That the new Energy minister, Chris Huhne, delivered the first of what he promised would be annual energy policy statements less than three months after taking office is to be welcomed. We are running out of time to agree a strategy for closing the energy gap over the next decade, particularly with the demanding environmental targets we have set. Still, there is a danger that Mr Huhne’s statement, delivered last week, achieves little more than proving that old maxim about less haste and more speed. The immediate reaction was anxiety that his lukewarm support for nuclear power – the flipside of his determination that renewables must play a larger part in Britain’s energy sector – might damage the chances of investment in that sector. And now the renewables sector is voicing its concerns too, specifically about Mr Huhne’s narrow focus on wind power.
Independent 4th Aug 2010 more >>
The nuclear industry, which has been comatose since the accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, is gearing up for one of the greatest comebacks of all time. There is absolutely no way we can deal with our impending energy crunch without a huge expansion of our nuclear capacity, which sits at a lowly 20% of our total power generation. France has already achieved 85%, followed by Sweden at 60% and Belgium at 54%, and the last time I checked, none of these Europeans were glowing in the dark.
Oil Price 5th Aug 2010 more >>
MINISTERS have moved to end uncertainty over a £25m nuclear research centre after the Yorkshire Post revealed it was under threat from Government cuts. The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) was announced by the previous government as part of ambitions to lead the world in low-carbon technology.
Yorkshire Post 4th Aug 2010 more >>
HAZARD reduction at Sellafield took a major step forward this week with the successful transfer of 14,800 litres of historic radioactive liquid waste from a 50-year-old waste storage silo for safe treatment. Facility manager Byron Smith explained: “This facility represents one of the most significant decommissioning challenges we are faced with at Sellafield. Completion of this liquor transfer from the Magnox swarf storage silo is an important step towards emptying the silos, processing the waste and decommissioning a legacy plant.”
Whitehaven News 4th August 2010 more >>
Sellafield will continue to provide secure employment for a lot of people. Long may this continue. But for now the message for the new bosses is: ignore adverse community impact, influence and its stakeholder representation at your own peril. Continued goodwill and support for Sellafield depends on it.
Whitehaven News Editorial 4th August 2010 more >>
Low Level Waste
BRITAIN would have quickly run out of space to put radioactive material but for a timely £22 million facility in Copeland which was opened last week. Vault 9, a huge new storage and disposal store on the outskirts of Drigg village, has come to the nation’s rescue for storing low levels of materials contaminated by radioactivity. “We would have run out of space three or four months ago, probably even last month. There would have been serious potential impact on decommissioning work here in Cumbria and the UK,” disclosed Pres Rahe, chairman of UK Nuclear Waste Management, parent body of operators LLWR.
Whitehaven News, 4th August 2010 more >>
The projected £2.8 billion per year budget for nuclear decommissioning in the UK represents significant opportunities for contractors. With Coalition Government public sector spending cuts announced in the recent Emergency Budget, funding for 2011 onwards will be almost certainly announced in the 2010 Autumn Spending Review.
Nuclear Engineering International 5th August 2010 more >>
As Germany’s wild boar population has skyrocketed in recent years, so too has the number of animals contaminated by radioactivity left over from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar have quadrupled since 2007.
Der Spiegel 30th July 2010 more >>
THE company planning to build a new nuclear power station at Oldbury says it has moved onto the latest phase of the £4 billion project. Horizon Nuclear Power is planning to develop nuclear power stations at its two sites at Oldbury- on-Severn and Wylfa on Anglesey by 2025 at the latest. Horizon Nuclear is a joint venture set up in 2009 by E.ON UK and RWE npower. The company is developing proposals for new nuclear power stations at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey and at Oldbury-on-Severn. The firm already has an interest in 23 nuclear power stations in Germany and Sweden and jointly owns three stations in Germany. The company is already working with both Areva and NPDUK in a procurement process for the power station in North Wales. It is hoping to use the lessons learned from the scheme on the new power station at Oldbury.
South West Business 4th Aug 2010 more >>
The Environment Agency is meeting with EDF Energy to discuss their proposals for a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point. Officers from the agency will be on site today, looking into the potential impact the development at Hinkley Point, Somerset, could have on the surrounding area. The energy company wants to redevelop their current plant, Hinkley B, which will be decommissioned in 2016, to create Hinkley C which will have two reactors. A consultation period is currently underway into their proposals.
Star Radio, Bristol 4th Aug 2010 more >>
Morecambe MP David Morris has been scare mongering in the Commons again, claiming Britain will face a total blackout in 10 years time if the government doesn’t back a massive expansion of nuclear power. An ardent pro-nuclear supporter, not content with two nuclear power stations on his doorstep, Mr Morris is actively campaigning for a third – even though Heysham is on a fault line, a fact that makes it highly rather worrying that another reactor is even being considered.
Virtual Lancaster 4th August 2010 more >>
AN Anglesey village could be on the verge of making a fortune out of a land sale with Wylfa B consortium, Horizon. Next month a public meeting will be held in Cemaes Bay to discuss the land sale which could be worth an estimated £1m for Llanbadrig. The community council holds the rights to 35 acres of land at Penrhyn Wylfa/Wylfa Head near to where the new nuclear power station could be built. All that’s needed to finalise the deal is a positive vote from villagers at the public meeting.
