9 February 2008


Are children under 5 years old who live near nuclear power plants in Germany more likely to develop leukaemia or not? The country’s powerful Green Party thinks so and has seized upon the results of a new study to renew its calls for the closure of all German nuclear facilities.

New Scientist 9th Feb 2008 more >>


Anti-nuclear campaigners have called for a safety inspection of Hinkley Point power station amid fears its boiler system may be in need of repair. Members of the Stop Hinkley group say they are concerned that sensitively placed boilers at Hinkley Point B will be put under extra pressure once the site’s twin reactors are shut down later this year. Spokesman Jim Duffy said: “The boiler tubes were rewelded by teams of workers over several months but the plant is only allowed to operate at a 60 to 70 per cent output to try to reduce heat and pressure in the 30-year- old pipes.

Bridgwater Times 6th Feb 2008 more >>


The pro-nuclear alliance of Anglesey County Council and local Labour MP Albert Owen have launched a new propaganda offensive to win people to the idea of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey. A new nuclear station would employ far fewer people than the current station. Local campaign group Pawb are arguing for an alternative employment plan for the island. Over a thousand people have now signed a petition organised by Pawb. Socialist Students in Bangor are helping to organise a public meeting.

Socialist Party 6th Feb 2008 more >>

Nuclear History

A National Nuclear Archive is to be created in Caithness in the Highlands at a cost of £20m. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said it would potentially hold between 20 and 30 million digital, paper and photographic records. They will primarily concern the history, development and decommissioning of the UK’s civil nuclear industry since the 1940s.

BBC 9th Feb 2008 more >>

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 8th Feb 2008 more >>


Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said he sees no reason why thousands of people employed at Sellafield could not find jobs elsewhere if nuclear power was not the answer to the country’s energy needs. The newly elected leader said that in the long term it was not right for the country or the economy of Cumbria to “throw all our eggs into the nuclear basket when the economics of doing so don’t seem to make sense in the long run”.

Pendle Today 8th Feb 2008 more >>


BUSINESS is so good at Urenco that it says it aims to take over as much as possible of the Capenhurst nuclear site to provide expansion room. And its communications chief says this desire effectively rules out any chance of the former BNFL complex “next door” to the company being turned into one of the country’s planned new nuclear power plants. The recent announcement by Ministers that private energy firms will be encouraged to build up to 10 power stations to relieve the country’s future dependence on conventional fuels has led to speculation Capenhurst might be earmarked as one of them. This has already been ruled out by nuclear experts who say the site is totally unsuitable.

IC Cheshire 8th Feb 2008 more >>


NDA Director Mark Leggett has quit. But rumours that this was connected to the NAO report have been denied.

Carlisle News and Star 8th Feb 2008 more >>


E.ON is considering making a counterbid for Iberdrola, the Spanish owner of ScottishPower. The German group, the world’s largest utility by sales and the owner of UK energy supplier Powergen, is taking a keen interest in a mooted joint €50.5 billion (£37.6 billion) bid for Iberdrola by its French rival EDF alongside ACS, Spain’s largest construction firm, according to industry sources.

Times 9th Feb 2008 more >>


Iran has begun construction of a new nuclear plant, the Russian TASS news agency has said, quoting the Iranian ambassador to Moscow.

Sky News 8th Feb 2008 more >>


US-based nuclear power plants have posted all-time record highs in electricity production and efficiency in 2007, according to a report from nuclear industry lobbying group Nuclear Energy Institute.

Energy Business Review 8th Feb 2008 more >>


Vladimir Putin has used one of the last major speeches of his presidency to deliver a defiant message to the West, accusing it of unleashing a new arms race that left Moscow no choice but to retaliate in kind.

Independent 9th Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 9 February 2008

8 February 2008

British Energy

British Energy chief executive Bill Coley lambasted the Scottish Government’s “contradictory” energy policy yesterday, claiming that a low-carbon economy can only be achieved if new nuclear power stations are built north of the border. Coley is furious that the Scottish Government has indicated that it will not allow any new nuclear power stations to be built while at the same time siding with objectors to a proposed wind farm on Lewis, which British Energy had hoped to build with construction company Amec.

