Jonathan Porritt: Chris Huhne’s big face-saver is that nuclear will only go ahead as long as there is no ‘public subsidy’. As I’ll explain, it’s just about possible to stick to this rhetorical claim without Chris Huhne knowing that he’s lying, but it is quite difficult. All the more wondrous, therefore, that Chris Huhne personally invited the redoubtable Amory Lovins to come and talk to his officials in DECC last week. Unlike that cohort of should-know-better Greens (on both sides of the Atlantic), who’ve been seduced by the blandishments of the nuclear industry, Amory Lovins has never wavered a single centimetre in his excoriating contempt for all things nuclear. And unlike people like Mark Lynas, Chris Smith in the UK and Stuart Brand in the US, Amory Lovins actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to nuclear issues. Looking at some of the material he shared with DECC officials, I’d love to know exactly how they tried to persuade Chris Huhne after the event that Amory Lovins was a mad, unreliable, anti-nuclear zealot. The United States makes a particularly interesting case study for Chris Huhne. So desperate is the US Administration to promote new nuclear that it has offered tax credits which amount to more than 100% of construction costs – and even so interested utilities have been unable to raise any private capital whatsoever.
Forum for the Future 7th Dec 2010 more >>
The taxpayer will have to pick up a potentially unlimited bill for disposing of radioactive waste from Britain’s new nuclear stations if costs exceed expected levels. The Government on Tuesday confirmed plans to cap the energy industry’s liability for each new station’s waste at about £1bn. Energy companies, including French nuclear specialist EDF, have lobbied hard to fix the level of fees they might be forced to bear for disposal. The Government insisted on Tuesday that the cap would be enough to cover three times the current estimated cost of waste disposal, plus a little extra as a risk premium.
Telegraph 8th Dec 2010 more >>
New Civil Enginner 7th Dec 2010 more >>
The Government has repeatedly insisted there will be no public subsidy for new nuclear power, but the coalition government also needs to ensure it provides the right climate to attract investors. Under the Energy Act, new nuclear operators must have arrangements in place to meet the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management costs.
FT 8th Dec 2010 more >>
The Government today published proposals on how operators of new nuclear power stations will have to make secure financial provision for decommissioning without recourse to the taxpayer, in line with the Government’s policy that there should be no subsidy for new nuclear. New nuclear operators will be required by law to put money aside from day one to pay for the eventual decommissioning costs and their full share of waste disposal. This is in line with the coalition commitment that new nuclear can proceed provided there is no specific subsidy.
DECC Press Release 7th Dec 2010 more >>
Two new consultations have been launched by DECC. The draft Funded Decommissioning Programme Guidance
DECC 7th Dec 2010 more >>
and consultation on a Waste Transfer Pricing Methodology
DECC 7th Dec 2010 more >>
Letter from Tim Knowles: I respect Ruth Balogh’s right not to join the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership (YourViews, December 1), although I believe she could make an important contribution as a member. This community partnership includes organisations from across Cumbria such as local authorities, parish councillors, and the Lake District National Park Authority, Churches Together in Cumbria and Cumbria Tourism.There are two unions in the partnership which represent thousands of workers at Sellafield but no representatives from any companies in the nuclear sector. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) attends as an observer. Dr Balogh feels it is wrong to put so much weight on public views in this process. The science and geology clearly has to be right but it is also vital that a facility like this only goes to an area where it has public support.
An independent committee of experts, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, recommended that geological disposal is the best option for managing higher-activity radioactive waste in the long term.
Carlisle News & Star 7th Dec 2010 more >>
The federal aid now in place for new nuclear plants is far from sufficient for the so-called “nuclear renaissance” that backers are seeking, a panel made up of members of Congress, high-ranking federal officials and leaders of major nuclear companies agreed on Tuesday. Ground has been broken on only two new nuclear plants with a total of four reactors, and some companies have withdrawn their applications for licenses to build. “We can’t make the numbers work,’’ said Chip Pardee, chief nuclear officer of Exelon, the nation’s largest operator of civilian nuclear reactors, who sat on a panel of 25 at a conference organized by the Idaho National Laboratory of the Energy Department and a private group called the Third Way. Another member, Steven Chu, energy secretary, said that while new reactors were likely to be important industrial assets for 60 or 70 years, the market was focused on the short term. Low prices for natural gas, a competing fuel, and the collapse of efforts to impose a price on carbon dioxide emissions make the economic climate for new reactors quite unfavorable at the moment, he added.
New York Times Blog 7th Dec 2010 more >>
The keenly awaited Localism Bill (the word Decentralisation having been dropped from the title some time ago) will introduce the first significant changes to the regime for authorising major infrastructure established by the Planning Act 2008, as well as many other measures. It is rumoured to have around 200 clauses.
Bircham Dyson Bell 7th Dec 2010 more >>
Porvair Filtration is a specialist in supplying clean-up filtration systems for nuclear decommissioning and decontamination. As processes are developed to deal with legacy wastes and legislation is introduced to define storage conditions, the company has developed solutions to meet increasingly complex filtration problems associated with global decommissioning and decontamination facilities.
Engineering Talk 7th Dec 2010 more >>
On 18th October 2010 the British government announced that Heysham was one of eight sites suitable for a new nuclear power station. The proposed new reactor will be built close to these other two plants, although the exact location has yet to be confirmed. We would like to reach out to local residents opposed to this development to support us with our campaign. Please write to your MP or local city or county councillor about this issue.
