News June 2012

30 June 2012

Politics

Simon James: The Lib Dem standing up for the nuclear industry Simon James is a Lib Dem councillor with parliamentary ambitions. Here, the former Goth and lighting engineer discusses his day-job as the Nuclear Industry Association’s public affairs supremo with Adam Hill.

Public Affairs 29th June 2012 more >>

Tom Greatrex: Shadow Energy Minister: New nuclear makes sense from the perspective of climate change, security of supply and jobs and growth. Alongside renewables and carbon capture and storage, nuclear energy has an important role to play in reducing our carbon emissions and securing future energy supply. The investment opportunities afforded by new nuclear could make a valuable contribution to kick starting our economy again and getting people back to work. With the right focus, there are opportunities for jobs, skills, economic benefit and potential exports often overlooked in the ideological debate about nuclear energy. It is incumbent on the government to seize these opportunities. Otherwise I fear that it is something we may all come to regret.

Huffington Post 30th June 2012 more >>

Sizewell

N-PLANT bosses have handed in their proposals to build an emergency response centre (ERC) on the Suffolk coast for use in the event of nuclear fallout or disaster.

East Anglian Daily Times 28th June 2012 more >>

Lowestoft Journal 28th June 2012 more >>

Areva

French nuclear company Areva said it plans to spend nearly €2 billion on the modernization of industrial plant equipment, deployment of new technologies, and on ongoing improvement of safety mechanisms as a response to the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in March 2011. The post-Fukushima improvements are expected to total about €200 million on top of the modernization program, an Areva spokesman confirmed June 29.

i-Nuclear 29th June 2012 more >>

Amec

UK international engineering and project management company AMEC has acquired Serco Group’s Technical Services (TS) business for £137 million cash, the companies said in separate statements June 29. TS is based at a number of sites in the UK and has around 600 staff providing consulting and project solutions for customers including the Ministry of Defence, EDF, Magnox and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

i-Nuclear 29th June 2012 more >>

Construction News 29th June 2012 more >>

New Statesman 29th June 2012 more >>

Build 29th June 2012 more >>

Money AM 29th june 2012 more >>

Construction Index 29th June 2012 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Research agencies in Germany have joined forces to develop what they believe will be the world’s first virtual underground research laboratory. The project is being run by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, DBE Technology GmbH, Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation. Developed under the VIRTUS project, the futuristic lab is designed to carry out virtual experiments on detailed models of repository mines. This is expected to aid the study and visualisation of processes and their interactions, particularly around stored nuclear waste.

Process Engineering 29th June 2012 more >>

Nuclear Course

THE University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), in conjunction with partners Sellafield Limited and University of New Mexico, will co-deliver and host the prestigious Nuclear Criticality Safety (NCS) workshop this September at its Westlakes campus in Whitehaven.

Whitehaven News 29th June 2012 more >>

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News: 8MW solar farm planned; Anaerobic Digestion Boom; 1,000 solar panels to be installed by South Wales Housing Association; solar farm share offer; Daventry Council goes solar; Argyll & Bute Council draws up Renewable Energy Action Plan.

Microgen Scotland 29th June 2012 more >>

Japan

Japan’s nine nuclear power utilities have rejected calls from some of their shareholders to reduce or even eliminate the use of nuclear energy. Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (Tepco’s) shareholders approved a ¥1 trillion ($12.5 billion) injection of state funds which effectively nationalizes the company.

World Nuclear news 29th June 2012 more >>

Two Japanese nuclear reactors are set to restart next month, despite tens of thousands of people throughout Japan pouring into the streets in protest. But warnings from scientists about the potential for earthquakes in the region could pose one last hurdle.

Nature 29th June 2012 more >>

More than 15,000 anti-nuclear protesters blocked streets outside the Japanese prime minister’s office on Friday, beating drums and chanting slogans against the restart of reactors nearly 16 months after the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

Reuters 29th June 2012 more >>

Fukushima crisis update 26th to 28th June 2012.

Greenpeace International 29th June 2012 more >>

France

Electricite de France SA plans to reinforce the concrete base of its Fessenheim atomic reactors by the middle of next year so it can avoid being forced to close the generator early, according to the industry regulator. The base has to be made thicker or the reactors will be halted, said Andre-Claude Lacoste, head of Autorite de Surete Nucleaire. “EDF apparently wants to carry out the work.” The watchdog is considering plans submitted by the utility, Lacoste told reporters today. The work at the nation’s oldest reactors will improve containment if there’s a core meltdown.

Bloomberg 28th June 2012 more >>

Posted: 30 June 2012

29 June 2012

EMR

Energy Bill critique by Dieter Helm – serious problems embedded in EMR .

Dieter Helm 27th June 2012 more >>

Letter: Mr Ingham also uses the existence of poor people in the Upper Calder Valley to argue against subsidies for renewable energy as he claims these cost each household an extra £100 per year. However, he supports the government’s plans to give subsidies to the nuclear industry via the Contract for Difference which will also lead to an increase in the energy bills for poor people and everyone else!

Hebden Bridge Times 28th June 2012 more >>

New Nukes

The Institute of Directors in Yorkshire is calling for the UK to “get off the fence” and press ahead with building a new generation of nuclear power stations. But the IoD adds that the Coalition should also consider ways of exploiting Yorkshire’s coal reserves. The call comes following the publication of an IoD study, which shows that nuclear power remains extremely popular among business leaders, despite the nuclear disaster caused when an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March last year.

Sheffield Star 28th June 2012 more >>

GDF Suez

GDF Suez is expected to significantly trim its 47-year old nuclear business now that its only showroom, Belgium, is gradually wrapping up its reliance on the energy form and with nuclear prospects in the French utility’s home market dimming. GDF Suez will reveal its new nuclear strategy this summer after the new Belgian government says in July the pace at which it will cut its reliance on nuclear energy, a source that secured 57 percent of the country’s electricity supply in 2011. “If you are being challenged on your operating nuclear base, like the German utilities have been, you will try to keep as long as possible your existing nuclear plants and possibly build abroad but if you can’t do that, than you give up on nuclear like E.ON and RWE have done,” said one sector specialist who declined to be named. GDF Suez’s nuclear buck stops with a plan to develop a new nuclear plant in Britain with Nugen joint-venture partner Iberdrola but a final decision will be taken in 2015 as the government’s nuclear energy policy is still shaping up.

Reuters 28th June 2012 more >>

Radwaste

ENVIRONMENT campaigners have claimed that some of the most beautiful valleys in the Western Lakes could be a potential final resting place for highly active radioactive waste. They point to Wasdale, Eskdale, Ennerdale & Kinniside, and Muncaster as possible locations for a nuclear waste repository up to four times the size of Sellafield and as big as the Channel Tunnel. But yesterday Coun Tim Knowles, who heads up West Cumbria’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safety Partnership, strongly rebutted any suggestion that specific sites had been identified, and he rejected suggestions by Save Our Lake District – Don’t Dump Cumbria that Longlands Farm at Gosforth has already been ruled out.

Whitehaven News 28th June 2012 more >>

Letter Tim Knowles: Your article in last week’s paper was wrong to suggest that a university think tank has criticised the poll conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership. The views in the article were those of an individual who is a geologist, not a polling expert, and he was speaking in a personal capacity. He is entitled to comment on the poll, as is any other member of the public. We have always made it clear that the views of local people are of paramount importance in deciding whether the area should take part in further geological and other investigations to see if there is anywhere that is suitable for an underground nuclear waste repository. We commissioned one of the country’s leading polling companies to carry out the opinion survey and two independent experts to give their views on the way the survey was conducted and the questions that were being asked.

Whitehaven News 28th June 2012 more >>

Letter IPSOS MORI: I am writing to clarify a number of the claims made by the geologist in your article “N-waste opinion poll criticised” on June 21. He claims that the results presented have “cherry picked the two pieces of information most favourable”. This is certainly not the case. The questionnaire for this survey included three opinion questions, plus three screening questions (to ensure we were talking to a representative sample of adults in Cumbria) and seven demographic questions (for analysis purposes). A copy of the questionnaire used is available on the Partnership’s website (Doc 251 at http://www.westcumbriamrws. org.uk/all_documents.asp).

Whitehaven News 28th June 2012 more >>

Letter: Having read P Wilson’s latest letter on the waste repository issue (Letters, June 14), I am appalled since, quite clearly, he has access to information that has been carefully – and deliberately – withheld from the general public. And, in such circumstances, quite how we can possibly come to an informed opinion on that issue is completely beyond me. From his letter, it seems that all of the various design studies for that repository have been based on the presumption that it would be flooded, and eventually filled by ground-water. And if – repeat, if – that is so, then the so-called ‘public consultation exercise’ that MRWS has been pushing so assiduously is – and always was – nothing more than an empty pretence. A total sham.

Whitehaven News 28th June 2012 more >>

Dungeness

HOPES for Dungeness C “are not dead”, 200 Marsh residents were told at a meeting at which the district council was criticised over the nuclear waste centre plans. People packed the Marsh Academy on Thursday to discuss the area’s economic future, including updates on the potential for a third power station and Shepway District Council’s £40,000 consultation into whether the Marsh should host a national radioactive waste facility. While MP Damian Collins, county councillor Carole Waters and Kent County Council leader Paul Carter were united in their opposition to the waste centre, SDC councillor Russell Tillson found himself the focus of residents’ objections to the “dump” despite his insisting the council did not have a formal view on it. Ross Carter, of the local Green party, told the Herald afterwards: “I almost felt sorry for the hapless Shepway councillor who was given the task of trying to justify the indefensible position SDC has taken.”

Romney Marsh Herald 28th June 2012 more >>

Hinkley

A nuclear war of words has broken out over research which says Government policy to promote nuclear power plants could boost the UK economy by more than £5billion a year. Figures from the Institute for Public Policy Research also suggest that rebuilding new nuclear energy capacity in the UK could create more than 32,000 additional jobs while giving a significant boost to annual exports. But campaign group Stop Hinkley said yesterday that the claimed economic benefit would be cancelled out by Government subsidies. The IPPR research was commissioned by EDF energy which has plans to build new nuclear plants at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk, with a combined capacity of 6.4 GW, sufficient to power ten million homes.

Western Daily Press 28th June 2012 more >>

Wylfa

A report from the National Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee in Wales surprisingly backs the Government’s nuclear policy at Wylfa B on Anglesey, though some members did vote against. The report agrees that there needs to be a bigger mix of energy sources in order to keep up with demand.

e-Gov Monitor 28th June 2012 more >>

FIRST Minister Carwyn Jones yesterday said Welsh independence would mean no Wylfa B as the row over his offer of a home to Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet rumbled on.

Daily Post 29th June 2012 more >>

Sellafield

Caroline Flint will meet management and unions only three weeks after the news that Thorp will close in six years’ time throwing doubts over 800 jobs directly linked to the oxide reprocessing plant. On what is described as a private visit, she is keen to talk over various issues, listen to union concerns about future job security and the workforce’s hopes for a second Mox recycling plant which would absorb any employment losses and create new jobs.

Whitehaven News 28th May 2012 more >>

THE UK’s National Nuclear Lab has clinched another lucrative order to help Sellafield get rid of one of its major potential hazards. The multi-million pound contract is linked to cleaning up the pile fuel storage pond which is in the open air and which contains various radioactive fuel dating back to the 60s. Decommissioning the pond is said to represent one of the biggest challenges in cleaning up the site’s old facilities and eliminating hazard. Removing the first oxide fuel signals the start of an 18-month programme which will see the rest of the material moved for re-packing into modern container vessels. Most of it comes from the Windscale Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors – known locally as the ‘golf ball’ – and was put into the pond between 1963 and 1972. The National Lab has landed the major job of examining the fuel and re-packing into modern containers before being transferred to Thorp for reprocessing.

Whitehaven News 28th June 2012 more >>

AMEC

AMEC has completed the acquisition of Serco’s North West-based nuclear operation for £137m.The two companies announced last month they were in talks over a potential deal for the £70m turnover Technical Services unit, which has its HQ at Risley, Warrington and provides consulting and project solutions primarily to the UK civil and defence nuclear markets.The unit generated ebitda of £13m last year and has around 600 staff at a number of sites around the country. Customers include the Ministry of Defence, EDF, Magnox Electric.

