Fingers crossed

Blair says new nuclear power stations will be built and smacks Cameron.
A NEW generation of nuclear power stations will be built with enough capacity to
generate at least as much electricity as Britain’s nuclear industry does today,
Tony Blair told MPs.

Promising stuff if they can deliver (and that 'if' is larger than the power output of a French reactor when it comes to this government). Gordon Brown, the likely next Prime Minister, appears to back Blair on this one, which is good. If so, then there is the chance that something positive could come out of Brown's inevitable premiership, if they don't screw up the process leaving it a mess (and that 'if' is larger than the power output of all French reactors combined!).

As for David Cameron, what does he have to say on the matter? Well I can't find anything. Our blue/green hero seems to waffle on incoherently. He attacked the Queen's speech for only promoting fear without offering solution (Greenpeace must have written it) but he himself seems to offer sympathy without solution. Hell, if he just gave an outright "no", at least he'd be taking a firm position. At the moment, he seems to not want to commit to any solution, merely make speeches about how passionately he cares for the problem.

Oh well, there are a few years left for the Blair/Brown government. Maybe they can get something positive done (there's a first time for everything).

Edit: Blair is so dedicated, he even took a trip to Sellafield. That was nice of him.

Swedish maintenance not what it once was

A transformer at Ringhals 3 catches fire.

You'll note how my headline is significantly less incriminating than AFP's. A transformer isn't directly related to the operation of the reactor, the actual nuclear bit. It is a standard piece of equipment at any power station, regardless of the heat source. Obviously, if such a component does malfunction, production must shut down. It is, in reality, nothing related to nuclear power itself.

Why do I bring this up?

Was I suggesting that AFP were attempting to falsely smear nuclear power by relating it the malfunction of a non-nuclear component, simply because they had the audacity to inform the reader about the heat source for the power station?

Well actually, I wouldn't put it past AFP overall, but I don't think there isn't any evidence to suggest malicious intent here. They were quick to mention that the transformer was located seperately from the reactor.

The point is that while this article is innocent, there are those out there who would try to turn this into anti-nuclear propoganda (not to mention any names beginning Greenpeace), a sort of guilt by association ploy.

In response to this thought, I whipped this one up.

Anyway, no one was hurt in this accident and hopefully the transformer will be fixed and reactor brought back up before the operator loses too much money.

Is Japan on a quest for world domination?

It could be. A bunch of major Japanese technology companies seem to be getting in on the act.

The latest is Hitachi.

They're teaming up with GE in their nuclear operations, which would include as a matter of course, the ESBWR.

Only recently, Toshiba bought Westinghouse from BNFL, which gives them a hand in the ever more popular AP-1000.

And Mitsubishi are getting involved with Areva.

How long before AECL starts seeing Japanese partnership?

The truth is more inconvenient than Al ever thought possible

The IEA is calling for more nuclear power to increase energy security and tackle carbon dioxide emissions.

How inconvenient... for Greenpeace.

It is an inevitability that their house of cards would crumble. Their motivations may be ideological, naive utopian visions of living in a simpler golden age of disease and poverty (Yes their ulterior motives don't invalidate their arguments. The fact that those arguments are rubbish is what invalidates them.), but for the rest of the world, environmental concerns remain genuinely environmental concerns.

As such, the more the threat of carbon dioxide is bigged up by the like of Greenpeace and Stern and Gore, the more people will see that the one large scale and readily expandable source of carbon free power, which has after all worked for the past 50 years without bringing about the apocalypse, is worth a second look in face of a new apocalypse.

Then there's the news of a second African nuclear power station on the cards.

And China planning to add to their already growing list of nuclear projects.

Also inconvenient!

It looks like Eskom's provider is up for bidding. At the moment they have two Framatome units, so it might give the EPR a head start in the race, but that is by no means a guarantee. As for China, they have both many PWRs from a variety of vendors and a couple of PHWRs, so it really is anyone's game to win.