Cumbria is again being considered for the burial of high-level nuclear waste and the Politics Show’s Emily Unia joined a delegation to see a French underground facility in action. Councils will consider applications for the drilling of bore holes, but questions remain over whether Cumbria’s geology is suitable for the safe disposal of nuclear waste. An attempt in the 1990s to identify a suitable site ended in a costly failure – since when the waste has been piling up at Sellafield. This time the pressure is on to find a site before the government starts building its new generation of nuclear power stations.
BBC 17th Oct 2011 more >>
Electricite de France SA and two former security officials go on trial over cloak-and-dagger charges that the company hired a hacker and private investigator to spy on Greenpeace Internationals French operations. EDF, Europes biggest power producer, sought the mens help to monitor activists in 2006 as Greenpeace challenged plans in the U.K. to expand nuclear operations. EDF and the other men are charged by prosecutors with receiving information gained from hacking at the trial, which is scheduled to start today in Nanterre, near Paris.
Bloomberg 17th Oct 2011 more >>
A new front has opened in the battle against the ‘big six’ energy companies, with environmental charities demanding a full public inquiry into the soaring costs of energy bills. Dubbed the ‘dirty half dozen’, the six major energy companies in the UK are accused of abandoning plans for green energies and increasing fossil fuel production, while passing the rising costs of oil and coal straight on to their consumers. Friends of the Earth are calling for the government to fully investigate the root of the price hike, which has seen thousands of consumers living in fuel poverty across the UK.
Politics.co.uk 17th Oct 2011 more >>
Andy Atkins: The dirty half dozen have also been prominent in keeping the UK hooked on increasingly expensive fossil fuels, and its this dependency thats been the main reason for sky-high household fuel bills. Unless we change direction, things are set to go from bad to worse. New research by Friends of the Earth warns that households in the UK could be paying an extra £300 a year on fuels bills by 2020 if energy firms continue with plans to build new fossil fuel plants and scrap plans to invest in green energy. Thats why Friends of the Earth is today launching a new campaign, final demand, which calls for an end to the dominance of the big six and a fresh approach to the way our energy is produced. We want people to join our campaign and demand a full public inquiry into the big energy firms stranglehold over the UKs energy system. An investigation covering the big sixs huge profits, their failure to sufficiently invest in energy efficiency and clean home-grown energy and the urgent need to encourage new energy suppliers into the market. The UK could be at the forefront of a green energy revolution. Our renewable energy resources are among the best in the world and developing them and our capacity to slash energy waste would create the new jobs and business opportunities our economy is crying out for as well as shielding us from otherwise inevitable energy bill hikes.
Left Foot Forward 17th Oct 2011 more >>
Huhne suggested on the Today programme this morning, the question is how we get off the “fossil fuel escalator”. Tory MPs never miss an opportunity to attack the government’s green measures for raising energy prices. But the truth is that just £20 of the £300 increase in bills has been caused by the UK’s renewable obligations. The bulk of the increase has been caused by the dramatic rise in the price of gas and other fossil fuels. The answer, Huhne suggested, was to develop our own sources of energy not just from renewables but also from nuclear (his past opposition to atomic energy now a distant memory).
New Statesman17th Oct 2011 more >>
Are the big energy companies giving us the answers we need? Why have YOUR gas and electricity bills risen far faster than THEIR costs? Join our call for a public inquiry at: http://www.foe.co.uk/finaldemand.
You Tube 17th Oct 2011 more >>
FoE Blog 17th Oct 2011 more >>
The government has persuaded energy suppliers to write to 8 million customers to tell them how to switch payment methods, find lower tariffs and insulate their homes to save energy. The prime minister pledged the big six companies would be “permanently watched” and should put their shoulders to the wheel in what he called a “winter call to action”.
Guardian 17th Oct 2011 more >>
Amid all the gloom about rising prices, new supplier Co-operative Energy delivered some rare good news to its 16,000 customers. The not-for-profit company will give households a 1.3p dividend out of every pound spent.
Telegraph 17th Oct 2011 more >>
The Government’s much-vaunted energy summit was condemned as a “big wasted opportunity” by a leading independent participant yesterday, who accused politicians of failing to put enough pressure on the “big six” gas and electricity providers to lower bills. As a result of the summit, which kicked off a campaign by David Cameron to cut Britain’s energy bills, the big six agreed to write to 8 million British households to inform them that they can save money by switching to direct debit. Although the energy companies will not change any of their charges as part of the letter campaign, many households appear not to be aware that they can shave about £100 off their annual dual-fuel bill by switching, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change. However, Stephen Fitzpatrick, managing director of Ovo Energy, one of only two independent gas and electricity retailers to attend the meeting, was unimpressed with the move. “It’s a really big wasted opportunity. To have all those people together in the same room the Energy Secretary, the Prime Minister, Which?, Consumer Focus, Ofgem, the big six and to come up with nothing that we haven’t heard before,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.
