News March 2009

31 March 2009

Nuclear Research

SCIENTISTS in ‘nuclear free’ Manchester have claimed victory in a north-south battle to control nuclear research. A group of experts led by Manchester University will take charge of Britain’s nuclear research labs, beating a rival bid from Imperial College London. The move follows attempts by the government to put a private group in charge of the country’s six research facilities. Manchester’s consortium, which includes nuclear safety firms Serco and Battelle, has now been named as the government’s preferred bidder.

Manchester

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30 March 2009

New Nukes

As a string of vans bearing the names of soil analysis companies and then a host of Portakabins turned up at the tiny hamlet of Kirksanton, questions began to be asked. When those living on the farm said they could not talk about it and overall-wearing site workers announced they had signed the Official Secrets Act, rumours ran riot. Even then few guessed the truth that was finally revealed in letters from RWE: that the German energy group was …

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29 March 2009

Nuclear Sites

POWER COMPANIES have agreed to pay at least £200m for land to build nuclear power stations in Britain, a much higher price than the government expected. The bidding went through the £200m figure last week in an eBay-style online auction being run by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The government agency owns land near three old reactor sites that are being sold to would-be developers of new stations. Such a high level of interest underlines the attractiveness of nuclear …

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28 March 2009

Three Mile Island

Inside a nuclear power plant 10 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, the first of a series of pumps supplying vital cooling water to the reactor unaccountably “tripped,” or shut down, at 36 seconds after 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979. But some leading nuclear-power critics, like Ed Lyman, say the industry still does not go far enough to insure safe reactor operations, or troubleshoot for possible breakdowns in materials in today’s aging nuclear plants.

New York Times 27th

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27 March 2009

Nuclear Sites

German power utility E.ON and smaller domestic rival RWE have placed joint bids for three British nuclear sites, German daily Handelsblatt reported on Thursday, citing company sources. Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) last week launched an auction of 999-year leases on land near three of its nuclear power stations in the UK, at Wylfa in north Wales, Oldbury in Gloucestershire and Bradwell in Essex.The NDA potentially might be able to make an announcement next week about the winning bidders, …

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26 March 2009

New Nukes

OUTRAGED homeowners have vowed to abandon their village should a nuclear power station be built nearby. An action group has now been set up to fight plans to build the plant at Layriggs Farm in Kirksanton. A private vote carried out by campaigners found that 90 per cent of villagers said they would leave Kirksanton if the nuclear power station was built. Construction would leave 75 residents living less than half-a-mile from the plant. Furious homeowners crammed into the …

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25 March 2009

New Nukes

Letter from Councillor Ralph Pryke, Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) English Forum: Don Tallis suggests that nuclear-free local authorities are “whingers”. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we are proposing is an energy policy based on energy efficiency and every type of renewable energy, not just wind. This is a policy which would be cheaper, create more jobs, and could be implemented in time to meet our climate change commitments. It would not take a decade or …

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24 March 2009

New Nukes

THE public will get the chance to air their views about a plan for a nuclear power station at Kirksanton. Daytime drop-in meetings about the proposal had been arranged for tomorrow in Kirksanton Village Hall and Wednesday in Millom Network Centre. But villagers wrote to RWE npower demanding a full public meeting. A meeting will now be held in Kirksanton Village Hall tomorrow night from 6pm to 8pm, chaired by Councillor Sue Brown, Cumbria county councillor for Seascale Whicham.

North

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23 March 2009

New Nukes

Letter: Why is Scotland (and the UK ) not following the example of France? In 1973 France found itself vulnerable to overseas oil price hikes. The French government and its engineers worked together on this problem. They decided on a radical switch to nuclear energy for energy security reasons. They were completely focused. Not only did they choose the PWR, they grouped these reactors into three sizes, 900, 1300 and 1450 MWe. There was, or is, no talk whatsoever …

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22 March 2009

Nuclear Finance

The myth of a successful nuclear power industry in France has melted into financial chaos. With it dies the corporate-hyped poster child for a “nuclear renaissance” of new reactor construction that is drowning in red ink and radioactive waste. Areva, France’s nationally-owned corporate atomic fa ade, has plunged into a deep financial crisis led by a devastating shortage of cash. Electricite de France, the French national utility, has been raided by European Union officials charging that its price-fixing may …

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