The secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Davey, used a key fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat conference to launch a stout defence of the continued use of nuclear power as a key part of the country’s energy mix. Davey argued that backing a new generation of nuclear power stations was the green option. Facing down environmental campaigners who do not believe in nuclear, Davey insisted that nuclear power was crucial to stop climate change. “A lot of environmentalists who were anti nuclear in the past have changed their view because of climate change,” Davey said.
Guardian 18th September 2013 read more »
Survey finds disaster has not affected public opinion on nuclear although technology remains less popular than green energy. The Fukushima disaster changed the course of Japanese energy policy but has barely registered on the UK public’s opinion of nuclear power, new research to be published today reveals. Today 32 per cent of the UK supports nuclear power and 29 per cent oppose it, according to a poll of 961 people conducted by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). But just 26 per cent supported it in 2005, the most recent figures before a massive tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daichii nuclear power plant in 2011. And 40 per cent now want to see nuclear power phased out or shut down compared to 50 per cent in 2005 and 47 per cent in 2010, while just 29 per cent say the benefit of nuclear power outweighs the risk, down from 37 per cent three years ago. These numbers are still well below the support levels for green energy, which separate polls suggest are around 67 per cent for wind farms and 84 per cent for solar.
Business Green 19th Sept 2013 read more »
Letter David Lowry: Your environment editor rightly highlighted the fact ministers have chosen to remove the troublesome layer of democracy that thwarted plans to secure a site in West Cumbria for the nation’s nuclear waste, by excluding the County Council. I was invited two years ago to sit on the Government’s Geological Disposal Implementation Board (GDIB). As the programme was moving ahead, we met about every six months to review progress. Since the programme was halted at the end of January this year, the GDIB has not been convened, nor has the board been consulted on its views on what should happen next, a situation I have found puzzling. Had I been asked, I would have suggested far from reducing the key decision-making bodies to district councils, those covering the specific land footprint that would host the above-ground servicing facilities for any deep repository for emplacing the waste, the scope of key interested bodies should include the local authorities through which the radioactive waste would have to be transported by rail or road the repository site. Communities along the route could face significant community disruption for many years as the national nuclear waste stockpile is transported across the country to the repository.
Independent 18th Sept 2013 read more »
AN anti-nuclear campaigner has described a nuclear train derailment as “shocking” and an “absolute scandal.” Marianne Birkby, founder of anti-nuclear campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland, described the derailment as “shocking”. She said: “This is why the push for a geological disposal facility is absolutely insane. The waste is continuing to arrive in Sellafield even though they can’t look after the waste they have already got. “A train can derail anywhere even though it is considered one of the safest forms of travel. “Somebody from the pro-nuclear lobby once told me the waste is even safer on the train than at a nuclear plant; that’s the kind of mentality they have. “It’s like pointing to a kestrel by a motorway and claiming that motorways are great for wildlife. “It’s an absolute scandal.”
NW Evening Mail 18th Sept 2013 read more »
Trains services between Barrow and Manchester Airport have been cancelled because of problems with removing a derailed nuclear train.
NW Evening Mail 18th Sept 2013 read more »
The news that a train had derailed near Barrow Station on tuesday at 2pm is unusual enough, but to hear that the derailed train was carrying nuclear flasks is shocking. According to the nuclear industry the flasks were empty and on their way to Sellafield. Flasks on their way to Sellafield are most often full of spent fuel being sent to Sellafield to be reprocessed making the wastes even more dangerous. These flasks had gone on a long journey having sailed from Japan to Barrow and back again with Highly Active Waste who knows how many times. Presumably the “empty” flasks arrived from Japan on the Pacific Heron currently in port in Barrow. Sellafield Ltd tells us confidently that: “Sellafield Ltd, International Nuclear Services (INS) and its subsidiary Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited are making preparations to transport highly active waste (HAW) from Sellafield to Japan in 2013.
Radiation Free Lakeland 18th Sept 2013 read more »
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission (EC) have collaborated to boost nuclear safety in Europe. As part of the latest memorandum of understanding, both the bodies will work to develop an improved framework for planning and reviewing diverse forms of cooperation in nuclear safety, including expert peer reviews and building up emergency awareness and response capabilities.
Energy Business Review 18th Sept 2013 read more »
The U.S. Government Accountability Office said on Wednesday that the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Department of Energy must continue to assess how plutonium research, capability needs and stockpile efforts have changed. The GAO said the NNSA, a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy, must develop a plan for near- and longer-term plutonium needs. The NNSA agreed with the recommendation. In April 2012, NNSA’s Los Alamos National Laboratory conducted a study to identify the general options for meeting the agency’s plutonium research needs during a several-year gap created by deferring the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement nuclear facility. In February 2012, the NNSA deferred CMRR nuclear facility construction for at least five years, creating a potential plutonium research gap between 2019 and the late 2020s.
