Dr Catherine Mitchell, Warwick Business School, and a member of the previous Energy Review Team says: The government has taken a truly depressing step, even by its standards of the past 10 years. By announcing a nuclear future, it has failed to provide adequate and reasoned leadership that its citizens and their future children have a right to expect. This energy white paper has nothing to do with placing the UK on a path for carbon reductions that might meet the challenge of climate change. It has sealed the fate of the UK in not being able to meet its future carbon dioxide reduction targets, and in not being able to take its place in international climate change negotiations. It will also stop UK businesses from benefiting from the enormous opportunities a sustainable non-nuclear future offers.
FT 30th May 2007
Six months ago, it seemed quite possible that government had neutered its leading environmental critics. Ambitious new targets on climate change, the proposed expansion of renewable energy, a promised new waste strategy, and protestations that sustainable development could be embraced with better planning all suggested that it was setting the green pace. Last week, years of ideas, debates, and lobbying were supposed to come together in three interconnected pieces of proposed legislation – planning, energy and waste. This was to be the week Britain acted, rather than talked; when government committed itself to an environmental revolution, with climate change at its centre. But by the end of the week, it was being accused of flunking the issues, getting it hopelessly wrong, and yet again not being ambitious enough. “You wait for years for an environment white paper to come along, and then three come at once,” said one commentator.
Guardian 30th May 2007
Gordon Brown’s government will push ahead with the building of new nuclear power plants. The government’s latest energy white paper claims that the way to reduce carbon emissions is through nuclear power. Alistair Darling, the trade and industry secretary, said it would be a “profound mistake” to rule out building new nuclear power stations. The “profound mistake” would be to invest in the failed and dangerous nuclear energy industry.
Socialist Worker 29th May 2007
British Energy said that it remains on course to find partners to help build Britain’s new nuclear power stations. The company, which is the UK’s biggest electricity generator, has begun looking for partners in new nuclear projects – from utilities, suppliers, customers and financial investors and hopes to cement one new partnership in “due course”. The news comes a week after the Government published its long-awaited White Paper on energy, which companies and environmentalists have 20 weeks to put forward their views on.
Telegraph 30th May 2007
British Energy said on Wednesday it was talking to a broad range of potential partners to help build new nuclear power stations, as it met forecasts with a 44 percent rise in underlying annual earnings.
Reuters 30th May 2007
The UK has to replace 13GW of electricity capacity by 2015. Despite positive signals in the Energy White Paper UBS argues that the nuclear industry has no hope of meeting the gap in time.
Daily Mail 30th May 2007
A multinational project led by British researchers aims to use a high-power laser to reproduce the physical reaction that occurs at the heart of the sun and every other star in the universe – nuclear fusion. If the project succeeds it has the potential to solve the world energy crisis without destroying the environment.
Guardian 30th May 2007
Christopher Hill, the US diplomat charged with the unenviable task of trying to convince North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons programme, has likened his challenge to a video game: it gets more difficult as you advance to each next level. Which is why the stubborn deadlock over the $25m frozen in North Korea-related accounts at Banco Delta Asia (BDA) in Macao augurs so badly for the current attempt at denuclearisation, begun with a landmark agreement on February 13. This was supposed to be the easy part.
FT 29th May 2007
The two Koreas tried to mend relations at cabinet-level talks on Tuesday, but the North’s refusal to act on a nuclear disarmament deal could lead Seoul to delay rice aid promised to its impoverished neighbour.
Reuters 29th May 2007
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator will meet Javier Solana in Spain on Thursday.
EU Business 29th May 2007
The possibility of a new nuclear power station at Dungeness has met with a positive response from Kent residents. A Kent County Council-commissioned residents’ survey shows that 44 per cent would be likely to support a nuclear power station if it were proposed at Dungeness while 40 per cent were unlikely to support it.
