News September 2008

30 September 2008

Terror

An international organisation aimed at preventing the theft of nuclear material from reactors around the world that could be used in a catastrophic terrorist attack was launched yesterday in Vienna. The independent World Institute for Nuclear Security (Wins) is initially funded by the US energy department; an American businessman, Peter Peterson, and the Norwegian government. It will seek to bring nuclear experts, governments and private companies together to improve security at nuclear facilities. Roger Howsley, the former head of security for British Nuclear Fuels, will serve as its first executive director.

Guardian 30th Sept 2008 more >>

Telegraph 30th Sept 2008 more >>

Updated reports on illicit trafficking of nuclear materials from 1995 to 2007 show that the recovery of such materials is becoming rarer. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that on average between those years 34% of materials reported lost or stolen were later recovered. This proportion fell to 25% in 2004-2007. These unrecovered materials include “high-risk ‘dangerous’ radioactive sources.”

Nuclear Engineering International 29th Sept 2008 more >>

A pilot project using satellites to monitor the movement of sensitive nuclear materials and make sure they are not diverted to military or terrorist uses has been launched. It involves the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) working with the European Space Agency (ESA) to use satellite capacity leased from Paris-based commercial operator Eutelsat.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th Sept 2008 more >>

The U.S. clashed with the United Nations nuclear agency over the seriousness of the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei sparred in speeches at the Vienna-based agency’s annual meeting of 145 member countries. Bodman said nuclear terrorism threats were receding thanks to U.S. programs while ElBaradei asked countries to help the UN organization prepare for a worst-case scenario.

Bloomberg 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Public Opinion

More than half of the people living near nuclear plants still have concerns about the risk of cancer and terrorist attack, according to a study. Researchers from Cardiff University and the University of East Anglia found 54 per cent of those questioned worried about the risks of living within 10 miles of a power station. However, only 16 per cent of local residents were opposed outright to it with two-fifths (38 per cent) prepared to accept the risk “reluctantly”.

Telegraph 30th Sept 2008 more >>

People who live close to nuclear power stations are more supportive of building new plants than the UK population in general, according to independent researchers who have conducted the most detailed survey of attitudes to the nuclear industry since the mid-1980s. Their findings suggest that the government’s proposed expansion of nuclear energy would encounter least opposition if new nuclear plants were sited near to existing facilities. However, the researchers said government and the industry should end uncertainty about which existing sites they intended to use.

Guardian 30th Sept 2008 more >>

New Nukes

Letter: Some years ago I led the only firm in the UK capable of making some large components for nuclear power stations and submarines. At an international conference my French competitor bought me dinner. “I can afford it,” he said. “Your Government will pay for it. They are the best friends we have. You taught us how to make these things, your costs are lower, your quality the same. We quote a bit less than you and get the work. Our Government makes up the difference, you go bust.”

Times 30th Sept 2008 more >>

The UK government has published its response to the Consultation on Funded Decommissioning Programme Guidance for New Nuclear Power Stations. As stated in the January 2008 White Paper on Nuclear Power, nuclear operators – not taxpayers – will have to meet the full costs of decommissioning and their share of waste management costs. The government anticipates that funding will be based on unit volume of waste rather than, for example, setting a cost per kWh of electricity generated. This was the general the view of the respondents, a number of whom felt that waste minimisation should be incentivised.

Nuclear Engineering International 25th Sept 2008 more >>

British Energy

MINISTERS will have the power to block the sale of British Energy’s nuclear plants following its £12.5bn takeover by France’s EDF, according to reports yesterday.

Western Mail 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Russia

Alstom Atomenergomash has signed an agreement with Atomenergoproekt for the engineering of the turbine generator package and turbine hall equipment, based on Alstom’s Arabelle technology, for the Seversk nuclear power plant in the Tomsk region of Siberia, Russia.

Datamonitor 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Interactive Investor 29th Sept 2008 more >>

India

The European Union and India are to co-operate more closely on civil nuclear research and development as a way of strengthening a partnership that has often been seen as falling short of its potential. Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, and Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, announced the agreement on Monday at an EU -India summit that also produced promises of closer co-ordination of climate change and energy security policies.

FT 30th Sept 2008 more >>

BBC 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Israel

THE US has deployed an advanced anti-missile radar system to defend an Israeli nuclear weapons plant against possible Iranian attack, according to military sources. The still unproven system was delivered by air over the past week.

Herald 30th Sept 2008 more >>

Venezuala

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced he wants the country to develop a nuclear programme with the help of Russia. He insists, as do the Iranians, that it would be for purely peaceful purposes.

Telegraph 30th Sept 2008 more >>

Germany

Like other industrial nations, Germany faces a formidable challenge in covering its future energy needs amid rising raw material prices, the threat of climate change and worries about the reliability of oil and gas supplies. A decision eight years ago to phase out nuclear energy, which provides a quarter of Germany’s electricity consumption, is making it especially hard on Europe’s largest economy to meet its three goals: lowering its dependence on imported fuel, cutting harmful carbon gas emissions, and maintaining a plentiful power supply at prices industry and households can afford.

FT 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Iran

A six-year probe has not ruled out the possibility that Iran may be running clandestine nuclear programmes, the chief UN nuclear inspector said, urging the country to reassure the world by ending its secretive ways.

Express 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Ukraine

A detailed report on European Union (EU)-Ukraine energy programmes has been released by the European Commission (EC), which details how Ukraine should continue cooperation regarding nuclear energy with the EU. The report was discussed at the recent summit between the EU and Ukraine, which proved somewhat disappointing to Kiev’s pro-western government which wanted to secure guarantees about future EU and Euratom membership. However, detailed cooperation work will continue.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Trident

SCOTLAND’S nuclear submarine base had 100 safety blunders last year – a 40 per cent rise. Incidents, including power failures, spilled radioactive material and dropped reactor control rods, were branded a “disgrace”. A Ministry of Defence report highlighted the shocking record at Faslane, Dunbartonshire, between June 2006 and May 2007.

Daily Record 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Renewables

The government’s renewable power strategy is “ineffective and very expensive”, according to a damning review by the International Energy Agency. A study of 35 countries, including all the major industrial nations such as the US, Germany and China, puts the UK near the bottom of the class on green energy. Our renewables industry has been left to wither on the vine while our European neighbours have raced ahead, creating new jobs as well as fighting climate change and securing their energy supplies,” said Jim Footner, senior climate campaigner at Greenpeace. “The Department for Business must urgently ditch its obsession with coal and nuclear, and focus properly on the true technologies of the 21st century.”

Guardian 30th Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 30 September 2008

29 September 2008

British Energy

M&G, which owns 5pc of the UK nuclear power generator and helped block EdF’s original offer, argues that the revised bid significantly undervalues British Energy. The investment group’s continuing opposition comes amid growing dissatisfaction about the UK Government’s role in the bid process and the takeover’s impact on competition. It is thought that M&G believes that the regulatory process may yet “spring a surprise”, possibly forcing EdF out of the deal and open the door to a merger with Centrica, the owner of British Gas.

