News

24 January 2012

New Nukes

Lawyers send complaint to European Commission about subsidies for nuclear power. A formal complaint about subsidies for nuclear power has been sent to the European Commission. If it is upheld, it unlikely that any new nuclear power stations will be built in the UK or elsewhere in the EU. The complaint may be followed by legal action in the courts or actions by politicians to reduce or remove subsidies for nuclear power. The complaint has been prepared by lawyers for the Energy Fair group, with several other environmental groups and environmentalists.

Energy Fair Press Release 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Response Resource 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear power could be blocked from being developed in the UK and European Union (EU) if a complaint over Government subsidies sent by lawyers to the European Commission is upheld.

New Civil Engineer 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Mike Childs, Head of Policy, Research and Science at Friends of the Earth, said: “The UK coalition government promised that nuclear power should not get any subsidies. That was a sensible decision that recognised that time-limited subsidies should only be given to new technologies, such as wind, solar, wave and tidal, to enable them to develop, become mature and be competitive. It’s time for the nuclear subsidies to stop and this legal case is a useful contribution in achieving that aim.”

Engineer Live 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Oldbury

IT IS the final countdown for Oldbury Nuclear Power Station as it has confirmed it will be shutting down its last reactor on February 29. The site’s operational life was supposed to end more than three years ago but was extended until 2012 due its outstanding production record. In that time, the plant has generated an additional seven terawatt hours of electricity, worth an estimated £300 million to the taxpayer.

Gloucestershire Gazette 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Three Somerset councils are paying for a feasibility study into a Bridgwater bypass in a bid to force EDF to finance the road. Somerset County, West Somerset and Sedgemoor District councils want the road included in EDF plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

BBC 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

French energy giant EDF must do more to prevent construction of a new nuclear power station bringing traffic chaos, a housing crisis and a “boom and bust” economy, Somerset councils have warned. Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council revealed their submissions last night as the deadline passed to register interest in the mammoth planning application for the proposed twin-reactor Hinkley C plant.

Western Daily Press 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Heysham

EDF Energy, Britain’s biggest nuclear power provider, resumed output its 610 megawatt Heysham 1-1 plant following an 11-day outage to refuel the reactor, EDF said on Monday.

Reuters 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Platts 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

CUMBRIA is “sleep walking” towards accepting a nuclear dump that will change the Lake District forever, campaigners have claimed. Save Our Lake District, Don’t Dump Cumbria has formed to oppose building an underground dump for Britain’s nuclear waste. The group formed as the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely partnership’s consultation drop-in sessions got under way. The campaign has been backed by a prominent geologist and members have been attending the drop-in sessions across the county.

NW Evening Mail 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

It’s important to put those two phrases together – ‘radioactive waste’ ‘Lake District’. The Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership talks of ‘West Cumbria’ as if this was some form of off shore zone away from the teashops of Keswick and Buttermere. But the expression of interest in MRWS came from the borough councils of Copeland and Allerdale, and from the county council for Cumbria as a whole, though expressed only for the districts of Copeland and Allerdale. Significant parts of both boroughs are in the Lake District National Park.

Little Spider 11th Jan 2012 more >>

Kendal Museum will be holding an exhibition of specially created artworks based on Lakeland Geology. Lakeland geology is of intense interest as it is being considered for the geological disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. Associated with the exhibition will be a series of lectures and workshops examining this topic.

Kendal Museum 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

A team of U.N. nuclear experts on Monday began a review of tests conducted by Japan to prove the safety of its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima radiation crisis.

Reuters 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Guardian 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

The health ministry has not added up the radiation doses received by workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant while they were evacuated or are not at work, ministry officials and supporters of the workers said Saturday, prompting concerns about adequacy of the current radiation control.

Mainichi 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have issued a statement amid EU oil sanctions imposed against Iran today. The move comes after Britain joined the United States and France in sending a flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz as tensions escalate of over the regime’s controversial nuclear programme.

Huffington Post 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

EU Business 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Telegraph 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

EUROPEAN Union governments yesterday agreed to an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, buy or transport Iranian crude oil, a move to put pressure on Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme by shutting off its main source of foreign income.

City AM 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Britain ‘will not accept’ Iran’s bid to develop a nuclear weapon, David Cameron warned last night, as military tensions between the rogue state and the West escalated. In a rare joint statement with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Cameron warned Tehran it would face economic isolation unless it abandoned its nuclear ambitions ‘immediately’. They added: ‘We have no quarrel with the Iranian people. But the Iranian leadership has failed to restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. We will not accept Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.’

Daily Mail 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

A visit to Iran by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is being seen by western diplomats as a first key test of whether Tehran might negotiate over its atomic programme after the imposition of tough new European Union sanctions.

FT 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

US

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has taken first step to spur manufacturing of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the country. The department said it will establish cost-shared agreements with private industry to support the design and licensing of the SMRs.

Energy Business Review 23td Jan 2012 more >>

Submarines

Campaigners are holding a meeting to give people a last chance to have their say on the dismantling of nuclear submarines – labelled the most important decision to face Plymouth for five generations. Groups including the Campaign Against Nuclear Storage and Radiation (CANSAR) and the Green Party want people to speak out on the Ministry of Defence’s plans on Wednesday. The MoD has held an extensive consultation over the last two months on how the Navy should dispose of its ageing fleet of nuclear submarines. The plans are to store intermediate waste in Devonport or Scotland and the deadline for submitting a response is February 17. Organisers of the meeting in the city centre are calling the issue “the most important decision affecting the people of Plymouth in five generations”. Ian Avent, of CANSAR, said Plymouth could effectively become a “nuclear scrapyard”. He added the plans could see waste being stored in Plymouth for 100 years. Mr Avent said: “What impact will this have on a city with aspirations as a world city of tourism? Plans for an underground storage of waste are still only on paper and I think forecasts that it will be ready by 2040 are optimistic.” The groups, also including the Nuclear Submarine Forum and Transition Plymouth, want waste dispersed at several sites, including Scotland.

Western Morning News 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Russia on Monday finally transferred the much-expected K-152 Nerpa nuclear-powered attack submarine – an Akula-II Class submarine – on a 10-year lease to the Indian Navy, Russian news agencies reported.

Daily Mail 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

The Government is setting up Britain’s first “marine energy park” in the South-west of England as it hopes to address criticisms that its pre-election claim to be the “greenest government ever” was a sham. Greg Barker, the climate change minister, announced that the South West Marine Energy Park will stretch from Bristol to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, 28 miles off the Cornish coast. He believes that marine energy has the potential to generate up to 27 gigawatts of power in Britain by 2050, equivalent to the amount produced by eight coal-fired power stations.

Independent 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Energy regulator Ofgem signalled it was likely to approve up to £7.6bn of infrastructure investment to connect new Scottish wind farms and other renewable power generators to the UK grid.

Telegraph 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Times 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Herald 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Scotsman 24th Jan 2012 more >>

A £2.6 billion investment in boosting Scottish electricity networks that will create 1,500 jobs has been announced by ScottishPower. The company said the work, to be carried out between 2013 and 2021, was the most important upgrade to the electricity network in the Central belt and the South of Scotland for 60 years.

Times 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Yesterday it emerged that a plan to invest more than £7bn in the Scottish network to modernise its high-speed grids is to be fast-tracked by the energy regulator Ofgem. Upgrade plans from Scottish Power and SSE were launched, ahead of the National Grid’s proposals for England and Wales. The proposals include vital subsea cables to the Scottish islands and to England. The Scottish Government’s challenging renewables target relies on being able to sell surplus electricity to English consumers. Scottish Power will use its investment to connect around 11 gigawatts of onshore and offshore wind power projects, as well as doubling the electricity export capacity between Scotland and England.

Herald 24th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 24 January 2012

23 January 2012

Radhealth

A new French study of childhood leukaemia near nuclear power plants has found a statistically significant increase in leukaemia in children below age 15 in 2002-2007 within 5 km of 19 French NPPs. The French finding is persuasive as it was determined in two separate ways. First, by a comprehensive nationwide case-control study. And second, by a conventional incidence study. Many newspapers in France (but none in the UK) carried this story prominently, but in fact it is the fourth European study showing this result. After the shocking results of the KiKK study in 2007, further studies with the same or similar findings were carried out in Germany, Great Britain, and Switzerland.

Ian Fairlie 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Up until very recently, it had proved impossible to obtain information on the time patterns of radioactive emissions from NPPs. Despite requests, UK nuclear utilities and Government regulators repeatedly refuse to publish any time-related data: annual emissions, OK: but not monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly emissions. Is this important? Yes. I’ve suspected for some time that most nuclide emissions from nuclear reactors are not spread evenly across the whole year but during short refuelling episodes which occur about once a year and which last a few days or so. These short spikes could explain a matter which has puzzled radiation protection agencies for decades. In the light of the new German data, it is recommended half-hourly emissions data from all UK reactors should be disclosed and that the issue of childhood cancer increases near NPPs be re-examined.

Ian Fairlie 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

Over 300 protestors took to the rainy streets of Llangefni on the afternoon of Saturday 21 January 2012 to express their opposition to Wylfa B, in a colourful rally supported by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, PAWB (Pobl Atal Wylfa B/People Against Wylfa B) and Greenpeace.

CND Cymru 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Energy Scenarios

A row over the costs of Britain’s future energy mix has escalated after trade body Scottish Renewables demanded that a controversial economic report be made public. The paper by accountancy firm KPMG and analysts at AF Consult claimed that the UK could meet its carbon dioxide (CO2)-reduction targets without the need to produce higher levels of renewable energy. Figures from energy regulator Ofgem suggest it will cost the UK some £108 billion to hit its 2020 target of cutting the amount of CO2 emitted by 34 per cent, compared to 1990’s levels. But the KPMG report claims £34bn could be sliced off the total by concetrating on gas-fired and nuclear power stations instead of off-shore wind, which adds £10bn to the bill. Those figures were revealed in November in a press release that the accountancy firm claims was “leaked”. The issue was brought to a h ead when the data formed part of a documentary by the BBC’s Panorama television series. The press release said the report was based on the “pure economics” of producing energy and that other factors, such as job creation, also needed to be taken into account. Now Scottish Renewables wants KPMG to publish the full report so that it can examine the calculations made to reach the figures.

Scotland on Sunday 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Before the month of January is out, the US Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future will unveil the result of its two year-long investigation into what to do with the accumulated radioactive waste at the country’s nuclear power plants. By this year’s end, that waste will constitute a mountain 70 years high, with the first cupful generated on December 2, 1942 at the Fermi lab not far from Chicago when scientists first created a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

Counterpunch 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Scotland

Scotland’s drive for full independence from the United Kingdom could complicate nuclear decommissioning and cleanup operations in Scotland and frustrate UK officials’ plans for a geological disposal facility (GDF) just across the border in England. Some of Scotland’s nuclear waste has and continues to cross its southern border to the Sellafield nuclear waste complex in northwest England. English MP Jamie Reed, representing the district around Sellafield, said during a January 10 debate in the House of Commons that Scotland should take back its waste if it achieves independence. But Scottish independence also threatens to complicate UK officials’ plans for a GDF. The UK government has been urging the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to speed up plans for the GDF, but the design of such a facility will depend on the inventory of waste to be buried in it.

i-Nuclear.com 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Druridge Bay

Letter Bridget Gubbins: Why don’t we go for a new nuclear power station, here in Northumberland? That way we could justify our opposition to wind turbines. It would be easy to dust off the plans which were made after six months of detailed test drilling in 1983. Please would any readers who would like to campaign for a nuclear power station at Druridge Bay contact me?

Northumberland Gazette 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran faces tough new sanctions from the European Union over its nuclear programme as foreign ministers are set to meet in Brussels to discuss an oil embargo. Diplomats are expected to agree later on phasing in an oil and financial embargo against Tehran over a period of between five and eight months.

Sky 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

As present, Japan generates from renewable sources 10 percent of its electricity needs, including 8 per cent from hydropower. It is the world’s fourth-largest solar market with 3.8 gigawatts (GW) installed capacity and has 2.5 GW installed wind power capacity. Federal government is likewise bolstering efforts to increase investor and business participation in solar projects, another form of clean energy. Japan’s solar market is also seen to boom, with the head of the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association predicting domestic shipments of solar panels will grow ten-fold. The master plan options are expected to be presented by the end of March, after which the new plan will take effect in summer.

IB Times 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Submarines

FIRE crews were called to Devonport Naval Base after reports of a blaze on board a nuclear submarine. Two appliances from Camels Head fire station and one from Crownhill were called to deal with the small fire aboard nuclear powered ‘hunter-killer’ submarine, HMS Talent.

Plymouth Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

An aquatic “bicycle pump” is set to take to the seas and turn wave power into clean electricity after being acquired by green energy company Ecotricity. The Searaser device, which pumps saltwater to an onshore generator, has been tested in prototype and praised by ministers.

Guardian 23rd Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 23 January 2012

22 January 2012

Scotland

THOUSANDS of tonnes of deadly nuclear waste would be returned to Scotland from south of the Border if the SNP wins independence, a Labour MP has claimed. Jamie Reed, whose constituency includes Sellafield, said it would be against British law for Europe’s largest atomic plant to retain toxic material from a “foreign country”. He said an independent Scotland would have a “legal and moral responsibility” to take back waste from six current and historic nuclear reactors – at Dounreay, Hunterston, Torness and Chapelcross.

Express 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Hunterston

The company that runs the nuclear reactors at Hunterston in North Ayrshire is warning that their safety could be jeopardised by plans to build a huge coal-fired power station next door. EDF Energy says that the construction and operation of the controversial new plant could block the evacuation routes of staff and deprive its site of electricity and vital cooling water in an emergency. It is also worried that discharges from the coal plant could compromise reactor cooling systems. The French nuclear company has lodged a formal objection to an application by Ayrshire Power to build a £3 billion coal station at Hunterston. Following rejection of the application, which attracted more than 20,000 objections, by North Ayrshire Council in November, the Scottish Government has now confirmed that it will go to a public inquiry later this year.

Sunday Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Rob Edwards 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

IF it wasn’t so frightening, it would be like a scene from The Simpsons: the sea near the Hunterston nuclear power station in Ayrshire is glowing spookily green. Don’t be afraid, however, because it has nothing to do with radioactive leaks spawning three-eyed fish – or so we are told. A local resident raised the alarm after spotting a patch of luminous green on the satellite photographs of the site published online by Google Earth. There is an equally vivid area visible just inside the site boundary. Given the nature of the site, first thoughts were of plutonium or some other nuclear nasties contaminating the water and endangering locals’ health. But not so, says EDF Energy, the French company that generates electricity from the Hunterston B reactors. The green glow has a more mundane explanation: bubbling water. Pete Roche, a nuclear consultant and former Government radiation adviser, said: “No matter how green the glow from Hunterston it cannot make nuclear power an environmentally sound energy source. We still have nowhere to put the highly dangerous waste and there are continuous reports of health problems associated with radiation emissions even without any accidents like Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.”

Sunday Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Rob Edwards 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

More than 200 people attend a rally on Anglesey to back a farmer who refuses to sell his land for the development of a new generation nuclear power station. Dairy farmer Richard Jones’ family has farmed at Caerdegog near Llanfechell for 300 years. He said losing 65 acres of their best agricultural land plus another 20 acres they rent would make the farm unviable. Horizon Nuclear Power says it has listened to the family and is looking again at the matter in great detail.

BBC 21st Jan 2012 more >>

LANGUAGE campaigners say the opposition to Wylfa B is a fight for Welsh language communities, while others oppose the plant over safety fears and the nuclear waste. They say there is growing opposition to the plan over concerns about the pressure on local communities when thousands of workers start the construction project. Menna Machreth, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg’s spokesperson for Gwynedd-Môn commented: “Everyone claims that the whole island is in favour of nuclear, but that does not stand up to scrutiny.

Daily Post 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Dounreay

TRAINS are set to start transporting spent nuclear material from Dounreay through Inverness in the summer but the exact times and dates will not be disclosed due to fears of possible terrorist attack. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has confirmed trains carrying the “breeder” material will travel through the region from the decommissioned Caithness nuclear power station to Sellafield in England for reprocessing.

Inverness Courier 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Cumbria

New report by Environment Agency says river levels may fall by 80% as a result of climate change and the growing population.

Observer 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Politics

Chris Huhne has sanctioned an extraordinary attack on Downing Street “dirty tricks”, as his cabinet career hangs by a thread over his alleged attempt to cover up a speeding offence. As the Crown Prosecution Service considers whether to bring charges against the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, friends of Mr Huhne accused David Cameron’s press secretary, Gabby Bertin, of briefing against him over plans for a new royal yacht – a claim she denies.

Independent 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

In the fall, as this valley’s rice paddies ripened into a carpet of gold, inspectors came to check for radioactive contamination. Onami sits just 35 miles northwest of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which spewed radioactive cesium over much of this rural region last March. However, the government inspectors declared Onami’s rice safe for consumption after testing just two of its 154 rice farms. Then, a few days later, a skeptical farmer in Onami, who wanted to be sure his rice was safe for a visiting grandson, had his crop tested, only to find it contained levels of cesium that exceeded the government’s safety limit. In the weeks that followed, more than a dozen other farmers also found unsafe levels of cesium. An ensuing panic forced the Japanese government to intervene, with promises to test more than 25,000 rice farms in eastern Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located. The uproar underscores how, almost a year after a huge earthquake and tsunami caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan is still struggling to protect its food supply from radioactive contamination.

New York Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Fukushima Daiichi meltdown has profoundly changed the face of nuclear power in Japan, and may result in a complete shift toward alternate sources of energy for the nation.

Earth & Industry 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Fukushima Update 17th to 19th Jan.

Greenpeace International 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Trident

The defence secretary, Philip Hammond, warned that, after independence, Scotland would have to pay “billions” for the cost of relocating Trident. This wasn’t quite in the same league as losing the pandas, but was equally daft. I don’t recall the Ukraine being required to build bases in Russia for the nuclear weapons it returned in 1994. Scotland never asked for weapons of mass destruction in the first place. Anyway, there’s a simple enough solution: Trident nuclear warheads are moved by road convoy every year from Coulport to Aldermaston near Reading. Maybe they could just make a one-way trip in 2014. Scotland could pay for the diesel.

Herald 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

Giant wind turbines nearly 1,000ft tall and five times more powerful than anything yet built in Britain could soon be installed around the coast under an European Union-backed scheme to boost renewable energy production. The “super-turbine” design has emerged from the pan- European UpWind research project funded by the EU. Its aim was to analyse wind turbine design to see whether it was technically feasible to build much larger machines than currently available. Britain has about 470 wind turbines around its shores but the government wants thousands more and provides generous subsidies to wind farm operators. Existing machines typically have a maximum capacity of no more than 3 megawatts (Mw), and are about 400ft high, although some 5Mw machines are being tested. The proposed “super-turbines” would have a capacity of about 20Mw and stand two or three times higher.

Sunday Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Southwest England may not have the high-tech chutzpah of California, but Greg Barker, the climate change minister, hopes that one day it will rival the ground-breaking entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley. Rather than computing, he wants the area between Bristol and the Scilly Isles to make its name with renewable power. Tomorrow he is due to announce the creation of a marine energy park that will bring together the region’s universities, green technology companies and politicians. The park will not be a specific location, however. It will be a network designed to boost investment in wave and offshore wind power, and to generate jobs in cities such as Plymouth, which have been hit hard by the decline of traditional industries such as shipbuilding.

Sunday Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

If Scotland breaks away from the union, its thriving clean energy sector could lose billions in support from UK taxpayers

Sunday Times 22nd Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 22 January 2012

21 January 2012

Nuclear Subsidy

Complaint to European Commission on the legality of UK nuclear policy could stall massive new build programme. Environmental groups and politicians are making a complaint to the European Commission about the UK’s nuclear market policy, which could stall the building of new nuclear power plants. The complaint, organised by pressure group Energy Fair and backed by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, alleges the government’s energy policy amounts to a subsidy for nuclear power, which contravenes European laws.

Building 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Edie 20th Jan 2012 more >>

BBC 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Solar Power Portal 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Business Green 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

A register enabling people to have their say over the planned Hinkley C power station has attracted 700 people since it was launched in November. The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), which deals with large-scale projects, is setting up the register. If people do not sign up, they will be unable to submit their views while the application is scrutinised by the IPC.

BBC 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Town councillors have expressed concerns regarding the potential impact that extra construction workers at the proposed Hinkley Point C will have on Burnham-On-Sea’s resources. EDF’s planned development of a new nuclear power station is a worry.

Burnham-on-sea.com 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Sellafield

West Cumbria’s planned new nuclear power station has taken another step forward after the company behind it applied for an electricity generation licence. NuGeneration wants to build two reactors on land north of the existing Sellafield site. The firm – a consortium involving energy giants Iberdrola and GDF Suez – is currently exploring the financial viability of a plant and is expected to make a final decision on whether it will go ahead by 2015.

Cumberland News 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Dounreay

Plans to transport tonnes of hazardous material through Scotland have raised fears in communities along the likely route.

Dundee Courier 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Supply Chain

A PROJECT between Sheffield Forgemasters and a major nuclear industry supply company which was set to be helped with a share of the steelmaker’s £37 million Government loan has been called off. The Star understands the Brightside Lane company was in discussions with Westinghouse about a new deal to supply forgings but that no agreement was reached. Forgemasters says the Government loan, agreed in the Autumn from the Regional Growth Fund after controversy about the cancellation of a previous £80m loan promised by the last Government, is not specific to any clients. The company has not yet decided how it will be used. Chief executive Graham Honeyman said: “The Regional Growth Fund project at Forgemasters is still undergoing consideration and consultation, necessary to determine specific details, timing and further planning.”

Sheffield Star 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

A SERIES of steps on a very long road which could end with the building of a massive nuclear dump in Cumbria began this week. On Wednesday Millom was the first of 12 towns in the county to host drop-in sessions run by the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership.

NW Evening Mail 20th Jan 2012 more >>

EVERY Copeland resident should get the chance to vote on whether highly radioactive waste should be buried in the area, a meeting has heard.

News & Star 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear Safety

Kevin Allars, director for new-build at the Office for Nuclear Regulation, explains how the regulators aim to ensure a safe future for atomic power in the UK

Professional Engineering 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Politics

Chris Huhne’s political career received a blow on Friday after detectives gained access to documents which may help to decide whether he can be charged with a criminal offence.

Guardian 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Areva

A senior director at Areva, France’s state-owned nuclear champion, has confirmed that he did hire a Swiss intelligence firm to examine its disastrous €1.8bn purchase of a uranium miner but denied that it was part of a plot against Anne Lauvergeon, the company’s former chief executive.

FT 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

The view from an endoscope pushed inside one of the nuclear reactors that was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan in March 2011.

Telegraph TV 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Telegraph 20th Jan 2012 more >>

ITN 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

The toughest sanctions yet imposed on Iran will be unveiled by the European Union on Monday amid warnings it could be the last chance to resolve the nuclear stand-off before military strikes are considered.

