News July 2011

31 July 2011


The only councillor to vote against an application for land clearance work on the site of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station yesterday said developers must bring a planned village bypass forward. Councillor Anthony Trollope-Bellew opposed the application because of the impact he believes it will have on Cannington. Developer EDF plans to build a bypass to take main construction traffic if it wins approval for the station from the Infrastructure Planning Committee. West Somerset District Council Planning Committee passed the site works application on Thursday, with conditions, and urged that the bypass be built early.

Western Daily Press 30th July 2011 more >>

The race to dominate Britain’s nuclear future began yesterday as EDF submitted applications to build its first plant in Britain. The energy company, which was given council planning permission on Thursday for preparatory work on the site, filed applications to the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency.

This is Money 30th July 2011 more >>

EDF Energy

EDF Energy reported a strong first half-year in the UK, with an increase in nuclear output offsetting lower sales figures. The company blamed a loss of industrial customers and mild weather for its sales slump of 8.5% to €4,390 million.

Utility Week 29th July 2011 more >>

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, reported a 6 percent increase in first- half profit and said annual spending on French nuclear reactor maintenance and upgrades could more than double. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 8.62 billion euros ($12.4 billion) from 8.14 billion euros a year earlier, EDF said today in a statement. That was in line with the 8.58 billion-euro median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. EDF has been struggling to raise atomic output in France, where the former monopoly operates 58 reactors and is building an EPR model at Flamanville in Normandy. After the meltdown at the Fukushima reactor in Japan, the utility faces increased spending on safety in addition to technical upgrades needed to prolong the lives of aging plants.

Business Week 30th July 2011 more >>


Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas giant, is in talks to take a big stake in British power plants owned by RWE, German parent of the utility Npower. The deal would be the realisation of the Kremlin-controlled group’s long- held ambition of breaking into the UK electricity market. The British government has indicated it would not block the deal. At a meeting in London nine days ago energy minister Charles Hendry told Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s deputy chief executive, he would welcome new entrants to the British energy industry, according to sources close to the discussions. His stance is a departure from the previous government’s position. Five years ago it considered legislation to block a rumoured takeover by Gazprom of Centrica, owner of British Gas.

Sunday Times 31st July 2011 more >>

Electricity Prices

Npower and E.ON are set to become the latest energy suppliers to announce price hikes this week, a rise prompted by the 30 per cent increase in the wholesale cost of gas, so far this year.

Independent on Sunday 31st July 2011 more >>


Ulrich Beck: I was a member of the special expert commission appointed by Chancellor Merkel in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. This article presents some of the panel’s recommendations, which have become the foundation of Mrs Merkel’s policy of switching to alternative energy sources by 2021. Following Chernobyl and Fukushima, anyone who still maintains that French, British, American, or Chinese reactors are safe fails to see that based on the weight of the evidence we ought to draw the exact opposite conclusion. After all, if anything is clear, it is that another nuclear disaster is a certainty. The only question is where and when. In the long run, nuclear power will become more expensive, while renewable energy will become cheaper. But those who continue to leave all options open will not invest in the latter. To the Germans, “energy revolution” is spelled j-o-b-s. What is denounced by many as a hysterical overreaction to the “risks” of nuclear energy is in fact a vital step toward ensuring that a turning point in energy generation becomes a step toward greater democracy.

Dissent 30th July 2011 more >>


Living near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Hisayuki Sakagami might have once been seen as a bit odd, generating his family’s electricity through solar power and small windmills. Although Sakagami was forced to evacuate from his home after the nuclear crisis unfolded in March, he has been busy helping victims in ways only he and his peers can. They recently installed 24 solar panels at no charge at evacuation centers in the stricken areas in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

Asahi 31st July 2011 more >>


A tight deadline on a government subsidy scheme that proved too popular has prompted a mini-boom in solar panel installation. At its sewage works in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, Thames Water yesterday switched on a hastily built solar power farm. The previous day Toyota hooked up to the national grid a 17,000-panel field next to its plant in Derbyshire. Near Poole in Dorset, Farm Power finished a 300kW array at Slepe Farm on Monday that the developer said was put up in record time. The projects were part of a mad dash by developers to meet the deadline for a 25-year subsidy scheme that runs out at midnight tonight. The great British sun run was inspired by the feed-in tariff the government introduced last year to guarantee income for homes and business installing solar panels.

Sunday Times 31st July 2011 more >>

Posted: 31 July 2011

30 July 2011


The decision by West Somerset Council to approve major groundworks at Hinkley Point [1] has allowed energy company EdF to “jump the gun” on its plans for a nuclear power station, the Stop Hinkley campaign said today. “This is like giving a developer permission to excavate a greenfield site even before they have permission to build the actual houses,” said Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey. “What will those Councillors say to the people of West Somerset in two years’ time, with massive holes in the ground lined with concrete and a devastated wasteland – no trees, no hedges, no wildlife – and EDF says ‘Sorry, we don’t think it’s worth going ahead’.”

Stop Hinkley Press Release 29th July 2011 more >>

Planners in Somerset have given the go-ahead for work to begin on the site of the first nuclear power station to be built in Britain for 20 years. Officials approved the site despite strong protests from opponents who say the preparatory work for Hinkley C will wreck the coastline.

Business Green 29th July 2011 more >>

Guardian 29th July 2011 more >>

Builder & Engineer 29th July 2011 more >>

Construction News 29th July 2011 more >>

A round of applications, permissions and orders has launched the UK’s first new nuclear build project into a practical phase. EDF Energy gained permission last night from local authorities in West Somerset to begin preparing the Hinkley Point C site for construction. Shortly afterwards it ordered the heavy steam supply components from its reactor supplier Areva and submitted a formal application for the Nuclear Site Licence it will need to own and operate the eventual nuclear power plant.

World Nuclear News 29th July 2011 more >>

John Vidal: This week French state-owned power company EDF was given permission to start the preconstruction of “Hinkley C”, the third nuclear power station on the Somerset coast of the Bristol channel and what is expected to be the first nuclear power station to be built in Britain in over 20 years. This will involve clearing over 400 acres of land and excavating more soil and rock than was dug up for the London Olympic Games. Both the French and the Finnish prototype stations have doubled in price to around £6bn each and are taking twice as long – six years – to construct than expected. Hinkley C was intended to be generating electricity by 2018, but this is now considered unlikely. No commercial nuclear plant has ever been built in Britain on time or at the anticipated cost and City analysts do not think EDF will be able to construct nuclear plants any more cheaply in Britain than elsewhere.

Guardian 29th July 2011 more >>

Britain’s largest nuclear power producer submitted applications for a site licence and an environmental permit for its Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. Its early 2018 start-up date was delayed following Japan’s nuclear disaster.

Reuters 29th July 2011 more >>

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has received an application from NNB Generation Company for a nuclear site licence, relating to its proposed development of a new nuclear power station in Hinkley Point, Somerset. It is anticipated that ONR will spend around 18 months assessing NNB Generation Company’s suitability, capability and competence to install, operate and decommission a nuclear facility. If licensed, the company will be subject to statutory obligations and regulation by ONR.

ONR 29th July 2011 more >>

The Environment Agency has received two environmental permit applications from NNBGenCo relating to operation of a nuclear power station at their Hinkley point site. The applications, received on 29 July 2011 relate to discharges and disposals of radioactive waste and operation of standby power supply systems. The Environment Agency are reviewing the applications and, if the applications contain the relevant information they will consult the public for a period of 30 days, likely to begin in mid August. NNBGenCo may also apply for an environmental permit for operational cooling water discharges in August/September, which will also be open for consultation.

Environment Agency 29th July 2011 more >>


ALLEGED problems with building a new nuclear reactor in France – including spiralling costs and lengthy delays – will not affect plans for Sizewell C, energy bosses claimed last night.

East Anglian Daily Times 28th Jly 2011 more >>


French utility Electricite de France or EDF Group SA Friday said its first-half profit increased from last year, helped by higher nuclear output in France and the UK, amid challenging macroeconomic conditions. Comparisons also benefited from a hefty charge that hit the first-half of last year. Further, the company reiterated its financial objectives for 2011.

RTT News 29th July 2011 more >>


A PANEL set up to investigate whether Cumbria should volunteer to host an underground nuclear waste dump will agree on “preliminary conclusions” on Friday.

Whitehaven News 28th July 2011 more >>

Nuclear Transport

ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners have criticised the company which transports radioactive waste through the centre of London – including through Islington – after it announced its trains will be suspended during the Olympics and Paralympics next year. They believe the so-called nuclear trains are being stopped for security and safety reasons when the eyes of the world will be on London – and argue they should be halted permanently. “We welcome this temporary suspension, but resuming these deadly shipments after the Games is no solution,” said Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Islington Tribune 29th July 2011 more >>

Electricity Prices

The Government has acknowledged it will have to prop up struggling British industry hit by five green taxes that are forecast to add between 7pc and 58pc to electricity prices. Businesses are facing huge uncertainty after the Government’s new forecasts, which show a wide range of possible price increases in different scenarios. The Department for Energy and Climate Change believes that if the gas price falls, green taxes will increase the electricity price by 29pc to 58pc as renewable energy will be more expensive in comparison to the fossil fuel over the next two decades. If the gas price rises, making green energy more competitive, the measures may only increase the electricity price by 14pc to 16pc. If gas prices stay the same, then electricity is forecast to rise by 7pc to 20pc. The figures do not take the additional cost of commodity prices into account.

