News July 2007

31 July 2007

North Korea

A second round of six-party talks over North Korea’s nuclear programs ended in Beijing on July 20 without any agreement on the next steps to be taken in implementing the broad deal reached in February. While the Bush administration is pushing Pyongyang to rapidly disable all of its nuclear facilities, North Korea is demanding economic assistance and, above all, the normalisation of relations with Washington, including a security guarantee.

World Socialist Web 31st July 2007 more >>

North Korea is giving its complete cooperation to nuclear inspectors monitoring a shutdown of its key atomic complex, the U.N. team said on Tuesday.

Reuters 31st July 2007 more >>

Iran

Iran allowed United Nations inspectors into an atomic reactor site yesterday in an attempt to fend off international sanctions over its nuclear programme. The unexpected move came after months of worsening relations between Iran and the international community over the Islamic republic’s commitment to pursing nuclear energy. It is the first time the International Atomic Energy Agency has been allowed to visit the construction site at Arak since April.

Telegraph 31st July 2007 more >>

Interactive Investor 30th July 2007 more >>

Belfast Telegraph 30th July 2007 more >>

US

A driver ran a checkpoint at a nuclear weapons plant early Monday and crashed into a barrier, then fled on foot, authorities said. Police were searching for the driver, but there was nothing to suggest terrorism played any role.

Guardian website 31st July 2007 more >>

Asia

The Ten members of ASEAN have all signed a regional non-proliferation treaty.

World Nuclear News 30th July 2007 more >>

Sellafield

Bosses of the doomed Sellafield nuclear plant are splashing out £1.6million changing its name… to Sellafield Ltd. The owner of the site, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, claims the rebranding is money well spent. But furious campaigners slammed the move as an astonishing waste.

Mirror 30th July 2007 more >>

Ananove 30th July 2007 more >>

India

On July 25th India’s cabinet approved a newly agreed version of a long-delayed nuclear co-operation deal with the US. Overturning more than 30 years of US nuclear policy, the agreement is widely expected to form the foundation for a new strategic alliance between the world’s two largest democracies. It will also boost economic ties between the two countries—estimates of the value of the trade deals that will follow are in the tens of billions of dollars.

Economist 30th July 2007 more >>

Channel 4 News 30th July 2007 more >>

Consultation

The Government’s discussion with the public about the country’s future energy needs has moved up a gear with an extensive programme of nationwide consultative events arriving in Bristol today.

GNN 30th July 2007 more >>

Utilities

British Gas today launches what it claims is the UK’s “greenest” available energy tariff that will see it producing almost 20% of its electricity from renewable sources. The company, which has been criticised for offering the least green electricity tariffs, plans to attract customers prepared to spend an extra 10% or £84 a year more for gas and electricity produced in a more environmentally friendly way. The Centrica-owned firm, which is obliged to produce 7.9% of electricity from renewable sources, says its new Zero Carbon tariff will see it produce a further 12% from non-polluting sources.

Guardian 31st July 2007 more >>

Renewables

The case for a Severn barrage, first proposed 150 years ago and currently under review by the government, could receive a boost from the recent flooding, it emerged yesterday. Ministers want experts to analyse whether the £15bn proposal to create a 10-mile concrete boom across the Severn could help to reduce the risk of floods as well as generating power equivalent to the output of two nuclear power stations. The Sustainable Development Commission is due to report this autumn on the environmental implications of the project, following complaints from green campaigners that it would do irreversible damage to wildlife in the estuary.

Guardian 31st July 2007 more >>

Posted: 31 July 2007

30 July 2007

Iran

The rush to process uranium is to generate electricity, say officials in Isfahan. But there are no power stations.

Guardian 30th July 2007 more >>

Western governments continue to insist that Iran must suspend enrichment as a precondition for negotiations, because of the deep mistrust stemming from the country’s 18-year concealment of the most sensitive aspects of its nuclear programme.

Independent 30th July 2007 more >>

Disarmament

POPE Benedict XVI called yesterday for nuclear disarmament, saying nuclear technology must be used instead to promote development in the respect of the environment.

Scotsman 30th July 2007 more >>

Reuters 29th July 2007 more >>

North Korea

North Korea’s foreign minister promised on Sunday to abide by his country’s commitment to end its nuclear weapons programme.

