EDF is reportedly set to postpone its final investment decision on the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in Somerset. The Guardian, citing sources close to the project, reported over the weekend that the decision would not now be taken until next April, despite expectations that the company would finalise whether or not to move forward with the project before the end of this year.
Business Green 10th Dec 2012 more »
Energy Efficiency News 10th Dec 2012 more »
SEDGEMOOR District Council is expected to tell National Grid it should consider using underground cables instead of overhead pylons in some environmentally precious parts of the district. The council has until next Tuesday to respond to National Grid’s draft proposals for a transmission route connecting the proposed Hinkley C power station with Avonmouth.
This is the West Country 10th Dec 2012 more »
Stop Hinkley December Newsletter.
Stop Hinkley 10th Dec 2012 more »
The remaining ten disused boilers at a nuclear power station in Gloucestershire will be recycled as part of a £15m deal. Decommissioning firm Studsvik will transport the ten 300-tonne heat exchangers from the Magnox Berkeley site to its processing site in Sweden for recycling. The first five were removed in March and are currenlty being treated by Studsvik. The boilers were used to produce electricity at the plant before it ceased operation in 1989. Studsvik signed the deal with LLW Repository, which is acting on behalf of Magnox for the procurement and contract management of the project. Studsvik will dismantle, decontaminate and recycle the heat exchangers and other large components, and is scheduled to complete the process during 2014.
MRW 10th Dec 2012 more »
JOBS for Fylde nuclear workers were given a boost after an energy company announced it was to extend the life of two of its nuclear power stations. EDF energy has said that two of its advanced gas cooled reactors which use fuel produced by Westinghouse’s Springfield factory at Salwick will continue in service until 2023. The seven year extension at Hinkley Point B in Somerset, and Hunterston B in North Ayrshire means that jobs will be safeguarded in the Fylde because Springfields signed an agreement with EDF Energy (then British Energy) to provide the fuel for all of the AGRs over their lifetimes.
Blackpool Gazette 10th Dec 2012 more »
The prime minister promised to lead the “greenest government ever” when he won the 2010 election. Since then he has been silent on the climate and energy agenda, allowing other voices in his government to dominate. Today he will face tough questions from MPs on the Liaison Committee about the slide away from his green promise. The tragic irony is that action on climate change and renewable energy is one of the few bright areas for economic growth in the UK, but the negative political signals coming out of government are seriously damaging investment confidence. Cameron urgently needs to get a grip on his government and live up to the promises of leadership on climate change that he made so clearly.
Guardian 11th Dec 2012 more »
David Cameron will this afternoon face questions from the Liaison Committee of MPs about his approach to “green government” and the extent to which the coalition has delivered on his pledge to become the “greenest government ever”.
Business Green 11th Dec 2012 more »
Despite years of effort and hundreds of millions of dollars spent in the fight against the illicit sale of nuclear contraband, the black market remains active in the countries around the former Soviet Union. The radioactive materials, mostly left over from the Cold War, include nuclear bomb-grade uranium and plutonium, and dirty-bomb isotopes like cesium and iridium. The extent of the black market is unknown, but a steady stream of attempted sales of radioactive materials in recent years suggests smugglers have sometimes crossed borders undetected. Since the formation of a special nuclear police unit in 2005 with U.S. help and funding, 15 investigations have been launched in Georgia and dozens of people arrested.
Huffington Post 11th Dec 2012 more »
Iran is getting ever closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb and the problem will have to be confronted in 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.
Reuters 10th Dec 2012 more »
In the early years of the Cold War, Vienna was the spy capital of the world, a cosmopolitan, divided city beside the Iron Curtain that buzzed with intrigue as the major powers vied for the upper hand. Now the city of shadows that provided the backdrop for the Third Man is united, prosperous and pristine, but the spies are back in force – this time with Iran playing the bogeyman role of the Soviet Union. It is the world’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that draws the world’s international agencies. Its quarterly board meetings are attended by top security officials and nuclear scientists from around the world, including Iran, and the spies follow them to Vienna. The facts of the Iran’s nuclear programme are the holy grail of the intelligence world. The existence and extent of any covert weapons activity – suspected in the west, denied in Tehran – could determine whether the world goes to war again in the Middle East.
