Thursday, June 27, 2013

UK and France: Nuclear power gets £10bn financial guarantee boost

Ministers respond to warnings that UK is on brink of power blackouts with support for French generator EDF to build Hinkley Point nuclear power plant.

The government has responded to warnings that Britain is on the brink of power blackouts by announcing £10bn in financial guarantees to the nuclear power industry – a concession aimed at paving the way for the building of the first new reactor in the country for a generation.

The support for French generator EDF, which is in negotiations to build the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, was announced by the Treasury chief secretary, Danny Alexander, as the centrepiece of a £100bn package of infrastructure investment covering 2015-20, including new roads, schools and affordable homes.
Michael Fallon, the energy minister, insisted the substantial guarantees represented a commercial loan, not a subsidy, saying: "This is big-scale financing, not available in the markets." He added that similar government guarantees had been offered to Drax power station to convert from coal to biomass.

EDF had already prepared the site next to the two existing stations, but would not commit to the project unless the government guaranteed a minimum price for the electricity the new reactor would produce.

The news came as Ofgem, the energy regulator, said the statistical probability of major power shortages in the UK would increase to about once in 12 years in 2015, from once in 47 years now, as a result of closing power plants. About a fifth of Britain's power generation capacity is scheduled to close in the next decade, including all but one nuclear plant.


Layoffs Start at San Onofre, SoCal's Only Nuclear Power Plant

  An unpleasant aspect of shutting down Southern California's only nuclear power plant started Monday, as plant operator Southern California Edison (SCE) laid the groundwork to begin laying off about 600 plant workers.

The 2,200-megawatt plant on the San Diego County coast has been closed down since January 2012 after a leak of radioactive steam at one of the facility's two remaining reactors. SCE announced earlier this month that it would be decommissioning the plant.

SCE made the terminations official Monday by issuing a "workforce reduction notice" targeting 600 non-union positions. Those workers will lose their jobs within 60 days. All told about 500 additional positions will be shed as SCE begins the long decommissioning process at San Onofre, slashing the plant's workforce from 1,500 to a skeleton crew of 400.

Read More....

The President’s Pro-Nuclear Rhetoric vs. His Anti-Nuclear Policies

President Obama released his Climate Action Plan this week, which laid out his vision for reducing climate change.

Regardless of what one thinks about climate change policy, producing more unsubsidized, affordable, clean, reliable, emissions-free power is a laudable goal. That is why, of all the recommendations that the President puts forth, increasing nuclear energy is perhaps the one thing that could actually attract bipartisan support in Washington and broad public support across the country. The problem is that he does nothing to actually move nuclear energy forward in the U.S., and most of his policies actually hold it back.

The biggest problem is his nuclear waste policy—or lack thereof. Though the pre-Obama policy to put nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain as mandated by the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act needed to be amended, it at least was a policy. And that policy gave the nuclear industry and federal regulators some predictability and confidence that eventually something would be done with America’s nuclear waste.
President Obama’s decision to completely ignore the 1982 law and attempt to terminate the Yucca project has led to a complete unwinding of nuclear waste policy. This has thrust an additional layer of uncertainty onto an industry that was just beginning to emerge from a decades-long hiatus driven by cost, regulatory, and safety uncertainty.

Moreover, instead of identifying policy and regulatory obstacles that could be reformed to help nuclear be more competitive, the President is attempting to subsidize nuclear power into success. For example, instead of developing a rational, flexible, and predictable regulatory process that would allow new nuclear technologies to be efficiently introduced into the market, the President introduced a program where government bureaucrats decide what type of nuclear technology would receive taxpayer money to offset development costs. This unfair, anti-competitive approach reduces nuclear power to being little more than the subject of another big-government program whose future is dependent on perpetual taxpayer support. Nuclear can be so much more.