Christian Today 29th July 2007 more >>

Climate

MPs criticise the fact that the draft climate change Bill currently includes a legally binding target for Britain to cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. However, the select committee says the latest scientific research suggests that this was now “very unlikely” to be sufficient.

Telegraph 30th July 2007 more >>

Posted: 30 July 2007

29 July 2007

Radioactive Waste

A £6million decontamination centre can be built at Lillyhall near Workington, County Councillors have decided.

Whitehaven News 28th July 2007 more >>

Carlisle News and Star 28th July 2007 more >>

Floods

Premises on the edge of flood zones include the Faslane nuclear submarine base on the Clyde, as well as nuclear plants at Hunterston in North Ayrshire, Torness in East Lothian and Dounreay in Caithness. Sepa’s headquarters in Stirling is on low-lying ground surrounded on
three sides by flood zones.

Sunday Herald 29 July 2007
See robedwards.com more >>

North Korea

A second team of U.N. nuclear experts arrived in North Korea on Saturday to monitor the shutdown and sealing of the country’s sole plutonium-producing reactor. The six experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency will replace an initial team that went to North Korea on July 12 to supervise the shutdown of the Yongbyon reactor, the key component of the North’s nuclear program.

Guardian website 28th July 2007 more >>

South-east Asia

Southeast Asian countries will set up a safety watchdog to ensure that nuclear power plants in the region are not used to produce weapons or aid terrorists and other criminal groups, an official said Saturday.

Guardian website 28th July 2007 more >>

Monsters and Critics 29th July 2007 more >>

Trident

Nine people have been arrested during protests outside the Faslane nuclear submarine base. It is understood that the five men and four women were of various nationalities, including Welsh, German and Belgian.

ICScotland 28th July 2007 more >>

Comment by David Lowry: MPs had a rare opportunity earlier this week to debate nuclear non-proliferation policy in the Westminster Hall chamber of parliament – topical because of the unresolved problem over Iran’s aspirations; last week’s decision by the maverick leadership of North Korea to begin dismantling its nuclear complex; and the continuing disquiet over the future cost of the replacement for the Trident nuclear WMD system. The debate threw up the unusual sight of a backbench Conservative MP, Dr Bob Spink, arguing alongside leftwing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and independent MP Dai Davies. Their argument is that the £75 billion-£100 billion Trident will cost should be spent instead on allieviating poverty in the developing world, or, topically on national flood defences.

Guardian 25th July 2007 more >>

Security of supply

Centrica is in talks with four foreign governments to secure gas supplies to make up for diminishing output from its Morecambe Bay fields that provide Britain with up to 8 per cent of its gas requirements. The company, which trades as British Gas, is believed to be negotiating with Nigeria, Algeria, Trinidad and Malaysia in the hope of acquiring stakes of up to 50 per cent in new production projects.

Observer 29th July 2007 more >>

Posted: 29 July 2007

28 July 2007

Libya

German leaders have attacked French President Nicolas Sarkozy over a deal to provide Libya with a nuclear reactor for desalinating sea water.

BBC 27th July 2007 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Letter: with suitable funds to research deactivating nuclear waste, this could result in the further development of nuclear power, a clean energy with the merest hint of a carbon footprint, solve our energy problem and end the industrialisation of our green and pleasant countryside.

South Wales Evening Post 28th July 2007 more >>

Letter from David Lowry: The tendentious views of Professor Jim Al-Khalili (Nuclear waste is hardly a worry when the climate change threat is so urgent, July 26) need to be challenged. There are several problems with “accelerator-driven transmutation”. The option has been examined in the UK and set aside, contrary to the impression given by the professor’s article.

Guardian 28th July 2007 more >>

New nukes

Letter from Nuclear Industry Association: Suggestions that supporters of nuclear power claim renewables will cause a blight on our countryside are misguided (Letters, July 27). We fully support development of renewable energy.

Guardian 28th July 2007 more >>

Power struggle ahead on nuclear.

Scotsman 28th July 2007 more >>

The Government’s discussion with the public about the country’s future energy needs has moved up a gear with an extensive programme of nationwide consultative events arriving in Cambridge today.

GNN 27th July 2007 more >>

India

The US has annou-nced it has taken the unprecedented step of agreeing to the creation of a civil nuclear enrichment facility in India even though India is not a signatory to the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The deal, which has taken almost two years to finalise after it was announced by Manmohan Singh and George W. Bush in Washington, is likely to face tough questions from the US Congress, which now has to approve it.

FT 28th July 2007 more >>

Scotsman 28th July 2007 more >>

Guardian website 27th July 2007 more >>

BBC 27th July 2007 more >>

Reuters 27th July 2007 more >>

Germany

The reputations of nuclear energy and Vattenfall, one of Europe`s largest energy companies, have taken a beating after incidents at two nuclear power plants in Germany.

Monsters and Critics 27th July 2007 more >>

Nigeria

Nigeria’s President says the country needs nuclear energy.

World Nuclear News 27th July 2007 more >>

Hinkley

A NUCLEAR boost has been given to Bridgwater Flower Show – thanks to Hinkley Point A. The power station has pledged to sponsor a number of different classes at the Town Hall’s August 24 and 25 event and will be sending a cheque of nearly £300 to organisers.

Brigwater Mercury 27th July 2007 more >>

West Cumbria

West Cumbria – once the industrial powerhouse of the county – is set to rise again as the centre of Britain’s 21st century energy industry.

Business Gazette 27th July 2007 more >>

Caithness

ENVIRONMENT minister Mike Russell yesterday said he was “enormously impressed” by a pioneering heating scheme in Wick, and claimed big lessons could be learned from the innovative project. Mr Russell, whose visit to the Caithness Heat and Power (CHaP) development at Pulteney Distillery was part of a fact-finding trip to the Far North, felt the system has huge potential and could be used in many other places in Scotland.

John O’ Groat Journal 27th July 2007 more >>‘s_pioneering_heat_scheme.html

CAITHNESS could become a trailblazer in green energy if the power potential of the Pentland Firth is realised. According to environment minister Mike Russell, the county is set to make a powerful contribution to the renewable energy sector within the next 10 years.

John O’ Groat Journal 27th July 2007 more >>

Posted: 28 July 2007

27 July 2007

New nukes

Letter from Ben Ayliffe: Saying that renewables will cause an unacceptable blight on this green and pleasant land (Renewable energy projects will devour huge amounts of land, warns researcher, July 25) ignores one very salient point: land use is not the major threat we face. Climate change is. Nuclear power is a climate red herring that won’t deliver enough emissions cuts and won’t do it soon enough. Pushing for nuclear will suck up money, R&D and political will that is better spent on pursuing clean alternatives. And let’s not forget, if a wind turbine goes critical it might fall over. If a reactor goes up in smoke we’ll all know about it and the countryside really will be blighted.

Guardian 27th July 2007 more >>

The Government’s discussion with the public about the country’s future energy needs has moved up a gear with an extensive programme of nationwide consultative events arriving in Birmingham today. Birmingham is hosting one of a series of twelve regional stakeholder events being held over the summer to capture the views of green groups, energy companies, businesses, consumer groups, unions, faith groups and academics.

BERR Press Release 26th July 2007 more >>

A Conservative government should support new nuclear power stations to ensure security of supply, a Tory policy group said on Thursday, in seemingly direct contrast to David Cameron’s insistence that nuclear should be a “last resort”. The security policy group warned that security of energy supply “requires nuclear energy and renewables to form part of the picture”, to reduce dependence on Russia and other gas producers. It also recommended a new energy department, to tackle the “urgent” need to strengthen the ability to withstand threats to its energy supplies from shortages or terrorist incidents. The recommendations further complicate the Tory signals on energy policy. Mr Cameron has come under fire from business for wooing the green vote by appearing reluctant to renew ageing nuclear power stations. But Alan Duncan, the shadow business secretary, has insisted the industry has more to fear from Labour than his party, accusing the government of delays in implementing its commitment to new nuclear.

FT 27th July 2007 more >>

Letter from Keith Parker: Nuclear energy provides a genuinely low-carbon source of transport across the UK ensuring that the carbon footprint of rail travellers in Britain is minimal, and it contributes to tackling the causes of climate change.

Independent 27th July 2007 more >>

West Cumbria

WEST Cumbria – once the industrial powerhouse of the county – is set to rise again as the centre of Britain’s 21st century energy industry. The area that produced the coal, the iron, the steel and the atomic power to underpin the economies of the last two centuries has been earmarked to provide some of the solutions to the looming power crises of this one. The coastline from Silloth to Barrow will become Britain’s Energy Coast under a plan submitted to the government by Workington and Copeland MPs Tony Cunningham and Jamie Reed. The blueprint – which envisages an initial £500 million invested in the area – will see it become the brains and the brawn behind the country’s power production. That does not just mean the raw materials of power stations, furnaces, pylons and cables but also the classrooms and laboratories where new innovations are dreamed up, cutting-edge technologies perfected and future generations of scientists and technicians schooled. It could eventually see up to £2.2billion invested in West Cumbria, with the area becoming the world leader in energy, environment and technology by 2027. It will spearhead the anticipated next generation of nuclear power stations as well as harnessing other energy sources like bio-fuel technology and renewables.

