News November 2013

30 November 2013

Hinkley

It was hailed by UK Chancellor George Osborne as a “new dawn” – but serious questions remain about the security implications of Britain’s nuclear energy deal with China. The UK government has refused to say whether China’s planned investment in the British nuclear industry was approved by the National Security Council – the body that assess the risks from foreign investment in critical national infrastructure projects. Chancellor George Osborne announced during his trip to China in October that Chinese state …

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29 November 2013

Radwaste

Allerdale councillors are due to back a Government proposal to sideline the county council in any search for a new nuclear dump site. Allerdale’s executive committee is to meet next week to finalise the council’s response to the Department for Energy & Climate Change consultation over the revised search process announced in the summer. And in its draft response, which the executive is being recommended to lodge, it states that the authority agrees with an approach to “revise roles” in …

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28 November 2013

Plutonium

A radical plan to dispose of Britain’s huge store of civil plutonium – the biggest in the world – by “burning” it in a new type of fast reactor is now officially one of three “credible options” being considered by the Government, The Independent understands. However, further delays have hit attempts to make a final decision on what to do with the growing plutonium stockpile which has been a recurring headache for successive governments over the past three decades. Ministers …

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27 November 2013

Hinkley

PEOPLE looking for a home in the Bridgwater area are facing a massive struggle – with rents rocketing and Hinkley C about to crank up demand. That’s according to Sedgemoor District Council, whose housing team has published a report this week which says rents on some types of home in the district have more than doubled in just two years.

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26 November 2013

Nuclear Safety

Letter Andy Hall ONR: Your article on Japan’s nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima was right to recognise the need for the UK to learn from such a disaster. As regulator for the nuclear industry in the UK we identified some key lessons to take from this devastating incident. They are: the need for a systematic approach to identifying events that could lead to accidents; robust measures to prevent those events progressing this far; and effective periodic review of safety analyses, …

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25 November 2013

Politics

Chris Huhne: Did the prime minister really dismiss all that “green crap”, as the Sun claimed? Downing Street denies it, and I suspect that David Cameron has been the victim either of the Sun’s inaccuracy or of overenthusiastic team members assuming they know what he thinks. Either way, someone is running real risks with his image, one of the most valuable Tory polling assets. Cameron was certainly sincere when, that fresh spring day, I walked with him from Downing Street …

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24 November 2013

New Nukes

Almost without fail when the possibility of new nuclear power stations at Hinkley or Sizewell are mentioned it is stated that ‘they will create 25,000 jobs’. The local paper called it a ‘jobs bonanza’ – however, it equates to the equivalent of 12 permanent jobs per year for local people over a nine year period. Where did they get that figure from? After several attempts I was eventually told it was from an EDF document1. It only includes construction …

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23 November 2013

Hinkley

Nearly £8m was spent on Government advisers to broker the deal for the UK’s first nuclear power station in 20 years, an amount critics claim “stinks like a rotting fish’s head”. The lawyers Slaughter and May did best of the five consultants that spent 18 months in negotiations with energy giant EDF to secure the go-ahead for Somerset’s £14bn Hinkley Point C plant. The legal giant was handed a fee of £2.76m in October. This was when the Energy Secretary …

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22 November 2013

Torness

A nuclear reactor near Edinburgh shut down on Thursday because its seawater cooling system became clogged with seaweed. This is the second time this year that reactors at Torness in East Lothian have been forced to close because of excessive seaweed. In 2011 it was closed by a swarm of jellyfish. EDF Energy was criticised by the government’s nuclear safety inspectors over a seaweed blockage that closed down a Torness reactor in 2010. Inspectors identified “a number of areas where …

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21 November 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

Sweden, reviving its nuclear power, will not follow Britain’s example of offering state guarantees to fund the construction of new plants, its energy minister said on Wednesday. “We won’t address any direct or indirect subsidies for new nuclear power production in Sweden, which means that we will not introduce any feed-in tariff for nuclear,” Swedish Energy Minister Anna-Karin Hatt told reporters in Paris. “Nuclear in Sweden has to stand on its own, it has to bear its own cost, …

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