Ministers are expected formally to back a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain, in defiance of a fresh legal challenge from environmentalists and a damaging revolt from Labour backbenchers. Gordon Brown’s first cabinet meeting of the new year is due to nod through the decision next week, and John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, is expected to confirm it to the House of Commons on 7 January when MPs return from their Christmas break. But Greenpeace, which overturned the Government’s last attempt to usher in a new atomic age when a judge ruled that the decision-making process had been flawed, is confident of repeating the successful tactic. And Britain’s top nuclear energy economist, Gordon Mackerron, who recently headed the committee on radioactive waste management, has demolished the case for the atom and lent his support to the legal action.
Independent on Sunday 30th Dec 2007 more >>
The government is bracing itself for another legal challenge from Greenpeace when it sanctions the construction of a new generation of nuclear reactors in the next few days. Ministers will reveal the results of their second consultation on nuclear power as early as 7 January. The publication of the long-awaited energy bill, which is supposed to frame the UK’s energy policy for the next 50 years, will follow shortly afterwards. But Greenpeace, which opposes nuclear power, is preparing to mount a second legal challenge to block the plans.
Observer 30th Dec 2007 more >>
The Treasury is in line for a £2bn windfall next year as the Government presses ahead with plans to sell its stake in Urenco, the uranium enricher. In an attempt to facilitate the sale, the Government is considering appointing new non-executives who would drum up interest and push for the highest possible price, nuclear industry insiders said. Britain jointly owns Urenco with Germany and Holland. Downing Street has been keen to privatise the Buckinghamshire-based company, one of the largest uranium enrichment companies in the world, for several years as part of its wider drive to sell Britain’s nuclear assets and take advantage of their high price on international markets thanks to the resurgence of nuclear power, but has so far been blocked by its partners. But sources said the Government planned to push ahead in 2008. On April 1 it will take direct control of the British stake from BNFL. The Government is lobbying its European partners to accept a sale of one third of the business.
Sunday Telegraph 30th Dec 2007 more >>
Campaigners have made further calls for a reactor at Oldbury nuclear power station to be shut down for good – a year before the entire plant is decommissioned.The site, near Thornbury, started supplying electricity to the national grid again in the summer after a series of problems meant it could not generate power for a long period.
Bristol Evening Post 29th Dec 2007 more >>
A close relative of Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah died from cancer after witnessing a British nuclear explosion in the South Pacific.
Sunday Mirror 30th Dec 2007 more >>
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has expressed his country’s willingness to assist Egypt’s nuclear program.
IHT 29th Dec 2007 more >>