Natalie Bennett: with the government’s energy bill on the horizon, serious questions around the coalition’s wobbly-looking commitment not to subsidise new nuclear, and an anti-nuclear protest at Hinkley Point on 8 October, I’ve also spent lots of my time explaining why I think renewable energy – wind, solar and, in the future, tide and wave – combined with energy conservation, provide an excellent way forward for British energy. Nuclear is a distraction from the need to promote and invest in renewables. Fuelled by a fierce and well-funded industry lobby claiming that nuclear would address the dire, if exaggerated, warnings about “the lights going out”, as well as the urgent need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the nuclear idea has gained some traction recently in the UK. So I think it is worth spending a little time talking about why nuclear power is the Betamax of the energy world – a technology that was briefly in the hunt, but now could be ready to fade away into a museum curiosity. We need to stop getting distracted by this 20th-century Betamax option, and get on with putting in place the 21st-century renewables solution.
Guardian 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Final bids for a nuclear project which includes an £8bn new plant on Anglesey are expected to be submitted. The Horizon nuclear scheme, which includes a new Wylfa plant to replace the existing Magnox one, was put up for sale in March. There is speculation three firms are interested in Horizon as bids are submitted to owners, energy companies RWE npower and E.ON, later. It is unlikely a final decision will be made public for several weeks. New Welsh Secretary David Jones said earlier this month that securing a new nuclear station on Anglesey was “critical” to his economic efforts.
BBC 28th Sept 2012 more >>
The island is currently waiting for a decision on whether a new power plant will be build at Wylfa, with bidders for that due to be announced later. Philip Steele, from campaign group ‘People Against Wylfa B’ , opposes plans for a new nuclear plant. “A lot of the jobs will be going to people with no connection to the local area at all and contractors have already found this”, he claims.
ITV Wales 28th Sept 2012 more >>
A battle between China and Japans financial heavyweights will decide the future of a huge contract to build new nuclear power stations. The bidding war to buy Horizon Nuclear Power, a group which owns two sites earmarked for a pair of reactors in North Wales and Gloucestershire, has stepped up with Japanese giant Hitachi entering the fray. It is up against consortiums led by reactor-building group Westinghouse, backed by the financial muscle of Chinas State Nuclear Power Technology Corp, and rival reactor firm Areva and Chinas Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Company.
Lancashire Evening Post 28th Sept 2012 more >>
The Canadians have entered the race to win a multibillion-pound project to build up to six nuclear reactors in Britain, The Times has learnt. SNC-Lavalin, Canadas largest engineering group, has teamed up with Japans Hitachi to bid for the Horizon joint venture, which owns two vacant reactor sites in Anglesey and Gloucestershire. E.ON and RWE, the German energy groups, pulled out of the venture in March after politicians in Berlin decided to scrap domestic nuclear power in the wake of last years Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Final bids were due in yesterday and the winner is set to be announced within the next three weeks, according to industry sources. Hitachi has put forward its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor design, which SNC-Lavalin would build and operate on the two sites.
Times 29th Sept 2012 more >>
A SPEECH made by West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger in the House of Commons has caused confusion and anger among some district councillors. He was invited to join West Somerset Councils (WSC) latest meeting to explain what he meant when he said it should share business rates from Hinkley Point C with Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council. The Government plans to allow local authorities to keep some of the business rate money paid in their regions from April next year When the nuclear power plant starts generating electricity, WSC will be the only local authority in line to benefit from a share of the estimated £10million a year business rates due from Hinkley Point C under this scheme, as the site lies within its boundaries.
This is the West Country 28th Sept 2012 more >>
National Grid will announce whether pylons loom in the future of the Cheddar Valley in six weeks time. The energy firm will release its draft proposed route on how to connect proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant to Avonmouth on November 6. This will show the details of the route, suggested underground sections and the location of pylons and sealing compounds. There will follow a six-week period of consultation.
Cheddar Valley Gazette 28th Sept 2012 more >>
FOR THE fifth year Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station has started a group of apprentices on training for a career in nuclear engineering. Hunterston B’s newest apprentices have enjoyed a week of team building in the Lake District including orienteering and high wire climbing. The event happened before setting off to HMS Sultan, a world class training centre in Portsmouth.
Largs & Millport Gazette 28th Sept 2012 more >>
“You are not going to get a tsunami in the west coast of Scotland’. That was one of the comments when the SNP-led council suffered a surprise defeat over the future of nuclear power during a highly charged debate at Cunninghame House H.Q in Irvine. Labour councillor Alex Gallagher put forward a motion “that the council writes to the Scottish Government requesting that the presumption in favour of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) power generation at the Hunterston site be removed, and that a presumption in favour of Nuclear Power Generation at Hunterston (Hunterston C) be inserted into the NPF.”
Largs and Millport Gazette 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Cumbria County Councils Cabinet was looking likely to honour the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the County Councils councillors and their constituents and say NO to the Nukiller Dump. This would have been an end to the insane plan to dump high level nuclear wastes in a big mine under West Cumbria/Lake District. Following the meeting in London with Baroness Verma (Secretary of State responsible for geological implementation!) and the three council leaders at which who knows what nasty deals were brokered, the decision has now been kicked into the long grass for three months. No doubt the new marketing consortium, a host of PR firms that the government is setting up will swing into action spending yet more taxpayer £millions on more than easing the concerns of communities.
Radiation Free Lakeland 28th Sept 2012 more >>
At the meeting last wednesday of Copeland Borough Council the nuclear dump was discussed. Questions from the public have to be registered days beforehand in order for pat answers to be be provided. Id registered early on my own behalf as a wildlife artist but we arrived 5 minutes late and I was initially refused the right to speak by Elaine Woodburn, leader of the Borough Council and Moorcide nuclear plant cheerleader. Luckily the democratic services officer stepped in so I spoke after the newly formed nukiller dump cheerleaders, The Sellafield Workers Campaign.
Radiation Free Lakeland 28th Sept 2012 more >>
THE people most affected by the prospect of having highly radioactive nuclear waste buried in their area should have the largest voice, Copeland council leader Elaine Woodburn said at a special meeting. And at the borough council meeting in Whitehaven on Wednesday, considering arguments for and against trying to find somewhere in West Cumbria for the facility, Cllr Woodburn highlighted a recent independent opinion poll showing 60 per cent of Copeland residents are in favour of starting a search for a suitable site. But she stressed: If the geology is not right then no repository will be constructed here.
NW Evening Mail 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Cumbria needs a new nuclear power plant urgently to stop the county being over-run with an avalanche of wind turbines. County council leader Eddie Martin demanded action from the government at a special meeting in London. He believes a replacement for Sellafield would spare the county from being saturated with turbines. A committed opponent of windfarms, Mr Martin says Cumbria has more than its fair share and is not prepared to accept any more.
Cumberland News 28th Sept 2012 more >>
The Government is appointing a Wall Street banking giant to advise it on the future of its stake in Urenco, the nuclear processing company, which could spark a £1.5bn plus windfall for taxpayers. I have learned that Whitehall officials this week rubber-stamped the appointment of Morgan Stanley to examine options for Britains one-third shareholding in the company. Urenco, which is headquartered in the UK, is jointly-owned by the Dutch government and two German energy groups, Eon and RWE, both of which have a major presence in the UK domestic energy supply market. The UK Government has signalled its interest in offloading its shareholding for some time, but Morgan Stanleys recruitment is the clearest indication yet that it is moving towards such an event.
Sky News 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Telegraph 29th Sept 2012 more >>
FRIENDS from the local branch of the Chernobyl Childrens Lifeline have just returned from the Ukraine where they visited the power plant at the centre of the 1986 disaster. Friends and supporters attending an open evening held by the Totnes & South Hams link of Chernobyl Childrens Lifeline at Kingsbridge Methodist Hall last week heard about the recent visit to Ukraine by four people from the link Sue Wyeth, David Neate, and Ian and Lydia McClure. There was an opportunity to discuss the work of the charity, and for the new host families for next years childrens visit to talk to the families who had hosted before.
Kingsbridge Today 28th Sept 2012 more >>
With melting sea ice, extreme weather and continued warnings from leading scientists on the need to tackle climate change, it beggars belief that the coalition government persists in pushing though policies that will increase the nation’s reliance on dirty and increasingly expensive fossil fuels. But with the Labour party conference starting on Sunday, it’s also time to ask; why isn’t the opposition doing more to champion the environment? Last week Ed Miliband a man who really understands the issues – made a timely and extremely welcome intervention on the debate. He gave his backing to the government’s official climate adviser and said that the forthcoming energy bill must contain a clear commitment to decarbonise the UK power system by 2030.
Guardian 28th Sept 2012 more >>
On 14 October, the people of Lithuania go to the polls to vote in a referendum on whether the country should build new nuclear reactors in the town of Visaginas. Will they join the people of Austria who gave a resounding NO! in 1978 and the people of Italy who said NO! not once but twice in 1987 and 2011? Lithuanias referendum campaign has begun but instead of a lively debate about energy strategies and the risks of nuclear power, the countrys ruling party, along with several others, have decided that their strategy to get support for nuclear will be mud-slinging. Everyone critical of nuclear power is basically accused of being an agent for Russia.
Greenpeace 28th September 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 25th to 27th Sept.
Greenpeace 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Tehran said it will respond with full force if any of its nuclear facilities are attacked.
Independent 29th Sept 2012 more >>
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have reaffirmed their commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the White House confirmed.
ITV News 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Iran told a U.N. summit on Friday it considers nuclear terrorism to include attacking or sabotaging a nuclear facility and that as a target of such actions it places “a special importance” on preventing them.Along with attacks on nuclear facilities, Iran said the use or threat of nuclear weapons with the intent to cause death, injury or damage to property or the environment was also deemed nuclear terrorism.
Reuters 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Here is a story you will never read in this or any other newspaper: President Obama has issued a stern warning to Iran to abandon its ambition to acquire a nuclear deterrent.It is an iron law of journalese usage that every nuclear power in the world has a nuclear weapon except one. Britain alone occupies a higher moral plane, and deploys not a weapon but a deterrent. Nuclear weapons are very horrible, but nobody, surely, ever died a ghastly death as a result of being hit by anything so innocuous, so reassuringly dull, as a deterrent. It must be all right for us to have one of those.
Independent 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Can we actually get rid of nuclear weapons? This is a question I get asked on quite a regular basis at public meetings. And it’s a good question that has a simple answer: yes we can. While I am no scientist or engineer, even I can understand how to dismantle a nuclear weapon, thanks to CND’s new briefing ‘Disarming Trident’. Following detailed research by John Ainslie from Scottish CND, we have been able to produce this simple step-by-step guide.
CND 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Paul Rogers: A significant change of thinking inside Britain’s military services raises the prospect that the long-term ambition of nuclear disarmament could become reality. The United Kingdom’s nuclear arsenal is at fewer than 200 warheads is less than half the size of its peak during the cold war. Any one of these could nonetheless inflict enormous damage if ever used. Both for this and other reasons, the argument against their retention has gathered force in recent years: in part on the grounds that the country’s nuclear weapons serve little purpose, in part that they bolster an obsolete view of Britain’s world status that bears little resemblance to reality.
Open Democracy 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Twenty new gas-fired power stations are likely to be built in the UK, amounting to a massive increase in consumption of the fossil fuel, the climate and energy secretary, Ed Davey, has told the Guardian. But Davey insisted the expansion the biggest construction effort in the power sector for decades would not harm the prospects for investment in renewable energy or in the government’s carbon reduction targets. He said: “I strongly support more gas, just as I strongly support more renewable energy. We need a big expansion of renewable energy and of gas if we are to tackle our climate change challenges.” Joss Garman, political director of Greenpeace, said: “Green-lighting a whole fleet of new fossil fuel power stations would cause a huge jump in emissions and blow this autumn’s once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace dirty power stations with clean ones.”
Guardian 28th Sept 2012 more >>