Friday, 17 December 2010

One step closer to Wylfa B?

The Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, yesterday announced a number of proposals designed to make energy companies -- such as Horizon Nuclear Power, the joint venture behind Wylfa B -- more confident in investing in low-carbon energy ventures.

The proposals (in plain English) are four fold:

  • First, there will be a new and higher minimum price for carbon emissions from power generation (i.e. a 'carbon floor').
  • Second, those who invest in nuclear plants, wind farms and other forms of low-carbon energy will be guaranteed a price that yields them a profit.
  • Third, there will be additional payments to those who create reserve capacity in the energy system, to cope with surges in demand or unexpected cuts in supply.
  • Finally, there will be prohibitions on the construction of dirty power stations (notably coal).

These proposals have been welcomed by the French nuclear firm EDF, who I believe have been lobbying for a 'carbon floor' for some time. EDF have plans together with Centrica to build four new nuclear power plants in the UK. Hopefully Horizon will also react positively to these changes bringing Wylfa B yet one step closer.

51 comments:

The Red Flag said...

Surely this is subsidy in a 'creative' way. Will the EU not object?

Anonymous said...

So what if they do? Should it not go ahead just because they might?

Anonymous said...

It will almost certainly have to be cleared by them first anyway. Apart from which there is still the problem of Frau Merkel's carbon rod tax.

the outsider said...

I didn't see Albert in the House for this announcement yesterday. Nor did I spot him a couple of weeks ago when energy was subject of debate. Any idea where he was?

The Red Flag said...

He was up here doing constituency surgery yesterday. I also have him tagged on theyworkforyou and he has actually been quite active this month speaking on Daylight Saving, Student fees, Wind Power, Wales Referendum, and the reorganisation of Courts.

Anonymous said...

Did he go to the opening of the new job centre in Llangefni...

Anonymous said...

In reality its cheaper to pay the Brazil and Indonesian people not to cut trees.....than billions to build a power station.

On the other hand we could cover the set aside land in trees in Anglesey which would make a pinprick difference....

We could also go wind and sun and not rely on nuclear so its cleaner, safer and less technically challenging.

there again, we need to secure a "base" power supply so that the open heart surgery at Ysbytu Gwynedd is not affected by a power outage...

About time nuclear Wylfa B and C came along....no thanks to Albert or especially the fince sitting IWJ.

Anonymous said...

or especially the fince sitting IWJ.

Got nothing to do with IWJ - he is merely a spectator in the realms of nuclear power and is no more or less important than a homeless drunk in Holyhead. It has nothing to do with any devolved assembly in the UK. Nuclear power is still classed as 'strategic' and all decisions are made in London.

The Red Flag said...

Did he go to the opening of the new job centre in Llangefni...

Couldn't tell you. But wouldn't that be more of a WAG thing so it would be IWJ that would be in attendance?

Photon said...

Subsidy! Boo. Hiss. Another reason never to vote Lib. Dem. ever again!

Prometheuswritesangrily said...

I fear the death of body politic, or at least any faith in the integrity of the political system.

Clegg and the Libdems have roundly broken their promises and now Cameron firmly plants his feet in Cleggs footsteps reversing pre-election promises about FE (further education) allowances that will affect the poorest students at the same time as they roll back on tax avoidance and a clamp-down on excessive bonuses of the (very) high earners.

Don't bemoan the shortcomings of our youth, when those elected representatives who should demonstrate the most integrity turn to liars before our eyes; what examples do they set for us?

What was all that guff before the election of the people having the right to call to account (at any time) through the ballot box those MP's failing in their compliances.

Personally, when I weigh up the cost of fiddled expenses against the damage already caused and yet to come from civil unrest, I'd favour the recall and new by-elections for those MP's who have broken their electioneering promises, as the lesser financial evil.

I can just see those who have threatened others with violence who when taken to court, point at the house of Westminster and say, "I didn't mean anything by it when I promised I'd 'kill him', your honour, after all it was only a promise"

Words have meaning and carry power, when the meaning is bankrupted so is the power of the word.

