As EDF has for the umpteenth time put back of the date of its ‘final investment decision’ on the building the Hinkley C nuclear power station, it has emerged that key stumbling blocks are two very tough demands being made by the Chinese nuclear companies on the British and French Governments. EDF has suspended its work on the project. It has been a marvel how the ‘groundwork’ has been carrying on for so long. I suppose you could call it a job creation activity digging holes in the ground for probably little purpose. The Chinese nuclear interests, who are needed to provide a large part of the equity investment in the project, are demanding that the French Government agrees to carry the can and pay for cost overruns on the project. Given the delays and thus cost overruns in the four EPR projects currently being built in Finland, France and China, cost overruns seem a racing certainty if Hinkley C goes ahead. So in this way the Chinese are only being rational. Chinese nuclear interests are demanding that, in effect, the British Government give them the go-ahead to build a Chinese reactor design at a future power project at Bradwell in Sussex. In other words, it seems that the Chinese are interested in the Hinlkey project in so far as it can advance their interests in getting into the British electricity market. But there are big problems with the idea that either the French or the British government will or can agree to these demands. In the case of France, it is already trying to fund the massive deficit in an effectively bankrupt (albeit state owned) nuclear industry, including the massive debts accrued by constructors AREVA in its development of the EPR reactor. The nuclear interests are very strong in the French state. But are they really going to persuade the French taxpayer to effectively pay for a large chunk of a very expensive power station for the alleged benefit of British consumers?
Dave Toke’s Blog 3rd April 2015 read more »
THREE women have been reported for summons for obstructing the highway at Doggetts Crossroads after forming a human chain across a road near the Hinkley Point power station on Wednesday (April 1). Following negotiations by the Hinkley Policing Team, the three voluntarily dis-engaged by 9.30am having begun their protest without warning less than three hours earlier.
Somerset County Gazette 3rd April 2015 read more »
The idea of meeting Britain’s long term infrastructure needs by setting up an independent National Infrastructure Commission is a good one. However, Labour spoils the good work byfailing to discriminate between sensible infrastructural investment in the energy sector, and pouring taxpayers’ money into a great black hole. The Business Manifesto promises: “we will introduce a new long term funding and policy framework for science and innovation, and support vital sectors such as construction and advanced manufacturing to make long term investments in low carbon technologies and the ‘green’ economy. In order to clean up your power supply and give business confidence to invest, we will put in place a legal target to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030, and support our energy intensive industries to deal with an increasingly challenging environment.” This is sensible. But it is undermined by then including nuclear power, alongside renewables and carbon capture and storage in the long term energy plan for a secure, affordable and low carbon energy mix, which would be achieved by leveraging investment by ending the uncertainty on a date for delivering borrowing powers to the Green Investment Bank and create an Energy Security Board. Why does Labour insist on backing apower generation technology with billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money for new nuclear at Hinkley Point C, that will produce electricity a double the current price of other power generating technologies such asgas, guaranteeing a foreign company, France’s EDF,profits that will be repatriated to Paris for 35 years? Is that a sustainable way of keeping electricity bills down and fighting fuel poverty?
David Lowry’s Blog 1st April 2015 read more »
MI5 has issued an alert over the threat posed by rogue workers in Britain’s nuclear, transport and public services after suicide pilot Andreas Lubitz killed 150 people in the Alps plane crash disaster. And concerns are so great that one security source has warned: ‘However much physical security you have, if someone is already in there, there’s nothing you can do to stop them committing an act of sabotage or terrorism.’ MI5 is now giving advice on the risk posed by thousands of employees working in sensitive areas – known as ‘insiders’ – highlighted by the Germanwings disaster.
Daily Mail 5th April 2015 read more »
THE mystery surrounding the death of SNP activist Willie McRae 30 years ago has been solved after an investigation by Scotland on Sunday. Scotland on Sunday can reveal that previously unseen police reports show McRae’s Volvo was removed from the crash scene before the gunshot wound was found, then returned to the site after police realised they were not dealing with a straightforward traffic incident.He was regarded as the perfect candidate to represent the nationalists at the 1980 Mullwarchar inquiry into plans by the Atomic Energy Authority to dump nuclear waste in the Ayrshire hills. McRae, an intimidating intellect with acerbic wit, was a key figure in the inquiry, asking difficult questions of the authority. The protesters won, providing a major setback in plans for having nuclear waste buried, not only in Scotland, but in the rest of the UK.
Scotsman 5th April 2015 read more »
This was to be the highlight of a symposium held on 14 and 15 April in Paris by the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME). The public institution under the joint supervision of the ministries of ecology and research, was to unveil a scenario “100% renewable energy” , paving the way to an electrical bouquet composed entirely of “green” resources to . 2050 ADEME had itself announced with fanfare at the beginning of the year : “The highlight of the conference is the presentation of a new study that provides leads for power generation 100 % renewable. » Alas, the presentation has disappeared from the two-day program, simply titled “Renewable energies in the French electricity mix.” Any reference to a “100% green” scenario has disappeared. What has happened? Questioned by Le Monde , the agency explains that the study is not yet finalized. We must “consolidate certain points, conduct additional checks, check assumptions with industry professionals, more integrated settings, refine economic and technological implications …” In short, it would be premature to disclose conclusions that “behave gaps and would not be 100% reliable ” on a subject “very sensitive” .
Le Monde 4th April 2015 read more »
Foreign minister takes issue with statement that refers to sanctions being suspended rather than lifted and says Iran could resume nuclear programme if west does not honour agreement.
Guardian 5th April 2015 read more »
Telegraph 4th April 2015 read more »
Iranians greet nuclear deal with guarded optimism.
Independent 5th April 2015 read more »
Up to 8,000 people joined a Scrap Trident march in Glasgow today, Saturday, against nuclear weapons in Scotland. The protest was one of the biggest marches against nuclear weapons in Scotland for years. The streets were filled with working class families, independence campaign groups, trade unionists and political parties. Their main slogan was “Bairns not bombs” and chants of “Welfare not warfare” rang out along the march.
Socialist Worker 4th April 2015 read more »
With dozens of Saltires and Yes flags fluttering in Glasgow’s George Square it was a scene reminiscent of the days running up to the referendum. Yesterday seasoned campaigners, families and the newly politically active gathered together to call for the scrapping of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons programme. With estimates of between 2,500 to 4,000 attending the rally, it is thought to be the biggest anti-Trident protest ever staged in the city. Many of those in attendance were SNP supporters, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon greeted by loud cheering when she took to the stage. Elizabeth Mungall, 68, who had travelled to the rally from West Lothian with her husband Ernest, said: “We have been in the SNP for years and years and we need to get rid of Trident.
Herald 5th April 2015 read more »
Heald 5th April 2015 read more »
A British nuclear submarine suffered £500,000 damage in a collision while tracking Russian vessels, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The 5,300-ton HMS Talent limped back to port with a huge dent and will be out of action for several months. Royal Navy top brass are investigating the incident.
Daily Mail 4th April 2014 read more »
Children left disabled by their fathers’ presence at nuclear bomb tests have been told there is no money for them in a new Government fund. Although the men’s descendants have TEN times the normal rate of birth defects, it’s been revealed the fund promised by George Osborne will not help them. Campaigners met Prime Minister David Cameron and officials this week to discover details of the cash that was promised to them in the Budget speech. But while there will be limited help for survivors of Britain’s race to build a nuclear bomb, there will be nothing for their children left to suffer the genetic curse.
Mirror 4th April 2015 read more »