Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Russia Says Next U.S. Arms Talks Must Include Others

Russia Says Next U.S. Arms Talks Must Include Others

Friday, January 14, 2011

Russia Nears Arms Pact Approval, Warns On Pullout -- Yahoo News/Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia's parliament moved closer to approving a landmark arms reduction treaty with Washington Friday by amending domestic legislation to stress that Moscow could withdraw from the pact if it felt threatened by the West.

The amendments required for Russia to ratify the New START treaty do not change the pact itself and were introduced before the second of three ratification votes in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

Read more ....

More News On Russia's Parliament Ratifying The Start Treaty

Russian parliament debates arms pact with US
-- AP
Russian parliament moves closer to ratification of U.S.-Russian arms pact -- Canadian Press
Russian parliament prepares to ratify arms pact -- Washington Post/AP
Russian Parliament Panel Backs New START Ratification -- Global Security Newswire
Duma sets terms on Russia-U.S. arms deal ratification -- RIA Novosti
Duma puts forward its conditions for START ratification -- ITAR-TASS
Lavrov says much depends on START ratification -- Voice of Russia
A Cold War Treaty -- Alexander Golts, Moscow Times
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Mini nuclear: very small reactors will need huge sales effort

Mini nuclear: very small reactors will need huge sales effort

Nuclear Power – Why Not?

Nuclear Power – Why Not?

China's Nuclear Energy Ambitions: Big, Bold, and Unstoppable

Guest column: civilian nuclear power in the Middle East By Craven Crowell

Guest column: civilian nuclear power in the Middle East

By Craven Crowell

$2B order for nuclear reactor components

$2B order for nuclear reactor components 

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A subsidiary of North Carolina's Babcock and Wilcox Company has received a $2 billion award for Naval Nuclear Reactor Components.
The base portion of the contract totals $807 million and will be funded in January and March and included in backlog at the end of 2010.
Contract options are expected to be funded in the government's fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
The contract to Babcock and Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group Inc. is for the manufacture of nuclear components to support U.S. defense programs, including the manufacture of naval nuclear power systems for submarines and aircraft carriers.

 

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Morocco takes step towards 1st nuclear reactor

Morocco takes step towards 1st nuclear reactor

Iran's nuclear sites tour proposal flounders

(Reuters) - Iran's proposal for a tour of its nuclear sites floundered on Thursday after China effectively rejected the invitation and Russia cautioned such a trip could never replace U.N. inspections or talks between Tehran and world powers.
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KEPCO eying stakes in uranium enrichment firms -sources

KEPCO eying stakes in uranium enrichment firms -sources


State-run utility Korea Electric Power is looking to invest in uranium-enrichment operations and natural gas reserves outside of South Korea as a way to ensure raw materials for nuclear plants, a source at the company said. "We have discussed internally that acquiring stakes in overseas uranium-enrichment facilities and securing fuel will help us win overseas power plant bids," the source said. A 1991 agreement bars South Korea from owning a uranium-enrichment facility
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Less Than Zero Josef Joffe and James W. Davis


All previous attempts at total nuclear disarmament have failed, as strategic logic and state interest have prevailed over wishful thinking. A similar fate awaits Global Zero, the newest disarmament movement, for similar reasons. Read

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The decoder: China slaps the Pentagon

The decoder: China slaps the Pentagon

Why did China test its J-20 stealth fighter while Secretary Gates was in town?

Turkey Seeks Cheap Energy and Peaceful Nuclear Technology to Sustain Economic Growth

Turkey Seeks Cheap Energy and Peaceful Nuclear Technology to Sustain Economic Growth

Who, How and Why: $140 Oil and $5 Gas by Llewellyn King

Indian Oil teams up with NPCIL



Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) have signed a joint venture agreement for the construction of nuclear power plants in the country.

