News

14 October 2011

New Nukes

The climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, has described the UK’s nuclear policy as the “most expensive failure of postwar British policy-making” in a “crowded and highly-contested field”. Huhne set out five tests for how power plants would be adopted in a cautious new regime, but is under pressure from his party to ensure any new-builds do not receive public subsidy – something the coalition has pledged it will not allow. Speaking at the Royal Society on Thursday, Huhne said: “If we are to retain public support for nuclear as a key part of our future energy mix then we have to show that we have learned the lessons from our past mistakes.” Liberal Democrat activists believe the coalition’s forthcoming carbon floor price – due to come into effect from April 2013 – will give a £50m “windfall” to nuclear power. The carbon floor price was designed to penalise those technologies that emit carbon and reward carbon-free ones, but these include nuclear power. Campaigners have argued the nuclear industry – already well remunerated, they think – will receive a windfall and that money will in effect become a subsidy.

Guardian 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Independent 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday completed a dramatic personal U-turn and declared: ‘We need nuclear.’ Mr Huhne said the technology was vital in ensuring Britain could keep the lights on while tackling climate change. Paul Steedman, of Friends of the Earth, said Mr Huhne appeared to have been seduced by the ‘fantasy economics’ of the nuclear industry.

Daily Mail 14th Oct 2011 more >>

New nuclear will be the UK’s cheapest low carbon power generation option, energy secretary Chris Huhne said today. He promised that expensive mistakes from the past would not be repeated.

Utility Week 13th Oct 2011 more >>

With George Osborne prompting serious and recent doubts about the coalition’s green credentials, some importance is attached to energy questions in the Commons next week. The possibility that inquiries will be taken by the secretary of state, Chris Huhne, cannot help but add an extra frisson to the occasion. And so minions working for his ministers Greg Barker and Charles Hendry resolved to help the event go smoothly by sending out to colleagues a list of questions friendly members might wish to ask the energy secretary. Alas, also in receipt of these patsy questions about gas supplies and pricing and green jobs is Labour’s shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint. Who knows? She might ask a few of them herself. Or sit back and enjoy the choreography.

Guardian 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Burnham-On-Sea’s MP has this week quizzed the Secretary of State for Energy on how residents are supposed to be able to consider EDF’s Hinkley Point planning application when it amounts to a massive 145000 pages. During a debate in the House of Commons Tessa Munt said that it is 95,000 pages long with 50,000 pages of supporting documents.

Burnham-on-sea.com 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Dounreay

A pinhole breach of a pipe was responsible for the leak of radioactive fluid at the Dounreay nuclear plant, it has been confirmed. The radioactive liquid effluent leaked inside a treatment facility at the former reactor in Caithness last week. No radiation was released and no staff were at risk. Work to replace the pipe is hoped to be completed on Friday.

BBC 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Radwaste

Concerns have been raised over Scottish nuclear waste being dumped at a landfill site in Cumbria. County councillor Tim Knowles said it “beggars belief” that the county is expected to be the dumping ground for very low level waste from the Chapelcross site. He told a council Cabinet meeting in Kendal today that the authority had contacted the site director of Chapelcross and the head of the Scottish Government’s radioactive waste team to express concern over very low level and asbestos waste finding its way into the Lillyhall site. The landfill – operated by the Waste Recycling Group – was granted permission by the Environment Agency earlier this year to accept high volume very low level radioactive waste, permission which the county council opposed.

Carlisle News & Star 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Cumberland News 13th Oct 2011 more >>

WEST Cumbrian fact finders say they have been impressed by what they have seen in France over plans to dispose of highly radioactive nuclear waste deep underground. Nine members of West Cumbria’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership have visited the French underground research laboratory near Bure in Normandy. It has been built to test the suitability of the area for a possible geological disposal facility. The Cumbrian delegation was anxious to look at the type of issues involved in West Cumbria if the area decides to take part in a similar repository search

Whitehaven News 13thOct 2011 more >>

MoX

THE government has given its strongest hint yet that any new Mox plant would be at Sellafield. Energy Minister Charles Hendry told MPs any Mox facilities would be “most likely in West Cumbria”. Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: “Any new Mox plant would need to learn from the lessons of the past and take into account the experience from overseas. “Additionally we anticipate that, for security reasons and to minimise the transportation of plutonium, any new Mox facilities would be located as close to the plutonium as possible and most likely in West Cumbria, which I believe many of [Copeland MP] Jamie Reed’s constituents would actively welcome. “Plutonium management is a high-profile issue that requires appropriate consideration, and it is not a decision that can be taken quickly.

NW Evening Mail 13th Oct 2011 more >>

HOPES are still high that Sellafield will get a second Mox plant, which will go a long way to secure the site’s long term future and sustain employment. Despite speculation that a positive announcement might be made in parliament this week, there was nothing definite before The Whitehaven News went to press. Copeland MP Jamie Reed again pressed the case for Mox 2 in a House of Commons debate on Tuesday night, which involved Charles Hendry, minister for Energy & Climate Change. Mr Reed said the recent decision to close the existing Sellafield Mox plant was made with a heavy heart due to loss of orders from Japan following the Fukushima disaster.

Whitehaven News 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Proliferation

The Royal Society, the UK’s national science academy, has produced a blueprint for a safer nuclear age. In a world where nuclear weapons, reactors, and spent fuel are all realities – much as some people would like to wish them away – the society is asking what needs to be done to safeguard those resources, and in doing so, to safeguard us.

BBC 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Nuclear Free Local Authorities

In Glasgow we are quite clear that we want to be the UK’s greenest city and to that end we are securing massive investment and attracting new technology. We have seen Scottish and Southern Energy open an energy research centre in the city. That type of investment opportunity and commitment could be open to all local authorities. And it is not just the technological and research side of things – there is manufacture and marketing opportunities. “The UK would benefit as a whole if we were to become the world leaders in alternative energy technology. In the past, two thirds of the world’s ships came out of Glasgow and there is now an opportunity for something similar with the UK being at the leading edge and exporting around the world.” NFLA has shaken off its past history as a protest organisation and is now heavily involved with advocacy for local authorities and lobbying at a national level. The advice for local authorities goes beyond action plans for a nuclear free future and looks at practical ways of cutting carbon emissions at a local level through energy saving and insulation.

Councillor Magazine Oct 2011 more >>

Weightman Report

A long awaited report into the UK’s nuclear industry has given it a clean bill of health but has been rushed out with little time for scrutiny according to critics.

Edie 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Sellafield

Sellafield nuclear power station is set to be the next battleground in an ongoing war between electrical contractors and employees over plans to leave current pay agreements.

Construction News 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Whitehaven News 13th Oct 2011 more >>

NUCLEAR unions and the man heading up Britain’s Energy Coast have urged the government to get on with building the new nuclear reactors which can help transform West Cumbria. “Let’s get on with it now,” says the Sellafield Workers’ Campaign following the conclusions of a positive nuclear safety report carried out by chief nuclear installations inspectorate Mike Weightman in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima reactor disaster. And Britain’s Energy Coast chairman Brian Wilson, a former Labour energy minister, also wants the country’s nuclear renaissance to proceed without undue delay.

Whitehaven News 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Companies

Exelon, the Illinois-based electricity generator, has gone into battle with EDF of France over the US group’s $7.9bn bid for Constellation Energy, the Maryland-based power company. EDF, which has a nuclear power joint venture with Constellation, on Wednesday launched an attempt to block the deal, telling Maryland’s public service commission, the state’s energy regulator, that the takeover could be ‘”substantially detrimental both to EDF and to Maryland”.

FT 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Italian firm Ansaldo Nucleare is teaming up with Nuvia and Cammell Laird to design and build heavy modules and components for the UK’s new civil nuclear programme.

Nuclear Engineering International 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Energy Prices

Recent price hikes have increased the profit margins enjoyed by Britain’s big energy firms to £125 per customer a year from £15 in June, it emerged today. Industry regulator Ofgem said that as a result of the rises the average dual-fuel bill has increased by £175 and by November will amount to £1,345. The regulator said it expects profit margins to fall back next year, but said the market is still being stifled by complex tariffs, poor behaviour by suppliers and a lack of transparency in the market.

Independent 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Politics

Tony Juniper: At this rate, and with three and a half years to go, the coalition is not on course to be the greenest government ever. So why are we drifting so far off course, despite David Cameron’s leadership signals? To whom must we look to take us in a better direction?

Guardian 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Litvinenko

THE murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was an “act of nuclear terrorism on the streets of London”, a coroner has heard. Mr Litvinenko, 43, fell ill shortly after drinking tea during a meeting at a West End hotel with former KGB contacts and died in hospital on 23 November, 2006, having been apparently poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium 210. British prosecutors have named fellow ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoy as the main suspect in his murder, but the Russian authorities have repeatedly refused to send him to face trial in the UK. Coroner Dr Andrew Reid is holding a pre-inquest review where he will decide whether he or a leading judge should hear the inquest into the death.

Scotsman 14th Oct 2011 more >>

BBC 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Independent 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Times 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Dalgety Bay

People have been barred from an area of foreshore at Dalgety Bay in Fife after dangerous levels of radioactive pollution were found there. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency discovered a highly radioactive lump of metal near a public footpath at the weekend, and yesterday Fife Council cordoned off the area and erected warning signs. This is the first time such drastic action has been taken to protect the public from radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay. The pollution comes from the radium on old military aircraft dials that were burnt and dumped as landfill. Radioactive particles are being washed ashore at the rate of about a hundred a year, Sepa says. In a recent health assessment, the government agency warned that children who ingest them could suffer a significant risk of cancer in later life. According to Sepa’s chief executive, Dr Campbell Gemmell, the contamination was removed by scientists after they discovered it. “An initial reading of activity in one of these sources has given sufficient concern for Sepa to have asked Fife Council to restrict access to the area,” he said.

Robedwards.com 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Scotsman 13th Oct 2011 more >>

BBC 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Finland

French nuclear plant builder Areva’s total bill for its oft-delayed next-generation Finnish reactor is seen swelling to 6.6 billion euros ($9.1 billion) from an initial budget of 3 billion, according to a report in daily Les Echos citing lawmaker Marc Goua. The construction of the 1,600 megawatt European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) is three years behind schedule, a delay Areva blames largely on Finnish power operator TVO’s “inertia” in validating technical documents before passing them to the Finnish nuclear safety authority. “Areva’s management is talking about a total overrun of 3.6 billion euros. We are going from an initial budget of 3 billion to 6.6 billion,” Marc Goua said in an extract of an article to be published in Les Echos’ Thursday edition.

Reuters 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Finnish utility TVO says the completion of the country’s fifth nuclear reactor will be further delayed and the company does not expect it to go online until 2014. TVO says the Areva-Siemens consortium responsible for its construction has informed it of delays in the development of the plant’s instrumentation and control system. Also, piping and electrical installation have taken longer than estimated.

Washington Post 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Nuclear Engineering International 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

Iitate’s experience suggests the government may be underestimating the decontamination task. Villagers have removed 5cm of topsoil from one patch of land, but because radioactive particles continue to blow from the surrounding trees, the level of radiation remains high—about one microsievert an hour—even if lower than in nearby areas. Without cutting down the forests, Mr Sato reckons there will be a permanent risk of contamination. So far, nobody has any idea where any contaminated soil will be dumped. The second problem is children’s health. On September 30th the government lifted an evacuation advisory warning to communities within a 20-30km radius of the plant. The aim was partly to show that the authorities were steadily bringing the crippled reactors under control. But these areas are still riddled with radiation hot spots, including schools and public parks, which will need to be cleaned before public confidence is restored. Parents say they are particularly concerned about bringing their children back because the health effects of radiation on the young are so unclear. What is more, caesium particles tend to lurk in the grass, which means radiation is more of a risk at toddler height than for adults. In Iitate, Mihori Takahashi, a mother of two, “believes only half of what the doctors say” and says she never wants to bring her children back. That, in itself, may be a curse. “The revival of this town depends on the children returning,” says Mr Sato.

Economist 8th Oct 2011 more >>

A radiation scare gripping one of Tokyo’s toniest residential neighborhoods took a sudden twist when local officials indicated that the contamination likely had nothing to do with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

Wall Street Journal 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Iran

The United States hopes the U.N. atomic watchdog will be more detailed about its concerns Iran is covertly developing nuclear missiles in a report due out next month, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Thursday.

Reuters 13th Oct 2011 more >>

China

He Zuoxiu believes Beijing’s nuclear plans are too risky to justify. Opening a debate on the role of atomic energy in China’s future, he outlines three lessons from Fukushima.

China Dialogue 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Renewables

The Mayor of London has created a new political stink in South London after backing a controversial new power station that turns the slops and rotting vegetation of the capital’s pubs and restaurants into electricity. Boris Johnson has overturned a decision by the London Borough of Merton, and overruled the disquiet of residents, to give the go-ahead to an anaerobic digestion plant in Mitcham complete with a ten-storey flue gas stack. Anaerobic digestion is becoming an increasingly popular source of green energy. It takes organic waste and puts it in steel-encased “stomachs”, which produce biogas that is burnt to produce electricity. The Mitcham facility is aiming to produce enough electricity to power 1,800 homes a year from 40,000 tonnes of waste.

Times 14th Oct 2011 more >>

A Scottish wind energy company forced into receivership when one of its turbine models was found to have a potentially catastrophic fault has been bought up by a rival. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, safeguards the jobs of 20 members of Proven Energys 75-strong workforce who were kept on after the company went to the wall last month. The buy-up by Kingspan Renewables also means that manufacturing can continue at the companys Stewarton facility in Ayrshire. However, farmers with its faulty P35-2 turbines on their land may still be left thousands of pounds out of pocket. The liability for the substandard machinery, whose braking mechanisms could cause blades to fly off, has not been taken on by Kingspan Renewables and so the farmers have to take their chances with Provens receivers, KPMG. They are unsecured creditors, numbering about 500, and it is understood that they will not be able to recover any of their money. Last night the National Union of Farmers in Scotland said that its members were in the dark about what the deal meant for them.

Times 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Scotsman 14th Oct 2011 more >>

THE collapse of Ayrshire-based wind turbine firm Proven Energy into receivership has dragged one-time potential buyer Icon Energy of Kinross down with it. Receivers Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar of KPMG announced yesterday they have sold Provens business and assets to Irelands Kingspan Renewables. It came after Proven admitted there was a potential defect in its 15-kilowatt Proven 35-2 turbine which sells for more than 50,000. The Health and Safety Executive told customers, many of them farmers, that the turbines should be stopped. The remaining 20 Proven staff will continue to make its two smaller turbines, rebranded as Kingspan, at its Stewarton factory. Some 55 Proven employees have been laid off. Icon, which installs turbines, told customers it has gone into voluntary liquidation as a direct result of Proven Energy appointing a receiver and ceasing to trade. Milnathort-based Icon, which employs 35 people, said: A consortium of Icon directors and investors put forward a bid to resurrect Proven Energy and this bid went as far as making it to the last two in the running for the purchase. Unfortunately, Icon Energy were beaten to the post by a large PLC.

