News April 2007

30 April 2007

Australia

Australia is to repeal laws that prevent it establishing a nuclear industry, paving the way for the adoption of atomic power and uranium enriching ventures. John Howard, the Prime Minister, announced the move as Kevin Rudd, the opposition leader, convinced Labor’s national conference in Sydney to abandon its opposition to uranium exports and agree to new mines in the Outback.
Times 30th April 2007

UKAEA

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is to be investigated by the National Audit Office (NAO) following a request by Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee. Leigh called for the probe after it was revealed that the UKAEA is chaired by Lady Judge a businesswoman with 30 other directorships, including posts in the US and Hong Kong. Lady Judge is paid £60,000 a year for a two-day week as head of UKAEA.
Accountancy Age 30th April 2007
Telegraph 30th April 2007

Climate

THE world’s leading climate-change experts will this week put themselves on a collision course with environmentalists by proposing a series of controversial measures to tackle global warming. More than 2,000 scientists will put forward a global warming action-plan to save the world from overheating, including a major expansion of nuclear power, using GM crops to boost biofuels and burying carbons underground.
Scotsman 30th April 2007

Body Parts

TWO nuclear power stations in Wales may be included in a national inquiry into a major radioactive body parts scandal. Wylfa in Anglesey and Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd could form part of a government probe into whether organs were taken from deceased workers without their families’ consent.
Wales on Sunday 29th April 2007

Obituary

Warm, energetic and generous, Janet Bloomfield, who has died aged 53 of septic shock, was involved in a host of peace and nuclear campaigns. The chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (1993-96), a member of the global council of Abolition 2000 since 1997, the international campaign co-ordinator of Abolition Now!, she was also a key figure in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness Programme (WMDAP) set up by Sir Joseph Rotblat (obituary, September 2 2005).
Guardian 30th April 2007

Posted: 30 April 2007

29 April 2007

Iran

A rain of missiles could degrade Iran’s nuclear programme and set it back years, a German weekly quoted Israel’s prime minister as saying, sparking a warning from Tehran that such a strike would be a dangerous “error”.
Africaasia 28th April 2007

Terror

AL QAEDA is planning nuclear attacks on Western cities, the former head of the CIA has warned. The chilling warning was delivered by George Tenet in a hard-hitting book. It also exposes damaging details about preparations for the war in Iraq that are highly embarrassing for Tony Blair. Centre Of The Storm, published tomorrow, reinforces warnings from British intelligence chiefs, like outgoing MI5 director general Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, who has said terrorists are trying to build a “dirty bomb”.
Sunday Express 29th April 2007

A former employee at America’s biggest nuclear power plant was charged with taking access codes and layout plans to Iran. Mohammed Alavi, 49, a US citizen, is accused of downloading sensitive information about Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station while on a visit to Teheran. He denies wrongdoing but could face up to two years in prison if convicted.
Sunday Telegraph 29th April 2007

Thorium fuel

A cleaner and safer fuel for nuclear power stations will be available within two years, raising the prospect of the Government approving plans to build the next generation of power plants. Scientists claim it could help overcome many of the objections to nuclear energy by producing less radioactive waste. Unlike the current fuel, which harnesses the decay of enriched uranium into the plutonium used in nuclear weapons, the new material uses the heavy metal thorium which does not produce plutonium.It is hoped this will allay fears over the security of nuclear waste should it fall into the wrong hands. The waste from the thorium fuel is also less radioactive, meaning it will be safer and easier to dispose of.
Sunday Telegraph 29th April 2007

New nukes

British Energy has told rivals wanting to use its sites to build a new generation of nuclear reactors to submit expressions of interest by the end of the month. The Government is set to publish its long-delayed energy White Paper in the middle of next month. It is expected to sanction new reactors to replace the UK’s ageing plants. British Energy, in which the Government has a 65 per cent stake, owns the sites which are most suitable for development, making them hugely valuable. Once the Government gives the green light, British Energy wants to press ahead as quickly as possible with plans to be part of a new-build programme. It has been in informal talks with European rivals EDF, RWE and E.ON over the past six months about forming consortiums to carry out the work. So far, no tie-ups have been formed, but British Energy has told the trio to come up with concrete plans for how they would use the sites – and what they propose to give the nuclear generator in return for providing the land. The Government could force British Energy to sell the sites to the highest bidder. The preferred option for the company, which the Government rescued from collapse five years ago, is for it to be given part-ownership of the new reactors in return for access to the sites. The generator would also like a role in operating the reactors.
Independent on Sunday 29th April 2007

