A GROUP of MPs has called for government to suspend all plans for new nuclear build and launch an investigation in the need for the energy source. They claim if new nuclear power stations are built they will not come into operation before 2019 and therefore cannot assist with plugging the energy gap which Ofgem have said may happen as soon as 2015. Labour MP for the Gower Martin Caton, has tabled a Commons petition, calling for Energy secretary Chris Huhne to suspend any decision on new nuclear build and order an immediate public and parliamentary investigation into the need for new power stations. The four MPs, who are backing the call want the investigation to examine the cost of new nuclear, the effect on electricity prices and fuel bills, and on whether there are alternatives to nuclear. The investigation should also look at whether the energy source is the best way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create jobs in the energy sector.
NW Evening Mail 22nd July 2010 more >>
Britain is “very likely” to face an oil shock within the next decade, triggering economic volatility as fraught with “nasty surprises” as the 1970s, the energy secretary has warned. Chris Huhne told the Financial Times that Britain was in danger of becoming as vulnerable to price spikes as before the discovery of big North Sea oilfields, leaving the economy open to “very severe blows”. His forecast of a looming energy crisis came in an interview where Mr Huhne admitted that “nuclear is going to play a part in the energy mix”, but declined to guarantee state support for low carbon manufacturing. Mr Huhne was confident that a new generation of nuclear power stations would be built, even without state subsidies – a condition of enforced austerity which some Lib Dems expected to scupper the programme. “Nuclear will go ahead if investors come forward with proposals, as I think they will,” he said. “It’s very clear to me that nuclear is going to play a part in the energy mix, precisely because of the commitments that we’ve made in the coalition agreement.
FT 23rd July 2010 more >>
The first sleaze row of the new government deepened today when a millionaire Tory donor, who successfully lobbied for the cancellation of a government loan to a promising engineering company, admitted he had wanted to invest in it himself. Labour accused Andrew Cook – the Tories’ largest donor in Yorkshire, who subsidised David Cameron’s flights in opposition to the tune of £54,000 – of a conflict of interest after he wrote to the Conservative business minister Mark Prisk in May to warn that an £80m state loan to Sheffield Forgemasters might be illegal under EU law.
Guardian 23rd July 2010 more >>
Telegraph 23rd July 2010 more >>
CAMPAIGNERS against plans for a new nuclear power station in Oldbury claim they have been given renewed hope the project might not go ahead. People living in Oldbury, and nearby Shepperdine, have said a second round of consultation announced by the new coalition government could mean proposals for another power plant near their homes are thrown out.
Thornbury Gazette 22nd July 2010 more >>
The next phase of work to remove particles from the seabed at Dounreay will get underway later this month. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd awarded a contract to Land and Marine Project Engineering Ltd earlier this year to build and operate an underwater system. Its system is due to be lowered onto the seabed from a 60m-long surface barge later this month. Following trials, it is expected to cover 12.5 hectares – equivalent to more than 17 international football pitches – of seabed where the particle population is highest, in the first of up to three summer campaigns.
DSRL 19th July 2010 more >>
Almost a million tonnes of rubble from the demolition of Dounreay is set to be turned into hardcore and used in the remediation of the former nuclear research site. An area of land at the eastern end of the site has been earmarked for the recycling operation.
DSRL 20th July 2010 more >>
CAITHNESS staff working for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority benefited from bonus payments which last year averaged around £12,000, it was confirmed yesterday.
John O Groat Journal 21st July 2010 more >>
The European Commission proposed yesterday a major additional cash injection of over 860 million ($1100 million) in funds for nuclear fusion demonstration as Europe’s share of the cost of Iter doubles.
World Nuclear News 21st July 2010 more >>
Pick up almost any book about nuclear energy and you will find that the prevailing wisdom is that nuclear plants must be very large in order to be competitive. This assumption is widely accepted, but, if its roots are understood, it can be effectively challenged. Recently, however, a growing body of plant designers, utility companies, government agencies and financial players are recognizing that smaller plants can take advantage of greater opportunities to apply lessons learned.
