The dispute over whether to build a giant underground nuclear waste dump in the Lake District has intensified ahead of crunch meetings to decide the project’s future this week. One local MP has accused some opponents of planning the “intimidation of elected representatives” while a protest group has warned a “public revolt” will occur if the plans progress. Hundreds joined a protest walk through the snow on Saturday in Ennerdale, near Keswick, the most likely area for exploratory drilling, as organisers Friends of the Lake District said that a “public revolt” was developing. However, Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland, home to Sellafield, where most of the waste is being temporarily stored, said an unnamed protest group was resorting to “intimidation”. He claims to have seen emails outlining its strategy to “scare” councillors into voting down the plans. “It’s shameful, dishonest, undemocratic,” said Mr Reed, who supports proceeding.
FT 27th Jan 2013
The industry argues that the search for a nuclear burial site in the county must continue – with fears that a proposed new generation of nuclear power plants could be threatened by a ‘no’ decision. But fierce local opposition to the waste dump has grown ahead of Wednesday’s crunch vote, with a protest walk held yesterday in Ennerdale, which they fear could be a possible burial site. Campaigners argue the dump would harm the Lake District national park and its tourism industry.
Telegraph 26th Jan 2013
Following on from attendance at the Nuclear industry event on Friday 25th January I’ve written up an assessment of the views expressed and information provided. Please see attached document for details. It has highlighted a number of further concerns.
Facebook 27th Jan 2013
At last Friday’s seminar in Carlisle organised by the Sellafield Workers Campaign, delegates including yourself were told that “a NO vote would have to have extremely good scientific backup in order to justify itself”. The same is even more true of a YES vote. This is underlined by the work of Dr Rachel Western. Presentation to be made to the Cabinet by Dr Rachel Western on 30th January.
Radiation Free Lakeland 27th Jan 2013
Prince Charles has been sent a 1020 signature petition by Radiation Free Lakeland. The petition says: *The world is being told that the UK has a solution to the nuclear waste problem. The proposal is to bury hot radioactive waste in Lakeland’s leaky geology in a hole(s) 1000m deep by 25km square. This is called Managing Radioactive Waste Safely and there is a timetable for first burial of waste deep under Lakeland by 2029. The world is being told that a telephone poll shows Cumbrians are willing volunteers for this “solution” to the nuclear waste problem. A majority of Cumbrian Parish and Town Councils have voted NO to the Dump. We the undersigned agree and say end this process now*.
Radiation Free Lakeland 27th Jan 2013
A Cumbrian laundry, Shortridge, supplying some of the most prestigious hotels in the Lake District has a £50,000 – £600,000 contract to provide a contingency laundry for Sellafield’s towels and underwear.There is no monitoring once the laundry leaves Sellafield, no checks once it arrives at the same laundry used by Cumbrian Hotels. Baroness Verma’s recent comments about the intimate relationship between the nuclear industry and tourism perhaps refers to the use of the same laundry?
101 uses for nuclear power 27th Jan 2013
Bulgarians voted today on whether a new nuclear power plant should be built in the country. The opposition Socialist party demanded the referendum in a bid to make the government reinstate a deal with Russia to build a second nuclear plant. The government said it supports nuclear power but doesn’t have the €10 billion (£8.5bn) to build a new one at Belene. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said this would still be the case even if voters support the new plant. Bulgaria had to close four of Kozloduy’s six reactors as a condition for joining the EU in 2007. Opinion polls forecast a low turnout. The ballot will be invalid if fewer than three-fifths of eligible Bulgarians voted.
Morning Star 27th Jan 2013
Bulgarians backed the building of a nuclear power plant in a referendum on Sunday, a blow to Prime Minister Boiko Borisov who had abandoned the multi-billion-dollar project, but turnout was not enough to overturn the government’s decision.
Reuters 27th Jan 2013
A controversial referendum on whether to build a new nuclear power plant in Bulgaria appears to have been invalidated by low turnout. An exit poll put turnout at around 20% – far below the 60% required for the poll, which was called on the basis of an opposition petition.
BBC 28th Jan 2013
Germany’s green revolution What would it take to transform the whole country’ electric grid–to shut down all of its old power plants, and move to a system that generates electricity exclusively from renewable resources? Rick Karr reports on how German political parties of every stripe are now backing a plan that is expected to nearly end that country’s use of fossil fuels by 2050.
PBS 27th Jan 2013
As China suffers record air pollution, it is also emerging as the world’s leading clean energy investor.
Mcleans.ca 27th Jan 2013
Iran has denied media reports of a major explosion at one of its uranium enrichment sites, describing them as “Western propaganda” designed to influence upcoming nuclear negotiations.Reuters has been unable to verify reports since Friday of an explosion at the underground Fordow bunker, near the religious city of Qom, that some Israeli and Western media have said caused significant damage.