Areva U.S. CEO updates nuclear bloggers 01/07/11

Areva U.S. CEO updates nuclear bloggers 01/07/11

EPA crackdown on greenhouse gases starts in Florida power plants

EPA crackdown on greenhouse gases starts in Florida power plants

DC appeals court sets date in nuclear dump lawsuit

DC appeals court sets date in nuclear dump lawsuit

LAS VEGAS -- A Washington, D.C., appeals court plans oral arguments March 22 in a lawsuit aimed at keeping plans on track to bury the nation's nuclear waste in Nevada.
South Carolina, Washington state, Aiken County, S.C., and three Washington state business owners claim the Obama administration overstepped its authority in cutting funding for the Yucca Mountain project.
Plaintiffs argue the shutdown leaves states dealing with tons of radioactive material that should be buried in the proposed repository 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
The Energy Department argues the administration has the right to change federal nuclear waste policy.
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Appeals court to hear arguments in Yucca Mountain lawsuit

Appeals court to hear arguments in Yucca Mountain lawsuit

WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court has set March 22 for oral arguments in a lawsuit against the Department of Energy for terminating the Yucca Mountain Project.
South Carolina, Washington state, Aiken County, S.C., and a trio of Washington state businessmen have charged that the Obama administration overstepped its authority when it cut off funding last year for the Nevada nuclear waste site .
Attorneys argue the Yucca shutdown leaves thousands of tons of radioactive material stranded in those states that otherwise would have been sent to an underground repository that was being developed by the government until the administration pulled the plug.
They are asking the court to reverse the decision.

 

Veto urged for N.J. power plant bill

Veto urged for N.J. power plant bill

A coalition of electrical power interests is encouraging New Jersey Gov. Christopher J. Christie to veto a controversial bill that would subsidize development of a Gloucester County power plant that they say would unsettle the region's energy markets.
The bill's sponsors said the legislation approved Tuesday by the New Jersey Legislature will lower energy rates. But opponents, including power generators such as Exelon Corp. and large industrial consumers, call it an anticompetitive sweetheart deal that will cost consumers in the long run.
"We cannot afford an energy surcharge to guarantee billions of dollars of revenue to a few select developers," said George M. Waidelich, vice president of energy operations for Safeway Inc., which says it now spends about $2 million a year on electricity for its five Genuardi's stores in South Jersey.
The measure would provide a guaranteed long-term income for developers of several large power plants. The legislation was known as the "LS Power Bill" because its initial aim was to provide guarantees for LS Power Development L.L.C. to build a giant natural gas power plant in West Deptford, the hometown of state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester).

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/business_breaking/20110112_Veto_urged_for_N_J__power_plant_bill.html#ixzz1AwjjnnYj

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Kyushu Electric seeks approval in Japan for 1.59 GW nuclear plant

Kyushu Electric seeks approval in Japan for 1.59 GW nuclear plant
Kyushu Electric Power submitted an application to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the construction of a nuclear power plant on Kyushu island. The facility, which is scheduled to open in December 2019, would generate 1.59 gigawatts of electricity and reduce annual fuel-oil consumption by up to 13.8 million barrels. Platts
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NRC issues new rule on decommissioning planning

NRC issues new rule on decommissioning planning
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued new regulations that would require more extensive radioactivity surveys as part of decommissioning planning for nuclear plants. The requirements are part of the agency's bid to address concerns about long-term subsurface and groundwater contamination from decommissioned facilities. In addition, the new rule removes some methods that licensees could use to help cover the cost of decommissioning.
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Research and Markets: Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel and Head Market Analysis to 2020 - Global Market Size, Competitive Analysis and Regional Analysis

Research and Markets: Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel and Head Market Analysis to 2020 - Global Market Size, Competitive Analysis and Regional Analysis

DUBLIN -- Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d2e953/nuclear_reactor_pr) has announced the addition of GlobalData's new report "Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel and Head Market Analysis to 2020 - Global Market Size, Competitive Analysis and Regional Analysis" to their offering.
Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel and Head Market Analysis to 2020-Global Market Size, Competitive Analysis and Regional Analysis provides comprehensive information on the market size of the reactor pressure vessels and the reactor vessel heads used in the nuclear power generation facilities, both at a regional and global level. The reactor pressure vessels and heads that are included in the study are those used in pressurized water reactors, pressurized heavy water reactors, light water graphite reactors, gas cooled reactors, fast breeder reactors and the boiling water reactors. Reactor pressure vessels are the thick walled vessels used in nuclear power generation facilities to store the nuclear fuel and also provides room for the nuclear chain reaction to occur under the elevated temperatures and pressures. These reactor pressure vessels are considered to be central part of the nuclear power plant, where the nuclear fission process occurs. The reactor pressure vessels play a significant role in safe operation of nuclear power plant and the economical and competitive production of electric power.

