News October 2007

31 October 2007

British Energy

Britain faces the prospect of power shortages and soaring prices this winter after the National Grid warned of a shortfall in electricity-generating capacity yesterday. The alert coincides with a surge in gas prices, which are now 40% higher than in continental Europe, and the confirmation that a vital import plant in South Wales will not be operational this winter. And it emerged last night that the energy minister, Malcolm Wicks, met power providers and users last week to discuss mounting concerns that the UK was heading into another winter of soaring prices and power shortages, similar to the one that forced some manufacturers to shut down capacity 24 months ago. The fragility of the country’s power infrastructure is partly the result of a series of breakdowns at the UK’s ageing nuclear reactors.

Guardian 31st Oct 2007 more >>

Planning

“Radical reforms” to save £300m every year and cut delays to nuclear power stations and other major infrastructure projects by half will be outlined on Tuesday by local government minister John Healey. Mr Healey will say that the Planning Reform Bill, which will attempt to overhaul the creaking British system of infrastructure planning, will save up to £5bn by 2030.

FT 30th October 2007 more >>

India

Has India’s ruling Congress party-led government been reduced to a lame duck one after its Communist allies appear to have scuppered a landmark civilian nuclear deal with the US?

BBC 30th Oct 2007 more >>

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he believes a controversial civilian nuclear deal with the US is not dead, despite being delayed.

BBC 30th Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

Iran held fresh talks with Russia on Tuesday, just before Moscow and other major powers discuss possible new U.N. sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear plans.

Reuters 30th Oct 2007 more >>

Korea

North Korea agreed Tuesday to accept half of the economic aid it has been promised for disabling its nuclear reactor in energy-related equipment and other materials.

Guardian website 30th Oct 2007 more >>

Italy

Italy is beginning to reconsider nuclear power 20 years after a referendum which banned it.

World Nuclear News 30th Oct 2007 more >>

New nukes

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has said the growth in electricity demand and higher fossil fuel prices, alongside increasing concerns about climate change and security of supplies, have considerably improved the prospects of nuclear power generation in Europe. “It is still too early to talk about a nuclear revival in the EU, though. Only one plant has so far been commissioned this year, in Romania, while four others are being built and another four are planned,” S&P’s credit analyst Hugues de la Presle said.

Interactive Investor 30th Oct 2007 more >>

Hinkley

British Energy Group has reaffirmed the safety at Hinkley Point B power station after a recent inspection by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate that brought up the issue of core restraints.

Energy Business Review 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 31 October 2007

30 October 2007

Iran

Israel on Monday injected fresh urgency into its campaign for more sanctions against arch-foe Iran, assailing the UN nuclear watchdog chief for saying there was no proof Tehran wanted atomic weapons.

Africasia 29th Oct 2007 more >>

The United States on Monday brushed aside the UN nuclear watchdog agency chief’s warning that there was no proof Iran seeks atomic weapons, and invited him to stay out of diplomacy with Tehran.

AFT 30th Oct 2007 more >>

French Defence Minister Herve Morin on Monday dismissed comments by the head of the UN atomic watchdog that there was no evidence Iran is building nuclear weapons, saying Paris has evidence to the contrary.

Africasia 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Egypt

Egypt’s president announced plans Monday to build several nuclear power plants — the latest in a string of ambitious such proposals from moderate Arab countries. The United States immediately welcomed the plan, in a sharp contrast to what it called nuclear “cheating” by Iran.

AP 30th Oct 2007 more >>

Guardian website 30th Oct 2007 more >>

FT 30th Oct 2007 more >>

BBC 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Middle East Online 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Russia

SAFETY breaches have caused a radiation leak at a nuclear reprocessing plant in the Ural mountains, but Russian officials say there is no danger to humans. Local Emergencies Ministry officials said a faulty tap allowed radiation to leak from a tank holding liquid radioactive waste on to a road at the Mayak plant four days ago.

Scotsman 30th Oct 2007 more >>

Reuters 29th Oct 2007 more >>

US

An influential panel of scientists urged President Bush to abandon plans for a billion-dollar push to expand nuclear power. It said the scheme to resume nuclear waste reprocessing has not been adequately checked, and depends on unproven technology which will not be ready in time. The National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council said research into Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) was taking money and interest away from other nuclear programs. “All committee members agree that the GNEP programme should not go forward and that it should be replaced by a less aggressive research program,” said the panel.

Channel 4 News 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Europe

The newly formed European Union (EU) high level group on nuclear safety has held its first meeting. Its experts are charged with advising on possible harmonisation of EU national rules and standards on nuclear safety, waste management and decommissioning.

Nuclear Engineering Internationalo 29th Oct 2007 more >>

The European Union’s research and development budget for the energy sector is too small and too biased in favour of nuclear power, Manuel Pinho, Portugal’s economy minister, has claimed. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Pinho, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said the 27-nation bloc would find it hard to meet its selfimposed targets on energy use if its R&D budget remained unchanged.

