News October 2009

31 October 2009

New Nukes

At a New Economics Foundation conference, Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solar Century and one of the UK’s most respected proponents of renewable energy, gave a clear message that renewables are the only way the UK can meet the climate challenge safely, cheaply, and in time. “It’s amazing the propaganda that’s being pushed out for nuclear and against renewables,” he said. “They say renewables can’t do the base load but it’s utter rubbish. How do I know? Because the Germans have done it already. In 2008 they mixed and matched renewables and ran the country on them at scale and in different weather conditions. We can do it here with imagination – and we will.” “The problem is simple,” added Julia Davenport, chief executive of Good Energy, an organisation that develops the demand and supply of renewable electricity within the UK. “The Government has asked the wrong companies how to meet the targets – they’ve asked the companies that sell electricity to save electricity. We want to see the companies that deliver low energy to be the ones that are incentivised.”

Green Wise 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Hinkley

THE construction of the next generation of nuclear reactors being proposed for Hinkley Point in Somerset, could open up supply chain opportunities worth billions for firms in the region. The Nuclear Industry Association has organised an event being held tomorrow at Loxton, in Somerset, to spell out the business benefits that the decommissioning of two reactors at Hinkley Point and the construction of two new reactors could bring to the region.

Plymouth Herald 30th Oct 2009 more >>

South West Business 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Campaigners fighting plans to put a new 400,000-volt electricity line through the North Somerset countryside are holding a public meeting to rally support against the proposal. Nailsea, Wraxall and Backwell residents have launched the Save Our Valley campaign to fight off plans by National Grid to create a new overhead line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth to bring electricity from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point onto its transmission network.

Western Daily Press 30th Oct 2009 more >>

A public meeting is to be held when residents can learn more about the power lines.

Burnham-on-sea 29th Oct 2009 more >>

A JACK-UP platform sighted off Barry’s coastline was an energy firm’s seabed investigation exercise for Hinkley Point on the opposite side of the Bristol Channel. Excalibur, as the structure is called, is drilling investigation boreholes in the Hinkley Point area for eight weeks moving regularly between planned points.

Barry and District News 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Oldbury

PEOPLE living in Oldbury are being encouraged to start thinking about the future of the village. Situated on the banks of the River Severn, Oldbury could be mistaken for a sleepy rural spot, however, with plans for a potential new nuclear power station gaining momentum and growing concerns about affordable housing, community leaders want residents to start speaking out.

Gloucestershire Gazette 30th Oct 2009 more >>

AGRs

INCREASING graphite core inspection requirements led to a British Energy review of how to approach the inspection of its AGR reactor channels without extending reactor outages. The requirement had changed from an inspection of a few channels per reactor per year to 20 channels at one of the reactors every six months. In addition, British Energy had just 18 months to implement a solution successfully.

Your Nuclear News 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Sellafield (reactor site)

NDA sells the land.

The Engineer 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Sellafield (Reprocessing)

Campaigners from Norway protest against Sellafield at Westminster The group claimed the quality of the radioactive waste is poor and they fear there will be an accident at the site. Frank Storelv, from Oslo, said 90 per cent of wind blows from the south west and if there was an explosion or accident at Sellafield, one or two days later the radioactive waste would be carried to the west coast of Norway. Mr Storelv said: “It would be 50 times more radioactive waste from a Sellafield explosion than Chernobyl. The Norwegian government is writing to the environment minister to set out concerns over the situation. We want Sellafield closed down and a decision has to be made here in parliament.”

NW Evening Mail 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Uranium

Letter from Marianne Birkby: The insane push for new nuclear build is also having devastating effects worldwide. From the Grand Canyon to Lapland to Australia, indigenous communities around the world are fighting thousands of uranium mining claims. On the 7th November there will be a demonstration against a uranium claim for an area bigger than a hundred square km in Ranua and Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. In Finland the French nuclear company Areva (partner in nuclear crimes in Cumbria) is trying to enforce their mining plans in the sparsely populated North after being driven away from southern Finland’s countryside.

Ecologist 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Proliferation

Letter from David Lowry: Your revelations about Iraq’s modern-day atomic aspirations raise the question whether the UK nuclear industry – with encouragement of the government, now all reborn atomic aficionados – will seek to gain a foothold in the re-emerging Iraqi nuclear industry. The UK, in exporting nuclear technology in the past, not only provided the base for Iraq’s nuclear industry, but also Iran’s. Do Gordon Brown and David Miliband really know what they are doing in promoting unfettered nuclear sales worldwide?

Guardian 31st Oct 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

Councillors are concerned their town will become “the highway to the dump” if a low-level nuclear waste site eight miles away gets the go-ahead. Corby councillors passed an emergency motion on Thursday opposing movement of nuclear waste through the borough to a proposed site at King’s Cliffe until guarantees on safety are met.

Northants Evening Telegraph 31st Oct 2009 more >>

Submarines

Campaigners are expected to rally in Plymouth today (31 October) to demonstrate against plans for a nuclear waste plant in the city centre. It is thought that if the plans go ahead then the plant would store dismantled reactor components from the UK’s nuclear submarines, possibly for several decades until a long-term disposal site can be constructed. The issue has caused heated debate in Plymouth for months. The leader of Plymouth City Council, Vivien Pengally, recently added his voice to those opposing the plan.

Ekklesia 31st Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran has not yet given its response to a U.N.-drafted nuclear fuel deal and is ready for more talks based on “economic and technical concerns,” official news agency IRNA quoted an informed source as saying Friday.

Reuters 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Middle East Online 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Israel has cautiously welcomed a proposal to deal with Iran’s enriched uranium, calling it “a positive first step” toward denying Tehran the means to make nuclear weaponry.

Herald 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Czech Republic

Russian nuclear engineering firm Atomstroyexport said on Friday it has submitted qualification documents to Czech power group CEZ in a tender competition to build up to five nuclear reactors for the firm. CEZ declined to detail how many companies submitted documents but said it expected to whittle down the contenders to a shortlist at the beginning of 2010.

Interactive Investor 30th Oct 2009 more >>

US

The chief executive of Exelon Corp, the largest U.S. nuclear power generator, said an additional $50 billion in government loan guarantees for nuclear power would be enough to spark the industry to build new plants. The current nuclear loan guarantee program of $18.5 billion could be expanded if utilities and lawmakers who back the industry win new incentives in U.S. climate legislation.

Reuters 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Disarmament

Moscow and Washington want to sign a nuclear disarmament treaty before US President Barack Obama receives his Nobel Peace Prize on Dec 10, a Kremlin source has claimed.

Telegraph 31st Oct 2009 more >>

Climate

European leaders agreed for the first time today that the price tag for tackling global warming would amount to 100bn (£89bn) a year by 2020, up to half of which would need to come from taxpayers’ money in the developed world. But mired in wrangling over how to split the European share of the bill among 27 countries and how much Europe collectively should spend, they failed to agree on urgent short-term funding for combating climate change in the developing world.

