Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inside The Making Of U.S. Nuclear Policy

Inside The Making Of U.S. Nuclear Policy.

Obama seeking more nuclear energy loan guarantees

Obama to ask Congress for more nuclear loan guarantees
President Barack Obama is prepared to seek from Congress an additional $9 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear projects, a Democratic aide said. Mitch Singer, a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, said the loan-guarantee increase should give the Energy Department "most, if not all, the resources needed to grant conditional loan guarantees to the other finalists." The Washington Post/The Associated Press

DOE Picks Areva for Nuclear Facility

Areva secures $2B loan guarantee for Idaho nuclear project
The Energy Department cleared a $2 billion loan guarantee to help fund Areva's planned uranium-enrichment plant in Idaho. The France-based company's technology is reliable, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, and the facility will supply enriched uranium to existing and new reactors in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal

New Nuclear Energy Grapples With Costs Exelon Sees Weak Market, Others Think Climate Concerns Will Propel Industry

Grappling with the cost of new nuclear projects
President Barack Obama is urging the U.S. to increase its supply of nuclear energy, but the economics of the electricity business have changed in recent years, creating differing views among industry experts about nuclear's growth prospects. National Geographic News

Panel set to review nuclear waste cleanup

Feds form panel to improve nuclear-waste cleanup programs
The Energy Department will assemble a technical review panel to improve tank-waste cleanup projects at Hanford in Washington state, the Idaho National Laboratory and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The panel will provide "additional guidance and advice to ensure these projects meet their cost and schedule goals and deliver the maximum benefit for the American people," said Ines Triay, assistant energy secretary for environmental management. Aiken Standard (S.C.)

It's a good time to invest in nuclear energy. Complex industry offers a global play into rising fuel costs, shortages

It's a good time to invest in nuclear energy
This report examines the rising global popularity of nuclear energy and its growing potential for investors. "There is a tiger-like market out there right now of aggressive capitalist activity that is occurring in anticipation of a huge growth in the global nuclear industry," said John Ritch, director general of the World Nuclear Association. "In the 21st century, the nuclear industry will build hundreds, then thousands, of power reactors worldwide." MarketWatch

Study: Senate climate bill to create more than 200K jobs a year

Study: Senate climate bill to create more than 200K jobs a year
The Senate climate bill would raise average annual U.S. employment by 203,000 between 2011 and 2020 as the country shifts from fossil fuels toward renewable energy and nuclear power, according to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The bill would also cut U.S. oil imports from the about 11 million barrels daily in 2008 to between 6.6 million barrels and 7.4 million barrels a day in 2030, the study added. Reuters (5/20) , The New York Times (free registration)/Greenwire

Russia's Rosatom applies to develop Namibian uranium deposit

Rosatom to spend $1B to develop Namibia's uranium deposits
Russia's Rosatom has applied to develop the Rossing South uranium deposit in Namibia, according to documents released by the Russian government. Sergei Kiriyenko, chief of Rosatom, said the country is prepared to spend about $1 billion on the project. RIA Novosti (Russia)

GE looks for nuclear and railway work

GE looks for nuclear and railway work
GE eyes nuclear energy opportunities in Middle East
General Electric is setting its sights on nuclear power and rail ventures in the Middle East, where it earned $6.7 billion in revenue last year. GE would like to participate in countries' nuclear energy plans, said Nabil Habayeb, president and CEO of GE's Middle East and Africa efforts. This comes after the company was passed over on a contract to design and construct nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates. The National (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Progress or Setback—Brazil and Turkey’s Engagement on Iran

Progress or Setback—Brazil and Turkey’s Engagement on Iran


Iran, Brazil, and Turkey announced an agreement to ship some of Iran’s low-enriched uranium to Turkey in a deal designed to alleviate fears over Tehran’s nuclear program. However, James Acton explains that Iran's nuclear capabilities have progressed since last year so the new agreement will not satisfy the United States and its allies.

A Chinese Perspective on the Nuclear Posture Review Yunzhu Yao Proliferation Analysis,


A Chinese Perspective on the Nuclear Posture Review
Yunzhu Yao Proliferation Analysis,

China in Talks With Russia, France on 4G Reactors

China in Talks With Russia, France on 4G Reactors
China eyes nuclear joint venture with France, Japan, Russia
China is in discussions with France, Russia and Japan on a potential joint venture to construct fourth-generation nuclear plants. State-run China National Nuclear may work with France on research, Russia on engineering and construction, and Japan on safety, said Xu Mi, chief engineer at the China Institute of Atomic Energy. Bloomberg Businessweek

Serbia Says to Eye Participation in Bulgaria's Nuclear Project

Serbia Says to Eye Participation in Bulgaria's Nuclear Project
Official: Serbia may participate in Bulgarian nuclear project
Serbia is considering financial investment in Bulgaria's second nuclear plant, Serbian Energy Minister Petar Skundric said. The project would "contribute to regional stability and cooperation," he said during an energy conference. Novinite (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Measures drawn up against Iran

U.N. Security Council considers measures against Iran
The U.N. Security Council may take measures against Iran for its failure to comply with previous council resolutions and cooperation requests made by the International Atomic Energy Agency. A draft resolution, written by the U.S., forbids any state to help Iran in commercial nuclear activities. It also recommends limits on the actions of banks, individuals and military units connected to possible nuclear weapons and missile development in Iran. However, the draft "stresses the willingness of China, France, Germany, Russia and the USA" to "resume dialogue with Iran on the nuclear issue without preconditions." World Nuclear News

The nuclear option is back on the table Environmental concerns, energy needs power a nuclear renaissance

The nuclear option is back on the table
Environmental concerns, energy needs power a nuclear renaissance
Nuclear energy renaissance expands in Europe
European countries that have been historically wary of nuclear power are building reactors or considering nuclear energy as a viable option for meeting rising energy demand, combating high oil and gas prices and addressing climate-change concerns. Hungary, Finland and Poland are building reactors, Germany is trying to increase the lifespan of existing reactors, and Sweden is trying to lift a ban on new reactors it put in place decades ago. MarketWatch

3 climate change reports: Set prices on carbon emissions

3 climate change reports: Set prices on carbon emissions

National academy's reports call for pricing carbon emissions
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has issued three reports that call for actions to protect the world's climate including pricing carbon emissions through a tax or a market mechanism. The reports, requested by Congress during the Bush administration, are "a wake-up call from science telling Congress to get real," said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. USA TODAY

Nuclear fuel recycling could take 20-30 years: US DOE official

Nuclear fuel recycling could take 20-30 years: US DOE official

The U.S. would be capable of starting a nuclear-fuel-recycling program in the next two or three decades if it became devoted to the project now, said Warren Miller, assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the Energy Department. While speaking to lawmakers, Miller said the agency would study advanced recycling technologies.

Carrots and Sticks for Iran By Sharon Squassoni Critical Questions from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Carrots and Sticks for Iran
By Sharon Squassoni

Critical Questions from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Lessons from Iran's Nuclear Developments By Patrick Clawson

Russian Hand Behind Iran Swap Deal - Vladimir Radyuhin, The Hindu

Russian Hand Behind Iran Swap Deal - Vladimir Radyuhin, The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/2010/05/20/stories/2010052062941300.htm

How to Salvage the NPT Conference By Daniel McGroarty

Iran: The Limits to Sanctions

Iran: The Limits to Sanctions

US nuclear talks risk collapse over Middle East plan

US nuclear talks risk collapse over Middle East plan

Wrangling over goal of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East threatens to bring month-long conference to halt


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/19/nuclear-weapons-conference-middle-east

White House Pushes for Initial Steps Toward Mideast WMD-Free Zone

White House Pushes for Initial Steps Toward Mideast WMD-Free Zone
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By Elaine M. Grossman

Global Security Newswire
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration hopes to interest Middle East nations in embracing modest steps, such as preliminary talks and confidence-building measures, aimed at eventually establishing a regional zone free of all weapons of mass destruction (see GSN, May 12).


http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20100518_7662.php

The Logic of a Nuclear-Free Mideast Interviewee: Nabil Fahmy, Ambassador in Residence, the American University in Cairo

The Logic of a Nuclear-Free Mideast
Interviewee:
Nabil Fahmy, Ambassador in Residence, the American University in Cairo

Since the 1995 Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Egypt has led a movement to establish a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. But so far, that effort has not succeeded because of "Israeli refusal to participate" and the lack of Western pressure on Israel to do so, says Nabil Fahmy, Egypt's ambassador to the United States from 1999 to 2008 and now a top Egyptian expert on arms control. As to Iran, Fahmy says that there is opposition to further sanctions not only from Arab states that are irritated with Israel's refusal to join the NPT, but also from countries like Brazil and Turkey, which just negotiated a deal in which Iran will ship about half of its nuclear fuel to Turkey. A zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would create "a nuclear symmetry" and create uniform obligations and verification controls, says Fahmy.

U.S. Says Only Reason for Talks with Iran Is Enrichment Halt Analysis by Gareth Porter*

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=51500

U.S. Says Only Reason for Talks with Iran Is Enrichment Halt
Analysis by Gareth Porter*

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2010 (IPS) - The agreement on draft Security Council resolution sanctions against Iran has grabbed the headlines on the Barack Obama administration's response to Iran's nuclear swap proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil. But the more consequential response is the acknowledgement by the U.S. State Department Monday that the administration is not willing to hold talks with Iran unless it agrees to a complete halt in uranium enrichment.

That announcement was accompanied by the revelation that the objective of the original swap proposal last autumn was to get Iran to agree to eventually to suspend its enrichment programme.

The Obama administration had not previously declared publicly that it was demanding an end to all enrichment by Iran, and had suggested directly and indirectly that it wanted a broader diplomatic engagement with Iran covering issues of concern to both states.

