Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Monitoring Electricity Energy Mix Video #005

As you can see from the extra navigation links above this is an area of great interest to me. In this video I look at a couple of ways you can examine the UK Energy Mix data via computer here and also using a smartphone app.

At the time of writing (12:30pm Sunday 25th November 2018) this is matching set of screen shots from the app which compares the Carbon Intensity and Current Generation:

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Nuclear Regulators and Reactor Types... the Interviews

In August I was able to catch up with my good friend Jim Stewart and he was gracious enough to provide interviews to enable two videos to be made, one on Nuclear Reactor types in use in the United Kingdom (see below) and, firstly, information about the Nuclear Regulators working in the UK (above)...

Friday, 28 September 2018

BanksyBoy BANNG-ing on: the Video Blog

Yes, OK, I have neglected this blog for way too long!

The trouble / excuse / reality is I have been incredibly busy. Pretty much since 2016 I have managed to become embroiled in local politics as a result of standing for the Green Party in May 2016. My principal, and principled, policy was as an anti new nuclear build campaigner for which I am hugely grateful for the welcome I received into the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) fold. This has led to being able to meet key players in national government and the various regulators, enabling me to become a contributor to the debate as well as someone always willing to glean more information.

My latest endeavour is video blogging for BANNG. My initial project was to capture the spirit of the day the CND Symbol Tour visited both the former Bradwell Power Station site and then popped over the Blackwater to my home town of West Mersea... here's the evidence set to Café Musica's rendition of the traditional tune Blackberry Blossom:

This dropped me into the deep end of basic video editing (iMovie) and subsequently I attempted to talk to camera (iPhone SE) for the true vBlog at the top of this page on Nuclear Waste.

So I would be delighted if can check it out (in joke) and let me know what further subjects you consider would be future topics?


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Still Standing and Green through and through

Mersea & Pyefleet

Mersea & Pyefleet
ConservativeRobert Davidson1,37342.0Decrease3.8
IndependentJohn Akker1,20236.8New
GreenPeter Banks37411.4Decrease1.4
LabourBarry Gilheany2196.7Decrease7.7
Liberal DemocratGemma Graham993.0Decrease2.6
Conservative holdSwingDecrease20.3

So here are the results from last week's election... in the Colchester & District Green Party target ward of Castle we missed out by just 11 votes. My vote was the 2nd largest in the Borough.

As you can see all the candidates gave votes away to the single issue Independent candidate Mr Akker. However, this is contrary to his press statement "Mr Akker also pointed to the 374 votes taken by Green candidate Peter Banks, adding: “While of course they are completely entitled to stand, they have taken away crucial votes from another, stronger candidate who is also opposing over-development”.


Thursday, 26 April 2018

Help Make Mersea Green 3rd May 2018...

#VoteGreen2018 in the Colchester Borough Council Elections on May 3rd 2018
Download full A4 leaflet here.


Promoted by Robbie Spence on behalf of Peter Banks, both of 124 Morant Road, Colchester CO1 2JD

Saturday, 17 March 2018

The Other Beast from the East

The Other Beast from the East

It has been a busy time lately. BANNG has attended a number of meetings and Prof. Andy Blowers has been involved as an expert in the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) consultation process. And on top of that the weather has thrown a wobbly which has potential implications on the decisions for energy policies.

New sites for old

There have been two important meetings. One concerned the Government’s consultation on reviewing the siting criteria for new nuclear power stations. For all of us concerned about the Government’s headlong rush towards more ridiculous nuclear development it is vital to respond to this consultation. (Please see:

Three BANNG representatives (Andy, Varrie and myself) were invited to London for the BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) Nuclear Forum session to discuss this consultation. Andy Blowers was also asked to represent Colchester Borough Council, which, in contrast to Maldon District Council, is also opposing the Bradwell site.

A number of NGOs were represented, including the NFLA (Nuclear Free Local Authorities), plus groups opposing new nuclear power at Wylfa (Wales), Sizewell B (Suffolk) and Moorside (Cumbria). It is at meetings like these that you can discern the similarities and differences relating to the proximity of a proposed site in your own area.

Clearly the Government is attempting to extend the time period allocated for selecting potential new nuclear sites. The sites included in the previous consultation on the siting criteria in 2008 should have had power stations generating by 2025 and even Hinkley Point C (HPC) has only a remote chance of being up and running by then. So apart from HPC, the Government is carrying all the sites (including Bradwell) forward to 2035. One astonishing admission at this meeting was that the Government has decided, at this stage, not to review, revise and update the energy policy put forward and agreed in 2011. For example, despite the radical changes that everyone knows have occurred, the policy statement on renewable energy will remain unchanged. And yet renewables now contribute more to the energy mix which surely means that the overall energy plan needs to be updated.

Concerns about Bradwell

BANNG also had an important strategic meeting with the Nuclear New Build departments of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency (EA). This event was co-chaired by BANNG’s Andy Blowers and the EA’s Simon Barlow. The meeting was attended by senior representatives from the EA and ONR and 6 from BANNG. Andy Blowers once again was also able to represent Colchester Borough Council.

The EA and ONR opened the meeting with presentations on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) and outlined the siting criteria procedures, and touched on the problem of managing spent fuel on-site over the long term. There was discussion of specific issues raised by BANNG: the proposals for Bradwell B; marine concerns; Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest (IROPI); transport logistics; and climate change.

During the meeting it became clear that the regulators do have serious concerns around the marine ecology and particularly cooling water insufficiency regarding Bradwell B. However, the BANNG representatives were puzzled by the confidence shown in the reactor design and in the prospect of decommissioning and safely managing nuclear wastes on-site for at least 100 years, which is longer than the industry has even been around.

Reasons to be cheerful?

It was reassuring that our considered logistical and scientific concerns are being taken seriously. However, it was less reassuring to be told that we were the only organisation so far to have requested any sort of meeting or discussion.

I do think there is some room for optimism though. It is possible that at least one or two of the sites listed as potentially suitable for new nuclear development will no longer be able to meet the criteria. Also it is possible, sadly less likely, that the current Government will actually see some fiscal and moral sense not to proceed with such vigour with the new nuclear power stations. It could be they are looking for a way out of the monumental mistake that they are championing.

Significantly, over the extreme weather period last week the lights did not go out even though there were all sorts of issues with the current ageing fleet of Nuclear Power Stations. In fact it was wind power that supplemented the energy needed even though a component from coal fired stations was also called on. The latter supply was principally requested because the gas supplies were being diverted from energy production to domestic heating as the temperatures plummeted.

Which leads to a fear that the Government will just revert to the outdated thinking of requiring ‘base-load’ electricity and use the inclement weather as an excuse to continue to navigate toward nuclear. Let’s hope that wisdom prevails.

Article first appeared in the Mersea Island Courier 17th March 2018