News May 2009

31 May 2009

Cumbria

Claims by a west Cumbrian MP that a Tory Government would not back the building of new nuclear reactors could wreck the area’s chance of getting one, according to a Conservative councillor.

Business Gazette 30th May 2009 more >>

Chapelcross

CHAPELCROSS nuclear power plant near Annan is going green. Currently being defuelled and decommissioned after ceasing production five years ago, many non-hazardous waste materials from the site have been recycled and Chapelcross site director Dave Wilson is keen to promote waste awareness. A Chapelcross Green Forum has been relaunched as a voluntary group aiming to make further environmental improvements on site, and more than 80 members of staff have taken part in four waste awareness training workshops held in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Dumfries & Galloway Standards 29th May 2009 more >>

Nuclear Electricity

Nuclear power plants provided 2601 billion kWh during 2008. This lowest figure for five years drops its contribution to world electricity supplies to an estimated about 14% a few years ahead of a new wave of nuclear build. The drop from recent years’ 16% share is due in part to the extended shutdown at Japan’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant, the largest in the world which accounts for over 2% of global nuclear capacity alone.

World Nuclear News 29th May 2009 more >>

Scotland

Scottish ministers have come under fire for flying in the face of their commitment to climate-friendly renewable energy by cutting off funding for vital research. Although wind, wave and tidal power companies in England and Wales can apply to the government’s Carbon Trust for research grants of up to £500,000, firms based in Scotland cannot. Money has run out because the Scottish government has refused to come up with the cash. The revelation is embarrassing for ministers, who have often proclaimed their ambition to make Scotland “the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy”. And it has provoked scorn from political opponents. “SNP ministers desperately try to look like they’re funding clean technologies, but the money has run out and the commitment’s simply not there,” said Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

Sunday Herald 31st May 2009 more >>

US

The Republicans want 100 new reactors as Areva admits the cost of a new reactor will be $8bn – double the price offered to Finland.

Climate Progress 30th May 2009 more >>

In a devastating pair of financial reports that might be called “The Emperor Has No Pressure Vessel,” the New York Times has blazed new light on the catastrophic economics of atomic power. The two Business Section specials cover the fiasco of new French construction at Okiluoto, Finland, and the virtual collapse of Atomic Energy of Canada. In a sane world they could comprise an epitaph for the “Peaceful Atom”. But they come simultaneous with Republican demands for up to $700 billion or more in new reactor construction. The Times’ “In Finland, Nuclear Renaissance Runs Into Trouble” by James Kanter is a “cautionary tale” about the “most powerful reactor ever built” whose modular design “was supposed to make it faster and cheaper to build” as well as safer to operate.

Huffington Post 31st May 2009 more >>

North Korea

America has warned it “will not accept” a nuclear-armed North Korea as new intelligence data showed that the secretive state was preparing a fresh missile launch, which could take place in two weeks’ time. The fresh developments increased the tension yet further yesterday in a game of diplomatic brinkmanship that seems destined to put Washington and Pyongyang on a collision course.

Observer 31st May 2009 more >>

Scotland on Sunday 31st May 2009 more >>

A British military aircraft is on its way to North Korea to aid investigations in to the strength of this week’s nuclear bomb test. The underground blast which took place on Monday has received worldwide criticism and increased international tensions with the communist country, with America confirming it would act quickly if a military threat was posed.

Times 30th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 31 May 2009

30 May 2009

New Nukes

Stephen Tindale: Everyone should support the building of new nuclear power stations, to help tackle climate change. We must stop arguing about whether energy efficiency, renewables, carbon capture and storage or nuclear are ‘better’ to cut carbon emissions. We need all of them.

Nuclear Engineering International 29th May 2009 more >>

Phil Radford talks to Bibi van der Zee about becoming the new executive director of Greenpeace USA. He says nuclear reactors are sitting ducks for terrorists.

Guardian 29th May 2009 more >>

Nuclear contracts – what form will they take?

Contract Journal 29th May 2009 more >>

Copeland MP Jamie Reed has invited Tory leader David Cameron to West Cumbria to debate his policies – starting with the nuclear issue. Mr Cameron, who is visiting Cumbria today, has repeatedly refused to back more new nuclear build and in interviews with the News & Star said the energy source was a “last resort.”

Carlisle News and Star 29th May 2009 more >>

Europe

Today, environmental organisations Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Sortir du nucl aire formally ended their participation in the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) at a meeting in Prague hosted by the Czech and Slovak governments and backed by the European Commission. The environmental groups accuse the nuclear industry-dominated body of stifling critical voices and ignoring the concerns of civil society.

FoE Press Release 29th May 2009 more >>

Wylfa

Fires within the confines of a nuclear power plant should not be described as `minor’ the Celtic League have told the United Kingdom Nuclear Safety Directorate. The League were querying the circumstances surrounding a fire a week ago at the Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey during which a nuclear reactor was shut down.

Agence Bretagne 29th May 2009 more >>

Bradwell

Anti-nuclear campaigners have expressed alarm at the possibility of three new stations at Bradwell. The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) spoke out after Spanish energy company Iberdrola announced that a site had been proposed to them for the development of new nuclear reactors.

Essex County Standard 29th May 2009 more >>

Hinkley

COFFERS at West Somerset Council are set to take a £15,000 hit just because the council has to process a £6.5m business rates refund to Hinkley Point B. The power station is owed the money because it has been generating less electricity than expected and is entitled to a refund of £6,564,000, dating back to September 2006.

This is the West Country 29th May 2009 more >>

SEDGEMOOR District Council has defended its decision to donate a chunk of public land by Bridgwater College for a new nuclear training centre. During a private part of a council meeting this month, councillors agreed to give the college the land so it can press ahead with its new energy skills centre. Anti-nuclear group Stop Hinkley claimed the land was worth around £100,000 and hit out at the decision to pass it on. Stop Hinkley spokesman Jim Duffy said: “This land is owned by council taxpayers who should be consulted if the council wants to give it away for nothing.

This is the West Country 29th May 2009 more >>

Radhealth

Fifty years ago, on 28 May 1959, the World Health Organisation’s assembly voted into force an obscure but important agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency – the United Nations “Atoms for Peace” organisation, founded just two years before in 1957. The effect of this agreement has been to give the IAEA an effective veto on any actions by the WHO that relate in any way to nuclear power – and so prevent the WHO from playing its proper role in investigating and warning of the dangers of nuclear radiation on human health.

Guardian 28th May 2009 more >>

National Nuclear Laboratory

A former Rolls-Royce director has been appointed as chairman for the National Nuclear Laboratory. Richard Maudslay began the three-year role on 18 May, taking over from acting chairman Richard Ramsay. The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has been owned by the UK government since April 2009, following the winding down of British Nuclear Fuels.

