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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Torness nuclear power station has radiation leak

Radiation leak at Torness nuclear power station, Herald Scotland Rob Edwards Sunday 29 March 2015 An investigation is under way after a radiation leaked at the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian, the Sunday Herald can reveal. According to the French state company that runs Torness, EDF Energy, radioactive tritium was discovered in water contained in part of the power station’s drainage system. The discovery was immediately reported to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and the UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)……

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, warned that Torness was “well into middle age and the cracks are literally beginning to show”.

He said: “This is the latest in a series of problems at Scotland’s two nuclear stations and shows that regulators need to be very vigilant if we are to avoid a serious release of radioactivity to the local environment while these plants continue to operate.”

The local liaison committee was told that reactors at Torness had to be unexpectedly shut down four times in 2014 because of a series of equipment faults. EDF Energy also operates a 39-year-old nuclear power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire, where cracks and breakdowns were reported in October 2014.

Jason Rose, Scottish Green candidate for MP in East Lothian, thought that the number of leaks and shutdowns showed that Torness was well past its prime. “Those of us who have to live with a nuclear plant on our doorstep need assurances from EDF that more effort will be made to prevent these sorts of serious incidents,” he said.

“I remain extremely concerned that there will be no public scrutiny of plans to extend the operating life of the plant, and no effort by local or national government to prepare a smooth transition for workers and the economy. Local people should have a say in what happens next at Torness.”……http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/investigation-under-way-into-radiation-leak-at-torness-nuclear-power-station.121878992

March 30, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear industry now a liability, with AREVA’s down ward spiral

plants-downFrance’s Nuclear Decline Exposed as Areva Confronts Cash Crunch by , 27 Mar 15, (Bloomberg) – For decades France’s nuclear industry was seen as a source of economic strength, providing cheap power for factories, high-tech exports and tens of thousands of well-paid jobs. Today, it’s looking more like a liability.

Electricite de France SA, the world’s largest nuclear operator, must spend $63 billion over the next decade to keep the country’s aging fleet of 58 reactors running safely. More urgently, nuclear engineer Areva SA, touted as an export champion for a new atomic age, has lost billions from a project in Finland and investments in African uranium mines, raising the prospect of a state bailout…. The financial “sickness” at Areva could prove contagious to the whole nuclear industry, said Juan Camilo Rodriguez, an analyst at Alphavalue SAS…..

“The situation is difficult for Areva,” French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said Monday, just hours after the company shocked investors by saying losses for 2014 would be about 4.9 billion euros ($5.5 billion), more than its market capitalization……

areva-medusa1Areva has been in a downward spiral since the meltdown at Fukushima’s atomic plant in Japan shook the global industry in 2011. The nuclear engineering company, which services existing reactors and supplies them with fuel, has lost about 75 percent of its value since as nations pulled back from atomic projects.

Last November, Areva’s credit rating was reduced to junk status by Standard & Poor’s after it abandoned financial targets. The company blamed its losses on construction of a new reactor on a Finnish island, delays in restarting Japanese plants and a worsening outlook for other export orders.

Before Fukushima, France’s atomic industry was readying for a nuclear energy renaissance. Former EDF Chief Executive Officer Pierre Gadonneix predicted France’s flagship reactor, the giant EPR model, would sell “like hotcakes” around the world.

Over Budget  Fukushima ended the prospect of new reactors in many countries, including Italy and Switzerland, in addition to damping a number of potential export markets for Areva and EDF. Germany decided to shut all its nuclear reactors.

Not a single EPR has yet fired up as construction projects in France’s Normandy region as well as in Finland and China are behind schedule and mostly over budget…….

Against the backdrop of Areva’s financial uncertainty, a long-delayed law that would reduce France’s reliance on nuclear power is in the Senate. Prospects for Areva and EDF will be affected by the decision of lawmakers on whether to shut some reactors……http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-27/france-s-nuclear-decline-exposed-as-areva-confronts-cash-crunch

March 28, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

26 European mayors sign declaration for action on climate change

Full text of climate change statement signed by 26 European mayors. Declaration entitled: ‘In response to the challenge of global climate change, a European commitment and local solutions’

If climate change is global, solutions are first and foremost local. Because large cities are at the crossroads of these two levels, they are at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

