A controversial plan to ship 16 decommissioned nuclear steam generators across Ontario’s Great Lakes and eventually to Sweden for recycling continues to remain on hold, nearly two years after it was first proposed. This week, Bruce Power, Canada’s only private nuclear power operator, said there was no update on what it will do with the school bus-sized generators left over from a refurbishment of its Bruce A nuclear reactor.
Canada.com 20th Dec 2011 more >>
A worrying new report by Prof Chris Busby of Green Audit shows a 43% greater risk of dying from breast cancer for women living in Burnham-on-Sea. The result of the analysis, which covers the period 2005-8, is lower than the doubling of risk found in earlier periods but is still statistically significant. Burnham-on-Sea is situated downwind of the nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset and the proposed site for new nuclear development.
Stop Hinkley 20th Dec 2011 more >>
Sea anglers in the Burnham area fear that work to expand Hinkley Point power station will result in them losing huge swathes of fishing grounds.
Burnham-on-sea.com 19th Dec 2011 more >>
Wylfa Site has reached a significant milestone in its lifecycle by taking delivery of the last Magnox nuclear fuel elements ever to be manufactured. The last bulk fuel delivery from Springfields Fuels Limited arrived on site this week. Approximately 5.5 million Magnox fuel elements have been produced since 1955 more than 600,000 of which were made for Wylfa.
Nuclear Matters 20th Dec 2011 more >>
SPRINGFIELDS workers have marked the end of an era. After 56 years and more than five and a half million fuel elements, the last consignment of Magnox fuel finally left the Westinghouse-operated nuclear fuel manufacturing site.
Blackpool Gazette 20th Dec 2011 more >>
Hot on the heels of the NPSs being designated came the first legal challenge to one of them. On 26th August, Greenpeace launched a challenge to EN-6, the Nuclear Power NPS, on the grounds that its designation was premature given the events in Fukushima in March, arguing that more evidence was needed before the implications for the UK nuclear programme could be properly incorporated. The case has yet to be heard.
Bircham, Dyson & Bell 20th Dec 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has published a draft Business Plan 2012 2015 for consultation. The consultation will run from 12 December and close on 3 February 2012.
NDA 12th Dec 2011 more >>
Following news that four new sites in Scotland have been identified with radiation, SNP MSPs are calling for urgent action to ensure peoples safety. The four sites are RAF Kinloss, RAF Machrihanish, former Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) near Perth and former military land at Stirling Forthside all in addition to the contamination found at Dalgety Bay. SNP MSP for Highland and Islands Mike Mackenzie said: With four new sites identified with radium pollution, the Ministry of Defences action must be open and transparent especially after the failures at Dalgety Bay, which still havent been resolved. There are now five Scottish communities affected by radiation, which is extremely bad news.
SNP Press Release 12th Dec 2011 more >>
At least 15 sites across the UK have been contaminated by radioactivity from second world war military hardware, according to new disclosures by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). A dozen of the sites, which include current and former air and naval bases, have not been identified before by the MoD. Some are accessible to the public or are being developed for homes or businesses, though the potential risks are unclear. The contamination comes from radium that was used to coat the dials of aircraft and other equipment so that they could be seen in the dark. It was in scrap burned and dumped in the 1940s and 1950s, and remains radioactive for thousands of years. The contaminated sites include the old SAS headquarters at Stirling Lines in Hereford, a former naval air base near Portsmouth and a previous home to the Red Arrows in Gloucestershire. The MoD has revealed the list of sites in response to a series of freedom of information requests in the wake of the discovery of dangerous levels of radium contamination at Dalgety Bay in Fife. It was home to a busy second world war air base. In the past three months, 475 radioactive hotspots have been discovered on the foreshore near a public footpath and a popular sailing club. Several of the finds have been radioactive enough to cause skin burns, or to significantly increase cancer risks if swallowed.
Guardian 20th Dec 2011 more >>
Robedwards.com 20th Dec 2011 more >>
In order to constantly provide enough power to shove that bulk up over mile after mile of ice, the 50 Let Pobedy (let’s just call it the Victory) runs a pair of nuclear reactors that generate a combined 55.2 megawatts (74,000 horsepower), which hits the water through three electric propulsion motors. Why nuclear? Well, to put it simply, the fuel demands of the task at hand would be outrageous using any other power source. Burning diesel, the Victory would use more than 100 tons (90.7 metric tons) of fuel a day, and have a severely restricted range as a result. But running on nuclear power, she burns less than half a kilo (1 pound) of uranium even on the toughest day, at constant full power across 2.8-meter (9.2-foot) thick ice.
