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UK nuclear plants given new lease of life

EDF has announced that four of its eight nuclear power plants in the UK will be kept open for years beyond the time they were scheduled to close.

The move, which the BBC understands will safeguard thousands of jobs, will see Heysham 1 and Hartlepool plants open an extra five years to 2025. Heysham 2 and Torness will now remain open until 2030, seven years after they were due to be closed.

The news come amid concerns over the ability of the UK’s ageing power stations to keep the lights on, as coal fired stations close across the country.

The French company has faced a battle in recent months over the proposed new nuclear station at Hinkley.  Yesterday, Reuters reported that the company had again delayed its final investment decision on the new nuclear plant, amid reports that EDF had not secured the funding to invest in the project.

Shell looks to Brazil after sealing BG deal

Royal Dutch Shell has sealed the £36 billion deal to buy gas company BG Group and become the world’s top liquefied natural gas company.

Now the company is looking forward, with chief executive Ben van Beurden keen to move on after 2015 saw the company abandon its Arctic project and post disappointing result as the oil price continued to tumble.

Shell’s focus in the next few years looks set to be Brazil, where the company expects its output to quadruple by 2020. The move comes despite a number of firms backing away from the country, which faces its worst recession in years at the moment.

One of the attractions of purchasing BG Group was the company’s significant assets in the country.

Writing in The Times, Mr Van Beurden said that Brazil was “a country of the highest strategic importance to us, a land with plenty of potential for growth. Our global deepwater experience and technical expertise will help us to build on our existing relationship with Petrobras, the national oil company.”

Van Beurden added that North Sea oil has a big future, despite the plummeting oil price leading to hundreds of jobs being lost in the UK.

Scalia’s death could be big news for climate change

President Obama’s plans to tackle climate change could emerge with a new lease of life, after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Just last week, the court surprisingly ruled against that the clean power plan, Obama’s bid to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation, with a 5-4 majority.

As Vox explains, Scalia’s death means the court is now split 4-4 between liberal and conservative justices, with the act now enjoying an improved chance of surviving.

In reality though, the 2016 election will prove to be a defining moment for any climate legislation.

In other news

Australia: Resources minister expects India’s coal demand to increase

Europe: Leaked commission report says climate goals need profound lifestyle changes

Arms: Ex-oil and gas man Charles Woodburn set to take the helm at BAE Systems

Climate change: PwC warns oil and gas industry to prepare for low-carbon economy

Israel: Solar tower set to boost market

Russia: New energy project discussions in Hungary