24 February 2012

Radwaste

A study has called for a communications campaign to promote Cumbria if it decides to house a new underground nuclear repository. A series of consultation meetings are currently underway across the county into whether it wants to be considered as a site for the dump for higher-activity radioactive waste. The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership commissioned two agencies – Sedley Place and The Communications Group – to look at what could be done to offset any risk of negative perceptions if west Cumbria does take part.

Cumberland News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

A STUDY has recommended ways to mitigate against any possible negative perceptions of the county if West Cumbria takes part in the Government’s search for a suitable site for an underground repository for higher-activity radioactive waste.

Whitehaven News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Letter: Why not simply save taxpayer money (Coun Woodburn has revealed that MRWS has so far cost £1million) by having a Copeland-only referendum NOW. Why not? Because it could mean the end of this MRWS consultation for without Copeland there is no site! Why are they consulting Cumbrians outside Copeland? So as to try to engineer a ‘YES’ result with people who will not have to suffer the consequences maybe? Windscale became Sellafield, Nirex became the NDA. Why? To hopefully distance the MRWS from the past failure and rejection of NIREX by the previous generation, councillors included, on the very same subject and her playing the patriotic card is only a sign of her arrogance and MRWS’s desperation.

Whitehaven News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Letter: It cannot be considered a democratic process if every Copeland councillor will have a vote to decide whether to move to Stage 4 and enter the siting process, yet with Allerdale, only seven councillors (the Executive) will decide the issue for Allerdale voters. This decision will affect this area and future generations for thousands of years. I urge local people to communicate their opposition of this unfair situation to their local and borough councillors.

Whitehaven News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

We have been assured that the Nirex proposals for a rock characterisation facility were not rejected at the inquiry on safety grounds. However, I quote the retired inspector, Mr Chris McDonald, from The Whitehaven News , July 5 2007. On Longlands Farm, Mr McDonald said: “The site selection process was flawed, not treating safety as the most important factor and irrationally affected by a strong desire to locate close to Sellafield.

Whitehaven News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Letter Jill Perry: councils in other areas seem to think the dump is a done deal and can be used to justify their pursuit of new nuclear power stations. Essex County Council’s plans for waste disposal expose the Council’s apparent ignorance over national plans for dealing with radioactive wastes. It claims that Intermediate Level Waste already on site will eventually be “exported to the National Repository for Radioactive waste in Cumbria”. Later, the document talks about these and any future wastes arising from new build going to the new national geological radioactive waste repository.

Whitehaven News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Dounreay

Dounreay clean-up contractor DSRL has informed the Scottish Environment Protection Agency of additional tests being carried out on a particle recovered during routine monitoring of a beach near the redundant nuclear site. The particle was detected in the water’s edge at Sandside. Checks carried out on the beach indicated the particle had higher than normal beta dose rate. Initial laboratory analysis carried out at Dounreay showed: Low Caesium-137 content; Niobium-94; High beta dose rate suspected to be from Strontium-90.

DSRL 20th Feb 2012 more >>

The future of the remaining ‘exotic’ fuels and nuclear materials at Dounreay is being considered by the NDA who have today published a paper outlining two options for the material. The paper puts forwards two options for the material: continue to manage the ‘exotics’ at Dounreay; or transport the ‘exotics’ to Sellafield for management. The paper is open to comment until March 23.

DSRL 7th Feb 2012 more >>

Wylfa

Plaid’s members will vote for a replacement for outgoing leader Ieuan Wyn Jones next month. “We need to capitalise on the number of skilled workers at the former Trawsfynydd nuclear power station and at Wylfa, and develop an industry around them. This could kick-start the national economy.” With election rivals Elin Jones and Leanne Wood both on record as against nuclear power, he added: “It’s not just the former mining industries that we should be supporting. Creating jobs in these industries will also help safeguard the future of the Welsh language.”

Caernarfon Herald 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Hinkley

The Stop New Nuclear alliance has reacted with outrage at EDF Energy’s attempts to restrict peaceful protest against a proposed new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The French firm is seeking an injunction which would limit current and future protests at the controversial site, which has faced fierce local and national opposition. The move comes ahead of major demonstrations planned for 10-11th March, which Stop New Nuclear have said will still be going ahead. For the last eleven days anti-nuclear activists have occupied a barn on the site proposed for two new mega-reactors. This injunction is being sought to remove these campaigners, but it is simultaneously designed to restrict future demonstrations. The Orwellian language even prohibits campaigning groups from ‘encouraging other persons’ to protest at the site. The Fukushima catastrophe is just the most recent example of the dangers of nuclear power, and public opposition to nuclear new builds is on the rise. While the UK and France are planning the next generation of nuclear power stations, states like Germany are leading the way in forging a nuclear-free future. Speaking on behalf of the Stop New Nuclear alliance, Kate Hudson from CND stated “It should be inconceivable that private companies could restrict basic civil liberties in this way. They are not the arbiters of the nuclear debate, nor the guarantors of our freedoms. We will fight to ensure the rights of future generations to peaceful protest and to preserve essential democratic principles.”

