Daily News Roundup

24 September 2011

New Nukes

Utility Scottish and Southern Energy said it has pulled out of its UK nuclear new build consortium, raising concerns investors may see the British nuclear industry as unattractive despite government efforts to provide incentives.

Reuters 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Together with GDF Suez SA and Iberdrola SA, SSE was the third partner in the NuGeneration consortium planning to build new reactors on a green field site owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) adjacent to Sellafield. The option to develop the 190 hectare site, up to 3.6 GW capacity, was secured from the NDA by the consortium in October 2009, and the site confirmed as suitable for new-build by Government in its National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation (EN-6). The consortium is reported as paying the NDA an ‘up-front’ payment for the land in 2009 of £19.5M with a further £50.5M to be made over the next 6 years. Following the consortium’s planning application to local authority Copeland Borough Council on the 8th September 2011 to sink a number of exploratory boreholes on the site, SSE announced its decision to quit the consortium in a press release issued today 23rd September 2011. Its 25% stake in the consortium will be taken up by the two remaining partners

CORE Briefing 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Scottish and Southern (SSE), the UK’s second-biggest energy generator, has abandoned its quest to develop nuclear power in favour of producing more electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind farms and biomass plants. Dealing a blow to government plans to ramp up nuclear generation, SSE has pulled out of a joint venture with France’s GDF Suez and Spain’s Iberdrola that would have involved it in atomic energy for the first time. SSE has sold its 25 per cent stake to its partners in the NuGeneration consortium, which will develop two or three 1.6GW reactors at Sellafield.

Independent 24th Sept 2011 more >>

Telegraph 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Professional Engineering 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Business Green 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

BBC 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Utility Week 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

They have a long way to go – 88 per cent of the power they supplied last year came from coal and gas, leaving consumers with soaring fuel bills caused by our fossil fuel dependency.

Friends of the Earth Press Release 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Iberdrola and Gdf-Suez have reaffirmed their commitment to the NuGen consortium – planning to build a new nuclear power plant alongside Sellafield – after the utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) announced it would withdraw.

World Nuclear News 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Reuters 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Nuclear Pledge

The nuclearpledge.com website has relaunched to counter the imminent threat of new nuclear power stations in the UK. It encourages people opposed to nuclear power to make a “pledge of resistance” based on what they can reasonably do in their own lives – from writing letters to MPs to withholding the ‘nuclear subsidy’ from their electricity bills, to engaging in direct actions. “The idea is that everybody can engage in the nuclear resistance in their own way”, says founder Oliver Tickell. “Everyone making their pledge sends the vital signal that they are not prepared to be trampled by the nuclear juggernaut. We now know that a majority in the UK is opposed to new nuclear stations and we need to get our voice heard.” Founded in 2006, the site has now ‘outsourced’ its pledge-taking function to gopetition.co.uk to following problems with its original software that made it vulnerable to spammers. Make your pledge now’

Nuclear Pledge 23rd Sept 2011 more >>


The chairman of BBC’s Gardeners Question Time is embroiled in a row over his support for new nuclear power stations planned close to the Lake District. Eric Robson, who will appear on Sunday in the Wainwright’s Long Walk television series, is being accused of a conflict of interest by anti-nuclear protesters opposed to a second generation of plants and the possible siting of a high-level waste dump in the region. The broadcaster is chairman of the Cumbria Tourism organisation while also being involved with Osprey Communications, a PR firm working on issues surrounding a deep underground repository. “This is a big fat conflict of interest,” argues Marianne Birkby from local pressure group, Radioactive Free Lakeland. “Eric Robson is both poacher and gamekeeper by acting as a PR guru for an organisation which is essentially promoting steps towards geological disposal while holding a position of trust for tourism and the environment. He should step down from Cumbria Tourism,” she added.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2011 more >>


Local politicians have discussed the possibility of a new nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd. BBC Wales has learned that Gwynedd council’s leader Dyfed Edwards and local AM Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas were involved in talks. But Lord Elis Thomas said there was no plan for a new nuclear site and he saw it as a potential wind power area.

BBC 23rd Sept 2011 more >>


AN environmental group and the Northern Isles local authorities have united against a planned series of nuclear waste shipments between Caithness and Belgium. Dounreay site licence company DSRL intends moving the first of a series of consignments “fairly imminently” from Scrabster to a reactor in Mol. The material is to be shipped over as part of an inter-government agreement dating back to the days when highly enriched nuclear fuel from all over the world was reprocessed at the Caithness site.

John O Groat Journal 21st Sept 2011 more >>

Energy Prices

Miliband vows to act against price-fixing by the six energy companies by requiring them to pool all energy centrally, a move that he claims would cut energy prices for 80% of users. Any company would then be able to buy and supply energy from the pool at a clear and transparent price.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Labour will next week pledge to end the dominance of the big energy firms by allowing anyone to “buy” wholesale gas and electricity and sell it to consumers. Its leader, Ed Miliband, is due to outline, at the Labour Party Conference, his desire to adopt as “simple tariff” system, as recommended by the Consumers Association. This, he is expected to say, would make it easier to compare prices and could force down prices for 80 per cent of five households. The energy market is dominated by six companies – which produce and supply gas and electricity. Under Labour’s system, all energy would go into a central “pool” to be bought by anyone at a clear and transparent price.

Independent 24th Sept 2011 more >>

The head of one of Britain’s “Big Six” energy suppliers has threatened to increase bills for customers unless the Government relaxes the laws on planning permission. Volker Beckers, chief executive of RWE npower, told The Times that the Government must speed up the application process for new power plants, pylons and wind farms or risk seeing consumers suffer. Energy groups are working on a £200 billion development drive over the next decade but complain of the increased costs involved with lengthy delays gaining planning permission.

Times 24th Sept 2011 more >>


Supporters of reactors based on thorium, rather than uranium, are trying to re-awaken interest in this forgotten chemical element. Thorium should be safer than uranium because thorium reactors would shut down without any human intervention. Nor would they need mechanical cooling systems to remove excess heat, eliminating the possibility of accidents such as Fukushima.

FT 23rd Sept 2011 more >>


JORDAN IS ON pace to produce uranium in two years time as the country’s peaceful nuclear programme approaches several milestones. According to Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Khaled Toukan, the Kingdom is set to start uranium mining activities in the central region by 2013 pending the conclusion of feasibility studies later this year.

Jordan Times 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

Czech Republic

The catastrophe at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power complex should not be allowed to call into question of the wisdom of atomic energy, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Friday.

Trust 23rd Sept 2011 more >>


Councils joining the local energy revolution this week : Wrexham with 3,000 council homes; Birmingham adding 165 schools to its 1,200 council houses; Bromsgrove solarises council depot; Reading solar schools plan;

Microgen Scotland 23rd Sept 2011 more >>

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Posted: 24 September 2011