News June 2010

30 June 2010

New Nukes

The Environment Agency thinks both of the potential new designs of nuclear plant vying to replace the UK’s aging fleet – Westinghouse’s AP1000 and EDF/Areva’s UK EPR – could be accepted under the Generic Design Assessment. The agency said a Statement of Design Acceptability could be issued but wants further work undertaken on: decommissioning arrangements; filtration and ventilation systems; disposability of spent fuel; and monitoring of discharges and disposals of radioactive waste.

Utility Week 29th June 2010 more >>

Energy Supplies

Letter from Tony Lodge: New statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change should concern those now in charge of energy policy. They show that although energy demand is down, due to the recession, the UK’s gas imports rose sharply in the past 12 months. Imports of natural gas in the first quarter of 2010 were 31 per cent higher than a year ago. In the first quarter of 2010, and for the first time since 1968, gas imports exceeded indigenous production. Importantly, gas use for electricity generation was 18.4 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Coal burn to generate electricity was down by 17.8 per cent. Gas is clearly displacing coal and new nuclear is years away. Over 90 per cent of planned and new power plant construction in the UK is gas fired; by 2020 it is estimated we may need to import about 80 per cent of our total gas requirements, with over a third of this used in gas fired power stations. This is not a balanced or strategic energy policy. The challenge must be to speed up approval for new nuclear and clean coal, support more reliable renewables and consequently prevent our over-exposure to one fuel, which will lead to price volatility and affect our future economic competitiveness.

Times 28th June 2010 more >>

Planning

Ministers will regain the final say over major planning projects such as airports – after abolishing the new Infrastructure Planning Commission.

BBC 29th June 2010 more >>

Business groups yesterday accused the government of playing politics with the planning system after the coalition confirmed it would close Labour’s new planning body despite fears the move could slow delivery of vital infrastructure. Industry had encouraged the previous government to set up the Infrastructure Planning Commission to help push through key schemes, such as nuclear power stations or airports, that might otherwise become bogged down in local planning disputes. The quango had the power to override local authorities if projects fulfilled national objectives such as delivery of essential new energy capacity. John Healey, shadow planning minister, said the coalition had simply moved officials from one quango to another “at huge administrative cost.”

FT 30th June 2010 more >>

FT verdict The coalition insists that its system will “fast-track” many schemes, with a statutory obligation to proceed at the same pace as the IPC. But business is right to be worried about this: politicians sometimes do what is best for their party rather than the country.

FT 30th June 2010 more >>

Areva

Standard & Poor’s said on Monday it had lowered its rating on French nuclear group Areva by two notches because of delays to the construction of a reactor in Finland.

Swedish Wire 29th June 2010 more >>

Mineweb 29th June 2010 more >>

Sizewell

Suffolk councillors pass nuclear waste store. A nuclear waste dry store for Sizewell B power station, now awaiting government approval, is likely to be the first of many should a new generation of plants be built.

ENDS June 2010 more >>

Hinkley

EDF Energy is to hold a public exhibition in Burnham-on-sea next month as part of its second stage of public consultation on plans to build a new nuclear station at Hinkley.

Burnham-on-sea.com 29th June 2010 more >>

Iran

A man who says he is an Iranian nuclear scientist claims to have escaped after being abducted by US agents. In a video shown on Iranian state TV, he says he has escaped in the US state of Virginia and is now on the run.

BBC 29th June 2010 more >>

Telegraph 30th June 2010 more >>

Crucial aspects of Iran’s nuclear program remain a puzzle to the outside world, amid uncertainty about whether Tehran has begun building an atomic bomb, analysts said Monday.

Middle East Online 29th June 2010 more >>

UAE

The United Arab Emirates is “taking action” to maintain nuclear security, its envoy to the atomic watchdog said on Tuesday after a reported UAE crackdown on Iranian firms dealing in dangerous materials.

Yahoo 29th June 2010 more >>

Yucca Mountain

Federal regulators on Tuesday denied a request by the Obama administration to withdraw an application for the first national nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. A three-judge Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel said that Energy Secretary Steven Chu doesn’t have the power to withdraw the application because 1982 law “does not give the secretary the discretion to substitute his policy for the one established by Congress.”

Wall St Journal 30th June 2010 more >>

Climate

Britain needs to build twice as many wind farms every year, put more than a million electric cars on the road and insulate every home in the country in order to meet ambitious legally-binding climate change targets, Government advisers have warned. Under new laws brought in by the previous Labour Government, the UK is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020. However, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), set up to advise ministers on progress against the target, today warns that at the moment, the country is on course to fail.

Telegraph 30th June 2010 more >>

Independent 30th June 2010 more >>

Scores of government-backed organisations face being swallowed by a new UK Green Investment Bank, under radical proposals announced today. Billions of pounds that are being spent by disparate quangoes and officials funds should instead be ploughed into an eco-bank, a group of leading financial and environmental experts recommended. The Green Investment Bank Commission argued that cutting the number of state-funded green bodies would “radically improve” the task of cutting the nation’s carbon output – an area where Britain continues to lag behind official targets.

Guardian 30th June 2010 more >>

Bryony Worthington on a Green Investment Bank: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is a different story. The price has recently been hit by the recession which sent emissions tumbling while supplies of permits remained abundant. With the cost of a tonne of carbon emissions at about 15 – roughly half of original projections – the return on investing in emissions savings have been seriously reduced. To fund the GIB, the Wigley report eyes part of the £40bn revenue stream from carbon trading that is meant to materialize between 2012 and 2020 once power companies are required to buy permits in auctions. Sadly this number is out of date – if caps stay where they are the likely income for the UK could be as low as 15bn only rising to 25 bn if caps are tightened at a European level. Overall, the report has smart ideas on how to boost the speed and scale of investment in low carbon projects and companies in the UK, and on where some of the funding can be purloined from. If a GIB could make Government spending more efficient and, crucially, help create more policy certainty then it may just be the breakthrough we need to kick-start a low-carbon UK.

Guardian 30th June 2010 more >>

Britain will need up to £1 trillion of investment to replace and decarbonise infrastructure over the next 20 years, according to a report by the Green Investment Bank (GIB) Commission on behalf of the Government.

Telegraph 30th June 2010 more >>

Bob Wigley’s Green Investment Bank Commission has delivered a blueprint for how private sector funds can be successfully diverted into funding essential investment, particularly in energy.

