News

13 November 2010

New Nukes

Letter: Why are we all not being asked to have our own wind turbines on all our properties and why are there not more wind turbines in North Somerset? Forget “old Mr Bellamy” who has had his life, think of all our own children and grandchildren who care about our environment. I am sure the world’s gone mad. First of all we are told how dangerous Sellafield is, now they want to build more!

Bristol Evening Post 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

A Nuclear Industry Association report into the UK supply chain’s capability to deliver a new nuclear programme, updated in 2008, concluded that 70% of the scope by value of these reactors could be supplied by UK companies and more, given further investment.

The Manufacturer Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

£400M of Scientific Evidence Says No Nuke Dump in Cumbria. Presentation by Dr Helen Wallace -Executive Director of Genewatch:

Genewatch 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Prof David Smythe November 2010 more >>

More: more >>

It’s one of the great questions of our age: What to do with nuclear waste? It’s challenging, not just because radioactive material is highly toxic, but because really engaging with the problem forces us to confront unimaginable timescales. But in Finland they believe they have found a solution, with the world’s first permanent nuclear-waste repository — “Onkalo” — a huge system of underground tunnels that is being hewn out of solid rock and must last at least 100,000 years.

CNN 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Sellafield

Removing radioactive material from legacy ponds at Sellafield should be the top priority for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Cumbria County Council says. The council has responded to the authority’s second five-year strategy, which takes effect from April 2011. Councillors are concerned about the potential risk from toxic decaying fuel rods and contaminated metal and cladding stored underwater at Sellafield in buildings such as B30 and B38. These will have to be removed by robots then vitrified for long-term storage.

Carlisle News & Star 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Energy Supplies

Heavier reliance on gas and less dependence on renewables, coal and nuclear could save Britain £700bn over the next 50 years, according to the Energy Networks Association.

Telegraph 13th Nov 2010 more >>

Scotland is in “serious danger” of suffering power shortages over the next decade thanks to Alex Salmond’s “bonkers” green energy policies, the head of one of the country’s largest generators has warned. Rupert Soames, chief executive of Aggreko, said Scotland’s lights will be “perilously close” to going out because a huge proportion of existing coal, oil and nuclear power stations are due to shut down over the next eight years. A Scottish Executive spokesman said the First Minister “is confident of meeting our targets for the industry, and with some 7GW of renewable electricity in Scotland in production, under construction or consented, we are well on track to exceed our interim target for next year.” He highlighted a new £70 million fund for green energy announced by Mr Salmond last week, saying this demonstrated his commitment “to ensuring Scotland seizes the once-in-a generation opportunity presented by renewable resources.” But Gavin Brown, Scottish Tory energy spokesman, said: “The SNP needs to listen to the CEO of one of Scotland’s most successful companies, a real energy expert, and find a credible policy for our energy needs. “It is the SNP’s blinkered dogma which is threatening to turn out the lights across Scotland by refusing to consider continued nuclear power as part of the energy mix.”

Telegraph 13th Nov 2010 more >>

Oldbury

THE Environment Agency has completed £35,000 worth of flood defence work along the River Severn. The agency has repaired more than a mile of tidal flood bank near Oldbury Nuclear Power Station, which protects an area of low lying land containing approximately 100 properties.

Gloucestershire Gazette 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Areva

Areva to install 1000 Megawatts of solar power capacity over five years. Milton Financials has learned that Courbevoie, France headquartered energy firm Areva is planning a $3 billion investment into India’s rapidly growing solar energy sector. Areva, which primarily focuses on nuclear energy, intends setting up 1000 MW of solar thermal power capacity over the next five years.

Open PR 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Proliferation

North Korea has operated a widespread overseas smuggling network to supply banned nuclear and ballistic missile components to Burma, Syria and Iran, according to a United Nations report that recommends tightening inspections of its foreign activities.

Telegraph 13th Nov 2010 more >>

Russia

Russian nuclear equipment maker Atomenergomash has announced that it intends to start manufacturing wind turbines and developing wind farms as it seeks to become a ‘global player in wind energy’ by 2020.

World Nuclear News 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

The European Union’s foreign policy chief is offering to meet Iran early next month for talks on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program, a European diplomat told CNN on Friday. Catherine Ashton will propose that the meetings occur December 5 somewhere in Europe, which could last as many as three days, the diplomat said.

CNN 12th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Lithuania

Witnesses say the leak of three hundred tonnes of radioactive sludge at Lithuania’s closed-down Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) last October 5 – the accident occurred during decommissioning works at this site, which used to operate Chernobyl-type RBMK reactors – led to radiation exposure suffered by cleanup personnel and severe contamination of the premises. Did management try to downplay the accident? And are accidents like this possible at RBMK-running NPPs in Russia?

Bellona 11th Nov 2010 more >>

US

The nuclear proponents will say that the system is working. Two separate incidents at the Vermont Yankee and Indian Point nuclear plants on resulted in shutdowns of both sites, but authorities in both cases were confident that the problems posed no threat to the public. And hey, that’s the idea, right? Catch things before they really do become a problem. Let’s take a look. multi-billion dollar loan guarantees will be a hard political sell if the public keeps hearing about radioactive water leaks and explosions. If the old plants can’t keep quiet for a while, the nuclear renaissance might be dead in the water.

IEEE Spectrum 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Finland

In many ways, this unassuming, modestly proportioned documentary from Finnish film-maker Michael Madsen (no relation to the Hollywood bad guy) is one of the most extraordinary factual films to be shown this year: my only quarrel is that it is perhaps too short, and could have done with more wide-ranging interviews to tackle its implications. Madsen’s film is about Onkalo, a colossal underground tomb being built in Finland, 500 metres below the earth – supposedly impervious to any event on the surface and far away from any possible earthquake danger: its purpose is to house thousands of tonnes of radioactive nuclear waste. Onkalo is the first storage site of its kind, and Madsen interviews the various technicians, scientists, legislators and commentators involved in this awe-inspiring project.

Guardian 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Disarmament

Letter: The SNP may well speak for a large number of people in Scotland, but is far from a majority party. Therefore, while it governs lawfully and speaks on our behalf, the SNP does not actually represent the views of the majority of the Scottish people.

Thus, while Munro Ross (Letters, 11 November) finds the views of Alexander McKay on defence unpalatable, they are in fact closer to the views of most Scots. For one thing, Scots have always voted for Unionist parties. And probably always will.

Scotsman 13th Nov 2010 more >>

Fossil Fuels

Greenpeace has launched legal action in a bid to stop UK offshore drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The environmental group announced today that its lawyers have filed a claim at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. They are to seek court orders banning the issuing of new licences for deep-sea drilling until the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion have been properly established.

Independent 13th Nov 2010 more >>

Telegraph 13th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 13 November 2010

12 November 2010

Radwaste

Common EU rules mooted for final disposal of spent fuel from nuclear power plants. Nuclear power stations generate a third of the electricity consumed in the EU – and about 7 000 cubic metres of radioactive waste each year. Currently, this spent nuclear fuel waste is being stored at centres close to or near the ground. But this is a short-term measure to reduce temperature and radioactivity a little. As radioactive waste remains hazardous for up to one million years, the safest long term solution is to dispose of it deep underground, where there is less chance of it being affected by accidents, fires or earthquakes.

News on News 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

A MACHINE tools manufacturer is hoping to be part of an engineering sector resurgence in the UK as the country prepares to build nuclear power stations. Paul Hinchliffe, managing director of Asquith Butler in Brighouse, said the national civil and nuclear programme – to build between eight to 12 new nuclear stations in the next 30 years – was one of the biggest plans for UK manufacturing.

Halifax Courier 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Hartlepool (Non-nuclear)

Technology capable of producing electricity from heat generated by process industries is being trialled in Hartlepool.

Huntsman Pigments, which develops titanium dioxide pigment to be used in paints at its Greatham site, has partnered with DRD Power for the project. From March 2011, the plant will be trialling a system that uses the waste water to heat liquid with a lower boiling temperature, which in turn powers a generator. It is thought that the project could save between 600 and 750 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and will be capable of generating 200kW of electricity.

Low Carbon Economy 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Trawsfynydd

THE Communications Team at Trawsfynydd’s former Nuclear Power Station has won a prestigious award in Cardiff. The Annual Chartered Institute of Public Relations Wales Annual PR Awards saw Magnox North’s Trawsfynydd Site entering for the first time, scooping the Gold Award in the Best Magazine category

Cambrian News 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Sellafield

Hundreds of Sellafield staff can expect a move to Whitehaven to work in the planned £20 million Albion Square office block complex.

Carlisle News & Star 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Aldermaston

Members at the Atomic Weapons Establishment are to balloted on industrial action over a pay offer for 2010. Notification of the ballot has been sent to AWE and papers will be issued to members on November 2 with a closing date of November 16. Prospect says AWE’s accounts show increased costs as a result of paying the board plus a dividend to the three controlling companies, who contribute nothing at all to AWE. AWE is run by a consortium on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. The consortium, controlled by Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Engineering and Serco is financed from tax payers’ money to produce and maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Prospect 29th Oct 2010 more >>

US

Nuclear power may be one issue both President Obama and the new Republican Congress can agree on, but unless someone is willing to pony up more money, a big new build-out of nuclear power plants remains unlikely.

CNN 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Venezuela

Venezuela expects a nuclear reactor to save it $1 billion per year by increasing the amount of oil it exports, but a lot of work remains to realise the promise of nuclear cooperation with Russia.

World Nuclear News 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Disarmament

Past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are in the Japanese city of Hiroshima to call for nuclear disarmament. Hiroshima, devastated by an atomic bomb in 1945, was chosen to highlight the anti-nuclear message.

BBC 12th Nov 2010 more >>

Coal

In the largest ever initial public offering on the Indian stock exchange, Coal India, a huge government-owned coal company, recently offered 10% of its shares to investors at home and abroad. What was at stake was essentially a $35bn (£21bn) bankrolling of enhanced global warming by the capital markets. Yet Coal India’s prospectus, crafted with the help of a clutch of big-name investment banks, did not mention climate change once in 510 pages of exhortation to invest.

Guardian 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 12 November 2010

11 November 2010

GDA

Work on assessing Areva SA’s and Toshiba Corp.’s unit Westinghouse Electric Co.’s nuclear reactor designs for operation in the U.K. is expected to continue beyond the June 2011 deadline, U.K. nuclear safety and security regulatory bodies said Wednesday. This would mean the two bodies are more likely to issue an interim design acceptance confirmation, or DAC, with oustanding generic design assessment (GDA) issues rather than the final DAC in June 2011.

Wall Street Journal 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Kevin Allars, Director of New Build GDA at the HSE, and Joe McHugh, Head of Radioactive Substances Regulation at the Environment Agency, have today published the third Quarterly Report for 2010 (July – September). This provides an update on our work to assess the safety cases for the new nuclear power station designs and looks at the key challenges ahead. Progress continues on the assessment, however, it is expected that some limited GDA work will be required by the RPs beyond June 2011 to address some of the issues arising, therefore it is looking more likely that we could issue an Interim DAC rather than a DAC in June 2011. Although we are confident that we can complete a meaningful assessment by June 2011, this remains a significant challenge and we are relying on the requesting parties to provide us with the appropriate and timely information we require to complete our assessment.

HSE 10th Nov 2010 more >>

The UK nuclear regulator said Wednesday it expects both the Areva EPR and the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors to have unresolved safety issues when the generic design assessment, or GDA, program completes next year. In a quarterly progress report released Wednesday, the NII said it has potential open issues in 10 out of 18 topical areas on the Areva EPR design review and in 16 out of the 18 topical areas on the Westinghouse AP1000 design.

Platts 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said on Wednesday it may delay a definite decision on whether to approve two proposed nuclear reactor designs until after the original date of June 2011.

Reuters 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Design changes are likely to be required to the two types of nuclear reactor companies are proposing to build in Britain and licensing them is likely to stretch beyond June, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.

Professional Engineering 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Dr Sue Ion: Westinghouse and Areva have made significant improvements to nuclear reactor design to ensure they are ft for the 21st century. In terms of passing the GDA (generic design assessment), the regulators keep stressing that there are no show-stopping issues with either the AP1000 or the EPR.

Professional Engineering 10th Nov 2010 more >>

AP1000

Westinghouse has been told to resubmit its assessment of aircraft impact on the AP1000 reactor. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said that documents put to it in order to demonstrate a 2009 requirement did not include ‘realistic’ analyses and that this amounted to a violation of requirements that Westinghouse must explain and rectify. A rule introduced by NRC in 2009 states that new nuclear power plant buildings and safety systems must maintain containment, cooling of the reactor core and the integrity or cooling of used fuel facilities in the event of the impact of a large passenger jet. All reactor vendors must fulfil this requirement for their designs. For Westinghouse this regulatory work comes in addition to a 2007 design amendment to the original AP1000 design, which was certified by the NRC in 2006.

World Nuclear News 9th Nov 2010 more >>

NII

Lord Jenkin of Roding: It was in 2008 that the then government realised that the nuclear safety regulator, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII), was being hampered in its hugely important duties because it was finding it difficult to recruit the expert nuclear inspectors it needed. The solution was to be an Legislative Reform Order (LRO) which reconstituted the NII as a separate independent body; though it would still be answerable to the HSE, it would be free from the civil service rules on pay and pensions. Consultations established that there was total unanimity on this – including the trade unions. The chair of the Health and Safety Executive, to which the NII reports, assured me personally that she too saw no difficulties. A Draft LRO was published months ago but for some reason has not been laid before Parliament. The nuclear industry is desperate to get ahead with securing the safety approvals it needs to start work on the new nuclear build, but until the NII is free to recruit enough inspectors, the work is threatened with delays.

ePolitix 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

COPELAND residents are being asked to have their say about a possible underground nuclear waste repository in the area. Newsletters are being distributed to homes throughout the borough and drop-in sessions are also being held in Whitehaven and Millom. The events has been organised by the West Cumbria MRWS Partnership, which is made up of local authorities and other stakeholders, to see what the public think about the proposals.

Whitehaven News 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Carlisle News & Star 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Waste Transport

Containers meant for shipping hundreds of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste from Britain’s defunct nuclear power stations were banned from use because they breached safety rules. The Swedish company, Studsvik, stopped using nine transport containers for radioactive scrap metal for six weeks this summer after a government audit uncovered “a range of deficiencies”. In September 2009, Studsvik started up a £6 million scrap metal recycling plant at Lillyhall in Cumbria. According to the company at the time, the aim was to decontaminate and resell into the open market hundreds of thousands of tonnes of radioactive metal from the decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear plants. A routine audit by the Department for Transport (DfT) on 29-30 June this year found “non-conformances relating to design and maintenance controls” for nine radioactive waste containers, Studsvik has admitted. As a result the company ordered a “voluntary cessation of all consignments of waste using Studsvik’s own transport containers”, according to a statement issued by the company in response to queries.

Studsvik then improved its design records and revised its maintenance arrangements, it said.

Get Noticed Online 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Companies

Government plans for a £200 billion revamp of Britain’s energy network were cast in doubt yesterday after E.ON said that it was focusing its attention on emerging markets in a drive to restore profitability. The German energy giant said that it planned to sell €15 billion of assets by 2013, including part of its UK business. E.ON, which has debts of €45 billion, warned that profits from its core European markets, including Britain, were set to fall over the next two years. The announcement raised concerns in Britain, where the Government has said that £200 billion of investment is required in offshore wind parks and nuclear power plants to help to rebuild the ageing power infrastructure and meet EU targets to cut carbon emissions by one third by 2020.

Times 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Sizewell

Babcock is highlighting its role in helping EDF Energy to bring Sizewell B power station back online last month. The station, which can generate enough electricity to serve two million homes was halted in March following the failure of some heaters in the pressuriser.

The Engineer 9th Nov 2010 more >>

A NEW nuclear power station could be worth up to £700m to the Suffolk economy during construction and £40m a year when up and running.

Evening Star 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Sellafield – New Reactor

Scottish & Southern Energy has put off plans to build more gas storage because of regulatory uncertainty and reduced profitability, but hopes to open its first nuclear plant around 2023, it said on Wednesday. SSE, together with consortium partners GDF Suez and Iberdrola, expects to make a final investment decision on building a nuclear plant around 2015.

CNBC 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Interactive Investor 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Planning

The keenly-awaited Localism Bill will put the coalition government’s stamp on the regime for authorising nationally significant infrastructure projects established by the Planning Act 2008. Today, the government provided some more information on the contents of the Bill in response to losing a case in the High Court on regional spatial strategies.

Bircham Dyson & Bell 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Supply Chain

UK contractors must act now to ensure they can counter suggestions that they do not have the skills to win work on nuclear new-build projects, a nuclear infrastructure expert has warned. Roger Clayson, Addleshaw Goddard’s legal director for infrastructure, projects and energy – and the former head of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority -said he thought UK firms were well placed to win work but needed to take steps prepare. His comments follow criticism of UK contractors by nuclear new-build giant EDF Energy, which said they needed to improve productivity and skills or risk missing out on the firm’s £20 billion programme. He warned that the planning reforms due to be laid out in the decentralisation and localism bill would be central to the progress of nuclear new-build schemes. “The bill is key; planning is clearly the major concern at the moment as the Infrastructure Planning Commission is transferred to an enlarged planning inspectorate.

