News

24 September 2006

Trident

Thousands of anti-war activists joined a huge rally calling on the government to bring British troops home from Iraq and arguing the public does not want a new generation of nuclear weapons.
Guardian website 23rd Sept 2006
Ananova 23rd Sept 2006

While there will be a showdown with the unions on NHS privatisation and pensions, grassroots motions on many contentious issues – Iraq or Trident – were ruled out of order at last week’s meeting of National Executive Committee.
Observer 24th Sept 2006
Express on Sunday 24th Sept 2006

Iran

France, Britain and Germany would be willing to begin talks with Iran even if it has not suspended its nuclear enrichment programme first, but Washington would not take part, a German magazine reported on Saturday.
Reuters 23rd Sept 2006

North Korea

A North Korean official said his country will soon unload fuel rods from a nuclear reactor to make plutonium for weapons, seeking to pressure Washington into direct talks, a visiting U.S. scholar said on Saturday.
Reuters 23rd Sept 2006

British Energy

THIS weekend British Energy, the nuclear-power producer, will close down its Hinkley Point B station to check if it has similar cracks in its pipes to those discovered at its sister plant at Hunterston B. Such is the heat generated in these pipes that it will take at least 10 days to cool down before the inspection can start. Last week, British Energy warned that cracks in one of its boiler tubes at Hunterston will hit this year’s output and the shares fell 67p on the week to close at 568p. Whatever the outcome it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the government will proceed with the sale of a 20% to 30% stake in British Energy until January.
Sunday Times 24th Sept 2006

Posted: 24 September 2006

23 September 2006

Sellafield MoX Plant

A British nuclear plant recently constructed to make plutonium fuel for power reactors in Japan and Europe has been plagued with so many breakdowns that it may have to be shut down. A technical review for the government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) reveals that the plant at Sellafield in Cumbria has suffered 37,000 minor and 100 major equipment failures in a year. These have prevented production for about 70% of the time.
New Scientist 22nd Sept 2006
Rob Edwards’ website 22nd Sept 2006

Trident

At least 25,000 anti-war protesters are expected in Manchester tomorrow for a march to coincide with the start of the Labour conference. The Iraq march is also in protest at the Israeli bombing of Lebanon and the government’s plans to replace Trident.
Guardian 23rd September 2006
Independent 23rd Sept 2006

Peter Hain favours “libertarian socialism” over “state socialism”. MPs and the grassroots, he argues, should have far more say over policy. The decision about whether the Trident nuclear missile system should be replaced “should not be taken behind closed doors with a couple of senior members of the Government, but in a more open way,”.
Telegraph 23rd Sept 2006

Iran

Mr Ahmadinejad, who is engaged in a perilous stand-off with Europe and the US over his country’s nuclear ambitions, used his time in New York to articulate his Holocaust doubts again while repeatedly assailing the “hegemonic powers” for imposing “their exclusionist policies on international decision-making mechanisms, including the Security Council”.
Independent 23rd Sept 2006

Scotland

SCOTLAND could meet its future energy needs without having to build new nuclear power stations, Jack McConnell said yesterday. In his boldest statement on the subject to date, the First Minister said he felt a “massive” increase in renewable energy could replace nuclear entirely. However, given the importance of a secure electricity supply to homes and business, he said it would be foolish to rule out the nuclear option permanently. Mr McConnell’s remarks came as the SNP again put him under pressure to give a definitive view on whether he wanted to see new nuclear power plants in Scotland.
Herald 22nd Sept 2006

Posted: 23 September 2006

22 September 2006

Torness

AN EMERGENCY shutdown of the Torness reactors caused by a seaweed blockage has led a Borders councillor to question the value of nuclear power. John Elliot represents Scottish Borders Council on the east coast power station’s liaison committee. He was speaking to TheSouthern after confirmation from station owners British Energy that engineers had been forced into shutting down both power-producing reactors at the 18-year-old station.
Borders Today 21st Sept 2006

Scotland

JACK McConnell declared his support for a nuclear-free Scotland for the first time yesterday, when he said he did not believe the country needed any new nuclear power stations. The First Minister told MSPs: “I suspect that we have the capacity in Scotland to deliver the energy needs that we have from a massive increase in renewable sources. “I don’t suspect that new [nuclear] stations will be required in Scotland.”
Scotsman 22nd Sept 2006
Dundee Courier 22nd Sept 2006
BBC 21st Sept 2006
IC Scotland 21st Sept 2006

