News

7 February 2009

Bradwell

The nuclear power industry suffered an embarrassing blow today when the operator of the Bradwell-on-Sea plant was found guilty of allowing a radio active leak to continue for 14 years. Magnox Electric Ltd, the operator of the site, denied some of the allegations but was found guilty of breaking the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 over the way it dealt with waste on the premises.

Guardian 7th Feb 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Letter from Stephen Salter: Steuart Campbell challenges my statements about carbon releases and clean-up costs for nuclear energy. There are two detailed sources, Dan Forster from AEA Technology (which was in line with Mr Campbell’s figure) and papers by Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith, both former nuclear engineers but working alone. The Forster paper was specific to Torness and was funded by British Energy.

Scotsman 7th Feb 2009 more >>

Sellafield

THIRTEEN hundred contractors walked out on Monday to join the protest against the employment of foreign workers at the Lindsey oil refinery in Lincolnshire. Construction site union bosses are concerned that if the government gives the green light for at least one new nuclear reactor at Sellafield then a good percentage of the 9,000 promised building jobs might be taken by foreign workers unless there are fundamental changes to European Union laws.

Whitehaven News 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Korea

North Korea wants to advance nuclear disarmament steps if its aid demands are met and it played down concerns over possible missile launches, a former senior U.S. diplomat just back from Pyongyang.

Reuters 7th Feb 2009 more >>

Pakistan

The US hit out at Pakistan yesterday after Abdul Qadeer Khan, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, was freed after five years of effective house arrest for selling nuclear secrets. Mr Khan was declared to be a free citizen and allowed to move around the country in a brief unexpected order by the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court.

FT 7th Feb 2009 more >>

Abdul Qadeer Khan, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, was yesterday freed after five years of effective house arrest for his role in sharing nuclear know-how and technology with Iran, Libya and North Korea.

FT 7th Feb 2009 more >>

The US and Britain have reacted angrily after AQ Khan, the Pakistani scientist accused of selling nuclear secrets, was freed from five years of house arrest in a court ruling in Islamabad.

Guardian 7th Feb 2009 more >>

Aldermaston

Anti-nuclear campaigners returned to their post yesterday following a successful appeal court ruling against a “no camping” bylaw which threatened their famous women’s peace camp. The bylaw prohibited “camping in tents, caravans, trees or otherwise” near the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston, Berkshire. The ban was challenged by the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp (AWPC) on the grounds it contradicted their rights guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights. The High Court rejected their claims the ban interfered with their rights to free expression and the right to assembly.

Politics.co.uk 7th Feb 2009 more >>

Carbon

The price of carbon has hit new lows as power generators and industrial companies continue to cash in credits to bolster their balance sheets. The price of European Union allowances under the second phase of the emissions trading scheme has plunged to 10.15 (£8.85) a tonne, compared with highs over 30 seen in July last year.

Guardian 7th Feb 2009 more >>

Posted: 7 February 2009

6 February 2009

Bradwell

A nuclear power station operator in Essex has been found guilty of allowing radioactive waste to seep from a sump in a decontamination unit for 14 years. Magnox Electric denied four charges of allowing unauthorised disposal of radioactive waste between 1990 and 2004 at Bradwell nuclear power station. At Chelmsford Crown Court the firm was convicted of breaching laws governing the disposal of radioactive waste.

BBC 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Community Funding

The government must issue interim guidance on funding community involvement in major infrastructure, the RTPI demanded this week. It was responding to the revelation that Sedgemoor District Council asked EDF and British Energy for £750,000 to investigate proposals for a reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Planning Resource 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Scotland

THE head of a new climate-change body that will advise the Scottish Government has disagreed with Alex Salmond’s decision not to build nuclear power stations. Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said he thinks all options for providing electricity should be left open, including the creation of new nuclear power plants. “The Scottish Government has to make its own decisions, but we think the challenge of dealing with climate change is so big that we should be very wary of ruling out any option that is available.”

Scotsman 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Billions of pounds is lost to clean energy sources through investment in nuclear power, First Minister Alex Salmond has said. The Scottish Government announced plans to create 16,000 green energy jobs by 2020 earlier this week. SNP backbencher Joe Fitzpatrick had asked what impact the UK government’s “obsession” with nuclear power would have on the renewables industry, during First Minister’s Questions.

Wishaw Press 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Chapelcross

A £2.5m investment to help tackle the economic impact of a nuclear plant closure has been announced. Decommissioning work is currently under way on the Chapelcross nuclear plant near Annan in Dumfries and Galloway. The grants are designed to support economic regeneration projects in the Gretna, Lockerbie and Annan area.

BBC 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Energy Supplies

Andrew Duff (RWE): The UK energy sector is facing huge and pressing challenges. We need a modernised power system capable of reconciling environmental commitments with long-term security of supply at an affordable cost. Achieving this, and avoiding a genuine energy crisis, requires a coherent energy plan and a sense of urgency. Currently the industry is able to push ahead with some wind and gas power stations. That is good news, but more is needed; we will have to deploy the full range of available energy generation technologies. There must also be a step-change in reducing demand, which means greater fiscal incentives, not just taxes, to encourage consumers to invest in energy efficiency. A lower- carbon primary energy mix is even more vital if we are to move to greater electrification of private transport, reducing the reliance on oil.

FT 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Companies

Siemens and Rosatom are in negotiations to form a cooperative venture that will strengthen their positions in the nuclear market, which has fuelled speculation that Europe’s largest engineering company could create a joint venture with Atomenergoprom, an affiliate of Russia’s state nuclear corporation.

Nuclear Engineering International 6th Feb 2009 more >>

GDF Suez will hope to fulfil its ambition of building nuclear capacity in the UK through an industrial partnership with Iberdrola and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

Modern Power Systems 6th Feb 2009 more >>

NDA

A senior Tory was under fire last night after he described funding for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) as “burning taxpayers’ money on a quango gravy train”. Former Conservative Party chairman and now Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude attacked spending on Britain’s non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), including the NDA.

Carlisle News and Star 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Pakistan

A Pakistani court freed nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan from house arrest, five years after he admitted selling atomic bomb technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Bloomberg 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Times 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Telegraph 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Guardian 6th Feb 2009 more >>

BBC 6th Feb 2009 more >>

China

China will spend 580bn yuan (£59.5bn) expanding its energy sector in 2009 with plans for new solar and wind-powered generating capacity, but also nuclear and coal-fired plants.

Guardian 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Sweden

Nuclear power received a significant boost today when the Swedish government announced plans to overturn a near 30-year ban on atomic plants as part of a new drive to increase energy security and combat global warming.

