Forgemasters was awarded the loan by the Labour government to finance a 15,000-ton press to develop parts for nuclear power stations. However, following the election, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, scrapped the state aid in a spending bonfire designed to reduce Britain’s budget deficit. The Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) Committee claim the project appears to have been scrapped without a “substantial comparative cost-benefit analysis” and that the Government should have been more “transparent” in articulating its decision.
Telegraph 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Sheffield Forgemasters is “welcome to apply” to the £1.4bn regional growth fund, the business department said after MPs had urged ministers to secure funding for the company to build components for the nuclear industry.
FT 14th Dec 2010 more >>
BBC 14th Dec 2010 more >>
If Charles Hendry MP has his way Cumbria will be permanently blighted.When questioned recently on the timetable for the geological disposal of high level nuclear waste, Charles Hendry the Minister in charge (DECC) said: “We’ve set up a geological disposal implementation board of which I am the chair. The board will look at what is necessary to take this to the next stage. We are very committed to the approach of the previous Government, who took a voluntarist approach to finding a community prepared to host this. That, inevitably, is a gentle process. There have been three expressions of interest from within Cumbria-two from district councils and one from the county council-and we are taking those forward. From their perspective, I think they see this as being part of a nuclear renaissance. It isn’t simply a facility for looking after the historical waste from the nuclear programme; they also want to see a nuclear renaissance in west Cumbria. We are keen to take that work forward more rapidly, because I understand why colleagues here and others outside want to know where the site will be and when it will be operational. SO IT IS A GENTLE PROCESS FOR MOVING IT FORWARD, BUT WE RECOGNISE THE NEED TO MOVE IT FASTER”
Northern Indymedia 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Paul Dorfman: UK plans for ten new nuclear power plants will create £80 billion worth of radioactive waste that we still have no secure way of disposing.
Ecologist 13th Dec 2010 more >>
The long-awaited Localism Bill is finally revealed today. After at least two false starts, the Bill appears on today’s Parliamentary Order of Business as having its first reading today. Analysis of the Bill as it affects infrastructure planning will follow tomorrow.
Bircham Dyson Bell 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Villagers gathered in force at the weekend to show their concern at the “devastating” impact they believe the building of a new nuclear power station will have on their communities. The small villages of Shurton, Burton and Wick, near Hinkley Point, Somerset, say they have been offered minimal mitigation for the upheaval they will suffer during the 10-year construction process and 60-year operation of the proposed Hinkley C power station. Villager Lesley Flash says resignation and acceptance has turned to “horror and antipathy” at the prospect of being “marooned in a noisy, dusty, polluted and spot-lit industrial wasteland, with little more than the qualified offer of double-glazing to off-set the damage.” Locals district and county councils have accused EDF of failing to provide enough details and failing to listen to their concerns.
This is Somerset 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Ukraine says it will lift restrictions on tourism in the zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2011, formally opening the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident to visitors. A limited number of visitors already are allowed into the 30-kilometer (19-mile) exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which exploded and burned in 1986. The Ukrainian government will present a detailed plan for lifting the remaining restrictions on travel to the area December 21, said Viktor Baloga, the former Soviet republic’s emergency situations minister.
CNN 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Selling 15% of Areva to strategic investors was supposed to herald a fresh start for France’s state-owned nuclear-technology champion after years of dithering. Instead, the government has come up with a temporary fix in raising €600 million ($794 million) by selling just 4.8% to Kuwait’s sovereign-wealth fund. Getting more strategic investors on board next year may be difficult given doubts about Areva’s long-term strategy.
Wall Street Journal 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund will be able to sell its 4.8 per cent stake in the French nuclear group Areva back to the government if Paris fails to bring the state-owned company to a full listing before the middle of next year.
FT 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Atkins has teamed up with French engineering specialist Assystems to jointly chase global nuclear engineering projects. The new joint venture to be known as NAAA – Nuclear Atkins Assystem Alliance – will be based in France making it more Franco-British than Anglo-French, although both partners hold a 50% stake. Together the engineering giants have identified a marketplace of more than 200 reactors over the next 20 years in as many as 30 countries. China is set to be the dominant nuclear building market during this period.
Construction Enquirer 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Venezuela’s national assembly recently ratified a measure that allows for civilian nuclear energy cooperation with Russia. The vote was part of an agreement made two years ago between Venezuelan President Hugo Ch vez and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. The deal calls for Russia to provide Venezuela with technical support to develop two reactors for power generation and a third small-scale research reactor. It might seem alarmist to equate a civilian nuclear program with the weakening of the non-proliferation regime, the threat of a nuclear arms race, or the further deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations. Unfortunately, history and the facts support such a conclusion.
International Affairs Review 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Last week’s talks between Teheran and the P5 + 1 (representatives of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, plus Germany and the European Union) began with the Iranian delegation condemning the recent assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist part of a widening covert campaign targeting the country’s nuclear program.
World Socialist Web 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Iran’s president abruptly sacked his foreign minister yesterday and named the country’s nuclear chief as acting top diplomat, the latest sign of a rift at the top levels of the Islamic theocracy as the country faces intense pressure from the West over its nuclear programme.
Scotsman 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Middle East Online 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Ali Akba Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, and one of the country’s several vice presidents, has been named caretaker minister in his place. It says something about Iran and its priorities for a nuclear physicist to get the top foreign policy job, even if it is temporary for now. The preservation of the nuclear programme has become the central organising principle of Iran’s foreign policy.
Guardian Blog 13th Dec 2010 more >>
North Korea warned today that US-South Korean co-operation could bring nuclear war to the region. The warning came as the South began artillery drills amid lingering tension nearly three weeks after the North’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island. The South’s naval live-fire drills are due to run until Friday at 27 sites
Edinburgh Evening News 13th Nov 2010 more >>
Independent 13th Dec 2010 more >>
The chief of the South Korean army resigned today, two weeks after the defence minister was replaced amid sharp criticism of the country’s response to North Korea’s attack on Yeonpyeong island. General Hwang Eui-don’s resignation came as South Korean intelligence officials warned that North Korea has been secretly enriching uranium at as many as four undisclosed locations, potentially giving it access to a new source of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Guardian 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Her nuclear reactor could power a city the size of Southampton, she will never need refuelling and she can use her guided missiles to pulverise an enemy more than 1,000 miles away. Meet HMS Ambush, the Royal Navy’s newest hunter-killer submarine. The ‘super-sub’ is able to make oxygen and fresh water from seawater, to keep the 98 crew it has not yet been decided if this will include women alive in time of crisis. And despite being 50 per cent bigger than the Swiftsure and Trafalgar subs she will replace, Ambush is quieter. OuHer propellers are said to make less noise than a baby dolphin making her virtually undetectable to enemy vessels.
Daily Mail 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Senior defence officials responsible for spending £42bn a year have been out of control, wasted money in a way that was “entirely unacceptable”, and indulged in a dangerous culture of optimism, a cross-party group of senior MPs say today. The committee accuses Sir Bill Jeffrey, recently retired permanent secretary at the ministry, of failing to discharge his responsibility to ensure that defence expenditure represented value for money. “For example”, they say, “in 2008 the department signed a contract to buy new aircraft carriers which was unaffordable, without having identified compensating savings. Because these savings were not subsequently found, it was necessary within a year to delay the project, resulting in an enormous cost increase and poor value for money”.
Guardian 14th Dec 2010 more >>