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2 million British households to miss energy rebate

Press TV – September 1, 2014

British officials have admitted that nearly two million households are set to miss out on a government energy rebate and millions of more will see delays up to a year before being refunded.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said Sunday that supplier would start giving the rebate from mid-October, after government officials decided to refund consumers money paid to a Warm Home Discount Scheme.

According to the DECC, an estimated 678,000 British households would not be refunded as their accounts were considered “in transit,” meaning costumers who pay by direct debit and who are in the process of switching supplier or moving house.

Another estimated 1.2 million homes using prepayment meters would not be refunded as they would not be able to complete necessary steps to receive vouchers by mail.

The department said electricity suppliers had indicated that there would be “delivery barriers,” which would prevent all eligible customers to receive the rebate.

In addition, a further 15 million customers who pay by direct debit would only receive the refund once their supplier reviews their accounts, which could be conducted just once a year.

The move to refund came after the government decided to cover payments to the discount scheme through taxation. Earlier consumers paid an average of 12 pounds annually on their energy bills to the scheme. The discount program was launched in 2011.

This comes as British people are experiencing a large rise in energy prices in recent years. A report published in June revealed that the prices of domestic energy in the UK rose by 45 percent between 2008 and 2014.

Meanwhile, Britain’s biggest six power firms – Centrica, SSE, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, E.ON, RWE npower – had seen their profits rise from £233 million in 2009 to more than £1 billion by 2012, according to energy regulator Ofgem.

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 2 Comments

UK taxpayer to bear costs of nuclear leaks, not private firms

RT | February 23, 2014

The private consortium that will manage the decommissioning of the UK’s decaying Magnox nuclear reactors won’t be made to bear financial responsibility in the event of a radioactive incident. Taxpayers will have to pick up the tab instead.

Private contractors will be indemnified by the government, despite concerns that exempting them from financial liability for nuclear incidents could prove a disaster for the taxpayer, the Guardian reports.

Earlier this month the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) presented parliament with a departmental minute concerning an indemnity to be given by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in relation to the proposed Magnox reactors, built five decades ago. Among the reactors are some of the oldest facilities at Sizewell, Hinkley and Dungeness, which have been supplying electricity to the national grid for 40 years.

The Berkeley site in Gloucestershire, which entered service in 1962, was the first commercial nuclear power station in the UK to be decommissioned. After 27 years of operation, generating enough electricity on a typical day to serve an urban area the size of Bristol, the twin reactor station shut down in 1989. The station is currently undergoing work to decommission the site.

Meanwhile, according to the departmental minute, the prospective Parent Body Organizations (PBOs), selected through a competitive process, “are not prepared to accept liability” for certain nuclear liability claims. It adds that “because of the nature of nuclear activities the maximum figure for the potential liability is impossible to accurately quantify.” But there is allegedly only a “low probability” of a claim against the public purse.

Among the fierce critics of the use of the indemnity is Labour MP Paul Flynn, who says the nuclear debate in Parliament has been passed over by the government.

“There have been major nuclear accidents about every decade since Three Mile Island,” Flynn told the Guardian.

“More are very likely from technical failure, terrorism, human error or natural disaster. If risk is minimal, nuclear sites could be insured commercially.”

“The cost of the Fukushima cleanup and damages ranges from $250bn [£150bn] to $500bn and rising,” the politician noted.

“Nuclear installations are uninsurable in normal commercial terms. Only gullible governments can bear the enormous risk. If operators paid for their own insurance indemnities, their case for economic production of nuclear electricity collapses,” he added.

However, Energy Minister Michael Fallon, in his written statement to parliament, entitled “Contingent liability: indemnification by the nuclear decommissioning authority,” argues that there was “a very strong case” for the indemnity.

“An indemnity is a prerequisite to awarding the contract and securing the benefits of the competition. There is only a very low probability of a claim being brought under the indemnity and our assessment is that the benefits of the NDA contracting with a new PBO outweigh the small risk that the indemnity may be called upon,” the minister asserted earlier in February.

February 23, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Nuclear Power | , , , | 1 Comment

UK’s nuclear test victims to sue government

Press TV – June 17, 2012

Thousands of veterans of Britain’s atomic and hydrogen bomb tests are to take the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the European Court of Human Rights, accusing it of exposing them to radiation.

Over 1,000 victims of UK’s nuclear tests, which were carried out in the South Pacific in the 1950s, will ask Europe to intervene, as the British premier David Cameron ignores the terms of the Military Covenant and courts ban hearings into their cases.

Servicemen, who were ordered to witness nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific, have since suffered cancers and rare medical conditions, with their children suffering from leukemia and birth defects.

Describing the news as “brilliant,” widow Shirley Denson, whose RAF ace husband was ordered to fly through mushroom clouds at Christmas Island in 1958, said, “This is one of our final chances to appeal for the right to present our case.”

“We have tried for 30 years to be heard, and every time the MoD has denied there is anything wrong with us. Now we have vital scientific evidence, and they say we have left it too late,” she added.

Earlier on May, Britain’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown also criticized the MoD for trying to evade its responsibility for cleaning up the radioactive waste contamination from old military bases and factories.

According to a survey conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), the number of contaminated sites across England and Wales was far higher than previously estimated.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , , , | Comments Off on UK’s nuclear test victims to sue government