Diary: Russians selling nuclear weapons expertise in Westminster? What’s not to like? Reception at Westminster Abbey, gala dinner in Kensington, maybe even a night of top-flight football at the Crabble. Business as usual for Alexander, Lyudmila and comrades, you might say
Will there be a resounding silence in September at the World Nuclear Association symposium and exhibition in Central Hall, Westminster?
The world’s nuclear industries will be strutting their stuff: 700 business and leaders from 30 countries discussing such issues as the fuel cycle front-end (no, me neither), the security of nuclear fuel supplies, financing new builds, and uranium resources. There will be a reception at Westminster Abbey and a gala dinner at the Natural History Museum.
And, to crown it all, a discussion panel. That is due to feature Alexander Lokshin, deputy director general of Rosatom, the organisation that controls Russia’s nuclear weapons companies, research institutes and safety agencies; and Lyudmila Zalimskaya of Tenex, which exports the country’s nuclear materials, such as enriched uranium, and is big in the Emirates and China. So far 34 Russian delegates have booked (last year there were 70), but it’s early days. “We have not been told that they will not be allowed to come,” says an organiser. So, business as usual. Maybe…….http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/24/stephen-bates-diary-tenex-crabble
Earth Focus Episode 55 – Nuclear Insurance: America Goes Naked
Earth Focus Episode 55 – Nuclear Insurance: America Goes Naked
Fukushima Crisis Total Cost $1 To $10 TRILLION Dollars; via A Green Road
Operator of New Mexico nuclear dump reaped $1.9 million bonus after underground truck fire http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/20/operator-new-mexico-nuclear-dump-reaped-1-million-bonus-after-underground-truck/ CARLSBAD, N.M. – The contractor that operates the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico received a $1.9 million bonus just five days after an underground truck fire closed the facility.
The Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1nLfPmq) Sunday that the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Nuclear Waste Partnership the funds based on an “excellent” job performance in maintaining the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.
Some observers say last February’s fire and the radiation leak that followed nine days later show the contractor failed at its job.
Initial probes by federal regulators into both incidents identified a host of management and safety shortcomings.
The Department of Energy says it is not considering revising or terminating its contract with Nuclear Waste Partnership.
The company has a contract to operate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant through 2017.
SNC-Lavalin seeks to expand nuclear enterprise in China SHAWN MCCARTHY – GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTEROTTAWA — The Globe and Mail Apr. 13 2014,SNC-LAVALIN INC. IS HOPING TO REVITALIZE ITS INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR BUSINESS THROUGH AN EFFORT WITH ITS CHINESE PARTNERS TO BURN REPROCESSED FUEL IN A CANDU REACTOR AS A WAY TO REDUCE RADIOACTIVE WASTE.
Officials from Candu Energy Inc. are leading a Canadian nuclear industry mission to China this week, which will include a visit Monday to the Qinshan nuclear power station south of Shanghai where two heavy-water Candu 6 reactors are in operation. Candu Energy is the former Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., and is now wholly owned by SNC-Lavalin……..
Critics contend the Candu 6 is an outdated design that lacks safety features included in newer reactors, and that it is a technology that the international marketplace has largely rejected since the 1990s.
“So yeah, the industry is trying to say Candu isn’t dead. Never say die,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace Canada. “If Candu isn’t dead, it’s a zombie.”
Nuclear plant tender to launch by year’s end; winning country to finance project: El-Osery, Daily News Egypt Sara Aggour / July 20, 2014 Egypt is to launch a global tender for its first Dabaa nuclear plant by the end of 2014, said Ibrahim El-Osery, the Ministry of Electricity’s adviser for nuclear energy
Speaking to the Daily News Egypt, El-Osery said the plant will be located in the Matruh governorate, with Egypt paying for the implementation expenses after operations start.
“One of the tender’s conditions is that whoever wins will take the responsibility of financing the project till its implementation,” said El-Osery……..http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/07/20/nuclear-plant-tender-launch-years-end-winning-country-finance-project-el-osery/
French auditors slam Areva for Olkiluoto nuclear project in Finland http://yle.fi/uutiset/french_auditors_slam_areva_for_olkiluoto_nuclear_project_in_finland/7358244?origin=rss 16 July 14, The French nuclear contractor Areva is at the centre of a storm of criticism by French government auditors over its operations. Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK says it still hasn’t received all of the new paperwork relating to nuclear safety for the long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant currently at a standstill in western Finland. And the company remains locked in a cycle of recrimination with the plant’s owner. A 122-page report by French government auditors has not yet been officially published but the financial paper Les Échos has quoted liberally from the account, which details major fiascos, billion-euro losses and the dissemination of misleading information by the French nuclear power plant contractor Areva.
