Bob Neill MP, shadow planning minister said the long-awaited planning shadow green paper, where Tory planning policy will be set out in writing and published shortly. The party’s policy on the new regime should they be elected this year is that they will keep the single consent regime and National Policy Statements (NPSs) – so that means that most of the Planning Act will continue. The Infrastructure Planning Commission ‘will not be kicked out of the door on day one’, but would be ‘folded back’ into the Planning Inspectorate, who deal with ordinary planning appeals and the like. The two ‘non-negotiable’ changes would be a Parliamentary vote on NPSs, and the Secretary of State deciding applications in all cases, not just when there was no NPS in place. The seven draft NPSs will be nearly ready to approve (or ‘designate’) come the general election, unless they just manage to sneak in before the starting gun is fired. If the Tories win, it remains to be seen whether they will hold their promised vote on them straight away, or tinker with them first, as presumably the policy they contain is not going follow the Tory line 100%. Even if the NPSs are delayed, however, that doesn’t stop the IPC from starting to receive applications next month.
Bircham Dyson Bell 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
The Infrastructure Planning Commission has confirmed projects it will be assessing when the new regime comes into force in March. In terms of nuclear power, Sir Michael Pitt’s team will be looking at Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C, Oldbury and Wylfa.
Utility Week 3rd Feb 2010 more >>
Policymakers are fooling themselves if they believe greener sources of energy alone can adequately meet Britain’s needs for the next decade, the chief executive of BP warned last night. Demand will not be met by the “very ambitious” nuclear programme and planned increases renewable energy capacity, Tony Hayward said.
Independent 5th Feb 2010 more >>
Plans for a new nuclear power station in south Gloucestershire have gone on display. The site of the former Oldbury Nuclear Power station is one of 10 places identified as potential sites for new stations by the government. The exhibition has opened at Turnberrie’s Community Centre and there will be a public discussion at Thornbury Leisure Centre on Saturday.
BBC 4th Feb 2010 more >>
Stop Oldbury 4th Feb 2010 more >>
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 4th Feb 2010 more >>
I am not convinced by all the reassurances about the existing Oldbury reactors – when independent nuclear scientist John Large spoke in Oct 2007 (see photo) the graphite problem was seen as very serious – his slide presentation delivered in Stroud was fascinating.
Ruscombe Green 4th Feb 2010 more >>
COPELAND MP Jamie Reed is seeking urgent talks with an energy company over its plans for an electricity generation site near Millom. RWE npower wrote to residents of Millom and the surrounding area yesterday, saying the farmland in Kirksanton will formally be disconnected from the national grid. The company says the move is to cut costs involved. Mr Reed is now urging the international company to meet him to clarify their position over the site, which has been bought for the purpose of possibly building one of Britain’s new-build nuclear power stations.
NW Evening Mail 4th Feb 2010 more >>
Villagers and councillors living on the Suffolk coast have renewed their calls to be consulted before any decision is made about the building of a new nuclear power station at Sizewell. Since the government announced in November last year that the site, south of Southwold, might be suitable for a new nuclear power station, members of Suffolk Coastal District Council have been calling for local views to be taken into account. At a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Tuesdaynight, councillors said that there should at least be some form of positive legacy for local communities who would be disrupted while any new facility is constructed as the work could take up to seven years. Local improvements could include work on roads, coastal defences, housing and community facilities.
East Anglian Daily Press 4th Feb 2010 more >>
Potential bidders aiming to take over the running of the Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness will have up to £150m a year to manage the site. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said the cash would provide “value for money” for whoever takes control of the plant.
BBC 5th Feb 2010 more >>
Letter from David Lowry: Timothy Garton Ash rightly states that article 6 of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty commits its signatories to work towards the reduction and eventual elimination of their nuclear weapons. But that article also includes the qualifiers that such negotiations should be conducted “in good faith” and “at an early date”. It is therefore depressing to read US vice-president Joe Biden assert in the Wall Street Journal that “we are increasing investments in our nuclear arsenal and infrastructure in this year’s budget and beyond”. The cost: $7.4bn in the next five years. The Obama administration has also been hoodwinked by the industry lobby into supporting a huge increase in nuclear power – with $18.5bn in loan guarantees. Backing new nuclear – weapons and power – proliferates a problem, rather than solving it.
Guardian 5th Jan 2010 more >>
The European Union is heading for a clash with other major economies over the timetable for building an experimental fusion reactor. European governments want to slow down construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) because they are paying for the bulk of the construction costs and are concerned that the budget is spiralling out of control. Other countries involved in the ITER project are, however, strongly opposed to any kind of delay.
European Voice 4th Feb 2010 more >>
The Russian military allegedly dumped nuclear waste into the Baltic Sea in the early 1990s, according to a report on Swedish television. Radioactive material from a military base in Latvia is thought to have been thrown into Swedish waters. For many the biggest shock is that the Swedish government may have known at the time and done nothing about it.
BBC 5th Feb 2010 more >>
Signals from Tehran over the past few days have become confusing.
Mathaba 4th Feb 2010 more >>
A senior adviser to the US and Israeli governments has warned that Iran is capable of developing a stockpile of nuclear weapons by as early as 2012. According to the adviser, who is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on Iranian defence strategy: “All the evidence is that Iran wants to have enough bombs to be able to threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.” Unless its current progress is impeded, Iran’s nuclear capacity will increase to a level which will force a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Jewish Chronicle 4th Feb 2010 more >>
THE nuclear industry got an unexpected boost from Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last month. The president pledged to build a “new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants”. On February 1st he followed that up in his proposed budget for 2011 by tripling to $54 billion the value of loans for new nuclear plants the government is offering to guarantee. Elsewhere, too, prospects for the business look good: the United Arab Emirates (UAE) completed a tender for four nuclear plants in December, Vietnam is planning a similar deal this year and many other countries, from Italy to Indonesia, are hoping to build new reactors soon.
Economist 4th Feb 2010 more >>
Britain and India have reached an outline agreement on cooperation in the nuclear fuel sector, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said on Thursday.
Reuters 4th Feb 2010 more >>
Letter from Louise Edge: Labour’s attempt to exclude the question of whether to spend £130bn on new nuclear weapons and building and equipping the UK’s largest ever aircraft carriers from the spending review is irrational and shameful. Several senior military figures, including General Richard Dannatt, have already warned against spending large amounts on new weapons systems that are “irrelevant” to modern warfare. At a time when climate change and energy security are increasingly recognised as key threats to our security, wasting tens of billions on unstrategic cold war weapons is profoundly irresponsible. That’s why we are calling on the government to halt all spending on the supercarriers and Trident replacement ahead of the election, and for all political parties to commit to holding a comprehensive strategic defence review, with no politically convenient exemptions.
Guardian 5th Jan 2010 more >>
Nothing uncovered in the emails destroys the argument that humans are warming the planet. None of the 1,073 emails plus 3,587 files containing documents, raw data and computer code upsets the 200-year-old science behind the “greenhouse effect” of gases like carbon dioxide, which traps solar heat and warm the atmosphere.
Guardian 5th Feb 2010 more >>