Telegraph 30th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 30 June 2010

29 June 2010

New Nukes

The Environment Agency has released detailed assessments of two new nuclear power station designs, and is inviting all interested parties to comment. There are 10 sites in England and Wales potentially suitable for the next generation of new nuclear power stations. The Environment Agency, working closely with the Health and Safety Executive, has conducted assessments of the acceptability of two new nuclear power station designs in a process called Generic Design Assessment. This process was designed to ensure that any new nuclear power station will meet high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management.

There are two designs being considered in the GDA process; EDF/Areva’s EPR and the AP1000 designed by Westinghouse Electric Company. Both are modern designs of Pressurised Water Reactors, which is the type of nuclear power reactor in use at Sizewell B in Suffolk.

Environment Agency 28th June 2010 more >>

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have accused the government of preparing to allow multi-million pound “handouts” to firms building nuclear reactors. Greenpeace said the move went against assurances given by ministers that the nuclear industry would not receive any handouts to help build new nuclear power stations. The government has denied the accusation. A report written by Ian Jackson, an associate fellow in the energy, environment and development programme of the Royal Institute ofInternational Affairs, said dealing with waste from each new reactor would cost about £1.5bn. But under current plans being considered by the government, energy companies would “walk away” having contributed as little as £500m.

NW Evening Mail 28th June 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

The Rotherham-based National Metals Technology Centre and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, are offering this region’s manufacturers a last chance to attend the two-day nuclear metals and manufacturing conference at Oulton Hall Hotel and Golf Resort in Leeds on June 29 and 30.

Sheffield Star 28th June 2010 more >>

Companies

Yesterday the Japanese foreign ministry announced the start of talks with India on a civil nuclear energy pact that would open the way for Japan’s three big nuclear-engineering groups – Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy – to bid on reactor-building contracts in the country. With worldwide nuclear-plant construction expected to double in the next two decades, Japanese groups are counting on their technology to give them an edge. They’ve forged alliances with US and European companies with deeper experience in international markets: Toshiba bought Westinghouse of the US in 2006, Hitachi has partnered with GE and Mitsubishi has joined forces with France’s Areva. However, lower-cost competitors could thwart Japan’s ambitions. This spring Russia’s Atomstroyexport beat a Japanese consortium for a contract to build nuclear plants in Vietnam. And in December, a South Korean group won a bid to build four plants in the United Arab Emirates.

FT 29th June 2010 more >>

MOX

A transport ship carrying recycled nuclear fuel for Japanese power reactors from France arrived at a Kyushu Electric Power Co plant in Saga Prefecture on Monday. The ship docked at the Genkai power plant on the Sea of Japan in the early morning as Japan Coast Guard ships patrolled the area, and unloaded some of the fuel. It left for its next destination, a Kansai Electric Power Co nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, in the evening. The ship was loaded with 15 tons of uranium-plutonium mixed-oxide fuel, or MOX fuel, apparently containing around 1.3 tons of plutonium, when it left France in April.

Japan Today 29th June 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

German energy group EOn and French national nuclear energy commission the CEA have signed a framework agreement on future cooperation in nuclear energy research and development. The CEA has also signed a cooperation agreement with French car maker Renault. The agreement with EOn “provides the basis for new research projects focused on the future use of nuclear energy, which are in both CEA’s and EOn’s interest,”

World Nuclear News 28th June 2010 more >>

Proliferation

WHEN it comes to nuclear danger, North Korea and Iran grab everyone’s attention. One flounced out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and tested two bombs; the other, though it denies it, seems headed for just such a breakout. Syria and Myanmar make the worry-list for getting secret nuclear help from North Korea. Even Israel, which keeps mum about its bombs, is now being named and (Egypt hopes) shamed. Pressing Israel to join nuclear talks was Egypt’s price for not ruining a big NPT review last month. Picking on Israel makes the silence and hypocrisy that surrounds nuclear-armed India and Pakistan all the stranger.

Economist 24th June 2010 more >>

Energy Prices

A significant chunk of a householder’s energy bill is already made up of environmental levies, which the Government charges energy companies, which they in turn pass on to their customers. However, according to uSwitch, the price comparison website, these levies are due to nearly double over the next decade, based on calculations from Ofgem, the industry regulator. This would mean customers have to pay £156 a year in green taxes on the average bill of £1,194, compared with today’s £84.

Telegraph 29th June 2010 more >>

India

Canada’s nuclear industry will be able to access India’s expanding nuclear market under a nuclear cooperation agreement signed by the two countries.

World Nuclear News 28th June 2010 more >>

Canada, which had led India`s nuclear isolation in the mid-1970s and late 1990s, is now the ninth nation with which New Delhi has a peacetime atomic energy pact, opening the doors for bilateral nuclear commerce on the lines India has with the US.

Asian Lite 28th June 2010 more >>

BBC 28th June 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran is to postpone nuclear talks with the west as a “punishment” for the imposition of new UN sanctions that are designed to it stop enriching uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. Negotiations would be put off until after Ramadan in late August, he said, though no talks have in fact been scheduled.

Guardian 29th June 2010 more >>

Germany

Angela Merkel’s plans to extend the life of Germany’s nuclear power stations have been thrown into disarray by the loss of the upper house in last month’s elections.

Utility Week 25th June 2010 more >>

North Korea

North Korea said Monday it would bolster its nuclear weaponry in response to what it branded US hostility.

Telegraph 28th June 2010 more >>

Carbon Sequestration

A Danish climate scientist has published a paper criticising carbon sequestration – the idea of dealing with CO2 emissions by stuffing the greenhouse gas away into underground or deep-sea storage where it can’t affect the atmosphere. The prof has done some long-term analysis into the consequences of massive carbon sequestration, and he doesn’t seem happy with what he’s found. According to a statement issued by the Niels Bohr Institute, sequestration amounts to creating “a burden for future society… in line with that of long term management of nuclear waste”.

The Register 28th June 2010 more >>

Renewables

Several groups have come up with plans to harness the sun in Africa to make electricity, which could then be exported to Europe, or use it to turn desert into forests by using the power to desalinate sea water. And how far is this from a reality? In a recent interview, European energy commissioner G nther Oettinger said that Europe will be importing hundreds of megawatts of solar-generated electricity from north Africa within five years. The EU is committed to sourcing 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Most advanced in the planning is the German-led Desertec Industrial Initiative, which aims to provide 15% of Europe’s electricity by 2050 or earlier, via power lines stretching across the desert and the Mediterranean. Its $400bn plan is supported by some of Germany’s biggest companies, including Siemens, E.On and Deutsche Bank.

