Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Electric Power. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Electric Power. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 27, 2014

Japanese court rejects citizens' demand for suspension of nuclear reactor restart

A Japanese court on Thursday rejected a demand by some western Japan residents seeking suspension of planned restart of nuclear reactors at Takahama and Oi plants, local media reported.

The residents, from Shiga Prefecture, claimed that there are many geological faults around the two plants which might cause earthquakes and tsunamis, and that severe nuclear accidents might occur such as in the 2011 Fukushima crisis.


The Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture rejected the residents' demand for suspension of restart of the reactors, and said it is "unlikely" that the safety regulator will make a hasty decision to allow the reactors to restart.

Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture, which lies to the north of Shiga Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

Kansai Electric Power Co., operator of the two plants, said the court decision is "reasonable" and it will seek to restart the nuclear plants "as soon as possible" after safety confirmed by the regulator.

  • Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online as their earnings are deteriorating due to high costs for thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.
Judicial rulings on the nuclear plants' operation have been divided since the Fukushima crisis. In May, another district court in Japan ruled that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. Kansai Electric has appealed this ruling.
 Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
27/11/14
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Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 18, 2014

50 Dirtiest U.S. Power Plants Huge Contributor to Carbon Emissions

U.S. power plants are an outsized contributor to the world’s carbon pollution, a new report released by Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group says. It found that in 2012, they added more climate change-causing carbon to the environment than the entire economies of any nation other than China. 

The report, “America’s Dirtiest Power Plants: Polluter on a Global Scale,” demonstrated that U.S. power plants produced more than six percent of worldwide global warming emissions.

The report found that a relatively small number of primarily older, coal-fired plants were the main culprits. The 50 dirtiest power plants, less than one percent of all U.S. power plants, produced a whopping 30 percent of power-sector emissions in 2012, 12 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions, and nearly two percent of all the world’s carbon emissions. The U.S. has about 6,400 electricity-generating facilities. Yet a single one—the Scherer Power Plant in Georgia—produced .4 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, equivalent to the entire economy of Sri Lanka, which ranks 86th in the world.

“U.S. power plants are polluters on a global scale,” said Elizabeth Ouzts of Environment America Research & Policy Center. “That’s why clean power now must be part of the solution to the climate crisis.”

The report emphasized how much pollution the dirty plants produce relative to their energy production. Coal-fired plants produced 74 percent of U.S. power-plant pollution in 2012 but only 37 percent of its electricity. The 50 dirtiest plants contributed only 15 percent of the nation’s electricity.

“U.S. power plants make such an outsized contribution to global warming emissions because so many of them are old and inefficient, and because so many of them run on coal, one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet,” said the report, which said that 98 of the country’s 100 most carbon-polluting plants ran on coal.

The report recommended that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “strengthen, finalize and implement the Clean Power Plan,” and that states begin to implement the plan to meet the standards as quickly as possible, working to quickly phase out the older, polluting plants and move to renewable energy sources. Its series of recommendations also includes urging Congress to pass a national renewable energy standard.

The Environment America Research & Policy Center is among many groups pushing for the Clean Power Plan. Six million comments have been submitted to the EPA and more than a thousand people have testified in hearing held across the country this summer in favor of the plan.

“For too long, power plants and other major polluters have enjoyed a holiday from responsibility,” said Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “Rhode Island and some parts of the country have taken steps to cut carbon pollution and invest in clean energy, but this report shows why federal carbon pollution standards are necessary to protect public health, our communities and future generations from the dangerous threat of climate change.”

Anastasia Pantsios
http://ecowatch.com
18/9/14

Τρίτη, Αυγούστου 19, 2014

Completion of Australia’s largest solar plant at risk

Silex Systems, the company constructing Australia’s biggest solar plant, has suspended its funding following reports the national Renewable Energy Target (RET) could be scaled back or done away with altogether.

The 100-megawatt Mildura Solar Concentrator Power Station, a $70 million project in Victoria, was supposed to provide electricity to 40,000 homes. Now Silex Systems has said it is shelving the project.

 
"There are a number of factors, including low wholesale electricity prices and the uncertainty surrounding the Renewable Energy Target. They're the two main factors," ABC Radio quotes Michael Goldsworthy, the CEO of Silex Systems. 