The progress of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Eurajoki western Finland forms a central part of the narrative. Areva was selected in 2003 — as part of the Franco-German joint venture Areva-Siemens — to deliver the Finnish nuclear reactor.
“Areva was ready to do anything to win the Olkiluoto deal, including downplaying project management deficiencies. They had also previously delivered and commissioned nuclear reactors but they had never undertaken an entire project end-to-end, since the main French contractor had always been the EDF Group (Électricité de France), explained Les Échos editor in chief Pascal Pogam in an interview with Yle’s A-Studio current affairs program.
Based on accounts by parties such as the Olkiluoto owner-operator, the Finnish power consortium Teollisuuden Voima or TVO, Areva is said to have lied about the possibility of constructing a nuclear reactor within the agreed schedule.
“During the time of the Olkiluoto agreement Areva and Siemens (Areva’s former German joint venture nuclear partner) assured TVO that they had the required expertise to see the enterprise through to the end. On hindsight, TVO has speculated that Siemens and Areva minimised their difficulties and covered up their shortcomings to get the deal,” Pogam continued.
Bottomless pit of financial losses However the Olkiluoto reactor turned out to be a bottomless pit of financial losses for Areva, with the project languishing seven years behind schedule and racking up nearly 3.5 billion euros in deficits for the French contractor.
French government auditors took Areva to task for its inability to accurately estimate the cost and timetable required to complete the project.“It’s difficult to blame Areva alone, which is now locked in a futile dialogue with TVO and STUK. The parties can no longer communicate. The future of the project remains wide open because there seems to be no solution to the dispute. Currently Areva and TVO are only communicating via their lawyers. That’s not helping and no one can say when the project will be completed or at what cost,” Pogam remarked.
“According to the report the uncertain situation could get out of hand and the final bill could be massive. However I wouldn’t blame Areva entirely, it’s more a question of each side holding the other to ransom in a situation where each is equally to blame,” Pogam added.
Escalating arbitration battle
For the last couple of years Areva and TVO have been engaged in a pitched arbitration battle before the International Chamber of Commerce, with each side ratcheting up compensation claims over construction delays and unpaid fees.
In late October last year, Areva slapped an additional 700 million euros to bring its claim to 2.6 billion euros for the voided nuclear reactor deal. In its turn, TVO has claimed 1.8 billion euros in compensation for construction delays.
Meanwhile according to the most optimistic estimates the reactor is expected to be ready for firing up at the beginning of next year – many years behind the original completion schedule of 2009. However TVO has said Olkiluoto 3 won’t be operational until one year later in 2016 – and it’s anybody’s guess what the final price tag will be.
Career in renewable energy? 6.5m jobs for grabs, Emirates 24/7 July 12, 2014 There may now be as many as 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy, according to updated data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
Earlier assessments had put the global estimate at 2.3 million jobs in 2008 (United Nations Environment Programme) and at 5 million jobs in 2012 (International Labour Organisation).
Although these estimates suggest a strong expansion in employment in renewable energy, the figures also represent successive efforts to broaden data collection across countries and sectors, reads the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend.
The overall upward trend in renewable energy jobs has been accompanied by considerable turmoil in some industries.
Nowhere are the upheavals more noticeable than in the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector, where intensified competition, massive overcapacities, and tumbling prices have caused a high degree of turbulence in the last two to three years, but they have also triggered a boom in installations.
Global PV employment is thought to have expanded from 1.4 million jobs in 2012 to as many as 2.3 million in 2013……….
All in all, available information suggests that renewable energy has grown to become a significant source of jobs. Rising labour productivity notwithstanding, the job numbers are likely to grow in coming decades as the world’s energy system shifts toward low-carbon sources.
Solar PV has bypassed biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) as the top renewable energy job generator……….http://www.emirates247.com/news/career-in-renewable-energy-6-5m-jobs-for-grabs-2014-07-12-1.556215
Stigmatized nuclear workers quit Japan utility. Bloomberg Business Week, By By Yuri Kageyama July 10, 2014 TOKYO (AP) — Stigma, pay cuts, and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left the utility at the center of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. Now there’s an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel good solar energy industry.
Engineers and other employees at TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power Co., were once typical of Japan’s corporate culture that is famous for prizing loyalty to a single company and lifetime employment with it. But the March 2011 tsunami that swamped the coastal Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, sending three reactors into meltdown, changed that.
TEPCO was widely criticized for being inadequately prepared for a tsunami despite Japan’s long history of being hit by giant waves and for its confused response to the disaster. The public turned hostile toward the nuclear industry and TEPCO, or “Toh-den,” as the Japanese say it, became a dirty word.
