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Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Sellafield in Danger of Undermining Regulatory Standards

 

SELLAFIELD�S long-term future hinges on a vital piece of kit which will cost hundreds of millions of pounds � double the original estimate.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will now have to go cap in hand to the Government to ask for the money. The massive piece of equipment, known as Evaporator D, is crucial to future reprocessing, reducing the risks from high hazard radioactive wastes � and safeguarding jobs.

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, which issues Sellafield�s licence to operate, said �Further evaporator capacity at Sellafield is essential for the longer term safe management of highly active liquor.�

US Must Be Able To Threaten A Nuclear Holocaust

left In a remarkable speech on nuclear policy delivered at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), US Defense Secretary Robert Gates painted a dire portrait of international affairs and argued that Washington should expand the doctrine of pre-emptive war formulated by the Bush administration to include possible nuclear strikes.

It is widely rumored that,  President Elect Barack Obama will keep Gates as defense secretary. Gates' speech, given in the waning days of the Bush presidency, has the character of a policy declaration of the next US administration.

Cracking under pressure

Scottish CND report on reactor problems on Polaris submarines

Into the lions den

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When the secretary of Dunfermline Labour party asked me to participate in a debate on Trident Replacement I gladly accepted. Putting the case in favour of Trident was to be a full time AMICUS official speaking in his personal capacity (Amicus has recently adopted a position of opposition to Trident Replacement). He must be a brave man, I thought. It has proved very difficult to fi nd Labour Party or trade unions fi gures who will publicly argue the case for Trident renewal. Little did I realise that it was me, not my opponent, who was walking into the lion’s den.

Nuclear War Broadcast

Scottish CND have produced a recording of the message which would have been broadcast over radio stations in the event of nuclear war. The transcript was released in 2008 under the Freedom of Information Act. The announcement is read by Crawford Logan. Listen (mp3)

The Ban is coming...on Friday

Friday is the big news day.

The United Nations is convening negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. This new international agreement will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been outlawed, despite the absence of nuclear armed states, over 130 member states are supportive of the treaty being negotiated.

Scottish CND highlight the nuclear weapons elephant in the room

Scottish CND say that the storing of US nuclear weapons in Europe is an elephant in the room which needs to be dealt with.

Arthur West chair of Scottish CND said -

It is our understanding that the US spends a remarkable 100 million dollars annually to store nuclear weapons in five different European countries.

Mr West said:

"Research by Scottish CND and other peace movement groups indicates that 150 US nuclear bombs are stored in underground bunkers in Germany, Holland, Turkey, Italy and Belgium."

Support for Czech Activists

Campaigners  delivered a letter to the Czech Embassy in London in support of two activists currently on hunger strike in Prague as part of protests over plans to base a US missile defence system radar in the country.

 

Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar have now gone without food for a week. They are demanding that their government listens to the overwhelming majority of the Czech population who oppose the system, which will put the Czech Republic on the front line in future US wars.

 

Workers overcooked nuclear warhead

leftA US federal spokesman confirmed that Oak Ridge workers overcooked some nuclear warhead components during a drying process to such an extent that the parts could no longer be "used as intended." The incident at the Y-12 National Security Complex was revealed in a report by staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The timing was about a month after the Oak Ridge plant received approval to restart production work on W76 warheads, which had been delayed for more than a year because of technical issues. However, Steven Wyatt of the National Nuclear Security Administration said he could not comment on whether the oven-dried weapon parts were associated with the plant's W76 life-extension program, which is refurbishing old warheads deployed on Trident submarine missiles.

The Safety Board's Report said the components - known as canned subassemblies - were mistakenly dried at a "much higher temperature" than intended. Asked if they were damaged by the process, Wyatt responded  "The parts were not prepared in accordance with the original application and could not be used as intended." Wyatt said the parts were deemed acceptable for an "alternate use" but said they had to be rebuilt. He would not disclose the future use or say if it was a weapons mission

UK's "Knackered" Nuclear Power Stations

Britain now has 10 operating nuclear power stations, stretching from Torness on the Firth of Forth to Dungeness on the south Kent coast. Each has two reactors, and Ministers boast that they supply about one-fifth of the power that keeps the lights on.

The reality, as an Independent on Sunday investigation shows is very different. The majority of the power stations are in dire trouble, and their failure is leading to the most acute concern in years that the country may run short of electricity this winter.

Two of the 10 have been idle for almost a year, with both reactors out of action due to corrosion. Another two have had one of their reactors closed down for months. And yet another two are having to run both their reactors at less than three-quarters of their normal power for safety reasons.

And even that is not the end of it. Of the four that are still in good working condition, one is due to shut down permanently in two years' time, a second is partially closed for routine maintenance, and a third is facing safety questions following the discovery of flaws in similar reactors in Japan.