REVOLT News 

15/05/2004

Text Version 

1. Attila Muhi manager of TeLoRay Systems, Sweden,
<http://www.teloray.se> writes to say they produce low-emf phones and
telephone filters, will be in Glasgow on Wednesday May 5th and can
easily arrange a demonstration of phones and filter equipment. Office:
+46 241 216 00, Fax: +46 241 216 02, Mobile +46 241 10 262 47 87.
 
2. Ofgem's Electricity Distribution Price Control Review (EDPCR) has
issued a 128-page Policy Document of March 2004 to add to a string of
other consultation documents for this exercise. Details from
<www.ofgem.gov.uk>, responses by 5 May to <nienke.hendriks@pfgem.gov.uk>
. My response is at Appendix 1.
3. Snips from news@all-energy issues 36 and 37, April & May 2004, are at
Appendices 2 and 3. Note the increased estimate of grid reinforcement
needed mainly for wind farms, now 3 billion pounds (item 3.4 of issue
37).
4. Members have observed that some of NG's road accesses (verge
crossings etc.) for building the Lackenby-Picton-Shipton line appear not
to have been reinstated as expected. In response to enquiries, Maurice
Cann of Hambleton District Council replies: "I am waiting for final
confirmation from NGC on this. However, I believe that all temporary
accesses have been reinstated, together with landscaping, either to
original condition or as modified by further planning applications, of
which there have been quite a number."
5. In a reply 19.4.04 to Anne McIntosh MP, the energy minister Stephen
Timms writes "The cost of grid reinforcement for transmission and
distribution for the major expansion of renewable energy envisaged in
the years ahead is currently estimated at £2.1 billion. This investment,
spread over at least 6 years from 2006, would allow the connection of at
least 12 GW of new renewable energy projects. The investment would be
recovered from use-of-system charges over the 40 year life of the new
assets. These system charges would be in the region of £200 million per
year. There is no need for significant extra backup capacity by 2010,
and by 2020, with 20% of electricity from renewables, the system
balancing costs charged to renewable generators (which includes the cost
of backup generation capacity) would not exceed £2.80/MWh. There are no
estimates of the number of overhead pylons required. The likelihood is
that existing transmission lines are upgraded rather than major new
lines built. Individual renewable energy projects are normally connected
to the transmission grid system by wooden pole lines. All new renewable
energy projects are subject to full Environmental Impact Assessment and
the extent of any effects assessed at that stage, including that of
connections."
6.  Prof Denis Henshaw is to give an invited paper (see Appendix 4) to a
WHO meeting on EMF and children, in Istanbul 9-11 June this year. He
will talk about the melatonin hypothesis, based on his wide-ranging
reviews of the scientific literature on the effects of EMF in
suppressing melatonin and the therapeutic effects of melatonin. He is
joined by Russell Reiter, a well known leading researcher in the
melatonin hypothesis, as co-author. This paper will fit in with the UK
stakeholder group meeting 29 June and the Children with leukaemia
conference in London in September. Gradually things are moving towards
recognition of the rational concerns about potential harm from EMFs and
a precautionary response.
7. From <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-1102439,00.html>:
"Blackouts loom as chaos halts investment plans" By Lucinda Kemeny
Demand for energy is rising but power firms are paralysed by a lack of
clarity over regulation. 
... Those blackouts [last year] shocked the industry as much as
consumers, a point highlighted by
a report to be published tomorrow by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC).
After talking to 148 utility firms in 47 countries, PWC found that
security of supply had become the energy industry's biggest worry. Yet,
as recently as a year ago, it barely registered as a concern.  ... The
PWC report, called Supply Essentials, suggests that the industry is
facing an immense challenge. World demand for energy is expected to rise
by two-thirds between now and 2030.  Yet utility companies are reluctant
to invest the amounts needed for new generating capacity. They feel
paralysed by the lack of clarity from governments and regulators, hemmed
in by the increasing scarcity of natural resources. ...
8. Snips from Defra mag Energy & Environmental Management May/June 2004:
(a) A leading article on climate change starts "The potential impacts of
climate change are probably the most serious issues facing the world
today."  Oh dear! Such hyperbole only undermines the credibility of its
author. What about religious conflict, abuse of power, resistance to
antibiotics, and chemical pollution? Climate change is surely important,
and efforts to reduce pollution of any kind to be encouraged, but most
of it is probably natural anyway so action will only have a very limited
effect. Therefore effectiveness and collateral damage should be
carefully considered in moderation of the excessive schemes (like remote
wind farms).
