The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

2015 – A Critical Year for New Nuclear Power in UK

There is now deep uncertainty in the nuclear industry about EPR reactors and  the complexity of the design. As well as the problems in Finland, the EPR reactor being built by EDF at Flamanville in Northern France is also years late. The concern has spread well beyond the UK.
Hinkley-nuclear-power-plantnuClear News Jan 15 “………Last month we reported that it was still unclear exactly who would invest in EDF Energy’s
proposed new reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) could take up to a combined 40% share of the equity; (China Daily most recently said the Chinese are discussing an estimated 35% stake (1)) EDF could take 45-50%, and Areva 10%, and discussions have been ongoing with other interested parties – possibly the Saudis (2) and Qataris (3) – who might take 10-15%.
But BuildingMagazine claimed that reports the Saudis might be interested in investing are untrue. (4) And
Areva’s financial problems make its 10% share look increasingly unlikely. (5) The Company is
struggling to survive the ongoing mess of the Olkiluoto nuclear plant in Finland. The plant is
years behind schedule and billions over budget. Areva’s losses in Finland are currently
estimated at €3.9bn and the excess costs involved are now the subject of a bitter dispute with
the Finnish utility TVO.
Now, Nick Butler writing in the Financial Times says financing of the deal has still not been
settled Continue reading

January 14, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Women on the move – into employment in renewable energy

flag-UKAn increasing female presence in Renewable energy By Sarah Brooks Linked In 12 Jan 15 The energy sector has always been regarded as male dominated. As of 2013, females contributed to just 21% of the workforce for traditional energy sources such as oil, gas and petroleum. However in the renewables sector females appear to be getting ahead. In Scotland alone 28% of the employees of the renewable energy industry were female.

As the renewable industry is considered to be a relatively new source of energy and is still continuously undergoing development and investment, it opens up opportunities for females who would not normally be given a chance to work in the energy sector. Scotland are leading in the renewable sector in the UK, in 2012 almost 30% of electricity generated came from renewable sources compared to just 8% in England and Wales.


If the rest of the UK continue to develop similar to Scotland the number of careers for women within the sector will only increase. Although females are beginning to enter the energy workforce, it is questioned whether these are still mainly in sales and business based roles rather than technical. As of 2010, only 6% of the engineering workforce in the UK were female. Granting this, in 2013 16% of the graduates in engineering degrees were female, which was a small improvement from years prior.

This slight growth over the recent years can be shown through the fact in 2013 50% of the females employed by engineering industries were aged 25-30 years old. This is indication there will be a gradual influx of a younger generation of females into technical roles within the renewable sector as engineers begin to graduate and build their careers within the industry. Initiatives are in place to help encourage and support females to pursue engineering and technical roles. A survey carried out by Atkins in 2013 on females in engineering careers found over 50% of the sample felt they were put off at school for pursuing engineering as it being portrayed as ‘too difficult’ and ‘male dominated’………

Despite the renewable energy industry still being largely dominated by males, there is still huge opportunity for females to get on board not only in business support roles but technical too. With females being gradually encouraged to pursue an engineering career we can expect to see a gradual influx of women in the renewable workforce over the next few years…….

January 14, 2015 Posted by | employment, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Cumbria’s call for clean-up of Sellafield’s ‘Legacy’ spent nuclear fuel ponds

