The UK is facing a “monumental challenge” to generate power from the first of a planned fleet of nuclear power stations by 2018, according to the head of new nuclear at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). French utility EDF, owner of former state-owned nuclear utility British Energy, wants to build four of Areva’s EPRs (European Pressurized Reactors), with the first due online at Hinkley Point C in 2018. But issues over planning, financing, licensing and construction delays have put that deadline in doubt, said Hergen Haye. Speaking at the European Nuclear Supply Chain conference in London, Haye said DECC is concerned that EDF could repeat the mistakes seen at Olkiluoto 3 in Finland, where the construction of an EPR has been delayed by four years and is 50 per cent over budget.
PowerGen Worldwide 18th Nov 2010 more >>
Speaking at the House of Commons Liaison Committee Cameron backed new nukes – no surprises there – but used a telling phrase: “no specific subsidies”. Both parties in the coalition have pledged no subsidy to the nuclear industry but his phrase today does not rule out subsidies that apply to all low-carbon energy, even if nukes will be the biggest benefactor.
Guardian Blog 18th Nov 2010 more >>
THE clean-up of the nuclear plant has uncovered the most potentially hazardous radio- active particle yet found at the site in 26 years of monitoring at the Sandside beach in Caithness. The Dounreay Particles Advisory Group (DPAG) yesterday revealed that a remotely controlled vehicle deployed by diving contractors at the site had picked up a radioactive particle that measured 100 million becquerels (Bq) of radiation. DPAG considers radioactivity greater than one million Bq as a health risk. If left on the skin, a particle of above one million Bq could cause serious ulceration after one to two weeks. The latest phase of the offshore clean-up recovered 429 fragments from the seabed off Dounreay between August and October.
Scotsman 19th Nov 2010 more >>
Letter Jean McSorley: We Cumbrians are being asked whether the UK’s most highly radioactive wastes should be disposed of right here. But people are not being told the whole story. Information already distributed on this issue certainly doesn’t contain all the key information. It’s the Government’s intention that a dump should also hold the waste from any new nuclear plants, besides existing waste, but this gets barely a mention. That new waste would be three times as radioactive as existing waste isn’t mentioned. The above-ground facilities could be up to 12 miles away from the dump, and could involve the storage of highly radioactive spent fuel for many decades. But the details of what the above-ground plants could entail hardly gets a look in.
Steve Balogh: The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership has organised what it is calling ‘Community Drop-in Events’ in various centres of population around Cumbria for people to voice their opinions on their plans. The British Geological Survey has published its exclusion zones where the MRWS will not be considering a deep disposal facility. Many of the places in which people are invited to ‘drop in’ are in these exclusion zones – Wigton, Workington, Whitehaven. Others are not in West Cumbria at all – Barrow, Penrith, Kendal and Carlisle. But the people of Cockermouth, Cleator Moor and Egremont etc. who are NOT in an exclusion zone do not get a drop-in event in their area. It speaks volumes about the process of consultation which is being pursued here.
Whitehaven News 17th Nov 2010 more >>
UK grid operator National Grid said Thursday it is still on track to announce its preferred route for the power lines linking to the future Hinkley Point C nuclear station in the “early part of 2011.” The announcement was delayed by a few months in October due to “the large amount of feedback received during the consultation,” it said. The cable will link the proposed 3.2 GW Hinkley Point C plant to the UK grid. A consortium of EDF and Centrica wants to build two 1.6 GW European pressurized reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset by 2018.
Platts 18th Nov 2010 more >>
(No application until 2011)
An RPS seminar held yesterday looked at lessons learnt from the Planning Act regime so far. Richard Mayson of EDF spoke about experience of the regime in the case of EDF’s proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. He said that he supported the Planning Act regime because it gave predictability to the process, but was worried that the Localism Bill might take some of this away. EDF have entered into a ‘planning performance agreement’ with the local authorities in the area to assist with the burden placed on them in dealing with such a large project, but he urged the government to expand its idea of allowing local authorities to keep business rates for renewable energy projects set out in the Local Growth White Paper. He said that the Hinkley Point pre-application consultation had been carried out in two stages and they were currently digesting the 800 written and other reponses made during the second stage. He said that more comments had been received on ‘associated development’ (i.e. things being built other than the nuclear power station itself) than the power station. In an ICM poll of local people, 63% were in favour of the project and 17% against. He said that despite there being 9000 pages of information at the second consultation stage, some had complained of insufficient information (and I would guess others complained of too much information). He said that the application would be made in the new year.
Bircham, Dyson & Bell 18th Nov 2010 more >>
How should we describe the scandal that came out of the UK’s Sellafield nuclear facility this week? Grotesque? Sick?
Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 18th Nov 2010 more >>
Scientists who illegally harvested bones and organs from dead nuclear workers rang the GP of a Lancashire man to ask for his organs before he had even died. The solicitor representing the families of men who were stripped of bones, tongues, brains and other organs by a team of specialists working at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria over a 30-year period said the case of process worker Ronald Gee was “one of the most shocking” of a catalogue of horrific cases.
Lancashire Evening Post 18th Nov 2010 more >>
A consortium of British, American, and Greek interests have agreed to investigate the practical maritime applications for small modular reactors (SMRs) as commercial tanker-owners search for new designs that could deliver safer, cleaner and commercially viable forms of propulsion for the global fleet.
ITS 19th Nov 2010 more >>
A private American security institute says recent satellite images show North Korean construction of an experimental light-water nuclear reactor at the main Yongbyon atomic complex.
Wales Online 19th Nov 2010 more >>
The board of Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has approved equity participation in the construction of new reactors at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) through a joint venture with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
World Nuclear News 17th Nov 2010 more >>
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has stressed the importance of Iran having a peaceful nuclear programme, following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
BBC 18th Nov 2010 more >>
Germany and France are at odds over how strongly Nato should push nuclear disarmament, casting a cloud over an alliance summit tomorrow in Lisbon being billed as the most important since 2002. With Berlin and Paris locked in dispute over arms control, nuclear deterrence, and plans to cover Europe with a missile shield against ballistic rocket attack, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy are expected to meet on the fringes of the Lisbon meeting to try to hammer out a last-minute formula and rescue the summit from failure.
Guardian 19th Nov 2010 more >>
Barack Obama today summoned former secretaries of defence and state from across the political divide in an attempt to push through a major nuclear arms treaty with Russia. The American President called the White House meeting to rally support for a vote on the New Start agreement by the end of this year, despite opposition from some Republicans.
Daily Mail 19th bNov 2010 more >>
The behind-the-scenes battle over the level of government financial support for ambitious new green energy projects broke out into the open today when Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, delivered a coded criticism of the Treasury’s stance on the issue. He risked a row with George Osborne’s department, after appearing to compare the Treasury’s opposition over the green investment bank to its scuppering of a similar stimulus plan backed by the economist John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s. Some economists argue that sticking to more fiscally conservative policies helped to prolong the Great Depression in Britain.
Guardian 19th Nov 2010 more >>
The British tax payer is to invest millions of pounds into solar panels and wind turbines in Africa and Asia as part of a new drive to help poor countries by developing green business.
Telegraph 19th Nov 2010 more >>