Telegraph 29th Sept 2008 more >>

New Nukes

Letter: The world really has moved on from the post Second World War era, when nuclear power was considered a panacea and the development of this technology was driven by both national pride and security concerns. Mr Mann uses emotive language and describes how wind farms are only there because they’re thrown generous government subsidies. However, the level of support being given to develop a renewables industry is only a fraction of that received in countries such as Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. Or perhaps we should ask ourselves how much faster renewable energy schemes would be commissioned if they were to receive the enormous sums of research and development investment which the nuclear industry has received over the past half-century.

Herald 29th Sept 2008 more >>

THE first of a new generation of nuclear power stations will not be running until the end of the next decade according to the chief executive of one of the UK’s biggest energy companies. Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said the German-owned company was planning to build two nuclear power stations here with partners Areva and Siemens, the first of which would come online in 2020. Golby said the UK faced a “race to keep the lights on” as well as an end to cheap energy. He urged the Government to decide where the reactors would be built “sooner rather than later”.

Sunday Express 28th Sept 2008 more >>

India

The US House of Representatives has approved a landmark nuclear deal with India, removing one of two final obstacles to a foreign policy victory for the Bush administration. While the House approved the deal 298-117 on Saturday, it still faces a hurdle in the Senate. Several senators oppose the deal and could attempt to block a vote in the few days left before Congress recesses ahead of the November elections.

FT 29th Sept 2008 more >>

BBC 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Venezuala

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced that he wants to develop a nuclear programme with the aid of his country’s ally, Russia.

BBC 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Iran

The U.N. Security Council met on Saturday discuss a draft resolution that again orders Iran to halt nuclear enrichment work but imposes none of the new sanctions Washington and its allies want.

AFX 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Trident

The Ministry of Defence yesterday insisted safety lapses at nuclear bases posed no threat to the public or its staff. The Sunday Herald reported that 100 lapses were logged at Faslane and Coulport near Helensburgh between June 2006 and May last year – 40% higher than the previous year.

Herald 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Letter: A new nuclear arms race has been entirely predictable. The Russian announcement (The Herald, September 27) that they plan to upgrade their nuclear space defence and build new nuclear submarines armed with cruise missiles is what was expected in response to the US decision to install new “missile shield” bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. And part of this scenario is the Blair/Brown decision to initiate a Trident renewal programme, committing us to a nuclear weapons programme for another 50 years.

Herald 29th Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 29 September 2008

28 September 2008

British Energy

EDF plans to build four new nuclear reactors in Britain at two of British Energy’s eight UK nuclear sites: Sizewell in Suffolk and Hinkley Point, Somerset. De Rivaz talks with pride about the nuclear future he envisages for Britain . “There is a real need for it … Security of energy supplies is very important because this is a country that used to be self-sufficient in fossil fuels and now it is totally dependent on supplies from abroad, he says, adding: “The irony is that it will be Britain that will lead the nuclear industry in Europe. It will be British Energy that takes the lead and that is good news for Britain.”

Sunday Telegraph 28th September 2008 more >>

Analysts say the deal is positive for all of the companies involved. It is also a rare moment of triumph for the embattled Labour Government, which controls 35% of British Energy’s shares. UK ministers have heavily backed the bid from EDF, which they see as an opportunity to kick-start construction of new nuclear plants that will provide much-needed energy within EC constraints for lowering CO2 emissions.

Scotland on Sunday 28th Sept 2008 more >>

FRENCH ENERGY giant EDF is preparing to announce new concessions as it tries to ensure that its quick-fire takeover of British Energy (BE) goes through with the minimum of political interference. It effectively won control of the Scottish nuclear power group within hours of announcing the £12.5 billion deal last week when it snapped up enough shares on the open market to gain more than 70% control, including acceptances from the government and other major investors. The only remaining obstacles are the (remote) chance that the Office of Fair Trading could refer the deal to the Competition Commission or that the European Commission could step in with its own reservations. It is understood that the French are considering taking steps to neutralise the main European threat by ring-fencing their expanded UK operations into an independent stand-alone company, to ensure that the move should be nodded through in time for Christmas.

Sunday Herald 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Vincent de Rivaz, the head of EDF in the UK, has told critics of its £12.4bn takeover of British Energy to ‘stop whingeing’. Consumer groups have criticised last week’s takeover, claiming the disappearance of another independent British utility company could result in higher bills. But in an interview with The Observer, de Rivaz said that the takeover was good news for customers and would lead to billions of pounds of investment in a new fleet of nuclear reactors. It has emerged that British taxpayers will also remain on the hook for liabilities resulting from any breaches of its operating licence and over employment and redundancy costs for its 6,000 workers. EDF and its UK subsidiaries are ringfenced from these liabilities under the proposed takeover.

Observer 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Yet the British government – and the taxpayer – remain on the hook for British Energy’s £5.5bn decommissioning liabilities from its existing reactors. Under the terms of the offer outlined last week, EDF and its UK subsidiaries are also not liable for redundancy and employment costs for its 6,000 workers – or liabilities arising from any breach in its operational licences – if British Energy were to go bust.

Observer 28th Sept 2008 more >>

There are immediate plans to build two new reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk and two at Hinkley Point in Somerset. These are known as EPRs – evolutionary power reactors – or pressurised water-style reactions like the ones that EDF operates in France. More than 80 per cent of all electricity there comes from the group’s 58 reactors, which supply 28 million customers. EDF is also one of the biggest suppliers in Germany and Italy.

Independent on Sunday 28th Sept 2008 more >>

MINISTERS are to keep a “special” share in British Energy (BE) that will give them the power to block the sale of its nuclear-power plants after its takeover by the French.

Sunday Times 28th Sept 2008 more >>

New Nukes

The climate change expert Mark Lynas has been scorned by eco-colleagues for daring to speak up for atomic power.

Sunday Times 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Ceri Green of Doosan Babcock is concerned that the government is not due to publish its National Nuclear Policy until 2010 meaning no new construction will begin until at least 2012. That means no nuclear power stations will come on line until 2018 at the earliest with some time after 2020 being far more likely. That is the background to EDF’s purchase of British Energy. The government also wants to avoid any single company dominating the construction of new reactors so it has also been encouraging Eon UK, the German-owned energy company, which has said it wants to build two new nuclear power stations in Britain. Tom Burke, who was a special adviser on environmental issues to the last Conservative government, says the industry is riddled with lousy economics that guarantee it will always need subsidies from the taxpayer. The government has already caved in on its pledge to offer no subsidies to a revived nuclear industry by saying it will put a cap on the cost of nuclear waste disposal, making taxpayers liable for any excess. Sceptics predict this will be the first subsidy of many. And Britain’s current nuclear power generation sites are either in or very close to environmentally sensitive locations: European sites for nature conservation, national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Sunday Times 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Radiation

As many as 39 radioactive hotspots from an old military base have been uncovered at Dalgety Bay in Fife by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Sunday Herald 28th Sept 2008 more >>

The incidence of breast cancer among people living near the Hinkley nuclear power stations in Somerset is much higher than expected, according to new research. There were 167 cases of breast cancer in nearby Burnham from 1994 to 2004, 50 per cent more than expected on national averages, said epidemiologist Professor Chris Busby. Data, collated by the South West Public Health Observatory, was obtained by the anti-nuclear group Stop Hinkley.

