News September 2007

30 September 2007

Iran

Criticized by the U.S. but backed by other world powers, chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei is walking a fine line in trying to cajole Iran into revealing past nuclear secrets.

AP 30th Sept 2007 more >>

ONE of the founding fathers of neoconservatism has privately urged President George W Bush to bomb Iran rather than allow it to acquire nuclear weapons.

Sunday Times 30th Sept 2007 more >>

Ahmadinejad could be concealing a nuclear weapon or be on the point of realising one. But on the roll-call of leaders who represent a threat to world peace, Bush tops my list every time, while Ahmadinejad trails well behind. Bush’s grasp of foreign policy is always ruthlessly self-serving and must be forever suspect, given his preparedness to use bogus grounds of weapons of mass destruction to justify invading Iraq.

Sunday Herald 30th Sept 2007 more >>

Calder Hall

Fifty years of British industrial history were reduced to rubble within a couple of minutes on Saturday. Four 88-metre (288 feet) high cooling towers at Calder Hall, the world’s oldest industrial scale nuclear power station, were blown up with 192 kgs (420 pounds) of explosive as part of the plant’s decommissioning.

Reuters 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Observer 30th Sept 2007 more >>

Guardian website 30th Sept 2007 more >>

North West Evening Mail Video Clip 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Trident

One of the longest demonstrations against Britain’s nuclear arms policy comes to an end tomorrow, amid divided opinion over its success. Faslane 365 was intended to disrupt the nuclear submarine fleet by blockading the Faslane naval base, on the river Clyde, every day for a year. Thousands of protesters from the UK and abroad took it in turns to block the gates of the maximum-security defence establishment, in protest against the Trident missile programme.

Observer 30th Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 30 September 2007

29 September 2007

Calder Hall

After 47 years of generating electricity the four 50 year old towers at Sellafield’s Calder Hall site in Cumbria, England, are to be demolished. A demolition team will use explosives to bring down the 289ft towers, which were opened by the Queen on October 17, 1956. Sellafield faced years of criticism and after a public consultation, permission was given in June of 2005 to decommission Calder Hall, which had stopped generating electricity back in 2003.

Product Review 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Two 50-year-old cooling towers at Sellafield’s Calder Hall site in Cumbria have been razed to the ground after 47 years of generating electricity.

Sky News 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Finland

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) reiterated that it has no intention of sharing the costs resulting from delays in the construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor with the plant’s supplier Areva. Analysts have estimated the cost of the overruns at 1.5 bln eur, half the reported 3 bln value of the project. The plant is not expected to open until 2011, compared with the initially scheduled date of 2009 (6years instead of 4). So it is 50% over budget and taking 50% longer than planned.

Forbes 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Nuclear Finance

With this week’s application to build a new nuclear plant – the first in the US in nearly 30 years – the industry says it is on the verge of a nuclear power renaissance. Over the next 15 months, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects a tidal wave of similar permit applications for up to 28 new reactors, costing up to $90 billion to build. But the renaissance may be less robust than it looks. Even if the projects are successful and building proceeds at breakneck speed, the lead times are so long and costs so high that it’s unclear that the US can build enough nuclear plants to make a dent in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. They’re so financially risky, experts say, that the only reason building plans are under way is that the federal government has stepped in to guarantee investors against loan defaults.

Christian Science Monitor 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Energy Efficiency

All high-energy light bulbs will be removed from sale in Britain within four years under a pioneering deal between the Government and major retailers. Bulbs rated at 150 watts will be taken off the shelves as early as January under the voluntary agreement launched yesterday by a string of high street names. Millions of 100-watt bulbs will be removed a year later, with all incandescent lights phased out by 2011, under the timetable agreed by the stores. Green campaigners welcomed the move, which is aimed at replacing millions of lights with low-energy fluorescent bulbs, but said the Government needed to act sooner to remove high-energy bulbs.

Independent 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Russia

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the world’s second largest radiation accident, at Mayak in the Southern Urals, Greenpeace Russia has released a special report about the ongoing impacts of the Mayak tragedy. On the anniversary itself, Greenpeace will join local people in a protest rally in the nearby city of Chelyabinsk, to call for the relocation of those still living in contaminated areas and an end to Russia’s plans to import and reprocess even more foreign nuclear waste at the Mayak site.

Greenpeace International Press Release 28th Sept 2007 more >>
Greenpeace background media briefing on Mayak more >>

North Korea

A U.S. envoy said Saturday negotiators were working to narrow a gap between how far North Korea is willing to go to close down its nuclear facilities and what the U.S. wants the reclusive communist country to do.

Guardian website 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions shifted focus on Saturday to U.S. energy assistance for the impoverished state, despite cooled expectations that the session could set targets for disarmament.