On Monday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for a government review of the RET which could go as far as removing the target completely. Initially the scheme was aimed at reaching 20 percent of all electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020.

The government is expected to cut back the RET scheme with Tony Abbott blaming it for pushing up power prices. 

However research released on Monday by renewable energy advocates showed that power prices would rise if the RET was dismantled. 

Moreover the report says that coal and gas generators will gain $10 billion in extra profits over the next 15 years, with carbon emissions rising significantly as a result. 

The uncertainty over the RET is harming renewables said the Silex chief executive, but added that “concentrated photovoltaic technology has a strong future in delivering clean, low cost energy to supplement base load power in many suitable regions around the world.
READ MORE: Australia becomes first developed country to abolish carbon tax
http://rt.com/business/181312-australia-largest-solar-station/
19/8/14 

Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 30, 2014

Jordan oks mega oil shale project

Jordan's cabinet on Sunday approved an agreement to build a mega oil shale power plant in the Kingdom, Jordan's energy minister Mohammad Hamed said.

"The agreement will be signed between the Jordanian government and an international Estonian-Malaysian consortium within two weeks, and it's the first of its kind in the region," the minister said.

Jordan has over 40 billion tons of oil shale in reserves and the 2.4-billion-US dollar power plant will produce electricity through direct oil shale burning, the minister said.


The 470-megawatts power plant, which is expected to be operational in early 2018, will be built by Estonia's Eesti Energia, Malaysia's YTL Power International and Near East Investments of Jordan.

The Kingdom now imports about 96 percent of its energy at a cost of 2.8 billion dollars annually, or 21 percent of its gross domestic product. It plans to increase self-produced energy to 60 percent of its consumption by 2020.

Sources: Xinhua -  globaltimes.cn
30/6/14

Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 13, 2014

Europe with no "Plan B" in case of power outages

No backup plan is present should a Europe-wide power blackout occur, experts warned at a conference on "Sudden Blackout" in Vienna Thursday.

"National crisis management is not enough, as it requires technical communication to be possible," said Herbert Saurugg, initiator of the conference.

He added broader society must be a part of problem-solving efforts, including the first step of acknowledging that a large-scale power outage is a possibility.


Ideally 50 percent of the population should also know what to do in such a situation, particularly when oil, gas, food, and water supplies are potentially cut off, according to Saurugg.

Bernd Benser of GridLab, a German-based power systems security company, said the threat of large-scale blackouts is a very real possibility, with potential triggers including cyber attacks and terrorism.

A blackout could last more than six days, he said, and with hospitals having an average emergency power supply of only about 48 hours, the lives of intensive-care patients could be at risk.

Additionally, in the case of Germany alone it would cost about 580 million U.S. dollars per hour without electricity, he added.

Bernd said the entire European power network "interconnected from Portugal until shortly before Moscow" is potentially at risk, and that particularly larger cities require concepts for dealing with an emergency situation.

VIENNA, June 12 (Xinhua)

Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 02, 2014

UN officials hail ‘significant’ move by US to curb power plant emissions

UN,  2 June 2014 – United Nations officials today welcomed the initiative announced by President Barack Obama to limit emissions from power plants in the United States, voicing their hope that it will spur other countries to take concrete action to combat climate change.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the initiative “a significant step toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions that are disrupting the climate, exacerbating extreme weather patterns, and threatening human health, sustainable economic growth and development.”


Mr. Ban, who is convening a climate summit later this year in New York, called on all countries to accelerate their efforts to reduce emissions and strengthen adaptation and resilience.

“He calls on world leaders to take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the climate summit he will host in September by bringing bold announcements and actions they will undertake nationally, as well as in multilateral and multi-stakeholder settings to address climate change,” the statement added.

The Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, also welcomed the new initiative, which comes ahead of the next round of UN climate talks that will begin on Wednesday in Bonn, Germany, where ministers will discuss key political issues which can be resolved ahead of a successful, new and universal climate agreement expected to be reached in Paris next year.

“The decision by President Obama to launch plans to more tightly regulate emissions from power plants will send a good signal to nations everywhere that one of the world’s biggest emitters is taking the future of the planet and its people seriously,” Ms. Figueres said in a statement.