Independent on Sunday 28th Sept 2008 – reported on Red Orbit 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Disarmament

With the world on the precipice of a new rush to boost arms supplies, reaching consensus on nuclear disarmament is more critical than ever, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly today.

UN News Centre 27th Sept 2008 more >>

India

The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday approved an agreement to end the three-decade ban on U.S. nuclear trade with India.

Washington Post 27th Sept 2008 more >>

Trident

SAFETY BLUNDERS at the nuclear bomb bases on the Clyde have rocketed to a record high, shutting down submarine reactors, spilling radioactivity and contaminating workers. An internal Ministry of Defence (MoD) report has revealed that there were exactly 100 nuclear safety lapses at Faslane and Coulport, near Helensburgh, between June 2006 and May 2007. This was 40% higher than the previous year and nearly three times higher than in 2000-01. Safety at the bases – home to the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system – has been condemned as “an absolute disgrace” by the Scottish National Party. The MoD, however, insisted that safety standards were improving.

Sunday Herald 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Protest

ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE claiming a victory over the state in the battle for the “right to protest” after 11 green activists in Scotland had court cases dropped against them. Criminal charges against the protesters, who were involved in demonstrations in Edinburgh, were abandoned in the wake of a seismic decision by a jury to acquit anti-pollution protesters in England.

Sunday Herald 28th Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 28 September 2008

27 September 2008

New Nukes

General Electric Co.’s nuclear venture with Hitachi Ltd. asked the U.K. to temporarily halt the process of assessing the company’s latest reactor design and will focus its efforts on getting U.S. approval instead. GE-Hitachi requested the suspension of the assessment of its so-called Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor and will now focus its resources on a design certification process.

Bloomberg 17th Sept 2008 more >>

Letter: EDF’s proposals to build four new reactors at Sizewell and Hinckley Point (report, September 25) are misguided. These sites, of existing nuclear power stations, are a long way from major centres of population. This not only results in significant transmission losses, but would require the waste heat from the cooling water to be discharged into the North Sea and the Severn Estuary, as at present, needlessly contributing to global warming. New nuclear stations should be built on urban sites, where they can be designed as combined heat and power stations, with the cooling water circulating, safely via heat exchangers, through an extensive network of insulated pipes to provide district heating.

Telegraph 27th Sept 2008 more >>

The construction of new reactors could be delayed beyond 2020 under a clause that allows EDF to sit on key sites until 2011.

Contract Journal 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Scotland

Letter from Jim Mather MSP, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism: I was deeply disappointed to read John Ritch of the World Nuclear Association (Burning issue, 25 September) state that “half of Scotland’s electricity comes from nuclear power”. This is plain wrong and vastly overstates the role nuclear plays in Scottish electricity generation. Indeed, the latest official statistics show that nuclear power’s share in Scottish generation plummeted from 38 per cent to 26 per cent in 2006. As this fall was due to unplanned outages, the nuclear lobby needs to check its claims that nuclear power is reliable.

Scotsman 27th Sept 2008 more >>

Sizewell

THE new French owners of British Energy have confirmed they still want to push ahead with controversial plans to build two nuclear reactors in Suffolk. The news was last night welcomed by MPs and some members of the local community – but campaigners have warned against the dangers of another plant at Sizewell.

East Anglian Daily Times 25th Sept 2008 more >>

British Energy

Various letters: It is astonishing that the British Government is championing the sale of British Energy to a foreign government. The headlines talk of the sale of our national nuclear generator to EDF, but the reality is this is essentially a sale to the French Government. It is difficult to envisage any other nation prepared to hand over control of such an important part of its infrastructure to another state.

Times 27th Sept 2008 more >>

Letter: It is lunacy for the UK government to allow the state-owned French company EDF to acquire British Energy plc, and thus effectively gain control of the British nuclear power industry. In fact, our government actively encouraged the takeover by agreeing to sell its own 36% minority shareholding in BE. This is an abdication of responsibility and a very short-sighted policy, all for a quick return of a few billion to the Exchequer to reduce the UK’s burgeoning national debt.

Herald 27th Sept 2008 more >>

Dounreay

Supplement on decommissioning Dounreay.

John O Groat Journal 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Letter: Some time in the next few weeks, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross planning committee should meet to consider the application by DSRL to create a final disposal “facility” for low-level nuclear waste, and associated spoil heaps, near occupied houses at Buldoo.

John O Groat Journal 26th Sept 2008 more >>

India

Congressional approval for a US-India nuclear deal was yesterday embroiled in the protracted negotiations on Capitol Hill about the $700bn financial bail-out legislation. President George W. Bush met Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, in the White House on Thursday evening as his officials worked hard to persuade Congress to pass legislation required to seal the deal.

FT 27th Sept 2008 more >>

US

South Carolina Electric & Gas has received approval from the Public Service Commission of South Carolina to proceed with initial clearing, excavation and construction work at the site where the company is planning to build a new nuclear power plant.

Energy Business Review 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Entergy has submitted a combined construction and operating license application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reserve the option to build a potential new reactor at its River Bend nuclear generating station in Louisiana.

Datamonitor 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Iran

International efforts to press Iran into dropping its nuclear programme received a boost yesterday when six world powers, including Russia, agreed to put a resolution before the UN security council.

Guardian 27th Sept 2008 more >>

Times 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Israel planned a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear sites but backed down when it was told by George Bush he would not support it, it is reported today. Mr Bush added he did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources said.

Daily Mail 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Syria

The UN atomic watchdog’s probe into alleged illicit nuclear work in Syria has been delayed because the agency’s contact man in Syria was murdered, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei revealed Thursday.

Middle East Online 26th Sept 2008 more >>

IAEA

Japan said on Friday it has nominated ambassador Yukiya Amano to head the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog when director Mohamed ElBaradei steps down next year. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said earlier this month that ElBaradei plans to leave office after his third term runs out next November.

Interactive Investor 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Coal

The Cabinet is split over whether to approve a controversial plan for a £1bn coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent which has become a key test of its green credentials. John Hutton, the Business Secretary, wants to approve the project even if it is not chosen for an experiment in which its carbon emissions would be “captured” and stored under the sea. But his position is strongly opposed by Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, and his predecessor David Miliband, now the Foreign Secretary. They believe the plant should not be built unless it can test commercial-scale carbon capture.

