Thursday, 31 January 2013
Paul Flynn MP in the Commons today said Energy minister Hayes was a "preposterous buffoon".
I think that's a fairly accurate description. Recall that Hayes has affirmed that God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th.
When other MPs joshed him about it, he silenced all present by saying ...no, no, he really meant it.
We've all had to put up with pretty ill-informed Energy ministers in the past, but Hayes takes us to new levels ...he represents la crême de la crême of stupidity.
The team of NGO representatives will always met the new secretary last year and he told us in his bumptious arrogant way of how he came from a council estate in South London and we, as representatives are left wing softies!
Mr Hayes, I have voted conservative all but three times in my life, the other times I voted Natural Law..almost as bizarre as you, aNd lib dem twice! You are a disgrace to the free market allowing oligopoly energy companies subsidies.....you are the biggest left winger going.....
Posted by Reg Illingworth at 21:27
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Greenpeace have just uploaded a film of David Cameron saying tat the nuclear waste issue must be solved before nuclear investment can take place.
Where does new nuclear go now?
This is the link to the film
Where does new nuclear go now?
This is the link to the film
Posted by Reg Illingworth at 14:59
Posted by Reg Illingworth at 14:43
Saturday, 26 January 2013
France orders special forces to protect Niger uranium: source
PARIS | Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:31am EST
(Reuters) - France has ordered special forces to protect uranium sites run by state-owned Areva in Niger as the threat of attacks on its interests rises after its intervention against rebels in Mali, a military source said on Thursday.
Paris launched air strikes and sent hundreds of soldiers into Niger's neighbor Mali this month to drive back al-Qaeda-linked rebels it said could turn the West African country into a base for international attacks.
The insurgents have threatened to hit French targets across the Sahel region in revenge and, days after the French assault, militants stormed a desert gas plant in Algeria and took hostages.
The military source confirmed a report in weekly magazine Le Point that special forces and equipment would be sent to Areva's uranium production sites in Imouraren and Arlit very quickly, but declined to go into further details.
Defense ministry officials declined to comment on the report and Areva said it did not talk about security issues.
Seven workers, including five French nationals, were kidnapped in Arlit by al Qaeda's north African arm AQIM in September 2010. It later released three of the hostages but four French citizens are still being held.
An official at the defense ministry said that for the moment Nigerien authorities had not yet approved the measure.
"It's true that the terrorist threat has increased today, but as far as I know there is no such agreement in place at the moment."
Areva, Niger's biggest single investor, has about 2,700 workers in Niger and is planning to start up a third mine in Imouraren.
The planned startup of production in Imouraren was delayed to 2013 or 2014 from 2012, following the kidnappings and a labor dispute.
A Niger army officer said that there were already security arrangements agreed with France since 2011 after the kidnappings in Arlit and they had been reinforced over time.
"We also have our counter-terrorism units in the Agadez region," he said. "For now, I don't know of a decision by the Nigerien government to allow French special forces to base themselves in the north."
An Areva spokeswoman said this month the French government had not asked the company to reduce staffing in Niger. She added Areva has an extensive security plan for its employees and that the plan has been reviewed by the French authorities.
Areva has been mining uranium in Niger for more than five decades and the country provides one third of the group's uranium supplies.
According to a parliamentary committee enquiring into France's supplies of uranium, about 18 percent of the raw material used to power France's 58 nuclear reactors came from Niger in 2008.
French utility EDF, that runs all of the country's power reactors declined to comment on the current share.
(Reporting by John Irish, Geert de Clercq, Muriel Boselli, Michel Rose in Paris and Abdoulaye Massalatchi in Niamey; Editing by Myra MacDonald)
Posted by Reg Illingworth at 13:57
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
PRESS and MEDIA RELEASE
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy , a key Non Governmental Organisation in the South Glos area will be represented by Reg Illingworth at the very important seminar detailed below.
Reg says "We want people to realise that the fuel poor in the UK will end up paying extortionate amounts of subsidy to Japanese companies"
"We are concerned about who Hitachi will partner as the operator in this venture at Oldbury? Will they be Chinese, Russian or from the Middle East, we really need to know this for safety locally and for Britains energy policy going forwards"
We will have a new banner in English and Japanese requesting that Hitcaci should not build another Fukushima in England
We will be meeting at around 3pm to allow for photo opportunities with members of our group and others concerned about new nuclear.