Puck said...

Very useful ... ho hum.

http://www.anglesey.gov.uk/upload/public/attachments/141/Gritters_ALLROUTES1110web.pdf

From the council web-site - but what does it all mean?

The Red Flag said...

This coming week part of the Lisbon Treaties will be altered. Now I seem to recall promises of a referendum if that ever happened.

Photon said...

"From the council web-site - but what does it all mean?"

Only the Council could make a simple PDF page 4.11Mb in size. What it means is, erm, several of those routes haven't been gritted today - with lovely shiny ice forming on most of them.

Maybe we can funnel waste heat under all roads from Wylfa B?

Puck said...

Photon: "Only the Council could make a simple PDF page 4.11Mb in size." - So that's why it took so long to download.

I was trying to understand what it all means as there is no key.
I was assuming that these were the routes that were being cleared/gritted, but obviously not going by your post.

Does the Council have a snowplough?

Puck said...

.... And is it drawn by Oxen?

Anonymous said...

We need more and more electricity, the greed and demand is unsustainable in this Country, the reality is we should have built Wylfa B years ago, now it's a race to build them before our electrical supply to meet our ever growing demand is imported from France and the rest of Europe.

Better to build now than never, but we should have built years ago, then we would have 2 nuclear power plants, and maybe, just maybe we would have been able to keep Anglesey Aluminium.

kp said...

Idiotic!

Who wanted to keep Rio Tinto alive? An absolute blot on the landscape, should never have been allowed from day one!

And no we do not need to have another Wylva, we can quite happily buy electricity for a fraction of the price from overseas.

Please man, get real (and think of your kids ......)!

the outsider said...

Angry Promo. re "words have meaning and carry power, when the meaning is bankrupted so is the power of the word"

Please remember "no more boom and bust" Mr Prudence, he did more than anyone to get us where we are.

He of greatness, a "brilliant" economist, who even so recently as a few days ago, in a tv interview, said that he knew the banks needed better international regulation as far back as 1998, yet he borrowed more and more on our behalf and encouraged us all to spend, spend, spend and borrow, borrow, borrow!

Just to cheer you up I suggest you read 'the truth about Sovereign Defaults and Bank Capitol, written by a London banker - www.roubini.com/financemarkets-monitor/260157/the truth about sovereign defaults and bank capital?

This banker explains that the regulators who put together the international rules for banks in Basle 1 & 11 assumed that the debt of any government is 100% risk free, and therefore as it will always be repaid, the banks can leverage this to, effectively, just about the biggest multiple conceivable.

Having read that and knowing also how much importance the BoE, in its latest Financial Stability Report attaches to the upcoming Basle 111 regulations, (which in any case won't be in place till 2019ish), You will surely agree with me that the lunatics really are running the asylum.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of my kids, everything they have now is electrical, phones, laptops, ipods, you name it, you've got to charge it, the days of candles and paraffin lamps belong in the past, get real this is 21st century Wales we live in........

Anonymous said...

Evolution my friends....embrace it

The Red Flag said...

@the outsider said...

Like the link to Roubini. He writes some really interesting well explained stuff.

As for You will surely agree with me that the lunatics really are running the asylum Yep. Look at Ireland - there's no way they will be able to service all the debts and underwritings and judging by the number od senior TDs from the government that won't be seeking re-election so do they. Certainlky the markets have no faith in either Ireland or the bail out ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/8210527/EU-shocked-by-Irish-debt-downgrade.html )

And our banks are giving upo hope of getting money back from Ireland as well ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8210460/Lloyds-writes-off-half-of-Irish-loans.html ).

The movemnts of the markets will be interesting over the next 12 moonths as will the political situation in Germany.

PromoW said...

Outsider:
Don't get me wrong. I have no sympathies or lost love for Gordy or the 'New' Labour project. (See my post on the previous thread).

