5 Feb 2013

Nuclear update

I had news this last week of a relatively new campaigning group STAND (Severn Together Against Nuclear Development) - their interim website is at:

STAND have a number of events planned and if interested in getting involved I suggest you contact them....I've also just added a couple of old films about Oldbury nuclear power station on Stroud Community TV - they are a useful summary of the situation a couple of years ago - see: http://stroudcommunity.tv/g-williams-talks-about-nuclear-proposals-at-oldbury/

The films are by Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (SANE) who are active this side of the Severn. Indeed Reg Illingworth of SANE has kindly let me reprint his letter to the local press below. It is a useful update on the nonsense of this Government driving forward the nuclear agenda....

This is a letter that follows on from your article in The Gazette about Hitachi and their GDA application to the ONR. As you may be aware we at SANE are invited to regular meetings with DECC and the ONR with regard to the potential developments at Shepperdine as well as the 7 other sites deemed to be suitable for development.

1. You correctly state that Hitachi have applied to the ONR for their reactor to be assessed and that it may take four years for it to be approved. However, the fact that they have built the same reactor in Japan is sadly not important. I have been to meetings with ONR with other NGOs when Mike Weightman, Chief Nuclear Inspector at the HSE, has questioned the credibility of the nuclear regulator in Japan, this is the home of Fukushima! It is posssible  that in due course the reactor type will be approved but when would work be able to commence?

2. Hitachi are going to be the developers of the project. Who will be the operators? Npower, E.on , Centrica, SSE and Scottish Power have no intention in being involved in nuclear. I suppose that leaves Edf, who would want to build  the French EPR reactor, so maybe TEPCO, Russians, Middle East Companies or Chinese companies. Given that China and Japan are at an impasse at the moment the Chinese scenario is unlkikely. We as residents should know as soon as possible who the operators will be, before any construction ever starts. Can Hitachi answer this?

3. There are no plans in place for a deep nuclear waste repository in place. Cumbria County Council have recently (today) voted to say they don't want the repository in West Cumbria, there are no other sites available or volunteering at this stage. The government have stated that this must be in place before new nuclear can go ahead. When will this happen?  for ref  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-21253673

4. Sources of uranium. It is always stated that uranium ,the fuel for nuclear, is plentiful and comes from secure places. Sad to say the French government has sent its special forces into Niger (adjacent to Mali) to protect the uranium mines operated by Areva from where france gets at least 30% of its fuel, for ref see http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-mali-rebels-niger-areva-idUSBRE90N0OD20130124 . I question that uranium is an energy secure fuel.

Will the developer ever be able to secure the finance to build at Shepperdine or did Hitachi take a punt with their £700 million investment. If they get one build that would be good for them and their shareholders in Japan but if they dont build any but get approval from the much respected British ONR then they will be able to build anywhere else in the world......if any country still wants nuclear!

Thoughts? Cheers, Reg Illingworth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Business Green 5th Feb 2013