text-radiation Sellafield Ltd’s announcement of two ‘unusual finds’ on West Cumbrian beaches in May and June 2014 (the discovery attributed to the new Groundhog Synergy 2 monitoring system introduced in May) should be ringing public health alarms in the corridors of those tasked to protect beach users from the radioactive materials routinely washed up on local beaches from Sellafield’s historic discharges to the Irish Sea.
Whilst the discovery of a radioactive stone in May – bearing the highest level of Caesium 137 yet discovered in over a
decade of local beach monitoring – is of grave concern, the subsequent discovery in June of a radioactive particle discovered on the more publicly accessible beach at Seascale requires immediate action to be taken by the Authorities to protect the general public.
highly-recommendedflag-UKSellafield Catch Up 2015  nuClear News Jan 15  Eddie Martin of the Cumbria Trust wrote to Stephen Henwood chair of the NDA in November about the spent fuel ponds. He said, given that the Sellafield “Legacy Ponds” are over 60 yearsold, contain significant amounts of spent Magnox nuclear fuel and other radioactively
contaminated nuclear waste items, are covered with water for cooling purposes, were originally
pronounced, in the mid 1970’s as for “short term storage until it can be reprocessed”, are open to
the elements, known to be leaking into the ground and, in the case of B30, are located within
150m of the River Calder, we would be obliged if the NDA would state what action it is taking
Prevent transfer of radioactive contamination, by birds or other creatures that may have
access to the open contents of such ponds, to members of the public and/or property,
outside the boundary of the nuclear licensed site.
 Prevent leakage, through the ground surrounding these old and known -to-have-leaked,
ponds, to areas outside the nuclear licensed site and, specifically, into the River Calder.
 Recover the contents of these ponds for assay and assessment of their nuclear and
radioactive status.
 Commence reprocessing of appropriate items of the recovered Magnox fuel
 Compact, encapsulate or vitrify, as appropriate, and the safe storage, of the contents of
these ponds.
 Decommission, demolish and safely dispose of the existing outdated and insecure pond
buildings, structures and equipment. (15)
In response Stephen Henwood said “we categorically refute the suggestion … that insufficient
attention or resources are being put into addressing this national priority which we inherited in
2005. Whilst we cannot turn the clock back to decisions that were made or not made in the past
and which have left us with the challenges we now face, we are determined to be the people that
resolve those challenges.” (16)

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January 14, 2015 Posted by | Reference, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Danger of transporting nuclear weapons through Glasgow, especially in extreme weather

radiation-trucksafety-symbol-SmMinistry of Defence blasted for transporting nuclear weapons through Glasgow city centre during extreme weather by Scottish CND and SNP  Daily Record, Jan 13, 2015 By 

A CONVOY believed to be carrying city-destroying warheads drove through the middle of Glasgow on the M74 and M8 on Sunday night and crossed the Erskine Bridge during high winds. THE Ministry of Defence has come under fire from anti-nuclear campaigners and politicians after reports that a convoy carrying nuclear weapons travelled through the centre of Glasgow despite weather warnings.

The convoy drove through the middle of Glasgow on the M74 and M8 between 11.35pm and 11.55 pm on Sunday night and crossed the Erskine Bridge during high winds.

While the Scottish CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) maintain the convoys, which transport nuclear warheads between the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire to the UK’s fleet of nuclear-armed submarines at Faslane, are always unsafe, the campaigners condemned moving the weapons during extreme weather as reckless……….

SNP MSP for Glasgow Anniesland and co-president of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament Bill Kidd added: “This practice is deeply worrying and poses an unacceptable risk to the people of Glasgow.  The idea that weapons of mass destruction are being transported through our city while we sleep is absolutely chilling – and shows the utter folly of basing nuclear weapons just 30 miles from our biggest population centre.

“The impact of any safety breach during one of these convoys does not bear thinking about. It’s time that these immoral and unsafe weapons were removed from Scotland for good.”

Glasgow Now has reached out to the Ministry of Defence for comment.

January 14, 2015 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Secrets revealed – Scotland’s nuclear disaster plans

flag-ScotlandScotland’s secret nuclear disaster plan revealed Scotsman , 12 Jan 15 A SECRET plan to deal with a Chernobyl-style nuclear emergency in central Scotland has finally been revealed in a dossier which has been kept under wraps for decades.

The classified documents which show how the government would have responded to a full-scale atomic crisis have been opened and placed in the National Archives.

The files outline the steps that would have been taken if lethal substances had leaked from the twin Hunterston A and B nuclear plants on the Ayrshire coast.

They reveal that staff at Scotland’s largest hospital were primed to treat victims suffering from burns and radiation sickness, a community centre would have been converted into a decontamination zone and residents would have been issued with anti-radiation tablets.

They also show that the strategy for a mass public evacuation revolved around police officers knocking on residents’ doors and politely advising them to leave……..
Hunterston A was opened by the Queen in September 1964, but stopped producing electricity in 1990 and is currently being decommissioned. The neighbouring Hunterston B plant was opened in 1976 and is due to operate until 2023 – well beyond its original planned closure date.

