Ministers urged to clarify nuclear cost overruns http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10065162/Ministers-urged-to-clarify-nuclear-cost-overruns.html
The Government has been urged to clarify who will bear the risk of any cost overruns in building new nuclear plants, after ministers appeared to suggest the burden could fall on consumers. By Emily Gosden 17 May 2013 In a memo to the energy select committee, released on Friday, ministers also admit that delays or cost overruns at EDF’s proposed £14bn nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset could jeopardise the chances of any other new UK nuclear plants being built. Read more »
Coalition still ‘optimistic’ about nuclear power despite EDF and China concerns. Guardian UK Building programme advancing, says minister as expectations of timetable delay at Hinkley Point grow and Chinese ‘lose interest’ The government has insisted it was still optimistic about plans to build a series of nuclear power stations despite expectations that EDF would delay its timetable for a new reactor at Hinkley Point and concerns that China was losing interest in being a co-investor…….
On Friday, the construction trade paper Building quoted industry sources as saying that EDF did not expect to take a final investment decision on Hinkley in Somerset until September at the earliest.
The firm, 80% of which is owned by the French state, had originally talked about concluding negotiations by the end of 2012. That was later extended to the first quarter of 2013. Delays have traditionally dogged nuclear energy projects but are particularly worrisome in this case because Britain faces a potential energy capacity crisis within five years…..Sam Laidlaw, Centrica’s chief executive, told shareholders: “Not only had the cost increased but also the schedule had lengthened very considerably. So instead of taking four to five years to build, EDF were telling us that it was going to take nine to 10 years to build. That is a long time to be writing out a cheque for this project.”….. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/may/17/coalition-optimistic-nuclear-power-edf-china
Centrica stokes energy fears by revealing EDF nuclear timescale has doubled Centrica has ratcheted up fears over Britain’s energy security by warning that its rival EDF will take twice as long as originally planned to build the first of a new generation of nuclear power stations. The Telegraph, By Emily Gosden 13 May 2013 The British Gas owner abandoned its 20pc stake in the £14bn project at Hinkley Point in February, opting instead to give £500m back to shareholders and invest in gas in North America.
Sir Roger Carr, Centrica chairman, told its AGM on Monday that since it first considered the project the price had “rocketed hugely”, adding: “Nuclear is not a cheap option.”
Sam Laidlaw, chief executive, said: “Not only had the cost increased but also the schedule had lengthened very considerably. So instead of taking four to five years to build, EDF were telling us that it was going to take nine to 10 years to build. That is a long time to be writing out a cheque for this project.”
He added: “EDF’s agenda is different to ours. They are 85pc owned by the French government, they are using French technology and they see nuclear as a core part of their strategy going forward. Our strategy is to have customers at our core and provide the lowest cost low-carbon energy for our customers.”
Centrica later added that he was referring to the timescale for the whole project, not just construction. EDF declined to comment. The French company is in talks with the Government over the financial terms for Hinkley Point. Energy minister Michael Fallon last week said they were “inching” closer but warned there may be no agreement.
EDF wants a guaranteed price for the electricity it will generate for up to 40 years, subsidised by levies on consumer energy bills. Rival companies SSE and Npower have urged ministers not to proceed with the deal…….. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10055107/Centrica-stokes-energy-fears-by-revealing-EDF-nuclear-timescale-has-doubled.html
Nuclear test veterans win war pensions after four year battle with Ministry of Defence http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nuclear-test-veterans-win-war-1884147 12 May 2013 The ruling is the first time UK nuke vets have been awarded money in recognition of their illnesses Survivors of Britain’s nuclear tests have won war pensions after a four-year fight with the Ministry of Defence.
A judge ruled this week that men ordered into the fallout zone were injured by radiation in the 1950s and 60s.
The ruling is the first time UK nuke vets have been awarded money in recognition of their illnesses. They say radiation left them with cancers, rare illnesses and birth defects in their children.
It opens the door for remaining veterans, now thought to number less than 3,000, to finally claim against the government that ordered them into danger. Their long running battle for compensation has so far been unsuccessful.
The war pensions, linked to injuries, are seen as recognition that some veterans are due money for their suffering. ”We didn’t stop fighting on the battlefield and we shouldn’t stop fighting now,” said Nick Simons, 70, after winning his case.
He believes the MoD has paid out only to avoid releasing secret medical papers. ”If enough of us win a pension perhaps they will finally say sorry,” he added.
Murrell, 78, was abducted from her home in Shrewsbury and her body was discovered days later in a nearby copse. A high-profile campaigner against nuclear weapons, she had been due to present evidence to the public inquiry into the proposed Sizewell B nuclear reactor in East Anglia. Her death triggered numerous conspiracy theories and allegations relating to the involvement of MI5, with one MP, Tam Dalyell, telling parliament that “men of British intelligence” were involved.
