Nuclear power is likely to play a significant role in meeting the UK’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2020, an independent committee has said. Meanwhile, a think-tank claims over-ambitious renewables targets could harm decarbonisation. The UK government’s climate change bill, launched in March 2007, sets a series of clear targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – a 26-32% reduction by 2020 and a 60% reduction by 2050, which will be legally binding. The 2050 target was subsequently raised to 80%.
World Nuclear News 10th May 2011 more >>
The Science and Technology Committee, under the chairmanship of Lord Krebs, has launched a short inquiry to investigate whether the UKs nuclear research and development capabilities are sufficient to meet its future nuclear energy requirements to 2050.
House of Lords 10th May 2011 more >>
In an answer given to a question in Parliament, Treasury economic secretary Justine Greening said Budget proposals for a carbon floor tax would mean suppliers of low-carbon nuclear energy would be in line for a windfall. Ministers had announced the changes in a bid to cut the amount of polluting fuel used to generate electricity. Ms Greening said: The existing nuclear sector is likely to benefit by an average of £50m per annum to 2030 due to higher wholesale electricity prices. She added: The carbon price floor is intended to create economic incentives toward low-carbon electricity generation and away from high-carbon generation. All types of low-carbon technologies will be incentivised by the price floor. The impact on utility companies profitability will depend on the overall composition of their generation portfolios and future investment decisions.
Construction News 10th May 2011 more >>
Greening was answering a written parliamentary question from Lib Dem Martin Horwood (Cheltenham).
New Civil Engineer 10th May 2011 more >>
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that the accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant suggested that there were large gaps in international systems to deal with safety breaches. Ban also announced a high-level international meeting on the issue in New York on September 22 during the UN General Assembly session.
Yahoo 10th May 2011 more >>
Sellafield MoX Plant
A Cumbrian MP has launched a furious attack on national newspapers he says are trying to derail Britains nuclear programme. It was reported yesterday that a call by the Japanese Prime Minister to close a nuclear power station near Tokyo could threaten the future of the Sellafield Mox Plant (SMP), which employs 1,000 people. It was claimed the closure of the Hamaoka plant would render the Mox plant redundant as it was intended to be its biggest customer. But Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland, has accused reporters of engaging in hyperbole and speculation to pursue an anti-nuclear agenda.
Carlisle News & Star 10th May 2011 more >>
SELLAFIELD bosses are seeking talks with the owners of a Japanese nuclear power station which could hold the key to the future of the MOX plant and its 1,000 workers. A deal was signed last year between Sellafield Ltd and Chubu which owns the Hamaoka nuclear power station near Tokyo to buy MOX fuel reprocessed at the West Cumbrian site. But the power station has been closed by the Japanese government following the Fukushima disaster and amid growing concerns an earthquake could affect the Hamaoka site.
NW Evening Mail 10th May 2011 more >>
A $5 billion American-taxpayer-funded plant being built by the French-government-controlled company AREVA has no buyer yet for the controversial fuel. In the quest to convert plutonium from 170,000 nuclear warheads into usable forms of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a vexing political problem on its hands. Virtually no commercial nuclear power company wants to touch the stuff.
DC Bureau 9th May 2011 more >>
ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners have accused an industry watchdog of being muzzled after they were told they would not be allowed to discuss the situation in disaster struck Japan at its next meeting.
East Anglian Daily Press 10th May 2011 more >>
Areva has postponed indefinitely further construction of a nuclear power reactor component manufacturing facility in Newport News, Virginia, “until market conditions become more favorable,” spokesman Jarret Adams said Monday. Areva Newport News, a joint venture of Areva NP Inc. and Northrop Grumman, is building the 330,000-square-foot facility at Northrop’s shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. When ground was broken for the facility in July 2009, the companies said manufacturing would begin in mid-2012. In August 2010, that date was pushed back to 2013. The plant represents a $360 million investment, the partners said in 2009. Heavy components for Areva power reactors, such as reactor vessels and steam generators, would be manufactured at the facility, including components for its US-EPR design being considered for construction by utilities in Maryland, Missouri and Pennsylvania.
