Letter from Jan Haverkamp Greenpeace: Gerrit Wiesmanns article on the public controversy surrounding the exploratory nuclear waste storage site in Gorleben suggests that scientists are in agreement about the safety of the project. On the contrary, many in the scientific community have expressed their doubts. In the article, Wolfram König, head of the federal office for radiation protection, is paraphrased as saying that scientists have found nothing to suggest that the research mine is not up to the task. But in May the same Mr König told the German magazine Der Spiegel that Gorleben had weak points that should be investigated. Other scientists have raised concerns about the permeability and structural stability of the salt and clay layers that are meant to encapsulate the barrels of radioactive waste. Ulrich Schneider, a geologist involved in the early developments of the site, has compared Gorleben to a decayed tooth, warning of possible explosion from pockets of gas, and water leakage from cracks found in the salt layers. Scientists are concerned Gorleben will go the way of Asse, another German test site for nuclear waste, where the supposedly impenetrable salt layer has cracked and is threatening to collapse, allowing groundwater to come into contact with 126,000 barrels (more than 20m litres) of radioactive waste. Deep disposal, as Gorleben and Asse have shown, is not an ultimate solution for nuclear waste. It is, however, proving to be a bottomless pit of another kind.
FT 8th Sept 2011 more >>
German utilities RWE and E.ON are considering a sale of their stake in Urenco, a service provider to nuclear power plant operators.
Reuters 7th Sept 2011 more >>
Workington Amateur Operatic Society (WAOS) has thanked Nuclear Management Partners for coming forward to sponsor its October production of Fiddler on the Roof. This is the second year that the company, which has a base at Sellafield, have been major sponsors to the society.
Cumberland News 7th Sept 2011 more >>
An exercise to test responses to an emergency scenario involving a Ministry of Defence (MOD) nuclear weapon convoy will take place in South Ayrshire this week. The scenario for Exercise Senator is based on a series of highly improbable events involving a UK nuclear weapon convoy. This routine emergency planning exercise will take place at HMS Gannet in Prestwick. The exercise will test the response of the MOD and the civil emergency services including Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service, as well as the Scottish Government, the Atomic Weapons Establishment, local authorities and other key agencies.
Carrick Gazette 7th Sept 2011 more >>
Post your questions on nuclear energy for the thorium expert and former Nasa engineer. Kirk Sorensen, nuclear technologist and former Nasa engineer, will be on-hand today between 1 and 2pm (7th Sept) for a live session to discuss your questions on nuclear energy.
Guardian 7th Sept 2011 more >>
TOSHIBA will buy out Shaws stake in nuclear power plant company Westinghouse Electric, clearing nearly $1.7bn of the US firms debt. Shaw says the sale of its 20 percent stake in the venture will be used to strengthen its balance sheet. Shares in Toshiba fell more than seven per cent to two and a half year lows yesterday on concerns the chipmaker could be saddled with costs of buying additional shares it agreed in principle to acquire five years ago, before Japans worst nuclear disaster put a chill on global demand for new reactors.
City AM 7th Sept 2011 more >>
Toshiba, the Japanese company that is one of the worlds largest manufacturers of nuclear reactors, expects the accident at Fukushima Daiichi atomic power station to slow growth in its nuclear business for several years, its president has said. However, Norio Sasaki said the long-term impact of the Japanese nuclear crisis on global demand for atomic energy and on Toshibas business was likely to be small.
FT 6th Sept 2011 more >>
The meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power plant has led to an ongoing crisis in Japan. Nature Video provides an update on efforts to stabilize the reactors, and the consequences of the emergency for Japan and nuclear power worldwide.
You Tube 8th Sept 2011 more >>
Yoshihiko Noda is making his first visit as Japan’s new prime minister to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, almost six months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
BBC 8th Sept 2011 more >>
Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan feared Tokyo would be rendered uninhabitable by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, he said in an interview published Tuesday in which he recalled the spine-chilling thought. He added it would have been impossible to evacuate all of the 30 million people in the event of a mass exclusion zone encompassing Tokyo and the Kanto region, and said that this risk made nuclear power a too dangerous option.
