News

2 June 2006

Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon, deputy leader of the opposition SNP, wants to know what Jack McConnell really thinks about nuclear waste. She knows, that we know, that he knows, why the first minister cannot afford an honest opinion just at the moment. Any answer will land him in trouble with someone.
Scottish Herald 2nd June 2006

Iran

The world’s major powers last night agreed a package of incentives for Iran to give up key parts of its nuclear programme – and a series of punishments if it does not. The plan drawn up by America, Russia, China, France and Germany is designed to present Teheran with a bleak choice: halt the most dangerous parts of the nuclear programme and integrate into the world, or face isolation and economic damage.
Telegraph 2nd June 2006
FT 2nd June 2006
Scottish Herald 2nd June 2006
Scotsman 2nd June 2006

Iran appears determined to make nuclear weapons and could develop such an arsenal as early as 2010, US National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in an interview broadcast today.
AFX 2nd June 2006
Telegraph 2nd June 2006
BBC 2nd June 2006

North Korea

North Korea invited the chief U.S. envoy to stalled nuclear talks to visit Pyongyang, but Washington rejected the invitation on Thursday, saying any negotiations must be in the six-nation format.
Reuters 1st June 2006

Nuclear Weapons

There has been a dangerous loss of momentum and direction in efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons, a commission set up by Sweden says. The commission, led by ex-UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, looked at ways of reducing the dangers from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
BBC 1st June 2006

Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, arrives in Singapore on Friday for a three-day conference on Asia security issues that is likely to include much discussion about China following the release last month of his department’s annual report on the Chinese military. The Pentagon drew plenty of attention last week when it suggested that US defence analysts had been surprised by changes in the capacity of China’s nuclear deterrent, including the “pace and scope of its [nuclear] strategic forces modernisation”.
FT 2nd June 2006

Australia

Australia’s centre-right coalition is poised to announce a formal inquiry into the country’s nuclear options, in a further sign of the reversal in the global industry’s fortunes. Australia is home to some 40 per cent of the world’s uranium reserves, putting it in a key position in the debate over whether increased use of nuclear power can help combat climate change and energy shortages.
FT 2nd June 2006

Nuclear Transport

CUMBRIA’S nuclear rail freight company Direct Rail Services is pushing into the general freight market as Britain’s nuclear decommissioning gathers pace. Direct Rail Services (DRS), which is based at Kingmoor in Carlisle, expects to see work transporting spent nuclear fuel from across the UK to Sellafield reduce by 25 per cent over the next seven years. As a result, the company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), is looking to expand into general freight.
Cumberland News 2nd June 2006

Fusion

Chinese scientists have completed construction of an experimental superconducting fusion reactor that will replicate the same energy generation process that fuels the sun, with tests to begin as early as July.
CNN 2nd June 2006

France

Twenty years after the explosion at the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in the Ukraine, the legal fallout has just reached France. Professor Pierre Pellerin, who was the head of France’s nuclear safety watchdog 20 years ago, has been formally accused of deliberately concealing the seriousness of contamination of parts of the French countryside from the French people.
Independent 2nd June 2006

Flamanville, Normandy, France — A Greenpeace protester today took off in a powered parachute, a “pego-jet”, within the 3km air exclusion zone around the Flamanville nuclear plant in Normandy, France. The activist was protesting plans by Electricite de France (EDF) to build a large European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR) at the site; he came within 300m of the two reactors currently operating at the site before landing close to the plant.
Greenpeace International Press Release 1st June 2006

Sellafield

International Nuclear Solutions jumped on its second day on AIM as the group confirmed it has been awarded a deal with British Nuclear Group for design and engineering work at Sellafield. The company, a specialist provider of nuclear engineering and consultancy services, said it has been awarded a three year Framework Agreement for work on the Mixed Oxide Fuel facility. The contract is expected to be worth £8m over 3 years.
Share Cast 1st June 2006

