The UK Coalition Governments planned reform of the electricity market is hiding subsidies to the nuclear industry, says a report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee.
Energy Efficiency News 16th May 2011 more >>
Renewable Energy Focus 16th May 2011 more >>
Politics.co.uk 16th May 2011 more >>
The Energy Event 16th May 2011 more >>
Edie 16th May 2011 more >>
Responding to new report published by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee today (Monday 16 May 2011), in which MPs warn that current Government proposals on Electricity Market Reform (EMR) will effectively subsidise nuclear power, Friends of the Earth renewed its call on the Government to commit to decarbonising the grid by 2030 and prioritising the development of safer, greener alternatives to nuclear such as renewable energy and measures to cut energy waste.
FoE Press Release 16th May 2011 more >>
It’s at the centre of coalition energy policy – we will only give the go-ahead to new nuclear power stations if they can be built without public subsidy. But for some time there have been grave doubts that a new generation of power stations will be built purely through market forces. And now MPs have accused ministers of disguising subsidies to get round the problem. But one Labour MP and shadow minister has told the Politics Show that new nuclear power stations will not be built without public subsidy. Jamie Reed represents Copeland in Cumbria. It’s a constituency which includes Sellafield, and that’s where he worked before entering parliament. The MP and shadow environment minister says he has always believed that public subsidy should be used to develop nuclear power stations and other forms of energy generation. He wants to see three nuclear power plants built in his constituency alone, and believes subsidy will be needed to attract investors.
BBC 16th May 2011 more >>
You won’t hear the UK government admit it but after decades of research there is now evidence of real excesses of childhood cancer and leukaemia near some nuclear facilities, argues Dr Paul Dorfman.
Ecologist 16th May 2011 more >>
Ex-ministers have taken up consultancies and lucrative contracts with firms, some of which are related to their old ministerial briefs. The report, from the campaigning group Transparency International, highlights the health, defence and nuclear industries. Chandrashekhar Krishnan, executive director of Transparency International UK, said: “The revolving door between government and business is spinning out of control. This has created an environment in which corruption risks are high.”
Guardian 17th May 2011 more >>
Letter: why does the SNP still promote 100 per cent renewable energy, with its gross inefficiency, huge costs and environmental damage? Surely pragmatism should remove its opposition to nuclear power.
Scotsman 16th May 2011 more >>
Letter Dr Smyllie: Iberdrola is the largest producer of nuclear power and is active in the construction of new nuclear plant. Examination of its accounts shows that in 2009 and 2010 it virtually doubled its investment in nuclear, and that was after shutting down one 40-year-old plant. The same report stresses the advantages of having a good mix of different types of generating plant on the system. This is in line with the recommendations of the Committee for Climate Change which in its report this month recommends that on grounds of cost and security the UK should aim to supply 40% of electricity from nuclear. Only recently Iberdrola/Scottish Power along with the other Scottish utility, Scottish and Southern, and the French Company GFS Suez announced plans to build a new nuclear station of some 3600MW in Cumbria. The consortium partners already own and operate 10,000MW of nuclear generation in Spain, Belgium, Germany and France. Scottish utilities or their partners are associated with low-cost reliable nuclear power in all these countries as well as in England but not in Scotland? What are we to make of our politicians encouraging the export of Scottish jobs in this way, not to mention increasing the numbers of Scots households facing fuel poverty?
Herald 17th May 2011 more >>
Letter: Niall Stewart of Scottish Renewables thinks that the Governments target of 100% of Scotlands electricity requirements being met by renewables by 2020 is wilfully misunderstood by some (Winds of change: a £300bn scheme to renew the nation, The Herald, May 16). Could it be that it has not been explained to the layman, who could be forgiven for believing it meant that we could have a secure supply without thermal generating stations? The target is in the same vein as the statement that 30% of our present requirements are met by renewables when most of the renewable output is from hydro stations. Statements like these are designed to be obscure to the layman in order to make the case for renewables (mainly windfarms).
