Greenpeace UK has served legal papers on the government for unlawfully failing to take into account the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in their future planning for the building of new nuclear power stations. In a 1611 page legal submission to the High Court, Greenpeace is seeking a Judicial Review of the governments decision not to take into account specialist advice on the implications of the Fukushima disaster on future reactors, which it has an obligation to do. The case includes: That the secretary of state unlawfully chose to press ahead with his plans for new nuclear reactors at eight sites (through the Nuclear National Policy Statement) without waiting to take into account relevant considerations arising from the Fukushima disaster; That the government appears to have regarded Dr Mike Weightmans Interim Report into the lessons from Fukushima as a green light for proceeding with the Nuclear National Policy Statement even though that the report highlighted areas of serious concern requiring further investigation and that Dr Weightmans review remains ongoing; That communications between government officials and nuclear companies seems to show that there was no real intention to properly consider the implications of the disturbing events at Fukushima with an open mind as to what careful analysis of those events and their aftermath might reveal about the safety of nuclear power and the UKs ability to respond to a major nuclear incident That he failed to fully consider all the risks of flooding to a nuclear site despite the evidence of how flooding affected operations at Fukishima.
Greenpeace UK 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Further doubt has been cast on the integrity of the new nuclear reactor design proposed for Hinkley Point in Somerset following a series of criticisms by French safety regulators. Documents revealed this week in the French press highlight a series of gaps and weaknesses in work being carried out on a new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) by Electricite de France (EDF) at Flamanville in Normandy. In a 20-page report the French Nuclear Safety Authority, ASN, highlights a number of deviations from construction requirements affecting essential parts of the reactor, including the steam generators, water injection filters and batteries used for the cooling system.
Stop Hinkley Press Release 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Letter from NFLA: I was pleased to read that North Korea is willing to resume talks on a nuclear weapons moratorium. Welcome news when the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is speculating that Pakistan may assist Saudi Arabia develop nuclear weapons should Iran succeed in building them, creating a “Sunni versus Shia bomb” race. But we also hear real worries from former UN weapons inspectors to Libya of the possibility of nuclear materials and blueprints from its cancelled nuclear weapons programme being taken from their purpose-built facility in Tripoli in the current chaos. The possibility of such information or materials getting into the hands of those who would use it for a terror device must remain the likeliest scenario for a nuclear attack on a large city. Only by working collectively can we build on the positive developments for a nuclear weapon-free world. The need for a Middle East nuclear weapon-free zone is now more pressing than ever. Otherwise we are all under threat of the real danger from a nuclear attack on one of our great cities a scenario that our organisation and the Hiroshima-led Mayors for Peace were set up to campaign against.
Guardian 25th Aug 2011 more >>
The tsunami that disabled the Japanese Fukushima is empowering the nuclear energy community in the United States. A panel of concerned interests appointed by the president before the accident is recommending a new and permanent repository to store spent fuel. While the commission did not name a specific location, its move is an interesting one: It points to the need to have central positions where the mega waste created by nuclear plants can go. But it would also appear to be a near-futile effort, given that billions have already been paid to get an earlier iteration off the ground — an effort that died after years of work.
Energy Biz 24th Aug 2011 more >>
A jaw-dropping new film about nuclear energy is to be shown in Carlisle early next month. The documentary Into Eternity, directed by Michael Madsen, is being screened at Tullie House on September 5 as one of the museum and art gallerys regular Monday Alternative film nights. The film is about the vast Onkalo underground storage site being built 500 metres below the ground in Finland to house thousands of tonnes of radioactive nuclear waste. The site has been chosen because it is as far away as possible from a possible earthquake or any other disturbance on the surface but will have to last 100,000 years to become safe. The documentary interviews technicians, scientists, politicians and commentators involved in the project, and The Guardians movie critic Peter Bradshaw has described it as jaw-dropping. He said: Into Eternity does not merely ask tough questions about the implications of nuclear energy, but about how we, as a race, conceive our own future.
