News September 2010

30 September 2010

New Nukes

Letter: Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Scotland Forum’s negative views on nuclear power (Letters, 28 September) may be sincerely stated but offer no alternative other than variable renewable supplies. During the past 24 hours, wind energy has contributed only 1 per cent of the total grid demand, hydro energy and pump storage a further 2.4 per cent. As fossil fuel supplies diminish, what alternative to nuclear supply do NFLA offer? Even if the Scottish landscape was covered in windmills, there would be many days when we would have to import electricity from England, Wales, France and Ireland or face frequent power cuts. Wave energy was being experimented with when I was at university in the 1960s. How far have we got in 50 years? Fossil fuel generates 85 per cent of our electricity. Eventually, coal and gas generation has to be replaced, and energy saving on a massive scale will be required in addition to new power stations. I would suggest that if the question put to the 1,000 people in the recent Scotsman poll had been “Nuclear power or power cuts and rationing?” the result might have been very different.

Scotsman 30th Sept 2010 more >>

Hinkley

County Councillors will come together this Thursday (30 September) at a special Cabinet Meeting to consider EDF’s proposals for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The meeting, which will take place at 2pm at the Bridgwater and Albion RFC, will give Councillors a final chance to debate the proposals and to finalise Somerset County Council’s response to EDF’s Stage 2 consultation. Members of the public are welcome to attend the special Cabinet Meeting. Anyone wishing to speak must submit their question or statement in writing by noon, the day before the meeting.

Somerset County Gazette 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Bradwell

Costain has been awarded by Magnox South Ltd a framework contract for the delivery of Fuel Element Debris (“FED”) Dissolution at Bradwell nuclear power station. The framework is part of the station’s accelerated decommissioning programme, with similar programmes at other Magnox Sites namely, Hinkley Point, Sizewell and Oldbury to be awarded.

Builder & Engineer 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Building 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Radwaste

GREENPEACE has called for the government to release its findings on what areas of West Cumbria may or may not be suitable for burying high-level radioactive waste. The findings of the geological survey were due to be disclosed to a meeting of West Cumbria’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safety Partnership. But the local authority-led partnership, as reported in last week’s Whitehaven News, has had to call off this week’s scheduled meeting after running short of government funding. As a result, the Department of Energy & Climate Change has decided to delay publication of the survey outcome. Greenpeace says: “The report contains information on those areas of Allerdale and Copeland that may be considered suitable to host a geological disposal facility for higher activity legacy and new (nuclear) build wastes.” “The government line on new reactors is that the process of deciding on nuclear waste disposal is progressing smoothly. “Now it’s clear they’re not so sure. Lack of funding for those councils involved is a major problem but more of a headache for government is the potential outcry in those areas that find themselves on a possible waste disposal with non-nuclear areas listed as potential dumping grounds.”

Whitehaven News 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Letter from Tim Knowles: I would like to reassure Marianne Birkby that the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership has been set up to encourage discussion about the possibility of having a geological disposal facility for higher activity radioactive wastes in West Cumbria. This community Partnership includes a wide range of organisations from across Cumbria such as local authorities, parish councillors, the Lake District National Park Authority, Churches Together in Cumbria, the National Farmers Union, trades unions and others. Our role is to give advice to Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council before they decide whether West Cumbria should take part in the process of finding a suitable site for a repository. We are looking at geological disposal – in an engineered facility at least 200 metres underground – because this is Government policy, based on the recommendation by an independent group of experts, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. It is also the preferred way of disposing of this waste in countries around the world such as Finland and Sweden.

Carlisle News and Star 29th Sept 2010 more >>

As part of International Day of Action on Nuclear Waste, Cumbrian group Radiation Free Lakeland have sent a message to Lakeland Leaders including Cumbria County Council, The Bishop of Carlisle, Cumbria Tourism and the Lake District National Park Authority asking that they take two actions to ensure Cumbria has a viable future. The attached Map, “A Pictorial View of the Lakes Nuclear Sacrifice Zone?” will be hand delivered to the Leaders on 29th Sept. Action 1 – Stop Radioactive Wastes going into Landfill; Action 2 – Oppose the Geological Disposal of High Level Nuclear Wastes. Cumbria County Council and nuclear industry representatives are discussing how they can best accommodate the new deregulation of the nuclear industry which now allows nuclear waste into landfill. Lillyhall landfill in West Cumbria is already recieving nuclear waste from Chapel Cross nuclear plant in Scotland. The Cumbrian landfill operator has applied to take even higher level wastes. Keekle Head a former mine, quarry and near the source of the important River Keekle is earmarked to take similar dangerous wastes to those that are currently stored at Drigg.

Northern Indymedia 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Cumbria

BRITAIN’S Energy Coast West Cumbria expects to take an early £5 million “hit” to its hopes of launching key projects in Copeland and Allerdale. Nuclear money is a saving grace – Sellafield parent body Nuclear Management Partners are putting around £22 million to help finance the Masterplan over the next few years.

Whitehaven News 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Aldermaston

Claims in last Sunday’s Observer that a fire at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston was “out of control” have been dismissed by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

info4fire 30th Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran’s first nuclear power plant has been forced to delay when it will begin supplying energy by several months, following the spread of a global computer virus. Little information is available on how much damage, if any, Iran’s nuclear and wider infrastructure has suffered from Stuxnet and Tehran will probably never disclose full details. Some analysts believe Iran may be suffering wider sabotage aimed at slowing its nuclear advances, pointing to a series of unexplained technical glitches that have cut the number of working centrifuge machines at the Natanz enrichment plant.

Telegraph 30th Sept 2010 more >>

The first computer virus designed to damage targets in the real world has not hit Iran’s nuclear power plant, the country’s Government has claimed.

Sky News 29th Sept 2010 more >>

North Korea

North Korea on Wednesday vowed to strengthen its nuclear arsenal because of the threat from the United States, and never to abandon its deterrent.

Yahoo 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Japan

Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) aims to raise up to 555 billion ($6.6 billion) through the sale of shares and put a large part of the money towards investment in new nuclear power plants.

World Nuclear News 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Sri Lanka

Environmentalists in Sri Lanka have expressed concern over government plans to build a nuclear power plant by 2025. Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka announced that the government intends to build the plant to fulfil increasing demands for energy.

BBC 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

The possibility of a “shared” UK-French nuclear deterrent is set to be on the agenda of a summit between David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy in London this autumn. A politically explosive proposal for joint Franco-British nuclear-submarine patrols – an idea sunk without trace in the recent past – has been brought back to the surface by the draconian defence cuts in both countries.

Independent 30th Sept 2010 more >>

David Cameron is on a collision course with the Armed Forces after the military establishment threw its weight behind Liam Fox’s protest against “draconian” cuts in defence spending.

Telegraph 30th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

A group of 34 former European ministers and military officials have published a joint appeal for the tactical arsenal in Europe to be reduced and consolidated in the context of a broad reform of alliance nuclear policy. The group, calling itself the European Leadership Network has gathered some names that still have clout in Nato, including Klaus Naumann, the German former chairman of the NATO military committee and General Bernard Norlain, who was commander of the French tactical air force, as well as Ruud Lubbers, Helmut Schmidt, Hans Dietrich Genscher and Hans van den Broek. It is part of a broader effort to stop the “nuclear zero” movement from losing its momentum altogether following Barack Obama’s cautious Nuclear Posture Review and his long ongoing battle to get the Senate to ratify the New Start Treaty with Russia.

Guardian Blog 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 30 September 2010

29 September 2010

New Nukes

The construction of new nuclear facilities in the UK is essential to reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, according to foreign secretary William Hague. Mr Hague told members of the Council on Foreign Relations that the nuclear plants will have to “justify themselves economically”, the Associated Press reports. “I really see no alternative to that except excessive dependence on oil and gas, and imported liquefied natural gas,” he is quoted as saying.

Low Carbon Economy 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Lord Hunt tells party conference that coalition ’ambivalence’ to nuclear new build is a concern. Opposition to nuclear power from the Liberal Democrats risks jeopardising billions of pounds of private investment in new power stations, according to Labour’s former energy minister Lord Hunt. Philip Hunt told a Nuclear Industry Association fringe event at the Labour party conference in Manchester that the “ambivalence” of the coalition government to new build was a growing concern to the industry.

Building 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Stakeholders

Don’t you just think it’s great that while us minions are trying to make ends meet and avoid losing our jobs the NDA held it’s 11th National Conference in a five star hotel. The meeting on the 21st September was held at The Lowry Hotel, Salford , Manchester, England. It included overnight stays for at least 150 people……Party Time!! Looks as though this government (which isnt new anymore)needs to get a grip on our hard earned taxpayers money before donating it a pro nuclear quango. Interestingly enough a small group of stakeholders who have concerns about new nuclear trudged their way (those who could afford to) to Westminster yesterday to have a discussion with Senior Civil Servants and Regulators for free….gratis……nada…not a bean in expenses. Excellent value for the taxpayer but a bit lopsided one thinks?

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Hinkley

EDF has urged people to have their say in the second phase consultation on Hinkley before the consultation ends on 4th October.

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

AGRs

Babcock’s NICIE graphite core inspection technology is to be extended to Torness and Heysham 2 in a contract worth £3.1 million. The NICIE system has already been deployed at British Energy AGR Stations, Hartlepool, Heysham 1, Hinkley Point B and Hunterston. NICIE is an acronym for New In-Core Inspection Equipment. The original NICIE is operating during refuelling outages at Hartlepool and Heysham 1 and was first used in the summer of 2005.

