THE government executive in charge of attracting investors to Britain’s struggling nuclear industry has been replaced by an animal health expert. Hergen Haye’s departure from the Office for Nuclear Development will add to the perception that the Department of Energy & Climate Change has fallen into disarray at a crucial time. Last week the power company EDF warned it may lay off up to 400 workers at the site of Britain’s first new nuclear reactor for decades, at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The French giant and its Chinese partners have been locked in talks with the government over a state debt guarantee and Chinese demands for the right to build their own reactor on British soil. The project is already six years behind schedule and the cost has leapt to £24bn.
Sunday Times 5th April 2015 read more »
Traders in Bridgwater are angry about lost takings after months of road works by EDF Energy.
Western Daily Press 4th April 2015 read more »
Nuclear waste dumps can be imposed on local communities without their support under a new law rushed through in the final hours of parliament. Under the latest rules, the long search for a place to store Britain’s stockpile of 50 years’ worth of the most radioactive waste from power stations, weapons and medical use can be ended by bypassing local planning. Since last week, the sites are now officially considered “nationally significant infrastructure projects” and so will be chosen by the secretary of state for energy. He or she would get advice from the planning inspectorate, but would not be bound by the recommendation. Local councils and communities can object to details of the development but cannot stop it altogether. The move went barely noticed as it was passed late on the day before parliament was prorogued for the general election, but has alarmed local objectors and anti-nuclear campaigners. Friends of the Earth’s planning advisor, Naomi Luhde-Thompson, said: “Communities will be rightly concerned about any attempts to foist a radioactive waste dump on them. We urgently need a long-term management plan for the radioactive waste we’ve already created, but decisions mustn’t be taken away from local people who have to live with the impacts.”
Guardian 5th April 2015 read more »
A new law passed on the last day of parliament means dumps for radioactive waste can be built without going through the planning system and in the face of local opposition, according to a report.The new regulations class waste sites as “nationally significant infrastructure projects”, The Guardian reported. This means they can be chosen by the Secretary of State for Energy. He or she would be advised by planners and local people could object but they would not be able to prevent the dump being built. Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative MP who voted against the law, said there should have been more debate about such a significant change.
Independent 6th April 2015 read more »
KILLER pilot Andreas Lubitz has sparked an MI5 alert over fears of a disaster caused by a rogue worker at a UK nuclear base.
Daily Star 6th April 2015 read more »
In the age of cheap natural gas, the economic headwinds might be too strong to allow a nuclear renaissance. While officials at the South Texas Plant tout the important role of nuclear energy to the country’s energy mix, NRG has shelved plans to help finance the expansion of the facility from two units to four. “The economics of new nuclear just don’t permit the construction of those units today,” NRG spokesman David Knox said.
Houston Chronicle 3rd April 2015 read more »
China & Russia
China and Russia are reportedly embarking on a journey to bolster bilateral nuclear cooperation as discussions begin for setting up new units in existing Chinese facilities. The exact details of the development remain unclear as it comes on the wake of the Iran nuclear deal with P5+1 powers, of which both Russia and China are part of. “The expansion of cooperation between the Russian Federation and China in the nuclear sphere is being actively discussed,” an anonymous source, familiar with the matter, was quoted as saying by Russia’s state-run Sputnik International news outlet.
IB Times 6th April 2015 read more »
Brazil’s devastating drought could have the unexpected consequence of finally prompting one of the sunniest countries in the world to take solar power seriously.
Climate News Network 5th April 2015 read more »
Both parties want them gone, removed from Scotland and the proposal to renew the Trident submarines scrapped. Labour and Conservative leaders in Scotland say they want the UK to negotiate with the other nuclear powers in the world to reduce and remove weapons in a coordinated way. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, addressed a rally and demonstration in George Square to outline her commitment to removing trident. She was joined by Green leader Patrick Harvie, trades union and CND activists to campaign against nuclear weapons. Ms Sturgeon said: “”One of the biggest decisions that MPs will take in the next Parliament is whether to waste £100bn on renewing these morally obscene weapons. “Broken down, that’ll be around £3 billion a year, peaking at an eye-watering £4 billion in the 2020s. “We all know that Trident is morally unjustifiable, but at a time when the Westminster parties are all committed to forcing yet more austerity on us after the election, Trident is economically indefensible.
Glasgow Evening Times 6th April 2015 read more »
George Kerevan: How the nuclear option is chosen for us by the US.
National 6th April 2015 read more »
The Chinese Navy is preparing to commission three nuclear-powered attack submarines with the capability to fire supersonic anti-ship missiles, according to reports.
Independent 5th April 2015 read more »
One of the UK’s top private equity investors has attacked the Conservative party’s policy on windfarms and said that a Labour-Scottish National party (SNP) majority would be the best election result for the renewable energy industry. Guy Hands, whose investment house Terra Firma is a large wind and solar power investor, said he was deeply concerned about the “emotional hatred” some Conservatives seemed to have about onshore windfarms. “There’s no question that for the renewable business as a whole, an SNP-Labour party majority would be far better than the Conservatives, based on what the Conservatives currently say, which is a policy I don’t understand,” he told the Financial Times in an interview.
Guardian 5th April 2015 read more »
Times 6th April 2015 read more »
The housing crisis is Britain is not just one of a shortage of homes. Our housing stock is among the oldest and coldest in Europe and the cost of heating leaking properties is leading to a rise in fuel poverty. The BRE’s Home Quality Mark aims to tackle this problem, and it is intended to help house hunters, both tenants and buyerschoose a home with low energy and water costs. BRE chief executive, Dr Peter Bonfield said he hopes the mark will become a “de facto sign of a better home”, which encourages the mortgage and construction industry to get behind sustainable living. But it may take innovation from abroad for the industry to change.
Guardian 5th April 2015 read more »