Mr Brown will seek to demonstrate his commitment to green issues by creating a new super environment ministry, which would also take responsibility for energy, an increasingly pivotal policy in the Government’s portfolio. Speculation about the proposals comes as the Government is preparing to unveil its Energy White Paper, along with a fresh consultation on building a new generation of nuclear power stations, possibly as early as next week. While the final shape of Whitehall under the Brown regime has still to be finalised, any move to bring together environment and energy could spell the end of the Department of Trade and Industry in its present form.
Telegraph 19th May 2007
After a long lapse in growth, the U.S. nuclear power industry seems ripe for revival, particularly as the simmering climate-change debate reaches a boil. More than 30 nuclear power plant proposals are in the approval process, and in early March the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorized the first new site in 30 years that could potentially host a nuclear power reactor.
Monsters and Critics 18th May 2007
The Brazilian Government is expected to order up to eight new nuclear plants to be built by 2030. A third reactor at the Angra site is also expected to be ordered soon.
World Nuclear News 18th May 2007
Oldbury nuclear power station has been given permission to re-start one of its reactors, despite being scheduled to close. Consultation over the decommissioning process began just a few months ago. Now, government regulator, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII), has agreed to reactor two re-starting.
BBC 18th May 2007
Hunterston & Hinkley
British Energy’s Hinkley Point B8 nuclear reactor, closed for repairs since last year, was still not supplying power on Friday a week after getting permission to restart, according to data from network operator National Grid. The company’s 485-megawatt Hunterston B8 reactor in Scotland, which was given the all-clear by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) on Monday, also lay dormant. A spokesman for the company denied there was any specific problem preventing the two reactors from getting back online.
Reuters 18th May 2007
India says no dates have been fixed with the US for the final talks on a historic nuclear power deal. Top US diplomat Nicholas Burns was due to travel to India in the second half of May to conclude the deal. The US said talks earlier this month made “extensive progress”, but some reports suggest the deal is in trouble.
BBC 18th May 2007
FINAL preparations to rebuild two polluting “carbon dinosaurs” as Europe’s largest clean-coal power stations were launched by ScottishPower yesterday. The planned £1 billion project would cut carbon dioxide emissions at the plants at Longannet in Fife and Cockenzie in East Lothian by 20 per cent. It could also pave the way for reducing such emissions by 90 per cent by pumping them underground when “carbon capture” technology is advanced over the next decade. Environmental groups welcomed the announcement of a £6 million feasibility study into the clean-coal plans, but said it must be coupled with carbon capture being developed. WWF Scotland warned ScottishPower that otherwise “we will not have done anything like enough”.
Scotsman 18th May 2007
The re-fitting of Longannet and Cockenzie with new “supercritical” turbines and boilers, would mean Cockenzie, instead of closing at the end of 2015, can stay running for perhaps another 30 years, while the life of Longannet will also be extended. This would mean that the gap in electricity production expected to occur in 2015 because of the closure, due in 2011, of Hunterston nuclear station and then Cockenzie, would not happen. So no need to worry about building another nuke either. And if much talked-about carbon capture and storage technology is also added to the two coal stations, they will become clean power stations too, thus helping to save everyone from global warming. All very neat, tidy and green. Except for the fact that it is not as simple as that. All that was announced yesterday was that ScottishPower is going to spend about £6m to do the final work on a feasibility study.
Scotsman 18th May 2007
The operator of a Scottish nuclear power station is to face prosecution over alleged failings which led to an employee breathing in plutonium. The worker at the Dounreay plant, in Caithness, suffered the radioactive intake in January last year. The case against the UK Atomic Energy Authority is to be called at Wick Sheriff Court on Friday. It follows an investigation into record keeping and storage of material at a former fuel reprocessing laboratory. Earlier this year, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, the nuclear industry’s on-site regulator, served two formal improvement notices on the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
BBC 18th May 2007
ICScotland 18th May 2007
Ananova 18th May 2007
Alistair Darling will on Wednesday present parliament with an Energy White paper setting out policies from major power plants to micro-generation and energy efficiency measures. “The Energy White Paper will cover the full gamut on energy policy from individual consumer action and choice to big supply side issues,” said one government source. On Monday, Communities and Local Government Minister Ruth Kelly will publish a Planning White Paper to streamline the process that delayed the Sizewell B nuclear plant in eastern England by a decade and is holding up several major wind power projects. It will include the creation of an Independent Planning Commission to have the final say in all but the most sensitive projects and the principle of “presumption in favour” of major projects as long as they conform to a declared national need. Such a streamlining of the process would take years off planning applications and clear away one of the major obstacles to private investment in the new nuclear power stations.
Reuters 17th May 2007
A nuclear renaissance will take too long to have more than a negligible impact on carbon dioxide emissions that threaten significant climate change in the next decade. Nonetheless, nuclear energy could grow faster to 519 gigawatts by 2030 given significant policy support. This would require not only that policymakers and regulators take steps to mitigate the inherent risks of nuclear power. The nonproliferation risks of a nuclear renaissance clearly depend on the shape of nuclear expansion. Measures are needed to help shape these potential developments to minimize the proliferation impact.
Arms Control Today May 2007
Major new developments including nuclear power stations and airport runways could be forced through as part of a major overhaul of planning in the UK Friends of the Earth said today (17 May). The proposals, details of which will be published in a Government White Paper expected next week, will leave affected communities with little or no say in how their area is developed. Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to rethink its plans and introduce a planning system which allows people a say on the decisions that affect them.
FoE Press Release 17th May 2007
Campaigners fear a shake-up of the planning system will open the door for developments such as nuclear power stations and incinerators to be built in Norfolk. It is feared the changes – expected to be published in a government White Paper next week – will leave communities with little or no say on how their area is developed.
Norwich Evening News 18th May 2007