The Government’s draft National Policy Statements for energy infrastructure will be strengthened, it was announced today. Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy said: “For large energy projects we need to give industry maximum certainty, so that if sound proposals come forward, they will not fall victim to unnecessary hold-ups. “We have decided to take a further look at the Appraisal of Sustainability of our draft Energy Policy Statements to make sure that they are fit for purpose. Taking this decision now is essential to safeguard our long-term goal of a sustainable and secure energy supply”. Plans for the first new nuclear power station to begin generating electricity by 2018 remain on course. The Government will be launching a re-consultation in the autumn on the draft energy National Policy Statements following the consultation undertaken by the previous administration earlier this year, and in particular due to changes which have been made to the Appraisal of Sustainability for the Overarching Energy National Policy Statement. The revised statements will give investors the certainty they need to bring forward proposals to maintain security of supply and ensure progress towards decarbonisation and plans for the first new nuclear power station to begin generating electricity by 2018 remain on course. We intend to present the finalised statements to Parliament for ratification next Spring. A detailed implementation plan for planning reform on major infrastructure – including transitional arrangements and a revised timetable – will be published later in the summer.
DECC 15th July 2010 more >>
The nuclear industry was plunged into further uncertainty on Thursday when the Government insisted it was necessary to re-examine planning laws aimed at speeding up the UK’s first atomic plants for a generation.
Telegraph 16th July 2010 more >>
The coalition government will reconsider the nation’s nuclear power plans, it said Thursday, surprising the nuclear industry, but added targets for first power generation by 2018 remain intact. The nuclear plan issued by the previous Labour government was widely consulted on by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, but the new coalition government says it wants to look at it again in the autumn to see if it is sustainable. “We have decided to take a further look at the Appraisal of Sustainability of our draft Energy Policy Statements to make sure that they are fit for purpose,” Energy Minister Charles Hendry said in a statement Thursday.
Reuters 15th July 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 15th July 2010 more >>
World Nuclear News 15th July 2010 more >>
Hinkley C application could still go ahead. See Register of Advice 16th June 2010
IPC website more >>
The announcement throws the planning process into some confusion as there will be no list of nuclear sites with which developers such as EdF can line up their planning applications. The text of the announcement suggests that the Government fears being challenged over aspects of the Policy Statements which may not be legally watertight. The suggestion is that the re-consultation and consequent delay will benefit the developers in terms of certainty but oddly states that a nuclear power station is still possible by 2018. A spokesman for the Infrastructure planning Commission said to Stop Hinkley that a case could still be examined and a recommendation made ‘under a hierarchy of policy’. When asked how the public or even the IPC commissioners could judge what questions to put in the planning process without a blueprint we were told they would come back to us after seeking advice.
Bristol Indy Media 15th July 2010 more >>
EDF Energy notes the announcement today on the timetable for ratification of the National Policy Statements on energy. We will work with Government to understand the details and the implications of the announcement. It is vital that the Nuclear NPS is ratified as soon as practical and that it is fully robust. For our part, since the last Nuclear Development Forum meeting, we and our partner Centrica have shown own commitment to new nuclear, pressing ahead with our plans at Hinkley Point and Sizewell. Alongside our increasing commitment, we need to see continued action from Government, in line with its commitment to new nuclear, to address the complex issues that will need to be resolved before new power stations can be built. Our aim is to have our first reactor operational in 2018. As we have consistently said, our plans depend on a robust framework being in place at the right time. The two years of 2010 and 2011 are crucial if we are to keep to this overall timetable.
British Energy 15th July 2010 more >>
Geological Disposal Research
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, under the auspices of the Research Council Energy Programme (RCEP), has been working with the NDA’s Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) to identify research challenges associated with the implementation of a geological waste facility. The NDA and RCEP have called for expressions of interest from researchers to attend a joint workshop focussed on developing possible research activities to address these challenges. These activities will be light touch reviewed at the workshop and the most appropriate invited to prepare full proposals for a subsequent competitive call. Up to £4M will be available over the next four years to support proposals through this call.
NDA 15th July 2010 more >>
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley is trying to drum up opposition from around the lakes to veto plans to ship radioactive waste by boat from Owen Sound to Sweden.
London Free Press 15th July 2010 more >>
Britain and India are expected to reach agreements on some “very big projects”, including nuclear power and higher education, during the visit of prime minister David Cameron to New Delhi this month end. “The prime minister is taking (to India) some of the key ministers in the government. This is the first really big concentrated visit of this coalition government abroad,” UK’s secretary of state for business, Vince Cable, told reporters. There are some “very big projects” that Britain is hoping to bring to conclusions, he said, without mentioning exact dates for Cameron’s India visit. “Among them is the nuclear power projects which we have been discussing with them (India). One of the big areas where India has a large demand and we have potential suppliers is education; higher education. British Universities are potentially very big collaborators in the field as well,” Cable said.