Telegraph 29th July 2011 more >>

Emergency Planning

Thousands of homes and businesses within two kilometres of Devonport Naval Base are to receive an updated nuclear emergency booklet. Up to 20,000 properties will get the booklet through their letter boxes this weekend. The public information booklet explains to people living and working in the area what to do in the event of a nuclear emergency at the Devonport site.

Plymouth Herald 30th July 2011 more >>


The United States can find a way to dispose of its nuclear waste, even if the current program is at an impasse, according to the blue-ribbon commission established by President Obama after he ended the government’s planning for making Yucca Mountain in Nevada the nation’s nuclear waste repository. In a draft report issued Friday, the commission members wrote that “we know what we have to do, we know we have to do it, and we even know how to do it.” Essentially, the commission recommended that an independent panel choose a new site, based on sound science, and win the consent of the local community before proceeding.

New York Times 29th July 2011 more >>

In its draft report, the commission seems to have learned from the past and in essence is asking one or more communities and states to volunteer to host the nation’s nuclear waste. Should such volunteers be found, whether for the short- or long-haul, the process would then begin anew of attempting to site and build a repository.

Scientific American 29th July 2011 more >>


How can Germany remain the economic powerhouse of Europe, and the world’s second largest exporting country, while removing a significant source of energy from its grid? Energy Efficiency: First of all, there is the European Union directive on Energy Performance of Buildings, which states that all new buildings must consume nearly zero energy from 2020 onwards. In addition, Germany has put in place new incentive programs to support the renovation of buildings. In addition to using the auction revenue from the European Emissions Trading Scheme (Europe’s “cap-and-trade” system) for renovation programs, Germany has also put in place special tax reductions for the renovation of buildings. Together 3.4 billion euros will go towards a lower energy consuming, modernized building sector in Germany. In the power sector, the focus is on renewable energies, linked with the ambitious targets. For some sectors, electricity and district heating will play a significant role if produced by renewable or low-carbon energy sources. In the interim period new highly efficient and flexible gas power plants will likely be built as back-up power. Germany has started a new process to develop the “target grid 2050” which includes all infrastructure roll out and adjustments needed for a renewable-energy dominated electricity system.

Guardian 29th July 2011 more >>


Japan will strive to avoid a complete shutdown of its 54 nuclear reactors and avert crippling power shortages in the near term while charting plans to reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear power, the government said on Friday. The government faces an uphill battle in winning over an increasingly sceptical public and it suffered a fresh setback on Friday when one of the power utilities revealed the state-run nuclear power regulator tried to manipulate the outcome of a citizen debate on nuclear power four years ago.

Reuters 29th July 2011 more >>

A Japanese utility said on Friday the government’s nuclear watchdog asked it to recruit local residents to attend a public forum and speak in favour of its planned use of plutonium-uranium mixed-oxide or MOX fuel at one of its reactors. In a written response to the trade ministry on whether it had tried to steer public opinion in favour of nuclear power, Chubu Electric Power Co said it had been asked by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) in 2007 to ensure that a sufficient number of favourable views was represented at a symposium in Shizuoka prefecture, south of Tokyo.

Reuters 29th July 2011 more >>

North Korea

The United States on Friday ended nuclear arms talks with North Korea with a message that the “path is open” to better relations if the reclusive North shows a firm commitment to disarmament efforts.

AFP 29th July 2011 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

The Nuclear Information Service August Update is available. Articles on New edition of MoD guidance on nuclear weapons emergencies published; P5 conference in Paris; MoD to axe 7,000 more civilian jobs; Changes to AWE Burghfield permits and licensing.

Nuclear Information Service 29th July 2011 more >>

Test Veterans

The disabled daughter of an ex-servicemen has welcomed news that veterans can pursue a claim for damages against the Ministry of Defence. Amanda Coates believes her problems could have resulted from her father being exposed to radiation while serving on Christmas Island.

Anglia Tonight 29th July 2011 more >>

Over half a century ago, Harry ‘Tadge’ Walmsley from Pantasaph in Flintshire was made to stand and watch a series of nuclear test explosions barely 25 miles away from them. That’s because was serving with the RAF on Christmas Island. In this extended interview, Harry tells about what it’s like to stand next to a nuclear bomb.

Wales Tonight 28th July 2011 more >>

Veterans from Tayside and Fife who say they were made ill after being exposed to radiation during nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s have claimed victory in their latest legal fight for compensation.

Dundee Courier 29th July 2011 more >>


Ikea Group, the world’s biggest home-furnishings retailer, bought a wind farm in Scotland and plans to install 39,000 solar panels on its U.K. stores as part of a goal to get all of its energy from renewable sources. Ikea bought a 12.3-megawatt wind farm in Huntly, northeast Scotland, from Good Energies Capital Inc., Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard said in a phone interview. That’s enough to cover 30 percent of Ikea’s U.K. electricity use. The solar panels, totaling 2.1 megawatts, will be fitted on 10 stores, providing an average of 5 percent of each shop’s power, he said.

Bloomberg 29th July 2011 more >>

Posted: 30 July 2011

29 July 2011

Nuclear Subsidy

The government has this week attempted to ease concern from MPs that its plans to overhaul the electricity market will fail to deliver the £110bn investment required over the next decade to move to a low carbon economy. In its response to the Energy and Climate Change Committee report on electricity market reforms the government also again rejected allegations that the reforms include measures that backtrack on the coalition pledge to deny specific subsidies for nuclear power.

Business Green 28th July 2011 more >>

New Nukes

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has scaled back its investment in new nuclear power, describing its plans to invest in the UK’s first two stations with EDF as “no done deal”. The news came as planning officers at West Somerset Council effectively gave the green light for EDF and Centrica to begin preparing the ground for the UK’s first new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point. Councillors voted 11 to one in favour of approving the groundwork, with some minor conditions. However, concerns have been growing about the risks of new nuclear power in the UK since EDF revealed that its flagship plant in Flamanville, north-west France, has suffered two fatal accidents this year and seen costs double to €6bn (£5.3bn). This means it will begin operating six years after the original start date. The nuclear meltdown at Fukushima in Japan will also to increase safety costs.

Telegraph 29th July 2011 more >>


Areva’s new chief executive said the Fukushima disaster was creating new business opportunities for nuclear service providers as the industry’s focus moves to safety upgrades and sometimes plant dismantling. Luc Oursel said that although the impact of the Japanese catastrophe remained difficult to assess in terms of lost business, the world’s biggest nuclear reactor builder was still convinced most countries would forge ahead with their atomic power plans.

Reuters 28th July 2011 more >>


Anti-nuclear campaigners have slammed a council’s decision to allow EDF Energy to begin clearing land earmarked for a nuclear reactor. And they pledged to step-up their campaign of direct action against the energy giant. Activists from the Stop New Nuclear network branded West Somerset Council’s decision yesterday to allow EDF to start bulldozing 400 acres next to Somerset’s Hinkley Point nuclear power station as a ‘circus and a travesty’. The planning committee’s decision paves the way for preparatory work to begin on the Hinkley C mega-reactor.

Stop Nuclear Power 29th July 2011 more >>

Preparatory works for the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point will go ahead, after councillors voted in favour of the application. Energy firm EDF applied for planning permission from West Somerset Council to clear a valley to the west of the existing nuclear power station.

BBC 28th July 2011 more >>

Western Morning News 29th July 2011 more >>


Sellafield has pledged to work with its contractors in a “better way”, focusing on longer relationships with fewer firms. Speaking at a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Energus, Lillyhall, Sellafield Ltd’s Keith Case there was a need for a shift of emphasis on how the site deals with the companies that work for it. He said he wanted value for money relationships “that can organise and galvanise the supply chain below them”.That means ‘tier two’ companies, who win contracts then employ sub-contractors to help, would have more responsibility for the supply chain.

Cumberland News 28th July 2011 more >>


The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry estimated that approximately 1,600 workers partaking in efforts to rein in the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant will be exposed to over 50 millisieverts of radiation, according to a document that emerged July 26 after a citizens’ group lodged a request for access to government information. The internal ministry document was released to the public domain in June after the Japan Occupational Safety and Health Resource Center (JOSHRC) requested the public disclosure of government information. The document originating from the ministry said: “Those who in the days ahead will be exposed to over 50 millisieverts of radiation are expected to number around 1,600.”

Mainichi 27th July 2011 more >>

Test Veterans

VETERANS who claim they fell ill after British nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s won a victory in their battle for Government compensation. The ex-servicemen, including four from Merseyside, won the latest round of a legal fight against the Ministry of Defence. London’s Supreme Court gave the veterans the go-ahead to argue their right to seek damages.

