Sheffield Forgemasters will now have a chance to help with the building of Britain’s new nuclear power station, it has been announced. The steel firm will have the opportunity to be part of the supply chain for the Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset following a political row about the use of foreign firms. French and Japanese companies have been signed up to carry out the ultra-large forging work on the plant, leading to criticism of the lack of British firms involved in the project. But EDF, the French energy giant behind the plant, has now said firms such as Forgemasters should be able to bid for some of the sub-contracted work on other parts of the scheme – provided they can meet the necessary regulatory standards. A spokesman for the company said: “Hinkley Point C is a big opportunity for UK steel, as well as for UK construction and manufacturing more widely.
Sheffield Star 13h Feb 2016 read more »
Levels of radioactive plutonium found near a nature reserve in Devon have led to calls for increased monitoring. Kinterbury Gate, near Devonport naval dockyard, has shown sharp spikes of plutonium and americium since 2007, Food Standards Agency reports show. A senior scientist at Plymouth University said more investigation was needed into how the potentially cancerous materials got into the water. The Environment Agency said the “trace” amounts were no risk to public health.
BBC 12th Feb 2016 read more »
The government’s strategy on low-level radioactive waste is to change little, despite fears over a lack of capacity and the impacts nuclear waste has on the environment.
ENDS 12th Feb 2016 read more »
Greenpeace activists blocked a truck convoy from reaching a French nuclear plant early on Friday (February 12) to protest nuclear power in France. The convoy was carrying the lid to the nuclear vat at the Flamanville EPR reactor (Evolutionary Power Reactor) in north-western France — the sole nuclear reactor under construction in France. Two Greenpeace activists climbed on top of the lorry’s cargo holding signs calling nuclear power a “dead end.” Another laid out underneath the truck to prevent it from moving.
Euronews 12th Feb 2016 read more »
Nuclear power is a uniquely hazardous technology that can destroy entire nations, Japan’s prime minister at the time of the Fukushima nuclear disaster has warned British MPs. The lessons of from such catastrophes must be heeded in other countries that believe that nuclear fission can be harnessed safely, writes Linda Pentz Gunter – or they, and the world, will reap the whirlwind. Former Soviet Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, who led the then USSR during the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine; and Naoto Kan who was prime minister of Japan when the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began, both now travel the speakers’ circuit extolling the need to abolish nuclear power. Kan, now 69, who resigned the premiership in August 2011, has become a ubiquitous and compelling voice for the global anti-nuclear movement. Gorbachev is equally on board but, due to age and infirmity (he turns 85 on March 2nd) is less often in evidence. Kan made his case in January during a presentation at the UK’s House of Commons co-organized by Nuclear Free Local Authorities, Green Cross International (the group Gorbachev founded) and Nuclear Consulting Group. Gorbachev was scheduled but had to cancel.
Ecologist 12th Feb 2016 read more »
The UK could face gas supply shocks and spiking prices as the oil rout accelerates the decline of North Sea reserves, former energy minister Charles Hendry has warned. The Privy Council member said that the UK’s increasing dependence on imported gas meant that without investment in gas storage, the UK could become increasingly exposed to supply interruptions. The government is banking on the booming liquefied natural gas (LNG) market to play a greater role in the UK’s range of gas supply options. LNG is gas converted into liquid for easier transportation. The UK currently relies on the North Sea for around 35pc of its gas supply, with 25pc imported from Norway and 10-15pc each from LNG deliveries and storage tanks. The rest is sourced from pipelines to neigbouring markets. Ed Cox, gas market expert at Icis, said that in the short term Europe’s gas demand growth would not be enough to absorb the huge increase in global LNG as the US begins to export its shale reserves this year. But the UK will still be exposed to potentially volatile pricing from 2025 when global demand begins to catch up with the strong supply.
Telegraph 12th Feb 2016 read more »
Plans for the decommissioning of three nuclear power units in Japan’s Fukui Prefecture have been submitted to the country’s nuclear regulator for approval. Mihama units 1 and 2 and unit 1 of the Tsuruga plant were among five reactors officially taken out of service last April. Kansai Electric Power Company and Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) today announced they had submitted their decommissioning plans for the three units – which were all officially shut down on 27 April 2015 – to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for approval. Their plans outline the facilities and equipment to be dismantled and a timetable for completing the work.
World Nuclear News 12th Feb 2016 read more »
South Africa will finalise requirements for its 9,600 megawatt nuclear power plant by April, with Russia and China the front-runners to win the bid, a government official involved in the negotiations told Reuters.
Reuters 12th Feb 2016 read more »
Britain must keep its Trident nuclear deterrent to maintain its “outsized” role in the world, the US defence secretary, Ash Carter, has said. Carter said the nuclear-armed submarines were an “important part of the deterrent structure of Nato”. MPs are expected to vote on government plans to renew the weapons system, an issue on which Labour is split. The Ministry of Defence estimates that acquiring four new submarines to carry the Trident deterrent would cost £31bn over the course of the 20-year procurement programme, with a further £10bn set aside to meet any additional unexpected cost increases. Carter told the BBC that Trident enabled Britain to “continue to play that outsized role on the global stage that it does because of its moral standing and its historical standing”.
Guardian 13th Feb 2016 read more »
Mark Ruffalo: his weekend I have the pleasure and honor of coming to London for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for Spotlight, a film honoring the victims of a terrible injustice and celebrating exceptional journalism that brought the story to light. I’m also taking this opportunity to lend my voice to residents of Lancashire who are fighting to prevent another kind of injustice, drilling and fracking in their neighbourhoods. Fracking is an extreme form of oil and gas extraction that leads to water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes, illness, exacerbates climate change, and turns communities upside down.
Guardian 13th Feb 2016 read more »