Herald 7th Feb 2008 more >>

British Energy looks set to keep control of Eggborough, its last remaining coal-fired power station, after a court blocked a proposed takeover plan organised by the investment bank Credit Suisse.

Times 7th Feb 2008 more >>

Nuclear Skills

The nuclear skills academy at Lillyhall was officially launched this week.

Whitehaven News 7th Feb 2008 more >>


The findings of the recent US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran have rekindled debate on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and on the appropriate international response to its nuclear programme. It must be stated without illusions, however, that a government which has threatened Israel with obliteration and which is pursuing the most ambitious missile programme in the Middle East is probably unscrupulous enough to resume an abandoned nuclear weapons programme at any time.

FT 8th Feb 2008 more >>

Middle East

As Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, finalises his report on Iran’s nuclear programme, the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, has been promoting the “historic idea” of a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction. This overlaps with a goal adopted by the UN security council back in 1991 when resolution 687 talked about “the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region of the Middle East”.

Guardian 7th Feb 2008 more >>


Areva has won major commercial nuclear fuel contracts with US-based utility companies, Constellation Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, PPL Corporation and AmerGen Energy Company. The four contracts have a combined market value of over E200 million.

Energy Business Review 7th Feb 2008 more >>

Utility Vattenfall is putting a string of nuclear mishaps behind it and sees a bright future for atomic power in Europe, although it cannot yet say when its hobbled German plants will be back online.

Reuters 7th Feb 2008 more >>


Russia said on Wednesday it will bid in a tender to build a nuclear power station in Armenia to replace an ageing plant that has provoked safety concerns.

Reuters 7th Feb 2008 more >>


When Lithuania’s sole nuclear power station closes next year, European Union officials will sigh with relief, but nearby residents are already fretting over the future of their town.

Reuters 7th Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 8 February 2008

7 February 2008

Nuclear accidents

Letter from Steuart Campbell: The Windscale fire (1957) was not in a power station. Nor have there been any leaks, escaped particles or cancer clusters associated with any UK nuclear power station. These have been associated only with Sellafield and Dounreay. Since new station designs are safer, it is to be expected there never will be any major mishap in the UK.

Scotsman 7th Feb 2008 more >>

New nukes

British Energy is in talks with around 10 potential partners to build new reactors. Two groups are likely to be announced around the end of March.

Express and Telegraph 7th Feb 2008 (not on web)

Energy Policy

Andrew Warren: Patricia Hewitt, introducing the 2003 energy White Paper said “It would have been foolish to announce that we would embark on a new generation of nuclear power stations. Because that would have guaranteed that we would not make the necessary investments in both energy efficiency and renewables.” The White Paper promised a “step change” in policies and programmes to deliver energy efficiency. So the question remains: why was there such a 180 degree change in the agreed answer to the same problem? What happened to change everything so dramatically? I think I know the answer. There always were certain key individuals who never lost faith in the “Big Is Beautiful” concept within energy policy making. Almost all of these were to be found in the constellations around the old Industry (DTI) Department, now renamed Business (BERR). The department retains the strongest links with those involved with power station construction. Initially the main authors of the 2003 policy were in charge of delivery. But within months, they had been moved on, replaced by others more sympathetic to the conventional policy line. There is still no sign of that famous “step change in energy efficiency” promised at the time. At best, all we are managing is a sort of soft shoe shuffle.

Telegraph 5th Feb 2008 more >>


A missile fired into space by Iran earlier this week raises “suspicions” over Tehran’s claims to have no ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, a Russian foreign ministry official told domestic news agencies.

AFX 6th Feb 2008 more >>


Defence Secretary Des Browne has layed out his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, despite his ardent support for Trident. In a speech to a conference in Geneva, Switzerland he promoted a number of idealistic plans to reduce nuclear weapons.

Public Servant Daily 6th Feb 2008 more >>

North Korea

The US administration is divided over whether its attempt to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons is succeeding, Christopher Hill, the US -official responsible for negotiations with Pyongyang, suggested yesterday. In testimony to the US Senate, Mr Hill issued a stout defence of the six-party talks intended to persuade North Korea to denuclearise, in spite of the deadlines missed by Pyongyang in recent weeks.

