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United Kingdom

The anti-nuclear movement in Britain has a long and active history. The famous peace symbol that has come to have universal meaning was first adopted by the British anti-nuclear weapons movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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Friday
Oct252013

An excellent letter on the disastrous Hinkley nuclear deal

A letter from Ray Davies, Cymru CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament)

Dear Sir,  

So Mr Cameron and the Tories have sold us short yet again.

1. He claims Hinkley C will create  four thousand jobs. The catch is, under EU law they will  have to recruit in Europe ; so most of the highly skilled workforce will come from France and elsewhere in Europe, not Britain and certainly not Wales. Our workers will mainly  be in Security and probably painting the front gates of Hinkley Point. 

2. When the coalition government failed to find a backer for Hinkley C, we promised France and China that  British taxpayers would guarantee them a price double to what electricity costs at the present moment - a price we will all have to pay.  What idiot would not accept that offer? 

3. In 60 years we have never found a safe method to dispose of the countless thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive waste which threaten our children and future generations; and yet we are going to create more and more. 

4. Nuclear power is the economics of the madhouse.  America has closed four nuclear power stations with more to follow because they are not economic. Germany has vowed  to get rid of every one of their nuclear power stations and invest in renewables; Italy has withdrawn their programme; and France is reducing their dependency on nuclear, because it is expensive as well as dangerous. 

5. The site of Hinkley C is geologically unstable, and a nuclear accident could threaten a catastrophe from the Gower to Somerset. Global warming means rising tide levels around the coast, and fracking in Bridgend is another potential threat which could create mini earthquakes around the nuclear site. The whole of Swansea, Newport and Cardiff would be wiped out by a Fukushima style accident.

6. Germany and the US bought out our car industry. France owns our water and the Severn Bridge. Now China- with its dubious safety record-  is getting in on the act. Will there be anything left of our resources to sell off? 

I and many other environmentalists will be doing our utmost to stop this madness taking place- not for a headline in a newspaper, but for the sake of  our children and grandchildren, and for this beautiful planet which is so fragile.

Yours  faithfully,  

Ray Davies 


Monday
Oct212013

UK government fleeces public for China/France nukes deal

Reports Reuters: "Britain signed a deal with France's EDF to build a 16-billion pound ($26-billion) nuclear plant, becoming the first European country to provide state guarantees to help fund a nuclear project.

The Hinkley Point C project in southwest England, the first new European nuclear plant since the Fukushima crisis, is expected to start producing power from 2023 and will receive a guaranteed electricity "strike" price of 92.50 pounds ($150) per megawatt-hour for 35 years, more than twice the current market rate, EDF and the British government said on Monday."

Writes Oliver Tickell in The Ecologist: "Nuclear power brings many casualties. The first of these is the truth. According to the Government, the "deal" announced with EDF and Chinese nuclear companies to build a pair of 1.6GW reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset is an excellent one that will provide the country with safe, low cost and secure electricity. This is a masterpiece of mendacity, and of chutzpah. The deal is a disastrous one for the UK, its taxpayers and energy users. We will be locked into a punitively high electricity price, index-linked, from 2025 until 2060, and the cumulative cost of this one nuclear power station will be well in excess of £100 billion, or around £1 billion per year in today's money.

"The deal is also built on a lie - that nuclear power is not receiving any public subsidy. The "strike price" offered to EDF is a subsidy in all but name. And it's only the beginning of the UK's largesse, which also cover Treasury financing guarantees covering 65% of the construction cost (£10 billion), underwriting of decommissioning costs and waste management liabilities stretching millennia into the future, and limitless insurance against nuclear catastrophes of the kind that struck Fukushima. EDF will only be liable for the first €1.2 billion of costs arising from accident. Fukushima is conservatively estimated to have cost Japan over £300 billion. With free market insurance costs estimated at between €0.14 and €2.36 per kWh produced, the UK Government's insurance represents an additional subsidy worth €3 billion to €60 billion per year." Read the rest of the article.

