Ministers yesterday denied they will limit the size of any Chinese stake in the stalled new reactor at Oldbury on Gloucestershire because of security fears. Some MPs and energy experts have expressed concerns about Chinese involvement in Horizon Nuclear Power. As the Daily Press has reported, that is the vehicle for developing new nuclear at Oldbury, and also Wylfa, on Anglesey, in North Wales.
Western Daily Press 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
Anti-nuclear protesters will take to the streets of Carlisle this weekend to demonstrate against a proposed nuclear dump. Radiation Free Lakeland (RFL) will be conducting an opinion survey on the streets of Carlisle on Saturday, asking people whether they are in favour of the search for a repository site in Cumbria. In its final report, West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership revealed it is inherently uncertain that there will be a suitable location in Copeland or Allerdale.
Carlisle News and Star 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
EDF Energy’s 500 megawatt B-7 nuclear unit in Hunterston, Scotland resumed output on Wednesday following a maintenance outage, electricity generation data from National Grid showed.
Reuters 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
The Chancellor has intervened to influence one of the most pressing energy policy issues because he was unhappy that the Energy Department has been ambivalent and too narrowly focused in its efforts to fill the potential gap in electricity generation when the old coal and nuclear plants are phased out. He is concerned that Ed Davey, Energy Secretary, and his predecessor Chris Huhne, placed too much emphasis on the green dimension of renewable energy and a revival of nuclear power to provide the replacement capacity needed to meet any shortfall and ignored the case for back-up in the event of construction delays. He believes another dash for gas will provide the insurance needed to avoid the risk of blackouts because of the uncertainties surrounding the renaissance of nuclear power and the problems involved in linking wind farms into a more complex electricity distribution system.
Telegraph 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
Householders are bracing themselves for steep rises in gas and electricity bills after SSE, the UKs second-largest energy group, announced that its tariffs would rise by 9 per cent on average on October 15. The move will hit about 5 million electricity and 3.4 million gas customers. Industry figures had speculated that gas bills would increase in the autumn, but the size of the rise has enraged consumer groups. The Bank of England had predicted that energy bills would rise by an average of 2.5 per cent around the turn of the year.
Times 23rd Aug 2012 more >>
BBC 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
Herald 23rd Aug 2012 more >>
Nuclear watchdogs are fighting a proposal to ship tons of plutonium to New Mexico, including the cores of nuclear warheads that would be dismantled at an aging and structurally questionable lab atop an earthquake fault zone.Opponents voiced their opposition at a series of public hearings that opened this week on the best way to dispose of the radioactive material as the federal government works to reduce the nations nuclear arsenal. The Department of Energy is studying alternatives for disposing of plutonium in light of federal budget cuts that have derailed plans for new multi-billion-dollar facilities at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The preferred plan under consideration calls for the shipment of 7.1 metric tons of so-called pits or cores of an undisclosed number of nuclear warheads now stored at the Pantex plant in West Texas to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Savannah River Site for disarmament and processing into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.
Washington Post 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) currently being built at the Savannah River Site near Aiken South Carolina has the potential, once tested and regulated, to generate enough electricity to power all households in South Carolina for 20 years. The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) currently being built at the Savannah River Site near Aiken South Carolina, is on track to be completed by its target date of 2016. The facility will be the principle location for the US to reduce its surplus weapons grade plutonium and provide fuel for commercial plants, which is its first priority. But looking deeper into the nuclear waste problem, which will not going away over night and requires stringent planning and expertise, MOX fuel could be the ultimate answer both politically and environmentally for a safer nuclear power industry.
Nuclear Energy Insider 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
US government scientists have just announced research in which they’ve massively increased the efficiency of techniques for extracting uranium from the ocean – and that means that supplies of uranium are secure for the future even if the entire human race moves to fission power for all its energy needs.