Guardian 6th Feb 2009 more >>

FT 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Herald 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Times 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Iran

“If Iran gets nuclear weapons, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty falls apart,” a Foreign Office official suggested. The treaty is due for review and renewal next year. Iran is still a member of the treaty arrangement. “There is nothing civil in the [Iranian] programme as far as we can tell so far, and there have been no enrichment plants opened for visits.”

Guardian 6th Feb 2009 more >>

The Bushehr nuclear power station being built in Iran by Russia is nearly complete and should be launched within the year, Iran’s ambassador to Moscow said in an interview published Friday.

Yahoo 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Turkey

The Russian-led consortium that won the tender to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant and supply energy to the national grid has revised its price offer in an attempt to prevent its bid from collapsing.

Today’s Zaman 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Disarmament

Henry Kissinger, the pioneer of Cold War detente during the Nixon era, has made a return to frontline politics after President Barack Obama reportedly sent him to Moscow to win backing from Vladimir Putin’s government for a nuclear disarmament initiative.

Telegraph 6th Feb 2009 more >>

The Obama administration is looking for a quick deal between the US and Russia to more than halve their nuclear weapons stockpiles, reversing the Bush White House’s refusal to be bound by international treaties. Diplomats and officials say they are optimistic Washington and Moscow can quickly agree to cut warheads to about 1,000.

Guardian 6th Feb 2009 more >>

Posted: 6 February 2009

5 February 2009

Companies

GDF-Suez yesterday became the latest French company to set its sights on the UK’s nuclear industry when it unveiled plans for a joint venture to help to build new reactors in Britain. GDF-Suez, 35 per cent-owned by the French Government, said that it had formed a partnership with Iberdrola, the Spanish owner of ScottishPower. Together, they plan to build at least two new reactors in the UK on existing nuclear sites that are due to be sold by the Government. GDF-Suez and Iberdrola are expected to each control a 40 per cent stake in the venture. Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) is expected to join as junior partner, with 20 per cent. Vatenfall, the Swedish utility group, is in talks with GDF-Suez and Iberdrola about entering alongside SSE as a junior equity partner.

Times 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Scotsman 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Herald 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Independent 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Metro 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Utility Week 4th Feb 2009 more >>

BBC 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Bloomberg 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Blimey. Here’s a Government policy that seems to be actually working. Ministers declared that they were keen to encourage competition in the construction of new nuclear power stations and that’s precisely what they seem to be getting. News yesterday that GDF Suez is clubbing together with Iberdrola to bid for the sites owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority brings to three the number of consortia which have declared plans for new nuclear build in Britain. Plummeting energy prices, together with the fast falling price of emission permits, has made the commercial case for new nuclear build less compelling than it was, but the investment plans are on exceptionally long lead times, and nobody believes the present depressed price of hydrocarbons is going to last for long. Emission targets, energy prices and energy security all work in nuclear’s favour.

Independent 5th Feb 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Letter Steuart Campbell: it is unlikely that the use of lower grade ore would ever give gas the advantage. Furthermore, Prof Salter appears to ignore the availability of plutonium as a fuel and the eventual deployment of fast reactors.

Scotsman 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Areva, a provider of technological services for nuclear power generation, and the Swiss electric utility KKL have signed a contract aimed at providing KKL with casks for the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel from the Leibstadt power plant in Switzerland.

Energy Business Review 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Nuclear Finance

The financial crisis isn’t necessarily bad news for nuclear. Lower capital cost inflation and improved government infrastructure planning could all benefit new build.

Nuclear Engineering International 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Sellafield

Cumbria County Council is backing plans to build up to three nuclear reactors at Sellafield by 2025. It says each would create around 350 permanent jobs plus thousands more during the construction phase. The council’s cabinet yesterday threw its weight behind the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s bid to nominate Sellafield as a site for a new nuclear power station.

Carlisle News and Star 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Springfields

A new managing director has been appointed at the helm of Preston’s booming nuclear fuel manufacturer. Neil Longfellow took up the role this week at Springfields Fuels Ltd, which employs around 1,500 people at Salwick, near Preston, after serving as deputy managing director at Sellafield in Cumbria.

Lancashire Evening Post 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Disarmament

Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband says he wants major world powers to begin new talks aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons. The British diplomatic chief says he hopes countries can agree on an international legal framework to reduce their arsenals.

AP 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Guardian 4th Feb 2009 more >>

David Miliband called for a new debate on ridding the world of nuclear weapons yesterday, saying that 40 years after the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty now was the “time to show that we’re serious”.

Times 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Campaigners have turned on the speech over continued plans to replace or upgrade the Trident missile system to a cost of up to £76 billion. Greenpeace said the Trident plans “severely undermined” David Miliband’s comments. “Until the government puts plans to replace Trident on hold, anything they say about ridding the world of nuclear weapons is severely undermined,” said executive director John Sauven. Kate Hudson, chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said Mr Miliband’s speech, which accompanied a policy information paper from the Foreign Office was a “great disappointment”, which treated Trident as the elephant in the room. And the Liberal Democrats said the government’s leadership on non-proliferation was threatened by the “premature and provocative” decision to renew Trident ahead of the global disarmament conference next year.

Politics.co.uk 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Greenpeace 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Russia moved swiftly yesterday to extend a hand to President Obama over American plans for big cuts in nuclear weapons. Sergei Ivanov, the Deputy Prime Minister, said that Russia was ready to sign a new strategic missile treaty with the US.

Times 5th Feb 2009 more >>

After a long period of neglect, nuclear disarmament has re-emerged at the top of the foreign policy agenda. Barack Obama is seeking a dramatic reduction in global stockpiles over the next four years. In Britain, too, the subject is in vogue.

Telegraph 5th Feb 2009 more >>

A LEADING authority on international law has warned that nuclear weapons in Scotland increase the risk of a nuclear attack on the country. Judge Christopher Weeramantry, former vice-president of the International Court of Justice, told a conference in Edinburgh that the issue could not be left in the hands of Westminster. While agreeing that international relations were reserved to the UK Parliament, he insisted the Scottish Parliament must uphold international humanitarian and legal obligations. SNP defence and foreign affairs spokesman Angus Robertson said: “Judge Weeramantry’s comments add further weight to the argument for removing Trident from Scotland.”

Edinburgh Evening News 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Fusion

Laboratories across the world, packed with dozens of supreme eggheads, have spent millions trying to harness the power of nuclear fusion, but they have failed so far. Is Christopher’s home-made Doomsday machine – custom-built out of components from the High Street electronics shop Maplin’s – the answer? ‘I’ve only managed to get two watts out of it so far,’ he says. ‘But if I increase the power, I should be able to start a nuclear fusion reaction. Of course, I wouldn’t want to do a really big experiment here – it’s not an ideal place. And it could be dangerous.’

