The Government has been accused of releasing crucial information around the nuclear power industry and its waste in an ‘underhand’ way. The announcement was made, with the formerly anti-nuclear energy secretary Chris Huhne out of the country at COP17, by Charles Hendry who said he wanted to ‘protect the taxpayer and provide investor certainty’ as he set out statutory guidance for new nuclear operators to produce plans for funding the decommissioning of their power stations and managing their radioactive waste. However, campaigners said the consultations on an updated waste transfer policy and revised funding for decommissioning will cost the public a ‘fortune’. Environmental group Greenpeace also claimed the Government tried to ‘bury’ the news on a busy news day with the water white paper, COP17 talks and European Union funding talks all hitting the headlines. Louise Hutchins, said: “The government has singularly failed to manage the ‘Big Six’ energy companies from exploiting consumers, failed to manage the lack of investment in cleaner and cheaper forms of domestic fuel, yet the one area of management they excel in is news management. “They have snuck this critical statement out in a written answer so that there can be no parliamentary scrutiny of the decision to burden generations to come with the cost of cleaning up dangerous nuclear waste whilst the secretary of state, the person really responsible, is 5,000 miles away in South Africa. “Ministers promised a new way of doing politics when they came into office – many of us had hopes that they would deliver on that promise, instead they seem to be trying to cynically prevent open debate. “But even this blatant attempt from the play book of dark arts can’t conceal the unpalatable facts about the burden on taxpayers of cleaning up nuclear waste. “It is going to cost a fortune and UK tax payers will have to foot the bill – so no wonder they tried to bury it on a busy news day.”
Edie 9th Dec 2011 more >>
In a step designed to protect the taxpayer from huge decommissioning bills, and provide a degree of investor certainty, the UK government has set out statutory guidance for new nuclear operators to produce plans for funding the decommissioning of their power stations and safely managing their radioactive waste. This will enable new nuclear operators to come forward with clear plans to deal with decommissioning and radioactive waste management for approval by the Secretary of State. Alongside this, the government has set out how it will calculate the price operators will pay for the disposal of nuclear waste in a geological disposal facility. The whole is the government’s response to the consultation on Waste Transfer Pricing and sets out a framework for the safe disposal of nuclear waste from new nuclear power stations.
Modern Power Syatems 8th Dec 2011 more >>
If further proof was needed of the unhealthy relationship between the Government and the nuclear industry then it can be found here in the release of a tranche of documents from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that show they are working hand in glove to thwart our legal challenge to the decision to build a new generation of nuclear power stations. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that on a number of different occasions, the government discussed our legal case. On the 7th of September the government went so far as to hand over the papers we had lodged with the courts to the Nuclear Industry Association, a body that represents the interests of over 100 nuclear operators, including EDF.
Greenpeace 6th Dec 2011 more >>
NORTH East construction firms will benefit from a £2billion cashpot if the development of the proposed nuclear plant goes ahead. According to a new report called Nuclear New Build Employment Scenarios, commissioned by CITB-ConstructionSkills, output in the region is likely to more than double between 2016 and 2017 as the project gets under way. And by 2020 it could be over three times its 2010 level. The Government has identified Hartlepool as one of eight sites suitable for building the next generation of nuclear reactors, presenting the regions construction industry with a significant opportunity.
Sunderland Echo 9th Dec 2011 more >>
Northern Echo 9th Dec 2011 more >>
Areva is expected to take action to tackle sliding profits that could include asset write-offs of more than 1 billion euros when the French state-owned nuclear reactor group unveils a new strategy next Tuesday. Luc Oursel, in his first major meeting with investors as Areva’s new chief executive, will lay out how he will reshape the group after several governments have abandoned or reviewed their plans for nuclear energy in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Prior to Fukushima, Areva’s performance was already plagued by the delay of its Olkiluoto nuclear project in Finland and disappointing results from the uranium mines, formerly known as Uramin, it bought in Africa in 2007. It made an operating loss in 2010 due to delays on the new-generation EPR reactor in Finland, which has led to a provision of 2.6 billion euros. Analysts expect Areva will have to make extra provisions this year – estimated to be as high as 1.5 billion euros ($2.01 billion)- on some of its businesses to tidy up its accounts.
