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* Sizewell B in Suffolk was the last nuclear power plant to be built in Britain, with a two-year public inquiry at the time into whether it should open in 1983. Since then no nuclear plants have been built or ordered in the UK. [Ref: Mark Milner, "Nuclear power decision 'must be made soon'", The Guardian, October 3, 2005]
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UK links from IAEA
* Conferences on Physics (Physics Web)
United Kingdom news
April 15, 2013
March 1, 2013
* [reprocessing-UK-Japan] Sellafield Nuclear Waste Cargo Safely Shipped to Japan, Julian Whittle, Cumberland News (thanx Nevada state ANP)
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Nuclear newbuild could boost UK economy by £5 billion/yr
The Institute for Public Policy Research suggests that a boost to GDP of £5 billion a year could follow if all the new nuclear power stations earmarked by the Government's National Policy Statements go ahead.
Source: Vincent de Rivaz (Chief Executive of EDF Energy), "Hinkley Point is 'shovel ready' as Energy Bill reaches crucial stage", The Daily Telegraph (London), January 21, 2013, p. 8
January 13, 2013
UK - Sizewell - wider emergency zone considered for potassium iodide pill distribution
The emergency planning zone around the Sizewell plant currently covers a 1.5 mile radius, including a small part of the Suffolk town of Leiston. 600 people live in the zone. Plans by the Suffolk Resilience Forum, including the emergency services and local authorities, say the radius should be 2.5 miles and include 6,500 people. All those living or working within the zone would be issued with potassium iodate pills which can help limit the absorption of radioactive iodine by the thyroid. The plans are being put out for public consultation.
Source: Sunday Express, "Anti-nuke pills for 6,500", January 13, 2013, p. 23
Jan 2, 2013
#nuclear #newbuild - UK
In Britain last month, bids were taken to build new-generation nuclear plants in Anglesey and Gloucestershire.
Source: Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (Science Director - Heartland Institute), "Don't dismiss nuclear power", The Orange County Register, Jan 2, 2013
UK government wants to open up natural gas fracking
Shale gas production by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been suspended in the UK since 2011 after drilling by Cuadrilla Resources was found to have caused two small earthquakes in Lancashire. There remains strong opposition to this controversial extraction stimulation process. However, John Hayes, a new energy minister, has indicated last week that the Government may sanction the resumption of fracking operations by Cuadrilla before the end of the year, describing shale gas exploitation as having "great potential" for the UK. Meanwhile, Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, recently assured delegates to a gas conference in London that he hopes now to "give a green light to shale", an indication of the Coalition's desire to make investment in UK shale gas exploration and production an attractive proposition to businesses and to install shale gas as an integral part of the British future energy portfolio. Davey suggested last week that a formal position is expected from the Government this month on the shale gas issue to coincide with the release of its gas strategy and the Energy Bill.
Source: Penelope Warne, "New shale gas policy apparently coming together here in Britain", Aberdeen Press and Journal, November 5, 2012, p. 24 (not yet posted on their web site)
October 10, 2012
* [npp-newbuild-UK;energy-UK;antinuc] Councils call for 'rush to renewables', Peter Lazenby, Morning Star Online, Oct 10, 2012
June 24, 2012
* [npp-UK] EDF Agrees Life Extension for U.K. Plants, Mail on Sunday Says, Clementine Fletcher, Bloomberg (via Nevada state ANP)
April 11, 2010
UK - Energy deregulation has resulted in lower costs - review of 20 years
Britain led the world in deregulating and privatising its energy markets, leading electricity bills to stay roughly flat - a dramatic fall in real terms - over the past 20 years. The process started in April 1990, with the dissolution of the state-run Central Electricity Generating Board and privatisation of the 12 regional electricity boards. Scotland's two electricity boards were sold shortly afterwards.
Most of the UK's generating assets were divided into three new companies - PowerGen, National Power and National Grid - while its nuclear plants were retained by the state. Shares in these new companies were sold off to investors by the UK Government. During the first decade there was little movement in wholesale prices, but the regime was reformed when Labour came into power in 1997, creating a spot market for power that increased competition. Today there are six big suppliers of electricity in the UK - EON, RWE npower, Centrica, Scottish Power, Scottish & Southern and EDF...
Consumer groups have concerns about the divergence between wholesale and retail prices, claiming the big six suppliers have not passed on enough in price cuts to bill payers.
Source: Rowena Mason (Telegraph business desk), "Divide and conquer: Privatisation and the fight for UK energy customers", The Sunday Telegraph (London), April 11, 2010, p. 8
April 7, 2010
Westinghouse to lease UK's Springfields nuclear fuel manufacturing site for 150 years
Springfields Fuels Limited (SFL) employs around 1350 people. SFL is now owned by Westinghouse Electric Company, as part of a deal with the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Springfields, near Preston in Lancashire, was the first plant in the world to produce fuel for a commercial power station. The sute has been operated under the management of Westinghouse Electric UK Holdings Limited for the past five years.
The site processes several thousand tons of uranium a year and has the technology to manufacture fuel for all major designs of nuclear reactors worldwide. Most of the fuel requirements for the UK's nuclear power stations are met by Springfields; approximately 15% of all the electricity generated in the UK comes from power stations using nuclear fuel manufactured at Springfields.
Springfields has provided nuclear fuel, chemical and mechanical fabrication for Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR), Magnox and Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel, and conversion services for uranium hexafluoride. The site also provides intermediate products, such as uranium dioxide powder, for several overseas customers in Europe, Canada and Japan. Westinghouse expects to manufacture fuel for the coming AP1000 reactor fleet. Orders for ten AP1000 plants have been placed, four in China and six in the US. The first plant is scheduled to begin producing power (Sanmen plant in China) in 2013.
March 21, 2008
March 7, 2008
March 3, 2008
This is from the front page of today's The Guardian, of Manchester, England.
February 21, 2008
This is top story on the front page of today's The Guardian, of Manchester and London, England.
January 26, 2008
February 24, 2007
October 25, 2006
British Energy's woes to push up power prices -analysts
LONDON - Problems with British Energy's (BGY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) nuclear power plants will probably push up UK power prices and could, at ...
AEA News Update
Two nuclear reactors are closed
Sellafield train closes station
Sellafield gets nuclear training lab
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced its intention to establish a National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) at the Sellafield site in Cumbria . ...
UK govt recommends deep disposal for nuclear waste UPDATE
LONDON - The government has confirmed it favours disposing nuclear waste in deep underground bunkers subject to a regional volunteer coming forward and ...
Radioactive waste 'to be buried'
... Local councils are to be invited to volunteer to have a nuclear dump in their area. Those chosen will benefit from multi-million pound investment. ...
Row over nuclear waste disposal
Government nuclear waste strategy panned
Miliband announces radioactive waste disposal plan
Higher activity waste, which includes waste from the nuclear and medical industries, military uses and academic research, will be managed in the long term ...
Nuclear waste dump plan for cumbria
The UK government asked local authorities to 'volunteer'' take on a national dump for nuclear waste, offering investment in public services ...
