News December 2008

31 December 2008

New Nukes

Letter from David Lowry: Your report on the gross energy inefficiency of the government estate (Government buildings emit more CO2 than all of Kenya, 23 December) should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched the obsession by energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, to make nuclear power a “solution” to our greenhouse gas emissions requirement. Even if new nuclear plants were to replace the entire “fleet” of current reactors, it would save at most 2-3% of our carbon emissions. But this obsession has diverted attention and investment from much more sustainable and effective ways of delivering the massive cuts in carbon that will be required. Last week, the government’s own environmental watchdog, the Sustainable Development Commission, revealed that departments had overall seen their use of renewable electricity fall to 22% in 2007-08, down from 28% the previous year.

Guardian 31st Dec 2008 more >>

Wylfa

Power firm Npower said it would consult with Anglesey residents before making any firm plans for a new power station.

BBC 30th Dec 2008 more >>

South Wales Evening Post 30th Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 31 December 2008

30 December 2008

Wylfa

A leading power firm has secured a grid connection for a new nuclear power station and acquired options to buy farmland next to an existing nuclear site. Npower said the connection at Anglesey in North Wales could see enough electricity generated to supply more than five million homes. The firm, owned by German giant RWE, said it also had options to buy land at Wylfa, near the Magnox nuclear power station, which is due to close next year, but would consult residents before making any firm plans.

Independent 30th Dec 2008 more >>

RWE has unveiled plans for massive new nuclear capacity in Wales by obtaining grid connections for 3.6 gigawatts of electricity and buying up land for up to three new atomic power stations.

Guardian 30th Dec 2008 more >>

BBC 30th Dec 2008 more >>

Bloomberg 30th Dec 2008 more >>

Reuters 30th Dec 2008 more >>

Wales Online 30th Dec 2008 more >>

FT 30th Dec 2008 more >>

Times 30th Dec 2008 more >>

Heysham

LAND at Heysham Power Stations’ site could be used for a brand new nuclear power plant, it has been confirmed. The official announcement of the potential new plant – reported previously as a possibility in The Visitor – came as part of French power giant EDF’s takeover of the Heysham site’s parent company, British Energy. EDF gained European approval for its £12.5billion takeover last week and the sell-off of one site for a new plant – either Heysham or Dungeness in Kent – was part of the deal.

Morecambe Visitor 29th Dec 2008 more >>

UKAEA

COMPANIES involved in the booming nuclear sector today unveiled expansion plans for their operations in Cheshire. The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is returning to Warrington’s Birchwood Park, 10 years after it sold the complex to property giant MEPC.

Manchester Evening News 29th Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 30 December 2008

29 December 2008

Dungeness

A series of public meetings is to be held next month to discuss the possibility of building a new nuclear power station at Dungeness. British Energy and environmental consultants Royal Haskoning will be on hand to answer questions from people living on Romney Marsh.

BBC 28th Dec 2008 more >>

British Energy

Centrica and French energy giant EDF, which has agreed to buy British Energy for £12.5bn, will start negotiations in the New Year to kick-start a nuclear power station building programme.

This is Money 28th Dec 2008 more >>

South Korea

South Korea plans to spend $28.5 billion building more nuclear and gas-fired power plants by 2022 to reduce its dependence on oil and meet rising demand for energy. The country will build 12 more nuclear-powered plants, seven coal-fired plants and 11 fueled by liquefied natural gas by 2022. The projects are part of a government power supply-and-demand plan that outlines investment for the next 15 years.

Bloomberg 28th Dec 2008 more >>

Climate

The number of Labour MPs opposing Heathrow’s third runway is already substantial. A decision due in December was delayed until January after the cabinet split on overlooking the environmental impact of a third runway. Campaigners believe it will cause air pollution levels to soar, rendering impossible a 2015 emission target set by the European commission.

Guardian 29th Dec 2008 more >>

Renewables

Britain’s wind power industry is facing a double blow of lengthy planning delays and rapidly rising construction costs in a crisis that threatens to sink the government’s climate-change goals. Dozens of projects are being held up by planning inquiries, with the average length of time taken to win permission being 15 to 20 months in England and far longer in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the bulk of the schemes are being developed.

Guardian 29th Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 29 December 2008

28 December 2008

British Energy

Centrica and French energy giant EDF, which has agreed to buy British Energy for £12.5billion, will start negotiations in the New Year to kick-start a nuclear power station building programme. Centrica, owner of British Gas, intends to invest £3.1billion to buy 25 per cent of the new nuclear business, despite speculation last week that it was looking to renegotiate the terms. It is understood that details of the shape of the company, its strategy and what role Centrica will be playing in the new organisation still need to be decided.

Mail on Sunday 28th Dec 2008 more >>

Proliferation

The world is now in its second period of nuclear proliferation. The threat that most concerns the United States is terrorist attacks using nuclear weapons, and that possibility is greater now than ever. Everyone has simply been fortunate thus far. The United States has thus far neglected to make efforts to observe this crisis in terms of a comprehensive nuclear policy.

The Hankyoreh 27th Dec 2008 more >>

Climate

Will we face up to the challenge in 2009? The answer, according to most climate experts, is simple: we better had in 2009 or the planet will be in trouble. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now stands at 387 parts per million, an increase of almost 40% since the industrial revolution, and the highest the planet has experienced for at least 650,000 years. Evidence of global warming is appearing across the globe, particularly in the Arctic where scientists had always predicted it would strike first. Summer ice cover has dropped dramatically while permafrost in Siberia is melting. The first phenomenon reduces the planet’s ability to reflect solar heat back into space. The second will release excess amounts of methane. Combined, they worsen the rate of global warming.

Observer 28th Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 28 December 2008

27 December 2008

Nuclear Waste

Letter from Marianne Birkby: Hands up all those for world’s first nuclear high-level waste dump? Not the members of Cumbria County Council, who were denied a vote on what they described as ‘the most important decision the council will ever take’ or should that be ‘never be allowed to take?’ The Cabinet’s complete reversal of any semblance of democracy is worthy of the most agile acrobat.

Whitehaven News 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Cumbria County Council has written to the Government to formally express an interest in hosting an underground nuclear dump. Council leader Stewart Young wrote to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband to offer Copeland as a site for a deep geological repository to store atomic waste. The offer may also extend to Allerdale, if the borough council there agrees.

Whitehaven News 24th Dec 2008 more >>

Terror

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) has an exclusive role protecting the county’s nuclear sites from potential terrorist threats. The constabulary has officers permanently based at the Springfields site in Salwick and at Heysham Power Station.

Lancashire Evening Post 26th Dec 2008 more >>

Aldermaston

Letter from David Lowry: Your report “Secret nuclear sell-off storm” (20 December) indicates a watershed has been passed in the final sale of part of the UK military nuclear infrastructure to the United States. In fact, the UK atomic establishment has been in bed with the US on nuclear weapons development since the US Congress authorised an amendment in 1959 to the United States-United Kingdom Mutual Defense (spelt with an “s” even in the official British version) Agreement on Atomic Energy Matters, signed a year earlier. It permitted the US to share with us nuclear weapons expertise, technology and “fissile” nuclear explosive materials such as plutonium and enriched uranium.

Independent 26th Dec 2008 more >>

Brazil

Areva signs agreement to strengthen presence in Brazilian nuclear sector. French nuclear power generation solutions provider Areva and Brazilian electricity utility Eletronuclear have signed a memorandum of understanding to extend the industrial co-operation between the companies.

Datamonitor 25th Dec 2008 more >>

Fuel Poverty

Only one in eight households in fuel poverty receives discounted gas and electricity bills, despite a multimillion-pound commitment by the main energy companies to help vulnerable people to endure the winter.

Times 27th Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 27 December 2008

24 December 2008

New Nukes

Government plans for new nuclear stations will not stop blackouts in the next decade, said Liberal Democrat shadow energy and climate change secretary Steve Webb yesterday.

New Civil Engineer 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

British Energy

FRENCH utility EdF yesterday got the green light from European regulators to buy nuclear generator British Energy for £12.5 billion. But the approval came with strings attached. EdF must dispose of its own gas-fired plant at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire and British Energy’s coal-fired power station at Eggborough in North Yorkshire. It has also agreed to sell a minimum amount of electricity to the UK wholesale market and dispose of one of two possible sites for building a new nuclear power station, at either Heysham in Lancashire or Dungeness in Kent.