Independent 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Conservative View

Last week a leaked government document revealed that Labour ministers are lobbying the EU to allow Britain to meet up to half of its 2020 emissions reductions targets by buying credits from the developing world. By paying others to make carbon reductions for us, Labour are selling Britain short. There are many thousands of new and well-paid jobs that could be created in the UK with a major national push on energy efficiency, microgeneration and renewable energy technologies. We will be passing on the opportunity to lead the world in the conversion to a low-carbon economy.

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has announced plans to build a “guaranteed nuclear deterrent system”, to be in place by 2020.

BBC 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Guardian 27th Sept 2008 more >>

View London 26th Sept 2008 more >>

ITN 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 27 September 2008

26 September 2008

British Energy

The EDF bid values the company at around 100 times its value in 2004, following the bail-out. So it would seem that the British taxpayer has bailed out the company so that the banks could take control of a majority of it. Then, the long-sufferering taxpayer has shouldered the cost of decommissioning the company’s worn-out reactors, a cost that could grow for generations. And now, through astronomical price rises in gas and electricity, they have handed the French power giant the money to give the shareholding banks £12.5 billion to buy a previously publicly owned company.

Morning Star 25th Sept 2008 more >>

How can Alex Salmond ask EDF, the French nuclear giants, to maintain headquarters in Scotland when he is opposed to nuclear generation?

Herald 26th Sept 2008 more >>

BBC 25th Sept 2008 more >>

The sale to EDF, which is part-owned by the French Government, triggered fears of job losses. Critics also claimed the sale will benefit French taxpayers and create French jobs. And British Energy bosses warned of a skills shortage that could undermine the drive for nuclear power, which could in turn make Britain reliant on French engineers to build the nuclear plants.

Express 25th Sept 2008 more >>

John Vidal, the Guardian environment editor, says that EDF buying British Energy means we will have new nuclear power stations.

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

The people likely to be most cautious about this sweetheart deal are Britain’s engineers. Largely neglected by Labour, which has put all its focus on developing the City, they are now concerned about being left out of the biggest infrastructure-development in a generation. The main contractor Areva is certain to favour French suppliers which its knows and loves over British rivals like Rolls-Royce, VT, Amec, WS Atkins, Balfour Beatty and others who might have hoped to have a large share of the action.

This is Money 25th Sept 2008 more >>

New Nukes

E.ON AG said that Electricite de France SA’s takeover of British Energy Group Plc may slow down other companies’ U.K. nuclear development plans, the London-based Times reported, citing an unidentified E.ON spokesman. The German power company said that a clause in the takeover deal could block the development of new plants needed for the stability of the U.K.’s energy infrastructure, the Times said.

Bloomberg 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Times 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Prospect, the union for 15,000 scientists, engineers and managers in the nuclear industry, has welcomed a new report, Maximising Opportunities for the UK Supply Chain, launched by Westinghouse UK in support of its bid to build AP1000 nuclear reactors in the UK.

Whitehaven News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Vinci plans to use its £74m acquisition of Taylor Woodrow to become a major player in the UK nuclear market, according to John Stanion, the company’s chief executive.

Building 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Business Secretary John Hutton was speaking at the launch of the regeneration programme of Britain’s Energy Coast last month. He told the 120 delegates that the region also has a key role to play in helping the UK tackle climate change. The £2 billion package of regeneration projects that build on the area’s globally important expertise and skills in nuclear diversifying into other innovative energy technologies, such as tidal, off shore wind and microgeneration. A new generation of nuclear power reactors to the Sellafield site and new training facilities such as Energus are just some of the planned projects, along with a new hospital and major investment in transport links and leisure, culture and sporting facilities.

Whitehaven News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Three new nuclear reactors could be built near Bristol in the next 10 years. EDF wants to build four new nuclear reactors in the UK and two could be at Hinkley. These would each provide about 1.6 gigawatts of energy – enough to power a city the size of Bristol – and could be up-and-running by 2017. Patches of suitable land at other nuclear sites around the country, including Oldbury in South Gloucestershire, are also set to be put up for sale. Companies are being invited to nominate sites they are interested in, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which owns land around Oldbury, wants to sell. No companies have yet expressed official interest in running a new nuclear power station in South Gloucestershire. But energy giant E.ON, which wants to build two reactors in the UK, has signed an agreement to become connected to the national grid in Oldbury.

Bristol Evening Post 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Dungeness C

SHOULD a nuclear power station be built at Dungeness it is unlikely to be owned by the company behind Dungeness B. The Government’s desire to open up competition in the nuclear sector will see the site between Dungeness B and the switching station auctioned off to another operator. The detail emerged this week after a 12.5bn bid was accepted by British Energy’s board yesterday (Wednesday) for a takeover by the French firm EDF energy.

Kentish Express 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Hartlepool

POWER station chiefs are expected to continue pushing Hartlepool’s nuclear plant into the future after a major £12.5bn takeover deal.

Hartlepool Mail 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Wylfa

SHADOW Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan yesterday backed calls for nuclear power generation to continue at Wylfa on Anglesey. The Conservative MP, who visited the plant last week, said the site was of major economic and strategic importance to the whole of North Wales.

Daily Post 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Nuclear Waste

THE crunch has come for the Keekle Head former opencast coal site at Pica. Coal extraction stopped three years ago but a county council restoration order means that any plans to dispose of low-level radioactive materials on the site will have to be put on the back burner.

Whitehaven News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Nuclear Skills

BRITAIN has enough nuclear energy workers to meet the demands of the industry, the Government was told last month. The Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published a list of jobs it believes need to be opened up to workers from outside the EU because of shortages. The draft list includes, skilled nurses and consultants, some engineering jobs, maths and science teachers but not nuclear energy workers.

Whitehaven News 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Energy

Homes could be plunged into darkness this winter as the nation faces the shocking prospect of power cuts. The warning, following the release of grim industry figures yesterday, will dredge up memories of the last electricity crisis in 1974. Then, households had to manage with candles, factories were put on short-time and TV broadcasts ended at 10.30pm. The figures from the National Grid suggest that the country could be crippled by energy shortages when the colder weather bites because there is so little spare capacity.

Daily Mail 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Iran

Western diplomats met in New York last night to thrash out a further set of bilateral sanctions against Iran after Russian and China launched a boycott of talks on a new UN resolution.

Telegraph 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Timeline for Iran Nuclear Stand-off

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites but was told by President George W Bush that he would not support it and did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources have told the Guardian.

Guardian 26th Sept 2008 more >>

India

Indian PM Manmohan Singh has met US President George W Bush amid frantic efforts to win US Congressional support for the two countries’ nuclear deal. The controversial accord needs to be pushed through Congress before lawmakers conclude this year’s session to campaign for November’s elections.

