News August 2010

31 August 2010

Bradwell

PROTESTERS campaigning against a planned nuclear power plant were making their feelings known during a procession. The procession, led by someone dressed as the Grim Reaper, was organised by the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) who are opposed to the building of a nuclear power base at Bradwell-on-Sea.

Gazette 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Flamanville

EDF experienced renewed problems with welding quality at the EPR nuclear reactor being built in Normandy, according France’s nuclear safety agency. Faults in welds of the containment liner of the Flamanville EPR, the utility’s first in France, were found during an inspection in July, the Autorite de Surete Nucleaire said in an Aug. 27 report on its website. EDF officials weren’t immediately available for a comment. EDF is developing a similar model in Taishan, China, and plans more in Italy, the U.K. and U.S. The state-controlled operator of France’s 58 nuclear reactors in July said the Normandy reactor will cost 5 billion euros to develop, about 50 percent more than initially estimated, and will be delayed by about two years to 2014.

Bloomber 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

German chancellor Angela Merkel has announced an extension to the nation’s nuclear power plant operations for up to 15 years beyond a scheduled phase-out, in a move critics fear might signal that atomic power is here to stay. The decision comes after a panel of experts advised that keeping the plants open was the only way of ensuring climate protection and economic goals were met and that electricity prices did not soar out of control. Merkel, who spent last week touring some of the country’s 17 plants, said phasing them out by 2021 as had been planned was unrealistic if the country wanted to meet certain environmental goals.

Guardian 31st Aug 2010 more >>

Utility Week 30th Aug 2010 more >>

The future of nuclear power is causing heated debate within Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel’s administration. Germany’s latest energy policy has been giving rise to new nuclear power controversies as the dangers, costs and benefits of nuclear energy debates resurface.

Recycle 30th Aug 2010 more >>

North Korea

President Barack Obama widened U.S. financial sanctions on North Korea today in an effort to cut off sources of income that fund the nuclear weapons program of the regime’s leader, Kim Jong Il.

Bloomberg 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran said it would produce in a year the nuclear fuel needed for a medical reactor in Tehran, a news agency reported on Monday, days after the Islamic state began loading fuel into its first atomic power plant. Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran so far had produced 25 kg (55 lb) of uranium to a level of 20 percent purity for the Tehran reactor, the official Irna news agency quoted Salehi as saying in an interview with the country’s Arabic-language TV station, Al-Alam.

Reuters 30th Aug 2010 more >>

India

India is moving closer to passing a Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage bill. This legislation would ensure that foreign suppliers of civilian nuclear equipment would pay no more than $322 million compensation in the event of a nuclear accident. Passage of this bill would constitute a landmark in India’s nuclear development.

Oil Price 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Hugh Richards

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Wales’ foremost anti-nuclear campaigners, who has died from cancer at the age of 65. Hugh Richards, who lived at Hundred House, near Llandrindod Wells, founded the Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance (Wana) in 1980 with a number of other activists including Newport West Labour MP Paul Flynn. Writing on his blog, Mr Flynn said: “Hugh has kept the anti-nuclear movement inspired and informed for 30 years. He was a resourceful and brilliant researcher. “Wana achieved great things, changed the opinion of the Welsh nation and was commercially successful.”

Western Mail 31st Aug 2010 more >>

Trident

The MoD does not want the full cost of upgrading the Trident missile system included in its budget. Excuse me: Trident is not a defence matter? Funnily enough, it probably isn’t. The renewal of Trident is about posturing on the world stage. It is about a small and increasingly insignificant country – Britain – desperately clinging to its imperial past. Many of our political class (and this includes many Labour politicians as well as Tories) want us to pose as a world power, with all the fantasies that entails: a special relationship with the US, a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, a cherished place at the “top table” of nations. Strategically, this is grandiose folly. Even worse, it is expensive fantasy, and unaffordable fantasy, as we prepare for the swingeing October spending review. But don’t discount the efforts that will be made be made to justify a Cold War weapons system in a post-Cold War era.

Herald 31st Aug 2010 more >>

Mr Osborne is sticking firmly to the position that the full £20bn cost of renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent must be covered by the defence ministry, while Mr Fox wants it ring-fenced to protect spending on conventional equipment.

FT 31st Aug 2010 more >>

Britain and France are preparing to reveal unprecedented plans to share the use of their aircraft carriers in a controversial step to maintain military power in an era of cost-cutting. In a potential threat to thousands of shipyard jobs, the move would make it easier for Britain to scrap or downgrade one of the two replacement carriers which are already under construction at a cost of £5.2 billion.

Times 31st Aug 2010 more >>

Renewable Heat Incentive

The £27bn tax on heavy industry to fund “green boilers” for 1m British homes is expected to be radically overhauled, amid claims that the devices are expensive and unreliable at keeping houses warm. The hefty subsidy, called the Renewable Heat Incentive, is likely to raise gas bills by up to £104 for domestic consumers and £321 for industrial customers by the end of the decade.

The scheme – which gives around £1,000 per year to households that generate their own green heat – was due to be introduced in spring next year.

Telegraph 31st Aug 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

The upcoming CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will soon require firms and organisations which are intensive energy users to buy government permits for their carbon emissions. Revenue will be recycled back to the participants, with financial incentives for the biggest reductions in energy use funded by penalties imposed on those with the worst record. But there are concerns it will not be a level playing field, as cash-strapped public sector bodies will not be able to afford energy-saving initiatives to compete with business.

Telegraph 31st Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 31 August 2010

30 August 2010

Thorium

There is no certain bet in nuclear physics but work by Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) on the use of thorium as a cheap, clean and safe alternative to uranium in reactors may be the magic bullet we have all been hoping for, though we have barely begun to crack the potential of solar power. Dr Rubbia says a tonne of the silvery metal – named after the Norse god of thunder, who also gave us Thor’s day or Thursday – produces as much energy as 200 tonnes of uranium, or 3,500,000 tonnes of coal. A mere fistful would light London for a week.

Telegraph 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

German utilities E.ON AG and RWE AG, two of the worst performing members of the benchmark DAX index, face a triple whammy of costs tied to a reprieve for nuclear power of as little as 10 years, Chancellor Angela Merkel said. Merkel, in her first comments since the government received a report on energy strategy last week, said the scenarios show an extension of atomic plants’ operating lives of 10-15 years “is sensible from a technical point of view.” Plant safety, the “overriding principle of nuclear power,” still needs to be factored in, she said in an interview with ARD television. Utilities will also have to make a “contribution” to help promote renewable energy, a levy that still needs to be negotiated with utilities, Merkel said in the interview in Berlin, broadcast late yesterday. Along with safety improvements, the costs would add to a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.9 billion) annual tax from 2011 that utilities oppose.

