THE UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that approval for a new generation of nuclear-reactor designs will be delayed to give designers time to consider the recommendations from the chief nuclear inspector’s investigation into the continuing crisis in Japan.
Chemical Engineer 6th April 2011 more >>
Business Green 6th April 2011 more >>
Letter: John Vidal and George Monbiot may compete on your letters page but both miss the essential truth. Civil nuclear power is shrouded in the UK not to protect facts from terrorists but because it has well understood risks and is captured under the Official Secrets Act. The economics, the legacy situation and the carbon cycle are hidden from the population. The Sellafield site is “privately managed” but publicly owned, its liabilities being passed like a parcel between successive “managers”, because of its toxic contents. I call for a public and independent assessment of our UK Sellafield complex. Risks and costs need to be explained to the population. If this technology is part of our future energy mix, take the lies and the secrecy away.
Guardian 7th April 2011 more >>
Letter from Climate Energy World Future Council Foundation: I don’t know the real intention of Monbiot to raise the question of radiation consequences, but there is no doubt that nuclear radiation is one of the deadliest threats to human beings. Questioning scientific sources for that is one thing, but downplaying the devastating consequences of Chernobyl and leaving aside the world’s most eminent scientific source for that is cynical. Monbiot’s article is suggestive of neglecting the victims of Chernobyl as the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Unscear) only acknowledged a relatively small number. It is also surprising that the author does not consider the World Health Organisation, the UN Environment Programme and Unicef. They have counted 148,247 invalids until December 2000 directly related to Chernobyl.
Guardian 7th April 2011 more >>
The nuclear power industry will change in the years after the Fukushima accident but the need for the technology will not, said industry leaders today in Chicago at the first major conference since the crisis began.
World Nuclear News 6th April 2011 more >>
Until a few weeks ago, nuclear power was undergoing a tremendous renaissance, with 63 units under construction and about 500 further reactors already under contract or planned within the next two decades. The earthquake and tsunami-induced disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant has stopped nuclear enthusiasm in its tracks. An inaccurate understanding of project risks and an inaccurate prioritisation of critical activities has often lead to significant delays and budget overruns. In Finland (Olkiluoto 3), the US (South Texas 3 & 4), France (Flamanville 3) and Russia (Kursk 5) have demonstrated this. These issues show that, while the technical complexity of nuclear new-build is widely recognised, the management challenges are often underestimated.
Utility Week 6th April 2011 more >>
Drawing on largely unknown public records, a new paper reveals for the first time both absolute as well as yearly and specific reactor costs and their evolution over time. Its most significant finding is that even this most successful nuclear scale-up was characterized by a substantial escalation of real-term construction costs.
Climate Progress 6th April 2011 more >>
Rolls Royce will advance its UK nuclear manufacturing capability when it submits planning applications to Rotherham council next month to develop two new factories.
Construction News 6th April 2011 more >>
Hitachi Ltd will review its target to secure 38 nuclear power generation projects over the next two decades, in light of Japan’s protracted nuclear crisis, Kyodo news agency quoted the electronics firm’s president Hiroaki Nakanishi as saying on Wednesday.
Reuters 6th April 201 more >>
German offices of Areva SA, the world’s largest supplier of nuclear equipment and services, were raided by prosecutors in a probe over possible bribery payments. Eight suspects, including five current and former Areva employees are being investigated over bribery and breach of trust allegations, prosecutors in Nuremberg, Germany, said in an e-mailed statement today. The suspects may have transferred company money to slush funds abroad to “get competitive advantages,” prosecutors said.
Bloomberg 6th April 2011 more >>
Siemens is considering exiting an atomic power joint venture with Russia’s Rosatom after the nuclear crisis in Japan and mounting internal resistance, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.
Reuters 7th April 2011 more >>
Siemens’ move underscores how the atomic disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant has cast doubts over previous expectations of a global nuclear renaissance, forcing companies in the sector to rethink their business models.
FT 6th April 2011 more >>
SOMERSET Chamber of Commerce is hosting a networking breakfast, helping people from property, construction and civil engineering companies learn about new opportunities, including those associated with EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.
