Returning once more to George Monbiot’s recent attacks on the anti-nuclear movement, Paul Mobbs outlines the problems of defining what is the “truth” about the relationship between radiation and health. Paul challenges what remains unstated within George Monbiot’s support for nuclear power. For example, does he support fuel reprocessing?, the use of “mixed oxide” (MOX) fuel containing plutonium?, and how does George stand on the ecological effects of uranium mining? Curiously, whilst George demands “peer reviewed” research from the anti-nuclear movement, the UNSCEAR report on the safety of uranium is based on un-reviewed studies from agencies with interests within the civil and military nuclear sector – despite there being a far wider body of research available on the effects of uranium mining, and its effects upon health and the environment. Paul picks apart George Monbiot’s “over-emphasis” on the production of electricity when the data clearly shows that it’s petroleum that dominates the economy, not electricity.
Fraw 19th April 2011 more >>
EDF Energy has delivered a submission to the government’s chief nuclear inspector ahead of his report into implications for the UK nuclear industry of the Japan disaster.
Construction News 19th April 2011 more >>
There are many people who think the Fukushima nuclear crisis has signaled the demise of the nuclear power industry, or at least that it will soon run into a ditch. But certain facts speak otherwise. Rising scepticism about the industry’s future, especially in Europe, notwithstanding, the nuclear power sector is more likely to thrive than not, says Steve Christ, writing in the Wealth Daily.
IB Times 19th April 2011 more >>
TWO councils are poring through the responses to their consultation on plans for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. West Somerset and Sedgemoor district councils say more than 200 people attended consultation events on their Supplementary Planning Document, which will show EDF Energy, the firm behind Hinkley C, what people think of its plans. The councils say fears of traffic chaos and EDF’s plans for worker accommodation were among the public’s chief concerns.
This is the West Country 19th April 2011 more >>
ONE of Scotland’s leading business groups has declared that the country will need a new generation of nuclear reactors, as a reliable back-up for the “green revolution” of wind, wave and tidal power. In the latest intervention in the election row over Scotland’s energy needs, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) accused the campaigning parties of engaging in a “bidding war” on ever higher targets for renewable energy ahead of the 5 May poll.
Scotsman 20th April 2011 more >>
ALEX CUNNINGHAM says he is satisfied that radioactive waste left over from nuclear bomb tests does not pose a threat to Teesside residents. The Stockton North MP has been looking into how hundreds of tonnes of material cleared up after atomic bomb blasts on a Pacific island in the 1950s came to be disposed of at a landfill site in Port Clarence. The Ministry of Defence transported the waste back to the UK in 2008 and secretly dumped it at the site on the banks of the Tees.
Evening Gazette 19th April 2011 more >>
Richard Bramhall: In his article on “the confusing world of radiation exposure”, readers’ editor Chris Elliott was right to point out that getting a whole year’s sunshine in an hour would fry him to a crisp. Radiation dose rate is important. What he didn’t say is that “dose density” is important too. The “sievert”, as Elliott says, is a dose unit for quantifying radiation risk. He did not add that it assumes dose density is uniform. “There are many kinds of radiation”, he says, but he does not mention how they differ. In fact, external sources like cosmic rays and x-rays distribute their energy evenly, like the sun; others, notably alpha-emitters like uranium, are extremely uneven in the way they irradiate body tissue once they have been inhaled or swallowed.
Guardian 20th April 2011 more >>
Britain today joined international partners in contributing to a fund to help ensure the permanent safety of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site. As part of the G8’s commitment to the safety and stabilisation of the Chernobyl site, the UK has made contributions totalling £28.5m in this donor pledging round to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)-managed international funds.
The Engineer 19th April 2011 more >>
A photo of the destroyed fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant taken by the plant’s official photographer Anatoliy Rasskazov in the first hours after the deadly explosion. A highly radioactive vapour trail is seen coming from the heart of the destroyed reactor. Rasskazov got some 300 Roentgen (fatal is 500 Roentgen) while taking photos of the plant. He died of cancer in 2010.
Telegraph 19th April 2011 more >>
The ruined nuclear reactor at Chernobyl is to be sealed within a 20,000-tonne steel shield designed to prevent any further radiation from escaping for 100 years. It would be large enough to enclose St Paul’s Cathedral in London, or the Statue of Liberty.
Guardian 19th April 2011 more >>
Pressure has been mounting on Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan over the past week to step aside over his handling of the crisis produced by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Criticisms have come from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and, even more significantly, from within his own Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).
World Socialist Web 20th April 2011 more >>
The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant began pumping highly radioactive water from the basement of one of its buildings to a makeshift storage area yesterday in a crucial step toward easing the nuclear crisis. Removing about 6.6 million gallons of contaminated water that has collected in the basement of a turbine building at Unit 2 of the Fukushima Daiichi plant will help allow access for Tepco workers who are trying to restore vital cooling systems that were knocked out in the 11 March tsunami.
