Horizon, a joint venture between Germany’s two big utilities, Eon and RWE, plans to build a new station at Oldbury, and another at Wylfa on Anglesey, also home to an earlier generation of plant. The $64,000 – or rather £10 billion – question is which reactor design, French or Japanese, Horizon will choose. The stakes are high. It’s not only a giant construction contract up for grabs, but also Britain’s cunning plan to avoid relying on one supplier to deliver its ambitious strategy for a fleet of up to 13 new reactors. Horizon is one of three groups developing nuclear power plants in Britain. EDF, the giant French utility, is most advanced, with proposals for reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk. EDF will build plants from Areva, the French nuclear specialist. Areva’s technology has received interim approval from the British nuclear regulator. Only one other design can say the same – the AP1000 from Westinghouse, an American-headquartered company that was once owned by British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) but is now part of Toshiba of Japan. Many in the industry had assumed Horizon would choose Westinghouse. Insiders at the Department of Energy and Climate Change fervently hoped the Germans would do so, as it would achieve Whitehall’s goal of having two suppliers, not one. Recent reports have hinted, however, that Horizon may plump for Areva, giving the French – in the short-term at least – a monopoly on new British plants. The suggestion has triggered a frenzy of speculation in the nuclear industry, with suggestions that Areva may have won with a financially more attractive offer. Horizon declined to comment, but said it expected to make its announcement by the end of the month. Westinghouse also declined to comment.
Sunday Times 11th Feb 2012 more >>
The Stop New Nuclear alliance has hailed todays mass rally at Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station as the largest anti-nuclear protest in three decades. Over 1,000 people from all over the UK converged at the main gates of EDF Energys Somerset power station to mark the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster and to call for an end to the governments nuclear renaissance. Speaking from the demonstration, Martyn Rowe, a verteran anti-nuclear campaigner said he had not seen such a large turnout since the mass protest against the construction of the Torness nuclear power station in 1979.
Stop New Nuclear 10th Mar 2012 more >>
Hundreds of protesters have gathered at Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset to mark the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The demonstrators planned to blockade the site for 24 hours.
BBC 10th Mar 2012 more >>
A Japanese family who were forced to evacuate their home following the meltdown at the Fukushima plant one year ago will address a rally at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset today.
Jack FM 10th Mar 2012 more >>
Electricite de France SA temporarily shut down reactor 2 at its Hartlepool power station in England for planned refuelling, the company said in an e- mailed statement today. EDF is carrying out scheduled outages at its Dungeness B, Heysham 1 and Hartlepool plants, where normal operations will resume in the coming weeks.
Bloomberg 10th Mar 2012 more >>
The UK and France have pledged to cooperate in a new era of nuclear energy and a replacement station is expected to be built in Wales at the site of the Wylfa reactor on Anglesey. Albert Owen, the local Labour MP is very optimistic that it will be a source of both plentiful carbon-free energy and thousands of high-quality jobs in a region battered by the recession. Gareth Clubb of Friends of the Earth Cymru wants Wales to respond to Fukushima by turning its back on nuclear. He looks at a proposed development across the Bristol channel and dreads the local consequences of any future disaster. Campaigner Richard George told Wales on Sunday as he made his way to Hinkley that Britain needed a balanced energy supply which protects consumers from volatile energy prices and all of us from climate change. He said: Nuclear cant do that, because its too costly and takes too long to build. We need to focus on energy saving first, then invest in clean, safe and decentralised renewable energy.
Wales Online 11th Mar 2012 more >>
At last, a pair of 20’s in the north west on the flasks. Firstly seen at Bare Lane and then second leaving Carnforth heading north to Sellafield.
You Tube 6th March 2012 more >>
A plan to move nuclear fuel from Dounreay in Caithness to Sellafield in Cumbria should involve rail transport, a local authority has said. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has still to determine the mode of transport for material which is classed as “exotics”. It includes fuel containing highly-enriched uranium. Highland Council said moving such material by rail would be safer than by road.
BBC 11th Mar 2012 more >>
You probably didnt notice but, at the end of February, Oldbury nuclear power plant, on the banks of the River Severn in Gloucestershire, shut after 45 years of operation. If it were any other variety of industrial plant, they would soon be dismantling it. But once the nuclear fuel is removed, the nuclear boffins dont plan to touch it again until at least 2096, when the difficult and expensive task of dismantling the reactor and disposing of the thousands of tonnes of radioactive rubble will begin.
Daily Mail 11th March 2012 more >>
I t says something for how Britain’s nuclear establishment worked from the start that when Windscale No1 Pile caught fire in October 1957, it was hushed up so well that even with 11 tons of uranium ablaze for three days, the reactor close to collapse and radioactive material spreading across the Lake District, the people who worked there were expected to keep quiet and carry on making plutonium for the bomb. This was Britain’s worst-ever nuclear accident, but no one was evacuated, no iodine pills were distributed, work went on and most people were not even told about the fire. But, thanks to Sellafield Stories, a book of interviews with nearly 100 people who worked there, lived nearby or whose lives have been linked to the vast West Cumbrian nuclear complex, we know more now about how people really reacted.
