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French firm EDF pressurises UK government to subsidise nuclear power

EDF boss piles pressure on government over nuclear plans 5 April 2012 | By Vern Pitt Head of French energy firm wants guaranteed price for nuclear power which greens oppose as a subsidy

The head of French energy firm EDF Energy has piled pressure on the government to speed up its energy market reform plans, so the firm can build new nuclear power plants in the UK.

Although deputy prime minister Nick Clegg pledged earlier this month to push on with the reforms in the next session of Parliament the government is not due to have its electricity market reforms on the statute book until spring 2013.

Speaking at an infrastructure conference today in London,  Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, said:  We are getting on with the job [of building new nuclear power plants] and we are gathering pace. Our determination needs to be matched with visible momentum from government.

It s critical the government continues to make progress with electricity market reform.

Although EDF has already spent millions on developing its first nuclear project at Hinkley Point in Somerset, it will not make a decision on whether to commit to the scheme until later this year.

He said that certainty on how  contracts for difference , the part of the reforms that will allow the government to set a higher energy price for low carbon technologies, would work was crucial to the firm s investment decision.

But green campaigners have described such a system as a  subsidy  for nuclear power.

Nick Molho, head of energy policy at WWF, said the contracts amounted to a  subsidy for a 60-year old technology .

He added:  This is a recognition that nuclear power plants cannot be built in a liberalised electricity market and still need government support.

De Rivaz s comments follow calls from the construction industry to speed up the reforms so that a buyer can be found for Horizon Nuclear Power, which was put up for sale by joint investors RWE N-power and E.ON last month.

Horizon Nuclear Power has licences for two sites where it expects to build nuclear power plants.

This week MPs on the energy select committee said they would investigate the  future of the nuclear industry in the wake of the Horizon sale.



April 27, 2012 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

90 cancer victims bring lawsuit against nuclear companies

Radioactive: Revelations on nuclear plants sound a warning April 27, 2012  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Like a dark family secret long suspected but never confirmed, the shock of discovery is all the more lurid for coming into the light
years later. So it is with the news of radioactive material released into the air — at levels higher than any seen in the nation — at closed nuclear fuels plants in Armstrong County.

Incredulity feeds the first reaction: Surely this could not have happened. But apparently it
did, according to good authority. That would be Joseph P. Ring, a Harvard University radiation safety officer who teaches at Harvard and the University of Massachusetts. He
wrote a 37-page report that was filed Tuesday as part of federal lawsuits brought against plant operators Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Atlantic Richfield Co. by about 90 cancer victims. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | health, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

A new anti nuclear demographic – mothers

 Often, mothers and women want to leave Fukushima and protect their kids, while men tend to accept the line, from the government and the utility, Tepco, that “all is safe.” This can lead to conflict in a culture where women are taught not to challenge their husbands or government, figures of authority. 

How a Group of Japanese Mothers Are Saying No to Nuclear Power The Fukushima disaster has brought a powerful new demographic to Japan’s anti-nuclear movement: mothers. AlterNet April 25, 2012  |    
On the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese women in New York City gathered for a rally they called Pregnant With Fear of Radiation. Protestors wore fake pregnant bellies, or carried posters with images of pregnant women wearing face masks. Well aware that fetuseschildren under five, and women are at the greatest risk from radiation exposure, mothers have emerged as a powerful voice in Japan’s growing anti-nuclear movement. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, women | Leave a comment

Illness compensation plan for former nuclear workers

Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Huntington News, April 26, 2012  Here are the facilities in or near former Huntington Pilot Plant that have benefit programs for former nuclear workers and survivors. Data provided by Dept. of Labor: Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | health, USA | 1 Comment

Sneaking a nuclear waste dump in, under another name

 Opponents believe that attempts to ‘spin’ a potential Lakeland nuclear waste dump as ‘West Cumbrian’ is an irresponsible strategy of deception that glibly condemns both Cumbria and the Lake District as a whole to inevitable environmental catastrophe…

Nuclear waste – tarnishing the Lake District ‘brand’? Virtual Lancaster, 26 APRIL 2012  The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) has issued a consultation response  that indicates that its sole concern about having a dump for high-level nuclear waste built under the Lake District is bad publicity to the Lakeland ‘brand’. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | 1 Comment

Earthquake fault underneath spells the end for Tsuruga nuclear plant

Restart of Tsuruga nuclear reactors ‘almost impossible’: safety commission chief Kyodo The chances of Japan Atomic Power Co. resuming operations at its Tsuruga nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture are virtually nil now that an active fault is suspected to run directly beneath one of its reactors, the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission said Thursday. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

A solar energy business for two Tongan grandmothers

Tonga’s Solar Grandmothers, by Energy Matters, 27 April12,  Two grandmothers from the island nation of Tonga have acquired the skills to install solar panel systems in the nation’s communities without access to mains grid electricity.

