CENTRICA’S finance director Nick Luff is busy trying to work out if the new coalition energy secretary Chris Huhne is a man the country’s largest gas and electricity supplier can do business with. Huhne – a Liberal Democrat – had previously described nuclear power as a “failed technology.” But that was before he scented the beautful aroma of power: now firmly ensconced in the cabinet, Huhne last month said that he now backed the government’s policy of building 10 new nuclear power stations over the next 20 years, as long as no public subsidy is used. This matters to Centrica, which runs British Gas, because it owns a 20 per cent stake in British Energy (which it bought for £12.5bn two years ago along with French rival EDF). The two firms propose to erect two French-designed enhanced pressurised reactors at Hinckley Point and then two more at Sizewell at around £4bn each, with the first one ready by 2017 at the earliest.
City AM 14th June 2010 more >>
THE £4 billion auction of Britain’s biggest electricity distribution network could be delayed by a dispute over how to fill a hole of £100m or more in its pension fund. EDF Energy, the French power group, put the business which provides power to 7.8m homes in southeast England up for sale a year ago. Final bids are due on June 21. Sources close to the auction, however, said bidders were warned last week that the process could be pushed back because of the pension issue.
Sunday Times 13th June 2010 more >>
A new power station at Dungeness and the expansion of Lydd Airport would be insane. Nuclear power is not the Green alternative it is passed off as, and must have no part in the future of power generation. Though the nuclear reaction itself is carbon neutral, the mining, processing and transport of uranium is a massively polluting practice and uses yet more oil. Because of the long-term costs of waste storage, nuclear power is inevitably more expensive than any other form of energy production.
Steven Campkin (Green Party) 13th June 2010 more >>
Most new Wylfa B jobs will be for incomers, and the power generated will go to North West England, losing up to 30 per cent of the power generated in the process. Why isn’t it being built closer to where it’s needed, rather than out on a limb on Anglesey? There also appears to be an agenda going on with the media reporting of the support for a new Wylfa being decidedly one-sided. There are plenty of people who don’t want it, but the pro-Wylfa B set seem to get most of the coverage.
Anglesey Today 7th June 2010 more >>
Letter from David Lowry: I agree with much of what Steven Schofield writes about the bizarre outcome of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) conference, ending up cheerleading for an out-of-date, last century, expensive, hazardous and essentially irrelevant power generation technology in nuclear energy But I differ with his assertion that “parliamentary lobbying by the peace movement has proven to be a dead end.” Despite the clear majority in public opinion polls opposed to Trident modernisation and the £20bn price tag, all the major parties – including the Lib Dems in coalition – are committed to replacement.” In a little-noticed written answer to new Green MP Caroline Lucas, on June 7 (Hansard, column 11), who had asked the MOD if Trident would be included in the strategic defence review, she was told by Tory Defence Secretary Liam Fox: “Both the value for money review of the Trident programme and the re-examination of the UK’s declaratory nuclear policy will be conducted within the framework of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.” It is thus now up to the peace movement and progressive MPs to make sure the opposition arguments are fully aired.
Morning Star 14th June 2010 more >>
Scottish Nationalists have challenged candidates taking part in the Labour leadership hustings in Glasgow to make clear their position on renewing Trident nuclear weapons system. More than 500 Scottish Labour Party activists gathered at Royal Concert Hall to hear from brothers Ed and David Miliband, Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls. The candidates faced questions on the banking crisis, the recession and how Labour would handle the economy. Mr Balls came under fire after suggesting that nuclear power station planning decisions should be taken back to Britain. He said that the Scottish Parliament could not be allowed to block nuclear power stations – ignoring the fact that planning powers are devolved.
Morning Star 13th June 2010 more >>