New Energy Focus 29th May 2009 more >>

US

Is the nuclear renaissance fizzling? Nuclear power may be making a comeback, but long-standing problems with the technology still could lead to canceled orders and renewed public opposition. One problem is what to do with the highly dangerous waste produced by reactors. Currently waste is stored above ground in pools of water or in vast dry casks, but neither of those methods is regarded as adequate over the long term.

New York Times 29th May 2009 more >>

North Korea

Letter from David Lowry: North Korea’s actions are certainly against the progressive security norms being promoted by the President, but such a test, although abhorrent, is not illegal, nor did North Korea illegally leave the NPT, as under treaty Article X this is permitted.

Times 29th May 2009 more >>

The United States will not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said. In a speech to an Asian defence conference in Singapore, Mr Gates also said the threat from North Korea, which this week detonated a nuclear device and launched a series of missiles, could trigger an arms race in Asia.

ITN 30th May 2009 more >>

Interactive Investor 30th May 2009 more >>

BBC 30th May 2009 more >>

Listeners to a national radio station were shocked to learn that the normally peaceful county of North Yorkshire had launched a programme of illegal underground nuclear tests. A newsreader made the comical error at the start of a news bulletin on Radio Five Live.

Yorkshire Post 29th May 2009 more >>

North Korea test-fired another missile yesterday and warned it would act in ‘self-defence’ if provoked by the UN Security Council. The UN is considering tough sanctions over the communist country’s nuclear test on Monday. But the North Korean government warned: ‘Any hostile act against our peaceful vessels, including search and seizure, will be considered an unpardonable infringement on our sovereignty.

Daily Mail 30th May 2009 more >>

China provides as much as 90% of the North’s energy and 40% of its food. Like Russia, it has used its security council veto against attempts to isolate Pyongyang. Without its support, its poor neighbour would struggle to survive. But now it appears that the North may be exhausting Beijing’s patience. This week’s nuclear and missile tests, last month’s rocket launch, increasing threats and the suspected restarting of the Yongbyon nuclear plant have reignited debate about how best to deal with a troublesome neighbour.

Guardian 30th May 2009 more >>

Czech Republic & Slovakia

Slovakia and the Czech Republic signed agreements on Friday to build a nuclear reactor in Slovakia at an estimated cost of 4-6 billion euros ($5.6-$8.4 billion) to increase the country’s energy independence.

Yahoo 29th May 2009 more >>

Belarus

Belarus has asked Russia for $9 billion loan for the construction of a nuclear power plant, Russian finance minister, Alexei Leonidovich Kudrin said. Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation said that Belarus and Russia would sign an agreement to construct the nuclear plant in the third quarter of 2009. Kudrin reported that Belarus had turned down a new loan tranche from Russia worth $500 million, insisting that it be denominated in dollars rather than Russian rubles.

Energy Business Review 28th May 2009 more >>

India

Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse) will start discussions with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) with an objective to reach agreement on the deployment of Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants in India.

Energy Business Review 28th May 2009 more >>

China

AREVA S.A. (AREVA) is expected to commence work on Taishan nuclear power plant in August 2009. The plant which is located in the southern province of Guangdong, China, is being built with third generation technology. The first reactor is planned to be completed by 2013 and the second is expected to be finished in mid-2014.

Energy Business Review 28th May 2009 more >>

Coal

SCOTLAND is leading the way towards a new energy era in which power stations are fitted with groundbreaking technology to capture greenhouse gas emissions, it was claimed yesterday. The switch-on of a 1 million prototype to capture carbon dioxide emissions from Longannet Power Station in Fife was compared yesterday with the hunt for oil in the North Sea. The 1MW prototype unit switched on yesterday at Longannet, Europe’s third-largest coal-fired power station, is a small-scale replica of a full-sized carbon capture plant. However, it only captures before releasing it again rather than storing it and is tiny compared with the technology needed for the full 2,300MW plant. ScottishPower hopes the test unit will help experts move towards building a 330MW demonstration plant at Longannet, which would incorporate capture of , transportation to the North Sea and storage in disused gas plants or “saline aquifers” gaps in the rocks in the seabed.

Scotsman 30th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 30 May 2009

29 May 2009

THORP

Sellafield’s Thorp reprocessing plant will not be shut down, staff have been told. There had been fears about its future after the failure of an essential 50-year-old piece of equipment. Evaporator B had to shut down after an increase in radioactivity levels. But bosses said that it had been fixed and would be returned to service by the end of the week.

Carlisle News and Star 28th May 2009 more >>

National Nuclear Laboratory

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Mike O’Brien, today announced the appointment of Richard Maudslay CBE as Chairman of the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).

Wired.gov 28th May 2009 more >>

Finland

The massive power plant under construction on muddy terrain on this Finnish island was supposed to be the showpiece of a nuclear renaissance. The most powerful reactor ever built, its modular design was supposed to make it faster and cheaper to build. And it was supposed to be safer, too. But things have not gone as planned. After four years of construction and thousands of defects and deficiencies, the reactor’s 3 billion euro price tag, about $4.2 billion, has climbed at least 50 percent. And while the reactor was originally meant to be completed this summer, Areva, the French company building it, and the utility that ordered it, are no longer willing to make certain predictions on when it will go online.

New York Times 28th May 2009 more >>

Canada

Canada said on Thursday it wanted major international firms to buy some or all of the nuclear reactor business run by government-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt told a news conference she accepted the conclusions of a official review that said AECL could not thrive in its current form. The review said the alliance would run the commercial activities of AECL’s Candu nuclear reactor division, which it said was too small to survive by itself. Ottawa could retain either a majority or a minority stake, it added.

Interactive Investor 28th May 2009 more >>

World Nuclear News 28th May 2009 more >>

North Korea

Moves to intercept shipping bound for Pyongyang are back under discussion after North Korea tested a second nuclear device on 25 May. The UN security council is reportedly considering adding to the sanctions agreed after the regime detonated its first nuclear weapon in October 2006. One of the options may be to authorise military interdictions under the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a loose “coalition of the willing” created in 2003 during the Bush administration.

Guardian 28th May 2009 more >>

THE news that North Korea had carried out a second underground nuclear test, on May 25th, nearly three years after what it claimed was its first, and that it created a bigger bang this time, drew swift international condemnation. The United Nations Security Council speedily condemned the nuclear effrontery. Even China, a supposed friend of the rogue regime, piled in. Unabashed, the forces of Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s oddball dictator, subsequently fired off a handful of short-range missiles for good measure.

Economist 28th May 2009 more >>

HE HAS been coaxed, cajoled, censured and sanctioned. Yet whenever it suits North Korea’s boss, Kim Jong Il, he spews out new threats. For years he has managed to extort cash, oil and other goodies for then quietening down, only to behave even more threateningly next time. Can nothing be done to make this serial rule-breaker blink?