Independnt 18th Oct 2011 more >>
Nigel Mason, the chief executive of Co-operative Energy, another of the new band of independent supplier, said: The Government got all the major players in the same room but we are still not moving in a direction that will lead to any great change. He said: To get a more competitive market, we have to break up vertically integrated companies. The meeting was attended by representatives of the big six: British Gas, SSE, E.ON, npower, EDF Energy and ScottishPower. The meeting came after recent rises brought fears that millions of householders would struggle to pay annual bills averaging £1,345.
Times 17th Oct 2011 more >>
The UK government must work with industry on a long-term nuclear strategy to avoid leaving future generations with a legacy of spent nuclear fuel to deal with, according to experts. A report out last week from the Royal Society says that the UKs nuclear new build programme, which the government signalled is pressing ahead, must take into account reprocessing waste nuclear fuel and any inherent security and safety issues.
Energy Efficiency News 17th Oct 2011 more >>
A MAJOR document designed to shape the future growth of Sedgemoor has been adopted by district councillors. Councillors at Wednesday’s special full council meeting agreed to adopt the authority’s Core Strategy after it was rated as sound by the planning inspector. The strategy focuses on various prospects for the district until 2027, including housing and employment development, development locations, affordable housing provision, infrastructure funding, retail and leisure development, and Hinkley Point C and other major infrastructure projects.
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 17th Oct 2011 more >>
The legacy of Dounreay in not pollution but expertise that will aid the growth of marine energy in the area. Dounreay, for many Scots who have never been near the place, is one of the most loathed names in Scotland. Its history embodies all thats feared to be wrong about nuclear energy explosions, accidents and radioactive waste contaminating land and sea. The curious thing is that when you do go there and talk to the people who live close by the landmark white dome of the experimental reactor, they dont quite see it that way. Indeed, Alex Salmond, who has made a career out of campaigning against nuclear energy, has cause to be grateful to Dounreay. If it had never existed, his hopes of turning Scotland into the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy would be a lot harder to realise.
Scotsman 18th Oct 2011 more >>
A “nuclear Davos”, convening the nations and industries that are involved in nuclear power, could be the way to deal with problems arising from the worldwide growth in nuclear-derived energy, according to the UK’s science academy.
Oil Price 17th Oct 2011 more >>
Utilities across the European Union (EU) may be forced to protect their workers against naturally occurring radiation under a new proposed comprehensive EU radiation protection directive. If approved by EU ministers, it would protect workers’ exposure to natural as well as artificial emissions in a wide range of industries. These would include coal-fired power plants; geothermal energy production; oil and gas production; and ground water filtration facilities. Brussels has acted upon 2007 recommendations from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), upon whose expertise EU nuclear (or Euratom) legislation is generally based. It included detailed advice on protecting workers against any exposure situation, which was, stressed a Commission memorandum “irrespective whether the source of radiation is man-made or natural”.
Utility Week 17th Oct 2011 more >>
FirstEnergy said it discovered small cracks in the concrete shield building surrounding the containment structure at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio, which was shut for another reactor vessel head replacement, a spokesman for the Ohio-based energy company said Monday.
Reuters 17th Oct 2011 more >>
Nuclear power production still remains an attractive option to developing, energy-poor nations, but the rising protests over a nuclear power plant in southern India sharply underlines the growing divergence between government politicians and a citizenry increasingly concerned about the potential consequences of having such a facility nearby.
Oil Price 17th Oct 2011 more >>
The Institute for Science and International Security in Washington has used imagery from Google Earth to arrive at the conclusion that India may be constructing a gas centrifuge plant for uranium enrichment for military purposes, reinforcing Indian fears that Google Earth can be misused to compromise national security.
Computer World 17th Oct 2011 more >>
The Mongolian government told Japan government officials and others concerned in late September that it had decided to abandon its plans to cooperate with Tokyo and Washington and build facilities to temporarily store and dispose of nuclear waste, it was learned on Oct. 14. Mongolia appears to have judged the plan unfeasible because of opposition movements in the country.
Mainichi 15th Oct 2011 more >>
Although Iran continues to stockpile enriched uranium in defiance of U.N. resolutions, two new reports portray the countrys nuclear program as riddled with problems as scientists struggle to keep older equipment working. At Irans largest nuclear complex, near the city of Natanz, fast-spinning machines called centrifuges churn out enriched uranium. But the average output is steadily declining as the equipment breaks down, according to an analysis of data collected by U.N. nuclear officials.