NDA

TRADE unions are warning that safety standards will be compromised during Britain’s £70 billion programme to clean up the radioactive mess left by the nuclear industry. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is inviting multinational companies to bid for three-year contracts to clean up old nuclear complexes Sellafield in Cumbria, which have been previously run by government agencies. But the nuclear industry’s biggest union, Prospect, says the NDA is pressing ahead too fast and that rules could be broken and accidents could happen as a result.
Carlisle News and Star 1st June 2006

Nuclear Waste

RAF WOODVALE could be used as a nuclear waste dump. A government strategy to dispose of radioactive waste will be recommended next month.
Formby Times 1st June 2006

Posted: 2 June 2006

1 June 2006

Iran

America yesterday offered to open the first direct talks with Iran for almost 30 years if the Islamic regime ended its uranium enrichment programme that the West believes is designed to make nuclear weapons.
Telegraph 1st June 2006
Scotsman 1st June 2006
Independent 1st June 2006
Times 1st June 2006

Iran rejected the call to stop uranium enrichment.
Sky 1st June 2006

North Korea

An international consortium set up to build nuclear power plants for North Korea has abandoned the project. The Kedo group said it decided to act because of Pyongyang’s “continued failure” to co-operate with efforts to give up its nuclear weapons programme.
BBC 1st June 2006

France

France’s world renowned champagne-producing vineyards could be threatened by radioactive waste seeping into ground water, Greenpeace said on Wednesday.In a report sent to the French Senate, the environmental group said high levels of the radioactive isotope tritium had been detected in ground water near a now closed La Manche storage site. A replacement facility at Soulaines in the Champagne region has also begun contaminating ground water — though at far lower levels — 10 years after its construction, Greenpeace said. The group sent bottles of contaminated La Manche ground water to French senators due to begin on Wednesday debating a law authorising the burial of highly radioactive nuclear waste deep underground, notably in an area bordering the Champagne region.
Planet Ark (Reuters) 1st June 2006

The Champagne vineyards of France could face a nuclear disaster, according to Greenpeace which on Tuesday said radioactive underground water had been found just 10 kms from the country’s most prestigious wine producing region.
FT 1st June 2006
View London 31st May 2006

Sizewell

Following an application by the licensee, Magnox Electric Ltd, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has granted consent for a decommissioning project at Sizewell A nuclear power station in Suffolk.
SourceUK.net 1st June 2006

Submarines

A launch date has been announced for Britain’s latest nuclear submarine, which is being built in Cumbria. BAE Systems in Barrow said the first of three Astute Class vessels would be launched on 8 June 2007 – almost four years later than originally planned.
BBC 31st May 2006

Spain

Spain’s president has confirmed that the country’s 8 operating plants will be phased out in favour of clean, renewable energy.
Greenpeace International 31st May 2006

Scotland

We don’t need nuclear power. We don’t want nuclear power and Scotland can’t afford nuclear power.
East Kilbride News 31st May 2006

Dounreay

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) may contribute to the costs of a flyover on a notorious stretch of the A9 on the Caithness coast. MSP Jamie Stone said the NDA, which is overseeing the clean-up at Dounreay, was in favour of the plan for the steep and twisting Berriedale Braes.
BBC 31st May 2006

John Dunster

The recent death of veteran radiation scientist, John Dunster, has prompted some kind obituaries from his professional colleagues, including one in yesterday’s Times. Yet none of them have mentioned what made him most famous – or infamous – in the wider world. In 1958, Dunster was head of health and safety at the Windscale nuclear plant in Cumbria, now called Sellafield. He gave a talk at a United Nations conference in Geneva about the vast amounts of radioactive waste that the plant had pumped down a pipeline into the Irish Sea over the previous six years. He stated: “The intention has been to discharge fairly substantial amounts of radioactivity as part of an organised and deliberate scientific experiment … the aims of this experiment would have been defeated if the level of radioactivity discharged had been kept to a minimum.”
Rob Edwards for the New Scientist 1st June 2006