Economist 28th May 2009 more >>

A draft resolution being circulated among key Security Council members strongly condemns North Korea’s nuclear test and urges U.N. members to begin enforcing previously approved sanctions against Pyongyang.

Guardian 28th May 2009 more >>

NORTH Korea is ready to sell nuclear bombs to al-Qaeda, experts warned yesterday. As the crisis over the rogue regime’s nuclear bomb explosion deepened, former diplomats said there was a clear and present danger from the Pyongyang government. Graham Allison, former US defence minister under Bill Clinton, said the international community regularly underestimated North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s willingness to do the unexpected. Sanctions Allinson, now an expert on international affairs at Harvard University, said: “Could this guy believe he could sell a nuclear bomb to Osama bin Laden? Why not?” The warning came as North Korea said it was ready for war over the threat of sanctions from the United Nations.

Daily Record 27th May 2009 more >>

Climate

World carbon emissions must start to decline in only six years if humanity is to stand a chance of preventing dangerous global warming, a group of 20 Nobel prize-winning scientists, economists and writers declared today. The United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in December must agree to halve greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 to stop temperatures from increasing by more than 2C (3.6F), the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium concluded.

Times 28th May 2009 more >>

Renewables

United Utilities (UU), the UK’s largest listed water company supplying seven million people in the North West of England, is planning to sell surplus gas to the National Grid. United is a big user of energy, mainly for pumping, and consumes about 0.3 per cent of the country’s electricity. To help to cut carbon emissions and fuel costs, UU is stepping up investment in combined heat and power (CHP) engines. They use the methane gas by-product of wastewater treatment to generate electricity to power sewage works. Philip Green, chief executive, said that he hoped the company would shortly be in a position to make an announcement. “We are already a leader in this area and are looking at whether we can put gas back into the National Grid from our processing plants as well as using it ourselves,” he said.

Times 29th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 29 May 2009

28 May 2009

THORP

SELLAFIELD has been given the all-clear to carry on normal operations, lifting the threat of Thorp having to shut down indefinitely after all. The Thorp site’s 1,500 workers were being told as The Whitehaven News went to press that there is no danger of any plant closures following the failure of a vital but 50-year-old piece of equipment. Evaporator B had to shut down after giving rise to an increase in radioactivity levels. But the News was told yesterday that it had been fixed and would be returned to service by the end of the week.

Whitehaven News 27th May 2009 more >>

Sellafield

SELLAFIELD LTD is being taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive for alleged breaches of health and safety law.

Whitehaven News 27th May 2009 more >>

Companies

AROUND 150 delegates from potential and existing suppliers to the nuclear industry are expected to attend the first NOF Energy presentation on the sector next month. Chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, Keith Parker, will join Dan Mistry of the British Atomic Energy Association, in explaining how firms can best exploit opportunities created by the anticipated new-build programme. NOF Energy chief executive George Rafferty said there was a huge appetite among firms on Teesside to take advantage of the promised investment. NOF has already received financial backing from One North East to extend its work in the sector. A dedicated nuclear team and additional resources should be in place by the autumn.

Newcastle Evening Gazette 27th May 2009 more >>

Energy minister Mike O’Brien said the plans for nuclear new build offered “great potential” for Westinghouse, the owners of Springfields Nuclear Fuels Ltd fuel-making factory in Salwick, near Preston, which is expects to have its AP1000 reactor approved by regulators to be part of the new-build programme.

Lancashire Evening Post 26th May 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, chaired a debate about the pros and cons of using nuclear energy in the UK. The discussion between EDF’s director of planning and external affairs, Richard Mayson, and Liberal Democrat environmental spokesman Simon Hughes MP, was held at Carshalton High School for Girls on Thursday.

Sutton Guardian 27th May 2009 more >>

Oldbury

The U.K.’s Oldbury nuclear power station is back to full capacity after five years of reduced output, the plant’s operator Magnox North said Wednesday. Oldbury’s Reactor 2 returned from its statutory maintenance outage on May 22 and was synchronized with the national grid – five years since the last time both reactors operated together. The 435-megawatt Oldbury nuclear power station in western England was scheduled to cease generating in December 2008, but has got the go-ahead to continue generating electricity.

Dow Jones 27th May 2009 more >>

Cumbria

An alternative visitors guide has been handed out in Coniston, showing both the existing and potential effects nuclear power could have on the Lake District. The guide’s based on the unmistakable style of Wainwright’s guidebooks, but instead of only landmarks being highlighed, so are nuclear sites – and areas that have, or could be, affected by nuclear power. It’s a joint project between “Radiation Free Lakeland”, “South Lakes Action on Climate Change”, and local Friends of the Earth groups.

The Bay 27th May 2009 more >>

Proliferation

New North Korean threats, after its second nuclear bomb test: that should focus minds in the contest to become the next director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We should hope that the next head of the United Nations’s nuclear watchdog takes a more urgent and combative stand on proliferation than has the incumbent for too many years, Mohamed ElBaradei. Start with the positive (if only because there isn’t much of it). ElBaradei, an Egyptian, who steps down in November after three four-year terms, has argued for years for what may be the best way, in theory, of allowing countries civil nuclear power but not weapons. The notion is that they should pool uranium enrichment, which produces fuel for power stations but, with little change, can make material for weapons. Unfortunately, he let his advocacy for this admirable but politically remote idea become entangled with the most urgent problems on his desk: North Korea, which quit the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003, throwing out IAEA inspectors, and the Iranian nuclear programme, exposed by dissidents the year before. He was slow in recognising the extent of Iranian obstruction of agency inspectors, or in reflecting this in the tone of the IAEA’s reports.

Times 28th May 2009 more >>

Nuclear Finance

Banking on the increasing popularity of nuclear energy as an alternative to carbon-based power, KDB Asset Management plans to launch a fund to invest globally in nuclear power companies. The asset management arm of state-owned Korea Development Bank sees firms producing uranium and utilities that operate nuclear power stations as good investments for the long term as governments seek viable and carbon-free alternatives to traditional sources of energy.

Reuters 27th May 2009 more >>

EDF plans to sell bonds worth around 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to the public to invest in its domestic nuclear reactors and power network. “France needs to renovate its production assets, renovate its network and build renewable power stations,” he said. “We are heading into 10 to 15 years of investment in the electricity sector. “EDF is investing and investing massively.”

