nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Nuclear must not be part of Cromartry Firth freeport vision

YOUR VIEWS: ‘Nuclear should not be part of freeport vision’. A reader and
campaigner reacts to news that small nuclear reactors could be built in the
north. The Courier carried comments from Global director Steve Chisholm
that small modular nuclear reactors could be built in the Cromartry Firth
after the award of green freeport status for the area.

Nuclear should not be part of freeport vision I refer to the article headed “Nuclear Reactor
is in the freeport mix “(Inverness Courier, January 20) and was very
surprised that this proposal has now emerged. HANT (Highlands Against
Nuclear Transport) has raised concerns since 2013 about many safety
concerns related to the transport of nuclear waste by rail from Georgemas
Junction (near Dounreay) to Barrow and on to the Sellafield Nuclear plant.
There have been a number of incidents of concern related to both rail and
sea transport.

Inverness Courier 31st Jan 2023

https://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/news/your-views-nuclear-should-not-be-part-of-freeport-vision-301589/

Advertisement

February 2, 2023 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Top UK pension funds refuse to invest in Sizewell C nuclear plan, despite government enticements.

Whatever the funding model, Sizewell C is highly controversial. It carries multiple risks, of time and cost overruns, reputation and technical problems.

‘If the Government is forced to peddle it to foreign investors, it will make its justification in terms of ‘energy sovereignty’ even more of a joke.’

‘If the Government is forced to peddle it to foreign investors, it will make its justification in terms of ‘energy sovereignty’ even more of a joke.’

Blow to Government’s infrastructure drive as two top UK pension funds snub Sizewell C nuclear plant plan

By FRANCESCA WASHTELL FOR THE DAILY MAIL, 1 February 2023

Efforts to attract investment in British infrastructure were hit after two of the UK’s biggest pension funds turned their backs on Sizewell C.

Ministers are tearing up old EU red tape that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says will unlock £100billion in possible funding for major projects.

The most important of these is the £20billion Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, which is being developed by the Government and EDF but will need billions of private funding.

The Government has spent years trying to woo pension groups and institutional investors by introducing a new funding model that allows them to receive dividends during the construction process.

It is expected to go a step further by classifying nuclear as a green energy source in an upcoming eco-friendly financing strategy, which would make it easier for companies to win support to invest in power plants.

But an industry source said Sizewell C would still not be an appropriate investment for ‘typical big-name UK pension schemes’, as they see the risk of cost over-runs and delays being too high. 

So far, other potential backers such as Nest and Legal & General have said they do not intend to fund the project.

But British Gas owner Centrica is thought to be considering taking a stake, while FTSE 100 savings and retirement firm Phoenix Group has said it is keen to back nuclear.

The source added that funding was more likely to come from North America and the Middle East, with Emirati sovereign wealth fund Mubadala already said to be in the mix.

Alison Downes, the head of campaign group Stop Sizewell C, said: ‘Whatever the funding model, Sizewell C is highly controversial. It carries multiple risks, of time and cost overruns, reputation and technical problems.

‘If the Government is forced to peddle it to foreign investors, it will make its justification in terms of ‘energy sovereignty’ even more of a joke.’

February 1, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Sea level rise will threaten UK coastal towns

A number of Somerset towns could be left underwater by 2090 if pollution
levels remain unchecked, according to a study. Climate Central’s map of the
county shows how the current coastline will change within a lifetime to
wash away settlements near the sea. Levels are predicted to rise by one
metre over the next 69 years, flooding Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and
Avonmouth. However, it is not only seaside towns that will lose ground. A
huge stretch of the M5 between Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgwater will also be
underwater.

Somerset Live 31st Jan 2023

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/somerset-towns-could-underwater-2090-8091726

February 1, 2023 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Despite failure to refit nuclear submarine, UK senior defence officials get £200,000 in performance bonuses

 Three senior ministry of defence officials have received more than
£200,000 in performance bonuses despite not being able to get a
Scottish-based nuclear submarine back in service more than seven years
after it started undergoing a refit and refuelling.

The MoD had hoped that
HMS Vanguard would be returned to Royal Navy service at Faslane last summer
but The Sunday Times has learnt that the repair and refuelling project for
the Trident missile-armed vessel has hit new snags.

However, the three top
executives at the ministry’s Submarine Delivery Agency, which is
responsible for keeping the navy’s submarines in working order, were paid
performance bonuses last year. Its chief executive, Ian Booth, received
£95,000 on top of his £290,000 salary before he retired just before
Christmas, according to the agency’s accounts. Its technical director and
financial officer each received £55,000 bonuses.