If you want to contact us please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Reg on 07979 569063 anytime
An APPCCG and Nuclear Consulting Group Event
UK Energy Bill and New Nuclear
4:30 – 5:30 pm, Committee Room 8,
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
The future of the UK’s energy supply is very much in transition and the long awaited Energy Bill sets out the Government’s strategy, including a role for new nuclear. Will the impact of the Bill shift the economic risk of reactor construction from the nuclear corporations to the consumer? Will the Bill lead to issues of state aid and place the UK in contravention with the EU Electricity Directive? Or will this new market-based approach deliver certainty for energy investors and fairness for consumers?
The by invitation only seminar has cross-party sponsorship: from Alan Whitehead MP (Member, Energy and Climate Change Committee), Simon Hughes MP (Deputy Leader Lib-Dem Party), Dan Byles MP (Member, Energy and Climate Change Committee), Caroline Lucas MP (Member of Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee).
Co-hosted by The All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change (APPCCG) and the Nuclear Consulting Group (NCG), the event will hear expert opinion from:
• Hergen Haye, Head of New Nuclear & Strategy, DECC.
• Prof. Tom Burke CBE, Founding Director of E3G, Centre for Law and Environment, UCL.
• Dr. Nigel Knee, Head of Nuclear Policy, Nuclear New Build, EDF.
• Prof. Steve Thomas, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Greenwich.
Panel Chair: Joan Walley MP (Chair, Environmental Audit Select Committee)
Posted by Reg Illingworth at 11:43
A subsidy for nuclear power and its unintended consequences
Poor people will pay for nuclear white elephants
Gerry Wolff, Energy Fair
It makes no sense to build nuclear power stations that are not needed or to ask poorer people to foot the bill. But those are the likely effects of the Government’s proposal to include nuclear power amongst the technologies that will be eligible for subsidy in the form of a "contract for difference" (CfD).
That kind of subsidy—which provides a long-term guaranteed price for electricity—is a good way to support renewables that are still finding their feet commercially (although some would prefer a simple feed-in tariff). With nuclear power, things are different. It is a mature technology that should not require any subsidy, the Government has said repeatedly that it will not subsidise nuclear power, there are cheaper and faster ways of cutting emissions and ensuring security of energy supplies, and nuclear power is already heavily subsidised. As applied to nuclear power, CfD may be unlawful under EU laws designed to promote fair competition between businesses.
But the nub of the problem to be described is that electricity markets are changing and that nuclear power plants are notoriously slow to build. Given that no decision has yet been made to build any new nuclear plant in the UK, that there is a lead time before any construction can start, and that it can take 7 years or more to build a nuclear plant, it is unlikely that any new nuclear plant could be completed before 2020. A lot can happen between now and then.
Domestic consumers and businesses of all sizes will be empowered to generate much of their own electricity or to buy it from anywhere in Europe.
It is likely, first, that, by 2020, renewables will be much more affordable than they are now. For example, a report by the European Photovoltaics Industry Association shows that, because of rapidly falling prices, photovoltaics (PV) are likely to become a competitive source of electricity in the UK by 2019, without subsidies—not just for householders paying domestic retail prices but also for wholesale generators and large commercial and industrial consumers.
Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Climate Change, has said "There is the potential for solar power to become competitive with fossil fuels without subsidy within the lifetime of this parliament [ie before May 2015]. Solar has gone from being one of the most expensive forms of renewable energy to one of the cheapest."
In sunnier countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece, PV will become competitive earlier, perhaps this year.
Secondly, it is likely that the long-awaited European internal market for electricity will be completed (a development that the Government supports), bottlenecks in transmission will be eased and, more generally, the European transmission grid will be stronger.
These and related developments will transform the electricity market in the UK. Domestic consumers and businesses of all sizes will be empowered to generate much of their own electricity or to buy it from anywhere in Europe. Paradoxically, the CfD subsidy for nuclear power will provide an added incentive for consumers to reduce their dependence on UK nuclear power from UK traditional suppliers, since the subsidy will be paid for via a surcharge to consumers’ bills.
