News November 2010

30 November 2010

Nuclear Finance

Prof Dave Elliott: What’s not sorted is the money. It may be hard to reform the market and the EU-Emission Trading System enough to make nuclear viable without formal subsidy. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne’s shifting definition of subsidies has raised some eyebrows. While he still says ‘there will be no levy, direct payment or market support for electricity supplied or capacity provided by a private sector new nuclear operator’ he now adds ‘unless similar support is also made available more widely to other types of generation.’

Environment Research Web 27th Nov 2010 more >>

Europe

Research Ministers of the EU Member States and Associated Countries, together with the European Commission, are announcing in Brussels today three new pan-European energy research infrastructures. A wind research facility is planned in Denmark, a concentrated solar power installation in Spain and a nuclear research reactor in Belgium.

eGov Monitor 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

Work starts today on a multi-million pound nuclear research facility in west Cumbria which will create 45 jobs. The £20m scheme at Westlakes Science and Technology Park in Moor Row, will house the staff and postgraduate students when it is complete next September. A joint venture between Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the University of Manchester, the centre will have close links with the existing National Nuclear Laboratory at Sellafield.

Carlisle News & Star 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

People in Cumbria are being asked for their views on plans to bury nuclear waste in the county. The government wants to find a permanent home for the waste currently stored at Sellafield. The government has urged communities to “volunteer” to take it. So far the only place expressing an interest is West Cumbria. Local councils involved, Copeland, Allerdale and Cumbria County Council, stress no commitment has been made. A number of consultation sessions are taking place but environmentalists are sceptical about the impartiality of the consultation. Ruth Balogh, from West Cumbria Friends of the Earth, described it as “tokenistic.” She said: “I do not believe we can have a voice in a process in which the nuclear industry is so dominant.”

BBC 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

A ROTHERHAM-based engineering firm has won a ten-year, multi-million pound contract to supply parts for the nuclear industry. Newburgh Engineering has been awarded the contract by Westinghouse Electric UK and Springfields Fuels Ltd to supply components for use at existing UK nuclear power stations.

Rotherham Advertiser 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Skills

Walking through the expansive complex, at Olkiluoto, still missing a domed cover on the reactor building, it takes a while to make out a peculiar but important detail: many of the engineers and building experts working here are in their late 50s and early 60s; some are in their 30s, but few are in between. There’s a hole in the nuclear workforce, not just in Finland but across the Western world. For the moment, the operator of the Olkiluoto 3 plant, power utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), is getting by with its most experienced staff. As those workers retire, though, the skills shortage could become a crisis.

Reuters 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Oldbury

GOVERNMENT officials are set to visit Thornbury to discuss why Oldbury is on the list of potential new nuclear power stations in the country. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is due to visit Thornbury for a consultation event this month. It has been organised after South Gloucestershire Council and members of the community called for a meeting to give local residents the chance to hear how the Government’s proposed policies for energy have changed and also to ask questions about the inclusion of Oldbury in the list of potential new nuclear power stations.

Gloucestershire Gazette 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Bradwell

THE case for a new nuclear power plant in Essex will be put forward by the Government’s head of nuclear development at a public meeting. A campaign group fighting the plans for a plant at Bradwell will also have the opportunity to argue its case about why the site is unsuitable. The public meeting is taking place at The Mersea Centre in High Street, West Mersea, at 7pm on Wednesday.

Suffolk Evening Star 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

SOMERSET County Council has welcomed National Grid’s decision to consider underground and subsea cables as well as pylons as part of its plans to power Hinkley Point C, as recently reported in the Weekly News.

This is the West Country 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Sellafield (new reactor)

The Joint Venture to develop new nuclear build at Sellafield, NW England, “NuGen,” has finally been established. Three companies – GDF Suez , Iberdrola and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) – teamed together to buy 190 ha (470 acres) land at Sellafield from the NDA in 2009. The consortium paid an upfront payment of GBP19.5 million, with a further payment of at least GBP50.5 million to follow in the next six years.

Telegraph 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Engineering International 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Penn Energy 29th Nov 2010 more >>

World Nuclear News 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Platts 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Energy Business Review 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Dounreay

Forthcoming Scottish Government Consultation: Proposals in this consultation document are to allow two forms of waste substitution. The substitution of one type of cemented waste with another and the substitution of vitrified waste in place of cemented wastes.

Scottish Government 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Tehran today accused the west and Israel of dispatching a hit squad against its atomic programme, after an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed and another injured in co-ordinated attacks.

The attackers rode up on motorcycles and stuck bombs to the windows of the scientists’ cars as they were leaving their homes in Tehran on the way to work. Seconds later the bombs detonated.

Guardian 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Scotsman 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Telegraph 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Daily Mail 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Mirror 30th Nov 2010 more >>

A theme that stands out from the first batch of US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks is Washington’s abiding fear about weapons proliferation – particularly concerning Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes.

FT 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran has publicly blamed malware for causing “limited” problems with the country’s nuclear program.

eWeek 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Belfast Telegraph 29th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 29th Nov 2010 more >>

US/EDF

named Eric Bret as president and chief executive officer of its U.S. unit, with a mandate to develop nuclear business there. Bret, who has been with EDF for 28 years, has run the company’s 58 nuclear reactors in France since 1996, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. He’ll start his new role on Jan. 1, 2011.

Bloomberg 29th Nov 2010 more >>

India

The Indian government has barred a group of nuclear scientists from meeting in New Delhi, where they planned to challenge key elements of the nation’s nuclear programme, Nature has learned. The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) is an independent group of two dozen scientists and policy analysts devoted to stirring debate on issues related to nuclear ma terials. The group was formed in 2006 and is funded by the MacArthur Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Chicago, Illinois. The panel’s draft version of the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, a proposal that would ban production of weapons-grade nuclear material worldwide, has received backing from Japan, Canada and the Netherlands in United Nations disarmament discussions. IPFM openly oppose nuclear reproces sing, in which fuel is chemically separated and reused in either power reactors or nuclear weapons, and breeder reactors, which generate new nuclear fuel in addition to producing power. Many panel members believe that such technologies are not economically viable and increase the risk of nuclear war or terrorism. India’s nuclear ambitions are at odds with those views. The nation has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is designed to slow the spread of nuclear weapons. It is actively pursuing nuclear reprocessing, both for weapons and for power, and is near completion of a 500-megawatt plutonium breeder reactor in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. That reactor will pave the way for future breeder reactors capable of converting the nation’s vast thorium reserves into uranium-233 fuel.

Nature 29th Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

North Korea has said it has “cutting-edge” nuclear fusion technology, claiming a breakthrough in a field that has defied the world’s scientific community.

Telegraph 30th Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea detailed for the first time its expanded nuclear programme today, saying it had thousands of working centrifuges, as pressure built on China to rein in its ally amid tensions on the peninsula. Pyongyang’s revelations about its uranium enrichment, which gives it a second route to make a nuclear bomb, came a week after it fired an artillery barrage at a South Korean island, killing four people including two civilians.

Independent 30th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 30th Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea has been secretly assisting Iran develop a weapons programme under the auspices of the Chinese government, American officials believe.

Telegraph 30th Nov 2010 more >>

An engineering firm based in west London was accused in a leaked diplomatic cable of illegally helping Iran’s nuclear programme.

Telegraph 30th Nov 2010 more >>

Pakistan

US diplomatic cables released on Sunday show that since 2007 the United States has been engaged in a secret effort to remove highly enriched uranium from a Pakistani research reactor. According to the documents released by a whistle-blowing website called Wiki-Leaks, the US administration authorised this effort because American officials feared the material could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device.

Dawn 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Russia

Fortum Corporation and Russia’s atomic agency Rosatom have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of nuclear power. By developing nuclear power markets, both the companies will expand the long-standing cooperation between them in applying their nuclear competences in future nuclear power projects.

