News January 2011

31 January 2011

Wylfa

PYLONS serving Wylfa B could have an adverse effect on the landscape and industries of Anglesey if alternative methods of carrying electricity are not found, islanders have warned. Members of the National Farmers’ Union and an Assembly candidate have expressed concern that tourism and agriculture could be affected if pylons “scar” the island.

Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Uranium

The Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism has given environmental approval for the Husab uranium project mining area – potentially the second-largest uranium mine in the world. According to parent company Extract Resources Ltd, the ministry has approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed mining area submitted by Extract’s Namibian subsidiary Swakop Uranium after a process involving public consultations and external reviews by independent environmental consultants. A separate EIA is in progress for the project’s linear infrastructure, with public consultation scheduled for April and May.

Your Nuclear News 31st Jan 2011 more >>

China

State Nuclear Power Engineering (SNPEC) has signed a purchase order agreement with Emerson Process Management for Fisher control valves to be used in Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water reactors at both the Sanmen 2 and Haiyang 2 nuclear power plants in China. The valves will be used for applications in the plants’ nuclear islands and in their passive residual heat removal system. In the nuclear containment area, Emerson’s Fisher air-operated control valves will serve several functions related to operational safety.

Energy Business Review 31st Jan 2011 more >>

Pakistan

Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal now totals more than 100 deployed weapons, a doubling of its stockpile over the past several years in one of the world’s most unstable regions, according to estimates by nongovernment analysts.

Washington Post 31st Jan 2011 more >>

Renewables

The Government will today unveil its plans for Britain’s first marine energy park – a multi-million pound project designed to be the “Silicon Valley” for developing the technology to produce electricity from the sea. Greg Barker, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, has called a meeting of 50 business leaders, investors and energy experts in Exeter tomorrow to discuss the plans. The project was given the go-ahead by the Prime Minister last week, following advice from Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google.

Telegraph 31st Jan 2011 more >>

Energy Efficiency

The Government raised the possibility that the tax – known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) – could be merged with other taxes in a number of “discussion papers” for the 5,000 companies due to be affected. The news that more changes could be on the way – after two major shake-ups last year – will cast more confusion over the tax, which has been criticised for baffling businesses. But doing away with the CRC would not necessarily mean that companies would have to pay less because its intended effects could be included in another green tax covering a wider number of businesses.

Telegraph 31st Jan 2011 more >>

Climate

Reframing climate change as an burning economic issue could help journalists breathe life into the most important – and complex – issue of our time. Without getting mired in the morass of elaborate mathematical equations and the arcane economics-speak of “discount rates”, journalists could turn to independent environmental economists for honest assessments of how climate change will affect the global economy. For instance, Economics for Equity and the Environment Network, or E3 – a wide-ranging coalition of academic economists – has a strong track record of translating the mind-numbing humdrumism of economics into lively, comprehensible analysis in everyday language. The Real Climate Economics website stockpiles over 100 up-to-date, peer-reviewed economics articles that support the aggressive emissions reductions scientists recommend.

Guardian 31st Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 31 January 2011

30 January 2011

EDF

The London 2012 Olympic Park in the east of the capital is set to be powered by nuclear energy. French behemoth EDF and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) hope to finalise an agreement on the powering of the Games before the end of next month.

Independent 30th Jan 2011 more >>

EON

Paul Golby, the long-serving chief executive and chairman of E.ON UK, has been asked to stay beyond the company’s retirement age to complete a major restructuring of the £9bn-turnover business.

Energy industry insiders said that Dr Golby had said late last year that he would retire on his 60th birthday this year. However, Dusseldorf-based E.ON has waived its retirement cut-off and asked Dr Golby to continue to lead the 15,000-employee British division.

The major part of the restructuring is the sell-off of UK power distribution networks in a move expected to raise £3.5bn. Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing is trying to buy the assets through his Cheung Kong Infrastructure vehicle, although there is at least one more bidder. JP Morgan is handling the sale and Deutsche is acting for Mr Li.

Independent 30th Jan 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Chris Huhne, Secretary Of State for the Department of Environmental Calamities and Catastrophes visited Hinkley Point today (Monday 24th January) and also Bridgwater College who are currently destroying a green field to make way for a ‘nuclear skills’ facility. The minister was interviewed by selected members of the press where he announced the apparent success of their reconsultation on the National Policy Statements, a classic case of the spin being a far cry from the reality. If the consultation was such a success then why was this ministerial visit such a hushed up affair? Could it have anything to do with the fact that there is a scandal breaking locally about the possibility that the land earmarked for development at Hinkley is already contaminated with Enriched Uranium? There was no mention of Huhne’s visit locally, but a group of campaigners did find out about it and turned up at the college in the hope of talking about their concern that local authorities are failing to act, despite having a legal obligation to do so, but Mr Huhne had already scarpered.

Bristol Indymedia 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Bradwell

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a new nuclear power station in Bradwell have got 10,000 people to sign a petition against the plans. The petition, led by West Mersea pressure group Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group, will be passed to energy minister, MP Charles Hendry, on Tuesday.

Maldon Standard 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Sizewell

PLANS for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell remain on schedule, energy giant EDF has insisted – despite an influential committee of MPs casting doubt over the Government’s building targets.

East Anglian Daily Times 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Uranium

David Fuller, Global Strategist at fullermoney.com, says, in the first interview in a short series, that while investing in nuclear is a long term story Asia is already moving very fast by stockpiling uranium. David says the best plays are the mining stocks including, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), Cameco (TSX:CCO), Denison Mines (AMEX:DNN), Geiger Counter(LON:GCL) & Paladin Energy (TSE:PDN). Watch out for David’s more detailed look at the uranium price and some of the stocks involved in the coming weeks.

Proactive Investors 29th Jan 2011 more >>

Radhealth

At about 10.30am on 17 January 1966, when Jesus Caceido heard a deafening explosion coming from the village of Palomares, the future mayor of the area had no idea he had just witnessed one of the Cold War’s most serious nuclear accidents – or that nearly half a century later, the 1,500 villagers would still be battling to have the ensuing contamination removed for good. After all, they live in Europe’s most radioactive village.

Independent 30th Jan 2011 more >>

Submarines

Rules meant to prevent accidents and radioactive leaks at the nuclear bomb bases on the Clyde have been suspended seven times in the last two years, prompting fears that workers and the public have been put in danger. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has admitted that normal safety standards have been relaxed on 18 occasions since 2000 at the Faslane submarine base on Gareloch, and at the Coulport weapons store on Loch Long. This was “for operational reasons”, the MoD said. The Clyde bases have been criticised by government safety inspectors for failing to improve their arrangements for maintaining vital equipment. These latest revelations come on top of a string of problems with submarine accidents, radioactive leaks and ageing facilities at the bases.

