GEORGE Osborne has been warned that granting the Chinese a large stake in Britain’s nuclear energy infrastructure poses a “substantive” threat to UK national security. Security concerns centre on access to IT systems, with analysts warning the UK would be left vulnerable if relations continue sour to China over the coming years. Britain’s friendship with the communist state was strained recently over the Tata steel crisis with China putting a highly punitive tax on the metal produced in south Wales to further damage the UK industry. But experts say a nuclear power deal would put the UK at the mercy of Beijing. Dr Paul Dorfman, an advisor to the British Government on nuclear security and a senior research fellow at UCL’s Energy Institute, said: “You don’t want to let the Chinese into complex, strategic, national energy infrastructure and you certainly don’t want them anywhere near nuclear. “There are some real security issues here.” Fears have been raised about “backdoors” in IT technology that could be exploited by the Chinese government or rogue hackers. Malicious IT breaches could allow data to be extracted or inserted into complex computer systems, allowing Beijing to circumvent British control of a nuclear plant and shut it down. GCHQ will be on standby to protect the UK from the threat of a cyber attack if the Chinese are allowed to build at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Bradwell in Essex. Caroline Baylon, a cyber security specialist at the Chatham House think tank, said she believes the current deal could end badly for Britain. She said: “If the international situation changes, the UK may find itself in a tricky spot if this Chinese deal goes through. Today’s alliances are not tomorrow’s alliances.”
Express 10th April 2016 read more »
Bosses at Dungeness B say they are on their guard against “madmen” unleashing nuclear terrorism. American President Barack Obama had last Friday warned about the risk of so-called Islamic State fanatics stealing materials from power plants to make a dirty bomb or even setting off a ready-made device. He said at the global Nuclear Security Summit: “There is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material, they would certainly use it to kill as many innocent people as possible. It would change our world.” A spokesman for the Marsh power plant’s owners, EDF Energy, this week said: “We place our highest priority on the safety and security of the public, its staff, buildings and installations. “We maintain regular contact with the police and other appropriate agencies and regularly review and adjust our security procedures across our sites. “For obvious reasons we cannot discuss the detail of what security precautions we have in place.”
Kent Online 9th April 2016 read more »
Yesterday evening the Mayor of Copeland and Nugen hosted a number of meetings in West Cumbria regarding letters that were sent out to residents from Terraquest. The letters had worried people that their homes were at risk of compulsory purchase due to the new Moorside nuclear power station. At Mirehouse Labour Club in Whitehaven, around 150 people turned up for the public meeting. For most people at the meeting, there was a distinct lack of understanding due to “poor communications from Nugen.” The meeting was heated from the start, with strong opinions from the public as well as high levels of anxiety over the proposals to site up to 4,000 temporary workers in close proximity to Mirehouse for the next 10-12 years.
RAAI 7th April 2016 read more »
An Open Letter to the Mayor of Copeland : Mike Starkie from Radiation Free Lakeland. Dear Mayor Mike, Thank you for organising the meetings regarding the rather intimidating
letters from NuGen. People are understandably upset about the possible compulsory purchase of their homes in order to clear a space for the building of temporary accommodation for thousands of nuclear workers. We are a voluntary group and have many members based in Copeland who feel that they are on an unstoppable ride to untried untested new reactors. They feel that any consultation which does not allow for an unequivocal NO but merely looks for ideas on “mitigation” is a token gesture to democracy. What has not been made public by NuGen or the government is the “population mixing” aspect of bringing in thousands of temporary workers to what is an essentially rural area.
Radiation Free Lakeland 9th April 2016 read more »
Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp, is seeking to hit big in China’s nuclear industry with the opening of a regional center headquartered in Beijing on Thursday, according to a senior official of the company. “We are looking to expand our business in China, a market with huge potential for growth in the nuclear industry, and the activities of regional center are designed to help strengthen our cooperation with the country,” said Alexander Merten, president of Rosatom International Network. The company is not only planning to build more new reactors with its long-standing partner China National Nuclear Corp, but is also expected to expand its business into “non-nuclear activities” such as agriculture, organic chemicals and nuclear medicine, Merten said.