Daily Mail 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Iran

A senior adviser to Iran’s president says dialogue with the US will succeed only if the Obama administration accepts Tehran’s right to have a nuclear programme. Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, right-hand man to Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the fundamentalist president, said in an interview with the Financial Times that Tehran was studying its options, just as the new US administration was reviewing its Iran policy.

FT 5th Feb 2009 more >>

The government believes Iran is just years away from developing a nuclear capability and London is prepared to go it alone with tougher sanctions if necessary, a minister said on Wednesday.

Reuters 4th Feb 2009 more >>

India

Areva, the French nuclear group, agreed yesterday to supply India with up to six nuclear reactors, in one of the first deals since India’s nuclear programme was brought into the international fold last year after decades of isolation. In a preliminary agreement with the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Areva will provide technical co-operation on two of the heavy-duty 1600MW EPR reactors, at Jaitapur in the state of Maharashtra. The deal could be worth more than 8bn ($10.3bn).

FT 5th Feb 2009 more >>

Posted: 5 February 2009

4 February 2009

Nuclear Costs

Letter from Gerry Wolff: Steuart Campbell is himself misrepresenting the cost of nuclear power, quoting the misleading figures successfully spread by the nuclear industry. A report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in 2005 concluded that, once realistic construction and running costs were factored in, a kilowatt-hour of electricity from a nuclear generator would cost as much as 8.3p – substantially more than claimed by the nuclear industry. Since then, nuclear costs have risen.

Scotsman 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Al Gore speaking about climate change at last week’s US Senate committee on foreign relations: “I came to the Congress in 1976 as a very strong supporter of nuclear power. I have grown sceptical. I am not opposed to it, but there is now in the industry absolutely zero ability to predict with any confidence what the cost of construction is.” Now skip to Finland, where the French state-owned nuclear company Areva is building Europe’s first new reactor in years, one of a type expected to be chosen for Britain. The Finnish nuclear authority has already found 2,200 “quality deficiencies”, the plant is three years behind schedule, and its cost has spiralled to $6.2bn – 50% more than the original estimate. Everyone is blaming everyone else. Now Elfi, a consortium of Finnish industries, calculates that the delays will create an extra $4bn of indirect costs for electricity users.

Guardian 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Letter from Hugh Richards: EDF boss Vincent de Rivaz says one way to start convincing the public that nuclear power is the solution to our energy problems is to “make all decisions public and transparent” (Friday Interview, 30 January). We as taxpayers are being asked to take responsibility for significant amounts of spent fuel – something omitted by Rivaz. Spent nuclear fuel contains most of the radioactivity from the new reactors, but neither government nor its regulators have assessed its “disposability”, or the health effects of managing it. The Nuclear Industry Association says a repository dealing with legacy wastes could readily accommodate the smaller volumes of easier-to-handle wastes from the new nuclear plants. But the spent fuel from EDF’s planned European pressurised reactors in England would be hotter and more radioactive than that from the EPR at Olkiluoto, in Finland. There are serious doubts it could be disposed of in the deep geological repository for legacy waste.

Guardian 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Companies

GDF Suez SA, the world’s second-biggest utility, will today announce an alliance with Iberdrola SA of Spain as part of its plans to bid for nuclear projects in the U.K.. GDF Suez aims to build two Evolutionary Power Reactors, or EPRs, in the U.K..

Bloomberg 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Germany’s Siemens and Russia’s state nuclear company have pledged to look at closer cooperation in what Russia said could lead to a powerful alliance in the world nuclear market.

Reuters 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

FT 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

GDA

The Generic Design Assessment (GDA) team when constituted was expected to take until 2012 to complete its work and found difficulty in recruiting its experts; most of those in the UK are either retired or approaching retirement. But the manning up of the team with French experts risks compromising the independence of the GDA, which it is supposed to maintain. It is in all our interests that unwarranted haste will not dilute the detailed examination of the inherent disadvantages of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Sanders Research 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Sellafield

A BITTER dispute over the use of foreign workers on construction projects has exploded into a series of wildcat strikes across the UK – includig Sellafield.

North West Evening Mail 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Contractors at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing complex in Cumbria have returned to work after a 24-hour walkout over the use of foreign labour.

BBC 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Heysham

Nuclear power firm British Energy said yesterday it was ready to restart another reactor hit by technical issues. The company has been dogged by long-term problems at its Heysham and Hartlepool sites, but said a “comprehensive” return to service for Reactor 1 at its Heysham 1 plant was due in the “coming days”.

Yorkshire Post 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Scotland

A Holyrood report due to be published today will call for nuclear power to be kept on the agenda. The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee is expected to say the nuclear option should not be ruled out over fears that renewable power generation will not grow fast enough. The government has set a target of cutting emissions by 80% before 2050.

Building 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

US

The desperate, dangerous nuclear power industry has dropped a $50 billion stealth bomb meant to irradiate the Obama Stimulus Package. It comes in the form of a mega-loan guarantee package that would build new reactors Wall Street wouldn’t finance even when it had cash. The vaguely worded bailout-in-advance provision was snuck through the Senate Appropriations Committee in the deep night of January 27. It would provide $50 billion in loan guarantees for “eligible technologies” that would technically include renewable sources and electric transmission. But the handout is clearly directed at nukes and “clean coal.” Unable to get private financing, the industry is back yet again. In the interim, the projected cost of building new reactors has soared to more than $10 billion each, and continues to climb steadily. The Congressional Budget Office now predicts that half the nuclear utilities using such a loan program will go into default.

Huffington Post 3rd February 2009 more >>

Iran

President Obama’s ambition of bringing Russia in from the cold was graphically underlined when Iran announced that it had successfully launched its first home-built satellite into orbit, using a rocket that the West believes is part of its long-term ballistic missile programme.

Times 4th Feb 2009 more >>

BBC 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Guardian 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautioned Tehran of “consequences” if it did not give up sensitive nuclear work and said world powers would discuss a new Iran strategy in talks on Wednesday.

Reuters 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Trident

THE SNP yesterday stepped up calls for Scotland to be rid of nuclear weapons. The call came at a conference in Edinburgh where the SNP MP Angus Robertson said Scotland could “help lift the nuclear shadow”. But the Nationalists came under attack from Labour, who accused them of wanting to give up nuclear weapons when other countries had them and “rogue nations” wanted them.

Scotsman 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Herald 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Carrick Gazette 4th Feb 2009 more >>

THE conference on Trident in Edinburgh yesterday underlined our commitment to make the world a safer place by ridding ourselves of weapons of mass destruction. Majority opinion in Scotland is opposed to the Trident weapons system.