Reuters 28th Jan 2013
May I take issue with your editorial (January 19) with regard to replacement of the Trident nuclear missile system. You disagree with Sir Nick Harvey (LibDem MP for North Devon) who recently said that Britain’s place at the top table of nations does not depend on being a nuclear power. Of the world’s seven leading economies, those countries with nuclear weapons include the USA, China, France and Britain. The other three nations, Germany, Japan and Brazil do not have nuclear weapons. That though does not diminish their world standing.
Western Morning News 28th Jan 2013
IS THE UK government set to scrap Trident replacement? If it is, will such a sensational policy U-turn boost support for Scottish independence or rob the SNP of its anti-nuclear moral high ground overnight? I’ll grant you, no Trident-scrapping scenario has recently looked likely. But last week, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced the UK might not be able to afford a “like-for-like” Trident replacement, saying: “We are in a position where the costs of the successor [system] have to be paid from the Ministry of Defence budget. There is no magic pot of money to be created out of thin air… on top of that.”
Scotsman 28th Jan 2013
The government’s flagship “green deal” home insulation programme provides no guarantee of saving money for cash-strapped households, and is unlikely to rescue many from fuel poverty, experts warned ahead of its formal launch on Monday. There was also criticism of the interest rate to be offered for the green deal loans, which is set at just under 7%. The sense of doubt and confusion surrounding the policy was reinforced by a warning from a surveyors’ trade body that taking out a green deal loan could cost more than other ways of making home energy efficiency improvements.
Guardian 27th Jan 2013
I should be at the front of the queue to sign up to the government’s flagship “green deal” energy-saving scheme, which launches on Monday. I want to reduce my heating and electricity bills, I like the idea of energy saving, and I don’t have the £10,000 it might take to retro-fit my leaky old house with the kit to insulate and warm it efficiently. Yes, I really do want a whizzy new biomass boiler and underfloor heating, and even ground source heat pumps! So what’s wrong with my getting the work done on a loan that I can pay off monthly over 15-20 years via the savings I stand to make on my bills, and which would be attached to the house rather than to me? No personal risk. No up-front payments. Guaranteed benefits for both me and the planet?
Guardian 27th Jan 2013
Householders are to be offered long-term loans to help make their homes more energy efficient and cut bills under a new government scheme. Ministers say the Green Deal, which launches on Monday, will help thousands “stay warm for less”. Under the scheme, households can use cheap loans to spend on energy-saving improvements, such as insulation and new boilers, with no upfront cost. Campaigners said the project would “not stop fuel poverty rocketing”.
BBC 28th Jan 2013
Renewable energy companies have sunk about £165 million into the Scottish economy — more than a third of it during past year, new figures show. Scottish Renewables, the industry body, has produced research which shows that £65 million was invested in 2012 alone. The £165 million represents all contracts awarded in advance of planning consent. Last year, projects that could collectively power three million homes were put into the planning system. Scottish Renewables asked its members how much they had invested in the lead-up to applying for consent. Most of the £165 million was spent on research, including on environmental and technical engineering surveys and project demonstration. Lindsay Leask, the Senior Policy Manager for Offshore Renewables at Scottish Renewables, said the investment showed the “considerable level of confidence developers have in Scotland’s offshore wind sector”.
Times 28th Jan 2013
Scotsman 28th Jan 2013
Scottish Renewables 28th Jan 2013
A PLAN to drain an entire loch to make way for an opencast coal mine has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government’s green watchdog, despite advice from its own experts that it would damage the environment. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has approved a scheme by Scottish Coal to empty Loch Fitty, near Dunfermline in Fife, to dig up 3.4 million tonnes of coal from underneath its bed. Sepa’s experts initially warned the plan would have a negative impact on people and the water environment. But internal emails show their initial advice was revised to make it more favourable to the development, at the request of senior managers. Environmental groups and local residents, appalled by the “massively destructive” plan, have appealed to Scottish ministers to intervene and review the plan. If that fails, they are threatening to complain to the European Commission.
Herald 27th Jan 2013
Shale gas resources in Lancashire could be worth billions of pounds, says the head of the energy firm test drilling for the resource. Cuadrilla Resources chief executive Francis Egan said it also has “huge economic potential” for Lancashire. “It is probably one of the largest gas discoveries ever made in Europe, never mind the UK.” Tina Rothery of Residents Against Fylde Fracking (RAFF), said the process posed “huge risks to the environment”.
BBC 27th Jan 2013
Oil companies at the heart of the US shale oil boom are burning off enough gas to power all the homes in Chicago and Washington combined in a practice causing growing concern about the waste of resources and damage to the environment. The volume of unwanted gas being flared off in North Dakota, the state leading the shale revolution transforming the outlook for US energy, rose about 50 per cent last year. The surge at the state’s Bakken formation is being replicated in other shale regions with the Texas state regulator issuing 1,963 permits to flare in 2012, more than six times the number of 306 in 2010.
FT 27th Jan 2013