The six countries in talks to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons programmes agreed on specific disarming steps from Pyongyang in return for aid on Feb. 13 in Beijing. This Reuters ‘Factbox’ gives details of the deal, which was stalled until last week because Pyongyang was insisting that $25 million of North Korean funds frozen in a Macau bank be freed.
Reuters 19th June 2007 http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/CrisesArticle.aspx?rpc=401&storyId=SP70974
The UN nuclear watchdog said yesterday it will send inspectors to North Korea next week to discuss how to monitor and verify the shutdown of its nuclear reactor. The visit, announced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is the first concrete step toward North Korea’s nuclear disarmament after a weekend breakthrough in a financial dispute that had stalled the process for a year.
The Herald 19th June 2007 http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/foreign/display.var.1480605.0.0.php
Channel 4 News 18th June 2007 http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/nuclear+body+to+visit+north+korea/564797
The House on Monday approved a $50 million fund to create an international nuclear fuel bank, an idea aimed at negating Iran’s argument that it needs its own nuclear fuel program. The bill, passed by voice vote, gives the president authority to make voluntary contributions to the International Atomic Energy Agency to set up the bank that would guarantee reactor fuel to qualifying countries. Countries seeking to purchase from the reserve would have to meet IAEA safeguards and refrain from operating uranium enrichment or spent-fuel reprocessing facilities.
Guardian website 18th June 2007 http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6718924,00.html
For GNEP to work, the Energy Department must ramp up R&D to settle on a technology to reprocess spent fuel, build a plant to reprocess the spent fuel into uranium and plutonium and other elements, and develop and build “fast neutron” reactors to burn the plutonium as fuel and generate electricity. DOE also plans to take its reprocessing system to the world, selling reactor fuel to other countries and taking back their spent fuel for further reprocessing. GNEP has the far-reaching goal of encouraging nuclear energy development throughout the world. The U.S. would lead a consortium of countries that already have reprocessing programs, providing nuclear fuel services to countries that lack that capability. In return for being allowed to buy fresh fuel and return spent fuel for reprocessing, these countries would agree not to build uranium enrichment facilities or spent-fuel reprocessing plants.
Chemical and Engineering News 18th June 2007 http://pubs.acs.org/cen/government/85/8525gov1.html
The establishment of a tax on carbon emissions, which has been widely proposed as an incentive to move away from fossil-fuel use, would make nuclear energy even more attractive. Such arguments may ultimately prove compelling to industrial nations—but to assume that the developing nations will follow suit is to ignore some important realities.
Scientific American July 2007 http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=272F5C39-E7F2-99DF-3A95242262C2EDD9
Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of the UK’s EdF Energy has said that the UK could have new nuclear capacity in operation by the end of 2017. Speaking at the Adam Smith Institute Nuclear Energy Forum de Rivaz added that the company was considering the possibility of taking part, most likely with partners, in building four new nuclear units in the UK in the years up to 2025.
Nuclear Engineering International 18th June 2007 http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectioncode=132&storyCode=2045080
Domestic and foreign companies will be allowed to invest in China’s nuclear power generating projects but cannot hold a controlling stake, a senior official with the State Commission of Science and Technology for National Defense Industry has said, according to local media reports.
Nuclear Engineering International 18th June 2007 http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=132&storyCode=2045076
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has slammed German plans to phase out nuclear generation and is urging the government to reconsider its decision. Praising the country’s commitment to sound energy policies, in its latest policy review the agency says that losing the nuclear option will have significant impacts on energy security, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Modern Power Systems 18th June 2007 http://www.modernpowersystems.com/story.asp?sectioncode=131&storyCode=2045073
British Energy restarted its Heysham 2-7 nuclear reactor on Saturday after refuelling but investigations into why its Hunterston B-7 unit had to shut on June 10 are ongoing, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.
Reuters 18th June 2007 http://investing.reuters.co.uk/news/articleinvesting.aspx?rpc=401&type=allBreakingNews&storyID=2007-06-18T092039Z_01_L18370729_RTRIDST_0_BRITISH-ENERGY-HEYSHAM.XML
A report from the Science and Technology Committee of the UK’s upper legislature, the House of Lords, has expressed serious concerns that recommendations for an independent body to oversee the country’s geological waste disposal programme have been “watered down,” while government proposals for the next phase of its Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) programme are “incoherent and opaque.”
Modern Power Systems 18th June 2007 http://www.modernpowersystems.com/story.asp?sectionCode=131&storyCode=2045068
Fortum has launched an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process regarding a new, 1,000-1,800 MW nuclear power plant to be built at Hästholmen island, Finland near the existing Loviisa nuclear power plant.
Modern Power Systems 18th June 2007 http://www.modernpowersystems.com/story.asp?sectionCode=131&storyCode=2045060
GE and Hitachi have completed the first half of their agreement to form a global alliance of their nuclear businesses, creating a nuclear power plant and services operation that will compete for new reactor projects globally, with the exception of Japan. GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy is 60% owned by GE and 40% by Hitachi.
Modern Power Systems 18th June 2007 http://www.modernpowersystems.com/story.asp?sectionCode=131&storyCode=2045058
Campaigners from more than a dozen charities and pressure groups are lobbying MSPs to demand an inquiry into the worsening problem of fuel poverty. They say that latest figures showed that in 2004-5 there were 419,000 Scottish households in fuel poverty, up from 350,000 the previous year and 293,000 the year before that. No types of household are immune – but pensioners, single adults and lone parents are worst affected, forcing people to choose between heating their homes or paying for other essentials.
Herald 19th June 2007 http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/news/display.var.1480580.0.0.php
Increasingly the large-scale, centrally-planned model looks inefficient and out of date. Climate change has become a mainstream political issue, and energy customers are aware of the need to cut energy use and switch to cleaner forms of electricity generation to limit carbon emissions. This has led to arguments that large power stations burning fossil fuels should give way to smaller, renewable energy units sited closer to where the power is used. Energy is lost when electricity is transmitted over long distances, and traditional power stations – whether coal or gas – only capture part of the calorific value of their fuel. The waste heat is usually sent up a chimney and into the atmosphere. More than 60 per cent of the total energy in coal or gas can be lost at the power station, and 3 to 4 per cent is wasted during transmission. The alternative is forms of “distributed energy”, from microgeneration, such as solar panels and wind turbines for individual houses, to medium-sized combined heat and power (CHP) plants that supply factories, hospitals or housing estates. The UK government has set up a task force to look at removing barriers to investment in CHP, and is encouraging renewable CHP projects such as those that burn biomass – wood chips for instance. New rules governing property developments in the UK mean that developers need to obtain at least 10 per cent of their energy from renewable sources in order to secure planning permission. Mr Tait says CHP plants would be better suited to developments in urban areas than wind turbines, which might not get enough wind to work properly. Large power plants are likely to continue to play an important role in countries’ energy mix, but, in 20 years’ time, the present model may look very dated.
FT 19th June 2007 http://search.ft.com/ftArticle?queryText=end+to+central&y=0&aje=true&x=0&id=070619000814
The Climate Group, a not-for-profit group that helps to “advance business and government leadership on climate change”, lists dozens of examples of
companies that have saved millions by cutting their greenhouse gas output. For instance, Johnson & Johnson saves $30m a year through its energy
efficiency measures. It boasts the second biggest installation of photovoltaic technology, which converts sunlight to electricity, in the US outside the utility sector. This is a big factor in allowing the company to generate 18 per cent of its global electricity needs itself from renewables.
FT 19th June 2007 http://search.ft.com/ftArticle?queryText=efficiency+technologies&y=0&aje=true&x=0&id=070619001010
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