Heysham Anti-Nuclear Alliance Dec 2010 more >>
Electricite de France SA’s Heysham 2- 8 reactor in the U.K. started today after halting on March 26, according to data from National Grid Plc.
Bloomberg 3rd Dec 2010 more >>
Public Meeting 16th December. The Department for Energy and Climate Change are attending this public meeting to hear views and address questions. Anne Upton, an expert in group letter writing, will run a coaching session in the final hour, so that everyone can write a letter that will include heart felt comments.
Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy Dec 2010 more >>
The Ecologist 7th Dec 2010 more >>
Sellafield has told the majority of its day staff to stay at home tomorrow because of the expected overnight freeze. A company statement says the decision has been taken in response “to current and predicted adverse weather conditions and the need to maximise the use of the limited stocks of grit to make the roads and walkways safe on the Sellafield site.”
Carlisle News and Star 7th Dec 2010 more >>
A large ancient burial cairn has been uncovered at the site of a proposed £100m nuclear waste dump. But archaeologists found no remains in the cairn or its central cist, suggesting the site at Dounreay was robbed of its artefacts in the past. The cairn dates from about 4,000 years ago during the Bronze Age. An archaeological survey was made of the area on the Caithness coast ahead of construction work on the store for low-level radioactive waste.
BBC 7th Dec 2010 more >>
WORK to decommission a nuclear power station could be speeded up if plans drawn up by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) are approved. The decommissioning work would be completed by 2016, six years earlier than planned, saving £126m.
Daily Post 7th Dec 2010 more >>
The only way to combat runaway climate change is to drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. We need to invest in the development and dissemination of technologies capable of producing energy without emitting carbon dioxide – and to foster lifestyles and the development of equipment, appliances and transport that make more efficient use of energy. Why do fossil fuels provide most of our energy? It is because they are cheap. But they are only cheap because their true costs to society and the environment – their externalities in economists’ jargon – are not taken into account.
Morning Star 7th Dec 2010 more >>
A FORMER Iranian diplomat who defected to the West this year has described how he saw North Korean technicians repeatedly travel to Iran, which western officials fear is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Mohammad Reza Heydari, who resigned in January as the Iranian consul in Norway, said he was “certain” the co-operation was continuing between his country and North Korea.
Scotsman 8th Dec 2010 more >>
Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers ended yesterday with an agreement to meet again early next year, indicating that Tehran may be willing to address concerns about its atomic programme. But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that unless UN sanctions are lifted, the six – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – face failure in the next round.
Independent 8th Dec 2010 more >>
BBC 7th Dec 2010 more >>
Iran and six world powers today ended talks on Iran’s nuclear programme agreeing to meet again in Istanbul next month, but nothing else was agreed, and the gulf between the two sides was as wide as ever. Even the wording of the agreement to meet in Istanbul was disputed within two hours of the end of the Geneva meeting, underlining the fragility of the dialogue.
Guardian 8th Dec 2010 more >>
Are these just talks for the sake of talks?
Guardian Blog 7th Dec 2010 more >>
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, demanded that worldwide sanctions against Iran be lifted if the West wants “fruitful” talks on ending its nuclear programme.
Telegraph 8th Dec 2010 more >>
India and France signed a multibillion framework agreement on Monday to build two nuclear power plants in India. Under the tentative nuclear deal valued at £5.9 billion, French corporation Areva will build two pressurised reactors of 1,650 megawatts each for the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India at Jaitapur, Maharashtra state. Thousands of villagers and farmers have been protesting near the site since French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in the country on Saturday, holding banners stating: “No nuclear in Jaitapur” in English, French, Marathi and Hindi.
Morning Star 8th Dec 2010 more >>
Saudi Arabia plans to be producing nuclear power within 10 years, a senior US trade official said here Monday.
Middle East Online 7th Dec 2010 more >>
Germany on Monday called off hotly-disputed plans to ship radioactive nuclear waste to Russia as it doubted the cargo would be safely disposed of, a spokeswoman for the environment ministry said.
Yahoo 6th dec 2010 more >>
DEVONPORT has been officially confirmed by ministers as one of the possible sites for cutting up redundant nuclear submarines ahead of disposal, The Herald can reveal. While it was known Plymouth was among the areas being considered for the dismantling and storage of the defunct vessels, until now Government had refused to confirm individual locations. Devonport along with Rosyth in Scotland, has been named as the two potential ‘candidate’ sites for the initial dismantling of the submarines, which involves separating the reactor compartment from either end of the vessel.
The possibility has been raised both could share the work.
The UK has 15 decommissioned nuclear submarines stored afloat either at Devonport or Rosyth, awaiting dismantling. Storage capacity will run out by 2020. Plymouth is the only facility where all submarines leaving service can be defuelled in the future.
Plymouth Herald 8th Dec 2010 more >>
Five anti-war protesters, including two priests, will stand trial today in a US District Court, after entering into a secure area containing nuclear weapons at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. The five – including two Catholic priests and a sister – are charged with conspiracy, trespass and destruction of government property, after they entered the base which may contain the largest single stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world.
Ekklesia 7th Dec 2010 more >>