News August 2009

31 August 2009

Japan

The full startup of the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant here will be postponed until December 2010 or even later due to technical problems. Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. has decided to postpone completion of the plant’s final commissioning test, which was scheduled for August, by at least 14 months.

Asahi Shimbun 31st Aug 2009 more >>

US

The so-called “nuclear renaissance” is finding few friends among state lawmakers in the United States. The nuclear power industry has been shut out across the board in 2009 in its efforts in all six states – ranging across the nation from Kentucky to Minnesota to Hawaii – where it sought to overturn what are either explicit or effectively bans on construction of new reactors, according to the nonprofit Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS).

Nuclear Power Daily 31st Aug 2009 more >>

Posted: 31 August 2009

30 August 2009

New Nukes

Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, is set to appoint Cambridge University Professor David MacKay as his chief scientific officer this week. The move will be a boon to the British energy sector: industry leaders from Royal Dutch Shell, EDF Energy and QinetiQ have all praised Professor MacKay’s hugely successful book, Sustainable Energy: Without the Hot Air. Companies looking to get involved in the Government’s nuclear roll-out programme will be particularly hopeful that his appointment will quash some of the political arguments against the plans. Although Professor MacKay has said he is not an apologist for the nuclear industry, the book, published in December, argues that there are “mythconceptions” about the renewable energy source. These include suggestions that nuclear power stations cannot be built quickly enough to help tackle climate change and that increased reactor waste would be a huge health problem.

Independent on Sunday 30th Aug 2009 more >>

The Government is set to give its backing to a £140million investment to start building some of the world’s largest steel presses. Sheffield Forgemasters International – embroiled in the ‘supergun’ affair of the early Nineties when there were allegations of arms sales to Iraq – wants to build a 15,000-ton press to make key components for the nuclear industry. At present there is only sufficient capacity in the world to build eight reactors a year.

Mail on Sunday 30th Aug 2009 more >>

France

The public prosecutor in Paris has decided not to press charges against Stephane Lhomme. He had been under investigation since 2006 for breach of national security in connection with publication of a classified document acknowledging weaknesses in the EPR reactor design’s ability to withstand the crash of a commercial jetliner. The organization for which Lhomme is spokesman, Sortir du Nucleaire, attributed the closing of the case to a petition in his favor signed by 30,000 people, several of them wellknown political figures, intellectuals, writers and artists, and sent to the prosecutor’s office this spring.

Ruscombe Green 28th Aug 2009 more >>

China

WORK on two powerful new nuclear reactors in China was delayed by wet weather, the French companies building them said on Thursday, as campaigners claimed the project was likely to fall through. A spokesman for French nuclear group Areva said that a ceremony to pour the first concrete in the site of the third-generation European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) had been postponed because of ‘two typhoons in the region’. The French anti-nuclear campaign movement Sortir du Nucleaire said however that Chinese authorities were now likely to cancel the projects. The group cited problems with other EPR reactors and accusations of corruption linked to the China project that have been made against the two French companies.

Straits Times 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Iran

A UN report on Iran’s nuclear program has been grasped by the country as a vindication of its goals. The semi-official Iranian news agency Fars has quoted nuclear officials as saying Iran will now resist US and Israeli pressure to give up its nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency released a report Friday saying Iran has allowed its inspectors greater access to its main nuclear complex in the city of Natanz, but did not mention if the program included a military component.

Irish Sun 30th Aug 2009 more >>

Irish Times 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Germany

A German nuclear waste dump formerly run by Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen GmbH contains three times as much toxic plutonium as previously reported, the Environment Ministry said. A review of records at Helmholtz’s Munich headquarters shows 28 kilograms (61.7 pounds) of plutonium stored at the underground dump in Lower Saxony, rather than the 9 kilograms previously recorded, the ministry said today in a statement. A reporting error is the likely cause of the discrepancy, it said. The Federal Office for Radiation Protection took over operation of the Asse II dump in January after Helmholtz failed to inform regulators that water was leaking into the site. Unauthorized contaminated material was also found in the shaft, which was opened in 1967 to store low- and medium-radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

Bloomberg 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Pakistan

A Pakistani judge ruled on Friday that nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan should be allowed freedom of movement more than five years after being put under house arrest for his role in a nuclear proliferation scandal.

FT 28th Aug 2009 more >>

India

India’s generation of children crippled by uranium waste: Observer investigation uncovers link between dramatic rise in birth defects in Punjab and pollution from coal-fired power stations.

Observer 30th Aug 2009 more >>

Faslane

A HUGE crane poses the biggest risk of a nuclear disaster at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, according to newly released safety assessments by the Ministry of Defence. Plutonium from up to 48 nuclear warheads could escape and cause widespread contamination and cancers if there was an accident while a Trident submarine was being moved by the crane – known as a shiplift’ – the reports say. But the MoD has been accused by experts and anti-nuclear campaigners of playing down the real dangers. The amounts and risks of the radioactivity that could be released have been underestimated, they say.

Sunday Herald 30th Aug 2009 more >>

Posted: 30 August 2009

29 August 2009

New Nukes

The electricity needed to succeed in replacing fossil fuels, both for transportation and everyday use, will have to come from nuclear generation. There is simply no other logical alternative.

