News January 2012

31 January 2012

New Nukes

Even before the Fukushima disaster, the long-awaited nuclear renaissance in the West seemed to be running out of steam. There were two main factors behind this failure; the new Generation III+ reactors produced to take account of the lessons of Chernobyl that would spearhead the revival were not living up to their promises, and, more importantly, banks were proving unwilling to provide finance. The US and UK governments seem oblivious to the idea that Fukushima might have any implications for new build plants. The incentives in terms of loan guarantees in the US and long-term Power Purchase Agreements at non-market prices in the UK are still in place. Government commitment appears undiminished. Yet turning a blind eye to Fukushima is clearly not sustainable. The hope that the disaster can be written off as having relevance only to earthquake and tsunami prone countries with Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactors is no more credible than the hope that Chernobyl would have relevance only to a particular Soviet design operated in an inexplicable way. In the UK, despite the political rhetoric that a new nuclear program would receive no public subsidies, what is now likely to be on offer are Feed-in-Tariffs and longterm Contracts for Differences. These effectively ensure that all power from nuclear plants is guaranteed to be sold at a predictable price set outside the market. EDF is the most likely developer in the UK. Whether it will go ahead with an EPR in the UK is likely to depend on whether the design can survive the problems at Olkiluoto and Flamanville and on how fully the CfDs are guaranteed to cover costs. Since the terms of these contracts will be regarded as commercially sensitive, the public will never know what it has signed up to. But, if construction goes ahead, it can be assumed strong cost-recovery guarantees are in place. How the European Commission will view such contracts, which are blatantly unfair state aid and therefore presumably illegal, remains to be seen.

Commodities Now 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Submarines

Rosyth has said an overwhelming no to nuclear waste from redundant submarines being stored locally. The majority of people living in communities surrounding the dockyard who have taken part in a Fife Council consultation exercise — dubbed the Rosyth Referendum — have rejected the idea. With the Ministry of Defence’s nationwide consultation exercise on what happens to Britain’s fleet of decommissioned submarines drawing to a close in a matter of weeks, Fife Council decided to hold a local survey. Local SNP councillor Douglas Chapman told The Courier: ”We have taken account of extensive local views and opinions on this issue and we are currently agreeing a council position which would recommend that these submarines and all their nuclear waste be moved out of Rosyth permanently.

Dundee Courier 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear Subsidies

A formal complaint about subsidies for nuclear power has been sent to the European Commission by lawyers acting for the UK based Energy Fair group, with several other environmental groups and environmentalists. If it is upheld, it unlikely that any new nuclear power stations will be built in the UK or elsewhere in the EU. The complaint may be followed by legal action in the courts or actions by politicians to reduce or remove subsidies for nuclear power.

Nuclear Engineering International 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

The race to win the main £1.2bn civils package for Hinkley Point C is down to three consortia of industry giants. The Enquirer understands that a decision is due within weeks on a winner between bids involving Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke and Costain. Balfour is working with Vinci on its bid, O’Rourke alongside Bouygues and Costain with Sir Robert McAlpine and Hochtief. The huge civils contract will employ at least 1,500 construction workers and take more than three years with a start on site due early 2013.

Construction Enquirer 30th Jan 2012 more >>

ACE 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Campaigners fighting a proposed line of giant pylons across the Somerset countryside are celebrating news that National Grid has scrapped a similar plan in Lincolnshire.

Wells People 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Developers of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station should contribute a share of profits to the community in the same way as wind farms, an influential House of Commons Committee has been told. Sedgemoor District Council’s corporate director, Bob Brown, appeared before MPs on the Science and Technology Select Committee to call for a Community Benefit Contribution scheme for districts hosting nuclear power stations.

Western Daily Press 31st Jan 2012 more >>

Dungeness

EDF Energy is currently seeking nearly 70 recruits nationally to join its highly successful advanced nuclear apprenticeship scheme in 2012. Dungeness B power station staff staged an initial Apprentice Information Day at the power station in November 2011 – which attracted over 80 potential recruits.

Noodls 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Scotland

Anyone who thought EU renewable energy targets were tough would do well to look at Scotland’s ambitions. The EU expects its members to generate 20 per cent of their energy needs from renewables by 2020. Organisers of a conference taking place this week believe Scotland can generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of its annual electricity demand from renewables by 2020, with most of that supply coming from offshore wind over the next decade and beyond. This, of course, opens up numerous business opportunities and the conference, taking place in Aberdeen, is expected to give attendees an idea of what they need to do in order to profit from offshore wind.

Engineer 30th Jan 2012 more >>

A £900,000 initiative is being launched to support rapid growth in the developing offshore wind supply chain. The expert support programme aims to help hundreds of Scottish firms capture a share of future investment in the emerging industry. The initiative is being announced by Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson at Scotland’s largest offshore wind conference in Aberdeen.

BBC 31st Jan 2012 more >>

Scotsman 31st Jan 2012 more >>

Protest

Fuel poverty activists gained access to the headquarters of British Gas and occupied a room near the office of its managing director, Phil Bentley, for six hours to protest “profiteering” by energy suppliers.

Telegraph 30th Jan 2012 more >>

India

Nuclear energy will fuel the roaring economies of China and India, although in the latter, popular protests are slowing expansion. In Tamil Nadu, civic groups such as the National Alliance of People’s Movements and the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy have opposed commissioning the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) that was built with Russian assistance.

Japan Times 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Czech Republic

Westinghouse has signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding with Czech Republic construction firm Metrostav, as part of a planned bid to sell two AP1000 reactors to Czech utility CEZ, Westinghouse announced January 30. Westinghouse/Metrostav will join two other bidders – France’s Areva and Russia’s Atomstroyexport — in bidding for the two new reactors CEZ wants to build at Temelin. The new reactors, Temelin-3 and -4, would join Temelin-1 and -2, two Russian VVER-320 reactors currently operating at the site. Atomstroyexport is working with Czech engineering and construction firm Skoda on its bid. The deadline for bids for the project that is meant to include fuel supply along with the two reactors is set for July 2.

i-Nuclear 30th Jan 2012 more >>

World Nuclear News 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

The International Atomic Agency (IAEA) has cleared stress test results submitted for two of Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi nuclear power reactors, although it stopped short of making any recommendation for a restart of the power stations.

Argus Media 31st Jan 2012 more >>

Guardian 31st Jan 2012 more >>

In his first policy speech since taking office, Japan’s prime minister Yoshihiko Noda said that Japan’s dependence on nuclear power must be reduced to the ‘maximum extent.’ Noda did not go as far as the country’s previous prime minister Naoto Kan, whose calls for Japan to become a nuclear-free society last summer were met with fierce criticism.

Nuclear Engineering International 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran’s Foreign Minister yesterday offered to extend the three-day visit of UN nuclear inspectors and said he was optimistic their findings would help ease tensions despite international claims Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

Independent 31st Jan 2012 more >>

Telegraph 30th Jan 2012 more >>

UN atomic watchdog officials began a visit to Iran on Sunday to discuss Tehran’s suspect nuclear drive, as Iranian lawmakers held off on retaliatory action against a looming EU oil embargo.

Middle East Online 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Trident

Government ministers are toying with the idea of moving Trident to National Trust sites or foreign country locations if Scotland goes independent, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has found. The Nowhere to Go report commissioned by CND claimed over the weekend that the MoD was looking at alternative sites for Trident such as the 2012 Olympic sailing venues at Weymouth and Portland, National Trust land and other densely populated areas. Scotland’s forthcoming independence vote has left British ministers in a muddle over what to do about the Trident nuclear subs currently based in Scotland.

Morning Star 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Biography

NOBEL laureate and eminent scientist Joseph Rotblat was a man of inexhaustible energy, optimism and dedication. In this new biography, author and radiation oncologist Andrew Brown faithfully captures his character. Keeper of the Nuclear Conscience chronicles Rotblat’s journey from his beginnings in a prosperous Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland, before the first world war, to his rapid rise from electrician to internationally prominent nuclear physicist, and ultimately his committed opposition to nuclear weapons.

New Scientist 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 31 January 2012

30 January 2012

Supply Chain

Sheffield Forgemasters has presented its technical developments into civil nuclear manufacture, including forging processes which have not been achieved anywhere else in the world, to industry leaders at a national conference. The engineering specialist was invited to present at the UK Trade and Industry’s UK Civil Nuclear Energy Showcase conference in London alongside Vince Cable, the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills and speakers from Rolls-Royce, NAMRC, Westinghouse and AMEC. Forgemasters’ presentation by chief executive Graham Honeyman focused on company’s strategic position in the global nuclear supply chain as one of a handful of companies capable of manufacturing highly technical large-scale forgings which form the main components within a nuclear power station.

The Manufacturer 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Campaigners met on the outskirts of Burnham ahead of an expected announcement this Tuesday by National Grid regarding the possibility of running the controversial proposed power line between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth undergound.

Burnham-on-sea.com 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Hunterston

From the archive 30th Jan 1957: There were 33 objectors at the public inquiry which happened at Largs yesterday into the proposal by the South of Scotland Electricity Board to build a nuclear power station at Hunterston. There was also a petition against the project signed by 200 people. The station, which would be the largest in the world, would cost £37 millions and would have an output of 300,000 kilowatts, about a quarter of the total needed in Southern Scotland. No local authority is objecting to the plan.

