Gordon Brown faces the biggest test of his environmental credentials this week, with the Government due to give the go-ahead to a new generation of nuclear power stations. John Hutton, the Secretary of State for Business, is expected to make an announcement to MPs on Thursday, outlining the decision to allow private power firms to invest in the UK’s first new reactors for decades.
Independent 7th Jan 2008 more >>
Consumers may face higher electricity bills to cover the future decommissioning costs of a new generation of nuclear power stations to be announced this week, the Guardian has learned. Ministers have met several electricity firms known to be interested in building up to 10 new stations and they are understood to have demanded long term commitments to guarantee their investments – expected to be about £10bn a station. It is understood that plans have been agreed for the government to collect a fee from the companies for each unit of electricity used in British homes to build up a fund to meet decommissioning costs. It is expected this extra fee will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher bills. Despite government assurances that the public sector would not be asked to pay for the new reactors, this also raises the prospect that if the fund did not cover the full decommissioning costs, the shortfall – which could run into billions – would be paid by the taxpayer.
Guardian 7th Jan 2008 more >>
The Prime Minister has given the clearest sign yet that Labour will push ahead with a controversial new wave of nuclear power plants. On Sunday he said Britain must prepare itself for the “new world”. An announcement is expected on Tuesday when John Hutton, the Business Secretary, addresses MPs.
Telegraph 7th Jan 2008 more >>
The Government is expected to give the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations tomorrow, with an announcement by John Hutton, the Business Secretary, in the Commons.
Times 7th Jan 2008 more >>
We are going to be inundated over the next few days and weeks with government statements, starting this week with John Hutton on the future of nuclear power.
Times 7th Jan 2008 more >>
Letters from Malcolm Grimston and others attacking the nuclear consultation group report: It is unfortunate indeed that a group of academics should seem to be seeking further delay in government actions concerning nuclear energy designed to protect the environment and to deal with forthcoming issues of security and costs of electricity supply
Guardian 7th Jan 2008 more >>
Nuclear protesters in the West are gearing up for a battle with the Government as D-Day looms over a plan to launch a new age of atomic energy that would see a new power plant at Hinkley Point. Ministers are expected to formally back proposals for a renewed nuclear campaign in Britain tomorrow, with Somerset’s Hinkley Point playing a major part in the programme and being chosen as a site for a new power station. Although Business and Enterprise Secretary John Hutton is unlikely to announce the number of proposed reactors, it is likely that Hinkley along with Sizewell in Suffolk, Dungeness in Kent and Bradwell in Essex will be home to new stations.
Western Daily Press 7th Jan 2008 more >>
We need Kingsnorth, but we need nuclear more. The environmental lobby were up in arms at Medway council’s approval of plans for a new coal-fired plant at Kingsnorth power station. Indeed, support from the councillers was strong, with just three of the 16 members objecting to the application from German energy giant E.On.
Money Week 7th Jan 2008 more >>
Despite promises that the private sector will fund the new nuclear power stations expected to be announced this week, it’s been revealed that the public will be asked to cover the cost of decommissioning through bigger electricity bills. Consumers will also be expected to cover the cost, around £1bn, for security at power plants, for transporting nuclear waste and for compensating the region where the waste will be dumped. According to the Guardian newspaper, electricity companies will pay the government a fee to cover decommissioning and that this charge will be passed on to consumers. The paper also revealed that companies building new nuclear reactors will be spared the cost of storing nuclear waste by ‘renting’ space in a massive nuclear waste vault.
Public Servant Daily 7th Jan 2008 more >>
Power companies building new nuclear stations in the UK will have to pay a levy on the power they produce to pay for the treatment of waste and reactor decommissioning.
Forbes 6th Jan 2008 more >>
Gordon Brown left little doubt that he will give the go-ahead to a new generation of nuclear power stations tomorrow. He indicated he was ready to face green objections to major projects ranging from a third runway for Heathrow to plans for three million new homes in England. Greenpeace said airport growth would put up carbon emissions and backing nuclear power would stifle renewable energy technologies.
Daily Record 7th Jan 2008 more >>
The Scottish Government last night reasserted its total opposition to nuclear power claiming the argument for a new generation of stations was “totally redundant” given the opportunities for renewables, clean fossil fuel and carbon storage in Scotland.
Herald 7th Jan 2008 more >>
The amount of electricity produced by nuclear power stations in Scotland has suffered a dramatic drop because of safety and technical problems, according to a new analysis by the UK government. The number of units of nuclear electricity generated fell 24% from 18,681 in 2005 to 14,141 in 2006. This caused nuclear powers share of electricity output in Scotland to drop from 38% to 26%.
Sunday Herald 6th Jan 2008 more >>
Britain’s new nuclear jackpot winners live amid spectacular scenery in this Cumbrian village between the Lake District and the sea. To the north, the skyline is broken by the chimneys of the vast Sellafield nuclear facility. And then there’s the nuclear dump just 50 yards down the lane. Despite these perhaps troubling neighbours, the 300 villagers are more impressed by their otherwise bucolic surroundings than by the total of £2m they, and their descendants, are about to be given in compensation for the expansion of the low-level waste repository. They don’t expect to see much benefit from it and would far sooner that the sum was taken off their rates.
Independent on Sunday 6th Jan 2008 more >>
Japan’s largest electric utility company Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc, also known as Tepco, will postpone construction of an Aomori Prefecture nuclear reactor by one year to comply with the tougher screening process adopted after a major Niigata earthquake last July, the Nikkei reported at the weekend, without citing sources.
Interactive Investor 7th Jan 2008 more >>
A Lancashire man is among survivors of a British warship fighting for compensation from the MoD in a row over a 52-year-old nuclear mission. Brian Marshall, from Poulton-le-Fylde, near Preston, was a crew member on the HMS Diana when defence officials sent it into the zone of an atomic test in the South Pacific in 1956.
Lancashire Evening Post 6th Jan 2008 more >>