FT 7th Feb 2008 more >>


THE UKAEA has denied trying to keep industry regulators in the dark about a glitch which occurred during the clean-up of a contaminated shielded cell at a Dounreay waste-handling plant. The problem occurred when clean water was accidentally fed into the cell in the currently mothballed cementation plant which processes intermediate-level waste from the site’s decommissioning. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate – part of the Health and Safety Inspectorate – is unhappy not to have been told about the incident by the UKAEA. The first it knew about the incident was in an anonymous tip-off a week or so after it happened.

John O Groat Journal 6th Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 7 February 2008

6 February 2008

Northern Ireland

Ministers on both sides of the border may want Ireland to be made a nuclear-free zone, but is it already too late to keep the island untouched by atomic technology? The light in her office casts a long shadow across Margaret Ritchie’s desk. It’s here the social development minister has been working on her campaign to keep Ireland free of nuclear power. But the light by which the minister works already at times relies on nuclear power – the very technology which Ms Ritchie has vowed to keep out of Ireland.

BBC 6th Feb 2008 more >>


Britain has offered to host a conference of all five weapons states on verification.

Mathaba 6th Feb 2008 more >>

e-Gov Monitor 5th Feb 2008 more >>

GNN 5th Feb 2008 more >>

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament welcomes the disarmament verification initiative announced earlier today by Defence Secretary Des Browne, whilst also calling for action on a broader front to eradicate global nuclear stockpiles.

e-Gov Monitor 5th Feb 2008 more >>

Russia may abandon a landmark arms control treaty that helped end the Cold War, an authoritative military study has predicted. The Military Balance 2008 gave warning of new threats to European security. John Chipman, the head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which published the survey, said the “next target of Moscow’s assertive revisionism” could be the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987.

Telegraph 6th Feb 2008 more >>


The senior US intelligence official yesterday stressed that a recent report on Iran had concluded that Tehran had halted only one part of its alleged nuclear weapons programme.

FT 6th Feb 2008 more >>

South Africa

Westinghouse Electric Company has submitted its response to provide three AP1000 nuclear power plants to the Republic of South Africa, beginning in 2016.

Energy Business Review 6th Feb 2008 more >>

A South African court has given a Swiss engineer accused of being part of a global nuclear weapons smuggling ring a 13-year suspended jail sentence.

BBC 5th Feb 2008 more >>

North Korea

North Korea remains a nuclear proliferation risk and is probably still pursuing a uranium enrichment capacity, a US intelligence assessment concluded Tuesday.

AFX 6th Feb 2008 more >>


Ministers were on Tuesday threatened with legal action if they refused to order a public inquiry into a controversial application to build a coal-fired power station. The threat of an application for a judicial review is the latest phase in a lobbying campaign by green groups against a contentious proposal by Eon UK to replace its Kingsnorth power station in Medway, Kent.

FT 6th Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 6 February 2008

5 February 2008

Hunterston & Hinkley

British Energy will inspect three more reactors at its Hunterston B and Hinkley Point nuclear power stations later this year after stopping one unit over the weekend for boiler checks, a spokeswoman for the company said on Monday. Hunterston in Scotland and Hinkley Point in southwest England were shut down all last winter for boiler repairs and have been running at just 60-70 percent of their capacity since being reopened last spring.

Reuters 4th Feb 2008 more >>

Northern Ireland

A UNIONIST has slammed a cross-border call for Ireland to remain a “nuclear-free zone”. Sammy Wilson said that, on the contrary, true environmentalists should support nuclear power. The DUP MP was responding to a joint protest by SDLP Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie and John Gormley, the Green Party leader and Irish Environment Minister, who have criticised Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s plans for a new generation of nuclear power in Britain.

Belfast Newsletter 4th Feb 2008 more >>

Nuclear accidents

Letter from Cumbria: Dr G M Lindsay’s memory is either short or selective if he thinks “nuclear power has been generated in the UK without any major mishap since the 1950s”

Scotsman 5th Feb 2008 more >>


Police in Israel shot and killed a Palestinian suicide bomber yesterday after he and an accomplice launched the first suicide bomb attack inside Israel for more than a year, killing a woman and injuring 11 other people in an explosion at a shopping centre in the town of Dimona – site of a nuclear reactor.