(b) In the same vein, Helen Woolston of the Engineering Employers'
Federation says "I try to explain to our members what things will be
like if we don't take action". Does she know what things will be like if
we DO take action?
(c) Phil Jones of Building Energy Solutions says "Where applicable, CHP
is the single biggest hit we can make on building running costs and CO2
emissions".
(d) Nice small scale example in the village of Llanwddyn, Powys: a
renewable local woodchip scheme provides heat to a school, community
centre and 19 homes, put together with grants.
(e) Nice balance on a larger scale: London's Energy Plan launched in
March includes 7,250 photovoltaic installations, 6 large wind turbines,
500 small wind generators, 27,000 solar water heating schemes and more
biomass CHP, all by 2010. 
(f)  Professor Jim Skea, Director of the Policy Studies Institute, is
the research director designate of the new UK Energy Research Centre
(UKERC), the government advisory body announced in the 2003 Energy White
Paper. (Also much reported in the press.)
9.  Anne McIntosh MP has been appointed to the Energy Bill Committee. I
am suggesting she may like to raise the question of distributed nuclear
generation (news156.7 as repeated below):
"Now here's an interesting idea. My former colleague Tom Thomas,
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, describes the idea circulating
among nuclear engineers that the small-scale nuclear power units used in
nuclear submarines could be mass-produced for distributed electricity
generation. See Appendix 6. Possible locations might be at electricity
distribution substations. Revolt has no position on nuclear energy, but
any government serious about tackling the greenhouse gas problem,
knowing the limits of renewable (and especially of intermittent wind)
generation, surely should at least examine this idea? Has there been a
feasibility study, and if not why not?"
*************************************************************
APPENDIX 1.  Response to EDPCR Policy Document.
With reference to 5.35 - 5.38 on incentives for Distribution Network
Operators (DNOs) to facilitate distributed generation (DG) and in
particular microgeneration, the incentive should indeed apply to
microgenerators for the following reasons. Microgenerators will be an
important feature in improved efficiency and government CHP targets, as
well as potentially relieving pressure on network capacity and stability
arising from intermittent renewables.
Given the general acceptance (in 4.69) of the broader environmental
responsibilities of DNOs, reporting requirements should be strong enough
to ensure transparency of environmental impacts and of the effectiveness
(or not) of measures and controls. Therefore I support the Ofgem
proposals in 4.71. Stakeholder dialogue is a further helpful device to
make the Schedule 9 Statements more meaningful and effective. 
With reference to 4.72, it will be important to find appropriate
financial incentives for environmental performance, and I hope this will
not be unduly delayed. To leave it until after the period of the next
price control would be too long and without a stated justification. At
the very least, Ofgem should set out the pros and cons and put its
justification in writing.
With reference to 4.76 on undergrounding, Ofgem should consider the full
range of costs and benefits, not merely the costs. The public benefits
can include matters of amenity, quality of life, property value,
perceived and scientifically possible harm to health, and network
security (not least in an age of terrorist threats, though these might
apply more to transmission).
Further on undergrounding, by way of encouraging innovation (section 5
and 5.43), Ofgem should assess the state of the art for high temperature
superconducting cables (HSC) and in particular very low impedance (VLI)
cable configurations, and take into account their potential economic and
other benefits. A "white paper" of Aug 2003 from the American
Superconductor Company (and others) sets out "concepts, operational
implications and financial benefits".
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***
APPENDIX 2  Snips from news@all-energy issue 36 April 2004
3.3.Defeats in Lords for energy plans
The Government was defeated in the Lords 30 March during debate on the
Energy Bill when Peers voted first to require consultation before
ministers introduced any adjustments of transmission charges for
renewable energy; and then that any such adjustment scheme should be
subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament http://news.scotsman.co
m/latest.cfm?id=2718805
3.4.Barriers swept away
Ofgem and the DTI have published the second annual report of the
Distributed Generation Co-ordination Group (DGCG). The report for 2003
shows that already at least half of the 24 barriers to the development
of small scale distributed generators identified by the DGCG when it was
founded have been removed  www.ofgem.gov.uk/temp/ofgem/cache/cmsattach/6
622_r2704_30march.pdf
7.3.From coal to willow
Scottish Coal is pioneering a drive into renewable energy by planting
500,000 willow trees at a new nursery in Midlothian. With UK coal stocks
rapidly depleting, willow is fast becoming an eco-friendly alternative
fuel source. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=413352004 
9.1.A world first for Norway
The hydrogen plant on Utsira on Norway's west coast has started
producing electricity. From the summer, 10 of the households on the
island will get all their electricity in the form of renewable energy.
