Publishers of a report commissioned by the UK Parliament about the financing of new nuclear power have updated a report about Hinkley Point C, Power from Nuclear, after a response from EDF Energy. The original report, published mid-March, gave a breakdown of possible project costs based on EDF Energy’s estimate of £16 billion for the two-unit, 1650MW-capacity EPR plant. That figure included an assumed £1.6 billion of interest on borrowing during construction, but EDF Energy has now clarified that this estimate does not include interest during construction. As a result, Carbon Connect’s estimate of the project’s overnight costs has risen from £12.4 billion to £14 billion. The report suggested that shareholders in Hinkley Point C could see returns of 20%, significantly higher than other private finance initiatives (12-15%), and said that EDF Energy’s negotiations with the government were neither transparent nor competitive. Now it has published a late March response from EDF Energy and revised the report.
Nuclear Engineering International 4th April 2014 read more »
The cost of clearing four decades of nuclear waste at Dounreay in the Scottish Highlands has soared by £200m, after major changes were made only two years into a 10-year contract. The engineering firm managing Dounreay, Babcock International, is understood to have warned the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority that it cannot get away with significantly altering the clean-up programme without additional costs. The contract is worth £150m a year until the 69-year-old site, where scientists experimented with plutonium and uranium, is environmentally safe, between 2022 and 2025. Babcock is believed to have asked for the additional money in what is known as a “change order”, with negotiations set to last through the summer. A Dounreay site spokesman said the “information was as good as it could have been” when the contract was awarded, but “more enhancements to security” are needed. There are also extra transportation costs in the earlier years of the project, as the fuel on the site is now being transferred to Sellafield in Cumbria.
Independent 6th April 2014 read more »
Private firms working at Clyde nuclear bases are being given a multi-million pound get-out by Westminster so they will not have to pay compensation or clean-up costs after “potentially catastrophic” accidents. The Ministry of Defence plans to sign deals with contractors at Faslane and Coulport that limit their financial liability in case of injuries, deaths, explosions, fires and radiation leaks to no more than £100,000. The vast majority of costs, which could run into many millions of pounds, will be met by taxpayers. The revelation has shocked politicians, experts and campaigners. Labour MP Paul Flynn, who has lodged a motion in the House of Commons opposing the move, said: “Commerce reaps the profits and the public purse is looted to pay immeasurable costs.”
Herald 6th April 2014 read more »
Now the controversy surrounding the “suicide” of SNP activist and lawyer Willie McRae, a prominent anti-nuclear campaigner, is to be turned into a play. Some 29 years ago this month, on April 5, 1985, 61-year-old McRae left Glasgow to travel to his holiday home in Dornie, Wester Ross, for the weekend. The next day he was found badly injured in his crashed car by two Australian tourists in a remote spot on the A87 near Kintail in Wester Ross. Medical staff found a gunshot wound behind his right ear and police later recovered a weapon – which bore no fingerprints – some distance from where his car crashed. He died the next day and while his death was ruled as a suicide, many believe he was murdered. He was alleged to have been under Special Branch observation at the time of his death. At the time of his death, McRae had been campaigning against plans to dump waste from Dounreay in the sea. He is said to have been in ¬possession of highly sensitive papers on the case – which have never been located. As he left his office to travel to his holiday home, his last words to his office staff were “I’ve got them!”, which some believe was a reference to the ¬Dounreay case. His house was also repeatedly burgled in the months running up to his death, adding to the mystery.
Herald 6th April 2014 read more »
For 12 years the Sunday Mirror has campaigned for the survivors of Britain’s nuclear tests – 22,000 men ordered to watch as the toxic bombs exploded. Today most are dead, having been denied justice by successive governments who ignored their health problems. But their legacy lives on in the genes of descendants who suffer 10 times the normal rate of birth defects. Today we relaunch our battle for justice.
Mirror 5th April 2014 read more »
The independence referendum is the only real chance to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons, Nicola Sturgeon has told CND supporters. The Deputy First Minister spoke of her commitment to nuclear disarmament at a CND Scotland rally in Glasgow’s George Square today.
Milngavie Herald 6th April 2014 read more »
STV 5th April 2014 read more »
US – Radwaste
On March 8, the Albuquerque Journal News published a story that said, “No one knows yet how or why a waste drum leaked at southeast New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on Valentine’s Day, triggering alarms, exposing workers and setting off a cascade of events that could cripple the nation’s radioactive waste disposal system.” Reviewing Dept. of Energy records, the Journal concluded that there were only two likely scenarios for the February 14 accident: a waste drum’s contents overheated; the roof collapsed.
Cumbria Trust 5th April 2014 read more »
An alleged plot to smuggle nuclear parts to the Iranian regime has been foiled by British police working alongside their US counterparts. Officers from the Metropolitan Police arrested a Chinese businessman at Heathrow Airport as part of an investigation into attempts by the Iranian government to evade sanctions over their nuclear programme.
Telegraph 5th April 2014 read more »
Independent 5th April 2014 read more »
IB Times 5th April 2014 read more »
SCIENTISTS are to call for the transformation of the global energy system, with future electricity generation dominated by renewable energy, particularly solar power, in the third report from the UN’s climate science experts. Solar power alone could generate more than enough power for the whole world, especially if costs continue to fall and efficiency keeps rising, according to the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to be released next Sunday. The scientists were asked to look at how humanity could reduce the impact of climate change, partly by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and also by adapting to the rises in temperature predicted from gases already released. “The technical potential for solar is the largest [of the renewable energy sources] by a large magnitude,” the report will say. Both technologies are undergoing a huge expansion, with wind growing five-fold and solar power 25-fold between 2005 and 2012. Last week Greg Barker, the climate change minister, published Britain’s solar power strategy, pledging to halt the spread of “unsightly solar farms”, which cover farmland in solar panels.
Sunday Times 5th April 2014 read more »
The maverick behind the theory that the Earth is one organism rejects the predictions of doom he once made and says last week’s UN climate report is too dark — we can handle global warming,
Sunday Times 6th April 2014 read more »
Work on a revolutionary new energy project to produce gas from coal locked in seams under the seabed off the coast of the north east of England could begin within months. Newcastle-based Five Quarter is seeking Government support for the £1.2bn scheme – a hybrid between coal mining and gas drilling – which could eventually provide cheap energy and raw materials for the chemicals industry in Teesside. Harry Bradbury, chief executive of Five Quarter, told The Telegraph that he was also in talks with potential financial backers for the project and large industrial customers, and expects the “pre-commercialisation drilling” phase to begin later this year.
Telegraph 5th April 2014 read more »