Mirror 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

The world’s big powers on Friday gave Iran a new deadline of late November to rein back its nuclear programme or face heightened sanctions, but also asked Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, to work on reaching a deal with Tehran.

FT 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Daily Mail 29th Sept 2007 more >>

The international furore over Iran’s nuclear programme and the prospect of a tightening of United Nations sanctions have acted as a deterrent to long-term development plans, both public and private. So more funds are going into the housing sector, which is less dependent on imports.

FT 29th Sept 2007 more >>

U.S.-hosted high-level talks on imposing new sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program opened Friday, although there was little sign the Bush administration and its European allies can persuade Russia and China to drop opposition to such a move.

Guardian website 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Scotland

Letter from Kerr MacGregor: David Cairns, deputy Scottish Secretary in London, does not appear to be aware that a combination of renewables (wind, hydro, tides and biomass) can provide a predictable and steady source of electricity. He is also unaware that previous decisions on nuclear were disastrous for Scotland. Dounreay is probably the worst energy decision made in the UK. It produced virtually no electricity and the clean-up costs are enormous. Meanwhile, the decision to build Torness killed the Scottish coal industry and led to Scotland losing out on renewable energy jobs. Non-nuclear Denmark has more than 25,000 wind energy jobs while Scotland has only a few hundred.

Herald 29th Sept 2007 more >>

Winfrith

UP to 110 jobs face the axe at Winfrith if decommissioning cash for the former nuclear site is slashed by nearly 30 per cent. A spokesman for Winfrith said it and sister site Harwell in Oxford-shire had been given a recent update on likely funding for 2008-2010 by the Nuclear Decomm-issioning Authority. This showed that joint funding for the two United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority sites could drop from £84.6 million for 2007-2008 to only £60 million annually after that, although this level still had to be officially confirmed.

Dorset Echo 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 29 September 2007

28 September 2007

New nukes

Could there be any more confusion about the nuclear issue? Gordon Brown says it is the future. Malcolm Wicks, the energy minister, says no decision has been made. Dr David Lowry noticed that in subtitling Gordon Brown’s big conference speech, on Monday, the PM’s reference to “nuclear and renewables” was transcribed by the Beeb to read “killer and renewables”. This probably breaches the corporation’s charter. But it has the benefit of clarity.

Guardian 27th Sept 2007 more >>

The consultations are almost complete but any new energy proframme still has lots of hurdles to clear. The tide of public opposition to a new nuclear power programme may be turning. That was one interpretation placed on the early results of polls conducted at nine public meetings attended by more than 1,000 people as part of the government consultation to test the extent of support for the rebirth of an energy technology that traditionally divides public opinion.

Telegraph 27th Sept 2007 (same article as The Business 27th Sept 2007) more >>

Nuclear Finance

A renewable energy group said it was “deeply worried” about the neutrality of the European Commission when it comes to nuclear power. The European Renewable Energies Federation, or EREF, was reacting September 26 to a September 25 EC decision. The EC decision was that there was no illegal state aid involved in the 570-million-euro (US$805 million) export credit guarantee from French export credit agency Coface to French nuclear vendor Areva for the Olkiluoto-3 reactor under construction in Finland. EREF President Peter Danielsson said the EC had turned its back on its own policies and past practices with regard to export guarantees in intra-community EU trade, “for the sake of shielding nuclear from competitive market conditions and in order to fence out non EU competitors. EREF will evaluate the Coface decision once the whole document is available and see what next legal steps should be taken.”

Platts 26th Sept 2007 more >>

EREF Press Release 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

Britain is resisting American-led efforts to impose tougher sanctions on Iran, as the international community struggles to formulate its next move to prevent the Islamic state building a nuclear bomb. Although Britain and its allies share the common goal of imposing more sanctions at a later date, differences are emerging over the speed.

Telegraph 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Letter: we here in the UK and in Europe, now run the real danger of being drawn into a possible nuclear war in the event that Israel or the United States attacks Iran.

Scotsman 28th Sept 2007 more >>

An Iranian resistance group has claimed that Iran is constructing a secret underground military nuclear facility near its Natanz uranium enrichment plant.

Channel 4 News 27th Sept 2007 more >>

President Sarkozy’s office says Paris does not believe Tehran’s nuclear programme to be peaceful.

Middle East Online 27th Sept 2007 more >>

Korea

Persuading North Korea to move beyond a simple nuclear freeze and begin to disable its Yongbyon reactor will be a priority when the six-party talks on Pyong-yang’s nuclear aspirations resume in Beijing today.