Bioprepwatch 16th Sept 2013 read more »
Operators of Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant dismissed plans two years ago to build a barrier to stop radioactive water leakages as too expensive. The recommendation for a barrier, which the government is now planning to install, was made by US experts just three months after the plant was severely damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. However, at the time, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), operators of the plant, successfully lobbied against the proposal due to high costs and fragile investor confidence, according to a memo uncovered by a Japanese newspaper.
Telegraph 19th Sept 2013 read more »
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has said that his country will never seek a nuclear bomb.
Belfast Telegraph 19th Sept 2013 read more »
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Telegraph 18th Sept 2013 read more »
African nuclear safety regulators are to step up their cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency as the continent makes increasing use of nuclear energy.
World Nuclear News 18th Sept 2013 read more »
Letter WWF: First, the assumed costs for the consumer of €20bn for renewables next year represent about 0.5 per cent of Germany’s gross domestic product. Is that too much for a rich country to avert some of the much costlier risks of climate change, nuclear waste, fossil fuel import dependence and air pollution? Too much considering that renewables already account for about 25 per cent of the electricity mix and without the often-claimed risks of blackouts and power shortages in a still booming economy? Second, renewables have created almost 400,000 jobs in Germany, close to the number created in car manufacturing and far more than in the fossil fuels and nuclear sectors. Support and demand for renewables has contributed to cutting manufacturing costs – particularly for wind and solar – globally and in the EU, by more than 50 per cent in the past few years. Third, despite slightly higher initial costs today, the centre-right government projects overall energy costs for German consumers to be much lower after 2025 on a strong renewable energy pathway compared with a fossil fuel-based one. Fourth, a fundamental shortcoming of the distribution of costs for renewables are the exemptions. About 2,500 companies do not pay the renewable energy surcharge. Originally meant to protect energy-intensive companies from perceived competitive disadvantages in international markets, by now even slaughterhouses, oil refineries and mineral water providers benefit as well. The EU has raised concerns on illegal state aid. And, at a time of prevailing record low carbon prices from the European Emissions Trading Scheme for many industrial energy users, there is no justification to continue these exemptions. Fifth, indeed short-term coal consumption rose last year. But this resulted from US shale gas replacing domestic coal which, in turn, was cheap enough to be exported to countries in Europe with a higher gas price such as Germany. In combination with the failure of the ETS to provide meaningful carbon costs, coal-based power production grew at the expense of gas. This has nothing to do with the focus on renewables, which altogether reduced CO2 emissions by almost 100m tons annually, equivalent to the entire CO2 emissions of Belgium.
FT 19th Sept 2013 read more »
The most immediate economic challenge facing German industry – the steep rise in energy prices caused by the switch from nuclear to renewable energy sources – has hardly been considered. “The energy issue was discussed for a mere 60 seconds in 90 minutes of debate between Angela Merkel and Peer Steinbrück [her Social Democrat opponent] on television,” Mr Kerber says. Yet the issues of Europe, energy and economic growth are certain to be the biggest obstacles facing whatever government emerges from the election.
FT 18th Sept 2013 read more »
One of the Conservative party’s biggest donors has launched an unprecedented attack on George Osborne, David Cameron and Ed Davey, accusing them of squandering an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of revenues by scaring off desperately-needed investors in the UK offshore wind industry. Alexander Temerko, a significant British energy investor whose company Offshore Group Newcastle builds foundations for offshore wind turbines and constructs oil and gas platforms, is best known for being one of the 12 Tory party donors who enjoyed a private dinner with the highest echelons of the Conservative party this spring after making donations totalling more than £50,000. He has donated a total of £208,500 to the party in the past two years.
Independent 18th Sept 2013 read more »
Plans for a tidal barrage generating power on the Severn estuary were dealt a further blow on Wednesday when the government ruled out proceeding on current plans. However, ministers said if major changes were made to the scheme, with new environmental studies and reassurances over financing and technology, it could be revived and given serious consideration. The only current proposals for a barrage come from Hafren Power, which has the backing of the former Welsh secretary Peter Hain, which has said it can find financial backing for its technology. But the government, in its response to a June report from the environment and climate change select committee of MPs, said: “In its current form, the Hafren Power proposals for a Severn barrage does not demonstrate that it could deliver the benefits it claims it would achieve.”
Guardian 18th Sept 2013 read more »
The proportion of people who do not believe in climate change has more than quadrupled since 2005, according to a government-funded survey. Public support for wind and solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels has fallen sharply over the same period, with gas the only form of electricity production now perceived more favourably. The findings, published today by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), come as hundreds of climate scientists and government officials from around the world head to Stockholm to finalise next week’s report on climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to announce that it is “extremely likely” that human influence on the climate caused more than half the global temperature increase since 1951. This would be an even more confident statement than the IPCC’s previous report in 2007, which said that it was “very likely” that man-made emissions were to blame for most of the rise in temperature. The UKERC found that public opinion has gone in the opposite direction, with 19 per cent now saying they do not believe the world’s climate is changing, up from only 4 per cent in 2005.
Times 19th Sept 2013 read more »