A PROPOSAL to build a deep nuclear waste dump near Sellafield has been dealt a blow. Cumbria County Council failed to “express an interest” in the government plans at a meeting last month. A decision is now set to be made on December 9 after the matter has been brought before the full council.
Whitehaven News 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Letter: Even the UK government’s Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) believes that “ if nuclear waste storage is to address the need to protect humans and the environment for hundreds of thousands of years, while long-lived radionuclides decay to safe levels, then stores will have to be actively managed over these long timescales”.
Herald 28th Nov 2008 more >>
This week Britain’s largest nuclear facility, Sellafield, was privatised under a deal in which the government has waived a £140m indemnity (to cover compensation for serious accidents) and exempted the company from the Freedom of Information Act. The way the government handled this and the way ministers rode roughshod over parliament has already been extensively covered.
Guardian 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Lack of capacity in the nuclear construction industry means that Britain will have to rely on imported natural gas to meet an emerging shortfall in power generation over the next decade, according to a senior executive of EDF, the French utility that has agreed to acquire British Energy, the nuclear power generator.
Times 28th Nov 2008 more >>
Barely a few days before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, EDF finally clinched its multibillion-pound acquisition of British Energy. At about the same time, it failed to counter veteran investor Warren Buffett’s bid for control of a US electricity utility, Constellation Energy. The moves seemed logical for a French champion of nuclear energy. With oil prices hitting record highs of nearly $150 a barrel and climate change pushing governments to promote investments in clean and renewable energy, the nuclear lobby felt confident the industry was about to enjoy a renaissance. The US and the UK, countries that have committed themselves to expand significantly their nuclear power generating capacities, seemed the new promised lands of the nuclear revival.
FT 28th Nov 2008 more >>
Scotland will miss out on a nuclear revival, French energy experts have warned.
Contract Journal 27th Nov 2008 more >>
One of the world’s biggest nuclear firms has opened its new UK business in Preston, Lancashire.
Westinghouse Electric Company has created its head office on the city’s former docklands. From there the firm will co-ordinate its efforts to cash in on a programme of new build reactors across the country.
Lancashire Evening Post 26th Nov 2008 more >>
German energy group E.ON confirmed that it has been buying farmland in south Gloucestershire as it pursues its plans to build a £4bn nuclear power station beside the River Severn.
Farmers Weekly 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Nuclear contractors and vendors, hoping to jump-start construction of the first new US nuclear plants in 30 years, are offering financial support and pledging to assume a larger share of the completion risks. Public concern over the safety of nuclear power has effectively shut down new plant construction for decades. But the US government has been offering incentives to spur development. And now groups that supply equipment to the industry are also moving to offset some of the enormous costs of new construction. The US government has offered $18.5bn in loan guarantees to encourage the construction of 14 nuclear power plants. Last month, it said it had received 19 applications from 17 electric power companies for $122bn in loan guarantees. “The aggregate estimated construction cost of these 14 projects is $188bn,” Standard & Poor’s said in a recent report.
FT 27th Nov 2008 more >>
The purpose of terrorist attacks is often to provoke an extreme response. The danger here is that India and Pakistan could find themselves once again at loggerheads. A terrifying prospect because both countries are nuclear powers – but an outcome that the terrorists would relish.
Daily Mail 28th Nov 2008 more >>
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the British ambassador over comments made by David Miliband on its nuclear ambitions, state media said.
BBC 27th Nov 2008 more >>
The International Atomic Energy Agency has decided to grant nuclear aid to Syria, despite US claims that Damascus is pursuing a covert nuclear program that could be used to make weapons.
Middle East Online 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help Venezuela start a nuclear energy programme as President Hugo Chavez hailed Moscow’s deepening ties in Latin America as a reflection of declining US influence.
Wales Online 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Britain must use its status as a permanent member of the UN security council to push for greater progress on nuclear non-proliferation, former Nato secretary general George Robertson has said.
View London 28th Nov 2008 more >>
Green New Deal
Colin Hines: As Alistair Darling’s efforts to bribe us back to declining shopping malls are seen to fail, more attention will shift to President-elect Obama’s promised emphasis on funding millions of new “green collar” jobs and the need for the UK to allocate adequate funds to do likewise.
Guardian 28th Nov 2008 more >>