The government is refusing to provide details on five separate security breaches at Britain’s nuclear power stations last year. The breaches have prompted accusations that ministers are suppressing damaging information at a time when they are attempting to sell the idea of more nuclear power stations. Earlier this month, 10 new sites in England and Wales were approved. Earlier this month an independent MP, Dai Davies, tabled parliamentary questions demanding that the government detail the nature of the five security breaches. But the energy minister, David Kidney, cited “national security reasons” in declining the request. Kidney said providing any more details would be in breach of government guidelines that “prevent the disclosure of sensitive nuclear information that could assist a person or group planning theft, blackmail, sabotage and other malevolent or illegal acts”. Dr David Lowry, a nuclear policy consultant who specialises in security issues, attacked the refusal to provide further details.
Observer 22nd Nov 2009 more >>
Cumbria is being fed propaganda about ‘geological disposal’ claim anti-nuclear campaigners Radiation Free Lakeland. They point to a letter from four former members of the government’s Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, including its Chairman, Professor Gordon MacKerron, to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband. The four advisers dispute the government’s nuclear waste claims in the same month that thousands of houses in Copeland and Allerdale have received a leaflet advocating ‘geological disposal’ of high level radioactive waste. The letter informs Milliband of their concerns about the government’s interpretation of radioactive waste management policy, as stated in the draft National Policy Statement on Nuclear Energy announced on 9 November.
Get Noticed Online 21st Nov 2009 more >>
Major energy and utility companies, including EDF, Centrica and International Power, have decided not to send delegations to next month’s Copenhagen summit, which global leaders now admit is unlikely to reach an agreement on new measures to tackle climate change.
Sunday Telegraph 22nd Nov 2009 more >>
Countries that rely on uranium imports such as Japan and many western countries will face uranium shortages, possibly as soon as 2013.
Futurismic 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Letter from David Lowry (also in the Guardian) Your profile of new EU “foreign minister” Baroness Ashton, (20 November) overlooks one interesting aspect of her career. In the late 1970s she worked as an administrator for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). This was not merely a job without commitment, for she was subsequently elected as CND national treasurer and later vice-chair of CND, at the time of the Euro-missile nuclear crisis in 1983. Thus she probably becomes the first former staff member of CND to hold such a high diplomatic position. I think this is an excellent background for her new post.
Independent 21st Nov 2009 more >>
Partially obscured behind a group of fellow CND activists, an unremarkable looking woman in a crumpled anorak stands on the steps of 10 Downing Street. It is April 1982, and Cathy Ashton – CND’s influential national treasurer and a suspected Communist sympathiser – is demanding that Margaret Thatcher turn back the naval Task Force heading for the Falklands amid fears that it was armed with nuclear weapons.
Daily Mail 22nd Nov 2009 more >>
Turkey is determined to build a nuclear power plant and will launch a new project to replace a failed tender, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz was quoted as saying Saturday. “The fact that the tender was scrapped does not mean that the process is scrapped. Our determination on nuclear power plants is persisting,” Yildiz said in Kizilcahamam town, near Ankara, Anatolia news agency reported.
AFP 21st Nov 2009 more >>
IRAN will begin large-scale air defence war games today aimed at protecting its nuclear facilities from possible attack, a senior military commander said yesterday.
Scotland on Sunday 22nd Nov 2009 more >>
Nuclear Weapons Bases
The Scottish government is to press Westminster to tighten up the regulation of nuclear missile bases in Scotland after a series of safety problems revealed by the Sunday Herald. Scottish ministers will lobby the UK government to close the loopholes which let the Faslane and Coulport bases on the Clyde escape statutory scrutiny by government watchdogs. In response to a report by the nuclear weapons working group, the Scottish government also said it will ask the Ministry of Defence to tell local authorities when nuclear weapons convoys are coming through their areas. At the moment, councils are not informed. A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We also support the recommendation that naval sites should be subject to the same regulation as civil nuclear sites. On these matters we will be writing to the UK government asking that the Ministry of Defence takes steps to implement these changes.”
Sunday Herald 22nd Nov 2009 more >>
robedwards.com, 22 November 2009 more >>
Rotting leftovers, wilted salad and even sewage are to provide a new source of “green gas” to heat our homes. From today, British householders will be able to register for Ecotricity’s new tariff to buy green gas – commonly known as biogas – as a way of reducing their carbon footprint and cutting landfill waste. It will be a first for carbon-conscious consumers who have previously only been able to buy “green electricity” from suppliers. Britain discards about 18 million tonnes of food waste a year, which Ecotricity said could generate enough biogas to heat 700,000 homes. The Conservative Party believes 50% of the UK’s natural gas supply could be replaced by biogas.
Observer 22nd Nov 2009 more >>