Herald 17th May 2011 more >>
A report last week by accountants PwC raised doubts about the affordability of offshore wind-power generation in its projected starring role in Scotlands future energy mix. This came days after a report by the UK Governments Committee on Climate Change, whose new coolness towards offshore wind on the same grounds, suggested changing presumptions in this ever-shifting, lobbyist-rich landscape. There are now many technically competent and genuinely disinterested voices expressing unease about the Scottish Governments gamble on expensive and unproven technologies to replace decommissioned power stations in an age of a privatised, fragmented power supply landscape. They believe that Scotland is risking what Blair Armstrong, a civil engineer and former renewables chief for Scottish Enterprise, calls a major energy deficit, threatening brownouts [drops in power supply] and increased bills for the consumer. The bureaucrat-speak for the renewable capacity target is a challenge. Armstrong prefers crazy risk. The time for pussyfooting around nuclear is over. If [the projected renewables component] is not possible and it is necessary to extend the life of our nuclear Plant at Torness beyond the current planned 2023 closure date as [former enterprise and energy minister] Jim Mather suggested, then we need to be up front and tell the public that.
Sunday Herald 15th May 2011 more >>
When the Japanese tsunami damaged the Fukishima nuclear reactor there were 172,000 people living within the 30km danger zone. But recent analysis by Nature and Columbia University, New York, has discovered that other facilities around the world are located in highly populated areas where a similar accident would put many more residents at risk. Currently, over two thirds of the worlds nuclear power plants have 170,000 or more people living within 30km, and at 21 plants the number is over a million.
Engineering & Technology 16th May 2011 more >>
The fuel in reactors No 2 and 3 is suspected to have melted amid reports that the operators Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) failed to cool the plant in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The news came only days after it was confirmed for the first time that a meltdown had taken place in the No 1 reactor only 16 hours after the earthquake and tsunami hit the plant.
Telegraph 17th May 2011 more >>
The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co are expected to release later Tuesday their timetables for bringing an end to the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and enabling evacuees to return home.The timetables would include an updated version of a roadmap that TEPCO unveiled a month ago, with its broad time frame to seek to stabilize the crippled reactors by around January likely to be maintained. But details are expected to change based on recent findings that suggest a fuel meltdown in the No. 1 reactor and the increasing possibility that the Nos. 2 and 3 reactor cores may also be in a similar critical condition.
Japan Today 17th May 2011 more >>
Last week the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), acknowledged that the core of reactor 1 had undergone a meltdown and molten nuclear fuel had burned a hole in the bottom of its pressure vessel. On Sunday, TEPCO revealed that the cores of two more of the six reactors at the complexreactors 2 and 3had probably undergone a similar meltdown.
World Socialist Web 17th May 2011 more >>
Sixty-two percent of voters support Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s decision to request the suspension of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.
Asahi 17th May 2011 more >>
Japanese officials were last night preparing a new strategy to cool reactors at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant after discovering an Olympic swimming pool-sized pond of radioactive water in the basement of a unit crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in March.
Scotsman 16th May 2011 more >>
Tokyo Electric Power Company says most of the fuel rods in the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel within 16 hours of the earthquake on March 11th. The plant operator revealed its findings on Sunday.
NHK 16th May 2011 more >>
TEPCO report 16th May 2011 more >>
Times 17th May 2011 more >>
The magnitude 9 earthquake that struck a Japanese nuclear plant in March hit with almost 30 percent more intensity than it had been designed to withstand, raising the possibility that key systems were compromised even before a massive tsunami hit.
