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Report on Burying Nuclear Waste Expected This Week

Posted: May 4, 2015 15:18 CST
The Canadian Press (originally published May 3, 2015)

A Canadian environmental assessment of a proposal to bury nuclear waste deep underground near the shores of Lake Huron is expected this week amid fierce opposition to the idea from home and abroad. Ontario Power Generation argues that storing the radioactive material in a huge underground bunker set in rock -- the deep geological repository or DGR -- is the safest way to deal with waste that is potentially dangerous for centuries. For decades, the waste has been stored above ground at the Bru...

 

Hot Potato in South Korea: The Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Dilemma

Posted: May 4, 2015 15:18 CST
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (originally published Apr 24, 2015)

Storage facilities are filling up at South Korea’s nuclear power plants, making spent fuel management a hot button issue. But so far, attempts to create additional storage sites have foundered, largely because of a failure to consult with communities that would be affected, and because of widespread belief that nuclear power plants and storage facilities in South Korea are not safe. In recent surveys, the authors found that these communities might respond positively to educational efforts tha...

 

Could Low-Enriched Uranium Be Used in Naval Reactors? Don’t Ask the Navy

Posted: May 4, 2015 15:15 CST
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (originally published Apr 21, 2015)

Naval propulsion reactors account for the largest non-weapons use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the world. The largest stores of naval propulsion fuel are in the United States, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom. Using low-enriched uranium (LEU) for naval propulsion reactors would allow a significant reduction in non-weapons stocks of HEU and would have significant positive impacts on global nonproliferation and counterterrorism efforts. The US Navy holds the largest declare...

 

Safe Nuclear Weapons

Posted: May 4, 2015 15:15 CST
Arms Control Wonk (originally published Apr 29, 2015)

It’s not easy to make nuclear weapons, build missiles to carry them long distances, and produce highly enriched uranium or plutonium. It’s even harder to keep nuclear weapons safe so they do not detonate except under orders from a National Command Authority. If a single mushroom cloud appears at a time of crisis or warfare because of an accident, inadvertent or unauthorized use, escalation control will be extremely difficult and all of the presumed benefits of nuclear deterrence can be lost. ...

 
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Gulf States Want U.S. Assurances and Weapons in Exchange for Supporting Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted: May 4, 2015 15:14 CST
Wall Street Journal (originally published May 2, 2015)

Leading Persian Gulf states want major new weapons systems and security guarantees from the White House in exchange for backing a nuclear agreement with Iran, according to U.S. and Arab officials. The leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, plan to use a high-stakes meeting with President Barack Obama next week to request additional fighter jets, missile batteries and surveillance equipment. They also intend to pressure M...

 
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Breedlove: Now Is Not the Time to Change Nuke Treaty

Posted: May 4, 2015 15:14 CST
AirForce Times (originally published May 2, 2015)

The U.S. needs to continue plans to reduce nuclear weapons under the New START Treaty, despite the instability created in Europe by Russia's encroachment in Ukraine, the top U.S. military officer in Europe said Thursday. "I would say that the security situation in Europe is less stable, but it's not based on the nuclear piece," Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO supreme allied commander, told a Senate panel. "That's not what worries me. What worries m...

 

Did Tesla Just Kill Nuclear Power?

Posted: May 1, 2015 17:50 CST
Forbes

It would be almost three hours until Tesla’s big announcement, but inside a Northwestern University classroom near Chicago Thursday night, the famed nuclear critic Arnie Gundersen had the inside scoop: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was about to announce an industrial-scale battery, Gundersen said, that would cost about 2¢ per kilowatt hour, putting the final nail in the coffin of nuclear power.

 

Ex-U.N. Nuclear Chief Blix Cautious on Iran Deal Hopes

Posted: May 1, 2015 14:22 CST
Reuters (originally published Apr 30, 2015)

Hans Blix, former chief of the UN nuclear watchdog, said he was cautious about the chances of a final deal being clinched between Iran and major world powers aimed at reining in Tehran's nuclear program. "If it succeeds, which I fervently hope but am not all that confident, there is a gain for all – including Israel and the Arab States," Blix said in an interview in London. "In reverse, if it is not settled, there is an increased risk for all." "Singling out any one country for anything beyon...

 
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First Indigenous Nuclear Submarine's Sea-Trials Going Very Well: Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan

Posted: May 1, 2015 14:21 CST
NDTV (originally published Apr 30, 2015)

The Indian Navy chief, Admiral RK Dhowan, said on Thursday that the sea trials of India's first indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, INS Arihant, are going "very well". "The trials are underway and going on very well. We are satisfied with the way the project is progressing," Admiral Dhowan told reporters on the sidelines of two-day National Aviation Seminar to mark 62 years of naval aviation in the country. While stating there are "no problems in the INS Arihant project", ...