Bloomberg 29th Aug 2010 more >>

German government ministers in favour of extending the life of the country’s nuclear power stations are pushing for 12 to 15 years to be added to each plant’s current operating life of 30 years. Rainer Br derle, economics minister, said a report commissioned by the government found Germany would benefit most, in terms of energy prices and emissions reduction, if nuclear plants ran an extra 12 to 20 years.

FT 30th Aug 2010 more >>

US

After years of believing they had won the fight against nuclear energy, activists suddenly feel the battle is starting all over again. And they’re trying to figure out how to win in an era of Facebook and Twitter and get the younger generation involved in the movement.

Washington Post 29th Aug 2010 more >>

Egypt

A delegation of European experts will arrive in Cairo Wednesday 1/9/2010 to extend the agreement on nuclear safety to 2014 through a two-million-euro grant. Meanwhile, delegations of seven international companies from the United States, Japan, France, China, Russia, Canada and S. Korea specialized in constructing and supplying nuclear stations’ reactors will arrive respectively in Cairo to offer their experience on training Egyptians in the nuclear field.

Global Arab Network 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Trident

Various letters: Con Coughlin (Comment, August 27) maintains that Trident is a necessity if Britain is to remain a player on the world stage. The defence of our homeland necessitates a nuclear deterrence, but this does not have to be at the cutting edge of technology, merely something that is deliverable. To be a leading player on the world stage, however, requires qualities of a very different nature – qualities that are becoming increasingly scarce in what was once Great Britain.

Telegraph 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

One of the UK’s most radical environmental policies – requiring all new homes from 2016 to be “zero carbon” – is set to be scaled back amid pressure from the housebuilding industry. Builders claim the proposals would be too expensive and impossible to implement for many flats, and would result in a slump in the rate of homes built. Now tThe Guardian has learned that the government is ready to water down the target, a move environmentalists have said would be a “travesty”.

Guardian 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Renewables

About 10 miles off the north Cornish coast an experiment is about to begin that could influence the future of wave power generation around the world. A 20MW cable is being run from a so-called wave hub to a small electrical substation just down the coast from St Ives. It will eventually connect four different types of wave generation equipment to the national grid. The wave hub, which is in the process of being installed 50 metres below the surface, resembles a giant socket. The aim is to build a complete system that will be the first in the world to transmit such a large amount of wave-generated power ashore.

FT 30th Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 30 August 2010

29 August 2010

Iran

Thanks to the indifference of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, Iran is well on the way to become a nuclear power. This month, the Russians loaded up Iran’s nuclear reactor with high-grade fuel. That is nothing less than a disaster for the United States.

Telegraph 28th Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

Experts contracted to the German government have rejected the assumption that running nuclear power plants as long as possible would be the country’s cheapest option, according to a government minister on Saturday. The government is in the thick of a debate about extending the legal authorization for nuclear power past 2022. Officials are debating how many years to extend by or whether to extend at all. The outside experts’ report is expected to be made public next week, but Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle jumped the gun, quoting from it in remarks to the weekly business journal Wirtschaftswoche. “The scenarios showed that the macroeconomic benefits from an extension of between 12 and 20 years are greater than the extreme variants, 4 and 28 years,” he said. “That is why we should settle for something in the middle.”

Earth Times 28th Aug 2010 more >>

Trident

The Gurkha regiment could be one of several sacrificed as a result of an increasingly bitter government dispute over defence funding. The Gurkhas have formed part of the British army for almost 200 years, but may be among those cut unless the government meets Ministry of Defence demands for more money to fund the replacement of Trident nuclear-missile submarines.

Last night, hopes for extra funding were fading as the Treasury rejected demands for more money from the defence secretary, Liam Fox, and insisted that the £20bn cost of replacing Trident had to be met fully by the MoD.

Observer 29th Aug 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

Eaga a FTSE 350 company set up in 1990 to lead government-funded initiatives to improve conditions for poor people in energy-inefficient homes, has come top of the league table for ecological sustainability in the 2010 Observer/Co-operative Asset Management Good Companies Guide. Eaga has been running the Warm Front scheme, which has provided insulation and heating improvement grants to more than 2m homes. Recently, it has begun to diversify into renewable technologies, such as solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity.

Observer 29th Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 29 August 2010

28 August 2010

Sizewell

Power generation from the UK’s combined-cycle gas turbine fleet compensated for the low availability of nuclear and wind plant in the first half of 2010, said the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change Thursday. Gas-fed power stations–of which the majority are CCGTs built in the 1990’s–generated 79.9 TWh in H1, up 18% from the first half of 2009 despite marginally higher UK gas prices since April. Higher CCGT load was likely driven by lower nuclear generation following a series of technical problems at the UK’s ageing nuclear reactors, including 1,260 MW Sizewell B in Suffolk which has been offline since March 17. The reactor was taken offline following indications of higher than normal moisture levels within the containment building.

Platts 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Hinkley

French utility EDF has asked bidders to tender for the third time for the same £180m earthworks and preliminary works package at the Hinkley nuclear power station in Somerset EDF initially tendered the job, then worth about £100m, in March, before expanding and re-tendering it in May. A source said in the latest round EDF had asked all bidders to bid against ideas generated in the previous tenders. Despite the changes, at least three consortiums – Balfour Beatty and Vinci; Costain and Sir Robert McAlpine; and Kier, URS and Bam Nuttall – are thought to still be in the running.

Building 27th August 2010 more >>

People living on a housing estate near Bridgwater say they will fight EDF Energy’s plans for a park and ride. The energy company wants to build the facilities just off Junction 24 of the M5 as part of its infrastructure for a nuclear power station at Hinkley. Residents at Stockmoor Village said the area could not cope with the extra traffic and that homes had already decreased in value by up to £25,000.

BBC 27th Aug 2010 more >>

EDF Energy has promised to be a ‘good neighbour’ to the people of Sedgemoor, near the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant where the company wants to build two new reactors. In return for the power plant, Sedgemoor Council chief executive Kerry Rickards told the Bridgwater Mercury, “It’s only right and proper that EDF contributes towards the facilities at Bridgewater Hospital – we could get a bigger and better hospital than currently planned.” In addition to many local jobs and a £40 million ($60 million) per year boost to the local economy for 60 years of operation, EDF has specifically put aside £1 million for community investment. Rickards, however wants “a heck of a lot more than £1 million… We could also get more than one pool, or a much fancier pool than the one currently planned.”