Energy Business Review 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 30 November 2010

29 November 2010

Nuclear Subsidies?

Sweeping reforms of Britain’s energy markets are set to be unveiled over the next two weeks as the government launches the biggest upheaval in the sector since the electricity industry was privatised 20 years ago. The Treasury will publish proposals that will set a price floor for carbon designed to give certainty to investors in low-carbon generation. The Department of Energy and Climate Change will propose mechanisms to promote renewables such as wind power, as well as new nuclear.

FT 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year. At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables – many designated “secret” – the Guardian can disclose that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and that US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN leadership.

Guardian 29th Nov 2010 more >>

The US insisted that China act “urgently” to halt a transshipment of ballistic missile components from North Korea to Iran via Beijing and complained that at least 10 similar missile-related deliveries had been allowed to proceed unhindered. The US also accused Chinese firms in May last year of supplying Iran with a key chemical weapons precursor and assistance with operating a chemical manufacturing plant.

Guardian 29th Nov 2010 more >>

US Embassy Cables: Iran hid ful reactor plans from nuclear inspectors.

Guardian 28th Nov 2010 more >>

Iranian officials withheld from international atomic energy inspectors the original design documents for a secret nuclear reactor suspected of being part of Tehran’s plan to build an atomic bomb, a US embassy cable reveals.

Guardian 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Sitting in the Rome office of Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, in February this year, Robert Gates, the veteran US defence secretary and former CIA chief, issued a chilling warning of war in our time. “Without progress in the next few months, we risk nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, war prompted by an Israeli strike, or both,” Gates said. If Iran were allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, he added, the US and its allies would face “a different world” in four to five years.

Guardian 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Bahrain king says Iranian nuclear programme must be stopped.

Guardian 28th Nov 2010 more >>

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran.

Guardian 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Telegraph 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Times 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Israel regarded 2010 as a “critical year” for tackling Iran’s alleged quest for nuclear weapons and has warned the United States that time is running out to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Guardian 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Iranian state media has reported that a nuclear scientist was killed and another injured after coming under attack in Tehran. The university lecturer was killed in a car bomb blast and three people were wounded in another explosion, Iran’s al Alam Arabic language television reported.

Sky News 29th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

A TOP naval officer relieved of his command after a nuclear-powered submarine ran aground has spoken of his ‘very difficult’ past few weeks since the incident. Commander Andy Coles, 47, who lives in Yealmpton, lost his command of HMS Astute on Friday, Navy officials confirmed. He was in charge of the vessel, which was on sea trials last month when it became stuck off the coast of Skye and ended up stranded for several hours.

This is Devon 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Renewables

Everest is best known as a double glazing and door fitter, but the company is moving into the energy sector with the launch of a new boiler, insulation and solar panel business.

Telegraph 29th Nov 2010 more >>

Ofgem has set up the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund. Over the next five years it will provide up to £500m – backing research by the companies whose networks distribute our electricity. The emphasis will be on how low-carbon and energy-saving projects – from electric vehicles and heat pumps to micro and local generation and demand-side management – can be made a reality. It will help to develop the opportunities provided by the roll-out of smart meters across the UK’s 27m homes. And it will bring together the distribution network operators into partnership with suppliers, generators, technology providers and others.

Telegraph 28th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 29 November 2010

28 November 2010

Nuclear Subsidies

A radical shake-up of Britain’s energy markets to pay for a £200 billion investment in low-carbon power will be unveiled by the government in the next fortnight. Ministers are expected to combine the long-awaited introduction of a floor price for carbon with a revamp of wholesale electricity markets. Subsidies for renewable sources, including wind and solar, will be extended and revised. Insiders say there may also be a central agency to “direct” markets and foster a new generation of nuclear power stations. Industry insiders say one of the most contentious measures being discussed is new rules or a new stand-alone regulatory body to direct the market so that it meets other policy goals, such as support for a fresh generation of nuclear power stations, which traditionally have not attracted the subsidies directed to renewable energy.

Sunday Times 28th Nov 2010 more >>

Oldbury

A demonstration has been held against plans for a new nuclear power plant in South Gloucestershire. The scheme at Oldbury-on-Severn is expected to create up to 5,000 jobs in the area. But campaign group Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (Sane) said it was concerned about safety and damage to the environment. Horizon Nuclear Power said it was listening to concerns, but it was about “achieving an acceptable balance”.

BBC 27th Nov 2010 more >>

Clip with Tom Burke.

ITV 27th Nov 2010 more >>

Wylfa

Income and not safety is driving UK energy policy which has determined a extension of the operating life of Wylfa nuclear power plant. That is the clear message in correspondence from Minister of State at the DECC, Charles Hendry MP, in response to concerns expressed by the Celtic League over the decision to extend the operational life of the accident prone plant.

Celtic League 14th Nov 2010 more >>

China

Areva SA said the EPR nuclear reactor costs 3 billion euros ($4 billion) to build in China, 40 percent less than the price tag Electricite de France SA has put on building one in Normandy. Chinese nuclear builders’ grasp of the technology is “very worrying” for European companies, Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon told a hearing at the French Senate today in Paris. She also said Chinese companies are more efficient.

Bloomberg 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

An atomic dump in Germany has shown extreme radioactivity levels, causing concern amongst nearby residents. People in the area have had to be medically checked after findings that residents had higher rates of cancer than normal. Reports found twice the number of male leukemia cases between 2002 and 2009. The rate of thyroid cancer trebled in women. The town of Wolfenbuettel lies in the Asse region of Lower Saxony, close to a controversial nuclear waste dump.

Irish Sun 27th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran’s first nuclear power plant will become operational in the next two months, the country’s nuclear chief said on Saturday, just before possible talks with major powers over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Yahoo 27th Oct 2010 more >>

North Korea

New evidence of nuclear co-operation between North Korea and Iran is emerging as a paramount American concern even as the US tries to cool war fever on the Korean peninsula. The US is grappling with a policy dilemma in three dimensions to stop Iran getting an atomic bomb, to deter North Korea from aiding it and to enlist China to prevent war between the Koreas breaking out by accident. The task has been made more urgent by the discovery that Iranian missile experts were in Pyongyang last month to attend a military parade at which new intermediate-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads 1,900 miles were put on display. That came shortly before Washington learnt that North Korea has built a hitherto undetected centrifuge plant to enrich uranium that bears a striking resemblance to Iran’s centrifuge plant at Natanz. North Korea already has a stockpile of plutonium sufficient to make between four and eight crude nuclear weapons. The start-up of a uranium fuel cycle will give it alternative atomic bomb material for its own arsenal or for sale. The revelation that North Korea has a uranium plant also upsets the calculations of intelligence agencies that had been quietly satisfied to learn that a computer virus known as Stuxnet, said to be designed in Israel, has wreaked havoc with Iran’s centrifuges.

Sunday Times 28th Nov 2010 more >>

Developing Countries

The world is on the brink of a nuclear power renaissance, and developing countries may also benefit, according to researchers. In a study published in Science, British researchers outlined a vision for flexible and more user-friendly nuclear technologies, as worries over climate change, energy supply security, and depletion of fossil fuels, are overturning decades of hesitancy over the safety of nuclear power plants. Robin Grimes, materials researcher at Imperial College London and William Nuttall, senior lecturer in technology policy at the University of Cambridge, believe nuclear power will become viable for energy production in developing countries post-2030. “Outside currently established nuclear countries, flexible nuclear technologies will be especially attractive, reducing the need for grid infrastructure,” Grimes told SciDev.Net.

Oil Price 27th Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

THE officer in charge of a nuclear-powered submarine which ran aground on a shingle bank has been relieved of his command.

