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UK now setting up an agreement that will replace the nuclear safeguards lost in leaving Euratom

U.K. Reaches Draft Deal to Ensure Nuclear Supply After Brexit, Bloomberg , By

The U.K. reached an accord with international inspectors that will help keep the flow of nuclear materials going after the country leaves the European Union.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors could approve the U.K.’s draft safeguards this week in Vienna, according to a statement. The IAEA deal will “replace existing agreements” between the U.K. and European Atomic Energy Community, or Euratom, that are needed for the import and export of fuel used in nuclear power plants.

Euratom’s main function is to safeguard nuclear fuel, making sure it isn’t diverted to make weapons. The U.K. will lose that service from Euratom once it departs the EU. ……


June 6, 2018 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s Tories have done a complete U turn about subsidising nuclear power – the reason why

Dave Toke’s Blog 4th June 2018 , For the sake of artificially massaging down the price paid for electricity
from the proposed Wylfa nuclear plant the Government is about to commit the
country to pay for billions of pounds of almost inevitable construction
cost overruns.

In doing so the Tories will be junking their opposition to
doing such a thing. In 2010 The Conservative Party election manifesto
stated that: ‘we agree with the nuclear industry that taxpayer and
consumer subsidies should not and will not be provided – in particular
there must be no public underwriting of construction cost overruns’

There was a very good reason for this manifesto commitment. None of the nuclear
power plant currently operating in the UK were constructed according to
their original cost estimates. They were built during the time when
electricity was nationalised, and so the costs were spread around all
consumers and there was limited transparency about the economics of
building nuclear plants.

The Tories decided that there should be no more
wastage of public money on nuclear plant which soaked the public purse.
They wanted competition in electricity generation. Nick Butler in the
Financial Times has made some perceptive comments on this peculiar deal. He
is one of the few who has done some serious thinking about how it can
possibly be the case that the Wylfa project will be sold on a ‘cheaper’
price than Hinkley C despite the fact that the projected cost of building
Wylfa is actually higher than Hinkley

The remarkable thing is that despite
this effort at price fakery, the price agreed will still be a lot higher
than that available for installing large amounts of onshore wind offshore
wind and solar power.

June 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK Tax-payer to cop huge payments for Wylfa nuclear power project, and costs may still balloon further

Times 3rd June 2018 ,Ministers will this week reverse decades of opposition to investing taxpayer money in nuclear energy by agreeing to bankroll a £15bn-plus power station in Wales. The government will commit to taking a direct stake in the Wylfa plant on Anglesey, planned by the Japanese industrial giant Hitachi, after more than two years of negotiations.

It is understood the government will also provide the vast bulk of the £9bn debt. State equity will slash the cost of borrowing, but leave the taxpayer exposed if costs balloon or the project overruns. It has, though, helped ministers to
negotiate a strike price — a guaranteed payment for the plant’s electricity — of about £77.50 per megawatt hour. The government was determined to achieve a cheaper price than the £92.50 agreed with EDF, which is building the £20bn Hinkley Point power station in Somerset.

It is understood that this week’s heads of terms agreement with Hitachi will refer to “lessons learnt” from Hinkley. That deal was criticised by the National Audit Office for driving up the cost by piling too much risk on EDF. The deal this week has had to overcome opposition from the Treasury and will be a coup for the business secretary Greg Clark, who sees nuclear power as a key pillar of the government’s industrial strategy. Hitachi is believed to be considering increasing the number of reactors at Wylfa from two to four, with a strike price of less than £70, and to be planning a plant in Gloucestershire. Wylfa’s three shareholders — the UK and Japanese governments and Hitachi — will pump in about £6bn of equity on top of the £9bn debt provided largely by UK taxpayers.

June 4, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | 1 Comment

Chinese firm Ocean Nuclear, links to former UK Prime Minister, on a fund-raising roadshow in London

City AM 1st June 2018 Energy investment firm Ocean Nuclear today announced the launch of a $5bn (£3.8bn) nuclear energy industry fundraising roadshow in London. The Chinese company has negotiated nuclear infrastructure projects in more than
20 countries and will use 144 meetings at the roadshow to raise money for the programmes.

Ocean Nuclear has backing from firms including Silk Road Energy, which aims to raise $80m, and has been backed by the Belt and Road initiative, which has links to former Prime Minister David Cameron.

