If you want to understand why the U.S. hasn’t built a nuclear reactor in three decades, the Voters power plant outside Atlanta is an excellent reminder of the insanity of nuclear economics. The plant’s original cost estimate was less than $1 billion for four reactors. Its eventual price tag in 1989 was nearly $9 billion, for only two reactors. But now there’s widespread chatter about a nuclear renaissance, so the Southern Co. is finally trying to build the other two reactors at Vogtle. The estimated cost: $14 billion. And you can be sure that number is way too low, because nuclear cost estimates are always way too low. That’s why no Wall Street moneyman in his right mind would finance a new reactor. But President Obama has located an alternative financier: the US Taxpayer
Time Magazine 18th Feb 2010 more >>
Low Level Waste
Approval to dump low level radioactive waste at a rural Northamptonshire landfill site is a step nearer. The Environment Agency has decided nuclear waste to be handled by the King’s Cliffe site is not hazardous. A final decision has yet to be made and local people are being invited to give their views before the county council will give planning permission. But residents formed a protest group to campaign for low level nuclear waste to be disposed of nearer power stations. The site at King’s Cliffe near Peterborough is operated by Aegean who call it the East Northants Resource Management Facility. Simon Mitchell, from the Environment Agency, said: “I know this application has caused concern within the local community. “But I want to reassure the public that we would not authorise any disposals of low level radioactive waste to any landfill unless we were satisfied people and the environment were protected. “We will not make any final decisions about this application until we have considered the responses to this consultation.” The King’s Cliffe protest group believe the site will be taking construction rubble from decommissioned nuclear plants because the national low level waste repository at Drigg in Cumbria is filling up. What they have discovered is that the landfill would be the first to take radioactive material from the nuclear industry, nowhere near any nuclear plant.
BBC 19th Feb 2010 more >>
The European Union is moving ahead with plans to dispose of nuclear waste directly underground, with the first site due to be up and running in Finland, waste management experts said Friday. Finland’s deep geological repository for direct, underground disposal of spent nuclear fuel is due to come onstream in 2020, experts who addressed a forum at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), have said in a “vision paper.” Sweden will follow three years after its Nordic neighbor, and “France plans to start operating a deep geological repository for vitrified high-level waste from reprocessing in 2025,” the paper says.
EU Business 19th Feb 2010 more >>
COUNCILLORS have voted overwhelmingly in favour of plans to build a nuclear power plant near Millom. The free vote was made by 31 Copeland borough councillors at a special meeting on Wednesday. It supports government plans to build a plant on the doorsteps of villagers in Kirksanton. The government has also earmarked two other sites in Copeland for nuclear plants, Braystones and land near Sellafield. At the meeting councillors highlighted the Sellafield site as the favoured option but plans to put forward the two other sites as acceptable alternatives.
NW Evening Mail 19th Feb 2010 more >>
CAMPAIGNERS are monitoring the traffic “chaos” on the A39 west of Bridgwater they believe will worsen if new power station plans are approved. The Save Cannington Action Group (SCAG), spearheaded by nuclear expert Alan Beasley, claims EDF Energy’s infrastructure plans for the Hinkley Point C will destroy the village. With the first stage of EDF’s public consultation now complete, members are keeping watch on busy routes likely to be affected by the development.
Bridgwater Mercury 19th Feb 2010 more >>
National Grid has come under renewed pressure to scrap its “sham” consultation over controversial 400,000 volt overhead power lines, and start again. Residents living along the route have accused the energy giant of backtracking about why it is apparently not even considering burying the cables under the sea. Somerset County Council is the latest, and biggest, authority to condemn the consultation process for the line which would see 160ft high pylons carrying power 37 miles from a new Hinkley Point power station to a sub station at Avonmouth, near Bristol. Communities along the route and local MPs are fighting the pylons, which they say will ruin views and threaten livelihoods in an area highly dependent on tourism.
This is Somerset 19th Feb 2010 more >>
NUCLEAR regulators are worried that a reactor being considered for Wylfa B power station may not withstand a terror attack. The HSE Nuclear Directorate (NR) say the AP1000 reactor type could be vulnerable to “external shocks” such as a direct hit from an aircraft or from extreme weather. They have asked American-Japanese group Toshiba-Westinghouse for more evidence to demonstrate that their design for the £4bn reactor is safe. The AP1000 is one of two reactor designs being considered by Horizon Nuclear Power, the German consortium behind proposals for new nuclear development on Anglesey.
Daily Post 19th Feb 2010 more >>
Iran was driven deeper into international isolation yesterday after Russia said it was “very alarmed” by a leaked UN report which directly accused the country of building a nuclear weapon for the first time.
Telegraph 20th Feb 2010 more >>
Has anyone else noticed that, now Mohamed AlBaradei is no longer in charge of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, we are suddenly seeing a more realistic assessment of what the Iranians are really up to with their nuclear programme?
Telegraph 19th Feb 2010 more >>
Iran’s supreme leader has denied it is developing nuclear weapons, after a new report from the UN atomic watchdog, the IAEA, sparked an international outcry.
BBC 19th Feb 2010 more >>
Middle East Online 19th Feb 2010 more >>
The financial liability of Swedish nuclear power reactor owners in the event of an accident would quadruple under a bill introduced by the country’s government. The bill would also allow the construction of new reactors in the country.
World Nuclear News 19th Feb 2010 more >>
Russia will extend funding to Bulgaria for the construction of the stalled Belene nuclear power plant project until Sofia finds a strategic investor, Bulgaria’s economy and energy minister said on Friday.
Reuters 19th Feb 2010 more >>
European NATO allies are to urge President Barack Obama to remove all remaining US nuclear weapons from European soil, as domestic pressure grows to rid its soil of outdated Cold War-era aerial bombs.
Yahoo 19th Feb 2010 more >>