Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Friday, 28 January 2011

NEW SANE VIDEOS interviews with Prof Gareth Williams, Prof Tom Burke, Prof Steve Thomas, Prof Andy Blowers and Dr Ian Fairlie

See the following links to our new videos many many thanks to sanefilmvideos for the hard work in producing these excellent videos to help highlight the campaign:

Interviews with

Professor Gareth Williams - From the University of Bristol and a local resident makes the case against the plans for a new massive third generation of nuclear power station at Shepperdine, Nr Oldbury-On-Severn.

Professor Tom Burke - Environment adviser to Rio Tinto PLC and Senior Business Advisor to the Foreign Secretary's Special Representative on Climate change, Tom Burke understands has a great insight into both the business and political issues driving new nuclear.

Professor Steve Thomas - Steve is a researcher in energy policy. He has an excellent grasp on the real financial cost of new nuclear. His conclusion is that the Government numbers just do not add up by a factor of at least 300%. In this interview Steve explains the why the economics of new nuclear mean that subsidies are inevitable.

Professor Andy Blowers - Andy sat on the Governments Committee on Radioactive Waste Management and wrote part of the committees conclusions on how waste should be managed. He has seen the tight caveats that the CoRWM put on the generation of new waste eroded over time and is very concerned that the legacy of new nuclear will be a huge financial and health burden on future generations.

Doctor Ian Fairlie - Ian is an radiation biologist who has been studying nuclear power for many years. Ian estimates that the maximum CO2 savings for the UK from nuclear power is 5%. Alternatives can achieve 10 to 10 times greater savings per £ spent. Ian also tells us how the health risks - cancer risks are increased around nuclear power stations. The German Government has accepted that the incidence of childhood leukemia around nuclear power stations is double the norm. It has stopped nuclear development in Germany. The UK Government is silent on this issue - can we afford to be silent too?

South Glos Council's response to the new NPS - their views unchanged they are unable to support the nomination of Oldbury

South Glos. Council have now published their response to the DECC consultation on the revised draft National Policy Statements.
The response re-affirms that our local council are unable to support the inclusion of Oldbury on the list of suitable sites.

See to download a full copy of the response.

We are particularly delighted to read the Council "is unable to support the inclusion of Oldbury on the list of sites for new build nuclear facilities in the NPS." They have also pointed out that "the NPS’s are framed in a way that the national need for electricity will always override local and cumulative impacts.There is a concern that, once a site is on the NPS list, it will be developed whatever the scale of impact revealed through subsequent and more detailed assessments."

On waste the council have pointed out that the Govt's plans for a GDF are far too uncertain:

"The Council notes that a key plank of the Government’s proposals for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel is the provision of a central Geological Disposal Facility. To expedite and oversee this, the Government has established a Geological Disposal Implementation Board chaired by the Minister of State for Energy. The remit of the group is to help establish a robust delivery programme for a disposal site that would take waste from both legacy and new build nuclear sites. The inaugural meeting of this group was held on 30 November 2010."

The approach being taken to the identification of a disposal facility is based on ‘volunteerism’. Although it is recognised that the West Cumbria Partnership is engaged with the process, the Council considers that there can be no presumption that a community will continue to wish to volunteer and, therefore, no guarantee that the Government’s expectation that such a facility will come on stream in 2040 will be met.

The underpinning approach to high level waste disposal is that legacy (i.e. existing and decommissioning stations) and new build sites will host ‘interim’ storage. In reality this is storage for many generations – up to 160 years - and although the government says that this could be significantly reduced, there is no certainty of this."

Parlianentary Energy Committee report this week - MPs warn NPS framework can not deliver new nuclear in time to avoid a dash for gas and doubt GDF can be ready by 2130

The Parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising the new draft NPS have issued their report this week. It concludes that they do not believe that new nuclear can be switched on in time to avoid a dash for gas.

The committee also doubt that the Government can deliver a long term Geological Disposal Facility to receive new nuclear waste before 2130.

As SANE have said all along new nuclear is never going to fill the energy gap, it is a distraction to getting on with the cheaper and more viable renewables.

We have always said they will never get a GDF ready to receive the waste quickly enough and this community will be forced in to hosting it for 150 years plus.

New nuclear is not the answer to filling the energy gap with low carbon technology.


"MPs 'sceptical' that nuclear power stations will be built on time

Energy companies are unlikely to build all the UK's planned nuclear power stations on time, according to an influential committee of MPs.

The Energy Committee said it was "sceptical" that Britain's target of switching on two nuclear power stations a year between 2020 and 2025 would be reached.

The UK needs a huge number of new nuclear power stations to make up for the coal-fired stations being switched off over the next decade. However, the committee warned that the Coalition's new planning system did not appear to be capable of making sure the 12 new stations are located in the right places to be linked up to the electricity grid.

"Hooking up this amount of nuclear and other generation to the national grid poses an unprecedented challenge," said Tim Yeo, its chairman. "Two plants a year is a very high target to reach. The [system] lacks any real framework for coordinating the process of siting and linking up the new power stations."

The MPs' report also cast doubt on current plans to make sure there is a deep hole for disposing of radioactive waste within 110 years. It called on the Government to insist that there are sufficient interim ways of storing the material before allowing new plants to be built."