This is why, we, the European capitals and metropolises that represent more than 60 million inhabitants and have significant investment capacity (€2tn GDP), have decided to join forces and strengthen the instruments that will lead us toward the energy and environmental transition……

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/26/full-text-of-climate-change-statement-signed-by-26-european-mayors &http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/8530597788433914637

March 28, 2015 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

UK’s official data show how renewable energy has overtaken nuclear

sun-championflag-UKUK: Solar grows 93% in 2014 as renewables overtake nuclearhttp://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/uk–solar-grows-93-in-2014-as-renewables-overtake-nuclear_100018792/#axzz3VWyAXbwj Renewable energy generated 19.2% of the U.K.’s electricity in 2014, government figures show, surpassing nuclear generation for the first time ever

Official data from the U.K. government has confirmed that renewable energy contributed more to the grid than nuclear power for the first time ever in 2014.

The statistics show that renewables accounted for 19.2% of electricity generation last year, ahead of nuclear power, which generated 19% of the country’s electricity.

Total renewable electricity capacity at the end of the year stood at 24.2 GW, which was 4.5 GW – or 23% – more than a year previously.

Although solar PV’s share of renewable generation was a mere 6%, the industry’s participation in electricity generation grew a massive 93% last year, boosted by the 2.8 GW of solar PV capacity added over the course of 2014. Solar PV powered 3.9 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity. No other renewable energy source grew as fast. Continue reading

March 27, 2015 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

50% of power from renewables in Scotland 2014

renewable_energyScotland: 50% powered by renewables in 2014 http://www.edie.net/news/6/Scotland–50–powered-by-renewables/ 26 March 2015, source edie newsroom Lucinda Dann
Scotland has met its 50% renewable electricity target a year ahead of schedule after a surge of 11.7% in the past year alone.

Figures published today (26 March) by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for renewable energy generation in 2014 reveal that 49.6% of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources in Scotland last year – an increase from 44.4% in 2013.

The figures show that renewables generated 32% more electricity than any other single source of power in Scotland.

In total, the renewables sector generated a record 10.3TWh, compared to 7.8TWh2 from nuclear generation – previously Scotland’s main source of electricity. The figures also show that coal and gas-fired electricity generation produced 5.6TWh and 1.4TWh respectively over the same six-month period.  Historic  Wind made the most significant contribution to the total with 11,592 GWh, up 4% from 2013, and making it another record breaking year for wind. Bioenergy saw the biggest increase in output – rising 11.7% in the last year.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said: “The announcement that renewables have become Scotland’s main source of electricity is historic news for our country, and shows the investment made in the sector is helping to deliver more power than ever before to our homes and businesses.

“Every unit of power generated from renewables means less carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, decreases our reliance on imported energy and supports jobs and investment in communities across Scotland.”

Top priority  Energy Minister Fergus Ewing added: “2014 was also another record breaking year for wind output and the Scottish Government remains committed to continuing this upward trend. The recent independent survey by YouGov shows further support for the development of wind power, with an increase to 71 per cent in public backing.

“The Scottish Government has made its energy policy a top priority and has achieved great progress, despite being limited in terms of its devolved responsibilities. We look forward to proposals for more powers encompassing the necessary levers to deliver Scottish priorities.”

WWF Scotland said that for Scotland to meet its next renewable target in 2020, the offshore wind sector would have a major role to play.

WWF Scotland’s head of policy Dr Sam Gardner said: “To ensure the continued growth of this industry, attract supply chain investment, and continue to bring down costs, the next UK Government must provide a stable and sustained funding pipeline for offshore wind and clear volume signals in the 2020s.”

Scotland is significantly ahead of the rest of the UK, where renewables still only account for a fifth of all UK electricity. However this increase in greener energy generation has still contributed to an 8% drop in total emissions.

March 27, 2015 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Copper Consultancy PR firm helps UK govt to undemocratic management of nuclear wastes

Whose idea was it to scrap democracy in order to dump nuclear wastes? https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/whose-idea-was-it-to-scrap-democracy-in-order-to-dump-nuclear-wastes/ Radiation Free Lakeland and others are asking: Just whose idea was it to plan to scrap democracy in order to dump nuclear wastes? Was the bright idea given to Government by the PR firm Copper Consulting?

