The fate of a historic civil nuclear deal between the US and India will loom over George W. Bush and Manmohan Singh when they meet on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Germany next month amid continuingdifferences over New Delhi’s right to test nuclearweapons and reprocess fuel.
FT 17th May 2007
Hitachi fell into deep red during fiscal 2006, posting a net loss of 32.8bn yen ($271.6m), compared with a profit of 37.32bn yen ($309m) a year earlier. Japan’s biggest electronics conglom attributes the money dive to the cost of nuclear reactor turbine repairs and the poor performance of its hard drive and flat panel TV operations.
Register 16th May 2007
BBC 16th May 2007
Nuclear power plant usage by nine Japanese utilities fell to the lowest level since November 2006, an industry association data showed on Wednesday, due to inspection-related shutdowns.
Reuters 16th May 2007
Will the brutal dictatorship of Myanmar will go nuclear?
The Economist 16th May 2007
A Russian plan to build a nuclear research centre in Burma has been heavily criticised by US officials.
BBC 17th May 2007
Low level waste
Up to 100,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste could be buried near the village of East Hendred if plans for a nuclear store on the former atomic energy research site nearby go ahead. The UK Atomic Energy Authority is considering recommending storing high-volume, low-level nuclear waste close to the surface of the ground on the western side of the current UKAEA site. The store would be within the boundary of East Hendred parish, about two miles from the village. The sealed waste could take 1,000 years to decompose, although the site is due to be decontaminated for new development by 2025.
Oxford Mail 16th May 2007
Christians from across Scotland will celebrate Pentecost this year with a prayer and hymn gathering at the Faslane nuclear weapons base as part of an ongoing church-wide effort against nuclear weapons. Representatives from all the major denominations will gather together for ‘Tongues of Fire’ on Sunday 27 May to pray against the UK Government’s decision to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Christian Today 16th May 2007
North Korea may have used a launch-pad in Iran to test a new missile capable of hitting American bases in the Pacific island of Guam, according to reports from Japan and South Korea.
Telegraph 17th May 2007
SCOTLAND is set for an antinuclear future with today’s election of Alex Salmond, of the left-wing Scottish National Party (SNP), as first minister. The 47-strong SNP are to form a minority government in the Scottish Parliament through a cooperation agreement with the Scottish Green Party, which returned two members in the Scottish general election on 3 May. The cooperation agreement, published last Friday, which is less rigid than a coalition agreement, contains three main points – opposing new nuclear plants, tackling climate change and extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
Nuclear Engineering International 16th May 2007
The new president, Nicolas Sarkozy received the nuclear codes that permit him to launch a strike within one minute.
Telegraph 17th May 2007
Deputy Leadership Contenders: Alan Johnson – The serious money is here. This articulate former postman was brought up on a council estate, left school at 15 and went on to become leader of the Communication Workers Union, Labour MP and then cabinet minister. Now education secretary, he was trade and industry secretary, where he helped draw up the government’s plans for new nuclear power plants.
Jon Cruddas Labour MP for Dagenham, former Downing Street adviser and the only backbencher in the race. Closest of the six to the unions, he is pushing a leftish policy agenda and is being backed by Unite, the country’s biggest union. Led rebel opposition to the government’s decision to replace Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system.
FT 16th May 2007
The head of Britain’s biggest business group threw down a gauntlet to Gordon Brown last night over the Government’s record on investment in infrastructure and a business tax system that he claimed was jeopardising the country’s competiveness. He criticised a lack of boldness on the part of government in its handling of British energy policy. “We are allowing 18 gigawatts of obsolescent power stations to close but have lacked the courage to build the 25 gigawatts of new power stations we need to replace them.” Mr Broughton told the audience at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel that he hoped that imminent Energy and Planning White Papers would usher in reforms that would accelerate much-needed infrastructure projects.
Times 16th May 2007
Bill Dunster says Gordon Brown’s proposal for 5 eco-towns could be the start of something exciting.
Guardian website 15th May 2007
Climate Change Solutions
Sustainable energy and technology can curb climate change and meet projected growth in demand for energy but only if key decisions are made within the next five years, according to a new WWF report. Climate Solutions: WWF’s vision for 2050 concludes that sustainable technologies can meet global projected energy demand while avoiding the most dangerous impacts of climate change. But it warns that the governmental policies needed to propel this transition are not now in place, or even in prospect in most cases.
WWF Press Release 15th May 2007
Centrica has begun talks with a number of parties, including British Energy, about how to meet the problem of replacing 23pc of the UK’s coal-fired power stations with greener technology by 2012 in accordance with an EU directive. Centrica may even purchase a small stake in BE, 60pc of which has been put up for sale by the Government. However, its main priority is to secure supply for its customers. A source close to the company said: “We have no expertise in nuclear power but we can bring customers to any joint venture.”
Daily Telegraph 15th May 2007
Nuclear power: The government will shortly unveil legislation paving the way for a new generation of nuclear power stations supplying up to 40% of Britain’s electricity. The energy white paper is expected to set out plans for 12 new nuclear power stations. Most will be in the same places as existing plants although there may be a few new locations, as yet undetermined. At a recent meeting with industry experts, Geoff Norris, a senior Blair adviser, said that he saw the new generation of nuclear power stations as the centrepiece of Britain’s future power generating capacity. However, he added that there would also be an important role for gas, coal and, increasingly, renewables such as wind and solar power. Without action to replace ageing power plants the country could face power shortages by 2012, industry insiders have warned. The nuclear industry will welcome the move but the biggest obstacle to building the plants — how to pay for them — is yet to be resolved.
Planning: The nuclear power proposals will be backed by a white paper on planning procedures. This proposes radical changes to the way big infrastructure projects are assessed and approved. It would include a “presumption in favour of development” designed to help big projects win planning approval quickly. This would reverse the current system, under which developers must often prove the benefits and necessity for big developments — a process which can take years. The new doctrine will be backed up by an independent planning review commission, whose appointed members will be instructed to make their decisions based on this presumption. It will mean that decisions will no longer rest with elected councillors but with government-appointed bureaucrats — prompting fears that controversial projects will be railroaded through despite local objections.
Sunday Times 13th May 2007
The nuclear industry is once again experiencing robust growth. Following a decade of uncertainty and varying rates of nuclear plant construction on a global scale, nuclear power has once again moved to the fore in policy planning to meet future energy needs. Indeed, nuclear energy’s ability to provide low-cost, predictable power at stable prices has rendered it – along with renewable sources – the most viable method for long-term energy provision.
Touch Briefings June 2007