The low-level nuclear waste depository at Drigg in Cumbria could be full in 20 years, one reason the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is looking to ‘refine’ its strategy. LLWR wants to find ways of cutting costs. One proposal made to the regulators is to do away with the traditional procedure of placing the waste in various protective membranes, putting it in one of the 10,000 containers, which cost £10,000 each, then covering it in earth and concrete. “We think it’s wasteful”. The NDA last month completed a 14-week consultation on how to deal with low-level waste and is now working to “refine” its strategy. Insiders confirm that the policy is almost certain to switch to putting more waste in landfill and other sites not used in the past. The energy department is known to be increasingly concerned at the slow progress with the deep geological disposal programme for higher level waste. The next generation of nuclear reactors it hopes to see built will generate more highly radioactive waste. The department wrote on 1 October to all local authorities in England “offering to give presentations to interested parties”.
Guardian 20th Oct 2009 more >>
“New plants will continue to be built with no concern for where to put the spent fuel,” said Georgui Kastchiev, senior scientist for nuclear safety at the University of Vienna’s Institute of Risk Research. “A solution to the problem is constantly being moved to some point further in the future.” The new reactors will pile up radioactive waste, which already grows by 12,000 tons a year, the International Energy Agency in Paris estimated. That has prompted scientists to call again for the world to start building permanent dump sites, a request made periodically ever since the first commercial atomic plant began generating power in Sellafield, England, in 1956. Germany has learned the hard way that trying to seal off waste forever can come back to haunt.
Bloomberg 20th Oct 2009 more >>
The government is poised to allow nuclear power generators to use ordinary landfill sites for dumping “hundreds of thousands of tons” of waste in an attempt to reduce the 73bn cost of decommissioning old reactors. The move has triggered a swath of applications around the country from big corporations trying to cash in on this potential new business, but infuriated local councils and campaign groups. The issue of waste is critical to the government as the stockpile is potentially much greater than previously thought and ministers are keen to encourage the power industry to build a new generation of reactors. Actions being considered by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and its Nuclear Decommissioning Authority include: Allowing the nuclear industry to use ordinary landfill sites for disposing of radioactive waste in a more extensive way; Allowing the main independent nuclear waste dump at Drigg in Cumbria to reduce its costs by scaling back the level of containment; Building a 1.5bn radioactive liquid-waste processing plant at Sellafield, Britain’s biggest atomic site, despite a history of project cost overruns and wider safety concerns there; Extending a blueprint for dealing with existing high-level waste to cover that created by future nuclear stations an “unjustifiable” step, according to the chair of the committee that created the blueprint.
Guardian 20th Oct 2009 more >>
George Monbiot: There’s little doubt that nuclear power could be produced safely and cleanly. There’s also little doubt that it seldom has been. The contrast between the way things are and the way they should be threatens to split the environmental movement from top to bottom. The persistent trouble with nuclear power – like any other potentially polluting industry – is that doing things the right way is expensive, while doing them the wrong way is cheap. My newfound complacency about nuclear power – it’s ugly, but not nearly as bad as a global climate crash – was shaken by the discovery last month of a shipwreck off the coast of Italy. The ship was one of 42 believed to have been scuttled by the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia. Most were sunk off the coast of Somalia.
Guardian 19th Oct 2009 more >>
Government officials have drawn up secret plans to tax electricity consumers to subsidise the construction of the UK’s first new nuclear reactors for more than 20 years, the Guardian has learned.
Business Green 19th Oct 2009 more >>
Building 19th Oct 2009 more >>
New Civil Engineer 19th Oct 2009 more >>
Contract Journal 19th Oct 2009 more >>
UK Department of Energy and Climate Change minister Lord Hunt has given the Government’s clearest endorsement of nuclear power yet, writing in today’s Guardian newspaper. A nuclear renaissance in the UK would be a tremendous opportunity, he says, to secure a home-grown, low-carbon, reliable and relatively low-cost energy supply.
Energy Efficiency News 19th Oct 2009 more >>
Lord Hunt said building just one nuclear station could provide 9,000 construction jobs.
Career Structure 19th Oct 2009 more >>
Organisers of the Whitehaven Festival have received a £100,000 grant to stage the event next year. Nuclear Management Partners, the new owner of Sellafield, has donated the money for the food and music festival from June 25 to 27.
Carlisle News and Star 19th Oct 2009 more >>
CUMBRIA is ideally placed to benefit from a rejuvenated nuclear industry. That’s the view of Robert Hough, the new chairman of government funding arm, the Northwest Regional Development Agency. The NWDA has an annual budget of £421m. Virtually all major public-sector investment projects depend on its support. Through its offshoot, Cumbria Vision, the NWDA underwrites the Energy Coast Masterplan and Barrow Waterfront, a £200m scheme to transform redundant dockland in the town.
NW Evening Mail 19th Oct 2009 more >>
The Flamanville EPR will be delayed two years and a 300 million Euro extra provision has been made for Olkiluoto, according to an AREVA. That puts OL3 extra cost at 2.6 billion and total cost at 5.8 bln.
Easy Bourse 19th Oct 2009 more >>
South Korea Monday described North Korea’s admission of an enriched uranium nuclear weapons programme as a “very worrying” development and questioned whether the country is committed to disarming.
AFP 19th Oct 2009 more >>
Iran began fresh talks with world powers yesterday on the future of its nuclear programme amid western hopes that Tehran will agree a deal that significantly reduces its current stock of low enriched uranium (LEU). In a new attempt to resolve the stand-off over Iran’s programme, the US, France and Russia sent high-level government figures to Vienna for talks which, if successful, could help avert fresh international sanctions from being imposed next year.
FT 20th Oct 2009 more >>
Irish Times 20th Oct 2009 more >>
Guardian 20th Oct 2009 more >>
Iranian officials appeared to rule out the main demand made by the West that enrichment of uranium should take place abroad and not in the Islamic Republic – a safeguard against the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acquiring a nuclear arsenal.
Independent 20th Oct 2009 more >>
Times 20th Oct 2009 more >>
Ahmadinejad religiously believes he should export the Iranian revolution – and it is this, combined with the conspiracy theorist’s promise of “revenge”, that will be a much graver threat should Iran obtain a nuclear capability.
Telegraph 19th Oct 2009 more >>
BELGIUM will delay phasing out nuclear power until 2025, ten years later than had previously been planned. Belgium has seven nuclear reactors producing 55% of its power, and the first of these due to be closed – two at Doel and one at Tihange – will now remain operational until 2025. Laws passed in 2003 meant that the country should have begun shutting down its nuclear reactors in 2015
Chemical Engineer 19th Oct 2009 more >>
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved cost recovery amounts for the state’s two largest utilities related to the construction of planned nuclear power reactors and uprates of existing reactors. The utilities will be able to collect more than $270 million from customers in 2010.
World Nuclear News 19th Oct 2009 more >>
Environmental group Greenpeace says it took legal action on Friday against the government and the nuclear regulator for alleged delays in setting up a panel on nuclear safety with public participation. A Greenpeace statement said legislation provided for the Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee to be constituted by August 2008 in order to issue non-binding recommendations to the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) watchdog.
STV 19th Oct 2009 more >>
A global treaty to fight climate change is hanging “in the balance”, Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, said last night, although there were signs that developed countries were preparing to roll back on their demand that developing countries agree to long-term cuts in emissions. At the end of a two-day meeting in London of those countries responsible for 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, Miliband said: “There is a universal view that we need to get an agreement, but not at any price. It is not a done deal and remains in the balance in my view.”
Guardian 20th Oct 2009 more >>