An American citizen who is being held in Yemen accused of being an al-Qaeda militant worked for six years at a series of US nuclear power plants, it emerged yesterday. Sharif Mobley, 26, who started a gun battle as he tried to escape from a hospital in Yemen last week, killing one person and wounding several others, worked at three nuclear reactors in his native New Jersey between 2002 and 2008.
Times 13th Mar 2010 more >>
Three decommissioning projects on ice as nuclear industry braces itself for Treasury review. Decommissioning work worth almost £500m at the Dounreay nuclear site in Scotland is officially on hold as speculation mounts over the outcome of a Treasury spending review. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) this week issued tenders for work on the Caithness site that capped annual spending at the current level of £150m. Consultants and contractors had previously been led to expect spending would ramp up this year to allow three schemes required under the decommissioning programme, worth £482m, to go ahead.
Building 12th March 2010 more >>
A team of more than 20 had been deployed on preparations for a giant warehouse to store ILW created by the reprocessing of fast reactor fuel. Work on the three-year construction of the plant, named D3900, was programmed to start later this year. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) managing director Simon Middlemas has confirmed it has been shelved. Also put on hold is the building needed to recover waste from the site’s underground shaft and nearby silo. A third major construction project, the new near-surface dump for solid low-level waste, is due to get under way in spring 2011 and employ 100.
John O Groat Journal 12th Mar 2010 more >>
A large group of academics, politicians, planners and environmentalists called Thursday for the UK government to hold a public inquiry into the justification for new nuclear reactors in the UK.
Platts 11th Mar 2010 more >>
THE future of Wylfa B would be at risk in the event of a hung parliament after the Liberal Democrats revealed they would use it as an opportunity to halt the nuclear building programme. Lib Dem energy spokesman Simon Hughes is demanding the Government hold a public inquiry into plans for new power stations across the UK which would assess whether the benefits of new nuclear build outweigh the “potential detriments”. He said the health of thousands of people should not be taken for granted and medical implications of any new build have to be examined.
Daily Post 12th Mar 2010 more >>
London-based YRM has been awarded a contract by EDF Energy to act as overall architect for the planned new Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, UK. The contract follows an earlier one for work on the new Hinkley Point C plant.
World Nuclear News 11th Mar 2010 more >>
The problem with nuclear (and coal) power stations is that they are too inflexible to be able to fit in energy system with higher percentages of renewable sources. The nuclear industry responded by saying that reactors could ‘load-follow’ (which means they rapidly adjust their power output according to fluctuating demands for electricity). However this depends very much on the power plant design. French nuclear corporation AREVA’s so-called state of the art third generation EPR reactor design has already been criticised for lacking this flexibility. French utility EDF who are building an EPR at Flamanville in France have tried to prove the contrary and ordered design changes that would make the reactor able to respond to changing power demands. Unfortunately this ambition has been stymied by the EPR’s own safety system. The proposed design for the EPR’s reactor core means that it will not be able to rapidly increase or decrease its power output. That is, it won’t be able to ‘load-follow’.
Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 11th Mar 2010 more >>
Letter from Steuart Campbell: David McMillan claims that no nuclear plant has been built in the UK for a long time because “constructing a wind farm is a much less capital-intensive activity than building a nuclear plant” (Letters, 9 March). In fact, the hiatus had nothing to do with the capital cost (nuclear plants are cheaper to operate than any other form of thermal generation); it was due to hysterical fear of nuclear power after the Chernobyl accident and pressure from Greens. The government set its face against nuclear power and discouraged development. Since then, it has seen sense and changed its mind, as a result of which several companies now plan to build nuclear plants.
Scotsman 12th Mar 2010 more >>
Work undertaken by the Treasury and Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) will be a model for the future work of Infrastructure UK. The two departments are carrying out an energy market assessment of investment capacity in the energy market. Conclusions will be published in the next Budget. Pearson said there was more to be done before the UK markets can handle the massive funds needed to finance new nuclear and the third round of offshore wind. “Energy is 50% of [infrastructure] spend going forward. Are we going to get stuck in? Yes, but we will bring specialist skills to that. One of the specialist skills is finance. “We have to make sure that the environment is right so that the private sector can make these types of investment with confidence,” he said, adding that any new government needs to make sure the balance between private and public spending is right.
