News June 2009

30 June 2009

New Nukes

German utility RWE AG (RWE.XE), which has bid jointly with E.ON AG (EOAN.XE) for sites in the U.K. with a view to building nuclear reactors there, doesn’t expect to make a final investment decision before 2011, a company executive said Monday. The final call on whether to invest in building new nuclear capacity in the U.K. could come in 2011, 2012, “or even later.”

Wall Street Journal 29th June 2009 more >>

Companies

French state-controlled nuclear group Areva’s supervisory board is due to meet later on Tuesday to consider a long-awaited plan to bridge an 11 billion euro ($15.4 billion) funding gap. Areva’s 15 board members are set to gather in the morning and the company said it would communicate on the outcome of the meeting after the Paris stock market closes at 1530 GMT. They are expected to adopt a package of financing measures that will include a capital increase, a sale of Areva’s power transmission and distribution (T&D) business, the disposal of minority interests, and debt.

Reuters 30th June 2009 more >>

Cumbria

Radiation Free Lakeland has sent an open letter to the new Bishop of Carlisle who has indicated his support for the nuclear industry. The Right Reverend James Newcome believes Cumbria is on the brink of a new dawn with regeneration schemes such as Carlisle Renaissance and Britain’s Energy Coast promising to breathe new life into the area following a period of decline.

Get Noticed Online 29th June 2009 more >>

Dungeness

The controversial decision over the expansion of Lydd Airport has been delayed for another two months by Shepway council, after a request from the airport’s lawyers. The owners of the site – renamed London Ashford Airport – want to build a new 500,000 passenger terminal building and extend the runway.Those in favour of the development say it would create much need jobs and prosperity on Romney Marsh, while those against say it would wreck the environment and pose a risk to nearby Dungeness nuclear station.

Kent News 29th June 2009 more >>

Oldbury

INVESTIGATION work is set to begin in July on land in Shepperdine that could become the home of a new nuclear power station. Energy giant E.ON, which owns the land, has said the work will include seismic studies to investigate the best location for the foundations of the new station. E.ON started to buy land in Shepperdine last year and has also bought land from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority next to the existing Oldbury power station to make room for a new nuclear plant.

Gloucestershire Gazette 29th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear and Carbon Trading

The UK boss of EDF, EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz has called for a ‘level playing field’ for nuclear power, and suggested that the UK government establish a floor on the price of carbon in the publicly-traded European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Nuclear power stations generate hardly any carbon dioxide – yet carbon trading plays a big role in the industry. Their relationship was covered in detail last year by NEI contributor Ian Jackson.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th June 2009 more >>

Europe

The EU has become the first major regional nuclear actor to provide binding legal force to the main international nuclear safety standards, namely the Safety Fundamentals established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 1 and the obligations resulting from the Convention on Nuclear Safety 2. The Directive also reinforces the independence and resources of the national competent regulatory authorities.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th June 2009 more >>

OECD

OECD countries have agreed to boost official backing for exports of renewable energy and nuclear power equipment by offering more generous terms on government-backed credits in support of export deals.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th June 2009 more >>

GNEP

The US Department of Energy is cancelling the wide-ranging environmental analysis of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) project. Its decision follows a change in government policy on commercial reprocessing. In a notice published in the Federal Register, the Department of Energy (DoE) said that it had decided to cancel the GNEP programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) because it is no longer pursuing domestic commercial reprocessing, which was the primary focus of the prior administration’s domestic GNEP program.

World Nuclear News 29th June 2009 more >>

Japan

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) has received an approval from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to restart the No. 6 reactor at Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant. The plant was shut on July 16, 2007, after a magnitude-6.8 temblor. Haruki Madarame, head of a ministry committee reviewing an assessment by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said the No. 7 reactor, which restarted on a trial basis last month, is safe for commercial operation.

Energy Business Review 29th June 2009 more >>

Canada

The Canadian province of Ontario said on Monday it is suspending a multibillion-dollar plan to build two new nuclear reactors because of concerns about the future of the favored bidder and cost overruns. Ontario said a proposal from Atomic Energy Corp Ltd, which is owned by the Canadian government, was the only one to meet its requirements for building two new reactors by 2018 at its Darlington nuclear power plant site, east of Toronto. Other proposals to build the reactors came from French group Areva SA and Westinghouse Electric Co, which is owned by Toshiba Corp and Shaw Group Inc .

Interactive Investor 29th June 2009 more >>

Bloomberg 29th June 2009 more >>

World Nuclear News 29th June 2009 more >>

Iran

Prospects for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear activities appear bleak after the reassertion of power by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

BBC 29th June 2009 more >>

China

China National Nuclear Corporation said on 25 June that the cold test phase of China’s experimental fast reactor (CEFR) has been completed on schedule, and that hot tests have begun. The cold performance tests are designed to obtain the initial operation data of the system and equipment, verify the operation compatibility of related system and the function of system. The sodium-cooled fast reactor is being constructed with some Russian assistance at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIEA), near Beijing. It is a 65MWt reactor with a 25MWe turbine generator.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th June 2009 more >>

India

India may announce two nuclear power plant locations where American companies can provide new reactors. The announcement would be made during the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to New Delhi in July 2009.

Energy Business Review 29th June 2009 more >>

Trident

The Government faces renewed pressure to re-think its decision to update its Trident nuclear deterrent in the face of growing cost pressures on the defence budget. A report by a high-level commission for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank urges ministers to consider whether the submarine-based system is the most cost-effective way of maintaining Britain’s “minimum” deterrent capability.

Southport Visiter 30th June 2009 more >>

A root and branch review of Britain’s security interests, including options to avoid renewing the Trident nuclear missile system, is urgently needed, the Institute for Public Policy Research says.

Guardian 30th June 2009 more >>

Independent 30th June 2009 more >>

Telegraph 30th June 2009 more >>

The defence budget, already under unprecedented pressure, was delivered a severe blow last night when defence officials admitted that the cost of two new aircraft carriers had soared to £5bn, over £1bn more than first estimated. The huge increase comes at a time when defence chiefs are at odds over ambitious weapons projects, with the army highly critical of expensive projects, including plans to replace the Trident nuclear missile system at a cost of more than £70bn.

Guardian 30th June 2009 more >>

Posted: 30 June 2009

29 June 2009

New Nukes

Letter from David Lowry: Your editorial rightly points out that we still have a chance to control our destinies if we make the right energy choices. E.On chief executive Paul Golby, is pushing for alternative generating options, including nuclear. Ed Miliband, despite being the secretary of state for energy and climate change, did not launch the UK climate projections, but did, on 15 April, launch another document, nominating 11 sites that would welcome new nuclear power plants. But one matter that has not been made clear is those communities that welcome new nuclear plants will also get a long-term store for the so-called spent nuclear fuel discharged from the reactor, and a treatment plant to encapsulate this highly radioactive waste. The favoured sites are all coastal – and the Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University says there could be problems at four of them: Bradwell, Hinkley, Dungeness and Sizewell.

Observer 28th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Subsidy

Dr Gerry Wolff: CONTRARY to what William Oxenham suggests in his letter of 26 June, nuclear power enjoys rather substantial subsidies. For example, it is only required to pay a small fraction of the cost of insuring fully against a Chernobyl-style accident or worse.

Scotsman 29th June 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

A PUBLIC meeting is taking place to discuss controversial proposals to allow a landfill site in King’s Cliffe to take on nuclear waste. Augean, which oversees the East Northants Resource Management Facility, wants to dispose of wastes containing small amounts of “low-level radiation” resulting from nuclear decommissioning. Some village homes are displaying protest posters in their windows and a Facebook campaign has been launched.

Rutland and Stamford Mercury 26th June 2009 more >>

Renewables

The nuclear power industry has been accused of trying to muscle in on plans to establish a global body to represent the renewable energy industry at a key meeting in Egypt tomorrow. France – a major user and exporter of nuclear technologies – is accused by critics of trying to win the top job inside the renewable organisation so it can move the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) towards being a promoter of “low-carbon” technologies – including atomic power

Guardian 29th June 2009 more >>

Europe

The German energy company Eon is calling for a common European energy policy to ensure secure, climate-friendly and economically viable power supplies. The energy sector is in challenging times. It is simultaneously required to meet carbon reduction targets while funding expensive, often untried, infrastructure such as offshore wind farms, and meeting ever-growing demands for power without an over-reliance on foreign gas. The mish-mash of subsidies, regulations and targets across Europe is a major barrier to progress, says Wulf Bernotat, Eon’s chief executive. “We need not have 27 separate systems,” he said. “We are a union and we need an EU system that functions at an EU level.” Part of the problem is to make renewables economically viable. In Europe alone, the target for 900 gigawatts (GW) of wind power by 2020 will require 300,000 new turbines and more than 1trillion (£852bn) of investment. Structural changes are also needed, in transmission grids and storage capacity, and also in political and financial structures such as the emissions trading system. The development of carbon capture and storage technology faces similar issues, requiring a region-wide policy; as do decisions on which mix of sources – renewable, gas, coal or nuclear – will best ensure a secure and affordable supply. Politically, the prognosis for a common energy policy is not good. The attempt to give the European Commission the necessary power structure was felled with the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.

Independent 29th June 2009 more >>

North Korea

A deal agreed in 2007 gave North Korea 1 million tons of fuel oil and other benefits from the US and other nations, in exchange for disabling its nuclear facilities.

BBC 28th June 2009 more >>

Trident

SNP ministers last night served notice to a future Tory government that they would try to use devolved powers to block new nuclear weapons coming to Scotland. The warning is an escalation of a row started when Conservative leader David Cameron told the SNP they should not interfere with decisions on nuclear weapons such as replacing the Trident missile system.

Scotsman 29th June 2009 more >>

Times 28th June 2009 more >>

The UK Ministry of Defence played down reports it will have to scale back its 20 billion-pound ($33 billion) plans to replace its ageing Trident submarine-based nuclear weapons system in order to cut costs.

Guardian 29th June 2009 more >>

Gordon Brown is considering ditching the new Trident nuclear deterrent to save money. As ministers search for cuts in public services to plug soaring debts, the £20billion replacement for the current nuclear arsenal could be scaled back, or the existing warheads made to last much longer.

Daily Mail 29th June 2009 more >>

Guardian 29th June 2009 more >>

Cardinal Keith O’Brien: In the debate surrounding the replacement of Trident, we have heard a great deal about the financial, diplomatic, military and political arguments relevant to retention or rejection. By contrast we have heard precious little about the moral arguments involved. Sometimes the debate around a particular topic becomes so confused and nuanced that the moral considerations of any decision can be lost in the fog.

Times 29th June 2009 more >>

Disarmament

A three-step process for the phased elimination of nuclear weapons will be unveiled by a powerful group of former policy makers in Washington tomorrow. The report by the Global Zero Commission, formed last December to urge Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev to rid the world of nuclear weapons, is released ahead of a summit in Moscow between the two leaders next weekend.

Guardian 29th June 2009 more >>

Posted: 29 June 2009

28 June 2009

UKAEA

Eight civil engineering companies, including Amec and VT Group, are understood to be in the hunt for the small state-owned nuclear power project management and consultancy business that plays a key role in decomissioning old plants. The second round of bidding is expected to take about six weeks now that the number of interested parties has been reduced from the original 20.

