22 February 2012

New Nukes

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Chair Councillor Brian Goodall has written today to the Chairs of the UK Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley MP, and the Public Administration Committee, Bernard Jenkin MP; to consider a new report that questions the information provided to Parliament when approving two of the National Policy Energy Statements.

NFLA Press Release 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Hinkley

On Saturday 10th March, there will be a peaceful action afternoon at Hinkley Point. The plan is to make a human chain around the site.

Stop Hinkley Newsletter February 2012 more >>

A FIERCE row has broken out between bosses at Sedgemoor District Council and Hinkley Point operators EDF Energy over the cost of researching plans for the planned new nuclear plant. The authority last week delayed setting its council tax, claiming it needs clarity from EDF over whether it will pay the council £2.3million to meet the costs of scrutinising its power plant application.

This is the West Country 21st Feb 2012 more >>

BOSSES at EDF Energy have served a legal notice to evict anti-nuclear protestors who have been camped on the site of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station for more than a week. A small group of campaigners set up camp in an old farm building at the site on Sunday, February 12, and have reportedly refused requests to leave the site, which is owned by EDF. The group is angry that EDF has been allowed to start preparatory work for the new power station despite planning permission for the facility not yet being granted. The works were approved by West Somerset Council last year.

This is the West Country 21st Feb 2012 more >>

CONSTRUCTION firm Kier Group yesterday won a £100 million contract from French utility firm EDF to prepare land in Somerset for the building of a nuclear power station. Kier said the contract at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will create 350 jobs.

Scotsman 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Radwaste

The parish council of “One of the largest villages in England” voted unanimously last night to reject continuing on any further steps to a geological dump 1000 metres deep x 26 km square. Seaton joins Cockermouth Town Council and Above Derwent Parish Council in emphatically rejecting the government’s orchestrated campaign to turn Cumbria into a nuclear sacrifice zone.

Radiation Free Lakeland 21st Feb 2012 more >>

GDA

ONR & EA 4th quarterly report on GDA, Oct – Dec 2011. This is the first routine quarterly progress report that describes how this GDA close-out work is proceeding and we have introduced new metrics to help illustrate both our and EDF and AREVA’s progress on resolving the remaining GDA Issues for the UK EPR. Some of the deliverables from EDF and Areva have been late or do not provide the quality of information or depth of evidence that we expected. Accordingly, a number of the metrics are amber or red, indicating that, if no action is taken to improve matters, it is unlikely that the GDA Issues will be closed-out on the timescales indicated in the resolution plans.

HSE 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Supply Chain

AREVA has signed a cooperation agreement with Rolls-Royce to extend global cooperation for the manufacture of components for new nuclear power plants and other nuclear projects in the UK and beyond.Rolls-Royce will provide AREVA with equipment and technical and engineering services with an objective of GBP100m in value for the first of its EPR reactors in the UK, planned to be built at Hinkley Point by EDF.

Energy Business Review 21st Feb 2012 more >>

A series of Supplier Days, where local manufacturers can discuss their products with key buyers from the burgeoning nuclear energy sector, are being planned for the Nuclear AMRC, which is set to be opened at the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The Manufacturer 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Nuclear Skills

Organisations dedicated to education and training in nuclear energy from both sides of the English Channel are getting closer. The National Skills Academy for Nuclear (UK) and the International Institute of Nuclear Energy (France) have identified common areas of interest and potential co-operation that will really drive forward performance improvement and safety across the nuclear industry. The organisations confirmed their commitment to partnership working by signing a Collaboration Agreement at the British French summit held in Paris, 17th February 2012.

Engineer Live 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Energy Costs

In a victory for consumers and The Independent’s Fair Energy campaign, Scottish and Southern Energy is today scrapping its confusing range of deals to challenge rivals’ predatory pricing. The company currently offers 68 different tariffs to electricity and gas customers – but from today they are being slashed to just four.

