The UK nuclear new build programme will be delayed by a year in the aftermath of the Japan Fukushima disaster, according to ICE vice president Richard Coackley. It has changed processes [in the UK] and delayed decisions by a year, he said. Last week, the Health & Safety Executive decided to postpone the outcome of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for nuclear reactors until government chief scientist Mike Weightman has completed his report into the Fukushima accident, due in September. Already, new nuclear developer EdF Energys attempts to build a power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset have run into trouble, with two local councils objecting to its proposals earlier this month. Stage two of its public consultation for the plant ended last week with Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council still objecting to parts of the proposal. However, a top government advisor told NCE that there was no cause for concern and the nuclear new build programme will go ahead as planned.
New Civil Engineer 21st April 2011 more >>
SCHOOLCHILDREN in Bridgwater gave up their Easter holidays to enjoy a taste of university life and learn about the nuclear energy industry.
Bridgwater Mercury 26th April 2011 more >>
Letter Dr Gerry Wolff: You say: For the foreseeable future, neither fossil fuels nor renewable sources will be able to replace the 14 per cent of global electricity generated by nuclear reactors, without risking severe instability and shortages in energy markets. But exactly the same would be true of new nuclear power stations in the unlikely event that all existing nuclear plants were to be suddenly closed down. In general, renewables can be built much faster than nuclear power plants. Last year, Germany installed 8.8 GW of photovoltaic solar panels, producing about the same amount of electricity as a 1 GW nuclear plant. But it would take much longer about seven years to build that nuclear plant.
FT 27th April 2011 more >>
British Energy, which is part of EDF Energy and runs the power station, has written to people living close by to keep them informed about the discovery, which is not isolated to Suffolk. Traces of Iodine have been found at stations around the UK in the wake of the Japanese earthquake but Jim Crawford, station director at Sizewell B, said he expected the traces in Suffolk to have disappeared within a month. He said: We have measured trace quantities of Iodine – 131 in air samplers where none is usually detected, similar readings have been detected at other EDF Energy stations around the country.
East Anglian Daily Times 26th April 2011 more >>
Evening Star 26th April 2011 more >>
Iodine-131 has been detected at some of the ten plants owned by EDF Energy. But the companys subsidiary, British Energy, has been quick to quash fears of individual leaks, claiming the readings are a direct result of last months Fukushima disaster and nothing to do with their plants.The scare comes after levels of the dangerous substance were found in the air around the Sizewell B nuclear power reactor near Ipswich. Jim Crawford, the stations director, insists that the readings are extremely low and not of greater concern.
Metro 26th April 2011 more >>
Video of Sizewell Demo.
You Tube 25th April 2011 more >>
The Green party is running twice as many district council candidates as Labour and the Liberal Democrats combined in West Somerset, where Britains first new nuclear power station is expected to be built.A dozen Greens will stand on May 5, compared with four Labour candidates and two Liberal Democrats, making the environmental campaigners the principal local opposition to the Conservatives. The emergence of the Greens in West Somerset is the first tangible evidence that last months disaster at the Fukushima reactor in Japan has influenced the local debate over a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. EDF Energy, the UK subsidiary of EDF, the large French energy group, plans to build two reactors beside an existing nuclear power plant.
FT 26th April 2011 more >>
GREEN campaigners have used the 25-year anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster to call for an end to new nuclear power plants in Scotland. WWF Scotland said there was now “very little chance” of any new reactors being built, with most of the main political parties committed to renewable energy. Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: “Twenty-five years on from Chernobyl, nuclear power’s record of accidents, secrecy and hidden subsidies is again in the spotlight.”
Edinburgh Evening News 26th April 2011 more >>
Remotely controlled robotic arms have been used to clean the windows of the Dounreay nuclear power plant in Scotland.
Metro 26th April 2011 more >>
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has called for new safety rules to be drawn up for the global nuclear industry as Chernobyl marks the 25th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident.
Engineering & Technology 26th April 2011 more >>
Daily Mail 26th April 2011 more >>
BBC 26th April 2011 more >>
RUSSIA’S president argued yesterday that tough international guidelines could help prevent accidents such as the Chernobyl meltdown. He was defending atomic energy during solemn ceremonies commemorating the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear accident in history.