 Times 29th Jan 2023

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bonus-for-mod-officials-despite-sub-refit-delays-gmqb30s35

January 31, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

‘Delays and broken promises’ as flagship UK nuclear agency stalls

Great British Nuclear will be tasked with overseeing the development of the next generation of nuclear power sources

 https://inews.co.uk/news/business/delays-broken-promises-flagship-uk-nuclear-agency-stalls-2115492

By David Connett 30 Jan 23

The Government has been urged to stop delaying a new “flagship” ­agency to develop the UK’s next generation of nuclear reactors.

Ministers have been warned that the country risks “sleepwalking into the familiar pattern of delays and broken promises that have held back our nuclear ambitions in the past”.

The warning is contained in a letter signed by major companies, including Rolls-Royce and the US Westinghouse group, as well as the Prospect union, cross-party MPs and Lords, and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

It expresses dismay over delays in setting up Great British Nuclear (GBN), a body tasked with overseeing the development of the next generation of nuclear power sources.

It was envisaged as the cornerstone of former prime minister Boris Johnson’s plans to produce enough energy for the nation and reduce reliance on imports.

Last year, Mr Johnson said it would be launched to oversee the construction of up to 24 gigawatts of new capacity by 2050. “Our aim is to lead the world once again in a technology we pioneered so that by 2050, up to a quarter of our power consumed in Great Britain is from nuclear,” he said at the time.

However, a dispute between the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has delayed the move.

The letter warns that progress on GBN has “stalled”. It says: “We do not have time to spare. All but one of the UK’s existing nuclear reactors are due to retire by the end of the decade and this capacity needs to be replaced.”

It warns that private-sector funding and expertise could be lost to rivals because of the delay. It also says that a “global race for investment in next generation nuclear technologies is accelerating, spurred on by the Inflation Reduction Act in the US”.

The letter says the recent Skidmore report into the UK’s route to meet its net-zero climate change commitments demands “stable, long-term policy”, and adds: “We call on the Prime Minister to launch a fully funded Great British Nuclear programme as a matter of priority.”

A report outlining GBN’s strategy and operation, drawn up by the nuclear industry expert Simon Bowen, has been with ministers for several months.

He has asked for it to be published to help the industry prepare for the demands it will face in funding and training sufficient numbers of skilled people, but he has been told that it cannot be.

Experts have warned that continued delays in the nuclear programme will mean that the “ambitious” 2050 target will be missed.

The Government is already struggling to replace its current nuclear generation capacity even before it manages to expand it. Five nuclear power plants generated more than 15 per cent of the UK’s electricity last year. All but one is set to be decommissioned by 2028.

French power company EDF, which operates Sizewell B, has discussed plans with the UK’s nuclear regulator to extend the life of the existing UK reactors, but has not yet made a formal bid to the Office of Nuclear Regulation.

The energy minister, Graham ­Stuart, told MPs last week that he hoped the GBN strategy would be “published early this year”, but refused to be more specific.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

King Charles wants to honour nuclear test heroes but medals are being delayed by MoD red tape

King Charles wants Britain’s nuclear test heroes honoured before his coronation, but the MoD is accused of creating “unreasonable delay”

Mirror, By Susie Boniface. Reporter , 27 Jan 2023

King Charles wants to give a medal to Britain’s nuclear test heroes within months – but Ministry of Defence red tape could hold up the process for at least a year.

The King has told friends he has pencilled in a full “investiture” type ceremony in April, before his coronation.

But two months after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a gong for victims of the Cold War radiation experiments, civil servants say it will take more than a year for the design of the medal to be signed off.

Alan Owen, whose dad died after witnessing 24 bombs in 78 days, said: ““It beggars belief that this country can organise a coronation in 8 months but we’ve been told it will take even longer to do one, simple, medal.

“It took them 70 years to get around to asking the monarch for what we should have had on day one. They know how to make medals, this is just another unreasonable delay by the MoD so that there are as few veterans as possible left to collect it.”

A source close to the King said: “His Majesty is taking a close interest in the issue of nuclear test veterans, and wants to see some form of official ceremony as soon as possible.

“He recognises that those who can be given it are not going to be around for long.

“His staff have pencilled in something for April, depending on approval from government.”…………………………………………….