The new hard line ruling out broader diplomatic engagement with Iran and the new light on the strategy behind last year's swap proposal confirms what has long been suspected - that the debate within the Obama administration last year over whether to abandon the demand for an end to Iranian uranium enrichment as unrealistic had been won by proponents of the zero enrichment demand by late summer 2009.

U.S. State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said Monday the United States would not negotiate with Iran on its proposal to send 1,200 kilogrammes of low enriched uranium to Turkey to be replaced with 120 kilogrammes of fuel rods for its Tehran Research Reactor, unless the Iranians agree to take up the broader subject of their nuclear programme - and specifically an end to their uranium enrichment programme.

Responding to a question about the U.S. willingness to meet with Iran on the new proposal, Crowley said, "[I]f it's willing to engage the P5+1, "then it has to commit that it's willing to engage the P5+1 on its nuclear programme."

The P5+1 groups the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.

Crowley noted that Iran had offered to have discussions with "the international community" but not about its nuclear programme. "[I]n our view, the only reason to have that discussion," Crowley said, "first and foremost, would be to address our core concerns in the - with regard to Iran's nuclear programme."

Crowley revealed for the first time that the original proposal for Iran to swap 1,200 kilogrammes of low enriched uranium for 120 kilogrammes of uranium enriched to nearly 20 percent roughly a year later "was meant as a means to a larger end, which was to get Iran to fundamentally address its – concerns the international community has".

He went on to explain that "the fact that Iran...continues to enrich uranium and has failed to suspend its uranium enrichment programme, as has been called for in the U.N. Security Council resolutions: that's our core concern."

Crowley was clearly suggesting that the talks which were supposed to follow Iran's acceptance of the deal would be focused on ending its nuclear enrichment programme rather than on addressing the sources of conflict between the United States and Iran.

Last October, the swap proposal was presented as a "confidence building measure" that would gain enough time for a broader diplomatic dialogue between Iran and the United States to take place. It would allow the Obama administration to argue with Israel that Iran had temporarily given up its "breakout capability" by transferring most of its low enriched uranium abroad.

Mohammed ElBaradei, the lame duck director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), declared on Oct. 21 that the swap agreement "could pave the way for a complete normalisation of relations between Iran and the international community".

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly argued, moreover, that the swap proposal implicitly accepted Iran's right to enrich uranium, although nothing in the proposal addressed that issue.

The history of the swap proposal shows, however, that its origins were intertwined with the objective of halting Iranian uranium enrichment.

Gary Samore, Obama's chief adviser on nuclear proliferation, devised the swap deal. He had published a paper in December 2008 with co-author Bruce Reidel of the Brookings Institution proposing that the new administration demand that Iran's LEU be exported to Russia to be converted into fuel rods for the Bushehr reactor in order take away Iran's nuclear "break-out capability".

Ironically, it was Ahmadinejad's public suggestion of interest in a straight commercial deal under which Iran would send LEU to any country that would enrich it to 20 percent for the Tehran Research Reactor that led to the formulation of the swap proposal.

Samore simply shifted the focus of that proposal from Bushehr to the Tehran Research Reactor, and it quickly became a P5+1 initiative to temporarily strip Iran of nearly 80 percent of its low enriched uranium.

Samore was known to be a strong proponent of demanding that Iran end its uranium enrichment programme, who privately expressed certainty that Iran intends to manufacture nuclear weapons. He had publicly expressed pessimism that Iran would accept any proposal demanding an end to enrichment without a credible military threat, whether by the United States or Israel.

Before entering the administration Samore had advocated offering a lifting of economic sanctions, assurances against regime change and even normalisation of relations as inducements to accept that demand.

No Iranian regime could have accepted a complete end to enrichment as part of a deal with the United States, however, because of popular support for the nuclear programme as a symbol of Iran's technological advancement.

Proponents of the zero enrichment option were confident enough to leak to the press the fact that the aim of broader talks with Iran would be to end enrichment entirely. The Washington Post reported Oct. 22, 2009 that U.S. officials commenting on the proposed uranium swap "stressed that the deal would be only the first step in a difficult process to persuade Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities and that suspension remains the primary goal".

Now the administration has given up whatever flexibility it had previously retained to adjust its position in the face of a firm Iranian rejection of the zero enrichment demand. That position portends a continuation of high and possibly rising tensions between the United States and Iran for the remainder of Obama's administration.

*Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006.
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=51500

Can a Security Council 'Coalition of the Unwilling' Defy Washington's Sanctions Crusade? By Phyllis Bennis

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phyllis-bennis/can-a-security-council-co_b_582593.html



Can a Security Council 'Coalition of the Unwilling'
Defy Washington's Sanctions Crusade?
By Phyllis Bennis

Sanctions that don’t work vs. diplomacy that does

The U.S. crusade for new UN sanctions against Iran has been underway for a long time. But the new intensity, the new scurrying around to make sure China and Russia are on board, and the new scramble for an immediate public announcement all reflect Washington’s frustration with the new agreement with Iran brokered by Turkey and Brazil. That agreement requires Iran to send about half of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for somewhat higher-enriched prepared fuel rods for use in its medical reactor, which is pretty close to what the U.S. and its allies were demanding of Iran just months ago.

