Representatives of the Sizewell area took little comfort from a “fact-finding” trip to the site of another power station planned for Somerset. Members of parish and town councils surrounding the nuclear site near Leiston, returned from Hinkley Point with more questions for developers than when they left. The Sizewell Parishes Liaison Group (SPLG) called plans to house construction workers “totally unsustainable” compared to the Hinkley Point C project – also being developed by EDF Energy and already given government approval. It also raised fresh concerns about congestion on the A12, the environment and tourism. But EDF Energy, which facilitated the visit, organised by West Somerset councillor Chris Morgan, said Sizewell C was at a much earlier stage than Hinkley Point C, and that whatever worked well for one site might not suit the other. It said the preferred location for non-home based workers was “likely, but not definite”.
East Anglian Daily Times 18th July 2014 read more »
Highland Council has been accused of “utter contempt” for local people after it suppressed plans meant to protect the public from nuclear accidents. The council has blocked publication of reports detailing emergency arrangements for coping with radiation leaks from the Dounreay and Vulcan nuclear facilities in Caithness and from nuclear submarines berthed in Loch Ewe, near Ullapool. It says it needs to “retain control” of the reports. This is despite the fact that other authorities with nuclear sites publish their plans. The operators of Dounreay and other nuclear sites make their plans publicly available. Councils are required to draw up plans for dealing with accidents at nuclear sites under government Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (REPPIR). The plans set out how people will be evacuated, anti-radiation pills distributed and contaminated food banned around the sites. Highland Council used to put its REPPIR reports in public libraries and publish them online. But last year it removed the reports covering Dounreay, Vulcan and Loch Ewe from its website, and now refuses to release them. The council told the Sunday Herald that the reports are for the “sole use” of the emergency services and other Government agencies “and are not written for public consumption”. Tor Justad, a resident of Strathpeffer involved in the campaign group Highlands Against Nuclear Transport, was angered by the council’s move. “I am astounded that the council is not prepared to publish these plans,” he said. Justad, a representative on the Dounreay stakeholder group, called on the council to reverse its decision. “It seems to have an inability to communicate effectively with local communities,” he said. John Ainslie, co-ordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: “We should not return to the dark and dangerous days when every aspect of nuclear programmes was kept secret.”
Sunday Herald 20th July 2014 read more »
There is broad disagreement over the amounts and effects of radiation exposure due to the triple reactor meltdowns after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) joined the controversy June 4, with a 27-page “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report ‘Levels and effects of radiation exposures due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.’” The International Physicians’ analysis is severely critical of UNSCEAR’s current report which echoes its 2013 Fukushima review and press release that said, “It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers.” The IPPNW’s report says flatly, “Publications and current research give no justification for such apparently optimistic presumptions.” UNSCEAR, the physicians complain, “draws mainly on data from the nuclear industry’s publications rather than from independent sources and omits or misinterprets crucial aspects of radiation exposure”, and “does not reveal the true extent of the consequences” of the disaster. As a result, the doctors say the UN report is “over-optimistic and misleading.”
Counter Punch 18th July 2014 read more »
Lowry & Schneider: The UK Government has announced that it has struck an agreement with German and Swedish governments to take title to plutonium arising from the reprocessing at Sellafield and management at Dounreay respectively of spent nuclear fuel from the two nations. At this point in time, the question is not whether the UK intends to use foreign origin plutonium for military purposes, but rather that according to the existing tripartite agreement, the UK is free to withdraw any amount of material from safeguards any time. Once the UK has taken title to foreign plutonium, there will be no distinction between UK origin and foreign origin plutonium. The UK has a history of withdrawing nuclear materials–mainly plutonium, enriched uranium and depleted uranium–from safeguards hundreds of times since 1978, when the tripartite voluntary safeguards agreement came into force. In the first announcement to Parliament in 1998, twenty years after the withdrawal option became activated, it was revealed that 591 withdrawals had been carried out over that period
International Panel on Fissile Materials 19th July 2014 read more »
Many thanks to all the people today who stopped to talk to us at the iconic ‘Brief Encounter’ station at Carnforth. We handed out around 100 leaflets with many people asking where they could sign a petition to stop the transport of nuclear waste.
Radiation Free Lakeland 19th July 2014 read more »
It’s frequently said that variable wind and solar power endanger reliable electricity supply; and so we need either “baseload” fossil fuel-burning power plants, or breakthroughs in bulk storage. That’s a myth. Amory Lovins explains why.
Rocky Mountain Institute 8th July 2014 read more »
Writing for The Telegraph, the former environment secretary, Owen Paterson, says he is proud of standing up to the green lobby.
Telegraph 20th July 2014 read more »
Marathon talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna ended Saturday after negotiators gave themselves four more months to try and bridge major gaps and strike a historic nuclear deal.
Middle East Onlie 19th July 2014 read more »
If nuclear negotiations were a World Cup football game, it’s 1-1 and they’ve gone into extra time. It’s a score draw because both sides in Vienna have achieved something. Iran has kept all its agreements, freezing most of its nuclear programme and dialling back some parts. The US has kept to its side of the bargain, releasing $4.2 billion from Iran’s frozen back accounts. They have shown that deals can be done and implemented, which is something after so many years of deadlock.
Guardian 19th July 2014 read more »
We are delighted to be working with the Holy Cross Priory Leicester to explore opportunities for a new Solar PV community energy scheme in our city. We are really excited about the opportunity to use our unique, skills and experience to bring another local community project to fruition in partnership with the Holy Cross community and will be posting regular updates so watch this space.
Green Fox 19th July 2014 read more »
Renewables – small hydro
THE UK government is expected to announce a cut in subsidies for small-scale hydro power schemes this week in a move that industry leaders said could kill off further investment in the sector and put Scottish jobs at risk. Trade body Scottish Renewables fears that feed-in tariffs (FiTs), which pay a guaranteed price for each unit of renewable power, could be slashed by as much as 10 per cent following a recent rush for schemes to get the green light. Energy minister Fergus Ewing warned that the changes, due to be unveiled by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (Decc) on Wednesday, would be “particularly damaging” in Scotland, which is home to 73 per cent of the UK’s total small-scale hydro capacity. Scottish Renewables said there are more than 500 direct jobs in hydro in Scotland, with “many hundreds” more involved in supply activities.
Scotland on Sunday 20th July 2014 read more »
A tale of toxic love in the poisonously radioactive shadow of a nuclear power plant. Originally inspired by Elisabeth Filhol’s novel La Centrale, which shone a pre-Fukushima light upon the perilous working environments of subcontractors in the nuclear industry, Gaëlle Macé and co-writer/director Rebecca Zlotowski’s contrived but affecting screenplay places Rahim’s unqualified worker (a modern working-class hero) in ever-increasing danger as he prolongs his intoxicating spell at the plant in order to stay within the fallout zone of Seydoux’s irradiating charms.
Observer 20th July 2014 read more »