News December 2015

31 December 2015

Wylfa

Britain’s oldest nuclear plant closed on Wednesday, leaving in its wake a £700m decommissioning bill and further questions about the UK’s ability to keep the lights on. The closure of the Wylfa plant in Wales after 44 years of service puts more pressure on EDF Energy to take a final investment decision for new reactors at Hinkley in Somerset. The station on the island of Anglesey generated enough electricity to power 1m homes, and with a capacity of 1,000MW was …

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30 December 2015

Hinkley

China is intent on exporting its nuclear expertise but in the UK scrutiny is increasing. Hinkley Point, in Somerset, is home to a working nuclear plant and twin disused Magnox reactors. Now David Cameron, UK prime minister, wants the site to host the first of a new generation of reactors that he envisages will replace Britain’s ageing nuclear fleet by 2030. Under a commercial pact struck during October’s state visit to London by Chinese president Xi Jinping, CGN will take …

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29 December 2015

Bradwell

The news that radioactive discharges into the Blackwater estuary from the former Bradwell nuclear power station now seem set to continue for a further 4 years was met with indignation by the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG). ‘This is scandalous’, said Varrie Blowers, Secretary of BANNG. ‘The deadline for the entry of the former Bradwell nuclear power station into its Care and Maintenace (C & M) state keeps shifting. At the Local Communities Liaison Committee (LCLC) meeting on 3 …

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28 December 2015

Sellafield

FRESH fears over security around Britain’s nuclear plants were raised last night after police arrested three men near Sellafield. The base is on a heightened alert following last month’s terror attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded. The North West Counter Terrorism Unit revealed that the three were detained in woodland close to the high-security site after a tip-off from a concerned passer-by. The arrests happened in the early hours of Monday, December 7, but …

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27 December 2015

Plutonium

BRITAIN faces a real terror threat over its huge stockpile of plutonium – the biggest in the world – but ministers still have no clear plan for disposing of the nuclear material, a leading expert has warned. According to official figures more than 126 tonnes of civil plutonium was being held in the UK as of December 2014, with just 3-4 kg of the substance needed to power a nuclear weapon. The world’s largest store of the radioactive substance is …

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26 December 2015

Nukes vs Climate

Nuclear power is often touted as being an important tool in the array of measures needed to help prevent climate change. Some environmentalists and climate scientists have recently been gaining attention because of their support for nuclear power as a tool for helping reduce our CO2 emissions. However, even though the goal of dramatically reducing CO2 emissions is critically important, there are still many reasons to be skeptical of nuclear power as the solution for creating a long-term …

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24 December 2015

Nukes vs Climate

Linda Gunter In response to the Dec. 13 column on nuclear power: In 2003 an MIT study recognized that to achieve a significant CO2 reduction, a new reactor would have to come on line every two weeks. With existing construction delays and ballooning cost overruns, it’s an impossible target. The myth that Germany’s renunciation of nuclear led to increased use of coal is contradicted by the facts. Germany is a net exporter of electricity, which has driven a …

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23 December 2015

Oldbury

The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in 2011 shook the world. It might seem a very long way from this Severn-side town, but Lydney is making plans for its own emergency procedure should the unimaginable happen. It’s not such a preposterous idea as you might think. Horizon Nuclear Power announced plans in 2011 to develop a massive new nuclear electricity generating capacity across its two sites, Anglesey and Oldbury by 2025.

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22 December 2015

Nukes vs Climate

Peter Bradford: In the 15th year of the era formerly known as “the nuclear renaissance,” not a single molecule of carbon dioxide emission has been avoided by a renaissance reactor built in the United States or in Europe. Unless the 40-year-old Watts Bar 2 reactor scheduled to operate in Tennessee early in 2016 is called “renaissance,” this situation will not change for several more years. Climate change, so urgent and so seemingly intractable, has become the last refuge …

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21 December 2015

Energy Policy

The rest of the world is powering ahead on renewables and we’re being left behind,’ writes Green party leader Natalie Bennett. Small- and medium-sized enterprises around the country who’ve invested in training staff – and could be taking on many more apprentices to improve Britain’s skill base – for solar installation and home energy efficiency could be given a secure future by a sensible response to the feed-in tariff consultation and a recognition that housing is part of our …

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