Posted: 29 April 2007

28 April 2007

Dounreay

LABOUR’S Holyrood hopeful John McKendrick has announced a plan he says he would implement within 100 days if elected to the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross seat on May 3. It outlines the immediate action he would take to counter what he considers the gravest threat to Scottish jobs since Ravenscraig – the decommissioning of Dounreay.
John O Groat Journal 27th April 2007

France

SAFETY at the nuclear power plant at Flamanville has been reaffirmed by a leading figure from operator Electricite de France.
Guernsey Press and Star 28th April 2007

North Korea

President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demanded on Friday that North Korea live up to its promises and abandon its nuclear weapons program. The two leaders threatened more sanctions against Pyongyang.
Guardian website 27th April 2007

Australia

THE Prime Minister will propel Australia along the path to nuclear power today by unveiling measures enabling the domestic enrichment of uranium and the establishment of nuclear power stations. In a speech to the Victorian Liberal Party state council meeting, John Howard will argue nuclear power is essential if climate change is to be reversed, and he will implement the first steps needed to establish the energy source, including drafting a regulatory regime and a public relations campaign.
Sydney Morning Herald 28th April 2007

Australia is set to take an important step on Saturday towards boosting its production and export of uranium, with the opposition Labor party expected to abandon its long-standing policy of restricting the mining of the ore. Kevin Rudd, the Labor leader, intends to push through a proposal at the party’s annual conference to drop the “three mines” policy that Labor introduced in 1984. That policy has restricted uranium production to three specific site. The move is significant because, although the Liberal party leads the federal government, mining permits are handled by state governments, all of which are under Labor control.
FT 28th April 2007

Fusion

SCIENTISTS from Edinburgh are working on a project aimed at developing waste-free nuclear power that does not contribute to global warming. Researchers from Heriot-Watt University are among those looking at using carbon composite tiles, similar to those used on the space shuttle, to cover a nuclear fusion reactor and cover that with a lining made of diamond.
Edinburgh Evening News 27th April 2007

Trident

Protesters take action at Derby nuclear plant on the 21st anniversary of Chernobyl, in solidarity with Faslane365 Environmentalist blockade. Twenty-one years ago today, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster caused large areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia to be badly contaminated with radioactive material, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. To mark the anniversary of this environmental and a humanitarian catastrophe, protesters today disrupted work at Rolls Royce Raynesway near Derby, which makes and tests the enriched uranium fuel rods that power Britain’s Trident nuclear submarines. The protest was timed to coincide with a blockade being carried out by a group of environmentalists at Faslane in Scotland, where the Trident submarines are based.
Indy Media 27th April 2007

Terror

New nuclear reactors need not be designed to withstand suicide attacks by big airplanes, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decided Tuesday. Instead, the commission proposed that designers be required to analyze how their reactors can be built to mitigate the effects of such an attack, “to the extent practicable.” The commission’s staff characterized the vote, which was 4 to 1, as an additional step to improve plant security in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Representative Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who is a frequent critic of the way nuclear power is regulated, said the commission had abdicated its responsibility by turning its back on “a common-sense regulatory measure.”
New York Times 25th April 2007

British Energy

British Energy, the UK’s largest power generator, will probably not be able to start four of its nuclear reactors by the end of this month as planned because it still hasn’t received regulatory approval.
Telegraph 28th April 2007

Body Parts

Dounreay has become the latest nuclear site involved in the scandal over the storage of body parts. It emerged that workers from the Scottish reactor who died had organs taken and tested at Sellafield and Harwell. With the involvement of Dounreay, six nuclear plants are linked to the controversy.
Times 28th April 2007
Herald 27th April 2007

Posted: 28 April 2007

27 April 2007

New nukes

PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair is supporting plans to turn West Cumbria into the international centre of excellence for the nuclear industry as ‘Britain’s Energy Coast’. Mr Blair gave his support after a meeting with a top-level, delegation from West Cumbria, on Tuesday, led by West Cumbrian MPs Jamie Reed and Tony Cunningham. The meeting was also attended by secretary of state for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling and financial secretary to the Treasury, John Healey.
Whitehaven News, 26th April 2007
Carlisle News and Star 26th April 2007