I will however take the Private- Eye/South Park amendment: That anyone who abuses power or corrupts good sense and governance is a fair target - so (unfortunately) by default nowadays that includes most political parties, (and many L.A.'s)

"I may not agree with what you say but I'll defend with my life your right to say it" - and then I'll take the piss out of it - (not really).

the outsider said...

Promo - I'm glad you will defend free speech, see my blog on yesterdays thread.

County Councillor Barrie Durkin said...

Although there is much verbal support for getting rid of the IoACC, Alliances "Terms Of Engagement" in its present abusive, Witch Hunter General mentality form, there is no sign of it actually happening and as it is the season of goodwill to all men, I felt it incumbent to send my Christmas Greetings starting with my loyal friends within Plaid Cymru.The Party of Wales.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Cllr Barrie Durkin

From: "Barrie"
To:
Subject: IOACC, Alliances "Terms of Engagenment"
Date: 19 December 2010 14:29

Dear Plaid Cymru.

Anglesey County Council's Alliances' Terms of Engagement", now widely known as, Cllr Clive McGregor's "Terms of Hate", signed and supported by Cllr Bob Parry OBE on behalf of Plaid Cymru and his Group, is a shocking indictment of the way the IoACC is still being run and the type of people running it.

Not only are the "Terms" an affront to democracy, but they also breach the European Convention of Human Rights which the Local Authority are bound by law to uphold.

I cannot believe such a political party as Plaid Cymru, let alone any of its elected members would ever consider being party to such a draconian document and I am very disappointed that Cllr Bob Parry OBE, has taken, not only his Group, but the whole of the Plaid Cymru Party down this very dangerous route amounting to totalitaritisum.

The time has come after much patience and the break down of my well being, that unless Plaid Cymru ensure that their party members on the IoACC remove their support from the Alliances "Terms of Engagement" in their present form publicly, I shall have no option but to take what ever action necessary, not only against Plaid Cymru as a Political Party but against those party members involved.

I sincerely hope not to find this necessary, that common sense, decency and the good name of Plaid Cymru prevails. Particularly as we are approaching the Welsh Assembly Elections and all that, that entails.

Your Sincerely
County Councillor
Barrie Durkin.

The Red Flag said...

Nice one Councillor. They'll call your bluff of course but you seem smart enough to me not to have gone down this route without making sure you had the necessary covering fire.

Just in case, the best litigation specialists in the North West are Pannone in Manchester and this - if it is indeed a breach of the Convention - is right up their street.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"Particularly as we are approaching the Welsh Assembly Elections".

If I were Plaid Cymru's Political Campaign Managers for the forthcoming Welsh Assemble Elections especially on Ynys Mon, were we will see Iuen Wyn Jones trying to get re-elected, I would not want to stir the wroth of Cllr Durkin any further.

The Terms of Engagement are there for all to see. They are a disgrace to the human race and setting aside litigation, if Plaid don't do the right thing, their Political integrity particularly on Ynys Mon will be well and truly at rock bottom come election time.

Anonymous said...

Heard the Druid voice on the radio! Unfortunately, was still half asleep so have no idea what you were talking about except that it was about blogs.
Someone on Facebook was asking, in the light of the Britannia being closed, what would happen in the event of an accident at Wylfa (or any other calamity), if one of the bridges was closed. An Anglesey resident pointed out that, even with both bridges open, an evacuation programme would be rather unrealistic, but it gave me pause for thought - is there any plan for evacuation, for at least the area closest to Wylfa, in the event of a not completely calamitous accident?

Anonymous said...

If Plaid don't divorce themselves from McGregor's terms of hate. I cannot see how Plaid can expect to survive the next Assemble elections. Their good for nothing as it is.

The Red Flag said...

Didn't one or two of Plaid's councillors show a bit of spine and refuse to sign? Or did they buckle to the whip in the end?

The Red Flag said...

Interesting energy article:-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8211944/Chris-Huhne-has-a-blueprint-for-a-green-cold-dark-Britain.html

Anonymous said...