Construction News 11th Sept 2010 more >>

NDA

HUNDREDS of Sellafield staff can expect a move to Whitehaven to work in the planned £20 million Albion Square office block complex, it was revealed this week. The transfer of staff from the nuclear site is key to the development. Regeneration bosses predict that “if and when” it goes ahead Whitehaven stands to gain its biggest economic boost for years.

It is thought that spending power from as many as 400 nuclear staff would breathe new life into the town, giving a big boost to existing traders and encouraging new shops to set up along with other business spin-offs.

The Whitehaven News can reveal that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – Sellafield’s legal owners – is negotiating with Copeland Council to take a lease on the proposed hi-tech building once a funding gap is plugged and land deals completed.

Whitehaven News 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Ships

Nuclear reactors could power cargo vessels.

Professional Engineering 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Japan

A 3.3-metric-ton fuel exchange component that lodged in the reactor vessel of the Monju fast-breeder reactor here after being dropped cannot be extracted using “usual methods,” the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has stated. The JAEA made the announcement Nov. 9 after examining the component — a cylinder now stuck in an opening in the reactor vessel cap — with a camera. The agency believes that to get the part out, equipment on the reactor vessel cap will have to be removed, and an entirely new structure built to prevent sodium now covering the cylinder from mixing with the outside air and igniting during the process. The agency is now considering ways to do this, but gave no hint when testing of the reactor may recommence.

Mainichi Daily News 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

Some young people attached to ropes descended halfway from rail bridges to force the train to stop. Others hastily grabbed stones out from under the tracks. Many more people, young and old from all over Germany, simply sat down on the tracks until police carried them away. Banners and witty, sarcastic signs were everywhere, alongside the multicoloured tents of those spending two, three or four days on a cold, damp, flat stretch of north German landscape.

Morning Star 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he will not discuss the nuclear issue with world powers in talks scheduled later this month.

Reuters 10th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

A Royal Navy nuclear submarine is to be berthed in Southampton for five days from tomorrow. HMS Torbay is making an official visit to the city, giving hundreds of Sea Cadets, Scouts and other youngsters a rare opportunity to sample life on board.

Daily Echo 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Green Deal

Interest rate-savvy homeowners who are used to weighing up the merits of fixed-rate mortgages against tracker deals will soon be making similar bets on energy prices to pay their fuel bills. The government is to unveil a Green Deal bill by the end of the year, which will result in energy companies spending a total of 250bn over the next decade on the upfront costs of improving insulation on individual homes. Measures will include fitting loft and cavity wall insulation, and energy efficient boilers, and may include solar panels and heat pumps. The Green Deal, which allows consumers to shift the upfront costs of energy efficiency measures to suppliers, will be available from 2012. Households that request the work will trigger a charge over 20 years that is fixed to the property, even after the first occupants move out.

Guardian 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Solar

Michael Eavis has installed 1,116 solar power panels on his cow shed at Worthy Farm, the site of the Glastonbury festival.

Guadrian 11th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 11 November 2010

10 November 2010

Waste Transport

Containers meant for shipping hundreds of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste from Britain’s defunct nuclear power stations were banned from use because they breached safety rules. The Swedish company, Studsvik, stopped using nine transport containers for radioactive scrap metal for six weeks this summer after a government audit uncovered “a range of deficiencies”. Critics branded the news, which has only now come to light, as “worrying”. Studsvik, however, insisted that the problems had been solved, and that there had been “no impact” on the environment.

Rob Edwards 9th Nov 2010 more >>

A BIRMINGHAM MP has called for an investigation after a train suspected of carrying nuclear waste to Sellafield secretly passed through the city. Selly Oak Labour MP Steve McCabe made the call after Dave Harte, a lecturer at Birmingham City University and Editor of the Bournville Village blog, claims to have seen a “distinctive” carriage which he is convinced was holding nuclear waste material pass through Bournville station. Harte’s picture taken at the station and reproduced in the Birmingham Mail is shown alongside.

Get Noticed Online 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Birmingham Mail 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Torness etc

Last of three programmes Secret Life of the National Grid. Footage of Torness demonstrations in the 1970s. Interviews with Rob Edwards, Sue Cowgill and Walt Patterson. AGR programme was a disaster. Patterson discusses why Thatcher only managed to build one PWR. The cost of decommissioning old reactors would have been more than the whole electricity industry could be sold for.

BBC4 9th November 2010 more >>

Hinkley/Planning

The IPC now says the application for Hinkley C is expected in “winter 2010-11.” It was originally expected in Summer 2010, but this was changed to December 1st. IPC Chairman Michael Pitt told a meeting of the Nuclear Development Forum on October 28th that the earliest dates for nuclear project submissions are “likely to prove optimistic.”

Nuclear Development Forum 28th Oct 2010 more >>

The presentation by Mark Higson, Chief Executive of the Office of Nuclear Development seemed to confirm this. His Indicative Timeline showed the first planning applications arriving between the end of the first quarter 2011 and the end of the second quarter.

Nuclear Development Forum 28th Oct 2010 more >>

Sizewell

A NEW nuclear power station could be worth up to £700m to the Suffolk economy during construction and £40m a year when up and running, it was claimed last night.

East Anglian Daily Times 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Lowestoft Journal 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Eastern Daily Press 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Kings Cliffe

Public Inquiry opens.

BBC Look East 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Heysham

Thousands of jobs and billions of pounds could be brought to Lancashire as part of the government’s plans to build a new nuclear power station. The visit was the minister’s second in recent months after the government gave the green light to support plans for eight new reactors across the county in October. During Friday’s visit, Mr Hendry said Lancashire is “key to Britain’s low-carbon nuclear future” and he said he was determined to put the county in the “global shop window” for investment in the energy industry. He said: “It has been a really valuable experience to visit the plant here at Heysham, where the reactors have been providing low-carbon electricity for nearly 30 years now.

Lancashire Evening Post 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

The CASTOR nuclear waste has now reached its final destination at an interim storage facility in Gorleben, Germany, after the longest journey ever in the history of this radioactive transport. Over a period of approximately 92 hours and 26 minutes the nuclear transport faced more resistance and peaceful direct action from the local population and their supporters than ever before. The demand is clear: Germany has to confirm its commitment to a nuclear phase-out now.

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 9th Nov 2010 more >>

A shipment of nuclear waste from France finally reached a storage facility in north-west Germany today, after police worked overnight to clear a roadblock of more than 3,000 protesters. The German nuclear waste which had been reprocessed in France left by train from Valognes on Friday and reached its destination 92 hours later as trucks drove it the final 12 miles of its 930-mile journey to Gorleben.

Guardian 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Independent 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Independent business analyst, Datamonitor, has stated that the ambitious climate change and renewable energy targets of Germany are only achievable if its government extends the life of its remaining plants past their 2021 retirement date.

Connecting Industry 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Syria

Syria maintained a discreet silence today after the former US president George Bush revealed that he had considered attacking a suspected Syrian nuclear facility in 2007, at Israel’s request.

Guardian 10th Nov 2010 more >>

India

The Asian Development Bank has roped in the European Investment Bank to invest in large-scale solar power plants in India. The ADB is committed to arrange finances for India’s ambitious National Solar Mission projects.The Asian Development Bank has been working closely with many Asian countries to provide them financial, technical and policy-related support for expanding solar energy infrastructure. The ADB is playing an active role in India to make solar energy more popular. In addition to the European Investment Bank, the ADB has also attracted funding from the US Import-Export Bank and Germany’s KWF.

Clean Technica 9th Nov 2010 more >>

North Korea

The head of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programmes has reportedly been arrested on charges of passing state secrets to a foreign intelligence agency.

Telegraph 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has formally proposed dates for new negotiations with the major powers over its nuclear program, the United States said Tuesday, adding it hoped to resume talks as early as this month.

EU Business 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Trident

Britain’s nuclear deterrent is being put at risk by ConDem spending cuts, the Navy’s top officer has said. Nimrod spy planes, used to protect Trident subs, were sacrificed after Chancellor George Osborne took an axe to the armed forces. Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord, said: “I am very uncomfortable at losing Nimrod. I am happy to say that publicly.” John Woodcock, Labour MP for Barrow, said: “This underlines the risks that David Cameron is taking with Britain’s nuclear deterrent.”

Daily Mirror 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Renewables

Ministers say legislation, which would see Scottish Water become a major generator of renewable electricity, was being delayed in order to allow “more ambitious” plans than originally envisaged for the utility to be examined through a public consultation. Under the Bill, announced in the Scottish government’s legislative programme two months ago, Scottish Water is to be given new powers to build wind farms, hydro-electric schemes and ‘green’ power stations.

Times 10th Nov 2010 more >>

A glut in global supplies of natural gas over the next decade threatens to blunt investment in alternative sources of energy including wind, nuclear and solar power, the International Energy Agency said yesterday.

Times 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Hugh Richards – Obituary

Hugh became embroiled in opposition to nuclear power. With other, like-minded activists, he established the Central Wales Energy Group and later the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance (WANA). He was also involved in the setting up of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities movement in 1980. By 1988 he was becoming frustrated with the limited time he had to dedicate to the anti-nuclear cause, so he and Mag agreed that he would become a “house father”, spending his spare time on campaigning. He simultaneously set up in private practice as a planning and design consultant. Indeed he designed the home where Billy and Tom, his two sons with severe learning difficulties, live as part of the Ashfield Community Enterprise (ACE), in Powys. Hugh and his younger brother, Tim, used to joke that he had a truly “anti-nuclear” family.

Guardian 10th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 10 November 2010

9 November 2010

Nuclear Smuggling

There was a very scary story out of Georgia today after two Armenian men pleaded guilty during a secret trial to smuggling highly enriched uranium into the former Soviet state and trying to sell it to an undercover agent posing as a representative of Islamic radicals. By proving once again that a black market for fissile materials still exists, the Georgia trials illustrates that any nuclear renaissance must be accompanied with the strictest safeguards and accounting, with international oversight at every step of the process. Nuclear power can play a role in the fight against climate change. But that will be useless if the price we pay is the destruction of a city by nuclear terrorists.

Time 8th Nov 2010 more >>

The Armenian government said today it had detained a man suspected of supplying nuclear bomb-grade uranium to two smugglers caught in Georgia earlier this year trying to sell it on the black market.

Guardian 9th Nov 2010 more >>

The capture of two Armenian men who attempted to sell weapons grade uranium to men posing as terrorists has raised concerns of a smuggling network for nuclear arms.

Daily Mail 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Suppose that a terrorist group manages to get hold of nuclear material, make a bomb and set it off in a city centre somewhere. Will the fragments that are left leave clues to who did it, or where the fissile material came from? Tests on residues from the world’s first nuclear explosion suggest they might.

New Scientist 8th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Planning

A handy list of links to all things Planning Act – the Act and legislation made under it, government and IPC guidance, Parliamentary debates and reports. I will keep this entry up to date as events unfold.

Bircham, Dyson & Bell 2010 more >>

Low Level Waste

Twelve people had to be decontaminated after a chemical explosion at a waste facility in Cannock. More than 30 firefighters attended the Augean liquid treatment plant in the Bridgtown area of Cannock at 1200 GMT on Friday. Two Augean staff were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. (Likely to feed fears at Kings Cliffe about the company’s track record on safety and claims of competency).

BBC 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

German police began carrying protesters away from a road Tuesday morning after 4,000 demonstrators attempted to block a nuclear waste shipment to the village of Gorleben. As they were hauled off to the side of the road by two officers each, protesters shouted, “Abschalten,” or “Turn them off,” referring to the nuclear power stations.

CNN 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

From Australia to Canada, from India to the UK – the world is watching the ongoing protest of the CASTOR nuclear transport in Germany. This morning the nuclear train reached its final stop in Dannenberg, a small town approximately 10 kilometres from the final destination – an interim nuclear storage facility in Gorleben. It was stopped last night for several hours by acts of non-violent direct action on a scale never before seen in the region, which has been the site of similar protests against transports of nuclear waste since 1997. Approximately 10,000 demonstrators – including local residents, politicians, environmental groups, football clubs, unions and supporters coming from all over Germany and beyond – occupied the railway tracks.

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 8th Nov 2010 more >>

China

France and China have agreed to form what they are calling a “strategic” partnership in civilian nuclear power.

The announcement came on November 4 as Chinese President Hu Jintao opened a three-day state visit to France. The opening day of the visit included the announcement of more than $20 billion worth of new deals between France and China, including in the nuclear sector.

Oil Price 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has secured contracts worth over GBP35m from China Nuclear Power Engineering to provide reactor safety instrumentation and controls systems for eight new nuclear power plants operated by China Guangdong Nuclear Power.

Energy Business Review 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Italy

Italy’s Council of Ministers has agreed on the board members of the country’s Agency for Nuclear Safety (ASN). Former health minister and noted oncologist Umberto Veronesi has been named as the agency’s president. Veronesi is joined by nuclear scientists Maurizio Cumo and Marco Enrico Ricotti, ministry of environment chief of staff Michele Corradino and magistrate and terrorism expert Stefano Dambruoso. The long-awaited formal announcement of the ASN board means that Italy has completed another step on the road to its nuclear energy renaissance.

World Nuclear News 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Trident

A four-year delay to the replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent will cost up to £1.4bn, prompting claims tonight that David Cameron is incurring extra spending to appease the Liberal Democrats. Labour accused the prime minister of playing politics with Britain’s national security after the defence secretary Liam Fox announced that the government’s decision to prolong the life of the current Trident deterrent by four years would cost an extra £1.2-£1.4bn.

Guardian 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Extending the life of Trident will cost up to £1.4bn casting doubt over the savings made by delaying replacement.

FT 9th Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

Westcountry-based nuclear-powered submarines have crashed eight times in the last 20 years, the Ministry of Defence has admitted. A Parliamentary answer revealed 16 groundings and collisions suffered by the British submarine fleet – involving icebergs, trawlers and even yachts – since 1988. Half of the incidents involved boats based at Plymouth. The embarrassing list includes the accident in 2002 when Devonport-based HMS Trafalgar grounded off the Scottish coast causing £5 million worth of damage. A year later HMS Tireless struck an iceberg while on Arctic patrol.

This is Devon 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 9 November 2010

8 November 2010

New Nukes

The renewable energy industry is concerned that the government has spent thousands meeting nuclear lobbyists. Thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been spent on special meetings between ministers and the nuclear industry in Britain, prompting allegations the government is giving the sector an unfair advantage over renewables. In response to a Freedom of Information request from consultant and anti-nuclear campaigner David Lowry Decc said that it had costed three external meetings with the NDF in 2010, spending £3,910 in March, £2,820 in July, and £1,416 in October.

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

A CALL for plans to build a new nuclear power station 15 miles off South Wales to be opposed has been rejected by Vale of Glamorgan councillors. The planned development at Hinkley Point, in Somerset, has sparked safety concerns about the impact it could have on South Wales, particularly if there were an accident or a terrorist attack.

South Wales Echo 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Smuggling

The dark netherworlds of nuclear smuggling still pose a terrible danger to us all. Terrorists are seeking nuclear weapons and the materials to make them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a Manhattan Project to make a crude nuclear bomb – numerous government studies have warned that a sophisticated terrorist group might pull it off, if they could get enough nuclear material. And with bits of highly enriched uranium (HEU) continuing to show up in the hands of hustlers and smugglers, the obvious question is: of which iceberg are we seeing the tip?

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

HIGHLY ENRICHED uranium that could be used to make a nuclear bomb is on sale on the black market along the fringes of the former Soviet Union, according to evidence emerging from a secret trial in Georgia. Two Armenians, a businessman and a physicist, have pleaded guilty to smuggling highly enriched uranium into Georgia in March, in a lead-lined package on a train from Yerevan to Tbilisi.

Irish Times 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Independent 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Telegraph 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

Police wielding batons have clashed with protesters who disrupted the passage of a train carrying nuclear waste from France to Germany. The train is returning German nuclear waste for storage after it was treated in France. The train was stopped in northern Germany by activists abseiling from a bridge over the railway tracks. Officers used batons and pepper spray on hundreds of protesters trying to sabotage the tracks and the activists retaliated by throwing firecrackers.

BBC 7th Nov 2010 more >>

ITN 7th Nov 2010 more >>

ABC News 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Euro News 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Scotsman 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Irish Examiner 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Independent 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Telegraph 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Video of Caen action.

Sortir du Nucleaire 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Right now in Germany we are witnessing an unprecedented mass mobilization against radioactive waste and against the operational extension of 17 nuclear reactors in the country by an average of 12 years. This anti-CASTOR (Cask for Storage and Transport of Radioactive material) mobilization is the largest Germany has seen, and includes both the young and the old, farmers and politicians, environmental and youth groups. It is truly a grassroots movement, united behind one goal: saying ‘Nein Danke’ -’No thank you’ – to nuclear energy.

Greenpeace 7th Nov 2010 more >>

Pakistan

China plans to supply Pakistan with a fifth nuclear reactor, according to Pakistani government officials.

FT 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran has informed Ankara it is ready to hold talks in Turkey with the six world powers on its controversial nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday.