Crosby Herald 29th July 2011 more >>

Daily Post 29th July 2011 more >>

North Korea

The US says a first day of talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme had been “serious and business-like”.

BBC 29th July 2011 more >>


A third commissioner at the U.S. nuclear safety regulator has rejected a rapid overhaul of rules for U.S. plants in the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster advocated by the agency’s chairman, voting instead for a slower approach.

Reuters 28th July 2011 more >>


The UK has sailed ahead in offshore wind power generation in the past six months, building more offshore windfarms than any other country in the world, and accounting for almost all of the turbines erected in European waters this year. Of only 108 offshore turbines built around Europe’s coastline from January to June, a whopping 101 were built around the UK, with only six built in Germany, and a single one in Norway, according to estimates published on Wednesday by the trade body European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Chris Huhne, energy and climate change secretary, told the Guardian the figures showed how fast the UK was moving in renewable power. “The UK is the undisputed home of offshore wind energy. Our natural resource and competitive advantage mean we have the biggest market in the world. We’re blowing away the competition,” he said. “It’s part of the low-carbon revolution that’s under way in the UK, bringing jobs and growth in new industries and building us a future less exposed to volatile global energy prices.”

Guardian 28th July 2011 more >>

Despite gloomy skies over much of the country this summer, Britain has experienced a sunshine boom – solar power capacity has risen by more than 18-fold since last year as homeowners and businesses rush to take advantage of subsidies. From April to June this year, nearly 34 megawatts (MW) of new solar generating capacity was added to the UK grid – the biggest amount ever in a single quarter, bringing the UK’s total capacity to nearly 122MW. This represented more than 14,500 new installations in the last quarter alone, compared with the UK’s total capacity of only 2,700 solar panel systems in use by the end of March 2010, according to newly released figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The g overnment’s new feed-in tariffs (Fits) have fuelled the boom, making photovoltaic panels an attractive investment as owners receive a steady income stream for the power they produce, as well as being able to use it to offset their energy bills. However, the boom is in danger of faltering in the coming months as changes to the feed-in tariffs begin to bite. Larger solar farms or parks face sharp reductions in the subsidies available, after ministers decided to restrict most of the funding to smaller installations, such as households and small businesses. The changes – coming into effect from 1 August – mean that large installations, of more than 50 kilowatt (kW) capacity – enough to cover a large field, around 20 houses or a typical school – will lose the higher rate of subsidy and be eligible only for a lower tariff that some developers say is not enough to make them economically viable. Projects completed before Monday will continue to qualify for the higher rate, at least until the next review, giving companies a massive incentive to build as quickly as possible.

Guardian 29th July 2011 more >>

Posted: 29 July 2011

28 July 2011


A panel set up to investigate whether Cumbria should volunteer to host an underground nuclear waste dump will agree on “preliminary conclusions” on Friday. The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership was formed after Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria County Council all expressed an interest in being involved in the process to find a site for a so-called deep geological repository. The group will meet at the Market Hall, Wigton, on Friday, where it will agree its preliminary conclusions on issues including the safety and security of a repository, how it will affect the environment and planning implications. At a meeting last month, the group agreed on its stance on geology, design, engineering and inventory of a possible facility. A third meeting is to be held to decide on further issues, before it compiles a draft report. The panel will then ask the public for its opinion on the issue before a final report is given to the three councils.

Cumberland News 27th July 2011 more >>

News & Star 27th July 2011 more >>

New Nukes

Success in the UK’s nuclear build programme will unlock opportunities in international markets for UK contractors, EDF Energy’s nuclear procurement chief has told Construction News. Alan Cumming said lessons from the French plant Flamanville, which has been put back by four years and has overrun its estimated budget by billions of pounds, would be applied to the UK supply chain for nuclear build at Hinkley Point and Sizewell, benefiting contractors.

Construction News 28th July 2011 more >>


Areva has warned that it remains “extremely difficult” to assess the long-term impact on the industry of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster but said orders were only €1bn ($1.4bn) lower than before the event. The company’s disclosure on the size of its order book at the end of June provides the first concrete evidence of the financial implications of the Japanese disaster for one of the most important nuclear suppliers. In his first statement since taking charge of the company from Anne Lauvergeon last month, Luc Oursel, Areva’s chief executive, said almost €200m of orders had been cancelled since the earthquake and tsunami in March.

FT 27th July 2011 more >>


Technology developed for motor racing will be used to monitor nuclear pump operation in a feasibility study aimed at improving efficiency. A consortium between Cosworth Group and Glasgow-based Clyde Union Pumps has been awarded funding to perform a feasibility study focused on improving the operational monitoring of nuclear pumping equipment.

Process Engineering 27th July 2011 more >>

Missile Shield

If U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield to protect Europe against a possible attack by Iran are realized, it will spark a new nuclear arms race, North Korea’s U.N. ambassador said Wednesday. The U.S. plan, which is being developed in consultation with NATO, calls for the gradual deployment of interceptor missiles, based on land and sea, by 2020.

Reuters 28th July 2011 more >>

Test Veterans

Veterans involved in Britain’s nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s are taking their case for compensation to the Supreme Court. More than 1,000 ex-servicemen say exposure to radiation during tests conducted between 1952 and 1958 left them with ill health.

BBC 28th July 2011 more >>

Plaid Cymru’s Arfon MP Hywel Williams has called on the UK Government to compensate veterans suffering the long-term effects of atomic nuclear testing which took place in the 1950s.

News on News 27th July 2011 more >>

North Korea

US diplomats will sit in New York with Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator, for the first talks in two years, a move that could herald the start of further engagement with Pyongyang. However, Washington remains highly doubtful about the prospects for any meaningful progress with Kim Jong-il’s regime, which has broken all previous agreements, using talks as a way simply to extract rewards.

FT 27th July 2011 more >>


The Leibstadt nuclear power plant is to have its circulation system upgraded by Areva to help it use nuclear fuel more effectively. A turbine retrofit has already been carried out and some post-Fukushima improvements are to come.

World Nuclear News 27th July 2011 more >>


The nominee to be the next chief of the US military on Tuesday warned Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons or sponsor attacks in Iraq, saying it would be making a “serious miscalculation.”

Middle East Online 27th July 2011 more >>

Posted: 28 July 2011

27 July 2011

New Nukes

Jonathon Porritt: Why must the UK choose between nuclear and renewable energy? That was the question George Monbiot asked recently in a blog that challenged me to answer four questions. Here is a concise version of my answers: the full version of my answers will be posted on my website. As pointed out by Andrew Broadbent (of CES Social and Economic Research), these figures have been challenged by a wide range of very different cost projections. Nuclear costs would be much higher, and that it is certainly not “the most cost-effective” low-carbon technology. Secondly the co-existence of nuclear and renewables has become a pipedream. I believe a 100% renewable supply strategy for the UK is feasible by 2050 at the latest, assuming only that we succeed in reducing total energy consumption in the UK by at least 40% by 2030 through a wholly different approach to energy efficiency than any government has ever demonstrated before.

Guardian 26th July 2011 more >>


PLANS recommended for preparation work at the proposed Hinkley Point power station site received support in principle from Sedgemoor District Council. At a special meeting yesterday, the authority agreed in principle to recommendations put forward, subject to certain conditions and obligations being met.

Bridgwater Mercury 26th July 2011 more >>

Protest outside West Somerset Council Williton 28th july against EDF’s preliminary works application.

Stop Hinkley 26th July 2011 more >>

Waste Transport

Campaigners have hailed the halting of nuclear waste trains through Redbridge during the Olympics as a “victory”. News emerged last week that rail operators have temporarily stopped bringing spent nuclear fuel rods through Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes, Seven Kings and Ilford before going through the Olympic site and joining up with the North London Line and on to Sellafield in Cumbria. Despite that news, which came with news of a total halting of the trains during the Games, a number of protesters gathered at Stratford station on Saturday to oppose nuclear trains altogether.

London24 26th July 2011 more >>


CHRIS HARROP has joined Deloitte’s nuclear practice. Harrop will lead the firm’s nuclear capital programmes team, joining from Horizon Nuclear Power. His role will be to develop the firm’s practice in growing markets such as the UK, China and the middle-east.

Finance Director 26th July 2011 more >>


The historic decision by Germany’s government to end the country’s nuclear-energy programme is owed to the enduring vitality of the anti-nuclear movement. Paul Hockenos maps the implications for the rest of the world.

Open Democracy 26th July 2011 more >>


In an attempt to protect its assets from a Fukushima-style meltdown, Chubu Electric Power Co. is constructing an 18-meter (60 foot) anti-tsunami seawall around its Hamaoka nuclear plant. The plant is reportedly near a fault line that may be vulnerable to future earthquakes and tsunamis. The decision to build the wall came following the Japanese government’s forced shutdown of the plant in order to implement disaster mitigation measures.

Oil Price 26th July 2011 more >>

The UN’s top nuclear official says the world’s reliance on atomic power will continue to grow, despite the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima plant. Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said many countries believed nuclear power was needed to combat global warming. Mr Amano visited the Fukushima plant on Monday for the first time since it was crippled by the earthquake and tsunami.