Guardian 31st Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 31 October 2009

30 October 2009

New Nukes

The UK’s £20bn nuclear programme is facing delays because of a failure to tackle design problems with their reactors, the Health and Safety Executive has warned. A report by the HSE said the two firms in the running to build the reactors had to put more resources into dealing with the safety assessment process if it was to be completed on time. One of them, Japanese-owned Westinghouse, came in for particular criticism for failing to provide a report on external hazards such as flooding. The HSE also criticised it for its “slow progress” in responding to questions on civil engineering design codes. It said: “We’ve not seen evidence the civil structure design conforms to the standards we’d expect to be applied to new nuclear construction.” Another cause of concern is last week’s statement by the US nuclear regulator, which said Westinghouse would have to modify its designs to receive approval in the States. The HSE report also discussed French company Areva, the other candidate to provide third-generation reactors to the UK. In July, it expressed concerns about the control and instrumentation systems on Areva’s pressurised water reactor. It said the matter was still on its “red indicator” list of worries, although it added that it expected the matter to be resolved satisfactorily.

Building 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Sellafield (reactor site)

WORK will start on a new nuclear power station near Sellafield in 2015. A consortium, including energy firms Iberdrola SA, GDF SUEZ SA and Scottish & Southern Energy plc, has bought land, which has been earmarked for a new nuclear power station to the north of the existing plant, said Britain’s Energy Coast board. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said the 470 acres was sold for “a value of a least £70 million.”

Times and Star 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Hinkley

EDF Energy Renewables – part of the EDF group which hopes to build a third nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point – last week outlined plans for nine 400ft two-megawatt turbines on land in parts of East Huntspill, Puriton, Woolavington and which could produce electricity for around 10,000 homes. Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for the area, who has already grilled the Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman, about the East Huntspill wind farm plans, told the Weekly News the turbines would “destroy” the Levels.

Bridgwater Mercury 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Nuclear Transport

TWO Russian ships that had been expected to pick up controversial shipments of nuclear material in the French port of Le Havre have been diverted away from the port following protests by environmental organisation Greenpeace.

Lloyds List 29th Oct 2009 more >>

US

Toshiba has told San Antonio City Council in Texas its new twin $13bn ABWR reactors will cost $4 billion extra, prompting the Council to postpone a crucial vote on the project’s financing until January. Even before the latest jump price jump, the city was planning “a 9.5 percent base rate increase to cover the nuclear expansion and the utility’s other capital projects.” Such preemptive rate increases years before the plant would even deliver a single kilowatt hour are inevitable when you pursue nuclear power.

Climate Progress 28th Oct 2009 more >>

SNL 29th Oct 2009 more >>

A combination of electric vehicles with clean generation and nuclear power for baseload will solve America’s climate and energy security problems, according to testimony from a senior utility chief. David Crane of NRG Energy, which has some 24,000 MWe of generating capacity, spoke in front of the US Senate’s Committee on Climate Change Legislation yesterday. Crane said: “We need to build a zero carbon baseload foundation under our wind farms and solar fields. That foundation is new advanced nuclear power.” NRG is one of the largest US power generators but at present only 5% of its power comes from nuclear – from a 44% stake in two reactors at South Texas Project, although it has a 50% share of a plan to build to more there.

World Nuclear News 29th Oct 2009 more >>

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has made available through the Internet thousands of documents and publications related to nuclear research. In collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the DoE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) has made more than 180,000 documents publicly available through the IAEA’s International Nuclear Information System (INIS).

World Nuclear News 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Sweden

At a press conference later on Friday Vattenfall is expected to announce, in cooperation with Industrikraft, the construction of at least one new nuclear reactor on Swedish soil.

The Local 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Belgium

GDF Suez has confirmed its plans to extend the operational lifetime of three nuclear units in Belgium after reaching agreement with the Belgian government over the future of nuclear power in the country. The French utility, which owns Belgian energy company Electrabel, says that the agreement gives it a long-term framework for its future operations in the country and that it will support the government in its energy and climate policies. The deal follows an announcement earlier in October from the government that it would allow Electrabel to extend the lives of three nuclear units in exchange for an annual levy.

Utility Week 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

Hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough over Iran’s nuclear programme were dwindling tonight after Tehran demanded changes to a uranium exchange deal that European diplomats described as “unacceptable”.

Guardian 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Times 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Telegraph 30th Oct 2009 more >>

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has said it hopes an agreement with Iran can be reached soon, as Tehran responded to a new offer on uranium refinement.

BBC 29th Oct 2009 more >>

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proclaimed victory in his battle with the West, claiming he has compelled the US and its allies to ‘co-operate’ with Iran’s nuclear programme.

Telegraph 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Disarmament

A cross-party group of senior politicans joined former defence chiefs today to promote the cause of nuclear disarmament, an issue they described as critical but too often ignored. They launched the Top Level group of parliamentarians, including former foreign and defence secretaries from both main parties. “Nuclear weapons, after climate change, are the greatest threat to the human race,” said Lord Guthrie, a former chief of defence staff. Des Browne, a former defence secretary and convener of the group, said it would provide an authoritative voice in support of Barack Obama’s appeal for nuclear disarmament. He hoped similar groups would be set up elsewhere around the world.

Guardian 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Climate

Poland and other more recent and poorer EU members threatened to block agreement on a financial package for funding global warming action in the developing world, a central plank of the international pact needed if the Copenhagen talks are to succeed. At the end of yesterday’s talks, no deal had been agreed on funding for tackling climate change in developing countries. Talks are to continue today.

Guardian 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Renewables

Ofgem will announce on Friday £300m of European funding for investment in power lines from offshore wind farms, as the regulator tries to encourage the “forgotten infrastructure” behind Britain’s green revolution.

Telegraph 30th Oct 2009 more >>

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has sold a 50 per cent stake in three British wind farms to an American fund management group, in the latest sign of renewed investor interest in the industry. Centrica said that Trust Company of the West (TCW), a Los Angeles-based fund manager, was buying the stake in its Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore wind farms off the Lincolnshire coast, and Glens of Foudland, an onshore wind farm in Scotland. The £84 million deal comes amid rising interest in the wind industry, which was virtually paralysed in the credit crunch last year. Last week, The Times reported that multinational companies, including Google, were examining opportunities in the industry in the UK.

Times 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 30 October 2009

29 October 2009

Sellafield (new reactor site)

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is has announce that it has sold an area of land comprising 190 ha (470 acres) lying to the north of the existing site at Sellafield in Cumbria for a value of at least £70 million. The winning consortium comprises Iberdrola S.A, GdF Suez S.A and Scottish and Southern Energy plc.

NDA 28th October 2009 more >>

A consortium of GDF SUEZ SA, Iberdrola SA and Scottish and Southern Energy Plc has secured an option to purchase land for the development of a new nuclear power station at Sellafield. Following the sale run by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the consortium set out plans to build up to 3.6 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity in the UK, with work beginning in 2015.

DECC 28th Oct 2009 more >>

A POWER station with up to three nuclear reactors is likely to be built at Sellafield bringing jobs galore – upwards of 10,000 in construction, at least another 3,000 permanent jobs and extra employment in the community.