West Cumbrian Times and Star 27th July 2007 more >>

Germany

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, should intervene in a growing dispute over nuclear power that has split her conservative party and raised tensions in her ruling coalition, the Social Democrats said yesterday. Hubertus Heil, the secretary-general of the SPD, junior coalition partner in Ms Merkel’s government, said her Christian Democratic Union should “clarify its position” following recent sec-urity scares at two nuc-lear plants in northern Germany. Two party leaders this week said the CDU, a strong advocate of nuclear energy, should now support Germany’s planned withdrawal from nuclear power. The division among conservatives over nuclear energy is likely to reignite debate in Ms Merkel’s coalition on the issue, one of the alliance’s most sensitive topics.

FT 27th July 2007 more >>

Libya

President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the West to trust Arab countries with nuclear technology yesterday as he signed a deal that could see France supplying Libya with a new reactor. During a meeting with Col Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Mr Sarkozy agreed to help the country with a nuclear-powered project to desalinate seawater. France has Europe’s largest civil nuclear power industry and a vital commercial interest in exporting reactors and technology.

Telegraph 27th July 2007 more >>

World Nuclear News 26th July 2007 more >>

Middle East Online 26th July 2007 more >>

Nicolas Sarkozy faced a barrage of criticism yesterday for agreeing to build a nuclear reactor in Libya as concern grew over the price extracted by Colonel Gaddafi for the release of five Bulgarian nurses this week.

Times 27th July 2007 more >>

Germany is unhappy with a proposed nuclear energy deal between France and Libya, a top German foreign ministry official said on Thursday, describing the agreement as “politically problematic” and potentially damaging to German business interests.

FT 27th July 2007 more >>

Uranium

The price of uranium, the fuel of the nuclear industry, has suffered its first fall in more than four years – after rising more than 10-fold. A radioactive leak at Japan’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant following an earthquake this month has contributed to negative sentiment, with fears that it could spark new public opposition to nuclear power.

FT 27th July 2007 more >>

Sellafield

A councillor has said the £1.6m cost of re-branding the Sellafield nuclear plant is “a crazy waste of money”. The site will now be called Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has insisted that the money is well spent on re-branding. But Conservative councillor Norman Clarkson, of Copeland Borough Council said: “It is absolutely staggering.”

Nelson Leader 26th July 2007 more >>

150 workers at UKAEA Windscale are balloting on strike action over a 2% pay offer.

Whitehaven News 26th July 2007 more >>

The legacy of contamination that leaked into the ground is to be tackled under new deals with one of the key bidders for work at Sellafield.

Whitehaven News 26th July 2007 more >>

Iran

Russia said it had delayed the start-up of Iran’s first nuclear power station to early 2008 because Tehran had fallen behind with payments for the plant, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Daily Mail 26th July 2007 more >>

South Africa

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed an agreement to purchase IST Nuclear (ISTN), a leading provider of services and systems for the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR).

Nuclear Engineering International 26th July 2007 more >>

Amec

Project management and services company AMEC has won a major contract from British Energy for engineering and project management services on three of its fleet of nuclear power plants in the UK.

Nuclear Engineering International 26th July 2007 more >>

China

French and Chinese officials will sign an agreement in Beijing next Tuesday for the construction in China of two third-generation EPR nuclear reactors by French group Areva, informed sources said.

Interactive Inverstor 26th July 2007 more >>

People

It is easy to see why Armitt, 61, was chosen for the £250,000-a-year Olympic Development Authority job. A civil engineer, he has experience of managing huge projects, including the construction of the Sizewell B nuclear plant.

Guardian 27th July 2007 more >>

Radioactive Waste

A new £45m cheese factory planned for Workington will now be built in Carlisle or Penrith instead, because of plans by Studsvik to build a radioactive waste processing plant at Lillyhall.

