United Kingdom

Suez says prefers industrial role in UK nuclear

Thursday, March 27, 2008

PARIS, March 27 (Reuters) - Suez is interested in an industrial cooperation with British Energy rather than a purely financial investment in the UK nuclear power producer, the head of the French utility said on Thursday.

"If we can play an industrial role, let's talk about it ... but if this is strictly a financial role, then we are not interested," Suez Chief Executive Gerard Mestrallet told reporters on the sidelines of a nuclear conference in Paris.

Posted in | »

Waste cost threat to nuclear plans

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Energy companies cannot be charged a fully commercial price by the government for disposing of nuclear waste without “killing the prospect” of a new generation of reactors, a government adviser will warn on Thursday.

The analysis will fuel opposition to the government’s contentious and aggressive drive to expand the UK’s nuclear capacity. Gordon Brown will on Thursday underscore his determination to attract investors to build reactors, at his summit with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president. The leaders are expected to agree to Anglo-French co-operation on nuclear skills and regulation.

Posted in | »

Nuclear Power Debate Heats Up

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

MADRID, Mar 25 (IPS) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown are about to agree on a new generation of nuclear power plants in London this week, and plan to export the technology to the rest of the world, according to unconfirmed reports.

Downing Street has refrained from commenting on news of the deal, which was reported last week by The Guardian, a British newspaper. The move would fly in the face of the opinions of Germany and Spain, which wish to gradually phase out all nuclear plants for safety reasons, and generate electricity from renewable sources instead.

Posted in | »

Nuclear is UK's new North Sea oil - minister

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A government minister will call today for a huge expansion of Britain's nuclear power in what he predicts could be a £20bn economic bonanza that will create 100,000 new jobs and benefit the economy as much as North Sea oil.

In an ambitious speech that will alarm the anti-nuclear lobby, John Hutton, the business secretary, will argue that the UK's nuclear programme should go beyond replacing the existing stock of 23 reactors, which provide 20% of the country's energy.

Posted in | »

UK and France 'plan nuclear deal'

Monday, March 24, 2008

Anti-nuclear campaigners have reacted with dismay to reports that Britain is on the brink of signing a deal with France to construct a new generation of power plants.

Downing Street declined to comment on claims that the agreement would be sealed during the forthcoming state visit to the UK of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Posted in | »

For sale: Scots atomic pride

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back in 2002, British Energy, the largest power generator in the UK, hosted a Burns Night dinner. Appropriately for a company fiercely proud of its Scottish roots, it was held at the historic Caledonian Club close to Hyde Park Corner in London. Its then chief executive, Robin Jeffrey, wore a kilt, as did many other employees, along with supportive Scottish politicians who attended. In keeping with tradition, diners stood to attention as the cook, accompanied by a bagpiper, brought in the haggis on a large dish. Jeffrey, himself a Scotsman, led the toasts, even reciting a witty ditty - witty to the audience, anyway - asking the government for a larger subsidy.

Posted in | »

Depleted uranium turns earthworms into glowworms

Thursday, March 20, 2008

EARTHWORMS WERE pushed into the firing line last week after a resumption of the testing of depleted uranium shells at Dundrennan.

Significant levels of radioactive uranium isotopes were found in the flesh of worms at the Ministry of Defence's Dumfries weapons range last year. Despite concerns from environmentalists and the international community, the MoD last week started a series of tests of depleted uranium (DU) shells, supposed "safety checks".

Posted in | »

UK govt says all four new nuclear reactor designs fit for development so far

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

LONDON, Mar. 18, 2008 (Thomson Financial) -- The UK government has said that the four new designs being considered for future nuclear reactors in the UK have all passed initial safety tests.

It said that all the designs had passed the first step of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) and that the companies developing the reactors -- EdF, together with Areva, General Electric-Hitachi, Westinghouse and AECL -- must now respond to the government saying whether they are interested in taking part in further tests.

Posted in | »

UK government seeks power sale

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Britain’s leading energy suppliers have been approached by government advisers to sound out interest in its 35.2 per cent stake in British Energy, which is valued at £2bn-plus.

The government has mandated UBS to help with a potential sale process, while British Energy has appointed NM Rothschild as its adviser. Eon and RWE of Germany, Électricité de France, Iberdrola of Spain and Centrica of the UK have all been asked if they would be interested in acquiring part of the stake, people close to the situation said.

Posted in | »

Deep under Sweden's soil could lie a solution to the UK's nuclear waste problem

Monday, March 10, 2008

Robin Pagnamenta in Oskarshamn, Sweden

Inside the cavernous hall of a nuclear storage plant in southern Sweden, an 18-tonne steel canister, bristling with tiny fins to draw out excess heat, is being hauled slowly through a hatch by a crane.

Packed with highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel from a reactor north of Stockholm, the canister is being made ready for 30 years of storage in pools sunk into the bedrock. Once it cools sufficiently, it will be placed permanently in a final repository deep underground.

Posted in | »