Platts 10th May 2011 more >>
Fukushima has seen German chancellor Angela Merkel embark on the world’s most ambitious plan to power an industrial economy on renewable sources of energy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is anything but a left-wing greenie. The party she leads, the Christian Democratic Union, is the political equivalent of the Republicans in the US. Her coalition government is decidedly pro-business. Often described as Europe’s most powerful politician, Merkel’s top priority is job creation and economic growth.Yet if the chancellor succeeds with her new energy policy, she will become the first leader to transform an industrialized nation from nuclear and fossil fuel energy to renewable power.
Guardian 9th May 2011 more >>
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is to begin construction work on pipes for the No.3 reactor to make sure that all cooling water being pumped in is actually reaching the reactor. Tokyo Electric Power Company has been pumping 9 tons of water per hour into the reactor since last Wednesday after its temperature began rising earlier this month. That was an increase from 7 tons per hour. But the temperature at the bottom of the reactor stood at 150.6 degrees Celsius as of 5 AM Tuesday, marking a rise of 34.1 degrees over the past 10 days. The power company suspects that not all the water was reaching the reactor because some of it may have been entering a pipe that branched off. So it decided to pump water through another pipe that had been used to inject water into the reactor before.
NHK 10th May 2011 more >>
Greenpeace applauds Prime Minister Kans ambitious proposal to scrap the construction of 14 new nuclear reactors, said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director. This announcement could put Japans energy policy on a new path of clean, renewable technologies, what we need now is the will and commitment to see it through To ensure that the health and safety of the Japanese people is put first, and strong action on countering climate change is taken, the Japanese government must now phase out all existing nuclear plants and pursue Prime Minister Kans promise of a clean, renewable, and energy efficient future for Japan. Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director, commenting on the international effect of Japans decision, said: Instead of waiting for disaster to strike, governments around the world should now follow Japans lead, and adopt energy policies based on clean and renewable energy sources.
Greenpeace 10th May 2011 more >>
Kan also said that Japans basic energy plan to build new atomic reactors to increase the share of nuclear power in electricity supply in the future must be reviewed from scratch. Japans current energy policy envisages that over 50 per cent of total electricity supply will come from nuclear power while more than 20 per cent will come from renewable power in 2030. But that basic plan needs to be reviewed now from scratch after this big incident, Kan said.
Engineering & Technology Magazine 10th May 2011 more >>
Japan will scrap a plan to obtain half of its electricity from nuclear power and will instead promote renewable energy as a result of its nuclear crisis, the prime minister said Tuesday. Naoto Kan said Japan needs to “start from scratch” on its long-term energy policy after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was heavily damaged by a 11 March earthquake and tsunami and began leaking radiation.
Guardian 10th May 2011 more >>
Reuters 10th May 2011 more >>
Independent 11th May 2011 more >>
Telegraph 10th May 2011 more >>
The decision will discard the government’s last year plans to construct 14 more nuclear plants by 2030.
IB Times 10th May 2011 more >>
Naoto Kan, Japans prime minister, has announced plans for an independent investigation into the failure of safety systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plan, while pledging a review of Japans energy policy. At a nationally televised news conference on Tuesday, Mr Kan signalled the abandonment of an aspirational target for nuclear plants to account for about half of total electricity generating capacity by 2030, and promised more emphasis on renewable energy.
FT 10th May 2011 more >>
A VULNERABLE Japanese nuclear power station is to be closed amid safety fears. Operators of the Hamaoka plant in central Japan say they have agreed to the governments request to shut it. The plant is known as Japans most dangerous plant as it sits in an area where a major earthquake is expected within three decades.
Press and Journal 10th May 2011 more >>
The Japanese government has ordered the Chubu Electric Power Co. to close its Hamaoko Nuclear Power Plant, which is located in Shizuoka Prefecture, some 200 kilometres (120 miles) southwest of Tokyo. The plant has been at the centre of long-running protests and safety warnings from experts.
