Daily News Roundup

THORP – 21 Today – but no key to waste crisis

27th March 2015 marks the 21st anniversary of THORP chopping up its first batch of spent nuclear fuel. Opened in 1994, the £2.85bn plant had been dubbed by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) as the Jewel in Sellafields’s Crown and a World Beating Flagship Plant that would reprocess 7000 tonnes of fuel in its first ten years, win more overseas business and make a profit of £500M in that first decade. Now scheduled to close in 2018, the Jewel has been …

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26 March 2015

Radwaste

Today Her Majesty’s government quietly removed the power of local and county councils to say no to burial of existing and future nuclear wastes beneath their homes. The predetermined decision to “Implement Geological Disposal” now lies with the Secretary of State under Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. This vicious NSIP ruling overrides any considerations on the land such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, heritage or conservation areas. Using the most undemocratic tool of “delegated legislation” this decision has been forced …

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25 March 2015

Sellafield

The first radioactive sludge has been removed at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in the UK, marking a major step forward in its clean-up. Around 1,500 cubic meters of radioactive sludge will be emptied from First Generation Magnox Storage Pond (FGMSP), which was constructed to store, cool and prepare used Magnox nuclear fuel for recycling into new fuel. The sludge has to be carefully removed, while leaving the water in place to provide a radioactive shield for the stored nuclear fuel.

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24 March 2015

Hinkley

A conference was held in London on 5th March 2015. The event was hosted by Green MEP Molly Scott Cato and three other Green MEPs: Rebecca Harms, Claude Turmes and Michel Reimon. The conference brought together experts from all over the world to discuss the impacts of Fukushima and nuclear power on Europe in light of the recent decision of the European Commission to allow the UK government to heavily subsidise a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C.

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23 March 2015

Nuclear Skills

A new National College for Nuclear (NCfN) will train future workers and develop world class skills in the UK’s thriving nuclear industry. The college, a partnership between UK Government and nuclear employers, led by the French-state-owned generator EDF and Sellafield Ltd, will be based at two hubs in Somerset and West Cumbria, close to major sites of nuclear investment.

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22 March 2015

Politics

UK Treasury PR gimmickry entered a new phase last week when George Osborne ‘announced’ what was, according to the Daily Mail ‘the centrepiece of ambitious renewable energy plans’. That is, progress towards the building of a tidal lagoon scheme in Swansea, Wales. Alas, none of the rest of the press saw through this empty facade, either, although one might expect papers like the Guardian to be a little more questioning of this sort of hype. Nevertheless the announcement had lots …

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21 March 2015

Sizewell

Representatives from 50 town and parish councils met the Joint Local Authority Group (JLAG) to agree a range of measures they will call on EDF Energy to deliver in phase two of its Sizewell C consultation. The meeting agreed the need for the whole community – Suffolk County Council (SCC), Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) and parish councils – “to work rapidly together” to press EDF to agree its terms. Long-held aspirations for a four villages A12 bypass are included …

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20 March 2015

Hinkley

The Legal Case Against Hinkley, by Paul Dorfman.

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19 March 2015

AP1000

A new nuclear plant planned for Cumbria could explode in a disaster worse than the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, which killed dozens and spewed radioactive clouds across Europe. Nuclear expert Arnold ‘Arnie’ Gundersen, a renowned whistleblower on nuclear plant safety, claims that if reactors planned for the £10bn Moorside plant in Cumbria failed it would be like ‘Chernobyl on steroids’. Gundersen previously revealed serious safety violations at a nuclear power plant in 1990, claiming to have found radioactive material in a …

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18 March 2015

Hinkley

With the construction of Hinkley Point to be a major event for the region, respondents were asked what involvement their businesses will have. Just under half (49.2%) said the construction of Hinkley Point will not affect their business at all; with 39.22 % saying it would have an indirect affect and only 11.76 % saying it would have a direct impact – suggesting that firms in the region are not engaging with the development as much as anticipated.

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