Only 134 people quit TEPCO the year before the disaster. The departures ballooned to 465 in 2011, another 712 in 2012 and 488 last year. Seventy percent of those leaving were younger than 40. When the company offered voluntary retirement for the first time earlier this year, some 1,151 workers applied for the 1,000 available redundancy packages.
The exodus, which has reduced staff to about 35,700 people, adds to the challenges of the ongoing work at Fukushima Dai-ichi to keep meltdowns under control, remove the fuel cores and safely decommission the reactors, which is expected to take decades……
The factors pushing workers out have piled up. The financial strain of the disaster has led to brutal salary cuts while ongoing problems at Fukushima, such as substantial leaks of irradiated water, have reinforced the image of a bumbling and irresponsible organization…….http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-07-10/stigmatized-nuclear-workers-quit-japan-utility
Deutsche Bank lends $US1 billion in Japan’s solar gold rush, SMH, July 9, 2014 Chisaki Watanabe and Finbarr Flynn Deutsche Bank plans to lend about $US1 billion ($1.06 billion) for Japanese solar projects, joining Goldman Sachs in funding cleaner energy as the government struggles to restart nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster.
The bank is ready to provide financing for three to six projects in the next 12 to 18 months, said Hans Van Der Sande, director of Deutsche Bank’s structured products group at its Tokyo branch. The Frankfurt-based lender agreed last month to provide a 11.1 billion yen ($116 million) loan for a solar power project on a former golf course north of Tokyo to be operated by a unit of Spain’s Gestamp Renewables Corp.
Japan may add the most solar power capacity in the world this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, as a two- year-old incentive program attracted investors including Goldman Sachs…http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/deutsche-bank-lends-us1-billion-in-japans-solar-gold-rush-20140709-zt0uh.html#ixzz378jMBQUy
Stigmatized nuclear workers quit Japan utility. Bloomberg Business Week, By By Yuri Kageyama July 10, 2014 TOKYO (AP) —”………While TEPCO is out of favor with the public, the skills and experience of its employees that span the gamut of engineers, project managers, maintenance workers and construction and financial professionals, are not.
Energy industry experience is in particular demand as the development of solar and other green energy businesses is pushed along in Japan by generous government subsidies.
Currently the government pays solar plants 32 yen ($0.31) per kilowatt hour of energy. The so-called tariff for solar power varies by states and cities in the U.S., but they are as low as several cents. In Germany, it’s about 15 cents.
Sean Travers, Japan president of EarthStream, a London-based recruitment company that specializes in energy jobs, has been scrambling to woo TEPCO employees as foreign companies do more clean energy business in Japan.
“TEPCO employees are very well trained and have excellent knowledge of how the Japanese energy sector works, making them very attractive,” he said. Two top executives at U.S. solar companies doing business in Japan, First Solar director Karl Brutsaert and SunPower Japan director Takashi Sugihara, said they have interviewed former TEPCO employees for possible posts.
Besides their experience, knowledge of how the utility industry works and their contacts, with both private industry and government bureaucracy, are prized assets.
“It’s about the human network and the TEPCO employees have all the contacts,” said Travers, who says he has recruited about 20 people from TEPCO and is hoping to get more.
Yoshikawa, the former TEPCO maintenance worker, said he has received several offers for green-energy jobs that paid far better than his salary at TEPCO of 3 million yen ($30,000) a year.
Since September 2012, all TEPCO managers have had their salaries slashed by 30 percent, while workers in non-management positions had their pay reduced 20 percent. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-07-10/stigmatized-nuclear-workers-quit-japan-utility
Wisconsin Reactor’s Demise Shows Nuclear Towns’ Plight Bloomberg News By Tim Jones July 08, 2014 “……..The Wisconsin facility is part of what Moody’s Investors Service describes as the largest wave of U.S.-based nuclear and coal electric-plant retirements in the past 35 years. The closings stem from abundant supplies of cheaper natural gas and changes in environmental policies. The consequences can be sudden and drastic, affecting school funding, real-estate values and economic development that were linked to the facilities.
Unlike abandoned industrial plants, which can be retooled for another manufacturer, nuclear plants leave another legacy: radioactive waste, which at the Kewaunee site sits in concrete canisters about 100 yards (91 meters) from Lake Michigan.
“The challenge that local officials have to face is large,” said Julie Beglin, one of the report’s co-authors……..
“It was cheaper to purchase energy on the open market than to produce it at Kewaunee,” said Mark Kanz, a company spokesman. “I’m sure it won’t be the last to close. There will be other plants that go through decommissioning, whether it’s economics or from equipment-related issues.”…….