Local councils are offered millions to bury nuclear waste
Britain to offer incentives for town to house nuclear waste dump
Scots' plan for England as radioactive dustbin
Areva in 5-yr partnership deal with National Grid for 4 bln eur
Areva T&D and its partners, including Skanska AB and Mott Macdonald, will carry out all upcoming transmission substation projects in the South East of England.
July 11, 2006
British Energy: Don't count them out of new nuclear build
The government has indicated that the most viable sites for new plants "are likely to be adjacent to existing nuclear plants". Most of the land is in the hands of British Energy, the incumbent nuclear energy group. British Energy's ownership of many sites could be a boon for the group, which has just recovered from its financial collapse in 2002 and government-backed rescue. Bill Coley, chief executive, said his group should not be written off in terms of a role in building new plants. "We have the skills and experience of operating nuclear power stations in the UK and we are ready to play our role in the country's energy future... British Energy owns valuable nuclear licensed sites in areas which have excellent community support, and which are very strong candidates for new nuclear build."
Or, British Energy could profit from selling the land to others. Companies such as Eon UK, owner of Powergen, EDF Energy and RWE Npower are keen to build power stations, and will surely consider nuclear. Paul Golby, chief executive of Eon UK, said "Using the existing sites clearly makes sense as (nuclear power) is accepted by the local communities." His group was "obviously willing to pay a sensible market price for these sites", but the government might need to intervene if this did not happen." Eon is not interested in forming a consortium to build nuclear plants, as "we are a large company, and in the main we operate and own our own plants".
[Source: Rebecca Bream, http://www.ft.com">"Industry
July 3, 2006
BNG in the black after first full year
UK: British Nuclear Group (BNG) announced profits of 72 million UK pounds (US$133 million) on gross revenue (including Site Licence Company costs under management) of 2.01 billion UK pounds (US$3.71 billion) in its first full year as a management and operations contractor. BNG, which operates 14 nuclear licensed sites in the UK under contract to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), also achieved savings and additional revenue generation for its customer of 138 million UK pounds (US$255 million) from its operations against its first year plan. BNG's Chief Executive, Lawrie Haynes, said, 'These results are the first hard and fast evidence of British Nuclear Group's profitability and are an excellent indication of the viability of the competitive clean-up market that has been created by the NDA in the UK'. (BNG, 3 July; see also News Briefing 06.14-13)
[Source: World Nuclear Association, WNA
June 28, 2006
UK considers streamlined 3-1/2-to-4-year licensing process for new n-plants
UK: New nuclear power reactors in the country should be pre-licensed using a two-phased system designed to provide a more 'transparent, rigorous and robust' regulatory approach to possible new-build, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) said. In a report prepared for the government as part of its energy review, the HSE said that pre-licensing should be in two phases: a reactor design authorization process based on a generic site concept, and a site- and operator-specific assessment on which to base the granting of a nuclear site licence. Phase one would take about three years, while phase two would take some six to twelve months. Under the provisions of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (as amended), a licence is required for the construction and operation of nuclear reactors and certain other sites. The HSE grants these site licenses through its Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII). (HSE, 28 June; Financial Times, 28 June, p2; see also News Briefing 06.20-1)
[Source: World Nuclear Association, WNA
June 20, 2006
* [2006-05-30] British nuclear renaissance faces threat of skills meltdown
* [2006-05-29] Blair Bowed to U.S. Pressure in Speech, Paper Says
* [2006-05-28] Blair adviser calls for more nuclear power
* [2006-05-26] Blair urges United Nations reform
* [2006-05-25] ScottishPower chief blasts Blair for pre-empting nuclear review
* [2006-05-25] Blair heads to US for Bush talks
* [2006-05-25] Areva comments on UK Energy Review
* [2006-05-25] Go-ahead given for Sizewell nuclear shutdown
* [2006-05-23] Blair attacked over 'secret nuclear agenda'
* [2006-05-20] Focus: How Blair made nuclear power green
* [2006-05-20] Don't rush to nuclear power, warns Blair's environment adviser
* [2006-05-20] Blair's nuclear option reeks of another Eurotunnel
* [2006-05-19] Why is Blair backing nuclear?
* [2006-05-19] Tally of mishaps hits Blair's nuclear hopes
* [2006-05-19] Blair gives green light to nuclear, but hard part is delivery
* [2006-05-18] Nuclear error: Britain's record revealed
* [2006-05-18] Letter: Another atomic age for Britain?
* [2006-05-18] Vengeance of Blair nuclear agenda will be fallout from myopic policies
* [2006-05-18] Blair's toxic legacy
* [2006-05-18] Campaigners call for Blair to publish briefing
* [2006-05-18] Brown set to back Blair on nuclear power plans
* [2006-05-17] Blair sticks by nuclear options
* [2006-05-17] Doubts over Blair's nuclear plan
* [2006-05-17] Blair nuclear speech under fire
* [2006-05-17] Papers ponder Blair's nuclear plans
* [2006-05-17] Blair Says Nuclear Power Back on the Agenda with a Vengeance
* [2006-05-17] Blair's dodgy nuclear dossier
* [2006-05-17] Blair presses the nuclear button
* [2006-05-17] Blair energy review branded a sham
* [2006-05-17] Blair decision challenges Cameron's green agenda
* [2006-05-17] Brown endorses Blair's plans for more nuclear power stations
* [2006-05-17] Blair backs a nuclear (and more dangerous) future
* [2006-05-17] Blair pledge on nuclear power
* [2006-05-17] Blair gives backing to nuclear power
* [2006-05-16] Blair backs nuclear power plans
* [2006-05-16] Blair says nuclear power is back on the agenda
* [2006-05-16] Blair presses the nuclear button
* [2006-05-16] Blair claims two powerful reasons for atomic future
* [2006-05-16] Blair puts nuclear power firmly on energy agenda
* [2006-05-16] UK's Blair says nuclear power back on agenda
* [2006-05-16] Nuclear power back on Blair agenda
* [2006-05-16] Britain goes nuclear to beat energy crisis
* [2006-05-16] Britain goes nuclear to beat energy crisis
* [2006-05-15] 1957: Britain drops its first H-bomb
* [2006-05-12] New UK environment minister says nuclear an option
* [2006-05-11] US group 'will slash UK nuclear clean-up costs'
* [2006-05-09] UK parliamentary committee finds nuclear too late
* [2006-05-08] UK may float stake in uranium enrichment firm
* [2006-05-08] UK ‘should supply own energy’
* [2006-05-07] UK atomic group may go on block for £450m
* [2006-05-07] UK atomic agency boss plots £450m buyout
* [2006-05-06] Blair Reshuffles Cabinet After Election Losses
* [2006-05-06] Britain's Prime Minister Reshuffles Cabinet
* [2006-05-05] HSE acts on Sellafield leak
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it is to bring a criminal prosecution against British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd (BNGSL) over a leak ...
* [2006-05-05] Tony Blair Shakes Up Cabinet After Losses
* [2006-05-04] HSE to prosecute British Nuclear Group following leak at Sellafield plant
* [2006-05-03] UK told to bury nuclear waste, again
* [2006-05-01] Committee recommends two-stage plan to store UK radwaste
* [2006-05-01] UK government says Blair undecided on nuclear despite reports
* [2006-03-31] Rice Gets the Cold Shoulder in Britain
* [2006-03-31] Sale of radioactive clean-up body 'will create nuclear Railtrack'
* [2006-03-31] Wylfa safety check would cost £100m
* [2006-03-31] UK government confirms rise in nuclear clean-up cost to GBP70 bil
* [2006-03-30] The sale of Britain's nuclear giant
* [2006-03-30] Government to sell British Nuclear Group
* [2006-03-30] BNG given £5bn sweetener to help sale
* [2006-03-30] Government to sell British Nuclear Group
* [2006-03-30] Sellafield plant prepares for £1bn privatisation
* [2006-03-30] Cumbria backs a nuclear route
* [2006-03-30] Can we afford to go nuclear?
* [2006-03-30] Sellafield sell-off announced
* [2006-03-30] Update 3-UK to sell nuclear firm BNG as clean-up costs rise
* [2006-03-30] Britain's nuclear sites: clean-up may cost over 70.0 billion pounds
* [2006-03-30] Nuclear clean-up 'to cost £70bn'
* [2006-03-30] Nuclear plant clean-up bill hits £62.7bn
* [2006-03-30] Cost of nuclear clean-up is £9bn more than predicted
* [2006-03-30] Cost of nuclear clean-up is £9bn more than predicted
* [2006-03-30] Cost of dismantling nuclear plants soars by £12 billion
* [2006-03-30] Greenpeace's nuclear rail fears
* [2006-03-29] Investors and firms eye nuclear future
* [2006-03-29] Private sector to run Sellafield as the government sells its nuclear operator
* [2006-03-29] Funding sought to develop UK's original atomic research site
* [2006-03-29] Workers make nuclear plant case
* [2006-03-29] Cost of nuclear clean-up is £9bn more than predicted
* [2006-03-29] British Gov't set to approve nuclear clean-up strategy
* [2006-03-28] Nuclear reactions
* [2006-03-28] Clean energy is in sight if deadlock can be broken
* [2006-03-27] Sell-off plan for BNFL arm to be unveiled
The sale of British Nuclear Group, the clean-up arm of British Nuclear Fuels, is to be announced by the government this week in the latest in a series of privatisations worth up to Pounds 30bn. The BNG sell-off plan follows the announcement in last week's Budget of the partial disposal of British Energy, the nuclear power generator, which will lead a series of asset sales during the next four years. The sale of BNG, to be announced on Thursday or Friday, is estimated as likely to fetch as much as Dollars 1bn (Pounds 570m). BNFL is also considering selling its 33 per cent stake in Urenco, the uranium enrichment business. If that sale were to go ahead, BNFL would be left with only Nexia, its research arm.
The preferred buyer for BNG would be a large international engineering group, such as Fluor or Bechtel, both of the US, which could give BNG access to the huge international nuclear clean-up industry, nuclear industry insiders said. Amec, the UK company, could also be a contender, though some in the industry say the company is too small to help BNG break out beyond the UK's Dollars 50bn nuclear clean-up industry. "BNG is a very experienced bunch of people. But it is quite small and needs to be strengthened and to be given global reach," said an industry insider.
* [2006-03-27] Sellafield awaits nuclear power's rebirth
* [2006-03-27] Regeneration consortium unveiled
* [2006-03-27] Opinion: 'Without changing our mindset, I don't see how the environmental issue can be tackled'
* [2006-03-27] Government may unveil nuclear unit sell-off plan
* [2006-03-27] UK may unveil nuclear unit sell-off plan this week
* [2006-03-26] Energy future needs 'open mind'
* [2006-03-26] UK's nuclear deterrent, a myth
* [2006-03-25] Three years on, experts fail to agree on nuclear waste
* [2006-03-25] Government set for £1bn BNG sale
* [2006-03-25] BNG to be sold ahead of nuclear clean-up task
* [2006-03-25] Sizewell nuclear waste pledge
* [2006-03-25] Letter: Nuclear arms safety
* [2006-03-24] Nuclear sub is nearing completion
March 23, 2006
* [2006-03-23] Minister hints at nuclear restart
* [2006-03-23] Court Considers Whistleblower Lawsuuits
* [2006-03-23] BNG could face double prosecution
* [2006-03-23] The rancid relationship--Britain's close alliance with the United States has become nothing but one-way traffic
* [2006-03-22] We must put it on record that Wylfa is safe
* [2006-03-22] UK nuke industry must answer basic questions to have future:Wicks
* [2006-03-21] Work to seal nuclear shaft begins
* [2006-03-21] Nuclear waste warning from MP
* [2006-03-21] UK nuke industry must answer basic questions to have future:Wicks
* [2006-03-21] The UK taxpayers faces a "large and uncertain liability"
* [2006-03-21] Nuclear industry challenged on safety
* [2006-03-20] Hain breaks ranks to oppose nuclear power
* [2006-03-20] Prosecution threat over nuclear leak
* [2006-03-20] The UK taxpayers faces a "large and uncertain liability"
* [2006-03-19] Tories call for new nuclear subs
* [2006-03-19] 'Enough is enough': wind farm builder threatens to quit UK
* [2006-03-18] Whatever happened to ... CND?
* [2006-03-17] NI physicists receive £3.2m award
* [2006-03-16] Livingstone opposes nuclear power
* [2006-03-16] Ministers 'wrote blank cheque' to bail out nuclear power group
* [2006-03-16] Watchdog attacks £29.1m spending
* [2006-03-16] UK was right to support British Energy - NAO
* [2006-03-15] MoD ministers reject calls to discuss Trident replacement
* [2006-03-15] Back to the future
* [2006-03-14] UK 'needs a nuclear contingency'
* [2006-03-14] Risk of Dounreay particles 'low'
* [2006-03-14] Nuclear arms will keep Union Jack
* [2006-03-14] Nuclear debate for west Cumbria
* [2006-03-14] Britain launches nuclear missile debate
* [2006-03-14] AEA News Update
* [2006-03-13] Nuclear power from disused mines
... to stop us being at the mercy of other countries for fuel, is to bite the bullet and start building new-generation nuclear power stations as ...
* [2006-03-13] Nuclear would face tough tests – Wicks
Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has claimed that nuclear power will come under intense scrutiny over its safety and security if it is to play a part in the UK ...
* [2006-03-13] Britain secretly gave Israel plutonium for atom bombs, BBC ...
... of information also show how Britain made hundreds of shipments to Israel of restricted materials which could have helped their nuclear weapons programme. ...
* [2006-03-13] New deterrent 'being considered'
* [2006-03-13] Councils say no to nuclear power station
* [2006-03-13] Power struggle over miniature wind turbines
* [2006-03-11] Focus: Britain's secret nuclear blueprint
* [2006-03-11] Should Britain go nuclear?
