THE UK is the most exciting place in the world for new nuclear build the Tory party conference was told. Pro-nuclear energy minister Charles Hendry said the government was committed to making Britain a serious nuclear nation. But he reiterated the coalition agreement that the industry would receive no public subsidy.
NW Evening Mail 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Power company EDF Energy is making £1.3 million available to three Somerset local authorities over the next six months to carry out further studies on the impact of its Hinkley Point C nuclear proposal. “The project is now entering a different phase as we will shortly submit our application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. This will change the amount and type of work the councils will need to do,” said an EDF spokesman. Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has extended the deadline for comment on two environment permit applications related to Hinkley C submitted by NNB Generation Company, a joint venture between EDF Energy and Centrica, until 15 December. The original deadline was 6 October. The applications relate to discharges and disposal of radioactive waste and operation of stand-by power supply systems. A further application to make water discharges from the proposed station has also been received by the Environment Agency.
Planning Resource 5th Oct 2011 more >>
A debate on nuclear power will be held in November. The event at Bristols Colston Hall has been organised by Dr Paul Dorfman, a research fellow in nuclear policy at Warwick University, because new nuclear reactors are planned at Hinkley Point near Bridgwater.
The debate will be held on November 9 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, chaired by Damian Carrington, head of environment at The Guardian newspaper.
Western Daily Press 5th Oct 2011 more >>
FURTHER informal drop-in sessions will be held by Horizon Nuclear Power in Oldbury and Thornbury.
Thornbury News 5th Oct 2011 more >>
GROUPS around Anglesey and Gwynedd are currently formulising a position to take on the possible building of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa. The Gwynedd branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) met at Hen Goleg in Bangor on Saturday to start the ball rolling on what stance they should take towards the construction of a power station and all the associated developments. These include upgrading transport infrastructure and finding accommodation for the influx of 5,000 workers during its construction. Horizon, which is behind the proposal, is set to choose a reactor technology around Christmas and produce firmer plans in 2012 which will be widely consulted upon before going ahead with a planning application in 2013 to the infrastructure planning committee, which deals with major projects of national importance. Later this month anti-nuclear pressure group Pobl Atal Wylfa B (PAWB), will hold a conference at Galeri in Caernarfon. PAWB spokesman Dylan Morgan said: The nuclear disaster at Fukushima has dealt the nuclear industry a severe blow internationally. But the Westminster coalition government and Horizon still want to build new nuclear power stations. We want people to come to the conference to listen to the arguments against nuclear power and in favour of a sustainable future for Wales through a comprehensive programme of energy conservation and development of the various types of renewable energy.
Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Plans to replace a coal-fired power station with a high-efficiency gas station have been approved by ministers. The 40-year-old Cockenzie power station in East Lothian will be demolished and replaced with a combined cycle gas turbine power plant. Scottish Government officials said natural gas is a more efficient fuel than coal and will more than halve carbon and nitrogen dioxide emissions compared to the existing power station. In addition, the Scottish Government has published a new study that will help promote the most efficient use of waste heat in generating electricity. The decision to approve the development was met with disappointment from charity WWF Scotland. Head of policy Dr Dan Barlow said: “The government’s own energy policy shows that Scotland doesn’t need any new gas or coal to keep the lights on. “If this poor decision is later followed by the approval of a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston then Scotland can kiss goodbye to any credibility it currently has globally as a leader in tackling climate change. “Despite the Government’s claims that it wishes to promote the most efficient use of waste heat in generating electricity, this proposal provides no firm commitment to actually recover and use any waste heat.”
STV 6th Oct 2011 more >>
Scottish Lib Dem environment spokesman Jim Hume said: “The potential existed at Cockenzie for either a high-efficiency combined heat and power plant, or a plant that could demonstrate commercial scale carbon-capture technology from the start of its operation.
“However neither of these two options have been fully explored on this occasion, which is disappointing in terms of Scotland’s commitment on cutting carbon emissions.”
BBC 6th Oct 2011 more >>
Edie 6th Oct 2011 more >>
Business7 6th Oct 2011 more >>
Herald 6th Oct 2011 more >>
A new coal plant with carbon and capture and storage capability may be more likely to be built in Ayrshire after the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled that Scottish Ministers had not acted illegally by deciding a new plant at the site was in the national interest. Environmental groups have campaigned against the plant being built since Peel Energy and Dong, which later pulled out of the scheme, announced their intention to build the 1.8 gigawatt co-firing plant on the Hunterston site in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland. The scheme has also attracted some 20,000 objections from the public. When ministers made the project part of the National Planning Framework, it meant the need for the plant could not be challenged. Environmental groups such as the WWF and RSPB, wanted to get that decision overturned in a judicial review. A judge however ruled yesterday that the government was justified in making the plant part of the national framework. The campaigners expressed dismay at the ruling. The RSPB said it did not mean the plant would be built and that it was now up to Scottish Minsters to determine the application.
Utility Week 6th Oct 2011 more >>
FUNDING for fuel poverty and energy efficiency pro-grammes is to be increased to more than 66 million over the next four years, the Scottish Government has announced. An extra 5m will boost the Energy Assistance Package this year to help people through the winter. The funding was announced by Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil, who said no-one should have to choose between heating and eating. That is why I will continue to tackle rising energy prices and push towards a renewable, self- sufficient future for Scotland. Mr Neil also said the Government will review its fuel poverty strategy to take account of recent energy company price hikes and ensure that assistance to fuel-poor households was targeted effectively. He claimed the Energy Assistance Package had offered advice to more than 200,000 households. Labour spokesman Lewis Macdonald said the SNP had only partially reversed its savage cut to the fuel poverty budget.