Sunday Herald 30th Jan 2011 more >>

Renewables

This toxic lake poisons Chinese farmers, their children and their land. It is what’s left behind after making the magnets for Britain’s latest wind turbines… and, as a special Live investigation reveals, is merely one of a multitude of environmental sins committed in the name of our new green Jerusalem

Daily Mail 29th Jan 2011 more >>

Carbon Trading

Europe has been trading permits to emit carbon dioxide since 2005. The economic concept of the trading scheme is simple but the practice has been fraught with problems.

Telegraph 30th Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 30 January 2011

29 January 2011

Nuclear Costs

Cash shortages and uncertainty over energy prices are delaying or cutting back nuclear power projects across Central and South-Eastern Europe, threatening energy supply and a push to abandon polluting coal. Investors are retreating, worried that future energy prices might not give them a good return. Many countries in the region have looked to increasing atomic power to provide a stable energy supply and to help meet tough new EU emissions targets. But high capital costs, dwindling interest from power firms, uncertainty about future carbon emissions prices and tangled planning permission are all slowing plans.

Novinite 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Euractive 27th Jan 2011 more >>

NPSs

It will be known within months if a nuclear new build can go ahead at Sellafield. The Government launched a consultation into the suitability of eight sites for potential new nuclear build last October, including on land adjacent to Sellafield. Originally three sites in Cumbria had been listed as potential for new build, but Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said Kirksanton and Braystones would not be included on the revised draft Nuclear National Policy Statement (NPS) as they were not suitable for the deployment of new nuclear by 2025. The three-month consultation has now closed and Parliament is expected to vote on the proposals when MPs return from their Easter recess.

Carlisle News & Star 28th Jan 2011 more >>

NDA

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has hit back at claims a public consultation on its business plan was a sham. Anti-nuke pressure group Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (Core) criticised the NDA’s 2011-2014 business plan saying it lacked detail and was bland and of poor quality. But the NDA has refuted the claims, saying it takes public consultation very seriously. The 47-page document lays out the NDA’s spending plans for the next three years and says £1.5bn will be spent at Sellafield. It is circulated to interested groups and the public, who are invited to make comments.

Cumberland News 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Bradwell

PROTESTERS have collected 10,000 signatures against new nuclear reactors being built on an Essex site. A 10-strong team from Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) will deliver the petition to a Government minister on Tuesday, February 1. They will meet with Charles Hendry MP, Energy minister, in a bid to get Bradwell removed from a shortlist of eight sites earmarked for new nuclear reactors.

East Anglia Daily Times 28th Jan 2011 more >>

BRADWELL Power Station was evacuated last week after a condenser unit caught alight. Eleven crews were called to the station on Friday, January 21, at 12.24pm to extinguish the blaze. The fire in the titanium tubing, measuring 4m by 6m, took two hours to put out and keep under control. Incident commander divisional officer, Matt Hughes, said crews ‘worked professionally to extinguish the fire quickly’ by 14:24hrs. A spokesman from Bradwell Power Station said the immediate vicinity was made safe and evacuated and the emergency services called.

Yellow Advertiser 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Oldbury

South Glos Councils response to the revised draft NPS consultation. We are particularly delighted to read the Council “is unable to support the inclusion of Oldbury on the list of sites for new build nuclear facilities in the NPS.” They have also pointed out that “the NPS’s are framed in a way that the national need for electricity will always override local and cumulative impacts.There is a concern that, once a site is on the NPS list, it will be developed whatever the scale of impact revealed through subsequent and more detailed assessments.”

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 28th Jan 2011 more >>

New videos released by SANE featuring Prof Gareth Williams, Prof Tom Burke, Prof Steve Thomas, Prof Andy Blowers and Dr Ian Fairlie.

SANE 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Parliamentary Energy Committee report this week – MPs warn NPS framework can not deliver new nuclear in time to avoid a dash for gas and doubt GDF can be ready by 2030. The Parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising the new draft NPS have issued their report this week. It concludes that they do not believe that new nuclear can be switched on in time to avoid a dash for gas. The committee also doubt that the Government can deliver a long term Geological Disposal Facility to receive new nuclear waste before 2130. As SANE have said all along new nuclear is never going to fill the energy gap, it is a distraction to getting on with the cheaper and more viable renewables.

SANE 28th Jan 2011 more >>

The Energy minister Charles Hendry said recently that land next to the River Severn was appropriate for a new generation of nuclear reactors during a visit to the site near Thornbury. He spent several hours at the existing Oldbury atomic station to meet those who run the ageing plant’s two reactors and to look across mist- shrouded farmland in Shepperdine where energy company Horizon wants up to three more. His visit came a day after he met representatives from eight sites around the country which are being considered for new nuclear stations to help meet Britain’s energy demands.

Ruscombe Green 28th Feb 2011 more >>

Dungeness

Campaigners for a new nuclear power plant at Dungeness have handed in a 1,000 signature petition to the Prime Minister, David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

Hawkings Gazette 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Wylfa

The go-ahead has been given to carry out initial development work on a proposed new power cable linking Pembroke and Wylfa on Anglesey. National Grid said the £1m two-year project was in its very early stages. It could be used to accommodate new nuclear and offshore wind electricity generation.

BBC 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Daily Post 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Research Reactors

RESEARCHERS at Canada’s National Research Universal (NRU) reactor are developing a process to produce medical isotopes without the need for a nuclear reactor – a breakthrough that promises to avoid a repeat of the last year’s shortfall in isotopes that left patients untreated and dying. In June 2010, Canada’s government set up a $35m programme to develop novel methods of producing medical isotopes after unscheduled repairs at a number of nuclear research reactors, including the NRU, interrupted supplies of the main medical isotope, technetium-99m. As part of the government research programme, researchers at NRU have explored the technical and economic feasibility of using an electron linear accelerator to produce isotopes. This eliminates the need for a nuclear reactor. The research team has successfully tested every step of the method and expects a demonstration facility will be constructed within two years, followed by commercial production. This is expected to meet Canada’s demand for medical isotopes.

The Chemical Engineer 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Submarines

The safety of the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet is being put at risk by staff shortages and budgets cuts, according to the Ministry of Defence’s watchdog. Six Trafalgar-class nuclear-powered submarines currently operate out of Plymouth. However, the Ministry of Defence’s nuclear safety watchdog warned that it could no longer ensure that they “remain safe”. The “principal threats to safety” were a lack of money and a dearth of expertise, according to the report by the Defence Nuclear Environment and Safety Board. Trade-offs which were used to cope with shortages of reactor engineers and scientists by restricting their time ashore were becoming unmanageable.

This is Devon 29th Jan 2011 more >>

MoD Oracle 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Channel 4 News 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Disarmament

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed the ratification of a nuclear arms cut pact with the United States, the centrepiece of US President Barack Obama’s efforts to reset ties with Moscow.

Express 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News has news of a demonstration Anaerobic Digester for farmers at a Cheshire College, and a new digester being built in Cumbria; 300 new jobs at Sharp’s solar factory in Wrexham; plans for a carbon negative school in Islington; Professor Dave Elliott on solar-fed heat grids and heat stores in Europe which help to deal with variable supplies over the year, and variable demand for heat; plans to fit around 2,200 photovoltaic panels on to a series of warehouse roofs in Ipswich, spanning just over one acre; Wadebridge in Cornwall aims to generate a third of the electricity used by the town’s 10,000 people from renewable sources – mainly the sun – by 2015, and make up to £450,000 a year for community projects.