BBC 26th July 2011 more >>

Can Japan afford to go nuclear-power-free? The country’s atomic power industry and many big business clients say “No”, arguing the step would boost electricity bills and pollution and hasten the hollowing out of Japanese manufacturing. But the Fukushima nuclear disaster is galvanising a coalition of safety-conscious voters and future-minded companies who increasingly believe that Japan cannot afford to stick with the status quo if it wants to be globally competitive.

Reuters 26th July 2011 more >>


A Russian region that was the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters and called the most polluted place on earth by American scientists has embarked on a search engine optimisation campaign to improve its image.

Telegraph 27th July 2011 more >>

Situated more than 900 miles south-east of Moscow close to Russia’s border with Kazakhstan, the Chelyabinsk region is synonymous with the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons programme and deadly pollution.

Telegraph 27th July 2011 more >>

North Korea

Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator, has arrived in New York for talks in a sign that President Barack Obama’s administration has decided it is too dangerous not to engage Pyongyang, even if there is little hope of disarmament.

FT 27th June 2011 more >>


India has signed a nuclear energy cooperation agreement with South Korea to encourage South Korea’s participation in construction of atomic power plant projects in India. The two countries have also agreed to improve the free trade agreement between the two countries, also known as the comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

Energy Business Review 26th July 2011 more >>

India has outlined its plans to bolster plant defence and preparedness to handle events of the scale of the tsunami that engulfed Fukushima Daiichi. The owner and operator of India’s 20 nuclear power reactors is Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). It said that “adequate provisions exist at Indian nuclear power plants to handle station blackout situations and maintain continuous cooling of reactor cores for decay heat removal.”

World Nuclear News 26th July 2011 more >>


The Philippines government is considering rechannelling the $100 million budget allotted to its nuclear energy development programme in the light of the Fukushima disaster. “Since the budget has been approved, the Department of Energy is currently studying what to do next. Whether we push through or delay or use the budget for more urgent matters. We are in discussion internally,” Energy undersecretary Jay Layug has been quoted as saying. He noted that at this stage the country doesn’t have any plans for nuclear other than to study it as an option. At the moment, he said, the DoE would be focusing on renewable energy development. “Renewable energy is the priority right now and not nuclear, we’re looking at additional capacities through coal and natural gas plants,” he said.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd July 2011 more >>


Western security agencies were most likely behind the killing of an Iranian scientist in an operation that underlines the myriad complications in the conflict over Iran’s nuclear programme, analysts have claimed. Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university lecturer, was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran on Saturday, the third murder of a scientist since 2009. One was killed in a car bomb, the second by a device detonated remotely.

Scotsman 27th July 2011 more >>


The private notes of the head of a U.S. cultural center in Hiroshima revealed that Washington targeted the city’s residents with pro-nuclear propaganda in the mid-1950s after deciding a swing in their opinions was vital to promoting the use of civil nuclear power in Japan and across the world. The organizers of a U.S.-backed exhibition that toured 11 major Japanese cities from November 1955 to September 1957 initially considered opening the first exhibition in Hiroshima. According to the private papers of Abol Fazl Fotouhi, former president of the American Cultural Center in Hiroshima, the idea of choosing the city was proposed at a meeting of officials of the U.S. Information Service in December 1954. The proposal was dropped because officials were worried that it would link nuclear energy too closely with nuclear bombs.

Asahi 26th July 2011 more >>

Energy Efficiency

The three-bedroom semi in Martin, which lies between Lincoln and Boston, is one of four straw houses built by North Kesteven district council. The first two the first in the UK to be built for social housing were completed last year in nearby Waddington. The only heating is a wood-burning stove; such are the insulating properties of straw that fuel bills could be 20% of those of conventional homes. This is the attraction for councils required to cut domestic emissions. Builders used 450 bales for each two-storey house, bought at 2 apiece from a local farmer. “He couldn’t believe we were going to build a house with it,” the council’s property manager Mick Gadd says. “He’d been selling 10 and 20-bale loads for horse bedding. He was very happy to help.” Hastoe Housing Association in Epping, Essex, is building four straw houses for Epping Forest district council to add to its housing stock. “We were seeking an opportunity to use straw and it was a happy coincidence that the local authority was interested too,” says Hastoe’s chief executive Sue Chalkley. “Fuel poverty is a really serious problem and straw homes are a potential solution.”

Guardian 27th July 20121

more >>


Decc ‘taking action shortly’ on loophole allowing extended solar farms to receive original feed-in tariff after August deadline. When making the changes, officials failed to remove sections of the legislation that would allow some solar developers to bypass the cuts and continue to access the original feed-in tariff rates for large solar farms. Sections 15 and 16 of the Feed-in Tariffs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) Order 2010 remain in force, meaning that developers registering systems before the August deadline will receive the original rate for additional capacity built at the same site for up to a year afterwards.

Guardian 26th July 2011 more >>

Posted: 27 July 2011

26 July 2011


CAMPAIGNERS have criticised EDF’s application for site preparation work ahead of a proposed new power station at Hinkley Point, branding the move “premature”. As statutory consultees, Sedgemoor District Council held a special meeting this afternoon to consider the energy giant’s plans to carry out site clearance, site levelling, drainage, haul-age roads and other associated works. But campaigners Stop Hinkley believe the request from EDF is “jumping the gun” as a planning application for a new power station has not yet been submitted. Spokesman Crispin Aubrey added: “If the French company does not gain approval for the power station from the Infrastructure Planning Commission, over 400 acres of beautiful countryside will have been needlessly trashed.”

This is the West Country 25th July 2011 more >>

ENERGY giant EDF says lessons learned from four-year delays to its new power station project in France will help shape its revised timetable for Hinkley Point C. EDF Energy announced last week that its European Pressurised Reactor at Flamanville will not be on line until 2016 – four years later than planned – citing “structural and economic reasons”.

This is the West Country 25th July 2011 more >>


Plans for the storage at Sizewell B, in Suffolk, were green lighted by energy minister Charles Hendry following a six week consultation.

Edie 25th July 2011 more >>

World Nuclear News 25th July 2011 more >>


Deloitte strengthens its nuclear team with a senior hire. Deloitte UK has appointed Chris Harrop to head up its nuclear capital programmes team. He joins from Horizon Nuclear Power where he was a project director. Harrop will lead a team of 100 nuclear experts.

Consultant News 25th July 2011 more >>

Deloitte 25th July 2011 more >>

National Grid’s share price rose 1pc as the utility giant confirmed that its £3.6bn spending programme for upgrading networks and connecting wind farms is on track. National Grid will be critical in ensuring Britain’s energy sector is given a £200bn overhaul over the next decade, making sure that new wind farms and nuclear power stations are connected to the grid.

Telegraph 26th July 2011 more >>


Greenpeace highlights the flaws of the EPR in case of power failure. The environmental organization Greenpeace has pointed to flaws, Monday, July 25, in the security of future third-generation nuclear reactor, the EPR, in case of outage lasting power. A particular situation that had occurred at the Fukushima plant, following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

Le Monde 25th July 2011 more >>

AFP 25th July 2011 more >>

Greenpeace commissioned a report to Professor Helmut Hirsch, Austrian expert of nuclear power for over 30 years, particularly among German and Austrian governments and a member of the expert group of the Nuclear Energy Agency of OECD. The main lesson of this report is that the security features of the EPR are much smaller than suggested by the Areva group and its supporters.

Greenpeace France 25th July 2011 more >>

Selected aspects of the EPR design in the light of the Fukushima Accident.

Greenpeace France 25th July 2011 more >>


Scotland’s ambitious renewables target cannot be met without co-operation from the rest of the UK AIMING to generate the equivalent of all the electricity that Scotland consumes from wind, wave, and tidal energy is hugely ambitious and controversial. This Scottish Government target, intended to be met by 2020, also has a curious side-effect for an SNP administration that aims to achieve independence. It will make Scotland more, not less, dependent on England. How does that work? First, reaching the 100 per cent equivalent from renewables by 2020 entails the construction of about 10 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity, equivalent to four times the capacity of Longannet power station. It is technically feasible. The Scottish Government’s planning assumptions are that by 2020, the current 2.6GW of onshore wind will expand to 7GW, an additional 6GW of offshore wind will have been built, and t hat perhaps about 1GW of wave and tidal energy will have been constructed. Add in the existing 1.4GW of hydro power and around 0.5GW of biomass, and you reach a total of 16GW of renewable generating capacity.

Scotsman 26th July 2011 more >>


David McNeill meets a nuclear worker who sees it as his duty to save the stricken plant even if it means an early grave Atsushi Watanabe (not his real name) is an ordinary Japanese man in his 20s, about average height and solidly built, with the slightly bemused expression of the natural sceptic. Among the crowds in Tokyo, in his casual all-black clothes, he could be an off-duty postman or a construction worker. But he does one of the more extraordinary jobs on the planet: helping to shut down the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. That job, in a complex that experienced the first triple-reactor meltdown after Japan’s 11 March earthquake and tsunami, means he will never marry or raise a family for fear of health problems down the line, and may not even live to see old age. But he accepts that price. “There are only some of us who can do this job,” he says. “I’m single and youn g and I feel it’s my duty to help settle this problem.”

