Britain’s nuclear operators face the gravest challenge for years to persuade the public that new power plants will be safe in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the new head of the industry admitted yesterday. Lord Hutton, chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, said the Fukushima disaster had “changed the game” for atomic energy and called for a new approach around the safety of nuclear generation. He was speaking as the industry released new data showing public confidence in nuclear power had declined for the first time in five years in the wake of the meltdown in Japan.
Independent 6th Aug 2011 more >>
The nuclear crisis in Japan has prompted other countries to review their energy policies amid fears over safety. The UK government insists it remains committed to its programme to build a new generation of reactors but the industry is increasingly concerned that the timetable could slip. I dont think it can be business as usual, acknowledges Lord Hutton. The industry, he adds, has to take into account the lessons from Japan so its almost inevitable there will be some slippage in the timetable. A white paper on electricity market reform, designed to make it commercially viable for companies to build new reactors, was published last month. But the necessary legislation will only be introduced next year. And the conclusions of a government-commissioned safety review of reactors, due next month, could further push things back.
FT 5th Aug 2011 more >>
When he started out in Labour politics, backing nuclear power was often an isolated and unpopular position to take. He notes with relief that Labour has changed course and joined the political consensus behind building a new generation of power stations.
FT 6th Aug 2011 more >>
Hankering for a nuclear renaissance to preserve the UKs energy reserves, investors, material engineers and environmentalists swarmed to reinstate a flailing energy sector at Nuclear New Build2011 in London, UK.
Materials World 1st Aug 2011 more >>
NEWS from the land of doublespeak, or in this case the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), is the release of a report called Exotic Fuels Dounreay Fast Reactor, Credible and Preferred Options. Hailing from the school of if we say its credible then it is, this report is a damning indictment of how the NDA works and drives an axe through some fairly reasonable attempts in recent times to treat the public as if they are intelligent enough to make their own decisions about what should happen to our nuclear legacy, i.e. scrap metal and rubble at Dounreay and other nuclear sites. Before the reader even reaches the options on what to do with the scrap sitting in the Dounreay sphere, the report begins by telling people how they should refer to the stuff in question.The breeder material is not classified as a fuel, as it does not take part in the nuclear core reaction and is not converted into fission products, but neither is it waste. This is why, to avoid confusion, it is referred to as material, it says.
John O Groat Journal 5th August 2011 more >>
A partnership led by off-site construction specialists Yorkon has been awarded a £7 million contract to develop the first active analysis laboratory building for the nuclear industry using modular construction. Yorkon has been awarded the design, build and fit-out contract for the £9m laboratory at Dounreay in Thurso, Scotland by site clean-up contractor Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. Construction of the 1,300 sq m building is due to start on site in spring 2012 and is scheduled for completion in autumn 2013. Yorkon estimates that off-site manufacturing is expected to reduce the programme time for the building envelope by around 50 per cent. The team will provide six laboratories to allow DSRL to comply with its statutory and environmental monitoring requirements until the Dounreay site is closed.
Construction News 5th Aug 2011 more >>
E.ON joined three rivals by announcing a sharp increase in gas and electricity. It blamed a “dramatic” increase in wholesale prices for an 18.1% rise in the cost of gas and a 11.4% jump in electricity prices from September. E.ON is the fourth of Britain’s big six energy providers to announce price increases in the past two months, following Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power and British Gas. E.ON said it was offering its customers help to counter the price rises, such as advice on insulation and the installation of solar panels for £99. But this will be cold comfort to the 140,000 homes that will be plunged into fuel poverty, where people are paying at least 10% of their income towards heating their home, according to comparison site Energyhelpline. It calculates that dual-fuel customers face paying an extra £170 a year following the increases.
Guardian 5th Aug 2011 more >>
Energy-intensive companies should be spared the government’s planned penalty on carbon dioxide emissions or they will migrate overseas, the CBI has demanded.
Guardian 5th Aug 2011 more >>
A ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing was Saturday dominated by national soul-searching on atomic power as Japans prime minister pledged a nuclear-free future. Marking the 66th anniversary of the worlds first atomic bombing at a yearly event usually devoted to opposing nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the ongoing Fukushima crisis meant Japan must turn to other energy sources.
Japan Today 6th Aug 2011 more >>
A new dimension has been added to this year’s atomic bombing anniversaries. The disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has made the risk of radiation exposure all too real to many people. For Japan, this poses a very significant question: Can humans coexist with nuclear power? In the past, voices speaking out against nuclear power generation were hardly heard among those people involved in the cause against anti-nuclear weapons. Perhaps one reason is that both the victims of the atomic bombings and the anti-nuclear weapons activists placed hope in the idea of using nuclear fission solely for peaceful purposes. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui will call on the government to change its energy policy immediately, citing an opinion calling for such a phaseout as well an opinion calling for strict management of nuclear power plants and promotion of renewable energy resources, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Tanoue will call for the development of renewable energy sources and the building of a society based on safe energy. Although neither mayor is directly demanding the abolition of nuclear power, it is clear that both harbor strong apprehensions about it.
Japan Times 6th Aug 2011 more >>
Japan has announced a major overhaul of its nuclear safety regime that will aim to sever links between regulators and the nuclear lobby, links that critics say made atomic plants such as Fukushima Daiichi more vulnerable to accidents.
FT 5th Aug 2011 more >>
Southern Company is expecting to begin full construction of two reactors at the end of this year, having been given a licensing schedule by the nuclear safety regulators. Significant site work is already underway for Vogtle 3 and 4, near Waynesboro, Georgia, including some related to safety taking place under a limited authorization. The official start of construction of a nuclear power plant comes with the first pouring of concrete related to nuclear safety, but this will have to wait a few more months, Southern said yesterday.
World Nuclear News 5th Aug 2011 more >>
Religious references used in a PowerPoint presentation to teach US nuclear missile launch officers about the morality of war.
Telegraph 5th Aug 2011 more >>