Herald 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 14 October 2011

13 October 2011

Plutonium

Britain’s top scientific organisation has backed a controversial proposal to build a second multibillion-pound nuclear fuel plant at Sellafield in Cumbria to deal with the UK’s enormous stockpile of civil plutonium, but it has done so without addressing either the cost or the failures of an existing fuel plant, which had to be closed this year. Critics say that the society’s inquiry into the nuclear fuel cycle has been heavily influenced by the vested interests of the nuclear industry. One of the experts on the report’s working group, Dr Christine Brown, was a key figure at Sellafield when British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) was building its Mox plant. Nor does the report mention of the problems at a US Mox plant being built at Savannah River in South Carolina, with French help, which is behind schedule and five times over budget.

Independent 13th Oct 2011 more >>

A cardinal rule of science is not to cherry-pick your data to suit your hypothesis. Reading the Royal Society’s long-awaited report on the nuclear fuel cycle – delayed because of the Fukushima crisis – it is difficult not to conclude that it has employed a cherry picker of industrial dimensions. The Royal Society picks the nice ripe cherry of the Melox plant at Marcoule in France, which it says could teach us a lesson in how to build a Mox plant that works. Tell that to the Americans. And then there is the strange omission of the “third way” of dealing with Britain’s plutonium stockpile – using the existing Sellafield Mox plant to make Mox fuel for disposal, which the Royal Society chose not to mention even though it must have known about it from one of its star witnesses, Professor Frank von Hippel of Princeton University. Perhaps that was a sour cherry too far?

Independent 13th Oct 2011 more >>

The government must establish long-term plans for a new generation of nuclear power plants so future generations are not left dealing with its legacy, experts urged on Thursday. Ministers must work with the industry to create a “holistic” strategy which deals effectively with reprocessing and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and does not treat it simply as “an afterthought”, they warned. The new build programme must also take into account the UK’s stockpile of civil plutonium – the largest in the world – created as a waste fuel from nuclear reactors but which can potentially be reprocessed into new nuclear fuel.

Guardian 13th Oct 2011 more >>

The government should consider building a new mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) plant to reuse the country’s huge stockpile of separated plutonium as part of a long-term nuclear strategy, the Royal Society said in a report on Thursday. The report also advised the government to reconsider its plan to stop its reprocessing activities once existing contracts have been fulfilled. Sellafield’s THORP reprocessing plant’s lifetime could be extended and investment made to refurbish it, the report said. “Economic considerations would play an important role in deciding the scale of this investment since a new reprocessing plant may even be necessary,” it added. Without putting a cost on building a new MOX and reprocessing plants in the UK, the report said it cost 3 billion pounds to build THORP and the Rokkasho reprocessing plant in Japan cost several times that amount.

Reuters 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Roger Cashmore, chairman of the Royal Society working group and head of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, said: “The last time any UK government articulated a coherent long-term plan for nuclear power was in 1955. While the Government has made some positive moves towards an integrated approach to nuclear power, more must be done. “We need a clearly articulated long-term plan, which also addresses the UK’s current reprocessing capacity and the options that it provides in an uncertain future, both for the UK’s nuclear power programme and, indeed, a global nuclear renaissance.”

Local Guardian 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Fuel Cycle Stewardship in a nuclear renaissance report. There is no proliferation proof nuclear fuel cycle. The dual use risk of nuclear materials and technology and in civil and military applications cannot be eliminated. Given the significant change in government policy and the opportunities provided, and risks presented, by the significant volumes of spent fuel to be generated in a nuclear renaissance, current assumptions that the UK should stop its reprocessing activities once existing contracts have been fulfilled should be revisited.

Royal Society 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Royal Society 13th Oct 2011 more >>

New Nukes

The global upsurge in the use of nuclear power in countries such as China, Russia and Britain must be accompanied by a greater focus on security and the management of nuclear waste, a report said Thursday. In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the respected Royal Society called for a World Nuclear Forum that embraces globalisation and overcomes separate national approaches to nuclear safety.

AFP 13th Oct 2011 more >>

The London-based World Nuclear Association predicts a 30 percent increase in global nuclear generating capacity over the next decade; it foresees 79 more reactors online by 2020, for a total of 514, even taking Fukushima into account. And it sees a 66 percent increase by 2030, with capacity additions in China, India, South Korea and Russia outnumbering projected declines in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Curiously, it assumes Japan will restart all but the six units at Fukushima Daiichi and continue to build new reactors to replace aging ones, for a net number of operating reactors in 2030 more or less the same as before Fukushima. While the nuclear association is obviously bullish, it is less so than it was in its last forecast two years ago. And the projected increase would only keep nuclear energy treading water. As a percentage of global generation it would account for just 14 percent, the same amount the association says it currently contributes. (Other experts say the figure is lower.)

New York Times 10th Oct 2011 more >>

NUCLEAR power will come under the spotlight during a talk in Leominster next Tuesday (18th). It takes place at the town’s community centre on School Road from 7.30pm.

Hereford Times 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Weightman Report

The report commissioned by the government immediately after the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident in Japan earlier this year, is confident that nuclear sites are protected against the worst-case scenarios that are predictable for the UK. But it also stresses the need to learn lessons from the Japanese crisis, and outlines 38 areas where improvements could be made to ensure the industry is even safer.

Health & Safety at Work 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Cumberland News 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Eureka Magazine 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman has given firms working in the nuclear sector one year to implement the 38 recommendations made in his report into the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Existing and new nuclear firms will have the next 12 months to establish how they will respond to the recommendations.

New Civil Engineer 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Professional Engineering 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Sellafield’s spent nuclear fuel ponds must be dealt with urgently, chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman said yesterday following the release of his report into the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Action to deal with risks created by the close proximity of the spent fuel ponds at the Sellafield site in Cumbria was one of the key recommendations in the report. Loss of power at spent nuclear fuel ponds was blamed for causing a reactor explosion at the Fukushima plant in Japan in March. “The fuel ponds at Sellafield were built over 50 years ago to a design we would not accept today,” said Weightman. He called for Sellafield site owner the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to establish its plan to deal with its waste legacy — for example, by constructing a geological disposal facility (GDF). The Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to make an announcement on the UK’s nuclear waste legacy soon.

New Civil Engineer 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Britain’s nuclear regulator said he could shut down plants that fail to comply with recommendations put forward on Tuesday in response to Japan’s Fukushima crisis. “If operators don’t comply, we have various legal means and enforcement powers, but I’m sure the industry will respond effectively and the information we received already showed that they have taken a robust approach,” said Mike Weightman, head of Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

Reuters 12th Oct 2011 more >>

The widely-anticipated go-ahead also came with 38 recommendations, ranging from emergency equipment being kept offsite to the type of ventilation used in nuclear chambers. But concerns have been raised over the extra investment needed – investors already have to sink billions into the plants to get them operational. The report comes just weeks after power firm SS E pulled out of its NuGEN consortium to build the next generation of reactors, and as RWE Npower is said to be reviewing its venture with E.ON.

This is Money 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Supply Chain

Cammell Laird is to bid for work building the UK’s next generation of nuclear power plants. The Birkenhead shipbuilder has joined forces with Italian company Ansaldo Nucleare and Warrington-based Nuvia to bid for the contract. The partners propose building huge modules and components for the plants in a weather-protected construction hall in Birkenhead.

BBC 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Liverpool Echo 12th Oct 2011 more >>

NOF Energy, the UK’s business support organisation for oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables sectors, is hosting a nuclear industry networking event with EDF Energy. Taking place at the Xcel Centre, Newton Aycliffe on October 27, it will offer supply chain companies the opportunity to learn more about EDF Energy’s plans to invest a potential £20bn in the construction of four nuclear reactors in the UK.

Newcastle Evening Gazette 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Horizon

Consultant Jacobs yesterday announced an extension to its contract with Horizon Nuclear Power in the UK, on the same day it also announced $1.4bn (£888M) worth of contracts with Alberta oil sands clients. Jacobs’ scope of worksfor Horizon includes delivering a baseline marine ecology survey program, environmental impact assessments and further assessments for the new power station and associated infrastructure.

New Civil Engineer 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Energy Prices

Analysts and rivals lined up to attack Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) yesterday over its plan to shake up the energy industry by auctioning on the open market all of the electricity it generates. One detractor rejected the move as “smoke and mirrors”. SSE’s proposals would see it breaking away from its major rivals, who effectively sell most of the power they generate directly to homes and businesses in a process that makes it extremely difficult for smaller, independent players in the utilities sector to break into the market.

Independent 13th Oct 2011 more >>

Power company SSE has admitted failures in a bid to win back customers’ trust. We look at why the energy industry needs reform.

Telegraph 12th Oct 2011 more >>

“It’s the first big chink in the Big Six. They’ve really set the cat among the pigeons.”

Telegraph 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Ian Marchant, who runs the £12.5bn utility company, pledged to stay away from loss-leading tariffs that mean long-term customers are subsidising new ones. He criticised other companies for such aggressive tactics that mean it is difficult for small suppliers to compete. “That is predatory pricing. It’s trying to put [small suppliers] out of business. They can’t compete with that on a long term basis,” he told an audience at Policy Exchange. Mr Marchant’s comments came as he unveiled new plans to regain the trust of consumers at a time when prices are rising sharply.

Telegraph 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Ian Marchant, SSE’s chief executive, has run a company guilty of misleading sales techniques, culminating in prosecution and the axing of its 900-strong commission-based sales force. Phew, he’s now seen the light. “Energy companies do a huge amount of good work on a day-in day-out basis. The reality is, however, that too many customers have little of no trust in their supplier or the sector.” No kidding, and whose fault is that? Marchant was even being nice to his bete noire, Ofgem the industry regulator, claiming the watchdog was right to say that in a period of rising prices, suppliers had to transform the way they deal with customers.

Telegraph 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Hinkley

The nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year should not prevent a new generation of reactors being built in Britain, ministers said yesterday. A report from chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman said the UK has one of the best safety regimes in the world. But Greenpeace, which is pursuing a judicial review over the Government’s decision to green-light new reactors before the final study was published, criticised the review for being “rushed”. It said it was being brought out before the full implications of the disaster were known, to green-light a new generation of nuclear reactors in the UK.

Western Daily Pres 12th Oct 2011 more >>

APPRENTICES from Hinkley Point B have been told the sky is the limit as they prepare to embark on successful nuclear careers.

Bridgwater Mercury 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Bradwell

Work is due to start this month to remove 730ft (224m) steel river barriers at a nuclear power station in Essex as part of decommissioning. The offshore wing walls, at Bradwell power station, separated cooling water discharge and intake areas in the Blackwater River estuary. Divers will cut the steel piles below the estuary bed level for removal by barge, in a 12-week operation.

BBC 12th Oct 2011 more >>

THE contractor responsible for decommissioning Bradwell power station has scooped a national prize. Magnox was named as Macro Employer of the Year in the National Training Awards at a ceremony in London on Wednesday. Judges were impressed with the company’s partnership with Radwise, which saw 40 staff at the power station earn qualifications as radiological protection technicians to address a national shortage.

Maldon Standard 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Wylfa

THE Fukushima disaster will not halt the development of Wylfa B but lessons must be learnt to prevent a similar nuclear crisis in the UK, the official regulator has announced.

Daily Post 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Hartlepool

NUCLEAR power plants, including Hartlepool, can go on supplying energy to homes in the UK after the findings of a top-level review. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne spoke out after the publication of a report on the Fukushima disaster, which found no reason to curb the use of reactors here. The review, led by chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman, examined the lessons which could be learned for the UK industry from the crisis at the Japanese reactor when it was hit by a magnitude nine earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March.

Peterlee Mail 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Finland

Delayed construction works at Finnish nuclear power plant Olkiluoto 3 may further push back the start of regular operations there until 2014, Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said on Wednesday. Olkiluoto 3, Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor, has been hit by repeated delays and ballooning costs. The 1,600 megawatt plant was originally scheduled to start operations in 2009 and TVO had said last year it will start in 2013.

Reuters 12th Oct 2011 more >>

French nuclear plant builder Areva’s total bill for its oft-delayed next-generation Finnish reactor is seen swelling to 6.6 billion euros ($9.1 billion) from an initial budget of 3 billion, according to a report in daily Les Echos citing lawmaker Marc Goua. The construction of the 1,600 megawatt European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) is three years behind schedule, a delay Areva blames largely on Finnish power operator TVO’s “inertia” in validating technical documents before passing them to the Finnish nuclear safety authority.

Reuters 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Finnish utility firm Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) blamed supplier Areva for further delays to the construction of its Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant which may further push back operations to 2014. The 1,600 megawatt plant Olkiluoto 3, Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor, was originally scheduled to start operations in 2009 but delays and soaring costs meant TVO revised its start date to 2013.

Reuters 12th Oct 2011 more >>

The new reactor at Olkiluoto may not be fully operational until 2014 said owner TVO in a stock market statement that was then questioned by plant vendor Areva. Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) released a statement today in which it “estimates the start of regular operation [of Olkiluoto 3] may be postponed until 2014.” This was based on the latest progress update from the Areva-Siemens consortium building the plant. Areva CEO Luc Oursel, however, expressed surprise at the date when talking to Reuters. He said that under the current schedule late 2012 would see nuclear fuel loaded in the reactor.

World Nuclear News 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Evidence has come to light suggesting that cheap labour is being employed at the construction site of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant on the Finnish west coast. At worst, some Polish workers are paid less than two euros an hour. A Polish electrician who wishes to remain anonymous told YLE that the dearth of jobs in his home country drove him to seek work at Olkiluoto. The man says it took him some time to realise he was being short-changed. “For the first three months I was left with 1000 zlotys. Later I received 2,500 zlotys per month,” he said. The roughly 250 euro monthly salary is printed on pay slips obtained by YLE.

YLE 27th Sept 2011 more >>

China

YLE has obtained evidence of problems in the construction of a nuclear power plant being built in China by Areva. The French company is building a reactor of the same model on Finland’s Olkiluoto island, which has experienced similar shortcomings The first two European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) construction projects at Olkiluoto and in Flamanville, France, have been plagued by problems. Now it turns out that there have been similar setbacks with another EPR project, a double reactor in Taishan, southern China, near Hong Kong. YLE has obtained inspection reports from China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration based on visits in 2009, as construction was beginning there. The results are familiar to observers of the Finnish and French ventures.

