Letter from Sir Michael Pitt: We are actively engaged in a steadily growing list of applications, already numbering 18 and including proposals for nuclear power stations, power lines, wind farms, and waste combustion plants. We are already working with local authorities, developers, objectors and others to make sure that everyone understands how these proposals will be examined and decided, and to encourage constructive dialogue and consultation. The previous regime for national infrastructure planning had failed, creating uncertainty and delay that were blighting communities and undermining the confidence of investors. In contrast, the IPC will deliver faster and fairer decisions. In a few months we have built a highly effective and efficient organisation on time, on budget that is fully committed with an expanding work programme of important national infrastructure projects. We will not be distracted from this vital task.
Times 1st Feb 2010 more >>
Scientists from the University of Manchester have made an important breakthrough that could help minimise the impact of nuclear waste on the environment. Using medical gamma ray cameras that are designed to diagnose patients with heart disease and cancer, the team were able to track radioactive isotopes in soil samples from a civil nuclear site in the US. Their work could help scientists find new ways of controlling the spread of radiation by using bacteria. “Our success will allow scientists to accurately monitor new biological methods in trapping radioactive elements in sediments and stopping them spreading further into the natural environment,” explained Professor Jon Lloyd from the University of Manchester.
England’s Northwest 31st Jan 2010 more >>
Silent protest before DECC meeting at Thornbury Leisure Centre 6th February. Residents of Oldbury, Shepperdine, Rockhampton, Nupdown and Thornbury will be congregating outside the Thornbury Leisure Centre in a silent protest to emphasise the non democratic procedures involved in the process.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 1st Feb 2010 more >>
Britain must prepare to use military power to protect its energy supplies as it becomes increasingly dependent on imported oil and gas, according to the Conservatives. Nato should help to police sea lanes to keep supply routes open and prevent energy shortages from causing black outs and disruption to the economy. Baroness Neville-Jones of Hutton Roof, the Shadow Security Minister, said Britain could not depend on market forces to deliver security of energy supply. In a report published today by Green Alliance , an environmental think-tank, she writes that, despite the plans for 6,000 off-shore wind turbines, Britain would remain heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels for many more decades.
Times 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
North Korea Tuesday repeated calls for a peace pact on the Korean peninsula, days after it fired its artillery near the tense border, but Seoul said Pyongyang wanted a pretext to shun nuclear negotiations.
Yahoo 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
America will develop a new strategy for long-term waste management under a ‘Blue Ribbon’ commission. Used nuclear fuel recycling will be one of the options on the table for the group. Support for reprocessing and recycling has been growing in recent years among the US industry, which has realised that the savings in the volume of waste are invaluable when considering a used fuel stockpile as large as the USA’s – over 70,000 tonnes in total. Reprocessing can reduce waste volumes by 60%, while recovered uranium and plutonium can be used again in fresh fuel. The new process mirrors somewhat the work of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) in the UK.
World Nuclear News 1st Feb 2010 more >>
Energy Business Review 1st Feb 2010 more >>
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request asks for an additional $36bn in loan guarantee authority to support the Department of Energy’s (DOE) nuclear energy loan guarantee program, part of an overall proposal that would expand the department’s coffers by more than 7pc next year. The 2011 proposal unveiled by the White House today would up the department’s funding to $28.4bn from the $26.4bn enacted for fiscal 2010. The request to increase DOE’s authority to issue loan guarantees for nuclear projects to a total of $54.4bn follows a renewed commitment to the energy source in the president’s State of the Union speech. In the January 27 address, Obama signaled he is ready for more cooperation with Republicans on energy and climate issues when he called for the US to build a new fleet of nuclear plants. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), one of three senators working to craft a bipartisan energy and climate bill, has called for increasing loan guarantees for nuclear generators.
Argus Media 1st Feb 2010 more >>
President Obama has moved to boost the US nuclear power industry, proposing massive government loan guarantees for construction of new stations and setting up a panel to sort out nuclear waste policy.
The Register 1st Feb 2010 more >>
The Saudi government on Monday approved joining the Nuclear Safety Convention, the UN nuclear watchdog agency’s pact on maintaining safety in nuclear power plants. In its weekly meeting, the cabinet approved accession to the 1994 convention, which has 66 members and is overseen by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the official SPA news agency reported. The world’s number two oil producer, Saudi Arabia does not operate any nuclear plants but it is believed to have an interest in developing nuclear energy.
Middle East Online 1st Feb 2010 more >>
Spain recently signed a bilateral agreement with Jordan to cooperate in the field of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including for power generation and water desalination.
World Nuclear News 1st Feb 2010 more >>
One in 10 households are likely to install small-scale renewables under the new cash-back scheme. Under the deal, which will start from April this year, households will be paid for electricity fed into the grid from renewable technologies such as solar, wind or energy from waste. The most attractive rate of return will be on solar panels, which for an average sized three bedroom home could earn households £25,000 over 25 years. John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, welcomed the scheme but said rates are still too low for communities to invest in expensive long term schemes like hydro electric on rivers or larger turbines. “For many families, generating their own clean electricity will be an attractive investment,” he said. “However, the level of ambition set by the government’s Feed-in Tariff is still far too low if we are to reach the full potential of small scale renewables.”
Telegraph 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Unveiling the new so-called feed-in tariffs (FITs) paid to people, communities or businesses who generate electricity from solar panels, wind turbines or other renewable sources, energy secretary Ed Miliband said the government still only intended that the sector would supply 2% of the country’s electricity by 2020 – the same figure he proposed last summer. Some technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels on household roofs will get a higher feed-in tariff, and, importantly, all tariffs will be uprated with inflation each year. But large-scale community wind turbines will get a lower tariff than proposed last year, leaving the overall level of support to the industry little changed. The FITs for new projects will be held at the current rates for two years but then cut by 8.5%, more than originally planned.
Guardian 2nd Feb 2010 more >>
Homeowners will soon be able to take out “solar panel loans” to cover the high costs of renewable energy. Solar panels typically cost up to £12,000 to install yet take decades to pay for themselves in energy savings.
Independent 2nd Feb 2010 more >>