June 4, 2018 Posted by | China, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Taxpayer bankrolls £15bn nuclear plant at Wylfa in Wales 

June 4, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK Environment Agency (EA) will let Atomic Weapons Establishment’s (AWE) release more radioactive isotopes into the air

NIS 31st May 2018 The Environment Agency (EA) have announced that they are planning to
approve the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s (AWE) application to to
increase the quantity of volatile beta emitters that AWE Aldermaston is
permitted to release into the environment.

Beta emitters are radioactive elements that produce beta radiation. Volatile is a chemistry term which
refers to a substance that tends to vaporise and become a gas. AWE’s
application for the increase to the limit was announced in late January,
and there was a consultation on the application which ended in February.

The Environment Agency have now released a draft decision which approves
the proposed increase to the limit. Under their current license AWE are
allowed to release 4.4 megabecquerels (MBq) of volatile beta emitters into
the air as gas every year. The draft decision allows them to increase the
limit to 100 MBq a year, an increase of 22 times, or 2200%. A becquerel is
a measure of the quantity of radioactive material. One bequerel is the
quantity of material where radioactive decay will occur once every second.
A megabecquerel means one million becquerels of material. The EA is running
a consultation on the draft decision, which closes on the 6th June.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | radiation, UK | Leave a comment

UK wind power – much cheaper than planned Wylfa nuclear power plant

‘Cheap’ power at Wylfa nuclear plant blown away by wind, The Times,   The electricity generated by the Wylfa nuclear plant could be about a fifth
cheaper than Hinkley Point’s but is likely to be much more expensive than
power from the latest offshore wind farms. It is understood that a figure
of close to £75 per megawatt-hour is under discussion as the “strike
price” that Hitachi, the Japanese conglomerate developing the Anglesey
plant, would be guaranteed by the government for the electricity it
produces. The difference between the guaranteed price and the wholesale
price — currently £50 per MWh — would be paid for by consumers through
levies on their energy bills.

Ministers are preparing to announce next week
the outline of a deal to fund the proposed Wylfa plant, which could cost in
excess of £15 billion. The twin-reactor plant could generate 2.9 gigawatts
of electricity, enough to power five million homes. It is due to start
generating in the mid 2020s. The government plans to invest directly in
Wylfa, as well as to offer extensive guarantee loans for the project. These
measures are designed to cut the cost of the project and so lower the price
that consumers will have to cover.

Critics of nuclear power are likely to
draw unfavourable comparisons with offshore wind. Two projects in UK waters
were awarded guarantees prices of £57.50 per MWh last year. Some onshore
wind and solar projects are being built without any subsidy.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

British government used pilots like ‘GUINEA PIGS’ during Cold War nuclear experiments 

MoD used British pilots like ‘GUINEA PIGS’ during Cold War nuclear experiments

THE Ministry of Defence (MoD) used British nuclear test pilots like “guinea pigs” during the Cold War, deliberately exposing them to radiation, it has been claimed  By ALICE SCARSI, May 31, 2018 

The shocking allegation was made by the widow of a pilot who obtained secret documents suggesting her husband took part in a life-threatening experiment.

Shirley Denson, 83, said the documentation shows her husband, Flight Lieutenant Eric Denson, was ordered to fly through the cloud of a thermonuclear explosion at Christmas Island in the Pacific.

The test exposed him to so much radiation he was left with unbearable headaches which eventually brought him to kill himself to make the pain stop, she added.

And the experiment may have affected two of the couple’s four daughters, as Mrs Denson claimed they were born with abnormalities.

The widow, who was handed the papers by the MoD while conducting research about her husband’s service, described the situation “wicked” and “evil”.

“It makes me furious to think it was done on purpose, that my Eric mattered so little to them.”

The documents revealed Fl Lt Denson had flown his Canberra B6 bomber into the mushroom cloud of a 2.8 megaton nuclear explosion on April 28 1958, with X-ray badges on the seat to measure radiation, the Mirror reported.

During the flight, the pilot would have been exposed to 65 years’ worth of normal background radiation during the six-minute flight.

British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association chairman Alan Owen said: “This is the first time in all our years of campaigning we have ever found evidence this strong.

“Our members always believed they were guinea pigs and this appears to prove some of them were, at best, collateral damage in horrifying experiments.

“We need to know everything – now.”

The MoD denied Fl Lt Denson was purposely exposed to radiation.