Washington Post 18th Oct 2011 more >>
The Paris newspaper Le Monde has speculated on what the impact would be if France followed Germanys lead and decided to phase out its nuclear power generation industry, which provides 78 percent of France’s electricity. Areva French nuclear group former director Anne Lauvergeon warns that without the electricity generated by nuclear power, It could be that the planet would become uninhabitable by 2050. Energy is a resource as important as water or food. As many people as possible must be able to access it, adding that in order to supply the 9 billion inhabitants that will live on the planet by 2050 with power, “we need to double our electricity production. A lot of effort has to be put into energy saving and the development of renewable energy. And these efforts alone will not be sufficient to meet this target.”
Oil Price 18th Oct 2011 more >>
Belarus has announced that it is seeking foreign tenders to construct two nuclear power plants within the next decade in a contract worth $9 billion.
Oil Price 18th Oct 2011 more >>
Indonesias National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) head Hudi Hastowo told journalists about the countrys nuclear energy efforts, stating, “The use of nuclear (energy) in Indonesia will not be for war weaponry, but for human peace and prosperity.” As for Indonesias nuclear power plant development plan Hudi noted that the 11 March Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan had impacted government plans to construct the countrys first nuclear power plant in Tanjung Ular Muntok Cape region, West Bangka, stating, “After the major earthquake in Japan that hit Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused some radioactive leakage, the plan is now delayed whereas it was previously accepted by the public,” Jakartas government-owned Antara news agency reported. Experts noted that the proposed Tanjung Ular Muntok nuclear power plant is situated in a seismically active region and that a repeat of the December 2004 tsunami that devastated the country could cause a catastrophic disaster. Currently Indonesias main power source is coal.
Oil Price 18th Oct 2011 more >>
Interfax, citing Sergey Yashin, deputy head of the National Nuclear Company Kazatomprom, has reported his reiteration of the proposal to build a nuclear power plant within the next 10 years in Kazakhstan.
Nuclear Engineering International 17th Oct 2011 more >>
At last, victims of Japan’s nuclear crisis can claim compensation. And they are angry. They are furious at the red tape they have to wade through just to receive basic help and in despair they still cannot get on with their lives seven months after the huge quake and tsunami triggered the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. Shouts fill a room at a temporary housing complex where seven officials, kneeling in their dark suits, face 70 or so tenants who were forced to abandon their homes near the Fukushima nuclear plant after some of its reactors went into meltdown after the March 11 quake struck.
Reuters 17th Oct 2011 more >>
There is now growing support for giving local authorities a central role in the rollout of the Green Deal, with experts saying their position as relatively well trusted service providers could encourage widespread take-up of green home makeovers. The largest Green Deal project in the UK is already being pursued by Birmingham City Council, which last month began a procurement process designed to identify a service provider for its planned £250m domestic energy efficiency scheme. A group of councils in the North East led by Newcastle City Council are also investigating a similar model, while a number of other local authorities are said to be investigating how they can drive Green Deal adoption. The councils are looking at deploying a financing and service delivery model developed by a loose coalition of firms and NGOs including the Energy Saving Trust, the Ecofin Foundation, the Climate Bonds Initiative, and Marksman Consulting.
Business Green 17th Oct 2011 more >>
IKEA is in the process of installing 2,600 solar panels on the roof of its Wednesbury, Birmingham branch. Following a £278,600 investment the store now expects to generate around 112,600kWh of electricity per year, reducing the stores CO2 consumption by over 1,148 tonnes over 25 years. The solar panels will be fully operational by December 2011. In total, the company is investing close to £4 million in fitting over 39,000 solar panels to the rooftops of ten UK-based IKEA stores in Cardiff, Edmonton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Southampton, Warrington, Birmingham, and Wembley. The installations will provide on average 5% of each buildings electricity needs.
Solar Power Portal 17th Oct 2011 more >>
The Tricycle Theatre has just opened a new production of Lee Blessings Cold War drama A Walk in the Woods, on stage until 12 November. Set in the midst of the Cold War, this powerful and startling play dramatises a stand-off between US and Soviet arms negotiators as they battle for supremacy. Dont miss the special performance on Thursday 20 October which will be followed by a panel discussion: Nuclear Negotiations Now curated by the WMD Awareness Programme with panellists including Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov A leading expert on international security and foreign policy of the Russian Federation. He has focused his research on threats and challenges to international security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues; Dr Randy Rydell, A Senior Political Affairs Officer in the Office of Mr. Sergio Duarte, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs at the United Nations; Dr. Jianqun Teng, the Director and research fellow of the Centre for Arms Control at a think tank of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing; Ambassador Wa’el Al-Assad, the Director of Multilateral Relations at the Headquarters of the League of Arab States in Cairo. Go to the street. Ask the man: Do you want to get rid of all nuclear weapons right now? Of course, he will say yes. Then ask Are you willing to give up your countrys power, prestige and predominance in the world? He will say no. But the two questions are the same. A Walk in the Woods, 20th Oct, 8pm, Tricycle Theatre.
Tricycle Theatre 17th Oct 2011 more >>