EDF Energy is in talks with British Energy about building nuclear power stations together, and hopes to have the first reactor connected to the grid by Christmas 2017, its chief executive told the Financial Times. Vincent de Rivaz said he had a design for a new reactor ready to present to the authorities as soon as he was given the go-ahead. It would be the first nuclear power station to be built in Britain for 30 years. But he warned that new nuclear projects could stall, and Britain could face electricity shortages, if the government did not come to a clear decision in the autumn and introduce the necessary legislation in that parliamentary session.
FT 27th April 2007
Forbes 27th April 2007

General Electric has fired the starting gun in the race to build a fleet of new nuclear power stations by writing to the Government to say it will compete for a slice of the multi-billion-pound work. The American group’s move surprised some nuclear experts because it came ahead of the Energy White Paper, which is expected in the week starting May 21.
Telegraph 27th April 2007

Hinkley

A furious row has broken out over claims that an unexpected cluster of cancer cases has been found near Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Anti-nuclear campaigners yesterday claimed the death rate from breast cancer in one part of Burnham-on-Sea was 70 per cent above the national average for the 10 years to 2005. But local health chiefs dismissed the findings as a statistical blip and said there was no reason to be concerned about a health risk from the plant. Dr Chris Busby, from consultancy Green Audit, was commission by the campaign group Stop Hinkley.
Western Daily Press 26th April 2007

Climate change

Fossil-fuel-based cogeneration of heat and power emits less carbon dioxide than nuclear-based alternatives providing the same service, according to a study released by the German environment ministry on Tuesday. The study was done by think-tank Öko-Institut, which calculated life-cycle emissions for cogeneration of heat and electricity in high-efficiency gas-fired power plants. It compared these to the carbon emissions from nuclear power generation, including uranium mining, and from the separate heating requirements of consumers not connected to cogeneration plants. Because nuclear-powered households normally use oil or gas for heating, the authors say, their overall emissions come to 772 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh). Emissions from heat-and-power plants are slightly lower, at 747g/kWh.
ENDS Daily 24th April 2007
German environment ministry press release and the study
An earlier version of the Oko Institut sudy is available in English

Body Parts Inquiry

An investigation into the removal of body parts from nuclear workers after their deaths will examine other sites in addition to Sellafield, the government said today. The trade and industry secretary, Alistair Darling, said he had asked Michael Redfern QC, who is leading the inquiry, to look at records of other sites to find out whether similar tests on autopsy tissues were carried out without the knowledge of the families of the dead workers.
Guardian 27th April 2007

The inquiry into the storing of body parts for research at Sellafield is to be widened after it emerged yesterday that Harwell, the former research site, also conducted experiments.
Times 27th April 2007

THE investigation into the removal of organs from deceased nuclear industry workers is to be expanded to cover more sites, including checks at Dounreay and Torness. An urgent inquiry has been launched into 65 cases, mostly people working at Sellafield, where tissue was removed from bodies for analysis, apparently without consent from families. In a statement to MPs today, Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling revealed that nuclear authorities “believe” similar work was also carried out at Harwell, Oxfordshire, and “possibly at other sites”.
Edinburgh Evening News 26th April 2007
Daily Mail website 26th April 2007
Lancashire Evening Post 26th April 2007
GMB Press Release 26th April 2007
FT 27th April 2007

Woman horrified to discover Sellafield took her Dad’s organs.
Whitehaven News 26th April 2007

US-Japan

A framework deal for increased collaboration in nuclear energy between Japan and the US has been signed. The United States-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan aims to increase energy security and management of nuclear waste, address nuclear non-proliferation and climate change, and advance the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) initiative.
Nuclear Engineering International 26th April 2007

US

When the top U.S. nuclear regulator addressed industry leaders in March, he spoke about a problem often neglected in public debates about nuclear energy: the threat of a labor shortage. Dale Klein, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that nuclear power’s resurgence may be held up by a lack of qualified workers.
Reuters 26th April 2007

Iran

Iran on Thursday heralded what it said was new thinking in the dispute over its nuclear programme amid western scepticism that any breakthrough was imminent. The comments came at the end of a meeting in Ankara – the first in seven months – between Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, and Ali Larijani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. Details of the substance of the talks were sketchy. But Mr Larijani, in an interview afterwards with a Turkish television station, said “new ideas” had emerged that would allow further talks to proceed soon.
FT 27th April 2007

