Top level Cumbria, Copeland and Allerdale councillors have promised that the crucial decision will be made in public at executive and cabinet meetings. Tim Knowles (county council cabinet member) and Elaine Woodburn and Alan Smith (leaders of Copeland and Allerdale boroughs respectively) are adamant the final decision will not be a fait accompli in favour of going forward to search for a suitable geological site deep underground in West Cumbria. One of the countys biggest decisions is expected to be made in October following West Cumbrias Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership approval of a 221-page document covering all the issues in three years work. And while the partnership wont make any recommendations to the council decision-makers, it calls on government to give cast-iron legal guarantees over community benefits and the right for any potential host community to pull out before construction starts. Lack of trust is said to be at the root of key concerns. Copeland leader Elaine Woodburn said: There is always an issue about trust but if I was sat there in a potential siting area, Id want to make sure the local authorities and government delivered, so it has to be put on a legal footing that binds the government (whatever colour and whatever timescale) to come through.
NW Evening Mail 10th Sept 2012 more >>
Letter from Labour Councillor Alex Gallagher: Reports that the SNP is about to do a U-turn and endorse nuclear power make sense. The Nationalist Government promoted a coal-fired station at Hunterston via its National Planning Framework. Now this project has been rejected by the people of North Ayrshire, we are left with a gap in the electricity generation plans for the near future. Renewables provide neither the capacity nor the reliability required and if coal and gas are ruled out (as they have been) nuclear is the only practical option to fill that gap. By giving in to the inevitable and agreeing to extend the active life of Hunterston B station, the Nationalists have shown they have no principled opposition to nuclear power. Scotland needs the electricity that would be generated by a new nuclear power station and North Ayrshire needs the high quality jobs that come with the industry. It’s time for Nationalist ministers to swallow their pride and announce that they are in favour of new nuclear in the shape of the long-mooted Hunterston C nuclear power station.
Herald 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Deadlock in Japan between anti-nuclear activists and advocates of atomic power deepened on Monday as the government failed to produce an expected proposal to reduce the role of nuclear power in the country’s energy porfolio after the Fukushima disaster.Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government had been widely expected to announce a decision on energy policy and a reduction of the share of nuclear power to 15 percent or less by 2030.Instead, Noda said he wanted the government to decide the direction of energy policy this week.
Reuters 10th Sept 2012 more >>
Despite the dire warnings from the nuclear industry and its backers, Japan’s hot summer has passed with no power blackouts or shortages even though just two out of its 50 nuclear reactors were in operation. The Japanese governments announcement last week of the end of its summer power-saving initiative proved the country’s new energy strategy can and should include an immediate phase-out of nuclear power. With its support for nuclear power, the government has been putting its people unnecessarily at risk, given the ongoing threats from earthquakes, but it underestimated the public. The Japanese people have shown in recent months that they can achieve the power savings needed to achieve the nuclear-free future almost 90% of them are calling for.
Greenpeace 10th Sept 2012 more >>
More than 20,000 villagers have put the Koodankulam nuclear power plant under siege to protest fuel loading in preparation for the commissioning of the plant. More than 4000 police personnel, inclduing Rapid Action Force (RAF), are deployed around the plant. People are camping in front of the nuclear plant and refuse to go back to their homes.
Countercurrents 9th Sept 2012 more >>
India is moving towards commissioning its first new nuclear power plant since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, despite fierce protests from local villagers deeply opposed to the nuclear reactors in their vicinity. Thousands of villagers clashed with police on the beach in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where authorities are preparing to load enriched uranium into the $3.5bn Kudankulam nuclear power plant, which has two 1GW reactors.
FT 10th Sept 2012 more >>
UAEs Emirates Nuclear Energy (ENE) has received a $2bn loan for a four-reactor nuclear power plant being built in Abu Dhabi from the US Export-Import Bank. Barakah One Company, a unit of ENE, has been authorized by the US bank to underwrite the export of American equipment and service-expertise for the plant, which will have four 1,400MW power-generating units on a coastal strip along the Arabian Gulf about 220km from Abu Dhabi. Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) will supply APR 1400 design reactors, while US-based Westinghouse Electric will provide the reactor coolant pumps, reactor components, controls, engineering services and training.
Energy Business Review 10th Sept 2012 more >>
The head of the UN atomic agency pressed Iran on Monday to grant his inspectors access without further delay to a military site where they believe Tehran may have conducted explosives tests relevant to the development of nuclear weapons, as western countries will seek to turn the screw further on Iran.
Middle East Online 10th Sept 2012 more >>
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acted to put a hold on at least 19 final reactor licensing decisions nine construction & operating licenses (COLS), eight license renewals, one operating license, and one early site permit in response to the landmark Waste Confidence Rule decision of June 8th by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
IB Times 10th Sept 2012 more >>
The House of Lords Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy EU Sub-Committee has launched a new inquiry into EU energy: decarbonising and boosting growth. The EU Sub-Committee is concerned about how the EU can continue to push for the decarbonisation of energy whilst focusing on moving away from the current economic gloom. As such, it is calling for evidence from anyone with an interest. Launching the new inquiry, Lord Carter of Coles, Chair of the Committee, said: “There is a principal issue of how the cost of energy – as a big cost to industry – can be reduced and kept under control, therefore helping economic growth whilst at the same time decarbonising.
Solar Portal 10th Sept 2012 more >>
How can the push for green energy be made consistent with pulling the EU (and the UK) out of the current economic mire? That is the fundamental question at the heart of the House of Lords Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy EU Sub-Committees new inquiry, EU energy: decarbonisation and economic competitiveness, launched today.
House of Lords 10th Sept 2012 more >>
Climate change may increase the number of heat-related deaths in the UK by 540 per cent, health experts predict.By 2080 almost 11,000 people could die every year as a result of heatwaves, up from 2,000 at present, as extreme weather becomes more common, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Rising temperatures could also mean that British people contract exotic illnesses at home as mosquitos carrying tropical diseases, such as dengue fever and chikungunya, migrate to the UK
Independent 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Telegraph 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Ed Davey, the energy secretary, has played down the potential importance of shale gas in the UKs energy mix in a move likely to put him at odds with coalition cabinet colleagues including Owen Paterson, the Conservative party environment secretary. Mr Paterson has been widely reported to favour the rapid exploitation of UK shale gas, also known as unconventional gas, which is produced by the contentious fracking process and has prompted sharp falls in gas prices in the US, the first country to extract shale gas in large quantities.
FT 10th Sept 2012 more >>