Anti-nuclear campaigners in Cumbria warned today that recent earthquakes highlight the danger of a radioactive catastrophe if plans for an underground nuclear dump locally get the go-ahead.
Their warning followed a fresh earthquake in northern England today measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale that hit North Yorkshire and was felt as far away as West Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear and Cumbria.
Morning Star 5th Jan 2011 more >>
UK nuclear output hit its highest level in more than nine months Tuesday following the restart of the Oldbury-2 reactor, National Grid said. Nuclear power generation from the UK’s reactors was pegged by the grid operator at 8.9 GW Tuesday afternoon, its highest level since March 17, 2010. Eighteen of the UK’s 19 reactors were operational Tuesday, after the 220 MW Oldbury-2 reactor in South Gloucestershire resumed operations early in the morning. The reactor had been out of action since November 11, 2010, due to a fault in the gas circulator.
Platts 5th Jan 2011 more >>
TWO anti-nuclear campaigners who locked themselves together outside Sizewell B nuclear power station walked free from court yesterday thanks to a prosecution mistake.
East Anglian Daily Times 5th Jan 2011 more >>
As things stand there are no positive plans to build on the nuclear reprocessing skills at Sellafield and it is essential that there should be says nuclear workers union. GMB, the main trade union for workers in the UK nuclear power industry, including those at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant, commented on the announcement by China on a breakthrough on reprocessing of nuclear materials to give China enough fuel for years ahead. Chinese State television has reported China has developed its own technologies that will enable it to reprocess spent nuclear fuel.
GMB Press Release 3rd Jan 2011 more >>
The GMB union is urging the UK government to follow the lead set by China and expand nuclear reprocessing, potentially creating employment at Sellafield. More than 2,000 jobs at Sellafield depend on reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. But the site’s Magnox reprocessing plant is due to close in 2016 and the more modern Thorp facility by 2020. In contrast, the Chinese state media has reported that the country is embarking on a 10-fold expansion in nuclear-generating capacity, made possible by reprocessing.
Cumberland News 5th Jan 2011 more >>
PRODUCTION at Sellafield is being held up due to problems in a pipebridge carrying highly active radioactive material across the nuclear site. The weakness was discovered just as preparations were being made to resume Magnox reprocessing which was the site’s main financial bread-winner for many years. But management stress that there was no leak of any high active liquor.
Whitehaven News 5th Jan 2011 more >>
Letter: Your article ‘No electricity being imported in recent cold snap was hardly fair to our own long-established nuclear industry. Torness and Hunterston power stations have produced an average output of about one giga watt each for approximately 22 and 35 years respectively. That is about one quarter of Scotland’s needs of reliable, affordable low-carbon electricity.
Dundee Courier 5th Jan 2011 more >>
BDB Blog on the non-Planning Act planning provisions in the Localism Bill.
Bircham Dyson Bell th Jan 2011 more >>
A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.
Guardian 30th Dec 2010 more >>
Electricite de France SA, the biggest operator of atomic plants, will replace the steam generators at two nuclear reactors a year on safety concerns, according to a French watchdog. The utility is carrying out the work because of problems with tube blockages and corrosion, the Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire said in a report published today on safety in 2009 at EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors. The rate of blockages is increasing and tubes, whose walls are about a millimeter thick, are at higher risk of corrosion at some reactors where a specific alloy was used, according to the report. Cases of tube ruptures at reactors outside France, which led to radioactivity escaping into the environment, have prompted safety concerns, the watchdog said. State-controlled EDF has plans to spend 35 billion euros ($47 billion) to extend the operational lifetime of France’s existing reactors, which were connected to the grid between 1977 and 1999. Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio has said half the plants are now reaching the stage when major parts such as generators need replacing.
Bloomberg 4th Jan 2011 more >>
When China announced that one of its government companies had figured out how to reprocess spent uranium, it was with no small amount of fanfare. The development was billed as a breakthrough that could save the nation the cost of importing uranium (known as yellowcake in its semi-processed form) and allow it to sidestep troublesome storage of radioactive waste material. “With the new technology, China’s existing detected uranium resources can be used for 3,000 years,” state-run China Central Television gushed on Monday when it delivered the news of the claimed breakthrough by China National Nuclear Corp. “Nuclear fuel feat to solve uranium shortage,” read a front page headline in the next day’s China Daily. Foreign analysts were less excited. And the market seemed positively unconvinced: Uranium prices moved higher, not lower as would be expected if the largest future consumer had rid itself of the need to buy fresh supplies. Actually, China National Nuclear made clear in a brief announcement (in Chinese), dated Dec. 22 and posted to its website, that the reprocessing claim is based on a very small pilot project, an experiment.
Wall Street Journal Blog 5th Jan 2011 more >>
For months, environmentalists have been spooked by rumours of another radiation leak at China’s Daya Bay nuclear plant. But that won’t change China’s determination to go nuclear. Indeed, China’s National Energy Administration plans to bring around 100GW of nuclear power online by 2020. That is more than Britain’s total installed capacity (almost 90GW). Russia plans to add 43.4GW of nuclear energy by 2030, including the world’s first commercial floating nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, India, which currently generates a paltry 4.6GW from nuclear energy, plans to add 58GW by 2038. Overall, the International Atomic Energy Agency says that more than 60 countries, mostly from the developing world, are interested in launching nuclear projects. Globally, there were 55 reactors under construction at the start of 2010 – the highest figure since 1992.
Money Week 29th Nov 2010 more >>
Bahrain is reported to be planning to operate nuclear power stations in the country by 2017.
Modern Power Systems 5th Jan 2011 more >>
One year on from the award of a $20bn contract to build the first nuclear power plants in the Gulf, the UAE has filed construction licence applications for two reactors with the new nuclear regulator. The applications for Braka Units 1 and 2 have been sent to the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and set out the safety case for both the plants and the proposed site in Abu Dhabi’s western Region. Based largely on the safety analysis done for two units in South Korea – on which the Braka reactors are modelled – the applications represent the latest move in the UAE’s aim of achieving nuclear power by 2017.
Modern Power Systems 4th Jan 2011 more >>
As India’s economy booms, India is perennially short of energy. India and China have been scouting for energy resources across the world with missionary zeal. With fossil fuels fast draining out, India’s only recourse seems to be looking out for alternate sources of energy, including nuclear energy. Although, at present, India generates only 4.7 gigawatts of nuclear power, which constitutes only about 3% of the total electricity generation, it has an ambitious plan to increase that to 60 gigawatts by the year 2035.
Open Democracy 5th Jan 2011 more >>
The European Union has yet to respond to an offer from Iran to tour its nuclear facilities, but believes a U.N. watchdog should carry out such inspections, the bloc’s executive said on Wednesday.
Reuters 5th Jan 2011 more >>
After 8 months of bilateral talks, South Korea failed to reach a deal to build a nuclear power plant for Turkey in the Black Sea province of Sinop. Instead, Taner Yildiz, Turkey’s energy minister, has just entered exclusive negotiations with another contender: Tokyo. He has also received a bid from Electricite de France, local media reported this week – although, an energy ministry official told Bloomberg, this will only be considered if talks with Tokyo fail after the allocated three month period. Ankara appears keen to give the impression it is fighting off rival offers. Yet many doubt whether the new bidders will prove any more successful than Kepco, unless Turkey relaxes its conditions for a deal.
FT Blog 5th Jan 2011 more >>