Simon Hughes responds to Mark Lynas: Lynas accuses me of ignoring the “science” and laments my comments on BBC Radio 4 on the health effects of nuclear power. According to him, there is no plausible scientific case for this. I presume he refers to my call for an independent inquiry into the “justification” for nuclear power. “Justification” is the process of assessment of the health effects of nuclear power and is a legal requirement before any new nuclear plant can operate in the UK. One of the means by which it can be carried out is through a public inquiry. The purpose of my call was precisely so that scientific evidence could be examined in the open, and that nuclear scientists, other experts and the public can participate in the decision-making process for new nuclear power in a meaningful way. This call was supported by roughly 80 leading research academics and nuclear scientists in the UK.
New Statesman 7th Apr 2010 more >>
Radio 4 discussion between Richard Waite (NDA Divisional Director Strategy & Technology), Professor Bill Lee (deputy Chair Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) and Paul Dorfman. 37 mins into the programme, lasts about 15 mins.
BBC 7th Apr 2010 more >>
A west Cumbrian MP will today introduce the “most ambitious and comprehensive piece of pro-nuclear legislation seen in decades” into Parliament. Copeland MP and former Sellafield employee Jamie Reed will introduce his Nuclear Fuel Cycle Bill calling for continued reprocessing contracts for spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield beyond the end of current deals and new fuel manufacture at the atomic plant. The Copeland MP believes the move would reduce the cost of nuclear decommissioning on the taxpayer by generating billions of pounds of commercial revenue and boost nuclear material non-proliferation efforts by turning plutonium and uranium into fuel, instead of classifying the materials as ‘wastes’ which would then cost even more money to dispose of.
Carlisle News and Star 7th Apr 2010 more >>
THORP is set to restart full operations after being shut down for the best part of seven months. It has undergone extensive maintenance and engineering work. It is hoped the work will help secure future reprocessing contracts. Special attention has been given during the programme to Evaporator C which reprocesses Thorp’s spent fuel. And now, after evaporator inspections, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has given the go ahead to re-start Thorp and reprocess another 1,000 tons of fuel. At the time the plant went into its planned shutdown last August, a spokesman said the maintenance work and assessments would help secure Thorp’s future and with it Sellafield reprocessing. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority also gave a pledge that Thorp’s future was no longer under review and was expected to continue until 2015 as planned. Now the the plant is gearing up to resume full reprocessing later in the month. And yesterday Copeland’s MP Jamie Reed launched a House of Commons Bill calling for more reprocessing and fuel manufacture contracts to come Sellafield’s way. He told fellow MPs: “We know we need to make money to spend more money on the site. The way to do this is through new commercial contracts for reprocessing and fuel manufacture, including a potential new (Mox) facility. Meanwhile, the existing Sellafield Mox plant has chalked up its best ever year with a record throughput and yield of pellets. Eight fuel assemblies are now waiting to be shipped to Europe and another three are being built. Investigations are still taking place into the cause of the second of two separate incidents in which supplies of vital cooling water were lost to the highly active liquor plant for a short period.
Whitehaven News 7th Apr 2010 more >>
We suggest that the organisers of the Oldbury Fun Run consider carefully the supply of the timing rig from Horizon. Surely there is another source of funding? What is even more astounding is that a charity that helps children with cancer and leukaemia is prepared to accept money from a nuclear power company. I suggest that CLIC look into some of the research into childhood cancer and leukaemia in Germany in what is known as the KiKK study. It confirms the significant increase in these issues close to every German nuclear power station.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy 4th Apr 2010 more >>
More than 30 campaigners gathered close to the site of a proposed nuclear power plant in Anglesey. The protest came days after Horizon Nuclear Power said it would apply for planning consent in 2012 to build a new plant on the island. The group said politicians should not be deluded by economic arguments for building a new generation of nuclear power plants. ‘The problems associated with nuclear power are far too numerous and serious for any government to decide to give substantial financial assistance to the companies that wish to build new nuclear power stations,’ it said in a statement.
PR Week 7th Apr 2010 more >>
A Hinkley Point Community Planning Day will be held in Burnham on 29th April.
Burnham-on-sea.com 6th Apr 2010 more >>
Ireland needs to at least consider nuclear energy as a way to meet future energy demand and climate change targets, a report com-missioned by state agency EirGrid has concluded. The report on Ireland’s future energy needs in a low-carbon era highlights a number of options, but falls short of favouring one particular energy source over another. The report, by a company called Poyry Energy Consulting, was about “framing the debate”, said EirGrid chief executive Dermot Byrne. The report said renewables were likely to be a major part of whatever solutions emerge, but other sources would be needed. The nuclear option does deliver lower carbon emissions, but there was a problem of “public acceptance”, it said.