Scotland on Sunday 28th Nov 2010 more >>

ITN 27th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 27th Nov 2010 more >>

Sunday Herald 28th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 28 November 2010

27 November 2010

Oldbury

Campaigners are due to march through Thornbury today against plans to create a nuclear power in the area. Residents in Shepperdine want to stop plans for a new nuclear power station at nearby Oldbury and will today take to the streets to raise their concerns. They’re expecting around 200 people to turn out for the demonstration with the theme of the day being “Power to the People”. A series of lectures are also being held in Cosshall about nuclear energy. The Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy campaign group is also concerned about plans to create another new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.

Star Radio 27th Nov 2010 more >>

New Nukes

Greg Barker: The existing centralised energy system that was developed in the last century is not fit for the challenges of this one. Yes we need new nuclear, big offshore wind farms and new coal with CCS. But the energy conundrum we now face requires a new and broader approach in which our communities are encouraged to produce their own energy. It’s because of the importance of local communities that I’m concerned about large scale green field based solar farms being allowed to distort the available funding for domestic solar technologies. We want to see far more solar panels on Britain’s roof space but not all over the countryside.

Independent 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Key Green Party figures, including leader Caroline Lucas MP, Green MEPs Jean Lambert and Keith Taylor, and Green London Assembly Members Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson, have signed up to the Kick Nuclear coalition. They have signed up both as individuals, and on behalf of the Green Party.The London group is part of the Stop Nuclear Power Network, which was formed earlier this year to campaign against government plans to commission a new generation of nuclear power stations next spring. In October, the group launched the Boycott EDF campaign, calling on EDF Energy customers to switch energy providers, as a protest against the company’s position as the principal promoter of nuclear energy in the UK.

News on News 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Roger Helmer MEP: A number of environmentalists, complains I “fail to offer any solutions in moving our economy away from fossil fuels to renewables”. I don’t offer alternative solutions to climate change, because I don’t believe human activity causes climate change, and I don’t believe anything we do will make a scrap of difference. The climate has always changed, and always will.

Nottingham Evening Post 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Bradwell

A public meeting is being held on Wednesday (1 December) to discuss the government’s plans for a “new build” near the decommissioned nuclear power station at Bradwell, Essex.

Bradwell, which closed in 2002, is one of eight sites identified for possible new nuclear power stations. The government’s head of new nuclear development, Hergen Haye, will speak at the meeting, which is to be attended by the county, district and town councils concerned, as well as local MPs. The event has been organised by protest group Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group, which says the case for a new power station is “less than convincing”.

Insider Media 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley Diverting Resources?

The West “risks losing out to Scotland” in the renewable energy revolution, the industry has warned. Merlin Hyman, the chief executive of Regen SW, the centre for renewable energy, said “significant support” was needed from new local enterprise partnerships which are replacing regional development agencies. Speaking at the annual Renewable Futures conference in Bath, Mr Hyman said Government policy might otherwise allow Scotland to steal a march on the English regions in green job creation. He voiced his concerns following a debate on government renewable energy policies that opened the conference.

This is Somerst 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

EDF will select a preferred bidder for the £180m earthworks contract for its planned Hinkley Point nuclear power station before Christmas, write Joey Gardiner and David Matthews. The announcement came as the energy company confirmed it will seek permission to carry out early works in advance of receiving full planning permission for the £4bn power station, the first to be built in the UK for 25 years.

Building 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Energy giant EDF has been told it must submit a “robust” application for preliminary work at the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station or risk it being rejected by planning officials. The impact of the power station on the landscape and local life, and the level of community mitigation its French developer should offer, were the subject of high-level talks in London this week. Councillor Tim Taylor, leader of West Somerset Council, held talks with EDF representatives at the House of Commons, while Sedgemoor council counterpart Duncan McGinty raised the issue of the French company’s “woefully inadequate” mitigation offer with the Prime Minister. Mr Cameron said the planned Localism Bill, designed to devolve greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods, could help.

This is Somerset 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

Germany’s upper house has approved Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to extend the use of nuclear power for about another 12 years, but opposition parties plan to appeal. The approval — the final legislative hurdle — grants the country’s 17 nuclear power plants an extra 12 years of life on average. Opposition parties said Friday they would file a court appeal against the new extension.

Bloomberg 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Finland

Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima, TVO, said the Areva-Siemens consortium had told it the much delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor will start operating in 2013. “Majority of the reactor construction work will be ready in 2012 and regular operations will commence in 2013,” TVO said in a statement on Friday. It added ramping up the nuclear reactor would take about eight months and the regular electricity production would start in the second half of 2013.

Reuters 26trh Nov 2010 more >>

France

A new law passed by French legislators will force nuclear power producer Electricit de France (EdF) to sell nearly a quarter of its output to other French power suppliers at a government-fixed price in order to promote competition.

World Nuclear News 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Earlier this year, someone tried destroying Iran’s nuclear programme using nothing more than a few lines of code typed out on a personal computer. It worked, too – but not well enough to end Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran’s nuclear scientists are smart: despite harsh international sanctions, set up to deny them access to key technologies, they’ve succeeded in enriching uranium to weapons grade. But it turns out they are also capable of great stupidity. Few institutions with security concerns will allow anyone carry a portable disk drive into their premises. Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr did that – and a computer worm planted on the drive led hundreds of high-speed centrifuges to spin out of control.

Telegraph 26th Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

At the time, people called it the Third World War. Now though, we refer to the terrible events of late 2010 in a different way. We call this the First Nuclear War. It began on November 23, 2010, when North Korean artillery bombarded the small island of Yeonpyeong, which lies in the Yellow Sea, just south of the maritime border between the two Koreas.

Daily Mail 27th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 27 November 2010

26 November 2010

Planning

A major change to Britain’s planning process under the new government will not delay the permitting of nuclear power plants, energy minister Charles Hendry said Thursday to ease fears of nuclear developers. The new coalition government has shifted the final say from the Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC), which was set up by the previous Labour government to approve large energy projects, back to ministers.

STV 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Terror

Energy minister Charles Hendry has to answer some intriguing questions from time to time, but he must have gulped when he looked at a recent batch tabled by Parliament’s sole Green Party backbencher, Caroline Lucas. She wanted to know if his department had assessed “the merits of implementing force-to-force security protection exercises at UK nuclear installations” and if the secretary of state had held discussions with his US counterpart about the effectiveness of such exercises at US civil and military nuclear sites. There was more in a similar but more detailed vein. Lucas asked whether any assessments had been “made of the adequacy of physical protection measures at UK nuclear installations against attack from laser-guided anti-tank shoulder-fired weapons” and whether the energy secretary was planning to discuss with his Russian counterpart “the force-on-force security system tests on purpose! -built dummy reactor buildings which Russian security forces have conducted using AT14 Kornet/Spriggen weapons”. Hendry played a straight bat. He replied: “The government does not comment on the detail of security matters at civil nuclear sites. It is important that security measures adopted at civil nuclear installations are proportionate to the threat. Nuclear site licence companies are responsible for meeting the costs of security.” Nice try Caroline. Don’t think you or the great man (Disconnector, not Hendry) is any clearer as a result of that probing, though. However, one suspects that the sort of assessments she was asking about haven’t been applied to UK reactors.

Utility Week 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

Government response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Report: Radioactive Waste Management: a further update.

Parliament 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Dounreay

DOUNREAY’S operators yesterday responded to fresh concern about the hazard posed by the contaminated seabed immediately off the site. The discovery of one of the hottest particles yet unearthed in this summer’s “trawl” by a specialist contractor has been described by nuclear consultant John Large as deeply concerning. He claims environmental and health authorities need to review the risks posed by the seabed pollution in light of the latest finds. A remote-controlled vehicle recovered 429 reactor fuel fragments during the three-month clean-up. Dr Large said the find of the 100 million Bq particle was a “shameful” indictment of past management practices. He said: “We are only now beginning to realise the extent and activity of the particles which have been discharged. The plant operators seem to view the results as an indication of how wonderful the technology is in retrieving the particles. “! ;What I find remarkable is the callous disregard for public safety the plant managers of the time had in allowing the discharges to happen in the first place.” London-based Dr Large believes the risks lie less with skin contact and more with ingesting a particle, which is the size of a grain of sand.

