News July 2010

31 July 2010

Chernobyl

The largest wildlife census of its kind conducted in Chernobyl has revealed that mammals are declining in the exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear power plant. The study aimed to establish the most reliable way to measure the impact on wildlife of contamination in the zone. It was based on almost four years of counting and studying animals there. The scientists say that birds provide the best “quantitative measure” of these impacts.

BBC 31st July 2010 more >>

EDF

EDF said building its Flamanville EPR model in France would cost more and is two years behind schedule.

Bloomberg 30th July 2010 more >>

Around 170,000 miles of electrical network covering London, the South East and eastern England has been sold by France’s EDF in a deal worth £5.8 billion. The UK’s biggest electricity network is to be acquired by infrastructure fund Cheung Kong, which is controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing and is the current owner of UK distribution firm Northern Gas Networks. The deal price, which includes debt, is higher than expected after Cheung Kong and its partner Hong Kong Electric Holdings reportedly outbid funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Australia’s Macquarie.

PA 30th July 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

BRITAIN would have run out of space to put radioactive material but for a timely £22 million facility in Copeland. Vault 9, a huge new storage and disposal store on the outskirts of Drigg village, has come to the nation’s rescue for storing low levels of materials contaminated by radioactivity.

Whitehaven News 29th July 2010 more >>

ITV Border 29th July 2010 more >>

Emergency Planning

Letter: I do not think changing terms for accidents will make the public feel safer. What we need are answers for people living in Torpoint, Camels Head, Devonport and St Budeaux. How long will it take to deliver potassium iodate tablets to the Barne Barton estate, for example? How many tablets will be given out per household? In the event of an evacuation, how long will it take? The only way out of the estate is a narrow railway bridge to St Budeaux Square which will probably be packed. On one occasion, I believe it took 14 days to notify the council, as the lead authority for the Devonport Off-Lite Emergency Plan.

Plymouth Herald 31st July 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

Sheffield Forgemasters welcomed a recent statement from Vince Cable, the UK business secretary, which pledged support to the company following the cancellation in June of an £80 million ($118 million) government loan. Forgemasters would have used the loan towards the £140 million ($207 million) cost of installing a 15,000 tonne press capable of handling 500-600 tonne ingots and producing the largest reactor pressure vessels. Cable said that the government would be willing to look carefully at future proposals when the availability of public funds becomes clearer following the spending review. The company said that it anticipates reviewing the project in early 2011.

World Nuclear News 30th July 2010 more >>

People

The Nuclear Industry Association’s (NIA) public affairs supremo is leaving the lobby group after seven years for a new job in the energy sector. Simon James, a three-time Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and well-known face on the lobbying circuit, is moving to ESBI, the ambitious international arm of the Irish Republic’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) as its first dedicated UK lobbyist.

Public Affairs 30th July 2010 more >>

Cumbria

Only 28 per cent of the cash spent on nuclear activities in Cumbria stays in the county, according to a leading councillor.

Tim Knowles, portfolio holder for the economy on Cumbria County Council, said the county must do better. Mr Knowles was speaking at the Keeping the Nuclear Pound in Cumbria event at Burnetts Solicitors energy coast office. He told delegates that just £183 million of the nuclear spend in Cumbria was retained in the county in 2007/08.

Cumberland News 30th July 2010 more >>

Dounreay

It used to be denounced by environmentalists as the world’s nuclear dustbin, but workers at Dounreay appear to be joining their green ranks. Those who used to be concerned with fast neutrons and nuclear reprocessing may not quite yet be hugging trees, but they are trying to save a threatened insect. Caithness, Sutherland, Orkney and the Western Isles are home to one of rarest of the bumblebee species, the Great Yellow, which is found nowhere else in the country.

Herald 30th July 2010 more >>

Scotsman 30th July 2010 more >>

Jobs

The US Government projection of 70,000 jobs from nuclear power pales in comparison with renewables. If the federal government established a standard requiring utilities to obtain 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, it would create 297,000 new jobs, according to a 2009 analysis by my organization, the Union of Concerned Scientists. Echoing our analysis, a February 2010 study by Navigant Consulting found that a 25 percent by 2025 standard would create 274,000 jobs. Energy efficiency programs also would produce more jobs. A 2009 study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found that a national standard requiring utilities to institute programs reducing electricity demand by 15 percent and natural gas demand by 10 percent would generate more than 220,000 jobs by 2020.

Green Tech Media 29th July 2010 more >>

AP1000

Of the 26 new reactor applications under current NRC scrutiny, 14 are for Westinghouse Electric Co.’s AP1000 pressurized water reactor. What sets the reactor apart is its modular design and passive safety system: Instead of relying on an operator or electronic feedback to shut down the reactor should it overheat, it employs the natural forces of gravity, convection and air circulation. It remains to be seen whether the AP1000 will herald nuclear’s next generation, especially because the reactor is on its 18th design revision and a couple of key safety questions remain unresolved. The first safety concern arose four years ago over the durability of the reactor’s shield building. The structure is the outermost layer of defense in a nuclear reactor and provides protection against severe external events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornado-generated projectiles and airplane collisions. In the AP1000’s case it also supports a very large water tank (one of the passive safety measures). A second safety issue recently came to fore. Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive and chief engineer of Fairewinds Associates, an energy consulting company, stepped forward to spotlight what he sees as a possible fatal flaw in the AP1000’s design: the separation of the concrete shield building from the steel containment vessel.

Scientific American 29th July 2010 more >>

US

Recently there’s been much talk of a nuclear renaissance in the U.S. And that’s all it is right now: talk. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is acting. More than 50 new nuclear plants are under construction around the world, including 24 in China alone. In the U.S. is just one.

Bloomberg Business Week 30th July 2010 more >>

India

The United States and India signed an agreement Friday enabling the Asian power to reprocess American nuclear material, a key requirement under their landmark atomic energy pact. So far, Washington has reprocessing deals only with European Union members and Japan. The arrangement with India reflects President Barack Obama’s “strong commitment to building successfully on the landmark US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative and is a prerequisite for US nuclear fuel suppliers to conduct business with India,” a statement from the State Department said.

AFP 31st July 2010 more >>

The Prime Minister used a so-called ‘Davos-style’ forum in front of hundreds of UK and Indian businessmen to spell out exactly how the two countries can forge closer business links. In a high-profile finale to the Coalition Government’s three-day trade and political mission to India, Mr Cameron shared the stage with George Osborne, the Chancellor, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and three of India’s senior finance ministers. Former PR man Cameron certainly had his marketing cap on. In what he admitted was a “two-minute advertisement” for the UK he listed why Indian companies should invest in the country. “We have some of the best universities in the world, we have one of the strongest science bases in the world, we have got excellent civil nuclear power, we are a very strong defence industry, and we have a strong financial, insurance and banking services industry. These are things we can share with you.”

