Sellafield managers have been issued with a formal caution over a leak of radioactive liquid which went unnoticed for 14 months. The Environment Agency said the leak, which was reported in January 2009, caused no impact to the environment. But it said it had issued the caution to make sure it did not happen again. Sellafield said it had made changes to management systems. The leak was spotted on a day when then Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the site.
BBC 15th Feb 2011 more >>
EDF Energy will launch a new consultation this week over plans for two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point. From February 25 to March 28, the energy company will be consulting on changes and further details to its preferred proposals set out at its stage two consultation. Details of the updates and changes will be published at the beginning of the consultation period. The latest consultation will supplement earlier consultations and gives people an opportunity to comment on the company’s updated plans before a development consent order application is submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission.
Bridgwater Mercury 15th Feb 2011 more >>
Britain’s long-awaited new nuclear building programme has started with EDF Energy revealing that it plans to spend UKpound1 billion this year on new contracts and preparation work for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset. By the end of the year, the French-owned energy giant will be employing 700 on preparation work to build two nuclear power stations 300 will be nuclear scientists and designers in London and the rest will work at Hinkley Point.
iStockAnalyst 13th Feb 2011 more >>
Electricity Market Reform
Energy bills will rise because Government proposals will handover £3.43bn to nuclear generators for doing absolutely nothing different. The proposals to introduce a carbon floor price as part of the ongoing Electricity Market Reform (EMR) consultation could end up benefiting existing nuclear generators to the tune of £3.43bn between 2013 and 2026.
Wired Gov 15th Feb 2011 more >>
Plans for undersea nuclear reactors around the coast of France could see a boom in uptake of the technology – but serious questions about costs and waste remain unanswered. In January, France’s naval construction firm DCNS agreed on a joint two-year study of a concept for submerged nuclear power plants together with French company Areva, Electricit de France and the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). Promoters say these could provide energy for millions of people in coastal locations worldwide.
Guardian 15th Feb 2011 more >>
Ecologist 15th Feb 2011 more >>
The French energy giant EDF yesterday blamed a 74 per cent drop in annual profits on gas and electricity markets still depressed by the economic slowdown. A €2.9bn (£2.4bn) provision to cover the effect of low energy prices saw earnings slide from €3.9bn to €1bn, on sales up by 10 per cent to €65bn. The writedowns were spread across a number of the group’s global businesses, including the US and Italy. In the UK, EDF revenues fell by 4.9 per cent to €11bn, hit by lower energy prices and the unexpected shutdown of the Sizewell B nuclear power station, the company said.
Independent 16th Feb 2011 more >>
EDF hopes to reassure investors on its development plans this spring, after the French state-controlled utility group saw net annual profits fall 74 per cent on the back of €2.9bn ($3.9bn) in provisions to cover risks in its international businesses. The provisions helped to depress net profit in 2010 from €3.9bn to €1.02bn, against €3.56bn in 2009. Just over a third of the charges related to the US where EDF owns half of the nuclear assets of Constellation Energy and sites for four potential nuclear plants. In Italy, the group was locked in a battle with its co-shareholder, A2A, in Edison, the country’s second biggest power generator, over strategy and control. Edison accounted for €915m of the total provision. EDF’s UK business was hit by the unexpected shutdown of a nuclear plant and sharp declines in energy prices. However, executives said that the first weeks of 2011 showed the UK fleet was back on track and delivering record levels of production. Nonetheless, Mr Proglio said there were causes for optimism across the group as a whole, after a year in which EDF had restructured its operations and significantly reduced debt through disposals.
FT 16th Feb 2011 more >>
President Barack Obama has signalled continuing commitment to nuclear energy in a budget request for fiscal year 2012 that includes an increase in loan guarantees to help with nuclear new build and investments in nuclear R&D. But the proposals are less kind at the back end of the fuel cycle.
World Nuclear News 15th Feb 2011 more >>
Syria could find itself under intensified scrutiny at meeting of 35-member board of IAEA governors next month after snubbing Yukiya’s request for prompt access to suspect nuclear site.
Middle East Online 15th Feb 2011 more >>
Greenpeace said activists climbed a cooling tower at a Spanish nuclear power station on Tuesday, and the environmental group called on the regulator to reject the plant’s bid to renew its operating permit next month.
Yahoo 15th Feb 2011 more >>
CNN 15th Feb 2011 more >>
STV 15th Feb 2011 more >>
A powerful internet worm repeatedly targeted five industrial facilities in Iran over 10 months, ongoing analysis by security researchers shows. Stuxnet, which came to light in 2010, was the first-known virus specifically designed to target real-world infrastructure, such as power stations. Security firm Symantec has now revealed how waves of new variants were launched at Iranian industrial facilities. Some versions struck their targets within 12 hours of being written.
BBC 15th Feb 2011 more >>
Although Israel has not officially accepted responsibility for the Stuxnet attack, evidence of its role has been mounting since it was first discovered last July. The virus, unprecedented in its sophistication, was designed to infiltrate the control systems at Natanz and make hidden, damaging adjustments to vital centrifuges.
Telegraph 16th Feb 2011 more >>
Scientists and private firms in China have embarked on a major new push to develop liquid-fluoride thorium reactor technology.
Guardian Blog 16th Feb 2011 more >>