Whitehaven News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Europe’s most heavily contaminated industrial site is to host a new nuclear power station, after the Government announced the £70 million sale of land at Sellafield. The 190-hectare plot, next to the main site in West Cumbria where Britain mastered the technology to build the atomic bomb in the 1950s, was bought yesterday by a consortium of French, Spanish and British companies. The group, which includes Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), Iberdrola, of Spain, and GdF Suez, of France, said that it planned to use the site to build a new nuclear power station with a capacity to produce up to 3.6 gigawatts enough to provide the power needs of Glasgow, Leeds and Cardiff combined with construction due to start in 2015.

Times 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Irish Examiner 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Business Green 28th Oct 2009 more >>

World Nuclear News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Reuters 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Telegraph 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Construction News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Utility Week 28th Oct 2009 more >>

BBC 28th Oct 2009 more >>

STV 28th Oct 2009 more >>

A third potential new nuclear operator entered the UK market today, taking total proposals for new nuclear power stations up to 16 gigawatts of electricity. A consortium of GDF SUEZ SA, Iberdrola SA and Scottish and Southern Energy has secured an option to purchase land for the development of a new nuclear power station at Sellafield.

Click Green 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Edie 28th Oct 2009 more >>

The two Scottish companies – are desperate not to be frozen out of the new nuclear programme earmarked for England and Wales. They are preparing to invest billions in return for the rights to supply the reactors’ electricity to their customers.

Guardian 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Wylfa

TESTS will be carried out this week by German energy giants, RWE nPower, to see whether land near the current Wylfa nuclear power station, is suitable for a Wylfa B. The company will start work on a contractors’ compound near to the existing power station visitor centre.

Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 28th Oct 2009 more >>

WYLFA’S recently departed nuclear chief has vowed to use his expertise to help push for new nuclear development on Anglesey after stepping down as site director. Greg Evans left his position at the Anglesey nuclear plant last month to take up a new UK role with power giant Centrica.

Daily Post 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Hinkley

A SERIES of consultation events on a planned 400,000-volt powerline through North Somerset begins next week. National Grid is proposing the link between a new nuclear power station planned for Hinckley Point C with a substation in Avonmouth. The power line will be carried by 50m-high pylons over a 37-mile route still to be decided.

Weston & Somerset Mercury 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Residents have launched a campaign to fight controversial plans to put a new 400,000 volt electricity line through the countryside around Nailsea. Scores of people packed a special meeting this week to discuss plans by National Grid to create a new overhead line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth to bring electricity from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point on to its transmission network.

Western Daily Press 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Dungeness

A fisherman’s cottage advertised without any mention of the nuclear power stations on its doorstep is under offer, the estate agents have said.

BBC 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Telegraph 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Yorkshire Post 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Daily Mail 29th Oct 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Letter: I HOPE the climate protesters at Ratcliffe-on-Soar are following the logic of their protests and declaring their full support for an immediate start of construction of nuclear power stations.

Derby Telegraph 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

Radiation Free Lakeland has issued a warning over news that the Studsvik plant in Workington has “recycled” a record 98% load of low level radioactive waste. The anti-nuclear campaigners believe it should be of concern to anyone who uses a pot or a pan or wears spectacles. Consisting of 12 half height ISO shipping containers, the waste consignment would normally have been sent to the Low Level Waste Repository for nuclear waste near Sellafield but Studsvik has been given a licence to “recycle” the radioactive metal- so long as it is below the Euratom Directive limits. RFL say this limit is set high and amounts to a scam in order to dispose of radioactive waste into consumer products. It’s a win-win situation for the nuclear industry who will be delighted to “solve” a toxic waste problem by re-branding it “recycling.”

Get Noticed Online 28th Oct 2009 more >>

THE Low Level Waste Repository near Drigg is benefiting from a new metal recycling process in West Cumbria. Instead of waste scrap metal from the nuclear industry being shipped directly to the LLWR for disposal, it is now being decontaminated at a special metal recycling facility (MRF) at Lillyhall, owned by Studsvik UK.

Whitehaven News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

FREE transport is being given to residents from Pica so they can attend a public exhibition about the Keekle Head plans. Endecom UK Ltd has agreed to hold a fourth public exhibition so that members of the public can have their say on the plans for a new low level radioactive waste disposal facility. The extra drop-in event will be held between 2pm and 6pm on Wednesday, November 4 at Adams Hall in Barwise Row, Arlecdon.

Whitehaven News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Nuclear Finance

Radiation tax proposed to protect DNA? Letter sent to Ed Milliband regarding carbon tax.

Indymedia 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Sellafield MoX Plant

SELLAFIELD’s troubled Mox plant – SMP – has been given a lifeline after picking up its performance. The plant’s future has been hanging in the balance for many months but has been given a vote of confidence by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority after a review of its operations. The news – given to Sellafield staff on Tuesday – came as a big boost not only to the site as a whole but the 800 workers who operate SMP. The thumbs up comes eight months after Copeland MP Jamie Reed, worried about possible job losses, telling Parliament there was an urgent need to build a new plant if SMP had to close.

Whitehaven News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Sellafield Reprocessing

SELLAFIELD has been hit by another plant failure but there is said to be no impact on site safety or operations. Evaporator B known as Bravo and which treats highly radioactive liquor has failed for the second time in six months due to coil corrosion. Sellafield’s operators stress, however, that as no fuel reprocessing is currently taking place, production is not affected and there are no implications for health and safety. Thorp is in a seven-month planned shutdown and Magnox reprocessing had already closed for routine engineering a few weeks before the latest failure. Magnox reprocessing is due to re-start before the end of the year by which time Evaporator A known as Alpha will be brought back into service to treat the arising radioactive liquid effluent.

Whitehaven News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

US – AP1000

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) recent objection to serious safety problems in the AP1000 reactor design is just the latest setback of the so-called “nuclear renaissance” and shows that it would be contrary to the Obama administration’s emphasis on ending reckless lending practices for the Department of Energy (DOE) to proceed with its plans for loan guarantees for any new reactors that are not finalized and licensed. In the last 18 months, more than half of the 25 nuclear reactors that the industry has said constitute the “’nuclear renaissance’ have been canceled, or have been delayed by more than a year, or have experienced an upward cost revision of more than a billion dollars. These delays are very likely to increase the costs of the plants, turning some of them into economic white elephants.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy 28th Oct 2009 more >>

US industry body the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has drawn up a package of policy initiatives to facilitate the expansion of the country’s nuclear energy industry. The group says that federal policy in a number of areas, particularly financing, is required for such an expansion.

World Nuclear News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Bulgaria

German utility RWE AG said it has terminated a joint venture agreement with Bulgaria’s state-owned National Electricity Co., or NEK, due to problems with the financing of a nuclear power plant that was planned to be built near the town of Belene.

Wall Street Journal 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Business Week 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran is expected to respond today to a crucial international offer regarding its nuclear programme, amid concerns among world powers that it will not accept a deal to transfer about two- thirds of its current stock of low-enriched uranium to France and Russia.

FT 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Russia

Russia’s space agency is proposing to build a new spaceship with a nuclear engine. Its chief Anatoly Perminov said today that the preliminary design could be ready by 2012. It will then take nine more years and around £600 billion to build it.

