Taxpayers are spending nearly £1 million a month on a quango that is unable to do the job for which it was created and will be scrapped if the Tories win the general election. The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), formed in October, has a chairman, Sir Michael Pitt, who is being paid £184,000 a year for a four-day working week. It has well-appointed new offices in Bristol and has hired dozens of staff, including seven commissioners on salaries equivalent to £100,000 per year. But the organisation is unable to perform the task it was set, approving planning decisions for big energy and infrastructure projects such as nuclear power stations and high-voltage transmission lines, because the Government has yet to define the legal guidelines it should apply. Insiders say those criteria are unlikely to be approved before the general election and now the Tories have pledged to scrap the agency. The Government had originally planned to set out the IPC’s final guidelines last November in “national policy statements” on energy, transport and other areas. The documents were published, but only in draft form because of a continuing public consultation that is essential if the Government is to avoid a legal challenge from groups opposed to the 18 projects earmarked for IPC scrutiny. They include new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk as well as a 37-mile (60km) national grid overhead high voltage transmission line running from Bridgwater to Seabank near Avonmouth. Jean McSorley, nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace, said: “It looks like these decisions will be put off until well after the general election, meaning more delays and uncertainty.”
Times 28th Jan 2010 more >>
French energy giant EDF holds a “potentially significant influence” over the success of the Government’s nuclear new-build programme, the National Audit Office has warned.
Construction News 28th Jan 2010 more >>
THE political block on allowing new nuclear power plants north of the Border is “a tragedy for Scotland”, the UK’s energy minister claimed yesterday. Lord Hunt told The Scotsman that SNP ministers’ ideological opposition to nuclear power would cost Scotland jobs and expertise which it could have imported around the world. The minister re-entered the debate on using nuclear power on a visit to Scotland yesterday to announce the 26th round of offshore licensing for the North Sea oil and gas industry in Aberdeen. He claimed there was a chance for Scotland to lead the world in nuclear expertise, in the same way as it does in the oil industry.
Scotsman 28th Jan 2010 more >>
A Select Committee meeting in the House of Commons was disrupted this morning by a small group of anti-nuclear activists. The incident took place during a packed session of the Department of Energy and Climate Change Parliamentary Select Committee on the proposed nuclear and other energy National Policy Statements, as representatives from pro-nuclear energy giants EDF, E.ON and RWE npower and the Association of Electricity Producers gave evidence.
Nuclear People Power 27th Jan 2010 more >>
Earth First 27th Jan 2010 more >>
A group of nine anti-nuclear campaigners staged a two-hour protest outside the Nuclear New Build Conference in central London this morning in protest at industry attempts to paint nuclear power as a “green” technology and win public support for new nuclear reactors.
Nuclear People Power 25th Jan 2010 more >>
ANTI-PYLON protestors are marching between two villages on Saturday in a show of strength against ‘environmental damage and vandalism’.
Weston & Somerset Mercury 27th Jan 2010 more >>
Eon sent a letter to Barbara Janke , Council Leader, offering to speak to Councillors in Bristol about the Nuclear Power Station at Oldbury. Well done to Mark Wright for stimulating their interest.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 27th Jan 2010 more >>
A silent protest is planned for the 6th February at the Leisure Centre in Thornbury 30 minutes before the meeting with DECC to emphasise the point that we need to be listened to and not just heard.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 27th Jan 2010 more >>
Anti-nuclear campaigners Radiation Free Lakeland have slammed the chairman of the West Cumbria Stakeholders Emergency Planning Committee. David Moore (pictured) has said that the Sellafield site poses no serious emergency planning issues and is now the ‘preferred option’ for new build. In a press release, Radiation Free Lakeland say: “The basis for this statement is hard to fathom. In 2009 there were two near emergencies at Sellafield, and in the Autumn the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) declared that the risks presented by the site were: “far too high”.
Get Noticed Online 26th Jan 2010 more >>
THE Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change wants to see West Cumbria capitalise on the jobs boom offered by nuclear new-build but health and safety are top of the government agenda.
Whitehaven News 27th Jan 2010 more >>
PLANS for a nuclear power station near Millom have suffered another set back. Cumbria County Council today (Wednesday) became the latest authority to oppose plans to build a plant on farmland in Kirksanton and Braystones, near Egremont. The council has instead backed proposals to build a plant near Sellafield.
NW Evening Mail 27th Jan 2010 more >>
BBC 27th Jan 2010 more >>
An extraordinary meeting of Anglesey County Council was held last Thursday to discuss the possibility of bringing a bio- mass electricity generating station to Penrhos, Holyhead which could create 600 jobs.
Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 27th Jan 2010 more >>
WYLFA B will be a target for terrorists, anti-nuclear campaigners claimed in Parliament last night. Dr Carl Clowes warned the site’s close proximity to RAF Valley also meant there was huge potential for disaster, telling MPs there had been a recent near miss of two Hawk jets.
Daily Post 28th Jan 2010 more >>
FIRMS bidding for the contact to clean up the Dounreay nuclear site have been told the budget will be capped at 150 million a year for a planned 15 years. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) made the announcement yesterday ahead of a competition to return the Caithness complex to a near greenfield site by 2025. Firms will compete for ownership of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), the company licensed to carry out the work. The successful bidder will take over DSRL in 2012 and complete the clean-up. Funding was expected to peak at 200m a year through 2011-15, to cover major construction projects, including cleaning the notorious waste shaft, and the reduction means some work may have to be deferred. However, the award is still seen as a good outcome in the face of cuts in public spending.
Scotsman 27th Jan 2010 more >>
ENVIRONMENT Agency chiefs have concluded a wind farm planned for Oswaldtwistle Moor would have no affect on nuclear waste buried nearby. Hyndburn Borough Council invited the agency to comment on the planning application after residents raised concerns that disturbing a mine formerly used as a dumping site would release radioactivity.
Lancashire Telegraph 25th Jan 2010 more >>
The Obama administration is considering granting as much as $18.5 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry to build new reactors, and Congress is considering adding billions more to expand nuclear power in the U.S., even though the problems of safety and what to do with nuclear waste remain unsolved.
Centre for Media and Democracy 26th Jan 2010 more >>
President Barack Obama, trying to save the stalled U.S. climate change bill, appeared to back away from creating a market in planet-warming emissions on Wednesday, while reaching out for Republican votes by promoting nuclear energy and offshore drilling.
Reuters 28th Jan 2010 more >>
A Japanese electric utility – TEPCO – is mulling a stake in a Texas nuclear plant under development by NRG Energy Inc which is a leading contender for billions of dollars in federal loan guarantees.
Reuters 27th Jan 2010 more >>
President Barack Obama said his focus on nuclear disarmament had strengthened U.S. diplomacy in dealing with North Korea and Iran, and he warned Tehran faced “growing consequences” over its nuclear program.
Yahoo 28th Jan 2010 more >>
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Bill Hewitt, and members of Scottish Clergy against Nuclear Armaments (SCANA) have launched an initiative at Holyrood seeking to place nuclear weapons and Trident at the heart of the General Election campaign.
Ekklesia 27th Jan 2010 more >>