News July 2015

31 July 2015

Better Active Today than Radioactive Tomorrow

As the Tories slash renewable energy subsidies, plans to provide 35% of UK electricity by 2028 plough on regardless starting with a £76bn subsidy for Hinkley. If the current proposals ever come to fruition we could be looking at another 7GW of Small Modular Reactors at other sites including possibly Hartlepool and Transfynydd and a Chinese reactor at Bradwell, and maybe even 3GW of plutonium burning reactors at Sellafield. Time to Act – Better Active Today than Radioactive Tomorrow. For more on these see our latest issue of UK Nuclear News

No.76 August 2015 is now available for downloading here: http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo76.pdf

 

 

Posted: 31 July 2015

31 July 2015

Hinkley

Plans to build the first UK nuclear power station in over 20 years have taken a huge step forward with an announcement of which companies are set to be involved in the giant energy project. French firm EDF named a number of national and local Somerset companies or joint ventures as preferred bidders set to win contracts worth more than £1.3 billion to build Hinkley Point C. The firms include engineering giants Balfour Beatty, Doosan Babcock, Laing O’Rourke and Weir, and companies close to the Somerset site such as food producers Somerset Larder and bus organisation Somerset Passenger Solutions. EDF had previously announced four main preferred bidders for engineering and construction, including Paris-based Areva, Alstom and BouyguesTP.

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Posted: 31 July 2015

30 July 2015

Moorside

The Cumberland News reported yesterday in sycophantic mode on the “Fantastic” Feedback over Moorside Nuclear Power Station Plans. The article looks like it was pulled straight from NuGen PR Man (formerly Copeland Borough Council’s Lead Planning Officer) Fergus McMorrow’s press release and goes on to say: “Fergus McMorrow, NuGen’s planning lead in Cumbria, said: “We have had a fantastic response. The numbers of people through the doors, and those logging-on to use the online portal, has surpassed all our expectations. “It’s not just the sheer number of visitors that’s impressed us, but their level of interest and engagement. For example, we’ve had lots of people come back to see us on several occasions to find out more or to give us greater in-depth feedback”. No mention of the protests outside Whitehaven, Kendal, Carlisle and Penrith, protests which included music, leafletting, hundreds of people pledging to boycott Toshiba (Toshiba are 60% NuGen) and 8000 people signing the ongoing Stop Moorside petition.

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Posted: 30 July 2015

29 July 2015

Sellafield

Hundreds of staff who carry out radiation checks at the nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria are on strike. The GMB union says nearly four hundred health physics monitors responsible for checking radiation levels on staff and equipment have walked in a long-running dispute over pay. Sellafield bosses say the site will continue to be managed safely and securely throughout the industrial action.

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Posted: 29 July 2015

28 July 2015

Heysham

A nuclear reactor has gone offline in an unplanned outage, its operator has confirmed. The 660-megawatt reactor at the Heysham 2 site, near Morecambe, Lancashire, was taken offline at 13:48 BST because of “operational requirements”, EDF Energy told the BBC. The reactor will be offline for the next seven days, the company added. The cause of the unplanned outage has not yet been established and an investigation is under way. Heysham is the only site in the UK to have two operating nuclear power stations.

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Posted: 28 July 2015

27 July 2015

Wylfa

Regulators are concerned about a safety report for a planned new reactor at Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on Anglesey. Horizon Nuclear Power hopes the plant will start operating in the early 2020s and employ more than 1,000 people. But the reactor’s technology provider, Hitachi-GE, has been told to address a “serious regulatory shortfall”. The issue surrounds a lack of information over the use of Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) in the £8bn development. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) wants more details to “undertake a meaningful assessment against regulatory expectations”. Hitachi-GE said it had since submitted a resolution plan. The ONR uses a Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) in its generic design assessment (GDA) for the UK ABWR.

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Posted: 27 July 2015

26 July 2015

Hinkley

The Stop Hinkley Campaign has welcomed a speech by a former Tory Energy Secretary. Lord Howell of Guildford described the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station as “by far the biggest future burden on consumers and households”. Although he is “very pro-nuclear” Lord Howell said he “would shed no tears at all if the elephantine Hinkley C Project was abandoned. Lord Howell’s remarks come just one day after the current Secretary of State for Energy, Amber Rudd, said there is a “very good prospect” of a decision to build Britain’s first new nuclear plant finally being taken later this year. Ms Rudd told MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee that: Hinkley“… is going to be the first new nuclear plant in over 20 years so it is essential to me that we succeed in it.”

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Posted: 26 July 2015

25 July 2015

Energy Policy

Onshore wind, solar, green homes … we round up the measures that have gone under the knife in what some are calling the worst period for UK environmental policy in 30 years. Amber Rudd has been accused of “grotesque hypocrisy” today for claiming the government is leading on climate change while overseeing a string of attacks on green policies. Some environmentalists say it’s the worst period for environmental policy in three decades. We’ve rounded up the green measures that have been axed or find themselves in the firing line, to show the breadth and scale of the changes.

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Posted: 25 July 2015

24 July 2015

Sellafield

INSPECTORS have demanded action at Sellafield after it was revealed nuclear safety had been compromised. Officials found a failure to follow Operating Instructions at the Magnox Reprocessing Separation Plant has resulted in safety breaches. The report by ONR stated although no harm or release of radioactivity occurred these incidents “compromised” nuclear safety. It said the site was proactive in identifying some of the problems but it was “necessary” to issue the Improvement Notice, which must be complied with by September 30 next year. An inspector said: “The main area of concern was a failure to follow Operating Instructions, which are measures in place to keep the plant safe. Although no harm or release of radioactivity occurred, these incidents compromised nuclear safety.” There were 14 occasions in 2014 where safety limits and conditions were breached in the Magnox Reprocessing Separation plant. Bosses have pledged to improve the “shortfalls” with a programme developed prior to the Improvement Notice being served.

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Posted: 24 July 2015

23 July 2015

Hinkley

A Conservative former energy secretary has insisted the “elephantine” Hinkley C nuclear project in Somerset is “one of the worst deals ever” for British consumers and industry. Lord Howell of Guildford told peers he would “shed no tears” if the multi-billion pound development by French giant EDF Energy was abandoned in favour of smaller nuclear plants at a later date. He warned no reactor of the kind planned for Hinkley C has “ever been completed successfully”. Speaking during the second reading of the Energy Bill, Lord Howell told peers: “Far the biggest obligation or future burden on consumers and households is the Hinkley Point C nuclear project.

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Posted: 23 July 2015