Stress tests carried out in the wake of the Fukushima disaster have given the UK’s nuclear sites the thumbs up. In its report the Office for Nuclear Regulation says UK sites have found and made improvements to boost safety following events in Japan. All the findings are contained in the UK national ‘stress test’ report submitted to the European Council (EC) today (January 4). However, the report while finding ‘no major weakness’ also states improvement must be on-going and focuses on the need to protect coastal power stations from possible future flooding. The report also tells the UK’s nuclear industry to consider possible event which ‘have only remote chances’ of taking place in the UK to increase their protection.
Edie 4th Jan 2012 more >>
If anyone doubted the nuclear industrys ability to underestimate the costs and timescales of new projects, they need look no further than Sellafield and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The current attempt to equip the site with a new Evaporator for condensing the dangerous liquid high level wastes (HLW) produced by Sellafields unnecessary reprocessing operations is a prime example. The Evaporator D Project, labelled as the UKs largest nuclear project, was launched in 2006 as a means of supplementing the sites three existing evaporators. The Project was originally priced at £90M and scheduled to come into service in 2010/11. When the contract was awarded to Costain in 2009, the cost had escalated to £297M with a four-year delay flagged-up. By 2010, the politically sensitive Project costs had jumped to some £400M and, as New Year 2012 unfolds, a further £80M-£100M is understood to be required.
CORE Press Release 4th Jan 2012 more >>
The coalition government is gambling with Britains energy security and economy by failing to pursue a proactive nuclear power strategy according to a new paper The Atomic Clock: How the Coalition is gambling with Britains energy policy published by the Centre for Policy Studies.
eGov Monitor 4th Jan 2012 more >>
An unexpected mortality increase in the US follows arrival of the radioactive plume from Fukushima: Is there a correlation?
Nuke Free.org 4th Jan 2012 more >>
A council in Somerset is demanding an unprecedented share of the annual income from a planned new nuclear reactor. The money would be used to fund community projects and to help to compensate for the disruption EDF Energys project will cause to residents around Hinkley Point. Never before has a nuclear company been asked to pay such a profit share in Britain, although many renewable energy projects give local communities a slice of their profits usually a few thousand pounds in return for their support. It is understood that the Conservative-led Sedgemoor District Council believes that nuclear projects should not be exempt from contributing to the local community in this way. Like renewable energy projects, nuclear reactors will qualify for green subsidies because they emit only negligible amounts of carbon dioxide. The council also accused EDF of not assessing in any depth the impact of its project on community wellbeing and quality of life.
Times 5th Jan 2011 more >>
EDF Energy restarted its 480-megawatt (MW) Hinkley Point B-8 nuclear reactor on Wednesday following a near three-month maintenance outage, a spokesman for the utility said.
Reuters 4th Jan 2012 more >>
FIVE people from Anglesey and Gwynedd have been recognised in the New Years Honours list. Dr Carl Clowes, from Rhoscefnhir, a founder and president of the Nant Gwrtheyrn Welsh language centre near Pwllheli, has received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his community work. Father of four Dr Clowes, 68, who is also known on Anglesey as a prominent member of Pobl Atal Wylfa B, said he had been shocked to receive the letter from 10 Downing Street.
Bangor & Anglesey Mail 4th Jan 2012 more >>
NEARLY 150 new jobs have been created so far to try and replace the 800 which will be lost when Trawsfynydd nuclear power station shuts in 2016. On top of that, a total of 101 public sector jobs have been lost in Gwynedd since 2008 with more expected over the next year. To try and ease the effect on jobs and the economy, Gwynedd Council has come up with the Meirionnydd Employment Plan which includes plans to develop the site of the former nuclear power station.
Daily Post 4th Jan 2012 more >>
EDF said they are running their UK Hunterston Nuclear reactors at a reduced load due to storms.
