A NUCLEAR liaison group is calling for an extension of the emergency zone around the Sizewell power station site in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG) also wants consideration given to a full-scale mock evacuation involving the local population. In addition, it is calling for the routine issue of anti-radiation tablets to be extended to local schools, whether or not they lie within any revised emergency zone. At present the Sizewell emergency zone the area subject to a detailed major accident response plan extends to just 2.4 kilometres, within which up to 900 people live or work, depending on the season. The zone does not cover most of the built-up area of Leiston and its four schools. As a result of the Fukushima disaster last year, 170,000 people were evacuated from within a 20-km radius and thousands more self-evacuated from a wider area. The SSG says in a letter to be sent to emergency planners this week: While the SSG does not feel competent to propose an exact area which should form an extended emergency planning zone, it does feel that an area of up to 20 kilometres should be considered.
East Anglian Daily Times 5th Mar 2012 more >>
German joint venture company Horizon Nuclear Power will choose in the next month or so either the Areva EPR or the Westinghouse AP1000 for construction at its Wylfa site in the UK, a company spokesman said March 1. The expectation so far unconfirmed by Horizon that Horizon plans to choose the Areva EPR reactor rather than the Westinghouse AP1000 has led to speculation in the UK press of a French monopoly of the UK nuclear power program and new competition concerns. An Areva win would consolidate French dominance over much of the UK nuclear program, giving the French companies control over operating reactors, new reactors, and back-end fuel cycle.
i-Nuclear 5th March 2012 more >>
Nuclear generation levels began to wane at the end of last week following the shutdown of Oldbury’s final 434 MW reactor earlier in the week and planned statutory maintenance at unit 2 of EDF Energy’s 1,150 MW Heysham-1 nuclear plant in Lancashire which began Thursday. In addition, EDF Energy confirmed Monday that units 1 and 2 of its 1,191 MW Sizewell B nuclear reactor had come offline on Friday evening for unplanned maintenance. “The automatic shutdown of the reactor took place safely and post-trip procedures operated as expected,” said a company spokesman. “The fault is on the conventional side of the plant and we are currently investigating the precise cause.”
Platts 5th Mar 2012 more >>
The Scottish Government remains happy to extend the life of our existing nuclear plants rather than taking the opportunity to consign them to the past. Ministers can pose in front of wind turbines all they want but they are letting down future generations of Scots who could have a truly Green future.
Scottish Greens 5th March 2012 more >>
Scotland’s two nuclear power stations could be given an extended lifespan, as part of new Scottish government plans for electricity generation. Ministers have said they will not block applications by operator EDF to continue running Torness and Hunterston beyond their current licences. The SNP administration has been opposed to replacing nuclear power stations. Keeping older ones in operation is seen as a way of retaining sufficient generating power in Scotland. The Scottish government has published its plans for renewable energy to provide 100% of Scotland’s electricity needs by 2020, at least when turbines are operating at optimum levels.
BBC 5th March 2012 more >>
THE Scottish Government’s pledge to meet the country’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2020 has been boosted by a new report that claims the target is achievable. Environmentalists seized on the report, saying it effectively kills off controversial plans for a coal-fired power station proposed for Ayrshire because it casts doubt on the need for the new facility. The Electricity Generation Policy Statement, based on research studies looking at future energy supply, storage and demand, sets out ministers’ plans for renewable energy and fossil fuel thermal generation. It says Scotland’s future electricity needs can be met without the need for new nuclear power stations and says renewable generation will be backed up, with thermal generation progressively fitted with carbon capture and storage.
Herald 6th Mar 2012 more >>
The Scottish government has issued a rallying call for businesses and local communities to exploit the country’s vast renewable energy resource, such as wind and tidal power, in a new consultation designed to deliver 100 per cent green electricity by 2020. Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing yesterday launched the draft Electricity Generation Policy Statement (EGPS), setting out plans to build up renewable energy and fossil fuel thermal generation in Scotland’s future energy mix. The report is based on a series of key targets, including delivering the equivalent of at least 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020, with a minimum of 2.5 GW of thermal generation progressively fitted with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
Business Green 6th March 2012 more >>
Daily Record 6th Mar 2012 more >>
Click Green 6th Mar 2012 more >>
SCOTLAND’S electricity will come solely from renewable energy by 2020, leading to reductions in households’ bills, a new government report has claimed. Electricity bills would be almost £100 cheaper a year if the Scottish Government’s target of meeting all the country’s energy needs from renewables in the next eight years is met, according to the Electricity Generation Policy Statement (EGPS).