Independent 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Microgeneration

This week’s Micro Power News available, including update of solar court battle.

Microgenscotland.org.uk 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 21 January 2012

20 January 2012

New Nukes

A group of politicians and environmentalists are trying to block the building of new nuclear power stations in Britain by submitting a formal complaint to the European commission. The challenge has been prepared by lawyers acting for a new campaign group, Fair Energy, and is focused on what they claim are seven subsidies potentially on offer to EDF and others.

Guardian 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Utility Week 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, which is running the public consultation on the search for a site for a deep underground radioactive waste repository, has issued a statement about its work. A series of community events to help people understand issues around the potential underground disposal of radioactive waste will be held. The events also include discussion sessions and will be held at the Carnegie Theatre in Workington next Tuesday; St Herbert’s Centre in Keswick on Wednesday; and the Kirkgate Centre in Cockermouth on Friday, February 10. All events will run from 1pm to 7pm, with discussion sessions at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

Times & Star 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Radiation Free Lakeland: A public inquiry and appeal agreed with Cumbria County Council 15 years ago that the risk of radioactive waste migrating to the surface was too great for geological disposal of intermediate level waste. Today, that same authority is a partner in the plan which now includes high-level waste. A nuclear dump would blight Cumbria’s major industries of agriculture and tourism. Even before the placement of waste, the mining operation would rival the biggest in the world. It would disrupt Cumbria’s fragile water table and add to earthquake risk.

Times & Star 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Cumbria is “sleepwalking” into accepting a nuclear dump that will ruin its landscape and distort its economy, a newly-formed pressure group has warned. Save Our Lake District, Don’t Dump Cumbria has been set up to oppose plans to put a repository for high-level waste in the west of the county.

Cumberland News 19th Jan 2012 more >>

A new pressure group – Save Our Lake District Don’t Dump Cumbria – claims that the repository process “is deeply flawed and misleading”. Dr Ruth Balogh, local Friends of the Earth campaigner and former director of Health Research at the University of Cumbria, has helped set up the group. She says that if the repository goes ahead it will ruin the Lake District, set the seal on Cumbria as a nuclear economy and blight other sectors.

Whitehaven News 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Martin Forwood, campaign co-ordinator for Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment, said plans to actually build a facility could hit “big problems”. He said: “The community hasn’t yet decided and the local authorities haven’t decided if we should go to the next stage and look at sites and I think that is where it will hit the buffers. “If it has got to go underground it has got to have the very best geology and it has to be contained for hundreds of thousands of years.” He said there was “no plan B” if the idea was rejected and the government may force a facility on the area anyway.

NW Evening Mail 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Letter Tim Knowles: Government policy and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority actions related to bringing nuclear waste and non-contracted spent fuel to Cumbria, has to become very much more realistic and acceptable than the current opportunistic approach. My task at the county council includes wastes and transport policy in addition to nuclear issues and I agree with Jamie Reed MP that any cleaning up of UK nuclear sites by transferring significant stocks of spent fuel and wastes to Sellafield must carry with it a real net benefit to our area. Anything coming from Scotland should be and is being specially scrutinised given that country’s “non-nuclear” policies and its apparent wish to avoid responsibility for its nuclear liabilities. Discussions are being held with Government, the NDA and Sellafield Ltd regarding these matters, but he is right to stress the fundamental importance of the issue.

Whitehaven News 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Kings Cliffe

A woman who claims that a temporary planning permission to dump low-level radioactive waste at a facility near Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, is a ‘foot in the door’ for long term dumping has lost her Court of Appeal challenge to the decision.

Planning 18th Jan 2012 more >>

MRW 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Campaigners who want to stop low-level nuclear waste being dumped in the county are to fight on, despite a second legal defeat

Evening Telegraph 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Dounreay

DOUNREAY can only be decommissioned properly if nuclear material is sent to Cumbria by train, councillors have been told. Dr Adrian Simper, head of strategy at the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA), told Highland councillors special trains would begin to transport nuclear material from Caithness to Sellafield in Cumbria this summer. Up to 90 consignments are expected to make the journey over the next five years, the first of which will be 44 tonnes of uranium from the Dounreay Fast Reactor. Permission has been granted for these shipments but further consultation and consent is needed to send around 70 tonnes of nuclear fuel from the Prototype Fast Reactor and other un-irradiated material on the route. Dr Simper said Dounreay did not have the capability to reprocess the fuel and the clean-up of the site could not be completed if it remained.

Herald 20th Jan 2012 more >>

TRAINS will start transporting spent nuclear material from Dounreay through the Highlands in the summer – but the exact times and dates will not be disclosed because of terrorist attack fears. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has confirmed trains carrying the breeder material will travel through the region, including Inverness, from the decommissioned Caithness nuclear power station to Sellafield in England for reprocessing.

Highland News 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Northern Times 19th Jan 2012 more >>

STV 19th Jan 2012 more >>

BBC 19th Jan 2012 more >>

The agency behind the decommissioning of Dounreay yesterday assured the public that the transport of nuclear material from the far north to Cumbria will be safe.

Press & Journal 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Letter Brian Goodall: The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is not simply opposing these rail transports over the possibility of an accident, though that concerns me greatly. Some of the materials that will be transported by rail from Dounreay across Scotland are of a dangerous nature, including plutonium. I am concerned the transport is so sensitive it may warrant an armed police presence.

Whitehaven News 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Torness

A REGULATOR has recommended enhancements to Torness Power Station’s safety systems following an invasion of jellyfish which forced the shutdown of both nuclear reactors last summer.

East Lothian Courier 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Calder Hall

CALDER Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, has passed European stress tests in the wake of Fukushima. Calder, now closed and being decommissioned, has come through with flying colours. However, by order of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the rest of the Sellafield site has to undergo some of the tests along with all the other licensed nuclear installations. Calder Hall was among 33 UK operating or shutdown reactors put under the microscope to make sure lessons were learned from the Japanese disaster.

Whitehaven News 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

Japan’s economy minister has called for consumers to be given the freedom to choose their electricity provider as part of potentially sweeping reforms to a national power sector battered by the nuclear crisis. In an interview with the Financial Times, Yukio Edano, economy and trade minister, stressed the need for greater competition in a sector dominated by regional near-monopolies such as Tokyo Electric Power. “The important thing is to bring into play appropriate competition in the electricity sector, and to allow consumers, the users, to have a choice,” Mr Edano said. “That is a major goal.”

FT 19th Jan 2012 more >>

The operators of Japan’s quake-crippled nuclear power plant looked inside one of the ruined reactors for the first time Thursday using an endoscope.

Reuters 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan’s plans to restart nuclear reactors and let them operate for up to 60 years has sparked public anger. In a rare protest, a group of citizen observers delayed for hours a hearing at the trade ministry this week, at which the nuclear watchdog presented to experts its first completed review of stress test results for two reactors from Fukui prefecture’s Ohi nuclear power plant.

Engineering & Technology 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Spain

Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Energy & Tourism has asked the nuclear regulator to okay an extension to the operating license of the 466-MW Garoña BWR reactor by six years to 2019

i-Nuclear.com 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran slipped further into global isolation on Thursday as China, its traditional ally, warned Tehran against its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Telegraph 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Intense diplomacy is under way to prepare for new negotiations between Iran and world powers on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Scotsman 20th Jan 2012 more >>

An Israeli former intelligence chief has said that Iran could build a nuclear bomb any time it wants, a claim that could aggravate tensions between Israel and the United States and heighten fears that the Jewish state could launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Independent 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran’s rulers may regard any sacrifice for the sake of the nuclear programme as bearable, but ordinary Iranians, even if they patriotically support it, may feel differently and find ways to express their dissatisfaction. Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz and punish Gulf producers who make up the oil shortfall suggest a regime under strain.

