On 10 January 2013, the group of all 6 Cumbria MP’s met in Westminster Parliament, to hear evidence concerning radioactive waste investigations and the NDA proposals to buld a GDF, should a suitable site be found. Evidence presented by Stuart Haszeldine and David Smythe is available here.
Edinburgh University School of Geo Sciences 17th Jan 2013 more »
FOUR of Cumbria’s six MPs favour a geological search to see if there is anywhere in the west of the county which might prove suitable to bury radioactive waste. West Cumbria’s two MPs – Jamie Reed (Copeland) and Sir Tony Cunningham (Workington) – have given their backing along with Carlisle’s John Stevenson and Barrow’s John Woodcock following an informal Cumbria cross-party MP session in Westminster. But Rory Stewart (Penrith and The Border) and Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) say no formal decision was reached in last Thursday’s evidence-gathering session, held ahead of the January 30 meetings in which Cumbria County Council Cabinet, Copeland and Allerdale borough council executives will decide whether to start trying to identify a potentially suitable underground site through desk top studies. Meanwhile energy minister Baroness Verma has written to the three councils stressing government commitment to make “right of withdrawal” from the repository process legally binding as well as giving assurances over community benefits at a future stage.
Whitehaven News 17th Jan 2013 more »
Baroness Verma’s webchat is available here.
Carlisle News and Stat 17th Jan 2013 more »
Whitehaven News 17th Jan 2013 more »
Stop Nuclear Waste Plans for the Lake District Petition.
38 Degress 17th Jan 2013 more »
Businesses from across Cumbria will be heading down to Westminster to take part in the first Cumbria Day. It has been organised by the county’s MPs who have put party politics to one side to promote Cumbria together. The aim is show decision makers that there is more to Cumbria than the lakes and mountain which draw millions of visitors each year.
ITV 17th Jan 2013 more »
More than 500 people attended a meeting in Keswick to discuss their opposition to plans to bury radioactive waste under the Lake District or the Solway. Cumbria County Council, Allerdale Council and Copeland Council are to vote on whether the Government should include West Cumbria in a list of sites being searched for a a new underground repository for high-level radioactive waste. A quarter of West Cumbria was ruled out of the site search by a preliminary report of the British Geological Survey in 2010. The survey shows 75 per cent of the area left is within the national park. Campaigners have produced a video explaining their opposition to the plans to use Ennerdale as a place to dump nuclear waste underground.
Cumbria24 13th Jan 2013 more »
DITCH THE DUMP DEMO at Bowness Bay on Saturday 19th January 10am for a couple of hours. Come along and join in the Demonstration! There will be street theatre and art events. Help make a giant postcard to present to the Cabinet of Cumbria County Council and come along to make your voice heard.
Facebook 17th Jan 2013 more »
There is a demo in Cumbria on Saturday about the concerns of waste storage up there. Many of us here aren’t able to get up there this saturday so we want to offer solidarity to their action. We have recently been creating a presecence at the railhead where they transfer the highly dangerous radwaste in the middle of Bridgwater town right next to Eastover Primary School. Because of this this saturdays solidarity demo will be outside the railway station in Bridgwater with or without radioactive waste barrel costumes, please come and lend a hand giving out fliers, or just being a presence as a group.
Facebook 17th Jan 2013 more »
Kit and Charles Graves, directors of Lake District Hotels Ltd, have sent this message to people in the hope it will be forwarded, and those of you who object to what may happen will do something to help.
Visit Cumbria (accessed) 17th Jan 2013 more »
HALF a million pounds will be spent on protecting the Lake District’s image if councils agree to look for a nuclear waste burial site in West Cumbria. The Government has earmarked the £500,000 for a nationwide advertising campaign on top of £3.25 million already spent by the Department of Energy on the repository process, The Whitehaven News can reveal. Repository critic and Ennerdale parish councillor David Wood said: “The prospect of this money confirms that siting a GDF in the Lake District will damage the Lake District brand image – otherwise why is so much additional public money being used to promote tourism in Cumbria?
Whitehaven News 17th Jan 2013 more »
Letter from Bruce McKirdy: First, regarding Ennerdale – Mr Wood is entirely correct in saying that we have no current proposals for Ennerdale. The fact that Dr Dearlove, who advised the MRWS Partnership on geology, thinks it may be suitable does not mean we will investigate it in Stage 4. However, if the community decides to proceed to stage 4 and offers it up for investigation we will investigate it (as we would any other site or area offered up by a community). By community, I mean the decision- making bodies (DMBs) who would be advised by a community siting partnership. The definition of those terms is given in the report from the MRWS partnership.