Guardian 5th Feb 2008 more >>

Times 5th Feb 2008 more >>

Scotsman 5th Feb 2008 more >>


Research into producing electricity from low-emission coal and nuclear plants saw big funding boosts in the 2009 budget request submitted by the U.S. Energy Department on Monday, along with basic energy sciences.

Reuters 4th Feb 2008 more >>


In a comprehensive study published today, the scientists identify the nine areas that are in gravest danger of passing critical thresholds or “tipping points”, beyond which they will not recover.

Guardian 5th Feb 2008 more >>

Independent 5th Feb 2008 more >>

Amid growing concern that the government’s policy mix is insufficient to meet its internationally agreed climate change targets, the Treasury select committee has called for a greater use of green taxes and criticises airlines for dragging their feet on reducing carbon emissions.

Guardian 5th Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 5 February 2008

4 February 2008

New nukes

Sir Jonathon Porritt: it is the view of the Sustainable Development Commission that this Government has got it completely wrong on nuclear power. Despite the fact that it’s going to cost UK taxpayers at least £75bn to clean up the legacy of our current nuclear programme, that we still have no solution to the problems of nuclear waste, that nuclear power remains very expensive, that the risks of proliferation and threats to national security remain high, and that the contribution from a new nuclear programme (if it ever materialises) to total energy needs and CO2 abatement will remain relatively low, ministers are now putting more effort into encouraging nuclear power than they have devoted to the entire field of renewables over the last 10 years. As they see it, this is the only manageable mega-fix available to them, the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card. But this is a sad and extraordinarily ill-judged illusion.

Independent 4th Feb 2008 more >>

Northern Ireland

Ministers on both sides of the border are calling for the island of Ireland to be made a nuclear-free zone. Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie and Irish Environment Minister John Gormley made a joint call. They are concerned about proposals to include nuclear power as a means of reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.

BBC 3rd Feb 2008 more >>


Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee says India may face global isolation if it does not go ahead with a nuclear deal with the US. The landmark deal has been stalled because of stiff opposition from the ruling government’s communist allies.

BBC 4th Feb 2008 more >>


Iran accused France yesterday of adopting an “unfriendly” position in Tehran’s nuclear row with the West, and said that the military base Paris was setting up in the Gulf would harm peace in the region. The Foreign Ministry summoned the French Ambassador to Tehran, Bernard Poletti, in an apparent tit-for-tat response after Paris called in the Iranian envoy last week over anti-Israeli remarks made by its hardline President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Times 4th Feb 2008 more >>


The US and Russia signed a deal that will boost imports of Russian uranium to supply the US nuclear industry, the Commerce Department said.

AFX 3rd Feb 2008 more >>


The moors of north Lewis are desolate in midwinter, a treeless expanse of ochre grasses and rich black peat, pummelled by Arctic winds driving in from the north Atlantic. That moor is now at the centre of an increasingly bitter battle between local opponents and two powerful corporations, Amec and British Energy, who are fighting to save controversial plans to build one of the world’s largest wind farms – a vast arc of 181 turbines curving down the northern half of the Hebridean island.

Guardian 4th Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 4 February 2008

3 February 2008


Britain’s most notorious nuclear installation was plunged into crisis last week, when vital equipment broke down just as it was recovering from an accident that shut it for two years. Sellafield’s Thorp reprocessing plant has been closed again, while starting only its second job since the shutdown. And the Cumbrian complex’s crisis is compounded by an excoriating report which shows that its facilities for handling nuclear waste are a shambles and that its safety procedures for preventing accidents which could kill hundreds of thousands of Britons are “not fully adequate”. The stinging report, by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, reveals the extent of the mess. After reprocessing, highly dangerous radioactive liquid waste is concentrated through evaporation and stored above ground in 21 giant steel tanks before being “vitrified” bound into glass for disposal. But the report shows that every stage of this process is in crisis. The most alarming issue is the failure of equipment needed to cool the waste, which could, at worst, lead to an explosion, scattering radioactivity across much of the country.