Independent 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Rising energy prices have left the poorest families £450 short of being able to adequately heat their homes, a report reveals today. Meanwhile the big freeze in the past two weeks has cost each household in the UK an extra £77 in heating costs.

Independent 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Japan

BBC programme this Thursday Feb 23 at 21:00. International investigative documentary series. When a tsunami struck Japan in 2011, it swamped the Fukushima nuclear complex causing nuclear meltdown and releasing radioactivity that ultimately would leave hundreds of square miles uninhabitable, and cost a hundred thousand people their homes.With unique footage and powerful eyewitness testimony from key figures in the drama – the engineers in the plant, firemen, soldiers, pilots, tsunami survivors, the Japanese prime minister and even the MD of the company operating the plant – Inside the Meltdown reveals what really happened in the extraordinary days after the tsunami as a disaster unfolded that Japan’s nuclear industry said would never happen. It tells the story of workers inside the plant’s pitch-dark, radio-active reactor buildings desperately trying to stop reactors exploding as radiation levels rose inexorably. ‘In the control room people were saying we were finished,’ says one. ‘They were saying it quietly but they were saying it.’ It meets the helicopter pilots who desperately dropped water from above the radioactive cores, and the firemen who braved radiation to spray water onto melting nuclear fuel. ‘We chose all the over 40s’, their chief tells the programme. ‘These were the guys who were not going to be having any more children.’ Inside the Meltdown also reveals the tensions between the plant’s owners and an increasingly distrustful Japanese prime minister, struggling to get at the truth of what was happening, fearful the owners planned to abandon the plant. He reveals his experts at one point warned he might need to evacuate vast areas of Japan, even the capital Tokyo. ‘That first week, we walked a razor thin line,’ he tells This World.

BBC 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Japan’s long and expensive pursuit of a superefficient nuclear reactor — a model once touted as the key to its energy future — now teeters on the brink of failure amid new government concerns about its runaway costs. The four-decade project to develop a fast-breeder reactor has consumed trillions of yen in funding, so far producing only accidents, controversies and a single hour of electricity. The government decided last month on sharp budget cuts for the project, and one top nuclear official in November raised the possibility of scrapping the plan.

Japan Times 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Tepco has long been a scandal-ridden company, caught time and time again covering up data on safety lapses at their power plants, or doctoring film footage which showed fissures in pipes. How was the company able to get away with such long-standing behaviour? According to an explosive book recently published in Japan, they owe it to what the author, Tomohiko Suzuki, calls “Japan’s nuclear mafia… A conglomeration of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, the shady nuclear industry, their lobbyists…” And at the centre of it all stands Japan’s actual mafia: the yakuza.

Telegraph 21st Feb 2012 more >>

French Industry and Energy Minister Eric Besson became the first foreign politician to enter the crippled Fukushima plant since last year’s disaster, telling workers they must revive atomic energy in Japan. Besson, who was accompanied on his tour of the plant by an AFP journalist, said nuclear power was too important a source of energy to abandon.

Telegraph 21st Feb 2012 more >>

US

In March 2011, novelist Kristen Iversen’s memoir, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, was waiting sedately among piles of other manuscripts at various publishing houses. Then, Japan was hit by a tsunami, and the cooling systems of the Fukushima nuclear reactor were overwhelmed, giving the world apocalyptic images of toxic floods and floating cars, of whole provinces made uninhabitable. Immediately, Iversen’s book was auctioned, and the timing of its publication, in June, could not be better – since, incredibly, in the shadow of the Fukushima disaster, and even as Japan and other nations see movements against the use of nuclear power ever again – President Obama is planning more investment in nuclear energy. The US is soon to start construction on several new reactors for the first time in three decades. Iversen, a softspoken woman with a laid-back western vibe, wearing jeans and lavender scarf, seems an unlikely prophet of nuclear catastrophe. But her message is searing. She grew up in a small town near Rocky Flats, Colorado, where a secret nuclear weapons plant built over 70,000 plutonium “triggers” for nuclear bombs.