The Engineer 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Bradwell

Nuclear power station decommissioning firm Magnox South has awarded Costain a key clean up contract at Bradwell nuclear power station. The framework deal for the delivery of Fuel Element Debris (“FED”) Dissolution is part of the station’s accelerated decommissioning programme.

Construction Enquirer 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

A £1m nuclear project has transformed prospects for the Ellesmere Port engineering services, welding, piping, refit and fabrication company and its inspection sister firm Quality Assurance NDE, which mostly work in the petro-chemical, chemical and food industries.

Liverpool Daily Post 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research/Subsidy

The UK government is to provide £2 million ($3.2 million) to help fund twenty feasibility studies aimed at stimulating innovation and strengthening the supply chain in the area of nuclear research and development (R&D) and its applications.

The funds are to be provided through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), set up by the government to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

World Nuclear News 28th Sept 2010 more >>

The Manufacturer 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Your Nuclear News 29th Sept 2010 more >>

US

Fluor Corp the largest publicly traded U.S. engineering company, said low natural gas prices resulting from a glut of shale production were holding back the development of U.S. nuclear power. Extensive drilling in shale rock has unlocked a massive amount of U.S. natural gas, weighing down prices despite a bounce in other commodity prices in the past year.

Reuters 28th Sept 2010 more >>

FT 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Germany

A Greenpeace activist projects the slogan “Nuclear power station Grundremmingen: nuclear power harms Germany” onto a cooling tower of the nuclear power station Gundremmingen in southern Germany. Greenpeace activists projected similar slogans onto 12 atomic power reactors in Germany, protesting against the decision of the German cabinet to extend the country’s reliance on nuclear power.

Telegraph 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Germany’s government has given final approval to a plan to extend the life of nuclear reactors, reversing a decision of the previous government. It hopes to pass the measures into law without putting them before the upper house of parliament, where the opposition has a majority.

BBC 28th Sept 2010 more >>

The German government has signalled its ambition to wean one of the worlds largest economies off fossil fuels by pledging to generate enough renewable energy to meet 60 per cent of the countrys energy needs by 2050. Norbert Rttgen, environment minister, said it was the most ambitious energy programme ever seen, not only in Germany. At the heart of the plan seven bills overseen by five ministries, agreed by cabinet on Tuesday lies the extension of the lives of Germanys 17 nuclear power stations, the last of which was meant to close in 12 years.

FT 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Kenya

Kenyan authorities have today announced plans to go nuclear by 2017. Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike said provisions have been made to secure an initial US$25 million for the country’s first nuclear project. The official told reporters in the capital Nairobi that nuclear would be a cheaper option towards meeting the East African country’s electricity deficit, estimated at 3000 mega watts.

Mathaba 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Niger

The chairwoman of French state-owned nuclear giant Areva is to visit the firm’s operation in Niger, the company said Monday, after Al-Qaeda militants kidnapped several of her employees there. “Anne Lauvergeon plans to visit Niger soon,” a spokesman said, declining to confirm a report that she would travel on Thursday. The purpose of her visit is to visit Areva employees in the region, the spokesman said. Areva has been criticised for failing to heed warnings of a kidnap threat that an armed group was seeking to abduct foreign workers in the desert area where seven Areva expatriates were kidnapped on September 16.

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 28th Sept 2010 more >>

China

Alstom has announced it is to supply equipment and services for six steam turbine-generator packages for three nuclear power plants in China under a contract worth €100 million ($135 million).

Your Nuclear News 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Italy

Stalled plans to relaunch Italys nuclear industry illustrate the sense of stasis. The government is more than seven months late in creating a nuclear safety agency, a crucial step towards identifying sites for nuclear waste and four nuclear power plants to be built by a joint venture of Enel, the domestic utility, and Frances EDF, which announced their plans more than 18 months ago. According to Chicco Testa, managing director of Rothschild in Rome and head of a lobby representing major companies in the nuclear industry, Mr Berlusconi has put such appointments on hold until he resolves the shifting balance of power.

FT 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

A VETERAN US air force chief has told of the “bright glowing object” he and other servicemen spotted hovering in the skies at a Suffolk air base. At a Press conference in Washington last night the servicemen broke their silence describing how they believe UFOs had tampered with nuclear missiles in the US and the UK.

East Anglian Daily Times 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

Shadow defence secretary Bob Ainsworth has had a public spat with his former aide over the replacement of Trident nuclear weapons. Mr Ainsworth accused Eric Joyce of not coming up with “a single idea” when he worked for him at the MoD. Mr Joyce said it was the “cheapest of cheap shots” and accused Mr Ainsworth of being to the right of the Tories.

He demanded an apology from his former boss after the row at a fringe meeting at Labour’s annual conference. The MP, who wants to replace Mr Ainsworth as shadow defence secretary, is calling for a full review of Labour’s foreign and defence policy – including Afghanistan and Trident – something he says was “personally” blocked by Mr Ainsworth and then foreign secretary David Miliband when Labour was in government.

BBC News 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Liam Fox, the defence secretary, has launched a big assault on the Treasury’s attempt to slash his department’s budget, warning that “draconian” cuts to military spending cannot be implemented without “grave consequences” for the Conservative party and the government.

FT 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Telegraph 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Babcock International, the defence contractor, has insisted that military spending cuts were likely to be positive for its business as it maintained the nascent pressure on budgets would lead to further outsourcing. The upbeat outlook from Babcock on Wednesday came after Liam Fox, the defence secretary, warned that “draconian” cuts could not be implemented without “grave” political consequences.

FT 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Renewables

Alex Salmond says he is confident that all of Scotland’s electricity needs will come from renewable power by 2025. The First Minister was speaking ahead of an international conference that began yesterday to debate low-carbon developments and renewable energy projects. Last week, the target to generate electricity from renewable sources was raised to a new high for Scotland, with the government now wanting 80 per cent of electricity consumption to come from renewables such as wind and wave power by 2020, up from the previous 50 per cent target.

Times 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Herald 29th Sept 2010 more >>

WHO pays? And how much? These are questions central to any debate about renewable energy. First Minister Alex Salmond may make impressive gestures, hiking the target for the amount of energy generated from renewable sources such as wind power from 50 per cent to 80 per cent by 2020. Yesterday he went further when he told a low carbon energy conference in Edinburgh of his confidence that Scotland will be generating 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy within 15 years. However, the truth is that governments can only go as far and as fast as consumers can afford – and it is the voice of paying consumers that is all too little heard. Yesterday Nick Horler, chief executive of ScottishPower, brought the conference back to reality by warning that consumers face a hike in fuel bills of up to 100 a year to pay for the switch. The average customer’s annual dual fuel bill is 1,030, with 19 going towards renewables.

Scotsman 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Elizabeth Gore, deputy director of Energy Action Scotland, the fuel poverty charity, called for a debate on how the development of renewable energy should be financed.

Ms Gore said: “I don’t think the majority of people are aware they are paying anything towards this sector. When they open their bills they focus on how much they have to pay which can be confusing in itself. “But no matter how much you earn you are still paying the same towards the cost of promoting renewable energy. “The concern now is growing that the amount which is being added on or will be added in the future is too much of a burden and those on a low income will be forced to use their heating only once a day or have one hot meal to try to save money. “If the renewables sector was financed through taxation it would take into account how much you earn.”

Scotsman 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 29 September 2010

28 September 2010

Radwaste

Today marks the start of Nuclear Waste: The Challenge of Interim Storage and Long Term Disposal. Taking place in London and organised by the Arena International Events Group, the event will bring together industry experts to explain and assess technological and strategic developments in new build waste management, packaging options and final disposal solutions.

The Engineer 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Pressure is mounting on developers of the proposed Hinkley C power station to make massive improvements to the way they plan to mitigate its impact on communities. West Somerset district councillors have followed Sedgemoor District Council in raising serious objections to EDF’s proposals for two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point. Somerset County Council is being recommended to make a “robust” response when a special cabinet meeting convenes at Bridgwater and Albion Rugby club on Thursday to debate the proposals. Hinkley is within West Somerset, where communities believe their lives will be blighted for the foreseeable future unless the French energy giant vastly improves its mitigate plans.

This is Somerset 27th Sept 2010 more >>

A special Cabinet Meeting (open to the public) will take place at the end of September. The purpose of the meeting is to consider the council’s final response to EDF Energy’s Stage 2 consultation for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, west Somerset.

The meeting will take place on 30 September 2010, 2pm at the Bridgwater and Albion Rugby Football Club

Somerset County Council 27th Sept 2010 more >>

New Nukes

THE Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West has backed Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne’s support for nuclear power. In his speech at last week’s Liberal Democrat conference, Mr Huhne reiterated the coalition Government’s support for renewable and nuclear energy supplies. Although there will be no subsidies for nuclear power, the development of new stations is believed by the Government to be vital to ensure security of supply.

This is Devon 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Scotland

Letter: Audrey Doig & Euan Mcleod: I read with delight your poll that found only 18 per cent of Scots would support building new nuclear power stations in the country. As a cross-party organisation campaigning on the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear weapons proliferation, the Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scottish Forum is pleased the vast majority of Scots agree with us. The reasons are obvious: Scotland is a country with vast resources for promoting renewable energy, whether it be hydro-electric, wind, tidal, marine or solar. Our member councils are leading the way in promoting energy efficiency and micro-generation energy projects

Scotsman 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Letter: You report that in a recent Scotsman poll 27 per cent of those asked were opposed to nuclear power. You then use this information to suggest that the electorate is in agreement with the Scottish Government in its opposition to nuclear power. I’m not sure how a poll where 73 per cent did not support government policy can be seen as representing

Scotsman 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Scotland will meet its entire electricity needs through renewable sources by 2025, Alex Salmond has predicted.