BBC 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Korea

International talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear arms ambitions may be heading for a breakdown after Pyongyang said it would restore a plutonium- making plant, South Korea’s foreign minister said on Friday. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Wednesday that the North was expelling U.N. monitors from its Soviet-era nuclear plant and plans to start reactivating it next week, rolling back a disarmament-for-aid deal and putting pressure on Washington.

AFX 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Reuters 26th Sept 2008 more >>

Turkey

Just two days after the arrest of 37 activists from Greenpeace and Global Action Group protesting against nuclear energy in Turkey, there has been a victory. For months, the Energy Ministry of Turkey has been intent on selecting a supplier for its first nuclear energy plant. The plant would have been the first of a number the Turkish government says it wants to build. Instead, plans have been stopped dead in their tracks. It turns out energy companies just aren’t that interested in the risk of a new nuclear energy plant.

Greenpeace International 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 26 September 2008

25 September 2008

British Energy

Tony Woodley, trade unionist, left-wing firebrand and poster boy of anti-capitalism, stood up at this week’s Labour conference in Manchester and suggested that essential industries such as our power utilities be nationalised. Yesterday, the Labour Government did quite the opposite. It agreed to sell its last remaining substantial investment in the energy industry by offloading its stake in British Energy for £4.3bn.

Telegraph 25th Sept 2008 more >>

The UK government on Wednesday used the proposed £12.5bn sale of British Energy to EDF of France as an opportunity to stress its controversial support for a new generation of nuclear power stations. “New nuclear is becoming a reality… Nuclear is clean, secure and affordable; its expansion is crucial for Britain’s long term energy security,” said Gordon Brown, prime minister.

FT 24th Sept 2008 more >>

The green button was pressed on a nuclear revolution yesterday with a £12.5bn takeover of British Energy, the UK’s main atomic power company, by EDF of France. The deal, under which the mainly state-owned company committed itself to build four new power stations, was welcomed by Gordon Brown, who described it as “crucial to the country’s energy security”. However, it brought a wave of protest from anti-nuclear campaigners, rival power companies and consumer groups opposed to the deal on a mixture of environmental and competition grounds.

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

French government-controlled utility Electricite de France decisively planted its flag in Britain’s nuclear-power industry on Wednesday, agreeing to buy British Energy for a sweetened price of $23.2 billion.

Forbes 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Yorkshire Post 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Channel 4 News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Edinburgh Evening News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

British Energy Facts.

Telegraph 24th Sept 2008 more >>

EDF Facts 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Critics predicted that the deal would do nothing to tackle climate change and that it was likely to lead to higher prices. Opponents of the takeover fear that EDF would use all of the power generated by these reactors, leaving competitors to buy their energy at higher prices on the wholesale market driving up domestic electricity bills while French customers continued to enjoy cheap power. Nathan Argent, head of Greenpeace’s nuclear campaign, dismissed the Prime Minister’s claims. “This sale will do nothing to tackle climate change or energy security,” he said. “This is about turning the UK into a billboard for the French Government’s nuclear sales programme.” In France itself doubts about the nuclear path have started to creep in after a series of incidents over the past three months: untreated uranium has overflowed into a river, excess radioactive gas has been emitted, combustible material has got caught in a reactor, and EDF workers have been exposed to low-level radiation.

Times 25th Sept 2008 more >>

At least there is no shortage of confidence in energy. EDF’s £12.5bn takeover of British Energy, the nuclear power generator, puts France’s national energy champion in prime position to profit from the UK’s nuclear renaissance. The deal has had its controversies and raises competition concerns. But it is the best way forward if Britain is to revive an industry that was abandoned two decades ago – and diversify away from imported gas for its future energy needs.

FT 25th Sept 2008 more >>

THE French energy giant behind a £12.5bn takeover of the East Kilbride firm running eight of Britain’s nuclear power stations has told the First Minister it remains committed to Scotland, it emerged today.

Daily Record 24th Sept 2008 more >>

NOF ENERGY, the sector group representing Teesside companies in the energy supply chain, said today it was ramping up its presence in the nuclear sector. It coincides with news that the on-off deal between EDF and British Energy, which owns Hartlepool nuclear power station, was confirmed today after the French power giant tabled an improved offer.

Newcastle Evening Gazette 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Gary Smith, National Secretary of the GMB union, which represents thousands of workers in the nuclear industry reacting to the announcement that EDF are to takeover British Energy, said: “At long last, one of the pieces is in place to secure an energy future for Britain.

GMB Press Release 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Plans by Centrica to buy a quarter of British Energy were welcomed by the market yesterday after the latter’s long-awaited £12.5bn takeover by its French rival EDF was agreed.

Independent 25th Sept 2008 more >>

What does a foreign takeover of British Energy mean for industry.

Independent 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

The very idea that we should trust the future of nuclear power, one of Britain’s most strategic industries, to an overseas company is extraordinary enough. But what makes the £12.5 billion takeover of nuclear generator British Energy by Electricite de France (EDF) even more outrageous is that the buyer is 85 per cent owned by the French state.

Daily Mail 25th Sept 2008 more >>

New Nukes

THIS year’s Labour Party Conference at Manchester has seen a series of meetings and fringe events dedicated to advocating Britain’s nuclear renaissance.

Whitehaven News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

RWE, Europe’s fifth-largest utility, said on Wednesday it still remains interested in building new nuclear power stations in Britain.

Reuters 24th Sept 2008 more >>

EDF will build at least four super-size reactors. The Daily Mail has learned that it will cost £15billion to connect the new generation of nuclear power stations to the National Grid. This will involve building substations and replacing the cables running along pylon networks crossing some of the most beautiful parts of rural Britain. The cost of these new connections and constructing the nuclear power plants will be passed on to UK families through higher bills. However, future profits from the purchase will go across the Channel to France.

Daily Mail 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Evening Standard 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Nuclear Waste

COPELAND MP Jamie Reed has suggested a referendum over Copeland’s willingness to house the UK’s nuclear waste repository. Mr Reed told this week’s Labour Party Conference, in Manchester: “Nobody should assume a deep-storage repository for nuclear waste will be housed in Copeland.” Copeland MP Jamie Reed said his community “may or may not” want to house the waste and if they did not want it he would not be putting the area forward.

Whitehaven News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

NII

Many are worried that the government appears to have been “economical with the actualit ” about its efforts to recruit a sufficient number of nuclear inspectors. Dai Davies MP asked a number of questions over the summer of Malcolm Wicks, the energy minister, and was told it is making progress in recruiting staff following recruitment campaigns begun late last year and in April. Not a problem, the minister said. But no one has told Alistair Darling, because just a fortnight ago he informed the TUC that, despite his reluctance to pay more to public-sector workers, he may well have to throw cash at nuclear inspectors because too few people are applying.