If President Obama really believes that nuclear power is critical to the future of the country, then he needs to leave his current policies behind and do the following:
  • Restart and reform Yucca. The Administration should immediately restart the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of the Yucca Mountain permit. If the commission approves the permit, the permit should be transferred to a Nevada-based entity that can then negotiate directly with the nuclear industry on what, if anything, to do to move the project forward.
  • Institute market-based nuclear waste management reform. The U.S. needs a market-based nuclear energy policy. This begins with a nuclear waste policy that gives utilities and other waste producers the primary responsibility for waste management and a system for financing nuclear waste disposal that allows waste producers to directly pay for nuclear-waste-related services.
  • Develop a rational, flexible, and predictable regulatory regime. The nation needs a regulator that can issue permits for new plants on a predictable basis at a reasonable cost and is capable of regulating multiple types of reactors and other industrial facilities such as used fuel treatment plants................  Read More.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Benefits of Nuclear Power

Nuclear Plants, Old and Uncompetitive, Are Closing Earlier Than Expected” (Business Day, June 15) did not mention key factors regarding the United States nuclear energy industry. 

Regardless of their age, all nuclear energy facilities are required to be maintained in top condition. Since 1990, the nuclear energy industry has invested more than $90 billion in capital expenditures to improve and upgrade facilities. Those improvements have helped yield a 33 percent increase in nuclear-generated electricity production over that period. 

The Energy Information Administration forecasts that electricity demand will increase 28 percent by 2040, the equivalent of 339 new large power plants. Meeting that demand with low-carbon electricity sources requires recognition of nuclear energy’s many attributes. These include round-the-clock production of large amounts of electricity to help stabilize the electric grid; clean-air compliance; forward electricity price stability; fuel and technology diversity; and high-paying jobs at facilities that can withstand extreme natural and man-made events. 

President and Chief Executive
Nuclear Energy Institute
Washington, June 19, 2013

Nuclear Energy Institute Celebrates 60 Years

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Xcel Energy still making big investments in nuclear power

As some U.S. utilities are abandoning old nuclear power plants, Xcel Energy says it’s investing $1.8 billion to extend the life of its 40-year-old Minnesota reactors.

At the company’s Prairie Island nuclear plant in Red Wing, Minn., 1,550 contract workers this fall will replace two massive steam generators — at $280 million, its single most costly improvement project. The plant was completed in 1974 at a cost of $350 million.

The Minneapolis-based utility’s other reactor, in Monticello, Minn., also is getting a $600 million upgrade that aims to keep it running safely and boost its output by nearly 13 percent.


Fighting climate change with nuclear energy

 Nuclear power is currently the only carbon-free energy source that can provide base load electricity, Stepp writes, a characteristic crucial to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change. Next-generation nuclear energy offers even more productive strategies for reducing carbon emissions.

In the last week, two news stories really captured the potential future for nuclear energy. The New York Times Matthew Wald reported from Georgia, where construction crews are slowly building the first two new nuclear reactors in thirty years. And National Geographic’s Will Ferguson reported from Tennessee that engineers and scientists are taking core samples and mapping regional geology as part of the early planning stages of building the first small modular nuclear reactor in the world. Both projects face unique challenges, yet they both represent the beginning of two potential nuclear paths for reducing climate-warming carbon emissions in the United States (and potentially the world).

India: Country’s growth depends on nuclear energy: NPCIL officials

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has given a categorical assurance to people that the proposed Kovvada nuclear project in Srikakulam district will be safest on the lines of other existing projects in India. On the invitation from NPCIL officials, media personnel from Srikakulam district visited Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) which was constructed three decades ago in Kalpakam of Tamil Nadu

During the tour from June 18th to 20th, the officials have shown the plant, safety measures and welfare activities to improve health and educational standards in and around Kalpakam under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). MAPS Station Director T.J. Koteswaran said that the NPCIL has been spending Rs. 25 crore every year in the country for CSR activities. 

According to the Corporation, India has to depend upon nuclear power for its future needs since thermal, hydel and solar powers cannot meet the growing electricity demands of the country. 

The country’s current installed capacity is 2.11 lakh mega watts and it will require 4.25 lakh mega watts of power by end of 2020. Countries like United States, China and France are still heavily depending on nuclear power since it will be cheaper and eco-friendly compared to thermal power projects. 

Giving a power point presentation Kovvada plant Project Director G.V. Ramaesh and MAPS Operations Superintendent M.Venkatachalam said that future nuclear projects will be safest plants with the adoption of advanced technology. 

They said that new plants such as Kovvada project would spur the economic activity on the lines of Kalpakam which had witnessed rapid development in the last two decades. 

Taiwan: President touts safety of nuclear power plants

Taipei, June 25 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou touted the safety of Taiwan's nuclear power plants Tuesday, saying that there are emergency measures to prevent a disaster from happening even if they cause a power plant to be written off.