This is the world's first full-scale autonomous renewable energy system
based on wind power and hydrogen www.hydro.com/en/press_room/news/archiv
e/2004_04/utsira_power_en.html 
9.2.Using atomic energy to produce hydrogen
South Korea and China have opened a joint research centre at Qinghua
University in Beijing to produce hydrogen energy by making use of atomic
energy www.fuelcelltoday.com/FuelCellToday/IndustryInformation/IndustryI
nformationExternal/NewsDisplayArticle/0,1602,4271,00.html
11.1.Irish industry urged to use CHP
Sustainable Energy Ireland is urging Irish industry to consider
alternative and more efficient means of electricity generation and
energy use such as CHP as a way of reducing national energy consumption
www.irish-energy.ie/content/content.asp?section_id=1050&language_id=1&pu
blication_id=1383 
***************************************************************
APPENDIX 3  Snips from news@all-energy issue 37 May 2004
1.1.Annual Report on the Energy White Paper
Trade Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, and Environment Secretary, Margaret
Beckett published the first annual report of the Energy White Paper as
part of the work of the Sustainable Energy Policy Network. Monday 10
May, incidentally, sees the Second Reading of the Energy Bill in
Parliament. The Bill will go into Committee on 18 May. www.gnn.gov.uk/gn
n/national.nsf/TI/6F7975BFE60C024980256E82004C2DCD?opendocument 
1.9.Carbon storage and nuclear on the agenda
The cuts the world will have to make in emissions of carbon dioxide are
so huge it will have to find other ways to deal with the gas, says Prof
John Shepherd of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Carbon
storage and possibly new nuclear power figure on his list http://news.bb
c.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3667979.stm 
1.10.Build new nuclear plants, says Institute of Physics
The IoP supports the drive to increase renewable capacity, but also
believes that the UK's nuclear capacity needs to be maintained by
replacing current nuclear reactors when they are decommissioned with a
new generation of nuclear technology. www.iop.org/news/740 
1.11.The politics of power and 'What to use when the oil runs out'
Nuclear, dash for gas, level playing field, renewable energy, wind power
+++. BBC Online looks at them all. "UK energy policy, for so long a
relatively uncontroversial area, looks set to climb back up the
political agenda in the years ahead."  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_pol
itics/3581637.stm and renewable options are at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3623675.stm 
3.1.Good news from Ofgem
Ofgem has confirmed its intention to develop proposals to allow
additional investment in the electricity transmission network as demand
for renewable generation increases www.ofgem.gov.uk/temp/ofgem/cache/cms
attach/7025_r3604_7may.pdf 
3.2.Dearer gas and electricity on the cards
Gas and electricity bills will rocket by 20per cent over the next six
years as a direct result of the UK's move towards 'green' energy,
consumers will be warned by the Institute of Public Policy Research
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=528872004 
3.4.Major grid investment needed
Investment of £3 billion is needed in the electricity grid to help the
Government meet its target of generating 10 per cent of power by
renewable energy by the year 2010, according to a report. Research by
the DTI and the Carbon Trust found there was more than enough wind
energy development in place for the target to be achieved. Plans already
in place would deliver 70 per cent of the target by 2006 http://news.sco
tsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2817442  
5.3.Work in Ireland begins again
Work on the 60 million Euro windfarm project at Derrybrien in Ireland,
suspended following a massive landslide in October, is set to recommence
www.renewables-club.com/news/article.asp?newsID=43 
*************************************************
APPENDIX 4    Henshaw and Reiter's paper to WHO workshop June 2004
World Health Organisation International EMF Project Workshop 
on Sensitivity of Children to EMF
9th - 11th June 2004,  Crown Plaza Istanbul, Turkey
Do magnetic fields cause increased risk of childhood leukaemia via
melatonin disruption?
