Tackling cable theft, and a nuclear update

News Editor
The Engineer

Tomorrow marks the introduction of a Bill to Parliament that aims to eradicate a crime that causes severe disruption to rail travellers and sometimes kills its perpetrators.

The crime in question is cable theft and tomorrow a Metal Theft Prevention Bill will be introduced in the House of Commons tomorrow that seeks reform the 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act.

It expects to eradicate the market for stolen metal, which has had a significant impact on energy networks and rail networks.

An report by Deloitte has shown metal theft has cost the energy networks £60m and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) estimates metal theft has cost the UK £1bn with between 7,000 and 10,000 incidents each year.

Similarly, HM Revenue and Customs have estimated the lost revenue from the industry is £5.6bn.

The Bill, to be introduced by Hyndburn MP Graham Jones, will provide for a robust licensing regime with requirements on dealers to establish the origin of materials, greater police and Magistrate powers to close and prevent the re-opening of scrap metal dealers who do not conform to licence conditions and a cashless system for payments with requirement for proof of identity of seller and receiver.’

David Smith, chief executive of the Energy Networks Association said: ‘This hugely dangerous crime has already caused six fatalities and over 50 serious injuries in the last 12 months.’

Still in London and news that the Nuclear New Build Forum takes place this Thursday that aims to provide a strategic update on the latest developments and lessons learnt in new nuclear.

According to the organizers the one day event will provide a market update for generators, regulators, reactor vendors, engineers and nuclear specialists.

UK consortia comprising EDF Energy, Horizon Nuclear Power, and NuGeneration will provide insight into their plans and continued commitment to new nuclear; whilst regulators will discuss developments in safety standards, the lessons learnt from Fukushima and the progress of the HSE’s Generic Design Assessment (GDA). Vendors will outline supply chain and project management challenges involved in new build.

Finally, with the input of industry commentators, the conference will examine the outlook for nuclear financing, and the economics of nuclear following changes such as Electricity Market Reform.

Last Tuesday NuGen announced that it had received planning permission for preliminary site investigation and characterisation works
for a new nuclear power plant in West Cumbria.

Copeland Borough Council approved a preliminary phase of temporary site investigation and characterisation works on the land NuGen has an option to purchase for a planned 3.6GW generating station.



From energy to automotive and news that the LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards gala reception and seminar takes place today.

Awards will celebrate outstanding and innovative practice in developing and encouraging the use of lower carbon vehicles and fuels and reducing road emissions

Awards up for grabs include Low Carbon Car / Van Manufacturer of the Year, which organizers say will go to the company that has done the most to develop or supply the market for lower carbon cars or components that significantly improve vehicle efficiency or reduce carbon emissions.

Judging criteria will have included evidence of quantified CO2 emissions reductions, including any independent verification, and the degree of innovation and risk in bringing forward the vehicle or technology, including the extent to which it is market leading.

Finally, The Royal Academy of Engineering will tomorrow host a one-day conference that will address the key challenges and solutions of introducing new technologies to the NHS.

Chaired by Dr Geoff Watts FMedSci, the conference will address the topic of innovation from the perspective of the clinician, manager, supplier, researcher and regulator.

Topics for discussion include ‘The ageing population: can engineering support healthcare in later life?’ and ‘The returns on innovation: what the NHS needs.’