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Article about SANE in new online magazine BS35

Nuclear Winter
Posted by David Price | Filed under Community News
A solitary figure looks out over the green fields of Shepperdine towards the grey waters of the Severn estuary taking in the view. Reg Illingworth is an ordinary guy about to contemplate semi-retirement and some travel or start a new business to replace the one he has sold. However what is out of the ordinary is his role in a truly David and Goliath struggle over the future of the fields he is looking out over.
For the last year Reg has been the unofficial chairman of a small, active and vocal campaign which is seeking to stop the development of a massive new nuclear power station on the banks of the Severn.
Reg is the leader of SANE – Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy which is a group of concerned local residents that are desperately trying to halt the development ambitions of Horizon Nuclear Power. Reg knows that this is an unequal and unfair battle because his informal collection of volunteers and amateurs is matched against the combined might of 2 German multi-national energy giants, E.ON and RWE N Power. These companies have a combined market capitalisation of over £120 billion and vast budgets to promote their scheme.
Horizon Nuclear is a British Joint Venture of these energy giants and has its headquarters in Barnwood on the outskirts of Gloucester. It was formed in 2009 to promote 2 schemes for new nuclear power stations; one on the coast at Wylfa on the island of Anglesey in north Wales, the other is at Oldbury on Severn.
The story starts in March 2009 when E.ON and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) nominated land at Oldbury on Severn as a suitable site on which to build a nuclear plant. The land was tendered for sale by the NDA and sold to Horizon. RWE is the lead partner in the promotion exercise at Wylfa and E.ON at Oldbury.
The scale of the project is difficult to comprehend and will literally dwarf the existing Oldbury power station which is due to finally stop generating power in June 2011. The existing Oldbury plant started producing power from the first of its two atomic reactors in 1967. It’s an early nuclear plant design known as the Magnox commissioned when the country was enthusiastic and optimistic about the future for nuclear power generation.
The Oldbury Magnox plant now produces 424 MW of electricity but was originally rated for 600 MW. Its capacity has been reduced due to the limits of safely cooling the reactor. The reactors at Oldbury have been cooled by water from the nearby Severn estuary, millions of gallons of it a day which are circulated through a complex system of pipes around the reactor’s casing to control its temperature. Its job completed the water is then returned to the estuary 4 degrees hotter that it entered the plant and cools within the purpose built lagoon to the surrounding water temperature.
Despite the size of the Severn estuary the problem for Horizon is that there is a finite amount of water that can be extracted for cooling a nuclear power plant. Unfortunately all that capacity has already been taken up by the existing Oldbury power station. This problem is acute in the Severn because it has the second highest tidal range in the world so an enormous artificial lagoon was built in the Severn in the 1960’s with the power station to provide a secure reservoir of water to keep the reactors cooled when the tide is out. The tidal range of the Severn does have its benefits as it creates the famous Severn bore on which the world record distance for surfing was recorded in 2009 at 7 miles.
E.ON accept the fact is that any new power station at Oldbury using direct water cooling cannot be any bigger than that of the existing Magnox plant without unacceptable environmental impact.
If the reactors are cooled by some other method it will inevitably involve the construction of cooling towers. Unsurprisingly the Environment Agency have advised that creating new water channels and bringing water from Avonmouth 10 miles to the south is not feasible.
Horizon is proposing a plant that would be not double or triple the size of the existing Oldbury plant but 8 times the size; either 3,200 or 3,300 MW depending on whether there are 2 or 3 reactors. It will occupy a site of over 370 acres and provide 6 % of the UK’s total electricity requirement. The industrial buildings will cover hundreds of thousands of square feet of space together with massive steel pylons, transformers and transmission cables.
A plant on this immense scale will inevitably change the character of the whole of the area, not just Shepperdine. Horizon has attracted a lot of attention because their scheme could involve the construction of 4 massive concrete cooling towers 200 metres high. These 660 feet high edifices would be of skyscraper dimensions and dwarf the existing the supports of the Severn Bridge which are only 445 feet tall. Horizon has conducted an exercise on the visual impact of these structures which would be visible from Tewkesbury 37 Miles to the north and Penarth 40 miles away on the South Wales coast.
In October 2010 Horizon announced that these naturally venting towers were not its preferred option for cooling the plant’s reactors. The company hasn’t actually dropped this option irrevocably so they are still a possibility, but Horizon is now pursuing a hybrid cooling tower design. These hybrid towers would be 70 metres high (230 feet) and more than 50 feet taller than the existing power station. These are fan assisted towers which draw vapour from the plant artificially. Whichever option is favoured the height of the cooling tower is only part of the visual impact on the area. This because the plume of steam leaving the cooling towers would be at least the same height again and potentially much more leaving a 24 hour a day vapour plume.
For almost a year Horizon argued that the 660 feet high cooling towers were the best technical solution. However they changed their position in the Autumn in what many see as a blatantly cynical public relations ploy to reduce public opposition to their scheme. Some like Reg believe Horizon never had any serious intention to pursue these 200 metre high monstrosities and just used this as PR manipulation exercise to give the impression that they have listened to public opinion and taken this on board. Reg does not believe this is a concession from Horizon as he points out that they haven’t abandoned this option, it’s just not the preferred option; but this could change…
Whilst a major issue Reg also believes that the cooling towers have been used calculatingly to distract the public’s attention from more detailed scrutiny of the rest of Horizon’s nuclear ambitions. As Reg points out if he wants to put a small conservatory on his house in Shepperdine he has to get planning permission from his local Authority and his neighbours have the right to comment and object. However South Gloucestershire Council, (which is officially objecting to Horizon’s plans), has no say in the decision to grant planning permission for a nuclear power station. Any application will be determined by a Government Quango, the Infrastructure Planning Commission, which itself is due to be abolished in 2011.
The coalition Government has made a big play of its localism agenda and devolving decision making down to local communities. But when it comes to the biggest and most controversial development in the County for 50 years we don’t get to decide. Yes there is consultation but DECC (the Department of Energy and Climate Change) don’t have to listen and at the moment they aren’t he says.
Reg and his colleagues from SANE have organised a concerted campaign of objection to Horizon’s scheme since it was first made public in November 2009. This has involved writing detailed responses to the thousands of pages of nuclear development planning documentation DECC has produced. He has also organised demonstrations outside DECC consultation events, public marches, TV, radio and press coverage to keep the issue in the public’s minds.
The statistics and scale of Horizon’s scheme are truly awe inspiring. At its peak there will be 6,200 construction workers on the site and the building work will continue for years as this is the largest building project in the South West. It will involve 1,500 lorry movements along country lanes every single day for 14 months. These are required to move over 9,000,000 tonnes of material to raise the level of the site to a suitable level to protect against flooding
One of the objections that has been raised is the location of the site in the flood plain as the consequences of a flooded reactor control room could be disastrous. The level of flood protection is already a contentious issue for housing as the Government doesn’t want to encourage the construction of new houses that are likely to flood. Any home built at Shepperdine would have to be built at a level that will be unaffected by exceptional flood events that occur every 100 years; the 100 year flood event.
Nuclear power plants are very much more sensitive buildings and so are protected for a 1 in 10,000 year event. 10,000 years incidentally is the last time we had an Ice Age so we are talking about monumentally long lengths of time that many argue are unknowable.
