Peter Melchett

Norfolk farmer and veteran campaigner Lord Peter Melchett has died aged 71. The Labour peer lived in north west Norfolk. Lord Melchett became nationally known having led a group of 28 Greenpeace campaigners who trashed a GM maize trial crop at a site in Lyng, in 2000. As executive director of Greenpeace UK at the time, Lord Melchett was acquitted of all charges along with his fellow activists. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Disks in 2000, Lord Melchett said: “You can only do it if people support you, and they won’t if what you’re doing isn’t right or if what you’re predicting doesn’t turn out to be true.”

Eastern Daily Press 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Sybil Ruscoe hears a tribute to the environmental campaigner Peter Melchett who has died. Lord Melchett was the Policy Director of the Soil Association and an organic farmer in Norfolk.

BBC 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Nuclear Finance

Mark Corben – former chief financial officer at the SPV for the Thames Tideway Tunnel – has moved to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to advise on development of a new finance model for funding new nuclear projects.

Infrastructure Journal 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

Springfields

Springfields Nuclear Fuel plant near Preston is gearing up to produce new and even more dangerous nuclear fuel for the UK government’s diabolic new nuclear build programme at Hinkley, Wylfa, Moorside, Heysham etc. And Springfields Nuclear Fuel plant is due to be surrounded by the UKs first major gas field with fracking operations by Cuadrilla at Preston New Road and Roseacre. Most folk will have heard of the fracking operations on the Fylde but Springfields has slipped under the radar for decades and that is no accident. Please watch this and remember that Springfields is the spinning spider, hiding in plain sight at the centre of the nuclear industry’s web of evil. Fracking is bad, nuclear is off the richter scale. But a whole generation have been carefully groomed to ignore the nuclear industry as a threat to all life on planet earth and instead to see it as some kind of ‘saviour’ even a “national treasure.” Here are some quotes from the filmaker ..“Silt is uncovered at low tide containing up to 1000,000 bq per dry kilogram of thorium and proctactinium” “… these levels would not be permitted in the unrestricted areas of BNFL plant. The source of this pollution is more than three miles downstream where BNFL Springfields, converted from a Ministry of Defence poison gas plant by 1948 at Salwick, discharges its radioactive waste material into the river.”

Radiation Free Lakeland 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

Dounreay

Nuvia (UK) has won a “multi-million-pound” contract from Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) to design, procure, install and commission plant and equipment to remove the residual sodium-potassium (NaK) remaining in the Dounreay Fast Reactor’s (DFR) piping network. The DFR started operating in 1959 using sodium-potassium coolant. Nuvia said today that the NaK is to be removed using an existing Water Vapour Nitrogen process – “essentially steam” – that will react with the residue, producing sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and hydrogen. The resultant products will be collected and processed using existing gas filtration systems and the existing Ion Exchange Plant to make them safe for disposal, the company said.

World Nuclear News 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

Utilities

The deal to merge Npower and SSE’s retail operations has been given the provisional green light after the energy watchdog said there is “plenty of choice” in the UK market. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) dismissed fears that it would have an impact on the most expensive deals as its inquiry found the providers – two of the Big Six in the UK – do not compete closely on standard variable tariffs (SVTs). There had been initial concerns that the tie-up would affect these tariffs – the most common and expensive energy deals.

Energy Voice 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

Floating Reactors

Despite a spate of headlines to the contrary, the Russian behemoth currently tied to a dock in Murmansk is not the world’s first floating nuclear power plant. That honor went to the MH-1A Sturgis, built by the US Army and towed to the Panama Canal Zone more than 50 years ago to be used as a portable electricity supply. It is currently being dismantled in Galveston, Texas, a four-year job that is nearly done. That makes the Akademik Lomonosov, which is basically a giant barge housing two nuclear reactors of the type used on submarines, “for now the only one of its kind,” as the New York Times reported earlier this week. Commissioned by the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, the floating facility has been under construction since 2010. Its reactors will be loaded with nuclear fuel and started up this autumn, according to Rosatom, and then towed to the seaport of Pevek—about 500 miles from Alaska—where it will replace two aging, smaller power plants and generate up to 70 megawatts of electricity.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

SMRs

It turns out you don’t have to run at all. First, they really can’t melt down. Second, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission just agreed that any emergencies that could possibly occur at a small modular nuclear power plant probably won’t even get past the fence. No need to come up with huge evacuation plans for nearby cities or anyone living near the plant, like we did for older plants. You can just stand there at the fence and watch what’s going on.

Forbes 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

France

No one knew Nicolas Hulot, the French environment minister, was about to resign when he went on a radio breakfast show yesterday morning – not even himself. But as the live discussion unfolded, focusing on his government’s failures on climate change, it became clear that Hulot had reached a decision. “I don’t understand that we are witnessing the gestation of a tragedy with indifference,” Hulot said. “The planet is becoming a sauna, our natural resources are draining, biodiversity is vanishing. And we stubbornly try to revive an economic model that is the cause of all this mess.” Macron may still save face – but that will take real political courage by living up to his promises on cutting emissions, pesticides bans and wildlife protection. Sucking up to lobbyists won’t make the planet great again.

Guardian 29th Aug 2018 read more »

[Machine Translation] A mission launched by the former Minister of Ecological Transition and the Minister of the Economy on the maintenance of skills in the nuclear industry recommends building six EPR from 2025. It is a report that, ensures the entourage of Nicolas Hulot, was hardly traveled by the former minister of the ecological transition and solidarity. But it is a report that would have probably fed his criticism of the “useless folly” of the nuclear he still denounced Tuesday and that would not have facilitated his task in his fight to diversify the French energy mix. Last spring, Nicolas Hulot and his counterpart of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, jointly launched a “mission concerning the maintenance of the industrial capacities of the nuclear industry with a view to potential new reactor constructions”, according to the mission letter consulted. by “Les Echos”. While the industry made the construction shutdown at the end of the 1990s responsible for repeated delays in the Flamanville (Manche) and Olkiluoto (Finland) EPR , the aim was to evaluate periods of inactivity […] and the conditions under which the industrial capacities required for the construction of reactors could be remobilized after a period of prolonged inactivity “. A concern for civil activities but also for defense – with the nuclear propulsion of submarines and aircraft carriers.

Les Echos 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

US

From our friends in the US “Even if you think you don’t care if California sinks into the sea, you should care, because millions of Californians could be coming your way. And, in the event of a nuclear accident, some of the radiation will also come your way. San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is closed, but nuclear fuel still remains on site, and is being buried in flimsy spent fuel canisters there.”

Radiation Free Lakeland 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Nuclear Safety Board Slams Energy Department Plan to Weaken Oversight. The Trump administration defended an order that could be used to withhold information about nuclear facilities from a federal board, but its leader says the action is not consistent with the U.S. Atomic Energy Act.

Pro Publica 29th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018

US – radwaste

How a nuclear stalemate left radioactive waste stranded on a California beach. When I got to the San Onofre State Beach about 60 miles north of San Diego, the red sun of fire season was sandwiched on the horizon between a layer of fog and the sea. Surfers floated in a line off the shore. It looked like any other California beach — except for the row of signs that warned “Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Area,” and the twin reactor domes rising above the bluffs. I was there to see the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, a shuttered nuclear power plant right next to the Pacific Ocean. It once supplied electricity to Southern California, but was permanently shut down in 2013. It’s now scheduled to be dismantled, but even when that happens, more than 1,700 tons of spent nuclear fuel will remain — interred in enormous concrete casks behind a seawall. There’s nowhere else to put it. It’s a question that nuclear power plants around the country are reckoning with as low natural gas prices, costly repairs, and political pressure have driven a half dozen reactors to retire early since 2013, according to the Department of Energy. More are slated to shut down in the next ten years — including Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plant, Rob Nikolewski reports for The San Diego Union-Tribune. That leaves communities that are no longer benefiting from nuclear power saddled with its waste — cooling off in gigantic pools of water made out of reinforced concrete or steel and concrete containers called dry storage.

The Verge 28th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 August 2018