An incentive to persuade the private sector to build new nuclear power stations would add no more than £40 a year to consumers’ bills, the leading company planning to build the reactors has said. The figure is the first indication from the industry of the probable cost of financial support needed for the new reactors, which are likely to cost about £5bn each. Measures to encourage companies to make the investment that is needed are expected to be put forward by either a Conservative or a Labour government after next year’s general election. French-owned EDF Energy yesterday said it had calculated an additional cost of £20-£40 on annual bills to pay for a mechanism to support the price of carbon emissions permits in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme.
FT 25th Nov 2009 more >>
A new nuclear reactor that its manufacturers say is safer than any design now available is to be put forward for approval for use in Britain. GE Hitachi, a US-Japanese joint venture, is bidding to share in Britains nuclear renaissance, saying it has shown it can build reactors on time and on budget, avoiding the problems that have bedevilled other nuclear projects. Executives from GE Hitachi opened talks with the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency last week about securing approvals for the company’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor, re-entering a process that it dropped out of in 2008.
FT 24th Nov 2009 more >>
Westinghouse is in talks with Horizon Nuclear Power, made up on European energy groups E.ON and RWE, and a consortium of Spain’s Iberdrola, French group GDF Suez and Scottish and Southern to get them to pick the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor to build on their sites. Both consortiums are also looking the EPR reactor, developed by French firm Areva, as they decide which to build on sites across the country. If either group chosses the AP1000, Westinghouse has said it will develop a major UK head office in Central Lancashire and use the Springfields Fuels Ltd factory in Salwick, near Preston to provide the power for the reactors.
Lancashire Evening Post 24th Nov 2009 more >>
Four former members of the government’s Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, including its Chairman, Professor Gordon MacKerron, have written to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, informing him of their concerns about the government’s interpretation of radioactive waste management policy. They accuse him of ignoring the recommendation from CoRWM that the management of radioactive waste from new nuclear build should be subject to a separate process of examination. They say the claim that arrangements for the long term management of radioactive waste will exist are premature, and say that potential host communities need to be able to question the need for on-site, long term storage (up to 160 years) of new build waste during the IPC process.
Letter to Ed Miliband from Gordon Mackerron et al more >>
Press Release 20th Nov 2009 more >>
The Government is sharpening the axe for Britain’s £4 billion nuclear clean-up budget and drawing up plans for big spending cuts at contaminated sites including Sellafield and Dounreay, The Times has learnt. The Treasury has begun a sweeping review of spending by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the quango that over the past four years is understood to have spent about £1 billion of taxpayers’ money annually on cleaning up at Britain’s 20 contaminated nuclear sites. An NDA spokesman said that it was in talks with the Treasury and the Department for Energy and Climate Change about options to cut costs.
Times 25th Nov 2009 more >>
The Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent has been shut down after a small fire in the boiler annexe. The fire was extinguished by fire crews after it was spotted by staff just before midnight. No-one was injured.
BBC 24th Nov 2009 more >>
Telegraph 25th Nov 2009 more >>
Kent Online 24th Nov 2009 more >>
Kent News 24th Nov 2009 more >>
Romney Marsh Times 24th Nov 2009 more >>
At Monday night’s Weston Town Council meeting the disappointed members said the company is not giving people the options for laying the cables between the Hinkley C power station and Avonmouth. Town council leader Andrew Horler said: “We seem to be consulted, but not on all the options, only on the options that they want to consult us on. “I believe this council wants to see something out of eye sight and underground.” National Grid has said that putting the cables underground or under the sea could cost 17 times as much as using pylons. It is only consulting the public on two routes, which would see the cables bisect the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as North Somerset.
Weston Mercury 24th Nov 2009 more >>
EDF is beginning its community consultation on initial plans for a new nuclear power station on its site at Hinkley Point. The programme includes a series of exhibitions, newsletters, briefing meetings and a website allowing members of the public to submit their views on the proposals. A freepost address and freephone hotline have also been set up.
Nuclear Matters 24th Nov 2009 more >>
Somerset County Gazette 23rd Nov 2009 more >>
People living on or near Anglesey are being invited to have their say on proposals for a new nuclear power station on the island. The site at Wylfa has been included in a list of 10 possible locations approved by the UK government. The current Wylfa power station has permission to continue electricity production until December 2010. Energy firm RWE npower is holding an exhibition at various locations between 24-30 November.
BBC 24th Nov 2009 more >>
Letter: So Minister for the Environment John Gormley is agreeable to a debate about nuclear power (Home News, November 21st). Does he, like his Green colleague Eamon Ryan, hope that such a debate will show that nuclear power is not for Ireland? Does he appreciate that a proper debate is ruled out by the egregious legal ban on electricity generated by nuclear power, which currently inhibits any open discussion with those in authority? We can get nowhere until that ban is repealed.
Irish Times 25th Nov 2009 more >>
Obama has affirmed the nuclear deal with India
Reuters 24th Nov 2009 more >>
The government of Lithuania has said it will go ahead with a tender process to find a strategic investor for its planned new nuclear power plant. A government meeting held on 23 November was told that Lithuania and its regional partners would need to attract a “financially strong” strategic investor with experience in the nuclear power industry.
World Nuclear News 24th Nov 2009 more >>
If a nuclear weapon were detonated in a metropolitan area, how large would the affected area be? Where should first responders first go? According to physicist Fernando Grinstein, we have some initial understanding to address these questions, but fundamental issues remain unresolved.
Medical News Today 24th Nov 2009 more >>
The number of deaths during the coldest three months of the year were up almost 50 per cent on the previous year to 36,700, sending an extra 10,000 pensioners to early graves, new figures showed yesterday. The rise in “excess winter mortality” for England and Wales for the three months to February was the biggest for years and the highest total in a decade, sparking fresh calls for ministers to combat high energy prices.
Independent 25th Nov 2009 more >>
Peak Oil, the Decline of the North Sea and Britain’s Energy Future: A presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, Tuesday 24th
November 2009. The paper, slides and background data that I produced as part of a special presentation for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil are now on-line at.
Mobbs Environmental Investigations 24th Nov 2009 more >>
The mainstream narrative on climate change decrees that if we can get the urgent political agreements in place, and produce enough turbines and electric cars quickly enough, we can “stabilise the climate” and carry on as before. It is a narrative built on an outdated faith in our reach and our technology, and it is rubbing up hard against the buffers of ecological reality.
Guardian 25th Nov 2009 more >>