YLE 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

As the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Plant drags on, worries are growing particularly among Fukushima Prefecture residents over drawn-out and in some cases apparently futile nuclear decontamination operations. The unease is especially strong in areas in and around mountains that must be repeatedly decontaminated, as every rainfall brings a new batch of radioactive substance-contaminated leaves and soil washing down from the hills. Since some 70 percent of Fukushima Prefecture is mountainous, such instances of regular recontamination could occur over a broad area, while the same effect has also been observed in some undeveloped areas of cities.

Minichi 11th Oct 2011 more >>

The Tokaimura nuclear reactor 110km northeast of Tokyo must be decommissioned, the regional mayor has urged. Tokaimura Mayor Tatsuya Murakami is the first local leader in Japan to urge scrapping a reactor as Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda tries to rehabilitate the tarnished nuclear sector to help meet the nation’s power needs. The reactor at Tokaimura, where Japan’s commercial nuclear power industry was born in the late 1950s, has been shut since a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck northeast Japan in March, triggering a crisis at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Engineering & Technology 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 13 October 2011

12 October 2011

Weightman Report

An analysis of the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident reveals no fundamental safety weaknesses in the UK’s nuclear industry but concludes that by learning lessons it can be made even safer.

HSE 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Video of Mike Weightman.

HSE 11th Oct 2011 more >>

A review of nuclear safety in the UK has found 38 areas where safety could be improved, in lessons drawn from the Fukushima incident in Japan early this year. The review pinpointed critical areas for concern, including risks associated with flooding, the layout of plants, and the state of preparedness for emergencies. Ministers and the relevant regulators will be asked to look at these as a matter of urgency. However, the review published on Tuesday also concluded that the UK’s nuclear industry is broadly safe, with “no fundamental safety weaknesses”. If the areas of concern raised in the light of the Fukushima are addressed, the industry will be “even safer”, the report said. John Large said the review was a “whitewash”. “I see the hidden hand of the industry being very influential. There is nothing here to counter the gung-ho contention that everything is fine. Everyone acknowledges the severe failures in the way that the Japanese reported Fukushima. If the UK regulators have depended on the Japanese they have not taken good advice.” Large questioned why aircraft crashes had not been considered and said that security issues had been glossed over. “Fukushima was a gift to terrorists. They now know how vulnerable these reactors are. The real gap [in the report] is that UK reactors would not survive more than an hour without power. They have not released the reports done under stress testing. I fear the regulators has just fallen into line with government. This is a ‘let’s not rock-the-boat response’.” Louise Hutchins, energy campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “This looks like a rushed report, before the full implications are known about Fukushima. It’s designed with one objective – to give the green light to a new generation of nuclear power stations, irrespective of the safety, environmental or rising financial costs of those nuclear stations. This is government complacency.”

Guardian 11th Oct 2011 more >>

UK nuclear plants are safe and government strategy for new plants is adequate according to Britain’s chief nuclear inspector.

Reuters 11 Oct 2011 more >>

The U.K.’s nuclear inspector said there’s no need to scale back operations at existing atomic plants or change the licensing process for new reactors in the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

Bloomberg 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Engineering & Technology 11th Oct 2011 more >>

The Engineer 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Business Green 11th Oct 2011 more >>

The Manufacturer 11th Oct 2011 more >>

BBC 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Construction Index 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Times 11th Oct 2011 more >>

There are no fundamental safety weaknesses in the UK’s nuclear industry but lessons can nevertheless be learnt from the Fukushima disaster to make it even safer.

Safety & Health Practioner 11th Oct 2011 more >>

NFLA ‘extremely disappointed’ with the complacency of Mike Weightman’s final nuclear safety review report. NFLA tables formal complaint as its submissions fail to be put on ONR website, and get mixed up with EDF’s response.

NFLA Press Release 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Energy companies with plans to build £5bn nuclear stations breathed a sigh of relief after the regulator said there were “no fundamental safety weaknesses” in the design of UK reactors. The Government had commissioned a review of nuclear safety in the UK, after Japan’s Fukushima accident. The first new nuclear power stations are likely to have been delayed by six months to a year by the safety review and an overhaul of the planning regimes.

Telegraph 12th Oct 2011 more >>

The country’s chief inspector of nuclear installations, Mike Weightman, announced that there was no need to interfere with development of new nuclear power stations in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. His review in the wake of those events was the right course of action and is an important piece of work. But it’s what it doesn’t say which is significant as well. Weightman does not recommend that the country’s existing fleet of nuclear power stations are stopped from having life extensions. It means a lovely big windfall for our main nuclear players, EDF Energy and its junior partner Centrica. By keeping the old stations going, they will be a main beneficiary under George Osborne’s carbon tax designed to hit high carbon emitter. But at £5bn per new nuclear station, there are still other sources of uncertainty, especially for the investors expected to foot the bill. Principal among these is what the long-term contracts for low carbon energy prices will be, so called contracts for difference. Again EDF is on the box seat. A technical paper on the subject is due out in January, with a bill expected to begin its Parliamentary process in May next year with the hope of reaching the statute book by spring 2013. Waiting that long for work to begin on new stations will push them even further back and make it unlikely the first will come on stream until 2021-22 at the earliest, heightening fears of an energy shortage in years to come. But why would the French commit investment when price contracts are still uncertain?

Telegraph 12th Oct 2011 more >>

In a statement, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said:“The report makes clear that the UK has one of the best nuclear safety regimes in the world, and that nuclear power can go on powering homes and businesses across the UK, as well as supporting jobs. “We must, however, continue to improve where we can, not just with operating power stations and new sites, but by dealing with our nuclear legacy in a robust and efficient manner.” The final review confirmed interim findings by Dr Weightman, which offered reassurance that new nuclear could be a part of the low-carbon energy mix in the UK. The coalition had signalled it would be pushing ahead with new nuclear power plants after the interim findings were published in May.

Scotsman 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Metro 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Morning Star 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Chris Huhne came to the Commons to answer an urgent question from Labour MP Paul Flynn about the Weightman report. In April the Fukushima nuclear station became the site of a level 7 nuclear event, the most serious level, after earthquakes and a tsunami hit Japan. Huhne put on hold plans for new nuclear power stations in the UK while a report on the implications of Fukushima was compiled by the country’s chief nuclear inspector Dr Mike Weightman. The report was presented to parliament today. Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, accused the government of “scandalous collusion” with companies who have commercial interests in developing new civil nuclear schemes. “The country needs advice on the way forward,” he said. “They need consideration of the full implications, principally the cost that is making nuclear power unaffordable and uninsurable throughout the planet.” Huhne told Flynn that what he lacks in facts “he makes up for with poetry and rhetoric”. Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint, at the dispatch box for the first time in her new role, strongly backed Huhne and the Weightman report. “In our view there is nothing that calls into question the importance of a continued role for nuclear power as part of a more sustainable future energy mix,” she told the House. Green MP Caroline Lucas raised concerns that flooding might affect new nuclear facilities.

ePolitix 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, responding to the publication of the final Weightman Report on the implications of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami for the UK’s nuclear industry, said: “The safety of the UK’s nuclear industry is of paramount importance. As this report highlights, the Government should always ensure that our regulatory and safety regimes are as robust as possible. Nothing in the Weightman Report calls into question a continued role for nuclear power in the UK as part of a more sustainable and balanced future energy mix. Now the Tory-led Government needs to give investors the support and confidence they need to deliver the construction of new capacity in the nuclear industry.”

Labour Party 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Paul Dorfman of Warwick University and a member of the academic group NuclearConsult, said that many of Britain’s nuclear facilities are built near the coast and are vulnerable to flooding. Dr Dorfman said the chief inspector’s statement saying that are no fundamental safety weaknesses in UK nuclear facilities is a “clear abrogation of regulatory responsibility”.

Independent 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Responding to Weightman’s final review, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) director general Tom Foulkes welcomed the report, saying industry can now move forward with the planned new build programme with renewed confidence.

Low Carbon Economy 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Emergency Planning

The government has been urged to review the adequacy of planning controls over homes and businesses in the vicinity of nuclear power stations to safeguard them against accidents. The final report says that the Nuclear Emergency Planning Liaison Group, which brings together bodies responsible for off-site civil nuclear emergency planning, should look beyond the detailed emergency planning zones (DEPZs) designated immediately around nuclear sites to “improve resilience” in the face of more serious accidents. It comments: “A site that was acceptable for emergency planning purposes when it was first established may not continue to be acceptable unless planning controls limit population growth in the site’s locality, or action can be taken to ensure that off-site emergency countermeasures can cope with the changed demographic. “In making decisions on planning consent for developments near to nuclear sites, it is therefore vital that the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s expert advice on these matters continues to be given full consideration by the relevant planning authorities.

Planning 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Sellafield

STORAGE PONDS for nuclear waste at Sellafield, some up to 50 years old, can never be brought up to modern standards, but Sellafield Ltd, the company which runs the site, is making acceptable progress in removing the radioactive waste, Britain’s top nuclear inspector has declared. After an inquiry prompted by the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Dr Mike Weightman said he found no reason to block the British government’s desire to build eight nuclear stations to replace those closing over the next decade.

Irish Times 12th Oct 2011 more >>

A new Mox facility for Sellafield which will secure thousands of jobs is expected to be confirmed soon. Copeland MP Jamie Reed will tonight lead a Commons debate calling for the decision – expected last year – to be hurried up to ensure the new multi-billion pound fuel plant gets the go-ahead and creates jobs following the closure of the current Mox facility.

Carlisle News & Star 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Horizon

Last week’s Guardian revelation that Horizon Nuclear is thinking of pulling out of its bid to build atomic power stations at Wylfa and Oldbury is a bit embarrassing for both Tory energy minister Charles Hendry and his Labour predecessor John Hutton. Hendry and Hutton spoke at the Conservative conference last week at a meeting on “Nuclear New Build” paid for by Horizon Nuclear. Horizon’s chief operating officer, Alan Raymant, opened the meeting with a speech promising “patience and stamina” in building new power stations. Yet RWE, which together with the energy firm E.ON forms Horizon Nuclear, seems to be running out of both. Mind you, Raymant didn’t totally inspire confidence: he talked about the need to double-check on safety after the Fukushima disaster, describing these kinds of disasters as “high probability … sorry, low probability, high impact events”. Next time, he might want to double-check the script.

Guardian 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Jacobs Engineering Group has secured a contract from Horizon Nuclear Power in support of the company’s new build nuclear power station development at Wylfa, Anglesey in the UK. The new contract is an extension to Jacobs’ current marine environmental services. Under the contract, Jacobs delivers a baseline marine ecology survey program covering fisheries, benthos, marine birds, plankton and water quality; environmental impact assessments; option appraisals.Jacobs will also oversee habitat regulations assessments for the new power station and its associated infrastructure.

Energy Business Review 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Market Watch 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Sizewell

ENERGY bosses have today reiterated their commitment to building a new nuclear power station in Suffolk after a report on the Fukushima disaster found no reason to curb the use of reactors.

East Anglian Daily Times 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Wylfa

THE Fukushima disaster should not halt the development of Wylfa B but lessons must be prevent a similar nuclear crisis in the UK, an expert has said.

Daily Post 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Dounreay

In response to the news of the Radioactive leak at Dounreay, Louise Hutchins, Greenpeace Energy campaigner said: “This is a chilling reminder that Britain’s nuclear industry, despite all it’s assurances, is not able to keep its plants secure. Even as they are decommissioned and even after billions in tax payers’ money has been thrown at them. Instead of colluding with the industry to race ahead with a new generation of reactors, and before we can learn the lessons from the Fukushima disaster, the government should back clean, safe renewable energy alternatives and boost jobs and growth with it.”

Greenpeace 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Radwaste

“No possible underground repository site can be found within the area of Allerdale and Copeland district councils, that would be geologically safe. In addition to the insurmountable geological problems, the NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) is misleading the elected officials and the general public of West Cumbria as to the scale of environmental blight to be caused, were such a repository to be excavated. The MRWS: (Managing Radioactive Waste Safely) partners need to ask some searching questions of the NDA; in particular, why the figures from the NDA’s own environmental assessment, used herein, have not been presented in a more honest and transparent way.” Professor David Smythe. Tim Farron MP has agreed to ask some PQs including: Has the NDA seriously miscalculated the amount of rock spoil from excavation of a geological nuclear dump up to 1000 metre deep and 10 kilometres square?

Radiation Free Lakeland 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Supply Chain

BIRKENHEAD shipyard Cammell Laird plans to bid for contracts worth up to £50bn to construct Britain’s next generation of nuclear power plants. The plan could create up to 3,000 local jobs over 25 years. It follows the completion of a deal that sees a subsidiary of Italy’s Finmeccanica sign up to take part in a three-way joint venture that also includes Laird’s existing partner, Warrington-based Nuvia. The news comes hard on the heels of a separate £5m deal announced last week that will see the shipyard provide services to RWE’s new Irish Sea wind farm.

Liverpool Daily Post 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Ansaldo Nucleare has signed an agreement with Nuvia and Cammell Laird to design and build heavy modules and components for the UK’s civil nuclear programme.

The Engineer 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Energy Prices

National Grid expects colder weather and higher gas prices this winter, even though UK demand is not likely to be high. It believes international factors are likely to be behind higher prices and lower availability of gas. Germany has switched from nuclear power to more gas-fired stations, meaning supply is likely to flow from the UK to Europe via pipeline.

Telegraph 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Scottish and Southern Energy is shaking up Britain’s energy market by auctioning all its electricity on the open market. SSE announced last night that it will break ranks with its fellow Big Six power suppliers by letting domestic suppliers bid for its entire energy supply. The company will also buy all its own electricity from the same “day-ahead” wholesale market. “By selling its total supply of electricity and buying its total electricity demand simultaneously in the day-ahead auction, SSE will significantly improve the liquidity, depth and credibility of the market, and assist in the creation of a robust and tangible pricing index,” said a company statement.

Guardian 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Times 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Sweden

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has recommended a tripling of the fee paid by the country’s nuclear power industry towards paying for management of the country’s nuclear waste. SSM has been tasked with assessing what level of fee Sweden’s nuclear generators should be required to pay into the country’s Nuclear Waste Fund for the next three years. Basing its assessment on information gathered from the relevant organisations – including cost estimates from the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB) – SSM has recommended to the government that the fee should be set at 3 öre per kWh of nuclear electricity produced. The current level is 1 öre per kWh. (1 öre is worth approximately $0.001.) According to SSM, much of the increase is down to new estimates from SKB indicating that the remaining costs of the country’s planned final repository for used nuclear fuel have grown by about SEK 18 billion ($2.7 billion) from previous estimates made in 2008. SSM also says it believes that SKB has underestimated future costs, and it has adjusted the proposed fee increase to reflect this.

World Nuclear News 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

Fukushima Crisis Update 7th to 10th October.

