The UK’s deep store for nuclear waste should open for business around 2040 – but spending cuts could delay the plans, and community support is vital. These are the key messages in a report from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the agency charged with managing the nation’s waste. So far, only two Cumbrian communities have expressed interest in hosting a deep permanent repository. The cost of developing such a facility is estimated at about £4bn. The report – Geological Disposal: Steps Towards Implementation – is the NDA’s roadmap for meeting the objectives and the timeline laid out by the previous government in its 2008 white paper.
BBC 7th July 2010 more >>
A site for the long-term storage of the UK’s nuclear waste could be under preparation within five years, but only if the government agency responsible is spared the drastic cuts afflicting the rest of the public sector. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on Tuesday outlined plans for storing the UK’s waste – left over from decades of nuclear power plant operation, and from the production of nuclear missiles – in a specially built repository deep underground, a process that will take at least 30 more years.
FT 7th July 2010 more >>
AN MP is calling for the withdrawal of all public subsidy for nuclear power. Tim Farron says the taxpayer should not be propping up the nuclear industry. The Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale said: “The argument is simple, there can be nuclear build if there is no public subsidy. If nuclear is commercially viable, it will not stop it happening. You have to question whether it is a good use of public money propping up an industry which should support itself.”
Mr Farron is one of 25 MPs in Westminster to have signed a Commons petition against subsidy. It calls on the government to “exclude all taxpayer-funded, direct and indirect subsidies from companies who have expressed interest in building new nuclear power plants in the UK for such construction and operation.”
NW Evening Mail 6th July 2010 more >>
The growing demand for energy, coupled with the desire to reduce reliance on fossil fuels has persuaded many countries to restart nuclear power programmes which had been on hold for decades (in some cases, since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986). Sweden and Finland have both recently decided to build new plants and the UK is about to start building a new generation of reactors to replace old stock. But again, public opinion on nuclear power, post-BP, could shift. The raw materials of the nuclear industry are not difficult to extract, and tried and tested reactor designs can be easily replicated. However, the Deepwater Horizon spill hardly reinforces confidence in big companies’ ability to operate safely, even if they say they can, and the consequences of a serious nuclear disaster are even more terrifying. Then there is the issue of securing investment in nuclear power, by its nature long-term and dependent on consistent government policy. Will governments indemnify the nuclear power plant operators – foreign, these days, in many cases – against not only their own accidents, but the backlash after someone else’s?
Telegraph 7th July 2010 more >>
Low Level Waste
Radiation Free Lakeland are inviting members of the public to join them in opposing radioactive waste in Cumbrian landfill. The Environmental Law Foundation has been supportive in providing an initial consultation with top lawyers Irwin Mitchell who have indicated that there may well be a legal case to be made with respect to the Lillyhall site. Lillyhall is receiving radioactive asbestos from Scotland, bagged up in skip lorries. The existing planning consents for Lillyhall are specific to composting and “inert” material processing. There were no objections at the time of the original consent for the landfill but there was no mention of radioactive asbestos being tumble tipped into the boundary of the same landfill that sells compost. To take the legal case any further Radiation Free Lakeland (who receive no funding/grants and ask for no donations) would either need the assistance of someone eligible for legal aid ( or a very rich benefactor).
Get Noticed Online 6th July 2010 more >>
There are two European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) being built in Europe right now, one in Olkiluoto in Finland and one in Flamanville in France. Designed by French nuclear giant AREVA, the third generation so-called state of the art design is supposedly about to usher in the nuclear ‘renaissance’ across the planet. We emphasise the ‘supposedly’. How are things looking? The Olkiluoto-3 reactor is four years late (and counting) and a massive 2.7 billion Euros over budget (and counting). It has been the scene of thousands of construction defects and safety violations. The project has rapidly devoured AREVA’s profits. The farce at Olkiluoto made page 3 of Le Monde last week. It’s now been revealed that Olkiluoto-3’s sister reactor, Flamanville-3, is two years behind schedule. It’s only been under construction for three. The project is also at least 20% over budget. Knowing what we know, would you bet against the schedule slipping even further behind and the budget rocketing even higher?
