News May 2008

31 May 2008

Nuclear Waste

A HUGE nuclear dump storing thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste in west Cumbria has been recommended for approval at Sellafield. Copeland council’s planning panel yesterday gave the thumbs up to outline plans for the major development. Sellafield Ltd want to build the facility to store intermediate level nuclear waste before it is exported to a final permanent repository. An area of around six acres would have to be cleared at Sellafield to make way for the dump. Sellafield Ltd stated in their applications that the new facility would create around 105 jobs. But anti-nuclear campaigners fear more radioactive waste could be transported into Sellafield from elsewhere.

Whitehaven News, 29th May 2008 more >>

A MAJOR development to import and export radioactive waste in and out of Sellafield could create 105 new jobs. The building would be used for surface storage of intermediate level waste before it is exported to a final permanent repository, when one is built. But anti-nuclear campaigners are worried that more radioactive waste could be transported in from elsewhere. Currently, waste for storage or reprocessing is transported in and out of Sellafield by road and rail and also by ship through Barrow and Workington.

Whitehaven News 28th May 2008 more >>

ONE million hours, or more than five years, have been worked at the low level waste repository at Drigg without a reportable accident.

Whitehaven News 28th May 2008 more >>

New Nukes

A leading environmental group has attacked what it calls the “voodoo economics” of nuclear power. Friends of the Earth says vast sums of taxpayers’ money will be needed to build a new generation of nuclear power stations. It makes the claim in a report on the performance of Britain’s nuclear industry over the past 50 years. FoE says it has been “disastrous” and marked by “broken promises and escalating bills to the taxpayer”.

Sky News 29th May 2008 more >>

SNP Energy Spokesperson Mike Weir attacked Gordon Brown’s plan for more reactors saying it involved signing a blank cheque to the nuclear industry.

Aberdeen Press and Journal 30th May 2008 more >>

A power cut that affected hundreds of homes this week is proof more atomic energy is needed, according to a politician. Tory parliamentary candidate for Taunton Deane, Mark Formosa, claims more nuclear plants must be built to prevent Britain being plunged into an energy crisis.Mr Formosa, who is a staunch supporter of Government proposals to build two new reactors at Hinkley Point, said: “I have warned for some time that Britain is facing an energy crisis and that in winter we could see the lights going out in homes and businesses in Taunton Deane because of insufficient energy supplies.”

Western Daily Press 30th May 2008 more >>

Companies

Britain’s second biggest gas and electricity supplier, Scottish and Southern Energy, warned today the industry stood on the brink of radical change. Centralised fossil fuel fired generation would have to give way to a combination of energy efficiency and diversity of generation. “The days of meeting an unchecked demand for energy through monolithic carbon intensive power stations are coming to an end. Increasingly the emphasis will be on energy efficiency, renewables, cleaned up fossil fuel plant and micro generation,” the company said in a statement accompanying its full-year results. SSE, which currently gets 15% of its energy from nuclear suppliers, said it believed “one more tranche of nuclear power stations will be necessary, but that the deployment of such power stations should be minimised through the maximum exploitation of renewable energy sources.”

Guardian 29th May 2008 more >>

NDA

The cost of cleaning up the UK’s nuclear facilities – some of which date back to the 1950s – looks set to rise above £73bn. A senior official at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) told the BBC this week that the costs of dismantling 19 sites over the coming years will rise by billions of pounds.

Edie 29th May 2008 more >>

Radhealth

CLAIMS of increased risk of leukaemia near nuclear facilities will be on the agenda at a Cumbrian conference next month. International health researchers will present the latest evidence of health effects at the 20th Low-Level Radiation and Health Conference, at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus on June 7-8.

Whitehaven News 28th May 2008 more >>

Chernobyl

A plan to smuggle a highly radioactive helicopter from the Chernobyl disaster area and turn it into an eye-catching cafe has been foiled in Ukraine. Police said several people were detained after they were found transporting the scrap from the 18-miles exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power station, which exploded in 1986. The helicopter, an Mi-8 “Hip”, was found to emit up to 30 times the legal level of radiation.

Telegraph 31st May 2008 more >>

Pakistan

Abdul Qadeer Khan, the disgraced Pakistani scientist once responsible for his country’s nuclear weapons programme, has retracted his confession that he sold nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Telegraph 31st May 2008 more >>

Proliferation

Nuclear bomb blueprints and manuals on how to manufacture weapons-grade uranium for warheads are feared to be circulating on the international black market, according to investigators tracking the world’s most infamous nuclear smuggling racket. Alarm about the sale of nuclear know-how follows the disclosure that the Swiss government, allegedly acting under US pressure, secretly destroyed tens of thousands of documents from a massive nuclear smuggling investigation. The information was seized from the home and computers of Urs Tinner, a 43-year-old Swiss engineer who has been in custody for almost four years as a key suspect in the nuclear smuggling ring run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani metallurgist who in 2004 admitted leaking nuclear secrets and is under house arrest in Islamabad. The Khan network trafficked nuclear materials, equipment and knowhow to at least three countries: Iran, Libya, and North Korea.

Guardian 31st May 2008 more >>

US

The nuclear energy industry’s main trade group spent $320,000 in the first quarter to lobby the federal government, according to a recent disclosure form. The Nuclear Energy Institute, whose members include Duke Energy Corp. and Exelon Corp., lobbied on legislation dealing with power grid reliability, uranium issues, trade agreements, and climate change, according to the amended report posted online April 21 by the House clerk’s office.

AFX 30th May 2008 more >>

New thinking is needed to stem the spread of nuclear weapons around the world, a phenomenon that may represent the biggest threat to global security. John McCain, the presumptive US Republican presidential candidate who laid out his views on the subject this week, has signalled he may be ready to change the direction of US policy. This newspaper has expressed strong reservations about some of Mr McCain’s foreign policy positions, particularly his approaches to Iran and Iraq which seem to offer little more than a continuation of the failure of the Bush years. But on this issue he is talking sense.

FT 31st May 2008 more >>

Syria

America is pressing UN inspectors to broaden a search for secret nuclear sites in Syria following the destruction of an alleged reactor by Israel. The US has given information on three suspect sites to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which is negotiating with Syria for permission to conduct inspections in the country.

Sky News 30th May 2008 more >>

Posted: 31 May 2008

30 May 2008

Planning

MPs are to be offered the opportunity to vote down controversial schemes for new nuclear power plants, motorways and extensions to ports and airports as part of a package of concessions announced last night to head off another big rebellion by Labour MPs when parliament returns on Monday. John Healey, the minister for local government, has written to all MPs announcing that he is amending the planning reform bill – due for its third reading on Monday – to give MPs a greater say over new national strategies for nuclear energy, renewable energy, airports, ports and roads.