Insufficient payments from Iran for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power station are delaying its completion by Russia, a top Russian nuclear official has said. The head of Russia’s federal agency for atomic energy Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, said the timetable for Russian contractors to complete the Bushehr plant in the south of Iran would depend on timely and full payments.
Interactive Investor 26th April 2007

Wales

ELIN JONES this week dismissed a Plaid Cymru split over nuclear power. The Ceredigion candidate insisted it was of no significance that the party was anti-nuclear while its leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, backed a nuclear replacement within the next 10 years for the Wylfa power plant on Anglesey. Successive Plaid manifestos rule out new nuclear power stations, but Mr Jones said he would support the development because he had a “re-sponsibility to defend jobs”, subject to assurances concerning the level of investment, the number of jobs that would be created and propos-als for dealing with nuclear waste. Rival candidates – apart from the Liberal Democrats – back a new power station and accused Mr Jones of fudging the issue. But Elin Jones said she defended the right of any AM, including a party leader, to disagree with offi-cial policy.
Aberystwyth Today 26th April 2007

Sellafield

Redhall Group PLC said its Jordan Nuclear division has, as part of an alliance, won a two-year site works framework contract with British Nuclear Group Sellafield worth 25 mln stg. The specialist engineering support services group said that of the 25 mln stg, around 30 pct is expected to be of a mechanical value relevant to Jordan Nuclear, its nuclear engineering and decommissioning division. Redhall added that the contract, which has an option to be extended for a further two years, ranges from repair, maintenance and refurbishment of infrastructure, to decommissioning and stripping out redundant facilities.
Interactive Investor 26th April 2007

Russia

If it hadn’t happened, you couldn’t invent it. A 24-year-old Russian woman has been voted ‘Miss Atom 2007’ in a competition to find the most beautiful woman in the former Soviet nuclear industry. Elena Kamenskaya, who works for the protection equipment manufacturer in Moscow, Eleron, beat off rivals to win a mink coat.
Rob Edwards.com 26th April 2007

France

On the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, 30 Greenpeace activists from six European nations halt construction at the site of the Électricité de France’s (EDF) proposed new European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR).
Greenpeace International 26th April 2007

Chernobyl

President Viktor Yushchenko said that relief work was continuing 21 years after the disaster, in which five million people were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. He said that state officials had been ordered to do everything possible to decontaminate the land and help the survivors.
Times 27th April 2007

Posted: 27 April 2007

26 April 2007

Iran

Iran and the European Union held “constructive” talks on Wednesday night over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme, but each side gave a cautious assessment of the progress made. The talks, held in Ankara at the invitation of the Turkish government, were the most serious attempt for seven months to tackle the international deadlock over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
FT 26th April 2007

Terror

Every year thousands of commercial devices containing radioactive material are lost, abandoned or stolen. From oil well measuring gauges to industrial food sterilisers, there is a long list of “sources” that could be used to construct a dirty bomb which, when detonated, would spread dangerous radioactive material over a wide area. In the US an average of 168 sources were lost and never recovered every year from 1996-2001. Europe lost 70 per year. Thousands are reported missing in the former Soviet Union. The world is literally littered with them. Of those missing in the US, 20% were classified as risky, meaning the radioisotope was of a type that could be used to make a dirty bomb.
Guardian 26th April 2007

New nukes

Alastair Darling wants to be in a position to give new reactors the go-ahead by the end of the year.
Daily Mail 26th April 2007

Posted: 26 April 2007

25 April 2007

Scotland

Gazing out to the Firth of Clyde from the picturesque village of Fairlie, it is almost impossible to ignore one of its closest neighbours. Hunterston B power station provides part of the backdrop for the village’s beautiful outlook towards the Cumbraes and beyond. Hnterston B’s nuclear reactors have not been operating since last October hile repairs to cracked boiler pipes were carried out. Operator British Eergy is waiting for consent from industry body the Nuclear Installations nspectorate (NII) to resume normal service. The Royal Society of Edinburgh carried out an inquiry into energy issues for Scotland last year. Its report recommended a “new generation of nuclear power stations should remain an option”.
Herald 25th April 2007

