THE government will this week launch an eBay-style auction of land for up to six new nuclear reactors. The process was expected to kick off last week, but was delayed. At least two consortiums of European power companies are expected to bid for the sites at Wylfa on Anglesey, Bradwell in Essex, and Oldbury, South Gloucestershire. German energy giants Eon and RWE Npower have come together to form one bidding group, while GDF-Suez, Iberdrola and Scottish & Southern have teamed up in a second consortium. The electronic bidding process will be akin to the 2000 government auction of mobile-phone licences and is expected to net several hundred million pounds for the government. The sites are owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Sunday Times 15th Mar 2009 more >>
Times 16th Mar 2009 more >>
Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband’s girlfriend is to be barred from working on government contracts after it emerged she has represented one of the world’s biggest energy companies. The move came as Whitehall mandarins sought to avoid any accusations of a potential conflict of interest between the couple, who are expecting their first child later this year. Details of their relationship emerged at the weekend, forcing Mr Miliband’s office to clarify the position of his girlfriend regarding her involvement in government contracts. Justine Thornton, 38, (with photo) is a senior environmental lawyer working for E.On, which is currently seeking to win the right to build a series of new coal and nuclear power stations.
Daily Mail 16th Mar 2009 more >>
The world could descend into an “unregulated state of nuclear anarchy” unless new safeguards against expanding stocks of plutonium are put into place, security experts have warned. A submission to the IPPR thinktank’s commission on national security warns of latent nuclear states, more warheads and an increased potential for nuclear materials falling into the hands of rogue states or terrorist groups. Frank Barnaby, emeritus consultant at the Oxford Research Group, says urgent global action and a new strategy to prevent a nuclear renaissance are needed.
View London 16th Mar 2009 more >>
Labour and the Conservatives have backed business sector calls for the SNP anti-nuclear policy to be reversed. But Alex Salmond, the First Minister, yesterday refused to back down when asked about the issue on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show. Scottish Conservative Party deputy leader, Murdo Fraser MSP said: “Once again Alex Salmond has got it wrong. We need a mix of energy sources otherwise the lights could go out over Scotland. Instead of closed minds, Scotland needs to embrace all the technologies at our disposal and this poll confirms once again that public opinion is better informed than the SNP.” However, energy minister Jim Mather, confirmed there would be no change of heart. “The Scottish Government was elected on a policy of no new nuclear power stations, and Scotland’s Parliament has since endorsed this position,” he said. “And when asked to choose between nuclear power and renewables, people responding to the survey rejected nuclear power by a massive majority.”
Scotsman 16th Mar 2009 more >>
Communities near the Sellafield complex in Cumbria are to hear details about plans to develop adjoining land for further nuclear facilities. A public meeting in Whitehaven on 18 March will be the first opportunity for residents to learn of plans for the 617-acre (250 hectare) site. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority-owned land has been earmarked as the site of a new nuclear power station.
BBC 15th Mar 2009 more >>
Letter from Janine Allis-Smith: MAYBE we should forgive MP Jamie Reed for not remembering this year’s 25th Anniversary of the Black Report, which confirmed a 10-fold increase in childhood leukaemias in Seascale. Nor the panic leading up to its publication, caused by the YTV television documentary, The Nuclear Laundry, which led to the widely held belief that Sellafield’s radioactive discharges were to blame. After all, in now trying to convince us that new nuclear power stations away from Sellafield are the best thing since sliced bread (Evening Mail March 9), Jamie and his bright young things were probably too busy to have understood the connection between radiation and health.
North West Evening Mail 14th Mar 2009 more >>
As Georgia Power and other utilities race to build a new generation of nuclear reactors, one of the industry’s steepest challenges has been absent from the official debate. That challenge just got worse. Thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste are sitting in enclosed pools and concrete casks in Georgia, waiting for a final resting place. The nuclear industry still has no place to dispose of its most toxic and long-lived byproduct, the radioactive spent fuel rods nuclear power production leaves behind. And two weeks ago, the Obama administration all but killed the industry’s sole hope for changing that, cutting funding for a long-delayed federal waste depository under Nevada’s remote Yucca Mountain.
Your Nuclear News 16th Mar 2009 more >>
The actor Pete Postlethwaite has threatened to hand back his OBE if the government gives the go-ahead to the controversial Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent. Speaking after the London premiere of his new climate change movie, The Age of Stupid, in Leicester Square, the Oscar-nominated Postlethwaite said: “We tried to stop Tony Blair going to war in Iraq. But this time we’re not having it.”
Guardian 16th Mar 2009 more >>