Nuclear clean-up to cost £100bn and take 120 years. BRITAIN’S taxpayers will be landed with a bill of more than £100bn for cleaning up radioactive waste from sites such as Sellafield and Dounreay, according to the chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The amount represents a near-doubling of the £56bn cleanup cost announced when the NDA began operating in 2005, and could rise still more. The warning comes as NDA engineers start work on some of the biggest and most expensive engineering projects seen in Britain — building giant robotic grabs to lift deadly nuclear waste from Sellafield’s decaying 1950s repositories. The buildings being targeted include Sellafield’s B29 and B30 cooling ponds, where decaying 1950s fuel rods are stored. This weekend John Clarke, chief executive of the NDA, said he was spending £3bn a year on the cleanup, with about £1.6bn of that going on Sellafield alone. Such sums are similar to those spent on the London Olympic site at the peak of construction. Figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that, since Britain’s first nuclear power station opened in 1956, they have generated 2.5 billion megawatt hours of electricity — worth £125 billion at today’s prices. If the cost of building Britain’s 20-odd nuclear power stations (around £10bn-£12bn each in today’s money), is included, it would far exceed the value of the power produced, say experts. Such figures show why power companies, which would be responsible for the waste, are refusing to build new nuclear power stations without government guarantees of a consumer subsidy that will almost double the market price for their power.
Sunday Times 9th Dec 2012 more »
David Cameron has been personally warned by a group of his MPs that he risks losing seats to the Liberal Democrats at the next election unless he takes on anti-environmental “dog whistling” from Tory ministers. A group of 12 “Turquoise Tories” met the Prime Minister in Downing Street last week to express their concerns that some ministers, including the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and the Energy Minister John Hayes, are killing off the Conservatives’ green agenda with anti-wind farm rhetoric and allowing Nick Clegg’s party to take the credit for coalition environmentalism.
Independent 9th Dec 2012 more »
People aren’t looking to nuclear power as a solution to global warming because building a plant is just too expensive, says American environmentalist and author Bill McKibben. ” it wasn’t really environmentalists that put the kibosh on nuclear power, it was pretty much Wall Street. Nobody was willing to pay for these things.
Mining.com 9th Dec 2012 more »
The German capital has resolved to buy back its power supply. On Wednesday, the grand coalition that governs the city-state passed a resolution to buy back its grid and switch to renewables. The new municipal utility would work towards a 100 percent renewable supply of energy starting with distributed cogeneration units whose efficiencies are at least 80 percent. And as Germans always understand, the path to a greater share of renewable energy always requires energy conservation and efficiency, so the new utility would also focus on these goals. The new state-owned company would then take over the grid starting in 2015. The utility would not be allowed to financially support the production and sale of energy from nuclear or coal plants. Everyone currently employed at Vattenfall’s grid subsidiary would be offered a job at the new utility under the same terms.
Renewables International 7th Dec 2012 more »
Per megawatt-hour generated, renewables create more jobs than the fossil and nuclear sectors, and most of those jobs occur at home, not abroad. Germany already has twice as many people employed in the renewables sector than in all other energy sectors combined.
German Energy Transition (accessed) 9th Dec 2012 more »
WHITEHALL is secretly preparing a contingency plan to move the UK;s nuclear arsenal south of the Border if Scotland votes for independence, it was claimed last night. The Ministry of Defence has ordered a number of upgrades to the only navy base in England capable of accommodating Faslane’s fleet of Trident submarines. Ministers have always insisted there is no ‘Plan B’ for Britain’s nuclear weapons and recently said it would cost up to £25billion to move the missiles from the Clyde. However, the Scottish Sunday Express has learned that HM Naval Base Devonport, in Plymouth, Devon, already has the capacity to house up to 10 nuclear submarines, compared to seven at Faslane.
Express 9th Dec 2012 more »
Brussels will move to regulate the shale gas industry, a senior member of the European parliament has warned, claiming the UK cannot be sure it knows what it is doing in embarking headlong on a “dash for gas”. Jo Leinen MEP, a member of the parliament’s environment committee, said the UK government could not be confident it understood the scale of health and environmental consequences of “fracking”, in which pressurised water, sand and chemicals are pumped into rocks to force them to release gas.
Observer 9th Dec 2012 more »
A quarter of Scotland has been opened up for drilling as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s new dash for underground gas. The potentially huge scale of the exploration has stirred fears of contamination, radioactive wastes, climate pollution and explosions. More than 20,000 square kilometres (7800 square miles), covering the entire central belt and a part of the southwest, have been earmarked by the UK Government for possible exploitation by controversial technologies such as fracking to extract gas from wells dug deep into the ground. Plans are most advanced in Scotland, where proposals to drill 22 wells to tap the methane gas in coal seams near Falkirk and Stirling are now facing hundreds of objections from local communities. Opposition has also come from leading housebuilders Cala and Persimmon, and from Network Rail, which is concerned about the railway line to Perth and Dundee being damaged by a gas blast/
Sunday Herald 9th Dec 2012 more »
The controversial process of “fracking” for underground gas could start in Scotland by stealth without communities being consulted, ministers are being warned. Labour’s environment spokeswoman, Claire Baker MSP, says confusion over the planning rules could allow a “fracking free-for-all” with the technology being introduced “under the radar”.
Sunday Herald 9th Dec 2012 more »