Greenpeace International 11th Oct 2011 more >>

India

Indian activists are seeking the closure of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. Tamil Nadu politicians are merely seeking to halt work on the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, which is scheduled to come online later this year, until local concerns are addressed. People’s Movement against Atomic Power representative S.P. Udhaya commented, “Is an Indian life cheaper than the profits you will get from the Russians, or the Americans or the French?”

Oil Price 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Germany

Following hot on the heels of a similar court ruling in Hamburg, a tax court in Munich recently raised considerable doubts as to the constitutionality of the German government’s nuclear fuel tax law.

Low Tax 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Aldermaston

Floods or earthquakes could cause radioactivity to leak into the environment from Britain’s nuclear bomb factories, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has admitted. In a submission to the Fukushima safety review led by the government’s chief nuclear inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, published today, AWE said that some of the sensitive operations carried out at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire were “vulnerable” to flooding or seismic damage.

Guardian 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Renewables

NFLA Scotland report endorses positive moves towards renewables but urges the Scottish Government to develop consistent policies towards energy efficiency, district heating schemes & microgeneration.

NFLA Press Release 11th Oct 2011 more >>

NEW wave farms for Scotland were announced yesterday but there were concerns that the Treasury will receive a significant slice of future profits. The Crown Estates announced it is to lease six offshore areas it owns around the country and its islands, but it sparked debate about the money received by the organisation after it emerged it would take a cut in the profits related to how much energy they generate per hour. The latest twist comes amid a difficult relationship between the Crown Estates and Scotland as the Scottish Government strives ahead with what have been described as world-leading projects. At present, money from the activities undertaken by the Crown Estate, one of the largest landowners in the UK, is paid direct to the Treasury, but the Scottish Government has argued Scotland could receive more benefit from the profits.

Herald 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Smart Networks

“We could save the consumer £16 billion if we embrace a smarter network future.” That was the message from Steve Johnson CEO of Electricity North West in his first speech as new Chairman of Energy Networks Association (ENA). He was speaking at an ENA Well Connected event in Westminster last night which was attended by Energy Minister Charles Hendry as well a large gathering of the energy industry, Ofgem and Parliamentarians. The figure came from a Report commissioned from ENA by Imperial College. Steve Johnson told the large gathering that the relationship between the networks and the consumer is going through “a profound change”. He went on to say that this would mean network companies engaging with consumers to ensure that the full benefits of a smarter network were realised.

ENA 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Climate

There is a genuine debate to be had about how to cut emissions in ways which can be afforded. This is not to pander to those who deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and presents dangerous risks. But a sober discussion of how we meet our carbon targets as cheaply as possible should be central to policymaking. The only target that matters is reducing carbon emissions. On latest figures, UK-produced emissions are down 27% since 1990 (slightly more than ultra-Green Germany). This is mainly due to replacing coal plants with gas ones in the 1990s. Like installing insulation and improving industrial processes, such measures do not have the sexiness of a new windfarm or solar array. But they are likely the cheapest way to cut carbon in the short-term, while we deliver cheaper zero carbon technologies.

Guardian 12th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 12 October 2011

11 October 2011

Weightman Report

The U.K.’s nuclear inspector will release a final assessment of the country’s reactors today, seven months after Japan’s devastating tsunami raised questions about the safety of atomic plants worldwide. The report will be published today, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It follows an interim May assessment, which recommended 25 areas for review, including the layout of existing plants and emergency response arrangements. It did not propose limits on generation or closing plants. Mike Weightman’s report will be published at www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear once it has been presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State.

Bloomberg 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Huffington Post 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Outgoing SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie said the Government’s report into the Fukushima disaster, due to be published this week, must not be used to revive nuclear expansion plans. Ms Ritchie, who will speak on an adjournment debate on nuclear power programmes and Sellafield in the House of Commons today, said: “The hurried report expected this week into the Fukushima disaster must not give rise to further nuclear installations in the UK. “Rather, the British Government should be making efforts to close nuclear stations and ensure that there is comprehensive decommissioning of those plants which are no longer active.”

Belfast Telegraph 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK are expected to receive a green light today from the final report on lessons from Fukushima.

FT 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Environmental campaigners have accused the government of pushing forward with new nuclear power plants before lessons can be learned from the Fukushima disaster. The Department of Energy and Climate Change will publish the final report this week into the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. However Greenpeace is concerned that the inquiry has been conducted too fast to learn the lessons from the disaster which was triggered when the nuclear plant was hit in March by a tsunami following the earthquake. The environmental group said the government had not waited for the final report, conducted by nuclear chief inspector Dr Mike Weightman, before signalling the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power plants this summer. “It’s not really clear what Dr Weightman’s final report is for,” said Louise Hutchins of Greenpeace. “The government already jumped the gun and gave the green light to new reactors in Britain without bothering to wait for Dr Weightman’s final conclusions on lessons from the Fukushima disaster.

Engineering & Technology Magazine 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Yorkshire Post 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Horizon

Horizon and Wylfa B reaching a dead end?.

Photon Blog 10th Oct 2011 more >>

A POWER giant says it is continuing with its plans for new nuclear reactors near Bristol as reports claimed it was considering reducing or scrapping its British atomic programme. German-owned RWE Npower is part of the Horizon Nuclear Power consortium that wants to build a new nuclear power station next to the existing Oldbury reactors near Thornbury, as well as at Wylfa in North Wales.

Bristol Evening Post 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Nuclear new-build consortium Horizon has said work is ongoing despite rumours that one of its parent companies, German energy giant RWE, is due to pull out of the Horizon consortium. A Horizon spokesman said that contrary to the “speculation”, the firm is “ramping up” its work for its proposed nuclear power station site at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey, with a technology decision due before the end of the year. “We should be judged on our actions,” said the Horizon spokesman. “Only last week [RWE] said we are spending almost £1M per week on the joint venture.” RWE declined to comment.

New Civil Engineer 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Dungeness

EDF Energy stopped its Dungeness B21 nuclear power plant on Sunday in order to repair a turbine after a small hydrogen leak was detected, a spokeswoman said.

Reuters 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Sellafield

Engineers at Sellafield have taken an important step towards decommissioning a 60-year-old storage pond originally built to store fuel from the Windscale Pile Reactors, by overseeing the retrieval of the first nuclear fuel out of the pond since the 1960s.

Professional Engineering 10th Oct 2011 more >>

The Government is expected shortly to unveil plans to build a new nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield to help deal with the country’s plutonium stockpile. Ministers have been looking at several options including building a high-level waste storage facility or pressing ahead with a second mixed oxide (Mox) fuel plant at Sellafield, which would cost £3bn to build and a similar sum to run and decommission.

Construction Enquirer 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Electricity Prices

Household energy bills will soon be as unaffordable as they were in the bleak years of the 1970s, analysts said yesterday. Four per cent of all consumer spending will be eaten up by the cost of heating and lighting the home by 2015, according to Deutsche Bank. It said that the cost was expected to rise by a quarter over the next four years. Analysts blamed the likely increases on rising global energy prices and costly subsidies for wind power and energy efficiency. Deutsche said that the impact of energy costs on households could be lessened by abandoning Britain’s green targets. Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of Centrica, warned recently that this would be necessary if public resistance to higher bills continued. The bank also warned that companies needed to start building new power plants within two years to replace ageing coal plants being shut down. But it said that this would not be viable unless wholesale electricity prices rose by 50 per cent. The issue of energy bills has climbed up the political agenda in recent weeks. George Osborne attacked environmental regulation last week for “piling costs” on to households and businesses. The Treasury is also understood to be resisting new renewable energy subsidies backed by the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and other ministers.

Times 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Uranium

Kalahari Minerals revealed this morning it had recommenced negotiations with would-be buyer China Guangdong Nuclear. Bid talks were called off in May when the Chinese nuclear giant was barred by the Takeover Panel from reducing its offer for the group in the wake of the Fukushima tragedy.

Proactive Investors 10th Oct 2011 more >>

It could become the world’s biggest mine, bringing South Australia new transport and energy infrastructure, not to mention untold riches. Or it could be one of the planet’s greatest environmental catastrophes, bringing radioactivity and sapping precious water resources. Olympic Dam, 350 miles north of Adelaide, has long been regarded as one of the world’s great copper opportunities. The mine also contains the single largest deposit of uranium on the planet, as well as gold and silver. BHP Billiton has been granted permission by the South Australian government to start developing the asset — an expansion plan expected to cost about A$30 billion (£19 billion). According to Martin Ferguson, the federal Natural Resources Minister, the mine “has the potential to become one of the world’s largest, if not the largest”.

Times 11th Oct 2011 more >>

German

The world’s most celebrated climate scientist, James Hansen of NASA, publicly criticised Germany’s recent decision to abandon its new nuclear power programme, formerly a key part of German climate measures, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year. “I think it was a big mistake,” he said. “And I think the Prime Minister [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] knows that, as she’s a physicist, but I think the political reality is she couldn’t stay in office if she expressed that opinion.”

Independent 11th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

In an effort to track the long-term health effects of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan has begun a survey of local children for thyroid abnormalities, a problem associated with exposure to radiation.

New York Times 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Iran

Experts say US should agree to the sale of medium-enriched uranium to Iran in return for a halt to Iranian production, but such a deal could be politically fraught for the Obama administration.

Guardian 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Aldermaston

A proposed new enriched uranium facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire will cost £750m, it has been revealed. The costs of Project Pegasus were given to Nuclear Information Service (NIS) following a request under the Freedom of Information Act. NIS, which aims to foster debate on nuclear disarmament, has criticised the cost of the facility that will be used to handle and store nuclear weapons components.

BBC 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Nuclear Testing

Prediction of Cs-137 deposition from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. The methodology uses a ratio of Cs-137 deposition and precipitation measured at Milford Haven by the Atomic Energy Authority extrapolated across Great Britain using a 5 by 5 km resolution UKCIP precipitation dataset. The prediction is for 31 December 1985. Details of the methodology used can be found in Wright, S.M., Howard, B.J., Strand, P. Nylen, T & Sickel, M.A.K. 1999 Prediction of 137Cs deposition from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests within the Arctic. Environmental Pollution, 104, 131-143.

Data.gov 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 11 October 2011

10 October 2011

Sellafield Mox Plant

The Government is preparing to announce the construction of a new multi-billion pound nuclear fuel plant at Sellafield just weeks after an identical facility had to be closed because it was unfit for purpose. Officials have advised ministers to reject a “third way” of dealing with Britain’s civil plutonium stockpile – the biggest in the world – and forge ahead with a second mixed oxide (Mox) fuel plant at Sellafield costing up to £6bn.

Independent 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Belfast Telegraph 10th Oct 2011 more >>

We have the biggest civilian stockpile in the world because of some very bad decisions taken 50 years ago. It was decided that the small amount of plutonium found in spent fuel should be recycled for use in new generation of fast-breeder reactors. But the programme was cancelled some 20 years ago and, as we were committed to reprocessing, the result was a huge mountain of plutonium.

Independent 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Sellafield (New Reactors)

This morning’s BBC NW Politics Show discussed the impact of Pylons from proposed new nuclear build at Sellafield on the countryside . This is a bit like discussing the impact of new buttons on the toxic emperor’s coat. No doubt the great and the good in Cumbria who have been eerily silent on nuclear developments will vigorously campaign for pylons to go underground – this of course assumes that new build is a fait accompli.

Northern Indymedia 9th Oct 2011 more >>

New Nukes

Environmental campaigners are accusing the government of forcing through a programme of new nuclear power plant construction, without paying full attention to an investigation into the Fukushima disaster. In the coming week the Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to release a final report, looking at the implications of the tsunami-hit Fukushima reactor in Japan for the UK nuclear industry. But Greenpeace say the inquiry has been conducted too quickly to properly assess the ramifications of the crisis, which began following the magnitude 9 earthquake in March. They say information is still emerging which needs to be looked at before the UK makes any declaration.

ITN 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Morning Star 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Independent 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Chernobyl

Twenty five years on from the worst nuclear accident in history what has been learned about the long term health effects of exposure to radiation? David Miller travels to Ukraine and Belarus to explore Chernobyl’s legacy.

BBC2 Scotland 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Hilda Murrell

The nephew of Hilda Murrell, the Shrewsbury rose grower whose murder in 1984 sparked a host of conspiracy theories and claims of an Establishment cover-up, has called for a reopening of the case because of ‘explosive new evidence’. Rob Green says that the new information proves that at least one other man was involved in the crime and this information would probably lead to the acquittal of Andrew George. George is serving a life sentence after being convicted of Miss Murrell’s abduction and murder following a five-week trial in 2005. In what became one of Britain’s most sensational crimes in modern times, the 78-year-old woman was abducted from her Shrewsbury home and later found dead in a copse in the shadow of Haughmond Hill. Mr Green outlines his case for reopening the affair in a book A Thorn In Their Side. He said: “My primary and immediate motive is to expose explosive new evidence which proves at least one other man was involved in Hilda’s murder. This would probably acquit Andrew George. “I believe this book prov-ides enough evidence, known to both prosecution and def-ence but not put to the jury or Appeal Court judges in 2006, to reopen the coroner’s inquest into Hilda’s death.”

Shropshire Star 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Dounreay

THE Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) is investigating a radioactive leak at the site of the former Dounreay nuclear power station. The leak was discovered during a routine operation at the plant, which is currently undergoing a £2.8 billion decommissioning process. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said the plant was immediately shut down and the leak isolated and stopped. Sepa added that the leak was minor and did not escape the plant.

Sunday Herald 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Dungeness

EDF Energy stopped its Dungeness B21 nuclear power plant on Sunday, a spokeswoman said.

Reuters 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Dalgety Bay

Young children contaminated by radioactive pollution from old military planes at a popular Scottish coastal resort face a “significant” risk of getting cancer later in life, according to a new health study by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa). Babies or toddlers who accidentally swallow one of the tiny “hot particles” that keep polluting the foreshore near a yacht club at Dalgety Bay in Fife could get radiation doses hundreds of times higher than the maximum permitted from nuclear reactors. Earlier studies have underestimated health hazards from the pollution, Sepa warned. New tests have shown that more of the radioactive particles are likely to dissolve and stay inside the body than previously thought. Sepa is upping its pressure on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to take responsibility for the pollution. That means finding out exactly where the particles are coming from, and paying for them to be cleaned up.

Sunday Herald 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Herald 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Urenco

British taxpayers could be in line for a £3bn windfall from the Government’s one-third stake in Urenco after the target price was increased in a series of meetings between private equity firms and the nuclear power company ahead of an expected sale. A number of private equity firms, including KKR, have met the management of Urenco in recent weeks. Insiders say talks remain highly preliminary, as the UK Government has yet to reach a final decision on whether it wants to kick off a formal sales process. However, it is understood that thanks to very strong earnings and strong growth, a target price of £8bn-£10bn has been discussed. This is a huge increase from previous estimates of £3bn, which private equity sources said may be wishful thinking from bankers hoping to get in the sale. They, however, accept that £3bn is too low.

