Do we really need to make a choice between a dash for gas and new nuclear reactors? The answer is no. What we do need is a comprehensive energy efficiency programme to prevent rising energy prices driving thousands more people into fuel poverty and we should be aiming to produce 60% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
No2NuclearPower 9th Oct 2012 more >>
The UK’s plans for a new fleet of nuclear reactors could be about to get more controversial still, after Russian state nuclear operator Rosatom revealed it could look to acquire a stake in new nuclear build programmes.
Business Green 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Britain needs to find a site for a long-term underground store for our high-level nuclear waste. The project – more complex than the Channel Tunnel and potentially the size of a small city – is a political hot potato. In the New Year, councillors in Cumbria will decide whether to reject the option of building the store under the beautiful local countryside – or whether to agree to more work to find a geologically suitable site. No other region in Britain is now volunteering for such a controversial project. So what are the benefits and the risks that Cumbria has to weigh up? Chris Jackson reports for a special Inside Out.
BBC 8th Oct 2012 more >>
Hundreds of protesters converged on the proposed site of two new nuclear ‘mega-reactors’ at Hinkley Point in Somerset over the weekend. Following a march through Bridgwater on Saturday (6 October), a rally was held with speakers including CND’s Kate Hudson and a specialist engineer who has worked at the nuclear plant for almost thirty years. The engineer decried safety procedures across the nuclear industry and said that a disaster similar to Fukushima was “inevitable” in the UK. A mass trespasstook place on the site on 8 November, with more than 50 protesters scaling the fences and scattering symbolic wild flower seeds in order to ‘reclaim’ the land. Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett was also in attendance to support the actions of the protesters. It was reported that at least eight arrests took place and that protesters werel known to be on the site of the proposed reactors.
Ekklesia 9th Oct 2012 more >>
CAMPAIGNERS from Wales took part in the Mass Action at Hinkley Point in Somerset calling for a halt to nuclear energy expansion. CND Cymru vice-chairman Ray Davies, from Bedwas, and Paul Ralph, from Cwmbran, who campaign non-violently to rid the world of nuclear weapons, said they entered the proposed construction site at Hinkley nuclear power station in Somerset at 4am yesterday.
South Wales Argus 9th Oct 2012 more >>
THE arrival of more than 1,000 contract workers to help with a massive nuclear maintenance programme will boost West Somerset’s economy, it has been claimed. One of the two reactors at the Hinkley B plant went offline on Friday so the work, which will last several weeks, could begin. EDF Energy says the project, which involves EDF staff and more than 1,000 specialist contractors, will see several hundred inspections take place and new equipment installed. Station director Mike Harrison said: This inspection and investment programme will help enable us to continue generating power safely and reliably at Hinkley B for many years to come.
This is the West Country 9th Oct 2012 more >>
It’s just as well earthquakes and tsunamis are comparatively rare in Europe, because the continent’s nuclear power plants are ill-equipped to cope with them, a report has revealed. Commissioned in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, the investigation by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group used “stress tests” to assess the readiness of Europe’s reactors for similar events.
New Scientist 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Ettingshall-based Nuclear Engineering Services has invested in four CNC machining centres for the manufacturing facility at its Spring Road.
Express & Star 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Two nuclear-power plants majority-owned by Vattenfall AB, a state-owned Swedish power company, were targeted by Greenpeace activists, about 70 of whom broke into restricted areas. The activists targeted the Ringhals plant on Sweden’s west coast and the Forsmark facility on the east coast. Combined they produce about 36% of energy consumed in Sweden. At Forsmark, police initially arrested 43 activists who had scaled the surrounding fence using ladders. At Ringhals, another 16 were arrested after cutting holes through the fence, Vattenfall said.
Wall Street Journal 9th Oct 2012 more >>
They poured onto the sites of two nuclear reactor plants in Sweden this morning with minimal problems: more than 70 Greenpeace activists, from five countries, conducted peaceful stress tests of the sites. The goal: to show how weak security arrangements are at the two plants. At the Forsmark nuclear site, on the east coast of Sweden, 50 activists put ladders up against a chain link fence, scaled over the so-called ‘barrier’ and got up close to the reactor buildings. One activist was on the site for four hours before she was discovered!
Greenpeace 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Softbank CEO and renewable energy advocate Masayoshi Son said Thursday that choosing nuclear power as either 15 percent or 20 to 25 percent of the total energy mix by 2030 would actually mean marginally higher electricity costs than phasing it out completely. Speaking at an international symposium sponsored by the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation, the organization he founded last year, Son said his foundation’s calculations take into account a number of factors the government’s three energy scenarios for 2030 appear to have avoided. The government, in its two scenarios that call for some nuclear power, didn’t sufficiently consider the insurance costs of the aftermath of an accident, Son said.
