As a result of Greenpeace’s successful legal challenge to the 2006 energy review consultation process, the government has been forced back to the drawing board to conduct what should be a comprehensive and necessarily lengthy review on whether to support new nuclear plants. This short paper sets out some of the key questions which must be addressed as part of this consultation, and some of the information requirements to support a proper consultation on a new build nuclear programme.
Greenpeace UK website 9th May 2007
Greenpeace welcomes SNP-Green Alliance as end to Blair’s nuclear plan for Scotland.
Greenpeace Press Release 11th May 2007
Hunterston and Hinkley
British Energy was poised to restart a reactor at its Hinkley Point B nuclear power plant on Monday morning after getting regulatory permission on Friday, a spokesman for the company said. The company said in a statement on Friday that it expected the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to give permission for the second unit at Hinkley Point B and two units at Hunterston B to be restarted over the next few weeks.
Reuters 14th May 2007
The potential of nuclear fusion as an energy source is clearly demonstrated by the power of the H-bomb, but science is still a long way away from discovering how this process might be harnessed to create clean fuel.
Scotsman 15th May 2007
A coalition of national and regional religious leaders across the United States has launched a major initiative to “zero-out” funding for the production of new nuclear warheads.
Ekklesia 15th May 2007
The civil nuclear industry of post-Soviet Russia has been beset with funding problems. Now, with the overhaul of the industry, is the country’s new build programme realistic?
Nuclear Engineering International 14th May 2007
AREVA, the French company which operates the La Hague nuclear reprocessing centre on the nearby Normandy coast, has signed a 250-million-euro contract to recycle waste from a new customer, Italy.
Jersey Evening Post 14th May 2007
New research shows a link between genetic defects and nuclear tests carried out on behalf of the British Government at Christmas Island in the South Pacific between 1952 and 1962, it has been claimed.
Daily Mail 14th May 2007
Mitsubishi has announced plans to expand its production of steam turbines. Plans include a plant specifically for making steam generators for nuclear power plants.
World Nuclear News 14th May 2007
The Chernobyl explosion and the subsequent fire that raged into the middle of May in 1986 sent a shockwave of fear around the globe, abruptly halting plans to build nuclear reactors. Twenty-one years on, with the search for environmentally friendly energy sources paramount, the prime minister has
called for a new generation of nuclear power stations – a view echoed by last week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Far-reaching, honest debate on the lessons of the world’s worst nuclear disaster can wait no longer.
Guardian 14th May 2007
RESIDENTS are being asked for their opinion on a nuclear storage facility. Berkeley Nuclear Licence Site has recently submitted a planning application to Gloucestershire County Council to build a new above ground interim Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) Store.The store would house waste currently on the site in a purpose built facility until a National Repository is made available elsewhere in the country. As part of the application the site has organised two exhibitions, being held in Berkeley and Lydney, to allow members of the public to drop in and ask any questions about the proposed plans.
Gloucester Gazette 14th May 2007
21 years since Chernobyl with 8,000 reactor-years experience accumulated worldwide this post-Chernobyl period has passed without major accident, large-scale contamination and severe radiological consequences – is this an achievement or just simply luck? To answer this question a group of experts from the Institute of Risk Research, Union of Concerned Scientists and the Oko Institute, have scrutinized the safety records of nuclear power plants in selected countries since Chernobyl, noting that large numbers of abnormal events continue to occur. The authors conclude that many nuclear safety related events occur year after year, all over the world, in all types of nuclear plants and in all reactor designs and that there are very serious events that go either entirely unnoticed by the broader public or remain significantly under-evaluated when it comes to their potential risk. The widespread belief that nuclear safety will be actually enhanced because of a lessons-learned process turns out ill-conceived. It is an open question whether the actual discussions within the nuclear expert community can lead to an improvement of nuclear safety in the reality of nuclear power plant operation.Some of these events and incidents that have occurred could have evolved into serious accidents, had the defects, malfunctions, etc. not been discovered in time (near-misses); other incidents might be taken as early warnings or as precursors of serious accidents; and there are the so-called recurring events whereby a pattern of failures is repeated time after time at different plants. Sometimes, there develops an element of self-congratulation by the nuclear industry when an incident is brought to a ‘successful’ close, so much so that this overrides the various serious concerns that the incident should not have been triggered in the first place.
European Greens 14th May 2007
Tony Blair believes he is close to persuading George Bush to accept an ambitious plan to bring the world’s greatest polluters into international partnership to fight climate change for the first time. The plan would involve setting up a network of carbon trading schemes and is one of five main proposals drawn up by the Germans and British ahead of the G8 summit next month.
Guardian 15th May 2007