Guardian 30th May 2008 more >>

Plans for a fast-track system to approve new nuclear power stations threaten to cause a revolt by Labour MPs who claim that the policy bypasses democratic controls. At least 30 Labour backbenchers are ready to support a joint amendment with the Conservatives to scupper the main element of the reforms, which could also change planning rules for motorways and airport terminals. The centrepiece of the Planning Bill, which returns to the Commons on Monday, is a new independent planning commission that would take all the key decisions about where nuclear plants and other big infrastructure projects would be sited.

Times 30th May 2008 more >>

Labour rebels are seeking to kill off Government plans to hand sweeping planning powers to an unelected quango. In the latest revolt to hit the Prime Minister, 63 Labour backbenchers have signed a Commons motion condemning plans to create a commission to decide on major infrastructure projects such as airports, motorways and nuclear power stations.

Daily Mail 30th May 2008 more >>

Telegraph 30th May 2008 more >>

FT 30th May 2008 more >>

New Nukes

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners claimed yesterday that the latest revelations about the Sellafield nuclear plant in England, found in Paul Brown’s report for FoE, ended the argument in favour of nuclear power in this country.

Irish Examiner 30th May 2008 more >>

“Voodoo Economics and the Doomed Nuclear Renaissance”

On-line at http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/voodoo_economics.pdf

Britain’s failing nuclear industry has cost the taxpayer £72 billion in the last 50 years, a new study concludes today. The report into the nuclear energy industry, published by Friends of the Earth, pours scorn on government claims about the potential of nuclear energy.

View London 29th May 2008 more >>

Yesterday, Gordon Brown felt compelled to go on the record to announce that the UK needs to not only maintain but to increase its nuclear power capacity. And yet the nuclear industry is not exactly hale and hearty because, let’s face it, it’s been a terrible week for the poor dears. Hot on the heels of the news that construction of France’s new flagship reactor had been halted due to safety concerns came a series of other body blows, including a large projected increase in future decommissioning costs, the unexplained shutdown of the Sizewell B reactor, and British Energy’s profits fell by almost a third. The bad news just kept on coming as a new book challenged Sellafield’s ability to deal with future nuclear waste, an American study reported huge increases in construction costs, and another reactor shut down unexpectedly yesterday – this time at Hunterston in Scotland.

Greenpeace UK 29th May 2008 more >>

The UK has a real opportunity to lead the way in the development of alternative sources of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, yet the Government prefers to hold on to its ambition of introducing more dirty, dangerous and expensive nuclear power instead. Green Party Principal Speaker Caroline Lucas has today attacked Gordon Brown’s comments that the Government would press ahead with a new generation of nuclear power. She condemned the Prime Minister’s decision as “a knee-jerk response that scares the British people into blindly accepting nuclear power as our only option”.

Green Party 29th May 2008 more >>

Gordon Brown has said he has become “more ambitious” about nuclear power and that replacing existing capacity will not be enough in the light of rising oil prices.

Building 29th May 2008 more >>

Problems at Britain’s clapped-out nuclear power plants contributed to serious blackouts this week. Gordon Brown wants even more new nuclear power stations than planned – but is he right?

Guardian Newsblog 29th May 2008 more >>

After more than 500,000 homes were plunged into darkness as two major power stations failed, Gordon Brown has given enthusiastic backing for new nuclear plants. The Prime Minister said that with oil prices soaring, it was time to be ‘more ambitious’ on a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Daily Mail 29th May 2008 more >>

Nuclear energy would be a good way to meet higher demands for power when electric cars grow in popularity, an ex-government scientific adviser says. Better rechargeable batteries for cars will lead to a “shift” from petrol-fuelled vehicles to electric alternatives, Sir David King predicted.

BBC 29th May 2008 more >>

Companies

Mr Marchant confirmed that SSE was not interested in bidding for nuclear power producer British Energy. But he said that SSE was still looking at getting involved in the new generation of nuclear reactors likely to be built in Britain over the next two decades.

Telegraph 30th May 2008 more >>

Independent 30th May 2008 more >>

Nuclear Skills

Nuclear power generator British Energy has inaugurated the GBP3.5 million Nuclear Power Academy at its Barnwood nuclear operations center in Gloucestershire, UK, to train the next generation of industry professionals.

Energy Business Review 29th May 2008 more >>

British Energy

REACTOR shutdowns sent profits tumbling at nuclear power generator and £11billion bid target British Energy. The company said yesterday closures at its Hartlepool and Hey sham 1 reactors had sent pre-tax profits down from £796million to £538million for the year to March.

British Energy 29th May 2008 more >>

Terror

Washington is laid to waste. The Capitol is a blackened, smoking ruin. The White House has been razed. Countless thousands are dead. This is the apocalyptic scene terrorists hope to create if they ever get their hands on a nuclear bomb. The computer-generated image below was posted on an Islamic extremists’ website yesterday.

This is London 29th May 2008 more >>

The Sun 29th May 2008 more >>

A WORKER at Sellafield nuclear plant was yesterday charged with making a nail bomb. Cops launched a manhunt for Darren Morris after a “small, rudimentary device” was found at his home in Egremont, Cumbria, last December.

The Sun 30th May 2008 more >>

Iran

U.S. intelligence has no plans to revise an estimate of Iran’s nuclear ambitions that critics say underplayed Tehran’s efforts to make weapons, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Donald Kerr said, however, that the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran also reflects significant concerns over Iran’s intentions, and that these have been overlooked in public debate.

Reuters 30th May 2008 more >>

Iran’s nuclear programme has made big strides in recent months and the country is on course to pass an important threshold for nuclear weapons capability next year, scientists and analysts say. Ever since Iran started enriching uranium in defiance of United Nations resolutions, western diplomats have highlighted the technological obstacles facing the country, arguing that they provided time to deal with the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

FT 30th May 2008 more >>

France

EDF will need to repair supports for pipes in seven French nuclear power stations after finding they may not be able to withstand an earthquake.

Bloomberg 29th May 2008 more >>

French nuclear power group Areva will have to spend an estimated E50 million to E100 million per year to dismantle a non-functional facility used for treating spent nuclear fuel in La Hague, France, according to Les Echos.