Japan Times 7th Oct 2012 more >>
The proposed restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California could require a detailed review that might last months or even years, federal regulators said. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regional administrator Elmo Collins was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that it’s not yet clear if the restart plan submitted by Southern California Edison will require an amendment to the plant’s operating license. Such reviews could involve a thicket of hearings, appeals and other steps that are likely to take as long as 24 months to complete.
Energy Business Review 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Ms Merkel will want to show progress on her Energiewende, or “energy switch”, because it will be one of the central issues – along with the eurozone crisis – in next year’s federal elections. She has tol d voters repeatedly “there will be no energy switch without new networks” to pipe wind-generated electricity from the northern coast to the industrial south. But though they are in favour of the nuclear phase-out, they have not got the message. A poll for the environment ministry in August showed that while 87 per cent of those asked liked offshore wind parks, only 42 per cent could accept new power lines.
FT 9th Oct 2012 more >>
The number of German public utilities continues to rise When the citizens of the small south German town of Schnau took over the local power grid in 1997, few outsiders believed it would work. Yet today, the co-operative sells its renewable energy mix all over the country. Last year’s profits were 1.3m euros. More than a decade after the liberalisation of the sector, the number of such public utilities continues to rise – and they are likely to take on more significance as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Energiewende, or “energy transition” away from nuclear, advances. “The trend in the energy market is towards a return to public and communal ownership,” says Hans-Joachim Reck, managing director of VKU, an association of communal groups. It says more than 170 electricity and gas grid concessions, usually lasting 20 years, have been won by local public utilities since 2007 . In the same period, 60 new ones have been founded. VKU expects this number to grow. Big cities such as Munich, Cologne and Hamburg already have public utilities. Berlin and Stuttgart, as well as many smaller towns and cities, are debating the idea.
FT 9th Oct 2012 more >>
The SNP are living “in wonderland” if they believe an independent Scotland can expel nuclear weapons and join Nato, former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has claimed. Just days before a crunch vote on the issue at the SNP’s conference in Perth, the Conservative former Cabinet Secretary compared the stance to believing in the “tooth fairy”. The SNP accused him of ill- informed comments which did not reflect reality. But in an outspoken attack on the nationalists’ plans, Dr Fox told his party’s annual conference in Birmingham: It’s also possible to vote to believe in the tooth fairy.
Herald 10th Oct 2012 more >>
NUCLEAR waste could be used to generate electricity, according to a Huddersfield academic. Prof Bob Cywinski, dean of applied sciences at the University of Huddersfield, has come up with the idea of using thorium rather than uranium. He said: Conventional uranium-fuelled reactors produce highly radioactive waste which can last for thousands of years. Thorium produces far less of this waste. Even better, our reactors could use radioactive waste from conventional reactors as fuel.
Huddersfield Examiner 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Delays to the Governments flagship energy efficiency schemes will put 16,000 people out of work over the next year, insulation industry groups have warned. Ministers are preparing to introduce the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), to replace energy efficiency schemes that finish this year. The plans are crucial to the Governments aims of reducing carbon emissions and tempering rising energy demand. But, in an open letter to Energy Secretary Ed Davey, the Insulation Industry Forum, which represents 70pc of the UKs insulation industry, warned that it is extremely concerned about the Governments plans for its implementation. It argued that the gap between existing schemes ending and the new schemes becoming fully operational will put 16,000 people out of work in the industry over the next year with many jobs going before Christmas
Telegraph 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Soviet-style green subsidies for wind farms must be scrapped because turbines are blighting local communities, the new Environment Secretary said on Tuesday. Owen Paterson, who took on the role last month, said wind developers should stand on their own two feet instead of asking for money from the state. He said green technologies such as wind farms might actually have a worse impact than climate change, because they are causing public insurrection. There are significant impacts on the rural economy and the rural environment, all of which probably werent intended when these things were thought up, he told an event at the Conservative Party conference. It is not very green to be blighting the economy in one area.
Telegraph 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Senior Tories are at odds over the environment amid fears that climate change sceptics in the government are seeking to slow the pace of the introduction of renewable energy. Greg Barker, the climate change minister who has been a key figure in pressing the green agenda in the party, said it was vital to “make a stronger case” on the importance of renewable energy. Barker spoke out shortly after Owen Paterson, the new environment secretary, warned of the dangers of “unintended consequences of renewable energy” in the countryside. The contrasting messages from the two ministers highlighted sharp divisions within the government over climate change in the wake of the recent cabinet reshuffle. Paterson has been praised by the former chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby, who is a sceptic.
Guardian 9th Oct 2012 more >>
Alex Salmond’s claim that he heads one of the world’s greenest governments has been vigorously contested after it emerged his North Sea oil plans could pump up to 10bn tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Guardian 9th Oct 2012 more >>