Middle East Online 7th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Anglo-French nuclear co-operation agreement: NIS briefing. Under the terms of a new treaty Britain and France intend to collaborate on nuclear warhead technology for the next 50 years. The agreement, announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, commits the two nations to undertake a joint programme of co-operation on nuclear weapon technology at a new hydrodynamics research facility at Valduc in France and a joint Technology Development Centre at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston.

NIS 7th Nov 2010 more >>

Do we have to wait, hope and whistle a plaintive tune until North Korea stows away its missiles and Iran stops playing deadly games? Or are we merely killing time? Ask questions like these and immediately you’re dealing with the old cold war balances of deterrence (aka mutually assured destruction). Obama – for all his new rhetoric – comes from that old world too. “As long as these weapons exist, we will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary.” But whom does he need more than 9,000 warheads to deter?

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Test Veterans

A judge has ordered the release of top secret documents that could bring justice to Britain’s nuclear bomb veterans.

Lawyers believe the papers could be the “smoking gun” that proves military chiefs knew they were sending servicemen to their deaths when they made them watch atomic blasts 50 years ago. But in an extraordinary clash between the Government and the judiciary, defence secretary Liam Fox has refused to give them up. Judge Hugh Stubbs ordered the disclosure during a tribunal hearing to decide if 16 vets and their widows should receive a war pension. But MoD lawyers said they had been instructed “not to comply”.

Daily Mirror 7th Nov 2010 more >>

CCS

Gas plants will be eligible for the government’s £9bn carbon capture demonstration programme, Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, will announce tomorrow. The programme had only been open to coal plants, which in future will be required to fit the technology to capture and store emissions rather than release them into the atmosphere.

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Renewables

Orders for offshore wind turbines in Britain will slump next year, threatening to halt the industry’s recent growth and the expected creation of up to 10,000 “green economy” jobs.

Analysts are forecasting a 93% drop in the installation of new offshore windfarms in 2013 compared with the previous year. As orders for cables, foundations and other equipment are typically made two to three years ahead of the project being completed, the slowdown will start to bite among UK suppliers next year.

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

The electricity meter was changed last week because the old one had been running backwards. This phenomenon had originally caused consternation on a sunny day in summer when workmen, sent by the electricity suppliers to renew the earthing system, wanted to call the police. Only a consultation with head office persuaded them this was not a felony but a 1970s-style meter responding to output from a new set of solar panels on the roof. The panels were exporting electricity to the grid.

Guardian 8th Nov 2010 more >>

One of the things for which Britain is justly famous is its lush, green, spectacularly beautiful countryside. One of the things for which Britain is not at all famous is its endless sunshine. Put these two basic facts together and you might reach one obvious conclusion: that any taxpayer-funded scheme to carpet that unspoilt landscape in solar panels in order to generate electricity at nearly three times the market cost is bound to end in disaster.

Telegraph 8th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 8 November 2010

7 November 2010

New Nukes

Caroline Lucas MP: For a decade or more, Britain’s environmental movement thought the spectre of nuclear power had been banished. The costs and the waste, the protests and the planning objections:virtually no-one would propose new nuclear capacity. Even the Tories had come to a virtually anti-nuclear position by ruling out public subsidy, since every plant ever built in Britain has required spectacular sums of taxpayers’ money. It’s now back on the table, though, backed by some former stalwarts of the movement. LibDems who very recently told us it was a dead end are now signed up. In 2003 Labour declared new stations “an unattractive option”, but by 2008 they’d changed their mind too. The pressure is easy to understand. All the parties want to sound tough on climate change without discussing lifestyle changes, and nuclear has been expensively rebranded as clean and low-carbon. A supplement to wind and wave, we’re told, part of the solution, just for baseload.nuclear power cannot help us. It’s neither genuinely low-carbon, nor economically viable, nor sustainable for the long term. Carbon emissions from nuclear power are lower than fossil fuels, but it’s certainly not low-carbon compared to renewables. Looking at the whole cycle, from construction to decommissioning, the savings compared to gas are small and will diminish as high-grade uranium gets harder to find. Nuclear is also fiendishly expensive, and the costs tend to rise. The Finns are building a new nuclear plant, at more than £2.4 billion over its original £3.2bn budget.

Sunday Herald 7th Nov 2010 more >>

The fact that many leading environmentalists are looking again at the potential of nuclear power may actually help to promote discussion of these issues within the trade union movement. Many of the large industrial unions, such as Unite and the GMB, have historically been “pro-nuclear”, largely the result of pressure from workers in the industry. In contrast the service and white collar unions, such as Unison, have tended to oppose nuclear power.

Permanent Revolution 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

It was very sad to hear that Jim Duffy (pictured) is stepping down after so many years of campaigning – he has been a wonderful support and inspiration to those of us campaigning to stop more nuclear power stations and to close those old dinosaurs like Oldbury that have been limping along for far too long.

Ruscombe Green 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Eon

Eon, the German power company, is in advanced talks to sell Britain’s second-largest electricity distribution network to a group of foreign investors for up to £3.5 billion. The Eon business, made up of the former Midlands and East Midlands Electricity companies, provides power to more than 5m homes in central England through 82,000 miles of cable. It is understood that a consortium comprising the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, Canada Pension Plan and Macquarie, the Australian bank, approached the German utility recently and that talks have advanced quickly.

Sunday Times 7th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

Tens of thousands of protestors gathered in the northern German town of Dannenberg on Saturday to disrupt the arrival of a train carrying 123 metric tons of nuclear waste from France.

Deutsche Welle 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Business Week 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Capital FM 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Sky News 6th Nov 2010 more >>

STV 6th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 6th Nov 2010 more >>

A train carrying 123 tonnes of nuclear waste, dubbed ‘Chernobyl on wheels’ by protesters, has crossed the border from France into Germany. A strong police presence is surrounding the controversial journey. The train has already been temporarily stopped by activists on the French side of the border.

EuroNews 6th Nov 2010 more >>

The Greens have soared in popularity this year, boosted by mounting support for the anti-nuclear movement. Now a key party official is eyeing Berlin’s prestigious mayor’s officeThe Green Party has reached a new all-time high in popularity. Support for Germany’s Green Party has risen to a record 22 percent, according to a poll by public broadcaster ARD.

Deutsche Welle 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

FLEET of ageing nuclear subs is rotting in Navy dockyards in a £1.5billion scandal. The Ministry of Defence has been accused of doing little to quell fears over radiation risks to workers and locals. Meanwhile the 16 radioactive Royal Navy submarines are wasting away in Plymouth and Rosyth, Scotland. Anti-nuclear campaigner Di McDonald told us: “This consultation has been delayed and postponed I don’t know how many times. “We should have had it last year and now won’t get it until 2011. They don’t know how to dispose of the submarines or store the waste. There isn’t any underground depository. They must ensure the workers and public are not exposed to any unnecessary radiation risks. They should dispose of the waste on MoD property. It should be an MoD solution.”

Daily Star 7th Nov 2010 more >>

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been accused of a “catalogue of blunders” after admitting there have been 16 crashes involving British nuclear-powered submarines since 1988. More than half of the accidents were in seas around Scotland. According to critics, the repeated errors that caused the accidents suggest that the MoD has failed to learn from past mistakes. A serious incident in the future could cause radioactivity to leak and put public health at risk, they warn.

Sunday Herald 7th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 7 November 2010

6 November 2010

Waste Transport

About 30,000 anti-nuclear protesters are expected to demonstrate tomorrow against a shipment of highly radioactive nuclear waste, nicknamed “Chernobyl on wheels”, that is being moved across France and Germany by train. Although the exact route of the convoy is being kept secret, protesters have organised demonstrations at cities along its 900-mile route. At least 17,000 German riot police are poised for what could be one of the biggest anti-nuclear demonstrations in years. By early this afternoon hundreds of activists had chained themselves to trees along the route or were preparing to lock themselves to the railway track. Yannick Rousselet, of Greenpeace, said: “Never in history has such a quantity of radioactive material ever been transported.” Laura Hameaux, of Sortir du Nuclaire, a network of 875 anti-nuclear groups, said: “It is at least twice the radioactivity of all the radioactive pollution from the Chernobyl catastrophe and [local people] haven’t even been informed of its route.”

Guardian 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Greenpeace has staged protests against a nuclear waste convoy which it claimed was “the most radioactive shipment in history” amounting to the radioactive equivalent of 11 Chernobyl disasters.

The “Train from Hell” carrying 123 tons of nuclear waste in 11 coaches set off yesterday afternoon from northwestern France to Germany under tight security, including 80 armed guards and fighter jets on standby. It was due to pass close to at least five major cities, bypassing Paris by only about 100 miles during its 700-mile journey. Protesters blocked the train’s progress at Caen, northern France last night, chaining themselves to the tracks just outside the station.

Telegraph 6th Nov 2010 more >>

A small group of anti-nuclear activists temporarily blocked a train in France on Friday carrying nuclear waste to Germany by attaching themselves to railway tracks with metal cuffs, French authorities said. The first such shipment in two years is likely to draw far bigger protests when it finally arrives in Germany, due to anger over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to extend the lifespan of Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants.

Reuters 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Business Week 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Earth Times 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Anti-nuclear activists say they have successfully re-routed a highly radioactive train travelling from France to Germany. The exact itinerary of the convoy remains top secret, but the latest declaration by demonstrators came after some managed to cuff themselves to tracks near the north-western French city of Caen.

Euro News 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Waste train left La Hague on Friday afternoon going to Germany.

Castor Tracker (in English) more >>

The inhabitants of Gorleben, a town in northern Germany, have been battling against plans to store radioactive waste at a dump near their homes for three decades now. They have vowed to do everything they can to prevent what they’ve dubbed the “train from hell” delivering the waste.

France 24 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Waste Transport/Lillyhall

Following an audit by Department of Transport staff earlier this year the Studsvik radioactive waste recycling plant in Cumbria has stopped using its waste transport packages. “A range of deficiencies” were identified in the audit according to the Health and Safety Executive. Details at

HSE November 2010 more >>

Kings Cliffe

Corby’s MP said people from every part of her seat were opposed to a plan to dump low-level nuclear waste near near Kings Cliffe. Louise Bagshawe, who also represents East Northamptonshire, was speaking on the eighth day of a public inquiry into the plan by Augean Plc for a landfill site. Northamptonshire County Council officers originally backed the plan, but it was unanimously rejected by councillors in March.

BBC 5th Nov 2010 more >>

New Nukes

Argentinean academic and activist Raul Montenegro on why indigenous people hold the keys to survival, why GM technologies only profit big business and how nuclear power ignores the rights of future generations.

Ecologist 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Andrew Simms: Brand and Lynas try to label environmentalists as anti-science and anti-progress. But both they, and the corporate lobbies promoting GM food and nuclear power, fail to acknowledge that the green movement is merely in favour of different applications of science, ones they conclude are more likely to deliver better progress. The question should be, which tool is best for the job? Who holds the fish, and who the spanner? Brand and Lynas are waving fish. A wide range of agro-ecological farming methods coupled with land reform and economic support to small farmers are more proven, more productive and more likely to reliably feed the poor than GM. And, numerous, quicker, cheaper, safer and more efficient climate friendly energy strategies and technologies than nuclear are available.

Guardian Blog 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Sizewell

Babcock made a significant contribution to bringing Sizewell B power station back online last month. The station is again generating enough low carbon electricity to serve two million homes. EDF Energy took the decision to bring Sizewell B offline in March following the failure of some heaters in the pressurizers. Jim Crawford, Sizewell B Station Director, said: “Bringing Sizewell B back online was a team effort between our own staff, those from the wider EDF group and our contracting partners such as Babcock”.

Penn Energy 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Following a Freedom of Information request received in September 2010, subsequently dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations, copies of a Project Assessment Report (PAR) relating to the return to service of Sizewell B nuclear power station and an associated safety case document were released. These documents can be read in conjunction with an executive summary report which had already been published on the HSE website.

HSE 5th Nov 2010 more >>

US/EDF

Even if it is propped up with extensive government subsidies or full cost-recovery from ratepayers, the “Evolutionary Power Reactor” (EPR) – which the French government-controlled utility, Electricite de France (EDF) plans to deliver for the troubled Calvert Cliffs-3 project and other sites in the United States – is “in crisis” to such a severe extent that it is likely to be an economic failure, according to a new report released today by University of Greenwich Professor of Energy Studies Stephen Thomas. The Thomas report findings have special resonance in the U.S. given EDF’s attempt to salvage the Calvert Cliffs-3 nuclear reactor project, which is considered a leading candidate for U.S. loan guarantees backed by American taxpayers. In addition to Calvert Cliffs-3 in Maryland, the EPR was selected as the reactor design in the U.S. for Bell Bend in Pennsylvania, Nine Mile Point in New York and Callaway in Missouri (latter two applications currently suspended).

PR Newswire 4th Nov 2010 more >>

US

With the Obama Administration’s decision to defund the Yucca Mountain nuclear- waste repository, many industry observers wonder what the next step for permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel will be. Many are keeping a watchful eye on the president’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, which Obama established in January 2010 to develop recommendations to guide future policies for nuclear waste.

Engineering News Record 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Uranium

The national uranium company in the Czech Republic, Diamo, has been working for years to keep toxic waste left by decades of uranium mining from poisoning some of the country’s largest underground stocks of fresh water or reaching the Elbe River. The cleanup, which began in 1996, is expected to last 30 more years, with a total cost of around $2.75 billion. Yet despite the costly mess, anticipation that demand for nuclear energy will keep growing globally, on top of local fears about overdependence on Russia for fuel, have rekindled interest in the old mines from companies as far afield as Australia.

New York Times 4th Nov 2010 more >>

France/China

France and China last night announced that they will form a ‘strategic’ partnership in civilian nuclear power. Deals worth more than $20billion (£12.47billion) have been agreed between the two countries, including many in the nuclear sector. French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave Chinese President Hu Jintao the red-carpet treatment and said France envisions a ‘strategic collaboration’ with China in the nuclear sphere ‘without limits’. Mr Sarkozy revealed that his country and China plan to work together on nuclear reactors, fuel recycling and uranium extraction from mines, and will consider selling the products of this cooperation to third parties.

Daily Mail 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

Nuclear submarines have crashed almost every year for the past two decades, the Ministry of Defence has admitted.

Telegraph 6th Nov 2010 more >>

Solar

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy have developed a material that could turn an ordinary-looking window into a solar panel. If developed successfully, the breakthrough means that any window could do double duty as a solar panel, and entire glass-walled buildings could be designed around their capacity to generate solar energy. Aside from their use in residences and office buildings, transparent solar panels also raise the potential to add value other structures such as solar greenhouses.

Clean Technica 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Solar/Nuclear Weapons

Solon has inaugurated its first ground-mounted solar power plants in France, located in Ferrassi res near Avignon, in the Rh ne-Alpes region. Solon Investments planned and constructed the two turnkey plants, with a combined nominal output of 3MWp, on the former site of two launch pads for intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles.

PV Tech 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 6 November 2010

5 November 2010

Nuclear Subsidies

The electricity market will need at least three major changes to pave the way for new nuclear power in the biggest industry shake-up since privatisation, according to the Energy Minister. Charles Hendry, the Tory MP, has told The Daily Telegraph that two more incentives would be needed for nuclear beyond the Government’s plans for a “carbon floor price”. This measure, due to be set out in a key paper on electricity market reform this month, will artificially raise the cost of carbon allowances to penalise fossil fuel generators and reward low-carbon power. But Mr Hendry said that on top of this reform, he is “very much” in favour of capacity payments for low-carbon electricity generation – an option championed by EDF. This would reward companies for making their electricity generation capacity available to the grid, even if it is just as a back-up. Mr Hendry acknowledged that this would still not be enough to persuade nuclear companies to build their plants in the UK. “There will still need to be an additional third mechanism,” he said, adding that an obligation on suppliers to provide a certain proportion of low-carbon power or contracts-for-difference in the electricity market are two key options under consideration.

Telegraph 5th Nov 2010 more >>

New Nukes

One billion extra tonnes of carbon has been emitted because of opposition to nuclear power generation, experts have claimed. Speaking to producers of a Channel 4 documentary, campaigners claimed that environmental advocates are in danger of repeating the mistakes of the past by continuing to oppose nuclear power, the Daily Telegraph reports. Campaigner Mark Lynas said that nuclear opposition has already added to the levels of carbon in the atmosphere, because the objection to the technology in the 1970s and 80s led to the construction of highly-polluting coal power plants.

Low Carbon Economy 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Monbiot: Brand’s vision depends on forgetting the context. He maintains that we will save the biosphere by adopting nuclear energy, GM crops and geoengineering, and paints a buoyant picture of a world running like clockwork on these new technologies. Without a critique of power, his techno-utopianism is pure fantasy. Nuclear electricity may indeed be part of the solution, but the real climate challenge is not getting into new technologies, but getting out of old ones. This means confronting some of the world’s most powerful forces, a theme with no place in Brand’s story.

Guardian 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear power may not be ideal, but the industry has cleaned up its act since the 1970s, and if renewable sources can’t do the job, then something has to make up the shortfall. Likewise with GM foods. For the greens to cling to idealistic notions of environmental purity while the oceans boil makes them look like myopic old hippies.