FT 27th Sept 2007 more >>

Skills

Around £10m is being invested in creating a new Cumbria University campus offering science courses. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is investing the money in the new facility in Workington which will exist alongside the College at Lillyhall. It will also offer courses related to nuclear decommissioning including health physics and business innovation, as well as engineering.

BBC 27th Sept 2007 more >>

West Cumbria has been chosen as the site for a National Nuclear Skills Academy.

Whitehaven News 27th Sept 2007 more >>

Finland

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) reiterated that it has no intention of sharing the costs resulting from delays in the construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor with the plant’s supplier Areva.

ADVFN 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Copeland Councillors have expressed dismay about the level of funding offered by the Government to the area for accepting nuclear facilities such as the Drigg low level waste dump.

Whitehaven News 27th Sept 2007 more >>

NDA

THE UK’s nuclear clean-up quango is at the centre of fresh controversy in the run-up to announcing the latest budgets for its sites. Late last year, fears that cuts would lead to major job losses at Dounreay were headed off following a hectic round of eleventh-hour talks. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said yesterday that despite an expected “tight” Government settlement it does not anticipate a similar crisis in the Far North this time round. The UKAEA site in danger of being the big loser is Winfrith in Dorset. Unions and community representatives there are campaigning to prevent over 100 jobs going as a result of an intended £25 million cut.

John O Groat Journal 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Calder Hall

The cooling towers will be demolished on Saturday

Whitehaven News 26th Sept 2007
more >>

MOX

The Royal Society’s report on plutonium could be a boost to the Sellafield MOX Plant which is under constant review by the NDA because of its poor performance.

Whitehaven News 27th Sept 2007 more >>

Severn Barrage

Charles Clover: The alternative to a barrage is four new nuclear power stations. Anyone can see that is the less environmentally damaging option.

Telegraph 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Letter: bewildering that Friends of the Earth are in opposition to this scheme on the grounds of damage to wildlife in the estuary. This could be a serious mistake. In my opinion (and that of the Government’s chief scientist) global warming is the chief threat to mankind. And melting icecaps will not just end our way of life but destroy the environment of the birdlife in the estuary anyway.

Independent 28th Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 28 September 2007

27 September 2007

New nukes

Iberdrola SA and Union Fenosa SA are both eyeing nuclear construction plant contracts in the UK. Other European energy giants including British Energy, EDF, E.ON AG, RWE AG and Suez are also interested in the contracts, and there is a possibility of an alliance between British Energy and Iberdrola.

Interactive Investor 27th Sept 2007 more >>

IBERDROLA, owner of ScottishPower, is understood to be in talks with Livingston-based British Energy (BE) over a possible partnership to build new nuclear plants in Britain.

Edinburgh Evening News 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Reuters 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Sweden’s Vattenfall [VATN.UL], the largest utility in the Nordic countries, is considering building a nuclear power plant in Britain as utilities line up to expand in the country, Vattenfall’s Chief Executive said in an interview.

Reuters 26th Sept 2007 more >>

The consultations are almost complete but any new energy proframme still has lots of hurdles to clear, reports Roland Gribben. The tide of public opposition to a new nuclear power programme may be turning. That was one interpretation placed on the early results of polls conducted at nine public meetings attended by more than 1,000 people as part of the government consultation to test the extent of support for the rebirth of an energy technology that traditionally divides public opinion. Of the total audience, 46 per cent said they supported the continued use of nuclear power, with 25 per cent in the opposition camp, according to one analysis. Another showed that at the London event, for example, the numbers backing the nuclear option were lower at the end of the meeting than at the start.

The Business 27th Sept 2007 more >>

Devon councillors are set to register their opposition to nuclear power in a Government consultation on energy.But the council’s objections appear to clash with the results of a recent public debate in Exeter on the issue.

Exeter Express & Echo 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Scotland

David Cairns, the deputy Scottish Secretary, was embroiled in a row with the SNP last night after he talked up the potential of nuclear power to contribute to Scotland’s energy needs while helping to combat climate change. At a fringe meeting at the conference, the MP for Inverclyde said: “While renewable energy sources can and will continue to make a significant contribution as technology develops, with variable output they are not a panacea. “Nuclear power has the potential to provide a secure and consistent carbon-free source of electricity which should not be ruled out on purely ideological grounds.” Mr Cairns went on: “My real fear is that Scotland’s energy and economic needs are being jeopardised by the SNP’s dogmatic opposition to nuclear power.

Herald 27th Sept 2007 more >>

Terror

While there has been progress in protecting nuclear materials in Russia, the threat of terrorists stealing a nuclear device remains high in many parts of the world, a private study concluded Wednesday. “Terrorists are actively seeking nuclear weapons and materials to make them,” said the report by Harvard University’s Managing the Atom project.