Observer 11th Mar 2012 more >>
When the Fukushima Daiichi facility crumbled a year ago, many were left wondering whether the nuclear sector would ultimately stay standing. Although the industry is shaken, much of the global community remains resilient and is determined to cross cultural barriers to enact sound safety protocols.
Forbes 10th Mar 2012 more >>
Newsnight on Fukushima, starting @ 10.33 with Camilla Berens in studio debate.
BBC 9th Mar 2012 more >>
Paul Dorfman debated post-Fukushima, post-Chernobyl health effects with Prof Roger Cashmore FRS (former Principal of Brasenose), on R4 ‘Today’, Sat 10 March, prime-time 8.45am, see 1.45.30 into the programme.
BBC 10th Mar 2012 more >>
Industry leaders remain bullish on nuclear power’s prospects in coming decades, in part because of the high priority that has been placed on identifying and addressing potential weaknesses such as were revealed last year at Fukushima Daiichi.
World Nuclear News 9th Mar 2012 more >>
Twenty years after we published the first World Nuclear Industry Status Report, some basic statistics on the situation in 2012one year after the Fukushima tragedy was triggeredare now available on the newly created website As of 1 March 2012, there were 429 units operating, 15 less than at the historic peak ten years ago. The number of reactors has fallen back to the level of the late 1980s. Some countries have decided to phase-out nuclear power. Many projects have been abandoned, others have been delayed. Only 2 of Japans 54 reactors are currently operating. We are also pleased to announce that the full collection of six reports between 1992 and 2011 can now be downloaded . If you are interested, you can sign up to get notified when the full World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012 report will be available in late April 2012.
World Status Report 11th Mar 2012 more >>
An energy company whose sales staff made misleading claims to customers has agreed a £3.5 million payout for needy households as part of a settlement with the regulator. Ofgem said EDF Energy’s doorstep staff failed to provide potential customers with complete information during the sales process, while those in its call centres made claims about savings before knowing their statements were accurate. In the wake of its marketing licence breaches, EDF the Westcountry’s biggest energy supplier and the company behind the Hinkley Point nuclear development in Somerset has agreed to set aside £3.5 million for a £50 refund to about 70,000 customers who have received its Warm Homes Discount. It will also be making a £1 million donation to an energy awareness campaign run by Citizens Advice.
Western Morning News 10th Mar 2012 more >>
A year on from the destruction of the Fukushima nuclear plant, Danielle Demetriou meets the fire crews who braved deadly radiation to thwart all-out catastrophe.
Telegraph 10th Mar 2012 more >>
Interactive graphic of the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima power plant crisis and the effect of radiation.
Telegraph 11th Mar 2012 more >>
The Sunday Mirror was given exclusive access to a submarine to see what lies in store for the new wave of ¬female recruits. I join the 160-strong male crew on HMS Victorious, one of four Royal Navy subs that carry Britains nuclear deterrent, Trident ballistic missiles. She spends three months at a time sneaking around the ocean at walking pace, her exact position known to only a ¬handful of ¬people. If another ¬vessel comes near, she is undetectable and slinks off into the abyss.
Sunday Mirror 11th Mar 2012 more >>
AN SNP MSP has claimed that an independent Scotland could force the UK to abandon its nuclear weapons. Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie said relocating Trident bases at Faslane and Coulport was not a serious option. Under those circumstances, he argued that if an independent Scotland remained firm to the SNP policy of not having nuclear weapons, it could force the abandonment of the Trident programme.
Scotsman 10th Mar 2012 more >>
Too few people have been trained to make our homes greener, threatening the scheme to refurbish 14m draughty homes by 2020. The initiative promises to refurbish 14m draughty homes by 2020. Yet t he scheme is threatened by a shortage of “green” building skills, according to a damning new industry report by the Green Deal Skills Alliance (GDSA), which is responsible for overseeing training and accreditation. In all, 425 employers and training providers were surveyed, but only half of their installers had the basic skills required by the scheme. The survey also revealed that little more than half of the employers had heard of the scheme. The research will help the skills alliance draw up a programme of training, resulting in the award of a Green Deal quality mark.
Sunday Times 11th Mar 2012 more >>
A boom in exploiting underground gas is facing mounting opposition from communities and environmentalists worried about the contamination of water supplies and climate pollution. An investigation by the Sunday Herald has discovered there are 10 sites across the central belt and in the south-west being explored and developed for methane, with the prospect of many more to come. The flammable gas can be extracted by drilling, draining and pumping, sometimes using the controversial “fracking” technique, whereby high-pressure water is used to fracture deep-lying rocks to the extract gas. But critics warn that, whether or not fracking is used, the risks that groundwater will be polluted and public health put at risk are “unacceptably high”. They also fear that exploiting the gas will make it impossible for Scotland to meet its target to cut carbon emissions. A major Australian company, Dart Energy, is behind most of the plans in Scotland to extract coal-bed methane, which it believes is a potentially huge resource.
Sunday Herald 11th Mar 2012 more >>