Stop New Nuclear 24th Feb 2012 more >>

EDF Energy stopped its 480-megawatt (MW) Hinkley Point B7 nuclear reactor on Wednesday evening to repair a hydraulic fluid leak, the company said.

Reuters 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Enformable 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

A TRANSPORT study over the proposed Hinkley Point C development will be open for debate at a council meeting next week. Sedgemoor District Council is set to receive the detailed findings of the independent transport study and will discuss them on 27th Feb.

Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Sedgemoor District Council and energy giant EdF were this week urgently trying to settle a row that threatens to derail the planning application for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. EdF and Sedgemoor are locked in a battle over who should pay for the council’s continuing work to scrutinise EdF’s Hinkley Point C planning application.

New Civil Engineer 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Sedgemoor District Council’s council tax has not been set, the authority citing “very real concerns” about paying to scrutinise EDF’s nuclear power station plan. The council says it is adamant local taxpayers’ money should not pay for officers to analyse the £10 billion Hinkley Point C plan. The money instead should come from EDF. Council leader Duncan McGinty said: “It is entirely improper that we use extremely scarce public money to fund the development process relating to a privately owned commercial asset of a company which is expected to reveal profits of £3.8 billion.”

Wells Journal 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Bridgwater is on the brink of an industrial renaissance thanks to numerous large development projects, say property experts. Massive investment projects such as Hinkley Point C, the Morrison’s Distribution Centre and the Bridgwater Gateway development are fuelling the Somerset town’s economy.

Western Daily Press 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Protesters have taken possession of Langborough Farm, proposed site of the controversial Nuclear power station Hinkley C.

You Tube 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Trawsfynydd

THE architect who designed Trawsfynydd power station is one of several distinguished people celebrated on a new set of stamps issued today. Sir Basil Spence was most noted for his work on Coventry Cathedral. Ten stamps are published, featuring distinguished individuals from the worlds of science, technology, architecture, politics and the arts.

Daily Post 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Supply Chain

Rolls-Royce has entered an agreement to assist AREVA in the deployment of nuclear reactors, with this deal also expected to generate a large number of engineering jobs. Under this agreement, Rolls-Royce will manufacture complex components for and provide engineering and technical services in support of the first of two European pressurised reactors (EPRs) being installed at the new Hinkley Point plant in Somerset.

Career Structure 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Energy Security

How can fossil fuels and uranium be kept in the ground and agrofuels off the land in ways that do not inflict suffering upon millions? Mainstream policy responses to these issues are largely framed in terms of “energy security”. Yet far from making energy supplies more secure, such policies are triggering a cascade of new insecurities for millions of people. This report considers the pitfalls of “energy security”, both as policy and as rhetoric.

Corner House 16th Feb 2012 more >>

Big Six

Iberdrola, Spain’s largest utility by value, issued a profit warning after a sharp fall in demand for power in Spain and the UK could not be offset by growth in Brazil. Iberdrola said on Thursday that while it had previously expected recurring net profit to grow between 5 and 9 per cent between 2010 and 2012, it would now grow less than 5 per cent a year. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation had also been expected to grow between 5 and 9 per cent a year, and Iberdrola said this measure would now come in at the bottom of this range.

FT 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Crucial investment in new power plants needed to keep the UK’s lights on is at risk unless the Government acts quickly to clarify its energy policy, Centrica said. The warning came as the energy giant reported a 55pc slump in pre-tax profits, to £1.27bn, down to one-off losses, including a £226m impairment related to shutting two UK power stations. It revealed it was scrapping a planned gas storage facility, and that it had cut 2,300 jobs worldwide – more than previously announced. “It is vital that the Government provides the clarity and assurance that will be needed if the industry is to step up and deliver the massive investment – an estimated £200bn in total by 2020 – that the country requires,” he said. There was “much detail to be resolved” on Electricity Market Reform (EMR) proposals, which must ensure there is sufficient gas-fired power capacity to help meet energy demand when old coal and nuclear power stations shut from 2016. Mr Laidlaw revealed doubts about whether an investment decision on a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point would be taken this year. Centrica has the option of a 20pc stake in the project, led by state-run French energy giant EDF, whose management is likely to be replaced if Francois Hollande wins the French election. “EDF… are the experts on French politics but clearly that is a potential risk,” he said.