The Market Oracle 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Roger Helmer MEP: Very occasionally, even this Labour government gets something right. It seems determined to press ahead with new nuclear power generating capacity. It may be too little, too late, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Leicester Mercury 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Engineering consultancies Frazer-Nash and Praxis have been awarded a contract to provide advice to HSE in its independent review of certain safety aspects of designs for the UK’s new generation of nuclear reactors. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), working with the Environment Agency, is currently assessing two different reactor types – the UK-EPR designed by Areva and EDF, and the AP1000 designed by Westinghouse – for their suitability to meet UK regulatory standards, as part of its Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process.

Innovation News 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Nuclear Industry Status

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009 more >>

Cumbria

ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners protested outside Carlisle Cathedral at the pro-nuclear stance of the new bishop.

Cumberland News 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Sellafield

The Berkshire construction firm, Costain, will construct and commission a new evaporator, known as evaporator D, at the west Cumbrian nuclear site.

Cumberland News 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Oldbury

The Thornbury Sea Cadets were recently given the £2,000 grant by Oldbury Power Station to help with a massive refurbishment project at the group’s headquarters.

Gloucestershire Gazette 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Dounreay

THE team heading the public sector-led drive to replace the 2000-plus jobs going at Dounreay is confident the foundations to its success are being laid.

John O Groat Journal 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Proliferation

A Pakistani court on Friday ordered the government to lift any remaining restrictions on a scientist alleged to have spread nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, his lawyer said. The interim instruction came in response to a petition filed by scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan and could stir alarm in the United States, which still regards him as a proliferation risk.

Fox News 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Telegraph 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Profile of the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

Telegraph 29th Aug 2009 more >>

India

India should conduct further nuclear tests to establish itself as a true nuclear power, the former head of India’s main nuclear body has said.

BBC 28th Aug 2009 more >>

South Korea

Korea Electric Power Company is emerging as a reactor vendor and its units could perhaps be built in India after a set of agreements signed off yesterday in Mumbai.

World Nuclear News 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Iran

IRAN is playing cat and mouse with the UN nuclear watchdog agency about “possible military dimensions” to its suspect nuclear programme, it was claimed last night. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made the claim as it urged the regime to clarify the role of a foreign explosives expert and shed light on other murky issues. Reacting to the claims a senior Iranian envoy denounced the assessment as “fabrication”, insisting his country has gone out of its way to be transparent and cooperative.

Irish Independent 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Irish Examiner 29th Aug 2009 more >>

The UN’s nuclear watchdog reported today that Iran was continuing its uranium enrichment programme in defiance of UN security council resolutions, setting the stage for possible oil and gas sanctions by the west. In a report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also repeated its regular complaint that Iran was not co-operating with its inspectors over unanswered questions about evidence of efforts to militarise the programme and produce a warhead.

Guardian 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Daily Express 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Channel 4 News 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Renewables

To supply all the electricity Europe needs would, in principle, mean capturing just 0.3 per cent of the light falling on the Saharan and middle eastern deserts, in an area smaller than Wales. Knowing this, a group of German industrial giants in July launched what may be the world’s largest solar project: a long-planned partnership of 20 finance and energy companies to build new African CSP plants, led by Munich Re, and including E.ON, Siemens and Deutsche Bank. Picture row upon row of curved mirrors with semicircular profiles, in glittering fields, scattered across the countries of northern Africa. The plan dubbed Desertec hopes ultimately to provide 15 per cent of Europe’s electricity needs, and aims to figure out how this can be done within the next two to three years.

Prospect Magazine 27th Aug 2009 more >>

Obituary

Teddy Goldsmith: Goldsmith soon returned to egregious protest when the Central Electricity Board tried to test-dig for a nuclear power station five miles from his home. As the diggers arrived, he blocked the entrance to the site by installing his desk and sat in his chair dictating letters to a secretary. The police declined to intervene and the project was eventually abandoned.

Guardian 29th Aug 2009 more >>

Posted: 29 August 2009

28 August 2009

Nuclear Status

Nuclear will continue to decline according to a new report. At this point there is no obvious sign that the international nuclear industry could turn the decline into a promising future, it says. “The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009” by independent consultant, Mycle Schneider, professor for energy policy Steve Thomas, consultant Antony Froggatt and Doug Koplow, was released on 27 August. Commissioned by the German federal ministry of environment, nature conservation and reactor safety, it gives facts on the nuclear power plants in operation, under construction and in planning phases throughout the world. It also assesses the economic performance of past and current nuclear projects including Calvert Cliffs, Flamanville and Olkiluoto.

Nuclear Engineering International 27th Aug 2009 more >>

New Nukes

The United Kingdom is nearing a crucial decision as it tries to tackle the climate crisis — whether to make a major push into new nuclear power or to proliferate coal-fired power plants constructed so their carbon emissions are captured and safely stored.

New York Times 27th Aug 2009 more >>

Companies

CEO Gerard Mestrallet tells a press conference that GDF Suez is in no hurry to buy land in Britain for nuclear plant projects.