Independent on Sunday 3rd Feb 2008 more >>

Fuel Poverty

The government will be publicly castigated this week over its failure to help poor people – by the watchdog that ministers set up to monitor fuel poverty. Ofgem, the energy regulator, will also be criticised for not stopping energy companies from making excessive profits at the expense of consumers. Peter Lehmann, chairman of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, will criticise the government over its record on fuel poverty, which he labelled ‘incomprehensible, unjustifiable and shocking’. Consumers now pay more than 50 per cent more on utility bills compared with five years ago, yet energy companies’ costs have risen by only a fraction of this. In the past month, four of the biggest suppliers have announced substantial rises in the price of gas and electricity.

Observer 3rd February 2008 more >>

Fast Reactors

France, Japan and the US agreed Friday to cooperate in making prototypes of so-called fourth-generation nuclear reactors, according to statements released by each country’s energy ministries. These sodium-cooled reactors, which would not come on line until mid-century, produce more energy per unit of fuel than nuclear reactors currently in operation. But early prototypes have been plagued with problems. The liquid sodium cooling agent is highly volatile, bursting into flames if it comes into contact with air, and exploding if it comes into contact with water.

AFX 3rd Feb 2008 more >>

Nuclear Testing

This week the Ministry of Defence agreed a £3million out-of-court settlement with Ken Earl and other victims of its Porton Down chemical weapons trials. But it STILL refuses to recognise the plight of the 22,000 men who, like Ken McGinley, witnessed nuclear bomb tests and were left with a legacy of cancer, early death and deformed children.

Sunday Mirror 3rd Feb 2008 more >>

Nuclear Skills

It may not be rocket science but the University of Central Lancashire is to develop a series of nuclear foundation degrees. UCLan will now work with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, a skills and training initiative set up to meet the needs of employers in Britain’s nuclear industry, and other agencies to to provide “up-skilling” foundation degrees for school leavers, new entrants and individuals retraining.

Preston Citizen 2nd Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 3 February 2008

2 February 2008

New nukes

Letter from Stuart Campbell: Professor Stephen Salter doubts that the data I gave for released during the full cycle of nuclear power production (about 5 g/kWh) included waste disposal (Letters, 29 January). This figure comes from a study undertaken by British Energy in respect of their Torness NPP (using an established methodology called Environmental Product Declaration). Not only did the assessment take account of waste disposal, it also took account of decommissioning the station.

Scotsman 1st Feb 2008 more >>


THE company decommissioning a nuclear power plant in Essex has said safety fears about the continued storage of radioactive waste on the site are unfounded.

East Anglian Daily Times 2nd Feb 2008 more >>


Hidden behind the two hulking 70m (230ft) high old reactors at the Trawsfynydd site, is a brand new building. Later this year it will used to store concrete crates of intermediate nuclear waste from when electricity was produced at the former atomic power station. Up to 360 such crates, weighing up to 42 tonnes can be stored there. On the other side of this expensive nuclear warehouse, there will be room for 2,400 drums of resin waste which was contaminated in the cooling process of producing power.

BBC 1st Feb 2008 more >>

South Africa

Westinghouse Electric Co. Friday said it has submitted a bid to provide three nuclear power plants to the Republic of South Africa beginning in 2016. The bid was made in cooperation with Shaw Group Inc. and Murray & Roberts Ltd., a construction company.

AFX 1st Feb 2008 more >>


Pakistan has test-fired a nuclear-capable missile for the second time in less than a week, its military said.

SkyNews 1st Feb 2008 more >>


U.S. nuclear power reactors will be able to obtain more supplies of Russian enriched uranium for fuel, under a trade deal signed by the two countries late on Friday. The agreement will provide U.S. utilities with a reliable supply of nuclear fuel by allowing Russia to boost exports export to the United States while minimizing any disruption to the United States’ domestic enrichment industry.

Reuters 1st Feb 2008 more >>


Campaigners banned from holding monthly protests at Britain’s nuclear weapons factory in Berkshire have taken their fight to the High Court. The Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp was barred from land outside the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) last May.