However, coal power will still be used alongside them to produce a surplus that can be sold overseas, the First Minister added yesterday. The forecast, which will be outlined to an international conference in Edinburgh today, goes beyond the Scottish Government’s previous claims on wind and wave energy.

Herald 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Politics

Andy Atkins: The new Labour party leader was the greenest candidate, and he can now put the environment at the heart of its policies.

Guardian 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Subsidy

Twenty feasibility studies aimed at stimulating innovation in civil nuclear power generation technology are to share £2 million of support from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. The studies will address a wide range of challenges, from non-destructive testing, waste handling and condition monitoring to materials modelling, advanced manufacture & maintenance technologies and construction methods. All the studies – which will last between 6 and 12 months – are industry led, many having SMEs as the project leader or a major contributor. The studies will assist UK businesses in developing technologies to support the civil nuclear industry, while strengthening the supply chain.

Process & Control Today 28th Sept 2010 more >>

EDF

EDF is rethinking the future of its US business as the French electricity group seeks to defuse a mounting dispute with Constellation Energy, its partner in its US nuclear operations. While EDF remains committed to building new nuclear plants in the US, people familiar with the matter said, the partnership with Constellation could be unwound. The companies are at loggerheads over a deal struck two years ago that allowed Constellation to sell gas and coal-fired power, generating assets to EDF for up to $2bn.

FT 28th Sept 2010 more >>

IAEA

Pakistan became the new chair of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s governing body on Monday, although it is outside a global anti-atomic arms pact and home to a smuggler who supplied nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea.

Yahoo 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Canada

Nearly 2,400 people and 50 organizations, including aboriginal groups from across Canada, the United States and Europe, have signed an online petition urging the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to block a proposal to ship 16 aging radioactive steam generators across Ontario’s Great Lakes. Critics say the plan risks turning the waterways into a permanent corridor for the transportation of nuclear waste. The 100-tonne decommissioned generators are to be shipped from the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station near Kincardine, Ont., to Studsvik in Sweden for recycling.

National Post 29th Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

An internet virus that has damaged computer systems in Iran was designed by foreign governments to undermine the country’s nuclear ambitions, according to Tehran. As western governments continued to analyse the origins and impact of the Stuxnet malware, which has affected at least 30,000 IP addresses in Iran, an official stressed the sophisticated nature of the virus.

FT 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Independent 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

New Labour leader Ed Miliband is ready to rethink the party’s policy on replacing Trident, a former defence minister has claimed. Mr Miliband has said he wants Britain’s nuclear weapons to be part of the government’s strategic defence review. But Eric Joyce said Mr Miliband had told him he was open to going further than that. The former minister was speaking at a CND fringe meeting at Labour’s annual conference in Manchester.

BBC 27th Sept 2010 more >>

THE top two Babcock Marine bosses in Plymouth have given The Herald an unprecedented look behind the wall at Devonport Dockyard. Amid growing fears that the Government’s defence review will bring swingeing cuts to the Royal Navy’s presence in Plymouth, Mike Homer and Phil Jones were at pains to avoid making any ‘political’ remarks. But they spoke in upbeat terms about the high-tech service they deliver to the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence.

Plymouth Herald 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

An ex-U.S. air force chief has given an astonishing account of an encounter with a UFO at an air force base in Suffolk. Charles Halt is one of a number of senior former airmen who went public today over claims that UFOs had tampered with nuclear missiles in the U.S. and the UK.

Daily Mail 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Scotsman 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Express 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Telegraph 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Renewables

Letter: I view with dismay the apparent lack of urgency that government is displaying over support for major commercial developments of clean-energy technology. One might suspect that delaying tactics are being used to ensure that atomic energy will be the only feasible solution to reducing the output of greenhouse gases and ensuring energy security. One answer may be closer to home, with the people willing to implement more modest schemes within their own localities. In co-operation, each area/district should be expected to take audit of what natural resources are available to produce clean power. It might be wind-power, water-power or anaerobic digestion and, of course, solar power. It is widely claimed that with feed-in tariffs there is an 8 per cent return on investment in solar power using photovoltaic technology. The drawback for many households is the initial capital cost, between £10,000 and £20,000. Using the income from generated electricity to cover the costs of a loan could overcome this obstacle. The first national installer to broker such a deal with a financial institution should do very well indeed.

Independent 28th Sept 2010 more >>

The UK government should build a home-grown wind power industry if it wants to meet EU targets on renewable energy, a report concludes. The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) says this would significantly bring down the costs of offshore wind power. The price of building offshore wind farms in has doubled in five years.

BBC 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Flatulent cows have long been blamed for being big producers of greenhouse gases, but the founder of Spice, which was snapped up by Cinven yesterday for £251 million, is set to use his £20 million windfall to turn this vice into a virtue. Simon Rigby’s new company Farmgen will mimic a cow’s digestive process to create energy from methane.

Times 28th Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 28 September 2010

27 September 2010

Scotland

LESS than a fifth of Scots are in favour of building new nuclear power stations north of the border, a new survey reveals. In a poll of 1,000 people commissioned by The Scotsman, more than a quarter said they were totally opposed to the building of nuclear power stations in Scotland, while only 18 per cent said they would like to see new power stations created. The results suggest the electorate are in agreement with the Scottish Government over nuclear power. First Minister Alex Salmond has said he will not allow the creation of any new nuclear power stations once the existing sites at Torness and Hunterston are decommissioned in 2023 and 2016 respectively.

Scotsman 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

Professor Bob Ainsworth FRS, internationally recognised for his contribution to the development of structural integrity assessment procedures for nuclear plants, is to join The University of Manchester.

Manchester University 27th Sept 2010 more >>

GDF Suez

Chairman of GDF Suez Mr Mestrallet said his group was not turning its back on the French nuclear sector but was not prepared to accept a back seat position in the Penly project. GDF Suez originally sought a 49 per cent stake in the project but after heavy lobbying from EDF, the French electricity group, it was due to take only a 25 per cent stake and no role in managing the plant.

FT 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

A complex computer worm has infected the personal computers of staff at Iran’s first nuclear power station, the official IRNA news agency reported. However, the operating system at the Bushehr plant – due to go online in a few weeks – has not been harmed, project manager Mahmoud Jafari said.

BBC 26th Sept 2010 more >>

FT 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Scotsman 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Telegraph 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Sources in the Gulf region report that Iran is preparing for a possible attack by Israel and/or the United States on one or more of its nuclear production units by stockpiling arms and munitions with its proxy militias in Kuwait and Bahrain. Earlier this month the tiny Kingdom of Bahrain announced the arrest of 23 men whom it accused of wanting to commit acts of terrorism and plotting to overthrow the government. Bahrain may well be the smallest of Arab countries yet it contributes greatly to the overall security of the Gulf region and the Middle East. Among other things Bahrain serves as the regional headquarters to the US Navy fleet operating in the Persian Gulf.

Oil Price 26th Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

Letters: Air Commodore Alistain Mackie: As it discusses Trident replacement, the National Security Council would do well to recognise and discard the delusions under which your leading article and report labour. One is the idea that the so-called third centre of decision-making would confront a nuclear-armed opponent with a strategic dilemma. Not so. It would simply ensure that the opponent’s opening gambit would be to obliterate the shortest side of the triangle ourselves. Similarly deluded is the notion that our deterrent is independent. It is no such thing. The warheads depend for maintenance on the US Trident base in Georgia.

Times 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Letter from Malcom Savidge: Global challenges should transcend party politics. The main parties have broadly shared aims over poverty and climate change. In relation to nuclear weapons, there could be the basis of consensus in the strong endorsement they have all given to President Obama’s initiatives to make real progress on multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation. In that context there should be cross-party support if, as your recent reports suggest is possible, the coalition Government decides to defer a final decision on Trident submarine replacement.

Times 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

It may sound like a Spielberg movie plot, but if senior U.S. airmen are to be believed, this scenario is not science fiction. They claim that since 1948, aliens have been hovering over UK and U.S. nuclear missile sites and deactivating the weapons– once even landing in a British base.

Daily Mail 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Renewables

Plans to build a giant offshore wind farm covering nearly 5,000 square kilometres in the North Sea will move one step closer today. Its developers will announce that they have secured a connection to the National Grid, increasing the prospect of the £15 billion Hornsea wind project being built off the Yorkshire coast.

Times 27th Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 27 September 2010

26 September 2010

Aldermaston

Firefighters lost control of blaze at Aldermaston. Fire burned for nine hours as pumps and appliances were called up from London and elsewhere, according to files obtained by the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act.

Observer 26th Sept 2010 more >>

Pebble Bed Reactor

As the “reactor renaissance” desperately demands new billions from a lame duck Congress, one of its shining stars has dropped dead. Other much-hyped “new generation” plans may soon die with it. For years “expert” reactor backers have touted the “Pebble Bed” design as an “inherently safe” alternative to traditional domed light water models. Now its South African developers say they’re done pouring money into it.

Free Press 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

Experts at Iran’s nuclear agency are trying to disable a complex computer virus that has attacked the country’s industrial sites and appears to be aimed at shutting down its Bushehr nuclear plant, which was due to go online next month.