Interactive Investor 27th Aug 2009 more >>

Radiation and Health

In early 2008, the very large Kinderkrebs in der Umgebung von Kernkraftwerken (KiKK) study in Germany reported increases in leukaemias and solid cancers among children living near all German nuclear power plants (NPPs). This study, previously described in Medicine, Conflict and Survival, has triggered debates in many countries as to the cause or causes of these increased cancers. An accompanying article reports on the recent developments on the KiKK study including the responses by German radiation agencies, and the results of recent epidemiological studies near United Kingdom and French nuclear installations. This article outlines a possible explanation for the increased cancers. In essence, doses from environmental NPP emissions to embryos/foetuses in pregnant women near NPPs may be larger than suspected, and haematopoietic tissues may be considerably more radiosensitive in embryos/foetuses than in newbo! rn babies. The article concludes with recommendations for further research.

Medicine Conflict and Survival 1st July 2009 more >>

This article reports on recent developments on the KiKK study, including responses by German radiation agencies, and recent epidemiological studies near United Kingdom and French nuclear installations. It reflects the current debate and concludes with advice to policy-makers on radiation risks on the relative merits of the KiKK study.

Medicine Conflict and Survival 1st July 2009 more >>

Heysham

Thirty minor fires and coolant leaks have been recorded at a Lancashire nuclear power station during the last eight years, new figures reveal. Information published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change details 16 coolant leaks involving water, carbon dioxide or hydrogen at the Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 plants since 2001.

Lancashire Evening Post 27th Aug 2009 more >>

Decommissioning

Nuclear experts are using household cleaner Cillit Bang to clean radioactive stains at a UK nuclear power plant after watching an ad that showed dirt being stripped from a 10p coin.

Marketing 27th Aug 2009 more >>

France

Contrary to Steve Kidd’s July column, the legacy of France is not so great, says Mycle Schneider. The problem with past and current energy policies is that we keep asking the wrong questions. As a result we get the wrong answers. Steve Kidd’s comment on “Nuclear in France” [NEI July 2009, pp. 14-15] is unfortunately yet another example. Any sound energy policy must ensure that citizens get affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy services. The question is not how many kWh a system generates nor how many barrels of oil it extracts, but whether people have access to cooked food, light, heat and cold, communication, mobility and motor torque. These energy services should be provided in a way that is healthful and environmentally sound today and doesn’t constrain future generations’ options.

Nuclear Engineering International 26th Aug 2009 more >>

India

A retired atomic scientist who was closely associated with India’s 1998 nuclear tests has said they were not as successful as was claimed.

BBC 27th Aug 2009 more >>

Iran

As UN nuclear inspectors prepare to release the latest report on Iran’s nuclear program Western nations are urging the International Atomic Energy Agency to declassify intelligence reports on Iran, which they accuse of trying to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran says it is only pursuing nuclear energy. Iranian officials concerned about possible air strikes against nuclear facilities are pushing for a UN ban on such attacks, which have occurred before. Israel destroyed Iraq’s only nuclear reactor in 1981 and two years ago bombed a suspected reactor site in Syria. Can the West tolerate a nuclear Iran? Does it have the right to judge who can join the nuclear club?

Times 27th Aug 2009 more >>

Armenia

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is considering the option of co-funding the construction of a nuclear-power plant in Armenia which is estimated to cost around $4 billion, news.am reported. Armenia intends to build a new 1,200 MW nuclear power plant before the year 2016.

Energy Business Review 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Egypt

Hassan Yunis, Egyptian minister of electricity and energy, said that the Egypt government has received 17 bids of which six bids were accepted. The six bids accepted were from France, UK, Germany, Canada, South Korea and US. The bids were invited to offer service-related and technical consultancy to develop the nation’s nuclear safety standards.

Energy Business Review 26th Aug 2009 more >>

US

Of the 104 operating reactors in the USA, 54 have had their operating licences extended by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. So far this year the oldest operating nuclear plant in the USA, Oyster Creek, and Vogtle 1&2 have been granted licence renewals. The NRC is currently reviewing applications for another 18 units.

Nuclear Engineering International 27th Aug 2009 more >>

Renewables

FORTH Energy has unveiled plans to invest 1 billion building biomass power stations at four Scottish ports. The group, a joint venture between Forth Ports and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), is conducting engineering studies and consulting locals about the plan, which would see 100 megawatt stations built at Dundee, Rosyth, Grangemouth and Leith. Planning applications are expected to be submitted early next year. Biomass stations generate electricity by burning organic materials and are classed as renewable energy. Much of the fuel used comes from byproducts of the forestry industry, and having the stations near shipping facilities is more efficient than transporting it by road.

Scotsman 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Telegraph 28th Aug 2009 more >>

Posted: 28 August 2009

27 August 2009

Nuclear Industry

The UK nuclear industry’s problems can’t all be put down to the wrong choice of reactor technology; poor management and a lack of long-term political vision are also to blame.