Another of the concerns shared by Reg, SANE and others is the storage of nuclear waste. If built the nuclear reactors will have an operational life of 60 – 80 years and will produce over 1,900 canisters of spent nuclear waste. This toxic material will have to be stored on the site for a long time as the nuclear site will exist for more than 160 years. When the plant reaches the end of its operational life it will have to be decommissioned and the waste either stored or reprocessed. For decades successive British Governments have failed to make any progress on the creation of a national secure long term storage facility. Until a store is built, and no one knows if or when this will be, nuclear waste will have to be stored on site. This is in addition to that spent fuel already stored at Oldbury from over 40 years of nuclear fusion at the MAGNOX plant.
Professor Gareth Williams, a Bristol University medical expert at the faculty of Medicine and Dentistry has made a simple analysis of the implications if EDF at Hinckley in Somerset and Horizon’s nuclear plans are approved. “It would create the most intensive concentration of nuclear power plants on the planet !” Should we be concerned ? “Absolutely” he explains. One would expect this honour to rest with one of the remote parts of the former Russian empire or perhaps a rapidly growing part of a province in China. But no. If Hinckley and Oldbury were built this part of the West Country would be planet earth’s ground zero for nuclear power.
Does this pose an increased risk to human health in the area? Research is always being completed but applying the simple precautionary principle the answer has got to be yes. More nuclear power stations will present a greater risk to human health and well being than cows grazing in green fields. And don’t forget that there is also a former nuclear plant 6 miles up the road at Berkeley that is being decommissioned.
Reg reels off a list of more than a dozen objections that have been made by SANE and others to DECC against the development of Oldbury. Deployability by 2025, proximity to populated areas, flooding in Zone 3, coastal erosion, effect on internationally designated sites of ecological importance, impact on nationally designated sites of ecological importance, adverse effects on areas of amenity, cultural heritage and landscape value, inadequate access to suitable sources of direct cooling, inappropriate ground conditions for building, scale and size of plant, the use of new and untried reactor designs, major visual impact, effect on the marine environment, significant congestion and environmental impact during the construction process.
All valid reasons. Worryingly for Reg however the Government doesn’t agree. In February 2010 DECC undertook a public consultation exercise seeking comments on its snappily titled draft National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation. They received over 50,000 replies the majority raising concerns and objections to 11 selected sites for proposed nuclear development. DECC then revised its thousands of pages of consultation documents and sought further comments.
The closing date for these further comments and objections is 24 th January 2011 and Reg is keen that everyone who is unhappy with the plans expresses their objections in writing or by email to DECC.
DECC responded on the suitability of Oldbury and 10 other sites around the country for nuclear installations. Whilst the Government has recommended that 3 of the 11 sites are dropped off the preferred list of suitable locations, it still believes that Oldbury is suitable. Of the 3 sites that were dropped all were rejected on environmental grounds that apply equally to Oldbury. Despite the support of Dr Steve Webb, MP for the area and Matthew Riddle, the Government is unmoved by the breadth depth and number of objections to Oldbury and Horizon. That’s not to say that consent will ultimately be granted but it is a major blow for Reg, SANE and other concerned residents.
He finds the response and official justification unacceptable, unreasonable and illogical. It doesn’t seem to matter what valid objections and rational concerns we put forward they are all swept away. DECC believes that they are all the objections are capable of remediation or are justified in the national interest. The are just not listening and the impression we get from their formal response is they are determined to designate Oldbury whatever we say. So much for consultation, it’s just a token PR exercise as they have made their decision and they’re ignoring local opinion.
We have until 24th January 2011 to get people to make their views, concerns and objections known to DECC and our MP to reflect the depth of genuine local disquiet. We have had a public meeting on 27th November where we invited leading independent experts to explain what the nuclear industry prefers to keep quiet and it only confirmed our fears. There is to be a joint DECC and South Gloucestershire Council public meeting at the Leisure Centre on Thursday 16th December at which DECC will consult once again. SANE is going to organise a major letter writing exercise to demonstrate the depth of feeling and the numbers of locals who are unhappy.
So what of Horizon’s plans and what are the advantages of nuclear power that they are extolling. They argue that nuclear will be producing clean electricity and creating about 800 permanent skilled jobs and 6,200 temporary construction jobs. However on other parts of the plan they are worryingly vague. They haven’t chosen a reactor design yet and of the 2 which are being built in France and Finland both are over budget and behind schedule. They also have no staff on the payroll that have either built or operated a nuclear power plant, which seems a revelatory admission for a prospective operator of a complicated nuclear operation.
Reg is sceptical of Horizon’s claim to generate clean electricity. He points to earlier studies of the Severn estuary where increased concentrations of tritium have been detected in marine life. Also the raw material of nuclear power is uranium, mined around the globe, imported and processed which in itself creates carbon emissions, not least from its transportation. He points out that the by-product of the process is nuclear waste some of which will have to be stored on site for decades if not hundreds of years. This is not the clean image Horizon wishes to portray but an annoying detail they would rather skate over.
Though they will not admit it the nuclear industry has been lobbying hard for what they argue is a level playing field with renewable sources of energy. The development and take up of renewable non polluting energies such as wind, solar, wave and tidal have been encouraged by the Government with financial subsidies. There has been no subsidies for the nuclear industry which had been expected by the Government to be delivered by the free market private sector without assistance from the taxpayer or energy consumer. However the Government has done a U Turn and in October 2010 Chris Huhne announced that in future the Government was now not ruling out financial assistance for nuclear power stations.
Reg is unhappy that a scheme being developed by a private sector foreign multinational company (over which he has no control), is promoting a scheme (over which he can have no democratic say because it is being decided by a Government Quango) is likely to receive financial assistance from him whether he likes it or not.
Horizon have argued that we need new nuclear plants like Oldbury to fill the energy gap caused by the shut down of old traditional coal burning power stations from 2015 onwards. Otherwise the lights will go out. Even if we accept that there is an energy gap, which incidentally many experts do not, Oldbury is not currently envisaged to produce any power until 2025. Which is a decade too late to make a difference. So if it’s not going to deliver the power we allegedly need, when we require it, its very reason for existence is fatally flawed.
The problem is that the lead in time to develop a new nuclear power station is more than a decade due to its inherent complication and public sensitivity. And this assumes that the plant can be built on budget and on schedule. Given that these are new untested and untried new reactor designs, this is highly optimistic.
Reg is disappointed that DECC did not accept his objections and those of SANE and others but he is undaunted. This is a marathon not a sprint and we are determined to fight on and battle Horizon every inch of the way and every detail of their proposals. This is a very complicated process and is already the subject of change. The more we make it difficult for Horizon and slow up the process the more it will cost them and the less viable the exercise will be. After all Horizon is a private sector business like any other, they need to make a profit, they just happen to be in the business of making a profit from nuclear power. Despite what Horizon may say everyone Reg talks to either objects to the scheme or has grave concerns so he is confident that the community support his view, not Horizon’s.
Reg is in a modern day David and Goliath tussle with a multi national foreign giant which has the advantage of all the PR and media resources money can buy; and they have a budget of millions of pounds to spend. However the British have always admired and supported the under dog so he has a chance to pull off a change of mind. He knows he is in an unequal struggle with just a small group of volunteers and amateurs to help him but accepts that’s his role.
“We are a group of concerned community minded locals up against professionals who can lobby at the highest levels” he says. “But we can’t let Horizon wreck our community; remember it’s not just our generation we’re fighting for but our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren. We just want to keep this part of England green fields and free of a concrete health hazard, what’s wrong with that?”
For further sources of information online:
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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Charles Hendry visits Shepperdine

