The UK’s nuclear new-build programme will not be derailed by the disaster at Fukushima in Japan, delegates at Marketforce’s Nuclear Industry Forum heard yesterday. Representatives from three nuclear power plant developers were keen to stress that the industry would take on board lessons from the accident, but said that the UK public still in general accepted that nuclear was necessary to help meet the country’s low carbon and security of supply goals.
Utility Week 16th June 2011 more >>
The project manager of the Shard, Bernard Ainsworth, is to advise EDF on the construction of its fleet of nuclear power stations, as the French energy giant ramps up its procurement plans. EDF confirmed that Ainsworth, who has already cut back his hours working on the £425m tower, will take a non-executive directorship on the board of its nuclear new build project. The move comes as EDF moves on its plans for the £4.5bn first reactor in Hinkley, Somerset, after energy minister Charles Hendry confirmed this week that the government would publish a list of confirmed nuclear new build sites before the summer.
Building 17th June 2011 more >>
It is becoming evident to many that the March nuclear catastrophe at Japan’s six reactor Daichi Fukushima complex has dealt a huge, possibly fatal, blow to the nuclear industry’s hopes of a revival. A year ago even global warming enthusiasts reluctantly embraced nuclear power as a carbon-free energy generating system, and the industry was ramping up for glory days as a result.
Commodities Now 16th June 2011 more >>
The United Kingdom remains the strongest contender for new nuclear build in Europe, according both pro and anti-nuclear energy industry sources. Although the UK government has asked the countrys chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman with producing a report into the events at Fukushima, it seems unlikely that it will significantly affect the UKs plans for new nuclear build.
Nuclear Engineering International 16th June 2011 more >>
The International Energy Agency has warned that the world faces higher energy costs, more carbon emissions and greater supply uncertainty if it turns its back on nuclear power. Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA, signalled that the organisation was likely to cut its estimates of atomic power when it finalises its latest World Energy Outlook this year. The IEA previously believed nuclear would generate 14% of all electricity by 2035 but this figure is under revision in the light of Germany and Japan abandoning the sector following the Fukushima crisis. This week, in a referendum, Italy also voted overwhelmingly and against the advice of Silvio Berlusconi’s government to reject any return to nuclear power.
Guardian 16th June 2011 more >>
Letter from David Smythe: The West Cumbrian Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership has organised a geology seminar to take place in Whitehaven on June 20 concerning proposals to dispose of higher activity radioactive wastes in West Cumbria. The announcement states that I declined an invitation to take part. This is misleading. In fact it was I who proposed to the MRWS over two months ago that I give a public talk about my findings on the unsuitability of Cumbria for hosting a nuclear waste dump. The MRWS responded by offering me a 15-minute slot within a larger seminar of two hours duration. Since the complexities of the geology, district by district, cannot possibly be covered in a quarter of an hour, I then withdrew my offer. It is clear to me that the Partnership does not wish a genuine debate; the forthcoming seminar is merely a PR exercise. Two months ago I published a detailed technical article, running to 35 pages, to back up my earlier general statement, based on the complexity of the geology and proximity of the mountains, that nowhere in West Cumbria is suitable for high or intermediate level radioactive waste disposal (see davidsmythe.org). No official government body has responded in any substance to my geological criticisms. It is evident that they cannot, and that my conclusion stands. The lessons of the Nirex Inquiry of 1995-96, in which I was heavily involved, must not be forgotten. I am more than happy to debate in proper scientific detail my professional knowledge of West Cumbria, in a serious manner say 45 minutes each, with one speaker each for and against an appropriate motion, followed by debate and questions from the floor. The venue should preferably be in West Cumbria, but I am prepared to appear anywhere in the UK. The debate should be video-recorded and then put on the public MRWS website, together with full transcripts of the presentations. I await the challenge with eagerness.
Whitehaven News 16th June 2011 more >>
A geology expert has branded a seminar by the organisation looking into proposals for a nuclear waste dump in West Cumbria as a public relations exercise. The claim was made after he said he was refused enough time to explain important details to the public. David Smythe, emeritus professor of geophysics at the University of Glasgow, said he had concluded that West Cumbria was geologically unsuitable for a high level nuclear waste repository. He suggested to the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership that he should give a public talk on his findings. After being offered a 15-minute slot within a broader, two-hour seminar, Prof Smythe withdrew his offer. He said the complexities of the geology could not be covered in the time offered. Two months ago Prof Smythe published a 35-page technical article backing up his statement that West Cumbria was unsuitable.
West Cumberland Times & Star 16th June 2011 more >>
Letter: Marianne Birkby: The Geology Seminar organised by the Managing Radioactive Waste (un)Safely Partnership should by rights be called Lets Make Cumbria the Nuclear Patsy seminar.. The Nirex Inquiry decision was that a site should be sought elsewhere. Eminent geologists have confirmed that this meant outside of West Cumbrias leaky geology. Radiation Free Lakeland will be at the seminar at Whitehaven Civic Hall on June 20 at 6.30pm please join us to show that there is strong, vocal and reasoned resistance to being led up the toxic garden path on steps towards geological disposal.
