Jonathon Porritt: Why must the UK choose between nuclear and renewable energy? That was the question George Monbiot asked recently in a blog that challenged me to answer four questions. Here is a concise version of my answers: the full version of my answers will be posted on my website. As pointed out by Andrew Broadbent (of CES Social and Economic Research), these figures have been challenged by a wide range of very different cost projections. Nuclear costs would be much higher, and that it is certainly not “the most cost-effective” low-carbon technology. Secondly the co-existence of nuclear and renewables has become a pipedream. I believe a 100% renewable supply strategy for the UK is feasible by 2050 at the latest, assuming only that we succeed in reducing total energy consumption in the UK by at least 40% by 2030 through a wholly different approach to energy efficiency than any government has ever demonstrated before.
Guardian 26th July 2011 more >>
PLANS recommended for preparation work at the proposed Hinkley Point power station site received support in principle from Sedgemoor District Council. At a special meeting yesterday, the authority agreed in principle to recommendations put forward, subject to certain conditions and obligations being met.
Bridgwater Mercury 26th July 2011 more >>
Protest outside West Somerset Council Williton 28th july against EDF’s preliminary works application.
Stop Hinkley 26th July 2011 more >>
Campaigners have hailed the halting of nuclear waste trains through Redbridge during the Olympics as a victory. News emerged last week that rail operators have temporarily stopped bringing spent nuclear fuel rods through Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes, Seven Kings and Ilford before going through the Olympic site and joining up with the North London Line and on to Sellafield in Cumbria. Despite that news, which came with news of a total halting of the trains during the Games, a number of protesters gathered at Stratford station on Saturday to oppose nuclear trains altogether.
London24 26th July 2011 more >>
CHRIS HARROP has joined Deloitte’s nuclear practice. Harrop will lead the firm’s nuclear capital programmes team, joining from Horizon Nuclear Power. His role will be to develop the firm’s practice in growing markets such as the UK, China and the middle-east.
Finance Director 26th July 2011 more >>
The historic decision by Germanys government to end the countrys nuclear-energy programme is owed to the enduring vitality of the anti-nuclear movement. Paul Hockenos maps the implications for the rest of the world.
Open Democracy 26th July 2011 more >>
In an attempt to protect its assets from a Fukushima-style meltdown, Chubu Electric Power Co. is constructing an 18-meter (60 foot) anti-tsunami seawall around its Hamaoka nuclear plant. The plant is reportedly near a fault line that may be vulnerable to future earthquakes and tsunamis. The decision to build the wall came following the Japanese governments forced shutdown of the plant in order to implement disaster mitigation measures.
Oil Price 26th July 2011 more >>
The UN’s top nuclear official says the world’s reliance on atomic power will continue to grow, despite the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima plant. Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said many countries believed nuclear power was needed to combat global warming. Mr Amano visited the Fukushima plant on Monday for the first time since it was crippled by the earthquake and tsunami.
BBC 26th July 2011 more >>
Can Japan afford to go nuclear-power-free? The country’s atomic power industry and many big business clients say “No”, arguing the step would boost electricity bills and pollution and hasten the hollowing out of Japanese manufacturing. But the Fukushima nuclear disaster is galvanising a coalition of safety-conscious voters and future-minded companies who increasingly believe that Japan cannot afford to stick with the status quo if it wants to be globally competitive.
Reuters 26th July 2011 more >>
A Russian region that was the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters and called the most polluted place on earth by American scientists has embarked on a search engine optimisation campaign to improve its image.
Telegraph 27th July 2011 more >>
Situated more than 900 miles south-east of Moscow close to Russias border with Kazakhstan, the Chelyabinsk region is synonymous with the Soviet Unions nuclear weapons programme and deadly pollution.
Telegraph 27th July 2011 more >>
Kim Kye-gwan, North Koreas chief nuclear negotiator, has arrived in New York for talks in a sign that President Barack Obamas administration has decided it is too dangerous not to engage Pyongyang, even if there is little hope of disarmament.