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Radhealth

New evidence of childhood leukaemia near nuclear power station, by Dr Ian Fairlie.

Medicine Conflict and Survival Vol 24, No.3 July – Sept 2008 more >>

NDA

The future is nuclear – Gordon said so. But still so many of us are wary. The challenge is, how do we get the people with us? How do we win hearts and minds? There is one model very much at work in Cumbria – home to Sellafield and the potential site for a nuclear waste facility – where the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority seems to be spending taxpayers’ money on “social” projects as if Christmas has come early. The authority has admitted to campaigners that £34m has been given to hospitals, colleges, wildlife and heritage groups. The local council has a staffer sponsored by the NDA, as does the trading initiative, Made in Cumbria. Money has been diverted to the University of Cumbria, a lifeboat appeal, footpaths, a harbour wall scheme and even to Citizens Advice – hard to scoff at £79,000. All perfectly legal. Some of it is admirable. But there are siren voices using phrases such as “slush fund”, “softening up”, and “buying off the opposition”. These things were ever prone to misinterpretation. We’ll never reach our nuclear destination if we listen to the cynics.

Guardian 11th Sept 2008 more >>

Turkey

Turkey suffered a setback in its efforts to reduce a costly dependence on energy imports on Wednesday, receiving just one bid in a tender to build the country’s first nuclear power plant. The 4,000-megawatt plant near Mersin on the Mediterranean coast is intended to be the first of three, aimed at averting power shortages and lessening reliance on natural gas imports from Russia and Iran.

FT 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Korea

North Korea has triggered a new crisis over its nuclear ambitions by expelling UN inspectors and pledging to resume plutonium reprocessing – a precursor to producing atomic weapons.

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Independent 24th Sept 2008 more >>

BBC 24th Sept 2008 more >>

UAE

Bids have been submitted on schedule for the contract to manage the UAE’s nuclear power programme. However, it is unclear how many companies bid for the consultancy work when the bids were submitted on 7 September. The prospective bidders were Bechtel, CH2M Hill, Fluor with Sargent & Lundy, all of the US, UK-based PB Power, and Australia’s WorleyParsons. The contract is due to be awarded by the end of 2008.

Construction News 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Vanunu

An Israeli court on Tuesday halved a six-month sentence against nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who spent 18 years in jail for divulging Israeli nuclear secrets.

Middle East Online 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Renewables

Wave technology invented in Scotland is powering Portuguese homes and making money for Portuguese suppliers, because our government has consistently neglected the renewables industry here in the UK.

Guardian 25th Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 25 September 2008

24 September 2008

British Energy

French utility EDF launched a £12.5bn agreed takeover bid on power producer British Energy, helping to secure Britain’s nuclear future. EDF, the world’s biggest maker of nuclear energy, said it offered to pay 774p per British Energy share. As an alternative, EDF is also proposing to pay 700p in cash plus one nuclear power note, linked to BE’s future performance. ‘We are delighted that the British Energy Board has unanimously accepted this offer,’ said EDF Chairman Pierre Gadonneix. EDF and Centrica, which owns British Gas, are in talks about Centrica taking a 25% stake in the new British Energy following EDF’s completion of the deal with British Energy.

Money AM 24th Sept 2008 more >>

FRENCH power giants EDF are set to complete a £12.4billion takeover of Scottish nuclear firm British Energy.

Daily Record 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Bloomberg 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Ananova 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Herald 24th Sept 2008 more >>

FT 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Independent 24th Sept 2008 more >>

The UK’s main nuclear power generator is set to be bought today by French energy group EDF in a £12.4bn deal that should kick-start government plans for a new generation of atomic plants.

Guardian 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Daily Mail 24th Sept 2008 more >>

EdF already has the approval of the government and Invesco, British Energy’s largest shareholders. with a combined stake of more than 45pc. The government is set to make £4.5bn from selling its 35.6pc holding.

Telegraph 24th Sept 2008 more >>

The deal completes the line-up of participants in a nuclear race that will lead to the creation of two essentially new branches of Britain’s nuclear industry. One is needed to clean up the mess left behind after half a century of nuclear weapons and energy production. The other is getting ready to build an entirely new generation of at least eight nuclear reactors, after the government gave the go-ahead for the rebirth of the nuclear industry early this year.

BBC 24th Sept 2008 more >>

New Nukes

The North West economy could get a £30 billion boost if a reactor model is picked for the next generation of UK power stations. Westinghouse Electric Company, which owns the Springfields Fuels Ltd nuclear fuel manufacturing plant in Salwick, near Preston, has unveiled the plans which show the value picking its AP1000 reactor model could bring.

Lancashire Evening Post 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Building 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Westinghouse is promising to use UK sub-contractors to build £15bn of nuclear reactors, UK vice president David Powell told a Labour Conference Fringe Meeting.

Contract Journal 24th Sept 2008 more >>

In a picture-postcard landscape of farms and villages at the foot of the Quantock hills, Hinkley Point on the north Somerset coast is an unlikely setting for a revolution in British energy policy. But it is here that the first new nuclear power station in Britain for more than two decades is likely to be built, following the £12.4bn ($23bn) takeover of British Energy by EDF. The takeover is expected to be announced on Wednesday. In Shurton, the nearest village to Hinkley Point, new investment in nuclear power is a sensitive issue. One man says he is reluctant to talk about it for fear of angering friends and neighbours.

FT 24th Sept 2008 more >>

BRITAIN must press ahead with new coal and nuclear power stations to keep the nation’s lights on, Business Secretary John Hutton said yesterday.

Northern Echo 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

NDA

On the 10 September, the NDA announced that it was preparing an initial tranche of land sales at its sites at Wylfa, Bradwell and Oldbury. In connection with these sales, the NDA today announced that it has reached an agreement with EDF for the joint marketing of land at these sites.

NDA Press Release 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Proliferation

This week brings two tests of whether the United Nations can do much about nuclear proliferation. The first and showiest is the competition of insults and threats at the General Assembly in New York. The second, low key and technical, is in Vienna today, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s watchdog, will discuss detailed and pointed complaints about Iran and North Korea. Both are likely to reveal the dwindling constituency for curbing Iran.

Times 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Radhealth

Radiation from experiments at a university 100 years ago is suspected of causing a cluster of cancer deaths. Three academics and an assistant have died after working in the laboratory used by Ernest Rutherford at the start of the 20th century. The Nobel prizewinner is known to have experimented with radon at the Manchester University facility.

Daily Mail 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Politics

Gordon Brown said we need another great and historic endeavour to end the dictatorship of oil and to avert catastrophic climate change, a transformation in our use of energy. New nuclear power, an unprecedented increase in renewables and investment in clean coal.’ The reality is for ten years, Labour has known that our oil supplies were low. But ministers did nothing except talk about wind power. Even today, plans to build nuclear power plants are stalled.

