News April 2010

30 April 2010

General Election

If Nick Clegg does manage to stitch up, sorry pull together, a coalition after May 6 one of the policies he will carry into Government will be his opposition to nuclear power. Now the main body he will come up against on this will be the Nuclear Industry Association. And within the NIA we find one Simon James, the organisation’s chief lobbyist, sorry (again), its head of public affairs. Thing is it is quite possible these two gents already know each other. When not promoting the nuclear power industry, Simon has stood as a prospective parliamentary candidate in three elections for the Lib Dems – a party that, er, opposes nuclear power.

Telegraph 30th Apr 2010 more >>

Funded Decommissioning Programme

The government is proposing early transfer of liability for long-term management and disposal of nuclear waste from new nuclear generators to the public purse. Utilities and the public face a bill of up to £16bn.

ENDS April 2010 more >>

Energy Supply

Letter from Steuart Campbell: It’s bad enough that Scotland has a government that will not permit the construction of any new nuclear power stations, while hypocritically allowing the existing ones to generate. However, if the Lib Dems get any influence in the UK government, England and Wales will suffer the same fate and there will no provision for secure and reliable electricity from about 2017 onwards, when the first new nuclear station in England could be commissioned. Scotland’s generating capacity will be severely reduced when Hunterston B closes next year. This may lead to the end of electricity exports from Scotland and put a strain on generation in the rest of the UK, where there could be blackouts somewhere between 2013 and 2016 due to further closures. Power from wind farms will be useless on a calm day, which means that the planned expansion of renewables is both pointless and dangerous. The electricity gap could only be filled by more gas-fired generation, putting us at the mercy of the countries that now supply much of our gas.

Scotsman 28th April 2010 more >>

Scotland

Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott claimed during a visit to a renewable energy firm in Aberdeen that Scotland will lead the way in helping his party to deliver a “zero carbon Britain” within 20 years. Mr Scott said: “This country has the potential to become the renewables powerhouse of Europe. And our party has a plan to make that happen.”

Bury Times 28th Apr 2010 more >>

ICWest Lothian 28th Apr 2010 more >>

BBC 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Oldbury

The Green Party Launched – The Right to Know: Oldbury Nuclear Expansion and Your Safety – the risks to the people of Gloucestershire on Thursday.

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Wylfa

Energy secretary Ed Miliband has said that Wales is poised to be at the forefront of cheap energy production in Britain. Speaking to the Western Mail, Mr Miliband pointed out that more than half of the cheap energy projected from offshore wind turbines in Britain has been earmarked to come from Wales. Mr Miliband added that Wales is well positioned to benefit from the balanced energy policy the government aims to pursue in the near future. The energy minister’s comments come after a recent visit to Anglesey, which the Labour party has been promoting as an energy island following the announcement that a new generation nuclear power station will be built at Wylfa.

Energy Helpline 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

The Rotherham-based National Metals Technology Centre (NAMTEC) and South Yorkshire’s embryonic Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) are hosting a two day conference on Nuclear Metals and Manufacturing.

Sheffield Star 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Companies

ENGINEERING firm Sheffield Forgemasters International’s order book has been boosted by a contract worth more than £1m to service South Korea’s latest generation of nuclear power plants.

Business Desk 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Costs

Letter from Prof Richard Green: Prof Steve Thomas (Letters, April 28) argues that nuclear power stations may cost 50 per cent more than offshore wind, per kilowatt of installed capacity. It is worth remembering that the nuclear station will probably produce twice as much energy from each kW of installed capacity. When calculating the amount of capacity we should count on to produce electricity when we really need it, the ratio may be between five and eight to one.

FT 30th Apr 2010 more >>

Metal Recycling

A SCRAP dealer died of radiation poisoning after dismantling a machine once used by a university chemistry class, police in India said yesterday. The dealer died on Monday in New Delhi after being among workers who sawed open a “gamma cell” that Delhi University auctioned in February, a police statement said. Seven other workers were being treated for radiation exposure. Delhi University vice-chancellor Deepak Pental apologised yesterday and accepted “moral responsibility” for the lax manner in which the radioactive equipment had been handled, and said the university would compensate the victims, although “no amount can compensate for the damage,” he said. The case has raised fears about the unregulated disposal of hazardous material in India, where dangerous chemicals and even radioactive waste are often sold to scrap dealers.

Scotsman 30th Apr 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

FIVE bags of low level radioactive waste which ended up at the Lillyhall landfill site by mistake have been safely recovered. The waste should have been sent from Sellafield to Drigg, the country’s only designated disposal site for the low level nuclear material. Some of the bags had already been buried at Lillyhall after the mistake was discovered.

Whitehaven News 28th Apr 2010 more >>

AN environmental pressure group has laid down a radioactive waste gauntlet to Copeland’s general election candidates. Radiation Free Lakeland asks: “Which of the candidates will reverse this obscene law that which will allow radioactive waste to go into landfill sites?” Spokeswoman Marianne Birkby said: “There is a political consensus on the madness of RadWaste in landfill – even pro-nuclear MP Jamie Reed has opposed radioactive waste in landfill at Keekle Head. Quite rightly old tyres are not allowed in landfill because the toxins will inevitably leak out.” She went on: “We are reducing, re-using and recycling to make room for nuclear waste. The industry is desperate to clear the decks for new build which means rather than safely containing existing contaminated buildings soil and detritus is dumped in landfill. “According to council officials the nuclear industry needs no permission to dispose of (newly classified) high volume very low level RadWaste from decommissioning in landfill.”

Whitehaven News 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Sellafield

SELLAFIELD management have “closed ranks” over the potential loss of up to 1,200 permanent jobs on the nuclear site. Unions who have pledged to fight job losses have also been tight lipped since an initial meeting with site directors. They hope to be told more in the next few days. An initial clear the air meeting took place without any significant developments. Yesterday Nuclear Management Partners were still refusing to confirm or deny that a large number of jobs have to be shed over the next year in order to cut costs.

Whitehaven News 28th Apr 2010 more >>

NPT

Rebecca Johnson: The stakes are high and the outcome too close to call as the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty opens for four weeks of intense debate in New York.

Open Democracy 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Desalination

The future prospect of co-located nuclear or renewable energy powered water desalination facilities has been supported by leading water experts at the Global Water Summit 2010 in Paris, Water and Wastewater International (WWi) reported. Speaking at the conference, Imad Makhzoumi, president of the International Desalination Association (IDA) said: “Nuclear is enjoying a resurgence. We must reach out to the nuclear sector – where all nuclear projects are being considered, desalination must be taken into account [where appropriate].”

World Nuclear News 29th Apr 2010 more >>

China

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) is planning to rope in new strategic investors to prepare for an initial public offering, the China Daily reported on Friday. The official English-language daily did not say when or where the long-mooted IPO might take place.

Interactive Investor 30th Apr 2010 more >>

Romania

Romania should lower its stake in two nuclear reactor projects at its power plant in Cernavoda to encourage private investors and make the sector more competitive, the economy minister said on Thursday. The European Union state has a 51 percent stake in a deal to build two more reactors by around 2016 in a partnership with major power firms. The required investment is estimated at around 4 billion euros. However analysts have said Romania, hit by a deep recession last year, would struggle to secure the funds without outside investment.

Interactive Investor 29th Apr 2010 more >>

India

The Indian government is expected to introduce a bill that would help US companies tap into the country’s lucrative nuclear market. It will limit the liabilities of companies operating power plants in India in the event of a nuclear accident. The plans are proving controversial in a country that still has clear memories of the world’s worst industrial accident. A gas leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal killed at least 15,000, and left over 100,000 ill on 3 December, 1984.

BBC 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Solar Plan

The most ambitious solar project is in north Africa. Desertec is a plan to build a vast network of solar power plants and wind farms, covering the desert and stretching for hundreds of miles, and connected to an advanced electricity grid that will carry power generated round or under the Mediterranean sea to feed Europe’s appetite for energy.

FT 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Guardian 27th Apr 2010 more >>

All of Europe and North Africa could be powered by renewable electricity by 2050 with the North Sea at the heart of a European “supersmartgrid”, according to a reort by the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report, compiled with a range of research institutes, says that the North and Baltic seas could sustain a large amount of offshore windpower with the North Sea also contributing big quantities of electricity from wave and tidal power.

Times 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 30 April 2010

29 April 2010

New Nukes

The nuclear industry has defended itself in the wake of a surge of support for the Liberal Democrats, the only major party to have a policy opposing the building of new nuclear power stations. The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) questioned Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s assertion in last week’s leaders’ debate that new nuclear had little to offer the UK. During the debate, Clegg clashed with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron over the UK’s future energy mix.

Professional Engineering 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Energy Policy

What’s the reason that Cameron, Brown and Clegg have been avoiding the subject of energy faster than they can dodge questions on the deficit. No one wants to talk about how bills are likely to increase by 60pc to pay for nuclear, clean coal, wind power and more gas through green taxes and higher commodity prices. It’s obviously not clever to mention the number of power stations (14) condemned by European pollution laws that mean the UK is in danger of energy shortages from 2015 onwards. And who wants to have an open debate on the most economic way to tackle global warming when there’s already a hefty great national debt to burn? Another explosive issue that has gone largely ignored is the Liberal Democrats’ fervent opposition to nuclear power stations. The UK’s energy security is far from certain even if the Government’s planned raft of new nuclear power stations materialise from 2017 onwards. Industry experts warn that without this low-carbon form of power, it is inconceivable that the country will hit its targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next ten years. What happens if this becomes a deal-breaker as the parties jostle to form coalition Governments – would either the Tories or Labour be willing to give ground on nuclear policy?

Telegraph 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Shadow Energy Minister Greg Clark has joined the fight against the pylons from Hinkley.

Burnham-on-sea.com 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Wylfa

Mr Miliband and Labour candidate Albert Owen visited Wylfa, the island’s existing nuclear power station and the site of a proposed biomass plant at Anglesey Aluminium.

BBC 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Daily Post 29th Apr 2010 more >>

WYLFA B’s future is set to be used as a bargaining chip on May 7 if poll predictions of a hung parliament become a reality.

Daily Post 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Radiation & Health

The National Academy of Sciences is organizing a study to begin this summer that will examine cancer risk in populations living near nuclear facilities, such as Florida Power & Light Co.’s St. Lucie power plant on South Hutchinson Island. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission formally requested the study Monday at a meeting of the academy’s Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, acknowledging that a previous study done 20 years ago was flawed. Families of 30 local children who were diagnosed with rare brain cancers in the ’80s and ’90s were always referred back to the 1990 study performed by the National Cancer Institute, which concluded there was no link between the cancers and nuclear plant emissions.

TC Palm 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Companies

Heavy engineering company Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL) has secured new contracts to service South Korea’s latest generation of nuclear power plants.

Professional Engineering 28th Apr 2010 more >>

The Engineer 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

A TWO-day conference based on the nuclear industry has been organised by a Rotherham business support group. NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) has set up the event in partnership with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC). The Nuclear Metals and Manufacturing Conference will feature high profile speakers from the nuclear industry and will focus on the latest developments around nuclear power stations in the UK.

Rotherham Advertiser 28th Apr 2010 more >>

NPT

Iran and Egypt are gearing up for battle against the United States and its allies over Israel and developing countries’ rights to atomic technology at a major meeting on the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Reuters 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Egypt’s UN Ambassador calls for putting all of Israel’s nuclear facilities under full IAEA scope.

Middle East Online 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad is set to travel to New York for a nuclear non-proliferation conference next week, a move that will put the Iranian president centre stage at an event whose success the Obama administration says is vital.

FT 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Pakistan

China has agreed to build two new civilian nuclear reactors in Pakistan, according to Chinese companies and officials in Islamabad and Beijing, in a deal that could reignite debate about nuclear commerce and proliferation. The decision to supply reactors to Pakistan , which has a nuclear arsenal and a record of exporting its expertise to North Korea, Iran and Libya, reflects China’s growing diplomatic confidence. It also points to Beijing’s ambition to become a global supplier of nuclear energy technology and underscores its view of Pakistan as a prized south Asian strategic partner .

FT 29th Apr 2010 more >>

US

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Wednesday that the Energy Department would need an additional $13 billion in authority from Congress to provide loan guarantees for building three new nuclear plants. The department in February awarded $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to help build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades. Chu told a Senate subcommittee that the $12 billion the department had left in loan guarantee authority would be enough to cover one more nuclear plant project that is seeking government help. He said an additional $4 billion would allow a loan guarantee for a second nuclear plant project and a third reactor may be ready to seek a loan guarantee this year, but the department would another $9 billion in authority for that project.

Interactive Investor 29th Apr 2010 more >>

Japan

From next month Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL) should be permitted to begin construction of J-MOX, which could produce 130 tonnes of heavy metal in mixed oxide (MOX) fuel annually. Construction would take five years. A separate fuel storage facility should now also come from a joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and Japan Atomic Power Company (Japco), dubbed Recyclable Fuel Storage Company. It has permission to build a facility in Mitsu City able to accept 3000 tonnes of used fuel per year – approaching half of Japan’s total annual use.

World Nuclear News 28th Apr 2010 more >>

India

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and NTPC Limited have signed an agreement to set up a joint-venture company to develop nuclear power projects in the country.

Nuclear Engineering International 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

THE PEOPLE of the borough are overwhelming in favour of nuclear disarmament, according to an environmental charity. Residents were asked by members of the local branch of environment charity Greenpeace whether they thought the government should spend almost £100 billion on new nuclear weapons.

Waltham Forest Guardian 28th Apr 2010 more >>

In this week’s Reader Rant opinion column Greenpeace activist Camilla Berens gives her argument against renewing the Trident nuclear missile programme.

Lewisham News Shopper 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

While Barack Obama continues to inspire with calls for a nuclear-free world, political realists in Washington, not least Obama’s own defence secretary, Robert Gates, recognise that America may well be powerless to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons across the Middle East. Writing for the Boston Globe last week, the brilliant commentator HDS Greenway argued that even if America’s military might were not already stretched thin, it would at best only be capable of delaying Iran’s nuclear program for a few years. Meaning the necessary alternative for America is to learn to live with the Iranian bomb.