John O Groat Journal 19th Nov 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

Sheffield Forgemasters has conducted casting trials on a hollow steel ingot which could help the company to win contracts linked to the nuclear power sector. The company was at the centre of a political storm earlier this year, when the coalition Government cancelled an £80m loan to the firm.

Yorkshire Post 25th Nov 2010 more >>

The Manufacturer 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Westinghouse Electric UK and Springfields Fuels Ltd. have enhanced its commitment to UK manufacturing, by awarding a major new contract to South Yorkshire-based Newburgh Engineering for the supply of in-core reactor fuel components for use at existing UK nuclear power stations.

The Engineer 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

EDF reduced production at a 610-megawatt reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset, England, for refueling. Hinkley Point B7 was generating 140 megawatts as of 1 p.m. local time, according to National Grid Plc data. The unit “is at low load for planned refueling.

Bloomberg 25th May 2010 more >>

A DETAILED investigation into the cost of putting cables for a proposed new power line from Avonmouth to Hinkley Point under the Severn Estuary has been launched by National Grid. The energy giant wants to create a new line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth to bring electricity from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point on to its transmission network. It is looking at a series of options for the new line along two route corridors, both of which would cut across swathes of the North Somerset and Somerset countryside.

Bristol Evening Post 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Energy giant EDF Energy has been blasted for breaching conservation guidelines and forcing a colony of badgers off land earmarked for controversial new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in north Somerset. Environmentalists warn that future corner-cutting could put lives at risk if construction of the two new reactors gets the green light.

Indymedia 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Small Reactors

Small modular nuclear fission reactor (SMRs) — which are even more safe and secure than modern western designs. The public should feel better about nuclear by learning more about SMRs. And government regulatory agencies should be feeling much better about licensing the new SMR designs, given their improved safety and security aspects.

Oil Price 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Uranium

Canadian uranium producer Cameco announced November 23 that it has signed an agreement with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd. (CGNPC) to supply 29 million pounds of uranium concentrate under a long-term agreement through 2025.

Nuclear Engineering International 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Sustainable Development Commission

Scottish ministers have come under fierce fire for scrapping their green advisers, the Sustainable Development Commission. The environment minister, Richard Lochhead, announced late this afternoon that funding for the commission will cease from next March, silencing one of the government’s most effective and radical critics.

Rob Edwards 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Scotland

Increased energy prices are to blame for the latest rise in the number of households suffering “fuel poverty”, according to new figures. About 770,000 households, a third of the total, were placed in that category in 2009, an increase from 618,000 over the previous year. The term is used when more than 10 per cent of income is spent on household fuel.

Scotsman 26th Nov 2010 more >>

France

Electricite de France SA may be forced to sell nuclear power to rivals at less than it says it needs to recoup production costs under a law adopted yesterday by France’s National Assembly, according to a lawmaker.

Bloomberg 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Canada

The provincial government of Ontario announced it plans to finance at least two new nuclear plants and refurbish 10 others over the next 20 years. The authority is committed to nuclear continuing to provide around half of the province’s electricity supply. Canada currently has 18 nuclear units of which 16 are in Ontario. Two new units, providing 2000MW of capacity, will be built at the Darlington site which already houses four nuclear reactors; units at the Darlington and Bruce sites will to be modernised and the operating lifetime of units at the Pickering nuclear plant will be extended until 2020.

Nuclear Engineering International 25th Nov 2010 more >>

China

Westinghouse Electric Co., owned by Toshiba Corp., expects additional orders for its third- generation AP1000 reactors from China after selling four units three years ago to the world’s fastest-growing nuclear market.

Bloomberg 25th Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

Korea experts are trying to establish whether North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island is linked to recent disclosures about Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

Janes’s 25th Nov 2010 more >>

India

India has successfully tested a medium-range version of its most powerful nuclear-capable missile during an army training exercise.

Bloomberg 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Telegraph 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Disarmament

The US Senate should ratify the US-Russia strategic arms reduction treaty without further delay. Senate Republicans are blocking this important measure, which would reduce the two powers’ nuclear stockpiles and restore the verification system that lapsed when the previous treaty expired. The GOP calls constantly for the White House to extend its hand in co-operation over measures that command bipartisan support. There is no better instance than Start.

FT 26th Nov 2010 more >>

Test Veterans

NUCLEAR test veterans have been given a boost after Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to personally look into their case.

Burton Mail 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 26 November 2010

25 November 2010

NPS

One of the main criticisms the Energy & Climate Change Committee had of the first Draft Energy NPSs was that the ‘Appraisals of Sustainability’ (AoSs) did not consider alternatives properly. Although the revised NPSs have not changed a great deal, the AoSs that are published with them have, particularly in how they deal with alternatives. The number of identified sites for nuclear power stations was also reduced from ten to eight, two in Cumbria being dropped. Revised NPSs now having been published, the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee has decided that it will only have a single evidence session with a single witness, and does not appear to be inviting written evidence. Next Tuesday, 30 November, at 4.15 p.m., the committee will hear evidence from Charles Hendry MP, the energy minister (no doubt aided by officials from DECC, and possibly also CLG given the subject-matter). Four topics for discussion have been identified by the committee, not all of which relate directly to the NPSs: (1) the implications of changes in the Planning Act 2008 for the implementation of the National Policy Statements; (2) the robustness of transitional arrangements preceding the abolition of the IPC and the creation of the MIPU; (3) the implications of changes to the Appraisals of Sustainability for the assessment of the National Policy Statements; and (4) how the changes in the revised draft National Policy Statements will affect their contribution to the Government’s energy policy objectives.

Bircham Dyson Bell 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Reprocessing

AN energy minister has hinted that the coalition might be looking more positively at reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. Some 3,500 jobs could be protected at Sellafield if new reprocessing contracts are secured for the site. On a visit to Sellafield this week, minister Charles Hendry told The Whitehaven News: “If business comes forward with new proposals for new reprocessing at Sellafield, then the government would certainly look at this on its merits. Cumbria has much to offer in terms of expertise and experience.”

Whitehaven News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

Letters: Tim Knowles: The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership is looking at whether this area should take part in the Government’s search for somewhere to locate a repository, without making any commitment. This community partnership includes organisations from across Cumbria such as local authorities, parish councillors, the Lake District National Park, Churches Together in Cumbria and the National Farmers Union. We have also invited Greenpeace to take part. This is a unique process. As a community, we have the power to decide whether or not to have this facility here. These are complex issues and they need careful consideration. As Jean McSorley is aware, we are currently looking at what might go into a repository, including possible waste from new nuclear power stations and what the effect of that would be. We certainly do not have all the answers yet. We are asking the Government a lot of questions, speaking to experts and commissioning research. However, we should not wait to discuss this issue with local people until we have the full picture. We want the public to be involved from the start.

NWAA: The West Cumbrian Managing Radioactive Waste Safely partnership is to be congratulated on its recent information drive designed to encourage local residents to express their views on taking the next step in hosting a repository for higher activity waste. However, throughout the documentation and the DVD provided to facilitate discussion, there is almost no mention of the issue which will be pivotal in deciding whether or not the repository is acceptable to the public of West Cumbria – safety. Safety will undoubtedly be the key factor in deciding people’s views, yet information relating to the topic is virtually absent from the partnership material. Although CoRWM recommended disposal, the recommendation was heavily qualified and conditional on an intensified research and development programme to reduce the level of scientific and technical uncertainty around disposal to the point where it was felt safe to proceed. We have not yet reached that point and are indeed a long way from it. Earlier this year, Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates (NWAA) – an independent group with expertise in radio-chemistry, nuclear waste policy, radiation risks and planning – compiled a technical report on disposal, following an initiative at a meeting with the Environment Agency. This report lists more than 100 technical and scientific issues which need to be addressed at generic and site-specific levels before the sort of confidence the NDA apparently already places on disposal could be justified. Among those issues are: how to contain and isolate radioactive material while at the same time allowing hydrogen gas to escape, an issue which contradicts the ‘safety in the multi-barrier concept’; our lack of understanding of the impact of low levels of exposure to radioactivity; the fact that gassified radioactive carbon could escape from the repository over a very short space of time (decades) giving a much higher than predicted dose to the people above; the uncertainties which surround the longevity of various types of packaging; microbial activity and general swiftness of decay of packaging. These issues are recognised now. Matters relating to safety, and, moreover, the means by which these safety uncertainties are to be addressed, must be put before the Cumbrian public as soon as possible. The issues register compiled by NWAA exists today and is in the possession of the partnership. It is time the findings of the register were made known by the partnership to all interested citizens and groups of Cumbria.

