People from Ennerdale are attending a public meeting to discuss the potential plans for a nuclear waste site in the area. Villagers say they have been told Ennerdale is one of only a couple of suitable sites in West Cumbria which is geologically suitable to hold the waste. The meeting is taking place at the Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale between 10.30am and 6pm.
ITV 5th Jan 2013 more »
CUMBRIAN councils could still pull out of proposals to host a nuclear waste dump even if they agree to proceed later this month. Baroness Verma, of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, told The Cumberland News that Copeland, Allerdale and Cumbria councils could opt out at a later stage if they formally express an interest in storing highly radioactive nuclear waste at the end of January. So far, all three have expressed an interest but have insisted on a guaranteed legal right of withdrawal later in the process. However, Eddie Martin, leader of Cumbria County Council, said he still wanted a statutory right of withdrawal written into an Act of Parliament – because all that had been offered so far was an assurance. He added: “We don’t yet have that right in law. We are insisting on it. We don’t want to get to stage four or five and decide, for whatever reason, that we should withdraw and find out we can’t.”
Cumberland News 4th Jan 2013 more »
THE Lake District National Park should automatically be excluded from any consideration as the proposed site for a high level nuclear waste repository in Cumbria. This is the view to be expressed by a Cumbrian lawyer at a public meeting in Keswick next week. The call comes in advance of votes to be taken by Cumbria County Council – and Allerdale and Copeland district councils – at the end of this month on whether to formally express an interest in hosting a site. Commercial lawyer John Wilson will tell next Friday’s meeting that the Lake District National Park should be taken out of the equation all together because of its special protected status. He said: “It seems entirely self-evident that the National Park is in play, but in my view this is wrong. “A National Park should only be considered when all other sites in the country have been exhausted. That is plainly not the case here. Another speaker at the event, London and Keswick-based marketing expert, Harry Marsland, will talk about the Lake District brand. He said: “Research shows that the Lake District has a near faultless image, and is the best-regarded UK destination, beating Devon, Cornwall and London. A nuclear dump will do significant damage to that image. “In Cumbria tourism is worth £2bn per annum, and employs 56,000 people directly, plus it provides the work for countless trades people, suppliers and retailers. And, let’s be clear, it depends upon the Lake District.”
Carlisle News & Star 4th Jan 2013 more »
FEARS that railway bridges in Ross-shire could collapse under the weight of nuclear cargo from Dounreay have been allayed by a Dingwall councillor. Concerns had been growing over new rail shipments of radioactive waste from the decommissioned plant in Caithness to Sellafield in Cumbria. The first load was shipped out under armed guard about two weeks ago, the first of 90 such journeys which will be made over the next few years. The train’s route takes the material through many communities in Ross-shire including Tain, Invergordon, Dingwall, Conon Bridge and Muir of Ord. The cargo, which includes un-irradiated plutonium and highly enriched uranium, is being transported in specially-reinforced cylinders. Residents in Ross-shire contacted Dingwall-based councillor Margaret Paterson to say they were worried the bridges were not strong enough to withstand the weight of the trains. Councillor Paterson contacted the council’s director of TEC services, Neil Gillies, for an up-to-date report on the state of the structures. And this week she said he was “100 per cent certain” they had all been checked and were in excellent order. Lorraine Mann, a long time Highland opponent of nuclear waste movements, accepted the assurances that the chance of a rail catastrophe were remote. But she said: “I believe the movement of these shipments to Sellafield are morally wrong. “There would be a tremendous outcry if it were the other way round and the Sellafield plant was sending such waste to Dounreay. “The fact is that the plants producing the waste should deal with it at source. “Some of this material will inevitably be discharged into the sea and the air during reprocessing and already waste from Sellafield is being identified across wide areas of the northern hemisphere.” A spokesman for Friends of the Earth was similarly opposed to the movement of nuclear waste. He said: “These movements can never be 100 per cent safe. We believe waste should be dealt with at the sites where it is produced.”