PV has the attraction that it is quick and simple to install, it generates electricity in the daylight hours when demand is high, and there are no worries about rising prices of electricity, or poor service from electricity suppliers. When electricity from PV is as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the grid, there is likely to be an explosive growth in the market, both for domestic consumers and for large commercial and industrial consumers. IKEA, Apple, Google and Facebook are already investing in their own solar generating plants.
With other developments—such as consumers generating their own electricity using combined-heat-and-power (a technology that is already available to both householdersand companies in the UK), ownership of wind farms by community groups and businesses (IKEA already has its own wind farm), the use of highly-efficient LED lighting (which is expected to be widespread by 2015), and the option to buy cheap solar electricity from sunny countries or wind power, geothermal power, or other renewable kinds of power from anywhere in Europe—most consumers can, with advantage, be largely independent of traditional suppliers in the UK. In short, much of the market for nuclear electricity in the UK is likely to disappear.
Much of the market for nuclear electricity in the UK is likely to disappear.
In a rational world, investors would assess these predictable features of the UK market for electricity in the coming years and decide that it would not be sensible to put money into the building of new nuclear plants. But the proposed CfD could lead us into a very expensive, wasteful and unjust alternative scenario.
Given the large up-front costs of nuclear power, any company or consortium that is considering building a new nuclear plant in the UK will need to know, before any investment decision is made, what the guaranteed price (the ‘strike’ price) of their electricity will be, and they will need a contract to ensure that that guaranteed price, with adjustments for inflation, will still be available when the plant is completed, and for many years thereafter.
The Government appears to recognise this requirement, although it seems unlikely that investors will be satisfied with anything short of a legally-binding contract, since the government in 2020 will be different from what it is now. Here, the meaning of “legally-binding" is somewhat qualified since the subsidy may be withdrawn at any time via a ruling by the European Commission or the European Court of Justice, and in that case it is likely that any money that has been paid to nuclear operators via CfD will have to be repaid.
Let us assume that, about 2014, work starts on the building of a nuclear plant on the strength of a contract to deliver electricity from about 2021, at a guaranteed price that reflects market conditions in 2014, and for a period which some say could be as long as 35 years . Then it is likely that the subsidy will be paid at a relatively high rate for many years for large amounts of electricity that no one wants. It has been calculatedthat, for just two new nuclear power stations (at Hinkley Point and Sizewell), the cost of the subsidy would be at least £5 billion/year.
That is not only extremely expensive and wasteful but it is also very unfair because the subsidy will be paid via the bills of the relative handful of consumers that are still receiving most of their electricity from traditional suppliers—and these will be mainly poorer people that cannot afford the up-front cost of generating their own power.
It may be argued that similar things can be said about renewables. The first point here is that, in general, renewables can be built much faster than nuclear power stations. This means that there is much less opportunity for the market to change between when a subsidy is awarded and when the generating plant comes on stream. The second point is that each new contract will normally be for a much smaller generating capacity than a nuclear plant. A succession of relatively small contracts allows the level of subsidy to be progressively adjusted to reflect the market conditions at the time.
It may also be argued that if any new nuclear plant proved to be redundant, it could serve as a backup source of power. But nuclear plants are quite unsuitable for this purpose because they cannot easily be turned on and off. A much cheaper and better way of providing backup supplies of power is to keep some old but still serviceable gas-fired plants in reserve, together with a strategic reserve of biogas or biomethane.
There is now much evidence that renewables can provide abundant, economical, diverse, secure, responsive, and clean supplies of power, and with none of the problems with nuclear power.
There is no justification of any kind for subsidising nuclear power and there is every reason to ensure that nuclear power is not on the list of technologies that would be eligible for support via the CfD. We may thus avoid what would otherwise be the considerable risk of creating nuclear white elephants that would be paid for mainly by consumers that are least able to afford them.
 It is reported that David Simpson, global head of mergers and acquisitions at KPMG, has said that he expects the UK government to offer 35-year contracts for nuclear power plants (see “Questions over funding for nuclear expansion", Professional Engineering, 2011-10-03).
Posted by Reg Illingworth at 11:21