Last year Nicola Sturgeon, the then deputy first minister – a long-term opponent of nuclear power – expressed “deep concern” after it emerged that cracks had been found in one of the plant’s reactors………

January 12, 2015 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

80 miles from Sellafield nuclear facility, radiation is found in food

plate-radiationRadiation found in food 80 miles across the border from Cumbrian nuclear-plant Sellafield Daily record, Jan 07, 2015 By Jennifer Hyland

NUCLEAR waste released from the Cumbrian reprocessing site has made fish and shellfish caught off the Dumfriesshire coast radioactive. RADIATION has been found in food 80 miles across the border from a Cumbrian nuclear-plant a report has revealed.

Nuclear waste released from the Cumbrian reprocessing site has made fish and shellfish caught off the Dumfriesshire coast slightly radioactive.

And fish-fans in Dumfriesshire have the highest exposure to nuclear radiation of anyone north of the Border.

Despite Sellafield nuclear station being situated 80 miles away, the new report reveals that the nuclear power station is still having an impact on Scotland, reports the Daily Mail. And although the levels are within safe EU limits, Sellafield and Scottish nuclear power stations have infiltrated the food chain here.

Traces of radiation were found in fruit, potatoes and vegetables near to Dounreay nuclear power station in Caithness, in the far north-east of Scotland .

Whilst in Chapelcross, in Dumfriesshire, nuclear radiation has made its way into the milk.

Where as at Faslane, near Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, the destination of Britain’s nuclear submarines where liquid radioactive waste is discharged into the Gareloch,

beef has been revealed to contain a small amount of radiation……..

  • The unborn children of pregnant women living within 550 yards of the Hunterston B site, in North Ayrshire – one of Scotland’s two working nuclear power stations -would received the highest dose there.

    Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “There is no safe level of radiation. Nuclear technology… poses an ongoing threat to public health.”………

January 10, 2015 Posted by | environment, health, oceans, UK | 1 Comment

Depleted uranium weapons – a propaganda victory for ISIS?

depleted-uraniumThe UK and depleted uranium, International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons,  A retired British General has urged the UK to persuade the US not to use depleted uranium in operations against ISIS in Iraq, Sir Hugh Beach argues that the use of the weapons will be a propaganda victory to their opponents. 9 January 2015 – Gen Sir Hugh Beach (Rtd)

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January 10, 2015 Posted by | depleted uranium, UK | Leave a comment

Top renewable energy investment trends for 2015

piggy-ban-renewablesflag-UKUK watch: Tracking renewable energy investment trends, Renewable Energy Focus 05 January 2015 KATHARINE EARLEY As we head into 2015, Renewable Energy Focus contributor Katharine Earley speaks to Triodos Bank about investment trends, including crowd-funding, community-owned energy and businesses opting for on-site energy generation.
With renewable energy set to be one of the key winners to emerge from the EU’s new three-year, £250bn investment plan, 2015 could be a promising year for renewables. We caught up with ethical investment pioneer Triodos Bank to understand what trends it foresees for the year ahead.

“We could see some real strides forward for renewable energy in Europe, particularly if the EU’s investment plan focuses on grid infrastructure,” Matthew Clayton, executive director of Triodos Renewables, explained. “As we move from centralised power plants to smaller, distributed energy generation, government investment could really help to address this important systems issue. Coupled with private investment in energy efficiency and generation, such a move could lead to more rapid progress.”

For Triodos’ part, its renewables company, owned by some 5,000 shareholders, operates 11 onshore wind and hydroelectric projects across the UK with a capacity of 53MW, enough electricity to power 34,200 homes. Founded in 1994, the company has seen a 35% increase in shareholders and a 50% increase in generating capacity in the past three years. Its projects generated more than 100m kWh of clean electricity in 2013. Having already raised £2m from its latest share offer, it is now extending the offer until 30th January 2015.

So what does Clayton see as the reasons for this prosperity?
“Investor confidence has grown as the nature of the projects become more robust,” he explained. “The technology is proven and is also decreasing gradually in price. Interestingly, we’re seeing interest from a wide range of investors, from individuals through to institutional investors. And we want to make investing in renewables accessible – that’s why we’re inviting minimum investments of £50 through our current share offer………..