Bloomberg 27th May 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

PLANNING officers have no problems with drilling which could pave the way for a low level radioactive waste site at Keekle Head. Yesterday, they were recommending councillors on Copeland’s planning panel support a French company’s application to drill 24 boreholes on the former opencast coal site. SITA UK want to find out whether Keekle Head is suitable for disposing of the very lowest levels of radioactive waste materials. These can have been generated at Sellafield and other nuclear installations along with hospitals and research facilities in various parts of the country.

Whitehaven News 27th May 2009 more >>

North Korea

North Korea threatened yesterday to attack the South if Seoul intercepted any of Pyongyang’s ships to check for weapons shipments – further raising tensions on the peninsula after a nuclear warhead test on Monday. The communist North also said it regarded the 1953 armistice of the Korean war as void, meaning it could no longer guarantee the safety of US and South Korean vessels in the Yellow Sea, scene of battles in 1999 and 2002, with dozens of casualties.

FT 28th May 2009 more >>

Daily Mail 28th May 2009 more >>

Guardian 28th May 2009 more >>

Telegraph 28th May 2009 more >>

Despite the rhetorical barrage from the North it was business as usual in Seoul, the South Korean capital, yesterday. South Koreans have grown almost blas after decades of bellicosity from their communist neighbour, and there was no sign of a human exodus, panic buying or angry demonstrations.

Times 28th May 2009 more >>

Russia is to take unspecified security measures to counter the growing nuclear threat of nuclear conflict on the Korean peninsula.

Telegraph 27th May 2009 more >>

US spy satellites have detected signs that North Korea has restarted its nuclear plant, it was reported today. Reports claimed the satellites detected steam coming from a reprocessing facility at North Korea’s main Yongbyon nuclear plant.

Glasgow Evening Times 27th May 2009 more >>

Guardian 27th May 2009 more >>

Obama has set out a positive agenda on the nuclear test ban treaty, arms cuts and control of fissile material. But if, instead of slapping more sanctions on Pyongyang, the US were to push for far broader negotiations aimed at achieving the long-overdue reunification of Korea, its denuclearisation and the withdrawal of all foreign troops – now that would be a historic contribution to peace.

Guardian 28th May 2009 more >>

China

China is planning to have 104 nuclear reactors in next 20 years, similar to the current level of US, Zhang Guobao, chairman National Energy Administration said. Presently, China has 11 working reactors with 9.1 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, representing around 2% of the country’s total power output in 2008. The government of China is on the edge to increase its target for nuclear power capacity to 75 GW by 2020 from 40 GW, according to sources.

Energy Business Review 26th May 2009 more >>

Russia

Russian Government will allocate almost $4.5 billion in 2009 for the support of the nuclear industry in the country, Sergey Sobyanin, vice premier of Russia-head of the staff of Russian government said. According to Sobyanin, the Russian government will allocate $2.5 billion for the development of the nuclear industry and $2 billion more for the additional capitalization of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation.

Computer Business Review 26th May 2009 more >>

Ukraine

Libya has signed a cooperation agreement with Ukraine on peaceful use of civilian nuclear energy. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said the former Soviet republic needed to diversify its energy sources to reduce its dependence on energy from Russia. Currently, Ukraine has four nuclear power stations supplying the country with around half of its electricity needs.

Computer Business Review 26th May 2009 more >>

Iran

David Milliband the foreign secretary, played down hopes that Iran’s forthcoming presidential election might help resolve the country’s dispute with the west over its nuclear programme, saying the presidency was secondary to the theocratic leadership.

Guardian 28th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 28 May 2009

27 May 2009

New Nukes

A new generation of nuclear reactors will not be built without support from the State says EDF.

Contract Journal 26th May 2009 more >>

Bad Idea 26th May 2009 more >>

Building 26th May 2009 more >>

The nomination of three sites for potential new nuclear power stations in Cumbria is a huge boost for the area, according to the county’s top regeneration chief.

Business Gazette 26th May 2009 more >>

US

Russia signed a landmark deal to supply nuclear fuel directly to U.S. companies on Tuesday, setting itself up to control 20 percent of the U.S. uranium market and extending its global reach in the nuclear sector.

Interactive Investor 26th May 2009 more >>

North Korea

North Korea has restarted its plutonium reactor, the factory producing fuel for nuclear warheads including the one which it tested on Monday.

Times 27th May 2009 more >>

North Korea is reported to have restarted its nuclear plant and fired another short-range missile in defiance of warnings from the United States that it would “pay the price” for its actions.

Telegraph 27th May 2009 more >>

NORTH Korea will “pay a price” for its nuclear missiles tests, the American ambassador to the UN warned last night.

Express 27th May 2009 more >>

The North Korean nuclear problem is China’s to solve. No other country has anything like its influence. South Korea might feel itself more directly affected by the threat of a nuclear weapon from the North, but China’s interests throughout the region depend on a resolution.

Times 27th May 2009 more >>

Even if the Stalinist fantasist of Pyongyang did not dare to arm and fire his half-dozen missiles, he could still threaten international peace. Monday’s nuclear test was proof positive that North Korea leads the proliferating pack of authentic rogues. It has, it appears, outstripped Iran technologically and now possesses a commodity for which some, and there are always some, will pay. It has also set an example. President Obama’s hopes for nuclear disarmament are revealed as fragile indeed. With one test, the North Koreans have shown that the battle to contain hellish devices is being lost.

Herald 27th May 2009 more >>

North Korea’s nuclear test makes it no likelier that the regime will actually launch a nuclear attack, but it adds a frightening dimension to another threat: the defiant North as a facilitator of the atomic ambitions of others, potentially even terrorists.

Herald 27th May 2009 more >>

Far from being a debate about one country’s regional ambitions, the key issue concerning Mr Kim’s nuclear programme is the risk of increased proliferation. It was not so long ago that his regime was helping Syria to build a clandestine reactor. Although the site was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 2007, North Korea has maintained close links with Damascus, and is co-operating on the development of missile systems.

Telegraph 27th May 2009 more >>

Why have the actions of a country five times the size of Wales with a population a third the size of the UK created such international panic? Dr John Swenson-Wright, senior lecturer in East Asia Studies at Cambridge University, explains.

Mirror 26th May 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday rejected a Western proposal for it to “freeze” its nuclear work in return for no new sanctions and ruled out any talks with major powers on the issue.

Reuters 26th May 2009 more >>

UAE

EDF SA will join the Areva SA, Total SA, GDF Suez SA partnership that’s seeking to win a contract to build civil nuclear-energy plants and offer operation services in the United Arab Emirates.

Bloomberg 26th May 2009 more >>

South Africa

South Africa, plagued by chronic power shortages, has set 2018 as an indicative date for when it wants its next nuclear plant to be operational, utility Eskom said on Tuesday. State-owned Eskom, which operates Africa’s sole nuclear power plant with a total capacity of 1,800 MW, cancelled plans to build a new facility at the end of last year, citing financial constraints.

