The largest factor in rising nuclear new-build costs is uncertainty caused by insufficient numbers of new-build projects. Those regions that are building many new plants now stand to gain the most in the new-build market of the future.
Nuclear Engineering International 14th Feb 2012 more >>
A GLOBAL renaissance in nuclear power offers a fantastic opportunity for North-East engineering, a former Business Minister said on a visit to the region. Lord Hutton yesterday visited Darchem, based at Stillington, near Darlington, in his role as chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA). During his visit Lord Hutton, who held ministerial posts for both business and trade and industry, amongst others, in the Labour Government, opened the plants new nuclear exhibition centre, which will enable the firm to showcase its work to potential customers.
Northern Echo 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Save Our Lake District Dont Dump Cumbria! today learned that Essex County Council has said it will send its radioactive Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) from Bradwell to Cumbria for disposal in a repository. Essex County Council & Southend-on-Sea Borough Councils views are set out in a November 2011 Waste Development Document (WDD), paras 3.35. and 3.36. A consultation on the proposals has just ended. In the document, the Councils make it clear that they expect to send waste from decommissioning the current Bradwell reactor to the National Repository for Radioactive waste in Cumbria. They also say that the waste arising from the new reactors proposed for Bradwell will not be kept in Essex, but instead needs to be considered in the context of the future national repository arrangements and not with the WDD. Council leaders in Copeland and Cumbria have constantly assured Cumbrians that the plans for a dump here are not a done deal. But the paper from Essex indicates that it looks very much like a done deal to that Council.
SOLD 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Anti-nuclear campaigners have been joined by members of Seize the Day as the first residents of Edf-Off Cottage next to Hinkley Point nuclear power station. The first wave of NVDA activity started last week in freezing weather when three people occupied trees as part of the campaign against two new mega-reactors being built on fragile coastal land. Now the action is focused on EDF-Off Cottage, a nearby farmhouse that was derelict until new residents moved in including members of Seize the Day. One of the farmhouse residents said: This is a wake up call. We need to get everyone to understand that nuclear power is not an answer to climate change. Its dangerous and expensive. Germany is showing the world that you can build a nuclear-free future that is safe and affordable, so why cant the UK do the same?
Indymedia 14th Feb 2012 more >>
The application for the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset is progressing. A total of 1197 representations were made on it and these have now been published on the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) website. The preliminary meeting on the application is due to take place on 21 March. This kicks off the six month maximum period for examining the application, i.e. it must end by 21 September. There will then be three months for the IPC to make a recommendation and (assuming the Localism Act changes have come in by then) three months for the government to make a decision, i.e. by 21 March 2013.
Bircham Dyson Bell 14th Feb 2012 more >>
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has imposed a pre-service and in-service inspection and testing program on Southern Corp. for the explosively activated squib valves used in the two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors that Southern is building in the US state of Georgia. The license condition requires the 12 squib valves in each AP1000 to be disassembled for inspection every 10 years, among other requirements. Squib valves are 8- and 14-inch explosively activated valves used in the AP1000 automatic depressurization system to reduce reactor pressure in the event of a loss-of-coolant accident.
i-Nuclear 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Possible mechanism explaing leukaemia clusters close to German and French nuclear power plants. In September 2011, Gundremmingen NPP located between Ulm and Augsburg in Southern Germany emitted much larger amounts of radioactive noble gases during inspection/refuelling than are emitted during normal power operation. According to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Germany, the normal emission concentration during the rest of the year is about 3 kBq/m³, but during inspection/refuelling (in the afternoon and evening of September 22nd) this concentration abruptly increased to ~700 kBq/m³ with a peak of 1,470 kBq/m³. In the following days (September 22nd – 29th), the concentrations of released radioactive noble gases were still much higher (average = 100 kBq/m³) than during normal power operation. IPPNW warns of the probable health impacts of such large emission spikes. Especially at risk are unborn children. When reactors are open and releasing gases, pregnant women can incorporate much higher concentrations of radionuclides than at other times, mainly via respiration said Reinhold Thiel, member of the German IPPNW Board. Radioactive isotopes inhaled by the mother can reach the unborn child via the blood and placenta with the result that the embryo/ fetus is contaminated (labelled) by radioactive isotopes.