Observer 26th Sept 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

When a well-known building materials company offered to fit free loft insulation in every house on a street, the residents all declined. Despite the obvious benefits, many simply could not face having to clean out their crammed lofts. It is just one of the many challenges facing David Clarke, chief executive of the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), as he prepares to make Britain’s homes greener. The institute, a new public-private partnership involving some of Britain’s biggest companies including Rolls-Royce and BP, has the task of transforming the energy efficiency of the entire housing stock. With 26m homes and a deadline of 2050, Clarke recognises it is a mammoth undertaking.

Sunday Times 26th Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 26 September 2010

25 September 2010

New Nukes

Far from being a guarantee of a greener future, the revival of nuclear power would be a costly cul-de-sac. Au contraire, nuclear energy can be cheap, clean, abundant and secure. Europe will never meet its carbon emissions targets by wind and solar power alone. Two visions of the nuclear future – a sceptical British view and the enthusiastic official French view – collided head on at yesterday’s Lyon environmental conference. Tom Burke, a former head of Friends of the Earth and a leading anti-nuclear campaigner, took his nuclear scepticism into the most pro-nuclear, and nuclear-dependent, country in Europe. He was opposed by France’s “Monsieur Nucl aire”, Fran ois Roussely, former president of Electricit de France (EDF) and the man charged by President Nicolas Sarkozy with charting France’s nuclear future.

Independent 25th Sept 2010 more >>

The HSE has published its response to the third report of the independent Generic Design Assessment (GDA) Process Review Board. The GDA Process Review Board was established in 2007 to provide external scrutiny and oversight of the GDA process. The Process Review Board Report and the HSE’s response to it can be found at:

HSE 24th Sept 2010 more >>

EDF

Constellation Energy Group is bickering with its French partner in nuclear energy over a $2 billion option that would effectively force the partner, Electricit de France, to buy several of Constellation’s aging natural gas, coal and hydropower plants. Constellation wants to exercise that option before its Dec. 31 expiration deadline, and one person familiar with the negotiations said that the dispute between the two companies “isn’t brewing. It’s brewed.”

Washington Post 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Sedgemoor District Council believes EDF Energy has played down the impact Hinkley C would have on the district. At a special council meeting on Wednesday, councillors unanimously backed a report which complained EDF’s proposals for two new nuclear reactors were badly lacking in information in important areas, and would not properly compensate the area for all the disruption the construction and operation of the plant would cause.

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

Quangos

The list of 117 public bodies to be abolished under the government’s spending review that was leaked today to the Telegraph contains a large number of green casualties, including well-known organisations and those that operate with a lower profile. Another 94 public sector organisations have seemingly been granted a stay of execution, but remain under review until their fate is revealed in October.An examination of how the “bonfire of the quangos” could affect the environmental sector.

Guardian 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Leaked list reveals Renewables Advisory Board is facing the axe, while Carbon Trust, Environment Agency and Energy Savings Trust are still under review. COMARE is also on the list of threatened Quangos

Business Green 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Radwaste

Dounreay’s clean-up company is taking part in a UK initiative that aims to standardise the way Britain’s most hazardous radioactive wastes are looked after in future. A workshop this month will consider a draft set of guiding principles that are being developed to assist the UK’s nuclear industry on the packaging and storage of higher-activity waste. It follows the launch earlier this year by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority of a project involving waste management experts from NDA, its site licence companies, British Energy, the Ministry of Defence and commercial waste producers.

DSRL 13th Sept 2010 more >>

Companies

AWARD-winning Huntingdon manufacturer Pursuit Dynamics is to launch in the nuclear decontamination sector with a potentially multi-million-pound joint venture.

Hunts Post 24th Sept 2010 more >>

France/US

Dr Mark Copper: Among backers of nuclear power development in the U.S., France has long been held out as the model to emulate. Now, as pressure builds on policy makers in Washington to set a new domestic energy course, the French experience once again is being heralded as proof that nuclear power is the way to go. Trouble is, France’s nuclear “miracle” is more fantasy than fact. And facts are what Congress – and the American public – deserve before massive public subsidies are committed for new reactor construction. Here are some key findings from my analysis of what has mistakenly been called the French “nuclear miracle.” Nuclear reactors are not cheaper in France. Nuclear power backers claim France has solved the problem of cost of new reactor construction through standardization and efficiencies of scale. That is untrue. French reactors have escalated in price at almost the same rate as those in the U.S.

The Hill 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Pakistan

A new potential dispute between the US and China is opening up as Beijing goes public with its plans to export two more nuclear reactors to Pakistan, in a deal that will raise questions about controls on nuclear technology. Chinese officials have admitted privately since earlier this year that they planned to go ahead with the long-mooted plan to sell Pakistan two more nuclear reactors, in addition to the one reactor it has already built and a second under construction. However, Beijing has this week publicly acknowledged the plan for the first time. Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman at the Chinese foreign ministry, said that Beijing had already informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of the new agreement with Pakistan. Meanwhile, an industry official at China National Nuclear Corporation told a conference this week that China was discussing with Pakistan the construction of a one gigawatt nuclear reactor far larger than the two 300MW reactors in the initial agreement.

FT 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran was the likely target of a sophisticated computer worm designed to sabotage factories and infrastructure which was almost certainly the work of a national government agency, security experts told the Guardian yesterday. According to the security company Symantec, 60% of the computers infected by the Stuxnet computer worm are in Iran, which is where the malicious software, known as malware, was discovered by a Belarussian computer security company.

Guardian 25th Sept 2010 more >>

Iran would consider ending uranium enrichment, the most crucial part of its controversial nuclear activities, if world powers send Tehran nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday.

Telegraph 25th Sept 2010 more >>

India

The US nuclear industry and the Obama administration are pressing the Indian government to amend or circumvent the controversial Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage law that was passed by India’s parliament in late August. “We are not going to chase bad deals,” declares John Rice, General Electric’s head of infrastructure-technology businesses. “And we’re not going to do business in countries where the nuclear-liability regime is not well-defined.”

World Socialist Web 25th Sept 2010 more >>

Thailand

Hundreds of people representing communities opposed to nuclear power plant together with crew from the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior placed windsocks to form the shape of a pink dolphin, beside a banner that reads “Unplug a nuclear future,” in Thong Ching Beach, Nakhon Si Thamarat province, 610 kilometers south of Bangkok. Thong Ching Beach is one of the proposed sites for the construction of a nuclear power plant. The province is known for its vast population of pink dolphins (Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins or Sousa chinensis). The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior arrived yesterday in the province to join community movements clamouring for a future free of dangerous nuclear and coal power.

Greenpeace 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Ukraine

The Ukrainian government has reportedly declared Russian nuclear fuel company TVEL the winner of the tender to construct a fuel manufacturing plant in Ukraine. Ukraine’s cabinet approved the Ministry of Fuel and Energy’s proposal to construct the nuclear fuel plant at a meeting on 22 September.

World Nuclear News 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Renewables

The recent mini-boom in solar power could be in jeopardy, as the government has privately indicated that new feed-in tariffs that have fuelled the industry could be slashed. If such cuts are adopted, renewable energy experts fear that it will scare off investors with repercussions throughout the industry. To change the subsidy system just when you can see the success it has had beggars belief, said one. Renewable energy investors…will lose faith in this government. Industry insiders also accused the government of hypocrisy. They say that while Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, was promising the Liberal Democrat conference 250,000 green jobs as part of a revolutionary deal to cut emissions, government advisers were holding meetings in back rooms at which they flagged up potential cuts to the feed-in tariffs (FITs). Dave Sowden, chief executive of the Micropower Council, a trade association for domestic renewables, said: We are alarmed to hear the coalition may be considering the unprecedented move of unravelling policies that were not only its idea, but have only been in place for six months, and against which thousands of jobs have been created and hundreds of millions of pounds invested. Backtracking now would have a profoundly damaging effect on investor confidence and seriously jeopardise [UK] ability to meet climate change targets. Daniel Green, chief executive of HomeSun, a solar company, said his business had received 60,000 expressions of interest in the past six weeks from consumers wanting to install panels. Any change to FITs would be deeply damaging. The Department of Energy and Climate Change confirmed that the Treasury was examining FITs as part of the comprehensive spending review, even though the subsidies cost comes not from taxpayers but consumer energy bills.

FT 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

A key piece of environmental regulation about to hit tens of thousands of businesses has been slammed on the eve of its launch by a government watchdog as overcomplex and in urgent need of reform. The Carbon Reduction Commitment requires about 25,000 companies in the services and commercial sector including retailers, leisure centres and hospitals to report to the government on how much energy they use. But the scheme, for which companies must submit information by September 30 or face fines, is unnecessarily complex and very difficult for companies to understand and comply with, according to the Committee on Climate Change, a statutory body that advises the government on how to meet its emissions targets.

FT 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Test Veterans

THE ROYAL British Legion has pitted itself against the Government by backing veterans of British nuclear weapons tests who are seeking compensation from the Ministry of Defence.

Derby Telegraph 25th Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

Britain has given the U.S. a direct promise that it will keep its nuclear deterrent and maintain special forces following the upcoming strategic defence and security review. Defence Secretary Liam Fox made the pledge in talks with his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates this week after the Pentagon expressed concern at the scale of spending cuts planned by the coalition Governmen

Daily Mail 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Putting off plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system until after the next general election, and drastically scaling down plans to build two new aircraft carriers, are expected to be among key decisions agreed at a meeting of the government’s national security council next week, well-placed sources have told the Guardian.