Whitehaven News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Anti nuclear campaigners are using characters from Lake District author Beatrix Potter’s books to get their message out. Campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland have produced pictures showing a relative of Mrs Tiggywinkle’s washing clothes in a stream with barrels of nuclear waste in. They have been produced to mark ‘Managing Radioactive Waste Safely ‘Drop In’ meetings taking place in Lakeland towns and villages over the next two weeks.

Lakeland Radio 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Northern Indymedia 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Hinkley Point nuclear power station, where EDF Energy hopes to build a new reactor and has obtained permission to move a colony of badgers from the proposed site. Energy giant EDF Energy has been accused of breaching conservation guidelines in moving a colony of badgers off land earmarked for Somerset’s proposed new nuclear power station. The work was carried out with a licence from wildlife watchdog Natural England. According to the Badger Trust, the legally-protected animals should only be moved “as a last resort”. However, EDF Energy won permission to move them from the site of the proposed Hinkley C power station well before planning permission has been considered.

This is Somerset 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Western Morning News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Sizewell

A NEW by-pass on the A12 and putting Leiston back on the passenger rail map are likely to be among the demands before Sizewell C can be built.

Evening Star 20th Nov 2010 more >>

Sellafield

West Cumbria will receive a £5 billion cash injection if a new nuclear plant is built at Sellafield, a Government minister said. Energy Minister Charles Hendry said the area could look forward to a construction-led boom if a new reactor is built on land earmarked for development north of the existing nuclear site. Sellafield is among 10 potential locations chosen by ministers for the UK’s next generation of nuclear power plants. But Mr Hendry reiterated that companies wanting to build new plants will have to stump up the cash themselves and will not be handed Government subsidies.

Cumberland News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Whitehaven News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

SELLAFIELD admitted yesterday that bags of workers’ underwear were scattered on the road at Hensingham – but they said none of it was contaminated by radioactivity.

Whitehaven News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Oldbury

The Department for Energy and Climate Change are to attend a public consultation meeting to consider Oldbury as a possible location of any future nuclear power stations ten other sites are also being considered at this time. The consultation will take place on Thursday 16 December between 7pm–9pm at Severnside Hall, Thornbury Leisure Centre, BS35 3JB. Anyone is welcome to attend and no registration is required.

Patchway Town Council 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Studsvik

THE first-ever Business Awards hosted by Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) saw a special award go to Studsvik UK.

Whitehaven News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Areva

France still hopes to pin down by year-end a capital increase to fund development at its nuclear champion Areva CPEFi.PA, though the transaction could be a two-step process, a top official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Reuters 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Britain’s plans to use French expertise to build next generation nuclear reactors are now facing uncertainty as relations between EDF, the French electricity giant, and Areva, France’s nuclear power station operator, have touched a nadir. Poor relations between the two French companies have now raised fears whether they would be able to complete the British nuclear energy projects in which they are partners on time and within budget. EDF’s chief executive Henri Proglio wants to raise his company’s stake in Areva from 2.4 per cent to 6 per cent. Though the move has the support of French president Nicholas Sarkozy, it is being opposed by Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon who is said to be desperate to stay out of EDF’s reach in France. At the same time, Proglio is striving to prevent Mitsubishi Heavy Industry from joining Areva’s 15 per cent capital hike.

New Statesman 24th Nov 2010 more >>

They have been earmarked by the Government to build Britain’s next generation of nuclear reactors in the hope that French expertise will prevent an energy crisis once existing power stations are closed down. But relations between EDF, the French state-controlled electricity giant, and Areva, France’s nuclear power station operator, are so poor that fears are growing about their ability to complete the British project on time and within budget.

Times 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Westinghouse

Westinghouse Electric Company has secured a contract to provide engineering services to Asociacion Nuclear Asco Vandellos (ANAV) nuclear plants in Spain.

Energy Business Review 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Uranium

Cameco, a Saskatchewan-based uranium producer, has entered into an agreement with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding (CGNPC) to supply 29 million pounds of uranium concentrate under a long-term agreement through 2025.

Energy Business Review 24th Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

Assuming Stuxnet is aimed at Iran’s nuclear programme, could a similar cyber bug be used to wreck a uranium enrichment plant unveiled by ally North Korea? The answer, in theory, is yes, say security specialists who monitor international efforts to check the military ambitions of the secretive nuclear-armed country. Also in theory, the plant at the North’s main atomic complex may already be infected by the customised malware, its key parts destined to turn gradually into worthless scrap metal. But North Korea’s isolation and tight state control mean that in practice the country would probably be an even tougher target than Iran for any attempt to use cyber warfare to cripple the production of fissile material for an atom bomb.

Reuters 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Canada

Updated long-term energy plans issued by Ontario see the need for up to 2000 MWe of new nuclear capacity by 2030 as the Canadian province continues to work towards its goal of phasing out coal-fired generation.

World Nuclear News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Thailand

Japan Atomic Power Co (Japco) has signed a technical cooperation agreement with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to provide support on the construction of nuclear power plants in the country. Under the cooperation agreement, Japco will provide EGAT with technical assistance on the introduction of nuclear power generation and will provide training for EGAT engineers. Thailand has completed preliminary studies for building its first nuclear power plant, which it plans to have in operation by 2020.

World Nuclear News 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Kuwait

Kuwait, the fifth-biggest oil producer among OPEC members, plans to build four nuclear power reactors by 2022, joining a drive for atomic energy among Gulf countries seeking alternative sources of electricity.

Alexanders Gas and Oil 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Renewables

Tom Singh, the man who has dressed millions of British women from his New Look shops, has invested millions of pounds in green energy through the purchase of a 10 per cent stake in mO3 Power, a renewable energy company that wants to cover Britain’s farmland with solar panels. A flotation of Mr Singh’s fashion chain was postponed this year when institutional investors balked at the price tag demanded by its majority private equity owners Apax and Permira. But the float is set to be revived next year, handing Mr Singh a multimillion-pound pay day. The millionaire has invested £40 million in mO3, which is seeking to raise about ten times that amount by the spring, and already has persuaded investors to part with £130 million. The company has made planning applications for 34 solar parks, which are expected to be built on about 1,000 acres in South Wales, Norfolk, Yorkshire and Cheshire.

Times 25th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 25 November 2010

24 November 2010

Radwaste

Carlisle residents have joined the debate on whether nuclear waste should be dumped in west Cumbria. A drop-in event at the Old Town Hall gave them the chance to have their say on proposals for an underground disposal site. It was part of a public consultation by the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership.

Carlisle News & Star 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

NATIONAL Grid has called in independent consultants to analyse the option of routing a huge power line planned for North Somerset and Somerset underground or under the Severn Estuary.

Weston Mercury 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Energy giant EDF Energy has been blasted for breaching conservation guidelines and forcing a colony of badgers off land earmarked for controversial new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in north Somerset. Environmentalists warn that future corner-cutting could put lives at risk if construction of the two new reactors gets the green light.

