A frustrating lack of political will has allowed the timetable for building Britains new generation of nuclear power stations to slip by one to two years, according to the chairman of parliaments energy select committee. Tim Yeo told the Financial Times that delaying the onset of construction might cause more hold-ups later. The danger with any delay is that, if any further problem arises, then you get an even longer delay, he said. The accident at Fukushima in Japan in March is one explanation. But Mr Yeo pointed out that an interim report on the lessons for nuclear safety in Britain had already appeared. The Japan-related delay shouldnt be more than a few months, he said. More important is a hold-up caused by the government itself. A white paper designed to make it commercially viable to build reactors was published last month, but the necessary legislation will only be introduced next year.
FT 7th Aug 2011 more >>
George Monbiots response to Jonathon Porritt.
George Monbiot 8th Aug 2011 more >>
Shorter version of Monbiots response: Greens must not prioritise renewables over climate change.
Guardian 8th Aug 2011 more >>
It has taken several decades, but the inhabitants of a corner of rural Kent have learnt how to stop worrying and love their nuclear reactor or at least value the jobs that it brings. The people of Dungeness, aided by their MP, are setting a rare example of reverse Nimbyism by campaigning to have another pair of reactors built on their doorsteps.
FT 7th Aug 2011 more >>
The shingle peninsula of Dungeness in Kent has hosted a nuclear power station for the past 46 years. But with Dungeness B set to be shutdown by 2018, the towns nuclear future is uncertain, despite widespread local support for the nuclear station. Whilst operator EDF Energy has proposed building two new reactors at the site, last month the government left Dungeness off its list of approved sites for new nuclear construction, citing conservation concerns. Energy correspondent David Blair visited Dungeness to see why residents are keen for new reactors to be built in an area of rare beauty.
FT 7th Aug 2011 more >>
The way in which the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority coldly announced the closure of the Sellafield MOX – without any talks with the workforce was in the tradition of the best drug pushers. The surprise announcement was designed to ensure pleading for new nuclear developments. Sure enough Jamie Reed MP and other nuclear shills are calling for MOX 2 (!) along with new reactors and geological disposal. The NDA have said the closure of MOX is to end the financial burden to the taxpayer. The sincerity of this statement could only be believed if the NDA then went on to say: No more spent fuel will be delivered to Sellafield
101 uses for nuclear power 7th Aug 2011 more >>
Ministers will next month launch the long-awaited auction of the governments 1 billion stake in the company that enriches uranium for nuclear power stations. Urenco, based at Capenhurst, near Chester, is one of the few remaining state-owned assets that could generate a big payday for the Treasury. The state owns one-third, with the rest split between the Dutch government and two German utilities, Eon and RWE. Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, announced the sale last year, but it has been delayed by opposition from some government departments, particularly the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence. Their concerns centred on worries over giving up state control of such a sensitive technology enriched uranium is a lso used to build nuclear weapons.
Sunday Times 7th Aug 2011 more >>
Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima catastrophe in Japan could lead to some of the country’s major companies relocating elsewhere in search of cheaper energy. Marijn Dekkers, head of Bayer, the pharmaceuticals group, said: “It is important that we remain competitive compared with other countries. Otherwise, a global company like Bayer will have to consider relocating its production to countries with lower energy costs.”
Guardian 7th Aug 2011 more >>
Parents living near Japans crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are facing a nightmare dilemma: evacuate their children or live with the fear that radiation will make them sick. Since the crisis started on March 11, authorities have raised the exposure limit for children to that used for atomic plant workers in many countries but have sought to reassure families their children are safe. Some people have listened to the official advice, then voted with their feet and moved out of the fallout zonebut most have stayed, reluctant to give up their jobs, homes and lives, despite the lingering fear.
Japan Today 8th Aug 2011 more >>
When Kan prepared his speech, some DPJ members close to him expressed concern about referring to the government’s nuclear policy at the peace ceremony. One aide was quoted as saying, “The ceremony’s purpose is to console the spirits of the people killed during World War II. It’s inappropriate to make remarks that treat the [Fukushima] nuclear accident the same way as the atomic bombings.” However, Kan did not listen to such opinions. Observers believe Kan made up his mind to refer to his anti-nuclear power policy after learning that Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui was planning to urge the government to review its energy policy in his Hiroshima Peace Declaration at the ceremony.
Daily Yomiuri 8th Aug 2011 more >>
Ban Ki-moon is to go to the Fukushima nuclear disaster zone, becoming one of the most senior foreign leaders to go near the crippled atomic power plant in Japan. The United Nations secretary-general is due to visit Soma city, 25 miles (40 km) north of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which is still releasing radioactive material. A 20 km exclusion zone around the battered facility prevents him going much nearer the site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
Sky News 7th Aug 2011 more >>
A Swedish man has been arrested after attempting to split the atom in his own home. Amateur scientist, Richard Handl, admitted his ‘project was to build a working nuclear reactor’. He managed to acquire radioactive chemicals, tried to cook them but only managed to blow up his stove.
Daily Mail 7th Aug 2011 more >>