Guardian 25th Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 25 September 2010

24 September 2010

New Nukes

Uncorrected transcript of Chris Huhne’s evidence to the House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee is now available at:

House of Commons 15th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Subsidy

In your question-and-answer feature with the energy secretary you quote the minister as saying: “There will be no subsidy for new nuclear power stations… it will be for private sector energy companies to construct, operate and decommission new nuclear plants.”It is important to recognise that senior executives of private power companies operating in this country, such as Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, have said that they are seeking no subsidies for any new nuclear plants they may build in Great Britain. Here are some of the more egregious subsidies currently enjoyed by the commercial nuclear industry, as revealed in a series of written answers to various MPs in the past two months.

Whitehaven News 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

EPR Reactors

The future for France’s new-generation nuclear technology has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that GDF Suez, the French utility, is to pull out of the latest European Pressurised Reactor project – the 1600MW EPR project at Penly in France. GDF Suez had been granted a 25 per cent stake but EDF fought a fierce campaign to bar its rival from sharing operational responsibility. GDF would have been liable for 25 per cent of the financing of a project expected to cost up to €5bn but it would not have earned the operating experience on new generation reactors it badly needs to sell its expertise abroad. GDF Suez – which is 35 per cent owned by the state – is now likely to consider selling new generation reactors from competing countries such as the Westinghouse AP 1000. The group has said it wants to operate a new generation reactor by 2020 and is still lobbying to build a smaller version of the EPR, the Atmea, in France. At just 1100MW however, the government is reluctant as it must develop other forms of renewable energy generation to meet European targets.

FT 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

EDF

EDF and Constellation Energy Group Inc. are in talks to avoid the collapse of their U.S. nuclear venture, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The companies are negotiating to resolve a dispute over an option Baltimore-based Constellation has to sell non-nuclear plants to EDF for as much as $2 billion, the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are private. The so-called put, due to expire in December, was agreed to in 2008 when Constellation sold half its nuclear business to EDF.

Bloomberg 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Hinkley

Sedgemoor District Council yesterday objected to EdF’s proposals due to inadequate information in their (10,000 page) consultation. West Somerset Council is due to discuss the proposal today and is expected to say the same. The councils do not make the final decision about the planning application, which goes to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. The following articles and TV news items mostly relate to the decision.

Western Daily Press, 23rd Sep 2010 more >>

Cheddar Valley Gazette 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Somerset County Gazette 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Rights and wrongs of nuclear expansion at Hinkley Point

30 minute in depth interview with Crispin Aubrey from Stop Hinkley campaign

BCfm 93.2fm in Bristol 17th September 2010 more >>

hi-fi 17th Sept 2010 more >>

The race to land one of the biggest earthworks contracts in recent years is down to three with the winner due to find out next month who has picked up the £100m job. It will be the first significant construction contract at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station being planned by French utility giant EDF Energy with the prize contract being a £1.2bn main civils deal.

Construction Enquirer 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Radwaste

Letter Marianne Birkby: Who in their right mind would oppose “Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely”? The cleverly titled Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely Partnership is designed to stifle any opposition to the geological ‘disposal’ of high-level nuclear waste.

Carlisle News & Star 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

A key public meeting on whether west Cumbria will host an underground nuclear dump has been cancelled because the Government has not agreed to fund the group behind it.

The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership (MRWS) was scheduled to meet at the Hunday Manor Hotel, near Workington, next Wednesday. The group, made up of representatives from Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria councils, was set up to carry out research and consult the public on whether west Cumbria should host a ‘geological disposal facility’ for high level radioactive waste.

Cumberland News 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Legal

DLA Piper has added a partner to its finance and projects practice with the hire of an in-house energy specialist. Darren Walsh joined the national firm’s Manchester office earlier this month from Simon Carves, the global construction and engineering subsidiary of India’s Punj Lloyd, where he was vice president, handling legal and commercial affairs. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the domestic and international nuclear and energy sector and specialises in reactor and waste management and the international transport of nuclear materials. He previously worked for British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) and British Nuclear Group. Walsh will be reunited with DLA Piper Manchester energy partner Ian Wood, after the duo worked together at BNFL on the restructuring of the UK’s civil nuclear industry in the mid-2000s.

Legal Week 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Germany

The German government is to investigate whether a temporary site for the storage of nuclear waste in the northern town of Gorleben could be turned into a permanent facility. The review, due to start in October, may be overseen by private bodies.

ENDS Europe 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran on Thursday withdrew a bid for a seat on the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s policy-setting board after failing to win consensus backing from a regional group of Middle East and South Asian countries.Iran is under an eight-year U.N. investigation over its nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at developing bombs and the Islamic Republic says is for peaceful power generation purposes only.

STV 24th Sept 2010 more >>

The world’s first cyber ‘super weapon’ may have been designed to attack a nuclear power station in Iran, experts believe.

A computer virus called Stuxnet has been described as the most sophisticated ‘worm’ ever created and has already infected more than 45,000 networks worldwide.

Daily Mail 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Intensifying economic difficulties at home, bitter factional infighting, and a regional power balance that is shifting to Iran’s disadvantage are among the factors currently pushing Tehran towards resumed nuclear negotiations with the western powers. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an oddball among international leaders. But Iran’s president is still a politician at heart – and after a fairly disastrous 12 months following last year’s disputed elections, he badly needs a win.

Guardian 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

Burnham MP, Liberal Democrat, Tessa Munt threatens to quit whip over Trident.

This is Dorset 23rd Dept 2010 more >>

Britain gave a direct promise to the United States that it would keep its nuclear deterrent and maintain special forces after the Pentagon expressed alarm at the scale of the spending cuts.

Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, made the pledges in Washington after talks with his US counterpart, Robert Gates.

Times 24th Sept 2010 more >>

The arguments advanced for Britain’s independent deterrent have altered, but the essential judgment made by Attlee was right. In a world that includes hostile and bellicose regimes, and in which there is no world government capable of countering aggression, an independent deterrent is Britain’s insurance against nuclear blackmail. And even though the replacement of the current Trident missile system will cost a lot of money, Britain’s most powerful ally wishes this country to maintain an independent nuclear force.

Times 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Letters Dr Julian Lewis: When Conservative MPs met to consider forming the coalition, just after the general election, the renewal of Trident was therefore specifically listed as a Conservative commitment which the Liberals accepted. This guarantee, spelt out by my party leader, reassured me as the defence team’s then spokesman on the nuclear deterrent. Now we find that the Liberal Democrats have no intention of keeping their word and it is suggested that, to humour them, the prime minister may postpone the “main gate” decision on Trident until after the next election.

Guardian 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Kate Hudson: Putting Trident firmly within the MoD’s budget has clearly focused minds on the relative merits of nuclear and conventional forces, with a growing number of ministers and senior military figures coming to the conclusion that Trident is a militarily useless trophy.

Guardian 24th Sept 2010 more >>

The British coalition government’s strategic defence and security review is degenerating into a dogfight which has everything to do with politics and money, little to do with strategy. The prime minister’s personal instinct is to act radically, to reconfigure the armed forces for the post-cold war world. But Liam Fox, defence secretary, together with his officials and Royal Air Force and Royal Navy chiefs, are fighting doggedly for a traditionalist approach, in which aircraft carriers and like-for-like replacement of the Trident deterrent dominate the defence budget and Britain’s future capabilities.

FT 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Liberal Democrats have demanded a review of plans to replace Trident, placing them in opposition to the Conservatives over the future of Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent.

Birmingham Post 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Renewables

The official opening of the Thanet windfarm off the coast of Kent – the biggest offshore project in the world – means that Britain generates more power from offshore wind than the rest of the world put together.

Guardian 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Independent 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Times 24th Sept 2010 more >>

A new and ambitious target that renewable energy should be generating the equivalent of 80 per cent of electricity consumed in Scotland by 2020 has been set by Alex Salmond. But finance experts have warned that the power industry will find it hard to raise the £18 billion estimated as the investment needed to reach this target. Latest figures show that renewable energy production mainly from onshore wind and hydro is equivalent to 22 per cent of Scottish electricity consumption. Mr Salmond said yesterday that with Scotland already on the path to a low-carbon economy, it was time to lead the renewable revolution. The move was welcomed by Scottish Renewables, the industry lobbying body, which yesterday published a report it commissioned which argued that the 80 per cent target was easily attainable. The report by Garrad Hassan, energy consultants, examined existing proposals for renewable projects and current build rates.

Times 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Scotsman 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Herald 24th Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 24 September 2010

23 September 2010

Radwaste

West Cumbria in northwest England, the only UK community to volunteer to consider hosting a UK national nuclear waste repository, has suspended work under the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership due to a failure to reach agreement with central government over funding, a local official has said. In addition, publication of the results of a British Geological Survey high-level study into the suitability of the geology of West Cumbria to host a repository has been postponed, according to Tim Knowles, chairman of the West Cumbria MRWS Partnership. In an email Tuesday to members of the partnership, Knowles said the next meeting of the group, planned for September 29, had been canceled.

Platts 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

THE BODY exploring the pros and cons of having an underground radioactive waste repository in the area has hit its own stumbling block – lack of money. West Cumbria’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safety Partnership has abandoned a crucial meeting because the government has not agreed funding for further work this year. Next week’s planned meeting was due to hear whether the result of a West Cumbria geological survey might have a bearing on whether the area is suitable for deep disposal. The Department of Energy has now decided to delay giving details of the survey findings.

Whitehaven News 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

New Nukes

It has been reported to us that at the recent meetings between the Office for Nuclear Development and South West councils from Somerset and South Gloucestershire A representative from OND urged local councillors and executives to go easy on the European megaliths or they may decide to take their money to China and build there.

