The UK nuclear industry’s problems can’t all be put down to the wrong choice of reactor technology; poor management and a lack of long-term political vision are also to blame.
Nuclear Engineering International 26th Aug 2009 more >>
Radiation and Health
Nuclear power plants generate tritium in the course of their operation and release it both to the atmosphere and to water bodies. Tritium releases have also occurred as a result of malfunctions such as leaks from several nuclear power plants. One such example of leaks was at Exelon’s Braidwood plant in Illinois. Many reactors have experienced leaks that have not been monitored. Further, releases of tritiated water vapor from the stacks of nuclear power plants can result in radioactive rainfall, which can contaminate surface water bodies as well as groundwater. As radioactive water, tritium can cross the placenta, posing some risk of birth defects and early pregnancy failures. Ingestion of tritiated water also increases cancer risk. In this article we will only discuss tritium in the form of radioactive water.
Science for Democratic Action August 2009 more >>
ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners are calling on the new Bishop of Carlisle to retract a statement backing Sellafield and nuclear power. The Rt Rev James Newcome formally succeeds Graham Dow as bishop on October 10. He recently endorsed the nuclear industry, saying: “We regard Sellafield as one of the most important institutions in the diocese. “It employs a significant number of people. “I am also very enthusiastic about nuclear power as a green option for the future.” Those comments outraged activists at Radiation-Free Lakeland and Cumbria Action on Climate Change.
Carlisle News and Star 26th Aug 2009 more >>
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Nuclear Installations has admitted that two fires occurred in the same location at Wylfa nuclear power plant within months of each other. He was responding to concerns expressed by the Celtic League that the second fire occurred despite recommendations designed to improve fire safety.
Agence Bretagne Presse 22nd Aug 2009 more >>
COMMUNITIES and councillors have demanded more details about plans for a new string of pylons that could be installed across the south Suffolk countryside. National Grid has said additional overhead power lines will be needed between Bramford, near Ipswich, and Twinstead, near Sudbury, if plans for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell are approved. Although the preferred course of the pylons has not been identified it is thought there are up to four possible routes, all traversing a series of villages and towns including Hadleigh, Boxford and Polstead. The decision on this major scheme will be made by the Government’s new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) and not by Suffolk County Council or Babergh District Council.
Suffolk Evening Star 26th Aug 2009 more >>
Sizewell Local Liaison Committee Report for the periods April to June 2009 now available.
HSE 26th Aug 2009 more >>
The head of the Government’s independent adviser on sustainable development (the Sustainable Development Commission), Will Day has said more consideration should be given to Dungeness Nuclear Power Station given the threat from rising sea-levels. In an interview with environmental affairs magazine The Ecologist, Mr Day said “I live in a village not very far from Dungeness power station. We defend it 24 hours a day with bulldozers against erosion from the sea. The Tyndall Centre has suggested that governments should be prepared to to adapt to 10m of sea level rises.
Romney Marsh Times 23rd Aug 2009 more >>
A £1.99 HOUSEHOLD cleaner may be used to clean up decommissioning material at Sellafield. The idea came after workers at the former Dounreay nuclear site revealed they were using Cillit Bang to remove radioactive plutonium stains. They say it is more effective than many industrial clean-up products. The Scottish site is in the process of being decommissioned but workers said that their usual cleaning product was slowing down the job of dismantling the plant. One of the team suggested using Cillit Bang after watching a television advert that suggested it could instantly clean grime from a 2p coin. The £1.99 cleaner was tested out and is now a playing a key role in the clean-out of the plant.