An obituary of John Dunster
The Times

Nuclear Waste Transport

There are 30 accidents involving nuclear trains a year in Britain. The industry says they pose no risk, but environmentalists disagree. On Monday last week, a car collided with a train at a small gated level crossing in Suffolk. The driver, a local, had simply forgotten to check for the once-daily train that makes its way along the narrow rural track. He unbolted the gate, drove straight on to the crossing, and did not see the two-car train bearing down on him until it was too late. The train was on its way to the Sizewell A energy plant in Suffolk. The accident, in which noone was hurt, has reignited the debate over “nuclear trains”, which haul up to two tonnes of spent nuclear fuel at a time from rural power stations to the reprocessing plant at Sellafield in Cumbria, often passing through major conurbations such as London, Milton Keynes and Preston on the way. About 200 trains a year pass through the capital alone, carrying radioactive waste within yards of schools, hospitals and millions of homes. The industry insists that they pose no threat to the public. The anti-nuclear lobby disagrees. An accident could be extremely serious, according to John Large, a nuclear consultant and former government adviser who has recently published a report for Greenpeace about the dangers of nuclear trains. He believes large-scale contamination resulting from an accident or even a terrorist attack is a possibility.
Guardian 31st May 2006

Energy Efficiency

For 21 years builders in this country have been legally bound to construct homes that conserve energy. The building regulations tell them how much insulation they must use, what kind of windows they must fit and how good their draught-proofing will be. Guess how many builders have been prosecuted in that period for non-compliance. I won’t keep you in suspense: the answer is none. George Monbiot article on failure to comply with building regs.
Guardian 30th May 2006

Posted: 1 June 2006

31 May 2006

Nuclear skills

A skills shortage threatens to derail Britain’s nuclear decommissioning and new building programme, the industry’s biggest trade union has warned. Prospect, the engineering, science and management union, said the poaching of staff is already endemic among engineering and other companies ahead of a £50bn-plus dismantling bonanza and the final go-ahead for a second generation of nuclear power stations. The Nuclear Industries Inspectorate, which regulates safety at UK plants, has admitted that it is already finding it difficult to recruit and believes this is a common problem across this energy sector.
Guardian 31st May 2006

Students in Lancashire will be able to study how to carry out the crucial task of closing nuclear plants. The University of Central Lancashire (Uclan) has launched the country’s first Foundation Degree in Nuclear Decommissioning.
BBC 30th May 2006

Iran

The United States is “glad” about Iran’s stated wish to restart talks with leading European nations over its nuclear enrichment program, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.
EU Business 30th May 2006

Iran said on Tuesday it wanted to resume nuclear negotiations with the EU and could even talk to Washington if its arch-foe “changed behaviour”. Tehran also said it was willing to negotiate on the number of uranium-enriching centrifuges it uses for research, but stressed it would not stop running the devices entirely as the U.N. Security Council has called for.
Reuters 30th May 2006
BBC 30th May 2006

Sellafield

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Ireland breached EU law by taking Britain before a United Nations tribunal in relation to the Sellafield nuclear plant.
Guardian 31st May 2006
FT 31st May 2006
Irish Sun 30th May 2006
BBC 30th May 2006
UTV 30th May 2006
Reuters, 30th May 2006

The Minister for the Environment says a ruling by the European Court of Justice makes it easier for Ireland to pursue its goal of closing Sellafield. The court says the Government acted illegally by taking a case against the nuclear facility to the UN. But the Government says the decision now puts the onus on the European justice system to deal with matters like Sellafield.
Irish Sun 30th May 2006

US

In the week after President Bush’s visit to a nuclear power plant, a major new national opinion survey will show that nuclear power is far less popular among Americans (including conservative voters) than the renewable energy alternatives of wind power and solar energy. The survey also will show strong bipartisan skepticism about the costs and delays associated with a major build-up of nuclear power plant operations in the United States.
PRNewswire 30th May 2006