The Mirror has campaigned for official recognition on their behalf for 40 years, and last year saw the first sign of change when the PM finally asked the King to approve a medal.

Cabinet Office staff have told campaigners that “the usual process” for medal design and delivery is handled by the MoD medal office according to “set procedures”.

It is understood they are still working out criteria, with no date for inviting applications, or for it to be made by the Royal Mint…………………………………….

Mr Sunak also promised a face-to-face meeting with veterans to discuss war pension reform, education packages, and missing records on nuked blood. Despite No10 acknowledging the request, no date has been set.

Campaigners have also been promised meetings with Office of Veterans Affairs staff to discuss grant applications to a £200,000 fund, but none have been arranged.

Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey, who campaigns for the veterans, said: “When he announced the medals, the PM witnessed their decades of pain and grief. The families wept as he promised them a meeting. They are still waiting, and time is running out. I urge the PM to meet us as soon as he can.” ………………………………………………
more https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-britains-nuclear-test-veterans-28544461

January 29, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s ‘Protect and Survive’ nuclear attack advice deemed ‘futile’ in face of modern threats

The 32-page booklet Protect and Survive about what to do in the event of a nuclear attack was offered to the public in 1980. But it was widely criticised and mocked at the time, and has since been deemed nothing but a “charade”.

Express UK By RHIANNON DU CANN, Jan 29, 2023 “…………………………….. what should people do if the worst were to happen? Is there any official advice? Here, Express.co.uk looks at the UK’s last official piece of nuclear advice: a booklet titled Protect and Survive.

The booklet told the public “how to make your home and family as safe as possible under nuclear attack”. In the event of a crisis, the 32-page booklet would be distributed with announcements made on the TV, the radio, and in the press. The pamphlets and a series of public information films were only intended to be made known to the public in the event of a crisis. Some 2,000 copies of the pamphlets were sent to senior officials in the emergency services and local authorities.

The apocalyptical pamphlet — which described how no part of the UK would be considered safe in the event of a nuclear bomb or missile attack — advised the public to create a “fall-out room” and “inner refuge” to protect from radiation

The public was ordered to stay in the room furthest from the outside walls and roof for 14 days without leaving “at all”, essentially barricading themselves in to protect against the penetration of radiation. If possible, Britons were advised to build a “lean-to” inside using dense materials, again to resist radiation. If you lived in a flat of more than five floors, then you must head to the basement or ground floor.

Windows were to be painted with white emulsion to reflect the heat and advice was given on how to bury and label those who had died.

The public would be told to put together a survival kit which consisted of three and a half gallons of drinking water and some for washing; tinned or well-wrapped food to last for a fortnight; a portable radio (described as “only link to the outside world”); warm clothing; letter writing paraphernalia; tin and bottle openers

; crockery; bedding and toilet “articles”.

The booklet also included a checklist that asked questions such as “do you know the warning sounds?”; “have you got buckets of water ready on each floor?” and “have you sent the children to the fall-out room?”

The senior curator of the 2017 People Power: Fighting for Peace exhibit at the Imperial War Museum told The Times that year that the pamphlet was “chilling”.

Matt Brosnan said: “The matter-of-fact instructions are written so as to be easy to follow, yet never broach the underlying question that all readers would be likely to ask: in a nuclear strike, would most of this be futile?”……………………………………….more https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1727069/uk-protect-and-survive-booklet-nuclear-attack-advice-spt

January 29, 2023 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce wants to make sure that the tax-payer cops the cost of their small nuclear reactor folly

Rolls-Royce calls on government for more clarity on nuclear.  https://www.energylivenews.com/2023/01/26/rolls-royce-calls-on-government-for-more-clarity-on-nuclear/

Executives of the engineering giant have cited Britishvolt as an example of a company which committed to a factory without having orders.

Dimitris Mavrokefalidis

Rolls-Royce has urged the government to provide more clear vision of its target to roll out 24GW of nuclear power generation by 2050.

During a session at the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee, asked when Rolls-Royce will start the process of building its first Small Modular Reactor factory, Alastair Evans, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs at Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “If you look at the Britishvolt example, that is an example of a company that committed to a factory without orders. We don’t have clarity on orders in the UK.

“So, as soon as we have that clarity that the UK Government wants to deploy Rolls-Royce SMRs, we will be able to get the first factory moving, but our shareholders need that clarity. Britishvolt is a very good example of where you try and run a business and build a factory and get things moving without that certainty, orders and customers.”

