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DIA: North Korea Planned Attacks on US Nuclear Plants

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:50 CST
Washington Free Beacon (originally published Dec 18, 2014)

North Korea dispatched covert commando teams to the United States in the 1990s to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in a conflict, according to a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency report. The DIA report, dated Sept. 13, 2004, reveals that five units of covert commandos were trained for the attacks inside the country. According to the report, the “Reconnaissance Bureau, North Korea, had agents in place to attack American nuclear power plants.”

 

Iran Moving to Comply with Extended Nuclear Deal with Powers-IAEA

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:50 CST
Reuters

Iran is taking further action to comply with the terms of an extended interim agreement with six world powers over its disputed atomic activities, a U.N. nuclear watchdog report obtained by Reuters on Friday showed. The findings in a monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - though no major surprise - may be seen as positive by the West as negotiations resumed in New York this week on ending the decade-old nuclear stand-off.

 
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Putin: Russia Military Modernization Plan to Go On

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:49 CST
AP

President Vladimir Putin says Russia will continue its ambitious military modernization program with a particular emphasis on nuclear strategic forces. Speaking at Friday's meeting with top military brass, Putin said the nation's nuclear forces are a "major factor in maintaining global balance," adding that "they effectively include a possibility of large-scale aggression against Russia."

 
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Ex-IAEA Chief Warns on Using Unverified Intel to Pressure Iran

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:48 CST
Lobe Log

In a critique of the handling of the Iran file by the International Atomic Energy Agency, former IAEA Director General Han Blix has called for greater skepticism about the intelligence documents and reports alleging Iranian nuclear weapons work and warned that they may be used to put diplomatic pressure on Tehran. In an interview with this writer in his Stockholm apartment late last month, Blix, who headed the IAEA from 1981 to 1997, also criticized the language repeated by the IAEA under its...

 
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PLA Conducts Full Test of Long-Range DF-41 Missile, Report Says

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:47 CST
South China Morning Post

China last week launched its most comprehensive test of its latest-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41, which can hit anywhere in the US, according to an American media website. A successful test would mean China had made a significant advance in its nuclear capabilities, with far-reaching consequences for Washington's balance of weapons power in the Asia-Pacific, a defense policy expert said.

 
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Russian Military Received 38 Intercontinental Missiles in 2014 — Defense Minister

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:47 CST
ITAR TASS

Russia's Strategic Nuclear Forces added 38 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to their tables of equipment this year, including 22 submarine-based missiles, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday at an expanded session of the Defense Ministry's Board. The percentage of upgraded armaments in the Armed Forces has thus reached 56%, he said. The Strategic Missile Troops now have three new regiments operating Yars missile complexes.

 

IISS Adelphi: China's Non-Nuclear Emphasis Is Cause for Disquiet

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:46 CST
IISS

China’s lack of ambition to become a nuclear superpower, while ostensibly comforting, presents a special set of challenges for crisis-stability in North-East Asia, according to a new publication from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). In his new Adelphi publication, Paper Tigers: China’s Nuclear Posture, Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Stu...

 
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Chinese Fast Reactor Completes Full-Power Test Run

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:45 CST
World Nuclear News

China's experimental fast neutron reactor has been successfully operated at full capacity for the first time, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced. The Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) was brought to full power at 5.00pm on 15 December and operated at this level continuously for three full days, CNNC said yesterday.

 
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Exclusive: India Looks to Sway Americans with Nuclear Power Insurance Plan

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:44 CST
Reuters

India is offering to set up an insurance pool to indemnify global nuclear suppliers against liability in the case of a nuclear accident, in a bid to unblock billions of dollars in trade held up by concerns over exposure to risk. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is hoping the plan will be enough to convince major U.S. companies such as General Electric to enter the Indian market ahead of President Barack Obama's visit at the end of next month.

 

NRC Report Finds Two Fatal Flaws in DOE's Yucca Mountain Plan

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 15:42 CST
Nuclear Street

Volume 4 of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's report on the 8.600-page Department of Energy application to operate a federal nuclear waste repository in Nevada unveils two fatal flaws for the project that the Barack Obama administration has put on hold, anyway. The 181-page report comes on the heels of Volume 3, released in October, that said the DOE plans met standards that would allow the waste to remain safe from the environment and from human interference for one million years. However,...

 

Joint Declaration on Security of Supply for Molybdenum

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:48 CST
World Nuclear News

Eleven countries have presented a joint declaration to the Council of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), urging the development of new infrastructure to replace ageing facilities used for the production of the most widely used medical radioisotope, molybdenum-99.