Guardian 5th Nov 2010 more >>

EPR

Professor Thomas is the author of “Areva and EDF: Business Prospects and Risks in Nuclear Energy” (March 2009) and the co-author of “The Financial Crisis and Nuclear Power” (February 2009). He has been a researcher in energy policy for more than 25 years. Professor Thomas writes particularly on economics and policy towards nuclear power, liberalization and privatization of the electricity and gas industries and trade policy on network energy industries. He is a member of the editorial boards of: Energy Policy; Utility Policy; Energy and Environment; and International Journal of Regulation and Governance.

EPR in Crisis Report 4th Nov 2010 more >>

NDA

Britain’s nuclear clean-up agency has been unable to publish its annual accounts for nearly five months after the National Audit Office queried some of the figures, The Times has learnt. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which spends £2.5 billion a year cleaning up 19 toxic nuclear sites including Sellafield in Cumbria and Dounreay in Caithness, was originally scheduled to publish its annual report in early July. The accounts have not been published because Amyas Morse, the NAO’s Comptroller General, has declined to sign them off. Bill Hamilton, a spokesman for the NDA, said that the accounts, which include details of spending on complex projects to dismantle Sellafield’s B30, the most contaminated industrial building in Europe, as well as ponds filled with radioactive sludge, were submitted to the NAO several months ago.

Times 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Skills

The UK must overcome a ‘generational skills gap’ if it is to deliver the new nuclear power stations needed for security of supply and a low carbon economy, energy industry experts warn today. And regulators must not ‘move the goalposts’ once the framework to build the plants has been agreed, they warn in a report from leading City law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, backed by the Nuclear Industry Association.

British Builder 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Radwaste

At the Allerdale Borough Council Meeting last night Councillor Joe Sandwith called on fellow councillors to “formally withdraw Allerdale’s expression of interest” in “volunteering for geological disposal of high level nuclear waste. The council heard presentations from two speakers. The first was Dr Helen Wallace, Executive Direcor of Genewatch UK and the second was Professor Brian Clark, who serves on the Committee for Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). Nine Councillors supported Councillor Joe Sandwith’s proposal to withdraw and 19 opposed.

Northern Indymedia 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Allerdale council has kicked out a bid to have the borough removed from the process to find an underground nuclear waste dump.

Carlisle News And Star 4th Nov 2010 more >>

The Commission has proposed safety standards for disposing spent fuel and radioactive waste from nuclear power plants as well as from medicine or research. In the Directive put forward this week, Member States are asked to present national programmes, indicating when, where and how they will construct and manage final repositories aimed at guaranteeing the highest safety standards. With the Directive internationally agreed safety standards become legally binding and enforceable in the European Union.

Wired Gov 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Waste Transport

On Tuesday, at 3pm, Greenpeace conducted a citizen inspection at the entrance of the railway terminal in the small town of Valognes, France. Activists carried out radiation measurements by monitoring the passage of trucks that have been carrying containers of highly radioactive nuclear waste for a week. Containers first arrived in the rail terminal in Valognes on Oct. 25, waiting to be loaded on a train that will leave the station Friday, November 5 in direction of Gorleben, Germany. These containers are highly radioactive, and the rail terminal has not been classified as a basic nuclear installation – a classification necessary for any building storing nuclear waste. Greenpeace has therefore filed a complaint against French nuclear giant Areva for use of an undeclared basic nuclear installation, by storing nuclear waste in a place not designed for this purpose. Areva does not respect the legal criteria for storage of radioactive nuclear waste.

Greenpeace 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Hinkley

One of the West’s most outspoken opponents of nuclear power has stepped down from his role as co-ordinator of high-profile campaign group Stop Hinkley. For more than a decade, Jim Duffy has been a thorn in the side of EDF Energy, who own Hinkley Point. But a spokesman for the French energy giant yesterday told the Western Daily Press it respected the campaigner for the way he had “stuck” to his principles. Mr Duffy has stood down because of an ongoing illness which has recently worsened, and his decision comes as the campaigning against the proposed Hinkley C and Oldbury on Severn power stations intensifies.

This is Somerset 4th Nov 2010 more >>

HEALTH experts responded to an anti-nuclear group and scientist’s claims that Hinkley Point was behind “increased breast cancer rates” in Burnham as being unfounded. Stop Hinkley commissioned Professor Chris Busby, of the Green Audit group, to analyse cancer diagnosis it obtained from the South West Public Health Observatory under the Freedom of Information Act. The group said Professor Busby’s subsequent study showed that 167 women in Burnham-on-Sea developed breast cancer between 1994 and 2004, which is 54 more than would normally be expected. However, a Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) spokesman has rubbished claims. He said: “The PCT has seen no new or compelling evidence which supports campaigners’ hypothesis that radioactive pollution arising from the past operation or recent decommissioning of Hinkley, is responsible for a statistical increase in the incidence of breast or any other cancer in the surrounding area.”

This is Somerset 4th Nov 2010 more >>

BBC 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Heysham

One of two nuclear reactors at Heysham 1 Power Station in Morecombe, Northwest England, has suffered an unplanned outage and there is still no sign as to when the reactor will be brought back online. Facility operator EDF Energy – the UK division of French utility Electricite de France S.A. (EDF), confirms the reactor has been taken offline as a result of the unplanned outage and that repairs are being carried out. The company also said the outage posed no safety concerns.

Utility Exchange 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Legal

Addleshaw Goddard has strengthened its energy practice with the hire of the former head of legal at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Roger Clayson joined the national law firm earlier this week (1 November) from the NDA, where he most recently served as head of property law, having held the head of legal role between 2007 and 2009.

Clayson joins as a legal director in Addleshaws’ 10-partner, 20-fee earner energy, projects and infrastructure group. He will focus on helping the firm win high-value projects in the nuclear sector, as well as helping clients respond to the coalition Government’s energy policy.

Legal Week 2nd Nov 2010 more >>

Brazil

Two weeks ago we revealed banking group BNP Paribas, the world’s leading investor in the nuclear industry, is planning to fund an obsolete, dangerous nuclear reactor in Brazil – Angra 3. Since then a lot of you have asked BNP Paribas to stop its radioactive investments, some by sending an e-mail and others by phoning. So far the bank has not responded adequately to your concerns.

Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Burma

A senior missile scientist who defected from Burma after leaking secrets about the junta’s suspected nuclear programme has revealed how senior generals were personally involved in plans to develop a weapons system.

Independent 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Iran is on an “explosive” course in the Middle East with its pursuit of nuclear enrichment and needs to clear up questions surrounding its program, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal said on Thursday.

Reuters 4th Nov 2010 more >>

France/China

France and China have agreed to form a strategic partnership in civilian nuclear power that ranges from building reactors in common to exploiting uranium mines, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday.

Reuters 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Germany

Germany’s government has no choice but to extend the life of its remaining plants, according to a new report from Datamonitor. The independent business analyst believes that the only way Germany can achieve its ambitious climate change and renewable energy targets is to keep the plants online past their 2021 retirement date.

Nuclear Engineering International 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Disarmament

Barack Obama has called on the Senate to approve a landmark nuclear weapons deal with Russia before a newly elected crop of Republicans take office in January.

Telegraph 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Daily Mail 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Letter from UKIP: If Trident is, as Mr Mitchell claims, “virtually useless” as a defensive system, why would the Russians take such a risk as to send a specially upgraded submarine to record the acoustic signature made by the Vanguard submarines carrying the Trident nuclear missiles?

Southern Reporter 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Renewables

JOHN Lewis’s three Scottish stores are to have cutting edge biomass technology installed in an attempt to slash the chain’s carbon emissions by 2020. Edinburgh’s flagship shop at the St James Centre is likely to be one of the first to use the wood chip-fired combined cooling heat and power plant when it undergoes refurbishment as part of a major regeneration of the shopping mall in 2012.

Scotsman 5th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 5 November 2010

4 November 2010

New Nukes

Green opposition to nuclear power has led to one billion extra tonnes of carbon being pumped into atmosphere, according to environmentalists who have changed their minds over the controversial technology.

Telegraph 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Can a green be pro-nuclear and pro-GM? Yes – and all Greens should be”, is the essential proposition of veteran environmentalist Stewart Brand and author/campaigner Mark Lynas whose provocative views feature in a film running tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm. “What the Green Movement Got Wrong” will be followed by a live studio debate chaired by yours truly.

Channel 4 News 4th Nov 2010 more >>

A senior manager at nuclear new-build giant EDF Energy has warned UK contractors to improve working standards or risk missing out on the firm’s £20 billion programme. Paul Spence, director of strategy and regulation at EDF, said the UK civils industry had to make significant progress on productivity levels and skills to win work on nuclear projects. Speaking at a Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum event in London last week, Mr Spence said: “Many of the skilled engineers in the UK are reaching retirement. We don’t have recent experience of working under the unique standards required. To be quite honest, the levels of construction productivity aren’t as good in the UK as elsewhere around the world.”

