News August 2013

31 August 2013

Sellafield

Sellafield nuclear plant workers have launched a campaign to attract fresh investment to the site. They are calling for a new nuclear power station in the area and the possible reuse of plutonium stocks. The Sellafield Workers Campaign said the plant could generate more than £1bn locally over the next five years. The Department for Energy and Climate Change acknowledged Cumbria’s role, but said the decision about the location of new plants was up to developers. Unite union national officer …

read more »

30 August 2013

Hinkley

The decision to approve the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station application was made on 19 March, and two JRs were launched against it. One was by the Irish equivalent of the National Trust on the ground that Ireland should have been consulted on transboundary effects and the second was by Greenpeace, on an alleged breach of policy on long-term storage of nuclear waste. The two Hinkley Point C claims have both been rolled up (i.e. the arguments as to …

read more »

29 August 2013

Dounreay

Option papers for the long-term management of radioactive material produced and stored at Dounreay were published by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in 2011 and 2012. The material, owned by the NDA, included ‘Exotic Fuels and Nuclear Material’ described as comprising unirradiated plutonium and high enriched uranium fuels and irradiated (spent) high enriched uranium fuel – the latter from the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) and other experimental work at Dounreay. In February this year the NDA announced that, for these …

read more »

28 August 2013

Energy Costs

A Labour Party commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector would add £125 to consumer energy bills by 2030, argues the Conservative Party. But the estimate relies on the assumption that the cost of wholesale electricity will remain the same – one of several factors that ensure the Conservatives’ figure is six times higher than a previous analysis suggests. The figure appears on a new website from Conservative Party headquarters, which claims Labour’s proposed policies will …

read more »

27 August 2013

Nuclear Accidents

Benjamin Sovacool: Last week’s new crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan saw radioactive water leak again from the crippled facility, raising fears that groundwater flowing into the Pacific Ocean could be contaminated. The Japanese government also raised the international incident level – the scale used to assess nuclear accidents – from one to three out of seven. The original nuclear meltdown following the 2011 Japanese earthquake was scaled seven. Even if Fukushima was ultimately caused by …

read more »

26 August 2013

Energy Policy

Nuclear may become obsolete. The UK risks missing out on the benefits of solar power by focusing too much on energy sources such as nuclear, according to the Scottish entrepreneur behind one of America’s fastest growing retail solar panel companies. “It alarms me to read the UK debate where there is talk about further subsidies to support a new nuclear plant that will generate its first electrons in 2023,” said Andrew Birch, chief executive of Sungevity, a solar company …

read more »

25 August 2013

New Nukes

Sir John Armitt has 47 years in the construction industry have included high-profile road and rail schemes and chairing the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the body that built the 2012 Games’ venues.This week he is expected to bring that experience to bear with a long-awaited report for Labour on what Britain should do about breaking the infrastructure deadlock. Armitt is clear: politics must be taken out of the process. Delivering big projects successfully needs consensus, just as it did …

read more »

24 August 2013

Heysham

Two reactors at Heysham 1 nuclear power station were shut down after an electrical fault in a gas turbine set off a sprinkler system on Thursday. Firefighters were called at 22:27 BST and four crews were sent to the scene from Lancaster, Bispham and Fulwood. EDF Energy, which operates the plant, said it had been shut down as a precaution.

read more »

23 August 2013

Sellafield

SELLAFIELD is taking on 120 new apprentices – its highest number for 30 years. It comes as a massive boost for youth employment in the area and has been warmly welcomed by the government. Aged between 16 and 18, the young recruits will embark on a three-year training course, with nuclear industry jobs guaranteed if they come through with flying colours. Sellafield’s new managing director, Tony Price, says there will be jobs on the site for many years ahead and …

read more »

22 August 2013

Energy Costs

Letter: The British public should be wary of those who claim that fracking will keep energy costs down. Way back in 1971, newspapers declared that “nuclear energy may soon be so cheap that the power can be virtually given away”. I was not convinced. Years later, in 1987, scientists said: “In the case of Sizewell, the benefits are the likelihood of cheaper electricity.” But electricity prices kept pace with inflation between 1971 and 1987 and have outstripped inflation in …

read more »