So the harsh U.S. response — condemning the agreement as "just words," demanding that Iran make even more concessions, implying that only a complete and utter Iranian surrender would suffice — makes it clear that U.S. policy towards Iran isn't about an actual nuclear weapons threat, but about power politics. There’s no question the United States is really mad: Reports are circulating around the UN that Washington is up to its old habits of issuing implicit threats against the two upstart diplomatic powers. Brazil has been angling for a permanent Security Council seat and Turkey has long been trying to join the European Union. No dice on either one, U.S. diplomats seem to be hinting.

New UN sanctions are not going to stop Iran's nuclear enrichment, still legal under the NPT and still under UN nuclear inspections. Instead, like economic sanctions against any country with a repressive government, they're far more likely to impact the civilian population. The Brazil-Turkey initiative, on the other hand, actually takes major steps towards transferring much of Iran’s enriched uranium out of the country, increasing international oversight of its nuclear power program and, if allowed to go forward without U.S. interference, could well lead to a significant diminution of Iran's future enrichment. If that were really the goal of the U.S. anti-Iran mobilization, you'd think Washington would be pleased. Instead, many in Congress and the Obama administration appear to be working as hard as they can to undermine the Brazil-Turkey initiative, even though (or maybe because) it might lead to a resolution of the current crisis.

New UN sanctions could derail the new tripartite agreement. But there's one thing that could prevent that danger: a renewed level of independence in the UN Security Council. U.S. pressure seems to have won promises from Russia and China that they won’t veto a harsh new sanctions regime — but that's not the same as a promise to vote for the sanctions.

If current council members Brazil and Turkey can convince some of their allies to resist U.S. pressure, abstentions by Russia and China (and maybe even France?) could allow a new "coalition of the unwilling" to prevent the sanctions because not enough countries voted for them.

Led by Turkey and Brazil, non-permanent Council members (whom the U.S. and the other veto-holders rarely consult on Iran policy) could stop a sanctions move in its tracks. Can President Lula and Prime Minister Erdogan convince a country like Japan, which has more reason than most countries to want to abolish nukes, to vote against useless sanctions and instead give the new diplomatic initiative time to work? Might other council members (Lebanon, Mexico, Austria, Gabon, Bosnia, Nigeria) be persuaded that a new round of sanctions will do nothing to stop Iran's enrichment, but will undermine the new initiative that might do just that?

The UN Security Council said no to U.S.-British pressure in late 2002 and early 2003, when Washington and London tried to coerce Council members to endorse Bush's war in Iraq. That time, Germany, France, and Russia led the opposition, and the "Uncommitted Six" (Guinea, Cameroon, Angola, Pakistan, Chile and again, Mexico) refused. The Six said no and finally, on February 15, 2003, the world "said no to war" in massive protests in 665 cities around the world. Washington and London backed down and announced they were giving up their campaign for a UN endorsement.

The Security Council stood defiant once before to try to stop a U.S. war. Maybe it can do so again, so that U.S.-led UN sanctions don’t destroy the best diplomatic solution we’ve seen for a very dangerous crisis.

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of Understanding the U.S.-Iran Crisis: A Primer.

Just drop the arrogance with Iran By Rami G. Khouri



Just drop the arrogance with Iran
By Rami G. Khouri

The agreement on Iran’s nuclear fuel announced Monday after mediation by the Turkish and Brazilian governments should be good news for those who seek to use the rule of law to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation. >From both the American and Iranian perspectives the political dimension of the current dynamics is more important than the technical one. The accord should remind us that the style and tone in diplomatic processes is as important as substance.

Iran and its international negotiating partners have not reached agreement on Iran’s nuclear programs in the past half-decade, to a large extent because American- and Israeli-led concerns have been translated into an aggressive, accusatory, sanctions-and-threats-based style of diplomacy that Iran in turn has responded to with defiance.

Iran’s crime, in the eyes of its main critics in Washington and Tel Aviv (they are the two that matter most, as other Western powers play only supporting roles), is not primarily that it enriches uranium, but that it defies American-Israeli orders to stop doing so. (The Iranian response, rather reasonable in my view, is that it suspended uranium enrichment half a decade ago and did not receive the promises it expected from the United States and its allies on continuing with its plans for the peaceful use of nuclear technology. So why suspend enrichment again?)

The Iranians are saying, in effect, that this issue is about two things for them, one technical and one political: the technical issue is about the rule of law on nuclear non-proliferation and the right of all countries to use nuclear technology peacefully. The political issue is about treating Iran with respect, and negotiating with it on the basis of two critical phenomena: first, addressing issues of importance to Iran as well as those that matter for the American-Israeli-led states; and, second, actually negotiating with Iran rather than condescendingly and consistently threatening it, accusing it of all sorts of unproven aims, and assuming its guilt before it is given a fair hearing.

