Westinghouse officials say the December 14 issue of an interim design acceptance confirmation (I-DAC) puts them in good stead to win a new reactor order in the UK. Horizon Nuclear Power plans to make a reactor technology choice for UK construction early next year, while a decision by NuGeneration Ltd, a consortium of GDF Suez and Iberdrola, is further down the road. GDA Issues are safety questions for ONR and/or the Environment Agency has not received adequate information. Some of the GDA Issues are expected to be easily answered or resolved, while others could require improvements to the safety case or even design changes. Westinghouse overcame major UK concerns about the modular construction of the AP1000 shield building during the GDA review. The shield building is a protective structure covering the reactor building and inner steel containment. The proposed modular construction would use a steel-concrete-steel sandwich design. However, progress on clearing ONR concerns about Westinghouses proposed use of squib valves was more limited. There is a full list of 51 GDA Issues this news story gives selected highlights.
i-Nuclear.com 16th Dec 2011 more >>
In 2009 government announced plans to build 10 new nuclear power plants to replace the ageing sites that provide 18% of the UKs electricity. But the Fukushima disaster in Japan had international repercussions and, despite reassuring words from government and some key industry stakeholders, the situation in the UK has remained tentative. While the overall impression drawn from the Weightman report express the belief that there are no fundamental safety weaknesses in the UKs nuclear industry, there were 38 key areas where Weightman felt that government, industry and regulators could learn lessons from the Japanese experience. The report recommended regulations become more stringent with regards to flooding control, emergency planning and security. Speaking to TM, Claudia Mahn, Europe energy analyst at IHS Global Insight commented: The results of the Weightman report were not surprising. The nuclear energy industry is undergoing a great deal of reform at the moment. It is a big part of the low carbon economy, as it has almost no carbon footprint, which is why the government is heavily behind its progress and why it is so important that it remains safe. Ms Mahn continued, The report was important as assurance to any current or future investors. Now that the review has been concluded it allows the industry to move on from Fukushima in the knowledge that there will be no more major safety or protection regulators seen any time soon.
The Manufacturer 16th Dec 2011 more >>
Cash from Middle Eastern royals could play a key role in the UKs nuclear future if they can be assured of making a profit, Energy Minister Charles Hendry said yesterday. Sovereign wealth funds and pension funds are among groups that could stump up the money to back a new wave of nuclear reactors in Britain, he said. But he added that the Government needed to give some certainty on potential returns to companies hoping to invest in the projects. The issue is, will they make money out of the investments? That is why we need to create a market structure that would encourage people to invest in low carbon,
This is Money 16th Dec 2011 more >>
NUCLEAR bosses have welcomed decisions to provisionally approve the design of a new generation of UK reactors, including at Sizewell C. Construction work on the Sizewell project could begin in 2015, if approved.
Evening Star 16th Dec 2011 more >>
The designs for the two nuclear reactors at the planned power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset have won initial approval. The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency have issued interim design acceptance statements.
Western Daily Press 16th Dec 2011 more >>
OVER 3,000 new jobs could be created in the South-West if the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point goes ahead, research has found. A Nuclear New Build Employment Scenarios report said the proposals present Somerset with a significant opportunity. Around 3,300 jobs would be created if the controversial development goes ahead.
Chard & Ilminster News 15th Dec 2011 more >>
A titled septuagenarian landowner is blocking a multibillion-pound plan to build Britains first new nuclear reactor, causing uproar in the local community in Somerset, The Times has learnt. Lady Gass, who holds the royal title of the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, has appealed to the Government to intervene. If the dispute cannot be resolved, EDF Energys project faces a delay of about 15 months. The French nuclear group had planned to start preliminary work on the 400-acre site at Hinkley Point several months ago, even though it will not make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the project until the end of next year. This work includes shifting 2.5 million cubic metres of soil and other material to level the land and building terracing on a hillside in an area designated as being of outstanding scenic interest by Natural England. Lady Gass, 71, who lives in a partElizabethan pile handed down by her ancestors, fears that if EDF scrapped the project or if it collapsed, the land would be left as a lunar landscape for a generation. She has refused to sign a planning document with West Somerset Council that would allow EDF to begin the work. Her consent is required because, despite recently selling about 230 acres of the proposed site to EDF for more than £50 million, she retains the freehold for some of the property.
