News September 2009

30 September 2009

New Nukes

The nuclear industry “owes a lot” to the Labour Party, MP Jamie Reed told a told a fringe meeting in Brighton on Sunday. “Every single major investment and decision made about this industry in this country has been made by Labour governments,” the Labour parliamentarian claimed. And Lord Hunt of Kings Heath told the audience that Britain had been given a rare second chance to develop its nuclear industry. Speaking at an event sponsored by the Nuclear Industries Association, the energy minister said it was a “critical moment” for energy supplies. Lord Hunt confirmed that the government would soon publish a national policy statement on energy, which would set out the sites for new nuclear plants. “It will not specify exactly where, but will specify the list of sites where we think nuclear development could take place,” he said. But Martin O’Neil criticised the minister for the time taken on the statement, which had left industry “disappointed”. “There should have been a national policy statement on nuclear and energy by the end of July so the proper consultative process could take place before the events of April and May,” he said referring to the impending election.

Politics.co.uk 29th Sept 2009 more >>

NW Evening Mail 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Hinkley

EDF Energy has announced its planned investment in new nuclear build in the UK, with the intention to build four new EPR reactors by 2025. It is expected that Hinkley Point will be the first new nuclear build, a major investment in the South West. As a result, an event has been arranged by the Nuclear Industry Association sponsored by the Department of Climate Change, EDF Energy and the SW Regional Development Agency, who are appealing for local firms to come along to find out about the significant supply chain and employment opportunities that will be available at all levels. The event is aimed at civil, mechanical and electrical engineering firms and associated service providers of all sizes, and small and medium sized businesses will be welcomed. Best Western Webbington Hotel, Loxton, Somerset Friday 30 October 2009, 09.00 – 16.00

Aboutmyarea 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Sizewell

THE head of security at Sizewell B nuclear power station told the court on Monday how he arrived at work to find five protestors chained together and blocking an approach road to workers. Philip Perry told Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court that he arrived at the scene just before 8.30am on July 24, 2008, to find four women and a man locked together on the road, which he said was on private land owned by British Energy.

Lowestoft Journal 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Wylfa

Anglesey Aluminum Metals Ltd., Holyhead, Wales, has submitted an application for approval of a 299-megawatt biomass power plant to be located near the company’s aluminum smelter and possibly power it, according to Stephen Cox, biomass engineer with the company.

Biomass Magazine 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Dungeness

Agents in Kent have come under fire for failing to mention in their particulars the fact that a £247,000 bungalow backs on to one of Europe’s largest power stations, at Dungeness.

Estate Agent Today 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Mirror 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Telegraph 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Nuclear Testing

The Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests at Semipalatinsk in eastern Kazakhstan from 1949 until 1989 without regard for their effect on the local people or environment. The full impact of radiation exposure was hidden for years by Soviet authorities and has only come out since the test site closed in 1991. Semipalatinsk is a reminder of the high price paid by the people of Kazakhstan for Soviet nuclear weapons.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Waste Transport

High-level radioactive waste from used nuclear fuel sent to the UK for reprocessing will be returned to its country of origin under a program to begin this financial year, the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced.The program will see approximately 1850 containers of waste returned over a 10-year period, including some containers being returned in accordance with UK government policy on waste substitution whereby the UK returns a greater amount of high-level waste to the customer but retains a radiologically equivalent amount of low- and intermediate-level waste in the UK for long term management.

World Nuclear News 29th Sept 2009 more >>

India

India announced the world’s boldest nuclear power development plan yesterday, saying that it could boost its atomic capacity by 12,000 per cent by 2050 to end crippling power shortages while limiting carbon emissions. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister, predicted that India could produce 470 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2050, compared with the 3.8GW currently produced by its 17 reactors. India’s target is almost five times the current nuclear power capacity of the United States the world’s biggest producer with 100GW, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It far outstrips predicted US nuclear capacity in 2050 as well as China’s plans previously the world’s most ambitious to increase the power generated by its reactors from the current 9GW to about 300GW by that year.

Times 30th Sept 2009 more >>

BBC 29th Sept 2009 more >>

India’s prime minister today signalled a huge push in nuclear power over the coming decades, using an untested technology based on nuclear waste and the radioactive element thorium. India has an ambitious three-stage nuclear programme which it sees as a “silver bullet” to its dire energy shortage. At present 400m people cannot light their homes and the country imports 70% of its oil. Delhi says that it will be able to surmount these considerable problems and generate clean green power with an atomic programme that “virtuously recycles” the plutonium waste that reactors produce. This radioactive isotope takes thousands of years to be rendered safe and dealing with it is the greatest challenge facing nuclear energy’s proponents. The Indian plan turns this waste into fuel. Using thorium, which is abundant in the country, combined with plutonium, the country aims to produce power and “breed” stockpiles of uranium. It is a technology that no other country has mastered – and many have dropped – but India still has more than 2,000 scientists working on the technical problems. However campaigners said “if climate change is the problem, nuclear power is not the answer”. SP Udayakumar, convenor of India’s Alliance for Anti-Nuclear Movements, questioned whether the technology India was pushing would ever be ready. “The nuclear technology the prime minister talks about is not proven. If we start going ahead then the issue is the amount of carbon emitted by building, maintaining, operating and decommissioning nuclear plants means that (nuclear power) is a hugely polluting technology. If it does not work then we are left with waste that takes 24,000 years to become safe. It is a gamble we will pay for generations to come.”

Guardian 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Spain

Spain’s top energy official said on Monday the country had enough spare generating capacity to phase out nuclear power stations in the medium term, in line with government policy. In recent years, Spain has subsidised renewable energy in order to cut its heavy dependence on fuel imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is now the world’s third-biggest producer of wind power and the second-biggest of solar. Nuclear power is unpopular in Spain and both major political parties ruled out building new plants in last year’s elections.

Yahoo 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Planet Ark 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Germany

Germany’s nuclear phase-out policy looks set for revision after Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), won the German federal elections by a comfortable majority. It is now likely that Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants – all due to be shut down by 2022 – will have their lives extended for ten to fifteen years.

Nuclear Engineering International 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Euractive 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

IRAN yesterday said it would refuse to discuss a newly declared nuclear plant at forthcoming international talks and cautioned Western powers it could curb co-operation further if they repeated “past mistakes”.

Irish Examiner 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Herald 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Telegraph 30th Sept 2009 more >>

OFFICIALS FROM the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany will sit down at a table with Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, in Geneva tomorrow and Friday, for their first talks since July 2008.

Irish Times 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Disagreements between western agencies over the design of a nuclear warhead have been severe. The US maintains the position set out in a 2007 national intelligence estimate on Iran. This judged “with high confidence” that Iran halted weaponisation in 2003 and with “moderate confidence” that it had not resumed it as of 2007. Others have clearly had doubts about the claim. Israel has long believed that weaponisation resumed in 2005 after a direct order from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Financial Times has learnt that British intelligence services have come to the same view: that Ayatollah Khamenei’s halt order in 2003 was removed “in late 2004 or early 2005”.