 

Ghana Prepares for Nuclear Energy Program

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:48 CST
Voice of America

Ghana is set to become the second country in Africa to introduce nuclear energy after South Africa. This follows the International Atomic Energy Agency approval of Ghana’s application after decades of negotiation. The project could have a large impact on Ghana’s power shortfall and raises questions about what safety protocols are in place. Ghana’s nuclear ambitions date back to the 1960s but stalled after the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president. Now, with erratic power supply ...

 

U.S. Perspectives on the Opportunities and Challenges of Nuclear Disarmament

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:47 CST
U.S. Department of State (originally published Dec 17, 2014)

Remarks by Robert Wood, Special Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, December 17, 2014: "Disarmament, arms control, and nonproliferation are the focus of my professional life here in Geneva, and nuclear disarmament is under particularly close scrutiny as we approach the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, which we refer to in the shorthand of this business as the “NPT RevCon.” The last NPT RevCon, in 2010, generated a...

 
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Rumors about Nuclear Weapons in Crimea

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:46 CST
FAS Strategic Security Blog

The news media and private web sites are full of rumors that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons to Crimea after it invaded the region earlier this year. Many of these rumors are dubious and overly alarmist and ignore that a nuclear-capable weapon is not the same as a nuclear warhead. Several U.S. lawmakers who oppose nuclear arms control use the Crimean deployment to argue against further reductions of nuclear weapons. NATO’s top commander, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, has confirmed that R...

 
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Sanctions, Sabotage, Science Delay Iran's Missile Program

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:45 CST
Al-Monitor (originally published Dec 17, 2014)

While attention has focused on curbing Iran’s ability to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon, sanctions, sabotage, technical problems and political calculation have combined to set back Iran’s development of missiles that could potentially deliver such a weapon. Michael Elleman, an expert on missiles at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told Al-Monitor in an interview Dec. 16 that the Iranians are “a little bit behind where I thought they would be” in developing mi...

 

Could Russia's Economic Meltdown Lead to Loose Nukes?

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:45 CST
The Hill

Senior lawmakers alarmed by Russia's collapsing economy fear some of the nuclear power's atomic arsenal could fall into the wrong hands. While officials say there's no immediate reason to think Russia's weapons could be sold off to the highest bidder or stolen, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) intends to hold hearings next year on what Moscow is doing to keep its nukes safe. “We’re going to be taking on that whole issue in Armed Services Committee and we’ll be figuring out what needs to be done,”...

 
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Nuclear Program Has 'Hurt Iran More Than Iraq War'

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:44 CST
Radio Free Europe (originally published Dec 17, 2014)

Iran's nuclear activities and ambitions faced rare, blunt criticism at a roundtable at Tehran University, where one of the speakers said the damage done by the nuclear program was greater than that by the 1980-88 war with Iraq, which left tens of thousands dead and caused much devastation. "The imposed war [with Iraq] did not damage us as much as the nuclear program has," professor Sadegh Zibakalam said at the December 17 roundtable, according to reports by Iranian semiofficial news agencies...

 
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China and India: Nationalism and Nuclear Risk

Posted: Dec 18, 2014 15:43 CST
The Diplomat

Following Gaurav Kampani’s recent essay in International Security, another paper by the author was published by the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. This new paper is quite compelling and deserves a close look, especially where he notes two tendencies increasing deterrence instability between India and China. However, there may be a blind spot in Kampani’s analysis. But let’s start with the first tendency noted by Kampani: As both militaries have entered nuclear strategic decision mak...

 
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Radioactive Pollution Remains One of Worst Problems in Russia’s Arctic - Nature Minister

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:33 CST
ITAR TASS (originally published Dec 16, 2014)

Radioactive pollution of the Arctic seas remains one of the worst problems of Russia’s Arctic, Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy told a session of the Russian Academy of Sciences on Tuesday. “Apart from radioactive fallouts following nuclear weapons tests and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster there are other major factors for this problem, such as the flow of Atlantic waters along the western coast of Norway with the Gulfstream current, which brings radioactive waste from th...

 
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Fukui Nuclear Reactors Move Big Step toward Restarts

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:32 CST
Asahi Shimbun

Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant here became the second nuclear power facility to receive the virtual go-ahead to resume operations under tougher safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Dec. 17 said it concluded that the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant have met the safety standards required to prepare for natural disasters and severe accidents.

 

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