Guardian 10th Dec 2012 more »
Israel is suspected of carrying out a series of leaks implicating Iran in nuclear weapons experiments in an attempt to raise international pressure on Tehran and halt its programme. Western diplomats believe the leaks may have backfired, compromising a UN-sanctioned investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities and current aspirations.
Guardian 10th Dec 2012 more »
Today is the International Human Rights Day and what better way to mark it than by launching a court case against injustice in South Korea. With so many countries moving away from nuclear power in recent decades, and many more rushing to abandon it in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, South Korea remains one of the last withered feathers in the nuclear industry’s cap. Both the South Korean government and the industry are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way by silencing criticism.
Greenpeace 10th Dec 2012 more »
The operator of Japan’s Tsuruga nuclear power plant may be ordered to decommission the facility after seismologists confirmed that it sits directly atop an active fault line. If regulatory authorities do order Japan Atomic Power Co. to shut down the plant, it would be the first permanent closure of a nuclear facility since the Fukushima power plant was crippled by a tsunami triggered by last year’s magnitude-9 earthquake.
Telegraph 11th Dec 2012 more »
The government will order eight companies to end an illegal dispatch arrangement that allowed a subcontractor to instruct workers to labor under dangerous conditions at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. The labor ministry has already called on plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Energy & Systems Inc., a TEPCO group company, to enhance monitoring over subcontractors at the plant.
Asahi Shimbun 10th Dec 2012 more »
Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that crippled TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the Japanese robotics industry was criticized for developing expensive walking humanoids rather than more practical robots. It seems the country won’t have to rely on foreign robots to do the dirty work much longer, as Hitachi has announced a compact, dual-armed heavy duty robot that will begin removing rubble at the plant next year.
Giz Mag 10th Dec 2012 more »
The nuclear taxes in the Spanish government’s proposed energy bill could cost the 466MW Santa Maria de Garona plant more than 10 times its annual profits, Spanish consortium Nuclenor has estimated. The bill — debated today in the senate — includes a €2,190/kg tax on all spent nuclear fuel. The Garona plant contains 400 fuel elements that could generate some 70,000kg of spent fuel — or “heavy metal” — which could cost the plant €153mn, Nuclenor said. This figure equals 85pc of the plant’s total 2011 revenues (€179mn), Nuclenor said, adding that the plant’s yearly profit of €11mn would cover only a fraction of the tax.
Argus Media 10th Dec 2012 more »
More than 600 Navy jobs will be lost from Devonport when the base’s nuclear submarines move to Scotland. The grim revelation is set to fuel calls for the next generation of warships to be based in Plymouth to “backfill” the personnel gap left by the subs’ departure. The Ministry of Defence said that about 630 military personnel are due to transfer to Faslane when the five Trafalgar-class hunter-killers relocate.
Western Morning News 11th Dec 2012 more »
BAE Systems has won its first major contract since the failure of its proposed merger with Airbus owner EADS. The company has been awarded a £1.2bn contract to build a nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Audacious, for the Royal Navy. Another £1.5bn has been committed for another three submarines of the same class, making a total of seven in all.
Guardian 10th Dec 2012 more »
A quarter of Scotland is up for grabs as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s new dash for underground gas, bringing dangers from ‘gender-bender’ contamination, radioactive wastes, climate pollution and explosions.
RobEdwards 9th Dec 2012 more »
David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change, voiced a note of caution. Even at the most optimistic estimates, he said shale gas will only provide 10 per cent of the UK’s current gas demand. “It is not going to be a game changer,” he said. “There may be enough shale gas to contribute to heating our homes but let’s be clear, it is not going to drive prices down and it is carbon intensive.” The British Geological Survey estimate there are 5.2 trillion cubic feet (150 billion cubic metres) of shale gas under the UK, 50 per cent more than conventional gas reserves and enough to power Britain for decades. However it is not clear how much of that gas will actually be accessible. More accurate estimates are due to be released in the new year.
Telegraph 10th Dec 2012 more »