Irish Times 30th Sept 2009 more >>

FT 30th Sept 2009 more >>

On 25 September President Obama accused Iran of building a secret second uranium enrichment plant. Iran said it was a pilot plant. What is known about the second enrichment plant?

BBC 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran has said it is not willing to discuss its “nuclear rights” during an upcoming meeting with the five permanent UN Security Council members.

BBC 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran’s admission that it is enriching uranium at a second nuclear site was greeted with alarm in the halls of Washington and in American newsrooms on Friday. Obama has long warned about the “existential threat” that Iran poses to the US and its allies. Concern over a nuclear Iran is understandable for those who are committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons, and for those who worry about the danger that nuclear proliferation poses for human survival. It should be noted, however, that the Obama administration does not share those concerns. US officials have always been preoccupied with how to prohibit enemy states from developing these weapons, while ensuring maximum US and allied maneuverability in keeping such weapons, and even in using them when deemed necessary.

Middle East Online 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Obama declared, ‘Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow’. The truth required him to say all nations ‘with the exception of Israel’. Until an American President is prepared to abandon the double-standard at the heart of US policy, there can be no hope for peace in the Middle East and far beyond.

Middle East Online 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Trident

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has been criticised for avoiding the issue of Trident in his speech to the Labour Party conference yesterday (29 September). Although he referred to the need to work with other states on nuclear non-proliferation, Brown failed even to mention the Trident nuclear weapons system, despite increasingly vocal opposition to its renewal.

Ekklesia 30th Sept 2009 more >>

Submarines

Russia’s state-run civilian nuclear power corporation ‘Rosatom’ will dismantle 191 out of 198 decommissioned nuclear submarines by 2010, a company report said Tuesday. ‘As of today, 198 nuclear submarines have been decommissioned from the Navy. The disposal of about 25 submarines is not yet over; many of them are in the process of disposal. By the end of 2010, 191 nuclear submarines will have been dismantled,’ said Yevgeny Yevstratov, Rosatom deputy general director. Russia has signed cooperation agreements on the disposal of decommissioned nuclear submarines with the US, Britain, Canada, Japan, Italy and Norway.

Irish Sun 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 30 September 2009

29 September 2009

Waste Transport

The NDA has received advice from Sellafield Ltd and the NDA’s commercial and transport subsidiary, International Nuclear Services that the infrastructure is in place and plans are sufficiently advanced to support the commencement of the VRR (Vitrified Residue Return) programme in the current financial year (2009/10), subject to necessary authorisations and detailed timings to be agreed with Regulators, Customers and Government departments in the UK and overseas.

NDA 28th Sept 2009 more >>

NORWAY has complained it received no warning when a Russian vessel loaded with nuclear waste passed its coastline, it was reported today. The 4,236dwt vessel MCL Trader was carrying nuclear waste as it travelled from Poland to Murmansk, where 12 containers were transshipped.

Fairplay 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Waste Costs Dispute

Martin O’Neill says the government figure for the fixed price waste management costs for new reactors is considerably higher than the industry figure: “There is a gulf between what companies guess new build waste treatment will cost and the government estimate – a rather large gulf. There is a question over the methodology over how the government sum is arrived at,” he said. “The government figure is rather larger than anticipated. There is some anxiety that the government figure adds costs from the weapons programme and there is a degree of smearing the costs. We are a wee bit worried and do not want officials to have a too entrenched position,” he said. Ministers have admitted that there is a ‘gulf’ between the costs for managing nuclear waste.

New Civil Engineer 28th Sept 2009 more >>

EDF

Plans for the revival of Britain’s nuclear power industry were in fresh hands yesterday after the appointment of a new chairman and chief executive of EDF, the state-controlled French energy giant.

Times 29th Sept 2009 more >>

In taking control of France’s second-largest company, with a market value of 71 billion, Henry Proglio has inherited a nuclear-sized headache. An acquisition spree by Pierre Gadonneix, his predecessor, has left the company groaning beneath a 37 billion debt mountain. Mr Gadonneix’s impressively simple solution to the problem to increase French retail electricity prices by 20 per cent was promptly vetoed by the Government and led to his swift removal. EDF is already planning to sell off 5 billion of assets by the end of next year but it seems likely that Mr Proglio may need to accelerate that process. For observers on this side of the Channel, all of this would be of no more than passing interest were it not for the fact that EDF has a central role in Britain’s energy market and is spearheading plans to build a fleet of new nuclear power plants. One possibility is the sale of another chunk of EDF’s stake in British Energy to another utility, a move that would not necessarily derail but could certainly complicate its new-build plans.

Times 29th Sept 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Guide to the nuclear revival. There are several strands of work going on to provide the framework for companies to build new nuclear power stations in the UK. Most are being managed by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Utility Week 17th August 2009 more >>

Germany

The pro-business credentials of Germany’s incoming coalition government gave a modest boost to the country’s equity markets yesterday, with investors quick to judge that some of Europe’s biggest power generation companies would be among the corporate winners from Sunday’s general election. Shares in Eon and RWE, the utility companies, led stock market gains yesterday because of expectations that the new government would extend the life of Germany’s nuclear power plants.

FT 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Times 29th Sept 2009 more >>

The policy to shut down 17 nuclear reactors by 2022 is now up for revision after Merkel’s CDU/CSU took 33.8% of the vote and declared it would form a coalition with the FDP on 14.6%. Together they will have a comfortable majority in the Bundestag.

World Nuclear News 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Yahoo 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

Letters: Your editorial states “Iran’s cat-and-mouse game with nuclear inspectors hands a propaganda victory on a plate to Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli premier who has made little secret of his air force’s preparations for a long-range strike”. This “propaganda victory” is easily demolished by relevant facts which you fail to mention. Fact: Israel has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Fact: Israel has had nuclear weapons for at least 30 years. Fact: Israel has done and still does its best to conceal the existence of these weapons. Fact: as recently as 18 September Israel refused a request from the IAEA to open its nuclear plants to inspection. Fact: an unprovoked Israeli attack on Iran would be a violation of the UN charter and a war crime.

Guardian 29th Sept 2009 more >>

On 21 September, Iran notified the International Atomic Energy Agency about an undeclared enrichment facility, sparking charges that Tehran continues to conceal its nuclear activities.

Jane’s 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran’s Shahab-3 missile test yesterday was a blustering response to being caught lying again about the scale of its nuclear weapons development.

Mirror 29th Sept 2009 more >>

North Korea

North Korea’s atomic weapons were for deterrent purposes only and will be handled “in a responsible manner” to ensure there was no nuclear proliferation.

Herald 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Trident

Despite a probable majority in the party believing that the gigantic sums of money involved would be better spent on sensible things like looking after – rather than threatening – people, New Labour wants a new suit of Trident missiles. It’s an emperor’s suit of course. It’s a fiction that Trident is an independent deterrent when it can only be used, if anyone was mad enough, with the consent of the United States.