Guardian 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Areva

A turbulent year for Areva has seen a new CEO, dramatic currency fluctuations and sales impacts from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident but an increase in order backlog and only a fairly minor downturn in overall revenue.

World Nuclear News 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

Fukushima has leaked more than 600 litres of water forcing it to suspend cooling operations at a spent fuel pond over the week-end.

Reuters 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

A mission by a United Nations team to inspect Iran’s nuclear programme – which could play a critical part in whether or not military strikes are ordered against Iran – began yesterday amid acrimony and tension. Protesters at Tehran airport carried photographs of an Iranian scientist, the latest of several to be assassinated, accusing the International Atomic Energy Agency of being implicated in the death.

Belfast Telegraph 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Independent 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran’s foreign minister has expressed optimism that a visit by UN inspectors to the country’s nuclear facilities would produce an understanding, despite concerns that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

Wales Online 29th Jan 2012 more >>

UN atomic watchdog officials began a visit to Iran on Sunday to discuss Tehran’s suspect nuclear drive, amid a backlash by furious Iranian lawmakers at a looming EU oil embargo.

Middle East Online 29th Jan 2012 more >>

UN nuclear inspectors began a mission to Iran today to investigate US and Israeli allegations of a secret atomic weapons programme amid an escalating Western economic blockade. The findings from the three-day visit could greatly influence US-led efforts to deprive the country of its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

Morning Star 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Guardian 29th Jan 2012 more >>

ITN 29th Jan 2012 more >>

India

The Indian government has been paying about Rs3.4 crore ($ 70,000) every year since 2005 to a US firm to lobby for the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. The Washington-based Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR), hired by the Indian embassy was also used to seek media interviews for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and get Congressional resolutions passed in his support ahead of a US visit.

Daily Mail 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Trident

There is no alternative base for the UK’s nuclear deterrent than its existing sites in Scotland, leaving it with the prospect of having nowhere to go should Scots vote for independence. That is the conclusion of a detailed study to be published on Monday on what is emerging as a huge question for defence chiefs. They are only now beginning to face the consequences of a possible future Scottish parliament voting to get rid of the Trident nuclear weapons bases at Coulport and Faslane.

Guardian 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

The value of deals involving renewable energy companies soared by 40 per cent to a record $53.5bn (£34bn) worldwide last year, as the Fukishima disaster prompted a move away from nuclear power. The rise was driven by the solar power industry, where the value of transactions jumped by 56 per cent to $15.8bn, to account for almost one third of takeovers, according to the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Wind and hydropower were also big deal drivers.

Independent 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Investment in Scottish wind farms has risen over the past two months despite warnings that independence could sever the subsidy stream from English electricity consumers on which wind generators depend to make a profit. The law firm McGrigors said there was no sign that investors were being affected by any uncertainty surrounding the independence referendum, which is expected in 2014, while the accountants PwC also reported an increased number of deals.

Times 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Fuel Poverty

Offices of energy companies, local government and housing providers were targeted by protesters over the weekend in a series of co-ordinated nationwide activities to fight rising fuel prices and the increasing number of people forced into fuel poverty. Protesters from the Fuel Poverty Action Group organised “Winter Warm Ups” outside offices of the big six firms – EDF, British Gas, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and Southern & Scottish Energy – and at town halls where local councils were accused of not providing decent quality housing and insulation. The rising cost of domestic gas and electricity has forced millions of people into fuel poverty, defined as when their energy bills cost a 10th or more of their income. An estimated 24 per cent of UK homes – which works out at around 6.3 million households – are believed to be in fuel poverty. At worse, it forces vulnerable people to choose between heating and eating.

Independent 30th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 30 January 2012

29 January 2012

EDF

Anti-nuclear campaign group Boycott EDF targeted the UK headquarters of EDF Energy in central London this Friday at lunchtime as part of the national days of action called by the Climate Justice Collective’s Fuel Poverty Action campaign.

Indymedia 28th Jan 2012 more >>

Torness

There was a sting in the tail for the operators of Torness Nuclear Power Station near Dunbar when industry watchdogs highlighted that an invasion of jellyfish posed “a challenge to station systems related to safety.” The Office for Nuclear Regulation, in its quarterly report for the site, requested further information from EDF Energy about the obstruction of the main cooling water drum screens by the sea creatures which led to the manual shutdown of both reactions last June. The report stated that the station took appropriate action to shut down the reactors and confirmed that the requirements of the operating rules were met throughout the event. The ONR raised potential areas for improvement.

East Lothian News 29th Jan 2012 more >>

US

In 2010, the Energy Department set up a commission to figure out what to do with the country’s nuclear waste, after a planned repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain was nixed. This week, the commission came back and advised a “consent-based approach” to choosing a new site. How would this work? One option is to look at what countries like Sweden have done. Back in the 1980s, the Swedish government drew up a long list of locations that could potentially host a waste repository. Each town was given a chance to veto, and, after two decades and countless hours of local consultation, Sweden had two finalists, towns that actually competed with each other for the chance to host the site and reap the economic benefits. (One was finally picked in 2009.) Both towns, not surprisingly, already had nuclear plants in the area, and polls showed support running as high as 83 percent.

Washington Post 28th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

A UN nuclear team arrived in Tehran early on Sunday for a mission expected to focus on Iran’s alleged attempt to develop nuclear weapons. The UN nuclear agency delegation includes two senior weapons experts Jacques Baute of France and Neville Whiting of South Africa suggesting that Iran may be prepared to address some issues related to the allegations.

Guardian 29th Jan 2012 more >>

BBC 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Scotland on Sunday 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator will write to the European Union “soon” to discuss a date and venue for fresh talks on Tehran’s atomic programme, the official IRNA news agency said Sunday.

EU Business 29th Jan 2012 more >>

Trident

Nuclear submarines will stay in Scotland in the short-term, even if the country declares independence, Ministry of Defence sources suggest. Plymouth could still be home to the UK’s nuclear deterrent and submarine fleet if a referendum sees the United Kingdom split. The Scottish National Party has already said Trident nuclear missiles would be removed from the Clyde under independence. MoD insiders believe that, after an independence vote, ministers in London would be forced to strike a deal with Scottish leaders allowing the Navy to go on using Coulport, where missiles and warheads are stored, and Faslane, where the subs are based, until an alternative was ready.

Western Morning News 28th Jan 2012 more >>

Energy Efficiency

Almost a third of managers charged with improving the energy efficiency of UK companies claim their bosses don’t take the issue seriously, says a report by Siemens. The survey of 600 UK businesses also showed more than a quarter of directors didn’t even know how much their companies spend on energy. Juergen Maier, MD for the Siemens Industry Sector in the UK and Ireland, said the results “give cause for concern”. He added: “Many businesses are neglecting the impact that effective energy management can have on the bottom line.”

Independent on Sunday 29th Jan 2012 more >>

British Gas is to pay Thames Water to promote free insulation to its customers, ahead of the December deadline for energy companies to meet government carbon emissions reductions targets (CERT).

Telegraph 28th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

The reactions rained down within minutes of the High Court ruling. “This is an almighty kick in the teeth for the government,” said David Hunt, chief executive of Eco Environments, a firm that installs solar panels. Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, urged Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, to “admit you got it wrong … and pull the plug on this legal merry-go-round”. The outpouring was over the latest chapter in a saga the government set in motion last year when it cut in half the subsidies it offered for solar panels in homes and businesses. The industry sued. Last week, the High Court upheld an earlier ruling that found the cuts were illegal. The Department of Energy and Climate Change pledged last week to appeal against the decision. Despite the triumphalism of Westminster’s adversaries, it was a small victory. Across Europe, cash-strapped governments have come to the same conclusion: we can’t afford to prop up renewable technology.

Sunday Times 29th Jan 2012 more >>

THE UK government’s review of feed in tariff (FIT) energy payments is estimated to have stalled £100 million of hydropower investment in Scotland. The British Hydro Association claims dozens of small and medium-scale developments have been halted and left in limbo since the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced a review of the FIT process last year. While changes to payments for solar schemes have already been announced, no date has been set for a consultation into the hydro sector where Scotland is thought to hold up to 90% of the UK’s resource. At the moment, hydro projects can get up to 21p per kilowatt hour generated through the FIT scheme. David Williams, chief executive of the British Hydro Association, said: “If the tariff isn’t too badly affected then hopefully these schemes which have been stopped will go ahead.

Herald 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 29 January 2012

28 January 2012

Hinkley

The money and jobs a new nuclear power station in Somerset will bring outweighs any safety concerns among local people, MPs have been told. A top executive from EDF Energy said communities around Hinkley Point want the huge economic boost and are not worried about safety. But anti-nuclear campaigners say thousands of people have signed a petition protesting against the project. Stop Hinkley says it has given the Independent Planning Commission, which will decide the application, a 13,000 signature petition against the project. Its submission focuses on emergency plans, as the evacuation zone would include Bristol, Taunton, Exmoor and Glastonbury, and EDF’s transport strategy, which the campaigners say is dangerous.

