Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Friday, January 7, 2011

Upton Announces Republican Membership on Energy & Commerce Subcommittees for 112th Congress

Congressman Fred Upton
For Immediate Release:
January 7, 2011
Media Contact: Sean C. Bonyun
202-225-3761

 
Upton Announces Republican
Membership on Energy & Commerce Subcommittees for 112th Congress


WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today announced the Republican membership of the six Energy and Commerce subcommittees for the 112th Congress. 

"We could not have a more talented and accomplished group of members on Energy and Commerce, ready to deliver the change the American people expect and demand," said Upton.  "From repealing the job-killing health law to fighting rampant regulations, these subcommittees will be on the front lines as we work to fulfill our pledge to the American people to create jobs, cut spending, and reduce the size of government." 


Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade
Chair –  Mary Bono Mack (CA)
Vice Chair - Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Cliff Stearns (FL)
Charlie Bass (NH)
Gregg Harper (MS)
Leonard Lance (NJ)*
Bill Cassidy (LA)
Brett Guthrie (KY)
Pete Olson (TX)
David McKinley (WV)
Mike Pompeo (KS)
Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Joe Barton (TX)
Fred Upton (MI)


Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Chair – Greg Walden (OR)
Vice Chair - Lee Terry (NE)
Cliff Stearns (FL)
John Shimkus (IL)
Mary Bono Mack (CA)
Mike Rogers (MI)
Brian Bilbray (CA)
Charlie Bass (NH)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Phil Gingrey (GA)
Steve Scalise (LA)
Bob Latta (OH)
Brett Guthrie (KY)
Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Joe Barton (TX)
Fred Upton (MI)



Subcommittee on Energy and Power
Chair – Ed Whitfield (KY)
Vice Chair – John Sullivan (OK)
John Shimkus (IL)
Greg Walden (OR)
Lee Terry (NE)
Michael Burgess (TX)
Brian Bilbray (CA)
Steve Scalise (LA)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
Pete Olson (TX)
David McKinley (WV)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Mike Pompeo (KS)
Morgan Griffith (VA)
Joe Barton (TX)
Fred Upton (MI)
 
Subcommittee on Environment and Economy
Chair – John Shimkus (IL)
Vice Chair - Tim Murphy (PA)
Ed Whitfield (KY)
Joe Pitts (PA)
Mary Bono Mack (CA)
John Sullivan (OK)
Charlie Bass (NH)
Bob Latta (OH)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
Gregg Harper (MS)
Bill Cassidy (LA)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Joe Barton (TX)
Fred Upton (MI)


Subcommittee on Health
Chair - Joe Pitts (PA)
Vice Chair - Michael Burgess (TX)
Ed Whitfield (KY)
John Shimkus (IL)
Mike Rogers (MI)
Sue Myrick (NC)
Tim Murphy (PA)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Phil Gingrey (GA)
Bob Latta (OH)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
Leonard Lance (NJ)*
Bill Cassidy (LA)
Brett Guthrie (KY)
Joe Barton (TX)
Fred Upton (MI)


Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Chair – Cliff Stearns (FL)
Lee Terry (NE) - Vice Chairman – Communications and Technology
John Sullivan (OK) - Vice Chairman – Energy and Power
Tim Murphy (PA) - Vice Chairman – Environment and the Economy
Michael Burgess (TX) - Vice Chairman - Health
Marsha Blackburn (TN) - Vice Chair – Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade
Sue Myrick (NC) - Vice Chair – Full Committee
Brian Bilbray (CA)
Phil Gingrey (GA)
Steve Scalise (LA)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Morgan Griffith (VA)
Joe Barton (TX)
Fred Upton (MI)
* Pending Conference and House ratification next week.

India opens new reprocessing plant

India opens new reprocessing plant
Nuclear scientists and engineers were called 'nation builders' by prime minister Manmohan Singh as he inaugurated India's latest reprocessing plant.

Manmohan Singh at Tarapur
Singh opens the Power Reactor Fuel
Reprocessing Plant-2
The facility at Tarapur will break down highly radioactive used nuclear fuel to extract uranium and plutonium for reuse in fast neutron reactors.
"We have come a long way since the first reprocessing of spent fuel in India in 1964 at Trombay," said Singh at yesterday's ceremony, "The recycling and optimal utilization of uranium is essential to meet our current and future energy security needs."