FT 30th Oct 2007 more >>

New nukes

Nuclear energy should be embraced as a means of avoiding unhealthy fossil fuel energy generation, and to give governments time to increase renewable energy generation, according to an article in UK medical journal The Lancet.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Hinkley

British Energy Group has reaffirmed the safety at Hinkley Point B power station after a recent inspection by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate that brought up the issue of core restraints. The company has stated that it is fully aware of this issue and is dealing with it as part of the ongoing safe operation of the station. It has confirmed that this is not an issue that undermines the current safe operation of the station.

Datamonitor 29th Oct 2007 more >>

NDA

Nuclear industry union leaders are to seek talks with the government after claims that resources are being moved from Southern England to Sellafield.

Carlisle News and Star 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Algeria

Algeria’s energy minister said he will discuss cooperation with France in civilian nuclear power during a two-day visit to Paris.

Interactive Investor 29th Oct 2007 more >>

IAEA

The head of the UN atomic watchdog agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, on Monday pressed for a global reserve of nuclear fuel to safely meet growing worldwide demand for nuclear energy. In a report on his agency’s activities to the UN General Assembly, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief said his agency was weighing a proposal for “an actual or virtual reserve fuel bank of last resort under IAEA auspices” for supplying nuclear fuel.

Africasia 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 30 October 2007

29 October 2007

New nukes

The battle lines between East Anglian MPs over whether to build a new generation of nuclear power stations can be revealed by the EDP today . A poll of the region’s MPs shows how some are preparing to defy their party line and vote against atomic power and how others believe we must have new nuclear power stations – such as a Sizewell C plant in Suffolk – to meet the nation’s future energy needs.

East Anglian Daily Press 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Letter: Your editorial “Energy omissions” (October 25), about the incoherence of UK and European Union energy policy, makes the excellent point that nuclear and renewable energy are not mutually exclusive. You also courageously point out that the market for renewables is badly distorted by subsidies, but go on to maintain that nuclear is not “strictly speaking, renewable”. This is a correct but misleading distinction. While not strictly renewable, nuclear energy is essentially inexhaustible. Inexhaustible, that is, if we stop using the wasteful once-through cycle that uses less than 1 per cent of the energy in mined uranium and leaves us with a “waste” problem.

FT 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Sweden

It’s not everyone’s dream destination, but in Sweden thousands of visitors each year head to remote coastland to view the nation’s nuclear power plants.

Reuters 29th Oct 2007
more >>

Iran

Dozens of Iranian students have been admitted to British universities to study nuclear physics and other branches of science and engineering that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction.

Telegraph 29th Oct 2007 more >>

ElBaradei says there is no evidence Iran is making nuclear weapons.

Mathaba 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Interactive Investor 28th Oct 2007 more >>

India

Hank Paulson, US Treasury secretary, urged India on Sunday to move ahead with implementing a historic civilian nuclear deal between the two countries, pressing the Indian government to face down leftwing opponents of an agreement.

FT 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Trident

“GIVEN that the UK nuclear arsenal is held in Scotland, it is logical that the Scottish Government should be represented at future discussions.” So said SNP MSP Michael Matheson when Alex Salmond, had written to 189 foreign embassies and consulates of countries that were signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Scotsman 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Former cold war foes Russia and the US have published a joint declaration calling on all countries to destroy medium-range nuclear-capable missiles.

Channel 4 News 28th Oct 2007 more >>

Climate

It may be that ministers will defy their critics and come up with a truly radical package of measures that puts Britain on course to cut CO2 emissions by a minimum of 60% by 2050. This will not be achieved, however, through the government’s current twin strategy of nuclear power and blind faith in the European carbon trading scheme. The Green Alliance argues for a dedicated low-carbon fund for Europe’s energy and infrastructure, money set aside for carbon capture and storage, extra funds for research in green technologies, a sovereign investment fund to help move China and India towards low-carbon economies, and a budget to help the poorest countries adapt to climate change. Colin Hines, calls for a “Green New Deal”. In the wake of the run on Northern Rock, the government, Hines says, could restore confidence and cut carbon emissions by setting up a safe haven for savings, be they in banks or pension funds, that would then be used to kickstart a massive public and private works programme to cut energy use.

Guardian 29th Oct 2007 more >>

The Commons environmental audit committee called for urgent change following a decade of missed opportunities for the government to “rise fully” to the challenge of climate change.

Independent 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Telegraph 29th Oct 2007 more >>

A rapid cutback in greenhouse gas emissions could speed up global warming, the veteran environmental maverick James Lovelock will warn in a lecture today.

Telegraph 29th Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 29 October 2007

28 October 2007

New nukes

Britain will lobby for a lower national target for renewable energy than the 20 per cent to which European governments agreed earlier this year, John Hutton has indicated. The Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform revealed this apparent about-face to The Observer but denied claims following leaked documents last week that he wanted to do a U-turn on the Europe-wide target for 2020. However, he said that the same target would not ‘automatically apply’ to Britain. Hutton also confirmed that nuclear power would not make a significant contribution towards Britain cutting its carbon emissions by 2020. He said that the first new reactor would not be in operation until 2017. It is the first time the government has indicated that any building programme of new reactors will be staggered and will not be completed by the end of the next decade.