World Nuclear News 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Wylfa

CHERYL Gillan gave her backing to future nuclear power generation on Anglesey. The Welsh Secretary paid a private visit to the existing Wylfa N-plant during a tour of North West Wales. Campaigners on the island want Wylfa’s ageing reactor to be replaced by a new generation of nuclear power plant to retain the skilled employment. Mrs Gillan said yesterday: “I am very supportive of Wylfa and always have been. It’s a very important part of the economy. I have always been excited about the energy proposals in Anglesey and I’m very supportive of keeping generating on this site.”

Daily Post 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Dounreay

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd is updating its workforce this week about the changing shape of the site closure plan and efforts to bring new industry to the area. The existing programme is being significantly reworked to bring it into line with an annual cap on funding from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority announced earlier this year. It will take DSRL planners until December to review approximately 14,000 separate pieces of work still to be done to complete the site closure. The headline messages emerging so far include: A reduction in the size of DSRL this year of 102 posts (93 identified so far); Further reductions of 30 posts in 2011/12 and 50 posts in 2012/13; A delay in the start of work to retrieve waste from the shaft and silo; Integration of a number of separate projects for decommissioning the site’s two fast breeder reactors; A cheaper and innovative alternative to the £100 million treatment plant and store proposed for the bulk of the site’s intermediate-level waste; Fluctuations in the target date for completion between 2025 and 2039, but likely to settle around 2032 by December, with some tightening of the timescale expected over the following 12 months.

DSRL 27th Aug 2010 more >>

As many as 180 jobs will be cut during the next three years at the company leading the demolition of the Dounreay nuclear site, it has been announced.

A total of 102 posts will be lost at Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) this year, with a further 30 jobs going in 2011/12 and 50 positions in 2012/13.

Hamilton Advertiser 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Scotsman 28th Aug 2010 more >>

A floating platform has anchored in position 600 metres offshore to begin tracking down fragments of nuclear fuel buried in the sediment using a remotely-operated underwater vehicle. The ROV is expected to search an area of seabed equivalent to 17 international football pitches, or 12.5 hectares, during the summer weather window. Last year, during a smaller scale clean-up operation, more than 100 particles were lifted from an area around a disused effluent outlet.

DSRL 6th Aug 2010 more >>

Whitehall

As one energy industry insider with close links to Whitehall observes, “all the intellectual spare capacity in the government is focused on the deficit and the budget cuts, and there is very little capacity left to look at other political priorities”. With the leadership fixated on the deficit, the rest of Whitehall is left to indulge in its favourite pastime of engaging in departmental turf wars – a scenario that represents particularly bad news for a department such as DECC, which is small, relatively new and requires co-operation from virtually every other department. The net result is the current energy policy stasis – a situation that is unlikely to be resolved until at least the autumn spending review is completed and probably not until next year. The CBI and the wider energy industry are unlikely to get the policy clarification they want within six months and the fears that many large-scale low-carbon projects will be delayed as a result look increasingly valid. The only hope is that the coalition’s leadership accepts the honeymoon is over, pulls its head out of the deficit sand and realises that the secret to a successful government, and marriage, is the ability to address more than one problem at a time.

Business Green 17th Aug 2010 more >>

Uranium/Kirksanton

Dr Kate Willshaw deserves a huge thanks for all the hard work put into opposing nuclear new build at Kirksanton. As night follows day it is inevitable that nuclear new build anywhere in the north west would have devastating impacts on wildlife in the Lakes and the Morecambe Bay area. The pro nuclear agenda in the UK has resulted in a nasty chain reaction – thousands of applications for uranium mining worldwide. The Kakadu wetlands of Australia are on the World Heritage List for a wealth of natural and cultural richness. Kakadu is also extremely rich in terms of uranium ore reserves. Battles are now raging to prevent ever increasing vast uranium mines.

Cumbrian Wildlife Magazine September 2010 more >>

Flamanville

Anti-nuclear activists are seeking to halt construction of France’s latest-generation nuclear power plant at Flamanville, on the Normandy coast, arguing that changes introduced to solve problems with the reactor’s fuel pellet cladding have invalidated the plant’s original building permit. Didier Anger, head of the anti-nuclear action committee Crilan, and a former member of the European parliament, said the bid to block, or at least delay, construction of the EPR reactor had been made in a letter from the committee to the French nuclear safety authority, the ASN. Areva, the state-controlled French nuclear engineering company, is already battling construction delays and cost overruns at both Flamanville and Olkiluoto, in Finland, where it is building the first of its EPR plants. EPR originally stood for European Pressurised Reactor, a name that Areva subsequently changed to Evolutionary Power Reactor when it sought US certification.

Deccan Herald 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday said she is in favor of the country’s nuclear power plant operators making further financial contributions in return for longer reactor operating lives, which would come on top of a tax on nuclear fuel her government has proposed to help reduce the public budget deficit.

FoX Business 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Submarines

The First Sea Lord praised Britain’s next generation of attack fleet submarines when the first vessel was formally accepted by the Royal Navy yesterday.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope’s ringing endorsement of the nuclear-powered submarine Astute Class came amid speculation that the new vessels could fall victim of defence cuts.

Scotsman 28th August 2010 more >>

BBC 27th Aug 2010 more >>

A specially upgraded Russian Akula class submarine has been caught trying to record the acoustic signature made by the Vanguard submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles, according to senior Navy officers. British submariners have also reported that they are experiencing the highest number of “contacts” with Russian submarines since 1987.

Telegraph 28th Aug 2010 more >>

Letter: With the inexorable proliferation of nuclear-armed countries, it is clearly vital that we continue to equip ourselves for potential future threats, both nuclear and conventional – not merely “another Afghanistan”. Regardless of where this essential expenditure falls, the truth is that, to retain “global reach and influence” this country needs both Trident replacement and aircraft carriers – not either/or.

Telegraph 28th Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 28 August 2010

27 August 2010

New Nukes

Utilities building new nuclear power plants in the U.K. may have to spend as much as 6 billion pounds ($9.3 billion) on each plant, according to Charles Hendry, the country’s minister of state for energy. “Nuclear without subsidies will be part of the energy mix going forward,” Hendry said, speaking in an interview in Stavanger, Norway. “A new nuclear plant we would expect to be about 6 billion pounds, so at this stage we have expressions of interest to build eight to 10 in the next 20 years.”