Guardian 26th May 2009 more >>

G8

Energy ministers of leading industrialized countries met in Rome, Italy, at the weekend. In a statement, they announced that they would increasingly emphasize nuclear energy and the creation of a common low-carbon technology platform as solutions to climate change and supply insecurity.

World Nuclear News 26th May 2009 more >>

Renewables

Solar power plants in deserts using mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays have the potential to generate up to a quarter of the world’s electricity by 2050, a report by pro-solar groups said on Monday. The study, by environmental group Greenpeace, the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA) and the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) SolarPACES group, said huge investments would also create jobs and fight climate change. “Solar power plants are the next big thing in renewable energy,” said Sven Teske of Greenpeace International and co-author of the report. The technology is suited to hot, cloudless regions such as the Sahara or Middle East.

Reuters 25th May 2009 more >>

China is to throw its economic might behind a national solar plan that could result in it becoming one of the world’s biggest harvesters of the sun’s energy. The government body responsible for overseeing energy policy has finalised a proposal for billions of pounds of incentives for solar farms and rooftop panels, which will come from the government’s £400bn economic stimulus fund. China is the world’s leading manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) panels, which turn sunlight into electricity. But 95% of these are exported. While solar thermal power, in which sunlight heats water, is in widespread use, the central government and the five major utilities have deemed PV power too expensive, particularly compared with coal, which generates electricity for between an eighth and a tenth of the cost. But the global economic crisis and increasing concerns about climate change and energy security have prompted a change in attitudes. By 2020, the government is committed to raising the share of renewable energy (excluding hydroelectric power) in the energy mix to 6%, from the current 1.5%.

Guardian 27th May 2009 more >>

Environmentalists are already describing the solar stimulus plan as a milestone for renewables

Guardian 27th May 2009 more >>

Europe should scrap its support for wind energy as soon as possible to focus on far more efficient emerging forms of clean power generation including solar thermal energy, one of the world’s most distinguished scientists said yesterday. Professor Jack Steinberger, a Nobel prize-winning director of the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, said that wind represented an illusory technology a cul-de-sac that would prove uneconomic and a waste of resources in the battle against climate change.

Times 27th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 27 May 2009

26 May 2009

Nuclear Subsidy

Nuclear power plants can only be built in the U.K. with government support, EDF SA’s U.K. head Vincent de Rivaz said, the FT reported. A “level playing field” has to be created to enable the nuclear industry to compete with other low-emission electricity sources such as wind power, the newspaper said, citing an interview with de Rivaz. The government has recently pledged additional subsidies for offshore wind power and support for “clean coal” power plants but has resisted providing similar funding for nuclear power.

Bloomberg 26th May 2009 more >>

FT 26th May 2009 more >>

His comments call into question the government’s plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations, which ministers have insisted can be delivered without any additional subsidy. Mr de Rivaz suggested the best way to support the nuclear industry would be to make sure penalties paid by rival fossil fuel power generators under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme were kept high enough to make nuclear investment attractive. He said such a move would be necessary before companies were confident enough to invest tens of billions of pounds in new reactors. He added that the government needed to put a floor under the price of carbon permits in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme.

FT 26th May 2009 more >>

In recent months the government seemed to be making remarkable progress towards its goal of building a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain. Today’s warning from EDF about the need for more financial support for nuclear power shows that there is still a long way to go. Since Ed Miliband took charge at the newly created Department of Energy and Climate Change last October, his two most significant decisions have been to increase the subsidies paid to new offshore wind farms under the Renewables Obligation system, and to promise a new subsidy for pilot “clean coal” power stations that can capture and store their carbon dioxide emissions. Mr Miliband is now under pressure to say whether he will offer the same kind of support to nuclear power. Mr Miliband often talks about the need for a stronger government role in energy policy, not to replace the competitive market but to shape it to meet strategic policy objectives. With the government’s support for nuclear as firm as ever, but the market’s ability to deliver now called into question, he is facing the stiffest test of what that principle means in practice.

FT 26th May 2009 more >>

The next generation of nuclear power stations will not be built unless the Government steps in with financial assistance, the head of the UK’s biggest nuclear generator has warned. Energy companies fear generous subsidies for wind farms will make investing in new reactors risky and might not bother. Vincent de Rivaz, UK boss of power giant EDF Energy, said in a newspaper interview that a ‘level playing field’ had to be created to make building the power stations attractive.

Daily Mail 26th May 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Spanish power utility Iberdrola will feature in the UK’s plans to develop its nuclear power and expects news on a possible reactor site shortly, Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan said on Monday. Iberdrola expects another European company to join its nuclear consortium with France’s GDF Suez and Scottish & Southern Energy, which has received a reactor site offer from the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, or NDA.”They (the NDA) have proposed us a site and we hope to have further news about this in the next few days,” Galan told reporters at Spain’s senate.”We will probably be joined by another European company and become in some form or other the third nuclear power group operating in the United Kingdom,” he said. Swedish utility Vattenfall is said to be interested in participating in the development of Britain’s nuclear energy industry.

Interactive Investor 25th May 2009 more >>

Reuters 26th May 2009 more >>

Industry talk about a nuclear renaissance is more than just wishful thinking. Concerns about energy security and climate change have transformed the debate about nuclear power in the past decade. The spectre of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, which put the nuclear industry into suspended animation for two decades, has been dispelled, and all over the world interest in nuclear power is waking up. The World Nuclear Association, the industry group, estimates that worldwide 388 reactors are planned or proposed; almost as many as the 436 now in operation. But of the 45 reactors under construction worldwide, according to the WNA, 12 more than a quarter are in China. A further eight are in Russia. Stephen Thomas, professor of energy studies at the University of Greenwich, argues: The two main French entities in nuclear power Areva and EDF originally were, and remain today, largely branches of the French government. They are directed as a matter of state policy and have benefited from extremely favourable government financing and credit assurances. To duplicate this experience in the US, you would essentially have to nationalise your electric utilities and have all new power plant siting decisions emanate from the White House.

FT 26th May 2009 more >>

Pakistan

The National Economic Council (NEC) is expected to approve PKR3.55 billion for the construction of two new nuclear power plants at Chashma in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of next budget (2009-10). Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission had sought allocation of PKR23.9 billion.

Energy Business Review 24th May 2009 more >>

UAE

France prepared on Monday to open its first military base in the Gulf Arab region as it eyed multi-billion-dollar deals to supply the United Arab Emirates with nuclear power plants and advanced military aircraft. French officials said the naval base in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, the world’s third-largest petroleum exporter, would deepen ties to the Gulf Arab state and fortify efforts to battle piracy and defend trade.