Western Mail 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Climate

Ed Miliband today called on all Labour councils to sign up to the 10:10 campaign and cut their carbon emissions by 10% by next year. Labour-run Manchester city council last week became the biggest local authority to sign up, following 27 others, including Oxford, Coventry, Wirral and five London boroughs. But Miliband said he would be working closely with the Local Government Association, which represents 423 councils in England and Wales, to get all councils and Labour groups on board to support 10:10.

Guardian 29th Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 29 September 2009

28 September 2009

Areva

A resurgence of global interest in nuclear power is driving a boom in orders from this area, the centre of the French nuclear industry. To cope with demand, Areva is hiring up to 1,000 people per month to prepare for a surge in orders from around the world. Luc Oursel, chief executive of Areva Nuclear Plants, the core nuclear reactor manufacturing division, said: “We are convinced about the nuclear renaissance.” Despite the recession, Areva, which is 91 per cent-owned by the French State, has more than doubled in size in three years as France seeks to cement its position as a supplier of nuclear equipment and capitalise on a renewed focus on the technology as countries try to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

Times 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Nuclear Subsidies?

We have a regressive tax that takes hundreds of millions of pounds from customers – including the fuel-poor – and redistributes it to major companies that have already received subsidies for generating renewable energy. Equally, the policy fails to address carbon emissions because a tilted playing field transfers this money to some of the least dependable low-carbon generation while providing no financial support to the most reliable. Of the two low-carbon forms of power generation, renewables – including the use of wind and solar – receive subsidies and are set to do so until 2037. Nuclear, by contrast, is unsubsidised. Moreover, these subsidies are not paid by the Government, but by all electricity customers through Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), which are incorporated into their bills.

Telegraph 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Germany

Germany’s nuclear-power industry got its wish yesterday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel won re- election and headed toward a coalition with the Free Democrats. Merkel, 53, may now scrap a law that required Germany’s 17 nuclear plants to close by 2021. Her effort was stymied by her junior partner, the past four years, the Social Democrats, who imposed the deadlines in 2002 when they were in power.

Bloomberg 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

US intelligence knew about the site back in Bush time. Obama was briefed about it during the transition. Last spring US surveillance from satellites and maybe from spies on the ground concluded that a speed-up in the plant’s construction was underway. US intelligence then supposedly learned that the Iranians knew the plant was under US observation. After that it was all news management.

First Post 28th Sept 2009 more >>

IRAN test-fired missiles yesterday to show it was prepared to head off any military threat, four days before the Islamic Republic is due to hold rare talks with world powers worried about its nuclear ambitions.

Irish Examiner 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Scotsman 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Times 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Guardian 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Independent 28th Sept 2009 more >>

This chilling map shows how Northern Ireland was marked for nuclear Armageddon during the Cold War. We have highlighted the Russian battle plan as the lines are drawn for a ‘second Cold War’ between the West and Iran, after a secret weapons plant was uncovered in the rogue state last week.

Belfast Telegraph 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Israel

The Israeli human rights activist Gideon Spiro bravely asks that his country be subject to the same rules as Iran and all others in the Middle East: “Rein in Israel, compel it to accept a regime of nuclear disarmament and oblige it to open all nuclear, biological and chemical facilities and missile sites to international inspection.” The US has leverage because it maintains and funds Israel. If Obama shies away from this, there can be no moral justification to go for Iran or North Korea or any other rogue state. And the leader whose election and dreams gave hope to millions thereby hastens the end of the world.

Independent 28th Sept 2009 more >>

India

India has announced the capability to build a high yield nuclear weapon.

FT 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Climate

Unchecked global warming could bring a severe temperature rise of 4C within many people’s lifetimes, according to a new report for the British government that significantly raises the stakes over climate change. The study, prepared for the Department of Energy and Climate Change by scientists at the Met Office, challenges the assumption that severe warming will be a threat only for future generations, and warns that a catastrophic 4C rise in temperature could happen by 2060 without strong action on emissions.

Guardian 28th Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 28 September 2009

27 September 2009

Sizewell

Five local activists calling themselves the Sizewell Blockaders are appearing in Lowestoft court next week (w/c 28 Sept 09) charged with aggravated trespass at Sizewell Nuclear Power Stations.

Stop Nuclear Power 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Proliferation

THE West’s message to the developing world on nuclear weapons has always been shot through with moral ambiguity. Yes, we have a vast nuclear arsenal, say Britain, France and the United States, but nuclear weapons are a very bad idea and so other countries should be prevented from developing them. Oh, and in the meantime we are going to carry on upgrading our own nukes so we can continue, for many decades to come, having the capability of destroying the world many times over.

Scotland on Sunday 27th Sept 2009 more >>

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has condemned the use of nuclear weapons in international conflict. His remarks came on a visit to Japan, coinciding with global discussions on tackling nuclear proliferation.

Ekklesia 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

Military experts in Washington and Tel Aviv acknowledge that a surprise airstrike would be likely to succeed only in delaying Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. It would also present daunting logistical and political challenges with no guarantee that even a sustained assault on known facilities would eradicate Tehran’s nuclear threat.

Sunday Times 27th Sept 2009 more >>

If nothing else, the disclosure that Iran is building yet another underground nuclear facility has had the welcome effect of wiping the smile off the face of the country’s highly idiosyncratic president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Irish Independent 27th Sept 2009 more >>

It sounds like a scene from a James Bond movie. Western intelligence agents scouring Iran for a secret nuclear site, big enough to make a bomb but small enough to hide, identified some suspicious tunnels in a mountain complex outside the holy city of Qom.

Sunday Times 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted he had not broken any international rules after the dramatic disclosure that Tehran is building another secret nuclear facility.

Sunday Times 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Independent on Sunday 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Q&A on Iran’s Nuclear programme.

Sunday Times 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran must take “concrete steps” to calm fears over its nuclear ambitions, David Miliband said, as he refused to rule out the prospect of military action against the country. The Foreign Secretary insisted the focus remained on a diplomatic solution after revelations that Iran is building another nuclear facility.

Ananova 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran has signalled its intent to have the capability to make nuclear weapons, a Bradford University expert has warned. Professor Paul Rogers, of the Peace Studies Department, said a recently-discovered facility in Iran was significant because it was underground.

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 26th Sept 2009 more >>

A new Iranian nuclear enrichment facility which was revealed to the world this week will soon start work, a Tehran official said on Saturday.

Sunday Telegraph 27th Sept 2009 more >>

The US and Iran raised the stakes yesterday ahead of this week’s nuclear showdown in Geneva, with threats of global strife if no resolution is found. The sharpened rhetoric followed Friday’s revelation that Iran had been building a secret uranium enrichment plant under a mountain near Qom, and it points towards a new wave of sanctions that go far beyond the targeted financial measures imposed on Iran so far.