World Socialist Web 11th May 2011 more >>
TEPCO accepted on Wednesday government conditions for state support to compensate those affected by the crisis, Jiji news agency reported. Trade minister Banri Kaieda, who oversees energy policy, said on Tuesday that the government would not set an initial limit on Tokyo Electric’s liability for damages caused by its plant leaking radiation, and that the utility would be expected to compensate the victims of the disaster in a timely manner.
Reuters 11th May 2011 more >>
The Jaitapur power plant, to be built by French energy group Areva, is due to start with two third-generation European reactors. At a price of $9.3bn, they will provide 3,300MW of much-needed power to the state of Maharashtra, whose state capital is Mumbai, Indias financial hub. But up and down a coastal region famed for its luscious Alphonso mangos and bountiful seas, residents fear the reactors will devastate their livelihoods. Their protest marches, candlelight vigils and hunger strikes have gained new fervour since the crisis at Japans stricken Fukushima-Daiichi plant.
FT 10th May 2011 more >>
Fukushima triggered public alarm in China, but state energy researcher Jiang Kejun believes nuclear power remains the countrys best bet.
China Dialogue 10th May 2011 more >>
Russia has successfully completed a vital pre-launch test at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.
Telegraph 10th May 2011 more >>
BBC 10th May 2011 more >>
Iran on Tuesday said it has formally agreed to resume talks on its controversial nuclear programme with six major powers which have been stalled since January. Iran’s official confirmation came in a letter delivered to the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton who spearheads the talks on behalf of the so-called P5+1 powers.
EU Business 10th May 2011 more >>
The nuclear disaster in Japan has revived concerns about environmental safety at the aging Metsamor power station in Armenia, a country which suffered a massive earthquake in 1998. Experts say they are all the more alarmed as the Armenian government has been sparing with information about the plant and about disaster contingency plans Japan was regarded as the worlds safest country in terms of seismic protection and for surviving earthquakes and nuclear disasters. But look what happened there, Inga Zarafyan, head of the environmental group Ecolur, said.
Institute for War and Peace Reporting 10th May 2011 more >>
Campaigners blocked access to the Faslane naval base today for two hours in a protest against the Trident nuclear programme. Members of Trident Ploughshares and Faslane Peace Camp chained themselves together outside the gates of the base on the Clyde. The activists called on the newly-elected SNP government to fulfil a commitment to “demand immediate disarmament”.
Scotsman 10th May 2011 more >>
The mayors of the worlds two atom-bombed cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, met Tuesday in Nagasaki and agreed to continue their efforts to realize a world free from nuclear weapons. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue told a joint news conference later that they have agreed to deepen cooperation at the Mayors for Peace forum, a group of antinuclear mayors from around the world, and at the National Council of Japan Nuclear-Free Local Authorities, an organization of some 1,500 antinuclear cities in Japan. Hiroshimas Matsui, who commented on the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station that was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, said he will ask the central government to review Japans energy policy.
Japan Today 10th May 2011 more >>
Lord Turner, the chairman of the government’s independent advisory body on climate change, has met cabinet ministers in an effort to heal a government split that is threatening to derail ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions. Turner, who chairs the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) met the business secretary, Vince Cable, seeking to break down opposition to the new budget. Cable believes the proposed target will harm prospects for jobs and growth. The cabinet is divided on whether or not to back the advice of Turner’s committee and commit to a fourth carbon budget. In 2008, three consecutive carbon budgets were set up to 2023 but a decision has to be made for the next period. The budgets put the government of the day on target to meet a reduction, by 2050, of 80% of carbon emissions compared to the 1990 levels. The CCC said that, to reach this end target, carbon should be cut by 60% by 2030.
Guardian 10th May 2011 more >>
Vestas has chosen north Kent as its base to build potentially thousands of giant wind turbines for the North Sea and English Channel. The announcement will provide a big boost for the local economy after the recent loss of 2,400 jobs in the closure of Pfizers drugs plant. The historic naval dockyard of Sheerness is set to become one of the biggest hubs of the wind revolution after the Danish manufacturer said that it would take on 2,000 people to build turbines the height of the Gherkin tower in the City of London.
Times 11th May 2011 more >>