The allegations caused outrage among politicians, who urged the MoD to answer the claim.

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson described the documents as “shocking”, and said the Defence Secretary should issue an unqualified apology to Mrs Denson in the Commons.

He said: “This is a shocking document the MoD cannot wriggle out of.

“We need answers about what experiments were conducted, and how many of the 22,000 nuke vets were involved in them.”

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffiths said the papers brought to light “deeply worrying revelations” and called for them to be investigated by the MoD.

And Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth added: “This is an absolute scandal.”

A spokesman for the MoD rejected the claims saying: “It is not true to say these men were subject to an experiment to look at the effects of radiation.

“The British nuclear testing programme contributed towards keeping our country secure during the Cold War and regular health checks were conducted throughout.

“The National Radiological Protection Board has carried out three studies of nuclear test veterans and found no valid evidence to link this programme to ill health.”

And he exclusively revealed to “According to the information available in the Operational Record Books for the squadron, Fl Lt Denson did not fly the same aircraft in the week after his sampling sortie.

“The ‘experiments’ referred to were to determine the best possible arrangement on the body of dosemeters (devices that measure radiation) so that these mens’ exposure could be measured as accurately as possible.”

June 1, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, health, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hitachi ‘won’t pay’ for nuclear accidents at proposed Wylfa plant on Anglesey

Times 30th May 2018 Hitachi ‘won’t pay’ for nuclear accidents at proposed Wylfa plant on Anglesey. Hitachi could seek to absolve itself of financial responsibility for any accidents at its proposed new nuclear power station in north Wales.

The Japanese conglomerate has decided to continue with work developing the planned Wylfa plant on Anglesey after progress in financing talks with the government, which Hitachi is already relying on for a package of loan guarantees, subsidies and potential direct investment to make the project viable.

However, the company wants further concessions to reduce its risks, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported. Reports in several Japanese media outlets have claimed that the Wylfa plant could cost as much as three trillion yen, or almost £21 billion — making it even more expensive than Hinkley Point C.

EDF decided to build Hinkley Point only thanks to a 35-year subsidy contract from the government, which locks consumers into paying a fixed price for the power it generates and has been criticised for its high cost.

The Nikkei reported that some of Hitachi’s directors also wanted “safeguards that reduce or eliminate Hitachi’s financial
responsibility for accidents at the plant”. Nuclear operators are already obliged to take out insurance to cover their liabilities in case of an accident. If they are unable to secure insurance from the market, the government is obliged to step in and provide it instead. It is unclear what alternative arrangement or safeguards Hitachi might be seeking.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics, UK | Leave a comment

British scientists distressed at loss of funding as Britain leaves the nuclear safety agency Euratom

Nature 29th May 2018 , Prime Minister Theresa May conceded on 21 May that a post-Brexit Britain
was willing to pay to “fully associate” with Euratom, Europe’s nuclear agency. The details of the arrangement, similar to many that surround the controversial exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, still have to be ironed out.

And among those watching the negotiations with mounting concern are scientists at the Joint European Torus (JET) near Oxford, UK, who currently benefit greatly from Britain’s membership of the agency. The hundreds of researchers at JET receive annual funding of around €60 million (US$70 million), because Britain is part of Euratom. As it stands, that funding will cease at the end of this year.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Licence exists for dumping mud at North Cardiff – but they don’t need Hinkley’s suspect “mud”

Barry GEM 29th May 2018 Graham Vodden: I read with interest your article in The GEM regarding Hinkley Mud, and I have to say that I have no confidence in the National Assembly making the correct decision on this matter. I fully endorse the petition calling for the licence to be suspended to allow for a full environmental assessment before any dredging and dumping is started.

We already have a problem with excess mud coming ashore on Penarth beach because somebody decided years ago to dump local dredged mud out of Cardiff Dock entrance at the North Cardiff buoy, instead of where it used to be dumped at the Middle Pool buoy, where it would disperse and not cause any environmental problem.

The question that needs to be addressed is why does EDF want to bring this mud all the way from Hinkley beach to the North Cardiff Buoy position for dumping? The answer to that is there is already a licence issued for dumping mud or sediment here, which makes the whole process easier.