Taiwan is more concerned about Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster than other countries, Ma told a group of Japanese experts at a forum on the catastrophe resulting from the massive tsumamis and earthquake in March 2011.

After the disaster, Taiwan improved its fortifications against tsunamis at the nearly completed fourth nuclear plant in New Taipei and has in store a tested measure to permanently shut down nuclear reactors in 46 minutes to ensure zero chance of atomic disasters, Ma said at the forum in Taipei.

"We'd rather sacrifice our nuclear plants than experience any nuclear disasters," he said.

The president highlighted the merits of the fourth nuclear plant, the reactors of which will be cooled by electrical pumps and non-electrical water systems.


French Support for Nuclear Power Rises Ahead of Law, Poll Shows

French public support for nuclear power is rising ahead of recommendations on a new energy policy law for the country, as fears about its dangers fade.

Some 36 percent of people surveyed said they favored France’s use of nuclear power with only 14 percent saying they opposed it, an Ifop poll released today for the newspaper Ouest France showed. That compares with 32 percent in favor of nuclear power and 20 percent opposed in July 2011.

Concerns about nuclear power rose in France after a March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami crippled Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant, causing three reactor core meltdowns, forcing about 160,000 people to evacuate and leaving about 132 square kilometers as a no-go zone.

French President Francois Hollande has pledged to cut the country’s reliance on nuclear power. Electricite de France SA’s 58 atomic reactors currently provide more than three-quarters of electricity, a proportion Hollande vowed to reduce to 50 percent by around 2025.


Friday, June 7, 2013

California: Edison Plans to Permanently Close San Onofre Nuclear Plant

Edison International (EIX) plans to permanently close its San Onofre nuclear plant in California, shut since January 2012 by a leak of radioactive water, because regulators may take too long to decide whether it can restart.

Southern California Edison, the utility unit that owns and operates the two reactors, will record after-tax costs of $300 million to $425 million this quarter as a result of shutting the reactor, Rosemead, California-based Edison said today in a statement.

Four commercial nuclear-power units have been permanently closed in the U.S. this year, the highest ever annual total, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data. A glut of shale-fed natural gas and government-subsidized wind has upended power market dynamics and squeezed margins, making costly repairs uneconomical for some nuclear operators.

“The continuing uncertainty about when or if SONGS might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison Ted Craver said in the statement.

The decision to shut the reactor came after the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ordered a hearing on the company’s plan to restart the least-damaged reactor at 70 percent of full power. A regulatory decision may be a year away, Edison said in today’s statement. Time and money are better spent on plants or power lines to replace San Onofre’s output, the company said.

Both reactors at the San Onofre plant, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Long Beach were shut by the radioactive leak and discovery of unusual wear on tubes that transfer reactor heat to power-generating turbines. The plant had the capacity to generate 2,200 megawatts, enough to power 1.76 million average homes.

The announcement was made before regular trading began in New York. Edison rose 1.3 percent to $46.36 ... Read More...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

General presentation of the EPR: a generation III reactor model

Plans For New Nuclear Reactors Worldwide

(Updated March 2013)
  • Nuclear power capacity worldwide is increasing steadily, with over 60 reactors under construction in 13 countries.
  • Most reactors on order or planned are in the Asian region, though there are major plans for new units in the USA and Russia.
  • Significant further capacity is being created by plant upgrading.
  • Plant life extension programs are maintaining capacity, in USA particularly.
Today there are some 435 nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries plus Taiwan, with a combined capacity of over 370 GWe. In 2011 these provided 2518 billion kWh, about 13.5% of the world's electricity.

Over 60 power reactors are currently being constructed in 13 countries plus Taiwan (see Table below), notably China, South Korea and Russia.

Each year, the OECD's International Energy Agency (IEA) sets out the present situation and also reference and other, particularly carbon reduction scenarios. Following the Fukushima accident, the World Energy Outlook 2011 New Policies scenario has a 60% increase in nuclear capacity to 2035, compared with about 90% the year before. "Although the prospects for nuclear power in the New Policies Scenario are weaker in some regions than in [WEO 2010] projections, nuclear power continues to play an important role, providing base-load electricity. Most non-OECD countries and many OECD countries are expected to press ahead with plans to install additional nuclear power plants, though there may be short-term delays as the safety standards of existing and new plants are reviewed. Globally, nuclear power capacity is projected to rise in the New Policies Scenario from 393 GW in 2009 to 630 GW in 2035." In this scenario the IEA expects the share of coal in total electricity to drop from 41% now to 33% in 2035. Electricity generation increases from 20 to 36 trillion kWh.