Observer 28th Oct 2007 more >>

British Energy

British Energy executives were last week trying to put a brave face on the latest technical problems which shut down two of its eight nuclear reactors and wiped almost £500m from the company’s value. At the end of an industry dinner in a private dining room of a West End club, one diner wished an executive of the nuclear generator luck. ‘Luck? We don’t need luck,’ came the reply through gritted teeth.

Observer 28th Oct 2007 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Environment Minister Phil Woolas today welcomed the appointment of the reconstituted Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). The reconstituted Committee will play a key role in scrutinising
Government’s and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) plans for the long term management, including interim storage and disposal, of radioactive waste. It will provide ongoing independent advice to
UK Government and devolved administrations.

DEFRA Press Release 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Decommissioning

Fears that an iconic industrial site in the Highlands could end up as a radioactive scrap yard have been re-ignited by news that a nuclear decommissioning company is set to buy the site. The former Nigg Fabrication Yard on the Cromarty Firth is up for sale, and the Birmingham-based demolition company, DSM, has become the “preferred bidder”. It specialises in breaking up large structures, include oil rigs, ships and buildings. DSM claims “vast experience and knowledge of nuclear decommissioning” and boasts that it can “address the entire range of engineering issues in this complex business.” Its customers include the government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, British Nuclear Fuels, the British Nuclear Group and the UK Atomic Energy Authority, which between them are responsible for dismantling all Britain’s defunct nuclear plants. DSM has also done business with the Royal Navy, which is trying to work out how to
dispose of up to 27 old nuclear submarines over the next 30 years.

Sunday Herald 28 October 2007 more >>

robedwards.com 28th Oct 2007 more >>

NDA

Hundreds of jobs at two power plants may be under threat if the Government opts to suspend decommissioning in southern England. Union leaders are seeking talks with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) over reports that clean-up work at defunct nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point A in Somerset and Berkeley in Gloucestershire is to be halted because of funding problems.

Western Daily Press 27th Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

THE Foreign Office has cleared dozens of Iranians to enter British universities to study advanced nuclear physics and other subjects with the potential to be applied to weapons of mass destruction.

Sunday Times 28th Oct 2007 more >>

India

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Sunday urged India to proceed with a civilian nuclear deal as soon as possible, but acknowledged that domestic political controversy over the deal must be resolved first.

Reuters 28th Oct 2007 more >>

Trident

Iain Macwhirter: It is surely to Labour’s shame that it has been left to the SNP to rediscover the popularity of essentially social democratic policies, like ending prescription charges, free school meals, opposing Trident, reviewing PFI, abolishing the graduate endowment, curbing right-to-buy. These are all things Labour always wanted to do, but didn’t because they were too loyal to Westminster.

Sunday Herald 28th Oct 2007 more >>

Guardian 27th Oct 2007 more >>

Liberal Democrat leadership contender Chris Huhne last night moved to seize the initiative from his front-running rival Nick Clegg by breaking with party policy on keeping Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles.

Observer 28th Oct 2007 more >>

Independent on Sunday 28th Oct 2007 more >>

Eco-houses

European and UK legislation on planning regulations and building standards have already resulted in a 14 per cent increase in build costs, a figure which could rise to more than 60 per cent, if so-called, BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) standards of excellence are met. The revelation by Miller Developments, a division of Miller, the UK’s largest privately owned property development and construction company, will put pressure on the Government to reassess policies such as the Merton Rule which stipulates that new developments must generate between 10 and 20 per cent of their energy needs through onsite renewable power.

Sunday Telegraph 28th Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 28 October 2007

27 October 2007

Trident

EARLIER this week, at a meeting held in Glasgow, MSPs and councillors, anti-nuclear weapons campaigners and church leaders gathered to plan resistance to the development of son of Trident.Article by Rob Gibson MSP.

John O Groat Journal 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Nationalists have called on councils to seek ways of blocking nuclear weapon convoys from their roads, despite a complaint by one councillor of “gesture” politics.

ICScotland 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s nationalist first minister, is making the dialect/language and nation/nation state difference visible by attacking government plans to renew the UK’s ability to deploy nuclear weapons – by replacing the submarine-launched Trident missile system when the four Vanguard-class nuclear submarines reach the end of their working life in the 2020s. Trident is based at two deep sea lochs that stretch north from the Firth of Clyde.

Guardian 27th Oct 2007 more >>

US Weapons

The Pentagon was reeling last night from the American military’s second major nuclear weapons blunder in a month. Congress is demanding a full scale investigation and serious questions are being asked about the competence of the officers in charge of the world’s mightiest arsenal. The latest outrage came as Commander Michael Portland, the officer in charge of the USS Hampton, the most advanced nuclear attack submarine in the world, was fired after it was discovered that he had neglected to make basic daily safety checks.

