THE timetable for building nuclear power stations is in danger of slipping by as much as two years, MPs have claimed. Plans for proposed nuclear new builds, including a plant at Sellafield, depend on new legislation being passed. But MP Tim Yeo, chairman of the parliamentary select committee, has claimed a frustrating lack of will could stop the passing of the bill until 2013. Nugen, the consortium behind the plans for Sellafield, hopes to build three reactors by 2023 but Mr Yeo believes this could now be as late as 2025.
NW Evening Mail 11th Aug 2011 more >>
The system is set up to favour the big players. But we still manage to compete on price and customer service. Its a miracle that they do, since life is tough for smaller suppliers of gas and electricity, who jostle for space in about 5pc of the market against the Big Six – British Gas, Scottish & Southern (SSE), E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and npower. Small players have routinely found it difficult to buy enough energy in advance and struggle with credit. And many people have never heard of Ovo, Good Energy, Utility Warehouse, Ecotricity and the others. But could this time of rising prices and disillusion with the giants provide an opportunity for small suppliers to shine? While British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power and E.ON have all said they would lift gas prices b y 18pc to 20pc and electricity prices by 10pc to 16pc this summer, many of the smaller suppliers are holding out against rises for as long as possible. The companies that raised prices have blamed tensions in the Middle East for limiting gas supply and Japans earthquake for increasing gas demand. But those who are not raising bills point out that although wholesale gas and power costs are higher than expected this summer, prices on the spot and forward markets have fallen since June and hit a low for the year last week. Good Energy, a green supplier, has in the past been at the more expensive end of the market. However, it has not raised its electricity prices for three years and now finds it can boast an average bill cheaper than British Gass standard tariff. Last week, it raised gas prices by just 9.4pc and said electricity would stay the same until at least 2012.
Telegraph 12th Aug 2011 more >>
German energy company E.ON has announced that 11,000 people will lose their jobs as the company shuts down its reactors following Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power. The country’s biggest utility provider also reported that in the last quarter it had gone into the red by 1.49bn, its first quarterly loss in 10 years. E.ON was hit by a 1.9bn charge for plant closures and a new tax on spent nuclear rods. The company also issued a profit warning for the next three years, and cut its dividend target by 23 per cent to 1 a share. Germany has already permanently closed 7 nuclear plants.
First Post 11th Aug 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has found it difficult to recruit inspectors with the neccessary expertise to carry out its functions, Lord Jenkin of Roding writes. My question is intended to find out why the introduction of this Legislative Reform Order (LRO) is being delayed.An LRO which reconstituted the NII as a separate independent body; though it would still be answerable to the HSE, it would be free from the civil service rules on pay and pensions. Consultations established that there was total unanimity on this – including the trade unions. The chair of the Health and Safety Executive, to which the NII reports, assured me personally that she too saw no difficulties. A Draft LRO was published months ago but for some reason has not been laid before Parliament. The nuclear industry is desperate to get ahead with securing the safety approvals it needs to start work on the new nuclear build, but until the NII is free to recruit enough inspectors, the work is threatened with delays.
ePolitix 12th Aug 2011 more >>
The NDA has today published Credible and Preferred options associated with the management of exotic fuels, nuclear materials and wastes at Harwell. The paper describes and discusses the relevant factors associated with each high level option, and draws conclusions based on the analysis. This paper demonstrates that there is a strategic and economic case for the NDA management option for Dragon fuel, low-enriched uranium (LEU), contact-handled intermediate level waste drums, and concrete-lined drums to be changed from management at Harwell to management at Sellafield.
NDA 9th August 2011 more >>
SELLAFIELDS former top boss Bill Poulson was paid a £1 million annual package for running the site where the jobs of 600 Mox workers now hang in the balance.Tony Fountain, the NDA chief executive who recommended the decision to close SMP, earned half-a-million pounds in the same financial year. Sellafield Ltd made a £41 million profit in the year and Mr Poulsons personal package as managing director topped the million pound mark for the second year running.
