Energy firm EDF has agreed to give £64m towards local services in Somerset as part of its plans for a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point. The money will be used by three Somerset councils to improve transport, housing and education provision. Although the deal has been agreed, a final decision on the nuclear build has not yet been made by the government. EDF has also given a further £30m to local services for the site preparation works which started in February.
BBC 11th Sept 2012 more >>
EDF Energy has been criticised by the chair of a Sizewell watchdog group for failing to carry out a full site survey before it submitted plans for a new radioactive waste store. The companys late discovery of thousands of tonnes of concrete waste buried on the site has led to a doubling of both the projected construction period and heavy lorry movements. Marianne Fellowes, chair of the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG), set up to improve the flow the information between the local community and the nuclear site and its regulators, said the mistake had led to a loss of public confidence.
East Anglian Daily Times 11th Sept 2012 more >>
EDF Energy is expected to stick with the idea of building a workers village at its planned Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk. London practice Canaway Fleming has already come up with designs for a similar plans at EDFs proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Last week the firm was appointed to carry out the associated work on the £10 billion scheme in Suffolk which will include housing and logistics centres.
Building Design 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Bills will reach £1,428, adding a total of £3bn to households’ expenditure on gas and electricity. Energyhelpline.com said the rises would take place if other suppliers followed SSE’s lead and increased prices by 9pc. The company, formerly Scottish & Southern Energy, announced the rise last month; it takes effect on Oct 15. Rivals have already withdrawn some of their cheapest deals from the market.
Telegraph 12th Sept 2012 more >>
A government minister has become embroiled in questions over his relationship with an adviser after meeting corporate clients of her private consultancy. Greg Barker, the climate change minister, worked with the energy consultant Miriam Maes when in opposition and she was hired as a departmental consultant soon after the coalition came to power. But newly released documents show Maes made repeated efforts to encourage Barker to meet representatives from Air Products, a multinational energy-from-waste supplier and one of her clients. She also accompanied Barker on official visits in place of civil servants and was cautioned by officials against overstepping the boundaries of propriety or conflicts of interest.
The disclosures, made under the Freedom of Information Act, will once again raise questions about the blurred lines between ministers, their advisers and civil servants.
Guardian 11th Sept 2012 more >>
Greg Barker, the climate change minister, is under further pressure after it emerged that the adviser at the heart of a row over access to ministers was copied in to internal emails discussing the award of a £5m contract to a second company linked to her firm.
Guardian 12th Sept 2012 more >>
Emails reveal energy consultant introduced climate change minister to clients and asked him to intervene over her contract.
Guardian 12th Sept 2012 more >>
The prime minister has disclosed that the close ties between Greg Barker, the climate change minister, and the energy consultant Miriam Maes have raised such concern within Whitehall that the cabinet secretary and a permanent secretary have been asked to examine whether she was properly appointed.
Guardian 12th Sept 2012 more >>
As the world watched the Fukushima reactors release radionuclides into the ocean and atmosphere, the warnings of Dr. Alice Stewart about radiation risk and the reassurances of Sir Richard Doll assumed renewed relevance. Doll and Stewart, pioneer cancer epidemiologists who made major contributions in the 1950she by demonstrating the link between lung cancer and smoking, she by discovering that fetal X-rays double the chance of a childhood cancerwere locked into opposition about low-dose radiation risk. When she went public with the discovery that radiation at a fraction of the dose “known” to be dangerous could kill a child, her reputation plummeted, whereas Doll, foremost among her detractors, was knighted and lauded as “the world’s most distinguished medical epidemiologist” for his work. Their lives and careers, so closely intertwined, took contrary courses, he becoming “more of the establishment” (as he said), while she became more oppositional. When it was discovered, after his death, that he’d been taking large sums of money from industries whose chemicals he was clearing of cancer risk, his reputation remained unscathed; it is now enshrined in the “Authorized Biography” (2009) commissioned by the Wellcome Institute, along with Doll’s denigration of Stewart as an “embittered” woman and biased scientist. Stewart lived long enough to see radiation science move her way, to see international committees affirm, in the 1990s, that there is no threshold beneath which radiation ceases to be dangerous; recent evidence from Chernobyl is bearing out her warnings. But a look at the making and breaking of these reputations reveals the power of status, position, and image to shape scientific “knowledge” and social policy.