Daily Express 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Oldbury

The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has announced that the Oldbury nuclear power station, located near Bristol, England can continue to generate electricity beyond its closure date of December 2008, for a further two-year period. The facility is operated by Magnox North, a company owned by EnergySolutions.

Energy Business Review 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Plymouth

People in one of Britain’s most “hazard-rich” cities better keep their mobiles on because nuclear alerts are to be sent by text. The “emergency notification system” will replace a warning siren that sounds in Plymouth in the event of a crisis. The text messages will alert 20,000 families living within 2km of the city’s nuclear facilities to an imminent disaster or toxic leak.

Daily Mirror 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Russia has thrown down a new gauntlet to Barack Obama with an announcement that it will sharply increase production of strategic nuclear missiles. In the latest of a series of combative moves by the Kremlin, a senior government official in Moscow said the Russian military would commission 70 strategic missiles over the next three years, as part of a massive rearmament programme which will also include short-range missiles, 300 tanks, 14 warships and 50 planes.

Guardian 24th Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 24 December 2008

23 December 2008

British Energy

BRITISH Energy has raised the “For Sale” sign at its only coal-fired power station under strict EU conditions to sanction a takeover by French suitor EDF. The East Kilbride-based firm will offload its plant at Eggborough in East Yorkshire to meet a number of hurdles to the £12.4 billion acquisition, unveiled earlier this year. EDF, the world’s biggest nuclear power provider, will also sell off its gas-fired power station at Sutton Bridge in Cambridgeshire as part of the regulations stipulated in the report, which was published yesterday.

Scotsman 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Europa 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Guardian 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Independent 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

FT 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Dougie Rooney, national officer at Unite, criticised the Commission for not including land at Wylfa in north Wales in the land EdF must sell as a condition of the deal. As expected, the Commission said EdF would have to sell two generation plants and some land, and agree to sell a minimum amount of electricity into the wholesale market. But Brussels did not address the parcels of land at Wylfa which EdF has quietly bought up. Acquiring British Energy will give EdF the best sites for building new power stations in the UK and Wylfa is seen as the next best site. EdF has agreed to sell the land at Wylfa but said in its offer document for British Energy that completion of a sale would be conditional on the Government giving the green light to its other chosen sites in Suffolk and Somerset.

Telegraph 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Centrica may reduce the £3.1 billion offer that it has made to EDF for a 25 per cent stake in British Energy after European regulators placed strict conditions on the French group’s takeover of the nuclear generator. The European Commission gave EDF permission yesterday to proceed with the £12.5 billion deal under stringent antitrust conditions. They include the sale of up to a quarter of the combined group’s electricity output and a string of other concessions designed to ensure proper competition in Britain’s wholesale power market.

Times 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

The Government received a small Christmas present from Brussels yesterday when the European Commission gave its conditional approval for Electricit de France to buy British Energy. The decision means that Alistair Darling will shortly be receiving an envelope from Paris stuffed with about £4 billion for the taxpayers’ stake in the company. That would come in useful at any time. Just at the moment, it is particularly welcome.

Times 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

German power giant E.ON is eyeing EDF’s gas-fired Sutton Bridge power station after the French utility firm put it up for sale, industry sources said. The plant could be sold for an estimated £300million as part of a deal to win European Commission approval for EDF’s purchase of British Energy. EDF will also sell off BE’s coalfired Eggborough power station, a 1,960-megawatt facility that is expected to be bought for £187million by the plant’s bondholders.

Daily Mail 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Scotland

Right now there is a broad consensus about what is needed in Scotland: more social housing, better transport, manufacturing, support for higher education and training. Get Iain Gray, Alex Salmond and Tavish Scott in a room together and there wouldn’t be a cigarette paper between them on the big economic issues. If there are to be Obama-style public works programmes, then a fast rail link to Scotland should be top of the list. Renewable energy is a great Scottish resource but it needs public investment to turn it into a great industry. Whatever you think of the Barnett Formula, now is not the time to be cutting public spending in Scotland under the current review.

Herald 22nd Nov 2008 more >>

Environment Agency

The 2007 annual report on the environmental performance of the nuclear sector in England and Wales has been published today (Monday) by the Environment Agency. The report highlights the environmental performance of the nuclear sector in 2007 measured against the objectives and performance indicators set out in the Nuclear Sector Plan – an action plan jointly devised and agreed by the Environment Agency and the nuclear industry in November 2005.