Daily Mail 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

Iran is only two years away from obtaining nuclear weapons according to an exiled Iranian opposition group.

EU Business 26th Oct 2007 more >>

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is worried about Iran’s nuclear programme but hopes a stand-off with the international community can be resolved through dialogue, he said in comments published in Italy on Friday.

Mirror 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Reuters 26th Oct 2007 more >>

A senior foreign policy adviser to the Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani has urged that Iran be bombed using cruise missiles and “bunker busters” to set back Teheran’s nuclear programme by at least five years.

Telegraph 27th Oct 2007 more >>

British Energy

British Energy Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest power generator, said worse-than-expected deterioration of graphite-brick structures in the reactor core at its Hinkley Point B nuclear plant may affect operations only in the “long term.”

Bloomberg 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Hinkley

Campaigners have called for the immediate closure of Hinkley following a report from the regulators that the reactor core support system was potentially unsafe.

Burnham-on-sea.com 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Stop Hinkley Press Release 26th Oct 2007 more >>

NDA

Union leaders are seeking talks with the Government over reports that clean-up work at defunct nuclear reactors in the south of England is to be halted as funding is moved to similar operations at Sellafield.

Nelson Leader 26th Oct 2007 more >>

East Anglian Daily Times 26th Oct 2007 more >>

East Anglian Daily Times 27th Oct 2007 more >>

The GMB says seeking a private sector solution is delaying the clean up of old sites and the building of new stations needed for energy security and to lower carbon emissions.

GMB Press Release 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Korea

The U.S. envoy to North Korean nuclear talks told Congress on Thursday the North’s uranium enrichment program no longer will be a threat by year’s end, and said the diplomatic normalization Pyongyang expects will happen only after full denuclearization.

Christian Today 26th Oct 2007 more >>

France

Electricite de France’s three nuclear plants in the southwest have an “overall satisfactory” security level but EDF must improve operating controls, French nuclear security authorities said.

Interactive Investor 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Sellafield

There was sharp division in the Assembly yesterday as the DUP and Sinn Fein took opposing views on the contentious issue of nuclear power.

4NI 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Syria

New satellite images of a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site bombed by Israeli jets appear to show it has now been bulldozed.

Sky News 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Syria has removed all traces of a building targeted by a mysterious Israeli air attack last month, fuelling speculation that the structure may have concealed a partially-completed nuclear installation.

Guardian 27th Oct 2007 more >>

Telegraph 27th Oct 2007 more >>

Scotsman 27th Oct 2007 more >>

Japan

Japan’s nuclear industry is struggling to win the public’s trust after years of accidents and cover-ups. Tepco temporarily shut all 17 of its nuclear reactors in 2003 after it was caught doctoring safety reports. Since the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant was switched off indefinitely in July, two other plants operated by different utilities have shut down after suffering technical failures – in one case resulting in an internal radiation leak. The problems have forced the government to bolster its traditional means of securing public approval for power plants and other nuclear facilities: paying rural municipalities to host them.

FT 27th Oct 2007 more >>

India

India’s progress is being halted by opponents of a landmark nuclear deal with the US that could significantly boost a sector vital to the country’s future, according to the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

FT 27th Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 27 October 2007

26 October 2007

Nuclear Consultation

Article by David Lowry: the twenty-week public consultation on the future of nuclear power in Britain has come to an end. In an ironic coincidence the consultation concluded on the 50th anniversary of the most devastating nuclear accident this country – the massive fire at the military plutonium production “piles” at the Windscale works at Sellafield on October 10, 1957.

Tribune 18th Oct 2007 more >>

New nukes

Leader: The leaked documents show that the department for business believes emphasis on renewable energy such as wind power is an obstacle to its (still
far from convincing) nuclear power plans. The environment department is set on keeping the renewables target. Both are wrong. First, nuclear and renewable energy are not mutually exclusive. Britain is going to need both. But, second, the right target is not renewables but greenhouse gas emissions. The EU should work to set a consistent price for emitting a tonne of carbon dioxide, then let the market decide how best to cut emissions.

FT 25th Oct 2007 more >>

The eternal tension between environmental campaigners and business has resurfaced this week with a Whitehall battle over the target set by the
European Union that 20 per cent of energy should come from renewable sources by 2020. In one corner stands the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Dberr) which sees the renewable energy target as a threat to investment in the nuclear industry. In the other is the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which argues that the UK should invest in both the renewable sector and nuclear power, as both will be
needed to create a low carbon economy.

FT 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Energy companies are likely to invest in fossil fuel plants unless the government reaches a clear position on nuclear power, a leading energy consultant has warned. Parsons Brinckerhoff ratcheted up the pressure on Gordon Brown to give the green light to nuclear new-build in a response to the government’s consultation on the issue. It said even a short delay could have “disastrous” results, by creating dependency on gas from politically unstable states.

Building 26th Oct 2007 more >>

It really comes as no surprise to see the Financial Times has today reported that Gordon Brown’s plans for more nuclear power stations appear to be in total disarray. Government rhetoric has long masked the fact that the ailing, subsidy-gobbling nuclear industry should have been put out of its misery years ago.