Business Desk 29th June 2012 more >>

Scotland & Germany

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will today meet with politicians from one of Germany’s major Federal States to discuss shared interests and opportunities in the growing domestic and international low carbon economy. On the final day of his three-day visit to Germany, Mr Ewing will meet with Franz Untersteller MP, Minister for Environment, Climate and Energy, Baden-Württemberg State Government, and Ulrich Müller MP and Alfred Winkler MP, the Convener and Deputy Convener of the Environment, Climate and Energy Committee at the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg, in Stuttgart. Mr Ewing will discuss the similarities between the energy policy and ambition of Scotland, Baden-Württemberg and Grmany at national level, and the shared emphasis on the importance of renewables playing an increasing role in energy security and supply. Germany is implementing the strategic phase out of nuclear power generation by 2022, a process that has been brought forward by 13 years from the original target of 2035. As a result, Germany is putting a much greater emphasis on renewable energy generation, and has a target to double renewables generation from around 17 per cent at present to 35 per cent by 2020, rising to 86 per cent by 2050.

Scottish Government 28th June 2012 more >>

The Scottish Government plans for low carbon homes will provide more than £2 billion to help make the nation’s homes more energy efficient. The investment will be delivered over the next ten years in a national programme that will transform aging houses. The measures are outlined in the Sustainable Housing Strategy, a blueprint for reduced heating costs and improved efficiency in homes across Scotland. It is linked to the consultation on the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing which proposes setting a minimum energy efficiency rating to be met by social landlords. Launching the consultations in Glasgow after visiting Cube Housing Association’s new Energy Centre delivering heat to housing in the Wyndford estate in Maryhill, Mr Neil said “Scotland’s housing stock is responsible for more than a quarter of our carbon emissions, which is why it is essential that measures are put in place to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. Elizabeth Leighton of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland said: “We very much welcome the launch of this important consultation. The Exisiting Homes Alliance believes that improving the condition of our existing housing stock is crucial if targets to eradicate fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions are to be met. It is essential that the Sustainable Housing Strategy sets a clear direction for the improvement of Scotland’s housing stock over the coming decade and beyond. As such we would encourage all of those with an interest to get involved in shaping the final strategy by engaging in the consultation process.”

Scottish Government 25th June 2012 more >>

UAE

Five years from now, the UAE is expected to become the first Arab nation to produce nuclear energy, which will generate nearly a quarter of its electricity by 2020. Its training programmes have impressive benefits luring a competitive programme for its next generation of nuclear engineers. The United Arab Emirates’ four nuclear energy reactors at Braka are set to come online in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. This leaves Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) – a government-owned entity charged with implementing the UAE’s civil nuclear energy program – with less than five years to train and recruit an entire team of operators, engineers and scientists. How feasible will this be?

Nuclear Energy Insider 27th June 2012 more >>

France

The EDF Group said June 28 it is committed to implementing post-Fukushima safety enhancements at its French nuclear plants to meet the recommendations of the French nuclear safety authority, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN). A spokeswoman for EDF declined to provide a figure on EDF’s investment in post-Fukushima enhancements, although published reports have put the figure at around €10 billion extended over a decade or more. The work, both on EDF’s existing plants and plants currently under construction, is intended to increase robustness as well as to guarantee additional safety margins for the facilities to deal with the risks associated with earthquakes and floods; the simultaneous loss of the cooling source and the electricity supply, and the consequences of serious accidents, the company said in a statement.

i-Nuclear 28th June 2012 more >>

Electricite de France SA, operator of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors, has six years to complete about 10 billion euros ($12 billion) of measures to boost safety after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, the regulator said. Autorite de Surete Nucleaire today published deadlines for employing equipment such as diesel generators, bunkered control rooms, and guards against flooding. An estimate by state-owned EDF that the measures will cost about 10 billion euros “is not improbable,” Andre-Claude Lacoste, head of the watchdog, told reporters today.

Bloomberg 28th June 2012 more >>

Japan

The Japanese government has ordered that a reactor at the Oi nuclear power plant be reactivated on Sunday, defying widespread public opposition and warnings from seismologists about active fault lines close to the facility.

Telegraph 28th June 2012 more >>

Trident

CARMARTHEN East and Dinefwr AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas has attacked the First Minister for suggesting Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet would be welcome in Milford Haven, should Scotland become independent. Mr Thomas said: “I have received information from the Port Authority which states categorically that it has had not been involved in any discussions regarding the location of the nuclear submarine fleet to Wales. “It is therefore remarkable for the First Minister to make such an absurd comment to warmly welcome Trident. His remarks are clearly unsubstantiated and have no basis of reality. “The fact the Port Authority itself has not been consulted suggests that no other assessments whatsoever has been undertaken by the Welsh Government.

South Wales Evening Post 29th June 2012 more >>

Fusion

A Princeton University scientist by the name of Lyman Spitzer Jr. founded a laboratory where he designed a new machine which could harness the vast energy levels released in fusion reactions. Sptizer called his invention the stellerator, and dreamed that it could one day power tens of thousands of homes. Now, 60 years later, scientists working on the stellerator in Spitzer’s laboratory are worried that, whilst China, South Korea, Japan, and Europe are increasing investment in nuclear fusion research, the US are reducing investment and backing away from the field and the potential of Spitzer’s dream.

Oil Price 28th June 2012 more >>

Gas

The government must give up its “dash for gas” in order to save money for hard-pressed households and avoid dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the committee charged with advising ministers on climate change. Going for gas rather than lower carbon alternatives such as renewable energy could result in costs of £25bn by the 2020s, a charge that would be paid by energy bill payers, according to the Commiittee on Climate Change. Ministers have strongly supported a large increase in the number of gas-fired power stations in the UK as a way of keeping the lights on while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But the massive programme of construction envisaged could put climate targets under threat if new gas-fired power plants displace lower carbon alternatives such as wind farms and nuclear reactors. Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, joined with the chancellor George Osborne earlier this year in calling for a big increase in gas-fired power generation, despite warnings that the rising cost of gas has been the biggest factor in energy price rises for consumers.

Guardian 29th June 2012 more >>

A controversial technique used to extract shale gas is not risk-free, but can be managed effectively with robust regulations and monitoring, a team of scientists will say today. Joint work between the Royal Society and Royal Academy examining the risks of hydraulic fracturing, popularly known as “fracking”, concludes the practice could be undertaken safely, albeit with a significant number of caveats.

Business Green 29th June 2012 more >>

Renewables

Renewable energy generation during the first quarter of the year hit record levels, providing more than 11 per cent of electricity generation as output from wind farms, hydro-electric plants, and solar panels all soared.

Business Green 28th June 2012 more >>

Posted: 29 June 2012

28 June 2012

Energy Bill

A series of roundtable discussions, organised by the University of Exeter, SSE, Consumer Focus and WWF has found that Government’s draft Energy Bill and existing energy efficiency policies will fail to deliver a secure, clean and affordable power sector for the UK and would result in the UK missing out on some key economic growth opportunities.

Solar Power Portal 27th June 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Parish councillor Paul Gripton made an impassioned plea for early morning peace and quiet for his community when the Hinkley C nuclear power station planning hearing held a further public session yesterday. Combwich is the site of a proposed jetty where thousands of tons of construction material would be landed. A huge laydown area is also proposed.

Western Daily Press 27th June 2012 more >>

Plutonium

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority revealed June 27 that in addition to exploring the use of the GE Hitachi Prism fast reactor for plutonium disposition, it is also in talks with Candu Energy Inc. for burning the NDA’s plutonium stockpiles in MOX fuel in a Candu reactor to be built in the UK. The government’s stated preferred option for disposing of the UK’s 112 tonnes of civil plutonium is to re-use the plutonium in mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel for burning in light water reactors. But in February, the NDA requested proposals for alternatives to the preferred option, and acknowledged it was engaged in talks with GE Hitachi, who was offering its Prism fast reactor for use in plutonium disposition.

i-Nuclear 27th June 2012 more >>

By the time the deadline for expressions of interest had passed, on the 31 March 2012, we had received 4 responses. NDA undertook initial discussions with each respondent and considered that there was merit in progressing two of the alternative proposals alongside development of reuse as MOX in Light Water Reactors. Further detailed discussions have taken place and NDA has subsequently engaged General Electric-Hitachi (GEH) and Candu to provide further information regarding their proposals. The GEH proposal relates to a UK deployment of its PRISM reactor as part of an integral fuel fabrication/reactor plant solution for Plutonium disposition. The engagement is focused on assessing the technical and commercial credibility of the approach, noting that the technology proposed is not currently included in the NDA credible options. The Candu proposal relates to a UK deployment of its Enhanced CANDU 6 reactor and associated facilities to provide a solution for Plutonium disposition. The engagement is focused on assessing the commercial credibility of the approach and refreshing and refining technical studies undertaken previously, noting that the technology proposed is currently included in the NDA credible options.

NDA 27th June 2012 more >>

Candu Energy Inc. (Candu) is pleased to announce it has engaged with the United Kingdom’s (UK) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to assist in providing alternative full lifecycle approaches for managing that country’s fissile material stocks. The UK’s preferred method is to re-use the material as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel.

Sacramento Bee 27th June 2012 more >>

Reprocessing

New technology called pyroprocessing takes ‘spent’ fuel, which leaves the reactor in a hard ceramic form, and chops it up into small pieces in order to convert it back into metal. The metal is then placed in a vat of molten salts, called an electrorefiner, where an electric current is used to separate the uranium from the truly spent fuel. The uranium is then used to recreate a new fuel rod, and the junk is cast into stable glass discs and placed into permanent storage. Whilst the waste material must still be put into permanent storage, this need only be for a few hundred years rather than the thousands of years normally required.

Oil Price 27th June 2012 more >>

Wales

AN inquiry by a cross-party group of AMs today urges the Welsh Government to campaign to secure a new developer for the Wylfa B nuclear power plant on Anglesey. The near year-long investigation also pushes for the maximum expansion of renewable energy production from wind and tidal power in Wales. Energy policies have been highly controversial for the Welsh Government with opponents to a new reactor on Anglesey and large scale protests over the impact of wind turbines and power pylons in rural Powys. But AMs on the Assembly environment committee gave majority backing to the Welsh Government’s position on nuclear power that there should be no new sites but the potential at existing nuclear sites, like Wylfa, needs to be exploited as a low-cost form of on demand low carbon energy.

Power Engineering 27th June 2012 more >>

Japan

Shareholders of Japan’s electricity companies voted on Wednesday to stick with nuclear power despite rising public opposition after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in March last year. The votes against abandoning nuclear power at the annual general meetings of utilities including Kansai Electric Power Co and Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the company at the centre of last year’s Fukushima disaster, come days before the country’s first reactors are due to come back online. Kansai executives sat stony faced on a podium while shareholders, including the mayor of Osaka, urged them to ditch nuclear power. “We are facing an epochal shift in the energy supply framework,” Mayor Toru Hashimoto told the meeting to applause and shouts of support from other shareholders. “I would like executives to keep that in mind and aim to build a new energy supply system.” But shareholders voted against motions that either called on the company to exit or reduce its reliance on nuclear power, a relief to executives who said keeping the company’s 11 nuclear reactors shut would add 900 billion yen ($11.33 billion) in annual fuel costs.

Reuters 27th June 2012 more >>

Engineering & Technology 27th June 2012 more >>

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), owner of the crippled Fukushima reactors, is committed to restarting another nuclear plant next year that is the world’s largest and itself was damaged in a 2007 earthquake. Bringing the Kashiwazaki Kariwa power station online, even though it sets up the state-controlled utility for further conflicts with a nuclear-weary public, is part of “Plan A,”President Naomi Hirose, 59, said in an interview. The plan refers to a 10-year business reconstruction that handed control of the power company known as Tepco to Japan’s government.

Bloomberg 28th June 2012 more >>

Iran

Letter: Whatever the strength of Gideon Rachman’s argument that nuclear-armed Pakistan is a more alarming menace than a future nuclear-armed Iran, there is an important difference between the two countries that he does not discuss: Iran has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Pakistan has not. As a member of the NPT, Iran is prohibited from manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons. Doing so, if this is Iran’s intention, would create an alarming precedent.

FT 27th June 2012 more >>

Letter: While the UN Security Council affirms that it would suspend the sanctions if Iran suspended all enrichment-related activities, the US sanctions regime gives no such undertaking. In fact, it goes beyond the nuclear issue, and imposes conditions on Iran’s internal matters such as civil liberties and penal reforms – no country, not even among US allies, would adhere to such conditions. This means that even if Iran were to stop its nuclear weapons programme and dump all its centrifuges into the sea, Iran would still be sanctioned by the US. The west, instead of conflating regime change with nuclear proliferation, should declare, without conditions, that the core goal of its policy in Tehran is not regime change, but policy change. Once the horse of no regime change is placed in front, it is quite possible that Iran’s cart of nuclear non-proliferation may follow.

