The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is recruiting more than a dozen project managers to speed up its review of new reactor designs – even though they work for the companies hoping to build them. The Guardian has learnt that the government has approached companies including the US groups Bechtel and CH2M Hill, as well as the UK’s Amec, to fill the senior posts. The companies involved are eager to secure lucrative contracts to help build the UK’s first new reactors for decades. Government and industry sources admitted the secondments posed potential conflict of interest problems. It is also understood that the inspectorate has recruited technical staff from Areva, which has submitted one of the two reactor designs for approval. One nuclear source said staff from the French firm, which is partnered with EDF, would not be allowed to work on Areva’s reactor design and insisted they would be “technologic! ally neutral”.
Guardian 27th June 2009 more >>
High Level Waste
Radioactive waste from a new generation of nuclear power stations will have to be stored above ground for 100 years, the Government has been told. The claim comes as the possibility of a nuclear power station being built to replace the existing one at Wylfa on Anglesey continues to grow. Hugh Richards, of the Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance (Wana), told officials at the Department for Environment and Climate Change: “Both the promoters of new reactors and the Government have largely ignored the implications of those reactors discharging high burn-up spent fuel. New-build spent fuel, already acknowledged as twice as hot and twice as radioactive as legacy-spent fuel, will have to cool down for 100 years on each site before it can go for deep underground disposal.
Western Mail 27th June 2009 more >>
Low Level Waste
PLANS have been unveiled to potentially increase the amount of radioactive waste buried at a Fylde landfill site. Material from nuclear power plants across the north is already handled at Clifton Marsh. SITA UK now wants to take more very low level radioactive waste (VLLW) and low level radioactive waste (LLW) from a “wider range of nuclear facilities”.
Blackpool Gazette 26th June 2009 more >>
Two hundred Sellafield contractors who took part in wildcat strikes in sympathy with sacked oil workers have returned to work.
Business Gazette 26th June 2009 more >>
French state-owned utility EdF has cancelled a legal procedure to force employees on strike back to work after nuclear plant workers resumed activities. But production at the five nuclear sites in France had not restarted as the reactors remained off line for maintenance and refuelling, a spokeswoman for EdF told Argus. “The reactors will return to service over the next weeks, as scheduled,”
Argus Media 26th June 2009 more >>
The French state will sell a chunk of nuclear giant Areva to Asian and Middle Eastern investors to help finance the future of a group considered a jewel in the country’s industrial crown, a report said Friday. The Financial Times said the government was preparing a capital increase for the state-controlled group and could sell a 15 percent stake to raise two billion euros (2.8 billion dollars). The move would leave the French state with 75 percent of Areva, a world leader in nuclear power with manufacturing facilities in 43 countries, down from its current 90 percent.
Yahoo 26th June 2009 more >>
Group of Eight powers on Friday deplored violence stemming from Iran’s disputed presidential election but held open the door for Tehran to take part in talks on its controversial nuclear programme.
Reuters 26th June 2009 more >>
As an 80th birthday present, there is probably nothing that Bruce Kent wants less this week than a paean in the public press. Whether as general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament during one of the movement’s dynamic and active periods in the 80s or now, as a campaigner on behalf of the wrongly imprisoned at home and abroad, Kent has been an inspiration to many and a comfort to those whose cause he has adopted.
Guardian 27th June 2009 more >>
Gordon Brown tried to break the deadlock over climate change yesterday by proposing the creation of a £60 billion international fund to help poorer countries adapt to the situation. He also raised the prospect that higher air fares could play a part in the worldwide effort to combat global warming. Among the methods for raising finance to be explored, he said, aviation and maritime emissions should be brought into the Copenhagen agreement a new concordat that leaders hope will be approved in December.
Times 27th June 2009 more >>