New nukes

ENVIRONMENTAL activists have been protesting against nuclear power. Members of Bromley Greenpeace stood in Orpington High Street and handed out leaflets about the proposed building of nuclear power stations. Campaigners also talked to shoppers about trains travelling through the borough which carry nuclear waste from nuclear power stations, including Dungeness in Kent, to the Sellafield reprocessing plant in Cumbria.
Bromley Newsshopper 30th May 2006

Posted: 31 May 2006

30 May 2006

Iran

The normally soft-spoken Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today called for the 114-country Non-Aligned Movement to back Iran’s right to nuclear technology, accusing the West of nuclear double-standards.
Edinburgh Evening News 29th May 2006

IRAN is pressing ahead with research tests on nuclear fusion, a type of atomic reaction which has yet to be developed for commercial power generation, a senior Iranian official said yesterday.
Scotsman 30th May 2006
Independent 30th May 2006
Daily Mirror 30th May 2006

Nuclear Waste

Nuclear scientists are facing an unusual challenge: how to develop warning signs that will last for longer than the English language. It is far from certain that English will be understood in 10,000 years, or that our rather benign pictogram for radiation – three circular wedges emanating from the central “atom” pictured – will denote anything dangerous at all.
Telegraph 30th May 2006

Nuclear Weapons

THE Pentagon is seeking approval to convert part of its stockpile of Trident missile nuclear warheads to conventional anti-terror weapons capable of being targeted anywhere around the globe at one hour’s notice.
Herald 30th May 2006

Congress has stalled Pentagon plans to put conventional warheads on inter-continental missiles for use in Washington’s “war on terror”, out of concern that they could trigger a nuclear war.
Guardian 30th May 2006

France

Greenpeace activists from Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan and France entered the Centre Stockage de la Manche (CSM) nuclear dumpsite at La Hague in Normandy today to demand the removal and decontamination of the dumpsite. The activists represent the principal clients of French state reprocessing company AREVA that have disposed of nuclear waste at the CSM. An estimated 140,000 containers of nuclear waste disposed at the La Hague dump came from foreign nuclear utilities in Europe and Japan. Under French law, it is illegal to dispose of foreign waste in France. The largest amount of waste at the site was produced by Electricite de France (EDF). Greenpeace is demanding that the 1.4 million containers of waste in the CSM dumpsite be removed and repackaged. Last week, Greenpeace released a study on the radioactive contamination of the underground water and rivers around the CSM Normandy plant. The water is used by farmers for their dairy cattle and on their fields. A former senior engineer at the facility has stated that in addition to tritium, other radio-nuclides in the dump, including plutonium, will leak out and given the state of the waste in the dump, it should now be removed.
Greenpeace International Press Release 29th May 2006

New nukes

Letter from Kate Hudson, CND David King is wrong to say nuclear provides 19% of energy – he should have said 19% of electricity, which means it is only 4% of energy.
Guardian 30th May 2006

International Nuclear Solutions hopes to benefit from the accelerated decommissioning that will be required if new reactors are built on existing sites.
Daily Express 30th May 2006

It could be seen as surprising that 2006, the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, is also the year in which UK prime minister Tony Blair declared nuclear power to be “back on the agenda with a vengeance”. There is still widespread opposition to nuclear power in many countries. But worries about energy security and the need to slow down climate change mean nuclear power is seen as more acceptable than in the past.
FT 30th May 2006

Planning

IN THE midst of the wettest drought on record, when the South East is aching for a new reservoir, I asked a planning inspector what advice he would give to would-be project promoters. “That question is just a load of bananas,” he replied coolly. Meaning? “Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.” Rather than starting with an (almost) blank sheet of paper there is much to be gained by government establishing in advance what its broad position is in relation to these matters of “national importance”. “Some of the issues addressed by public inquiries are just too big — they need to be taken back by Parliament.” Progress in that direction has been made, which is why, of course, the inquiry into whether or not nuclear power should have a place in the future energy “mix” is so critical. Get that point sorted out in advance at national level and lots of time will be saved once the specific project inquiries begin.
Times 30th May 2006

Posted: 30 May 2006

29 May 2006

New nukes

Nuclear power should supply around 30% of Britain’s energy needs, tackling the impact of climate change, Tony Blair’s chief scientific adviser suggests. Sir David King said as many as 20 new nuclear plants could be needed to increase the power generated by the current 12 sites from the current 12%.
BBC 28th May 2006
ePolitix 28th May 2006
Scotsman 29th May 2006
Guardian 29th May 2006
Telegraph 29th May 2006
FT 29th May 2006
Times 29th May 2006

Decommissioning

A university is to offer Britain’s first course in dismantling nuclear power stations to take advantage of the billions pledged to clear up ageing nuclear facilities. The two-year foundation degree, run by the University of Central Lancashire and Lakes College, west Cumbria, will begin in September with some classes close to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant.
FT 29th May 2006

Iran

Rugged veteran Iranian special forces hero “Commander Bahman” will soon be tackling one of his toughest missions, rescuing one of his country’s top atomic scientists captured by U.S. forces in Iraq. Or he will be doing so soon on computer screens across the Islamic Republic, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday.
Reuters 28th May 2006

Posted: 29 May 2006

28 May 2006

NDA

Safety standards will be compromised during Britain’s £70 billion programme to clean up the radioactive mess left by the nuclear industry, trade unionists have warned. Scientists and engineers from within the industry have said that short-term competitive contracts awarded by the government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) would undermine safety procedures and put the public at risk. The NDA is inviting multinational companies to bid for three-year contracts to clean up old nuclear complexes like Dounreay in Caithness and Sellafield in Cumbria. Until now the sites have been run by government agencies.
Sunday Herald 28th May 2006
Rob Edwards’ website

Various letters, including one from the Norfolk Green Party wondering what in Laden’s reaction to Blair’s nuclear plants would be.
Independent on Sunday 28th May 2006

New nukes

French company EdF is pushing for the contract to build the first new nuclear station in the UK if the Government gives the go-ahead.
Sunday Express 28th May 2006

Letter from David Lowry: Was Eon power chief Paul Golby being entirely frank in telling Andrew Davidson that his company “would be happy to build and run new nuclear plants without subsidy”? (“Eon rides into the corridors of power”, last week).
Sunday Times 28th May 2006

Scotland

Opinion piece by Mike Weir MP, SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson: Blair tells us that we must have new nuclear power stations otherwise we will become dependent on imported gas. Brian Wilson attacks me for pointing out that far from being dependent on imported gas, Scotland produces seven times more gas than we use (‘The Nationalists are wasting energy on political opportunism’, Comment, May 21). Surely some inconsistency here? By the Prime Minister’s own logic, an independent Scotland would have no need for nuclear power stations.
Scotland on Sunday 28th May 2006

Nuclear Wespons

Hans Blix presents the final report of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission to the United Nations on Thursday. The Pentagon’s plan to set off the biggest controlled conventional blast in military history in the Nevada desert the following day, has, however, been indefinitely postponed, because of fears over the possible spread of radiation-laced soil in the air. The test site is 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Sunday Telegraph 28th May 2006

Posted: 28 May 2006

27 May 2006

New nukes

Labour has received thousands of pounds in donations from energy companies and lobbying firms linked to the nuclear industry. The cash donations give the pro-nuclear lobby access to decision makers, campaigners for the environment warned.
Independent 27th May 2006
Evening Standard 26th May 2006

Posted: 27 May 2006

26 May 2006

Opinion polls

Renewables are the form of electricity generation favoured by users of the BBC News website’s Electricity Calculator. Your responses indicate you would like more than a third of UK electricity to come from renewables such as wind and tidal turbines by the year 2020. Nuclear power emerges as your second preference, ahead of fossil fuels, with imports the least favoured option.
BBC 25th May 2006

