Britain may not find a suitable place for a planned £12bn hole, where ministers want to bury radioactive waste from new nuclear power stations, the Government’s own advisers have warned. An independent committee, set up by the Government in 2003, has said it was still “unclear” what will happen to its waste in the long-term, and “insufficient attention” has been paid to public confidence in disposal of radioactive material. The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) also concluded that while “some plans exist” to deal with the UK’s high-level waste, whether they are effective is “a matter of judgment”. It also raised fears that the Government may try to impose a giant waste storage facility on a hostile community, if no UK region agrees to take on the waste.
Telegraph 4th March 2010 more >>
Low Level Waste
Friends of the Earth Peterborough is fighting proposals to dump low level waste at Kings Cliffe. It is concerned that radionuclides could reach the River Nene and Rutland water, although the Environment Agency and Anglia Water have dismissed the claims.
Huntingdon Post 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
DEAN parish council has come out against the former Keekle Head opencast coal site being converted for radioactive waste disposal. Potential developer Endecom has submitted plans to Cumbria Council for Keekle Head to dispose of very low levels of radioactive waste mainly arising from Sellafield. The government is looking for alternatives in order to free up future capacity at Drigg, the UK’s only designated low level radioactive waste site.
Whitehaven News 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
Roger Milne: Well over a year ago, EDF chief executive Vincent de Rivaz famously suggested that come Christmas Day 2017, some of us would be cooking our turkeys using power generated from a new UK nuclear power plant. But will he be eating his words come then? Clearly a lot could go right over the next seven years. His optimism might be well-founded. Equally, a lot could go not quite as planned. It is a long time since we built a new nuclear plant here and the experience of the two schemes in Europe at present – Finland’s Olkiluoto project and France’s Flamanville plant – is hardly encouraging. The former is way off the pace, years behind schedule and way over the original budget. The latter is said to be 20 per cent over budget.
Utility Week 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
Research shows that there will be a significant shortfall in graduates entering the nuclear power industry by the decade 2015-2025. E&T discusses the biggest challenge facing the nuclear industry.
Institute of Engineering and Technology 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
Meanwhile, up the road at Dungeness, all the hot-air, complaining and reports etc over the Governments rejection of the site as suitable for a third station are also very likely in vain. The latest info clearly shows that both designs for new stations could be risky anyway. The US Westinghouse AP1000 has design faults that could be dangerous in an aircraft collision for instance, and the French Areva and Finnish designed PWR’s appear to produce a lot more radioactive waste than previously thought. Despite the usual company denials, no new station can be fool-proof as independent expert John Large has pointed out. Thus the time has surely come for this area to adopt the green tech and lifestyle options that are springing up in towns and cities etc across the UK as the way forward. The CBI recently pointed out that the low-carbon sector is already worth £100 billion to the UK economy.
Kent News 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
National Grid has announced a series of events to further explain its plans to build pylons from Avonmouth in Bristol to Hinkley Point in west Somerset. The move comes after the energy company was urged to rethink its public consultation by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC). The first phase of consultation prompted 2,000 feedback forms, 1,100 e-mails and letters and 100 phone calls. National Grid said it would announce the new events shortly.
BBC 2nd Mar 2010 more >>
New nuclear is poised to get under way, with the earthworks contract tenders for the first new power station due to be submitted on 5 March. The contract, thought to be worth in excess of £30M, is for Hinkley Point in Somerset, and will be the first tendered under the government’s nuclear new build programme. Five contractors are believed to be in the running: Balfour Beatty and Vinci; Bam Nuttall, Kier and URS; Laing O’Rourke and Ferrovial; Carillion; and Sir Robert McAlpine. Morgan Est was also invited to tender for the contract but is believed to have opted out.
Ground Engineering 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
Important issues in relation to the storage of radioactive waste at Hunterston will be discussed at a public meeting in Largs on Tuesday evening. The event takes place at the Brisbane House Hotel from 6-8pm. Hunterston site stakeholders group and members of the community will get the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have to members of the Committee of Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM).
