EDF Energy, the French power giant, will seek a licence to build a new £2.5bn (E4bn, $5bn) nuclear power station in Britain early next year, its British chief executive, Vincent de Rivaz, has revealed. EdF will make its British application public shortly after the NII publishes guidelines on the licensing process in January. The initial stage of licensing will involve gaining British regulatory approval for one of the handful of modern nuclear reactor designs to be built on existing sites. De Rivaz said he believed that once its application was made, EdF could obtain a licence by the end of the decade, and have its new nuclear power station generating electricity by 2017.
The Business 22nd Nov 2006
It starts off as a small blob over Ukraine, but then spreads. Constantly changing shape and colour, it curls its way round most of Europe. Sometimes it looks like an ink blot, sometimes like a demented bird and sometimes, even, like an angel of death. The French government’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) has posted on its website a graphic animation of the plume of radioactive caesium-137 from the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl in April and May 1986. It is, as one radiation scientist told me, an extraordinary tour de force.
New Scientist 23rd Nov 2006
RobEdwards.com 23rd Nov 2006
The government launched what is sure to be a heated debate on the future of its nuclear arsenal on Thursday and promised a parliamentary vote on the issue early next year. Cabinet member Jack Straw, a former foreign minister, said there had been “very substantial consensus” in the cabinet’s initial discussion on Thursday on whether or how to replace Britain’s nuclear defence system.
Reuters 23rd Nov 2006
Scotsman 24th Nov 2006
Guardian 24th Nov 2006
Labour MPs will be ordered to back the Government when replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent comes before the Commons early in the New Year. The announcement that backbenchers will be “whipped” sets the scene for an acrimonious debate over an issue that still divides the Labour Party.
Telegraph 24th Nov 2006
There is a dreary sense of inevitability about the whole process. On the face of it, the government is offering a wider discussion than has any government before. But underneath the promise of a debate looks like nothing more than window dressing.
Guardian Leader 24th Nov 2006
Britain is to maintain its nuclear defence with a straight submarine-based replacement for the Trident missile system, The Times has learnt.
Times 24th Nov 2006
Yesterday’s meeting of the Cabinet marked the start of a process that will decide whether Britain replaces its independent nuclear deterrent when the current system comes to the end of its life. A White Paper on the options for replacing the Trident nuclear missile system will be published before Christmas, and MPs will have the chance to debate and vote on the Government’s favoured option after a “period of debate” in the new year.
Independent 24th Nov 2006
FIRST MINISTER Jack McConnell yesterday again ducked the question of where he stands on Britain’s nuclear deterrent. At First Minister’s Question Time, SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon pressed him to say whether he favoured replacing the Trident submarine nuclear missile system. Yesterday it emerged that MPs at Westminster will vote on the possibility of a replacement next year. Ms Sturgeon reminded MSPs that in September Mr McConnell said he would “come to a view and make that view very clear indeed.”
Dundee Courier 24th Nov 2006
Nuclear warheads on their way to and from Scotland have stopped off at Fulwood Barracks, nuclear watchers claim.
Lancashire Evening Post 23rd Nov 2006
A TEENAGER has created a working nuclear reactor in the basement of his family home. Thiago Olson, 17, bought spare parts on eBay and persuaded manufacturers to give him discounts to create the machine. The schoolboy took 1,000 hours over two years to build the fusion reactor, which creates energy by combining atoms.
Daily Mirror 24th Nov 2006
Iran will give inspectors access to records and equipment from two of its nuclear sites, the head of the UN’s atomic agency, the IAEA, has said. Mohamed ElBaradei said he hoped Iran’s move would begin a series of measures that would clear suspicions over its nuclear programme.
BBC 23rd Nov 2006
Iran vowed yesterday to press ahead with the construction of a heavy water reactor which could arm two atomic bombs each year, despite condemnation of its plans by the United Nations. The announcement came after the UN’s atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, refused to provide safety assistance with the reactor being built at Arak, 120 miles south of Teheran.
Telegraph 24th Nov 2006
Companies with nuclear energy interests are eagerly queuing to enter India a week after the US Senate approved the US-India civil nuclear agreement. The bill, if finalised, would pave the way for the US to sell nuclear resources, equipment and technology to India.
FT 23rd Nov 2006
Plans to send underwater robots beneath the Pentland Firth to remove radioactive particles from the seabed off Dounreay were revealed yesterday. The UK Atomic Energy Authority, Dounreay’s operator, is to undertake trials of remotely operated technology next summer to see if it is up to the task and can save divers from having to do the job. Dounreay’s announcement followed the publication yesterday of a report by the Dounreay Particles Advisory Group (Dpag), which recommended “serious consideration be given to the targeted removal of significant particles in the marine environment”.
Herald 22nd Nov 2006
It is thought that retrieval might reduce the number of particles that could be transported on to beaches. However, it is also recognised that disturbance of the seabed may lead to a short-term increase in the number of particles on the Dounreay foreshore and on the beach at Sandside, which is open to the public and where 74 particles have been found. Radioactivity has led to a fishing ban within a 2km radius of the old effluent discharge point at Dounreay.
Scotsman 22nd Nov 2006
Australia, the world’s biggest coal exporter, should consider developing a nuclear power industry as part of its response to climate change, an independent report concluded yesterday. Although Australia is home to almost 40 per cent of the world’s uranium deposits, it has no nuclear power plants and only a single research reactor, relying instead on its plentiful and cheaper coal reserves.
FT 22nd Nov 2006
Bulgaria is to slash electricity exports to neighbouring countries from January after shutting two more units at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant on the Danube as a condition for European Union entry. Albania and Montenegro, which suffer chronic electricity shortages caused by rising demand and lack of investment in new generating capacity, are likely to be worst hit. Greece and Serbia could also face power cuts at times of peak demand. Despite the Kozloduy closures, Bulgaria is committed to a nuclear future. Bulgaria last month selected an international consortium led by Atomstroyexport, the Russian nuclear power utility 45 per cent owned by Gazprom, to build a $4bn nuclear plant at Belene, an island on the river Danube. The other consortium partners are Siemens of Germany and Areva of France. The project includes two 1,000 megawatt units with a 60-year lifespan. The European Commission has not raised objections, although Sofia’s choice of partner does not fit with its policy of reducing dependence on Russian energy suppliers.
FT 22nd Nov 2006
British Energy’s first half results show improved financial performance despite a drop in output. Meanwhile, boiler tube cracking at Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B have led to the decision to run those stations at 70%.
Nuclear Engineering International 22nd Nov 2006