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Posted: Apr 16, 2014 18:41 CST
The Asahi Shimbun
Undeterred by a crushing election defeat, former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa plan to set up an organization to abolish nuclear power and oppose Japan’s exports of nuclear technology. The group will promote renewable energy technologies, oppose the restarts of idled nuclear reactors and field candidates against pro-nuclear politicians in local elections.
Posted: Apr 16, 2014 15:45 CST
Chemical & Engineering News
(originally published Apr 14, 2014)
Efforts to develop materials that stand up to damaging radiation were the focus of a symposium in the Nuclear Chemistry & Technology Division at the American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas last month. In addition to the hunt for new materials, researchers discussed work to understand the mechanisms behind radiation damage. In some cases, they are finding that radiation isn’t damaging at all—it actually improves materials’ performance.
One place where materials must withstand radiation is ...
Posted: Apr 16, 2014 15:44 CST
World Nuclear News
Operations have started at the Nichols Ranch in situ leach (ISL) uranium project in Wyoming following final clearance from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), making Uranerz the newest uranium producer in America. Australian firm Alliance Resources has announced that all approvals to begin mining in the first stage area of the Four Mile East ISL project in South Australia had been received, effective 11 April. According to a company press release, project manager Quasar Resources had ...
Posted: Apr 16, 2014 15:43 CST
When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station—that caused most of the harm. A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such fl...
Posted: Apr 16, 2014 15:42 CST
Top U.S. and Chinese nuclear envoys had "productive" discussions on North Korea in New York, the State Department said Tuesday. "The United States and China agree on the fundamental importance of a denuclearized North Korea," the department's spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a readout about a meeting between Glyn Davies, special representative for North Korea policy, and his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei a day earlier.
Posted: Apr 16, 2014 15:41 CST
The United Nations will release a report this week certifying that Iran's ability to make a nuclear bomb has been greatly reduced because it has diluted half of its material that can be turned most quickly into weapons-grade uranium, diplomats said Tuesday. Under Iran’s commitments, Iran agreed to halt its 20-percent enrichment program and to turn half of its nearly 200-kilogram (440-pound) stockpile into oxide for reactor fuel. As well, it pledged to dilute the other half into low-enriched u...
Posted: Apr 16, 2014 15:41 CST
The Obama administration is sticking to a plan to develop controversial new warheads for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, but opponents of the project are holding out hope that officials could still change course. The first such warhead, to be called the "IW-1," would replace both the existing W-78 warhead currently fitted on Air Force ground-based missiles, as well as the W-88 warhead currently used on Navy submarine-based missiles.
Posted: Apr 16, 2014 15:40 CST
Switzerland submitted its declaration of civilian plutonium stock as of the end of 2013. According to the document, as of December 31, 2013 Switzerland had less than 50 kg of separated plutonium, which is described as "held elsewhere." This has not changed since the 2012 Swiss declaration.
Posted: Apr 15, 2014 16:04 CST
Nigeria is is currently the world's 12th largest oil producer, pumping 2.25 million barrels per day. Nigeria in 2012 was also the world's fourth leading exporter of LNG. According to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration, "Nigeria has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world. Electricity generation falls short of demand, resulting in load shedding, blackouts and a reliance on private generators. Nigeria is in the process of privatizing the ...
Posted: Apr 15, 2014 16:02 CST
Government Accountability Office
(originally published Apr 11, 2014)
Since 2002, DOD has spent over $98 billion developing a ballistic missile defense system to protect the United States, U.S. forces, and allies against inbound threat missiles. In December 2011, DOD deployed the initial phase of a revised approach for Europe, with increased capabilities to be deployed in later phases. GAO has reported on potential risks to DOD’s implementation caused by the lack of a coordinated management approach and an absence of life-cycle cost estimates. Given DOD’s BMD i...