Independent 20th April 2011 more >>
The bid to restore safe conditions to the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant has been hampered by a discovery of searing heat, it has emerged. A Packbot probe sent in yesterday found temperatures up to 41 degrees Celsius and humidity ranging from 94 to 99 per cent, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said today.
Daily Mail 19th April 2011 more >>
British robots are being sent into the Fukushima nuclear plant which was damaged in Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, because it’s too dangerous for humans.
Newsround 19th April 2011 more >>
French reactor maker Areva , stepping up its role in Japan’s clean-up from its worst-ever nuclear disaster, will provide Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) with equipment to clean up radioactive water. The decontamination plant, which uses a process called “co-precipitation” to isolate and remove radioactive elements, will be delivered after Areva specialists studied the crippled reactor at close range over the last three weeks.
Reuters 19th April 2011 more >>
Experts have called into question the feasibility of the controversial timetable unveiled by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for bringing its crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under control. TEPCOs timetable is over-optimistic and cold shutdown could take more than nine months, say experts. Filling containments with 6000 tons of water is widely questioned, as TEPCO has acknowledged that they all leak. Similarly, the huge new cooling and decontamination systems proposed by Tepco have never been built before and may run into trouble. “The plan is nothing but pie in the sky,” said a former instructor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute. A major obstacle is finding ways to bring radiation dose levels around the plant down to allow the works foreseen in the plan to be carried out.
Mainichi Daily News 18th April 2011 more >>
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Tuesday started moving highly radioactive water from the No. 2 reactor turbine building to another facility at the site as part of efforts to enable engineers to engage in work to restore key cooling functions of the troubled reactors. Workers are struggling to remove some 25,000 tons of deadly water in and around the No. 2 turbine building, which has an extremely high level of radiation exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour. The total amount of contaminated water accumulating in the plant’s premises is estimated to be a little less than 70,000 tons.
Japan Today 19th April 2011 more >>
Japan says there is no fear of a nuclear meltdown at the Daiichi power plant.
Reuters TV 19th April 2011 more >>
EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG (EBK) plans to spend about 8 billion euros ($11 billion) on renewable energy by 2020 to help plug a shortfall as Germany phases out nuclear power. The country’s third-largest utility will add about 3 gigawatts of renewable capacity to its 3.1 gigawatts in the next 10 years, Chief Executive Officer Hans-Peter Villis said today in a copy of speech handed to reporters in Karlsruhe, Germany, where shareholders are attending their annual meeting.
Bloomberg 19th April 2011 more >>
People protesting against a planned nuclear power plant at Jaitapur attacked a hospital and torched buses on Tuesday and at least 20 people were injured a day after an anti-nuclear activist was killed in police firing.
IB Times 20th April 2011 more >>
BBC 19th April 2011 more >>
NRG Energy Inc said on Tuesday that uncertainty after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan will force the company to end its push to build two additional reactors in Texas and write off its investment in the project. NRG will record a first-quarter 2011 pretax charge of about $481 million for the impairment of net assets of Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), its nuclear development joint venture with Toshiba American Nuclear Energy Corp (TANE).
Reuters 19th April 2011 more >>
NRG Energy, the US power producer, said it would take a first-quarter 2011 pre-tax charge of $481m to write down its investment in nuclear power due to “diminished prospects’’ for a US renaissance following Japan’s crisis.
FT 20th April 2011 more >>
Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right government has given up plans to relaunch Italy’s nuclear industry in response to growing public opposition in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. A bill tabled in the Senate on Tuesday would abrogate earlier legislation that set out a process for the selection of sites and construction of nuclear power stations for the first time since Italians voted in 1987 to get rid of the country’s four existing power plants.
FT 19th April 2011 more >>
Reuters 19th April 2011 more >>
Following the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, China is evaluating plans to double its goal for solar power capacity to 10GW by 2015.
Engineering & Technology 19th April 2011 more >>
Four Greenpeace Canada activists were arrested Tuesday after occupying Energy Minister Brad Duguid’s offices to protest new construction at the Darlington nuclear facility. Demonstrators began their sit-in around 9 a.m., chaining themselves together and opening a banner that read, “Stop Darlington, Choose Safe Green Energy.”
City TV 19th April 2011 more >>
Solar power companies are taking the government to court over last-minute changes to subsidies that they say are destroying their business. A group of companies filed on Tuesday for a judicial review against Chris Huhne, secretary of state for energy and climate change, for his decision to review the feed-in tariffs (Fits) that top up revenues for renewable power.
Guardian 19th April 2011 more >>
Times 20th April 2011 more >>