Whitehaven News 16th June 2011 more >>
In a legal motion filed today, watchdog groups pressed the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to terminate the approval process for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design. The groups said that a growing list of mistakes and omissions and a 19th version of the experimental design filed just this week by the company prove that the rulemaking process to approve the ever-changing design is legally null and void.
Common Dreams 16th June 2011 more >>
With Italy being the latest European country to reject nuclear power, a coalition of anti-nuclear groups in Britain has announced plans to hold a mass non-violent blockade of Hinkley Point nuclear power station on 3rd October. The plant, near Bridgwater in Somerset, is expected to be the site of the first new nuclear power station, if current plans go ahead.
CND 16th June 2011 more >>
According to Horizon Nuclear Power, UK nuclear build costs are unlikely to rise much due to probable new measures to be introduced following the Fukushima disaster.
Anglesey Today 16th June 2011 more >>
Sizewell A and B Stakeholder Group (SSG) recently came under fire from campaigners for refusing to talk about the stricken Fukushima Power Plant at its AGM. Chairman Richard Smith sent out a letter asking that questions and remarks about the nuclear facility be avoided. Instead he wanted to hold a dedicated meeting following the publication of the Government report into the disaster, which is due out in September. But following representations at this months lively AGM he has now set a date for a full public meeting. It will be held on July 7 at 7pm in Saxmundham Market Hall.
East Anglian Daily Times 16th June 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is to publish a report about the proposed removal of its nuclear fuel from Dounreay and wants to hear the views of the public. NDA inherited approximately 100 tonnes of specialist reactor fuel from the UK Atomic Energy Authority after nuclear research came to an end and work started to close down the site. Options for the fuels range from indefinite storage at Dounreay to re-use in nuclear power stations elsewhere. The NDA’s preferred option will be set out in a report later this month. A final decision on the largest single batch of fuel 44 tonnes of uranium metal used to breed plutonium at Dounreay in the 1960s and 70s is expected in September.
DSRL 16th June 2011 more >>
SELLAFIELD Ltd has awarded four-year Decommissioning Framework Agreements to supply a range of services to support decommissioning. The following firms have received the contracts: Astrel (Jacobs E&C Ltd, Hertel Ltd., Studsvik UK Ltd.); Cumbria Nuclear Solutions Ltd (James Fisher Nuclear Ltd., React Engineering Ltd., Shepley Engineers Ltd., Stobbarts Ltd., WYG Engineering Ltd, along with the international engineering organisation Westinghouse Electric Co UK Ltd.); DEV Nuclear (Doosan Power Systems Ltd., Energy Solutions EU Ltd. and Babcock Nuclear Ltd.); Nuvia Ltd.
Whitehaven News 16th June 2011 more >>
Gas was the preferred energy investment pick of executives, analysts and investors attending a Reuters summit this week, beating solar and nuclear by a wide margin. Over 60 percent of those at Reuters’ Energy and Climate Summit this week chose natural gas. None picked coal.
Reuters 16th June 2011 more >>
UK science and engineering students will be able to experience building a scaled down nuclear power plant as part of a new training programme known as the Nuclear Island. The programme was officially launched on 15 June, when a pilot week began with 25 engineering students from Imperial College London designing and constructing a scaled down nuclear power plant. They will be assessed in relation to real-life skills such as radiation protection, site licensing, budgetary control and project management. The pilot week is scheduled to end with a yet to be unveiled safety breach, which will test the students’ ability to respond to a potential disaster scenario.
World Nuclear News 16th June 2011 more >>
Letter: What is needed is a revitalised political process based upon ethical principles and honesty, not political expediency and spin. But without a fair electoral system in Britain, the only remaining party of principle the Greens can make little headway. Friends of the Earth was created to achieve rapid change by short, sharp campaigns which seized the public imagination. By becoming bogged down in protracted policy campaigns, FoE, Greenpeace and the rest have effectively been neutralised compare Germany’s and Italy’s response to nuclear power post-Fukushima with that in Britain, if you don’t believe me. Please listen to Charles Secrett he has a track record to be proud of, and he is talking great sense.
Guardian 16th June 2011 more >>
Japan is to ask pregnant women and children to move away from radiation “hotspots” found far away from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, reflecting new anxieties about the spread of radioactivity. The government will not, however, evacuate entire towns, but rather homes where residents could be exposed to more than 20 millisieverts of radiation per year, chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said.
Scotsman 17th June 2011 more >>
Faced with an energy crisis as the summer arrives in Japan, one prefecture is adopting a habit that was previously anathema to hard-working Japanese – the midday siesta.
Telegraph 17th June 2011 more >>
A government report is now warning that the stoicism of many victims in the early weeks of the disaster may mask post-traumatic stress disorder. This week a dairy farmer from the town of Soma, in the Fukushima region near the crippled nuclear plant was found to have hanged himself after being forced to sell his herd because of a ban on the sale of milk from the area.
Times 17th June 2011 more >>
A new report claims that nuclear should remain a “vital building block” in meeting Europe’s future energy needs. The claim, from the body representing Europe’s nuclear industry, comes amid renewed intense debate about nuclear energy. The devastating nuclear accident in Japan earlier this year and Germany’s recent decision to phase out its nuclear programme has cast fresh doubt on the future of the sector. But Foratom, the trade association representing the European nuclear industry, believes nuclear energy will contribute “significantly” to the goal of achieving the low-carbon energy system by 2050 that lies at the heart of the commission’s energy 2020 strategy.
The Parliament 16th June 2011 more >>
A shortage of water is threatening Frances nuclear reactor complex, as the regions worst drought in more than a half-century drains rivers and free-flowing water to cooling reactors. Most French rivers have seen a significant drop in their water levels because the drought has affected half of the country’s counties, which farming unions maintain is the worst in 35 years. France currently operates 59 nuclear reactors, which provide 78.8 percent of the countrys electricity, the highest percentage in the world. The water shortage issue is hardly insignificant, as 44 of France’s 59 reactors are situated by rivers. with the remainder located on the coast.
Oil Price 16th June 2011 more >>
The French government said on Thursday it planned to replace Anne Lauvergeon as chief executive of Areva, putting an end to weeks of speculation and controversy about the management of the state-controlled nuclear power company. Ms. Lauvergeon, one of Frances best-known executives, will be replaced by Luc Oursel, who headed Arevas nuclear reactor business before joining Ms. Lauvergeons executive board as chief operating officer in charge of international, marketing and projects. Ms. Lauvergeons term as chief executive expires on June 29. A regular on Forbes magazines list of the worlds most powerful women, she has come under fire after cost overruns at a nuclear reactor project in Finland, the loss of a huge deal in Abu Dhabi, and a public dispute with Henri Proglio, the head of the state utility EDF.
New York Times 16th June 2011 more >>
FT 17th June 2011 more >>
The chairman of a regulatory body has criticised his own agencys policy on fire safety enforcement in nuclear plants. Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in the US, Gregory Jaczko, branded unacceptable the agencys continuing exercise of discretion in not enforcing fire safety provisions under NFPA-805, the standard for light water nuclear reactor plants. The NRCs vote last month to continue its policy of enforcement discretion would mean that most fire safety code violations at 44 of the countrys 101 nuclear reactors would not be enforced, according to the investigative website Pro Publica. It reports that many of the plants are relying on fire watches and other short-term measures, allowing companies to postpone installing fire suppression systems, barriers and other fire safety measures.
Info4fire 17th June 2011 more >>
Resource-poor India proposes to increase its nuclear electrical power capacity to 63,000 megawatts by 2032. In the wake of Japans March Fukushima catastrophe New Delhi is reviewing its plans. Across the board, the Indian government has been reviewing and modifying proposals as well as upgrading emergency preparedness and safety applications for existing and proposed nuclear power plants. One project impacted by delays has been the signing of the final works contract between Indias Nuclear Power Corp. and Frances Areva, for the supply of two 1,650 megawatt at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. While contracts were originally expected to be exchanged this month, the date has now been pushed back to September at the earliest, the Business Standard reported.
Oil Price 16th June 2011 more >>
Germany has set more in motion than simply ending its use of nuclear power by 2022. It has created a new energy strategy marking a milestone in Germany’s economic and social development. This will give other countries a great deal of food for thought. By 2020 renewables are to account for a minimum of 35 per cent of electricity consumption in Germany (now 17 per cent). There will be new high-voltage lines, to aid, for example, north-south transport, alongside new intelligent networks and storage systems. The time needed to plan and build power lines will be cut from an average of ten to four years. Energy saving is also to be encouraged, especially in the transport and building sector, where 70 per cent of primary energy is used. As early as 2012, the government will invest 1.5 billion in renovating existing public buildings. The same sum will be allocated to helping home owners implement the necessary measures to make their homes energy efficient.
Scotsman 17th June 2011 more >>
Italy could receive a boost in the medium-term for the development of wind and other renewable energy sources, following an overwhelming public vote against the revival of nuclear power.
Windpower Monthly 15th June 2011 more >>
Since 2004, 26 states have put long-term energy efficiency resource standards (EERS) into place. Like renewable energy standards, these programs set long-term targets for demand reductions that power providers must meet usually by helping end-use customers save energy. A new report out from the American Council on Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) looks at 19 of those programs that have been in place for over two years. And guess what? Thus far, the programs are working.
Climate Progress 16th June 2011 more >>
WHEN Lucy Walker was a child, she was so worried about nuclear war she wanted her dad to build a bomb shelter in the back garden. Oh, to be young during the Eighties, when the Cold War was on a steady boil. It was such a horrifying idea for a child, recalls the British film-maker. But those days are now ancient history, right? Not so. As Walkers new documentary, Countdown to Zero, points out, nuclear weapons remain a real and present danger. Whether catastrophe might be caused by terrorists making a bomb, nuclear proliferation or accidents, the Oscar-nominated director of the documentary Waste Land says reality has moved on since films such as Dr Strangelove (1964) and When the Wind Blows (1986) brought the subject before audiences.
Herald 16th June 2011 more >>