Microgen Scotland 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 29 January 2011

28 January 2011

Nuclear Legacy

There are many uncertainties about the renaissance of nuclear power in the UK, particularly surrounding the level of public subsidy, but one thing remains constant: the industry’s waste problem hasn’t gone away. The clean-up of nuclear legacy waste at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant – a site historically plagued with mismanagement and technical difficulties – is running behind schedule, according to the 2009-10 annual report from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which was quietly released in December. The eight new nuclear power stations being proposed have no place in the UK, in Prof Andy Blowers’s view, unless the real scale and impact of the waste and how it is to be dealt with is made clear to the public, and progress is made on dealing with legacy waste. The approaches being considered by the government to manage new waste include geological disposal, which involves burying waste in underground rock formations, and longer term storage on nuclear sites themselves. He said proposals for storing waste longer term on site should be more explicitly discussed before new reactors are developed on sites. Prof Gordon Mackerron, the director of the science and technology policy research unit at the University of Sussex and who chaired the original Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, agrees that the consequences of creating more nuclear waste have not been properly addressed and debated.

Guardian Blog 27th Jan 2011 more >>

NPSs

A new “dash for gas” could be created by the UK’s energy policy, delaying investment in renewable technology, a government committee has warned. Some £200 billion will be needed to upgrade the country’s energy infrastructure in the next decade to meet renewable energy and carbon reduction targets, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This investment will be accompanied by six draft National Policy Statements (NSPs) intended to improve planning for energy projects, however it has been argued these do not place enough emphasis on low-carbon developments. The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee warn in a new report if too large capacity for gas generation is allowed to develop this could “crowd out opportunities for renewables to form a substantial component of the UK’s energy mix”.

Low Carbon Economy 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Nuclear Liability

THE Government’s decision to hugely increase the liability of firms running Britain’s nuclear sites has led to a swift response from one of the main players in the industry. EDF Energy, which runs the Hartlepool nuclear power station, says it will be reviewing the Government consultation launched yesterday on third party liability. A spokesman said the issue was wider than just insurance cover. “Liability in the event of an incident is only part of the answer,” he said. “We believe it is far more important to engineer out the risk of an incident than to simply insure against it. “The Government protects the taxpayer best by ensuring through regulation that the highest possible standards of construction and operation are maintained with a view to safety, which is the number one priority for EDF Energy and the nuclear industry.” EDF Energy have never made any claims on their insurance for a nuclear incident.

Newcastle Evening Gazette 26th Jan 2011 more >>

New proposals have been announced by the Government which would see operators at nuclear power plants liable to pay more for incidents at their sites. Under the proposals, which will undergo a three-month consultation, firms would see their liability, in case of an accident, increase from £140 million to £1 billion (1.2 billion euro) – a seven-fold rise.

Claims Management 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Nuclear Engineering International 27th Jan 2011 more >>

New Nukes

The coalition must make 2011 the year of delivery for its electricity market reforms if new nuclear power stations are to go ahead, according to the leader of a joint venture aiming to complete the first reactor. Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, plans to build a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with the first of two reactors scheduled to begin operating in 2018. Yet he is running a project with no global precedent. Governments elsewhere have underwritten the mammoth costs and commercial risks associated with new nuclear power stations. In the UK the coalition wants energy companies to spend some 40bn on constructing nuclear generators at eight sites in England and to do so without any direct public subsidy. Moreover, no nuclear power plant in Britain has been completed on time and on budget. Last month the government proposed reforming the electricity market to make low-carbon generation, including nuclear power, commercially viable. The main ideas were to impose a price on carbon dioxide emissions and introduce a tariff system to allow consistent revenue streams for low-carbon generators. Mr De Rivaz said the plan would make it feasible to build nuclear power stations. Altogether, it addresses what we have been asking for…and that package, if and when translated into legislation, will give us this framework within which we can make a decision. The government must now turn its ideas into a formal white paper and pass the necessary legislation, said Mr De Rivaz.

FT 27th Jan 2011 more >>

In the UK the coalition wants energy companies to spend some £40bn on constructing nuclear generators at eight sites in England – and to do so without any direct public subsidy. Moreover, no nuclear power plant in Britain has been completed on time and on budget.

Nuclear News 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Bradwell

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a new nuclear power station in Bradwell have got 10,000 people to sign a petition against the plans. The petition, led by West Mersea pressure group Banng (Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group), will be passed to MP Charles Hendry, minister for energy at the department of energy and climate change in London on Tuesday.

Essex Gazette 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Green Investment Bank

Caroline Lucas: Well, politics is a funny world. Even when you think they’ve listened, and the words they use are just the ones you’d have chosen yourself, it’s always best to check the small print. And with the coalition’s version of a green investment bank, testing each word is an education in sophistry. Let’s start with the word “bank”. We all know what a bank is: it borrows and lends money (and may or may not also pay its senior executives millions in bonuses for being clever enough to manage this complex transaction). Except that it’s not at all clear that this bank can borrow or lend. There are signs the coalition is considering allowing its green investment bank to fund nuclear power. Even if you think nuclear could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it’s still a bit rich to call it “green”, given the huge question of waste.

Guardian 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced its policy on how higher activity radioactive wastes will be managed in future. Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, said the Scottish Government position remained that it does not support deep geological disposal of radioactive waste.

DSRL 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Dungeness

On Saturday morning I spoke at the public meeting in New Romney concerning our campaign for a new nuclear power station at Dungeness. The meeting in the Assembly Rooms was attended by over 200 people and with the overwhelming majority of the support in the room being in favour of the power station. Those who spoke out in favour of the new power station cited not only the benefits to the local economy, but also how nuclear power has supported nature conservation in the area and also vital coastal flood defence work. I was grateful not only for the strong show of support from the people who attended the meeting, but also that we had the chance to question senior officials from the Office of Nuclear Development who will be advising the Energy Minister

Charles Hendry.

Damian Collins MP 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Wylfa

OPERATORS of the Wylfa nuclear power plant on Anglesey will face a seven-fold increase in potential payouts for incidents at their sites under new proposals by the Government. Under the plans put out for consultation, companies will take on liability of 1.2 billion euro (£1 billion) for each nuclear plant site, up from the current level of £140m, in case of an accident.

Daily Post 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Radhealth

If proposed nuclear developments go ahead – the population of Cumbria will increase in a relatively short space of time by the tens of thousands. There have been lots of studies looking into why there are substantially more childhood cancers and blood disorders in the vicinity (up to 50Km+) around nuclear plants. Successive governments have dismissed those studies which point to radioactive emissions as the cause and have endorsed those which point to “population mixing.”