Proactive Investors 4th Jan 2012 more >>
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it would evaluate the threat of terrorism, but not that of a potential societal collapse in extending its current waste confidence rule by 200 years. In its waste confidence decision and rule, NRC basically asserts based on technical analysis that a final disposal route for spent fuel and high-level waste is technically feasible and will one day be available and that, in the interim, temporary, long-term storage of the nuclear materials is safe.
i-Nuclear.com 4th Jan 2012 more >>
Greenpeace International filed a criminal complaint over a French news report that Areva SA, the worlds biggest supplier of nuclear fuel and services, had the environmental activist group spied on. Spies may have infiltrated three watchdog groups, including Greenpeace, at Arevas request, according to a Jan. 1 report in the Journal du Dimanche, prompting Greenpeace France to ask the Paris prosecutors to order an investigation today, Adelaide Colin, a Greenpeace France spokeswoman, said by phone.
Business Week 3rd Jan 2012 more >>
A team of energy experts, engineers and architects wants to free the French of their nuclear dependence by 2050. In an election year, the appeal to energy austerity is attracting attention from left to right. Since last autumn, the French organization negaWatt has been staging its own Tour de France to gather support for its vision of how the country should power its economy in the future. The idea comes from American environmentalist Amory Lovins, who coined the term negawatt in 1989. It describes a unit of energy saved through conservation or efficiency. In France, which gets more than three quarters of its electricity from nuclear power, the appeal to efficiency has been winning approval ever since Japan’s Fukushima disaster of March 2011. “Ours is not an anti-nuclear religion,” says Thierry Salomon, vice president of negaWatt. “But nuclear energy does not represent a sustainable form of energy production.” “Eighty percent of French nuclear power stations went on line between 1977 and 1987,” says Yves Marignac, negaWatt’s nuclear expert who heads the Paris office for WISE, an independent global information service on energy issues. “That means that if you give each an average lifespan of 40 years, French nuclear energy will hit a wall by 2027.” Marignac says that if France doesn’t build any new reactors, it will have to phase out its current fleet within six years of 2027. “It’s not possible to do it any sooner because the renewables will need time to get going, but we can’t wait any longer because of safety issues” says Marignac.
Deutsche Welle 3rd Jan 2012 more >>
FRANCES nuclear safety authority (ASN) has announced a series of tough new safety standards set to cost national operator EdF billions of Euros.
Chemical Engineer 4th Jan 2012 more >>
Edie 4th Jan 2012 more >>
Iran’s latest claim of a breakthrough in its nuclear program seems unlikely to bring it any closer to having atomic bombs soon, but serves rather as another defiant message to the West.
Reuters 4th Jan 2012 more >>
EU member states have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian crude oil to put pressure on the country over its nuclear programme.
BBC 4th Jan 2012 more >>
As the ground shook on the opening day of 2012, the immediate concern was the nuclear facilities at Tokyo Electric Power Co.s plants in Fukushima. Thankfully, the quake didn’t cause fresh damage — this time. But what about next time? In a June Asahi newspaper poll, 74 percent favored Japan over time decommissioning all 54 reactors. Actions by the government, reinforced by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s press conference today, suggest the opposite is afoot. Japanese want a nuclear-free future, and yet the government is back to coddling the power industry.
Bloomberg 4th Jan 2012 more >>
A few weeks after Japans Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant plunged into crisis on March 11, the Saitos were told their carefully cultivated spinach had been contaminated by radiation. But nobody told them what to do with the suddenly unsellable crop, says Kazuko Saito, who tills rice and vegetable fields near the Fukushima prefectural capital together with her husband and son. So the family could only pile the spinach in a corner of a field along with broccoli also likely to have been contaminated with radioactive caesium and watch it slowly rot. Ms Saito says there is deep anger at Tepco and the government for failing to prevent the crisis and for leaving farmers to deal with their radiation problems largely alone.
FT 4th Jan 2012 more >>
The government has this afternoon filed a request to appeal against a High Court ruling that branded its plans to rush through cuts to solar feed-in tariffs as unlawful, despite concerns the continuation of legal proceedings will prolong investor uncertainty.
Business Green 4th Jan 2012 more >>
Today’s appeal threatens yet more confusion – it is time for the government to admit its mistakes and deliver the clarity the industry craves.
Business Green 4th Jan 2012 more >>
The government lodged an appeal on Wednesday against a judge’s ruling that its cuts to solar power subsidies were illegal, arguing that the cuts were essential to encourage as many homeowners as possible to install renewable energy. The government will also argue that the judge’s ruling was premature, as the final decision to slash the solar subsidies had not been taken at the time.
Guardian 4th Jan 2012 more >>