Telegraph 30th July 2010 more >>

British minister for universities and science David Willetts on Wednesday said the United Kingdom and India will jointly work on a civilian nuclear deal and Brtain would help India set up 14 world class universities in the country. Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a panel discussion at IIT-Madras, Mr Willets said the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK and India’s Department of Atomic Energy will work on five new projects in civil nuclear energy, including in the areas of plant safety and nuclear waste management.

Deccan Chronicle 28th July 2010 more >>

India and United Kingdom (UK) have agreed to enhance cooperation in civil nuclear, renewable energy, defense, education, science and research sector. This was declared in a joint Indo-UK press statement in New Delhi on July 29, 2010. The British Premiere David Cameron was on a three day state visit to India from July 27-29.

Day After (India) 29th July 2010 more >>

Iran

A Canadian court has sentenced a Toronto resident to over four years in prison for violating a United Nations resolution by attempting to export nuclear-related goods to Iran.

BBC 30th July 2010 more >>

Renewables

In some places in the U.S. today, solar photovoltaic, PV, technology the iconic glass panels being deployed on home and business rooftops already allows users to beat what their local utility charges for electricity generated from coal-fired power plants.

Canadian National Broadcasting Corporation 28th July 2010 more >>

Trident

Prime Minister David Cameron gave his backing to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in a dispute with Defense Secretary Liam Fox over how to fund a replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear-missile system.

Bloomberg 30th July 2010 more >>

Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, has fuelled the Cabinet row over the Trident weapon system by warning of a “new nuclear arms race” with Iran.

Telegraph 31st July 2010 more >>

Evening Standard 30th July 2010 more >>

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne rejected exempting Britain’s Trident nuclear- weapons system from budget cuts, revealing a split with Defense Secretary Liam Fox.

Bloomberg 29th July 2010 more >>

BBC 30th July 2010 more >>

Daily Mail 30th July 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

An international exhibition documenting the impact of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki will open in London on Monday (2nd August). Transported from Japan and on display in London for the first time, the exhibition includes artefacts recovered from the wreckage and the rare opportunity to hear first hand from one of the remaining survivors of the Hiroshima bomb.

CND Press Release 29th July 2010 more >>

Test Veterans

A DECISION to ban MPs asking questions about nuclear test veterans in the House of Commons has been described as ‘outrageous’.

Burton Mail 30th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 31 July 2010

30 July 2010

Low Level Waste

A new nuclear waste dump which is expected to bring £1.5 million a year into the Cumbrian economy is due to open today. Vault 9, at the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) at Drigg in west Cumbria, will store low-level radioactive waste. The site was due to be officially opened by Copeland mayor Mike McVeigh, Cumbria County Council chairman Bert Richardson, and the chairman of Drigg and Carleton parish council this morning.

Cumberland News 29th July 2010 more >>

Companies

Whenever the French are called on to justify their state-heavy approach to business, they can point with justifiable pride to what they call their fili re nucl aire. This is the assortment of businesses that design, build and operate the 58 nuclear power plants that generate 75% of France’s electricity.

Time 9th August 2010 more >>

EDF reports a 47% drop in profits.

Bloomberg 30th July 2010 more >>

Forgemasters have set Cable a nuclear deadline.

FT 30th July 2010 more >>

US

The so-called nuclear renaissance that was supposed to boost U.S. capacity to generate emissions- free power may stall as developers await decisions from the Obama administration on federal aid. The Energy Department in Washington needs to review proposed loan guarantees “thoroughly,” and a decision on at least one of three pending projects on its short list may be announced by the end of this year, spokeswoman Ebony Meeks said. The department increased the number of people working on the proposals to more than 120 from 10 in March 2009, she said.

Bloomberg 29th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 30 July 2010

29 July 2010

Energy Policy

Energy secretary Chris Huhne delivered the first of what are to be annual energy statements to parliament today, committing the government to overhauling the energy industry so as to provide affordable, secure, low-carbon energy. The statement sketched out the government’s intention to reduce energy demand from domestic premises, promote renewable technologies, support the carbon price, overhaul electricity pricing incentives and twist the arm of the private sector to stump up for new nuclear facilities. Huhne also said the government will incentivise micro-generation at both domestic and local community level and roll out smart meters as the fist step in building a smart distribution grid. He said fossil fuels still have a place in a low-carbon future, but only with carbon capture and storage.

Business Green 27th July 2010 more >>

Nuclear Subsidies

Energy companies are likely to need guaranteed payments to invest in new nuclear power stations, the chief executive of Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has said. Sam Laidlaw was speaking as the company reported a 53 per cent rise in underlying profits to 1.34bn ($2.09bn), helped by near-doubled profits from its residential gas and electricity supply business. Centrica owns 20 per cent of British Energy, which runs UK nuclear power stations, and is considering investing in new plants with EDF of France, which owns the remaining 80 per cent of British Energy. However, Mr Laidlaw said the governments proposed floor price for carbon emissions permits, which would guarantee a cost advantage for low-carbon electricity generation, was unlikely to boost investment in new nuclear plants. If that were the only incentive, it would have to be set at a pretty high level, he said, adding that additional support would probably be needed. That could mean a feed-in tariff to guarantee the price for low-carbon electricity, or payments to companies as reward for having available generation capacity.

FT 29th July 2010 more >>

Companies

Areva and EDF, Frances nuclear groups, must end years of bickering and form a strategic partnership to win overseas contracts that could see EDF raise its stake in the nuclear reactor maker, the French government said. State-owned Areva was given the go-ahead for a 15 per cent capital increase to finance investments, in which EDF could raise its 2.4 per cent stake to 7 per cent, according to officials. The strategic partnership will focus on bids for contracts in countries which do not have a nuclear industry. The idea that EDF might take a bigger stake in Areva is controversial. The 15 per cent capital increase equates to between 2bn-3bn, according to analysts, and is necessary because Arevas finances have been strained by construction delays and cost overruns at a nuclear plant in Finland.

FT 29th July 2010 more >>

If French President Nicholas Sarkozy had hoped the arrangement would put an end to a bitter rivalry between Proglio and “Atomic” Anne Lauvergeon, Areva’s chief executive, he may well be disappointed. “Knives are out, the fight is far from being over,” a person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires.

Wall Street Journal 28th July 2010 more >>

Nuclear power company Westinghouse Electric Company has bagged a contract from Enresa (Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radiactivos) to dismantle the reactor vessel (RV) internals at the Jose Cabrera Nuclear Power Station (also known as Zorita), located in Almonacid de Zorita, 43 miles east of Madrid, Spain.

Energy Business Review 28th July 2010 more >>

Hinkley

THE key areas to be affected by the proposed building of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point are being offered extra support. The Sedgemoor and West Somerset district councils’ aim is to help communities understand EDF’s second stage proposals for the new power station. EDF consulted communities in the spring about its initial proposals for developments of worker accommodation, freight handling and transport routes associated with the site.

