23 February 2012

Nuclear Subsidy

Ahead of next month’s budget, business representatives are calling on the Chancellor to reduce taxes on carbon-emitting industries, support nuclear power and to merge the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and Climate Change Levy (CCL). The CBI’s director, John Cridland, has written to Number 11 with a shopping list of items he would like to see George Osborne announce in his Budget on 21 March. Near the top is a request for capital allowances to be applicable to investments in infrastructure which are currently not eligible; foremost among the list of examples is the building of nuclear power structures, as well as waste treatment structures and airport terminals. It says that giving tax relief to the building of new nuclear power stations would reduce their cost by up to £30 million.

Energy & Environmental Management 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

PLEX

The UK’s ageing nuclear reactors look likely to have their lives extended beyond the mid-2020s as the country looks to tackle a looming energy gap, energy minister Charles Hendry said today. Of the UK’s 19 reactors, only Sizewell B in Suffolk is currently scheduled to keep running beyond the middle of the next decade, leading to plans for 16GW of new plants at eight sites across the country. However, Hendry today told a conference in London that several existing reactors would have to have their lives extended to provide more time for new low carbon energy capacity to be built. He said the UK’s deregulated electricity market had not produced enough capacity to replace the fossil fuel and nuclear plants that are due to be switched off over the next 10 years, while at the same time dealing with a predicted doubling in demand for electricity over the next 30 to 40 years.

Business Green 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

New Nukes

Local opposition is something of an occupational hazard in new nuclear programmes. That is why developers should spare no efforts in trying to build relations with the community. Horizon Nuclear Power’s first ‘public information surgery’ on plans for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, Anglesey, UK, could hardly have been better timed. Two days earlier, up to 300 demonstrators had taken to the streets in nearby Llangefni to protest against the project. There is no suggestion the two events were linked. But the incident neatly underscores the need for nuclear developers to tread carefully around the whole issue of community relations and new-build programmes. The Wylfa development is not even particularly contentious. “We’ve got wide political and public support,” states Leon Flexman, head of communications at Horizon. “Any surveys you care to look at repeatedly show that’s the case, and we are very grateful for that.”

Nuclear Insider 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

The Cameron-Sarkozy pact can’t put the wheels back on the nuclear gravy train.

Greenpeace UK 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Radwaste

A series of events are taking place alongside the exhibition and include: Saturday 10th March Walk to the top of Scafell To experience something of the scale of 1000 metres deep – Scafell Pike is 978 metres high. We will be accompanied an experienced mountaineer – but the walk is at people’s own risk.

Rock Solid Expo 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

It has been confirmed that Keswick Town Council has, rather bizarrely given the town’s reputation as tourist hot spot, voted to carry on the government ‘steps towards geological disposal.’ The vote was 5 for and 5 against with the town’s mayor throwing the casting vote while talking about the jobs that a geological disposal facility would bring. This contrasts starkly with the emphatic NO from Cockermouth Town Council, and Seaton and Above Derwent Parish Councils who have cited the threat to jobs in tourism and agriculture as just one of the very good reasons to say No. Tourism alone is worth 2bn per year to the Cumbrian economy with over 32,000 direct jobs in contrast to the nuclear industry. The combined civil nuclear workforce in the whole of the North West including Heysham is around 23,000.

Radiation Free Lakeland 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Save Our Lake District – Don’t Dump Cumbria! today has learned that 3 local Councils have decided against going into the next stage of the search for a nuclear dump site. The decisions put down a clear challenge to the very basis of the government’s proposals – the idea that West Cumbria is a ‘willing community’.

Save Our Lake District 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Electricite de France SA’s Hinkley Point nuclear power station in southwest England will next month be targeted by protestors against new reactors in the U.K. The Stop New Nuclear Alliance, a grouping of campaigners who oppose nuclear power stations, plans to blockade the station for 24 hours from about 5 p.m. on March 11, Zoe Smith, a campaigner helping arrange the protest, said by telephone from Bristol today. Protesters will gather at the site from midday, she said.

Bloomberg 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

This is the West Country 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

A VOTE of no confidence in a Hinkley C consultation panel was passed by a parish council whose community will bear the brunt of the development. At a meeting in Stogursey last Wednesday, councillors carried a vote of no confidence in the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) Panel by an overwhelming majority after the parish was not granted an open floor hearing. The hearings are designed to give local people the chance to air their concerns but so far will take place only in the parishes of Combwich and Cannington.

