26 June 2009

New Nukes

Moody’s Investors Service said Thursday it may take a more negative view of power companies looking to build new nuclear-power plants. The credit-ratings firm in a report said companies developing new reactors haven’t taken steps to strengthen their balance sheets ahead of the massive projects. Although federal loan guarantees will provide low-cost financing, they only “modestly” reduce the risk plant developers face. “It has become increasingly likely that the pursuit of new nuclear power projects will lead to some near-term rating actions or outlook changes,” Moody’s said.

CNN Money 25th June 2009 more >>

British contractors Costain and Sir Robert McAlpine are expected join forces with two international construction giants in a bid to secure a significant portion of the UK’s £40 billion nuclear new build market. Construction News understands the Costain/McAlpine/Hochtief joint venture – which is looking to target upcoming works with RWE nPower and E On – is now courting German civils giant Heitkamp to join them in their bid. While Heitkamp is a seasoned player in the civils and nuclear sectors, it is also one of the contractors involved with the high profile reactor under construction in Olkiluoto, Finland – the cost of which, following a series of delays and defects, has climbed by more than 50 per cent over the past four years.

Construction News 25th June 2009 more >>

Letter from William Oxenham: STEUART Campbell (Letters, 22 June) says nuclear electricity is cheaper than wind farmed electricity. Euan MacLeod (16 June) and Peter Roche (23 June) say it is not. How are we ordinary members of the public to know who is right? Fortunately, in this case the answer is easy. At the moment wind farming is subsidised by the Renewables Obligation (RO), nuclear power is not. If, as a challenge, nuclear power were to be included in the RO, market forces would very quickly pick the winner for us. “Include nuclear in the RO!” is the challenge thrown down which of our contestants is the one who dare not pick it up?

Scotsman letters 26th June 2009 more >>

Oldbury

PEOPLE living near a site earmarked for a new nuclear power station claim they are being kept in the dark over the proposals. At a public meeting, more than 40 residents of Shepperdine and Oldbury criticised energy company E.ON for not keeping them informed about its plans to build a new power station in their village. During the last 12 months the energy giant has bought land in the Oldbury and Shepperdine area and secured a connection to the National Grid. In March Oldbury was included in the government’s shortlist of sites where new nuclear power stations could be built. However, residents claim they have been completely ignored and have received very little information from E.ON.

Gloucestershire Gazette 25th June 2009 more >>

Chapelcross

Decommissioning work at a Scottish nuclear plant remains on schedule after its 1,000th fuel rod was removed. More than 38,000 spent elements have to be taken from the Chapelcross site near Annan for reprocessing at the nearby Sellafield plant in Cumbria.

BBC 25th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Investment

New research from Ecclesiastical Investment Management on how IFAs consider nuclear power to be an ethical investment discovered that 66 per cent do not feel there is sufficient information available to make that sort of decision on behalf of their clients. The survey intended to balance IFAs’ concerns surrounding the relative safety of nuclear power, including the threats of terrorism and decommissioning risks or costs, with the UK’s need for energy and hitting the government’s carbon emission targets in an effort to reduce climate change. The results found that over half of the IFAs polled had a positive attitude towards nuclear power, with 58 per cent who felt that it was possible to be socially responsible when investing in the nuclear industry. However, over a quarter (28 per cent) still believed that investments in nuclear power cannot be considered to be socially responsible.

FT Adviser 23rd June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Skills

A GOVERNMENT minister hailed West Cumbria’s £20m skills and training centre as a positive symbol of the area’s future as he officially opened it last Friday.

West Cumberland Times and Star 25th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Accidents

The government, the suave white-coated PR consultants of the energy industry – even, heaven help us, some well-meaning “green campaigners” – would have you believe they’ve got it all sorted now. That clean, modern, up-to-date nuclear power is both necessary and safe. That there could never be another Windscale. Another Three-Mile Island. Another Chernobyl. They didn’t want us to know about, or notice, the report by the government’s chief nuclear inspector, Mike Weightman, which considered 1,767 leaks, breakdowns or other “events” over the past seven years. Of which around half were considered serious enough to have had “the potential to challenge a nuclear safety system”. At Sellafield they think they’ve finally stopped a leak that’s been going on for 50 years. Since the days it was still known as Windscale.