AP 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Guardian website 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Korea

A new round of international talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear programme is getting under way in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

BBC 27th Sept 2007 more >>

North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of actively providing nuclear weapons assistance to Israel while seeking to deprive other countries of the right to peaceful nuclear programs. North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator, meanwhile, denied accusations that his country had cooperated with Syria on a secret nuclear project.

RINF 26th Sept 2007 more >>

US

New Jersey-based NRG Energy applies to build the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in more than 30 years in South Texas.

Scietific American 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Finland

EU competition regulators gave their approval Wednesday to French state-guaranteed loans to Finnish power company TVO to pay for the construction of a nuclear power plant by French company Areva.

Energy Daily 27th Sept 2007 more >>

EU Business 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Interactive Investor 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Yucca Mountain

Engineers moved some planned structures at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump after rock samples indicated a fault line unexpectedly ran beneath their original location, an Energy Department official said Monday.

MSNBC 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Bore hole drilling operations at the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site have turned up preliminary evidence that an earthquake fault line passes beneath the place where project officials want to build concrete pads for storing thousands of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel.

Las Vegas Journal-Review 24th Sept 2007
more >>

Germany

Germany will only be able to meet its climate targets if it keeps nuclear power according to the German Federation of Industry.

World Nuclear News 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Dounreay

The Dounreay landmark dome at a nuclear plant could be turned into a hotel, a nuclear museum and space observatory.

IC Scotland 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told world leaders his country will defy any further U.N. Security Council resolutions imposed by “arrogant powers” seeking to curb its nuclear program, accusing them of lying and imposing illegal sanctions against Tehran.

Daily Mail 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 27 September 2007

26 September 2007

Nuclear Waste

The most expensive public works project in the US was today in disarray after it emerged that a planned giant nuclear dump would be located on a faultline. Rock samples from deep within Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, showed that the fault runs directly beneath the site where the US federal government planned to store 70,000 tonnes of highly radioactive waste. More than $8bn (£4bn) has already been spent on the $58bn project, which had been due to open in 2017, but the proposals – approved by George Bush in 2002 – may now have to be redrawn.

Guardian website 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Jamie Reed MP is set to speak at a conference on waste management and decommissioning.

North West Evening Mail 25th Sept 2007 more >>

New nukes

Letters: nuclear vs renewables debate rages on.

Scotsman 26th Sept 2007 more >>

John Hutton says Labour shouldn’t dismiss nuclear power. We must now make the transition to a low carbon economy. Government will play its part. The government Gordon Brown leads will not be among those who say they want to tackle global warming by moving to low carbon energy sources but then oppose every opportunity to do so. The government Gordon Brown leads will not shrink from taking the critical decisions on the future security of our energy supply – including whether to allow investment in new nuclear power stations. And the government Gordon Brown leads will drive forward with delivering a step change in our use of renewable energy.

Public Service Daily 25th Sept 2007 more >>

The government will “not shrink from the critical decision” on whether or not to allow a new generation of nuclear power stations, said Business Secretary John Hutton.

Interactive Investor 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Ipsos MORI’s Summer MPs survey shows a further increase in overall support for the building of replacement nuclear power stations in Britain. Support is up 11 points to 72%, while opposition is up one point to 23%. This is the second year running of rapid growth in support, last year it increased by 16 points. Three-quarters of Labour MPs (75%) now support newbuild, while 21% oppose it.

Ipsos-Mori 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Nuclear is not the Answer. Letter from Greenpeace Canada.

Toronto Star 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Letter from David Lowry: Energy minister Malcolm Wicks says “we have not made a decision yet on the future of nuclear” (Letters, September 24). Yet in his speech this week Gordon Brown presented Britain as a “world leader in energy and in the environment, from nuclear to renewables.” Given their different political pay grades, I think we may regard Brown’s promise as overriding Wicks’ no-decision posture, and conclude that the decision on the nuclear consultation is done and dusted in nuclear’s favour, just as the green NGOs perceptively decided in withdrawing from active participation in the consultation.

Guardian 25th Sept 2007 more >>

New UK nuclear construction doesn’t need to be subsidized if standard, accepted international designs are adopted and fossil fuel alternatives “carry
the cost of the carbon emissions associated with their use,” British Energy told the UK government September 20. It called on the government not to place any restrictions on the amount of nuclear capacity that might be built.

Platts 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Nuclear Skills

The Government has given the go-ahead to a nuclear skills academy in Cumbria.

World Nuclear News 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Carlisle News and Star 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, remained on a direct collision course with the Western powers last night, unilaterally declaring that as far as he is concerned the issue of his country’s nuclear enrichment activities should henceforth be “closed”.