* [2006-03-11] Lib-Dems want nuclear-free Wales
* [2006-03-11] Ambassadors at large
* [2006-03-10] Lib-Dems to get tough on nuclear move
* [2006-03-10] The Race is On for New Nuke Plant
* [2006-03-10] Cumbria needs nuclear jobs
* [2006-03-10] UK sold plutonium to Israel to develop nuclear weapons - report
* [2006-03-10] Britain gave Israel plutonium, files show
* [2006-03-10] Britain gave Israel plutonium in 1960s - report
* [2006-03-09] Tory disquiet over energy policy
* [2006-03-09] How are we doing on renewables?
* [2006-03-09] Squabbles over energy must not leave us in the dark
* [2006-03-09] Decentralised Energy Cheaper, Cleaner, Safer.
* [2006-03-09] Report’s solution to Thorp riddle
* [2006-03-09] MP rejects anti-nuclear proposals
* [2006-03-09] Letter: Answer is blowing in the wind
* [2006-03-09] Secret sale of UK plutonium to Israel
* [2006-03-09] UK supplied Israel with plutonium
* [2006-03-08] Nuclear challenge for Labour MSPs
* [2006-03-08] Inquiry into nuclear trains welcomed
* [2006-03-08] Trains 'vulnerable to attack'
* [2006-03-08] New UK nuclear would cut carbon - in the wrong way
* [2006-03-08] Bush's new best friends
* [2006-03-07] Drumbeat sounds familiar
* [2006-03-07] Don't build nuclear plants, green advisers tell Blair
* [2006-03-07] Who should take nuclear decision?
* [2006-03-07] Chapelcross comes to a crossroads
* [2006-03-07] Scotland 'should get nuclear say'
* [2006-03-07] Plan for new nuclear programme approaches meltdown after report
* [2006-03-07] You were too hasty to back nuclear plant
* [2006-03-07] New nuclear stations 'not needed'
* [2006-03-07] Energy crisis: Stop looking for easy fix
* [2006-03-07] Report backs Welsh anti nuclear lobby
* [2006-03-07] New UK nuclear would cut carbon – in the wrong way
* [2006-03-06] 'No quick fix' from nuclear power
* [2006-03-06] Don't build nuclear plants, green advisers tell Blair
* [2006-03-06] Plan for new nuclear programme approaches meltdown after report
* [2006-03-06] Analysis: Porritt whispers in PM's ear with all the force he can muster
* [2006-03-06] Majority of Scots oppose nuclear power
* [2006-03-06] Commission rejects new nuclear plants
* [2006-03-05] Weighing up future energy options
* [2006-03-05] Energy poll boost for renewables
* [2006-03-05] A wind farm too far
* [2006-03-04] Know nukes
* [2006-03-04] US to clean up on UK nuclear mess
* [2006-03-03] Trident submarine is refitted for new role
* [2006-03-02] Serco recruits US partner to bid for nuclear clean-up
* [2006-03-02] Talk on nuclear power
* [2006-03-02] Man loses depleted uranium action
* [2006-03-02] Giant wind farm plan thrown out
* [2006-03-01] We need nuclear power and a new generation of boffins
* [2006-03-01] Think solar not nuclear for the energy of the future, say scientists
October 26, 2005
UK concludes that if greenhouse goals are so important, nuclear shouldn't be sequestered from the effective favour of subsidy
The government is considering extending one of the main state subsidies offered to wind farms and other renewable sources of energy to nuclear power, the energy minister has signalled. Malcolm Wicks told the Financial Times the government would not rule out using next year's review of energy policy to extend the renewables obligation to nuclear and other low carbon sources of energy, such as clean coal. The obligation, which came into force in 2002, subsidises most forms of renewables by forcing power suppliers to generate a minimum proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. This market manipulation is justified by the need to meet the government's climate change goals, Mr Wicks suggested. "It's perfectly proper to have mechanisms which in the early stages of technology offer some financial support," he said. "I don't think that's inconsistent with thinking through (the idea the obligation is extended to nuclear and other clean energy supplies). Our objective . . . is about using carbon more responsibly and less of it and therefore shouldn't we try to explore mechanisms which are technology neutral." The ministerial willingness to consider a radical revamping of the renewables obligation is a victory for pro-nuclear lobbying. Industry groups, which are pressing the government to commit to replacing Britain's ageing fleet of nuclear reactors in next year's energy review, argue that the government will have to introduce several measures - such as the renewables obligations - to give private investors sufficient incentives to make the long-term financial commitment needed to fund new stations.
[Source: Christopher Adams and Jean Eaglesham, "'Green' subsidy considered for nuclear power", Financial Times (London, England), October 26, 2005, p. 2]
October 14, 2005
UK to add a 6th nuclear waste ship for ocean transport
British Nuclear Group subsidiary Pacific Nuclear Transport (PNTL) has contracted for a sixth nuclear waste transport ship. The vessel will be 104 m long, 17 m wide, with a 6.75 m draught and weight of 4,500 dwt. Mitsui Engineering of Japan won the 30-million pound ($56.5-million) contract to build it. The new ship is expected to be delivered in November, 2007, and its home port will be Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. James Fisher & Sons manages the five nuclear carriers in the present PNTL fleet.
[Ref: David Osler (Lloyd's List International), "PNTL places order for £30m nuclear carrier with Mitsui; Move will provoke controversy with environmentalists", Lloyd's List, October 17, 2005, p. 1]
October 3, 2005
Row over Blair aide's nuclear 'joke'
Tony Blair's senior political advisor mentioned a way for his Labour party to pick up a seat from the Liberal Democrats in Scotland: by building a nuclear power station at Dounreay. Such a move would be popular amongst the local population in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. The remark has prompted some of the opposition to rail against the secret plan by the UK government to force Scotland to accept nuclear power stations against Holyrood's will. Richard Lochhead, the SNP's spokesman on energy, said: "This just shows the Labour government can't be trusted when it is willing to jeopardise our environment and public safety in the vain hope of winning votes." Patrick Harvie, a Green MSP, said: "The bigger parties like Labour seem to be determining this decision on whether it will increase their chances of winning a particular constituency election." But Iain Smith, a Liberal Democrat MSP, dismissed Mr McTernan's remarks. He said: "That sounds to be like something said in jest and I think it should be treated in that respect." This latter take is very much how Blair's advisor himself explains his comment: "I have responsibility for political strategy, not policy. What I said was a throwaway remark - a joke - made in the context of a discussion on Labour fighting back against the Liberal Democrats." The advisor is John McTernan, the Prime Minister's political secretary.
A spokesman for Jack McConnell, the First Minister, said: "There are no proposals for any new nuclear power station in Scotland, and this issue will not form part of any election strategy in Scotland. The First Minister is clear that Labour's manifesto will be about what is in the best interests of Scotland rather than any electoral advantage over any other parties. "His position on nuclear power is well-known. He believes there needs to be a long-term resolution to the issue of nuclear waste before people even start contemplating building a new nuclear power station."
