Campaigners have accused Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation’s nuclear regulators of caving in to government pressure and approving a new reactor before its design has been properly assessed. The ONR had previously said that outstanding design problems would not be resolved by the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) before March 2013.
Stop Hinkley 18th Dec 2012 more »
Essential legislation to power low-carbon economic growth, to protect consumers, and to keep the lights on, will be debated by MPs from noon tomorrow as the Energy Bill is introduced for its 2nd reading in Parliament. On the eve of the debate, Secretary of State Edward Davey said: “The Coalition Government is proposing a once-in-a-generation transformation of the electricity market from fossil-fuel dependency to low-carbon diversity. The Energy Bill will bring about a renaissance in our energy sector, providing the certainty companies need to invest a record £110 billion to upgrade our ageing power stations. This will support our economic recovery, resulting in thousands of new jobs in every nation and region of the UK.”
DECC 18th Dec 2012 more »
Tim Yeo has this morning launched a blistering attack on the Chancellor and his pro-gas allies, accusing them of embracing a “short-sighted”, “extremely risky” and potentially “costly” energy strategy. Speaking at an event at Bloomberg’s HQ in London, the Conservative MP and chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee confirmed he would table an amendment to the Energy Bill that would deliver a decarbonisation target for the electricity sector.
Business Green 18th Dec 2012 more »
Independent 18th Dec 2012 more »
The Labour Party is considering pre-empting Tim Yeo’s plans to table an amendment to the Energy Bill that would impose a decarbonisation target on the power sector, as MPs prepare for today’s second reading of the Bill.
Business Green 19th Dec 2012 more »
Mr Yeo’s call to arms will test the loyalty of Liberal Democrat MPs in particular. Labour has already committed itself to a decarbonisation target. At their party conference in September, Liberal Democrats also approved a motion, put forward by the Cabinet secretary Danny Alexander, calling for the target to be introduced. But Liberal Democrats MPs are likely to come under pressure from their party to fall into line with the coalition on the issue.
Times 19th Dec 2012 more »
The Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria was involved in almost half of all the accidents transporting radioactive materials in 2011, the government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has revealed. In 18 of the 38 incidents recorded on an official database, the radioactive cargo was being moved to or from Sellafield. Shipments were made to nuclear sites in the UK and abroad. ONR only agreed to name the sites involved in the accidents after it was challenged under freedom of information law. At first it insisted that they had to be kept secret, but then it relented and released a list of nuclear industry sites. It only did so, however, in a way that meant that the sites couldn’t be matched to previously published accounts of individual accidents. And ONR refused to name the hospitals, universities and other agencies outside of the nuclear industry involved in accidents.
RobEdwards 18th Dec 2012 more »
A SUFFOLK county councillor is calling for the amount being paid to the chairman of the Sizewell C Community Forum to be disclosed. The body, funded by EDF Energy, has been set up as part of efforts to consult the community about the impact of the power station project. Richard Smith, county councillor for Aldeburgh and Leiston, is the former chairman of the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG), the liaison group for Sizewell A and B issues, a role for which he received a £5,000 a year honorarium. He believes the amount being paid by EDF to Brian Stewart, chairman of the Sizewell C forum, should be made public in the cause of “openness and transparency”. Mr Smith raised the issue at a meeting of the forum but Mr Stewart, former chief executive of the East of England Regional Assembly, declined to reveal the amount of money involved.
East Anglian Daily Times 17th Dec 2012 more »
Four anti-nuclear protesters who chained themselves together outside Hinkley Point nuclear power station are due before magistrates in Taunton, charged with obstructing a highway. The action last month was in protest at plans for new reactors at the site near Bridgwater. The main access road was blocked, causing long queues as staff arrived for work.
ITV West 19th Dec 2012 more »
Forty-seven jobs are to go by next summer at Chapelcross where the workforce is made up of 345 Magnox employees supported by agency workers. Management insists deadline changes in the defuelling process mean the size of the workforce has been maintained for three to four years longer than first envisaged. Defuelling of the four reactors is due to be completed by the middle of next year and that will mean a scaling down in staff numbers to 298 by September.
Dumfries & Galloway Standard 19th Dec 2012 more »
The Bristol SWANs have launched a new Nuclear Free Bristol Campaign. The aim is for people to encourage Bristol City Council to regain its Nuclear Free Local Authority status which lapsed a couple of decades ago, during economic cuts. You can sign the petition to Bristol City Council to resume its Nuclear Free Local Authority Status.
SWAN 18th Dec 2012 more »
Nuclear Free Bristol 18th Dec 2012 more »
Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Director General, Nick Baveystock, comments on the launch of the Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan: “The ICE welcomes the launch of the ‘Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan’. The UK’s nuclear new build programme is an important part of ensuring a stable and secure energy mix through the 21st century. The programme presents an opportunity to develop a world leading and exportable skills base. The clear set of actions presented in this plan bring together industry, government, professional and skills bodies to ensure the UK’s ability and reputation for delivering large-scale nuclear projects is first rate, benefitting the industry as a whole.
IB Times 18th Dec 2012 more »
The nuclear industry’s biggest enemy in 2012 was itself. Security breaches, leaks, illegal dumping and poor oversight – anything that could go wrong, did. Jim Green rounds up this year’s nuclear hijinks. The nuclear industry inflicts far more damage on itself than its opponents could ever hope to. The mere mention of the easily-preventable Fukushima disaster probably suffices to establish that point, but there are many more examples. To make the task manageable, this snapshot of recent nuclear shenanigans, jiggery-pokery, goings-on and own-goals is restricted to countries that Australia sells uranium to (or plans to sell uranium to).
New Matilda 19th Dec 2012 more »
A new analysis from Frost & Sullivan European Nuclear Power Sector, finds that nuclear energy is the answer to meeting aggressive EU targets on carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuels. Despite the environmental risks, nuclear energy shows potential to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, and therefore, will be a major contributor to the European energy mix in 2020.
Nuclear Engineering International 18th Dec 2012 more »
Shinzo Abe was not the only big winner from Japan’s election last Sunday. Three months ago, the country’s nuclear power industry lay in ruins. Now, it would appear, all systems are go. Mr Abe’s resurrection after a failed premiership in 2006-07 is second only to that being attempted by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Tepco has paid 1.57 trillion yen to organisations and individuals affected by the evacuation — 321,000 are still displaced from their communities. The total bill for decommissioning the plant is expected to reach 909.8 billion yen. These will ultimately have to be met by the taxpayer.
Times 19th Dec 2012 more »
Fukushima Crisis Update 14th to 17th Dec.
Greenpeace 18th Dec 2012 more »
Book Reviews: There are gaps in the official truth of Japan. One of the unintended consequences of the 3/11 catastrophe has been the widening of these gaps. Fewer people believe what they are told. Cynicism toward officially sponsored experts has grown. Some see this as a problem. In March, Bungei Shunju, a prominent political journal, published an anniversary issue of the earthquake. One hundred well-known writers were asked to comment on 3/11. One of them, the novelist Murakami Ryu, lamented the lack of trust that resulted from the disaster, trust in government and the energy industry. It would take years, he said, to regain the trust of the Japanese people.
New York Times 8th Nov 2012 more »
Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, will make a renewed attempt on Wednesday to argue that current work on the like-for-like replacement of Britain’s nuclear deterrent is irreversible, despite the Liberal Democrats’ search for a cheaper alternative at a time of deep cuts in military spending. In a report to parliament, Mr Hammond will spell out a string of investments that the government has made in 2012 on the early design of a new fleet of submarines that can carry the Trident II missile and which would start to replace the current Vanguard fleet from 2028.
FT 18th Dec 2012 more »
The government has today announced it will reduce subsidies for large solar installations by less than it originally planned, arguing that its new support package will unlock a wave of investment in large onsite solar arrays. In its long-awaited response to a consultation published earlier this year on the level of Renewable Obligation support for solar installations with over 5MW of capacity, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed that from next April ground-mounted systems will receive 1.6 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) per MWh, while a new band will mean building-mounted systems will received 1.7 ROCs/MWh.
Business Green 18th Dec 2012 more »
The first round of a European commission contest to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects failed to find a winner, the EU’s executive said on Tuesday, deepening concerns that the technology will not be emerging soon to help cut emissions.
Guardian 18th Dec 2012 more »
Coal is likely to rival oil as the world’s biggest source of energy in the next five years, with potentially disastrous consequences for the climate, according to the world’s leading authority on energy economics. One of the biggest factors behind the rise in coal use has been the massive increase in the use of shale gas in the US. Coal consumption is increasing all over the world – even in countries and regions with carbon-cutting targets – except the US, where shale gas has displaced coal, shows new research from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The decline of the fuel in the US has helped to cut prices for coal globally, which has made it more attractive, even in Europe where coal use was supposed to be discouraged by the emissions trading scheme.
Guardian 18th Dec 2012 more »