Times 17th Dec 2011 more >>
In 2009, multinational financial services corporation Citigroup called nuclear power with its skyrocketing costs, disastrous economics and dependence on public bailouts a corporate killer. Now, in 2011, are we witnessing the slow death of one of the worlds largest nuclear companies? French nuclear giant AREVA, which designs, builds (or at least tries to), and exports nuclear reactors is in financial trouble. Big trouble.
Greenpeace International 16th Dec 2011 more >>
AN IRANIAN citizen was caught trying to smuggle a suspicious radioactive substance on board a flight from Moscow to Tehran, Russia has disclosed. Customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport said they had found 18 metallic objects packed in steel cases in the passenger’s hand luggage that turned out to be the radioactive isotope Sodium-22.
Irish Independent 17th Dec 2011 more >>
Responding to todays announcement by the Japanese government and officials from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant operator TEPCO that the reactor has reached cold shutdown status, Junichi Sato, Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan said: By triumphantly declaring a cold shutdown, the Japanese authorities are clearly anxious to give the impression that the crisis has come to an end, which is clearly not the case. Instead of creating a PR smokescreen to deflect attention away from the ongoing failure to help people living with the consequences of the disaster, the governments priority should be to ensure public safety and begin the shutdown of all nuclear reactors in Japan. TEPCO has not achieved true cold shutdown – so neither the company nor the government should be claiming the job is almost done. Radiation is still escaping from the site, and the exact status of the tonnes of molten fuel remains unknown. Tens of thousands of tonnes of highly contaminated water remain in the reactor and turbine buildings, with some leaking into the ocean again last week. The ongoing radiological threat posed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains enormous.
Greenpeace International 16th Dec 2011 more >>
The crippled nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima power plant have finally been stabilised, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has announced. “The nuclear reactors have reached a state of cold shutdown and therefore we can now confirm that we have come to the end of the accident phase of the actual reactors,” Mr Noda told a news conference.
BBC 16th Dec 2011 more >>
Daily Mail 16th Dec 2011 more >>
Independent 16th Dec 2011 more >>
A government-appointed panel estimated in October that sealing or dismantling the sites four ruined reactors could cost Y1,100bn, but some government officials and outside experts argue that the true amount could be several times higher.
FT 16th Dec 2011 more >>
The declaration of a cold shutdown could have repercussions well beyond the plant. It is a government pre-condition for allowing about 80,000 residents evacuated from within a 12 mile radius of the plant to go home.
Telegraph 16th Dec 2011 more >>
The announcement was intended to reassure the country that the government and discredited privateer Tokyo Electric Power Company had made progress since the March 11 tsunami and earthquake triggered meltdowns at three reactors at the plant. But experts warned that the site is still not safe and its surroundings are still radioactive. Closing the plant safely may take up to 30 years.
Morning Star 16th Dec 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the US government agency tasked with overseeing the safety of nuclear power plants, cannot secure its own networks, according to an audit of the agency.
Info Security 16th Dec 2011 more >>
India plans to start up a Russian-built nuclear power plant within weeks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says. After talks in Moscow with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose country is eager to build more nuclear power plants abroad, Singh said the first two reactors at the Kudankulam plant were close to being activated. The power station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu is one of several planned power projects that are seen as vital to plugging huge electricity shortages that have damaged economic growth.
Engineering & Technology Magazine 16th Dec 2011 more >>
Caroline Lucas: The system we have is catastrophically impaired, yet our leaders remain prostrate before neoliberalism – an ideology that has destroyed jobs and firms, ruined the life-chances of millions, while enriching crooks, thieves and oligarchs. I call on others to join me in calling on our political leaders to match progressive politics with meaningful action, and in taking a principled stand to challenge the deeply corrupt financial system that has plunged us into environmental and economic crisis.
Guardian 16th Dec 2011 more >>
Up to 1,500 jobs are likely to axed from the Ministry of Defence police because of deep budget cuts that will also strip the force of its powers to investigate fraud.
Guardian 16th Dec 2011 more >>
Latest Micro Power News: Court Case reviewing Governments FiT cuts going ahead next week; 117 housing association (social) houses solarised in Clydebank in the nick of time; three quarters support more funds for solar. Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive starts.
Microgen Scotland 16th December 2011 more >>