Less than a quarter of Scots support building new nuclear power stations in Scotland, according to a new survey released today. The results, compiled by pollsters 2collaborate for Greenpeace, also show that almost three quarters would prefer to use more renewable energy than energy from new nuclear plants.
Greenpeace Press Release 24th April 2007
Green Consumer Guide 25th April 2007
Daily Record 25th April 2007

Labour risks losing green vote over nuclear power.
Metro 25th April 2007

North Korea

North Korea is likely to conduct more nuclear tests if six-nation diplomacy to disarm the communist state does not succeed, the commander of the U.S. military in South Korea told a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Reuters 24th April 2007
Guardian website 25th April 2007

Iran

Iran and the European Union held “constructive” talks on Wednesday night over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme, but each side gave a cautious assessment of the progress made. The talks, held in Ankara at the invitation of the Turkish government, were the most serious attempt for seven months to tackle the international deadlock over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
FT 25th April 2007

Senior Iranian and Western envoys have scheduled a new round of nuclear talks in two weeks.
Channel 4 News 25th April 2007
BBC 25th April 2007

Iran’s nuclear negotiator said he expected the European Union to float “new ideas” at talks on Wednesday over Tehran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. Hopes for a breakthrough at the talks between Iran’s Ali Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana were dampened in the run-up by a renewed Iranian vow not to stop enrichment despite increasing sanctions pressure.
Daily Mail 25th April 2007

The United States and other world powers may be ready to allow Iran to keep some of its uranium enrichment program intact instead of demanding its complete dismantling, foreign government officials said Tuesday.
Guardian website 25th April 2007
Herald 25th April 2007

Wales

Anglesey today took its case for a new nuclear power station to the Department of Trade and Industry. Led by the island MP Albert Owen, the high-powered delegation included County Council Leader Gareth Winston Roberts OBE, Managing Director, Derrick Jones, and Amicus Union regional officer, Alwyn Rowlands. They revealed that the meeting with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy, Lord Truscott, had been very positive.
News Wales 25th April 2007

Terror

U.S. nuclear reactor builders will likely have to weigh the potential for a commercial aircraft strike when they design new plants, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Tuesday. The NRC’s proposed rules are meant to protect new reactors against a deliberate hit by a jet like those that rammed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the commission said.
Reuters 25th April 2007
International Herald Tribune 24th April 2007

Nuclear Weapons

THE Bush administration has yet to make the case for building a new generation of replacement warheads and “the role of nuclear weapons” in a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world, a panel of US nuclear weapons experts said yesterday.
Scotsman 25th April 2007

THEY were sent half way round the world to see how the UK would fare in a nuclear war – for some, the battle continues. It is 50 years since thousands of awe-struck servicemen witnessed the first hydrogen bomb explode above the Pacific Ocean. Far more powerful than the weapons that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the air drop was to be the first of seven nuclear bomb tests in the area that year. While the Ministry of Defence has always rejected claims that the servicemen’s health was put at risk, the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association continues to pursue compensation claims for its members. Here, LINDA SUMMERHAYES talks to some of those whose lives the tests changed forever.
Edinburgh Evening News 24th April 2007

Finland

The newly elected coalition government of Finland comprising 20 ministers includes two members from the Green Party. The party, which is opposed to any additional nuclear developments in the country, will hold the positions of the minister of justice and the minister of labour. In addition, another Green Party member has been appointed to the post of special adviser to the prime minister on climate change.
Nuclear Engineering International 24th April 2007

China

Nuclear power is not the long-term answer to China’s energy needs due to limited global uranium supplies and problems with nuclear waste disposal, state media on Monday quoted a top official as saying. State media reported last week that China intended to set up a strategic uranium reserve amid plans to build as many as three new nuclear power plants annually over the next 10 years. But Chen called the expansion of China’s nuclear power capacity a “transitional replacement” of the country’s heavy reliance on coal and oil. He said the future for China lies in more efficient use of such fossil fuels and expanded consumption of renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydro-power. Chen said nuclear waste disposal in heavily populated China remained another check on nuclear power’s growth.
Sustainable Development International 24th April 2007
AFP 23rd April 2007

Posted: 25 April 2007

24 April 2007

China

South Korea’s Doosan Heavy signed a letter of intent with U.S. power company Westinghouse to supply nuclear power facilities worth over $350 million, Seoul’s energy ministry said on Tuesday. Under the deal, Doosan will provide equipments for nuclear power plants to be built in China by Westinghouse, the ministry said in a statement. The power plants, to be built between 2008 and 2013, will increase China’s dependency on nuclear power to 4.7 percent by 2010, from the current 2 percent, the ministry added.
Reuters 24th April 2007

Russia

Russia has an ambitious two-pronged plan. It wants to build more nuclear power stations at home while also carving out for itself a role in the wave of nuclear expansion sweeping the world from the UK to China.
Telegraph 24th April 2007

Iran

EU foreign ministers have agreed to implement sanctions against Iran after its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The sanctions go further than those already agreed by the United Nations.
BBC 23rd April 2007

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will meet top Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani in Ankara on Wednesday to see if Iran can be persuaded to halt uranium enrichment in exchange for negotiations about economic incentives.
Channel 4 News 23rd April 2007
Belfast Telegraph 23rd April 2007
Interactive Investor 23rd April 2007
Reuters 23rd April 2007

Nuclear Waste

The candidate opposed to a nuclear dump site won Sunday’s mayoral election in Toyo, Kochi Prefecture, defeating the former mayor who sought voter endorsement to host the site, the town’s election office said.
Japan Times 23rd April 2007

British Energy

The fate of two of British Energy’s troubled reactors could be sealed by the end of the month when the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) publishes its 10-yearly “Periodic Safety Review” into Hinkley Point B in Somerset and Hunterston B, on the west coast of Scotland. The two reactors, closed for the past six months after cracks were found on its boiler tubes, are due to shut down permanently in 2011. But British Energy, which generates around a fifth of the UK’s electricity when all its reactors are operational, is understood to want to extend the lifetime of the reactors to ward off a looming generation gap in the next decade. It would have to start planning the extensions over the next 18 months.
Independent on Sunday 22nd April 2007

Star Wars

The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, received a cool reception in Moscow yesterday when he attempted to reassure Russia over the US’s controversial missile defence plans in eastern Europe.
Guardian 24th April 2007
FT 24th April 2007

Scotland

Mr McConnell again emphasised it would be “irresponsible” to categorically promise against the renewal of Scotland’s nuclear power stations, given their importance to the nation’s energy supply.
Herald 23rd April 2007

Posted: 24 April 2007

23 April 2007

Iran

The Russian contractor building Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station said on Sunday the two sides had signed a protocol outlining what measures should be taken to guarantee payments for the project. Russia is Iran’s closest major power ally and has helped water down international sanctions over its nuclear programme, but the two have clashed over payments for Bushehr. Iran resumed payments last month but some were still outstanding.
Reuters 22nd April 2007

Winfrith

PURBECK councillors have backed plans to decontaminate Winfrith’s nuclear licensed site and turn all the land back into heathland. Members of the district council voted to support the option put forward by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which could see the area designated as a site of scientific interest in the future.
Bournemouth Echo 22nd April 2007

Sellafield

An independent investigation has been ordered by the government into claims that nuclear workers who died in the 1960s and 1970s had parts of their bodies removed for medical examination without the knowledge or permission of their families. The inquiry, to be led by Michael Redfern QC, was announced by trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling in the Commons on 18 April.
TUC Hazards Magazine 22nd April 2007

Chernobyl

Letter from various Chernobyl Charaties: As we near the 21st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster on April 26, many of the young people who have grown up in its shadow have little cause to celebrate their “coming of age”. The children’s cancer hospital in Minsk is overcrowded with babies and small children diagnosed with leukaemia or other cancers. The children’s hospice is overwhelmed with new patients, the majority of them babies with genetic disorders. And doctors are baffled by the blood diseases, normally associated with old age, that they are seeing in young children, the numbers of children with heart disease, respiratory problems or endocrine disorders, and the rising tide of breast cancer in young women.
Guardian 23rd April 2007

UKAEA

Ministers have been urged to intervene after it emerged that Lady Judge, who is paid £60,000 by the Government for a two-day week as chairman of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), has 30 other directorships.
Telegraph 23rd April 2007