Scotsman 27th April 2011 more >>
Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group joined campaigners from across Greater Manchester on Monday evening (25 April 2011) to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl which resulted from the meltdown of the nuclear reactor there on 26 April 1986.
Rochdale Online 26th April 2011 more >>
FARMERS who were saddled with restrictions on livestock in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster have made fresh calls for them to be lifted. This week marks 25 years since the nuclear plant in the former Soviet Union exploded, sending a radioactive cloud across Europe. Hundreds of British sheep farmers are still feeling the effects, with close monitoring and strict rules a daily bind. Emlyn Roberts whose farm in Dolgellau, is one of 330 affected in Wales, still has to obtain a licence every time he wants to move sheep, which he said can make his business less competitive. We were told by a MAFF official the restrictions would only last three weeks three months at the most and here we are a quarter of a century on, said Mr Roberts.
Farmers Guardian 26th April 2011 more >>
On the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, while the world still struggles with the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, CEE Bankwatch Network issues a startling report showing how plans of the Ukrainian government to build 22 new nuclear reactors and extend the lifetime of old Soviet reactors are indirectly supported with European public money as part of the long-term EU energy security strategy.
Bankwatch 26th April 2011 more >>
Bankwatch Report 26th April 2011 more >>
Twenty-five years ago, the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine suffered a catastrophic explosion. The real lessons are still being learned. There is also growing evidence that the effects of radiation can be passed to future generations. Studies of mice by Prof Yuri Dubrova, of the University of Leicester, reveal that large doses of radiation can make the genetic code more likely to suffer mutations, and that this propensity can be passed down the generations in the germ line, the genes contained in sperm and eggs.
Telegraph 26th April 2011 more >>
On the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Friends of the Earth Europe stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and neighbouring countries, remembering those affected by the catastrophe. Friends of the Earth Europe also stands with those still affected by the tsunami and ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan where the severity level of the nuclear crisis has been raised to maximum, on a par with Chernobyl. The Chernobyl catastrophe is still a reality, and nuclear power remains more than ever a threat to people and planet a fact driven home by the unfortunate events in Japan. Friends of the Earth Europe calls on European governments to start phasing out nuclear power across Europe, and calls on national authorities in the Ukraine and Japan do everything possible to prevent the immeasurable damage to people, the environment and the local ecosystem that further radioactive leaks will cause.
FoE Europe Press Release 26th April 2011 more >>
Campaign Opposing New Nuclear Energy Development Press Release and brfiefing on Chernobyl
CONNED 26th April 2011 more >>
Today is the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe. We went to Carlisle Cathedral to lay three crosses: Windscale- Never Again? Chernobyl – Never Again? Fukushima- Never Again? A letter was delivered to the “nuclear is a green option” Bishop of Carlisle.
101 uses for nuclear power 26th April 2011 more >>
TWENTY-FIVE years on from Chernobyl, kind-hearted Wirralians are opening their homes to children affected by the nuclear disaster. Volunteers from the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line charity have welcomed over 800 children from Belarus to the borough every summer for the last 17 years. Belarus received up to 70% of the radioactive fallout when the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the Ukraine exploded on April 26, 1986. It caused a huge increase in cancer among the population, particularly in children.
Wirral News 27th April 2011 more >>
Secret files have revealed that terrorists claim to be hiding a nuclear bomb in Europe, according to WikiLeaks.
Metro 26th Apriol 2011 more >>
Villagers from a dozen local communities were in London today, trying to stop the dumping of low-level nuclear waste near King’s Cliff in Northamptonshire. 12 villages to the east of Peterborough held referendums at the beginning of the month – to force their parish councils to take action.
Anglia Regional News 26th April 2011 more >>
The UK has a unique problem with nuclear waste. As a pioneer in the nuclear sector in terms of the development of weaponry and of nuclear power a variety of equipment designs were used in the early days, along with unusual materials and much experimentation. The large majority of waste forms can be handled with conventional encapsulation, but a small proportion probably a single-figure percentage cant. But thats still a large volume and tonnage of waste. Known as WRATs (wastes requiring additional treatment) or orphan wastes, these materials are being studied for their suitability to encapsulation in polymer materials.