Independent 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Guardian 26th Sept 2007 more >>

View London 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Reuters 26th Sept 2007 more >>

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that Iran had to convince the world it was not working on a nuclear weapon or she would support stiffer sanctions against Tehran.

Reuters 26th Sept 2007 more >>

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the international stand-off over Iran’s nuclear programme will only be resolved with a combination of “firmness and dialogue.”

Channel 4 News 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Iranian nuclear officials and a visiting team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog held talks on Monday to clarify outstanding questions about Iran’s atomic work, which the West fears is a cover to build a nuclear bomb.

Christian Today 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Israel

Israel is looking to a U.S.-India nuclear deal to expand its own ties to suppliers, quietly lobbying for an exemption to non-proliferation rules so it can legally import atomic material, according to documents made available Tuesday to The Associated Press.

AP 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Israel plans nuclear attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Times 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Yemen

Yemen on Monday signed a deal with Powered Corp of the United States to build nuclear power plants at an estimated cost of 15 billion dollars.

Middle East Online 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Renewables

Britain’s first large tidal energy scheme – with the potential to deliver 5 per cent of the country’s electricity – is to be subject to a multi-million pound feasibility study, heralding a clash between the government and environmental groups. John Hutton, business secretary, announced the study into a tidal barrage across the Severn estuary at the Labour conference in Bournemouth, claiming it was a “truly visionary project” that would help Britain meet its carbon reduction targets.

FT 26th Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 26 September 2007

25 September 2007

Nuclear Consultation

The UK government’s determination to rekindle investment and support for nuclear power has drawn fire from Greenpeace, which accuses the government and its market research agency of ‘fixing’ public opinion in favour of the controversial policy.

World Advertising Research Center 25th Sept 2007 more >>

New nukes

Gordon Brown has called on the UK to be a leader on energy and the environment from nuclear to renewables – speaking at the Labour Party Conference.

World Nuclear News 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Daily Mirror 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Mr Brown’s throwaway reference to his vision of the UK as a “world leader in energy and the environment, from nuclear to renewables.” Mr Juniper, whose organisation is implacably opposed to Britain building new nuclear power stations, highlighted the fact the government was still consulting on the issue. “I hope the prime minister has not jumped the gun,” he said.

FT 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Europe

The European Commission has launched a new forum on nuclear energy research.

World Nuclear News 24th Sept 2007 more >>

The European Commission said the deadline for its inquiry into Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Areva’s nuclear reactor joint venture is set for October 29.

Forbes 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied in a US television interview that his country is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Belfast Telegraph 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, told Americans yesterday his country had no nuclear weapons programme, but then called his own credibility into question by insisting it had no gay people either.

Guardian 25th Sept 2007 more >>

International Atomic Energy Agency technical officials began talks Monday with Iran to resolve remaining issues surrounding the country’s controversial nuclear program, the website of the state broadcasting company reported.

Guardian website 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Reprocessing

France’s Areva and Japan’s JNFL have signed an agreement to extend the scope of their partnership on spent nuclear fuel recycling. The agreement entails boosting the industrial effectiveness of their sister plants – Areva La Hague and JNFL Rokkasho, and creating a joint team to tackle common technical issues. The two companies ‘will make efforts jointly to promote recycling activities on the international scene such as Global Nuclear Energy Partnership’, they said in a statement.

Forbes 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Bangladesh

Bangladesh wants a nuclear plant by 2015.

Mathaba 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Companies

Westinghouse Electric Co, part of Toshiba Corp, said it has acquired French nuclear engineering company Astare for an undisclosed sum. The US-based nuclear power group said the deal, following its acquisition of IST Nuclear in South Africa two months ago, will further strengthen its global presence in the nuclear sector.

Forbes 25th Sept 2007 more >>

US

NRG Energy, the US power generator, said yesterday it was filing the first application to build a new nuclear plant in the US in 29 years. In seeking to build two nuclear power stations in Texas, NRG said it was taking a leading role in moving US electrical generation to cost-effective power that does not contribute to global climate change.

FT 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Washington Post 25th Sept 2007 more >>

US Nuclear weapons

The owner of a US intercontinental ballistic missile base has put it up for sale on ebay.

Telegraph 25th Sept 2007 more >>

France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the United Nations that France was ready to help any country which wants to have civilian nuclear power.

Interactive Investor 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Syria

Syria on Monday denied a British newspaper report that Israel had seized North Korean nuclear material in a commando raid on a secret military site in Syria earlier this month.