Greenpeace Nuclear Reaction 6th July 2010 more >>
Wind vs Nukes
If we take seriously the protection of human health, we have to phase out coal- and nuclear-powered electricity. Coal kills hundreds of Ontarians and triggers more than 100,000 illnesses (e.g., asthma attacks) annually. It is also the most climate-destructive fuel around, emitting twice as much carbon as natural gas does. Whether the issue is respiratory disease or global warming, coal is a catastrophe. But nuclear is extremely unhealthy as well. A scientific review by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment found all functioning reactors release radioactive materials on a routine basis. A 2008 German government study showed children (younger than five) living within five kilometres of a nuclear plant are at elevated risk for leukemia. And Scientific American recently reported nukes harm the climate: “Nuclear power results in up to 25 times more carbon emissions than wind energy, when reactor construction and uranium refining and transport are considered.”
Hamilton Spectator 2nd July 2010 more >>
AN Anglo-French consortium has clinched a deal to build a nuclear waste processing plant said to be worth an eventual £1.5bn. A group involving British firms Amec and Balfour Beatty and French outfit Areva will design and build the new Highly Active Liquid Effluent Facility at Sellafield. The plant will analyse and treat radioactive liquid arising from reprocessing at the site before it is made safe for long-term storage.
NW Evening Mail 6th July 2010 more >>
PROTESTORS are gearing up for round two in their fight against plans for two new reactors at Hinkley C. The second stage of EDF’s public consultation on its ‘preferred proposals’ will be launched in Cannington this Saturday. The Save Cannington Action Group, which claims proposed infrastructure work for the new reactors would wreck the village, is urging people to make their feelings known.
Bridgwater Mercury 6th July 2010 more >>
Contractors looking to win work at a planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset are being briefed today by EDF Energy about work opportunities up for grabs. The supplier day in Bridgwater comes as EDF continues with a public consultation for the Hinkley Point C scheme which could create 5,000 construction jobs. French-based EDF Energy hope construction will begin in 2011 and the plant will come online in 2018.
Construction Enquirer 6th July 2010 more >>
Hinkley Point A has achieved a major milestone in its decommissioning programme by decontaminating the last of its huge inventory of nearly 1,800 skips – the largest inventory across the Magnox estate. The skips were used during generation to store spent fuel elements in the cooling ponds prior to their despatch to Sellafield for reprocessing.
Magnox South 1st July 2010 more >>
SOUTH Yorkshire remains well-placed to help the UK move into the new age of nuclear energy, despite the recent loss of an £80 million Government loan to Sheffield Forgemasters. As Forgemasters looks for new ways to finance a £140 million engineering shop to become one of only two companies in the world capable of making the massive forgings at the heart of a modern nuclear reactor, the region is pressing ahead with other nuclear ambitions.
Sheffield Star 6th July 2010 more >>
Plans have been approved for a new £20 million research centre for radiation science and nuclear decommissioning. Construction of the 2000 square-meter facility to be built in Cumbria is due to begin in the autumn of 2010. The facility, which will be jointly funded by the University of Manchester and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), aims to become a leading centre for radiation science and nuclear engineering decommissioning research.
Nuclear Engineering International 6th July 2010 more >>
Mahmoud Yadegari, 36, from Toronto, was convicted in the Ontario Court of Justice of nine criminal and customs charges for attempting last year to ship pressure transducers to Iran via Dubai, said the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
The items, manufactured in the United States, can be used in nuclear power plants but are also required to produce nuclear weapons. They are subject to a UN embargo on nuclear exports to Iran and are on Canada’s export control list.
Telegraph 7th July 2010 more >>
Canada and the US were among the first states to sign nuclear trade agreements with India, supporting the claims of the Indian government that nuclear power would usher in a new era of economic development and lift its communities out of poverty. New Delhi assured Washington and Ottawa that nuclear facilities built in India would be used for entirely civilian and peaceful purposes.
Oil Price 6th July 2010 more >>