New nuclear reactors planned for Britain will produce many times more radiation than previous reactors that could be rapidly released in an accident, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. The revelations – based on information buried deep in documents produced by the nuclear industry itself – calls into doubt repeated assertions that the new European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) will be safer than the old atomic power stations they replace. Instead they suggest that a reactor or nuclear waste accident, although less likely to happen, could have even more devastating consequences in future; one study suggests that nearly twice as many people could die.
Independent on Sunday 8th Feb 2009 more >>
THE Scottish Government will come under renewed pressure this week to reverse its ban on building nuclear power stations or risk plunging the country into a jobs and energy crisis. A powerful lobby of employers, trade union officials and opposition politicians will accuse First Minister Alex Salmond of failing to wake up to the possibility of an electricity shortage and a brain drain of skilled engineers and technicians.
Scotland on Sunday 8th Feb 2009 more >>
Mr Biden reiterated the “hand” that President Obama had “stretched out” but said Iran faces a stark choice. “Continue down your current course and there will be pressure and isolation; abandon your illicit nuclear programme and support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives.”
Independent on Sunday 8th Feb 2009 more >>
Sunday Times 8th Feb 2009 more >>
Restarting two Soviet-era reactors at Bulgaria’s sole nuclear power plant would be “a triumph of justice” for Hristophor Gerdzhikov. The engineer who takes care of one the closed units, as well as a majority of Bulgarians, have applauded the government plan to seek a relaunch of the shuttered plants as compensation for damage caused by last month’s cut-off in Russian gas supplies. But observers and some politicians say the move by the Socialist-led cabinet is a bluff and a gamble. Besides conjuring images of Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, they argue it is a ploy to stoke a nationally sensitive subject and revive plunging support ahead of parliamentary elections likely in July or August.
Reuters 8th Feb 2009 more >>
A new nuclear plant is good for France’s trade balance, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said February 6 in justifying his decision last week to
approve construction of a 1,650-MW EPR unit at Penly. During a visit to the first EPR under construction at the Flamanville site, Sarkozy said a new reactor could export 12 terawatt-hours a year, reaping Eur600 billion (US$776 billion) for the French economy. “France’s external trade is not so flourishing that it can sneeze at electricity exports” based on nuclear power, the country’s area of excellence, he said. His remarks were the first overt confirmation that France could build reactors explicitly destined to export power, rather than to satisfy internal demand.
Platts 6th Feb 2009 more >>
The UK government deployed Trident nuclear missiles because they could cause the total breakdown of Russian cities by killing half their inhabitants, according to a top secret document passed to the Sunday Herald. To ensure that the warheads inflicted “unacceptable damage” on Moscow and St Petersburg, the government was prepared to explode them at ground level to maximise lethal levels of radioactive contamination.
Sunday Herald 8th Feb 2009 more >>
Green New Deal
Gordon Brown’s much-vaunted plan to beat the recession by going green lacks “coherence” and is being overtaken by rival plans around the world, the chair of the Environment Agency warns today. Chris Smith, a former cabinet colleague of the prime minister, said Britain risked being left behind in developing technologies such as carbon capture, where gases pumped out by polluting industries are compressed and stored under the sea to prevent them reaching the atmosphere and adding to global warming. Brown has boasted of how his own so-called “green new deal” would be bigger than Barack Obama’s, relative to the size of their respective economies, but Lord Smith suggested that such claims were hollow, with few concrete initiatives beyond a push on home insulation.
Observer 8th Feb 2009 more >>