Capenhurst – Hidden behind huge fences is the high-security compound that houses Urenco’s main operations centre. Since 1952, it has supplied enriched uranium for Britain’s nuclear power industry. Today it supplies 25% of all the enriched uranium used globally in civil nuclear power plants. It is one of the world’s most powerful nuclear fuel companies and stands on the cusp of a boom in business. As the British government attempts to tackle the bloated public finances, its 33% stake in Urenco is one of the assets expected to be offloaded probably through a flotation on the stock market. With the company estimated to be worth £3 billion, it could be a significant piece of the privatisation jigsaw. A sale will not be easy, however, because of the complicated ownership structure. Britain and the Netherlands each own a third of Urenco, with the rest split between Eon and RWE, the German power firms. This structure has already scuppered one privatisation attempt. The Labour government tried to sell Urenco in 2006 but failed because of opposition from the Dutch and German partners.
However, the prospect of selling off a key part of Britain’s nuclear industry has met some resistance at the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office. The ministries are concerned that Urenco’s ability to enrich uranium, using centrifuge technology, to produce fuel for nuclear power plants could, in the wrong hands, be subverted for use in the construction of atomic weapons.
Sunday Times 16th Jan 2011 more >>
The consultation deadline for people who want to comment on plans for two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset has been extended. The closing date for EDF Energy’s planning application for preliminary works for the reactors is now 1700 GMT on 31 January. West Somerset Council said it had received several requests to extend the deadline from 12 January.
BBC 15th Jan 2011 more >>
My personal opinion is that new nuclear will not get built at Shepperdine unless the government completely indemnify the foreign private companies that are controlling the destiny of our country. The government is submitting to these giants in exchange for some perceived investment that under free Market and capitalist systems involves a risk to reward ratio. The reward that eon and RWE are seeking should only be available in centrally planned systems. How about them accepting a royalty payment of 2% for managing the new power stations so most of this guaranteed low risk investment will stay in the UK.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 15th Jan 2011 more >>
A solitary figure looks out over the green fields of Shepperdine towards the grey waters of the Severn estuary taking in the view. Reg Illingworth is an ordinary guy about to contemplate semi-retirement and some travel or start a new business to replace the one he has sold. However what is out of the ordinary is his role in a truly David and Goliath struggle over the future of the fields he is looking out over.
BS35 15th Jan 2011 more >>
Thousands of jobs are to be cut from the Environment Agency in the next few years, a leading union has claimed. The GMB said there were already a number of unfilled vacancies at the agency, with little or no indication that they will be filled. The union accused the Government of claiming that not filling jobs when people left due to early retirement and voluntary redundancy or not filling vacant posts, did not seem to count as a job loss. The union maintained there will be 3,000 fewer people working for the Environment Agency in three years time than there were 18 months ago.
Independent 16th Jan 2011 more >>
Recently, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has initiated activites for the construction of floating nuclear power plants (FNPPs). It is planned that during the second quarter of 2012, FNPPs will be sent to the Russian far eastern region of Kamchatka.
Bellona 13th Jan 2011 more >>
U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the Foreign Relations Committee’s top Republican, said he’s concerned China isn’t doing enough to control the spread of nuclear material.
Reports that China has failed to prevent its companies from selling sensitive materials to Iran for its nuclear programs are “worrisome,” Lugar said in an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend.
Bloomberg 15th Jan 2011 more >>
The Conservative government’s efforts to sell off Canada’s nuclear power agency secretly collapsed this week after the most likely buyer walked away from the negotiating table. Bruce Power was chosen as the “preferred bidder” to proceed into formal negotiations to acquire some of AECL’s commercial reactor assets.
CBC 14th Jan 2011 more >>
A group of ambassadors to the U.N. atomic watchdog toured an Iranian nuclear site on Saturday, state television reported, and Tehran accused the European Union of missing an historic opportunity by boycotting the visit.
Reuters 15th Jan 2011 more >>
BBC 15th Jan 2011 more >>
An Iranian family detained by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) after their asylum claim failed are hoping to be released pending a judicial review. Mohammed Vahidi applied for asylum in Manchester in 2007 after being linked to leaks about Iran’s nuclear industry. The family went into hiding in August 2010 after being given a removal date, but were arrested by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) on 20 December. Lawyers are applying for bail pending the outcome of the legal action.
BBC 15th Jan 2011 more >>
BARROW’S shipyard has passed a nuclear safety exercise at the second attempt. Operation Indigo 10 involved an on site exercise simulating a radiation leak from a submarine and the response to it by BAE and an offsite exercise response of the wider town headed by Cumbria County Council. The exercise included the removal of pretend ‘casualties’ from the Devonshire Dock Hall. Last July the yard failed the exercise, but the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate said it was designed to show up any weaknesses.
North West Evening Mail 15th Jan 2011 more >>