Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday called for an international effort to finance civil atomic energy in developing countries, with an appeal to the World Bank to reverse a 50-year abstention from funding the construction of nuclear reactors. The French president also urged the United Nations to extend carbon credits to nuclear investments to help overcome funding problems that could lead to a “distortion of developing countries’ investment choices”. Even in the developed world financing is proving difficult. The US has about 30 new reactors proposed, but industry insiders believe no more than a handful will be built in the next decade. According to the Nuclear Energy Agency, a reactor costs roughly $4,600 per kilowatt to build, taking a mid-sized 1000MW reactor to $4.6bn.
FT 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Business Week 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Letter: The figures I quoted were capital costs for nuclear plants (2970/kW). The capital costs for onshore wind are roughly a third of this value. For example, Whitelee wind farm is 322MW and cost 300 million, giving capital cost of 932/kW. Capacity factors are built in to the methodology of the Royal Association of Engineers report. Following its methodology, which includes a generous 35 per cent capacity factor for onshore wind and an equally generous 90 per cent-plus capacity factor for nuclear, nuclear comes in at 3.7p/kWh and wind at 3.68p/kWh. Both are in the same ball park and the figures take capacity factor into account.
Scotsman 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Geoffrey Lean: Are we being too sanguine about the safety of new nuclear power stations likely to be built in Britain? The new reactors have been thought to be much less hazardous than their predecessors, largely because they have more safety features and produce less waste. But there is increasing evidence that the new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) may pose particular problems of its own, and EDF wants to build four in Britain. Information buried deep in nuclear industry documents has already revealed that they produce up to eleven times as much of radioactive isotopes – like caesium 135 and 137 – that could be rapidly released in an accident than do present-day reactors. This would not matter too much if accidents were very much less likely to happen, but that is now being called into question. Documents showing the results of tests on the EPR leaked to a French anti-nuclear group reveal, it says, defects in the mechanism that controls the nuclear reaction, which could cause an explosion leading to a massive escape of radiation. EDF has been reported as responding that “no conclusion” can be drawn from the documents “at the moment”, and that they are part of a report to go before France’s nuclear safety authority before the end of the year.
Telegraph 9th Mar 2010 more >>
What can one say about the folly of Japan’s nuclear fuel cycle policy? First spent nuclear fuel from Japan’s nuclear power plants was shipped at great risk to the marine environment across the high seas to Europe. There plutonium, the most dangerous substance in the world, was separated out. Next the highly radioactive substances produced in the process (high-level waste = HLW) were shipped all the way back to Japan. This waste is supposed to be dumped 300 meters below the surface of the earth. But there is a catch. There is no dump site. The lunacy of this policy defies description. Nevertheless, it went ahead and now the first shipment of HLW from the UK is about to arrive in Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture.
CNIC 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Japan Today 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Sir Michael Pitt, Chair of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) today outlined how the IPC will work with the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and other consenting bodies to decide nationally significant infrastructure project applications in Wales. He was speaking at an IPC stakeholder event in Cardiff, at which Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) provided the keynote address. He highlighted eleven new energy projects, including Oldbury, Wylfa and Hinkley.
IPC 9th Mar 2010 more >>
French power group EDF and Russian rival Rosatom are looking at extending a nuclear partnership to offer new reactors outside their domestic base, Les Echos newspaper said on Tuesday. The heads of the companies, Henri Proglio and Serguei Kirienko, discussed the possible move on the sidelines of an international conference on civil nuclear energy and more in-depth talks are imminent, the paper said.
Interactive Investor 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Nuclear Vs Wind
Generating Britain’s electricity from offshore wind farms is likely to be at least twice as expensive as nuclear power, according to a new report by engineering consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff. Britain plans to build up over 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power capacity by 2020 and wants to build new nuclear power plants to replace old reactors. The government’s nuclear plans are opposed by some environmental groups as being too costly. But analysis by Parsons Brinckerhoff, a company backing plans for an offshore wind grid, estimates nuclear generation costs to be 6-8 pence per kilowatt hour (p/KWh), including decommissioning and waste disposal, compared to 15-21 p/KWh for offshore wind.