DNA 14th July 2010 more >>
The EURATOM Supply Agency, whose ‘mission is to ensure a regular and equitable supply of nuclear fuels for [European] Community users’, has just released its annual report for 2009. It gives some interesting information on the flow of uranium into and from the European Union. From the pie chart on page 25 of the report, we can see that in 2009 just 2.73 per cent of the uranium delivered to EU utilities came from within the EU itself. Almost half came from Russia, Niger, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, South Africa and Namibia. Is that energy insecurity, relying on uranium supplies from unstable governments with questionable human rights records? The nuclear ‘renaissance’ is supposed to make Europe less reliant on things like Russian gas supplies. It does that by making us reliant on Russian uranium supplies.
Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 14th July 2010 more >>
Petition against a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. SHE want thousands of people to sign up by the time EDF puts in its official planning application later this year, so follow the link to either sign online or print off copies to distribute among your friends. more >>
MORE than 700 employees are in the queue to leave Sellafield. With only a few days left for employees to show an interest, The Whitehaven News has learned this is the number of staff who already want to part company. Sellafield Ltd is looking to cut at least 800 jobs in a massive cost-cutting drive. The company has not been negotiating with the unions, leaving it to the workforce to come forward as volunteers. GMB convenor Peter Kane said yesterday he also understands around 700 had inquired about their individual redundancy terms but this was an “expression of interest” without commitment.
Whitehaven News 14th July 2010 more >>
WESTLAKES Scientific Consulting Ltd, which employs 65 staff across its two West Cumbrian sites, has gone into administration.
Whitehaven News 15th July 2010 more >>
Frazer-Nash, the systems and engineering technology consultancy, has been awarded a five-year framework contract by Horizon Nuclear Power, the company that aims to develop and operate around 6,000MW of new nuclear power stations in the UK by 2025. The framework agreement calls for Frazer-Nash to provide Horizon Nuclear Power with regulatory and licensing services for a five-year period from 2010, representing the start of a long-term strategic relationship. The company will initially focus on supporting Horizon’s submissions of site-licence applications for the Oldbury and Wylfa sites.
The Engineer 15th July 2010 more >>
Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) and Bechtel have announced they will develop the first small-scale Generation III++ nuclear power stations.
New Civil Engineer 15th July 2010 more >>
The WNA, in its role as the international organization of the global nuclear industry, has in recent months begun to focus intensively on the challenge of achieving greater standardisation in reactor designs. The industry, through the WNA, believes that steady progress toward this objective is essential if the world is to achieve success in the decades ahead in exploiting the full potential of nuclear power as a large-scale source of clean energy.
Commodities Now 15th July 2010 more >>
Radiation and Health
A cancer patient recovering from radiation therapy sparked bomb fears as he drove off a Channel ferry. Officials checking for radioactive material stopped Peter Davies, 60, after he set off detectors at Dover. He was allowed through only after he showed a letter detailing the thyroid cancer treatment he’d had a fortnight earlier at St Bart’s, London.
Daily Mirror 15th July 2010 more >>
The scientist who claims he was abducted by US spies was paid $5 million by the CIA to disclose Iran’s nuclear secrets, American officials have said.
Telegraph 15th July 2010 more >>
Shahram Amiri tells reporters he was tortured in US but reception suggests regime is using him for propaganda.
Guardian 15th July 2010 more >>
Energy Solutions is adopting a new international business strategy whereby, rather than importing foreign radioactive waste for processing and disposal at its US facility, it will help overseas customers dispose of such waste in their own country. The company – which has faced strong opposition to its plan to import waste from decommissioned nuclear facilities in Italy for processing and recycling at its facility in Clive, Utah – said that under the new strategy, no internationally generated radioactive waste would be disposed of at the site.
World Nuclear News 15th July 2010 more >>
Liam Fox, the defence secretary, is locked in high-stakes talks with the Treasury over the future funding for Britain’s nuclear deterrent, as he resists pressure on his department to absorb the £20bn cost of renewing the system into its core budget. In a dispute that may have serious implications for the shape of Britain’s armed forces a decade from now, Mr Fox insists that the Treasury must stick to a commitment made by the last Labour government that the nuclear deterrent is of special strategic significance – and that the cost of renewing it must, therefore, be ring-fenced from spending on conventional defence equipment.
FT 16th July 2010 more >>