Britain’s plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations will face a fierce challenge for skills and resources from countries keen to build their own, according to research published today. China has plans for 24 nuclear plants and outline proposals for another 76, according to the Economic Research Council, using figures from the International Energy Agency and the IAEA.
Guardian 29th Aug 2008 more >>
SELLAFIELD has been thrown into turmoil by the effects of the strike threat hanging over the UK’s biggest nuclear site. On top of the split between the industrial and staff unions over the management’s pay offer, speculation has swept the site that the planned hand-over to the new parent body (Nuclear Management Partners) will not take place on time if the site is hit by a strike. Senior nuclear industry sources told The Whitehaven News that NMP will want to delay the share transfer to them from Sellafield Ltd in the event of a strike closing plants. This was denied by NMP yesterday.
Whitehaven News 28th Aug 2008 more >>
THE closure of the Chapelcross nuclear power station over the border, at Annan, has brought a business boost for Sellafield. Some 40,000 fuel elements will be removed from the Scottish station now being decommissioned and sent to Sellafield for reprocessing, The elements will be in the form of spent fuel which will be treated to provide new electricity-producing energy in the B205 Magnox plants at Sellafield. All the fuel will be moved from Annan to Sellafield by road because Chapelcross is the only one of the UK Magnox stations which does not have a rail link to Sellafield.
Whitehaven News 27th Aug 2008 more >>
CUMBRIA may well be the only part of the UK seriously considering ‘volunteering’ for a nuclear dump. The government call for communities to take radioactive waste in return for investment will be debated by Northumberland councillors this week. The Government has been accused by anti-nuclear campaigners of offering ‘bribes’ to communities. This week councillors in Castle Morpeth will discuss the Government’s invitation. Other local authorities across Northumbria are expected to follow suit. The granite-rich Cheviot Hills in Northumberland have been discussed in the past as potentially suitable areas. In the late 1970s Coun Anthony Murray, who represents the Wooler area on Northumberland County Council, chaired the Cheviot Defence Group, which was set up to oppose underground storage of radioactive waste. Yesterday he said: “My sentiments about this are exactly the same as they were 25 years ago. Irretrievable storage of radioactive waste in the Cheviots would not be wanted here.”
Whitehaven News 27th Aug 2008 more >>
WORK to remove one of the most persistent problems affecting the clean-up of the Dounreay nuclear site has begun beneath the waves off Caithness. A remotely operated vehicle is combing the seabed to find the worst of the radioactive particles that have caused concern/
Scotsman 26th Aug 2008 more >>
WORKERS’ representatives at Dounreay are up in arms over a newly revealed £8.5 million cut in the site’s budget for the current financial year. They fear jobs could be hit through the deferral of work programmed for the winter and spring. The revelation has come as the in-house workforce are becoming increasingly frustrated at delays in the settlement of their latest pay claim. The cutbacks form part of a new round of efficiency savings sought by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
John O Groat Journal 27th Aug 2008 more >>
Scottish ministers are facing challenges to several key policies from a particularly awkward quarter – the Council of Economic Advisers set up by Alex Salmond. Its most recent meeting featured disagreement on several controversial policies where the SNP has taken uncompromising lines. The council members have told the First Minister he should seek independent assessment of nuclear energy before ruling it out, warning it may be necessary to meet the demanding long-term targets set by the Holyrood administration for reducing carbon emissions.
Herald 28th Aug 2008 more >>
Iberdrola and Endesa, two of Spain’s leading electricity companies, have been accused of cutting costs at nuclear power stations at the expense of safety. The Catalan regional government said that failure to invest had caused several incidents at two nuclear stations including a leak which led to thousands of people having to undergo radiation tests. The accusations came as Spain’s socialist government vowed to gradually close down the country’s six nuclear plants and get electricity from renewable sources.
Guardian 29th Aug 2008 more >>
The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has outlined the potential options for future management of the UK civil plutonium stockpile in a paper published on 14 August. The three “credible options” for the stockpile are: long-term storage; immobilisation and disposal; and reuse as fuel for nuclear reactors followed by disposal.
Nuclear Engineering International 22nd Aug 2008 more >>
Here’s an interesting factoid. The UK and US each possess about 100 MT of separated plutonium. However, the UK stockpile is largely civilian, whereas the US stockpile is almost entirely military. The UK is currently engaged in a debate about what to do with this plutonium. Last year the Royal Society published a report on the subject and last week the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (the UK public body charged with cleaning up Britain’s messy nuclear legacy) published draft options for public comment.
Arms Control Wonk 27th Aug 2008 more >>
French nuclear group Areva has registered a further provision for liabilities associated with its turnkey construction of the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant in Finland for Teollisuuden Voima Oy, financial daily Les Echos reported Thursday. Areva will announce the provision when it publishes its second-half 2008 results Friday after closure of the Paris bourse, according to Les Echos. Areva has written two previous provisions to cover potential losses on the Olkiluoto-3 reactor project, in March 2007 and in September 2007. The company has not revealed the size of the provisions, citing discussions under way with TVO, but financial analysts have estimated them at between Eur700 million and Eur1 billion (about $1-1.5 billion).
Platts 28th Aug 2008 more >>
France’s Areva will have to take a provision because of a nuclear reactor project in Finland where costs have spiralled to 4.5 billion euros ($6.66 billion) from a planned 3 billion.
Reuters 28th Aug 2008 more >>
The White House said Thursday that it was considering scrapping a US-Russia civilian nuclear cooperation pact in response to Moscow’s actions in Georgia.
Interactive Investor 28th Aug 2008 more >>