Stop Nuclear Power 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Sizewell

A NEW bypass on the A12 cutting journey times between Lowestoft and Ipswich and major improvements for rail passengers in waveney could be among the benefits to local communities if a new Sizewell C nuclear plant is given the go-ahead.

Lowestoft Journal 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Suffolk taxpayers are not gonna have to pay for the public consultation into whether a third nuclear power station should be built. EDF Energy’s agreed to foot the bill as the Councils look into another Sizewell for Leiston. EDF Energy has reached an agreement with Suffolk local authorities to outline the way they will work together in the planning process for the proposed Sizewell C power station. The Planning Performance Agreement has been set up in accordance with a process established by the Government and has been designed to ease the financial burden on local authorities when tasked with evaluating nationally significant infrastructure projects.

Town 102 FM 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Bradwell

A public meeting regarding Nuclear Power at Bradwell will be held on Wednesday, 1st of December at 7pm. The meeting will be held at the Mica Centre in West Mersea. Residents will have to opportunity to discuss any issues they have with Hergen Haye, Head of New Nuclear at the Department of Energy (DECC) and Andy Blowers, Chair of Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG).

Colchester Borough Council 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

THE Government’s head of new nuclear development is to speak to Mersea islanders, worried about plans to build a second power station over the water in Bradwell.

Hergen Haye, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, will outline the Government plans at meeting in West Mersea, organised by Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group.

Gazette 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Scotland

Letters: (1) There are doubts about the cost and future reliability of electricity supply in Scotland. Hunterston B has a capacity of 1320MW. The output of the station supplies a large proportion of electricity demand in Scotland . It is rapidly nearing the end of its natural life. I would like to ask Jim Mather, the Energy Minister, one simple question. If, on a windless day across Scotland when no wind generators are providing power and Hunterson has come to the end of generation, where is the electricity coming from to keep the grid system fully functional? (2) Your correspondents repeat a number of myths surrounding the renewables industry in Scotland. Readers should know that official Government reports show that renewables provided more than one-fifth of our electricity demand last year, equating to 18% of our total generation. Most of this is split roughly 50-50 between onshore wind and hydropower. The proportion of our demand from renewables is set to rise substantially over the next few years as new projects come on line, and huge growth is seen in the off shore wind, wave and tidal sectors. All forms of energy generation are intermittent, with sharp impacts on the network when a large power plant suddenly comes offline. However, National Grid has confirmed that a large and growing proportion of renewables on the system is entirely manageable. We have been able to reach, well ahead of schedule, each renewables target set by the Government, and this is why the First Minister announced an am bitious increase to our renewable electricity target to 80% by 2020. If we are to be the global leaders in renewables and win the massive economic prize it presents, we have to maintain our commitment to secure, sustainable energy as well as our moral commitment to reduce carbon emissions. (3) Neil Craig tells us everything about the Scottish Government report on which he relies except the date. It is on the web the date is January 19, 2006, and it uses figures for 2002. I could find nothing more recent. I could not find the figure for r enewables when I skimmed it, but 11% sounds about right for 2002. A lot has happened since 2002, including the commissioning of many wind farms. The Governments High Level Summary of Statistics Trend for electricity generation, updated on December 23, 2009, was the most recent figure I could find. That gives a figure of 18% for renewables in 2008 and it states: The amount of electricity generated from non-hydro renewable sources in Scotland increased from 0.6% in 2000 to 8.6% in 2008. Wind has probably overtaken hydro now. I havent checked Colin R McInness figures but, assuming they are true, there were 25.8 million households in the UK in the second quarter of 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics. So even if all the 200m per year came out of household electricity bills, that was only an average of 7.75 per year on a household bill. Money well spent to reduce carbon emissions. The cost estimates of professional engineers have not been too accu rate in the past. The Royal Academy of Engineering produced a very poor report on the cost of wind farms in 2004, a report which was easily shown to be wrong. I am old enough to remember the old Central Electricity Generating Board telling us that electricity produced from Sizewell B cost 2.3p per kilowatt hour in 1988; a few years later the figure was 6.25p.

Herald 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

FRESH doubts over plans for four biomass energy plants have been raised after a Nationalist MSP launched a parliamentary bid to block the schemes. Shirley-Anne Somerville has won cross-party backing for a campaign calling for the Scottish Government to halt large-scale schemes such as those proposed for Leith, Dundee, Grangemouth and Rosyth. The “green energy” plants proposed by the firm Forth Energy would generate electricity from woodchips, the majority of which would come from forests overseas, although some Scottish chips would be used. Although the company has insisted it will use “sustainable” sources for the 1 billion venture, some of the material will be shipped to Scotland from as far afield as Canada and the US. Ms Somerville insists no biomass plants should be given the go-ahead until concerns have been addressed over their environment al credentials and detailed research has been carried out into the impact they will have on local communities.

Scotsman 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Companies

YORKSHIRE engineer Newburgh is set for a period of major growth after winning a contract worth up to £20m with nuclear reactor designer Westinghouse Electric UK. The Rotherham-based family firm will supply in-core reactor fuel components to be used at British nuclear power stations.

Yorkshire Post 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Aldermaston

Staff at the company that provides warheads for Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons system, are to walk out for the first time in a row over pay.

BBC 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Ships

Babcock International’s marine division has completed a study to investigate the commercial implications of developing a nuclear-powered liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier – a move the engineering firm says would be a first for LNG vessels.

Professional Engineering 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Depleted Uranium

A Private Members Bill that would ban all weapons containing depleted uranium in Ireland has passed through the upper house – making it only the second time a Private Members Bill has done so. The bill will now be considered by the parliament’s lower house.

International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons 18th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran had to suspend its nuclear work earlier this month and delayed plans to make fuel for a reactor, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report that shows the country’s nuclear drive may have run into technical difficulties. The number of installed centrifuges that Iran uses to enrich uranium, the heavy metal used to fuel nuclear power plants and construct atomic bombs, fell to 8,426 from 8,856 three months ago, the IAEA said today in a restricted report obtained by Bloomberg News. Iran had to stop producing uranium on Nov. 16 and delayed installing machinery used to build nuclear fuel panels, the nine-page report said.

Bloomberg 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Iran’s nuclear programme was shutdown for a day according to a report by the world nuclear watchdog as the country fends off claims that Western sabotage efforts are taking a toll on the programme.

Telegraph 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Guardian 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran’s nuclear chief has remained defiant in response to mounting evidence that the Stuxnet worm has caused significant damage to the country’s uranium enrichment programme.

Yahoo 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

President Barack Obama has set the goal of eventually ridding the world of nuclear arms as a central theme of his presidency, but North Korea’s defiance and other recent setbacks have raised fresh doubts about whether he can turn his vision into reality.

Yahoo 24th Nov2010 more >>

Today’s exchange of fire highlights increasingly sour relations between North and South Korea but of more concern is the possible size and viability of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

Channel 4 News 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea’s attack on South Korean forces stationed on Yeonpyeongdo island underlines the seriousness of the global nuclear threat, something many of us fondly imagined had ended with the Cold War. It isn’t that the Korean fighting signals the coming of an East Asian nuclear apocalypse – but it does demonstrate just how nuclear weapons fundamentally transform geopolitical equations. No great imagination is needed to understand what North Korea now seeks. South Korea is one of the engines of Asian prosperity, on which the world’s hopes of an early economic recovery rest. By attacking an island of no strategic value, North Korea’s dysfunctional but eminently rational regime is telling the world how much pain it could inflict if it isn’t bribed to behave itself. Both sides want wealth, not war – and nuclear weapons are North Korea’s means to extract it.

Telegraph 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea, which fired dozens of artillery shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong this morning, could make one or two bombs’ worth of enriched uranium per year if its new enrichment facility is fully operational, a nuclear analyst says.

New Scientist 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

China

The China Nuclear Energy Association has recommended the government adopt a 2020 target of 70 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity, but companies in the sector are pushing for more, association Vice-Chairman Zhao Chenkun told Reuters on Wednesday.