Alan Johnson, the Trade and Industry Secretary, said yesterday that a decision on whether to build a new generation of nuclear power stations will have to be made "pretty soon". Mr Johnson said that he intended to publish proposals next year with a view to starting a "mature" public debate before the UK government makes a final decision on whether to go ahead. He claimed many environmentalists were now coming round to the idea that nuclear power could provide an alternative to fossil fuels.
Cold winter could force some industrial power users to close up
UK's trade and industry secretary, Alan Johnson, acknowledged that, as the CBI has warned, some companies could face power black-outs if there was a very harsh winter this year, although he stressed that domestic consumers would not be affected. "If we have a one-in-fifty winter, a very, very bad winter some of the most energy-intensive companies may need to decide whether to switch off their power for some time," he said in an interview with BBC1's Sunday AM programme,
[Ref: Edward Davie, "Johnson calls for debate on nuclear power", ePolitix.com, 2 Oct 2005 12:12:10 GMT+01]
Impending retirement of UK n-plant fleet requires decision on replacement power now
"We have to make decision pretty soon if we are going to have nuclear new-build," UK's trade and industry secretary, Alan Johnson, told BBC1's Sunday AM programme yesterday. "Because all of our nuclear power stations will be retired over the next 20-25 years, we have to make a decision now whether to replace them as part of that general policy to concentrate on the effect on the climate, concentrate on security of supply and affordability for the customer", he said. Also amongst his comments: "What we really need is to have a proper, mature debate about this issue. Many environmentalists now accept that the more we increase renewables, we are just running to catch up because as nuclear energy diminishes we are losing a form of CO2-free emissions."
[Ref: Mark Milner, "Nuclear power decision 'must be made soon'", The Guardian, October 3, 2005]
Blair and ministers favor new nuclear plant build
Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson promised yesterday a final decision will be made by next summer on whether to build more nuclear power stations. It is the strongest signal so far that nuclear power will be the main fuel of the future in Britain. Mr Johnson insisted the plans were still up for discussion but privately ministers increasingly believe nuclear fuel is the only way forward. Tony Blair is believed to have been persuaded it will be cleaner and more reliable for meeting Britain's energy needs. It comes amid jitters across the world over the price of oil and gas and fears over the lack of refining capacity for petrol.
[Excerpted from Oonagh Blackman (Political Editor), Nuke plant decision by summer, Daily Mirror (London, UK), October 3, 2005]
August 8, 2005
Nuke train fears over rusty viaduct
The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority contracts the transport of spent nuclear fuel between plants and Sellafield. Direct Rail Services is the contractor. There's a viaduct -- the Foxfield Viaduct -- on the rail link between Barrow and Sellafield. The last detailed inspection of the viaduct took place in November 2000, with the next one due at the end of next year. An annual visual inspection was carried out in October 2004, with the next one expected this autumn. There are no current temporary or emergency speed restrictions on the viaduct, and no weight limit for trains passing over it. Local officials have expressed concern about the safety of using the viaduct for spent fuel transport. Jos Curwen, who represents nearby Broughton at South Lakeland District Council, told the Evening Mail he had raised the issue with Stephen Byers during his time as Secretary of State for Transport. He also highlighted the point at a recent public inquiry into the detrunking of the A595. A spokesperson for Direct Rail Services said: “We work very closely with Network Rail and it is their responsibility to keep the line at the appropriate level.”
* 2005-05-22: Houses planned for ex-atomic site
* 2005-05-22: 2,000 more wind turbines in countryside
* 2005-05-22: Tilting at windmills: nation split over energy eyesores
* 2005-05-21: Private equity firms eye BNFL's US unit
* 2005-05-21: Wanted: nuclear workers
* 2005-05-21: AEA News Update
* 2005-05-20: Nuclear lobby gathers steam but can expect severe reaction
* 2005-05-20: Trident protesters start blockade
* 2005-05-19: Rule out more nuclear power, Lib Dems urge
* 2005-05-18: Thorp leak hits INES category III
* 2005-05-18: Nuclear dump fears for Norfolk
* 2005-05-18: Energy Chief Foresees Nuclear Power Plant
* 2005-05-18: Nuclear industry 'misleading over waste'
* 2005-05-18: What future for nuclear power?
* 2005-05-18: UK's nuclear waste may go up in smoke
* 2005-05-18: UK major energy buyers could be interested in nuclear deals
* 2005-05-17: Town awaits nuclear waste report
* 2005-05-17: ‘Play your part in the nuclear waste debate’
* 2005-05-17: Tell us the truth about Thorp
* 2005-05-17: Factbox-Britain's foreign policy priorities
* 2005-05-16: British Atomic Bomb Victim Added to Nagasaki Memorial
* 2005-05-16: Is Britain's future really nuclear?
* 2005-05-16: Scientists switch on power probe
* 2005-05-16: Poll shows opposition to nuclear power
* 2005-05-16: The nuclear debate
* 2005-05-16: BNFL say clean-up is safe
* 2005-05-16: Nuclear dump plan for area
* 2005-05-16: Letters: Reprocessing the nuclear debate
* 2005-05-16: Go nuclear to save the UK
* 2005-05-15: Fueling a Fight? Nuclear plant at old Yadkin River site could fit Duke's plans for expansion
* 2005-05-14: Waste warning over plans to expand UK's nuclear power
* 2005-05-14: Revealed: list of sites to take nuclear waste
* 2005-05-14: AEA News Update
* 2005-05-14: Close nuclear leak plant for good, says Sellafield
* 2005-05-13: Leak forces Sellafield to close
* 2005-05-13: Thorp may be Shut for Months After Leak
* 2005-05-12: BNFL Denies Leak Fears Over Clean-Up
* 2005-05-12: Tartan Waste Flow Checked
* 2005-05-12: Nuclear power may be the only way, says chief scientist
* 2005-05-12: Scotland 'can say no' to nuclear
* 2005-05-12: Scientist quells Sellafield disaster fear
* 2005-05-12: Sellafield’s New Excellence Centre is First in UK
* 2005-05-12: PM wants more nuclear power stations in Britain
* 2005-05-12: Britain may need another generation of nuclear power plants
* 2005-05-11: Sellafield’s Thorp reprocessing plant incident perturbs an impatient Europe
* 2005-05-11: Radioactive Leak Shuts Down UK Nuclear Reprocessing Plant
* 2005-05-11: Experts seek clean, green power
* 2005-05-11: Energy elevated in new UK cabinet
* 2005-05-10: Call for rational nuclear debate
* 2005-05-10: DTI falls to the rebranding sword
* 2005-05-10: Management at Sellafield remain in "cover-up" mode - Morgan
The three day delay by BNFL in notifying Irish authorities, of a leak which occurred at Sellafield on April 18th, was slammed as unacceptable by Sinn Fein spokesperson Arthur Morgan. The delay confirmed that management at the plant remained in "cover-up" mode, he said. "The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland has admitted that management at BNFL-Sellafield failed to notify them for at least three days of the leak of some twenty tonnes of a highly dangerous mixture, containing uranium and plutonium. Where does this leave the supposed new level of cooperation from BNFL with RPII and what is our Government going to do about this total disregard?" Deputy Morgan asked. "It certainly appears to me that management at Sellafield remain in 'cover-up' mode and would happily have covered-up this incident, given half a chance. We need strong voices from all Government Ministers on this issue, coupled with strong action to hold BNFL to account. This action should include a conference of all groups opposed to Sellafield, including the Nordic countries, who have been much more active on this issue than the Irish government."
