The investment climate for new nuclear power is not good and significant government support will be needed in most markets, according to Mark Muldowney, head of energy advisory at BNP Paribas in London. Liberalized markets are not sending out the signals needed, Muldowney said at the Marketforce European Nuclear Forum in Brussels earlier this week. Muldowney said theres been a sharp decline in investor interest in new nuclear power since Fukushima. People are very aware of the financial hit on the German utilities from the Fukushima phase out, he said. Its an unfortunate precedent from an investors point of view, he said March 19. Ratings agencies have no clear ideas on nuclear power, but they dont like it, he said, and this will lead to greater scrutiny of nuclear investment compared with other investments. Chinese experience in building reactors, supposedly on time and budget, will not be weighted by financial investors at all when considering investments in new nuclear plants in Europe, he said.
i-Nuclear 21st Mar 2012 more >>
The energy minister, Charles Hendry, is preparing to waive the rules on admitting skilled foreign workers in order to keep the governments nuclear power programme on track, according to a report today in Private Eye magazine. Hendry made his suggestion, the latest in a series of sops to the nuclear industry, at the first meeting of a hitherto secret group called the Programme Management Board. It was set up by the nuclear industry and the government to try and prevent their plans for eight new nuclear stations from going off the rails. The board was the brainchild of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), which represents nuclear companies in the UK. It brings the French firms, EDF Energy and Areva, the US giant, Westinghouse, and other companies together with DECC and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). It also includes the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the governments safety watchdog.
Rob Edwards 21st March 2012 more >>
Spinwatch 21st March 2012 more >>
A year on from Fukushima, Malcolm Grimston finds that nuclear policies have ridden out the storm.
Prospect 20th March 2012 more >>
Sedgemoor District Council will continue to fund an examination of plans to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Councillors voted unanimously to spend nearly £300,000 on its analysis of the Hinkley C proposals, after being told in a special meeting that the £10bn project “would be bigger than the Olympics and have an impact of some kind on every resident in the area”.
This is Somerset 21st March 2012 more >>
The preliminary hearing into the planning application for Britains biggest construction project opens in Somerset today. The Infrastructure Planning Commission will sit at Sedgemoor Auction Centre in Bridgwater to decide the principle issues over energy giant EDFs plans to build a new reactor at the nuclear power station in Hinkley Point.
Western Daily Press 21st Mar 2012 more >>
ITV West Country 21st Mar 2012 more >>
New Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has shifted her defeated rival Dafydd Elis-Thomas from his role as the partys environment spokesman because of his support for nuclear power. Instead he will become the spokesman for rural affairs, fisheries and food.
Wales Online 21st Mar 2012 more >>
ITV Wales 21st March 2012 more >>
Former nuclear plant Dounreay could become “the world’s nuclear dustbin”, campaigners have warned. The Scottish Government has been criticised over a waste exchange deal with countries from around the world. Australia, Germany and Italy are refusing to take back radioactive waste sent to the Caithness plant in the 1990s, unless it is vitrified, or encased in glass.
STV 21st Mar 2012 more >>
A PARTNERSHIP between Newburgh Engineering and South Yorkshires Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre is starting to pay dividends for both organisations. Newburgh production engineer Andrew Wright has been working full time at the Nuclear AMRC, supporting the centres machining team, while leading a project that aims to ensure Newburghs production processes are as efficient as possible. Newburgh Engineering started manufacturing parts for the nuclear industry at its Bradwell site in the 1950s, making it one of the first engineering companies to establish itself in this sector. The company is one of the few who has never stopped producing components for nuclear reactors and nuclear contracts remain a significant part of its business today, making up over a fifth of its total turnover.
Sheffield Star 21st Mar 2012 more >>
More still needs to be done to safeguard nuclear and radioactive materials given the scores of security incidents the U.N. atomic agency hears about each year, a senior official said on Wednesday. Khammar Mrabit, a director of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, said much had been achieved in the last decade to help make it harder for militants to carry out “malicious acts” involving potentially dangerous nuclear substances. But, Mrabit told reporters ahead of next week’s Nuclear Security Summit in South Korea: “Nuclear security is work in progress. Continuous improvement is a must. Complacency is bad.”