Observer 27th June 2010 more >>

Britain’s renewable energy revolution suffered an abrupt setback this winter when the power supplied from wind, hydro and other “clean” sources fell, despite years of promises and policies to end the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and slash global warming pollution, the Guardian can reveal.The news comes as the government will tomorrow unveil a major report into how it will pay for the hundreds of billions of new spending needed to meet the UK’s targets for renewable energy and cutting climate change emissions by setting up a new Green Investment Bank (GIB).

Guardian 29th June 2010 more >>

Plans to axe billions of pounds from Britain’s energy and scientific research budgets threaten to cripple the nation’s efforts to meet ambitious carbon reduction goals, one of the country’s most distinguished scientists warned yesterday.

Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, told The Times in Oxford that plans to cut up to 25 per cent from the budget of the Department for Energy and Climate Change as well as a range of other funding programmes were a “real concern” for Britain’s drive to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent by 2050 while creating new green industries based on low carbon technologies.

Times 29th June 2010 more >>

An environmental group has suggested that the green industry could be a major driving force in the UK’s economic recovery.

Simon Bullock, economy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “I appreciate that there are major problems with the UK’s deficit and debt, but the green economy and the green technology sector will be big drivers of future economic growth.”

He added that the sector is growing, but “it does need support”, making it “really important that the government continues to support these industries, whether its offshore renewables or energy efficiency or low carbon vehicles”.

EST 29th June 2010 more >>

Nuclear Submarines

TV review: How To Build A Nuclear Submarine was heaven for lovers of impressive stats, but the £1.25bn cost of the boat was one that worried our reviewer somewhat.

Metro 28th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 29 June 2010

28 June 2010

Nuclear Subsidy

There is a clear need for a cap on emissions of CO2 that decreases year-by-year at levels that will minimise the risk of dangerous climate change. Such a cap will certainly raise the price of emissions well above the levels currently resulting from such cap-and-trade schemes as the EU Emissions Trading System. Raising the price of CO2 emissions in that way is in accordance with the principle that the polluter should pay and it should not be considered to be a subsidy for renewable sources of power or nuclear power, provided that due account is taken of emissions from those sources, including emissions from the mining and processing of uranium ore. But, while there is some evidence that the Government is considering schemes of that sort, it appears that they are also considering other kinds of scheme, at least some of which may be regarded as back-door subsidies for nuclear power.

Energy Fair 27th June 2010 more >>

BRIDGWATER College’s new Energy Skills Centre will NOT be affected by the abolition of an organisation which had pledged it £2million. It was announced this week that the South West Regional Development Agency is to be abolished. However, the college confirmed that £2million it was promised by SWRDA towards its new nuclear training centre has already been handed over.

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

North Korea

North Korea said Monday it would bolster its nuclear weaponry with an unspecified new method to respond to what it called US hostility and to recent developments.

Yahoo 28th June 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran could have nuclear weapons by 2012 according to the CIA Director. Iran is under mounting international pressure over its suspect nuclear programme, which the West fears masks a covert weapons drive. Iran denies the charge, insisting that its atomic programme is for peaceful civilian purposes only.

Telegraph 28th June 2010 more >>

Nuclear Submarines

So how to build a nuclear submarine? Well, very slowly. And very expensively. Four years late, and £800m over budget. But at least a lot of people in Barrow-in-Furness still have jobs; men like Phil Tyson, fabrication team leader. That’s a lovely job title: it sounds like Phil is in charge of lying.

Guardian 28th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 28 June 2010

27 June 2010

Hinkley

HINKLEY Point A nuclear power station near Bridgwater has achieved a major milestone in its decommissioning programme – by using technology similar to an industrial car wash. The site has decontaminated the last of its huge inventory of nearly 1800 ‘skips’ that were used during generation to store spent fuel elements prior to their despatch to Sellafield.

This is the West Country 26th June 2010 more >>

Trident

Terry Jones: George Osborne also didn’t mention Trident. Some people say: “What’s the point of lugging nuclear bombs all over the Atlantic that no one will never be able to use? Bombs that, if they ever were used, would kill so many innocent civilians and pollute so much of the planet, it would count as a war crime.”

Guardian 26th June 2010 more >>

Energy Supplies

A five-year gas glut could speed the end of coal-fired power in Britain and aid the economic recovery by keeping down household energy bills. Last year was the first time since the 1960s that gas demand fell in Europe, Asia and North America simultaneously, according to research from Booz & Company, the consultancy. Any rise in demand would be easily matched by a spate of discoveries, mainly in America where new technologies have unlocked vast reserves in shale rock layers, creating a global oversupply. That means there will be minimal pressure on prices. US reserves have doubled in the past five years and shale exploration has begun in Europe and China.

Sunday Times 27th June 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

A scheme designed to boost home insulation and cut climate pollution has reached fewer than 1% of households in Scotland, prompting condemnation and calls for action from critics. A new report from Consumer Focus Scotland reveals that the Scottish government’s home insulation scheme has been taken up by only one in 10 of those targeted. And it only targeted fewer than 5% of Scottish households. The performance of the scheme has been damned as “embarrassingly poor” by the Scottish Greens and energy campaigners. But ministers promise that they will do better in the future. Consumer Focus Scotland, which replaced the Scottish Consumer Council and other consumer groups two years ago, has investigated the effectiveness of 10 area-based energy efficiency projects across the country.

Sunday Herald 27th June 2010 more >>

Renewables

A flagship environmental business quango will be lined up for the chop this week to fund coalition plans for a £2 billion green investment bank. The Carbon Trust, which helps businesses cut energy use, is one of dozens of government-backed organisations likely to be scrapped.

Sunday Times 27th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 27 June 2010

26 June 2010

Nuclear Subsidy

Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has called for a “meaningful price” to be placed on carbon as part of the effort to stimulate low carbon investment. In an address to the UK Energy Summit, Mr Huhne said that the UK has “enormous potential” in terms of renewable energy generation, but barriers must first be removed and incentives put in place.

Low Carbon Economy 25th June 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

Sheffield Forgemasters is continuing its drive to become one of only two companies in the world capable of making the massive forgings at the heart of a modern civil nuclear reactor, despite losing £80 million in Government backing. The company revealed today it is looking for new ways to fund the development of a £140 million nuclear engineering shop on its Brightside Lane site after the new Government axed an £80 million loan offered by its predecessor.

Sheffield Star 25th June 2010 more >>

Proliferation

A meeting of countries exporting civil nuclear technology has ended with uncertainty about Chinese plans to sell two nuclear reactors to Pakistan. Such a deal would appear to be against the rules set by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

BBC 25th June 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Festival goers are being asked to support a campaign against plans for a nuclear power station in Somerset. French energy company EDF is proposing to create an £8 billion nuclear power plant 24 miles away from the festival site at Hinkley Point. The “Hinkley C”development would be the largest site of its kind in the UK, if it gets built.

Jack FM 25th June 2010 more >>

Nuclear Submarines

The BBC has been given exclusive behind-the-scenes access as the Royal Navy built its latest nuclear-powered Astute submarines. The submarines, which cost more than £1bn, take years to design and build, with the first of class taking 14 years to complete. More than a year of the top secret process at one of the most secure places in the country – the BAE Systems shipyard in Cumbria – has been captured on camera.

BBC 26th June 2010 more >>

Sellafield

Nuclear Management Partners, the first ever private operator of the Sellafield nuclear complex, is to sponsor a category in this year’s CN Group Business Awards. NMP, a consortium involving US nuclear giant URS, British firm Amec and French outfit Areva, won the race to run the west Cumbrian site in November 2008, bringing to an end half a century of Government control. The company will sponsor the Community Involvement category of the arwads.

Cumberland News 25th June 2010 more >>

Dounreay

A FRESH trawl of waters off Dounreay will get under way next month to recover more rogue radioactive fragments. A robot mounted on a bespoke subsea assembly is being mobilised to detect and then retrieve some of the hottest of the reactor fuel particles. The operation is part of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd’s attempt to tackle the legacy of radioactive pollution caused by sloppy historic waste practices at the site. A major part of its strategy is to target the seabed near the site’s original sea effluent plant. This area – the size of 10 football pitches – is thought to contain the 1500 to 2000 particles deemed to pose a significant health hazard. Last year, a robot recovered 64 particles, including 13 in the significant category.

John O Groat Journal 23rd June 2010 more >>

China

Dresser Masoneila has bagged $10m control valve supply contracts in China for CPR-1000 reactor plants under construction in Hongyanghe, Ningde, Yangjiang and Fangchenggang.

Energy Business Review 25th June 2010 more >>

Japan

The return to service of Kashiwazaki Kariwa units 6 and 7 helped Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to cut its carbon emissions by 11% in 2009. The company cited a decrease in electricity consumption due to the economic slowdown, plus the restart of the two units, as enabling it to reduce its fossil fuel consumption and thereby lower its emissions.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 26 June 2010

25 June 2010

New Nukes

Britain’s lights will stay on even without new nuclear power plants replacing the aging reactors which are set to close in the next few years, energy secretary Chris Huhne said on Thursday. Reiterating that the government will not block new nuclear builds, Huhne said that nuclear’s contribution to power generation could fall below the current 20 percent level with no risk of an energy gap if there was sufficient investment in other sources.

Reuters 24th June 2010 more >>

Britain’s Centrica (CNA.L) is sticking to its timetable for potential investment in new nuclear, its CEO said on Thursday, even as energy minister Chris Huhne reiterated the industry would not receive subsidies. Laidlaw said he believed there would be some sort of support mechanism put in place for nuclear, which many believe could play a key role in ensuring the lights stay on in Britain as it seeks to cut carbon emissions. “If there’s a mechanism that supports offshore wind and clean coal, which it looks like there will be, there needs to be some mechanism for nuclear and I think he (Huhne) recognises that.” He added plans by the government to introduce a minimum carbon price in Britain UK were a step in the right direction although said there was a long way to go.

Reuters 24th June 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

EDF Energy is to host a regional supply chain events entitled “New Nuclear Opportunities” to highlight the company’s plans to invest in a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset and the role that Somerset businesses could have in helping deliver the project. The event will take place at The Exchange, Bridgwater on 6 July. A second event will take plave in Wodbridge, Suffolk, on 8 July, to inform local companies about opportunities at the Sizewell site.

Utility Week 24th June 2010 more >>

NDA

A decision to axe 60 well-paid nuclear jobs in west Cumbria will deliver a “shock” to the west Cumbrian economy, a leading councillor has warned.

Cumberland News 24th June 2010 more >>

Nuclear Trains

ECO campaigners are fuelling the fight against nuclear power with a protest rallying against the use of a commuter railway line to carry “radioactive” trade waste. The protest outside Harringay Green Lanes railway station, on Saturday, drew support from crowds angered over trains carrying “dangerous” materials and rattling past their homes at all hours of the night.

Tottenham Journal 24th June 2010 more >>

Sizewell

The role that local businesses could have in helping deliver a billion pound project to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell will be discussed at a regional supply chain event next month. EDF Energy will hold a Suffolk nuclear suppliers forum entitled New Nuclear Opportunities on July 8. The company intends to build four new European pressurised reactors in the UK by 2025.

Eastern Daily Press 23rd June 2010 more >>

BONI Sones was eight when the bulldozers and cranes came. They changed forever the face of the coast and heathland where she played, scraping away more than 200 acres of scrub and grass to build a nuclear power station. Memories of Sizewell are captured in the two books of short stories just published by the writer and broadcaster, whose career spans 30 years in print, radio and television journalism.

East Anglian Daily Times 24th June 2010 more >>

Oldbury

Hundreds of Thornbury residents had to miss the big match today courtesy of Eon central networks. “Just as we were all watching the pre-match national anthem the power went down” said one local resident. “We soon realised it was a power cut, Eon central networks helpline told us that hundreds of local homes were down and they had no clue how long it would take!” It all happened way too late for anyone to make alternative arrangements. Thank you Eon for their well timed power cut! What happens on Sunday when we play Germany–If England score will E-on in Dusseldorf switch off our or is it their electricity—-It will be a test for energy security in England!! Well E-on are always telling us if they dont get some sort of subsidy–the lights will go out………..Maybe this is part of the softening up process!!

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 24th June 2010 more >>

Dounreay

Prime Minister David Cameron promised to seriously consider a plea to back an international nuclear materials testing facility for the north. He gave the undertaking in the Commons during prime minister’s questions, after Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP John Thurso proposed the idea of the UK hosting the facility. The scheme is linked to plans for an experimental next generation nuclear fusion plant in the south of France. It could create 200 jobs in Caithness, preserving work for nuclear scientists, technicians and other workers who would otherwise have to move elsewhere as the clean-up of the old Dounreay nuclear plant runs down.