It is also a good signal for upcoming climate summit in September and towards securing a new, and more importantly meaningful, climate agreement in Paris in 2015, she added.

“I fully expect action by the United States to spur others in taking concrete action – action that can set the stage and put in place the pathways that can bend the global emissions curve down in order to keep worldwide temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius this century.”

[un.org]
2/6/14
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Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 23, 2014

La lumière de la Lune pourrait remplacer l'éclairage public (chercheurs suédois)

Des chercheurs suédois proposent de modifier la surface de la Lune en vue de renoncer à l'utilisation de l'éclairage public.

Le projet consiste à créer sur la surface du satellite de la Terre des territoires spéciaux qui reflèteraient les rayons du Soleil. Cela permettrait de rendre le ciel nocturne aussi clair que durant la journée.



Les chercheurs estiment que cela contribuera à économiser l'énergie électrique et diminuera les volumes de CO2 rejetés dans l'atmosphère.

Par contre, on ne sait pas comment modifier la surface de la Lune.
french.ruvr.ru

23/4/14

Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 30, 2013

Brazil court orders resumption of work on Amazon Belo Monte dam.

AFP - A Brazilian court on Wednesday ordered work to resume on a dam in the Amazon, reversing a ruling that had ordered a stoppage over environmental concerns, the project consortium said.
A Norte Energia statement said the president of the Federal Court in Brasilia lifted the suspension on the Belo Monte dam.
Another judge had ordered the consortium to halt the work Friday, saying it had not met its environmental commitments.
Just as the 20,000 workers were preparing to stop work at the dam, located in the northern state of Para, Judge Mario Cesar Ribeiro said only a special court could rule on a suspension, according to a spokesman.

Federal Court Judge Antonio Souza had suspended the project's environmental license as well work at the dam last week after state prosecutors charged that Norte Energia had failed to comply with environmental commitments.
But Norte Energia insisted that it was "rigorously complying with its obligations and commitments."

Indigenous groups fear the dam across the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, will harm their way of life. Environmentalists have warned of deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and irreparable damage to the ecosystem.
Belo Monte, a $13 billion project aiming to produce 11,000 megawatts of electricity, is expected to flood a 500-square-kilometer (300-square-mile) area, displacing 16,000 people, according to the government.
It would be the third-biggest dam in the world, after China's Three Gorges and Brazil's Itaipu in the south.
france24.com
30/10/13
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Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 26, 2013

Norway overtakes Russia as Europe’s biggest gas supplier

Russia lost its position as the main supplier of gas to EU last year as Gazprom exports fell by 10% knocked down by coal and high prices.
High gas prices in the EU coupled with cheap coal from the US, have made coal a more attractive fuel for power stations, according a new energy report from BP. On average, generating power in Europe is 45% cheaper with coal than with gas, BP chief economist Christof  Rühl explains in the report. That’s why Europe did not compete for liquid natural gas (LNG) and its imports to Europe fell by 25%. EU imports from Gazprom also dropped by 10%, as Russia’s gas prices are tied to oil prices and therefore remained high, BP’s economist said.  Norway’s gas pricing is not pegged to oil and are therefore lower. Imports from Norway rose 12%, and 2012 became the first year when Norway sold more gas to the EU than Russia, Rühl said.


Gazprom CEO Aleksandr Medvedev circulated an email on June 24 in which he reacts to a Financial Times article which claims that the Russian gas monopoly is in decline and that it is losing its hold in the EU market.
“Recently, Gazprom Export set a new record in daily gas deliveries. We pumped 466 million cubic metres of gas to Europe in a single day, pushing existing pipeline capacities to their limits. And Gazprom posted a whopping $38bn profit in 2012. In challenging economic times this is hardly a sign of weakness,” euractiv.com quotes Medvedev.
Although Russia remains a key supplier to Europe, the country is also seeking to diversify export markets for its gas to the booming Asia Pacific Region betting on growing demand in emerging economies.
Just 7 percent of Russia's gas exports were sold to Asian consumers last year, all in the form of LNG, from the Sakhalin II project, the Moscow Times reports.  But Russia's gas exports to Asia will expand dramatically if the construction of two new LNG terminals goes ahead: Gazprom's Vladivostok and Novatek's Yamal projects. Rosneft also plans to build a terminal in Sakhalin. If these three projects are realized by 2020, Russia's LNG capacity would increase from 10 million tons per year to about 45 million tons, equal to 18 percent of global LNG exports in 2012, according to the Moscow Times.
Globally gas consumption rose 2.2% faster in 2012 compared to a year earlier, but below the long-term average, according to BP’s energy report.  The growth is largely US-driven, as gas consumption in the world’s largest economy has increased more than in any other region of the world. At the same time, the EU and the former Soviet states have registered the largest regional declines in gas consumption, according to the report. 
http://rt.com
26/6/13
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Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 20, 2013