According to a report on Matangi Tonga Online , Siutiti Halatoa and Siale Leohau successfully completed a six months training course in solar power installation last year at Barefoot College, India, with the assistance of the Indian Government. The recently launched Kolomotu’a Women’s Solar Project  in Nuku’alofa, the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga, will assist the women in their role of solar installers. The project is being supported under the Tonga Energy Roadmap.

The grandmothers are the first women to be trained in solar installation in Tonga and will begin their new careers by installing solar panels in over 30 homes, starting with households without electricity in ‘Isileli, Hala ‘o Vave and Sopu.
The solar panels and other equipment have been provided by an anonymous donor and each off-grid installation will generate enough electricity to power several light bulbs and a mobile phone …….

April 27, 2012 Posted by | decentralised, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

European Union chief wants greater nuclear plant safety tests

Oettinger said he had agreed with the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) to have more plants visited and to add more concrete information on the potential impact of airplane crashes.

“EU citizens have the right to know and understand how safe the nuclear power plants are they live close to.”

Brussels unhappy with Europe nuclear stress tests (AFP) –27 April 12,  BRUSSELS — The EU’s energy chief Thursday deemed an almost year-long study on nuclear plant safety in Europe as short on detail and numbers and demanded further work before publication of the critical report.
“Going deep is more important than being fast,” Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told journalists, saying that a final report would be available to the public in the autumn rather than in the summer, as scheduled.
Ordered in the aftermath of the Fukushima catastrophe, the European Commission and national atomic regulators launched stress tests in June on 147 nuclear plants in 15 EU countries — including Lithuania which has closed down plants — plus 15 reactors in Ukraine and five in Switzerland. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Chernobyl’s cover and a reminder of the nuclear danger

Ukraine thanks Chernobyl aid countries Herald Sun, April 27, 2012   URGING all nations to be extremely cautious with nuclear energy, Ukraine’s president thanked donors for financing the construction of a new, safer shelter over the damaged Chernobyl reactor on the 26th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

President Viktor Yanukovych spoke during a ceremony overnight inaugurating the initial assembly of a gigantic arch-shaped steel containment building to cover the remnants of the exploded reactor…….

April 27, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

after 26 years, a start to cover damaged Chernobyl nuclear plant

The 26 April, 1986, explosion spewed a cloud of radiation over the northern hemisphere, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes in Ukraine, Belarus and western Russia.

Work begins on ‘mausoleum’ for worst nuclear disaster, 26 years on,   27 April 2012   TWENTY-SIX years to the day after the world’s worst nuclear disaster, Ukraine yesterday began construction of a vast new metal shelter to contain the stricken Chernobyl reactor.

The 20,000-tonne structure, big enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty, is due to be completed by 2015, allowing the delicate and dangerous job of dismantling the reactor and cleaning vast amounts of radioactive waste still around it to begin.

“The Chernobyl disaster underscored that mankind must be extra careful in using nuclear technologies,” president Viktor Yanukovych said at the commencement ceremony. “Nuclear accidents lead to global consequences. They are not a problem of just one country, they affect the life of entire regions.” Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Reference | Leave a comment

A ‘limited’ war would bring starvation to billions, and a nuclear winter

Billions face starvation due to nuclear weapons, Herald Sun : AFP April 25, 2012 MORE than a billion people worldwide could starve if India and Pakistan unleash nuclear weapons because even a “limited” nuclear war would cause major climate disruptions, a study says.

In addition to clouds of radiation which could contaminate farmland far from the centre of the blasts, the study found soot released into the atmosphere would devastate crop yields by cooling global temperatures and reducing rainfall worldwide.

The study provides hard data to back up dire warnings of the global – and unintended – consequences of nuclear weapons, said author Dr Ira Helfand of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

“It is not just the arsenals of the US and Russia that pose a threat to the whole world,” Helfand told AFP. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Solar energy- a new economy for Navajo tribes

There’s a strong desire in Indian Country to step out of the role of just a landlord that is collecting rents to being involved in the equity ownership,” MacCourt said.Erny Zah, spokesman for Navajo

The 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant planned for the outlying Navajo community of To’Hajiilee would cover more than 200 acres.