Interactive Investor 25th May 2009 more >>

North Korea

Asian stocks foundered on Tuesday as the United Nations condemned North Korea’s nuclear test and investors awaited more clues about the health of the world economy.

Telegraph 26th May 2009 more >>

North Korea is preparing to test-fire short-range missiles in the Yellow Sea, one day after it staged a nuclear test, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency has said.

Telegraph 26th May 2009 more >>

Barack Obama, the US president, has promised to defend Japan and South Korea from any attack by North Korean following Monday’s test of a second nuclear device by the renegade Communist state.

Telegraph 26th May 2009 more >>

The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test, saying it was a “clear violation” of a resolution passed in 2006 after Pyongyang’s first atomic test. A statement from the council said: “The members of the Security Council have decided to start work immediately on a Security Council resolution on this matter.”

ITN 26th May 2009 more >>

Telegraph 26th May 2009 more >>

Times 26th May 2009 more >>

The UK press is united in horror at the underground nuclear tests carried out by North Korea.

BBC 26th May 2009 more >>

The Korean Central News Agency released the following report on Monday in connection with one more successful underground nuclear test in the DPRK.

Independent 25th May 2009 more >>

Britain has condemned a nuclear weapon test carried out in secretive North Korea, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned will undermine the prospects for peace in the region.

Ananova 25th May 2009 more >>

Kim sees nuclear weapons as a way to guarantee his family’s future. Other states acquire atomic bombs to protect their territory from invaders. The North Korean regime sees the bomb as the guarantor of its rule over a long- suffering people. He is so megalomaniacal that he would be prepared to destroy his own nation before he was overthrown. North Korea has evolved a perverted kind of dynastic Communism, which survived the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991. The founder of the dynasty and ‘Great Leader’, Kim Il Sung, passed on the communist crown to his son, Kim Jong-il, in 1994. Now as his own mortality is evident, Kim Jong il is planning to anoint his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, as North Korea’s next beloved ruler.

Daily Mail 26th May 2009 more >>

North Korea pumped up nuclear tensions in Asia yesterday with its second atomic weapons test, earning the isolated Stalinist state the wrath of neighbours, who said Pyongyang was playing a dangerous game and seriously undermining peace and stability in the region.

Independent 25th May 2009 more >>

Daily Express 26th May 2009 more >>

Guardian 26th May 2009 more >>

Renewables

Prospects for renewable energy have never looked better, even in the face of recession. But the new technologies are growing so fast they are beginning to threaten the old. Some defenders of conventional energy have started to argue against renewables, citing fears about growth. In 2008, for the first time, both the European Union and the US added more capacity from renewables than from fossil-fuel and nuclear sources. Global solar PV production rose 85 per cent to 7.9 gigawatts. Such growth is possible, continuing even in recession, because some 73 countries have set renewable power generation targets, and at least 64 of them are attempting to hit the targets. Those reluctant to abandon the nuclear and fossil-fuel status-quo have been reacting to all this with a fresh candour. In March, EDF and E.On advised the UK government to cut back renewables in favour of nuclear. The energy giants declared efforts to get to 35 per cent renewables in the UK electricity mix as the government intends to be not only unrealistic, but damaging to nuclear plans. They said additional carbon-generating plant would be needed because of the intermittency of renewables. Renewables advocates reject this. German renewables companies demonstrated in 2007 that distributed renewable power can produce baseload electricity in a secure and reliable manner without help from

conventional power.

FT 26th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 26 May 2009

25 May 2009

Electricity Supplies

Britain’s power infrastructure is on the brink of what may be its biggest transformation. Underinvestment in the network for decades mean that a big overhaul is long overdue, but the changes are being accelerated by a string of other influences. Tough new European Union pollution rules mean that nine of Britain’s biggest coal and oil-fired power stations are due to be retired from service in 2015, while a string of other ageing nuclear stations built in the 1960s and 1970s are being decommissioned at the same time. Together, these plants represent about 25 per cent of UK power-generating capacity. They are the steady workhorses of Britain’s energy system that have churned out heat and light to millions of homes for decades. To avoid future supply disruptions and blackouts, they need to be replaced urgently yet in an era of growing alarm over climate change and energy security, there is much debate over what should take their place. The industry has pledged to build a fleet of new nuclear power stations, but the first of these will not be ready before 2017, at the earliest. At the same time, Britain has signed up to an ambitious EU plan to generate 35 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy, such as wind and wave power, by 2020 a dramatic increase from today’s figure of less than 5per cent.

Times 25th May 2009 more >>

Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, whose company will be at the centre of this effort, said: “It’s very clear from the renewables and new nuclear stations being planned that there is going to be a need for a substantial increase in investment to build a modern, 21st-century grid.” He expects National Grid alone to spend up to £5 billion a year from 2012 and he is already drawing up plans for a network of seabed cables feeding renewable electricity from Scotland to consumers in the South, as well as sweeping reinforcements to conventional high-voltage lines that criss-cross the country.

Times 25th May 2009 more >>

North Korea

Russia’s military has detected an atomic test by North Korea, a Moscow defence ministry source has said.

Sky News 25th May 2009 more >>

North Korea says it has successfully conducted a nuclear test, raising the explosive power and level of control of its nuclear device to a new level.

Telegraph 25th May 2009 more >>

Telegraph 25th May 2009 more >>

Daily Mail 25th May 2009 more >>

Reuters 25th May 2009 more >>

Daily Express 25th May 2009 more >>

BBC 25th May 2009 more >>

Guardian 25th May 2009 more >>

Guardian 25th May 2009 more >>

South Korean stocks and the won dropped on Monday after North Korea said it had conducted a nuclear test, hitting regional shares and stirring caution among investors that have embraced Asian assets on hopes for economic recovery.

FT 25th May 2009 more >>

Full text of the report released by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency the country’s second nuclear weapons test.

Telegraph 25th May 2009 more >>

Text of statement by President Barack Obama on nuclear and short-range missile tests conducted by North Korea.

Guardian 25th May 2009 more >>

Iran

Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that Iran could be just a year away from developing a nuclear weapon.

Telegraph 24th May 2009 more >>

There is a real danger that Iran acquires a nuclear capability before the US-led coalition works out what it is prepared to do to stop it.

Spectator 24th May 2009 more >>

A senior US financial investigator has revealed Iran’s detailed ‘shopping list’ for nuclear and missile parts after uncovering a vast procurement network for materials related to weapons of mass destruction.

Telegraph 24th May 2009 more >>

Climate

A vital meeting in Copenhagen this weekend that will help shape the agenda for the most important climate change talks since the Kyoto protocol has been hijacked by some of the biggest polluters in the world, critics claimed today. Among those attending the World Business Summit on Climate Change is Shell, which has just been named by environmentalists on the basis of new research as “the most carbon-intensive oil company in the world”. There is concern that the big energy companies will be pushing carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way of keeping the oil-based economy running.