Subsequent claims from intelligence sources that they never even opened a file on the rose-growing anti-nuclear campaigner have now been dismissed by Mansfield as “completely ludicrous”.
He said: “There must have been a file for a number of reasons. One of them being that she plainly was very active and very outspoken about a government policy that was extremely sensitive at that time – nuclear power.
“It was central to Margaret Thatcher’s thinking. They would have been watching closely what she was up to, who she was associating with and so on.
“The victim was consumed with anxiety that something was going to happen to her. A look at why that might be involves the evidence she was about to give to the Sizewell inquiry.”
The involvement of Mansfield, whose past cases include the Stephen Lawrence murder, follows the painstaking accumulation of evidence on the case by Murrell’s nephew, Commander Robert Green…….
Despite 28 years having passed since her death, Green will this week reveal details of what he claims are attempts to intimidate him in order to prevent him from investigating the case. Despite having moved to New Zealand, Green says he is the subject of continuing surveillance and that the tyres of his car have been slashed, his mail intercepted and, occasionally, his house broken into.
He has continued to investigate, arriving in London this week to share fresh evidence collated for his book on the murder, A Thorn In Their Side.
Among questions raised about the case are those casting fresh doubts on the conviction of a burglar, Andrew George, who was jailed for life in 2005 for Murrell’s murder. George was aged 16 at the time and in care at a children’s home near her home. The prosecution believed that he panicked during a burglary before abducting Murrell.
George’s DNA was found to match samples taken from the scene, yet a previously undisclosed witness statement made by a forensic scientist in the case, Michael Appleby, indicates that he found DNA under Murrell’s fingernails from another man.
Green claims that this information was withheld from the trial jury……. http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/mar/18/hilda-murrell-michael-mansfield
UK watchdog admits losing nuclear materials dozens of times Raw Story, By Terry Macalister, The Guardian, May 5, 2013 Radioactive materials have gone missing from businesses, hospitals and even schools more than 30 times over the last decade, a freedom of information request to the UK’s health and safety authorities has revealed. Read more »
Exodus of energy experts from ‘greenest’ government as funding for renewables is held up on grounds of cost Blow to fight against climate change as CO2 in the atmosphere hits record high THE INDEPENDENT, PAUL BIGNELL , OLIVER WRIGHT, 11 MAY 2013 THE GOVERNMENT IS FACING AN EXODUS OF SENIOR ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADVISERS AMID GROWING CONCERNS THAT DECISIVE ACTION TO TACKLE GLOBAL WARMING IS FALLING VICTIM TO TREASURY INTRANSIGENCE.
It emerged that Ben Moxham, David Cameron’s respected adviser on energy and the environment, had quit No 10 after reportedly becoming frustrated at the slow pace of progress.
His departure follows that of Ravi Gurumurthy, a key architect of the Energy Bill which is currently going through Parliament. He stood down from his role as head of strategy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last week.
Also departing is Jonathan Brearley, director of energy strategy and futures for DECC, who has also handed in his notice and will leave the department in July. All three men were key proponents of the Government’s strategy of subsidising new offshore and onshore renewable electricity projects to decarbonise Britain’s energy market by 2030.
But the proposals are being held up by the Treasury on cost grounds. Critics claim it is attempting to delay investment – particularly in offshore wind – and instead concentrate on exploiting shale gas reserves. …… http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exodus-of-energy-experts-from-greenest-government-as-funding-for-renewables-is-held-up-on-grounds-of-cost-8611631.html
British Support For Renewable Energy Continues To Grow, Clean Technica May 8, 2013 Joshua S Hill A new survey conducted by the British Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has found British support for renewable energies has grown in the past year.
The survey, DECC Public Attitudes Tracker, was run from early 2012 through to last March. There were four surveys — one longer survey and three shorter ones — concluded with a face-to-face in-home interview with a representative sample of 2,051 households.
Below are the key findings which were taken from the survey, as finalised after Wave 5. …….For a full comparison of wave 5 findings against the previous four waves, head on over to the DECC website and access the full questionnaire, the full wave 5 dataset, and more……
Heysham nuclear reactor shut down ‘as precaution’, BBC News Lancashire, 3 May 13, EDF said the plant was shut down as a precaution A nuclear reactor has been shut down after smoke was seen coming from a plant in Lancashire.
The reactor at Heysham One nuclear power station was shut down at 18:00 BST on Thursday due to smouldering lagging on a turbine.