The other question which needs to be asked is why can’t they dump this sediment outside Hinkley? There is plenty of depth in that part of the channel and it would not cause any problems, it would just disperse. The answer to that is that EDF would have to go through the whole process of licence application again. My message to EDF is, keep your suspect ‘mud’ in the area of Hinkley. The last thing Penarth needs is a massive mud pollution increase on our beach.§ionIs=news&searchyear=2018

June 1, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant protesters go to Japan  28 May 18 A group of anti-nuclear campaigners have travelled to Japan to petition the government to withdraw support for a nuclear power station on Anglesey.

A petition against the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant signed by almost 6,000 people was handed to Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

Pawb’s (People against Wylfa B) trip comes amid reports of UK and Japanese government investment in the project.

Technological giant Hitachi said there had been “no changes to disclose”.

Hitachi’s Horizon Nuclear Power wants to start building on Anglesey in 2020, but recent reports say the British government is to offer £13.3bn to support the project.

Prime Minister Theresa May met Hitachi’s chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi earlier this month to discuss support.

Speaking to BBC Wales from Japan, Meilyr Tomos from Pawb, said: “There’s huge uncertainty. It’s a scheme that requires two governments to prop it up, so there’s no certainty on anything at this stage.

“It’s not a commercial proposition. You need the biggest bang for your buck, that’s not something nuclear can deliver, it’s far too expensive.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s “nuclear renaissance” in the balance as Hitachi ponders Wylfa nuclear project

Times 27th May 2018 , The fate of a £15bn-plus nuclear power station is set to be decided this
week — and with it the future of Britain’s atomic renaissance.

The Japanese industrial giant Hitachi is due to decide Monday whether to
proceed with Wylfa. Hitachi’s decision has huge implications for
industrial collaboration between Britain and Japan and the country’s
nuclear power industry.

The project hinges on winning financial support
from Westminster. This weekend, ministers are expected to set out their
offer to Hitachi in a letter ahead of the crucial meeting. The proposal is
expected to include UK taxpayers taking a direct stake in the plant,
alongside Hitachi and the Japanese state, as well as guaranteeing loans. In
return, Westminster wants Hitachi to substantially undercut on price the
£20bn Hinkley Point plant in Somerset, which is being built by EDF.

TheFrench company struck a deal with the government for a guaranteed payment
of £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years. Ministers are expected to make
an announcement once they return from this week’s parliamentary recess.
They will herald it as an example of the type of post-Brexit trade deal
Britain can expect.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK is not correctly testing Hinkley Point dumped mud for radioactivity

Barry GEM 28th May 2018 ,Richard Bramhall. Referring to The GEM’s recent article on the dumping of
mud from Hinkley Point in the Bristol Channel, campaigners oppose the
dumping not because of ‘passion’ but because of science.

EDF’s references to bananas, radon and cosmic rays are unscientific. Potassium 40
(in the bananas), radon and cosmic rays are evenly distributed in body
tissue and the radiation effects are well understood.

The radioactive particles which EdF refuses to look for in the mud are quite different. The
UN has published data showing enormous amounts of particulates from Hinkley
Point. These are microscopic fragments of uranium oxide and probably
plutonium which are small enough to inhale. From the lung they can travel
anywhere in the body — to the lymph nodes, for example. Such particles
emit very short-range radiations all the time, continually hitting the
cells within a few microns. To treat this as an average all-body dose is
like thinking you can safely keep your baby warm by tucking a soldering
iron into her babygro. The Government laboratory that tested mud samples
did not use techniques capable of detecting uranium or plutonium. This is
why campaigners demand thorough testing.§ionIs=news&searchyear=2018

May 30, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

28 May – deadline day for Hitachi over whether or not to proceed with UK Horizon nuclear power plant

Deadline day for Japan’s Hitachi over Wales £15bn Horizon nuclear plant  Sunday Times, 27 May 18   The fate of a £15bn-plus nuclear power station is set to be decided this week — and with it the future of Britain’s atomic renaissance.

The Japanese industrial giant Hitachi is due to decide tomorrow whether to proceed with Horizon, a twin-reactor plant on Anglesey, north Wales.

Hitachi’s decision has huge implications for industrial collaboration between Britain and Japan and the country’s nuclear power industry. The project hinges on winning financial support from Westminster.

This weekend, ministers are expected to set out their offer to Hitachi in a letter ahead of the crucial meeting. The proposal is expected to include UK taxpayers taking a direct stake in the plant, alongside Hitachi and the Japanese state, as well as guaranteeing loans.

In return, Westminster wants Hitachi…(subscribers only)

May 28, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment