Trace amounts of caesium-134 and caesium-137 have been found in urine from children from Fukushima city, 37 miles (60km) away from the plant. A Japanese civic group and Acro, a French body tested 10, and all were positive. Nanao Kamada, professor emeritus of radiation biology at Hiroshima University told reporters “this won’t be a problem if they don’t eat vegetables or other contaminated products. But it will be difficult for people to continue living in these areas.” Tens of thousands of children are to be given radiation dosimeters in Fukushima city.
Archive for June, 2011
In the first quarter of 2011, green energy produced 27% more electricity compared with the same period last year. But power companies using 7% more coal. Oil and gas production dropped notably. The Guardian reports predictable voices saying we need to go a bit faster.
Some 29 per cent of all new power investment over the next decade is expected to be in coal, 28% oil and gas. Wind and solar are trailing on 18 and 6%. As for CCS, Andrew Brandler, chief executive of CLP Holdings, said: “People in China don’t talk about CCS.” The FT reports that “he believes there will be no major export opportunities in China for this technology – even if it does prove viable – for the next 10 or 15 years.”
So a headline in Grist reads. The bitter article reminds readers that the water comes from aquifers.
The CCC wants the government to require energy companies to insulate every loft and fill every cavity wall within four years. The number of such installations fell by 30% from 2009 to 2010.
Internal e-mails seen by the Guardian show how officials approached EDF, Areva and Westinghouse wanting to script a PR campaign to ensure the UK reactor-building programme was not derailed, well ahead of any clear knowledge of how bad the incident was. BIS official, name redacted: “This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally. We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear.” John Vidal in the Guardian on this “Orwellian” revelation: “What the emails shows is a weak government, captured by a powerful industry colluding to at least misinform and very probably lie to the public and the media. When the emails were sent, no one, least of all the industry and its friends in and out of government, had any idea how serious the situation at Fukushima was or might become.”
The NJ legislature votes 33-1 for the ban on 28th. The Governor is not thought likely to veto that, as the industry wants. The French ban passes the next day.
The Commons Environmental Audit Committee concludes that Britain’s >£2bn annual contribution should be withheld until the Bank stops funding coal projects in the developing world.
Oil prices rise more than $3 a barrel in a day, recovering all the losses triggered by last week’s release of strategic oil stocks. Heavy selling in the days that followed the IEA’s move saw Brent trade as low as $102.28. The FT reports that this is because analysts are reappraising the significance of the 60 million barrel release, focusing on likely enduring short supply.
The author writes: “The question will be: which will dominate the world’s energy supply in the second half of the 21st century? The winners will determine how – and how badly – we live, work, and play in those not-so-distant decades, and will profit enormously as a result. The losers will be cast aside and dismembered. …This will be a war because the future profitability, or even survival, of many of the world’s most powerful and wealthy corporations will be at risk, and because every nation has a potentially life-or-death stake in the contest.”
The Fort Colhoun plant is not considered to be in danger, but is a long way from re-opening, the NYT reports.
The test facility was supposed to be followed quickly by a full-scale facility. But Statoil says more research is needed.
But only Chinese oil companies are permitted to bid. The FT reports that shale gas deposits are “believed to be abundant in China” though none have been produced yet.
One tells the management to “jump into a nuclear reactor and die”. But banks and insurance companies control 60% of shares and vote with the bosses.
Nobuo Tanaka says such a move is possible. Of the 1.6bn barrels of IEA reserves he says: “If we don’t use it now, then when?” The release of lighter IEA oil to compensate for Libyan oil loss has collapsed the spread between the price for Brent oil, the benchmark for light sweet crude, and the price for Doha oil, the benchmark for sourer heavier ME crude, causing significant losses for oil traders.
Using a McKinsey model to look at what technology breakthroughs create they could work best for the economy by 2030. They find that advances in clean energy generation could yield big benefits by 2050, but in 2030 these would not show major financial benefits when compared with electricity from coal and natural gas.
He also commits €1.3bn more to renewables. Meanwhile demonstrators converge on the Fessenheim plant in Alsace, which has a reactor dating back to 1977, calling for it to be taken out of service.
It is a 3,000 panel, 750 MW, solar farm at an industrial park in Oxfordshire. The Solarcentury installation will produce 682 MWhr a year, and save 350 tonnes of CO2 a year.
Weeks after announcing a lawsuit against Merkel over stranded nuclear assets, now this from Eon CEO Johannes Teyssen: “Germany will become a laboratory for the accelerated switch to renewable energy. Eon will position itself in this process – and then take what it learns out into the world.”
In hundreds of industry e-mails, according to the NYT, “energy executives, industry lawyers, state geologists and market analysts voice skepticism about lofty forecasts and question whether companies are intentionally, and even illegally, overstating the productivity of their wells and the size of their reserves.”
China wants it airlines excluded from the EU ETS. So it cancels a a multi-billion euro order for 10 airbuses.
A new opinion poll from Ipsos MORI tells us how the battle for hearts and minds is going: 62% of citizens in 24 countries across the world oppose the use of nuclear energy, with a quarter of those having change their minds after Fukushima. In the UK, the split is 50:50. In France, 67% are opposed. The Guardian environment editor finds himself impressed with the data. Solar is the most popular energy technology.