Independent 26th July 2011 more >>

Has the Fukushima disaster changed your view on nuclear power? If so, in what way? For me the more scary thing than the meltdown of the fuel rods was the evaporation of water from the ponds holding spent fuel rods, exposing those rods to the atmosphere. Those rods contain plutonium and, when not constantly cooled, overheat and release plutonium dust particles into the atmosphere – not a nice thing to breathe in – and no-one was publicly talking about that, although they were desperately trying to fill those ponds as well as the cooling water to the reactors themselves. Suddenly the whole problem of high level nuclear waste became much more immediate. I had explained in my blog on nuclear power about how you make plutonium. The trouble is that in a nuclear power station you cannot avoid creating plutonium with its half life of 24,000 years and you can’t get rid of it.

The Journal 25th July 2011 more >>

The Fukushima Prefectural Government decided on July 24 to provide lifetime thyroid gland tests for some 360,000 prefectural residents aged 18 and under to help detect thyroid cancer triggered by radiation from the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

Mainichi Daily 25th July 2011 more >>

Tokyo Electric Power Company is injecting fresh water from a nearby dam to make up for the shortage of water in its system for cooling the reactors at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The system decontaminates radioactive water that has accumulated in the plant and circulates it. TEPCO halted the process of removing salt from contaminated water after an alarm went off around noon on Sunday due to a problem with the installation of the desalination equipment. It resumed the operation in the evening after installing another device. The new device is only able to treat half the amount of water. The amount of contaminated water has been increasing since the problem occurred. TEPCO began using the new circulatory water injection system late last month. Last week, the government and the utility announced the completion of the first stage of the plan to stabilize the cooling of the reactors. NHK’s reporter points out that as a result of Sunday’s trouble, the amount of contaminated water is increasing. He adds that the recycling of cooling water, a key element of bringing the accident under control, cannot be maintained.

NHK 25th July 2011 more >>

Japan’s two-step nuclear stress tests are beginning as government and authorities seek to bring back nuclear power supply. The move by Japanese safety authorities is inspired by the European Union’s response to the Fukushima accident as well as the urgent need to reassure the public. Most of Japan’s nuclear reactors are offline. Some shut down automatically when the earthquake of 11 March struck, but others have not yet restarted after routine inspection and refuelling outages.

World Nuclear News 25th July 2011 more >>

Kamui Kobayashi is the first F1 driver to announce he has no fears about travelling to his native country for October’s Japanese grand prix. Bernie Ecclestone and Masuru Unno, a spokesman for the Suzuka circuit, said at the Nurburgring that despite some MotoGP riders planning to boycott the Motegi race, Suzuka – hundreds of kilometres further from the Fukushima nuclear plant – is “completely safe”.

Formula1 25th July 2011 more >>


South Korea’s ambitions to enter the Indian energy market have received a big boost as the two countries signed a civil nuclear deal. The agreement will allow South Korea to export its nuclear energy technology to India. The deal comes at a time when India has been struggling to keep up its energy supply to meet the increased demand in wake of its rapid expansion.

BBC 26th July 2011 more >>

A deal struck between India and South Korea over nuclear cooperation underlines the appetite in Asia for nuclear-generated power. But in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, the debate on nuclear safety continues. The BBC’s Sharanjit Leyl spoke to Len Rodman, chairman of the global engineering and consulting firm Black and Veatch about how he sees the future of the industry.

BBC 26th July 2011 more >>

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is in talks with a consortium of 12 European banks to borrow about $5.7bn for a 10,000MW nuclear power project in India. The company will use the loan to finance the proposed nuclear plant at Jaitapur in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the Financial Express reported.

Energy Business Review 25th July 2011 more >>


Iran has denied claims that an academic shot dead during the weekend was involved in the country’s nuclear programme. Iranian media initially described Darioush Rezaeinejad, who was fired on by gunmen riding on motorcycles in east Tehran on Saturday, as a “nuclear scientist” and an academic associated with Iran’s atomic activities, but officials have since said he was a postgraduate electrical engineering student.

Guardian 25th July 2011 more >>

North Korea

A senior North Korean official is to visit the US this week to discuss the possible resumption of international negotiations on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear programmes.

Guardian 25th July 2011 more >>

Posted: 26 July 2011

25 July 2011

New Nukes

Centrica is being urged by the City to withdraw from a £4bn commitment to build new nuclear power stations in partnership with Electricité de France (EDF) amid soaring costs and delays at a prototype reactor at Flamanville in France. Centrica should “not touch with a barge pole” the new nuclear build (NNB) joint venture with EDF to build four new plants in Britain, argues Lakis Athanasiou, utilities analyst with Evolution Securities. “Centrica is a minority holder in a technology in which it has no institutional understanding, and where, as emphasised by Flamanville, construction risk is notorious. Centrica should not progress new nuclear further, particularly if [the] government is unwilling to take construction risk,” he says. The Evolution view reinforces concerns expressed by other investment specialists such as Citigroup, which has previously questioned the economics of building new nuclear plants. It is a blow to EDF and the government, which are both keen to see ageing power stations replaced from a source that used to provide almost a quarter of Britain’s electricity.

Guardian 25th July 2011 more >>

EDF’s reputation faces risk of meltdown. It will have taken a decade to build, doubled in price and cost several lives along the way. So it’s no surprise that France’s first new nuclear power plant for 15 years has become a divisive political issue. The tale is not unlike the story of another giant cupola that turned into a white elephant, Britain’s Millennium Dome. The price tag of the nuclear reactor at Flamanville, which looms large on the horizon of north-west France, is now €6bn (£5.3bn). At stake is the professional reputation of EDF, the French state-controlled utility giant, which is looking also to build Britain’s first two nuclear plants for a generation. The design of the Flamanville reactor is the same as the one proposed for Britain’s Hinkley Point and Sizewell. Yet City analysts are not expecting that EDF will be able to construct nuclear plants any more cheaply in Britain. Lakis Athanasiou, of Evolution Securities, estimates that each will cost around £5.5bn. He recommends that EDF’s partner Centrica, which owns 20pc of the UK projects, should not proceed because the risk of spiraling costs is too extreme.

Telegraph 25th July 2011 more >>

Within Europe, the wave of popular resistance to nuclear power seems to be unstoppable, with, as I reported in my last Blog, even France now joining in the debate about whether to phase it out completely. Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Portugal and now Italy are all non nuclear, while famously, Germany, along with Spain, Switzerland Sweden and Belgium all have, or had, phase out plans (Belgium’s was postponed but it currently has no functioning government to decide on what happens next, Sweden’s has been abandoned but no new plants are likely). That leaves the UK as something of an exception, at least within the western EU, Finland apart, although they are having major problems building their new EPR. Although the UK government is still pushing ahead, depending on which poll you believe, opposition is now (narrowly) in the majority (51% according to IPSOS Mori), and it is far from clear if EDF, E.ON and especially RWE , will be willing to invests in UK nuclear projects, even given the government strong support. RWE npower said the Electricity Market Reform (which in effect proposes more support for ‘low carbon’ options like nuclear) ‘does not yet provide enough clarity for customers or investors’.

Environmental Research Web 23rd July 2011 more >>

Energy Prices

Eradicating fuel poverty by 2016 will be “extremely challenging” following energy price increases, the Scottish government has said. The admission came from Scottish Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil after three of the six biggest energy suppliers confirmed rises in electricity and gas prices.

BBC 24th July 2011 more >>

The Times 24th July 2011 more >>

Scotsman 25th July 2011 more >>


Two sets of NVDA training, in London & Bristol, to prepare for the Stop New Nuclear blockade of Hinkley Point on 3 October.

Rising Tide 24th July 2011 more >>

Waste Transport

Trains carrying highly radioactive nuclear waste which normally pass through the Olympic Park are to be suspended for the duration of the Olympics, in a move long called for by anti-nuclear campaigners. Despite this decision, the trains are due to return after the games, bringing with them the risk of an accident or terrorism contaminating some of the most densely populated areas of East and North London, says the Campaign for Nuclear Disemament (CND).

Ekklesia 24th July 2011 more >>


Mr Breivik also talks of his links to and friendship with members of the UK’s English Defence League. But he chides the EDL for being “dangerously naive” in pursuing a democratic path, and instead advises it to attack a nuclear plant to “cripple the British economy, contributing to creating an optimal climate for significant political change”.

FT 24th July 2011 more >>


Sharp could benefit from the new policies, which would require utilities to buy up electricity that comes from renewable sources. The company is Japan’s largest supplier of solar panels, which accounted for about 9% of Sharp’s overall revenue of ¥3.02 trillion (US$38.57 billion) in the last fiscal year.

