News October 2008

31 October 2008

New Nukes

New nuclear reactors are more expensive and create fewer jobs than renewable generation when expenses such as waste disposal, insurance risks and reactor decommissioning are included in the equation, an environmental think tank said yesterday. Earth Policy Institute founder Lester Brown told reporters that investors are backing his claim with cash. “Although industry representatives may have convinced some political leaders that [nuclear power] is a good idea, there is little evidence of private capital investing in nuclear plants in competitive electricity markets,” Brown said. “While little private capital is going into nuclear power, investors are pouring tens of billions of dollars into wind farms each year.”

World Business Council for Sustainable Development 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Earth Policy Institute 28th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Waste

CUMBRIA could move a step closer to housing an underground nuclear waste dump next week. The county council is expected to express an interest in hosting a ‘deep geological repository for higher level waste’ in Copeland.

Cumberland Times and Star 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Proliferation

NOBODY feels much natural love for a shadowy group of self-appointed policemen, engaged in a tough job which some outsiders resent. Yet there is one such band of brothers that does noble work. For more than 30 years, the effort to halt the spread of nuclear weapons has relied, at a practical level, on a small, publicity-shy bunch of officials from a club called the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Behind closed doors, this 45-nation fraternity stitches up rules whose aim is to control trade in nuclear materials, equipment and technology. They don’t always succeed. North Korea, Iran, (a subsequently reformed) Libya and others tapped into a nuclear black market that was run for years from Pakistan. But now the fraternity itself is under strain, with perilous consequences for world peace.

Economist 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Subs

The harsh reality of life on a nuclear submarine: if something goes wrong, help is a long way off.

Times 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Protest

A Stafford anti-nuclear campaigner arrested following a protest outside Derby’s Rolls-Royce factory has been found not guilty of aggravated trespass.

ICStafford 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Renewables

The prospect of households with wind turbines and solar panels being able to sell power back to the national grid has come a step closer after the government tabled an amendment to a bill that would allow people to generate enough power to serve a community of more than 1,000 people.

Guardian 31st Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 31 October 2008

30 October 2008

Nuclear Waste

NEXT Tuesday Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet will decide whether to ‘express an interest’ in the Government process to find a location for a deep geological nuclear waste repository in Cumbria. But the motion before councillors will point clearly at Copeland as the area for consideration, rather than the county as a whole.

Whitehaven News 29th Oct 2008 more >>

New Nukes

Letter from David Lowry: I read with some incredulity that the West Wales Business Forum has joined the atomic advocacy club. It would take at least 10 years before any power could be generated. The present Wylfa reactor is due to close within 18 months, so what is Anglesey Aluminium – a major user of the nuclear electricity from Wylfa – to do in the intervening eight years? New nuclear power is irrelevant to Anglesey Aluminium’s future.

Western Mail 29th Oct 2008 more >>

Letter: It takes four years to build a new nuclear reactor, though even in England the government intends to first spend five years doing paperwork. We know that French nuclear designs can produce as much electricity as we want at 1.3p per kWh, because they have been doing so for decades. Our politicians, who know all this perfectly well, have been grossly irresponsible for decades.

Herald 29th Oct 2008 more >>

Politicians may be sold on nuclear as a vital component in a low carbon energy mix. But as Danny Bradbury discovers a nuclear renaissance is no cast iron certainty. There are some serious practical hurdles for the next generation of nuclear plants to get off the ground, and access to debt is one. Moreover, wind farms and solar plants can begin producing energy relatively soon after construction begins, and can expand their energy in line with additional construction. Nuclear plants don’t move any juice until they’re completed, and they can take a long time to build.

Business Green 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Nathan Argent gives Greenpeace’s reaction to the news that the government tried to fix another public consultation on new nuclear power, and ponders the implications for UK energy policy.

