Britain’s nuclear regulator said it may resolve all its issues regarding plans for a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C by the end of the year.The Office of Nuclear Regulation said on Tuesday that two Generic Design Assessment (GDA) issues had been closed. The regulator had raised them earlier this year with French energy companies EDF and Areva with regards to the design of a third-generation nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point Somerset, England.The issues included concerns about monitoring of irradiation damage to material and evidence that concrete used at the reactor provided adequate shielding to ensure that workers and the public would be protected from radiation.
Reuters 14th Aug 2012 more >>
Latest GDA Progress Report 1st April to 30th June. We are pleased to report that we are continuing to make progress on the assessment and that a further two GDA Issues have been closed. We are also pleased that EDF and AREVA have responded to our call to strengthen their resources and improve the quality and timeliness of their submissions to us. If EDF and AREVA sustain these improvements for the significant number of submissions that are still to be delivered and if they remain responsive to any questions that we raise, then we believe that the programmes that are set out in the revised resolution plans can be achieved. In that case, and if we are satisfied by the safety, security and environmental arguments that they put forward, then we might be able to close all of the remaining GDA Issues by the end of the year. This would enable us to consider whether we should issue a full Design Acceptance Confirmation and a full Statement of Design Acceptability for the UK EPR.
HSE 14th Aug 2012 more >>
Britain’s nuclear regulator said it may resolve by the end of the year all outstanding issues regarding the proposed operation of EDF’s and Areva’s new-generation European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR) in Britain. The regulator has said that two GDA issues had been resolved for the EPR and that it could close all outstanding issues by the end of the year, Reuters reported. The issues closed included concerns about the monitoring of irradiation damage to material and evidence that concrete used at the reactor provided adequate shielding to ensure that workers and the public would be protected from radiation.
Telegraph 15th Aug 2012 more >>
A road crossing for horses is the first of a series of road improvements beginning in Somerset this week ahead of more preparation works for the planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
Western Daily Press 14th Aug 2012 more >>
A sweeping public consultation will get under way next month into plans which could see a third nuclear power station built in North Somerset. The Environment Agency is staging the inquiry into draft decisions to grant three permits for the proposals for Hinkley Point C. The operators of the power station, NNB Generation Limited, a joint venture of EDF Energy and Centrica, applied for the key permits last year. The Environment Agency is deciding whether the permits should be issued which would allow the power station to discharge and dispose of radioactive wastes, discharge cooling water and liquid effluents into the Bristol Channel and operate standby power supply systems using diesel generators.
Western Morning News 14th Aug 2012 more >>
Npower parent RWE announced another 2,400 job cuts across Europe on Tuesday and reported a 15pc fall in UK earnings despite soaring demand for energy. Most of the job losses are expected in Germany, where RWE is headquartered, but the group was unable to rule out cuts in the UK.
Telegraph 15th Aug 2012 more >>
A devastating blaze at a wood-powered plant in Essex has resulted in a drop in profits at one of the Britains largest energy companies. Most of RWE npowers plant in Tilbury remains out of action after piles of wood pellets caught fire in February. The fire was particularly embarrassing for the German-owned company as the plant had only just been converted from using coal and was touted as Britains largest biomass station.
Times 15th Aug 2012 more >>
Nuclear regulators from across Europe will examine cracks at a Belgian nuclear plant on Thursday to help establish what further action may be needed in reactors constructed by the same company – now defunct – in other countries.
Reuters 14th Aug 2012 more >>
Dominion’s four Virginia nuclear units have reactor pressure vessels made by the same manufacturer that supplied a Belgian reactor shut down because of possible vessel cracking, a Dominion spokesman said Friday. Dominion is following developments in Belgium, but has not been notified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission of any information related to the incident, Richard Zuercher said. The NRC is sending a materials expert to a meeting in Belgium on the matter next week, agency spokesman Scott Burnell said Friday. It is too early to say whether NRC will impose additional requirements based on the Belgian incident.
Platts 10th Aug 2012 more >>
German utility EnBW will not file a legal complaint at the Constitutional Court [Bundesverfassungsgericht] against the German government’s nuclear exit bill, the company said Monday. Following intensive legal consultation, the company has been advised that due to its ownership structure it may lack the right to file such a complaint, it said. EnBW is 46.75%-owned by the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, currently governed by a coalition led by the anti-nuclear Green Party with another 46.75% owned by local municipalities and just a minute fraction of privately held shares. “However, EnBW explicitly shares the legal opinion of E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall, according to which the 13th amendment of the Atomic Energy Act is unlikely to withstand a constitutional examination,” it said in a statement.
Platts 30th July 2012 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 10th to 13th July 2012.
Greenpeace 14th Aug 2012 more >>
Genetic mutations have been found in three generations of butterflies near Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant. The abnormalities have raised fears that radiation may have spread to other species, including humans. Around 12% of the pale grass blue species exposed to nuclear fallout as larvae immediately after the disaster had abnormalities.
Sky News 14th Aug 2012 more >>
The potential for Wales to become the home of the Trident nuclear deterrent has already been discussed by the country’s Cabinet, The Herald can reveal. Last month, Welsh ministers laughed off suggestions they were putting plans in place to capitalise if Scotland left the UK. However, the Welsh First Minister told members of his administration they should consider the “economic benefits such a relocation might bring should West Wales be an option”. His comments came ahead of a meeting of the British-Irish council. Welsh ministers were due to meet with their Scottish and UK counterparts to discuss a range of issues. The SNP is committed to ridding Scotland of Trident, despite moves by the party hierarchy to overturn decades of opposition to membership of nuclear alliance Nato. However, opponents warn thousands of Scottish jobs could be lost if Trident was forced to relocate. In June, Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said the UK’s nuclear deterrent would be “more than welcome” in Wales if Scotland no longer wanted it. He later appeared to row back on that statement, saying dis-cussions about Scottish independence were “entirely academic”. However, official minutes from a June 19 meeting of the Welsh Cabinet show he suggested his ministers consider the potential benefits to Wales of housing Trident. Defence experts had already suggested independence could provide a defence windfall for Wales.
Herald 14th Aug 2012 more >>