One of Scotland’s leading environmental groups has warned support for nuclear power in the UK could undermine the future of the renewable energy industry in Scotland. Ian Marchant, the chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, one of Scotland’s largest electricity firms, has said the UK government’s support for nuclear gives it an advantage over other sources of power. WWF Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon said, “Ian Marchant is absolutely right that the market should not be fixed in favour of nuclear power, especially when this will be at the expense of renewable energy schemes and to the detriment of Scotland.
Dundee Courier 2nd June 2011 more >>
Scotsman 2nd June 2011 more >>
WWF Scotland Press Release 1st June 2011 more >>
Anti-nuclear campaigners said yesterday the UK government should pull the plug on its plans for new reactors, including in the West. Friends of the Earth urged ministers to follow the lead of Germany, which has decided to shut all the country’s nuclear reactors following the catastrophe at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. However a spokesman for Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne insisted there would be no U-turn, despite Germany’s “nein” to nuclear.
This is Somerset 1st June 2011 more >>
Germany’s decision to shut all its nuclear reactors by 2022, in reaction to Japan’s nuclear disaster, has inevitably caused waves here. Anti-nuclear groups across Britain are demanding the Government follow suit. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision followed mass nationwide protests against nuclear power, something we have not seen here. But it also comes with support for her Christian Democratic party at a low point, which may make the Liberal Democrats pause for thought. Germany had already suspended its eight oldest reactors following the accident at Fukushima, and they will stay closed. Now the chancellor says the other nine nuclear plants will shut within 11 years, a remarkable U-turn, as just eight months ago she committed to extending the lives of all 17.
This is Devon 1st June 2011 more >>
Letter from Paul Dorfman: When talking about nuclear, there’s often a confusion between total energy and electricity. So let’s get this clear: nuclear could only supply around 4 per cent of our total energy, and so ameliorate only 4 per cent of out total CO2 global warming emissions. This is because in the UK, electricity comprises 20 per cent of total energy, and nuclear at its height supplied around 20 per cent of total electricity. In Germany, the situation is slightly different. The most recent figures available from Eurostat tell us that primary energy consumption in Germany is 289.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe), with nuclear consumption at 30.5 mtoe. This means that nuclear provides around 9.5 per cent of total German energy. It’s interesting that Germany is currently more reliant on nuclear power than the UK, yet will discard this technology within ten years. I guess the question is: what does Chris Huhne know that the most scientifically, technically and economically robust state in Europe doesn’t?
Scotsman 1st June 2011 more >>
Germany has pulled the proverbial plug on its nuclear power industry, following the Fukushima incident in Japan. What are the implications for the global energy market? In the decade preceding Fukushima, most industrial nations (developing or developed) had come to the conclusion that nuclear power was back on the agenda. Yes, it is expensive to build and operate, compared to fossil fuels. Fukushima has altered this commercial scenario radically. At the very least, Western electorates are going to need greater assurance about nuclear safety while investors are worried about committing to unforeseen costs. That raises the cost differential for nuclear to a point where it is now uneconomic – at least in Europe and North America. This can be seen in the market reaction to Fukushima. In the wake of the disaster, uranium mining companies have lost a third of their value. Hint: expect a lot of M&A activity. Global demand for coal is forecast to jump by another half in the next two decades. Even before Fukushima, coal’s share in global electricity generation was set to increase from 41 per cent to 44 per cent by 2030. Reason: coal is the cheapest form of energy on the planet.
Scotsman 1st June 2011 more >>
Henry Winter and political columnist Peter Oborne almost came to blows over the issue of nuclear energy after Winter recounted a moving trip to Hiroshima. With all due respect to you as a football writer, said Mr Oborne, there is a difference between nuclear power plants and nuclear bombs. Winter was quick to respond. I know I have a tiny little mind but let me ask this: would you rather have a wind farm on your door step, or a nuclear power plant? There was a brief pause before Oborne responded. A wind farm, I suppose. They were joined by Helen Mountfield, a leading human rights lawyer, Tim Smit, the co-founder of the Eden Project, and Matthew Norman, the Telegraphs restaurant critic, who joked that the UK has a perfectly brilliant energy policy. Just look at our attempts to get cheap petrol from Libya and Iraq.
Telegraph 1st June 2011 more >>
PLANS to replace a nuclear power station on Anglesey could leave some of the islands most vulnerable families homeless, claims a new report. At the peak of construction activity in 2017, 6,000 workers will be employed building the Wylfa B plant to replace the existing station. It is thought up to 70% will need accommodation while working on the plant, leaving families claiming housing benefit facing a battle to find accommodation if private landlords prefer tenants with jobs.
Western Mail 1st June 2011 more >>
RESIDENTS in Shepperdine hope a ruling by the German government to close all of the countrys nuclear power stations will mean no new plant on their doorsteps. Reg Illingworth, chairman of Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (SANE), said fellow anti-nuclear campaigners were the most optimistic they had ever been since they began their fight against a potential new nuclear plant.
Gloucestershire Gazette 1st June 2011 more >>
The green movement is ecstatic and so is the Scottish Government, which was quick to welcome Angela Merkel to the Would-Be Non-Nuclear Club. Scotland has an even steeper non-nuclear mountain to climb than Germany, unless we all fancy candlelight. The latest official figures show us still generating nearly a third of our power from nuclear, compared with 23% in Germany, which has never managed to reverse its upward energy consumption. Business leaders there are already lining up to say it cannot be done. Theres talk about better building standards but, like here, most of us continue to live and work in existing buildings, so such changes are painfully slow.