Denis L Henshaw1 & Russel J Reiter2
1H H Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue,
Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK
2Department of Cellular & Structural Biology, MC7762, The University of
Texas Health Science
 Centre, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX78229-3900, USA
Contact: D L Henshaw, H H Wills Physics Laboratory, Tyndall Avenue,
Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 117 9260353; fax: +44 (0) 117 9251723; E-mail: ? HYPERLINK
"mailto:d.l.henshaw@bris.ac.uk" ??d.l.henshaw@bris.ac.uk?;
www.electric-fields.bris.ac.uk
Introduction.  We present the hypothesis that exposure to power
frequency magnetic fields causes increased risk of childhood leukaemia
via the disruption of the nocturnal production of melatonin in the
pineal gland.  
Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytrptamine) has been identified in a wide
range of organisms from bacteria to human beings.  Its principal source
in man is as the chief secretory product of the pineal gland.  This
follows a marked circadian rhythm, the majority production occurring at
night regulated by non-rod, non-cone receptors in the eye sensing the
absence of light. 
Melatonin is remarkably non-toxic and has been found to be a radical
scavenger and antioxidant, more effective than either vitamins C or E.
The hormone has been found to protect cells, tissues and organs against
oxidative damage induced by a variety of free radical generating agents
and processes, e.g. the carcinogen safrole, lipopolysaccharide, kainic
acid, Fenton reagents, potassium cyanide, ischemia-reperfusion and
ionising radiation (Reiter et al. 1997).  Melatonin is an antioxidant
effective in protecting nuclear DNA, membrane lipids and possibly
cytosolic proteins from oxidative damage.  It has been reported to alter
the activities of enzymes which improve the total antioxidative defence
capacity of the organism.
The melatonin hypothesis. Stevens (1987) noted that breast cancer was a
disease of modern life associated with industrialisation. He proposed
that the use of electric power may increase the risk of breast cancer.
The risk arose from reduced production of nocturnal melatonin brought
about by exposure to two principal agents, namely light-at-night, LAN
from domestic as well as street lighting and magnetic fields associated
with the electricity supply.  Strong support for LAN affecting breast
cancer risk has come from experiments in animals. Support in humans
comes from the observation of reduced hormone-related cancer rates in
the blind and partially sighted and increased breast cancer rates in
nightshift workers (e.g. Hahn 1991, Feychting et al. 1998, Hansen 2001). 
Magnetic field suppression of melatonin.  There are now at least 12
studies in human populations examining whether exposure to power
frequency magnetic fields reduces or otherwise disrupts the nocturnal
production of pineal melatonin. One study does not support this notion,
although the study sample was small.  For the remaining 11 studies,
while some show a weak effect of melatonin disruption, others show clear
effects including a dose response relationship for magnetic field
exposures as low as 0.2 μT or lower (e.g. Davies et al. 2001, Burch et
al. 2002). Of particular interest are those studies reporting melatonin
disruption in relation to 3-phase EMF sources (e.g. Burch et al. 2000).
Such sources set up elliptically or circularly polarised fields which
induce higher currents in the body compared with linearly polarised
(plane wave) fields and which have been reported to be more effective in
suppressing pineal melatonin in rats (Kato and Shigemitsu 1997).  We
have noted that some degree of polarisation is the norm for magnetic
fields associated with the electricity supply (Ainsbury 2004).  The
effect of magnetic fields on breast cancer risk, however, is not well
established and pooled analyses of studies suggest only a small increase
in risk (Erren 2001).
Childhood leukaemia and melatonin.  The potential importance of
melatonin suppression to leukaemia risk arises from the observation that
the hormone is highly protective of oxidative damage to the human
haemopoietic system.  Vijayalaxmi et al. (1996) administered 300 mg of
melatonin to four healthy volunteers. Immediately, and one and two hours
later, blood samples were taken and irradiated with 1.5 Gy 137Cs gamma
radiation.  Compared with blood samples taken immediately, those taken
at two hours had significantly decreased (50 - 70%) chromosome
aberrations and micronuclei.  The authors concluded that the
observations may have important implications for the protection of human
lymphocytes from genetic damage induced by free radical-producing
mutagens and carcinogens.  The authors investigated the mechanism of
melatonin protectiveness in terms of both direct scavenging in the cell
nucleus of radiation-induced free radicals, including the hydroxyl
radical and action at the cell membrane and in the cytosol to trigger
activation of existing DNA repair enzymes and/or activation of a set of
genes that lead to de novo protein synthesis associated with DNA repair
(Vijayalaxmi et al. 1998).  In a further experiment, Vijayalaxmi et al.
(1999) irradiated mice with 8.15 Gy gamma radiation untreated and pre-
treated with 125 and 250 mg melatonin.  In the untreated mice, 45% were
alive after 30 days, but 85% were still alive in those pre-treated with
250 mg melatonin.  