Indymedia 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Underwater Reactors

Building nuclear power stations underwater could help protect them from terrorist attacks, according to a French company hoping to do just that. DCNS, the state-owned submarine-building and nuclear engineering firm, plans to conduct a validation study on its designs for a small subsea power plant for supplying coastal regions with electricity.

The Engineer 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Fissile Cut Off

Pakistan’s refusal to allow international talks to proceed on a treaty to stop production of plutonium and uranium for nuclear bombs prompted the U.S. to say today that it’s losing patience and looking for “options.”

Bloomberg 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Pakistan

Pakistan is desperate to increase the size of its nuclear arsenal as it eyes India’s rapidly growing economy and population.

Telegraph 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Pakistan’s military leadership is determined to maintain the current ratio of Indian to Pakistani nuclear warheads and is already concerned India is pulling ahead following the 2009 launch of a domestically-produced nuclear submarine. Islamabad believes Washington’s decision to support Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group following its agreement to help India develop its civil nuclear power industry will help New Delhi to further increase its nuclear weapon arsenal. Neither India nor Pakistan are signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Telegraph 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Research Reactors

Canadian researchers are racing to perfect a safe, clean, inexpensive and reliable method for making isotopes used in medical-imaging and diagnostic procedures. The new method does not require a nuclear reactor and could therefore eliminate future shortages of technetium-99m the most widely used medical isotope today. Until recently, the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, Ontario, produced almost 50 per cent of the world’s supply of medical isotopes. Then in May 2009, the NRU was shut down for repairs Backed by NRC and other collaborators, the Canadian Light Source submitted one of four successful proposals under this research programme to explore the technical and economic feasibility of using an electron linear accelerator to produce molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) – the ‘parent isotope’ of technetium-99m (Tc-99m). Its proposal builds on research by the Idaho National Laboratory and a suggestion made by Ottawa-based Mevex.

The Engineer 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Poland

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Poland’s shipyard operator Stocznia Gdansk and boiler maker Rafako to pursue opportunities for constructing nuclear components for GEH. The agreement comes as the state-owned Polish utility PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna eyes to construct the nation’s first two nuclear generating stations.

Energy Business Review 27th Jan 2011 more >>

US

President Obama’s decision – despite 45 groups, including Beyond Nuclear, urging him not to – to declare nuclear power “clean energy” in his State of the Union address to Congress last night, and his call for its expansion at taxpayer risk and expense despite 2007-2008 presidential campaign pledges against such subsidies.

Beyond Nuclear 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Gulf

Kuwait’s investment in Areva is a strategic decision and points the way towards future expansion of the sector in the region.

Gulf News 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Korea

South Korea has relaxed a demand for the resumption of aid-for-disarmament talks with the rival North, saying on Friday that an apology for last year’s deadly attacks is not essential to restart the process.

Yahoo 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Trident

The safety of Britain’s nuclear weapons and submarines is being jeopardised by staff shortages and spending cuts, according to secret Ministry of Defence reports. The MoD’s nuclear safety watchdog has warned it can no longer ensure Trident warheads and nuclear submarines “remain safe”. There was a “lack of adequate resource to deliver (and regulate) the defence nuclear programmes safely”.

Guardian 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Disarmament

The START nuclear arms treaty has cleared one of its final hurdles after it was approved by the Russian parliament. The decision will spark a series of steps that both the U.S. and Russia must undertake before the first on-site inspections of each other’s nuclear arsenals will take place in April.

Daily Mail 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Protest

Georgina Smith was sentenced yesterday (Wednesday 26 January 2011) to 45 days’ imprisonment by Fort William Sheriff Court to for refusing to comply with a compensation order for damage for painting the sandstone wall of the Edinburgh High Court in Scotland in 2006, during the year-long Faslane 365 campaign. Georgina and Helen John had already served sentences in Cornton Vale prison in relation to this action, but had refused to pay the compensation order.

Indymedia 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Renewables

SCOTTISH scientists have made a breakthrough which could which could pave the way for the use of hydrogen-based fuels to power aeroplanes and cars. Researchers from Glasgow University, working with the commercial firm EADS Innovation Works, are developing technology which could allow the highly explosive gas to be used safely as a form of green fuel. The group is working on using nanotechnology to improve the efficiency of the Hydrisafe tank developed by Hydrogen Horizons, a small Scottish company, to store hydrogen in a solid state.

Scotsman 28th Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 28 January 2011

27 January 2011

Radwaste

RESIDENTS, businesses and tourists are to be surveyed on the impact of a possible underground nuclear disposal facility in West Cumbria. Researchers are going to take to the streets to get views about the potential impacts of having an underground repository for higher activity nuclear waste. Tourists visiting the county will also be asked their views. The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership has commissioned GVA Ltd to conduct research to find out what people believe the impacts of having a potential geological disposal facility located in West Cumbria might be.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2011 more >>

New Nukes

Angela Smith, Labour MP and campaigner against the withdrawal of funding to Forgemasters, has today slammed Lib Dem controlled Sheffield Council for sending out mixed messages over nuclear power, after the Lib Dem councillors backed a motion which rejected the building of a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK.

Labour Matters 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Sellafield

Today NRPA publishes a report which describes the possible environmental consequences for Norway due to a hypothetical accident at the Sellafield complex in the UK. The scenario considered involves an explosion and fire at the B215 facility resulting in a 1 % release of the total HAL inventory of radioactive waste with a subsequent air transport and deposition in Norway. Air transport modelling is based on real meteorological data from October 2008 with wind direction towards Norway and heavy precipitation. This weather is considered to be quite representative as typical seasonal weather. Based on this weather scenario, the estimated fallout in Norway will be ~17 PBq of caesium-137 which is 7 times higher than the fallout from the Chernobyl accident.

Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority Press Release 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority Report 25th Jan 2011 more >>

LOCAL charities will benefit to the tune of £10,000 thanks to a Sellafield safety scheme which also rewards workers with prizes for reporting unsafe practices.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2011 more >>

NuVision Engineering has today (Thursday) announced that it has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by Sellafield Ltd. The firm will support the development and fabrication of the sludge mobilization system to be installed at the Sludge Processing and Packaging Plant (SPP-1) at the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Sellafield site.

Whitehaven News 20th Jan 2011 more >>

NDA

An anti-nuclear group has criticised a Government business plan for the nuclear industry, saying it lacks detail. Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE) claim the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) 2011-2014 business plan is bland and of poor quality. The 47-page document lays out the NDA’s spending plans for the next three years and says £1.5bn will be spent at Sellafield. It is circulated to interested groups and the public, who are invited to make comments. Martin Forwood, of CORE, said: “The NDA is paid largely from the public purse and it is hard to imagine a greater waste of time, effort and taxpayers’ money than the production of a document so devoid of detail.

