EON AND RWE, the German power giants, are on the point of striking a deal with Westinghouse, to work together on Britain’s next generation of nuclear power stations. According to internal documents seen by The Business, the three companies are pushing to finalise an agreement before the publication of the Government’s energy white paper. This is expected either at the end of March or when Parliament returns from its Easter recess on 16 April. The combined approach will be the first time all three power companies have come together to work on a project and is an indication of the role consortia could play in the construction of the next generation of power stations. As part of the agreement, the companies will submit a joint application for a licence for Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor design, which will cost as much as £2bn ($3.9bn, E3bn) each to build. The deal could then be extended to include joint applications for a licence for a particular site and eventually stretch to constructing a new power plant in a consortium. The white paper is expected to trigger licence applications from the world’s leading nuclear power plant designers: France’s Areva, which designs the European pressurised reactor; Westinghouse; GE Energy; and Atomic Energy of Canada. The talks between Westinghouse and the German companies are forging ahead despite last Friday’s shock victory for Greenpeace, in the High Court which is not expected to delay the licence application process, known as pre-licensing. It will, though, mean another, more thorough, public consultation. And it will prevent the Government from including a nuclear “statement of need” in the white paper.
The Business 21st Feb 2007
CONSULTANTS working for the UK Government have earmarked Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan as a potential site for a new nuclear power station, according to an industry source. The Department of Trade and Industry said there were no plans to build any new nuclear power stations. “We are conducting an energy review. The review is to see whether there should be a nuclear element to Britain’s energy plan, and it would be a bit odd to identify sites for nuclear power stations at this time.” But the industry source told the Western Mail, “There is a document in existence which identifies Aberthaw as a suitable location for a nuclear power station. It’s an academic exercise which looks purely at the technical case, without considering the political impact.
Western Mail 20th February 2007
SCOTTISH Nationalists today called on Labour to rule out the construction of any new nuclear power stations. The party claims Scotland can instead become a world leader in green technologies. Speaking ahead of an SNP-led Holyrood debate on the environment, the party’s environment spokesman Richard Lochhead said: “It’s time for parliament to take a stand on this issue by supporting the SNP’s motion in favour of developing our nation’s enormous renewables and clean energy potential, and rejecting the case for costly, unneeded and unwanted new nuclear power stations in Scotland.”
Edinburgh Evening News 21st Feb 2007
ICScotland 21st Feb 2007
Iran will press ahead with its nuclear programme even at the price of closing down every other government activity “for 10 years”, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared yesterday. As the deadline given by the UN Security Council for Iran to stop enriching uranium expired, the president remained defiant. However, for the first time, a small reformist party inside Iran called on Mr Ahmadinejad to accept the West’s terms and serve the “national interest” by stopping the drive towards nuclear power.
Telegraph 22nd Feb 2007
Times 22nd Feb 2007
Daily Mirror 22nd Feb 2007
Reuters 21st Feb 2007
Indian officials say exports to Iran that could be used in the country’s nuclear programme have been banned.
BBC 22nd Feb 2007
Despite the domestic popularity of Iran’s nuclear programme, more Iranians are voicing disquiet about the costs of pursuing it so defiantly at the risk of provoking an American attack or tougher sanctions. Washington sees Iran’s troubled economy, which is dominated by a sprawling and inefficient state sector, as Mr Ahmadinejad’s Achilles’ heel. The UN Security Council, which two months ago banned transfers of nuclear technology and expertise to Iran, is now set to consider wider sanctions after the expiry of yesterday’s deadline. Russia and China are likely to resist but if the council is divided, the US and Britain may attempt to form a coalition outside the UN to press for sanctions.
Scotsman 22nd Feb 2007
Yesterday a major new parliamentary initiative was launched, aimed at galvanising opposition within the Commons against any form of military intervention against Iran.
Guardian 22nd Feb 2007
Tony Blair today threatened Iran with political and economic isolation unless it embraces democratic progress in the Middle East, as Teheran ignores the passing of an international deadline for it to stop enriching uranium.
Telegraph 22nd Feb 2007
Four Iranians inside Iran respond to questions about their country’s nuclear programme – and their president’s handling of international concern surrounding it.
BBC 21st Feb 2007
North Korea can make a nuclear warhead that can be mounted on missiles capable of hitting all of South Korea and most of Japan, U.S. nuclear experts said in a report obtained on Wednesday. Two U.S. nuclear experts who recently visited North Korea’s atomic facilities north of Pyongyang said the secretive and impoverished state had separated enough plutonium for five to 12 nuclear weapons.
Reuters 21st Feb 2007
Letter from CND: A Parliamentary vote on a decision to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system should, at the very least, be delayed (“Not in our name”, 15 February). The Government’s White Paper on defence fails to make a case for it, lacking in analysis of the international situation.
Independent 22nd Feb 2007
With a critical UK parliamentary vote due in March 2007 on the issue of the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, Christians marked Ash Wednesday by gathering in Central London today to make known their opposition to Britain’s possession of weapons of mass destruction.
Ekklesia 21st Feb 2007
India and Pakistan have signed an agreement to reduce the risk of an accidental nuclear war following a train bomb attack apparently designed to distrupt their fragile three-year peace process.
Times 22nd Feb 2007
Belfast Telegraph 21st Feb 2007
Gazprom, the Russian state- controlled gas group, poured scorn yesterday on a -proposal by Brussels to break up some of the European Union’s biggest energycompanies. Alexander Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the leading gas supplier to the EU, said of the European Commission’s call: “I believe it is the most absurd idea in the history of the worldeconomy.”
FT 22nd Feb 2007
Australia is to ban incandescent lightbulbs in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions, with the government saying yesterday they would be phased out within three years.
Guardian 21st Feb 2007
Minister announces £13 million boost to kick-start marine power projects. WAVE and tidal power could be as significant to Scotland as the discovery of North Sea oil, Nicol Stephen, the Deputy First Minister, confirmed yesterday as he announced more than £13 million of funding for nine different projects.
Scotsman 21st Feb 2007
Times 21st Feb 2007
Dundee Courier 21st Feb 2007
Scottish Executive Press Release 20th Feb 2007