Interactive Investor 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Slovakia

Slovakia may build one or two new nuclear power plants to help cut reliance on electricity imports, the government said in an energy-security plan through 2030. The country’s Economy Ministry wants construction to begin on a 1,200-megawatt reactor at Jaslovske Bohunice, where two aging reactors were previously closed down to meet European Union regulations, according to an e-mailed copy of the plan. The plant would cost an estimated 3 billion euros ($4.2 billion) and start operations by 2025. The energy proposals also call for a second 1,200-megawatt reactor, near the eastern town of Kecerovice, at a cost of 3.5 billion euros.

Bloomberg 24th Sept 2007 more >>

India

Elections are due to be held in 2009, but there is a growing expectation that polls may come early if the communist parties withdraw their support of the United Progressive Alliance coalition government. The left has threatened “serious consequences” if the government moves ahead with a nuclear co-operation deal with the US.

FT 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Guardian 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Trident

QUAKERS from Bradford on Avon are planning their next anti-nuclear protest. Eight members will be heading to the Aldermaston Weapons Establishment near Newbury on Monday October 1, where nuclear warheads are due to be made to replace the current Trident system.

Wiltshire Times 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Terror

Britain’s plutonium stocks are kept in “unacceptable” conditions and pose a severe security risk, experts said. The Royal Society has cautioned that the rise of international terrorism means the Government must urgently review the way it keeps more than 100 tonnes of the radioactive element at its Sellafield site in Cumbria.

Times 25th Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 25 September 2007

24 September 2007

Nuclear Consultation

Letter from Malcolm Wicks: We made every effort to involve the views of Greenpeace, an organisation fundamentally opposed to nuclear power. It was invited to comment on our materials before the events – as were other stakeholders – and significant changes were made as a result of their input.

Guardian 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Letter (from Spain) Is Greenpeace more powerful than UK voters? Its lawyers are demanding the Government re-runs the nuclear consultation. Pity we can’t demand a review of Greenpeace’s plan to cover the world in useless wind turbines.

Daily Mail 24th Sept 2007 (not on web)

US Weapons

Nuclear warheads capable of unleashing the equivalent of 10 Hiroshima bombs were mistakenly flown across the United States by a bomber crew who thought they were dummies, and the terrifying security lapse was not discovered for almost 36 hours, it has been revealed.

Independent 24th Sept 2007 more >>

A MANCHESTER bio-tech firm at the forefront of developing drugs to combat the effects of radiation, is working with the US government to find treatments for people after a nuclear attack.

Manchester Evening News 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied that Iran wants a nuclear bomb and insisted he is “very much against terrorism and any killing”.

Telegraph 24th Sept 2007 more >>

Africasia 23rd Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 24 September 2007

23 September 2007

Scotland

Alex Salmond has made it clear he wants Torness to be Scotland’s last nuclear reactor and has pledged to block planning permission for replacement plants both for Torness (to be decommissioned in 15 to 20 years) and its sister station at Hunterston (to be closed in five to 10 years). Scotland will then join a special European non-nuclear elite, along with Portugal, Italy and one or two other smaller states. For greenies, it would be a dream come true. I am not convinced, however, and neither is Jim McDonald – director of Strathclyde University’s centre for energy and the environment.

Observer 23rd Sept 2007 more >>

Syria

Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem. The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.

Sunday Times 23rd Sept 2007 more >>

President George W Bush was told during the summer that Israeli intelligence suggested North Korean personnel and nuclear-related material were at the Syrian site.

Sunday Times 23rd Sept 2007 more >>

Israel

Egypt criticized the European Union on Friday for failing to support a U.N. atomic watchdog resolution calling on all Middle East nations to renounce atomic weapons — a clear reference to Israel’s undeclared arsenal.

Reuters 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

Iran’s hardline Islamic regime has warned western powers they would be making a big mistake by launching military action over its controversial uranium enrichment programme.

View London 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

THE United States Air Force has set up a highly confidential strategic planning group tasked with “fighting the next war” as tensions rise with Iran.

Sunday Times 23rd Sept 2007 more >>

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is poised to deliver a defiant address to the United Nations general assembly this week amid a storm of opposition to his visit to New York and growing international alarm over his country’s nuclear ambitions.

Observer 23rd Sept 2007 more >>

Europe

The Susustainble Nuclear Energy Technology Platform has been launched to bring together researchers and industry to prepare for the future and maintain Europe’s lead in this sector.

EU Business 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

Trident

OPPOSITION politicians are to be invited to a summit on the future of the Trident nuclear deterrent in Scotland. The meeting, to be held next month, will discuss UK Government plans for the nuclear weapons system based at the Clyde Naval Base at Faslane. In a letter to groups invited to the summit, Bruce Crawford, the SNP minister for parliamentary business, said he wanted a “balanced discussion embracing different perspectives” on the issue. The summit, to take place in the West End of Glasgow on October 22, will look at the impact of nuclear weapons on the economy and the local community, present law and order implications, as well as environmental issues.

Scotland on Sunday 23rd Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 23 September 2007

22 September 2007

Nuclear Consultation

Greenpeace has accused research firm Opinion Leader of “misleading” poll respondents in consultation meetings on the Government’s plans to build new nuclear power stations. The environmental group has lodged a complaint with the Market Research Standards Board, accusing Opinion Leader of numerous breaches of the body’s code of conduct.

Research 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Greenpeace has turned to environmental boutique Harrison Grant as it considers legal action to overturn the Government’’s consultation on nuclear power. The firm, on behalf of Greenpeace, has written to the Government, calling its consultation techniques “a complete charade”. The current consultation, which was launched after an earlier High Court victory by Greenpeace, ruled that the Government’s first consultation on nuclear power was “seriously flawed” and “procedurally unfair” (thelawyer.com, 15 February).

The Lawyer 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Glasgow played host on Friday to one of a series of stakeholder events being held to capture the views of green groups, energy companies, businesses, consumer groups, unions, faith groups and academics on the future of nuclear energy.

GNN 21st Sept 2007 more >>

British Energy

British Energy led the gainers yesterday as soaring crude prices drove the cost of electricity to its highest level this year. In a bullish note on the stock, Cazenove contrasted the muted performance of British Energy shares with the 10 per cent jump in the UK forward electricity price in the past three weeks. British Energy’s output is also likely to be “considerably above consensus” next year as it puts recent problems behind it, Cazenove wrote, adding that theprospect of a fresh wave of nuclear power station construction should also underpin sentiment.

FT 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

Times 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

Plutonium

Britain has stockpiled 100 tonnes of plutonium – enough to make 17,000 nuclear bombs, according to a report by the Royal Society.

Belfast Telegraph 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Nuclear Skills

Britain’s largest nuclear union, Prospect, fear that plans for new reactors and Trident replacement are threatened by a recruitment crisis facing nuclear inspectors.

North West Evening Mail 21st Sept 2007
more >>

Stuart Crooks, station director of Hartlepool Power Station, said more investment in training was vital to underpin the new build programme in the UK nuclear sector.

Newcastle Evening Gazette 21st Sept 2007 more >>

BUSINESS leaders from the region’s oil and gas supply chain companies heard yesterday how their technological expertise could win business in the nuclear industry.

Northern Echo 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Sellafield

Nuclear unions say they fear for Sellafield workers’ job security if BNFL’s decommissioning division is sold to a private equity firm.

Carlisle News and Star 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Israel

Iran called for UN inspectors to be dispatched to verify whether Israel has nuclear weapons, in a heated showdown with the Jewish state at a meeting of the UN atomic agency Friday. The face-off between the two nations came as Arab states condemned Israel for hiding an atomic arsenal, at a general conference of the 144-nation International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

AFP 21st Sept 2007 more >>

The UN atomic agency adopted a non-binding resolution on a nuclear weapons-free-zone in the Middle East with Israel and the US voting against and EU states except Ireland abstaining.

Middle East Online 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

The French President has directly accused Iran of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Mathaba 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

Telegraph 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

The French and US presidents stepped up demands for tough action over the Iran nuclear standoff ahead of a meeting of the major powers in Washington today to discuss the dispute.

Interactive Investor 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Korea

South Korea Friday played down concerns about North Korea’s suspected nuclear proliferation, saying six-party disarmament talks were already addressing the issue.

Interactive Investor 21st Sept 2007 more >>

The next round of six party talks on disarming North Korea’s nuclear programs will be held next week, China’s foreign ministry said.

Interactive Investor 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Dounreay

DOUNREAY’S operators are facing flak on two fronts over their receipt of a batch of nuclear fuel which was used in an English reactor. The UKAEA site managers have come under fire from a Far North anti-dumping group and Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson for importing radioactive material that has no connection with the Caithness site. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has taken them to task for not following the proper procedures before making the shipment from France. The uranium oxide was manufactured at Aldermaston before being used to fuel an experimental reactor at the UKAEA’s Winfrith site in Dorset. It ended up being sent to a plant in France in 1989 as part of the since-disbanded European fast-reactor programme. The UKAEA recently arranged to transport the six-and-a-half-tonne consignment to Dounreay, where it has been put into storage.

John O Groat Journal 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Energy Efficiency

The cost of “green” regulations and subsidies can vastly outweigh their economic benefit, Lehman Brothers will claim today in a report on the financial impact of climate change. The US investment bank’s research shows that the humble low-energy lightbulb is a much more cost-effective way of reducing carbon in the atmosphere than expensive wind and solar power projects or bureaucratic diktats on car emissions.

