DECC: A list of 11 sites that could be potential hosts to new nuclear power stations in the UK has been published and members of the public now have until the 14 May 2009to commenton the proposed sites, before the nuclear planning consultation takes place later this year.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change published the list after vetting all applications to ensure that:
* they were credible
* the sites could be operational by 2025
* the nominator had raised public awareness of their intention to nominate
Following the one month public comment window, information from the public will be used alongside the advice of regulators and other specialists. Sites which are judged to be potentially suitable will be included in the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on nuclear power which will be published later this year for public consultation. The NPS will set the policy framework for the new independent Infrastructure Planning Commission's decisions on new nuclear power.
Press release ~ Choosing sites for Nuclear Power Stations ~ Opportunities to comment ~ Infrastructure Planning Commission ~ 2008 Consultation on the Strategic Siting Assessment Process and Siting Criteria for New Nuclear Power Stations in the UK ~ Nuclear Development Forum ~ Office for Nuclear Development ~ Consultation on the Strategic Siting Process and related documents ~ Dedicated public information website on nuclear waste ~ United Kingdom Radioactive Waste Inventory (UKRWI) ~ Nuclear Power - BERR ~ Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)
Ofgem: Energy regulator Ofgem has unveiled proposals to give small businesses better protection in the energy market. The proposals are part of reforms Ofgem will introduce following its energy supply probe. They are aimed at micro-businesses – companies that have fewer than 10 employees, or one of a number of other characteristics.
The proposals include a ban on the automatic roll-over of fixed-term contracts which has resulted in some businesses being locked, without being aware, into unfavourable long-term contracts. Stakeholders will have until the 29 May 2009 to respond to the package of the proposals. Ofgem aims to have all the rule changes in place for domestic and business customers for this autumn.
HO: Plans to stop investigatory powers being used under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) for trivial purposes have been announced by the Home Secretary. The plans include a review of which public authorities can use them and proposals to raise the level of authorisation to sign them off in local authorities.
The consultation (closes on10 July 2009)includes draft Codes of Practice. These codes will replace the existing Codes of Practice on Covert Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources. They make it clear that RIPA should not be used in relation to trivial offences, and they provide examples so everyone can understand how and when these techniques should be used.
Press release ~ HO – About RIPA ~ Current Code of Practice on Covert Surveillance ~ Current Code of Practice on Covert Human Intelligence Sources ~ Consultation: Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: Consolidating orders and codes of practice
BERR: The Government has launched a consultation (closes on 10 June 2009) on the European Consumer Credit Directive. The Directive aims to protect consumers, offer them new rights and set out common standards across the EU in relation to a range of unsecured credit products.
The provisions to be consulted on include:
* A 14-day right for consumers to cancel any credit agreement without penalty
* Lenders will have to explain their products to help consumers make the right choices
* Lenders will have a responsibility to check consumer's creditworthiness
* A consumer right to make partial early repayment (this is in addition to the existing right to repay early in full)
* A standardised information form setting out important information for consumers before they sign a credit agreement