Observer 27th Sept 2009 more >>

As a veto-holding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China’s position will be crucial to international efforts to deal with Iran’s secret nuclear facility.

Observer 27th Sept 2009 more >>

INTELLIGENCE chief Sir John Scarlett has been told that Saudi Arabia is ready to allow Israel to bomb Iran’s new nuclear site.

Sunday Express 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Climate

The mobile phone giant O2, Manchester city council and In the Loop actor Peter Capaldi have become the latest big names to sign up to the 10:10 campaign.

Observer 27th Sept 2009 more >>

A HIGH-profile campaign at the heart of the Scottish Government’s campaign to bring down damaging carbon emissions is in meltdown just six months after it begun, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. Questions about the Home Insulation Scheme have shown that government officials believe that it will now take 66 years to bring all Scotland’s homes up to a minimum standard – 25 years after it is supposed to have reduced CO2 emissions by 80%

Scotland on Sunday 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Submarines

Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet suffers a serious fire once a year and small fires almost every month, according to new figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Nearly half of the 22 serious fires which have broken out since 1987 blazed on submarines which could have been carrying nuclear weapons. And at least seven have occurred when the boats were in Scottish ports. Details of the fires, which have not been revealed before, have surprised critics, who say incidents were much more frequent than they realised. Deaths have already been caused, and a major blaze could trigger an environmental catastrophe, they say.

Sunday Herald 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Robedwards.com 27th Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 27 September 2009

26 September 2009

EDF

Henri Proglio, the chief executive of Veolia, the French water and waste management group, is expected to be named as head of EdF, the state electricity giant, this weekend. Mr Proglio, 60, will replace Pierre Gadonneix as chief executive of EdF, which bought British Energy for £12.4 billion one year ago, according to French government insiders. The move is likely to be finalised by President Sarkozy before an EdF board meeting on Sunday.

Times 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Radiation & Health

In 2008, the KiKK study in Germany reported a 1.6-fold increase in solid cancers and a 2.2-fold increase in leukemias among children living within 5 km of all German nuclear power stations. The study has triggered debates as to the cause(s) of these increased cancers. This article, by Dr Ian Fairlie, reports on the findings of the KiKK study; discusses past and more recent epidemiological studies of leukemias near nuclear installations around the world, and outlines a possible biological mechanism to explain the increased cancers.

Environmental Health Journal 23rd September 2009 more >>

Sizewell

Five local activists calling themselves the Sizewell Blockaders are appearing in Lowestoft court next week charged with aggravated trespass at Sizewell Nuclear Power Stations. The charges relate to a blockade, which took place back in July 2008 when the 5 activists locked themselves together on the end of the only entrance road to the nuclear power stations. The five activists claim that the stations should be shut down for health and safety reasons and therefore the activities on the site are not lawful. Some of the defendants are calling Dr Ian Fairlie, a Consultant on Radioactivity in the Environment who will be giving evidence about recent German studies (the KiKK study) which found that all types of cancer as well as leukaemia occurred significantly more frequently in the vicinity of nuclear power plants (within a radius of 5 km) than in further distant areas.

View on the Ground 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Get noticed online 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

It seems we may only be a year or so away from Iran having its own nuclear weapons. Considering the country’s hardline regime controlled by the ayatollahs, that prospect is a chilling one – and far more worrying than Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction”.

Daily Record 26th Sept 2009 more >>

THE REVELATION that Iran has been illegally hiding another nuclear plant represented an intelligence coup for the United States and its allies, and it was delivered at an important moment — just days before the first meeting in a year between Iran and the international coalition that has been pressing for a suspension of its nuclear program. The uranium enrichment facility, hidden in tunnels under a mountain near the city of Qom, looks like the sort of clandestine plant that U.S. intelligence agencies predicted Iran would use to produce a weapon; officials say that when it is operational, it could deliver the material for a bomb in a year. If that was its purpose, then its discovery has dealt Iran’s program a setback.

Washington Post 26th Sept 2009 more >>

GORDON BROWN joined the US and France yesterday in demanding Iran give up its nuclear programme following the dramatic disclosure that Tehran is building another secret nuclear facility.

Northern Echo 26th Sept 2009 more >>

US president Barack Obama revealed yesterday that Iran had concealed a partially built second uranium enrichment plant in defiance of calls for transparency over its nuclear plans.

Scotsman 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Irish Times 26th Sept 2009 more >>

BBC 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran’s attempt at damage control backfired on the Islamic regime when its disclosure of a supposed “pilot plant” provoked a virtual ultimatum by the leaders of Britain, France and the United States.The letter has provided evidence to prove that Iran has been concealing information from the international community. Both Russia and China, whose leaders were attending the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, hardened their position.

Times 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Yesterday’s revelations about Iran’s secret uranium enrichment facility at Qom came after three years of intensive investigation and surveillance by the most trusted of America’s intelligence allies: Britain, France and Israel. Last week, as Tehran finally woke up to the knowledge that the plant’s security had been breached, it rushed to declare its existence to the IAEA, hoping to pre-empt other reports and prove its openness and co-operation. At the G20 meeting Gordon Brown said, clear evidence of Iran’s “serial deception”. Not only had Tehran sought to deceive the world about the Qom plant’s existence, the evidence clearly showed that it was intended for military use. “The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful programme,” Mr Brown said. “Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow endangering the nonproliferation regime, denying its people access to the opportunity they deserve, and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world.”

Times 26th Sept 2009 more >>

President Ahmadinejad was caught off guard today as he learnt from an American reporter on camera that his secret nuclear facility in Iran was about to be exposed by President Obama.

Times 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Britain played a key role in gathering intelligence to expose Iran’s secret nuclear facility, according to Western diplomatic sources. Officials in Pittsburgh said today that the British intelligence services played a “big part” in the hunt for concealed uranium enrichment capacity in Iran.

Times 26th Sept 2009 more >>

The US, Britain and France united in condemnation of Iran on Friday after Tehrans admission that it has been constructing a secret uranium enrichment facility that Washington fears could help produce a nuclear bomb.

FT 26th Sept 2009 more >>

The Iranian nuclear crisis reached a decisive moment yesterday after Tehran was forced to admit it was building a secret uranium enrichment plant inside a mountain in the arid centre of the country. The admission, following the discovery of the plant by the CIA, MI6 and the French DGSE intelligence agency, paved the way for a showdown on Thursday in Geneva, where Iranian officials are due to meet representatives of six major powers. (See Guardian website for several related stories)

Guardian 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Independent 26th Sept 2009 more >>

Telegraph 26th Sept 2009 more >>

India

Canada is close to signing a deal with India to sell nuclear technology and materials, Trade Minister Stockwell Day said on Friday, adding he was confident that remaining security concerns would be resolved. Day made similar comments in May, saying at that time that a deal was imminent. He told reporters on a conference call that he was now ironing out a few final stumbling blocks.