My personal opinion is that new nuclear will not get built at Shepperdine unless the government completely indemnify the foreign private companies that are controlling the destiny of our country.

The government is submitting to these giants in exchange for some perceived investment that under free Market and capitalist systems involves a risk to reward ratio

The reward that eon and RWE are seeking should only be available in centrally planned systems.

How about them accepting a royalty payment of 2% for managing the new power stations so most of this guaranteed low risk investment will stay in the UK.

Definitely, energy meAns power.....our government is allowing us to be shafted by these worldwide predators.

Stand by for Caroline Lucas and Zac Goldsmith.

Energy Minister Visits Oldbury but is clearly not listening to us!

See the article below published in "This is Gloucesteshire" today by Lynne Hutchinson.  So very disappointing to read that the Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, still considers the site appropriate despite the fact that so many local people and councils disagree with him. Clearly he is simply not listening to anything we, our local councils and our MP have said to DECC. It seems he is only interested in the views of the pro-nuclear people at the power station.

Clearly he didn’t take the trouble to look at the view from the villages surrounding the site and those above that look down on the site. If he had gone to Hill, for example, he might not have been so insensitive! The village of Oldbury, which is presumably the only village he travelled close enough to, will not even see the new site as it will be hidden behind the existing power station! Unless of course Horizon revert to the gravity towers, in which case they too will be visibly affected.

Clearly he did not visit the village of Shepperdine, presumably for fear of running in to the angry local residents most affected! If he had, he would have travelled up the narrow country lane to access the new site and seen for himself how much damage will be done through the need for site raising, road widening and raising for access. He might then have seen how inappropriate even 70m high hybrid towers will be and how much noise will be inflicted on those of us living close to the site both during the construction phase and by the huge fans that will be needed with the massive hybrid towers.

If Mr Hendry had then taken the trouble to travel through a few of the villages and lanes higher up on the edge of the Severn flood plain and perhaps stopped to look down on the ageing and 'past its sell by date' power station at Oldbury. He might have then realised how ridiculous it all is to put a new 3rd generation nuclear power station in the middle of the flood plain with its associated highly toxic waste store which will be our legacy for the next 120 years or more! Surely he would have seen for himself how this can not be protected from future flooding for such a long period of time?

How can Mr Hendry really honestly say this is 'appropriate'?

Please Mr Hendry look at this all again and see sense! Right the wrong decision taken by Ed Milliband during the last government and stop this ridiculous nonsense! Show us all that the coalition cares and that it has the common sense to see that this site is a million miles away from "appropriate"!


Article in “This is Gloucestershire” 14th Jan 2011

Proposed nuclear plant site 'appropriate', says minister

By Lynne Hutchinson

ENERGY minister Charles Hendry said land next to the River Severn was appropriate for a new generation of nuclear reactors during a visit to the site near Thornbury. He spent several hours at the existing Oldbury atomic station to meet those who run the ageing plant's two reactors and to look across mist- shrouded farmland in Shepperdine where energy company Horizon wants up to three more. His visit came a day after he met  representatives from eight sites around the country which are being considered for new nuclear stations to help meet Britain's energy demands. They included Gareth Williams, a professor of medicine at Bristol University and member of SANE – Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy.

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Thursday, 13 January 2011

Jaitapur..not a done deal!

