News August 2006

31 August 2006

Protest

Protesters who chained themselves to the gates of a nuclear power station have been banned from approaching any power plants in England and Wales.
BBC 30th August 2006

Iran

A UN deadline for Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment and re-processing activities is set to expire, with no sign of Iran meeting the demands.
BBC 31st August 2006
ITV 31st August 2006
Sky 31st August 2006
Scotsman 31st August 2006

As the UN Security Council deadline expires on Thursday for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, its most sensitive nuclear activity, Ayatollah Khamenei, who is now 67, may again face a defining period where he must rally the nation.
FT 31st August 2006

North Korea

International concerns about a possible North Korean nuclear test increased yesterday with reports that Kim Jong-il may have crossed into China to explain his military provocations to Beijing.
Guardian 31st August 2006

BNFL Privatisation

FLUOR, the US engineering giant, last night made a direct approach to the Government in a bid to buy British Nuclear Group outright, after it was infuriated by last week’s decision to delay the sale of the decommissioning business. A delegation from Fluor met Geoffrey Norris, the Prime Minister’s special adviser on nuclear matters. It is understood that Fluor proposes to pay between £250 million and £400 million cash, some way short of BNG’s £500 million value.
Times 31st August 2006
Telegraph 31st August 2006

New nukes

Charles Clarke says the gap has emerged partly because both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown seemed willing to impose big policy changes, such as renewing the Trident nuclear system or backing a new wave of nuclear power stations, from “on high”.
Guardian 31st August 2006

Posted: 31 August 2006

30 August 2006

New nukes

Activists yesterday blockaded the front and rear entrances of a nuclear power station in Hartlepool, Teesside, to protest at the government’s recently proclaimed support for a new boost for nuclear energy. About 20 arrived at 8am as a shift was starting work, draped a banner reading “No More” on a fence, locked themselves to welded-together tubes, and lay down on access roads.
Guardian 30th August 2006
24Dash.com 29th August 2006
BBC 29th August 2006

Iran

Iran goaded the West yesterday, suggesting that European and American companies should bid for contracts to build reactors and other nuclear infrastructure planned by Teheran. Meanwhile, diplomats were searching in vain for signs of a change in Iran’s defiant position before tomorrow’s UN deadline for it to halt uranium enrichment.
Telegraph 30th August 2006

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it is “unlikely” the UN Security Council will act against Iran over its nuclear programme.
Interactive Investor 29th August 2006

THE United States has reaffirmed its intention to pursue UN sanctions against Iran if it should defy Thursday’s deadline for halting enrichment of uranium.
Edinburgh Evening News 29th August 2006

Mr Ahmadi-Nejad suggested the UN Security Council – which set the deadline for Iran to suspend its most sensitive nuclear activity – was allowing the US and Britain to use the body for their own interests.
FT 30th August 2006
Guardian 30th August 2006

Letter from the President of Senegal: The US may weaken its case by setting conditions on talks with Tehran and insisting on sanctions with or without the full support of other Security Council members.
FT 30th August 2006

Radiation and Health

Letter: According to a BBC Horizon programme, quite high doses of radiation seemed to produce no damage and even some possible health benefits, confirming previous findings that were discounted as they conflicted with the generally accepted, but unproven, hypothetical, model.
Nottingham Evening Post 29th August 2006

Posted: 30 August 2006

29 August 2006

Submarines

HMS Astute, HMS Ambush and HMS Artful are a new class of nuclear attack submarines being built at BAE Systems Submarines’ 169 acre site at Barrow in Furness.
BBC 29th August 2006

Iran

Letter: Iran is threatened on three sides by nations with nuclear weapons, Pakistan to the east, Russia to the north and Israel to the west (“Turn up the pressure on Iran”, 22 August). It would be irresponsible of the Iranian government if they did nothing to protect the country. And they may legitimately be trying to secure alternative sources of energy through nuclear power.
Independent 29th August 2006

Ali Larijani, Tehran’s top security official, called yesterday for talks at ministerial level with the world’s leading powers over Iran’s nuclear programme, keeping up diplomatic momentum ahead of Thursday’s UN deadline for it to suspend uranium enrichment.
FT 29th August 2006

New nukes

Polly Toynbee says: No nuclear power station contracts will be signed within a year (or ever) unless Blair plans gigantic subsidies, so far denied.
Guardian 29th August 2006

Uranium

South Africa is exploring the possibility of enriching uranium for civilian purposes, a top government official confirmed yesterday. Alec Erwin, minister of public enterprises, said his government was researching the role it could play in supplying burgeoning global demand for enriched uranium from the nuclear power industry.
FT 29th August 2006

