Stop New Nuclear August newsletter.
Stop New Nuclear 30th July 2011 more >>
Oldbury Nuclear Power Station saw plenty of regulatory activity in the last few weeks as the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has been engaged in regulation of an extension to the operating lifetime of Reactor 1, installation of safety-improving equipment and de-licensing of a major part of its nuclear licensed site.
HSE 27th July 2011 more >>
Two Rio Tinto employees allegedly stole at least 170kg of uranium from the Rossing mine in Namibia in 2009. American nuclear officials were asked to help Rio, which owns 69 per cent of Rossing, to bolster security at the mine. According to Wikileaks cables, the Rossing employees scooped the U308 also called yellowcake into plastic bags and these were put into a dumpster. The uranium was then recovered from Rossings dump site. The employees were arrested as they tried to sell the uranium. However, American authorities were concerned that up to 250kg of uranium remained missing.
Times 1st Aug 2011 more >>
Prime Minister Naoto Kans proposal to split electricity monopolies into generation and distribution companies as part of his plan to wean Japan from nuclear energy may be opposed by utilities as the nation faces power shortages.
Bloomberg 31st July 2011 more >>
In spring 2004, young bureaucrats at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry urged their boss to halt the government-backed nuclear fuel cycle project, which involves reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to produce plutonium that can be reused to produce electricity. In what was effectively an attempted coup, the young bureaucrats who were opposed to using such a large amount of taxpayer money for the project tried to stop it at the last minute. Amid the Fukushima crisis, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has expressed his intention to rethink and possibly scuttle the nuclear fuel cycle project. The project will only be effective if fast-breeder reactors are put into operation.
Japan Times 30th July 2011 more >>
As temperatures soared to 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a recent July morning, school children in Fukushima prefecture were taking off their masks and running around playgrounds in T-shirts, exposing them to a similar amount of annual radiation as a worker in a nuclear power plant. Toshinori Shishido, a Japanese literature teacher of 25 years, had warned his students two months ago to wear surgical masks and keep their skin covered with long-sleeved shirts. His advice went unheeded, not because of the weather but because his school told him not to alarm students. Shishido quit this week.
Bloomberg 28th July 2011 more >>
The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis is stirring up citizens anger and action as this video shows. This is directed not just at the government of Naoto Kan, whose popularity has slumped in the polls, but also at Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of Fukushima and chief representative of what has come to be known disparagingly as the nuclear village. There is now a lively citizens debate about the future of Japans energy policy, about levels of compensation for evacuees from Fukushima and about whether more political power should be devolved from Tokyo. There is also widespread anger at the perception that the government is more intent on testing beef for radiation levels to assure customers and protect farmers than it is on testing people. It is too early to predict the coming of age of Japans civil society. But it is certainly possible that the March 11 tsunami will prove something of a turning point.
FT 31st July 2011 more >>
Sheikh Ahmed Mashagbeh has nuclear on the mind. For the last six months, the 70-year-old tribal leader has broken from his traditional role of brokering engagements and land disputes to reading up on atomic energy and nuclear waste disposal. Now a self-proclaimed nuclear expert, Mashagbeh has one simple message for decision makers. If they think they will build a nuclear reactor here, the Bani Hassan tribe will go nuclear, Mashagbeh said. As weeks and months have passed since the an ouncement of the leading site for the countrys first nuclear reactor in Balaama near Mafraq, some 40 kilometres northeast of the capital, the prevailing sense of surprise among local residents has gradually turned into resistance.
Jordan Times 1st Aug 2011 more >>
North Korea said on Monday that it wants to see nuclear disarmament talks resume soon “without preconditions”, the first official word from Pyongyang since a senior North Korean diplomat visited New York last week for talks with US officials.
Guardian 1st August 2011 more >>
BBC 1st August 2011 more >>
A water company is aiming to become Britain’s biggest producer and industrial user of solar power. Thames Water has agreed a deal which will lead to the installation of solar panels which will provide an annual output of more than 4,500 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, which is enough to run about 970 average-sized homes. Thames Water estimates the scheme will shave £100,000 a year off its £80m energy bill. The panels will be fitted in three sites across London: on the roof of the Beckton desalination plant in Newham, on storm tanks at Crossness sewage works in Bexley and on redundant sand filters at Walton water treatment works in Sunbury. The scheme will see Ennoviga Solar, a specialist photovoltaic developer, maintain the panels, repaying the £7m investment by selling all the clean electricity produced to the water company at a competitive price.
Independent 1st August 2011 more >>
Recent energy price rises will have left many consumers enraged. Meanwhile, the debate about renewable energy focuses so much on wind farms that the huge untapped potential to take action in our own homes is often forgotten. Yet widespread adoption of “home renewables” like solar panels, heat pumps and wood fuel boilers can slash household bills and help Scotland achieve its carbon reduction targets. A recent poll reveals that nearly two-thirds of Scots are interested in installing renewables but, for nearly 60 per cent of those, cost remains the single biggest barrier. Westminster’s feed-in-tariff, which provides payments for smaller scale electricity generation, led to 1,373 new projects in Scotland in its first 12 months but is expected to be scaled back when reviewed later this year. From today the renewable heat premium payment offers householders help in paying to install equipment such as heat pumps and solar thermal panels. But the scheme is only designed to cover 10 per cent of up-front costs and in some cases, much less not enough to stimulate widespread take-up. There is a real danger that insufficient incentives, together with consumer confusion, means ordinary Scots will end up facing higher than average energy bills and miss out on the chance to benefit from the renewables revolution. Westminster’s flagship Green Deal, to be introduced in autumn 2012, could offer an innovative solution. Householders will have the opportunity to take out a loan to pay for up-front energy efficiency measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation. However, to really help consumers to cut energy demand and reduce carbon emissions, the Green Deal should also cover the installation of home renewables. Using the scheme to both reduce energy use and encourage the generation of green energy would be a truly effective way of r educing up front costs. Otherwise, the future of renewables may remain in our hills and seas rather than in our homes.
Scotsman 1st August 2011 more >>