Triodos’ Top Three Renewable Energy Investment Trends for 2015
1. More projects will be developed to supply a business
“We’ll see more projects developed with a direct supply of renewable electricity to a business,” Bazin stated. “This helps the developer to achieve a better price for the power and reduces electricity losses during transmission. Meanwhile, the business purchasing the energy benefits from greater security of supply, lower cost compared to using major utilities and a boost to its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.”
According to Bazin, this direct supply of electricity will be a key component of roof-mounted solar projects, which are high on the UK government’s agenda in 2015. This type of direct supply model also helps to raise awareness of the positive impact of renewable energy among building users, he confirms.
2. Community-owned energy will gather momentum

In Germany, more than 50% of renewable energy projects are already community-owned. As communities across the UK embrace the benefits of renewable energy, Bazin sees more communities owning or part-owning projects. For example, schools and communities already benefit from higher Feed-in Tariff (FIT) rates. Now, the government is helping further by raising the maximum size of renewable energy projects that can be supported through the FIT from 5MW to 10MW, provided that at least 5MW is community-owned.
Renewable energy project developers are also expected to offer communities the opportunity to invest in their projects, and the £10m Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) is now live. Added to this, the new Community Benefit Register, a joint initiative from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), RenewableUK and Regen SW, will help communities to share best practice and see the benefits that renewable energy can deliver.
“Together with DECC’s recent guidance on community-owned energy, the register is raising the bar on how developers engage early, proactively and creatively to bring lasting benefits to their host communities,” Bazin added.
3. Crowd-funding is on the upswing
With the largest solar installer in the US (SolarCity) offering $200m of bonds to retail investors, the potential of crowd-funding as a means to grow investment for clean energy is increasingly in the spotlight. In the UK, crowd-funding platform Abundance Generation has raised more than £4m for seven renewable energy projects since 2012.
“Triodos is interested in providing debt to projects that are raising equity through crowd-funding platforms,” Bazin explained. “We’re also helping to raise equity for Triodos Renewables using the Trillion Fund and Ethex platforms.”
Triodos Renewables is already making good progress on raising finance for its four wind turbine projects in Cambridgeshire and Scotland, including through crowd-funding. The projects total 13.4MW of capacity and will take the company’s total generation capacity to more than 65MW. Through a £4.5m, 1.5MW wind turbine project on an industrial site in Cambridgeshire, potato supplier Greenvale will benefit from low cost energy, with the remaining 40% being supplied to the local electricity network………

January 7, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

In 2014 Scotland had a massive success in renewable energy, especially wind power

WIND-FARMflag-ScotlandScotland Saw A “Massive Year” Of Renewable Energy   January 6th, 2015 by  That Scotland saw impressive records broken last year is of no real surprise to those who followed news of their monthly wind energy generation numbers. New numbers published early January have only confirmed that sense of record breaking, with another record month and a “massive year” in total.

WWF Scotland provided the information, by way of WeatherEnergy, and found that for December, wind energy provided 164% of Scottish household electrical needs — a massive record, well up on what had already seemed to be a mammoth record, set in October, when wind energy provided 126% (though, as it turns out, before Scotland’s performance was brought to my attention, they hit 163% in February). Specifically, wind energy delivered 1,279,150MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough for 3.96 million homes.

In fact, wind energy generated enough energy to supply over 100% of Scottish household needs on 25 out of the 31 days of December.

“December turned out to a record-breaking month for wind power, with enough green energy generated to supply a record 164% of Scottish households with the electricity they need,” said WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks. “Even on calmer days, wind still supplied the equivalent of over a third of electricity needs of every home.”

For 2014 as a whole, wind energy delivered an estimated 8,958,130MWh of electricity to the National Grid, or an average of 746,510MWh each month. That’s enough to supply the electrical needs of 98% of all Scottish households.

Without doubt, 2014 was a massive year for renewables, with wind turbines and solar panels helping to ensure millions of tonnes of climate-wreaking carbon emissions were avoided,” added Banks. “With 2015 being a critical year for addressing climate change internationally, it’s vital that Scotland continues to press ahead with plans to harness even greater amounts of clean energy.”