Sunday Telegraph 28th June 2009 more >>

Fuel Poverty

The UK is failing to hit a raft of key targets on sustainable living, according to a new report to be published this week. In its critical analysis, released on Wednesday, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) warns that progress on a number of green targets has been “undermined by stasis or even reversion”. Jonathon Porritt, outgoing SDC chair and one-time “green guru” to Tony Blair, claims sustainability plays second fiddle to the drive for consumption-driven economic growth. “The thing that stands out is the very limited progress we’ve made on reducing inequity in our society… it’s a startling indictment of this Government that more people will be living in fuel poverty at the time of next election than were living in fuel poverty in 1997,” he said.

Independent on Sunday 28th June 2009 more >>

Politics

Ian McCartney, who will abandon a £113,000-a-year role with the Fluor this week, is the only senior Labour figure to ditch a contract.

Independent on Sunday 28th June 2009 more >>

US

Congress has taken its first step toward an energy revolution, with the prospect of profound change for every household, business, industry and farm in the decades ahead. It was late Friday when the House passed legislation that would, for the first time, require limits on pollution blamed for global warming mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. Now the Senate has the chance to change the way Americans produce and use energy. The cleaner energy economy also put nuclear energy front and center. Does the U.S. build new power plants? If so, where, and where does all the waste go? Nuclear energy makes up about one-fifth of the nation’s electricity today. The House-passed bill contains provisions to make it easier to get loan guarantees and expands the nuclear industry’s access to loans for reactor construction. An Environmental Protection Agency analysis that shows modest future costs from a low-climate energy world assumes a significant expansion of nuclear energy. The Senate could add more incentives for the nuclear industry.

AP 27th June 2009 more >>

Trident

DAVID Cameron has warned Alex Salmond that Westminster must be able to decide on the shape of Britain’s nuclear deterrent and defence “without the Scottish Government trying to obstruct them”.

Scotland on Sunday 28th June 2009 more >>

Sunday Herald 28th June 2009 more >>

Ministers have secretly placed the £20 billion replacement for Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent under review in a move which could see it dramatically scaled down.

Sunday Telegraph 28th June 2009 more >>

Defence projects worth billions of pounds, such as replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent, could have to be axed to help fill a “black hole” in the defence budget, senior military and political figures will warn tomorrow.

Observer 28th June 2009 more >>

Posted: 28 June 2009

27 June 2009

Nuclear Safety

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is recruiting more than a dozen project managers to speed up its review of new reactor designs – even though they work for the companies hoping to build them. The Guardian has learnt that the government has approached companies including the US groups Bechtel and CH2M Hill, as well as the UK’s Amec, to fill the senior posts. The companies involved are eager to secure lucrative contracts to help build the UK’s first new reactors for decades. Government and industry sources admitted the secondments posed potential conflict of interest problems. It is also understood that the inspectorate has recruited technical staff from Areva, which has submitted one of the two reactor designs for approval. One nuclear source said staff from the French firm, which is partnered with EDF, would not be allowed to work on Areva’s reactor design and insisted they would be “technologic! ally neutral”.

Guardian 27th June 2009 more >>

High Level Waste

Radioactive waste from a new generation of nuclear power stations will have to be stored above ground for 100 years, the Government has been told. The claim comes as the possibility of a nuclear power station being built to replace the existing one at Wylfa on Anglesey continues to grow. Hugh Richards, of the Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance (Wana), told officials at the Department for Environment and Climate Change: “Both the promoters of new reactors and the Government have largely ignored the implications of those reactors discharging high burn-up spent fuel. New-build spent fuel, already acknowledged as twice as hot and twice as radioactive as legacy-spent fuel, will have to cool down for 100 years on each site before it can go for deep underground disposal.

Western Mail 27th June 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

PLANS have been unveiled to potentially increase the amount of radioactive waste buried at a Fylde landfill site. Material from nuclear power plants across the north is already handled at Clifton Marsh. SITA UK now wants to take more very low level radioactive waste (VLLW) and low level radioactive waste (LLW) from a “wider range of nuclear facilities”.

Blackpool Gazette 26th June 2009 more >>

Sellafield

Two hundred Sellafield contractors who took part in wildcat strikes in sympathy with sacked oil workers have returned to work.

Business Gazette 26th June 2009 more >>

France

French state-owned utility EdF has cancelled a legal procedure to force employees on strike back to work after nuclear plant workers resumed activities. But production at the five nuclear sites in France had not restarted as the reactors remained off line for maintenance and refuelling, a spokeswoman for EdF told Argus. “The reactors will return to service over the next weeks, as scheduled,”

Argus Media 26th June 2009 more >>

The French state will sell a chunk of nuclear giant Areva to Asian and Middle Eastern investors to help finance the future of a group considered a jewel in the country’s industrial crown, a report said Friday. The Financial Times said the government was preparing a capital increase for the state-controlled group and could sell a 15 percent stake to raise two billion euros (2.8 billion dollars). The move would leave the French state with 75 percent of Areva, a world leader in nuclear power with manufacturing facilities in 43 countries, down from its current 90 percent.

Yahoo 26th June 2009 more >>

Iran

Group of Eight powers on Friday deplored violence stemming from Iran’s disputed presidential election but held open the door for Tehran to take part in talks on its controversial nuclear programme.

Reuters 26th June 2009 more >>

Bruce Kent

As an 80th birthday present, there is probably nothing that Bruce Kent wants less this week than a paean in the public press. Whether as general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament during one of the movement’s dynamic and active periods in the 80s or now, as a campaigner on behalf of the wrongly imprisoned at home and abroad, Kent has been an inspiration to many and a comfort to those whose cause he has adopted.

