nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

A city that produces 4 times more energy than it consumes – solar Sonnenschiff

Sonnenschiff: Solar City Produces 4X the Energy it Consumes http://inhabitat.com/sonnenschiff-solar-city-produces-4x-the-energy-it-needs/ by , 07/27/11 Sonnenschiff solar city in Freiburg, Germany is very much net positive. The self-sustaining city accomplishes this feat through smart solar design and lots and lots of photovoltaic panels pointed in the right direction. It seems like a simple strategy — but designers often incorporate solar installations as an afterthought, or worse, as a label. Designed by Rolf Disch, the Sonnenschiff (Solar Ship) and Solarsiedlung (Solar Village) emphasize power production from the start by smartly incorporating a series of large rooftop solar arrays that double as sun shades. The buildings are also built to Passivhaus standards, which allows the project to produce four times the amount of energy it consumes!

solsr-city-Sonnenschiff

The project started out as a vision for an entire community — the medium-density project balances size, accessibility, green space, and solar exposure. In all, 52 homes make up a neighborhood anchored to Sonnenschiff, a mixed-use residential and commercial building that emphasizes livability with a minimal footprint. Advanced technologies like phase-change materials and vacuum insulation significantly boost the thermal performance of the building’s wall system.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | decentralised, Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

Renewable energy – Ukraine’s road to energy independence

renewable_energyflag-UkraineRenewables seen as Ukraine’s road to energy independence from Russia http://rt.com/business/ukraine-seeks-renewable-energy-396/ April 18, 2014  As a way of becoming less reliant on Russian conventional energy Ukraine is talking to US investors who want to put money into alternative energy like wind and solar.

Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine indeed brought energy security concerns to the fore,” as Bloomberg quotes Olexander Motsyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US said at a renewable-energy conference in Washington on Thursday. “I strongly believe the time has come for US investors to discover Ukraine, especially its energy.

To get away from Russian natural gas as the primary source for heat and electric power, Ukraine seeks wants to invest in biomass heat plants, wind and solar power.

US and European officials have been trying to find ways to help Ukraine limit its dependence, including the possibility of US approval to export liquefied natural gas.

Vadym Glamazdin, the managing director of the Energy Industry Research Center (EIRC) suggests heating in Ukraine accounts for about 40 percent of all gas imported from Russia. This could be replaced with renewable energy within three to five years.

According to his words by 2030, renewables could account for about 15 percent of Ukraine’s electricity supply, currently it is only 2 percent.

The EIRC research shows that the most likely and adoptable form of renewable energy for Ukraine are biomass and biogas, as the nation’s network of electric-power lines and substations can’t easily adjust to the addition of significant amounts of wind and solar energy.

The resources are there,” now the major challenge is to attract investment, Todd Foley, a senior vice president for policy and government relations at the American Council on Renewable Energy said.

One biomass plant could replace 24,000 natural gas boilers EIRC officials said.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | renewable, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UK’s surviving atomic test veterans cautiously welcome David Cameron’s statement

Thorpe St Andrew nuclear test veteran speaks of defect fears, after PM gives flag-UKhope to families, Norwich Evening News 24, 17 April 14

“………Veterans say they were made ill as a result of being exposed to radiation during the tests, and have been battling for recognition and compensation for years.

 Fewer than 3,000 veterans survive and while welcoming Mr Cameron’s pledge, Mr Freeman said: “We are concerned it’s just an election ploy. Tony Blair said something similar in opposition, then did nothing when he was elected.”

Mr Freeman, a father-of-three and grandfather-of-eight, said his ninth grandchild was expected next month, but added: “I’ve got grandchildren who suffer from deafness and one was born with one kidney. With another grandchild due, we are all worried that everything is going to be OK, as you can never tell.”

Nuclear test campaigners say Mr Cameron’s pledge is the closest they have been to formal recognition of the suffering caused by the South Pacific explosions. The meeting between Mr Cameron and Tory MP John Baron last week was the first time the veterans had their case put forward to any prime minister.