Greenpeace 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations have been hit by a series of obstacles, according to leaked reports published yesterday.

Western Daily Press 25th Oct 2007 more >>

A leaked document has given December 17th as the day when the Government will release its White Paper on new nuclear power stations and nuclear waste.

Whitehaven News 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Letter from Lord Howell: The real driver for change is the oil price. If this is high (as it now is – almost back to 1980 levels), and expected to stay high (as it probably will), that will be far the most powerful incentive for making renewables and alternative energy technologies commercial and truly competitive, investing in new-generation nuclear power, dragging down the cost of carbon capture and storage, and thus bringing on board the Chinese with their massive coal-burning plans which, unless cleaned up, will mean that all efforts by the rest of us to reduce carbon will be wasted.

FT 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Renewables

Letters: Ken Livinstone: Gordon Brown should reject attempts to block the development of renewable energy. I hope the prime minister will take the opportunity of this leaked paper to stamp down on those unable to see the growing threat of climate change, and instead map out a coherent programme for Britain to take advantage of our almost unparalleled renewable energy opportunities – from wind, wave, and tidal as well as solar power, so the government’s actions start to match its rhetoric.

Dr Jim Watson: The government is being disingenuous when it claims the renewable energy target agreed by Tony Blair will undermine the European emissions trading scheme. This will only happen if the caps on carbon emissions already agreed are not adjusted to take a more rapid renewables’ expansion into account.

Guardian 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Jeremy Leggett: Germany is mobilising as fast as it did 70 years ago. Our common enemy is global warming, and it is already at our gates. But while our German allies are turning out the renewable energy equivalents of Messerschmitts by the factory-load, Britain is again slow to spring into action. Worse, as we learned yesterday, officials responsible for UK mobilisation have told the prime minister it is impossible for us to build modern-day Spitfires in any number. We should instead oppose European targets set recently for such mobilisation and join other laggards in order to persuade the Germans to scale back their own efforts.

Guardian 25th Oct 2007 more >>

India

The nuclear deal, which Mr Singh would argue is a “manifestly obvious” thing to do, has little chance of coming into force.

Economist 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

The Bushehr nuclear power plant Russia is building for Iran will operate under the strict control of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, a senior Russian official was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Reuters 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Italy

Italy’s government wants a facility to store and treat nuclear waste to be built by 2020, the minister for economic development Pierluigi Berssani said. Plans to build the site, which will also act as a centre for nuclear energy research, will be drawn up within the next six months. The minister reiterated his opinion the reintroduction of nuclear power plants is currently “unthinkable” because of high costs and the lack of nuclear structures such as waste storage.

Interactive Investor 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Sellafield

John Reynolds, who has been communications and marketing manager for Allerdale Council will become senior manager for media relations with Sellafield Ltd.

Carlisle News and Star 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Submarines

The commanding officer of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Hampton was relieved of his duty Thursday because of a loss of confidence in his leadership, the Navy said Thursday. Cmdr. Michael B. Portland was relieved of duty after a U.S. Navy investigation found the ship failed to do daily safety checks on its nuclear reactor for a month and falsified records to cover up the omission.

Guardian website 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Syria

New commercial satellite images show a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site has been wiped clean since it was bombed Sept. 6 by Israeli aircraft. Analysts say the cleanup will hinder a proposed investigation by international nuclear inspectors and suggests Syria is trying to conceal evidence.

Guardian website 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Images from Google Earth have allowed the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security to pinpoint a complex that they say was likely to have housed a small nuclear reactor. It was believed to be of a design thought capable of making about one nuclear weapon’s worth of plutonium each year.

Telegraph 26th Oct 2007 more >>

NDA

Clean-up work at all of the defunct nuclear reactors in the South of England is to be halted amid funding problems at the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, The Times has learnt. In its business plan, to be published next month, the NDA is expected to say that resources will be moved to Sellafield and that clean-up work will be suspended at the Sizewell A, Dungeness A, Hinkley Point A, Bradwell and Berkeley magnox reactors.

Times 26th Oct 2007 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

First Minister Alex Salmond was yesterday criticised by a Burmese democracy campaigner after it emerged he had written to the country’s military rulers in his bid to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons. Mr Salmond was also criticised for seeking the support of Zimbabwe and Iran.

Herald 26th Oct 2007 more >>

BBC 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Windscale

A study by Richard Wakeford and John Garland claims that the cancer effects of the 57 fire had been underestimated.

Whitehaven News 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Companies

What Ecotricity does not tell you is that it is also the company with far and away the highest percentage of nuclear in its energy mix. Strange, because there is a whole untapped market of pro-nuclear people out there who would switch to Ecotricity like a flash if they knew.