Guardian 27th June 2009 more >>

Climate

Gordon Brown tried to break the deadlock over climate change yesterday by proposing the creation of a £60 billion international fund to help poorer countries adapt to the situation. He also raised the prospect that higher air fares could play a part in the worldwide effort to combat global warming. Among the methods for raising finance to be explored, he said, aviation and maritime emissions should be brought into the Copenhagen agreement a new concordat that leaders hope will be approved in December.

Times 27th June 2009 more >>

Posted: 27 June 2009

26 June 2009

New Nukes

Moody’s Investors Service said Thursday it may take a more negative view of power companies looking to build new nuclear-power plants. The credit-ratings firm in a report said companies developing new reactors haven’t taken steps to strengthen their balance sheets ahead of the massive projects. Although federal loan guarantees will provide low-cost financing, they only “modestly” reduce the risk plant developers face. “It has become increasingly likely that the pursuit of new nuclear power projects will lead to some near-term rating actions or outlook changes,” Moody’s said.

CNN Money 25th June 2009 more >>

British contractors Costain and Sir Robert McAlpine are expected join forces with two international construction giants in a bid to secure a significant portion of the UK’s £40 billion nuclear new build market. Construction News understands the Costain/McAlpine/Hochtief joint venture – which is looking to target upcoming works with RWE nPower and E On – is now courting German civils giant Heitkamp to join them in their bid. While Heitkamp is a seasoned player in the civils and nuclear sectors, it is also one of the contractors involved with the high profile reactor under construction in Olkiluoto, Finland – the cost of which, following a series of delays and defects, has climbed by more than 50 per cent over the past four years.

Construction News 25th June 2009 more >>

Letter from William Oxenham: STEUART Campbell (Letters, 22 June) says nuclear electricity is cheaper than wind farmed electricity. Euan MacLeod (16 June) and Peter Roche (23 June) say it is not. How are we ordinary members of the public to know who is right? Fortunately, in this case the answer is easy. At the moment wind farming is subsidised by the Renewables Obligation (RO), nuclear power is not. If, as a challenge, nuclear power were to be included in the RO, market forces would very quickly pick the winner for us. “Include nuclear in the RO!” is the challenge thrown down which of our contestants is the one who dare not pick it up?

Scotsman letters 26th June 2009 more >>

Oldbury

PEOPLE living near a site earmarked for a new nuclear power station claim they are being kept in the dark over the proposals. At a public meeting, more than 40 residents of Shepperdine and Oldbury criticised energy company E.ON for not keeping them informed about its plans to build a new power station in their village. During the last 12 months the energy giant has bought land in the Oldbury and Shepperdine area and secured a connection to the National Grid. In March Oldbury was included in the government’s shortlist of sites where new nuclear power stations could be built. However, residents claim they have been completely ignored and have received very little information from E.ON.

Gloucestershire Gazette 25th June 2009 more >>

Chapelcross

Decommissioning work at a Scottish nuclear plant remains on schedule after its 1,000th fuel rod was removed. More than 38,000 spent elements have to be taken from the Chapelcross site near Annan for reprocessing at the nearby Sellafield plant in Cumbria.

BBC 25th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Investment

New research from Ecclesiastical Investment Management on how IFAs consider nuclear power to be an ethical investment discovered that 66 per cent do not feel there is sufficient information available to make that sort of decision on behalf of their clients. The survey intended to balance IFAs’ concerns surrounding the relative safety of nuclear power, including the threats of terrorism and decommissioning risks or costs, with the UK’s need for energy and hitting the government’s carbon emission targets in an effort to reduce climate change. The results found that over half of the IFAs polled had a positive attitude towards nuclear power, with 58 per cent who felt that it was possible to be socially responsible when investing in the nuclear industry. However, over a quarter (28 per cent) still believed that investments in nuclear power cannot be considered to be socially responsible.

FT Adviser 23rd June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Skills

A GOVERNMENT minister hailed West Cumbria’s £20m skills and training centre as a positive symbol of the area’s future as he officially opened it last Friday.

West Cumberland Times and Star 25th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Accidents

The government, the suave white-coated PR consultants of the energy industry – even, heaven help us, some well-meaning “green campaigners” – would have you believe they’ve got it all sorted now. That clean, modern, up-to-date nuclear power is both necessary and safe. That there could never be another Windscale. Another Three-Mile Island. Another Chernobyl. They didn’t want us to know about, or notice, the report by the government’s chief nuclear inspector, Mike Weightman, which considered 1,767 leaks, breakdowns or other “events” over the past seven years. Of which around half were considered serious enough to have had “the potential to challenge a nuclear safety system”. At Sellafield they think they’ve finally stopped a leak that’s been going on for 50 years. Since the days it was still known as Windscale.

Suffolk Evening Star 25th June 2009 more >>

Companies

Toshiba’s $5.4bn purchase of Westinghouse, the US nuclear company, has been good for Norio Sasaki. He led that deal in 2006, and its successful completion led to a rapid ascent through the executive ranks, which culminated yesterday when he became Toshiba’s president. Yet the Westinghouse purchase still has a lot to prove. Toshiba paid a full price at a time when it was already clear that climate change was prompting a nuclear resurgence. Like nuclear power itself, meanwhile, the true costs and benefits of the investment will not be clear for years, because of the decades it takes for a reactor to go from glint in a politician’s eye to concrete-and-steel reality.

FT 25th June 2009 more >>

Europe

European Union countries set their first common standards for the construction and operation of nuclear reactors, saying the industry’s growth requires steps to ease public anxiety about the risks. The EU’s 27 governments agreed to incorporate International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines into European law, giving the bloc’s regulators a role over nuclear safety.

Irish Independent 26th June 2009 more >>

EU Business 25th June 2009 more >>

Daily Express 25th June 2009 more >>

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Exports

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said that its member countries have agreed to boost official backing for exports of renewable energy and nuclear power equipment.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Sellafield

SELLAFIELD has been hit by another wildcat walkout.