FT 27th June 2012 more >>

Coal

AN energy company’s decision to abandon plans for a controversial new coal-fired power station with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology was blamed yesterday on the preferential subsidies given to wind farms. Ayrshire Power is withdrawing its planning application for the facility at Hunterston, which was due to be the subject of a public inquiry later this year. It said the economic slowdown and funding uncertainty were responsible, and also confirmed it was withdrawing the project from the Government’s CCS competition, which offers up to £1billion for schemes that trap and bury carbon dioxide from power plants in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ministers said the withdrawal of the plan, which attracted more than 20,000 objections, was a commercial decision for the firm. But according to the Renewable Energy Foundation, the high subsidies on offer to wind farm developments – at the expense of other technologies – must have played a major role in the move. John Constable, director of the charity, which campaigns for a balanced energy policy, said the abandonment of the project showed a great deal about the state of the energy market in Scotland. He added: “The widespread concern is that the markets are so distorted by subsidies, particularly to wind, that it is making practically everything else uninvestable, especially something complex and new like CCS. The subsidies have a distorting effect in that they force in, or mandate, a particular technology, in this case wind, which makes it very difficult for investors to see how they are going to make a return on their capital in the future.” Mr Constable told BBC Radio Scotland that there were signs the Treasury had realised the subsidies for wind were too high and was looking at reducing them.

Daily Telegraph (Not Online). 28th June 2012 more >>

Letter from Cllr Alex Gallagher: North Ayrshire Council voted unanimously against Ayrshire Power’s application for a coal-fired power station at Hunterston. The carbon-capture part of the plan was never technically feasible and doubts about funding have been persistent since Dong Energy withdrew from the consortium. The application’s withdrawal is therefore welcome news for the community. It does, however, leave serious questions about the future of the Hunterston site and of the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieve “100% green energy by 2020”. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says the decision was a commercial one. That may be, but carbon capture and storage is a long way off delivering clean energy and Scotland and the UK face an energy gap in this decade. Nationalist ministers must tell us their plans to meet that energy gap, how they plan to deliver 100% green energy by 2020 and, just as importantly for local people, what part the Hunterston site plays in those plans.

Herald 28th June 2012 more >>

Posted: 28 June 2012

27 June 2012

EMR

The Coalition’s plans to keep Britain’s lights on with green electricity have a “high risk” of failing, the Major Projects Authority has warned. Up to six flagship projects have been classified as “high risk” by the spending watchdog, including new nuclear power stations and key reforms of the electricity market. The authority, set up by David Cameron last year, has described the Coalition’s plans to encourage more wind farms and nuclear power stations as “feasible”. However, the watchdog is “doubtful” that Britain can have a reliable energy supply from green sources and keep energy bills affordable under the current plans. Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, yesterday defended his reforms as “the right thing to do”, as MPs on the energy committee argued they were “not fit for purpose”. The Major Projects Authority fears that unpredictable energy prices and high construction costs could jeopardise the £110 billion of new power plants and networks. The damning concerns emerged in a report published by the National Audit Office, looking at the challenges facing the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It raised concerns about the energy projects as far back as October 2011.

Telegraph 27th June 2012 more >>

Davey & Hendry give evidence to the Select Committee on Energy Bill

Parliament 26th June 2012 more >>

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said June 26 the government’s timetable for finalising electricity market reforms (EMR) has not changed and that EDF was fully aware of that timetable when it made passage of the EMR law a condition for taking its final investment decision on Hinkley Point C. EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz had previously told the House of Commons Energy committee that among the three conditions necessary for it to take its final investment decision at the end of this year to build two Areva EPRs at Hinkley Point C was that government “keeps to its original timetable of Spring next year for royal assent” to the EMR bill. Yeo said that de Rivaz’ demand for royal assent to the bill by Spring 2013 won’t be achieved and asked Davey how that would impact government plans for new nuclear. “Our timetable hasn’t changed. We haven’t changed our word. EDF is very much aware of this,” Davey replied. He said government’s schedule “is not news to EDF.”

i-Nuclear 26th June 2012 more >>

UK Secretary of State for Energy Ed Davey told members of an energy oversight committee in the Commons June 26 that it was never the intention of the government to underwrite or stand behind contracts for difference (CFD) for new nuclear power and other low carbon generation projects. Davey and Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) officials said that descriptions of the controversial CfDs in government documents that strongly implied a government backing were “badly written” and “unfortunate.” Davey said that contrary to widespread belief, backing for the proposed CfDs was always based on the flow of money from electricity consumers, without government guarantees. “Some people believe we could have a single party counterparty (for the CfD) where the government is backing that single counterparty. I don’t believe we need that,” Davey told the Energy and Climate Change Committee. The statement from Davey and DECC officials clearly came as a surprise to the Energy and Climate Change Committee, who, along with key industry executives, believed that the government had switched from proposing a CfD contract with the government as the counterparty, implying government backing, to a CfD with multiple counterparties, namely UK electricity suppliers.

i-Nuclear 26th June 2012 more >>

The energy secretary has promised to look at complaints from power companies that the government’s energy bill risks deterring much-needed investment in the sector. Ed Davey broadly defended the proposed reforms and said industry critics were in many cases worried about losing “windfall profits” made under the previous system. But he promised to look at concerns over the payment system for low-carbon electricity companies set out in the draft bill unveiled last month. But executives at some of the UK’s biggest energy companies told the energy committee this month that the proposed legislation was so ill-defined in some areas that potential investors were being scared away. The concern about the payment system in the draft bill relates to a central feature of reforms: long-term contracts guaranteeing a set price for low-carbon electricity. Consultations before the draft bill’s release had hinted that the government would act as a counterparty for such contracts but it now appears this will not be the case, which some companies fear will raise the cost of capital for investors.

FT 26th June 2012 more >>

The University of Exeter, SSE, Consumer Focus and WWF, along with representatives from 12 other organisations, today published the results of a series of roundtables on UK energy policy. The final communique of the roundtables concluded that the Government’s draft Energy Bill and existing energy efficiency policies would in their current state, fail to deliver a secure, clean and affordable power sector for the UK and would result in the UK missing out on some key economic growth opportunities. Managing primary energy demand must be the centrepiece of energy policy, not an afterthought to make decarbonisation easier. The group called for measures to reduce energy demand to be given the same status under the Energy Bill as measures that seek to support the construction of low-carbon generation. Affordability of energy is central to energy policy and policy costs should be recovered in the least regressive manner, by in particular avoiding disproportionate impacts on low-income consumers. Government should use revenues generated from the carbon floor price and EU Emission’s Trading Scheme auctions to fund energy efficiency measures. Reducing carbon intensity and environmental risks requires long-term investment certainty for emerging low-carbon technologies to accelerate deployment and cost reductions. The CfD feed-in tariff for renewable technologies should be reviewed so that it is suitable for all technologies. The group also called for a binding 50gCO2/kWh decarbonisation target by 2030 to be inserted in the Energy Bill, with several organisations also calling for the UK to support a binding EU 2030 renewables target. Maintaining security of energy supply means achieving a diverse mix and range of fuel sources including decentralised energy and, in this mix, renewable energy should not be classified as a single energy source. The group agreed that a wide range of system security options would be the best way to maintain system security costs effectively and sustainably, and open up potential export opportunities for the UK.

WWF 27th June 2012 more >>

MPs investigating the impact of the Energy Bill have accused the Treasury of interfering with the coalition’s green growth agenda, after the Chancellor yesterday froze a planned fuel duty rise and Treasury ministers refused to give evidence about their influence on low carbon subsidies. MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee had hoped Economic Secretary Chloe Smith would appear at a hearing yesterday to answer crucial questions on the levy-cap the Treasury has set for low-carbon subsidies. Tim Yeo, the chairman of the Committee who had previously written to Smith requesting her attendance, has now written demanding written answers to 18 questions by the end of the month. The Committee said it has heard a number of concerns from energy companies and investors regarding the Treasury’s role in electricity market reform, including whether its decision not to directly underwrite the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) could push up the cost of capital. The government last year suggested it would back CfDs as a single counterparty, but the draft Energy Bill launched last month instead proposed a multi-party contract model that some investors believe could increase investment risks. Speaking at the hearing yesterday, Phillip Lee, Conservative MP for Bristol, suggested the Treasury had interfered with the bill’s proposals in order to reduce its liability for green investments.

Business Green 27th June 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Despite this being the most even handed BBC coverage of the nukiller dump so far, Tom, the Countryfile presenter repeats the myth being put out to the world that Cumbria is a “willing community” for a nukiller dump. This “willingness” is based on an officially dodgy Ipsos Mori telephone poll. The democratic vote of Parish and Town Councils in Cumbria who have unanimously voted no in the Sellafield area is being ignored as it is not part of the official narrative. A “Willing Community” is required to keep this insane process going to its diabolic conclusion.

Radiation Free Lakeland 26th June 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Planners are meeting to discuss the potential impact of a decision to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley. Around 5,000 construction workers would move into the area if the government approves the plans by EDF Energy. But increases in traffic, demand for homes and crime levels, will be highlighted at a meeting in Bridgwater, Somerset. Local authorities, Natural England, and police and fire service representatives are attending. The hearing is being held by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) and will also hear about environmental considerations from the Environment Agency. The Innovia company which owns a large site in Bridgwater where EDF Energy wants to build accommodation for its workers, will also give its views. Avon and Somerset police has predicted an increase in crime or anti-social behaviour of more than 350 incidents by 2016 based on an influx to the region of 5,000 people.

BBC 26th June 2012 more >>

New Nukes

A nuclear revival could boost the UK economy by £5 billion a year, according to new research commissioned by EDF Energy.

Energy Live 26th June 2012 more >>

Platts 26th June 2012 more >>

Your Industry News 26th June 2012 more >>

Dow Jones 26th June 2012 more >>

World Nuclear News 26th June 2012 more >>

Metro 26th June 2012 more >>

East Anglian Daily Times 27th June 2012 more >>

Horizon

Following the decision in March by German utilities RWE and E.on to withdraw from plans to build plants at Wylfa on Anglesey and at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, and put their Horizon, nuclear joint venture up for sale, well-placed observers say three consortia are interested in acquiring the joint venture.

Hazard Ex 26th June 2012 more >>

Berkeley

THE decommissioned Magnox power station site in Berkeley has won the Order of Distinction at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012.

Stroud Life 27th June 2012 more >>

Dounreay

A NUCLEAR accident response exercise is set to take place tomorrow as part of the Ministry of Defence contingency planning arrangements. The Vulcan Naval Nuclear Reactor Test Establishment will hold the exercise, named LONESTAR 2012, in accordance with Radiation Regulations 2001 which require the MoD to develop plans for responding in the unlikely event of an accident involving the reactor. Minimal exercise play will take place at Vulcan and Dounreay when the alarm will sound at 10am.

John O Groat Journal 26th June 2012 more >>

Nuclear Skills

THE National Skills Academy for Nuclear, in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), is rolling out a seventh round of its high successful Nuclear Bursary Award Scheme. This latest round of the bursary scheme is aimed at quality individuals on programmes of study relevant to the nuclear industry with a particular emphasis on nuclear professionalism.

Whitehaven News 26th June 2012 more >>

Japan

Two prominent seismologists said on Tuesday that Japan is ignoring the safety lessons of last year’s Fukushima crisis and warned against restarting two reactors next month.

Reuters 26th June 2012 more >>

Asahi 26th June 2012 more >>

A pool brimming with hundreds of tonnes of spent nuclear fuel rods perched 30 metres above the ground in a shattered building next to a damaged reactor. While much has been made of the meltdowns in reactors one, two and three at Fukushima, not so well known is the precarious state of the fuel storage pool in reactor four.

Radio Australia 26th June 2012 more >>

A heavily damaged reactor building at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has a slight tilt, but the tilt does not pose a risk to the integrity of the building, according to the plant’s operator. The latest findings could add to concerns over the state of the No. 4 reactor building, which houses on its upper floors a cooling pool filled with 1,331 spent and 204 unused nuclear fuel assemblies. Each assembly contains approximately 50 to 70 rods. Some experts say that the building — ravaged in a hydrogen explosion in the early days of the disaster in March 2011 — is not strong enough to support the fuel pool, especially if another earthquake hits the region.

New York Times 26th June 2012 more >>

Fukushima Crisis Update 22nd June to 25th June.

Greenpeace International 26th June 2012 more >>

Asia-Pacific countries must work together to ensure that nuclear power can continue its important role in the region’s energy mix despite the experiences of Fukushima, according to a declaration from energy ministers.