Construction News 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Europe/Radwaste

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger is expected to present proposals for the safe storage of nuclear waste in Europe this Wednesday. Observers are keen to see who will bear the burden of the EU’s strategy. Not everyone trusts the burial technique, which has never been put to the test due to the vast timeframes involved. Munich Environmental Institute board member Christina Hacker told Deutsche Welle that the problem is in the use of the word “safe”. “Who knows what is going to be safe for a million years?” she asked. “We have never had a depot like this before so it is impossible to guarantee its safety.” The difficulties in predicting environmental changes over the next centuries and millennia make it impossible to foresee things like the condition of the containers five hundred years down the line. Furthermore, in light of revelations earlier this year that containers at the ASSE nuclear storage facility in Germany had been damaged as a result of structural instability, he believes it could be wise to make waste accessible.

Deutsche Welle 2nd Nov 2010 more >>

Proposal for a European Directive on the management of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste.

EC 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

European Union member states would be required to draw up detailed plans to build underground facilities to store nuclear waste under a new proposal approved by the European Commission. The plan seeks to solve one of the most vexing problems confronting Europe’s nuclear industry: what to do with the roughly 7,000 cubic meters of highly radioactive waste produced by its power plants each year? At present, that waste is stored in interim facilities with a life-span of 50 to 100 years. Gunther Oettinger, Europe’s energy commissioner, said a long-term solution was “long overdue” as he announced his proposal on Wednesday in Brussels. It calls for each of the EU’s 27 member states to submit plans for constructing and financing waste storage facilities four years after the legislation is approved. The legislation would also ban the export of nuclear waste. In terms of storage, the commission pointed to a broad scientific consensus as it endorsed the idea of deep geological repositories, although it declined to set a minimum depth.

FT 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Recycle 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

The directive, which sets out EU rules on nuclear waste management and disposal, was immediately dismissed by the Greens/EFA group in parliament. Greens say it fails to deal with the “crucial aspects” of the nuclear waste issue. Greens/EFA co-leader, German MEP Rebecca Harms, said, “Today’s proposals on new EU rules for nuclear waste seem to be little more than a cheap PR exercise: an attempt to create the illusion that the EU is doing something and that the problems of nuclear waste can be solved, thereby providing a veneer of legitimacy to the revival that the nuclear industry continues to hope for.” She added, “Nobody should be taken in by this spin. These proposals fail to address the core issues and citizens’ concerns on dealing with dangerous nuclear waste.

The Parliament 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Europe needs to identify sites for long-term storage of nuclear waste, with deep burial underground the best option, the European Commission says.

BBC 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Cumbria

German utility RWE will make a revised proposal for building nuclear plants at its UK sites in Cumbria as part of a second-round consultation after the government decided last month the sites were unsuitable. RWE will respond to government criticism that the sites would not be able to house new nuclear plants by 2025 and that they were too close to a national park.

Reuters 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

PLANS for building new nuclear power stations at Braystones and Kirksanton have not been dropped, says potential developers RWEnpower. The company has told residents: “We firmly believe that both sites are excellent options for new nuclear development by 2025.”

Whitehaven News 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Heysham

One of Heysham nuclear reactors was taken offline on Monday after what owners EDF Energy called an “unplanned outage” – but the power station has categorically denied internet rumours that it was caused by a computer virus. “We took unit 2 at Heysham 1 off line on 1st November to carry out a routine repair,” a spokesperson for the Station told virtual-lancaster. It’s not known when the reactor will be back in action.

Virtual Lancaster 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Sellafield

Pumping a building full of a grout with the same consistency as a honeycomb sweet is not the first solution that would spring to mind when trying to make a building safe. Yet that is exactly what has been done at one of the oldest buildings on the sprawling west Cumbrian atomic complex. Engineers there have claimed a first for the nuclear industry as part of work to decommission the site’s former primary separation plant. And their techniques could now be used at other former nuclear stations as redundant radioactive buildings there are made safe ahead of demolition. Staff at Sellafield have specially developed the methods to reduce a collapse risk at the primary separation plant, which dates back to the early 1950s.

Carlisle News & Star 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

US

The nuclear industry could benefit from the Republican takeover as part of the clean energy legislation. In a statement released the morning of Election Day, Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., said that if Republicans won, the other big winner would be nuclear power.

Powergen Worldwide 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Iran

Israel’s military intelligence chief says Iran possesses enough enriched uranium to build one nuclear bomb and will soon have enough to produce a second.

Telegraph 4th Nov 2010 more >>

China

German technology company SCHOTT announced it has received official permission from the Chinese government to supply glass-to-metal sealed electrical penetration assemblies (EPA) to the country’s civil nuclear facilities.

Nuclear Engineering International 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Letters: Although details are lacking, the proposed Anglo-French agreement for collaborative nuclear weapons research and virtual testing does more than possibly violate article 1 of the non-proliferation treaty. France has tactical air-launched bombs; we have abandoned this type of weapon and have no such capability. The UK reduced its nuclear arsenal substantially in recent years and enjoys a status as the most disarmament-friendly nuclear power. Technical collaboration that ties us to a more intransigent nuclear weapons state would therefore be a backward step both for this country and for any hope of progress towards nuclear disarmament worldwide.

Guardian 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Letter David Lowry: Article 1 of the NPT states: “Each nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly or indirectly.”

Morning Star 4th Nov 2010 more >>

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has accused the UK and French governments of “rearranging the deckchairs on the nuclear sub” after they agreed to co-operate over nuclear weapons testing. CND also said that the UK government’s commitment to nuclear co-operation with France is further evidence that nuclear weapons do not address Britain’s top security risks.

Ekklesia 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Submarines

A nuclear-powered submarine which ran aground on a shingle bank last month was damaged in a collision with a tug which tried to free it, it has emerged. HMS Astute was on sea trials when it became stuck on a shingle bank on the west coast of Scotland on October 22.

PA 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Telegraph 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Hamilton Advertiser 4th Nov 2010 more >>

POLICE were called out as campaigners staged a demonstration over an “inadequate” safety plan for nuclear submarines visiting Southampton. Members of the Solent Coalition Against Nuclear Ships (SCANS) donned anti-radiation suits and wore gags in protest at the refusal to allow them to present a critical report to a public meeting of emergency planners. A report by independent nuclear expert John Large warned safety assessments were “inadequate” to host a nuclear powered submarine after councillors agreed to adopt one of the Royal Navy’s new hunter killer subs, HMS Artful.

Daily Echo 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Protesters who used locks and superglue as part of a anti-nuclear protest outside the naval base at Devonport have been charged by police. Robert Larkin, age 50 of Helensburgh, Janet Fenton, age 63 of Biggar, Lanarkshire and Sylvia Boyes, age 67 of Keighley, West Yorkshire, have been charged with the wilful obstruction of a highway.

This is the West Country 3rd Nov 2010 more >>

Renewables

Shepherd Offshore – a company controlled by Freddy Shepherd – has paid an undisclosed sum, thought to be tens of millions of pounds, to buy a Fife factory that Hyundai once earmarked for an advanced microchip factory that would have created thousands of jobs. Mr Shepherd, caught boasting about “ripping off” supporters buying Newcastle United shirts during his time in football, plans to demolish part of the factory to create a manufacturing plant for the offshore renewable energy sector. In Tyneside, Shepherd Offshore is aiming to develop a manufacturing hub for the industry that will make products such as wind turbine blades.

Telegraph 4th Nov 2010 more >>

The energy sector has long been touted as the key to job creation, given the UK’s targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34pc, with 15pc of energy from renewable sources, by 2020. As Peter Searle, chief executive of Adecco, the HR consultancy, puts it: “The low carbon sector is a legislation-driven economy.”

The industry suffers from a chronic skills shortage however. Some 70pc of the UK’s current nuclear workforce are set to be retired by 2025, with employers including Centrica, Siemens and National Grid worried there aren’t enough young people to plug the skills gap. On Tuesday the power sector launched the UK’s first ever wind turbine apprenticeship, highlighting which skills employers see as crucial to the country’s ability to capitalise on a low carbon future.

Mr Searle said that within five years, almost any role available today within the energy sector would increase in demand. “Project managers and planners will be highly sought after, as will mechanical engineers and safety consultants,” he said.

Telegraph 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Energy Efficiency

The Government’s £1bn green tax grab on business energy bills is “a great pity” and will be “very negative”, according to Tim Yeo, the chairman of the energy select committee.

Telegraph 4th Nov 2010 more >>

Posted: 4 November 2010