Toshiba is expected to buy an empty reactor site at Sellafield, in a move that the Government hopes will kick-start Britain’s faltering programme. Toshiba, the owner of Westinghouse, has approached Iberdrola, co-owner of the Nugen project, to build a reactor on the Cumbria site. The Japanese group recently appointed PwC to advise on investing in nuclear projects in Britain. Iberdrola, which has always denied that it wants to leave the Nugen project, is close to appointing an investment bank to advise on its exit. The debt-laden Spanish group is keen to secure a quick sale of its 50 per cent stake, which could be worth £100 million. The lease on the Sellafield land will expire next April unless its present — or new — owners rapidly accelerate work to prepare the site for construction. If progress is not made, the site could be auctioned off again next year. Toshiba is expected to seek additional funding from cash-rich Chinese state-owned nuclear groups that want to gain expertise in building new reactors in countries such as Britain. Ministers hope that a change in ownership will revive the flagging project, which has made little progress since the Nugen consortium paid £70 million to lease the 190-hectare plot in 2009. SSE, a partner in the consortium, left in 2011 to invest instead in wind farms. The two remaining partners, Iberdrola and GDF Suez, of France, have little appetite or ability to make the multibillion-pound investment required. CGNPG, of China, has held discussions with EDF Energy about becoming a partner in Hinkley Point but there are doubts if that would be politically acceptable Britain. A Japanese rival, Hitachi, unexpectedly outbid Toshiba last October to buy a separate project called Horizon to build up to six reactors in Britain on two sites from the German groups E.ON and RWE for £700 million. Ministers are keen to have the Nugen project up and running in case the other two falter. They hope to have a new fleet of reactors built by the 2020s to keep the lights on and meet ambitious emissions targets.
Times 2nd March 2013 read more »
SELLAFIELD says that a third shipment of high-level nuclear waste has been delivered safely to Japan. The vessel Pacific Grebe docked at Mutsu-Ogawara on Wednesday morning following a voyage from Barrow through the Panama Canal and Pacific Ocean. It was carrying 28 canisters of vitrified high-level waste from Sellafield in one transport flask. This has been unloaded and transported by road to Japan Nuclear Fuel’s nearby facility. It will undergo tests before the canisters are placed in storage.
Cumberland News 1st March 2013 read more »
PLAID Cymru leader Leanne Wood highlighted the need for a ‘Plan B’ for jobs on Anglesey if a new nuclear power plant failed to go ahead. The Plaid leadership is bringing its spring conference to Anglesey to raise the party’s profile ahead of May’s delayed council election. The prospect for a new nuclear plant has divided opinion in the party and is an issue which the leader admits has stirred ‘high emotions’.
Daily Post 1st Feb 2013 read more »
CONSTRUCTION workers are staging a second protest in a row over changes to pay and conditions. The GMB union has organised the demonstration outside the Urenco nuclear site in Capenhurst, accusing the firm and its contractor, Jacobs, of undermining the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI).
Ellesmere Port First 27th Feb 2013 read more »
Certain sections of the population based in Japan’s Fukushima jurisdiction are at a higher risk of contracting specific cancers following the nuclear power plant disaster in the region in 2011. It is nearly two years since the earthquake and tsunami off the east coast of Japan led to releases of radioactive material into the environment from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now published a comprehensive assessment on the health risks associated with the disaster, in which it calls for long-term continued monitoring and health screening of those people identified as a high cancer risk.
Safety & Health Practioner 1st March 2013 read more »
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) report (PDF) on the estimated health effects from the Fukushima nuclear accident is out, and the results are… reassuring. The WHO modeled the impacts of excess radiation doses on those living around the Fukushima plant, which partially melted down after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. The agency concluded that any additional cancer risk from radiation was small—extremely small, for the most part—and chiefly limited to those living closest to the plant.
Time 1st March 2013 read more »
French police have searched the office of EDF Chief Executive Henri Proglio as part of a German investigation into the 2010 purchase of EDF’s stake in utility EnBW by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, a source close to the matter said.
Reuters 1st March 2013 read more »
France’s state-controlled nuclear engineering giant Areva said Thursday that it lost (EURO)99 million ($130 million) last year but that it is making strides in turning around a business struggling to move past the Japan’s nuclear disaster and a trouble mining venture. The company lost (EURO)2.5 billion in 2011, a year that saw many countries rethink their use of the nuclear energy after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Fukushima power plant. Much of those losses were due to a troubled uranium mining venture that was the subject of investigation.
Miami Herald 28th Feb 2013 read more »
A senior Finnish nuclear official is to become new chief United Nations nuclear inspector in charge of monitoring Iran’s disputed atomic activities and other sensitive issues, diplomats said on Friday.Tero Varjoranta, now head of Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), is to succeed Herman Nackaerts as deputy director general for safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Reuters 1st March 2013 read more »
Fukushima Crisis Update 26th to 28th Feb.
Greenpeace International 1st March 2013 read more »
A fish caught near the Fukushima nuclear plant contained levels of radioactivity 5,100 times above the state-set safety limit, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The greenling fish, caught in the small harbor by the plant damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, contained 231,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per pound,
UPI 1st March 2013 read more »
They displayed a bravery few can comprehend, yet very little is known about the men who stayed behind to save Japan’s stricken nuclear plant. In a rare interview, David McNeill meets Atsufumi Yoshizawa, who was at work on 11 March 2011 when disaster struck. Two years on, thousands of people forced to leave their homes in the wake of the Fukushima disaster are living in limbo, yet to receive compensation and unable to move back owing to dangerous radiation. More than 160,000 people were forcibly evacuated from the area when an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on 11 March 2011, and tens of thousands left voluntarily. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the company that owns the plant, has paid compensation to some nuclear refugees, including what it calls “temporary” compensation for living costs, but it has paid no money for assets damaged by the meltdown. A recent report by Greenpeace documented a litany of complaints about complicated forms, insufficient living costs and low valuations on property. Greenpeace said the plan was drawn up by Tepco in July last year and is based on a “complex and disputed” government system.
Independent 2nd Mar 2013 read more »
About 24,400 megawatts (MW) of power capacity at U.S. nuclear power plants is expected to be offline at the peak of the 2013 spring refueling season, down more than 10 percent from a year earlier, data from a Reuters survey showed. Last year, spring nuclear outages peaked at 27,500 MW of capacity in mid-April, according to the data.The data assumes units currently on extended outages, such as the two reactors at Southern California Edison’s (SCE) San Onofre plant in California and Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun in Nebraska will still be shut.
Reuters 1st March 2013 read more »
The commodities trader Glencore supplied thousands of tonnes of alumina to an Iranian firm that has provided aluminium to Iran’s nuclear programme, intelligence and diplomatic sources have told Reuters.
Guardian 1st March 2013 read more »
Independent 1st March 2013 read more »
A SUBMARINE powered by Rolls-Royce nuclear technology has been commissioned. Ambush, the Royal Navy’s newest attack submarine, received its ‘Her Majesty’s Ship’ status at a ceremony held at HM Naval Base, Clyde, in Scotland, today. Hundreds of guests attended the event, including dignitaries from Derby, which is the submarine’s affiliated city. The reactor used to power the sub was designed and built at Rolls-Royce’s nuclear division, in Raynesway.
Derby Telegraph 1st March 2013 read more »
Sky News 1st March 2013 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News: Scholls becoming solar champions kick starts a wave of other eco-initiatives; crowd funding for new solar farm in Kent; Farmers turning to renewables to boost incomes; UK’s first carbon neutral solar house; Renewable Heat Incentive arrangements etc
Microgen Scotland 1st March 2013 read more »
Andrew Simms: Vast subsidies pour into the fossil fuel industries, and in the UK new tax breaks have encouraged investment at a 30-year high into North Sea oil and gas exploration and production. That is in spite of the best science available suggesting that we can only afford to burn around a quarter or a fifth of proven reserves if we are to avoid potentially runaway global warming. And, instead of climate campaigners being applauded for their actions, they are being hounded with £5 million law suits. My new book, Cancel the Apocalypse, is about how we can face this challenge positively, without slipping into denial, despair or cynical profiteering. With the right approaches we can all benefit from re-engineering our financial, food, transport and energy systems. We can re-imagine the shape of our high streets and the pattern of our working weeks to improve the quality of our lives and lessen our burden on the biosphere. But this can only happen if we let go of the tenacious economic dogma that has taken root in recent decades. Perversely, as evidence mounts of its failure to spread the benefits of enterprise, its lack of respect for its natural resource base, or even its ability to succeed on its own terms, the old ideas are clung to more tightly. Political familiarity misinterpreted as security.
Guardian 1st March 2013 read more »