Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Friday, July 9, 2010

U.S. Trouble with START and Other Treaties Interviewee: John B. Bellinger III, Adjunct Senior Fellow for International and National Security Law; Former Legal Advisor, Department of State, Council on Foreign Relations Interviewer: Toni Johnson, Staff Writer, CFR.org

Regulator gives green light for work on UAE's first nuclear site

New Brunswick considers building second nuclear plant

U.S. Ready to Cooperate With Israel on Civilian Nuclear Use, Steinitz Says


The U.S. is prepared to support Israel's civilian nuclear energy program, said Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington. "It includes a clear recognition of Israel as very, very responsible and reliable with regard to nuclear technologies," Steinitz added. Bloomberg

Shuler: Nuclear waste is not headed to Asheville area


The federal government is not planning to dump radioactive waste in western North Carolina, said Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. This assurance came after rumors circulated among Madison and Buncombe county residents that the government was reviving an idea first raised in the 1980s to dispose nuclear waste in an area called Sandy Mush. Asheville Citizen-Times (N.C.)

Study: Kerry-Lieberman bill provides more support for nuclear


The climate bill sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., is projected to result in a ton of carbon dioxide equivalent costing $14 in 2012 and $25 by 2020, according to a study issued Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation. Compared with alternative proposals, the bill would "provide more support for the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity," among other differences, the report said. Platts

S.C. county seeks NRC recusals in Yucca case


Three of the five Nuclear Regulatory Commission commissioners should disqualify themselves from considering an appeal of the preliminary decision for the Yucca Mountain project in Nevada because they were subjected to "undue political influence" in their confirmation hearings, according to a petition to the NRC made by Aiken County, S.C. Platts

Research Helps Predict Future Impact Of Climate Change


Sheffield, UK (SPX) Jul 08, 2010 - A new study, involving academics at the University of Sheffield, has accurately measured for the first time the current carbon cycles in the world. The research will enable scientists to make more accurate predictions concerning the impact of climate change in the future. The paper, which will be published in the journal Science, used large amounts of remote sensing, climate and carbon dat ... more

Nuclear Power Market Outlook For Developing Countries

Nuclear Power Market Outlook For Developing Countries
New York NY (SPX) Jul 09, 2010 - Nuclear power contributed about 15% to the total world electricity generation in 2009 with an installed capacity of 373GW. There are currently 436 nuclear reactors in operation in 30 countries worldwide. The US is the largest producer of nuclear power generating 31% of the total global nuclear generation followed by France, Japan and Russia. Nuclear power is an important source of power ... more

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Russia arms control expert at centre of US 'spy swap'


Moscow (AFP) July 8, 2010 - Convicted spy Igor Sutyagin had been facing serving out his sentence in hard regime prison in Russia's Far North, but now is at the centre of a mooted swap of prisoners with the United States. Sutyagin, a Russian arms control expert, 45, was convicted in 2004 of handing over classified information to a British company that Russia claimed was a CIA cover, and sentenced to 15 years in jail. ... mo

China warns against US-S.Korea war games

A losing battle against proliferation By MICHAEL RICHARDSON



Slowly but surely, the barriers preventing the spread of nuclear technology and materials that can be used to make weapons of mass destruction are being eroded.

The most brazen cases involve North Korea and Iran. The former left the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), conducted at least two nuclear explosive tests in the past few years and has threatened to carry out more. Iran remains in the NPT but refuses to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog, and is widely suspected of seeking nuclear weapons.

NDA reveals steps leading underground 07 July 2010 Britain's process for radioactive waste disposal has been sketched out by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in a timeline stretching some 130 years.


The U.K.'s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has unveiled a 130-year timeline for its radioactive-waste disposal program. The agency plans to eventually move the country's radioactive waste into a permanent underground facility whose location would be determined at around 2025. World Nuclear News

Feds seek a temp home for depleted uranium

Search begins for temporary nuclear-waste storage facilities
The Energy Department has begun searching for temporary storage sites outside of Utah for nuclear waste from South Carolina. This comes after the department and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert agreed to delay two shipments of close to 10,000 drums of depleted uranium from the Savannah River Site -- waste slated for disposal at EnergySolutions' facility in Tooele County. The agency gave prospective bidders till July 15 to file storage plans. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Yucca Mountain plays key role in boosting U.S. nuclear capacity

Yucca Mountain plays key role in boosting U.S. nuclear capacity
The proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository in Nevada should not be bound by the political ambitions of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the White House, according to this editorial. The White House's effort to terminate the project contradicts its public support for nuclear energy as part of the country's energy policy, the editorial argues. The Post and Courier

Areva accepts federal loan guarantee for Idaho nuclear project

Areva accepts federal loan guarantee for Idaho nuclear project
Areva has accepted a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Energy Department that would help fund work on a uranium-enrichment facility in Idaho. The money will be available after the company secures a combined construction-and-operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Platts

CLIMATE SCIENCE Research Helps Predict Future Impact Of Climate Change

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Iran plans new satellite launch in late August: minister

Iran plans new satellite launch in late August: minister
Tehran (AFP) July 7, 2010 - Telecommunication Minister Reza Taghipour said on Wednesday that Iran is expected to launch a new satellite, Rasad 1, in the last week of August, the Mehr news agency reported. "Rasad 1 (Observation) satellite is expected to be launched into space on the back of a domestic carrier during the period marking the government week (last week of August)," Taghipour said. He said the launch wou ... more

Experts suggest FDA, NRC as models for regulating US offshore E&P

Experts suggest FDA, NRC as models for regulating US offshore E&P

Experts tout NRC as model for regulating offshore oil industry

Experts tout NRC as model for regulating offshore oil industry
Offshore oil and gas regulators should follow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's lead, said David Pumphrey, the deputy director of energy and national security studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "They have a strong safety consciousness built up over a long time," he said. Platts

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews.aspx?xmlpath=RSSFeed/HeadlineNews/NaturalGas/6162532.xml

Report: Nuclear power companies among lowest carbon emitters

Nuclear powers to top of the table
06 July 2010

Power companies using a lot of nuclear energy have been shown as among America's cleanest by the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) in recently published data.

Report: Nuclear power companies among lowest carbon emitters
Utilities generating large amounts of nuclear power were among the smallest emitters of carbon dioxide in the U.S., according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Companies that rely on coal typically have higher emissions. World Nuclear News

DefenseRussia Exports Over Five Billion Dollars In Arms In First Half Of 2010

DefenseRussia Exports Over Five Billion Dollars In Arms In First Half Of 2010
Zhukovsky, Russia (RIA Novosti) Jul 06, 2010 - Russia has exported $5.3 billion worth of weapons-related production in the first six months of 2010, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said on Wednesday. "With a plan for $9.5 billion, we have delivered $5.3 billion in [weapons-related] production in the first six months [of 2010], which constitutes 56% of the plan," Mikhail Dmitriyev told the Engi ... more

Israel seeks to block Saudi F-15 deal

Israel seeks to block Saudi F-15 deal
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Jul 6, 2010 - Israel is seeking to prevent the United States from selling up to 72 advanced-model Boeing F-15 strike jets to Saudi Arabia, despite what the Israeli ambassador to Washington recently described as a "tectonic rift" between the longtime allies. The liberal Haaretz daily reports that the Israeli leadership also wants to block a Saudi program to upgrade the 154 F-15s the kingdom already ha ... more

Nuclear talks can resume from Sept 1 if conditions met: Iran

Nuclear talks can resume from Sept 1 if conditions met: Iran
Tehran (AFP) July 6, 2010 - Iran on Tuesday set September 1 as a possible date to resume nuclear talks with six world powers that have been stalled since October, but insisted its conditions must first be met. Washington responded saying it was willing to meet Iran over its nuclear programme if Tehran's offer was "serious." According to the official IRNA news agency Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili sent a ... more

Obama backs Israel on nuclear conference

Obama backs Israel on nuclear conference
Washington (AFP) July 6, 2010 - US President Barack Obama warned Tuesday that attempts to single out Israel over its undeclared nuclear program could scupper a Middle East regional nuclear conference planned for 2012. Obama delivered the warning in a statement about his talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he gave Israel a veiled, but public assurance over its strategic nuclear ambiguity. "The ... more

Russia To Sell One Billion Dollars Worth Of Arms To Yemen

Russia To Sell One Billion Dollars Worth Of Arms To Yemen
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Jul 06, 2010 - Russia and Yemen could sign an arms contract worth over $1 billion, an international arms expert has said. A Yemeni delegation led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh discussed sales of Russian arms to the Arab republic recently during the leader's short visit to Moscow. Igor Korotchenko, head of a Moscow-based think tank on the international arms trade, said Yemen "is interested in a ve ... more

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Energy giants fund Myanmar nuclear drive: rights group

Energy giants fund Myanmar nuclear drive: rights group
Paris (AFP) July 5, 2010 - Myanmar's military rulers are using gas revenue from US and French energy giants Chevron and Total to fund an illegal bid to build nuclear weapons, human rights monitors said in a report on Monday. Myanmar's Yadan gas pipeline, run by the two companies along with Thai firm PTTEP, made billions of dollars for the military leaders, the Paris-based group EarthRights International said, citing d ... more

EPA to crack down on interstate pollutants from power plants

EPA to crack down on interstate pollutants from power plants
MiamiHerald.com - Renee Schoof
WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed a new federal plan to reduce the pollution from electric power plants that wafts hundreds of miles across state lines.

EPA Proposes to Cut Power-Plant Emissions in 31 States
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704862404575350881027651908.html

EPA Proposes Reducing Pollution From Power Plants
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-06/epa-proposes-reducing-pollution-from-power-plants.html

EPA draft clean air rule could affect future regs, Congress
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/107327-epa-draft-clean-air-could-affect-future-regs-congress

Harry Reid, Sharron Angle on opposite sides of every issue

Harry Reid, Sharron Angle on opposite sides of every issue

Nev. Senate candidate sends mixed messages on nuclear
U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle of Nevada said she is against the plan to keep nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. But she gave her support for nuclear energy, emphasizing the importance of such facilities so long as they are constructed safely with a "plan for recycling spent fuel." Las Vegas Sun

China, Pakistan reach nuclear energy deal


China, Pakistan reach nuclear energy deal

Areva CEO: New reactors follow top security standards

Areva CEO: New reactors follow top security standards
Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of Areva, said the company's Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors follow the strictest levels of security. The reactors "take into account all the lessons from recent events," she said in response to reports questioning the security of the EPR. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires

Jordanian official is hopeful on prospects of U.S. nuclear deal

Jordanian official is hopeful on prospects of U.S. nuclear deal
Jordan Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh is upbeat about the prospects of a nuclear-cooperation deal with the U.S., despite sources saying that the U.S. is prohibiting the country from generating its nuclear fuel. Jordan seeks a pact to help it start civilian nuclear generation and get 30% of its electricity from the power source by 2030. Reuters

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE6641X220100705

S.C. lawmakers hail ruling on Yucca Mountain project

S.C. lawmakers hail ruling on Yucca Mountain project
South Carolina Reps. John Spratt and Joe Wilson applauded a ruling that prevented the Energy Department from abandoning the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste project in Nevada. If the site is not opened, the state would indefinitely be left with tons of nuclear waste, Spratt said. Wilson, meanwhile, said years of research and spending would be wasted if the government shut down Yucca

Lawmakers form caucus to promote nuclear power

National Nuclear Caucus forms to promote nuclear power
A group of lawmakers has formed a bipartisan National Nuclear Caucus to advocate for nuclear power in Washington, D.C. "The National Nuclear Caucus will be a working partner with pro-nuclear organizations and with our elected officials in Washington," said Rep. Erik Simpson, an Idaho Republican. "Involving state legislators across the country will add another voice in support of nuclear energy." Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, Wash.)

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/07/06/1081922/lawmakers-form-caucus-to-promote.html

Expert: Nuclear is now "a mature technology"

Expert: Nuclear is now "a mature technology"
It is time to revisit nuclear as a low-carbon, secure and sustainable source of power, writes Mike Lawrence in this opinion column. Nuclear has emerged from "its overly optimistic early years, through a turbulent adolescence, and is now a mature technology," Lawrence writes. Today's new reactor designs are safer, more fuel-efficient, more productive and faster to build than previous designs, he adds. The Seattle Times

The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family Peter Byrne

The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III
Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family
Peter Byrne

Description
Peter Byrne tells the story of Hugh Everett III (1930-1982), whose "many worlds" theory of multiple universes has had a profound impact on physics and philosophy. Using Everett's unpublished papers (recently discovered in his son's basement) and dozens of interviews with his friends, colleagues, and surviving family members, Byrne paints, for the general reader, a detailed portrait of the genius who invented an astonishing way of describing our complex universe from the inside. Everett's mathematical model (called the "universal wave function") treats all possible events as "equally real", and concludes that countless copies of every person and thing exist in all possible configurations spread over an infinity of universes: many worlds.

Afflicted by depression and addictions, Everett strove to bring rational order to the professional realms in which he played historically significant roles. In addition to his famous interpretation of quantum mechanics, Everett wrote a classic paper in game theory; created computer algorithms that revolutionized military operations research; and performed pioneering work in artificial intelligence for top secret government projects. He wrote the original software for targeting cities in a nuclear hot war; and he was one of the first scientists to recognize the danger of nuclear winter. As a Cold Warrior, he designed logical systems that modeled "rational" human and machine behaviors, and yet he was largely oblivious to the emotional damage his irrational personal behavior inflicted upon his family, lovers, and business partners.

He died young, but left behind a fascinating record of his life, including correspondence with such philosophically inclined physicists as Niels Bohr, Norbert Wiener, and John Wheeler. These remarkable letters illuminate the long and often bitter struggle to explain the paradox of measurement at the heart of quantum physics. In recent years, Everett's solution to this mysterious problem-the existence of a universe of universes-has gained considerable traction in scientific circles, not as science fiction, but as an explanation of physical reality.
Features

* New perspective on many fascinating and timely topics
* Insights into Many Worlds theory, the Cold War, quantum mechanics, and a tragic personal life
* Based on unpublished papers of historical and scholarly significance
* Written at a level suitable to the general reader

Reviews

"The 'many worlds' theory of quantum mechanics is one fo the most logical, bizarre and ridculed ideas in the history of human thought. In The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III , investigative journalist Peter Bryne details the short, fragmented life of the physicist who created the theory. It is fascinating to read the its creator, himself too obsessed with models to intersect effectively with the real world."--Nature

"In this biography, Peter Byrne bravely explores both the life and the science of Hugh Everett, the brilliant creator of the 'many worlds' concept who burned himself out at an early age. As Byrne makes clear, Everett's startling achievements in physics stood against his startling deficiencies as a husband and father."--Kenneth W. Ford, retired director, American Institute of Physics

"This book has the potential to become the definitive biography of one of the finest minds of the twentieth century." --David Deutsch FRS, Oxford University

"In this extraordinarily personal biography, Peter Byrne masterfully conveys the life, struggles, achievements, and failures of this fascinating man, whose insights in physics created a new understanding of quantum mechanics, whose secret work helped usher us through the Cold War, and whose inner battles led to his own destruction." --A. Garrett Lisi, physicist , author of An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything "

"We are grateful to Peter Byrne for this remarkable and remarkably sad story of the life and science of Hugh Everett III. Gifted, but late-to-be-recognized, Everett, while still in his twenties, proposed a new, now somewhat fashionable, interpretation of the quantum theory--the often rediscovered and often misinterpreted, so called, many worlds theory. Byrne gives a lucid and accessible account of many aspects of what has been an extraordinarily puzzling question that has bedeviled the quantum theory since its origin. And he does this with a warts and all reconstruction of Everett's life. An impressive achievement."--Leon N. Cooper, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1972

"Peter Byrne has the skills of a seasoned journalist: an eye for a story, a knack for turning up improbable interviews and previously undiscovered manuscripts, and a thoroughly engaging style. His target here is inherently interesting, and the resulting story is a remarkable achievement." --Jeff Barrett, Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine

"This is an exciting book about a man who was ahead of his time by decades, although he did no more than logically apply a well-established theory against all prejudice. Peter Byrne has done an excellent job in unearthing documents, most of them unknown, about the history of Everett's ideas, their reception by the leading physicists from 1957 until today, and the consequences this had for Everett's life." --H. Dieter Zeh, University of Heidelberg

"Byrne does an excellent job of explaining the theory, why it is necessary and the difficulties it solves (and doesn't). [...] Byrne does not patronise his readers with superficial pen portraits of his characters. We get to know the characters by what they say and what they do. And they say and do some truly remarkable things. [...] This is a strangely beautiful story, expertly told with the dignity, candour and attention to detail it deserves." - New Scientist

"The effort Byrne has put in to understanding the man is impressive ..." - Robert Matthews , BBC Focus Magazine
Product Details
368 pages; 50 b/w photographs; 9.2 x 6.1; ISBN13: 978-0-19-955227-6ISBN10: 0-19-955227-4
About the Author(s)

Peter Byrne is an investigative reporter and science writer based in northern California. He has written for Scientific American , Mother Jones , Salon.com , SF Weekly , North Bay Bohemian , and many other magazines and newsweeklies. He has received national recognition for his investigative reporting, including from Investigative Editors & Reporters and Project Censored. He a member of the Foundational Questions Institute, which has supported this book with a large grant. He has made presentations on Everett at University of Oxford, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and University of California, Irvine. He consulted on (and appeared in) the BBC4 production about Everett, Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives. He is curating the Everett papers.

BOOK: THE MANY WORLDS OF HUGH EVERETT

BOOK: THE MANY WORLDS OF HUGH EVERETT

The intersection of science and national security in the 20th century produced many peculiar phenomena, some of which are illuminated in a new biography of physicist Hugh Everett III

Everett is best known, if at all, as the originator of the "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics. Roughly, this theory holds that whenever a quantum state is measured, every possible outcome of the measurement is realized in a different universe, which somehow means that the world is constantly branching out into a multiplicity of separate, parallel worlds.

"Many prominent physicists, including [Richard] Feynman, thought many worlds was a ludicrous idea," notes Peter Byrne, the author of the new Everett biography. But others were startled and impressed by its mathematical and conceptual coherence. (The notion of parallel universes also became a staple of science fiction writing.)

Having made his controversial mark in physics, Everett went on to perform nuclear war planning for the top secret Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, a sort of Pentagon think tank which generated analysis for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"When Everett joined WSEG in 1956, it was analyzing the cost-benefits of global and limited nuclear warfare," writes Mr. Byrne. "Ongoing studies examined nuclear blast and fallout kill ratios; the impact of jamming the electronics of guided missiles and airplanes; and the disturbing problem of the 'nuclear blackout,' i.e. massive electrical disturbances unleashed by nuclear bombs exploded high in the atmosphere." The WSEG's "Report 50," portions of which have recently been declassified along with other WSEG records, "became a basic source document" for nuclear war planning.

Everett apparently wrote the software for the first Single Integrated Operating Plan (SIOP), the U.S. nuclear warfighting plan. He also designed the first "relational database" software, an early word-processing program, and more.

The new biography of Hugh Everett never veers off into hagiography, a temptation that might have been easy to resist since Everett had more than his fair share of shortcomings. But investigative reporter Peter Byrne has produced a thoughtful account of an original figure and his diverse contributions to a momentous period in the history of science and national security. One imagines that there are still many other such stories waiting to be told.

See "The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III" by Peter Byrne, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Weather clears for a strike on Iran

Weather clears for a strike on Iran

IAEA to keep heat on Iran

IAEA to keep heat on Iran
Finnish nuclear engineer Olli Heinonen, in the five years he served as deputy director for safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency, was instrumental in shifting much of Western opinion to the view that Iran was pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program - despite documental flaws. His replacement is likely to continue down the same path. - Gareth Porter (Jul 6, '10)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LG07Ak01.html