Nuclear National Policy Statement
Imminent public consultation events on National Policy Statements. The government is having a road show to consult on the National Policy Statements, and the first event is in only two days’ time. There are three sorts of events: events on the energy NPSs in general, events dealing with the Ports NPS, and events dealing with the individual sites nominated for new nuclear power stations. The last of these will take the form of a three-day public exhibition from a Thursday to Saturday and a two-hour public discussion on the Saturday. You have to register to attend the latter by calling 0845 0048 841. The public discussion in Hartlepool is happening in five days. There is a phone number to call to find out where it is (why can’t they just put the address on their website?) and registration required to attend will mean hardly any people turning up, but I hope that I am proved wrong.
Bircham, Dyson, Bell 11th Nov 2009 more >>
Plans to radically overhaul the UK’s energy system have been announced. The plans include ten possible sites for new nuclear power stations, new rules for planning decisions on energy infrastructure and making better use of clean coal technology. Get involved and have your say on the proposals.
Direct Gov 10th Nov 2009 more >>
Letter from FoE: Government plans to fast-track major projects pose a real threat to their action plan on global warming. Reports on the government’s national policy statements have predictably focussed on the controversial issue of new nuclear reactors, but a fundamental flaw in the proposals, which has gone largely unreported, threatens to undermine UK targets for tackling climate change. Under the Climate Change Act, the UK has been set legally binding “carbon budgets”, setting limits on how much carbon the UK can emit, over five-year budget periods, for the next 15 years. Some of the projects covered by the national policy statements, such as new coal and gas-fired power stations, are likely to have a significant impact on UK emissions – but bizarrely the effect that these developments would have on UK carbon budgets is missing from the proposals, and this issue won’t be considered by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC).
Guardian 12th Nov 2009 more >>
New Government planning rules will shorten the approval process for big power projects like nuclear plants, but do little for the local renewables sector. The UK’s biggest energy projects will no longer have to negotiate the obstacles of local planning authorities, following announcements made this week. But rather than opening the door to a new era of renewable energy in the UK it is chiefly expected to benefit nuclear power. Two new plants proposed by EDF energy at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk are already on the IPC’s list of initial schemes to consider when it officially opens for business in March 2010.
Ecologist 11th Nov 2009 more >>
Letter from George Regan, NFLA: your readers should be made aware of another announcement made on the same day by the influential investment company Citigroup. Its report, New Nuclear – the Economics Say No, said that nuclear power station developers face five economic risks – planning, construction, power price, operational and decommissioning – and that on construction, power price and operational the costs are so large and variable that they could bring even the largest utility company to its knees financially. They say new nuclear can only be built with huge public subsidy, financing guarantees and minimum power prices. However, on Monday Mr Miliband discounted any central subsidy for nuclear and said it would be solely down to the private sector to fund new reactors. So, where will the money come from?
Guardian 12th Nov 2009 more >>
Ed Miliband says: we need 10 new nuclear stations – and quick about it. The men with the calculators reply: at the moment, it’s looking about as possible as splitting the atom with a blunt instrument and your bare hands.Amid yesterday’s triumphalist fanfare about the new dawn of nuclear revolution and a significant milestone for the new industry, it was easy to miss the voices of caution about the likelihood that all these saviour stations will all actually be built. Analysts from Citigroup point out that the Government is forcing potential nuclear investors to take on full exposure to the risks of construction, a volatile power price and operations. These, they claim, are stalking “corporate killers so large and variable that individually they could each bring even the largest utility company to its knees financially”. And there’s more: “Nowhere in the world have nuclear power stations been built on this basis. Nor will they be built in the UK. We see little if any prospect that new nuclear stations will be built in the UK by the private sector unless developers can lay off substantial elements of the three major risks.”
Telegraph 10th Nov 2009 more >>
The Government is considering fresh tax breaks for Britain’s nuclear power industry that could smooth the way for the construction of a new generation of UK reactors. Whitehall insiders have told The Times that officials at the Department for Energy and Climate Change have been studying the possibility of an exemption for nuclear electricity from the climate change levy, a tax on industrial energy consumption that was created to boost energy efficiency.
