Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nuclear Fission Energy – Best of the Above


Nuclear Fission Energy – Best of the Above

“All of the above” is a lazy, incorrect choice when it comes to energy. It is impossible to overemphasize how important that choice is for the future prosperity and sustainability of human technological society. Can we struggle forward without nuclear? Sure, but how long can we last and why would we want to try?

U.S.NRC Blog Update: Spending a Saturday Afternoon at the NRC Listening to All Sides

Spending a Saturday Afternoon at the NRC Listening to All Sides

On a beautiful fall afternoon, when many Americans were focused on college football, viewing the changing leaves (or raking them), or perhaps chasing about on suburban errands, two members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission spent part of Saturday afternoon meeting with leaders of groups opposed to nuclear power who also have complaints about the NRC.
Chairman Allison Macfarland and Commissioner William Magwood met with the half-dozen individuals in the room at NRC headquarters usually reserved for business meetings of the five-member commission. Macfarlane, in comments opening the hour-long session, told the visitors the NRC values hearing from all points of view.
"I'm really glad to get the opportunity to chat and I look forward to hearing from all of you," Macfarlane said at the outset of the 75-minute session. And after the cordial discussion she added, "I do want us to have a partnership relationship, not an adversary relationship." She added that as a former academic she likes to hear all sides of an issue and "the public has legitimate concerns and technical knowledge."
Magwood, who noted he has met with a number of interest groups on his visits to plants regulated by the NRC and helped set in motion improvements in the way the agency communicates with Tribal governments, said he too valued the meeting. "We like these dialogues because they give us a different perspective," he said. He also noted, as did Macfarlane, that NRC employees "really do care about the health and safety of the American people."
Gene Stone, of the San Clemente, Calif.-based group Residents Organized for a Save Environment, who worked with the chairman's office to arrange the meeting, said, "We are hoping that you will tighten the ship and through your collegial interactions work together for safety and not just the licensee."
Topics raised by the vistors ranged from reactor-specific issues to the length of time it takes to get safety issues resolved, real time radiation monitoring, Agreement State issues, the National Environmental Protection Act, disposal of uranium mining products, and on-site waste storage. Plants mentioned in the discussion included San Onofre in California, Davis-Besse in Ohio, Palisades in Michigan, Zion in Illinois, Millstone in Connecticut, Fort Calhoun in Nebraska, and a nuclear fuel plant in Tennesse. Macfarlane was presented with two petitions with in excess of 68,000 signatures -- 24,000-plus from California -- seeking the closure of the San Onofre plant near San Clemente.
Others at the meeting included David Kraft of the Nuclear Energy Information Service in Chicago; Linda Cataldo Modica of the Sierra Club in Jonesboro, Tenn.; Josh Nelson of Credo in Washington, D.C.; Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information Resource Service in Takoma Park, Md.; and Nancy Burton of the Connecticut Coalition against Millstone of Redding Ridge, Conn.
The NRC is a 4,000-person strong independent agency that regulates civilian uses of nuclear materials to protect people and the environment. Issues handled by the NRC range from safety improvements after the Fukushima accident to day-to-day oversight of reactor safety, and overseeing the safe use of nuclear materials in medicine and industrial settings.
Eliot Brenner
Director, Office of Public Afffairs

Steel beam gets knocked into No. 3 fuel pool

 Steel beam gets knocked into No. 3 fuel pool
 
TEPCO workers have accidentally knocked a half ton steel beam into the spent fuel pool of No. 3 plant at Fukushima Daiichi. 
 

Kansas nuclear plant faces more federal oversight


Kansas nuclear plant faces more federal oversight
Kansas City Star
TOPEKA -- The only nuclear power plant in Kansas now has one of the lowest safety ratings in the nation and will face increased federal oversight because of an unplanned shutdown in January, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Friday.http://www.kansascity.com/2012/09/21/3827243/official-says-safety-remains-priority.html

Atomic Power Review SYLCOR Western Office 5

Atomic Power Review
 
SYLCOR Western Office 5
 
 
In perhaps the most controversial and provocative post of the whole series, Will Davis relates a confidential letter written to the President of Sylvania-Corning Nuclear that both reveals a long-forgotten shakeup in the world of nuclear energy and what might at the time have been very dire predictions for the corporate stability of Sylcor. 