Guardian 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 29 April 2010

28 April 2010

Nuclear Costs

Letter from Prof. Steve Thomas: I am surprised that your editorial “The doubts about the Lib Dems” (April 23) claims that offshore wind is “is roughly three times as expensive as nuclear to build”. A recent survey funded by the European Commission (“Wind Energy – The Facts”) under its Intelligent Europe programme found the average construction cost in 2008 money of the five offshore wind farms completed in the UK from 2003 to 2008 was about 2,200 (about £1,900) per kilowatt of installed capacity. The UK government, in its 2008 white paper on nuclear power, “Meeting the Energy Challenge”, assumed nuclear plants would cost £1,250/kW. [But] nuclear vendors competing in the UK are offering prices of at least £3300/kW. This is in line with forecast costs from US utilities planning to build nuclear plants in the US. If we compare these more soundly based estimates of nuclear with out-turn costs for offshore wind, offshore wind is only two-thirds the cost of nuclear power. Given that it would be a rarity for a nuclear project to come in on cost, the likelihood is that the cost advantage of offshore wind over nuclear would be even larger.

FT 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Chernobyl

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych warned on Monday that the Chernobyl nuclear reactor remains a serious threat to Europe, urging donors to stump up funds to secure the facility on the 24th anniversary of the world’s worst atomic accident. The 1986 reactor explosion sent a cloud of radiation over much of Europe and severe health problems persist. The exploded reactor is encased in a deteriorating shell and internationally funded work to replace it is far behind schedule. A statement released by the president’s office said that the plant’s fourth nuclear reactor continued to present an active danger after work to replace a deteriorating concrete shell around the facility was postponed due to a shortage of funds last year.

Morning Star 27th Apr 2010 more >>

New Nukes

The ‘nuclear option’ has moved strongly back into vogue. In their hearts, nobody wants atomic power stations in an ideal world. In reality however the lack of reliable low carbon alternatives is pushing nuclear energy, for a long time the awkward, guilty secret of the power industry, firmly into centre stage. There are two questions – should we build nuclear, and can we do so in time? The answers are linked, and complicated. Nuclear ticks many boxes: it is low carbon, provides reliable baseload power, and boasts stable sources of supply. Carbon targets and energy independence means that a future built mainly around conventional fossil fuels is untenable. In many commentators’ minds, cleaner fossil fuels would provide the ‘sandwich filling’ between worthy but unpredictable renewables, and controversial yet reliable atomic power. Nuclear’s detractors would argue that the emissions and social cost of atomic energy is measured in hundreds of thousands of years, and the lack of a permanent solution for waste storage is undeniably the biggest argument against a new generation of reactors.The other aspect is cost – nuclear has never been built on time, on budget – and never without public subsidy. In this last respect, atomic and renewable energy have more in common than one might expect.

Engineer Live 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

Letter from George Regan: It is alarming to read that the Sellafield site has incorrectly dumped several bags of radioactive waste at a Cumbrian landfill site that should have gone to the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Repository. In recent years public and private waste producers have been encouraging low-level and very low-level radioactive waste to go to municipal landfill sites. Councillors in Northamptonshire have recently rejected such an application, while Cumbria is considering a similar one. These lapses emphasise what the Chernobyl disaster 24 years ago this week was about. Human error can and does occur, and in the nuclear industry this has huge public health implications. How can we be thinking of building more nuclear power stations and nuclear waste dumps?

Times 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Campaigners have called on the government to scrap plans to allow nuclear waste dumping in landfill sites after five bags of potentially hazardous waste from Sellafield were wrongly dumped at a site in Cumbria.

Morning Star 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Copeland’s Green candidate has submitted an objection to plans to bury low-level nuclear waste between Workington and Whitehaven. Endecom wants to build a low level radioactive waste dump at the former opencast coal site at Pica, Keekle Head. It is expected that the repository, which will be the first of its kind in the country, will help to reduce the volume of low-level waste material that is sent to Drigg repository which is designed to accommodate higher activity waste and is nearly full.

Carlisle News and Star 27th Apr 2010 more >>

FIVE bags of nuclear waste were sent to landfill by mistake after a faulty scanner at Sellafield identified them as safe. The bags are thought to have contained materials just above the rating for ‘free release’ from the plant. Staff discovered the error when a large bag from a restricted area of the site was declared ‘safe’ by the scanner. After examining the machine, they realised five more bags had been declared safe and sent to landfill.

NW Evening Mail 27th Apr 2010 more >>

BBC 27th Apr 2010 more >>

At a time when India and other developing countries are importing growing amounts of scrap metal, partly to help meet rising domestic demand for steel, experts say inadequate monitoring at ports and a lack of international standards make it easier for radioactive materials and other dangerous objects to cross borders. India has proved especially porous. Four years ago, 10 foundry workers in the city of Ghaziabad were killed by exploding military shells, apparently from Iran, hidden in a container of scrap metal. Last year, several containers of Indian steel were stopped at European ports after monitors detected high radiation levels; Indian foundries had fabricated the steel, partly, by melting scrap metal that turned out to be contaminated with Cobalt-60.

New York Times 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

UAE

THE United Arab Emirates has selected Braka, a sparsely-populated area near Ruwais and close to the border with Saudi Arabia, as the site for its first-ever nuclear reactor.

Chemical Engineer 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Russia

Enel And Inter RAO have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in future nuclear projects and building new technical innovation, energy efficiency, distribution, both in Russia and Eastern Europe. The companies plan to develop a new nuclear plant in Kaliningrad, which is said to be the first public-private partnership in the nuclear sector in Russia.

Energy Business Review 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Coal

Britain could be forced to close 14 power stations if a proposed European directive becomes law, a move that would drastically cut power supplies and endanger energy security, the Confederation of British Industry has warned. The draft EU Industrial Emissions Directive, which aims to cut the number of harmful gases emitted by Europe’s power stations, will force power plants to undergo upgrades to comply with air pollution targets, or close, by 2016. Joss Garman, an energy campaigner at Greenpeace, dismissed the warnings from the CBI: “Britain is gearing up for a six-fold increase in the amount of energy we get from clean sources in the next decade, so these CBI scare stories show that the French and German energy monopolies they represent are now seriously worried that the clean tech industry will effectively squeeze out dirty coal power in this country.”

Independent 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Telegraph 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

Mr Cameron has also sought to make light of Mr Clegg’s “wait-and-see” approach to Trident, saying you cannot “rustle up” a nuclear deterrent at the last minute. Mr Clegg insists that Labour and the Tories have jumped the gun in agreeing to replace the four submarines already, before the strategic defence review that will follow the election and during global non-proliferation talks. It could wait at least five years, he says, a stance supported by former generals, including Lord Guthrie, former chief of defence staff.

Times 28th Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 28 April 2010

27 April 2010

General Election

The Liberal Democrats have today hinted that their opposition to a new fleet of nuclear power plants is likely to be non-negotiable in the event of the party holding the balance of power in a hung parliament. With a series of polls over the weekend all pointing towards a hung parliament, attention is increasingly shifting to the deals that will have to be brokered to form a coalition government.

Business Green 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear power is one of the starkest differences, with the Labour Government and the Tories embracing it as part of a low-carbon future because it produces virtually no CO2 in generating electricity. However, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens both rule out a generation of new nuclear power stations that the other parties are contemplating. It was expensive, said Mr Hughes, would take too long to come on-stream, the waste couldn’t be dealt with safely, and would undermine investment in renewables: “It’s a completely foolish delusion. We don’t need it and we shouldn’t have it.”