Datamonitor 29th May 2008 more >>

Pakistan

Extracts from an telephone interview conducted yesterday by the Guardian’s Pakistan correspondent, Declan Walsh, with the father of the country’s nuclear weapons programme, Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Guardian 30th May 2008 more >>

For four years Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, has lived in the shadows, confined to his Islamabad home since a tearful televised confession in which he admitted selling nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. But yesterday the 76-year-old scientist returned to the spotlight with a bold new twist: that he had not meant a word of his earlier admission.

Guardian 30th May 2008 more >>

Albania

Enel SpA. is ready to assess the feasibility of building a nuclear power plant in Albania if the Albanian and Italian governments reach a cooperation agreement, an Enel official said.

Interactive Investor 29th May 2008 more >>

Submarines

Britain’s nuclear deterrent submarines are starting to feel the manpower shortage that’s affecting the UK’s armed forces. Sky News has learned that the boats including those carrying the country’s Trident missiles are putting to sea with as little as 85% of their intended crew complement.

Sky News 30th May 2008 more >>

Posted: 30 May 2008

29 May 2008

British Energy

British Energy Group, the UK nuclear power producer that is considering takeover offers, said full-year profit fell 28pc because of production shutdowns. Net income in the year ended March 31 dropped to £335m from £465m a year earlier, the company said today.

Telegraph 28th May 2008 more >>

Liverpool Daily Post 28th May 2008 more >>

Interactive Investor 28th May 2008 more >>

The fragility of British Energy’s ageing fleet of nuclear reactors, producer of a sixth of the nation’s energy, has been pushed back to the top of the public agenda after a second reactor in as many days shut down unexpectedly. The company confirmed that its Hunterston B7 reactor at Largs, Ayrshire, tripped in the mid-afternoon, a day after its Sizewell B reactor in Leiston, Suffolk, capable of powering more than 1 million homes, shut down suddenly, triggering blackouts across large swathes of the country.

Independent 29th May 2008 more >>

Guardian 29th May 2008 more >>

Times 29th May 2008 more >>

Britain faces the danger of repeated blackouts as clapped-out and crumbling power stations suffer a series of failures, it was claimed yesterday. More than 500,000 homes lost electricity for several hours after two major sites shut down suddenly on Tuesday. Lights were dimmed in millions of homes as seven generating units at other power stations broke down too. Problems continued yesterday when the Hunterston nuclear power reactor in Scotland failed. That meant ten of British Energy’s 16 nuclear generation units were out of service either for maintenance or through faults.

Daily Mail 29th May 2008 more >>

British Energy has enhanced its attraction as a bid target with full-year results that beat analysts’ expectations, despite a fall in pre-tax profits of nearly a third.

Telegraph 29th May 2008 more >>

Sizewell

Hundreds of thousands of homes suffered power cuts after a fault caused an unplanned shutdown at the Sizewell B nuclear power plant in Suffolk.

BBC 27th May 2008 more >>

New Nukes

Gordon Brown has said the UK needs to increase its nuclear power capacity – raising the prospect of plants being built in new locations. The prime minister said that with oil prices soaring, it was time to be “more ambitious” for nuclear plans.

BBC 28th May 2008 more >>

FT 29th May 2008 more >>

Independent 29th May 2008 more >>

Times 29th May 2008 more >>

Metro 28th May 2008 more >>

Daily Mail 29th May 2008 more >>

The prime minister has promised a big expansion of nuclear power, a move that is warmly welcomed in some quarters.

BBC 29th May 2008 more >>

Reacting to Gordon Brown’s comments that the UK needs to increase its nuclear power capacity, Robin Oakley, head of Greenpeace’s climate and energy campaign, said: “This looks like nothing more than a clumsy attempt by Brown to talk up British Energy’s share price. The nuclear industry has had a woeful 24 hours that must be shaking confidence in this outdated technology.

Greenpeace UK 28th May 2008 more >>

Construction costs for power plants have more than doubled since 2000, according to new index data to be released Tuesday, and inflationary pressures will continue to put the squeeze on electricity prices. The findings are bad news for consumers and utilities alike, and help explain why power-plant development has become something of a quagmire in the U.S. — with no type of plant emerging as a reasonably priced option that can meet rising demand for electricity.

Wall Street Journal 27th May 2008 more >>

Nuclear Skills

A £3.5m state-of-the-art centre for training nuclear experts has opened its doors in Gloucestershire. British Energy, at Barnwood near Gloucester, has set up a Nuclear Power Academy to train the next generation of industry professionals.It will be responsible for overseeing the standard of people working in power stations across the country.

Western Daily Press 29th May 2008 more >>

BBC 28th May 2008 more >>

NDA

Campaign groups warned that clean up and decommissioning costs were spiralling out of control after the NDA admitted the £73bn cost was set to rise.

Aberdeen Press and Journal 29th May 2008 more >>

Yorkshire Post 29th May 2008 more >>

Herald 29th May 2008 more >>

Western Telegraph 28th May 2008 more >>

Milford Mercury 28th May 2008 more >>

THE cost of the NDA’s nuclear clean up is set to rise well above the current £73bn, according to interviews screened nationally by the BBC on Tuesday. Jim Morse a senior director with the NDA was interviewed and admitted the clean-up was “sure to go beyond £73 billion.”

Whitehaven News 28th May 2008 more >>

Paul Brown, author of Voodoo Economics and the Doomed Nuclear Renaissance, says: “The nuclear dream has turned into an economic and security nightmare for the British taxpayer. The extent of the problems at Sellafield has not been fully explained to the public; nor have the potential knock-on effects for the whole nuclear industry. But research shows the situation is getting rapidly worse.”

Guardian 29th May 2008 more >>

Irish Times 29th May 2008 more >>

US Waste Management

Increasingly, people are coming to the conclusion that the proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada might never open. Former Louisiana Senator J. Bennett Johnston, “the lawmaker perhaps most responsible” for advancing the plan for a permanent waste repository at Yucca, now says the “project should never have been billed as a place to hold waste indefinitely,” reports Lisa Mascaro. Johnston admitted, “You can’t absolutely prove with certainty what’s going to happen in 10,000 or 100,000 years.” The U.S. Department of Energy will soon “deliver its long-awaited application to license the site.” The department currently projects “that Yucca could start accepting waste by 2020.” Meanwhile, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) industry group “has been quietly chatting with small, primarily rural communities to gauge their interest in hosting a temporary waste facility.” Neither NEI nor Johnston “will admit that Yucca Mountain is dead … but they would like to have a backup plan.”

PR Watch 22nd May 2008 more >>

UAE

US-based nuclear energy firm Thorium Power has disclosed that its previously announced consulting and strategic advisory service agreements are with a United Arab Emirates government entity involved in that nation’s evaluation of a domestic nuclear energy program.

Energy Business Review 28th May 2008 more >>

France

Construction problems at a new-generation nuclear reactor in France have prompted a partial suspension of work at the site, at the request of France’s nuclear safety agency, the agency said Wednesday. Concrete-pouring at the site of the Flamanville-3 reactor on the Normandy coast was halted May 21, said Thomas Houdre, head of the nuclear safety agency’s division in the French region of Caen.

IHT 28th May 2008 more >>

Slovakia

Environmental group Greenpeace will lodge a legal challenge to Slovak authorities’ go ahead for the completion of two nuclear power stations in the country’s west, a representative said Wednesday. The organisation will complain to the supreme court against the go ahead for completion of Mochovce’s third and fourth reactor without prior environmental impact assessments being carried out.

Yahoo 28th May 2008 more >>

Russia

Russian crackers attacked the websites of a local nuclear power plant last week shortly after planting false rumours of an accident at the facility. Internet forums were buzzing with bogus reports of “radioactive emissions” emanating from the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant near St Petersburg and an evacuation of locals at the same time official websites were knocked offline, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Channel Register 28th May 2008 more >>

Italy

A2A SpA chairman Giuliano Zuccoli said his group is studying the idea of the creation of a consortium of producers and consumers to build nuclear power generation plants in Italy.

AFX 28th May 2008 more >>

Submarines

The Clyde-based nuclear attack submarine which collided with an underwater rock in the Red Sea on Monday could be scrapped if damage to her sonar is judged to be too expensive to repair, according to Whitehall sources.

Herald 29th May 2008 more >>

Posted: 29 May 2008

28 May 2008

British Energy

British Energy Group this morning reported a slump in full year EBITDA from £1.2bn last year to £882m, the result of lower full year nuclear output as well as lower achieved power prices. The results were slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations. The realised power price for the year was £40.70 per megawatt hour (MWh), down from £44.20 per MWh last year, with operating margins thinning to £10.70 per MWh from £17.10 per MWh last time.

Money AM 28th May 2008 more >>

Guardian website 28th May 2008 more >>

Sizewell B

British Energy’s 1,180 -megawatt Sizewell B nuclear power reactor was shut down around midday on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the company said. “It was unplanned,”

Reuters 27th May 2008 more >>

Hundreds of thousands of people were hit by electricity blackouts yesterday when seven power stations shut down. The unscheduled stoppages were regarded as an unprecedented sign of the fragility of Britain’s power infrastructure. At midday the Sizewell B nuclear power station, run by British Energy in Suffolk, and the Longanett coal-fired power station, run by Scottish Energy in Fife, went offline within two minutes of each other. Later, “generating units” in power stations in Grain, Kent, and Ratcliffe, Nottinghamshire, and at EDF in Cottam, Nottinghamshire, Centrica in South Humber and International Power in Deeside each suffered cuts.

Times 28th May 2008 more >>

NDA

The cost of cleaning up Britain’s ageing nuclear power sites is likely to rise by “billions of pounds”, it has been reported. In January an official report put the cost at £73 billion, a figure up £12 billion on the previous estimate made in 2003. But a senior official at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said the cost would continue to escalate.

Newcastle Chronicle 28th May 2008 more >>

Ananova 28th May 2008 more >>

BBC 27th May 2008 more >>

Terror

Al Qaeda has issued a video calling on terrorists to use biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to attack the West.

Sky News 28th May 2008 more >>

Iran

Iran’s new parliament has elected former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani as its speaker. He resigned as Iran’s nuclear envoy in 2007, citing policy differences with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr Larijani belongs to a group of Iranian MPs who have been critical of Mr Ahmadinejad’s handling of the Iranian economy.

BBC 28th May 2008 more >>

Germany said on Tuesday the international community must push for a faster response from Iran over its nuclear programme, while Washington said a new U.N. report suggested Tehran wanted to acquire nuclear weapons.

Christian Today 28th May 2008 more >>

The Iranian nuclear confrontation will just not go away. The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran is not cooperating fully in the investigation of its nuclear activities leaves this potentially serious crisis open.

BBC 27th May 2008 more >>

Companies

Electrabel says it will not contribute 250 million euros to the Belgian budget in 2008 in return for the government’s decision to keep five out of seven of the country’s nuclear plants open, De Standaard and De Tijd reported. The Suez subsidiary said it never signed a deal with energy minister Paul Magnette and underlined that a potential agreement would only be considered in a broader context “which takes into account the conditions imposed on Suez for the merger with GDF”.

Interactive Investor 28th May 2008 more >>

Test Veterans

A CANCER sufferer and former pub doorman who was exposed to nuclear explosions has succumbed to the disease after a two-year fight for life.

York Press 28th May 2008 more >>

France

A long-term project by nuclear power equipment company Areva to dismantle an obsolete unit at a French site to treat spent nuclear fuel will cost an estimated 50 million to 100 million euros per year, the daily Les Echos said, without citing sources. The project could take up to 25 years. The site, in La Hague, is run by the company’s Areva NC unit, and handles nuclear waste from EDF and other utilities.

AFX 28th May 2008 more >>

France’s nuclear safety agency today took the commendable step of ordering construction work to be halted on the concrete base slab of the new European Pressurised Reactor, Flamanville 3, in northern France. Over recent months, the agency’s inspectors have uncovered a string of chronic faults in construction — which only began in December 2007.

Greenpeace International 27th May 2008 more >>

Greenpeace UK 27th May 2008 more >>

Concrete pouring at the site of the future EPR nuclear reactor in Flamanville was stopped May 21 after an inspection found ‘anomalies’, France’s nuclear safety authority said. ‘The anomalies pose no safety problem, but they demonstrate an unacceptable lack of rigour at the construction site,’ said Thomas Houdre, head of the authority’s Caen office, said at a press conference. The authority, the ASN, requested that EDF stop new concrete work until internal controls are improved.

Money AM 27th May 2008 more >>

AFX 27th May 2008 more >>

FT 28th May 2008 more >>

Central Europe

Central European countries are fuelling a nuclear revival as they face closure of old soviet reactor, the need to meet European climate targets and rising energy costs.

EU Business 27th May 2008 more >>

USA

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., a unit of Scana Corp., and Santee Cooper have signed a contract for Westinghouse Electric Co. and Shaw Group Inc. to design and construct two nuclear units in South Carolina, the companies said late Tuesday.