There are already several reprocessing plants in India - all operated by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre - at Tarapur, Trombay and Kalpakkam. Small plants at each site were supplemented in 1998 by a new one of 100 tonnes per year at Kalpakkam, and this is now being extended to so that it may handle carbide fuel from the Fast Breeder Test Reactor.

The new plant inaugurated yesterday at Tarapur also has a capacity of 100 tonnes per year, and another entirely new facility is under construction at Kalpakkam.

Experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency told World Nuclear News that this second reprocessing plant at Tarapur is not among the facilities covered by the early 'type 66' safeguards agreement or the more comprehensive India-specific safeguards regime agreed last year.

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Savannah River Site's reprocessing center can help curb nuclear waste

Savannah River Site's reprocessing center can help curb nuclear waste

The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future should consider harnessing the reprocessing technology available at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina as a solution to the country's nuclear-waste problem, writes J. David Jameson, chairman of the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization. If called upon, SRS can show that it can help reduce the amount of used fuel that would otherwise be stored in a repository, Jameson adds.
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Why Nuclear May Not be the Answer to Oil Shortages



Why Nuclear May Not be the Answer to Oil Shortages

UPDATE 5-EU rejects Iran's offer of atomic site tour--Ashton

EU will turn down offer to inspect Iran's nuclear sites, official says
The EU will decline Iran's offer to open up some of its nuclear sites for inspections, said Catherine Ashton, EU's chief of foreign affairs. "What I'll be saying is the role of the inspections of nuclear sites is for the [International Atomic Energy Agency] and I do hope Iran will ensure that the IAEA is able to go and continue and fulfill its work," Ashton said. Reuters
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A community of answers By J. David Jameson

When retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft boards his flight later today after a two-day visit to the CSRA, he and his colleagues on President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future will leave with a clear message: Savannah River Site and this community are ready to be part of the solution to America's nuclear waste disposal challenge.

Nuclear waste panel tours southeast atomic site

Blue-ribbon panel is urged to reconsider Yucca as disposal site
Southern Nuclear is urging the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to reconsider Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a repository for the country's nuclear waste, said CEO James Miller III. "The wavering federal commitment has created a crisis in confidence in the federal government's ability to solve the problem," Miller said. Bloomberg/The Associated Press

US Nuclear energy generation for 2010 will be close to best years in 2007 and 2008

US Nuclear energy generation for 2010 will be close to best years in 2007 and 2008

For the first 11 months of 2010, nuclear generation is 0.9% higher than the same period in 2009. For 2010, nuclear generation was 732.9 billion kilowatt-hours compared to 726.3 bkWh for the same period in 2009 and 734.5 bkWh in 2007 (the record year for nuclear generation). In 2007, nuclear power generated 806.5 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh) in the U.S.





NEI is reporting that 2007 was the peak for US nuclear generation but the World Nuclear Association information is that the peak was 2008 with 809 billion kWh.

For November 2010, nuclear generation was 62.3 billion kilowatt-hours compared to 59.1 billion kWh in November 2009. The average capacity factor for November 2010 was 85.9% compared to 81.4% in November 2009.

December capacity factors have been in the mid to high 90% range



2007 finished in December with 72 billion kWh for near 100% capacity. 2010 will probably have 69-72.5 billion kWh for about 801.8 to 805 billion kWh. This will be up from 799 billion kWh in 2009.
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Redefining Denuclearization in Korea - Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Article Highlights

  • The extent and sophistication of North Korea's centrifuge program demonstrates how poorly export controls limit a determined proliferator. Its current cooperation with the likes of Iran and Burma raise the specter of Pyongyang operating an A.Q. Khan-style import-export proliferation network.
  • Pyongyang would greatly increase the current nuclear threat if it expands HEU production at undisclosed sites, increases the size of its nuclear arsenal substantially, or conducts more tests to enhance its sophistication.
  • Not only must the international community work to limit Pyongyang's nuclear buildup, but the United States must conduct a thorough review of its policies on Northeast Asia security.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Potential Job Boom in Nuclear Energy as Industry is poised for Enormous Growth

 One sure thing for future employment is in nuclear.  Now with three decades past the partial meltdown of a reactor at Three Mile Island and further expansion of nuclear power at a standstill, years of stagnant hiring comes to, as the American Physical Society, an independent group of physicists put it, “a greatly reduced interest among undergraduates in nuclear science and engineering programs.  This quote is from a recent report by the Society finding that the number of college nuclear engineering programs has dropped from 66 in the early 1980s to 30 in 2008. (page 4 of the pdf file)
http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Potential-Job-Boom-in-Nuclear-Energy-as-Industry-is-poised-for-Enormous-Growth.html
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China targets 50 Gigawatts of nuclear power by 2015 and other nuclear news

China targets 50 Gigawatts of nuclear power by 2015 and other nuclear news
Next Big Future
The 2020 level would then likely exceed the level of US nuclear power generation. The USA is the current world leader in nuclear power generation. ...

Challenges of Digital Control Rooms for nuclear power plants

The editorial team at the American Nuclear Society blog would like to publish an article on the challenges of digital control rooms for nuclear power plants. This can be on conversion of an existing plant or building a new one. The blog is located at: http://ansnuclearcafe.wordpress.com  

In addition to writing for the blog, ANS also invites experts to propose articles for ANS News.  If you are interested, please contact Laura Scheele, Rick Michal, or myself.  I will be available to help an author craft an article suitable for the blog format. Rick will provide editorial guidance for ANS news.  

Please share this invitation with colleagues.  Thanks.
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NEW AGREEMENT PROTECTS STATE INTERESTS, STRENGTHENS INL’S KEY ENERGY RESEARCH ROLE

C.L. "BUTCH" OTTER
GOVERNOR

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2011
11:001

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100
NEW AGREEMENT PROTECTS STATE INTERESTS,
STRENGTHENS INL’S KEY ENERGY RESEARCH ROLE
               (BOISE) – The State of Idaho and the U.S. Department of Energy signed an agreement today enhancing the Idaho National Laboratory’s position as the nation’s leading nuclear research center and allowing it to work with the commercial nuclear power industry on improving fuel reliability and developing a better understanding of how nuclear materials age. 
               The new Memorandum of Agreement spells out the conditions under which INL may bring limited research quantities of used commercial fuels to the lab for examination and testing. Any amounts of used commercial fuel brought to the INL would be counted against the existing caps for spent fuel shipments specified in the 1995 Settlement Agreement between the State of Idaho and the federal government.
               “The INL has unique testing capabilities that are critical if we as a nation are serious about increasing the operating lives and improving the performance of existing reactors,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said.  “My goal is to help build Idaho’s and INL’s research reputations, and this agreement better positions the lab to meet the growing technology development and demonstration needs of the nuclear industry.”
               “This agreement ensures that no additional shipments of fuel will come to the state beyond those specified in the 1995 Settlement Agreement,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.  “Rather than simply bringing to Idaho DOE spent fuels, that may or may not have research value, this agreement clarifies that INL can now provide critical research to the commercial nuclear industry so commercial reactors can operate with heightened production and operational surety.  All of this work is consistent with the spirit, intent, and limitations of the 1995 Settlement Agreement.”
               The 1995 Settlement Agreement designated INL as the “lead laboratory for research, development and testing of treatment, shipment and disposal technologies” for DOE spent fuel.  Under the MOA, INL’s relationship with the commercial nuclear industry is clarified to allow the lab to:
  • Identify and receive research quantities of irradiated commercial fuels worthy of post- irradiation examination at the Lab.

  • Create a library limited to 10 kg total heavy metal that would allow for efficient re-examination of materials and measure improvements to fuel characteristics. The amount of shipments and fuel in the library is limited to those specified in the 1995 Settlement Agreement.

                   The MOA specifies that any materials retained for future research would still fall under the 2035 deadline in the 1995 Settlement Agreement for removal from the state, and the State of Idaho retains the ability to terminate the MOA at its discretion.

  • Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    PM to launch fuel reprocessing plant

    Russia To Develop New Heavy ICBM By 2020

    Russia To Develop New Heavy ICBM By 2020
    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Russia_To_Develop_New_Heavy_ICBM_By_2020_999.html

    Russia's Strategic Missile Forces are still armed with Soviet-era SS-18 Satan and SS-20 Saber ICBMs with an extended service life and are expected to remain in service until 2026.
    by Staff Writers Moscow (RIA NOVOSTI) Jan 05, 2011 Russia's state arms procurement program through 2020 provides for the development of a new heavy ballistic missile, a leading missile designer said on Monday. The final decision should be made in 2012-13 by the expert community, not solely the Defense Ministry, said Yury Solomonov of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT), the developer of the troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile.
    "This matter is beyond the Defense Ministry's competence. It is a matter of state importance," he said.
    "Heavy ICBM" refers to a class of missiles with a heavy throw weight between five and nine metric tons and a length of over 35 meters, capable of delivering a large number of warheads in a single MIRV missile.
    Russia's Strategic Missile Forces are still armed with Soviet-era SS-18 Satan and SS-20 Saber ICBMs with an extended service life and are expected to remain in service until 2026.
    The SS-18 Satan is deployed with up to 10 warheads with a yield of 550 to 750 kilotons each and an operational range of up to 11,000 km (6,800 miles).
    Source: RIA Novosti

    How To Spur A Nuclear Revival In U.S. By BERNARD L. WEINSTEIN

    Westinghouse, State Nuclear Cooperating in Reactor Development BusinessWeek

    Westinghouse, State Nuclear Cooperating in Reactor Development
    BusinessWeek
    5 (Bloomberg) -- Westinghouse Electric Co. will cooperate with China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. to develop two CAP 1400 reactors, ...

    AREVA TV Commercial: "Energy: One Powerful Story"

    60-second commercial produced for AREVA.

    Aired: 2011 | Ad Agency: Euro RSCG C&O | Suresnes, France | For more information on the making of this commercial, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIfhLPg9baY ... (more info)

    Cleaning Up Nuclear-Contaminated Sites Faster And Cheaper

    Cleaning Up Nuclear-Contaminated Sites Faster And Cheaper

    Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on cleanup of some major sites contaminated by radioactivity, primarily from the historic production of nuclear weapons during and after World War II. These include the Hanford site in Washington, Savannah River site in South Carolina (pictured), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
    by Staff Writers Corvallis OR (SPX) Jan 04, 2011 Members of the engineering faculty at Oregon State University have invented a new type of radiation detection and measurement device that will be particularly useful for cleanup of sites with radioactive contamination, making the process faster, more accurate and less expensive. A patent has been granted on this new type of radiation spectrometer, and the first production of devices will begin soon. The advance has also led to creation of a Corvallis-based spinoff company, Avicenna Instruments, based on the OSU research. The market for these instruments may ultimately be global, and thousands of them could be built, researchers say.
    Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on cleanup of some major sites contaminated by radioactivity, primarily from the historic production of nuclear weapons during and after World War II. These include the Hanford site in Washington, Savannah River site in South Carolina, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
    "Unlike other detectors, this spectrometer is more efficient, and able to measure and quantify both gamma and beta radiation at the same time," said David Hamby, an OSU professor of health physics. "Before this two different types of detectors and other chemical tests were needed in a time-consuming process."
    "This system will be able to provide accurate results in 15 minutes that previously might have taken half a day," Hamby said. "That saves steps, time and money."
    The spectrometer, developed over 10 years by Hamby and Abi Farsoni, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, can quickly tell the type and amount of radionuclides that are present in something like a soil sample - contaminants such as cesium 137 or strontium 90 - that were produced from reactor operations. And it can distinguish between gamma rays and beta particles, which is necessary to determine the level of contamination.
    "Cleaning up radioactive contamination is something we can do, but the process is costly, and often the question when working in the field is how clean is clean enough," Hamby said. "At some point the remaining level of radioactivity is not a concern. So we need the ability to do frequent and accurate testing to protect the environment while also controlling costs."
    This system should allow that, Hamby said, and may eventually be used in monitoring processes in the nuclear energy industry, or possibly medical applications in the use of radioactive tracers.
    The OSU College of Engineering has contracted with Ludlum Instruments, a Sweetwater, Texas, manufacturer, to produce the first instruments, and the OSU Office of Technology Transfer is seeking a licensee for commercial development. The electronic systems for the spectrometers will be produced in Oregon by Avicenna Instruments, the researchers said.
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    Iran invites foreign diplomats to tour its nuclear sites (Update 1)



    Iran's Bushehr nuclear power. © RIA Novosti.Andrey Reznichenko
    Iran invites foreign diplomats to tour its nuclear sites (Update 1)
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    Nuclear energy provides viable economic source for communities

     
     
     
     
     


    • New nuclear facilities can bring jobs to African-American communities while helping to meet clean-energy goals, write Maudine R. Cooper, president and CEO of the Greater Washington [D.C.] Urban League and Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA administrator and co-chairwoman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. "Nuclear energy is an economic success story -- a story all Americans should be part of. One of the great values of nuclear energy is its ability to transform communities with new jobs and economic development," they write. BET.com

    NRC wants waste stored for century By JOSH STILTS / Reformer Staff

    NRC proposes to extend on-site storage of high-level waste, used fuel
     

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing rule revisions that would allow nuclear facilities to store high-level waste and used fuel for more than 120 years. "This analysis will go well beyond the current analysis that supports at least 60 years of post-licensed life storage with eventual disposal in a deep geologic repository," the NRC said. "In terms of the disposal of [used] fuel and high-level waste, the revisions to the Waste Confidence Decision reflect the reality that a repository for the material remains unavailable," Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC. Brattleboro Reformer (Vt.)
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    China targeting U.S. deterrence By MICHAEL RICHARDSON

    Report from Boise State on SMRs

    http://epi.boisestate.edu/media/3494/economic%20and%20employment%20impacts%20of%20smrs.pdf

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Iran Invites Some Nations, Not U.S., for Nuclear Tour By: Mark Landler | The New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/world/middleeast/04tehran.html?_r=2&ref=world
    Iran has invited Russia, China and several European Union members to visit its nuclear facilities this month, but pointedly snubbed the United States, European diplomats said on Monday.

    Cleaning Up Nuclear-Contaminated Sites Faster And Cheaper

    http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Cleaning_Up_Nuclear_Contaminated_Sites_Faster_And_Cheaper_999.html


    Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on cleanup of some major sites contaminated by radioactivity, primarily from the historic production of nuclear weapons during and after World War II. These include the Hanford site in Washington, Savannah River site in South Carolina (pictured), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

    Corvallis OR (SPX) Jan 04, 2011 Members of the engineering faculty at Oregon State University have invented a new type of radiation detection and measurement device that will be particularly useful for cleanup of sites with radioactive contamination, making the process faster, more accurate and less expensive. A patent has been granted on this new type of radiation spectrometer, and the first production of devices will begin soon. The advance has also led to creation of a Corvallis-based spinoff company, Avicenna Instruments, based on the OSU research. The market for these instruments may ultimately be global, and thousands of them could be built, researchers say.
    Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on cleanup of some major sites contaminated by radioactivity, primarily from the historic production of nuclear weapons during and after World War II. These include the Hanford site in Washington, Savannah River site in South Carolina, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
    "Unlike other detectors, this spectrometer is more efficient, and able to measure and quantify both gamma and beta radiation at the same time," said David Hamby, an OSU professor of health physics. "Before this two different types of detectors and other chemical tests were needed in a time-consuming process."
    "This system will be able to provide accurate results in 15 minutes that previously might have taken half a day," Hamby said. "That saves steps, time and money."
    The spectrometer, developed over 10 years by Hamby and Abi Farsoni, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, can quickly tell the type and amount of radionuclides that are present in something like a soil sample - contaminants such as cesium 137 or strontium 90 - that were produced from reactor operations. And it can distinguish between gamma rays and beta particles, which is necessary to determine the level of contamination.
    "Cleaning up radioactive contamination is something we can do, but the process is costly, and often the question when working in the field is how clean is clean enough," Hamby said. "At some point the remaining level of radioactivity is not a concern. So we need the ability to do frequent and accurate testing to protect the environment while also controlling costs."
    This system should allow that, Hamby said, and may eventually be used in monitoring processes in the nuclear energy industry, or possibly medical applications in the use of radioactive tracers.
    The OSU College of Engineering has contracted with Ludlum Instruments, a Sweetwater, Texas, manufacturer, to produce the first instruments, and the OSU Office of Technology Transfer is seeking a licensee for commercial development. The electronic systems for the spectrometers will be produced in Oregon by Avicenna Instruments, the researchers said.
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    IEA World Energy Outlook 2010-2035

    November 09, 2010

    IEA World Energy Outlook 2010-2035

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    U.S. Dismisses Iran Nuclear Overture from the Council on Foreign Relations

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011



     
    foreign diplomats from China, Russia, and several European Union countries to tour some of their nuclear facilities, including installations at Natanz and Bushehr. However, the United States was excluded from the group of invitees. The U.S. State Department, which has been leading the charge for economic sanctions against the regime, dismissed the gesture (WSJ)
     
    as a "ploy" designed to divide the international community. U.S. and European diplomats have expressed fear that Iran may try to use diplomacy to forestall more economic sanctions while it continues to push forward with uranium enrichment. A spokesman for Tehran reiterated the strictly "peaceful" nature of the nuclear program (Reuters)
     
    and claimed the latest invitation was a signal of "goodwill" and a willingness to cooperate with the international community. In addition, Iran expressed its desire to host the official visit prior to the next round of talks in Istanbul this month, but European officials said the invitation was not likely to be honored (NYT)
     
    , if at all, until after the negotiations are completed.
    Analysis:
    This Foreign Affairs article discusses the dangers of a nuclear Iran
     
    and the limits of containment policy.
    Abbas Milani of ForeignPolicy.com details the rich history behind Iran's current nuclear ambitions and why the United States' denuclearization
     
    drive isn't working.
    Background:
    View an interactive timeline that explores the history of U.S.-Iran relations
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    Monday, January 3, 2011

    After New START, Obama must move forward on missile defense from Shadow Government by Jamie M. Fly


    The conventional wisdom about the pre-holiday lame duck Senate debate of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is that Republican leaders lost control of a bitterly divided caucus, handing President Obama a much-needed foreign-policy victory.
    The reality, however, is closer to the view put forth by Senator Bob Corker, who, during the final floor debate prior to ratification, termed New START the "Nuclear Modernization and Missile Defense Act of 2010."
    Although many key Republicans, including Sens. Jon Kyl, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and minority leader Mitch McConnell, ended up voting against ratification, the work they did behind the scenes in the months and weeks prior to the vote vastly improved the U.S. strategic situation post-ratification.
    New START itself is a rather minor arms control agreement, with only minimal cuts to U.S. and Russian nuclear forces. Therefore much of the debate about the treaty was about ancillary issues the Russians attempted to bring into the treaty or about strategic issues not addressed by the treaty.
    In two of these areas, Sen. Kyl and his colleagues did yeoman's work by prodding the administration to improve nuclear and missile defense policy. Through months of negotiations, he extracted a commitment from the Obama administration to provide $84.1 billion of funding over the next ten years to ensure that the aging U.S. nuclear stockpile is modernized. And during the final days of the Senate debate, Sen. Kyl, joined by Sen. McCain and others, obtained assurances from Obama regarding his long-term commitment to develop effective missile defenses.
    Neither item may seem like a concession, given that both actions are fully in line with positions taken by previous administrations of both political parties. [[BREAK]]
    But the president has made his goal of a world without nuclear weapons his top national security priority. He has been supported in this by a disarmament community on the left that has for years strongly opposed modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Similarly, Obama has not always been a strong supporter of missile defense and even appointed an official to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy who questioned the feasibility and necessity of such a system.
    During his eight years in office, President Bush withdrew the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and proceeded to deploy a limited missile defense system in Alaska and California to protect the continental United States from threats emanating from North Korea and Iran. But many on the left, including then-Senator Barack Obama, were skeptical.
    Candidate Obama highlighted concerns about the underlying technology behind the system. He spoke of the need to ensure missile defense technology was "pragmatic and cost-effective" and did not "divert resources from other national security priorities until we are positive the technology will protect the American public." He also pledged to "cut investments in unproven missile defense systems."
    Missile defense advocates were, not surprisingly, concerned. Their fears were heightened when the president's first budget slashed missile defense by $1.4 billion and were amplified when in September 2009 the president announced his intention to abandon President Bush's plan for missile defense sites in Central Europe to confront the threat posed by Iran's emerging long-range missile capability.
    The suspect timing of the announcement, just as the administration was attempting to conclude negotiations with Moscow on New START and the bungled handling of the rollout raised further concerns that the administration was willing to barter away missile defense in an effort to overcome Russia's longtime opposition to U.S. missile defense. The treaty text signed by Obama contributed to conservative angst by linking offensive and defensive weapons in the preamble, a linkage that Russia had long sought but that the Obama administration insisted would not affect its future missile defense plans.
    President Obama reaffirmed this position in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during the Senate debate on New START, his strongest statement to date on missile defense. The president wrote that "as long as I am president, as long as the Congress provides the necessary funding, the United States will continue to develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect the United States, our deployed forces, and our allies and partners."
    The president also reaffirmed his commitment to fully implement all four phases of his new missile defense plan in Europe, including the fourth phase, which will involve interceptors capable of defending against long-range Iranian systems -- the phase that Russian officials may have had in mind when they threatened to withdraw from the treaty if the United States develops its missile defense system quantitatively or qualitatively.
    Despite these commitments regarding funding for nuclear modernization and continued expansion of missile defenses, the administration will now have to follow through on its promises.
    Modernization will have to be adequately funded even in the current tough economic climate. As it enters a new round of arms control negotiations with Russia on the issue of tactical nuclear weapons, the administration will have to do a better job of withstanding continued Russian efforts to limit U.S. missile defenses than they did during the negotiation of New START.
    A more immediate concern relates to the fourth and final phase of Obama's approach to missile defense in Europe. This phase calls for the deployment later this decade of a missile that does not yet exist. This is exactly the type of untested technology that candidate Obama railed about in 2008, something he can address by providing continued funding in the FY 2012 budget for a backup in case the new interceptor doesn't prove to be viable in time to meet the rapidly evolving threat.
    The Senate debate over New START was impassioned and divided Republicans. But Republicans successfully used the debate to prompt Obama to once again distance himself from the views of candidate Obama and many of his supporters on the left. By doing so, they strengthened U.S. national security.

    EPRI Review of Geologic Disposal for Used Fuel and High Level Radioactive Waste: Volume IV—Lessons Learned

    EPRI Review of Geologic Disposal for Used Fuel and High Level Radioactive Waste: Volume IV—Lessons Learned  

     
    Product ID: 1021057 Sector Name: Nuclear
    Date Published: 9/29/2010 Document Type: Technical Report
    File size: 1.28 MB File Type: Adobe PDF (.pdf)
    Implementation Category: 
    Strategic-Long Term
      


     
       Full list price:No Charge   
     
       
    This Product is publicly available.
     
      Abstract  
      The effective termination of the Yucca Mountain program by the U.S. Administration in 2009 has further delayed the construction and operation of a permanent disposal facility for used fuel and high level radioactive waste (HLW) in the United States. In concert with this decision, the President directed the Energy Secretary to establish the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to review and provide recommendations on options for managing used fuel and HLW. EPRI is uniquely positioned to provide an independent scientific and technical perspective on used fuel and HLW management as well as related impacts of alternate nuclear fuel cycles. While there are, in fact, numerous options for managing the wastes associated with the nuclear fuel cycle, all waste management and fuel cycle alternatives eventually require permanent disposal for some form and amount of long-lived radioactive material. The disposal of used fuel and HLW is often mischaracterized as an intractable problem. To the contrary, there exists today an international consensus on the appropriateness and capability of deep geologic disposal to provide long-term isolation of used fuel and HLW from the biosphere. This consensus has emerged from more than five decades of scientific study and peer-review, technical and regulatory developments, and site selection and characterization. This report, Lessons Learned, is the final volume of a four-volume series, entitled EPRI Review of Geologic Disposal for Used Fuel and High Level Radioactive Waste, which surveys and evaluates past, present, and planned disposal options gleaned from a half-century of geologic disposal efforts in the United States and abroad. EPRI's review of technical and nontechnical elements deemed critical for successful implementation of a repository program has identified a number of lessons learned in the following areas: 1) laws, regulations, and institutional and financial arrangements; 2) site screening, selection, and characterization; 3) repository design concepts; 4) independent peer review and advisory bodies; and 5) stakeholder and public involvement.  
       
       
     
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      Program  
      2010 Used Fuel and High-Level Waste Management  
      Keywords  
      Used Fuel
    Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF)
    High Level Radioactive Waste (HLW)
    Deep Geologic Disposal
    HLW Repository
     
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    Down the nuclear rabbit hole

    Pakistan Is World's Worst Nuclear Trafficker - Collins & Frantz, LA Times

    Down the nuclear rabbit hole

    The damage done by rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan's network show that nations must put aside their individual interests to stop proliferation.

    China announces nuclear fuel breakthrough

    China announces nuclear fuel breakthrough
    Beijing (AFP) Jan 3, 2011 - Chinese scientists have made a breakthrough in nuclear fuel reprocessing technology that could effectively end any uranium supply concerns, state media reported on Monday. The technology developed by state-run China National Nuclear Corp enables the country to re-use irradiated nuclear fuel, China Central Television said. "China's proven uranium sources will last only 50 to 70 years, but ... morehttp://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/China_announces_nuclear_fuel_breakthrough_999.html

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Major Strategic China-Russia Oil Pipeline Launched


    Major Strategic China-Russia Oil Pipeline Launched

    'Mossad, US, UK cooperating to sabotage Iran nukes' By JPOST.COM STAFF


    Sabotage acts on Iran included Stuxnet virus, explosion in missile factory, killing of scientists, reports newspaper 'Le Canard Enchaine.'

    Iran's Nuclear Domino Effect by Andrew Roberts

    A former Bush defense official says that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan might initiate a dangerous alliance if Iran develops nuclear weapons. Andrew Roberts speaks to Eric Edelman about the unintended consequences for South Asia. 


    Might the impending nuclearization of Iran rapidly lead to a situation in which India targets nuclear weapons on Saudi Arabia? That is one of the many unnerving repercussions envisaged in an authoritative article, “The Dangers of a Nuclear Iran,” in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, written by, among others, Eric Edelman, President George W. Bush’s undersecretary of defense for policy from 2005 to 2009. When an analyst of Edelman’s seniority and ability, who moreover was working in the Pentagon with full access to all the available intelligence on precisely this issue as recently as two years ago, pronounces on questions of this gravity it behooves us to pay serious attention.
    More at:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-02/irans-nuclear-weapons-could-lead-to-a-saudi-and-pakistan-alliance
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    N. Korea Calls for Peace, Warns of "Nuclear Holocaust"


    N. Korea Calls for Peace, Warns of "Nuclear Holocaust"
    Tom Lasseter, McClatchy Newspapers: "North Korea on Saturday called for dialogue and peace on the Korean Peninsula in a state-issued New Year’s Day editorial, warning that a breakout of war with the South 'will bring nothing but a nuclear holocaust'.... While the statement also characterized South Korea’s government as a 'minion of war' beholden to 'pro-U.S. war hawks,' the document’s repeated calls for more cooperation suggest that the North might be moving, for now, away from a pattern of attacks against the South."
    Read the Article
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    Mark Z. Jacobson's Proliferation of errors. from The Nuclear Green Revolution by Charles Barton

    Mark Z. Jacobson's Proliferation of errors.

    from The Nuclear Green Revolution

    Oconee Nuclear to lead nation in digital conversion in control room

    My Turn: Decision time is approaching on Vermont Yankee

    Uranium being smuggled via EA to Iran - WikiLeaks

    Uranium being smuggled via EA to Iran - WikiLeaks

    A window closes, a vast scape opens

    A window closes, a vast scape opens