Growing energy demands and concerns about oil supplies and greenhouse gas emissions means nuclear power is making a comeback, top international specialists declared. “Nuclear is really back on the agenda. There is a need for more energy,” said Thierry Dujardin, a deputy director of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s nuclear energy arm. However, speaking ahead of a conference on nuclear power in the Chinese capital, specialists said the global financial crisis would slow the nuclear comeback temporarily as funding for new projects dries up.
Middle East Online 19th Apr 2009 more >>
Letter from Allan Wilson: Alex Salmond accuses the UK Energy Minister of launching a nuclear strike against the “energy policy choice” of the Scottish Government for having the temerity to point out the facts about that choice (The Herald, April 17). On a visit to Hunterston nuclear power station in North Ayrshire – still in the UK the last time I checked, and which the SNP want to close – Mr Milliband pointed out that other countries which the SNP are quick to quote when it suits, like Sweden and Finland, have faced up to their responsibilities on security of energy supply and climate change, and have changed their minds and built new nuclear plants. What’s to stop Scotland doing the same? Only the intransigence of a Scottish Government led by Mr Salmond that is determined to ignore not only the advice of his own economic advisers but also the increasing majority of ordinary people in this country who recognise that new nuclear plants are part of the solution to climate change and affordable energy, and not the problem.
Herald 20th Apr 2009 more >>
Letter from NFLA Scotland: Whilst nuclear provides around 78 per cent of France’s electricity, it only provides 18 per cent of total energy consumed (Business, 17 April). The country still consumes more oil per capita than the UK. If Britain replaces its nuclear fleet this would only save around 4 per cent of our carbon emissions. We could easily make up for this with extra, cheaper, energy efficiency measures. Recent more rigorous estimates of carbon emissions from the nuclear cycle are ten times higher than a industry estimates – around 66 g/kWh – worse than all renewable alternatives. This number is likely to increase as the industry is forced to use poorer quality uranium ores. France has the same problems with radioactive waste as everyone else. It has no operating high-level waste repository. In the UK, problems in the 1990s with the scientific basis for calculating the rate waste would leak halted the programme. It is imperative this is resolved before further waste is produced. If there are concerns about whether new non-wind renewable energy can contribute in time to Scotland’s energy supplies, then we should look at combined heat and power (CHP). P yry Energy has shown that industrial CHP across Britain could generate as much electricity as ten nuclear stations and halve gas imports. Two of the nine sites examined are in Scotland, at Grangemouth and Peterhead. Together these would be almost enough to replace Scotland’s nuclear capacity.
Scotsman 20th Apr 2009 more >>
Cumbria’s plans to become a leading UK energy hub have received a boost after three sites in the region were included in a list of 11 potential locations for new nuclear power stations in England and Wales.
Regen.net 20th Apr 2009 more >>
Low Level Waste
A landfill site in west Cumbria could be turned into a dump for nuclear waste if a submission is approved. The Waste Recycling Group Ltd and American partners Energy Solutions are to make a submission to the Environment Agency over the site at Lillyhall. It would be used for very low level nuclear waste. Greenpeace say the proposal could “blight the area.”
Teletext 20th Apr 2009 more >>
China will have 100 gigawatts of wind-power capacity by 2020, a senior energy official said on Monday, more than three times the 30 GW target the government laid down in an energy strategy drawn up just 18 months ago. That means wind is set to be a bigger source of power than nuclear, despite a construction boom in nuclear power plants, and far bigger than solar, which is expected to hit 1.8 GW by 2020, according to the 2007 plan. The original 2020 target for nuclear was set at 40 GW, but China is now aiming for 60 GW and officials have spoken of 70 GW. China had 9.1 GW of nuclear power capacity at the end of last year and is building 24 reactors with a further 25.4 GW. At least five more are planned but not yet approved for construction.
Reuters 20th Apr 2009 more >>
The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has said North Korea could restart its nuclear facility within months.
Daily Express 20th Apr 2009 more >>
The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog said here Monday he was optimistic about efforts to end a stand-off over Iran’s nuclear drive, following positive moves from Tehran and Washington. “I am extremely pleased with the reversal in the policy of the United States from one of confrontation to one of dialogue and mutual respect,” Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters.
Africasia 20th Apr 2009 more >>
At long last there is to be new research into the plight of Britain’s nuclear test veterans, defence minister Kevan Jones will announce this week. We welcome that and applaud Mr Jones for doing something so many of his predecessors did not. But this study of the illnesses suffered by veterans who witnessed the atom tests more than 60 years ago must not be a whitewash like previous inquiries, which only delved into data that gave the MoD the results they wanted.
Sunday Mirror 19th Apr 2009 more >>
Defence Minister Kevan Jones will confirm the launch of a long-overdue study on illnesses suffered by soldiers, sailors and airmen in the Commons on Tuesday. The move is a victory for the Sunday Mirror campaign for justice for victims of the blasts, whose families have also suffered a range of illnesses.
Sunday Mirror 19th Apr 2009 more >>
Gordon Brown – with business secretary Lord Mandelson and skills secretary John Denham – will publish a comprehensive state of British competitiveness paper today. Mandelson told the Guardian that the policy was “designed to frame the budget statement, and the government’s subsequent detailed policy statements in the remainder of the year covering low-carbon industrial strategy, digital communications and bio-sciences, as well as developments in key sectors like plastic electronics, industrial bio-technologies and advanced manufacturing”. Darling will announce an extra £500m of government spending on reducing carbon emissions, including a pledge of £40m to top up and keep open a grants programme for renewable energy technologies.
Guardian 20th Apr 2009 more >>
The Government’s ”strategic plan” will be a central part of a “going for growth” Budget to be announced by Alistair Darling on Wednesday. It could lead to hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being used to fund the expansion of “green” industry. Projects funded could include wind, wave and nuclear power, and electric and hybrid cars.
Independent 20th Apr 2009 more >>
Mounting fears within government circles that Britain’s utilities are poised for a new dash for gas – increasing the country’s future power dependence on fuel imports from Russia – has persuaded Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, to back funding for a second clean coal demonstration power plant. In an attempt to ensure that coal remains part of the UK energy mix, he will also set out licensing conditions for more coal power stations. Mr Miliband’s renewed pitch for clean coal, which could be timed to coincide with the Budget on Wednesday, is to be pushed out quickly to counter scepticism in the power industry that the Government has a viable strategy to promote carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
Times 20th Apr 2009 more >>