Sedgemoor and West Somerset councils helped generate responses to these proposals from a broad range of community stakeholders.

This is Somerset 22nd July 2010 more >>

Somerset’s landscape could look very different in the future – there could be wind farms on the Somerset Levels, two new reactors at Hinkley Point, and a barrage, or a series of lagoons to harness the water power in the Severn estuary.

BBC 28th July 2010 more >>

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to keep fighting for a Bridgwater bypass to avoid “massive traffic problems” if a third power plant at Hinkley Point goes ahead.

This is the West Country 28th July 2010 more >>

Plutonium

Annual plutonium stockpile figures.

HSE 28th July 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

Cumbrian campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland are stepping-up the fight to prevent nuclear waste development at Keekle Head and Lillyhall. More than 180 letters of objection have been collected and sent to Cumbria County Council’s Development Control Committee. Earlier this year Keekle Head (artist’s impression alongside) applied to dispose of nuclear waste while the Lillyhall landfill site, which is actively receiving nuclear waste, applied to dispose of even higher level wastes.

Get Noticed Online 28trh July 2010 more >>

Sellafield

Former Sellafield boss Barry Snelson has defended his moves to try and halt industrial action over a pay dispute that was taking place as the site was being privatised.

Carlisle News and Star 28th July 2010 more >>

India

BRITAIN is to attempt to tap into the multi-billion pound Indian nuclear power industry by exporting expertise and technology to the country for the first time. In a move campaigners called “a complete disaster” that undermined the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Business Secretary Vince Cable said Britain would in future approve export licences for the technology in a bid to boost jobs and forge stronger trade links with the burgeoning Indian economy. Previous UK administrations have resisted sharing the expertise with India, because it has not signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) that restricts the development of new nuclear weapons.

Scotsman 29th July 2010 more >>

Guardian 29th July 2010 more >>

In a keynote speech in Bangalore at Infosys, India’s largest IT company, the Prime Minister discussed cooperation on science and technology. He said: UK and India research funders have committed up to £60 million worth of jointly-funded research into climate change, water and food security and disease prevention. British and Indian scientists will collaborate on £2 million worth of research that will help nuclear power stations to be safer, more efficient and produce less waste.

BIS 28th July 2010 more >>

The United Kingdom is to follow in the footsteps of Russia, the USA and France as it looks to allow the export of civil nuclear technology to India. Business secretary Vince Cable announced the plans while on a visit to technology-hub Bangalore with a governmental delegation led by UK prime minister David Cameron.

Nuclear Engineering International 28th July 2010 more >>

Evening Standard 28th July 2010 more >>

Telegraph 28th July 2010 more >>

Renewables

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk has today announced a £1.5 million investment in the development of wave energy technology during a visit to the South West RDA’s Wave Hub project at Hayle.

BIS 29th July 2010 more >>

More than 5000 jobs could be created by the development of planned wind turbine manufacturing sites around port locations in Scotland, Alex Salmond said yesterday. Under the plans, 11 sites across three regional clusters would manufacture 750 complete offshore wind turbines a year, for use both in Scotland and for the export market. About 223 million of private and public investment would be needed to upgrade the sites, creating 5180 jobs with an annual economic impact of up to 294.5m each year. Stage two of the national renewables infrastructure plan, published yesterday by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, was welcomed by the First Minister as he and Cabinet colleagues met in Dornoch. The sites in question are Leith, Dundee, Nigg, the Energy Park at Methil, Hunterston, Aberdeen, Arnish, Campbeltown/Machrihanish , Ardersier, Kishorn and Peterhead. However, Salmond warned: Unlocking the potential of these sites requires initial investment from both the private and public sectors. This report underlines the case for early investment and therefore its now urgent for the Treasury to release Scotlands 185m fossil fuel levy to further develop the renewables industry.

Herald 28th July 2010 more >>

Submarines

Thomas Docherty has written to the Nuclear Directorate to seek assurances the submarines stored at Rosyth Dockyard are being properly looked after. He wrote to the directorate after discovering a second nuclear sub at the Fife yard had been holed below the waterline. Seven decommissioned subs are currently held afloat at Rosyth, including four Polaris vessels: Revenge, Resolution, Renown and Repulse. All of them have had their highly toxic fuel removed but parts of the vessels, including the reactor compartments, are still contaminated. Last week The Courier revealed a second sub sprang a leak after being attacked by a common microbiological organism that emits sulphuric acid.

Dundee Courier 27th July 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Next week it will be 65 years since the first atomic bombs were dropped. On August 6, 1945 the Japanese city of Hiroshima was wiped out by one. Three days later the same happened to Nagasaki. About 110,000 people died immediately and at least twice as many died later from burns, radiation sickness, cancer and other after-effects. It was the first and last time they were used in war. And ever since we’ve been building new ones.

Carlisle News and Star 29th July 2010 more >>

Fusion

The European Union and six states backing a multi-billion-dollar nuclear fusion project said Wednesday they had reached a deal on the financing and timetable for the experimental reactor. An explosion in costs had cast a cloud over the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which aims to make the nuclear fusion process that fuels the sun a practical energy source on Earth.

EU Business 29th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 29 July 2010

28 July 2010

New Nukes

Letter from Adam Smith Institute: Energy secretary Chris Huhne’s proposal to end subsidies for nuclear energy generation is hugely inconsistent. Every other form of non-fossil fuel generation gets massive subsidies, so why single out nuclear? The reason, of course, is that nuclear subsidies would come out of taxation. The subsidies paid to wind, hydroelectric and solar energy generation are paid directly by householders, as the Renewables Obligation, which adds almost £300 a year to their energy bills. It is much easier for a politician to continue this stealth tax on households than to raise a new tax to support nuclear generation.

FT 28th July 2010 more >>

CHRIS Huhne, the energy secretary, threw his weight behind new nuclear energy yesterday, reversing years of Liberal Democrat opposition to nuclear power. Huhne said a nuclear building programme would be “on track by 2018”, suggesting the government will move faster than originally thought. The Institute of Directors welcomed the announcement, but called on the government to introduce a fast-track planning process.

City AM 28th July 2010 more >>

THE coalition government set itself on course for a potential clash with Holyrood ministers and its own backbenchers yesterday as it announced a commitment to support the development of new nuclear power stations. UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said it was clear new facilities for nuclear generation should be permitted to proceed, a move that directly contradicts the SNP and Lib Dem policy that no such power stations should be built in Scotland.

Scotsman 28th July 2010 more >>

IF THE areas for potential Lib Dem/ Conservative splits in the coalition were not already considerable, another one has been added – and with real voltage in Scotland. In setting out yesterday a commitment to support the development of new nuclear power stations, UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne looks to have lit the fuse for a clash with the SNP administration in Edinburgh and also with his own Lib Dem back-benchers.