Copper Consultancy a PR firm with offices in London, Bristol, Suffolk and most recently Cumbria, told the Department of Energy and Climate Change that: “allowing local authorities to determine the outcome of a process which is designed to deliver a national Government policy may not be the most appropriate route.”   This piece of work is a response to Cumbria County Council and the majority of Parish Councils’ saying no to geological disposal of nuclear wastes.

In their blog Copper Consulting go on to say that: “local authorities are consultees rather than decision makers. The final revolving-door1decision rests with the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State. A logical conclusion might therefore be to classify the GDF as an NSIP”

There has always been a suspicion that nuclear is a PR strategy rather than an energy strategy, now we have proof. There is a revolving door between the NDA and Copper Consultancy a PR firm. Ivan Stone who was Executive Director of Copper Consultancy is now the Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Director – of the NDA/RWM (Radioactive Waste Management – a new arm of NDA) Copper Consultancy have also just been awarded the PR job of selling newnuclear build and new nuclear wastes at Moorside to the public. Continue reading

March 25, 2015 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Russia’s economic woes delaying the build of nuclear reactors in Turkey

nuclear-costs1Russian Nuclear Plants in Turkey ‘Not Ready Before 2022′, Moscow Times  Reuters Mar. 23 2015 Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is unlikely to be ready before 2022, energy officials said on Monday of the $20-billion project that has been beset by regulatory hurdles and complicated by Russia’s financial woes…..Rosatom initially pledged to have the first of the four reactors in the southern Turkish town of Akkuyu ready by 2019.

A senior Turkish energy official said the project would not be online before at least 2022, given that ground-breaking has yet to happen. “The first reactor can be online at least seven years after the ground-breaking so the 2019-2020 date is impossible,” the official said…..

  • Russian-BearEconomic Worries

    Analysts say Russia’s economic troubles because of collapsing oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine may also have weighed on Rosatom’s finances.

    “The Akkuyu timeline was — and remains — completely unrealistic,” Aaron Stein, associate fellow at British defense and security think-tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said. “The issue has, in recent months, become far more complicated because of Russia’s economic deterioration.”……http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/business/article/russian-nuclear-plants-in-turkey-not-ready-before-2022/517868.html

March 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Russia, Turkey | Leave a comment

Perilous risks to Ukraine’s nuclear power plants in escalating war

I believe that this is an important factor in why Putin has stayed his hand. The risk is not worth it. He cannot trust what NATO and the USSA might do as the Ukrainian positions would be overrun. Would they resort to a radioactive, scorched earth retreat? Would they blow the nuclear power plants and falsely blame the destruction on the Russian army?
The Northern Hemisphere’s Nuclear Power Plant Problem, Event Horizon Chronicle, 24 Mar 15 
“……It Gets Even Worse  Of course you have heard of the failed, exploded nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, Ukraine. That plant has never been and cannot be repaired. It will remain dangerously radioactive for untold thousands of years to come. The surrounding region is a poisonous no man’s land.
What many people overlook, including many prominent analysts and commentators, such as Paul Craig Roberts, is that there are several other nuclear power plants in the Ukraine. Please click here to see their locations.

Note that the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is just to the west of the present combat zone in the eastern region of the Ukraine, and not far north of the Crimea, which is now part of the Russian Federation. It is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. It is also right on the banks of the Dnieper River, which empties into the Black Sea, which in turn empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Failure of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant will massively radioactively contaminate the Dnieper River, which will then flow into the Black Sea and radioactively contaminate the Black Sea, which then flows into the Mediterranean Sea, etc. You see the problem.

Map-Ukraine-nuke-reactors

Just northeast of Odessa is another, the South Ukraine nuclear power plant.

Many armchair analysts, including commentators such as Paul Craig Roberts, have publicly advocated, or come very close to doing so, that Vladimir Putin send his military racing across the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, in a blitzkrieg from the Russian border all the way toTransnistria, on the border between Moldova and the Ukraine, in order to incorporate that swath of territory into the Russian Federation, and present NATO and the regime in Kiev with a military fait accompli. 

In my view, Putin has not done that because no military operation is ever as simple as it appears on paper; what can go wrong frequently does go wrong. And there are always unexpected complications.