Ross-shire Journal 4th Jan 2013 more »
Twenty seven years since the world’s worst nuclear accident at the Chernobyl power station, an abandoned hospital is still barren after it was left to fall into ruin. Once a modern care facility, the site stands untouched as it was decades ago after the accident, containing damaged furniture, broken beds, and unwashed mattresses in different rooms. The disaster took place at around midnight on April 26, 1986 when engineers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant conducted a test of reactor number four.
Daily Mail 4th Jan 2013 more »
Uranium is poised to rebound from a second annual decline as Japan considers restarting its atomic plants almost two years after the Fukushima disaster and China pushes ahead with the world’s biggest nuclear building program. The price of the fuel for immediate delivery may average $55 a pound in 2013, according to the median of five analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey conducted last month. The nuclear fuel slipped 14 percent to an average $48.72 in 2012 and traded at a three-year low of $40.65 in November, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Bloomberg 4th Jan 2013 more »
Reporters document extent of shoddy decontamination practices around Fukushima.
Asahi Shimbun 4th Jan 2013 more »
Fukushima crisis update 28th Dec 2012 to 3rd Jan 2013.
Greenpeace 4th Jan 2013 more »
Lithuania’s new government will decide by mid-May whether building a nuclear plant to replace the one that closed in 2009 is the best way to reduce reliance on Russian energy, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said. The Cabinet, which took office last month, has until May 15 to present an energy-independence strategy to Parliament, Butkevicius told reporters today in Vilnius, the capital.
Bloomberg 4th Jan 2013 more »
The European Union has proposed a time and place for further talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, but Iran has yet to respond, an EU spokesman said on Friday. Iran said earlier on Friday it had agreed to resume talks in January with six major powers – represented by the EU – , but the EU spokesman said Tehran had not yet replied to proposals made on Dec. 31.
Trust 4th Jan 2013 more »
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator on Friday welcomed the return of leading world powers to talks over the country’s disputed atomic programme, but urged them “not to repeat their past mistakes”.
Middle East Online 4th Jan 2013 more »
This guest blog is by Richard Dalton, who was Britain’s ambassador to Tehran from 2003 to 2006. It first appeared in the Chatham House bi-monthly magazine, The World Today. A new round of nuclear talks is expected at some point this month, though the exact date and venue have not yet been agreed. Though there has as yet been no announcement of a new round of talks, recent weeks have seen a mild increase in optimism about the chances for a successful negotiation on Iran’s nuclear programme. This optimism will be well-founded only if old habits change.
Guardian 4th Jan 2013 more »
THE Ministry of Defence has not ruled out the possibility of moving Britain’s nuclear armed submarines to the Devonport naval base, despite safety concerns from campaigners. The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) asked the MOD whether the fleet of armed Vanguard class submarines carrying Trident missiles could move from its current home in Faslane in Scotland to Devonport. The response stated that neither the Devonport Naval Base nor the dockyard would safely permit the berthing of an armed Vanguard submarine. But the campaigners were also told the MOD’s internal safety watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator, “has not provided any advice” on the feasibility of docking a Vanguard class submarine at Devonport.
Plymouth Herald 5th Jan 2013 more »
Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines cannot be moved from Scotland to the Devonport naval base in Plymouth because they do not have safety clearances to dock there. The disclosure has huge implications for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) if Scotland votes for independence and a new government demands the withdrawal of the nuclear fleet. The MoD has revealed that the safety arrangements for Devonport do not permit the presence of submarines carrying Trident nuclear warheads. The MoD’s safety experts are not considering changing that.
Guardian 4th Jan 2013 more »
RobEdwards 4th Jan 2013 more »
Micro Power news from the last two weeks available, including news of the inclusion of solar PV in the Governments renewable energy roadmap for the first time.
Microgenscotland.org.uk 4th Jan 2013 more »