Geoffrey Lean: It is, as Yogi Berra, the great baseball player once put it, ‘like dej vu, all over again.’ For the new announcement by the formerly anti-nuclear Chris Huhne takes me back some thirty years to the time when Mrs Thatcher’s government unveiled its atomic ambitions, the last serious British attempt to expand the country’s use of the technology. The iron lady originally wanted to build ten new nuclear power stations, two more than are now envisaged by ministers. By the time her government got to publishing a White Paper, in 1981, the number had shrunk to five. Only one of these was ever built, at Sizewell, on the East Anglian coast. It produced its first watt a full 15 years later, and its cost more than doubled during construction. Indeed, it transpired much later, it had only been possible to build it at all through a massive, if underhand, subsidy; money provided to the nuclear industry by Government ‘to deal with the decommissioning of old and unsafe plants’ was diverted to bring into being the shiny new one instead.
Telegraph 19th Oct 2010 more >>
Even as 60 more countries in the world have shown interest to embrace nuclear power to meet their energy needs, only one third of these may generate atomic power, says an official of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “Nuclear power is not like any other mode of power. Going nuclear is a 100-year commitment. A country should understand all the international obligations connected and also the internal consequence of going nuclear. Perhaps around 20/25 new countries may start nuclear power generation,” said IAEA Deputy Director General Yuri Sokolov .
Economic Times 19th Oct 2010 more >>
Letter from Dr A McCormick: We appear to have an organisation called “Nuclear Free Local Authorities” which gets involved in some rather expensive pursuits, including an annual conference. This group seems to be against all use of nuclear energy and products thereof. If it is successful in its endeavours this would have some serious consequences for Scotland, including the loss of thousands of jobs and the closure of many medical facilities. Any protest group in a free country is of course entitled to express such views. What concerns me about this particular organisation is the possibility of the use of public funds in pursuit of its activities. Could Cllr McLeod reassure me on this point, ie that if his protest group is publicly funded then it has the approval of the Scottish Government and publishes accounts detailing the amount and source of its funding and expenditure?
Scotsman 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Four advances are in development which are intended to address many of the disadvantages of nuclear energy and could mean significant progress in nuclear power technologies. These include iniature nuclear reactors; “Generation IV” reactor technologies; Thorium; Fusion; Reprocessing.
Environmental Graffiti 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan has welcomed the inclusion of Wylfa, on Anglesey, on a shortlist of eight sites across the UK where new nuclear power stations could be constructed.
Wales Office 18th Oct 2010 more >>
On the same day that the Government confirmed that Sizewell would be a suitable site for the building of a new nuclear power station, Suffolk Coastal’s new task group met for the first time.
The Sizewell Task Group met last night (Monday) and is the latest initiative by the Council to ensure that it is ready to represent the interests of local communities if and when plans for the development are submitted.
Suffolk Coastal 19th Oct 2010 more >>
CAMPAIGNERS against a new nuclear power station near Oldbury have said they will continue the fight to stop a plant being built. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced this week that Shepperdine, near Oldbury, was still considered a suitable site for a new generation nuclear power station.
Gloucestershire Gazette 20th Oct 2010 more >>
The decision to ditch eco-electricity in favour of nuclear energy has met with a mixed reaction from local councillors and campaigners.
Gloucestershire Gazette 21st Oct 2010 more >>
CAMPAIGNERS trying to stop up to three nuclear reactors being built near Bristol have pledged to fight harder after Oldbury remained on the list of potential new atomic sites. They vowed to increase opposition to the project on what they claim is unsuitable land due to its environmentally sensitive location in a flood risk zone next to the river Severn. They are also worried about the technical assessment of the reactors being considered for the site in Shepperdine, next to the existing and smaller Oldbury station, near Thornbury. Reg Illingworth, chairman of Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy – Sane – said: “We are ready and fully equipped with energy, skills and belief to win this fight.
Bristol Evening Post 20th Oct 2010 more >>
HARTLEPOOL’S MP has welcomed moves which have brought a new nuclear power station for the town closer to reality. Iain Wright hailed the news – that the town was on a shortlist of eight sites as suitable for potential new build – as “a necessary and welcome development.
Hartlepool Mail 20th Oct 2010 more >>
The boss of one of Britain’s biggest energy companies has welcomed moves from the government which could bring thousands of new jobs to a Lancashire power station. Vincent de Rivas, chief executive of EDF Energy which runs the reactors at Heysham, near Morecambe, said the decision to approve the site in the county as one suitable for one of the next generation of new reactors provided a bright future for the industry.
Lancashire Evening Post 20th Oct 2010 more >>
George Osborne said commitments to spending on nuclear decommissioning will push up the DECC resource settlement, which will fall by an average of 5 per cent overall.