Carlisle News and Star 26th Aug 2009 more >>
Whitehaven News 26th Aug 2009 more >>
Letter from David Lowry: Last week’s report on Urenco, the uranium enrichment company, omitted two important aspects of the use of uranium to generate electricity (“Uranium firm finds path to enrichment”). Although the link between uranium enrichment and nuclear weapons was mentioned, there was no reference to the most notorious incident of nuclear proliferation. That was the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan dubbed the “father of the atomic bomb” in Pakistan who stole the blueprints of uranium enrichment technology from Urenco’s Dutch research centre in the mid 1970s, when he worked there, and not only used them to make nuclear bombs for Pakistan but also sold the weapon blueprints to North Korea, Libya and Iran. Second, despite the story appearing on your Energy and Environment pages, no mention was made of the deleterious impact on the environment of uranium mining. It has led to significant radiological and toxic pollution in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Russia and the United States, especially in the voluminous waste tailings that can affect local water systems.
Sunday Times 23rd Aug 2009 more >>
Low Level Waste
Radiation Free Lakeland is backing the Cumbria County Council Cabinet over its recommendation not to dump low level radioactive waste at Keekle Head and Lillyhall. The Cabinet wants the low level radioactive waste to be kept at Sellafield rather than sent to Keekle Head or Lillyhall. It follows the revelation that there is already low level ‘radwaste’ at Lillyhall.
Get Noticed Online 20th Aug 2009 more >>
CONTROVERSIAL proposals to put low-level radioactive waste in ordinary landfill sites are being resisted as expected both by Cumbria county and Copeland borough councils. For many years all low-level waste has gone into the designated national repository at Drigg but under a national strategy alternative disposal routes are being sought in order to free up a lot more space there. The Environment Agency is considering applications to allow very-low-level waste from Sellafield to be buried at the former Keekle Head opencast coal site and also Lillyhall, a conventional landfill which in the past has also taken very small amounts of low level radioactive material but now wishes to increase volume substantially. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is consulting on the national strategy that could see such waste sent to landfill sites almost anywhere.
Whitehaven News 26th Aug 2009 more >>
TWO local sites earmarked for radioactive waste disposal are set to get the thumbs down from Cumbria County Council even though one – at Lillyhall – has already taken small amounts.
Whitehaven News 25th Aug 2009 more >>
Costain has boosted its order book by 25% to a record £2.5bn, as it exploited growing opportunities in the water, nuclear and waste sectors.
Contract Journal 26th Aug 2009 more >>
The construction of the Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria’s eponymous Danubian town could surpass EUR 10 billion, energy minister Traycho Traykov told state-controlled radio broadcaster BNR, quoting estimates by consultants Parsons and Deloitte, which put the cost at between EUR 8.2 and 9.7 billion. The final agreement with the contractor, Russia’s AtomStroyExport, has not been signed yet and no price increase has been negotiated. Traykov explained the experts have calculated a cost of EUR 0.6 per kWh. The government is due by end-September to decide whether it will go ahead with the scheme, which it claims has so far gulped down EUR 430 million in construction costs and another BGN 1 billion for building facilities at the site. Experts have mapped out several options for the project including putting it on standby, suspending it or reducing the 51% government stake in the project company in order to bring in more investors.
DNEVNIK 24th Aug 2009 more >>
Controversy over a long-term nuclear waste storage site in Germany took a new turn Tuesday, when it emerged that the former government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl had brushed over scientific objections to the project in the 1980s. A report by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper claimed that the Kohl government had “sugarcoated” an experts’ report saying that the underground Gorleben Salt Dome in Lower Saxony was not in fact suitable for long-term storage of dangerous nuclear waste. The newspaper report said that in 1983 the Kohl cabinet put pressure on the scientists advising the government on the options for nuclear-waste storage to approve the Gorleben site, and had then paraphrased their report making it appear more positive, apparently in an effort to save money.
Earth Times 25th Aug 2009 more >>
Egypt is considering six bids from international firms to provide support and advice on setting up the country’s nuclear safety regulatory framework.
World Nuclear News 26th Aug 2009 more >>
French utility Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR) and its Italian nuclear partner Enel SpA (ENEL.MI) would be open to other companies taking stakes in new nuclear power stations they may build in Italy.
Dow Jones 26th Aug 2009 more >>
Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, has enlisted the support of more than 100 non-aligned nations in its push for a ban on such attacks.
Daily Express 26th Aug 2009 more >>