Telegraph 22nd Sept 2007 more >>

Posted: 22 September 2007

21 September 2007

Nuclear Consultation

Gordon Brown’s public consultation on nuclear power is being fixed by the market research company carrying out the polling. Channel 4 News reported tonight that twenty “senior academics” will be writing to the Government as they believe that the process was “deliberately skewed” and participants were “misled”. Dr Paul Dorfman, a senior research fellow at the University of Warwick, said that questions put to the public were “framed in a particularly ambiguous way in order to get a particular answer”. And someone involved in the process, who wished to remain anonymous, said they felt the Government’s view was “bludgeoned” into the heads of the participants.

Greenpeace website 19th Sept 2007 more >>

New nukes

Sellafield bidder Fluor has teamed up with Toshiba to build the first new nuclear station built in the US for two decades at Bay City, South Texas.

Whitehaven News 20th Sept 2007 more >>

Sellafield

Britain’s stocks of plutonium are kept in “unacceptable” conditions and pose a severe safety and security risk, experts warn today. The Royal Society says ministers must urgently review the way more than 100 tonnes of the radioactive element, separated during the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, is held at the Sellafield complex in Cumbria. The society, Britain’s premier scientific academy, says a previous warning to the government has been ignored, and that the rise of international terrorism means the UK must now find a way to use or dispose of the material.

Guardian 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Times 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Royal Society’s Report 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Royal Society Press Release 21st Sept 2007 more >>

BNFL

BNFL is close to finalising a shortlist of bidders for its nuclear decommissioning subsidiary, Project Services, amid trade union concerns that it could include private equity firms. Prospect, which has 15,000 members in the nuclear industry, said that if Project Services was sold to a private equity buyer it feared it would pose a threat to members’ job security and could create a “brain drain” to other industries.

Guardian 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Iran

US President George W. Bush said Thursday the United States favored using diplomatic means to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, amid speculation of possible military action.

Africasia 20th Sept 2007 more >>

The US and European states are preparing to consider additional sanctions against Iran to punish Tehran for failing to comply with UN demands to allow more time for negotiations on a possible third round of UN measures, diplomats said.

Independent 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Israel

The IAEA passed a resolution expressing concern about Israel’s nuclear programme.

Mathaba 21st Sept 2007 more >>

The UN atomic agency passed a non-binding resolution Thursday calling for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, with Israel and the United States voting against and EU members abstaining.

Interactive Investor 20th Sept 2007 more >>

Israel’s opposition leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, has given the first confirmation from his country of a mysterious air strike on an unknown target deep in Syria earlier this month – fuelling frenzied speculation about exactly what happened.

Guardian 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Independent 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Burghfield

Britain’s strategic nuclear warhead plant at Burghfield in Berkshire, has suffered up to 1000 “safety defects” in the last five years, according to figures obtained via the Freedom Information Act. The site, which builds the bombs carried on the Trident missile submarines based on the Clyde, has only remained open because the government and the Ministry of Defence insisted it was vital to national security.

Herald 21st Sept 2007 more >>

US Weapons

Three weeks after the Air Force began investigating the mistaken arming of a B-52 bomber with nuclear weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked for an outside inquiry led by a retired general who once commanded the strategic bomber fleet, an official said Thursday.

Guardian website 20th Sept 2007 more >>

Test Ban Treaty

Can there possibly be a current global issue on which the United States and North Korea, plus Iran and China and just six other countries, line up against the rest of the world? Yes – not signing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) meaning that it cannot take effect.

Guardian 20th Sept 2007 more >>

Cold War

Chilling Soviet plans to launch massive nuclear strikes in Europe followed by a ground offensive in Germany and southern France have been unearthed by a Nato historian.

Telegraph 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Korea

The US State Department said the next round of six-nation North Korean nuclear talks could start on September 27.

Channel 4 News 20th Sept 2007 more >>

Politics

Yesterday Sir Menzies said that the other two parties wanted to dominate the centre-right ground, and had similar policies on the environment, taxation, pensions, nuclear power, tuition fees and Iraq. “Today our party is not only the real alternative. It is the only alternative.”

Times 21st Sept 2007 more >>

Dounreay

AN upbeat message ran through Friday’s conference held to help chart a way for the Far North to survive the rundown and eventual closure of Dounreay.

John O Groat Journal 19th Sept 2007 more >>

MANAGEMENT from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine have spent a week at Dounreay learning how Britain is decommissioning its fast-reactor programme.

John O Groat Journal 19th Sept 2007 more >>

Calder Hall

The demolition of Calder Hall’s cooling towers will take place on 29th september.

Whitehaven News 20th September 2007 more >>

Posted: 21 September 2007