Press and Journal 24th June 2010 more >>

Uranium

Letter Marianne Birkby: The prospect of nuclear accident, incident or even “routine” emissions is an unreasonable trade off for being able to boil a kettle. It is true that there is plenty of uranium left in Australia. Problem is the Australians see it as the “new asbestos.” So much so that Aussie Unions have banned their members on ethical and safety grounds from working in all aspects of the nuclear industry, from mining to power plants. The Electrical Trade Union is equivalent to our Unite (representing members in the electrical, communications, power, manufacturing, education, hospitality, aerospace and food industries). The unprecedented stand taken this summer by the ETU has been shied away from by the British press despite the ethical and practical implications for the future of the nuclear industry.

Westmorland Gazette 24th June 2010 more >>

Areva

Areva, the French nuclear-reactor builder, took a new provision for cost overruns at a plant it’s building in Finland, leaving the door open for more charges as the project is still 2 1/2 years away from completion. The new charge takes total provisions for cost overruns to about 2.7 billion euros for the first-of-its-kind project, which Areva pledged in 2005 to build for 3 billion euros and complete in 2009. That’s adding pressure on the state-controlled company, which is seeking to raise about 3 billion euros by selling new shares this year to fund expansion and preserve its A credit rating, which may be cut by Standard & Poor’s.

Bloomberg 24th June 2010 more >>

Germany

The country’s utilities, especially Eon and RWE, the two biggest, are understandably furious. The irony is that when the new coalition came to power 10 months ago free from anti-nuclear parties, they felt that Berlin would at long last give greater support to the nuclear sector. Not that they expected a sudden renaissance in the nuclear industry. Germany is committed to shutting down all its nuclear plants and this policy has not changed. But the new government was on the whole favourable to extend the life of Germany’s 17 nuclear plants. In exchange for the additional earnings the industry would derive from this life extension, the government would claw back a slice of these profits. In turn, these funds would be used to reinvest in new renewable energy projects.

FT 25th June 2010 more >>

South Asia

China’s proposed sale of nuclear reactors to Pakistan will intensify nuclear rivalry with India. But the damage will go far wider. Yet the sale (really a gift, as Pakistan is broke) has caused shudders at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an informal cartel of countries who want to stop their advanced nuclear technology getting into the wrong hands. They are meeting in New Zealand, for what was supposed to be a quiet and nerdish rule-tightening session. But their efforts may now fall victim to China’s rivalry with America. By any measure, Pakistan is a shocker. Its proliferation record would make the serial nuclear mischief-makers of North Korea blush. If the Chinese reactor deal goes ahead, the damage will be huge: beyond just stoking the already alarming nuclear rivalry between Pakistan and India.

Economist 24th June 2010 more >>

Vietnam

A recent World Bank study found Vietnam could produce more than 500 gigawatts of electricity from land-based and off-shore wind farms, 10 times the country’s expected national demand in 2020, and yet the take-up of renewables in Vietnam is poor to say the least. Cheaper, easier alternatives to nuclear that are ready to go right now are available to the people of Vietnam and yet Mr Dung is committing his country to the expensive, difficult and long term nuclear option. Just why is that?

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 23rd June 2010 more >>

Vietnam has announced a masterplan for the introduction of nuclear energy into the country. Some 14 nuclear power reactors are to be constructed at eight locations in five central provinces by 2030.

World Nuclear News 24th June 2010 more >>

Poland

In the Polish village of Klempicz, less than an hour from the German border, Lech Wojcieszynski is hoping to bring the first atomic reactor to his country, overcoming the Chernobyl disaster’s legacy.

Bloomberg 24th June 2010 more >>

Iran

The US Congress has overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against foreign companies that trade with Iran, over its nuclear programme.

BBC 24th June 2010 more >>

Italy

A claim against Italy’s federal nuclear policy brought by eleven regional governments has been rejected by the Constitutional Court. The claim had been filed in February by 11 regions that said a pro-nuclear policy should not have been brought in without proper consultation. Imposing a unilateral decision was an abuse of power by the government, the regions said, because 2001 reform of the Italian constitution shared competence on energy between central and local governments.

World Nuclear News 24th June 2010 more >>

Saudi Arabia

Oil giant Saudi Arabia gave its strongest signal yet that it wants to develop atomic power by announcing a new centre for nuclear and alternative energy technologies.

Alexandre’s Gas and Oil 18th June 2010 more >>

Kuwait

France and Kuwait agreed to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the latest Gulf Arab nation to eye nuclear power, and raising the prospect of lucrative contracts for French firms.

Alexander’s Gas and Oil 17th June 2010 more >>

Fusion

A web designer from New York has revealed a home-made nuclear reactor which he’s constructed himself in a Brooklyn warehouse. Mark Suppes is said to be the 38th independent physicist in the word to achieve nuclear fusion from a self-built reactor.

Newslite 24th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 25 June 2010

24 June 2010

Generic Design Assessment

The latest progress report from UK nuclear safety regulators has made the best-case completion of the Generic Design Assessment process seem unlikely. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said detailed examination of the Areva EPR and Westinghouse AP1000 was well underway and making reasonable progress with a rapidly increasing workrate. However, it is facing a deadline of June 2011 when it is meant to issue the most meaningful design acceptance certificates that it can for the reactors. While most plant systems and features have posed no substantial problem, there remain some that could potentially have to be dealt with under separate processes which extend the overall GDA effort beyond June 2011. Regulators remain confident that Areva will be able to demonstrate sufficient independence of safety and operational control and instrumentation in the EPR, saying the company has proposed changes that are expected to lead to an “acceptable position”. For AP1000 there remains a regulatory issue requiring more evidence that civil structures are sufficiently robust and Westinghouse has “a considerable amount of work to do” on the safety case for the control and instrumentation system.

World Nuclear News 23rd June 2010 more >>

View the report more >>

The head of Lancashire’s biggest nuclear operator has said it remains on course to secure a licence for its reactor design in next year. Mike Tynan, chief executive of Westinghouse UK, said that the latest update into the licensing process for its AP1000 reactor threw up “no show-stopper” problems.

Both the AP1000 and its rival, the French-built EPR reactor, are expected to have secured a licence to build in the UK by June 2011.

Lancashire Evening Post 23rd June 2010 more >>

Nuclear Subsidy

The Treasury promised to deliver wide-ranging energy reforms and publish proposals detailing how it would “reform the climate change levy in order to provide more certainty and support to the carbon price”. It offered no indication on the level at which it would set the carbon price, which is designed to stimulate investment in nuclear and renewable energy, but said that it intended to deliver the required legislation as part of next year’s finance bill.

