BRITAIN faces the worst energy crisis in Europe, according to the boss of one of the biggest power companies. “The country has to build two large plants or more every single year,” said Volker Beckers in his first interview since becoming chief executive of RWE Npower two months ago. “This has never happened in Britain’s history, so there’s no time to lose.” Homeowners will end up footing much of the estimated £200 billion bill for the new plants through higher energy prices. He expressed particular concern about the development of nuclear power, a central plank of the government’s low-carbon plans. As of now it gets no additional support while offshore wind, for example, receives renewable obligation certificates (ROCs), which in effect triple generators’ income from the projects. “Why discriminate against nuclear in favour of renewables?” said Beckers. “Why give offshore wind ROCs and make nuclear stand on its own feet?” Ministers have clung to the conviction that nuclear will be subsidy-free. Subsidy is only one aspect of the nuclear story that still needs to be worked out. Companies remain unclear how much they will have to pay into a nuclear waste clean-up fund, and when if ever a facility for deep geological disposal will be built.
Sunday Times 28th Mar 2010 more >>
STUDENTS at The West Somerset Community College in Minehead have won a national competition for a short film they made about nuclear energy. They looked at EDF’s plans for a new power station at Hinkley Point and considered how it would affect them, the local community, climate change and the environment.
Somerset County Gazette 27th Mar 2010 more >>
For more than half a century the futuristic dome of Dounreay nuclear power station has stood as one of the most iconic – and intimidating – coastal landmarks in Scotland. Now, despite last-ditch rescue attempts, it seems the imposing and eye-catching structure is doomed to be removed from the Caithness landscape forever. Although Dounreay is now defunct and set to be decommissioned, a public consultation over the future of the monumental structure has come up with a series of strange suggestions designed to save the building. Although the power station itself was far from loved, the famous ‘golf ball’, which once housed Britain’s experimental fast breeder reactor, has an important place in Scotland’s heritage.
Sunday Herald 28th May 2010 more >>
Radiation and Health
There is a “medium high risk” that land underneath a housing estate in Motherwell is contaminated with radioactivity and toxic metals, according to an expert report for North Lanarkshire Council. The report reinforces residents’ fears that their health is being harmed by pollution from a wartime munitions factory that used to be on the site near Watling Street.
Sunday Herald 28th Mar 2010 more >>
BAE Systems has won a £127million ($189million) four-year contract to produce the specification for development and manufacture of a new class of British warship, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said. Ainsworth said he had also agreed for BAE to start building the fifth of a planned seven Astute class submarines in Barrow-in-Furness, and begin procurement for the sixth, at a cost of over £300million. The warship contract was awarded after the government decided to proceed with the assessment phase for the Type 26 Combat ship, the Royal Navy’s next generation surface warship, Ainsworth said in a statement.
Daily Mail 26th Mar 2010 more >>
The Carbon Trust’s Big Business Refit will tomorrow confirm that it has lent £60m to small and medium-sized companies. The firms have replaced old energy equipment and cut back on energy costs with interest-free loans of up to £500,000. Since last April more than 1,847 businesses have used the scheme. The Carbon Trust estimates that savings of £20m have now been made by SMEs because of the new kit.
Independent on Sunday 28th Mar 2010 more >>