Παραιτείται σύσσωμη η κυβέρνηση της Βουλγαρίας μετά τις διαδηλώσεις

Σόφια: Ο Βούλγαρος πρωθυπουργός και όλοι οι υπουργοί του πρόκειται να παραιτηθούν την Τετάρτη υπό το βάρος των διαδηλώσεων, καθώς η απομάκρυνση (ουσιαστικά) του υπουργού Οικονομικών δεν κατάφερει να κατευνάσει τις αντιδράσεις για την αύξηση της τιμής του ρεύματος.

Ο Μπορίσοφ δεν ξεκαθάρισε εάν σκοπεύει να επισπεύσει τις εκλογές που έχουν προγραμματιστεί για τον Ιούλιο.

«Δεν θα συμμετέχω σε μία κυβέρνηση, υπό την οποία η αστυνομία δέρνει το λαό» είπε ο Μπόικο Μπορίσοφ μιλώντας στο Κοινοβούλιο, όπως αναφέρει το Reuters, στον απόηχο των επεισοδίων στη χώρα κατά τις ογκώδεις διαδηλώσεις.

Τα επεισόδια έστειλαν στο νοσοκομείο 25 άτομα. Οι διαδηλώσεις είχαν συνταράξει τη Σόφια και τις υπόλοιπες μεγάλες πόλεις με αφορμή την τιμή του ηλεκτρικού, σε μία χώρα όπου ο μέσος μισθός είναι 350 ευρώ, ο κατώτατος 155 και η μέση σύνταξη μόλις 75 ευρώ.

Στη βουλγαρική αγορά ενέργειας κυριαρχούν δύο τσεχικές εταιρείες (CEZ και η Energo-Pro) και η αυστριακή EVN. Την Τετάρτη, ο Μπορίσοφ ανέφερε επίσης ότι η άδεια λειτουργίας της CEZ θα ανακληθεί, βάζοντας τη Βουλγαρία σε τροχιά σύγκρουσης με την Πράγα.

Η παραίτηση του Μπορίσοφ ήταν αιφνίδια παρά το τεταμένο κλίμα στη Σόφια: Ο πρωθυπουργός αναμενόταν να προχωρήσει την Τετάρτη σε ανασχηματισμό, αλλά δεν είχε δείξει τις τελευταίες ημέρες προθέσεις για τέτοια κίνηση.

Πηγή: news.in.gr
http://www.philenews.com
20/2/13 
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Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 19, 2013

Ο Μπορίσωφ Αναστέλλει την Άδεια της CEZ στη Βουλγαρία Λόγω του Ακριβού Ρεύματος

Υπό την πίεση της κοινής γνώμης, η κυβέρνηση Μπορίσωφ ανακοίνωσε ότι πρόκειται να αναστείλει σήμερα την άδεια διανομής ηλεκτρισμού που κατέχει η τσέχικη εταιρεία CEZ, η οποία διαχειρίζεται το ένα από τα τρία δίκτυα της χώρας.
Είχαν προηγηθεί μεγάλες διαμαρτυρίες των πολιτών για το υψηλό κόστος του ρεύματος, οι οποίες οδήγησανσε απομάκρυνση του υπουργού Οικονομικών. Φαίνεται λοιπόν ότι η λαϊκή αντίδραση προκάλεσε ένα κύμα εξελίξεων που επηρεάζουν τόσο την πολιτική ζωή, όσο και τον κλάδο του ηλεκτρισμού.
Από την πλευρά της, η CEZ δήλωσε ότι «αντιμετωπίζουμε την δήλωση του πρωθυπουργού και του εισαγγελέα ως παραβίαση του νόμου». Η εταιρεία αρνείται ότι προχώρησε σε παράνομες πρακτικές και χαρακτήρισε την απόφαση ως πολιτικού χαρακτήρα ενόψει των φετινών εκλογών.