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Emergency Planning

Serious safety problems have been exposed at a dockyard in Cumbria that makes nuclear submarines after an emergency exercise revealed “confusion” and “extremely poor” procedures, according to a report by government inspectors. Britain’s biggest arms company, BAE Systems, is being forced to rerun the exercise to prove that it can cope with a serious nuclear submarine accident after a string of mistakes that could have put lives at risk had the incident been for real.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Research

VITAL nuclear jobs have been saved after a Whitehaven company stepped in to resurrect a collapsed science firm. Westlakes Engineering has taken on staff from the former Westlakes Scientific Consulting (WSC), which slumped into administration in July with the loss of 65 jobs. Despite their names, the companies were previously unconnected. WSC folded after hitting financial problems. Its collapse was described as a “shattering blow” to the West Cumbrian economy with the loss of scores of highly-paid, highly-skilled jobs. But a saviour has emerged in the shape of Westlakes Engineering and its managing director Andy Hooper.

Whitehaven News 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

New Nukes

Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg said the coalition would have “bumps in the road”. For nuclear power, one such bump may be the election of Simon Hughes as Lib Dem deputy leader. He has promised to “fight for the life and soul of the party”. Hughes has stated that new nuclear power stations are “hugely expensive, dangerous and will take too long to build” and are a “completely foolish delusion”. On the left of his party – and ambitious – it will be interesting to see if he decides to act as a focal point for backbench opposition to nuclear power.

Utility Week 15th Sept 2010 more >>

Paul Spence tells Lib Dem conference there needs to be more certainty before it will invest in four power stations. The strategy and regulation director for utility EDF said it still needed more assurances from the Coalition government before investing in building four new nuclear power stations in the UK.

Paul Spence told a Liberal Democrat fringe event that more certainty over national energy statements, the mechanism for paying for waste processing, and a floor price for carbon, was required.

Building 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Scotland

Letter from WWF, RSPB and FoE: It’s time to raise our game, and commit to producing more than 100 per cent of our domestic electricity from renewables by 2020. Soon to be published research by independent energy analysts Garrad Hassan for Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF Scotland and RSPB, demonstrates that that with only moderate additional effort Scotland could be generating more electricity from renewable sources than we need in total, meaning we could also be exporting clean electricity to England and Wales. Investment in this zero carbon power supply could stimulate a sustainable recovery from the recession, building new expertise and infrastructure that is fit for a climate-proofed f uture. This opportunity stands in stark contrast to the backward step represented by the current plans for a new coal plant at Hunterston. Scotland has no need for such a polluting plant. It would be a tragedy to lock ourselves into a carbon-dependent future.

Scotsman 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Scotland is on track to smash its target for expanding renewable power generation, according to research. It could move from 50% to at least 80% reliance on green energy sources within the next ten years. The independent analysis, commissioned by Scottish Renewables, shows the country’s renewable energy potential is even bigger than previously thought.

BBC 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Windscale

SELLAFIELD’S Windscale site, where one of the reactors producing plutonium for the atomic bomb caught fire in 1957, is being “mothballed” and workers moved on to help tackle greater safety threats.

Whitehaven News 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Sellafield

BOSSES at Sellafield have come under scathing attack from the leader of Copeland Council over the way they are running the nuclear site. Elaine Woodburn has hit out at Nuclear Management Partners for neglecting community opinion and the impact of job losses. “Will you please talk to us – and listen,” she pleads. “NMP can’t just impose their will on West Cumbria without so much as a conversation because West Cumbria won’t stand for it.” In unprecedented criticism over the management of Sellafield, where 800 workers are being made redundant, Coun Woodburn has called on its directors to work more closely with community leaders.

Whitehaven News 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

ONE of the most important hazard reduction programmes at Sellafield this year has passed a significant milestone well ahead of schedule. The Stores Inventory Retrieval Project has a target of repackaging more than 1,000 cans of legacy plutonium into more appropriate and modern containment. Recently, the 500th can was removed from one of these legacy stores in the Magnox Product Finishing and Storage facility. This historic store has now been emptied and the project’s halfway point has been achieved three months ahead of schedule.

Whitehaven News 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Hinkley

A FULL meeting at Sedgemoor District Council this afternoon saw a unanimous response to EDF – ‘we need more information and more compensation’. The council has until October 4 to submit its full response to the energy giant’s stage two consultation over plans for a new power station at Hinkley Point.

This is the West Country 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

West Country Tonight 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Sizewell

The UK’s only pressurized water reactor, Sizewell B, is gearing up to restart after being offline for over 6 months due to problems with the pressuriser. Lake Acquisitions Limited (owner of the reactor operator British Energy) says repair of the pressuriser has been completed and it expects the reactor to restart during the third quarter of 2010.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

The Government announced in November 2009 that it thought Sizewell would be a suitable site for its nuclear expansion programme. Suffolk Coastal has made it clear that it feels that there should be a genuine local say in whether another nuclear power station is built at Sizewell and that there should be a clear commitment to ensuring that if any such development is given the go-ahead that there will be a positive lasting legacy. In February 2010 Suffolk Coastal gave its formal responses to the Government’s consultation.

Suffolk Coastal District Council 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Heysham

Lake Acquisitions has also announced plans to repair the standpipe liner inner tube at Heysham 2, reactor 8, which was found to be distorted. The company expects the work to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010, which will result in a total loss of 2-3TWh of electricity generation. The standpipe liner inner tube will ultimately be replaced at a future outage, after detailed planning and preparatory work is carried out.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Wylfa

On Friday September 24th 2010, Horizon Nuclear Power and Centrica Energy Renewable Investment Ltd will outline potential supply chain opportunities relating to the proposed new nuclear build programme and offshore wind power development.

Isle of Anglesey Council 21st Sept 2010 more >>

VILLAGERS have supported £1m plans to sell Wylfa Point to nuclear power consortium, Horizon, agreeing it will bring huge benefits to the area.

Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 22nd SEpt 2010 more >>

North Wales can literally be a power house. We have a vital role to play in supporting clean and renewable energy for the national grid. This is highly-skilled, well-paid work. This is why we are backing the Energy Island initiative, which will create thousands of jobs on Anglesey at the planned Wylfa B nuclear power station, along with wind farms and tidal technology. Nuclear power divides opinion but we cannot stay on the fence. We want a high-tech facility supporting hundreds of families in one of the most financially-challenged parts of our region. Wind farms also divide opinion, chiefly on aesthetic grounds. We can’t afford to be too particular. Our landscape has been shaped by industry. Wind farms offer clean, if unreliable, energy. The waters round North Wales also need to be tapped for more reliable tidal energy supplies

Daily Post 21st Sept 2010 more >>

TRAINS may once again be seen travelling between Llangefni and Amlwch after a major stumbling block was removed last week. Anglesey County Councillors decided to do a “U-turn” on a decision taken in March 2007, when they backed a cycle, walking and bridal way for the disused line over the desire to re-open it. The line could be used as a tourist attraction and also possibly be used to carry building materials for the potential Wylfa B new build nuclear power station.

Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Yesterday’s Times newspaper reported that Horizon, the joint venture between E.On and RWE npower — and the company which is planning to build Wylfa B, has urgently contacted Energy Secretary Chris Huhne to seek clarification over remarks he made last week which seem to indicate he will reject Horizon’s proposal for a consumer-funded levy to support new nuclear builds, such as in Wylfa. Horizon’s position is that modern nuclear power stations are far more expensive to build than conventional coal and gas-fired stations and therefore need some financial support (such as a consumer-funded levy) in order to make the business case viable.

Druid 22nd Sept 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.

ProfEng 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Europe

A recently released European Commission report (Energy Trends 2030), predicts that nuclear energy production will be maintained at current levels to 2030. However the percentage share of nuclear will fall from around 30% in 2005 to 24% in 2030 in the Reference scenario (the share of fossil fuels will increase from approx 38% to 45%).

Nuclear Engineering Internaional 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

A meeting between the British Foreign Secretary and his Iranian counterpart has been described by Sky sources as “not a meeting of minds”.

Sky News 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

A PROTEST against nuclear arms in Iran is set to take place in York tomorrow, to coincide with the Iranian president’s appearance before the United Nations. Stop The Bomb representatives will be distributing flyers and a petition with the co-operation of Iranian dissidents and local activists from the gay and Jewish communities in Parliament Street at noon.

York Press 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Israel

An apparently innocuous note from an official history of Israeli submarines has offered a glimpse into the murky depths of the country’s nuclear secrecy.

Scotsman 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Egypt accused Israel on Wednesday of displaying “chutzpah” – blatant shamelessness – during a 151-nation meeting on the issue of a nuclear-free Middle East. The remarks were made at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s general conference.

They reflected the bitterness dividing Arab nations and Israel over whether Israel should open its nuclear programme up to the UN watchdog’s inspection. Egypt issued the statement following an accusation by Israel that it had unfairly singled out the country while ignoring its own commitments to the IAEA.

Morning Star 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Middle East Online 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Kuwait

Having recently signed a memorandum of cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy with Japan, Kuwait has now signed a similar agreement with Russia.

World Nuclear News 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Romania

Czech state-owned utility Cez has signed an agreement to allow it to sell its 9.12pc stake in a joint venture to build two new nuclear units in Romania. Cez holds the stake in EnergoNuclear, which plans to build two 720MW units at the 1,400MW Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

Argus Media 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

Lib Dem motion carried: “The exclusion of Trident from the Strategic Defence and Security Review is now untenable; it should be included and receive the scrutiny which strategic, political and financial circumstances demand.”