AFX 28th May 2008 more >>

Gulf

Nuclear power rather than renewable sources like the wind or sun are the best option for oil-rich Gulf Arab states to meet growing energy demands, especially if produced collectively, according to regional experts.

“Renewable energies are (playing) only a very small part in supplying even those who started (developing them) a long time ago,” Saudi Electricity Company President Ali Saleh al-Barrack told a conference in the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

AFX 27th May 2008 more >>

China

China’s nuclear power firms aim to join its auto and electronic companies as export powerhouses, analysts say, but massive domestic expansion plans may not leave them the capacity to make an overseas push for over a decade.

Reuters 27th May 2008 more >>

Submarines

A stricken British nuclear submarine was adrift in the Red Sea last night with 112 crewmen trapped aboard.

Daily Mirror 28th May 2008 more >>

Channel 4 News 28th May 2008 more >>

Sky News 28th May 2008 more >>

Daily Record 28th May 2008 more >>

Scotsman 28th May 2008 more >>

Guardian 28th May 2008 more >>

Times 28th May 2008 more >>

Telegraph 28th May 2008 more >>

Disarmament

John McCain yesterday vowed to make big cuts in the US nuclear arsenal if elected president and called for Russia and China to join a global effort to tackle nuclear proliferation. The Republican candidate called for the strengthening of existing non-proliferation deals and the negotiation of new ones, warning that the world faced no greater threat than the spread of nuclear weapons. “The cold war ended almost 20 years ago, and the time has come to take further measures to reduce dramatically the number of nuclear weapons in the world’s arsenals,” he said in a speech at the University

FT 28th May 2008 more >>

Interview with Hans Blix.

Middle East Online 27th May 2008 more >>

Posted: 28 May 2008

27 May 2008

Iran

The UN nuclear watchdog has said it believes Iran is still withholding information on its nuclear programme. In a report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Tehran’s alleged weapons development studies remain a matter of serious concern.

BBC 26th May 2008 more >>

Reuters 27th May 2008 more >>

Iran withheld information needed to establish whether it had tried to make nuclear arms and continued to enrich uranium in defiance of United Nations sanctions, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a new report. The tone of the language used in the report suggested investigators were frustrated by Tehran’s continued stonewalling of the UN nuclear watchdog’s attempts to determine whether Iran is making nuclear weapons.

Telegraph 27th May 2008 more >>

Guardian 27th May 2008 more >>

Independent 27th May 2008 more >>

Times 27th May 2008 more >>

Channel 4 News 26th May 2008 more >>

Sky News 26th May 2008 more >>

Israel

Ex-US President Jimmy Carter has said Israel has at least 150 atomic weapons in its arsenal. The Israelis have never confirmed they have nuclear weapons, but this has been widely assumed since a scientist leaked details in the 1980s.

BBC 26th May 2008 more >>

Companies

Centrica plans to disrupt a deal between French state-owned companies GDF and EDF in order to win control of Belgium’s second-largest gas and electricity supplier. Officials said yesterday that Centrica, the owner of British Gas, would exercise its pre-emption rights to match the offer made by EDF for the 25.5% stake held by GDF in Li ge-based SPE. Centrica already owns 25.5% of SPE. The move is a significant element in Centrica’s drive to expand its presence in mainland Europe, where it owns businesses in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.The cash-rich French group is the sole bidder so far for the government’s 35% stake in British Energy and is negotiating with Centrica about its participation in the planned takeover. Suez withdrew from the bidding process on Friday.

Guardian 27th May 2008 more >>

Posted: 27 May 2008

26 May 2008

British Energy

British Energy, the nuclear generator that reports full-year results on Wednesday, is at the centre of the country’s most complex takeover negotiations, but it is not expected to shed much light on the progress of those talks. Goldman Sachs has forecast a 35 per cent drop in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to £797m, the reduction caused by both a fall in output as a result of reactor shutdowns and weak electricity prices in 2007.

FT 26th May 2008 more >>

Low Carbon Economy

Letter from Caroline Lucas MEP: The hardship and disruption being caused by rising oil prices demonstrates just how much simpler a transition to a zero-carbon economy would be if we planned for it with foresight and determination, rather than having it thrust upon us.

Guardian 26th May 2008 more >>

Microgeneration

Gordon Brown is planning to use a massive expansion of green energy to win back voters angry at spiralling fuel prices. They will be offered guaranteed prices for generating their own power that could fund loan schemes to pay for energy-saving technology under plans being finalised by ministers. The plans are expected to be contained in a major offensive to promote domestic solar and wind power, as well as promoting energy conservation, that will be launched by the Prime Minister next month. Senior ministers believe the programme will help win over hard-pressed families by offering energy-saving and renewable power packages to cut their fuel bills for good. Under the plans, ministers will agree to a key demand of environmentalists to back so-called “fee-in-tariffs”, which offer householders guaranteed premium prices if they sell surplus renewable power back to the national grid.

Independent 26th May 2008 more >>

Israel

Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, former President Jimmy Carter said yesterday, while arguing that the US should talk directly to Iran to persuade it to drop its nuclear ambitions. His remark, made at the Hay-on-Wye festival which promotes current affairs books and literature, is startling because Israel has never admitted having nuclear weapons, let alone how many, although the world assumes their existence. Nor do US officials deviate in public from that Israeli line.

Times 26th May 2008 more >>

Germany

The head of RWE AG.’s Power division, which operates the utility’s electricity plants, said Germany must embrace nuclear energy again to meet carbon dioxide emission targets without massive job losses, Neuen Ruhr/Neuen Rhein Zeitung reported.

AFX 25th May 2008 more >>

Japan

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it manually shut the 784-megawatt No.5 nuclear generator at its Fukushima Daiichi plant, north of Tokyo, on Sunday due to technical trouble.

Reuters 26th May 2008 more >>

Iran

The former US president Jimmy Carter has called for his country to resume trade relations with Iran, which he described as a “rational” nation. Speaking at the Hay Festival yesterday, Mr Carter also suggested the US should provide nuclear power technology and fuel to Iran as a show of goodwill.

Independent 26th May 2008 more >>

UAE

To one senior oil industry official, “it’s a fascinating and somewhat bizarre phenomenon”. To another it simply “looks a bit weird”. But for Middle East states, the dynamic the two are describing is deadly serious – the globe’s most hydrocarbon-rich region is facing the prospect of critical shortages of gas. This is one of the reason the UAE is looking at the possibility of building nuclear stations.

