JAPAN has come to the rescue of the troubled Sellafield Mox plant which might have been forced to close without new business. Ten private Japanese power companies have agreed to place lucrative plutonium contracts with Sellafield. The material from recycled Japanese spent fuel will be made into mixed oxide fuel and returned to Japan for use in the country’s own nuclear reactors. This will help secure the future of the plant (SMP) which has been under review for some time as poor performance put its future in jeopardy. There would have been a threat to around 1,000 Sellafield jobs but over the last year the plant has chalked up record production.
Whitehaven News 13th May 2010 more >>
Chris Huhne – lots of ifs. Lib Dem Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has accepted that he may oversee a new wave of nuclear power station construction, despite previously opposing such a move, if power companies are willing to go ahead without government subsidy. No new nuclear has been built without public subsidy for a very long time. If they come up with as feasible plan which genuinely involves no public subsidy then they will put that through the national planning process. The Lib Dems will not vote against. There are an awful lot of ifs. The key point is to stress the points of agreement. The key principle is that there will be no public subsidy. The most scandalous legacy of the last 13 years is we are sitting in the part of Europe with the biggest abundance of renewables but with the worst record. And the cheapest way is to save energy.
BBC Radio 4 Today Programme more >>
Utility companies have urged the coalition government to press on with the construction of 10 new UK nuclear power stations, despite a Liberal Democrat who opposes the plans being appointed energy secretary. Despite a brave face from the utility companies, analysts remained unconvinced that the agreement would provide stability for investors. Oliver Dancel, senior energy and utilities analyst at Datamonitor, said: “The issue is how utilities such as EDF Energy and E.ON will react. Such political uncertainties will inevitably delay the process of delivering the new investment in power generation capacity the UK so badly needs. Investors will be watching the coalition closely for signs of stability.”
Telegraph 13th May 2010 more >>
The new coalition government, led by the Conservatives’ David Cameron, plans to set a minimum price for emitting climate-warming carbon, while Liberal Democrat MPs would abstain from a parliamentary vote on building new nuclear power stations.
Reuters 12th May 2010 more >>
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the two parties in the U.K.’s new coalition government, have agreed to implement a program of measures to shift the country to a low-carbon economy and step up renewables targets, but remain divided over nuclear policy, according to their coalition document Wednesday. The two parties agree on the rollout of smart meters and smart grids, more renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, a green investment bank, a carbon price floor and full auctioning of carbon permits.
Wall Street Journal 12th May 2010 more >>
Liberal Democrats have long opposed any new nuclear construction. Conservatives, by contrast, are committed to allowing the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects (under a new national planning statement) and provided also that they receive no public subsidy. We have agreed a process that will allow Liberal Democrats to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the government to bring forward the national planning statement for ratification by Parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible.
Full Text of Conservative Lib-Dem Agreement here.
BBC 12th May 2010 more >>
The government has agreed a process that will let the Liberal Democrats maintain their opposition to nuclear power while allowing the new administration to put in place the new national planning policy needed before construction of new reactors can go-ahead.
Utility Week 12th May 2010 more >>
THE coalition government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has yet to clarify its stance on nuclear energy – and what that will mean for West Cumbria.
Whitehaven News 12th May 2010 more >>
The UK’s new coalition government has appointed the Liberal Democrat’s Chris Huhne as energy and climate minister. The party has a radical green agenda, which includes ensuring 100% of UK electricity is sourced from renewable sources by 2050.
Windpower Monthly 12th May 2010 more >>
The new political ruling coalition in the UK has announced its support for some amount of nuclear new-build, despite the fact that the minority member is antinuclear. The coalition also agreed to implement a floor price for carbon in the European emissions trading scheme, which some nuclear utilities have argued is essential to keep nuclear new-build cost-competitive.
Nuclear Engineering International 12th May 2010 more >>
The Liberal Democrats will abstain when a national planning statement for the building of new nuclear power stations is put before Parliament.
Planning Resource 12th May 2010 more >>
E.ON AG, Electricite de France SA and Centrica Plc may find it harder to build new nuclear reactors in the U.K. because of a division on energy policy between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in the coalition government. The Conservatives are in favor of new nuclear plants, while the Liberal Democrats oppose them. A document outlining their coalition agreement permits the division to remain, with the Liberals abstaining on nuclear votes. The two parties agreed yesterday to combine forces to command a majority in Parliament, ending 13 years of rule under the Labour Party.
Bloomberg 12th May 2010 more >>
The UK is set to have pro-nuclear policies delivered by an anti-nuclear politician as the details of a post-election coalition agreement are revealed.
World Nuclear News 12th May 2010 more >>
Denton Wilde Sapte energy chief Christopher McGee-Osborne is set to stand down from his role, with the firm yet to appoint a new sector head. McGee-Osborne, who has led the energy, transport and infrastructure strategy team for seven years, notified the board last month that he wanted to stand down from the role in order to focus on developing the firm’s specialist nuclear practice.
