The possibility of an underground nuclear waste store being built in West Cumbria moved a step closer today. A consultation document will go out to the public over the next months. Details of that document asking for people’s views have now been largely agreed. The Partnership met in Maryport. Interview with Elaine Woodburn. Tourism officials worried. Ruth Balogh very concerned that it will be an enormous enginnering project at the back door of the National Park.
Border TV 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Friends of the Earth has welcomed a Lib Dem conference motion, passed in Birmingham today (Tuesday 20 September), which calls on the party to introduce a windfall tax on the operators of existing nuclear power plants to prevent them receiving millions of pounds of extra profit when a carbon floor price is introduced in April next year.
FoE 20th Sept 2011 more >>
The Liberal Democrat conference has approved a motion that allows for a windfall tax on operators of existing nuclear power stations. The proceeds will be used to help consumers, especially those in low-income households, adapt to higher energy prices, the motions states. The plan to recover through taxation “the profits they make solely as a result of the introduction of the carbon price floor from April 2013” formed just one part of a wide-ranging motion on the green economy.
ePolitix 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Doug Koplow: Kayla Ente at Ente Consulting has recently released a summary of current subsidies to nuclear power in the UK. The analysis joins a number of other recent studies that tabulate government subsidies to the civilian nuclear industry around the world. A general overview of common subsidy features to the nuclear fuel cycle globally is included as Section III.6 of World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009. Section III.6.4 in particular (page 81), written by economist Steve Thomas at the University of Greenwich, provides a historical review of nuclear subsidies within the UK.
Earth Track 8th Sept 2011 more >>
EDF Energy stopped its 500-megawatt Hunterston B-7 nuclear unit in Britain to repair a ruptured water pipe, it said on Tuesday. “We identified a water leak on 19 September on a sea water cooling pipe which provides cooling water to auxiliary reactor plant,” a spokeswoman said. “The station decided to take the unit offline while a repair to the pipe is carried out,” she added.
Reuters 20th Sept 2011 more >>
ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners are planning a rally and peaceful blockade against plans for a new power station at Hinkley Point. The Stop Hinkley group will be holding a rally from King Square to the Cornhill in Bridgwater on Saturday, October 1, from 1pm to 4pm. Then on October 3, the campaigners will form a blockade at the gates of Hinkley Point from 7am.
Bridgwater Mercury 20th Sept 2011 more >>
EDF Energys plans for the first of a new wave of nuclear reactors, Hinkley Point, has been dealt a blow after the High Court granted a judicial review into part of the project. According to the Times, a land-owner opposed to EDFs plans to build temporary accommodation for 1,000 workers on its land has been successful in securing the legal review. Innovia Cellophane, which owns the 50 hectare site adjacent to the Hinkley Point site where the accommodation is proposed, sought the review after talks to sell the land to EDF failed to reach an agreement. Innovia already has planning consent to build a school, hundreds of homes and playing fields on the land.
Building 20th Sept 2011 more >>
A small independent cinema in rural Somerset has upset plans for French energy giant EDF to build its first new nuclear reactor in the UK after the High Court granted a judicial review putting the project on ice.Innovia Cellophane, managed by local cinema business Innovia Films, owns a disused factory next to the proposed nuclear site at Hinkley Point and brought a judicial review against the firm.
One News Page 20th Sept 2011 more >>
German industrial giant Siemens has decided to follow the lead set by the country’s government, and walk away from nuclear energy altogether. “We will no longer be involved in overall managing of building or financing nuclear plants. This chapter is closed for us,” CEO Peter Loescher told Der Spiegel in an interview published Sunday.
IB Times 21st Sept 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the body that owns the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria, has begun a search for a new chief executive after the incumbent resigned to take up a senior job abroad. Tony Fountain, who joined the NDA two years ago after a 25 year career at BP, is leaving to join Indias Reliance Industries. The news, which took the industry by surprise, comes at a busy period for the NDA which is responsible for decommissioning and cleaning up Britains civil nuclear waste facilities. The Prospect union greeted the news with dismay, expressing shock and concern. His departure is not good news as it suggests policy differences. A change in strategy would be unwelcome when the industry needs stability,
FT 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Whitehaven News 20th Sept 2011 more >>
The NDA will soon be deciding on the future construction of a MOX 2 plant as part of its consultation on plutonium options, being announced at the end of October. It is also due to choose a new parent body company to run Dounreay. An early replacement for Fountain with suitable private sector experience is essential and we expect the industry will want guarantees that NDA strategy will not be derailed.
Independent 20th Sept 2011 more >>
It is understood that Tony Fountain found it hard to adjust to working in the public sector for the state-controlled body. Last year Mr Fountain was Britains highest-paid civil servant, earning 680,000 including benefits. Unions expressed concern that his departure could derail the authority’s strategy. It is advising the Government on whether to build a new fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield having recently announced that it was closing the existing plant early because its main customers Japanese reactor owners no longer had need for the fuel. The authority is also due t o award a multibillion-pound contract to clean up the Dounreay site in Scotland. About half the entire 3 billion budget of the Department of Energy and Climate Change goes on funding the authoritys decommissioning activities. It is set to rise as the commercial income that the body earns from generating electricity from Britains oldest reactors and reprocessing dries up. In last years Comprehensive Spending Review, more funding was allocated to the authority to make sure that key clean-up work, particularly at Sellafield, was not delayed.