A few days ago, company representatives visited the first four sites which have the potential to host 15GW of new nuclear power capacity.

Mr Evans confirmed that once Rolls-Royce receives the green light from the government, then the whole process around the development of its first SMR facility will accelerate.

He said: “That was the purpose of doing our planning processes, getting the selection of our heavy pressure vessel sites – we’ve got 600 people in the Rolls-Royce SMR business today. So we are set up to deliver at pace. We are 600 UK-based workers looking at manufacturing, assembly, lead skills, and module concept. We are ready to go.” 

January 28, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Campaigners fear changes at Hinkley Point C ‘could kill millions of fish every day’

By Burnham-On-Sea.com, January 27, 2023

Campaigners fear millions of fish could be killed every day by the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Burnham-On-Sea if owner EDF is allowed to back out of a planning condition.

The Stop Hinkley anti-nuclear group has said this week that EDF Energy had refused to fit acoustic fish deterrents on its two off-shore massive cooling water intake heads.

Stop Hinkley spokeswoman Katy Attwater said EDF now looked to be pressuring the Environment Agency to drop the planning condition which required the acoustic fish deterrent measures.

It comes as the Environment Agency launches a four-week consultation on whether the Hinkley C site’s operational water discharge activity permit should be varied.

Stop Hinkley Spokesperson Katy Attwater adds: “It looks to us very much like the Environment Agency is being forced to make a decision which conservation groups fear will result in the death of millions of fish every day.”

“The Severn Estuary supports some of the most important and protected habitats in the UK, EDF appears to be absolutely determined not to spend the money to install AFD’s and is pressurising the Agency into backing down.”

“This change would be disastrous for the Severn estuary and all the fish species it supports, to breed and travel into its tributaries, nine of the greatest rivers of England and Wales.”

However, Chris Fayers, Head of Environment for Hinkley Point C, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “EDF has decades of experience and data gained from taking cooling water from the Bristol Channel, which shows the activity has an insignificant impact on protected species………… https://www.burnham-on-sea.com/news/campaigners-fear-changes-at-hinkley-point-c-could-kill-millions-of-fish-every-day/

January 28, 2023 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

2022 saw the slow demise of the Bradwell B nuclear plan

That was the Year That Was…

 https://www.banng.info/news/that-was-the-year-that-was/

Andy Blowers summarises the past year for the Bradwell B project in the BANNG column for the January 2023 edition of Regional Life

A year is a short time in the glacial progress of a nuclear power station as it slowly moves through the various hurdles until it falls or proceeds eventually to the point where it goes critical and its long-term legacy becomes eternal and irreversible. So, with Bradwell B’s faltering progress over the past seven years until its fall last year. It may seem, in the words of Charles II, that it has been ‘an unconscionable time a-dying’, but the year just ended has witnessed the slow demise of Bradwell B.

Bradwell B entered 2022 with diminishing prospects. From the moment in early 2020 when it disclosed its preposterous plans to an outraged public, it had struggled for credibility. It’s true that in 2021 the Chinese-designed reactors gained Generic Design Approval (GDA) from the UK regulatory authorities. But, also in 2021, CGN (China General Nuclear Power Group) announced it was pausing its activities indefinitely. No doubt this was, in part, a result of the overwhelming and sustained opposition from BANNG, BAN, local councils and communities that it had encountered over the years.

During 2022 any lingering hopes for the project appeared to vanish amid deepening fears about Sea Level Rise and destructive impacts on our vulnerable coast. And it became clear that Chinese participation in UK nuclear projects was unwelcome for reasons of national security. By the year’s end, CGN informed stakeholders that it was effectively decommitting from its activities on the site with no plans for resumption.

It’s over. Let it go…

So, Bradwell B is over and we can let it go. But the threat of new nuclear at Bradwell will remain as long as the Government categorises the site as ‘potentially suitable’. Other developers may try to muscle in and we know that Rolls Royce has made a ranging shot at Bradwell as a ‘deployable site’ for its non-existent Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). It must be finally and unequivocally demonstrated that the Bradwell site is utterly unsuitable for the deployment of nuclear development, whether big Gigawatts (GW) or big SMRs That has been the nub of BANNG’s campaign over many years and it remains so as we enter 2023.

January 24, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Four separate reports show that the UK could save over €120 bn by 2050 by switching to a renewable energy strategy

LUT University in Finland has found that a 100% renewable energy/storage
mix would save the UK over €120 bn by 2050 compared with the UK
Government’s current net zero plan.