It is noteworthy that in the 1980s, 218 power reactors started up, an average of one every 17 days. These included 47 in USA, 42 in France and 18 in Japan. These were fairly large - average power was 923.5 MWe. So it is not hard to imagine a similar number being commissioned in a decade after about 2015. But with China and India getting up to speed in nuclear energy and a world energy demand double the 1980 level in 2015, a realistic estimate of what is possible (but not planned at this stage) might be the equivalent of one 1000 MWe unit worldwide every 5 days.


‘Knowledge’ about dangers of nuclear power not based on proper science

"There is no such thing as a ‘pro-nuclear environmentalist’,” says the US-based lobby group Beyond Nuclear. “Environmentalists don’t support extractive, non-sustainable industries like nuclear energy, which poisons the environment, releases cancer-causing radioactive elements and creates radioactive waste deadly for thousands of years.”

This was in response to a new documentary film, Pandora’s Promise, which charts the almost Pauline conversion of five well-known environmentalists from bitterly opposing to strongly advocating nuclear power. 

What’s most likely to get us into trouble, Mark Twain observed, is not what we don’t know “it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so”. There are few subjects on which so many people, from politicians to rock stars, NGOs and environmentalists, passionately and confidently espouse views that are so completely at variance with observed reality as nuclear energy.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What You Know About The Risk Of Nuclear Power Is Probably Wrong

During the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which is a couple hundred miles from where he and his family live, Paul Bluestein stayed in his home while thousands of others fled the Tokyo area and many foreigners left Japan for good.  Radiation was about to create a Godzilla and he always goes for Tokyo. If you believe fear and doubt promoted with junk science.

Not only did they not flee, they still buy as much of their fruits and vegetables as possible from Fukushima Prefecture.

He knew what most people in science knew. Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing over radiation levels that were less than background radiation makes sense in a 'better safe than sorry' way, but the anti-science public relations campaign against nuclear power is more myth than data. Guarapari Beach in Brazil has background radiation way above permitted levels in terms of what the public can be exposed to but it’s coming out of the soil. It's all natural.  People cover themselves in that sand because they claim it cures pain.


AREVA technology adopted to improve nuclear power safety in Japan

Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd. (Hitachi-GE) and AREVA have reached an agreement aimed at improving the safety of nuclear power plants through the delivery of filtered containment  venting  systems  (FCVS).  The two companies intend to work together, including the adoption by Hitachi-GE of AREVA technology for the design, fabrication, and installation of these components. They will be used for the boiling water reactors (BWR) in Japan.

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Hitachi-GE has stepped up its efforts to improve the safety of nuclear power plants, and AREVA has already installed FCVS in more than 50 plants worldwide. Hitachi GE has been working with AREVA to study the functions and performance of FCVS suitable for installation at BWR nuclear power plants in Japan.

This partnership combines AREVA’s technology, experience, and know-how in FCVS with Hitachi-GE’s extensive technology, experience, and know-how about BWR nuclear power plants in Japan to adapt FCVS and achieve early delivery for these plants.

FCVS, a solution for enhancing the safety of nuclear power plants, plays an important role in preventing damage to primary containment vessel (PCV) due to pressure rises in situations where severe damage has occurred to the reactor, such as following an event that goes far beyond the design basis event criteria. FCVS is also a filtering system for removing the radioactive material throughout different high efficient filter stages.


PPL Restarts Unit 2 at Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant

Unit 2 at PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant resumed generating electricity for the regional electric grid on Wednesday (6/5) following a successful refueling and maintenance outage that included extensive inspections and plant improvements.

"The major investments we made and continue to make during refueling outages reflect our long-term commitment to the safe and reliable operation of the plant," said Timothy S. Rausch, senior vice president and Chief Nuclear Officer for PPL Susquehanna.