World Nuclear News 26th June 2012 more >>

The first seafood caught off the Fukushima coastline since last year’s Japanese nuclear disaster has gone on sale. Octopus and whelk, a kind of marine snail, were chosen for the initial shipments because testing for radioactive caesium consistently measured no detectable amounts, according to the Fukushima Prefectural fishing co-operative. They were caught on Friday. Flounder, sea bass and other fish from Fukushima cannot be sold yet because of contamination.

Telegraph 26th June 2012 more >>

US

A new cost estimate and construction schedule for a massive waste plant being built at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site will be delayed at least a year as workers try to resolve serious technical problems raised by whistleblowers about design and safety, the U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday. The announcement seemed certain to spark new fears about the long-term viability of the project that has already been the subject of numerous lawsuits and remains a top priority of Washington and Oregon despite its ballooning budget and delays. The $12.3 billion waste treatment plant is currently scheduled to begin operating in 2019, under a consent decree with Washington state, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. The plant, long considered the cornerstone of the cleanup at Hanford, is being built to convert highly radioactive and toxic waste into a stable glass form for permanent disposal underground.

AP 27th June 2012 more >>

Slovakia

Slovakia’s prime minister said Tuesday he wants more than twice as much EU cash to fully decommission two Soviet-era nuclear reactors that were closed after the country joined the European Union. “We will ask for the already allocated 115 million euros ($143 million) to cover the costs of the decommissioning process to be raised to at least 300 million euros,” Robert Fico told journalists in Bratislava. “Otherwise we won’t continue,” the Slovakian premier warned. “Right now we can’t afford to spend money on decommissioning two reactors that we didn’t want to decommission in the first place,” Fico explained.

EU Business 26th June 2012 more >>

Canada

It ought to be a tourist area’s dream: The Lake Huron shoreline north of Kincardine is gaining a reputation across the U.S. But the attention coming from states as far-flung as California, Missouri, Tennessee and Florida isn’t centred on the lake’s blue water and white beaches. It’s coming from Americans who are angry that Canada would consider building a storage area for low and intermediate level nuclear waste beneath the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes.

Toronto Star 26th June 2012 more >>

Trident

THE First Minister has been criticised for saying he would welcome the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet in West Wales. Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said keeping the weapons close to the oil refineries of Milford Haven lacked common sense and disregarded workers’ safety. Mr Thomas had Carwyn Jones recalled to the chamber after the First Minister said he would welcome the Trident fleet to Wales if it was removed from its base in Clyde, Scotland, as is the wish of the Scottish National Party. After the session Mr Thomas said: “I understand a former MoD report ruled out Milford as a suitable location for nuclear missiles in the 1960s on the basis it was too hazardous next to the oil refinery. Today we have two refineries and the LNG pipeline which handles more than 20 per cent of the UK’s energy. It is common sense oil, gas and nuclear missiles don’t mix. The Labour party must state whether they will abandon the many workers in Milford in favour of weapons of mass destruction.

Carmarthen Journal 27th June 2012 more >>

The Welsh Liberal Democrat leader has told the First Minister he risks ‘stooping to new depths’ by refusing to answer written questions on his controversial calls to relocate the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet to Wales.

ITV Wales 26th June 2012 more >>

Carwyn Jones today appeared to row back from his call for the UK’s nuclear deterrent to be brought to Wales, saying that arguments over such a move were “entirely academic”. Mr Jones appeared keen to bring the debate to an end by telling the Senedd that the UK Government had made clear they would remain in Scotland. It follows rumours of Cabinet unrest and five Labour MPs publicly voicing their opposition to siting Trident in Wales.

Wales Online 26th June 2012 more >>

THE announcement this week by Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, that he was placing a £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion) order with Rolls-Royce for nuclear reactors to power the successors to Britain’s fleet of four Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines set off a flurry of controversy. Getting rid of the country’s nuclear weapons has at times divided the Labour Party in fratricidal acrimony. These days, however, the divisions are felt most keenly within the coalition government.

Economist 23rd June 2012 more >>

Coal

Controversial plans to build a major coal-fired power station in Ayrshire using unproven “clean coal” technology have been abandoned, to the delight of environmental campaigners. The developers, Ayrshire Power, blamed their unexpected decision to withdraw plans for a new 1852MW carbon-capture power station at Hunterston on the recession and anxieties about winning funding from the government and European commission. Their announcement, just days after the dates for a public inquiry into the project were agreed by a Scottish planning inspector, is another blow to the UK and Scottish government’s attempts to promote carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a centrepiece of their efforts to combat climate change.

Guardian 26th June 2012 more >>

RobEdwards 26th June 2012 more >>

Posted: 27 June 2012

26 June 2012

EMR

Barring some unlikely bizarre manoeuvres and political chicanery it is impossible for EDF to achieve the terms they need to fund even one nuclear project, namely the 3.2 GWe twin reactor project at Hinkley C. How do I come to this conclusion? Because the sheer cost of the sort of contract that EDF would demand in order to proceed with the project at Hinkley C would be far too prohibitive for the Treasury to accept under the terms of the ‘Electricity Market Reform’ (EMR) as proposed in the recently issued Energy Bill. Using Peter Atherton’s analysis (Citigroup) of the ‘strike price’ needed by nuclear, (£166 per MWh), then funding of Hinkley C would raise average electricity prices by 8 per cent over 30 years. This figure would be about 6 and a half per cent for domestic consumers and around 10 per cent for industrial consumers. (Under my own analysis of what financial markets would expect nuclear to be paid the figures look even worse for nuclear!) This increase in consumer costs is politically impossible just for the production of 6 per cent of UK electricity (which is all that 3.2 GWe of nuclear is likely to generate).

David Toke 25th June 2012 more >>

The Coalition’s energy reforms threaten the “beauty and tranquillity” of the countryside because they encourage National Grid to cover Britain with pylons, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has warned. Campaigners last night urged Edward Davey, the Energy Secretary, to introduce new protections for Britain’s landscape amid fears the laws will cause a sprawl of infrastructure. The Energy Bill offers companies incentives to build wind farms and nuclear power plants which will require their sub-stations, power lines and other infrastructure. The CPRE fears that without more environmental safeguards efforts to produce more green energy will come “at the expense of the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the countryside”.

Telegraph 25th June 2012 more >>

New report from Friends of the Earth warns UK is heading for second ‘dash for gas’ as ministers prepare to give evidence to MPs over Energy Bill The government will today be urged to “take its foot off the gas” and bolster efforts to increase supplies of renewable energy, in a new report warning ministers they will fuel further geopolitical and price uncertainty through their proposed electricity market reforms. The report, to be published today by Friends of the Earth, aims to assess the role of gas in the UK’s future energy mix by examining how varying levels of demand would impact Britain’s energy security. It concludes that the government’s current Carbon Plan, which will see a continuing role for gas alongside a growing role for renewables and new nuclear power plants, will create energy price volatility and leave the UK heavily reliant on gas imports from geopolitically unstable regions.

Business Green 26th June 2012 more >>

Weightman Report

Today I welcome the findings and recommendations set out in Dr Weightman’s final report on the events at the Fukushima nuclear site and publish the final Government response to this report. I commend Dr Weightman and his team on the depth and quality of their work.

DECC 25th Jan 2012 more >>

e-Gov Monitor 25th Jan 2012 more >>

Tom Greatrex MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister, responding to the publication of the Government’s response to the Weightman Report on the implications of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami for the UK nuclear industry, said: “The safety of the UK’s nuclear industry is of paramount importance. As the report highlighted, the Government should always ensure that our regulatory and safety regimes are as robust as possible. Nothing in the Weightman Report called into question a continued role for nuclear power in the UK as part of a more sustainable and balanced future energy mix. Now, the Tory-led Government needs to give investors the support and confidence they need to deliver the construction of new capacity in the nuclear industry.”

Labour Party 25th June 2012 more >>

Economics

The billions of pounds the Bank of England is pouring into banks in a bid to get lending flowing should have strings attached to ensure that much of the liquidity is directed towards greening the economy, the UK’s former chief scientific adviser has urged. Sir David King attacked the current free market approach that dominates government thinking, arguing that leaving the market to its own devices does not produce good environmental outcomes, and leads not just to potentially disastrous climate change but also the profligate over-use of resources and despoliation of the natural world.

Guardian 26th June 2012 more >>

New Nukes

New research from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows that UK investment in new nuclear could boost the UK economy by £5 billion a year, create new export markets and generate many thousands of jobs. The research by IPPR shows that if nuclear power were used to fill all the 18 gigawatts of additional non-renewable capacity required under government forecasts, the result would be a boost to UK GDP of up to 0.34% a year and an annual economic gain of £5.1 billion. The research was commissioned by EDF Energy.

i-Nuclear 25th June 2012 more >>

Reuters 26th June 2012 more >>

The appetite of UK business leaders for new nuclear generating capacity has not diminished, despite the Fukushima accident, a poll conducted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) of its members shows. The IoD has published a report calling nuclear energy a “clean, cheap and safe” way of generating electricity.

World Nuclear News 25th June 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Save Our Lake District – Don’t Dump Cumbria! has learned that the MRWS Partnership is no longer considering Longlands Farm for a nuclear dump. This was the site favoured by Nirex in its failed attempt in the mid 1990s. This news comes from a document posted on the MRWS Partnership website on June 18thwhich claims to review the submissions the Partnership received on geology. It does not include in the review the Borrowdale Volcanic group – which is the type of rock where Longlands Farm is located. It would appear that the Partnership is now looking elsewhere in Cumbria for the dump, despite the former Nirex Inspector Chris MacDonald and his Technical Assessor Colin Knipe having told them that ‘the probability of finding a site in West Cumbria is low’. The Partnership Steering Group had a meeting with the two experts on March 29th.

Save Our Lake District 25th June 2012 more >>

Tony Cunningham the MP for Workington area has been rewarded with a knighthood for services to politics and the public. From 1994 to 1999 Sir Tony was MEP for Cumbria and North Lancashire, and in 1995 he wrote an influential report on land mines which called for a treaty to instigate an outright ban, now adopted by 150 countries. Radiation Free Lakeland suspect that this timely honour has not a little to do with Tony’s silence on the plan to dump high level nuclear waste underneath his Allerdale constituency.

Radiation Free Lakeland 25th June 2012 more >>

The final report on the process of building an underground nuclear storage facility in or around Cumbria is being drafted today. Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council will use the information to decide whether or not to take part in the search for a possible site for the nuclear waste.

ITV Border 25th June 2012 more >>

Hartlepool

EDF Energy shut down its 620-megawatt (MW) Hartlepool 1 nuclear reactor in Britain on Saturday and restarted its 550-MW Dungeness B21 unit on Sunday, a spokeswoman said.”Hartlepool unit 1 was shut down on Saturday June 23 for planned refuelling,” she said, adding that a boiler tube leak would also be fixed during this time.

Reuters 25th June 2012 more >>

Hinkley

BOSSES from the energy firm behind plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley have revealed ‘local’ workers could live up to 90 minutes away. Speaking at a business breakfast at The Exchange Conference Centre at Bridgwater’s Express Park last week, EDF representative David Eccles gave a project update and was quizzed by guests. Mr Eccles said at peak there will be 5,600 on site and during operation about 900 workers involved, adding: “We estimate between 20,000 and 25,000 people will work on the project during the nine year construction period.

This is the West Country 25th June 2012 more >>

Heysham

EDF Energy shut down its 610-megawatt (MW) Heysham 1-2 nuclear reactor in Britain on Monday evening for an unplanned outage, the operator said.

Reuters 26th June 2012 more >>

Small Reactors

Small-scale nuclear reactors with a capacity of up to 300MW could have an increasingly important role to play in the world’s future energy mix. Short development lead-times, simple plant design and straightforward financing are highlighted by business advisor Steve Robertson, director of Douglas-Westwood, as potential areas of benefit attached to small modular reactors (SMRs).

Edie 25th June 2012 more >>

Japan

The first seafood caught off Japan’s Fukushima coastline since last year’s nuclear disaster went on sale yesterday, but the fishermen’s offerings were limited to octopus and whelk because of persisting fears about radiation. Octopus and whelk were chosen for the initial shipments because testing for radioactive caesium consistently measured no detectable amounts, according to the Fukushima prefectural fishing co-operative. They were caught on Friday and boiled so they last longer while being tested for radiation before they could be sold yesterday. Flounder, sea bass and other fish from Fukushima cannot be sold yet because of contamination. It was unclear when they will be approved for sale as they measure above the radiation limit set by the government. The government is testing for radioactive iodine as well, but its half-life is shorter than caesium and thus is less worrisome.