Greenpeace Podcast 29th Oct 2008 more >>

Sellafield

SELLAFIELD’S new owners will have to think again about who will fill one of the site’s top jobs. New finance director Earl Ward has quit from the new Nuclear Management Partners executive team only weeks after being appointed. Mr Ward was due to take up the post on November 24 – the day NMP succeeds BNFL as Sellafield’s new parent company. It is understood that Mr Ward, who has paid one visit to the site, has taken up another position outside the NMP consortium.

Whitehaven News 29th Oct 2008 more >>

FUTURE projects for the West Cumbria Energy Coast were revealed at a conference on Friday. It was stated that the “government wants to see Sellafield included on the site listings for new nuclear reactors” .MP Jamie Reed opened the conference by describing the Energy Coast in Cumbria as having an international reach. For example, he pointed out that there was a £300 billion market worldwide for nuclear decommissioning. He said getting new build reactors at Sellafield was pivotal for the future, but it “would be a hard fight to get Sellafield chosen as there are easier sites in the UK.” He added: “I don’t just want to see one reactor, I want to see two or three.” Later nuclear opportunities director Rosie Mathisen added: “The government wants to see Sellafield on the nominations list” (for new reactors). She showed a plan outlining land on the Beckermet side of Sellafield as the proposed new reactor’s location.

Whitehaven News 29th Oct 2008 more >>

THE private consortium taking over Sellafield has been given a government insurance indemnity against any major insurance or damages claim. And the taxpayer-backed cover note will extend 30 years into the future. But a Labour MP has described the deal as an “outrage” in that MPs were denied time to debate the matter. Details were posted in the House of Commons library after the deal was signed with Sellafield’s new parent, Nuclear Management Partners.

Whitehaven News 29th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

In a remarkable speech on nuclear policy delivered October 28 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), US Defense Secretary Robert Gates painted a dire portrait of international affairs and argued that Washington should expand the doctrine of pre-emptive war formulated by the Bush administration to include possible nuclear strikes.

World Socialist Web 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Iran

The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates visited Iran yesterday in a bid to improve relations between the neighbours, which have been strained by concerns over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and claims to disputed islands. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Manouchehr Mottaki, his Iranian counterpart, signed an agreement to set up a committee to boost economic and political co-operation between the two nations.

FT 30th Oct 2008 more >>

Peak Oil

The “peak oil” debate has raged for many years. Some governments and oil companies believe that crude oil production will meet rising demand for decades to come. But an increasingly vocal group – including many experts from within the oil industry – claim that a production peak is imminent.

Guardian 29th Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 30 October 2008

29 October 2008

Nuclear Liability

Poor overloaded taxpayers. Not content with being lumbered with enormous debts to bail out failing banks and huge bills for rising unemployment, the government has just landed us with the potential for an unlimited bill for any nuclear accident or leak from the decomissioning of Sellafield for years to come. In a deal that will thrill private investors, Malcolm Wicks, in one of his last acts as energy minister, caved in to a United States-led private consortium’s demands that it will be freed from any liability should anything go wrong for the next 17 years whilst it decommissions Sellafield.

Guardian 28th Oct 2008 more >>

New Nukes

The UK’s £40bn new nuclear programme could be carried out using a similar model to BAA’s T5 agreement.

Contract Journal 28th Oct 2008 more >>

New nuclear build projects carry substantial risks. Several factors could lead to costly delays if not managed properly. What is the best way to control these risks?

Nuclear Engineering International 28th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Proposals are being considered for an underground nuclear waste disposal site in Cumbria. Cumbria County Council is considering “expressing an interest” in a formal government process to find a suitable location for a nuclear waste dump. But council chiefs stressed they were not committing to a site and any plan would be subject to the scrutiny of a full public consultation.