While the economics of power generation can change, two factors work against the nuclear industry, said David Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“The cost of non-nuclear electricity is trending down,” Lochbaum said, “and the cost of maintaining aging nuclear power reactors is trending up.”……
Six Decades The aftermath of a nuclear power plant’s leaving a community is more complicated and lengthy than the end of a conventional industrial facility. Federal regulations governing the decommissioning of sites are designed to protect the public.
The process must be completed within 60 years, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Seventeen plants, including Kewaunee, are in some phase of decommissioning, the NRC said on its website…….http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-07-08/wisconsin-reactor-s-slow-motion-end-shows-nuclear-towns-plight
Meanwhile, Vietnam Plus of the Vietnam News Agency reported that the US Congress began considering a cooperation proposal on May 9. It has 90 days to consider the issue before making a final decision.
Prior to that, the Vietnamese and US representatives signed a Vietnam-US nuclear cooperation agreement in Hanoi on May 6 (Agreement 123).
Vietnamese officials and scientists have expressed their satisfaction about the agreement.Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan said at the signing ceremony that the agreement can be seen as an open door for both the US and Vietnam to accelerate projects on nuclear energy development…….
The US Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the US nuclear energy firms have unanimously urged the US Congress to ratify the agreement soon, emphasizing that the strengthened cooperation with Vietnam in the sector would help boost exports and create more jobs.
The US firms can expect to earn $10-20 billion from the deals with Vietnam…..David Durham from GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GHE) has warned that if the US Congress does not ratify the agreement, US firms will lose the lucrative market of Vietnam……http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/science-it/106944/vietnam-nuclear-power-market-eyed-by-three-major-countries.html
Trigaux: Failed Florida nuclear plant’s costs keep rising Tampa Bay Times Robert Trigaux 3 July 14, The costs of prematurely closing Crystal River 3 — Duke Energy’s sole nuclear power plant in Florida — keep on rising. Duke Energy recently agreed to a settlement that sent at least $55 million to eight minority owners of “CR3.” That’s the nuke plant Duke closed last year due to a bungled do-it-yourself repair job that the power company finally acknowledged last year would prove too expensive to fix. The bigger settlement sums are going to minority investors like Ocala and the Orlando Utilities Commission. But even smaller towns like Bushnell and Alachua, with small stakes in CR3, will be compensated.
Another $8.4 million will go to nine wholesale customers with contracts to receive electricity from CR3. Those customers range from Homestead, south of Miami, to Bartow in Hillsborough County.
Total payout to minority owners and wholesale customers: $63.4 million.
The 860-megawatt Crystal River plant was expected to operate until 2036. Instead, CR3′s concrete containment wall cracked in 2009. Never restarted, the plant is scheduled to be decommissioned over the next 60 years at a cost topping $1 billion……..
CR3′s demise coincided with a severe state recession that has decreased demand for electricity since 2008.
“We do not need to add more capacity at this time,” McCain said. “But it was important for these cities and utilities to end their ownership and liabilities in Crystal River 3. This settlement transfers ownership back to Duke.”
One more CR3 conflict resolved with big checks. They likely won’t be the last.
$63.4 million: Cashing out of Duke Energy’s closed nuclear plant………..
Contact Robert Trigaux at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8405. Follow him@venturetampabay. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/amid-pricey-ripples-from-failed-florida-nuclear-plant-minority-investors/2186912
Jobs in Renewable Energy Expand in Turbulent Process http://www.investorideas.com/news/2014/renewable-energy/07031.asp New analysis examines global trends in employment in the renewable energy sector
Ideas get bigger when you share them… Washington, D.C. – July 3, 2014 (Investorideas.com renewable energy stocks newswire) There may now be as many as 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy, according to updated data from theInternational Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Earlier assessments had put the global estimate at 2.3 million jobs in 2008 (United Nations Environment Programme) and at 5 million jobs in 2012 (International Labour Organization). Although these estimates suggest a strong expansion in employment in renewable energy, the figures also represent successive efforts to broaden data collection across countries and sectors, write Worldwatch Senior Researcher Michael Renner and IRENA’s Rabia Ferroukhi, Arslan Khalid, and Alvaro Lopez-Peña in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend (www.worldwatch.org).
The overall upward trend in renewable energy jobs has been accompanied by considerable turmoil in some industries. Nowhere are the upheavals more noticeable than in the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector, where intensified competition, massive overcapacities, and tumbling prices have caused a high degree of turbulence in the last two to three years, but they have also triggered a boom in installations. Global PV employment is thought to have expanded from 1.4 million jobs in 2012 to as many as 2.3 million in 2013.
