New safety scares at Britain’s largest atomic site – including a 14-month radioactive leak and the loss of two toxic containers – are threatening to undermine confidence in the government’s nuclear renaissance. Nuclear Management Partners, which runs Sellafield complex, admitted a spillage found in January, the day before Gordon Brown visited, was “level two”, the worst since a 2005 accident that saw then-owners British Nuclear Fuels Ltd fined £500,000. A board of inquiry has concluded that the drip from a faulty flange went unnoticed “because managerial controls over the line were insufficient and there was inadequate inspection”. NMP says the leak was small and there was no threat to human safety.
Guardian 18th May 2009 more >>
The government is under growing pressure to hold a public inquiry into building new nuclear stations amid claims that the current system of “justification” is fatally flawed and that public confidence in ministers is at an all-time low. A group of leading academics has joined green pressure groups and others in demanding greater transparency. The justification process is required by the EU as a high-level assessment to ensure the benefits of new-build nuclear stations outweigh potential detriments. The academics, part of the Nuclear Consultation Group (NGC), have written to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) calling for an inquiry, not least because the energy secretary, Ed Milliband, has made himself the final authority in the justification of new power stations, even though he has voiced support for building more atomic reactors.
Guardian 18th May 2009 more >>
HEYSHAM Power Stations’ owners have now formally put the land up for sale. EDF Energy is looking to divest itself of either Heysham or Dungeness in Kent for another operator to build a new nuclear site there. Both sites were acquired as a result of EDF Energy’s integration with British Energy in January.
Morecambe Visitor 15th May 2009 more >>
The big five nuclear powers have issued a joint statement welcoming progress towards worldwide nuclear disarmament, although their optimism remains overshadowed by the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. The US, Russia, China, the UK and France reiterated their “enduring and unequivocal commitment to work towards nuclear disarmament”. The statement came on Friday at the end of two weeks of talks at the United Nations to prepare for next year’s scheduled review of the 39-year-old nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
FT 18th May 2009 more >>
An armed vessel with a load of recycled nuclear fuel from France arrived amid heavy security Monday at a Japanese port where it was greeted by dozens of protesters.
Yahoo 18th May 2009 more >>
President Obama will seek today to persuade the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister that the White House’s recent overtures to Iran should be given time to work and that an Israeli military strike against Tehran could trigger disaster.
Times 18th May 2009 more >>
Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Seyed Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi said that Russia is doing its best to complete and launch Bushehr nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr by the end of 2009. Bushehr nuclear plant started its pre-commissioning stage in the presence of Iranian and Russian nuclear experts in February 2009.
Energy Business Review 17th May 2009 more >>
Israel’s nuclear bombs arsenal poses “the real danger” in the Middle East and not Iran’s civilian nuclear programme, Arab League chief Amr Musa said on Sunday.
Middle East Online 17th May 2009 more >>
Russia was ready to build four large scale nuclear power plants in Turkey, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said while commenting on the talks he had with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia. Putin explained that a consortium with Russian involvement would participate in the tender.
Energy Business Review 18th May 2009 more >>
After 10 years of planning and three of construction, Whitelee, near Glasgow, is about to become fully operational. Alan Mortimer, head of renewable policy at Scottish Power, explains: “Stealth paint has a molecular structure that absorbs radar frequencies, which means the waves do not bounce back to radar stations and cause interference for air traffic controllers. The problem is that it is not 100pc reliable, so we had to find another solution that was completely effective.”
Telegraph 18th May 2009 more >>