EDF and Areva, the French energy giants, have cleared a key hurdle in their plan to build four nuclear power stations in Britain after safety concerns about a new reactor were resolved. The Health and Safety Executive had raised an official regulatory issue over the controls and instrumentation of the proposed European pressurised reactor. However, the HSE downgraded this on Tuesday to a regulatory observation, saying that EDF and Areva have addressed the majority of the key actions required to guarantee the safety of the new reactor. The latest decision increases the chances of the Generic Design Assessment being completed on schedule by June next year and lifts a big obstacle to the EPR being licensed by the British authorities. EDF may also find it easier to win approval to operate the reactor in other countries, with new power stations planned in Asia and the Middle East.
FT 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Reuters 16th Nov 2010 more >>
On Friday 12 November, HSE’s Nuclear Directorate informed EDF and AREVA that it has closed the Regulatory Issue (RI) placed on the proposed Control & Instrumentation system for the European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR). This reflects the fact that, while there are some outstanding actions to complete, we are satisfied that they have addressed the majority of the key actions associated with the RI, and those that remain now equate to the status of a Regulatory Observation (RO) within the GDA process. We have therefore issued an RO to formally record this position.
HSE Newsletter 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Letter from HSE to EDF 12th Nov 2010 more >>
Areva Press Release 16th Nov 2010 more >>
EDF said U.K. energy policy is likely to make the company’s 20 billion pound ($32 billion) plan to build four nuclear reactors profitable enough to draw more investors to the projects. The government plans to announce changes to energy regulation in the next few weeks as it seeks to accelerate investment in nuclear and renewable energy to reduce emissions. Necessary reforms include a minimum price for carbon permits and so-called capacity payments to low-carbon generators, according to EDF U.K. Chief Executive Officer Vincent de Rivaz.
Bloomberg 17t Nov 2010 more >>
Organs and bones were illegally harvested from the bodies of dead nuclear industry workers at Sellafield without their consent over a period of 30 years, an inquiry found yesterday. The relatives of 64 staff, many of whom only discovered their loved ones had been stripped of livers, tongues and even legs decades after they were buried, said the inquiry’s findings proved the existence of an “old boys’ club” among pathologists, coroners and scientists around Sellafield prior to 1992 which prioritised the needs of the nuclear industry above those of grieving family members.
Independent 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Guardian 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Telegraph 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Times 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Carlisle News and Star 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Whitehaven News 16th Nov 2010 more >>
The full documents published today more >>
DECC Press Release 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Commenting on the publication of the Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities, CND expressed profound concern that in addition to the previously uncovered abuse of nuclear industry workers, other researchers had taken samples from thousands of individuals “mostly children under the age of six”, in many cases, without familial consent. In addition to the cases that sparked the inquiry – where tissue had been taken from deceased Sellafield workers – Michael Redfern QC uncovered comparable practices at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) and the Medical Research Council (MRC). The last case is the greatest in scope with the Inquiry reporting “In all, in addition to the 91 fetus, bone (femur or, later in the study, vertebrae) was collected for the UK strontium research from 6,072 individuals, mostly children under the age of six.” [Chapter 14: Findings, Point 71, page 580]
CND 16th Nov 2010 more >>
A Kent MP has urged the government to reconsider its decision not to list Dungeness as one of eight new nuclear power stations.
Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe Damian Collins called a special Commons debate on Tuesday afternoon. He said: “Jobs of thousands of people in my constituency and in East Sussex are hanging in the balance.” But Environment Minister Greg Barker said: “The government does not consider that listing Dungeness is justified.”
BBC 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Romney Marsh Times 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Berkshire workers at the company that provides the warheads for Trident, the country’s nuclear deterrent, are to take industrial action in a row over pay, it has been announced. Prospect said its members at Atomic Weapons Establishment sites in Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire will take action short of a strike from November 23.