Bloomberg 25th Aug 2010 more >>

UK health and environment regulators are likely to approve the designs of Areva’s EPR and Westinghouse Electric’s AP1000 nuclear reactors, in the next year. Both the reactor designs are capable of being shown to be acceptable in the UK, subject to satisfactory progress being made on the not insignificant technical issues the country has raised.

Energy Business Review 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

SHIPBUILDER Cammell Laird took a major step forward in its ambition to supply the land-based nuclear industry. The renowned Birkenhead shipyard and marine engineers has announced a partnership with nuclear engineering specialist Nuvia, based near Warrington. The two companies hope this will catapult them to the forefront of the UK’s multi-billion pound new nuclear build programme. They will join forces to bid for contracts for the fabrication of heavy modules and components for new nuclear plants.

Liverpool Daily Post 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Wirral Globe 26th Aug 2010 more >>

SHIPBUILDER Cammell Laird’s announcement yesterday that it is entering into a partnership to bid for work in building new nuclear plants represents an exciting step forward.

Liverpool Daily Post 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Amec, a leading contractor in the consortium handling the decommissioning of the Sellafield power station in Cumbria, is particularly interested in winning further business handling new nuclear power station builds across the world.

FT 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has published the UK Strategy for the Management of Solid Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLW) from the Nuclear Industry. Publication of the final strategy follows a consultation on the draft, which ran from June to November in 2009. 74 responses were received on the draft strategy and its accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment. These were provided from a wide range of parties, including Regulators, Local Authorities from across the UK, supply chain companies and other interested groups. This process provided valuable feedback to NDA that helped to develop the final strategy.

NDA 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Dungeness

Electricite de France SA halted its 550-megawatt Dungeness B22 reactor in the U.K. at about 3:30 a.m. today, according to data by National Grid Plc, the network operator.

Bloomberg 26th July 2010 more >>

Hinkley

THE firm behind plans for the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is being urged to pay millions more pounds for projects such as a bigger and better Bridgwater Hospital and a new town swimming pool. Sedgemoor District Council has made a direct plea to Mercury readers to put the pressure on EDF Energy to fully compensate our area for the years of disruption which lie ahead if two new nuclear reactors are built.

Bridgwater Mercury 26th Aug 2010 more >>

PEOPLE living on a new development near Bridgwater are furious about EDF Energy’s plans to build freight facilities and a park and ride near their homes. The proposals for the developments off junction 24 of the M5 form part of EDF’s plans for Hinkley C nuclear power station. Although the whole scheme is currently under consultation, people living in Stockmoor Village, between Bridgwater and North Petherton, say nobody from EDF contacted them directly.

Bridgwater Mercury 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Torness

A PROTEST group staged a mock radioactive disaster outside Torness Power station as part of a mass march against nuclear power. The 30-strong group staged the “die-in” to highlight the danger of nuclear power. For the next three days the protesters, led by Edinburgh-based campaigner Janet Fenton, will march from Dunbar to Edinburgh via Haddington and Portobello.

Edinburgh Evening News 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Iran

The much-heralded “switching on” of the Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr does not mean that an Israeli or American military attack is any nearer. Despite some alarmist warnings, especially by former American ambassador the United Nations, John Bolton, this is not any sort of “point of no return”. With close inspection by the IAEA and the Russian government, the light-water reactor won’t give the Iranians the much-sought-after key to the nuclear power clubhouse.

Jewish Chronicle 26th Aug 2010 more >>

The agreement regulating the construction and functioning of Bushehr stipulates that Russia will supply its fuel and that once the fuel is spent, Russia will collect it and return it to Russia. Meanwhile, the reactor is under international monitoring and safeguards. Highlighting these terms, Moscow argues, not unreasonably, that Bushehr has no relevance for Iran’s alleged quest for nuclear weapons since Russian guarantees ensure no risk of proliferation. Why then so much concern, including the claim, voiced last week by former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, that Israel had only days left to bomb Iran?

Bushehr lends itself to non-civilian purposes in two ways. First, Iran’s nuclear scientists will acquire much-needed knowledge and experience from its operation which until now they lacked.

And secondly, if Iran decided to do so, it could extract plutonium from the spent fuel. Admittedly, Iran would have to introduce important changes to Bushehr and its violation of the terms of agrement with Russia would be quickly detected. But regardless, if Iran made that decision, it could weather the resulting political storm and offset the damage by reaping the benefits of plutonium extraction. According to experts, Bushehr, once reconfigured, could produce up to 250 kilograms of plutonium per year, enough for 30 nuclear bombs.

Jewish Chronicle 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Letter: Iran is virtually encircled by nuclear-armed powers: Pakistan to the east, Russia to the north, Nato to the west, Israel to the south-west and the US Navy to the south. According to deterrence theory, it is thus, in principle, more justified in acquiring nuclear capability than any other country.

Independent 27th Aug 2010 more >>

US

The Tennessee Valley Authority has lost nearly $50 million in power generation from its biggest nuclear plant because the Tennessee River in Alabama is too hot.

Climate Progress 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Egypt

Egypt’s first nuclear power plant is to be built on the Mediterranean coast, ending a year of controversy over its possible location.

New Civil Engineer 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Trident

Britain’s biggest defence industry trade body urged the government on Friday to clarify who will pay for a new nuclear deterrent, voicing fears that its high cost could hit orders for other military equipment.

Reuters 27th Aug 2010 more >>

If the calamitous situation ever arose in which a prime minister had to press the nuclear button, the enemy would suffer unimaginable carnage. The Royal Navy’s four Vanguard-class submarines, which are on continuous patrol every day of the year, are equipped with 16 missiles fitted with an average of three warheads each. This gives each vessel the capability to deliver more than 40 nuclear devices across a range of targets, annihilating the enemy with what the military refers to, with trademark black humour, as its “buckets of sunshine”. To guarantee our place in the world, we need both Trident and strong Armed Forces. That is why Mr Cameron should ask his Chancellor to review his budget demands. Next time the Prime Minister faces a global crisis, he doesn’t want to find himself walking naked into the conference chamber.

Telegraph 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Submarines

A Cumbrian-built submarine will formally enter Royal Navy service on Friday. Astute will become Her Majesty’s Ship for the first time when it is accepted by the Royal Navy at the Clyde Naval Base in Faslane, near Glasgow. The Duchess of Cornwall, who is patron of the Astute attack submarine, will be guest of honour at the commissioning ceremony.