Iran

Iran believes that nuclear negotiations with Europe are making progress, President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad said on Thursday, leaving open the possibility that talks “under fair conditions” could include discussion of suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme.
FT 22nd Sept 2006
Reuters 22nd Sept 2006

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today insisted that his country did not need nuclear weapons and had no plans to develop them.
Guardian website 21st Sept 2006

Israel

Arab nations asked the UN’s atomic energy watchdog, the IAEA, to adopt a resolution condemning Israel’s nuclear activities — even as the UN pressured Iran on the same issue in New York.
Interactive Investor 21st Sept 2006

North Korea

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi – who dismantled his own country’s nuclear programme in 2003 – has tried in vain to persuade North Korea to do likewise, South Korean officials said.
Middle East Online 21st Sept 2006

Egypt

The US is ready to supply technology to Egypt if it develops a peaceful nuclear program.
Independent 22nd July 2006

Posted: 22 September 2006

21 September 2006

British Energy

ENVIRONMENT campaigners today used a 14ft inflatable white elephant to highlight their opposition to nuclear power. The blow-up animal was part of a demonstration outside Murrayfield Stadium, in Roseburn Street this morning. Protesters wrote the slogans “Nuclear power, no thanks. It’s a white elephant” and “Say no to nuclear power. It’s a white elephant” on it. The protest was timed to co-incide with a BE AGM.
Edinburgh Evening News 20th Sept 2006

Nuclear power generator British Energy yesterday lost nearly £300m from its stock market worth as investors were spooked over delays in repairs to two of its power stations. The company issued a late statement after the market had closed on Monday evening revealing the fresh blow in its battle to improve output at Hunterston B in Ayrshire and Hinkley Point B in Somerset.
Herald 20th Sept 2006
Scotsman 20th Sept 2006
Western Daily Press 20th Sept 2006

Hunterston

POLICE have urged power bosses to let workers picket at the entrance to a nuclear plant. British Energy ordered strikers off its land at the Hunterston power station in Ayrshire after a mass picket last week. But Divisional Commander Hamish Cormack has ruled an alternative demo site on public land is too dangerous because it’s just yards from a busy trunk road.
Glasgow Evening Times 19th Sept 2006

Nuclear Testing

More than 50 nations issued a plea on Wednesday for 10 more countries to ratify a 10-year old treaty banning nuclear tests, a step that would transform an informal moratorium into a binding commitment. Under the treaty’s terms, it will come into force only after it is ratified by the 44 states deemed capable of producing nuclear weapons. To date just 34 of those states have done so. The 10 that have not are the United States, China, Colombia, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and Pakistan.
Reuters 20th Sept 2006

THORP

Britain’s nuclear industry has been hit by further setbacks with the re-opening of the 1.8bn fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield facing more delays and British Energy warning of difficulties with two reactors. Shares in British Energy slumped 8% to 587p after the company, which produces almost a quarter of the UK’s electricity, said the nuclear stations Hunterston B, in Ayrshire, and Hinkley Point B, Somerset, could need repairs to mend boiler cracks. The Thorp plant has been closed for 17 months following a leak of 83,000 litres of radioactive liquid, which led to BNG being fined 2m for safety lapses. BNG and the Nuclear installations Inspectorate are seeking to complete this [repair] work as quickly as possible but it is likely this will run until the end of December, leading to a restart early 2007.
Guardian 20th September 2006

Iran

Iran has called the West’s bluff on the nuclear stand-off.
Guardian 21st Sept 2006

Wales

Lembit Opik, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, told the Lib Dem conference at Brighton that Wales should have the right to say no to Tony Blair’s nuclear plans. “We now have at least 470,000m3 of hazardous nuclear waste in this country for which we have no disposal plans, enough to fill the Brighton Conference Hall 22 times,” said Mr Opik.
News Wales 20th Sept 2006

Trident

The true cost of replacing and operating the Trident nuclear missile system would be at least £76bn, according to estimates revealed today. Based on official figures, they take into account the initial cost of acquiring new Trident missiles and replacing Britain’s existing nuclear submarines, and the annual running costs of maintaining the system and nuclear warheads over its 30-year life.

Guardian 21st Sept 2006

Climate Change

George Monbiot: Almost everywhere, climate change denial now looks as stupid and as unacceptable as Holocaust denial. But I’m not celebrating yet. The danger is not that we will stop talking about climate change, or recognising that it presents an existential threat to humankind. The danger is that we will talk ourselves to kingdom come.
Guardian 21st Sept 2006

Posted: 21 September 2006

20 September 2006

Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defended his country’s nuclear program in the UN General Assembly and accused the United States and Britain of manipulating the world body to further their own agendas.
Interactive Investor 20th Sept 2006

U.S. President George W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clashed over Iran’s nuclear ambitions in long-range rhetoric sparring before the United Nations on Tuesday.
Reuters 20th Sept 2006

President Bush used a UN address today to appeal directly to the Iranian people over the head of Iran’s firebrand leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stayed away from the chamber.
Times website 19th Sept 2006

President George Bush challenged world leaders and their citizens to “stand up for peace” by spurning extremists, in order to promote democracy and end terrorism and armed conflict. “The world must stand up for peace,” he declared in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
Independent 20th Sept 2006

Ted Turner and Warren Buffet are backing a project to supply enriched uranium to countries wanting to develop nuclear energy to deter pursuit of enrichment technology.
Independent 20th Sept 2006

New nukes

MORE Scots now favour building nuclear power stations north of the border than relying solely on alternative sources of energy, according to a new survey. A YouGov poll commissioned by The Sunday Times reveals that 45% of Scots believe existing stations should be replaced at the end of their working lives compared with 37% who think they should not be replaced. The poll shows support for nuclear has risen since the start of the year when an ICM poll for the BBC found that 51% of Scots were against building new nuclear power stations north of the border, compared with just 33% in favour.
Sunday Times 17th September 2006

British Energy

British Energy Group PLC warned today that there will be further delays to a return to service at Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B in order to complete works to fix excessive tube cracking on boilers at the power stations. These problems are causing output reductions and the group also warned today that these delays, together with other losses, are expected to give rise to around 2.0 TWh of additional unplanned losses. British Energy announced on Aug 16 that a boiler inspection of one unit at Hunterston B indicated a level of boiler tube cracking above that expected and that return to service would be delayed by around one month plus additional work next financial year in order to undertake repair work to a number of boiler tubes.
AFX 18th Sept 2006
FT 19th Sept 2006

Fresh doubts were cast over the Government’s plans to raise some £3bn from the sale of shares in British Energy yesterday after the nuclear power producer warned that output this year would be further hit by cracks in some of its reactors. The warning sent British Energy shares 8 per cent lower, wiping nearly £500m from the value of the Government’s 65 per cent holding in the company.
Independent 20th Sept 2006

Trident

The marchers set off from Faslane five days ago Anti-nuclear campaigners are expected to complete their 85-mile march from Faslane to Edinburgh. The marchers, including leading churchmen, are calling on the Scottish Parliament and Westminster to scrap Trident missiles.
BBC 19th Sept 2006

Britain needs to give up its nuclear weapons if it is to have any authority in telling others not to develop them, campaigners said yesterday. The leaders of Scottish churches, peace campaigns, trade unionists, and MSPs were speaking as they ended their Long March for Peace, which has taken them from Faslane to Holyrood in five days.
Herald 20th Sept 2006

Dounreay

Radioactive particles have been traced in the sea and the shore Dounreay’s boss has warned that new problems at the site may be uncovered as workers enter parts of the complex where no-one has set foot for 50 years. The former centre of nuclear fast reactor research in Caithness is being decommissioned at a cost of 2.9bn.
BBC 18th Sept 2006

Scotland

ALL Scotland’s electricity needs could be met from renewable energy sources by 2050 under a bold vision for a greener future unveiled yesterday by Nicol Stephen, the deputy first minister. In an hugely ambitious pledge, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats vowed to go further than the Executive’s existing commitment to meet 40 per cent of the country’s electricity requirements through renewable sources by 2020.
Scotsman 19th Sept 2006

THORP

SELLAFIELD’S troubled Thorp reprocessing plant will NOT re-open this year because there is still too much to do following a massive radioactive leak which closed it 17 months ago. The news is a further blow for the £1.8bn flagship plant, which was closed when 83,000 litres of highly radioactive liquor leaked from a fractured pipe last April. It went undetected for nine months.
Carlisle News and Star 18th Sept 2006

Posted: 20 September 2006

19 September 2006

Iran

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he will meet Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani this week in New York and that key progress had been made in talks.
Orange 19th Sept 2006

British Energy

BE faces more losses as creaky generators at Hunterston and Hinkley take longer than expected to repair.
Daily Mail 19th Sept 2006

Shares of British Energy Plc, whose reactors can produce a fifth of the U.K.’s power, fell 8.7 percent after the company cut its electricity output target. The stock fell 55 pence to 580 pence a share in London today as of 8:07 a.m., valuing the utility at 3.34 billion pounds ($6.29 billion). British Energy late yesterday cut its production target by 2 terawatt-hours as it needs to carry out more inspections and repairs at its nuclear plants than it earlier expected. British Energy’s earlier output target for the financial year ending March 2007 was 61 to 63 terawatt-hours.
Bloomberg 19th Sept 2006

Posted: 19 September 2006

18 September 2006

Iran

The annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Geneva on 18-22 September 2006 takes place against a background of tension and foreboding over Iran’s uranium-enrichment programme. A series of negotiations involving the Tehran government, leading European Union states, and the IAEA itself has so far failed to resolve the issue of Iran’s compliance with the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
Open Democracy 18th Sept 2006

The US has warned western banks of the risks of doing business with Iranian companies allegedly trafficking in weapons of mass destruction as it steps up diplomatic pressure on Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Guardian 18th Sept 2006

Uranium

In the second of four interviews with Britain’s investment gurus, Money Editor Kathryn Cooper talks to Jim Slater, who explains the art of going for growth and says uranium is today’s best buy.
Sunday Times 17th Sept 2006

Trident

Various letters: So Jack McConnell, who once supported nuclear disarmament (as did Tony Blair), thinks it would be “irresponsible” to scrap the Trident nuclear submarine programme at a cost of thousands of millions of pounds. Is it just me, or couldn’t that money be better spent elsewhere?
Herald 18th Sept 2006

Posted: 18 September 2006

17 September 2006

Dirty Bombs

More than two tons of radioactive material stored in a rundown research facility in Serbia is an easy target for terrorists seeking to build a “dirty” bomb, according the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog. Nuclear inspectors have branded the lightly-guarded store of highly enriched uranium, from a Communist-era reactor which closed 22 years ago, the world’s most dangerous disused nuclear site – because of the potency of the material present, and because some is prone to leaking.
Sunday Telegraph 17th Sept 2006

Trident

Anti-Trident campaigners, taking part in an awareness-raising peace trek, rallied in Glasgow yesterday and called on the government to “bin the bomb”. The Long Walk for Peace began on Thursday with anti-nuclear protesters setting off from the Faslane naval base on the Clyde. The group, including church and union leaders, is walking 85 miles to the Scottish parliament, where ministers will be asked to oppose any plans to replace the UK’s Trident missiles.
Sunday Herald 17th Sept 2006

Uranium

Utah (AFX) – The last U.S. uranium mill ever built, in this parched landscape near Lake Powell, shut down almost as quickly as it started operating as nuclear power fell into disfavor about two decades ago. Keith Larsen, chief executive for U.S. Energy Corp., picked up the mill 10 years later for practically nothing, banking it for better days. His patience paid off, making Larsen’s company one of the few already taking profits out of a new uranium boom.
Orange 16th September 2006

Fusion

As chief executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Shah has to oversee the UK’s role in developing fusion energy at Culham, Oxfordshire. As he leaves the post he has held since 2003, the former BP man is confident. “Fusion is a real option for a clean source of energy. We can bring this in within 25 or 30 years. We’re not tinkering with the physics any more.”
Sunday Times 17th September 2006

IAEA

Tomorrow, representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 140 member states meet at its annual conference in Vienna. Iran should feature prominently on the agenda, not least after last week’s leaked protest over a “misleading” US government report that said Iran had enriched uranium to weapons-grade level, despite IAEA reports to the contrary.
Sunday Telegraph 17th Sept 2006

BNFL Privatisation

Fluor, the US engineering giant, has mounted a last-ditch action to persuade the Government to allow it to buy the clean-up company British Nuclear Group (BNG). Fluor executives are arguing that their acquisition of the state-owned firm, which runs the Sellafield site, would be the best way to safeguard the jobs of its 12,000-strong UK workforce. They also promise to maintain BNG as a British entity.
Independent on Sunday 17th Sept 2006

Areva has expressed an interest in buying the £100m project services arm of British Nuclear Group.
Express on Sunday 17th Sept 2006

Posted: 17 September 2006

16 September 2006

Nuclear Proliferation

Muslim nations should have nuclear weapons to deter their enemies, Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday in Islamabad, but added that his ideal would be global nuclear disarmament.
Reuters 16th Sept 2006

Iran

Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, on Friday raised expectations of a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme when he said that talks were proceeding better than ever.
FT 16th Sept 2006

Posted: 16 September 2006

15 September 2006

Iran

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has attacked the US Congress for what it termed an “erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated” report on Iran’s nuclear programme. In a letter to the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives’ intelligence committee, a senior director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the report was “incorrect” in its assessment that Iran had made weapons-grade uranium at a site inspected by the agency. Instead, the letter said, the facility had produced only small amounts of uranium, which were below the level necessary for weapons.
Guardian 15th Sept 2006

President George W. Bush raised concerns on Friday that Iran was playing for time in a dispute over its nuclear programme, but the European official leading talks with Tehran spoke of progress.
Reuters 15th Sept 2006

MEPs heard on Thursday from a variety of experts, EU officials and civil society representatives on the threats facing the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The public hearing, organised by the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, addressed both the general prospects for non-proliferation as well as the specific threat to the NPT regime by Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
EP News 15th Sept 2006

Trident

Anti-nuclear campaigners set off on an 85-mile walk to the Scottish Parliament yesterday to register their opposition to the replacement of Trident. Up to 100 people, including senior church officials, trade union activists and peace campaigners, set off from Faslane Naval Base in Argyll and Bute for Edinburgh.
Herald 15th Sept 2006

JACK McConnell sparked an angry backlash from the Westminster government yesterday when he suggested Britain should offer to scrap its nuclear weapons in a disarmament deal with Iran. He told MSPs he believed Britain’s nuclear deterrent could be used as a bargaining chip in international negotiations. Straying into areas which are completely outside his remit as First Minister, Mr McConnell suggested the UK’s Trident system could be traded in for a guarantee from Iran and other developing countries that they would not pursue their own nuclear weapons programmes.
Scotsman 15th Sept 2006

Church leaders are to unite on an anti-nuclear march across Scotland. Moderator of the General Assembly Alan McDonald and Archbishop Mario Conti are taking part in the Long Walk for Peace which begins at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde.
IC Scotland 15th Sept 2006

Climate

Global temperatures will rise further, says the report Greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced far more quickly than was previously thought, says a climate change research institute. A report by the Tyndall Centre said a UK government target of a 60% cut in emissions by 2050 is insufficient and needs to be 70% by 2030.
BBC 15th Sept 2006
Independent 15th Sept 2006
Guardian 15th Sept 2006

Nuclear Skills

LILLYHALL has been chosen as the site of an £18.8 million nuclear training academy. The development puts the Workington area at the centre of the government’s plan to build a new generation of nuclear facilities. The academy will be built on a 7.3 hectare site on the Lillyhall Business Park with space for about 250 students. A planning application will be submitted to Allerdale council in September with work expected to start in 2008. The first students are expected to enrol in September that year.
West Cumberland Times and Star 15th Sept 2006

Scandinavia

An internal leak was behind the high radioactivity levels that led to the emergency shut-down of a Norwegian nuclear reactor last weekend. The Kjellar reactor north of Oslo, a 40-year old experimental facility used for physics research, was shut down immediately after high radioactivity was detected inside the building. Following closely behind an incident at a Swedish atomic power plant a month ago that has been described as the worst nuclear incident since Chernobyl, this latest Scandinavian scare story has reignited nuclear safety fears in the region.
Edie 15th Sept 2006

Posted: 15 September 2006