Telegraph 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 26 October 2007

25 October 2007

New nukes

The shortage of nuclear inspectors in the UK reflects a wider skills shortage in the nuclear industry and threatens to delay the construction of a new generation of nuclear power stations. No new nuclear power stations have been built in the UK since Sizewell B in Suffolk began construction in 1988. But since last year the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, part of the Health and Safety Executive, has been gearing up to restart the process, known as “generic design assessment”. According to a leaked Whitehall document the NII needs to expand its team of nuclear inspectors to around 35 by March 2009.

FT 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Westminster is considering reclassifying nuclear power stations into the same category as renewable energy sources. This follows the realisation that Britain will not be able to meet the new EU target of supplying 20 per cent of all power from renewable sources by 2020. The target is for Europe as a whole, but with the UK barely able to manage 2 per cent, the chances of making a significant contribution are slight.

Scotsman 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Scotsman 25th Oct 2007 more >>

The leaked documents show that the government fears there could be a further challenge if it presses ahead with plans to publish a white paper on nuclear power for December 17, as green groups may claim this leaves insufficient time for the results of the consultation to be taken into account.

FT 25th Oct 2007 more >>

The IAEA predicts that nuclear power will grow to 447-679GWe by 2030 from the current level of 370GWe

World Nuclear News 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Renewables

Comment by John Sauven: For Germany, embracing the EU renewables target is a driver for greater renewables industry growth so it’s no surprise that they are committed to tougher CO2 reduction targets and tougher renewable energy targets too. Meanwhile Brown’s government privately accepts Britain can meet the ambitious EU renewable energy target, but regards it as a threat to plans for new nuclear power stations and to the growth of a carbon trading market in London’s financial quarter.

Guardian 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Syria

US security experts have published what they believe to be photographs of a secret nuclear facility in Syria, which was bombed by Israeli jets last month.

Independent 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Daily Mirror 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice singled out Iran Wednesday as “perhaps the single greatest challenge” to US security but stressed that diplomacy was the preferred way to end its nuclear drive.

Africasia 24th Oct 2007 more >>

People

Michael Parker, the Liverpool-born chief executive of British Nuclear Fuels, has been appointed chairman of a new Liverpool regeneration agency.

FT 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Letter from Jason Nisse: It is a shame that the Treasury is resisting the so-called “volunteer” process, by which local councils would apply to have a nuclear waste depository based in their council area, for fear that only Copeland in Cumbria, where Sellafield is located, would apply (“Nuclear building schedule in jeopardy”, October 24). I feel a dose of reality could be applied to the financial modelling. Having been a director of Nirex, the now disbanded body then charged with developing the geological repository for nuclear waste, I know this process well.

FT 25th Oct 2007 more >>

China

China may dramatically increase the proportion of energy it gets from nuclear power ‘in the near future’, according to the energy expert charged with developing the country’s new energy strategy.

Chemistry World 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Morocco

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Tuesday that France and Morocco had decided to cooperate on civil nuclear energy.

Middle East Online 24th Oct 2007 more >>

India

India’s beleaguered prime minister is determined to push a nuclear deal with the United States despite stiff opposition from his communist allies, a lobbying group quoted him as saying. The historic deal has brought Manmohan Singh’s coalition to the brink of collapse as left parties that shore it up have threatened to end support if the pact is pursued.

Reuters 24th Oct 2007 more >>

British Energy

PROBLEMS at Britain’s nuclear power stations could mean the lights go out in winter if it is cold, an energy expert from the region has warned. Prof Ian Fells, of Newcastle University, said seven nuclear power plants are now out of action.

Newcastle Journal 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Times 25th Oct 2007 more >>

California Fire

One fire in the area briefly threatened the San Onofre nuclear plant, prompting a request from the state governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for air tankers to douse the flames.

Guardian 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Independent 25th Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 25 October 2007

24 October 2007

New nukes

The government is so short of nuclear inspectors that the programme of new reactors being planned may have to be put on hold, leaked papers show. The business secretary, John Hutton, yesterday warned Gordon Brown that the government has only five inspectors working on the design assessments of the three types of reactors being considered for Britain. The papers show an additional 35 inspectors are needed to be in place within 16 months. But despite offering 15% more money, the government is finding it hard to recruit more because the Treasury refuses to offer a better pay package.

Guardian 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Efforts to build a new generation of nuclear power plants are under threat from staff shortages, Whitehall disputes over investment in renewables and how to deal with nuclear waste, according to leaked documents from the government department overseeing the programme.

FT 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Letter: Hutton says there will be no “hidden” subsidies for nuclear power, but, in the UK, as in many other countries around the world, nuclear power enjoys a large hidden subsidy: it is required to pay only a small fraction of the cost of insuring fully against a Chernobyl-style disaster or worse.

Scotsman 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Nuclear power is to remain a major source of energy around the world in the coming decades, especially given the concerns over climate change and energy security, the UN nuclear watchdog said. “Nuclear power’s prominence as a major energy source will continue over the next several decades,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a new report, entitled “Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the period up to 2030.”

Interactive Investor 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

A new report aimed at directing global ebergy develpoment says problems facing nuclear power are as much social and political as they are scientific and technical.