Business Green 23rd June 2010 more >>

Tuesday’s Budget saw the Government adopt Ofgem’s estimate that the UK must spend £200bn on its power stations and energy infrastructure if it is to keep the lights on with secure, diverse and low carbon sources of energy. At the moment there is not a level playing field, with expensive and inefficient wind power favoured by the renewable obligations regime which discriminates against nuclear. This must be reversed because we need much more nuclear in our energy mix to ensure diversity and security but also the reliability that wind simply can’t offer. And it needs to be done quickly.

Telegraph 24th June 2010 more >>

Energy Supplies

Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, warned last night that the threat to gas supplies from the political row between Russia and Belarus highlighted once again the desperate need for Britain to build up a low-carbon energy policy and domestic energy security through new wind farms – and possibly nuclear reactors. The minister sidestepped the question of whether decommissioning work would inevitably be slowed down at sites such as Sellafield, where 1,200 jobs are said by unions to be at risk. It was important to continue with these operations as fast as possible, he argued, without giving details of where the cuts would fall. The budget announcements also included a commitment to a green investment bank, which would help with funding renewable projects, and promises to change the climate change levy so that a floor can be put under the price of carbon.

Guardian 24th June 2010 more >>

NDA

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced 60 posts will go at its headquarters on the Westlakes Science Park, near Whitehaven. The agency has begun a 30-day consultation with staff and it says it hopes the bulk of the redundancies will be voluntary. The NDA is looking to shed 90 jobs in total: a 30 per cent reduction in its near 300-strong workforce.

NW Evening Mail 23rd June 2010 more >>

BBC 23rd June 2010 more >>

Carlisle News and Star 23rd June 2010 more >>

Whitehaven News 23rd June 2010 more >>

Britain’s nuclear clean-up agency is set to cut a third of its staff and tens of millions of pounds from its £2.7 billion annual budget. Stephen Henwood, chairman of the Nuclear Decomissioning Authority, said the workforce would be cut from 296 to 206 by stripping out unneccessary positions and duplication. Staff at the West Cumbria headquarters were told of the decision yesterday by Tony Fountain, the chief executive.

Times 23rd June 2010 more >>

Wylfa

ENERGY Secretary Chris Huhne last night admitted there was little he could do stop new nuclear power stations like Wylfa B being built. His Liberal Democrat party is opposed to any more reactors. But despite being the man ultimately responsible for signing them off, he said the “overwhelming majority” of Labour and Conservative MPs backed the plans and if private firms could fund them he had “no doubt” they would go ahead. Speaking at a Westminster briefing the Secretary of State insisted the government would now ensure “all of the facilitation needed” would happen.

Daily Post 19th June 2010 more >>

Heysham

EDF Energy’s Heysham nuclear reactor 2-7 in Britain reduced production on Wednesday morning for planned refuelling, a spokeswoman said.

Yahoo 23rd June 2010 more >>

Dounreay

Safety at the Dounreay nuclear plant continues to improve, according to the bosses of the company leading the clean-up of the Caithness complex. In their annual report, the directors of Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said no time was lost through accidents between March 2009-10.

They said the low dosages of radiation workers were exposed to also underlined the priority given to safety. Two workers were exposed to radiation last July.

BBC 23rd June 2010 more >>

Vietnam

Vietnam has announced plans to build eight nuclear power plants by 2030 as the rapidly developing country strives to meet rising energy demand. Each plant to be built in central Vietnam will have at least four reactors with a total output of up to 16,000 megawatts over the next two decades.

Morning Star 23rd June 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran claimed to have increased the production of a more highly enriched form of uranium on Wednesday, making what appeared to be a new gesture of retaliation against the United Nations’ decision to impose more sanctions. Ali-Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, announced that some 17kg of uranium had been enriched to 20 per cent purity. If confirmed, this would add to fears that Iran is getting closer to acquiring the means to develop a nuclear weapon, which would need uranium enriched to the level of 90 per cent.

FT 24th June 2010 more >>

Trident

Letter David Purves: Scotland is burdened with the huge cost of updating the Tridentnuclear missile system. This is a first-strike weapon which targets defenceless civilians in unspecified countries thought to be a possible military threat. Perhaps we should know which countries are supposed to be being deterred from attacking us.

Scotsman 24th June 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

Chris Huhne will promise today to put a £90bn domestic energy efficiency programme at the heart of the government’s agenda saying that thousands of jobs will be created as 14m houses are given a complete overhaul to drastically cut energy demand, reduce power bills and lower carbon emissions. New legislation to enable the mass retro-fitting of homes will allow energy companies, local authorities and even high street stores to spend as much as £6,500 insulating millions of Britain’s most energy-wasteful homes. The money spent would be claimed back from savings made in bills with householders not having to pay anything directly.

Guardian 24th June 2010 more >>

Renewables

Britain’s hydro-power plant capacity may treble by 2020 as electricity producers make use of government incentives for renewable energy, the Environment Agency said yesterday.

The number of hydro-electric power plants in Britain is likely to rise from 400 today to 1,200 by 2020. The agency has already approved 29 hydro-power generation licences in Britain this year and is analysing another 166 applications. It said it had identified about 4,000 locations that could accommodate hydroelectric power plants. Britain’s installed pumped storage and simple hydro-electric capacity is about 4,000MW, roughly that of four large nuclear power stations.

Independent 24th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 24 June 2010

23 June 2010

Nuclear Subsidy

Letter David Lowry: Nick Clegg’s justification – that there simply isn’t the money – for cancelling the £80 million soft loan to Sheffield Forgemasters to retool so it can manufacture major parts for new nuclear reactors is “pathetic.” But the decision, in my judgement, was correct. It was also consistent with both the policy of the coalition Con-Dem government and the commercial nuclear industry. A better and more accurate justification was given on June 17 by Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander: “As to the nuclear industry … the coalition agreement commits us to no public subsidy for nuclear power.” It was revealed on the same day as the Sheffield Forgemasters announcement that the International Atomic Energy Agency, which mainly acts as a cheerleader for the private-sector nuclear industry, received contributions from British taxpayers over the last 10 years of £97m and £57m. If Sheffield Forgemasters is so important to EDF and Eon to build new nuclear power plants in Britain, why don’t they use their massive annual profits to assist the Sheffield company and not pretend they don’t need subsidies?