Weekend reading from Editor or OilPrice.com

Greetings from London.

An interesting week for energy and geopolitical news as the row over the Senkaku Islands between China and Japan has escalated to a new, troubling level. There are also developments in Syria and Libya which all energy investors should be aware of. These are covered in great depth in the interviews and articles linked below:

- Can Syria's Rebels Overthrow Assad? An Interview with Jellyfish Operations
- Qatar: Rich and Dangerous
- Libya - Doomed from Day One

This week’s report takes a look at Starbucks, which shows signs of rebounding and whose energy efficiency efforts stand out as an attractive, sustainable investment in the longer term.

But before we get onto the investment report – here is what happened this week in the energy world:

This week was a mysterious one for oil prices, which took a very sudden dive on Monday, and continued on a downward spiral over the next two days, rebounding a bit on Thursday and Friday after the largest decline in three months.

Prices were driven by a number of factors, though the reasons behind Monday’s sudden drop remain elusive, while the drop in prices on Tuesday and Wednesday were largely guided by speculation over Eurozone economic instability, bad news from FedEx and announcements coming out of Saudi Arabia that OPEC would continue to maintain high production levels, even as US supplies remained unusually high.

A rebound in oil prices on Thursday and Friday was triggered primarily by the US jobs market. On Thursday, a Federal Reserve policymaker proposed keeping interest rates low until unemployment declines sharply, otherwise the risk of inflation is too high. The rebound also reflected speculation over Spain’s announcement that it would unveil a new economic reform plan next week.

In other fossil fuels news, analysts predict a renewed energy boom thanks to a rejuvenation of oil production in the US Gulf of Mexico, which could see a 28% increase in oil flow by 2022 to 1.8 million barrels per day. According to industry analysts, we are now about to see a major come-back after the disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

On the policy front, the US House of Representatives is set to render a final vote on coal today, after a debate session yesterday. GOP legislation is hoping to scrap federal greenhouse gas rules and reverse what they call the Obama administration’s “war on coal” for its potential to harm the economy.

That’s it for the news this week.

I hope you enjoy the report below and have a great weekend.

James Stafford
Editor, Oilprice.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/oilandenergy
Discuss: http://oilprice.com/discussion

California Energy Weekend Update


Builders aim for super-energy-efficient homes
Los Angeles Times
In coming years, California guidelines will call for ever more energy-efficient homes, with the goal of having all homes built in 2020 being net zero. For now, net zero remains more of an aspiration for the industry, though experts say builders are ...
JPMorgan Chase asks FERC not to revoke its right to sell power
Los Angeles Times
FERC's order Thursday stems from requests in 2011 by the California Independent System Operator, a grid operator, for information about JPMorgan's energy profits. JPMorgan told the operator that the matter should be referred to FERC, even though FERC ...
California Businesses Protest Forthcoming Cap-and-Trade Program
The New American
"The fact is that this auction represents a multibillion dollar hidden tax that will harm California businesses and consumers by dramatically increasing energy costs at a time we can least afford it," the letter stated. Virtually all California ...
California Public–Private Partnership Launches Nation's Largest Commercial ...
CleanTechnica
14 California counties and 126 cities Sept. 20 launched the first state-wide and the nation's largest PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. Aimed at reducing energy and water consumption on commercial properties, the California Statewide ...
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050: California's Energy Future
California Council on Science and Technology
CCST has released the next report in the California's Energy Future (CEF) series, which focuses on exploring possibilities for California's energy strategy through the year 2050. Portraits of Energy Systems for Meeting Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets ...