Ieun Wyn Jones AM/ has got an up hill battle to get re-elected as it is without this Terms Of Engagement Fiasco round his neck. He could however by ensuring his Members on the County Council, withdraw their support, redeem his position and maybe gain even more support for him self. But then again, may be its to late already.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
the outsider said...

Anon @23.12 on 19th.
your point is well made, I made an oblique reference to safety myself on another thread on this site.
Although the announcement last week was about fixing a minimum price for (almost)carbon free power generation. The gritty problem of long term and short term safety has yet to be dealt with. And one has to ask what incentives, and adequate regulations, there are for these issues to be properly dealt especially as the companies building and running these plants are either foreign owned or large multi-nationals.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the plans re safety in the event of Brittania being shut will be the same as those made for before the Brittania road crossing was even built?

Anonymous said...

Will it be easier or harder now to get a lot of people from the north to the south along the 'new' dual carriageway than along the old A55?

Anonymous said...

Re Evacuation of Anglesey in the event of a "problem" at Wylfa, the safest distance to reach within 60 minutes is approx 60 miles away the best place would be towards the mountains, forget the coast road, and if that is impossible then, get under the stairs, best place, you'll need a contingency plan, the Administration will be flown out from Valley or go to their shelter, ooops secret. The rest of us will have to survive.

The Red Flag said...

One would assume that the A55 and the A55 would be restricted to only traffic exiting the island in the event of a serious problem - that would mean six lanes of traffic going off.

Given that the prevailing wind is south-westerly the safest place would be head for the Llyn PPeninsula and the west coast. The main problems are really time. By the time they know something has turned catastrophic, had a think, got hold of the PM and decisded to run for the hills it would probably be too late and if the wind is blowing the way it normally blows any fall out cloud will be well on its way along the North Wales Coast and possibly havealready reached Chester/Liverpool/Manchester before any decisions are made. Chernobyl conatiminted to lethal levels 180km downwind.

Anonymous said...

"..possibly havealready reached Chester/Liverpool/Manchester .."

Well, every cloud has a silver lining. Shame about Chester though. Well, at least the shopping area. Blacon wont be missed.

The Red Flag said...

Blacon wont be missed.

I lived in Blacon for about 4 years when my parents split.

Definately a place of 'character'.

Anonymous said...

Best thing to do is keep calm and carry on....blogging.

Photon said...

An interesting tangent on the important topic.

In the naval dockyards dealing with nuclear reactors, they issue the locals with iodine tablets to mitigate the effects of radiation should the worse happen.

I've lived here for nearly 50 years, and have never seen any information leaflets handed out by the Council, any website or other information that prepares people for the unthinkable. We have a Council emergencies department (or did!), so why is everything kept under wraps?

Groundhog Day said...

In the event of a catastrophic event at Wylfa the best advice would be to put your head between your legs and kiss your arse goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Come on boys and girls you sound like a bunch of doom and gloom merchants. Wait till the lights go out altogether, then we'll see, or not see, what's, what.

Prometheuswrites said...

A search of google for 'Wylfa - evactuation - plans' gives 179 hits.

Only one is an official document directly mentioning an evacuation plan. Noticable is the Irish Government's web-site that does address an emergency plan to address any potential problems at Wlyfa. Maybe we could copy theirs?

According to a Greenpeace review the Local Authorities should have a statutory plan for nuclear facilities, (under H&S). I believe the iodine tablets are kept at Amlwch police station.

The relevent document is the public consultation summary which gives a wide range of opinions both pro and against. (including entries from IoACC councillors)

The document is called:
Strategic Siting Assessment for New Nuclear Power Stations:
Opportunity to Comment on Site Nominations
15 April 09 to 14 May 09
Responses by site: Wylfa

And the reference to the evactuation plan is on page 7. User ID:186

http://data.energynpsconsultation.decc.gov.uk/documents/report/wylfa.pdf

Anonymous said...

"the Local Authorities should have a statutory plan for nuclear facilities, (under H&S)."