Scotsman 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Arms Control

President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent. The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times has learnt. Key to the initiative is a review of the Bush Administration’s plan for a US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow.

Times 4th Feb 2009 more >>

By the treaty’s deadline of June 1, 1991 2,692 weapons had been destroyed – 846 by the US and 1,846 by the Soviet Union. Under the treaty both nations were allowed to inspect each other’s military installations.

Times 4th Feb 2009 more >>

A supercomputer with the processing power of two million laptops is to be built by IBM for the US government to help manage its nuclear arsenal.

Times 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Climate

Although emissions of carbon dioxide fell, its total decline since the baseline year of 1990 was 8.5%, substantially short of Labour’s manifesto pledge of 20% by 2010. The decline by 2007 increases to 12.8% if it includes carbon credits bought from emission reduction programmes overseas.

Guardian 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Over half of Britain’s poorest households are ineligible for help from an £852m scheme to cut fuel bills with grants for home insulation and heating, a report from the National Audit Office reveals today. The report discloses that £34m has been given to people who already have energy-efficient homes and are comparatively well off. The report on the Warm Front Scheme run by the Department of Energy and Climate Change says that the mismatch is caused by complex eligibility rules that mean many of the 1.9 million poorest households cannot get a grant.

Guardian 4th Feb 2009 more >>

Posted: 4 February 2009

3 February 2009

Industrial Action

The wave of wildcat strikes sweeping the UK showed no sign of letting up yesterday as contractors at two nuclear plants joined workers at sites across the country to protest about the use of foreign labour. The walkouts at Sellafield and Heysham came as employers and union leaders were locked in negotiations aimed at preventing a further escalation of the dispute.

Guardian 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Bloomberg 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

FT 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Interactive Investor 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Reuters 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

More than 600 engineering contractors working on the Sellafield nuclear site went on strike yesterday in protest at the employment of foreign workers. Wearing thick anoraks and woolly hats to shield themselves from the raw wind whipping the Cumbrian coast, the contractors gathered just before 8am to murmur support and grudgingly extract hands from pockets to agree to a 24-hour strike.

Times 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Companies

GDF-Suez looks set to become the latest European energy giant to set its sights on the rejuvenated UK nuclear energy market, after it was reported yesterday that the company is in talks about forming a joint venture to bid for UK nuclear sites. According to reports in The Sunday Times, the French company is in parallel talks with Germany’s RWE, Spanish energy giant Iberdrola and Sweden’s Vattenfall about forming a joint venture to table bids. It is expected to make a final announcement on which partner it has chosen soon.

Business Green 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Nuclear waste from the reactors likely to be built in the UK will be up to seven times more hazardous than that produced by existing reactors. The admission was made in an ‘environmental impact assessment’ report by nuclear company Posiva. Posiva are responsible for managing the waste which will be produced by the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) currently being constructed in Olkiluoto, Finland. And an independent nuclear consultant has warned that this will increase the costs of nuclear energy, as waste storage and safety expenses will rise above expected levels.

Greenpeace UK 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Sizewell

Workers at two nuclear power stations in Suffolk will make a decision today about holding further industrial action in a row over the use of foreign workers. Sub-contractors employed by companies working on the decommissioning of Sizewell A, and routine work at Sizewell B, walked out yesterday in a show of solidarity for energy employees at a Lincolnshire oil refinery.

East Anglian Daily Press 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Up to 70 sub contractors went on strike at the Sizewell A and B power stations in Suffolk today.

East Anglian Daily Press 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Heysham

NUCLEAR power generator British Energy yesterday said it was ready to restart another reactor hit by technical issues. The firm has been dogged by long-term problems at its Heysham and Hartlepool sites, but said a “comprehensive” return to service for Reactor 1 at its Heysham 1 plant was due in the “coming days”.

Scotsman 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Workers at Heysham nuclear power station will decide today whether or not to stage a wildcat strike in a simmering row over foreign workers.

Lancashire Evening Post 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

New Nukes

Letter from Stephen Salter: You report that nuclear power has no carbon emissions. The truth of this statement depends on how much of the cycle is being considered and greatly on the quality of ore from which the uranium is extracted. With the present ore grades, nuclear generation has a carbon advantage over gas of about three times, but the gap closes at grades of 100 parts per million, which may well be reached within the lifetime of plant planned now.

Scotsman 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Scotland

Scottish Government plans for a massive expansion in green energy employment were cautiously welcomed yesterday by environmental groups. Finance Secretary John Swinney announced the move, saying it would help Scotland through the recession and provide a sustainable economy

for the future. At a conference in Glasgow he announced plans to invest in renewable technology to help create up to 16,000 jobs over the next 10 years. He said the Scottish Government will be implementing their Renewable Energy Action Plan which is hoped to boost production and deliver cost savings for consumers. Plans to increase power from wave wind and water technology to lower carbon emissions and reduce reliance on

fossil fuels will, he said, put Scotland at the forefront of a global renewables industry.

Herald 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Switzerland

Areva, a provider of technological solutions for nuclear power generation, and the Swiss electric utility KKL have signed a contract aimed at providing KKL with casks for the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel from the Leibstadt power plant in Switzerland. The contract is to be applied for the duration of the power plant’s operation, ultimately resulting in all spent fuel being removed, with these operations to continue until 2049.

Datamonitor 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

India

India has signed an agreement with the UN atomic watchdog to allow inspections of its civilian nuclear plants. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei and Indian Ambassador Saurabh Kumar signed the accord in Vienna. The deal requires India to make 14 of its 22 nuclear reactors subject to non-proliferation inspections by 2014.

BBC 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

France

Despite the French government’s global marketing of its flagship European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) as cheap and safe, nuclear energy is rapidly becoming the most expensive way to produce electricity, and its highly radioactive waste poses an ever-increasing problem. At a time when France is setting itself up as the political and industrial champion of a supposed worldwide expansion of nuclear power, Global Chance – an association that includes among its members several of France’s few independent nuclear experts – has produced a report that shows how France’s nuclear promises are a dangerous illusion. France is locked into nuclear power in a way that presents an obstacle to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

Greenpeace International 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Korea

North Korea said on Monday it would never unilaterally dismantle its nuclear weapons and demanded inspectors probe the South to make sure it is not harbouring U.S. atomic arms, further stepping up tensions with its neighbour.

Reuters 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Trident

The SNP will step up its calls for Scotland to be rid of nuclear weapons. The calls will come at a conference in Edinburgh on the day the Westminster Government launches a policy paper on the issue. The conference, to be attended by a range of anti-nuclear groups, will focus on Trident and international law.

