The UK government wants nuclear power to be given parity with renewables in Europe, in a move that would significantly boost atomic energy in Britain but downgrade investment in renewable generation, according to a leaked document seen by the Guardian. The move would in effect remove the most important prop from the beleaguered renewable energy sector the Europe-wide targets stipulating that a proportion of each member state’s energy must come from renewable sources. That target should be scrapped when its current phase requiring member states to generate 20% of energy from renewables runs out in 2020, according to a secret submission to the European commission. “The UK envisages multiple low-carbon technologies: renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, all competing freely against each other in the years to come For this reason, we cannot support a 2030 renewables target,” it reads. But the document calls for “some type of target for 2030”, which a government adviser told the Guardian is likely to be a target for low-carbon energy. This would include nuclear alongside renewables and so far unproven technology for capturing and storing carbon dioxide underground.
Guardian 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Nuclear vs Climate
We need to start aggressively deploying all forms of carbon-free power if we are to avoid catastrophic global warming, starting with the lowest cost ones. Thats what makes the events of March 12, 2011 so tragic. It (once again) shattered the myth that you can do nuclear power on the cheap. New reactors are intrinsically expensive because they must be able to withstand virtually any risk that we can imagine, including human error and major disasters. Why? Because when the potential result of a disaster is the poisoning and ultimately, death of thousands of people, even the most remote threats must be eliminated. Weve known for a while that the cost of new nuclear power plants in this country (US) have been soaring. The cost of new nuclear power plant have continued to escalate in the United States, France, and other countries since 2000.
Climate Progress 11th Mar 2012 more >>
The nuclear energy world had become a bit complacent before the devastating accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan exactly one year ago, the head of the agency that promotes the safe use of atomic power has admitted. While in its early years the nuclear world paid a lot of attention to safety, after construction had started again in the wake of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, we had a nuclear renaissance and perhaps we got a bit complacent, Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the Financial Times in an interview, adding that complacency is the enemy of nuclear safety. But the Fukushima accident, the veteran Japanese diplomat said, had proven an important wake-up call that had itself triggered a nuclear safety renaissance.
FT 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Letter Paul Dorfman: It seems clear that nuclear facilities will be vulnerable to the effects of global warming. As the Institution of Mechanical Engineers stated in a 2009 report: “Nuclear sites, such as Sizewell, based on the coastline, may need considerable investment to protect them against rising sea levels, or even abandonment/relocation in the long term.” So, given that proposed new UK reactors, together with their radioactive waste stores including spent fuel, will be located on coasts predicted sea-level rise, shoreline erosion, coastal storms, floods, tidal surges and the evolution of “nuclear islands” stand out as primary concerns. This means that adapting nuclear power to climate change will entail increased expense for construction, operation, waste storage and decommissioning, and the incurring of significant costs to the environment, public health and welfare.
Guardian 12th Mar 2012 more >>
Letter: Although the risk of floods to nuclear power stations must not be ignored, a much more dangerous threat is that of a tsunami. Oldbury, Berkeley and Hinkley Point are all in the area of England’s only known tsunami. This is reported to have occurred on 20 January in 1607.
Guardian 12th Mar 2012 more >>
Tens of thousands of anti-nuclear protesters across the globe called for an end to nuclear power as they marked the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami at Japan’s Fukushima power plant. In Japan, tens of thousands rallied near the crippled plant, demanding an end to nuclear power as the nation held memorial ceremonies for a disaaster that claimed almost 20,000 lives. Demonstrators in France’s Rhone valley formed a human chain that organisers said stretched for 230 kilometres (140 miles) and consisted of about 60,000 people. The region has Europe’s highest concentration of nuclear reactors, demonstrators said. France’s 58 nuclear reactors generate about 75 percent of the country’s electricity, making it the world’s most nuclear-dependent nation. Activists across Germany carried out similar protests, with organisers claiming as many as 50,000 people turned out across the country.
AFP 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Yesterday Radiation Free Lakeland invited Cumbrian councillors to join a walk up England’s highest mountain to experience the scale of the proposed geological nuclear dump, up to 1000m deep. Councillors sent apologies at not being able to walk that far – many sent best wishes for the walk. On the same day there were events by different groups who came together in spirit to reflect in different ways on the first anniversary
of the Fukushima nuclear accident, which has resulted in permanent blight and dispossession of a huge swathe of northern Japan. Here in the UK events took place at Heysham in Lancashire, Hinkley in Somerset, Wylfa in Anglesey and Scafell in Cumbria.
Radiation Free Lakeland 11th Mar 2012 more >>
An estimated 45,000 people took part in demonstrations in Tokyo against nuclear power on Sunday, amid growing public concern that the government is bringing pressure to bear on local authorities to restart reactors shut down for safety checks.
Telegraph 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Thousands of people are expected to come together on Sunday to form a human chain covering the 200 kilometres between the French cities of Lyon and Avignon as part of an anti-nuclear protest organized by the pressure group Sortir du Nucléaire. The demonstration comes one year after the deadly Japanese tsunami which caused the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
RFI 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Anti-nuclear protesters have staged a demonstration on Anglesey on the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. People Against Wylfa B (Pawb) said its event near Menai Bridge was part of the international day of action.
