At last week’s PMQs Gordon Brown saiid the government would be going for nuclear power. That was a mistake because the High Court said there must be a full public consultation before a decision is taken. Brown had to find a way to withdraw the statement. Now, at PMQs on 11th July a Labour MP asked a planted question about nuclear power and Brown looked down and read from a statement, saying he’d only decide after the consultation. It was a stealth withdrawl of his statement last week. The MP who asked him the question used to be the press officer for BNFL – Jamie Reed MP. The point is, it was just like the old days. A planted question and a read-out statement to get the PM out of trouble. Glorious.
Ian Dale’s Diary 11th July 2007 more >>
Birds with brightly-coloured plumages face a greater threat from radiation released during the 1986 Chernobyl disaster than many other species, a team of ecologists claims today.
Guardian 11th July 2007 more >>
US nuclear missiles
WHEN the US deployed nuclear missiles in England during the cold war, it did so despite safety warnings from UK government scientists, New Scientist has learned. Between 1983 and 1991, the US stationed 96 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles at Greenham Common in Berkshire, prompting the most prolonged and iconic of the UK’s protests against nuclear weapons. Now, previously top secret reports released to New Scientist by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) under freedom of information legislation show that the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston had estimated that 10 million people, including the population of London, could have been exposed to an “inhalation hazard” from plutonium if warheads exploded or caught fire. The Aldermaston reports will feature in a BBC Radio 4 documentary to be broadcast at 8 pm on Monday 16 July.
New Scientist, 11 July 2007 more >>
www.robedwards.com, 11 July 2007 more >>
Guardian 12th July 2007 more >>
Documents including “detailed plans” of Sizewell B were found in a car connected to the failed bomb attacks on the London transport system of 21 July 2005. An unidentified expert told the BBC that he had distributed the notes at a series of university lectures, and that they originated from the Sizewell B public enquiry. The expert said that the bombers had held the documents for “at least two years”. Police could release the information only after the conviction of Muktar Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Hussain Osman. They were each sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 40 years on 9 July. Two other men face a retrial.
World Nuclear News 11th July 2007 more >>
Undercover investigators, working for a fake firm, obtained a licence to buy enough radioactive material to build a “dirty bomb,” amid little scrutiny from US federal regulators, according to a government report obtained on Wednesday.
Reuters 12th July 2007 more >>
A terrorist attack on Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk could see a major evacuation involving 271,500 people, a new study has found. Nuclear expert John Large, who has just published the figures, believes the nuclear industry has put its “head in the sand” over terrorist concerns.
BBC 11th July 2007 more >>
EMERGENCY measures to combat a terrorist attempt on radioactive materials kept at Crewe do not go far enough to protect the public, Greenpeace has warned. Radioactive waste on its way to Sellafield’s THORP reprocessing plant is held overnight on a daily basis at Basford Sidings, half a mile away from Crewe town centre. But the environmental organisation claims that the lack of a dedicated contingency plan to deal with evacuating the area in the event of an incident is putting lives at risk.
Crewe Chronicle 11th July 2007 more >>
A UN nuclear watchdog delegation have arrived in Iran to see if the Tehran government is willing to answer all outstanding questions about its disputed nuclear programme, state television reported.
Channel 4 News 11th July 2007 more >>
ICWales 11th July 2007 more >>
The biggest nuclear threat from Iran is not the bomb – but a Chernobyl-style disaster at a poorly run power station, a leading safety expert has warned.
Iranian born Najmedin Meshkati, an expert in nuclear safety at the University of Southern California, fears that sanctions mean Iran cannot hire Western contractors to analyse safety or carry out quality control checks at its planned nuclear facilities. Instead, the country is forced to turn to Russia – and officials from the same ministry in charge at the time of the world’s worst nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl in 1986.
Life Style Extra 11th July 2007 more >>
France and Algeria are discussing co-operation in the civil nuclear field as the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, attempts to give life to his ambition for a union of Mediterranean countries. As part of his efforts to improve his country’s long and often complicated relationship with Algeria, President Sarkozy has indicated he is willing to share French civil nuclear expertise. This was a key element of discussion with Algeria’s president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who met Mr Sarkozy on the first stop in his North African tour this week.
FT 12th July 2007 more >>
Nuclear plant operators are appearing in court accused of health and safety failings which led to a worker breathing in plutonium. The alleged breaches caused the employee at the Dounreay site in Caithness to suffer the radioactive intake, it is claimed. The case against the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is to call at Wick Sheriff Court.
ICScotland 12th July 2007 more >>
Brazil is committed to nuclear energy starting with the completion of Angra 3.
World Nuclear News 11th July 2007 more >>
Allerdale Council’s development panel has recommended refusal of a controversial nuclear decontamination site planned for Lillyhall, Workington. Residents near the Joseph Noble Road site have already expressed concern at Studsvik UK’s plans to recycle low-level radioactive items there. Cumbria County Council will make the final decision on the scheme.
Nelson Leader 11th July 2007 more >>
Fianna Fail MEPs are calling for the establishment of an independent inspectorate to monitor nuclear plants across Europe. The MEPs claim the European Commission has failed to publicise relevant information about these plants, including legal action that it is taking against the Sellafield factory in England. They say Ireland is entitled to be kept up to date on all relevant information relating to the Sellafield site.
Belfast Telegraph 11th July 2007 more >>
Superglass, which makes glass wool used to insulate a quarter of the nation’s lofts, is floating on the stock market today with a price tag of £105m. The Scotland-based firm has experienced rapid and growing demand for its range of insulation products spurred by government initiatives to improve energy efficiency, and tougher building regulations.
Independent 12th July 2007 more >>
EDF, the French state-controlled electricity and gas group, has become the second top-tier sponsor to sign up for the London 2012 Olympics. The group joins Lloyds TSB as a tier-one sponsor signed up by Locog, the organiser of London’s Olympic and Paralympic games that is trying to raise £2bn towards the cost of the games.
FT 12th July 2007 more >>
A ship carrying the first delivery of energy aid to North Korea, under a key nuclear disarmament deal, has left a South Korean port. The ship, carrying 6,200 tons of fuel oil, is expected to arrive in North Korea on Saturday.
BBC 12th July 2007 more >>