The Engineer 25th April 2011 more >>
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has cut its outlook on Japan’s sovereign debt following last month’s quake-tsunami disaster and warned that reconstruction costs could pass $600 billion (£360bn). Standard & Poor’s warned that its projections were “uncertain” due to ongoing developments at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, where workers are battling to cool reactors and spent fuel rod pools to prevent a meltdown. The nuclear disaster, the world’s worst since Chernobyl 25 years ago, caused electricity shortages while the quake and tsunami damaged and destroyed production facilities and infrastructure, disrupting supply chains.
Telegraph 27th April 2011 more >>
Angry farmers brought two cows to Tokyo yesterday, shouting and punching the air to demand compensation for products contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima plant. The 200 farmers, mostly from north-eastern Japan, rallied outside the headquarters of Tepco, the operator of the nuclear plant which was damaged by the tsunami on 11 March. The farmers held aloft cabbages they said they could not sell and carried signs saying: “Stop nuclear energy.”
Independent 27th April 2011 more >>
Ten days have passed since Tokyo Electric Power Co released its road map for bringing the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant under control. Efforts are under way to stabilize overheated nuclear fuel rods and keep water temperatures in reactors in check but new challenges have emerged such as dealing with a large volume of contaminated water found inside the No. 4 reactor building. Rubble containing radioactive materials and a series of aftershocks following the March 11 massive earthquake have also been hampering work. The road map lists three areas that need to be tackled immediatelybringing the reactors and spent fuel pools to a stable cooling condition, mitigating the releases of water and air containing radioactive materials from the power station, and monitoring radiation levels in areas around the power station.
Japan Today 26th April 2011 more >>
The backup electricity generators at many of Japan’s nuclear power stations lack the capacity to keep reactor cores cool if another earthquake and/or tsunami strikes. So say sources at Japan’s electricity utilities who have been comparing the power capacity of the backup generators available against that needed to keep reactors safe from thermal runaway and meltdown.
New Scientist 26th April 2011 more >>
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says water may be leaking from the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor. More than 1,500 spent fuel rods are stored in the pool, the largest number at the site. Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has been injecting water daily into the pool to make up for the loss of cooling function and prevent the fuel rods from being exposed and further damaged. TEPCO has poured in 140 to 210 tons of water over each of the last few days. The company found that water levels in the pool were 10 to 40 centimeters lower than expected despite the water injections.
NHK 27th April 2011 more >>
TEPCO workers agreed to a management proposal to cut their pay by as much as 25 percent out of a sense of responsibility for the worlds worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, their union said. Most union members didnt object to a pay cut, considering the situation at the company and the effect on society from the nuclear accident, Koji Sakata, secretary- general of the Tokyo Electric Power Workers Union, said by telephone today.
Bloomberg 26th April 2011 more >>
Tokyo Electric Power said it would cut the total remuneration of its president, chairman and other top executives by half as it grapples with the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
Reuters 25th April 2011 more >>
Exports from Japan contaminated by high levels of radiation from the countrys nuclear meltdown in Fukushima are beginning to arrive in Western ports. Last week Russian custom officials stopped 49 contaminated cars from a consignment of 300 newly manufactured vehicles.
What Doctors Don’t Tell You 26th April 2011 more >>
Angry farmers picketed the head office of nuclear privateer Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) today to demand compensation for produce contaminated by the radiation that continues to spew from its crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Hundreds of farmers from Japan’s north-east wore green bandanas, held up cabbages they said they couldn’t sell and carried signs saying “Stop nuclear energy” outside the firm’s headquarters.
Morning Star 26th April 2011 more >>
Given the fierce insularity of Japans nuclear industry, it was perhaps fitting that an outsider exposed the most serious safety cover-up in the history of Japanese nuclear power. It took place at Fukushima Daiichi, the plant that Japan has been struggling to get under control since last months earthquake and tsunami.