EDF, which operates the reactor, said it was shut down as a precaution….. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-22394359
An Taisce launches legal challenge to UK nuclear station plan, Irish Times Eoin Burke-Kennedy May 1, 2013, Heritage group commences judicial review proceedings in London over plan to build plant in Bristol channel An Taisce has launched a legal challenge to the UK government’s decision to grant planning permission for a nuclear power plant in the Bristol channel.
The heritage group said it had commenced judicial review proceedings in London to challenge the legality of UK secretary of state Ed Davey’s decision’s to grant permission to build and operate a nuclear station at Hinkley Point, 150 miles from the Irish coast.
In legal papers issued to the court yesterday, An Taisce challenges the legal compliance of the decision by the government with the EU’s Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the UK’s own regulations on transboundary impacts and consultation.
“Despite the nuclear power plant being nearer to the coast of Ireland than it is to Leeds, the UK decided not to consult with the Irish public about the decision before it granted consent in March,” An Taisce said in a statement.
“The first time many Irish people learned about the nuclear power plant proposal was when the decision was announced. Their views were not therefore taken into consideration as part of the UK government’s decision and assessment process.”
The UK government gave the green light to build the proposed Hinkley Point C plant in March to the French energy company EDF,…… “The UK government decided to grant permission to build and operate a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point without consulting the Irish public or taking into account significant potential risks of the power plant across national boundaries,” Rosa Curlingfrom the legal firm Leigh Day, who is representing An Taisce, said…… http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/an-taisce-launches-legal-challenge-to-uk-nuclear-station-plan-1.1379545
“Although this is a big step forward, the campaign must continue until there is a clear guarantee that there will be no more test firing of DU shells in Scotland at any point in the future.”
This is a major victory for our campaign and one that reflects the increasing global opposition to depleted uranium.
CADU campaigners plan to hold a public meeting in Dumfries at the end of May to discuss further plans with local residents. More details will be released on their website
Ministry of Defence back down over test firing of depleted uranium munitions in Scotland, Occupy News Network, 1 May 13
- Parliamentarians and campaigners claim this as a ‘major victory’
Last week Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, told Katy Clark, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, that the MoD will not fire depleted uranium (DU) as part of the current Life Extension Programme. This is the first time the MoD have bowed to public and political pressure and not fired depleted uranium as part of the life extension programme (LEP) of CHARM3. Read more »
HMS Torbay nuclear submarine evacuated, BBC News Devon 25 April 13 A nuclear submarine in Devonport dockyard had to be evacuated after a fire broke out while maintenance work was being carried out.About 55 people had to leave when the fire broke out as welding was being done on the outside of the Trafalgar class submarine, said the Royal Navy.The “small fire” among protective blankets was put out within five minutes by a fire crew, it said.The Royal Navy said no-one was injured and an investigation would take place. It added the submarine had not been damaged…. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-22302965
Will the public subsidise new nuclear? http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/04/will-the-public-subsidise-new-nuclear A parliamentary committee has accused the government of failing to keep its promise not to subsidise new nuclear. But has the government been planning to renege on its promise all along?
The Environmental Audit Committee is calling on the government to be more open about the money it gives to the nuclear industry. A new report from the committee released today suggests the UK nuclear industry receives a £2.3 billion subsidy each year. Read more »
Nuclear power station has been leaking radioactive waste ‘for months’, says Environment Agency. Dungeness B in Kent has been leaking more than agreed levels of Tritium Mail Online, By STEVE NOLAN, 18 April 2013 A nuclear power station in Kent has been leaking radioactive waste, which can increase the risk of developing cancer, for months according to the Environment Agency. Routine tests on boreholes drilled close to the Dungeness B plant found traces of tritium measuring more than seven times the agreed level……. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2311217/Nuclear-power-station-leaking-radioactive-waste-months-says-Environment-Agency.html#ixzz2QyKFyAZl
Scrap Trident’: British police arrest 47 protesters at Faslane nuclear base RT April 15, 2013 Forty-seven people were arrested in a protest at the UK’s Faslane Naval Base in Scotland. ‘Scrap Trident’ anti-nuclear activists blocked the base’s entrances, lying on the ground in a human chain tied together with metal and plastic tubes….. The protesters called for the Trident nuclear weapons program to be scrapped, and for its £100 billion budget money spent instead on social programs. “I am taking action to stop the breach of the peace committed by the UK by owning and refusing to disarm the weapons of mass destruction,” Dominic Lindley, a 20-year-old development officer said as quoted by scraptrident.org.
“These weapons are both inhumane, illegal and their use can never be justified. In the next few years the UK has an opportunity to join the vast majority of countries in the world by disarming our pointless nuclear weapons and spend the £100 billion wasted on them on vital services for our communities like the NHS, Education and the Welfare State,” Lindley added….. http://rt.com/news/anti-trident-protest-faslane-879/
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