Belfast Telegraph 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Portsmouth

A nuclear-alert siren will sound at Portsmouth Naval Base at the end of this week. The alarm will be tested at 9.30am this Friday, October 30. The test will last for one minute.

Portsmouth News 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Renewables

Centrica gave the go-ahead to one of the UK’s largest offshore windfarms today but warned the government that its 2020 renewable energy targets would be missed unless the current level of subsidy was maintained. The firm, which owns British Gas, announced that it would invest £725m in the 270MW project off the coast of Lincolnshire, which will be able to power a city twice the size of Cambridge when the wind blows. The government announced in the last budget that offshore windfarms approved by March next year would receive higher subsidies, or renewables obligation certificates (Rocs). But officials said tonight that there were no plans to make this arrangement permanent, leaving the economics of offshore wind unviable, according to Centrica.

Guardian 29th Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 29 October 2009

28 October 2009

Sellafield MoX Plant

Today’s announcement by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to allow the Sellafield MOX Plant (SMP) to complete its current MOX fuel manufacturing campaign has been compared by CORE to giving the kiss of life to a corpse.

CORE 27th Oct 2009 more >>

The NDA has concluded that, at this stage, the best course of action is the continued operation of SMP in pursuance of completing the current campaign of fuel manufacture. The NDA has today written to Sellafield Ltd to advise them of our position and asking them to continue to deliver the current manufacturing campaign whilst seeking to improve operational performance. In parallel, International Nuclear Services, the commercial subsidiary of the NDA, is continuing to explore new commercial arrangements that would make the continuing operation of the plant economically acceptable to the NDA in the longer term.

NDA 27th Oct 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Nuclear power will need to account for 30 per cent of the UK’s electricity output by 2030 if carbon dioxide reduction targets are to be met, according to EDF Energy’s CEO Vincent de Rivaz. In an interview with the Financial Times, de Rivaz said that the UK government should set such a target else there was likely to be additional investment in gas fired generation. That would boost gas’s share of the energy mix and prevent emissions falling enough to meet the government’s targets.

Power Engineering 26th Oct 2009 more >>

The Guardian newspaper of Monday 19 October broke the story that the UK government is preparing to guarantee a minimum price for carbon dioxide emissions to encourage the development of nuclear power stations. Putting a high cost on greenhouse gas emissions from power stations will force up the wholesale price of electricity, ensuring a better financial return for nuclear power stations (and for renewables such as wind). The decision to create a floor price for carbon demonstrates that the full costs of nuclear technology are probably well above today’s wholesale electricity prices. We may well need nuclear power but we are going to pay heavily for it. The government’s optimistic noises from 2006 to the middle of this year about the commercial viability of nuclear power have turned out to be wrong.

Scitizen 26th Oct 2009 more >>

As yet, there are no EPR or AP1000 plants operating; the first of the former are being built in Finland and France, and have suffered from well-publicised delays and cost over-runs. The first AP1000s are being built in China and, although they are at an earlier stage than the EPR projects, they are so far running on time and on budget.

The Engineer 28th Oct 2009 more >>

The government is subsidising renewable energy “at the expense” of more cost-effective low-carbon sources such as nuclear power, according to the CBI.

New Energy Focus 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Wales

In the Welsh Labour Leadership battle Huw Lewis pledged to support renewable energy in Wales, and restated his conditional backing for a Severn Barrage and the Wylfa B nuclear power station.

Wales Online 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Bradwell

A CAMPAIGN group is preparing for the start of a battle against nuclear power in Bradwell. The Government is preparing to launch its Nuclear Policy Statement in November which is expected to confirm Bradwell as a potential site for nuclear power. Once the long-awaited statement is published, a lengthy consultation process will be launched giving people of the area a chance to air their views. And protestors Bradwell Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) has called on the local community to rise up against the Government proposals.

Maldon Standard 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Sizewell

LOCAL firms could share in a huge multi-billion pound cash bonanza from the building of Sizewell C, nuclear industry experts say. The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) says the eastern region is set to enjoy a “massive” economic boost from building and running the twin reactors which EDF Energy hopes to start building at the site by 2012.

East Anglian Daily Times 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Lowestoft Journal 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

The latest waste treatment at the Studsvik metals recycling facility in Workington, Cumbria, has recycled a record 98% of a load of low level radioactive waste. Consisting of 12 half height ISO shipping containers, the waste consignment would normally have been sent to the Low Level Waste Repository for nuclear waste near Sellafield, but only a tiny proportion has been sent to this facility.

Waste Management News 27th Oct 2009 more >>

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is looking for ways to refine its strategy about nuclear waste after a report showed that one of the main repositories for waste could be full in as little as twenty years. The main nuclear waste repository in Britain is in the small Cumbrian town of Drigg handles a large amount of low level nuclear waste. The facility is part of an industry that was developed during the Cold War but now must change its strategies in the face of new environmental worries like pollution and climate change. And the news that the facility may soon be at capacity only underscores the needs for a new strategy.

Recycle 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Iraq

Iraq has started lobbying for approval to again become a nuclear player, almost 19 years after British and American war planes destroyed Saddam Hussein’s last two reactors, the Guardian has learned. The Iraqi government has approached the French nuclear industry about rebuilding at least one of the reactors that was bombed at the start of the first Gulf war. The government has also contacted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and United Nations to seek ways around resolutions that ban Iraq’s re-entry into the nuclear field.

Guardian 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Telegraph 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Times 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has warned Iran that there can be no fundamental changes to the draft agreement on its nuclear programme that it is being invited to sign.

FT 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Bulgaria

Bulgaria welcomed a proposal by the European commission Tuesday to give it an additional 300 million euros (446 million dollars) to help dismantle obsolete reactors at its Kozloduy nuclear plant.

EU Business 27th Oct 2009 more >>

World Nuclear News 27th October 2009 more >>

Submarines

CAMPAIGNERS against proposals to scrap nuclear submarines in Plymouth have warned their could ‘bring the city to a standstill.’ About 300 people from all over the country are expected to descend on Plymouth on Saturday to take part in a mass national demonstration against the proposed Submarine Dismantling Project. The Ministry of Defence will be staging public consultation events until next spring about the possibility of setting up the SDP at Devonport Naval Base.

Plymouth Herald 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Climate

Europe is to breathe life into the faltering search for a new global deal on climate change by pledging billions of pounds in financial support for poor countries. European heads of state will formally recommend this week that rich countries should hand over around 100bn (£90bn) a year to nations such as India and Vietnam by 2020 to help them cope with the impact of global warming. The pledge is expected to come at the end of a two-day summit of European leaders on Thursday and Friday, and before negotiations on a new climate treaty in Copenhagen in December.

Guardian 28th Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 28 October 2009

27 October 2009

New Nukes

Vincent de Rivaz: Your leader column claims that the “nuclear renaissance” does not make sense on financial grounds. However, there is a growing collation of support among the public, politicians of the main parties, industry, scientists and regulators, who recognise nuclear is needed as part of the answer to keep the lights on and tackle climate change. It is simply wrong to assert that “huge cost overruns” and “massive government bailouts” are inevitable. Claims that nuclear has been subsidised in the past, so must be in the future, fail to recognise that the world has moved on. Britain faces a serious power shortage if it does not invest massively. At the same time we need to reform the energy market to produce energy which is secure and affordable, and low carbon.