B&W Awarded $2.0 Billion Naval Nuclear Reactor Components Contract

B&W Awarded $2.0 Billion Naval Nuclear Reactor Components Contract

WikiLeaks Exposes the Danger of Pakistan’s Nukes

WikiLeaks Exposes the Danger of Pakistan’s Nukes
There are few scenarios more frightening for America than a domestic nuclear terrorist attack. We now know that U.S. policy is actually increasing the danger of a nuclear incident.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gates Confers With Chinese Nuke Commanders from GSN Daily News

Gates Confers With Chinese Nuke Commanders

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates held a nuclear weapons policy discussion today with top military managers of China's strategic nuclear force, the Wall Street Journal reported (see GSN, Jan. 10).

Iran Warns of "Last Chance" to Swap Uranium

Iran Warns of "Last Chance" to Swap Uranium

Japanese Restrictions Could Threaten French Reactor Sale to India from GSN Daily News

Japanese restrictions on atomic trade with India could complicate plans for France to construct a new atomic power facility in the South Asian state, the head of the French nuclear firm Areva said yesterday (see GSN, March 13, 2008).
The company's design for the planned two-reactor atomic plant at Jaitapur calls for the use of "extra large forgings" available only from Japan, the Times of India quoted a diplomatic source as saying.
Areva chief operating officer Luc Orsel said the firm could find ways around the complication. However, he still urged India to conclude "a bilateral agreement" with Japan on civilian nuclear trade (see GSN, Nov. 15, 2010)
New Delhi and Tokyo have conducted multiple rounds of talks on a potential atomic trade deal. Japan, though, is said to have mandated Indian nonproliferation assurances considered more substantive than what the nuclear-armed South Asian nation accepted in its 2008 atomic trade deal with the United States. Tokyo wants India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, according to previous reports.
Japan has also called on New Delhi to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, according to the Times (Ashis Ray, Times of India, Jan. 12).
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NATO, Russia Plan Meeting on Missile Defense Collaboration

NATO, Russia Plan Meeting on Missile Defense Collaboration

U.S. Nuclear Body Weighs Proliferation Appraisals for Facility Licensing from GSN Daily News by By Elaine M. Grossman

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has agreed to consider requiring companies that seek a domestic license for a civil nuclear facility to evaluate any potential proliferation risks (see GSN, Aug. 2, 2010).
(Jan. 12) - The Exelon Byron Nuclear Generating Stations in Byron, Ill., shown in 2007. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last month indicated it would explore the possibility of mandating nuclear proliferation risk evaluations by firms applying for atomic facility licenses (Jeff Haynes/Getty Images).
The agency late last month announced it would study an American Physical Society petition that would make a "Nuclear Proliferation Assessment" a standard feature of the permit process. However, the commission is not expected to decide on the matter anytime soon.
"If our rule were adopted by the NRC, then the next step would be that [proliferation risk] information would be provided to NRC, and NRC would evaluate it as part of the license process," Francis Slakey, a Georgetown University physicist who directs APS public affairs, said yesterday in an interview. Without such a rule, "NRC is not obligated to do anything," he said.

Russia: Nuclear Deal Takes Effect

Russia: Nuclear Deal Takes Effect

An agreement between Russia and the United States to cooperate more closely on civilian nuclear power took effect Tuesday and was hailed by both sides as a sign that a recent thaw in relations was bearing fruit. The deal, called the 123 Agreement, is intended to ease cross-border investment in nuclear power by resolving issues like liability for accidents.
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Ten nuclear power plants planned in Pakistan

The proposed nuclear plants will help to cop electricity shortage in Pakistan. – Photo by Ali Umair Jaffery / Dawn.com
KARACHI: Ten nuclear power plants will be established in the country by 2030 to help resolve the worsening electricity crisis, said Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Dr Ansar Parvez on Tuesday.

ABW Technologies Commercial

ABW Technologies Commercial

Study Estimates Land Available For Biofuel Crops by Liz Ahlberg

Study Estimates Land Available For Biofuel Crops by Liz Ahlberg



Civil and environmental engineering professor Ximing Cai, left, and graduate student Xiao Zhang performed a global analysis of marginal land that could produce biofuel crops. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Champaign IL (SPX) Jan 11, 2011 Using detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers have found that biofuel crops cultivated on available land could produce up to half of the world's current fuel consumption - without affecting food crops or pastureland. Published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the study led by civil and environmental engineering professor Ximing Cai identified land around the globe available to produce grass crops for biofuels, with minimal impact on agriculture or the environment.
Many studies on biofuel crop viability focus on biomass yield, or how productive a crop can be regionally. There has been relatively little research on land availability, one of the key constraints of biofuel development. Of special concern is whether the world could even produce enough biofuel to meet demand without compromising food production.
"The questions we're trying to address are, what kind of land could be used for biofuel crops? If we have land, where is it, and what is the current land cover?" Cai said.
Cai's team assessed land availability from a physical perspective - focusing on soil properties, soil quality, land slope, and regional climate. The researchers collected data on soil, topography, climate and current land use from some of the best data sources available, including remote sensing maps.
The critical concept of the Illinois study was that only marginal land would be considered for biofuel crops. Marginal land refers to land with low inherent productivity, that has been abandoned or degraded, or is of low quality for agricultural uses.
In focusing on marginal land, the researchers rule out current crop land, pasture land, and forests. They also assume that any biofuel crops would be watered by rainfall and not irrigation, so no water would have to be diverted from agricultural land.
Using fuzzy logic modeling, a technique to address uncertainty and ambiguity in analysis, the researchers considered multiple scenarios for land availability.
First, they considered only idle land and vegetation land with marginal productivity; for the second scenario, they added degraded or low-quality cropland. For the second scenario, they estimated 702 million hectares of land available for second-generation biofuel crops, such as switchgrass or miscanthus.
The researchers then expanded their sights to marginal grassland. A class of biofuel crops called low-impact high-diversity (LIHD) perennial grasses could produce bioenergy while maintaining grassland.
While they have a lower ethanol yield than grasses such as miscanthus or switchgrass, LIHD grasses have minimal environmental impact and are similar to grassland's natural land cover.
Adding LIHD crops grown on marginal grassland to the marginal cropland estimate from earlier scenarios nearly doubled the estimated land area to 1,107 million hectares globally, even after subtracting possible pasture land - an area that would produce 26 to 56 percent of the world's current liquid fuel consumption.
Next, the team plans to study the possible effect of climate change on land use and availability.
"Based on the historical data, we now have an estimation for current land use, but climate may change in the near future as a result of the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which will have effect on the land availability," said graduate student Xiao Zhang, a co-author of the paper. Former postdoctoral fellow Dingbao Wang, now at the University of Central Florida, also co-wrote the paper.
"We hope this will provide a physical basis for future research," Cai said. "For example, agricultural economists could use the dataset to do some research with the impact of institutions, community acceptance and so on, or some impact on the market. We want to provide a start so others can use our research data."
The Energy Biosciences Institute at U. of I. and the National Science Foundation supported the study.

Comparing the costs of intermittent and dispatchable electricity generating technologies


ABSTRACT
Economic evaluations of alternative electric generating technologies typically rely on comparisons between their expected life-cycle production costs per unit of electricity supplied. The standard life-cycle cost metric utilized is the “levelized cost” per MWh supplied. This paper demonstrates that this metric is inappropriate for comparing intermittent generating technologies like wind and solar with dispatchable generating technologies like nuclear, gas combined cycle, and coal. Levelized cost comparisons are a misleading metric for comparing intermittent and dispatchable generating technologies because they fail to take into account differences in the production profiles of intermittent and dispatchable generating technologies and the associated large variations in the market value of the electricity they supply. Levelized cost comparisons overvalue intermittent generating technologies compared to dispatchable base load generating technologies. They also overvalue wind generating technologies compared to solar generating technologies. Integrating differences in production profiles, the associated variations in the market value of the electricity supplied, and life-cycle costs associated with different generating
technologies is necessary to provide meaningful comparisons between them. This market-based framework also has implications for the appropriate design of procurement auctions created to implement renewable energy procurement mandates, the efficient structure of production tax credits for renewable energy, and the evaluation of the additional costs of integrating intermittent generation into electric power networks.
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The full global warming solution: How the world can stabilize at 350 to 450 ppm

Pakistani Nuke Security In Question After Assassination -- Global Security Newswire



The United States' relationship with Pakistan and its insistence that the nuclear-armed state is a key ally in the fight against terrorism is being called into question following considerable public support for the man accused of assassinating a high-profile Pakistani politician last week, the New York Times reported (see GSN, Jan. 6).

Pakistani police officer and bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri is charged with the gun slaying of Punjab state Governor Salman Taseer, evidently for the politician's outspoken stance against Islamabad's blasphemy law. Qadri has been showered with support in the wake of the killing, which demonstrated that the battle with militants is not restricted to the nation's fringes.

Read more ....

N. Korea could soon pose threat to US: Gates




http://www.spacewar.com/reports/N_Korea_could_soon_pose_threat_to_US_Gates_999.html Beijing (AFP) Jan 11, 2011 US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Tuesday that North Korea could have long-range ballistic missiles within five years that would pose a direct threat to the United States, reflecting growing concerns over Pyongyang's arsenal. His comments represented a shift in the US view of North Korea's military power, describing the hardline regime in Pyongyang as making headway in its efforts to develop missiles that could potentially carry nuclear warheads.
"I think North Korea will have developed an intercontinental ballistic missile within that timeframe (five years)," Gates told reporters during a visit to Beijing, where he discussed tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Gates, who met Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday, said he had conveyed to the Communist leaders in Beijing that their allies in Pyongyang would soon present a danger to the United States.
"With the North Koreans' continued development of nuclear weapons and their development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, North Korea is becoming a direct threat to the United States and we have to take that into account," he said.
North Korea has test-fired three ICBMs, most recently in April 2009 when one flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific.
Gates said the North could have a "limited" number of such missiles in five years, placing the US Pacific coast under potential threat.
The Pentagon chief said the United States appreciated the "helpful role" played by Beijing in recent months in containing the Korean crisis, after Pyongyang shelled a South Korean island in November, killing four people.
But he also said there had been a "sea change" in attitudes in South Korea, with the country's population outraged over Pyongyang's recent "provocations."
"Their tolerance for not responding has changed," he said.
Apart from the November 23 attack on Yeonpyeong island, the North stands accused by the South of torpedoing a warship last March with the loss of 46 lives. Pyongyang denies the charge.
The angry public reaction in South Korea had changed the "status quo" and it was vital that North Korea took actions to resolve the crisis, he said.
"Rhetoric is not enough at this point. There need to be some concrete actions by the North to demonstrate that they're truly serious about negotiation and engagement," he said.
Positive steps might include the North implementing a freeze on further missile or nuclear tests, he said.
US officials have sometimes expressed impatience with China's approach to North Korea, but Gates made a point of praising Beijing's diplomatic efforts during his visit.
However, his grave assessment of the situation on the divided peninsula and the North's weapons projects amount to renewed US pressure on China to rein in Pyongyang's leadership.
Gates said he expected the issue to come up in meetings later this week in Tokyo and Seoul, and when Hu visits Washington next week.
Pyongyang has expressed conditional willingness to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks that it abandoned in April 2009, a month before staging its second nuclear test.
But it fuelled regional fears in November by disclosing a uranium enrichment plant which could potentially give it a second route to a bomb.
The communist state this week officially proposed "unconditional" dialogue with Seoul, less than two months after the shelling assault.
The South rejected the offer, saying it was willing to hold government-level talks but only if the North admits responsibility for a series of provocations and confirms a commitment to scrapping its nuclear programme.
North Korea on Tuesday criticised South Korea's response, insisting it was sincere in trying to mend relations after months of tensions.
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Russia-US nuclear deal in force: officials



http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Russia-US_nuclear_deal_in_force_officials_999.html Moscow (AFP) Jan 11, 2011 A long-awaited nuclear cooperation agreement between Moscow and Washington allowing US companies to sell nuclear reactors and materials to Russia entered into force on Tuesday, officials said. The cooperation agreement in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy, also known as a 123 agreement, came into effect after US Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov exchanged diplomatic notes in the Russian capital, a Russia foreign ministry spokesman told AFP.
The agreement strengthens nonproliferation efforts and allows US companies to sell nuclear materials, reactors and major reactor components to Russia.
The agreement will allow the two countries "to create new commercial opportunities for US and Russian companies to produce cleaner, safer, and more secure nuclear energy," Beyrle said in a statement released by the US embassy in Moscow.
Signed in 2008, the agreement was put on ice as bilateral ties deteriorated under ex-president George W. Bush. Barack Obama, who took over from Bush in 2009, made re-invigorating US ties with Moscow a major priority of his presidency.
Late last year Obama pushed through the ratification of a historic nuclear arms control treaty known as the new START, in a move hailed as a major political victory for the administration after a months-long battle.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Building cement 'prison' for old radioactive waste

Building cement 'prison' for old radioactive waste

January 11, 2011 By Sandra Chung Building cement ‘prison' for old radioactive wasteEnlarge
Bacteria and hard water can give heavy metals a hard time. Scientists coax underground microbes to turn calcium-rich water and urea into a stony underground trap for contaminants.
The Cold War ended long ago, but its radioactive legacy still lingers in the water and soil of the western United States. Between 1950 and 1990, nuclear weapons materials production and processing at several federal facilities generated billions of gallons of water contaminated with radioactive byproducts.
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Maintain nuclear perspective, China told

Maintain nuclear perspective, China told

China should 'keep a clear head' on nuclear power, concentrate more on Generation-III reactors and keep its new build ambitions for 2020 to around 100 GWe, said a state body yesterday.

The advice came from the State Council Research Office (SCRO), which makes independent policy recommendations to the State Council on strategic matters. It appeared officially in Xinhua's weekly Outlook publication.
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ANALYSIS - Iran nuclear woes may reduce risk of war, for now


VIENNA (Reuters) - Sanctions and possible sabotage may be slowing Iran's nuclear drive, making it less likely Israel will try to launch military strikes against the Islamic Republic's atomic sites, at least for now.

Nuclear Corp Necessary To Look At Alternative Fuel Source, Says Idris Jala

Nuclear Corp Necessary To Look At Alternative Fuel Source, Says Idris Jala

Hamon wins cooling towers order for Chinese nuclear power plant

Hamon wins cooling towers order for Chinese nuclear power plant

Daya Bay Nuclear Plant Boosts Operational Transparency

Daya Bay Nuclear Plant Boosts Operational Transparency

China Should Control Pace of Reactor Construction, Outlook Says

China Should Control Pace of Reactor Construction, Outlook Says

‘Philippines interested in nuclear power plants’

Duke Energy-Progress Energy behemoth covets nuclear power amid soaring costs

Russia says considering Iran fuel sites offer

Russia leaves door open on Iran's offer of nuclear inspections
Russia is not closing the door on Iran's offer to open its nuclear facilities for inspections, said Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister. "We believe that the Iranian side has demonstrated readiness to enter a certain dialogue on important issues. But we have our own questions and desires on this account. All these questions are being discussed, including with our Iranian partners," Ryabkov said. Reuters
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Editorial: Trust wastes away in radioactive dump decision

Panel overlooked Texans' welfare in nuclear-waste ruling
The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission put the interests of Waste Control Specialists ahead of residents' welfare when it approved rules that would allow 36 states to send their hazardous waste to a Texas disposal facility, writes the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News. Decisions regarding the proper disposal of nuclear waste should "include a transparent process" in which profit-making is not the motivating factor, the board adds. The Dallas Morning News
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Expert: U.S. lost lead in nuclear energy due to "fear and misinformation"

Expert: U.S. lost lead in nuclear energy due to "fear and misinformation"
A group of science teachers from Pottstown, Pa., should not be criticized for visiting Exelon's Limerick Nuclear Generating Station, writes Forrest J. Remick, a former commissioner with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at Penn State University. The Limerick plant is an example of U.S. technological know-how in an industry that the country surrendered its leadership of, "due in part to fear and misinformation," Remick adds. The Mercury (Pottstown, Pa.)

Duke, Progress merger could save companies at least $600M, exec says

Duke, Progress merger could save companies at least $600M, exec says
The proposed merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy could reduce their fuel and joint-dispatch expenses by as much as $800 million over five years while cutting nonfuel expenses by 5% to 7%, said Duke Chairman, President and CEO James Rogers. The spending reductions for fuel and joint dispatch "couldn't be achieved with any other company," Rogers said. The deal would also bolster the companies' ability to compete in the nuclear sector, analysts said. Platts (1/10) , The Washington Post
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The Next World War: The “Great Game” and the Threat of Nuclear War Part III by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The Next World War: The “Great Game” and the Threat of Nuclear War
Part III


North Korea's missiles aimed for Iran

North Korea's missiles aimed for Iran

A new ballistic missile that graced North Korean heir-apparent Kim Jong-eun's coming-out parade is more than just a new part of an impressive arsenal - it's Pyongyang's largest source of foreign currency to pay for the lavish lifestyles of its elite. American intelligence services are convinced missile exports have reached both Iran and Myanmar, with implications for security in the Asia-Pacific and Europe. - Bertil Lintner (Jan 11, '11)
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US Hardliners Lose Ground on Iran?

US Hardliners Lose Ground on Iran?


With growing speculation that the Obama administration might allow Iran to continue enriching uranium, is a deal back on the cards?

US concerned over China's new weapons: Gates



http://www.spacewar.com/reports/US_concerned_over_Chinas_new_weapons_Gates_999.html Aboard A Us Military Aircraft (AFP) Jan 8, 2011 US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Saturday voiced concern over China's latest hi-tech weaponry and called for an improvement in uneasy military relations with Beijing to help defuse tensions. Speaking to reporters en route to Beijing for three days of talks, Gates said the Chinese appeared to have made more progress in building their first stealth fighter jet than previously thought, and that an anti-ship missile posed a potential threat to the US military.
"They clearly have the potential to put some of our capabilities at risk. And we have to pay attention to them, we have to respond appropriately with our own programmes," Gates said.
But he said the advances in weaponry underlined the importance of building a dialogue with the Chinese military, and added he hoped his visit starting Sunday would lay the ground for deeper defence ties with Asia's rising power.
"My hope is that, through the strategic dialogue that I'm talking about, that maybe the need for some of these capabilities is reduced," Gates said.
With Chinese President Hu Jintao due in Washington for a pivotal state visit on January 19, both sides are anxious to show progress in defence ties, which China has repeatedly suspended over US arms sales to Taiwan.
"It's pretty clear the Chinese wanted me to come before President Hu visits Washington," Gates said.
"My own view is a positive constructive, comprehensive relationship between the United States and China is not just in the mutual interests of the two countries, it's in the interest of everybody in the region and I would say across the globe."
Days before the US defence chief's highly symbolic trip, photographs appeared showing a prototype of China's first stealth fighter, the J-20, at an airfield in the southwest.
"We knew they were working on a stealth aircraft," Gates said when asked about the warplane.
"What we've seen is they may be somewhat further along in the development of that aircraft than our intelligence had predicted," he said.
But he added "there is some question about just how stealthy" the new fighter really is.
Gates also said he had been concerned about China's pursuit of "anti-ship, cruise and ballistic missiles ever since I took this job" four years ago.
He also said the development of China's anti-ship missile was at an advanced stage but it was unclear whether the weapon was fully operational.
Due to the potential threat posed by Chinese missiles and other hardware, Gates said his proposed defence budget unveiled on Thursday placed a priority on technology designed to counter "anti-access" weapons.
The proposed Pentagon budget for 2012 calls for funding for a new long-range nuclear bomber, electronic jamming devices for the Navy, improvements to radar for F-15 fighters, a satellite launch vehicle and an unmanned naval "strike-and-surveillance aircraft".
Although China may be years away from fielding fully-capable anti-ship missiles or warplanes, analysts say that it is gaining ground and that the country's military leaders are displaying an increasingly assertive stance.
Aware of the Asian power's growing economic and military might, the United States for years has appealed to China to back a more "durable" dialogue -- similar to US-Soviet exchanges during the Cold War -- to avoid miscalculations.
But China has instead opted to break ties in order to register its displeasure with Washington, particularly over billions of dollars in weapons deals to Taiwan.
Gates, who last visited China in 2007, has yet to persuade the Chinese to embrace a permanent military dialogue and acknowledged that top leaders would likely raise the issue of weapons sales to Taiwan during the trip.
The Pentagon chief is due to meet Hu and his Chinese counterpart, General Liang Guanglie, as well as visit the army's Second Artillery Corps headquarters outside of Beijing, which is China's nuclear command center.
The talks were also expected to cover recent tensions on the Korean peninsula, including China's role in helping to ease a recent crisis that began after Pyongyang shelled a South Korean island.
"We recognize that China played a constructive role in lessening tensions on the peninsula in the latter part of last year," Gates said.
"Speaking in broad terms, I think one of our goals is to see if we can get out ahead of these periodic provocations by the North Koreans and bring greater stability to the peninsula," he said.
"We have a mutual interest in that."
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Iran scientist's 'killer trained in Israel': report




http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Iran_scientists_killer_trained_in_Israel_report_999.html Tehran (AFP) Jan 10, 2011 The alleged killer of a top nuclear scientist who was murdered last year said he was trained in Israel by the Mossad spy agency, state-television reported on its website on Monday. Majid Jamali Fash, identified in the report as "a member of Mossad terrorist network and the main element" behind last year's assassination of nuclear scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi, said he was trained by Israeli military officers at a base near Tel Aviv.
"On a trip to Tel Aviv, I got acquainted with several senior Israeli officers in a base on a highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. There, I learned different things such as tailing, stalking and planting bombs under vehicles," Fash was quoted as saying on the website.
He did not say when he had made the trip to Israel.
Fash said he was briefed about Ali Mohammadi and "practised bombing in a base near Tel Aviv several times."
"I was given a very precise model of Dr Ali Mohammadi's house and its whereabouts to be very well acquainted with the real situation of his assassination."
The report said that the details of his interview will be released on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, Iran said it had arrested "spies and terrorists" linked with Mossad who were behind Ali Mohammadi's killing.
The intelligence ministry said in a statement carried by state television that Iran's security forces had "infiltrated" Israeli intelligence and obtained "important and sensitive information on Mossad spies and operations."
"The main elements behind this terrorist crime (assassination) were arrested and a network of spies and terrorists linked to the Zionist regime was dismantled," it said.
In January 2010 Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at prestigious Tehran University, was killed in a bomb attack outside his home which Iran blamed on "mercenaries" in the pay of Israel and the United States.
"Mossad... has had some European and non-European bases as well as bases in some neighbouring countries and used them to direct the unmanly assassination of Ali Mohammadi," the ministry said Monday.
It added that further information about "Mossad's infiltration as well as the dismantling of its espionage networks and the plotting of our prominent scientist's assassination will be gradually revealed in due time."
Iran has also blamed the intelligence services of Israel, the United States and Britain over bomb attacks against two top nuclear scientists on November 26.
Majid Shahriari, a senior scientist involved in Iran's nuclear activities, was killed by a bomb placed against his car, while Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, another top nuclear expert, was wounded in a similar attack.
Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, the sensitive process which can be used to make nuclear fuel or, in highly extended form, the fissile core of an atom bomb.
Western governments suspect Iran's nuclear programme masks a drive for an atomic weapons capability, an ambition Tehran has steadfastly denied.
Israel and its ally the United States have not ruled out a military strike against Iran to stop its nuclear programme.
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