World Nuclear News 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Ministers have been urged to stop “dithering” over plans for new nuclear stations as it emerged that nearly half of existing stations are out of action. British Energy has closed two of its 16 nuclear reactors for tests and another five are shut for maintenance. Shadow business secretary Alan Duncan said government “dithering and delay”. was putting energy security at risk.

BBC 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Renewbles

Ministers are planning a U-turn on Britain’s pledges to combat climate change that “effectively abolishes” its targets to rapidly expand the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Leaked documents seen by the Guardian show that Gordon Brown will be advised today that the target Tony Blair signed up to this year for 20% of all European energy to come from renewable sources by 2020 is expensive and faces “severe practical difficulties”. “[Meeting the 20% renewables target] crucially undermines the scheme’s credibility … and reduces the incentives to invest in other carbon technologies (sic) like nuclear power”, say the papers.

Guardian 23rd October 2007 more >>

Telegraph 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

British Energy

Britain is facing the prospect of blackouts this winter as almost half of the country’s nuclear power stations have been shut down for repairs. Seven out of the 16 stations are currently inactive, following the announcement of closures of plants in Hartlepool and Heysham after problems were detected during inspections. Professor Ian Fells, an energy specialist from Newcastle University, said this could mean power cuts if the winter is cold.

Telegraph 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Mirror 24th Oct 2007 more >>

British Energy – part-owned by the Government – closed the two reactors at its Hartlepool plant after a maintenance inspection flagged up a problem with a giant boiler in one. Two reactors at a sister plant, Heysham 1 in Lancashire, were taken out of service as a precaution. The power station at Torness in East Lothian, which also has two reactors, has been shut due to electrical faults, while one of the two reactors at Dungeness B in Kent is closed for routine maintenance.

View London 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Daily Mail 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Guardian website 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Yorkshire Post 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Lancashire Evening Post 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Britain could get comfortably through the winter without power supply interruption, even if two nuclear power plants shut by British Energy last weekend were to remain closed, power network operator National Grid said on Tuesday.

Reuters 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Planning Reform

Proposals to force through major developments such as airports or nuclear power stations by limiting the scope for public objections are likely to be ruled illegal, lawyers have warned the Government.

Telegraph 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Guardian 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Nuclear Waste

How do you get rid of nuclear waste? Has any country solved the problem of disposing of nuclear waste? How does France, which has many nuclear power stations, cope?

Guardian 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Earlier this month Aker Kvaerner was awarded a £16m contract by Magnox Electric. The project involves the design, building and installation of a plant for the retrieval and encapsulation of wet intermediate level wastes (ILW) at Hunterston A Site in West Kilbride, Scotland.

Newcastle Evening Gazette 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

Signs of a split over nuclear policy at the heart of Iran’s leadership emerged yesterday after MPs and an adviser to the country’s most powerful political figure criticised the departure of its chief negotiator, Ali Larijani.

Guardian 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Telegraph 24th Oct 2007 more >>

BBC 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Iran’s new nuclear negotiator has said his country will continue nuclear discussions “with strength”.

BBC 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Scotsman 24th Oct 2007 more >>

FT 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Britain is ready to push for further sanctions against Iran if it does not give up its nuclear ambitions, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today.

Daily Mail 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Morocco

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he has agreed to work with Morocco to develop nuclear power in the country.

Interactive Investor 24th Oct 2007 more >>

Romania

Suez will participate in a tender for two new nuclear reactors in Romania. Also participating in the tender are Germany’s RWE, Italy’s ENEL and Czech utility CEZ.

Interactive Investor 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Emergency Planning

EMERGENCY planners are gearing up to test how ready they are to deal with a nuclear disaster at Portsmouth naval base. Portsmouth City Council staff will be joining colleagues from the Royal Navy, government departments and the emergency services tomorrow for a ‘desktop’ exercise designed to check how they would handle a leak of fuel from nuclear submarines at the dockyard’s ‘Z’ berth.

Portsmouth News 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 24 October 2007

23 October 2007

British Energy

The country’s largest electricity generating company was thrown into turmoil yesterday after it was forced to close two of its nuclear power plants. Nearly £500 million was wiped from the value of British Energy amid fears that the group will now miss full-year output targets just two months after Bill Coley, the chief executive, insisted that performance was on an “improving trend”.

Times 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Guardian 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Guardian website 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

FT 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Independent 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

THORP

The Thorp nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Sellafield is set to restart full commercial operations in the new year, almost three years after it was closed following a radioactive leak. The Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant, or Thorp, at the nuclear complex in west Cumbria, is a large source of income for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the government body that owns the site. The plant recycles spent fuel from reactors by dissolving it in nitric acid and removing the waste, leaving uranium and plutonium that can be made into fresh fuel.

FT 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Submarines

Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarines have been involved in more than 200 radiological incidents at a single base in the past five years, according to a report released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Times 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

The crew of a US nuclear submarine failed to carry out daily reactor safety checks for a month, then forged records to cover up the blunder, it emerged today.

