Letter from Steuart Campbell: The Windscale fire (1957) was not in a power station. Nor have there been any leaks, escaped particles or cancer clusters associated with any UK nuclear power station. These have been associated only with Sellafield and Dounreay. Since new station designs are safer, it is to be expected there never will be any major mishap in the UK.
Scotsman 7th Feb 2008 more >>
British Energy is in talks with around 10 potential partners to build new reactors. Two groups are likely to be announced around the end of March.
Express and Telegraph 7th Feb 2008 (not on web)
Andrew Warren: Patricia Hewitt, introducing the 2003 energy White Paper said “It would have been foolish to announce that we would embark on a new generation of nuclear power stations. Because that would have guaranteed that we would not make the necessary investments in both energy efficiency and renewables.” The White Paper promised a “step change” in policies and programmes to deliver energy efficiency. So the question remains: why was there such a 180 degree change in the agreed answer to the same problem? What happened to change everything so dramatically? I think I know the answer. There always were certain key individuals who never lost faith in the “Big Is Beautiful” concept within energy policy making. Almost all of these were to be found in the constellations around the old Industry (DTI) Department, now renamed Business (BERR). The department retains the strongest links with those involved with power station construction. Initially the main authors of the 2003 policy were in charge of delivery. But within months, they had been moved on, replaced by others more sympathetic to the conventional policy line. There is still no sign of that famous “step change in energy efficiency” promised at the time. At best, all we are managing is a sort of soft shoe shuffle.
Telegraph 5th Feb 2008 more >>
A missile fired into space by Iran earlier this week raises “suspicions” over Tehran’s claims to have no ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, a Russian foreign ministry official told domestic news agencies.
AFX 6th Feb 2008 more >>
Defence Secretary Des Browne has layed out his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, despite his ardent support for Trident. In a speech to a conference in Geneva, Switzerland he promoted a number of idealistic plans to reduce nuclear weapons.
Public Servant Daily 6th Feb 2008 more >>
The US administration is divided over whether its attempt to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons is succeeding, Christopher Hill, the US -official responsible for negotiations with Pyongyang, suggested yesterday. In testimony to the US Senate, Mr Hill issued a stout defence of the six-party talks intended to persuade North Korea to denuclearise, in spite of the deadlines missed by Pyongyang in recent weeks.
FT 7th Feb 2008 more >>
THE UKAEA has denied trying to keep industry regulators in the dark about a glitch which occurred during the clean-up of a contaminated shielded cell at a Dounreay waste-handling plant. The problem occurred when clean water was accidentally fed into the cell in the currently mothballed cementation plant which processes intermediate-level waste from the site’s decommissioning. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate – part of the Health and Safety Inspectorate – is unhappy not to have been told about the incident by the UKAEA. The first it knew about the incident was in an anonymous tip-off a week or so after it happened.
John O Groat Journal 6th Feb 2008 more >>