Sizewell A

The government has given the go-ahead to decommission the Sizewell A nuclear power station, which has been in operation for 40 years. The Health and Safety Executive granted consent to Magnox Electric – which runs the facility – to dismantle it once it stops generating at the end of 2006.
BBC 25th May 2006
Reuters 25th May 2006
FT 26th May 2006

New nukes

Letter: There are no plans to build another Chernobyl here.
Leicester Mercury 25th May 2006

That’s the overwhelming verdict of hundreds of Evening Star readers who have today been taking part in an online webpoll. The supporters of proposals to build a new nuclear plant at Sizewell so far outnumber the opponents by almost three to one – suggesting that readers see the construction of a new power station on the Suffolk coast as beneficial for the environment and the economy.
Suffolk Evening Star 25th May 2006

When it comes to nuclear power, Dave “Chameleon” Cameron may be a few colours short of a rainbow when compared with Tony Blair. Even in the Labour Party few remember it, but one of Blair’s first big jobs was as Neil Kinnock’s shadow energy secretary, and his demolition of the muddled finances and environmental hazards of nuclear power played a large part in establishing him as a potential party leader.
New Statesman 29th May 2006

EDINBURGH MP Mark Lazarowicz has warned Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Government against pressing ahead quickly with a new generation of nuclear power stations. Following the Prime Minister’s statement that atomic power is “back on the agenda with a vengeance”, the Edinburgh North and Leith Labour MP sponsored an Early Day Motion on the issue at Westminster.
Edinburgh Evening News

Iran

President George W. Bush said on Thursday he would consider providing incentives to Iran if it agreed to resume a suspension on nuclear enrichment activities the United States believes is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
Reuters 26th May 2006

Russian National Security Council secretary Igor Ivanov is to visit Iran in the coming days for talks on the Islamic republic’s disputed nuclear programme.
Interactive Investor 25th May 2006

Fusion

Seven international parties involved in an experimental nuclear fusion reactor project have initialled a 10bn-euro (£6.8bn) agreement on the plan.
BBC 25th May 2006

Renewables

SOLAR panels which have been installed on every property on a north Manchester estate could save residents £100 each every year.
Manchester Evening News 25th May 2006

MORAY Council yesterday announced ambitious plans to make the area self-sufficient in energy by 2020. It would be the first place in Scotland to achieve this, and the move would exceed the Scottish Executive’s alternative energy target by a massive 60 per cent. Already two wind farms are operating in Moray, capable of generating almost 70 per cent of the area’s power needs. But the authority’s renewable energy strategy, published yesterday, highlights a range of other renewable energy initiatives which should make up the balance over the next 15 years. These include biomass developments, harnessing Moray’s vast forestry reserves, and a waste incinerator plant that will generate energy by converting waste from neighbouring Aberdeenshire and possibly the Highlands. The strategy also recommends the encouragement of small-scale energy projects, down to domestic level, through the planning system.
Scotsman 25th May 2006

Nuclear Waste

A Pakistani lawmaker on Tuesday accused the country’s nuclear authorities of dumping radioactive waste near a village in central Punjab province, causing cancer, miscarriages, and infertility among villagers and livestock.
Reuters 24th May 2006

Dounreay

Concerns have been expressed about what jobs or training would be offered to workers once the Dounreay nuclear plant is decommissioned in 30 years time. John McKendrick, a Scottish Labour prospective parliamentary candidate, claims a proper strategy is not in place to offset job losses. He has accused the local enterprise company of a lack of forward planning.
BBC 23rd May 2006

Posted: 26 May 2006

25 May 2006

Scotland

NICOL Stephen signalled his determination yesterday to challenge Labour head-on over nuclear power and make it the defining issue of next year’s election campaign. The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader set out the battleground for the Holyrood elections by insisting it was obvious that the two coalition parties would go into the election campaign with opposing policies on nuclear power.
Scotsman 25th May 2006

