Scottish and Southern Energy is in talks to pull out of a consortium planning to build a nuclear power plant in the UK, as the company seeks to concentrate on renewable energy. The withdrawal of one of the UKs two big utilities, and its second-biggest electricity generator, from the new build programme would be a blow to the governments ambition to secure a new generation of reactors. NuGen is one of three consortiums looking to build nuclear reactors in the UK, with plans for two, or possibly three 1.6GW reactors at Sellafield. The first is scheduled to become operational in 2023 and the consortium is expected to take a final investment decision by 2015. Reactors built by the other two consortiums are scheduled to be delivered by earlier dates. Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, has previously sounded sceptical about the rationale for participating in the programme. In May, he said that SSEs strategic objective was to have more than our fair share of renewables and less than our fair share of nuclear.
FT 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Major investigations will start by the end of the year to pave the way for a new nuclear power station at Sellafield. Energy consortium NuGen wants to drill boreholes over almost 500 acres of agricultural land to confirm that the earmarked site is suitable for building up to three electricity-producing nuclear reactors. NuGen has lodged a planning application with Copeland Council. The work, if approved, would be a first step to confirm the suitability of the site.
Cumberland News 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Pressure is mounting on the government to include a windfall tax on nuclear operators as part of its electricity market reforms, after the Liberal Democrat conference voted in favour of a new levy on existing nuclear power plants.
Business Green 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Environmental campaigning group Friends of the Earth has welcomed a Liberal Democrat conference motion calling on the coalition government to introduce a windfall tax on the operators of existing nuclear power plants. The aim of the tax would be to prevent nuclear producers receiving millions of pounds of extra profit when a carbon floor price is introduced in April 2012.
Ekklesia 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Cumbria is preparing a “Brand Protection Strategy” to protect it from a high level nuclear dump The best Brand Protection Strategy is to say NO to the geological disposal of high level nuclear wastes in a mine or mines as big as Lake Windermere and as deep as the Eiffel Tower. Both Cumbria Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce who are drawing up the Brand Protection plan have interests in nuclear developments.
Radiation Free Lakeland 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Tony Fountain, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has stepped down to return to the oil industry where he worked for 25 years. The NDA does not yet have a successor in mind.
NW Evening Mail 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Building 21st Sept 2011 more >>
A judge has granted a judicial review into plans to build accommodation for workers at the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley in Somerset. Energy firm EDF wants to build homes for staff on the derelict factory land owned by plastics firm Innovia Films. Although EDF does not own the land, it hopes to get a Compulsory Purchase Order as part of its overall planning application for the power station. But Innovia has begun building homes, a school and playing fields at the site.
BBC 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Radioactive contamination that leaked for more than two decades from the Dounreay nuclear plant on the north coast of Scotland will never be completely cleaned up, a Scottish government agency has admitted. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has decided to give up on its aim of returning the seabed near the plant to a “pristine condition”. To do so, it said, could cause “more harm than good”. At a board meeting in Stirling on Tuesday, the Scottish government’s environmental watchdog opted to encourage remediation “as far as is practically achievable” but to abandon any hope of removing all the radioactive pollution from the seabed.
Guardian 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Herald 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Stan Blackley, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Once again, we see the nuclear industry causing a problem it can’t solve, and dumping the cost and consequence on the rest of us.”
Scotsman 22nd Sept 2011 more >>
A silver-plated sugar caddy from the 1950s and visitor books spanning 44 years are among relics saved from the rubbish heap at Dounreay. Gas detectors, air samplers and an isotope calculator from the former experimental nuclear site in Caithness will also be donated to museums.
BBC 22nd Sept 2011 more >>
The UK’s “dash for gas” will be halted by the government because if unchecked it would break legally binding targets for carbon dioxide emissions, Chris Huhne, energy and climate change secretary, said on Monday evening. “We will not consent so much gas plant so as to endanger our carbon dioxide goals,” he told a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrats party conference in Birmingham.
Guadian 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Nobody should run the energy department unless they understand why people spend so much time shopping around for a £25 toaster when they could be saving hundreds of pounds comparing tariffs and switching power suppliers. No matter how hard Huhne tries to create transparent pricing structures and simple procedures for switching suppliers, the energy companies find new ways of confusing and cheating their customers.
Guardian 21st Sept 2011 more >>
National Progress Reports on EU Stress Tests.
Energy Web Watch 21st Sept 2011 more >>
France’s state-owned utility EDF said its 19 nuclear plants have passed the safety tests conducted by it and the report has been submitted to the country’s nuclear regulator ASN. The reports include the results of the safety tests conducted its 19 nuclear plants which comprise 58 nuclear reactors.
Energy Business Review 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Special edition of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on Fukushima.
Bulletin 21st Sept 2011 more >>
An estimated 200-500 tons of groundwater per day are flowing into the basements and underground tunnels of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 1 to 4 reactors, officials said Tuesday. The groundwater is seen to be leaking from cracks in concrete walls developed by the March 11 earthquake, the officials at the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The inflow increases after rain, they said. As water injected into the reactors to cool them has been leaking into the turbine building basements, Tokyo Electric now purifies the highly contaminated water at a pace of some 1,000 tons per day.
As the inflow of groundwater increases when the contaminated water level falls, the company controls the processing amount with the aim of keeping the contaminated water level 3 meters above the sea.
Jiji Press 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Sixty-five percent of Japanese people think that they should reduce their use of electricity even if their living standards have to be lowered in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, according to a recent survey conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun.
Mainichi 20th Sept 2011 more >>
A strong typhoon has left 6 people dead and 6 missing after pounding Japan with heavy rain and strong winds, public broadcaster NHK said, but it did not have a major impact on the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Reuters 22nd Set 2011 more >>
The storm appeared to be on a path towards the tsunami-ravaged northeast coast, home to the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, sparking fears of further radiation leakages into the ground or sea.
Telegraph 21st Sept 2011 more >>
East Anglian Daily Times 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Soil samples analysed from around Tokyo show hot spots as high as areas near Chernobyl which were evacuated.
Al Jazeera 17th Sept 2011 more >>
Poland is pressing on with its nuclear power debut by launching a technology tender valued at 25 billion euros ($34 billion) later this year, the state-owned energy group Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) said on Wednesday.
Expatica 21st Sept 2011 more >>
India will postpone its final decision on the purchase of EPR type nuclear reactors from France until after the current post-Fukushima nuclear safety tests have been satisfactorily completed, it is reliably learnt.
The Hindu 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Foreign Secretary William Hague on Wednesday warned his Iranian counterpart that Britain would resist any increase in Iran’s nuclear capabilities, during a meeting at the UN in New York.
AFP 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Russia has decided to extend the life of a controversial generation of nuclear reactors like the one that catastrophically exploded at Chernobyl in 1986, the head of Russia’s state-owned nuclear monopoly said.
Wall Street Journal 22nd Sept 2011 more >>
Energy leaders from Russia and America have made a “commitment to supporting the safe and secure expansion of civil nuclear energy” on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference.
World Nuclear News 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Syria accused Israel on Wednesday of posing a threat to the world with its “huge military nuclear arsenal”, a day after the Jewish state criticised Damascus for stonewalling a U.N. watchdog investigation into its atomic activities.
Trust 21st Sept 2011 more >>