Britain’s nuclear industry has warned that a “no” vote by local councils on crucial plans to assess sites for a major radioactive waste dump would be “an injustice to future generations”. Lord Hutton, the former defence secretary who is now chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, said that it was no longer possible to pass the buck and that the research on a suitable waste site should go ahead. Sir David King, the former government chief scientific adviser, warned that without a positive decision, new nuclear development could be put at risk. Three Cumbrian councils will vote in January on the next stage of plans for the £12bn underground development which will be used to bury Britain’s existing and future nuclear waste. Ministers are thought to be working on plans to try to ensure the new-build programme is not derailed. Final investment decisions and approvals for EDF’s proposed nuclear plant in Somerset are expected next year. One source warned a “no” vote in Cumbria in January would be likely to deter a consortium that is at the early stage of planning a new plant in the county, as it would have to invest hundreds of millions of pounds before seeking planning permission.
Telegraph 30th Dec 2012 more »
Lord Hutton: whatever view you take about the future role of nuclear energy, successive governments have rightly tried to establish a permanent solution for the radioactive waste generated by our military and existing civil nuclear programmes. These plans are now at a critical stage of development. My belief is that we must not continue to pass the buck. We have a choice. We can either continue to store this old waste above ground indefinitely and leave the final solution for future generations to resolve, or we can tackle this once and for all with a permanent geological disposal facility. The latter course is the only responsible way to proceed.
Telegraph 30th Dec 2012 more »
RURAL communities hit by proposed new wind farms, fracking sites and even nuclear power stations could receive millions of pounds in compensation from energy companies. Under a government plan, branded “bribes for blight” by critics, the payments would be used to cut local people’s energy bills, provide bursaries to pay their children’s university fees, build village halls and carry out home improvements. The extra cost of the “community benefits” scheme would be passed on to customers through higher energy bills. The aim is to open up the countryside to developments including the 6,000 additional onshore wind turbines planned by the government.
Sunday Times 30th Dec 2012 more »
Anti-nuclear protesters fined. Four anti-nuclear protesters were fined £100 each and given 12 months conditional discharge on Wednesday (19th) in Taunton magistrates’ court. The four had chained themselves together and blocked the main access outside the Hinkley power plant in November. The blockade stopped entry and exit onto the site for over four hours until a removal team arrived from nearby Bristol. In court the four pleaded guilty to obstructing the highway. The action raised awareness and protested against the plans for reactors at the Hinkley C nuclear power station site in Somerset. The defendants had no choice but to represent themselves in court as that was a better alternative to a duty solicitor according to one of the defendants SchNEWS spoke to, they went on to say “The outcome in court was expected and even though it could have been worse it is still not a good outcome. The conditional discharge restricts you from being active.”
Schnews 29th Dec 2012 more »
Letter Tor Justad: The report referring to a large increase in radioactive discharges once again raises concerns about what is actually happening at Dounreay (Alarm at plans for huge increase in radioactive discharges from Dounreay, News, December 23). It appears saving money is being put ahead of safety.It has been regularly reported that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) wishes to close Dounreay as quickly as possible. One result is the current controversial transport of 44 tonnes of highly radioactive spent fuel 400 miles by rail, from Dounreay to Sellafield. The NDA has asserted that savings of millions of pounds can be made by this transport when they previously indicated that the spent fuel could be safely stored at Dounreay. What should be concerning to Highland Council and Sepa (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) is that these reported “savings” could be putting the lives of tens of thousands of people at risk from accident or terrorist attack linked to this rail transport, or from any increase in discharges around Dounreay, which are already unacceptably high. I trust that Highland Council and Sepa will act sooner rather than later to reassure the public and to take action before it is too late.
Herald 30th Dec 2012 more »
Why is Electricite de France ruling UK energy policy? And why does London still dominate Scotland’s energy plans? Shaun Burnie looks at de-linking economic growth from energy growth and the prospects for a smart grid future. The opportunity to articulate an an economic model that prioritises peoples welfare and the environment and the freedom to adopt such policies in an independent Scotland could help to engage and mobilise the Scottish people. If Angela Merkel, a nuclear physicist and leader of the conservative party can grasp the potential for an energy revolution – why not here ?
Bella Caledonia 29th Dec 2012 more »
ONE of the pillars of the SNP’s plans for independence has been dealt a blow after nearly half of renewable energy developers warned that separation from the rest of the UK would damage their industry. A survey seen by Scotland on Sunday has shown that 44 per cent of developers, funders and suppliers felt independence would not benefit renewables projects north of the Border. The industry insiders questioned whether a standalone Scotland could afford to continue with the current levels of financial support for the industry in the long term. Only 29 per cent of those questioned felt that separatism would bring benefits for their industry, while 27 per cent were undecided.
Scotland on Sunday 30th Dec 2012 more »
Letter Steuart Campbell: BRITISH Energy was not “given” its nuclear stations, as Richard Thomson claims (Letters, 16 December). It was formed from the merger in 1996 of Scottish Nuclear and Nuclear Electric, companies formed from the sale of part of the UK nuclear fleet in 1990. However, these new companies were not handed the decommissioning fund that the CEGB and SSEB had built up; that was confiscated by the Treasury. Nevertheless, they did generate electricity “reliably” and did their best to build a fund. EDF, the present owner, is still generating “reliably” and putting money aside for decommissioning.
Scotland on Sunday 30th Dec 2012 more »
Each new disaster demonstrates that the nuclear industry and governments lie to “avoid panic,” to preserve the myth of “safe, clean” nuclear power, and to sustain government subsidies. Tokyo and Washington both covered up Fukushima’s radiation risks and – when confronted with damning evidence – simply raised the levels of “acceptable” risk to match the greater levels of exposure. Nuclear Roulette dismantles the core arguments behind the nuclear-industrial complex’s “Nuclear Renaissance.” While some critiques are familiar – nuclear power is too costly, too dangerous, and too unstable – others are surprising: Nuclear Roulette exposes historic links to nuclear weapons, impacts on Indigenous lands and lives, and the ways in which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission too often takes its lead from industry, rewriting rules to keep failing plants in compliance. Nuclear Roulette cites NRC records showing how corporations routinely defer maintenance and lists resulting “near-misses” in the US, which average more than one per month.
Truth Out 30th Dec 2012 more »
The landmark was reached at 2.58pm on 28 December as the delivery of first electricity took the reactor from the construction phase into commissioning. Operator China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) said it was the beginning of the nuclear power plant creating value for society. Further tests remain before the reactor will reach the next official stage, commercial operation, in which it will generate power solidly for a lifespan expected to be 60 years. Achieving that status requires regulatory approval and a program of operational tests including a run lasting 168 hours its full rated power output of 1080 MWe. This work may take a few months. The reactor is the first of four CPR-1000s at the Ningde site in Fujian province. Construction on units 1 and 2 started in 2008 and units 3 and 4 were started in 2010. They should all be in operation before the end of 2015 and are expected to ease pressure on energy transport infrastructure in the congested coastal areas of China’s southeast.
World Nuclear News 29th Dec 2012 more »
Ian McEwan appeal for Solar Aid. 200,000 solar lights sold in Africa.
Radio 4 30th Dec 2012 more »