Herald 6th Oct 2011 more >>
Over 120 nuclear regulatory and industry experts met in Paris on 15-16 September to discuss the accomplishments of the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) and the future of global nuclear safety during the Second MDEP Conference on New Reactor Design Activities. Topics included progress made by design- and issue-specific working groups, Fukushima-related issues, and industry initiatives on new reactors.
OECD-NEA October 2011 more >>
The general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament spends a week at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, planning for a blockade of Hinkley nuclear power station and fighting back against austerity.
Public Service 5th Oct 2011 more >>
UN atomic energy official involved in radiation contamination incident in Belgium. The United Nations atomic energy agency reported today that one of its safeguards inspectors has been involved in a contamination incident at a nuclear waste processing facility in Dessel, Belgium. The incident happened yesterday at the Belgoprocess facility, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency said, adding that the agencys staff member was in the company of a European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) inspector and a Belgoprocess official carrying out routine inspection when the exposure occurred. The three individuals evacuated the area and have undergone external decontamination procedures and medical checks. They are now being assessed to determine the level of their radiation exposure.
UN 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Euronews 5th Oct 2011 more >>
European Commission unlikely to fund lifetime studies of those affected by fallout. How much radiation is ‘unsafe’ for humans? For those exposed to fallout from the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the question is all too real. But there is still no good answer: the accident has highlighted the enormous difficulties in estimating the long-term health risks of relatively low doses of radiation. A group of leading researchers in Europe had hoped that a fresh round of studies on people exposed to radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 would finally begin to help fill this yawning science gap. But their proposal is now looking increasingly unlikely to proceed. The Chernobyl lifespan cohort study was one of the main components of the Agenda for Research on Chernobyl Health (ARCH), which was proposed last year by an international panel of experts who had been charged by the European Commission to advise it on future research needs. The study would track the lifetime health of more than half a million ‘liquidators’ sent in to clean up the area around Chernobyl, as well as of the general population of the region who were children at the time of the accident. The power of the study would lie in its size, offering more than ten times as many people as the lifetime cohort study set up in Japan after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, which remains the gold standard for studies on the impact of radiation on a population.
Nature 30th Sept 2011 more >>
Ukraine launched construction of a new facility Wednesday to stockpile industrial nuclear waste in the contaminated zone around its Chernobyl plant, site of the worst nuclear accident of the last 25 years. The facility will be launched in early 2013 and will only house Ukrainian nuclear waste, a large part of which is currently stored in “poorly equipped” locations, Chernobyl plant’s spokeswoman Maya Rudenko said. “It will not be for material from nuclear plants” but waste from medical facilities and industries, she told AFP. The facility will have capacity for 400,000 capsules with such waste and have a lifespan of 50 years.
AFP 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Fennovoima has chosen Pyhäjoki as the site for its nuclear power plant. Pyhäjoki municipality is located in North Ostrobothnia and the nuclear power plant will be constructed on Hanhikivi peninsula on the coast of Bothnian Bay.
Fennovoima 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Finnish nuclear power consortium Fennovoima said it would build a reactor in Pyhajoki, northern Finland — the first announcement of a new site anywhere in the world since the March disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan.
Reuters 5th Oct 2011 more >>
The project director of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, Posiva President Reijo Sundell, insists there is no space for waste from utilities other than TVO or Fortum in the Onkalo underground disposal site on Finland’s west coast.
YLE 5th Oct 2011 more >>
The Tokyo Electric Power Co., still coping with the aftermath of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami that damaged its six-reactor Fukushima nuclear power complex, announced that if the water injections cooling the power plant are halted again, the fuel rods could start melting within 38 hours. If the fuel rods start melting, it could result in another massive release of radioactivity.
Oil Price 5th Oct 2011 more >>
High levels of radioactive contamination have been found in soil in the capital of Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, a study showed Wednesday, prompting calls to make the area a voluntary evacuation zone. Some 307,000 becquerels of caesium per kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of soil was detected in an independent survey conducted on September 14 by a radiological engineering expert and citizens’ groups. The Japanese government’s legal limit is 10,000 becquerels per kilogramme.
AFP 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Launching one of his bluntest attacks yet in his increasingly outspoken feud with Israel, the Turkish leader also accused Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of “state terrorism” for its military incursions into Gaza in the past five years. But his attack on Israel’s nuclear capacity will be viewed differently, with officials fearing that Turkey could now become the champion of an Arab campaign to force Israel to open its Dimona reactor to UN inspectors. Secret Turkish diplomatic cables leaked by the Israeli press last month contained a threat by Mr Erdogan to work against Israel in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). By claiming that he saw “Israel as a threat for its region because it has the atomic bomb”, Mr Erdogan could be signalling the start of just such a campaign.
Telegraph 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Middle East Online 5th Oct 2011 more >>
Seen from afar it looks like an enormous lightbulb on the end of a tower surrounded by hundreds of tiny mirrors. But, rather than being a flight of fancy, the Gemasolar plant in southern Spain is the first solar energy facility to supply power at night. The £260 million plant, which opened yesterday, consists of 2,650 solar panels spread over 185 hectares in Fuentes de Andalucia, a town near Seville, in southwest Spain. The panels, known as heliostats, focus the Suns energy on to the tower at the centre of the plant, which can shine brightly up to 15 hours after the Sun has gone down. Temperatures of up to 900C (1,652F) can be generated, which warms molten salt tanks. They in turn generate steam to power turbines. The almost year-round sunshine in southern Spain means that the plant can generate power most nights, producing electricity for up to 270 days a year. It is expected to produce about 19.9MW of power, or enough to supply energy to a town of 100,000 people.
Times 6th October 2011 more >>