Energy Review

The chief executive of ScottishPower, Britain’s biggest wind power company, criticised Tony Blair yesterday for pre-empting the outcome of the Government’s energy review by giving his public backing to a new generation of nuclear reactors.
Independent 25th May 2006
Guardian 25th May 2006

New nukes

Tony Blair has just lobbed a brick into the greenhouse by affirming that nuclear power is back on the agenda with a vengeance. George Bush has made similar noises and, most surprisingly, a growing number of environmentalists like James Lovelock and Patrick Moore (not the astronomer), one of the co-founders of Greenpeace back in the 1970s, have said the same thing: nuclear power is the only viable alternative energy source to oil when it comes to meeting most of the world’s needs. Some investors have already picked up on this theme.
Telegraph 25th May 2006

Iran

World powers made progress but failed to reach consensus in talks on Wednesday on a package of incentives and threats to prevent Iran from being able to build a nuclear bomb.
Reuters 24th May 2006
Guardian 24th May 2006
BBC 24th May 2006
Independent 25th May 2006

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said on Wednesday he discussed Iran’s nuclear views with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after talks with Tehran’s negotiator, Ali Larijani. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also told reporters it was up to the United States to decide whether it would participate in direct negotiations with Iran on the nuclear crisis.
Reuters 24th May 2006

There is a growing international consensus that Iran will almost inevitably develop a nuclear weapon, a leading think tank said on Wednesday. The International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) issued its assessment as world powers met in London to consider a package of incentives and threats drafted by EU leaders meant to defuse a stand-off with Iran over its nuclear programme.
Reuters 24th May 2006

The White House yesterday ruled out previously authorised direct talks between Tehran and the US ambassador in Baghdad, which were to have focused on the situation in Iraq. The move marks a hardening of the Bush administration’s position, despite pressure from the international community to enter into direct dialogue with Iran.
Guardian 25th May 2006

Fusion

The European Union, the United States, and five other nations signed an agreement today to build the first nuclear- fusion reactor. The aim of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER, is to provide a new, safe energy source that will cut oil demand and curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
PR Newswire 24th May 2006

Vietnam

Russia wants to build Vietnam’s first nuclear reactor, the Russian nuclear agency said after taking part in a nuclear energy exhibition in Hanoi. Vietnam presented its nuclear energy development strategy to 2020 at the exhibition, showing plans to build a first 2000-4000 megawatt nuclear reactor starting 2010, for which construction would be open to international offers.
Interactive Investor 24th May 2006

Heysham

Tony Blair last week announced that nuclear energy was “back on the agenda with a vengeance”. With the most likely place to build new stations being existing nuclear sites, it was immediately assumed by some that Heysham might be pencilled in for a third plant. But as The Visitor reported in 2002, geological problems mean the Heysham site is not suitable for expansion. Heysham 1 is due for decommissioning in 2014, Heysham 2 in 2023.
Morecambe Visitor 24th May 2006

Posted: 25 May 2006

24 May 2006

New nukes

Nuclear power is an expensive investment. Letter from Institute of European Environment Policy: nuclear energy suffers not just from “perception” problems as the interview with Andris Piebalgs, EU energy commissioner, emphasises, it has been, and continues to be, an expensive investment in an age of liberalisation that shifts risk to companies no longer able to saddle the public with whatever bad idea central planners concoct.
FT 24th May 2006

Tony Blair has come under a double attack from his allies for the way he introduced nuclear power to the political agenda. He was told that his announcement had aroused suspicions that there is a “secret agenda” behind government policy. One of the critics was the former environment secretary Stephen Byers, normally seen as a Blairite, who warned yesterday that the Government will now find it very difficult to achieve general agreement on where Britain should turn for its future energy supplies.
Independent 24th May 2006

Letter: Another pre-emptive strike by Tony Blair! This time not against Iraq but against the Government’s own energy review.
Leicester Mercury 24th May 2006