Times 21st Sept 2011 more >>
The Energy Secretarys ruinous fixation with costly renewable power generation is forcing up the price of electricity. According to Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, consumers have only themselves to blame for high energy bills. He said at the weekend that they often could not be bothered to shop around for better deals. There is a good reason for that. The tariff structures of the six big energy companies are so complex and volatile that finding a cheaper supplier is no simple task. In his conference speech in Birmingham yesterday, Mr Huhne pledged to make the process easier and quicker, which would be welcome, though his proposals were thin on detail. But the vagueness was not as troubling as the lack of honesty. Mr Huhne chose not to explain that one of the reasons energy prices are rising fast government advisers say they will climb by another 30 per cent by the end of the decade is the Coalitions ruinous fixation with costly renewable power generation. Specifically, we are investing more in offshore windfarms than any other country, and the economics of the policy are crippling. According to a government think tank, the UK Energy Research Centre, the cost per megawatt hour over the 25-year lifespan of an offshore windfarm is 149. The comparative cost for coal and gas is 80 and for nuclear 97. That is a punishing premium to pay for an energy source that may be low carbon but is also unreliable. The harsh winter of 2009/10 saw virtually no electricity generated by turbines because weeks of high pressure systems meant no winds. And the arrays of turbines appearing off our coasts do not replace a single megawatt of fossil-fuelled capacity because conventional power plants have to provide back-up. Curiously, tidal energy which, unlike wind, is utterly dependable barely figures in the Coalitions plans for renewables.
Telegraph 21st Sept 2011 more >>
The Green Deal is Mr Huhnes flagship policy on energy efficiency but there is still very little detail about how it will work and whether it will be well enough resourced to make a real difference to the millions still living in chilly, damp homes. Fuel poverty campaigners are particularly concerned that not enough support will be available to those on low incomes, not in a position to access a Green Deal loan to make their homes more energy efficient. It is still very unclear how and even whether the Green Deal will work. There are also real concerns about the Warm Home Discount, intended to replace social tariffs for low income and vulnerable households. At present the Governments focus is on older people and there are fears that this will leave the disabled and poor families with young children out in the cold. Meanwhile winter fuel payments are being cut back, despite steeply rising fuel bills and anti-poverty campaigners fear that future levies on customers to pay for the low energy revolution will hit the poorest hardest. Fighting talk is no substitute for action that is already overdue.
Herald 21st Sept 2011 more >>
Ireland’s environment minister has called for more cross border co-operation to prevent potential nuclear accidents. Speaking at the 55th General Conference of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Phil Hogan, said ‘nuclear safety in any one country is a matter of concern to all others.’ The minister last week called for a ‘long-term sustained commitment’ from both Sellafield and the UK authorities for a ‘successful’ clean-up of the Cumbrian site.
Edie 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Using firsthand accounts of coping with the threat of radioactive contamination, several Japanese citizens who lived near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant hope to convince U.S. officials that nuclear energy poses an unacceptable risk.
CNN 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Two international meetings in Europe in June have reinforced the desire of the nuclear industry to work together to respond to the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. In a separate development, the US nuclear industry, which operates a quarter of the worlds reactors, has created a formal organisation to respond to Fukushima Daiichi.
Nuclear Engineering International 20th Sept 2011 more >>
A new report from Greenpeace has claimed that a switch to renewable energy sources would allow Japan to permanently close its entire nuclear portfolio by 2012 without jeopardizing economic growth. Findings from the “Advanced Energy [R]evolution Report for Japan” have put a further nail in the coffin of an industry still reeling from the fallout of Marchs Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. At present, only 12 of the countrys 54 nuclear plants are online during peak summer months, and with energy demand set to fall by 11,000MW equal to the capacity of 10 to 12 nuclear reactors through power load reduction strategies, the stage is set for solar and other renewables to fill the void. Under Greenpeaces strategy, solar and wind energy generation would increase from its current level of 3,500MW to 47,200MW by 2015. In addition to an upsurge of utility-scale solar and wind systems, PV would also become a mainstay in urban areas, with solar panels covering façades of buildings and the widespread installation of solar hot water systems.
PV Tech 20th Sept 2011 more >>
A tax court in Germany has said the country’s nuclear fuel tax is unlikely to be compatible with the country’s constitution. It agreed a refund for one unnamed utility and halted collection of the tax.
Utility Week 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Argus Media 20th Sept 2011 more >>
The German government said it would seek to reverse a court ruling allowing local power companies to challenge its nuclear fuel tax in the countrys highest tax court. The finance ministry said Berlin was aiming to appeal against the verdict of a Hamburg court, which called into question the federal governments right to introduce the tax.
FT 20th Sept 2011 more >>
The Middle East needs lasting peace and strict arms control before it can declare itself a region free of nuclear weapons, a top Israeli official said on Tuesday, casting doubt on prospects this could happen soon.
Trust.org 20th Sept 2011 more >>
The U.S. nuclear safety regulator will give more insight on Oct 3 into what inspectors found at a Virginia nuclear plant that was only 12 miles from the epicenter of last month’s historic East Coast earthquake.
Reuters 20th Sept 2011 more >>
South Korea’s nuclear envoy has arrived in Beijing for a rare meeting with his North Korean counterpart.
BBC 20th Sept 2011 more >>
Nuclear plant workers at France’s EdF and Areva will strike on Thursday over the practice of subcontracting at plants, the CGT union has announced. The union said that the strike aimed to boost the status of subcontractors and called on an estimated 35,000 subcontractors in the industry to take part in the action.
Argus Media 20th Sept 2011 more >>