BBC 1st Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 2 February 2008

1 February 2008

New nukes

Letter from Richard Burnett-Hall: The Government repeatedly asserts that the taxpayer will never be asked to subsidise “new nuclear”.Who can have any confidence in this, however, when the Government has no firm idea of where or how nuclear waste will be stored, and inevitably even less idea of the precise costs entailed?

& Colin Challen MP: The UK cannot continue to pretend that a lightly guided market will create a low-carbon economy. The Government must recognise that its “non-interventionist” approach necessarily undermines any hope of a coherent strategy to deal with climate change.

Times 1st Feb 2008 more >>

The new Sellafield-Copeland Alliance has applauded the government’s decision on new reactors.

Whitehaven News 31st Jan 2008 more >>

Nuclear Skills

As an academy for training nuclear workers is launched, Kylie McCarthy says the reality of the industry is a long way from antics of Homer Simpson and his job at the Springfield power plant.

BBC 1st Feb 2008 more >>


Dennis Spurgeon, assistant secretary for nuclear energy in the US Department of Energy, is being considered as chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority by the Department for Business. The shortlisting of Mr Spurgeon comes as several large US companies seek to manage the NDA’s reprocessing centre at Sellafield. The contract is seen as the jewel in the crown of the £73 billion break-up and sale of Britain’s last state-owned nuclear assets. The US companies vying for the business include Fluor, Bechtel and Washington International Holdings.

Times 1st Feb 2008 more >>

The National Audit Office has found the cost to the taxpayer of the NDA’s work has risen by £12bn.

Whitehaven News 31st Jan 2008 more >>

Sellafield has shot itself in the foot again with another costly machinery failure at THORP.

Whitehaven News 31st Jan 2008 more >>

Reprocessing operations at THORP have been suspended again after a machinery failure on Monday. The plant could be shut for weeks.

Whitehaven News 31st Jan 2008 more >>


DOUNREAY’S first private-sector management team is on track to take over the day-to-day running of the site’s £3.6 billion clean-up at the start of April. UKAEA Ltd will deploy about a dozen executives, currently in senior posts at Dounreay, to direct the decommissioning programme. At the same time, nearly all the 1065-strong UKAEA workforce will transfer to the newly-formed Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL). The move is subject to regulators approving the transfers of the site operating licence and other authorisations from the publicly-owned UK Atomic Energy Authority. UKAEA Ltd’s tenure will be relatively short if it loses out in its bid to continue to run the site when the management contract is put out to competitive tender.

John O Groat Journal 30th Jan 2008 more >>


WHO would have thought that a friendless theocracy with a Holocaust-denying president, which hangs teenagers in public and stones women to death, could run diplomatic circles around America and its European allies? But Iran is doing just that. And it is doing so largely because of an extraordinary own goal by America’s spies, the team behind the duff intelligence that brought you the Iraq war.

The Economist 31st Jan 2008 more >>


Thailand has launched a three-year study to decide whether it should build a nuclear power plant to meet its growing energy needs, a top energy official said Friday. The study, which will cost about 1.8 billion baht, will include a survey of potential sites, the development of safety regulations and a public education campaign, said Kopr Kritaykirana, an adviser to the project.

Interactive Investor 1st Feb 2008 more >>


Dutch bank ING has said it will not finance a nuclear power project in Slovakia, which the country’s own nuclear regulator has said does not comply with modern safety standards.

Environmental Finance 31st Jan 2008 more >>

South Africa

France’s Areva has submitted a multi-billion dollar offer to develop and build nuclear power plants in South Africa after power utility Eskom invited international companies to submit bids.

Reuters 31st Jan 2008 more >>

Posted: 1 February 2008

31 January 2008

New Nukes

The British government must remain resolute in its backing for a new fleet of nuclear power stations despite the likelihood of a fresh legal challenge, the head of power giant E.ON UK said on Wednesday.

Reuters 30th Jan 2008 more >>

Nuclear remains the wrong option according to the Sustainable Development Commission.

SDC Newsletter January 2008 more >>

More than 25 years ago when a group of Welsh women helped make Greenham Common a symbol of global nuclear weapons’ protests every local authority in Wales declared itself opposed to atomic power. But long after the dust has settled in the Berkshire peace camp the nuclear debate rages on following the announcement that a new generation of atomic power plants is to be built in the UK.