Mr Baron, patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, told the PM descendants had 10 times the normal rate of birth defects, their wives had elevated rates of ­miscarriage, and no other veterans’ group had suffered harm which spread down the generations. France, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China and even the Isle of Man ­recognise and compensate test veterans. The MoD has always insisted no harm befell the men.

Are you a veteran of nuclear testing living in the Norwich area? Email reporter David Bale at david.bale2@archant.co.uk http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/thorpe_st_andrew_nuclear_test_veteran_speaks_of_defect_fears_after_pm_gives_hope_to_families_1_3562535

April 18, 2014 Posted by | health, social effects, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Czechs’ nuclear expansion plan goes out with a whimper

logo-NO-nuclear-SmCzechs pull plug on nuclear expansion, The Economist Apr 16th 2014 by B.C. | PRAGUE More than five years of international intrigue went out with a whimper on April 10th as Czech utility company ČEZ officially cancelled the planned expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant (120 km south of Prague in the South Bohemia region)—the project undone by a collapse in market electricity prices and hard-learned lessons from a botched state energy scheme in years past.

The plan had called for adding two reactors to the existing two at Temelín (a second Czech nuclear plant, Dukovany, operates four reactors). The price tag was an estimated $15 billion, and the project made less and less sense as the wholesale price of electricity fell. Prices are now less than half what they were when bidding on the contract began in 2009. For much of that time the tender process was viewed through a cold war lens with the two final bidders being the American firm Westinghouse (now a division of the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba) and a consortium leadby Russia’s state-owned Atomstroyexport. The American and Russian ambassadors openly lobbied on behalf of their favoured firms and the companies themselves tried to outdo one another by signing highly contingent contracts with local suppliers to sweeten their offers…….

“There is absolutely no appetite from the state to get involved in something new like this now,” said David Marek, chief economist with Patria Finance, a Prague-based investment bank……..  the widespread perception that the Temelín project was doomed to be a financial failure, saw ČEZ stock surge on the announcement that the nuclear project was cancelled. Such are power politics. http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/04/power-plant-failures

April 17, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

3 French nuclear plants fail safety test

safety-symbol-Smflag-franceFrench nuclear watchdog singles out 3 plants for safety shortfall   By Michel Rose PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) - France’s nuclear watchdog singled out three of EDF’s 19 nuclear power stations for having a below-average safety performance in its annual safety report, which also asked for more enforcement powers such as the ability to impose fines….. There were 127 level-1 incidents on the 7-level International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) in France in 2013, ASN said, and two level-2 incidents.

Level-1 incidents are minor procedural infringements and level-2 incidents can refer to cases of minor exposure to radiation…….

The watchdog also mentioned shortfalls in terms of radiation protection at Cattenom near the German border and in terms of impact on the environment at Belleville in the Loire valley, Chooz near Belgium, and Chinon.

Chevet said the ASN needed a more graduated array of sanction powers on operators such as EDF.

The watchdog can at anytime stop operations at a nuclear plant if it considers it presents a danger for the public and can also issue public warnings, but Chevet said an ability to impose fines for each day of safety breaches would be useful.

“We clearly lack intermediary sanction tools, for when shortfalls last for one, two, three years, but don’t require a shutdown of the plant,” he said.

The presentation to parliament of a much-delayed energy transition bill planned in July could be the opportunity to introduce such powers, he added. (Reporting by Michel Rose. Editing by Jane Merriman) http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/04/16/france-nuclear-safety-idINL6N0N74K120140416

April 17, 2014 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Building of Chernobyl’s nuclear reactor tomb delayed again

Chernobyl Sarcophagus Jeapordised by Crisis in Ukraine, Sourceable, 15 April 14, The political crisis in Ukraine is severely hampering efforts to build a new radioactive containment structure over the site of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Efforts to build an immense steel mausoleum to house the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown site are being stymied by the Ukrainian crisis, as channels of funding dry up amidst the country’s political upheaval.

chernobyl-cover

Work on the New Safe Confinement arch (NSC) project first commenced in 2010, with the goal of containing the radioactive contamination produced by Chernobyl for at least a century into the future.