Telegraph 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Uranium

China’s growing attempts to seize global natural resources has reached Britain with a link to the recent shale discoveries near Blackpool and a bid for a London-listed uranium company. The state-backed China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) is expected to launch a £650m takeover of a London-listed uranium miner, Kalahari Minerals, as early as this week.

Guardian 9th Oct 2011 more >>

FT 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Times 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have arrived in Fukushima city to observe efforts to decontaminate the area following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The 12-member team arrived as Japan announced the launch of long-term checks for thyroid abnormalities in local children. The screenings will target 360,000 children who were aged up to 18 on 11 March, when a tsunami overwhelmed the plant, knocking out power to cooling systems and triggering meltdowns in three of its six reactors.

Guardian 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Germany

Germany’s RWE on Sunday hailed a ruling by a Munich court as giving further backing to the utility’s legal challenge of the country’s nuclear fuel tax.

Reuters 9th Oct 2011 more >>

US

What’s the likely result if the more than 20 applications for new or expanded nuclear plants are approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? That’s the question addressed in the report, “Big Risks, Better Alternatives,” by Synapse Energy Economics on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The main thesis of the report is that forecasts for energy demand growth in the U.S. are now much lower than they were when these projects were initially proposed. The report focuses on two proposed nuclear projects in Florida and Georgia, states which rank among the worst in the nation in energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). If either state were to pursue even modest efficiency goals, peak load energy levels could remain below those of 2006. Further, neither Florida nor Georgia have meaningful renewable energy standards but do have significant potential for developing them.

IB Times 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Trident

Letter: Trident missiles for both US and UK submarines are held and serviced in a common stockpile at King’s Bay, Georgia; the UK does not own any particular missile. Thus the British independent deterrent is arguably British and arguably independent. That it is neither British nor independent is equally arguable.

FT 10th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 10 October 2011

9 October 2011

Weightman Report

The government is expected this week to try to use a post-Fukushima green light from Britain’s chief nuclear safety inspector to inject momentum into its stuttering nuclear power and anti-climate-change programmes. The move will run into a hail of criticism from environmentalists who believe the latest inquiry into the nuclear industry has been rushed through and fear that ministers are backing off from their commitments to green issues. On Tuesday, Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, is scheduled to release the final report by Mike Weightman, chief inspector for nuclear installations, into what lessons should be learned from the Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan. The report is understood to contain only small amendments to an earlier, interim, report which made only minor recommendations. Greenpeace is already pursuing a judicial review for alleged insufficient lack of consultation on nuclear power, and has been further antagonised by a perceived lack of transparency over submissions made to Weightman. Anti-nuclear protesters are infuriated that EDF, the French state-owned energy company at the heart of the UK’s new nuclear plans, has started preparatory work on a facility at Hinkley Point in Kent ahead of the report’s publication.

Observer 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Environmental campaigners today accused the Government of pushing forward with new nuclear power plants before lessons could be learned from the Fukushima disaster, ahead of the publication of a report on the crisis. This week the Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to publish the final report into the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the disaster at the tsunami-hit Fukushima reactor in Japan. But Greenpeace is concerned that the inquiry has been conducted too fast to learn the lessons from the crisis which began when the nuclear plant was hit by a tsunami following the magnitude 9 earthquake in March, with information still emerging.

Independent on Sunday 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Horizon

German utility RWE AG (RWE.XE) has started an internal review of its plans to construct two new nuclear-power stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in England, the Guardian newspaper reported Saturday. The paper cited well-placed sources as saying the company was looking at all possible aspects of its Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture with Germany’s E.ON AG (EOAN.XE). “There is a strategic review going on and there are a lot of discussions about all aspects of it, including whether new partners could be brought in,” the Guardian cited one of the sources as saying.

Fox Business 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Hinkley

THE Environment Agency is giving people an extra two months to comment on two environmental permit applications for the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

This is the West Country 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Wylfa

THE firm behind plans for Wylfa B are investigating if an extra reservoir would be needed to cope with additional demand on water supplies on Anglesey. Horizon Nuclear Power are working with Welsh Water/Dr Cymru on the issue. But initial results from the study indicate that existing reservoirs on the island should be able to cope with the thousands of extra workers on the island during the construction process.

Daily Post 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Dounreay

Scotland’s environment secretary has called for a full investigation after a radioactive leak was found at the former Dounreay power station. The leak was discovered during a routine operation of the plant which is destroying the liquid metal used as the coolant in the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR). Monitoring systems detected drips of caustic liquor from pipework in a shielded cell. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said the plant was immediately shut down and the leak isolated and stopped.

Hamilton Advertiser 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Perthshire Advertiser 8th Oct 2011 more >>

John O Groat Journal 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Scotland on Sunday 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Radwaste

West Cumbria is famous for being the place where you can find the World’s Biggest Liar. Now the Department of Energy and Climate Change are pushing for West Cumbria to be the place where you can find the World’s Biggest Slag Heap. Nominations are already coming in for what this huge slag heap, ripped out of Lakeland geology, could be called.

Radiation Free Lakeland 8th Oct 2011 more >>

On 10 March 2011 the unelected junior minister for energy and climate change Lord Marland of Odstock, travelled 320 miles north to meet council leaders and chief executives of two West Cumbrian local authorities, the chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Copeland MP Jamie Reed. The leader of Copeland Borough Council, in a post dinner party letter of 14 March, anticipated the move “towards the Decision to Participate stage in the Managing Radioactive Waste process by March 2012”. Acknowledging that letter the unelected Minister Lord Marland is grateful that “West Cumbria MRWS have understood the national interest” and by implication put constituents’ health and safety aside in favour of the ‘national interest’. When that is coupled with another Minister from DECC Charles Hendry MP releasing a statement in July that he expects the geological disposal facility to be open to receive radioactive waste in 2029, the anti-dump campaigners in Cumbria realised — one used the word ‘fraud’ — that Government is set on having the radioactive waste dump somewhere in West Cumbria. That is, acceptance of a deep burial in strata that one eminent, independent geologist Professor David Smythe has described as unsuitable by reason of the complex geology and hydro-geology of West Cumbria.

Open Democracy 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Letter from Prof David Smythe “Unsuitability of the Eskdale Grnite as a host rock fort high- and intermediate-level nuclear waste”

Radiation Free Lakeland 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Uranium

China is set to launch a £650m takeover of a London-listed uranium miner as it steps up its global grab for raw materials. Kalahari Minerals, which trades on the Alternative Investment Market, owns a big stake in the Husab uranium mine in Namibia. The deposit is one of the largest in the world and is expected to be a key supplier to China’s nuclear power stations. It has 25 reactors under construction, half of the world’s new atomic power capacity.

Sunday Times 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Thorium

Cheaper and cleaner than uranium, thorium could be the new reliable source of nuclear energy. Even environmentalists are backing it. It has 200 times the energy content of uranium yet creates 1,000 times less radioactive waste. It is as common as lead, as cheap as chips and can be carried in your pocket. And, appropriately for a metal named after a god, thorium is being touted as the metal that could save the world. A growing number of scientists, engineers and politicians believe that the needs of Britain and the world will not be met by fossil fuels, wind farms or uranium. They believe the future lies in thorium nuclear power. Tomorrow an international conference of thorium advocates will meet in New York to raise the profile of the “forgotten element”.

Sunday Times 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Czech Republic

Defying growing global skepticism over the use of atomic energy, the Czech Republic is planning to dramatically increase the country’s nuclear power production — a move that would give the country a place among Europe’s most nuclear-dependent nations. The Czech plan reflects a sharp division over nuclear use among European nations, and relations with neighboring countries that have decided to go nuclear free could be seriously harmed.

Washington Post 8th Oct 2011 more >>

US

Economics — not post-Fukushima regulatory hurdles — will hinder future nuclear power additions in the US, a former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman said Wednesday. The safety of nuclear power has come under great scrutiny in the wake of the March earthquake that struck Japan and the ensuing tsunami that damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, prompting fears over radiation leakage. But despite talk of stricter attention being paid to nuclear units worldwide, it will be economic realities that prevent more units from being built in the US, former NRC Chairman Dale Klein said Thursday. “Cheap natural gas had already taken nuclear plants off the table for the most part,” said Klein, who spoke at the Gulf Coast Power Association’s fall conference in Austin, Texas. Klein served as NRC chairman from July 2006 to May 2009 and is now associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Texas.

Platts 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have arrived in the Japanese city of Fukushima to observe the massive decontamination effort under way after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The 12-member IAEA group plans to visit farms, schools and government offices throughout Fukushima prefecture in north-eastern Japan. It is the second major IAEA mission to Japan since the nuclear crisis began. Nearly 20,000 people were killed when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11

Huddersfield Examiner 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Liverpool Daily Post 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Regarding the Oct. 4 article “U.K. expert says limits on radiation ‘unreasonable”: It is disconcerting to read physics professor Wade Allison claim that radiation levels at Fukushima and in foodstuffs are no cause for concern. Medical experts dispute this, among them Tokyo University’s Radioisotope Center head Tatsuhiko Kodama, who was quoted in an Aug. 24 article (“Fukushima fallout said 30 times Hiroshima’s”) as saying that there are not enough epidemiological studies to justify conclusions on the number of cancers that may result. In Diet testimony, he warned of specific dangers to different organs from internal radiation.

Japan Times 9th Oct 2011 more >>

Fukushima Update 4th to 6th October.

Greenpeace International 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 9 October 2011

8 October 2011

Horizon

The government’s energy policy took another blow on Friday as major energy provider RWE reviewed whether to scale down or abandon its UK nuclear programme. The German-owned utility, which owns the npower supply business, has started an internal probe of its plans to construct two possible atomic power stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Well-placed sources told the Guardian that the company was looking at all possible aspects of the Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture it operates with E.ON, that would build at Wylfa and Oldbury. “There is a strategic review going on and there are a lot of discussions about all aspects of it including whether new partners could be brought in,” said one of the sources. “It’s not surprising [RWE] scrutiny has intensified given what has happened in Germany and the way the British nuclear projects have been left out on a limb.”

Guardian 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Wylfa

ANTI-nuclear politicians and protestors will attend a forthcoming conference in Caernarfon. People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) will host the Wales Green and Nuclear Free conference at Galeri Caernarfon on October 28.

North Wales Chronicle 14th Oct 2011 more >>

Hinkley

A KNIGHTON woman led a group of protesters from across Wales to Somerset to fight EDF Energy’s plans to build two new nuclear reactors next to the existing nuclear site. Angie Zelter, a resident of Knighton and Knighton Peace and Justice member, helped organise the blockade on Saturday, October 1, to the EDF regional HQ in Bridgwater, and at the Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station in Somerset on Monday, October 3.

Powys County Times 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Heysham

Britain’s largest nuclear power operator, EDF Energy , has raised output capacity at its 580-megawatt (MW) Heysham 1-2 nuclear reactor to around 96 percent, after five years of reduced production, the utility said on Friday.

Reuters 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Telegraph 8th Oct 2011 more >>

The National Grid has said it will try to minimise the impact on the Lancashire countryside of power cables from a new nuclear power plant. Connecting Heysham Power Station to the National Grid could mean pylons and cables are run across Morecambe Bay and the Trough of Bowland. Campaigners are calling for any new power lines to be placed underground.

BBC 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Torness

EDF Energy , Britain’s largest nuclear power producer, restarted its 640-megawatt (MW) Torness 2 nuclear reactor on Friday, a spokesman said.

Reuters 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Dungeness

AN expanded airport near Rye would cause a major nuclear risk – that was the message from protesters as a six-moth public enquiry closed. Lydd Airport wants to build a new passenger terminal and extend its runway, allowing it to take larger jet aircraft. It says this would create hundreds of new jobs and help regenerate the Rye and Romney Marsh area. But protesters claim it would damage an environmentally sensitive area of Romney Marsh and pose a huge risk due to its proximity to the nuclear power station at Dungeness. Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG), in a dramatic closing statement, outlined evidence supporting its case and appealed to the Secretary of State to reject the planning application. The group claimed new evidence had strengthened its case for objecting on nuclear safety grounds. Louise Barton, from LAAG, said: “The Office for Nuclear Regulation made its original decision not to oppose Lydd Airport’s development in 2007, based only on a safety assessment of Dungeness B, the operational nuclear power station at Dungeness. “No safety assessment was made of Dungeness A because it had ceased power generation at the end of 2006. “The ONR recently reversed its opinion according to evidence revealed late in the inquiry. This shows it now regards Dungeness A to be more dangerous than the operational Dungeness B. Despite this, no safety assessment has been conducted for Dungeness A.

Rye & Battle Observer 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Dounreay

Radioactive material has leaked at the site of the former Dounreay nuclear power station in Caithness, it has been confirmed. Radioactive liquid effluent is understood to have leaked inside a treatment facility. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said the leak was minor and did not get outside the plant. Sepa has launched an investigation. Dounreay is currently undergoing a £2.6bn decommissioning process. Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said that nobody was put at risk by the incident.

BBC 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Radwaste

PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF has signed a deal with the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to provide technical support for the development of a long-term geological disposal site for nuclear waste.

Chemical Engineer 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Edie 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Terror

A Swiss firm will compete for $200,000 (£129,000) of funding in London this month after developing technology that could improve efforts to catch smugglers and terrorists handling nuclear materials.

The Engineer 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Supply Chain

Smaller manufacturers are being shown how to tap into the UK’s £43 billion civil nuclear power programme by the South Yorkshire-based Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Sheffield Star 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Chernobyl

CATRIONA Munro was studying in Minsk when the Chernobyl nuclear plant was hit by a series of explosions in 1986. Twenty-five years on, she believes her terminal breast cancer may be linked to the fall-out from the disaster and is trying to trace fellow students to investigate whether any have also become ill. Ms Munro, 46, who lives in the Black Isle, was onbe of a number of language students from the UK studying Russian in Belarus, in the former USSR, at the time. Her quest is highlighted in a BBC documentary tomorrow, which says the collapse of the Soviet Union meant no definitive research was carried out into the effect of the Chernobyl disaster on human health.

Scotsman 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Politics

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, discovered the perils of social media last night when he appeared to accidentally post a private message to his almost 8,000 followers on Twitter. Within minutes, it was shared and forwarded across the web before the minister hit the delete button. Mr Huhne wrote: “From someone else fine but I do not want my fingerprints on the story. C” The mistake is intensely embarrassing, because it appears to suggest that Mr Huhne was conspiring to get information into the public domain, hoping that no one would know he was involved.

Independent 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Caroline Flint MP is new shadow secretary of energy and climate change in the Shadow Labour Cabinet. Caroline Flint MP was named today as shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change in Labour’s shadow cabinet. She replaces Meg Hillier MP. Caroline Flint is the MP for the former coal-mining constituency of Don Valley and had been shadow secretary of state for communities and local government since October 2010. As part of the big intake of new Labour MPs in 1997 she was immediately prominent as one of the highest profile of the so-called ‘Blair babes’. She has had government experience with spells as minister for Europe, housing minister and ministerial posts in three other departments: Home Office, Health and Employment and Welfare Reform. She was also minister for Yorkshire and the Humber between June 2007 and January 2008.

Utility Week 7th Oct 2011 more >>

The axing of Hillier had been rumoured for some time, after the shadow energy and climate change team faced particular criticism for failing to make more political capital out of a series of u-turns at DECC, such as the watering down of the Green Investment Bank, delays to the Green Deal legislation, and controversial cuts to solar energy feed-in-tariffs. There were also complaints that Labour was failing to take full advantage of dissatisfaction over rising energy bills, and a series of negative headlines attacking energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne. Flint will now be expected to orchestrate the opposition position on a raft of upcoming green policies, such as the Green Deal, Green Investment Bank and electricity market reforms. In particular, she will be expected to flesh out proposals put forward by Ed Miliband last week to break up the dominance of the Big Six energy providers, and re-assert Labour’s appeal to green businesses and voters after the Conservatives this week appeared to back away from the government’s environmental agenda.

Business Green 7th Oct 2011 more >>

US

Finally, the US Department of Energy’s First Quadrennial Technology Review, released last week, identifies Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing as the technology’s primary obstacle. It would seem obvious to most anyone that better new designs and applying experience would offer a safer, cheaper and more efficient production of nuclear power. It just isn’t so in the U.S. and that fact is a huge embarrassment for an economy, a lost opportunity for ratepayers, stockholders, and job seekers, and a major intrusion into the effort for abundant energy. Simply said, experience worldwide and intellectual progress can’t get into the U.S. nuclear power sector because of political intrusion. The U.S. has squandered nearly 40 years, two generations, on law and the subsequent bureaucracy for honesty – nothing.

Oil Price 7th Oct 2011 more >>

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will carry out inspections of major nuclear fuel cycle facilities in the country. Under the temporary instruction, NRC inspectors will evaluate the adequacy of emergency prevention and/or mitigation strategies for consequences of natural events that exceed a licensee’s safety or licensing basis. The temporary instruction will cover all commercial uranium enrichment plants, nuclear fuel fabrication plants, and uranium conversion facilities currently operating in the US. Inspections will be tailored to the individual facilities, but at a minimum they will evaluate seismic hazards, external flooding hazards, internal flooding hazards, wind and tornadoes, extended loss of AC or emergency power and fire impacts.

Energy Business Review 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Russia

Russia’s commitment to civil marine nuclear power is growing. Power units for three new icebreakers are seen as the forerunners of a small reactor design for next-generation floating nuclear power plants. The current fleet of four nuclear-powered icebreakers is slated to continue operation until 2020, working the freezing ports in Russia’s Arctic coast and maintaining the Northern Sea Route.

World Nuclear News 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

It is business as usual for Formula One this weekend despite earlier fears about the Fukushima power plant nuclear crisis. Red Bull denied reports it made special arrangements for Suzuka to avoid contaminated food, and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso said his own routine is also unaffected.

Formula1 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Microgeneration

Joining the local energy revolution this week: Royal Berkshire Hospital, Slough Borough Council, Derry City Council, Network Rail. Plus more than £4m of loans for Scottish Community Energy Projects.

Microgen Scotland 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Fuel Poverty

Soaring energy costs have left a quarter of households struggling to pay their bills. The average cost of gas and electricity is now £1,293 a year and getting closer to a £1,500 a year affordability ceiling. Research from uSwitch suggests that if that level is reached, three-quarters of households will start to ration energy, three-fifths will go without adequate heating and more than a third of homes will be forced to turn their heating off entirely. “People should not be in a position where they are forced to choose between whether they heat or eat, especially while fuel companies are generating considerable profits,” says Alison Taylor, director of Turn2us, a charity which helps hard-up people find benefits and grants they may be entitled to. This month the charity aims to highlight the issue of fuel poverty through a online social media campaign that encourages people to tweet the amount they pay for gas and electricity as a percentage of their income.

Independent 8th Oct 2011 more >>

CCS

There has been mounting speculation that ScottishPower, which leads a consortium bidding to build a 1bn prototype CCS project at Longannet Power Station in Fife, is about to withdraw from the Westminster competition. It has been suggested talks between the department of energy and climate change and ScottishPower’s parent company Iberdrola had broken down possibly over a multi-million-pound shortfall in funding. If true, it could have a devastating impact on the Scottish economy and jobs market and for the wider CCS sector. A ScottishPower spokesman said: ”Negotiations with the department of energy and climate change over the next phase of the CCS demonstration competition are continuing.” A department spokesman said: ”All we can say at the moment is that negotiations are continuing but no decisions have been made at present.” But insiders said it could be the end of the road for the far-reaching scheme amid claims the consortium has concerns about its commercial viability without more investment. Dunfermline and West Fife MP Thomas Docherty said he would speak to ScottishPower this week urging them and the UK Government to get back around the table.

Dundee Courier 8th Oct 2011 more >>

Electricity generator Scottish Power is threatening to withdraw from a project to build a flagship pilot carbon capture & storage (CCS) facility at Longannet coal-fired power station near Fife, Scotland, unless the Treasury gives it £0.5 billion more funding.

Energy & Environmental Management 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Climate

Europeans believe that dangers of climate change represent a more serious problem than the current financial turmoil, according to a new poll. The Eurobarometer poll (pdf) suggests that the majority of the public in the European Union consider global warming to be one of the world’s most serious problems, with one-fifth saying it is the single most serious problem. Overall, respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty.

Guardian 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 8 October 2011

7 October 2011

Horizon

The future of Britain’s nuclear power is at risk, with one of the three groups looking to build the next generation of reactors on the brink of splitting up. RWE, which owns npower, is in talks with partner E.ON about the future of its involvement in their joint project to open a reactor by 2020. According to people familiar with the situation, RWE is looking for a way to pull out of the Horizon Nuclear Power scheme. Costs, currently estimated to be £1million a week, are one of the reasons why the firm is looking at an exit strategy, sources said. But a larger factor is the value of costs RWE has incurred in Germany with the compulsory closures of the country’s nuclear power plants, they added.

This is money 6th Oct 2011 more >>

New Nukes

Fuel Cycle Stewardship in a nuclear renaissance: Report launch with a keynote speech from Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. 13th Oct 2011.

Royal Society 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Support for new nuclear power stations in the UK has actually gone up since the Fukushima disaster, Charles Hendry has said. The Energy Minister said despite the Japanese catastrophe halting the nuclear programme in Germany, polls had shown support for the energy source in the UK has increased, he told a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference in Manchester. Mr Hendry said: “Fukushima was a massive wake-up call and reminds us we can never rely on just one technology. “But on public opinion, I think it has been quite extraordinary to see the reaction since Fukushima. “A number of opinion polls have shown support has risen. There is more support than in France and more political consensus, which is quite remarkable.

Cumberland News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

MINISTER for Energy & Climate Change Charles Hendry has spoken about the employment and economic opportunities new nuclear build will bring to the country. At the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Mr Hendry reaffirmed that 5,000 jobs would be created in the construction of each new nuclear power station. One is earmarked for Copeland on nearly 500 acres of land surrounding Sellafield’s existing licensed nuclear site. Up to three reactors could be built there initially. And the Spanish-led consortium planning the multi-billion pound development said the recent withdrawal of one of its partners, Scottish & Southern Energy, made no difference subject to a final investment decision being made around 2015.

Whitehaven News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Images from the Stop New Nuclear alliance’s Hinkley action weekend: camp in Nether Stowey (30 Sept to 4 Oct), march and rally in Bridgwater town centre (Sat 1 Oct) and 9-hour mass blockade of Hinkley Point nuclear power station (Mon 3 Oct), all in West Somerset, south-west England.

Indymedia 6th Oct 2011 more >>

You Tube 3rd Oct 2011 more >>

Torness

A REACTOR at Torness Nuclear Power Station near Dunbar has been shut down. The decision to take unit two offline was to carry out a repair to one of the auxiliary cooling systems. A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said: “Although it was still operating within the normal range, we decided to take it offline because safety is always our first consideration and we take a very conservative approach to our operations. “Cooling to the reactors was maintained at all times and there were no health or environmental impacts. The unit will be returned to service as soon as the repair is completed, although for commercial reasons we will confirm the exact date of return to service only after the unit has re-synchronised to the National Grid.”

East Lothian News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Radwaste

Submission of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities to the DECC Consultation on “Managing Radioactive Waste Safely: Desk Based Identification and Assessment of Potential Candidate Sites for Geological Disposal”.

NFLA 30th Sept 2011 more >>

Community representatives from Cumbria say their trip to France this week to find out more about radioactive waste disposal there, has been a “very useful experience”. Members of the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership travelled to a research facility in the country to see how the local community feels about it. Cumbria might have an underground disposal facility built in the future. The trip was criticised by campaigners here though, who described the trip as nothing more than “a jolly”.

Lakeland Radio 6th Oct 2011 more >>

THE leader of Copeland Borough Council says a fact-finding mission to France has been “really useful”. Councillor Elaine Woodburn and fellow members of the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership this week visited an underground research facility managed by the French nuclear waste management agency.

NW Evening Mail 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Whitehaven News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff today announced it has signed a four-year contract with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to provide technical support for developing an underground disposal facility that it is hoped will isolate radioactive materials from the environment for thousands of years. Parsons Brinckerhoff’s work will be undertaken through its involvement with the Orchid group which was originally formed in 2005 to bring together expertise from across industry to meet the needs of repository engineering. The Orchid group consists of Nuvia, Gardiner & Theobald, National Nuclear Laboratory, SKB International, University of Manchester, Oxford Technologies, Nuclear Technologies and the British Geological Survey.

New Civil Engineer 6th Oct 2011 more >>

CUMBRIANS Opposed to A Radioactive Environment (Core) is pleading with the government to pull the plug on West Cumbria’s radioactive waste repository moves. Just as a West Cumbrian councils’ team went out to France on a four-day mission to build up knowledge about the £12 billion project, Core said the process should be put on hold – or abandoned altogether – until at least 2015, when proposed parliamentary boundary changes could see Copeland join with Windermere. West Cumbria’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership is due to advise local authorities early next year on whether to go further than just ‘expressing an interest’ in the possibility of having an underground waste facility in the area. But Cumbria’s long-established anti-nuclear group warns against moving towards “the next crucial stage of the process – the decision to participate”. CORE spokesman Martin Forwood said: “The government has to pull the plug on the process now. A decision to participate by the councils before the constituency boundary changes are ratified in 2015 would be untenable and in direct contravention of the government’s own guidelines on community volunteerism.

Whitehaven News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Letter: We strongly believe it is right for members of the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership to visit the research facility, which is managed by the French waste management agency (editorial, September 29). It is important that the people who are looking at this issue have the chance to see a site like this first-hand and talk to local people.The Government provides funding for the Partnership to look at the issues that would be involved in West Cumbria taking part in the search for somewhere to put a repository. This is not funding that would otherwise go towards the councils’ day-to-day work.

Whitehaven News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Sellafield

THE Windscale pile reactors, which haven’t worked since Britain’s worst nuclear accident 54 years ago, is the source of one of Sellafield’s greatest achievements. The latest site milestone comes with the retrieval of nuclear fuel from the reactors 60-year old storage pond, earmarked as one of the site’s key risk reduction areas. The Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP) was Sellafield’s first nuclear fuel storage pond and to this day remains the world’s largest open air facility of its kind.

Whitehaven News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Companies

GRAHAM Evans MP has welcomed an industrial contractor’s decision to base its headquarters in Halton. Hertel, a subsidiary of Dutch company Hertel Group, opened its Preston Brook office in July. Mr Evans welcomed the company’s relocation as ‘excellent news’. Its projects include work at Runcorn’s Rocksavage petrochemicals plant and Fiddlers Ferry in Widnes. It also has projects at Stanlow Oil Refinery near Ellesmere Port and the nuclear stations at Sellafield, Wylfa and Trawsfynydd.

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Supply Chain

A TOP Sheffield lawyer, with links to firms at the heart of the civil nuclear construction programme, is challenging Sheffield City Region companies to compete to become part of a £20 billion UK nuclear supply chain. Martin McKervey, a partner at national law firm Nabarro, works with leading energy suppliers at the heart of the nuclear new-build debate. He says nuclear power is set for massive global expansion, with around 30 countries getting ready to make huge investments in new plants, but local firms still need to do more to be ready for the challenges ahead. “The fact that the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) is based locally is a clear indication that the region lies at the very heart of the UK’s nuclear future, but it’s vital that firms prepare now to meet the challenges ahead,” says Mr McKervey.

Sheffield Star 6th Oct 2011 more >>

IAEA

The Iranians “tricked and misled us”. Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, offers his first assessment of his 27 years at the global nuclear watchdog. He addresses Iran’s nuclear program, his concerns about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and mistakes made in Fukushima.

Der Spiegel 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Iran

The first Iranian nuclear power station is inherently unsafe and will probably cause a “tragic disaster for humankind”, according to a document apparently written by an Iranian whistleblower. There is a “great likelihood” that the Bushehr reactor could generate the next nuclear catastrophe after Chernobyl or Fukushima, says the document, which has been passed to The Times by a reputable source and is attributed to a former member of the legal department of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran. It claims that Bushehr, which began operating last month after 35 years of intermittent construction, was built by “second-class engineers” who bolted together Russian and German technologies from different eras; that it sits in one of the world’s most seismically active areas but could not withstand a major earthquake; and that it has “no serious training progr amme” for staff or a contingency plan for accidents.

Times 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

A worker at Japan’s disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has died, its operator said, adding that the death was not necessarily related to radioactive leaks.

Telegraph 6th Oct 2011 more >>

US

According to the most recent issue of the “Monthly Energy Review” by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, with data through June 30, 2011, renewable energy has passed another milestone as domestic production is now greater than that of nuclear power and continues to close in on oil.

Electric Light & Power 3rd Oct 2011 more >>

According to a new report, ratepayers in Florida and Georgia would be better served by investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources, rather than building new nuclear reactors in those states. The report, “Big Risks, Better Alternatives,” was released today by Synapse Energy Economics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based consulting and research firm. The report, prepared for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), takes a close look at two nuclear power projects: Progress Energy’s proposal to build Levy 1 and 2 in Florida, and a Georgia Power-led consortium plan to build two new reactors, Vogtle 3 and 4, at an existing nuclear power facility in Georgia. Both projects were proposed in 2006 to meet then-anticipated growth in electricity demand. The report evaluates both nuclear projects and compares them with other low-carbon alternatives that could meet projected consumer demand at lower cost and risk.