That’s one conclusion from a series of
scenarios in a new LUT report. Its ‘Best Policy Scenario’ (BPS), aims for
100% renewable energy in 2050, with offshore wind as the main resource,
limiting onshore wind and solar according to available land area, but it’s
backed up by a second scenario called ‘Inter-Annual Storage’ (IAS) which
adds on to the BPS the required inter-annual storage needed to provide good
levels of insurance against the possibilities of low-wind years.

A third scenario (BPSplus) tests the limits of higher land area availability for
onshore wind and solar photovoltaics, and where also renewable
electricity-based e-fuel imports are allowed. And finally, a fourth scenario, called ‘Current Policy Scenario’ (CPS), looks at the UK Government’s strategy for net zero as published in 2020.

A very worthwhile assessment exercise – all credit to Dr David Toke and the ‘100%
Renewables’ lobby group for supporting it. It does clearly show that a zero
carbon 100% renewables scenario is possible, at lower cost than any other
scenario. As Toke notes the implications are that ‘all public and
enforced consumer spending on new nuclear power and carbon capture and
storage should be scrapped and instead funding should be put into renewable
energy, energy efficiency and storage capacity.’

Renew Extra 21st Jan 2023

https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2023/01/lut-university-in-finland-has-found.html

January 23, 2023 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Jeremy in nuclear wonderland

Tim Ambler, Adam Smith Institute 20 Jan 23

MPs on the Commons’ science and technology select committee heard yesterday that the establishment of Great British Nuclear has been delayed due to friction between the business department and the Treasury over the budget for new projects. Given we know that all of the UK’s eight nuclear power plants are due to shut by 2028, apart from Sizewell B, which is closing in 2035, the need for new nuclear power is imperative.[really?] Especially when five of these are still providing about 13% of the UK’s electricity.

A new one (Hinkley Point C) is under construction but “reports surfaced this week suggesting that the nuclear power station in Somerset will not be operational until 2036, 11 years after its original 2025 completion date.” The other new one (Sizewell C) is a replica of Hinkley Point C and has been under consideration for 12 years and the government hopes to make a final decision by 2025. Being a replica should make Sizewell C easier and cheaper to build but, unfortunately Hinkley Point C has technical problems and duplicating Sizewell B would have been a better bet.

Britain’s chaotic approach to nuclear energy can all be laid at the door of HM Treasury. Prime Minister Johnson recognised the need to action and, in March 2022, grabbed a target of 24GW for nuclear out of the air which, he claimed, would be 25% of electricity demand – a not unreasonable baseload given the volatility of renewables. Unfortunately, then-Chancellor Sunak forgot to mention that electricity met only 20% of our energy demands and would have to supply nearly 100% by 2050.  So 25% of demand needs more like 56GW than 24GW and, furthermore, someone seems now to have cunningly inserted “up to” before the 24GW.

Johnson also announced that a new organisation would take charge of delivering this nuclear programme pronto, Great British Nuclear (GBN). Apparently GBN has a shopping list of what it needs to get going but the public are not allowed to see it. HM Treasury is concerned that GBN wants to spend money.

So the current plans are to decide (maybe) to add two more Sizewell Bs or Cs in the next Parliament, i.e. by 2030, and hope they are up and running by 2050.  So we’ll have four operational 2.3GW plants by 2050, i.e. 13.2 GW – well they only said “up to”. Note that the plans only encompass when decisions might be made – not when the plants might be generating electricity………..

The Treasury nuclear wonderland has two stand-out features: delaying the commissioning of nuclear generators, ostensibly to save taxes, as discussed above, and ensuring users pay twice as much as the French or Americans to restrain our enthusiasm for buying electricity at all.  It does that in three ways. The first is fixing the way wholesale electricity prices are set so that everyone pays the most expensive tender price to the National Grid rather than (as other auctions work) the lowest.

Then it adds the “Green Levy” alongside other taxes so that today’s consumers pay for the electricity used by the next generation of consumers. Never mind renewables being cheaper, today’s consumers have to pay a premium for it.