Friday
Oct042013

Brit government claims nuclear deal with EDF very close

The Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition government in Britain is inching closer to a deal with French government utility EDF to build new reactors in that country. Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, says a deal is now weeks away, although negotiations have been dragging on for months as EDF seeks a ratepayer-gouging subsidy to fund construction of a reactor at Hinkley, Somerset, possibly followed by a second one at Sizewell in Suffolk. Both projects have faced vociferous opposition. The subsidies could cause electricity rates to sky-rocket.

Monday
Apr292013

Beyond Nuclear concludes successful UK visit 

Beyond Nuclear’s Paul and Linda Gunter recently returned from England where they met with and briefed UK nuclear experts and spoke to activist groups. The UK government is eager to build 10 new reactors. However, the premise for such “need” was based on a gross misrepresentation of actual anticipated demand as was exposed by a groundbreaking report - A Corruption of Governance.

Paul and Linda spoke to a packed town hall in Glastonbury, Somerset, not far from the Hinkley nuclear power station where French electricity giant, Électricité de France (EdF), is attempting to build two of its unpopular (and in the US, failed) Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPR). The Beyond Nuclear presentation informed and inspired the audience, generating new members of the Stop Hinkley alliance.

Similarly, in Leiston, Suffolk, Paul and Linda addressed a full town hall at an event organized by Together Against Sizwell C (TASC), Shut Sizewell and Friends of the Earth, Suffolk coast. They helped mobilize new support for efforts to stop construction of an EPR at the Sizewell site, situated on a rapidly eroding beach, which, like Hinkley, is home to one operating and one shuttered reactor. Beyond the horizon from that beach lies the inspiring Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm whose control room Beyond Nuclear was welcomed into (with no need for security measures and pictured below right) The wind farm, where fishing is prohibited, has created a marine sanctuary, while local fishermen have found employment piloting the transport boats to and from the array.

EdF is endeavoring to score a “strike price” from the UK government - that would provide the company with a guaranteed price at which the UK would buy electricity from nuclear plants to be built by EdF. EdF wants at least 100 pounds ($150) per megawatt-hour (MWh) which would dramatically raise UK electricity prices and is tantamount to a subsidy, something the UK government claims to be opposed to. The “negotiations” continue to drag on, with the latest news being that EdF has signed a deal with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., (all EdF’s previous UK partners in British reactor projects have walked away). But while speculation is rife that the Chinese might invest in Hinkley, EdF has been laying off workers at the site, an indication that talks are not going well.

In addition to activists meetings, Paul and Linda met with nuclear experts, Dr. Paul Dorfman, Dr. Ian Fairlie, Dr. David Lowry and Dr. Stephen Thomas. They also participated in a large rally organized by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) outside the 7 gates of the Aldermaston nuclear weapons complex where Linda spoke.

 

Monday
Oct222012

Feed-in tariffs for energy conservation and efficiency proposed in the UK

October 18, 2012, By Paul Gipe

In a precedent-setting move, WWF-UK and Green Alliance have urged the conservative British government to use feed-in tariffs to spur greater energy conservation and efficiency as part of its upcoming Energy Market Reform.

The joint press release by WWF-UK (known as the World Wildlife Fund in North America) and Green Alliance, a British environmental think tank, used the publication of a new report to recommend that the ruling coalition include feed-in tariffs for energy efficiency, what it is calling "EE FiTs", in the energy bill that will be introduced this fall.

In a sign that the two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may have some influence on the policy debate, British trade publication Energy & Environmental Magazine is reporting that Conservative MP Tim Yeo, the Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change, has voiced qualified support of the effort. The magazine quotes Yeo as saying the NGO's have made "a very strong case" at an energy policy debate where the report was launched.

Yeo is also president of the Renewable Energy Association, a trade group representing British renewable heat, power, and transport industry.

Academics have discussed the possibility of using feed-in tariffs for energy conservation and energy efficiency for some time. As recently as April 2012, an American NGO, the Regulatory Assistance Project, issued a report, Energy Efficiency Feed-in-Tariffs: Key Policy and Design Considerations, detailing how it could be done.

However, the British NGOs' proposal is the first serious attempt at incorporating such a policy in current political discourse. Thus, the move is significant not only in Britain, but also worldwide.