The political imperative in the agreement announced this week is clear, and repeats the basic principles that Iran and American-led negotiators agreed on in principle last autumn: sending abroad Iran’s low-grade enriched uranium and transforming it into fuel rods for use in Tehran’s research reactor. The political dynamics should also be clear: Iran is willing to negotiate seriously and enter into agreements that respect the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, if such talks are conducted in a non-colonial manner and also acknowledge Iran’s own national interests.

The first paragraph of the 12-point agreement is the most important, with Brazil, Turkey and Iran stating that: “We reaffirm our commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in accordance with the related articles of the NPT, recall the right of all State Parties, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy (as well as nuclear fuel cycle including enrichment activities) for peaceful purposes without discrimination.”

Article 2 speaks of looking ahead to a “positive, constructive, non-confrontational atmosphere leading to an era of interaction and cooperation.”

These suggest that a win-win option is available (and always has been, in my view and that of many others in this region) that respects sovereign rights on nuclear development while preventing nuclear weapons proliferation. Whether this option will be pursued reflects political, rather than technical, dictates. The signs are that the Obama administration remains committed to its schizophrenic policy of reaching out to Iran while also sermonizing to it with condescension and even some disdain.

This was most recently reflected in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement a few days ago, after she predicted, incorrectly, that the Turkish-Brazilian mediation would fail: “Every step of the way has demonstrated clearly to the world that Iran is not participating in the international arena in the way that we had asked them to do, and that they continued to pursue their nuclear program.”

This presumptuous, aggressive approach has failed to change Iran’s nuclear strategy, while the Turkish-Brazilian approach has been more successful. The coming days and weeks will clarify if the US-Israel-led side finally grasps the important political lessons of the Turkish-Brazilian mediation: Drop the arrogance and double standards, negotiate fairly and realistically, and accept that Iran is a power that is at once strong, technically proficient, and proud of its sovereignty; and on that basis agree to lock in its respect for existing nuclear non-proliferation standards and conventions.

Iran and Turkey represent something novel and historically significant in the Middle East: Muslim-majority countries that are politically self-confident and dare to stand up to the US, Israel or anyone else who encroaches on what they see as their strategic national interests. Washington and Tel Aviv remain confused on how to deal with such new phenomena.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deconstructing the meaning of Iran's 20 percent uranium enrichmentfrom It is 6 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Ivan Oelrich

Deconstructing the meaning of Iran's 20 percent uranium enrichmentfrom It is 6 Minutes to Midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Ivan Oelrich

On February 11, the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered the "sweet" news that Iran had successfully produced 20 percent enriched uranium. More than anything, the announcement served as Iran's response to the stalemate over purchasing fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor that is used, in part, to produce medical isotopes.




http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/fea...nium-enrichment

How US Weapons Grade Uranium was Diverted to Israel Declassified GAO Report Exposes Fatally Flawed Israel Investigations

How US Weapons Grade Uranium was Diverted to Israel
Declassified GAO Report Exposes Fatally Flawed Israel Investigations

By Grant Smith
UN member countries have long suspected that the United States either turns a blind eye or actively supports the transfer of know-how, weapons-grade uranium, and dual-use technology to Israel. The 62-page General Accounting Office investigation and correspondence confirms the United States refuses to mount credible investigations that would enable warranted prosecutions of the perpetrators. Continue
How US Weapons Grade Uranium was Diverted to Israel
Declassified GAO Report Exposes Fatally Flawed Israel Investigations

Mohammed elBaradei on the Iranian Nuclear Issue

Mohammed elBaradei on the Iranian Nuclear Issue

By Mohamed ElBaradei

Iran wants a “nuclear weapons capability”—which is not the same as actual nuclear weapons—to be taken seriously as a regional power by the United States. Continue

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25472.htm

Iran Succeeds in Duping the West - Der Spiegel

Iran Succeeds in Duping the West - Der Spiegel

China welcomes Iran nuclear fuel swap deal

China eyes foreign partners in nuclear power projects

China eyes foreign partners in nuclear power projects
China is looking for foreign partners to help construct fourth-generation nuclear plants needed to meet growing demand for clean energy. State-run China National Nuclear has commenced an "experimental program for the fast-reactor technology for commercial use," company executive Liu Jing said. Bloomberg Businessweek

Recycling nuclear fuel allows easier, faster waste disposal

Recycling nuclear fuel allows easier, faster waste disposal
Recycling nuclear materials takes out the longest-living radioactive elements and puts them back into reactors to be consumed, converting them into shorter-lived materials that stay in repositories for less time, writes this physics professor in a letter to the editor. "The fundamental point is that there are multiple solutions to dealing with nuclear waste, and that we cannot let the issue stymie building the next generation of nuclear power plants," he argues. The Detroit News

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bolivia searches for uranium

Bolivia searches for uranium
from World Nuclear News by Jeremy Gordon

Bolivia's Ministry of Mining has announced the launch of a project to explore for uranium in the central Potosi region, according to a Reuters report. Hugo Delgado, the head of Sergeotecmin, the body responsible for geological studies, said that the government is investing $500,000 in the project. He added, "It's a research and exploration project. We've got a study from 1970, but it does not state the size of reserves." Delgado said that his office should be able to release the results of the study by the end of the year. He did not say if the government had any plans to mine its uranium reserves, if it eventually finds large deposits.