China Post 9th April 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
IF – as is virtually certain – the SNP win the Scottish general election and form the next Government – one of the most high profile political casualties will be Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Energy Minister, according to senior government and industry sources. This is because of shale energy. Whilst Ewing has been fastidious in sitting on the fence to ensure Ministerial neutrality during the (still) ongoing evidential-consultation in the pros and cons of fracking, a small – but highly significant – gap has opened up between him and Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister. The present Scot-Govt imposed a moratorium on any planning applications related to shale gas in January last year and subsequently called for an evidence-based inquiry based on probative scientific grounds. But in the last debate on shale gas in Holyrood, Sturgeon admitted that she was ‘frankly sceptical’ about fracking. It is this gap – between Sturgeon’s ‘scepticism’ and Ewing’s ‘neutrality’ that senior civil servants at St. Andrew’s House say will lead to the political downfall of Fergus Ewing as Scottish Energy Minister next month. This information is corroborated by anti-wind farm campaigners who also believe Ewing will be re-shuffled after the Holyrood election because he is not nearly ‘as sceptical’ as Sturgeon is about fracking.
Scottish Energy News 10th April 2016 read more »
At first they thought it was just a fire, then the chickens started to turn black. When it comes to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, everyone has a vivid detail that is snagged in the memory; the absurdities or the obscenities. It might be the local village that, once evacuated, was claimed by a mob of pigs. Or the way milk would turn to white powder whenever the residents of Pripyat (the town built a few hundred metres from the doomed power plant) would attempt to churn butter. Or the cat that refused to be stuffed into a suitcase by its owner, who couldn’t bear to abandon his pet during the mass exile, 36 hours after the explosion. Who can forget that 70 Belarusian villages had to be buried under the ground? Or that Soviet soldiers shot every dog, in case it wandered, toxically, into a neighbouring city? Or that many of those same men risked their lives hoisting flags on the roofs of buildings every few weeks, whenever the old ones were chewed to lace by the radioactive breeze?
Guardian 9th April 2016 read more »
In the early morning of April 26th, 1986, reactor four of the Chernobyl nuclear station exploded. It caused what the United Nations has called “the greatest environmental catastrophe in the history of humanity.” Chernobyl was the accident that the nuclear industry said would never happen. Twenty-five years later the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan reminded us that the risk of another Chernobyl remains wherever nuclear power is used. The long-lived radionuclides released by Chernobyl means the disaster continues 30 years later. It still affects the lives of millions of people. Here are 15 facts you may not know about the disaster:
Greenpeace 9th April 2016 read more »
The French energy minister says she’ll meet with Tesla officials later this month. France is trying to woo Tesla Motors to build its first full-scale European factory in the country by offering up the site of an old nuclear power plant. The Fessenheim plant in northeastern Alsace is set to shut down permanently later this year. On Tuesday French energy minister Ségolène Royal announced she’d like to repurpose the power plant into an electric car factory. Royal said she told Tesla CEO Elon Musk, “I’ve got a spot for you.” A new Tesla factory would help create jobs for nuclear power plant workers in Alsace, Royal says, and would help fuel what she calls the “industry of the future,” electric cars. And it appears Musk might be interested too. He visited France earlier this year and flirted, albeit hypothetically, with the idea of putting a European Tesla plant in Alsace.
Fortune 9th April 2016 read more »
North Korea has claimed it has successfully tested a rocket that will let it launch nuclear strikes on the United States. An intercontinental ballistic rocket engine would be a huge step forward for the North Korean regime, which has been stepping up its atomic tests and rhetoric in recent months and claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb successfully for the first time.
Independent 9th April 2016 read more »
Dave Elliott: Renewable energy sources are large but some are variable and intermittent. The wide-scale use of renewable energy sources for energy supply will require the adoption of ways to compensate for their variability. This book reviews the technical options looking at their pros and cons and how they might work together to support a reliable and sustainable energy system. This is a rapidly advancing area of research and practice and Balancing Green Power offers an ideal introduction to the field.
IOP Science 10th April 2016 read more »