 

Kansai Electric Seeks to Keep 2 Aging Reactors beyond 40 Years

Posted: May 1, 2015 14:21 CST
Kyodo News

Kansai Electric Power Co. on Thursday applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for permission to extend the operational limits of two aging reactors at its Takahama plant in western Japan that are currently offline. Kansai Electric is the first company to attempt to keep reactors beyond the 40-year limit, despite persistent public concern over the use of nuclear power and safety of old nuclear facilities that are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.

 

U.S. Department of Energy Set to Restart Last Remaining U.S. Reprocessing Plant

Posted: May 1, 2015 14:20 CST
International Panel on Fissile Materials (originally published Apr 30, 2015)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will soon restart the last remaining reprocessing plant in the United States to reprocess research reactor spent fuel. DOE claims that renewed operation of a reprocessing plant at the Savannah River Site is part of a non-proliferation effort but the economic impact to the site of the program may be of higher priority. The aging government-owned plant that DOE seeks to restart, called the H-Canyon, is located at the DOE's 800-square kil...

 

Settlement Agreed for WIPP Incidents

Posted: May 1, 2015 14:18 CST
World Nuclear News

Some $73 million will be spent on "mutually beneficial and critical projects," in New Mexico by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors under an agreement reached with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). The investments will be in lieu of proposed fines for two incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in February 2014.

 
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First License for ESBWR

Posted: May 1, 2015 14:18 CST
World Nuclear News

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved DTE Energy's combined construction and operation license (COL) for Fermi 3, the first construction license to be awarded to GE Hitachi's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design. The licence, which NRC says will be issued promptly, will authorize DTE Energy to build and operate the unit at a site adjacent to its operating Fermi 2 boiling water reactor on the shores of Lake Michigan. The company has not committed to buildi...

 

Russian Nuclear Forces, 2015

Posted: May 1, 2015 14:17 CST
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Russia is modernizing its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear warheads. It currently has 4,500 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 1,780 strategic warheads are deployed on missiles and at bomber bases. Another 700 strategic warheads are in storage along with roughly 2,000 nonstrategic warheads. Russia deploys an estimated 311 ICBMs that can carry approximately 1,050 warheads. It is in the process of retiring all Soviet-era ICBMs and replacing them with new systems, a project that according to M...

 

Chernobyl Shelter Fund Gets $200 Million Funding Boost

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 17:17 CST
WNN

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has secured the funding required to complete the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC) by the end of 2017. The giant structure is being built to cover the destroyed reactor 4 on the site of the 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine. The London-based bank - which administers contributions from the international community as manager of the Chernobyl decommissioning funds - announced yesterday that a donor conference had secured financing of ...

 

Plans Announced for New Mexico Used Fuel Store

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 15:43 CST
World Nuclear News

Holtec International and Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) have announced plans for a consolidated interim used nuclear fuel storage facility in south-eastern New Mexico. ELEA was created in 2006 by Eddy County, Lea County and the cities of Hobbs and Carlsbad to secure funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) to site a used fuel recycling facility as well as an advanced recycling reactor under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). However, ELEA announced in 2011 that it was intereste...

 
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The NPT Review Conference: Setting Realistic Expectations

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 15:43 CST
Council on foreign Relations (originally published Apr 29, 2015)

Although ongoing negotiations with Iran have captured global attention, they are not the only critical nuclear meeting underway. On Monday, UN member states launched the latest five-year review conference (RevCon) of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). This core legal instrument of the nonproliferation regime provides the basis for international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. But expectations are modest. Unlike the last RevCon in 2010, no breakthroughs are ...

 
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Global Nuclear & Radiological Trafficking Incidents Increase between 2013 and 2014

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 15:42 CST
NTI (originally published Apr 29, 2015)

A new edition of an annual report on global trafficking incidents found an increase in the number of times where nuclear or radiological materials—the raw materials for nuclear and radiological terrorism—were lost, stolen or out of regulatory control between 2013 (155 incidents) and 2014 (170 incidents). The database and companion report were produced by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) with support from NTI.

 
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Yongbyon: A Better Insight into the Status of the 5MWe Reactor

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 15:42 CST
ISIS (originally published Apr 29, 2015)

ISIS has been regularly monitoring activity at the 5 megawatt (MWe) reactor at Yongbyon, North Korea’s known nuclear complex. In October 2014, ISIS assessed that the 5 MWe reactor was shut down or partially shut down. A more recent assessment using satellite imagery taken in January, February, March, and April 2015 shows that the reactor may be operating at low power or intermittently. Additionally, the winter imagery shows that the centrifuge plant has operated and that North Korea may be pr...

 

Iran and the Nuclear Deal

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 15:41 CST
Project on Middle East Political Science (originally published Apr 29, 2015)

The April 2 announcement in Lausanne of a framework for an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program has raised profound hopes and fears for the future of the Middle East. There are few developments with greater potential for fundamentally altering the political dynamics of the region – a prospect that fills skeptics with as much dread as it fuels optimism among supporters. To explore the many ramifications of the potential deal, the Project on Middle East Political Science convened a virtual ...

 

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