Common Dreams 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Belgium

Today, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that one of its nuclear inspectors had been exposed to radiation during a 4 October inspection of the Belgoprocess nuclear waste facility in Dessel, Belgium. The inspector, along with an inspector from EURATOM and a Belgoprocess employee, apparently received a dose of radiation after a vial or flask of plutonium accidentally fell on the floor, according to releases from the company and the Belgian Federal Nuclear Control Agency (AFCN). Plutonium is dangerous if ingested, but the amount received by the inspectors was less than the legal limit, the AFCN says. No radiation has been released beyond the site.

Nature 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Germany

A disused nuclear power station in Germany has been converted into the Wunderland Kalkar amusement park, following the government’s decision to abandon all nuclear energy plants. Wunderland Kalkar is most likely the first of many more creative conversions to come, with approximately fifteen more power plants to be be completely abandoned by the year 2022.

Gizmag 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Germany’s decision to ditch nuclear power because of safety fears was undermined yesterday with the disclosure of plans in neighbouring Poland to build an atomic plant in its western border region near to Berlin. Brandenburg state, which borders Poland, said that it had voiced strong objections after learning of four possible locations being considered for a reactor, including one just 170 miles (275km) from the German capital.

Times 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Vietnam

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has signed an agreement with a consortium of Japanese companies to progress the design, construction and operation of the country’s second proposed nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Rosatom will help establish a nuclear energy information centre in Hanoi.

World Nuclear News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

India

An increase in anti-nuclear sentiment after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March has stalled India’s ambitious plan for nuclear expansion. The plan, pushed forward by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, aims to use reactors imported from the United States, France and Russia to increase the country’s nuclear-power capacity from the present 4,780 megawatts to 60,000 megawatts by 2035, and to provide one-quarter of the country’s energy by 2050. But now there are doubts that the targets will ever be met if safety fears persist.

Nature 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Finland

The environmentalist group Greenpeace has announced it will start a campaign against the Fennovoima-owned nuclear power plant planned for construction at Pyhäjoki on the northwest coast. The group is appealing to German shareholders to withdraw support for the project. The Greenpeace effort is to be targeted at the Germany energy giant E.ON, that owns a good one-third of Fennovoima. Jehki Härkönen, an energy affairs spokesperson for Greenpeace says that a withdrawal of support by German owners would have a significant impact on the project.

YLE 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Fennovoima has chosen Pyhäjoki on Finland’s western coast as the site for its nuclear power plant. Final preparatory works could be started as early as late 2012.

Nuclear Engineering International 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Construction Index 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Submarines

A consultation on dismantling decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines in the Westcountry is to be launched later this month. The yards at Devonport in Plymouth and Rosyth in Scotland have already been named as the two “candidate” sites for cutting up 27 submarines – both past and current classes.

Western Morning News 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Rosyth will have its say on the government’s plans to dismantle the country’s fleet of nuclear submarines. The Ministry of Defence will launch a major public consultation exercise this month, before making any decisions. The news prompted North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell to say: ”This is the right decision but the public will want to be assured that this is a genuine consultation.” The Westminster government has already announced that Rosyth or Devonport—or a combination of the two yards—are the candidate sites for where radioactive waste is to be removed from the submarines.

Dundee Courier 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Renewables

Action for Renewables – A mesage from Tony Juniper.

Action for Renewables 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Former Friends of the Earth Executive Director to chair new pro-renewable energy group, ‘Action for Renewables’. High-profile journalists, environmental activists and politicians from across the political spectrum form new group’s Campaign Advisory Board. Groundbreaking partnership of NGOs, trade unions, grassroots voices and industry to deliver green energy.

Renewable UK 6th Oct 2011 more >>

New organisation, the Renewables Training Network, will bridge skills gap in industry. RenewableUK secures £600,000-worth of support from business for new body, matched by £600,000 of government funding. Paving the way for over 77,500 new jobs in UK wind, wave and tidal industries and supply chain within next ten years.

Renewable UK 6th Oct 2011 more >>

As Germany’s economy minister, Philipp Rösler, arrives in Athens to drum up investment, Greece is hoping solar energy can help it out of its debt crisis. Plans are also afoot to develop about 20,000 hectares of solar power parks for exporting renewable energy to Germany, according to media reports. With the Greek economy poised to contract for a fourth consecutive year, officials say green energy could create 60,000 jobs at a time of record unemployment.

Guardian 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Efficiency

Applying chips to save domestic electricity in Italy would save the equivalent of the output of four nuclear power plants, Matteo Lo Presti of STMicroelectronics told the IEF2011 meeting in Seville this morning. Electricity used by power supplies, accounting for 24% of worldwide electricity consumption could be cut by 90% by using ICs. Electricity used by lighting, accounting to 21% of the worldwide use of electricity could be cut by 80% by using ICs. Electricity used in motor control, accounting for 55% of the worldwide use of electricity could be cut by 40% using ICs.

Electronics Weekly 7th Oct 2011 more >>

CCS

Scottish Power is understood to have pulled the plug on a major green energy scheme at Longannet power station, Fife, close to the Firth of Forth. The threatened scrapping comes amid growing concern that David Cameron and George Osborne want to scale back the green agenda on the grounds that low carbon technology, such as carbon capture storage (CCS) and offshore wind power, cost too much in a time of austerity. The chancellor told the Conservative conference this week that if he had his way the UK would cut “carbon emissions no slower but also no faster than our fellow countries in Europe”. Scottish Power and its partners Shell and the National Grid have just completed a detailed study of the Longannet scheme. They are con cerned about its commercial viability without more public backing.The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had promised 1bn but the developers are understood to be saying they cannot proceed unless more money is provided to enable them to trial a scheme which involves burying carbon emissions in the North Sea. Both sides insist “talks are ongoing” but well-placed industry and political sources say the process is “pretty much over” and a statement is expected shortly.

Guardian 6th Oct 2011 more >>

BBC 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Herald 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Edinburgh, who has followed the development of the Longannet scheme closely, said that years of indecision and dithering by the UK Government, and reluctance by the power company to innovate, would be to blame if the plans are shelved.

Times 7th Oct 2011 more >>

Politics

The chancellor’s uncoupling from Cameron’s green agenda was not unexpected, said a source close to Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary. It follows Osborne’s behind-the-scenes opposition to tough targets for future carbon cuts in May. Osborne’s statements in Manchester caused anger, said th e source, but more for exaggerating the impact of green policies on energy bills than any presaging of policy reversals. “It’s factually not accurate and therefore just scaremongering. It made us wonder whether George actually understands the scale of the reductions in energy bills we are trying to bring about and, in general, what we are trying to do.” What is clear is that the politics have changed, if not yet the policies, according to Tim Montgomery, editor of ConservativeHome. “The government has decided that this is now a vote-losing issue,” he said, following briefings from the government. “Soaring energy prices are what has forced Cameron to change. The government is now in sync with the vast majority of the Tory party who think it is futile to try to tackle climate change without a world agreement.”

Guardian 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 7 October 2011

6 October 2011

New Nukes

THE UK is the most exciting place in the world for new nuclear build the Tory party conference was told. Pro-nuclear energy minister Charles Hendry said the government was committed to making Britain a “serious nuclear nation”. But he reiterated the coalition agreement that the industry would receive no public subsidy.

NW Evening Mail 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Power company EDF Energy is making £1.3 million available to three Somerset local authorities over the next six months to carry out further studies on the impact of its Hinkley Point C nuclear proposal. “The project is now entering a different phase as we will shortly submit our application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. This will change the amount and type of work the councils will need to do,” said an EDF spokesman. Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has extended the deadline for comment on two environment permit applications related to Hinkley C submitted by NNB Generation Company, a joint venture between EDF Energy and Centrica, until 15 December. The original deadline was 6 October. The applications relate to discharges and disposal of radioactive waste and operation of stand-by power supply systems. A further application to make water discharges from the proposed station has also been received by the Environment Agency.

Planning Resource 5th Oct 2011 more >>

A debate on nuclear power will be held in November. The event at Bristol’s Colston Hall has been organised by Dr Paul Dorfman, a research fellow in nuclear policy at Warwick University, because new nuclear reactors are planned at Hinkley Point near Bridgwater.

The debate will be held on November 9 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, chaired by Damian Carrington, head of environment at The Guardian newspaper.

Western Daily Press 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Oldbury

FURTHER informal drop-in sessions will be held by Horizon Nuclear Power in Oldbury and Thornbury.

Thornbury News 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Wylfa

GROUPS around Anglesey and Gwynedd are currently formulising a position to take on the possible building of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa. The Gwynedd branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) met at Hen Goleg in Bangor on Saturday to “start the ball rolling” on what stance they should take towards the construction of a power station and all the associated developments. These include upgrading transport infrastructure and finding accommodation for the influx of 5,000 workers during its construction. Horizon, which is behind the proposal, is set to choose a reactor technology around Christmas and produce firmer plans in 2012 which will be widely consulted upon before going ahead with a planning application in 2013 to the infrastructure planning committee, which deals with major projects of national importance. Later this month anti-nuclear pressure group Pobl Atal Wylfa B (PAWB), will hold a conference at Galeri in Caernarfon. PAWB spokesman Dylan Morgan said: “The nuclear disaster at Fukushima has dealt the nuclear industry a severe blow internationally. “But the Westminster coalition government and Horizon still want to build new nuclear power stations. “We want people to come to the conference to listen to the arguments against nuclear power and in favour of a sustainable future for Wales through a comprehensive programme of energy conservation and development of the various types of renewable energy.”

Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Scotland

Plans to replace a coal-fired power station with a high-efficiency gas station have been approved by ministers. The 40-year-old Cockenzie power station in East Lothian will be demolished and replaced with a combined cycle gas turbine power plant. Scottish Government officials said natural gas is a more efficient fuel than coal and will more than halve carbon and nitrogen dioxide emissions compared to the existing power station. In addition, the Scottish Government has published a new study that will help promote the most efficient use of waste heat in generating electricity. The decision to approve the development was met with disappointment from charity WWF Scotland. Head of policy Dr Dan Barlow said: “The government’s own energy policy shows that Scotland doesn’t need any new gas or coal to keep the lights on. “If this poor decision is later followed by the approval of a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston then Scotland can kiss goodbye to any credibility it currently has globally as a leader in tackling climate change. “Despite the Government’s claims that it wishes to promote the most efficient use of waste heat in generating electricity, this proposal provides no firm commitment to actually recover and use any waste heat.”

STV 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Scottish Lib Dem environment spokesman Jim Hume said: “The potential existed at Cockenzie for either a high-efficiency combined heat and power plant, or a plant that could demonstrate commercial scale carbon-capture technology from the start of its operation.

“However neither of these two options have been fully explored on this occasion, which is disappointing in terms of Scotland’s commitment on cutting carbon emissions.”

BBC 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Edie 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Business7 6th Oct 2011 more >>

Herald 6th Oct 2011 more >>

A new coal plant with carbon and capture and storage capability may be more likely to be built in Ayrshire after the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled that Scottish Ministers had not acted illegally by deciding a new plant at the site was in the national interest. Environmental groups have campaigned against the plant being built since Peel Energy and Dong, which later pulled out of the scheme, announced their intention to build the 1.8 gigawatt co-firing plant on the Hunterston site in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland. The scheme has also attracted some 20,000 objections from the public. When ministers made the project part of the National Planning Framework, it meant the need for the plant could not be challenged. Environmental groups such as the WWF and RSPB, wanted to get that decision overturned in a judicial review. A judge however ruled yesterday that the government was justified in making the plant part of the national framework. The campaigners expressed dismay at the ruling. The RSPB said it did not mean the plant would be built and that it was now up to Scottish Minsters to determine the application.

Utility Week 6th Oct 2011 more >>

FUNDING for fuel poverty and energy efficiency pro-grammes is to be increased to more than 66 million over the next four years, the Scottish Government has announced. An extra 5m will boost the Energy Assistance Package this year to help people through the winter. The funding was announced by Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil, who said no-one should have to choose between heating and eating. That is why I will continue to tackle rising energy prices and push towards a renewable, self- sufficient future for Scotland. Mr Neil also said the Government will review its fuel poverty strategy to take account of recent energy company price hikes and ensure that assistance to fuel-poor households was targeted effectively. He claimed the Energy Assistance Package had offered advice to more than 200,000 households. Labour spokesman Lewis Macdonald said the SNP had only partially reversed its savage cut to the fuel poverty budget.

Herald 6th Oct 2011 more >>

OECD-NEA

Over 120 nuclear regulatory and industry experts met in Paris on 15-16 September to discuss the accomplishments of the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) and the future of global nuclear safety during the Second MDEP Conference on New Reactor Design Activities. Topics included progress made by design- and issue-specific working groups, Fukushima-related issues, and industry initiatives on new reactors.

OECD-NEA October 2011 more >>

CND

The general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament spends a week at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, planning for a blockade of Hinkley nuclear power station and fighting back against austerity.

Public Service 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Belgium

UN atomic energy official involved in radiation contamination incident in Belgium. The United Nations atomic energy agency reported today that one of its safeguards inspectors has been involved in a contamination incident at a nuclear waste processing facility in Dessel, Belgium. The incident happened yesterday at the Belgoprocess facility, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency said, adding that the agency’s staff member was in the company of a European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) inspector and a Belgoprocess official carrying out routine inspection when the exposure occurred. The three individuals evacuated the area and have undergone external decontamination procedures and medical checks. They are now being assessed to determine the level of their radiation exposure.

UN 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Euronews 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Chernobyl

European Commission unlikely to fund lifetime studies of those affected by fallout. How much radiation is ‘unsafe’ for humans? For those exposed to fallout from the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the question is all too real. But there is still no good answer: the accident has highlighted the enormous difficulties in estimating the long-term health risks of relatively low doses of radiation. A group of leading researchers in Europe had hoped that a fresh round of studies on people exposed to radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 would finally begin to help fill this yawning science gap. But their proposal is now looking increasingly unlikely to proceed. The Chernobyl lifespan cohort study was one of the main components of the Agenda for Research on Chernobyl Health (ARCH), which was proposed last year by an international panel of experts who had been charged by the European Commission to advise it on future research needs. The study would track the lifetime health of more than half a million ‘liquidators’ sent in to clean up the area around Chernobyl, as well as of the general population of the region who were children at the time of the accident. The power of the study would lie in its size, offering more than ten times as many people as the lifetime cohort study set up in Japan after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, which remains the gold standard for studies on the impact of radiation on a population.