BBC 28th Oct 2008 more >>

Planning

Hugh Ellis: The existing system for approving or turning down major infrastructure projects such as runways, ports and power stations is far from perfect, but it has long been based on the public inquiry. This gives people the right to attend a public hearing, to give evidence, to cross-examine, and to call witnesses. A professional inspector listens, assesses, and then reports to government. An elected minister, accountable to parliament, makes the final decision. However, the planning bill now going through parliament, and due to become law in a few weeks, will remove all of these rights and safeguards. The law will mean that a new body, the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), will usually make all decisions without public hearings. Government-appointed commissioners will decide whether any part of the process will be heard in public. They will decide which witnesses are heard and who can cross-examine. The public retains only one right: an “open floor” session, at which ordinary people cannot ask questions or cross-examine.

Guardian 29th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Letter: no British nuclear bomb has ever been on the table at an international disarmament conference. So, as the redoubtable Bruce Kent once succinctly observed: “A unilateralist is a multilateralist who means what he says.”

Herald 29th Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 29 October 2008

28 October 2008

New Nukes

Letter: The idea that Scotland can go into the future without replacing its nuclear power stations (which currently meet 40% of the Scottish annual maximum demand gigawatts) is madness. National electricity supply calls for a generation mix continuously able to adjust to meet second by second the prevailing pattern of demand 365 days a year.

Herald 28th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear energy is undergoing a worldwide renaissance, but poor nations yearning to develop need to realize that it is no panacea to profound poverty, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

Reuters 28th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Aircraft

Nuclear-powered aircraft may sound like a concept from Thunderbirds, but they will be transporting millions of passengers around the world later this century, the leader of a Government-funded project to reduce environmental damage from aviation believes.

Times 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Testing

EX-SERVICEMEN exposed to atomic bomb testing have welcomed news that the Government is going to investigate its effects.

Gloucestershire Citizen 28th Oct 2008 more >>

Aldermaston

More than 30 people were arrested yesterday during one of the biggest anti-nuclear protests at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston for 10 years. The gates of the site were blocked as people attached themselves to concrete blocks which had to be broken apart by police. Others climbed scaffolding or lay in the road at the demonstration by about 400 people to mark the start of the UN World Disarmament Week.

Guardian 28 Oct 2008 more >>

Loughbororough Echo 27th Oct 2008 more >>

BBC 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Iran

Iran’s U.N. ambassador said on Monday that six world powers have never responded to Tehran’s proposal for negotiations without pre-conditions aimed at resolving its nuclear stand-off with the West.

Reuters 27th Oct 2008 more >>

UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said here Monday that his agency was still unable to determine whether or not there were undeclared nuclear activities in Iran.

Yahoo 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 28 October 2008

27 October 2008

Sellafield

Taxpayers have been left with unlimited liability amounting to billions of pounds should there be a repeat of a nuclear accident at Sellafield under a deal signed with a US-led consortium which takes over the decommissioning of the waste facility from November 24. The indemnity even covers accidents and leaks that are the consortium’s fault.

Guardian 27th Oct 2008 more >>

One of the people advising the Government on the best places to site new nuclear reactors has branded Sellafield a “poor location”. In an extract to his book Nukenomics: The commercialisation of Britain’s nuclear industry, Ian Jackson, who helped write the siting report for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform/Department of Trade and Industry gives his views. He writes that: “Despite its substantial nuclear workforce, the remote Sellafield complex in north west England is a poor location for a modern nuclear power station because its electricity transmission infrastructure cannot carry the energy output of a large nuclear station.

Carlisle News and Star 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

New Nukes

Letter from Steuart Campbell: Professor Stephen Salter’s latest letter (20 October) is complete nonsense, indicating that he pays little attention to detail.

Scotsman 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Test Veterans

Survivors of Britain’s nuclear test programme have finally been promised action after a six-year campaign by the Sunday Mirror. New Defence Minister Kevan Jones has pledged to set up a study into the legacy of illnesses suffered by the soldiers, sailors and airmen present at the tests. He will also order officials to look into our demands for an investigation into the welfare of the veterans’ children and grandchildren, who are 10 times more likely to suffer from birth defects.

