use finance. If we fund the transition through public banking and through community ownership we can enable the value of money-creation to be reinvested for the public good and the value of renewable energy to accrue for local communities. A big public bank would allow borrowing for public investment at cheap rates with interest payments going back into the public sector, preventing leakage to private investors.
Independent 8th Oct 2016 read more »
Household energy bills are set to rise, ending two years of falling prices and putting the big six suppliers on a collision course with Theresa May. The prime minister told the Conservative Party conference last week that the “dysfunctional” market kept too many customers on expensive tariffs. However, the Brexit-inspired crash in the value of sterling is set to lead to a sharp increase in costs because imported fuels are priced in dollars. The pound hit a 31-year low against the dollar last week after markets were spooked by May’s “hard-Brexit” rhetoric. Dominic Nash, an analyst at the investment bank Macquarie, expects “high single- digit” rises in energy bills. “Wholesale gas and power prices have spiked as the collapse in the pound has made it more expensive to buy coal and natural gas,” he said. “It is only a matter of time before this feeds through to household rates.”
Times 9th Oct 2016 read more »
The USS Tennessee, a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, arrived Friday in Scotland for a port visit, the first to the United Kingdom’s Faslane naval base in a year, U.S. Strategic Command said.
Stars and Stripes 7th Oct 2016 read more »
A row has erupted after an MoD document revealed that £1.3 billion is to be spent on getting the Faslane and Coulport bases ready for the Trident replacement. The taxpayers’ cash is to be spent over the next ten years, according to the document, which gives details of the work required to house the next generation of submarines and their nuclear weapons on the Clyde.
Scotsman 8th Oct 2016 read more »
[Machine Translation] This is the second incident reported by Areva Tricastin on its website in two days. Yesterday, a leak in a heat exchanger for cooling a part of the industrial process was observed by operators in the room. conduct of the conversion plant. According to procedures, the current industrial operations have been suspended and the equipment was recorded. This dysfunction led to temporarily connect a circuit containing a solution of potassium hydroxide marked natural uranium with industrial cooling waters. The latter are then collected in an internal storage area. This resulted in a temporary exceeding the discharge limit of the site. This release represents only 2% of the annual regulatory limit. Areva Tricastin proposed to the ASN to classify this dysfunction, without affecting the safety and staff at level 1 of the International Nuclear Event Scale (Ines) graduated up to 7.
Le Dauphine 7th Oct 2016 read more »
An increase in activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site could signal preparations for a new test or a collection of data from its last one, a US-based monitoring group has said.
Guardian 8th Oct 2016 read more »
Russia has moved nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into the Kaliningrad enclave bordering Poland and Lithuania, the Russian defence ministry said on Saturday, adding it was part of routine drills.
Guardian 8th Oct 2016 read more »
Telegraph 8th Oct 2016 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Backers of an ambitious proposal to transform the UK’s power supply will learn in the next few weeks if they are to be given the go-ahead to build tidal lagoons to generate electricity. The green light could see a series of major lagoon projects costing more than £15bn being constructed around the coast of Britain. A tidal lagoon generates electricity from the natural rise and fall of the tides. Rising water flows into dams many miles in length, driving turbines. It is then held back behind walls as the tide recedes before being released to drive the turbines again, generating thousands of megawatts of power. A prototype is set for construction in Swansea Bay in the next few years – but only if it is given the go-ahead by a government review of tidal lagoon technology, chaired by the former energy minister Charles Hendry, which is scheduled to release its recommendation early next month. Green energy experts believe Hendry will give approval, although it remains to be seen if tidal lagoon technology – which was backed strongly by the former chancellor George Osborne in the last Conservative manifesto – finds favour with Theresa May’s administration. Six major projects have been earmarked for construction: a prototype at Swansea Bay; and then full-size lagoons at Cardiff, Newport, Colwyn Bay, Bridgwater Bay and west Cumbria. “The crucial point about tidal lagoons is that their power generation is not subject to the vagaries of the weather. It is predictable. We know exactly when every high tide will be for years ahead. In addition, the lagoons will be built to last – for about 120 years,” Shorrock said.
Guardian 8th Oct 2016 read more »
FRACKING will not be safely regulated in Scotland if it is allowed to go ahead, according to an expert report to be published this week. Professor Andrew Watterson and Dr Will Dinan from the University of Stirling will argue that regulatory agencies lack the staff and resources to protect the public from pollution risks. And that no one has worked out how to make sure that regulation is effective. They warn that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) will not have the capacity to oversee the thousands of fracking wells that could be drilled across the central belt to extract underground shale gas. There are fears that the wells could leak, causing groundwater contamination and climate pollution. The report assesses the evidence available on fracking regulation and industry practice in the US and the UK. “There are multiple serious challenges surrounding location, scale, monitoring and data deficits facing regulators,” it concludes. “The evidence from peer-reviewed papers suggests fracking in the UK will not be effectively regulated. It is highly likely that regulatory agencies may lack the staffing and resources necessary to monitor and enforce effective regulation of the industry.”
Herald 9th Oct 2016 read more »
A PLAN to ban fracking in Glasgow by the city council has been vetoed by Scottish Government officials, the Sunday Herald can reveal. The government’s planning unit made the ruling in response to an objection by a company backed by the petrochemical giant Ineos, which wants to frack for shale gas under a large part of the central belt. The move has sparked concerns amongst environmental and community groups, who fear that ministers could end up permitting the controversial technology, which fractures underground rocks to release gas. They say planning policy should be reformed.
Herald 9th Oct 2016 read more »