Japan and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement to expand co-operation in the peaceful use of atomic energy that should pave the way for Japanese companies to win access to uranium resources deals in the Central Asian republic.
FT 29th August 2006

Posted: 29 August 2006

28 August 2006

Iran

The day after president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad opened a heavy-water nuclear plant, Iran said on Sunday it would continue making nuclear fuel, but it remained open to negotiations over its controversial atomic programme.
FT 28th August 2006

Iran test-fired a long-range missile from a submarine in the Gulf yesterday as part of an orchestrated show of defiance ahead of the United Nations security council’s Thursday deadline to suspend part of its nuclear programme.
Guardian 28th August 2006

IRAN yesterday denied its nuclear programme posed a threat to other countries, including Israel.
Sunday Mirror 27th August 2006

Posted: 28 August 2006

27 August 2006

Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that no one could deprive Iran of its right to nuclear technology. The defiant leader voiced a fresh refusal to back down over Itan’s nuclear development just days ahead of a UN deadline to halt uranium enrichment work.
ITV.com 26th August 2006
BBC 26th August 2006
Observer 27th August 2006

Iran’s hardline president declared Saturday that his nation’s controversial nuclear program poses no threat to any other country, even Israel “which is a definite enemy.” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke after inaugurating a heavy-water production plant, which went into operation despite U.N. demands that Iran roll back its nuclear program. Tehran says is for peaceful purposes, but Western countries fear it could eventually be used to develop a nuclear bomb.
Independent on Sunday 27th August 2006

History is strewn with stories of unintended consequences and the most recent one is the growing influence of Iran across the Middle East. As the Royal Institute of International Affairs has concluded, Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the Middle East.
Sunday TImes 27th August 2006

Tony Blair faces the embarrassing prospect of once again being asked to back America over the United Nations as Washington prepares to forge a diplomatic “coalition of the willing” to pursue economic sanctions against Iran. The strategy has been devised by John Bolton, the United States ambassador to the UN, amid increasing signs that the world body may fail to impose its own threatened penalties when Thursday’s security council deadline for Iran to halt uranium enrichment expires.
Sunday Telegraph 27th August 2006

Israel has appointed a top general to oversee a war against Iran, prompting speculation that it is preparing for possible military action against Teheran’s nuclear programme.
Sunday Telegraph 27th August 2006

North Korea

A nuclear test by North Korea cannot be ruled out if the United States steps up what Pyongyang calls its hostile policy towards the communist country, a pro-North Korea newspaper published in Japan said on Saturday.
Reuters 26th August 2006

New nukes

BRITAIN’S planning system must be overhauled to speed up the construction of new nuclear plants to prevent the country running out of electricity, the boss of the country’s biggest nuclear generator has warned. Bill Coley, chief executive of British Energy, described the system currently in place – which would govern the construction of the next generation of nuclear power stations should the government decide this is the best way of meeting the country’s future energy needs – as “laborious”.
Scotland on Sunday 27th August 2006

NDA

An 11th-hour agreement over pensions has been struck between unions and the nuclear industry to avert a crippling strike. Unions, led by Amicus and Prospect, were planning to hold a strike ballot over a generous new pension scheme for the industry that would have excluded about 1,600 employees of the state-owned nuclear holding company, BNFL.. But the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which is responsible for most of Britain’s nuclear sites and is setting up the scheme, has agreed to union demands that provisions be made for those excluded.
Independent on Sunday 27th August 2006

There is speculation that Serco is close to agreeing a deal to sell seven PFI ventures for around £70m, giving it the cash to bid for a slice of the UK’s £70bn nuclear decommissioning programme. It has entered into a joint venture with US construction group Bechtel to explore sector opportunities.
Independent on Sunday 27th August 2006

Privatisation

Handicaps hindering the sell-off of BNFL and British Energy.
Independent on Sunday 27th August 2006

Posted: 27 August 2006

26 August 2006

Iran

Iran’s leadership is braced for a new and hazardous phase next week in the crisis over its nuclear programme as a United Nations deadline runs out on Thursday for it to suspend uranium enrichment.
FT 26th August 2006

Russia ruled out imposing economic sanctions on Iran yesterday, delivering a blow to America’s efforts to isolate Teheran’s regime in protest over its nuclear programme.
Telegraph 26th August 2006

Uranium

URENCO, the uranium enricher that is one-third-owned by British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), has increased its forward order book by €5 billion (£2.6 billion) in the past year, even before an expected surge in global demand for nuclear power. The surge in orders is expected substantially to increase the value of the company — which has facilities near Manchester and in Holland and Germany — at a time when BNFL is looking to sell its stake.
Times 26th August 2006