IPPNW 1st Feb 2012 more >>
Beyond Nuclear 1st Feb 2012 more >>
A government proposal to merge the UK’s two nuclear police forces would be costly, messy and could create a conflict of interest between protecting British weapons and foreign-owned power stations, the Defence Police Federation has warned.
Police Oracle 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Energy firms came under fresh fire last night after evidence came to light of them using dubious sales tactics to sell expensive tariffs. Undercover researchers discovered that anyone who switched tariff based on the sales patter of in-store representatives of the big energy companies could be worse off by hundreds of pounds. Energy companies’ salespeople in supermarkets and shopping centres told researchers they would make annual savings of between £20 and £142. But the customers would actually have been between £39 and £311 worse off if they had taken up the deals, according to Which?
Independent 15th Feb 2012 more >>
The representatives of the 16 EU countries that have opted for nuclear energy have identified the four ‘pillars’ on which the EU’s energy policy must be built: safety of sourcing, consumer purchasing power, industrial competitiveness and the fight against global warming. The French Minister of Industry, Eric Besson, who initiated the first informal meeting that was held in Paris on 10 February, said it was “normal” for these countries “to exchange experiences and perhaps, in the future, to better coordinate [amongst themselves]” since nuclear power represents 28% of electricity production in Europe. Yet these countries Spain, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, the UK, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden have very different nuclear profiles: France generates 75% of its electricity through nuclear power, while Latvia does not have nuclear plants but imports electricity from nuclear sources.
Europolitics 10th Feb 2012 more >>
Karl Grossman: Last weeks granting by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of combined construction and operating licenses for two nuclear plants to be built in Georgiaboth Westinghouse AP1000sis the culmination of a scheme developed by nuclear promoters 20 years ago.
Counterpunch 13th Feb 2012 more >>
Extending the operating lifetime of EDF’s 58 power reactors past 40 years is “by far” the most economically and environmentally favorable scenario for France’s energy mix over the next 40 years, a government-appointed commission concluded in a report prepared for industry/energy minister Eric Besson and released Monday.
Platts 13th Feb 2012 more >>
There are increasingly vocal demands for military action to halt Irans alleged nuclear weapons programme. Stuart Parkinson, SGR, takes a critical look at the evidence for such a programme and argues that any military attack is likely to make matters considerably worse.
Scientists for Global Responsibility 13th Feb 2012 more >>
Iran will present a new advance in its atomic programme on Wednesday by loading domestically made nuclear fuel into a research reactor in the capital Tehran, a senior Iranian official told a Russian news agency on Tuesday.
Reuters 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Telegraph 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Even the head of the safety department at Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council, has doubts about the country’s fourth nuclear plant, suggesting it no longer enjoys much support. But since the presidential election on 14 January, plans to finish Nuclear Power Plant Four are back on the agenda.
Guardian 14th Feb 2012 more >>
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) has submitted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) its formal response to the public consultation on how to dismantle redundant nuclear submarines and what to do with the intermediate level radioactive waste that arises from them. The response has also been developed into a NFLA Radioactive Waste Briefing for its member authorities.
Nuclear Free Local Authorities 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Radioactive Waste Management Policy Briefing No.31
NFLA 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Russia came close to nuclear disaster when a blaze engulfed a sub carrying atomic weapons – despite official assurances that it was not armed, it was reported today. Russian officials said at the time that all nuclear weapons aboard the Yekaterinburg nuclear submarine had been unloaded well before a fire engulfed the 550ft-long vessel and there had been no risk of a radiation leak. But the respected Vlast weekly magazine quoted several sources in the Russian navy as saying that throughout the fire on December 29 the submarine was carrying 16 R-29 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each armed with four nuclear warheads.
Daily Mail 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Guardian 14th Feb 2012 more >>
Sir Simon Jenkins’s claims that the National Trust shares his personal opposition to wind power ‘don’t chime’ with its actual position on renewable energy, the trust says.
Guardian 14th Feb 2012 more >>