Reuters 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Westinghouse Electric has handed over more than 75,000 documents to its Chinese customers as the initial part of a technology transfer agreement. The documents relate to the construction of the four third-generation AP1000 reactors that Westinghouse is building in China.

FT 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Test Veterans

Atomic bomb test veterans from Dundee and Kirkcaldy say they will continue their fight for the truth after top judges dashed their hopes of compensation.

Dundee Courier 24th Nov 2010 more >>

A TOP legal team fighting for justice on behalf of elderly Christmas Island nuclear test veterans are preparing to take their case to the Supreme Court.

Paisley Daily Express 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

A nuclear test veteran has spoken of his disappointment after he and hundreds of others had their compensation hopes dashed. Arthur Hart, 73, developed life-threatening cancer after observing atomic bomb tests while serving in the Royal Navy.

Manchester Evening News 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Coal

The Conservatives are set to break a key pre-election pledge on the environment and allow new coal plants to pump far bigger quantities of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. As a recently as October last year, in a key note speech to environmentalists, David Cameron promised to introduce rules requiring new power stations to be as clean as a modern gas plant. But the Guardian has learned that ministers are planning to raise the limit on emissions to almost double that amount when the government publishes wide-ranging proposals on reforming the electricity market next month.

Guardian 24th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 24 November 2010

23 November 2010

Planning

The Localism Bill will amend the regime for authorising nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) introduced by the Planning Act 2008. It is likely to amend the Planning Act to require National Policy Statements (NPSs) to be approved by a vote in Parliament. This was a pledge of the Conservatives before the election, but is only referred to obliquely in the Coalition Agreement when setting out the Lib Dems’ dispensations on nuclear power. It is likely to amend references to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) to refer instead to the Planning Inspectorate (or the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit of it), which will take over consideration of NSIPs from April 2012. MIPU will examine applications but decisions will be made by the government, as is currently the case until National Policy Statements have been finalised. We are expecting the government to give itself a three-month deadline for making decisions once MIPU has made a recommendation.

Bircham Dyson & Bell 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

The first of a series of meetings on proposals for a nuclear waste dump in west Cumbria have been held. The proposals, which would see an underground storage facility built between Whitehaven and Millom, were discussed at a drop-in session last week. The session, organised by the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, took place in Millom Network Centre and was attended by more than 100 people. Further sessions take place this week, starting today in Carlisle at the Old Town Hall.

Cumberland News 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Oldbury

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy is holding a series of lectures – an nideal opportunity to learn what DECC and Horizon have planned for the Severn Vale – on 27th November.

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Bradwell

THE Government’s head of new nuclear development has agreed to visit West Mersea to speak to residents worried about a power station being built in Bradwell. Hergen Haye, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), will outline the Government plans at the meeting, organised by campaign group Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (Banng). And Professor Andy Blowers is urging everyone to attend as it could turn out to be the last chance for people to convince the Government to stop a new nuclear power station from being built in Bradwell.

Gazette 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Kazakhstan

The Kazakh and U.S. governments recently moved about 100 tons of high-grade plutonium from a poorly secured location on the Caspian Sea to a better-secured secret location at the diagonally opposite corner of Kazakhstan.

IEEE 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

The reported sighting of more than 1,000 centrifuges at North Korea’s main nuclear complex appears to confirm it is working to create a second source of arms-grade nuclear material.

Yahoo 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

The US special envoy for North Korea said Pyongyang’s claim of a new uranium enrichment facility is provocative and disappointing but not a crisis or a surprise. Washington, he vowed, will keep working with its regional partners in response.

Independent 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear experts are trying to reach a balanced view about the revelation that North Korea has built a modern plant for the enrichment of uranium.

BBC 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Italy

An octogenarian cancer surgeon chosen by Berlusconi to lead the relaunch of Italy’s nuclear industry says he did not really want the job and that his appointment may yet be stalled by the possible collapse of the centre-right government. With Italy the only member of the G8 without nuclear power, restoring the country’s industry after a 23-year moratorium was a major policy platform in Mr Berlusconi’s 2008 election campaign. But paralysis within the government caused by corruption scandals and internal rifts has set the timetable back.

FT 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

When news of the Stuxnet worm hitting Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant came out back in September, officials claimed that it had not caused any serious damage.

However Ollie Heinonen, formerly of the United Nations nuclear inspections team has told Reuters news agency that the worm could have caused centrifuges at the plant to fail. Stuxnet was first discovered in June, after which 160 centrifuges were taken offline at the plant in just a couple of months, leading to speculation that the malware could have interfered with the speed of the motors, damaging Iran’s nuclear capability.

Techwatch 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Devonport

David Cameron has quashed speculation that Devonport will be reduced to a nuclear “graveyard” by stating the Westcountry will have a “proper naval base”. The Prime Minister made the pledge after last month’s strategic and security defence review (SDSR) spelled out a potentially bleak future for Western Europe’s biggest naval dock. Under the worst-case scenario, analysts have suggested Devonport’s flotilla could consist of just one warship in ten years’ time, compared to 20 today.

Plymouth Herald 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

The latest NIS update includes news about a forthcoming mock weapons inspection at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) that will be undertaken under the auspices of the UK-Norway Initiative; AWE plc’s bid to take control of the Coulport nuclear weapons store; and industrial action planned by AWE staff. You can also read about recent nuclear emergency exercises at Aldermaston and Devonport, and about the plans of the permanent members of the UN Security Council to meet to discuss nuclear arms control.

Nuclear Information Service Oct/Nov 2010 more >>

Convoy drivers hired to transport US nuclear weapons have been arrested for being drunk and getting involved in bar brawls, according to a report by the US Energy Department’s watchdog.

Belfast Telegraph 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Independent 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Daily Mail 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Test Veterans

The Court of Appeal’s decision to deny ex-servicemen compensation for the injuries they say they suffered during Cold War nuclear tests more than 50 years ago, is a setback for the thousands who were watching the test cases anxiously.

BBC 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Independent 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Metro 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

British veterans involved in Cold War nuclear tests in the 1950s will take their case for compensation to the Supreme Court after the Ministry of Defence won the bulk of its appeal against their claims for damages.

Scotsman 23rd Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 23 November 2010

22 November 2010

Hinkley

If all goes according to EDF’s plan, in six months’ time this 400-acre plot of muddy fields and hedgerows beside Hinkley Point nuclear power station will be the biggest construction site in Europe with workers building Britain’s first new nuclear plant in almost 25 years. As well as being a €10 billion (£8.5 billion) showcase for France’s state-owned nuclear industry, by the time that two European pressurised reactors are due to enter service here in 2019 Hinkley C will be Britain’s second biggest power station exceeded in electrical output only by Drax, the coal-fired plant in Yorkshire. Seated in EDF’s comfortable Somerset headquarters, a terraced Georgian townhouse in Bridgwater, Richard Mason, EDF’s director of external affairs, can barely conceal his excitement. “It is a fantastic amount of energy,” he says. “We believe it is the right thing to do. Hinkley C is going to produce 3,300 megawatts about 6 per cent of the country’s electricity. ”

Times 22nd November 2010 more >>

EDF is preparing to start major works on a €10 billion nuclear power station project early next year well over 12 months before it is expected to receive formal approval to build a reactor on the site. The French state-owned energy company, which operates 58 reactors in its home country, will submit a planning application within days to West Somerset District Council for “preparation works” at the site, at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Times 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

Into eternity: the movie

November 2010 more >>

Dungeness

Further doubt has been cast on the future of nuclear power at Dungeness after a Government minister reiterated the coalition’s opposition to a new atomic plant at the site. Folkestone and Hythe Tory MP Damian Collins secured a Parliamentary debate on the subject on Tuesday, but was told environmental concerns surrounding the proposal had not been allayed. Energy minister Gregory Barker said: “Dungeness failed because we do not believe a new nuclear power station could be built there without causing adverse impacts on the integrity of the special area of conservation, or that the impacts could be avoided or even substantially mitigated. “Given the particular adverse effects, the Government does not consider listing Dungeness is justified. I know that will come as a disappointment to my honourable friend, but I also know he will continue with his campaign. “Although I have given him our clear and stated view, we remain open to new evidence.”

