The U.K.s nuclear inspector will release a final assessment of the countrys reactors today, seven months after Japans devastating tsunami raised questions about the safety of atomic plants worldwide. The report will be published today, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It follows an interim May assessment, which recommended 25 areas for review, including the layout of existing plants and emergency response arrangements. It did not propose limits on generation or closing plants. Mike Weightmans report will be published at www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear once it has been presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State.
Bloomberg 11th Oct 2011 more >>
Huffington Post 11th Oct 2011 more >>
Outgoing SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie said the Governments report into the Fukushima disaster, due to be published this week, must not be used to revive nuclear expansion plans. Ms Ritchie, who will speak on an adjournment debate on nuclear power programmes and Sellafield in the House of Commons today, said: The hurried report expected this week into the Fukushima disaster must not give rise to further nuclear installations in the UK. Rather, the British Government should be making efforts to close nuclear stations and ensure that there is comprehensive decommissioning of those plants which are no longer active.
Belfast Telegraph 11th Oct 2011 more >>
Plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK are expected to receive a green light today from the final report on lessons from Fukushima.
FT 11th Oct 2011 more >>
Environmental campaigners have accused the government of pushing forward with new nuclear power plants before lessons can be learned from the Fukushima disaster. The Department of Energy and Climate Change will publish the final report this week into the implications for the UK nuclear industry of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. However Greenpeace is concerned that the inquiry has been conducted too fast to learn the lessons from the disaster which was triggered when the nuclear plant was hit in March by a tsunami following the earthquake. The environmental group said the government had not waited for the final report, conducted by nuclear chief inspector Dr Mike Weightman, before signalling the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power plants this summer. “It’s not really clear what Dr Weightman’s final report is for,” said Louise Hutchins of Greenpeace. “The government already jumped the gun and gave the green light to new reactors in Britain without bothering to wait for Dr Weightman’s final conclusions on lessons from the Fukushima disaster.
Engineering & Technology Magazine 10th Oct 2011 more >>
Yorkshire Post 10th Oct 2011 more >>
Horizon and Wylfa B reaching a dead end?.
Photon Blog 10th Oct 2011 more >>
A POWER giant says it is continuing with its plans for new nuclear reactors near Bristol as reports claimed it was considering reducing or scrapping its British atomic programme. German-owned RWE Npower is part of the Horizon Nuclear Power consortium that wants to build a new nuclear power station next to the existing Oldbury reactors near Thornbury, as well as at Wylfa in North Wales.
Bristol Evening Post 11th Oct 2011 more >>
Nuclear new-build consortium Horizon has said work is ongoing despite rumours that one of its parent companies, German energy giant RWE, is due to pull out of the Horizon consortium. A Horizon spokesman said that contrary to the speculation, the firm is ramping up its work for its proposed nuclear power station site at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey, with a technology decision due before the end of the year. We should be judged on our actions, said the Horizon spokesman. Only last week [RWE] said we are spending almost £1M per week on the joint venture. RWE declined to comment.
New Civil Engineer 10th Oct 2011 more >>
EDF Energy stopped its Dungeness B21 nuclear power plant on Sunday in order to repair a turbine after a small hydrogen leak was detected, a spokeswoman said.
Reuters 10th Oct 2011 more >>
Engineers at Sellafield have taken an important step towards decommissioning a 60-year-old storage pond originally built to store fuel from the Windscale Pile Reactors, by overseeing the retrieval of the first nuclear fuel out of the pond since the 1960s.
Professional Engineering 10th Oct 2011 more >>
The Government is expected shortly to unveil plans to build a new nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield to help deal with the countrys plutonium stockpile. Ministers have been looking at several options including building a high-level waste storage facility or pressing ahead with a second mixed oxide (Mox) fuel plant at Sellafield, which would cost £3bn to build and a similar sum to run and decommission.
Construction Enquirer 10th Oct 2011 more >>
Household energy bills will soon be as unaffordable as they were in the bleak years of the 1970s, analysts said yesterday. Four per cent of all consumer spending will be eaten up by the cost of heating and lighting the home by 2015, according to Deutsche Bank. It said that the cost was expected to rise by a quarter over the next four years. Analysts blamed the likely increases on rising global energy prices and costly subsidies for wind power and energy efficiency. Deutsche said that the impact of energy costs on households could be lessened by abandoning Britains green targets. Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of Centrica, warned recently that this would be necessary if public resistance to higher bills continued. The bank also warned that companies needed to start building new power plants within two years to replace ageing coal plants being shut down. But it said that this would not be viable unless wholesale electricity prices rose by 50 per cent. The issue of energy bills has climbed up the political agenda in recent weeks. George Osborne attacked environmental regulation last week for piling costs on to households and businesses. The Treasury is also understood to be resisting new renewable energy subsidies backed by the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and other ministers.
Times 11th Oct 2011 more >>
Kalahari Minerals revealed this morning it had recommenced negotiations with would-be buyer China Guangdong Nuclear. Bid talks were called off in May when the Chinese nuclear giant was barred by the Takeover Panel from reducing its offer for the group in the wake of the Fukushima tragedy.
Proactive Investors 10th Oct 2011 more >>
It could become the worlds biggest mine, bringing South Australia new transport and energy infrastructure, not to mention untold riches. Or it could be one of the planets greatest environmental catastrophes, bringing radioactivity and sapping precious water resources. Olympic Dam, 350 miles north of Adelaide, has long been regarded as one of the worlds great copper opportunities. The mine also contains the single largest deposit of uranium on the planet, as well as gold and silver. BHP Billiton has been granted permission by the South Australian government to start developing the asset an expansion plan expected to cost about A$30 billion (£19 billion). According to Martin Ferguson, the federal Natural Resources Minister, the mine has the potential to become one of the worlds largest, if not the largest.
Times 11th Oct 2011 more >>
The world’s most celebrated climate scientist, James Hansen of NASA, publicly criticised Germany’s recent decision to abandon its new nuclear power programme, formerly a key part of German climate measures, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year. “I think it was a big mistake,” he said. “And I think the Prime Minister [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] knows that, as she’s a physicist, but I think the political reality is she couldn’t stay in office if she expressed that opinion.”
Independent 11th Oct 2011 more >>
In an effort to track the long-term health effects of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan has begun a survey of local children for thyroid abnormalities, a problem associated with exposure to radiation.
New York Times 10th Oct 2011 more >>
Experts say US should agree to the sale of medium-enriched uranium to Iran in return for a halt to Iranian production, but such a deal could be politically fraught for the Obama administration.
Guardian 10th Oct 2011 more >>
A proposed new enriched uranium facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire will cost £750m, it has been revealed. The costs of Project Pegasus were given to Nuclear Information Service (NIS) following a request under the Freedom of Information Act. NIS, which aims to foster debate on nuclear disarmament, has criticised the cost of the facility that will be used to handle and store nuclear weapons components.
BBC 10th Oct 2011 more >>
Prediction of Cs-137 deposition from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. The methodology uses a ratio of Cs-137 deposition and precipitation measured at Milford Haven by the Atomic Energy Authority extrapolated across Great Britain using a 5 by 5 km resolution UKCIP precipitation dataset. The prediction is for 31 December 1985. Details of the methodology used can be found in Wright, S.M., Howard, B.J., Strand, P. Nylen, T & Sickel, M.A.K. 1999 Prediction of 137Cs deposition from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests within the Arctic. Environmental Pollution, 104, 131-143.
Data.gov 10th Oct 2011 more >>