Hol;yhead and Anglesey Mail 4th Aug 2010 more >>
The Nuclear Information Service (NIS) has written to the Health and Safety Executive calling for an independent inquiry into last night’s fire at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston.
NIS 4th August 2010 more >>
Fire fighters have extinguished a blaze that broke out at Britain’s main nuclear weapons factory located west of London, the country’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Wednesday. A spokesman for the ministry told reporters that there had been no radioactive leak as a result of the fire, and stressed that there was no risk of any nuclear explosion.
RTT News 4th Aug 2010 more >>
An investigation was launched today into a fire at the base that provides and maintains the warheads for the UK’s nuclear weapons system, Trident.
Guardian 5th Aug 2010 more >>
ITV Meridian 4th Aug 2010 more >>
As record hot temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius continue to bake Russia, wildfires threaten the nation’s nuclear-weapons laboratory and other military facilities. A thick haze of wood smoke blankets Moscow. While 3,000 firefighters battle flames and try to protect Russia’s main nuclear weapons laboratory, the head of Russia’s nuclear agency sought to reassure the public that all radioactive materials have been removed.
Voice of America 4th Aug 2010 more >>
A public hearing on the Tennessee Valley Authority possibly using reprocessed weapons plutonium to power some reactors in north Alabama and Tennessee attracted about 70 people, many with questions about safety. A TVA official at the Tuesday hearing in north Alabama said no decision has been made, but Republican state Rep. Mickey Hammon of Decatur told officials they have to “convince us this is safe.”
Business Week 4th August 2010 more >>
The US is said to be negotiating a controversial agreement with Vietnam to provide nuclear fuel and technology without the usual constraints on enriching uranium to prevent proliferation. The deal has been under discussion for several months following Hanoi’s announcement of plans to build 14 nuclear power stations over the next 20 years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Guardian 5th Aug 2010 more >>
You might have thought that David Cameron would be steering clear of foreign policy gaffes after his “news-rich” visit to Turkey and India. But he has just been accused by Labour of making a new blunder by mistakenly claiming that Iran has a nuclear weapon during a PM Direct meeting.
FT 5th Aug 2010 more >>
BBC 5th Aug 2010 more >>
EnergySolutions has won a contract to provide waste management systems to new AP1000 reactors being built, as a part of the nuclear new build program in China. The contract to design, equip and commission the Site Radioactive Treatment Facility (SRTF) for the treatment and storage of liquid, wet solid and solid wastes has been awarded by China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) and SDNPC to a consortium between EnergySolutions’ international subsidiary EnergySolutions EU and Yuanda Environmental Engineering Company, a subsidiary of CPI.
Energy Business Review 4th Aug 2010 more >>
Argentina’s Embalse nuclear power plant will get a refit to extend its life by another 25 years as well as a brand new full-scope simulator. The country is also talking to China about a new reactor at the plant.
World Nuclear News 4th Aug 2010 more >>
Letter: If the Government wishes to save money while retaining a nuclear deterrent, should it not be investigating the possibility of buying our nuclear weapons from India or Pakistan rather than the USA?
Independent 5th August 2010 more >>
In yesterday’s round-robin letter to Cabinet ministers, stiffening their sinews for the spending battles that will dominate the coming months, David Cameron and Nick Clegg set two guiding Coalition principles: power should be put in the hands of communities and individuals; and Britain must be equipped for long-term success. No policy area is more important to the second of these than national defence, which makes it particularly troubling that the strategic defence and security review has turned into such an unholy mess. The process began with February’s Green Paper, setting out the context for the strategic reassessment – shockingly, the first in 12 years. The Ministry of Defence wasted no time and has 60 separate reviews of our future capability under way. It is working on the basis that it will need to find up to 20 per cent in savings from its £37 billion annual budget. This entire process was knocked sideways last week when George Osborne, the Chancellor, insisted that the cost of renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent must come from the MoD’s budget.
Telegraph 4th Aug 2010 more >>
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has challenged nuclear-armed states to scrap their atomic arsenals during a visit to Nagasaki, where 70,000 people were killed by a US bomb in the closing days of World War II.
Morning Star 5th August 2010 more >>
A Fife councillor has warned the Ministry of Defence not to dump its fleet of nuclear submarines on Rosyth Dockyard. Douglas Chapman fired the shot across the MoD’s bows following a briefing about the long-term disposal of the subs. He fears the dockyard could be lumbered with radioactive waste for years to come if Rosyth gets the ministry’s backing.
Dundee Courier 4th Aug 2010 more >>
After the easyCouncil and John Lewis local authority, comes the Marks & Spencer ministry. The high-street giant, along with Tesco, B&Q owners Kingfisher and HSBC, has been asked to advise national government on saving money. The companies have been given a special role in helping ministers meet their pledge to cut energy use across government by 10% in their first year in office. The pledge was one of the very first promises of the new coalition and was announced against a backdrop of banners for the 10:10 climate change campaign, which is supported by the Guardian. The initiative is “inspired by 10:10”.
Guardian 5th Aug 2010 more >>