The rising costs of managing the UK’s nuclear liabilities are due to delays by past governments and public bodies in implementing effective policy measures, according to a report published Friday from Science and Technology Policy Research professor Gordon MacKerron. The report was commissioned by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. “The history of managing and funding our nuclear legacy has, until very recently, been dire,” MacKerron said in a DECC statement accompanying the report. According to the report, delays in tackling nuclear liabilities led to a progressive escalation of costs and deterioration of facilities, which has only begun to be addressed in recent years.
Platts 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Energy secretary Edward Davey today underlined the governments commitment to deal with the UKs nuclear legacy and to ensure that the nuclear new-build programme learns from past mistakes. In a statement, he said policies to ensure new nuclear operators cover their waste and decommissioning costs will mean that future generations will not pay the price for nuclear electricity used decades before they were even born. Todays announcement follows the publication of a report by Sussex Universitys Prof Gordon MacKerron of Science and Technology Policy Research into the history of managing nuclear waste and decommissioning.
The Engineer 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
DECC Press Release 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Responding to a new government report called Nuclear and Radioactive Waste Policy, produced by the director of science and technology at the university of Sussex, Professor Gordon MacKerron, Davey said the UK is struggling to manage a difficult legacy of old facilities. As the UK embarks upon its next era of nuclear power, the report said that delays by governments and public bodies in tackling nuclear liabilities led to a progressive escalation of costs and deterioration in facilities. The report praised the creation and funding of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to deal with the legacy and the legal framework put in place for liabilities resulting from any new nuclear build. The report highlighted the environmental importance of nuclear decommissioning, which stated that it is necessary to maintain the governments ring-fencing of the budget for this. Professor Gordon MacKerron said: Minimal attention was paid to deteriorating nuclear facilities for decades and the cost of remediating them is approximately £7bn higher now as a result, a continuing commitment to separating plutonium from spent fuel, long after any economic justification had ceased, compounded the problem.
The Manufacturer 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Environment Times 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Business Green 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Geoffrey Lean: This week the worlds longest-running nuclear power station ran out of steam. At 11am on Wednesday, the appropriately named Oldbury in Gloucestershire once a location for a Doctor Who storyline was switched off after 44 years, as part of a wider shutdown that will cut Britains 10 atomic plants to just one in little more than a decade. That same morning, just down the Severn Estuary, protesters were evicted from a deserted farmhouse on the site of the first of the new reactors designed to replace them. But the original start-up date for the plant to be built by the French firm EDF at Somersets Hinkley Point has already slipped by two years, from 2017 to 2019, and this week it emerged that the Office for Nuclear Regulation is delaying its safety approval. The report of the first independent, authoritative inquiry into Fukushima published this week in Japanese will only increase concern. It shows that a true catastrophe was averted not through the inherent safety of the technology, as nuclear advocates have been claiming, but through good fortune and the heroism of workers on the site. There is also little chance that the Coalitions ambitions will be realised in Britain. The predecessors of EDFs planned reactor, in Finland and France, are years behind schedule and vastly over budget. The other likely builder, Horizon, appears far from a final decision to invest. As more and more ageing reactors like Oldbury come offline over the next few years, the amount of power we get from the atom is set to dwindle rather than grow.
Telegraph 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities Welsh Forum (NFLA) welcomes the results of a Guardian / ICM opinion poll which shows 72% of the public are broadly or strongly opposed to the construction of new nuclear reactor developments in their area. This compares with 60% who broadly or strongly support the development of new wind power developments.
NFLA Press Release 1st Mar 2012 more >>
Two anti-nuclear protestors arrested during the eviction of occupiers of a deserted barn on the proposed site of a new reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset walked free from court yesterday. Campaigners claimed the conditional discharges handed to the pair by magistrates in Taunton reflected the fact that a peaceful action in opposition to nuclear power had ended with unnecessary legal action.