Trust.org 21st Mar 2012 more >>
Jason Simpkins writes: Uranium stocks got hammered last year in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. But now, roughly one year later, uranium mining stocks have finally begun to bounce back… just like we told you they would.
Market Oracle 21st Mar 2012 more >>
Nuclear safety regulators want increased power plant safety margins following last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan, said a senior European Union (EU) regulator. It had been felt previously that margins could be cut to boost plant efficiency, said Andrej Stritar, chair of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group, at a European Nuclear Forum meeting organised by Marketforce & ASI. “There is a change of philosophy,” he said. He said that it was unclear if the voluntary stress tests of plants after Fukushima would lead to legislation for centralised EU nuclear regulation and enforcement. Few governments are likely to want to cede their nuclear safety sovereignty, said Mr Stritar.
Utility Week 21st Mar 2012 more >>
Not since the allies leveled Germany in World War II has Europes biggest economy undertaken a reconstruction of its energy market on this scale. Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning to build offshore wind farms that will cover an area six times the size of New York City and erect power lines that could stretch from London to Baghdad. The program will cost 200 billion euros ($263 billion), about 8 percent of the countrys gross domestic product in 2011, according to the DIW economic institute in Berlin.
Bloomberg 19th Mar 2012 more >>
As a reaction to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, starting on March 11, 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition shut down roughly 40 percent of the country’s nuclear generating capacity in mid-March 2011 and roughly re-implemented the original nuclear phase-out set forth under Chancellor Schroeders Social-Democrat/Green government. This change has been criticized as a panicked overreaction that would hurt the German economy and harm energy security. A year later, however, we can see what the temporary effects have been and what the long-term effects are likely to be.
Renewables International 9th March 2012 more >>
A group of environmentalists has gone to court to challenge Ontario’s plan to build new nuclear reactors, arguing the environmental risks and costs involved haven’t been properly assessed. Lawyers for Ecojustice and the Canadian Environmental Law Association have filed arguments in Federal Court on behalf of several green agencies, saying a review panel failed to carry out a proper environmental assessment on building new reactors at the Darlington station in Clarington, Ont. Despite a push for green energy projects, Ontario remains committed to nuclear energy, which makes up 50 per cent of its energy supply, and is moving forward with the construction of two new reactors. But the groups, which include Greenpeace, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Northwatch and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, argue the government provided only vague plans to the federal government-appointed review panel, which nonetheless recommended the project be approved. They argue that, contrary to the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the panel also didn’t gather the evidence required to evaluate the project’s need and possible alternatives.
CTV News 21st Mar 2012 more >>
As our government maintains its nonsensical commitment to Trident ballistic missiles, the Kilburn Tricycle presents a timely season examining the history of the nuclear weapons debate.
Quietus 21st Mar 2012 more >>
Scrapping the Trident nuclear missile system would save £83.5bn and many of the jobs at risk could be transferred to alternative defence projects, according to an authoritative study published on Wednesday. The report, by Professor Keith Hartley, a leading defence economist, is published by a commission set up by the British American Security Information Council. The Trident commission is jointly chaired by the former Conservative and Labour defence secretaries Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Lord Browne and the former Liberal Democrat leader and foreign and defence spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell.
Guardian 21st March 2012 more >>
FT 21st Mar 2012 more >>
An ambitious £1.3m project to fit a 240kW solar glazing system to the roof of King’s Cross station is nearing completion, BusinessGreen has learned. While the station’s new roof captured imaginations when it opened last week, the process of installing solar cells along two new barrel-vaulted glass roofs soaring high above the platforms and concourses is in many ways just as impressive. The solar PV cells are integrated into 1,392 glass laminate units that form part of the 2,300 square metre glass roofing structure.
Guardian 21st Mar 2012 more >>