Scotsman 28th July 2010 more >>

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne backed an aggressively timetabled nuclear building programme yesterday for the first time. Although mention of nuclear power is conspicuously absent from DECC’s draft structural reform plan – a set of deadlines for the roll out of everything from smart meters to CCS trials – in a press conference held immediately after his statement to Parliament, Huhne said new nuclear would be “on track by 2018”. The acknowledgement is a considerable departure from the Liberal Democrat’s traditional opposition to new nuclear power stations, although in previous statements Huhne has said nuclear must be part of the UK’s energy mix.

Both Huhne and Conservative energy minister Charles Hendry repeated the assertion that no public money is available for new nuclear build.

Business Green 27th July 2010 more >>

EDF

The French government Tuesday announced a far-reaching alliance between State-controlled utility giant Electricite de France (EDF.FR) and State nuclear engineering group Areva SA (CEI.FR), which will touch on all areas of common interest, opening the door for EDF to build a stake in Areva and perhaps putting it firmly at the center of France’s nuclear sector.

Wall Street Journal 27th July 2010 more >>

Energy Supplies

Electricity generation in the UK will double. Cars, hot water and the heating of buildings will be electrified. A new nuclear renaissance on a par with France’s rush to nuclear in the 1970s will have taken place and fossil fuel power stations will capture 90% of their carbon emissions. This is just one picture of how Britain could hit its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, as painted by a new calculator launched by the government today.

Guardian 27th July 2010 more >>

Oldbury

Tim Proudler (Horizon) reply to SANE: We don’t believe the NPS re-consultation will affect our timetable for Oldbury, provided it is conducted promptly. It is much better that we have accurate guidance for the planning authorities, and if it takes a little time to make sure the public have had their say on it, all the better.

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 27th July 2010 more >>

As any fool can see ,from Horizons latest newsletters, the Shepperdine site will have its first reactor in 2025 at the earliest.—It is therfore impossible to have 6000 MW of nuclear power by 2025. We would suggest that if Wylfa progresses well and Oldbury is chosen as a suitable site by the rehashed NPSs——Even though it is not a suitable site—–Horizon will have 3000MW of nuclear energy by 2025.—–If some crazy financial consortium decides to take on the risk!!

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 27th July 2010 more >>

Wylfa

The UK electricity market needs urgent reform if Wylfa B on Anglesey, along with other new nuclear build projects in Britain, are to succeed, says a KPMG report.

Anglesey Today 27th July 2010 more >>

Waste Transport

Aboriginal voices have joined the growing international chorus opposing plans to ship radioactive nuclear generators along the Great Lakes. The Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People, representing 7,000 status, non-status Indians and Metis, opposes the plan by Bruce Power and is demanding consultation and accommodation from the provincial and federal governments.

London Free Press 27th July 2010 more >>

Trident

U.K. Needs Alternative to Trident Submarine Nuclear Deterrent, RUSI Says.

Bloomberg 28th July 2010 more >>

A UNIFIED response has been delivered by city MPs amid calls for the Government to scale back Britain’s nuclear deterrent. A paper by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) thinktank says ministers should consider dropping the requirement that there should always be at least one nuclear missile submarine on patrol at sea. So-called continuous-at-sea-deterrence (CASD) has been the basis of Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent since the first Polaris submarines, the predecessor of Trident, were deployed in 1968. The RUSI paper by Professor Malcolm Chambers, a former adviser to Labou Foreign Secretaries Jack Straw and Margaret Beckett, suggests that CASD is no longer necessary following the end of the Cold War. Plymouth MPs today rubbished the suggestion, and insisted the submarines, which undergo maintenance in Plymouth, were continuously deployed for a ‘very good’ reason.

Plymouth Herald 28th July 2010 more >>

India

The Government is to allow the export of British civil nuclear technology to India.

ITN 28th July 2010 more >>

Guardian 28th July 2010 more >>

Telegraph 28th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 28 July 2010

27 July 2010

Nuclear Subsidy

Lord Mandelson, the former business secretary, todayclaimed the government had misled parliament after it claimed there had been no Treasury support for an 80m loan to Sheffield Forgemasters. He was speaking alongside the shadow business secretary, Pat McFadden, after the two men had spent more than an hour looking at papers in the business department relating to the planned Forgemasters loan. The loan was cancelled by the government in what is seen as a blow to a strategic UK industry.

Guardian 27th July 2010 more >>

LABOUR’S former business ministers yesterday urged the government to reconsider the withdrawal of an £80 million loan to a company to make parts for the nuclear industry after warning that the work could go to Japan or Korea. Former business secretary Lord Mandelson and Labour’s spokesman Pat McFadden spent an hour at the Business Department in London examining papers related to the Sheffield Forgemasters loan.

Scotsman 27th July 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

Frazer-Nash has been awarded a five-year framework contract and three work packages by Horizon Nuclear Power, the company aiming to develop and operate around 6,000MW of new nuclear power stations in Britain by 2025.

The Engineer 26th July 2010 more >>

EPR

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.

New York Times 26th July 2010 more >>

Areva still needs to convince the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that some aspects of the digital instrumentation and control systems for its EPR reactor design meet the regulator’s requirements.

World Nuclear News 26th July 2010 more >>

New Nukes

The anti-nuclear “dogma” of the Liberal Democrats is endangering a renaissance in atomic power which would create hundreds of jobs in Lancashire, a Labour leadership hopeful has claimed. Shadow Energy Secretary Ed Miliband warned that the coalition government is sending “mixed signals” to the investors whose billions are needed to bankroll the construction of ten new nuclear power plants, including one in Heysham.

He voiced his concerns after the government revealed that a long-awaited National Policy Statement (NPS), which will pave the way for a new generation of nuclear power, will not be presented to Parliament until next spring – a delay of six months.

Lancashire Evening Post 26th July 2010 more >>

Quangos

Ministers have denied abandoning their green ambitions, despite abolishing nearly 40 environment and agriculture quangos. Most controversially, Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, is scrapping the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises the government on money-saving green initiatives. The Commission on Environmental Pollution, which has advised ministers for 40 years on issues ranging from nuclear power and chemicals in food, is also being abolished.

Independent 27th July 2010 more >>

Wylfa

HOLYHEAD has been through the wringer in recent years and the recession has hit the place hard. Last year, the town suffered a hammer blow with the closure of Anglesey Aluminium with 400 job losses and, earlier in the year, the shedding of around 300 jobs at Eaton Electric. Now townspeople must collectively keep their fingers crossed that Wylfa nuclear power station is rapidly replaced by a Wylfa B.

Daily Post 26th July 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran said today it was ready to return to talks on a nuclear fuel swap, a surprise that came shortly after the EU agreed tougher sanctions, including a block on oil and gas investment.

