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Toshiba closes down its UK operations – showing that nuclear power is just not commercially viable

Toshiba’s failure shows business can’t deliver a nuclear future, Guardian, 9 Nov 18  Phillip Inman

As Cumbria reactor plan stalls, it is clear that huge resources are needed for such projects.  If the government was keen to boost Britain’s nuclear industry, it was always clear that the private market would struggle to deliver.

The decision by Toshiba to close down its UK operations is a case in point. After the deal to build new reactors at Hinkley Point with the French firm EDF, Toshiba was favoured by ministers to design and construct a smaller power station on the Cumbrian coast.

Hinkley was a deal that appeared to be with a private company but the really meaningful talks were between Whitehall officials and their counterparts in the French government, EDF’s controlling shareholder. It took years of agonising brinkmanship to conclude the talks, much of them conducted on the French side by the then economy minister, Emmanuel Macron.

Toshiba, on the other hand, is a private company struggling on its own to navigate the complex politics surrounding nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

In 2006 it bought the US nuclear business Westinghouse, part of British Nuclear Fuels and home to much of the UK’s nuclear power industry. With climate change creeping to the top of the agenda and demand for new nuclear plants around the world growing, it seemed like a good idea.

However, the 2011 Fukushima disaster changed all that. Governments in Japan and other countries halted the development of new nuclear plants. Last year, cost overruns on building the first new US nuclear power plants in three decades pushed Westinghouse into bankruptcy and Toshiba into financial meltdown. The future of the Cumbrian nuclear plant has been in doubt ever since.

Earlier this year Toshiba sold Westinghouse to a private equity outfit as a services provider for existing nuclear plants. The construction of new reactors was not on the agenda. To no one’s surprise, Toshiba has now confirmed it has abandoned building any new plants in the UK.

Without entering the argument about whether nuclear is a good option – and the government advisory body, the National Infrastructure Commission, is unequivocal that renewables such as wind and solar were going to be a safer, cheaper option – it is clear huge commitments of time, resources and political capital are necessary for infrastructure projects of this scale to get off the ground and through to completion.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment


THANKS TO ALL YOU LOVELY FOLK who have campaigned tirelessly to raise the alarm about the diabolic plan for 3 reactors on greenfields near to Sellafield.

The Guardian and other press have reported today that: ““Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen,” the firm said in a statement.

While the press has not mentioned our vehement local campaign against the Moorside plan Radiation Free Lakeland would like to thank all who have already raised a banner, written, emailed, and more to protest against a new nuclear nightmare in Cumbria.

Not least the brilliant Arnie Gundersen a former US nuclear regulator turned whistleblower  who accepted our invitation to speak about the Moorside plan way back in 2014.  Incredibly Arnie and another equally qualifed expert Dr Ian Fairlie were considered too…

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November 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big California fire, the Woolsey fire, is engulfing the old rad-contaminated Rocketdyne facility

flying cuttlefish picayune

Hill Fire & Woolsey Fire Map: Evacuations, Location & Size of Camarillo & Ventura County Fires

” . . . The Woolsey Fire is a “smaller” fire in Simi Valley near the Rocketdyne facility in Santa Susana Pass,
ABC 7 reported. The Woolsey Fire had grown to 2,000 acres by 7:51 p.m., according to CAL FIRE. . . “


From ABC 7 News – 

“The blaze, dubbed the Woolsey Fire, started in Simi Valley near theRocketdynefacility in the Santa Susana Pass.”

Rocketdyne has re-invented itself as Aerojet-Rocketdyne, grabbing those lucrative NASA contracts and dumping the nuke waste left from Rocketdyne like a snake shedding its skin. Reach for the stars, kiddies, because we made Earth uninhabitable!

 SEE –L.A. area meltdown in 1959 a LOT worse than previously thought

  The End of California

 ENE-News (archived) –Los Angeles-area…

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November 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment