Nuclear energy policy in Britain is on the verge of meltdown as experts predict that the new French government will order EDF to divert billions of euros intended for new UK reactors back into the French domestic power market. After The Times revealed yesterday the soaring cost of building Britains four planned new reactors, industry analysts said last night that they believed the forthcoming administration of the anti-nuclear Socialist François Hollande could force EDF to scrap its UK nuclear plans. With Mr Hollande planning to slash French reliance on nuclear power by 25 per cent by 2025, it is argued that EDF could be forced to switch billions of euros to fund investment in French renewables and energy efficiency schemes. The Times reported yesterday that the cost of the first two reactors set for Hinkley Point in Somerset had risen from £10 billion to £14 billion. At the very least, British energy executives expect the election of Mr Hollande to delay EDF Energys plans. His administration is likely to review EDFs strategy and possibly replace its leading executives, who, effectively, are political appointees.
Times 8th May 2012 more >>
Energy policy is hanging by a thread after the only credible company left to build nuclear reactors in Britain increased the price by 40 per cent to £7 billion each, The Times has learnt. (Most of the story reproduced here)
GWPF 7th May 2012 more >>
Councils have penned a damning report on the local impact of building the countrys first nuclear power station for 20 years in the Westcountry. The three local authorities affected by plans to construct the Hinkley Point C twin reactor in Somerset said efforts by EDF Energy to protect the surrounding communities have been insufficient.
Western Morning News 7th May 2012 more >>
Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, will today warn that green issues are sliding down the political agenda despite being among the most important challenges facing the UK. The peer will admit he has warmed to the idea of nuclear power because it produces close to zero greenhouse gas emissions. If you had asked me 20 years ago about nuclear power, I would have take the traditional green view and said something like over my dead body, he will say. To achieve decarbonisation of our power, nuclear has to be part of the answer.
FT 7th May 2012 more >>
The head of an Italian nuclear engineering company was shot yesterday as he left his home in the port city of Genoa. Roberto Adinolfi was shot in the leg by an assailant wearing a helmet who fled the scene as a passenger on the back of a motor scooter. Mr Adinolfi underwent surgery and was said to be in a good condition. Genoas chief prosecutor, Michele Di Lecce, said all motives were being considered, including domestic terrorism. Mr Adinolfi, 59, is chief executive of Ansaldo Nuclear, a division of the state-controlled Finmeccanica company that specialises in nuclear engineering.
Scotsman 8th May 2012 more >>
Herald 8th May 2012 more >>
Independent 8th May 2012 more >>
Shooting people in the legs, or ‘kneecapping’ was a trademark practice of the Red Brigades, a left-wing guerrilla group that carried out a campaign of murder and kidnapping aimed at destabilising Italy in the 1970s and 1980s. One investigative source noted that one of the first attacks by the Red Brigades in the 1970s had targeted managers of the same company.
Daily Mail 8th May 2012 more >>
Guardian 7th May 2012 more >>
BBC 7th May 2012 more >>
Telegraph 7th May 2012 more >>
Mr Noda’s optimistic assessment appears to have been premature. Nuclear engineer and former power company executive Arnie Gunderson compared the prime minister’s statement to President George Bush declaring “mission accomplished” on the deck of the USS Lincoln in 2003. Gunderson calls the situation at Fukushima “a long battle, far from over.” The company’s own tests disclose a more immediate danger. Rising radiation levels within one of the reactors, the highest recorded so far, and evidence of a leak in the critical cooling system demonstrate that the situation is still far from stable. nuclear experts say that their biggest concern involves Reactor 4, which sustained severe structural damage during the earthquake and subsequent hydrogen explosions which collapsed its roof. This is where hundreds of tons of spent fuel sits perched 100 feet above the ground in a cooling pool exposed to the open sky. Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser at the US department of energy said: “If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain it could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.”
Guardian 7th May 2012 more >>
The United States called on Iran on Monday to take “urgent practical steps” to build confidence during nuclear talks with world powers, and the European Union said Tehran must suspend sensitive atomic activities.
Reuters 7th May 2012 more >>
Vladimir Putin will today receive Russia’s “nuclear briefcase” as part of his inauguration as Russia’s news president. According to Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti, the briefcase contain the codes to the nuclear arsenal.
ITV 7th May 2012 more >>