Guardian 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Construction group Carillion has signed a partnership agreement with French firm Eiffage that will see the two companies work together on various nuclear engineering jobs in the UK. The companies will join forces to build new pressurised water reactors to replace the existing fleet

Career Engineer 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Construction News 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Building 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Accusations that UK Ministers have been ‘cavalier’ and ‘cherry-picked’ advice to bolster the case for new nuclear power stations while ignoring the unsolved problem of how to deal with radioactive waste from existing plants have been highlighted by the SNP. SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, said the accusations by former senior government advisers, Gordon MacKerron, previously chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, and Peter Wilkinson, exposed the UK Government’s flawed nuclear plans.

SNP Press Release 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Regulatory work continues on licensing reactors for new build in the UK, while companies prepare for partnerships and call for targets. The latest report from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process is on schedule for completion in June 2011. At that time, it is hoped that both Areva’s EPR and Westinghouse’s AP1000 will gain GDA approval for build and preliminary work could start towards that goal. However, progress depends on good cooperation between the HSE and the reactor vendors.

World Nuclear News 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Wylfa

In Wales, discussions continue over the future of the Wylfa plant on Anglesey and whether it should be the site for a new reactor. The debate intensified this weekend with the Wylfa facility used as the platform for the latest round of policy announcements in the Welsh Labour leadership race.

Wales Home 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Energy Costs

Plans put forward by the Green Fiscal Commission (GFC), a Government-supported think tank, would see the tax on gas and electricity rise every year. By 2020, the new levy would amount to 80 per cent of the cost of the average gas bill and 30 per cent of the average electricity bill. The tax forms part of a £150 billion package of proposed measures, including a tripling of fuel duty over the next decade and a tax of up to £3,300 on new cars. The GFC says that the scheme is essential to shifting Britain onto a lower carbon lifestyle and meeting international targets on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Telegraph 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran is considering whether to accept a U.N. deal for it to send potential nuclear fuel abroad for processing, the first official indication that Tehran could respond positively to the outline agreement. The remark by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was the most positive yet from a senior Iranian official and hinted at a shift in backroom debate between hardliners and moderates in the faction-ridden Iranian leadership on whether to accept the deal.

Herald 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Telegraph 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Romania

Environmental group Greenpeace won a court case in Romania on Monday that could force the authorities there to make public a list of potential locations for the construction of a nuclear plant. The economy ministry must “communicate the requested information to the claimant,” a ruling published on the Bucharest court’s website said.

AFP 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Israel

LEADER Muammar Gaddafi today said that the Palestinians should be allowed to have nuclear weapons if the world does not act to disarm Israel of its arsenal.

Glasgow Evening Times 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Empress Michiko of Japan has called for “a world free of nuclear weapons” and praised President Obama’s moves towards nuclear disarmament.

Telegraph 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Scottish Efficiency

Cutting climate change pollution from Scottish homes could create or secure 10,000 jobs, a study has suggested. The Association for the Conservation of Energy also found that meeting Scottish government targets would provide a £4bn boost for the economy. Ministers want to reduce pollution from Scottish homes by 42% by 2020. The report says that would require 1.5m energy efficient boilers, 1.8m solar panels, 2.2m draft proofing strips and 1.5m insulation packages. The combined cost of such measures would be about £13.4bn in addition to current investment plans, it estimated. But this would boost the economy by £4bn and create or safeguard 10,200 jobs over the 10 years to 2020.

BBC 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Coal

Fossil fuel protesters occupied Didcot power station early yesterday morning, forcing it to switch electricity generation from coal power to gas as a safety precaution. The protesters, who range in age from 19-50 and belong to no named group, said they planned to occupy the Oxfordshire station for up to a week and could escalate their action by occupying the inside of one of the flues.

Guardian 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Climate

Lord Stern, author of the 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, predicts that eating meat could in the future become as socially unacceptable as drink driving. Livestock farming has come under fire in recent years from environmental campaigners because methane from cattle and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases.

Telegraph 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Times 27th Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 27 October 2009

26 October 2009

New Nukes

Letter Andy Blowers: It is true that the government expects high-level radioactive waste to be buried in a deep repository, but this solution is nowhere near in sight and applies only to legacy wastes. Meanwhile, the government, in effect, is about to announce up to 11 sites where highly radioactive spent fuel and other wastes will be stored indefinitely in vulnerable coastal locations. For these wastes the “effective arrangements” for disposal required by government policy simply do not exist.

Guardian 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Letter Will Day: Even if the UK’s existing nuclear capacity were doubled, it would only result in an 8% cut in CO2 emissions, relative to 1990 levels. Given the timescales for such an expansion, including the replacement of capacity from plants reaching the end of their lives, it also means that these savings would not be fully realised until the 2030s, with little contribution to emissions reductions before 2020. As a result, the Sustainable Development Commission found that the problems of nuclear power far outweighed the potential benefits.

Guardian 26th Oct 2009 more >>

A target for Britain to derive 30 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power by 2030 is needed to ensure planned cuts in the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy. The objective would double the share of nuclear power in Britain’s electricity mix.

FT 26th Oct 2009 more >>

US

The economics of nuclear power alone could be the most difficult hurdle to surmount. A new UCS analysis, Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy, finds that the United States does not need to significantly expand its reliance on nuclear power to make dramatic cuts in power plant carbon emissions through 2030 and indeed that new nuclear reactors would largely be uneconomical.”

Be Spacific 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

Inspectors from the U.N’s nuclear watchdog have visited a controversial uranium processing plant in Iran. The inspectors intend to compare engineering designs with the actual facility, interview employees and take environmental samples to verify the site has no illicit military dimension.

Daily Mail 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Scotsman 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Times 26th Oct 2009 more >>

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has exposed divisions in Nato by accusing the west of treating Iran unfairly over its nuclear programme and describing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, its vehemently anti-western president, as a friend.

Guardian 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Israel

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has said that the Palestinians should be allowed to have nuclear weapons if the world does not act to disarm Israel of its arsenal. Colonel Gaddafi accused the international community of “double standards” because Israel is allowed to maintain a barely-hidden nuclear capability while Iran comes under massive pressure not to develop its own .

Ananova 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Trident

The decision to replace an unaffordable Trident missile system calls into question Gordon Brown’s stated commitment to nuclear disarmament, a former Labour foreign secretary says. In a sweeping attack on the government’s defence policy, Lord Owen describes the estimated £15bn-£20bn cost of replacing Trident in its 2006 white paper as “no longer credible”. Abandoning Trident and instead having a number of cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads would be cheaper and more flexible, making it easier for the UK to contribute to disarmament measures over the coming decades, Owen said. The option is favoured in some quarters of the Ministry of Defence and is being considered by the Liberal Democrats.