Irish Independent 8th Apr 2010 more >>
Yucca Mountain is now too small to deal with the current levels of nuclear waste produced, and concerns over the viability of the site have left a vexing problem for the US Department of Energy which has been collecting nuclear waste disposal fees from US electric utilities since 1983 over what could replace it. The issue came to the forefront this week when sixteen electric utilities sued the US government to halt the collection of nuclear waste disposal fees arguing that the country no longer had a disposal plan after ruling out Yucca Mountain.
Physics Today 7th Apr 2010 more >>
Slovakia extended a contract for nuclear fuel deliveries with Russia on Wednesday and dropped an arbitration suit against Gazprom in a sign of improving relations between the two countries. The euro zone member’s dominant power company Slovenske Elektrarne (SE), a unit of Italy’s utility Enel, said in a statement the agreement with Russia’s TVEL, for two new units at Mochove power plant, covered the 2012-2017 period.
Interactive Investor 7th Apr 2010 more >>
Israel plans to remain ambiguous over its nuclear policy, with US backing, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Wednesday.
Middle East Online 7th Apr 2010 more >>
Kate Hudson: Scrapping Trident is a vote winner. Last summer Nick Clegg broke with long-standing main party consensus by announcing that the Liberal Democrats did not support a like-for-like replacement for Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system. This came amid serious concerns from across the political spectrum that the cost of Trident was too high and could not be justified. As the country faces economic crisis, swingeing public spending cuts and a massive public debt, this was – and still is – a key question. The opportunity cost of spending over £76bn on a replacement for Trident is considerable, not to mention the billions spent every year on the existing system.
Guardian 8th Apr 2010 more >>
US and Russia planning to sign an arms reduction treaty in Prague today.
Wales Online 8th Apr 2010 more >>
Sky News 8th Apr 2010 more >>
BBC 8th Apr 2010 more >>
Telegraph 8th Apr 2010 more >>
Times 8th Apr 2010 more >>
Independent 8th Apr 2010 more >>
Comment by Hillary Clinton.
Guardian 8th Apr 2010 more >>
The hardline regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would do well to take note of U.S. President Barack Obama’s carefully-worded caveat about the conditions under which America might use its devastating stockpile of nuclear weapons. In his Nuclear Posture Review, Mr Obama stresses that the role of America’s nuclear arsenal is to deter nuclear attacks on the U.S. and its allies, and rules out the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries, even if they were to attack the U.S. with non-conventional weapons, such as chemical or biological devices. But he makes an important exception with regard to both Iran and North Korea. While stating that he would refrain from launching nuclear attacks against countries that have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, this constraint only applies to those countries that are in compliance with the NPT, which both North Korea and Iran are most certainly not.
Telegraph Blog 7th Apr 2010 more >>
Barack Obama’s first concrete steps towards achieving his year-old vision of a world free of nuclear weapons are disappointing and timid, campaigners have said. CND condemned the fact that nuclear weapons could still theoretically be employed against non-nuclear states, that nuclear weapons will remain in Europe and that the alert posture of all US nuclear forces will be unchanged. Kate Hudson, CND chair, commented: “We had hoped this review would mark a sea-change in US nuclear policy. “The result is markedly disappointing. There is some progress, it is a timid document. With the signing of the new Start treaty later this week and the review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty at the UN next month, this review really shows why positive momentum is vital if we are to reach Obama’s stated goal of a nuclear-free world. All countries must now redouble their efforts to bring to an end the threat that could extinguish humanity in a moment.”
View London 7th Apr 2010 more >>
Daily Mail 7th Apr 2010 more >>
Guardian Blog 7th Apr 2010 more >>
CND Press Release 6th Apr 2010 more >>
New Statesman 7th Apr 2010 more >>
The White House has announced a fundamental shift in America’s nuclear strategy, calling the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists a worse threat than the nuclear Armageddon feared during the Cold War.
Press and Journal 8th Apr 2010 more >>
Energy companies have agreed to pay for a new radar system to allay Ministry of Defence concerns about the threat to national security posed by wind farms. The deal paves the way for a £7 billion investment in offshore wind turbines. The MoD had objected to five new wind farms off the Norfolk coast, but it withdrew its opposition yesterday after an agreement between the Crown Estate and four energy companies.
Times 8th Apr 2010 more >>