Economist 21st Jan 2012 more >>

Green Deal

The government’s flagship Green Deal risks “killing the insulation industry overnight”, senior industry figures have warned. John Sinfield, managing director for manufacturer Knauf in northern Europe, said the predicted collapse in loft and cavity wall insulation installations, revealed in Building last week, would also stop manufacturers investing in the UK.

Building 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

To tackle this uncertainty and limit risks to the scheme’s budget in the event that the government’s appeal proves unsuccessful and the court orders a return to the previous feed-in tariff level of 43p/kWh, the government will lay draft licence modifications before parliament that would allow tariffs to be cut from April 1 for all installations completed on or after March 3.

Business Green 19th Jan 2012 more >>

About 3,700 homes and businesses could claim a higher rate of subsidies for solar panels after the government on Thursday offered a compromise deal in the row over cuts to the scheme. Although there is a continuing legal battle over the announcement last year that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) would cut solar feed-in tariff payments by half from 12 December, ministers said that if they lose the legal case they will fund the higher rate payments for any panels installed by 3 March.

Guardian 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Carmanah EverGEN 1530 solar LED outdoor lighting system was specified by utility company for perimeter fence lighting to boost security at a nuclear power facility.

Building Talk 20th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 20 January 2012

19 January 2012

New Nukes

No Need for Nuclear has produced a revolutionary new report which exposes how Parliament’s decisions in favour of new nuclear power have been made based on false evidence. It is called “A Corruption of Governance?” and has received support from a cross-party group of MPs. The report will be officially launched in Parliament on Tuesday 31st January 2012. The launch will be held in Committee Room 16, between 12 and 2pm. We urge all MPs to attend, and we urge our supporters to pressure your local MP to attend. The report has been published by our friends at The Association for the Conservation of Energy, and Unlock Democracy. The Executive Summary of the report can be found here, but the full report will not be available until the day of the launch.

No Need for Nuclear 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Dounreay

A Nuclear Decommissioning Authority chief is to give a presentation to councillors on its plans to move nuclear fuel from Scotland to England. The NDA has sought approval for its scheme to transport breeder material from Dounreay in Caithness to Sellafield for reprocessing. The first of about 50 movements could start this summer. Dr Adrian Simper, head of strategy at the NDA, will address Highland councillors in Inverness later.

BBC 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Wylfa

A PROTEST to support a farming family who are refusing to sell land for the Wylfa B development will be held by Welsh language and anti-nuclear campaigners. Richard Jones, who farms at Caerdegog Uchaf, Llanfechell, has spoken out against plans by the nuclear giants to buy his land for the power plant, that would bring thousands of jobs to the recession-hit island. Horizon Nuclear Power may resort to Compulsory Purchase Orders to buy the land, but say this is the last resort and hope to reach a deal. Now campaigners will unite in Llangefni with a protest to defend the farmer and his family.

Bangor & Anglesey Mail 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Sellafield (New Reactors)

NuGeneration has applied for an electricity generation licence for a new nuclear power station planned for Cumbria. The company, a joint venture between ScottishPower owner Iberdrola and GDF Suez, aims to build a new nuclear power station on land near Sellafield acquired from that site’s owners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The project won approval from local planning authorities in November last year to begin site characterisation works.

Utility Week 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Sizewell

SIZEWELL B nuclear station is now back on full power after planned maintenance.

Evening Star 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Hinkley

Companies are gearing up to join the supply chain for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power development by registering on a suppliers portal website.

Engineering Capacity 18th Jan 2012

Dungeness

Plans to truck thousands of tonnes of shingle from Dungeness beach for sea defences elsewhere will devastate the local community. That is according to residents opposing plans by EDF Energy and the Environment Agency to used it to protect the power station and the eroding east Sussex coast. Last night, more than 100 people attended a public meeting in Lydd to voice their concerns. It is estimated more than 72 lorries a day will carry the shingle six months a year under the scheme being considered by Kent County Council. Locals fear the large number of lorries and diggers that would pass their homes could turn away visitors.

Kent Online 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

A group of people concerned about the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) process has today (Jan 19th) launched a new campaign with a website and a lecture from a prominent geologist. The group is called Save Our Lake District, Don’t Dump Cumbria! It consists of people concerned not only about the environment, but about the future of Cumbria and the Lake District. The lecture will be on the geology of W Cumbria, given by Professor David Smythe at Cockermouth School Eco-Centre on Feb 2nd at 7 30 pm.

Save Our Lake District 18th Jan 2012 more >>

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop low level nuclear waste being dumped at King’s Cliffe have lost their Court of Appeal battle. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles granted planning permission for disposal of the waste at the landfill site operated by Augean and it started taking deliveries in December. Village resident Louise Bowen-West, of Wastewatchers, failed to block the proposals in the High Court and today her bid to persuade appeal judges to rule the High Court made the wrong decision also failed.

Evening Telegraph 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Dalgety Bay

Gordon Brown has repeated his demand for a face-to-face meeting with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to discuss radiation poisoning. The former Prime Minister wants to discuss contamination in his constituency. He first asked for the meeting last November, but has so far been left disappointed. In a written Parliamentary question to the Ministry of Defence, Mr Brown asked Mr Hammond “when he expects his meeting with the Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath to discuss radiation contamination at Dalgety Bay to take place”. Junior defence minister Andrew Robathan failed to offer a date on Mr Hammond’s behalf but said he would “answer shortly”.

Scotsman 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Egypt

Radioactive material has been stolen from a nuclear power station on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast that was the site of violent protests last week, state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported on Thursday.

Telegraph 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of the nuclear disaster, will ask electric power companies to stop storing spent fuel rods inside their reactor buildings, a setup that compounded the crisis at the Fukushima plant. Japanese law requires that spent fuel rods be stored at the Rokkasho reprocessing plant; however, construction on the plant, which has been delayed 18 times, is still not complete. Currently, the rods are stored within reactor buildings, an arrangement that has raised concerns about safety in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Hosono suggested building separate units to store the fuel rods, as well as placing them dry cask containers. Some government sources contend that Hosono’s plan is an effort to persuade local communities that restarting reactors is safe.

Asahi 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Fairewinds analyzes cancer rates for young children near Fukushima using the National Academy of Science’s BEIR VII Report (BEIR = Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation). Based on BEIR VII, Fairewinds determines that at least one in every 100 young girls will develop cancer for every year they are exposed to 20 millisieverts [1 millisievert = 1 mSv = 0.001 Sv = 0.001 sieverts] of radiation. The 20-millisievert/ year figure is what the Japanese government is currently calculating as the legal limit of radiological exposure to allow habitation of contaminated areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Fairwinds 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan will allow nuclear reactors to operate for up to 60 years in revised regulations on power plant operators. The government said it aims to introduce the 60-year limit a year from now as part of a revision of laws regulating nuclear plant operators. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said details were still under consideration but the lifespan of a reactor would in principle be 40 years, as suggested by Environment and Nuclear Accident Prevention Minister Goshi Hosono earlier this month. The government will allow plant operators to apply for one extension of up to 20 years for each reactor, in line with US standards.

Engineering & Technology 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

A high-level IAEA delegation visiting Iran January 29-31 aims to verify if Tehran’s nuclear programme has a military dimension, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said in an interview to be published Thursday.

AFP 18th Jan 2012 more >>

The Russian foreign minister has warned that a Western military strike against Iran would be “a catastrophe”. Sergei Lavrov said an attack would lead to “large flows” of refugees from Iran and would “fan the flames” of sectarian tension in the Middle East.

BBC 18th Jan 2012 more >>

France

In a report certain to cause fear and loathing in the global nuclear industry, an eminent French research institute published a study in the International Journal of Cancer, which notes increased rates of leukemia in children living close to French nuclear power plants (NPPs.)

Oil Price 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Switzerland

Switzerland’s plans to abandon nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima accident are not yet set in stone – and depend on the results of debates, consultations and a referendum.