Posted: 26 August 2006

25 August 2006

Iran

Germany says Iran’s offer of talks provided there are no sanctions is unacceptable.
Sky 25th August 2006

The US would have to lift decades-old sanctions against Iran and probably give assurances that it has no policy of regime change towards the Islamic republic to settle Iran’s nuclear dispute with the west, according to leaks of the Iranian
Guardian 25th August 2006

North Korea

South Korea’s defense chief today said North Korea was believed to have one or two nuclear weapons, amid growing concerns the communist regime may be preparing to test an atomic bomb for the first time.
ICWales 25th August 2006

JAPAN has confirmed that there has been an increase in vehicle activity at a North Korean nuclear testing site, but it remains unclear whether a test explosion is imminent.
Scotsman 25th August 2006

Nuclear Waste

A list of 537 sites deemed suitable to store up to 250,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste for up to 100,000 years has been published under freedom of information legislation. The list, drawn up in the 1980s by a team of Government geologists and other specialists, includes Cottesmore and North Luffenham.
Stamford Today 25th August 2006

NDA

Letter from Mitsui Babcock: The continued references to the rising costs of nuclear decommissioning are troubling (“Warning on cost of nuclear plants’ clean-up”, August 17). My concerns are that they are repeatedly used as part of an alarmist argument against nuclear power.
FT 25th August 2006

Strategic Environmenmtal Assessment

Letter from Ross Finnie: Any proposal to build a new nuclear power station should be reflected in the relevant development plan. This would require to be subject to strategic environmental assessment with a full discussion of the other options considered and their environmental consequences. There must be full public consultation on this assessment and an explanation of how public comments have been taken into account. In addition, any site-specific request for permission to build a nuclear power station would require to undergo an environmental impact assessment.
Herald 25th August 2006

Posted: 25 August 2006

24 August 2006

British Energy

Letter from Stephen Salter: BE’s current profitability is no basis on which to build a nuclear future
Scotsman 24th August 2006

Israel

WITH Iran confidently defying pressure to curb its nuclear programme, Israel has signed a contract with Germany to buy two more submarines capable of firing nuclear missiles, it emerged yesterday.
Scotsman 24th August 2006

Posted: 24 August 2006

23 August 2006

Iran

China and Russia have said negotiations are the only way of easing tension over Iran’s nuclear programme, following Tehran’s offer of talks on the issue.
BBC 23rd August 2006

Six world powers were studying Iran’s offer of more talks to resolve a nuclear dispute on Wednesday, but it was not clear whether Tehran’s response went far enough to avert the threat of United Nations sanctions.
Reuters 23rd August 2006

Iran yesterday offered to begin “serious talks” immediately over its nuclear programme, but at the same time scorned a United Nations demand to scale down its activities by the end of this month.
FT 23rd August 2006
Herald 23rd August 2006
Scotsman 23rd August 2006

After months of defiant rhetoric over its nuclear programme, Iran formally rejected an international demand that it suspend uranium enrichment yesterday to allay western fears that it wants to build an atomic bomb.
Guardian 23rd August 2006
Times 23rd August 2006

Iran took its time in responding to the incentives it was offered in June to halt nuclear research work. But when it finally gave its answer yesterday there were no surprises and no easy pointers about how to defuse the gathering crisis.
Guardian Leader 23rd August 2006

It’s worth taking time to investigate Iran’s offer. There may be those in the regime that want to find a way out of this mess.
Times editorial 23rd August 2006

North Korea

A nuclear weapons test by North Korea would have devastating consequences but so far remains only a possibility, South Korea’s foreign minister said on Wednesday. A news report last week quoted U.S. officials as saying activities at a possible North Korean nuclear site suggested preparations for a nuclear weapons test were under way.
Reuters 23rd August 2006

Scotland

Tough new environmental laws will not apply to any expansion of nuclear power in Scotland, a minister confirmed yesterday, prompting anger from green campaigners. They expressed disappointment that, because energy policy is reserved to Westminster, the Scottish Executive will not be able to compel a strategic environmental assessment to be carried out if the nuclear industry wants to build a new plant north of the border.
Herald 23rd August 2006

British Energy

Letter from Duncan McLaren. Any fool could turn a profit if they had all their debts written off and their liabilities dumped on the UK taxpayer to shoulder. These figures should prompt major questions about the reliability of nuclear power and those who would have us build even more stations. Every pound wasted on a new generation of nuclear power station is a pound that isn’t invested in cleaner, quicker, safer ways to tackle climate change and eliminate fuel poverty. Nuclear power is unnecessary, unpopular and inherently unsafe. It is time government learned this lesson.
Herald 22nd August 2006

