National Policy Statements
MPs this week approved planning guidelines for new energy projects including nuclear power stations. The House of Commons voted to approve national policy statements for fossil fuel, renewable energy, gas supply, electricity networks and nuclear power generation infrastructure. The nuclear policy statement confirmed sites at Bradwell, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point, Oldbury, Sizewell, Sellafield and Wylfa were suitable for nuclear power plants, opening the way for a new build programme worth up to £40bn. The statements set out the policy that must be considered by the Infrastrucure Planning Commission and its successor before giving consent for new energy schemes.
Building 22nd July 2011 more >>
Planning 21st July 2011 more >>
Lynas condemns anti-nuclear protesters as “just as bad for the climate as textbook eco-villains like the big oil companies”. But in the absence of a radical programme to reduce energy consumption and increase energy conservation, the hypertechnology of nuclear power simply extends capital’s empire.
Guardian 21st July 2011 more >>
Millions of people face higher energy bills from September after Scottish and Southern Energy followed Scottish Power and British Gas in raising prices. SSE is to increase gas prices by an average of 18 per cent and electricity prices by 11 per cent from 14 September. The increase will mean a typical annual, dual-fuel bill will rise from £1,094 to £1,265, an increase of £171.
Independent 22nd July 2011 more >>
Times 22nd July 2011 more >>
Graphic on the bix six and prices.
Times 22nd July 2011 more >>
Mr Huhne said: The Government is taking a range of steps to help people through these hard times, including introduction of the Warm Home Discount to help tackle fuel poverty, clearer billing information to help consumers find out if they are getting the best deal and switch tariff if they are not, and energy efficiency measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation to cut waste and keep bills down.
Telegraph 21st July 2011 more >>
On average, the higher charges will add £200 annually to the cost of heating for consumers, and could leave many elderly people who can ill-afford to pay more shivering under layers of winter woollies and blankets this autumn and winter. Just as critically, this high-handed action by the power companies could deliver a devastating blow to the economy. Blame for this gathering economic storm far more relevant to ordinary citizens than the hacking scandal which continues to dominate the headlines rests firmly on the shoulders of New Labour, which utterly failed, until its last months in office, to begin addressing Britains looming energy crisis. Labour stood idly by while overseas predators, with marginal interest in UK customers, bought up many of our biggest power generators and distributors which they regarded solely as cash cows. Labour ladled green taxes aimed at reducing carbon emissions onto our utility bills (a policy continued by the Coalition), but failed to come to grips with the gaping hole in our future energy needs. Had Tony Blairs government taken the big decision to invest in nuclear power earlier, Britain might have been well on its way to providing itself with a degree of energy security. The bitter truth is that Whitehalls fixation on alternative energy resources has meant a decade wasted while we failed to invest in gas storage, pipelines across the North Sea and new nuclear facilities.
Daily Mail 22nd July 2011 more >>
Higher energy costs are likely to become one of the most sensitive issues in British politics, according to analysts, after Scottish and Southern Energy became the third utility in quick succession to announce a big increase in customer bills. All the huge investments are going to start and they ve got to be paid for. The government should stand back and re-assess its energy policy. Higher energy bills place a disproportionate burden on the old and the poor, while in the business sector, manufacturing industry is most vulnerable. One government policy the introduction of a carbon price floor will raise electricity costs for energy-intensive companies by 10 per cent by 2020, according to Roger Salomone, energy adviser at EEF, the manufacturers organisation. An increase of that order is going to be very significant for energy-intensive companies and for manufacturing in general, he said. It could affect the business case for where a product is made.
FT 22nd July 2011 more >>
More heating and appliances have driven up our household consumption of electricity and gas by 18% between 1970 and 2009, official figures show. Despite greener new build homes, and successive attempts by governments to make people insulate their households and turn down the thermometer, energy use by households has risen by nearly a fifth in the past 40 years. Domestic energy use is up from 37m tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 1970 to 44 mtoe in 2009, an increase of 18%. Population growth and demographics are part of the story. Energy use per household has actually gone down slightly, while energy use per person has gone up, partly because of the rise in one-person households over the last few decades. Another part of the cause, as the table below shows, is split evenly between our increased used of space heating and our increased appetite and use of appliances and lighting.
Guardian 22nd July 2011 more >>
HORIZON nuclear power, the energy giant behind the development of the proposed Wylfa B nuclear site on Anglesey, has announced a number of public consultation sessions that will take place across the Island. The first session was held on Monday at the Bull Hotel in Llangefni. Sessions will also be held on August 22 in the Cemaes Village Hall and on September 19 at the Victoria Hotel, Menai Bridge.
North Wales Chronicle 21st July 2011 more >>
Nuclear power promoters have confirmed that they will press ahead with their plans for new plants after their sites were formally identified in the Government’s finalised national policy statement (NPS).
Planning Resource 20th July 2011 more >>
EDF Application to Start Work on Hinkley C: Protest at Council Planning Meeting, Williton, 28 July
Stop Hinkley Newsletter July 2011 more >>
Campaign groups are outraged site preparation work for the proposed new Hinkley C power station is being recommended for approval next week before the power station itself has been approved. West Somerset Councils planning committee will consider the application from a subsidiary of French energy giant EDF next Thursday.
