Generic Design Assessment
Nuclear giant Westinghouse has dropped engineer Rolls-Royce as its key advisor on UK nuclear safety as it struggles towards winning approval for its new reactors. Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse, which the British government sold to Japan’s Toshiba in 2006, has appointed London-listed Serco as its lead consultant after its UK ambitions fell into disarray. The American giant is engaged in a ferocious battle with French rival Areva for contracts to build nuclear reactors in Britain as the country gears up for a massive newbuild programme. Westinghouse has fallen well behind Areva’s European Pressurised Reactor in the vetting process. Kevin Allars, the director of new nuclear build design assessment at the HSE, yesterday told the Daily Mail that Westinghouse has recently been taking steps to raise its game, including appointing Serco as its consultant. But he admitted Westinghouse has been slow to provide the masses of information he needs to assess its design, meaning its AP1000 reactor is trailing in Areva’s wake
Daily Mail 23rd Jan 2010 more >>
The UK’s National Audit Office said Friday it was too early to say whether the government’s disposal of its 36% stake in nuclear generator British Energy will mean a planned fleet of new nuclear reactors will be built on time and without public subsidies.
Platts 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
The British government will not use taxpayers’ money to subsidize the construction of new nuclear power plants, Philip Hunt, (right) minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change said Jan 21. In an online question and answer session with ‘The Guardian’ newspaper, Lord Hunt said the government had made it “absolutely clear” that the cost of new nuclear power plants must be met in full by the commercial companies themselves, including the cost of decommissioning and waste management.
Energy Collective 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Government spending watchdog says it is still not convinced new nuclear power stations will be built without public subsidies.
Ecologist 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Energy Business Review 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Radiation and Health
Although the government is apparently committed to building new nuclear reactors, a recent powerful study has indicated a serious health problem, in fact a possible show-stopper, over its nuclear proposals. In 2008, a major 4-year health study found large increases in infant cancers near all German nuclear power stations. The study had been confidently commissioned to show no such health problems, instead it revealed the opposite. The study (called KiKK, the German acronym for child leukaemias near nuclear reactors – Kinderkrebs in der Umgebung von KernKraftwerken) reported a 2.2-fold increase in leukaemia risks and a 1.6-fold increase in embryonal cancer risks among children under five living within five km of all German nuclear power stations.
CND 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
National Policy Statements
The Sustainable Development Commission said they were ‘very sceptical’ about the Government’s statement that it is ‘satisfied that effective arrangements had been made for nuclear waste’, in evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Committee.‘If we haven’t gone far enough down the line of actually constructing a process to deal with the legacy waste [waste from present and past nuclear programmes], should we be adding to the problem by commissioning new reactors,’ asked Greenleaf.
Ecologist 15th Jan 2010 more >>
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband has been warned that the Government could face a judicial review unless its “fundamentally flawed” draft planning policies on major energy infrastructure are significantly changed. Friends of the Earth’s legal department has written to Mr Miliband raising a number of concerns about the Government’s draft Energy National Policy Statements (NPSs), which will set the basis for individual planning decisions on major energy projects by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) from March onwards.
Friends of the Earth Press Release 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Planning Resource 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Business Green 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Politicians in Kent are urging the government to reconsider its shortlist of sites for 10 nuclear power stations. Dungeness had been ruled out by ministers but Shepway District Council says the information used to make the decision was flawed. Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard says the area needs the plant because it will secure badly needed jobs.
BBC 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
MAJOR concerns have been raised about National Grid’s plans to run power lines across Sedgemoor should two new reactors at Hinkley Point win planning permission. A recommendation, backed by Sedgemoor district councillors last week at a public meeting where the authority gave its formal response to the scheme, read: “The council has been severely hampered by a lack of co-operation in providing funding to allow full and detailed consideration of the issues. “The council will call upon the Secretary of State, National Grid and the Infrastructure Planning Commission to ensure a full and informed process is followed before any decisions are made.”
This is the West Country 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Choosing between pylon routes is like being asked to choose between hanging and beheading, Westminster heard. A quartet of MPs challenged a government junior minister on pylons through their constituencies.
This is Somerset 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Millom School pupils were among more than 100 people who went to the start of the three-day Kirksanton power station public exhibition yesterday. Millom School headteacher Ian Smith says it is important the youngsters sit up and take notice as the nuclear plan will play an important role in their future.
NW Evening Mail 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
The event, which saw nearly 100 people attend in its first two hours, follows the nomination of farmland near Kirksanton in November as the possible future site of a nuclear plant. The first session of a three-day illustrated exhibition aimed to answer the main question on the 8,000 strong community’s lips – how will a nuclear power station affect me?
NW Evening Mail 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Plans to build three nuclear power stations in west Cumbria could jeopardise the future of the Lake District National Park, a report has claimed. The report, by the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), supports a plan for a new reactor at Sellafield, but strongly opposes proposals for two others at Braystones, near Egremont, and Kirksanton, near Millom.
Carlisle News and Star 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Pakistan has quietly informed world powers that it cannot accept the start of global negotiations to halt production of nuclear bomb-making fissile material in the near future.
Reuters 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels or radiation and dioxins, with three decades of war and neglect having left environmental ruin in large parts of the country, an official Iraqi study has found.
Guardian 23rd Jan 2010 more >>
It is a sobering thought. In 2006, according to the UN, India was the fourth largest emitter of carbon dioxide (C02, or greenhouse gas) in the world. At that time, it was emitting 1.5m metric tons, or 5.3% world emissions. Today, India is the third largest polluter after China and the US. And yet, over 400 million Indians are not even connected to the electricity grid. That is over a third of the population of this country of over 1.1 billion inhabitants – more than the entire population of the United States. Bringing those people into the modern era is the right thing to do. By allowing them to use things we take for granted – lights, TVs, fridges and computers – we will alleviate vast suffering. But by doing this, while serving the ever-increasing needs of the rapidly growing urban middle class, India is creating a whole new environmental crisis all of its own. Today, India imports 70% of its oil, while 50% of electricity is provided by coal plants. Its creaking infrastructure can barely keep up with its current needs, let alone the vast expansion coming. For this reason, the government of Manmohan Singh has placed nuclear energy at the center of its political, economic and environmental policies. India has 4.7GW of power from 17 reactors, but it plans to increase that 100-fold, to 470GW of nuclear power by 2050. That would make it the largest nuclear energy producer in the world by a considerable margin. The largest nuclear power today, the US, produces just 101GW of nuclear energy.
Oil Price 22nd Jan 2010 more >>
Russia’s foreign minister said on Friday an agreement will be reached soon on a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty with the US. Sergei Lavrov’s comments were Moscow’s strongest public statement yet on a deal.
FT 23rd Jan 2010 more >>