In April, I debunked a piece by journalist Mark Lynas (see Lynas pens error-riddled, cost-less nuke op-ed”). I also said Id do a longer post about one particular myth he repeated: In the 1970s it looked as if nuclear power was going to play a much bigger role than eventually turned out to be the case. What happened was Three Mile Island, and the birth of an anti-nuclear movement that stopped dozens of half-built or proposed reactors . Just as the U.S. nuclear renaissance was mostly dead before Fukushima, so too was the original cycle of nuclear plant orders dead before TMI killed by rising prices for plants and cost over-runs. As a December 1978 Business Weeks Special Report Nuclear Dilemma: The Atoms Fizzle in an Energy-Short World explained: One by one, the lights are going out for the U.S. nuclear power industry. Reactor orders have plummeted from a high of 41 in 1973 to zero this year. Nuclear power stations are taking longer to build, and the delays are tacking hundreds of millions of dollars onto their costs. Waste disposal, which was supposed to be solved by now, is not.
Climate Progress 25th June 2011 more >>
Letter: Steuart Campbell (Letters, 24 June) is right to point out that the capital costs of nuclear plants will be borne by the utilities which build them, but he neglects to mention that this is the case for most other power plants as well (including wind). Since the capital cost of new nuclear plants currently has a high degree of uncertainty, the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper, to be presented to parliament before the summer recess, will contain a set of economic incentives (subsidies) to ensure that utilities build nuclear plants. Without such subsidies it is very likely that we would have a gas-dominated power system, owing to the quick payback on investment which that technology provides.
Scotsman 25th June 2011 more >>
The coastal village of Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.is one of the recommended sites, which are spread across the English and Welsh coastlines. Behind me, is the old Bradwell nuclear power station, it was decommissioned in 2002. In fields just south-east of this building, the Government wants to build one of the eight brand new nuclear power stations. Not only will this cost billions to the country, it is likely to anger environmental campaigners who feel that we should follow the example of countries like Switzerland and Germany and scrap nuclear power altogether. But the small community of Bradwell is thrilled at the proposition of a new power plant. The new plant is likely to bring hundreds of workers to the village, which will give it a new lease of life. Anti nuclear campaigners however are less enthusiastic about the announcement. They feel that lessons should have been learned after the events which shook Japan at the start of this year.
Press TV 24th June 2011 more >>
ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners are planning a massive blockade of Hinkley Point this autumn in protest at plans for C station. Several anti-nuclear groups are uniting to blockade the nuclear power plant site on October 3.
This is the West Country 24th June 2011 more >>
Nuclear waste exports to countries outside the EU should be prohibited, unless exported for recycling and imported back into the EU, and even within the EU should be permitted only when governed by bilateral agreements, said Parliament on Thursday. MEPs also backed stricter rules for protecting and training workers, called for stronger investigatory powers for national authorities, and said research on alternatives to burying the waste deep underground should be stepped up.
IEWY News 24th June 2011 more >>
Energy customers who signed up for market-leading discounted deals face shock price rises of up to 45% this summer three times as high as recent increases in standard bills. Scottish Power, which has 5m customers, announced at the start of this month that standard gas bills will rise by 19% and electricity by 10% in August. Dual-fuel bills are set to go up by 15.3%. However, one Sunday Times reader has written to say that his dual-fuel bill will soar by 45%, and another expects a rise of about 35% from August, because of the suppliers complex charging structure. Up to 10m customers who have discounted deals from other energy giants could face similar double-digit rises later in the year, when other suppliers are expected to follow Scottish Powers lead.
Sunday Times 26th June 2011 more >>
Campaigners in Japan are asking people to grow sunflowers, said to help decontaminate radioactive soil, in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed March’s massive quake and tsunami. Volunteers are being asked to grow sunflowers this year, then send the seeds to the stricken area where they will be planted next year to help get rid of radioactive contaminants in the plant’s fallout zone. The campaign, launched by young entrepreneurs and civil servants in Fukushima prefecture last month, aims to cover large areas in yellow blossoms as a symbol of hope and reconstruction and to lure back tourists.
Independent 26th June 2011 more >>
Over several decades, Japans nuclear establishment has devoted vast resources to persuade the Japanese public of the safety and necessity of nuclear power. Plant operators built lavish, fantasy-filled public relations buildings that became tourist attractions. Bureaucrats spun elaborate advertising campaigns through a multitude of organizations established solely to advertise the safety of nuclear plants. Politicians pushed through the adoption of government-mandated school textbooks with friendly views of nuclear power. The result was the widespread adoption of the belief called the safety myth that Japans nuclear power plants were absolutely safe. Japan single-mindedly pursued nuclear power even as Western nations distanced themselves from it. The belief helps explains why in the only nation to have been attacked with atomic bombs, the Japanese acceptance of nuclear power was so strong that the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl barely registered. Even with the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the reaction against nuclear power has been much stronger in Europe and the United States than in Japan itself.
New York Times 25th June 2011 more >>
An accident did occur at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. But even though the situation has yet to be brought under control, economy minister Banri Kaieda has declared other plants safe and called for them to resume operations. Does anyone really believe him? The economy ministry is a party involved in the accident. Kaieda may be likened to a bankrupt person offering security for someone taking out a loan. Now that conventional safety measures have proved useless, how could anyone talk so casually about safety?
Asahi 26th June 2011 more >>
Local governments outside the immediate vicinity of nuclear power plants are increasing their demands for a say in the operations and the safety of the reactors. But electric utilities continue to largely ignore such requests, saying central government guidelines are sufficient.
Asahi 26th June 2011 more >>
A US nuclear submarine came close to running aground in Plymouth Sound, following an incident in which two crewmen died as it tried to leave one Devonport naval base.
MoD Oracle 25th June 2011 more >>
Skilfully crafted and smoothly assembled by London-born film maker Lucy Walker, the documentary Countdown to Zero raises the all but forgotten question of nuclear war and leaves us petrified, in almost no doubt it will happen. It’s a handy guide to the history of the bomb and how to make your own. There are more than 23,000 bombs still active on Earth. Most troubling are the “loose nukes”, the warheads strewn about the former Soviet countries where plutonium factories rust silently and where, it seems, Georgian smugglers have enriched uranium stuffed inside their packs of contraband fags.
Observer 26th June 2011 more >>