* 2005-05-10: Radioactive leak closes Sellafield processing plant
* 2005-05-10: Sellafield: Norway asks Britain for improved warning routines
* 2005-05-09: Radioactive leak hits Britain in pocket
* 2005-05-09: Sellafield leak doesn't affect Ireland - Govt
* 2005-05-09: Radioactive leak closes Sellafield
* 2005-05-09: Radioactive leak closes Thorp reprocessing plant at Sellafield
* 2005-05-09: Sellafield leak rings alarms in Norway
* 2005-05-09: The nuclear option
* 2005-05-09: Stuck helplessly at No10, Mr Blair has reshuffled himself into irrelevance
* 2005-05-09: Blair demands nuclear power to protect high 'living standards'
* 2005-05-09: Two held in nuclear base protest
* 2005-05-08: US-UK-Italian Uranium Science Fraudulent: Patients Betrayed by Italian Scientist
* 2005-05-08: Blair demands nuclear power to protect high 'living standards'
* 2005-05-08: Huge radioactive leak closes Thorp nuclear plant
* 2005-05-08: Radioactive leak closes £2bn nuclear reprocessing plant
* 2005-05-08: Cabinet clash over nuclear power
* 2005-05-08: Pressure rises on nuclear power
* 2005-05-08: Nuclear advisers under pressure to quit after conflicts revealed
* 2005-05-07: Secret papers reveal new nuclear building plan
* 2005-05-07: A question we can duck no longer
* 2005-05-07: Labour's nuclear option
* 2005-05-07: Government urged to set up nuclear build plan
* 2005-05-05: Going nuclear
* 2005-05-05: Terror fears draw veil over nuclear plants
* 2005-05-05: Experts: Much Nuclear Safety Work Remains
* 2005-05-05: Call to halt Dounreay clean up operation
* 2005-05-04: Greens' nuclear warning to voters
* 2005-05-04: Why Britain must keep the nuclear deterrent
* 2005-05-03: Sellafield union chief calls for new nuclear power plants
* 2005-05-03: Fears over 'replace Trident plan'
* 2005-05-03: Brown refuses to back Blair's nuclear programme
* 2005-05-03: SA probes nuclear illness claims
* 2005-05-02: Blair planning revival of nuclear power
* 2005-05-02: British firm risks environment damage with 'unsafe' plant in US
* 2005-05-02: Blair says no decision yet on nuclear deterrent
* 2005-05-01: Revealed: Blair to upgrade Britain's nuclear weapons
* 2005-05-01: Govt urged to close Sellafield
* 2005-05-01: Troops' families demand public inquiry into war
April 18, 2005
05/05/05: The election: SNP goes to war on nuclear dumping
Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has gone to war on nuclear dumping by rubbishing 22 possible new sites throughout Scotland. Mr Salmond, demonstrating in Bennachie, Aberdeenshire, at the weekend, said: "The Government should rule out these sites - Scotland should not have to pay for Labour's nuclear madness. They are obsessed with creating a nuclear future for Scotland. There is no need for more nuclear power. Scotland has the potential to be the renewable energy powerhouse of Europe with exceptional offshore energy potential." The SNP said the new potential sites include areas such as Deeside, Skye and Lochaber, Argyll and Bute, and Caithness, to follow in the footsteps of Rosyth, Dounreay, Torness and Chapelcross.
Atomic body plans more site work
The UK Atomic Energy Authority plans to increase its revenues from cleaning up disused UK nuclear sites by 50 per cent in the next four years -- to at least Pounds 450m by 2009, from about Pounds 300m last year. It also hopes to pick up contracts from governments in the rest of Europe and the former Soviet Union. Dipesh Shah, the chief executive, yesterday announced his ambitions for the UKAEA after winning approval from the government for a business plan that encourages the organisation to act similarly to a private enterprise. It will continue to be a public body answerable to the Department of Trade and Industry. It also hopes to win contracts for environment clean-up work in fields outside the nuclear sector - such as the oil and gas industry - through taking advantage of the expertise it has gained in dealing with nuclear installations. Of the Pounds 2bn spent annually by the UK government on nuclear clean-up, the UKAEA receives about a sixth for working on research sites, while British Nuclear Fuels, another state body, gains most of the rest for decommissioning former power plants. This month, ministers established a new government agency, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which will take overall responsibility for making former nuclear sites in the UK safe for other uses.
April 16, 2005
Salmond under nuclear attack
The SNP [Scottish National Party] was accused of “childish scaremongering” last night after it used a 26-year-old study to claim that Labour intends to turn Scotland into a nuclear dumping ground. Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, had claimed that 22 of 33 sites being considered as nuclear dumps are in Scotland and accused Labour of making Scots pay for its “nuclear madness”. The SNP cited as evidence a new report from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), which has been asked by ministers to look at options for the disposal of Britain's nuclear waste. However, CoRWM denied that finding locations for the dumps was part of its remit and said there had been no discussion about where the waste should go. “We are not making any recommendations on sites,” said a spokesperson. “Our final report will be handed to the governments in July 2006.” Later it emerged that the SNP's list of 22 possible sites in Scotland was based on a 1979 study by the Institute of Geological Sciences.
SNP's nuclear poll claims mass Trident opposition
Scots were asked: "Would you support or oppose the government buying a new nuclear missile system to replace Trident?" Almost 80% expressed opposition. Of the 1000 voters polled in March, 69% of traditional Conservative voters said they would be against the move, as were 79% of Labour voters and 82% of those who would normally vote Liberal Democrat; 87% of Scottish Socialist Party voters opposed it while the biggest opposition came from SNP voters, who registered 89%. The research was carried out by System Three, and commissioned by the Scottish National Party. SNP leader Alex Salmond said "Parliament is due to decide after the election whether or not to replace Trident. This poll sends a clear message to the London parties that Scotland says no to new nuclear weapons on her shores." The government is considering the replacement of ageing missile systems with new submarines and brand new weapons from America. A range of options is being considered, including new, smaller, more advanced submarines, possibly equipped with long-range cruise missiles to succeed the Trident missile system. It is thought that the decision to upgrade Britain's nuclear capability would cost the taxpayer around £20 billion. "The SNP are the only party who can make the wishes of the Scottish people matter in May. Rather than spending billions on WMDs of our own, we should be investing in Scotland's priorities", Salmond said. A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: "It is hardly surprising that when you pay a lot of money for polls you get the result you are looking for... This election is a choice between Michael Howard and Tony Blair. The nationalists, who are playing politics with the jobs of thousands of workers at Faslane [naval base on the Clyde, where Trident is based], are utterly, utterly irrelevant to that."
