TERROR warlords are ready to nuke Britain in revenge for Osama bin Laden’s death, it was feared last night. Al-Qaida chiefs have warned they have hidden a dirty bomb in Europe to be detonated if their leader was killed or captured. And they were promising to bring a “nuclear hellfire” to the west. The chilling threat emerged during the interrogation of terror chiefs held in Guantanamo Bay.
Daily Star 3rd May 2011 more >>
Rory Walker, a community worker from Lancaster has been granted legal aid for a Judicial Review against the government’s “justification” decision which is a preliminary stage of approval required by the EU Euratom Directive before a final decision can be taken to build more nuclear power stations. A hearing will be held at the High Court in Leeds on May 12th to decide whether the challenge will proceed to a full judicial review hearing.The case centres on whether the government should first have measured “health detriment” including radiation linked diseases being inflicted on people, especially children in the vicinity of nuclear power stations. Although Rory has won legal aid for the case, the Legal Services Commission has made a requirement that £16,250 should be made by other citizens who would benefit, should the case be successful. Rory’s solicitors, Irwin Mitchell are still arguing against this large amount but its becoming apparent that a large sum will need to be met. If the contribution cannot be found Rory will lose his legal aid and the protection that gives should the case be lost.
101 uses for nuclear power 2nd May 2011 more >>
GDF Suez SA Chief Executive Officer Gerard Mestrallet said the nuclear accident in Japan may raise expenses for operating atomic reactors and cause delays in developing new plants. “The cost of nuclear will be higher,” Mestrallet said today in Paris at a shareholders meeting for the former natural gas monopoly. “The pace of development of nuclear can only slow. Will this slowdown be short or long? It’s still too early to tell.”
Bloomberg 2nd May 2011 more >>
GDF Suez remains committed to owning and managing new nuclear reactors despite the Japan nuclear crisis, its chief executive said on Monday.
Reuters 2nd May 2011 more >>
The continuing squabble over renewables targets in the Scottish Parliamentary election debate is missing the key issues, say Scottish Greens. The party, which is defending two seats and looking for more, says that the real emphasis should be on community- and publicly-owned renewables, on energy efficiency, and on a broader mix of energy sources, not just onshore wind. Co-leader Patrick Harvie, who has been excluded from TV debates featuring the other four of the five parlaimentary parties in Scotland, said yesterday: “Essential though well-sited windfarms are, nobody is suggesting that they can be the sole basis for Scotland’s energy revolution. There’s an urgent need for smaller and community-run renewables projects as part of a decentralised energy system, and these kind of projects can also build serious community support.” “Beyond that,” he added, “local authorities need support to start building the kind of local energy projects which can bring in revenue that’s sustainable in every sense. Labour and the SNP, despite some clear ambition on large scale renewables, are missing this opportunity – and each is holding the door open either to new nuclear or coal-fired power stations. Neither has yet grasped the opportunity to commit to a real national energy efficiency drive. The cheapest power station is the one you don’t have to build.”
Ekklesia 30th April 2011 more >>
The resignation of a top adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has highlighted the growing public opposition to the government’s handling of the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant and its scant regard for the safety of nuclear workers and local residents.
World Socialist Web 3rd May 2011 more >>
As more budgetary battles lie ahead, mounting frustrations over the government’s response to the tsunami and the still-unfolding nuclear crisis at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant are threatening to topple the country’s prime minister.
Scotsman 3rd May 2011 more >>
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Monday that there would be no upper limit set on the amount of compensation paid by nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) over the crisis at its Fukushima No.1 power plant.
Asahi 3rd May 2011 more >>
Reuters 2nd May 2011 more >>
Hamaoka is built to withstand an 8.5 magnitude earthquake and an 8m tsunami, says Chubu Electric, Japan’s third-largest power company. However, that would not have been enough to cope with this year’s crisis, which was triggered when last month’s magnitude-9 earthquake knocked out the Fukushima plant’s external power. A subsequent near 15m tsunami drowned the plant’s back-up generators, leaving its uranium fuel uncooled. The fuel partially melted down, the reactor buildings filled with hydrogen and exploded, showering the surrounding area with radiation and forcing the evacuation of 80,000 people – and counting. Hamaoka’s oldest reactors, No 1 and No 2, are permanently closed after Chubu decided upgrading them for a stronger quake would be too costly. The company is inspecting Unit 3 with a view to restarting it in the sweltering summer. Pro tem just reactors 4 and 5 are operating. Reactor 5 was restarted this year after being shut down for 18 months by a 6.5 earthquake in August 2009. “We take every safety precaution,” says company spokesman Nikio Inamata. He claims he has never heard Mr Nagano’s allegations that Hamaoka is built on crumbly rock. Less than two weeks after Japan’s worst nuclear crisis began, Chubu Electric announced a “delay” in building Hamaoka’s sixth reactor but plans to have it running by 2024.
Independent 3rd May 2011 more >>
Furious parents in Fukushima have delivered a bag of radioactive playground earth to education officials in protest at moves to weaken nuclear safety standards in schools. Children can now be exposed to 20 times more radiation than was previously permissible. The new regulations have prompted outcry. A senior adviser resigned and the prime minister, Naoto Kan, was criticised by politicians from his own party. Ministers have defended the increase in the acceptable safety level from 1 to 20 millisieverts per year as a necessary measure to guarantee the education of hundreds of thousands of children in Fukushima prefecture, location of the nuclear plant that suffered a partial meltdown and several explosions after the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March.
Guardian 2nd May 2011 more >>
Germany’s dramatic rethink over nuclear power has thrown up new problems, as the consequences of a retreat from atomic technology emerge. Just after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a review of energy policy and ordered Germany’s oldest reactors to be shut down immediately, and perhaps permanently. Only a few months earlier, she had decided to keep the reactors running past their original shutdown dates. But only now comes the hard bit. Power companies have warned of higher prices because of the shutdown; Germany has imported electricity to meet peaks in demand; analysts have warned that coal-fired power stations will be boosted – and nuclear ones in the nearby Czech Republic and France.
BBC 3rd May 2011 more >>
India is planning to complete the construction of its first nuclear reactor at Kalpakkam in South India by end of 2012 and to add six more by 2023. Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam project director Prabhat Kumar said the reactor will require an investment of $1.3bn and the additional six reactors will each have a capacity to generate 500 megawatts of power. According to the Planning commission, India is planning to increase its nuclear capacity to 60GW by 2030, reports Bloomberg.
Energy Business Review 2nd May 2011 more >>
China is one of a number of countries pursuing technologies that could provide the ultimate solution to the world’s energy needs — nuclear fusion. While researchers across the globe have struggled to turn theory into practice in the last half-century, breakthroughs have been made, and some predict that working fusion reactors could be part of the world’s energy mix by 2060.
Yahoo 3rd May 2011 more >>
The EU’s climate chief is seeking to extend the bloc’s renewable energy targets, in a move apparently designed to protect the green energy sector from an intensifying attack by the gas industry. This is the first time the European commission has raised the issue of mandatory targets beyond 2020, when the current commitment – to generate 20% of energy from renewable sources – expires. An extension would boost the renewable energy industry in the face of lobbying efforts by the gas industry, which is trying to rebrand gas as a cheaper “green” alternative to renewables.
Guardian 2nd May 2011 more >>
A government think-tank has predicted that the British marine energy sector could be worth £76bn to the economy and support 68,000 jobs by 2050. The analysis, released this week by the Carbon Trust, comes only weeks after coalition ministers ended the industry’s subsidy programme. Britain could capture almost a quarter of the global wave and tidal power market if it builds on its existing lead, the trust forecast. The majority of the jobs would be a result of the growing export markets in countries such as Chile, Korea and the US as well as Atlantic-facing European states which benefit from powerful waves or tidal currents. The study, the most in-depth of its kind, found that total marine energy capacity could be 27.5 gigawatts in the UK by 2050, enough to supply more than a fifth of current electricity demand.
Guardian 2nd May 2011 more >>