Reuters 8th Mar 2010 more >>
MORE than 100 people took to the streets of Thornbury last week to protest against plans for a new nuclear power station. Local people were armed with placards with slogans such as Don’t Blight our Horizon, Save the Severn Vale and No 2 Nuclear.
Gloucestershire Gazette 8th Mar 2010 more >>
MAINS water supplies in east Suffolk could be put under stress if permission is given to build a £6billion Sizewell C nuclear power station, according to critics. Figures revealed to a local watchdog group show that the existing Sizewell B plant uses about 800 cubic metres of mains water a day – estimated to be about 7pc of the total demand in the local catchment area. Critics say based on this figure a twin-reactor Sizewell C would demand a further 1,600 cubic metres a day – in one of the driest parts of the country and where householders and businesses have in the past few decades faced restrictions on use.
Beccles & Bungay Journal 8th Mar 2010 more >>
The Nuclear Local Liaison Committee (LLC) Quarterly reports for 2009 quarter 4 for British Energy Generation Ltd Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station are now available.
HSE 5th March 2010 more >>
The famous environmentalist Jonathon Porritt will speak out against building new reactors at Hinkley Point in a public meeting in Taunton’s Temple Methodist Church next Tuesday, 16th March at 7.30pm. Jonathon Porritt has a long and respected track record on environmental issues, heading groups such as Friends of the Earth, The Sustainable Development Commission and Forum for the Future. In his role as Director of the Government advisory group, the Sustainable Development Commission, he came down heavily against nuclear power as a means to mitigate Climate Change or to bridge the forecast energy gap.
Bristol IndyMedia 8th March 2010 more >>
The head of the European Commission was to begin a push Monday for European safety standards for nuclear power plants to become binding worldwide, a development that might benefit France as it competes to sell its expensive technology and expertise against countries offering cheaper alternatives. Jos Manuel Barroso said in a speech to be delivered at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris that the European Union was “the first big regional actor to make the main international norms for nuclear security internationally binding.”
New York Times 8th Mar 2010 more >>
The European Commission will table a legislative proposal on the treatment of radioactive waste before the end of the year, commission president Jos Manuel Barroso told a nuclear energy conference on Monday.
ENDS Europe Daily 8th Mar 2010 more >>
North Korea said on Tuesday it would boost its nuclear weapons capability because U.S. President Barack Obama was determined to ignore its calls for peace and bring it down by military force.
Yahoo 9th Mar 2010 more >>
The U.S. Energy Department on Monday awarded $40 million to two teams to help develop the next generation nuclear power reactor. Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric Co and privately-held San Diego-based General Atomics will each get about $20 million for the conceptual design and planning work for the advance reactor.
Reuters 8th Mar 2010 more >>
The Obama administration has embarked on a high-stakes gamble: devoting billions of dollars to an expansion of nuclear power in the hope of winning Republican votes for a climate bill. But in its eagerness to drum up bipartisan support for one of the hardest sells on Obama’s policy agenda, is the administration turning a blind eye to the financial risk?
Mother Jones 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Israel is expected to unveil plans this week to build a nuclear power plant, reports say. They say an announcement will be made by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau at an energy forum in Paris. Israel is facing a crisis over electricity supplies, but environmental objections have blocked efforts to build a new coal-fired plant.
BBC 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Poland’s largest power group, Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), has signed a second cooperation agreement with a potential builder of the country’s first nuclear power plant, this time with GE-Hitachi.
World Nuclear News 8th Mar 2010 more >>
The world will almost certainly fail to draw up a new treaty on climate change this year, the minister in charge of last year’s Copenhagen summit has admitted, delivering a heavy blow to the barely flickering hopes for a swift global -settlement.
FT 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Now is the time for nations to commit to a world free of nuclear weapons, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is telling political leaders today. The Rt Reverend Bill Hewitt is among a UK-wide consortium of church leaders spearheading a campaign for nuclear disarmament.
Ekklesia 8th Mar 2010 more >>