Solar power did relatively well throughout the year for Scotland, though it’s hard to come close to the country’s wind energy industry. Homes fitted with solar PV panels generated enough energy to supply homes in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness with an estimated 100% or more of their electricity needs throughout June and July, and 60% or more across the same four cities during March, April, May, August, and September.

“For 2014 as a whole, on average, wind power generated enough to supply the electrical needs of 98% of Scottish households, with six months where the amount was greater that 100%,” Banks continued. “And, in the tens of thousands of Scottish households that have installed solar panels saw them meet two-thirds or more of their electricity or hot water needs from the sun during several months of the year, helping those homes to reduce their reliance on coal, gas, or even oil.”

Karin Robinson of WeatherEnergy also commented on the remarkable year-that-was for Scotland:  “We’re famous in the UK for our obsession with the weather, but how often do we see it in a positive light? At a time when the world is desperately looking for low-carbon sources of energy, the data show that clean renewables are already playing a significant and growing role in Scotland’s, and the rest of the UK’s, overall energy mix. We just need to blow their trumpet a bit more.

The news came just a few days before WWF published another report, this time based upon technical analysis conducted by international energy and engineering consultancy DNV GL, which found that Scotland could be a renewable energy powerhouse by 2030, completely decarbonised and delivering renewable energy enough for all the country’s electricity needs.

“It’s great to see the vision for a secure, renewables-based future for Scotland independently tested and proven,” said WWF Scotland’s Climate and Energy Policy Officer, Gina Hanrahan. “It’s clear that Scotland doesn’t have to generate electricity from coal, gas or nuclear to ensure security of supply.”

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January 7, 2015 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Thatcher government pursued peace activists, ignored threat of nuclear winter

Home Office dismissed nuclear winter threat as scaremongering, files show , Guardian   30 Dec 14 1984 memo released by National Archives shows civil servants decided not to research possible consequences of nuclear war Threats that civilisation would be devastated by “nuclear winter” after conflict with the Soviet Union were dismissed as scaremongering, according to Home Office files.

Officials were more interested in monitoring the activities of campaigners opposed to cruise missiles, documents released by the National Archives in Kew reveal.

A confidential file on “Nuclear winter – global atmospheric consequences of nuclear war” shows that civil servants in the department’s emergency planning section, F6, decided they did not need to research the disputed phenomenon.

An internal memo in December 1984 records: “It was agreed with F6 that no assessment of the [nuclear winter] theory would be carried out by the branch and as such our interest is limited to general reading which could not be regarded as following the subject in any depth.”………


Closer attention was paid to anti-nuclear activists. ………

Anti-nuclear groups were under surveillance. “Data is now collected on demonstrations and incidents by anti-nuclear groups at MoD establishments,” the file states.

In the battle for public sympathy, pro-nuclear groups received official help. “Continued government support – both financial and through the provision of nuclear PR material – will be necessary,” one report records. “Co-ordination of [their] activities … is best left, in general, to the groups themselves although periodic advice and encouragement from ministers will continue to be valuable.”

Architectural drawings of DIY nuclear blast-proof shelters were commissioned for the latest edition of the Protect and Survive pamphlets. They suggested householders excavate holes in their living rooms and build “igloo shelters”; the components cost £554 – about £1,500 in today’s money……A separate memorandum was headed: “Spontaneous evacuation of civil population in a future war.”……..

“The guts of the matter is that in a war emergency a task of the police would be to ensure that, as it does in peacetime (eg peak holiday weekends), that the country does not come to a grinding halt through traffic congestion howsoever caused.”

December 31, 2014 Posted by | history, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear power plants vulnerable to attack by drones

drone-near-nuclear-plantBritain’s atomic power plants ‘could be attacked by drones’ The Independent, MARK LEFTLY Author BiographySUNDAY 21 DECEMBER 2014 Nuclear power stations are highly vulnerable to drone attack, according to a confidential report that British ministers are being urged to consider.

Compiled by a British nuclear expert, John Large, the report followed a number of unexplained, but apparently co-ordinated, flights of tiny, unmanned vehicles over French nuclear installations. The grave issues uncovered there, said Mr Large, were equally relevant to the UK’s 16 operational reactors, which generate about 18 per cent of the country’s electricity.

terrorism-targets-2In public evidence to the French parliament, Mr Large said he set the defences of a standard nuclear power plant against different types of attack that could be launched by drones, such as precisely placed explosive devices and the dropping off of equipment that would aid an insider saboteur.

Existing nuclear power plants, he said, were not designed to counter the threat of “near-cyborg technology”. He warned: “In each of the four… attack scenarios that I examined, the plant fared very badly indeed – if these scenarios had been for real, then there would have been the potential for a major radioactive release.”

Mr Large’s modelling showed that the “flexible access and manoeuvrability of the drones” means that they were able to fly over and twist around physical barriers that “belonged to a different age”. Even small, battery-powered drones can lift 10 or more kilograms of cargo, while vehicles available in high street hobbyist shops are “certainly not toys but machines capable of following and discharging intelligent commands”………..

Experts in Germany have warned that the drones could identify weaknesses before sending in an attack helicopter to blow apart thick cement walls. The subsequent meltdown then has the potential to spread radiation up to 180 miles.

Dr David Lowry, a consultant researcher for the World Institute for Nuclear Security in Vienna, said: “My general view is that all nuclear facilities are at risk of malevolent terrorist attack, but [this] is something that most politicians brush under the carpet.”……

December 22, 2014 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

EDF nuclear power builder is one big winner in UK’s subsidy in energy capacity auction

text-my-money-2£1bn subsidy in energy capacity auction will boost coal and nuclear power, Guardian, Terry Macalister, 19 Dec 14 Government wanted new gas-fired power stations to be built but 68% of the capacity is to be provided by existing power stations.  Consumers will need to stump an extra £1bn a year in 2018 to encourage power stations to stay open and keep the lights on, the government confirmed on Friday.

“capacity market” auction undertaken this week by National Grid has ended with a price of £19.40 per kilowatt (kW) being agreed as a subsidy.

EDF, the owner of the UK’s existing nuclear fleet, is one of the major provisional winners but other “big six” firms such as E.ON, npower and SSE have also succeeded……………….

EDF’s nuclear fleet is also providing 16% of the capacity. This will also be a bonus for Centrica which owns 20% of this EDF-operated business. Centrica has also had two gas stations included. 45% comes from gas fired plants and less than half a percent by those promising demand side reduction………….

December 20, 2014 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s latest Energy Trend’s Report contradicts David Cameron’s anti -wind claims

wind-turb-smflag-UKRecord renewable generation disproves Cameron’s attack on onshore wind. 

18 December 2014, source edie newsroom Figures from the latest Energy Trends report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that 18% of electricity was produced from renewable sources in the third quarter of 2014 – a 4% increase on last year.
Electricity generated from onshore wind increased by 7.7% while generation from offshore wind was up by 14.1%.

In light of these figures, clean energy trade association RenewableUK claims that David Cameron was wrong to attack onshore wind earlier this week, when he claimed that the public was “fed up” with onshore windfarms and said the country did not need any more subsidised turbines on land now that the energy source was capable of providing 10% of UK energy.

RenewableUK’s director of external affairs Jennifer Webber said: “Electricity generated from renewables – up again. Clean power provided by wind for British homes – up again. No wonder two-thirds of the public repeatedly tell every independent polling organisation from YouGov to Ipsos MORI that they support wind energy, and a majority of people want to see more onshore wind farms built near them.

“Their understanding of the importance of generating clean power from home-grown sources stands in sharp contrast to the misguided and quite frankly ignorant comments by the Prime Minister earlier this week, when he wrongly suggested that people are fed up with wind.”