Posted: 23 April 2007

22 April 2007

Sellafield

Workers at Sellafield, the nuclear plant at the centre of the missing body parts scandal, were subjected to secret Cold War experiments in which they were exposed to radiation, The Observer can reveal. One experiment, described in a confidential memo, involved volunteers drinking doses of caesium 134, a radioactive isotope that was released in fatal quantities following the Chernobyl disaster. Other experiments involved exposing volunteers to uranium, strontium 85, iodine 132 and plutonium.
Observer 22nd April 2007
Sunday Herald 22nd April 2007
RobEdwards.com 22nd April 2007

Iran

The people of Iran are probably the most pro-Western in the world, though that will not stop them fighting like hell if we are foolish enough to attack them. Not that they will do so with nuclear weapons any time soon. Iran is rather bad at grand projects. Its sole nuclear power station has never produced a watt of electricity in more than three decades, the capital’s TV tower is unfinished after 20 years of work and Tehran’s airport took 30 years to build.
Daily Mail 21st April 2007

Ahmadinejad – who once claimed to have been surrounded by an aura while speaking to the UN and who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map – is becoming, in the words of one western official, “increasingly divorced from reality”. Diplomats find it hard to judge who really speaks for Iran today. Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader, has the ultimate power but says little in public, while his president’s rhetoric is often at variance with more businesslike statements from other senior officials in parallel power structures.
Sunday Times 22nd April 2007

Chernobyl

Russian military pilots have described how they created rain clouds to protect Moscow from radioactive fallout after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Major Aleksei Grushin repeatedly took to the skies above Chernobyl and Belarus and used artillery shells filled with silver iodide to make rain clouds that would “wash out” radioactive particles drifting towards densely populated cities.
Sunday Telegraph 22nd April 2007

RADIATION or relocation? A study of birds around Chernobyl suggests that nuclear fallout, rather than stress and deteriorating living conditions, may be responsible for human birth defects in the region.
New Scientist 21st April 2007

British Energy

The fate of Hinkley Point and Hunterston could be sealed at the end of the month when the NII publishes the results of its periodic safety review.
Independent on Sunday 22nd April 2007

Posted: 22 April 2007

21 April 2007

Dounreay

The UKAEA has pledged to pore through medical records of former workers at its sites, including Dounreay, to establish whether it cases similar to Sellafield where body parts of deceased workers have been used for research without their relatives’ consent.
John O’Groat Journal 20th April 2007

REAY golf course is to be surveyed for radiation following concern that it could be contaminated by historic leaks from Dounreay. Site contractor the UK Atomic Energy Authority has agreed to carry out a follow-up scan following an approach from landowner Geoffrey Minter. Mr Minter’s family-run Sandside Estate includes the 18-hole links course, which was previously monitored in 2002. Mr Minter is keen to establish whether any of the radioactive pollution washed up on Sandside beach has found its way on to the adjoining parts of the course.
John O’Groat Journal 20th April 2007

North Korea

North Korea restated its commitment to a landmark nuclear disarmament deal Friday, saying it would invite U.N. atomic inspectors and discuss shutting down its bomb-making atomic reactor as soon as it confirmed the release of its funds frozen in a banking dispute. The statement appeared aimed at quelling concern that the unpredictable regime – which has a track record of reaching agreements and then scrapping them – may be dragging its feet after missing an April 14 deadline to shut down the reactor.
Guardian website 20th April 2007

Iran

Iran still needs several years to be in a position to manufacture enough nuclear fuel through uranium enrichment for industrial use, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran’s atomic energy agency said.
Hemscott 20th April 2007
Interactive Investor 20th April 2007

The European Union and Iran are to hold direct preliminary talks on Tehran’s nuclear programme, the first since UN sanctions were imposed in March.
BBC 20th April 2007
Channel 4 News 20th April 2007
Guardian website 20th April 2007

Capenhurst

AN INQUIRY has been launched into the removal of body tissue from 65 nuclear workers including one former employee at Capen-hurst near Chester.
Chester Chronicle 20th April 2007

Sellafield

Research carried out on organs removed during the autopsies of Sellafield workers and local people in Cumbria in the 1980s found higher levels of plutonium than in people from other parts of the country. The data also provided “strong circumstantial evidence” that local people were being affected by aerial discharges from the plant. The raised plutonium levels are well below that which would have an impact on health. But the research papers give a unique insight into studies at Sellafield by medical officers and scientists up to the early 1990s.
Guardian 21st April 2007

Posted: 21 April 2007