Whitehaven News 25th June 2009 more >>

TWO highly radioactive cannisters have been tracked down, weeks after they were reported missing at Sellafield. The mistake has been put down to “an accounting anomaly”.

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

THORP’s future at Sellafield is secure despite the troubled reprocessing plant having to shutdown for seven months for maintenance and engineering work. In an exclusive interview with The Whitehaven News, Sellafield’s legal owners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has given Thorp a vote of confidence to carry on for another six years and complete a multi-billion pounds order book. “Thorp’s future is not under review,” pledged Ian Hudson, the NDA’s man on the spot at Sellafield. GMB site convenor Peter Kane said: “It’s great news for the workforce.”

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

A LEAK of radioactivity which has lasted for half a century at Sellafield has finally been plugged.

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

THE boss of West Cumbrian recycling plant Studsvik has left the company after an audit showed its income had been overstated by £1 million.

Whitehaven News 24th June 2009 more >>

Netherlands

Dutch unlisted utility Delta said on Thursday it had started to apply to build a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands, which it expects will be operational in 2018. Delta outlined plans to build the 5 billion euro ($7 billion) plant near the Netherlands’ only existing nuclear power station in Borssele, as protesters outside its headquarters called for all nuclear power to be phased out in the country.

Interactive Investor 25th June 2009 more >>

Guardian 25th June 2009 more >>

Spain

As Spain’s government faces the first test of an electoral pledge to phase out nuclear power, unions and environmentalists expect it will either close an ageing plant or keep it open for another two years. The Garona plant’s current operating permit expires on July 5 and the government has the final say on whether it stays open.

Yahoo 25th June 2009 more >>

North Korea

A series of North Korean actions between April and June have amounted to a complete breakdown in non-proliferation efforts on the peninsula.

Jane’s Security 25th June 2009 more >>

Tens of thousands of North Koreans have staged a rally in central Pyongyang, as the communist country vowed to enlarge its atomic arsenal and warned of a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” in the event of a US attack.

Daily Express 25th June 2009 more >>

Guardian 25th June 2009 more >>

Germany

RWE AG Chief Executive Officer Juergen Grossmann urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to scrap a plan to close Germany’s nuclear reactors, saying an extension would protect the country from fuel price swings. “They’re a predictable part of the power-generation cost” for Germany’s industrial electricity users, Grossmann, who heads the country’s second-largest utility, said in an interview at an energy conference in Berlin yesterday. “We hope to carry on our nuclear operations in Germany.”

Bloomberg 25th June 2009 more >>

France

Detailed investigations are to be carried out at two French communities as part of a program to dispose of long-lived low-level radioactive wastes. The small communities of Auxon and Pars-l s-Chavanges put themselves forward for consideration along with 38 other areas last year. Preliminary studies completed late in 2008 by French waste authority Andra revealed that both had suitable rock formations and environments for the disposal of the wastes.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Africa

Nuclear-related cooperation agreements have been reached in Egypt and Nigeria during a tour of four African countries by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2009 more >>

Guardian 24th June 2009 more >>

Posted: 26 June 2009

25 June 2009

New Nukes

Nuclear power will be unable to meet unpredictable shortfalls in Britain’s energy needs resulting from increased reliance on renewable energy, a leading energy expert said last week. Coal fired power stations are a much better back up energy source, said principal academic research fellow at the University College London’s Energy Institute Mark Barrett. “Renewable sources of power predominantly wind power can provide the majority of our electricity needs, but if we decarbonise our transport system with electric cars, we will need not just to replace, but supplement our current output,” he told a meeting to promote the renewable “supergrid” in the House of Commons last week.

New Civil Engineer 25th June 2009 more >>

Conservative plans to scrap the body which fast track decisions on nuclear power will devastate west Cumbria, an MP has claimed. Copeland’s Jamie Reed hit out at Shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman after she told a national newspaper a Tory Government intends “within the first year” to pass laws to scrap the flagship planning body set up to speed up decisions on nuclear power, stations, roads, airports and other infrastructure. Mr Reed said the move would send potential investors in Sellafield away from the west Cumbria area and Britain in general to other countries where it is easier to do business.

Carlisle News and Star 25th June 2009 more >>

Lord Mandelson has outlined his vision for the future of the British nuclear industry in one of his first addresses in his amended role as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

The Manufacturer 24th June 2009 more >>

eGov Monitor 24th June 2009 more >>

Hinkley

A Somerset district has been reported to the Audit Commission by environmental campaigners for donating a site to train nuclear engineers.

Local Government Chronicle 25th June 2009 more >>

Sizewell

Consulting engineers Large & Associates were commissioned by a small NGO, Shutdown Sizewell, to examine why the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) – which is also frequently referred to as the “nuclear directorate” of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – chose not to prosecute Magnox Electric for an uncontrolled spillage of 180m (40,000 gallons) of radioactive pond water on 7 January 2007.

Environment Analyst 23rd June 2009 more >>

Last year hundreds of thousands of people were hit by electricity blackouts when the Sizewell B nuclear reactor and Longannet coal-fire power station unexpectedly broke down within minutes of each other. We should be under no illusions – there are dangerous weaknesses in our critical infrastructure and utilities networks that need to be addressed.

Sky News 24th June 2009 more >>

Dozens of construction workers at Sizewell B nuclear power station have today downed tools in sympathy for the sacked workers at the Lindsey oil refinery.

East Anglian Daily Press 23rd June 2009 more >>

East Anglian Daily Times 23rd June 2009 more >>

Proliferation

The world is in the midst of an unprecedented wave of negotiations aimed at saving global agreements to keep nuclear weapons in check. Few realise that this involves at least as much science as it does diplomacy. The weapons treaties involved are totally dependent on verification science: inspections, remote monitoring and other methods of ensuring that people do not build or conceal banned weapons.