While the project was originally scheduled for completion by 2015, Ukrainian officials now concede that it will be impossible to meet the original timeline as a result of political turmoil, while others question whether or not construction will ever be completed.

The Ukrainian government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are footing the hefty $2.1 billion bill for the project. The political crisis in Ukraine has left the country starved of cash, however, while also scaring off donor nations and foreign investors.

“In our financial analysis we are of course making the working assumption that it will not receive any money from Ukraine in the near term,” said Vince Novak, director of nuclear safety at the EBRD to trade publication NuclearEngineering……….http://sourceable.net/chernobyl-sarcophagus-jeapordised-by-crisis-in-ukraine/

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Belarus | Leave a comment

Ukraine crisis: a good opportunity for USA to put even more nuclear missile bases in Europe?

missile-risingAfter Ukraine, Countries That Border Russia Start Thinking About Nuclear Deterrents, NewsWeek, By  / April 15, 2014“………In a new report, Doran and several co-authors, including The Economist’s Europe editor Edward Lucas, argue that since Russia violated international treaties by annexing Crimea, NATO can renege on its promise not to base nuclear weapons in former Warsaw Pact states……

“The people who’ve been arguing for a continued role for nuclear weapons are milking the [Ukraine] crisis for all it’s worth,” says Hans Kristensen, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project. ….
In response to the Crimea crisis, the U.S. has temporarily moved fighter planes from their base in Aviano, Italy, to Poland, while U.S. Army and Navy units are being deployed to the Baltic states. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has asked NATO to station 10,000 troops on its soil. But no European government has publicly said it wants a new nuclear base, and because nuclear installations are supposed to be secret, they’re unlikely to do so. Koziej notes, “In nuclear deterrence, the most important aspect is keeping your adversary in the dark about your plans, so it’s best not to talk about where it would be suitable to base U.S. nuclear weapons.” http://mag.newsweek.com/2014/04/25/ukraine-countries-border-russia-start-thinking-nuclear.html

April 16, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Germany’s renewable energy output lowers European electricity prices

flag-EUflag_germanyElectricity Prices Fall In Europe As German Renewable Energy Output Increases http://www.triplepundit.com/2014/04/electricity-prices-fall-europe-german-renewable-energy-increases/  Gina-Marie Cheeseman | Tuesday April 15th, 2014  For the fifth consecutive month, electricity prices in countries neighboring Germany have decreased, recently released Platts data reveals, due in large part to increased solar and wind generation in Germany.

The Platts Continental Power Index (CONT), described as a “demand-weighted base load average of day-ahead contracts assessed in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands,” dropped steadily in early 2014. The index decreased to €35.06 (or about $48.50) per megawatt hour in March, an 18 percent drop from February. Overall, the index is down by more than 39 percent since peaking at €50.50/MWh in November of last year.

“A mid-March surge in German wind output followed seven days of peak solar output, which rose above 20 gigawatts (GW) to a new monthly record of 23 GW on March 20,” Andreas Franke, Platts managing editor of European power and gas said in a news release.

“German power prices for March 16 delivery turned negative as wind power output rose above 24 GW combined with stronger solar production,” Franke continued. “Further along the curve, German year-ahead power prices fell below €34/MWh in March for the first time in more than nine years as the price CO2 fell drastically and coal prices retreated.”

Germany currently gets about 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy, and the goal is to increase that number to at least 80 percent by 2050. German wind and solar output for the first three months of 2014 increased by 40 percent — or 6.5 terawatt-hours — compared with last year, according to the Platts data. Wind power increased 31 percent from the first quarter of 2013, while solar power increased 74 percent from more than a year earlier. Germany’s combined wind and solar portfolio is more than 70 gigawatts, making them the country’s largest sources of power when measured by installed capacity.