Suffolk Evening Star 25th June 2009 more >>

Companies

Toshiba’s $5.4bn purchase of Westinghouse, the US nuclear company, has been good for Norio Sasaki. He led that deal in 2006, and its successful completion led to a rapid ascent through the executive ranks, which culminated yesterday when he became Toshiba’s president. Yet the Westinghouse purchase still has a lot to prove. Toshiba paid a full price at a time when it was already clear that climate change was prompting a nuclear resurgence. Like nuclear power itself, meanwhile, the true costs and benefits of the investment will not be clear for years, because of the decades it takes for a reactor to go from glint in a politician’s eye to concrete-and-steel reality.

FT 25th June 2009 more >>

Europe

European Union countries set their first common standards for the construction and operation of nuclear reactors, saying the industry’s growth requires steps to ease public anxiety about the risks. The EU’s 27 governments agreed to incorporate International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines into European law, giving the bloc’s regulators a role over nuclear safety.

Irish Independent 26th June 2009 more >>

EU Business 25th June 2009 more >>

Daily Express 25th June 2009 more >>

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Exports

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said that its member countries have agreed to boost official backing for exports of renewable energy and nuclear power equipment.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Sellafield

SELLAFIELD has been hit by another wildcat walkout.

Whitehaven News 25th June 2009 more >>

TWO highly radioactive cannisters have been tracked down, weeks after they were reported missing at Sellafield. The mistake has been put down to “an accounting anomaly”.

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

THORP’s future at Sellafield is secure despite the troubled reprocessing plant having to shutdown for seven months for maintenance and engineering work. In an exclusive interview with The Whitehaven News, Sellafield’s legal owners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has given Thorp a vote of confidence to carry on for another six years and complete a multi-billion pounds order book. “Thorp’s future is not under review,” pledged Ian Hudson, the NDA’s man on the spot at Sellafield. GMB site convenor Peter Kane said: “It’s great news for the workforce.”

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

A LEAK of radioactivity which has lasted for half a century at Sellafield has finally been plugged.

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

THE boss of West Cumbrian recycling plant Studsvik has left the company after an audit showed its income had been overstated by £1 million.

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

Netherlands

Dutch unlisted utility Delta said on Thursday it had started to apply to build a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands, which it expects will be operational in 2018. Delta outlined plans to build the 5 billion euro ($7 billion) plant near the Netherlands’ only existing nuclear power station in Borssele, as protesters outside its headquarters called for all nuclear power to be phased out in the country.

Interactive Investor 25th June 2009 more >>

Guardian 25th June 2009 more >>

Spain

As Spain’s government faces the first test of an electoral pledge to phase out nuclear power, unions and environmentalists expect it will either close an ageing plant or keep it open for another two years. The Garona plant’s current operating permit expires on July 5 and the government has the final say on whether it stays open.

Yahoo 25th June 2009 more >>

North Korea

A series of North Korean actions between April and June have amounted to a complete breakdown in non-proliferation efforts on the peninsula.

Jane’s Security 25th June 2009 more >>

Tens of thousands of North Koreans have staged a rally in central Pyongyang, as the communist country vowed to enlarge its atomic arsenal and warned of a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” in the event of a US attack.

Daily Express 25th June 2009 more >>

Guardian 25th June 2009 more >>

Germany

RWE AG Chief Executive Officer Juergen Grossmann urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to scrap a plan to close Germany’s nuclear reactors, saying an extension would protect the country from fuel price swings. “They’re a predictable part of the power-generation cost” for Germany’s industrial electricity users, Grossmann, who heads the country’s second-largest utility, said in an interview at an energy conference in Berlin yesterday. “We hope to carry on our nuclear operations in Germany.”

Bloomberg 25th June 2009 more >>

France

Detailed investigations are to be carried out at two French communities as part of a program to dispose of long-lived low-level radioactive wastes. The small communities of Auxon and Pars-l s-Chavanges put themselves forward for consideration along with 38 other areas last year. Preliminary studies completed late in 2008 by French waste authority Andra revealed that both had suitable rock formations and environments for the disposal of the wastes.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Africa

Nuclear-related cooperation agreements have been reached in Egypt and Nigeria during a tour of four African countries by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Guardian 24th June 2009 more >>

Share

Published: 26 June 2009
Last updated: 18 October 2012