West Cumbrian Times and Star 20th July 2007 more >>

The decision on the Studsvik plan will be taken on 27th July at the County Planning Committee.

Whitehaven News 26th july 2007 more >>

Posted: 27 July 2007

26 July 2007

Japan

The International Atomic Energy Agency should inspect an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant as quickly as possible before any clean-up that might obscure the extent of the damage, the head of the opposition Social Democratic party of Japan has urged.

FT 26th July 2007 more >>

Japan, which has no oil or gas to speak of, cannot contemplate life without nuclear power. Japan’s paranoia about being a resource-poor country, arguably the biggest factor behind its disastrous imperial adventures of the 1930s, is underestimated abroad.

FT 26th July 2007 more >>

Submarines

ROLLS-ROYCE has unveiled a ground-breaking £1 billion contract with the Ministry of Defence to help keep Royal Navy submarines at sea.

Scotsman 26th July 2007 more >>

Pakistan

Pakistan said it successfully test-fired a cruise missile Thursday capable of delivering nuclear warheads deep into India.

Guardian website 26th July 2007 more >>

India

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday that a just-completed nuclear deal with India complies with U.S. law, but some experts doubted that, and lawmakers said the agreement could face a rough road in the U.S. Congress.

Reuters 26th July 2007 more >>

India and the US edged closer to a ground-breaking agreement on civil nuclear co-operation after two Indian cabinet committees approved the terms of the deal.

FT 26th July 2007 more >>

Radwaste

Opinion by Jim Al-Khalili is professor of physics and professor of the public engagement in science at the University of Surrey. Here we are trying to figure out how to avert the disaster of climate change now, and yet the long-term problem of nuclear waste still worries us. Human civilisation started less than 10,000 years ago, so to worry whether we’ll be technologically advanced enough to deal with this buried waste thousands of years in the future, assuming we survive climate change, is utterly irrational.

Guardian 26th July 2007 more >>

British Energy

Power group British Energy led the way down yesterday as leading shares struggled for direction. The company lost 26.5p to 482.5p after Goldman Sachs cut its price target from 574p to 570p and reduced its earnings per share forecasts for the next four years. Traders also noted there had been more trading than usual in the company’s shares in the past couple of days, prompting talk that a large investor was selling stock.

Guardian 26th July 2007 more >>

Terror

Letter: Rachman is terribly wrong to minimise the risk of nuclear terrorism. We know that al-Qaeda has tried to get nukes, and that Pakistan’s A. Q. Khan traded nuclear expertise and technology. And while Mr Rachman is correct that Russia and the US have taken serious steps to secure former Soviet nuclear materials, he is wrong to imply that enough has been done. Many tons of ex-Soviet plutonium have yet to be disposed of, and nuclear fuel and spent fuel are being produced and stored in far too many places in dozens of countries.

FT 26th July 2007 more >>

Libya

Libya took another big step towards reintegrating itself back into the international community Wednesday night after it signed a series of wide-ranging co-operation agreements with France in areas that included defence, health, education and civilian nuclear power.

FT 26th July 2007 more >>

Burma

Russia has agreed to build a nuclear reactor there.

Independent 26th July 2007 more >>

Posted: 26 July 2007

25 July 2007

Japan

A small fire broke out today at a partly constructed nuclear power station in northern Japan, the third blaze at the plant this month. It comes a week after an earthquake caused a radioactive spillage at another atomic plant. The operator, Hokkaido Electric Power (Hepco), said there was no danger of a radiation leak and there were no injuries during the incident at the Tomari plant.

Guardian website 24th July 2007 more >>

First, the world was told that last week’s earthquake in Japan had caused a small fire at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant. Then the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said no radioactivity was released. Then it admitted a leak, but said it was only 1.5 gallons of radioactive water. Later, it emerged that the water was far more radioactive than first thought and that nearly 100 nuclear waste barrels had fallen over – but only a couple of dozen lost their lids and leaked low-grade nuclear waste. This was later changed to 400 barrels and a significant release of cobalt-60, chromium-51 and radioactive iodine. Finally came confirmation that the world’s biggest nuclear power plant was built bang on top of an active fault line.

Guardian 25th July 2007 more >>

Greenpeace campaigners diary of a visit to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.

Greenpeace website 24th July 2007 more >>

Japan’s industry minister admitted Tuesday the government had underestimated the possible risks of building the nation’s biggest nuclear power plant near a seismic fault line.