Japan Today 7th Sept 2011 more >>
The U.S. nuclear regulator will meet on Thursday with Dominion Resources Inc to discuss just how much last month’s earthquake shook a Virginia nuclear plant, and when the plant might restart.
Reuters 7th Sept 2011 more >>
India’s 18 pressurized heavy water reactors have inherent strengths that would help them to cope with the consequences of unexpected natural events, but its two boiling water reactors will need further safety enhancements, according to a report prepared for India’s nuclear regulator.
World Nuclear News 6th Sept 2011 more >>
A Paris court has dropped a long-running investigation into whether the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident caused health problems in France. The lawyer for the complainants, Bernard Fau, said the Paris appeals court ruled Wednesday to close the case. The then-chief of France’s radiation safety ageancy, Pierre Pellerin, had faced preliminary charges in the case for “aggravated deception.”
AP 7th Sept 2011 more >>
Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has told the Big Six energy companies to “pull their finger out”, after new figures confirmed they were in danger of falling short of the government’s mandatory domestic energy efficiency targets. According to figures released today, almost 300,000 efficiency measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation were installed over the past three months under the government’s Carbon Emissions Reductions Target (CERT) scheme, which requires large energy firms to fund domestic energy efficiency measures capable of saving up to 293 million tonnes of lifetime CO2 emissions by December 2012.
Business Green 7th Sept 2011 more >>
Moxham’s claims that DECC’s analysis is “unconvincing” and average electricity, not energy, bills will rise by about 30 per cent by 2020 may anger some DECC civil servants, but he is not alone in his criticism. Intriguingly, Whitehall sources have already made this point, telling the Guardian’s Damian Carrington that when you remove the Telegraph’s spin, Moxham’s analysis is not that different from DECC’s own figures, and noting that he also calls for further measures to promote the Green Deal scheme. Of far greater concern to green businesses is the fact that what should have been a private conversation between a handful of senior aides about the need to improve energy efficiency schemes (according to the Telegraph the briefing note was only sent to 12 people at Number 10) has been leaked and deliberately spun as an attack on DECC and a signal that David Cameron is “very worried” about rising energy bills. It is apparent that someone in Downing Street is keen to simultaneously destabilise Chris Huhne’s low-carbon agenda and signal to the Tory faithful that the prime minister is not happy about green taxes. It is a case of crass political point scoring over one of the most significant challenges the UK faces. More concerning still is the way Moxham’s leaked briefing fits into a pattern of attacks on Huhne’s green energy policy and, in particular, his electricity market reforms, all of which are big on criticism and low on credible alternatives.
Business Green 5th Sept 2011 more >>
With all the talk among the Republican hopefuls for President about opening up more of the US for energy exploration in the name of job creation, here’s an infographic laying out in stark terms how many more jobs can be created, and more energy saved, through energy efficiency than through replacing or building new nuclear power plants. For half the cost of a nuclear power plant, 1.6 million homes could be retrofitted to be energy efficient enough to offset the entire power output of that plant, all while generating 220,000 jobs–roughly 90 times more than with another nuclear power plant. In short, energy efficiency saves gigawatts of power, generates more jobs, and at a much lower cost than more fossil fuels.
Tree Hugger 7th Sept 2011 more >>
The world has now breached a tipping point of some significance. According to Phyllis Cuttino, Director of the Clean Energy Program at The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the worldwide installed capacity of renewable energy has now surpassed that of nuclear power.
IB Times 6th Sept 2011 more >>
BLOCKING the gates to an atomic weapons research centre and taking communion outside a weapons store arent typical activities for a bishop. But for the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, voicing his opposition to nuclear weapons is an important part of his Christian faith.
Essex Gazette 7th Sept 2011 more >>