Germany-1013-renew

Data for the past three years from the Fraunhofer Institute shows that wind and solar power generation increased, while energy generation from natural gas fired power plants decreased significantly. Solar and wind power generation in Germany in 2013 increased by 36 percent in export surplus from 2012 levels. Photovoltaic power also increased by 44 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Reuters reported last week that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a reform measure for the country’s renewable energy law. The reform measure “will slow the growth of green energy…and force new investors in green power to take some risk,” according to Reuters. The German government wants to keep electricity affordable while allowing the renewable energy sector to grow. And growth in renewables is something that the government wants. Under the reform measure, the government wants to increase renewable energy generation to 40 to 45 percent of total electricity production by 2025 and 55 to 60 percent by 2035.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, Germany, renewable | 1 Comment

Strong reasons why UK should abandon Trident nuclear weapons system

flag-UKFive interesting stories about Trident http://www.leftfootforward.org/2014/04/five-interesting-stories-about-trident/

By ANDREW GIBSON | Published: APRIL 15, 2014 he fate of the UK’s nuclear weapon system will be decided in the next few years. Whether to renew Trident and what defensive posture to take will be the subjects of internal party debates when manifesto writing, when preparing for the NPT Review Conference in 2015 and when Parliament votes on the ‘Main Gate’ decision on Trident replacement in 2016. But there have been some interesting stories about Trident in the press of late. Here are just a few:

 1. Strikes at Faslane

In March, hundreds of workers at the Faslane naval base staged theirfirst walkout in 42 years, following negotiations over pay. Faslane is home to the UK’s Vanguard-class nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarines. The Scotsman reported that employees responsible for fitting out boats and loading weapons were involved in the action. The Unite union said that further stoppages were planned, as well as a work to rule and ban on overtime.

2. Top Tory says No James Arbuthnot, veteran chairman of the Defence Select Committee, has publicly questioned the logic of replacing Trident. In a recent interview with the Guardian he stated, “Nuclear deterrence does not provide the certainty that it seemed to in the past. It’s not an insurance policy, it is a potential booby trap.”

Despite voting for replacement in 2007, Arbuthnot referred to Trident at the time as ‘of doubtful usefulness’.

3. Resignations at AWE Burghfield

In January, junior defence minister Anna Soubry confirmed that 44 Ministry of Defence Police officers based at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Burghfield were subject to a major misconduct investigation. AWE Burghfield hosts facilities in which the UK’s nuclear weapons are built and maintained. Seven officers resigned during the course of the investigation, with some media reporting that a number had missed patrols due to being ‘asleep’.

4. UK’s youth disapprove

A recent ComRes survey suggests that younger people are opposed to like-for-like Trident replacement. Of the respondents, only 19 per cent of those aged 18-35 supported renewing Trident at its current size and capacity (this compared to 33 per cent of over 35s). The poll was commissioned by WMD Awareness, who launched this campaign last week to get the UK’s youth debating nuclear weapons.

5. Radioactive leaks in Caithness

In March, Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond demanded an apology for failing to be informed for over two years about problems with a submarine test reactor. This was in response to defence secretary Philip Hammond’s confirmation that “low levels of radioactivity were detected in a prototype core” at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment at Dounreay, Caithness, in 2012. These kinds of spats suggest nuclear defence will continue to be an issue in the Scottish independence campaign.

The above stories touch on some major problems with Trident: it’s unpopular, politically contentious, and the system relies on shaky security arrangements. Anyone for abandoning it?

