26 February 2012

Opinion Polls

After Fukushima support for the technology in the UK tumbled by 11 percentage points to stand at a record low of 36 per cent last June, according to a survey by Ipsos MORI. “Always, when you get a major disaster, people instantly stand back with a lot of antipathy,” says Angelos Anastasiou, an analyst at Investec. “But it doesn’t usually last.” He’s right: in the UK and much of the rest of the world, it didn’t. Almost as quickly as the opposition to nuclear power had increased, it evaporated, more or less in line with television coverage of the disaster. In fact, according to a poll taken in December and published last month, UK support for nuclear had not only rebounded, but actually hit a record of 50 per cent. It was as if the relationship had emerged stronger as a result of the doubt.

Independent 26th Feb 2012 more >>

New Nukes

Centrica is the only UK energy generator proposing to invest in the next generation of nuclear power but has yet to make a final decision. Its chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, says: “It is vital that the Government provides the clarity and assurance that will be needed if the [nuclear] industry is to step up and deliver the massive investment that the country requires.” Two government decisions will be crucial. The first relates to the level of “price support” that nuclear power generators can expect to get. The other is the “carbon floor price”, to be introduced in April next year. This will determine the minimum amount that the big coal and gas power plants must pay for their carbon emissions, which, in turn, will influence the price of electricity – and which will dictate the profits made by low-emissions nuclear power plants and, in turn, their viability.

Independent 26th Feb 2012 more >>


Taxpayers will not have to foot the £2.3m research costs into a proposed nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, Sedgemoor District Council has pledged. The authority has voted to freeze council tax bill levels by not building in the costs of the research. The council said it would review the planning application and has renewed calls for developer EDF to pay for it EDF Energy has denied accusations it has refused to provide funds and said it is prepared to pay reasonable costs.

BBC 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Western Daily Press 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Burnham-on-sea 24th Feb 2012 more >>

Anti-nuclear activists begin their 13th day occupying a barn on the site of the proposed new Hinkley C nuclear power station today as they prepare to resist legal action to evict them. French firm EDF Energy is seeking possession of the site and an injunction preventing a return. A hearing is expected in the High Court of Justice in London on Monday.

Western Daily Press 25th Feb 2012 more >>

Energy Prices

Millions of families are paying up to £330 a year more for their gas and electricity than neighbours who consume the same amount, because of anti-competitive practices by the country’s biggest suppliers, research has found. The findings – after a week in which Centrica, the owner of British Gas, posted record profits of £2.4bn – will increase the pressure on ministers and the energy regulator, Ofgem, to act to ensure that all customers are offered the cheapest available tariffs.

Observer 26th Feb 2012 more >>


A PIECE of radioactive fuel with potentially “significant” health risks has turned up on a beach in Caithness. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) confirmed on Monday that it had recovered a particle – thought to have originally come from the Prototype Fast Reactor – from the water’s edge at Sandside beach in Reay. If confirmed by further testing it will be the first time a radioactive speck of this category has been discovered on public land locally – with its unusual chemical make-up also raising questions. DSRL’s head of communication Colin Punler explained that it has informed the Scottish Environment Protection Agency that additional tests are being carried after it was noted that the particle was twice as “hot” as the previous highest find since beach monitoring started nearly 20 years ago.

John O Groat Journal 22nd Feb 2012 more >>


Iran has warned Israel against mounting an attack on its nuclear facilities amid rising international tension over its uranium enrichment programme. General Ahmad Vahidi issued a statement warning Israel that an attack would lead to the collapse of the Jewish state.

Guardian 25th Feb 2012 more >>


A cut-price nuclear deterrent is being considered by defence chiefs as part of a concession to the Liberal Democrats. One option would see submarines equipped with nuclear-armed cruise missiles replacing the more effective Trident deterrent. Such a step would dramatically shorten the range of Britain’s nuclear missiles and increase the risk of its submarines being detected or the cruise missiles being shot down. But some experts say it could halve the £25 billion cost of a building a new fleet of Trident nuclear missile submarines, which is the government’s current plan. The government review into options other than Trident is being led by the Cabinet Office but overseen by Nick Harvey, the Lib Dem defence minister. Lib Dem MPs are confident its findings will allow them go into the 2015 general election with a credible alternative to renewing Trident.

Sunday Times 26th Feb 2012 more >>

Shale Gas

Fracking – the extraction of shale gas – was halted last year after it was linked to a series of tremors in Lancashire. Drilling companies hope a decision due soon will allow them to restart operations. But protesters say fracking can lead to water contamination, methane leaks and animals dying.

Guardian 25th Feb 2012 more >>


Published: 26 February 2012
Last updated: 18 October 2012