Oil Price 22nd July 2010 more >>
Vietnam has called on South East Asian nations to build nuclear power stations to meet rising energy demands. The proposal came at an energy policy meeting held by the Asean group of countries in Dalat, Vietnam.
BBC 2nd July 2010 more >>
The US Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a spending bill for the Department of Energy that provides $10 billion in loan guarantee authority for nuclear projects and, in keeping with the Obama administration’s request, eliminates funding for the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.
Platta 22nd July 2010 more >>
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday approved six energy-related bills addressing renewable energy, electric vehicles and nuclear power. One of the bills, by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), seeks to encourage installation of 10mn solar energy systems at homes and businesses. It would authorize up to $250mn for competitive grants in 2012 and additional funding through 2021. The legislation would help finance deployment of up to 40GW of solar energy systems.
Argus Media 22nd July 2010 more >>
Iran has suffered a series of technical setbacks to its nuclear programme in the past 12 months, triggering suggestions that western intelligence agencies are sabotaging its likely ambition to build an atomic weapon. As Iran continues to defy international sanctions, western security analysts say the country is making progress towards the ability to test a nuclear bomb in the next few years. But a series of recent reverses, notably affecting Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, is prompting debate over whether the programme is being undermined by sabotage, sanctions, or the incompetence of the regime’s scientists. In the past year, a dramatic reduction has taken place in the number of centrifuges enriching uranium at the regime’s nuclear plant in Natanz.
FT 23rd July 2010 more >>
The Spanish government has renewed the operational licence of the 1,087MW Vandellos nuclear reactor for a further 10 years, its administrator Anav said. The decision is in line with recommendations from the country’s nuclear safety council CSN. Vandellos, which is majority owned by utility Endesa, is the third nuclear reactor to be granted an operational extension this year. The government granted extentions for the Almaraz plant’s two reactors, which have a combined 2,000MW capacity, in June. The plant is majority owned by utility Iberdrola. The licences for three other reactors, with a combined 3,000MW capacity, will expire next year as well as that of another 1,000MW reactor in 2014. The government is expected to renew these licences because the four rectors remain a decade short of their design lifespan.
Argus 22nd July 2010 more >>
That Myanmar has a civilian nuclear programme is no secret. An overt programme has existed for many years, under the auspices of the Department of Atomic Energy. However, suspicions have also been raised about the possibility of a military-focused nuclear programme.
Jane’s 22nd July 2010 more >>
Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa have said they want to develop civilian nuclear programmes to meet rising power demand. The Gulf Cooperation Council — a loose economic and political alliance of six Arab states, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE — said in 2007 it was studying a joint nuclear energy programme.
Reuters 22nd July 2010 more >>
North Korea warned today that a joint military exercise by the US and South Korea this weekend poses a “grave danger” to regional security, a day after Washington announced new sanctions designed to cut off funding for the regime’s nuclear weapons programme.
Guardian 23rd July 2010 more >>
Local authorities along the east coast of Scotland have revealed they are exploring the potential to create an alliance bringing together “key players” in the energy sector from Peterhead to Dunbar to promote what they claim could become one of the country’s main areas for renewable energy development.
New Energy Focus 21st July 2010 more >>
A dry and relatively windless winter led to a 30 per cent slide in electricity production from renewable energy, Britain’s second-largest energy supplier said yesterday. Scottish & Southern Energy, which supplies electricity and gas to 9.87 million British homes and businesses, said that output from its portfolio of nine wind parks, nine hydroelectric stations and single biomass plant had fallen to 700 gigawatt hours during the three months to June 30, compared with 1,000 gigawatt hours in the same period of 2009.
Times 23rd July 2010 more >>
The UK government is to stop funding the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), its independent environmental watchdog and advisory body. Set up by the Labour government in 2000, the SDC is among a number of green bodies to be abolished. The news comes on the day the SDC, with a budget of £3m, published a report saying Whitehall had saved £60-70m as a result of introducing green measures.
BBC 22nd July 2010 more >>