Whitehaven News 17th Jan 2013 more »
RenewableUK gave key evidence to the parliamentary committee scrutinising the landmark Energy Bill in Westminster today. The Bill sets out a radical new financial framework for the energy sector for the decades ahead. It aims to provide best value for money for consumers, while also ensuring the UK generates a secure supply of cleaner energy at a stable cost, in which renewables will play an increasingly important role. Regarding the siting process in Canada – the process does not identify the most suitable geology first and then look for volunteers. Similar to the UK process, it first seeks interested communities and then applies screening ahead of any detailed evaluation. The process is described on the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organisation website
Renewable UK 17th Jan 2013 more »
Energy policy decisions are not made in the DECC – they are made in the Treasury. The most important person, and effectively secretary of state in all but name, is the chancellor’s political adviser Rupert Harrison. Mr Harrison is a rare creature in Whitehall. He is intelligent, pragmatic and possessed of a managed ego. He does not go around proclaiming the fact that he is now one of the three or four most important people in the government. He is self effacing, charming and open to intellectual arguments. He was a great success at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Mr Harrison sees UK energy policy in global terms. He believes that the global gas market has changed and that prices are likely to fall. He is right; though, the government generally has so far failed to reconcile that view – which suggests greater reliance on gas for power generation – with the growing evidence of global climate volatility and the UK’s legal commitment to emissions reductions. That is why there is still confusion about UK policy and deep uncertainty among investors. Some synthesis of the three different objectives of energy policy – security of supply, competitive costs and progress on climate policy – will be essential if investment is to resume. It may well be that this uncertainty will remain until the next Conservative election manifesto is published. No doubt Mr Harrison will have a hand there, too.
FT 16th Jan 2013 more »
Work to build the Dry Fuel Store at Sizewell B power station starts this week (14 Jan). The Dry Fuel Store will be situated on the existing Sizewell B site and will take approximately two years to build. “This is an important major development for Sizewell B power station, which will ensure we have the ability to continue to store our spent fuel, safely and securely, on site for many years to come,” said Jim Crawford, Sizewell B’s Station Director.
EDF Energy 14th Jan 2013 more »
A TOWN council has formulated its initial response to the ongoing pre-application consultation for Sizewell C power station. A letter from Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council will now be drafted in reaction to each element of EDF Energy’s proposal for a new twin reactor immediately north of the existing Sizewell B plant. Ray Ricks and James Bailey, of independent consultant Boyer Planning, heard the thoughts of councillors and residents at a public meeting specially convened to discuss the application. Mr Ricks shared the concerns of a number of consultees over a “lack of information” included in the pre-application, and suggested EDF should move to a more detailed “Stage 1A” before adopting a second phase of consultation.
East Anglian Daily Times 17th Jan 2013 more »
One thousand permanent jobs and 6,000 temporary construction jobs could soon become a reality following the news that the Government has started formally assessing the new technology behind the scheme, to build a huge nuclear power station in South Gloucestershire.
South West Business 17th Jan 2013 more »
PLANS to build a massive new nuclear power station in South Gloucestershire have taken a big step forward. Horizon Nuclear Power, the firm behind the scheme, has welcomed news that the Government has started formally assessing the new technology behind the scheme.
Bristol Evening Post 17th Jan 2013 more »
The biggest forecasted area for improvement between now and 2017 is infrastructure, with average growth of 14.3% per year. That’s providing the project to build a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey goes ahead from 2016, which will also generate work for a wide number in the supply chain.
ITV 16th Jan 2013 more »
It is dispiriting to read many articles – on both sides of the Atlantic – by media pundits and poorly-informed scientists about low-level radiation risks. These articles commonly assert, with little or no evidence, that there is nothing to worry about radiation and that nuclear projects are encumbered by overly strict safety limits. In particular, they usually state that no risks are seen below 100 mSv; that the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model is wrong; and that there were only about 50 deaths at Chernobyl with no more expected. There often seems to be a close relationship between the level of ignorance evidenced in articles on this subject and the over-confidence with which they are written. In recent months, a flurry of epidemiological studies go further than merely refuting ill-informed articles. They indicate adverse effects to people exposed to very low doses from medical CT scans and other clinical procedures; to infants living near nuclear power stations; and to Chernobyl clean-up workers. They even reveal adverse effects from background radiation to which all of us are exposed. Taken together, the new studies indicate that our current understandings about radiation risks, especially in infants and children, may be incorrect and they may need to be revised upwards. In particular, the current adult (absolute) ICRP risk for fatal cancer of 5% per Sv and the ICRP’s use of a dose and dose-rate effectiveness factor (DDREF) look increasingly out of date.
