A new generation of nuclear reactors should be built at Sellafield, according to the leaders of Cumbria County Council. The are urging the government to press ahead with plans for new reactors which would recycle mixed plutonium and uranium oxide fuel (Mox). Most of the UK’s plutonium is already stored at Sellafield. A Mox plant at Sellafield would provide around 5,000 construction jobs and ongoing plant employment. The call was in response to a government consultation on how the UK’s 112-tonne stockpile of civil separated plutonium should be managed. Cumbria County Council says the government should “consider the case for constructing one or more dedicated Mox burning reactors on available land beside the Sellafield and NuGeneration Ltd sites”.
BBC 28th April 2011 more >>
Richard Dixon: THE history of renewable electricity targets in Scotland is instructive in considering how credible the current crop of manifesto promises are. In 2000 Labour environment minister Sarah Boyack set a target of 17.5 per cent of Scotland’s electricity consumption to come from renewables by 2010. This was only a 5 per cent increase on current production, but at the time her civil servants told her this was “very brave”. This is Sir Humphrey-speak for something that can’t be done. However, technology advanced rapidly and the 2010 target was met years early. The Labour-Liberal Democrat government went on to set a target for 2020 of 40 per cent and by 2007 the Lib Dems were proposing 100 per cent by 2050, which was impressive at the time. When the SNP came to power they set the 2020 target at 50 per cent. Again because rapid progress was being made, they raised the 2020 figure to 60 per cent and only recently raised it again to 80 per cent, the same level promised by Labour and the Lib Dems in their manifestos, with the latter also promising 100 per cent by 2025. The SNP and the Greens both promise 100 per cent by 2020. By the end of 2010 the actual figure was around 25 per cent and the figure for 2011 is likely to be 33 per cent a third of all the electricity we consume being created from clean, green sources. Politicians often set targets that they struggle to reach but the lesson of the last decade is that targets for renewable electricity soon go out of date because the technology is moving so quickly. Moving to renewable energy is an essential part of tackling climate change and Scotland, with her huge natural resources in wind and waves, should be leading the world. Our own research shows that 100 per cent by 2020 is possible. Massive job and export benefits would arise from hitting this milestone. As offshore wind, wave and tidal power start to come on stream, Labour and the Lib Dems’ 80 per cent is eminently achievable, and with a bit of political will, 100 per cent by 2020 is certainly possible.
Scotsman 29th April 2011 more >>
Letter Niall Stuart Chief Executive Scottish Renewables: The proposed target is for Scotland’s renewable energy sector to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of annual electricity demand, not 100 per cent of electricity output. This does not mean the abandonment of other forms of energy generation, but rather a firm commitment to have renewables as a substantial part of an energy mix, which would not just meet Scotland’s needs but allow us to export clean power to other parts of the UK, creating wealth and jobs in Scotland. Scotland has around 25 per cent of Europe’s tidal stream and 10 per cent of its wave power, creating a combined 33 gigawatts potential of practical marine energy in Scottish Waters. Existing plans for 1.6GW installed capacity by 2020 would mean our marine renewables sector providing more than 10 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs. Although the SNP’s pledge to increase the target of Scotland’s consumption from renewables from 80 to 100 per cent is ambitious, it can be achieved with the necessary level of support and commitment from government. To succeed will require the right market framework, investment in grid connections and skills, and the correct balance in the planning system between development and conservation.
Scotsman 29th April 2011 more >>
MOST people in West Somerset support a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point according to a recent survey commissioned by the energy company planning the new build. EDF Energy has said it will invest £100 million in the area, including a £20 million Community Fund, which was increased from £1 million after consultation.
This is the West Country 28th April 2011 more >>
CONCERNED residents have formed a protest group against two developments on North Petherton greenfield. The Sedgemoor Traffic Action Group (STAG) was launched to fight plans for a business development and EDF’s freight management and park-and-ride between the town and Bridgwater. Spokesman Matthew Jackson-Smith said: “The group formed because the project has outraged and frustrated residents who say it will create traffic chaos at junction 24 and along the A38 Taunton Road from North Petherton to Bridgwater.
This is Somerset 28th April 2011 more >>
FIFTY Bridgwater children swapped their Easter break to taste university life and discover the skills needed and opportunities available in the nuclear industry.
This is Somerset 29th April 2011 more >>
The Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in Japan is having a potential impact on the West’s political landscape. In West Somerset, which along with neighbouring Sedgemoor, will bear the impact of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant, the Green party is running twice as many district council candidates as Labour and the Liberal Democrats combined. 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.
This is Somerset 28th April 2011 more >>
(Translated from Welsh) People Against Wylfa B, has invited Dr Ian Fairlie to address a meeting Thursday night.
BBC 28th April 2011 more >>
Plans for a nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico were initially opposed in the late 1980s by a 2-1 margin but a new analysis of 35 statewide public opinion surveys taken over a decade shows that public acceptance steadily grew as Federal agencies went through the policy development and approval process over a 25-year-span. “By the time the facility opened in March of 1999, a majority of New Mexicans supported its continued operation,” according to the research.
Waste Management World 28th April 2011 more >>
Officials postponed a plan to ramp up efforts to cool nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex amid concerns that the use of thousands of additional metric tons of water could result in dangerous leaks. Tepco officials said they would postpone their plan to cool reactors via the injection of massive amounts of water into the pressure vessel holding the fuel rods, ultimately spilling into and filling the outer containment vessel in each unit. The plan to fill the containment vessels is a departure from the current system of continuously injecting smaller amounts of water that haven’t yet fully covered the rods. They didn’t say when it might resume. The trial run saw a more-than-anticipated drop in the temperature and the pressure inside the plant’s No. 1 reactor, raising the possibility that air from outside could enter suspected gaps and spark an explosion when oxygen hits the hydrogen inside the reactor. Similar explosions in the first week of the crisis exacerbated damage and radiation at the plant.
