Issue No. 26 Autumn
(November 2009)


ENS News

Word from the President

Kant and the Nimby Syndrome

The medical isotope crisis

ENS Events

ETRAP 2009

Pime 2010

RRFM 2010

ENC 2010


Member Societies & Corporate Members

High Pressure - Boiling Water Reactor, HP-BWR, concept

Romanian-Belgian Seminar on “Nuclear Energy and the environment”

International Symposium on Nuclear Energy – SIEN 2009

Space flight research at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre

SNE news

YGN Report

Spanish Young Generation Network in ICEM’09/DECOM’09

The Swiss Young Generation Project 2009

The communications mission of the growing BNS-YG network

YGN Technical Tour of Finland 2009

ENS World News

NucNet News

ENS sponsored conferences

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff


ETRAP 2009

ETRAP 2009
8 - 11 November 2009
in Lisbon, Portugal


Pime 2010

Pime 2010
14 - 17 February 2010 in Budapest, Hungary


RRFM 2010

RRFM 2010
21 - 25 March 2010 in Marrakech, Morroco


ENC 2010

ENC 2010
30 May - 3 June 2010
in Barcelona, Spain








































8 Oct 2009 / Insider N° 03

Industry Must Be More Frank With The Public, Says ‘Convert’ To Nuclear

8 Oct (NucNet): Environmentalist Stephen Tindale, former head of Greenpeace UK and co-founder of the website Climate Answers, talks to NucNet about his switch from being anti-nuclear to supporting
nuclear energy as a way of helping to tackle climate change.

NucNet - How do you view the British government’s progress on new build in the UK? What needs to be done?

Tindale: Opposition to nuclear energy is less widespread than it was. For example, I expected many environmentalists to be very rude to me, and some have been, but not very many. Both Labour and Conservative (two of the UK’s main political parties) are in favour of nuclear now. The planning system holds up everything in the UK. The Labour government is setting up the Infrastructure and Planning Commission, which is basically trying to take the politics out of planning decisions. The problem is that the Conservatives are opposed to the Commission and have said that they will change it if they come into power. That may be
one thing that holds up new nuclear development.

NucNet – What kind of energy mix should the UK should be aiming for?

Tindale: I think the UK’s target to get 15 percent of energy generation from renewables by 2020 is essential and must be met, but it’s unlikely that we could get any more than that by 2020. We need to stop arguing about which is the best of the low-carbon options and accept that we need to pursue all of them, including nuclear, and pay for all of them, and that it won’t be cheap. It’s important to be up front and honest about the fact that this will mean more expensive electricity generation.

NucNet - The Scottish government has set a target of 20 percent of electricity to be generated by renewables by 2020. Is this attainable?

Tindale: It is attainable but they need to upgrade the Beauly-Denny power line, on which the government has not been taking too many decisions in the past few years. (Beauly-Denny is a proposed 400,000 volts overhead electricity transmission line which will replace the existing 132,000 volts transmission line between Beauly, west of Inverness, and Denny, west of Falkirk).

NucNet - Your switch from an anti-nuclear stance, to arguing for nuclear power as a means to help tackle climate change is well-publicised. How did you reach this decision?

Tindale: Melting permafrost in Siberia was yet more confirmation that climate change was more serious than had been thought. That was one major factor that made me switch, but I think the other important point
was that the use of electric vehicles is beginning to take off, and should be pursued and promoted. But once we have electric vehicles, then it is even more important to have low carbon electricity, as there will be an
increase in demand for electricity in Europe, and worldwide.

NucNet - What are your views about the way radioactive waste should be dealt with? Do you support the idea of a deep geological repository in the UK?

Tindale: First of all, I am still concerned about it, but fossil fuels also produce waste. Put crudely, it’s better to keep the waste down here than it is to put it up into the atmosphere. Waste should be kept in a way which is safe from terrorist attack and theft, but also in a way which means it is monitorable and retrievable.

NucNet - There is much discussion about the need for the nuclear industry to ‘engage with the public’. What does the nuclear industry need to do to get its message across?