West Sussex County Times 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Independent 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Up to 1,000 jobs could be at risk if E.ON presses ahead with the £3.5 billion sale of its Central Networks electricity distribution business, Britain’s largest union warned yesterday. The claim from Unite came one week after E.ON, the German company that is the world’s largest utility by revenues, confirmed that it was considering a range of “strategic options” for the unit, which operates more than 80,000 miles of power lines across the Midlands.
Times 16th Nov 2010 more >>
The Bulgarian Energy Holding has picked HSBC, one of UK’s biggest banks, for a consultant to help it decide how to proceed and attract new investors for the planned Belene nuclear power plant, the energy minister said. Minister Traicho Traikov specified that the winner was selected on Monday in a heated competition with Rothschild, but refused to disclose the price of the deal.
Novinite 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Why Bulgaria should abandon NPP Belene.
Candole Research November 2010 more >>
THE International Atomic Energy Agency could add computer security at nuclear plants to its remit after it emerged that stuxnet, the first computer worm known to attack industrial machinery, is indeed targeted at nuclear energy equipment as many observers had suspected.
New Scientists 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Two new independent examinations of the Stuxnet computer worm, thought to be the work of a national government agency, show that it was definitely built to target technology used at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.
Guardian 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Metro 16th Nov 2010 more >>
South Korea’s state energy firm said Wednesday it was seeking to build a nuclear reactor in Lithuania, in the country’s latest move to export its atomic expertise.
AFP 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Russia will become the world’s largest nuclear dump after a lucrative agreement is signed with the US. The deal, which was withdrawn by George W Bush during his presidency, was resubmitted by President Barack Obama and gives the green light for nuclear waste from all US power stations to be stored in Russia. US power stations account for 80 per cent of the world’s radioactive waste.
Recycle 16th Nov 2010 more >>
A number of German municipal utilities (stadtwerke) have lodged a complaint against the German government for deciding to let nuclear power plants run for longer. Southwestern firm Stadtwerke Mainz, together with 10 smaller utilities, lodged a complaint with the European Commission at the end of last week. The utilities argue that the government has breached its promise to ensure that extending the life span of nuclear power plants will not be to the exclusive benefit of the country’s four large incumbents, which own 80pc of Germany’s power generation capacity, and also run the country’s nuclear power plants.
Argus Media 16th Nov 2010 more >>
The permit application process for three new nuclear plants in Switzerland has taken a step forward with an in-principle decision from the federal safety regulator that the Niederamt, Beznau and M heleberg sites are suitable for the purpose.
World Nuclear News 16th Nov 2010 more >>
At the same time as major powers are saying that they want to rein in nuclear proliferation, they are offering both nuclear energy programs and conventional weapons to client states. Military arms sales may shore up certain countries’ defenses, but such sales may also stimulate conventional arms races and conventional force imbalances may serve as a rationale for states to acquire nuclear weapons as great equalizers. More nuclear weapons in more states could increase the likelihood of losing control of these weapons to terrorists, criminals, or other malicious actors.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Barack Obama’s hopes of reshaping US foreign policy stand on the brink of failure tonight, after two of his most cherished initiatives nuclear disarmament and better relations with Moscow were dealt serious setbacks. According to a leaked Nato document seen by the Guardian, a move to withdraw US tactical nuclear weapons from Europe has been omitted from the alliance’s draft strategic doctrine, due to be adopted by a summit this weekend in Lisbon. Meanwhile in Washington, a Republican leader in the Senate signalled that the nuclear arms control treaty Obama signed in April with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev is unlikely be ratified this year. Most observers say that if the treaty known as New Start is delayed until next year, i t will be as good as dead, as the Democratic majority in the Senate will be even thinner by then, following the party’s losses in the midterm elections.
Guardian 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Scotsman 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Vice-President Joseph Biden has warned the US that failure to ratify a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia will “endanger our national security”.
BBC 17th Nov 2010 more >>