Three Mile Island
Inside a nuclear power plant 10 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, the first of a series of pumps supplying vital cooling water to the reactor unaccountably “tripped,” or shut down, at 36 seconds after 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979. But some leading nuclear-power critics, like Ed Lyman, say the industry still does not go far enough to insure safe reactor operations, or troubleshoot for possible breakdowns in materials in today’s aging nuclear plants.
New York Times 27th Mar 2009 more >>
Three Mile Island 30th Anniversary more >>
Video of a public meeting held in Harrisburg on 26th March 2009: Nuclear engineer and long-time industry executive, Arnie Gundersen gives a talk on his calculations of the amount of radiation released during the accident at Three Mile Island. Mr. Gundersen’s calculations differ from those of the NRC’s and official industry estimates. And Dr Steve Wing talks about his epidemiological research around TMI.
Three Mile Island Alert 26th March 2009 more >>
If the Three Mile Island atomic reactor near Harrisburg hadn’t melted down 30 years ago this Saturday…well, there probably would have been an accident somewhere else. The entire U.S. nuclear industry was melting down in the 1970s, irradiated by spectacular cost overruns, interminable delays and public outrage. Forbes later called its collapse “the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale.”
Time 27th March 2009 more >>
The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority has just published a report on a hypothetical accident at Sellafield in England, which concludes that if only 1% of the liquid radioactive waste stored at the plant is released to air, the radioactive fallout in Western Norway could be five times higher than in the areas of Norway that were worst affected by the Chernobyl accident.
Norwegian Ministry of Environment 26th March 2009 more >>
Full report available here http://www.nrpa.no/internett_eng/index.asp?topExpand=&subExpand=&strUrl=//applications/system/publish/view/showobject.asp?infoobjectid=1005998&channelid=1000079
Anti-nuclear campaigners have warned of a type of uranium that is up to 15% more radioactive being stored on site for 100 years if a new reactor at Wylfa goes ahead.
Western Mail 28th Mar 2009 more >>
The proposal by RWE npower to construct a plant at Layriggs Farm in Kirksanton hangs in the balance unless prison bosses agree to cooperate with the evacuation plan. Nuclear development manager for the project, Stuart Dagnall, revealed an emergency evacuation procedure must be agreed between the prison and nuclear bosses before any plans can be set in stone.
NW Evening Mail 28th Mar 2009 more >>
Nuclear & Climate
Nuclear power plants cannot be built quickly enough and in a safe and secure manner to be a major global solution for climate change, according to a report released yesterday from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The report says the nuclear industry, under current policies and financing, won’t be able to build enough new reactors to make a difference in climate in the next 20 years.
Scientific American 27th Mar 2009 more >>
ANTI nuclear campaigners have planned a sponsored walk to help those affected by the Chernobyl disaster. Sunday April 26 is the anniversary of the disaster, and Radiation Free Lakeland along with other anti-nuclear groups will be holding a sponsored walk in aid of many people who are still affected by the disaster, which happened 23 years ago at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant.
NW Evening Mail 27th Mar 2009 more >>
The potential for nuclear proliferation and the Government’s response to it was the subject of a discussion in the House of Lords on 26 March. Baroness Williams of Crosby introduced the debate, with contributions from Members with a wide-range of expertise including a former foreign secretary, defence secretary, chief of defence staff, UN diplomat and more.
UK Parliament 27th Mar 2009 more >>
A thriving nuclear industry will deliver a shot in the arm to the rest of Lancashire’s economy, according to the government’s top skills minister. John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said the county’s professional services and construction industries would benefit when plans to build the next generation of reactors goes ahead.
Lancashire Evening Post 27th Mar 2009 more >>
Plans for a new £20 million research centre at the Westlakes Science and Technology Park in Whitehaven moved a step closer this week.
Carlisle News and Star 27th Mar 2009 more >>
Six new atomic submarines, armed with improved nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, will join the Russian navy. The Defence Ministry said the first, the Severodvinsk, will be launched in 2011 and at least five others of the same type will be built by 2017.
Independent 28th Mar 2009 more >>
Britain’s faith in carbon trading as a way of reducing greenhouse gases could be dangerously misplaced, according to an independent academic working with the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Dr Chris Hope of the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has been commissioned by the government to calculate how much environmental polluters would have to be. charged for emitting CO2 to make it worthwhile for them to cut back. However, his research, due to be delivered to the government later this year, has led him to a far wider conclusion: that the current European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is deeply flawed and should be replaced – or at least augmented – with a green tax.
New Statesman 26th Mar 2009 more >>
Green New Deal
Hopes that Gordon Brown and other world leaders would solve the financial crisis and global warming through a series of “green New Deals” are fading faster than solar power on a rainy day. The vast bulk of new public spending announced in global economic stimuli seems largely “business as usual”, with major cash injections being directed towards banks and car companies rather than renewable energy firms. Some countries – notably the US and China – have been more adventurous, while wind energy and other sustainable technologies certainly stand to gain from wider ministerial efforts to unlock financial lending. But the air in recent weeks has been thick with the sound of “green” schemes dropping off the corporate agenda at top firms, such as Shell, rather than the gentle hum of increased activity.
Guardian 28th Mar 2009 more >>
Iran & Solar
Letter from Dr Gerry Wolf: Gordon Brown says that the UK and international community stand ready to help Iran achieve a civil nuclear programme. But in Paris last year, at the inaugural meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean, he said “… in the Mediterranean region, concentrated solar power offers the prospect of an abundant low carbon energy source. Indeed, just as Britain’s North Sea could be the Gulf of the future for offshore wind, so those sunnier countries represented here could become a vital source of future global energy by harnessing the power of the sun”. Although Iran is not in the Mediterranean region, it has some of the best solar resources in the world. Concentrating solar power (CSP), in which mirrors concentrate sunlight and the resulting heat drives turbines and generators, could meet all of Iran’s electricity needs from a small fraction of the Iranian deserts, although it would be prudent to use CSP in conjunction with wind power and other renewable sources of power.
Independent 28th Mar 2009 more >>