The government is expected this week to try to use a post-Fukushima green light from Britain’s chief nuclear safety inspector to inject momentum into its stuttering nuclear power and anti-climate-change programmes. The move will run into a hail of criticism from environmentalists who believe the latest inquiry into the nuclear industry has been rushed through and fear that ministers are backing off from their commitments to green issues. On Tuesday, Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, is scheduled to release the final report by Mike Weightman, chief inspector for nuclear installations, into what lessons should be learned from the Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan. The report is understood to contain only small amendments to an earlier, interim, report which made only minor recommendations. Greenpeace is already pursuing a judicial review for alleged insufficient lack of consultation on nuclear power, and has been further antagonised by a perceived lack of transparency over submissions made to Weightman. Anti-nuclear protesters are infuriated that EDF, the French state-owned energy company at the heart of the UK’s new nuclear plans, has started preparatory work on a facility at Hinkley Point in Kent ahead of the report’s publication.
Observer 9th Oct 2011 more >>
Environmental campaigners today accused the Government of pushing forward with new nuclear power plants before lessons could be learned from the Fukushima disaster, ahead of the publication of a report on the crisis. This week the Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to publish the final report into the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the disaster at the tsunami-hit Fukushima reactor in Japan. But Greenpeace is concerned that the inquiry has been conducted too fast to learn the lessons from the crisis which began when the nuclear plant was hit by a tsunami following the magnitude 9 earthquake in March, with information still emerging.
Independent on Sunday 9th Oct 2011 more >>
German utility RWE AG (RWE.XE) has started an internal review of its plans to construct two new nuclear-power stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in England, the Guardian newspaper reported Saturday. The paper cited well-placed sources as saying the company was looking at all possible aspects of its Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture with Germany’s E.ON AG (EOAN.XE). “There is a strategic review going on and there are a lot of discussions about all aspects of it, including whether new partners could be brought in,” the Guardian cited one of the sources as saying.
Fox Business 8th Oct 2011 more >>
THE Environment Agency is giving people an extra two months to comment on two environmental permit applications for the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
This is the West Country 7th Oct 2011 more >>
THE firm behind plans for Wylfa B are investigating if an extra reservoir would be needed to cope with additional demand on water supplies on Anglesey. Horizon Nuclear Power are working with Welsh Water/Dr Cymru on the issue. But initial results from the study indicate that existing reservoirs on the island should be able to cope with the thousands of extra workers on the island during the construction process.
Daily Post 4th Oct 2011 more >>
Scotland’s environment secretary has called for a full investigation after a radioactive leak was found at the former Dounreay power station. The leak was discovered during a routine operation of the plant which is destroying the liquid metal used as the coolant in the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR). Monitoring systems detected drips of caustic liquor from pipework in a shielded cell. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said the plant was immediately shut down and the leak isolated and stopped.
Hamilton Advertiser 8th Oct 2011 more >>
Perthshire Advertiser 8th Oct 2011 more >>
John O Groat Journal 8th Oct 2011 more >>
Scotland on Sunday 9th Oct 2011 more >>
West Cumbria is famous for being the place where you can find the Worlds Biggest Liar. Now the Department of Energy and Climate Change are pushing for West Cumbria to be the place where you can find the Worlds Biggest Slag Heap. Nominations are already coming in for what this huge slag heap, ripped out of Lakeland geology, could be called.
Radiation Free Lakeland 8th Oct 2011 more >>
On 10 March 2011 the unelected junior minister for energy and climate change Lord Marland of Odstock, travelled 320 miles north to meet council leaders and chief executives of two West Cumbrian local authorities, the chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Copeland MP Jamie Reed. The leader of Copeland Borough Council, in a post dinner party letter of 14 March, anticipated the move towards the Decision to Participate stage in the Managing Radioactive Waste process by March 2012. Acknowledging that letter the unelected Minister Lord Marland is grateful that West Cumbria MRWS have understood the national interest and by implication put constituents health and safety aside in favour of the national interest. When that is coupled with another Minister from DECC Charles Hendry MP releasing a statement in July that he expects the geological disposal facility to be open to receive radioactive waste in 2029, the anti-dump campaigners in Cumbria realised one used the word fraud that Government is set on having the radioactive waste dump somewhere in West Cumbria. That is, acceptance of a deep burial in strata that one eminent, independent geologist Professor David Smythe has described as unsuitable by reason of the complex geology and hydro-geology of West Cumbria.
