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Reports and briefings


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Broken Promises by Chris Grimshaw & Olaf Bayer, Corporate Watch Report 2007
Throughout its fifty year history, Britain's nuclear industry has consistently failed to deliver on its promises. Now, only a few years after the financial collapse of British Energy, we are being asked once again to believe that a new generation of nuclear power stations can produce electricity safely and without government subsidy. And once again, there is good reason to believe that the industry's predictions are as spurious as in previous decades.

Three Mile Island 30th Anniversary 28th March 2009: Thirty years ago, Americans stood in shock watching unfold what had been officially deemed by federal officials as "incredible" — a major accident at a nuclear power reactor.

World Nuclear Industry Status and Future Trends, talk by Independent Consultant, Anthony Froggatt in Hamburg September 2008. He concludes there is no nuclear renaissance; no increase in nuclear can be expected for at least a decade; historic problems which halted the last nuclear push in the 1970s have yet to be resolved; and new problems may arise such as uranium availability and proliferation concerns.

Potential Environmental Risks of the Next Generation of Nuclear: Power Plants, by Anthony Froggatt, October 2006, A briefing note based on the report, Nuclear Reactor Hazards; Ongoing Dangers of Operating Nuclear Technology in the 21st Century. Report Prepared for Greenpeace International, by Helmut Hirsch, Oda Becker, Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt, April 2005.

Radioactive Waste – an outstanding problem, a presentation by Hugh Richards BArch MA MRTPI, September 2008 [pdf, 2.6MB]

Too Hot to Handle: the Truth about High Burn-up Spent Fuel, by Hugh Richards, April 2008
The high burn up fuel proposed for new reactors uses more enriched uranium, and leaves it in the reactor for longer. This gets more output from the fuel, but increases the dangers of radioactive releases as the fuel cladding gets thinner. This increased danger persists throughout its storage and disposal.

Burying the Truth, by Hugh Richards, March 2008
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) were established to help deal with existing radioactive waste and were able to build a degree of public trust on the basis that they were addressing a finite problem that concerns all of us. But now the Government’s push for new nuclear power stations is putting all that hard work in jeopardy by forcing both organisations to include the huge additional amounts of highly radioactive spent fuel from a new nuclear programme.

Is nuclear power a solution to climate change? by Pete Roche, April 2005 [pdf, 350KB]

See Nuclear Free Local Authorities New Nuclear Monitor briefings, in particular:

• New Nuclear Monitor No.9, March 2006 "Responding to Our Energy Challenge" [pdf, 375KB]

• New Nuclear Monitor No.8, May 2005, “Nuclear Power is Not the Solution to Climate Change” [pdf, 476KB]

NFLA Policy Briefing 99: Following the German example? An NFLA assessment on whether the Scottish ‘renewable revolution’ in energy policy is being realised. 14 August 2012

NFLA Radioactive Waste Briefings:

Radioactive Waste Policy Briefing No. 32: Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste in West Cumbria - NFLA Response to the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Public Consultation Document. (March 2012)

Radioactive Waste Policy Briefing No.33: Consultation on Exotic Fuels and Nuclear Materials Stored at the Dounreay Decommissioned Site (March 2012)

Radioactive Waste Policy Briefing No. 34: Management of the UK’s plutonium stock: response to the Government’s consultation on the proposed justification process for the reuse of plutonium (July 2012)

Recent Briefings

Nuclear Pull-outs, Rumours, Threats, 12 October 2012
A list of some of the companies that have pulled out, or have threatened to pull-out of nuclear projects over the past few years..

Do we have to have a dash for gas or new nuclear reactors?, 9 October 2012
Do we really need to make a choice between a dash for gas and new nuclear reactors? The answer is no. What we do need is a comprehensive energy efficiency programme to prevent rising energy prices driving thousands more people into fuel poverty and we should be aiming to produce 60% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Civil Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation Briefing, August 2012

Broken Promises: Subsidising the Nuclear Industry
Ministers are planning to subsidise nuclear power through electricity bills – despite their promises not to. This briefing explains how they plan to do it. Produced for the Spin Watch website May 2012.

Nuclear Power Subsidies (Short Briefing)

The Secretary of State for Energy, Chris Huhne MP, was clear: new reactors should only proceed without public subsidy. But now the Government is planning to “rig the carbon trading market” and increase electricity bills, subsidising nuclear power by the back door. More-conventional taxpayer subsidies are also planned.

Briefing >>

Nuclear Subsidies: or how to impoverish the nation

The UK Government coalition agreement was clear – no public subsidies for new reactors. The Government is planning to force consumers to subsidise nuclear power, driving an extra million into fuel poverty, whilst failing to implement a comprehensive energy efficiency programme. Any limit on liability on the costs of nuclear accidents eases the burden on nuclear operators. Paying for commercial insurance could add around half a euro to the cost of a unit of electricity, making new reactors unviable. And offering new nuclear operators a fixed unit price for the cost of spent fuel management and disposal represents a subsidy of around £427 million per reactor.

Briefing >>

Cost of Nuclear Power: Why nuclear will cost more than the alternatives

The cost of building new nuclear power stations continues to escalate. When the Government re-visited the cost of new reactors in 2008 it estimated capital costs to be around $2,000/kW. EDF Energy now estimates the cost of its proposed Hinkley C reactors at $4,260. Estimates from other parts of the world suggest that between $6,000/kW and $10,000/kW might be more realistic. This briefing examines the cost of nuclear power and compares it with the alternatives.

Economics Briefing >>

Nuclear Power and Jobs

Nuclear power is very poor at creating jobs – only around 75 jobs per TWh compared with up to 2,400 jobs per TWh for renewables. Comparing a decentralised and renewable energy scenario with a more conventional scenario suggests that overall the UK could gain 78,000 extra jobs by going down the decentralised energy path. A 16GW – 5 station programme is expected to create a peak of around 14,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in 2012, but then numbers employed will fall reaching around 5,000 permanent jobs in 2027. This is a long way from the 100,000 jobs originally promised by the Government.

Jobs Briefing >>


No2NuclearPower 2009 briefings

Building New Reactors Damages Attempts to Tackle Climate Change, June 2009


No2NuclearPower 2008 briefings

The Civil Nuclear Power Revival and Nuclear Proliferation, May 2008


NuclearSpin 2008 briefings

To assist people understand key issues on nuclear power, NuclearSpin has launched a series of in-depth briefings on key issues surrounding the debate concerning building new nuclear power plants in the UK.

Nuclear Cost and Finances, by Pete Roche, September 2008

Nuclear Reactor Siting, by Pete Roche, September 2008

Nuclear Waste, by Pete Roche, September 2008

Nuclear Decommissioning, by Pete Roche, September 2008


Other briefings

A brief survey of the range of possible alternatives to nuclear power in Scotland.

For a full briefing on the so-called ‘facilitative actions’ which the Government is carrying out to speed up nuclear developments see New Nuclear Monitor No.14


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