Nuclear Engineering International 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Radiation and Health

Nuclear power plants generate tritium in the course of their operation and release it both to the atmosphere and to water bodies. Tritium releases have also occurred as a result of malfunctions such as leaks from several nuclear power plants. One such example of leaks was at Exelon’s Braidwood plant in Illinois. Many reactors have experienced leaks that have not been monitored. Further, releases of tritiated water vapor from the stacks of nuclear power plants can result in radioactive rainfall, which can contaminate surface water bodies as well as groundwater. As radioactive water, tritium can cross the placenta, posing some risk of birth defects and early pregnancy failures. Ingestion of tritiated water also increases cancer risk. In this article we will only discuss tritium in the form of radioactive water.

Science for Democratic Action August 2009 more >>

Cumbria

ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners are calling on the new Bishop of Carlisle to retract a statement backing Sellafield and nuclear power. The Rt Rev James Newcome formally succeeds Graham Dow as bishop on October 10. He recently endorsed the nuclear industry, saying: “We regard Sellafield as one of the most important institutions in the diocese. “It employs a significant number of people. “I am also very enthusiastic about nuclear power as a green option for the future.” Those comments outraged activists at Radiation-Free Lakeland and Cumbria Action on Climate Change.

Carlisle News and Star 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Wylfa

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Nuclear Installations has admitted that two fires occurred in the same location at Wylfa nuclear power plant within months of each other. He was responding to concerns expressed by the Celtic League that the second fire occurred despite recommendations designed to improve fire safety.

Agence Bretagne Presse 22nd Aug 2009 more >>

Sizewell

COMMUNITIES and councillors have demanded more details about plans for a new string of pylons that could be installed across the south Suffolk countryside. National Grid has said additional overhead power lines will be needed between Bramford, near Ipswich, and Twinstead, near Sudbury, if plans for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell are approved. Although the preferred course of the pylons has not been identified it is thought there are up to four possible routes, all traversing a series of villages and towns including Hadleigh, Boxford and Polstead. The decision on this major scheme will be made by the Government’s new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) and not by Suffolk County Council or Babergh District Council.

Suffolk Evening Star 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Sizewell Local Liaison Committee Report for the periods April to June 2009 now available.

HSE 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Dungeness

The head of the Government’s independent adviser on sustainable development (the Sustainable Development Commission), Will Day has said more consideration should be given to Dungeness Nuclear Power Station given the threat from rising sea-levels. In an interview with environmental affairs magazine The Ecologist, Mr Day said “I live in a village not very far from Dungeness power station. We defend it 24 hours a day with bulldozers against erosion from the sea. The Tyndall Centre has suggested that governments should be prepared to to adapt to 10m of sea level rises.

Romney Marsh Times 23rd Aug 2009 more >>

Sellafield

A £1.99 HOUSEHOLD cleaner may be used to clean up decommissioning material at Sellafield. The idea came after workers at the former Dounreay nuclear site revealed they were using Cillit Bang to remove radioactive plutonium stains. They say it is more effective than many industrial clean-up products. The Scottish site is in the process of being decommissioned but workers said that their usual cleaning product was slowing down the job of dismantling the plant. One of the team suggested using Cillit Bang after watching a television advert that suggested it could instantly clean grime from a 2p coin. The £1.99 cleaner was tested out and is now a playing a key role in the clean-out of the plant.

Carlisle News and Star 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Whitehaven News 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Uranium

Letter from David Lowry: Last week’s report on Urenco, the uranium enrichment company, omitted two important aspects of the use of uranium to generate electricity (“Uranium firm finds path to enrichment”). Although the link between uranium enrichment and nuclear weapons was mentioned, there was no reference to the most notorious incident of nuclear proliferation. That was the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan dubbed the “father of the atomic bomb” in Pakistan who stole the blueprints of uranium enrichment technology from Urenco’s Dutch research centre in the mid 1970s, when he worked there, and not only used them to make nuclear bombs for Pakistan but also sold the weapon blueprints to North Korea, Libya and Iran. Second, despite the story appearing on your Energy and Environment pages, no mention was made of the deleterious impact on the environment of uranium mining. It has led to significant radiological and toxic pollution in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Russia and the United States, especially in the voluminous waste tailings that can affect local water systems.

Sunday Times 23rd Aug 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

Radiation Free Lakeland is backing the Cumbria County Council Cabinet over its recommendation not to dump low level radioactive waste at Keekle Head and Lillyhall. The Cabinet wants the low level radioactive waste to be kept at Sellafield rather than sent to Keekle Head or Lillyhall. It follows the revelation that there is already low level ‘radwaste’ at Lillyhall.

Get Noticed Online 20th Aug 2009 more >>

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to put low-level radioactive waste in ordinary landfill sites are being resisted as expected both by Cumbria county and Copeland borough councils. For many years all low-level waste has gone into the designated national repository at Drigg but under a national strategy alternative disposal routes are being sought in order to free up a lot more space there. The Environment Agency is considering applications to allow very-low-level waste from Sellafield to be buried at the former Keekle Head opencast coal site and also Lillyhall, a conventional landfill which in the past has also taken very small amounts of low level radioactive material but now wishes to increase volume substantially. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is consulting on the national strategy that could see such waste sent to landfill sites almost anywhere.