Interactive Investor 24th July 2007 more >>

A Japanese earthquake that forced the closure of the world’s biggest nuclear plant has highlighted the energy source’s dangers, just when support had been growing.

Reuters 24th July 2007 more >>

India

India and the US edged closer to a ground-breaking agreement on civil nuclear co-operation after two Indian cabinet committees approved the terms of the deal.

Guardian website 25th July 2007 more >>

BBC 25th July 2007 more >>

Libya

Libya and France on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding for the cooperation on a nuclear energy project during a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, an aide to Sarkozy said.

Reuters 25th July 2007 more >>

Faslane

Five anti-nuclear protestors have been arrested at the Faslane submarine base near Helensburgh. Those arrested include two survivors of the atomic bomb attacks on Nagasaki in Japan in 1945.

BBC 25th July 2007 more >>

Edinburgh Evening News 25th July 2007 more >>

Iran

Russia says Iran’s first nuclear plant will not be launched on schedule this year.

Channel 4 News 25th July 2007 more >>

Iran has issued its strongest signal to date that it will defy UN demands for a suspension of uranium enrichment – a possible route towards a nuclear bomb – threatening to respond to any further sanctions and accusing the Americans of “running away” from negotiations to end the crisis over the Iranian nuclear programme.

Independent 24th July 2007 more >>

Solway Firth

RADIOACTIVE particles from the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria could be contaminating the Solway Firth. SEPA have stepped up inspections on the Solway Coast after particles were detected at some beaches on the north Cumbrian coast. Radioactivity expert Dr Paul Dale said: “Information provided to Scottish Environment Protection Agency by the Environment Agency indicates that there is a potential for particles released from Sellafield to move into the Solway Firth.

Dumfries & Galloway Standard 25th July 2007 more >>

New nukes

The Government’s discussion with the public about the country’s future energy needs has moved up a gear with an extensive programme of nationwide consultative events arriving in Manchester today.

GNN 25th July 2007 more >>

The department for business, enterprise and regulatory reform has launched a nuclear consultation roadshow to travel the country througout the summer.

New Civil Engineer 24th July 2007 more >>

New nuclear build will not be ready by 2018, when ageing nuclear power stations will be coming off-line, so the ‘gap’ in production will be met by gas-fired stations, according to the nuclear lobby this week. According to Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, “There is a generating gap looming in 2015 / 2016. New nuclear won’t be on the bars to meet that immediate need and the investment decisions that are likely to be made in the very near future will be for gas-fired stations,” he said in a podcast made by legal firm Dundas & Wilson.

New Civil Engineer 24th July 2007 more >>

Russia

While investment opportunities still exist in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector of the Russian energy industry for the construction of gas liquefaction plants, the Government has turned its focus on the nuclear power generation sector. The idea is to attract significant foreign investment by diversifying and transmitting nuclear energy through the establishment of various nuclear plants and other technologies.

Engineer Live 25th July 2007 more >>

China

US-based technology and engineering firm The Shaw Group and its consortium partner Westinghouse Electric Company, a unit of Toshiba Corporation, have signed definitive contracts with a number of regional nuclear interests, to provide four AP1000 nuclear power plants in China.

Energy Business Review 24th July 2007 more >>

Manufacturing.net 24th July 2007 more >>

Reuters 24th July 2007 more >>

USA

The US program to develop a hydrogen producing reactor has sprung back to life with a call for expressions of interest.

World Nuclear News 24th July 2007 more >>

Nuclear power is gaining in popularity amongst Americans.

Mathaba 24th July 2007 more >>

Posted: 25 July 2007

24 July 2007

EDF

While most of its rivals continue to jostle in the consolidating European energy market, EDF is now looking across the Atlantic for its long-term future growth. The French state-controlled electricity behemoth is betting on a renaissance of the North American nuclear industry after a 30-year pause during which no new nuclear reactor was commissioned in the US.

FT 24th July 2007 more >>

World Nuclear News 23rd July 2007 more >>

Nuclear weapons

The end of the cold war took much of the passion out of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Now, however, fears of nuclear conflict are rising again. But there is a difference with the 1980s. Then, nuclear anxiety was widespread among the general public. These days it is politicians and policymakers who seem most worried.