This is the West Country 6th April 2011 more >>
The Nuclear Decommission Authority has given the go ahead for Bradwell to move into the care and maintenance stage perhaps up to 12 years ahead of the original plan. The authority’s new business plan, which has been out for consultation for four months, gives Bradwell £71million for the new financial year, an extra £20million on the 2010/11 allocation. The move could reduce the lifetime costs at Bradwell by £230million but the “optimised” programme will also mean staff numbers will fall quicker in the long term even.
Clacton Gazette 5th April 2011 more >>
Anti-nuclear groups have raised concerns following the earthquake and tsunami which struck north-east Japan last month. It has caused radiation to leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant and a mass evacuation of the area. Jim Crawford, station director at Sizewell B, said he was aware of people’s concerns but insited that safety measures on the Suffolk site were second to none. He said the plant had “layer upon layer” of back-up systems ready to spring into action should there be a failure. These include four on-site diesel generators to cool the reactor if power is lost from the National Grid, large battery generators, nitrogen based cooling systems that require no electricity and giant flood defences.
Lowestoft Journal 5th April 2011 more >>
A Cumbria health chief is calling for more research on the nuclear industry’s effects on health and wellbeing. The county’s director of public health, Professor John Ashton, commissioned a report about what research had been published and said he was surprised it was so limited.
BBC 6th April 2011 more >>
Workers at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant finally halted a leak yesterday that was sending a tide of radioactive water into the Pacific and prompting fears over the safety of seafood. It was a rare bit of good news for the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex and the coastal areas surrounding it, where high levels of seawater contamination have angered fishermen and prompted the government to set limits for the first time on the amount of radiation permitted in fish.
Press & Journal 7th April 2011 more >>
Metro 6th April 2011 more >>
Independent 6th April 2011 more >>
Morning Star 6th April 2011 more >>
Daily Mail 7th April 2011 more >>
A confidential assessment of the Fukushima nuclear disaster drawn up by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) paints a far bleaker picture than the limited, sanitised reports being made public by the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Japanese nuclear authorities. The American document has not been publicly released but was leaked to the New York Times, which published some details on Tuesday.
World Socialist Web 7th April 2011 more >>
The crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant does not warrant optimism. Nuclear fuel in the cores of the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors is believed to have been severely damaged. In the No. 4 reactor’s storage, where spent nuclear fuel is kept, water evaporated at one point, and a hydrogen explosion released radioactive substances into the environment. The government should pay close attention to proposals made by 16 Japanese experts on nuclear power engineering, nuclear physics and radiology on April 1. It should mobilize all available means to mitigate the crisis.
Japan Times 7th April 2011 more >>
Japan pumped nitrogen gas into a crippled reactor trying to prevent a build-up of explosive hydrogen.
Reuters 7th April 2011 more >>
IB Times 7th April 2011 more >>
The government is reviewing the radiation exposure level currently used to designate the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, as the nuclear crisis triggered by last month’s massive earthquake and tsunami continues to unfold, its top spokesman said Wednesday. Currently, the government says that outside radiation levels of over 50 millisieverts require evacuation, and advises residents to remain indoors when levels exceed 10 millisieverts. Based on the figures, the government has ordered residents within a 20 kilometer-radius of the nuclear plant to evacuate and those in the 20-30 km zone to stay indoors. The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan said it has advised the government to issue an evacuation order if there is a possibility of residents receiving a dose of 20 millisieverts over one year, up from the current limit of 1 millisievert per year.
Kyodo News 6th April 2011 more >>
The village of Iitate near a crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture plans to evacuate pregnant women, toddlers and babies amid a growing doubt among villagers about the government’s radiation safety instructions, village officials said Wednesday.
Kyodo News 6th April 2011 more >>
The nuclear power company in charge of the earthquake-hit Fukushima Daiichi plant submitted plans for the construction of two new plants at the site 11 days after the disaster struck.