Whitehaven News 26th Aug 2009 more >>

TWO local sites earmarked for radioactive waste disposal are set to get the thumbs down from Cumbria County Council even though one – at Lillyhall – has already taken small amounts.

Whitehaven News 25th Aug 2009 more >>

Companies

Costain has boosted its order book by 25% to a record £2.5bn, as it exploited growing opportunities in the water, nuclear and waste sectors.

Contract Journal 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Bulgaria

The construction of the Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria’s eponymous Danubian town could surpass EUR 10 billion, energy minister Traycho Traykov told state-controlled radio broadcaster BNR, quoting estimates by consultants Parsons and Deloitte, which put the cost at between EUR 8.2 and 9.7 billion. The final agreement with the contractor, Russia’s AtomStroyExport, has not been signed yet and no price increase has been negotiated. Traykov explained the experts have calculated a cost of EUR 0.6 per kWh. The government is due by end-September to decide whether it will go ahead with the scheme, which it claims has so far gulped down EUR 430 million in construction costs and another BGN 1 billion for building facilities at the site. Experts have mapped out several options for the project including putting it on standby, suspending it or reducing the 51% government stake in the project company in order to bring in more investors.

DNEVNIK 24th Aug 2009 more >>

Germany

Controversy over a long-term nuclear waste storage site in Germany took a new turn Tuesday, when it emerged that the former government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl had brushed over scientific objections to the project in the 1980s. A report by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper claimed that the Kohl government had “sugarcoated” an experts’ report saying that the underground Gorleben Salt Dome in Lower Saxony was not in fact suitable for long-term storage of dangerous nuclear waste. The newspaper report said that in 1983 the Kohl cabinet put pressure on the scientists advising the government on the options for nuclear-waste storage to approve the Gorleben site, and had then paraphrased their report making it appear more positive, apparently in an effort to save money.

Earth Times 25th Aug 2009 more >>

Egypt

Egypt is considering six bids from international firms to provide support and advice on setting up the country’s nuclear safety regulatory framework.

World Nuclear News 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Italy

French utility Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR) and its Italian nuclear partner Enel SpA (ENEL.MI) would be open to other companies taking stakes in new nuclear power stations they may build in Italy.

Dow Jones 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, has enlisted the support of more than 100 non-aligned nations in its push for a ban on such attacks.

Daily Express 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Posted: 27 August 2009

26 August 2009

Hinkley

THERE have been 12 leaks and four fires at Hinkley B power station since 2001, it emerged this week. The information was released by Labour MP David Kidney, a parliamentary under-secretary in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in response to a question in parliament about fires and leaks at all of Britain’s nuclear power stations.

Bridgwater Mercury 25th Aug 2009 more >>

Dounreay

Great news from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, the company charged with “delivering the safe clean-up and demolition of the UK’s former centre of fast reactor research”. Finding that their cleaning products were not terrifically efficient in removing those pesky plutonium stains, one of the 15-strong clean-up team, who wear plastic body suits and five layers of gloves to protect them from radiation while carrying their own oxygen supply (fun job, no?), recalled a TV advert in which the household cleaning spray Cillit Bang polished up a 2p coin like new. Tests on the £1.99 cleaner revealed it was remarkably effective, the company notes on its website, and it has become a key part of the £2.6bn cleanup and demolishing programme. Tomorrow: around Bikini Atoll with a bottle of vinegar and a J Cloth.

Guardian 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Edie 25th Aug 2009 more >>

BBC 24th Aug 2009 more >>

Companies

The new owners of a leading nuclear engineering firm has said it has no plans to move it out of Lancashire. Tim Fisher, executive chairman of marine services firm James Fisher and Sons, said the company, which completed a £5.25m takeover of MBFaber, wanted to “build” on its new acquisition.

Lancashire Evening Post 25th Aug 2009 more >>

BNS, a company that combines long-serving UK nuclear supply chain companies Alstec, and Strachan and Henshaw, has announced a new nuclear spares service. BNS says the service is intended to allow operators faster access to spares and a “pro-active” approach from the suppliers that allows operators to build on BNS’s experience and allows the nuclear supplier to plan.

Utility Week 25th Aug 2009 more >>

Bulgaria

The Belene nuclear power project is not vital for Bulgaria’s energy security, Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said. In an interview with bTV, he downplayed speculation that the country must bring the proposed station onstream if it is to guarantee supplies by 2020. The Belene scheme is estimated at 10 billion euro, a whopping increase on the four billion euro price tag set by the former cabinet of socialist leader Sergei Stanishev.

Sofia Echo 21st August 2009 more >>

Participation of Germany’s utility RWE in the Belene nuclear power plant is on the brink of collapse, Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) said. Quoting unidentified industry insiders, the FTD said that financing for the 4 billion euro project had not been obtained. It was expected that Bulgaria’s new government would call off the plan to build two nuclear reactors at the Belene site, the FTD said.