Belfast Telegraph 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Herald 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Trident

Talk by Rob Edwards on the environmental impact of nuclear weapons, and some pointers to what the Scottish Government may be able to do to block Westminster’s plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Rob Edwards 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Letters: it is hard to see how any government of Scotland would not find the presence of nuclear weapons in Scottish waters and on Scottish soil of intense and dreadful interest to its citizens.

Herald 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

Iran’s new chief nuclear negotiator is to meet EU envoy Javier Solana in Rome as diplomats try to detect any hardening in Tehran’s policy.

BBC 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Saeed Jalili, who replaced Ali Larijani as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator at the weekend, is a man of strong moral views who believes spiritual values should inform political actions. His absolute conviction of the rightness of Iran’s cause, and his loyalty to his old friend, Iran’s hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, may make him an awkward interlocutor when nuclear talks with the European Union resume in Rome today.

Guardian 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Scotsman 23rd Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 23 October 2007

22 October 2007

British Energy

BE delivered an electric shock to UK power markets today, closing down four nuclear reactors and shutting off 25% of generating capacity for the immediate future. The shutdowns after corrosion was found at the weekend during routine inspections at its Hartlepool nuclear power station sent the price of electricity soaring and British Energy’s shares plummeting. The company immediately took what it called the ‘conservative decision’ to close down the second reactor at Hartlepool and the similarly designed reactors at Heysham 1 in the North –West, where one of the reactors was already out of action for refuelling.

London Evening Standard 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

BBC 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

New nukes

Amec has formed an alliance with EDF and Areva to help the French companies build a new generation of nuclear reactors in the UK. The energy services group becomes the first British company to team up with one of the foreign utilities companies vying for the work.

Guardian 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Campaigners are hosting a meeting near Hinkley Point nuclear site tomorrow about the long-term disposal of the UK’s nuclear waste stockpile.The Government has backed the idea of a single deep depository somewhere in the UK to contain the country’s highlevel nuclear waste.

Western Daily Press 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Bristol Indy Media 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Submarines

There were 117 safety alerts involving nuclear-powered submarines at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth between 2004 and 2006, it has been revealed. A Freedom of Information Act request by the Western Morning News newspaper showed up incidents in six of Devonport’s seven Trafalgar Class subs.

BBC 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Plymouth Evening Herald 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Proliferation

It is still the best route out of our current nuclear crises – yet the NPT is being used as toilet-paper by the world’s leaders.

Independent 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Korea

North Korea could start disabling plants that make weapons-grade plutonium as early as next week as part of a disarmament-for-aid deal the North has struck with regional powers, a South Korean news report said on Monday.

Christian Today 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Iran

The shock resignation of Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the country’s future co-operation with UN inspectors, heightening the risk of US military strikes. Iran sought to reassure the West yesterday that Tehran’s policy over negotiations with Western powers attempting to curb its nuclear programme would not change after the replacement of Ali Larijani with a reputedly hardline deputy foreign minister, Saeed Jalili. Mr Jalili is more closely associated with the radical Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than Mr Larijani, who had been a rival of Mr Ahmadinejad in the last presidential elections. Iran’s nuclear policy is, however, decided by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to whom Mr Jalili will report in future.

Independent 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

A change in Iran’s top nuclear negotiator indicates President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and those who oppose any compromise in an atomic standoff with the West are winning the policy argument in the Islamic Republic.

Reuters 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

FT 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Telegraph 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Iran’s new nuclear negotiator will hold his first talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana Tuesday on the atomic crisis with the West, amid fresh US threats over the dangers of Tehran’s defiance.

Interactive Investor 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

The US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, has warned Iran’s government it will not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. Mr Cheney said the United States and the international community could not stand by as a “terror-supporting state” fulfilled its grandest ambitions.

BBC 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Interactive Investor 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Doubts surrounded the future of Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, yesterday after the departure of the country’s chief nuclear negotiator appeared to signal a significant power shift to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Guardian 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Scotland

First Minister Alex Salmond is seeking support from the international community in his campaign to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons. He has written to representatives of 189 countries signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Mr Salmond is asking them to back his bid for Scotland to have observer status at future treaty talks.

BBC 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Herald 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Letters with regard to Scotland’s voice at the NPT.

Herald 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Trident

Police massively outnumbered anti-nuclear protesters outside Rolls- Royce in Derby this morning. But Derbyshire Constabulary said the numbers were necessary as a precaution following problems at a demonstration at the same site two years ago. Around 12 protesters from campaign groups including Trident Ploughshares gathered outside Rolls-Royce’s Raynesway plant at about 6am. They said they were there to express their opposition to the company’s involvement in the national Trident nuclear submarine programme.

Derbyshire Evening Telegraph 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Russia

The Russian military has told Sky News it will increase the number of flights by its strategic nuclear bombers along the edge of Nato airspace.

Sky News 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

India

India’s Congress-led ruling coalition is meeting its communist allies amid signs that the government may shelve a nuclear deal with the US.

BBC 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Peak Oil

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.

Guardian 22nd Oct 2007 more >>

Posted: 22 October 2007