Σημειώνεται, τέλος, ότι η θυγατρική της CEZ στη Βουλγαρία αποφέρει στην μητρική εταιρεία το 10% των κερδών της.
.energia.gr
19/2/13
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 ***Φωτογραφίες από την Φιλιππούπολη (Plovdiv, Пловдив) , Κυριακή 18/2/13

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Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 11, 2013

Βουλγαρία: Στους δρόμους για τους αυξημένους λογαριασμούς ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος

Χιλιάδες κάτοικοι μεγάλων πόλεων της Βουλγαρίας πραγματοποίησαν συγκεντρώσεις και πορείες διαμαρτυρίας κατά των αυξημένων- έως και 100% σε σχέση με τον προηγούμενο μήνα, όπως καταγγέλλουν -λογαριασμών ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος και θέρμανσης.
Οι συγκεντρωθέντες στη Σόφια, έκαναν πορεία και κατέληξαν έξω από το κτίριο του υπουργείου Οικονομίας και Ενέργειας, όπου πέταξαν χιονόμπαλες και ζήτησαν την παραίτηση του υπουργού Ντέλιαν Ντόμπρεφ, ο οποίος επρόκειτο να συναντηθεί με αντιπροσωπεία των πολιτών για να εξετάσουν τις πτυχές του θέματος.

Διαμαρτυρία για το ίδιο θέμα πραγματοποίησαν κάτοικοι και άλλων πόλεων όπως το Μπλαγκόεβγκραντ, του Πλόβντιβ***, της Βάρνας, του Σαντάνσκι, της Σιλίστρα, του Γκότσε Ντέλτσεφ, του Μπέλενε, του Σούμεν, του Βέλικο Τάρνοβο, του Μπουργκάς, του Ντόμπριτς και της Μοντάνα.
Η οργάνωση των διαδηλώσεων έγινε μέσω των μέσων κοινωνικής δικτύωσης από τους πολίτες που διαμαρτύρονται για τις αυξημένες τιμές των λογαριασμών του ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος και της θέρμανσης, επισημαίνει στην ιστοσελίδα του, το πρακτορείο ειδήσεων της Σόφιας Novinite.
Αρκετοί δε ήταν αυτοί που έκαψαν τους λογαριασμούς τους, έξω από τα κεντρικά γραφεία των εταιρειών διανομής ενέργειας.
Από την πλευρά τους, οι διανομείς CEZ και Energo-Pro ανακοίνωσαν ότι οι υψηλότεροι λογαριασμοί του Δεκεμβρίου 2012 οφείλονται στη διαφορετική περίοδο κατανάλωσης, τις κακές καιρικές συνθήκες και την αύξηση στις τιμές ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας περίπου κατά 14% από τον Ιούλιο του 2012.
Το υπουργείο Οικονομίας ανακοίνωσε ότι ειδική επιτροπή θα εξετάσει τον υπολογισμό των στοιχείων για την τελική έκδοση των λογαριασμών ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος στους καταναλωτές της CEZ.
Εξάλλου, οι διανομείς ανακοίνωσαν πως οι πελάτες που δεν είναι ικανοποιημένοι από τους λογαριασμούς έχουν τη δυνατότητα να μεταβούν στα γραφεία τους για να δοθούν οι απαραίτητες διευκρινίσεις και στη συνέχεια να εξευρεθεί ο τρόπος αποπληρωμής του ποσού των λογαριασμών. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, επισημαίνουν οι πάροχοι ενέργειας, θα δοθεί προσοχή στην ικανοποίηση των πελατών και στην αξιόπιστη επίλυση των όποιων θεμάτων ανέκυψαν σε σχέση με την έκδοση των λογαριασμών, για τους οποίους διαμαρτύρονται.
 Μάλιστα, η CEZ ανακοίνωσε πως 2.002 παράπονα για τους λογαριασμούς ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος του Δεκεμβρίου 2012 "'έφθασαν" στην εταιρεία.
Πάντως, οι διαδηλωτές παραμένουν σε εγρήγορση, καθώς έχουν ήδη ανακοινώσει την επόμενη κινητοποίησή τους στις 14 Φεβρουαρίου και προγραμματίζουν τη συλλογή υπογραφών με στόχο τη διενέργεια δημοψηφίσματος για την έξοδο των εταιρειών διανομής ενέργειας από τη Βουλγαρία.
.agelioforos.gr 
11/2/13 
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  • Protesters Hurl Snowballs at Bulgarian EconMin over Electricity, Heating Bills