Guardian 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Peak Oil/Renewables

An excellent new report, Heads in the Sand, released last week by the non-governmental organisation Global Witness – the group that first brought “blood diamonds” to the world’s attention – looked in depth at what is happening to the supply of oil. And it is frightening. In mid-October the Department of Energy and Climate Change closed the consultation on the “feed-in tariff” proposal it has been forced to introduce by backbench MPs. Feed-in tariffs have kickstarted renewables in many countries, especially Germany, by offering consumers a healthy price for electricity they feed into the grid. The energy department will announce its decisions in about a month but, unsurprisingly, officials are aiming low. They want the tariff to offer returns on investment of 5-8%. That’s not enough. The Germans get around 10%.

Guardian 26th Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 26 October 2009

25 October 2009

Radioactive Waste

Former senior government advisers on nuclear power have accused ministers of being “cavalier” and “cherry-picking” their advice to bolster the case for a new generation of nuclear power stations. They and other industry experts say the government should not embark on building any new atomic facilities without properly tackling the unsolved problem of how to deal with radioactive waste from existing power plants. In 2006 the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management published recommendations on how the UK should dispose of nuclear waste. A key idea was that long-term disposal would be best carried out by identifying suitable sites at which the waste could be buried, a process called deep geological disposal. The conclusions were used by the government to bolster the case for the building of new nuclear power stations. But Gordon MacKerron, chair of the committee until 2007, said the recommendations were meant for legacy waste and were not a “carte blanche” to think that radioactive waste from a new generation of power plants could be dealt with in the same way.

Observer 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Wales

Carwyn Jones has begun a week of policy announcements with a focus on energy and climate change. Visiting Wylfa power station on Anglesey he said that it’s “time to get real on climate change” and argued that the threat from global warming has already radically changed the terms of debate on nuclear energy. He therefore affirmed that nuclear power must form part of Wales’ low carbon response to the serious challenges posed by global warming, while making sure that nuclear waste is properly dealt with.

Wales Home.org 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Oldbury

A mother who lost her daughter to leukaemia will talk about the tragedy at a meeting that has been organised by campaigners opposing a new nuclear power station near Bristol. Susan D’Arcy blamed the Sellafield reprocessing plant in Cumbria for six-year-old Gemma’s illness and wrote a book about how she struggled to save her life. Her story was also turned into a drama documentary, which was screened in 1993. Mrs D’Arcy has been invited to give the second lecture in a series arranged by families in the Shepperdine and Oldbury-on-Severn areas, near Thornbury, who are fighting plans for a new generation atomic plant close to their homes.

Bristol Evening Post 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Companies

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, is set to pocket £400m from a deal in which it will sell half its stake in the world’s largest wind farm. The sale, which could be announced this week, is part of a wide-ranging programme of asset sales that Sam Laidlaw, chief executive, launched in July. Laidlaw had spent £3.5 billion on acquisitions in the previous six months. Centrica is selling assets to raise money for investments in gas storage projects, new nuclear plants and offshore wind farms. The stake to be sold is in the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farm off the Lincolnshire coast.

Sunday Times 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

US President Barack Obama spoke with his Russian and French counterparts Saturday, rallying support for a deal to end the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, as they urged Tehran to accept the offer. Obama made Saturday-morning calls to Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy during which all three men “affirmed their full support” for a recently offered deal, the White House said.

Middle East Online 24th Oct 2009 more >>

INFLUENTIAL Iranian lawmakers yesterday criticised a United Nations-drafted agreement that requires Tehran to send its atomic stockpile abroad for processing. Their comments were reported as UN inspectors are expected today to arrive in the country to examine a nuclear site that has heightened western fears of a covert Iranian programme to develop atomic bombs. The draft International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deal requires Iran to cut its atomic stockpile, but the Tehran government missed Friday’s deadline for responding to it.

Scotland on Sunday 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Telegraph 25th Oct 2009 more >>

The recently revealed nuclear facility at Qom was almost certainly part of a nuclear weapons programme. Communication intercepts revealed that Iran only planned to place 3,000 centrifuges in the plant. It would take that number of centrifuges twenty years to produce enough low-enriched uranium for a civilian power plant. But 3,000 centrifuges would produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two to three bombs a year.

Spectator 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Letter: In the Scottish Democratic Alliance we support a non-nuclear policy for Scotland although nuclear powered naval and commercial vessels would not be banned from our territorial waters.

Scotland on Sunday 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s incoming second-term government plans to hold talks with the U.S. on the removal of American-made nuclear weapons from the country.

Bloomberg 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Renewables

For more than 100 Indian villages cut off from grid electricity, life no longer comes to an end after dark thanks to an innovative solar-powered lantern that offers hope to the nation’s rural poor.

Independent on Sunday 25th Oct 2009 more >>

The controversial Beauly-Denny power line, which will see 600 pylons, each 200ft high, built between Beauly, west of Inverness, to Denny, west of Falkirk, has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government, the Sunday Herald can reveal. It will create the capacity to transmit around six gigawatts of power generated from wind, wave and tidal turbines in the Highlands and Islands to electricity users further south, comprising about three-quarters of the output needed to meet the country’s 2020 renewable energy targets.

Sunday Herald 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Scotland was ignored at the Round Two stage of Offshore Wind licensing, since its waters were seen as deeper and more treacherous, but then received a whopping 6.4GW of potential capacity through the Scottish Territorial Waters Round late in 2008. The whole country is now waiting to see how the Crown Estate decides to allocate its Round Three concessions, which concern nine mega-sites in deeper waters comprising a further 25GW of potential capacity, including four more gigawatts in Scotland.

Sunday Herald 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Climate

Energy companies have privately warned the Government that its climate change targets are “illusory” and “delusional” as global leaders prepare to sign up to stricter guidelines at the Copenhagen climate change conference in six weeks.

Telegraph 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Peak Oil

Conventional oil powers modern economies and provides around a third of the world’s energy. But many commentators forecast a near-term peak soon and subsequent decline in global production as the resource is depleted. Some expect this to lead to major economic disruption, with “non-conventional” sources being unable to fill the gap in the timescale required.

Telegraph 25th Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 25 October 2009

24 October 2009

Sellafield

Sellafield Ltd has reported today that the site’s HLW waste Evaporator ‘B’ has had to be taken out of service because of yet another failure of one its internal cooling coils. Under normal circumstances, the process of evaporating the liquid HLW produced by Sellafield’s THORP and Magnox reprocessing plant would be transferred to the site’s two other Evaporators A and C. Neither Evaporator A or C however are currently available for use – leaving the Sellafield site with no way of processing (condensing) any HLW prior to its transfer to the Vitrification Plant for conversion to a solid glass form. By way of lucky coincidence for Sellafield, both reprocessing plant are also currently out of action – THORP having closed in July (for an engineering overhaul of its own newer Evaporator C) and Magnox being closed down, somewhat suspiciously, ‘for routine engineering not long before the Evaporator B failure’.

CORE Briefing 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

AMERICAN Bill Poulson expects nothing but the best from the 10,000 people under his Sellafield command – and if he can see the light shining in their eyes to demonstrate a real appetite for work then all the better.