Less energy

According to a BBC article, the average person in the UK uses 10% less electricity than five years ago ……..–says-RenewableUK/

December 19, 2014 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power project “at very serious risk of collapse”

The Government is reportedly so worried that Hinkley will be delayed it has commissioned a “secret review” into the project. The probe, being led by the Treasury, is said to be examining whether the 2023 completion date is likely to be met and is apparently costing “tens of millions of pounds”. The outcome of the investigation is expected at the end of the year, which The Times says is why EDF delayed taking a final investment decision this summer until January or February.
Hinkley Point C – A Review of the Year, nuClear News   Dec 14 “………… To many it feels like the project is sleep walking towards disaster. It’s just that no-one is quite sure whether the disaster will be a virtually ‘unconstructable’ power plant struggling to come into operation years late and vastly overbudget or the collapse of the whole project before it even starts.
Cambridge nuclear engineer, Tony Roulstone, recently described the type of reactor planned for Hinkley as ‘unconstructable’, and said Areva, the French company that owns the EPR design, is no longer actively selling power stations of this type. In those countries still looking to expand nuclear power, such as Saudi Arabia, China and Turkey, Areva is now pushing an alternative reactor.
In China, where two EPRs are currently being constructed, the authorities have indicated that they will not use the design for future power plants. In other words, the Hinkley design is already regarded as a failure by those with most knowledge of it. (3)
The European Commissioners decided to approve subsidies reported to be up to £17.6 billion to EDF Energy in October. Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace calculates the subsidies to be closer to £37billion on an undiscounted basis. (4)
The Austrian Government has declared its intention to take the Commission to the European Court of Justice over the decision, (5) In the UK independent energy supplier Ecotricity is also among companies and organisations considering a legal challenge.
There appears to be a groundswell of opinion among renewable energy companies and associations in Britain and
Europe that something should be done. (6) This could leave the project in limbo. Legal action would take at least a year to conclude and EDF Energy would have to decide whether or not to risk proceeding with the project in the meantime in case it has to be abandoned if the legal action is successful.

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December 17, 2014 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is a distraction from the urgent task of tackling climate change

globalnukeNOflag-UKNuclear damages attempts to tackle climate change nuClear News Dec 14 It is now almost 15 years since Tony Blair asked the Number Ten Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) to carry out a thorough review of energy policy. That review ultimately led to the 2003 Energy White Paper which concluded that the current economics of nuclear power make it an unattractive option, and that there are still important issues about nuclear waste which need to be resolved.
In launching the White Paper in Parliament the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry at the
time, Patricia Hewitt, said: “It would have been foolish to announce …a new generation of nuclear power stations, because
that would have guaranteed we would not make the necessary investments in energy efficiency and renewables.”
Unfortunately, as we know, the nuclear lobbyists got to work straight away and this policy was
eventually reversed. (1)
When the Nuclear White Paper was published in January 2008 giving the go-ahead to new reactors, Professor Gordon Mackerron, who had been a prominent member of the PIU Energy Review team and went on to Chair the first Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), expressed concern that nuclear investments would ultimately stall. But the
expectation that new reactors would be built would hold back investment in the alternatives. So we could get to 2020 and find that neither nuclear, nor other forms of carbon abatement technology had been built. (2)
Regrettably, now we are 7 years closer to 2020, it looks as though Hewitt and Mackerron’s worst fears are coming true.
Nuclear power is a distraction from the urgent task of tackling climate change for five main
Firstly, nuclear power provides quite a small percentage of the UK’s energy needs, so it is
important that we don’t allow plans to build new reactors to disrupt plans to introduce other
forms of low carbon energy.
Secondly, Funding is limited. Even in boom times there is a limited supply of money, so we need
to maximise the carbon savings achieved from every pound spent. But, as we shall see, nuclear
is probably the most expensive way to save carbon.
Thirdly, there is a serious risk that nuclear will soak up all the funds available for low carbon
Fourthly tackling climate change is urgent, the sooner we can start making savings, the bigger the cumulative impact. New reactors at Hinkley are not expected to start operating until about 2023 at the earliest, whereas other forms of carbon abatement could start making savings now.No2NuclearPower
Finally, global markets are moving rapidly towards more decentralised low carbon energy
systems. But by promoting nuclear power, the UK will be bucking this trend and prolonging the
life of outmoded, centralised utility models. Andy Blowers, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, and
another former CoRWM member says it is this “Business As Usual” aspect of nuclear power


December 17, 2014 Posted by | climate change, Reference, UK | Leave a comment


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