Archive for the ‘Nuclear power’ Category

If you thought shutting down the railways for Monday morning commute was a poor show, now we find that two of the reactors at Dungemess have been taken offline due to the rainy and windy weather too. This from the Telegraph:

nuke-powerA nuclear power station automatically shut down its reactors after debris blown by hurricane-strength winds fell onto its power lines and led to a loss of supply.

It could be up to a week before the two units at Dungeness B plant in Kent – one of Britain’s nine nuclear power stations – are up and running again.

But a spokeswoman for EDF Energy, which runs the site, said she hoped energy would be restored much sooner and that the public should “absolutely not” be concerned by the shut-down.


Excerpt from a good article on Scriptonite Daily. Read the whole thing, it has a wide perspective.

C40Stupid, Corrupt, or Both

It was announced this week that the government as agreed a strike price for energy produced by EDF Energy’s planned new nuclear power plants.  The strike price is the price the government guarantees EDF will receive per MegaWatt/Hour of energy produced.  The current market rate is£47.50.  The government has promised EDF £92.80.  Yes, you read that correctly – the UK government has guaranteed EDF Energy twice the market rate.

As with Fracking, the government is using recent energy price hikes by the Big 6 energy firms as a case in favour of New Nuclear – implying or explicitly stating that prices will come down.  However, in agreeing this strike price the government has guaranteed that they will not.  They have fixed the price for energy produced by New Nuclear at twice the market rate.

Another bad deal for the taxpayer and the consumer, brokered by a government that consistently delivers for big business.


NowindFrom the Telegraph:

Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has commissioned a consultancy to investigate whether renewable technologies – including wind turbines – lower house prices in the countryside.

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry, said:

“Wind farms definitely affect house prices and it is highly likely that this report will come to that conclusion…I would expect there to be billions of pounds of planning blight because of wind turbines close to properties…. It’s almost like elements of DECC are acting like a mafia … now you’ve got DECC trying to stick its dirty great footprints all over another department’s work. While this is unsurprising, it will all unravel in the end and I’m sure the evidence will come out soon that proves a number of these points correct.”

He said that one of his constituents had seen the value of their £700,000 property fall by £250,000 because of approved plans for a wind turbine.




Achnacarry Castle, Lochaber, Scotland Clan Cameron 1802

“Three men had an appointment at Achnacarry Castle – a Dutchman, an American and an Englishman.” — Aljazeera

In 1928 Achnacarry served as the meeting place for global petroleum producers in an effort to set production quotas. A document known as the Achnacarry Agreement or “As-Is” Agreement was signed on 17 September 1928.[4]

4. Bamberg, J.H. (1994), The History of the British Petroleum Company, Volume 2: The Anglo-Iranian Years, 1928–1954, Cambridge University Press, pp. 528–34 The 18 August 1928 draft of the Achnacarry Agreement.

– wikipedia


earth cross section

I think there are probably quite a lot of ramifications to this news for climateers to consider which I’m too tired to think of. Over to the talkshop massive:

The core of the Earth is nearly 1,000 degrees hotter than previously thought, making it as fiery as the surface of the sun.

Following new experiments, scientists have established that the core temperature is 6,000 C, much higher than the previous estimate of 5,000.

Using X-rays to probe into the behaviour of iron crystals, putting samples of iron under extreme pressure, researchers were able to examine how iron crystals melt and form.

The new tests, using one of the world’s most intense sources of X-rays located at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the research team were able to re-create the same pressure at the core.

Here is much better copy, the original press release PDF here



This article on Spiegel Online is surprising for a German publisher.

Seems to be claiming German is in fiscal trouble and is dumping some holy cows.

“Berlin can’t afford many of its renewable energy programs.”

Then goes on “As prices for carbon emissions continue to languish, Berlin is planning to cancel some key subsidy programs aimed at increasing reliance on renewable energies. Germany and other European countries seem uninterested in fixing the problem.” (my bold)

h/t to Little Churchill at Roger Helmer’s blog


That’ll please the no dash for gas protestors then…
HT to Roger Harrabin for this tweet:


A new  nuclear plant will be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset after Energy Secretary Ed Davey granted planning permission.

The development of Hinkley Point C by French energy company EDF is a boost for the nuclear industry following a series of setbacks in plans to construct a new fleet of reactors in the UK, which ministers say are needed to cut carbon and keep the lights on.


Hat tip to Paul Vaughan [and A C Osborn on comments], who spotted this interesting new article at NASA’s website:

March 8, 2013: Using data from an aging NASA spacecraft, researchers have found signs of an energy source in the solar wind that has caught the attention of fusion researchers. NASA will be able to test the theory later this decade when it sends a new probe into the sun for a closer look.

The discovery was made by a group of astronomers trying to solve a decades-old mystery: What heats and accelerates the solar wind?


The solar wind is a hot and fast flow of magnetized gas that streams away from the sun’s upper atmosphere.  It is made of hydrogen and helium ions with a sprinkling of heavier elements.  Researchers liken it to the steam from a pot of water boiling on a stove; the sun is literally boiling itself away.

“But,” says Adam Szabo of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, “solar wind does something that steam in your kitchen never does.  As steam rises from a pot, it slows and cools.  As solar wind leaves the sun, it accelerates, tripling in speed as it passes through the corona. Furthermore, something inside the solar wind continues to add heat even as it blows into the cold of space.”

Finding that “something” has been a goal of researchers for decades.  In the 1970s and 80s, observations by two German/US Helios spacecraft set the stage for early theories, which usually included some mixture of plasma instabilities, magnetohydrodynamic waves, and turbulent heating.  Narrowing down the possibilities was a challenge. The answer, it turns out, has been hiding in a dataset from one of NASA’s oldest active spacecraft, a solar probe named Wind.



NFZ in the US, photo credit takomabibelot
click image for details

A few years ago massive Greenland gained some autonomy from it’s tiny owning state Denmark, shortly after that prospecting for Uranium was allowed. Now the problems moves on to allowing exploitation of the world’s (maybe) fifth largest reserve of uranium.

But the Danes are petty, declare what they don’t have is not allowed, so there.

Psst… look… want some?

“Government leaning toward allowing uranium mining in Greenland”

The Copenhagen Post have another take


Cracks are appearing in the the Coalition UK government over energy policy. Energy minister Lib-Dem Ed Davey is furious over statements made to the Daily Mail by junior minister John Hayes concerning wind farms:

A furious coalition row erupted today after a junior Tory minister declared that the relentless march of onshore wind farms is at an end.

Insisting ‘enough is enough’, energy minister John Hayes said turbines had been ‘peppered around the country’ with little or no regard for local opinion.

He said existing sites and those in the pipeline would be enough to meet green commitments with no need for more.

‘Even if a minority of what’s in the system is built we are going to reach our 2020 target,’ he said. ‘I’m saying enough is enough.’

But at an early-morning showdown with his boss – Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey – Mr Hayes was told he does not decide government policy.