Posted: Apr 15, 2014 16:01 CST
So much for a world without the atomic bomb. Not so long ago, President Barack Obama said he believed such a future was in the cards. Now, after Russia's annexation of Crimea, not so much. Many states in Russia's neighborhood are giving new attention to nuclear protection. "Although there's a very small risk of Russia acting against Poland, that risk is much bigger now than it was just a few weeks ago," Stanislaw Koziej, head of Poland's National Security Bureau, tells Newsweek. The most impo...
Posted: Apr 15, 2014 16:00 CST
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the greatest danger to nuclear security comes from terrorists acquiring sufficient quantities of plutonium or highly enriched uranium (HEU) to construct a crude nuclear explosive device. The IAEA also notes that most cases of illicit nuclear trafficking have involved gram-level quantities, which can be challenging to detect with most inspection methods. According to a new study appearing this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, co...
Posted: Apr 15, 2014 15:59 CST
In a rare public warning to its unruly ally North Korea, China on Tuesday urged the North not to carry out a nuclear test, saying it does not support Pyongyang's "threat of a nuclear test." The public warning by China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying came as tensions on the Korean Peninsula spiked again, with the North continuing to threaten additional missile and a "new form," of nuclear tests. "We do not support the joint military drills (between South Korea and the U.S.) and do...
Posted: Apr 15, 2014 15:55 CST
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
It is now an open secret that India-U.S. relations are in trouble. In sharp contrast to the euphoria on both sides when the nuclear deal was concluded, bilateral ties between the world’s largest and oldest democracies are today brittle and frayed. Although casual observers woke up to this reality with the debacle surrounding the Indian consular official’s arrest in New York, the truth is that ties began to lose momentum long before this unfortunate incident.
Posted: Apr 14, 2014 17:35 CST
“The no-first-use policy for nuclear weapons was a well thought out stand of the NDA government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee in India. We don’t intend to reverse it,” BJP chief Rajnath Singh told Hindustan Times Newspaper.
Posted: Apr 14, 2014 15:16 CST
The U.S. and China will hold talks next week about North Korea, which recently threatened to conduct another nuclear test. The State Department announced Friday that the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, Glyn Davies, will host his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei. They will meet in New York for two days starting Monday, and then again in Washington on Thursday.
Posted: Apr 14, 2014 15:13 CST
On the main road leading from the Sendai nuclear plant in southern Japan, a construction crew is laying down asphalt to widen the evacuation route in the event of a future disaster. "I know it was a horrible accident, but right now I'm more concerned about the economy and my job," said Hiroya Komatsu, 28. "We saw it on TV, but it could very well have been the Philippines. It didn't feel like it was Japan." The local chamber of commerce says the Sendai plant contributes up to $25 million a yea...
Posted: Apr 14, 2014 15:12 CST
World Nuclear News
Babcock & Wilcox will slash its spending on the mPower small modular reactor project, having failed to find customers or investors. William Fox has replaced Christofer Mowry as CEO of the Generation mPower subsidiary. B&W's mPower design was prioritized for deployment under a five-year cost-matching agreement with the US Department of Energy (DoE), and with the Tennessee Valley Authority named as the lead customer. With the DoE arrangement now one year old, B&W hoped to have secured a number ...
Posted: Apr 14, 2014 15:11 CST
The Scottish government's plan to evict Britain's nuclear submarine base if it wins a vote for independence would cost billions of pounds, cut thousands of jobs and create resentment internationally, former defense chiefs said on Monday. "NATO, as an alliance with nuclear deterrence as a central part of its strategic concept, could hardly be expected to welcome a new member state whose government put in jeopardy the continued operation of the UK independent nuclear deterrent – a deterrent whi...
Posted: Apr 14, 2014 15:11 CST
South Korea, the United States and Japan have agreed to lower the bar on conditions for resuming long-stalled nuclear talks with North Korea, a diplomatic source with knowledge of the matter said Monday, saying Pyongyang must show its sincerity through the same pledges it made in a scuttled aid-for-disarmament deal with the U.S. more than two years ago.