New Scientist 24th June 2009 more >>

Climate

Scottish lawmakers Wednesday backed a binding goal to cut greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, edging Germany into second place in a ranking of the most ambitious developed world targets.

Reuters 25th June 2009 more >>

BBC 25th June 2009 more >>

Scotsman 25th June 2009 more >>

Herald 25th June 2009 more >>

US

Duke Energy Corp Chief Executive Jim Rogers sees Areva and Toshiba’s Westinghouse emerging as front-runners in the design of reactors for a much-anticipated U.S. nuclear revival.

Reuters 25th June 2009 more >>

Spain

Spain’s nuclear regulator on Wednesday approved a government request to renew an aging plant’s operating permit for less than the usual 10 years, just days before it faces closure.

Yahoo 24th June 2009 more >>

Posted: 25 June 2009

24 June 2009

Nuclear Costs

Letter from Pete Roche: Steuart Campbell says he doesn’t know where the 9-12p/kWh estimated cost of nuclear electricity comes from. Actually, a report from the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment, published just last week, estimated the cost at around 12 to 20 cents per kWh, which works out at 7-12p/kWh. The author, Dr Mark Cooper, says there are numerous options available to meet the need for electricity in a carbon-constrained environment, but nuclear reactors are the worst from the point of view of the consumer and society. He says that we are seeing history repeat itself in the few years since the so-called “nuclear renaissance” began there has been a fourfold increase in projected costs.

Scotsman 23rd June 2009 more >>

Letter from Neil Craig: Pete Roche has been kind enough to say where his figures for the possible future cost of nuclear power came from – the Vermont Law School. In Britain and the US, most politicians are lawyers, whereas in China most are engineers. With this law school knowing so much more engineering than the engineers (who say that at 1.7p a unit, nuclear is far less expensive) we must all be glad to be ruled by lawyers, otherwise we might now be in a recession as bad as China’s 8 per cent growth.

Scotsman 24th June 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has indicated that the Government will outsource more of its nuclear energy work to the private sector as it looks to pare back its spending.

Telegraph 24th June 2009 more >>

The government’s ambitious timetable for a new wave of nuclear reactors to begin operation from 2017 could face delays as a result of a shortage of qualified safety inspectors, according to a confidential report from the government’s chief nuclear inspector.

Business Green 22nd June 2009 more >>

Hinkley

HUNDREDS of contractors at Hinkley Point B power station near Bridgwater staged a mass walkout in protest at sackings at an oil refinery in Lincolnshire last week.

This is the West Country 23rd June 2009 more >>

Proliferation

Egypt may be the focus of Russia’s attempt to sell its nuclear wares abroad. But Egypt’s neighbours are also desperate to acquire atomic energy, with the United Arab Emirates and Jordan also looking at ways of developing the technology. Despite Western calls for non-proliferation in the Middle East with fears that Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear bomb could trigger an arms race Britain, France and the US are among the countries helping to supply the know-how and material for nuclear reactors.

Times 24th June 2009 more >>

Recent days have seen diplomats from Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait strengthening their ties with established nuclear power countries as they move towards setting up their own nuclear programs.

World Nuclear News 23rd June 2009 more >>

Nigeria

Russia and Nigeria are expected to sign a series of deals including a joint venture agreement on gas exploration with Gazprom and a nuclear energy pact during the Russian president’s visit to Nigeria on Wednesday.

Interactive Investor 23rd June 2009 more >>

China

Work to build a new reactor at Fuqing, China has been officially launched – three months ahead of schedule. Construction at various stages is now ongoing for six units at the site.

World Nuclear News 23rd June 2009 more >>

France

EDF says striking employees at nuclear reactors in France are “gradually” returning to work after getting letters threatening disciplinary measures.

Bloomberg 23rd June 2009 more >>

Poland

Poland must find a strategic investor next year if it is to bring its first nuclear power plant into operation in 2020 as planned, the official in charge of the project said on Tuesday.

Guardian 23rd June 2009 more >>

Climate

A leading UK climate scientist yesterday warned MPs that the government’s policies are “dangerously optimistic”. Professor Kevin Anderson, the director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the government’s planned carbon cuts – if followed internationally – would have a “50-50 chance” of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2C. This is the threshold that the EU defines as leading to dangerous climate change.

Guardian 24th June 2009 more >>

Nuclear War

New details of how Britain would have been governed in the event of a nuclear war from the 1960s into the 1990s have been disclosed with the publication of the secret War Book.

Guardian 23rd June 2009 more >>

Daily Mail 24th June 2009 more >>

Telegraph 23rd June 2009 more >>

Disarmament

The United States said Tuesday it has made progress in its negotiations with Russia toward forging a successor to a Cold War-era treaty to cut nuclear weapons arsenals.

Yahoo 23rd June 2009 more >>

Posted: 24 June 2009

23 June 2009

Nuclear Safety

Britain’s nuclear power plants have suffered more than 1,750 leaks, breakdowns and safety faults in the seven years to 2008. Secret papers released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that over half “had the potential to challenge systems”. Contamination hit Sizewell A, Suffolk, Dounreay, Caithness, and the largest, Sellafield, in Cumbria. Chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman’s report coincides with Sellafield saying it has finally halted a leak lasting 50 years.

Daily Mirror 22nd June 2009 more >>

SNP Energy Spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, has expressed disbelief and concern over a secret UK Government report which reveals a woeful safety record inside the UK’s nuclear power stations. The report authored by the UK Government’s chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman and obtained by the Observer newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that more than 1750 leaks, breakdowns and other “events” were logged between 2001 and 2008. The reports notes that half of these incidents were deemed “to have the potential to challenge a nuclear safety system” according to inspectors.