Sunday Mirror 26th Oct 2008 more >>

Sunday Sun 26th Oct 2008 more >>

Climate

The government is to announce tomorrow that it will include rapidly growing aviation and shipping emissions in Britain’s commitment to curb its carbon footprint by 80% by 2050.

Guardian 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Renewables

There’s also a lot of talk that switching the world economy to a carbon-free future is now something that cannot be afforded. Not so. There were three important events in the past few weeks that went largely unnoticed during the financial maelstrom but whose significance cannot be overstated. Two concern renewable energy and the other a change of government structure. In Britain, the government unexpectedly announced on October 16 that it intended introducing a “feed-in tariff” guaranteeing rates for renewably produced electricity. And the United States said part of its $700bn banking system bail-out would include $16bn (£10bn) of new green tax breaks for renewable energy, cleaner fuels and energy efficiency.

Guardian 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Renewable energy and climate change targets for 2020 will be missed unless the National Grid speeds up the rate at which new generators are connected, leading industry figures have said.

Times 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Coal

Today, members of the Women’s Institute will embark on one of the environmental movements most iconic vehicles to deliver, by speedboat, a message to the front door of the controversial Kingsnorth power station in Kent calling on the Government to do more to provide Britain with clean, renewable energy. The WI’s presence on Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior II, the three-masted, globe-trotting flagship of the veteran environmental group, may appear to be an unusual addition to a ship with renowned eco-warrior credentials, but those who will be on board say environmentalism is all the rage at the WI.

Independent 27th Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 27 October 2008

26 October 2008

Energy Prices

There was uproar when it emerged recently that French customers pay less for their electricity than those in the UK. This led to the accusation that British customers of French group EDF were subsidising customers in France. Much more likely an explanation – as EDF UK’s Vincent de Rivaz asserts – is that currently nuclear power, which provides most of France’s electricity, is cheaper than other forms like renewables or coal more common in the UK. But unless EDF – and the rest of the Big Six – open their books, we won’t know for sure. This sad state of affairs is likely to continue. The British government is terrified that the energy companies won’t build the new reactors and wind farms needed to keep the lights on.

(Time Webb’s Blog) Observer 22nd Oct 2008 http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/blog/2008/oct/22/oil-gas-electricity-bills

The oil price collapse threatens renewable energy projects as their viability is judged against the cost of electricity produced from natural gas, which is itself determined by oil. So wind farms face yet another hurdle, just as Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has raised Britain’s commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Independent on Sunday 26th Oct 2008 more >>

Iraq

In the investigative report an American veteran who participated in “Desert Storm” accuses the Us Administration of having used a small nuclear penetration bomb with an energy of 5 kilotons between the Iraqi town of Basra and the border with Iran.

Report Iran 25th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear War

EAST Anglia came to the brink of nuclear destruction at the height of the Cold War, an astonishing new book has revealed. Missiles at RAF Feltwell, near Thetford, and nearby satellite bases were poised to launch within eight minutes with retaliation from Soviet nuclear weapons almost certain.

East Anglian Daily Times 25th Oct 2008 more >>

Renewables

Turnover has reached £19.2m and Solarcentury operates in France, Italy and Spain as well as Britain. Leggett remains ambitious. “We still think the company is very much unfinished business,” he said. “The solar industry, despite its growth rate, is still a tiny fraction of global energy.” Leggett, who owns 9% of Solarcentury, is still motivated by his environmental concerns. “We are living in a world where more and more people believe solar electricity is going to be cheaper than conventional electricity,” he said. “I believe that is going to be very soon.” Leggett, 54, puts his success down to his perseverance and to hiring a passionate, talented team. “I only hire people who are really enthused about our mission, as well as being good,” he said. “That creates a good culture. That is what has got us through the really tough times.”

Sunday Times 26th Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 26 October 2008

25 October 2008

Companies

Areva and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding have partnered to build a new manufacturing and engineering facility in Newport News, Virginia, to supply the growing American nuclear energy sector.