Guardian 27th July 2010 more >>

EU foreign ministers have today approved tighter sanctions on Iran’s economy in a bid to block its controversial nuclear programme.

Daily Mail 26th July 2010 more >>

Romania

The Romanian government will reduce its stake in EnergoNuclear, a joint venture to build two new units at the 1,400MW Cernavoda nuclear plant.

The Romanian government holds a 51pc stake in the project, with Czech utility Cez, France’s GDF Suez, Italy’s Enel, Spain’s Iberdrola, Germany’s RWE and steel company Arcelor Mittal also holding stakes.

Argus Media 26th July 2010 more >>

Trident

The costs of replacing the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system continue to fall under the spotlight as controversy grows over how the new coalition government will fund its pledge to replace Trident.

Nuclear Information Service July/August Newsletter 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

When the Empire State Building was opened on 1 May 1931, having been designed in two weeks and built in an astonishing 15 months, it instantly became a symbol of human fortitude in the face of the Great Depression. Now its current owners are attempting to reinvent it for the modern era by turning it into a green building symbolising human ingenuity in the face of inertia. Its owners today unveiled new, environmentally friendly plans for the art deco building that stands on Manhattan’s 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. By the end of this year, most of the work will have been completed in a $13m (8.4m) investment designed to improve its energy efficiency, with the larger aim of providing a model that could spread across America and around the world.

Guardian 27th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 27 July 2010

26 July 2010

Nuclear Subsidies

Huhne said in an interview with Sky News today that wind energy deserves government aid because the industry is in its infancy, while nuclear power has been well established over decades. The Dogger Bank in the north east of England, off the North Sea, was an area for development for offshore wind turbines, he said.

Bloomberg 25th July 2010 more >>

There’s something really rather strange about Chris Huhne’s announcement that there will be no state subsidies for nuclear energy generation: Mr Huhne, one of the leading Liberal Democrats in the cabinet, used an interview with The Sunday Telegraph to speak out in favour of harnessing both onshore and offshore wind power in comments likely to alarm Conservatives and place further strain on the coalition. The Energy Secretary, ahead of a key Commons statement on energy policy on Tuesday, also stressed there was “no money” for state subsidies for a new generation of nuclear power plants – the favoured option of both the Conservatives and Labour. The strangeness is that every other form of non-fossil fuel generation is getting massive subsidies, so why this prissiness over some to nuclear? The answer lies in how the other subsidies are calculated and paid, not in any principled objections or even any acknowledgment of economic rationality.

Adam Smith Institute 25th July 2010 more >>

HPA

The Health Protection Agency that handles public health emergencies such as swine flu is to be axed under reforms, the government has confirmed. It, plus the fertility watchdog the HFEA, is among the eight or ten of the 18 “arms-length bodies” that will go or be merged with other organisations. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the aim was to save costs and cut bureaucracy in the NHS. He stressed that essential work would be moved to other bodies.

BBC 26th July 2010 more >>

Dept of Health Press Release 26th July 2010 more >>

EDF

EDF chooses Atos Origin for maintenance and upgrade of its nuclear simulators.

Consultant News 26th July 2010 more >>

China

China has become the eighth country in the world to generate electricity using the latest advances in nuclear reactor technology. Scientists there have reported successfully testing the country’s first so-called ‘fourth generation’ reactor. Zhang Donghui, general manager of the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) project, said: “The CEFR is safer, more environment-friendly, and more economic than its predecessors.”

Edie 26th July 2010 more >>

Poland

Poland’s nuclear programme is back. The country of 38.6 million is a member of NATO and the European Union. Before the recession it ranked as the 24th largest economy in the world with a 2008 GDP of $450.6 billion according to the International Monetary Fund. In 2007, Business Monitor International was forecasting Polish real GDP growth averaging 4.95% per annum between 2007 and 2012. The country’s power consumption was expected to increase from 141.7 TWh in 2007 to 176.4 TWh in 2012.

Nuclear Engineering International 25th July 2010 more >>

Burma

Burma is working on a nuclear weapons programme, experts have concluded, after its existence was exposed by leaked photographs.

Telegraph 26th July 2010 more >>

Korea

Fighter jets cut through the skies and submarines cruised underwater yesterday as a flotilla of American and South Korean warships led by a nuclear- powered United States supercarrier began exercises that have enraged North Korea.

Scotsman 26th July 2010 more >>

Express 26th July 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has told the EU it will “regret” imposing its toughest economic sanctions yet to force Tehran to halt uranium enrichment and return to negotiations about its nuclear programme.

Guardian 26th July 2010 more >>

Turkey, Brazil call on Iran to be open in dealings with West over its atomic programme.

Middle East Online 25th July 2010 more >>

The world is watching the uninteresting continuation of confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program and the opportunist journalists find this tedious charade the best subject to entertain their readers and enrich their portfolio.

Middle East Online 25th July 2010 more >>

Renewables

Britain’s offshore wind ambitions will face a 10bn funding gap within five years, energy experts will warn today, and the Government’s legally-binding 2020 green targets will not be met unless the deficit can be closed. This comes a day after Energy Minister Chris Huhne revealed plans for a huge expansion of the UK’s wind turbines, saying wind power would be an “important part” of meeting the country’s energy demands in the future. A whopping 30bn of capital investment in offshore wind farms is needed over the coming decade if the UK is to produce the 30 per cent of electricity from renewable sources needed to comply with European regulations, according to the report from consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Independent 26th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 26 July 2010

25 July 2010

New nukes

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, reveals in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph today that he plans a radical expansion of Britain’s existing stock of wind turbines. Despite the distress that their presence can cause, he advocates a substantial increase in the number of wind farms, in particular at the off-shore location of Dogger Bandonyk in the North Sea. At the same time, he has made clear that there will be no government subsidies for new nuclear power stations.

Telegraph 25th July 2010 more >>

Oldbury

Oldbury Site Stakeholder Group meeting 28th July 2010. There will be an update on the site’s current operations and activities and full reports from Joe Lamonby, Oldbury Site Director and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. There will also be information from the site’s regulators, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and the Environment Agency.

My Thornbury 25th July 2010 more >>

Dounreay

A ROBOT the size of a small bulldozer is to sieve through the seabed off Dounreay to collect radioactive particles that have caused concern for more than quarter of a century. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will be lowered from a barge anchored 550 yards off the Caithness complex later this month. Specialist staff will control its movements using an umbilical cable and are expected to cover 31 acres, an area the size of 17 football pitches, in the first of three summer campaigns.

Scotsman 24th July 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

The KGB planted bugs to eavesdrop on John Profumo’s pillow talk with Christine Keeler, according to newly released top-secret files.

The topless showgirl and model’s KGB lover also persuaded her to question Profumo, Britain’s Minister of War, about Britain’s nuclear arsenal, the files reveal.