Morning Star 23rd June 2010 more >>

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, in an effort to boost the use of nuclear power, plans to penalize polluters with a fee tied to carbon-dioxide emissions. Cameron proposes a CO2 charge triggered when the price of European Union permits falls below a set level. That would raise costs for generating electricity from coal and natural gas, which are more-immediately economical than atomic reactors. The U.K. will propose tax shifts to “support the carbon price” later in 2010, the government said in a budget presented today. “It’s a way of trying to subsidize nuclear, collecting that subsidy from all electricity consumers,” said Trevor Sikorski, director of carbon markets and environmental products research in London at Barclays Capital.

Business Week 22nd June 2010 more >>

Environmental campaigners have accused the Government of preparing to allow multi-million pound “handouts” to firms building nuclear reactors. Greenpeace yesterday said the move went against assurances given by ministers that the nuclear industry would not receive any handouts to help build new nuclear power stations. The Government has denied the accusation.

Cumberland News 22nd June 2010 more >>

Nuclear Waste

The NDA’s Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) has been contracted by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) on behalf of potential new build operators to undertake some initial feasibility studies to investigate several key issues associated with spent fuel management. It is expected that this work will be completed within a short timescale of around three months.The feasibility studies will have the following four strands: consideration of alternative Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) design options for new build spent fuel; issues associated with centralised spent fuel storage; issues associated with centralised spent fuel packaging; consideration of alternative spent fuel cask designs. It is intended that the feasibility studies will provide a better understanding of the issues and provide a basis for future consideration of possible alternatives to the current baseline scenario (storage and encapsulation of spent fuel at each new build site).

NDA 15th June 2010 more >>

New Nukes

Letter: A change of attitude by future governments should see all our electricity produced by nuclear and some carbon-capture power stations. This would dispense with the need for alternative, intermittent sources.

Scotsman 23rd June 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre), in association with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) will host the event at Oulton Hall Hotel and Golf Resort in Leeds on June 29 and 30. The Nuclear Metals and Manufacturing Conference will feature speakers from the nuclear industry and will focus on the future of nuclear power stations in the UK. The aim is to provide an insight into the opportunities for the UK’s materials and manufacturing supply base.

Rotherham Advertiser 22nd June 2010 more >>

Egypt

The International Atomic Energy Agency is ready to help Egypt in the construction of nuclear power stations, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said on Tuesday during a visit to Cairo.

Middle East Online 22nd June 2010 more >>

Trident

FURNESS MP John Woodcock fears Barrow’s hopes of orders for a fleet of ballistic missile submarines could be heading for the rocks. The MP says he is alarmed by some of the answers he got during yesterday’s crucial House of Commons debate on the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government’s Strategic Defence Review. One of his fears is that the government might opt for swapping long-range ballistic nuclear missiles, which are fired out of the atmosphere, with shorter-range, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles fired from adapted Astute-class subs.

NW Evening Mail 22nd June 2010 more >>

Posted: 23 June 2010

22 June 2010

Nuclear Subsidies

Environmental campaigners have accused the government of preparing to allow a multimillion-pound “handout” to firms building nuclear reactors. Greenpeace said the plans went against assurances given by ministers that the nuclear industry would not receive any handouts to help build new nuclear power stations. A study commissioned by Greenpeace claimed that firms would not be liable for dealing with the waste from new reactors, leaving the taxpayer with bills running into billions of pounds.

Morning Star 21st June 2010 more >>

Fixed Unit Price Simulation for Disposal of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Stations in the UK (FUPSIM) by Ian Jackson.

Greenpeace UK June 2010 more >>

Hidden Subsidies and New Nuclear.

Greenpeace Briefing, June 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

To encourage supplier involvement, Horizon has embarked on a series of training programmes, drop-in events and conferences to ensure companies from industries as diverse as shipbuilding, petro-chemical and water equipment understand what is required to work in the nuclear sector. “We are developing a strategy which tries to identify prospective entrants and help them to qualify themselves to enter the nuclear industry,” he adds.

Supply Management 21st June 2010 more >>

SAFETY seal firm Roxtec has tripled its sales in the nuclear sector in the last twelve months. Roxtec’s products will be used to protect cabling and pipes against fire, gas and water at nuclear power generation plants, research facilities and military establishments in the UK.

Industry Today 21st June 2010 more >>

Reactor Safety

As utilities seek to build new nuclear power plants around the world, questions remain about whether the newer reactors are sufficiently foolproof to be adopted on a large scale.

While the NRC continues its evaluation of the five reactors, Lyman argues that none is as safe as it could be. The new designs are engineered only to withstand a predictable sequence of events, something engineers theorize may happen. In nuclear parlance that is called a “design basis accident.” The new reactors, like their older counterparts, are not designed to survive an unexpected sequence of events. That is the critical flaw, says Lyman: “Three Mile Island was a beyond-design-basis accident.”

Guardian 21st JUne 2010 more >>

Companies

Iberdrola is working on the carbon-capture and storage demonstration project at Longannet coal-fired power station in Fife and on the building of nuclear power stations south of the Border. The Spanish group is currently upgrading nuclear power stations in Russia and is developing nuclear projects in ten other countries.

Scotsman 22nd June 2010 more >>

Wylfa

FIRST Minister Carwyn Jones launched a major strategy aimed at transforming Anglesey into an ‘Energy Island’ Clearly the decision over Wylfa B isn’t devolved but creating the skills that will be needed in the future to help run Wylfa B is something that we have influence on.

Daily Post 21st June 2010 more >>

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan MP has reiterated her support for Wylfa B, the proposed new nuclear power station for Anglesey, saying that it will be in the vanguard of new generation nuclear plants in the UK.

Anglesey Today 21st June 2010 more >>

Hinkley

The battle to protect the countryside from towering pylons and miles of overhead cables is set to intensify this week as National Grid announces plans which are expected to see large swathes of the West blighted by high-voltage infrastructure. Grid bosses are to detail plans for three new high-voltage lines as a prelude to the biggest expansion of Britain’s electricity delivery network in half a century.

Bristol Evening Post 21st June 2010 more >>

Uranium

There is plenty of uranium in Australia. Problem is the Australians see it as the “new asbestos”. So much so that Aussie unions have banned their members on ethical and safety grounds from working in all aspects of the nuclear industry, from mining to power plants. The Electrical Trade Union is equivalent to our Unite (representing members in the electrical, communications, power, manufacturing, education, hospitality, aerospace and food industries). The unprecedented stand taken this summer by the ETU has been shied away from by the British press despite the ethical and practical implications for the future of the nuclear industry. There are plenty of ways to produce sustainable electricity and energy efficiency while leaving the uranium in the ground. The line drawn in the sand by the ETU is of great significance to all our futures.