Navajo community banks on proposed solar array, Bloomberg, By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, 26 April 12, TO’HAJIILEE, N.M.  This flat, dusty stretch of prairie in central New Mexico is where the leaders of a remote, sparsely populated American Indian community envision a sea of solar panels capable of producing enough electricity for more than 10,000 homes miles away from the reservation.

The To’Hajiilee solar project is one of 19 energy projects that will share in $6.5 million recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to spur renewable energy development on tribal lands. About two-thirds of the money is earmarked for tribes in the West, and most of that will be going toward getting projects in New Mexico andArizona off the ground…… At stake is a wealth of untapped potential. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | indigenous issues, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Mothers’ movement against nuclear power spreads beyond Japan

How a Group of Japanese Mothers Are Saying No to Nuclear Power  AlterNet April 25, 2012  |    “…….The movement isn’t confined to Japan’s borders. In September, 2011, a group of Japanese mothers, including Sachiko Sato, an organic farmer who traveled with her youngest two children) Kaori Izumi, and Aileen Mioko Smith came to New York City to protest Prime Minister Noda’s participation in the UN summit on nuclear safety. “How can you talk about safety?” Sachiko shouted to Noda outside the UN. “You don’t even take care of the children of Fukushima.”

Sachiko, Izumi, and Smith spoke at various anti-nuclear events throughout the New York City area during their visit, urging American citizens to learn a lesson from the disaster in Japan.  At one event, Smith stated, “Many Americans live far too close tonuclear power plants that sit on earthquake fault lines—Indian Point in Buchanan, New York, only thirty or so miles from New York City, as well as those on the coast in California. Americans must learn from the Fukushima disaster. You must shut down your own plants, 23 of which are the same design as the Fukushima reactors, GE Mark I. Yes, it can happen here.”

In October 2011, hundreds of mothers in Japan began a protest in Tokyo at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. The protest will last 10 months and 10 days (the length of time a pregnancy lasts under Japan’s traditional lunar calendar).

Smith, who is executive director of Green Action, an anti-nuclear NGO based in Kyoto, says the Fukushima accident offers a chance to put an end to nuclear power. Most of Japan’s nuclear reactors were taken offline after the disaster; as of this writing, only one nuclear power plant remains online.

Smith says, “For the first time in 30 years, we have a real opportunity” to shut down nuclear reactors in Japan for good.

April 27, 2012 Posted by | USA, women | Leave a comment

35 Indian villages get solar street lighting

Solar street lights to illuminate 35 villages, Times of India, Kapil Dixit, TNN | Apr 27, 2012, ALLAHABAD: Finally, the wait is over. Solar streetlights are being installed in 54colonies of 35 villages spread over 13 blocks of the district.
With Center and state government authorities’ sanctioned adequate funds to install as many as 256 solar street lights, the UP New & Renewable Energy Development Authorities has done a remarkable job to illuminate villages with solar run streetlights in identified colonies.

The installation of solar streetlights have been taken up at Chaka, Dhanupur, Handia, Kaurihar, Koroan, Kotwa, Manda, Meja, Phulpur, Pratappur, Ram Nagar, Saidabad and Shankargarh blocks. The UPNEDA officials have taken up the project to install solar run street lights after identifying a total of 54 colonies/localities which lack proper lighting arrangements for years, and this was the first time, when such measures were being taken up to illuminate these colonies…..

April 27, 2012 Posted by | decentralised, India | Leave a comment

Salp invasion cuts nuclear power output

Jellyfish-like creatures force California nuclear power plant to curtail operations By Steve Chawkins / Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2012 LOS ANGELES — Strange, jellyfish-like creatures swarming a coastal nuclear power plant: It might sound like the premise of a cult horror flick, but the invasion has prompted officials at the Diablo Canyon facility in San Luis Obispo, Calif., to curtail operations for at least a few days.

The plant’s operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, cut power generation from one of the plant’s two reactors to 25 percent of its capacity, spokesman Tom Cuddy said Wednesday. The other reactor was shut down this week for what PG&E described as routine refueling and
maintenance, a procedure that could take about a month.

Workers on Monday discovered an influx of the creatures, called salp, clogging screens that are used to keep marine life out of the sea water used as a coolant, Cuddy said. Often thronging many square miles of ocean in huge, gelatinous masses, salp are tubular, transparent organisms that can be roughly the size of a human thumb. No one knows how many are at the Avila Beach plant or how long they will remain…

.. Jellyfish swarmed Diablo Canyon in 2008, triggering a steep, sudden decrease in power generation. Over the years, they have been a problem at nuclear plants in the U.S., Japan, Israel andScotland. ….

April 27, 2012 Posted by | incidents, oceans, USA | Leave a comment