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The Difficulties of Nuclear Containment

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 15:37 CST
New York Times

In December 1945, four months after atomic bombs brought an end to World War II, the United States Army published a secret report on security surrounding the Manhattan Project, the vast government effort that developed them. Finally declassified last month by the Department of Energy, the report concludes that the project was “more drastically guarded than any other highly secret war development.”

 

U.S. Nuclear Concerns Sidelined by Plutonium Plans

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 15:36 CST
Bloomberg (originally published Sep 29, 2014)

U.S. concern over the long-term proliferation risk of nuclear waste isn’t stopping countries from planning to extract plutonium from radioactive refuse to power a new generation of atomic reactors. French, Japanese, Russian and South Korean officials lined up against their American counterparts this month at the International Atomic Energy Agency, where two weeks of meetings on waste, proliferation and energy ended today in Vienna. “We’ve made it pretty clear that we are not interested or sup...

 
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Congress Pushes Nuclear Expansion Despite Accidents at Weapons Lab

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 15:34 CST
The Guardian (originally published Sep 29, 2014)

This month, the Department of Energy released its initial findings into one of the worst American nuclear accidents since the end of the cold war. On February 14, a 52-gallon drum containing radioactive waste from nuclear weapons production exploded at a storage facility near Carlsbad, New Mexico, exposing 22 workers to radioactivity and leading to the closure of the facility. In its preliminary briefing, the DOE recommended a 7,000-point checklist that must be met in order to reopen the faci...

 

Gary Samore: The Future of the Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 15:33 CST
IISS (originally published Sep 29, 2014)

Earlier this month I gave a talk at the IISS Global Strategic Review in Oslo, focusing on the status of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and in particular the prospects for completing a comprehensive agreement by the deadline of November 24. Since then I've spent some days in New York for events around the UN General Assembly opening. My conversations there confirmed my fairly pessimistic prognosis for a November deal, so what I said in Oslo still looks right to me.

 

Kazakhstan and the Global Nuclear Order

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 15:27 CST
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (originally published Sep 29, 2014)

Kazakhstan’s role in the global nuclear order is far from minor. Blessed with abundant uranium resources, it is the world’s largest uranium producer. Kazakhstan’s nuclear sector made a major comeback after facing collapse in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union disintegrated. The state-owned company Kazatomprom has been gradually pursuing an advanced nuclear fuel cycle, including the capacity to produce nuclear fuel. Further, Kazakhstan is the only country in Central Asia that has made a fir...

 

Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Advanced Nuclear

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 15:27 CST
World Nuclear News

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced a significant step to help meet America's future low-carbon goals with the release by its Loan Programs Office (LPO) of a draft $12.6 billion loan guarantee solicitation for advanced nuclear energy projects. "If you want to fight climate change, nuclear power has to play a role. This solicitation can help build new nuclear power plants with enhanced safety features and zero emissions. That's a win for the climate, our energy mix, and American in...

 

Core Catcher for Akkuyu

Posted: Sep 30, 2014 15:26 CST
World Nuclear News

Russia has designed an advanced core melt trap, or core catcher, for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant that is specific to conditions in Turkey, Atomenergoproekt (AEP), the principal designer for the project, said today. A core catcher is a device provided to catch the molten core material - corium - of a reactor in case of a meltdown and prevent it from escaping the containment building. The core catcher for the Akkuyu project has features that include greater seismic robustness and easier inst...

 

Atomic Energy Agency Opens Nuclear Safety Research Facility

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 16:02 CST
The Jakarta Post

The National Atomic Energy Agency (Batan) officially opened its Center for Security Culture and Assessment (CSCA) research facility in Serpong, Banten, on Monday. Batan chairman Djarot S. Wisnubroto described the new research facility as a place for researchers to study in depth the culture of nuclear security, stating that handling fragile facilities such as nuclear reactors required strict discipline.

 

Russia's Lavrov Says Time Has Come to Upgrade Nuclear, Conventional Arms

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 16:02 CST
Reuters (originally published Sep 28, 2014)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted on Sunday as saying that the time had come for his country to modernize its nuclear and conventional arsenals. "I don’t think we are on the verge of a new arms race. At least, Russia definitely won't be part of it. In our case, it's just that the time has come for us to modernize our nuclear and conventional arsenals," Lavrov said, according to a transcript of an interview with Russia Today television published on its website.

 
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Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Missile

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 16:01 CST
Al-Defaiya

Pakistan has successfully tested the Hatf IX (NASR) short range surface-to-surface missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads, Pakistani Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) service announced Friday. “The test fire was conducted with successive launches of 4 x Missiles from a state of the art Multi Tube Launcher with Salvo Mode. NASR, with a range of 60 km [37 miles] and in-flight maneuver capability is a quick response system, with shoot and scoot attributes. It contributes to the full s...

 

North Korea Says Nuclear Program Isn't 'Bargaining Chip'

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 16:00 CST
Wall Street Journal (originally published Sep 27, 2014)

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong said Saturday a reduction in tensions on the Korean peninsula is important but warned his government doesn't see its nuclear program as a "bargaining chip." "The nuclear deterrent of the DPRK is not intended to threaten or attack others, neither is it a bargaining chip to be exchanged for something else," he said, using the acronym by which North Korea refers to itself. "The nuclear issue will be resolved if and when the threat to our sovereignty and ...

 

Japan's Suga Says Volcanic Eruption Has No Impact on Nuclear Restart

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 15:57 CST
Reuters (originally published Sep 28, 2014)

The deadly eruption of a volcano in Japan over the weekend will not affect the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor, which is in a separate volcanically active area, the country's top government spokesman said on Monday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was asked whether the eruption would require careful assessment of the restart at Sendai, Suga said, "I don't think so."

 
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Japan Renewable Energy Curb Could Spark Nuclear Restart

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 15:56 CST
Financial Times

Two Japanese utilities, responsible for about a fifth of the nation’s power, say they have had their fill of renewable energy, in a move that could add pressure on community leaders to allow idled nuclear reactors back on line. Since the 2011 tsunami led to the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Japan has invested heavily in renewables and in solar power in particular. However, Kyushu Electric Power has gone further, saying it would stop processing new applications across its ...

 
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Tokai Reprocessing Plant to Shut

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 15:55 CST
World Nuclear News

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) will shut its reprocessing plant in Tokai, reportedly due to the costs of modifications required under post-Fukushima safety regulations. Following a meeting today of JAEA's reform commission, the agency announced that it will permanently shut down the Tokai facility in Ibaraki prefecture.

 
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New Nuclear Fuel Could Boost Reactors, But Also Safety Worries

Posted: Sep 29, 2014 15:54 CST
MIT Technology Review

Slowing climate change will most likely require a vast expansion of carbon-free nuclear power. But since existing plants often can’t compete with cheap natural gas, and advanced nuclear plant concepts are still decades away, some are looking for ways to boost the power output from existing reactors. Lightbridge, a nuclear engineering company based in Tysons Corner, Virginia, is planning the first tests in a full-scale reactor of new fuel rods that have been engineered to boost power output by...

 
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Reducing Unnecessary Exposure to Radiation in Medicine

Posted: Sep 26, 2014 15:29 CST
IAEA

The use of ionizing radiation is one of the greatest medical discoveries of the last 120 years. Its use has vastly improved our understanding of the body's processes and functions and our ability to diagnose and to cure diseases. Doctor’s use, for example, computed tomography (CT) scans, X-rays and positron emission tomography (PET) scans to help diagnose illnesses as diverse as heart disease and breast cancer. Ionizing radiation is also used to help cure many types of cancers and real-time ...

 

Utilities Should Have Nuclear Waste Storage Facilities as Prerequisite for Reactor Restarts, Panel Says

Posted: Sep 26, 2014 15:28 CST
Kyodo News

Utilities should be responsible for establishing temporary storage facilities for high-level radioactive waste as a prerequisite for restarting their nuclear reactors, according to a panel of experts that advises the government. The Science Council of Japan, which is made up of scientists, proposed in a report released on Thursday that the government start discussions about requiring electric power companies to set up facilities within their regions to store radioactive waste for 30 years. Th...

 

Pakistan Aspires to International Role

Posted: Sep 26, 2014 15:28 CST
World Nuclear News

Pakistan would like to be a full member of export control regimes and to play a part in the international nuclear industry, according to the country's statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 58th General Conference.

 
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Submarine Proliferation Resource Collection

Posted: Sep 26, 2014 15:27 CST
NTI

Submarine proliferation impacts both regional stability and the ability of states to deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Since the end of the Cold War, the total number of active submarines in the world has fallen, largely as a result of large-scale decommissioning of former Soviet vessels. [1] However, the number of countries operating submarines has increased. This is due largely to ongoing regional tensions in the Middle East, and both South and East Asia, which have driven submarin...

 

NNSA Completes its Critical Radar Arming and Fuzing Test for the W88 ALT 370

Posted: Sep 26, 2014 15:26 CST
NNSA (originally published Sep 25, 2014)

The Critical Radar Arming and Fuzing Test (CRAFT), flown this summer, was designed to test the new joint Air Force and Navy radar in the W88 ALT 370. The CRAFT was the first of several flight tests planned to demonstrate the functional performance of the upgraded weapon system in ballistic missile flight environments. Radar performance was successfully measured during the harsh conditions of hypersonic atmospheric reentry.

 

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