A new Briefing, authored by Oliver Tickell, explodes the idea that nuclear reactors using thorium as fuel might provide a viable alternative to reactors using uranium. This has become something of a rallying cry for those who recognise that conventional nuclear technologies are in terminal decline including a baffling number of environmentalists who have come to believe that thorium could provide some kind silver bullet solution to the nuclear industrys woes. They are deluded. This Briefing (Thorium: Not green, not viable, and not likely) is the latest in a series of Briefings issued by Tom Burke, Tony Juniper, Jonathon Porritt and Charles Secrett to demonstrate that there is no conceivable economic case to be made for any new nuclear power stations in the UK using either uranium or thorium.
Claverton Energy Group 11th July 2012 more >>
EDF Energy boss Vincent de Rivaz expects the guaranteed price for power it will receive should it build the UK’s next fleet of nuclear power stations will “reveal the competitiveness” of nuclear energy compared to wind power and other renewables. But he said government has to hurry up in making the Energy Bill law. Along with partner Centrica, the firm is currently negotiating that price with government. Writing to the chair of the energy and climate change committee, Tim Yeo, De Rivaz reiterated that EDF would “have all the elements in place for successful, on time delivery of [nuclear new build]” by the end of this year. However, he warned that the Energy Bill swiftly becoming law was “critical to a positive investment decision”. De Rivaz praised the Committee’s efforts in scrutinising the bill, for which it has effectively had less than six weeks. He also praised the “framework of EMR”, and said it was fair…transparent… and can provide a strong foundation for investment.” EDF Energy’s letter was published by the Committee today, on the same day as a letter from energy minister Charles Hendry. He was answering questions put by Yeo to the Treasury.
Utility Week11th July 2012 more >>
For a snapshot of last night’s PRASEG/FoE Energy Bill Seminar in Parliament: Lord Teverson: nuclear not going to happen – at most there will be one new power station; Alan Whitehead: ‘the funny thing about electricity market reform is that it’s not reforming the electricity Market at all’: why are we hobbling offshore wind round three to hide a subsidy for nuclear that isn’t going to happen this decade anyway. Caroline Lucas: nuclear eye-wateringly expensive. EDF announced new £7billion price tag for nuclear, 40% increase.
@DonnaHume 11th July 2012 more >>
THE foundations are in place for the North West to be at the forefront of next-generation nuclear build, but uncertainty in the market place – and over funding means there is no clarity when this will occur.This is according to an expert panel debating on future energy supply in the North West in association with law firm DLA Piper.Citing the excellent academic links, sheer number of nuclear businesses active in the region.
Business Desk 11th July 2012 more >>
The Government is failing on its pledge to stimulate the economy through infrastructure projects and could lose Britain key investments by delaying vital decisions, according to more than 20 leading figures in the construction industry. George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in last years autumn statement that he wanted to lead an economic recovery through pension funds investing in national infrastructure. A National Infrastructure Plan including £250bn of potential projects was drawn up. However, there has been little interest from pension funds, and key projects – such as nuclear power stations, roads, railways and airports – are being delayed by a lack of clarity over Government policy.
Telegraph 11th July 2012 more >>
A NEW nuclear power station could still be built near Thornbury after a foreign consortium declared its interest in reviving the scheme. Plans for a new atomic energy plant at Shepperdine close to the Oldbury power station, which shut down at the end of February after 44 years in operation were dropped in March after backers RWE Npower and E.On said they had been unable to raise finance for the scheme.
Bristol Evening Post 11th July 2012 more >>
Western Daily Press 1th July 2012 more >>
NEWS that a new consortium is poised to revive plans to build Wylfa B has been welcomed by Ynys Môn MP Albert Owen.The Daily Post revealed on Tuesday how French giant Areva wants to join forces with state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation to develop the £8bn project.
Daily Post 11th July 2012 more >>
Horizon will hold its next Open Surgery at Cemaes Village Hall on Monday 16 July, at which local people can ask questions about plans for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa.
Nuclear Matters 11th july 2012 more >>
ONR took part in a joint conference organised by Sellafield Limited to exchange information with Nordic participants. The conference was attended by elected parliamentary representatives and members of local communities from the UK, Greenland, Norway and Sweden, as well as technical experts and safety regulators. The conference focused on nuclear safety and environmental impacts of operations at Sellafield. The information exchange gives the Nordic participants greater confidence that operations at Sellafield are being carried out safely and effectively and that their concerns are being taken seriously. The representatives from the Nordic communities were particularly interested in the UK nuclear regulators opinion regarding operations on the Sellafield site and the nature of our interactions with Sellafield Ltd. Both regulator and licensee recognised that on the Sellafield site there were significant challenges and opportunities for improvement but over the last few years our interactions with SL had become more effective through advances in maturity, frankness and transparency.