Hamilton Advertiser 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Carrick Gazette 3rd Feb 2009 more >>

Posted: 3 February 2009

2 February 2009

New Nukes

Letter from Steuart Campbell: Brian Hunter (Letters, 29 January) is entitled to oppose nuclear power, but he should not misrepresent the costs. The latest comparison estimates (in the House of Lords report The Economics of Renewable Energy) are that nuclear power’s base cost is 4.5p/kWh generated. This is slightly higher than coal (4.1p) – a figure that ignores carbon emissions – but much less than onshore wind (7.3p).

Scotsman 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Bradwell

The most senior figure in nuclear safety has defended the regulation of an atomic power station barely 50 miles from the centre of London that leaked radioactive material for 14 years. Mike Weightman, chief inspector at the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, said it was not possible to “inspect or check every feature of a complex plant”. But as soon as the leak in the sump of one of the Magnox reactors at Bradwell-on-Sea was discovered the safety body did all it could to ensure that the cause of the problem was identified and dealt with, he added.

Guardian 2nd Feb 2009 more >>

Sellafield

Workers at two nuclear power stations could walk out in a dangerous escalation of the dispute over foreign labour. Hundreds of contractors at Sellafield in Cumbria are meeting today to discuss industrial action. An unofficial walkout also threatens Heysham nuclear power station in Lancashire.

Metro 1st Feb 2009 more >>

Uranium Mining

Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries, but also the world’s third-largest source of uranium. More mining to power nuclear stations in the UK could bring enormous benefits to Niger’s northern region, and to the country as a whole. But this will not happen automatically. Before signing any deals, Gordon Brown should ensure that the cleaner, cheaper energy he hopes nuclear power will provide for the UK does not come at a vast expense to local communities in Niger.

Guardian 1st Feb 2009 more >>

US

On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to increase nuclear loan guarantees by $50 billion in the economic recovery package. This staggering sum “would more than double the current loan guarantee cap of $38 billion” for “clean energy” technology.

Climate Progress 1st Feb 2009 more >>

Posted: 2 February 2009

1 February 2009

Energy Supplies

The UK faces an energy crunch leading to much higher electricity and gas bills within three years because power companies are shelving investment plans, the chief executive of Centrica has warned. Sam Laidlaw also told the Observer that unless the government increased the level of financial support available for offshore wind farms soon, the UK would have little chance of meeting its 2020 renewable energy targets.

Observer 1st Feb 2009 more >>

Interview with Sam Laidlaw.

Observer 1st Feb 2009 more >>

Scotland

ALEX Salmond’s plans for a nuclear power-free Scotland will be dealt a severe blow this week with the publication of a report calling for the retention of the controversial power stations. Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will say that the nuclear option should not be ruled out, despite Salmond’s desire to focus entirely on coal-powered stations and renewable energy.

Scotland on Sunday 1st Feb 2009 more >>

The Scottish government is to announce a blueprint to create thousands of new “green” jobs as part of its economic recovery plan. Finance secretary John Swinney will tomorrow outline specific proposals on how it plans to encourage the creation of “new, low-carbon industries in energy production, energy efficiency and sustainable transport”.

Observer 1st Feb 2009 more >>

Israel

AN ultra-rightwinger, who is said to favour flattening Tehran if Iran develops nuclear weapons, has emerged as the politician gaining the most ground in next week’s general election in Israel.

Sunday Times 1st Feb 2009 more >>

Trident

THE UK government’s plan to maintain nuclear weapons on the Clyde will this week be condemned as cruel, criminal and barbaric by one of the world’s leading legal experts. At a major conference discussing Trident on Tuesday, the former vice-president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), judge Christopher Weeramantry will back attempts by the Scottish government to remove nuclear warheads from Scottish soil. He will also argue that non-violent resistance to nuclear weapons can be justified in international law. Trying to protect humanity from the ultimate catastrophe of a nuclear war is every citizen’s right, he will say.

Sunday Herald 1st Feb 2008 more >>

Posted: 1 February 2009

31 January 2009

New Nukes

As France presses ahead with building more next-generation nuclear reactors, new evidence emerged Friday to suggest that industry and governments may be unprepared to handle the increasingly toxic waste that will result. an anti-nuclear group said that information it gleaned from industry reports – publicly available but which have received little attention so far – show that waste from the EPR will be more radioactive by a factor of seven because more uranium is burned up. That will make it more expensive to handle and store safely, according to Greenpeace, which provided the details on Friday to the International Herald Tribune.

IHT 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Greenpeace International Press Release 31st Jan 2009 more >>

French energy giant EDF has already announced it wants to build four new plants here. And German power groups want to invest £20bn building four of their own. Meanwhile, in America, where no new plant has been built for 30 years, nuclear could make a grand return. Indeed, there are 17 applicants seeking approval to build 26 nuclear plants in America.

Money Week 30th Jan 2009 more >>

However, whereas I believe firmly that the Government is totally wrong on both Stansted and Heathrow, they are on the side of the angels when it comes to nuclear power stations. Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex should get new reactors – they’re in the right place and are supported by their relevant local MPs John Gummer (Suffolk Coastal) and John Whittingdale (Maldon & Chelmsford East).

East Anglian Daily Times 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Professor Blowers says the criteria amount to nothing less than a means of trying to justify putting a new generation of mega power stations and spent fuel waste stores on existing coastal sites most of which are likely to become submerged during the next century under the impact of sea level rise and storm surges. His paper, published in the TCPA’s distinguished monthly Journal, Town & Country Planning, is available here.

no2nuclearpower 31st Jan 2009 more >>

Sellafield

A radioactive leak in a pipe connected to the decrepit Magnox reprocessing facility at Britain’s Sellafield site, officials said, in what was rated on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) as a 1 – or an “anomaly” on of the scale’s seven point system. To qualify as an accident, the leak would have had to weigh in at a four. Seven on the INES scale is considered a “major accident.” The anomaly, however, is “very worrisome,” said Nils B hmer, Bellona’s nuclear Physicist. The leak sprang from a pipe connected to a ventilation canal that transports waste products from the aged Magnox reprocessing facility. According to Sellafield’s owners, no personnel came into contact with the radiation. There is no evidence to suggest that there is any contamination outside the Sellafield site as a result of this incident. After the leak was discovered, the surrounding area was evacuated of personnel. Workers ran across the leak during routine work procedures at the Magnox facility.

Bellona 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Because the future is nuclear, it is only right that Gordon should take a personal interest in the way our installations operate. And thus he went to Sellafield last week. So far, so good. There was, we now learn, a little local difficulty on the day the PM came to call: a radioactive leak that meant a walkway had to be cordoned off and a building closed. The whole thing is now the subject of a board of inquiry but it didn’t spoil his trip. These things happen. We must look forward.

