Lithuanians reject government plans to build a new nuclear power plant.
AP 14th Oct 2012 more >>
The Labour Party of Russian-born millionaire Victor Uspaskich has emerged as the winner of the parliamentary elections in Lithuania. His party is set to form a government with the Social Democrats of Algirdas Butkevicius, who came second in an election in which voters also rejected plans to build a nuclear power plant.
Euractiv 15th Oct 2012 more >>
Huffington Post 14th Oct 2012 more >>
The government has launched two national infrastructure strategies and a number of initiatives since coming to power in 2010. But few of the ideas have resulted in projects on the ground. George Osborne is due to announce the result of a review into the private finance initiative funding model next month and a third infrastructure plan is expected with the chancellors autumn statement on December 5. Despite the need for investment in nuclear power stations, significant progress in power construction is not expected until 2014, due to concerns over the governments commitment to ensuring private investment.
FT 14th Oct 2012 more >>
Letter Cllr Bill Findlay: The councils have deferred taking a decision for around three months, in which time we already know it will be impossible to understand the geology of the area properly – that exercise is to be completed in stage four rather than at the beginning of the process which would have been logical. They will also be taking a decision to progress without any certainty about how much waste and what kind of radioactive materials are to be buried. So what could be achieved between now and January? There are two areas of uncertainty that could be addressed within that timescale. The Government has repeatedly said the councils would be able to withdraw from the process up until the point when work could start on building a repository. However, this commitment is not legally binding at present. I would have thought that a Bill to enshrine this would not take up too much of Parliaments time – after all, who would object to it? In deciding to defer, the three councils made it clear that one of the issues they wanted government clarification on before January was about the basis on which a community benefits package would be negotiated. Significantly they expressed no concerns regarding the issue of clearly defining what is meant by the “host community”. If it turns out that the “host community” is defined widely to include an entire borough, then their council could decide to spend a community benefits package throughout the borough and not necessarily exclusively in those areas directly impacted by development.
Times and Star 12th Oct 2012 more >>
Yesterday a unique to the Lake District beermat was launched at Wasdale Show. There has been a Shepherds Meet at Wasdale Head for over 100 years. A spokesperson for Radiation Free Lakeland said my family were farmers in the area and came to the shepherds meet along with other farmers from lakeland valleys who walked their rams over to Wasdale Head to trade swap or hire. This is the last show of the year as the rams are let loose with the ewes in the valleys in November so lambs are born in the spring. The overwhelming message from the shepherds meet was that farmers do not want radioactive waste under their agricultural land
Radiation Free Lakeland 14th Oct 2012 more >>
Dash for Gas
Letter Ed Davey: Neither I nor anyone in government wants to avoid our legally binding targets to cut the UK’s carbon emissions (“Dash for gas to take heat off fuel prices”, Oct 12). The opposite is in fact the case – I am making the case in Government for a new, interim target to limit carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 2030 to give investors certainty about the Government’s commitment to cleaning up the grid. As I made clear in the interview, the power sector needs to be decarbonised, we have almost all of the technologies already, and it’s an enabler for cleaning up transport and heating. Nor have I said I want a “dash for gas” to reduce energy bills, particularly since an excessive reliance on gas would only serve to perpetuate the vuln erability of householders to volatile global gas prices. It’s true that we need new gas plants to keep the lights on as our older, much dirtier, coal plants close. This is entirely consistent with decarbonising the power sector by 2030; because gas can have a long-term role with carbon capture and technology and increasingly be back up (if unabated) for intermittent renewables and nuclear in the 2030s and 2040s . At the same time, our market reforms will incentivise a diversification of the energy mix, increasing the share of energy produced at home and keeping us on track to meet our binding carbon targets.
Times 15th Oct 2012 more >>
Letter WWF: The UK needs a limited number of new gas plants to be built in the coming years to help “balance” the system. However, supporting a new dash for gas would make the UK even more vulnerable to gas price increases at a time where both the Government and the International Energy Agency are forecasting a continued increase in the price of gas in the EU over the next 20 years. The solution to today’s energy price rises is to prioritise investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Substantially improving the efficiency of our homes and buildings will reduce our consumption of energy and protect people from energy price hikes. Increasing investments in renewable energy technologies, where costs for technologies like onshore wind and solar PV are already falling, will also help diversify our energy mix and reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, as well as creating promising economic growth opportunities for the UK.
Times 15th Oct 2012 more >>
Letter Scientific Alliance: At last it seems that the Government is beginning to see sense on energy policy. Building more gas-fired power stations (together with new nuclear, which is not as expensive as some reports suggest) to provide energy security at an affordable price will serve the country much better than a dash for expensive, inefficient and unpopular wind farms. Germany has chosen a different route, and its vast expenditure on wind and solar energy means that German consumers now pay 60 per cent more for electricity than we do, the second highest price in Europe. Danish consumers are even worse off, paying almost twice as much as their UK counterparts, largely because of the country’s high reliance on wind energy.
Times 15th Oct 2012 more >>
If it’s carbon that concerns us, switching from coal to gas can deliver more immediate impact for every pound we spend. Last year wind saved about five million tonnes of CO2, but at a cost of £750 million in subsidy, so that’s £150 per tonne of CO2 saved. However, simply ramping up our relatively clean gas turbines and ramping down coal a little wou ld have delivered the same carbon saving, but perhaps for as little as £100m more for the extra gas, or a more reasonable £20 per tonne of CO2 saved. So what could we have done with that extra £650m we put into production subsidy? Well, we could have left it in the pockets of consumers. Or importantly, we could have invested it in basic energy research and innovation to bring down the cost of clean energy for the future, rather than skewing markets by subsidising inefficient production. And if we want to deal with negative externalities such as carbon, we could perhaps guess that Hayek would have favoured a simple carbon tax. One that starts low, so we don’t dent the economy, but with a clear upward slope to focus minds on the long term. This would certainly encourage investment in clean energy, but particularly technologies such as nuclear, with a long 60-year design life. It would also encourage an almost immediate and efficient switch from coal to gas, with less than half the emissions per unit of energy produced.
Herald 15th Oct 2012 more >>
FRENCH nuclear company Areva is thought to be examining a bid for British atomic fuel producer Urenco. Areva, which failed to make a bid for the Horizon nuclear new-build project by last months deadline, is now weighing up Urenco, according to the Sunday Times. The firm, which denied in January that it was interested in the assets, did not return calls for comment yesterday. The British government hired Morgan Stanley last month to look at a fresh attempt to sell its 33 per cent stake in Urenco, as part of a wider privatisation scheme that has already seen Tote and Direct Line taken out of the states hands.
City AM 15th Oct 2012 more >>
French energy group Areva said on Thursday it had delayed the start of its $1 billion Trekkopje uranium mine in Namibia until market conditions improve.
Reuters 12th Oct 2012 more >>
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) ordered that a small shipment of radioactive kitchenware, that found its way to the Port of Montreal, be taken out of the country. The CNSC issued an order on Oct. 5, demanding that the contaminated container be sent back to India by Hanjin Shipping Canada the company that delivered the cargo to Montreal’s port last May.
CBC 13th Oct 2012 more >>
Mr Netanyahu, now Israels prime minister, is warning that the Islamic republic will be on the brink of developing the bomb by the middle of next year. So how far is Iran from getting the bomb? Timeline estimates are fraught with uncertainty because it is not known how advanced the Iranians may be in their suspected nuclear bomb research. Most experts believe it would take Iran at least two years to assemble a single nuclear-tipped missile, if it decided to do so. Some, though, put it at just over half that time while US officials estimate Iran would need 12 to 18 months to build an atomic weapon.
Scotsman 15th Oct 2012 more >>
A nuclear submarine has collided with a cruiser during routine operations off the east coast of the US. The US Fleet Forces Command said the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Montpelier and the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto collided at about 3.30pm on Saturday. No one was injured, and the extent of any damage to the vessels was not clear on Saturday evening, said Lieutenant Commander Brian Badura.
Guardian 14th Oct 2012 more >>
Scotsman 15th Oct 2012 more >>
Telegraph 14th Oct 2012 more >>
Dail Mail 14th Oct 2012 more >>
BBC 14th Oct 2012 more >>
SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson has been seeking the views of Scotlands Nordic neighbours ahead of a party conference address to members in support of Nato membership. Mr Robertson has held talks with Norways foreign affairs minister Espen Barth Eide, Icelandic president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and senior Danish defence officials. The SNPs Westminster leader said the importance of Nato membership had been made clear and that an independent Scotland should not walk away from its allies.
Press and Journal 15th Oct 2012 more >>
TWO international nuclear disarmament organisations are to bring their annual meetings to Scotland next year in recognition of the key referendum issue of removal of Trident from the Clyde. SNP MSP Bill Kidd is a global council member of Abolition 2000, a network of organisations campaigning for nuclear disarmament, and co-president of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. He said: “I am delighted to report that I have been given a commitment from both Abolition 2000 and PNND that they will be bringing their 2013 AGM meetings to Scotland.
Herald 15th Oct 2012 more >>
Jeremy Leggett: Picture the good news: a third industrial revolution, powered by decentralized energy and massive digital connectivity. Picture the bad news: the residual institutions of the second industrial revolution, powered by oil and 20th century transportation habits, threaten to hold this third revolution back, maybe kill it. These were two future scenarios debated by industry leaders at an IHT conference in Barcelona recently. Solar, with its soaring global sales and plunging prices, featured as a talisman for the third industrial revolution. Fracked gas featured as a flag carrier for extending the life of the second industrial revolution. As the founder of a fast-growing solar company, set up because of my concerns about dependency on oil, gas and coal, I took part in the debate keen to maximize the good news and find ways around the bad news.
New York Times 14th Oct 2012 more >>