Britain has a stockpile of plutonium and uranium that, if converted to fuel, could be worth nearly £160 billion and power three nuclear reactors for 60 years, scientists say. The future of the stockpile – largely left over from burning fuel – will be decided by ministers over the next year, The Times has learnt. Its value is estimated as the equivalent of 2.6 billion barrels of oil. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which takes responsibility for the stockpile on behalf of the State, has begun to consult the nuclear industry on what to do with the 100 tonnes of plutonium, which is stored at present at Sellafield, Cumbria. The NDA confirmed that it was also talking to uranium reprocessors about the possible sale of some of the uranium, which is stored at Capenhurst, Cheshire, and is thought to be double the quantity of plutonium.
Times 18th Aug 2008 more >>
When the breakaway region of Abkhazia split from Georgia in 1993, the world’s only known case of enriched uranium going missing was reported after up to 2kg of the potentially devastating material was stolen from a laboratory. There are now fears that the organised criminal gangs that are rife in the region could exploit the confusion of the current conflict to loot other stocks.
Telegraph 18th Aug 2008 more >>
Vattenfall AB is currently unable to say when it can put its two closed northern German nuclear reactors back into service, the Swedish utility’s chief executive Goeran Josefsson told German daily Tagesspiegel. The two power plants in Brunsbuettel and Kruemmel, which German unit Vattenfall Europe AG. jointly operates with E.ON AG, were disconnected from the grid after separate incidents in June 2007 related to the plants’ power supplies.
Interactive Investor 17th Aug 2008 more >>
A former Labour cabinet minister has declared that he is paid £36,000 a year for providing an estimated three hours a week advice after coming under investigation for allegedly breaching the peers’ code of conduct. For five months, a House of Lords disciplinary committee has been conducting an inquiry into Jack Cunningham, now a peer, following a complaint that he failed to declare the consultancy on an official anti-sleaze register. He is paid to give confidential political advice to the City of London Corporation.
Guardian 18th Aug 2008 more >>
Why are we not forging ahead with this technology? The world’s first commercial wave farm has been developed and built by an Edinburgh firm, Pelamis Wave Power. Three of their football-pitch-sized turbines are bobbing about in the Atlantic but off Portugal, not Scotland.
Sunday Times 17th Aug 2008 more >>
The Nuclear Suppliers Group meets in Vienna (on August 22) to consider relaxing restrictions on nuclear exports to India. Only a unanimous vote in favour of lifting export restrictions would allow the treaty to progress.
FT 18th Aug 2008 more >>