Sofia Echo 7th Aug 2009 more >>

US

Federal loan guarantees for nuclear power are a terrible deal for the U.S. taxpayer. Independent analysis shows that the risk of default is high, leaving taxpayers liable for potentially huge losses. To make matters worse, Congress is preparing to expand federal loan guarantees for nuclear power regardless of the risks.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 21st Aug 2009 more >>

Iran

Gordon Brown warned Iran on Tuesday it could face further international sanctions if it fails to cooperate on its disputed nuclear programme. The United States, Britain, France and Germany are expected to ask Russia and China in talks on Sept. 2 to consider a fourth round of U.N. sanctions, possibly targeting Iran’s oil sector, if Tehran does not accept negotiations on its nuclear programme.

Reuters 25th Aug 2009 more >>

Reuters 25th Aug 2009 more >>

The Obama administration’s approach to two of the world’s most intractable and dangerous problems, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear programme, is to link them together in the search for a solution to both. The new US strategy aims to use its Iran policy to gain leverage on Binyamin Netanyahu’s government. Sanctions planned against Iran’s energy sector if Tehran does not compromise on uranium enrichment by the end of next month are not only aimed at pre-empting Israeli military action; they are also a bargaining chip offered in part exchange for a substantial freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Guardian 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Iran has not expanded the number of centrifuges enriching uranium at its nuclear facilities since the end of May, diplomats have told the BBC. But they said there had been an increase in the number of centrifuges installed and that they could be brought online within weeks. It is not clear whether the slowdown is due to technical or political reasons.

BBC 25th Aug 2009 more >>

North Korea

Under increasing pressure to bargain with the international community, Pyongyang has invited Stephen Bosworth, the US special representative for North Korea, to attend talks on its nuclear programme, according to South Korean media. North Korea has long been eager for bilateral talks with the US, with officials reminding Washington this month of its interest in meetings with Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, and Bill Clinton, the former US president. But the US has sought to address the nuclear issue through multilateral talks that pull in South Korea, Japan, China and Russia. Pyongyang vowed this year never to return to these six-party talks.

FT 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Guardian 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Mongolia

A Canadian firm has apparently been pushed aside from a uranium deposit in Mongolia so that the country could set up a tax-break company with Russian interests instead.

World Nuclear News 25th Aug 2009 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

As the nation counts down to this weekend’s elections, Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, pledged to raise the issue of nuclear weapons with the United States. His comments relate to a controversial “secret” but widely acknowledged Japan-US post-war deal that allows Washington to bring nuclear weapons into the country unannounced.

Telegraph 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Trident

There is speculation that the Government may delay the £25bn renewal programme for the Trident nuclear weapons system. Aides insist that Mr Brown remains committed to retaining Britain’s deterrent.

Independent 25th Aug 2009 more >>

Renewables

Prescott told the Observer, he will be installing solar panels on his roof. But hang on a minute! We’re sure we recall seeing solar panels on the mock-turrets of Prescott’s Hull home. That was in 2005, when eight Greenpeace protesters climbed his roof to install two panels and unveil a banner reading: “Oi, 2Jags! Hit targets, not voters!”.

Guardian 25th Aug 2009 more >>

ScottishPower is to build turbines in the Sound of Islay that will generate enough electricity for the island’s 3,500 inhabitants – and its famous distilleries.

Guardian 26th Aug 2009 more >>

Posted: 26 August 2009

25 August 2009

Iran

More than 100 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries have welcomed Iran’s proposal to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) to ban attacks on nuclear installations of all countries, Iran’s envoy to the UN nuclear agency said.

Iran Daily 24th August 2009 more >>

Iran’s leaders say the country’s nuclear program exists only for the purpose of generating electricity. Western intelligence agencies say the Islamic republic aims to produce nuclear weapons and intimidate its neighbors. How close is Iran to getting the bomb? How might it be stopped? And what are the implications for the United States and the rest of the world if Iran succeeds?

npr 24th August 2009 more >>

Saudi Arabia / Iran

Construction of Saudi Arabia’s nuclear power plant with support from the U.S. is a response to Iran’s nuclear program, and therefore, the analysts believe that this will lead to political tensions in the Middle East.

Trend News Agency 25th August 2009 more >>

USA

Bipartisan political leaders Sen. Mark Udall and Sen. John McCain agreed that nuclear power must be part of any comprehensive climate-change legislation.

Denver Post 24th August 2009 more >>

Coloradoan 24th August 2009 more >>

Nuclear submarines

Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp., the U.S. Navy’s two largest shipbuilders, are reviewing their work on Virginia-class nuclear submarines after defects were found on weapons-handling systems of four vessels.

Bloomberg 24th August 2009 more >>

Canada

40,000 metric tonnes of radioactive waste is stored at sites across Canada. Now, Canada is preparing to get rid of its nuclear detritus once and for all – by burying it.

The Globe and Mail 25th August 2009 more >>

North Korea

Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. chief envoy on North Korea’s nuclear program, was invited by North Korea to visit the communist country in September, Yonhap News agency reported today, citing diplomats in Washington it didn’t identify.

Bloomberg 25th August 2009 more >>

Reuters 25th August 2009 more >>

South Asia

South Asia’s nuclear capability and its impact on the region’s strategic environment and the wider world will be examined by experts at a conference this week. The three-day conference from August 26 will take place at Cave Castle in East Yorkshire, north-east England.