Times 12th Nov 2009 more >>
Families were last night warned that they face a £60 a year increase in energy bills to help pay for a new generation of nuclear power stations. And foreign companies will effectively be handed a £5bn subsidy to fast track the ten nuclear plants.
Daily Mail 10th Nov 2009 more >>
Some of the IPC’s decisions may indeed help tackle climate change. But rather more of them are likely to contribute to the problem. In any case, it is important to remember that this new system was conceived by Digby Jones of the CBI and Gordon Brown, when chancellor, to make it much easier to build new roads, airports, shopping centres, power stations and other money spinners, without pesky democratic planning processes slowing things down.
Guardian 11th Nov 2009 more >>
Letter from Dr Helen Wallace: In 1995, a planning inquiry was held into construction of the first phase of an underground nuclear waste dump at Sellafield. The inspector, after hearing scientific evidence, found the site to be unsafe. The Conservative environment secretary, John Gummer, refused the plans in 1997. New major infrastructure planning rules were first proposed in 1999, to give the Labour government powers to over-rule this finding. Now, all future nuclear waste dumps must be safe because Ed Miliband says they are. No objector has the power to stop them. Is this safe? Scientific? Democratic?
Telegraph 11th Nov 2009 more >>
Contractors will urge energy companies to engage them early on plans for nuclear new build following the publication of the draft national policy statements for the energy sector, which was described as a “defining moment” in the Government’s £40 billion nuclear programme.
Construction News 12th Nov 2009 more >>
Vattenfall, the state-owned Swedish power group, has dropped plans to sell its domestic electricity distribution business and invest in UK nuclear power amid a political storm over the proposals. Reports this week that the utility, one of Europe’s largest, intended to sell critical parts of the Swedish power grid to finance investment in UK nuclear power stations drew fierce political criticism.
FT 12th Nov 2009 more >>
MORECAMBE MP Geraldine Smith has given her seal of approval for a new power station at Heysham following news that the Government has approved 10 sites in England and Wales. A new planning commission will make decisions on the proposals “within a year” of receiving them, Energy Secretary Ed Miliband told MPs. Geraldine told The Visitor that people in the local area accepted nuclear power stations and that they provided “good quality jobs”. She said: “If we are serious about climate change and reducing carbon, nuclear energy is important. We need to look at all forms of energy including solar and wind.
Morecambe Visitor 11th Nov 2009 more >>
The government has this week approved ten sites in the UK for new nuclear power stations – including Hinkley Point, near Burnham-On-Sea. While a new Hinkley plant could create up to 4,000 jobs during the construction and then up to 700 jobs for the next 60 years, some local groups believe the proposed expansion will be bad for the area. Protest group Stop Hinkley has long campaigned against nuclear power in our area, claiming it is not cheap and is unsafe. The group also believes that radioactive pollution has increased cancer deaths in the Burnham-On-Sea area. The group has also highlighted the fact that the new generation of power stations will store nuclear waste on site until a permanent repository is found – and this is an unknown length of time which, could potentially take decades.
Burnham-on-sea. com 11th Nov 2009 more >>
THOUSANDS of school-leavers in the Burnham area could get new job opportunities after plans for another Hinkley Point nuclear power station took a massive leap forward this week. Hinkley Point has been included on a government shortlist of ten sites in England and Wales where new nuclear power plants can be built. The announcement should pave the way for energy firm EDF to submit a formal planning application next summer to build two new reactors at Hinkley Point. Burnham and Highbridge MP David Heathcoat-Amory believes the decision presents a ‘real opportunity’ for the future of local industry.
This is the West Country 11th Nov 2009 more >>
A rig – called Excalibur – is carrying out a seabed investigation exercise for Hinkley Point on the opposite side of the Bristol Channel. It is drilling investigation boreholes in the Hinkley Point area for eight weeks, moving regularly between planned points. It is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and supported by tugs for manoeuvring.