Tindale: It needs to be more frank about the costs, particularly if you take decommissioning and waste management costs into the equation, which you should and must, and the fact that I think this is more expensive than unabated coal. But it won’t destroy the climate, so it is a price worth paying. I believe most of the public will accept that, but it’s important for the industry to be more up front about that than it has been at times in the past, such as when nuclear was cited as ‘too cheap to meter’.

NucNet - Do you still hold reservations about nuclear?

Tindale: My view has always been that the main danger or drawback of nuclear energy is weapons proliferation. It’s difficult to say we should have more nuclear power in the UK or Europe, but not in other countries. So the Kissinger-Nunn proposal for an international nuclear fuel cycle – or internationallycontrolled nuclear fuel cycle, which President Obama has now picked up and is supporting – is a sensible
way forward.

* Stephen Tindale is co-founder of Climate Answers and a climate and energy consultant. His past roles include executive director of Greenpeace UK, and advisor to former UK environment minister Michael Meacher. Mr Tindale says too much of the discussion on climate change is still about “what we should not be doing or what we should be against”. He says there is not enough discussion or information on solutions– what countries can and should do to minimise dangerous climate change.

More information on the Web:

Climate Answers:
UK Department of Energy and Climate Change:
Nuclear White Paper 2008 – Meeting the Energy Challenge:
UK Health & Safety Executive New Nuclear Power Stations:

Decades Of Nuclear Energy Research Going Online

30 Oct (NucNet): Decades of nuclear research supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies is being made available via the internet in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA said on 27 October 2009 that the collaborative effort aims to give researchers, academics, and the general public access to “vast volumes of valuable research” on the safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The IAEA said that its International Nuclear Information System (INIS) preserves nuclear knowledge by digitising historic nuclear energy research documents dating from 1970 through to the early 1990s so that they can be processed by computers.

The DOE project is one of the larger programmes in the INIS project, and includes more than 180,000 documents from the DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information – which is the US representative to INIS and has had its own digitisation programme in recent years.

The INIS database, which contains 3.1 million bibliographic records and 225,000 full-text documents, was opened to the public for free, unrestricted, online access in April 2009.

Finnish Study Compares Impact Of Radioactive And Thermal Discharges

22 Oct (NucNet): A new study in Finland indicates that, compared to the effects of thermal discharges, radioactive discharges from nuclear power plants have minor environmental effects.

The study* on environmental effects of thermal and radioactive discharges from nuclear plants in the boreal brackish-water conditions of the northern Baltic Sea was published last month as a report from the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).

STUK said the results are based on hydro-biological and radio-ecological analyses from monitoring programmes and environmental studies carried out over more than 40 years in the sea areas surrounding the country’s Loviisa and Olkiluoto nuclear power plants.

Loviisa is on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and Olkiluoto is on the coast of the Bothnian Sea. The areas of sea surrounding the two plants differ from each other in many ways, the study says.

“For example, the exchange of water, the nutrient concentrations and the salinity of the water are different. In addition to local divergences, the amounts of discharges and the way the plants discharge their cooling waters also deviate from each other.”

However, it is common for both plants that thermal discharges have increased the eutrophication process in the water.

Radioactive discharges into the sea from Finnish nuclear plants have been clearly under the statutory discharge limits, the study says. “During the whole operational history of the power plants the effective dose commitments of the critical groups have been at their highest less than 4 percent, and during recent years clearly below 1percent of the set limit that is 0.1 millisieverts per year.”

The study says those belonging to the ‘critical groups’ of the highest dose spend a lot of time by the sea and eat an abundance of local fish. “Similarly, the impact of the radioactive discharges to the environment was negligible, far below the international screening level set for organisms.”

*Principal adviser Erkki Ilus presented his doctoral thesis on 25 September 2009 at Helsinki University. The report is available in English in the publications section of STUK’s website (

– by John Shepherd

>>Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers)

Finland Needs More Nuclear Capacity In Long-Term, Says Energy Strategy Report (News No. 88, 7 November 2008)

Source: NucNet

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