FT 27th June 2011 more >>
India has signed a nuclear energy cooperation agreement with South Korea to encourage South Korea’s participation in construction of atomic power plant projects in India. The two countries have also agreed to improve the free trade agreement between the two countries, also known as the comprehensive economic partnership agreement.
Energy Business Review 26th July 2011 more >>
India has outlined its plans to bolster plant defence and preparedness to handle events of the scale of the tsunami that engulfed Fukushima Daiichi. The owner and operator of India’s 20 nuclear power reactors is Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). It said that “adequate provisions exist at Indian nuclear power plants to handle station blackout situations and maintain continuous cooling of reactor cores for decay heat removal.”
World Nuclear News 26th July 2011 more >>
The Philippines government is considering rechannelling the $100 million budget allotted to its nuclear energy development programme in the light of the Fukushima disaster. “Since the budget has been approved, the Department of Energy is currently studying what to do next. Whether we push through or delay or use the budget for more urgent matters. We are in discussion internally,” Energy undersecretary Jay Layug has been quoted as saying. He noted that at this stage the country doesn’t have any plans for nuclear other than to study it as an option. At the moment, he said, the DoE would be focusing on renewable energy development. “Renewable energy is the priority right now and not nuclear, we’re looking at additional capacities through coal and natural gas plants,” he said.
Nuclear Engineering International 22nd July 2011 more >>
Western security agencies were most likely behind the killing of an Iranian scientist in an operation that underlines the myriad complications in the conflict over Iran’s nuclear programme, analysts have claimed. Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university lecturer, was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran on Saturday, the third murder of a scientist since 2009. One was killed in a car bomb, the second by a device detonated remotely.
Scotsman 27th July 2011 more >>
The private notes of the head of a U.S. cultural center in Hiroshima revealed that Washington targeted the city’s residents with pro-nuclear propaganda in the mid-1950s after deciding a swing in their opinions was vital to promoting the use of civil nuclear power in Japan and across the world. The organizers of a U.S.-backed exhibition that toured 11 major Japanese cities from November 1955 to September 1957 initially considered opening the first exhibition in Hiroshima. According to the private papers of Abol Fazl Fotouhi, former president of the American Cultural Center in Hiroshima, the idea of choosing the city was proposed at a meeting of officials of the U.S. Information Service in December 1954. The proposal was dropped because officials were worried that it would link nuclear energy too closely with nuclear bombs.
Asahi 26th July 2011 more >>
The three-bedroom semi in Martin, which lies between Lincoln and Boston, is one of four straw houses built by North Kesteven district council. The first two the first in the UK to be built for social housing were completed last year in nearby Waddington. The only heating is a wood-burning stove; such are the insulating properties of straw that fuel bills could be 20% of those of conventional homes. This is the attraction for councils required to cut domestic emissions. Builders used 450 bales for each two-storey house, bought at 2 apiece from a local farmer. “He couldn’t believe we were going to build a house with it,” the council’s property manager Mick Gadd says. “He’d been selling 10 and 20-bale loads for horse bedding. He was very happy to help.” Hastoe Housing Association in Epping, Essex, is building four straw houses for Epping Forest district council to add to its housing stock. “We were seeking an opportunity to use straw and it was a happy coincidence that the local authority was interested too,” says Hastoe’s chief executive Sue Chalkley. “Fuel poverty is a really serious problem and straw homes are a potential solution.”
Guardian 27th July 20121
Decc ‘taking action shortly’ on loophole allowing extended solar farms to receive original feed-in tariff after August deadline. When making the changes, officials failed to remove sections of the legislation that would allow some solar developers to bypass the cuts and continue to access the original feed-in tariff rates for large solar farms. Sections 15 and 16 of the Feed-in Tariffs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) Order 2010 remain in force, meaning that developers registering systems before the August deadline will receive the original rate for additional capacity built at the same site for up to a year afterwards.
Guardian 26th July 2011 more >>