SNP Press Release 21st June 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Letter from Steuart Campbell: I DO not know the source of Cllr Euan McLeod’s claim that it costs 9-12 p/kWh (sic) to build a nuclear power plant (Letters, 16 June). He may call this “extremely expensive” but what matters is the actual cost of the electricity produced, allowing for amortisation of the capital cost. Various analyses show that nuclear generation is the cheapest method. In a written answer in the House of Commons on 11November, 2008, various costs (p/kWh) were given as follows: nuclear 3.8, coal 5.1, gas 5.2, onshore wind 7.2, offshore wind 9.2 (these costs are a function of the total generation output of the plant over its whole operational life). I have seen no indication that these data need revision; other estimates of the nuclear cost have ranged from 1.7-2.3 p/kWh.

Scotsman 22nd June 2009 more >>

The government’s ambitious timetable for a new wave of nuclear reactors to begin operation from 2017 could face delays as a result of a shortage of qualified safety inspectors, according to a confidential report from the government’s chief nuclear inspector.

Business Green 22nd June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Supply Chain

Lord Manelson’s speech at the Unite Nuclear Supply Chain Conference: There are a number of things that the government can do in partnership with industry to help ensure that those supply chain jobs come here. And that they power a genuine nuclear renaissance in this country – one that sees us exporting skills and technologies as well as servicing plants in the UK.

Dept for Business Innovation and Skills 22nd June 2009 more >>

THOUSANDS of skilled manufacturing jobs could be created over the next decade with Government support for energy sources such as nuclear and clean coal, the UK’s biggest union will say today. Unite is bringing together some of the major players from the power generation industry and manufacturers of energy components for a conference in London today to explore the ‘‘major opportunities’’ for job creation as well as the potential for exports. Speakers will include Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and officials from Scottish Power, RWE npower, Rolls Royce, Doosan Babcock and Sheffield Forgemasters. Unite’s national officer Dougie Rooney said: ‘‘Nuclear power, clean coal and carbon capture technology are key to meeting our future energy needs while reducing emissions.

Newcastle Evening Gazette 22nd June 2009 more >>

Sellafield

Radiation Free Lakeland have expressed concerns at what they see as the Environment Agency’s apparently biased statement in its briefing paper on Sellafield Ltd’s application to increase Sb-125 emissions. RFL believe this would lead to an inevitable increase in other emissions such as Tritium.

Get Noticed Online 22nd June 2009 more >>

Total called last night for a quick solution to the bitter dispute at its Lindsey oil refinery in Lincolnshire and blamed strikes and poor productivity by contractors’ workforces for delays and cost overruns of more than £100m. The plea by the French oil group came as more than 3,000 construction workers at at least nine petrochemical sites and power stations – including the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria – staged wildcat strikes in support of the Lindsey strikers.

FT 23rd June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Liabilities

The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced the re-appointment of Lady Balfour of Burleigh CBE as Chairman of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund (NLF). The NLF is owned by the Nuclear Trust, which was set up to oversee the management of the Fund established at the time of the privatisation of British Energy (BE) to pay for certain long-term decommissioning and other costs of BE’s nuclear plants. The Chair of the NLF also chairs the Nuclear Trust. Lady Janet Balfour was previously Chair of the NLF from 2003 to 2008 and in November 2008 was appointed Chairman of the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board.

Society of Procurement Officers 22nd June 2009 more >>

The NRC has contacted 18 nuclear power plants to clarify how the companies will address the recent economic downturn’s effects on funds to decommission reactors in the future.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd June 2009 more >>

World Nuclear News 22nd June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Terror

If it were in a position to do so, al-Qa’ida would use Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in its fight against the United States, a top leader of the group said in remarks aired yesterday.

Independent 22nd June 2009 more >>

Murder cases don’t come much more bizarre than the one that preoccupied me during the winter of 2006-07 the slow, agonising death of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.

Times 23rd June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Skills

The training academy for a new generation of nuclear engineers opened last week by energy secretary Ed Milliband.

New Civil Engineer 22nd June 2009 more >>

Japan

The Japanese government has said it will need to generate about 40 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power by 2020 if it is to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Business Green 22nd June 2009 more >>

France

As interest in nuclear power has escalated worldwide, many countries have looked to France to learn what can be achieved in a substantial, strategic national energy programme. France now derives over three quarters of its electricity from 59 nuclear reactors, thanks to a long-standing energy policy, based on a mixture of economics and energy security. The power utility EDF is also now a substantial net exporter of electricity and has plans to build new reactors both at home and overseas based on the latest technology. France also has capabilities in each area of the fuel cycle through Areva. In particular, reprocessing capacity and technology is a major export earner from these activities. The country is also a leader in advanced nuclear technology, having invested heavily in research and development.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd June 2009 more >>

Germany

Germany’s economy minister has said that nuclear power plants should operate for longer until favoured renewable technologies are ready to deliver.

World Nuclear News 22nd June 2009 more >>

North Korea

North Korea has boasted of being a “proud nuclear power” and warned the US that it will strike back if attacked.

BBC 22nd June 2009 more >>

Glasgow Evening Times 22nd June 2009 more >>

Kuwait

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde held talks Sunday with Kuwaiti officials over the Gulf state’s plan to set up a civilian nuclear project to produce power.

Middle East Online 22nd June 2009 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

More than 50 years after a 7,600lb (3,500kg) nuclear bomb was dropped in US waters following a mid-air military collision, the question of whether the missing weapon still poses a threat remains.

BBC 22nd June 2009 more >>

Renewables

In-shore wind farms could on their own supply more than 40 times all the electricity consumed in the world, according to experts.

