Chris Huhne has conceded that he may have been driving his car on the day it was caught speeding, after weeks of denials that he broke the law. The energy secretarys cabinet career is hanging by a thread after allegations that he lied to police about who was behind the wheel. Police have launched a criminal investigation into the claims, which can carry a prison sentence.
Sunday Times 22nd May 2011 more >>
Greenpeace this week unveiled 118 pages of minutes and other documents, mostly obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, which it claims undermine the case for a new power station at Sellafield. It hopes the findings might force a rethink of the NuGen consortiums plan to start building in 2015. In fact, many of Greenpeaces revelations were already public knowledge, such as problems with the sites geology and difficulties in accessing the National Grid. But the documents do shed light on a behind-the-scenes campaign to promote Sellafield as suitable for nuclear new build against improbable odds. In Jan 2008 Cumbrias movers and shakers held a nuclear influencing strategy workshop at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal. Rosie Mathisen, director of nuclear opportunities at West Lakes Renaissance, was in the chair. Also present were representatives from Copeland, Allerdale and Cumbria County councils, Sellafield unions, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Cumbria Vision, Northwest Development Agency, Invest in Cumbria, and Carl Carter from Copeland MP Jamie Reeds office. Greenpeace argues that the minutes of these meetings show the expression of interest from local authorities in having a long-term waste repository were a smokescreen to promote nuclear new build.
Times & Star 21st May 2011 more >>
Bruce Power still plans to ship nuclear generators to Sweden via the Great Lakes. Officials at the Owen Sound, Ontario, plant just don’t know when that’s going to happen. For now, things are on hold.
Times Herald 21st May 2011 more >>
The Areva EPR, the Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 PWR and Fukushima – submission by John Busby to the Weightman review.
After Oil 15th April 2011 more >>
Also see submission to NPS consultation.
After Oil 29th December 2009.
U.S. nuclear regulators are demanding more information about Toshiba Corp. (6502)s new reactor design, potentially delaying its approval for use by power companies such as Southern Co. (SO) and Scana Corp. (SCG) The Nuclear Regulatory Commissions review of the AP1000 reactor, developed by Toshibas Westinghouse Electric Co., has uncovered additional technical issues, Gregory Jaczko, the agencys chairman, said in a statement yesterday. Westinghouse must prove to our satisfaction that the company has appropriately and completely documented the adequacy of the design, Jaczko said.
Bloomberg 21st May 2011 more >>
IAEA’s latest update on the Fukushima crisis.
IB Times 21st May 2011 more >>
The United Nations has launched a broad study of the implications of the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following the earthquake and tsunami in March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced.
AFP 21st May 2011 more >>
Highly contaminated radioactive water that leaked into the sea in earlier May from a pit near a seawater intake of the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant totaled 250 tons and contained an estimated 20 terabecquerels of radioactive substances, Tokyo Electric Power Co said Saturday. The estimated amount of radioactive substances from the plant, crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, is about 100 times the annual allowable limit for release outside the plant, said TEPCO. The leak is estimated to have lasted for 41 hours from 2 a.m. on May 10 through 7 p.m. on the following day, TEPCO said based on its analysis of data showing changes in water levels in the pit.The leak raised the concentration of radioactive substances within the port of the power plant, but the level outside the port did not change significantly, TEPCO said. The leak from near the No. 3 reactor compares with about 500 tons of radioactive water with 4,700 terabecquerels of radioactive substances that leaked from near the No. 2 reactor from April 1 to 6.
Japan Today 22nd May 2011 more >>
Several damaged pipes carrying sea water were found at the No. 5 reactor of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, plant operator Chubu Electric Power Co. said May 20. Damage was found to small pipes running inside the condenser of the boiling water reactor, which turns steam into water after it has been used to power the turbine. At least 20 of the approximately 21,000 titanium pipes, which are 0.5 millimeters thick and have a diameter of 3 centimeters, had cracks or holes in them.
Asahi 22nd May 2011 more >>
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday backed proposals to shut down all of the country’s 17 nuclear power plants within about a decade. Speaking at a meeting of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Bavarian sister party to her conservatives, Merkel said a 2022 date proposed by the CSU was appropriate and that her government will eventually fix a date for Germany’s nuclear exit.
Reuters 21st May 2011 more >>
THE Scottish Parliament is to call, for the first time, for the Trident nuclear submarine weapons system to be removed from Scotland. The devolved parliament is to back a formal resolution on the matter soon, with this month’s Scottish elections having returned a majority of parliamentarians who are now opposed to the base at Faslane. The move comes after Defence Secretary Liam Fox last week began the process for a new generation of submarine-based nuclear warheads to replace Trident with the Clyde Naval base at Faslane seen as the only realistic place to house them in the UK. The Scottish Parliament has no say over Trident being based in Scotland, as defence is a matter wholly reserved to the Westminster parliament. However, the SNP will be able to use a resolution to argue that any decision to maintain the nuclear weapons at Faslane goes against the devolved parliam ent’s will, prompting further cross-border tensions. It comes with Alex Salmond set to make a major speech on the constitution tomorrow, setting out his plans for Scottish independence. While Holyrood’s vote will not carry legal force, analysts said last night they expected a Scottish challenge to be added to arguments within the MoD among generals who are privately opposed to Trident’s replacement. Scottish-based campaigners also say the SNP Government should press home its mandate from the Scottish Parliament, once the motion is passed, to make it impossible for warheads to be transported around the country. Brian Larkin, of Trident Ploughshares, said yesterday: “The UK Government currently transports nuclear warheads over Scotland’s roads to Faslane and Coulport. The Scottish Government could refuse to allow that.” But academics have warned that such a non-negotiable stance will massively complicate any attempt by Scotland to secede from the UK. A study by Professor William Walker, professor of International Relations at St Andrew’s Uni versity concluded that, in such negotiations, other EU nations would want to be assured there was an agreement on military relations within the UK. He warned that would be “difficult if Edinburgh was intent on expelling Trident against the will of London”.
Scotland on Sunday 22nd May 2011 more >>
SCOTTISHPOWER is this week expected to unveil a multi- million pound partnership in Europe that will help establish its wind power technology on the continent. A deal with a manufacturer to build wind turbines will mark another milestone in the company’s progress in the renewables sector. It is already in talks with Germany and Poland and is now understood to be making inroads into another key European state. The latest project is described as being worth potentially hundreds of millions of pounds and will help establish Glasgow as a key centre for the development of wind energy technology.
Scotland on Sunday 22nd May 2011 more >>
One British company uses more power than Liverpool and Manchester combined. Little wonder, then, that Ineos, the chemicals giant, is leading the charge against government plans to raise power bills by much more than the rest of Europe is proposing. The firms pleas have gained little traction. Last week the government accepted the advice of the Committee on Climate Change to agree a new target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 50% of 1990 levels by 2027. It will make Britain the first country in the world to commit itself to targets beyond 2020. Manufacturers say the move, taken with other plans, including a UK-only carbon tax, will cripple industry. They insist thousands of jobs will be lost as firms move their plants to countries where the cost of doing business is lower.
Sunday Times 22nd May 2011 more >>