Nature 30th Sept 2011 more >>

Ukraine launched construction of a new facility Wednesday to stockpile industrial nuclear waste in the contaminated zone around its Chernobyl plant, site of the worst nuclear accident of the last 25 years. The facility will be launched in early 2013 and will only house Ukrainian nuclear waste, a large part of which is currently stored in “poorly equipped” locations, Chernobyl plant’s spokeswoman Maya Rudenko said. “It will not be for material from nuclear plants” but waste from medical facilities and industries, she told AFP. The facility will have capacity for 400,000 capsules with such waste and have a lifespan of 50 years.

AFP 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Finland

Fennovoima has chosen Pyhäjoki as the site for its nuclear power plant. Pyhäjoki municipality is located in North Ostrobothnia and the nuclear power plant will be constructed on Hanhikivi peninsula on the coast of Bothnian Bay.

Fennovoima 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Finnish nuclear power consortium Fennovoima said it would build a reactor in Pyhajoki, northern Finland — the first announcement of a new site anywhere in the world since the March disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan.

Reuters 5th Oct 2011 more >>

The project director of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, Posiva President Reijo Sundell, insists there is no space for waste from utilities other than TVO or Fortum in the Onkalo underground disposal site on Finland’s west coast.

YLE 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan

The Tokyo Electric Power Co., still coping with the aftermath of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami that damaged its six-reactor Fukushima nuclear power complex, announced that if the water injections cooling the power plant are halted again, the fuel rods could start melting within 38 hours. If the fuel rods start melting, it could result in another massive release of radioactivity.

Oil Price 5th Oct 2011 more >>

High levels of radioactive contamination have been found in soil in the capital of Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, a study showed Wednesday, prompting calls to make the area a voluntary evacuation zone. Some 307,000 becquerels of caesium per kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of soil was detected in an independent survey conducted on September 14 by a radiological engineering expert and citizens’ groups. The Japanese government’s legal limit is 10,000 becquerels per kilogramme.

AFP 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Israel

Launching one of his bluntest attacks yet in his increasingly outspoken feud with Israel, the Turkish leader also accused Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of “state terrorism” for its military incursions into Gaza in the past five years. But his attack on Israel’s nuclear capacity will be viewed differently, with officials fearing that Turkey could now become the champion of an Arab campaign to force Israel to open its Dimona reactor to UN inspectors. Secret Turkish diplomatic cables leaked by the Israeli press last month contained a threat by Mr Erdogan to work against Israel in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). By claiming that he saw “Israel as a threat for its region because it has the atomic bomb”, Mr Erdogan could be signalling the start of just such a campaign.

Telegraph 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Middle East Online 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Renewables

Seen from afar it looks like an enormous lightbulb on the end of a tower surrounded by hundreds of tiny mirrors. But, rather than being a flight of fancy, the Gemasolar plant in southern Spain is the first solar energy facility to supply power at night. The £260 million plant, which opened yesterday, consists of 2,650 solar panels spread over 185 hectares in Fuentes de Andalucia, a town near Seville, in southwest Spain. The panels, known as heliostats, focus the Sun’s energy on to the tower at the centre of the plant, which can shine brightly up to 15 hours after the Sun has gone down. Temperatures of up to 900C (1,652F) can be generated, which warms molten salt tanks. They in turn generate steam to power turbines. The almost year-round sunshine in southern Spain means that the plant can generate power most nights, producing electricity for up to 270 days a year. It is expected to produce about 19.9MW of power, or enough to supply energy to a town of 100,000 people.

Times 6th October 2011 more >>

Posted: 6 October 2011

5 October 2011

New Nukes

Sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and other oil-rich areas are “queuing up” to invest in UK nuclear power, according to Charles Hendry, the energy minister. Experts have been worried that the UK will find it difficult to attract enough companies willing to fund an estimated £40bn for new nuclear plants. However, Mr Hendry is no longer concerned about this, since key government ministers have been courting cash-rich foreign funds. “It’s going to be easier to find the funding than it is to find the capacity to build it,” Mr Hendry said. “Some of the sovereign wealth funds are keen to invest as a way to diversify. They are showing a very keen interest in British nuclear and queuing up to know more about the opportunities. In the course of our travels we highlighted the opportunities to them.”

Telegraph 5th Oct 2011 more >>

The UK is the most exciting place in the world for new nuclear build, the Tory party conference has been told. Pro-nuclear energy minister Charles Hendry said the Government was committed to making Britain a “serious nuclear nation” but re-iterated the coalition agreement the industry would receive no public subsidy. Mr Hendry told a packed conference hall in Manchester: “We are addressing the issues of planning, of approving the reactor designs and reforming our electricity market, so the UK is now the most exciting place in Europe, if not the world, for nuclear new build.

Cumberland News 4th Oct 2011 more >>

It is still too early to evaluate fully what the Fukushima accident means for the future of nuclear energy. But several OECD countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan and Switzerland, among others) have already decided to phase out nuclear. Before Fukushima, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) predicted that nuclear plants would add 360GW by 2035; it is now reckoning on half that. This is due partly to diminishing public acceptance, but also to the increased costs of nuclear security improvements and of insurance premiums for accident-related damages. The estimated probability of major nuclear accidents, which was considered very small in the past, has increased significantly. The pre-Fukushima estimate for the probability of a major nuclear accident was roughly 1 in 100,000 for the 440 reactors in operation over the next 20–25 years. But the likelihood of core melt and containment failure had been underestimated: the accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima amount to catastrophic meltdown in four nuclear reactors over the past few decades, more than originally assumed. A simple calculation shows that in reality, the probability of any of the currently operating nuclear reactor having a major accident over the next 20–¬25 years is 1 in 5000. This means that another major nuclear accident can be expected to occur once every 20 years. Based on the earlier estimate, we were expecting one accident over a 100-year period.

Oil Price 4th Oct 2011 more >>

SciDev 28th Sept 2011 more >>

Nuclear power promises clean energy for developing countries. Dave Elliott charts its progress and prospects after the accident at Fukushima. (Part of a series on Nuclear Power after Fukushima)

SciDev 28th Sept 2011 more >>

Hinkley

Photos and videos from the blockade.

Stop Hinkley 4th October 2011 more >>

More than 200 people blockaded a nuclear power station yesterday in protest at plans to build new reactors at the site. The Stop New Nuclear alliance, which is composed of several anti-nuclear groups, says it is barring access to Hinkley Point power station in Somerset in protest at EDF Energy’s intention to construct two new reactors. These would be the first of eight new nuclear power stations to be built in Britain.

Morning Star 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Protesters who blockaded a nuclear power station yesterday have said their actions were a “phenomenal success” in shedding light on opposition to new nuclear reactors. Members of several anti-nuclear groups who are part of the Stop New Nuclear alliance barred access to Hinkley Point power station in Somerset in protest against EDF Energy’s plans to renew the site with two new reactors.

Western Morning News 4th Oct 2011 more >>

More than 200 anti-nuclear campaigners blockaded Hinkley Point nuclear power station yesterday to protest against Government proposals for a new wave of nuclear power stations, set to start with Hinkley C. But EDF Energy, the French-owned company which runs Hinkley, said the long-planned blockade had no effect on the Somerset nuclear plant.

Western Daily Press 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Bristol Evening Post 4th Oct 2011 more >>

A CHEST of £1.3million will be at disposal of three Somerset authorities to scrutinise EDF Energy’s expected 90000-page application for Hinkley Point C. The energy giant has agreed to fund Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset and Somerset County Council.to compile a Local Impact Report following lengthy negotiations, as heard by the district council’s special meeting of the executive on Friday.

Bridgwater Mercury 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Inside Hinkley Point B.

Energy Live News 29th Sept 2011 more >>

Wylfa

Daily Post quizzes Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan on some of the burning issues affecting us.How important is the development of new nuclear at Wylfa to the economy of North Wales, as well as the UK’s energy supply? How confident are you that the planning process will not cause undue delays? I consider it vital to Anglesey and the North Wales economy that Wylfa has been named as one of the eight strategic sites for new nuclear power generation. Developing a new nuclear power station on Anglesey will be very significant to the local economy, creating thousands of much-needed jobs, replacing many of those lost as a consequence of the closure of Anglesey Aluminium. It is important North Wales retains the skills it has developed in the nuclear power industry. Nuclear is important in our future energy mix and we have developed expertise, at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd, that needs to be retained.

Daily Post 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Hartlepool

NUCLEAR power, new stations and job opportunities were high on the agenda at Hartlepool Power Station’s first open day. More than 35 people attended the event which saw plant manager Nick Collins and other members of the station’s lead team give a talk to the audience about the site and EDF Energy’s role in developing new stations. Other specialists from the station were also there for curious people to ask questions on all aspects of nuclear energy generation, recruitment and training.

Hartlepool Mail 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Hunterston

EDF Energy restarted its 500-megawatt Hunterston B-7 nuclear reactor on Tuesday after work on a leaking water pipe, the operator said.

Reuters 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Companies

DEESIDE scaffolding firm NSG UK has appointed a business development manager to help expand into the offshore, nuclear and environmental sectors. Chris Edwards has a wealth of experience in the construction and engineering design industry, joining from design consultancy GHA Livigunn. He will be based at NSG UK’s headquarters, but will work to drive business nationwide across the firm’s core services, which includes scaffolding and access, painting, blasting and thermal insulation.

Liverpool Daily Post 5th Oct 2011 more >>

A facilities management firm has clinched a £200 million contract to provide cleaning, maintenance and security services to nuclear businesses across Cumbria. Mitie Group has clinched the deal with the ‘Cumbria Collaboration’ – a group of nuclear companies which includes Sellafield, the Low Level Waste Repository, near Drigg, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), nuclear rail haulage firm Direct Rail Services and shipping company International Nuclear Services.

Cumberland News 4th Oct 2011 more >>

France

French state-controlled utility Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR), or EDF, has asked the government to delay an investigation into the planned Penly nuclear reactor as its engineers were busy working on stress tests carried out on its existing reactors. The investigation into the project to build a reactor, on France’s northern coast, involves preparation of technical documents ahead of consulting residents. The process was due to start in mid October, she said. EDF didn’t ask for a specific time frame for the investigation. “The Penly project is not suspended,” French Energy Minister Eric Besson’s office said Tuesday. “EDF told the ministry its file is not ready yet. The probe won’t be launched before all the file will be sent to (the nuclear safety agency) ASN.” The investigation won’t start before 2012, the ministry said.

FoX Business 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power producer, underestimated radioactivity levels in a furnace that exploded at a waste-processing site this month, killing one and injuring four, the nuclear watchdog said. EDF has been told to explain how it gave incorrect data, Autorite de Surete Nucleaire said in a statement, adding that the immediate environment and population were unaffected by the events. The watchdog had previously sought safety improvements at the facility, while allowing it to continue to operate.

Bloomberg 29th Sept 2011 more >>

Japan

Six months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station, the Japanese utility that owns the plant is fighting to keep its pre-disaster emergency-response procedures a secret from politicians and the public, arguing they contain valuable trade information. Tokyo Electric Power angered members parliamentary committee last month when it handed over manuals outlining steps that its nuclear plant operators are meant to follow in the case of accidents. All but a few words of the texts were redacted with black ink.

FT 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Hormonal and other irregularities were detected in the thyroid glands of 10 out of 130 children evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture, a Nagano Prefecture-based charity dedicated to aid for the victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident

Mainichi Daily 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Fukushima Update 30th Sept to 3rd Oct.

Greenpeace International 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Japan is now proposing we add nuclear power projects to the CDM. Their people suffered a devastating blow from the tsunami and subsequent Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, and now they want to throw away the emission-reduction treaty except for the part that allows them to export their failed nuclear industry to poor countries around the world? Seriously? We’re going to keep digging into this and push back hard.

Adopt a negotiator Project 3rd Oct 2011 more >>

A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency will visit Japan this week to help with the massive cleanup of areas contaminated by a radiation-leaking nuclear power plant, officials said Tuesday.

Washington Post 4th Oct 2011 more >>

In a fresh blow to public confidence, a reactor in southern Japan went into automatic shutdown on Tuesday because of problems with its cooling system, clouding the outlook for an imminent restart of the country’s idled nuclear plants.

New York Times 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Costs, risks, and myths of nuclear power: NGO world-wide study on the implications of the catastrophe at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station is a collaborative work of non-governmental researchers, scientists, and activists. It was released on 11 September 2011, six months after the disaster at Fukushima and in advance of the high-level meeting on nuclear safety and security that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene at the United Nations on 22 September. Its release is also timed to coincide with the UN system-wide study of the implications of Fukushima commissioned by Ban.

Reaching Critical Will September 2011 more >>

India

Britain’s Lloyd’s Register, well known for its maritime interests, is reportedly close to signing a nuclear agreement with India. Lloyd’s Register CEO Richard Sadler is currently in India to look for new business. Sadler told journalists that Lloyd’s Register is a major advocate of nuclear power in shipping, commenting, “It will be the way forward and a safe way,” The Asian Age reported. Lloyd’s Register is now involved with 30,000 megawatts of power projects in India as they inspect the manufacturing end of the supply chain to help ensure a consistent and reliable energy flow.

Oil Price 4th Oct 2011 more >>

US

Six months after the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, two-thirds of those questioned in a new US public opinion poll continue to support the use of nuclear energy.

World Nuclear News 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Submarines

Ambush, BAE Systems’ second Astute Class hunter-killer submarine, has successfully completed her first dive and now prepares for sea trials early next year.

Manufacturer 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Supergrid

In this groundbreaking book, energy systems modelling expert Dr Gregor Czisch analyses electricity supply options for Europe and its neighbouring regions. He describes how our electricity supply could be structured in an optimally cost-effective manner largely based on currently available technologies. Czisch proposes that power plant usage and selection be optimised in a manner that takes full account of the availability and intermittency of renewables. To this end, the author provides a number of solutions entailing a wide range of thought-provoking scenarios. Czisch’s visionary study shows that a pan-European renewables-based supergrid using high-voltage DC lines extending into North Africa could supply an area spanning 50 countries with a combined population of 1.1 billion. The author demonstrates that such a supergrid would obviate the need for fossil fuels and nuclear power, and that its costs would be on a par with or perhaps even lower than our current electricity supply system.

Institution of Engineering and Technology September 2011 more >>

Coal

Environmental groups have lost a legal challenge against plans for a 3bn coal-fired power station in Ayrshire. A judicial review challenged a decision by the Scottish government to include the planned facility at Hunterston in the National Planning Framework. This meant campaigners could not challenge the need for the plant – only matters such as the site and design. Judges ruled that a consultation process undertaken by the developer, Ayrshire Coal, had been sufficient.

BBC 4th Oct 2011 more >>

Times 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Scotsman 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Herald 5th Oct 2011 more >>

Posted: 5 October 2011