Guardian 21st Feb 2012 more >>

China

A series of research and development (R&D) projects has been launched by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) to improve the country’s emergency response capabilities at nuclear power plants in the event of an extreme disaster.

World Nuclear News 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Nuclear Engineering International 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Iran

The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it had failed to secure an agreement with Iran during two days of talks over disputed atomic activities and that the Islamic Republic had rejected a request to visit a key military site.

Reuters 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

FT 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Sky News 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Guardian 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

The current drive to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal reflects two important, and inter-related, changes. From Israel’s perspective, these changes are to be welcomed, though its government must remain cautious about the country’s own role. The first change is the escalation of efforts by the United States and its Western allies to abort the Iranian regime’s nuclear quest. The second change is the perception that Iran’s nuclear capacity would threaten not only Israel.

Scotsman 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Britain could be crippled by a high-altitude space attack by a rogue state or terrorists, MPs are warning. A nuclear weapon detonated up to 500 miles above the Earth’s surface could generate an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) with a devastating effect on Britain’s critical infrastructure.

ITN 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Social networks erupted on Tuesday as people shared the terrifying message the BBC would have broadcast in the event of a nuclear attack. While the script, written in the 1970s, was first released in 2008, it didn’t stop thousands of people sharing the link between themselves some four years later.

Huffington Post 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Telegraph 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Guardian 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

A NUCLEAR bomb attack on London would leave residents of Eastbourne nursing third degree burns. A controversial new website (www.nuclearsecrecy.com) allows users to select a town or city to target and then shows the different degrees of damage and fallout which would result from the subsequent blast. The online projection shows that were the capital to be hit by a 100 megaton bomb, not only would everyone within a two-mile radius be killed instantly, but the after effects would stretch all the way to Eastbourne.

Eastbourne Herald 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

So reluctant is the government to debate the UK’s nuclear arsenal (Labour’s leadership is in no hurry either) and whether the country can afford, or need, to replace Trident, and so sensitive is the Ministry of Defence, that it changed completely a planned contribution from a senior military officer to The Bomb, a series of plays now being performed at Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre in northwest London.

Guardian 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Nicolas Kent bids farewell to the Tricycle with a characteristically grand project: a two-part history of the nuclear bomb consisting of 10 separate plays. Obviously not everything can be included: no room for the 1962 Cuban missile crisis or the extraordinary 1987 Reykjavik summit where Gorbachev proposed a 50% cut in nuclear weapons. But this is still an astonishing achievement that puts the nuclear issue back at the centre of public debate.

Guardian 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Renewables

The prime minister has mounted a strong defence of the government’s plans to build huge wind farms around the country in the face of strong opposition from his own members of parliament. David Cameron has written to more than 100 of his own backbenchers who published an open letter to the PM asking for subsidies for “inefficient” on-shore wind power to be slashed, and complaining about planning policies putting national energy policies ahead of local objections.

Guardian 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Drax, operator of Britain’s largest coal-fired power station, is scrapping plans to build two biomass plants in the UK with Germany’s Siemens in a fresh blow to the future of renewable energy. The company blamed a lack of financial help from the government for the decision which involved an investment of around £1.4bn.

Guardian 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Independent 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Telegraph 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Times 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Energy Efficiency

British Gas will pay £50 to anyone who refers “vulnerable” family members, friends and neighbours for free loft and cavity wall insulation from the company. Referrers will receive the sum for every individual on qualifying benefits whose details they pass on, with no limit to the number they can refer. Those who qualify must be on pension credit, certain income-related benefits or receiving child tax credit, and have an income of less than £16,190. The referred customer will also receive £50 once the installation has been carried out, in addition to the money they will save on their bills following insulation.

Guardian 21st Feb 2012 more >>

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Published: 22 February 2012
Last updated: 18 October 2012