Independent 22nd June 2010 more >>

Global Partnership

The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Steering Group met in Accra, Ghana on June 16-17, 2010, and approved unanimously several transformative changes to reflect global developments that have occurred since the Partnership was established in 2007. The transformation includes a new name – the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation — and the establishment of a new Statement of Mission. Participants in this new International Framework agreed that this transformation was necessary to provide a broader scope with wider international participation to more effectively explore the most important issues underlying the use and expansion of nuclear energy worldwide.

Commodities Now 21st June 2010 more >>

Pakistan

China has angered the US with plans to build two nuclear reactors in Pakistan, despite fears over the country’s political stability.

Telegraph 22nd June 2010 more >>

Iran

IRAN has banned two UN nuclear inspectors from entering the country, a state media report said. The report, posted on the website of the state broadcasting company, quotes Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s nuclear department, as saying the Vienna-based International Agency for Atomic Energy, the UN nuclear watchdog, has been informed of the decision to ban the two inspectors. He did not name them.

Yorkshire Post 21st June 2010 more >>

Scotsman 22nd June 2010 more >>

Guardian 22nd June 2010 more >>

Sweden

Sweden’s parliament, in defiance of a 1980 referendum when the electorate voted to phase out nuclear power, has repealed the legislation that followed the referendum and will now allow the building of new nuclear power plant to maintain its existing fleet.

Nuclear Engineering International 21st June 2010 more >>

Asia

Energy ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum have agreed that the deployment of clean energy sources – including nuclear energy – should be promoted in the region.

World Nuclear News 21st June 2010 more >>

Renewables

Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday.

Reuters 20th June 2010 more >>

Posted: 22 June 2010

21 June 2010

Nuclear Subsidies

Environmental campaigners have accused the Government of preparing to allow a multi-million pound “handout” to firms building nuclear reactors. Greenpeace said the move went against assurances given by ministers that the nuclear industry would not receive handouts to help build new nuclear power stations. A study commissioned by the group claimed that firms would not be liable for dealing with the waste from new reactors, leaving the taxpayer with bills running into billions. The report, written by Ian Jackson, an associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said dealing with waste from each new reactor will cost around £1.5bn, but under current plans being considered by the Government, energy companies would “walk away”, having contributed as little as £500 million.

Independent 21st June 2010 more >>

Four Labour MPs have started a petition calling on the government to reinstate an £80m loan to Sheffield Forgemasters.

The engineering firm has been told it will not get the money to buy equipment needed for the nuclear power market. Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central), David Blunkett (Sheffield Brightside), Clive Betts (Sheffield SE) and Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley) back the petition.

BBC 20th June 2010 more >>

Radioactive Waste

The development of the Olympic site in east London after the Games have finished could be in jeopardy because of radioactive waste buried beneath the site, experts have warned. According to a Guardian investigation, any development of the site risks unearthing a hundred tonnes of radioactive waste dumped at the former landfill site decades ago. Documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) rules reveal that, contrary to government guidelines, waste from thorium and radium has been mixed with very low-level waste and buried in a so-called disposal cell under, or close, to the Olympic stadium.

Guardian 21st June 2010 more >>

Pylons

A public consultation is already underway about how to carry power from the new nuclear power station planned for Hinkley Point in Somerset and connect it to the existing grid 37 miles away at Avonmouth. It would supply much of Devon and Cornwall.

A second line would run 17 miles from Bramford, Suffolk, to Twinstead, Essex, to link up with another new nuclear power station at Sizewell on the east coast.

Telegraph 21st June 2010 more >>

Pakistan

A row is looming between Beijing and Washington over China’s proposed sale of two nuclear power-generating reactors to Pakistan. This would appear to break the guidelines set by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a gathering of countries who export civil nuclear technology.

BBC 20th June 2010 more >>

Telegraph 21st June 2010 more >>

Sweden

Sweden’s parliament, in defiance of a 1980 referendum when the electorate voted to phase out nuclear power, has repealed the legislation that followed the referendum and will now allow the building of new nuclear power plant to maintain its existing fleet.

Modern Power Systems 21st June 2010 more >>

Geoffrey Lean: Nuclear energy has received an important psychological boost with a decision by Sweden – one of the first countries to reject the atom – to allow the building of new reactors. The Riksdag, the country’s parliament narrowly voted late last week to allow the building of new nuclear power stations, overturning a referendum 30 years ago that voted to phase them out. It may, however, prove to be more of a psychological boost than a practical one. It will only allow existing reactors to be replaced, and so will not permit an expansion of nuclear power. They can only be built on current nuclear sites and cannot start up until their old counterparts stop. And none of the existing fleet is likely to need replacing before 2030. Furthermore public support has begun to ebb again, and opposition parties have sworn to overturn the decision if and when they gain power.

Telegraph 20th June 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has banned two UN nuclear inspectors from entering the country, a state media report said today. The report, posted on the website of the state broadcasting company, quotes Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s nuclear department, as saying the Vienna-based International Agency for Atomic Energy, the UN nuclear watchdog, has been informed of the decision to ban the two inspectors. He did not name them.

Evening Echo 21st June 2010 more >>

Trident

Shirley Williams: We need a wider debate on Trident, which has been excluded from Liam Fox’s forthcoming strategic defence review. Some military leaders support him because they do not want Trident’s future to be discussed in the same context as are troop numbers and conventional equipment. But Trident cannot be excluded from the painful examination of public expenditure in all departments of government. The agreement between the partners in the UK’s new coalition government states that Britain’s nuclear deterrent will be maintained, that its renewal will be scrutinised to ensure value for money, and that the Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives. As a Lib Dem, let me take the opportunity so helpfully offered.

Guardian 21st June 2010 more >>

Renewables

MONSTER wind turbines with blade spans that dwarf the London Eye could be the shape of future green power, it was revealed yesterday. An offshore turbine more than 500ft tall with a diameter of 475ft is already due to make an appearance in British waters within the next two years. But the 10 megawatt machine, dubbed Britannia, may only mark the start of a growing trend, according to the project’s leader Bill Grainger. He sees no reason why offshore turbines should not get even larger, since greater size and power make economic sense.

Scotsman 21st June 2010 more >>

Posted: 21 June 2010