Wall Street Journal 25th July 2011 more >>

More than two-thirds of Japanese support Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s call to do away with nuclear power, a media poll showed on Sunday, underscoring growing opposition to atomic energy in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Reuters 24th July 2011 more >>

Bernie Ecclestone on Saturday allayed fears that the nuclear crisis will affect October’s Japanese Grand Prix. Leading MotoGP riders Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo have announced that they will boycott October’s MotoGP race at Motegi, which is just 100km from the damaged Fukushima power plant. “I will not go and most riders have the same opinion,” said Australian Stoner.

Formula1 24th July 2011 more >>


Multiple videos have been released showing high levels of radiation in Canada as the corporate media continues to cover up the real dangers posed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The tests were taken in multiple places in Canada including Lake Louise BC, Kelowna BC, Red Deer/Edmonton, and Hope BC. The radiation tests that were taken near Lake Louise BC clearly showed harmful radiation levels up to 1.66 mcSv/hr .

Alex Higgins Blog 19th July 2011 more >>


Iran’s parliamentary speaker has accused Israel and the United States of assassinating a scientist with possible links to the country’s nuclear programme.

Telegraph 24th July 2011 more >>


A SENIOR North Korean minister will visit the United States this week to discuss the possible resumption of long-stalled international negotiations on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear programmes.

Scotsman 25th July 2011 more >>

Test Veterans

FIRST Minister Carwyn Jones has been urged to back a campaign for compensation for UK veterans of nuclear testing at the height of the Cold War.

Western Mail 25th July 2011 more >>


A 20%-25% collapse in the price of rooftop solar power units in recent months has turned the government’s feed-in tariff scheme into one of the most lucrative financial propositions for households with the right sort of property. The scheme was introduced in April 2010, when the Labour government introduced generous feed-in tariffs to encourage households to install solar photovoltaic systems. Back then, anyone spending, say, 13,000 up front to fit a 2.5kWp system to their home was paid 41.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh) generated enough to earn them a typical annual income of 900 a year in payments, on top of a 140-a-year saving in reduced electricity bills. It was described as a good investment b ecause payments for each unit of electricity generated were guaranteed for 25 years, paid tax-free, and set to rise each year in line with inflation. If you were planning to stay in your home and had a suitable roof (unshaded, at a pitch of about 40 degrees, and facing between south-east and south-west), the main question was how big a system to install assuming you could raise the installation costs. The bigger the system, the greater the financial return. However, you shouldn’t worry if you put off doing anything because it has emerged this week that waiting has worked in your favour. Solar experts say that as a result of the installation costs coming down, the investment value of the scheme has become even better. These lower installation costs, an inflation-linked increase to the feed-in tariff payments and the prospect of rising electricity prices all mean the guaranteed returns are now above 10% a year, depending on how you calculate it. And if you insta ll before next April when new payment tariffs look set to come into force you are guaranteed the tariffs for the next 25 years at the old rate.

Guardian 23rd July 2011 more >>

Posted: 25 July 2011

24 July 2011


Plans for a third reactor on the existing site appeared dead in the water last month when it was excluded from a list of eight locations the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) feels are suitable for nuclear power generation. More than 500 people currently work at Dungeness B and campaigners fear the community will crumble if its main employer ceases to exist. But a glimmer of hope emerged from Parliament this week when renewable energy minister Charles Hendry (Con) indicated the Government would be willing to accept new proposals. He said: “We were not limited to eight sites in the process we went through. We decided eight of the sites proposed to us were appropriate and could realistically be developed by 2025. “Our concerns about Dungeness related to the special area of conservation, which is protected by law, and we were not persuaded that we could comply in that regard if the site was being developed. “We have said that in every other respect Dungeness fulfilled the criteria, so if the special area of conservation issues can be satisfactorily resolved there is no reason why Dungeness could then not come forward separately.”

Kent News 23rd July 2011 more >>


Sedgemoor District Council has signed up a host of consultants to provide technical advice during the planning process for EdF’s new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

New Civil Engineer 23rd July 2011 more >>


A NEW dry fuel store for Sizewell B has been given the go-ahead by the Government, it was announced today. Charles Hendry, energy minister, has given consent for the store, which will house spent fuel from 2015. The application follows a six-week public consultation held by the company and a consultation period with the county and local authorities and Department of Energy and Climate Change. Station owner EDF said building work will start on the dry fuel store in the summer of 2012 and is expected to take about 18 months to construct.

East Anglian Daily Times 22nd July 2011 more >>

THE future of Sizewell B power station has been secured after the Government approved plans for a new dry fuel store at the nuclear site. But campaigners could mount a legal challenge against the decision – issued by energy minister Charles Hendry after a six-week public consultation and talks with local authorities – and ask for a judicial review. The go-ahead for the new building, which will store unused and spent fuel rods, at the site means Sizewell B will be able to continue operating past 2015. The rods are currently stored in a wet pond but plant owner EDF had warned that capacity would run out in 2015. If the new storage arrangements were not agreed, it would have put in doubt Sizewell B’s future. The reactor is due to be decommissioned in 2035. But Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shut Down Sizewell campaign, said: “The spent fuel store is the Achilles heel of Sizewell B because, unlike the reactor, it is not in secure containment. It is a hostage to fortune if there is a terrorist attack.” Mike Taylor, of the Campaign Against Nuclear Development group, said: “We strongly resent the storage of highly radioactive waste on a heritage coast over at least a generation and believes this highlights the completely unsustainable and immoral aspect of expecting future generations to clear up our mess.” Environmental consultant Pete Wilkinson said he was “very disappointed” with the decision and hoped that opposition groups could mount a legal challenge, although he acknowledged such a move would be costly.

East Anglian Daily Times 23rd July 2011 more >>

Energy Costs

Eon and Npower, the third and fourth largest utilities, are preparing to increase their tariffs to reflect steep rises in wholesale gas and power prices. The rises will ratchet up tension between the industry and government, which is struggling to keep a lid on a surge in inflation that has created the biggest squeeze on disposable incomes since the 1920s.

Sunday Times 24th July 2011 more >>

Waste Transport

Caribbean nations on July 20 called on Japan, Britain and France to immediately halt the transport of reprocessed nuclear waste through the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which includes Jamaica and Haiti, said that anxiety about the transport of radioactive waste from Britain and France to Japan has spread through its member countries since the March 11 accident at Japan’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Asahi 24th July 2011 more >>

Emergency Planning

EMERGENCY planners at Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust ran a training exercise on Saturday to simulate its response to a chemical, biological or nuclear incident. A&E, portering and security staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital were given a practical demonstration of how to treat contaminated patients.

Bucks Herald 23rd July 2011 more >>


Prime Minister Naoto Kan proposed a goal of generating 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by the early 2020s (the figure is around 9 percent today, including big hydroelectric plants). The Diet is currently debating legislation that would push the country in that direction. But can Japan, with its politically-connected nuclear industry, uneven renewable-energy subsidies, and problem-ridden electricity network change fast enough to reach that target? The answer, its seems, has more to do with politics and economics than technology or resources.

Japan Times 24th July 2011 more >>

On Friday, July 15, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (METI) – Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, opened a call for bids (tender) regarding the “Nuclear Power Safety Regulation Publicity Project”, for contractors to monitor blogs and tweets posted about nuclear power and radiation. The question is, will METI draw the line at “clarifying” erroneous information, or will it act to clamp down and suppress sources of information that it finds inconvenient?

UK Progressive 24th July 2011 more >>


A scientist has been assassinated in the Iranian capital, Tehran, the country’s official news agency said. The IRNA report gave no other details, but the hardline news website said the man was a nuclear scientist and was targeted by attackers on a motorcycle.

Daily Mail 24th July 2011 more >>

Reuters 23rd July 2011 more >>

BBC 23rd July 2011 more >>


Special dye-sensitised cells can be made as a flexible film that can be printed onto glass to turn them into a source of energy. New funding will be used to produce working examples of the windows, hopefully within 18 months, Arthur said. “We have two goals — to improve the efficiency of the electricity generation and to prove that they can last for 25 years, which is what building firms will need.”

Sunday Times 24th July 2011 more >>

THE proposed £3 billion Green Investment Bank is expected to switch its focus from supporting the growth of the renewables industry in favour of domestic energy efficiency schemes. Industry lobbyists are worried that plans to use core government funding to leverage £15bn in investment in major infrastructure projects will now be set aside in favour of funding schemes to encourage saving on energy bills. The switch has unsettled campaigners for the bank, particularly in Scotland which sees it as a key part of plans to build a new industrial sector around offshore wind, wave and tidal power.

Scotland on Sunday 24th July 2011 more >>

Posted: 24 July 2011

23 July 2011

Nuclear Costs

The new delays and bumper cost overruns of EDF’s new reactor in France make it very hard to believe that nuclear power can fulfil the promises its supporters make. The Flamanville fiasco shows once again that new nuclear power plants are not being built on time or on budget, diminishing the arguments in favour of them. The only other new nuclear plant being built in Europe is at Olkiluoto in Finland. Areva, like EDF a state-controlled French company, told me this will be connected to the grid no sooner than 2013 and costs are now estimated at €5.6bn. That is four years late and €2.6bn over budget. I wanted to understand better the effect of the delay and ballooning costs at Flamanville 3 on the ultimate cost of the electricity produced, and Jim Watson, professor of energy policy at the university of Sussex, kindly agreed to help.