This is the West Country 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Supply Chain

SolidCAM UK has become a Tier 2 member of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), allowing SolidCAM UK to become a supplier of choice to the global civil nuclear industry.

Machinery.co.uk 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Energy Costs

British Gas owner Centrica will announce bumper profits today with analysts predicting they’ll climb 4 per cent to £2.5bn. But as senior bosses at the firm celebrate their massive bonuses, fuel poverty campaigners say it’s time to call the big energy firm to account.

Independent 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Energy Supply

Energy regulator Ofgem has strengthened plans intended to aid small energy suppliers, proposing that the Big Six companies should be forced to auction a quarter of the energy they generate.

Telegraph 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Germany

A legal battle over a tax on uranium and plutonium that was put in place last year to fund Germany’s transition away from nuclear power and fossil fuels to renewable energy is the latest twist in the country’s nuclear saga, says David Stellfox.

Utility Week 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Japan

The Japan National Press Club hosts Arnie Gundersen. Over 80 journalists were present where questions were asked regarding the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi and the ongoing risks associated with the GE Mark 1 BWR nuclear reactors. (video)

Fairwinds 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Tohoku Electric Power is preparing to re-open the Japanese bond markets for nuclear power companies, a year after operators were frozen out by the Fukushima disaster. The utility will offer bonds next month to raise funds for the restoration of power plants damaged in the disaster last year. Since then, Tohoku – along with eight of the other nine electric utilities serving Japan’s regions – has been shut out of public debt markets, unable to raise any finance except bank loans or short-term commercial paper, both at significant premiums to pre-crisis rates.

FT 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Radioactive elements from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected in seawater and marine organisms up to 600km from Japan.

BBC 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

India

India’s commitment to nuclear energy remains strong as the country looks ahead to decades of sustained growth, New Delhi conference delegates have been told by leaders of the country’s program.

World Nuclear News 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

US

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released a collection of transcripts of internal conference calls held in the initial hours after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in the earthquake in Japan, which reveal a sense of urgency and confusion that the situation generated.

IB Times 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

In the days after Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident, the U.S. surprised the world by ordering a 50-mile evacuation zone for U.S. citizens, far larger than Japan’s own zone. That sowed fear and created tension with one of the U.S.’s closest allies. Now, almost a year after the accident, newly released transcripts of discussions by U.S. officials give the clearest picture yet of how that move was based at least in part on faulty information about whether spent fuel rods in one reactor had been exposed.

Wall Street Journal 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Korea

US and North Korean officials are meeting in Beijing for talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. The talks are the first since the death in December of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The US says it wants to find out if the new leader, his son Kim Jong-un, is willing to discuss giving up North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

BBC 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Iran

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, has said the country’s nuclear course would not change regardless of international sanctions, assassinations or other pressures.

Telegraph 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

THE United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has ended its latest mission to Iran after talks on Tehran’s suspected secret atomic weapons programme failed. The setback is likely to increase the risk of a confrontation with the West over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Scotsman 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Independent 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Guardian 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Kuwait

Kuwait is no longer pursuing nuclear power following the disaster in Japan, scrapping a plan last July to build four reactors by 2022, officials of a Kuwaiti government research body said Tuesday.

Japan Times 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

A SPACE-BASED nuclear attack on Britain is “quite likely”, according to a Conservative MP. Such an explosion would create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which would knock out electrical systems and make it very difficult to live in cities.

The Week 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

BBC 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Iran’s nuclear prowess is growing, fuelling a range of global tensions. Are scientists’ abilities to sniff out covert nuclear weapons tests keeping up? Two new techniques could at least make it harder for countries to develop nuclear weapons on the sly.

New Scientist 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Renewables

It first caused a stink in Ambridge. Now, thanks to an unusual alliance of the Prince of Wales, Lord Rothschild, Sainsbury’s and Fajr Capital, an investment fund focused on Muslim markets, anaerobic digestion could be coming to a village near you. They are among investors putting £65 million into a start-up company that will turn food waste into green energy. Tamar Energy plans to build 40 “anaerobic digestion” plants in the UK, which will be fuelled by the likes of potato peelings, chicken litter and household kitchen waste. Also investing is Sustainable Technology Investments, a renewable energy fund set up by Stephen Lansdown, the co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown.

Times 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

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Published: 23 February 2012
Last updated: 18 October 2012