"There is a tremendous amount of work that takes place during a refueling and maintenance outage," Rausch said. "Planning begins at least a year in advance, and the outage itself transforms the site and offers a significant boost to the local economy."

PPL employees and more than 1,000 supplemental workers replaced about 40 percent of the Unit 2 reactor fuel during the outage. They performed extensive inspections and testing of plant equipment, systems and technology. They inspected and replaced several pieces of the unit's turbine assembly, making improvements that address turbine blade issues that have affected the plant in recent years. 

Japan: Abenomics Needs Cheap Nuclear Power to Work

Everybody knows that Japan has an energy crisis. We also know that the yen has greatly depreciated, by some 20 percent in just a few weeks. It’s time to put these two facts together.

“Abenomics,” the shorthand for the aggressive economic strategies being pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is the hot thing in Asia. What wonders will the weak yen work for Japan’s export machine? Is a recovery just around the corner? Despite its volatility, Japan’s stock market says so, and foreign investors, in particular, like the prospects.

Yet what makes exports more competitive also makes imports more expensive. After the March 11, 2011, Fukushima disaster, Japan turned off its nuclear-power plants and stepped up imports of energy. Looking just at the four biggest categories (oil, liquefied natural gas, coal and liquefied propane gas), the monthly value of Japan’s energy imports jumped from 1.4 trillion yen (before March 2010) to 2.2 trillion in March 2013. In March, that was about $17 billion; now add 20 percent in exchange-rate shifts to get $22 billion per month. Energy imports constitute about one-third of total imports, and since Fukushima, imports have grown to account for 17 percent of gross domestic product, up from 12 percent.

No wonder Japan is running a trade deficit. Yet the export machine can’t fix the economy if energy imports keep rising.

Nuclear Dependence

If all of Japan’s nuclear-power plants were running at full capacity, they would provide about 30 percent of electricity, and 11 percent of total energy consumption. With the current shutdowns, nuclear contributes only 2 percent of electricity, with oil and gas filling the gap.

Setting aside the question of greenhouse gases and global warming, the economic question is: Who will pay for the growing costs of energy imports? Industry, which consumes about 36 percent of energy, is supposed to lead the recovery, and some of Japan’s export leaders are energy guzzlers. If energy costs rise, the companies that produce the bulk of Japan’s world-class products will either lose out or -- to prevent this from happening -- move production elsewhere. Either outcome would surely halt Japan’s domestic recovery.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Nuclear Energy: Truth vs Fear

As I was thinking about what to write this month, I was invited by my dry cleaner to attend a protest in a nearby park against genetically modified food. This somewhat infuriated me as I know without doubt that GMO has helped millions around the world and had never killed anyone (although denial of these foods has), yet, as with nuclear power, opposition remains strong, especially in Europe.

My dry cleaner argued trying to tell me that 500,000 were killed in India due to GMO and, as you can imagine, there was no winning the argument.  Mark Lynas, who I have quoted in previous posts has recently taken a hard stand against those who oppose GMO.  Mark makes his position clear in his talk at Cornell University this past April where he opens with the following: “I think the controversy over GMOs represents one of the greatest science communications failures of the past half-century. Millions, possibly billions, of people have come to believe what is essentially a conspiracy theory, generating fear and misunderstanding about a whole class of technologies on an unprecedentedly global scale.
It is no mistake that environmentalists like Mark have also changed their views on nuclear power and are now vigorously supporting it.  The simple reason is that Mark and others like Stewart Brand and George Monbiot, are taking positions that are founded in science rather than a set of beliefs that may feel right, but cannot be supported by scientific evidence.

Scientific evidence continues to increase its support while disproving widely held beliefs of many who oppose it.

For example, this past week (on May 23), a new study was reported on by the Canadian regulator (CNSC) looking at cancer rates near Canadian nuclear plants.  Not surprisingly, once again the results were clear.  No indication of any increases in cancer near nuclear stations relative to the rest of the province.  “The most important finding of this study is no evidence of childhood leukemia clusters in the communities within 25 km of the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce NPPs.”

Next I return to the study I wrote about last month published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology by Pushker A. Kharecha and James E. Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University Earth Institute.  They found that nuclear power has saved an estimated 80,000 lives annually – 1.84 million in all – since widely introduced in the 1970s and could save another 5 million if construction continues at a decent pace due to a reduction in air pollution.  Nuclear power has also reduced carbon emissions by 64 Gt over the same period.