The third way today’s consumers are hit with future costs is the “Regulated Asset Base” (RAB) model HM Treasury will use to finance Sizewell C and all future nuclear power plants. This is the successor to the Private Finance Initiative which financed £12 billion of English hospital building at a cost to the taxpayer, by the time the idea was dropped in 2018, of £79 billion in repayments. Only it is worse. The idea, like the Green Levy, is that today’s electricity user pays for tomorrow’s consumption inflated by City profits. Someone seems to have conceived the idea that if we all pay a lot more for our electricity today, it won’t hurt when the zero carbon costs hit us in 2050.

The bottom line of all this is that the Treasury’s ducking and diving is hugely damaging for today’s and future electricity users and preventing any sane nuclear policy being implemented.  https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/jeremy-in-nuclear-wonderland

January 21, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Suffolk: Sizewell C ‘should not get licence’ due to erosion

Campaigners opposed to the new Sizewell C nuclear power station have
written to a nuclear industry regulator calling for it to reject the new
plant due to coastal erosion.

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) has sent a
letter to the Office for Nuclear Regulation calling for Sizewell C’s
nuclear operating licence to be ruled out after photos emerged showing the
extent of coastal erosion near to where the new facility will be sited,
raising safety concerns.

Pete Wilkinson, from TASC, said: “This
generation’s inactivity on climate change has already compromised future
generations. To proceed with Sizewell C while being fully aware that it is
highly vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surges and flooding, only adds
to the inter-generational burden we pass on.” However, a spokesperson for
Sizewell C said: “The design of the power station, including its sea
defence and the raised platform it will be built on, will protect Sizewell
C from flooding. “Our plans take account of the effect of climate change
and the predicted rise in sea levels over the coming decades.”

East Anglian Daily Times 18th Jan 2023

https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/23257671.suffolk-sizewell-c-should-not-get-licence-due-erosion/

January 21, 2023 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

“Great British Nuclear “- it’s high time that they came clean on what this will cost.

Bowen is right to think Britain’s nuclear plans will require “substantial” taxpayer support.

It’s high time the government spelt out how much financial fuel it’s willing to burn.

Maybe Great British Nuclear will prove as successful as Great British
Railways: another government invention still stuck in the sidings while the
strike-bound network grinds to a halt.

But at least Simon Bowen is after an
improvement on that. Who he? The industry adviser picked by ministers to
make their nuclear nirvana a reality. He’s setting up GBN, the “flagship
body” to corral the construction of up to 24 gigawatts of new capacity by
2050: a shopping list, he says, that will involve at least three more
mega-nukes on top of Hinkley Point C, plus a litter of small modular
reactors.

As he told MPs on the science committee, the new body will be the
“glue within the industry to drive the nuclear programme”. Always
assuming it gets set up, of course — because you can already sense
Bowen’s frustration with the government.

In a post-Ukraine war push for
energy security, it was Boris Johnson who declared that Britain should
“go nuclear and go large”, not that he spelt out the eye-popping costs
to the taxpayer. But Bowen’s report into how the new body should work,
complete with 25 recommendations, has since been passed from Liz Truss to
Rishi Sunak and deemed top secret.

To boot, from the latest PM he sees no
“overarching strategy” on what’s needed for energy security: the
“quantum of nuclear” or other technologies. That’s crucial because
“the investment required in nuclear is substantial”, he says, with the
same stuff underpinning successful international projects: “A substantial
amount of government leadership and fiscal support, not just in terms of
financing but who bears the risk.”

No private financier can see how
Sizewell gets built without the government injecting £5 billion-plus equity
and insulating investors from most construction risk. Build three big nukes
and you treble that problem before taking on small modular reactors — an
untried technology to which Rolls-Royce’s new boss, Tufan Erginbilgic,
seems disinclined to bring blue-sky finance. Add it up and Bowen is right
to think Britain’s nuclear plans will require “substantial” taxpayer
support. It’s high time the government spelt out how much financial fuel
it’s willing to burn.

Times 19th Jan 2023

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/great-british-nuclear-puts-treasury-on-alert-jjt987rlr

January 21, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Call to end practice of transporting nuclear warheads through Cumbria

A CAMPAIGN group have called for an immediate end to the practice of
transporting nuclear warheads by lorry along motorways and roads in Cumbria
and elsewhere. Their renewed call comes in response to news that the
Ministry of Defence has admitted that 40 safety incidents involving convoys
transporting nuclear warheads were logged during 2019, 2020 and 2021,
following a freedom of information request.

Carlisle News & Star 18th Jan 2023

https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/23256357.call-end-practice-transporting-nuclear-warheads-cumbria/

January 21, 2023 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment