EDF Energy, the nuclear giant, is to launch a major campaign to sell nuclear energy to the British public in the wake of the Fukushima incident in Japan. The French-owned company, which bought British Energy in 2009 and is the UK’s largest nuclear generator, will begin a large-scale push in the second half of the year to highlight the benefits of the power source and the growing need for it. The charge will be led by Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive, who is leading the company’s focus on nuclear, not least its commitment to invest in up to four new nuclear plants, with the first operational by 2018. However, The Sunday Telegraph understands that Mr de Rivaz is on the verge of admitting publicly that the 2018 date has slipped, possibly by a year or more, due to delays in legislation, partly caused by the Fukushima explosion.
Telegraph 14th May 2011 more >>
The governments renewed interest in coal technology is an admission of a gap in the nations energy infrastructure, which, after the nuclear disaster in Japan, will not be quickly filled by a generation of new nuclear power stations. Executives are factoring in a delay of up to two years to the already behind-schedule roll-out of new British reactors. Mike Weightman, chief inspector of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, will publish an interim report this month on the safety of new reactor designs in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown. A raft of gas-fired stations will need to be built to bridge the gap. To keep them from blowing out Britains pollution reduction targets, they will have to be fitted with carbon capture technology.
Sunday Times 15th May 2011 more >>
Researchers calculate horrendous liability costs for nuclear power. This study will not appeal to the nuclear lobby. For the first time researchers have examined the financial sector, how much liability insurance for a nuclear power plant would be. The result: it is about tens of billions of – and ultimately paid by the citizens.
Der Spiegel (machine translated) 11th May 2011 more >>
A prefecture just south of Tokyo said it had detected higher-than-permissible amounts of radioactive material in tea leaves, in a reminder that Japan’s radioactive-contamination problems are far from over. The contaminationthe first case in nearly a month that an agricultural product has been found tainted outside Fukushima Daiichi’s home prefectureis also the first time that any agricultural item from Kanagawa Prefecture, which includes Yokohama, was found to contain an excessive level of radioactivity. Japan is still struggling to cope with its worst-ever nuclear disaster at the stricken power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, but concerns over radioactivity in food and drinking water had been easing over the past few weeks, at least outside the most-contaminated areas near the plant. In some prefectures, previously banned shipments of certain vegetables have since resumed, as repeated tests showed declines in contamination levels. Before the latest case of Kanagawa tea leaves, the last time any prefecture outside Fukushima reported higher-than-permissible contamination in any agricultural product was spinach from Ibaraki Prefecture on April 12, according to Japan’s health ministry. According to Kanagawa officials, a sample of tea leaves collected May 9 from the city of Minamiashigara, in the western part of the prefecture, was found to contain 550 becquerels of cesium per kilogram in the first test; the second test of the same sample detected 570 becquerels. The difference between the two readings is within the margin of error in such tests, the officials said. Since the discovery, the prefecture has suspended shipments of tea leaves from all of Kanagawa, not just Minamiashigara.
Wall Street Journal 11th May 2011 more >>
Tepco concealed data showing spikes in radiation levels at the No. 1 in March, one day before a hydrogen explosion injured seven workers. The Asahi Shimbun obtained a 100-page internal TEPCO report which showed levels at 300 millisieverts or higher per hour but the workers who were trying to bring the situation under control at the plant were not informed of the levels.
Asahi 14th May 2011 more >>
Data taken at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the night of March 11 showing a high level of radiation at a reactor building suggest the possibility that key facilities there may have been damaged by the quake itself that day rather than tsunami-caused power loss that failed the reactors cooling function, a utility source said Sunday. The revelation may call for a review of preparedness against quakes at various nuclear power stations in Japan as they have primarily focused on securing auxiliary power supplies and embankment enhancement against tsunami after the Fukushima plant crisis, assuming that reactor facilities at the plant were unscathed by trembling.
Japan Today 15th May 2011 more >>
TEPCO is searching for ‘missing’ radioactive water it is trying to locate thousands of tons of radioactive water that has leaked from reactor 1. TEPCO has injected more than 10,000 tons of water into the reactor since March 11th – half that amount is believed to be missing. The utility says the leaked water is likely in the basement.
NHK 13th May 2011 more >>
The government is compiling a road map to clarify how it will restore areas affected by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and allow evacuated people to return home, for release as early as Tuesday, government sources said Saturday. The release may be delayed, however, as the latest findings by the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co indicate a meltdown of the troubled No. 1 reactors fuel in a development that may affect its aim of bringing the crisis under control within six to nine months.
Japan Today 15th May 2011 more >>
A worker at Japan’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant died today, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said, bringing the death toll at the complex to three since a massive earthquake and tsunami in March. The cause of the death was unknown. The man, in his 60s, was employed by one of Tokyo Electric’s contractors and started working at the plant yesterday. He was exposed to 0.17 millisieverts of radiation today, Tokyo Electric said.
Independent 14th May 2011 more >>
Daily Mail 14th May 2011 more >>
Agents for Mossad, the Israeli secret service, broke into the London hotel room of a top Syrian official and obtained the blueprints of a secret nuclear reactor, according to a new book published in Israel. The daring operation in late 2006, involving at least 10 undercover agents, led directly to the bombing of the reactor site in northern Syria in September 2007, claim the authors of Israel vs Iran: the Shadow War.
Sunday Times 15th May 2011 more >>
North Korea and Iran appear to have been exchanging ballistic missile technology in violation of sanctions, a leaked UN report shows.
BBC 14th May 2011 more >>
Ministers will announce plans to buy the most advanced and expensive nuclear reactors for new Trident submarines this week in a move set to create tensions within the coalition government. The decision has been delayed by months due to the sensitivities within the cabinet and concerns over costs, with Liberal Democrats keen to avoid progress on the issue. The party’s manifesto had stated it was against a like-for-like replacement for the country’s nuclear deterrent. However, a source said a decision had now been made among the coalition partners in favour of the more expensive reactors and an announcement would not be delayed any further.
Guardian 14th May 2011 more >>
Cabinet ministers have agreed a far-reaching, legally binding “green deal” that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. The package will require sweeping changes to domestic life, transport and business and will place Britain at the forefront of the global battle against climate change. The deal was hammered out after tense arguments between ministers who had disagreed over whether the ambitious plans to switch to more green energy were affordable. The row had pitted the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, who strongly backed the plans, against the chancellor, George Osborne, and the business secretary, Vince Cable, who were concerned about the cost and potential impact on the economy.However, after the intervention of David Cameron, Huhne is now expected to tell parliament that agreement has been struck to back the plans in full up to 2027.
Observer 15th May 2011 more >>