Lib Dems 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

A final decision on a replacement for Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent is expected to be delayed until after the next election, allowing the Tories and Liberal Democrats to fight on different platforms.

Guardian 23rd Sept 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

All domestic fuel bills would fall as part of a 20-year plan to insulate every home in Britain, Chris Huhne said yesterday. The £130 billion Government-backed drive would create approximately 250,000 jobs, he said. Energy firms would pay for the work up-front and recoup their costs by not passing on 100 per cent of the savings to customers over two decades.

Times 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 23 September 2010

22 September 2010

Lib Dem Conference

Huhne: The coalition agreement, of course, involves give and take. I expect George Osborne to take more millions of the low-paid out of income tax even though he is a Conservative minister implementing a Liberal Democrat pledge. And George Osborne expects me to deliver our agreement on nuclear power, which is that there is an important place for new nuclear stations in our energy mix as long as there is no public subsidy. A deal is a deal, and I will deliver. I’m fed up with the stand-off between renewable and nuclear which means we have neither – we will have both. We will have low carbon energy, and security of supply. And I say again there will be no subsidy to nuclear, for a very clear reason: it is a mature technology, not an infant needing nurture. Every person in my department has a very clear motivation to ensure that the full costs of nuclear – present and future – are fully taken into account. More than half our budget – £1.7bn a year – goes on the clean-up costs of old nuclear facilities. Britain had artificially cheap nuclear electricity for decades. Governments repeatedly looked only at the short term. The result is that we are paying far, far more than if we had dealt with waste and decommissioning in a timely manner. Never again. Not on my watch. No hidden subsidies.

Liberal Democrats 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear and renewables both have a part to play in meeting Britain’s future energy needs, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said on Tuesday, adding it was not a choice between one or the other.Huhne’s statement is in line with the coalition agreement but he made it to delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference, challenging sceptics in his own party who oppose nuclear power.

STV 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Sky News 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Reuters 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Politics.co.uk 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Guardian 21st Sept 2010 more >>

A small observation from the speeches at today’s Liberal Democrat conference. Simon Hughes gave a rousing speech, in which he was quite categorical in saying he will, with his party, use “all our influence in the coalition government” to stand up “in opposition to nuclear power”. This affirmation of the party’s position on nuclear fuel was greeted with cheers from a crowd in need of a little reassurance over their role within the coalition. Chris Huhne, the Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, didn’t get the memo. In his speech, given a few hours later, he said: ‘‘I’m fed up with the stand-off between renewable and nuclear which means we have neither – we will have both. We will have low-carbon energy, and security of supply”.

New Statesman 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Simon Highes’ opposition to nuclear power is telling. Not least given that Chris Huhne, the new Lib Dem energy secretary, has signalled his willingness to accept the need for nuclear. Any signs of enduring resistance within the coalition to new nuclear power stations could create nervousness within the industry. Especially as E.ON, the world’s largest utility company, has written to Huhne to demand clarification of remarks made by Huhne last week.

FT Blog 21st Sept 2010 more >>

A plan to create almost 250,000 jobs in green industries, including nuclear power and home insulation, will turbo-charge the economy and help offset budget cuts, the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, claimed today. The “green deal” will lead to thousands of workers modernising some 26 million homes to make them more energy efficient as part of the coalition’s ambition to be the “greenest government ever”. Setting out the plan, Huhne said: “Since there is no money left, my department is pioneering new ways of turning this government into the greenest ever. “We use more energy to heat our homes than Sweden, where it’s seven degrees colder in January. We might as well be standing outside burning 50 notes. By stopping this waste, we can make big savings on bills, and use them to pay businesses for the cost of insulation. This is the green deal.”

Guardian 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Government

Climate change secretary Chris Huhne is fighting to defend his department’s funding and independence, fending off a suggestion that his civil servants should be moved to the Treasury to cut costs.

Huhne is having to resist the Treasury on numerous policy fronts. He has rejected the relocation idea, fearing his department’s civil servants would “go native” if they moved into offices in the Treasury.

Guardian 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Radwaste

The key to disposing of high-level nuclear waste appears to be not technology, or terrain – but trust. In Eurajoki in Finland, where the local council decided seven years ago that it would like to see the waste from the country’s nuclear reactors buried in its backyard, the T-word is everywhere, nestling alongside its spiritual siblings openness, honesty and transparency.

BBC 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Listen to the Radio 4 programme

BBC iPlayer 21st Sept 2010 more >>

The ‘Partnership’ process is aimed solely at steering ‘volunteer’ communities into the acceptance of deep disposal of high level nuclear wastes. The safer option of above ground and retrievable waste management is not even on the agenda. If the ‘volunteer’ process fails then the government “will look at other options” to force ‘disposal’, We take this to mean forcing an underground high level nuclear dump (or more than one dump) on communities. The MRWS process is looking to include NewBuild wastes, and the pronuclear Department of Energy and Climate Change is desperate to give the appearance of having ‘solved the problem of nuclear waste ‘in order to go ahead with new build. In March of this year Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates identified over 100 problems with disposal, and a report published this month by Dr Helen Wallace, for Greenpeace International confirms that deep disposal of radioactive wastes has the “potential for significant radiological releases through a variety of mechanisms”.

Indymedia 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Letter: Who in their right mind would oppose managing radioactive wastes safely? The cleverly titled Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely Partnership is designed to stifle any opposition to the geological “disposal” of high-level nuclear waste. Radiation Free Lakeland is based in South Lakeland on the border with Lancashire and we regularly witness radioactive waste en route to Sellafield. The nasty “partnership” process is aimed solely at steering “volunteer” communities into accepting deep disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The safer option of above-ground and retrievable waste management is not even on the agenda. If the “volunteer” process fails then the government “will look at other options” to force “disposal.”

Morning Star 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Wylfa

Around 100 people turned out for a meeting to discuss how to make the best use of £1m from a land sale by a community council on Anglesey. The 32 acres near the Wylfa at Cemaes is being brought by the company hoping to build a replacement nuclear power station as a “gesture of goodwill”.

BBC 21st Sept 2010 more >>

North Korea

ROGUE nuclear state North Korea could soon be run by a “ruthless” new leader who is still only in his 20s. Kim Jong-un, the son of the present repressive ruler, is tipped to be given an official title before eventually taking over the secretive communist state.

Express 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

US

What will it take to spark a nuclear renaissance in the United States? Recognizing that nuclear power could play a much greater part in the future of the country’s energy production a shift some advocates say will be unavoidable to reduce dependence on fossil fuels President Barack Obama’s administration has been working to reshape key aspects of US nuclear policy. Now, an analysis led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge offers guidance on some of the thorniest questions surrounding the fuel and waste side of the nuclear equation.

Nature 21st Sept 2010 more >>

In America, about 60,000 tonnes of heavy nuclear energy byproducts sit in radioactive dumps, with no potential use and no expiration date in sight, while federal experts rack their brains for a better way to manage nuclear waste. Several energy companies say they have a solution to the waste issue: Recycling, basically squeezing more energy from already-used nuclear fuel while leaving less waste behind. But their efforts face a decades-old policy hurdle that offers them little incentive to pursue the process.

New Economy 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Israel

It is against Israel’s interests to join a global anti-nuclear arms treaty and the UN atomic watchdog is overstepping its mandate in demanding it to do so, its nuclear chief said Tuesday.

Arab states have tabled a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency annual conference in Vienna for Israel to foreswear nuclear weapons and sign up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Middle East Online 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

A highly sophisticated computer worm that has spread through Iran, Indonesia and India was built to destroy operations at one target: possibly Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor. That’s the emerging consensus of security experts who have examined the Stuxnet worm. In recent weeks, they’ve broken the cryptographic code behind the software and taken a look at how the worm operates in test environments. Researchers studying the worm all agree that Stuxnet was built by a very sophisticated and capable attacker, possibly a nation state, and it was designed to destroy something big.

Computer World 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Egypt

Nuclear power would be the worst answer to Egypt’s electricity needs. It would make Egypt entirely dependent on foreign suppliers with only very limited domestic job creation. It’s extremely costly without a guaranteed supply of electricity. Recent experience in Europe with new reactors proves that costs overruns can run to billions of euros. Egypt should closely study how French and US companies are struggling with the construction of new reactors before signing a contract for at least $7bn. It would become an economic nightmare for a country in urgent need of a safe, affordable and stable electricity supply.

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Egypt Minister of Electricity and energy Dr. Hassan Younis said the committee which is assigned to discuss financing of the Egyptian nuclear plant project in Daba will meet under Finance Minister Dr. Youssef Butros Ghali late this month to select the best financing substitute, adding a station of this kind costs $ 4 billion.

Global Arab Network 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Germany

The leader of Germany’s opposition Social Democratic party, Sigmar Gabriel, has called for the country’s constitution to be amended to allow for a referendum on the future of nuclear energy.

Nuclear Enginnering International 21st Sept 2010 more >>

The coalition has agreed that utilities may operate their nuclear plants 12 years longer in return for a new tax and levies that will earn the government 30 billion euros (25.3 billion pounds), according to Economy Minster Rainer Bruederle. But costs for decommissioning the plants and for finding a location to store the highly radioactive waste are already set to dwarf the money energy providers are putting aside for the task, calculations from German and international agencies show. That might leave a bill for the government that might hurt its finances in the longer term, despite the billions it expects to earn.