New York Times 26th April 2011 more >>
A group of Diet members studying ways to build a new Japan without nuclear power plants was formed on April 26. Hiroyuki Arai, a New Renaissance Party member in the Upper House representing Fukushima Prefecture, urged drastic steps to reinvent the country’s energy policy.
Asahi 27th April 2011 more >>
From the name, one might expect the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to have been a major force in the response to the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. Instead, its performance was sluggish and sometimes confusing, drawing calls for the agency an independent organization that advises the United Nations to take a more proactive role in nuclear safety. Ministers from the countries that oversee the IAEA will meet in June at the agency’s head quarters in Vienna to discuss lessons from the nuclear accident. A shake-up of the agency’s function in emergencies is likely to be on the agenda.
Nature 26th April 2011 more >>
It is highly irresponsible to talk of building new nuclear power plants unless the nuclear wastes we have already generated over forty years are dealt with promptly and effectively, says Richard Stewart, co-author, with Jane Stewart, of Fuel Cycle to Nowhere: U.S. Law and Policy on Nuclear Waste (August 2011, Vanderbilt University Press). The meltdown of spent fuel rods and releases of radioactivity at nuclear plants in Japan highlights the dangers of the current policy drift in the U.S. Spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power generation now sits in spent fuel pools at 104 reactor sites in 35 states, and there is no plan in place for its disposal.
IB Times 26th April 2011 more >>
The Japanese nuclear crisis will likely curtail expansion of U.S. nuclear power generation, an official from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.
Reuters 26th April 2011 more >>
India will tighten safety systems at a proposed $10 billion nuclear plant, potentially the world’s largest, a minister said on Tuesday, after protests against the plan turned violent in recent weeks following last month’s nuclear disaster in Japan.
Reuters 26th April 2011 more >>
BBC 27th April 2011 more >>
Even before Japans atomic disaster in March unsettled sentiment towards nuclear power, South Koreas plans to export atomic technology were hitting commercial and political obstacles. Primarily, Seoul is battling to convince potential buyers it can finance projects of this scale. After South Korea won the deal to build four nuclear reactors in Abu Dhabi, traditional atomic exporters such as Japans Toshiba/Westinghouse and Frances Areva were concerned. Kepco had bid at about 20 per cent beneath the industry average. But since then, Kepco has failed to win key contracts in Turkey and Lithuania. Vietnam, which Kepco sees as a big potential market, finalised a reactor deal with Japan in October.
FT 26th April 2011 more >>
How can we cope with the variability of renewable energy? Do we need some coal, gas and nuclear in Scotland to keep the lights on when the wind drops? Electricity only meets a quarter of all our energy needs; what can we do about emissions from transport and heating? What is electricity anyway? Find answers to all these questions and more, in our new myth-busting pamphlet on renewable energy in Scotland, based on the research of Garrad Hassan, one of the UKs leading energy consultants.
FoE-Scotland 26th April 2011 more >>
For years, solar panels were just too expensive. And businesses relied on government subsidies, which collapsed in the wake of the financial crisis. Prices of solar energy stocks plummeted and stayed there. But solar energy is about to have its moment. Costs have been slashed. A solar panel now costs half of what it did in 2008. Large-scale manufacturing is cutting costs by 5%-8% per year on average. Efficiency is improving all the time too. Photovoltaic solar energy cells convert sunlight directly into energy, rather than using its heat. Solar energy now costs 15c/kWh to produce this way, compared to 8c/kWh for wind, and between 3-7c/kWh for coal and gas. In fact, installations in certain regions have even achieved the Holy Grail of ‘grid parity’ producing electricity as cheaply as conventional grid power.
Money Week 26th April 2011 more >>
Engineers are investigating potential ways of sustaining electricity generation from nuclear fusion reactors, in anticipation of a demonstration plant coming online in the proceeding decades. In an EPSRC-funded project, researchers based at Queen Mary University will focus on harnessing power from a tokamak design where reacting plasma is confined by powerful magnets.
The Engineer 26th April 2011 more >>