That's correct. Various public bodies such as local authorities, health authorities, hospitals and ambulance service will have Major Incident Plans which will include what to do when Wylfa has a hiccup. The existence of these documents is no secret, the content relating to Wylfa probably is secret.

Conwy County Council publishes a list of the Major Incident Plans it holds. It says Anglesey County Council Emergency Planning Unit has written a Wylfa Emergency Plan, whose content is restricted.

http://www.conwy.gov.uk/section.asp?cat=3099

I cannot easily find such a list for IoACC.

Re Red Flag re Booker: Booker in general talks a great deal of rubbish but on one thing he is right: the UK has a crisis in electricity supply coming up in a few years. The privatised and ill-regulated electricity generation industry was entirely predictably more interested in its short term profits than in investment to provide reliability of supply. Meanwhile, the industry's approach to demand reduction? Subsidies for low energy light bulbs and fibreglass for loft insulation. Wow. Ain't gonna be anywhere near enough, chaps. And if Wylfa B and friends do ever get the go ahead, the crisis will happen before the new nukes go live, because of the time it takes to build these things.

Anonymous said...

I remember when the Chernobyl reactor blew up, the remedy was to pour lorry loads of concrete on the top of, this was th eonly solution the Russians had, it was well thought of, but it didn't do anyhing realy, the radiation cloud that followed from Chernobyl, blew across Western Europe and hit Wales.


If anything was to go wrong in Wylfa, we would be the last to know, as the policy is to keep everyone in the dark, but if you happen to see lorry loads of concret going flat out towards Wylfa, then get out as fast as you can.

The Red Flag said...

@anon, 21 Dec 09:59

The privatised and ill-regulated electricity generation industry was entirely predictably more interested in its short term profits than in investment to provide reliability of supply. Meanwhile, the industry's approach to demand reduction? Subsidies for low energy light bulbs and fibreglass for loft insulation.

This has always been the problem - it's the same with the railways. The private companies are not interested in investing unless they get huge subsidies. As a result whereas before they were heavily subsidised but owned by the state (us), they are now heavily subsidised by r=the state (us) and private companies take the profit (which is really false because without the subsidies there would be no profit - just a huge loss).

They hold government after government to ransom - give us the money or it shuts down and you'll get the blame at the ballot box not us, and government after government rolls over and plays doggo.

If it's such a good idea that these utilities are in private hands then remove the subsidies.

Anonymous said...

Blame Maggie Thatcher and her get rich schemes, just look what happened to Keith Best, he got on the bandwagon then got caught, we can't have it both ways, either we want Wylfa B or we don't. Personally, I'm all for it, work is more important than dole.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for Wylfa B as well but it must not receive any subsidies - directly or indirectly, and it all the waste must remain on site.

If we want nuclear power then we must pay the cost of it.

the outsider said...

Besides concern about the higher cost of energy as a result of subsidy to low carbon technology, two other interesting points were raised in the House of Lords debate today on the energy bill. Lord Lawson drew attention to the 50% lower carbon emissions from shale gas as compared to coal, he said shale gas which occurs in many countries around the world could provide cheap, secure energy and meet our international obligations for reducing carbon emissions. From the other side of the Upper House, Lord Hunt made the point that Japan is using sea water in production of uranium and this is an example of the fusion/fission hybrid technologies which are emerging, and which this energy bill is flexible enough to encourage and enable.

So both shale gas (as in Blackpool) and new generation nuclear have potential. But as to safety, disposal of nuclear waste, and decommissioning, the devil is in the detail of the regulations.

I hope our government will in future have more control when something goes wrong at a nuclear installation than it has had over the chaos at our major airports in the last few days. Cameron seems to have been saying that the Government can't intervene (is there no mechanism for direct government intervention?) as BAA is a private operation. This seems to ignor the public safety and security issues that are clearly at stake.

Druid, this is an argument for retaining the coastguard station on the island as there could be a very real need for it, (and a flotilla of small boats) in the event of an emergency at Wylfa.