California Council on Science and Technology
Disruption may be required for an energy efficient future
Sustainable Business Oregon
Sean Penrith is the executive director of the Earth Advantage Institute. Several hundred of us were packed into Merrill Hall at the Asilomar conference center in Pacific Grove, Calif. as Jane Long, chair of California's Energy Future Project, concluded ...

Sustainable Business Oregon
Smith: PUC should embrace energy alternatives
Austin American-Statesman
Remember when California had rolling blackouts? A recent national study found that Texas was the state at the highest risk for blackouts this summer. ... However, instead of promoting energy efficiency — which has been proven to be the cheapest way to ...
Easier Distributed Interconnect Emerges in California | Renewable ...
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week handed developers of mid-sized, wholesale renewable energy systems, primarily solar, ...
www.renewableenergyworld.com/.../easier-distributed-interco...

California regulator defends CO2 market design

Reuters -
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 21 (Reuters Point Carbon) - California's top air regulator offered a stern defense of the state's forthcoming carbon cap-and-trade system, battling back against complaints from industry that it will cost jobs and drive up consumer prices ...

California Air Resources Board asked to ease cap-and trade program

San Jose Mercury News -
SACRAMENTO -- Dozens of people, some wearing red "Save Our Jobs" T-shirts, packed a public meeting Thursday to testify that a key component of California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions law will impose enormous costs on them and consumers.

California Solar Energy Solutions Provider Launches Guide to Help Consumers ...

Melodika.net (press release) -
Saturday, 22 September 2012. Kurios Energy, a California solar power solutions provider for the Central Valley and Bay Area in California, announced today it is releasing a new guide to help consumers easily make the transition to solar power. The book, 10 ...

Business groups protest Calif. carbon market

Businessweek - ‎Sep 20, 2012‎
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A key component of California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions law would impose enormous costs on businesses at a time when the state's economy is sputtering, oil refiners, manufacturers and others said Thursday.

Petroleum, manufacturing groups protest Calif.'s new carbon market; call it huge ...

Washington Post - ‎Sep 20, 2012‎
(Rich Pedroncelli/ Associated Press ) - California Air Resources Board Member Ron Roberts talks with ARB chair Mary Nichols during a hearing held Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, in Sacramento, Calif. The board took testimony from experts and the public on the ...

Businesses complain about greenhouse gas allowance auction

Los Angeles Times - ‎Sep 20, 2012‎
SACRAMENTO -- Corporate executives and workers from dozens of refineries, glass-makers and other business groups bombarded members of the California Air Resources Board with complaints about an upcoming auction of credits allowing them to ...

CARB Chair: cap-and-trade's coming, like it or not

San Francisco Chronicle (blog) - ‎Sep 20, 2012‎
CARB has spent years devising America's first full-fledged cap-and-trade plan for cutting the carbon dioxide emissions behind global warming. The system finally goes live on Nov. 14, when the state will conduct its first auction for carbon “allowances” ...

Business groups set to blast Calif. carbon market

San Jose Mercury News - ‎Sep 20, 2012‎
Posted: 09/20/2012 05:03:42 AM PDT. September 20, 2012 12:4 PM GMTUpdated: 09/20/2012 05:03:43 AM PDT. SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California businesses are planning to testify that the key component of the state's landmark greenhouse gas emissions ...

California businesses want changes to cap-and-trade market

Kansas City Star - ‎Sep 20, 2012‎
Heavyweight business groups are staging a last-ditch protest against California's new cap-and-trade carbon market, demanding changes to a program they've labeled a job killer.
Manufacturers, oil refiners and others are lining up to testify today ...

Businesses attack California's cap-and-trade auction

WND.com - ‎10 hours ago‎
Businesses attack California's cap-and-trade auction. 'Reducing production means laying people off'. Published: 1 hour ago. (Sacramento Bee) Just weeks before California embarks on a historic effort to reduce greenhouse gases, regulators and business ...

LS Power Completes Financing of Centinela Solar Energy

Melodika.net (press release) -
Friday, 21 September 2012. LS Power announced today that it had completed financing and authorized construction of the Centinela Solar Energy Project, a 170 megawatt (AC) photovoltaic solar farm, near El Centro, California. The Centinela Solar Energy ...

Top Corporate Users of Solar Power

GetSolar.com -
Corporations around the country have been looking to solar energy in an effort to cut costs and boost their environmental friendliness. The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative recently compiled a report that ranked the top solar ...

Energy Generating Company plans 10MW solar project

Coastweek -
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Construction of the first large scale solar power project in Kenya is expected to start next year once the Kenya Energy Generating Company (KenGen) selects contractor for the 10MW project. KenGen Managing Director Eddy Njoroge said ...

Smart grid winners' circle: See who's in it this week

Smart Grid News -
What do GE, Alstom, Survalent Technology, Enbala Power Networks and Space-Time Insight have in common? They're all in this week's smart grid winners' circle with project awards, financing wins or atta boys. And they're not alone; scroll down and over to ...
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Lies, Damn Lies, and Nuclear Lies from Dissident Voice by David Swanson

Lies, Damn Lies, and Nuclear Lies

Remarks at protest at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the International Day of Peace, 2012
Our government likes to lie to us about nuclear weapons.  This poor impoverished nation halfway around the world is about to nuke us.  No, that one is.  The result, of course, is mass murder.  But there’s another result potentially even worse.  We begin to think there’s something wrong with being terrified of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.  There isn’t.  This stuff should scare the hell out of us.  And the arrogant lunacy of imagining that even an honest and accountable authority, much less our government, could set up a commission to regulate the winds of hell and deadly substances with a half-life as long as the age of the Earth must give us serious pause.
What are we thinking? How are we thinking? Are we thinking?
One Pentagon report documents 563 nuclear mistakes, malfunctions, and false alarms over the years so far — near misses, near apocalypses.http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/09/lies-damn-lies-and-nuclear-lies/
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Report: More than 200 coal-fired generators slated for shutdown

Report: More than 200 coal-fired generators slated for shutdown

NRC finds substantial safety issue at Wolf Creek nuke plant

NRC finds substantial safety issue at Wolf Creek nuke planthttp://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/21/utilities-operations-wolfcreek-kansas-idINL1E8KLEMO20120921

Should China be involved in the UK's nuclear energy infrastructure?

Should China be involved in the UK's nuclear energy infrastructure?

A more responsible way forward to this ethically questionable strategy can be found with Germany's energy policyhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/21/nuclearpower-energy?newsfeed=true

RPT-COLUMN-Targets to cut carbon lag nuclear phase-out: Gerard Wynn



RPT-COLUMN-Targets to cut carbon lag nuclear phase-out: Gerard Wynnhttp://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/20/column-wynn-nuclear-ccs-idUSL5E8KK36220120920

McMahon: No cheap or easy way to replace Indian Point nuclear power plant

McMahon: No cheap or easy way to replace Indian Point nuclear power planthttp://www.newsday.com/opinion/columnists/e-j-mcmahon/mcmahon-no-cheap-or-easy-way-to-replace-indian-point-nuclear-power-plant-1.4018299

WILLIAM TUCKER: Trading Nuclear for Big Oil in San Francisco

WILLIAM TUCKER: Trading Nuclear for Big Oil in San Francisco

By William Tuckerhttp://www.nucleartownhall.com/blog/

Vatican calls for End to Nuclear Weapons and supports Non-proliferation at IAEA

Vatican calls for End to Nuclear Weapons and supports Non-proliferation at IAEA

Vatican calls for End to Nuclear Weapons and supports Non-proliferation at IAEA

Rome Reports - ‎3 hours ago‎
September 22, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Vatican's Foreign Minister has called on all nations to work toward ending the stockpiles of nuclear weapons. While addressing the International Atomic Energy Agency, known as the IAEA, Monsignor Dominique ...https://news.google.com/news/story?ncl=http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-nuclear-northkoreaiaeal5e8klkwn-20120921,0,81743.story&hl=en&geo=us

Kuwait urges IAEA to watch Israeli N-sites

Kuwait urges IAEA to watch Israeli N-sites

Kuwait urges IAEA to watch Israeli N-sites

Kuwait Times -
Kuwait urges IAEA to watch Israeli N-sites. VIENNA: Kuwait here Wednesday called upon the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to exert more efforts to monitor all nuclear facilities to assure that programs are designed for peaceful purposes. http://news.kuwaittimes.net/2012/09/22/kuwait-urges-iaea-to-watch-israeli-n-sites/

IAEA Passes Country's Resolution to Free Middle East From Nuclear Weapons

IAEA Passes Country's Resolution to Free Middle East From Nuclear Weapons

IAEA Passes Country's Resolution to Free Middle East From Nuclear Weapons

AllAfrica.com - ‎7 hours ago‎
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed to pass an Egyptian resolution calling on all Middle Eastern countries to enforce nuclear guarantees set by the IAEA. The resolution was approved by 110 states with the abstention of 8 and Israel's ...http://allafrica.com/stories/201209220159.html

Israel is the only obstacle to establishment of nuclear-weapons-free zone in ...

Tehran Times -
TEHRAN – The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that Israel constitutes the “only obstacle” to the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East. The “irresponsible behavior of this (Israeli) regime… has ...

Egypt says IAEA''s credibility linked to nuclear-free Mideast

Kuwait News Agency -
VIENNA, Sept 21 (KUNA) -- Egypt has said IAEA's credibility to honoring its objectives was closely linked to how the UN nuclear watchdog was seriously dealing with all member states to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The IAEA ...

Israel says nuclear talks depends on political situation in region

Europe Online Magazine (press release) -
Vienna (dpa) - Israel's envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog on Friday said the country needs more time to monitor the volatile political situation in the Middle East before deciding whether to attend talks on banning nuclear arms in the region. "Because of what is ...

UN nuclear meeting presses N.Korea to give up atomic work

UN nuclear meeting presses N.Korea to give up atomic work

UN nuclear meeting presses N.Korea to give up atomic work
Chicago Tribune
Pyongyang withdrew from non-proliferation treaty in 2003. VIENNA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Member states of the U.N. atomic agency passed a resolution by consensus on Friday that "strongly urged" North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme, ...http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-nuclear-northkoreaiaeal5e8klkwn-20120921,0,81743.story

UN atomic agency member states slam North Korea

Channel News Asia -
VIENNA: Member states of the UN atomic agency approved on Friday a resolution "deploring" North Korea's decision to cease all cooperation with the watchdog and calling on Pyongyang not to conduct further nuclear tests. The motion at the annual general ...http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1227391/1/.html

N. Korea Asked To Abandon Nuke Program

RTT News -
9/22/2012 6:01 AM ET (RTTNews) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has urged North Korea to abandon its clandestine nuclear program and allow U.N. inspectors to return to its nuclear facilities. A unanimous resolution adopted at its annual ...http://www.rttnews.com/1970254/n-korea-asked-to-abandon-nuke-program.aspx?type=gn&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=sitemap

IAEA Adopts Resolution Urging N. Korean to Stop Nuclear Development

Arirang News -
The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Friday denounced North Korea for its continued nuclear activities. In a resolution approved at the annual general session of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, member states urged North Korea "not to conduct ...http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=137479&code=Ne2&category=2

IAEA resolution calls on DPRK to cooperate

China.org.cn -
Member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution Friday, calling on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to "cooperate promptly" with the atomic agency. The text was adopted without a vote by the General ...http://www.china.org.cn/world/2012-09/22/content_26601041.htm

IAEA approves resolution denouncing N.Korea nuke activities

Kuwait News Agency -
VIENNA, Sept 22 (KUNA) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency adopted late Friday a resolution denouncing North Korea for its continued nuclear activity and urging it to abide by the atomic Non Proliferation Treaty safeguards. The resolution condemned ...http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2263988&language=en

Emirates, Saudis drive for nuclear power

Emirates, Saudis drive for nuclear power

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UPI) Sep 21, 2012
The United Arab Emirates, one of the top oil exporters, is leading the race to develop nuclear power in the Arab world and has awarded contracts worth $2 billion to provide, convert and enrich uranium. For now, only the Emirates and Saudi Arabia have the political clout and the financial reserves to achieve nuclear power programs that will transform their economies.http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Emirates_Saudis_drive_for_nuclear_power_999.html
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Three Mile Island Unit 1 shutdown: Details

Three Mile Island Unit 1 shutdown: Details



There is a fair amount of press this morning being given to the September 20th shutdown at Three Mile Island Unit 1, so I'll cover the known details here.

Briefly, there's no risk to the public - or anyone at the plant, for that matter.  The shutdown was automatic, due to an equipment failure.  Let's look at the NRC Event Notification:http://atomicpowerreview.blogspot.com/2012/09/three-mile-island-unit-1-shutdown.html

Zero Recalls Electric Motorcycles that May Stall in Traffic

Zero Recalls Electric Motorcycles that May Stall in Traffichttp://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/09/22/zero-recalls-electric-bikes-that-may-stall-in-traffic/

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Environmental Defense Fund Supports Fracking

Environmental Defense Fund Supports Fracking

The Environmental Defense Fund recently announced its support for hydraulic fracturingRefers to a method used by producers to extract more natural gas from a well by opening up rock formations using hydraulic or explosive force.Refers to a method used by producers to extract more natural gas from a well by opening up rock formations using

(More)…http://shalestuff.com/controversy-2/environmental-defense-fund-supports-fracking/article03287

Nuclear Waste Management: How it starts and where it doesn't end

How it starts and where it doesn't end

Win-win for the Governor: Win the Election and Lose the Lawsuit.


In Meredith Angwin's opinion, Vermont's Governor Shumlin isn't being very smart about the State's upcoming legal appeal. Perhaps he wants to win the election ("I tried to shut down Vermont Yankee, I really did.") but lose in court, so Vermont Yankee continues to operate.

Win-win for the Governor: Win the Election and Lose the Lawsuit.

Nuclear Plant Proposed For Southwest Iowa Brings Fallout

Nuclear Plant Proposed For Southwest Iowa Brings Fallouthttp://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/Iowa--170698146.html?ref=146

Iran plans to start manufacturing heavy water reactors


Iran plans to start manufacturing heavy water reactors

Zawya (registration) - ‎Sep 21, 2012‎
Iran plans to start manufacturing heavy water reactors in the country, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi said, ISNA reported. A pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural ...http://www.zawya.com/story/Iran_plans_to_start_manufacturing_heavy_water_reactors-ZAWYA20120921065805/

Iran Says Doesn't 'Intend' To Enrich Uranium Above 20%

Eurasia Review -
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi says Iran has no intention of enriching uranium above the 20 percent level. Abbasi said that Iran started producing 20 percent enriched uranium when it could not obtain fuel for Tehran ...

Iran's Atomic Agency Fools Western Spies

Fars News Agency -
Iran's Atomic Agency Fools Western Spies. TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoon Abbasi said in an article published Thursday that because of foreign espionage, his government had sometimes provided false information to ...

Iran: "We Lied!" -- not really

CASMII -
Naturally, the New York Times seized on this -- the story that an official in charge of Iran's nuclear program, Fereydoon Abbasi, has "admitted" that Iran occasionally tried to mislead on its nuclear program: "Iran's top atomic energy official said in an article ...
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