Cumberland News 26th Jan 2011 more >>

NPSs

Energy and Climate Change Committee Report on revised draft NPSs

House of Commons 18th Jan 2011 more >>

ECC Press Release 26th Jan 2011 more >>

The committee has made 18 recommendations in its report. The most important recommendation (and one that I don’t agree with) is about the timing of the NPSs. The committee calls for the NPSs not to be finalised (‘designated’) until: the Localism Bill has been enacted and the abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has occurred (probably April 2012); the national planning policy framework is operational (not yet open to consultation – suggestions sought by the end of February); the national infrastructure plan is operational (it is already, to be updated by the end of 2011) and it is ‘harmonised’ with the electricity market reform process (consultation until March, to be implemented in 2013/14).

Bircham Dyson Bell 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Wylfa

Ofgem has announced £1 million funding towards initial development work on a National Grid plan to link Pembroke with Wylfa in Wales, the site of a potential new nuclear power station, as well as possible new offshore wind generation in the Irish Sea.

Energy Efficiency News 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Business Green 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Monday’s visit by Chris Huhne was criticised by Stop Hinkley and Kick Nuclear. Kick said “It’s ironic that Huhne should be singing the praises of the nuclear industry just days after an independent report revealed that soil around the power station is heavily contaminated with cancer causing enriched uranium.”

Burnham-on-sea.com 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Chris Huhne rose at 5am and drove for more than three hours to pay his first visit to one of the nuclear power stations he once vociferously opposed. The energy and climate change secretary donned an orange helmet and a protective blue coat for a tour of the active nuclear installation at Hinkley Point “B”, before travelling in a Land Rover over the green fields that may soon be obliterated by the concrete foundations of two new reactors at site “C”. The former critic turned unlikely father of a new generation of nuclear power stations added: “All the signals are on green for new nuclear, providing that the investors are prepared to do without subsidy.”

FT 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Heysham

EDF Energy’s Heysham 2-8 nuclear power reactor in north-west England restarted on Friday, a spokesman for the UK arm of French nuclear giant EDF said on Monday.

Reuters 24th Jan 2011 more >>

EDF

The London Eye runs on nuclear power now that EDF Energy has taken over as the attraction’s sponsoring partner. The company will also supply the 2012 Olympics as it prepares to build more nuclear power plants in Britain. A lighting-up ceremony before sunrise yesterday marked the start of a three-year deal between EDF Energy and Merlin Entertainment, owners of the London Eye. Merlin said EDF would help it reduce the London Eye’s overall carbon footprint using its expertise as the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity.

World Nuclear News 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Proliferation

A deadlock in global negotiations on fissile material has increased the risk that nuclear weapons could spread or fall into the hands of violent political groups, the head of the United Nations warned Wednesday.

Yahoo 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Nuclear Institute

THE former chief executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority has been named president of the Nuclear Insitute. Norman Harrison will take over from Paul Thomas, who has been president since 2008.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2011 more >>

India

The Indian government is imposing upon Jaitapur grossly inappropriate and super-expensive nuclear reactors that are based on an untested design. A ferocious state response to a protest against the Jaitapur nuclear plant in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, on December 4, 2010.

Stop Oldbury 26th Jan 2011 more >>

India recently bowled the global nuclear power industry – and possibly itself – an unexpected googly by adopting a civil nuclear liability law that will hold suppliers liable for any accident for up to 80 years after a plant’s construction.

FT 27th Jan 2011 more >>

Iran

Russia said on Wednesday that NATO should investigate last year’s computer virus attack on a Russian-built nuclear reactor in Iran, saying the incident could have triggered a nuclear disaster on the scale of Chernobyl.

Reuters 26th Jan 2011 more >>

In a classified cable dated 29 April 2009, Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte confirms that Iran had no weapon programme in her nuclear activities.

Report Iran 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Iran has been embroiled in another censorship row after a top worn by Baroness Ashton was doctored in state media because it was too revealing. Photographs of the EU foreign minister with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili at talks in Istanbul on Friday appeared the next day in Iranian media – but showed her wearing a top with a much higher neckline than she actually had on.

Daily Mail 27th Jan 2011 more >>

US

US President Barack Obama has said that by 2035 some 80% of the USA’s electricity generation should come from clean energy sources, including nuclear power. During his annual State of the Union speech in Washington DC yesterday, Obama said, “Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.”

World Nuclear News 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Italy

Italy’s nuclear plan looks shaky. Giovanni Lelli, commissioner of Italy’s nuclear-focused research agency ENEA, suggests that work on the first EPR will begin in 2015, rather than in 2013 as stated officially. A big difficulty will be radioactive waste. “We are perfectly aware that the support of the population is very, very important,” says Lelli. Italy will not opt for deep geological storage, he adds: “We are going to build a surface depository. In the worst situation, we will start looking at other countries.”

More generally, an official EU Eurobarometer survey found that nuclear critics outnumbered supporters two to one, says Onufrio. In Italy, three regions banned nuclear power plants, but a constitutional court struck down the bans in November.

Utility Week 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Disarmament

A sigh of relief is merited as Russia ratifies the long-awaited New Start nuclear reductions Treaty with the US. When Obama and Medvedev agreed the principle in Prague in April 2009, there were speculations that it would be completed by the end of that year. In fact, the process was more fraught than had been anticipated, with Republican advances in the mid-term elections threatening to throw things off course. Fortunately, the US Senate ratified it at the end of December, leaving us to wait for Russian approval.

CND Blog 26th Jan 2011 more >>

CND Press Release 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Test Veterans

A DERBY MP is heading a group of Westminster politicians who have approached a defence minister in a bid to settle the dispute over Britain’s nuclear test veterans. The veterans took part in the UK’s nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s and believe their health has been damaged by radiation they were exposed to.

Derby Telegraph 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 27 January 2011

26 January 2011

Nuclear Liability

Britain’s energy ministry proposed on Monday implementing a 1.2 billion euro ($1.63 billion) liability cost per nuclear site on generators to cover the consequences of accidents. The proposal aligns British law with a pan-European treaty signed in 2004, which set out that nuclear power station operators should face a minimum of 700 million euros in costs payable in case of an accident.

London South East 25th Jan 2011 more >>

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Belfast Telegraph 25th Jan 2011 more >>

NPSs

The government of UK is in preparations to submit a final list of sites suitable for new nuclear power plants to the parliament. This preparation is in line with the country’s strategy to help the country meet climate change obligations by making way for a new nuclear fleet.

Energy Business Review 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Energy Efficiency News 25th Jan 2011 more >>

The Energy Committee said it was “sceptical” that Britain’s target of switching on two nuclear power stations a year between 2020 and 2025 would be reached. The UK needs a huge number of new nuclear power stations to make up for the coal-fired stations being switched off over the next decade. However, the committee warned that the Coalition’s new planning system did not appear to be capable of making sure the 12 new stations are located in the right places to be linked up to the electricity grid. “Hooking up this amount of nuclear and other generation to the national grid poses an unprecedented challenge,” said Tim Yeo, its chairman. “Two plants a year is a very high target to reach. The [system] lacks any real framework for coordinating the process of siting and linking up the new power stations.” The MPs’ report also cast doubt on current plans to make sure there is a deep hole for disposing of radioactive waste within 110 years. It called on the Government to insist that there are sufficient interim ways of storing the material before allowing new plants to be built.