The Kent Website 29th May 2007
Cumbria’s nuclear industry came up trumps in awards presented this week by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Carlisle News and Star 29th May 2007
Britain’s nuclear deterrent rests on a Vanguard class submarine lurking in the depths of the ocean to avoid detection. The Royal Navy has four of these submarines, each armed with 16 missiles carrying multiple nuclear warheads. At all times one boat is on patrol. BBC Radio 4’s File On 4 has heard sailors’ complaints that the condition of these and the rest of the navy’s submarines are being affected by government cost-cutting.
BBC 29th May 2007
BAE is planning to build a £1.2 million nuclear engineering and training centre in Barrow.
North West Evening Mail 30th May 2007
British Energy restarted a reactor at its Hinkley Point power station and another at the Heysham plant on Tuesday morning, according to data from network operator National Grid.
Reuters 29th May 2007
Norfolk survivors of Britain’s nuclear tests are celebrating after a new parliamentary inquiry was announced into links between the 1950s trials and health problems suffered by military personnel.
Norwich Evening News 29th May 2007
After the marathon Heathrow terminal inquiry, the government wants to streamline planning inquires into big infrastructure projects – covering transport, energy, water and waste – with a new independent planning commission. Some of the projects in the pipeline likely to test the government’s green credentials are: Up to 10 nuclear power stations and an underground dump for long-lived nuclear waste
Guardian 29th May 2007
Letters: If the bid for new nuclear build succeeds, we must wait years for the plants to be built, whereas wind farms, solar arrays and other technologies can be erected rapidly, with no long-term damage to the land, and can feed electricity as soon as each unit is up, instead of waiting for the entire site to be completed and tested.
Independent 29th May 2007
It does not need a Machiavellian analysis to work out the correlation between the release last week of the White Paper Planning for a Sustainable Future and the Blair Government’s commitment to further nuclear power stations.
Times 29th May 2007
Scientists at a former nuclear power station have staged a protest against Government plans to slash the budget for the plant’s decommission which they fear will cost up to 100 jobs.More than 200 staff at the site in Winfrith turned out for the lunchtime protest yesterday after it was revealed the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) planned to cut the plant’s funding by 40 per cent.
Western Daily News 26th May 2007
Letter from Duncan McLaren Claims that the lights will go out if Scotland does not build new nuclear power stations is ill-informed scaremongering and ignores the reality of our energy systems and markets. Such claims also downplay the success of the Scottish renewables industry, which has, so far, delivered its generation targets ahead of schedule. As it stands, Scotland has no shortage of electricity. Each year we even manage to export almost one-fifth of our output to England and Wales. Using official and industry data, Friends of the Earth Scotland has looked at various scenarios for the future of Scotland’s electricity generation up to 2025 – two years after the scheduled closure of Scotland’s last nuclear station, at Torness. Even making conservative assumptions about future renewables capacity and assuming no change in the poor performance of energy-saving policies, there will be no year in which demand comes even close to exceeding supply. In all the most likely scenarios, in no foreseeable year will the margin fall below the current level of exports.
Herald letters 29th May 2007
British Nuclear Group restarted a reactor that had been halted for almost two years because of safety concerns. Anti-nuclear campaigners said the plant remains dangerous.
Telegraph 30th May 2007
Hinkley and Hunterston
British Energy has restarted one of the reactors at its Hinkley Point B power station in Somerset, eight months after it was closed down because of cracks in its boilers. The Hinkley Point B-7 reactor went online yesterday, but the B-8 reactor on the same site, which was forced to close in October, remains offline. Cracks were also detected last year at British Energy’s Hunterston B plant in Scotland, the sister plant to Hinkley Point B. Hunterston B-8 is now back in use while Hunterston B-7 is still offline. The unexpected and prolonged outages last year damaged British Energy’s share price and forced the company to scale down its electricity output projections.
FT 30th May 2007
British Energy on Wednesday said it would resume dividend payments as it turned in an improved financial performance after a year of output problems. Full-year revenue at the nuclear power producer rose 16 per cent to almost £3bn and operating profit was 25 per cent higher at £794m after the government’s cash sweep, the method by which Whitehall recovers funds used to bail out the company.
FT 30th May 2007