Mail on Sunday 25th july 2010 more >>

Nuclear Submarines

Britain’s troubled £4 billion programme to build a fleet of new nuclear-powered submarines has been hit by a safety bungle that may have left thousands of people in danger. Emergency plans for responding to an accidental leak of radioactivity from a submarine under construction at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria have been condemned as inadequate by the government’s safety watchdog. As a result, BAE Systems, the company that is building the new Astute class of submarines destined for the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, has been ordered to rerun an emergency exercise. This could cause further delays to the submarine building programme, critics say.

Sunday Herald 25th July 2010 more >>

India

Rather than standardize on just one reactor platform, the Indian approach is to invite a wide range of nuclear participants from overseas to supplement its indigenous development of heavy water and fast breeder platforms.

Nuclear Engineering International 23rd July 2010 more >>

Burma

Fears that Burma’s military leaders may be in the early stages of building nuclear weapons has been spaked by satellite images.

Sunday Express 25th July 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has launched a nuclear fusion program.

Reuters 24th July 2010 more >>

BBC 24th July 2010 more >>

Korea

North Korea has threatened to use its nuclear weapons as the US and South Korea prepare for war games exercises in the Sea of Japan.

Metro 24th July 2010 more >>

The United States and South Korea began military drills off the Korean peninsula in defiance of threats from North Korea that it would respond with a “nuclear deterrent”.

Sunday Telegraph 25th July 2010 more >>

Solar

This month, the Italian utility Enel unveiled “Archimede”, the first Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant in the world to use molten salts for heat transfer and storage, and the first to be fully integrated to an existing combined-cycle gas power plant. Archimede is a 5 MW plant located in Priolo Gargallo (Sicily), within Europe’s largest petrochemical district. The breakthrough project was co-developed by Enel, one of World’s largest utilities, and ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development.

Guardian 22nd July 2010 more >>

Renewables

The UK government will be urged this week to green the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) so that nearly £200 billion can be invested in wind farms, electric cars and high-speed rail networks over the next decade.A report to be published tomorrow will urge ministers not to scrap plans for public investment in a new environmentally-friendly bank. Instead, campaigners say, they should transform RBS into a vehicle for backing clean technology across the world. The report was written by a former PricewaterhouseCoopers consultant, James Leaton, for two groups campaigning to cut climate pollution, the World Development Movement (WDM) and Platform.

Sunday Herald 25th July 2010 more >>

Mr Huhne, one of the leading Liberal Democrats in the cabinet, used an interview with The Sunday Telegraph to speak out in favour of harnessing both onshore and offshore wind power in comments likely to alarm Conservatives and place further strain on the coalition.

Sunday Telegraph 25th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 25 July 2010

24 July 2010

Cumbria

THE ruling on which Copeland sites will be chosen for nuclear new-build has been put back. Sellafield, Braystones and Kirksanton are all earmarked for reactors. People living around the “potentially suitable” sites were expecting to hear one way or the other by the end of this month, when MPs start their summer break. But the change of government has put the final selection by Parliament back another nine months.

NW Evening Mail 23rd July 2010 more >>

Oldbury

CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a new nuclear power station in Oldbury claim they have been given renewed hope the project might not go ahead. People living in Oldbury, and nearby Shepperdine, have said a second round of consultation announced by the new coalition government could mean proposals for another power plant near their homes are thrown out. Reg Illingworth, chairman of the residents’ group Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (SANE), said: “SANE believes that the new government will understand that the Shepperdine site is totally inadequate for the size of development proposed and are more likely to exclude it from the, so say suitable sites.” Barry Turner, chairman of Oldbury Parish Council, said: “This is not what we were expecting. We thought we’d made our submissions but it seems they are starting the process again. “It’s difficult to know what they are doing, but it may be that Oldbury isn’t on the list anymore and that in the autumn there might be a new list, a new approach by a new government.”

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 23rd July 2010 more >>

Lord Flowers

Lord Flowers, who has died aged 85, started his scientific career as a research nuclear physicist working on secret projects in Canada during the war and then became a noted academic administrator. In 1976 Lord Flowers conducted an inquiry into the long-term environmental implications of nuclear power in the UK. The resultant report – known as The Flowers Report – created much public debate, especially when it reached the conclusion that the UK should not rely for energy supply on a process that produces such a hazardous substance as plutonium unless there is no reasonable alternative.

Scottish Herald 24th July 2010 more >>

Proliferation

The recent well-publicised outpourings of anxiety about the potential consequences of nuclear terrorism overlook the fact that nuclear weapons are usually a matter for states, rather than individuals.

Nuclear Engineering International 23rd July 2010 more >>

Korea

North Korea has threatened to use its “nuclear deterrent” in response to planned military exercises by the US and South Korea this weekend. The regime promised a “retaliatory sacred war” amid increased tensions on the Korean peninsula over the March sinking of a South Korean navy vessel, which Seoul and Washington blame on Pyongyang.

Guardian 24th July 2010 more >>

Express 24th July 2010 more >>

Sky News 24th July 2010 more >>

BBC 24th July 2010 more >>

Posted: 24 July 2010

23 July 2010

New Nukes

A GROUP of MPs has called for government to suspend all plans for new nuclear build and launch an investigation in the need for the energy source. They claim if new nuclear power stations are built they will not come into operation before 2019 and therefore cannot assist with plugging the energy gap which Ofgem have said may happen as soon as 2015. Labour MP for the Gower Martin Caton, has tabled a Commons petition, calling for Energy secretary Chris Huhne to suspend any decision on new nuclear build and order an immediate public and parliamentary investigation into the need for new power stations. The four MPs, who are backing the call want the investigation to examine the cost of new nuclear, the effect on electricity prices and fuel bills, and on whether there are alternatives to nuclear. The investigation should also look at whether the energy source is the best way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create jobs in the energy sector.

NW Evening Mail 22nd July 2010 more >>

Britain is “very likely” to face an oil shock within the next decade, triggering economic volatility as fraught with “nasty surprises” as the 1970s, the energy secretary has warned. Chris Huhne told the Financial Times that Britain was in danger of becoming as vulnerable to price spikes as before the discovery of big North Sea oilfields, leaving the economy open to “very severe blows”. His forecast of a looming energy crisis came in an interview where Mr Huhne admitted that “nuclear is going to play a part in the energy mix”, but declined to guarantee state support for low carbon manufacturing. Mr Huhne was confident that a new generation of nuclear power stations would be built, even without state subsidies – a condition of enforced austerity which some Lib Dems expected to scupper the programme. “Nuclear will go ahead if investors come forward with proposals, as I think they will,” he said. “It’s very clear to me that nuclear is going to play a part in the energy mix, precisely because of the commitments that we’ve made in the coalition agreement.