Daily Mail 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Iran

Iran will resist “bullying powers” trying to thwart its peaceful nuclear ambitions, its leader has told the UN. Addressing the General Assembly in New York, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran supported dialogue but would not accept “illegal demands”.

BBC 24th Sept 2008 more >>

The United States and five other powers on Tuesday called off plans for high-level talks this week to debate further sanctions against Iran, after Russia complained of US attempts to ‘punish’ it.

Money AM 24th Sept 2008 more >>

India

The Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate has voted in favour of the India-US civil nuclear deal. Indian officials say it is an important development for the agreement, which must now be passed by the full Senate and the House of Representatives.

BBC 24th Sept 2008 more >>

Turkey

Activists turned the front of the Turkish Ministry of Energy into a mortuary to highlight the deadly risks involved with establishing a nuclear industry in Turkey. On the eve of a nuclear tender from the Turkish government, 37 activists from Greenpeace and Global Action Group were arrested after they took to the street to protest the dangerous decision.

Greenpeace International 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

North Korea

China urged “flexibility” in the North Korean nuclear dispute on Tuesday, avoiding harsh words a day after Pyongyang made fresh moves towards possibly restarting a nuclear complex at the heart of the dispute.

Yahoo 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 24 September 2008

23 September 2008

New Nukes

John Hutton, business secretary, has vowed to take on critics of new coal and nuclear power stations, arguing that their construction was vital to securing Britain’s long-term energy needs. Addressing the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, the business secretary claimed that an international battle for energy security was emerging as one of the most significant threats to both UK competitiveness and national sovereignty.

Times 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Guardian 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Vnunet 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Independent 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Herald 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

THE north west’s economy could receive a hefty slice of the £30bn bonanza that will result from building a new generation of nuclear reactors. Preston-based nuclear company Westinghouse has published new research that shows that construction and supply firms across the country will win valuable work if the government commissions the project. The company, which employs over 1,500 staff in the region, is currently bidding to build its AP1000 reactors in Britain.

Manchester Evening News 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

A report released by US engineering firm Westinghouse has revealed the UK economy could receive a £30 billion lift if the new generation of nuclear power stations proposed by the Government are built.

CNPlus 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Ananova 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

British Energy

The UK’s plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations capable of providing a significant contribution to a low carbon energy mix are expected to receive a major boost this week after reports emerged that EDF is poised to finalise its long-running take over of nuclear operator British Energy (BE).

Vnunet 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Independent 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

At a meeting on Monday, EdF, the world’s largest nuclear power generator, is understood to have agreed to raise its offer from 765p a share by about 9p, valuing BE at £12.4bn.

Telegraph 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

French energy giant EDF will have some competition in the new British nuclear sector, according to reports. It appears that certain UK sites belonging to British Energy and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will see new plants built by EDF’s rivals. The Times reports that BE’s operations at Bradwell in Essex and Dungeness in Kent will be added to some NDA sites and sold in an auction later this year, in order to establish some competition within the future UK nuclear sector. The rest of BE is expected to be acquired by EDF this week, now that institutional shareholder Invesco has been brought onside by improved terms.

The Register 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Radioactivity

Experts in radioactivity from around the world have arrived in Cumbria for a major conference. Members of the Hot Labs Working Group are attending the two-day event at the newly created National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) at Sellafield. More than 50 delegates from Europe, the US, Japan and South Africa will be sharing skills and experience.

BBC 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

India

Sitting in the front room of his suburban house in Delhi, Shri K. Subrahmanyam, the doyen of Indian strategic thinkers, sips some tea, coughs a little – and remembers the moment he decided that India must develop nuclear weapons. “It was on a visit to America in 1968,” he recalls. “I saw all the top strategic thinkers. Kissinger, who was still at Harvard at the time, Schelling; it was after that, that I decided we must have the bomb. As a matter of national survival.”

FT 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

US

Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings, has submitted an application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the potential expansion of its Comanche Peak nuclear power plant near Glen Rose, Texas

Energy Business Review 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Detroit Edison has submitted to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission a combined license application for a possible new nuclear power plant at the site of the company’s existing nuclear plant near Newport, Michigan.

Datamonitor 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Iran

Iran has been asked by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, for a substantive response to allegations that it is developing a nuclear weapon. Without more information from Iran, the IAEA cannot provide assurances about the country’s nuclear programme, says the agency’s head, Mohamed El Baradei.

BBC 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Ukraine

Ukraine’s state-run atomic energy company Energoatom is to start construction of two new nuclear reactors from 2010 at the Khmelnitsky power station in the west of the country, the fuel and energy ministry said on Monday.

Interactive Investor 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

North Korea

North Korea has removed seals and surveillance equipment from its main nuclear facility as it pushes ahead with threats to restart the reactor.

View London 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

North Korea asked the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog on Monday to remove seals and cameras from its main atomic complex, the agency’s chief said, after vowing to restart the facility — reversing a nuclear disarmament deal.

Reuters 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

BBC 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday there was no plan to postpone a tender to build and operate Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, scheduled for Wednesday. Turkey has set a deadline of Sept. 24 for bids to build the plant at Akkuyu near Mersin on the Mediterranean coast with a capacity of 4,000 megawatts, plus or minus 25 percent. Media reports over the weekend speculated the tender would be delayed due to poor market conditions that would reduce the level of interest from potential investors. Companies such as Sabanci, General Electric, Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Spanish utility Iberdrola SA have expressed interest in the tender.

Reuters 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

ANTI-NUCLEAR protesters staged a colourful demonstration at one of Derby’s Rolls-Royce sites this morning. Protestors from the Power Through Wind Not Weapons group preformed circus skills including juggling and stilt walking outside the Raynesway site from 11am. They are demonstrating against the production of reactor cores that are used in Trident nuclear submarines.

Derby Evening Telegraph 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

PRESSURE IS mounting to change the devolution settlement so that Scotland has the power to ban Trident nuclear weapons from its soil. Trade unionists, religious leaders and anti-nuclear campaigners have called on the Calman Commission, set up by the Scottish parliament to review devolution, to investigate ways of bringing weapons of mass destruction under Scottish control.

