Cumbria’s proposed new nuclear plant could spark a regional building boom that would see the north wests construction industry become the fastest-growing in the UK. Research by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the building industrys training body, has found that if nuclear power stations are built in west Cumbria and Heysham, in Lancashire, as planned, construction activity in the region would be 62 per cent higher in 2020 than it was in 2010. But the group is also warning that building firms need to train their workforce in order to take advantage of the opportunities that will become available.
Cumberland News 9th Jan 2012 more >>
The proposed new nuclear plant at Oldbury-on-Severn will create thousands of jobs for Glocuestershire, but companies need to improve the skills of their workforce if they are to win the contracts. The research report Nuclear New Build Employment Scenarios says Gloucestershire could benefit from 3,300 new jobs if the power station goes ahead. But CITB-ConstructionSkills warns that firms must invest in training to take advantage of the employment opportunities.
This is Gloucestershire 10th Jan 2012 more >>
Cumbria County Council las week awarded Esh Constructon a £5.5M contract to design and build the new Construction Skills Centre at Lakes College in West Cumbria. Detailed design work will begin immediately with construction work expected to start in early spring. Construction of the Skills Centre is anticipated to take 48 weeks and when completed expects to take on around 280 trainees per year. Sellafield currently employs 12,000 skilled workers. However, as these workers come to retire and the nuclear industry continues to develop in Cumbria, the council believes around 4,400 new jobs will be created.
New Civil Engineer 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Hinkley Point Nuclear Plant completed a 35 million pound 3-year checkup. Reactor #4 has been shutdown since Oct. 14, 2010 for its three-year checkup. The station has 550 employees which were supplimented by over 1000 additional workers. Station transformers were replaced along with the exchange of four large gas circulators. The reactor’s graphite core was also inspected to confirm its safe condition.
Professional Reactor Operator Society 8th Jan 2012 more >>
The first public meeting on the stress tests of nuclear power plants in Europe and the related peer reviews will be held in Brussels on 17 January 2012. The Peer Review Board will present the stress tests and the peer review process and collect suggestions for taking the peer review process forward.
Ensreg 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Ensreg 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Capacity in the commercial nuclear (re)insurance market has been boosted by the launch of a new managing general agent (MGA) led by Lloyd’s insurer Amlin. Malta-based MGA Northcourt will initially offer property damage and business interruption insurance up to $200mn and anticipates expanding into nuclear liability and construction during 2012.
Inside FAC 9th Jan 2012 more >>
A businessman has been sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a scheme to illegally export restricted nuclear-related materials and equipment from the USA to Pakistan.
World Nuclear News 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Pressure on the big energy suppliers to cut record household bills has intensified after it emerged that they have all reduced their tariffs for shops and other small businesses in the past month. Energy bills for factories and other heavy users have also fallen by about 14 per cent since September, according to the Energy Intensive Users Group, after a slump in the wholesale price of gas since the summer. But households have yet to benefit and bills remain at a record average of £1,345 for the year. Last week, Ovo Energy became the second independent supplier to cut domestic bills but all the big companies British Gas, EDF Energy, RWE npower, E.ON, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy have yet to follow.
Times 10th Jan 2012 more >>
Decontaminating the Fukushima region to remove radioactive particles will not be possible without removing large amounts of soil, leaves and plants. Lacking land for resettlement and facing public outrage over the accident, the Japanese government has chosen a very different path to the Soviet Union, embarking on a decontamination effort of unprecedented scale.
Guardian 9th Jan 2012 more >>
The average nuclear power plant utilisation rate at Japan’s 10 atomic energy generators fell to 15.2 percent in December from 67.9 percent a year earlier, a Reuters calculation based on monthly trade ministry data showed.
Reuters 10th Jan 2012 more >>
With another nuclear company facing accusations of spying on Greenpeace, weve got to ask the nuclear industry a question: Dude, youre 60 years old isnt it time you grew up?
In early January 2012 Greenpeace filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors in France asking them to investigate allegations made in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper that the countrys nuclear giant Areva the worlds largest nuclear company commissioned a consultancy firm to spy on Greenpeaces activities. This news comes in the wake of Frances state electricity company Electricité de France SA (EDF) being fined 1.5 million and ordered to pay 500,000 in damages to Greenpeace in November 2011, after being convicted of spying on us. The four men involved – two of them senior EDF executives – went to jail.