Independent 27th Apr 2010 more >>

All three parties have mooted some sort of infrastructure bank to help tempt the private sector into big new projects. And reforms to the way renewable energy installations such as offshore wind farms are remunerated are in the offing. But the financial firepower of the private sector remains stunted by the credit crunch, and the costs of investing in fleets of new wind turbines and nuclear plants are daunting. Given the scale of Britain’s budget deficits, the public sector can hardly fill the gap. Regulator Ofgem has suggested mechanisms to transfer some of the risk of this investment to the consumer, but utilities analyst Peter Atherton of Citi is sceptical about the UK’s ability to deliver. Complicating the debate even further is the prospect of a hung parliament. Any alliance involving the Liberal Democrats will have to come to terms with the party’s staunch opposition to nuclear power. While the LibDems rightly point out that new nuclear is unlikely to be on-stream before the end of this decade, some experts see it as crucial to meeting longer-term carbon-reduction targets.

Daily Mail 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Science Test for Lib Dems Climate Policy: While this is all very good in theory, I’m sceptical about their ability to achieve this in practice, especially given that their “fully-costed manifesto” sets aside just a little over a billion for this in 2010-11, with more than half of that to be spent on replacing buses and insulating public buildings, and only around £400m invested in upscaling renewable energy supplies.

Guardian 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Companies

AMEC has signed a major contract with EDF Group to support its Architect Engineering operation for the proposed delivery of four new EPR nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point and Sizewell in the UK. The contract will run for 11 years, with an option to extend for a further four.

The Engineer 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Sizewell

Around twenty activists from the Stop Nuclear Power Network have held a ceremony on the beach in front of Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk (England) this afternoon to mark the 24th anniversary of the world’s worst ever civil nuclear disaster, at Chernobyl (Ukraine). They are looking to highlight the risk of a similar catastrophe happening in Suffolk, due to a reactor meltdown or major radioactive waste incident.

Stop Nuclear Power 26th Apr 2010 more >>

PROTESTERS holding a four-day camp on the beach near Sizewell Nuclear Power Station have claimed the event has helped forge links with residents.

East Anglian Daily Times 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Chernobyl

Nearly one million people around the world died from exposure to radiation released by the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl reactor, finds a new book from the New York Academy of Sciences published today on the 24th anniversary of the meltdown at the Soviet facility. The book, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” was compiled by authors Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, and Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety, in Minsk, Belarus.

Environment News Service 26th Apr 2010 more >>

24 years ago today, the world woke up to news of the Chernobyl disaster – the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. Our photo essay looks back at the event and its devastating consequences.

Independent 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

Green Party Parliamentary Candidate Jill Perry has submitted an objection to Sita Endecom’s proposal to bury low level nuclear waste at Keekle Head in Copeland. Her objection to the proposal to bury one million cubic metres of radioactive waste at Keekle Head near Pica comes on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. Endecom plan to send 12 lorry loads of waste a day to the site, during its 50 year operation. The lorries are not just from nearby Sellafield but also from other parts of the UK, causing unreasonable disturbance and risk to the local population. The Company accept that if their planned dump goes ahead there will be risks to local people or “receptors”, as radioactivity will dissolve, get into the water supply – and may reach the local population.

Get Noticed Online 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

Namtec (National Metals Technology Centre) and NAMRC (Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) are planning a two-day conference at the Oulton Hall Hotel in Leeds on 29-30 June. The Nuclear: Metals and Manufacturing Conference features a full itinerary of high-profile speakers from the nuclear industry and will focus on the current drive towards Generation III+ nuclear power stations in the UK.

Engineering Talk 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Emergency Planning

WIDESPREAD panic is expected to be avoided during the next nuclear emergency safety exercise on Portland tomorrow. Last month islanders feared they were under a nuclear attack when loud hailers were used by organisers of a Nuclear Accident Emergency Exercise and by Wessex Water workers at the same time. Residents feared bombs were going to drop as confusion took hold of parts of Fortuneswell.

Dorset Echo 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Slovakia

A consortium comprising Areva and Siemens Energy will supply digital supervision, protection and control (I&C) systems for units 3 and 4 of the Mochovce nuclear power plant in Slovakia.

Energy Business Review 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Russia

RUSSIA is in the process of building a prototype floating nuclear power station for deployment in the Arctic. The hull is being constructed in the St-Petersburg Baltiysky Zavid yard. It will have two nuclear reactors installed on board, making it capable of producing 70MW electricity.

Lloyds List 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Ukraine

Russia’s prime minister made what he described as a “large-scale offer” late on Monday to Ukraine, urging both countries to merge their vast nuclear power generation businesses, and hinting that together they could benefit from joint electricity exports to foreign markets.

FT 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Italy

Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi discussed trade issues, including plans to jointly build a nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad, with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, yesterday.

Independent 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

Senior Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes has said today (26 April) that his party may choose to decommission all the UK government’s nuclear weapons if they take power. His comments display a different emphasis to party leader Nick Clegg’s focus on replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system with a cheaper set of nuclear arms.

Ekklesia 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Clegg again insisted that the Trident nuclear deterrent – the biggest single item of military expenditure – had to be included in the strategic defence review of overall military spending and policy. Gordon Brown and David Cameron were “stuck in the past, determined unquestioningly to renew the Trident missile system exactly as it is right now, regardless of whether the world has changed, regardless of whether we can afford it, regardless of whether there are now alternatives”, he said. The Tories accused Clegg of “mass confusion” over Trident, releasing an article he wrote for the party newspaper, Lib Dem Voice, in 2007, in which he dismissed proposals to introduce a smaller and more mobile nuclear weapons system to replace Trident – one of the main options now being proposed by the Lib Dems.

Guardian 27th Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 27 April 2010

26 April 2010

Low Level Waste

Five bags of radioactive waste from the Sellafield nuclear processing facility were dumped in a landfill site after a faulty scanner wrongly passed them as safe. Environment Agency inspectors have found one of the bags but is still searching for the other four at the Lillyhall landfill site near Workington, Cumbria. The bags contained waste collected in restricted areas of Sellafield where disposal of all items, including protective clothing, is strictly controlled because of the risk of radioactive contamination. The waste should have been sent for storage in concrete vaults at the Low Level Waste Repository near Drigg in Cumbria. Sellafield Ltd, which operates on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has suspended the disposal of all bagged waste while the agency investigates.

Times 26th Apr 2010 more >>

General Election

Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg have gone on the attack today in an effort to win the environmental vote for what campaigners say will be the last parliament that can save the world from dangerous levels of climate change. Both launched green manifestos, with Labour’s saying the Liberal Democrat ban on new nuclear power would “endanger our energy security and climate change goals”, while the Lib Dems condemned “a party that has had 13 years to deliver on the environment and failed”. The Lib Dems’ key pledge was to set a target for a zero-carbon Britain. “We will set and stick to ambitious targets for a zero-carbon future,” said Clegg. In the first year of a new government, the Lib Dems pledge to redirect 3.1bn from other spending programmes to stimulate the creation of 100,000 jobs in ren ewable energy and home insulation initiatives.

Guardian 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Joint Letter: Whichever party forms the next government will have an unprecedented opportunity – and responsibility – to tackle climate change. Success would mean thousands of new green jobs, a rapid shift to clean and secure energy supplies for the UK and protection of vulnerable people in poor countries from the impacts of climate change.

Guardian 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Letter from David Lowry: David Miliband not only backs the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system of mass destruction (The election interview, 24 April), but along with his brother, energy secretary Ed, and Gordon Brown is a zealous supporter of expanding nuclear power. Last Thursday, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was the only one of the three party leaders in the television debate to reject new nuclear. Both David Cameron and Gordon Brown strongly endorsed nuclear new build – and hence find themselves aligned with the BNP on backing nuclear. Under a Brown or Cameron administration, not only would the nuclear power stations they support be owned by foreign companies – France’s EDF Energy and Germany’s E.On – but be built using foreign companies, of which the leading contenders are Areva (France) and Westinghouse (US-Japan). Not only ownership and operation will be foreign, but 100% of the uranium for the nuclear fuel will have to be imported – from Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia, Namibia, Canada or the US. Brown criticised Clegg’s opposition to nuclear, challenging him to “get real”. The reality is that the two biggest political parties are aligned on nuclear energy, with opposition to this expensive and heavily subsidised technology coming from the Lib Dems, Green party and the Scottish Nationalists.

Guardian 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Companies

Japanese heavy machinery manufacturer IHI Corp said on Monday it is in talks with Toshiba Corp to set up a joint venture to make key components for nuclear power plants.

Reuters 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Italy

Areva SA and Siemens AG have won a contract to supply a nuclear-reactor control-command system to Enel SpA, French daily Les Echos reported, without citing anyone. The contract is to supply the system for two Russian nuclear reactors and has a value in the dozens of millions of euros.

Bloomberg 26th Apr 2010 more >>

Germany

Thousands of protesters across Germany formed a human chain on Saturday to demonstrate against the government’s policy on nuclear power plants. The environmental group Bund said that over 120,000 protesters formed a 74-mile human chain through Hamburg and along the Elbe river in northern Germany rejecting government plans to extend the operation time of nuclear power plants. The symbolic protest stretched from the Kruemmel nuclear plant near Hamburg to the Brunsbuettel at the mouth of the Elbe.

Morning Star 25th Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

The Green Party have welcomed comments by Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party (SNP) over the importance of nuclear weapons as an election issue. Plaid MP Adam Price said that he hopes to see Green leader Caroline Lucas elected to Westminster to add another anti-nuclear voice. The friendly comments from both sides suggest tentative moves towards greater co-operation, but the situation is complicated by the reality that Greens in Wales and Scotland are standing against Plaid and the SNP.

Ekklesia 25th Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 26 April 2010

25 April 2010

British Energy

The UK’s mania for privatisation of industries such as rail, nuclear and utilities has led to important British assets being nationalised by a foreign government. EDF, a French state company, owns nuclear power group British Energy. This may not be a terrible thing. It may even be a good thing – the French government will probably do a better job of running nuclear power than ours. But these takeovers are too important to be waved through – and the situation is asymmetric. We did not use our North Sea oil revenues to create a sovereign wealth fund of our own; state-owned British firms are not on shopping sprees, and our open door policy towards bids is not replicated in Paris, Berlin, or even Washington DC.

Observer 25th Apr 2010 more >>

Dounreay

Amec, the FTSE 100 engineering group, is understood to have teamed-up with US nuclear giant Energy Solutions to bid for the £2.6bn clean-up of Dounreay power station in the Scottish Highlands. An announcement confirming the tie-up is expected in the next two weeks, making Amec a strong contender for the so-called “parent body organisation” role. The consortium’s main rival is expected to be a venture including US construction group, CHM Hill, and Babcock International-owned UKAEA, of which Amec had been a member until it was forced out this year. The firms had a one-third stake each in the group, but Babcock tried to reduce Amec’s share, which meant executives felt that they had to quit.

Independent on Sunday 25th Apr 2010 more >>

Germany

Opponents of nuclear power formed a 120-km (75-mile) human chain between reactor sites in Germany Saturday to protest against government plans to extend the power plants’ operation.

Reuters 24th Apr 2010 more >>

STV 24th Apr 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has struck a secret deal with Zimbabwe to mine its untapped uranium reserves in a move to secure raw material for its steadily expanding nuclear programme.

Telegraph 25th Apr 2010 more >>

Renewables

Twenty-two international partners engaged in an ambitious environmental improvement project will gather in Unst, the most northerly of Shetland’s islands, this week. The partners, from six northern European countries, are working to develop island-based approaches to the sustainable use of energy, water and natural and man-made materials. At the meeting on Tuesday they will hear of recent developments made on several island pilot projects, which already are being transformed into sustainable solutions to water, energy and waste issues.

Pure Shetland 25th Apr 2010 more >>

A plan to set up an innovative “green” utility with a £1bn flotation on the London stock market risks being blown off course due to financial problems in the eurozone. Engyco, led by former United Utilities boss John Roberts, has admitted that expected cutbacks to subsidies on renewable power projects in Spain would threaten its plan for an initial public offering (IPO). The company was formed as a vehicle for investing in the Spanish solar market with the hope of creating a pure renewables utility that could raise billions in the bond market. An Engyco spokesman said 3bn of potential investment was at stake if Madrid introduced plans to reduce solar subsidies, which he believed would only save ministers 420m.

Observer 25th Apr 2010 more >>

Climate

Joss Garman: With a third of our power stations coming offline, Britain is at an energy crossroads and the next government will direct the billions of investment flow that will inevitably be needed to keep the lights on. Either we’ll see it go into more of the same dirty fossil fuel power stations, or it will go into clean energy sources. This, in turn, has huge implications for our nation’s carbon footprint – but also for our energy security, our economy and our energy bills. You might think it would merit a bit more discussion on the campaign trail; especially as clean energy is so popular with voters. None of the three parties is pledging the sort of money most energy experts agree will be needed to make the green switch, and no one is explaining how they would leverage funds from private sources such as pension and sovereign funds either. The truth is that none of the political parties have the policies that will cut emissions as deeply as scientists such as Professor Hansen suggest we need to – and that, surely, is something we need to talk about.

Independent on Sunday 25th Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 25 April 2010

24 April 2010

Justification

Paul Dorfman: Nuclear “Justification” is a high level assessment about whether the benefits of new nuclear build outweigh the health detriments. Justification is a legal regulatory requirement under EU law – it must be done before reactors can be approved. Once the Justification decision has been taken it will be all but impossible to re-open nuclear policy. This will not be subject to any Parliamentary scrutiny until after a decision has been made. However, if you don’t know the reactor design and can’t prove you can dispose of the radioactive waste, how on earth can you know the release?

New Statesman Blog 23rd April 2010 more >>

Companies

The contract from EDF Group supports Amec’s architect engineering operation for the proposed delivery of four new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point and Sizewell. The contract will run for 11 years, with an option to extend for a further four. As per the contract, Amec will work with EDF in France and the UK in the key areas of project management, engineering and construction management.

New Statesman 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

Sizewell

Anti-nuclear activists have also pledged to step up actions at the Sizewell nuclear power stations in Suffolk. A four-day camp organised by CND and the Stop Nuclear Power Network will begin on Sizewell beach on Friday.

Morning Star 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Smuggling

A new row has erupted in the Caucasus after Georgia’s president blamed Russia for a foiled attempt last month to smuggle highly enriched uranium across the volatile border. Moscow today accused Mikheil Saakashvili of lying after he declared that such nuclear seizures have been “mostly from the direction of Russia”. “This is not the first time Saakashvili has been caught red-handed while making false statements,” the Russian foreign ministry spokesman Igor Lyakin-Frolov said, according to the Associated Press. “He shouldn’t present a lie as the truth.”

Guardian 24th Apr 2010 more >>

US

The U.S. climate change bill expected to be unveiled on Monday contains incentives to spur development of a dozen nuclear power plants, but delays emissions caps on plants that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, industry sources said on Friday. The draft bill, led by Democratic Senator John Kerry, has loan guarantees, protection against regulatory delays and other incentives to help companies finance nuclear plants, which can cost $5 billion to $10 billion to build, the sources said.

Reuters 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

Interactive Investor 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

UAE

Braka has been named as the site for the UAE’s first nuclear power plant. Limited construction licence applications and environmental assessments for four reactors have been submitted.

World Nuclear News 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) on Thursday announced it has chosen a site near the Saudi border for its first nuclear power station, due to come on stream in seven years.

Middle East Online 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has agreed to give the IAEA greater monitoring and inspection rights to its uranium enrichment site.

Channel 4 News 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

President Robert Mugabe has backed Iran’s “just cause” on seeking nuclear power, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues his Zimbabwe visit.

BBC 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

We find much more to be gained than lost in reconsidering the renewal of Trident. Cost is an issue, but so is the signal that renewal sends about UK intentions. Mr Cameron is right that “you can’t rustle up a nuclear deterrent at the last minute”. But nor can you exchange one that proves unsuited to new requirements. Our future defences must be considered broadly, as an integrated whole. Seen in that way, renewing Trident is in every sense a luxury Britain cannot afford.

Independent 24th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Nato member states like Britain must consult allies before making changes to their nuclear deterrent policies to ensure that “unity is maintained’’ and “there is a defence structure’’, the secretary general of the Alliance stressed yesterday. Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s comments came after a Nato summit decided that “decisions on nuclear policy will be made by the Alliance together … and a broad sharing of the burden for Nato’s nuclear policy remains essential”.

Independent 24th Apr 2010 more >>

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has rejected calls to remove hundreds of US nuclear missiles from Europe at a Nato meeting in Estonia. During a working dinner in Tallinn, Ms Clinton insisted that any reductions should be linked to a negotiated nuclear pullback by Russia, which has nuclear weapons in range of European targets.

Morning Star 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson claimed last night his party’s “outright opposition” to nuclear weapons made it and its Plaid Cymru allies the only parties in Britain to insist on a non-nuclear route.

Press and Journal 24th Apr 2010 more >>

Helen Caldicott: Obama is a brilliant politician who exhibits patience and wisdom when dealing with his adversaries. But, the Nuclear Policy review recently published by the Pentagon exhibits no evidence that the U.S. Military establishment intends to decrease its essential reliance upon nuclear weapons, which remain the cornerstone of its military arsenal.

Huffington Post 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 24 April 2010

23 April 2010

New Nukes

Engineering and project management company Amec has been awarded a contract by EDF Group to help in the construction of proposed new reactors at the Hinkley Point and Sizewell nuclear power plant sites in the UK.

World Nuclear News 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Energy Business Review 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Utility Week 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Money AM 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Simon Hughes: We can cut UK emissions and provide enough energy without relying on environmentally destructive nuclear power. We believe we can cut carbon emissions and provide enough energy for our country without relying on the environmentally destructive technology of nuclear power. Nuclear power is dirty, dangerous, expensive and will divert resources from building up capacity in renewable energy. It is simply the worst option we have for tackling climate change.

Guardian Blog 21st Apr 2010 more >>

The construction industry has raised concerns over Liberal Democrat policies after the leaders’ TV debate raised the possibility of the party helping to form the next government.

Building 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

IPC

It cost £5m to set up, and costs £9.3m a year to run. We’re paying the chairman £200,000 a year, and also supporting a team of 25 commissioners, a chief executive, five directors and a communication team. But the Infrastructure Planning Committee – a quango set up by the government to fast-track nationally important projects such as windfarms and nuclear power stations – has yet to receive a single application. And if the Tories or Lib Dems win the election they’re going to shut it down. British planning at its best. So far, it has published one opinion, on an expected application for a waste plant. But that had to be withdrawn because it failed to meet consultation requirements. The press officer for the IPC told the Guardian yesterday that he’s not sure when the first application will actually be arriving. But he believes that it will be fairly soon.

Guardian Blog 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Wylfa

For sheer political brass neck, Plaid Cymru must take the biscuit (to mix metaphors) for unbridled inconsistency and lack of principles. Or maybe they should be awarded the Disconnector prize for realpolitik. The party’s manifesto is avowedly anti-nuclear and opposes any new civilian nuclear power stations in the Principality. However, Plaid Cymru’s president – Ieuan Wyn Jones, deputy first minister of the Welsh Assembly – is standing as a candidate for the party on Anglesey, home to the Wylfa Magnox nuclear power station, where a replacement nuke is proposed – a much larger pressurised water reactor. Guess who is supporting that scheme (good for the local economy and employment opportunities)? Yup. It’s would-be Westminster-bound Jones.

Principled? Him? Disconn ector thinks not.

Utility Week 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

US

The huge cost of nuclear power means that taxpayers will have to provide nuclear loan guarantees to finance new projects if the president and Congress are serious about building new reactors. The terms of these guarantees must include adequate protections for taxpayers.

Climate Progress 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Renewables

German solar firm hopes that soon-to-be-completed 150MW Egyptian solar farm will provide working template for Desertec solar project

Business Green 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

The true cost of replacing our Trident subs is about £3billion a year over 25 years – not the £100billion bandied about by Lib Dem yarn-spinner Nick Clegg. Those four subs and the courage of the men who endure great hardship to man them round the clock are an insurance policy for the safety and well-being of our nation and of generations to come. They show we are a major force in the world that you mess with at your peril. So what are we to make of the claim by four eminent generals that we should consider scrapping our nuclear fleet because it’s not needed any more and replacing it would be a waste of money? I’ll refrain from using the salty answer you might get from the Navy. Let’s just say the generals are talking through their brass hats. They’ve fallen for the political version of the three card trick.

Daily Express 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

GREENPEACE activists got the thumbs-up from shoppers who heard their anti-nuclear message. They were out in force in Reading’s Broad Street at the weekend and of 195 people who filled in their survey, 171 (87%) said the Government should cut the Trident nuclear weapons system rather than public services.

Reading Chronicle 16th Apr 2010 more >>

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to “get real” on the UK’s need for a nuclear deterrent, during the prime ministerial debates. The Lib Dems have ruled out the “like-for-like” replacement of Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons system, when it runs out in the 2020s. Conservative leader David Cameron said he agreed with Gordon Brown that the Lib Dem’s position was unviable.

BBC 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Retired top brass have elbowed their way into the democratic process with a message to The Times. They call for a re-think of Trident 2, warning of a “major strategic blunder” if the £80billion atomic sub programme is left out of a post-election defence review.

Daily Mirror 23rd Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Letter from Republican Whip: Robert Gates, the defence secretary, warned recently that the United States will have to resume testing unless it modernises its nuclear weapons, as Britain, France, China and Russia have done or are doing. It is no understatement to say that the fate of the recently concluded START follow-on agreement depends on the president submitting to Congress a legally required modernisation plan that is sufficient to reverse the atrophy of the United States’ nuclear deterrent over the past decade, and set America on the path to a safe, secure and reliable deterrent. So far, the president’s budget submission is a half-hearted commitment at best.

The Economist 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

NATO ministers debated on Thursday whether they should do away with U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons in Europe, and Washington said it was committed to defending former Soviet states nervous about Russia.

Reuters 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

BBC 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 23 April 2010

22 April 2010

New Nukes

AMEC has been signed up by French power generating company EDF Group to assist with the proposed delivery of four new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point and Sizewell in the UK. The contract will run for 11 years, with the possibility of being extended for a further four years.

Share Cast 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

General Election

Important differences between the major parties on the environment emerged last night, as they clashed over nuclear power, wind farms, expanding flying, and the number of climate change sceptics in their ranks. While Labour and the Conservatives agreed on new nuclear power stations, Miliband accused the Lib Dems of “ducking” difficult issues, and asked their spokesman Simon Hughes to explain how his party would meet their pledge to cut electricity emissions without it. Hughes did not answer directly, but said instead that a key reason they could meet their energy targets was because they would do more to make homes and businesses energy efficient. Clark was also challenged to explain how the Conservatives could insist there would be no taxpayer subsidies for nuclear power, despite reports that new nuclear reactors could not be built and operated without pubic support. “We’re very clear, we’re not going to subsidise it,” Clark said in response.

Guardian 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Sellafield

BOSSES at Sellafield have been warned that unions will fight to stop hundreds of permanent jobs being axed. Up to 1,200 permanent jobs and another 700 agency posts are said to be under threat on the nuclear site during the next 12 months as Nuclear Management Partners looks to cut running costs. “This is a stab in the back for Sellafield and the community,” GMB regional organiser Steve Gibbons said this week. “These are jobs that would be lost to our community.” Although Sellafield’s operators officially dismissed the fears as “speculation,” the Whitehaven-based full-time union official told The Whitehaven News the jobs threat had come directly from management and that a figure of 1,200 had been mentioned.

Whitehaven News 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Cumbria

FRANK Hollowell, the Liberal Democrats’ candidate for Copeland, is in favour of nuclear expansion – putting him at odds with party leader Nick Clegg. Although the party manifesto makes it clear that the Liberal Democrats will not support nuclear new-build, Mr Hollowell says he wants to see one more fleet of electricity-producing reactors – with Sellafield his preferred site in Copeland.

Whitehaven News 21st Apr 2010 more >>

WEST Cumbria will be sitting on “a golden egg” on the back of back of nuclear power, a top Tory has predicted. “Because the decision might finally come to me to make the legal process means that I can’t say in advance what I would decide but in terms of new nuclear I think it is necessary to maintain our energy security, stop the lights going out. It is also very important to meet our carbon reduction targets and really important for jobs and the economic potential of the Energy Coast (West Cumbria) and the rest of Britain.” On the prospects of Sellafield winning lucrative new contracts for fuel reprocessing, he said: “What we’ve said (in a Green Paper published a few weeks ago) is that we need to speed up some of these decisions: that you should look at reprocessing as a contribution you can make to the viability of this industry.

Whitehaven News 21st Apr 2010 more >>

PEOPLE wanting to launch community-owned renewable energy schemes in Cumbria have the chance to hear about the benefits of such projects in Penrith next month. The Community Owned Renewable Energy Conference, organised by the Cumbria Association of Local Councils and the Eden Local Strategic Partnership, will be held at Penrith Methodist Church on May 22.

Whitehaven News 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Ireland

Letter from George Regan: Ireland does not need the heavy centralised energy market that exists in the UK and France. Ireland is situated in one of the windiest parts of Europe, it also has a long coastline which is a perfect location for tidal power. With a relatively small population, Ireland does not need a resource that’s heavy, complex and expensive technology like nuclear, particularly given the state of the public finances. Does it also want to get the huge radioactive waste legacy that the UK and France has, which has proved intractable to resolve so far? Ireland should follow the example across the sea in Scotland: a big push for a wide mix of renewable energy, a concerted effort at energy efficiency and a more decentralised energy market. There are already good examples of such projects off the east coast of Ireland, and the country could become a world leader in tidal energy. Ireland should embrace this technology. Don’t make the huge mistake of choosing nuclear.

Irish Independent 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Finland

Already three years late and billions over budget Frecnh nuclear giant AREVA’s so-called flagship European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), says Jouni Silvennoinen, a project manager at the Finnish nuclear power company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), ‘should be more or less completed by the end of 2012’. More or less? Can a ‘more or less completed’ nuclear reactor generate electricity we ask ourselves. It’s highly unlikely. Just because a reactor is ‘more or less completed’ doesn’t mean it can do anything useful. The original timetable reserved six months for testing meaning the reactor could be operating in the summer of 2013. However, a more realistic timetable for the operational permit would be 12 months, meaning electricity production would start in early 2014. This mean the construction time of the OL3 reactor will have doubled from four and a half years to nine.

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Finland will grant permits to two of three applicants seeking to build new nuclear reactors as the Nordic country tries to wean itself off dependence on Russian power imports and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Business Week 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Reuters 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Security

COULD a terrorist build a nuclear bomb? Opinion is divided – but someone out there certainly wants to buy the ingredients. In March, police in the republic of Georgia stopped a gang trying to sell weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium (HEU) on the black market. It was the eighth such interception in Georgia since 2000.

New Scientist 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran’s supreme leader denounced on Wednesday U.S. “nuclear threats” against the Islamic Republic, and its elite military force said it would stage war games in a waterway crucial for global oil supplies. The Revolutionary Guards’ exercises in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz this week take place at a time of rising tension between Iran and the West, which fears Tehran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing bombs. Iran denies the charge.

IB Times 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Bangladesh

Russia and Bangladesh are set to sign a $3 bn deal later this year to build two nuclear power plants in Bangladesh. Russian companies will build the 1000 MW power plants in the northern town of Rooppur. The two plants are expected to be ready for operation by 2017.

Modern Power Systems 21st Apr 2010 more >>

France

Not everyone in France has embraced the atom. In the medieval village of La Garde-Adh mar, from its commanding position overlooking the Rhone valley, local resident Jean-Pierre Morichaud tells me that he is worried about the catastrophic consequences of a Chernobyl-style accident at Tricastin. As he talks the smoke stacks that service the power station are clearly visible rising from the vine-laced earth. He is not alone: Sortir du Nucl aire, which represents around 800 anti-nuclear groups, is actively campaigning for the closure of Tricastin and the other 57 nuclear power plants in France.

CNN 16th Apr 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

NATO ministers meeting in Estonia on Thursday will debate the future of battlefield nuclear weapons and relations with Russia after Washington and Moscow agreed a major arms reduction treaty this month.

Yahoo 21st Apr 2010 more >>

The US weapons labs need to develop a twenty-first-century vision of deterrence one that does not include making new bombs. In the past two weeks, US President Barack Obama has signed a new arms treaty with Russia, scaled back the role of the nuclear arsenal in US foreign policy and negotiated agreements to secure highly enriched uranium and other nuclear materials around the globe. Much work remains to be done, but the president has laid out a broad vision for combating twenty-first-century nuclear threats. This makes it all the more disappointing that he wasn’t able to rein in remnant cold-war thinking among his own scientists at the US nuclear weapons labs.

Nature 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

Four eminent former generals have written an open letter suggesting that Britain should be prepared to scrap its nuclear deterrent. They think a new generation of Trident submarines will be too expensive. I hope David Cameron or Gordon Brown have the courage to stand up to Mr Clegg’s superficially attractive – but actually highly dangerous – arguments tonight. The Cold War was won by the West as a result of nuclear deterrence. Without it, the much more powerful red Army would probably have invaded Western Europe decades ago and we might all be driving around in Ladas and getting drunk on cheap vodka.

Daily Mail 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

On the eve of the Leaders’ Debate on foreign policy, Lord Owen has backed Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s call to scrap Trident II, while the former Chief of Defence Staff Lord Guthrie has called for a rethink. Lord Owen has told Newsnight that a perfectly adequate nuclear deterrent could be produced for a tenth – or even a twentieth – of the price of the planned Trident II nuclear submarines.

BBC 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Various letters: The cost of Trident, spread over the life cycle of the programme, is much less than 1 per cent of annual government expenditure and the funding for it comes from a separate budget to that which procures equipment for the Armed Forces. It is therefore not a straight choice between Trident or kit for the troops.

Times 22nd Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 22 April 2010

21 April 2010

Companies

Vattenfall says it won’t build nuclear power stations in the UK under the current investment climate. A spokesman for the Swedish firm said it would concentrate instead on upgrading its fleet in Sweden and Germany. However, Vattenfall has not ruled out longer term involvement in the UK nuclear sector, pointing to its reversal of a previous decision to phase out nuclear power in Sweden by way of example.

Utility Week 21st Apr 2010 more >>

ICIS Heran 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Areva SA of France predicts the global use of solar-thermal power will grow by about 30-fold this decade, a forecast that spurred the world’s largest maker of nuclear reactors to buy a California-based equipment maker.

Forbes 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Sellafield

The GMB union said up to 1,200 jobs at Sellafield could be at risk because the consortium which operates the site is facing a funding shortfall. The union said it would resist any compulsory redundancies at the Cumbrian plant, which employs about 10,000 people. Tom Brennan of the GMB said: “Redundancies would completely cut across the need to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations to maintain electricity supplies in the UK.

Telegraph 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Unions at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant warned on Tuesday that up to 1,200 jobs could be at risk as the consortium operating the site faces a shortage of funding for the clean-up of low-level waste. Sellafield Ltd, a consortium of Britain’s Amec, France’s Areva and URS of the United States, said in a statement it would receive up to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2010/11, higher than the previous year, but it was spending more in high-hazard areas such as the clean-up of spent fuel rods. “Due to over 100 million pounds extra being spent in high hazard areas, we have to prioritise the work we undertake this year and, as we have previously stated, we are currently assessing what the impact may be on our low priority/low hazard work,” it said.

Reuters 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Morning Star 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Carlisle News and Star 20th Apr 2010 more >>

BBC 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Dungeness

The Green Euro-MP for Kent and the South East has appealed to the European Commission over concerns that proposals approved by Shepway District Council in March to expand Lydd Airport could seriously affect residents’ quality of life – and damage the area’s natural heritage. Caroline Lucas, who is also Green Party leader, has written to the Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik (1) to request an investigation into the threat posed to two specially protected sites by the planned major expansion of London Ashford Airport at Lydd.

Carline Lucas MEP 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Radwaste

Reducing consumption of materials, reusing and recycling reduces the amount of material going into landfill. The nuclear industry is greedily eyeing freed-up landfill to dump radioactive waste. No other industry would get away with polluting in this way. Laws applying to everyone else have been tightened up – for instance, whole and shredded tyres are banned because toxins inevitably leach out. The industry is desperate to get rid of its contaminated rubble, soil and radioactive detritus. Even normally pro-nuclear councillors voted against dumping radwaste in landfill at Lillyall. Cumbria is getting its first taste of the ruthlessness of the nuclear industry. The Lillyhall site is not monitored unless there are complaints. Then there is one man- the council’s monitoring officer – who would go and have a peek, so no one would know how radioactive or dangerous the waste is. Putting radwaste in landfill is environmental madness. Say no to it.

Letter to The Big Issue in the North 19th Apr 2010 more >>

Ireland

Dr Bertrand Barr , a scientific adviser to French nuclear giant AREVA has been telling Ireland it should get itself a nuclear reactor ASAP. It is another retelling of the baseload myth again. There are days when we wonder of it’s just about the last argument the nuclear industry has left. Time and again they argue for huge, complex, expensive and centralised electricity generation. Ireland is a sparsely populated country. It’s a country ideally suited to smaller, decentralised electricity generation methods not one connected to another reactor pumping its filth into the Irish Sea (which is, thanks to the Sellafield nuclear plant on the opposite side on the sea in the UK, one of the most contaminated stretches of water in the world.)

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 19th Apr 2010 more >>

Letter: The answer, obvious worldwide to everyone except those in power in this benighted country, is nuclear energy — one of Mr McDonagh’s suggestions.

Irish Independent 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Scotland

Councillors in East Lothian have voted to oppose controversial plans to upgrade Cockenzie power station in principle. The council’s environment director Pete Collins had recommended that councillors should approve the plans. Scottish Power wants to convert Cockenzie from a coal to a gas fired power station. A motion to oppose the plans was passed by 12 votes to six at Tuesday evening’s meeting in Port Seton. The councillors’ findings will now be passed onto Scottish ministers, who will make the final decision on whether the plans get the go-ahead.

BBC 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Korea

Seoul on Tuesday dismissed reports that North Korea was planning to test a third nuclear device, attempting to calm regional tensions after the sinking of a South Korean warship last month.

FT 21st Apr 2010 more >>

North Korea is preparing for a third atomic test that may come in May or June, South Korean broadcaster YTN reported on Tuesday, an act that could further isolate Pyongyang and complicate already troubled nuclear diplomacy.

Reuters 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Japan

Japan is planning to build nine new nuclear power plants by 2020, and 14 by 2030, according to a draft strategy document by METI, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, a programme that would mean nuclear and hydro power together supplying 70% of the country’s total power.

Modern Power Systems 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Israel

Israel may come under new pressure next month at a U.N. meeting on atomic weapons as the United States, Britain and France consider backing Egypt’s call for a zone in the Middle East free of nuclear arms, envoys said.

IB Times 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Trident

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has been boosted by a group of retired generals who support his proposals to find a cheaper alternative to the replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent.

Telegraph 21st Apr 2010 more >>

Britain should be prepared to scrap its nuclear deterrent, a group of generals write in The Times today, pushing the future of Trident to the forefront of the election.

Times 21st Apr 2010 more >>

The Generals: It is to be welcomed that all the leading political parties are committed to conducting a comprehensive strategic defence review after the election. This clearly must follow a detailed evaluation of the threats that this country faces today and in the future. However, it is of deep concern that the question of the Trident replacement programme is at present excluded from this process. With an estimated lifetime cost of more than £80 billion, replacing Trident will be one of the most expensive weapons programmes this country has seen. Going ahead will clearly have long-term consequences for the military and the defence equipment budget that need to be carefully examined.

Times 21st Apr 2010 more >>

The SNP has come up anti-nuclear trumps with its Manifesto launched today. Absolutely clear opposition to Trident and its replacement, based not only on the costs issue, but also on moral grounds. That is a welcome statement indeed. Also welcome is their reference to the groups with which they work on this issue and their commitment to continuing that process. ‘We have been proud to stand alongside Scotland’s faith groups, the STUC and community campaigners in opposition to Trident and its replacement and we will continue to do so’.

CND Blog 20th Apr 2010 more >>

Posted: 21 April 2010