April 16, 2014 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

David Cameron acknowledges damage to nuclear test veterans and their offspring

      David Cameron gives nuclear test veterans glimmer of hope after our 12-year campaign for justice

flag-UKhttp://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-gives-nuclear-test-3406479

        Apr 12, 2014 Prime Minister has promised to investigate setting up a £25 million health fund for descendants of those exposed to genetic suffering genetic defects

David Cameron has at last given hope to families of nuclear test veterans after a 12-year Sunday Mirror campaign for justice.

The Prime Minister has promised to investigate setting up a £25million health fund for descendants suffering genetic defects passed down by ­servicemen exposed to 1950s blasts.

He will also look at offering personal thanks to the veterans and recognising their sacrifice with a medal.

Campaigners say the breakthrough at a half-hour meeting is the closest they have been to formal recognition of the suffering caused by the South Pacific explosions.

It came days after the Sunday Mirror called for the PM to recognise the plight ofchildren like 15-month-old Ella Denson, who was born with a deformity linked to her great-grandad Eric Denson’s exposure to radiation on Christmas Island in 1958.

The meeting between Mr Cameron and Tory MP John Baron last Wednesday was the first time the veterans have had their case put forward to any prime minister.

Mr Baron, patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, told the PM descendants had 10 times the normal rate of birth defects, their wives had elevated rates of ­miscarriage, and no other veterans’ group had suffered harm which spread down the generations.

A New Zealand study found veterans’ genes had three times the damage of Chernobyl survivors. The tests have never been repeated here.

Scientists say effects could last for 20 generations.

As Mr Cameron listened, Ella, of Morden, South London, was recovering from her latest hospital admission to deal with her severe defect. She was born with two tubes to a kidney instead of one and needs daily antibiotics to stop infection before having surgery at three.

At the weekend she was rushed to hospital for the third time in her short life. Her brother Jamie and mum Kimberley have teeth deformities.

Ella’s great-gran Shirley Denson, 79, had four daughters with bomb veteran husband Eric and has seen more than a third of his descendants suffer.

She said: “I pray the Prime Minister does the right thing, for the sake of my Ella and all the thousands like her.”

Eric was one of 22,000 men ordered to witness the ­detonation of nuclear bombs between 1952 and 1967.

He later suffered ­crippling ­headaches and killed himself in 1976. Fewer than 3,000 veterans survive.

France, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China and even the Isle of Man ­recognise and compensate test veterans. The MoD has always insisted no harm befell the men.

Mr Baron said: “The meeting with Mr Cameron was constructive. He is going to get back to me.”

April 15, 2014 Posted by | children, health, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

PRISM an ugly magic trick from the nuclear lobby

highly-recommendedThe U.S. corporation GE Hitachi (GEH) is promoting a reactor design called the PRISM (Power Reactor Innovative Small Modular) that its chief consulting engineer and fast-breeder guru, Eric Loewen, says is a safe and secure way to power the world using yesterday’s nuclear waste – he means plutonium which hasn’t officially been classified as waste in the UK. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has declared PRISM to be a “credible option” for managing the UK’s plutonium stockpile.
PRISM is the latest manifestation of much-hyped but non-existent ‘integral fast reactors’ (IFR). GEH says it offers PRISMs on the world market – but there aren’t any takers, so none have been built.It would require converting the plutonium oxide powder at Sellafield into a metal alloy, with uranium and zirconium. This would be a large-scale industrial activity on its own that would create “a likely large amount of plutonium contaminated salt waste”, according to Adrian Simper of the NDA. Once prepared for the reactor, plutonium metal would be even more vulnerable to theft for making bombs than the plutonium oxide. This view is shared by the Union of Concerned Scientists in the U.S., which argues that plutonium liberated from spent fuel in preparation for recycling “would be dangerously vulnerable to theft or misuse.”
Nuclear-Wizards
Arjun Makhijani says recommending the use of sodium cooled-fast neutron reactors to denature plutonium reveals a technological optimism that is disconnected from the facts. Some of them have indeed operated well. But others, including the most recent — Superphénix in France and Monju in Japan — have miserable records. Roughly $100 billion have been spent worldwide to try and commercialize these reactors —to no avail.
Liquid sodium has proven to be a problem coolant. Even small leaks of a type that would cause a mere hiccup in a light-water reactor would result in shutdowns for years in sodium-cooled reactors. That is because sodium burns on contact with air and explodes on contact with water. The PRISM reactor has a secondary cooling loop in which the fluid on one side is sodium; on the other it is water, which turns to steam to drive a turbine. (12)
Nuclear engineer Dave Lochbaum from the Union of Concerned Scientists says: “The IFR looks good on paper. So good, in fact, that we should leave it on paper. For it only gets ugly in moving from blueprint to backyard.”
See also the No2 Nuclear Power briefing on PRISM reactors http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/PRISM-reactors4.pdf
Can PRISM solve the UK’s plutonium problem by Jim Green, Ecologist 26th Feb 2014 http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2297881/can_prism_solve_the_uks_plutonium_problem.html