Western Daily News 28th Jan 2012 more >>

NNB Generation Company Limited has submitted an application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) for consent to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, Somerset. The company, a subsidiary of EDF Energy, has also applied for permission to build accommodation centres for workers, park and ride facilities and a bypass. The government will make the final decision on EDF Energy’s proposals after considering the recommendation made by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) which is looking at the planning application. As part of the planning process, the Environment Agency is submitting its views and has advised the IPC on the parts of the application that refer to its remit, particularly flood risk management.

Environment Agency 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

A PUBLIC consultation to decide whether West Cumbria should volunteer to house the country’s nuclear waste has sparked widespread debate. Copeland and Allerdale Council’s have expressed an interest in having a £12 million radioactive waste disposal facility built underground in the districts – the only local authorities in the country to have put themselves forward. Radiation Free Lakeland believes that a nuclear dump would be a ‘blight’ on agriculture and tourism in Cumbria. And it claims that the scheme is a ‘cunning plan’ by the Governement to keep the nuclear agenda on track. Save Our Lake District claims that ‘little or no work’ has been done on the environ-mental or economic aspects of the proposal. The group believes that a respository would have a negative impact on house and land prices and ‘badly’ affect communities.

Westmorland Gazette 27th Jan 2012 more >>

SNP Councillor Alan Hill has sent a warning shot to Hunterston bosses who may be considering making ‘A’ station a waste depository for other nuclear stations around Scotland. The North Ayrshire councillor countered that any bid ot try and make Hunterston into a national dumping ground would be against planning policy. This week, Labour councillor Alex Gallagher set up a petition to oppose any suggestion of other nuclear waste coming to the site.

Largs & Millport Weekly News 27th Jan 2012 more >>

HAZARDOUS waste firm Augean said it is looking ahead with “optimism” despite the bleak economic outlook and will focus on opportunities to store low-level nuclear waste. The Wetherby-based company recently won a court battle allowing it to take radioactive material at its East Northants site in Northamptonshire, despite fierce local opposition. It believes it could take up to 2,000 tonnes of LLW in the year ahead, significantly boosting profits. The company said despite strong competition in the hazardous waste markets, it expects 2011 results to be in line with expectations.

Yorkshire Post 28th Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

KEY Enterprise Zone sites to transform Anglesey into an Energy Island could create up to 5,000 new jobs. The Welsh Government has given the island the special economic status – backing its bid to become a centre for nuclear, biomass, off-shore wind and micro-generation projects. This opens the door for multi-million pound investment with business rate discounts, free credit on public land, and accelerated planning for low carbon companies and linked support firms. It is hoped companies use these incentives to site office, manufacturing and warehouse schemes on the park to support Wylfa B.

Daily Post 27th Jan 2012 more >>

News Wales 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Cumbria

Experts predict that Copeland’s planned nuclear power station could generate £9 billion for the local economy.

Cumberland News 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Carlisle News and Star 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Dounreay

Traces of radioactive contamination have been found on the shoes of workers demolishing a former nuclear power station. It was detected on around a dozen people on Thursday as they prepared to leave a building which they were preparing for demolition. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), which is overseeing the decommissioning of the site in Caithness, has launched an investigation. It said that the building is in a “controlled” area, where contamination is possible, and controls are in place to manage it.

Rutherglen Reformer 27th Jan 2012 more >>

DOUNREAY suffered just over half-a-million pounds worth of damage in recent storms, it has emerged. A Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd spokeswoman confirmed the cost of the damage which came about after severe weather on November 27 and December 9. High winds caused structural damage to the roof of a waste building and to the roof of a building in the Materials Testing Reactor complex.

John O Groat Journal 27th Jan 2012 more >>

TRAINS will start transporting nuclear material from Dounreay through the Highlands in the summer – but the exact times and dates will not be disclosed because of fears of terrorist attack.

John O Groat Journal 20th Jan2012 more >>

Opinion Poll

The results of a nationwide poll show that Britons believe new nuclear power plants would be the best infrastructure investment the country could make. The result saw 19% of 1711 people polled by YouGov on 19 and 20 January choose nuclear investment as “best for Britain” from a list of projects either in progress or under discussion. The second most chosen by the respondents was offshore wind, selected by 16% of people, while the development of superfast broadband internet access in rural areas was third with 13%.

World Nuclear News 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Politics

The head of the charity that helped to arrange David Cameron’s memorable husky photoshoot in the Arctic, launching the Conservatives’ rebranding as the nice-not-nasty party, has warned that the PM’s lack of leadership on environment issues risks “retoxifying” their image.

Guardian 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Europe

In 2012, the consequences of Fukushima at EU level will continue to unfold with the completion of the so-called “stress tests”, the revision of the safety Directive and the publication of a European-wide opinion poll (Eurobarometer) on waste and safety. Other developments are also in the pipeline like the publication of a report on nuclear by the European Commission (EC) called “PINC” and the adoption by the European Parliament (EP) of own initiative reports on the Energy Roadmap 2050 and the Low-carbon Roadmap 2050. Please find below an overview of EU nuclear policy developments expected this year.

Foratom 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran is moving closer to the point when it will be too late to destroy its nuclear facilities with a precision air strike, Israel’s defence minister has warned.

Telegraph 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran is due to open talks with UN nuclear inspectors on Sunday in an attempt to allay their suspicions of a covert Iranian weapons programme, the first such discussions in more than three years.

Guardian 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran must open its nuclear facilities to a team of inspectors heading to Tehran on Friday as the full extent of its atomic work remains a mystery, a leading international official has said.

Telegraph 27th Jan 2012 more >>

China

China has moved swiftly to deny it has become the latest nation to experience a nuclear accident, after claims that it was forced to shut down its newest nuclear reactor last year. A report from Japan’s Atomic Energy Agency said the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) stopped generating electricity in October following an accident. With Japan already reeling from the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant in March last year, the incident sparked alarm there and in South Korea over the prospect of radiation leaking from the CEFR. Those fears were intensified by Beijing’s failure to report the accident or release details of what happened, according to a Tokyo newspaper which cited the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation.

Telegraph 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

The Japanese government has admitted it failed to keep records of key meetings during the nuclear crisis last year. Deputy PM Katsuya Okada has instructed ministers to produce summaries of the meetings retroactively by the end of February, an official said.

BBC 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Advisers to Japan’s nuclear safety agency have said power plant stress tests do not prove that a nuclear plant is safe, as the country faces the prospect of a summer without a single nuclear reactor in operation. Last year, the Japanese government ordered the nuclear authorities to conduct tests on all Japan’s reactors after the 11 March meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi raised questions about the safety of nuclear power, particularly in a country prone to earthquakes and tsunami. Earlier this week, a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began a review of the safety tests but said it was up to the Japanese government whether or not to approve the restart of idle reactors.

Guardian 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Fukushima Crisis Update 24th – 26th Jan.

Greenpeace International 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News with all the news of the Solar Court Case, the £66k the Government has spent on legal costs so far and its appeal to the Supreme Court. There is speculation that this is just to avoid another solar rush before the 3rd March.

Microgen Scotland 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 28 January 2012

27 January 2012

Carbon Floor Price

Government plans to prop up the price of emitting carbon dioxide for businesses have been dealt a blow by MPs, who have blasted the proposals as a handicap to British companies. The “carbon floor price” would ensure that companies were paying a minimum price for producing carbon, in contrast to the European Union’s existing emissions trading scheme under which the price of emissions can plunge to near zero. By propping up the cost of carbon, and therefore of fossil fuel energy, the floor price is intended to encourage companies to use energy more efficiently, thereby saving money, and install new technology to cut carbon.

Guardian 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear Subsidy

A formal complaint about subsidies for nuclear power has been sent to the European Commission which, could in effect seriously delay new nuclear power station construction plans in the EU. If the EC were to rule that certain carbon floor pricing models for nuclear energy in the UK are in effect subsidies and therefore unlawful, this could hamper new build plans altogether.

Nuclear Energy Insider 25th Jan 2012 more >>

A formal complaint about subsidies for nuclear power has been sent to the European Commission by lawyers acting for the UK based Energy Fair group, with several other environmental groups and environmentalists. If it is upheld, it unlikely that any new nuclear power stations will be built in the UK or elsewhere in the EU. The complaint may be followed by legal action in the courts or actions by politicians to reduce or remove subsidies for nuclear power.

Modern Power Systems 26th Jan 2012 more >>

New Nukes

There is a “lot of support” for new nuclear power stations in communities where they are earmarked, one of the firms hoping to build them has said. An executive from EDF Energy told MPs there was a “strong desire” for the jobs and other economic benefits new reactors could bring across England. Richard Mayson said his firm had “to live and breathe” its safety values in communities or face a “lack of trust”. MPs are examining how the public perceives the risks attached to different forms of energy and how their opinions are shaped by scientific advice and media coverage of issues like the Fukushima crisis last April.

BBC 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

EDF is feeling the heat from protesters and local county councillors over concerns of potential traffic chaos and a localised housing crisis in the area surrounding the construction site of the proposed twin reactor at the Hinkley Point C plant.