Enraged protesters threw snowballs at Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev in Sofia on Sunday, according to local reporters.
Dobrev was scheduled to meet with protesters rallying against skyrocketing electricity and heating bills this winter.
Some 500 people gathered in front of the Ministry of Economy and Energy, some of them shouting "Mafia!" and demanding Dobrev's resignation. Some of those involved in the protest hurled snowballs at the Minister.
Sunday's protests against the shocking electricity and heating bills in EU's poorest member state drew thousands of people nationwide.
At least 3000 protesters gathered in the southwestern town of Blagoevrgad, according to reporters.
Demonstrations also took place in Plovdiv, Varna, Sandanski, Silistra, Gotse Delchev, Belene, Shumen, Yambol, Veliko Tarnovo, Burgas, Montana, Dobrich, Kardzhali, and many other cities and towns. The protests were organized through social media after some consumers reported 100% higher bills in December compared to the same period a year ago.
Many angry clients of the power distributors in the country burned their bills in public, threatening that they would not pay.
Two vehicles owned by power distributor EVN were set on fire in the city of Plovdiv on the eve of the protests.
Power distributors CEZ and Energo-Pro have explained the higher bills for December with the different accounting period, the cold weather, the Christmas and New Year holidays, and the increase in electricity prices by nearly 14% from July 2012.
Energo-Pro vowed to publish detailed information about the electricity bills.
Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Ministry explained that an expert committee would examine the calculation of electricity bills of consumers of CEZ.
http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=147724
10/2/13
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***Φωτογραφίες από την Φιλιππούπολη (Plovdiv, Пловдив) , Κυριακή 18/2/13
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Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 31, 2013

Failed referendum leaves Bulgaria without nuclear future

A referendum on nuclear energy in Bulgaria failed due to low turnout, and the country's ruling party has confirmed it will not build a new nuclear plant. Critics warn that without nuclear energy, Bulgaria may become a third-world country in 20 years.
The referendum, which was supposed to determine the future course of nuclear energy in Bulgaria, has been officially declared invalid: The final voter turnout was about 20 percent, far less than the required 60 percent.
Nearly 61 percent of voters who participated in Sunday’s referendum approved of building the nuclear plant.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov confirmed that his ruling center-right GERB party would not resume construction on a nuclear power plant in Belene.

In March 2012, the GERB party scrapped the 2,000-megawatt nuclear plant project, which had been under construction by Russia's Atomstroyexport since 2008. The Bulgarian government said that the country could no longer afford the plant’s 6.4-billion euro price tag.
During the negotiations that preceded the cancellation, GERB attempted to bring an American or European contractor on to the project. Bulgaria also demanded that the price be lowered to less than 5 billion euro, which Atomstroyexport refused to do. A breakdown in negotiations led to the termination of the project.
Following the failure of the project, the opposition Socialist party called for a referendum on the Belene plant. Though the government supported the referendum, Prime Minister Borisov urged Bulgarians to vote against the project.
“The question [of the referendum] was put pretty vaguely, no one explained to an average voter the particulars of nuclear energy,” Krasimira Ilieva of the Bulgarian Nuclear Society told RT.
Bulgarian Socialist MP Peter Kurumbashev said the plant would eventually have justified the expense. Kurumbashev told RT that the cost of the nuclear plant proposed by Atomstroyexport is good, when compared to the costs of similar nuclear plants proposed for construction in neighboring Turkey.
“It takes 12-14 years to pay back the money, whereas [the] life of this type of reactors is 60 years. So, in the next 44 years you’re just ‘printing’ money,” he said, adding that the referendum had become too politicized and unclear.
Kurumbashev said that negative campaign continued throughout the entirety of the referendum. The ruling party even said there was no need for referendum at all, “which is a very interesting statement on the part of [a] democracy,” he said.
The Socialist Party of Bulgaria announced plans to revive the project if they win the 2013 elections.
Bulgaria currently operates only one nuclear power plant in Kozloduy, about 200 kilometers from the capital Sofia, which went online in 1974. At its peak production, the plant’s six reactors delivered over 45 percent of Bulgaria’s electricity. The EU ordered four of the reactors to be shut down over safety concerns.
A general view shows the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, some 200 km (124 miles) north of Sofia. (Reuters / Oleg Popov)
A general view shows the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, some 200 km (124 miles) north of Sofia. (Reuters / Oleg Popov)
 