Scotsman 6th Mar 2012 more >>
MULTIPLYING wind farms, piles of biomass and large pools of North Sea oil wealth are still available – yet Scotland could be looking into a future of brown-outs and power shortages. How can this be? A detailed paper on Scotland’s energy industries warns of a 37 per cent slump in energy production by 2020 – and renewable energy targets that are “unrealistic, unachievable and not in the best interests of energy consumers in Scotland”. Add to this picture the prospect of the Hunterston and Torness nuclear facilities being switched off, together with the empty coffers in the Treasury to fund the building of new power stations and we could be in for serious trouble: an energy winter, to which no government or official body has dared to admit. According to Tony Mackay, author of a detailed report on Scotland’s energy industries released last week, the North Sea oil and gas industry accounted for 93 per cent of production in 2010 and other industries, such as wind energy and coal only seven per cent. Those percentages, he warns, will change little over the next decade, despite declining North Sea oil and gas production from fields in Scottish waters.Far from renewable energy generating 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity requirements – the Scottish government’s official target – the Mackay report forecasts that in 2020 only 39 per cent of Scotland’s electricity generation will be from renewables sources compared with 22 per cent now. On official energy forecasting, he is scathing. He notes that there have been many recent repo rts on Scotland’s energy industries during the last few years, particularly from the Scottish Government and Scottish Renewables. However, the general standard of those reports has been very poor and in many cases very biased. Total electricity generation, he predicts, will fall by about three per cent over the next decade. But currently the electricity industry accounts for only 18 per cent of final energy consumption, much lower than the 42 per cent share for petroleum products (mainly petrol and diesel for transport) and the 37 per cent for natural gas (mainly for heating).
Scotsman 6th Mar 2012 more >>
Community groups from all over the UK will be forming a symbolic chain around the EDF Energy-owned power station on Saturday 10 — 11 March.Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station, Nr Bridgwater, Somerset,, United Kingdom The chain will represent their battle to stop the expansion of Hinkley Point and to halt the government’s push for seven other new nuclear power stations around the UK.
You Tube 1st March 2012 more >>
All waste water discharged from Hinkley Point, Somerset will have to undergo effluent treatment under strict new controls announced today by the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency is issuing a permit to NNB Generation Company Limited (NNBGenCo) for waste water discharges arising from site preparation for the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. The permit also covers the waste water discharges that would arise from construction of the station if it obtains full planning permission.
Envirolib 1st Mar 2012 more >>
Sizewell B stopped generating electricity on Friday evening following an electrical fault. Both turbines were taken offline and the automatic shutdown of the reactor took place safely. The fault occurred on the non-nuclear side of the power plant and there is no risk to public safety, a spokesman for EDF, which owns the plant, said. Engineers are investigating the precise cause of the fault.
East Anglian Daily Times 5th Mar 2012 more >>
A WEBCAST discussing the issues surrounding an underground dump for nuclear waste takes place tomorrow. The event is organised by the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely and will green campaigners and independent geologist Jeremy Dearlove. The partnership organised the event for people who were unable to attend a 12-date consultation roadshow. Partnership representatives on the panel will be Councillor Elaine Woodburn, the leader of Copeland Borough Council, and the Reverend Lindsay Gray, from Churches Together in Cumbria. People can watch the debate, and ask questions, by logging in to the Partnerships website at www.westcumbriamrws.org.uk from 6pm tomorrow.
NW Evening Mail 5th Mar 2012 more >>
Germany, a European leader in renewable energy, is taking a gamble by closing the door on nuclear power, argues Jon Entine One year after the Fukushima disaster, nuclear energy policy is moving in two opposite directions. While much of the world, led by Germany, is embracing caution and winding down nuclear energy ambitions, the US, Britain, France and Russia are poised to boost their nuclear estate. The UK seems amenable to firing up nuclear capacity, although challenges abound. The Centre for Policy Studies claims that by 2030 one in three households faces fuel poverty and dependence on foreign gas, unless nuclear power plants are built. They project that new nuclear is expected to meet more than 40% of increased demand. A new poll from Ipsos Mori puts UK public backing of nuclear energy at its highest in a decade, at more than 50.The public sees Japan as a long way away and memories are short, says poll director Robert Knight. But concerns about the future security of energy supply closer to home are ongoing and persistent. There are fears that without nuclear energy dependence on Russian and eastern European gas could increase.