FT 26th May 2008 more >>

Posted: 26 May 2008

25 May 2008

New Nukes

ITALY, which last week decided to embrace nuclear power two decades after a public referendum banned nuclear power and deactivated all its reactors, could be just the first of several European countries to reverse its stance on nuclear power, a leading industry group has said. Ian Hore-Lacey, spokesman for the London-based World Nuclear Association, said: “Italy has had the most dramatic, the most public turnaround, but the sentiments against nuclear are reversing very quickly all across Europe.” When asked which nations were likely to join Britain and France as major producers of nuclear power, he replied: “Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and more.”

Scotland on Sunday 25th May 2008 more >>

Dounreay

Robot submarines are to be used to sweep particles of plutonium and other radioactive materials from the seabed near one of Britain’s biggest nuclear plants in one of the most delicate clean-up operations ever in this country. Each submersible will be fitted with a Geiger counter and will crisscross the sea floor to pinpoint every deadly speck close to Dounreay on Scotland’s north coast before lifting each particle and returning it to land for safe storage.

Observer 25th May 2008 more >>

Wales

Wind turbines are replacing pitheads in providing Wales with power, as its valleys turn green again. With energy prices scaling record heights, the principality is preparing to lead Britain out of the carbon age. Wales will this week become the first country in the world formally to report on the growth of its “ecological footprint” – the measure of its impact on the planet’s resources. Wales aims for renewables, including tidal power from the Severn Barrage, to provide all its electricity by 2020; by comparison, Westminster’s target for the country as a whole – which it is not expected to meet – is just 40 per cent. Already, 90 per cent of the energy used by the Welsh Assembly Government’s buildings comes from renewables, as does nine-tenths of the electricity used by the NHS in the principality. The Welsh administration – a coalition between Labour and Plaid Cymru – says it “sees no need for nuclear new-build in Wales” in direct defiance of Gordon Brown’s determination to press ahead with it nationwide. Wales wants all new buildings to be carbon neutral by 2011, years ahead of nationwide targets.

Independent on Sunday 25th May 2008 more >>

Trident

Work on Britain’s Trident nuclear warhead programme was suspended for much of the last year due to wide-ranging safety fears, it has been disclosed. Following suspension of work at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Burghfield in Berkshire last July, when flooding increased the risk of fire at the plant, concerns about on-site safety became so acute that a decision was taken in the autumn to stop all live nuclear work on missile warheads. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) insisted last year that AWE had to improve safety otherwise it would not issue a new licence for live work on nuclear warheads. In an official report the watchdog said it was concerned the risk of an accident at Burghfield was not ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ in a quarter of its inspection targets. The plant’s operator then took the unprecedented decision to halt work until last month.

Observer 25th May 2008 more >>

Submarines

A mission to find the lost wreck of the Titanic was actually a cover story for inspecting the wrecks of two nuclear submarines, the man who discovered the famous liner has revealed.

Mail Online 24th May 2008 more >>

Utilities

SCOTTISH AND Southern Energy will demonstrate its independent strengths on Thursday as market operators speculate on a further round of industry consolidation to follow the current auction for control of British Energy. The Perth group’s shares soared in heavy turnover last week on rumours that the German RWE or another of its Continental rivals could be tempted to swoop as part of a global rationalisation drive that has also seen the American NRG Energy group post a multi-billion dollar bid for Calpine Corporation. But SSE’s chief executive Ian Marchant is determined to show that his group is already a clear winner from current turbulent energy markets, with news of a lift in earnings before interest and tax from £1.18 billion to about £1.3bn, and could reward shareholders with another double-digit rise in dividend payments.

Sunday Herald 25th May 2008 more >>

Posted: 25 May 2008

24 May 2008

New nukes

British Energy may launch a new nuclear power station unit by 2018 if the utility is able to secure the necessary permits in the next five years, Chief Executive Bill Coley said. The top British power maker is at the heart of the government’s plans to expand nuclear power, as it seeks to reduce its reliance on imported energy and lower carbon emissions.

Reuters 23rd May 2008 more >>

E.ON is reportedly mulling the use of its existing oil-fired power station at the Isle of Grain near the town of Sheerness, in Kent, and the coal-fired facility at Kingsnorth, near Ashford, Kent, as sites for the development of the new nuclear power plants.

Energy Business Review 23rd May 2008 more >>

Datamonitor 23rd May 2008 more >>

European Nuclear Energy Forum

Greenpeace lit up central Prague for the past two evenings with giant projected slogans reminding the public, media and energy decision makers about the risks of nuclear power versus the benefits of clean energy. We illuminated Prague; we were also putting a spotlight on delegates at the second European Nuclear Energy Forum.

Greenpeace International 23rd May 2008 more >>

Nuclear Companies have called for standardised certification procedures for new reactors across Europe.

EU Business 23rd May 2008 more >>

Interactive Investor 23rd May 2008 more >>

Speech to the Forum by Barroso.

E-Gov Monitor 23rd May 2008 more >>

British Energy

Suez, the French utility, on Friday ruled itself out of the bidding for British Energy to concentrate on its merger with rival Gaz de France. Suez had not been considered a serious candidate to lead a bid for the UK nuclear power generator, but had been seen as a potential partner.

FT 23rd May 2008 more >>

Guardian website 23rd May 2008 more >>

Independent 24th May 2008 more >>

Times 24th May 2008 more >>

If EDF wins control of British Energy, other utilities would lobby the government to force the sale of development rights for around half of the sites for new reactors.

City AM 23rd May 2008 more >>

Suez learned to its cost this week that the art of double speak does not travel across the Channel, after the UK’s Takeover Panel twice forced the

French power and water group to clarify its intentions towards British Energy. Over the last week, Suez has issued a series of ambiguous and apparently contradictory statements over its role in the sale of Britain’s nuclear power operator. According to people inside the company, this was a misguided but deliberate attempt on the part of Suez to keep its options open, though it never had any intention of bidding. It seems the French group’s strategy has been to give the impression that it was interested in British Energy but that its ongoing merger with state-controlled Gaz de France made any offer difficult.

FT 24th May 2008 more >>

French industrial group Suez confirmed today it was no longer involved in talks over a possible bid for UK nuclear power provider British Energy. The withdrawal, which Suez blamed on the need to focus on its merger with Gaz de France, came as reports linked a new name to the £10 billion auction. Scottish & Southern Energy is reportedly in talks with German power giant RWE about a joint bid for Livingston-based British Energy.