BBC 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Anti-nuclear activists from across Britain are surrounding EDF Energy-owned power station to stop the development of Hinkley Point and to urge the government to put an end to its nuclear power. In a bid to mark the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima power plant, hundreds of British campaigners have formed a symbolic chain around Hinkley Point to voice their determined opposition to new nuclear, and to call on the coalition government to suspend its plan for seven other new nuclear plants across the UK.
Press TV 10th Mar 2012 more >>
Anti-nuclear protesters have completed a 24-hour blockade of the entrance to Hinkley Point nuclear power station, marking the first anniversary of the disaster at the Fukushima power station in Japan. The Stop New Nuclear alliance hailed the rally as the “largest anti-nuclear protest in three decades” with up to 1,000 demonstrators surrounding the site on Saturday.
PA 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Black Country Bugle 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Your Local Guardian 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Large crowds of protesters gathered at Hinkley Point nuclear power station, near Burnham-On-Sea, on Saturday (March 10th) to mark the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The protesters walked around the three mile perimeter fence.
Burnham-on-sea.com 10th Mar 2012 more >>
On the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, anti-nuclear campaigners claimed two records in two days. The mass protest at Hinkley Point nuclear power station on Saturday attracted more than 1,000 people from all over the UK the largest protests against a the construction of a nuclear power station in four decades. And today (Sunday) the Stop New Nuclear alliance successfully concluded the first ever 24-hour blockade of a UK nuclear power station. Nancy Birch, spokesperson for the alliance said: This is a major victory for the anti-nuclear movement and a sign that the tide is turning against the governments nuclear renaissance. On Saturday, leading environmentalists Jonathon Porritt and Caroline Lucas MP joined over 1000 demonstrators at Hinkley Point to mark the first anniversary of Fukushima and to call for a halt to the governments bid to build eight new nuclear power stations. Protesters came from as far away as Ireland, France and Taiwan.
Stop New Nuclear 11th Mar 2012 more >>
A young couple who fled their home following the Fukushima disaster have addressed hundreds of protesters demonstrating on the eve of the first anniversary of the accident against the use of nuclear power. Makoto Ishiyama and his wife Akiko Ishiyama joined demonstrators at the main entrance of Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset to describe what it was like to live through the disaster.
Ripley & Heanor 10th Mar 2012 more >>
A bleak Westcountry coastal plain swathed in sea mists was given a dash of colour this weekend as more than a thousand protesters took to its byways and footpaths waving flags and banners. If the demonstration outside Hinkley Point’s perimeter fence to mark the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster had a party atmosphere, then its jollity was occasionally banished as sunshine parted mists to reveal three giant nuclear reactor buildings and miles of security fences guarding the site of the proposed C Station.
Western Morning News 12th Mar 2012 more >>
Pictures of the Hinkley events.
Picasweb 12th Mar 2012 more >>
EDF Energy, stopped its 620-megawatt (MW) Hartlepool 2 nuclear reactor on Saturday for a short refuelling outage, the company said.
Reuters 12th Mar 2012 more >>
Our tracking surveys in the UK, for example, show that while support for nuclear power did fall in mid-2011, it has bounced back to pre-Fukushima levels, and has even been slightly strengthened. But that’s not the whole picture: looking back in a few years time Fukushima is likely to be seen as a significant tipping point for some countries. In Germany and Italy the disaster galvanised already negative views, and key public votes or policy decisions were taken in the aftermath. An Italian referendum emphatically rejected nuclear power, and the German government closed several plants, with all to be shut by 2022.
Huffington Post 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Residents from the now-abandoned nuclear town of Okuma return home to mark the day one year ago when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake unleashed a wall of water that hit Japan’s north-east coast. Employees at Tepco, owners of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where reactor meltdowns triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, also held a memorial service.
Guardian 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Millions of people in Japan have paid tribute to the thousands of victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country’s north-east coast one year ago and sparked the world’s worst nuclear crisis for 25 years.
Guardian 11th Mar 2012 more >>
Guardian 11th Mar 2012 more >>
A South Korean consortium building four nuclear power reactors in the UAE is close to getting final regulatory clearance to start building the first two units. The UAE’s federal authority for nuclear regulation (FANR) and the state environmental agency in the capital emirate Abu Dhabi have made amendments to an existing limited construction licence, allowing the contractors to start preparatory work on the construction site.
Argus Media 12th Mar 2012 more >>
Trident is a colossal waste of money that will encourage further nuclear proliferation. There are other occasions too when the language of austerity jars with reality, most notably when it comes to the renewal of Britains nuclear arsenal. Trident was excluded from the governments Strategic Defence and Security Review in October 2010; and despite murmurings from some Liberal Democrats (arent there always murmurings from Liberal Democrats?), the coalition seems intent on spending £20 billion-plus renewing a weapons system which, if ever deployed, would result in the deaths of thousands, if not millions of human beings. Twenty billion is just a figure of course. To put it into some kind of perspective, George Osbornes first budget planned for cuts of six billion pounds; and public sector workers currently face a three per cent rise in their pension contributions to save the state just under two billion. A modern hospital costs in the region of £90 million (which, as it happens, would save thousands of lives a year, rather than stand-by ready to exterminate them), and a state-of-the-art environmentally friendly school costs between five and £10 million. To give free school dinners to every primary school child in the country would cost a further one billion pounds.
Independent 9th Mar 2012 more >>