Construction News 20th Oct 2010 more >>
French state-controlled utility EdF has disconnected the Fessenheim nuclear power plant’s 880MW unit 1 after discovering a technical fault. There are six unplanned nuclear outages in France, and the latest disconnection has further dented nuclear capacity, adding to the uncertainty about the country’s power production as nationwide strikes threaten to continue further into the week. A cold snap has pushed up power consumption, with temperatures falling by as much as 6 C below seasonal norms. Transmission system operator RTE issued a warning on the balancing market for a third day today, and negative imbalance prices on the balancing market rose to as high as €143.58/MWh ($197.35/MWh) in the morning.
Argus Media 20th October 2010 more >>
Ambiguity over Israel’s nuclear program has been the norm, but a new book argues that coming clean would actually help deter Iran.
Newsweek 20th Oct 2010 more >>
High Commissioner for Pakistan: The Conference on Disarmament was not created only to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty . A Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty that only cut off future production of fissile material would freeze the existing asymmetries in stockpiles of fissile material. Pakistan has been advocating a treaty that not only bans future production but also aims at reducing existing stocks of fissile material. Some powerful countries, in pursuit of their commercial interests, as well as dubious notions of balance of power, have embarked on unfettered, discriminatory nuclear co-operation arrangements in gross violation of their international commitments, missing the opportunity to introduce strategic restraint and even-handed treatment in South Asia.
Telegraph 20th Oct 2010 more >>
North Korea may be planning a new nuclear test as Kim Jong Il prepares to hand over power to his youngest son.
Telegraph 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Reuters 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Iran confirmed that some companies at European airports were refusing to sell it fuel, and its flag carrier said planes were making unscheduled stops en route to Tehran because they could not refuel in London. Iran has been hit by a new wave of international sanctions over its nuclear enrichment activities.
Daily Mail 20th Oct 2010 more >>
For several months during Bill Clinton’s administration, a former top military officer says the White House lost the card with a set of numbers for opening the briefcase containing the codes for a nuclear attack.
Telegraph 21st Oct 2010 more >>
A SHORTAGE of tritium, a key ingredient of nuclear weapons, could spur the US administration to open more plants, despite President Barack Obama’s declared goal of eliminating nukes.
This would send the wrong signal to the rest of the world, says Robert Alvarez at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC. “If we really want to think about elimination, this would be one of the big milestones – stop making tritium,” he says.
New Scientist 20th Oct 2010 more >>
ROLLS-ROYCE has declined to comment on the Government’s plan to delay a decision on whether to replace Britain’s nuclear deterrent until after the next General Election. Bernie Hamilton, national officer at union Unite, warned the Government that any delay in the renewal of Trident would put 13,000 defence jobs at risk, including those at Rolls-Royce in Derby.
Business East Midlands 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Hermann Scheer, who has died unexpectedly aged 66 after suffering from chest pains, was a tireless campaigner for the promotion of renewable energies, in particular solar power, a cause he championed long before it was fashionable to do so, even in a country with such long-established environmental consciousness as his native Germany. He is credited with boosting the status of alternative energy, both at home and abroad, thanks to his visionary zeal.
Guardian 18th Oct 2010 more >>
The Scottish government is confident of one success. It is going to beat its target to generate 31% of Scotland’s electricity from renewables next year, and is on track to deliver well over the 50% it originally promised by 2020. So confident is the First Minister, Alex Salmond, that in September he announced that Scotland’s renewable target will be boosted to 80% of electricity from renewables by 2010. “We already have some seven gigawatts of renewables capacity installed, under construction or consented around Scotland,” he said. “It is clear that we can well exceed the existing 50 per cent target by 2020.”
Scottish Field November 2010 more >>
Major programmes and projects to tackle climate change under the remit of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) were left largely untouched. The highest-profile scheme to be confirmed is to build a demonstration plant for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), the technology to enable coal-fired power stations to minimise their emissions of CO2 by capturing them and storing them under the seabed. George Osborne said that there would be “up to £1bn” of funds – which was the hoped-for sum – for the winner of the competition to build the first plant. The frontrunners had been the German power company E.ON and Spanish-owned Scottish power. But yesterday E.ON dropped out, so it is assumed that the contract will go to Scottish Power at Longannet, Fife.
Other survivors include the forthcoming Renewable Heat Incentive, and funding to modernise ports in the North-East to enable them to build wind turbines.
Independent 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Environmentalists claimed a victory over E.ON today when the German energy company confirmed it was shelving plans to build its Kingsnorth coal plant after years of protests.
Guardian 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Telegraph 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Carbon capture and storage: it’s the race no one wants to win. Today E.ON became the latest contestant to withdraw from a competition which now has just one bidder remaining. BP was the first to quit, and RWE pulled out a year ago citing “commercial considerations”. Only ScottishPower is still in the hunt.
Guardian 21st Oct 2010 more >>
SCOTTISHPower is on the verge of clinching a deal to create one of the world’s first commercial-scale clean coal plants at its Longannet power station, after rival E.ON pulled out of a Government funding race. The German-owned company, which was shortlisted alongside ScottishPower to win a 1bn grant to create a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility, said it felt the market was not conducive to continuing with the project at its Kingsnorth plant in Kent. Now, if ScottishPower meets a string of tough criteria, it should receive the funding within a year.
Scotsman 21st Oct 2010 more >>