Telegraph 6th April 2011 more >>
Germany will shut down all its nuclear power stations by 2020, according to the government’s Secretary of State for the Environment and Nuclear Safety, J rgen Becker. His comments were made earlier today to Reuters during a meeting of the International Renewable Energy Association (IREA) in the United Arab Emirates.
Planet Save 4th April 2011 more >>
Anti-nuclear sentiment and regional election triumphs have helped Germany’s Greens to unprecedented popularity, according to a poll which puts them ahead of the Social Democrats and just shy of the ruling Christian Democrats.
Forsa, the polling group, on Wednesday said the Greens gained seven points since the Baden-W rttemberg March election at the end of March to hit a record 28 per cent – enough to lead a “green-red” government with the Social Democrats.
FT 6th April 2011 more >>
A private U.S. nuclear safety group disclosed a batch of internal emails from the nation’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it said undercuts officials’ recent assertions that U.S. nuclear reactors are prepared for a Fukushima-scale disaster.
STV 6th April 2011 more >>
Reuters 6th April 2011 more >>
Democratic lawmakers warned a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant would be at risk of a meltdown in the case of a severe emergency, though top U.S. nuclear officials said the chances of such an event occurring were not likely.
Reuters 6th Aprl 2011 more >>
Japan’s ongoing nuclear emergency has intensified discussion on a simmering issue: the potential cancer risk from living near a reactor that is operating normally. Last year, long before the crisis in Japan, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) asked the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to examine this cancer question, prompted in part by long-standing public unease. The NAS is now consulting with experts about how to design a study, with the next public meetings on the effort scheduled for 18–19 April in Chicago, Illinois. Already, however, some researchers have questioned the study’s feasibility and expressed doubt over whether it will produce meaningful results. Steve Wing, an epidemiologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that if there is an effect, it will be easiest to see in children and fetuses. Their rapidly dividing cells make them more sensitive to radiation than adults, and they haven’t been exposed to as many possible carcinogens. Wing and his colleagues wrote an article on how best to design the NAS study in the 1 April issue of Environmental Health Perspective.
Nature 6th April 2011 more >>
Ms Tsukamoto has spent the past 25 years thinking alarming thoughts about, and campaigning against, Japans nuclear industry and about one plant in particular: not Fukushima but Hamaoka a facility of similar age and design that sits about 400km to the south, a short drive from her home in Shizuoka prefecture. For years, Hamaoka has been enemy number one for Japanese anti-nuclear campaigners, who claim the land on which it sits makes it the most dangerous atomic plant in the country, owing to its location atop a nexus of big earthquake faults. These faults have caused a severe quake once every 100-150 years. The last was in 1854, and seismologists predict a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake is more than 80 per cent likely in the next 30 years.
Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a former nuclear adviser to the Japanese government, described the Hamaoka plant as the most dangerous in the country, owing to its location above the huge fault plane of the expected Tokai earthquake.
FT 7th April 2011 more >>
EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger has told MEPs that the Fukushima nuclear power in Japan is still “out of control.” Speaking at parliament’s plenary on Wednesday, the German said, “This is a cause of great concern to both the EU and others.” He also outlined further details of the so-called “stress tests” on nuclear reactors in Europe in the wake of the tragedy, saying these were designed to test the “potential” of such plants to withstand everything from floods and earthquakes to an air crash and cyber attacks.
Parliament 6th April 2011 more >>
One of the Royal Navy’s newest nuclear-powered submarines is making a five-day official visit to Southampton. The 97m-long (318ft) HMS Astute is described as the stealthiest ever built in the UK.
BBC 6th Aprilo 2011 more >>
A DECISION on whether veterans can bring a case against the Government for radiation poisoning has been delayed. Colchester’s Brian Torode is one of about 1,000 soldiers who believe they were poisoned by British nuclear testing in the 1950s. The Government refutes this, despite other nations already paying out. In 2009 a High Court judge decided the veterans had a right to be heard but the Court of Appeal overruled this and decided too long had passed.
Colchester Gazette 6th April 2011 more >>