Oil prices reached their highest level for the year on Tuesday as they brushed aside an early knock following a heavy sell-off in global equities. The political standoff between Iran and the United Nations about the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic republic helped boost oil prices. Iran is the world’s fourth largest producer. Oil prices were also supported by a cold snap in the key winter fuel consuming regions of the US.
FT 27th February 2007
Iran has vowed never to yield to the key Western demands on its nuclear programme after world powers agreed to work on a new resolution that could lead to further UN sanctions against Tehran.
Interactive Investor 27th February 2007
Daily Mail 27th Feb 2007
Middle East Online 27th Feb 2007
Conservative controlled West Somerset District Council has set out its opposition to nuclear power in its local development plan. The council has said it will “resist the development of further nuclear power generation capacity at Hinkley Point”. The move is said to reflect scepticism in some quarters of Conservative Central Office about the role of nuclear power in meeting future energy needs and cutting carbon emissions. The decision is expected to be a set back to British Energy which is now in talks with EoN (PowerGen), RWE (nPower) and EDF Energy about sharing the £2bn construction cost for a new nuclear station at Hinkley Point on the north Somerset coast.
Public Servant Daily 27th Feb 2007
North Korea’s chief nuclear envoy embarked on a rare trip to the United States on Tuesday while South Korea sent a top official to Pyongyang to persuade the North to quickly start scrapping its nuclear arms programme.
Reuters 27th Feb 2007
In the past 18 months, the European utilities industry has witnessed a wave of large, transformational deals, in contrast to the preceding years when change happened at a snail’s pace. The deals are remarkable because of their large size – Eon of Germany is paying €41bn to buy Endesa of Spain – but also because several of the deals are cross-border. Until recently, the UK had seen large foreign takeovers of some of its energy and water suppliers, but few cross-border deals had happened in continental Europe.
FT 28th Feb 2007
British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) has already been fined £500,000 for the serious leak of radioactive liquid inside the Thorp reprocessing plant at Sellafield, Cumbria, but late on Friday the government slipped out the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate report into how the accident happened. It is shocking. The first indication of a leak was on August 24 2004, when 50g of uranium was detected following a sample test, but the full extent was only uncovered eight months later. The report also found there was a lack of a “challenge culture” at the company; the plant “condoned the ignoring of alarms”; safety equipment was not kept in effective working order “and this became the norm”. Thorp remains closed and its management is said to be contemplating the 55 recommendations the inspectors made.
Guardian 28th Feb 2007