Telegraph 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Dungeness

A petition asking for Dungeness to be considered as a future site for generating nuclear power has been delivered to 10 Downing Street. The previous government dismissed it as one of 10 new nuclear power stations in 2009, on environmental grounds. The petition was handed in by the local Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins.

BBC 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Hartlepool

A POWER station is set for an extra £50m investment. And that’s just one of a string of good news announcements for the plant. Staff at Hartlepool’s nuclear site are on a high after a series of positive developments – all in the last month. The plant produced more electricity than any other EDF Energy-owned site in England last year. It is also due to get a £50m injection in the next three to four years on top of its normal annual investment of £20m. Thirdly, the plant’s lifespan has also been extended from 2014 until 2019.

Hartlepool Mail 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Hinkley

As the consultation closed energy and climate change minister, Chris Huhne, toured and gave his full backing to two potential nuclear power station. Mr Huhne toured the Hinkley B nuclear site in Somerset and viewed the location for another nuclear fuelled power plant.

Edie 25th Jan 2011 more >>

The new £8m Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College should be able to provide the staff needed to build a new nuclear power station if it goes ahead.

BBC 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Britain’s energy chief has come under yet more pressure to provide a simple payout system for communities seeking financial compensation for hosting nuclear power plants.

The development came as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne paid a visit to the site of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station in Somerset yesterday. He also opened a multi-million pound Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College, aimed at training local nuclear workers for the future. His visit marked the end of public consultation on the Government’s National Policy Statement on nuclear energy.

This is Somerset 25th Jan2011 more >>

Environmental pressure group, Kick Nuclear, is calling for the closure of Hinkley Point nuclear power station in West Somerset. This follows the publication of an independent report claiming that land surrounding the site could be contaminated with up to 10 tonnes of highly toxic enriched uranium. Kick Nuclear says the implications are so serious that the plant’s operator, British Energy, should not allow employees to continue working on the site. The organisation is also demanding that parent company, EDF Energy, halts all preparatory construction work on adjacent land earmarked for two new reactors.

Bristol Indymedia 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Stop Hinkley January Newsletter.

Stop Hinkley 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Floating/underwater reactors

There seems to be between the Russian and French nuclear establishments a race to see who will design and operate the most absurd and perhaps most dangerous new type of nuclear reactor. Regular readers of this blog are familiar with the emerging issue of the floating nuclear reactors the Russian Federation is currently building to tug, lease and/or sell in various parts of the world, in order to produce electricity in remote regions and facilitate the development of subseabed mining, water desalination and other energy-hungry activities. (For more information on this Russian scheme click on “Floating nuclear reactors” in the right-hand column). But today I’ve learned in the French newspaper Le Figaro that a French engineering firm is developing underwater nuclear power plants in partnership with the French nuclear giant AREVA, the French utility company EDF and the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). Le Figaro describes the project as a “low-cost” nuclear reactor. Of course, the one million megawatts question is whether low-cost for the operator means high-cost for the environment.

Chez Remi 20th Jan 2011 more >>

Nuclear power may not be clean enough to be included in some studies about the feasibility of renewable energy, but some countries are so determined to get off fossil fuels in favor of nuclear power that they are studying how they can place nuclear reactors on the ocean floor

Discovery News 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Plutonium

The dream of “closing” the fuel cycle through advanced fuel-cycle and reactor technologies lay dormant for decades, briefly reappeared under the previous US administration, but now seems to be undergoing something of a third coming. Frank von Hippel says historical experience should warn us against being seduced once again. He is a professor of public and international Affairs at Princeton University, and co-chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials.

Nuclear Intelligence Weekly 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Korea

U.S. President Barack Obama told North Korea to stick to its commitment to abandon atomic weapons, throwing his support behind ally South Korea ahead of talks to try to calm tension on the divided peninsula.

Yahoo 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Iran

Sanctions have not held up Iran’s nuclear programme and it could produce bombs within two years, Israel’s new top spy said on Tuesday, staking out a conservative timeline in the face of rosier U.S. assessments.

Telegraph 26th Jan 2011 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Russia’s lower house of parliament ratified Tuesday a landmark nuclear disarmament treaty with the United States, the first such weapons pact in the post-Cold War era.

CNN 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Saudi Arabia

With vast oil reserves that are far from exhausted, Saudi Arabia, facing rising domestic energy demand that could cut into its oil exports, has decided to explore nuclear and renewable energy, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Monday.

Middle East Online 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 26 January 2011

25 January 2011

National Policy Statements

The U.K. government is preparing to submit to parliament a final list of sites suitable for new nuclear power stations, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary said Monday, clearing the way for a new nuclear fleet to help the country meet climate change obligations and keep the lights on.

Wall Street Journal 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Radiation Free Lakeland – Response to the Re-CONsultation National Policy Statements on Energy and Nuclear Power.

Radiation Free Lakeland 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Following Chris Huhne’s visit to Hinkley Point nuclear power station in West Somerset today, campaign group Kick Nuclear has slammed the Energy Secretary’s glowing appraisal of the government’s consultation on the revised draft National Policy Statements on energy infrastructure and its plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations. “It’s ironic that Huhne should be singing the praises of the nuclear industry at Hinkley Point just days after an independent report revealed that soil around the Somerset power station is heavily contaminated with cancer-causing enriched uranium. The government’s indifference to the dangers of nuclear power and its waste products is astonishing.

Indymedia 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Planning applications for nuclear sites move a step closer as the NPS consultation ends.

Construction News 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Business Green 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Nuclear Liability

Nuclear operators will be expected to take on liability of €1.2 billion for each of their sites, an increase on the current level of £140 million, under proposals outlined by Chris Huhne today.

DECC Press Release 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Companies operating nuclear power stations in Britain could be liable for clean-up costs of up to €1.2bn (£1.01bn) in the event of an accident – a seven-fold increase on the present maximum. Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, proposed on Monday to raise the liability ceiling per nuclear site from £140m. This had been expected to increase to £588m, in line with amendments to the Paris and Brussels conventions on nuclear third-party liability.

FT 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Argus Media 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Edie 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Reuters 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Utility Week 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Business Green 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Chris Huhne: It is a pleasure to be invited here today to open the Energy Centre at Bridgwater college. The transition to a low carbon economy presents a tremendous opportunity. There is great potential for low carbon growth in the south west not least in the nuclear industry.

DECC 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, visited EDF Energy’s site at Hinkley Point in Somerset today as the Government’s consultation on Energy National Policy Statements approached its end. Visiting Hinkley Point in Somerset, already the location of two earlier nuclear power stations, and top of EDF Energy’s list of proposed sites for new build, Mr Huhne said: “A new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has the potential to make an important contribution to the UK’s future low carbon, secure energy supplies.