April 12, 2014 Posted by | - plutonium, reprocessing, UK | 2 Comments

Failure of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has global implications

highly-recommendedNuClear News No.61 April 2014 WIPP failure has global implications
When a radioactive waste truck caught on fire inside the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) on February 5, it seemed like it was probably an isolated incident, not the beginning of a saga that could affect U.S. radioactive waste policy permanently and even radwaste policy internationally.
But the truck fire was followed by a still-unexplained offsite radiation release–including plutonium on February 14. That was then followed by a second, for a time unrevealed, and also still-unexplained, radiation release on March 11. It became clear that the WIPP saga will have long-term ramifications, not only for the nuclear weapons radwaste WIPP was built to handle, but also for the far larger and much more radioactive inventory of commercial high-level nuclear waste, not only in America, but around the globe. WIPP is currently closed and will remain so for some time.
flag-UKWIPP has played a crucial part in the history of nuclear waste proposals in the UK. In 1989, in the run-up to a referendum in Caithness in November of that year on whether or not to allow Nirex to search for a deep disposal site in the County, the Head of Information Services at Dounreay used WIPP as an example of a successful waste disposal site in an article he wrote for the John ‘O Groat Journal. In response a letter from the US Radioactive Waste Campaign described the article as “an outright lie”. McRoberts had claimed that WIPP was already receiving shipments and that the repository was dry. In fact the repository remained unopened at the time because in 1987 salt-laden water was fund to be seeping inside. One State Senator told the New Mexico press that:
“We have waste we aren’t sure about, stored in containers that haven’t been approved, travelling over roads that haven’t been improved and being put in salt beds we don’t know about. We’d like to put the brakes on before we get to the edge of the cliff.”
74% of voters in the Caithness referendum voted against Nirex’s plans in November 1989.
Given that WIPP, until the recent problems was the only deep geologic disposal facility operating in the world (in Europe, especially Eastern Europe, it is frequently–and incorrectly–described as a “high-level” radioactive waste site by nuclear advocates), the lessons, whatever they turn out to be, from the series of WIPP failures surely will affect other proposed and potential sites for years to come.
Many New Mexicans fought the project, knowing that in the expected 10,000-year life of the project there eventually would be problems. A poll found residents of southern New Mexico oppose the project three to one, but because of considerable encouragement from local businessmen and politicians, the project eventually moved forward. Locals felt their concerns had been ignored, while local and state politicians used the depressed economic conditions in southern New Mexico to push the project forward since it promised jobs. Given that it is a mere 15 years since the site began receiving waste, the concern appears to be justified.
Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety Program at Southwest Research and Information Center, who has been monitoring WIPP since 1975 and is familiar with the technical, policy, regulatory and legal issues related to the site, is reluctant to state there are any “guaranteed” methods of safely storing radioactive waste.
wastes-1“Given that long-lived nuclear wastes are dangerous for thousands of generations, emplacing them deep underground is a possible ‘solution,’ but it certainly isn’t ‘guaranteed,’ ” he said. “Neither WIPP, nor the proposed Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, are ‘ideal’ and meet publicly accepted standards. Both sites were picked for political, not technical, reasons, so it is not surprising that they are inadequate.”
Hancock believes that what is needed is a decades-long program to develop technical standards for any sites then a comprehensive national effort to identify the “best” sites that might meet the standards, then testing and establishing public “consent” for such sites (including a truck and train transportation system).
He also recommends careful state and national regulatory oversight of development, operation and decontamination and decommissioning of such facilities, and long-term safety procedures to help protect future generations, should nuclear waste operations be continued. http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo61.pdf