EA Press Release 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Residents of a village in Cumbria have received £5m for putting up with a low-level nuclear waste disposal site on their doorstep. The parish of Drigg and Carleton will receive a payment from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority every year as long as the waste site is in operation.

BBC 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Plymouth

A text message will be sent to 20,000 families living near a nuclear facility in the event of a radioactive disaster or emergency.

Telegraph 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Reprocessing

Areva and EDF have signed a framework agreement for the recycling of used nuclear fuel from 2008 to 2040, aimed at clarifying responsibilities and improving co-operation between the two groups. The agreement, covering the scopes of used fuel transportation and recycling, determines the guidelines for a long-term partnership based on two reciprocal commitments. Areva shall operate its La Hague and Melox sites until at least 2040, during which time EDF shall have access to the facilities for its own purposes.

Datamonitor 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Finland

All business sectors will contribute to growth this year again. However, operating income is expected to be down compared with 2007 as the group suspended its uranium trading activities in view of declining prices and an additional provision was set up in the second half of the year on the OL3 EPRTM reactor project in Finland. Construction of the reactor progressed well although TVO remained slow in communicating technical documents to the Finnish safety authority (STUK). Indeed, TVO has not satisfactorily implemented the measures to accelerate the project announced jointly in June 2008. Technical document approvals, which by contract must be completed by the client within two months, take more than twelve months on average. Therefore, some critical project activities could not be undertaken as planned. A major change in TVO’s methods is required to set a definitive schedule for the project.

Areva Press Release 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Companies

French nuclear reactor builder Areva will work together with Japanese machinery conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and others to produce nuclear fuel in Japan, the companies said on Monday.

Guardian 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

FT 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

BNFL has agreed to sell its project services division to the VT group.

The Engineer 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Brazil

The presidents of France and Brazil are set to sign several bilateral agreements, including a defense accord that would make Brazil the first Latin American nation to possess a nuclear-powered submarine.

CNN 2nd Dec 2008 more >>

Egypt

The Egyptian government has chosen Bechtel Power Corp as contractor to design and consult on the country’s first nuclear power plant, a statement from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy said on Monday.

Reuters 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Climate

Public buildings in England and Wales are pumping out 11m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, more than Kenya’s entire carbon footprint, the Guardian can reveal. Unpublished findings of an energy efficiency audit of 18,000 buildings including ministerial offices, police stations, museums and art galleries reveal that the 9,000 buildings audited so far produce 5.6m tonnes of CO2, with one in six receiving the lowest possible energy efficiency rating.

Guardian 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Telegraph 23rd Dec 2008 more >>

Yesterday the head of the national grid warned that lights in Britain will start going off within seven years, without massive investment in the country’s antique power generating infrastructure. Logic suggests that the £100bn he suggests the grid needs should be spent on clean technologies. But, other than wind power, which cannot in itself meet demand, the technology – carbon capture and storage for instance – is not ready. Even new nuclear power cannot be brought online so quickly, which is why Mr Miliband finds himself pressed to allow new coal plants in Britain even though, environmentally, that is obviously the wrong thing to do.

Guardian 23rd dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 23 December 2008

22 December 2008

Companies

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and France’s Areva on Monday announced a capital tie-up in nuclear fuel production, predicting that the market for atomic energy will keep growing.

Yahoo 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Bloomberg 21st Dec 2008 more >>

EDF

Pierre Gadonneix, CEO of EDF, has planted the French power giant’s footprint firmly in the Anglo-Saxon world, adding half of Constellation Energy’s American nuclear plants to a takeover of Britain’s atomic power network. With his tenure set to expire in Nov. 2009, the question is, will Gadonneix have the time to convince the rest of the world to join in a nuclear renaissance?

Reuters 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Electricity Supplies

Steve Holliday, the National Grid’s chief executive, said that Britain faces a severe shortage in power generation due to crumbling coal and nuclear plants being taken out of service. He said that unless the Government intervenes to ensure £100 billion investment in new stations, there will not be enough generation to meet demand by 2015, meaning power outages would result.

Telegraph 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Times 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Far East

The Japanese prime minister awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974 for his opposition to atomic weapons secretly pleaded with Washington to use nuclear missiles against China in the event of a conflict breaking out in the region.