IanFairlie 17th Jan 2013 more »
The Belgian nuclear safety authority yesterday announced that it is postponing a decision on the restart of two reactors (Doel 3 and Tihange 2) that were shut down over the summer due to the discovery of fissures in their cores. The authority has asked for more information before any decision to reopen the damaged reactors can be taken. Last week, a study commissioned by the Greens/EFA group (1) underlined some of the outstanding safety issues (notably steel deficiencies) that have not been addressed with the two reactors, with Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms calling on the Belgian authorities to address these issues before approving any restart
Greens/EFA Press Release 16th Jan 2013 more »
Environmental services company Veolia Environnement has agreed to cooperate with France’s national energy research commission, the CEA, in the dismantling and remediation of nuclear facilities. Two cooperation agreements have been signed between the organizations. The first covers nuclear facility dismantling and remediation while the second specifically concerns CEA facilities at Marcoule and Cadarache. They specify technological cooperation between Veolia Environnement and the CEA, particularly in the area of radiological mapping of facilities.
World Nuclear News 17th Jan 2013 more »
The Department of Energy is proposing to allow the sale of tons of scrap metal from government nuclear sites—an attempt to reduce waste that critics say could lead to radiation-tainted belt buckles, surgical implants and other consumer products. The department, in a document released last month, said the recycling proposal is in line with its policy of “reusing materials whenever possible.” The approximately 14,000 tons of metal under review for possible initial release is only a fraction of the tens of millions of tons of metal recycled annually, it said. Smaller amounts could be eligible for release in future years.
Wall St Journal 16th Jan 2013 more »
Japan prepares to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm this July. By 2020, the plan is to build a total of 143 wind turbines on platforms 16 kilometres off the coast of Fukushima, home to the stricken Daiichi nuclear reactor that hit the headlines in March 2011 when it was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami. The wind farm, which will generate 1 gigawatt of power once completed, is part of a national plan to increase renewable energy resources following the post-tsunami shutdown of the nation’s 54 nuclear reactors. Only two have since come back online.
New Scientist 16th Jan 2013 more »
Fukushima Crisis Update 15th to 17th Jan.
Greenpeace Internatonal 18th Jan 2013 more »
BARROW and Furness MP John Woodcock has called for a ‘like for like’ replacement of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr Woodcock said: “I am occasionally asked how my faith impacts on my politics. The truth is, in most areas I don’t know. But one thing of which I am certain is that the devastation of nuclear war would be an affront to nature, and God himself.
NW Evening Mail 17th Jan 2013 more »
Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has predicted the coming years will see a surge in solar installations as the cost of the technology continues to fall and businesses and households realise solar panels offer an effective means of reducing energy bills and carbon emissions.
Business Green 17th Jan 2013 more »
Highlighting the fact that a global switch to renewable energy is not just necessary, but doable, a new report released by the WWF concludes that the solar arrays necessary to meet all the world’s projected energy needs in 2050 would cover under one percent of global land area. Obviously this is a theoretical exercise, and 100 percent of the planet’s electricity needs are not actually going to be filled through solar. But several credible scenarios suggest that solar could provide about 30 percent of global total electricity in 2050, up from the 0.1 percent it provides now.
Climate Progress 17th Jan 2013 more »
Housing industry leaders have urged George Osborne to restore the so-called conservatory tax, axed by Eric Pickles in December, which they say is necessary to ensure much-needed improvements to the UK’s ageing housing stock. The measure – which would require householders planning to make major changes to their homes, such as large extensions, to ensure their property meets basic standards of energy efficiency – was dropped after outcry from sections of the Tory party.
Guardian 18th Jan 2013 more »
Why councils could be the answer to the energy crisis: With rising fuel prices putting households under pressure, local government energy schemes provide an alternative solution. local authorities across the UK are beginning to see an alternative. They are taking control of their own energy future and investing in decentralised networks that bring down prices, improve energy security, cut carbon and make communities more prosperous and resilient. Decentralised energy is not yet a widely understood term, but broadly refers to energy that is generated off the main grid, including micro-renewables, heating and cooling. It can refer to energy from waste plants, combined heat and power, district heating and cooling, as well as geothermal, biomass or solar energy. Schemes can serve a single building or a whole community, even being built out across entire cities. At the Carbon Trust we’re working with Bristol city council to help them lead and manage their own projects and ensure that maximum public benefit is achieved. Bristol has secured £2.5m to develop sustainable energy projects in the city, including four district heating schemes.
Guardian 17th Jan 2013 more »
The report from think tank Policy Exchange said there is evidence that households cut the amount of energy they use when they compare themselves against a more energy efficient neighbour. A trial in Camden, north London, found that residents cut their gas and electricity bills by 6pc by comparing their energy use to neighbours in similar properties. The trial, which looked at 600 homes, cost less than £3 per household. The think tank said the Government’s new energy efficiency subsidy, the Energy Company Obligation, should be used to pay for the scheme, as well as similar ‘nudging’ initiatives that focus on reducing energy use.
Telegraph 18th Jan 2013 more »
Age UK said that older people living in areas which are not connected to the gas grid were the “forgotten face” of fuel poverty in Britain. The cost of a tank of heating fuel has fluctuated during the past year but last month prices were running at 14 per cent higher than the previous December – and 20 per cent more than in the summer.
Telegraph 18th Jan 2013 more »