New Civil Engineer 11th Mar 2010 more >>
The Budget will contain information about Infrastructure UK (IUK), the Treasury body tasked with planning for infrastructure growth into the next 50 years. Speaking at Canary Wharf in London, Brown said reform of the planning system was crucial to kick-starting economic recovery and new energy infrastructure and high speed rail would be built.
New Civil Engineer 10th Mar 2010 more >>
FEARS about 200 metre high cooling towers being built at Shepperdine have been taken to the House of Lords. Lord John Cope of Berkeley, who was once the Conservative MP for Northavon, raised concerns about the impact cooling towers would have on the area at a debate in the House of Lords.
Gloucestershire Gazette 12th Mar 2010 more >>
Protesters in Gloucestershire taken to the streets to complain about Horizon’s plans for a new nuclear power plant in Shepperdine, near the existing Oldbury Magnox nuclear station. The objectors have formed a group called Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (Sane). Last weekend, 100 or so took to the streets to protest against Horizon’s proposals for a new pressurised water reactor, courtesy of the Eon/RWE joint venture. One of the protesters was Steve Freke. He was quoted in the local paper as saying: “I don’t object to nuclear power but I do object to 200-metre high cooling towers. They will completely ruin the area.”
Utility Week 12th Mar 2010 more >>
Brussels is against member states exporting their nuclear waste to countries outside the EU or to store it in joint sites, energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger said, as the commission is working on a set of common safety standards for this dangerous material.
EU Observer 10th Mar 2010 more >>
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), the alliance formed between GE and Hitachi in 2007, has announced plans to pursue developments of new nuclear power in Poland and Italy.
Energy Efficiency News 12th Mar 2010 more >>
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has won the support of international energy officials after proposing that climate change should be fought through nuclear power. At a conference in Paris he said poor countries should receive help to construct their own nuclear power stations in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. Energy officials from across the globe attended the conference, which left French executives keen to market their expertise abroad.
New Civil Engineer 8th Mar 2010 more >>
India and Russia today signed a nuclear co-operation agreement, which paves the way for the building of about a dozen nuclear reactors in India, with Russian help, over the next few decades.
Guardian 13th Mar 2010 more >>
Telegraph 13th Mar 2010 more >>
BBC 12th Mar 2010 more >>
The chief executive of Nuclear Innovation North America LLC (NINA) said on Friday he sees a decision on a critical loan commitment for the South Texas Project from the U.S. government in the second quarter after settling a lawsuit with one of its partners.
Reuters 13th Mar 2010 more >>
A closed court in Kazakhstan handed a harsh prison sentence on Friday to Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the former president of Kazatomprom, the national atomic power company, for stealing uranium assets.
FT 13th Mar 2010 more >>
Israel and Syria have both told a conference in Paris that they want to use nuclear power to generate electricity. The revelations came on the same day that IAEA director general called for greater access to nuclear power.
Nuclear Engineering International 12th Mar 2010 more >>
To the residents of a small town in the shadow of a nuclear submarine port, it seemed like the end of the world was nigh. Leaflets dropped through their doors warning them to shut windows and stay indoors while a van with a loudhailer patrolled the streets announcing there was an emergency. Rumours quickly spread that there had been a radiation leak from a submarine as elderly residents barricaded themselves in their homes and bombarded the emergency services with pleas for help.
Daily Mail 13th Mar 2010 more >>
Times 13th Mar 2010 more >>
Dorset Echo 12th Mar 2010 more >>
UK-based conglomerate Peel Group is pressing ahead with the £3bn project to build a 1.6GW plant at Hunterston in Scotland, which will partially fit experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Its former partner, Dong Energy, dropped out last year, citing the recession. The application, which is expected to be submitted to the Scottish government on Monday, signals Peel’s confidence that the unproven technology can work. Hunterston is likely to become the UK’s first CCS plant, ahead of the controversial Kingsnorth project in Kent, which E.ON still hopes to build. Miliband announced that Kingsnorth, and Scottish Power’s project at Longannet, will move into the final stage of a government-funded competition to build what it had said would be the UK’s first pilot CCS plant. But no winner will be announced until next year, making Peel’s project the most advanced. The technology is supposed to allow coal plants, which emit twice as much carbon as gas plants, to capture and store their emissions underground, but the technology has not been proven on a large scale and the government is relying on it working to meet its carbon targets.
Guardian 13th Mar 2010 more >>