And finally UNSCEAR has now released the results of its latest study on the Fukushima accident.  It clearly concluded “Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers“.  But of even more importance this study also concluded that there are health effects from the Fukushima accident stemming from the stresses of evacuation and unwarranted fear of radiation.

So what does all this tell us?  Looking at these three studies we can confirm that:

i) operating nuclear power plants do not cause cancer to the residents of nearby communities from normal operations;
ii) over the past 40 years nuclear power has in fact saved almost 2 million lives through a real reduction in pollution by not burning fossil fuels and its resultant health impacts; and finally
iii) that after the biggest nuclear accident in the last 25 years, radiation has not harmed any of the people of Japan and is unlikely to do so in the future.

Considering these kinds of results, why aren’t we seeing this reported in the main stream media?  With this kind of story there should be universal praise of nuclear power and strong support for its expansion.   Frankly, if it were any technology other than nuclear that was reported to have saved millions of lives we likely would have seen it in the headlines at CNN, BBC  and other mainstream media.  So why are we primarily seeing these nuclear studies reported in trade magazines and blogs?  Why is the world not blown away by this fantastic evidence of the benefits to our lives of nuclear power?  As I was pondering these developments I came upon a chapter title in the book I am currently reading by Ben Goldacre called “Bad Science” (Good book by the way).  The chapter title is “Why Clever People Believe Stupid Things”.  The chapter then goes on to discuss many of the things we have discussed in this blog before such as confirmation bias, seeing patterns where there are none and a host of other standard reasons why people tend stick to their beliefs in light of strong evidence that they should consider alternatives.


Fukushima Disaster Has Not Caused Any Radiation Deaths, Could Be Argument For More Nuclear Power

No one has died yet as a result of radiation exposure from the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, according to a new UN report.

So far, it's not even clear if anyone has gotten sick, although other studies have shown evidence some still could.

"Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects," the report, released Friday, says. "It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers."

Between 15,000 and 20,000 people were killed by the earthquake and tsunami that caused nuclear cores in multiple reactors to overheat, causing the release of radioactive fallout.

UK - Is nuclear our energy hope?

IT’S not just the way forward for Cumbria, but for the country, because fossil fuels are running out, writes Councillor Brian Crawford, a former physics teacher.

We are importing vast amounts of gas, particularly for use in gas fired power stations. But we face a shortfall as many of the old gas, oil and coal power stations are coming to the end of their service and are being shut down.

The UK once had 20 nuclear power stations. 11 of these are now closed or in the act of closing; five more will close by 2014, one will close in 2018, two in 2023 and the last one in 2035.

It is wholly sensible to go nuclear as the main energy supply. Our energy demands are increasing rapidly, year on year, but our non-renewable energy sources are rapidly decreasing.

Electricity from wind power and nuclear power as proposed, and if constructed by 2020 will produce about 30 – 40 per cent of the requirements of the UK. This needs to be made up to 100 per cent by coal and gas fired power stations.

At present, there are 18 coal fired power stations in the UK producing about 28.5GWatts of electricity or about 25 per cent of our requirement. All these were constructed in the late 1960s or early 1970s and are coming to the end of their productive life and will probably be decommissioning within the next five to 10 years or so, losing about 25 per cent of the UK’s present electricity production by 2020.

At present there are about 52 gas, oil or gas/oil fired power stations in the UK producing about 50 per cent or about 60GWatts of our electricity requirement. Of these, about 30 were constructed in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and are coming to the end of their productive life and will probably be decommissioned within the next five to 10 years or so, losing about 25 per cent of the UK’s present electricity production by 2020.
The government are planning about eight nuclear power stations across the country, but for me that is not enough.

We have got to find the right sites for them. They have to be on the coast as they require massive amounts of cooling water from the sea, but they will provide power for 60 years.


EU Energy Commissioner: Nuclear Essential to Meeting Continent's Climate Goals

The head of energy policy for the European Union said recently that the continent will not be able to reach its climate goals without nuclear energy.

At a nuclear power conference in Prague, EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger said reactors belong in Europe's energy mix. He added that goals to reduce carbon emissions cannot be achieved without them, although each EU member country has the right to choose its own power sources, Dow Jones reported.