DECC 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Build.co.uk 24th Jan 2011 more >>

We birders get to visit some beautiful places, but Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset certainly isn’t one of them. Nevertheless, on my “Big Winter’s Day” at the start of the new year, it proved surprisingly productive for birds.

Guardian 24th Jan 2011 more >>

NDA

As the public consultation on the NDA’s current Draft 3-year Business Plan (2011-2014) reaches its closure date this week, CORE raises concerns over the poor level of information provided for consultation, and questions the merits of responding to plans upon which decisions have clearly already been made.

CORE Press Release 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Sellafield

A controversial safety scheme at Sellafield, dubbed ‘grass on your mates to win a telly’ has donated £10,000 to local charities. The peer-to-peer observation scheme involves staff telling management if they see colleagues engaging in risky working practices that might result in accidents. People who report incidents that lead to safety improvements are awarded points which can be exchanged for prizes like a trip to the cinema, designer clothes or a new TV. Unions feared the scheme would be used for workers to ‘grass’ on one another. But bosses say it has been a huge success, with more than 23,000 observations submitted and genuine safety improvements achievements.

Cumberland News 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Planning

The Localism Bill, the government’s flagship planning and local government Bill that amends the regime for planning and authorising major infrastructure projects amongst many other measures, starts its committee stage in the House of Commons this evening with a private programming session. This is the stage where the Bill is considered in detail by a smaller group of MPs – 26 to be precise. Here are the MPs who will consider the Bill.

Bircham Dyson Bell 24th Jan 2011 more >>

AP1000

American regulators are happy that the impact of a large aircraft on a Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plant would not jeopardise nuclear safety. Essential safety functions at a nuclear power plant are to protect the highly radioactive nuclear fuel in the reactor core and maintain a cooling flow of water to avoid it overheating. The same goes for the fuel once it has been used and transferred to storage ponds within the reactor building.

World Nuclear News 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Japan

Nuke Info Tokyo No. 140 (January/February 2011) is now available on CNIC’s web site.

CNIC 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Saudi Arabia

Hashim Yamani president of the King Abdullah Atomic and Renewable Energy City,said he expected to produce solar energy in commercial quantities “sooner” than atomic power. The latter will take from 8-to-10 years, he said. The kingdom, he said, is consulting with several countries on its nuclear plans and will probably use a mix of US, French, British, Korean and Japanese experience.

FT 25th Jan 2011 more >>

India

The US has removed sanctions imposed on nine Indian space and defence organisations after India carried out nuclear tests.

BBC 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Korea

Hopes have risen for progress in dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, after South Korea said it would propose high-level talks with its neighbour.

Guardian 25th Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 25 January 2011

24 January 2011

Companies

Areva SA and the Saudi Binladin Group will sign a partnership agreement tonight in the nuclear and solar power industries, the French company’s Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon said today in Riyadh.

Bloomberg 23rd Jan 2011 more >>

Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is hopeful about further talks on Iran’s nuclear program, while Israel says more negotiations would be a ‘‘waste of time’’

Reuters 23rd Jan 2011 more >>

China

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China that paves the way for the establishment of a radiation detection training center in Qinhuangdao, China. “This agreement represents the shared commitment of both the United States and China to enhance global peace and security by working to prevent nuclear smuggling,”

Political Skew 23rd Jan 2011 more >>

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the signing of a government-to-government agreement with the People’s Republic of China to establish a Center of Excellence in China to promote effective nuclear security and safeguards.

Political Skew 23rd Jan 2011 more >>

Vietnam

Japan and Vietnam have signed an agreement for cooperation in the development and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The accord follows the announcement in October 2010 that Vietnam had selected Japan as a partner for cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants.

Your Nuclear News 24th Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 24 January 2011

23 January 2011

Nuclear Liability

Nuclear operators will have to pay the first £1bn towards the cost of any accident in the UK – seven times more than the current cap on their liabilities – the government will propose tomorrow.

Energy secretary Chris Huhne told the Observer that he wanted to introduce the new rule to ensure that there would be no public subsidy for nuclear power. Currently, any operator of a nuclear site only has to pay the first £140m towards clean-up costs, with the taxpayer contributing the rest. The cap, enshrined in European treaties, was introduced because no company can obtain insurance against a nuclear accident – or would want to shoulder the risk themselves – because the costs could potentially be limitless.

Observer 23rd Jan 2011 more >>

Dungeness

Hundreds of people have called on the coalition to reconsider a decision to rule out Dungeness as the site of a new nuclear power plant. The previous government dismissed Dungeness as a location for one of 10 new nuclear power stations in 2009. About 200 people gathered at the meeting in New Romney on Saturday, to pledge their support for a new plant. Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe Damian Collins vowed to take the issue right to the heart of government.

BBC 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Hinkley

MP Tessa Munt has this week discussed Hinkley Point health concerns with members of the Burnham-based group “Parents concerned About Hinkley”.

Burnham-on-sea.com 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Bradwell

Eleven units are at the blaze that is believed to have started soon after 12 noon on Friday when titanium rods that were being broken down in a condenser unit set alight. Assistant Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick gave the latest update at just before 2pm on Friday saying: “Crews are fighting the fire with three jets and foam.”

Essex Enquirer 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Sellafield

A gigantic plant is being built to enable the safe storage of highly radioactive waste. It is said to be the largest nuclear project of its type in the UK. The Evaporator D, upon its completion in mid-2014, will play a crucial role in handling some of the most radioactive waste generated by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield. The £400 million scheme is progressing rapidly, led by a team from the cradle of the British nuclear industry comprising Sellafield Ltd, which manages the nuclear site in Cumbria, supported by partner Costain Oil and Gas Process, the prime contractor, and the wider supply chain from Britain and overseas.

Professional Engineering 17th Jan 2011 more >>

Hunterston

North Ayrshire and Arran MP Katy Clark met Hunterston B staff during her recent visit to the nuclear power station. Ms Clark was given a tour of the site, which is owned by EDF Energy, and met key members of staff including the acting station director Colin Weir. During her visit Ms Clark learned of a project which a group of Hunterston apprentices have recently undertaken, to restore a Victorian artefact for Dungarvan Mill. Colin Weir, acting station director at Hunterston B, said: “I was delighted to welcome Katy to the station and update her on our recent and forthcoming community initiatives. She enjoyed hearing about the work our apprentices have been doing with Dungarvan Mill and we were also able to give her a short tour of the station.”

Largs & Millport Gazette 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Iran

TWO days of crisis talks on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme ended yesterday, with the European Union and United States calling the discussions disappointing and saying that no further meetings were planned.

Scotland on Sunday 23rd Jan 2011 more >>

EU Business 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Telegraph 23rd Jan 2011 more >>

Sky News 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Guardian 22nd Jan 20211 more >>

Talks between six world powers and Iran, aimed at persuading Tehran to rein in its nuclear programme, will resume but no date or venue has been set, a senior Iranian official said today.