Legal Week 11th May 2010 more >>
According to the BBC the Lib Dem’s Chris Huhne has been confirmed as Environment and Climate Change Secretary. As the below collection of his various utterings on nuclear power show, this appointment is seriously bad news for Wylfa B.
The Druid 12th May 2010 more >>
Formal redundancy consultations started yesterday afternoon. Briefings were given to the nuclear site’s 12,000-strong workforce but no exact number was given. Union officials had been told privately some weeks ago that up to 1,200 jobs were at risk. This was described by site management as speculation. It is understood that Sellafield Ltd is looking to shed jobs among both permanent company staff and agency workers. The hope is that enough people will come forward to take voluntary redundancy.
Carlisle News and Star 13th May 2010 more >>
Whitehaven News 12th May 2010 more >>
With nuclear power rising to the top of the energy agenda, opportunities are opening up in the UK supply chain. The UK’s nuclear programme is expected to create more than 4,500 jobs over the next 25 years and contribute more than GBP1bn a year to industry. Namtec has been active in supporting supply-chain development initiatives for the nuclear industry and is one of the founder members of a new Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre. This is to be based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Yorkshire and Namtec will provide it with technology, skills and knowledge-transfer services.
Manufacturing Talk 13th May 2010 more >>
COMPANIES with no traditional involvement in the nuclear sector should be seeking to get a foot in the industry’s door for their future prosperity, a leading energy industry figure has said.
Northern Echo 12th May 2010 more >>
Russia said on Wednesday it may lift the veil of secrecy over its nuclear arsenal after a new strategic arms reduction treaty with the United States comes into force.
Reuters 12th May 2010 more >>
The Arab states alone cannot convince or coerce either Israel or Iran into taking verifiable steps towards their nuclear weapons-free vision. Only the US can facilitate this by brokering peace agreements and offering security guarantees to both.
Middle East Online 12th May 2010 more >>
THE new Conservative-led coalition government has stated its commitment to “the maintenance of Britain’s nuclear deterrent”. During the election, the Liberal Democrats had ruled out a “like-for-like replacement” of the submarine-based missile system, which they argued could cost up to £100billion. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said Labour and the Conservatives were locked in a “Cold War time warp” over the issue and argued the future of the nuclear deterrent should be decided as part of the strategic defence review. As part of the power-sharing agreement, the parties agreed that the renewal of Trident should be “scrutinised to ensure value for money” and that Liberal Democrats will “continue to make the case for alternatives”.
Plymouth Herald 13th May 2010 more >>
On windy nights in northern Germany, consumers are paid to keep the lights on. Twice this year, the nation’s 21,000 wind turbines pumped out so much power that utilities reduced customer bills for using the surplus electricity. Since the first rebate came with little fanfare at 5 a.m. one October day in 2008, payments have risen as high as 500.02 euros ($665) a megawatt-hour, about as much as a small factory or 1,000 homes use in 60 minutes. The wind-energy boom in Europe and parts of Texas has begun to reduce bills for consumers. Electricity-network managers have even ordered windmills offline at times to trim supplies. That hurts profit for wind-farm operators, said Christian Kjaer, head of the European Wind Energy Association, which represents RWE AG of Germany, Spain’s Iberdrola SA and Dong Energy A/S of Denmark.
Bloomberg 23rd April 2010 more >>
South Korea, which is heavily dependent on oil and gas imports, plans to add about 18 nuclear power reactors by 2030 to its existing 20 reactors to reduce its energy imports and carbon emissions.
Interactive Investor 13th May 2010 more >>
Reuters 13th May 2010 more >>
It is the holy grail of clean energy: harnessing nuclear fusion to create unlimited power without also generating greenhous gases and radioactive waste. For decades the dream has eluded the world’s scientists, but today, North Korea claimed it had succeeded where many have failed, creating a successful nuclear fusion reaction.
Guardian 12th May 2010 more >>
Morning Star 12th May 2010 more >>
The United States signaled unease Wednesday with Russia-Syria nuclear talks, saying countries looking at energy cooperation with Damascus should be aware of Syrian shortcomings on nuclear matters.
Middle East Online 13th May 2010 more >>
Dmitri Medvedev on Wednesday sealed a $20bn deal for Russia to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, furthering Moscow’s ambition of carving out a bigger role in the renascent international market for nuclear energy. Energy cooperation is the core of a rapidly developing partnership between Moscow and Ankara, former cold war rivals who say bilateral trade could reach $100bn in the next five years – half the value of Russia’s trade now with the entire European Union.
FT 13th May 2010 more >>
BBC 12th May 2010 more >>