Letter from Steuart Campbell: Professor Stephen Salter is correct that British Energy will not be paying for the “70 to 90 billion that will be needed to clean up past nuclear waste” . But why should it? That cost is what the NDA thinks it will need to deal with the radioactive waste at 20 sites, none of them owned by British Energy. The latter contributes separately to a fund designed to deal with decommissioning its stations.
Scotsman 22nd August 2006

BNFL

The government has performed a U-turn on plans to sell British Nuclear Group, which is in charge of cleaning up the UK’s largest nuclear site at Sellafield, and will instead break the business up and sell it off piecemeal. The decision to shelve for the time being the sale of the main part of BNG, which decommissions nuclear waste, and instead press ahead with an auction of smaller parts of its business was struck at a three-hour board meeting of British Nuclear Fuels yesterday.
Telegraph 23rd August 2006

THE board of British Nuclear Fuels has decided to break up British Nuclear Group, its biggest business, and sell it off piecemeal, because of delays over a clean-up contract at Sellafield, without which the main decommissioning business cannot be sold.
Times 23rd August 2006
Guardian 23rd August 2006
FT 23rd August 2006

Pakistan

Disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who confessed to leaking sensitive nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, is battling prostate cancer, the government said Tuesday.
Guardian website 22nd August 2006

Russia

Russian conscript Ivan Shinkaryov flipped the safety catch on his rifle and shot himself dead. It was sad but unremarkable: In Russia at least 1,000 conscripts die each year in non-combat incidents. What made the suicide stand out was the fact that Shinkaryov was part of a unit guarding a facility that produces weapons-grade plutonium and stores tons of radioactive waste.
Reuters 22nd August 2006

Posted: 23 August 2006

22 August 2006

Iran

Iran is due to respond to the nuclear package today.
Sky News 22nd August 2006
BBC 22nd August 2006

Tehran yesterday gave the strongest indication yet that it would reject international calls to scale back its nuclear programme, intensifying the long-running controversy over its ambitions and nudging world oil prices higher.
FT 22nd August 2006
Times 22nd August 2006
Middle East Online 21st August 2006

IRAN has turned away United Nations’ inspectors wanting to examine its underground nuclear site, in an unprecedented refusal that will heighten suspicions about its atomic agenda, diplomats and UN officials said yesterday.
Scotsman 22nd August 2006
Telegraph 22nd August 2006

BNFL

The board of British Nuclear Fuels will meet today to discuss the 500 mln stg sale of its subsidiary British Nuclear Group
Interactive Investor 22nd August 2006
Times 22nd August 2006

The government plans to fast-track its sale of a multibillion-pound stake in British Energy, with a road show for potential investors ready to start next month. But hopes for an early sell-off of British Nuclear Group are likely to be dashed today when the board of its parent group agrees to delay privatisation by up to a year.
Guardian 22nd August 2006

France

French anti-nuclear association, Sortir du Nucleaire, said on Monday it will bring a court action against the building of French power giant EDF’s third reactor at a power station in northwest France.
Reuters 21st August 2006

Waste Transport

THE Ministry of Defence has defended its decision to transport nuclear material through Essex villages without informing local councils about the timing or their content. Last week, after enquiries made by Sible Hedingham Parish Council, it was revealed that nuclear material had been moved through the village on more than one occasion, without prior notice to the authority.
East Anglian Daily Times 21st August 2006

British Energy

BRITISH Energy pulled off the unlikely trick last week of announcing a barnstorming 145% rise in profits and ending up the biggest loser in the FTSE 100. Britain’s biggest nuclear generator said on Wednesday it might miss its output target for the year – the third year in a row that BE has cut its output goal – and the City was not at all happy about it. Shares closed down more than 4.5% on the day and investors’ concerns about the money BE is losing in lost electricity production will be ringing in the ears of group chief executive, Bill Coley, for some time. BE, which generates one-fifth of the UK’s electricity, is also expected to have a major role to play in the process of building the next generation of nuclear stations – assuming management can demonstrate that they are up to the task. Analysts believe BE would have few problems raising finances to pay for the next generation of nuclear plants if, as is likely, it is involved. The government’s decision to give the green light to new build nuclear is likely to lead to increased interest in Britain’s nuclear energy market from BE’s rivals, including France’s EDF and Germany’s E.On.
Scotland on Sunday 20th August 2006

Letter from Stephen Salter: Thomas Docherty implies that the profitability of British Energy can extend to future nuclear installations. But BE is not paying for the £70 to £90 billion that will be needed to clean up past nuclear waste. This would add £40 per MWh. BE acquired all its present stations for the cost of a single new one. As we have to use lower grades of uranium ore, the cost of nuclear fuel will rapidly follow the cost of fossil fuel.
Scotsman 19th August 2006

Posted: 22 August 2006