FT 23rd July 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

The first sleaze row of the new government deepened today when a millionaire Tory donor, who successfully lobbied for the cancellation of a government loan to a promising engineering company, admitted he had wanted to invest in it himself. Labour accused Andrew Cook – the Tories’ largest donor in Yorkshire, who subsidised David Cameron’s flights in opposition to the tune of £54,000 – of a conflict of interest after he wrote to the Conservative business minister Mark Prisk in May to warn that an £80m state loan to Sheffield Forgemasters might be illegal under EU law.

Guardian 23rd July 2010 more >>

Telegraph 23rd July 2010 more >>

Oldbury

CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a new nuclear power station in Oldbury claim they have been given renewed hope the project might not go ahead. People living in Oldbury, and nearby Shepperdine, have said a second round of consultation announced by the new coalition government could mean proposals for another power plant near their homes are thrown out.

Thornbury Gazette 22nd July 2010 more >>

Dounreay

The next phase of work to remove particles from the seabed at Dounreay will get underway later this month. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd awarded a contract to Land and Marine Project Engineering Ltd earlier this year to build and operate an underwater system. Its system is due to be lowered onto the seabed from a 60m-long surface barge later this month. Following trials, it is expected to cover 12.5 hectares – equivalent to more than 17 international football pitches – of seabed where the particle population is highest, in the first of up to three summer campaigns.

DSRL 19th July 2010 more >>

Almost a million tonnes of rubble from the demolition of Dounreay is set to be turned into hardcore and used in the remediation of the former nuclear research site. An area of land at the eastern end of the site has been earmarked for the recycling operation.

DSRL 20th July 2010 more >>

CAITHNESS staff working for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority benefited from bonus payments which last year averaged around £12,000, it was confirmed yesterday.

John O Groat Journal 21st July 2010 more >>

Fusion

The European Commission proposed yesterday a major additional cash injection of over 860 million ($1100 million) in funds for nuclear fusion demonstration as Europe’s share of the cost of Iter doubles.

World Nuclear News 21st July 2010 more >>

Small Reactors

Pick up almost any book about nuclear energy and you will find that the prevailing wisdom is that nuclear plants must be very large in order to be competitive. This assumption is widely accepted, but, if its roots are understood, it can be effectively challenged. Recently, however, a growing body of plant designers, utility companies, government agencies and financial players are recognizing that smaller plants can take advantage of greater opportunities to apply lessons learned.

Oil Price 22nd July 2010 more >>

Vietnam

Vietnam has called on South East Asian nations to build nuclear power stations to meet rising energy demands. The proposal came at an energy policy meeting held by the Asean group of countries in Dalat, Vietnam.

BBC 2nd July 2010 more >>

US

The US Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a spending bill for the Department of Energy that provides $10 billion in loan guarantee authority for nuclear projects and, in keeping with the Obama administration’s request, eliminates funding for the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

Platta 22nd July 2010 more >>

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday approved six energy-related bills addressing renewable energy, electric vehicles and nuclear power. One of the bills, by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), seeks to encourage installation of 10mn solar energy systems at homes and businesses. It would authorize up to $250mn for competitive grants in 2012 and additional funding through 2021. The legislation would help finance deployment of up to 40GW of solar energy systems.

Argus Media 22nd July 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has suffered a series of technical setbacks to its nuclear programme in the past 12 months, triggering suggestions that western intelligence agencies are sabotaging its likely ambition to build an atomic weapon. As Iran continues to defy international sanctions, western security analysts say the country is making progress towards the ability to test a nuclear bomb in the next few years. But a series of recent reverses, notably affecting Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, is prompting debate over whether the programme is being undermined by sabotage, sanctions, or the incompetence of the regime’s scientists. In the past year, a dramatic reduction has taken place in the number of centrifuges enriching uranium at the regime’s nuclear plant in Natanz.

FT 23rd July 2010 more >>

Spain

The Spanish government has renewed the operational licence of the 1,087MW Vandellos nuclear reactor for a further 10 years, its administrator Anav said. The decision is in line with recommendations from the country’s nuclear safety council CSN. Vandellos, which is majority owned by utility Endesa, is the third nuclear reactor to be granted an operational extension this year. The government granted extentions for the Almaraz plant’s two reactors, which have a combined 2,000MW capacity, in June. The plant is majority owned by utility Iberdrola. The licences for three other reactors, with a combined 3,000MW capacity, will expire next year as well as that of another 1,000MW reactor in 2014. The government is expected to renew these licences because the four rectors remain a decade short of their design lifespan.

Argus 22nd July 2010 more >>

Burma

That Myanmar has a civilian nuclear programme is no secret. An overt programme has existed for many years, under the auspices of the Department of Atomic Energy. However, suspicions have also been raised about the possibility of a military-focused nuclear programme.

Jane’s 22nd July 2010 more >>

The Gulf

Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa have said they want to develop civilian nuclear programmes to meet rising power demand. The Gulf Cooperation Council — a loose economic and political alliance of six Arab states, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE — said in 2007 it was studying a joint nuclear energy programme.

Reuters 22nd July 2010 more >>

North Korea

North Korea warned today that a joint military exercise by the US and South Korea this weekend poses a “grave danger” to regional security, a day after Washington announced new sanctions designed to cut off funding for the regime’s nuclear weapons programme.

Guardian 23rd July 2010 more >>

Renewables

Local authorities along the east coast of Scotland have revealed they are exploring the potential to create an alliance bringing together “key players” in the energy sector from Peterhead to Dunbar to promote what they claim could become one of the country’s main areas for renewable energy development.

New Energy Focus 21st July 2010 more >>

A dry and relatively windless winter led to a 30 per cent slide in electricity production from renewable energy, Britain’s second-largest energy supplier said yesterday. Scottish & Southern Energy, which supplies electricity and gas to 9.87 million British homes and businesses, said that output from its portfolio of nine wind parks, nine hydroelectric stations and single biomass plant had fallen to 700 gigawatt hours during the three months to June 30, compared with 1,000 gigawatt hours in the same period of 2009.

Times 23rd July 2010 more >>

SDC

The UK government is to stop funding the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), its independent environmental watchdog and advisory body. Set up by the Labour government in 2000, the SDC is among a number of green bodies to be abolished. The news comes on the day the SDC, with a budget of £3m, published a report saying Whitehall had saved £60-70m as a result of introducing green measures.

BBC 22nd July 2010 more >>

Posted: 23 July 2010

22 July 2010

New Nukes

THE ruling on which Copeland sites will be chosen for nuclear new-build has been put back. Sellafield, Braystones and Kirksanton are all earmarked for reactors. People living around the “potentially suitable” sites were expecting to hear one way or the other by the end of this month, when MPs start their summer break. But the change of government has put the final selection by Parliament back another nine months or so. But the Department of Energy and Climate change told The Whitehaven News yesterday that the government will give its own view sometime in the autumn after evaluating the provisional list formed by the last government.