Letters.Nuclear power versus renewables, including one from Bath Green Party.
Bath Chronicle 23rd May 2006

Letters about Milliband’s connection to the nuclear industry and te sacking of Elliot Morley
Lincolnshire Echo 23rd May 2006

The first new nuclear plant would almost certainly be at Sizewell.
Suffolk Evening Star 23rd May 2006

Sellafield

IRISH campaigners have reiterated their calls for Sellafield to be closed down, saying that its existence could jeopardise the health of future generations. Warnings were also issued against moves to build new nuclear power stations in the UK, at a conference held by Sinn Fein in Dundalk, County Louth.
Carlisle News and Star 23rd May 2006

Accidents

Fifty seven breaches in safety have occurred at British nuclear plants since 1997. In the last year there were three such breaches at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria, including the large leak of highly radioactive nuclear fuel which forced the closure of the Thorp reprocessing plant.
Socialist Worker 27th May 2006

An investigation is under way after a minor collision between a car and a train carrying an empty nuclear waste flask on a rail crossing. The Direct Rail Services (DRS) train, which was on its way to the Sizewell A nuclear power plant on Monday, hit the Ford Focus at Knodishall in Suffolk.
BBC 23rd May 2006

Wylfa

The Assembly Government said it still wants to extend the life of Wales’s only nuclear power station today, despite the the NDA effectively ruling it out in evidence to the House of ommons Welsh Select Committee.
ICWales 23rd May 2006

France

Radioactive waste from a storage facility in Normandy, France is leaking into groundwater and is being used by local farmers for their dairy cattle, according to a report published today by French laboratory ACRO for Greenpeace.
Greenpeace International Press Release 23rd May 2006

Opinion polls

Scotland and Yorkshire are opposed to nuclear power but the rest of England and Wales are in favour, according to a new regional analysis of opinion polls by the nuclear industry.
Rob Edwards website 23rd May 2006

An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph shows 47% still opposed to new nuclear stations, with only 40% in support
ICM May 2006

Iran

Iran has requested through intermediaries direct talks with Washington over its nuclear program.
Interactive Investor 24th May 2006

London hosts talks on Iran today between France, Germany, Russia, China and US.
Sky 24th May 2006
Reuters 24th May 2006

Opposition by US “hawks” led by Dick Cheney, the vice-president, is complicating efforts by the main European powers to put together a package of incentives aimed at persuading Iran to suspend its nuclear fuel cycle programme, according to diplomats and analysts in Washington.
FT 24th May 2006

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Kuwait that Moscow supports an EU proposal aimed at coaxing Iran into halting sensitive nuclear work and called on Tehran to cooperate.
Interactive Investor 23rd May 2006

North Korea

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Tuesday the stalemate over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme cannot be allowed to continue and China is crucial to the success of talks trying to bring it to a close.
Reuters 23rd May 2006

Fusion

Today, after years of false starts and political wrangling dating from the cold war, they will get their chance to make that dream a reality. A €10bn (£7bn) project, called Iter, to build a prototype nuclear fusion reactor will be signed off in Brussels by the EU, Japan, China, South Korea, India and the US.
Guardian 24th May 2006

CoRWM

Good to know the Tories are going right back to basics with nuclear waste. In March, their new environment and energy teams met CoRWM, the committee charged by government to deal with thousands of tonnes of nuclear rubbish. Documents released under freedom of information show that the new green politicians had ideas of their own, asking if they could shoot it all into space . . . or even dump it at sea. CoRWM had to explain patiently to the Tories that “firing waste into space was [considered] too high risk” and “burying it at sea would be fraught with legal complications”. All other suggestions on a postcard to Zac Goldsmith and John Gummer.
Guardian 24th May 2006

Star Wars

In a move that is raising hackles in Moscow, the US is proposing to install an anti-missile defence system in central Europe to counter any future attack from a nuclear-armed Iran.
Independent 24th May 2006

Posted: 24 May 2006