Herald 2nd June 2011 more >>
EU member states should be able to send their radioactive waste to non-EU countries according to the EU Energy Committee. Voting on a draft directive on the management of spent fuel, MEPs agreed that countries should be able to export radioactive waste outside of Europe, as long as it is processed in accordance with new EU safety rules. Under the proposed directive, each EU state must create programmes to ensure that spent fuel and waste is safely processed and disposed of, as well as holding plans for the management of all nuclear facilities, even after they close.
Environmentalist 27th May 2011 more >>
Niger’s plans to produce its own nuclear power will be developed in partnership with other African nations, not alone, due to the country’s low energy needs, the government said. Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, is a major exporter of uranium and has oil reserves but currently imports some 70 percent of its energy from neighbouring Nigeria. “If there is something that we have to do, it is to have our own civilian nuclear reactor,” government spokesman Marou Amadou said late on Tuesday.
Reuters 1st June 2011 more >>
Amongst those travelling to Japan to help with the recent crisis following the damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant was a UK military Radiation Monitoring Team (RMT). The Fukushima plant suffered serious damage and started releasing radioactive material following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on 11 March 2011. In response to this incident, a three-man UK military RMT, augmented by a MOD health physicist, was deployed to the British Embassy in Tokyo. The team’s mission was threefold: to monitor radiation levels within the vicinity of the British Embassy; to provide protection and radiation health advice to British Embassy personnel; and to provide reassurance to British Embassy staff and British nationals.
MoD 1st June 2011 more >>
JAPAN underestimated the risk of tsunamis and needs to closely monitor public health after the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a team of international safety inspectors said in a preliminary review of the disaster. The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency highlighted some of the well-documented weaknesses that contributed to the crisis at Fukushima when the plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo, was hit by a massive earthquake and a tsunami in quick succession on 11 March.
City AM 2nd June 2011 more >>
Click Green 1st June 2011 more >>
UN atomic safety experts said Japan underestimated the threat from a killer wave to its crippled Fukushima power plant and urged sweeping changes to prevent a repeat of the crisis that triggered the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
Independent 2nd June 2011 more >>
Germanys decision will send the wrong message to its peers. Countries with faster-growing populations or a weaker renewable sector will struggle to dispense with nuclear power without missing environmental targets or damaging their economies. Except where there is a compelling safety case for doing so, the rest of the world should avoid the temptation to follow Germanys example.
FT 1st June 2011 more >>
German’s plans to close down all its nuclear plants by 2022 will add up to 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, analysts have said.Extra carbon emissions will come from the country’s increasing reliance on fossil fuels, increasing demand for carbon permits under the EU’s trading scheme.
Engineering & Technology 1st June 2011 more >>
EOn is counting the cost of Germany’s new energy policies and preparing to put its case to government for a multi-billion euro compensation deal. The utility was told on 31 May that three reactors representing 3463 MWe of capacity would not be allowed to restart after a knee-jerk shutdown order in the early days of the Fukushima crisis. In addition, the firm’s remaining four units, worth 5405 MWe, will have to shut down earlier than proposed by legislation put through earlier this year. All these plants received approval from safety regulators even in the light of the Fukushima accident.
World Nuclear News 1st June 2011 more >>
E.ON is suing the German Government for billions of euros in damages over its dramatic U-turn on nuclear power after the Fukushima meltdown in Japan. The energy companys German rival RWE, which operates as RWE npower in Britain, is also considering legal action.
Times 1st June 2011 more >>
Last autumn, Angela Merkel’s mistake-prone coalition government decided that Germany’s nuclear power stations should continue to operate until 2035, which overrode a decision to quit nuclear energy by 2022 made by the government of Social Democrats and Greens in 2001. Seven months, a nuclear catastrophe in Japan and several regional losses by Merkel’s Christian Democrats later, she’s changed her mind again. On Monday night a historic decision was made, the government declared: Germany will be the first industrial country in the world that renounces nuclear power for good.
Guardian 1st June 2011 more >>
The most obvious beneficiary is alternative energy. The German government plans to double the supply of renewable energy (ie from alternative and greener power sources), to 35% by 2020. That could change the fortunes of solar and wind power equipment manufacturers. The sector has generally done quite badly recently. But stocks such as solar cell makers Q-Cells SE and SolarWorld AG, as well as wind turbine maker Nordex SE have suddenly been thrust into the spotlight.
Money Week 1st June 2011 more >>
Britain believes that Syria should be reported to the UN Security Council over its alleged illicit nuclear activity, Britain’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday.
Telegraph 2nd June 2011 more >>
Lithuania has received two bids from Japanese and U.S. companies to build a nuclear power plant, the government said on Wednesday, getting the Baltic state’s plans for a reactor back on track after a setback last year.
Reuters 1st June 2011 more >>
Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 nuclear power reactors costing over $100 billion by 2030, a Saudi newspaper has reported. Saudi Arabia is the world’s top exporter of crude oil but is struggling to meet its increasing domestic power demand, and is considering boosting energy capacity by using nuclear reactors.
Engineering & Technology 1st June 2011 more >>
Solar panels and other forms of small-scale energy generation may be eligible for a government-backed loan scheme to householders, according to the UK’s minister of state for climate change. The potential inclusion of renewable energy in the coalition’s flagship “green deal” comes as a surprise, as the development of the scheme has so far focused on energy efficiency measures such as lagging lofts. Papers published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) on Thursday show that the 14 million householders expected to qualify for a complete energy-saving overhaul in the next 10 years may be able to choose from 23 different technologies, including cavity wall insulation and draught proofing but also covering solar water heating, wood burning stoves and biomass boilers.
Guardian 2nd June 2011 more >>