BBC 27th Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 27 August 2010

26 August 2010

New Nukes (GDA)

The UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate said Wednesday it is possible that it will only be able to issue “interim” approvals for the Areva EPR and Westinghouse AP1000 reactor designs at the end of the NII’s generic design assessment program in June 2011. The reactors would not be permitted to be constructed in the UK with an interim approval, the NII said. Construction could only occur after any outstanding “GDA issues” were resolved, but there is as yet no schedule for resolving outstanding issues after the end of the GDA program, according to NII.

Platts 25th Aug 2010 more >>

It is increasingly unlikely that the UK’s first nuclear reactors will get full regulatory approval by mid-2011, according to the Health and Safety Executive. HSE warned yesterday that there was still a huge amount of work to be done before this point, suggesting that the timetable for building UK reactors could slip. The HSE said it was still possible for both designs to be accepted for use in the UK but flagged up “not insignificant technical issues”. It is still hoping to complete the assessment and issue partial approval in June 2011, giving each company a rigid timetable for fixing further problems.

Telegraph 26th Aug 2010 more >>

HSE promised there would be no repeat of the chaotic construction in Finland of what was supposed to be Europe’s first new reactor in decades. The Areva plant is more than three years behind schedule and more than €2bn (£1.6bn) over budget, with the Finnish regulator trying to approve each component of the design while it is being built. EDF has promised that the UK’s first reactor will be operational in 2018, although it had originally said it would be running by the end of 2017. The HSE said the companies behind the designs – French consortium Areva, EDF and US firm Westinghouse – had been repeatedly submitting information which was incomplete and late.

Guarduan 26th Aug 2010 more >>

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) expects to provisionally approve two nuclear reactor designs for UK use in June next year, the latest assessment update reveals.

Argus Media 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Oldbury

British nuclear power operator Magnox North wants to run one of its two 220-megawatt (MW) Oldbury units near Bristol until mid-2012. Magnox North is awaiting a decision from the Nuclear Directorate (ND), part of Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to extend the operating time of its Oldbury 2 reactor until June 2011 to bring it in line with the second unit. After the verdict has been given, the operator will decide which reactor will form part of an extension request until mid-2012.

Reuters 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Residents affected by plans to build a nuclear power station in west Somerset have been urged to ask for more money.

Sedgemoor District Council’s chief executive said the £1m community fund promised by EDF Energy was not enough compensation for residents affected by plans to build Hinkley Point C. Kerry Rickards said EDF Energy needed to realise the impact it would have.

BBC 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Businesses and industry leaders are being urged to get involved in the £10 billion investment project for Hinkley Point C, which is Somerset’s biggest construction project in decades. Companies of all sizes, from a huge array of industry sectors, are being encouraged go online to register their interest quickly and easily, giving them an opportunity to be part of the scheme. Around 150 Somerset companies have already registered their interest in being part of the project. One of these is Peter Brett Associates LLP, a large international engineering consultancy practice with a regional office in Taunton.

Bristol Evening Post 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Dounreay

Operators at a nuclear site in Dounreay in Caithness could be facing prosecution after a dangerous radiation leak has affected a group of employees. As many as nine workers have been exposed to high levels of radioactivity while operating at the intermediate level waste centre. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate said that it will prepare a report to be used by the procurator fiscal. The site also experienced a fire in May, which the inspectorate is also preparing a report for. It said that the incident was most likely caused by poor segregation of materials and a failure to keep house properly. Fire alarms brought out firefighters to the scene when the blaze erupted on 28 May.

Recycle 25th Aug 2010 more >>

THE operators of the Dounreay nuclear complex could face prosecution after a group of workers were affected by radiation.The nine staff were moving a flask containing intermediate-level waste to storage when they were exposed to higher than expected doses of radiation, although these were still within statutory limits. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII), which is part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), investigated the “unplanned exposure” incident and has sent a report to the procurator-fiscal.

Scotsman 26th Aug 2010 more >>

John O Groat Journal 25th Aug 2010 more >>

The previous operators for the Dounreay site, the UK Atomic Energy Authority were no strangers to prosecution. In February 2007 they were fined 140,000 for releasing radioactive particles into the sea and illegally dumping radioactive waste. In July that year they were fined 15,000 after a worker had inhaled a small amount of plutonium particles. But in 2006 they incurred the biggest financial penalty in the history of the nuclear site over the spillage of highly active liquor, incurring a 2m fine.

Herald 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Chapelcross

Engineers at a UK-based nuclear power station are using electric-operated pedestrian tugs to assist in the movement of nuclear flasks, a critical stage in the decommissioning of the site. Not only have the tugs provided a cost effective solution to moving the flasks around in very confined spaces, but the risk of handling-related injuries and accidents to staff have also been reduced.

Process and Control Today 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Sellafield

MOVES to stop supplying towels to Sellafield workers in “hot” areas has sparked concerns that it could lead to radioactive contamination being spread off the nuclear site into their own homes.

Whitehaven News 25th Aug 2010 more >>

HUNDREDS of Sellafield staff are finding out this week whether or not they will be allowed to leave on redundancy terms. Site operators Sellafield Ltd looks to shed around 800 jobs in a cost-cutting purge.

Whitehaven News 25th Aug 2010 more >>

SALARY packages topping more than £8 million among Sellafield’s 19 directors have brought a powerful reaction from the nuclear site unions. Unite, GMB and Prospect are all scathing about the site’s performance under parent body Nuclear Management Partners. It follows publication of the first Sellafield Ltd accounts since American-led Nuclear Management Partners took over from BNFL as Sellafield’s parent body. The accounts confirm last week’s Whitehaven News disclosure that the site’s American managing director Bill Poulson picked up a salary package of around £1 million in the last financial year.

Whitehaven News 25th Aug 2010 more >>

SELLAFIELD’S new points for prizes safety scheme has led to suspicions that it is being used for workers to “grass on” each other. Accusations have been made that the scheme intended to promote safety is being abused as a “shop your workmate” charter to win a prize. Through so-called peer-to-peer observations, it enables nuclear site employees to report either fellow workers who they think aren’t working safely or practices which may endanger safety.