Open Democracy 8th Oct 2011 more >>
Letter from Prof David Smythe “Unsuitability of the Eskdale Grnite as a host rock fort high- and intermediate-level nuclear waste”
Radiation Free Lakeland 6th Oct 2011 more >>
China is set to launch a £650m takeover of a London-listed uranium miner as it steps up its global grab for raw materials. Kalahari Minerals, which trades on the Alternative Investment Market, owns a big stake in the Husab uranium mine in Namibia. The deposit is one of the largest in the world and is expected to be a key supplier to Chinas nuclear power stations. It has 25 reactors under construction, half of the worlds new atomic power capacity.
Sunday Times 9th Oct 2011 more >>
Cheaper and cleaner than uranium, thorium could be the new reliable source of nuclear energy. Even environmentalists are backing it. It has 200 times the energy content of uranium yet creates 1,000 times less radioactive waste. It is as common as lead, as cheap as chips and can be carried in your pocket. And, appropriately for a metal named after a god, thorium is being touted as the metal that could save the world. A growing number of scientists, engineers and politicians believe that the needs of Britain and the world will not be met by fossil fuels, wind farms or uranium. They believe the future lies in thorium nuclear power. Tomorrow an international conference of thorium advocates will meet in New York to raise the profile of the forgotten element.
Sunday Times 9th Oct 2011 more >>
Defying growing global skepticism over the use of atomic energy, the Czech Republic is planning to dramatically increase the countrys nuclear power production a move that would give the country a place among Europes most nuclear-dependent nations. The Czech plan reflects a sharp division over nuclear use among European nations, and relations with neighboring countries that have decided to go nuclear free could be seriously harmed.
Washington Post 8th Oct 2011 more >>
Economics — not post-Fukushima regulatory hurdles — will hinder future nuclear power additions in the US, a former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman said Wednesday. The safety of nuclear power has come under great scrutiny in the wake of the March earthquake that struck Japan and the ensuing tsunami that damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, prompting fears over radiation leakage. But despite talk of stricter attention being paid to nuclear units worldwide, it will be economic realities that prevent more units from being built in the US, former NRC Chairman Dale Klein said Thursday. “Cheap natural gas had already taken nuclear plants off the table for the most part,” said Klein, who spoke at the Gulf Coast Power Association’s fall conference in Austin, Texas. Klein served as NRC chairman from July 2006 to May 2009 and is now associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Texas.
Platts 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have arrived in the Japanese city of Fukushima to observe the massive decontamination effort under way after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The 12-member IAEA group plans to visit farms, schools and government offices throughout Fukushima prefecture in north-eastern Japan. It is the second major IAEA mission to Japan since the nuclear crisis began. Nearly 20,000 people were killed when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11
Huddersfield Examiner 9th Oct 2011 more >>
Liverpool Daily Post 9th Oct 2011 more >>
Regarding the Oct. 4 article “U.K. expert says limits on radiation ‘unreasonable”: It is disconcerting to read physics professor Wade Allison claim that radiation levels at Fukushima and in foodstuffs are no cause for concern. Medical experts dispute this, among them Tokyo University’s Radioisotope Center head Tatsuhiko Kodama, who was quoted in an Aug. 24 article (“Fukushima fallout said 30 times Hiroshima’s”) as saying that there are not enough epidemiological studies to justify conclusions on the number of cancers that may result. In Diet testimony, he warned of specific dangers to different organs from internal radiation.
Japan Times 9th Oct 2011 more >>
Fukushima Update 4th to 6th October.
Greenpeace International 7th Oct 2011 more >>