FT 24th July 2007 more >>

Aldermaston

Severe flooding has affected the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Burghfield in Berkshire, which is responsible for the final assembly of nuclear warheads. “Several parts of the site, including a number of buildings and the site’s sewage treatment works, have been affected,” the Environment Agency said in a statement. “AWE staff have been sampling and analysing the floodwater from the site. They have confirmed that there has been no escape of radioactive materials from the site.”

Guardian 23rd July 2007 more >>

North Korea

Although the closure of Yongbyon is seen as a major breakthrough after years of tricky negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear programme, concern remains over Pyongyang’s commitment to fully give up its nuclear arsenal.

BBC 23rd July 2007 more >>

South Africa

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba Corp. said Monday its US power plant maker Westinghouse had agreed to buy IST Nuclear of South Africa for an undisclosed amount. Toshiba said in a statement the acquisition was expected to be completed in August. The South African firm, a leading provider of services and systems for pebble bed modular reactors, would be renamed Westinghouse Electric South Africa, Toshiba said.

Africasia 23rd July 2007 more >>

Nuclear accidents

Incidents involving reactors in Germany and Japan have again demonstrated the dangers of nuclear power, writes German Green MEP Rebecca Harms.

New Statesman 23rd July 2007 more >>

New nukes

Letter from David Lowry: Brian Hughes gives the impression that nuclear energy is a low-carbon form of power generation. Our pro-nuclear government’s own energy review consultation document concedes: “Nuclear power plants emit almost zero carbon, and could contribute to the government’s goal of reducing emissions. The mining, refining and enriching of uranium, and plant construction and decommissioning, are carbon-intensive processes, especially when low-quality uranium ore is being processed.”

Independent 23rd July 2007 more >>

Editorial: It’s tempting to turn to nuclear plants to combat climate change, but alternatives are safer and cheaper. The enormous cost of building nuclear plants, the reluctance of investors to fund them, community opposition and an endless controversy over what to do with the waste ensure that ramping up the nuclear infrastructure will be a slow process — far too slow to make a difference on global warming. That’s just as well, because nuclear power is extremely risky. What’s more, there are cleaner, cheaper, faster alternatives that come with none of the risks.

Los Angeles Times 23rd July 2007 more >>

Radioactive waste

A new permanent nuclear waste disposal site at Hinkley Point in Somerset will soon be moving one step closer to reality.In the next few weeks, Magnox Electric Ltd is submitting a planning application to Somerset County Council to build a permanent disposal facility on the Somerset site for low-level radioactive waste (LLW) coming from the decommissioning and clean-up of the defunct Hinkley Point A.

Western Daily Press 23rd July 2007 more >>

Iran

Iran will hold talks with the UN nuclear regulator tomorrow in Vienna over its nuclear programme, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

Interactive Investor 23rd July 2007 more >>

Europe

The European Commission has decided to establish a High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management that will develop a common understanding and reinforce common approaches in the safety of nuclear installations across the 27-member economic bloc.

Nuclear Engineering International 23rd July 2007 more >>

Germany

Dr. Bruno Thomauske has been relieved of his function as head of Vattenfall Europe Nuclear Energy (VENE) in the wake of incidents at German nuclear power plants Krümmel and Brunsbüttel.

Nuclear Engineering International 23rd July 2007 more >>

Japan

Japan has decided to allow international inspectors to visit the nuclear power plant damaged in last week’s earthquake, as fears grow for the safety of the country’s nuclear power industry. The government had initially turned down an offer of help from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but changed its mind a day later amid pressure from local officials and rising anxiety among residents living near the plant in Kashiwazaki, Niigata prefecture.

Guardian website 23rd July 2007 more >>

Posted: 24 July 2007

23 July 2007

EDF

EDF’s nuclear power joint venture with Constellation Energy Group Inc in the US will allow the French utility to enter ‘a major period of expansion’ similar to that seen in the 1970s, EDF chief executive Pieree Gadoneix said in an interview with Le Figaro.

Forbes 23rd July 2007 more >>

New nukes

Letter: Bearing in mind the formidable future challenges posed by the environment and security of supply, BusinessEurope not only wants effective policies for renewables but also urges public authorities to direct towards nuclear energy the attention it has not received for a long time. It is also essential to allow nuclear to compete with other sources of low-carbon generation on a level playing field.

FT 23rd July 2007 more >>

The government is today stepping up its consultation on its energy white paper, including whether nuclear power stations should be built or not. As part of the 20-week consultation period, 12 regional stakeholder events will be held to gauge views on Britain’s future energy needs.