Telegraph 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

AWE

Letter: The news that Britain has sold its final share in the nuclear weapons development and testing facility at Aldermaston presents two questions 1. Has the British Government given a contractual undertaking to retain its nuclear deterrent for any defined future period? 2. Is such a commitment compatible with nuclear non-proliferation treaties?

Herald 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Trident

The cost of looking after the Trident nuclear weapons system on the Clyde will soar to a total of £770 million over the next six years, according to the Ministry of Defence. The defence minister, Quentin Davies, has said that the annual cost of maintaining and overhauling the four Vanguard submarines which carry Trident missiles will rise from £95 million in 2008-09 to £161 million in 2013-14. The mounting expense has been condemned as “frankly obscene” by the SNP’s Westminster defence spokesperson, Angus Robertson MP.

Sunday Herald 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Green New Deal

So, what do we do about unemployment? Well, the answer is surely to get the country back to work – proper work. There is a chronic housing shortage, huge waiting lists for social housing, and a construction industry going on the dole. Surely it doesn’t take a genius to work out what to do here. Then there is renewable energy – wind, wave and tidal power – one of the great sunrise industries in which the UK, and Scotland in particular, could be a world leader. Better to build our own industry than buy nuclear power stations off-the -peg from France.

Sunday Herald 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Coal

Britain will not ban the construction of coal-fired power stations while new technology is being developed to cut their carbon emissions, Ed Miliband, the energy secretary, has said. Mr Miliband will decide next year on Eon’s application to build a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth, Kent. The contentious application, fiercely opposed by environmental groups and the main opposition parties, is seen as a bellwether for a new generation of coal plants. Several other energy companies have plans for new coal plants in the pipeline.

FT 22nd Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 22 December 2008

21 December 2008

EDF

Dougie Rooney, national officer of Unite, said that unless EDF is forced to sell strategic parcels of land it has acquired, it would be very difficult for an alternative reactor maker to compete and would mean most of the skilled work for the construction of new power stations would be done in France. EDF took centre stage in the UK’s plan to build new nuclear power stations when it agreed to buy British Energy in September for £12.4bn. British Energy owns the most attractive sites on which to build reactors. EDF strengthened its position further by buying several farms near another site in Wylfa on the island of Anglesey in north Wales, which is seen as the next best place to build a power station. The farms have been described as “ransom strips” by critics of EDF, who believe the company could use the land to freeze out competition. The European Commission will give its ruling on EDF’s acquisition of British Energy on Monday.

Sunday Telegraph 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Companies

Japanese engineering conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd will launch joint production of nuclear fuel with its French partner Areva SA , the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday. Under the plan, the French nuclear engineering firm will take up a roughly 30 percent stake in Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel Co, which is owned in 66 percent by Mitsubishi Materials Corp and 34 percent by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Nikkei said.

Money AM 21st Dec 2008 more >>

AWE

The government’s sale of its final stake in the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) to an American company was challenged yesterday by opposition parties.

Sunday Times 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Telegraph 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Politics.co.uk 20th Dec 2008 more >>

View London 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Climate

Barack Obama ushered in a revolution in America’s response to global warming yesterday when he appointed one of the world’s leading climate change experts as his administration’s chief scientist. The president-elect’s decision to make Harvard physicist John Holdren director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy reveals a new determination to draw a line under eight years of US policy that have seen George Bush steadfastly reject overwhelming evidence of climate change.

Observer 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Independent on Sunday 21st Dec 2008 more >>

MPs opposed to construction of a third runway at Heathrow are planning a massive cross-party revolt in the new year in a final effort to halt the project.

Observer 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Emissions from aircraft are our fastest-rising source of carbon dioxide and by 2050 could account for or almost all the nation’s permitted carbon output. Cars, homes, factories and power plants would have to become carbon neutral just to accommodate the aviation industry’s desire for unbridled expansion. A third runway is incompatible with the fight against climate change, the most pressing issue facing the nation, it is claimed.

Observer 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Standard 75W, 100W and 150W incandescent bulbs will disappear from sale in January under a government plan to switch to environmentally friendly, but often more expensive, eco-bulbs. It is planned that by 2010 the 40W bulbs will have followed the other bulbs into history.