Greenpeace 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Czech power company CEZ will likely scale back its nuclear expansion tender because of new legal restrictions on public procurement, a decision that would reduce the potential size of the deal by some $15 billion. A company spokesman said CEZ was likely to drop an option to build three new reactors in addition to two planned units at the Temelin nuclear plant. The move would significantly reduce the potential value of the contract to the companies planning to bid: France’s Areva , Toshiba unit Westinghouse and a consortium of Czech company Skoda JS and Russia’s Atomstroyexport.
Reuters 9th Feb 2012 more >>
NPCIL today said a safety review by the French nuclear regulator has made no comments on having additional systems EPR reactors proposed for the Jaitapur nuclear project, setting he stage for restarting negotiations on the delayed venture. “A quick scan of the ASN report shows that there are no clear comments on any system that has to be added to the EPRs,” S A Bhardwaj, Director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) told reporters here. He said a detailed review of the report of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) would take a week and the NPCIL would like to restart negotiations by the end of this month. The talks on signing a commercial agreement between NPCIL and French company Areva had been stalled after the Fukushima nuclear accident.
IBN Live 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has defended his Iranian counterpart after the UN confirmed Tehran has begun enriching uranium at an underground bunker. Speaking as Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began a tour of Latin America, Mr Chavez said that US officials had presented the two countries as “aggressors”. “Iran hasn’t invaded anyone,” Mr Chavez said. “Who has dropped thousands and thousands of bombs … including atomic bombs?”
Sky 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Iran has started refining uranium deep inside a mountain, diplomatic sources said on Monday, a move likely to exacerbate a dispute with Western powers that suspect Tehran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability.
Reuters 9th Jan 2012 more >>
The US has said Iran’s enrichment of uranium at an underground site is “a further escalation” of its ongoing violation of UN resolutions.
BBC 10th Jan 2012 more >>
Barack Obama has taken a big step towards preserving one of the world’s natural wonders, banning uranium mining on 1m acres of land around the Grand Canyon.
Guardian 9th Jan 2012 more >>
The renewable energy industry has today launched a scathing attack on a new study that argues the government should abandon its wind energy targets because the technology is inordinately expensive and is hampering efforts to cut carbon emissions.
Business Green 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Wind energy remains a highly controversial way to generate electricity for a variety of reasons, not least the costs and aesthetic impact. Claim and counter-claim dog any discussion on the topic and it is very hard to source impartial information. Therefore, when making a claim as grand and as eye-catching as “wind power can increase carbon emissions” (in order to support their objection to wind power), you would expect Civitas and Ruth Lea to cite some nailed-down, compelling research. But, instead, Civitas offers up a non-peer reviewed report published on the website of a long-standing critic of wind power. That is clearly not a high enough standard to convince someone of your argument and I feel Civitas and Lea are wrong to give this unsubstantiated claim such emphasis in both their report and the accompanying press release.
Guardian 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Greg Barker: It is easy to see why solar is so popular. It is reliable, intuitive, easy to install and is a great solution for people worried about rising electricity bills or wanting to do their bit to fight climate change. But with the price of solar falling quickly in a very short period of time, the subsidised tariff payments were suddenly offering new customers financial returns completely out of step with other green technologies or government-backed schemes. Double-digit yields, index linked and guaranteed to be paid at that rate for 25 years.
Guardian 10th Jan 2012 more >>
Councils and other social landlords are being ‘greenwashed’ into spending large sums of money on technology to cut energy bills despite having little understanding of how it works, a study has found. It means they are increasingly investing in equipment like solar panels and ground source heat pumps without knowing which are the most efficient. The two-year study by academics at Sheffield Hallam University accused councils of treating green energy as a “silver bullet” for fuel poverty. The report called on authorities to monitor the performance and maintenance costs of the equipment to determine how effectively it can reduce bills, rather than simply installing it and forgetting about it.
Telegraph 10th Jan 2012 more >>