Guardian 24th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 25 May 2009

24 May 2009

British Energy

SAM Laidlaw, the boss of Centrica, has just bought himself a slice of Britain’s nuclear future and a visit to Scotland provides an opportunity to impress the case for an energy review on Alex Salmond. Laidlaw has just acquired a 20% stake in British Energy, Britain’s nuclear operator, and has big plans to expand this side of Centrica’s operations. He’d dearly love Salmond’s government to embrace the nuclear option.

Scotland on Sunday 24th May 2009 more >>

Sellafield

The operators of the Sellafield nuclear facility in the UK are to be prosecuted after two employees of a contractor, received a “higher than anticipated” dose of radiation.

Domain-b 23rd May 2009 more >>

Companies

SSE will invest £1.5 billion in capital expenditure in the current year, with half going towards renewable energy projects. Chief executive Ian Marchant said the company was looking at further expanding its pumped storage capacity to complement variable output from wind farms. He also expressed an interest in acquiring EDF’s £3 billion UK power grid if the French state-owned utility opts to sell it.

Times 24th May 2009 more >>

US

Chu has eliminated funding for a project to build a nuclear waste store at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Instead of storage, he has backed the construction of fast neutron reactors that could burn long-lived waste. Such a move, which would require a major expansion of the US nuclear industry, has horrified ecology groups. Recently many have been angered by Chu’s actions, a point stressed by Damon Moglen from Greenpeace USA. “We are getting very concerned. Professor Chu is a good man and a good scientist, but the science on global warming is clear and he should be guided by the science not the politics,” Moglen said. “It is out of the question that the US should agree new power stations for burning coal – the dirtiest fuel. Our targets on emissions are too low anyway – and there is no way we will meet even those low targets if we allow more coal to be burned.”

Observer 24th May 2009 more >>

Posted: 24 May 2009

23 May 2009

Sellafield

The Health and Safety Executive is to prosecute nuclear plant operators Sellafield Ltd after two contractors were exposed to radioactive contamination. The criminal proceedings follow an HSE investigation into the July 2007 incident, in which the workers were exposed during the decontamination of an area of concrete floor at the Cumbrian plant. It is alleged that Sellafield failed to discharge its duty under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act. The initial court date has been fixed for the morning of 24 July at Whitehaven Magistrates’ Court, Cumbria.

Building 22nd May 2009 more >>

An anti-nuclear politician has come under attack from Copeland MP Jamie Reed for releasing “misleading and untrue” claims about Sellafield in Parliament. Newport West MP Paul Flynn has tabled a Commons motion in the commons motion claiming the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has closed Thorp at Sellafield. Part of Sellafield had to be closed because of a fault in one of its reprocessing plants but bosses have insisted it will not lead or has not led to the shutdown of Thorp. One of three evaporators which process spent nuclear fuel was shut after an unexplained rise in radioactivity was discovered last week. It was found during routine checks on equipment that links Sellafield to the Magnox and Thorp facilities. But Mr Flynn’s early day motion is leading MPs to believe Thorp has now been closed.

NW Evening Mail 22nd May 2009 more >>

Scotland

THEIR views may differ on nuclear power, but First Minister Alex Salmond and Iberdrola boss Ignacio Gal n haven’t let that small matter stand in the way of their blossoming friendship. The big bear hugs for which the pair are becoming renowned were on show again this week, when Salmond officially opened Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm, Europe’s biggest onshore site.

Scotsman 23rd May 2009 more >>

Wales

Wales today laid out radical plans to make it one of the most energy and resource-efficient countries in the world within a generation. The government development plans, which are legally binding, are far in advance of anything planned for England or Scotland and would see it become energy self-sufficient in using renewable electricity within 20 years and reduce waste to zero by 2050. The proposals would make Wales one of only three countries in the world legally bound to develop “sustainably”. The report sets out a series of ambitious goals including producing more electricity from renewables than the nation consumes within 20 years. Jonathan Porritt, the chair of the UK Sustainable development commission, said: “Wales will set an example for the rest of the world to follow. [Its] government is showing a serious commitment to making Wales a truly sustainable country.”

Guardian 23rd May 2009 more >>

Faslane

Letter from Cllr Euan McLeod: A further two leaks from nuclear submarines have been admitted to by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to add to those disclosed last month (your report, 28 April). These latest revelations bring the total number of leaks over the past 12 years to nine. Although they did not occur at Faslane, the latest two leaks are a particular concern in Scotland now that we know the government intends to make the base home to the UK’s entire fleet of submarines. The old ramshackle nuclear waste facilities at Faslane will now have even more waste to deal with. None of the leaks was a particular threat, but that appears to have been more a matter of luck than design. This all follows an admission by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency that there is very little it can do because it does not have the legal power to force the MoD to behave.

Scotsman 22nd May 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Letter from Pete Roche: Just when we really need our architectural profession to be designing zero-carbon houses and helping to reduce carbon emissions from existing buildings by 80 per cent, Mark Fresson (Opinion, 21 May) wants to design “iconic” nuclear reactors. Such a focus on dangerous, waste-producing, weapons-proliferating technology is diverting attention from what we really need to be doing to tackle climate change.

Scotsman 23rd May 2009 more >>

Companies

Scottish & Southern Energy is in talks with the European Bank of Investment to raise funds for new wind projects in Britain while also admitting it might make a bid for parts of the electricity distribution network and is still interested in possible nuclear sites.

Guardian 21st May 2009 more >>

Scottish and Southern Energy chief executive Ian Marchant said Centrica’s plan to buy a 20% stake in British Energy from EDF could create a monopoly in the UK wholesale energy market.

New Civil Engineer 22nd May 2009 more >>

Heysham

British Energy’s Heysham 2-7 nuclear reactor was restarted on Friday after stopping earlier this month to refuel, a spokeswoman for the EDF-owned company said.

Reuters 22nd May 2009 more >>

Israel

The surprise announcement by Rose Gottemoeller, a US assistant secretary of state, that America would like every nation – including Israel – to sign the NPT has sent shockwaves through Tel Aviv, confirming the fears (or hopes, depending on who you ask) that the Obama administration is initiating a major overhaul of its policy on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. The Israeli government will certainly challenge the Obama administration on this issue, as Israel is not likely to co-operate, to put it mildly, with the state department’s new logical, fair-minded approach to non-proliferation.

Guardian 22nd May 2009 more >>

Almost a quarter of Israel’s seven million citizens would consider leaving the country if Iran becomes a nuclear military power, according to a new poll. The poll also shows that over 40 per cent of Israelis believe that their military forces should strike Iran’s nuclear installations without waiting to see whether US President Barack Obama’s plans for diplomatic engagement with Tehran work or not.

