BABCOCK has been slammed for a lack of consultation with the local community before submitting plans to cut up seven redundant nuclear submarines at Rosyth Dockyard. The proposals were revealed in a public notice Babcock placed in the Press but took the area’s MP by surprise. Mr Docherty said, “It’s typical of Babcock. They should be consulting with local people before taking this further. “I’m quite clear that a blow torch shouldn’t be taken to a submarine until a decision has been taken about what is done with the waste and we’re no closer to that. “Before Babcock put in applications they should be speaking to people in the community, to the Press, the community council and the local politicians about what their plans are.” Meanwhile, Rosyth SNP councillor Douglas Chapman wants commitments from the UK Government that it will clean up its radioactive residue at Rosyth and Dalgety Bay if Scotland votes for independence. Speaking after a meeting with the Scottish Environment Minister, Richard Lochhead, Councillor Chapman said, “We now need to see evidence that the project is continuing with some pace and drive behind it to identify a site within the UK for the storage of intermediate level waste (ILW) and a clear timescale is laid down leading to the start of the first sub being dismantled at Rosyth.
Dunfermline Press 2nd Feb 2014 read more »
On Friday morning, Sellafied Ltd. instructed its non essential employees not to report for work, due to “elevated readings at a perimeter monitoring point”. This understandably created huge interest in the media both locally and nationally. By the end of the day it was announced that “investigation and analysis confirmed that the elevated readings at that perimeter monitoring point were due to naturally occurring radon”. Hopefully Sellafield Ltd. will investigate further and inform the public of the real reasons behind the “elevated readings”.
Cumbria Trust 2nd Feb 2014 read more »
A Devon MP wants Plymouth to bid for a college to train atomic technicians. Having such a college would remind people of the nuclear capability at Devonport naval base, Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Oliver Colvile said. Plans for an “elite” college to provide high-level technical training for the nuclear industry were set out earlier this week by Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock. Mr Colvile said Plymouth would benefit greatly from having the college. The base at Devonport is the site for refitting the Royal Navy’s nuclear powered submarines.
BBC 1st Feb 2014 read more »
The warmest December since 2006 is expected to have hit profits at British Gas, in the latest setback for investors in embattled energy giant Centrica. Britain’s biggest energy supplier had been expected to return household supply profits of £592m in 2013, down 2pc on the previous year, according to analysts’ forecasts in the wake of its profit warning in November. But after the unusually warm December when customers used less heating, profits – due to be announced this month – are now likely to be closer to £570m, a year-on-year fall of nearer 6pc.
Telegraph 1st Feb 2014 read more »
Marketforce are running an on-line survey at the moment and results so far show that 77 per cent of industry professionals believe “energy policy is driven by a short term desire for votes rather than what would be in the long term interest of the sector.” At the same time 66 per cent of those surveyed think the nuclear strike price is too high. There is more than 1GW of onshore wind on Scottish islands – the equivalent of a power station, and immeasurably cheaper than nuclear – which could be built by 2020 if only DECC had a mind to solve the challenge of transmission links. And we still have a world leading wave and tidal sector, desperate to progress, but finding real challenges in getting the financial support our industry needs. If marine energy could secure just half of what Hinkley Point would get in a year, it would be transformative for our industry. It would be UK money spent on UK projects, not a £1 billion a year state-guaranteed subsidy paid overseas, every year, for the next 35 years. The Hinkley Point power station, in my opinion, makes no sense. It will be incredibly expensive, it won’t be delivered in time and will be a liability to our children and grandchildren and beyond. It is hard to see how UK State aid can be offered to such an ill-thought out scheme, and it is good to see the EU is leaning towards the same view.
Auamarine Power 1st Feb 2014 read more »
Uranium particles formed from exploding DU munitions are highly persistent in the environment, scientists have found. They are still hazardous after 30 years in soils or dumps and even their corrosion products are durable minerals.
Ecologist 1st Feb 2014 read more »
How have we not had a nuclear war? It is hard to maintain much faith in the long-term safety of our nuclear deterrent with each glimpse of the all-too human flaws of those with their finger on the button. Thirty-four Air Force officers in charge of launching nuclear missiles have been suspended over accusations that they cheated in proficiency tests about their knowledge of how to operate the weapons. The cheating, uncovered during a probe into the use of drugs by nuclear launch officers, betrays the complacency and boredom of men and women whose job is to refrain from doing the one thing they are trained to do.
Guardian 1st Feb 2014 read more »
The year was 1958, and the Cold War was at its height. Mr Hall, a 19-year-old RAF groundcrewsman, was stationed on Christmas Island, off the north-eastern coast of Australia, to assist with British nuclear tests. His job was to decontaminate the bombers after they flew through the mushroom clouds to collect samples for analysis. Between 1952 and 1962, Britain and the United States caused more than 40 nuclear explosions in the atmosphere around Australia and in the Pacific. Around 21,000 British servicemen were exposed to these explosions, many of whom were dressed in no more than khaki desert fatigues. Approximately 3,000 are thought to be alive today. A study undertaken by Sue Rabbitt Roff, a social scientist at the University of Dundee, in 1999, found that of 2,261 children born to veterans, 39 per cent were born with serious medical conditions. By contrast, the national incidence figure in Britain is around 2.5 per cent. In 1958, Mr Hall could not have known about any of this. And he would never have dreamt that the British government − unlike those of other Western countries − would consistently refuse to give the 3,000 nuclear veterans and their families any compensation, or even any special recognition.
Telegraph 2nd Feb 2014 read more »
As news reports confirm the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the west will take place in Vienna, doubts have been raised in Tehran about the position of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the 24 November Geneva accord. Recently, a few Iranian hardline politicians have spoken of the leader’s opposition to the accord. A member of parliament’s national security committee, Javad Karimi Ghodousi, has even emphasised that at a meeting with high-ranking government officials, the leader blamed the nuclear negotiations team for “not insisting on Iran’s nuclear rights”.
Guardian 1st Feb 2014 read more »
Women who live near natural gas wells in rural Colorado are more likely to have babies with neural tube and congenital heart defects, according to a new study. As natural gas extraction soars in the United States, the findings add to a growing concern by many activists and residents about the potential for health effects from the air pollutants.
Environmental Health News 31st Jan 2014 read more »