Solar PV has bypassed biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) as the top renewable energy job generator. Most of the 1.45 million biofuels jobs are found in the growing and harvesting of feedstock such as sugar cane, corn, or palm oil. This involves physically demanding manual work, and workers often contend with oppressive workplace conditions. Processing of the feedstock into fuels offers far fewer jobs, but the ones created are higher skilled and they pay better.
Employment in the next-largest renewables sector, wind power, is estimated to run to some 834,000 jobs. Uncertainty about the future direction of policies in several countries weakened job creation in this field in 2013, leading to a sharp drop in new installations in the United States and to weak markets in large parts of Europe and in India. In contrast, developments in China and Canada were more positive.
Countries that are home to half of the world’s population-China, members of the European Union, Brazil, the United States, and India-account for the bulk of renewable energy employment: 5.8 million direct and indirect (supply chain) jobs out of 6.5 million worldwide.
Better information is necessary for a range of countries to generate a more complete and accurate renewable energy employment picture. Attention is also needed on the question of whether development of renewable energy leads to job loss elsewhere, including in the conventional energy industries.
All in all, available information suggests that renewable energy has grown to become a significant source of jobs. Rising labor productivity notwithstanding, the job numbers are likely to grow in coming decades as the world’s energy system shifts toward low-carbon sources.
Country Highlights from the Report:
- China is the largest employer in the renewable energy sector. The latest estimates by the country’s National Renewable Energy Center suggest almost 1.6 million jobs in the solar PV industry in 2013. Other major sources of renewables employment provide close to 1 million jobs.
- European Union member states had more than 1.2 million renewable energy jobs in 2012. Even though Germany suffered some job losses in 2013, the country remains the dominant renewable energy employer in Europe, with about 371,000 jobs. Spain’s renewables sector has been hit hard by economic crisis and a series of adverse government policy changes. The country suffered a net loss of 23,700 jobs between 2008 and 2012, or 17 percent.
- In Brazil, renewable energy is largely synonymous with sugarcane-based ethanol. A factor of rising importance is the growing mechanization of sugarcane harvesting, which has brought the number of direct jobs down from 460,000 in 2006 to 331,000 in 2012, even as ethanol processing jobs increased.
- In the United States, the number of wind and ethanol jobs has fluctuated, but solar employment has been rising fast. In the wind sector, the stop-and-go nature of the U.S. Production Tax Credit has affected employment, with the 92 percent drop in new wind installations during 2013 resulting in a decline from 80,700 jobs in 2012 to 50,500 jobs in 2013. U.S. ethanol employment fell in 2012 because of rising feedstock prices, reduced yields due to drought, and lower demand, although conditions improved and employment stabilized in 2013. Solar employment was close to 143,000 jobs in 2013, a gain of 20 percent.
- In most other countries, the number of renewable energy jobs is still limited, and often there is simply no reliable information at all.
For more information and to obtain a complimentary copy of “Jobs in Renewable Energy Expand in Turbulent Process,” please contact Gaelle Gourmelon at email@example.com.
About the Worldwatch Institute:
Japan’s Nuclear Utilities Face Problems All Around http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=13299 Simply Info 27 June 14, Two Japanese nuclear power utilities have received bail outs from Japan’s state backed bank. Hokkaido and Kyushu power companies both received bail outs. Both companies are heavily invested in nuclear power. Meanwhile nine power utilities in Japan held their annual shareholder meetings this week. All involved shareholder calls to end the use of nuclear power by the companies. All were rejected by the utilities.
TEPCO’s shareholder meeting was particularly chaotic with multiple calls for the company to end their nuclear program. All shareholder calls for these changes were rejected in large part due to the government holding a majority share of the company. TEPCO insists they will still try to restart their nuclear reactors at Kashiwazaki Kariwa. TEPCO also announced a plan to go into the power storage business in Europe. They hope to install energy storage systems to buy up cheap energy at night and sell it back to the grid during daytime peak use when prices are high.
The NRA had harsh words for Japan’s nuclear power utilities. In a recent meeting NRA officials said the utilities were doing the bare minimum to respond to safety screenings and are not actually taking plant safety seriously. There may be a new complication however for the nuclear utilities. The government has voted to open up the residential power markets to competition. This could give the public a tangible way to divest from supporting the old utility model put in place by the US after WWII. This could also mean big losses for these nuclear utilties. Not only would they lose their residential customer base, they would lose the ability to force rate hikes on them to pay for bad business decisions. These newly opened markets would also likely consist of more competition coming from renewable energy as that is easier and cheaper to build.
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