Guardian 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Norwegian environmental lobby groups and lawmakers are expressing growing disquiet about plans by the British authorities to build several new nuclear power stations – including one at the controversial Sellafield site. They say they will press the Norwegian government to raise the issue with the UK government, according to Norwegian newspaper reports. The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on Friday announced it was expecting to choose four sites as suitable for consideration under the UK government’s Strategic Siting Assessment programme. The process is being used to assess the suitability of certain locations for new nuclear reactors.

Offshore 247 27th Jan 2009 more >>

More workers could walk out next week in sympathy, including hundreds of contractors at Sellafield, the country’s biggest nuclear power plant. 900 contractors at Sellafield plan to meet before work on Monday to discuss taking industrial action in support of Lindsey workers. The firms said it was confident a walkout “would have no impact on safety, security or production.”

Telegraph 31st Jan 2009 more >>

Bradwell

A top scientist has used Ribena to demonstrate how nuclear waste was dealt with at a power station. A court has heard how there was an alleged leak of nuclear waste from a site at Bradwell power station for 14 years before the problem was discovered. The owners of the former power station face a total of 11 charges, brought under the 1993 Radioactive Substances Act, of unlawfully allowing waste to leak from a decontamination unit.

Essex Gazette 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Hartlepool

A POWER station reactor is back on line after a brief shutdown earlier this week. Reactor One at Hartlepool Power Station was taken out of action at 6pm on Tuesday. But the problem was not believed to be related to the reactor itself. The Mail understands that work was being carried out on conventional equipment within the station and the 605-megawatt unit was brought back on line early yesterday. The unit had spent 15 months out of action.

Hartlepool Mail 31st Jan 2009 more >>

Scotland

As a result of their ideological opposition to nuclear power, the Nationalists have had to turn to continuing coal power for a base supply. But this has left the SNP increasingly facing questions over the fact that coal power stations pump huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and are not the best way to tackle climate change.

Scotsman 31st Jan 2009 more >>

Nasa scientist Dr James Hansen called for Alex Salmond to abandon any plans to allow new coal-fired power stations to be built in Scotland. He urged that any such stations should be built only if they were fitted with technology – which does not yet exist – to capture and store carbon dioxide, the dangerous greenhouse gas. The Scottish Government has said it is intending to allow new fossil-fuel power stations, as long as they are “ready” to add the technology at a later date.

Scotsman 31st Jan 2009 more >>

Nuclear Waste

REGULAR loads of nuclear waste are travelling along Cheshire roads, it has been revealed. Emergency services went on full alert after a trailer carrying a load of low-level waste from Sellafield Ltd’s Capenhurst decommissioning site to its repository at Drigg in Cumbria became unhitched from the HGV tractor towing it near the junction of the A41 and the A5117 at Great Sutton.

Chester Evening Leader 30th Jan 2009 more >>

The Ministry of Defence has criticised the monitoring of radiation hotspots on a Fife beach, carried out by environment watchdog Sepa. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said 39 radioactive items were detected in September at Dalgety Bay. Radium from wartime aircraft is thought to have been in landfill used when the foreshore was reclaimed. The MoD said aspects of Sepa’s research seemed to be based on “assumptions rather than actual evidence”. Dalgety Bay was the site of a World War II airfield, where many aircraft were dismantled.

BBC 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Emergency Planning

EMERGENCY services will be on high alert as Moreton-in-Marsh prepares to become a scene of nuclear devastation next week. The Fire Service College is hosting Exercise Senator to test the Ministry of Defence and civil emergency response to a simulated crash of an RAF VC10 aircraft carrying special nuclear material used in defence programmes. The initiative is planned for Wednesday, but residents have been reassured no radioactive contaminants will be used.

This is Gloucestershire 31st Jan 2009 more >>

Europe

The EU Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said negative public opinion limited the use of nuclear energy in Europe, but said he would push it as far as he could.

EU Business 30th Jan 2009 more >>

France

Greenpeace condemns the announcement made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday evening that a new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) is to be built in Penly, France. It is Greenpeace’s belief that building yet another reactor is entirely illegitimate and dangerous.

Greenpeace International Press Release 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Turkey

The only company bidding, to build Turkey’s first nuclear reactor, the Russian-Turkish JSC Atomstroyexport-JSC Inter Rao Ues-Park Teknik joint venture, offered a price of 21.16 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Current electricity prices in the country vary between 4 cents and 14 cents per kWh.

Today’s Zaman 20th Jan 2009 more >>

Iran

To see Iran’s foreign minister participating on various panels at Davos you would almost think that he represented a normal country, not a pariah state whose nuclear ambitions are scaring the wits out of the rest of the world.

Times 30th Jan 2009 more >>

India

India is to open its nuclear sites to UN inspectors in advance of the lifting of a 34-year embargo on atomic trade with New Delhi.

Telegraph 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Posted: 31 January 2009

30 January 2009

New Nukes

De Rivaz, boss of the French nuclear group EDF, has already charmed ministers into allowing him to buy the crown jewels of our nuclear generating industry, British Energy, for £12.5bn. But he knows that the public will be harder to convince, made sceptical by years of blunders, delays and billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money spent on dysfunctional projects. His task also comes as the political climate hardens against large infrastructure schemes – such as Heathrow expansion.

Guardian 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Drivers Jonas has finished work advising the government on how to make its draft nuclear national policy statement (NPS) watertight. The consultancy carried out the two-month commission for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) with engineering firm Arup. “We were commissioned to ensure that the policy will stand up.

Planning Resource 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Nuclear Inspectors

The HSE’s Nuclear Directorate is to undergo a major restructure to help it respond to a number of challenges, especially difficulties in recruiting inspectors. The Government has recognised that the success of its nuclear-build programme and corresponding decommissioning work will be put at risk unless it addresses the skills shortage in the industry and restructures the Nuclear Directorate. Issuing its response on 27 January to a review by Dr Tim Stone on the nuclear regulatory regime, the Government said that agreement for the restructure, through legislation, has now been reached. This will lead to the creation of an autonomous body that would remain within the auspices of the HSE, but with greater flexibility to respond to specific challenges.

Safety and Health Practitioner 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Nuclear Waste

ALLERDALE council will express an interest in hosting a new nuclear waste dump, members agreed on Wednesday. The full council ratified a recommendation from its executive committee to express a without-commitment interest in Government plans for a high-level nuclear waste repository.

West Cumberland Times and Star 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Sellafield

MORE than £2 billion could be pumped into the West Cumbrian economy and 10,000 jobs created if Government-backed plans for a new atomic reactor at Sellafield go ahead.

