While the country is locked down to protect us from Covid19, the government’s nuclear projects continue. These include construction of nuclear submarines, construction on the Sellafield site (new gas plant and more) and the continued construction of Hinkley C. If Moorside had not been scrapped there would be an influx of thousands of workers ensconced in West Cumbria as they are at Hinkley C in Somerset. There is a petition asking the government to order BAE Systems in Barrow to stop work on the Astute submarines 4 and 5. Almost 2000 people are still onsite at the Barrow Dock Trident shipyard. This makes no sense.
Radiation Free Lakeland 31st March 2020 read more »
Covid19 spread shows up vulnerability at heart of nuclear programmes, with resilience of critical national infrastructures undermined. First indications that the dreaded coronavirus had penetrated the very heart of the UK nuclear sector came in on 15 March when Sellafield Ltd confirmed that a worker at the vast nuclear waste management complex- employing 13,000 workers- had tested positive for Covid19. I asked the UK nuclear regulator what proportion of ONR staff being forced into simultaneous self-isolation would trigger a crisis that would not allow nuclear safety and security regulatory oversight to continue effectively across the UK? And, if this situation arose, what executive regulatory decision would be required if all operating nuclear facilities could no longer be simultaneously regulated to a legal standard? ONR was also asked via its independent advisory panel: What criteria would ONR use to decide whether an infectious outbreak like coronavirus should cause a licensee to shut down its operations (eg percentage of employees off sick, key managers off sick; high incidence of infection in surrounding areas; inability to undertake critical functions; and, what action would ONR require a site operator to undertake to temporarily make a plant safe in the event that an outbreak like coronavirus made it impossible to operate the plant to normal standards?
David Lowry’s Blog 31st March 2020 read more »
In response to Energy UK, the trade body for electricity and gas suppliers, requesting government loans, Fiona Nicholls, climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said – “If the government is going to provide loans they need to come with commitments that these companies agree to go 100% renewable. Big energy suppliers like SSE has already done it; others must follow suit. Workers in these sectors must have their jobs secured and bill-payers must be protected. But any loans must come with strings attached to reduce emissions so that in the months to come the government can steer high carbon industries towards the cleaner, healthier and more resilient future we all need.”
Greenpeace 31st March 2020 read more »
Right now, the coronavirus pandemic is the global priority. We all need to work together to save lives and keep our communities together. But the climate and nature emergencies will still be there when the spread of Covid-19 is brought under control. With the right recovery, this could be the moment we take the measures that solve the climate crisis at the same time we escape from this one.
Greenpeace 20th March 2020 read more »
The way companies like Solarcentury can contribute to the backbone of the global reconstruction that will follow the Covid crisis, and how it can also help shape the reforms needed to defeat the climate crisis and rebuild a better society holistically.
Jeremy Leggett 31st March 2020 read more »
COVID-19’s forced de-globalization will rewire and decarbonize energy. COVID-19’s human and environmental destruction will, however, force us to de-globalize and to move, trade, and consume less of everything. These habits will endure, will inherently reduce carbon emissions, and will reshape the global energy system.
Energy Reporters 26th March 2020 read more »
There is no “good news” for the environment from the Coronavirus shutdown. You will have seen news stories about how the global coronavirus lockdown has shut factories and massively cut traffic levels. Chinese carbon emissions were 25% lower than the same time last year. Air pollution from coal burning and traffic was down 10-30% over much of China. This has led some people to say coronavirus is a good thing for the environment. There are several reasons why they are wrong. At least in the short term.
FoE Scotland 31st March 2020 read more »
‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world? Times of upheaval are always times of radical change. Some believe the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation chance to remake society and build a better future. Others fear it may only make existing injustices worse.
Guardian 31st March 2020 read more »