Telegraph 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Japan

Operators of Japan’s damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima have unveiled plans to cover a vast swathe of seabed with cement to prevent the spread of radiation. An area of 786,000 sq ft at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean just in front of the nuclear power plant, in northeast Japan, will be covered with a thick layer of clay-cement compound. The move to lay down concrete across a space, which is the equivalent of 10 football pitches, is designed to prevent radiation contamination spreading further into the ocean.

Telegraph 24th Feb 2012 more >>

The wind-power farm at Rokkasho has sprung up close to Japan’s first nuclear reprocessing plant, a Lego-like complex of windowless buildings and steel towers, which was supposed to have started up 15 years ago but is only now nearing completion. Dogged by persistent technical problems, it is designed to recycle spent nuclear fuel and partly address a glaring weakness in Japan’s bid to restore confidence in the industry, shredded last year when a quake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi power station to the south, triggering radioactive leaks and mass evacuations. But the Rokkasho project is too little, too late, according to critics who say Japan is running so short of nuclear-waste storage that the entire industry risks shutdown within the next two decades unless a solution is found. As Japan approaches the anniversary of the March 11 quake, the nuclear power industry, which just over a year ago supplied a third of its power, is virtually paralyzed. All but two of the country’s 54 reactors are offline. The reactors have steadily been shut down for maintenance, unable to restart until they meet new stress tests. Effectively, though, the utilities have to do more than pass stress tests; they have to finally convince local governments that the waste problems will be resolved, not continue to mount up inside power plants lined up along the Japanese coast like radioactive warehouses, exposed to the risk of tsunamis.

Reuters 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Japan said on Friday it plans to strengthen security at nuclear power plants following recommendations from the International Atomic Energy Agency, a month before a nuclear security summit in neighbouring South Korea.

Reuters 24th Feb 2012 more >>

UAE

EnergySolutions has been awarded a four-year contract with Korea Electric Power Corp. to design and supply waste management systems for the United Arab Emirates nuclear energy program, EnergySolutions said February 23. The contract, worth more than $5 million, will see EnergySolutions supply liquid waste processing equipment, including ion exchange and reverse osmosis systems, to reduce levels of contamination and waste at the UAE new build site.

i-Nuclear.com 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Iran

Some are warning that an Iran with a nuke would automatically trigger nuclear proliferation throughout the greater Middle East – an Egyptian, Turkish, Saudi bomb. Such societies, it is claimed, would be incapable of the sophisticated US and Soviet command and control mechanisms which were used to prevent accidents – and worse – during the Cold War.

Daily Mail 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Submarines

City leaders have called for the Ministry of Defence to remove nuclear submarines from the Firth of Forth and dismantle them in the south of England. The MoD is holding a consultation on its options for the seven nuclear submarines that it stores at Rosyth Dockyard. And the city council is to submit a response urging the UK Government to move them to Devonport in Plymouth – where other vessels are stored – and start the process of dismantling them there. Concerns have been raised about the potential danger of the nuclear decontamination process and the negative impact on the Firth of Forth’s image if the subs remain at Rosyth. There are also fears that Rosyth could see a repeat of the nuclear contamination at Dalgety Bay in Fife, which is thought to have been caused by dumped Second World War aircraft. But political opponents said the council’s preferred option, which will now be formally submitted to the MoD, would mean the Edinburgh area

Edinburgh Evening News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Green Deal

Fears are growing that the timetable for rolling out the government’s Green Deal energy efficiency scheme may have slipped, with Whitehall officials no longer committing to the stated October implementation date. In recent months officials have started describing the launch of the programme as happening “before the end of the year” in meetings with stakeholders.

Building 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Face to face meetings with residents are the only way to increase take-up of the Green Deal and ensure the government meets its carbon savings target, experts have claimed. The claim is based on evidence from a community-based energy efficiency pilot project, which achieved a 100% take-up.

Building 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Shale Gas

The Government’s energy plans could cost the UK billions of pounds if a shale gas boom brings down the price of gas because current policy is predicated on high prices, a think tank has warned. Policy Exchange argued that the government’s “flawed strategy towards the electricity generation market” is “unnecessarily gambling with bill-payers’ money”. “The view that future gas prices are likely to be high was a key driver of the government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) proposals,” it said. “No one can predict future gas prices but shale gas developments suggest prices may be lower than previously assumed.”

Telegraph 24th Feb 2012 more >>

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Published: 24 February 2012
Last updated: 18 October 2012