Sunday Herald 21st Sept 2008 more >>

Utilities

The renationalisation of the electricity and gas industry was put back on the Labour agenda by a former minister and a union chief yesterday in the wake of rises of up to 35% on fuel bills and soaring profits by the companies.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Coal

One of Gordon Brown’s pet energy projects – to build up to a dozen pilot plants to capture and store carbon dioxide as power stations burn coal to generate electricity – would require EU subsidies of as much as 10bn (£7.9bn) over the next few years, it emerged yesterday. A study by the consultancy McKinsey into carbon capture and storage (CCS) showed that such plants could be economically viable by 2030 at the latest. But it would require substantial public subsidies to get 10-12 plants running by the EU target date of 2015.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Governments need to show the same boldness to intervene in the markets to kickstart a move to a low-carbon economy as they did when they helped the banks stave off financial crisis last week, a leading academic has demanded. “Both require strong regulation for efficient economic outcomes,” said Terry Barker, a climate change expert at Cambridge University, who fears the Lehman Brothers and HBOS problems foreshadow a global economic downturn. Barker’s concerns were backed up by one of the government’s scientific advisers, who fears that a downturn could lead to a lack of investment in vital new sectors such as developing carbon capture and storage plants.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 23 September 2008

22 September 2008

New Nukes

David Lowry: The problem with the Labour government is not the unpopularity of Gordon Brown, as measured by successive opinion polls, but the policies being pursued. Let me take one important example. Last Wednesday Gordon Brown held his monthly prime-ministerial press conference. The reports by the Guardian overlooked the fact that in the press conference launching the energy support package, Brown chose on no less than three occasions to praise nuclear power. He said: “I think people may have forgotten that we made the right decision about nuclear power, I think very few people now doubt that”.

Guardian 20th Sept 2008 more >>

British Energy

FRANCE’s EDF is this week poised to clinch a £12 billion takeover of British Energy (BE), the nuclear power company, and will immediately signal that it is prepared to hand back two key nuclear sites to the government for auction. BE’s holdings at Dungeness, on the Kent coast, and Bradwell, in Essex, are expected to be carved out and included in a separate package of sites for new nuclear stations. The package will be auctioned later this year. Power companies will be invited to tender for some or all of the sites, with Germany’s RWE and Eon, Spain’s Iberdrola and Sweden’s Vattenfall expected to make bids. If the takeover of BE is successful, EDF is expected to press ahead with the construction of reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk. Industry experts think it will build two reactors at each site. Last week General Electric and Hitachi, which have a joint design, withdrew from the GDA process. The pair are expected to resubmit their proprosals next year.

Sunday Times 21st Sept 2008 more >>

Hunterston

DETAILS OF a serious fire hazard at the Hunterston nuclear power station in North Ayrshire have been kept secret because they could aid a terrorist attack. The government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has refused to release information about a “specific fire scenario” at the reactors because to do so could “threaten national security”. The revelation has prompted calls from environmentalists for the plant to be shut down as soon as possible. But its operator, British Energy, said that it was working to improve safety.

Sunday Herald 21st Sept 2008 more >>

Spain

THE rest of the world has mostly forgotten, but a brush with nuclear Armageddon more than 40 years ago is still seared in the minds of many residents of a small Spanish fishing town. On the morning of January 17, 1966, a US Air Force B-52 bomber returning from a routine mission collided with a tanker aircraft that was to refuel it. The resulting explosion destroyed both aircraft and sent the bomber’s hydrogen bombs plummeting towards the ground.

Scotland on Sunday 21st Sept 2008 more >>

Iran

RUSSIA will resist western pressure for tougher United Nations sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, it said yesterday. The announcement came after the Kremlin agreed to sell advanced antiaircraft systems to the Iranians, bringing condemnation from the US and adding to tensions over the Russian invasion of Georgia.

Sunday Times 21st Sept 2008 more >>

Israel

From the archive: THE secrets of a subterranean factory engaged in the manufacture of Israeli nuclear weapons have been uncovered by The Sunday Times Insight team. Hidden beneath the Negev desert, the factory has been producing atomic warheads for the past 20 years. Now it has almost certainly begun manufacturing thermo-nuclear weapons, with yields big enough to destroy entire cities.

Sunday Times 21st Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 22 September 2008

22 September 2008

New Nukes

Industry Secretary John Hutton is set to take on opponents of new nuclear and coal-fired power stations, accusing them of putting Britain’s sovereignty and security at risk. Pushing ahead with a new generation of the controversial energy sources is essential if Britain is not only to survive the present economic crisis but emerge “stronger and fitter”, he will declare. Warning that the UK risks being 80% reliant on imported gas within 12 years otherwise, he will reject the objections of environmentalists and opposition parties in his speech to the Labour Party conference.

Loughborough Echo 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

This is Hampshire 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

A former minister has urged the government to stop “dilly dallying” over the building of new nuclear power stations. Speaking at an ePolitix.com fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Manchester on Sunday, organised in association with the Nuclear Dialogue group, Sherwood MP Paddy Tipping called for ministers to press ahead with the building of a new generation of stations.

ePolitix 21st Sept 2008 more >>

British Energy

As Edf prepares to up its bid for British Energy the future of the UK’s energy supply is at stake. If all goes to plan today, another piece of the Government’s jigsaw for Britain’s nuclear future should fall into place. At a meeting in Paris, EdF is expected to approve formally an increase in its £12bn bid for British Energy. And given the debacle over the French company’s previous offer, which collapsed in July at the eleventh hour after unexpected shareholder opposition, it’s a fair bet that EdF will have smoothed over likely opposition. If a takeover of Britain’s biggest nuclear power producer goes ahead there will be a collective sigh of relief at the Department of Business and Enterprise. For the Government, there does not seem to be a Plan B, despite Centrica’s wish to merge with its UK peer and forge a group which it said could lead a nuclear renaissance. Analysts and some shareholders cannot understand why the Government, which owns 35pc of BE, is so committed to an EdF deal, especially given Centrica’s interest.

Telegraph 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Lawyers for British Energy and EDF of France were completing the final paperwork on a £12.4bn merger last night amid hopes that the formal deal can be fully signed off and announced to the London stockmarket as early as tomorrow. The move will hasten the government’s nuclear revolution as EDF wants to use some of British Energy’s sites to build a new generation of atomic power stations. The French company is expected to hand back some BE land so that the government can auction it off to others wanting to construct plants.

Guardian 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, is likely to have to wait for several months to secure its position in the £12.4bn takeover of British Energy that lectricit de France is set to announce in the next few days. Britain’s biggest retail energy supplier has been in talks with EDF for months about taking a 25 per cent stake in British Energy, which is the country’s biggest generator and owns most of its nuclear power stations.

FT 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Fuel Poverty

Millions of British families facing fuel poverty this winter will not qualify for free insulation under a £1 billion energy efficiency scheme announced by the Government last week. Rising fuel prices mean that 5.4 million households are having to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy putting them in so-called fuel poverty. The Government said last week that up to 11 million low-income households would qualify for free insulation under the scheme, but industry insiders have told The Times that this figure is highly misleading. For example, any home with more than 60mm of loft insulation will not qualify for the scheme. The recommended standard is 270mm. Nor will most homes built before the 1930s, which are unsuitable for cavity-wall insulation. Recently built homes that have loft and cavity wall insulation are also unlikely to qualify.

Times 22nd Sept 2008 more >>

Posted: 22 September 2008