Chinese research reactor starts up from World Nuclear News by Jeremy Gordon

Chinese research reactor starts up
from World Nuclear News by Jeremy Gordon


CARR pool hallA new Chinese-designed and built research reactor has reached first criticality at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE)'s Fangshan, Beijing site.

Iran to entrust Turkey with uranium in exchange for reactor fuel

Iran to entrust Turkey with uranium in exchange for reactor fuel
Iran has agreed to place more than 2,600 pounds of its low-enriched uranium in Turkey in exchange for receiving about 265 pounds of fuel for its research reactor in Tehran. The uranium sent to Turkey could be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran. The agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil was signed in Tehran in front of the heads of all three states. World Nuclear News

Indonesia awaits president's stance on nuclear power facilities

Indonesia awaits president's stance on nuclear power facilities
Indonesia is waiting for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to approve a plan to construct nuclear plants and help the country boost its power capacity, an official said. Hudi Hastowo, head of the National Atomic Agency, said during a parliamentary hearing that developed countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency have vowed to assist Indonesia in its nuclear ambitions. People's Daily (China)/Xinhua News Agency

Commentary: Senate bill is still "cap and tax"

Commentary: Senate bill is still "cap and tax"
The recently unveiled Senate climate-and-energy proposal is still "cap and tax" legislation despite the efforts of authors Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., not to label it as such, according to this opinion article. The bill's main innovation -- to issue separate rules for transportation, utilities and manufacturing -- was intended to purchase industry backing by offering sweeteners and to hide the taxes that will be imposed on all forms of carbon-derived energy, the article argues. The Wall Street Journal

Senate climate bill streamlines carbon allowances

Senate climate bill streamlines carbon allowances
The recently unveiled Senate climate-and-energy bill aims to impose different emission requirements for economic sectors and narrow down the number of direct recipients of carbon allowances. "There's fewer buckets," said John Larsen, an executive with the World Resources Institute. "There are clearer categories of recipients. ... That's somewhat of a departure from other proposals." The New York Times (free registration)/ClimateWire

Water scarcity challenges developers of new power plants

Water scarcity challenges developers of new power plants
Water shortages in California have resulted in policies that discourage water usage for cooling purposes in power plants, as developers of new plants are rapidly discovering. "It's just not possible anymore in California, and increasingly anywhere, to find unlimited water for the old water-intensive cooling systems," said Peter Gleick, president of the think tank Pacific Institute. "If you want to build a big central power plant, whether it's oil, gas or nuclear, you can't take the water for granted." The New York Times (free registration)

Nevada petitions NRC to approve withdrawal of Yucca project

Nevada petitions NRC to approve withdrawal of Yucca project
Nevada has submitted a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requesting that it OK the Energy Department's bid to pull out of the Yucca Mountain project. The request, signed by Texas lawyer Charles Fitzpatrick, says the agency "cannot second-guess an applicant's decision to withdraw a license application." Las Vegas Sun

Toshiba eyes U.S. approval to test small nuclear reactor

Toshiba eyes U.S. approval to test small nuclear reactor
Toshiba plans to apply for federal approval this year to test its 4S -- or "super-safe, small and simple" -- nuclear reactor in Galena, Alaska, according to reports. "We aim to get 4S orders in remote areas where it is more cost-efficient to generate power on a local basis than use power grids," company spokesman Keisuke Ohmori said. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Alaska)

NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement Analysis and Recommendations of the Group of Experts on a New Strategic Concept for NATO

NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement
Analysis and Recommendations of the Group of Experts on a New Strategic Concept for NATO

NATO Mission Statement Supports Retaining Tactical Nukes Global Security Newswire


NATO Mission Statement Supports Retaining Tactical Nukes
Global Security Newswire

A draft version of NATO's new mission statement calls for keeping U.S. tactical nuclear arms in Europe despite rising calls from some alliance states for the withdrawal of the Cold War-era weapons.
Full Article

* NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement

Flawed and Dangerous U.S. Missile Defense Plan

Flawed and Dangerous U.S. Missile Defense Plan
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_05/Lewis-Postol

George N. Lewis and Theodore A. Postol

On September 17, 2009, the Obama administration announced that it would shelve the Bush administration's European missile defense system and replace it with an entirely new missile defense architecture. This decision to stop the deployment of 10 interceptors in Poland and an X-band radar in the Czech Republic had two extremely positive results: it scrapped a technically flawed missile defense system that could never produce a useful level of defense for Europe, and it averted a potentially disastrous foreign policy confrontation with Russia.

Less than five months later, in February, the Obama administration produced an extensive elaboration of the September decision in a document called the Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report. The report asserts that ballistic missile defense technologies have already produced a reliable and robust defense of the United States against limited intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) attacks. According to the report, the technologies now in hand will make it possible for the United States to build a global missile defense system that is so capable, flexible, and reliable that potential adversaries will see that they have no choice but to de-emphasize their efforts to use ballistic missiles as a way to obtain their political goals.

However, a review of the actual state of missile defense technologies reveals that this new vision put forth by the report is nothing more than a fiction and that the policy strategy that follows from these technical myths could well lead to a foreign policy disaster.

With regard to current missile defense technologies, there are no new material facts to support any of the claims in the report that suggest that the United States is now in a position to defend itself from limited ICBM attacks or that any of the fundamental unsolved problems associated with high-altitude ballistic missile defenses have been solved. In fact, as this article will show, the most recent ballistic missile defense flight-test data released by the Department of Defense and the most recent failed test of the ground-based missile defense system in January show quite the opposite.

Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, The New York Times


Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program
William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

President Obama's plans for reducing America's nuclear arsenal and defeating Iran’s missiles rely heavily on a new generation of antimissile defenses, which last year he called "proven and effective."

* A Flawed and Dangerous U.S. Missile Defense Plan
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_05/Lewis-Postol

At UN, Deadline Aired for Abolishing Nuke Weapons Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press


At UN, Deadline Aired for Abolishing Nuke Weapons
Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press

The United States, Russia and other nuclear powers would agree to a global conference in 2014 to negotiate a timetable for abolishing nuclear arms, under a draft committee report submitted Friday, halfway through a monthlong conference reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
Full Article

* Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=22748

Israel Won't Move on U.N. Call for Nuclear-Free Zone Dan Williams, Reuters


Israel Won't Move on U.N. Call for Nuclear-Free Zone
Dan Williams, Reuters

Israel has no plan to review its nuclear policies, a government official said on Friday, playing down efforts by world powers at a U.N. non-proliferation conference to promote a Middle East free of atomic arms.
Full Article

* Global Zero: An Israeli Vision of Realistic Idealism
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=40723

Progress or Setback—Brazil and Turkey's Engagement on Iran James M. Acton

Progress or Setback—Brazil and Turkey's Engagement on Iran James M. Acton, Q&A

Iran, Brazil, and Turkey announced an agreement on Monday to ship some of Iran's low-enriched uranium to Turkey in a deal designed to alleviate fears over Tehran's nuclear program. The United States and other Western powers are worried that this agreement does not require Iran to resolve outstanding questions about the possible military purposes of its nuclear program or to curtail its enrichment program.

In a Q&A, James Acton analyzes Brazil and Turkey's involvement in brokering a deal, whether it is likely to proceed, and how it will impact efforts to sanction Iran.
Full Article

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publicati...ew&id=40813


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...0051700105.html

Text of Joint Declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil (PDF)

http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/for...951&st=1520

Major Powers Have a Deal on Sanctions for Iran, U.S. Says

Major Powers Have a Deal on Sanctions for Iran, U.S. Says
Peter Baker, The New York Times
ClintonThe Obama administration announced Tuesday morning that it has struck a deal with other major powers, including Russia and China, to impose new sanctions on Iran, a sharp repudiation of the deal Tehran offered just a day before to ship its nuclear fuel out of the country.

"We have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a Senate committee. "We plan to circulate that draft resolution to the entire Security Council today. And let me say, Mr. Chairman, I think this announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide."
Full Article

Monday, May 17, 2010

Has Iran Succeeded In Avoiding Sanctions?

Has Iran Succeeded In Avoiding Sanctions?


Iran To Ship Uranium To Turkey In Nuclear Deal -- CBS News/AP
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/17/ap/middleeast/main6491666.shtml

Iran Agrees To Ship Enriched Uranium To Turkey In Nuclear Fuel Swap That Could Ease Standoff

(AP) TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran agreed Monday to ship most of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in a surprise nuclear fuel swap deal that could ease the international standoff over the country's disputed atomic program and deflate a U.S.-led push for tougher sanctions.

The deal, which was reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey, was similar to a U.N.-drafted plan that Washington and its allies have been pressing Tehran for the past six months to accept in order to deprive Iran - at least temporarily - of enough stocks of enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon.

Read more ....

More News On The Iran-Brazil-Turkey Nuclear Agreement

Iran to ship uranium to Turkey in nuclear deal -- Yahoo News/AP
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100517/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_nuclear


Uranium Offer by Iran May Block Efforts on Sanctions -- New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/world/middleeast/18iran.html?ref=world


West dismisses Iran nuclear deal -- Al Jazeera
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/2010517134649831836.html


New Iran nuclear swap accord 'potentially good': NATO -- AFP
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5husbaw59wb03KQwo9uKOniFU6zIw


Iran says will continue 20 percent enrichment -- Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSHAF74478220100517

Commentary: Brazil’s efforts with Iran may still be frustrated by Ahmadinejad -- Times Online
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7128794.ece

Too Many Subsidies Mar Otherwise Good Nuclear Title of Kerry–Lieberman Bill

Senators should consider stand-alone nuclear energy bill
Too Many Subsidies Mar Otherwise Good Nuclear Title of Kerry–Lieberman Bill
The recently unveiled climate-and-energy legislation in the Senate has problems and will result in fewer jobs and increased energy prices, writes an industry analyst with the Heritage Foundation. But lawmakers seeking good energy policies should consider the nuclear components as a stand-alone bill, the analyst writes, and with a couple of amendments, those stipulations can become the foundation of a bill focused on nuclear energy. The Heritage Foundation

Congress must approve loan guarantees for new nuclear projects

Congress must approve loan guarantees for new nuclear projects
U.S. lawmakers should be doing everything they can to boost development of nuclear energy and need to realize the urgency of that task, according to this opinion column. Though policymakers support the building of nuclear plants, they are tightening access to sources of private funding. Congress needs to approve loan guarantees to help finance these facilities and help the country revive its nuclear industry. Loan guarantees limit the cost of interest on private financing, keeping utilities and power consumers from spending millions of dollars. The Times (Trenton, N.J.)

Westinghouse is targeting Italian nuclear energy market

Westinghouse is targeting Italian nuclear energy market
An EnergyLab-organized conference showed strong support for Westinghouse's plan to enter Italy's nuclear energy market. EnergyLab was "assessing whether we could adopt the Westinghouse AP1000 on the Italian soil," director Silvio Bosetti said. In response, Westinghouse executive Gary Shuttleworth said the company is "putting a great deal of effort to join the Italian nuclear program, contacting all the major European utilities with interests in Italy." World Nuclear News

Hyperion is working on refrigerator-sized nuclear reactors

Hyperion is working on refrigerator-sized nuclear reactors
Hyperion Power Generation is developing a nuclear reactor the size of a refrigerator that would be enough to provide electricity to a small factory or town too far from conventional utility grids. Hyperion has more than 150 commitments from customers including mining and telecommunications companies -- provided that its technology is licensed. Bloomberg Businessweek

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-16/fridge-sized-nuclear-reactors-to-tap-135-billion-power-market.html

Midsize, non-nuclear powers enter world stage Posted by Helena Cobban

Midsize, non-nuclear powers enter world stage

Posted by Helena Cobban
May 17, 2010 10:50 AM EST | Link

Treading where the U.S. and its European allies have failed to make any significant headway, the leaders of Turkey and Brazil have now engaged personally in dealing with the globally important Iran/nuclear issue-- and they seem to be making real progress in de-escalating the tensions around it.

In Tehran today, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters his government has agreed to ship about half of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for the further enriched kind of fuel required to run a medical reactor.

The deal comes as the culmination of personal visits undertaken to Iran by Turkish Prime Minister Rejep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva.

If this deal goes through, Erdogan and Lula's diplomatic breakthrough will have a large impact not only on resolution of the globally vital Iran/nuclear issue itself but also on the whole face and structure of world politics.

The U.S., Britain, France, and Germany have all been pushing-- within the 'P5+1' forum established specifically a couple of years ago to add Germany's economic (and pro-U.S.) heft to the UN's traditional P5 leadership-- to impose a U.S.-designed solution on Iran, primarily by ratcheting up hostile economic actions against Iran backed up by a threat of military action.

Within the P5+1, the other two members of the P5, China and Russia, have adopted a fairly passive stance on the issue, showing neither any great support for the western countries' line nor any readiness to actively resist it.

Enter the leaders of Turkey and Brazil-- two significantly rising, mid-size countries whose current governments are generally pro-western but have also shown their willingness to challenge Washington where they judge their own core interests outweigh those of the U.S.

In contrast to the P5's membership group, which coincides exactly with the group of five nations "allowed" to have nuclear weapons-- for a while anyway-- under the terms of the worldwide Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Turkey and Brazil are determinedly non-nuclear states. Both have good relations, including military relations, with the U.S. But perhaps most importantly, the current governments of these two states enjoy a wide and indisputable democratic mandate from their own citizenries-- as well as considerable soft-power (diplomatic and economic) heft within the regions of which they are a part.

Therefore, though some European diplomats have apparently been a little huffy about the deal Erdogan and Lula achieved in Tehran, it would seem very counter-productive for the western governments to try to do anything active to try to undermine it.

That does not mean they won't try, of course. All the western governments have been subjected to great pressure by Israel to continue ratcheting up the pressure on Iran; and it seems doubtful that either that pressure or those governments' susceptibility to it will end overnight.

This is a great-- and potentially very hopeful-- story, in so many different respects. Watch this space.