More than 9,000 staff at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria have picked up a £1,000 Christmas bonus partly for turning up to meetings. The consortium that runs the biggest nuclear site in Britain said the £9m payout reflected a strong performance under an annual “target achievement scheme” aimed at improving productivity and safety. The £9m present comes at a difficult time for the workforce of Europe’s biggest atomic site. Up to 2,000 staff are faced with being moved to other locations, and up to 600 jobs are at risk as a result of the closure of the Sellafield mixed-oxide plant. It is also a critical time for Cumbrian local councils, which are considering plans to build a long-term repository for high-level radioactive waste in the region.
Guardian 23rd Dec 2011 more >>
American nuclear safety regulators have approved an amendment to the AP1000 reactor design, in a major step towards US deployment of the model. Construction on new reactors could begin very soon. The issuance of the final ruling was the major outstanding prerequisite before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be able to grant licenses to construct and operate AP1000 power plants. This is expected shortly for two separate projects, each envisaging two AP1000 units: Vogtle 3 and 4 in Georgia, under the management of Southern Nuclear; and South Carolina Electric & Gas’s (SCE&G’s) VC Summer 3 and 4.
World Nuclear News 23rd Dec 2011 more >>
At a meeting of the Ramsden Dock Terminal Stakeholder Group (RDTSG) held at the nuclear shipping terminal at Barrow-in-Furness on the 19th December, a number of issues relating to ships and nuclear transports were presented by International Nuclear Services (INS). As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), INS is responsible for the commercial management of the nuclear fleet. In a presentation by Direct Rail Services (DRS) another wholly owned subsidiary of the NDA the Committee heard that plans were now in hand to construct a rail head in the north of Scotland through which around 44 tonnes of spent fuel from Dounreays fast breeder reactor would be transported for reprocessing at Sellafield. The rail-head will be located some 25km south-east of Dounreay at Georgemas Junction where the north-bound rail link from Inverness splits into the two lines that serve Wick and Thurso respectively. Work on the rail-head is expected to start in the New Year and the first of 40 transports of Dounreay material expected by the NDA to commence in Summer 2012.
Core 22nd Dec 2011 more >>
August 2014 is the date that Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) expects to see power flow from its new reactor, Olkiluoto 3, according to a single-line statement issued on 21 December. The announcement brought a little more clarity to the unit’s schedule compared with TVO’s last announcement, which specified only the year 2014. The Finnish utility said it had been informed by the Areva-Siemens consortium building the unit that August 2014 was scheduled for commercial operation. Construction started in May 2005.
World Nuclear News 21st Dec 2011 more >>
The Japanese Government and Tepco say that they have achieved a cold shutdown of Fukushima nuclear reactors. Specifically, they claim that the water inside the reactors is now below the boiling point. In reality, no one knows whats really going on inside the reactors. The announcement of “cold shutdown” is based on a political decision not science.
Infowars 24th Dec 2011 more >>
Fukushima Update 20th – 22nd Dec.
Greenpeace International 23rd Dec 2011 more >>
The Government must drop plans to appeal over its lost high court solar battle or jeopardise thousands of jobs and land the taxpayer with a legal bill of tens of thousands of pounds, Friends of the Earth said today. A judge ruled yesterday that the Government’s plans to rush through cuts to solar payments were illegal – and refused permission for an appeal because it had no real prospect of winning – following a legal challenge by Friends of the Earth and two solar firms – Solarcentury and HomeSun. The court pronounced that proposals to cut feed-in tariff payments for any solar scheme completed after 12 December – 11 days before the official consultation closed – were unlawful. Instead of going through a costly and fruitless further appeal process, Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to create a new plan for solar payments to fall in line with reduced installation costs, ending uncertainty among solar companies and workers facing redundancy.
FoE 22nd Dec 2011 more >>
This week’s Micro Power News – mostly covering solar court case.
Microgenm Scotland 23rd Dec 2011 more >>