View London 23rd July 2007 more >>

GNN 23rd July 2007 more >>

India

The Indian and US governments are separately grappling with differences that remain over nuclear co-operation after four days of talks in Washington, which officials said had made “substantial progress” without necessarily bridging the thorniest gaps.

FT 23rd July 2007 more >>

Russia

Attackers dressed in dark clothes and wielding metal pipes raided a camp of environmentalists protesting against nuclear waste processing at a Siberian chemicals plant early on Saturday, killing one activist. Witnesses say the attackers shouted nationalist slogans as they rampaged through the forest tent camp near the city of Angarsk, about 2,600 miles east of Moscow. But police rejected suggestions that extremist groups had masterminded the attack.

Independent 23rd July 2007 more >>

Guardian 23rd July 2007 more >>

Germany

Vattenfall Europe AG, Germany’s fourth-largest utility, will keep its Brunsbuettel nuclear plant halted until repairs to screw anchors are complete.

Bloomberg 22nd July 2007 more >>

North Korea

A team of UN inspectors walked into a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, one of the most secret and well-guarded sites in Asia, last week and placed specialised fibre-optic seals on the machinery. It was a rare moment of triumph for nuclear diplomacy in a dangerous world: North Korea had come back into the fold after five years of rampant bomb-building. The inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) went on to seal four other North Korean sites and are now setting up an elaborate network of video monitors and sensors. The next step will be for the regime to account for the rest of its nuclear programme with a view to eventually dismantling it.

Guardian 23rd July 2007 more >>

Japan

Tokyo Electric Power, Japan’s biggest utility, has started counting the cost of the Niigata earthquake, which last week brought the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, the biggest in the world, to a complete shutdown.

FT 23rd July 2007 more >>

Japan’s nuclear power industry is among the world’s most ambitious. Spurred by fears of global warming, planners envision a rapid expansion of plants, capacity and cutting-edge technologies. But a series of radioactive leaks at the world’s largest atomic plant following last week’s killer earthquake in Niigata Prefecture has given the industry a public relations headache that will be difficult to cure.

Japan Times 23rd July 2007 more >>

Posted: 23 July 2007

22 July 2007

North Korea

North Korea’s envoy at talks on the country’s nuclear programme has said it should be given light-water reactors as reward for axing its current programme. Such reactors cannot easily be used for making weapons-grade material, but correspondents say the demand may cause problems for the six-party talks.

BBC 21st July 2007 more >>

Russia

In the early morning of 21st July, neo-nazi skinheads launched a vicious and unprovoked attack on a non-violent anti-nuclear protest camp in Angarsk, Siberia, Russia. The nazis violently attacked activists in their sleeping bags and tents with iron rods, knives and air pressure guns. A 21 year old protester from Vladivostok has died in hospital from his injuries.

Indymedia 21st July 2007 more >>

Germany

A nuclear power plant in northern Germany was shut down due to problems with its security system, officials in Schleswig-Holstein state said Saturday. The Brunsbruettel reactor, run by Vattenfall Europe AG, was taken off-line after checks revealed problems in a pipeline that serves as part of its security system. The shutdown follows closure last month of the Kruemmel nuclear plant — also partially run by Vattenfall — following a fire in a transformer.

International Herald Tribune 21st July 2007 more >>

Fuel Poverty

A coalition of energy companies, including EDF Energy, E.ON UK and Scottish Power, have threatened to take the Government to court if, as appears likely, it misses its fuel poverty targets. In 2000, the Government made the legally binding commitment to completely eradicate fuel poverty among the vulnerable – the elderly, disabled and families on low incomes – by 2010. Households are defined as fuel poor if they spend more than 10 per cent of their disposable income, excluding housing benefits, on utility bills. But the number of fuel-poor households in the UK actually doubled between 2004 and 2006 from 1.2 million to 2.5 million as bills soared. The Government has been criticised for not providing enough funds to its Warm Front subsidy scheme tasked with tackling fuel poverty. The Treasury has earmarked £800m over the last three years to provide free insulation and heaters. But officials are working on the next Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), which will fix government department budgets for the next three years. There are fears that the budget for the Warm Front scheme – which stood at £350m this year – could be cut by one third. This would effectively end any remaining chance that the Government’s 2010 fuel poverty target could be met.

Independent on Sunday 22nd July 2007 more >>

Posted: 22 July 2007