Western Daily Press 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
BBC 1st Mar 2012 more >>
Utility Week 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Burnham-On-Sea’s MP Tessa Munt has been branded a “publicity-hungry lunatic” by a Conservative MP this week after she was filmed with anti-nuclear campaigners who were occupying a barn on the site of Hinkley Point’s proposed nuclear power station.
Burnham-on-sea.com 1st Mar 2012 more >>
Costain/Sir Robert McAlpine team knocked out leaving Balfour and ORourke led bids. Bids led by Balfour Beatty and Laing ORourke will go head to head for the £1.2 billion civils package for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station after a rival team from Costain, Sir Robert McAlpine and Hochtieff dropped out of the race. The Balfour Beatty/Vinci and Laing ORourke/Bouygues teams will now enter further dialogue with client EDF, which declined to comment. A source close to the project said the Costain led bid was non compliant but highlighted the lack of a French partner as a likely factor.
Construction News 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Construction Enquirer 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
London Architects, Canaway Fleming has designed housing for 1,510 workers building the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, reports Building Design.
Construction Manager 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
ANTI-nuclear campaigners will stage a protest on Anglesey on the anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. People Against Wylfa B will stage an event by the Menai Suspension Bridge on March 11, the date last year the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, triggering a battle to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
Daily Post 3rd Mar 2012 more >>
French nuclear energy giant Areva reported Thursday a record loss for 2011 after taking massive provisions in the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima disaster but reaffirmed its forecasts to 2016. Areva said that, with the Fukushima meltdown jeopardising the outlook for the whole nuclear industry, it had to write down the value of key assets, such as its uranium mines, by some two billion euros. The result was a 2.42 billion euros loss compared with a 2010 net profit of 883 million euros.
AFP 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Energy bills will rise for the next decade, the head of British Gas warned yesterday, as he said households have got their priorities wrong when they pay for Sky TV or mobile phones ahead of power. Phil Bentley, the managing director of British Gas, said the gas and electricity prices will rise for years to come because of green taxes and cost of upgrading the National Grid. Between £80 billion and £100 billion of investment is needed to upgrade the National Grid and other power networks in the UK over the next decade, meaning higher bills for millions of householders.
Telegraph 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
For every £1 that customers pay British Gas, just 5p of that is profit, he says. The rest goes on buying the energy on the wholesale markets, getting it to homes, paying environmental taxes, and running the business.
Telegraph 3rd March 2012 more >>
Fukushima Update 28th Feb to 1st March.
Greenpeace 2nd March 2012 more >>
U.S. nuclear power plant outages on Friday were more than twice as high as this time last year and more than 60 percent over the five-year average, according to Reuters data.
Reuters 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
The west must keep up this pressure to bring the regime to the negotiating table. Only when Iran is willing to talk will it be possible to thrash out a solution to the nuclear problem that the west and Irans neighbours can live with. But while the clock is running down, there remains time to avert a war. Most observers feel that Tehran still needs some time to get itself into the position to produce a functioning weapon, were it to decide to do so.
FT 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
Mexico has announced energy goals for 2026 that would see a combination of nuclear and wind power make up 23% of electricity. At the same time it wants to connect the entire population to the grid, decrease transmission losses and develop abundant shale gas reserves.
World Nuclear News 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
A secret review into the future of our nuclear deterrent is underway – and it’s time to face some home truths. In the phrase ‘British independent nuclear deterrent’ how many of the words are actually true? Just one, in fact ‘nuclear’. The rest are baloney.
The Week 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
The German government has said it has been forced to cut subsidies for solar panels, because demand was so high it could no longer afford to support the green technology. Friday’s announcement has left Germans rushing to install solar panels on buildings ahead of the planned cut in subsidies of up to 30%.
Guardian 2nd Mar 2012 more >>
This weeks news includes: Another rush to beat FiT reductions; solar Gatwick; social housing in Brixton & Westminster to get solar; wind powered crisps; more than 150 churches get solar; Bristols interactive solar map.
Microgen Scotland 2nd Mar 2012 more >>