Interactive Investor 25th Sept 2009 more >>

France

Engineers at French state-owned utility EdF’s Paluel nuclear plant halted the 1,300MW unit 3 after a fire broke out early this morning. The reactor came off the French grid at 03:30 CET (01.30 GMT) after a fire broke out in the machine room. EdF was unable to say when the unit will return to service. The plant’s unit 2 remains out of operation for maintenance and refuelling. The 900MW unit 1 at EdF’s Chinon plant returned to the French grid this week following maintenance. The latest shutdowns and reconnections bring EdF’s unavailable nuclear capacity to 18.5GW, or 29.6pc of its fleet.

Argus Media 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Kazakhstan

Canada and Kazakhstan have concluded negotiations on the text of a nuclear cooperation agreement, ministers from the two countries have announced.

World Nuclear News 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 26 September 2009

25 September 2009

New Nukes

EDF Energy is moving ahead with plans to build four nuclear power plants after joining forces with Rolls Royce. Under the agreement, Rolls Royce will supply engineering and technical support during the planning and construction phases.

Planning Resource 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Processing of nuclear fuel has been granted an exemption from European Union (EU) plans to auction carbon dioxide emissions allowances from 2013, although the exemption list will be reviewed before 2010.

World Nuclear News 24th Sept 2009 more >>

IRENA – the International Renewable Energy Agency – has condemned the decision of the IEA to include nuclear and CCS projects in developing markets into the mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol. ‘The Clean Development Mechanism is not called clean out of any reason – only 100% renewable energy is clean. CCS technology on the other hand is nothing but a fata morgana, technically feasible on a larger scale not before 2020,’ IRENA said in a statement.

PV-tech 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Dounreay

Bidders for nuclear work are gearing up to fight for a multibillion pound contract to manage the clean-up of the Dounreay site on the northern coast of Scotland. The NDA has issued a tender seeking a consortium to oversee the restoration operation at the site. The programme is valued at about £3.6bn. The Pentland Alliance is regarded as the frontrunner for the job. Members of this consortium, which includes Amec, CH2M Hill and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), have been seconded to senior posts at Dounreay over the past three years. However, in a surprise move last week, the commercial arm of UKAEA chose engineer Babcock International rather than Amec to be its buyer, which raised questions about the future of the Pentland Alliance. However, it is thought that the consortium will continue.

Building 25th Sept 2009 more >>

One of the most demanding clean-up jobs ever undertaken in the history of nuclear energy is gathering pace. It involves the recovery and packaging of more than 1500 tonnes of radioactive waste that has lain submerged for up to 50 years in the ground beneath Britain’s abandoned experiment with fast reactors at Dounreay – in the Dounreay Shaft and Wet Silo. Tests are underway in Scotland, Germany and the USA to develop the heavily-shielded plant that will sift and package the hazardous debris once it is brought back to the surface. Later this year, work is expected to begin on a scheme design for the robotic machinery that will descend up to 65 metres below the surface to recover the waste from its watery resting place.

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Dounreay has published the findings of its investigation into the discovery of a radioactive particle in land adjacent to the licensed site. The investigation report has been distributed to the land-user and nearby residents and SEPA. An investigation was carried out into the discovery of contamination during a survey last month of the off-site area designated for development as a repository for low level radioactive waste from the site decommissioning.

DSRL 17th Sept 2009 more >>

Liberal Democrats

That’s it’s for the Lib Dem conference for another year, with members, despite strong and impassioned arguments, having voted to retain their “no nukes, no way” position. Why was this? Could there have been an Opik effect? For we heard the knowledgable Lembit tell how he had researched it all for a year and had reached the conclusion that nuclear wasn’t so bad after all. But we also heard him say that the waste could go to disposal sites in Uruguay or Paraguay. They don’t have nuclear waste disposal sites, we understand. Seems he wasted a whole year.

Guardian 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Sellafield

Sellafield emergency exercise dubbed “irrelevant sham” Sellafield emergency exercise dubbed “irrelevant sham” An emergency exercise at the Sellafield plant on Thursday has been dubbed “an irrelevant PR sham” by anti-nuclear campaigners. Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland said: “This exercise has everything to do with the appearance of the authorities being in control and nothing to do with the safety of Cumbrians.” RFL believe there is no place in nuclear safety for Public Relations exercises that bear no relevance to the real dangers.

Get Noticed Online 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

WEST Cumbria will have a new social master plan to help the area cope with the possible loss of 8,000 jobs. These may go mainly through decommissioning at Sellafield.

Whitehaven News 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

THE THREAT of strike action hanging over Sellafield and other energy construction sites seems to have been averted. Mass meetings are now being arranged at all UK sites, including Sellafield, at which union officials will recommend acceptance of a new deal covering pay and conditions.

Whitehaven News 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Low Level Waste

THE search for more nuclear waste sites will hot up now that consultations on what to do with future low-level radioactive material have ended. The government will have the headache of finally deciding how far to move away from Drigg – the country’s only designated site – or to use landfill both in West Cumbria and other parts of the country. Both Copeland Borough and Cumbria County Council have made it crystal clear that contaminated material should be kept at, or as near as possible to, both Sellafield and Drigg. But this may fly in the face of government national strategy which will consider whether some conventional landfill sites could fit the bill. These would dispose of only the very lowest levels of radioactive materials, some of it from hospitals and universities as well as the nuclear industry.

Whitehaven News 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Sizewell

The probability of two new nuclear reactors at Sizewell, as well as gas fired plants at South Holland and Kings Lynn and the development of the offshore wind farm at Lowestoft (Greater Gabbard) mean that National Grid needs to not only provide a connection to these power stations, but also to ensure that there is enough capacity in the system.

Kathy Pollard (Lib Dem Councillor) 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

British Energy has today submitted an Environmental Scoping Report to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The Scoping Report outlines the nature and purpose of British Energy’s proposed spent fuel management strategy which options include on-site storage in a dry fuel store from 2015, when the current fuel ponds will reach capacity.

British Energy 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Bulgaria

RWE AG Chief Executive Officer Juergen Grossmann is considering withdrawing from a nuclear power plant to be built in Belenes, Bulgaria, because of rising costs.

Bloomberg 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Proliferation

World leaders backed a landmark resolution yesterday calling for a world without nuclear weapons at a United Nations Security Council, but Sarkozy came close to mocking Obama for a resolution with no targets or fresh mandates. “We live in a real world not a virtual world, and the real world expects us to take decisions”.

Irish Independent 25th Sept 2009 more >>

THE UN Security Council, at a summit chaired by US President Barack Obama, unanimously approved a resolution yesterday calling on nuclear weapons states to scrap their arsenals.

Irish Examiner 25th Sept 2009 more >>

The resolution calls for stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote disarmament and “reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.”

Belfast Telegraph 25th Sept 2009 more >>

FT 25th Sept 2009 more >>

There is a growing fear amongst disarmament experts both inside and outside government that the whole machinery intended to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons – whose cornerstone is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT – is looking increasingly fragile. As nuclear power spreads around the globe, there is a growing risk that nuclear know-how could encourage other countries to aspire to nuclear weapons. Mr Obama’s approach rests upon three main pillars. First the nuclear-armed powers must demonstrate their own disarmament credentials in deeds rather than just words. Second the whole machinery of non-proliferation must be strengthened. Thirdly the nuclear bargain needs to be reinforced too. Real efforts must be made to share and encourage the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

BBC 24th Sept 2009 more >>

THE world’s nuclear states pledged yesterday to scrap their deadly arsenals in a move which experts said could be the most significant attempt in decades to halt a new nuclear arms race.

Scotsman 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Herald 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Telegraph 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Some believe events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran was given a September deadline to start negotiations over its nuclear programs at July’s G8 summit in Italy. So Mr Obama is right to seize any chance of halting this new nuclear arms race. But can Iran and North Korea be persuaded that, this time, the nuclear club will come through? It has to be worth a try.

Scotsman 25th Sept 2009 more >>

While the presidents and prime ministers declared their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons, back home, much of the nuclear club – including China and Russia – is quietly planning to upgrade their current arsenals.

Scotsman 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Gordon Brown urged the United Nations to come up with “far tougher” sanctions on Iran and North Korea if they continue with their nuclear weapons programmes.

Herald 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Q&A on the NPT and Nuclear Disarmament.

BBC 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

Pressure mounted on Iran yesterday to halt its nuclear programme as world leaders at the United Nations warned of the threat posed by Tehran to a global consensus on disarmament.

Times 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Independent 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Iranian negotiators should realise that their centrifuges are reaching their highest trade-in value. Push it any further, and Iran will not have an internationally monitored production line of enriched uranium to feed its nuclear reactors. Instead of international finance and trade, it will attract blockades and bombs.

Guardian 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Trident

Gordon Brown’s gesture is an exercise in political symbolism rather than a major change in Britain’s nuclear posture. The fourth submarine is essentially a “spare” and it is probable that – whatever some nuclear-weapons advocates say – a missile submarine can be maintained on patrol at sea at all times with a fleet of just three boats.

Open Democracy 24th Sept 2009 more >>

FORMER nuclear submarine engineering officer and chief petty officer Terry Spurling believes the Royal Navy needs at least four boats if it is to maintain Britain’s nuclear missile deterrent.

Business Gazette 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Climate

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in 2007 is widely considered the most authoritative report on global warming. However a new report looking at the science that has been produced since found that temperature rises could be even higher because of increasing amounts of pollution in the atmosphere, speeding up of melting glaciers, collapsing ecosystems and acidification of the oceans.

Telegraph 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Coal

Letter from WDM and FoE(S): Local campaigners are absolutely right to challenge Scottish Government plans to build a coal-fired power station at Hunterston on the basis that they haven’t been properly consulted. The proposal is also flawed in other ways, not least because there is no need for new coal in Scotland. The World Development Movement recently published a report, The Power of Scotland, Renewed, based on independent analysis, which showed that Scotland can meet its projected electricity needs between now and 2030 without new coal (or nuclear). Given that the Scottish climate change law also requires Scotland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 (and burning coal is a major source of these emissions) it is hard to see why the Hunterston proposal came to be in the National Planning Framework at all.

Scotsman 25th Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 25 September 2009

24 September 2009

New Nukes

More than 30 countries have announced proposals to pursue nuclear new-build as part of their future energy strategy, and the number is growing steadily. More than ten countries have reactors under construction. So which regions are attractive for investment in nuclear power? How can opportunities in different countries be assessed? And what are the implications for the industry? To answer these questions, Ernst & Young evaluated the issues of primary concern to technology vendors, construction groups and utilities to identify the leading factors linked to a national market’s attractiveness for new nuclear investment. The recession will prove to be less of a constraining factor on nuclear new-build than the ability of governments and regulators to provide an attractive framework to investors. Ultimately, countries will take decisions to allow new nuclear and firm orders will begin to appear. At that point, supply chain constraints will emerge and the race will be on to complete construction by 2020. Those hoping to join the ranks of nuclear countries must do all they can to address any outstanding issues and attract investment in time.

Utility Week 18th Sept 2009 more >>

Springfields

The nuclear sector received a boost this month when one of the companies bidding to build new reactors announced details of plans for long-term development of the fuel production site at Springfields, near Preston.

Professional Engineering 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Wylfa

The council is lobbying to increase skills funding for retraining to ensure workers on the island will be able to take advantage of the jobs that may become available with the decommissioning of Wylfa nuclear power station and its possible replacement with a new power station – a project that would require between 2,500 and 3,000 construction workers. Ms Davies said: “We want to make sure that as many of those jobs are filled by workers from Anglesey and north west Wales.”

Daily Post 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Proliferation

Obama will chair a session of the UN Security Council on Thursday which will discuss how to reach a global deal on nuclear proliferation.

FT 24th Sept 2009 more >>

George Shultz et al. The potential spread of nuclear weapons to states and terrorists, the spread of nuclear technology and know-how and the residual nuclear threat from the cold war have brought us to the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era. This unprecedented challenge to global security is the context for an extraordinary head-of-state-level meeting of the UN security council this week in New York, chaired by President Barack Obama.

Guardian 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Trident

The UK will remain committed to maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent. Second, the country is not announcing new cuts in the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal, which is a benchmark of progress on disarmament. Third, the UK is insisting it will not compromise the commitment to have continuous at-sea deterrence.

FT 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Britain’s offer to cut back on submarines does not include an offer to cut back on warheads.

Huddersfield Examiner 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Ananova 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

The government is considering cutting the number of warheads in its nuclear arsenal, a much more significant move than the plan to reduce the number of new Trident submarines, officials said today.

Guardian 24th Sept 2009 more >>

John Hutton, the former def-ence secretary, gave warning yesterday that Gordon Brown’s offer to reduce the future Trident submarine fleet by one vessel could jeopardise the UK’s long-standing commitment to “continuous at-sea -deterrence”.

FT 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

Major United Nations powers last night told Iran to prepare a “serious response” by the beginning of next month to demands it halt its nuclear programme or risk the consequences. The demand from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany came after President Barack Obama made his first speech to the UN General Assembly, urging leaders to stop blaming America and join him in confronting world issues including Iran’s nuclear plans.

Irish Times 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Sarkozy wants Iran to be given a three month deadline.

FT 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Italy

Italy will hold talks next week with the Obama administration and Westinghouse about re-starting its nuclear industry.

FT 24th Sept 2009 more >>

China

China wants to use nuclear power vigorously to fight climate change – with financial support from wealthier nations, according to a speech delivered to the UN yesterday. Non-proliferaiton and disarmament are also under discussion this week.

World Nuclear News 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Germany

Germany’s election campaign has been marked by yet another nuclear incident, the emergency shutdown of the Krummel reactor. The next government will be under pressure to mothball nuclear plants before the 2021 deadline.

Utility Week 18th Sept 2009 more >>

Coal

Papers have been lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh which could prevent a new coal-fired power station being built in Ayrshire. Campaigners are asking for a judicial review of the plans for the power station at Hunterston. They claim the Scottish Government did not consult on the proposals, in line with European law.

BBC 24th Sept 2009 more >>

STV 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Herald 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Scotsman 24th Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 24 September 2009

23 September 2009

Sellafield Site

A consortium of Iberdrola SA (IBE.MC), GDF Suez (GSZ.FR) and Scottish and Southern Energy PLC (SSE.LN) has filed an expression of interest in buying land suitable for new nuclear power plants adjacent to the nuclear site at Sellafield in Cumbria, northwest England, an Iberdrola spokesman said Tuesday.

Wall St Journal 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Oldbury

Geotechnical contractor Hydrock began preliminary work at Oldbury, Gloucestershire, on behalf of energy giant E.on. Oldbury is one of 11 sites proposed by the government to host new nuclear power stations. Drilling for 22 boreholes between 40m and 80m in depth began on 3 August. Hydrock director Dr Adam Fisher said: “We have been working in the new nuclear build programme for the past 18 months and it forms a major part of our growth strategy. This is a complex and critical piece of work.”

Calco Power Presidium 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Nuclear engineering jobs are set to be created at Rolls-Royce after the company signed a deal with EDF Energy to work together on the construction of four new nuclear power plants. Rolls-Royce will provide engineering and technical support for the £14 billion projects, as well as managing the supply chain.

Career Engineer 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Jobs

Investment in renewables and energy efficiency would create seven times more green jobs over the next ten years than would be lost in the coal and nuclear sectors in Europe, according to a report launched today by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council ( EREC ), and backed by trade unions.

Media Newswire 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Greenpeace Report 14th Sept 2009 more >>

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat energy policy has been criticised as “totally wrong” by a senior MP. Phil Willis said “our party policy is totally wrong on this issue” and “dishonest”. He said nuclear power was a more environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel. Citing the range of infrastructure problems, he said it is “farcical to think we can deal with our pledges by putting more wind turbines in the North Sea”. Martin Horwood, Lib Dem environment and climate change spokesman, accepted there is “a challenge” in meeting UK energy demand. But he said the party has been “resolutely against” nuclear power and called for that position to remain.

ePolitix 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Lembit Opik MP telling delegates that 12 months of intense research has persuaded him of the necessity of embracing nuclear power. “I am not too keen on nuclear power, but I am keen to keep the lights on.” The Lib Dem Lothario’s real U-turn there is the bit about the lights.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Party backs amendment promising Lib Dem councils will commit themselves to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by next year.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Trident

Prime Minister Gordon Brown signaled that Britain would be prepared to reduce by a quarter the number of submarines that carry nuclear weapons if he can persuade other countries to cut their programs.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Telegraph 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Times 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Independent 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Bloomberg 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Yahoo 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Sky 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

BBC 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Loughborough Echo 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Newcastle Journal 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Herald 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Liverpool Daily Post 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Scotsman 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Germany

Polls show combined support for a pro-nuclear alliance between the Christian Democratic Union bloc and Free Democratic Party has dipped below 50 percent. It reached 52 percent in July. Merkel’s CDU has “no plan B” on energy in the event of a rerun of the coalition with the Social Democrats, said Joachim Pfeiffer, the party’s spokesman on energy issues. “We’ll be stumped, frankly,” Pfeiffer said in an interview. “We need an energy mix with nuclear power. Without it we have a problem.” Not so, say the Social Democrats. By 2020, renewable energy will provide at least 30 percent of electricity needs — up from 15 percent now — and a new generation of coal- and gas-fired plants will plug the gap as nuclear energy shuts down, according to Social Democratic Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Bloomberg 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Merkel is on the defensive over nuclear power.

FT 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran says it has built a new generation of centrifuges for enriching uranium, and is testing them. The head of Iran’s nuclear agency made the announcement but did not say when they would be ready to go into production at the Natanz atomic plant.

BBC 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Middle East Online 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Coal

The government’s claim to be a world leader in developing clean coal technology has been dented after officials warned privately that public spending constraints could force them to cut the £10bn programme. The Guardian has learned that Ed Miliband’s energy and climate change department is under pressure from the Treasury to scale back its ambitions for new carbon capture and storage (CCS) coal plants.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Climate

The world’s airlines unveiled plans to halve emissions by 2050 yesterday, to fend off calls for new taxes on flying and criticism that they are failing to act quickly enough in the fight against climate change. Vicky Wyatt, aviation campaigner at Greenpeace, called Mr Walsh’s remarks “complete greenwash”. She said that the majority of cuts would be achieved through a carbon-trading regime rather than a real reduction in the industry’s emissions. Ms Wyatt described the announcement as “little more than an elaborate conjuring trick designed to make the public think that BA is serious about climate change while it carries on with business as usual. The focus must be on reducing demand for flights,” she said.

Times 23rd Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 23 September 2009

22 September 2009

EDF

EDF is looking to offload another 20% stake in British Energy, according to a report in France. It has already sold a 20% stake in the nuclear generator to Centrica but needs to raise capital to fund its nuclear programme and pay off debts. The report in La Tribune newspaper said that the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund or Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure fund could be interested but did not give any further details. More imminent is a decision from EDF on whether to proceed with its distribution business in the UK, which it put up for sale this summer and could raise 3bn (£2.7bn). EDF has debts of 25bn, thanks partly to the British Energy acquisition but also after paying £3bn for half of the US nuclear firm Constellation Energy. It also wants to build four nuclear reactors in the UK – which could cost up to 5bn each – and many more elsewhere in the world.

Guardian 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Telegraph 21st Sept 2009 more >>

France’s EDF said on Monday there were no current plans to sell a further stake in British Energy, after a newspaper reported it could sell a 20pc stake in the UK nuclear power generator.

Telegraph 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

EDF, the heavily indebted French power group, is close to agreeing a big asset swap with E.ON, its German rival, but it played down reports yesterday that it was also considering the sale of a 20 per cent stake in British Energy, the UK’s nuclear generator. The company, which is leading the drive to build the next generation of nuclear reactors in Britain, has begun a sweeping review of its businesses as it aims to cut its 37 billion (£33.5 billion) debt pile.

Times 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Hunterston

A SCOTTISH nuclear power station has been issued with a final warning after radio- active waste leaked into the sea, it emerged yesterday. Hundreds of gallons of low-level waste was discharged from Hunterston B into the Firth of Clyde on May 15. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said it did not cause an environmental issue.

Press and Journal 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Dounreay

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced the launch of the competition to secure a Parent Body Organisation (PBO) for the Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) Site Licence Company (SLC).

NDA 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Companies

Westinghouse subsidiary PaR Nuclear has formed a joint venture with Hutchinson Manufacturing (HMI) to fabricate, assemble and test specialty cranes for nuclear power plants.

World Nuclear News 21st Sept 2009 more >>

US

Design and planning work worth up to up to $40 million is being offered towards the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP), which aims to use an advanced reactor to produce heat for industry. The money is for the initial planning phase of the project, which aims to result in a high-temperature reactor producing electricity and heat for an industrial purpose like producing hydrogen. A decision to build will be made on the results of first-phase studies. The US Department of Energy (DoE) is to make two awards in February next year to support these studies on two different reactor concepts. It is hoped that the plant could be built by 2021, although the original schedule was 2010 when NGNP was first announced in 2000.

World Nuclear News 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Sweden

Sweden’s nuclear fleet suffered further problems this morning, with news of extended outages at two more units. State-owned utility Vattenfall has extended the outage at its 866MW Ringhals unit 2 until 8 December, after previously delaying the planned restart until 19 November. Vattenfall cited “prolonged testing” for the repeated delays in a statement to the Nord Pool exchange.

Argus Media 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denied US and western claims about the country’s nuclear ambitions, calling them a “fabrication”.

View London 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Disarmament

Various letters including Kate Hudson: It’s good news that President Obama has kicked back the Pentagon’s “timid” proposals for a new nuclear posture review in favour of a radical rewrite . Breaking out of the “more of the same” approach is key to making progress towards abolition. It was disappointing, then, to read David Miliband’s comments, pushing attention off on to Iran and North Korea, as usual. Perhaps this isn’t surprising when you consider that the UK’s nuclear policy remains the replacement of Trident. John Sauven: A new report by the Climate Group claims 1.4% of global economic output, or an annual $1tn, is needed until 2050 to deliver the technology needed to reduce CO2. This is slightly less than the $1.46tn spent globally on the military each year. If we want a secure planet, it’s time we rebalanced where we spend our money. President Obama has called on the world to get rid of nuclear weapons. The total cost of Trident until around 2050 is at least £97.5bn.

Guardian 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Trident

Labour may be backing away from plans to replace Trident, as senior government figures predict that the pledge will be struck from the party’s election manifesto next year. The fate of the £20 billion project now appears to be tied to the outcome of international talks in which Britain is under pressure to join President Obama in tabling proposals for significant reductions in nuclear firepower. There is little prospect, however, of Labour reneging altogether on its longstanding pledge “to maintain an independent British nuclear deterrent”.

Times 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Two thirds of voters want the Government to scrap plans to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent. A YouGov poll for the Labour-leaning blog Left Foot Forward reveals 63% oppose its renewal and 23% say Britain should get rid of nuclear weapons altogether.

Sky News 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Nuclear Testing

For the first time in a decade, a worldwide ban on nuclear testing could be within reach. The combination of a strong commitment from US President Barack Obama, along with new data on nuclear materials and the successful completion of a global nuclear-monitoring network, means that momentum is once again swinging in favour of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that would ban all nuclear explosions for military or civilian purposes.

Nature 21st Sept 2009 more >>

People

Former FT Journalist, David Fishlock, who championed nuclear power, had died suddenly at the age of 77.

FT 22nd Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 22 September 2009

21 September 2009

Hinkley

The National Grid is preparing for the arrival of the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The high-voltage network will need to be upgraded, and a 37-mile-long, 400,000 volt overhead line built between Hinkley and the Seabank substation in Avonmouth. That’ll happen in 2016, at a cost of around £2-million per mile.

Original 106.5 Bristol 19th Sept 2009 more >>

Hunterston

A nuclear power station has been sent a final warning letter after radioactive waste leaked into the sea. Around 2600 litres of low-level waste was discharged from Hunterston B into the Firth of Clyde because of a problem with a valve. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said the leak did not cause an environmental issue, but it issued the Ayrshire power station with a final warning letter because procedures were not followed. Extracts from a letter sent by SEPA radioactive substances specialist Keith Hammond to the director of Hunterston B on July 8 emerged in the Sunday Herald.

Herald 20th Sept 2009 more >>

Hamilton Advertiser 20th Sept 2009 more >>

Perthshire Advertiser 20th Sept 2009 more >>

Radiation & Health

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron MP is to highlight the call to extend Sellafield’s compensation scheme for radiation linked diseases to the wider population. In a question to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale will ask if he will bring forward the present proposals. Anti-nuclear group Radiation Free Lakeland’s want the existing compensation scheme to be extended to the wider population within at least a 5km radius of Sellafield.

Getnoticedonline 20th Sept 2009 more >>

UKAEA

The commercial arm of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has been sold to energy support services firm Babcock International. UKAEA employs around 230 staff and oversees nuclear clean-up work at three sites in the UK, as well as offering consultancy services in international markets. Headquartered in Harwell, Oxfordshire, UKAEA operates an office in Warrington’s Birchwood Park which earlier this year began an expansion programme of its own.

Liverpool Daily Post 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Disarmament

Barack Obama has demanded the Pentagon conduct a radical review of US nuclear weapons doctrine to prepare the way for deep cuts in the country’s arsenal, the Guardian can reveal.

Guardian 21st Sept 2009 more >>

President Barack Obama’s announcement of a new system for protecting America’s allies against Iranian missiles has ignited charges that he is scaling back the one he inherited from George W. Bush as a concession to the Russians. In fact, the Obama plan is a big improvement on the Bush one, and it is designed to counter an evolving Iranian threat, not to mollify Russian anxieties.

FT 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Five months ago in Prague, Barack Obama used one of his first foreign policy speeches to call for a world free of nuclear weapons. Ever since then the White House has been engaged in a race to turn that declaration into real-world policy. The first obstacle is the Pentagon.

Guardian 21st Sept 2009 more >>

David Miliband: This week, Barack Obama will chair a summit of the UN security council to discuss nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. This is one of the most critical issues we face. Get it right, and we will increase global security, pave the way for a world without nuclear weapons and improve access to affordable, safe and dependable energy – vital to tackle climate change. Get it wrong, and we face the spread of nuclear weapons and the chilling prospect of nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists.

Guardian 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Missile Defence

Letter: the most alarming feature of such systems is their need to respond automatically to a military threat means people are increasingly removed from the loop, greatly increasing the chance of war.

Guardian 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Iran

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denied Western claims that Iran intends to develop nuclear arms.

BBC 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Jordan

Tractebel Engineering is to investigate the proposed site for Jordan’s first nuclear power plant after the country’s nuclear power authorities awarded a site study contract to the Belgian firm.

Modern Power Systems 20th Sept 2009 more >>

Renewables

Wind power is currently heavily subsidised by the Government as it rushes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and produce 20pc of all power from renewables by 2020 in line with European climate change targets. However, Rene Umlauft, chief executive of the Siemens division, believes that the rising price of gas and other fossil fuels will make wind farms commercially viable within eight years.

Telegraph 21st Sept 2009 more >>

Posted: 21 September 2009