ONR 11th July 2012 more >>
The UK has a 100 tonne stockpile of plutonium nuclear waste which the government has been trying to get rid of for years. One option that has been considered is to convert the plutonium into a mixed-oxide fuel (Mox), and then use it to fuel conventional nuclear reactors. Unfortunately a trial Mox plant in the UK failed. Another option is to use the plutonium waste in a fast reactor. The fast reactor would be able to extract far large quantities of energy than a Mox reactor. In fact back in February, David MacKay, the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change said that the UKs nuclear waste stockpile was enough to power the country for more than 500 years if used in a fast reactor.
Oil Price 11th July 2012 more >>
An incident at Sizewell power station may cause an increased risk to public health and require specific countermeasures to be put into place by the emergency services. A range of information has been produced to help you understand what might happen if an incident occurs.
Suffolk Resilience 10th July 2012 more >>
After the Fukushima disaster, Japan shut down all of its 54 nuclear power stations. But the lesson here isn’t really about how Japan has seen the light (pardon the pun) and is going to replace all its nukes with solar, geothermal and wind. No, the hidden news peg in all this is most people have put the disaster behind them and now are getting back to business as usual. And whether the Japanese restart their nukes or not, it’s immaterial. Nuclear energy is a “clean fuel” of the future for developing nations around the world and in particular, China and India. That means big things for uranium producers, big things for the biggest uranium player, Cameco Corp. – and big things for those investing in uranium stocks.
Market Oracle 11th July 2012 more >>
The United Arab Emirates is weighing up its options over its future energy mix. We look at the cost implications to this oil rich nation turning to nuclear and renewables and the underlying infrastructure required for both. With Masdar already driving forward renewable energy and related innovation, could the UEA save resources without going through the complex process of planning and building four nuclear reactors and focus on renewable energy instead? Shatilla thinks not. He argues that renewable energy could be the solution but not yet.
Nuclear Energy Insider 10th July 2012 more >>
A 95-year-old retired doctor is continuing to warn of possible health dangers to residents near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant after some of them developed symptoms similar to those afflicting atomic-bomb survivors he treated for decades.
Japan Times 12th July 2012 more >>
Iran has announced plans to start building its first ever nuclear submarine, a piece of advanced military technology that only the most powerful nations on earth are even able to construct; the interesting bit is that nuclear submarines just happen to run on uranium enriched to such a level that it can also double as the fuel source for a nuclear bomb.
Oil Price 11th July 2012 more >>
The series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists since 2010 has long been believed to be the work of the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, but most of the speculation over the issue suggested that the Israelis sub-contracted the dirty work to Iranian rebel groups like the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) or Jundullah. A new book by respected Israeli and American journalists called Spies Against Armageddon says the Mossad would never have farmed out the job to outsiders. The killings of the four scientists and the attempted murder of a fifth, were “blue and white” operations, the Mossad parlance for Israeli.
Guardian 11th July 2012 more >>
A former Iranian interior minister, Abdollah Nouri, has called on the leaders of the Islamic republic to hold a referendum over the fate of the country’s nuclear programme. As economic sanctions begin to take their toll and the threat of war looms, Nouri said that “the disadvantages” of the nuclear programme meant that it should be left to people to find a way out of the current stalemate.
Guardian 11th July 2012 more >>
To the layperson, the machines in these pictures might look benign as though they may have been used to make industrial chemicals, perhaps, or to generate electricity. We imagine them surrounded by men in overalls or with clipboards in their hands going about their business as they do in factories the world over. And in fact, these now bare and echoing facilities were once just such hives of activity. Except the business they were involved in was the production of nuclear weapons bombs which, once unleashed, would kill between 150,000 and 246,000 human beings. Not that the vast majority of those who worked here knew it at the time. As Brigadier General Groves, who oversaw the Manhattan Project, was later to write, We made certain that each member of the project thoroughly understood his part in the total effort; that, and nothing more.
Environmental Grafitti 11th July 2012 more >>
Judgment day approaches for the UK wind power industry, with the government’s decision on how much to reduce subsidies by “imminent”, I’m told. The decision will have impact far beyond just the wind sector. If Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change prevails, and keeps the cut to the 10% for onshore wind that was previously agreed within government on the basis of the evidence and consulted upon, the industry can continue its rollout to deliver the relatively low-cost, low-carbon energy the UK needs. If the chancellor George Osborne, with David Cameron’s blessing, succeeds in driving through the 25% cut I reported he wants, another heavy blow will be dealt to the confidence of energy investors. That matters given that the government wants those investors to fund a complete overhaul of the UK’s energy infrastructure, left creaking after two decades of underinvestment.
Guardian 11th July 2012 more >>