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Volume 54, Number 4, Autumn 2011, accessed 13th Sept 2012 more >>
The benefits of an alternative nuclear fuel that could offer a safer and more abundant alternative to the uranium that powers conventional reactors have been “overstated”, according a new government report on the potential of thorium. The report says the UK should continue to be engaged with the technology but downplays claims by thorium proponents who say that the radioactive chemical element makes it impossible to build a bomb from nuclear waste, leaves less hazardous waste than uranium reactors, and that it runs more efficiently. “Thorium has theoretical advantages regarding sustainability, reducing radiotoxicity and reducing proliferation risk,” states the report, prepared for the Department of Energy and Climate Change by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). “While there is some justification for these benefits, they are often overstated.”
Guardian 13th Sept 2012 more >>
L&T Heavy Engineering has bagged the order for manufacture and installation of the cryostat containment vessel for the worlds largest experimental thermo-nuclear fusion reactor.
Construction Index 12th Sept 2012 more >>
People living in a part of Kent earmarked for a possible nuclear waste dump have voted against the idea. Two-thirds of residents on Romney Marsh said “no” to a£12billion underground storage centre. Results of a major survey show 63% are against looking further into finding more about having the nuclear waste dump. The details come before a full Shepway District Council meeting next Wednesday at which a decision will be made on what to do now.
Kent Messenger 12th Sept 2012 more >>
Kent News 12th Sept 2012 more >>
High-level radioactive or nuclear waste is spent uranium fuel used in nuclear reactors. This spent fuel is thermally hot and highly radioactive, usually in the form of uranium 235 contained in ceramic pellets inside metal rods. What do we do with this spent fuel? Right now, nothing really, presumably we are waiting for a future generation to figure out where to safely store it all. It will only be rendered harmless through a process of decay that can take thousands of years. The US, which had over 72,000 tons of nuclear waste as of 2011, has no long-term facility for storing high-level nuclear waste. The interim answer is either to store this spent fuel in water-cooled pools on the site of the reactor, or to transfer it temporarily to dry casks. With the exception of the expensive endeavor of reprocessing this spent fuel to extract plutonium for commercial use, there is no known alternative to burying nuclear waste in massive underground facilities, which currently do not exist.
Oil Price 12th Sept 2012 more >>
The Chinese-French consortium building the two Areva EPR reactors at the Tiashan nuclear power station in China have completed fitting the reactor dome on the second unit, EDF and Areva announced September 12. Less than one year after fitting the dome on reactor 1, the owner and future site operator, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company, which is 30% owned by EDF and 70% owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company, has successfully proceeded to fit the dome of the 2nd reactor building.
i-Nuclear 12th Sept 2012 more >>
The US supply chain is coping with the likes of Southern Co’s Vogtle nuclear power project. But non-US projects and suppliers abroad are gaining pace with new contract wins, which begs the question: are US companies prepared to compete with the new breed of competition abroad? While the nuclear energy sector welcomes new MOUs in emerging nuclear energy markets; addressing US-led financing, sales and training contracts in today’s deal markets, such as the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, China, Eastern Europe and India is perhaps a more pressing matter. The United States Ex-Im Bank is helping to move things along in this regard.
Nuclear Insider 12th Sept 2012 more >>
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda today gave his strongest hint yet that the country will try to phase out nuclear power within 30 years in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. The media reported that the cabinet has agreed to back a new energy plan to wind down the atomic programme by not seeking to replace ageing reactors.
Morning Star 12th Sept 2012 more >>
A senior MI6 chief paid a secret visit to Israel in order to urge the country not to take military action against Iran over its nuclear programme, it was reported on Wednesday. The Foreign Office declined to confirm the Daily Mail report that Sir John Sawers visited Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently with a message from David Cameron that Mr Netanyahu should allow more time for diplomatic efforts.
Huffington Post 12th Sept 2012 more >>
Tehrans role is merely that of the amused by-stander to a bitter diplomatic dust up that sees Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publically trade punches with his American “friends”. Last night, Obama and Netanyahu spoke by phone for a hour. If the aim was to mend fences, there was no meeting of minds. Nor will there be any meeting of men. In what many will see as a calculated snub, the President is unable to find space in his diary for a face to face with Netanyahu when he visits the States at the end of the month.
ITV 12th Sept 2012 more >>