Continue reading

March 25, 2015 Posted by | safety, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Financially in trouble AREVA is nevertheless advising on marketing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

areva-medusa1NuScale hires an energy giant to help get its nuclear plant certified Feb 17, 2015,  

Staff Reporter-Portland Business Journal Portland-based NuScale Power has entered an agreement with AREVA to support testing and design of its nuclear power system as it prepares to submit a Design Certification Application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency….The agreement gives NuScale access to AREVA’s fuel technology as well as its nuclear testing capabilities…..
NuScale Power is developing a small, modular nuclear power system that is built under factory conditions and deployed to a client’s site….
It expects to submit the document by late 2016 and to secure approval in time for a 2020 commercial launch…..

SMRs-mirage
Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) is its majority investor.http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/sbo/2015/02/nuscale-hires-an-energy-giant-to-help-get-its.htm

March 25, 2015 Posted by | France, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Jordan commits to buying nuclear fuel from Russia for 10 years, in $10 Billion Deal on Nuclear Power Plant

Russian-BearJordan, Russia Sign $10 Billion Deal on Nuclear Power Plant, abc news AMMAN, Jordan — Mar 24, 2015, By SAM McNEIL Associated Press   Jordan signed a $10 billion deal with Russia on Tuesday to build the kingdom’s first nuclear power plant, with two 1,000-megawatt reactors in the country’s north.

The deal, signed in the Jordanian capital, Amman, with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom company caps efforts of the energy-poor kingdom to increase energy sufficiency and reduce imports……

Under the deal, Jordan must buy fuel from Rosatom for the reactors for 10 years, after which it may seek other suppliers. The Jordanian government will have a slight majority ownership, with Rosatom owning 49 pecent of the plant, according to the Jordan Times.

Earlier this year, Rosatom signed an agreement, the details of which are secret, to build two reactors in Hungary. And last month, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Egypt, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant at an existing nuclear site in Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast where a research reactor has stood for years. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/jordan-russia-sign-10-billion-deal-nuclear-reactors-29874766

March 25, 2015 Posted by | Jordan, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

France’s law on green or solar roofs for new commercial buildings

FRENCH LAW TO REQUIRE GREEN ROOFS OR SOLAR PANELS ON NEW COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS, ecosalon, by  on March 24, 2015 France just passed a new law that will require all new buildings in commercial zones to be covered with green roofs or solar panels.

Environmental groups hope to reduce the energy costs of commercial buildings while creating an urban jungle in the world’s most beloved city of progress…..The law will change the face of the urban landscape in France by promoting more urban greenery.

Green-roofs-Paris

While solar panels have an obvious purpose, the benefits of green roofsare less well known. Not only do they beautify buildings and create space for community gardens, they have a number of other environmental benefits.

In the summer, green roofs retain 70 to 90 percent of precipitation and in the winter they retain 25 to 40 percent of precipitation. This reduces runoff and decreases the stress on sewer systems. The daily dew and evaporation cycle along with the light absorbed by vegetation, help to cool buildings down. Green roofs also reduce smog by slowing the distribution of dust and particulate matter……..

The combination of solar panels and green roofs create dual environmental tools. Both help reduce the power demands on the national grid, especially when temperatures peak in the summer time.

Green roofs are popular in Germany, Australia, and parts of Canada. Since 2009, Toronto has had a similar mandatory law for green roofs on commercial buildings. But they’re also gaining traction in the U.S. New York City leads the pack in green roofs and it’s home to the largest roof top garden in the country. James Farley Post Office is topped with a greening system that saves the massive post office $30,000 per year in energy costs. Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Portland are all home to a number of green roofs.http://ecosalon.com/french-law-to-require-green-roofs-or-solar-panels-on-new-commercial-buildings/

March 25, 2015 Posted by | climate change, France | 1 Comment

Russia wants US to remove Its Nuclear Weapons From Europe

Russia: US Must remove Its Nuclear Weapons From Europe, NewsMax 24 Mar 2015  Russia called for a ban on American nuclear weapons in parts of Europe, saying the U.S. is breaking an international agreement by holding joint nuclear training missions with NATO allies that don’t possess such weapons.

Using ships and airfields as well as training crews from non-nuclear states from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in such exercises is “in direct contradiction to the letter and spirit” of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on its website.

