The UK government is standing by the results of its consultation on nuclear power, after research firm Opinion Leader, which conducted the project, was found to have been in breach of the MRS Code of Conduct. The consultation, conducted in September 2007, came out in favour of the government’s plans to build new nuclear power stations. But, following a complaint from Greenpeace that elements of the consultation had been biased, the Market Research Standards Board said yesterday that Opinion Leader had breached rule B14 of its Code which requires that steps are taken “to ensure amongst other things that respondents would not be led towards a particular answer”.
Research 20th Oct 2008 more >>
Letter from Bill Coley: I am writing in response to the article implying that there are safety concerns in British Energy’s fleet of nuclear power plants (“Safety crisis at plants”, 5 October). Nothing is further from the truth. The article drew from an “independent nuclear analyst” who has developed many reports for Greenpeace and, more recently, supported the “Hinkley NO Nuclear” campaign seeking to stop new nuclear development at Hinkley. The facts are: numerous nuclear generating companies from around the world have visited British Energy to learn from how we have made such marked improvement in many areas – notably in human performance;
Independent on Sunday 19th Oct 2008 more >>
Officials at Manchester University are struggling to contain rising concern among staff and students who have worked in the Rutherford Building since the mid 1970s. Four of their colleagues have died of cancer, and others fear their health may have been seriously damaged by materials left over from Ernest Rutherford’s nuclear experiments. Staff trade unions, including the University and College Union, complain that they were not consulted about the university’s decision to appoint its own investigator, and believe this undermines the independence of the investigation. There are new concerns about mercury contamination in room 2.62, where Ernest Rutherford stored radioactive materials, and where the late Dr Hugh Wagner, who died of pancreatic cancer last year, spent much of his working life.
Guardian 21st Oct 2008 more >>
A GROUP of the world’s top nuclear experts gathered at Sellafield to view the new National Nuclear Laboratory. The party are all experts in the handling of highly radioactive materials like fuel and waste.
North West Evening Mail 20th Oct 2008 more >>
The first meeting of the newly established International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament has been held in Sydney.
BBC 20th Oct 2008 more >>
The best estimates put the amount of uranium that can be mined economically (what geologists call the reserves) at about 5.5 million metric tons, and according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, today’s nuclear power plants use 70,000 metric tons a year of uranium. At this rate of use, the uranium that could be mined economically would last about 80 years.
International Herald Tribune 20th Oct 2008 more >>
Green New Deal
Letter from New Economics Foundation: suggesting that the economy is kept afloat by replacing the Trident missile programme is like rebuilding your house from straw as a tsunami gathers on the coast. The moment calls for investment in windmills, not swords. As set out in the Green New Deal, published by the New Economics Foundation earlier this summer, by spending now to build a low-carbon economy, we could generate a vast new carbon army of highly skilled green collar workers, building new energy infrastructure, transport networks and super-efficient buildings. This would join up the need to cope with the impacts of peak oil and climate change, as well as kick-starting the economy.
Guardian 21st Oct 2008 more >>
Japan may provide help to North Korea in scrapping its nuclear programme but it still refuses to give energy assistance because of a feud over abducted Japanese citizens, the top government spokesman said on Tuesday
Reuters 21st Oct 2008 more >>
Iranian security forces have arrested two suspected ‘spy pigeons’ near the Natanz nuclear facility.
Telegraph 21st Oct 2008 more >>
A major programme to cut the cost of off-shore wind farms was announced today. Under the £30 million Offshore Wind Accelerator scheme, designed by the Carbon Trust, the cost of transforming wind into usable energy should be reduced by 10 per cent. The savings would mean the cost of every kilowatt hour of electricity produced by offshore windfarms would drop from 9p to 8p.
Independent 21st Oct 2008 more >>