Reuters 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Kuwait

Kuwait and Russia have signed a memorandum of cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear energy generation in the Gulf Arab state, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported, following similar deals with Japan and France.

Yahoo 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Morocco

The International Atomic Energy Agency (AIEA) will keep supporting Morocco to complete its projects in the fields of drinking water, the environment and nuclear electricity, the AIEA’s Director General Yukiyo Amano said on Monday.

Global Arab Network 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Russia

A rare view of Russia’s floating nuclear power station.

BBC 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

Liberal Democrat members are pushing the coalition to carry out a full review of plans to replace Trident. A motion to be debated at the party’s annual conference warns a like-for-like replacement for the nuclear deterrent could mean widespread military cuts. It says the decision not to include Trident in the upcoming defence spending review is “untenable”.

BBC 22nd Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 22 September 2010

21 September 2010

Nuclear Subsidy

The future of a £15 billion German-backed project to build nuclear reactors in Britain is in doubt after Chris Huhne signalled that the Government would not support a key plank of the proposals. E.ON has written to the Energy Secretary to complain about remarks he made last week during a House of Commons select committee hearing. RWE npower, has also sought clarification from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Both companies are said to be “livid” about the remarks. Mr Huhne let slip plans to reject Horizon’s calls for a consumer-funded levy designed to support investment in new British nuclear stations. Instead, he backed an alternative proposal from EDF to establish a so-called “carbon floor price”. Mr Huhne said: “We had some people in the industry saying that the carbon price floor would be enough, we had other people in the industry preferring other options. The contact that I have had with the industry recently has been quite interesting in that they have converged on the view that the carbon price floor will be enough.” RWE and E.ON believe that the comments contradict repeated arguments they have put to Mr Huhne since the general election in May. Citigroup, said: “It’s extremely unlikely that any company could invest in new nuclear plants based solely on a carbon floor price.”

Times 21st Sept 2010 more >>

New Nukes

Interview with Chris Huhne: What are the most promising technologies, capable of the fastest growth, to help meet targets? “New nuclear power and clean coal can also provide the low-carbon energy we need to help us cut greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power and nuclear energy are proven technologies that can make a significant contribution to our carbon reduction and energy security goals. But emerging technologies like wave and tidal, geothermal and carbon capture and storage could certainly make a contribution too”.

Times 21st Sept 2010 more >>

In the 1990s nuclear power provided about 30 per cent of Britain’s energy needs. It now provides about 18 per cent but existing stations, with one exception, are reaching the end of their useful (and safe) life and are due to be decommissioned by 2023. However, as safety and waste issues have been addressed and fossil-fuel prices have risen, a new generation of nuclear power plants has increasingly been seen as necessary for Britain to have any chance of meeting its carbon reduction targets. The last government identified ten sites around the English coast for the potential development of new nuclear power stations, mostly adjacent to existing facilities. Because of the long lead time in planning and building new nuclear facilities and the large investment required, only one or two new plants are expected to be in operation before 2020. Others will have to follow quickly to ensure supplies and reduce emissions.

Times 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Cridland says, the CBI’s members are anxious about the Government’s decision to abolish Labour’s Infrastructure Planning Commission designed to speed up major projects and give more responsibi-lity back to local authorities. Certainty about the market structure is vital for investment decisions being made now, for example, on new nuclear plant. “It will be six or seven years from the decisions before they earn a single penny,” Ward says. He puts the investment required at £200 billion over the next 15 years. “The challenge is that if, say, one of the world’s largest utilities such as EDF decides to build four nuclear stations in the UK, it is committing £16 to £18 billion of capital into one market. Even in the context of EDF that puts a big demand on the company’s finite investment resources.

Times 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Only one new nuclear station is likely to be on stream by 2020. “But from 2020 to 2030 we will need one or two plants to come on stream per year, to meet our targets. For that to happen, government has to play a very important part: it needs new regulations to approve the design of the plants, clarity in the planning process, and reform of the electricity market together with setting a realistic carbon price,” Lord Turner says.

Times 21st Sept 2010 more >>

EDF Energy has stated that its nuclear power station-building drive could create billions of pounds of work for UK firms, with significant implications for civil engineering recruitment.

At a forum last week, the utilities giant announced that its plans to deliver four new UK nuclear power plants had already led to it awarding 130 contracts to British firms or consortia including British firms, with a total value of over £50 million.

Career Structure 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Accidents

Alarming news from last week’s annual conference of the World Nuclear Association. During a talk by boffin Martin Young, he recalled how nuclear power went out of fashion after accidents at “Nine Mile Island” in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986. As we recall, the 1979 disaster was at Three Mile Island. Has it mutated?

Independent 19th Sept 2010 more >>

Radwaste

On Wednesday last week, Greenpeace launched a broadside against the European repository plans, arguing that leaders were being misled over safety issues particularly relating to groundwater contamination. It appears the repository battle is about to go nuclear here, too.

Daily Telegraph 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Despite increased optimism about nuclear power by the state government and its residents, nuclear production won’t be expanding any time soon. A bill that sought to lift California’s three-decade old ban on building new nuclear power plants was recently defeated in the state legislature. The original bill’s intent was to ban new plants until the U.S. develops a solid plan for disposing of nuclear waste. To date, the U.S. has not done so.

Nuclear Energy Insider 19th Sept 2010 more >>

Hinkley

THIS group of nuclear trainees from Hinkley Point B took part in a week of team building in the Lake District before heading for a world-class training centre on the South coast. The 16 apprentices will be taught at HMS Sultan in Portsmouth for two years before a further two years at Hinkley Point for on-site training.

Bridgwater Mercury 20th Sept 2010 more >>

British gas owner Centrica will be forced to spend billions of pounds on new gas-fired power stations to keep the lights on if it does not secure consent for the Hinkley nuclear reactor by early 2012.

This is Money 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Wylfa

A community on Anglesey is set to benefit from the £1m sale of land near the Wylfa nuclear power station site. The 35 acres are being bought by Horizon Nuclear Power, the company behind a bid to build a new development, Wylfa B. A public meeting has been arranged at Cemaes on Monday to tell residents officially about the sale.

BBC 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Manchester Wired 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Daily Post 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Chernobyl

Scientists have uncovered mechanisms that allow plants to thrive in highly radioactive environments like Chernobyl. They analysed seeds from soybean and flax grown near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor which was hit by a series of explosions in 1986.

BBC 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Germany

Anti-nuclear campaigners demonstrating in Berlin on Saturday sent a powerful message of opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to extend the lifetimes of German reactors. Media commentators say she would be unwise to ignore it, because her own supporters don’t want nuclear power either.

Der Spiegel 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Germanys opposition Social Democratic party has called for the countrys constitution to be amended to allow for a referendum on the future of nuclear energy, in an attempt to block government plans to extend the life of existing atomic power stations. The move by Sigmar Gabriel, SPD party leader, follows a mass demonstration in Berlin at the weekend, when up to 100,000 protesters converged on the Bundestag, the German parliament, demanding that the 17 nuclear plants be closed as planned by 2022. The SPD and the environmentalist Green party also intend to challenge the governments decision in the constitutional court, on the grounds that the 16 federal states represented in the Bundesrat, the second parliamentary chamber, will not be consulted.

FT 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran said on Monday the U.N. nuclear watchdog was suffering a crisis of “moral authority and credibility,” underlining worsening relations between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Reuters 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Turkey and other U.S. allies have been allowing Iranian banks with suspected links to Tehran’s nuclear program to do business within their borders, frustrating Western countries trying to put a financial squeeze on the Islamic Republic, Reuters has learned.

Reuters 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that “the future belongs to Iran,” and that they have no plans to make a nuclear bomb.

ITN 20trh Sept 2010 more >>

Disarmament

The U.S. and Russian governments called on the U.N. nuclear watchdog to verify the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, the IAEA general director said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to undertake “an important verification role” for weapons-grade plutonium no longer designated for defensive purposes.

UPI 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Rogue states such as North Korea and Iran could use nuclear weapons to attack Britain’s vital communications and electricity networks from space, a security conference heard.

Telegraph 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Weapons detonated in our upper atmosphere would create an electro-magnetic pulse and knock out our satellites and electricity grid. This would be worse than a direct nuclear strike such as that which targeted Hiroshima in World War II, Dr Fox said. Transport systems, computers, phones, fridges and water networks would all be brought to a halt, he added.

Metro 20th Sept 2010 more >>

Trident

UNCERTAINTY over the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent could have a devastating impact on South Yorkshire manufacturing firms, according to two of the region’s MPs. Labour’s Denis MacShane, who represents Rotherham, and his parliamentary colleague Clive Betts, of Sheffield South East, have claimed hundreds of jobs could be at risk.

Yorkshire Post 20th Sept 2010 more >>

As well as cuts, we will axe tuition fees and oppose a Trident replacement, promises deputy leader. He hoped the spending review would see a delay in any decision on replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent, releasing money to help the armed forces. Liberal Democrat sources claim that Liam Fox, the defence secretary – who insists the replacement must go ahead – is increasingly isolated.

Guardian 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Renewables

Both the Lib Dems and Tories promised before the election to extend the green subsidy for energy from small-scale solar panel installations to around 6,000 people who had put up panels before the launch of the government subsidy scheme. Last week Chris Huhne, the climate and energy secretary, made clear that the coalition would not extend the scheme and such early adopters would have to be content with the “warm glow of being pioneers”.

Guardian 21st Sept 2010 more >>

Posted: 21 September 2010