Whitehaven News 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

New Nukes

THE CONFEDERATION of British Industry (CBI) has called on the UK government to invest heavily in a new generation of nuclear power and scale back its “over-ambitious” targets for renewable power.

Chemical Engineer 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

The Engineer 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Conservative reassurances “to keep Britain’s lights on” will be welcomed by energy users and those involved with the energy industry. However, confidence, particularly among potential investors, is likely to remain uncertain until clarification and further details are given. Clarity is needed on whether (and how) they will propose a subsidy or other assistance, such as a feed-in tariff, to renewables in the context of carbon pricing. It is also uncertain what exactly the party means by “immediate action to keep Britain’s lights on” in the context of nuclear power. How does the party intend to maximise the prospects of nuclear power stations securing development consents.

Utility Week 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Wales

Of the three contenders to succeed Rhodri Morgan as leader of the Welsh Labour Party, Edwina Hart says she will “redouble assembly government efforts in the renewable energy field, and “where nuclear power is concerned, only the highest degree of scepticism is sensible”

BBC 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Would-be First Minister Carwyn Jones has backed nuclear power as part of Britain’s energy mix to combat climate change. He is today due to visit the Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, which is being decommissioned but which could be the site of a new nuclear plant. Mr Jones said: “It is now perfectly clear that because of climate change, the terms of the debate we previously had on nuclear energy have shifted. “We are involved in an entirely different world and in energy terms we stand at a crossroads.

Western Mail 24th Oct 2009 more >>

IPC

Ministers would decide whether major planning applications should go ahead if the Conservative Party wins the general election, despite David Cameron’s pledge to reduce “big government”. A Tory policy paper, passed to The Independent, says that the relevant secretary of state would take the final decision on projects such as nuclear power stations, wind farms, airport extensions and major roads. The Tories would abolish a new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) set up by Labour to streamline the system after long-standing complaints from industry that decisions took several years.

Independent 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Hinkley

EdF, who plan to build two giant reactors at Hinkley Point, have insisted upon a series of supposedly legally binding agreements with Sedgemoor, West Somerset and Somerset Councils allowing EdF to exclude certain planning information from the Freedom of Information Act. This move has occurred despite legal advice to councils that they cannot ‘contract out’ of the Freedom of Information Act.

Bristol Indymedia 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

There will be another chance for people to have their say on controversial plans to turn a former opencast mine into a low-level radioactive dump. Three public exhibitions were held last week and following requests from Arlecdon and Frizington Parish Council to hold another, Endecom UK Ltd has agreed to hold a fourth session in the area next month.

Whitehaven News 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Villagers in Northamptonshire are campaigning against the use of their local landfill for radioactive waste from the nuclear industry. It is the quintessential English village, a place where people are so keen to live that even the local hazardous waste landfill around the corner doesn’t put people off. But residents of King’s Cliffe, with its pretty sandstone cottages, on the north Northamptonshire border, are beginning to wonder whether the landfill is about to attract the kind of attention which will make the area synonymous with something less desirable. The hazardous waste management firm Augean plc, which runs the site, wants to dispose of low level nuclear waste.

BBC 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Northampton Chronicle 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

High Level Waste

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has proposed an alternative nuclear fuel recycling system, which could reduce radioactive waste and avoid extraction of plutonium that can be used for making weapons. Nuclear experts say while the proposed Advanced Recycling Center (ARC) could help to solve some of the biggest worries as more countries build nuclear reactors, high costs are drawbacks.

Interactive Investor 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Nuclear experts say the proposed Advanced Recycling Centre (ARC) could help to solve some of the biggest worries as the world looks to build more than 100 nuclear reactors to curb greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring energy supply. “It’s very clever,” said Tim Stone, KPMG’s Corporate Finance Partner. “The principles have been known for a long time but the overall package is very neat … A positive part of this is burning the worst radioactive waste,” said Stone, who advises the British government on nuclear matters. The drawbacks of the system by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy are that the fast reactors involved are very costly and the reprocessing technology involves handling highly radioactive material yet to be proven on industrial scale. The ARC would include GE Hitachi’s fourth generation PRISM sodium-cooled fast reactors and an electrometallurgical separation process that would make a new form of fuel from spent fuel rods without separating plutonium.

Reuters 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Belgium

French utility GDF Suez said Friday it has reached an agreement with Belgian authorites to settle a dispute that had darkened relations between the government and the country’s largest power producer. GDF Suez, which operates both of Belgium’s nuclear power plants, will invest euro500 million ($751 million) in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. The investment, to be financed by GDF Suez’s Belgian subsidiary Electrabel, will be made between 2010 and 2015, and is conditional on access to sites, the company said.

Forbes 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Bulgaria

RWE has changed its mind about Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant project, Economy and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said on Friday, indicating the German utility may walk out of the project.

Reuters 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Pakistan

The Pakistani Taliban targeted an air base believed to be one of the country’s secret nuclear weapons facilities on Friday among a wave of suicide bombings that killed at least 25 people across the country.

Telegraph 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Daily Mail 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Herald 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran defied the West by missing a deadline it had been set to agree to hand over its stockpiles of enriched uranium for processing abroad.

Telegraph 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Times 24th Oct 2009 more >>

FT 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Scotsman 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Herald 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Independent 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Given that Israeli government has made a nuclear-free Iran its prime international goal, a military strike to try to achieve that is now correspondingly more likely.

Telegraph 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Iran will respond to a proposed deal on its controversial nuclear programme by the middle of next week, it has told the UN’s atomic energy agency.

BBC 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

US

Public support for the use of nuclear energy in the USA remains strong, according to the results of a recent opinion poll. Over 80% of those questioned said that all low-carbon energy sources should be exploited to combat climate change.

World Nuclear News 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Submarines

WORKERS at Rolls-Royce Submarines are taking industrial action from Monday over pay. Members of the union Unite were balloted for industrial action following the rejection of a pay offer. This involved a pay freeze for 2009, a 2% rise in 2010 and a lump sum, one-off taxable payment of £300.

Derby Telegraph 24th Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 24 October 2009

23 October 2009

New Nukes

The government will release its long-awaited National Policy Statements for new nuclear build in November, climate change minister David Kidney told a CBI conference today. The Statements, which will be released for consultation, are designed to give energy firms an indication of the legislative framework they will have to comply with as they start planning the new nuclear reactors.

Business Green 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Dungeness

Details of a nuclear-industry funded armed police force that guards Dungeness, and other nuclear power stations, and patrols the local area in permanently armed cars have been revealed today in the Guardian newspaper. The Civil Nuclear Constabulary, whose job is to protect civil nuclear plants and radioactive nuclear material when in transit and to recover control of the material if lost or stolen, has a force of 750 officers and staff. At Dungeness they maintain an overtly heavily armed presence 24 hours a day, 7 days week and patrol an area up to 3 miles from the nuclear plant in permanently armed patrol cars.

Romney Marsh Times 21st Oct 2009 more >>

Heysham

Thomas Consulting, which has offices in Buckshaw Village, near Chorley and Leyland, has signed up with power group British Energy to provide services at its two reactors in Heysham, near Morecambe, until the end of 2012. The services include designing and building offices and providing advice on contaminated land services.