Largs and Millport Gazette 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
SELLAFIELD overlords Nuclear Management Partners are set to pick up a £50 million “well-done” fee on top of a £16.5 million dividend already earned.
Whitehaven News 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
SELLAFIELD workers have the chance to get to grips first hand with robotics and remote-handling equipment. The close encounters will come next Tuesday at a state-of-the-art technology equipment exhibition in the Sellafield Centre.
Whitehaven News 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
Mayors for Peace
At the FCO today, Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis met representatives of Mayors for Peace. Tony Lloyd MP also attended, and the group discussed UK policy positions on nuclear weapons issues in the run-up to May’s Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1st Mar 2010 more >>
Australian aborigines and former servicemen are to sue the British Ministry of Defence over diseases and disabilities that they claim were caused by nuclear testing in the Outback more than 50 years ago.
Telegraph 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
The president of the U.N. Security Council said on Tuesday it was ready to tackle proposals for new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, while U.S. diplomats worked to persuade China that action is needed.
Yahoo 4th Mar 2010 more >>
The United States and the European Union said Wednesday that there must be more sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme if diplomacy fails to shift Tehran.
EU Business 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
Reduced funding for developing nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain will not impact the potential for expansion of the nation’s nuclear fleet, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said today. President Barack Obama last year decided to pull the plug on the controversial storage project, which would build a repository for waste from nuclear power reactors at a site outside of Las Vegas. But Chu said today of the move, “I believe its going to have no impact on our expansion” of nuclear power capacity. “The [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] has said nuclear waste and where it is now will be safe for many decades,” he said. “That gives us time to prepare a comprehensive review of what is going on.”
Argus Media 3rd Mar 2010 more >>
The Pentland Firth tidal project is fascinating, but the engineering problems equal those to put a man on Mars Under its energetic chief executive, Ron Hewitt, the capital’s business forum recently won the prestigious British Chambers of Commerce Chamber of the Year Award. Not content to rest on its laurels, tonight the Chamber has brought together Shell UK boss James Smith and First Minister Alex Salmond to debate Scotland’s potential to be “the Saudi Arabia” of renewable energy. According to Hewitt: “Scotland’s natural advantages in alternative energy provide us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the alternative sector in Europe. That’s the First Minister’s view At Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce we couldn’t agree more.” So much for the hype. But just how plausible is this plan to rebuild the Scottish economy around renewable energy both as a technolo gy and an energy exporter?
Scotsman 4th Mar 2010 more >>
The government will come under fire tomorrow from a renewable energy sector increasingly concerned about potential delays in the implementation of a “feed-in tariff” meant to kickstart a domestic green power revolution. David Kidney, an energy minister, will be questioned at a summit in London organised by Renewables UK, formerly the British Wind Energy Association, over its failure to pass a statutory instrument needed for the introduction of the tariff.
Guardian 4th Mar 2010 more >>
Jeremy Leggett: George Monbiot’s attack on solar energy and the government’s “cash-back” solar photovoltaic (PV) market-building scheme paints a distorted picture of the industry I work in, and government policy towards it. First, Monbiot gets the workability of solar wrong. He says: “The amount of power PV panels produce at this latitude is risible, [and] they also produce it at the wrong time.” Those who buy panels, therefore, will own a mere “fashion accessory”. The companies who manufacture solar PV in the UK have shown that putting solar panels on all available building surfaces would generate more electricity in a year, under typical cloudy British skies, than the entire electricity consumption of our energy-profligate nation. Some fashion accessory. Monbiot has it wrong about who pays the cash back. “The government is about to shift £8.6bn from the poor to the middle classes,” he says. But the number is not the cost to “the poor”. It’s not even the cost to all electricity consumers over the next two decades. The cumulative cost to all consumers – including all non-domestic industrial, public sector, and commercial users and covering all technologies in the scheme – is £6.7bn, and is spread over 20 years. The average household levy in 2013, when tariff rates are all up for review, is likely to be less than £3. This is far less than the average saving from the government’s various domestic energy efficiency measures over the same period. So there is no net subsidy. The levy is not “regressive” at all.
Guardian 4th Mar 2010 more >>