25 February 2012

Radwaste

IT’S JUST like West Cumbria – only with lots more hot sunshine. That’s Carlsbad in New Mexico, a place where, when mining declined, nuclear took over. It was not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but billions of United States government dollars have since flowed into Carlsbad transforming the old mining town. The comparison with West Cumbria is significant: a once prosperous coalfield area until all the pits closed and where nuclear is now king, Carlsbad is home to WIPP, the world’s only underground nuclear waste repository. Soon West Cumbria is likely to be at the heart of a search for the UK equivalent of a place in which to bury Britain’s highly radioactive materials. An opinion poll will shortly be launched soon to test Cumbrian attitudes.

Cumberland News 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

Low Level Waste

A pledge has been given that extra monitoring will be carried out at a low-level nuclear waste dump in the north of the county. The assurance was given by MP Bob Neill, minister responsible for planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government, following a meeting with Corby and East Northamptonshire MP Louise Mensch. Since an appeal against plans to allow Augean to dispose of waste at the site in King’s Cliffe was lost in the High Court in January, the MP has been calling for better monitoring of the site.

Evening Telegraph 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Although discussions with EDF have not yet been concluded, on Friday, February 24, Sedgemoor District Council agreed to set its proportion of council tax at 0%, thereby freezing the rate.

This is the West Country 24th Feb 2012 more >>

DC CABE has given YRM’s £10 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor scheme a glowing design review

Architects Journal 24th Feb 2012 more >>

ONR

Two executives at the nuclear regulator have lost their jobs after ministers discovered they were being paid through private companies rather than via the staff payroll. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) last night confirmed that two of its senior managers were paid through service companies, and were losing their contracts with the ONR. It comes amid a review by Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the treasury, into the number of bureaucrats who are paid through tax efficient private firms. Being paid through a private company can save a contractor thousands of pounds in tax because they would be taxed in part at the corporation tax rate of 21 per cent rather than the income tax rate of up to 50 per cent.

Telegraph 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Guardian 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Scotland

The company, previously known as Scottish & Southern Energy, said it will honour existing investments in Scotland but the uncertainty created by the 2014 referendum could hamper future plans until the question of independence is settled.

Telegraph 24th Feb 2012 more >>

France

French export hopes dim: We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami — and, with it, the end of the toughest year the nuclear power industry’s had in a good long while. Since January of last year, the number of reactors online around the world has fallen sharply and raised sharp questions about what was looking for a while there like a nuclear power rennaissance of sorts. No country counted more on that revival than France

Market Place World 9th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

A panel of experts reviewing Japan’s nuclear fuel cycle policy in the wake of last year’s nuclear accident agreed Thursday that while a fuel cycle involving a fast-breeder reactor has some advantages, it cannot be considered as a realistic option for the next 20 to 30 years from a technological viewpoint.

Mainichi 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Fukushima update 17th – 20th Feb.

Greenpeace International 22nd Feb 2012 more >>

Fukushima Update 21st – 23rd Feb.

Greenpeace International 24th Feb 2012 more >>

The government on Friday said some areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was wrecked last year by a massive tsunami will likely remain permanently unlivable. Measurements taken between November and January confirm earlier results which show a level of radioactivity of 470 millisierverts per year when the average, under normal conditions, is less than one per year, according to a government report released Friday. Some of the highest readings were taken in the town of Futaba, to the northwest of the plant wrecked on March 11.

Japan Today 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran failed to co-operate with UN nuclear officials during two sets of talks in Tehran over the past month, the UN’s watchdog has said in a report. The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Tehran had not cleared up questions about possible military aspects of its nuclear programme. The agency also said Iran had stepped up uranium enrichment in recent months.

BBC 24th Feb 2012 more >>

IRAN must address “serious concerns” about “possible military dimensions” to its nuclear programme after significantly escalating its ability to enrich uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency said yesterday.

Telegraph 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Iran expanding its controversial nuclear activity, warns leaked UN report.

Daily Mail 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Independent 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Guardian 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Oil prices surged on Friday as the UN’s nuclear watchdog said Iran had significantly increased its production of higher-grade uranium over the past six months and had failed to dispel concerns that it was pursuing atomic weapons. Amid growing fears that Iran’s nuclear programme could prompt a military attack by Israel later this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency produced a detailed report into the state of Tehran’s nuclear programme which suggested it has ramped up the production of uranium close to weapons grade.

FT 25th Feb 2012 more >>

The Iranians stalled on even discussing a document setting out how “unresolved issues” relating to the “possible military dimensions” of the nuclear programme might be clarified.

Economist 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Lithuania

Lithuania’s planned nuclear power plant will cost as much as $6.5 billion, making it the biggest investment in the Baltic country since independence from the Soviet Union 22 years ago. Lithuania plans to control 34 percent of the plant, while Estonia, Latvia and Poland would each take a 20 percent stake, with the remaining 6 percent paid by companies leasing the atomic technology, Vytautas Nauduzas, a Lithuanian ambassador for energy and transport policy, said yesterday in an interview in London.

Bloomberg 23rd Feb 2012 more >>

US

After the Fukushima disaster, Germany ditched nuclear power. So why has the US stopped worrying and learned to love nukes?

Guardian 24th Feb 2012 more >>

India

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has said that groups protesting the start-up of two new reactors at Kudankulam don’t understand the energy situation in India and are based in foreign countries.

World Nuclear News 24th Feb 2012 more >>

BBC 24th Feb 2012 more >>

India has shut down three aid organizations it says were diverting foreign funds to anti-nuclear protests.

Washington Post 25th Feb 2012 more >>

New Nuclear Countries

At least five countries will start work on their first nuclear reactors this year despite the jolt to international confidence caused by the Fukushima disaster, a top U.N. nuclear official said Friday. “We expect that this year Vietnam, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Belarus will start building their first nuclear power plants,” Kwaku Aning, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a forum in New York. He said Jordan and Saudi Arabia could follow in 2013.

Japan Today 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Saudi Arabia

Both Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council maintain that they want a WMD-free Middle East. However, key members of the Saudi royal elite have recently signalled that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, then Saudi Arabia will get one too. Speaking of signalling, they have also long indicated that if Israel were to overfly the desert kingdom to bomb Iranian nuclear sites, they would temporarily turn their radars off. Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear technology agreements with several states: China, France, Argentina and South Korea, in order to address its need for research reactors, nuclear power plants and so forth.

Daily Mail 24th Feb 2012 more >>

UAE

EnergySolutions has been awarded a four-year contract to design and supply waste management systems for the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear power plant at Braka. Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) plans four APR14000 reactors at the site, which will be built a Korean-led consortium.

Nuclear Engineering International 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

The World War Three files: For 30 years the papers have been kept secret. Now, the extraordinary story of how Whitehall drew up terrifyingly detailed plans for nuclear armageddon can finally be revealed

Daily Mail 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News: Government confirms Supreme Court Solar Appeal and other news.

Microgen Scotland 24th Feb 2012 more >>

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Published: 25 February 2012
Last updated: 18 October 2012