* 2005-03-29: Sellafield 'wind down' to begin
* 2005-03-26: Ministers signal U-turn on Scottish nuclear plants
* 2005-03-24: Sellafield Paid for Late Work
* 2005-03-19: Louth cancer increase ‘is not linked to Sellafield’
March 18, 2005
UK public unrealistic about renewable energy, sez UK engineering group
[T]he Institution of Civil Engineers expressed concern at a poll that revealed public opposition to nuclear new-build. The poll also showed that the public thought 30 per cent of UK electricity demand would be met by renewables by 2020, which the ICE branded 'ignorance'. ICE chairman David Anderson called the findings 'worrying' and urged the government to instigate a 'reasoned' debate about the issues.
[Source: Paul Newton, "Amec signals interest in new nuclear plant", Utility Week, March 18, 2005, p. 3]
* 2005-03-18: UKAEA - Dounreay team takes 'British is Best' message to Scottish Tories
* 2005-03-17: Sellafield status update: Pile 1 decommissioning plans moving slowly but steadily forward
* 2005-03-12: Radiation device ‘lost or stolen’ at Dounreay
* 2005-03-10: US Firms Fight for Sellafield Contracts
* 2005-03-07: Ex-safety officer at Dounreay claims cover-up
* 2005-03-06: 'Regret' over Dounreay Radioactive Discharge
* 2005-03-05: 'Nuclear Cowboys' Caused Dounreay 'Disaster' - Claim
* 2005-03-05: I live 12 miles from Sellafield and I am frightened
January 4, 2005
November 19, 2004
November 5, 2004
UK shouldn't wait 3-4 years before deciding on new nuclear build, sez SSE CEO
Scottish & Southern Energy has warned that building nuclear power stations may be the only way to solve the UK's growing energy crisis. Chief executive Ian Marchant said that to rely on renewable resources to beat the problem was "a big ask", and that the government should move on the nuclear question within two years. The UK is currently facing a crossroads on energy policy due to the decline in national gas supplies, the side-effects of fossil fuels and EU restrictions on carbon emissions. The government is not likely to act on the issue until after next year's election, but Marchant called for a response after the vote - regardless of the political implications surrounding the decision. He said: "The foundations for new nuclear power stations should be laid - if only to get the ball rolling. A full economic commitment need not be made until year three or four of the programme." When asked if SSE would want to get involved, he said: "Given the choice, no. But would I have to? Maybe."
[Source: John Bowker (The Scotsman, senior city correspondent), "SSE gives backing to nuclear plant revival", The Scotsman, November 5, 2004, p. 45]
August 21, 2004
UK - nuclear industry counting on 2006 boost from failure of wind industry
The nuclear industry in UK is drawing up plans to push, starting in 2006, for the introduction of new reactors. The case for nuclear energy is expected to become more obvious by then because the Government will have statistics pointing to the lack of effectiveness of renewable energy sources such as wind farms. Nuclear power currently provides 24 per cent of Britain's energy needs, but without new reactors, this will fall to 16 per cent by 2010 as power stations are shut down. The gap is slated to be filled by wind power and gas, but prices for energy from these sources are soaring. The Royal Academy of Engineering recently calculated that nuclear power was now a cheaper way of generating electricity than gas, coal or wind power. The surging wholesale price of electricity and gas is expected to boost the appeal of nuclear power. In addition, there is growing hostility to wind power and there is doubt that enough wind turbines will be built to make up for lost nuclear capacity, at any price. Until 2006, the nuclear lobby's strategy is to keep quiet as it does not want emotive safety issues to become an issue in the next General Election. The nuclear lobby strategy is believed to have support from the Prime Minister, who sees nuclear power as vital if Britain is to meet its targets on reducing greenhouse gases. The nuclear industry in the West has stalled, but there is a growing realization in the Far East, and China in particular, that nuclear power will be the only way to cope with the energy needs of the emerging economic giants. The push for nuclear could give a huge boost to the UK nuclear firm BNFL.
[Source: Tom McGhie, "...And The Nuclear Lobby Lies In Wait", Mail On Sunday (London), August 22, 2004]
May 19, 2004
April 4, 2004
UK - wind power - public resistance growing
Resistance is also gathering strength in Britain. Last week Country Life magazine launched a campaign and petition against a relaxation of the planning law proposed by John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, to encourage the development of land-based wind farms in Britain.
Clive Aslet, the magazine's editor, said: "As our continental neighbours have discovered, and we in the UK are quickly learning, the infrastructural costs needed to support wind power generation appear to hugely outweigh the advantages. It provides a trickle of green energy but is against all the principles of sustainable development."
... Last month, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that proposed Scottish windmills were threatening to push one of Britain's rarest birds, the golden eagle, into extinction. The rapid spread of wind farms in Britain also threatens species including osprey, red kites, merlin and falcons.
There are currently 1,043 turbines on 84 sites throughout the UK, with plans for 959 more to be installed. A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry, which oversees the energy production, said that Britain would not be deflected from its own aim of producing 10 per cent of power from renewable sources by 2010.
"Regardless of what other European countries do, we firmly believe in this for the future," she said.
[Source: Renee Mickelburgh et al., "Huge protests by voters force the continent's governments to rethink so-called green energy", Sunday Telegraph (London), April 4, 2004, p. 28]
March 31, 2004
February 21, 2004
January 17, 2004
UK - increasing wind and wave power to 20% share will create thousands of jobs
The renewable energy industry, including wind and wave power, could bring "significant" economic and social benefits to the UK, according to a new report by the Department of Trade and Industry. About 8,000 jobs already depend on renewable energy, but this could rise to between 17,000 and 35,000 by the year 2020, said the report. The government has a target of achieving 10 per cent of the UK's energy needs by renewable means by 2010 and aims to double that by 2020. Energy Minister Stephen Timms said: "The development of renewable energy ... offers a huge opportunity to enhance our manufacturing capacity and provide new employment, particularly in the remoter areas."
[Source: David Jones, "Green Power May Bring 35,000 Jobs", Daily Post (Liverpool), January 17, 2004, p. 22]
UK - South West way behind in boosting renewables from current 3% (60 years away from 2010 goal of 15%)
Renewable sources now generate about 3 per cent of electricity used in the South West UK. Landfill gas sites make the largest contribution. At these sites, special pipes are installed into rubbish tips to collect methane and create electricity. At Holsworthy, for example, a sludge tank is used to generate methane gas to fire turbines. Overall carbon dioxide savings for the South West are 300,000 tonnes. Matthew Spencer, chief executive of Regen SW, the renewable energy agency for the South West, says the target is 15 per cent of renewable energy by 2010, but at current installation rates, that will not be met for 60 years. He says the main barrier is the planning system. "Most applications for renewable energy sites are turned down because of visual impact."
[Source: Torquay Herald Express (Devon, UK), "Green power reaches 23,000", January 17, 2004, p. 14]
January 2, 2004
Wales - wind farms
[In] Wales, ... sheep farms have sadly been replaced by wind farms...
[Ref: Julian More, "Tilting at windmills in sunny Provence", International Herald Tribune, January 2, 2004]
August 26, 2003
UK - no more reprocessing contracts, Thorp to close by 2010
BNFL plans to shut down its Thorp reprocessing operation at Sellafield by 2010. The plant, which cost 1.8-billion pounds to build, opened nine years ago. The 75 tons of plutonium and 3,336 tons of uranium extracted by reprocessing so far is "stored and closely guarded but with no obvious use", The Guardian reports. The company plans to continue to use the plant, but as a waste handling facility. The 2010 date was chosen to allow fulfilling existing contracts. An older reprocessing plant, built in the 1950s, will keep reprocessing Magnox plant fuel until 2012. The magnesium cladding on Magnox fuel deteriorates rapidly when the used fuel is cooled in water, so reprocessing it is a must. The only manufacturing activity at Sellafield when reprocessing stops will be the MOX fuel fabrication plant which opened last year.
The decision to shut down the reprocessing was resisted by many in BNFL. Brian Watson, site director, told The Guardian "We have had to get rid of the 'job for life' attitude, the resistance to change, the cost-plus contracts that meant there was no discipline. This site is like a supertanker that takes some turning. I have had to let people who would not make the change go, and go they have. We have changed the reprocessing mission to one of clean up."
The Guardian notes that Mr. Watson's comments were in "sharp contrast" to the company's annual report issued just last month which trumpeted the achievements of Thorp and the vitrification plant which processes Thorp's liquid waste into glass blocks.
Mr. Watson would like to see a plutonium-burning reactor built at the site, using fuel produced by the MOX plant. But any decision to pursue such a path will come from the politicians, not from BNFL.
[Sources: Paul Brown (Guardian environmental correspondent), "Sellafield shutdown ends the nuclear dream", The Guardian, August 26, 2003; and Reuters, "Sellafield to stop reprocessing by 2010", August 26, 2003 03:23]
August 13, 2003
Spokesmen for British Energy's nuclear plants and BNFL's Magnox plants pointed out that these units were mainly at coastal sites where sea temperatures had remained at levels that allowed the plants to continue to operate efficiently.
[Source: John Shepherd (NucNet Central Office), "Europe's Heatwave: Nuclear Shows Staying Power As Wind Fails", NucNet, August 13, 2003]
But electricity shortages may come in winter's cold
UK generators are mothballing their plants, and Britain could run out of generating capacity in December and January - particularly if the weather turns very cold. At a private meeting in June, National Grid bosses are believed to have issued a plea to the generators to stop shutting down power stations.
The plants are being taken off line because with wholesale prices low for a number of years, the generators cannot afford to keep stations standing idle.
It may not be easy to persuade them to bring power stations back on line because of the cost and financial risk involved.
Last night, David Porter, of the Association of Electricity Producers, said there was a real risk of demand outstripping supply in the event of a bad winter.
Britain could then have to rely on importing electricity from France. Current UK generating capacity is put at 65,000 megawatts. Demand peaked last December at 54,000 megawatts. France can export 2,000 megawatts to the UK via a cable under the channel. This would be enough electricity to power two cities the size of Bristol.
Mr Porter said prices could rise in the long term because of shortages linked to a lack of generating capacity, new EU-inspired taxes on gas and coal-fired generation and a switch from nuclear power to expensive wind, water and wave power.
Energy traders said the days of cheap power were coming to an end as the market was pulled into line with the Continent, where electricity is more expensive. The cost of wholesale electricity is expected to rise by a third this winter, which will be a blow to industrial users such as the chemical sector, which requires huge quantities of power. Prices for private users could start rising by next April. Home electricity bills are expected to increase over the next few years from an average of GBP 250 to GBP 277 a year.
Mr Porter said: 'Wholesale prices have been so depressed for a couple of years that some companies have begun to close power stations because they can't afford to have them standing idle.'
[Source: Sean Poulter, "Power Cuts Threat As Plants Are Shut", Daily Mail (London), August 13, 2003]
New carbon dioxide emissions trading in the European Union from 2005 will force coal out of the market - it supplies a third now - and bring higher bills for customers already paying for more costly renewables.
[Source: David Gow (Industrial editor), "Basking Britons will be rudely awakened by a cold snap, warn power producers: Shrinking margins have led to a drop in reserve capacity", The Guardian (London) , August 13, 2003, p. 16
BE rescue plan lawful, despite EC 'concerns'
The government's 3.3 billion UK pound (US$5.4 billion) rescue plan for British Energy (BE) is lawful, the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) has ruled. The DTI claims that a report from the European Commission (EC), which is investigating the legality of the rescue package, did not constitute a preliminary judgment, but instead a list of concerns about the state aid package to BE that were being discussed. A BE spokesman said the company and the government were confident that the EC would eventually approve the company's restructuring plan. (Nuclear Market Review, 8 August, p3; see also News Briefing 03.31-11)
[Source: World Nuclear Association, WNA News Briefing NB03.32-15, August 12, 2003]
August 6, 2003
August 3, 2003
May 18, 2003
Irish get general assurances, no details, from UK on Sellafield security
"We have sought to be as open and co-operative as we can with Ireland about these matters subject to ensuring the necessary confidentiality of security sensitive information," Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Patricia Hewitt said in a letter to Environment Minister Martin Cullen. Following the September 11 attacks, she said additional security measures had been put in place and the threat of "external hazards", such as a plane being crashed into Sellafield, were being continually reviewed. Security was "effective and robust" but details must remain confidential. "The UK does not disclose outside the UK Government details of the threat assessments we have made," she wrote. [Source: Andrew Bushe, "Sellafield: Brits Shrug Off Our Security Fears; Cullen Snubbed", Sunday Mirror (UK), May 18, 2003, p. 2]
* UK 1998
Mean individual dose to
UKers from Chernobyl accident (over 50-year period) is projected to be
50 microSieverts. The collective dose to
UKers over the same period is projected to be
2,800 person-Sieverts. The projections take into account inhalation from the passing cloud, ingestion through the food chain, and external irradiation from deposited radioactivity, and are based on the MESOS dispersion model developed by Helen ApSimon of Imperial College, as applied by W. Nixon, of the Safety and Reliability Directorate of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority. [Ref: Nuclear News, "Chernobyl doses across the continent", January 1987, p. 62]
Mean individual dose to UKers from Chernobyl accident (over 50-year period) is projected to be 50 microSieverts. The collective dose to UKers over the same period is projected to be 2,800 person-Sieverts. The projections take into account inhalation from the passing cloud, ingestion through the food chain, and external irradiation from deposited radioactivity, and are based on the MESOS dispersion model developed by Helen ApSimon of Imperial College, as applied by W. Nixon, of the Safety and Reliability Directorate of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority. [Ref: Nuclear News, "Chernobyl doses across the continent", January 1987, p. 62]