West Cumberland Times and Star 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Sizewell

Sizewell B nuclear power station shut down at around 1300 GMT on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the company said. “It was an unplanned trip,”

Reuters 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Heysham

A Lancashire power plant is well down the list of sites proposed for a new nuclear power station. Heysham Power Station owner British Energy said it would be looking at putting its southern-based sites forward first when the Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change invites companies to submit potential sites for new nuclear power facilities this week.

Lancashire Evening Post 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Companies

French nuclear engineering company Areva said Thursday that sales rose 10.4 percent last year as its uranium mining and reactor construction businesses benefited from increasing demand for nuclear power.

International Herald Tribune 29th Jan 2009 more >>

“THIS is not the way you behave in business normally you send signals,” spluttered a French nuclear executive this week at the news that Siemens, Germany’s engineering giant, would divest the 34% stake it has held since 2001 in Areva NP, a Franco-German joint venture in nuclear reactors. Until this week Areva NP was an example of a successful partnership between French and German companies in a promising industry. Nuclear power is in the midst of a global comeback, and Areva NP’s new design, the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), is leading the field against competing blueprints from American and Japanese rivals. Being a minority shareholder, the German firm complained, “considerably limits the entrepreneurial manoeuverability of Siemens within the joint venture.”

Economist 29th Jan 2009 more >>

MoX Shipment

Companies have confirmed that a shipment of mixed oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel from Europe to Japan is being prepared, although the exact departure date has not yet been announced.

World Nuclear News 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Finland

Damages claimed from Areva and Siemens as building work runs three years late at Europe’s first new reactor for a decade. Finnish nuclear company EVO is claiming 2.4bn in damages from Siemens and Areva for delays in the construction of the Olkiluoto nuclear reactor. Europe’s first nuclear power station for a decade is due for completion in 2012, three years behind schedule.

Building 29th Jan 2009 more >>

France

Leading French utilities EDF and GDF Suez are to be involved in the construction of a new French EPR nuclear facility, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said on Thursday. The President’s Elysee office said in a statement that the new site would be located at Penly, northern France. State-owned EDF, which is France’s main electricity provider, is already in the midst of building an EPR plant near Flamanville in northern France. The Flamanville EPR is due to cost 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion), more than an initial expected cost of 3.3 billion. French state-owned nuclear group Areva is also

facing cost overruns on an EPR plant that Areva is building in Finland.

Reuters 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Bloomberg 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Test Veterans

Lawyers for the MoD have told the High Court that there is no solid medical evidence to link the illnesses to the tests. Charles Gibson QC said the veterans’ claims were an “attack” on the distinguished scientists and public servants who organised the tests. “We submit the evidence they have deployed in support of the individual cases doesn’t come remotely close to proving causation,” he said.

Coventry Telegraph 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Iran

Preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is a more pressing challenge than solving the economic crisis, Benjamin Netanyahu (the frontrunner to become the next Israeli PM) has said.

Telegraph 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Times 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Real change in Washington’s policy in the Middle East would enable Iran to have a “co-operative” attitude towards the US, Iran’s foreign minister says.

BBC 29th Jan 2009 more >>

India

For decades, India’s nuclear establishment worked in almost total isolation, the result of US-led international sanctions intended to punish the country for refusing to relinquish its nuclear weapons programme. Barred from obtaining nuclear fuel or technology from abroad, the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India, working with private firms, installed a mere 4,000 megawatts of nuclear power capacity, with another 2,600MW under construction. But when New Delhi was finally accepted last year as a de facto member of the global nuclear club – as part of a deal with the US – India became an accepted partner for the international civil nuclear trade. Since then, western energy companies have been beating a path to New Delhi. Yet even as they tout their wares, New Delhi is still grappling with sensitive questions of how much foreign involvement to permit.

FT 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Carbon Trading

The row over the working of the European Union’s emissions trading scheme intensified last night when EDF Energy warned that speculators risked turning carbon into a new category of sub-prime investment. Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of the UK arm of the French-owned gas and electricity group, said politicians and regulators needed to revisit the way the ETS was working and whether it was bringing the results they wanted. “We like certainty about a carbon price,” he said. “[But] the carbon price has to become simple and not become a new type of sub-prime tool which will be diverted from what is its initial purpose: to encourage real investment in real low-carbon technology.”

Guardian 30th Jan 2009 more >>

Fusion

An experimental fusion reactor that will recreate the conditions at the heart of the sun to create cheap green power could cost twice as much as governments had planned for, the Guardian has learned. The flagship project, which absorbs almost half of Britain’s energy research budget, will test complex machinery needed to make the world’s first operational fusion power plants – a technology widely expected to transform energy generation by providing abundant power with no greenhouse gas emissions and only small amounts of radioactive waste.

Guardian 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Submarines

Technicians aboard the new £1.2bn first of class submarine Astute moored in Devonshire Dock are to switch on its nuclear reactor either next month or in early March. It will be the first such switch-on since the reactors of the Trident missile submarine HMS Vengeance were switched on back in 1999.

North West Evening Mail 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Posted: 30 January 2009

29 January 2009

New Nukes

Letter from David Lowry: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is a national organisation established with a primary mission to clean up safely and securely our radioactive waste legacy, and to oversee the dismantlement of redundant nuclear facilities, and more recently has been given by ministers the extra strategic mission to find an enduring and sustainable solution for the stewardship of the nation’s radioactive waste burden. However, the NDA has no statutory role in any nuclear new-build. Moreover, I have been told personally by senior NDA executives over several years, and NDA spokespeople have said at numerous stakeholder meetings, the NDA is not in the new nuclear-build business. So how can the NDA explain how this announcement is compatible with these earlier assurances as to NDA policy?

Whitehaven News 28th Jan 2009 more >>

EDF Energy has welcomed the announcement by the UK government on the progress it is making on the development of the framework for investment in nuclear new build. EDF Energy said that it will ensure all the potential new build sites it owns in England and Wales are nominated to the government’s Strategic Siting Assessment (SSA) process.

Datamonitor 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Energy firms have been given two months to nominate sites for the next wave of nuclear power stations. The government called for location suggestions yesterday as it published the criteria for site selection, which suggests only sites at existing nuclear facilities will make it through. New plants must not be built near highly populated areas or certain types of military activity, it says. The deadline for nominations is 31 March, after which the public will have a chance to comment on the names.

Building 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Climate Change Corporation 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Revised criteria unveiled at the launch of the two month process to award the contracts saw a lifting of an outright ban on siting new nuclear power stations in areas susceptible to earthquakes. Instead, the likelihood of an earthquake in a nuclear region will be assessed by local planners. In addition, a high risk of flood, damage to an environmental protection area and potential threat of coastal erosion may be overlooked if measures will be taken to make good or minimise the problem.