Western Mail 30th Jan 2008 more >>


John Sauven: This week, the National Audit Office released its damning assessment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) ability to estimate the true financial cost of decommissioning and cleaning up the UK’s fleet of ailing reactors and contaminated facilities. As costs for decommissioning appear to spiral out of control – rising sharply from £56bn to £73bn over just a few years – the burden on the taxpayer grows ever more. And it doesn’t end there. The NDA has also been made responsible for disposing of the UK’s stockpile of legacy wastes which is estimated at an additional £10-20bn. The industry argues these increased costs have arisen in the face of “significant challenges”, but the echoes from this announcement are all too familiar from a sector that has been plagued with industrial and financial incompetence.

Guardian 30th Jan 2008 more >>

Procurement in the nuclear decommissioning sector has been slammed by the National Audit Authority after costs surged by a third over the last four years.

Contract Journal 30th Jan 2008 more >>

e-Politix 30th Jan 2008 more >>

Building & Engineer 30th Jan 2008 more >>

BNFL Privatisation

The man responsible for raising £8.3 billion for the Treasury by selling off some of the country’s most controversial assets is poised to receive a bonus of £766,200 for successfully winding up British Nuclear Fuels. Mike Parker, chief executive of BNFL, which used to own Westinghouse, the nuclear reactor maker, as well as Sellafield, could receive the bonus before the end of the financial year.

Times 31st Jan 2008 more >>


North Korea has not changed its mind about ending its nuclear programme, leader Kim Jong-il has told a visiting Chinese diplomat. Disagreements over implementing the deal could be overcome, the reclusive leader told top official Wang Jiarui.

BBC 31st Jan 2008 more >>


A post-cold-war US programme that pays nuclear weapons scientists from the former Soviet Union to prevent them working for ‘rogue’ states has come under fire in Congress, after a governmental investigative report questioned its usefulness.

Nature 30th Jan 2008 more >>


Javier Solana says an international fuel bank should be set up so that countries like Iran don’t have to enrich uranium themselves.

EU Business 30th Jan 2008 more >>

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran is approaching the “summit” of nuclear development. He was speaking in the city of Bushehr two days after Russia completed delivery of nuclear fuel for the Iran’s first nuclear power station.

BBC 30th Jan 2008 more >>


The Sustainable Development Council’s chairman, Professor Frank Convery, in a new commentary, Sustainability and the Nuclear Option, spells out the issues, which include clarifying what will happen if the country does not adopt nuclear power, estimating future greenhouse gas emissions with and without nuclear, and analysing options for waste disposal.

Edie 30th Jan 2008 more >>


Iberdrola yesterday hit out against a possible takeover by EDF of France and ACS, a Spanish construction group, saying it did not think its shareholders would welcome a break-up bid.

FT 31st Jan 2008 more >>

Tokyo Electric Power, Asia’s biggest utility, yesterday widened its loss forecast for the current year by more than 60 per cent to Y155bn ($1.4bn) because of the continued closure of the nuclear station hit by an earthquake last year.

FT 31st Jan 2008 more >>

The prospect of further price rises came as rumours of a proposed merger between EDF, of France, and Iberdrola, of Spain, forced a brief suspension of Iberdrola’s shares. Such a deal would unite the fifth and sixth-ranked energy suppliers in Britain, EDF Energy and ScottishPower, which is owned by Iberdrola. Combining EDF Energy and ScottishPower would create a company with about 10.7 million customer accounts, propelling the new group to second place behind British Gas in the ranking of customer suppliers.

Times 31st Jan 2008 more >>

Times 31st Jan 2008 more >>

E.ON, is also likely to be at the forefront as Britain embraces nuclear power, with a new fleet of stations to be built. Mr Golby has made clear his company’s desire to be involved in the project and its openness to building and running the new power stations. More recently he has also spoken out in support of the Government’s decision to go ahead with the development, despite strong opposition from the likes of Greenpeace. Mr Golby argues that the Government must hold its nerve in order to give Britain the diversity of power generation it needs.

Times 31st Jan 2008 more >>

Posted: 31 January 2008