A small nuclear power plant used at McMurdo Sound near New Zealand’s Antarctic Scott Base is being implicated by US media in unusual cancers in men who worked on it in the 1960s. It has also been revealed the PM-3A nuclear power plant – known at MacTown as “nukey poo” for the way it leaked – had 438 malfunctions in its life between 1964 and 1973.
Stuff.co.nz 7th March 2011 more >>
Two projects to build new nuclear reactors in the US have moved forward with the completion of the final environmental impact statement for South Texas Project units 3 and 4 and the award of a contract to upgrade transmission lines at VC Summer. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announcement that it had completed the final environmental impact assessment for the two advanced boiling water reactors (ABWRs) proposed for the South Texas Project (STP) site is a milestone on the road to a combined construction and operating licence (COL) for the plant.
Your Nuclear News 7th March 2011 more >>
The UK is one of the top performers in Europe on energy efficiency according to a European Commission report . Energy use fell by more than 5% from 2000 to 2008 in the UK – the only major European economy to see a drop. Germany’s consumption held level, while France’s rose 7%. Overall, energy use in the 27 EU countries increased by more than 4%. Britain also scores highly on energy intensity, a measure of how much power is used to generate every euro’s worth of economic output. Only Denmark and Ireland used less energy per unit of GDP, according to the draft document, sections of which have been seen by the Guardian.The “energy per GDP” measure is affected by the UK economy’s reliance on the banking sector, which is light on carbon dioxide emissions.
Guardian 7th March 2011 more >>
Review of Here on Earth by Crispin Tickell: There has been, he says, an unconscious war against nature: for example, no one foresaw the full effects of the release of nuclear radiation, the use of chlorofluorocarbons in reducing protection from ultraviolet radiation, the use of agricultural pesticides, the spread of such toxic metals as mercury, and the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In almost every case, natural human instincts of acquisitiveness, fear of the unknown and preference for the easiest option have pushed things in the wrong direction. Putting them right, not only for humans but for other organisms, is extraordinarily difficult.
FT 7th March 2011 more >>
It seems a little callous when watching violence and death unfold in the Middle East for so much concern to be paid to the oil market. However, no one should underestimate the possible consequences of a rocketing oil price given the strong correlation between spikes and recessions.
Telegraph 7th March 2011 more >>