Datamonitor 24th Oct 2008 more >>

The Engineer 24th Oct 2008 more >>

A Toshiba-Westinghouse consortium has been awarded a 10-year contract worth over E100 million by EDF for the renewal of stator coils in the generators of more than 10 nuclear power plants in France.

Energy Business Review 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Lithuania

The Lithuanian government has welcomed the backing by European Union (EU) heads of government at a summit in Brussels to connect the electricity grids of all the EU countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, to strengthen their energy security. Nuclear-dependent Lithuania (like neighbours Latvia and Estonia) does not have power interconnectors to other EU countries. And with the Ignalina nuclear power plant earmarked for closure in 2009, it may need to import power.

Nuclear Engineering International 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Poland

Poland has asked South Korea for help in building its first nuclear power plants by 2012, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said on Friday.

Money AM 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Sweden

Sweden’s on-hold policy of phasing out its nuclear power industry has been roundly criticised in an International Energy Agency (IEA) assessment of Swedish energy policy. Releasing the report, Nobuo Tanaka, IEA executive director noted nuclear power provides almost half of the electricity in Sweden, at a low cost and without CO2 emissions. “It is hard to see how phasing out nuclear power could serve Sweden’s broader energy and climate policy goals.

Nuclear Engineering International 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Waste

India’s nuclear authorities have admitted radioactive scrap was exported from the country to make lift buttons in France.

Guardian 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

The US Air Force (USAF) is planning to set up a new Global Strike Command for its nuclear weapons as part of a re-organisation after recent mishaps.

BBC 25th Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 25 October 2008

24 October 2008

Sellafield

A WELSH Labour MP has accused the UK Government of covering up a deal that will land taxpayers with a multi-billion- pound liability in the event of a nuclear accident while a private consortium will reap the profits. Newport West MP Paul Flynn discovered that details of a contract to privatise the management of waste from the controversial Sellafield nuclear power station in Cumbria should have been placed in the House of Commons library in July. If they had been, MPs would have had 14 days in which to raise questions about the deal. In fact, the contract was not put into the library until last week, by which time the opportunity to scrutinise it had gone.

Western Mail 24th Oct 2008 more >>

SELLAFIELD’S industrial workers are voting again on a pay offer which has left them taking industrial action over the last few weeks.

Whitehaven News 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

The debate as to whether the UK’s stockpile of plutonium – most of which is held at Sellafield – should be considered an asset or a liability could have a major impact on the economic future of region. The government, through the NDA, have yet to decide on what should be done with the stockpile, which is currently considered an asset of no value on their balance sheets. The West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group is hosting the meeting, which will take place in Cleator Moor Civic/Masonic Hall, on Tuesday from 1pm until 4pm. Entry is free and all are welcome.

Whitehaven News 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Security

A new organisation aiming to strengthen the physical protection and security of the world’s nuclear and radioactive materials and facilities was formally launched at a ceremony on 29 September, at the opening day of the IAEA’s 52nd General Conference in Vienna. The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) aims to provide nuclear security professionals with a forum where sensitive information may be discussed openly among members, to help them share best practices and implement security improvements quickly and effectively.

Nuclear Engineering International 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Skills

John Denham, skills secretary, wades into a row on foreign labour being hired for big infrastructure projects today by promising that £98m will be targeted at nuclear power and other sectors to ensure local workers are not disadvantaged. The move comes amid a row between unions and construction firms after two Spanish contractors started to use foreign staff to build a £600m gas-fired power station for RWE in Nottinghamshire at a time of mounting unemployment in the area.

Guardian 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Telegraph 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Uranium

John Pilger: Claims of child abuse are proving a fertile pretext to menace the Aboriginal communities lying in the way of uranium mining.

Guardian 24th Oct 2008 more >>

US

John McCain raised the spectre of a nuclear crisis if Barack Obama wins the White House, as he hammered his rival over Joe Biden’s claims that foreign enemies would test the young Democrat within six months of him taking office.