Independent 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 23 January 2011

22 January 2011

Bradwell

A fire has broken out at a disused nuclear power station in Essex. Twelve fire crews were called to the blaze in a condenser unit, measuring four by six metres, at Bradwell Power Station at about 1230 GMT. Assistant Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick, of the Essex Fire and Rescue Service, said titanium rods were being broken down and caught fire. An Essex fire service spokesman said the blaze was brought under control by 1430 GMT. A spokeswoman from Bradwell Power Station said: “The immediate vicinity was made safe and evacuated and the emergency services called who then promptly extinguished the fire.

BBC 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Hinkley

A bid to build a jetty to help speed the construction of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station in Somerset received a formal objection from the local port authority yesterday. Sedgemoor district council is the port authority for the site which falls within West Somerset district council’s area for planning consideration. Sedgemoor accepts the principle of a jetty to allow thousands of tons of construction material to be brought in by sea, but councillors have lodged an objection because they do not believe the developer, French energy giant EDF, has provided enough information. It is concerned that there is little reference made to the risks associated with operating a temporary jetty in close proximity to Bridgwater Harbour – and the specific risk and impact associated with maintaining the operation of Dunball Wharf and local leisure trips.

This is Somerset 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Oldbury

Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy has responded to the reconsultation on Nationalo Policy Statements. We were very surprised that Oldbury remained on the list of potential sites, when Braystones, Kirksanton and Dungeness were all removed for reasons that included (and, in the case of Dungeness, was exclusively) the adverse impact on the environment and landscape. Oldbury/ Shepperdine is an estuarine site with limited access to water for cooling the reactor. Accordingly, it is the only one of the nominated sites which must have cooling towers, and is therefore by far the largest and most intrusive of all the planned developments. The Severn Estuary and the countryside which overlooks it are both naturally beautiful and internationally important for their biodiversity. It is indefensible to put the largest and ugliest of the new nuclear builds in one of the most attractive and sensitive localities on the list, especially when the generating capacity can be provided at alternative sites that are less significant and less vulnerable, and that do not need cooling towers. Our detailed concerns, and the evidence to support them, are laid out below. The numbers in parentheses refer to paragraphs in the revised Draft NPS for Nuclear Power Generation (EN-6). These concerns amplify the views which we expressed in our initial response to the original Draft NPS, and take account of the revisions made by the Government. We remain deeply concerned about several generic issues which we highlighted in our earlier response. These include the uncertain risks of storing radioactive waste on site (potentially for up to 160 years); the destruction of local communities; and the disruption caused by building and the influx of the construction workforce. However, these arguments apply to all of the nominated sites. Instead, we focus here on the specific factors that make Oldbury uniquely unsuitable for a new nuclear development based around either of the reactors that were recently approved in the Generic Design Assessment process.

SANE 21st Jan 2011 more >>

New Nukes

Letter: Mr Ingham claimed that I “objected to taxing coal, gas and oil.” Quite the opposite, I am strongly in favour – even if the nuclear industry will benefit from it – as this is the most effective way of avoiding dangerous climate change. However, luckily we can avoid climate change without using nuclear power.

Hebden Bridge Times 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Supply Chain

Nuclear Power Delivery UK (the team established to deliver the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plant in the UK) reports that it has “strengthened” its supply chain to enable construction of the facility. The company announced that Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) have been signed with three UK nuclear industry supply chain giants – BAE Systems, Doosan Power Systems and Rolls-Royce.

Procurement Leaders 21st Jan 2011 more >>

France

FRENCH naval defence company DCNS has unveiled its new Flexblue offshore nuclear power plant, small units based on designs for its nuclear submarines. The cylindrical Flexblue would be 100 m long and 12–15 m in diameter, and would have a generating capacity of 50–250 MW. It would weigh 12,000 t once built and is designed to be anchored several kilometres offshore in water 60–100 m deep.

Chemical Engineer 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Available nuclear power capacity in France is expected to fall in the medium term from its current high level as more plants go off line for maintenance, according to forecasts from French grid operator RTE. Capacity will remain at a high 95pc of installed plant capacity in weeks five and six, but begin to fall in the second half of February and March. The available units are expected to decrease to 83pc of installed capacity by week 15.

Argus Media 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Iran

Iran said differences were narrowing at talks yesterday with six world powers looking to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. But others said it was too early to speak of progress.

Belfast Telegraph 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Eight prominent senators have warned Barack Obama against making concessions to Iran, in a move highlighting the obstacles to the latest round of negotiations with the Islamic republic. The senators include John McCain, Mr Obama’s former presidential rival, Joe Lieberman, the former vice-presidential nominee, and Chuck Schumer, the Democrats’ number three in the chamber

FT 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Iran yesterday refused to discuss suspending its uranium enrichment programme at talks in Istanbul, despite western powers pressing it to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Scotsman 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Guardian 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Iran has been offered access to peaceful nuclear technology and an end to UN sanctions in return for surrendering its enriched uranium stockpile, which can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Telegraph 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

Iran says it has narrowed the differences with the United States and other leading powers over its nuclear enrichment programme. Tehran is currently in talks in Turkey with the six powers, China, Britain, France, Russia and the United States, amid fears the country is trying to make nuclear weapons. Tehran currently denies any such aspiration, insisting that it is only interested in producing nuclear fuel – warning it is in no mood to compromise over the issue.

ITN 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Morning Star 21st Jan 2011 more >>

The Stuxnet computer virus, created to sabotage Iran’s nuclear programme, was the result of collaboration between at least one Western power and the Israeli secret service, a British cyber security expert has found. Tom Parker, a US-based security researcher who specialises in tracing cyber attacks, has spent months analysing the Stuxnet code and has found evidence that the virus was created by two separate organisations. The hard forensic evidence supports the reported claims of intelligence sources that it was a joint, two step operation.

Telegraph 22nd Jan 2011 more >>

US

Nuclear power status report.

IEER 19th Jan 2011 more >>

Test Veterans

In 1957 the British military began carrying out atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons around the former colony of Christmas Island. After the initial tests in 1957-58, independent UK experiments ceased, however “Operation Grapple” as the series of tests was known, continued as a joint US/UK exercise until 1962. Of the 20,000 servicemen involved, 2,500 were British. One servicemen, a sapper in the Royal Engineers, Ken McGinley, was chairman of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA) from 1982 to 2000. I spoke with him following the Appeal Court’s Decision last year to reject nine out of ten test cases seeking compensation from the MoD.

Caledonian Mercury 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News includes news of further possible delays to the start of the Renewable Heat Incentive; South Yorkshire Housing Association’s plan for 650 solar homes by next year; how Birmingham is fast becoming the UK’s solar hub; and a £200m solar investment in Scotland; Alex Salmond opens a hydrogen research facility in Fife; residents in Oxford and Plymouth enthusiastic about solar farm proposals; another £71k given by EDF Energy to microgeneration projects in schools; how PepsiCo plans to be carbon-free by 2023 – reducing the carbon footprint of a bag of crisps.

Microgen Scotland 21st Jan 2011 more >>

Posted: 22 January 2011