'Jaitapur not a done deal'
Ashis Ray, TNN, Jan 12, 2011, 02.24am IST


Tags:US|NPT|Luc Oursel|Indo-French Civil Nuclear Energy Pact

PARIS: The Indo-French civil nuclear energy pact-expected to install state-of-the-art technology in India in generating electricity-is not yet a done deal, according to Luc Oursel, the chief operating officer of French major Areva. Oursel on Tuesday told TOI in an exclusive chat that the Japanese government is throwing spanner in the works in respect of the estimated 7-9 billion twin reactor envisaged to be commissioned by 2018 at Jaitapur in coastal Maharashtra.

Each reactor is expected to generate 1,600mw. The best India produces today is about 250mw from a reactor.

A critical component in Areva's architecture is "extra-large forgings", which, according to a diplomatic source, is only available in Japan. Oursel, of course, claimed there are alternatives, but at the same time, strongly advocated "a bilateral agreement" between India and Japan to smoothen completion of the Jaitapur project. Ever since World War II, Japan, which suffered heavily because of atom bombs, has been an uncompromising opponent of nuclear weapons and proliferation. It has consistently demanded India's signature to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty ( NPT), which New Delhi has refused on the grounds that it is discriminatory.

Notwithstanding the waiver granted by the nuclear suppliers group (NSG), of which Japan is a member, and the safeguards agreement subsequently reached between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Japanese government is not convinced that the technology provided by Areva cannot also be utilized for military purposes. It is, therefore, likely to drive a hard bargain on the issue.

Japan, though, is not the only hurdle before the proposed nuclear plant in Jaitapur. Areva is clearly not happy to sign on the dotted line on the basis of the liability imposed on it by India. Oursel insisted that the rules emanating from such legislation should be "as close as possible to the international standards". Areva and its Indian partner, NPCIL, which will operate the plant, are to sign a final contract on the matter by mid-11.

Oursel was unperturbed by questions from environmental groups. "This is more than normal and necessary as part of transparency and democratic processes," he said, and added that Areva is providing support to NPCIL to answer questions.

Claiming Areva's was the most advanced architecture in terms of environmental acceptability, engineering, performance and technology, Oursel said its facilities can resist a plane crash.

France meets 80% of its electricity needs from nuclear sources. Areva has built 102 nuclear power stations worldwide, 58 of which are in France. Its main competitors are Japan-owned Toshiba Westinghouse and US controlled GE Hitachi.

Hinkley Site is full of Uranium!


In a report by Chris Busby and Cecily Collingridge for Green Audit, analysis is presented showing the presence of enriched uranium contamination on the site proposed for the new nuclear reactors. Examining gamma spectroscopy radioactivity data tables that formed part of the Environment Impact Statement EIS supplied by developers EDF Energy, it was possible to show that the 2square kilometer site contained approximately 10 tonnes of enriched uranium reactor fuel. Uranium levels in soil samples were up to 4 times higher than average levels expected in the area as defined by Environment Agency reports. Isotopic ratios for the two key components, U238 and U235, which should not deviate from the value in nature of 21.3 were found to be as low as 12.5 signaling enriched uranium reactor fuel. Both the concentration and the activity ratio trends with sample depth were significant, showing that the excess enriched uranium was! on the surface and had been deposited from the air. Deep samples showed only much lower concentrations of natural uranium. There also appeared to be a trend with distance from the sea; Hinkley Point is built on the coast.
Green Audit/Stop Hinkley Press Release 12th Jan 2012

Fresh news from Tenner Films

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a great Christmas and that 2011 brings you all you wish for. Here at Tenner Films HQ I'm hard at work consolidating everything we've achieved to date in readiness for the final furlong of production on our nuclear documentary, which should hopefully be getting into gear soon. I'm feeling really excited about what lies ahead - and of course, I'll keep you posted on all the developments as they happen. There are now over 1000 people following the project on the mailing list & through Facebook and Twitter and that kind of grassroots support is so important for a film like this one so thankyou for sticking with us. I can promise it'll all be worth it when the film finally hits your screens :-) 

In the meantime, we're getting the year off to a great start with a very timely guest blog from Crispin Aubrey down at the Stop Hinkley campaign in Somerset which is on the front line of the nuclear industry's expansion plans here in the UK. I urge you to have a read and pass it on as events are at a critical phase there as we speak. Check it out here

Lastly, as you know, this project is completely independent and has survived in large part because of the generosity of individual donors giving small sums (typically a tenner as the company name hints!) We are currently fundraising hard to enable the final filming and post-production to take place but all contributions are always extremely welcome - my work on the film is totally unpaid but there are all manner of other costs that are unavoidable form research materials to web hosting. Every little contribution helps. So if you've been following the project for a while but have never got around to making a donation, why not make today the day? You can donate easily via Paypal by logging on to and clicking on the Donate button on the right hand side.

Thanks as always for all your support and here's to a fabulous year ahead.

all best wishes,


Tenner Films
73c Herne Hill, London, SE24 9NE
020 7738 3132
07939 061006
Vicki Lesley Ltd. Registered in England & Wales No: 5746681

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Debate is stimulated in the UK.... No new nUKes

0 Jan 2011 : Column 144W

Nuclear Power Stations: Construction

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Tamworth of 16 December 2010, Official Report, column 1039, on nuclear power stations, what the names are of each of his contacts around the City who have indicated that there certainly is an appetite to invest in new nuclear plant. [32540]
Charles Hendry: It would not be appropriate for the Department to provide names of individuals who have offered their views on this subject in a personal capacity. However, the fact that energy companies have announced plans to build up to 16 gigawatts (GW) of new nuclear in the UK demonstrates that they see a future for new nuclear generation in the UK and are willing to make significant investment to make this happen.

Nuclear Power Stations: Decommissioning

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his Department's consultation on revised funded decommissioning programme guidance for new nuclear power stations, if he will take steps to recover from (a) NNB GenCo, (b) Horizon Nuclear Power and (c) NuGeneration Ltd the expenditure from the public purse since 1973 on payments to (i) (A) the International Atomic Energy Agency and (B) Euratom and the Joint Research Centres for research on nuclear waste, (ii) NIREX and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for research and development on nuclear waste and (iii) the UK Atomic Energy Authority and British Nuclear Fuels for research, development, demonstration and deployment of technologies and materials used for nuclear waste management in proportion to the proposed use by those companies of the technological advances in nuclear waste management so funded from the public purse. [32569]
Charles Hendry: The UK has a legacy of nuclear waste from the UK's public sector nuclear programme which has accumulated over the last fifty years or which is already committed. The costs identified in this question have been incurred in relation to the management of this legacy waste. In line with the polluter pays principle, it is not appropriate for operators of new nuclear power stations to pay towards the historic costs of managing this legacy waste.
As set out in the "Consultation on revised Funded Decommissioning Programme (FDP) Guidance for New Nuclear Power Stations", published on 7 December 
10 Jan 2011 : Column 145W
2010, the Government's objective is to ensure that operators of new nuclear power stations make prudent provision for their full share of the costs of safely and securely managing and disposing of their waste. The draft FDP Guidance and the "Consultation on an updated Waste Transfer Pricing Methodology for the disposal of higher activity waste from new nuclear power stations", also published on 7 December 2010, provide more detail on those costs for which a new build operator will be responsible. In summary, an operator's full share of waste management and disposal costs is considered to be: the cost of managing their waste pending disposal; the costs that are directly attributable to disposing of their waste in a geological disposal facility (GDF); a contribution towards the fixed costs of constructing a GDF; and an additional element or elements to reflect any financial risks being taken on by the Government in agreeing to title to and liability for the operator's waste.

Nuclear Power: Subsidies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his Department's consultation documents on electricity market reform published on 16 December 2010, which types of financial support or incentivisation he regards as subsidies to the nuclear industry; and what criteria he uses to decide whether a financial incentive is a subsidy. [32528]
Charles Hendry: The Secretary of State set out the Government's policy that there will be no subsidy for new nuclear power in a written statement on 18 October 2010, Official Report, column 44WS.
This statement makes clear that:
    "there will be no levy, direct payment or market support for electricity supplied or capacity provided by a private sector new nuclear operator, unless similar support is also made available more widely to other types of generation. New nuclear power will, for example, benefit from any general measures that are in place or may be introduced as part of wider reform of the electricity market to encourage investment in low-carbon generation".
I can confirm that the position as described in the recently published consultation documentation on electricity market reform is consistent with this policy.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Iran now has the capability to make nuke weapons!

It will come as no surprise to anybody with more than one brain cell that Iran can now make the fuel for the weapons they crave.

Who can blame them, if Israel has them, then why not Iran?

The ideal solution would be to stop building all new nuclear power plants every where in the world now before the human race destroys itself and everything else.

We can then legitimately tell errant states that they too cannot build these devices!

Page last updated at 20:08 GMT+05:30, Saturday, 8 January 2011
Iran claims nuclear breakthrough

Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian purposes
Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi says his country is now capable of making the fuel plates and rods used inside nuclear reactors.

Western analysts have previously said the Islamic republic did not possess such technology.

The US and other Western nations suspect that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons.

Tehran strongly denies the accusation, saying its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian purposes.

Mr Salehi told Fars news agency that Iran had completed construction of a facility in the city of Isfahan to produce the plates and rods.

"We have built an advanced manufacturing unit in the Isfahan site for the fuel plates," Mr Salehi, who is also acting foreign minister, told Fars news agency.

"A grand transformation has taken place in the production of plates and rods. With the completion of the unit in Isfahan, we are one of the few countries which can produce fuel rods and fuel plates."

Fuel rods are designed to contain enriched uranium and are housed inside the nuclear reactor.

'Reality and truth'

Mr Salehi's comments come ahead of the next round of talks in Istanbul between Iran and six world powers - the US, UK, China, Russia, France and Germany - over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Mr Salehi said that Western policies had motivated Iran to reach its current level of nuclear technology, including the production of nuclear plates and rods.

"What we say is based on reality and truth. There is no exaggeration or deception in our work. It is them who do not want to believe that Iran has no intention but to obtain nuclear technology for peaceful purposes."

Iran is subject to United Nations Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. Enriched uranium can be used for civilian nuclear purposes, but also to build atomic bombs.

BBC © 2011

Saturday, 8 January 2011

India goes ballistic for nukes!

Nuclear Power Plants Map
Nuclear Power Plants in India
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*The Map showing major nuclear power plants of India.

Disclaimer: All efforts have been made to make this image accurate. However Compare Infobase Limited and its directors do not own any responsibility for the correctness or authencity of the same.
In India, Nuclear power holds the fourth position among the different resources of electricity, Thermal, hydro and renewable resources being first, second and third respectively. Presently 19 nuclear power plants in India are there, which generates 4,560 MW (2.9% of total installed base) and 4 such power plants are in the pipeline and would be generating around 2,720 MW. India's contribution in fusion development is done through its involvement in the ITER project.

Since the beginning of 1990s, Russia has always been a chief supplier of nuclear fuel to the country of India. The deterioration of domestic uranium resources caused the decline of electricity production from nuclear energy in India by 12.83% during 2006 to 2008. The country has signed contracts regarding nuclear power with countries like France, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Mongolia, Namibia, Kazakhstan and Argentina after the Nuclear Suppliers Group declared a waiver in September 2008 to allow India to commence worldwide nuclear trade. India even signed a $700 million agreement with Russia in February 2009 about 2000 tons nuclear fuel supply.