Times 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

US defense group Northrop Grumman and French nuclear giant Areva said Thursday they have teamed up to manufacture nuclear reactor components in the United States to supply rising demand.

Yahoo 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Yucca Mountain

Final standards for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository for spent fuel and high-level waste published by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) address possible radiation exposures to the public over a million years into the future.

Nuclear Engineering International 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Jordan

Jordan signed on Thursday a preliminary nuclear cooperation deal with South Korea as part of the kingdom’s efforts to meet its growing energy needs.

Yahoo 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Italy

France’s EDF, the world’s biggest nuclear power utility, would help revive atomic energy in Italy if the country lifted a 20-year ban, EDF Italia head Bruno D’Onghia said on Thursday. Italy banned nuclear power in a 1987 referendum after the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. But the nuclear-friendly government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wants to lift the ban and start building nuclear power stations in 2013.

Interactive Investor 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

A FRESH row has erupted over the future of Faslane Naval Base. Defence Secretary John Hutton visited the base last week to reinforce the government’s pledge to keep nuclear weapons in Scotland. But the SNP, which has committed itself to ridding the country of the weapons, used his visit to reinforce its message that Trident must go.

Lennox Herald 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Renewables

Drax Group, the owner of Britain’s most carbon-intensive power station, is turning green with a £2bn plan to build the country’s first large-scale biomass plants which burn plant-based materials. The three facilities in Hull, Immingham and probably the North Yorkshire village of Drax itself, will have the capacity to produce 900 megawatts of electricity – enough to supply 3% of the country’s total needs – but environmental groups warned that Drax must ensure the crop fuel is sustainable.

Guardian 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Independent 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Independent Comment 24th Oct 2008 more >>

FT 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Telegraph 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Times 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Britain will be unable to reach its target for renewable energy by 2020 without “wholesale changes on all fronts” to its current strategy, a parliamentary committee will warn today. The UK has been set a target of producing 15 per cent of its energy use from renewables by 2020, compared with a 2005 level of 1.3 per cent. The overall European Union goal is for a 20 per cent renewable share. The House of Lords’ EU committee highlighted the importance of the UK reaching its own target. Lord Freeman said: “If we fail to meet this goal, the UK will become increasingly reliant on nuclear and fossil fuel power.” The report recognises that reaching the target will lead to increased energy costs for consumers.

FT 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Climate

Ministers are preparing concessions to head off a Labour rebellion over plans to exclude aviation and shipping from new targets to cut Britain’s carbon emissions.

Independent 24th Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 24 October 2008

23 October 2008

New Nukes

RWE, Germany’s second-biggest power supplier, plans to take part in up to five nuclear power projects outside Germany, its chairman said in a newspaper interview Wednesday.

Energy Daily 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

Letter from Dr Brian Jones: It is disturbing to learn of the staggering shortage of inspectors available to deal with the nuclear industry and the HSE’s complacency. Even in times of austerity we must invest to ensure the best and most able professionals are given the responsibility to oversee critical activities that relate to the nations security, health and wellbeing. The new nuclear industry will need the tightest possible regulation. The reward and status for the inspectors must be on a par with the industry itself.

Guardian 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

BRITAIN’S Health and Safety Executive is offering skilled nuclear inspectors sweeteners of up to £20,000 on top of salaries to join the agency to prepare for new nuclear building programmes. Battling to recruit up to 50 inspectors to cope with its existing workload in the nuclear industry and the vital assessment of the reactors being put forward to meet government plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Whitehaven News 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

Test Veterans

UK nuclear tests conducted in the 1950s have left veterans and their children with a variety of congenital diseases, according to a backbench Tory MP.

View London 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Contamination

A French company yesterday acknowledged that it has inadvertently supplied slightly radioactive steel parts around Europe. The French division of Otis, the American elevator company, ordered the recall of buttons installed in Britain over the past couple of months in 500 lifts.

