The taxpayer will have to stump up almost £250m more to bail out the nda in the next financial year after falling asset sales and rising expenditure cut its income by 17.5%. The shortfall is revealed in the NDA’s just-published draft business plan for 2012-15, which shows the impact of being unable to offload land to the private sector for new nuclear plants and the end of the contracts to supply Japan with mixed-oxide fuel. The setback will give more ammunition to environmentalists and other critics who argue that the wider nuclear industry is infamous for cost overruns and calls on public funds. NDA income for 2012-13 is shown dropping from £867m to £717m, while expenditure is expected to rise from £2.88bn to £2.96bn, leaving the government needing to increase its total grant to the organisation, which oversees the dismantling of the UK’s atomic legacy.
Guardian 25th Dec 2011 more >>
Welsh Language ITV flagship programme Byd ar Bedwar (20/12/2011) investigates breast cancer increases downwind of the Wylfa Nuclear Power Station on Anglesey. Dr Chris Busby was commissioned by the programme to investigate cancer death rates in the 11 wards surrounding the plant. He found a significant 60% excess risk in women dying between 1999 and 2008 in the downwind wards compared with the distant wards. There was also two-fold excess lung cancer risk in men in Amlwch Port downwind of the plant.
You Tube 22nd Dec 2011 more >>
Minamisoma, a sprawling rural city in Fukushima, was hit by the 11 March tsunami. Parts of the city also lie within the exclusion zone around the crippled nuclear plant. The BBC’s Roland Buerk met residents who have stayed to rebuild. The headmistress, Chieko Nakai, personally helped a team of volunteers to hose down the roof. Mechanical diggers were used to remove the contaminated five centimetres of topsoil from the playground and bury it in the corner. Even so, the swings have not been used since March. The children have to play inside.
BBC 25th Dec 2011 more >>
Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda said yesterday that he and his Chinese counterpart have agreed to work together in dealing with North Korea and promoting stability in the country after the death of Kim Jong-Il.
Scotsman 26th Dec 2011 more >>
Officials are scrambling to strike a compromise with the solar industry after an attempt to slash subsidies was blocked by the High Court. Greg Barker, the energy minister, is considering ways to soften the impact of the planned halving of the feed-in tariff, which is paid to households for electricity generated by solar panels. The rethink follows a successful legal challenge last week by Friends of the Earth and two solar companies, Homesun and Solarcentury. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has until January 4 to appeal. The talks come amid warnings that the funding pot for photo-voltaic solar panel installations could run out within months.
Sunday Times 25th Dec 2011 more >>
Letter: after the celebrations or commiserations, ministers will hopefully take the opportunity to address the two fundamental problems that still exist: lack of a sufficient budget to support this growing industry, and a proposed structure that disadvantages smaller companies. The decision to decrease the percentage return on solar photovoltaic to single figures is sensible and expected. However, to base these rates on budget levels calculated as part of the comprehensive spending review, set in November 2010, is out of line with the current economic picture. Since the decision was taken last year to create a fixed budget for the tariff, the government has changed its overall strategy and now recognises the need to inject funds into the economy to stimulate business and create jobs.
Guardian 25th Dec 2011 more >>