The Belene nuclear plant was intended to replace the four reactors of Kozloduy plant that were taken offline.
Kozloduy’s two operational 1,000-megawatt reactors, designed by the Soviet Union, were modernized in 2005 and 2006 to meet EU safety demands. They will be operable until 2027 and 2032 respectively, at which point Bulgaria will no longer generate nuclear energy.
Some analysts believe that losing atomic power could lead Bulgaria to disaster. “If Bulgaria keeps using only the two reactors that it already has, it will soon find itself out of power as their service time is running out,” Krasimira Ilieva warned.
Ilieva told RT that alternative sources of power have proven too expensive for Bulgaria, and that “We’ve lost out on the economic assets over the past years… Losing nuclear energy would turn us into a third-world state completely.”
So far, only one country in Europe, Lithuania, has given up nuclear energy following EU demands to shut down Soviet-built nuclear power plants. The Ignalinskaya nuclear power plant was shut down on December 31, 2009; Lithuana is still searching for an investor to construct a new one.
Lithuania also does not have the capability to safely dispose of the Ignalinskaya plant’s radioactive waste and thousands of tons of scrap metal, which is also partially radioactive. The country now imports up to 65 percent of its electricity, the Litovsky Courrier website reported.
.rt.com
31/01/13
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 19, 2013

Japan to start building world's biggest offshore wind farm this summer

Japan is to start building its ambitious wind farm project off the Fukushima coast in July. The farm is expected to become the world’s largest and produce 1GW of power once completed in 2020.
­The power-generating facility will be built 16 kilometers off the coast of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was critically damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
The 143 wind turbines, which are to be 200 meters in height, will be built on buoyant steel frames stabilized with ballast and anchored to the continental shelf.


Once completed in 2020, the project will generate 1 gigawatt of renewable electrical power. 
The project is part of Japan’s national plan to increase renewable energy resources following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. After the quake, Japan shut down its 54 nuclear reactors, but due to energy shortages it has had to restart two reactors.
“This project is important. I think it is impossible to use nuclear power in Fukushima again,” project manager Takeshi Ishihara of the University of Tokyo told New Scientist weekly magazine.
Ishihara believes the area's seismic activity won't be a problem for the turbines. His team has carried out lots of computer simulations and water tank tests in order to verify the safety of the turbines in all possible extreme events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons.
"All extreme conditions have been taken into consideration in the design," he added.
There were some objections to the project by local people, who expressed concerns, in particular, over possible impact on the fishing industry, which was also hit by the nuclear disaster. But Ishihara is sure it’s possible to turn the farm into a ‘marine pasture’ that would attract fish.
Facility specifications of forward project. (Image from Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind  Farm Demonstration Project, Takeshi Ishihara The University of Tokyo)
Facility specifications of forward project. (Image from Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Farm Demonstration Project, Takeshi Ishihara The University of Tokyo)
 
The project is also part of the prefecture’s plan to become completely energy self-sufficient by 2040, using only renewable sources.  
The Fukushima wind farm will produce double the amount of energy of the Greater Gabbard array, currently the world’s biggest, off the coast of Suffolk in the United Kingdom, which generates 504 megawatts from its 140 turbines. Although the title of biggest will soon pass to the London Array in the Thames Estuary, where 175 turbines will produce 630 megawatts of power when it becomes operational later this year.
Scientists and researchers believe Japan’s wind capacity could reach 7.6 gigawatts over the next three years.
.rt.com
19/1/13
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 05, 2013

