The Government has found a backhanded way to subsidise nuclear power
‘21st century nuclear power needs a 21st century subsidy... no blank cheques this time - just an apparently green tweak to the emissions trading system, and voila! What is it they say? Power corrupts? Well, certainly people change. Take energy secretary Chris Huhne, who from opposition railed against building new nuclear power stations thus: 'No private sector investor has built a nuclear power station anywhere in the world without lashings of government subsidy since Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. The World Bank refuses to lend on nuclear projects because of the long history of overruns. Our message is clear: no to nuclear, as it is not a short cut, but a dead end.' That was in 2006 (the quote is on his website). Today, in Government, he has - shall we say? - mellowed. Vincent de Rivaz, chief exec of the UK arm of energy giant EDF, which plans to build Britain's first new nuclear reactor for over 20 years, recently described Huhne as 'a man we can do business with'. How so, exactly? Huhne is still refusing to commit any Government money to subsidise the construction of these notoriously expensive plants. The answer lies in one, under-reported, commitment from our new Government; to set a floor-price for carbon.’

South Africa: State Still Sees a Role for Itself in Nuclear Industry
‘Johannesburg - THE state will continue to play a role in the nuclear industry, even if its involvement is minor, Department of Energy director-general Nelisiwe Magubane said on Friday. The government has pronounced on its intentions to include nuclear energy in SA's future energy mix. Less clear is what the nuclear industry will actually look like. Eskom owns SA's only nuclear power plant in Koeberg. It was on the verge of awarding a tender to build a new nuclear plant but canned the project because of the cost. The government said at the time that it would change course away from a tender process to favour an approach that would stimulate the local nuclear industry. Speaking at a nuclear forum in Pretoria, Magubane said there was still a need for the state "to be involved in nuclear", even if it was a minor role. Magubane also reiterated government's position that nuclear would be part of SA's future energy mix. Her department was leading the development of a nuclear energy strategy.’

NRC hearing scheduled in Richland on Hanford nuclear plant
‘The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is concerned about too many unplanned shutdowns - or scrams - at Hanford's Columbia Generating Station, the only nuclear power plant in Washington. Commission staff is holding a public meeting Tuesday in Richland to review last year's performance of the Energy Northwest plant. The Tri-City Herald reports the plant operated safely in 2009 but it had five scrams. The last one was in November when a hydraulic fluid leak affected the main turbine.’

Russia offers Poland stake in Baltic nuclear plant
‘Russia wants Poland to participate in the construction of the Baltic nuclear power station in the Kaliningrad Oblast corridor. The nuclear power plant in the Kaliningrad Oblast, near the Polish-Russian border, is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The cost of the power plant is expected to amount to six billion euro and will produce enough energy for the Russian enclave. Excess power will be exported into EU member states, potentially Lithuania, Poland and Germany. On Friday, during a meeting of the Polish-Russian commission on economic cooperation, Moscow offered Poland a part of the 49 percent stake in the plant which will be open to private investors. The Baltic Power Plant will remain Russian state-owned, however. "Russia invited Poland to take part in the construction of the Baltic Power Plant and then [.] sell the energy on to European markets," Grabarczyk said during a press briefing in Moscow.’ 

'US concerns over swap deal related to domestic politics'
‘President Abdullah Gül has said the United States' reaction to Iran's nuclear fuel swap deal sealed in Tehran a week ago was related to domestic politics. The president said the swap deal was a "requirement" of the EU, the Vienna Group (the US, Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]), the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the US, China, Russia, France and Britain plus Germany), and the international community.  "Their reaction, as I see it, is related to domestic politics," Gül stressed while speaking to a group of journalists en route to Kazakhstan on Sunday. Observers believe US President Barack Obama wants to placate the Republicans during the midterm congressional elections in November. The Republicans criticize Obama for having a weak national security policy vis-à-vis Iran's nuclear ambitions. Despite different views on Iran, Gül said the US is Turkey's ally and that they are very aware of the cost of the Iraq war to Turkey, adding that it is in Turkey's national interest to solve Iran's nuclear dispute through diplomacy.’ 

Entergy says nuclear remains costly
‘HOUSTON (Reuters) - Entergy Corp (ETR.N) Chief Executive J. Wayne Leonard said on Monday that building new nuclear plants remains too costly and will prevent many utilities from participating in the fledgling nuclear renaissance in the United States. "Utilities do not want to take that risk," Leonard said at the Reuters Global Energy Summit in Houston. "It's risk we don't control." New Orleans-based Entergy suspended two license applications filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for proposed new reactors to be built either in Louisiana or Mississippi in 2008 after being unable to negotiate a favorable construction contract. While a few U.S. companies are moving ahead to develop new reactors, Leonard said that to make the economics of nuclear work for Entergy, he would need to see "double-digit natural gas prices and carbon blow-out prices" starting at $25 per ton and escalating toward $50. Congress has been debating legislation that would set a price on carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Nuclear vendors don't want to assume the risk of a cost overrun and have put construction costs too high for most companies, Leonard said. "You have to have a darn good reason at those prices to build," he said.’

Firms to bid for Sellafield waste processing deal
‘Five consortiums are set to bid on a £1.5 billion contract to build a nuclear waste processing plant at Sellafield in Cumbria. The project, which is part of the government's nuclear decommissioning programme, is due to start next April and finish by the middle of 2018. Companies have until the end of the week to submit tenders for the job. According to Contract Journal, British firms make up two of the interested consortiums, while a consortium led by a Singaporean company and two firms from Australia are due to make offers. The job is the biggest one advertised so far under the nationwide £75 billion decommissioning scheme.’