“There can be only one solution,” Lukashevich said. Russia is calling for “the return of all nonstrategic nuclear weapons” to U.S. territory as well as “a ban on stationing them abroad, elimination of infrastructure for their rapid deployment, and denial of training for the preparation and use of nuclear weapons” by the militaries of non-nuclear states…..http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/russia-nuclear-weapons-us/2015/03/24/id/634132/

March 25, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Wind turbines in tree shapes to be installed in Paris

TREE SHAPED WIND TURBINES TO BE INSTALLED IN PARIS A French company called New Wind is installing tree-shaped wind turbines at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. The company’s founder, Jérôme Michaud-Larivière came up with the idea while in a Paris square, when he “saw the leaves tremble when there was not a breath of air.” He hopes the trees can be used to exploit small air currents flowing along buildings and streets, and could eventually be installed in people’s yards and urban centres………http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/tree-shaped-wind-turbines-paris/

March 25, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, France | Leave a comment

Small Nuclear Reactors turn out to have an equally Big Radioactive Waste problem

flag-UK1. Small Reactors and the UK’s Long-Term Nuclear Strategy. nuClear News, March 2015 “……Waste Implications The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has looked at the waste implications of a 75GW programme [ i.e Small Modular Reactor or PRISM] which would be equivalent to a programme of over 50 new large-scale reactors.
wastes-1It said that since the Government has, so far, been mainly talking about the waste inventory from only a 16GW nuclear new build programme, it should consider defining a maximum size for a deep geological facility (GDF) and make clear that we might need multiple GDFs. (15)
The Environment Agency (EA) has already set a limit on the risk that may be caused by the burial of radioactive wastes of 10-6 (i.e. one in a million). (16) Figures from the NDA Disposability Assessment Report for waste arising from new EPR reactors (17) suggest that a programme equivalent to 50 large reactors would require around four GDFs.1
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has built up a momentum for SMRs by throwing hundreds of millions of dollars in cost-shared funding to jump-start the industry…..
text-SMRsfirst someone needs to build a massive supply chain. Money for that would presumably come from customer orders – if there were any. The problem is it appears that no one actually wants to buy one
So what are prospects for small reactors, both in the UK and globally? Former CoRWM Chair, Professor Gordon Mackerron says no SMR (properly defined) has yet been commercialised anywhere in the world, and work on them has been waning because the developers cannot find a market. This is unsurprising as their cost per unit of output is higher than the already expensive conventional, larger reactors, unless hundreds can be sold to give manufacturing economies……http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo72.pdf

March 22, 2015 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Scotland’s influence on UK decisions on Trident nuclear fleet

flag-ScotlandScottish Party May Prove Crucial to Future of Britain’s Nuclear Fleet  NYT, By  MARCH 21, 2015 “…….Scotland’s growing political importance has made the future of the nuclear arsenal an issue in Britain’s general election campaign, intensifying debate over whether the country can afford its nuclear deterrent, a quarter-century after the end of the Cold War.

That question is being asked because of the surging popularity of the Scottish National Party, which stands to the left of the opposition Labour Party and has promised to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons, putting it at odds with both Labour and the Conservative-led government.

Despite losing its bid last year for Scotland to win independence from Britain, the Scottish National Party has gained strength in the polls and could tilt the balance of power if, as happened in the last national election in 2010, neither Labour nor the Conservatives win an outright majority in Parliament in the voting on May 7.

Should Labour win the opportunity to form a government and turn to the Scottish National Party for support — a prospect analysts say is very real despite a Labour promise not to enter a formal coalition with the party — the question of abandoning the Trident missile system, moving the fleet from Scotland, or at least delaying an expensive modernization program would be on the table……..

The politics of Scotland is now crucial to the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Angus Robertson, the Scottish National Party’s defense spokesman, said that Faslane is a symbol of how Scottish views on Trident have been “totally ignored” and that “repeated British governments have made decisions over the heads of people in Scotland.”

Mr. Robertson said the proximity of Faslane to Glasgow, less than 40 miles away, makes Scotland’s largest population center a target for any enemy attack, fueling hostility to nuclear weapons. “There is overwhelming public opposition,” he said, citing stances taken by activists, churches and labor unions, among others………http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/world/europe/scottish-party-may-prove-crucial-to-future-of-britains-nuclear-fleet.html

March 22, 2015 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

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