Whitehaven News 25th Aug 2010 more >>

BIG Box, a Sellafield project which was ‘mothballed’ in the 1990s, is ready to get off the ground several years later. The Box Encapsulation Plant Product store will take higher levels of radioactive waste from silos which are being cleaned out in the old part of the site’s separation area. Part of the Big Box structure was erected more than a decade ago but never proceeded. Now in a joint venture, Babcock and Balfour Beatty have won a multi-million pounds contract for the development’s first phase. It is seen as a key project in helping to alleviate radiation risks from Sellafield’s past operations. Much of the £1.5 billion funding which Sellafield is receiving from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for operations in the next 12 months has to go towards this.

Whitehaven News 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Cumbria

LEGAL eagles are being brought in by Copeland Council to give advice on nuclear new-build. The advice could cost over £150,000 but would not come out of the council’s own coffers. As three Copeland borough sites are earmarked for building nuclear power stations, prospective reactor developers would have to help foot the bill under planning performance agreements where applicants are seeking development consent. The rest of the cost would come from central government funding for local authorities which might have nuclear new-build in their areas.

Whitehaven News 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Nuclear Smuggling

Police in the impoverished former Soviet republic of Moldova have broken up a criminal gang attempting to sell 1.8kg of highly radioactive uranium that could have been used to build a dirty bomb. Detectives said they received a tip-off last month that the group were seeking a buyer for the uranium-238. The smugglers – three of whom had previous convictions for uranium dealing in Moldova, Romania and Russia – were demanding €9m (£7.4m).

Undercover officers posing as potential customers met the gang, who had been storing the uranium at a garage in the capital, Chisinau, said Colonel Chiril Motspan, a spokesman for the interior ministry.

Guardian 26th Aug 2010 more >>

India

India’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday approved a draft nuclear liability law that the national nuclear power company and Indian business groups fear will jeopardise the benefits of New Delhi’s nuclear deal with the US. The state-owned Nuclear Power Corp of India and leading industry bodies warned the draft law would throttle the country’s fledgling nuclear power industry, by deterring private companies from providing nuclear equipment or raw materials to India.

FT 26th Aug 2010 more >>

India’s lower house of parliament has approved a law that opens its nuclear power market to private investment. It enables foreign firms to build reactors to supply India’s enormous atomic energy market, worth an estimated $150bn (£97bn). MPs approved the bill only after the government agreed to triple the amount of compensation for accidents. The bill is part of a landmark deal with the US in 2008 which granted India access to foreign nuclear technology.

BBC 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Indonesia

Indonesia’s National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) says that 58% of people polled support the construction of a nuclear power plant in the region on the grounds that it can improve the stability of the region’s energy supply.

Nuclear Engineering International 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Egypt

Egypt announced on Wednesday it would build its planned nuclear powerplant on the Mediterranean coast of el-Dabaa which it hopes will start production in 2019, the state news agency MENA reported.

Middle East Online 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Iran

Atomic chief Ali-Akbar Salehi told the official news agency IRNA that Tehran has made a proposal to Moscow for establishing a consortium under Russian license to make fuel in both Russia and Iran for the Bushehr plant.

Earth Times 26th Aug 2010 more >>

Test Veterans

DERBY North MP Chris Williamson has complained to the House of Commons Speaker about a ban which blocks politicians from asking questions in Parliament about British nuclear test veterans. Hundreds of former British servicemen who took part in the UK’s nuclear weapons tests during the 1950s say they have suffered poor health as a result of radiation to which they were exposed. About 1,000 are locked in a legal battle with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in a bid to win compensation, which the Government refuses to pay.

Derby Telegraph 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 26 August 2010

25 August 2010

Nuclear Smuggling

Moldovan police have seized 1.8kg of uranium-238 in the capital, Chisinau, officials say. Three members of the group, which included former police officers, were arrested, they said. The smugglers had reportedly been trying to sell the material on the European black market for 9m euros (£7.4m). A nuclear expert has told the BBC that this form of uranium is of no use for making nuclear weapons.

BBC 24th Aug 2010 more >>

A customs investigator who claimed spies interfered in efforts to halt an international nuclear smuggling ring has been sacked for gross misconduct. Atif Amin caused a political storm after he claimed officials at MI6 and the CIA ordered him to drop an investigation while working for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Yorkshire Post 24th Aug 2010 more >>

New Nukes

The nuclear industry’s excellent safety performance and caution may have ironically hurt its public acceptance, by making reactors seem scarier than they really are. The advent of small modular reactors might dispel people’s fears of nuclear power.

Nuclear Engineering International 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Hinkley

The deadline on the petition against nuclear new build at Hinkley Point in Somerset has been extended to the end of October. Please encourage friends and others to sign the online petition or print off petition forms to collect signatures: www.stophinkley.orgPETITION.htm

Ruscombe Green 24th Aug 2010 more >>

TOWN councillors have vowed to make themselves heard over the “tremendous impact” a third nuclear power station could have on the Burnham and Highbridge area. French energy giant EDF’s much-publicised bid for the Hinkley Point C plant has prompted local councillors to call on the firm to rethink some of its proposals.

This is the West Country 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Wylfa

The Isle of Anglesey County Council (IACC) wish to commission a suitably qualified and experienced company to undertake a Wylfa Nuclear New Build: Accommodation Facilities for Construction Workers Study. The study outputs will be utilised to inform and justify the IACC’s position in terms of construction workers accommodation, whilst informing future policy development & decision making.

Sell 2 Wales August 2010 more >>

Companies

Portchester’s Extec Integrated Systems has been bought by Ultra Electronics Holdings Plc. Middlesex-based Ultra Electronics will use the firm’s microcircuits to build control systems for nuclear power plants.

Portsmouth News 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

Letter: German chancellor Angela Merkel is wise to tax her nuclear producers because these correspond very much to the rent seekers that plague the capitalist system, as you regularly denounce. The same applies in Belgium for nuclear producers: their rent comes from the accelerated depreciation they could impose on consumers during the 1980s and the 1990s, nuclear power plants having been built to last at least 40 years, and depreciated in 20 years. The extra costs of this accelerated depreciation were borne by electricity consumers at large, with no risk to the producers, organised in oligopolies with tariffs regulated on a cost-plus basis. This subsidy is not the only one enjoyed by nuclear producers, who enjoy a limitation of damage responsibility to a fraction of the potential costs

FT 25th Aug 2010 more >>

The debate over nuclear power in Germany has heated up after a group of the country’s business elite published an open letter to the government. The letter, signed by industry leaders, members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own Christian Democrats, and academics, criticised Merkel’s plans for a nuclear tax. It also urged Merkel to make good on a pledge to extend the life of the country’s nuclear power plants beyond their planned closure in 2022.