Presently India aims at increasing the input of nuclear energy to the total electricity production from 4.2% to 9% by the next 25 years. The country's capacity of installed nuclear energy production will rise to 6,000 MW. As per the report published in 2009, India holds the 9th position in regards to the count of operational nuclear energy reactors in the world and 9 are still under construction which includes 2 EPRs constructed by Areva in France. TAPS-3 and TAPS-4 are 540 MW atomic reactors of Indian origin. India's $717 million venture of swift breeder reactor is likely to operate before the end of 2010.

India envisages a significant growth of its nuclear power industry in the recent future as according to the Indo-US nuclear agreement, India is allowed to carry out international trade of nuclear power and technologies so as to develop its capacity of power generation. During the operational phase of this deal, the country is expected to improve its total nuclear power production to 45,000 MW by generating an additional nuclear power of 25,000 MW by 2020.

Apart from using imported enhanced uranium and being within the safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), India has developed several nuclear fuel cycle aspects for supporting its reactors. Limited imports have strongly affected the advancement of selected technologies. The feature of heavy water reactors to allow the burning of Uranium with slight to no enrichment capacities makes its usage more attractive. India has worked hard in developing Thorium based fuel cycle. While there is a limitation in the country's Uranium deposit, there are some greater treasuries of Thorium which can multiply the power with the equal mass of fuel by hundred times. The fact of Thorium being used in heavy water reactors has tied the growth of the two. At Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station located in Madras, a prototype reactor is still under construction which would be able to burn Uranium-Plutonium fuel whilst irradiating a Thorium layer.

Power stationStateTypeOperatorUnitsTotal capacity (MW)
KaigaKarnatakaPHWRNPCIL220 x 3660
KalpakkamTamil NaduPHWRNPCIL220 x 2440
KakraparGujaratPHWRNPCIL220 x 2440
RawatbhataRajasthanPHWRNPCIL100 x 1
200 x 1
220 x 4 
TarapurMaharashtraBWR (PHWR)NPCIL160 x 2
540 x 2
NaroraUttar PradeshPHWRNPCIL220 x 2440

Some of the nuclear power plant projects which are under construction can be listed below:

Power stationStateTypeOperatorUnitsTotal capacity (MW)
KudankulamTamil NaduVVER-1000NPCIL1000 x 22000
KaigaKarnatakaPHWRNPCIL220 x 1220
KalpakkamTamil NaduPFBRNPCIL500 x 1500

Some of the nuclear power projects which are planned up for the future are as follows:

Power stationOperatorStateTypeUnitsTotal capacity (MW)
RawatbhataNPCILRajasthanPHWR640 x 21280
KakraparNPCILGujaratPHWR640 x 21280
JaitapurNPCILMaharashtraEPR1600 x 46400
KudankulamNPCILTamil NaduVVER1200 x 22400
KaigaNPCILKarnatakaPWR1000 x 1, 1500 x 12500
NPCILPHWR640 x 42560
NTPCPWR1000 x 22000

Last Updated on 12 October 2010

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Anti Nukes of the world unite!

Impact assessment report criticises Jaitapur nuclear plant
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: December 29, 2010 09:54 IST

Ratnagiri:  An impact assessment report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has strongly criticised the nuclear power plant being proposed at Jaitapur in the Konkan region.

The report has indicated that the project - which requires about 968 hectares of land panning five villages - will have a huge negative impact on the social as well as environmental development of not just these villages and the surrounding areas, but also on the Konkan region in general.

The findings suggest that the government subverted facts and called fertile agricultural land barren. It also says that the Jaitapur project is sitting on a high to moderate severity earthquake zone.

The Jaitapur nuclear power complex is located in the ecologically sensitive coastal Maharashtra region which includes Raigad, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts. Nuclear Power Corporation of India is building the 9900 megawatt power plant - said to be the world's largest - in collaboration with French nuclear designing firm Areva. Last month, the Union Environment Ministry gave a conditional go-ahead to the plant. However, it is facing staunch opposition from the locals who fear environmental degradation in the fragile Konkan area.
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Maharashtra Congress team heads to Jaitapur

As farmers' protests boil over in Ratnagiri threatening to delay the Jaitapur nuclear power plant, a concerned Maharashtra government dispatched a Congress team to review the situation.

"A Congress committee is going to Jaitapur. The committee will talk to locals and fishermen there. We will listen to their views and problems," Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre said.

Despite the Environment Ministry's conditional go-ahead to the plant, protests refuse to die down.

"People who have faced the effects of a nuclear power project in their vicinity told us that this is a devastating project. They said that our next generation will have nothing to live and survive on. We will lose our paddy fields, our plantations and orchards and we will die of hunger," said Umakant Kambli, a resident of Madban village, Ratnagiri.

"We will die but won't let this project come up," said Manda Laxman Wadekar, former Sarpanch.

There is a sense of mistrust against the government. People here say they were not taken into confidence regarding the project, their lands were forcefully taken away, and their democratic protests were illegally thwarted.

Experts have already said that building, safeguarding and providing imported fuel to the reactor will be so costly that power from Jaitapur will be unaffordable.

Now villagers allege the project has neither planned storage and disposal of its nuclear waste, nor drafted any plan to ecologically protect Ratnagiri - a region of rich agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and biodiversity.

Without these plans in place, they say, letting the project come up will be suicidal.


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Story first published: December 29, 2010 08:02 IST
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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

National Grid are consulting about installing cables underground, Shhh!

You will be pleased to note there is yet another public consultation about energy concerns.

Like all of the others, nobody is supposed to know before it is too late!

Same old "have your say" if you can find out about it cobblers!

This is the first time in 20 years that this has been discussed and how many know about this consultation.

We will be networking hard with other groups and our press contacts to raise awareness of yet another con-sultation.

Check it out now:

Badger issues , as EDF exploit our weak government

if you are a major utility you are allowed to ride rough shod over the people of this country.