April 12, 2014 Posted by | wastes, UK, Reference | Leave a comment

USA, Westinghouse, Toshiba distressed as Czech Republic cancels nuclear project

graph-down-uraniumCEZ Cancels $10 Billion Nuclear Tender on Unfavorable Economics, EU Policy, WSJ  Company Targets New Expansion, Modernization Strategy by Year-End By  SEAN CARNEY  April 10, 2014  PRAGUE—Czech power company CEZ AS BAACEZ.PR +2.93% Thursday abruptly canceled its $10 billion tender for two new nuclear reactors one year ahead of the planned 2015 deadline to pick the winner, leaving the U.S. and Russian companies that had made it to the final round of bidding empty-handed…….It said plans to double the size of its Temelin nuclear power plant didn’t now make sense economically…..

nuclear-costs3Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the country’s President Milos Zeman both described CEZ’s decision as logical.

The cancellation of the tender is a blow to the companies that had made it into the final round of bidding—Russia’s state-owned Rosatom and Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Co, a unit of Japan’s Toshiba Corp.

France’s Areva SA was originally in the final round but in 2012 was excluded from the bidding due to commercial and legal flaws in its offer, according to CEZ…….

Westinghouse officials said they were unhappy with the decision, a sentiment echoed by the U.S. government.

“[We are] deeply disappointed by the decision to cancel the tender,” said American Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen. “As close friends and allies we also have fears what signals this could send to American and international investors.” …….http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303603904579493122292748700

April 11, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

France’s prosecutor examining AREVA’s finances

French prosecutor probes Areva buy of Canadian miner  https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/french-prosecutor-probes-areva-buy-084747257.html France’s financial prosecutor has opened a preliminary probe into state-controlled nuclear giant Areva’s controversial 2007 purchase of a Canadian uranium miner, a judicial source said Thursday.

The probe focuses on the $2.5 billion (1.8 billion euro) purchase by Areva of UraMin at a height of demand for enriched uranium.

Areva was later forced to revalue its UraMin uranium mines to only 410 million euros.

Canadian media reports have suggested the sale was preceded by suspicious stock trades.

French newspaper Le Monde said France’s Cour des Comptes, which oversees state accounts, had referred the case to prosecutors. It said the Cour des Comptes is to release a report into Areva’s 2006-2012 finances later this month.

Areva’s chief from that period, Anne Lauvergeon, said in a statement Thursday that the deal was “strategic at the time”, noting that it was “submitted and approved by the group’s decision-making bodies”.

April 11, 2014 Posted by | France, Legal | Leave a comment

Europe can have an integrated, competitive, energy market , with renewables

flag-EUOnly renewables can create an integrated, competitive EU energy market http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/only-renewables-can-create-integrated-competitive-eu-energy-market-301456 , 9 April 14 The European Commission’s state aid decision on 9 April has put renewable energy support schemes in the firing line, and threatened attainment of the 2030 climate and energy goals, even though renewable energy has created – and not obstructed – competition, writes Martin Schoenberg.

Martin Schoenberg is head of policy atClimate Change Capital, an environmental asset manager and advisor.

 Is there really a contradiction between national-level state intervention to promote renewable energy and the internal market for energy? Depends on how you look at it. I would argue there is not. Continue reading

April 10, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

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