Scotsman 26th June 2012 more >>

Letter: Japan imports uranium fuel for its nuclear reactors from some politically highly unstable regions of the world, such as central Asia. It also has to ship the resulting nuclear waste past the coasts of other unstable areas of the globe for reprocessing in Europe because it has failed so far to establish a reprocessing capability of its own. Being seismically active and geologically unstable, neither is Japan able to provide safe long-term storage for the 1,000 tonnes or so of waste, dangerous for centuries afterwards, that its reactors produce each year when operating. Rather than simply throwing the nuclear switch back on, surely Japan’s first priority should be to cut wasteful electricity consumption. Despite being almost devoid of natural energy resources (except for its barely exploited geothermal riches), Japan has developed an unhealthy addiction to electricity it can ill afford.

FT 25th June 2012 more >>

Lithuania

On 21 June, the Lithuanian Parliament approved new laws on the Visaginas nuclear power plant project, which will enable a project development company to be established and contracts to be signed.

Nuclear Engineering International 25th June 2012 more >>

US

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) confirmed its endorsement of Dr. Allison McFarlane as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently. McFarlane has been nominated by President Obama to complete retiring Chairman Gregory Jaczko’s term as chair of the NRC.

IB Times 25th June 2012 more >>

Pakistan

It is funny what people choose to worry about. The west is obsessed with stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons. By contrast, Pakistan’s nuclear programme is not much discussed. And yet, by any sensible measure, Pakistani nukes are much more worrying.

FT 25th June 2012 more >>

Energy Efficiency

Across the UK, households could be losing £1.3 billion by not fully switching off computers, televisions and other electronic devices, the research from the Energy Saving Trust and two government departments revealed. The study, which closely monitored the electricity use of 250 homes, found that the households were spending between £50 and £86 on gadgets in a “non-active” or standby state, equivalent to 9pc to 16pc of the average electricity bill.

Telegraph 26th June 2012 more >>

Guardian 26th June 2012 more >>

Posted: 26 June 2012

25 June 2012

Radwaste

The group looking into whether west Cumbria should put itself forward to host an underground nuclear waste store will consider its report at a meeting in Keswick today. Last month the majority of people living in the west of the county said they would be happy to go to the next stage. The Managing Radio Active Waste Safely Partnership will consider the first draft of its final report, which they are due to finalise and present to the decision making councils – Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council in July.

ITV Border 25th June 2012 more >>

EDF

This week Vincent de Rivaz, the French boss of EDF Energy, will pop round to Clarence House at the personal invitation of his chum, the Prince of Wales, to be awarded an honorary CBE. ‘Prince Charles is an old friend. He is a man I admire enormously,’ says 58-year-old De Rivaz, whose award is for transforming EDF into Britain’s leading nuclear company. But first, De Rivaz has a mountain of work. By the end of the year he must officially press the button on Britain’s multi-billion-pound nuclear investment programme. He must make sure the sums stack up to persuade the EDF board in Paris it should start to spend more than £10 billion on four reactors in Britain, creating more than 25,000 jobs. At a time when the new French socialist government is having second thoughts about nuclear expansion, this is not a foregone conclusion.He is increasingly confident that EDF will be satisfied with its negotiations with the Government over minimum prices. That must have been at the back of his mind when EDF last week selected a French company, Bouygues TP, and Dartford-based Laing O’Rourke as contractors for a £2 billion contract to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. De Rivaz insists that the company is not contemplating nuclear failure. ‘There is no plan B, absolutely not,’ he says. ‘There is no alternative to security of supplies, there is no Plan B to keep the lights on, there is no alternative to tackle climate change, there is no Plan B to remove CO2 emissions. This will happen. We feel a very strong sense of responsibility to make it happen.’

This is Money 24th June 2012 more >>

Horizon

The US-Japanese joint venture bidding to build nuclear power plants in the UK could struggle to rush its reactor designs through Britain’s notoriously lengthy licensing process. GE Hitachi is keen to introduce its own boiling water-based reactor for its bid for the Horizon nuclear project, which will invest £15bn in plants in Anglesey and Gloucestershire. Toshiba-owned Westinghouse and France’s Areva have advantages over GE Hitachi because their own reactors are going through the UK’s Generic Design Assessment for approval. A Whitehall source said: “GE Hitachi has built a lot [of reactors] so they think they could get through the GDA faster and then build faster. That may not be easy – they don’t have a UK supply chain so it won’t be that fast.” It is rumoured that Westinghouse has a stronger financing plan in place than Areva, making it a slight favourite to snap up Horizon.

Independent 25th June 2012 more >>

Dungeness

EDF said it restarted its Dungeness B-21 reactor in southern England after an unplanned halt. The plant resumed operating at 00:03 a.m. London time today after closing on June 22 due to a fault on the main boiler feed pump, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Bloomberg 24th JUne 2012 more >>

Sizewell

Mike Lavelle of EDF Energy gave a talk and hosted a discussion on the construction and effect of the proposed EDF Energy development of a twin Pressurised Nuclear Reactor at Sizewell C.

ICE 19th June 2012 more >>

Friends of the Earth

‘Nuclear power — yes, please!” Could it be true? Are the greens about to embrace nuclear power? Hard to imagine, perhaps, but a revolution is taking place in the environmental movement. After decades of fervent, often hysterical, opposition to new technologies such as genetically modified (GM) food and atomic energy, a new generation of technocratic greens is rejecting the tenets of the campaign. There are even hints that the most influential environmental organisation of all may be about to make a historic U-turn on nuclear power. In fact, all this is looking like environmentalism’s clause 4 moment, akin to when the Labour party ditched its pledge on nationalised industry. Is this techno-greenery spreading to Friends of the Earth, the biggest green organisation of all? Ten days ago Mike Childs, its chief scientist and head of policy, seemed to suggest that the organisation was no longer wedded to the abolition of nuclear power in Britain. In an interview published on Lynas’s blog, he said Friends of the Earth had commissioned a review by the Tyndall climate change research centre in Manchester to decide what its nuclear policy should be. Since then, Friends of the Earth, while admitting that Childs had been quoted correctly, has denied that it is about to become pro- nuclear, saying nothing has been decided, the organisation is strictly “evidence-based” and it will wait for the Tyndall report before reassessing its policy.

Sunday Times 24th June 2012 more >>

Scotland

Nuclear power in Scotland is an issue that’s not going to go quietly. On the face of it, the Scottish Government has made things pretty clear. In its new green revolution, it wants to get electricity from renewable sources, such as wind or wave and not from uranium, that while cleaner than, say, coal, is still a fossil fuel. After 2023, when both Hunterston B in Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian will close, there are no plans to build any more nuclear plants. In the last edition of Holyrood, Stewart Stevenson MSP, the Environment and Climate Change Minister, was adamant about nuclear power’s future, “the bottom line is, we don’t need it” and the SNP has insisted that future renewable sources are enough as it aims to achieve 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity use from renewable sources by 2020. That is why the most recent energy announcement was seized on by opposition MSPs because the new national electricity contract has gone to the French firm EDF energy. The deal, which will save £40m over three years, will see energy going to councils, hospitals, schools and other buildings across 99 per cent of the public sector.

Holyrood 25th June 2012.

more >>

Politics

Two Conservative cabinet members have asked the prime minister to do more to boost investment in low carbon energy and other green infrastructure. The latest intervention comes after the foreign secretary, William Hague, urged David Cameron to provide more support to help green industries boost the economy, stop the UK falling behind international rivals, and avoid losing its global leadership on the environment. In response to Hague’s letter in March, the development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, and environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, both Conservatives, have also written to the PM supporting the former party leader, the Guardian has learned. A group of backbenchers have secured a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday on “fiscal measures to promote the green economic sector”, which they hope will enable supporters to challenge opponents in their own party before crucial decisions are made in the coming months about energy policy. Thursday’s backbench debate will be introduced by Laura Sandys, who has support from 25 Conservative colleagues, including the Tory eco-activist Zac Goldsmith, and three other MPs, including the Green party’s Caroline Lucas.

Guardian 24th June 2012 more >>

Posted: 25 June 2012

24 June 2012

Rosatom

Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, is holding consultations over its possible involvement in the British nuclear program, according to Kirill Komarov, the deputy head of Rosatom responsible for development and international business. “We are consulting with various stakeholders, but it is premature to talk of joining any current new build project,” said Komarov. The Russian exporters might encounter some difficulties in this rather narrow and competitive market segment, because the UK has its own licensing requirements for nuclear projects, which differ from the general European requirements. This means that, for the UK to adopt Russian technologies, Russia will have to have its project licensed according to British standards. Yukka Laaksonen, vice-president of Rosatom’s international branch Rosatom Overseas announced at Atomexpo-2012 that the Rosatom corporation would apply to the British and U.S. supervisory agencies to have its VVER reactor technologies certified there. Laaksonen said that the Russians plan to complete standard Generic Design Assessment (GDA) procedures within five years, in order to obtain licenses for the construction of VVER reactors in the UK. Plans to apply to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for certification of the VVER reactor design will happen later, according to Nuclear.ru.

Russia Beyond the headlines 23rd June 2012 more >>

Japan

Tens of thousands of demonstrators held antinuclear energy rallies in Tokyo, Osaka and U.S. cities Friday over the government’s decision to restart the first idled reactors since the Fukushima No. 1 meltdowns.

Japan Times 24th June 2012 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

This month’s NIS Update includes: £1.1 billion boost for Rolls-Royce submarine reactor plant; Private sector assistance considered for Trident replacement programme; Two-year blueprint published for removing Trident from Scotland; P5 to discuss nuclear weapons in Washington; Controversy over US nuclear regulator’s post-Fukushima emergency planning review; UK fissile material holdings reported; News from the Atomic Weapons Establishment: Health and Safety Executive to prosecute AWE following fire; AWE breaches Ionising Radiations Regulations; New water tank planned for AWE Burghfield.

Nuclear Information Service 23rd June 2012 more >>

Letter: There are many positive reasons to vote for independence. Perhaps one of the most inspiring is to allow Scotland to develop its vision as a world leader in alternative energy technology. We can also be proud of the humanity and open internationalism of the current Scottish Government, which would surely flourish as an independent member of the UN and – we can hope – would advocate alternatives to current diplomacy based on weapons of mass destruction within a planet we are currently polluting to death.

Herald 24th June 2012 more >>

Climate

It is not just that world temperatures are on average steadily rising, the weather everywhere is becoming more extreme. Eleven of the last 12 years have been the hottest on record, and the growing volatility in our weather is linked to global warming. As the earth warms, the relationships between ocean currents, the ice caps, atmospheric pressure and the jet stream become more turbulent, and the weather turns more unpredictable. Yet at Rio+20 there was, for example, no deterrent to the burning of fossil fuels or incentive to make renewable ones more economically attractive. Targets for sustainable development? Forget them. And so it went on — a non-event that hardly got reported. US Tea Party activists and their bombastic British representative, Niall Ferguson – now delivering the Reith lectures – like to terrify their audiences with how much public debt today’s generation is leaving its children. Yet the same argument is not applied to the planet. At the end of his first lecture Professor Ferguson was asked if he applied the same logic on future generations to climate change: he was flummoxed, and dodged the question.

Observer 24th June 2012 more >>

Renewables

A FURTHER £5 million has been set aside to help homeowners generate clean, green energy. The fund, announced by energy minister Fergus Ewing, will be used to provide loans of up to £10,000 for renewable heat technology projects, such as biomass boilers and heat pumps. The scheme will run from August. The loans are part of a wider strategy announced by the Scottish Government, which aims to encourage people to install microgeneration technologies in their homes, businesses and schools.

Scotsman 23rd June 2012 more >>

THE Scottish Government has been accused of ordering local authorities to identify more land for wind farm developments so that it can meet its renewable energy targets. Tory energy spokeswoman May Scanlon said a letter telling councils to create “spatial frameworks” for onshore wind farms in development plans was “an open invitation to wind farm companies across the world to submit their applications in Scotland”. In a move she said would worry communities already angered by the spread of the giant turbines, Ms Scanlon said it would provide companies with a list of sites to target for preferred development.

Herald 23rd June 2012 more >>

ELEVEN days ago offshore wind developers published a rebuttal to their many critics, who claim the technology will be a costly white elephant. The Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, an industry group set up by Charles Hendry, the energy minister, revealed a plan to reduce the costs of wind power by one-third by 2020. At the heart of the task force’s cost-cutting report is the establishment of a new domestic supply chain. That ambition suffered a blow on Friday when Vestas, the world’s largest turbine maker, cancelled plans to build a giant new factory at Sheerness, Kent. It would have been the first in Britain to make offshore turbines, and would have provided up to 2,000 jobs. Vestas announced plans for the plant a year ago but said a final decision depended on a strong order book. Last week, it said it had yet to receive any definite deals.

