Fears have been raised that radioactive spent fuel which is being moved from Sizewell power station could increase the risk of a terrorist attack at the 2012 Olympic games. More than 300 train journeys will take place over the next three years to transport 52,000 spent fuel rods to the Sellafield reprocessing works in Cumbria, with the trains travelling via Stratford, near London. With the Olympic games due to take place around Stratford in the summer of 2012, the Shut Down Sizewell campaign group has said that the containers might have to be re-routed to reduce any risks.
East Anglian Daily Press 4th Sept 2009 more >>
Radiation and Health
Decades of Soviet nuclear testing on the steppes of Kazakhstan have been blamed for an alarming number of health problems suffered by residents in the area. Now scientists are trying to determine whether the victims are passing on faulty genes to their children.
BBC 6th Sept 2009 more >>
Take nuclear energy. Goldsmith’s opposition to it has been lifelong and fierce. ‘I wouldn’t live near a nuclear power plant,’ he tells me. Yet he’s standing for election on behalf of a party that says clearly in its current online policy declaration that ‘nuclear power will be part of the energy mix if it is economically viable.’ It’s all in the interpretation, he says: add up all the costs to the taxpayer, obvious and hidden, including security, and it’s clearly not economically viable. ‘If you do that properly, if you’re honest about it, you’re not going to have nuclear power plants,’ he says. ‘So the Conservative position is, in my view, a no to nuclear power.’ Does he really believe everyone in the party interprets it in the same way? ‘If you talk to someone like Alan Duncan, he might say he thinks nuclear power plants can exist without public subsidies. That’s his view. I think he’s wrong.’ But what if the Duncan view prevails? What if he does become some kind of green minister, but watches his leader give in and approve more nuclear energy? Will he walk? ‘If and when the Conservative Party forms the next Government, regardless of my role within that, it’s not going to stop me pushing these ideas. If David Cameron, with his clear rhetoric and understanding of the gravity of the situation, doesn’t get to grips with these issues in his time as Prime Minister, then we’re stuffed. He made it a big part of his message.’
Mail on Sunday 6th Sept 2009 more >>
Rupert Soames, the chief executive of Aggreko, the FTSE 250 emergency power generator, says the UK must prepare seriously for the danger of being hit by similar blackouts within the next decade. “It has happened before in developed countries and we should not kid ourselves that it cannot happen here,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. “The UK has an unacceptably high risk of interrupted power supply and I have enormous doubt about whether new plants are going to be built in time.” Aggreko has already had to provide emergency power to governments in Spain, Greece, Asia, South America and Africa. Mr Soames does not want to see this happen in the UK, but fears that “a slow train crash” of energy shortages is on its way unless more action is taken.
Sunday Telegraph 6th Sept 2009 more >>
Millions more traditional light bulbs are to be banned by the European Union, forcing consumers to buy less popular “green” alternatives instead.
Sunday Telegraph 6th Sept 2009 more >>
The head of the Energy Retail Association (ERA) has warned that the Scottish government needs to create a “stable environment” to encourage energy firms to invest in renewable technology, paving the way for economic growth north of the border. Planning delays could hold up development and deter the big energy companies, including Scottish Gas and Scottish Power, from investing money in the new “clean” technologies. “Things do need to be running faster. There is massive investment needed the government needs to clearly set the agenda and ensure that businesses have the confidence to get on and do it.”
Sunday Times 6th Sept 2009 more >>
Some 50,000 anti-nuclear protestors on Saturday demonstrated here against Germany possibly reversing a decision to abandon nuclear power, and instead extend the life of its nuclear power plants. The marchers, backed by 400 tractors, demanded that Germany stick to its commitment to close all nuclear plants by 2020 and also called for the closure of a radioactive dump at Gorleben in eastern Germany. The police refused to give an estimate of the crowd but organisers — ranging from the Greens to members of the Protestant church — put the figure at 50,000 people, marching from the Berlin train station to the Brandenburg Gate.
AFP 5th Sept 2009 more >>
Irish Sun 6th Sept 2009 more >>
A convoy of 350 farm tractors rumbled through Berlin in an attempt to make nuclear power a key issue in campaigning for this month’s federal election.
Reuters Video 5th Sept 2009 more >>
A wide majority of Germans oppose nuclear power, according to opinion polls. But Merkel and the FDP still hold a slim lead over other possible coalition alliances ahead of the election. The SPD and Greens oppose any change to the nuclear exit law.
Reuters 5th Sept 2009 more >>
NUCLEAR envoys from South Korea and the US held talks on a strategy to bring North Korea back to disarmament negotiations, a day after it claimed to have succeeded in experimental uranium enrichment.
Scotland on Sunday 6th Sept 2009 more >>
Independent 5th Sept 2009 more >>