Reuters 8th Dec 2011 more >>
COMPONENTS for the civil nuclear power programme in South Korea have been completed by Sheffield Forgemasters International. The engineering specialist has supplied forgings for the reactor coolant pumps in South Koreas new wave of nuclear power plants.
Business Desk 9th Dec 2011 more >>
The Big Six energy firms were under fire again today for allegedly treating customers with “contempt” after a 26% rise in complaints over the last three months despite promising to rebuild trust. The surge in problems was reported by the watchdog Consumer Focus as the power sector has been attacked for poor service, high prices and soaring executive pay. The consumer group singled out EDF Energy, RWE’s npower and E.ON for particular criticism as they had performed notably worse than in previous periods.
Guardian 9th Dec 2011 more >>
The unpopularity of the French company has plumbed new depths as EDF becomes the first supplier to be rated with no stars at all.
Times 10th Dec 2011 more >>
EDF said Friday it has awarded a contract worth more than Eur600 million ($800 million) to Areva to upgrade the monitoring and control systems at a total of 20 reactors at eight nuclear power plants. The work, to be carried out the utility’s 1,300 MW power plants (Paluel, Flamanville, Saint-Alban, Cattenom, Belleville, Nogent sur Seine, Golfech and Penly) is an integral part of its industrial program for the continuous improvement of its nuclear installations, EDF said in a statement. The aim is to enhance the performance of the monitoring and control systems, which guarantee nuclear safety. The first tranche of the contracted work will start in 2015, to coincide with the third 10-yearly reactor inspections, it added.
Platts 9th Dec 2011 more >>
While walking through the highly contaminated outskirts of Fukushima City last week, I suddenly realized that this capital of the prefecture is as far from the Fukushima nuclear disaster site as my hometown is from Borssele where the only Dutch nuclear power plant in the Netherlands is located about 60 km. While people in the 20 km exclusion zone around the Fukushima disaster site have been evacuated, the residents of this densely populated city have already waited nine months for decontamination of their houses, gardens and parks without getting any official government support for relocation, not even for children and pregnant women. We spent four days in Fukushima City doing a radiation survey in the neighbourhoods of Watari and Onami. People there have been left to cope alone in a highly contaminated environment by both the local and national governments. Our radiation experts found hot spots of up to 37 microSieverts per hour in a garden only a few meters away from a house and an accumulation of radioactivity in drainage systems, puddles and ditches. Overall, the radiation levels in these neighbourhoods are so high that people receive an exposure to radiation just from external sources that is ten times the annual allowed dose. How high their internal exposure is from eating contaminated food and inhaling or ingesting radioactive particles remains unknown, since no government program is keeping track of this.
Greenpeace 8th Dec 2011 more >>
Clean Technica 9th Dec 2011 more >>
Water containing radioactive materials leaked inside a nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan, but was contained and did not escape into the environment, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Saturday.
Reuters 10th December 2011 more >>
Satellite images show buildings have been razed and bulldozers were at work at an underground structure near a site where Iran processes uranium, a U.S.-based think tank said on Friday, without offering an explanation.
Reuters 9th Dec 2011 more >>
Former UK foreign minister Malcolm Rifkind fears Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. Not so, says campaigner Abbas Edalat, who thinks western hawks want war.
Guardian 9th Dec 2011 more >>
This week’s updates on the UK solar shambles and other small-scale renewable and community energy news.
Microgen Scotland.org.uk 9th Dec 2011 more >>
The EPA’s findings about fracking’s contamination of ground water have sent a shockwave through a gas industry in denial.
Guardian 9th Dec 2011 more >>
Guardian 9th Dec 2011 more >>