In a report submitted to the European Council, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has concluded that there are no major weaknesses in the design and resilience of the UKs nuclear power stations. Work is already under way to improve safety at UK sites, such as bolstering flood defences and enhancing coolant supplies. We have also asked licensees of UK nuclear power stations to consider resilience against events that have only remote chances of happening in the UK.
Safety & Health Practitioner 6th Jan 2012 more >>
The Prime minister broke his habitual silence on green matters on Friday, albeit briefly. Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about the impact of investing in sustainable energy on bills, he said: “We have to take a long term view, it’s not just about taking carbon out of the economy, it’s about making sure we are not over-reliant on one source of energy. So there is a massive re-investment that has to take place in our energy industries, we have to replace the nuclear power stations, we need to have more renenewable energies, we need to diversify. There’s an investment that needs to take place, so there’s a cost associated with that investment.” “But we have taken action for instance on the solar issue where there were excessive costs going being added to people’s bills. We had to take action on that and so we did. ” All agree the subsidies have to fall, but “excessive” to Cameron apparently means a few pounds or tens of pounds a year for each homeowner in exchange for clean, secure energy.
Guardian 6th Jan 2012 more >>
“It is possible that the human race could become extinct but it is not inevitable. I think it is almost certain that a disaster, such as nuclear war or global warming, will befall the earth within a thousands years,” Professor Hawking, the Cambridge University cosmologist and theoretical physicist said. “It is essential that we colonise space. I believe that we will eventually establish self-sustaining colonies on Mars, and other bodies in the solar system, although probably not within the next 100 years.
Telegraph 6th Jan 2012 more >>
Regulators have given interim approval to the type of reactor planned for the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk. EDF wants to build a double reactor on the site next to the Sizewell B reactor which was built in the 1990s.
BBC 5th Jan 2012 more >>
Are we REALLY managing radioactive waste safely? The geology of West Cumbria, and problems for nuclear waste disposal. A talk to be given by Professor David Smythe. Expert witness at the NIREX/SELLAFIELD Public Planning Inquiry of 1995-96, and the author of many learned papers on geology issues. February 2nd at the Eco Centre Cockermouth School, at 7.30 pm
Save our Lake District 6th Jan 2012 more >>
A NEW report examines how the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority can better integrate the management of higher activity waste from the clean-up of its sites in the UK, including Dounreay. In Scotland, national policy is for the management of higher activity waste in near-surface facilities. In England and Wales, it is by geological disposal. The report states it is imperative that we ensure the very best use of these facilities as and when they become available. To that end it is suggested the higher activity waste strategy should move towards: *Better application of the waste hierarchy including more characterisation, sorting, segregating, reuse and recycling.
John O Groat Journal 30th Dec 2011 more >>
An American has been jailed for more than three years for conspiring to export to Pakistan materials and equipment that can be used in nuclear reactors. Nadeem Akhtawas accused of trying to sell $400,000 of restricted nuclear-related equipment to Pakistan.
Scotsman 7th Jan 2012 more >>
Fukushima Updates 3rd – 5th Jan.
Greenpeace International 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Japans nuclear reactors will be limited to a 40-year life, allowing extensions only under stringent conditions, under new plans to be submitted to parliament. It is part of a revision in a law on nuclear plant operations following Japans devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant and the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago. The planned legislation, which the government aims to submit in a session of parliament starting this month, would mark the first time that Japan would legally limit how long nuclear reactors would remain in operation. The draft plan also makes its mandatory for utilities to prepare for severe nuclear accidents. Under current rules, the government has left it up to plant operators to draw up contingency plans.
Engineering & Technology Magazine 6th Jan 2012 more >>
Spain’s new government will ask nuclear regulators for advice on the continued operation of the Garoña nuclear power plant, which was dealt an arbitrarily short operating licence by the previous administration. Garoña is a 446 MWe boiling water reactor that was constructed in the late 1960s.
World Nuclear News 6th Jan 2012 more >>
Iran has taken steps in recent weeks that bring it closer to launching uranium enrichment deep inside a mountain, diplomatic sources say, a move that would worsen its nuclear confrontation with the West.
Reuters 6th Jan 2012 more >>
A former UN weapons inspector argues that Iran is most likely doing what it claims – making fuel plates for the Tehran research reactor
Guardian 6th Jan 2012 more >>
Face-off in the Gulf as U.S., Israel and Iran all launch war games in show of force over nuclear plans and key oil route
Daily Mail 6th Jan 2012 more >>
Guardian 6th Jan 2012 more >>
Russias infamous reprocessing plant Mayak never stopped illegal dumping of radioactive waste into nearby river, poisoning residents,newly disclosed court finding says. The ecological group Ecodefense! has obtained and distributed in the media an official court ruling that confirms what the top Russian nuclear authority Rosatom has vigorously denied for years: The notorious Ural-based nuclear waste reprocessing facility Mayak never ceased to dump radioactive reprocessing byproducts into the nearby river Techa, a source of household water supply for thousands of area homes.
Bellona 24th Dec 2011 more >>
How Thatchers election win launched secret war on CND.
Independent 7th Jan 2012 more >>
Gas network companies have warned the government that there is a “policy void” on the future for gas in domestic heating, as they prepare to commission a study looking at the costs and other implications of replacing gas with low-carbon electricity for domestic heating. Electricity and gas networks trade body the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said the research would include scrutiny of “the practicality of fully electrified domestic heating” and “the role of gas in the future space and water heating scenarios”. ENA head of press and public affairs Tony Glover said: “There is a policy void in government and this study is going to fill it. The government has indicated that it sees no role for gas in domestic heating in the future. It has over the past one or two years moved to a more realistic position on gas, but the focus is on using it in ¬generation.” An ENA-commissioned report last year concluded that phasing out gas could cost consumers £700 billion up to 2050. The proposed study, according to Glover, would “drill down into the detail and ask the question: is there a future for domestic gas?”.
Utility Week 4th Jan 2012 more >>
This weeks Micro Power News is now available. Updates on the solar court case and other stories.
Microgen Scotland 6th Jan 2011 more >>