Nuclear Energy Insider 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Despite the growing shift of support away from nuclear energy in Europe, EDF is stubbornly pushing forward plans to build a new nuclear reactor in the UK, without sufficient consideration for all the relevant risks. It’s less than a year since the disaster at Fukushima reminded the world just how risky and expensive nuclear power can be. Since Fukushima, Germany has ditched their nuclear programmes and turned to clean, efficient energy. Across Europe investors are refusing to put their money into nuclear without governments guaranteeing their profits. Yet the French state-owned company EDF Energy is trying to build a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset. EDF applied for planning permission in late October, less than three weeks after Britain’s nuclear watchdog – the Office of Nuclear Regulation – published a long list of improvements needed to protect Britain’s nuclear reactors. Given the scale of the recommendatons in the list, it is not possible for EDF to have incorporated all those improvements into its proposals in just three weeks. Lessons are still being learned following Fukushima (such as ‘don’t delete the minutes of the disaster response meetings’). EDF’s rush to apply for planning permission betrays their cavalier attitude and suggests they can’t have fully considered the implications of the Fukushima disaster.

Greenpeace 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Dungeness

THE skyline of Dungeness is set to change forever after contractors started the multimillion-pound task of demolishing the A station. Dungeness A power station has employed many hundreds of people since it was built in the mid-1960s, playing a crucial role in the Marsh’s economy.

Romney Marsh Herald 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Dounreay

Letter Martin Forwood: Many will share Coun Tim Knowles’s opposition to the continued import of an assortment of nuclear materials to West Cumbria, as admirably described in his letter (The Whitehaven News, January 19). CORE has repeatedly objected to these imports, whether for landfill in West Cumbria or, as non-contracted spent fuel for storage at Sellafield itself. While we have agreed to disagree with him on numerous nuclear issues over the last two decades, we fully endorse his views on these imports which result purely from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s apparent determination to seal West Cumbria’s fate as what Tim himself labels as the UK’s nuclear ghetto.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

GE Hitachi

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Finnish software and systems engineering firm whose scope includes validating the instrumentation and control system on the ESBWR that GEH plans to bid into the Olkiluoto-4 project, GEH said in a statement January 26. Finnish utility TVO is evaluating several different reactor technologies for its Olkiluoto-4 project, including GEH’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design. TVO is currently in the bidding and engineering phase for the project and it has said a construction licence application for OL4 must be submitted in June 2015 at the latest.

i-Nuclear.com 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Letters: Cumbria Association of Local Councils: I would like to encourage all communities across West Cumbria to submit their views on the current consultation “Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste in West Cumbria”.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Letter: Tim Knowles: we have said that if this process continues there should be a presumption that if a potential host community does not want to be involved, they should be left out of the process. In the first instance it would be for a new partnership of councils and community organisations to reach a judgement about this. However, we have also suggested that if leaving this area out would create insurmountable problems for the siting process and most of the other potential host communities wanted to go forward, then the partnership could recommend that the community concerned should continue to take part in the search for a site.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Dozens of people aired their views about proposals for an underground repository for radioactive waste in West Cumbria this week.

Times and Star 26th Jan 2012 more >>

EVERY Copeland resident should get the chance to vote on whether highly radioactive waste should be buried in the area, a meeting has heard. The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) partnership began its series of meetings last week to gauge public response to the idea of building a major new repository locally. Speaking at the drop-in session at Whitehaven Civic Hall on Thursday, Arlecdon resident Peter Fox told those gathered: “There should be a referendum to see what everyone thinks. “This is too serious to be decided on by Copeland Council; it deserves to be voted on by everyone.”

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Cumbria

Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster has shaken hands on a memorandum of agreement with the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA). The deal means cluster members can now access the latest civil nuclear industry information.

Cumberland News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

EXPERTS predict that Copeland’s planned nuclear power station could see the area benefit to the tune of a staggering £9 BILLION. The projected investment is based on today’s prices only and could prove even higher. On top of the £9 billion reactor spend can be added another £11 billion – the potential value of the decommissioning contracts which Sellafield Ltd has so far placed with companies of all sizes. NuGen, the power station’s prospective developer, has pledged to give as much business as possible to local firms and jobs to local people.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Sellafield

A SELLAFIELD safety advisor will present a paper at a prestigious conference to be held in Glasgow later this year. Izzy Styles has been chosen to give an address at the Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association in May. The event is the biggest radiation protection conference of its kind and it is expected to attract around 2,500 delegates. And it will be the first time for many years that the event has been held in the UK.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

SELLAFIELD Ltd will be taking part once again in The Big Bang Fair promoting science and technology to school children and students.

Whitehaven News 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Urenco

NUCLEAR technology company Urenco says it expects to continue its growth this year following a “challenging” 2011. The uranium enrichment company, which employs more than 300 in Capenhurst, near Chester, said confidence in the nuclear sector had been hit in 2011 thanks to the Fukushima disaster in Japan and the German government’s decision to end its nuclear power programme. But it said: “Although this has had an impact on our business, we remain confident of the nuclear industry’s future, as it is an important part of the energy mix, in a world with increasing demand for low carbon energy.”

Liverpool Daily Post 27th Jan 2012 more >>

US

The United States must urgently work to find a new central site to house its spent nuclear fuel and probe whether Japan’s nuclear disaster has any safety implications for storage at the country’s plants, a federal panel said on Thursday.

Reuters 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

The Japanese government feared that millions of Tokyoites might have to be evacuated during the worst of last year’s nuclear crisis, but kept the scenario secret to avoid panic in some of the world’s most crowded urban areas, according to an internal report. The 15-page report, by the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission, was delivered to the then-Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, two weeks after the 11 March earthquake and tsunami triggered the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It warned that if the situation spiralled out of control, compulsory or voluntary evacuation orders would have to be issued to residents living within 250 kilometres (155 miles) of the damaged facility, a radius that would have included the Tokyo metropolitan area that is home to around 30 million people.

Independent 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Fukushima Update 20th – 23rd Jan.

Greenpeace International 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan’s nuclear disaster has eroded trust in utilities and shown residents of the rural, mountainous region of Fukui the risk of radiation, but a dependence on atomic plants for jobs and funds means speaking out against them is taboo.

Reuters 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan will be able to avoid power cuts this summer even if the nation’s last few nuclear reactors cease operating due to public safety fears after the Fukushima crisis, the government said on Friday.

Reuters 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan is set to launch a $13 billion bail-out of the owner of its stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant after the utility dropped resistance to a public fund injection, sources said on Thursday, as the country debates the future of nuclear power.

Reuters 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Czech Republic

CEZ, the largest power producer in central and eastern Europe, will consider bringing in an investment partner to help finance a $10 billion project to build two reactors at the Temelin nuclear power station.

Bloomberg 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Tehran to halt its nuclear programme and to resume talks with Western powers, saying that the onus is on Iran to prove its good intentions.

Middle East Online 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that Tehran is ready to sit down with world powers for talks on its nuclear drive as he downplayed the harmful effects of newly imposed sanctions.

Telegraph 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Belfast Telegraph 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Scotsman 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Independent 27th Jan 2012 more >>

A rare visit by senior U.N. nuclear inspectors next week raises pressure on Iran to address suspicions it is trying to develop atomic weapons, though Western powers that are piling on sanctions expect no significant breakthrough. How Tehran deals with the International Atomic Energy Agency may offer pointers to prospects for resolving a long-running dispute that an oil embargo and threats of war, along with talk of Iran closing in on nuclear weapons capability and the U.S. presidential election calendar, have escalated to crisis level.

Reuters 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Energy Efficiency

The Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University have just put out a new report calling for new laws to increase energy efficiency standards in all of the UK’s 26 million homes and 2 million business properties. Implementing these reccomendations would mean that energy use in all buildings in the UK result in zero carbon emissions by 2050. The report, Achieving Zero by Dr Brenda Boardman, sets out not only how this is necessary to reduce the UK’s CO2 emissions but also provides a roadmap to how it can be implemented and the many benefits it will provide.

Stop Climate Chaos 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

The Labour benches were furious about the government’s plans to cut the amount home owners get for using their solar panels to top up the national grid. This is because the cost of solar power has fallen and it is no longer economical to pay the old rate. But this week the courts decided the government had to cough up at the old rate, and ministers are appealing.

Guardian 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Caroline Lucas: This week, the government lost its appeal against a judge’s ruling that its move to change the rates for solar feed-in tariffs before the official consultation has ended was “legally flawed”. The high court ruling is a real victory for the solar industry and for those households, businesses and community projects in my constituency who would have been left high and dry by the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s attempts to apply a retrospective change to the rate. There has always been widespread acceptance that the tariff would need to be reduced as installation costs fell and economic realities shifted. But the focus of the cross-party and public campaign against the government’s plans has been the speed and scale of the proposed cut, which has already caused huge disruption to the solar industry and the 25,000-plus jobs it has created.

Guardian 27th Jan 2012 more >>

Trident

Britain’s nuclear deterrent would have to remain in Scotland even if the country voted for independence, Royal Navy chiefs have concluded. The Scottish naval base currently used to arm submarines with Trident nuclear missiles is the only site suitable for the task and building another could take up to a decade, ministers have been told.