Whitehaven News 21st July 2010 more >>

The UK risks missing its carbon emission targets without early and radical reform of the electricity markets. According to an in-depth study by KPMG, reform is needed to provide a framework to secure large scale private sector investment in nuclear energy. Richard Noble, European Power & Utilities Partner at KPMG, commented: “Nuclear energy has to play a central role in an affordable, secure low carbon generation mix if the UK is to meet the Government’s ambitious emissions targets.

Consultant-News 21st July 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

Sheffield Forgemasters has abandoned plans to become one of only two companies in the world capable of making the massive forgings at the heart of civil nuclear power plants. The Brightside Lane firm is suspending work on the project, after talks with the coalition Government, which axed the preceding Labour Government’s pledge of an £80 million loan.

Sheffield Star 21st July 2010 more >>

The government was forced last night to deal with its first sleaze row since the general election when secret Whitehall documents showed a Tory donor successfully lobbied for the cancellation of an £80m loan to a leading engineering company. Downing Street denied ministers had acted improperly when a loan to Sheffield Forgemasters was cancelled weeks after Andrew Cook, who has subsidised some of David Cameron’s flights, warned the government it could be illegal. The government swung into action last night a few hours before two Sheffield Labour MPs named Cook, chairman of engineering firm William Cook Holdings – which is not in competition with Sheffield Forgemasters – in a Commons debate. Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, told the Commons an email from Cook to Mark Prisk, the business minister, claimed that the loan – agreed by the last government – was “possibly illegal” under EU law.

Guardian 22nd July 2010 more >>

Scotland

Letter from George Regan: I HAVE noted with interest the clutch of opinion pieces and letters seeking a nuclear renaissance in Scotland (Letters, 20 and 21 July). You wouldn’t think there is a national election in Scotland less than a year away, would you? Nuclear Free Local Authorities has developed a policy briefing (see www.nuclearpolicy.info) to play our part in this debate which we are inputting to the policy discussion sessions of all the Scottish political parties. We have analysed all the many actual and proposed renewable energy projects planned in Scotland and have calculated that over the next decade Scotland can actually provide 179 per cent of its energy needs by 2020 from these initiatives – offshore wind, wave and tidal. Scotland is ideally placed geographically to take advantage of renewable energy and it is leading the way in the British Isles. Given this simple fact, why does Scotland need to develop highly expensive new nuclear power stations? Given as well that a number of Scottish farms have only just been given the all-clear some 24 years after the Chernobyl disaster it seems quite daft to consider the nuclear option for Scotland. Instead, let us sort out our huge radioactive waste legacy, deal properly with the real problems of fuel poverty in Scotland, have a concerted effort to develop more energy efficiency programmes and, above all, continue to make the progressive moves to develop renewable energy in Scotland.

Scotsman 22nd July 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

Letter Marianne Birkby: Following ongoing deregulation of the nuclear industry the law now allows radioactive waste to be dumped into landfill. “Very Low Level Rad Waste” is a new classification – that is, rebranded radioactive waste to be put into ordinary landfill. No other industry could get away with polluting in this way. Laws applying to everything else going to landfill have been, quite rightly, tightened up. The industry is desperate to get rid of its contaminated rubble, soil and radioactive detritus and the previous, pronuclear Government deregulated to allow this. What should happen is that the radioactivity is contained on existing nuclear sites. Putting radwaste in landfill is environmental madness.

Carlisle News and Star 21st July 2010 more >>

Wylfa

Druid’s manifesto: Everything must be done to ensure Wylfa B goes ahead. Because of the dangers of nuclear power, Horizon should be made to contribute to the island by funding a charitable trust; reduction of electricity bills for islanders helping set up a scheme where people can apply for renewable technology.

Bangor and Anglesey Mail 21st July 2010 more >>

Radioactive Discharges

Meeting in Stockholm this week, the OSPAR’s Radioactive Substances Committee (RSC) welcomed the latest analysis of beta emitting radioactive substances from the nuclear sector. “Our latest figures confirm good progress in terms of a continuing improving trend towards the OSPAR objective and we have recorded the lowest total-alpha and total-beta discharges since our data collection began in the early 1990s. The discharges in 2008 were approximately fifteen times lower than in 1990”, stated Bob Russ, of the Environment Agency (UK) and Chair of the Expert Assessment Panel charged with validating and interpreting OSPAR data. There are no similar reductions for tritium because abatement techniques have yet to be developed.

OSPAR 16th July 2010 more >>

Companies

Top shareholders in International Power are demanding a significant premium as the price of ceding control of the group to GDF Suez of France. As the French group confirmed yesterday that it was in talks about a £6.4 billion reverse takeover of the British power station group, shareholders said they would accept the deal only if it was accompanied by a large cash sweetener.

Times 20th July 2010 more >>

South Korea

South Korea aims to reach an accord with the U.S. by 2012 that could allow the Asian nation to recycle spent nuclear fuel for “peaceful” use to produce electricity, Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Kyung Hwan said. The two countries are discussing revising an agreement expiring in 2014 that bans South Korea from recycling uranium, which can also be used to make atomic weapons. South Korea, which plans to build more reactors to increase the share of nuclear power generation from about 40 percent, is running out of space to store the spent fuel.

Bloomberg 21st July 2010 more >>

France

French energy giant EDF is considering using half of the French grid operator, RTE, as an investment to help pay future nuclear decommissioning costs, EDF said in a statement Wednesday. The company said that “EDF is studying the possibility to allocate 50% of RTE to its dedicated [decommissioning costs] assets portfolio.”

Platts 21st July 2010 more >>

Utility Week 21st July 2010 more >>

Myanmar

Allegations by a Myanmar defector that the military-run country is pursuing a nuclear program are corroborated by newly available commercial satellite images, Jane’s Intelligence Review said in an article released yesterday.

Bloomberg 21st July 2010 more >>

North Korea

American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today announced that the U.S. will impose new sanctions on North Korea in a bid to stem the regime’s atomic ambitions. Mrs Clinton said the move was designed to rein in the regime’s nuclear activities by stamping out illegal moneymaking ventures used to fund the programme.

Daily Mail 22nd July 2010 more >>

Aldermaston

The Ministry of Defence has this week submitted a planning application to West Berkshire Council for development of a new hydrodynamics research facility (Project Hydrus) at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston. The new facility will be designed to undertake research into materials used in the manufacture of nuclear warheads and will play a key role in ensuring that Trident warheads retain their destructive power as they age. It will also undertake research necessary for the design of a successor to the Trident warhead, should the government decide to develop one.

Nuclear Information Service 21st July 2010 more >>

Solar

Solar and Nuclear Costs: The Historic Crossover: Solar is now the better buy.

NC Warn July 2010 more >>

Posted: 22 July 2010