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Bovis backs out of ‘unethical' nuclear work

11 June 2010

Bovis Lend Lease has pulled out of a possible nuclear deal with EDF energy at the eleventh hour after parent company Lend Lease objected to ‘unethical’ work.

Building reported that the Australian Lend Lease board told Bovis to pull out shortly before the deal was to be signed because it does not want to be involved in the sector for ethical reasons. The Australian government has already decided not to pursue nuclear new build.

The decision, which Building understands was taken within the past few months, will rule Lend Lease out of a market that is expected to be worth up to £40bn in the UK alone.

Bovis had identified the nuclear new build sector as a target market 18 months ago, along with rail and waste-to-energy. It has now emerged that the company had been lined up to work alongside Mace on a consultancy deal for EDF,  to which Mace was appointed about six weeks ago.

The size of the EDF deal has not been disclosed, but it is believed that Mace has about 100 people working on the contract.

News of Lend Lease’s stance comes in the week that Bovis confirmed that chief executive Nick Pollard is to leave the business after less than two years in charge.

However, it is understood that Pollard’s departure was discussed before the nuclear question came up, and that the issues are unconnected.

On the nuclear strategy, Pollard said this week: “We had an agreed and signed-off business plan to reposition ourselves in two or three new markets, and we said openly we’d examine rail, waste to energy and nuclear.”

“In the first two, we have enjoyed some success. In nuclear, we had some constructive dialogue, but I am not at liberty to disclose who with. On reflection, earlier this year the company decided this was not a sector it felt it appropriate to pursue. That is disappointing, but we respect that decision.”

Pollard will leave the business within nine months as part of a shake-up that was begun in April with the appointment of Dan Labbad as chief executive for Lend Lease in Europe.

Comments

Well done Australia. Perhaps the UK's new coalition government will follow their lead in ruling out nuclear power in the UK due to its 50-year record of unlimited costs to the taxpayer, widespread public health damage from radiation from UK nuclear sites, no waste disposal facilities. The truly sustainable resources in the UK of wind, wave and tidal power starting with the Severn Barrage and putting wind farms on all the nuclear coastal sites can provide all the UK's energy needs by 2050. See DECC power forecasts.

Jo Brown, 14 June 2010

Here, Here - well done Australia. Personally I find it difficult to generate any sustained positive approval of nuclear power (even that of low carbon emissions, and power ‘on-tap’ etc.) when always considering the violation of all the Sustainable Principles.

More than often those who think, 'nuclear power is the way to go', don’t mention the waste problems or just skim over it as if it’s not really a big problem.

In the UK the waste produced from the 1st generation nuclear power programmes that started in the 1950's still has not been dealt with – so that’s 60 years of nuclear waste just sitting around. The remaining 19 reactors are to be phased decommissioned by 2023 and by that time will include a total of 500,000m3 of legacy waste (approx the size of a football pitch and 66metres high) or 78,000,000 termites of radio activity (please note this is only in the UK, consider all the other counties with nuclear power stations - we do live on a planet that is considered a closed system!).

The waste is not dealt with because scientifically it is still not known how or what to do with nuclear waste; (seemingly in the UK we are closely following Sweden in their efforts to contain their waste by burying it underground – ‘deep geological disposal’ – but this is only a new concept).

Given that nuclear waste has a half-life of something in the reign of 2500 years, I don’t assume that we will get any hard evidence in our lifetime of all of the effects by placing the waste below ground level – which may or may not damage the natural cycle i.e. water contamination etc. Furthermore no studies have been conduced into the corrosions of packaging or metals etc. (as I'm sure your aware, if say after 1,500 years a container leak into another container - the whole process of degrading starts again i.e. it starts back at 2500years (half-life) again, and then a third one leaks into the first two some time later - we start again - so this could go on for some time!!!)

Also consider that if proposal are to provide any new type power stations – the new plants are hotter burning and more toxic. They will therefore produce more waste than the older reactors.

Currently there is a planning consulation taking place - which if passed will allow energy companies a means to 'fast track' planning applications to build new plants. This is currently the case in France - fast track planning for nuclear plants - that's why they have approx. 75% of their eletctric generated by nuclear. So, their planning system works (great - if you want them) but is extremely hard, if not impossible to stop one going through.

But yes they are right, the argument still goes on, do we or don’t we build nuclear power station for the low carbon output.
For me – personally - I sit in the no camp – it is not sustainable or a temporary measure.

TeaTime, 8 July 2010

(con't)

How did they sell us the last nuclear power plants? – maybe something like this;

‘In the future our Scientists will know how to deal with nuclear waste’

Well that was 60 years ago, WE are the future – and Scientists still don’t know how to deal with nuclear waste.

So please don't tell me that building anymore nuclear power plants is good for any of our futures, in any shape or form!

TeaTime, 8 July 2010

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