Western Daily Press 21st July 2011 more >>
Sedgemoor District Council will meet in Bridgwater on Monday to discuss EDF Energys Site Preparation Works application after its west Somerset counterparts recommended plans for approval – subject to conditions – following a detailed officers report.
Yeovil Express 21st July 2011 more >>
Eighty new jobs at the Sellafield nuclear plant are being chased by more than 6,600 people.
Cumberland News 21st July 2011 more >>
Whitehaven News 21st July 2011 more >>
MEMBERS of the public enjoyed the chance to look through archive material relating to the nuclear industry when the Sellafield Stories project was formally launched at Egremont last Thursday.
Whitehaven News 21st July 2011 more >>
New Problems in Olkiluoto. EPR nuclear reactor faces serious problems.The first-of-a-kind EPR-type nuclear reactor that French nuclear company Areva is building in the Finnish municipality of Eurajoki has encountered serious problems during all phases of design and construction. Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, Areva as well as its Finnish client TVO have kept a low profile to avoid attention concerning the problems of the EPR project. The ailing project has already caused the June 2011 dismissal of the long-time CEO of Areva, Anne Lauvergeon and the two companies are also engaged in legal battle over the extra costs of the project.
Greenpeace 21st July 2011 more >>
Nuclear Waste Transport
Trains carrying radioactive material from nuclear plants on a line through the Olympic Park and on to Hackney are to be suspended throughout the London 2012 Games, it was revealed this week. The trains carry spent nuclear fuel rods in 30cm thick reinforced steel lead-lined flasks from the Suffolks Sizewell reactor along the former North London Line en-route to Sellafield, in Cumbria, to be reprocessed. For over 30 years anti-nuclear protestors have campaigned to halt the transportation of the hazardous material by rail through the centre of London claiming it was a potential disaster risk and a terrorist target, with the Olympics heightening that threat. Rail operators Direct Rail Services confirmed the suspension following discussions with the Olympic Delivery Authority and Magnox Ltd, which manages the nuclear plants. It stressed the decision had nothing to do with terrorist fears explaining it was designed free up space for more passenger trains because of the increased demand during the nine week period of the Olympics and Paralympics.
London 24, 21st July 2011 more >>
London 24 21st July 2011 more >>
Hackney Gazette 21st July 2011 more >>
Caribbean officials on Thursday called for an immediate halt to a European shipment of reprocessed nuclear waste that will pass near the islands on its way to Japan, calling it a risk to the regions people. Caribbean Community trade bloc spokesman Leonard Robertson said regional officials were informed by British authorities that a radioactive waste shipment would soon pass through on the way to the Panama Canal. He said no specifics about the vessel were given to them for security reasons.
Washington Post 21st July 2011 more >>
A report on the millions of euros spent by the European Union on decommissioning old nuclear power plants in Lithuania, Slovakia and Bulgaria has indicated that the EU will continue financing this work well into this decade.
Utility Week 21st July 2011 more >>
Watts Bar 2, the US’s newest nuclear power plant, is being built in Tennessee and is expected to go online next year. It has a history of safety concerns that goes back decades. Nevertheless, many local people support nuclear power and are welcoming the reactor with open arms.
Der Spiegel 21st Jly 2011 more >>
According to the Associated Press, a recent study has revealed that three quarters of America’s nuclear reactors have leaked radioactive tritium from buried pipes that transport water for the cooling of reactor vessels. This tritium could in turn find its way into the groundwater. While industry officials do reportedly check these pipes for leaks, they can only do so in either indirect or costly, labor-intensive manners. Now, however, researchers from MIT are developing tiny, spherical swimming robots that could check on the pipes directly, relaying their findings in real time.
GizMag 21st July 2011 more >>
Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Co said on Friday it aims to complete work on strengthening tsunami defenses at its shuttered Hamaoka nuclear plant in December 2012, fulfilling a requirement for restarting its only nuclear power facility.
Reuters 22nd July 2011 more >>
Despite the speed with which Japan has rebuilt transport links, restored services and resumed production after the earthquake, one after-effect lingers nuclear power. There has long been public antipathy and distrust towards the nuclear industry in Japan it is a depressing and scandalous litany of accidents covered up, safety data falsified and a relationship with the regulator so close as to be incestuous. However, the very existence of nuclear power in Japan is now in question.
Investment Week 21st July 2011 more >>
North Korea & Iran
North Korea and Iran are jointly working on weapons programmes designed to build a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, a leading British security think tank has said.
Telegraph 21st July 2011 more >>
Western capitals have reacted angrily to an announcement by Iran that it is installing more advanced centrifuges in a uranium enrichment plant with the aim of accelerating its nuclear programme.
MOD Oracle 21st July 2011 more >>
India starts construction of two nuclear power plants. On 18 July, India began construction on two 700 MW pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at its Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan.
Nuclear Engineering International 21st July 2011 more >>