Whitehaven News 11th Aug 2011 more >>
Sellafield has frozen new job recruitment while efforts are made to find alternative work on site for the 600 Mox workers. The 80 general and craft jobs which Sellafield Ltd was planning to take are on are on hold following the Mox closure, announced last week. Nearly seven thousand people applied for the new jobs but now they will have to wait and see how well the 600 SMP workers can be redeployed in other parts of the site.
Cumberland News 11th Aug 2011 more >>
Whitehaven News 11th Aug 2011 more >>
Letter from George Regan: I was pleased to read your Editorial about the closure of the Sellafield MOX plant (August 9th). You accurately noted how its closure is welcomed by anti-nuclear groups in Ireland and how it is a colossal waste of public money, hugely inefficient and with a far from impressive safety record. The same can be said of the Sellafield Thorp plant. You hint though at the new white elephant in the room. A couple of months ago the UK government issued a public consultation with a preliminary view that the UKs record levels of weapons usable plutonium could be reprocessed in a brand new Sellafield MOX facility.
Irish Times 11th August 2011 more >>
An extra mid-year opinion survey for the Nuclear Industry Association, conducted in the wake of the Fukushima incident in Japan in March, has shown continued support among the British public for an energy policy that includes nuclear energy as well as renewables. Sixty-eight percent agree that Britain needs a mix of energy sources to ensure a reliable supply of electricity, including nuclear power and renewable energy sources while just 12% disagree. This is despite a decline in both favourable opinion of the nuclear industry and support for replacement nuclear newbuild since the Fukushima incident. In fact, there remains more favourable opinion than unfavourable opinion (28% compared to 24%) and more support than opposition for newbuild (36% compared to 28%).
Ipsos Mori 4th Aug 2011 more >>
Construction of Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant is progressing, with the two steam turbines now in place on the vessel. The Baltiysky Zavod shipbuilding company in Saint Petersburg said that the “complex and time-consuming” process of installing the turbo-generators – each weighing 230 tonnes – was completed on 3 August.
World Nuclear News 10th Aug 2011 more >>
A group of 25 anti-nuclear organizations will file legal challenges today that aim to slam the brakes on licensing actions at the nation’s commercial nuclear plants, based on preliminary reviews of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant this year. The legal challenges contend that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can’t legally issue or renew reactor licenses until it has strengthened rules to protect the public from an accident or conducted detailed reviews of the environmental impacts of not doing so. The groups include Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen, National Parks Conservation Assn. and two Sierra Club chapters, including others.
LA Times 10th Aug 2011 more >>
Turkeys Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan told reporters during a meeting with South Korean Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Joong-Kyung in Seoul, “My ministry and the Turkish government are open to every proposal by South Korean companies over the issue of nuclear power plants.” Turkey is expected to attract new investment from South Korea totaling $2.5 billion following the anticipated signing of a free trade agreement between the countries soon, Turkeys Anadolu Ajansi reported.
Oil Price 11th Aug 2011 more >>
Tokyo City proper has again decided to incorporate recent energy-saving and renewable-energy technology, calling its latest report “Tokyo Specifications for Reduced and Renewable Energy.” Tokyo’s lofty goal is to put the least demand on the environment of any city in the world. Extensive facility improvement is already under way; initial plans include the previously drafted “Tokyo Specifications for Reduced Energy 2007,” which had less than stellar results. The energy reduction achieved by the new building system plan will be regularly evaluated.
IB Times 11th Aug 2011 more >>
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has started assembling a cover over the damaged reactor building of unit 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, an alternative cooling system has now been put into operation at the unit’s used fuel pool.
World Nuclear News 11th Aug 2011 more >>
PEWSEY veteran Mike Thompson is convinced that being forced to witness four nuclear tests in the Pacific when he was a young man has resulted in his being childless.
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 11th Aug 2011 more >>
Biodiesel made from algae could present a real solution to the energy crisis facing Britain, but only if the country can also end its reliance on fossil fuel power stations, according to the Governments former chief scientist. Greenhouse emissions from vehicles could be reduced significantly by replacing diesel and petrol with biofuels, if these can be produced from algae using renewable and nuclear electricity, said Professor Sir David King.
Times 12th Aug 2011 more >>