Telegraph 23rd June 2009 more >>

Posted: 23 June 2009

22 June 2009

New Nukes

The use of nuclear power and/or renewable energy is seen as part of the response to climate change, but climate change may have a negative impact on some of these energy sources, limiting the contribution they can make. Most of the UK’s nuclear plants are on the coast, so as to get access to sea-water for cooling. In future, some of these sites may be inappropriate as locations for new plants, as has been proposed, due to the risk of flooding and storm-sea ingress.

Environmental Research Web 20th June 2009 more >>

Germany

Germany’s economy minister on Friday ruled out building new nuclear power stations but said the life of some reactors might be extended and the development of alternative technologies stepped up. The CDU/CSU conservative bloc’s has been calling for some time for a re-think, but zu Guttenberg is the first conservative minister to rule out building new plants.

Nuclear Power Daily 19th June 2009 more >>

Kuwait

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde held talks Sunday with Kuwaiti officials over the Gulf state’s plan to set up a civilian nuclear project to produce power.

Yahoo 21st June 2009 more >>

Trident

In the search for spending cuts the Trident replacement is an attractive target. Politicians already dream of scrapping it and spending the greatly exaggerated “dividend”. Meanwhile, its benefits in terms of our security and position in the world are ignored as an economic inconvenience.

Times 22nd June 2009 more >>

Coal

Climate change campaigners boarded a coal freighter to try to prevent it unloading its cargo at Kingsnorth Power Station in Kent, Greenpeace said. Scientists are telling us we can’t beat climate change if we keep burning coal, and yet Ed Miliband’s (the climate change minister) new policies would still allow E.ON to build the dirtiest new power station in Britain for 30 years.

Telegraph 22nd June 2009 more >>

Around 40 activists from across the UK gathered on Friday to help a South Lanarkshire community who have lost the fight against another open-cast pit in an area of Scotland already heavily mined.

Herald 22nd June 2009 more >>

Posted: 22 June 2009

21 June 2009

Nuclear Accidents

The scale of safety problems inside Britain’s nuclear power stations has been revealed for the first time in a secret report obtained by the Observer that shows more than 1,750 leaks, breakdowns or other “events” over the past seven years. The damning document, written by the government’s chief nuclear inspector, Mike Weightman, and released under the Freedom of Information Act, raises serious questions about the dangers of expanding the industry with a new generation of atomic plants. And it came as the managers of the UK’s biggest plant, Sellafield, admitted they had finally halted a radioactive leak many believe has been going on for 50 years. The report discloses that between 2001-08 there were 1,767 safety incidents across Britain’s nuclear plants. The HSE wants to streamline the assessment of new reactor designs by waiving certain aspects through a series of “exclusions”. A recent consultation document circulated by Kevin Allars, director of new nuclear build generic design assessment at the HSE, suggests allowing reactor designs to be agreed with certain “exclusions” and “conditions” that could be revisited later.

Observer 21st June 2009 more >>

robedwards.com (different version) 21st June 2009 more >>

UKAEA

The sale of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the Government-owned nuclear clean-up business, has attracted 13 bids. A source close to the auction said that bids were submitted last month, with the shortlisted parties expected to be informed early next month. However, the bids are thought to be around the 30m-40m mark, when adviser Greenhill had hoped for closer to 50m. The bidders include: Amec, the Ftse-100 engineer; VT Group, the defence and support services company; Serco, the aviation-to-local government services giant; Finmeccanica, the Italian conglomerate; and Babcock International, the quoted defence-to-rail services outfit.

Independent on Sunday 21st June 2009 more >>

Companies

THE BOSS of the £6 million Studsvik recycling plant at Lillyhall has left the company. It was announced that Studsvik UK president Mark Lyons, right, was leaving after an audit with “immediate effect”. A statement said that an internal audit found income from projects, mostly in 2008, to be overstated by about £1m.illion, primarily attributable to 2008. The amount will impact results for the second quarter.”

Times & Star 19th June 2009 more >>

US

The likely cost of electricity for a new generation of nuclear reactors would be 12-20 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh), considerably more expensive than the average cost of increased use of energy efficiency and renewable energies at 6 cents per kilowatt hour, according to a major new study by economist Dr. Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. The report finds that it would cost $1.9 trillion to $4.1 trillion more over the life of 100 new nuclear reactors than it would to generate the same electricity from a combination of more energy efficiency and renewables.

Vermont Law School 18th June 2009 more >>

Renewables

THE SOLWAY Firth is at the centre of 500 million proposals to build a mile-long dam between England and Scotland fitted with energy-generating turbines. The proposed tidal barrage, subject of a 60,000-100,000 feasibility study commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Northwest Regional Development Agency (NRDA), would stretch over the River Solway from Annan in Dumfries & Galloway to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria.

Sunday Herald 21st June 2009 more >>

Climate

Scientists, campaigners and celebrities are piling pressure on the Scottish government to toughen its plans to tackle climate change. First minister Alex Salmond, and other political leaders are being told by 13 top climate experts that the current aim to reduce emissions 34% by 2020 is “wholly inadequate”. The target must be raised to at least 42% to help save the planet, they say. The scientists’ dramatic plea, to be delivered tomorrow, is the latest in an extraordinary global groundswell of voices putting mounting pressure on ministers and MSPs to strengthen their climate change bill, due for its final debate in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

Sunday Herald 21st June 2009 more >>

Disarmament

Russia is ready to dramatically cut its nuclear stockpiles in a new arms pact with the United States if Washington meets Russia’s concerns over missile defence, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday.

FT 20th June 2009 more >>

Trident

The threat of a recession-driven 10 per cent cut in the defence budget next year has raised more doubts over whether Britain can afford to spend £20 billion on replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent. The Ministry of Defence’s big equipment projects are going to be re-examined in a review after the next general election, whoever is in power, with the Conservatives talking about possible 10 per cent cuts across Whitehall.

Times 20th June 2009 more >>

Posted: 21 June 2009