Associated Press of Pakistan 25th August 2009 more >>

Pakistan

Spokesman to the President Farhatullah Babar on Tuesday said that Chinese Foreign Minister has advocated Pakistan’s right to nuclear energy to overcome its power shortage and utilize it for peaceful purposes.

Associated Press of Pakistan 25th August 2009 more >>

India

India, whose nuclear pariah status ended last year, could obtain 50 percent of its power from atomic energy by 2050, the country’s nuclear chief has said.

Times of India 24th August 2009 more >>

Japan

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) received final local approval on Tuesday to restart a second reactor at its quake-damaged nuclear plant in northwest Japan.

Reuters 25th August 2009 more >>

Vietnam

Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant is expected to launch by 2020 with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission Vice Chairman Le Van Hong has said.

Thanhnien News 25th August 2009 more >>

Posted: 25 August 2009

24 August 2009

Dounreay

Decontamination experts at the former nuclear site at Dounreay, northern Scotland, are using the Cillit Bang household cleaner to remove radioactive plutonium stains.

The Telegraph 24th August 2009 more >>

U Talk Marketing.com 24th August 2009 more >>

Russia

20,000 discarded uranium fuel rods stored in the Arctic Circle are corroding. The possible result? Detonation of a massive radioactive bomb experts say could rival the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Belfast Telegraph 24th August 2009 more >>

Bulgaria

The Bulgarian government of the GERB party is going to decide in September whether to go ahead with the construction of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant, or to kill the project.

novinite.com 23rd August 2009 more >>

Australia

A split has emerged in the Coalition over nuclear power.

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce told his party’s annual federal council meeting in Canberra at the weekend that a referendum should be held asking voters if they want nuclear power in Australia.

When asked if nuclear power was a Liberal Party policy, the Opposition’s environment spokesman Greg Hunt said it was not.

The Age 24th August 2009 more >>

Business Spectator 24th August 2009 more >>

Iran

IRAN has told world powers they must stop working against its atomic drive and instead adopt a policy of interaction with the Islamic republic to resolve the nuclear crisis.

News.com.au 24th August 2009 more >>

The Sydney Moirning Herald 24th August 2009 more >>

The Daily Telegrph (Australia) 24th August 2009 more >>

Middle East Online 24th August 2009 more >>

Iran will continue to cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, appearing to confirm Tehran had let inspectors access a reactor under construction after blocking visits for a year.

Haaretz.com 24th August 2009 more >>

USA – nuclear power

Nuclear power should be included as ‘renewable’ in the Federal energy bill according to some Southern governors.

Daily Press 24th August 2009 more >>

USA – nuclear weapons

The U.S. Department of Energy has signaled its intention to start additional production of tritium at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Sequoyah plant, near Chattanooga. Critics say, in addition to posing environmental and safety concerns, the move is undermining U.S. policy and the international nuclear nonproliferation treaty that it is a party to.

Tennessean.com 24th August 2009 more >>

Proliferation

COLOMBO: In a startling disclosure, the detained LTTE chief Kumaran Pathmanathan has told investigators that the rebels had tried to acquire nuclear weapons and know-how to be used against the Sri Lankan army.

The Economic Times 23rd August 2009 more >>

The Times of India 23rd August 2009 more >>

Nuclear technology

A resurgence of interest in new power plants is driving discovery of advanced materials.

Chemical and Engineering News 24th August 2009 more >>

Posted: 24 August 2009

23 August 2009

Australia

Australia should rethink its stance on nuclear power and then let the people decide via a referendum, Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce says.

The Age 23rd August 2009 more >>

The Australian 23rd August 2009 more >>

news.com.au 23rd August 2009 more >>

The annual meeting of the South Australian Liberal Party has supported a motion to debate the use of nuclear power technology to reduce carbon emissions.

The motion was carried by a narrow majority despite strong opposition from senior state and federal Liberal MPs.

ABC News 23rd August 2009 more >>

USA/UAE

A nuclear accord between the US and UAE was strongly endorsed by the US commerce secretary Gary Locke, who told a meeting with US business leaders that the agreement could create “tens of thousands” of job opportunities for Americans.

The National 22nd August 2009 more >>

Yucca Mountain

In the Nevada Desert, the US Federal government has spent the last 22 years hollowing out the inside of a mountain – but the whole project has been a complete waste of time. In a staggeringly expensive about turn, the Yucca Mountain project is about to be canned.

Telegraph.co.uk 22nd August 2009 more >>

US Federal stimulus funds nuclear clean-up

ARRA — known by most Americans as the Stimulus Act — was directly responsible for more than $1.6 billion in new federal funding being directed to Savannah River Site to accelerate the decades-long job of decommissioning and cleanup. Quicker cleanup made possible by stimulus funds is expected to save taxpayers about a billion dollars over what would be required for the same work a few years from now.

Augusta Chronicle 23rd August 2009 more >>

Korea

The chief nuclear negotiator of the United States arrived in Seoul on Saturday, drawing keen attention from pundits speculating on how his visit, which coincides with the visit by a high-level North Korean delegation, might move forward the stalled nuclear talks.