Wall Street Journal 29th April 2011 more >>
Kansai Electric Power Co said its nuclear run rate this year would be lower than initially planned, and it may delay the restart of three reactors due to stricter safety steps imposed after a massive earthquake triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
Reuters 27th April 2011 more >>
On March 15, the Japanese Government announced that the permissible cumulative radiation exposure for nuclear workers was increased to 250 mSv per year from 100 mSv per year. The purpose of this increase seems to be merely to extend the time nuclear workers could legally spend in a radioactive area. On April 12, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of Japan decided to raise the severity level of the crisis to 7the highest level and equal to the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. We emphasise the need to predict potential scenarios in Fukushima and to prepare medical care providers for how to respond in cases of accidental high radiation exposure, since this operation is estimated to take months to years.
The Lancet 18th April 2011 more >>
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Thursday he will launch an independent panel around mid-May to investigate the causes of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.By sharing the lessons from the accident with the international community through the International Atomic Energy Agency and other channels, we will take the lead in contributing to safety improvements of nuclear plants around the world, Kan also told a plenary session of the House of Representatives.
Japan Today 29th April 2011 more >>
A group of officials from Tepco, the beleaguered operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant, have become unlikely heroes thanks to their daily internet broadcasts on the latest situation at Fukushima.
Telegraph 29th April 2011 more >>
Japan’s nuclear crisis could result in a two to three year setback in the nuclear power reactor market, but demand will rise in the longer term, a senior executive at Korea Electric Power Corp said on Friday.
Reuters 29th April 2011 more >>
THE head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has said for the first time that a target destroyed by Israeli warplanes in the Syrian desert in 2007 was the covert site of a future nuclear reactor, countering assertions by Syria that it had no atomic secrets.
Scotsman 29th April 2011 more >>
The Tennessee Valley Authority has shut down its undamaged Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in northern Alabama, cooling its reactors after power transmission lines into the plant were knocked out by severe storms in the state.
IB Times 28th April 2011 more >>
Exelon and Constellation Energy have announced a $7.9 billion merger. Under the name Exelon, the resulting firm will be America’s largest generator of nuclear power by an even greater margin. A definitive agreement posted today will see a stock-for-stock transaction combine the two companies. The new firm wants to take advantage of Exelon’s large low-carbon generation fleet and Constellation’s customer-facing business. Nuclear expansion plans for both companies have faltered over the last two years on the drop in power demand due to the financial crisis and the increasing availability of cheap gas. Exelon had proposed to build two new units at Victoria County in Texas but licensing for this has been downscaled to just an Early Site Permit. Constellation was a 50% partner in the Unistar initiative to build a fleet of Areva EPRs in America. A proposal for Calvert Cliffs has the most promising of this effort, but the company pulled out last year and sold its stake cheaply to the other partner, EDF of France. This had come after Constellation sold half of its nuclear generation business to EDF for some $4.5 billion, rejecting an offer of $4.7 billion for the entire company from MidAmerican Energy Holdings. Constellation shares had plunged on the financial crisis. For its part during that crisis, Exelon had tried to buy out another huge US generator, NRG, for $6.2 billion. The nuclear fleet of the expanded Exelon will include its 17 reactors across ten sites: Braidwood, Byron, Clinton, Dresden, LaSalle, Limerick, Oyster Creek, Peach Bottom, Quad Cities, and Three Mile Island 1. The deal with Constellation will add interests in five more reactors across the Nine Mile Point, Calvert Cliffs and R G Ginna sites.
World Nuclear News 28th April 2011 more >>
French state-controlled power group Electricite de France SA owns 7.2% of U.S.-based Constellation Energy Group, the group noted Thursday after Exelon Corp. announced it agreed to buy Constellation in a stock-for-stock deal valued at about $8 billion. “EDF still owns 7.2% in Constellation and also owns 49.9% of its nuclear assets, through CENG, a joint-venture,” a spokeswoman for the group said. She declined to further comment the Exelon announcement.
Fox Business 28th April 2011 more >>
The Indian government announced, 26 April, a number of measures that will be taken in response to the recent nuclear accident in Japan. The measures address safety concerns about Indias nuclear power programme, in particular the planned Jaitapur plant, which have seen large public opposition.
Nuclear Engineering International 28th April 2011 more >>
Thailand is preparing to double LNG imports after putting plans to two nuclear power plants on ice.
Petroleum Economist 28th April 2011 more >>
Shrouded in secrecy and jealously guarded by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, there is little public debate about Pakistan’s nuclear safety record in the wake of what is happening at Fukushima.There are two main reactors used for energy production in Pakistan: the ageing plant on the coast near Karachi (Kanupp) and the nuclear plant near Chashma Barrage on the Indus River (Chasnupp I). Between them, they provide only about 350 MW of energy, just 2% of Pakistan’s energy demand. A second nuclear reactor at Chashma (Chasnupp II) is being tested and should start operations soon. They are extremely costly, at about US $1bn for each of the Chasma reactors, plus they are very unsafe, according to two of the country’s top physicists who teach at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Guardian 28th April 2011 more >>