Penarth Times 11th Nov 2009 more >>
IRELAND’S CATHOLIC bishops have joined the chorus of disapproval at the proposals for three more nuclear power stations in Cumbria. The Archbishop of Cashel Most Rev Dermot Clifford (pictured) says they are “totally opposed” to the redevelopment of the Sellafield nuclear plant and would also oppose any plans to build a nuclear reactor in Ireland. He was speaking in the context of this week’s announcement by the British government that it had identified 10 sites for the next generation of nuclear power plants in the UK, including three at Sellafield. The archbishop said that while the matter had not yet been discussed by the Irish Bishops Conference, “95 per cent of the bishops are against nuclear reactors”. He spoke of the threat of Sellafield to people in west England and on the east coast of Ireland, as evidenced in 1957 when fallout from the then-named Windscale covered substantial areas in both countries.
Get noticed online 11th Nov 2009 more >>
A new online book has been launched exploring the insanity of new nuclear build in the vicinity of the worlds most ferociously radioactive high level liquid wastes.
Indymedia 11th Nov 2009 more >>
BRAYSTONES and Kirksanton are unlikely to be included in the first UK wave of new nuclear reactors – and could be ruled out of the running altogether, according to Copeland MP Jamie Reed. He instead wants to see a “reactor” park built at Sellafield with room for up to nine reactors. Opposition to power stations being built on coastal sites next to the two villages had grown since the New Year, but on Monday the Department of Energy said that both are “potentially suitable for new nuclear”.
Whitehaven News 11th Nov 2009 more >>
Opponents see the decision as the final nail in the coffin of an area already too reliant on the nuclear industry, effectively closing it down as a radioactive no-go area. Mr Reed said: “When I entered Westminster in 2005, I deliberately set about changing the country’s energy policy, in particular with regard to nuclear power. For people living in Braystones, a small village near Egremont about to be thrust on to the international stage as a potential site for a multi-million pound nuclear reactor, the case is not so compelling. As in Kirksanton, local opposition to nuclear new build is intense. Objectors say they are aware of the contribution the industry has made to the area and the importance of it remaining in west Cumbria in the decades to come, but their view is Braystones is the wrong place. Martin Forwood, spokesman for Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE), the county’s most high profile opponent to the nuclear industry, believes the shortlisting of three Cumbrian sites is a slap in the face for an area which has already suffered “50 years of nuclear abuse”.
Carlisle News and Star 11th Nov 2009 more >>
THREE of the county’s regeneration groups have thrown their support behind three potential new nuclear power stations in Cumbria.
NW Evening Mail 11th Nov 2009 more >>
A power firm that wants to build a new nuclear station near Bristol is set to face opposition if it plans to put massive cooling towers in the Severn estuary. The structures could reach 200 metres (656ft), three times the height of the reactors at the existing atomic plant at Oldbury-on-Severn. But local councillors said there was no reason why the towers would need to be so high and are lobbying for a change. Eon UK and RWE npower have formed Horizon Nuclear Power to build the new station and are about to hold a series of exhibitions, starting in Oldbury on November 21.
Bristol Evening Post 11th Nov 2009 more >>
South West Business 11th Nov 2009 more >>
A nuclear power generation plant in Suffolk is planning to build a new unit for storing spent fuel. Managers at Sizewell B near Leiston need new storage because the present pond will reach full capacity in 2015. Owner British Energy is to meet invited local people at the plant later to discuss the issue, as it wants to change the technology it uses.
BBC 11th Nov 2009 more >>
Rather than adopting a comprehensive programme for energy conservation and harnessing the various renewable energy technologies, Brown and Blair chose to step back to the mid twentieth century failure that is nuclear power.
People Against Wylfa B Press Release 8th Nov 2009 more >>
PLANS for a new nuclear power station on the island, creating 10,000 jobs, have moved a step closer after winning government backing. Energy Secretary Ed Miliband announced the 10 sites that have met government requirements with Wylfa making it on to the list. A reactor could be built on the land within 10 years and would pump around £2 billion into the local economy, creating 1,000 permanent skilled jobs and around 9,000 linked to its construction.
Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 11th Nov 2009 more >>
While Plaid Cymru’s party policy opposes new nuclear installations in Wales, its leader Ynys Mon AM Ieuan Wyn Jones believes there is an overwhelming economic case for a Wylfa B. Labour’s energy secretary in Westminster Ed Milliband tempts the island – one of Wales’ poorest and with rising unemployment – with the prospect of £2bn of investment a new reactor would bring, creating 1,000 permanent skilled jobs and around 9,000 linked to construction work. Welsh secretary Peter Hain believes it would restore the ailing local economy hard hit by the closure of Anglesey Aluminium and rundown of the present Wylfa operation. Yet Labour first minister Rhodri Morgan remains unconvinced. He is concerned that nuclear power could divert money away from turning Wales into a world leader for renewable energy. The WAG was sticking to its position that it saw no need for new nuclear powers stations.
Daily Post 11th Nov 2009 more >>
THE Labour Party was today accused of sending out “dangerously mixed messages” over the future of a nuclear power station in Wales. Shadow Wales minister Cheryl Gillan said there was a “real problem” with Labour’s position over Anglesey’s Wylfa site, after First Minister Rhodri Morgan yesterday said there was no need for new nuclear stations in Wales. On Monday, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband named Wylfa as one of the 10 potential sites for new stations as part of a big expansion of nuclear power. Mr Jones (Carwyn Jones, Assembly Member for Bridgend), the frontrunner to succeed the First Minister is in favour but the Labour Assembly environment minister Jane Davidson is against it and wants a public inquiry. “Aren’t these dangerously mixed messages to be sending out over such an important project for the Welsh economy?”
Wales Online 11th Nov 2009 more >>
ePolitix 11th Nov 2009 more >>
BBC 11th Nov 2009 more >>
The United Arab Emirates, which plans to award the Persian Gulf’s first nuclear power contracts this year, may start a regional arms race as its neighbours seek similar technology, according to a Chatham House report. “Risks from nuclear proliferation cannot be eliminated entirely” from the U.A.E.’s program, Ian Jackson wrote in “Nuclear Energy and Proliferation Risks: Myths and Realities in the Persian Gulf,” published today. “It is possible that the genuine desire of Gulf states to engage in civil peaceful nuclear power could possibly tip the region into a nuclear arms race, especially if state intentions are misunderstood.” The U.A.E., the fourth-biggest OPEC producer, is turning to nuclear power because it doesn’t produce enough natural gas to meet demand. The government has an atomic-energy agreement with the U.S., a necessary step to awarding construction contracts, and will prohibit the enrichment of uranium on U.A.E. soil.
Bloomberg 10th Nov 2009 more >>
An incident at EDF’s Tricastin plant in southeast France late on Thursday forced the company to stop refuelling operations at the reactor 2, which started on Oct. 31, it said on Friday. The incident occurred during refuelling of the reactor, when a fuel assembly got stuck in the pressure vessel, EDF said in a statement. A similar incident took place in Sept. 2008 in the same reactor during refuelling operations and it took around two months for EDF to resolve the problem.
Reuters 6th Nov 2009 more >>
Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 11th Nov 2009 more >>
Electricite de France SA said in an e-mailed statement that its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will be little changed in 2009. The company cited lower than expected nuclear production for the reduction in the previous target for moderate growth, excluding currencies.
Bloomberg 12th Nov 2009 more >>
The pipes that form the cooling system around the Olkiluoto reactor have been partially welded without any supervision. TVO and Areva are right now investigating how much of the work must be redone and what the consequences are. This pertains to the same pipes whose weld seams have been investigated before. This time the weld seams are not concerned but welding has been performed to cover cosmetic damages on the surface of the pipes. Welding work has not been, however, documented. If the entire primary coolant piping had to be redone, it would take three years.
HBL 11th Nov 2009 more >>