Times 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Sellafield

A GROUP of experts in highly radioactive work from around the world have been visiting the newly-created National Nuclear Laboratory at Sellafield.

Whitehaven News 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

Competition

The “big six” suppliers, such as Eon and RWE Npower, already control more than half the country’s electricity production. The planned acquisition of British Energy, the nuclear generator, by EDF of France will raise that proportion to about three-quarters. E4B, which has collapsed, has shown that entering the electricity supply market without any generation capacity – it bought its power in the wholesale market – is a tough challenge. Jonathan Elliott, managing director of Make It Cheaper, an energy price comparison service for businesses, said: “The market was deregulated to improve competition and offer the consumer more choice but E4B’s failure is a wake-up call that it’s become nothing more than a cosy oligopoly.”

FT 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Turkey

Turkey expects to complete a nuclear power station tender within one or two weeks after ‘some questions are asked’ to the winning Russian firm, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler told reporters on Wednesday. A bidding consortium comprised of Russian Atomstroyexport and Inter Rao along with Turkey’s Park Teknik Group was sole bidder.

AFX 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

Green New Deal

Stern: Let us learn the lessons and take the opportunity of the coincidence of the crisis and the deepening awareness of the great danger of unmanaged climate change: now is the time to lay the foundations for a world of low-carbon growth.

Guardian 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

Renewables

The University of East Anglia said today the launch of a biomass power station would slash its carbon emissions. The university hopes the £8m plant will help it become the most sustainable campus in the country. The power station, which will use locally-sourced wood chips, is expected to cut the university’s emissions by a third after two years.

Independent 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

Fuel Poverty

Friends of the Earth and Help the Aged are awaiting the verdict of the landmark case against the Government, saying that Labour has failed in its promise to end fuel poverty for the vulnerable by 2010 and for all by 2016. Although £20 billion has been spent fighting the problem since 2000, it is estimated that five million households spent more than 10 per cent of their income – the trigger point for fuel poverty.

Telegraph 23rd Oct 2008 more >>

As many as 20,000 more pensioners could die this winter as they try to cut back on heating following the sharp rise in energy prices, new research warned.

Telegraph 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 23 October 2008

22 October 2008

New Nukes

It’s the billion-dollar question. Will nuclear energy save the world from global warming? Nuclear power plants produce virtually zero carbon emissions throughout their lifecycle, but they are costly to build and environmentalists claim the money would be better spent on building renewable resources.

New Scientist 21st Oct 2008 more >>

More than 50 countries have alerted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that they are considering utilizing nuclear power, the head of the United Nations body said today.

eGov Monitor 21st Oct 2008 more >>

A future Tory administration would give “a level playing field” to the nuclear industry as leading power firms prepare to start building the next generation of reactors across the UK.

Lancashire Evening Post 21st Oct 2008 more >>

Andy Atkins, FoE’s new Director says: the nuclear debate is a total red herring because we can’t get emissions down fast enough relying on nuclear.

Guardian 22nd Oct 2008 more >>

EDF

French power engineering company Alstom has signed a framework agreement with French utility EDF for the renovation of 900MW and 1,300MW generators in its nuclear power plants.

Datamonitor 21st Oct 2008 more >>

EDF has made it clear that on top of its plans to sell 25 per cent of BE to British Gas parent Centrica, it is keen to form partnerships with British companies. It is good news for a number of Yorkshire companies including Leeds-based Spice, Wakefield-based Redhall and MG Bennett of Rotherham, which was bought by WS Atkins, Europe’s biggest engineering consultant, earlier this month.

Yorkshire Post 21st Oct 2008 more >>

Nuclear Submarines

The Duchess of Cornwall will tour the Royal Navy’s largest and most powerful submarine, HMS Astute in Barrow-in-Furness.

Pendle Today 21st Oct 2008 more >>

Posted: 22 October 2008