New Alliance Warns of Pre-Emptive Strike by Nuclear Industry. The nuclear industry is already starting site preparation works at two of its favoured locations for new power stations – even before it has applied for permission to build the plants. This warning that the industry is “jumping the gun” comes from a new alliance of local organisations opposed to the government’s plans for a nuclear revival. Communities Opposed to New Nuclear Energy Development (CONNED) brings together groups around six/eight sites earmarked for possible development – Hinkley Point in Somerset, Sizewell in Suffolk, Bradwell in Essex, Wylfa on Anglesey, Oldbury In Gloucestershire, Heysham in Lancashire, Sellafield in Cumbria and Hartlepool in County Durham.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 29th Dec 2010 more >>
The CBI is not alone in criticising the SNP’s energy policy, which rejects the building of new nuclear power plants while focusing on renewables, as risking the security of energy supply. This newspaper has welcomed the SNP’s ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and for encouraging Scotland’s potential in harnessing wind and wave power. Until suitable storage of renewable energy is developed, however, it is essential that nuclear power is part of the mix if we are to enjoy security of supply.
Herald 29th Dec 2010 more >>
Responses to Jim Mather’s letter about Scotland “importing” electricity from France.
Scotsman 29th Dec 2010 more >>
Torness & Hinkley
EDF halted generation yesterday at two atomic units in the U.K. EDF’s 650-megawatt reactor 1 at the Torness nuclear plant on the east coast of Scotland and the 610-megawatt B8 Hinkley Point unit in southwest England went down yesterday, Sue Fletcher, a company spokeswoman, said today by e-mail. “Both outages were unplanned,” she said, declining to comment on when the units would be back in action.
Bloomberg 29th Dec 2010 more >>
As the chief executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, I hope I can be forgiven for concentrating on economic and political issues that will affect Somerset in 2011, however, in most issues you could delete “Somerset” and insert any area of the South West. I see 2011 panning out very like 2010, but that does not mean stagnation or instability, it means uncertainty as the economy rebalances away from the over-dependence of the public sector and the waiting game for THE big opportunity. The long wait for us in this part of the South West is the slow progress towards EDF Energy gaining permission to build Hinkley C – the next generation of nuclear power generator, on the coast of Somerset about eight miles north west of Bridgwater. Why such interest? It is a £10 billion project that will last for nearly 10 years and at its peak employ over 5,000 people, with a legacy of nearly 1,000 jobs on site for the next 60 years. Let’s put things into perspective. This is bigger than the Olympic village and bigger than Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Now, if and when this comes to fruition, then that will be an economic prospect worth waiting for in 2011
This is Devon 30th Dec 2010 more >>
Latest data from the grid operator also showed that the Heysham 1-2 nuclear reactor would reconnect to the grid on Thursday, adding further supply to the system.
Reuters 29th Dec 2010 more >>
Nuclear vs Climate
The argument that nuclear represents reliable “baseload” power is, as Peter Bradford points out, “rapidly losing relevance.” He echoes Lovins in saying that the new combinations available in the deployment of the Smart Grid, distributed generation (DG), renewables, energy efficiency, demand-side management (DSM), etc. render the idea of one constantly streaming power source archaic. As Lovins points out, the grid has anyway pretty much always been about a combination of generators. Bob Alvarez said that nuclear power is a “millstone” holding back the flourishing of other, better technologies. I could not agree more. I have hated nuclear power for 40 years but now more than ever. Given the need to successfully address the specter of climate change, we are wasting precious time, money and expertise pursuing new nuclear. Amory Lovins, as is so often the case, is eloquent on this point: expanding nuclear power is uneconomic, is unnecessary, is not undergoing the claimed renaissance in the global marketplace (because it fails the basic test of cost-effectiveness ever more robustly), and, most importantly, will reduce and retard climate protection.
Climate Progress 29th Dec 2010 more >>
Letter from Basic Element: Coming just before the conclusion of the UN climate-change summit in Canc n, your article on mini nuclear reactors could not have been more timely. As you pointed out, Russia has developed small floating reactors to deliver energy to the Arctic regions, primarily to overcome the problem of building power plants and grids on unstable permafrost. The simplicity and scalability of small reactors makes them an ideal energy source where future demand is uncertain and investment in larger plants and grids is simply not viable. But you passed over the one big area where small reactors can perhaps make the greatest contribution: the developing world. Harnessing this technology can promote clean and affordable economic and social development in countries that are held back by energy shortages. Indeed, small reactors should figure prominently when it comes to implementing Canc n’s pledges on technology transfer to developing economies.
Economist 29th Nov 2010 more >>
South Korea’s President said yesterday that urgent progress must be made in dismantling North Korea’s atomic weapons programme before a key anniversary that could spur Pyongyang to bolster its nuclear capabilities. President Lee Myung-bak said diplomats must persuade the North to abandon its nuclear aspirations as Pyongyang pushes to create a “powerful, prosperous nation” by 2012; the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, who founded the communist state in 1948.
Independent 30th Dec 2010 more >>
Iran no longer has the capability to create a nuclear weapon on its own, Israel’s deputy prime minister said on Wednesday, in a new assessment that would seem to make military action less likely in the near future.
Telegraph 30th Dec 2010 more >>
US officials are worried Iran could use new technology in coming months that would shorten the time needed to reach nuclear weapon status and reduce the scope for diplomacy. Washington is particularly concerned that Tehran might deploy a new generation of centrifuges to enrich uranium, a process that can yield nuclear fuel and weapons-grade material.
FT 30th Dec 2010 more >>
Stuxnet masy have damaged no less than 1000 centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant.
IT Portal 29th Dec 2010 more >>
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has praised the New Start nuclear arms treaty with the United States in his first remarks on the pact since the US Senate approved it last week. Mr Putin lauded President Dmitry Medvedev for forging the treaty with US president Barack Obama – a clear signal of approval for the agreement from Russia’s paramount leader.
Scotsman 29th Dec 2010 more >>