Reuters 16th May 2011 more >>
Substantial damage to the fuel cores at two additional reactors of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has taken place, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday, further complicating the already daunting task of bringing them to a safe shutdown while avoiding the release of high levels of radioactivity. The revelation followed an acknowledgment on Thursday that a similar meltdown of the core took place at unit No. 1. The revelations are likely to force an overhaul of the six- to nine-month blueprint for bringing the reactors to a safe shutdown stage and end the release of radioactive materials. The original plan, announced in mid-April, was due to be revised May 17. The pressure vessel a cylindrical steel container that holds nuclear fuel, “is likely to be damaged and leaking water at units Nos. 2 and 3,”
Wall Street Journal 16th May 2011 more >>
Radioactive materials in the ocean near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant rose to 3,300 times the legal limit on Sunday. Tokyo Electric Power Company says it measured 200 becquerels of cesium-134 per cubic centimeter on Sunday morning near the water intake of the No. 3 reactor. The level was higher than on the previous day, when it was 2,300 times the legal limit. 220 becquerels of cesium-137 per cubic centimeter was also detected.
NHK 16th May 2011 more >>
Residents from two towns in an expanded exclusion zone around Japan’s damaged nuclear power complex were adjusting to life in evacuation centers Monday after leaving their homes on government orders. The towns are among several that have registered relatively high radiation readings but are outside a previous 12-mile (20-kilometers) radius evacuation zone around the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. In late April, the government said residents in these areas should prepare to evacuate over the coming month due to concerns about cumulative radiation levels.
Independent 16th May 2011 more >>
BBC 17th May 2011 more >>
Electricite de France SA will limit planned maintenance at nuclear reactors near the English Channel and Atlantic Ocean as the driest spring in about 50 years reduces river water for cooling inland plants. EDF, Europes biggest power generator, operates Frances 58 nuclear reactors that provide about three quarters of the countrys power needs. Most require river water for operations, prompting the utility and the countrys nuclear safety watchdog to step up monitoring. Measures being taken by the utility include the limitation of summer outages in seaside nuclear plants, EDF said in a presentation last week. The dozen French reactors that rely on seawater for cooling include Gravelines, Penly, Paluel, Flamanville and Blayais.
Bloomberg 16th May 2011 more >>
A commission created to help resolve the impasse over the disposal of the nations nuclear waste will propose establishing one or more sites where used reactor fuel could be stored in steel and concrete structures on the earths surface for decades, members of the commission said this week.
New York Times 12th May 2011 more >>
Iran could face a new array of US sanctions under proposed legislation that is meant to force Tehran into international talks on its nuclear programme.A bipartisan bill would impose penalties on human rights abusers in Iran, including freezing their US assets, denying them visas and prohibiting US financial or business transactions. The sanctions would also target foreign companies that do energy business with Iran; expand help to pro-democracy groups in Iran; and require all US-registered companies to declare whether they do business with Iran.
Independent 17th May 2011 more >>
In April, I visited Germanys Asse II nuclear-waste repository. Due to poor choice of location and management problems that arose early on, when there was no public oversight, it is now a dangerous and costly mess. If that kind of mistake can happen in a country with ample room for scientific and political debate, what cause do we have to believe that we in China can do better, that we wont make mistakes?
China Dialogue 16th May 2011 more >>
German chancellor Angela Merkel came to power determined to extend the lives of the country’s nuclear power stations, but after the catastrophe in Japan she has bowed to public opinion and abandoned nuclear power.
Utility Week 16th May 2011 more >>
Restarting nuclear plants was one of the key promises of the current government when it was elected in 2008. Legislation was passed in 2008 to permit the construction of nuclear power stations. Agreements have been signed with energy companies to build four new nuclear plants from 2013. Energy companies, especially Enel of Italy and EDF of France, could lose millions of euros already invested in preparations for reviving nuclear energy in Italy. Polls led to predictions that the governments nuclear programme would be defeated in the June referendum. Removing the nuclear question from Junes referendum is undemocratic; but it also seemed inevitable due to the governments own failure to launch a robust defence of its nuclear programme.
Spiked 16th May 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Information Service May Update is now available with stories on: – Advisory Committee rejects links between nuclear plants and leukaemia; New Ministry of Defence study aims to identify spending cuts for next year; Minister accused of misleading Parliament over nuclear submarine reactor safety; AWE Burghfield planning permission granted; Office for Nuclear Regulation consults on nuclear site licence conditions.
NIS 16th May 2011 more >>