Kent News 20th Nov 2010 more >>

Energy Supplies

Concerns were sparked as ministers announced that they are prepared to fund a £1bn trial project looking at “carbon capture and storage” for gas, where emissions are siphoned off and stored underground. The funding had previously only been available for coal, which is twice as pollutive. Fears are mounting in the industry that the Government will insist all gas stations comply with strict standards on emissions by the end of the decade. This would entail gas power station owners having to fit equipment to remove carbon dioxide – called “carbon capture and storage”.

Telegraph 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

EDF

The future of lectricit de France SA lies primarily in nuclear energy, but probably not in the U.S. at least according to Henri Proglio, the French power group’s chairman and chief executive. Mr. Proglio admits he is one of the few top-ranking business executives in France without an American dream. For EDF, the world’s biggest nuclear operator, the U.S. represents “a significant stake but not an essential one,” he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview in his central Paris office.

Wall Street Journal 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

OECD/NEA

The UK caused surprise at a 20 October meeting of the NEA steering committee when its representative declared the country’s unwillingness to fund its contribution from central budgets. Britain said it would soon file an official letter of intent to withdraw from the NEA by the end of 2011, although this has not yet been received. Should the country find a new way to fund its contribution to the NEA, it said, the letter would be withdrawn.

Your Nuclear News 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

The US is trying to restart moribund nuclear disarmament talks over North Korea after the communist leadership there showed off a new and highly sophisticated uranium enrichment plant.

Belfast Telegraph 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Independent 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Scotsman 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Daily Mail 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

The US has urged China to help rein in North Korea’s nuclear programme after reports of an extensive uranium enrichment facility.

FT 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

A new nuclear crisis was looming in Asia today, after it emerged that North Korea had made far more progress than previously thought in enriching uranium.

Guardian 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Evidence of a new North Korean nuclear plant is disappointing and provocative, says the top US envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth.

BBC 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea does not as a rule give American academics tours of its most sensitive nuclear sites. Siegried Hecker was shown around Yongbyon not out of a sudden spirit of scientific openness, but to send a message to Washington. That message said: not only are we enriching uranium, we are already very good at it. Hecker, who used to run the US nuclear weapons laboratories at Los Alamos, was whisked around the new enrichment facility with his mouth agape. The place was much bigger than he imagined and much more modern.

Guardian 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Disarmament

Arms controls advocates and nuclear weapons experts are divided over whether Nato’s new strategic concept represents a step towards disarmament.

Guardian Blog 21st Nov 2010 more >>

Uncertainty over ratifying a landmark nuclear treaty not only throws into doubt the “reset” in US-Russia ties but also broader US policies on Iran, Afghanistan and arms control, analysts say. US President Barack Obama and his team have launched a counter-attack in support of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) since Republican Senator Jon Kyl suggested it may not be ratified in the Senate this year.

Middle East Online 21st Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

Plans to dismantle nuclear submarines would blight Plymouth and damage development of a clean maritime future for the whole South West peninsula, Liberal Democrats claim. Britain has 27 nuclear submarines, of which 16 have been decommissioned and are stored afloat either at Devonport or Rosyth in Scotland, awaiting dismantling. Storage capacity will run out by 2020. The Ministry of Defence Submarine Dismantling Project expects the work to last for decades at one of a number of short-listed sites, one of which is Devonport. But the Lib Dems have demanded a city-wide debate.

Plymouth Herald 22nd Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 22 November 2010

21 November 2010

Radwaste

RESIDENTS have slammed plans for a nuclear waste dump on their doorstep. The proposals, which would see an underground storage facility built between Millom and Whitehaven, were discussed at a drop-in session yesterday. The session, organised by the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, took place in Millom Network Centre and was attended by more than 100 people. The partnership was formed in 2008 after the government launched a search for an underground storage facility for nuclear waste. Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council are so far the only authorities to register their interest. However, the decision on whether to have the facility rests with the public. The site would be situated between 200m and 1,000m below the surface and despite an initial geological survey being completed, no potential sites would be named for another five to 10 years. Millom hosted the first of 10 drop-in sessions to gauge public opinion to the scheme, as part of an ongoing consultation. Frances Rand, of Silecroft, voiced concerns for tourism in the county. She said: “I find it horrifying to think anything could spoil the National Park – it is one of our national treasures. It brings an enormous amount of money into the area through tourism but as soon as you start to mention nuclear waste, tourism could be gone.” Martin Forewood, chairman of Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment, said a surface storage facility provided a better option. He said: “We don’t believe a geological storage facility is the right management option.

NW Evening Mail 20th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Stop Hinkley Newsletter

SHE November 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

Construction work on the UK’s new Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre was officially started this week by Her Majesty the Queen, who visited the site accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. The Nuclear AMRC is a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester, with the backing of the Government and of companies involved in building the new generation of civil nuclear power stations, such as Areva, Westinghouse, Rolls-Royce, Sheffield Forgemasters and Tata Steel Europe.

IET 19th Nov 2010 more >>

Litvinenko

Scotland Yard is investigating a claim that the Russian secret police received a consignment of polonium just nine weeks before the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London with a cup of tea laced with the radioactive substance. If true, it is one of the strongest clues yet to link Moscow with the assassination of the dissident.

Sunday Times 21st Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Britain is to further restrict exports to Iran after the government admitted there was a risk that specialist equipment currently approved for sale to the Middle Eastern country could help it develop its nuclear programme. Until this month the government had allowed British companies to export items such as nickel alloy pipes, vacuum pumps, radiation detectors, spectrometers, heat furnaces and specialised gaskets.

Observer 21st Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

An American nuclear scientist says he was shown a vast new nuclear facility when he visited North Korea last week. Dr Siegfried Hecker said he had been shown hundreds of centrifuges for enriching uranium, which can be used for making nuclear weapons. The Stanford University scientist was stunned at how sophisticated the new plant was, he told The New York Times.

BBC 21st Nov 2010 more >>

Trident

PRIME Minister David Cameron has defended the decision to delay Trident at a cost of more than £1bn to the taxpayer.

NW Evening Mail 20th Nov 2010 more >>

Disarmament

US president closes Nato summit with appeal to approve New Start treaty struck with Moscow.

Observer 21st Nov 2010 more >>

US senators must decide, but in Poland’s view, Nato and Europe have everything to gain from this nuclear arms control treaty

Guardian Comment 20th Nov 2010 more >>

Coal

A highly controversial plan for a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire looks doomed because Scottish ministers have quietly withdrawn their backing for the scheme. A new Scottish Government policy statement on electricity generation does not endorse the £3 billion plant proposed by Clydeport’s owners, Peeling Holdings. Instead it makes plain that Scotland’s electricity needs can be met without it, due to the large projected growth in wind power and other renewables. This is a dramatic shift from the government’s 2008 National Planning Framework, which supported the Hunterston coal station as a national development needed to meet electricity demand. An application to build the plant has been met by more than 16,000 objections, with environmental campaigners, faith groups and local businesses uniting to oppose the development. It was also the subject of a legal challenge in the Court of Session last week from a bird watcher, claiming local people were not consulted on the need for the plant. But the new policy, posted online last Wednesday – the same day as the budget – signals a change of heart by Scottish ministers. “There is no current need for an increase in overall thermal capacity,” the policy statement says.

Sunday Herald 21st Nov 2010 more >>

Engineers are testing equipment for Britain’s first full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) device. The lessons learned on this windswept corner of Fife will be used to design a full-scale machine that could turn coal-burning power plants into eco-friendly generating stations.

Observer 21st Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 21 November 2010