The Korea Times 22nd August 2009 more >>

Russia/Ecuador

Russia will help Ecuador develop a nuclear energy program for peaceful purposes. Ecuador’s government said Thursday that the two countries had established a new energy cooperation agreement. The ministry of electricity and renewable energy said the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, or Rosatom, would provide “support and assistance” to Ecuador.

examinor.com 22nd August 2009 more >>

Japan

A TROUBLING insight into ultra-conservative thinking at the top of Japan’s armed forces has emerged after the dismissal of Toshio Tamogami, the chief of the air staff. Tamogami was received by an ecstatic audience in Hiroshima on August 6 when he gave a speech demanding nuclear weapons, despite the mayor requesting that he not do so, on the anniversary of the city’s atomic bombing.

The Sunday Times 23rd August 2009 more >>

New nukes

NuScale Power claims that it can cut nuclear plant construction costs and increase safety with its Lego-like 45 megawatt modular reactors.

Fast Company 21st August 2009 more >>

Posted: 23 August 2009

22 August 2009

Sustainable Development Commission

Will Day, who took over as Chair of the Commission at the end of July and lives near to Dungeness power station in Kent, said the waste legacy of nuclear power made it unsustainable. ‘In an unpredictable climate and world, is it right to leave as a legacy waste and management issues that don’t just last five, 10, 20 years but decades and hundreds of years?’ He also said coastal erosion posed a risk to future nuclear power facilities. ‘I live in a village not very far from Dungeness power station. We defend it 24 hours a day with bulldozers against erosion from the sea. ‘Is that a cool thing to have a nuclear power station sitting at sea level with the thought of 10m of sea level rise?’

Ecologist 21st Aug 2009 more >>

Sellafield

Sellafield Limited (Cumbria, England) has announced a contract tender worth a potential £1.5 billion ($2.5 billion) to build a plant to handle onsite radioactive effluent. Figures regarding the value of the contract range from £250 million ($413 million) to £1.5 billion for what the tender calls the Highly Active Liquid Effluent Facility.

Industrial Info 21st Aug 2009 more >>

BNFL is saying a £2 million “goodbye” to West Cumbria after running Sellafield for nearly 40 years. The company which handed over the site to Nuclear Management Partners wants to leave a lasting legacy. One aim is to help young people in the area further their education for which there will be a “Live The Dream” Fund. But the first £261,000 from the BNFL pot will be spent on an oral history of Sellafield involving the capture of 100 or so voices to compile Sellafield Stories, an archive to be housed in the Whitehaven Record Office on Scotch Street.

Whitehaven News 20th Aug 2009 more >>

SELLAFIELD’S Thorp plant, which employs 1,500 people, this week began a shutdown which will last for seven months. Because of the length of the closure, Sellafield Ltd said yesterday some workers would be re-deployed “on decommissioning activities”. Operators Sellafield Ltd says the extensive maintenance and engineering work to be carried out will help secure vital reprocessing. Thorp’s shutdown was first announced only days after anti-nuclear campaigners called for it to be closed for good.

Whitehaven News 19th Aug 2009 more >>

HEAVY penalties are expected to be imposed on Sellafield’s operators tomorrow when the company appears at Carlisle Crown Court. Sellafield Ltd was remanded to Crown Court for sentence after pleading guilty at Whitehaven Court to a breach of health and safety regulations. Magistrates were told that two contractors, John Heron and John Trodden, were exposed to an internal dose of radiation while cleaning contamination on a concrete floor. The incident happened in July 2007.

Whitehaven News 19th Aug 2009 more >>

Nuclear Safety

A Government report this week revealed what, on the face of it, sounded like a catalogue of incidents at nuclear installations across the country – 81 coolant leaks and 80 fires.

Carlisle News and Star 20th Aug 2009 more >>

Cumbria

Letter from Marianne Birkby: THE Government’s new deputy minister for the North West has been well rewarded for his part in orchestrating the pro-nuclear propaganda campaign. Radiation Free Lakeland has discovered that Sellafield (no longer producing electricity) quadrupled its emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from the period 2007 to 2008. HFC’s are hundreds and can be thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Carlisle News and Star 21st Aug 2009 more >>

Iran

Diplomats the United Nations and in Western capitals were cautiously hopeful last night that a new agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran on the oversight of its nuclear facilities may signal the start of a thaw in the long-running confrontation over its enrichment programmes.

Independent 22nd Aug 2009 more >>

US

Entergy Corp’s Louisiana utilities have revived the company’s option to pursue construction of a new nuclear reactor with a regulatory filing in Louisiana made earlier this month, a spokesman said on Friday.

Interactive Investor 21st Aug 2009 more >>

China

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has received preliminary approval from National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for the construction of two reactors at Tianwan nuclear power plant in Jiangsu province, China Daily reported. The company intends to begin the construction of two reactors (number 5 and 6), of 1,000 MW capacity each at Tianwan nuclear plant from October 2010.

Energy Business Review 20th Aug 2009 more >>

Bangladesh

Authorities in Bangladesh continue to plan and prepare to introduce nuclear power, but deny they have reached terms with Russia’s Rosatom atomic energy corporation to build the reactor.

World Nuclear News 20th Aug 2009 more >>

Posted: 22 August 2009