Telegraph 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 27 January 2012

26 January 2012

Dounreay

AN MSP is demanding answers about the state of a Ross-shire railway line over which 90 shipments of nuclear material will start being transported this summer. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has confirmed trains carrying around 44 tonnes of nuclear material will pass through Ross-shire’s major towns including Tain, Invergordon, Alness, Dingwall and Muir of Ord over the next five to six years. The breeder material will travel down the far north line from Dounreay in Caithness – but the exact times and dates will not be disclosed because of fear of terrorist attack. The decommissioned nuclear plant at Dounreay, due to close by 2025, cannot store the material long term and the NDA plans to take it to Sellafield in Cumbria for reprocessing. But now Rob Gibson, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, has raised concerns about whether the railway line is modern enough to cope with the radioactive cargo.

North Star 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

THREE hundred protestors took to the streets against plans to build a new nuclear power station at Wylfa. The march in Llangefni was organised by a number of organisations, including Pobl Atal Wylfa B, Greenpeace and Cymdeithas yr Iaith, which are supporting farmer Richard Jones of Caerdegog Uchaf near Llanfechell who is in dispute with Horizon, the company which wants to build Wylfa B.

Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 25th Jan 2012 more >>

South West Against Nuclear 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

eWales 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

This week’s decision to axe an overhead pylon route in Lincolnshire has been welcomed by the No Moor Pylons pressure group, which is opposed to National Grid’s route for a line of pylons between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth.

Burnham-on-sea.com 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Radhealth

I’ve been asked to comment on the recent Costes/Bissel paper (see pnas.org/content/early/2011/12/16/1117849108.full.pdf+html) which concluded that “extrapolating risk linearly from high dose as done with LNT could lead to overestimation of cancer risk at low doses.” My main caveat about this study is that it repeatedly makes strong comments about the dose-response relationship which are unjustified.

IanFairlie.com 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Workington residents aired their views on proposals to build a radioactive waste dump in the west Cumbria at a meeting yesterday. The consultation, in the Carnegie Theatre, was hosted by West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, which includes both Allerdale and Cumbria County councils. Richard Griffin reassured people that the councils have a right to withdraw at any time and that they have not committed the area to the project. He added: “We are here to listen to what you have to say and we will reflect those views in a report to the partnership at the end of the year.”

Carlisle News and Star 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Bob Forrest is known for a lot of things in Carlsbad, a quiet city of 25,000 on the edge of New Mexico’s empty, endless Chihuahuan Desert. He was mayor here for 16 years. He’s chairman of the local bank and owns the spanking new Fairfield Inn, which sits next to the new Chili’s and the new Wal-Mart. And he helped bring 200,000 tons of deadly nuclear waste to town.

Forbes 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan returns to the world stage this week, part of a campaign to reinvent himself as a global antinuclear activist nearly a year after he oversaw his government’s widely criticized handling of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. “I would like to tell the world that we should aim for a society that can function without nuclear energy,” he said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, previewing his speech scheduled for Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Bloomberg 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan is set to launch a $13 billion bail-out of the owner of its stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant after the utility dropped resistance to a public fund injection, sources said on Thursday, as the country debates the future of nuclear power.

Reuters 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Huge energy imports last year caused Japan to record a rare trade deficit. Manufacturing was hit by the tsunami, but the use of fossil fuels to replace shut-down nuclear plants was a bigger factor.

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Independent 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Only four of the country’s 54 nuclear power reactors are running due to public safety fears following the March disaster.

Guardian 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency today began their first inspection of a Japanese nuclear power plant that has undergone official “stress tests” – a key step required to restart dozens of nuclear plants idled in the wake of the Fukushima crisis. A 10-member IAEA team was inspecting the number three and number four reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui, western Japan, where 13 reactors are clustered in four complexes along the snowy Sea of Japan coast, making it the country’s nuclear heartland.

Wales Online 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran is unlikely to move toward building a nuclear weapon this year because it does not yet have the capability to produce enough weapon-grade uranium, a draft report by the Institute for Science and International Security said on Wednesday.

Telegraph 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Guardian 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Reuters 26th Jan 2012 more >>

President Obama used his State of the Union speech last night to ramp up pressure on Iran after Europe sent battleships to the Gulf. The U.S. President warned Iran that America would focus on its disputed nuclear program with ‘no options off the table’ but said the door remained open to talks for a peaceful resolution.

Daily Mail 25th Jan 2012 more >>

US

While US nuclear generating capacity is expected to grow by 11% by 2035, its share of the country’s total electricity output will drop slightly, according to a forecast by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Coal use will fall significantly during this period, with gas seeing the highest growth.

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Niger

Niger will forge ahead with plans to develop a nuclear energy plant in partnership with other West African countries, despite the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year, the country’s president said this week. Mahamadou Issoufou, who was elected president in March 2011, referred to plans he announced in July to build a nuclear plant in co-operation with other countries in West Africa.

Metal Bulletin 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Romania

Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Nuclear has signed a contract with Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN) to install venting systems at a plant in Romania.

Construction Index 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has lost its appeal against a High Court ruling which branded its plans to rush through cuts to solar subsidies as illegal. Three Court of Appeal judges this morning upheld the original decision that the government had acted unlawfully in proposing cuts to feed-in tariffs for solar installations completed after December 12 last year, on the grounds the consultation on the proposed changes to the scheme did not close until December 23.

Business Green 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Utility Week 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Guardian 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, said he would seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, meaning businesses and consumers have no idea whether solar panels installed in coming weeks will earn 43p per kilowatt hour (kWh) for energy generated over the next 25 years or could yet have a new 21p/kWh rate imposed retrospectively.

Telegraph 25th Jan 2012 more >>

The decision means that households that have installed solar panels recently — or will do soon — will qualify for the original top rate. It is expected to spark a stampede for panels before the new deadline of March 3, when the £1,000 subsidy rate expires. It takes at least four weeks to install and register the panels. Nevertheless, the Government has refused to concede defeat over its plan to halve subsidies earlier than expected. Having lost its latest challenge, it said that it would seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, prompting the CBI to demand that the Government draw a line under the saga.

Times 26th Jan 2012 more >>

India is producing power from solar cells more cheaply than by burning diesel for the first time, spurring billionaire Sunil Mittal and Coca-Cola Co. (KO)’s mango supplier to jettison the fuel in favor of photovoltaic panels. The cost of solar energy in India declined by 28 percent since December 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The cause was a 51 percent drop in panel prices last year as the world’s 10 largest manufacturers, led by China’s Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP), doubled output capacity.

Bloomberg 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Climate Change

Flooding is the greatest threat to the UK posed by climate change, with up to 3.6 million people at risk by the middle of the century, a report published on Thursday by the environment department.

Guardian 26th Jan 2012 more >>

The current risk assessment was based on modelling of river flooding and coastal flooding, which will be made worse by rises in sea-level.

Independent 26th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 26 January 2012

25 January 2012

New Nukes

Greenpeace launched a judicial review of the Nuclear Power National Policy Statement (NPS), the only challenge made to any of the six energy NPSs after they were designated (brought into force) on 19 July 2011. Greenpeace argued that the designation of the NPS was premature in the light of the Fukushima accident in Japan in March, given that at that time Mike Weightman had only produced an interim report on lessons learned for the UK and suggested that there should be more evidence on flood risk, off-site electricity supply and on-site emergency controls in relation to the eight sites named as potentially suitable for new nuclear reactors. I have recently learnt that back on 12 December 2011, Greenpeace’s challenge was refused, and I understand that it is not taking it any further. I have only seen extracts of Mr Justice Ouseley’s decision, but it appears that he said that essentially the NPS only sets out sites as ‘potentially’ suitable for new nucler reactors. It will be up to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) and the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to decide whether they are actually suitable for the purposes of their roles when applications come along. The IPC will decide whether each of the sites is suitable in planning terms, and the ONR, formed last year by a merger of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and the Office for Civil Nuclear Security and the UK Safeguards Office) will decide whether they are suitable in safety terms.

Bircham Dyson Bell 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Lawyers working on behalf of campaigning organisation Energy Fair have written to the EU Commission’s Director-General for Competition alleging that new incentives which will be introduced to nuclear operators as part of the Government’s current electricity market reform programme, in addition to seven ‘subsidies’ already in operation, amount to “unlawful state aid for nuclear power and constraint on trade”.

Out-Law 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Yesterday was the deadline for making representations on the application and I have learnt that around 1200 such representations were made. They will be published on the IPC website in due course – this usually takes about a week. I expect Greenpeace will be among the representors. Although most of the representations will be objections, there may well be a few in support of the application.

Bircham Dyson Bell 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Somerset nuclear plant application generates 1,200 comments.

Planning Resource 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Concerns with transport, tourism and accommodation are just some areas that need to be improved in EDF Energy’s planning application for a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C near Burnham-On-Sea.

Burnham-on-sea.com 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

West Somerset Council is calling for a fairer deal for local people and actions to ensure long-term economic prosperity, in its initial response submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC) today (January 23) on EDF Energy’s proposed development at Hinkley Point C.

eGov Monitor 24th Jan 2012 more >>

How much do you value your peace of mind? One Somerset council has set the price at £9 million a year. That’s how much Sedgemoor District Council believes EDF Energy should pay in return for tolerating two new nuclear reactors nearby, The Times has learnt. Local officials at the council believe residents should be compensated for worrying about the risk — however small — of falling victim to a Fukushima-style meltdown at nearby Hinkley Point. They will make their case today to a committee of MPs examining energy infrastructure projects. They will say that the money would be used to cut the electricity bills of local residents on the lowest incomes and to fund projects such as new community halls or school buildings.

Times 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Sellafield

A plan to build a plutonium-burning reactor at Sellafield in Cumbria has been rejected by the UK government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Internal emails seen by the Guardian reveal that the NDA regards the reactor technology as immature and commercially unproven. It would also create large amounts of plutonium-contaminated waste and increase the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons, the NDA says. The reactor plan was announced by General Electric (GE) Hitachi in November as a way of converting the UK’s 82-tonne stockpile of plutonium at Sellafield into power. Known as “Prism” (Power Reactor Innovative Small Modular), it is a new design of sodium-cooled fast reactor that is fuelled by plutonium. In an email to GE on 29 November 2011, the NDA’s strategy and technology director, Adrian Simper, said that the two organisations “have struggled to reach a clear agreement on the work necessary to demonstrate credibility, without which neither NDA nor government can consider Prism further in the development of our strategy.”

Guardian 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Rob Edwards 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Reuters 24th Jan 2012 more >>

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority remains in talks with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to build its Prism fast reactors at Sellafield as a means of managing and disposing of the UK’s 84-tonne stockpile of civil plutonium, an NDA spokesman said January 24. NDA spokesman Bill Hamilton described reports in today’s Guardian newspaper that the NDA had rejected GE-Hitachi’s proposals as “completely without foundation.” “Discussions are ongoing,” Hamilton told i-NUCLEAR. He said the NDA was prepared to provide financial support to develop the proposals if ongoing discussions demonstrate promise. The GE-Hitachi proposals involve burning the UK’s plutonium stockpiles in the Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (Prism) fast reactors. The Guardian newspaper report was based on internal NDA emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request from Cumbria-based nuclear critic Jean McSorley. “In the time that has passed since the emails the author references in his story, dialogue between GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and the NDA has developed, and continues to develop, as we are able to share and explain more about PRISM,” GEH said in its statement. “We are working to demonstrate the advantages of the proposal to the NDA and show why PRISM makes the plutonium more proliferation-resistant than other options and can be readily deployed as soon as the licensing process allows,” the spokesman said.

i-Nuclear.com 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

I am tired of seeing stickers saying No to Wylfa B. Why does someone not produce some stickers saying Yes to Wylfa B?

Anglesey Today 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Sizewell

Increased concern over carbon emission reduction targets, along with rising energy costs, is likely to increase levels of retrofitting, energy efficiency measures and microgeneration technologies, which will become increasingly important in driving construction growth in the East of England over the longer term. The nuclear new build programme will also stimulate growth in the sector with nuclear power stations planned for Sizewell, Suffolk and Bradwell, Essex, in 2015 and 2017.

Eastern Daily Press 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Cumbria is “sleepwalking” towards accepting a nuclear dump that will change the Lake District forever, campaigners have claimed.

Carlisle News & Star 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Westinghouse

In the US, Westinghouse Electric Co. has installed its reactor coolant pump (RCP) passive thermal shutdown seal in one dual-unit nuclear plant, and has received orders from five more utilities for a total of 37 reactor coolant pump (RCP) installations.

The Engineer 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Netherlands

Dutch utility Delta and its partners EDF and RWE have postponed plans to build a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands because of the poor investment climate and low electricity prices. Delta had plans to build a nuclear power plant with a maximum capacity of 2,500 megawatts in the southwest of the country, next to an existing plant near the town of Borssele, but said on Monday it was delaying these for two to three years.

Reuters 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Robert Fisk ….we don’t know that Iran really is building a nuclear weapon. And after Iraq, it’s amazing that the old weapons of mass destruction details are popping with the same frequency as all the poppycock about Saddam’s titanic arsenal. Not to mention the date problem. When did all this start? The Shah. The old boy wanted nuclear power. He even said he wanted a bomb because “the US and the Soviet Union had nuclear bombs” and no one objected. Europeans rushed to supply the dictator’s wish. Siemens – not Russia – built the Bushehr nuclear facility.

Independent 25th Jan 2012 more >>

There is as yet no firm evidence that Tehran has taken the decision to develop a nuclear weapon. But the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency last year made clear that, at the very least, Iran is determined to acquire the capability to make nuclear weapons. It is also true that having a nuclear option is one of the few issues that unites a divided regime and dissatisfied population.

FT 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Britain could send military reinforcements to the Gulf if the dispute with Iran escalates, the Defence Secretary has revealed. Philip Hammond said the decision to send HMS Argyll as part of an international flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz on Sunday sent a ‘clear signal’ to Tehran. And he warned that reinforcements will be available if needed.

Daily Mail 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

The No. 5 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture was to be taken offline early Wednesday for scheduled maintenance and inspections, leaving only one out of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s 17 still in service. All of Tepco’s reactors will go offline by the end of March when the No. 6 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant will be switched off for repairs and safety checks. Among Japan’s 54 commercial reactors, only three not operated by Tepco are currently in operation.

Japan Times 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan is expected to announce its first trade deficit since 1980. For decades the country has used an export policy to build up brand names such as Toyota, Sony and Canon, but official trade figures are expected to show a deficit caused by energy imports to cover the loss of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. Economists say Japan’s trade will be in deficit for the next few years as it copes with the catastrophe that has forced most nuclear power stations to close. Japan’s central bank said it expected the economy to shrink by 0.4% in the year to March, instead of expanding as forecast.

Guardian 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Quite simply, the Fukushima Daiichi clean-up is too big and too important to complicate with national sentiment. Japan should remain ready to use all the help it can get.

FT 24th Jan 2012 more >>

US

Moving away from large-scale, toxic nuclear reactors, the Department of Energy announces a plan to develop safer, smaller options. Mini reactors the future of nuclear power? The US Department of Energy announced that it would support the new design of “small modular nuclear reactors” last week. Contracts to design and begin production of the reactors by 2022 will be awarded to select companies and funded under the DOE.

Oil Price 24th Jan 2012 more >>

World Nuclear News

Since beginning this news service in January 2007, the staff of World Nuclear News have been proud to deliver the vital developments on nuclear power in a format that is open, accessible and free of charge. This would have been impossible without the support gratefully received from members of the World Nuclear Association and a readership that includes the most knowledgeable and well-connected professionals of the nuclear sector. In celebration of its fifth anniversary WNN is pleased to present this interactive timeline of landmark nuclear industry stories, as well as some of its own milestones from its first five years

World Nuclear News 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Submarines

India has taken possession of a nuclear-powered submarine from Russia on a 10-year lease.

BBC 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Damage caused by a blaze on board a nuclear-powered submarine at Devonport Naval Base was being assessed yesterday. Firefighters were called to deal with the small fire on the Trafalgar-class submarine, HMS Talent, on Sunday evening. The sub’s crew were reported to have put out the fire, which happened at around 8.15pm.

Western Morning News 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Energy Efficiency

Despite an outcry from U.S. conservatives that new lighting efficiency standards infringe on personal freedom, legislation mandating greater efficiency became law on January 1. Those new standards, along with major progress in lighting research and development, are helping usher in a technological revolution: Lighting companies — both large and small, in the U.S. and abroad — are rapidly building a better light bulb. Even small steps have big ripples in this field: According to the U.S. Energy Star efficiency program, if every home replaced just one bulb with a more efficient version, the country would save $600 million a year.

Guardian 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 25 January 2012

24 January 2012

New Nukes

Lawyers send complaint to European Commission about subsidies for nuclear power. A formal complaint about subsidies for nuclear power has been sent to the European Commission. If it is upheld, it unlikely that any new nuclear power stations will be built in the UK or elsewhere in the EU. The complaint may be followed by legal action in the courts or actions by politicians to reduce or remove subsidies for nuclear power. The complaint has been prepared by lawyers for the Energy Fair group, with several other environmental groups and environmentalists.

Energy Fair Press Release 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Response Resource 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear power could be blocked from being developed in the UK and European Union (EU) if a complaint over Government subsidies sent by lawyers to the European Commission is upheld.

New Civil Engineer 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Mike Childs, Head of Policy, Research and Science at Friends of the Earth, said: “The UK coalition government promised that nuclear power should not get any subsidies. That was a sensible decision that recognised that time-limited subsidies should only be given to new technologies, such as wind, solar, wave and tidal, to enable them to develop, become mature and be competitive. It’s time for the nuclear subsidies to stop and this legal case is a useful contribution in achieving that aim.”

Engineer Live 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Oldbury

IT IS the final countdown for Oldbury Nuclear Power Station as it has confirmed it will be shutting down its last reactor on February 29. The site’s operational life was supposed to end more than three years ago but was extended until 2012 due its outstanding production record. In that time, the plant has generated an additional seven terawatt hours of electricity, worth an estimated £300 million to the taxpayer.

Gloucestershire Gazette 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Three Somerset councils are paying for a feasibility study into a Bridgwater bypass in a bid to force EDF to finance the road. Somerset County, West Somerset and Sedgemoor District councils want the road included in EDF plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

BBC 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

French energy giant EDF must do more to prevent construction of a new nuclear power station bringing traffic chaos, a housing crisis and a “boom and bust” economy, Somerset councils have warned. Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council revealed their submissions last night as the deadline passed to register interest in the mammoth planning application for the proposed twin-reactor Hinkley C plant.

Western Daily Press 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Heysham

EDF Energy, Britain’s biggest nuclear power provider, resumed output its 610 megawatt Heysham 1-1 plant following an 11-day outage to refuel the reactor, EDF said on Monday.

Reuters 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Platts 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

CUMBRIA is “sleep walking” towards accepting a nuclear dump that will change the Lake District forever, campaigners have claimed. Save Our Lake District, Don’t Dump Cumbria has formed to oppose building an underground dump for Britain’s nuclear waste. The group formed as the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely partnership’s consultation drop-in sessions got under way. The campaign has been backed by a prominent geologist and members have been attending the drop-in sessions across the county.

NW Evening Mail 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

It’s important to put those two phrases together – ‘radioactive waste’ ‘Lake District’. The Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership talks of ‘West Cumbria’ as if this was some form of off shore zone away from the teashops of Keswick and Buttermere. But the expression of interest in MRWS came from the borough councils of Copeland and Allerdale, and from the county council for Cumbria as a whole, though expressed only for the districts of Copeland and Allerdale. Significant parts of both boroughs are in the Lake District National Park.

Little Spider 11th Jan 2012 more >>

Kendal Museum will be holding an exhibition of specially created artworks based on Lakeland Geology. Lakeland geology is of intense interest as it is being considered for the geological disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. Associated with the exhibition will be a series of lectures and workshops examining this topic.

Kendal Museum 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

A team of U.N. nuclear experts on Monday began a review of tests conducted by Japan to prove the safety of its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima radiation crisis.

Reuters 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Guardian 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

The health ministry has not added up the radiation doses received by workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant while they were evacuated or are not at work, ministry officials and supporters of the workers said Saturday, prompting concerns about adequacy of the current radiation control.

Mainichi 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have issued a statement amid EU oil sanctions imposed against Iran today. The move comes after Britain joined the United States and France in sending a flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz as tensions escalate of over the regime’s controversial nuclear programme.

Huffington Post 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

EU Business 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Telegraph 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

EUROPEAN Union governments yesterday agreed to an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, buy or transport Iranian crude oil, a move to put pressure on Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme by shutting off its main source of foreign income.

City AM 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Britain ‘will not accept’ Iran’s bid to develop a nuclear weapon, David Cameron warned last night, as military tensions between the rogue state and the West escalated. In a rare joint statement with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Cameron warned Tehran it would face economic isolation unless it abandoned its nuclear ambitions ‘immediately’. They added: ‘We have no quarrel with the Iranian people. But the Iranian leadership has failed to restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. We will not accept Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.’

Daily Mail 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

A visit to Iran by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is being seen by western diplomats as a first key test of whether Tehran might negotiate over its atomic programme after the imposition of tough new European Union sanctions.

FT 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

US

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has taken first step to spur manufacturing of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the country. The department said it will establish cost-shared agreements with private industry to support the design and licensing of the SMRs.

Energy Business Review 23td Jan 2012 more >>

Submarines

Campaigners are holding a meeting to give people a last chance to have their say on the dismantling of nuclear submarines – labelled the most important decision to face Plymouth for five generations. Groups including the Campaign Against Nuclear Storage and Radiation (CANSAR) and the Green Party want people to speak out on the Ministry of Defence’s plans on Wednesday. The MoD has held an extensive consultation over the last two months on how the Navy should dispose of its ageing fleet of nuclear submarines. The plans are to store intermediate waste in Devonport or Scotland and the deadline for submitting a response is February 17. Organisers of the meeting in the city centre are calling the issue “the most important decision affecting the people of Plymouth in five generations”. Ian Avent, of CANSAR, said Plymouth could effectively become a “nuclear scrapyard”. He added the plans could see waste being stored in Plymouth for 100 years. Mr Avent said: “What impact will this have on a city with aspirations as a world city of tourism? Plans for an underground storage of waste are still only on paper and I think forecasts that it will be ready by 2040 are optimistic.” The groups, also including the Nuclear Submarine Forum and Transition Plymouth, want waste dispersed at several sites, including Scotland.

Western Morning News 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Russia on Monday finally transferred the much-expected K-152 Nerpa nuclear-powered attack submarine – an Akula-II Class submarine – on a 10-year lease to the Indian Navy, Russian news agencies reported.

Daily Mail 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

The Government is setting up Britain’s first “marine energy park” in the South-west of England as it hopes to address criticisms that its pre-election claim to be the “greenest government ever” was a sham. Greg Barker, the climate change minister, announced that the South West Marine Energy Park will stretch from Bristol to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, 28 miles off the Cornish coast. He believes that marine energy has the potential to generate up to 27 gigawatts of power in Britain by 2050, equivalent to the amount produced by eight coal-fired power stations.

Independent 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Energy regulator Ofgem signalled it was likely to approve up to £7.6bn of infrastructure investment to connect new Scottish wind farms and other renewable power generators to the UK grid.

Telegraph 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Times 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Herald 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Scotsman 24th Jan 2012 more >>

A £2.6 billion investment in boosting Scottish electricity networks that will create 1,500 jobs has been announced by ScottishPower. The company said the work, to be carried out between 2013 and 2021, was the most important upgrade to the electricity network in the Central belt and the South of Scotland for 60 years.

Times 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Yesterday it emerged that a plan to invest more than £7bn in the Scottish network to modernise its high-speed grids is to be fast-tracked by the energy regulator Ofgem. Upgrade plans from Scottish Power and SSE were launched, ahead of the National Grid’s proposals for England and Wales. The proposals include vital subsea cables to the Scottish islands and to England. The Scottish Government’s challenging renewables target relies on being able to sell surplus electricity to English consumers. Scottish Power will use its investment to connect around 11 gigawatts of onshore and offshore wind power projects, as well as doubling the electricity export capacity between Scotland and England.

Herald 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 24 January 2012

23 January 2012

Radhealth

A new French study of childhood leukaemia near nuclear power plants has found a statistically significant increase in leukaemia in children below age 15 in 2002-2007 within 5 km of 19 French NPPs. The French finding is persuasive as it was determined in two separate ways. First, by a comprehensive nationwide case-control study. And second, by a conventional incidence study. Many newspapers in France (but none in the UK) carried this story prominently, but in fact it is the fourth European study showing this result. After the shocking results of the KiKK study in 2007, further studies with the same or similar findings were carried out in Germany, Great Britain, and Switzerland.

Ian Fairlie 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Up until very recently, it had proved impossible to obtain information on the time patterns of radioactive emissions from NPPs. Despite requests, UK nuclear utilities and Government regulators repeatedly refuse to publish any time-related data: annual emissions, OK: but not monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly emissions. Is this important? Yes. I’ve suspected for some time that most nuclide emissions from nuclear reactors are not spread evenly across the whole year but during short refuelling episodes which occur about once a year and which last a few days or so. These short spikes could explain a matter which has puzzled radiation protection agencies for decades. In the light of the new German data, it is recommended half-hourly emissions data from all UK reactors should be disclosed and that the issue of childhood cancer increases near NPPs be re-examined.

Ian Fairlie 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

Over 300 protestors took to the rainy streets of Llangefni on the afternoon of Saturday 21 January 2012 to express their opposition to Wylfa B, in a colourful rally supported by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, PAWB (Pobl Atal Wylfa B/People Against Wylfa B) and Greenpeace.

CND Cymru 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Energy Scenarios

A row over the costs of Britain’s future energy mix has escalated after trade body Scottish Renewables demanded that a controversial economic report be made public. The paper by accountancy firm KPMG and analysts at AF Consult claimed that the UK could meet its carbon dioxide (CO2)-reduction targets without the need to produce higher levels of renewable energy. Figures from energy regulator Ofgem suggest it will cost the UK some £108 billion to hit its 2020 target of cutting the amount of CO2 emitted by 34 per cent, compared to 1990’s levels. But the KPMG report claims £34bn could be sliced off the total by concetrating on gas-fired and nuclear power stations instead of off-shore wind, which adds £10bn to the bill. Those figures were revealed in November in a press release that the accountancy firm claims was “leaked”. The issue was brought to a h ead when the data formed part of a documentary by the BBC’s Panorama television series. The press release said the report was based on the “pure economics” of producing energy and that other factors, such as job creation, also needed to be taken into account. Now Scottish Renewables wants KPMG to publish the full report so that it can examine the calculations made to reach the figures.

Scotland on Sunday 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Before the month of January is out, the US Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future will unveil the result of its two year-long investigation into what to do with the accumulated radioactive waste at the country’s nuclear power plants. By this year’s end, that waste will constitute a mountain 70 years high, with the first cupful generated on December 2, 1942 at the Fermi lab not far from Chicago when scientists first created a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

Counterpunch 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Scotland

Scotland’s drive for full independence from the United Kingdom could complicate nuclear decommissioning and cleanup operations in Scotland and frustrate UK officials’ plans for a geological disposal facility (GDF) just across the border in England. Some of Scotland’s nuclear waste has and continues to cross its southern border to the Sellafield nuclear waste complex in northwest England. English MP Jamie Reed, representing the district around Sellafield, said during a January 10 debate in the House of Commons that Scotland should take back its waste if it achieves independence. But Scottish independence also threatens to complicate UK officials’ plans for a GDF. The UK government has been urging the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to speed up plans for the GDF, but the design of such a facility will depend on the inventory of waste to be buried in it.

i-Nuclear.com 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Druridge Bay

Letter Bridget Gubbins: Why don’t we go for a new nuclear power station, here in Northumberland? That way we could justify our opposition to wind turbines. It would be easy to dust off the plans which were made after six months of detailed test drilling in 1983. Please would any readers who would like to campaign for a nuclear power station at Druridge Bay contact me?

Northumberland Gazette 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran faces tough new sanctions from the European Union over its nuclear programme as foreign ministers are set to meet in Brussels to discuss an oil embargo. Diplomats are expected to agree later on phasing in an oil and financial embargo against Tehran over a period of between five and eight months.

Sky 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

As present, Japan generates from renewable sources 10 percent of its electricity needs, including 8 per cent from hydropower. It is the world’s fourth-largest solar market with 3.8 gigawatts (GW) installed capacity and has 2.5 GW installed wind power capacity. Federal government is likewise bolstering efforts to increase investor and business participation in solar projects, another form of clean energy. Japan’s solar market is also seen to boom, with the head of the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association predicting domestic shipments of solar panels will grow ten-fold. The master plan options are expected to be presented by the end of March, after which the new plan will take effect in summer.

IB Times 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Submarines

FIRE crews were called to Devonport Naval Base after reports of a blaze on board a nuclear submarine. Two appliances from Camels Head fire station and one from Crownhill were called to deal with the small fire aboard nuclear powered ‘hunter-killer’ submarine, HMS Talent.

Plymouth Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

An aquatic “bicycle pump” is set to take to the seas and turn wave power into clean electricity after being acquired by green energy company Ecotricity. The Searaser device, which pumps saltwater to an onshore generator, has been tested in prototype and praised by ministers.

Guardian 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 23 January 2012

22 January 2012

Scotland

THOUSANDS of tonnes of deadly nuclear waste would be returned to Scotland from south of the Border if the SNP wins independence, a Labour MP has claimed. Jamie Reed, whose constituency includes Sellafield, said it would be against British law for Europe’s largest atomic plant to retain toxic material from a “foreign country”. He said an independent Scotland would have a “legal and moral responsibility” to take back waste from six current and historic nuclear reactors – at Dounreay, Hunterston, Torness and Chapelcross.

Express 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Hunterston

The company that runs the nuclear reactors at Hunterston in North Ayrshire is warning that their safety could be jeopardised by plans to build a huge coal-fired power station next door. EDF Energy says that the construction and operation of the controversial new plant could block the evacuation routes of staff and deprive its site of electricity and vital cooling water in an emergency. It is also worried that discharges from the coal plant could compromise reactor cooling systems. The French nuclear company has lodged a formal objection to an application by Ayrshire Power to build a £3 billion coal station at Hunterston. Following rejection of the application, which attracted more than 20,000 objections, by North Ayrshire Council in November, the Scottish Government has now confirmed that it will go to a public inquiry later this year.

Sunday Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Rob Edwards 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

IF it wasn’t so frightening, it would be like a scene from The Simpsons: the sea near the Hunterston nuclear power station in Ayrshire is glowing spookily green. Don’t be afraid, however, because it has nothing to do with radioactive leaks spawning three-eyed fish – or so we are told. A local resident raised the alarm after spotting a patch of luminous green on the satellite photographs of the site published online by Google Earth. There is an equally vivid area visible just inside the site boundary. Given the nature of the site, first thoughts were of plutonium or some other nuclear nasties contaminating the water and endangering locals’ health. But not so, says EDF Energy, the French company that generates electricity from the Hunterston B reactors. The green glow has a more mundane explanation: bubbling water. Pete Roche, a nuclear consultant and former Government radiation adviser, said: “No matter how green the glow from Hunterston it cannot make nuclear power an environmentally sound energy source. We still have nowhere to put the highly dangerous waste and there are continuous reports of health problems associated with radiation emissions even without any accidents like Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.”

Sunday Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Rob Edwards 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

More than 200 people attend a rally on Anglesey to back a farmer who refuses to sell his land for the development of a new generation nuclear power station. Dairy farmer Richard Jones’ family has farmed at Caerdegog near Llanfechell for 300 years. He said losing 65 acres of their best agricultural land plus another 20 acres they rent would make the farm unviable. Horizon Nuclear Power says it has listened to the family and is looking again at the matter in great detail.

BBC 21st Jan 2012 more >>

LANGUAGE campaigners say the opposition to Wylfa B is a fight for Welsh language communities, while others oppose the plant over safety fears and the nuclear waste. They say there is growing opposition to the plan over concerns about the pressure on local communities when thousands of workers start the construction project. Menna Machreth, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg’s spokesperson for Gwynedd-Môn commented: “Everyone claims that the whole island is in favour of nuclear, but that does not stand up to scrutiny.

Daily Post 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Dounreay

TRAINS are set to start transporting spent nuclear material from Dounreay through Inverness in the summer but the exact times and dates will not be disclosed due to fears of possible terrorist attack. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has confirmed trains carrying the “breeder” material will travel through the region from the decommissioned Caithness nuclear power station to Sellafield in England for reprocessing.

Inverness Courier 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Cumbria

New report by Environment Agency says river levels may fall by 80% as a result of climate change and the growing population.

Observer 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Politics

Chris Huhne has sanctioned an extraordinary attack on Downing Street “dirty tricks”, as his cabinet career hangs by a thread over his alleged attempt to cover up a speeding offence. As the Crown Prosecution Service considers whether to bring charges against the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, friends of Mr Huhne accused David Cameron’s press secretary, Gabby Bertin, of briefing against him over plans for a new royal yacht – a claim she denies.

Independent 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

In the fall, as this valley’s rice paddies ripened into a carpet of gold, inspectors came to check for radioactive contamination. Onami sits just 35 miles northwest of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which spewed radioactive cesium over much of this rural region last March. However, the government inspectors declared Onami’s rice safe for consumption after testing just two of its 154 rice farms. Then, a few days later, a skeptical farmer in Onami, who wanted to be sure his rice was safe for a visiting grandson, had his crop tested, only to find it contained levels of cesium that exceeded the government’s safety limit. In the weeks that followed, more than a dozen other farmers also found unsafe levels of cesium. An ensuing panic forced the Japanese government to intervene, with promises to test more than 25,000 rice farms in eastern Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located. The uproar underscores how, almost a year after a huge earthquake and tsunami caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan is still struggling to protect its food supply from radioactive contamination.

New York Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Fukushima Daiichi meltdown has profoundly changed the face of nuclear power in Japan, and may result in a complete shift toward alternate sources of energy for the nation.

Earth & Industry 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Fukushima Update 17th to 19th Jan.

Greenpeace International 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Trident

The defence secretary, Philip Hammond, warned that, after independence, Scotland would have to pay “billions” for the cost of relocating Trident. This wasn’t quite in the same league as losing the pandas, but was equally daft. I don’t recall the Ukraine being required to build bases in Russia for the nuclear weapons it returned in 1994. Scotland never asked for weapons of mass destruction in the first place. Anyway, there’s a simple enough solution: Trident nuclear warheads are moved by road convoy every year from Coulport to Aldermaston near Reading. Maybe they could just make a one-way trip in 2014. Scotland could pay for the diesel.

Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

Giant wind turbines nearly 1,000ft tall and five times more powerful than anything yet built in Britain could soon be installed around the coast under an European Union-backed scheme to boost renewable energy production. The “super-turbine” design has emerged from the pan- European UpWind research project funded by the EU. Its aim was to analyse wind turbine design to see whether it was technically feasible to build much larger machines than currently available. Britain has about 470 wind turbines around its shores but the government wants thousands more and provides generous subsidies to wind farm operators. Existing machines typically have a maximum capacity of no more than 3 megawatts (Mw), and are about 400ft high, although some 5Mw machines are being tested. The proposed “super-turbines” would have a capacity of about 20Mw and stand two or three times higher.

Sunday Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Southwest England may not have the high-tech chutzpah of California, but Greg Barker, the climate change minister, hopes that one day it will rival the ground-breaking entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley. Rather than computing, he wants the area between Bristol and the Scilly Isles to make its name with renewable power. Tomorrow he is due to announce the creation of a marine energy park that will bring together the region’s universities, green technology companies and politicians. The park will not be a specific location, however. It will be a network designed to boost investment in wave and offshore wind power, and to generate jobs in cities such as Plymouth, which have been hit hard by the decline of traditional industries such as shipbuilding.

Sunday Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

If Scotland breaks away from the union, its thriving clean energy sector could lose billions in support from UK taxpayers

Sunday Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 22 January 2012