Archive for April, 2015

2015 Nuclear Issues Vol 38 No 3 April

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An uncertain future

Our last nuclear power station, Sizewell B began operating in 1966 ; it is possible if EDF plans go ahead, that the next may start operating by the mid 2020s, a gap of over 50 years. We can of course upgrade and extend the lives of existing nuclear stations, but if we are to phase out fossil fuels, with their damage to human health (coal) and climate change – (although the UK is only a minor contributor to ...
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April Newsletter No199

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LIVING WITH THE LEGACY

Nuclear waste storage and disposal in the UK is back in the news – and for once the news is good. Firstly, Parliament approved a change in the law which will make it easier to explore potential sites for an underground radioactive waste depository. Secondly, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority outlined what it has in mind for dealing with current and future wastes and ultimately for implementing geological disposal.

I must declare an interest. Nearly 30 years ago I brokered an ...

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Mini subs retrieve Sellafield isotope gear

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Miniature submarines are being used to recover cobalt cartridges dating back to the 1950s from storage ponds at the UK’s Sellafield site. The cartridges were used for producing isotopes for medical and industrial applications.

Sellafield Ltd estimates there are some 800 cobalt cartridges being stored in Sellafield’s Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP) and First Generation Magnox Storage Ponds (FGMSP), which need to be retrieved.

Head of PFSP Paul Nichol said, “These particular cartridges were irradiated in ...

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Court ruling clears way for Sendai restarts

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A court had ruled against a petition opposed to the restart of units 1 and 2 of the Sendai nuclear power plant in Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture. The units now look set to resume operation later this year, becoming the first of the country’s reactors to be restarted since the Fukushima Daiichi accident in 2011.

A group of 12 citizens from Kagoshima and two neighbouring prefectures filed a petition in May 2014 claiming that new safety regulations set by ...

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UK University Gets £3.5 Million Grant For Nuclear Materials Analysis

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A £3.5 million (€4.8m, $5.2m) grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences, will enable the construction of an advanced new facility at the University of Huddersfield in northern England for the analysis of nuclear materials, ensuring the safety of the new generation of reactors, the university said in a statement.

The grant is going to a research group headed by Professor ...

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Amec Foster Wheeler

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Amec Foster Wheeler said today that it will provide an extensive range of nuclear services in decommissioning, waste management and site characterization across the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s nuclear sites. The contract – the value of which has not been disclosed – includes services to support a geological disposal facility, as well as low-level waste repositories in Cumbria and Dounreay.

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Nugen announces public consultation

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NuGen has announced that a ten-week public consultation on its proposed Moorside project near Sellafield in Cumbria, UK, will begin on 16 May. The company – a 60%/40% joint venture between Toshiba and GDF Suez – plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water reactors at Moorside by the end of 2026 with a total capacity of 3.4 GWe. A final investment decision will be taken by the end of 2018.

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Job cuts as final decision on Hinkley Point C remains

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EDF Energy says it has almost completed early site preparation works for the planned Hinkley Point C project. However, pending a final investment decision (FID), some 400 jobs at the site are at risk.

In a 1 April statement, EDF Energy said it has carried out extensive work with its contract partners to make the Hinkley Point C project ready for an FID. It said, “The company has invested significantly in a series of preparatory activities including site ...

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