Sunday Times 24th June 2012 more >>

The surprise entry of Whitelee, near Glasgow, to the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) comes as Europe’s largest wind farm gets ready to welcome it 250,000th visitor since it first powered up in 2009. Now with 140 turbines, Whitelee, on Eaglesham Moor, was the first wind farm in the world to create a visitor attraction with its success even coming as a surprise to its owners, ScottishPower Renewables. While nearly a quarter of a million people have visited its visitor centre, it is estimated that more than 100,000 have been drawn to the wind farm to use its 90km network of walking and cycling trails.

Herald 21st June 2012 more >>

Posted: 24 June 2012

23 June 2012

EMR

Energy giant EdF Energy wants the government to speed up its reforms to the energy market to enable the firm to make its final investment decision for its proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C. EdF Energy special projects director Jeremy Western said yesterday that there were still areas within energy market reform where the “government needed to do more work”. “There are three priorities for government,” Western told the Nuclear Forum Conference. The three areas where Western urged more government action was to create a “tangible counterparty” to sign contract for difference feed in tariffs (CFD Fits). The CFD Fits are a key part of the energy market reform (EMR) guaranteeing a price of electricity signed between the operator and government. However, it is still not clear who will sign the agreement on behalf of the government. Western also said there was still work to be done to ensure the transitional agreements – the CFD Fits agreed between EdF Energy and the government – were legally robust. He also said that the government still had a lot of work to do to ensure EMR reached Royal Assent in spring 2014.

New Civil Engineer 20th June 2012 more >>

Energy Supplies

The slow-burning drama over Britain’s future energy supply has had everything: entrances and exits; rows and romance (well, joint ventures at least). Now, according to the chief executive of Centrica, it needs a dose of something else: realism. It’s true: tougher times means homes and businesses are spending less on fuel. Energy bills close to an all-time high have made sure of that. There is also the hope that many of our ageing nuclear reactors can have their lives extended. Gas imports can plug the gap, but that will leave the country at the mercy of foreign supply and fluctuating wholesale prices. Mr Laidlaw warned a year ago that some green targets may have to be sacrificed in the interests of safeguarding the security of our energy supply the closer to the crunch we get. “I think at the moment, if you look at the renewables targets we are going to struggle to make them,” he said, referring to the aim of deriving 15 per cent of supply from renewable sources such as wind, wave and solar by 2020. The proportion stands at just 3 per cent today. The trouble is, the targets are legally binding. Does that mean Britain will face a fine? His stance is at odds with that of Ian Marchant, the boss of rival domestic supplier SSE, who hit out recently at the reforms, saying Britain “will live to regret” handing a subsidy to the French that would cause higher energy bills. “Frankly, coming from where he’s coming from, having said he’s not going to participate in nuclear and having invested a lot in a wind portfolio, it was fairly obvious that he would want a programme that doesn’t incentivise nuclear but does incentivise wind.”

Independent 23rd June 2012 more >>

New Nukes

The Institute of Directors (IoD) today publishes the second report in its Infrastructure for Business series: ‘Britain’s Nuclear Future’, making the case for nuclear energy as a clean, cheap and safe way to meet our energy needs. New polling of IoD members, released exclusively with the report, also shows that nuclear power remains extremely popular among business leaders, with little to no change in opinion in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident.

Institute of Directors 22nd June 2012 more >>

Wiltshire Business 22nd June 2012 more >>

Billions of pounds should be invested in new nuclear power stations to keep the lights on, the Government’s former chief scientist said yesterday. Such a move would be a massive U-turn for the Government – its policy is to back new nuclear but not subsidise it – and trigger a major split with the Liberal Democrats. But Professor Sir David King said without heavyweight Government intervention, a new generation of nuclear reactors will simply not be built.

Western Daily Press 22nd June 2012 more >>

Americans from coast-to-coast are pushing to end the nation’s addiction to polluting, 19th century fossil fuels — coal, oil, natural gas — by embracing renewable, job-generating energy sources such as wind and solar. With clean energy prosperity in sight, there are well-meaning people who suggest that nuclear power could be part of the solution. The Sierra Club respectfully but vehemently disagrees with them, and a growing group of concerned volunteers has, in fact, begun accelerating the Club’s efforts to address this dangerous industry.

Tree Hugger 22nd June 2012 more >>

Sellafield

A decommissioning milestone has been reached at Sellafield Ltd – a year ahead of schedule. The first oxide fuel has been removed from the pile fuel storage pond, where it has been for more than 40 years, and transferred to the active handling facility. The move starts an 18-month programme which will see the transfer of the rest of the fuel for repackaging into modern containment vessels.

NW Evening Mail 22nd June 2012 more >>

Cumberland News 22nd June 2012 more >>

NDA

WEST Cumbrian John Clarke is the new chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. John, who has taken over following the departure of Tony Fountain in December, was born and brought up in Seascale, spending much of his working life at nearby Sellafield, where he was a member of the executive team for eight years. His appointment has been welcomed by Britain’s biggest nuclear union, Prospect.

NW Evening Mail 22nd June 2012 more >>

Dungeness

Baseload power for delivery Monday traded higher than the day-ahead price at Thursday’s close as wind power generation is set to fall from the highs see at the end of the week, while nuclear output dropped off following an unplanned outage at EDF Energy’s Dungeness B-21 unit. In addition, EDF Energy’s 550 MW UK Dungeness B-21 nuclear generation unit shut down in the early hours of Friday morning due to a technical fault, the company said in a statement. The unplanned outage occurred at 05:45 BST (0445 GMT) when the unit automatically shutdown following a fault on the main boiler feed pump. “Dungeness B has a pretty bad reputation so I don’t think anyone is expecting it return to service any time soon,” a trader said.

Platts 22nd June 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Petition launched. A majority of Cumbrian Parish and Town Councils have voted NO to the Dump. We the undersigned agree and say end this process now.

i-Petitions 21st June 2012 more >>

Small Reactors

Global Energy Considerations & The Role of Nuclear – Think Smaller, Think Modular?

Douglas Westwood 7th June 2012 more >>

Europe

The European Commission has closed an antitrust investigation of the arrangement that prevents Siemens from selling nuclear products and services, following its withdrawal from the Areva NP business. The Commission has accepted an agreement between the two companies to allow Siemens to sell core products and services later this year.

Nuclear Engineering International 22nd June 2012 more >>

Sweden

Swedish police have said they have no clues about possible perpetrators or motive two days after a small amount of explosive material was found on a forklift truck at the country’s biggest nuclear power plant.

Scotsman 23rd June 2012 more >>

France

France’s nuclear availability has been cut further because of delayed unit restarts, according to the weekly medium-term availability forecast published today by grid-operator RTE. Three of utility EdF’s nuclear units, with a combined capacity of 2,715MW, will start later than previously forecast. The restart of the 915MW Cruas 4 unit has been pushed back by two weeks until week 29, while the 890MW Dampierre-en-Burly B4 unit will start one week later than previously forecast, in week 28. The 910MW Gravelines 5 unit, which was expected to go back on line in week 29, is now forecast to restart in week 32.

Argus Media 22nd June 2012 more >>

Japan

Few developed nations face greater challenges in meeting their citizens’ energy needs than Japan. The country’s nuclear power sector – which for decades compensated for the archipelago’s lack of fossil fuel sources – has been down and out since last year’s nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. Two signs of a revived energy sector are welcome. Nuclear power is being switched back on after the country’s reactors have been off-line. New incentives for renewable power generation have been introduced. But there is need for caution along both these policy tracks.

FT 22nd June 2012 more >>

Fukushima Update 19th to 21st June.

Greenpeace International 23rd June 2012 more >>

Lithuania

The Lithuanian parliament on June 21 approved the concession agreement for the Visaginas nuclear power plant, a planned 1,350-MW Hitachi-GE ABWR to be built at the Ignalina nuclear site. Parliament approved the concession agreement previously signed in March between Lithuania’s Energy Ministry and Hitachi. The law approving the agreement still has to be signed by Lithuania’s president.

i-Nuclear 22nd June 2012 more >>

e-Gov Monitor 22nd June 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran says it has detected a “massive” cyber attack targeting its nuclear facilities. Ministers claimed the US, UK and Israel were behind the attack.

Computer Business Review 22nd June 2012 more >>

OECD NEA

An OECD report has highlighted the contribution nuclear already makes to the energy mix as well as how it can fit into future low-carbon networks. The report is aimed at informing the policymaking of the body’s member governments. Entitled The Role of Nuclear Energy in a Low-Carbon Energy Future, the document seeks to point out the contribution made by the world’s 433 operating power reactors, assess their lifecycle carbon emissions and look ahead at the barriers to their wider deployment. The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) counts 30 industrialised countries as its members.

World Nuclear News 22nd June 2012 more >>

A new report has found that the Fukushima Daiichi incident has slowed nuclear growth by about 10% compared with projections before the accident. The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency published the report, “The Role of Nuclear Energy in a Low-carbon Energy Future”, (NEA no. 6887) in June.

Nuclear Enginnering International 22nd June 2012 more >>

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News includes news of the new Scottish Microgeneration Strategy; a community wind farm being promoted by Turkey producer Bernard Matthews; a new solar panel manufacturing plant opening in the Black Country; a small hydro plant in London; Devon wind Co-operative; And a must watch video of a talk by Jeremy Leggett.

Microgen Scotland 22nd June 2012 more >>

Commenting on the announcement that SunSolar is to build a 30MW solar photovoltaics manufacturing plant in Oldbury, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “This announcement is fantastic news for Oldbury, bringing new jobs and investment, and a huge vote of confidence in the outlook for the solar industry in the UK. I want to see many more UK businesses taking the lead in the growing global market for green energy.”

DECC 22nd June 2012 more >>

The country’s first “wood fuel co-operative” is offering green-minded small investors the chance to watch their money go up in smoke and still earn a decent return. Woolhope Woodheat is a “groundbreaking” project that aims to bring green heat to Herefordshire by installing woodchip boilers in larger buildings that are expensive to run, and sourcing the fuel from local, sustainable woodlands. It is inviting members of the public to join the co-op by investing a minimum of £250, and says the projected return on your investment averages out at 6.1% or more, provided you are happy to sign up for the long term. According to the share offer document, the co-op will generate money from the sale of heat, and also receive income from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, which will enable it to pay interest to members and return their original investment at the end of the investment period. The co-op wants to raise £324,000 to get the project under way.

Guardian 22nd June 2012 more >>

Renewables

David Cameron’s plans for “green jobs and growth” were dealt a blow last night after the world’s biggest wind turbine maker scrapped plans for a giant factory in Kent that would have created 2,000 jobs. Vestas, a Danish company, said it would no longer proceed with its flagship Sheerness project amid concerns about political support for wind power in Britain.

Telegraph 23rd June 2012 more >>

Guardian 22nd June 2012 more >>

Posted: 23 June 2012

22 June 2012

Nuclear Costs

Increased investment in nuclear power will help provide cheap, safe and popular energy, according to a report out today from the Institute of Directors. The business group argues electricity from new nuclear plants would cost £70 per megawatt hour, compared with £95 from gas generation and £130 from coal. Wind is even more expensive – £145 per megawatt hour for onshore turbines. The survey found 84 per cent of firms back building more nuclear plants.

City AM 22nd June 2012 more >>

The Government are developing a ‘strike price’ system under which guaranteed prices would be paid for long periods to ‘low carbon’ electricity generation. But this process exposes the Government to the danger that nuclear power would be seen to be much more expensive than its previous public relations based calculations had suggested – more expensive than offshore wind, never mind onshore wind. This analysis below ‘blows the gaffe’ on the Government’s strategy. Note: On 21st June I amended this analysis to take account of the fact that costs for a 1.6 GW EPR nuclear power station have risen to £7 billion.

Real Feed-in Tariffs 21st June 2012 more >>

Despite assurances from Ed Davey (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) that there will be ‘no blank cheque for nuclear’, it appears that at least some of his officials are running around trying to get the Treasury to do just that. Some giving evidence to, and some sitting on, the Department of Energy Select Commitee that is currently scrutinising the Energy Bill, are calling for the Treasury to act as ‘guarantor’ for the contracts to be issued for ‘low carbon’ energy sources, including nuclear power. This is polite language for trying to get the Treasury to guarantee low interest loans for EDF in particular to build Hinkley C, if not also the rest of the UK nuclear programme as well.