Gizmag 20th Dec 2011 more >>
A 631.1 million spending programme designed to improve nuclear power plant safety worldwide has been proposed by the European Commission. It wants to strengthen the role the European Union (EU) plays in ensuring nuclear power stations operate safely and cope with natural disasters, expanding Brussels’ current work within EU and neighbouring states to all countries. This would be funded by a revised and upgraded EU ‘Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation’ programme, running from 2014 to 2020.
Utility Week 20th Dec 2011 more >>
Rolls Royce has landed a £210 Million deal to supply safety instrumentation and control technologies for the French nuclear reactor modernization programme. The safety systems and technologies will be installed in twenty-strong French fleet of 1300 MW nuclear reactors operated by Electricité de France (EDF).
IB Times 20th Dec 2011 more >>
Fukushima Crisis Update 16th – 19th Dec.
Greenpeace International 20th Dec 2011 more >>
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a large quantity of contaminated water was found in a tunnel below a building storing highly radioactive water. The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is investigating how about 230 tons of water flowed into the tunnel. TEPCO says a worker found the pool of water on Sunday. The water reportedly was about 50 centimeters to 3 meters deep throughout the 54-meter long tunnel. The utility says the level of radiation at the surface of the water is 3 millisieverts per hour. It is just a fraction of the level of the highly radioactive water stored in the waste processing facility above.
NHK 19th Dec 2011 more >>
Konos solution to the many problems posed by nuclear energy is a phasing out of the industry in Japan. His plan involves halting construction of any new reactors and the decommissioning of existing reactors after 40 years. Kono first suggested this plan in 1997. If wed adopted my plan then, Japan would have been nuclear free by 2037, he says. Now its 2011 and I am still saying the same thing. Forty years is enough time for us to increase our stock of renewables and to improve our energy efficiency, he reasons. Kono would like to make achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 a national challenge. Japan has the technology, talent and determination to met this goal, he says. But with the current government wedded to the status quo, Japan may have to wait for Kono Taro to achieve his ambition of becoming prime minister for there to be a change in Japans energy policy.
New Internationalist 20th Dec 2011 more >>
The NRC has made some improvements in its IT security efforts, but also has much more work to do. “While the agency has continued to make improvements in its information system security program and has made progress in implementing the recommendations resulting from previous FISMA evaluations, the independent evaluation identified three information system security program weaknesses.
PC Advisor 20th Dec 2011 more >>
US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta in a CBS interview claimed Iran’s bomb is less than a year away.
Daily Mail 20th Dec 2011 more >>
The offshore marine energy project in Cornwall, which allows developers to test new wave energy technology, will be taken on by the Government to secure its future as a vital part of the UK’s green energy sources. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) will take over ownership of the Wave Hub asset from the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) on the 1 January 2012.
BIS 20th Dec 2011 more >>
Independent 20th Dec 2011 more >>
Hopes that Scotlands island communities might build their future prosperity on renewable energy projects could founder on massive charges levied by Ofgem on electricity generators. Last night Ofgem, the energy regulator, was accused of illegal discrimination against outlying communities by proposing electricity transmission charges for island wind farms that are up to seven times higher than for mainland wind generators.
Times 21st Dec 2011 more >>
The government’s flagship programme to transform the energy efficiency of 14m homes in the next decade will fail and only reach only 2-3m households, according to an unprecedented attack from the government’s own climate advisers. The warning comes from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which on Tuesday for the first time published an open letter criticising government policy. It follows soaring energy bills and the news that one in four homes are now in fuel poverty. Currently, energy companies have a legal obligation to enable their customers to improve their energy efficiency. “The [green deal] proposal is to take away that obligation and say ‘let’s leave it to the market’,” said David Kennedy, the CCC chief executive. “There is going to be a complete collapse in the insulation market,” said Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, who described the CCC’s intervention as “unprecedented”. “We will see an 80% drop in the cavity walls being filled,” he added.
Guardian 20th Dec 2011 more >>
The man given the task of advising the Government on how best to meet carbon-reduction targets believes that its much-vaunted home insulation programme will flop. Lord Turner of Ecchinswell has written to the Energy Secretary to say that Britain will miss its carbon emission reduction targets and that energy bills will become increasingly unaffordable for many under current plans. The intervention from the peer, head of the independent Committee on Climate Change, will put even more pressure on the Government to make radical changes to its Green Deal energy efficiency programme. Chris Huhne is banking on it to deliver huge efficiency savings and cut bills to cushion households from the rising costs of fossil fuels and wind farms over the next decade. But according to his officials forecasts first published in The Times last month and quoted in Lord Turners letter yesterday the number of homes insulated under the Green Deal will slump, not rise.
Times 21st Dec 2011 more >>