Speaking to business leaders at the Sellafield nuclear plant, in Cumbria, Mandelson said the transition to low carbon would offer billions of pounds of cost savings to business and the public sector. He said: “We need to take big decisions about the UK’s energy and transport infrastructure so that they are ready for the shift to renewables, nuclear and new forms of transport.
Guardian 21st Feb 2009 more >>
Letter: Rather than assuaging any “primal fears” about Scotland being left in the dark if the nuclear power option is ignored, Duncan McLaren (Letters, 19 February) does exactly the opposite. When Friends of the Earth lectures on power provision and safety of supplies, we know we are in deep trouble. The problem is dwellers in Fantasy Land will continue to spout on about absurdly impractical and impossibly expensive “renewables” as, one by one, the lights in this country go out.
Scotsman 20th Feb 2009 more >>
Letters (1) Recent correspondence in The Herald has suggested that nuclear power can only be a short-term fix for energy supply since uranium reserves will be depleted by 2040. Fortunately, this is a myth. The integral fast reactor can increase fuel burn to more than 99%, significantly increasing the useful lifetime of uranium reserves. (2) Will Scotland eventually need to rely on nuclear power. To fill the gap left by the closure of nuclear plants in Scotland, the SNP is, of course, promoting “clean coal” as a major part of the answer.
Herald 20th Feb 2009 more >>
Letters (1) Pete Roche: Opinion polls do not tell the whole story about opposition to nuclear power. Recent qualitative research suggests that support even in close proximity to existing reactors can be quite fragile, with many only willing to accept nuclear power reluctantly if it is shown to be essential for energy security and tackling climate change. Another academic study found the UK government had deliberately skewed the results of its last consultation exercise by burying the fact that nuclear power can only make a small contribution to reducing carbon emissions.(2) There is no mention by Mr Young of last July’s report by the Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee that decommissioning at Sellafield and other ageing nuclear plants has been delayed by poor performance, delays in developing waste processing and budget restrictions. Perhaps he feels it can be ignored because in the interim the committee has been quietly disbanded, thus removing a source of independent opposition to the government’s plans for expansion. (3) What is plan B if we cannot operate the nuclear power stations? It has become quite well known that in France, where nuclear power stations provide a major contribution to the energy mix, during the 2003 heat wave, fission plants could not get rid of waste heat fast enough and the authorities had to close down generating stations. In a warming world, could this happen quite often
Herald 21st Feb 2009 more >>
Lovelock speaks with a unique authority, but he is unlikely to be right about everything. He holds a string of heterodox views – pooh-poohing all fears about nuclear power, believing wind farms and biofuel to be inefficient and counterproductive, having a lot of time for big multinational companies such as Shell. He claims that all this does not make him a contrarian, but it is hard for a lone prophet to avoid a certain over-assertiveness. He pushes his love of nuclear power a little too far, telling us often how he’d love to have a cube of nuclear waste in his garden to heat the house.
Guardian 21st Feb 2009 more >>
George Monbiot: Support of nuclear power will no doubt provoke hostile responses, but we have a duty to be as realistic as possible about how we might best prevent runaway climate change.
Guardian 20th Feb 2009 more >>
Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw is headed for a row with the City next week when he presses ahead with talks over the costly acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in British Energy. Laidlaw is locked in final negotiations over the £3.1billion purchase of a quarter of nuclear operator BE from its new owner, French giant EDF. Some shareholders have expressed anger over the deal, and are urging Centrica to walk away from a purchase agreed at the top of the market last year.
Daily Mail 20th Feb 2009 more >>
ENERGY Minister Mike O’Brien paid a visit to Torness Power Station to discuss the importance of the facility to Dunbar and East Lothian. Mr O’Brien said the Torness plant was vital to both providing energy to Scotland and sustaining the local area’s economy, despite the fact that Torness is due to be decommissioned in 2023. The minister said the loss of Torness, which employs 544 workers and has 150 contractors, would have a devastating effect.
Berwickshire News 18th Feb 2009 more >>
The Conservatives have confirmed they will scrap the government’s planning reforms and axe the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) if the party wins the next election. The commission is the centre-piece of the government’s plans to streamline the consents process for key infrastructure projects like new reservoirs, power stations and gas storage facilities. A policy paper on local government has proposed that the party should ditch the IPC and replace it with a hybrid parliamentary bill process.
Utility Week 18th Feb 2009 more >>
The Guardian has printed a strongly-worded riposte from the HSE after the newspaper reported that the regulator had quietly disbanded a committee of nuclear safety advisors for raising inconvenient safety issues.
Safety & Health Practitioner 20th Feb 2009 more >>
A NEW power station at Dungeness will be on the agenda when Rother Environmental Group meet at the Kings Head, Udimore, on Tuesday evening. The meeting starts at 7.15pm and will be chaired by Dominic Manning. The group campaigns for the protection and enhancement of the environment in Rother and the wider area.
Rye and Battle Observer 20th Feb 2009 more >>
THE future of marine energy projects in the North could be threatened by calls for new nuclear power plants to be built in Scotland. That is the view of Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson, who welcomed the news that the Crown Estate has received 38 applications for wave and tidal renewable energy projects in the Pentland Firth.
John O Groat Journal 18th Feb 2009 more >>
A HIGH-tech “worm” is being put to use to probe an underground pipeline used to discharge radioactive effluent from Dounreay between 1957 and 1992.
John O Groat Journal 20th Feb 2009 more >>
Israel was set for the return to power of Binyamin Netanyahu after the Likud leader was invited to form a coalition government yesterday. Immediately after he was invited to become the next prime minister by President Peres, Mr Netanyahu lost no time in restating his warnings about a nuclear-armed Iran, calling it the greatest existential threat faced by Israel since its creation. His words came a day after the UN announced that Tehran had acquired sufficient uranium to build a nuclear bomb a “red line” development Israel has said it will not tolerate.
Times 21st Feb 2009 more >>
Iran offered to halt attacks on British soldiers deployed in Iraq in return for a secret pact that would enable it to continue its nuclear programme, a senior British diplomat has said.
Telegraph 21st Feb 2009 more >>
According to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, released yesterday, Iran has produced around a tonne of low-enriched uranium. That number was well above the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog’s estimate of 660 kilograms in November 2008.
Nature 20th Feb 2009 more >>
The latest report on Iran’s nuclear programme by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has spurred alarmist speculation about the whereabouts of the “mullahs’ bomb” just when hopes for a US–Iran rapprochement are at an all-time high.
Guardian 20th Feb 2009 more >>
Iran has enriched sufficient uranium to amass a nuclear bomb – a third more than previously thought – the United Nations announced yesterday.
Times 20th Feb 2009 more >>
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has arrived in Beijing for wide-ranging talks with China’s leaders. Topics for discussion are expected to include the economy, human rights, climate change and North Korea.
BBC 20th Feb 2009 more >>
Scottish CND have issued a film it believes to be a damaged Trident nuclear submarine at the Faslane naval base. Earlier this month HMS Vanguard was involved in a collision, in the Atlantic, with a French nuclear submarine.
Scottish Herald 20th Feb 2009 more >>
RobEdwards.com 20th Feb 2009 more >>
Some 1,000 comments have been lodged over a plan to modernise a nuclear warhead facility in Berkshire. Many people raised concerns over flooding at the proposed new facility at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment.
BBC 20th Feb 2009 more >>