Guardian 22nd July 2011 more >>

Huge delays and cost overruns totalling billions for nuclear reactors under construction in Finland and France are once again demonstrating that nuclear power is no match for renewables in the fight against climate change. Since construction started on these two reactors global capacity of renewables like wind and solar has grown at rates between 15% to 50% a year – way ahead of even the Chinese economy. In the same period, new solar plants alone have added more electricity generation to the grid than nuclear plants.

Greenpeace International 22nd July 2011 more >>


Oxera considers the White Paper, highlights the risks and sets out issues still to be determined.

Oxera July 2011 more >>

Energy Costs

The “big six” energy giants should be broken up to help to cut household bills, Ed Miliband insists. The Labour leader says that energy producers should be forced to pool the power they generate and make it available to any retailer rather than keeping supply a virtual closed shop. Opening the market so that companies such as Tesco and Virgin could compete as suppliers of household energy would amount to the most radical reform in the provision of power since electricity privatisation in the 1990s. Mr Miliband, in an interview with The Times, turns his guns on the six main suppliers.

Times 23rd July 2011 more >>


A fighting fund could be launched to support campaigners in their bid to stop a 400,000 volt overhead power line cutting through swathes of North Somerset. Nailsea Town Council is considering earmarking cash to support the work of the Nailsea Action Group which was set up 18 months ago to campaign against plans to erect a new power line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth, which would link the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant to the grid.

This is Somerset 22nd July 2011 more >>

Waste Transport

Caribbean officials want an immediate halt to a European shipment of reprocessed nuclear waste that will pass near the islands on its way to Japan, saying it’s a risk to the region’s people. Caribbean Community trade bloc spokesman Leonard Robertson said yesterday regional officials had been informed by British authorities that a radioactive waste shipment would soon pass through on the way to the Panama Canal.

Morning Star 22nd July 2011 more >>

Trains carrying highly radioactive nuclear waste which normally pass through the Olympic Park are to be suspended for the duration of the Olympics, in a move long called for by anti-nuclear campaigners. Despite this decision, the trains are due to return after the games, bringing with them the risk of an accident or terrorism contaminating some of the most densely populated areas of East and North London. The risks to these trains have been highlighted a number of times, for instance in 2006 a Daily Mirror journalist planted a fake bomb on a nuclear waste train stopped in a London depot to show how vulnerable the trains are to a terrorist attack.

CND 22nd July 2011 more >>


Letter from Marianne Birkby: Nuclear decommissioning, or as it is increasingly called cleanup, sounds great. The reality is less great. Instead of containing the Sellafield site as safely as possible as a monument to folly, the radioactivity is dispersed to the wider environment. Following changes to the law, private companies are now chasing obscenely lucrative government contracts which cover anything from dumping radioactive wastes into landfill and old coal-mines, to “recycling” radioactive scrap metal into consumer goods. The big one of course is the plan for the geological disposal of high-level wastes. This proposal would really clean up Cumbria and return the lakes to that earliest time when the land was too fiercely radioactive for life. Hot on the heels of Nirex’s 1997 failure followed The Pangea Project, the diabolical plan to dump high-level nuclear wastes in Australia, which local and national Australian politicians threw out in 2000. The British Nuclear Fuels – now the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – sponsored Pangea Project produced a video which informed Australians that areas of “high rainfall, permeable rocks and mountains to drive the water flow” would lead to high-level radioactive wastes percolating back up to the surface, which is why arid, remote areas were being proposed. Geological disposal in leaky Cumbria is only on the agenda to satisfy the government’s wish list for a “solution” at any cost.

Morning Star 19th July 2011 more >>


IT has been dubbed the most sophisticated Swiss army knife ever built. The 16-piece tool is designed to reach deep inside one of Britain’s earliest atomic experiments and harvest the nuclear material that once promised to revolutionise how the nation generated its electricity. Measuring 40ft in length, each of its tool-bits has been designed to withstand the harsh operating conditions inside Dounreay Fast Reactor. The reactor shut down in 1977 after almost 20 years of experiments and its decommissioning is allowing energy bosses to reap the last of the plutonium and uranium from its unique “breeder” zone.

John O Groat Journal 20th July 2011 more >>

DOUBT is being cast on the adequacy of the operation to recover rogue radioactive hot spots on the seabed off Dounreay. Shetland Islands Council is concerned about the performance of the remote-control device used to detect and recover the off-site pollution. It also fears the pollution may have spread outwith the area which has been subject to monitoring. The authority is further unhappy the current strategy will not return the seabed to the “pristine” state demanded by Scotland’s anti-pollution agency in 1998. The council claims the end state for Dounreay can be fixed only when agreement is reached on the extent of the recovery work. Dounreay’s site licence company, DSRL, maintained good progress is being made with its multi-million-pound clean-up and said it was impossible to recover all the pollution. SIC’s disquiet is raised in a letter from its environmental liaison officer, John Mouat, to Dounreay Stakeholder Group. Mr Mouat said SIC had long-standing concerns about the historic large-scale release of particles from the site and the associated risks – both real and potential – to the environment, human health and the North economy. He states: “There has to be concerns over the unknown location of the vast majority of the particles, which may have spread over a very wide area. Recovery work has only taken place where monitoring of the seabed, foreshore or beaches has been carried out around the north coast of Caithness and close to Dounreay in particular.”

John O Groat Journal 15th July 2011 more >>


37 nuclear reactors in Japan, or nearly 70 percent of them, remain shut. This includes 2 reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Company in Fukui Prefecture that were recently closed for regular inspections. According to the plant operators, inspections for 11 of the 37 reactors will finish by August. But it is still unknown when any of these will be resumed due to the government’s new stress-test requirements announced earlier this month. The remaining 17 reactors that are currently in operation will also be brought to a halt for regular inspections every 13 months. Among these is the Kansai Electric Ohi power plant No. 4 reactor in Fukui Prefecture that will shut down by Saturday. An additional 3 reactors will be brought to a halt by August.

NHK 22nd July 2011 more >>


Nuclear envoys from North and South Korea emerged smiling from a face-to-face meeting yesterday, saying they were ready to work together to resume disarmament talks. The meeting was the first between the two nations since 2008, when international efforts to end Pyongyang’s nuclear arms programme collapsed, and the announcement was certain to be welcomed in regional capitals and Washington. But diplomats also have long experience with seeing the North engage in negotiations and seemingly making concessions before ultimately throwing up roadblocks that prevent real progress.

Independent 23rd July 2011 more >>


This week’s Micro Power News is now available with news of the Government’s renewable heat incentive and the rush by large-scale solar projects to be the cut in the feed-in tariff on 1st August. Eleven projects have connected to the grid in the last ten days and another ten are expected before the beginning of August. And there seems to be a fight to decide whose project is the largest roof-mounted PV project in the UK. A reminder that energy efficiency is more than just loft insulation -Bath and North East Somerset council has installed a smart street-lighting system with 70 LED lights – the brightness automatically adjusts depending on how dark it is – at a cost of £36,000 the system will save £4,500 a year. Also the Carbon Trust has published a guide on the huge savings to be made on refrigeration. Micro Power News we 15th July and 8th July also available.

Microgen Scotland 22nd July 2011 more >>


Chris Huhne has ordered a private inquiry into which fossil fuel lobbyists “got to” the Conservative MEPs who defied David Cameron and voted down an ambitious carbon emissions target in the European parliament on 5 July.

Guardian 22nd July 2011 more >>

Energy Efficiency

British Gas is to start offering customers low-cost loans to allow them to “green” their homes. As the government continues to deliberate on the details of its own Green Deal, the Centrica-owned company is giving customers the chance to invest in energy-saving measures such as a new boiler or insulation in the knowledge that the loan’s repayments will be offset by the resulting lower bills.

Guardian 23rd July 2011 more >>

Posted: 23 July 2011

22 July 2011

National Policy Statements

MPs this week approved planning guidelines for new energy projects including nuclear power stations. The House of Commons voted to approve national policy statements for fossil fuel, renewable energy, gas supply, electricity networks and nuclear power generation infrastructure. The nuclear policy statement confirmed sites at Bradwell, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point, Oldbury, Sizewell, Sellafield and Wylfa were suitable for nuclear power plants, opening the way for a new build programme worth up to £40bn. The statements set out the policy that must be considered by the Infrastrucure Planning Commission and its successor before giving consent for new energy schemes.

Building 22nd July 2011 more >>

Planning 21st July 2011 more >>

New Nukes

Lynas condemns anti-nuclear protesters as “just as bad for the climate as textbook eco-villains like the big oil companies”. But in the absence of a radical programme to reduce energy consumption and increase energy conservation, the hypertechnology of nuclear power simply extends capital’s empire.

Guardian 21st July 2011 more >>

Energy Costs

Millions of people face higher energy bills from September after Scottish and Southern Energy followed Scottish Power and British Gas in raising prices. SSE is to increase gas prices by an average of 18 per cent and electricity prices by 11 per cent from 14 September. The increase will mean a typical annual, dual-fuel bill will rise from £1,094 to £1,265, an increase of £171.

Independent 22nd July 2011 more >>

Times 22nd July 2011 more >>

Graphic on the bix six and prices.

Times 22nd July 2011 more >>

Mr Huhne said: “The Government is taking a range of steps to help people through these hard times, including introduction of the Warm Home Discount to help tackle fuel poverty, clearer billing information to help consumers find out if they are getting the best deal and switch tariff if they are not, and energy efficiency measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation to cut waste and keep bills down”.

Telegraph 21st July 2011 more >>

On average, the higher charges will add £200 annually to the cost of heating for consumers, and could leave many elderly people — who can ill-afford to pay more — shivering under layers of winter woollies and blankets this autumn and winter. Just as critically, this high-handed action by the power companies could deliver a devastating blow to the economy. Blame for this gathering economic storm — far more relevant to ordinary citizens than the hacking scandal which continues to dominate the headlines — rests firmly on the shoulders of New Labour, which utterly failed, until its last months in office, to begin addressing Britain’s looming energy crisis. Labour stood idly by while overseas predators, with marginal interest in UK customers, bought up many of our biggest power generators and distributors — which they regarded solely as cash cows. Labour ladled ‘green taxes’ aimed at reducing carbon emissions onto our utility bills (a policy continued by the Coalition), but failed to come to grips with the gaping hole in our future energy needs. Had Tony Blair’s government taken the big decision to invest in nuclear power earlier, Britain might have been well on its way to providing itself with a degree of energy security. The bitter truth is that Whitehall’s fixation on alternative energy resources has meant a decade wasted while we failed to invest in gas storage, pipelines across the North Sea and new nuclear facilities.

Daily Mail 22nd July 2011 more >>

Higher energy costs are likely to become one of the most sensitive issues in British politics, according to analysts, after Scottish and Southern Energy became the third utility in quick succession to announce a big increase in customer bills. All the huge investments are going to start and they ve got to be paid for. The government should stand back and re-assess its energy policy. Higher energy bills place a disproportionate burden on the old and the poor, while in the business sector, manufacturing industry is most vulnerable. One government policy the introduction of a carbon price floor will raise electricity costs for energy-intensive companies by 10 per cent by 2020, according to Roger Salomone, energy adviser at EEF, the manufacturers organisation. An increase of that order is going to be very significant for energy-intensive companies and for manufacturing in general, he said. It could affect the business case for where a product is made.

FT 22nd July 2011 more >>

More heating and appliances have driven up our household consumption of electricity and gas by 18% between 1970 and 2009, official figures show. Despite greener new build homes, and successive attempts by governments to make people insulate their households and turn down the thermometer, energy use by households has risen by nearly a fifth in the past 40 years. Domestic energy use is up from 37m tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 1970 to 44 mtoe in 2009, an increase of 18%. Population growth and demographics are part of the story. Energy use per household has actually gone down slightly, while energy use per person has gone up, partly because of the rise in one-person households over the last few decades. Another part of the cause, as the table below shows, is split evenly between our increased used of space heating and our increased appetite and use of appliances and lighting.

Guardian 22nd July 2011 more >>


HORIZON nuclear power, the energy giant behind the development of the proposed Wylfa B nuclear site on Anglesey, has announced a number of public consultation sessions that will take place across the Island. The first session was held on Monday at the Bull Hotel in Llangefni. Sessions will also be held on August 22 in the Cemaes Village Hall and on September 19 at the Victoria Hotel, Menai Bridge.

North Wales Chronicle 21st July 2011 more >>

Nuclear power promoters have confirmed that they will press ahead with their plans for new plants after their sites were formally identified in the Government’s finalised national policy statement (NPS).

Planning Resource 20th July 2011 more >>


EDF Application to Start Work on Hinkley C: Protest at Council Planning Meeting, Williton, 28 July

Stop Hinkley Newsletter July 2011 more >>

Campaign groups are outraged site preparation work for the proposed new Hinkley C power station is being recommended for approval next week before the power station itself has been approved. West Somerset Council’s planning committee will consider the application from a subsidiary of French energy giant EDF next Thursday.

Western Daily Press 21st July 2011 more >>

Sedgemoor District Council will meet in Bridgwater on Monday to discuss EDF Energy’s Site Preparation Works application after its west Somerset counterparts recommended plans for approval – subject to conditions – following a detailed officer’s report.

Yeovil Express 21st July 2011 more >>


Eighty new jobs at the Sellafield nuclear plant are being chased by more than 6,600 people.

Cumberland News 21st July 2011 more >>

Whitehaven News 21st July 2011 more >>

MEMBERS of the public enjoyed the chance to look through archive material relating to the nuclear industry when the Sellafield Stories project was formally launched at Egremont last Thursday.

Whitehaven News 21st July 2011 more >>


New Problems in Olkiluoto. EPR nuclear reactor faces serious problems.The first-of-a-kind EPR-type nuclear reactor that French nuclear company Areva is building in the Finnish municipality of Eurajoki has encountered serious problems during all phases of design and construction. Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, Areva as well as its Finnish client TVO have kept a low profile to avoid attention concerning the problems of the EPR project. The ailing project has already caused the June 2011 dismissal of the long-time CEO of Areva, Anne Lauvergeon and the two companies are also engaged in legal battle over the extra costs of the project.

Greenpeace 21st July 2011 more >>

Nuclear Waste Transport

Trains carrying radioactive material from nuclear plants on a line through the Olympic Park and on to Hackney are to be suspended throughout the London 2012 Games, it was revealed this week. The trains carry spent nuclear fuel rods in 30cm thick reinforced steel lead-lined flasks from the Suffolk’s Sizewell reactor along the former North London Line en-route to Sellafield, in Cumbria, to be reprocessed. For over 30 years anti-nuclear protestors have campaigned to halt the transportation of the hazardous material by rail through the centre of London claiming it was a potential disaster risk and a terrorist target, with the Olympics heightening that threat. Rail operators Direct Rail Services confirmed the suspension following discussions with the Olympic Delivery Authority and Magnox Ltd, which manages the nuclear plants. It stressed the decision had nothing to do with terrorist fears explaining it was designed free up space for more passenger trains because of the increased demand during the nine week period of the Olympics and Paralympics.

London 24, 21st July 2011 more >>

London 24 21st July 2011 more >>

Hackney Gazette 21st July 2011 more >>

Caribbean officials on Thursday called for an immediate halt to a European shipment of reprocessed nuclear waste that will pass near the islands on its way to Japan, calling it a risk to the region’s people. Caribbean Community trade bloc spokesman Leonard Robertson said regional officials were informed by British authorities that a radioactive waste shipment would soon pass through on the way to the Panama Canal. He said no specifics about the vessel were given to them for security reasons.

Washington Post 21st July 2011 more >>


A report on the millions of euros spent by the European Union on decommissioning old nuclear power plants in Lithuania, Slovakia and Bulgaria has indicated that the EU will continue financing this work well into this decade.

Utility Week 21st July 2011 more >>


Watts Bar 2, the US’s newest nuclear power plant, is being built in Tennessee and is expected to go online next year. It has a history of safety concerns that goes back decades. Nevertheless, many local people support nuclear power and are welcoming the reactor with open arms.

Der Spiegel 21st Jly 2011 more >>

According to the Associated Press, a recent study has revealed that three quarters of America’s nuclear reactors have leaked radioactive tritium from buried pipes that transport water for the cooling of reactor vessels. This tritium could in turn find its way into the groundwater. While industry officials do reportedly check these pipes for leaks, they can only do so in either indirect or costly, labor-intensive manners. Now, however, researchers from MIT are developing tiny, spherical swimming robots that could check on the pipes directly, relaying their findings in real time.

GizMag 21st July 2011 more >>


Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Co said on Friday it aims to complete work on strengthening tsunami defenses at its shuttered Hamaoka nuclear plant in December 2012, fulfilling a requirement for restarting its only nuclear power facility.

Reuters 22nd July 2011 more >>

Despite the speed with which Japan has rebuilt transport links, restored services and resumed production after the earthquake, one after-effect lingers – nuclear power. There has long been public antipathy and distrust towards the nuclear industry in Japan – it is a depressing and scandalous litany of accidents covered up, safety data falsified and a relationship with the regulator so close as to be incestuous. However, the very existence of nuclear power in Japan is now in question.

Investment Week 21st July 2011 more >>

North Korea & Iran

North Korea and Iran are jointly working on weapons programmes designed to build a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, a leading British security think tank has said.

Telegraph 21st July 2011 more >>

Western capitals have reacted angrily to an announcement by Iran that it is installing more advanced centrifuges in a uranium enrichment plant with the aim of accelerating its nuclear programme.

MOD Oracle 21st July 2011 more >>


India starts construction of two nuclear power plants. On 18 July, India began construction on two 700 MW pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at its Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan.

Nuclear Engineering International 21st July 2011 more >>

Posted: 22 July 2011