Ethical Corporation 5th Mar 2012 more >>
Greenpeace activists in 19 countries took action today to remind their governments that the next Fukushima disaster will be their fault.The nuclear disaster at Fukushima has shown us once again that nuclear reactors are fundamentally unsafe. That’s why Greenpeace activists are staging flash mobs, hanging banners on prominent buildings, holding events in public squares and at busy intersections and delivering messages to governments. There are more than 400 nuclear reactors operating in the world right now. Hundreds of millions of people live in the long shadow of these reactors and are at risk if there is another Fukushima disaster. They are threatened because the governments in countries with reactors ignore the risks.
Greenpeace International 5th Mar 2012 more >>
John Clarke has been announced as the new chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority following the departure of Tony Fountain in December.
New Civil Engineer 5th Mar 2012 more >>
Iran has tripled its monthly production of higher-grade enriched uranium and the U.N. nuclear watchdog has “serious concerns” about possible military dimensions to Tehran’s atomic activities, the agency’s chief said on Monday.
Reuters 5th Mar 2012 more >>
Independent 5th Mar 2012 more >>
The last UN inspection found accelerated uranium enrichment and little cooperation, but also signs of problems in the Iranian nuclear programme that suggest there is still time for diplomacy.
Guardian 5th Mar 2012 more >>
Benjamin Netanyahu assured President Barack Obama on Monday that Israel has not made any decision on attacking Iran’s nuclear sites, sources close to the talks said, but the Israeli prime minister gave no sign of backing away from possible military action.
Reuters 5th Mar 2012 more >>
Hoping to head off a premature strike on Iran, President Obama sought to assure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday that America would always have Israels back. The two leaders put on a show of unity before key talks at the White House on Monday. The day after Mr Obama warned of loose talk of war with Iran, he insisted there was still time for diplomacy to prevent the rogue regime from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Daily Mail 5th Mar 2012 more >>
An apocalyptic vision of Israel coming under nuclear attack has been portrayed in a video, which its creator warned could become reality if Iran’s atomic programme is not halted soon.
LBC 4th Mar 2012 more >>
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said time is running out to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear programme. Speaking to a pro-Israel conference in the US, Mr Netanyahu said he could not allow his people to “live in the shadow of annihilation”.
BBC 6th March 2012 more >>
Scientists at Oxford University and Imperial College London have designed a low-cost, highly sensitive neutron detector that can identify the presence of nuclear weapons. Neutron detectors are used at border crossings and shipping ports to identify lorries and shipping containers concealing hazardous nuclear materials such as plutonium, a neutron-emitting substance that is used to make nuclear weapons.
Engineer 6th Mar 2012 more >>
The government and renewable energy businesses have slammed the findings of a controversial report that claimed 2020 carbon reduction targets could be achieved more cost effectively by building nuclear and gas-fired power stations instead of wind farms. The report, Powerful Targets, launched yesterday by independent consultancy AF Consult, was based on a study originally developed with consultancy KPMG last year, which formed the basis of a number of media reports attacking the cost of renewable energy.
Business Green 5th Mar 2012 more >>
Wrexham has had one of Europe’s largest solar panel factories since 2005, employing around 1,000 people, moves into the renewable energy premier league this month after installing 30,000 panels made in the town on 3,000 of its council homes. This year it will fit six schools and several public buildings with a further 90kW of solar power. Scaffolding was bought in from all over Cheshire and north Wales to complete Europe’s biggest social housing solar scheme by 4 March, the cut-off date which allowed installations to earn the higher government solar incentive (assuming a government appeal in the courts fails).
Guardian 5th Mar 2012 more >>
ELECTRICITY bills will rise by at least 58% if the UK Government is to meet its renewable energy target within the next eight years, according to an industry expert. Sir Donald Miller, who spent a lifetime as an engineer in the power industry, rising to chair both the South of Scotland Electricity Board and ScottishPower, warned the cost to households would increase by that amount if ministers were to meet their tar-get of 30% or more of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020. It would mean the average annual electricity bill of £489 for Scottish homes would go up by £283.62 to more than £773 a year within the next eight years. The more ambitious Scottish Government target of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020 would mean even greater rises in household bills, he warned.
Herald 6th Mar 2012 more >>