Electricity Market Reforms
Letter from David Toke, Dave Elliot, Ian Fairlie, Herb Eppel and others: We urge support for real feed-in tariffs for renewable energy and not nuclear power. British policymakers are poised yet again to ignore the dominant and most effective mechanism for promoting renewable energy across the world (feed-in tariffs) in favour of an auction system (Huhne promises ‘seismic shift’ to greener power, 17 December). This will replace the renewables obligation. The obligation is expensive, but allows good opportunities for onshore and offshore wind developers to set up schemes. The auction approach is tried and tested across the world (including the UK in the 1990s) and shown to consistently fail to deliver large capacities of renewable energy.
Guardian 27th Dec 2010 more >>
Electricity network companies are putting customers at an “unacceptable” risk of power cuts as they try to maintain Britain’s ageing pylons and wires, according to Ofgem. Ofegem principally warns network companies that they must be quicker about reporting any breaches of their engineering obligations while they work to keep the network in a good state.
Telegraph 27th Dec 2010 more >>
Marianne Birkby: Following last night’s earthquake in Cumbria – just one of the increasingly frequent earthquakes to hit this area – our Cumbrian councillors should think again about their support for new nuclear build and the geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Earthquakes and nuclear power are not happy bedfellows with the need to retain radioactive releases compromised in unpredictable ways. Even if this region had experienced no earthquakes at all, the Nirex inquiry of 1995 found the whole region to be too geologically unpredictable for the “disposal” of nuclear waste.
Morning Star 24th Dec 2010 more >>
The earthquake in Cumbria this week could hamper plans for an underground nuclear dump, claim anti-nuclear campaigners. They say seismic tremors – like the one felt across the county on Tuesday night – are a significant factor in deciding where a repository could be placed. Martin Forwood, of Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE), said it would be “dangerous folly” to consider anywhere in west Cumbria for a repository.
Carlisle News & Star 25th Dec 2010 more >>
The University of Central Lancashire has launched a series of nuclear postgraduate courses to aid filling the UK’s skills gap in the sector.
New Civil Engineer 24th Dec 2010 more >>
Great news for Horizon Nuclear Power’s plans for Wylfa B on Anglesey as UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne announces a “seismic shift” towards cleaner, low carbon technology like nuclear and renewables. Setting out goverenment plans, Mr Huhne said Britain faces a significant challenge of surging demand, shrinking supply and a set of very ambitious emissions targets.
Anglesey Today 26th Dec 2010 more >>
SCOTLAND’S wind farms are unable to cope with the freezing weather conditions – grinding to a halt at a time when electricity demand is at a peak, forcing the country to rely on power generated by French nuclear plants.
Scotsman 27th Dec 2010 more >>
Japan is seeking to promote civil nuclear cooperation with such nations as Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have not ratified a protocol allowing snap inspections by the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog as part of efforts to increase infrastructure exports under its economic growth strategy, government sources said Saturday.
Japan Times 26th Dec 2010 more >>
North Korea could stage another nuclear test next year as Pyongyang flexes its military muscles in the aftermath of artillery drills by the South. Celebrations for the 19th anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il’s elevation to supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army have been held today. It comes just 24 hours after South Korea staged massive military exercises near the heavily guarded border – part of a series of drills that have raised tensions on the peninsula.
Daily Mail 24th Dec 2010 more >>
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joined regional leaders Thursday for a summit in Istanbul, where he urged world powers to choose cooperation over confrontation in nuclear talks due here next month.
Middle East Online 24th Dec 2010 more >>
Welcome to central Asia, home to some of the world’s worst environmental disasters. But they are disasters that could come to haunt us all, according to an alarming new prediction from a veteran Scottish politician appointed as an international ambassador for the area. Poisonous radioactive pollution could leak into rivers and end up contaminating the Arctic and other oceans, warns Struan Stevenson, the Conservative MEP for Scotland. “The Soviet nuclear legacy may yet become a world catastrophe,” he said. “It would be a grave error to think that this problem is in a far-away country about which we know little and therefore can have no impact on us in the West. This is a man-made environmental problem of global significance.” Stevenson has launched a campaign to bring the environmental plight of central Asia to the attention of the Scottish public. Last month he began a series of lectures at universities across Scotland on what he calls “Stalin’s legacy”. For more than 10 years he has been visiting and researching the area, meeting leaders from several countries. Earlier this year he was chosen to be personal environmental representative of the chair of the 56-nation Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Sunday Herald 26th Dec 2010 more >>
The British government opted for the Trident nuclear weapons system because it estimated it could kill up to 10 million Russians and inflict “unacceptable damage” on the former Soviet Union, according to secret Whitehall documents written in the 1970s. The macabre calculations that underpinned the decision in 1980 to replace Polaris nuclear missiles with Trident have been revealed by a Ministry of Defence memo, marked “personal and top secret”. In a nuclear war, Britain would have had to be prepared “to finish what we start”, it said.
Guardian 27th Dec 2010 more >>