Cumberland News 26th Aug 2011 more >>
A plan to transport 44 tonnes of radioactive uranium and plutonium by train has run into opposition from councils worried about accidents and terrorist attacks. The government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) plans to make about 50 rail shipments over the next five years from the Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness to the Sellafield reprocessing complex in Cumbria. It wants to process material left over from Britain’s long-abandoned fast breeder reactor programme a class of reactors that aim to produce more fuel as they operate to extract plutonium and uranium for re-use or disposal. But councils say this is dangerous and risks theft of nuclear material by terrorists en route, arguing the material should be treated as waste and “immobilised” at Dounreay. The group says the plan fails to ensure that radioactive waste is managed as close as possible to the site where it was produced. It would also lead to increased radioactive discharges into the environment from Sellafield during reprocessing, the councils argue. The risk of terrorists stealing the material in transit to make it into a dirty bomb, or even crude nuclear weapons, meant that it would have to be protected by armed guards, they claim.
Guardian 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Rob Edwards 26th Aug 2011 more >>
ENERGY company EDF could be just weeks away from submitting their application for permission to build Hinkley Point C. The Mercury has followed the progress every step of the way, from the initial proposal and consultations to heated meetings with statutory consultees including Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council. Hundreds of Mercury readers have written to us or e-mailed in with their comments on plans for the new power station – but there is still a chance to have your say. Here is what happens next: Once the Infrastructure Planning Commission receives the development consent application for a new nuclear power station, it will have 28 days to review the application and decide whether or not to examine it. This will include looking at the accuracy of consultation and documentation in the application.
This is the West Country 23rd Aug 2011 more >>
EDF Energy reconnected its 610-megawatt (MW) Heysham 1-1 nuclear reactor on Friday.
Reuters 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Every household in Britain has been overcharged an estimated £120 in utility bills as a result of an environmental initiative that is not working, an investigation by The Times has found. Energy companies such as Scottish Power, EDF Energy and Centrica, the owner of British Gas, have pocketed about £9 billion in free windfall profits by manipulating a carbon trading scheme. The extra costs have come when energy prices are at a record high, but, according to the climate change group Sandbag, the total carbon emissions saved by the scheme are roughly equivalent to every person in Europe replacing two old incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient alternatives, costing about £3 each. Jenny Saunders, the chief executive of the NEA fuel poverty campaign group, called on the energy regulator Ofgem to re-examine the scheme.
Times 27th Aug 2011 more >>
Carbon is traded just like any other commodity and the City is at the centre of a fast-growing global market. All the major investment banks trade carbon on behalf of their clients, the owners of power stations and other heavy polluters that are part of Europes trading scheme. Traders buy and sell their permits to pollute depending on market prices and how many their clients need taking a small cut on the deal as profit.
Times 27th Aug 2011 more >>
The uranium enrichment company one-third owned by the Government has dismissed concerns about the impact on its business from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Friso van Oranje, chief financial officer of Urenco, said that less than 10 per cent of its forecast orders for the next two years were with Japan. He declined to give precise figures or comment on the Governments planned sale of its stake. It is thought that the Treasury, which hopes to raise £1 billion from the sale, will appoint an investment bank next month to handle the disposal. The remainder of Urenco is split between the Dutch Government and E.ON and RWE, the German utility companies. Mr van Oranje, who was reporting a 16 per cent rise in first-half profits to 306 million (£271 million), said that the group had not detected any sign that customers in other countries, other than Germany, would scale back their nuclear plans.
Times 27th Aug 2011 more >>
When it was announced that all German nuclear reactors were to be taken offline over a period of months, E.ON chief executive Johannes Teyssen warned of serious supply shortages and the possibility of the countrys electricity grid becoming unstable because it is not designed to handle the necessary redistribution of power from renewable sources in the north of Germany to the south. The company has maintained a positive stance over the recent months, compared to rival RWE, which announced in early April that it would take sue the German government if the courts backed its view of the initial three-month stoppage.
Energy Business Review 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Japan’s government estimates the amount of radioactive caesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs, a news report said Thursday. Government nuclear experts, however, said the World War II bomb blast and the accidental reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, which has seen ongoing radiation leaks but no deaths so far, were beyond comparison. The amount of caesium-137 released since the three reactors were crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami has been estimated at 15,000 tera becquerels, the Tokyo Shimbun reported, quoting a government calculation. That compares with the 89 tera becquerels released by “Little Boy”, the uranium bomb the United States dropped on the western Japanese city in the final days of World War II, the report said.
AFP 25th Aug 2011 more >>
Government nuclear experts, however, said the World War II bomb blast and the accidental reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, which has seen ongoing radiation leaks but no deaths so far, were beyond comparison. The amount of caesium-137 released since the three reactors were crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami has been estimated at 15,000 tera becquerels, the Tokyo Shimbun reported, quoting a government calculation. That compares with the 89 tera becquerels released by “Little Boy”, the uranium bomb the United States dropped on the western Japanese city in the final days of World War II, the report said.
Telegraph 25th Aug 2011 more >>
Global Security News 25th Aug 2011 more >>
Space News 25th Aug 2011 more >>
The Japanese government estimates the amount of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs, a news report said Thursday. Government nuclear experts, however, said the World War II bomb blast and the accidental reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, which has seen ongoing radiation leaks but no deaths so far, were beyond comparison. The amount of cesium-137 released since the three reactors were crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami has been estimated at 15,000 tera becquerels, the Tokyo Shimbun reported, quoting a government calculation.
Japan Today 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Japan aims to halve radiation over two years in places contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, removing soil, plants and trees as well as cleaning roofs of buildings in an area spanning thousands of square kilometres. The cleanup could cost tens of billions of dollars, and thousands of evacuees may not be able to return home for years, if ever.
Reuters 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who stepped down Friday as president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, said he plans to stay on as a lawmaker and renewed his pledge to work toward making Japan less reliant on nuclear power, and rebuild areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Japan Today 27th Aug 2011 more >>
Japan on Friday lowered radiation exposure limits for children to below one millisievert per year while at school due to health concerns in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Japan Today 27th Aug 2011 more >>
An independent panel appointed by the Canadian government has concluded that the construction of up to four new reactors at the Darlington plant in Ontario is unlikely to cause adverse environmental effects. The government must now decide whether or not to allow the project to proceed. It makes several recommendations highlighting actions that are required to address potential effects on the environment, health, waste management, emergency preparedness and the consequences of a severe accident, nuclear liability insurance and land use.
World Nuclear News 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Nuclear experts likely will reassess the design of dozens of U.S. reactors in the wake of Tuesday’s earthquake in Virginia that drew scrutiny when the plant temporarily lost electricity from the gridthe result of construction geared for the kind of temblor that hits Western parts of the U.S., not the East. The finding is expected to put a spotlight on many plants east of the Rockies so they can better ride out Eastern-type quakes.
Wall Street Journal 27th Aug 2011 more >>
Nuclear power plants along the U.S. East Coast are bracing for the
impact of Hurricane Irene which is barreling toward North Carolina.
Reuters 26th Aug 2011 more >>
North Korea signalled recently that it was ready to end its nuclear testing and return to anti-nuclear talks. Still, the US and South Korea were hardly moved and anything resembling normal state-to-state relations on the peninsula seems far off.
Morning Star 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Greenham Common peace camps made quite a few people feel very unpeaceful.
Telegraph 26th Aug 2011 more >>
Haringey Council is investing £15million into solar power by installing thousands of solar panels on its buildings; Dundee council looking for partner to help install solar on its buildings, including thousands of council houses; Middlesbroughs Fabrick Housing Group installed PV panels on its HQ; Plans for CHP by Fife Housing Association; Mitsubishi has developed technology that enables solar cells to be applied to buildings, like paint; 2.5k PV panels planned for South Wales Factory site; public buildings & schools to be solarised across Reading;
Micro Gen Scotland 26th Aug 2011 more >>