Lancashire Evening Post 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

Villagers in Northamptonshire are campaigning against the use of their local landfill for radioactive waste from the nuclear industry.

BBC 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

If Tehran tries to renegotiate the draft nuclear deal agreed in Vienna on Wednesday, it could all fall apart. But before we list the pitfalls that lie ahead, it is worth contrasting where we are today with what was on offer a year ago. At the previous round in Geneva, Iran produced a scrappy, typewritten two-page document called the None Paper. It should have read non-paper – jargon for an unofficial negotiating document – but the content was truer to its mispelled title than its authors intended.

Guardian 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Economist 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

UAE

The United States and United Arab Emirates are finalizing a landmark nuclear power cooperation agreement now that Congress has given its tacit approval, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Interactive Investor 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Pakistan

A suicide bomber struck a checkpoint near a military complex reportedly linked to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme today, killing seven people as the army pressed ahead with a major anti-Taliban offensive in the northwest.

Belfast Telegraph 23rd Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 23 October 2009

22 October 2009

New Nukes

Letters (1) Dr Simon Lewis: Lord Hunt’s assertion that “Putting nuclear energy at the very heart of our low-carbon economy is part of our credibility going into the climate summit in Copenhagen,” rests on a dangerously naive world-view. We need to leave not only the technology of the 20th century behind, but political attitudes too. In a highly interconnected world, large-scale investment in technologies we would like to see replicated around the world should be at the heart of the UK government’s response to climate change. (2) Val Mainwood: Could Monbiot explain how many nuclear power stations worldwide would be needed to prevent climate breakdown? Has he a timetable for the worldwide construction and costing of these, that would deliver the required carbon reduction in time? And what about the substantial energy poverty of those who live in isolated environments, far away from these heavy industrial plants?

Guardian 21st Oct 2009 more >>

The CBI yesterday stepped up its campaign for plans for new nuclear plant to be fast-tracked with the release of a new report warning the UK risks missing climate change targets and undermining energy security unless at least six new nuclear plants are built by 2030.

Business Green 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

New Civil Engineer 21st Oct 2009 more >>

Utility Week 21st Oct 2009 more >>

Building 21st Oct 2009 more >>

CBI Press Release 21st Oct 2009 more >>

The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has revealed the first projects likely to use it, and the schemes are dominated by energy projects with a single road scheme. Five major wind farms and two new nuclear power stations are on the list, as well as a biomass power plant, and two national grid connection projects.

New Civil Engineer 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Telegraph 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Times 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

A PETITION has been launched against controversial plans for a waste repository at Keekle Head. The petition, which already has 100 signatures, was organised by Copeland councillors Brian Dixon and Willis Metherell in opposition to plans to transform a former opencast mine into a low-level radioactive waste dump. A meeting on Monday last week was the first in a series about plans for the repository, on a site less than one mile from Pica and five miles from Whitehaven. The managing director of Endecom UK Ltd, the company behind the scheme, said that the response from the public had been positive so far.

Whitehaven News 21st Oct 2009 more >>

Cumbria

NUCLEAR Management Partners has appointed a local manager to head up its extensive West Cumbria socio-economic support operation. He is Gary McKeating who worked most recently for West Lakes Renaissance and Invest in Cumbria.

Whitehaven News 21st Oct 2009 more >>

Companies

Toshiba Corp will likely beat its own estimate to post a first-half operating profit of 1 to 2 billion yen ($11 million-$22 million), helped by cost cuts and solid earnings from its chip and nuclear power businesses, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday.

Reuters 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Iran

The UN nuclear watchdog has given Iran a draft agreement designed to check the country’s ability to acquire a nuclear arsenal and says it wants an answer from Tehran by tomorrow. Under the programme, 1.2 tonnes of the Islamic Republic’s 1.5 tonne reserve of low-enriched uranium would be shipped to Russia and France by the end of the year and converted into fuel – a process that aims to prevent Iran manufacturing nuclear weapons.

Belfast Telegraph 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Western diplomats expressed serious doubts on Wednesday that Tehran would sign up to an agreement to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium. As two days of talks with Iran over its nuclear programme ended in Vienna Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Tehran had agreed a draft proposal under which it would send most of its low-enriched uranium abroad for processing.

FT 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Guardian 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Independent 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

North Korea

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday that North Korea poses a threat to his country’s allies in North Asia and promised to protect them under the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

Reuters 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Italy

Edison, Italy’s second largest power producer, wants to have up to a 20% stake in the country’s nuclear power programme, according to the company’s CEO Umberto Quadrino. He said that Edison is in talks with Enel and Electricit de France (EdF) about taking a stake in their Italian joint venture.

World Nuclear News 21st Oct 2009 more >>

Belgium

The Belgian government wants GDF French utility GDF Suez to sign an agreement stating it will pay energy charges in return for operating nuclear power stations, daily De Tijd reported on Wednesday. GDF Suez Chief Executive Gerard Mestrallet was reported as saying last Thursday that he was not willing to pay the levy Belgium wants for 2009 — 250 million euros — for operating nuclear power stations and to a renewable energy fund.

Interactive Investor 21st Oct 2009 more >>

CTBT

A British nuclear expert has fallen to his death from the 17th floor of the United Nations offices in Vienna.

Telegraph 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Renewables

The amount of installed wind capacity in the UK has already reached 4GW and will top 10GW by 2012, overtaking nuclear, a study by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) has found. However, the BWEA said this rapid expansion was dependent on improvements to the planning system and an increase in the rapidity of decisions.

New Energy Focus 21st Oct 2009 more >>

The shadow business secretary, Ken Clarke, was slapped down by his party today after contradicting Conservative policy by suggesting mainland Britain was “not suitable” for onshore windfarms. Clarke yesterday told a conference organised by the centre-right thinktank Policy Exchange: “My view is that those few wild and open spaces that we have left in Britain should not be used for wind turbines.” He also said he thought windfarms should be built offshore. Clarke today issued a clarification through the Conservative leader David Cameron’s office: “At the event I was expressing an off-the-cuff view as a layman and not as a party spokesman on this subject. There is no change in Conservative party policy.” “We’re very much in favour of renewables and we’ve got stretching targets to meet,” said the shadow energy and climate change secretary, Greg Clark. “When it comes to wind, onshore wind has its place as well as offshore.”

Guardian 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Submarines

A DEFIANT message has been delivered to defence chiefs over plans to scrap nuclear submarines in Plymouth: ‘the fight starts now’. Council leader Vivien Pengelly was speaking as the Ministry of Defence announced it will host a meeting in Plymouth on Friday over the controversial Submarine Dismantling Project. The project could see 27 de-fuelled nuclear submarines stored and cut up at Devonport Naval Base over the next 60 years. Key city figures, MPs and MoD officials have been invited to the behind-closed-doors meeting.

Plymouth Herald 21st Oct 2009 more >>

Trident

John Hutton, the former defence secretary, has warned Gordon Brown that it would be “daft” to scrap the Trident nuclear weapons system, and predicted that his plans to scale it back will not save much money.

Independent 22nd Oct 2009 more >>

Posted: 22 October 2009