China resumes construction of biggest nuclear plant

BEIJING —
China has resumed construction on a “fourth generation” nuclear power plant, suspended after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which will be its biggest-ever nuclear facility, state media said Saturday.
Construction on the coastal Shidao Bay nuclear plant in Rongcheng, a city in eastern China’s Shandong province, resumed last month, the state-run China Internet Information Center reported, adding that the plant is “China’s biggest planned nuclear project”.
The plant, which will be cooled by high temperature gas, will become “the world’s first successfully commercialised fourth generation nuclear technology demonstration project”, the report said.
It is designed to be safer and cuts down on costs, the report quoted a spokesman from the China Huaneng Group, the biggest investor in the plant, as saying.
The plant, expected to begin supplying electricity to the grid by 2017, will have a final generating capacity of 6,600 megawatts, the report said, adding initial investment in the project will be three billion yuan ($480 million).

The Shidao Bay plant “has been developed and designed solely by Chinese researchers”, the state-run China Radio International said, quoting a China Huaneng Group researcher as saying the company hopes to export the design.
China in October lifted a ban on new nuclear power stations imposed in 2011 after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, when the facility was struck by a tsunami, and will allow construction of a “small number” of coastal nuclear power plants, according to an official report.
Construction on the Shidao Bay plant began in 2011 but was suspended in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, the China Internet Information Center said.
There are 15 operational commercial nuclear reactors in China, which has ambitious plans to expand its nuclear industry, with 27 reactors under construction near coastal areas, according to the World Nuclear Association.
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a report in October that the country’s nuclear safety situation was “not optimistic”, and that the use of differing types of reactors in Chinese plants made the sector “difficult to manage”.
Copyright 2013 AFP
.japantoday.com
5/1/13

Σάββατο, Δεκεμβρίου 29, 2012

29.12.12.: M5 quake strikes off Fukushima

TOKYO —
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5 struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday afternoon. There was no tsunami alert and no injuries were reported.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the quake struck at 4:19 p.m. Its epicenter was at a depth of 50 kilometers off the Fukushima coast. 

The quake measured 4 near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, but operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said there was no danger at the plant.

The quake was also felt in Miyagi, Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures, where it registered a 3, the meteorological agency said on its website.
Japan Today
29/12/12

Παρασκευή, Δεκεμβρίου 28, 2012

8 U.S. sailors sue Japanese gov't, TEPCO for lying about radiation

SAN DIEGO —
Eight crew members of the USS Ronald Reagan are suing the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for lying to them about the radiation levels to which they were exposed during rescue operations near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last year.
In a suit filed in San Diego this week, lead plaintiff Lindsay R Cooper accused TEPCO of intentionally concealing the dangerous levels of radiation in the environment from U.S. Navy rescue crews working as part of “Operation Tomodachi” off the coast of the Tohoku region following the devastating series of earthquakes and tsunami that resulted in the nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011.

According to Courthouse News Service, the plaintiffs assert that the government and TEPCO possessed data about the radiation leakage that they suppressed, thus willfully exposing Navy rescue workers of the U.S.S Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier based in San Diego, to dangerous levels of radiation. The suit claims that TEPCO covered up data
suggesting that rescue workers would be exposed to the same amount of radiation that resulted in cancer at Chernobyl.

The sailors are each seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages for fraud, negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, public and private nuisance and defective design, Courthouse News Service reported. The suit also calls for TEPCO to establish a fund of $100 million to pay for the medical expenses of crew who they say face “additional and irreparable harm to their life expectancy, which has been shortened and cannot be restored to its prior condition.”
The plaintiffs said that TEPCO, as a “wholly owned public benefit subsidiary of the government of Japan,” misrepresented radiation levels to give U.S. Navy workers “a false sense of security.” TEPCO’s policy of deception caused U.S. rescue workers to rush into an unsafe area which was too close to the stricken plant.
Although there were 5,500 sailors aboard the Reagan, the lawsuit is not a class action. Of the eight plaintiffs suing the government, six reportedly worked on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, while the other two worked in air contamination. One of the plaintiffs is also reportedly suing on behalf of her infant daughter.
Japan Today
28/12/12
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