Melatonin has also been shown to be highly protective of oxidative
damage to the fetus in animals and there is a sizeable literature on
this subject (e.g. Wakatsuki et al. 1999, 2001).  In women, Okatani et
al. (1998) showed the efficient maternal-fetal transfer of melatonin
near term.  The relevance to childhood leukaemia stems from compelling
evidence that the initiating event(s) in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
(ALL) appear to take place in utero (Greaves 2002).  
Epidemiological and experimental tests of this hypothesis.  The seven-
fold increase in childhood leukaemia aged 1- 4 last century in England
and Wales (ONS 2004) may implicate in its aetiology LAN, and melatonin
disruption and therefore magnetic fields.  The protectiveness of
melatonin to the haemopoietic system could be examined in the presence
of magnetic fields.
References
Ainsbury E. 2004 University of Bristol, personal communication.
Burch JB, Reif JS, Noonan CW, Ichinose et al., 2002.  Melatonin
metabolite excretion among cellular telephone users.  Int. J. Radiat.
Biol, 78, 1029-1036.
Davis S, Kaune, WT, Mirick DK, Chen C. and Stevens RG, 2001.
Residential Magnetic Fields, Light-at-Night, and Nocturnal Urinary
6-Sulfatoxymelatonin Concentration in Women.  Am. J.  Epidemiol. 154
(7), 591-600.  
Feychting M, Ă–sterlund B. and Ahlbom A, 1998.  Reduced cancer incidence
among the blind.  Epidemiology, 9, 490-4. 
Greaves M. 2002.  Clinical Review: Science, medicine and the future -
Childhood leukaemia. BMJ, 324, 283-287.    
Okatani Y, Okamoto K, Hayashi K,  et al. 1998. Maternal-fetal transfer
of melatonin in pregnant women near term.  J. Pineal Res, 25, 129-134.
Erren TC. 2001.  A meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies of electric
and magnetic fields and breat cancer in women and men.
Bioelectromagnetics, Supplement 5, S105-S119.
Hahn RA, 1991.  Profound bilateral blindness and the incidence of breast
cancer.  Epidemiology, 2, 208-210. 
Hansen J, 2001.  Light at Night, Shiftwork, and Breast Cancer Risk.  J.
Nat. Cancer Institute, 93 (No. 20), 1513-1515.
Kato M. & Shigemitsu T, 1997.  Effects of 50-Hz Magnetic Fields on
Pineal Function in the Rat. In: The Melatonin Hypothesis - "Breast
Cancer and Use of Electric Power", Eds: Stevens et al. Battelle Press,
Columbus, Richland. pp 337-376.
ONS: Office of National Statistics UK CDROMs 2004.
Okatani Y, Okamoto K, Hayashi K, et al, 1998. Maternal-fetal transfer of
melatonin in pregnant women near term.  J. Pineal Res, 25, 129-134.
Reiter R., Tang L, Garcia JJ et al., 1997. Pharmacological actions of
melatonin in oxygen radical pathophysiology.  Life Sciences, 60(25),
2255-2271
Stevens RG, 1987.  Electric power use and breast cancer:  A hypothesis.
Am. J. Epidemiol. 125:556-561.
Vijayalaxmi., Reiter, R. J., Herman, TS, et al. 1996.  Melatonin and
radioprotection from genetic damage: In vivo/in vitro studies with human
volunteers.  Mut. Res. 71, 221 -228. 
Vijayalaxmi, Reiter RJ, Meltz ML, et al. 1998.  Melatonin: possible
mechanisms involved in its 'radioprotective' effect.  Mut. Res., 404,
187-189.   
Vijayalaxmi., Meltz ML, Reiter RJ. et al. 1999.  Melatonin and
protection from whole-body irradiation: survival studies in mice.  Mut.
Res., 425, 21-27.  
Wakatsuki A, Izumiya C, Okatani Y. et al. 1999.  Oxidative damage in
fetal rat brain induced by ischemia and subsequent reperfusion.  Biology
of the Neonate, 76, 84-91.
Wakatsuki, A, Okatani Y, Izumiya C. et al. 1999.  Effect of ischemia-
reperfusion on xanthine oxidase activity in fetal rat brain capillaries.
Am. J Obstetrics Gynecology, 181, 731-735. 
****************************************************************
-- Mike O'Carroll

 

Text Version