A 100-year-old steel mill that once forged guns for the Japanese Imperial Navy has hit a production bottleneck that threatens to derail more than £150 billion of global nuclear power-plant construction. The capacity shortage at Japan Steel Works (JSW) has created a worldwide stampede among electricity producers to place orders with the Tokyo-based engineer for nuclear reactor cores – a specialised component in which the company has an effective global monopoly.
Times 17th March 2008 more >>
Nuclear power plant operator British Energy said it’s in takeover talks that could lead to an offer. “The board announces that the company is in discussions with interested parties in the context of its future and its plans to take a pivotal role in any new nuclear program. These discussions could lead to a business combination or an offer for the company, although there can be no certainty that any offer will be made,” the company said. Weekend press reports suggested the U.K. government has approached a number of energy firms in Europe, including E.On, RWE and EdF, to see if they were interested in buying the government’s 35.2% stake.
Market Watch 17th March 2008 more >>
After decades of procrastination, the government is promising to solve the problem of disposing of the country’s nuclear waste and is looking to Sweden for guidance. The Scandinavian country, along with neighbouring Finland, leads the world in research into radioactive waste disposal and is sharing its findings with the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the agency set up to deal with the atomic clean-up.
FT 17th March 2008 more >>
EARTHWORMS WERE pushed into the firing line last week after a resumption of the testing of depleted uranium shells at Dundrennan. Significant levels of radioactive uranium isotopes were found in the flesh of worms at the Ministry of Defence’s Dumfries weapons range last year. Despite concerns from environmentalists and the international community, the MoD last week started a series of tests of depleted uranium (DU) shells, supposed “safety checks”.
Sunday Herald 16th March 2008 more >>
Britain’s climate change emissions may be 12% higher than officially stated, according to a National Audit Office investigation which has strongly criticised the government for using two different carbon accounting systems. There is “insufficient consistency and coordination” in the government’s approach, the NAO said.
Guardian 17th March 2008 more >>