Herald 24th May 2008 more >>

SCOTTISH & Southern Energy, the Perth-based utility which wants to take part in the programme to build the next generation of nuclear plants in the UK, was last night refusing to comment on claims it was in talks over a joint bid for British Energy. It was suggested yesterday that SSE, which reports its full year results next week, was engaged in talks with the German utility RWE. SSE was said to be presenting itself as a British solution to the government’s dilemma over the sale of the nation’s nuclear generating capacity.

Scotsman 24th May 2008 more >>

Bradwell

The one blot on this landscape, the nearby nuclear power station, has been shut down and is unlikely to be replaced – which means that an ugly row of pylons will go too.

Times 23rd May 2008 more >>

Dounreay

DISCIPLINARY action has been taken following claims that two Dounreay police officers were found asleep on duty. A spokesman from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) this week confirmed that an investigation into recent allegations concerning two personnel had taken place and “appropriate disciplinary action” had been taken. He added: “The CNC would stress that the incident took place outside the Dounreay site, and the investigation confirmed that at no time was the security of the site compromised.” A spokesman had earlier confirmed that police at Dounreay have a jurisdiction covering an area of around five kilometres of the nuclear site.

John O Groat Journal 23rd May 2008 more >>

Letter from Chairman in response to the accusations made by Geoffrey Minter of Sandside Estate claiming that the Dounreay Stakeholder Group (DSG) is merely a pro-Dounreay lobby.

John O Groat Journal 23rd May 2008 more >>

Sellafield

Unions met Sellafield bosses for several hours, last Thursday, but the meeting ended without any amendment to the company’s offer of a two per cent rise on basic bay. Sellafield Ltd has also offered a further two per cent which would be be made through efficiency savings but, so far, this has been rejected.

Whitehaven News 21st May 2008 more >>

Drigg

THE Low-Level Waste Repository Limited has announced that Hanson Quarry Products Europe Limited is the preferred bidder in the competition for the construction of Vault 9 at the Low Level Waste Repository . An invitation to tender following EU procurement procedures was issued in September 2007 and submissions received last November. The preferred bidder has offered to source a vast majority of the construction materials from within Cumbria and will maximise the use of local labour and subcontractors where possible.

Whitehaven News 21st May 2008 more >>

Plutonium Shipment

Under a commercial agreement between AREVA and Sellafield Limited, plutonium to be used in MOX fuel fabrication is being shipped between the Sellafield plant in Great Britain and the Melox plant in southern France. Today, the plutonium was delivered to the La Hague plant to be repackaged in canisters capable of being handled by the equipment at the Melox plant, where it will subsequently be shipped. Sellafield Limited contracted with Melox to fabricate MOX fuel for its utility customers.

Areva Press Release 21st May 2008 (not on the website yet – but the earlier one from 19th May is: more >>

THE first of a number of shipments of Sellafield plutonium sailed from the Port of Workington last weekend on board the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s ship Atlantic Osprey. The secretive night shipment, already delayed by two months because its original departure date was leaked in advance to the press, was accompanied by what one local resident described as ‘over the top, wall-to-wall security’ which sealed off the docks. Cumbrians Opposed to Radioactive Environment’s Martin Forwood said: “In its powder form this plutonium is prime terrorist material. Its shipment to France is highly irresponsible at this time of heightened terrorist activity around the world and its transport endangers all communities along the sea route.

Whitehaven News 21st May 2008 more >>

Scotland

Des Browne, Secretary of State for Scotland: History offers an important lesson on powering Scotland. Renewables have a place in energy policy but real diversity is required to invest in the future, writes DES BROWNE, While new nuclear build is rightly one of the options for part of this future mix, our energy policy is also about ensuring a diversity of sources for the future. Clean coal and renewable technologies have an important part to play.

Scotsman 24th May 2008 more >>

Slovakia

Slovakia has asked Brussels to allow it to delay the closure of Bohunice which is due at the end of this year.

EU Business 23rd May 2008 more >>

China

Chinese and Russian officials have signed a £500 million deal to have Russia build a nuclear fuel plant in China.

Channel 4 News 23rd May 2008 more >>

Disarmament,

Do we need to worry about nuclear weapons any more? After the end of the Cold War, the world stepped back from the brink of mutually-assured annihilation and nuclear stockpiles were halved. But nukes haven’t gone away. In fact, they are undergoing something of a renaissance. India, Pakistan and North Korea have all recently joined the nuclear club. The US, Russia, Britain, China and France are spending billions on ‘modernizing’ their nuclear arsenals. So why are disarmament campaigners so upbeat? The NI discovers a window of opportunity for banning the bomb – but can we seize the moment before the shutters slam down, perhaps for good?

New Internationalist June 2008 more >>

Posted: 24 May 2008

23 May 2008

Nuclear Safety

Prague is currently hosting the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), a gathering of those involved in shaping nuclear policy across the EU. One of the hot topics at this meeting is safety standards within the nuclear industry and a very scary proposal has been floated to lower standards in many member states.

Greenpeace UK 22nd May 2008 more >>

Greenpeace activists today presented high-level government and business delegates to the European Nuclear Energy Forum with a warning against involvement in new fault-ridden French nuclear reactors, which have been portrayed as the ‘flagship’ of a so-called nuclear renaissance. Entitled “Warning: AREVA at work!”, the Greenpeace ‘EPR Survival Kit’ is aimed at those foolhardy enough to overlook the chronic problems affecting construction of the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) compared to the benefits of investing in energy saving and renewable energy.

Greenpeace International 22nd May 2008 more >>

Scotland

The President of the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce called for an investigation into the redevelopment of Scotland’s four nuclear sites.

Aberdeen Press and Journal 22nd May 2008 more >>

British Energy

Scottish and Southern has emerged as a surprise contender in the battle for British Energy

Telegraph 23rd May 2008 (not on the web)

Plutonium Shipment

Areva is preparing to receive a shipment of plutonium from the UK, the French group announced May 19. The plutonium oxide is being shipped from the reprocessing complex operated by Sellafield Ltd. in Cumbria to Areva’s La Hague reprocessing complex in Normandy for repackaging, Areva said. It will then be sent to Areva’s Melox plant near Avignon, where it will be fabricated into mixed-oxide fuel for customers of Sellafield Ltd., Areva said. The company said all the required transport permits had been granted and that the precise arrangements would be kept confidential.

Platts 19th May 2008 more >>

Sellafield

SPECIALIST engineering support services company Redhall Group today said it had been awarded preferred bidder status for a four year contract at the Sellafield nuclear plant. The Wakefield-based group’s specialist nuclear equipment manufacturing division, Jordan Manufacturing, would manufacture and supply specialist plant and equipment for Sellafield’s Thorp reprocessing facility under the £22m contract.

The Business Desk 22nd May 2008 more >>

France & Canada

Mycle Schneider: Areva’s recent entry into Ontario’s potential multi-billion nuclear market in competition with Japanese-owned Westinghouse Electric Co. and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, should be thoroughly scrutinized particularly because of its ongoing difficulties in meeting quality-control standards, deadlines and budget terms at its current building sites in Finland and France. While nuclear energy provides 78% of France’s electricity, this corresponds to only 18% of the total energy that consumers use. After 2.5 years of construction, the Franco-German European Pressurized Reactor project in Finland is two years behind schedule and US$2.3-billion, or 50%, over budget. The equivalent EPR project in France started on Dec. 3, 2007. The nuclear safety authorities carried out an inspection the same day and noted the company’s failure to meet basic technical specifications and procedures. Following inspections revealed more significant insufficiencies.

Financial Post 21st May 2008 more >>

This was a response to the French Ambassador to Canada’s letter 15th May 2008 more >>

The International Panel on Fissile Materials has just released a report by Mycle Schneider and Yves Marignac on “Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing in France”. It is available at http://www.ipfmlibrary.org/rr04.pdf.

Italy

Nuclear power is back on the agenda in Italy after the new centre-right government’s rout of the Greens in last month’s elections. Claudio Scajola, development minister, yesterday declared the intention to restart building of nuclear plants by 2013, the scheduled end of its five-year term.

FT 23rd May 2008 more >>

BBC 23rd May 2008 more >>

Times 22nd May 2008 more >>

Interactive Investor 22nd May 2008 more >>

Sweden

Two men arrested on suspicion of attempting to sabotage a nuclear plant in southern Sweden have been released, police say. Both men were stopped on Wednesday at the entrance to the plant after traces of explosives were found on a bag. Police said the investigation was continuing, but there were no grounds to hold the men any longer. The Oskarshamn plant – owned by German energy giant E.On – was shut and sealed off while inspections took place.

BBC 22nd May 2008 more >>

Swedish police said Thursday that no explosives or other suspicious material had been found at a nuclear reactor at the Oskarshamn nuclear plant, majority owned by E.ON AG., which was suspected of being targeted for sabotage.

AFX 22nd May 2008 more >>

Proliferation

This week’s report by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a defence policy think tank: Nuclear Programmes in the Middle East: In the Shadow of Iran, found that between February 2006 and January 2007, at least 13 countries in the Middle East had announced new or revived plans to develop nuclear programmes, the purpose of which were, ostensibly, to meet their future civilian energy needs. However, the fact that this sudden revival of interest in nuclear energy coincided with the Iranian government’s decision to resume work on its uranium-enrichment programme is hardly unrelated.

Telegraph 23rd May 2008 more >>

Korea

South Korea hopes to import unused fuel rods stored at North Korea’s atomic complex if the communist country proceeds with its nuclear dismantlement, a South Korean official said Thursday.

The rods at North Korea’s Yongbyon atomic complex can be used at the South’s nuclear power plants, he said in a briefing for domestic reporters.

AFX 22nd May 2008 more >>

Iran

The Iranian government has proposed the creation of an international consortium to enrich uranium on its own soil as a way of defusing the tense standoff over its nuclear programme. The proposal is part of a “new and comprehensive initiative” put forward by Iran ahead of a planned visit to Tehran by Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, accompanied by senior officials from Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Guardian 23rd May 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

More than 100 demonstrators went to RAF Lakenheath to protest against nuclear weapons they claim are stored there. Four protesters were arrested during the demonstration, organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Lakenheath Action Group on Sunday.

Bury Free Press 23rd May 2008 more >>

Submarines

A nuclear submarine crashed into the seabed, sustaining £5million of damage, because its officers were using tracing paper to mark her course, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday. HMS Trafalgar’s senior officers made serious lapses of judgment and their standard of chartwork was poor.

Metro 22nd May 2008 more >>

Times 23rd May 2008 more >>

Daily Record 23rd May 2008 more >>

Posted: 23 May 2008

22 May 2008

Europe

Greenpeace activists projected messages, including ‘Nuclear Undermines Climate Protection’ and ‘Energy [R]evolution Now!’, against the backdrop of the illuminated Prague Castle, drawing attention to the dangers of weakening European nuclear safety standards and the risk of seriously biased discussions in advance of today’s opening of the second meeting of the European Nuclear Energy Forum.

Greenpeace International 22nd May 2008 more >>

Finland

Nuclear power plant maker Areva denied a report on the website of the French business magazine Capital that it may be obliged to pay 2.2 billion euros in penalties to Finnish power generator TVO for delays in the construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant. The plant is expected to be operational in 2011, two years behind schedule, and the two companies have been disputing over an estimated 1.5 billion euros in cost overruns.

Interactive Investor 22nd May 2008 more >>

Terror

Swedish police arrested two maintenance workers on suspicion of plotting sabotage after they tried to enter a nuclear power plant Wednesday with traces of a powerful explosive like that used in the 2005 London transit bombings, officials said.

Scotsman 22nd May 2008 more >>

Japan

The British hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) has intensified its battle with the Japanese nuclear energy group Electric Power Development, saying it intends to gather shareholder support to push through a series of rebel proposals at next month’s annual general meeting.

Independent 22nd May 2008 more >>

Renewables

Britain must step up its construction of offshore wind farms if it is to meet its target of producing 15% of energy needs from renewable sources, the chief executive of a leading utility said yesterday. At the present rate, Britain is on course to produce between 5% and 7% of its energy from renewables, Scottish and Southern Energy’s Ian Marchant said. “The solution is to explore offshore wind. To meet the target we are going to need 25 gigawatts of offshore wind power.” Industry experts calculate that, to meet the 15% target, Britain would need to generate around 35% to 40% of its electricity from renewables, with much of that coming from wind farms.

Guardian 22nd May 2008 more >>

Energy Markets

Whether in the postal service or energy supply, New Labour’s embrace of market dogma has failed its own ‘what works’ test. Allan Asher, chief executive of Energywatch, told parliament this week, competition in the privatised energy market is a myth, and British gas and electricity consumers are being fleeced by the “tacit collusion” of a “comfortable oligopoly”.

Guardian 22nd May 2008 more >>

Posted: 22 May 2008