Telegraph 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Letter: The horrendous costs of constructing nuclear plants, and the even more horrendous costs of decommissioning when they have done their time, come nowhere near the category of providing cheap electricity. Such paraphernalia just to boil water to make steam to turn turbines – surely we can do much better. Nuclear plants are also unreliable and dangerous. They are targets for terrorists and leave a legacy of contaminated land for future generations.

Scotsman 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Wigan-based land development and investment company Ainscough Johnston Ltd has made an unconditional bid for a portfolio of land being sold by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Ainscough Johnston has been selected to progress to the next stage of the auction process alongside a number of national and international energy providers. If successful, the firm will enter into a joint venture with an energy company to deliver nuclear facilities or other energy uses on the sites. The outcome of the auction is expected to be announced by March 2009.

Crain’s Manchester Business 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Sizewell

EDF Energy has confirmed it will nominate Sizewell as a site where it wants to build two new nuclear reactors.

East Anglian Daily Times 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Nuclear Costs

The implications of Finland’s ordeal reach far beyond its borders. After three decades of struggling to gain traction through an aggressive lobbying and PR campaign, the nuclear power industry is on the verge of global resurgence. More than 100 new nuclear plants are being built or planned around the world. In the United States, there are thirty-five reactors on the drawing board. “We concentrated so much on nuclear that we lost sight of everything else,” says Oras Tynkynnen, a climate policy adviser in the Finnish prime minister’s office. “And nuclear has failed to deliver. It has turned out to be a costly gamble for Finland, and for the planet.”

Washington Monthly Jan/Feb 2009 more >>

The Department of Energy is still weighing UniStar’s loan guarantee applications, but if all goes as planned, the firm’s corporate parents will have little or nothing at stake, while taxpayers are on the hook for tens of billions of dollars. And UniStar is not alone in its ambitions. Most, if not all, of the seventeen companies with applications for new reactors before the NRC are counting on federal loan guarantees an unsettling scenario given that the Congressional Budget Office has found the risk of default on guaranteed loans for reactors to be “very high well above 50 percent.”

Washington Monthly Jan/Feb 2008 more >>

MoX Shipment

A transport of MOX fuel from Europe to Japan is now under preparation. In agreement with the Governments of the three involved countries of Japan, France and the United Kingdom, and for obvious security reasons, the communication related to this MOX transport operation will be carried out by three industrial Companies of Japan (Chubu Electric Power Company, Shikoku Electric Power Company and Kyushu Electric Power Company), by AREVA in France and by the NDA in the United Kingdom.

Areva Press Release 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Hartlepool

British Energy’s Hartlepool 1 nuclear power reactor had still not restarted by 1720 GMT on Wednesday, a company spokeswoman said.

Reuters 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Sellafield

Norwegian TV has reported that there was a radioactive leak from a ventilation pipe in the old (Magnox) part of Sellafield last Friday, and that it took 5 days before Norway was informed by the UK. The Environment minister has called for an immediate shutdown of the Sellafield operations.

Norwegian TV news 28th Jan 2009 more >>

AN investigation is under way at Sellafield into a radioactive leak. A walkway has been cordoned off to prevent access to a contaminated area following the spillage of radioactive water vapour or condensate. The leak came from a pipe line connected to an overhead ventilation duct carrying liquid from the Magnox reprocessing plant for treatment before aerial discharge. Operators Sellafield Ltd said there was a steady drip of the condensate which was found to be contaminated with radioactive materials. None of it came into contact with workers but a new plant under construction (sludge packaging) had to be closed.

Whitehaven News 28th Jan 2009 more >>

A trailer carrying low-level nuclear waste bound for Sellafield in Cumbria has caused an emergency alert. Due to a mechanical failure, the trailer became unhitched on the A41 near Chester after leaving the Capenhurst British Nuclear Group plant. Police said the load had not been damaged and the incident was dealt with safely, causing no danger.

Pendle Today 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Chester Evening Leader 28th Jan 2009 more >>

TENANT dairy farmers will be in line for compensation if they have to pack up and make way for a £2 billion nuclear power station at Sellafield.

Whitehaven News 28th Jan 2009 more >>

MANY of the 10,000 jobs which a new electricity-producing nuclear power station can bring to Sellafield must go to locals, says Copeland’s MP Jamie Reed.

Whitehaven News 28th Jan 2009 more >>

SELLAFIELD has a surprise new top boss with much-travelled Bill Poulson suddenly taking over from fellow American Bob Pedde.

Whitehaven News 28th Jan 2009 more >>

WORKING practices at Sellafield are to be put under the microscope. Experts are being called in from Nuclear Management Partners’ consortium companies in the US and France, as well as the UK, to scrutinise and assess methods being used across six core areas of the huge site over the next three months.

Whitehaven News 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Nuclear Waste

Texas-based boffins say they have figured out a cunning new method of dealing with America’s nuclear waste, using fusion technology – which at the moment can’t produce power – to turn 99 per cent of fission reactors’ waste into useful energy.

The Register 28th Jan 2009 more >>

IAEA

THE head of the United Nations nuclear agency has cancelled interviews with the BBC over its refusal to air an appeal for the victims of the Gaza conflict. Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, pulled the plug on scheduled interviews with BBC radio and World Service television. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the BBC’s decision violated “basic human decency”.

Scotsman 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Italy

Of Europe’s large industrialised countries, Italy has to fight the toughest battles to secure its energy supplies. For many years hopes have been pinned on gas – but now nuclear is back in the picture.

Petroleum Economist Feb 2009 more >>

Iran

President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad yesterday called on the new US administration to apologise for what he called the “crimes they committed against the Iranian nation” if it truly sought a change in relations. His comments came just a day after the Arab television channel al-Arabiya broadcast an interview with Barack Obama in which the US president said Washington needed to be willing to talk to Tehran and explore “potential avenues for progress”.

FT 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Nuclear Weapons

Russia today announced it was abandoning plans to deploy nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its European Kaliningrad outpost – a sign that Moscow wants improved relations with the new US administration.

Guardian 28th Jan 2009 more >>

Independent 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Renewables

The government must boost subsidies for renewable energy projects urgently to have any chance of meeting its 2020 targets, the chief executive of Centrica, owner of British Gas, has warned. In an interview with the Guardian, the chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, said that the UK faces a energy crunch in as little as two years because companies are shelving their investment plans. The cut-backs by firms, Laidlaw said, would lead to much higher electricity and gas prices and threaten security of energy supply. He believed the UK could struggle to cope unless the government soon put together a financial support package for new power plants, particularly for offshore wind farms.

Guardian 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Lord Turner of Ecchinswell is to investigate the collapse of funding for renewable energy projects in Britain after the recent exit of a string of companies, including BP and Shell.

Times 29th Jan 2009 more >>

Posted: 29 January 2009