Saturday, December 4, 2021

Latest: UK to invest $285M in small reactor research

GLASSGOW, Scotland (NWN) – The latest on the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow:

LONDON – Britain is investing nearly 210 million pounds ($285 million) in small nuclear reactor research as the government explores alternatives to fossil fuels amid fears of rising gas prices.

The investment, which will be matched with about £250 million ($340 million) from the private sector, comes amid hopes that small modular reactors could be in use by 2030. Proponents say such reactors would be less expensive and have the potential to be more easily moved.

The recipient of government funding, Rolls-Royce SMR is expected to build each small modular reactor capable of powering 1 million homes.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the UK to deploy more low-carbon energy than ever before and ensure greater energy independence,” said Trade and Energy Secretary Quasi Quarteng.

Interest in nuclear power has grown with concern that the world is reducing greenhouse gas emissions too slowly. But environmentalists have long avoided nuclear power, citing the issue of what to do with nuclear waste.

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BERLIN – Environmental group Greenpeace says it has filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen alleging the automaker has failed to do its part in meeting its goal of limiting global warming.

Greenpeace said Tuesday it filed the lawsuit in regional court in Braunschweig, Germany. It said it took action late last month after Volkswagen rejected a demand for a legal commitment to phase out vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2030.

The group said the plaintiffs are “inserting claims of civil liability to protect their personal liberty, health and property rights.” The claims take a cue from a May ruling in which a Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions by a net 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.

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Greenpeace said that by suing Volkswagen, it is implementing an April 1 decision by Germany’s top court that said the government should set clear targets to reduce emissions after 2030. The court said the legislation at the time ran the risk of being too burdensome to curb climate change. on the younger generation.

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LONDON – Environmental groups are pressing the British government not to approve drilling in an undersea oil field in the north of Scotland, saying it threatens marine species and will increase global warming.

Sikkar Point Energy, in which oil company Shell has a stake, wants to extract oil from the Cambo field, west of the Shetland Islands.

A collection of 16 marine conservation and climate groups, including Greenpeace UK, WWF UK, the Marine Conservation Society and Friends of the Earth, are urging the British government to reject the application.

Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide says pipelines to export oil from the region could endanger hundreds of species, including rare deep-sea sponges, known and marine quagga, a type of clam, in a part of the ocean designated a Marine Protected Area. .

Plans for new oil extraction and a proposed new coal mine in northern England are overseeing UK government efforts to persuade other countries to take stronger action to cut carbon emissions at the ongoing UN climate conference in Glasgow.

The UK government says UK oil and gas regulators will make a decision after an environmental impact assessment and public consultation.

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