I you are a major foreign utility do you really care one jot for the people of the UK, as long as the untouchables can pay their way!

The government will always make it possible for the likes of EDF and Eon to play Gods whilst we lower castes must grub around , pay our taxes and comply!

This government is weak and shallow , but so was the previous one, during periods of incredible change true visionaries are requiredd.....Zac Goldsmith get your team together!!

Dear Nikki,
Vanessa Mason has forwarded on copies of the email exchanges between yourself and Charlie Wilson at Natural England, also a resume of your discussions with her.
I can understand your concerns regarding the detrimental impact on badgers as a result of the EDF proposals, also the potential practical problems associated with the badger exclusions.  Previously I have questioned Natural England regarding the issue of licenses prior to determination and granting of planning approval.  Typically Full Planning Approval is a pre-requisite for securing a licence, but I was told these were exceptional circumstances; I think that may mean that whatever objection is placed the development will go ahead under Government edict.

maybe an explanation of exactly what constitutes these exceptional circumstances might be appropriate given the Badgers protected status. Personally I would prefer that Natural England clarify exactly what this means, are you able to tell me exactly who you spoke to at Natural England and when?

An Edict is a proclomation/statement of law which at this stage the government certainly hasn't made such an announcement publicly, are you aware of such edicts being proclaimed behind closed doors?
Another reason given was that the scale of the impact on badgers would be to some extent relieved by 'phasing in' the mitigation/compensation.
I have begun looking at the preliminary works application and interestingly I cant make a proper assessment of the terrestrial ecology & ornithology as the Badger report has been supressed and is only available to certain consultees, I find this rather concerning as it smacks of some sort of cover up. Is the Badger Trust considered to be one of the consultees who can look at the report or would you be able to arrrange for me to see it at your offices maybe? It is very important that organisations and individuals that are independant of the developers and government departments are able to scrutinise this report in order to verify that it is in order.
 I can appreciate this but the biggest concern we have is the loss of foraging area.  We were told that 'habitat' improvements are planned on surrounding arable land, but have heard nothing to this effect since. 
Again, without being able to look at the Badger report its hard to see if any provision is made here, can you think of any legitmate reason why the Badger report should remain confidential? given that Bats also enjoy the status of a protected species and the Bat report is freely available?
 There are consultants who will argue that a badger social group can survive with part of their territory lost to development. This may be true but to what extent and which part is questionable, and in this case several badger social groups are involved.   
Locally, I'm sure you are aware that there has been significant development at Nether Stowey which has resulted in a Badger family losing their home to the development, this has resulted in the Badger families attempting to excavate setts 'down the road' is the gardens of other residents (much to their dismay and to the detriment of the Badgers reputation). Indeed Fragmentation and Habitat loss are indeed the biggest threats to biodiversity and to specifically threatened species such as those on the IUCN red list. I think the the extent to which the above is true will very much depend on a given local context and certainly can't be generalised about.
I have known Charlie Wilson for many years and whilst he will have to 'toe the party line' he is genuinely concerned for wildlife and I do believe that he would have satisfied himself that the licence conditions were being appropriately applied.  I also know the specific badger consultant involved and whilst I appreciate he is in the pay of EDF, I am aware that generally he does his best for badgers within the constraints set by his clients.
I'm afraid that I dont have the luxury of knowing any of the people involved personally and whilst I'm sure that this may offer you some reassurance it certainly doesnt offer any to the Badgers or to any of the people opposed to this development. I'm afraid I have to take the postion that the consultant in the employ of EdF has taken the coin so to speak. As for Charlie having to toe the party line,I'm afraid this doesn't inspire confidence either, especially when Natural England are a quasi autonomous non governmental organisation, clearly when it comes to EdF and nuclear development Natural England's autonomy is being severely limited.
We have also voiced our concerns with the Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT), of which we are part as a specialist group, and I believe that the objections they have formally voiced includes concern for badgers.  In these circumstances we believe that our best avenue is to support the SWT against the detrimental impact on badgers.

Could you explain this to me further? I have checked SWT's website and cant find any specific formal postion relating to Badgers on the part of their website about Badgers, the only thing it says on there is that they have objected at stage 2 on the grounds that there is insuffient information about wildlife. In fact EdF have just bought themselves corporate membership of SWT so we'll see how impartial they remain 
(personally, as a long standing member of the SWT I've started a petition against this which you can sign or share here if you wish )
In essence we have to accept that Natural England have issued licenses which made the badger setts exclusions lawful.  The licenses should not have been issued without a Method Statement, based on extensive survey, which would have been expected to provide detailed and appropriate mitigation and compensation.  I am not sure if you could obtain the Method Statements under the FOI Act.

 I would like to attain a copy of this if I can, are you able to point me in the right direction in terms of dates people and organisations?

What is probably the only real measure of the impact is the badger activity now compared to before the licensed works were undertaken.  I suspect that Natural England would not require this, or indeed EDF be prepared to fund it.  Unfortunately we do not have the resource to even contemplate such an exercise even if land access was available.
How much would this sort of work cost? can it not be undertaken on a voluntary basis independantly of EdF? I know other conservation volunteers who have various licenses such as dormouse etc who work exclusively as volunteers usually for SWT. I for one would be willing to help out? An organisation such as your is surely in a better  postition than any other  to negotiate access with EdF, particularly if we could mount some pressure on them in the media? maybe using their corporate membership of the Wildlife trust against them?
It is most likely the badgers will excavate new setts, even though the artificial setts may be occupied, particularly if the natural setts have been proofed against re-excavation.  Typically badgers do adapt to changes in their territory, but generally these are comparatively local.  The scale of the DEF proposals is the major concern.
I agree that the scale of the work is A major concern, amongst many others
Please let me know if I can help further.
If you can help with any of my suggestions/requests above I would be eternally grateful!! 
Kind regards, Adrian Coward - Chairman Somerset Trust Badger Group.
 All the Best
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