The Register 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
A happy coincidence in the seafood industry has raised the prospects of harvesting uranium – the fuel source for nuclear power – from seawater. Oceans hold billions of tonnes of uranium at tiny concentrations, but extracting it remains uneconomical. A report at the 244th meeting of the American Chemical Society described a new technique using uranium-absorbing mats made from discarded shrimp shells. A range of improved approaches were outlined at a symposium at the meeting.
BBC 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 17th to 20th August 2012.
Greenpeace 21st Aug 2012 more >>
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met representatives of a growing anti-nuclear energy movement on Wednesday amid signs his government, pressured by public safety fears, might be leaning towards a target to eliminate atomic power within two decades.
Trust 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
North Korea has moved a step closer to building a nuclear power plant that could be used to bolster the states ailing nuclear weapons programme by placing a large, concrete-reinforced dome on a light-water reactor.
Huffington Post 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
Express 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
U.N. nuclear inspectors will press again for access to a major military facility in talks with Iran this week but the chances of finding any evidence of suspected atom bomb research may have dimmed because the site has been “cleaned up”, Western diplomats and experts say.
Reuters 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
A radioactive leak may prove to be the swan song for one of Californias ageing nuclear-power plants, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, also known by the rather innocuous acronym SONGS. Located in northern San Diego county, and normally able to supply 2.1 million homes with electricity, the pressurised water reactor has been switched off since January 31, when one of its generators leaked what the plants operator, Southern California Edison, called an insignificant or extremely small release of radioactive steam into the atmosphere. This week, the plant announced plans to lay off a third of its workforce. The idea of scrapping this nuclear-power plant because of equipment failure is gaining support, particularly after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled in early August to stop issuing any new licenses or renewals to US nuclear-power plants until the environmental impact of storing radioactive waste is addressed.
China Dialogue 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
The US NRC is currently considering to what extent, if any, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissions (NRCs) regulatory framework should be modified regarding its consideration of the economic consequences of an unintended release of licensed nuclear materials to the environment. The paper prepared by Staff (follow link below) focuses on the NRCs current processes for considering economic consequences arising from offsite property damage caused by radiological contamination events. Based on an analysis of these processes, the staff concluded that the NRCs regulatory framework for considering offsite property damage is sound and affords sufficient flexibility to account for the offsite economic consequences associated with unintended radionuclide releases and subsequent land contamination. Nonetheless, this paper provides options for updating staff guidance and methods in this area, as well as an option for exploring the merits of potential changes to the regulatory framework.
US NRC 14th Aug 2012 more >>
The majority of people in the UK have never heard of so-called smart meters that show energy use in real time, despite plans by the government and energy companies to install them in all of the country’s 30m homes by 2019, a series of government-commissioned surveys reveal.
Guardian 22nd Aug 2012 more >>
Letter Scottish Renewables: during a period of economic downturn the renewables industry has delivered around Â£2.8 billion of much-needed capital investment into Scotland, which has helped grow the supply chain, secured the future of many Scottish companies and supported more than 11,000 jobs across the country. This fact should be celebrated. There is no conflict at all between the Â£1.6bn invested in onshore wind and the level of investment in other important but less mature technologies like offshore wind or wave and tidal. Indeed, it is this investment in onshore wind development that underwrites the necessary investment in grid connections that will eventually benefit these other technologies. It is not an either/or – Scotland and the UK n eed onshore and offshore wind, and marine energy, and will need other forms of generation for many years to come. There is also no evidence to show wind farms have a significant impact on Scotland’s tourism, a fact clearly illustrated by the 2011 VisitScotland Wind Farm Consumer Research report, which showed that 83 per cent of those surveyed said a wind farm would not affect their decision about where to stay when on a holiday in Scotland. However, what the evidence does suggest is that the 13,750GWh of renewable electricity generated in Scotland in 2011, over half of which came from onshore wind, could have displaced as much as 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel generating stations, thus helping Scotland and the UK meet their climate change goals.
Scotsman 23rd Aug 2012 more >>