Real Feed-in Tariff 21st June 2012 more >>

The UK will remain dependent on foreign fossil fuels unless billions of pounds are invested in nuclear energy, an ex-chief government scientist has warned. Prof Sir David King urged ministers to end free market “dogma” and finance nuclear power stations and renewables. He said the private sector could not be relied on to deliver the huge sums needed to keep the lights on.

BBC 21st June 2012 more >>

PA 21st June 2012 more >>

Engineering & Technology 21st June 2012 more >>

Shropshire Star 21st June 2012 more >>

Professor Sir David King said without heavyweight Government intervention, a new generation of nuclear reactors will simply not be built.

Western Daily Press 21st June 2012 more >>

Politics

Two Conservative cabinet members have asked the prime minister to tackle the lack of growth and jobs creation, and to do more to boost investment in low-carbon energy and other green infrastructure. The intervention by development secretary Andrew Mitchell and environment secretary Caroline Spelman follows a move by the foreign secretary, William Hague, who in March urged David Cameron to do more to help green industries boost the economy, stop the UK falling behind its rivals, and avoid losing its global leadership on the environment. The arguments put forward by the Tory cabinet members reflect a growing divide in the Tory party between a vocal group of MPs who believe that a large increase in low-carbon energy and other infrastructure will push up prices and damage the UK economy, and those who believe that more “green” investment will create jobs and reduce costs in the long term by protecting the UK from rising oil prices and dependence on foreign powers for energy.

Guardian 21st June 2012 more >>

The government’s climate change envoy has warned that failure to take more action to invest in a low carbon economy is a threat to the future “prosperity and security” of the British people. John Ashton, who has just stepped down from his post at the Foreign Office, told MPs that the UK was still considered an influential global player on climate change, but signalled that position was at risk as the country was falling behind on investment in energy efficiency and clean energy. He said the UK’s diplomatic efforts to persuade other countries to reduce the world’s reliance on oil and other fossil fuels “depends on what we are doing at home” and the “consensus across the political spectrum”. Ashton also told MPs that far from leading the world, the UK was falling behind important economic competitors such as Germany, Korea, China and Japan in some of the big future industries such as offshore wind energy and carbon capture and storage systems for gas and coal power stations.

Guardian 22nd June 2012 more >>

Radwaste

THE opinion poll into West Cumbrian people’s views on a search for somewhere to bury highly radioactive nuclear waste has been dismissed by a university think tank. The random poll was carried out on behalf of the government-funded West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership (MRWS). But it reveals ‘fatal flaws,’ according to the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences. The group claims that MRWS has an “institutional wish to proceed and push forward – and its lack of criteria to identify when enough information has been collected to produce a decision not to proceed.” It goes on to say: “The results of consultation, of telephone polling and of unilateral parish council votes, all give a very unclear mandate to support continuation.”

Whitehaven News 21st June 2012 more >>

Letter: On the BBC Sunday Politics programme at the weekend, it was stated that an IPSOS/MORI telephone poll found that a majority in Copeland were in favour of the nuclear waste repository being sited here. Never mind opinion polls taken from the pro-lobby aimed at giving a misleading impression of the area. Let’s have a county-wide referendum on this matter and see the truth of what Cumbrians feel. I’m sure the nuclear industry would fund this exercise to prove their point.

Whitehaven News 21st June 2012 more >>

Letter: I watched the CountryFile programme on Sunday in which a professor came and inspected the rock formation and found it unsuitable for the storage of nuclear waste. Having then discussed this with the presenter they went on to say which should be given a priority, politics or safety in the rock formation. They came to the conclusion it should always be health and safety with rock formation.

Whitehaven News 21st June 2012 more >>

Cumbria

MORE than 3,000 new jobs, support for small businesses, and a boost in skills and education, was the message at the launch of Britain’s Energy Coast Blueprint last week.

Whitehaven News 21st June 2012 more >>

Moorside

A MAJOR stumbling block standing in the way of building a new nuclear power station in Copeland has finally been overcome. Gas and electricity regulator Ofgem has used its powers to allow NuGen, the prospective developers, to finally set foot on the ‘Moorside’ site so it can carry out investigations to see whether the land is suitable for reactor development. But the issue of the mineral rights deep underground has still not been settled with Lord Egremont. While NuGen now has the legal right to drill boreholes it is understood no building can take place until the mineral rights have been purchased from Lord Egremont. This is expected to involve a considerable sum of money. However, Ofgem’s intervention, breaks months of deadlock. NuGen expects to move on to the site – Moorside close to Sellafield – in the next three months. Investigations may take up to two years.

Whitehaven News 21st June 2012 more >>

Sellafield

JOHN Kane, the man who led a successful trades union campaign for Thorp to open, has slammed the decision to shut it in six years’ time. The campaign called ‘Trust Us’ was waged on behalf of both the Sellafield workforce and the local community in the face of bitter anti-nuclear opposition nationally. “Now, to be told Thorp is closing in 2018, is a bit of a slap in the face,” Mr Kane told The Whitehaven News, adding: “A lot of us gave years of our lives in championing the case for the plant to start up.”

Whitehaven News 16th June 2012 more >>

Letter: The owners of Sellafield Ltd, Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), have suffered some criticism within this paper. This letter provides an alternate view. The recent announcement of the closure dates for the Magnox and Thorp reprocessing facilities (in 2017 and 2018 respectively) is of clear concern to employees and their communities. For Magnox this is well over 10 years longer than planned due to performance not matching predictions (so either poor performance or poor predictions). NMP’s “Journey to Excellence” endeavours to change workers’ behaviours/attitudes so that “new missions” can result in new jobs to accommodate inevitable losses (admirable). More confidently, management of the Evaporator D project looks set to ensure that delivery delays will result in a lack/reduction of evaporative capacity that will result in Thorp’s reprocessing completion date being extended.

Whitehaven News 21st June 2012 more >>

Sizewell

THE opening of a new visitors’ centre at the Sizewell nuclear site has been cleared with security officials, The previous Sizewell B visitors’ centre was closed five years ago as a result of increased security in the light of heightened terrorism fears.

Coastal Scene 20th June 2012 more >>

Romney Marsh

A major public meeting on the economic future of Romney Marsh takes place tonight. MP Damian Collins and Kent County Council leader Paul Carter will be among those discussing topics such as to how the Marsh can survive, the prospect of a Dungeness C and recently-announced plans for a nuclear waste site. County ward councillor Carole Waters said: “I would urge people to attend to hear what is happening about the possibility of a new power station, Dungeness C, whether we can prolong the life of Dungeness B and other matters relating to the local economy in the sort to medium term.

Kent News 20th June 2012 more >>

Hastings Council leader Jeremy Birch has hit out at a proposal to build a nuclear waste bunker in the Romney Marsh area. The Government is looking at a range of options for managing nuclear waste and a facility deep underground is the preference. Romney Marsh has been put forward as a possible location and Shepway District Council is considering the proposal. The Romney Marsh Nuclear Research and Disposal Facility would be buried 200m (650ft) to 1,000m (3,300ft) below ground. Cllr Birch said: “While this may not be in Hastings we would be living cheek by jowl with it for centuries if it ever went ahead. We are trying to promote Hastings and its surrounding area as a cultural destination, somewhere aiming at higher quality tourism, a town with quality business space available and a home for high tech businesses. A plan for a nuclear dump next door is exactly what we don’t want.

Hastings Observer 21st June 2012 more >>

Horizon

Two Chinese nuclear firms have teamed up to take part in bidding for the UK’s 6-gigawatt Horizon project, two industry sources in China told Reuters on Thursday. The firms are China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC). Reuters reported on June 18 that Westinghouse teamed up with SNPTC to make a bid, while Areva picked China Guangdong to put forward a bid. It was not immediately clear if the Chinese consortium would bid separately or join forces with either Areva or Westinghouse.

Reuters 21st June 2012 more >>

Rolls Royce

Rolls-Royce is hoping to win new civil nuclear business using capabilities secured by a £1.1bn contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The company was this week awarded a deal to provide reactor cores for the Royal Navy’s final Astute-class submarine and the first of the next generation of vessels to carry Trident nuclear missiles — even though the government has yet to make an official final decision on the replacement of Britain’s nuclear weapons capabilities.

The Engineer 21st June 2012 more >>

Sweden

Sweden’s three nuclear-power plants raised their security-alert level Thursday, a day after explosives were found on a forklift truck at the Ringhals nuclear-power plant. Suspicious material about the size of a fist was found by personnel carrying out normal security checks with a sniffer dog, and police sent a sample of the material by helicopter to a crime laboratory, which confirmed that it was explosive. However, the material had no ignition device.

Wall Street Journal 21st June 2012 more >>

Fox News 21st June 2012 more >>

Reuters 21st June 2012 more >>

Telegraph 21st June 2012 more >>

BBC 21st June 2012 more >>

London Evening Standard 21st June 2012 more >>

Independent 21st June 2012 more >>

Japan

Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will begin removing fuel rods from a damaged reactors a year ahead of schedule, a government minister said Thursday, a move to address concerns about the risk of a new quake that could cause a further accident and scatter more radioactive debris.

Reuters 21st June 2012 more >>

France

Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear (www.beyondnuclear.org) talks about France’s problem with nuclear waste and dispels the country’s reputation, often promoted by the nuclear industry, that it manages the waste. His conversation with the Peace Education Center took place in Lansing, Michigan.

You Tube 17th May 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran has detected a planned “massive cyberattack” against its nuclear facilities, state television said on Thursday, after talks with leading powers this week failed to resolve a row over Tehran’s disputed nuclear activities. Heydar Moslehi, Iran’s intelligence minister, said the US and Israel, along with Britain, had planned the attack.

FT 22nd June 2012 more >>

The powerful Flame computer virus is not only capable of espionage but it can also sabotage computer systems and likely was used to attack Iran in April, according to a leading security company, Symantec Corp.

Reuters 22nd June 2012 more >>

Judging by the latest round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 in Moscow, neither side seems to be in a hurry to back down and compromise. Instead, both prefer to adopt a wait-and-see approach in the hope that future developments will force the other side to back down. The P5+1 seems to be counting on the sanctions, especially those scheduled to go into force on 1 July. On that day, the EU will stop its purchases of oil from Iran, meaning Iran will lose 20% of its total export market. This could lead to further falls in the value of Iran’s currency. It could also lead to a major spike in gold and commodity prices.

Guardian 21st June 2012 more >>

US

KRISTEN IVERSEN grew up close to a nuclear weapons factory. The Rocky Flats plant in Colorado was the only US site that built plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs: chunks of radioactive metal about the size of a softball. In her superb memoir, Full Body Burden, Iversen interweaves her own compelling autobiography with a history of Rocky Flats. Her prose combines perceptive lyricism and stark brutality. Iversen struggled with an alcoholic father and a mother in denial, and found solace riding horses far out into the Colorado wilds. She paid little attention to Rocky Flats until she took a job there, typing up reports of accidents euphemistically described as “incidents”. This prompted her to investigate further. She uncovered a catalogue of institutional neglect and a management system that cared little for workers or the environment.

New Scientist 21st June 2012 more >>

Trident

Labour MPs Martin Caton (Gower) and Paul Flynn (Newport West) have signed a Plaid Cymru-sponsored Early Day Motion attacking First Minister Carwyn Jones’ statement that nuclear submarines would be “more than welcome” in Wales.

Wales Online 21st June 2012 more >>

Faslane

A Scottish peace campaigner and playwright was left outraged today after being pre-emptively questioned by police before her involvement in a peaceful anti-Trident protest. Scottish Socialist Party national co-chairwoman Sandra Webster was rehearsing with her radical theatre group in a church hall in Paisley for a performance at a demonstration at Faslane submarine base next week when Strathclyde police officers walked in. The officers apparently questioned her and another member of the Acting Strange troupe and asked them about the demonstration, which is one of a number of events planned to mark the 30th anniversary of the Faslane peace camp.

Morning Star 21st June 2012 more >>

Renewables

Damian Carrington managed to get hold of a copy of the note, written by the House of Commons Library, mentioned in the Sunday Telegraph. He says it’s difficult to know where to start unpicking this simple-minded nonsense, but let’s begin with one of the three elements of fuel poverty, energy bills themselves. Between 2004 and 2010, dual fuel bills rose by £455, of which £382 was due to soaring gas prices. That’s where the real blame lies quite possibly driving a million or two into fuel poverty, and more renewable energy is the solution, not less.