Utility Week 24th Aug 2010 more >>

China

Two recent large-scale energy initiatives in China have been the commercialisation of fuel cell-powered vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and coal-to-liquid alternative fuel plants to reduce oil imports. Both require significant quantities of hydrogen. The enlargement of nuclear-based hydrogen production is envisaged to meet these requirements.

Nuclear Engineering International 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Zhou Shirong is deputy director of nuclear safety at China’s environmental protection ministry. Here, he talks to Cao Haidong and Meng Dengke about managing construction standards – and public anxiety.

China Dialogue 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Bruce Kent and Kate Hudson discuss the 65th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the changing tide against nuclear weapons in Britain and around the world, and the prospect of global nuclear abolition.

Reality Radio 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Renewables

France launched one of Europe’s most ambitious wind power projects yesterday, unveiling a €10 billion (£8 billion) contract to build 600 offshore turbines in a move that delighted environmentalists but infuriated fishermen. The announcement of the tender for the wind farms the first tranche of what is likely to be an overall investment of up to €20 billion over the next decade signals an attempt by Paris to catch up with Britain in the offshore renewable energy market.

Times 25th August 2010 more >>

Scotland’s offshore wind industry could create 28,000 jobs over the next decade, a report said. A study found the industry has the potential to add “significant value” to the Scottish economy, contributing £7.1 billion of investment by 2020. The research, commissioned by Scottish Renewables and Scottish Enterprise, also suggested that a further 20,000 jobs could be created in related industries in 10 years’ time. But it came with a warning that the next four years are “critical” to the success or failure of the Scottish offshore wind industry.

Herald 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Herald 25th Aug 2010 more >>

BBC 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Scotsman 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Dundee Courier 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Press & Journal 25th Aug 2010 more >>

A record number of homeowners installed solar panels this month, in a sign of Britons enthusiasm for domestic renewable energy generation. But some householders are in danger of signing up for solar panel deals for which they will gain only a limited benefit, experts warned on Tuesday. More than 2,200 homes have been fitted with solar panels this month, up from 1,700 in July and 1,400 in June, according to figures published by Ofgem, the energy regulator. Since April, more than 6,660 solar panel installations have been built into houses, amounting to a total generating capacity of 16MW for UK homes. The boom has been sparked by a change in the subsidy system for small-scale renewable energy generation, which took effect on April 1.

FT 25th Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 25 August 2010

24 August 2010

Nuclear Waste

Campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland is backing a west Cumbrian councillor concerned at developments over nuclear waste. Joe Sandwith who represents Seaton on Allerdale Borough Council, is worried that Cumbria is being pushed into a process that is scientifically and democratically flawed. But his motion for Allerdale to withdraw “expression of interest” has come under fierce pressure from pro nuclear forces. For the first time in Allerdale Council’s history a motion has been deferred but despite this still stands and will be put forward at the full Council meeting on September 22.

Get Noticed Online 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Nuclear Costs

Wind farm operators could see their overheads increase by millions of pounds a year as a direct result of plans to upgrade and reinforce the grid to cope with a new fleet of nuclear reactors. A number of renewable energy developers are angry at National Grid’s decision to retain the current charging regime it operates for providing backup power, despite the fact costs are expected to soar when new nuclear power plants come online towards the end of the decade. National Grid released a consultation document in June detailing how the proposed development of six nuclear power stations would require the grid operator to increase the amount of backup power, known as “spinning reserve”, that it has available to call on in the event of a large power plant failing, from 1,320MW to 1,800MW.

Business Green 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Nuclear Smuggling

A customs investigator who claimed spies interfered in efforts to halt an international nuclear smuggling ring has been sacked for gross misconduct. Atif Amin was at the centre of a political storm after he claimed officials at MI6 and the CIA ordered him to drop an investigation while working for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). He was in charge of Operation Akin, an investigation into links between British companies and an illegal network run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani scientist who helped build that country’s nuclear arsenal.

Telegraph 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Scotsman 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Independent 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Dungeness

One of the two reactors at Dungeness nuclear power station is back up and running after more than 300,000 hours of repair and maintenance. Unit 21 at the B reactor came back online on Thursday last week (August 19) – at full capacity the station is able to generate enough electricity for 1.5 million homes. The unit was out of action while inspections were carried out on the boilers; it only came back online when the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate gave its consent for a restart.

Kent News 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

Germany’s Environment Minister Norbert R ttgen has announced government plans to delay its decision on the introduction of a nuclear fuel tax in Germany until the end of September, four weeks later than previously planned. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Sch uble has, nevertheless, reportedly dismissed the minister’s claims.

Low Tax 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

China & South Africa

China National Nuclear Corp. is in talks over building a nuclear power plant in South Africa, a CNNC official said Tuesday, in the latest sign that China is gearing up to export nuclear technology at the same time as it rapidly expands its domestic reactor fleet.

Automated Trader 24th Aug 2010 more >>

Submarines

The commissioning ceremony is to be performed by the submarine’s “sponsor”, the Duchess of Rothesay, in Astute’s home port of HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane, west of Glasgow, on Friday. The Royal Navy says that the Astute class is half as big again as the the fleet’s current attack submarines and they will never require refuelling. The technology built into them is more sophisticated than that on current space shuttles and they can be used for close coastal reconnaissance. Astute’s commissioning also sees the start of a process that will see the Clyde base become the Royal Navy’s only home for nuclear submarines.

Yorkshire Post 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 24 August 2010

23 August 2010

Energy Security

The UK needs to keep drilling for reasons of energy security. Increasing reliance on imported oil and gas is causing “anxiety”, he says before rattling alarming statistics that 60pc of new stations will be gas-fired, while 70pc of supply will be imported. There’s no point in denying the urgency of building new power capacity, Hendry claims, and also no point in panicking. But, having argued in opposition that steeply rising bills and unreliable supplies are a danger, he also accepts that the pressure is on to deliver policy decisions quickly. “We have to secure £200bn of investment and if we don’t get that we’re in trouble, not necessarily in 2015, but in the 2020s,” he says. How does the Government persuade industry to build 10 new nuclear stations, 7,000 wind turbines and invent the first clean coal technology when these options have borderline economics at best?

Telegraph 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

David Cameron and other British ministers will “get out there” lobbying Russia and other oil-rich countries to give UK energy companies new business, according to Charles Hendry, the energy minister.