Utility Week 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Europe

Chris Huhne’s support for higher 30% emissions cut target gets boost as European Commission analysis concludes it would actually save money over a smaller cut. Moving to a tougher Europe-wide target on greenhouse gas emissions would present the UK with little problem, contrary to what some business lobbyists and thinktanks have been alleging, according to a new analysis of the goals seen by the Guardian. The report concludes that if the EU were to set higher emissions-cutting goals now, by increasing its current target of a 20% cut by 2020 to a 25% or a 30% cut, it would save money in the medium and long term. The saving in fuel costs alone from a 25% cut would be €20bn a year. The findings will boost the case of Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, who has become increasingly isolated within the coalition government in his vocal support for the tougher 30% target.

Guardian 18th Dec 2012 more >>

Renewables

The government has pulled the rug from under the Feed-in Tariff scheme just as thousands of lower-income families were set to benefit from sun-powered savings on their bills. Councils like Brighton and Hove and housing associations like Aster in Hampshire have shelved plans – with some having spent over a year raising the necessary funds. A 2,000 panel scheme in the riot-hit Pembury Estate in Hackney has been pulled when it could have helped low-income families save up to £150 on their fuel bills every year. There are plenty more examples nationwide. The coalition must now come up with an action plan to breathe new life into the feed-in tariff scheme, which was introduced by Labour, following a Friends of the Earth-led campaign. It must urgently get the solar industry back on a stable footing, and reassure businesses of its support for renewable power.

Left Foot Forward 18th Jan 2012 more >>

The government has confirmed the current feed-in tariff rate for solar installations with less than 4kW capacity will not fall below the proposed 21p per kWh for all systems completed between the December 12 last year and March 31 this year.

Business Green 18th Feb 2012 more >>

SCOTTISH Water is planning to use hydro power to generate its own electricity and cut its bills. The utility firm will use the water in supply pipes to generate electricity and protect water plants from power failures, in a £20 million investment. The company said the work will reduce its massive electricity bill which is one of the largest in the country, accounting for around 1 per cent of Scotland’s total energy consumption. It will reduce the power costs for water treatment by 10 per cent.

Scotsman 19th Jan 2012 more >>

Shale Oil & Gas

BP forecasts that growth in shale oil and gas will make the US self-sufficient by 2030 – but UK will still need Gulf supplies.

Guardian 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 19 January 2012

18 January 2012

Hinkley

DISTRICT councillors are set to take part in the examination of the Hinkley Point C site after members voted to register as an interested party. Interested parties, which include private individuals, local authorities and other organisations, have until January 23 to register an interest in order to be able to take part in the process.

Bridgwater Mercury 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Dungeness

More than 1,600 people have signed petitions opposing plans to protect the coastline by moving thousands of tonnes of shingle on Dungeness beach. Kent County Council planning officials are visiting the Kent site and holding a public meeting in Lydd.

BBC 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Coastal Care 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Sizewell

EDF Energy restarted its 630-megawatt (MW) Sizewell B1 nuclear reactor on Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman said.

Reuters 17th Jan 2012 more >>

EDF

The rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) on Tuesday announced its decision to lower the ratings of the giant French electricity power EDF and its subsidiary RTE and the national railway group SNCF, local media reported. S&P would downgrade EDF and RTE from AA- to A + and cut the rating of SNCF from AA + to AA, local economic daily Le Echos said on its website.

People’s Daily 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

A barrister acting for a campaigner who is battling to stop low-level radioactive waste being dumped near her village says the decision is flawed. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles granted planning permission for disposal of the waste at a landfill site at King’s Cliffe, near Corby, and its operator Augean started taking deliveries in December. Village resident Louise Bowen-West, of Wastewatchers, recently failed to block the proposals in the High Court but yesterday she asked appeal judges to rule the High Court had got the law wrong and the decision in May to give the go-ahead to Augean should be reconsidered.

Evening Telegraph 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Northampton Chronicle 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Opinion Polls

The dip in public support for new nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster in Japan lasted no more than nine months in the UK, according to a new poll from Ipsos MORI, published here for the first time. Futhermore, looking at the trend over the last decade, acceptance of nuclear power shows a rising trend. Here are some other factors to consider. Nuclear power operators work extremely close with government in the UK – far too closely when it came to the public relations response to Fukushima. High-level employees of the nuclear energy companies are lent to government for free for years at a time. So it would not be that surprising if the official national support for nuclear power helped rebuild public confidence. The contrast with other countries where the state and nuclear industry are not so intimately entwined is stark. A separate poll from November 2011, commissioned but tellingly not published by the Sunday Times, shows that solar and wind power are far more popular than nuclear power. It is clear that plenty of people in the UK are comfortable with the building of new nuclear power plants, especially older, wealthy men. But young people – those who will pick up the bill for new nuclear power – and poorer people – who spend far more of their income on energy – are far less certain. Once again the nuclear debate proves a complex one.

Guardian 18th Jan 2012 more >>

City Am 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Ipsos Mori 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Scotland

Many of the most obvious sites for turbines, both because of the wind conditions and because of their proximity to power lines, have been taken already. Yet Scotland remains dangerously dependent on onshore wind power to meet its green energy targets. As First Minister Alex Salmond has made clear, the cost of offshore windpower needs to come down by 20% to become commercially viable. Wind and wave power – the subject of an announcement yesterday for Orkney – are still in their infancy. Carbon capture and storage remains unproven on a commercial scale, raising questions over plans to expand generation from gas and coal. And while 11 new nuclear power stations are bei ng built south of the Border, the SNP Government remains committed to running down Scotland’s nuclear generating capacity. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers claims that renewable capacity will have to grow at five times its current rate to hit the target. Besides, windpower relies on other forms of generation to provide baseload for all those days when the wind does not blow enough or blows too hard. Is Scotland going to become the Saudi Arabia of green energy by sacrificing its most spectacular scenery? The outcome of the Allt Duine public inquiry can perhaps answer that question. Meanwhile, Scotland needs a sustainable and robust energy policy.

Herald 18th Jan 2012 more >>

PLANS to build the world’s largest wave farm off Orkney have moved closer after a deal was signed between two major developers. Alstom, based in France, and Scottish firm SSE Renewables have signed a joint venture agreement to develop the Costa Head Wave Project north of the Orkney mainland. The site, which could create up to 200 Megawatts (MW) of wave power, is in the Crown Estate’s Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Strategic Area.

Scotsman 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Business Green 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Times 18th Jan 2012 more >>

World Trends

Greenhouse gas emissions will rise in the short to medium term as countries abandon nuclear power, says the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Chief Economist. Following the Fukushima disaster that hit Japan in March last year, Germany has already begun to scale back its nuclear power capacity, while other countries including France and Japan are considering scaling back their programmes.

RTCC 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Business Green 17th Jan 2012 more >>

France

French Socialist presidential hopeful Francois Hollande will only shut France’s oldest nuclear power plant in eastern France during his 5-year term, if elected in May, one of the candidate’s spokesmen told Reuters on Tuesday.

Reuters 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Reuters 17th Jan 2012 more >>

The French business elite was agog yesterday over allegations that President Sarkozy had used spies and subterfuge in an extraordinary tussle for control of the country’s nuclear industry. Anne Lauvergeon, the former chief executive of the state-owned nuclear group Areva, accused Mr Sarkozy of orchestrating a plot that led to her ouster last summer. Her comments to BFMTV in France added to tensions within the country’s nuclear sector when it is struggling to recover from the backlash against atomic energy.

Times 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Germany

Germany’s exit from nuclear power could cost the country as much as 1.7 trillion euros. ($2.15 trillion) by 2030, or two thirds of the country’s GDP in 2011, according to Siemens which built all of Germany’s 17 nuclear plants.

