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Scotland abandons 'unnecessary' nuclear power

Monday 26th January 2009
The heavy northern hemisphere of nuclear power. Courtesy:http://www.cartotalk.com

In Scotland, the country's two existing nuclear reactors are due to close within the next few years. Hunterston in North Ayrshire is currently due to shut down in 2016, while Torness in East Lothian is scheduled to close in 2023. SNP ministers have argued that Scotland does not need nuclear power because of its vast potential supply of renewable energy. But Scots Labour MPs say that there is a danger that Scotland would become a new importer of electricity without nuclear power.

According to Scots Labour MP Brian Donohoe, (right) the Scottish Government should be stripped of its powers to block new nuclear plants north of the border, and Holyrood should no longer have the right to rule over planning applications for new power stations.

SNP ministers have declared they will use the powers to turn down any applications for new nuclear stations in Scotland, as ministers announced four potential sites for new nuclear stations, three in England and one in Wales. The SNP said new nuclear stations in Scotland were "unnecessary".

Others don't think so. The list of companies bidding has not been disclosed but according to public announcement and industry sources the bidders include EDF Energy; aconsortium of E.ON UK and RWE npower; a consortium of Iberdrola and Scottish & Southern Energy; Vattenfall; and GDF Suez.

Three of the sites - near existing reactors at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, Bradwell in Essex and Wylfa in Wales - are currently the subject of a bidding process in which at least seven companies or consortiums have submitted
undisclosed "indicative bids." A formal electronic auction among the bidders is expected to be held in March.

And nuclear reactor builders jostle for business and skills, as more than 26 plants may be ordered or constructed over the next five years in Canada, China, several EU countries, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa. Companies in the US and UK alone may order an additional 15 new reactors.

Back in 2008 as an indicator of the momentum  building for the nuclear renaissance, Platts started a new publication Platts Insight - Nuclear Energy. The cover shows an interestingly heavyweight Northern hemisphere of nuclear plants, and highlights a different sort of problem, that of graphics representation with a transparent globe!

Its creator writer writes in Cartotalk January 2009: I thought I'd post a magazine cover that Erin and I just completed. Our goal was to represent nuclear power plants around the world in the standard portrait orientation magazine cover. Obviously a portrait view makes it pretty hard to show the standard landscape world map view (to represent plants in both hemispheres) so we chose to do a translucent globe so that you can see through to the other hemisphere's power plant locations.

Because we couldn't figure out a way to export from ArcMap in an earthd-from-space projection where you can see through to the other side (I'm hoping someone can tell me how this can be done), we ended up exporting to Illy 2 separate hemispherical maps and stacking them in Illustrator. A keen observer pointed out that we also needed to flip the background hemisphere to mimic looking through a glass globe so we used the Reflect tool to flip it. We would love to hear better ways to create a see-through globe if you feel like making recommendations!


Sources:http://news.scotsman.com/
http://www.briandonohoemp.co.uk/
http://www.cartotalk.com
http://www.platts.com

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