Telegraph 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

GARDENS are at risk of contamination from low-level radioactive waste through compost taken from a landfill site, according to an environment group. Part of the site where the waste is dumped is also used for the extraction of compost which is sold to vegetable and flower growers. Anti-nuclear group Radioactive-Free Lakeland claims that the site at Lillyhall in Cumbria is not suitable for the dumping of nuclear waste. It warns that plans by site owners, the Waste Recycling Group Ltd and EnergySolutions, its USA partner, to take higher-level nuclear waste could have health implications for residents in the area.

Sunday Sun 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Proliferation

The United States and the 45 other countries that set the global rules on nuclear trade expect to be confronted with Chinese plans to flout those rules by building two reactors in Pakistan. The looming deal is emblematic of Beijing’s growing nuclear assertiveness and also threatens to undermine global nonproliferation efforts championed by President Obama. Washington should be critical of this transaction, but more importantly, the United States should use this opportunity to hold bilateral talks with China on nuclear trade, security and nonproliferation issues.

New York Times 20th Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

Angela Merkel on Sunday stood by plans for a tax on nuclear power as debate intensified over her government’s energy policy following public criticism by leading business people. A plan to raise €2.3bn ($2.9bn, £1.8bn) with a nuclear fuel tax was the only “proposal on the table” and was part of fiscal consolidation efforts, Germany’s chancellor said in a television interview, in response to opposition from large power utilities. Opposition to the tax plan mounted at the weekend with an open letter from a wide coalition of business leaders and other personalities, which also demanded that the government make good on a promise to extend the life span of Germany’s nuclear power stations.

FT 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Times 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran’s ambitions to become a nuclear superpower have edged closer to realisation, with the opening of the country’s first energy-producing nuclear reactor. The long-awaited project, dogged by opposition from the US since plans were first drawn up in the 1970s, is now complete.

Belfast Telegraph 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Iran`s Bushehr nuclear plant has “no proliferation threat,“ the U.S. State Department said Saturday.

Mathaba 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

UN observers watched engineers switch on Iran’s first nuclear reactor on Saturday. Iranian and Russian officials attended a ceremony at the Bushehr plant in the south of the country to mark its opening. The Russian-built facility will be internationally supervised in order to appease Western states led by Washington. Moscow has pledged to ensure that no uranium from the facility is diverted elsewhere.

Morning Star 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Iran has unveiled an unmanned, long-distance bomber drone described by the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as “an ambassador of death” to Tehran’s enemies.

Guardian 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

India

India’s main opposition party has reneged on a promise to support a bill that seeks to open up the country’s nuclear power market, saying current provisions make it difficult to get compensation in case of accidents. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) had agreed to support the bill, crucial for the entry of companies like U.S.-based General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, after the Congress Party-led coalition government agreed to hike compensation caps and extend liability to suppliers.

Yahoo 23rd Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 23 August 2010

22 August 2010

New Nukes

“No Need for Nuclear” – a new campaign to prevent the building of new nuclear power stations, has produced a new leaflet. Available here:

Stop Hinkley August 2010 more >>

Nuclear Waste

A West Cumbrian Councillor has proposed that Allerdale should withdraw from the dodgy process designed to force Cumbria into “geological disposal” of nuclear waste.

The new government like the last is desperate to have been seen to have solved the problem of nuclear waste – to pave the way for new nuclear build.

Indymedia 21st Aug 2010 more >>

Aldermaston

Health and safety practices at Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston in Berkshire are under intense scrutiny just weeks before it is expected to be granted permission for a multibillion-pound facility to conduct a new generation of radioactive tests. A serious fire in the base’s explosives area last month, which resulted in local residents having to be evacuated and left one member of staff injured, has focused attention on AWE’s safety record at a critical time. Peter Burt, director of the Nuclear Information Service (NIS), an independent group, claimed the fire could have caused a “domino effect” of explosives igniting each other. “It seems that we came within a hair’s breadth of everyone’s nightmare scenario,” Burt said. An analysis of monthly health and safety records, published by AWE, has prompted the NIS to call for planners to think twice before approving Project Hydrus, a major new research facility that will turn Aldermaston into a global leader in the production of thermonuclear weapons.

Observer 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

India

The Indian and Japanese foreign ministers have held talks on a civil nuclear co-operation agreement. The Japanese minister, Katsuya Okada, said the decision to start negotiations had been one of the toughest he had ever had to make.

BBC 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Iran

IRAN began fuelling its first nuclear power plant yesterday amid fears it is seeking an atomic bomb.

Daily Star 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Daily Mail 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Scotland on Sunday 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Independent on Sunday 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

A war of words has broken out between Israel and Iran after the Islamic Republic began loading fuel into its first nuclear power plant.

ITN 21st Aug 2010 more >>

While President Obama enjoys his sixth vacation of the year, at the exclusive playground of America’s liberal elites at Martha’s Vineyard, the United States’ most dangerous state-based adversary on the world stage is celebrating the opening of its first nuclear reactor, the Russian-built power plant at Bushehr. Although purportedly for civilian purposes, there can be no doubt that this is a huge leap forward for Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, with US officials acknowledging Iran is just “12 months from a nuclear weapon.” Earlier this week, Tehran announced it was building 10 uranium enrichment plants in protected mountain strongholds, and on Friday the Iranian regime ominously test-fired a new surface to surface missile, with an undisclosed range.

Telegraph 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Germany

European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said German energy companies should hand over to the state at least half their profits accrued from extending the life of nuclear power stations. He was speaking in an interview with the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung Saturday as German bosses and economic figures have lashed out at a government proposal to tax nuclear energy production.

EU Business 21st Aug 2010 more >>

Renewables

The marine sector can rejuvenate Scotland’s manufacturing industry – but it needs the right skills and investment.

Scotland on Sunday 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Peak Oil

Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about “peak oil”. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about “peak oil” – the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits “secrecy around the topic is probably not good”.

Observer 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Climate

The Royal Bank of Scotland has provided nearly £13 billion-worth of funding to many of the companies blamed for causing global warming since it was bailed out by the taxpayer two years ago. The figures, revealed today by the Sunday Herald, are the first authoritative and detailed account of the bank’s controversial financing of the world’s ‘dirty’ oil and gas industries. According to figures from the financial information company Bloomberg, RBS has directly loaned nearly £3.6 billion to fossil fuel companies since the bailout on October 13, 2008. At the same time, the bank has helped raise equity finance worth £9.3 billion.

Sunday Herald 22nd Aug 2010 more >>

Posted: 22 August 2010