Reuters 17th Jan 2012 more >>

SHIPPING in Bremen/Bremerhaven – Germany’s second-biggest port – today threatened legal action against a proposed nuclear cargo ban. A legal opinion commissioned by the local chambers of commerce and industry concludes that the planned revision of Bremen’s port statute – due for adoption by the state parliament next week – would be in breach of the constitution and of federal law, in particular the federal nuclear act and national waterways act.

Fairplay24 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Czech Republic

Plans by Czech electricity giant ČEZ to build two new nuclear reactors at its current Temelín site do not make economic sense, according to a study by the Prague-based consultancy Candole Partners. The study, the results of which were outlined in a press conference on Tuesday, shows that there is only around a 46 percent chance that the estimated Kč 200 billion (around €8.0 billion) project will break even over its lifetime.

Czech Position 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

Fukushima update 13th – 16th Jan 2012.

Greenpeace International 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Businesses in and around Tokyo will pay up to 18 per cent more for their electricity beginning in April as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which has saddled the Japanese capital’s main power provider with sharply higher costs. The rate increase, announced on Tuesday by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), owner of the crippled Fukushima plant, represents a significant new cost for companies in an already tough economy. It will add Y50m a year to the utility bills of some large factories, office buildings and department stores, according to a Tepco simulation. The increase could, however, give a boost to independent power companies, who have struggled to break into Japan’s theoretically deregulated electricity sector. Some 96 per cent of large-scale commercial users buy their power from Tepco, even though they have been free for several years to sign c ontracts with other regional utilities or start-up providers.

FT 18th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Although experts agree that at least some of the killings are part of an organized foreign campaign to slow Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium, they are sceptical that the strategy will work. “The immediate effect is very small,” says Olli Heinonen, a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “If I have a project that is important for national security, I never count on one single person,” he says, suggesting that international sanctions are a more effective way of slowing Iran’s efforts.

Nature 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Green Deal

Greg Barker: 2012 is the year in which we’ll launch the pioneering green deal, unleashing real competitive forces in the energy efficiency market. Attracting more investment than ever before, the green deal will be the biggest home energy improvement programme of modern times, to tackle our draughty and expensive-to-heat housing stock.

Guardian 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 18 January 2012

17 January 2012

Dungeness

Dungeness residents have claimed that the Dungeness seascape, one of Europe’s most beautiful, was in danger of being destroyed by a botched attempt by EDF to shore up its beach defences. The controversial planning application from EDF, operator of the Dungeness B nuclear power plant, and the Environment Agency would see 50-100 quarry lorries travel along the resident’s unmade road on a daily basis five days a week. It would also involve diggers working along a 300-metre stretch of seafront pulling out up to 30,000 tonnes of shingle a year to dump it back into the sea a few miles away down the coast. The shingle would be “recycled” by moving it on to prop up the eroding coastline in front of the power station further along the coast. Residents have started a campaign against the plans arguing it was a waste of time and money. They also feared that the huge dumper trucks will destroy the fragile ecosystem and turn away the growing numbers of tourists who have been starting to visit their stretch of the Romney marshes.

Ethical Consumer 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Torness

THE operator of Torness nuclear power station has been ordered to make safety improvements and urged to boost its defences against jellyfish. A new report from nuclear watchdog the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has highlighted issues with checks on safety valves, concerns about radioactive waste discharge pipes, and a lack of self-closing safety doors.

Edinburgh Evening News 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

Following the recent announcement that the company owned by the head of Cumbria Tourism, Mr. Robson, is to be involved in the assessment of whether a deep hole will undermine tourism in west Cumbria (a multi-million pound deal which will no doubt be utterly transparent and honest – with no leanings towards the wishes of the payer) we have come up with a couple of items which may be of interest to anyone pushing for souvenirs of the area to be afflicted.

Britain’s Toxic Coast 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Josefina de Vasconcellos (1904- 2005) “a gifted musician, composer, poet, dancer and inventor – but much more than any of these, she was a figurative sculptor with a strong religious faith to whom other people mattered very deeply”. In 1994, Josefina de Vasconcellos (then aged 90) got in touch with the anti-nuclear campaign group, CORE (Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment). She sent them a handwritten and illustrated set of papers in a critical response to the Sellafield Repository Project information leaflet and suggested that it should be re-drawn by a professional trade artist and as near as possible in style to the Sellafield original. CORE has very generously agreed to this previously unseen work being exhibited in Rock Solid? Expo

Rock Solid Expo 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Cumbria Radwaste Consultation – a Quick Guide.

Radiation Free Lakeland 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear Safety

Frazer-Nash has completed the design substantiation of a SMART device to be used in nuclear safety related applications by Sellafield Ltd and its UK Control and Instrumentation (C&I) Nuclear Industry Forum partner companies. Frazer-Nash independently verified the device was capable of meeting the required Safety Integrity Level for use in certain nuclear facilities. The SMART instrument concerned, known as the Endress+Hauser SMART Coriolis Mass Flowmeter, is an instrument which contains electronics and software designed to precisely measure the mass flow rate in a fluid transport system. Such instruments serve a number of different purposes including leak detection for process monitoring.

Process & Control Today 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Areva

Anne Lauvergeon, former head of French state-owned nuclear champion Areva, claimed she was the victim of a “plot” as she defended her role in its disastrous 2007 purchase of a small uranium mining company.

FT 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Energy Prices

E.ON said it would cut electricity prices by 6pc, while ScottishPower chose to cut gas prices by 5pc. Both changes are due to come into effect at the end of February. The moves followed a 5pc electricity price cut by British Gas, and cuts to gas prices of 5pc by EDF Energy and npower, and of 4.5pc by SSE. The suppliers have come under mounting pressure to pass on the savings from falling wholesale prices.

Telegraph 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Times 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

A newly formed investigative panel on Japan’s nuclear disaster will use its subpoena powers wisely and cut deeper into the accident than the government’s probe, the leader of the independent commission said Monday. The panel appointed by parliament last month has gained attention here because its 10 members include outspoken critics of Japan’s nuclear policy who long ago questioned the seismic risks to the country’s 54 nuclear reactors.

Washington Post 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Germany

Germany famously moved to phase out nuclear energy following the atomic disaster in Japan last spring. Now states in the country are skeptically eyeing plans in neighboring countries, including the Netherlands and Poland, to construct nuclear power plants.

Der Spiegel 13th Jan 2012 more >>

Dealing a severe blow to nuclear energy provider EnBW, a regional finance court in the German state of Baden-Württemberg has recently ruled that there are “no serious doubts” as to the constitutionality of the coalition government’s controversial nuclear fuel tax law (Kernbrennstoffsteuergesetz – KernbrStG).

Tax News 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

On the morning of 11 January Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the deputy head of Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, was in his car on his way to work when he was blown up by a magnetic bomb attached to his car door. He was 32 and married with a young son. He wasn’t armed, or anywhere near a battlefield.

Guardian 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran has blamed Britain for triggering a wave of assassinations of its nuclear scientists.

Daily Mail 16th Jan 2012 more >>

India

New Delhi is declining to release to the public a geological study of the Jaitapur region in Maharashtra State on the Arabian Sea, where the government intends to construct a NPP. Professor of Geological Sciences and Fellow in the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Energy and Minerals Applied Research Center Roger Bilham and Dr. Vinod Gaur of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics have coauthored a paper asserting that an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 on the Richter scale can occur in the Jaitapur region.

Oil Price 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Trident

A MOVE to create England’s main submarine base in Devonport would “make sense” – according to a city politician. Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Sutton and Devonport, believes Plymouth should become the home of the country’s nuclear deterrent if Scotland votes in favour of independence.

Plymouth Herald 17th Jan 2012 more >>

With 4,500 redundancies in the three armed forces due to be announced by the MoD, the city of Plymouth has much to fear.

Guardian 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Smart Meters

Plans to roll out new and more sophisticated meters to every home in Britain are open to abuse by energy companies and should be regulated with more vigour by the government, a powerful committee of MPs has concluded. Savings to the supplier from the installation of so-called “smart meters” might not be passed on to customers, while ministers may be over-reliant on an ineffective market to drive down prices, a report by the public administration committee finds. It comes just days after one consumer group called for the government to halt the plans over fears that costs could escalate uncontrollably.

Guardian 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Independent 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Times 17th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

THE solar power sector and environmental campaigners “shot themselves in the foot” by taking the UK government to the High Court over changes to subsidies, an industry expert has claimed. Ben Cosh, managing director of TGC Renewables, which installs solar panels and wind turbines, said the court case and the coalition government’s current appeal had brought more uncertainty to the industry. His company, based in Bristol with an office in Glasgow, has about £100 million worth of renewable energy developments in the planning system and a further £100m lined up for the year ahead. Cosh said potential customers were “sitting on their hands” and waiting for clarity over subsidies before deciding whether or not to install solar panels.

Scotsman 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 17 January 2012

16 January 2012

Hinkley

These notes explain how to register your objection to EDF’s application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) for consent to construct Hinkley C. Please make sure you do this before the deadline and encourage others to do the same. We need to show the strength of opposition.

Stop Hinkley 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear Skills

Major nuclear projects could make the north west the best-performing UK region for the construction industry over the next eight years, says a new report. Research commissioned by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council and industry training board for construction, showed output by 2020 could be 62 per cent higher than in 2010 as schemes such as the new nuclear plant at Heysham get under way. However, the report warned that firms need to invest to strengthen skill levels of the region’s workforce to take full advantage of the opportunities.

Manchester Evening News 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Nuclear Image

Prof. Tom Burke: blaming Bond villains for creating a bad image for nuclear power is like blaming the enduringly negative image of the Mafia on the Godfather movies and the Sopranos. And no, I’m not comparing power of the atom to the power of the mob, although they do have one thing in common — they charge more and more over time.

Climate Progress 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

A powerful and independent panel of specialists appointed by Japan’s Parliament is challenging the government’s account of the accident at a Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and will start its own investigation into the disaster — including an inquiry into how much the March earthquake may have damaged the plant’s reactors even before the tsunami.

New York Times 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Germany

Dealing a severe blow to nuclear energy provider EnBW, a regional finance court in the German state of Baden-Württemberg has recently ruled that there are “no serious doubts” as to the constitutionality of the coalition government’s controversial nuclear fuel tax law (Kernbrennstoffsteuergesetz – KernbrStG).

Low Tax 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

Iran increases war of words with the West as it accuses Britain of triggering nuclear scientists’ assassinations.

Daily Mail 16th Jan 2012 more >>

BRITISH military action against Iran cannot be ruled out as the rogue state steps up its nuclear threat, Foreign Secretary William Hague warned yesterday.

Express 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Metro 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Guardian 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran warned Gulf Arab neighbours they would suffer consequences if they raised oil output to replace Iranian crude facing an international ban.

Reuters 16th Jan 2012 more >>

Energy Efficiency

The scheme to install new energy meters in every home in the UK should be halted because of spiralling costs, a consumer campaign group has warned. Which? said the government, rather than energy companies, should install the “smart meters” to keep costs down. But Energy Minister Charles Hendry said the £11.1bn cost of introducing them to 30 million homes and firms from 2014 to 2019 would reap an £18.1bn benefit.

BBC 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 16 January 2012

15 January 2012

Dungeness

This week residents of the 99 Dungeness houses – many of them built on top of Victorian railway carriages dragged on to the shingle a century ago – will attend a public meeting with Kent county council and EDF, the company operating the Dungeness B plant, to discuss a controversial planning application that would see this landscape change dramatically. The proposal, from EDF and the Environment Agency, is to have between 50 and 100 quarry lorries a day, each weighing 30 tonnes and three metres wide, coming along the 3.1-metre wide unmade road for five days a week, trundling right past their front doors. Diggers will be out too, along a 300-metre stretch of seafront, pulling out up to 30,000 tonnes of shingle a year to dump it back into the sea a few miles away down the coast.

Observer 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Heysham

SAFETY reassessments undertaken at UK nuclear power stations including Heysham following last year’s tsunami in Japan have revealed no fundamental weaknesses. A report published by the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the UK’s independent nuclear safety regulator, confirms that UK sites have identified and made improvements to safety by learning from events in Japan.

The Visitor 14th Jan 2012 more >>

Radwaste

The earliest known cave paintings date from about 30,000 years ago, and the earliest bone tools found so far predate those paintings by another 40,000 years. Go back 100,000 years, and Homo sapiens — us lot — are only just emerging, though the fossil record suggests our ancestors back then had larger molars and thicker and heavier bones than we do. Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen made a documentary about an attempt in Finland that involves the construction of a disposal facility intended to keep people millennia in the future safe from the radioactive waste we are producing today.

Japan Times 15th Jan 2012 more >>

France

A decision by France to spend billions of euros making its vast network of ageing reactors safe is once again making environmentalists question the future of nuclear energy. “This is more evidence that nuclear energy is commercially, as well as environmentally, unviable in the long term. We have always opposed nuclear energy on grounds of cost as well as safety. That nuclear energy is far costlier than alternative energy is something we have always argued,” Graham Thompson, a spokesman for the environmental lobby group Greenpeace, says.

The National 14th Jan 2012 more >>

Japan

Fukushima update 10th – 12th Jan.

Greenpeace International 13th Jan 2012 more >>

About 2,000 demonstrators hit the streets of Yokohama on Saturday calling for an end to nuclear energy in Japan. They marched in the port city, chanting in chorus: “We don’t need nuclear power. Give back our hometown. Protect our children.”

Japan Today 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran

William Hague has warned that “intensifying” tensions with Iran could escalate into a crisis that destabilises the entire Middle East unless the country abandons its nuclear enrichment programme.

Telegraph 14th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran said Saturday it has evidence that the United States was behind the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist this week in Tehran, state media reported.

Daily Mail 14th Jan 2012 more >>

Iran has accused the US and Britain of being behind the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist this week in Tehran.

Guardian 14th Jan 2012 more >>

In Tehran, the anger on show at the funeral of Mostafa Roshan, when thousands screamed “Death to Israel! Death to America!”, grows. Yesterday, Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, said the country was holding Britain and the US responsible for the assassination.

Independent 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Gas

A discovery by scientists may have more than doubled the world’s energy reserves. They have found vast amounts of natural gas frozen into the sea bed, potentially containing more energy than all the world’s known coal, oil and gas reserves combined. The methane gas is mixed with water, and frozen solid by the high pressure and low temperatures in the deep sea. Methane hydrate, as the substance is known, has long been regarded by oil and gas companies as a nuisance, because it can block marine drilling rigs. Now a study by Statoil, Norway’s state oil firm and a leading global gas producer, suggests it should be reclassified as a significant fuel resource, with enough buried in the oceans to power the world for decades or even centuries. There are, however, huge technical and environmental hurdles to overcome. A key fear is that the chemical instability of methane hydrate deposits means mining them could generate a runaway reaction that would send millions of tons of methane bubbling into the sea. Such leaks would also be disastrous for the climate, because methane is a global warming gas many times more potent than CO2. Douglas Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, said that in a world already threatened by climate change, it was ridiculous to seek out and burn yet more fossil fuels.

Sunday Times 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Renewables

In the next few weeks, two huge Archimedes screws placed in the River Thames a few hundred yards from Windsor castle will be switched on to provide a steady stream of green electricity for the royal household. But the company behind the Queen’s turbines has suspended all new hydropower projects, claiming it can “no longer trust” the government to continue backing renewable energy.

Sunday Times 15th Jan 2012 more >>

Posted: 15 January 2012