Independent 23rd May 2009 more >>

Jordan

Russia and Jordan have signed an inter-governmental agreement for cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd May 2009 more >>

Climate

One of the most important thinkers behind New Labour has attacked the government for failing to convince people that radical action on climate change is needed. Lord Anthony Giddens, the former director of the London School of Economics and a key architect of the New Labour project, said that global warming was such vital issue that a political “revolution” is needed to get to grips with it. He acknowledged that New Labour had been slow to develop serious climate change policies and he criticised the government’s current policies on the expansion of Heathrow airport and new coal-fired power stations.

Guardian 23rd May 2009 more >>

The decision to allow a third runway at Heathrow was a mistake, according to one of the government’s most senior advisers on the economics of climate change. Lord Stern said if the decision had been properly considered in light of the UK’s climate targets, he thought it would not have been granted.

Guardian 23rd May 2009 more >>

Posted: 23 May 2009

22 May 2009

British Energy

Centrica’s plan to buy a 20 per cent stake in Britain’s nuclear industry from EDF, the European energy giant, raises monopoly concerns and should be referred to competition authorities, the head of Britain’s second-largest utility said yesterday. Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, said that the proposal from Centrica, the British Gas owner, to form a joint venture with EDF, the new owner of British Energy, raised serious concerns about the health of the UK’s wholesale energy market.

Times 22nd May 2009 more >>

FT 22nd May 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Although David Cameron set up a review of Conservative policy on energy when he became leader, one of the outcomes of that review was that the Conservatives are now strongly committed to nuclear power as one component of a balanced energy policy.

Whitehaven News 20th May 2009 more >>

MID-SIZED manufacturers in Yorkshire could win lucrative new business from the nuclear supply chain as Britain builds a new generation of power stations, an industry leader has said. Keith Parker, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said that this county’s historic manufacturing capability meant it was well-placed to pick up work as nuclear shifts from being a “sunset industry” to a growth area once again. “There is no reason to be wary of PR damage. There has been a high turnaround in public attitudes towards nuclear in a low-carbon economy and the benefits in terms of climate change and also in confidence in certainty of supply. People are beginning to see the benefits.”

Yorkshire Post 21st May 2009 more >>

Climate Treaty

The first drafts of texts that will be the basis of negotiations on a future United Nations (UN) climate change agreement have brought back the issue of nuclear energy into the discussions. One key element for the new agreement will be the future of the Kyoto Mechanisms, know as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), which both give emissions credits to projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.The detailed rules of the Kyoto Protocol, agreed in Marrakesh in 2001, effectively stop any credits that are generated by CDM or JI projects involving nuclear facilities being counted by countries towards their greenhouse gas emissions limits, rendering any such credits worthless. This was seen as a political compromise, not ruling out nuclear projects outright, but effectively stopping any support for nuclear new build through the mechanisms. Now including nuclear power is under discussion.

World Nuclear News 21st May 2009 more >>

Dungeness

Iberdrola is interested in buying land owned by EDF Energy which could be used to build new nuclear power plants in England, a spokesman for the Spanish power company said on Thursday. EDF Energy invited expressions of interest in early May from nuclear power plant operators interested in buying land nears its Dungeness nuclear power plant in Kent or Heysham facility in Lancashire.

Reuters 21st May 2009 more >>

Interactive Investor 21st May 2009 more >>

Wylfa

RWE npower is inviting people to have a say on proposals for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey. In early June, RWE npower will hold two drop-in information sessions to to outline its role in new nuclear development on Anglesey, explain the Government’s SSA process, and listen to local people’s views.

Greenbang 21st May 2009 more >>

National Nuclear Laboratory

Spread over six sites, the main one being Sellafieldd, NNL is tasked with maintaining the nuclear skills base.

The Engineer 21st May 2009 more >>

Dounreay

Scotland’s largest nuclear waste facility, which will be capable of holding up to 200,000m3 of material, has been approved by ministers. The £300 million development will be built on a former military airfield alongside the Dounreay nuclear power station, which is currently being decommissioned.

Planning Resource 22nd May 2009 more >>

Capenhurst

Nuclear reprocessing company, Sellafield Ltd, says is is pushing ahead with plans to speed up the removal of uranium reserves from its Capenhurst site in Cheshire. It is developing two projects that aim to reduce Capenhurst’s overall radioactivity hazards and maximise the value of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) uranium assets at the site.

New Civil Engineer 21st May 2009 more >>

Torness

TORNESS nuclear power station is to have a new station director. Current director Brian Cowell has been promoted by operator British Energy and will be replaced by Paul Winkle, a former plant manager at Torness who, more recently, has been running the Heysham Two plant in Lancashire.

Edinburgh Evening News 21st May 2009 more >>

Heysham

A new station director has been appointed at a Lancashire nuclear power station. Alan Oulton moves to the Heysham 2 site after being station director at the Dungeness power station in Kent.

Lancashire Evening Post 21st May 2009 more >>

US

U.S. lawmakers pushing to include greater recognition for existing nuclear power in a national renewable energy standard failed to win new breaks for the industry when a U.S. congressional panel on Wednesday voted down an amendment to a controversial climate change bill.

Planet Ark 21st May 2009 more >>

UAE

The United Arab Emirates has told the International Atomic Energy Agency it plans to have its first nuclear power plant ready in 2015, an IAEA official said on Thursday, although the body believes this is optimistic.

Guardian 21st May 2009 more >>

Interactive Investor 21st May 2009 more >>

President Obama has approved a nuclear energy deal with the United Arab Emirates despite a videotape apparently showing a member of the ruling Royal Family torturing another man. The footage led to criticism in Congress about the human rights record of the UAE in addition to concerns about the transfer of nuclear technology from the emirate to Iran.

Times 22nd May 2009 more >>

Iran

Has President Obama inadvertently given Iran the green light to develop an atom bomb? I only ask because it appears to be the logical conclusion to be drawn from his announcement this week that he is giving Iran until the end of the year to decide whether or not to co-operate with the West over its controversial nuclear programme.

Telegraph 22nd May 2009 more >>

Trident

Letter: One very sensible measure New Labour could do to help our economy would be to stop spending £2 billion a year on Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system. This could be done by abandoning plans to replace the current Trident system and instead spend the money on decent things like schools, hospitals, housing and jobs.

Kilmarnock Standard 21st May 2009 more >>

Chinese Missiles

Beijing is now deploying or developing up to five intercontinental nuclear-armed ballistic missiles in what amounts to China’s most ambitious increase in intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability since the late 1980s.

Janes Security News 21st May 2009 more >>

Posted: 22 May 2009