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Austrian legal challenge reinforced Renewable energy groups (companies and municipalities) in Germany and Austria have launched another law suit against the Brussels Comission’s approval of the £92 price guarantee for EDF. Called the Action Group, they say the British state aid subsidy will undermine the market for renewables by as much as 11.8%. The parallel Austrian Government case, still to be lodged to the European Court of Justice, aims to suspend the aid and deter nuclear investors in line with Austria’s national anti nuclear policy. World Nuclear News 3.7.15 Suffolk planners told EADT the legal challenge would put back a Sizewell build till 2019 or 2020 and start up to 2030. Meanwhile there is still no investment decision on Hinkley and rumours that the British Government is seeking a ‘golden share’ to counteract EDF’s legal right to sell on its licence. EADT 11.3.15

 

RSPB expresses fear about Sizewell nuclear construction. Fearing for the future of their Minsmere and North Warren reserves which abut the new reactor site at Sizewell and the huge constriction yards, Suffolk RSPB have especial worries about water levels within the marsh sites, coastal habitat disturbance (potentially changing the shape of the shoreline) and night time and winter arc lighting. They will continue with advisory work with EDF pursuing ‘mitigations’. The focus at present seems to be on the construction period, not the operational risks of more than doubling nuclear capacity and long term waste storage etc. East Angian DTimes 10.7.15

 

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has nuclear family connection Thanks to Private Eye for revelation that Roland Rudd is chairman of Finsbury City PR firm which represents construction company Keir who have a £100m construction contract with EDF for Hinkley C. PE7.15

 

EDF nuclear fire & Areva & French policy problems. French nuclear engineering company Areva are into so many problems they had to be taken over by EDF. A fire broke out at the first old reactor to have its life extended at Paluel near Dieppe, during a safety inspection! 71 firefighters took 6 hours to ‘control’ the incident. And a molten metal problem remains. Another plant at Blayais near Bordeaux had two evacuations in one week, with radioactive dust leaking. Flamanville (the same reactor as the Sizewell C&Ds) had a big problem when a major part of the Areva ordered steel reactor vessel had to be sent back because of the wrong steel mix. It is rumoured the replacement may be the one meant for Hinkley. Meanwhile the French Gov is reducing its nuclear fleet to 50% from over 80%, has decided life extensions and a new generation of reactors. Does that mean the EPRs (3rd generation) for Britain aren’t good enough for France itself ? The only one being built in France at Flamanville (Normandy) is way behind time, while the 2 in Finland are years over time and in a two sided cost dispute about a reputed €4bn. And, cracks in an older generation EDF reactor in Belgium haven’t helped EDF’s overall reputation, which is what matters to outside investors. STOP PRESS: the BBC has revealed flaws may be present in the two steel caps/feet already sent to China by Areva for the EDF reactors being built there !

 

Challenge to local planners and politicians TASC is challenging the Joint Local Authority Group (JLAG) which liaises behind closed doors with EDF on the Sizewell C&D. Local papers reported that TASC wanted an end to “excessive secrecy” about Sizewell C. One problem is that minutes are not taken at the JLAG meetings, only ‘notes’. As body supposed to be representing the electors of Suffolk Coastal and Suffolk County, we believe its activities should be properly accountable. It is seen as too close to EDF as the project developer and not representing or fully canvassing community views.

 

FOE pursues issues about Aldhurst Farm Suffolk Friends of the Earth have been working with a professional ecologist probing the plans to turn EDF owned Aldhurst Farm into a mitigating wetland to compensate for the permanent loss of part of the Sizewell Marshes SSSI and associated damage and risk to wildlife around the proposed huge construction site. A special issue concerns water depletion, while there is also concern about the legal status of promises made by EDF about the site’s future.

 

TASC Environment Analysis for September campaign We are preparing an environment and wildlife broadsheet looking at the whole spectrum of issues raised by the nuclear project. FOE have already been active distributing their leaflet on wildlife issues. TASC will look at the 54 protected sites involved in the chosen impact zones, and present campaigns, representational issues and legal background.

 

Government shows ungreen colours ! Before the election, Govt had removed sustainable building rules for brownfield housing sites. Now they have capped and lopped a year off renewable subsidies, and extended the climate change levy to renewables. They have withdrawn subsidies from landbased wind farms too. Next comes putting fracking planning under the national infrastructure planning system, like nuclear, to override community democracy because of successful resistance in Lancashire and Sussex.

 

Met Office new analysis Sizzling summers, wetter and warmer winters are forecast for the end of the century. Meanwhile, the Global Commission on the Economy & Climate have a new report saying that policies offered by governments are not enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while energy efficiency & clean power therefore have a much bigger role to play. (EADT 111.7.15)

 

TASC calls for Govt energy review We have submitted a legal call for an energy review by government based on its duty to respond to changed circumstances and the govt’s own DECC options for power demand reduction and maximised renewable production. These show nuclear is not necessary.

 

Keep China out of British Nuclear Industry Leading Oxford economist and energy analyst Professor Dieter Helm, a government adviser, has called for the Govt to take an equity stake in Hinkley new nuclear, saying it would be “perverse” and a “no brainer” to take Chinese money. Nuclear union GMB has also protested at Energy Secretary Amber Rudd’s leaving the door open for Chinese money and reactor technology and supply chains to go to the Bradwell site in Essex. GMB said it would hit British jobs, and that even Chinese experts had safety doubts about Chinese nuclear safety. What an unholy and dangerous mess !

 

Nuclear Waste costs rocket… Nuclear News (7.2014) reports the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)says Sellafield liabilities are now £110 billion, but the total would “increase significantly” as the full work load is revealed. National Audit Office said progress by 2012 was ‘extremely limited’ &. old ponds and silos pose very serious problems. Remember the taxpayer pays the bill, and Sizewell will have to store all of its nuclear wastes for the foreseeable future. Who will pay is an unsettled issue between Brussels and London over Hinkley. The European ‘polluter pays’ principle is hopefully another barrier to new nuclear. Common sense says we are talking £billions per reactor.

 

Nuclear newsletter… NuClear News, the bulletin of the No2Nuclear Power group is good value. Monthly detailed updates on web.

 

Japan forced to cede new safety zones Big public debate and local protests about restarting some Japanese nuclear reactors after the Fukushima ban reveal its nuclear inspectors ceding 30 km zones to replace 8 -10kms for “fully prepared” evacuation plans. TASC continues its work to oppose a reduced evacuation zone for Sizewell and lack of credible resources for the emergency services here.

 

EDF at Sizewell With the steel containment vessel problems and Areva take- over strains and still no financing deal for Hinkley, EDF in Suffolk have told the press (EADT 17.6.15) “Sizewell C will not move forward until the Somerset station scheme is settled”. Tom McGarry, Sizewell communications chief, explained that documents might be finalised in the coming weeks, and then a final investment decision could be allowed to be made in the next few months.