Guardian 21st June 2012 more >>

Posted: 22 June 2012

21 June 2012

Horizon and Bradwell

The UK government is in active and positive negotiations with several parties for the sale of Horizon Nuclear Power, Lord Jonathan Marland, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, told the House of Lords on June 19. Credible reports have said Westinghouse is aligned with China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp., while Areva is lined up with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp. in potential bids for Horizon. There are at least two other potential bidders: Russia’s Rosatom and General Electric Hitachi. GE Hitachi is reported to be considering a bid, potentially with a US utility. If Rosatom were not to buy Horizon with its two nuclear sites, there are only three other sites approved as potentially suitable for new nuclear power plants by the UK government for deployment prior to 2025 – Bradwell, Heysham and Hartlepool. All of them are owned by EDF Energy and the most suitable among them is probably Bradwell. EDF Energy is under obligation to sell Bradwell, but the conditions attached to that obligation mean it is unlikely to do so in the near term. EDF Energy was required under an agreement with the UK government when it bought British Energy to sell the land at Bradwell to a competitor, but a condition of the agreement is that the sale will only occur after EDF achieves planning approval to build two Areva EPR reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk.

i-Nuclear 20th June 2012 more >>

Romney Marsh

A public meeting will be held tonight to discuss plans for the future of Romney Marsh in Kent. Topics on the agenda include the case for Dungeness C and an update on the consultation for a possible nuclear waste research and disposal facility at the site.

ITV Meridian 21st June 2012 more >>

EMR

The Treasury is refusing to testify to MPs about its crucial involvement in energy reforms because it wants to avoid difficult questions, Tim Yeo, the chair of the Energy Select Committee has claimed. Industry figures say parts of the Bill have changed significantly from the original proposals – apparently at the Treasury’s behest – and have warned that the changes could make the reforms unworkable. But Treasury minister Chloe Smith has so far declined to give evidence to the committee. In a letter sent to Ms Smith today, Mr Yeo said the committee was “perplexed” by her assertion that it would be “improper” for her to give evidence as the legislation was led by a different department. Energy companies and investors have said they are unhappy that the Treasury will not act as guarantor on proposed long-term contracts setting power price subsidies, as they had been expected to do. Energy ministers are thought to be trying to persuade the Treasury to take on the role.

Telegraph 20th June 2012 more >>

Energy giant EdF Energy wants the government to speed up its reforms to the energy market to enable the firm to make its final investment decision for its proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C. EdF Energy special projects director Jeremy Western said yesterday that there were still areas within energy market reform where the “government needed to do more work”. “There are three priorities for government,” Western told the Nuclear Forum Conference yesterday. The three areas where Western urged more government action was to create a “tangible counterparty” to sign contract for difference feed in tariffs (CFD Fits). Secondly, there was still work to be done to ensure the transitional agreements – the CFD Fits agreed between EdF Energy and the government – were legally robust. Finally the government still had a lot of work to do to ensure EMR reached Royal Assent in spring 2014.

New Civil Engineer 20th June 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Energy Secretary Ed Davey yesterday welcomed a £2 billion contract to build the planned new nuclear power station in Somerset. He was reacting to EDF Energy’s announcement that it has selected its preferred bidder for the work at Hinkley Point C – in what would be Britain’s first new reactor in a generation. The move is being seen as a boost for the Government, after the withdrawal of plans for a new power station in Gloucestershire. EDF has chosen a joint venture of French firm Bouygues TP and British company Laing O’Rourke as preferred bidder for the £2 billion contract.

Western Daily Press 20th June 2012 more >>

Build 20th June 2012 more >>

Edie 20th June 2012 more >>

French contractor Bouygues’ experience in constructing the Flamanville nuclear power plant in France helped win the Hinkley Point C contract, EdF Energy told NCE yesterday. But construction of the Flamanville nuclear power station has been plagued with difficulties. Electricity generation from the new nuclear power station was originally expected in 2012, six years after construction began. But a series of setbacks has resulted in EdF revising this date to 2016.

New Civil Engineer 20th June 2012 more >>

Wylfa

Minister of State for Energy, Charles Hendry, reaffirmed the UK Government’s commitment to new nuclear build during a visit to Anglesey. The Minister told Coleg Menai students and Wylfa power station staff that the nuclear industry has a positive future on Anglesey and within the UK. He also announced a new £480,000 socio-economic funding package awarded to the Anglesey Energy Island Programme (EIP) by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

News Wales 20th June 2012 more >>

Dounreay

The consortium completing the clean up of a Scottish nuclear site has ended its support for some community events. Babcock Dounreay Partnership funded a Caithness village’s Highland games, county show and Country and Western festival while tendering for the work. It was criticised at a meeting of the Dounreay Stakeholders Group for dropping the events. The consortium said its focus was now on helping communities prepare for the economic impact of Dounreay closing.

BBC 20th June 2012 more >>

Scotland

Scots would see their energy bills rise under independence in order to fund the “renewables revolution”, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey has warned. But the Liberal Democrat minister was accused of penalising Scottish communities, which face higher costs to produce energy than the south of England. The SNP government wants to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity from green energy sources such as wind and wave power by 2020. But Mr Davey, who appeared at Holyrood’s economy committee yesterday, warned that it was “risky” for the Scottish Government to put all its “eggs in one basket” on energy policy. “If an independent Scotland decided it want to continue this laudable aim of going for 100 per cent renewable energy, the question then is who is going to pay for that,” Mr Davey said. “Would it be consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland being asked to pay for the electricity generation from an independent Scotland?” He added: “I’m not suggesting the costs of renewable energy are dramatically huge, energy bills have gone up across the UK and Europe because of the high cost of gas. That’s the main reason bills have gone up. Nevertheless paying for renewable energy – while we have a subsidised system – has to be paid for and it would seem rather odd for England Wales and Northern Ireland to subsidise generation by a different country.”

Scotsman 21st June 2012 more >>

Times 21st June 2012 more >>

Fast Reactors

Tom Blees et al: Frank von Hippel and colleagues review some disposal options for radioactive plutonium waste. Another option is the profitable consumption of plutonium from thermal nuclear plants in a fast-spectrum breeder reactor with fuel recycling.

Nature 20th June 2012 more >>

US

The nation’s top nuclear power plant regulator is being petitioned by environmental groups to halt all further license extensions for 35 power reactors nationwide until their on-site nuclear-waste storage systems undergo more in-depth environmental evaluation.

Christian Science Monitor 20th June 2012 more >>

Japan

One of the biggest single anti-nuclear protests the country has ever seen happened last week, but virtually no one saw anything about it in the Japanese media. While Reuters noted a crowd of up to 10,000 had turned out to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s intention to greenlight firing up the Oi nuclear plant, there was hardly a peep about it in the domestic press. Once the news spotlight shifted to the sensational terrorist arrest story, it left the Noda administration alone to work in the shadows, enabling it to virtually hide any opposition over its decision to restart Japan’s nuclear engines in plain sight.

Japan Today 21st June 2012 more >>

Two nuclear reactors have passed safety checks and gotten the Japanese government’s approval to resume generating power. But communities around the Ohi plant in western Japan don’t feel ready. If the reactors plunged into a Fukushima-like meltdown, the only route to escape or send help would be a road closed by snow in winter or clogged by beachgoers in summer. Radiation leaks could contaminate a lake that provides fresh water to more than 14 million people. There’s no contingency plan. The Ohi plant’s neighbors aren’t alone. New guidelines expand evacuation zones from 10 kilometers (6 miles) to 30 kilometers (18 miles) around the reactors. Government officials and nuclear regulators tell The Associated Press most Japanese communities within the new zones don’t have adequate plans.

Washington Post 21st June 2012 more >>

Iran

The end of two days of talks in Moscow on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme provided no end of metaphors for negotiations that have got nowhere, but which neither side as yet wants to declare dead. So we are now assured talks are on a respirator, or have all the life of zombies in a horror film. Before all the opprobrium falls on the Iranian side, it is worth examining just how flexible western negotiators were in Moscow.

Guardian 20th June 2012 more >>

After Moscow, there is no discernible life left in this diplomatic process but it has to be kept going in the hope of a miracle and because the alternative is so grim.

Guardian 20th June 2012 more >>

Trident

Plaid Cymru MPs at Westminster condemned Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones today for inviting Britain’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines to move their base to south Wales. The SNP government in Edinburgh is pledged to “the earliest possible withdrawal of Trident from Scotland” should the nation achieve independence.

Morning Star 20th June 2012 more >>

In answering an urgent question from Plaid AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas, First Minister Carwyn Jones said his cabinet are united in attempting to bring the UK’s nuclear fleet to Milford Haven, arguing the move could bring jobs to Wales. Conservative Paul Davies welcomed the plan and asked if the Welsh Government intends to explore the full economic impact of the bid.

ITV Wales 20th June 2012 more >>

Milford Haven ‘would more than welcome’ nuclear-armed Trident submarines, First Minister Carwyn Jones has claimed. During First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday Mr Jones was asked about potential investment in Welsh ports. Milford Haven has previously been looked at as a potential base but it is widely believed that the large industrial developments around the haven would rule out the move. The haven is already home to two oil refineries, two LNG facilities, a large tank storage site and a power station due to come online shortly. Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas whose region includes Milford Haven said Mr Jones “clearly has no grasp on reality if he believes that the people of Wales want nuclear weapons stored in Milford Haven”. Earlier this year a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) report also ruled out Milford Haven as a potential base for the Trident fleet because of the industrial sites based around the waterway.

Western Telegraph 20th June 2012 more >>

Jeremy Corbyn MP: The Commons was enlivened by a debate on Trident replacement once again yesterday afternoon as the Defence Secretary was called to the Commons to answer an Urgent Question on his new £1.1 billion contract – heavily trailed in the Sunday press – to redevelop the Rolls-Royce plant at Raynesway in Derby and to produce the reactor for the first of the submarines replacing Vanguard. I was encouraged to see more Labour MPs questioning the government. Not only Paul Flynn and Michael Connarty but the questions from David Lammy, Nick Brown and Sheila Gilmore show there is a serious debate to be had in the Labour Party. Why should police numbers be cut to pay for Trident, rather than the other way round, as David asked.

Labour List 19th June 2012 more >>

Kate Hudson: Large-scale spending on Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent and its replacement is unacceptable, but it is not too late to stop it. What kind of government commits to a billion pound contract, only to admit on the day it is announced that the next administration may have to “negotiate its way out” of the deal? That happened on Monday of this week. But before dissecting the absurdity of this British Ministry of Defence’s admission, let us recap how we got here.

Public Service Europe 20th June 2012 more >>

Son of Trident is an obsolete, Cold War, £20billion white elephant of a nuclear killing machine. Jihadi suicide bombers won’t be beaten by a missile on a sub under the Atlantic. Liberals in a ConDem poisonous embrace know new nukes are an ¬expensive waste, yet are powerless. Labour’s chicken, ¬frightened it’ll be called soft after stupidly ¬initiating Son of Trident. And, meanwhile, the poor bloody infantry get their P45s.

Daily Mirror 20th June 2012 more >>

HARD bargaining over Britain’s nuclear deterrent after Scottish independence could take years, MPs were told yesterday. Defence consultant Stuart Crawford predicted prolonged wrangling to Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee, but said an independent Scotland could support an army about one third the size of Denmark’s, but without tanks. While Scotland would not want Trident or its successor, it would demand essential equipment “in kind” that an independent Scotland actually required.

Express 21st June 2012 more >>

Renewables

Providing a boost for both the UK economy and the solar industry a Midlands-based company has today revealed plans to build a 30MW solar photovoltaics manufacturing plant in the UK. Sunsolar was granted a £5 million Government fund backed by Sandwell Council and the Regional Growth Fund which will be added to a £5 million company investment. This finance will be used to build the new PV manufacturing facility, which will be based in Oldbury. Sunsolar is one of just 50 companies to achieve successful grants from the Fund. The factory is due to be opened at the end of October and is expected to create almost 600 new jobs in the West Midlands.

Solar Power Portal 20th June 2012 more >>

PV Tech 20th June 2012 more >>

A Cabinet row has erupted over a plan by the Chancellor George Osborne to cut the subsidy for onshore wind farms by up to 25 per cent. Liberal Democrats have accused Mr Osborne of “playing politics” in an attempt to rebuild his reputation amongst Conservative MPs after his trouble-hit Budget in March. Nick Clegg and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary, are fighting Treasury demands for the £400m-a-year subsidy to be cut by between 20 and 25 per cent. The Lib Dems will support a limited reduction but argue that a big cut would put billions of pounds of investment in “green energy” at risk.

Independent 20th June 2012 more >>

Posted: 21 June 2012