Observer 21st Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 21 December 2008

20 December 2008

Oldbury

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has today announced that Oldbury Power Station will continue to generate electricity into 2009 and beyond. Originally planned for closure at the end of this year Oldbury now has the opportunity to continue producing electricity for a further period – likely to be around two years. Reactor 2 will continue generating power into 2009 past its scheduled closedown date of December 31st 2008. Reactor 1 remains offline and awaits a safety case to be approved by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) before it can restart.

NDA Press Release 18th Dec 2008 more >>

FT 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Anti-nuclear campaigners have reacted with astonishment after Oldbury nuclear power station was been given permission to carry on generating for another two years. The atomic plant had been set to close down at the end of December. A delay in the defuelling schedule meant it was possible for the station on the banks of the river Severn to stay in operation, provided site regulators gave their approval. That go-ahead has now been given by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). The decision was welcomed by locals, who said they had lived alongside the station for the past 40 years and were happy to see it continue to provide energy and jobs. But members of the Shut Oldbury campaign said it was a “mad idea”. They said there had been safety concerns for the past six years, particularly surrounding the graphite core of its two reactors.

Bristol Evening Post 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Emergency Planning

STAFF at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, joined an emergency exercise to test responses in the event of a nuclear incident. They worked with other emergency services and the local authorities to rehearse procedures for a radioactive leak at Hinkley Point B Power Station. A decontamination tent was set up, staff wore emergency protective clothing and went through the procedures for decontaminating and treating ‘dummy’ patients.

Somerset County Gazette 19th Dec 2008 more >>

EDF

Constellation Energy and EDF Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of EDF, have announced a definitive investment agreement under which the latter will acquire a 49.99% interest in the Constellation Energy Nuclear Group for $4.5 billion.

Energy Business Review 18th Dec 2008 more >>

AWE

AWE denies that proposed new bomb-assembly complex to replace aging “gravel gerties” will be a flood risk. PLANS for a new bomb-making facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s Burghfield plant have been submitted to the district council. If approved, the final assembly of nuclear warheads ready to be installed in Britain’s Trident submarines will be moved to a new complex to replace the Cold War “gravel gertie” bunkers hit by floods last July. AWE bosses insist that the replacement facility, named Project Mensa, will be built on higher ground on a different part of the site safe from flooding. But anti-nuke campaigner Di McDonald, of the Nuclear Information Service said that she feared that global warming would lead to floods across the Burghfield site.

Newbury Weekly News 18th Dec 2008 more >>

Britain has sold off its stake in the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment, relinquishing control of nuclear warhead production in the UK, it has been revealed. A US firm has bought British Nuclear Fuels’ one-third share in AWE Management, giving Americans a controlling influence of the facility. The fee paid by California-based Jacobs Engineering has not been disclosed.

Loughborough Echo 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Ananova 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Guardian 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Independent 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Telegraph 20th Dec 2008 more >>

Bulgaria

Germany’s RWE AG signed a deal with Bulgaria’s state-owned NEK power utility on Friday to become a strategic investor in the country’s second nuclear plant. RWE outbid rival Belgian energy company Electrabel, owned by France’s GDF Suez SA, for a 49-percent stake in Belene Power Company, which will own and operate the new nuclear power plant.

AP 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Reuters 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Yucca Mountain

Here is the federal government’s plan to keep Las Vegas safe from the radioactive waste it wants to store at Yucca Mountain: High-tech metal containers for the waste; Multibillion-dollar titanium shields to protect the containers from drips of corrosive water; Robots to install the shields 100 years from now. Too bad none of those things exist, opponents say. Arguments over these canisters, drip shields and robots are central to their case against the Energy Department’s application to turn the mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, into the nation’s nuclear dump. They plan to file more than 200 legal objections, called contentions, today with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is to decide whether to license the site.

Las Vegas Sun 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Turkey

Turkey’s Atomic Energy Board (TAEK) on Friday sanctioned the technology of a Russian-Turkish consortium which was the sole bidder in a tender to build the country’s first nuclear power plant.

Yahoo 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Russia will stop developing some strategic nuclear weapons if the US drops plans for a missile shield in Europe, a top Russian general has said.

Sky News 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Fusion

CAITHNESS is being touted as the base for a major research project into fusion energy.

John O Groat Journal 19th Dec 2008 more >>

Posted: 20 December 2008