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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 the...

 
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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.

 

UK Government Urged to Look at SMR Costs

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:32 CST
World Nuclear News

The UK government should encourage the development and deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), a parliamentary committee has recommended. However, it says the costs need to be fully understood. "While we recognize that the nuclear industry's immediate priority is rightly the successful delivery of the UK's current conventional new build program, we also recognize that SMRs - particularly those based on known nuclear technologies - are a viable proposition for future deployment in the UK ...

 

South Africa Reports Reactor Vendor Progress

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:32 CST
World Nuclear News

South Africa "continues to make significant progress," in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendor countries, according to a statement from President Jacob Zuma's office today. "Similarly, the National Development Plan enjoins us to do thorough investigations on various aspects of the nuclear power generation program before a procurement decision is taken. These policy prescripts are meant to add 9600 megawatts of electricity to the national electricity grid and ensure that we ...

 

Repairing the Diplomatic Threat Reduction Enterprise

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:31 CST
Arms Control Work (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

The “nuclear enterprise,” – as the nuclear weapons complex and force structure in the United States have been successfully rebranded — is bloated and in need of paring. It is also in need of repair. The Pentagon commissioned two high-level studies to clarify particulars and remedies. Repair work on an aging command and control infrastructure and a broken security culture is not optional.

 
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Advisory Panel Tells Congress the Nuclear Weapons Complex Is Too Big and Too Old

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:30 CST
CeCenter for Public Integrity

A special panel appointed by Congress to examine the U.S. nuclear weapons complex reported in December that it is too big and too old, and recommended reorganizing the Department of Energy to give its weapons modernization work a larger political profile and a higher fiscal priority. Instead of calling for stricter contract supervision — an idea long urged by the Energy Department’s office of inspector general — the study recommended the Energy Department reduce regulation, cut the number of ...

 

Kim Jong Un Looks to Complete Nuclear Legacy Left by Father

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:29 CST
Bloomberg (originally published Dec 16, 2014)

Kim Jong Un has spent the three years since his father’s death tightening his grip on power, leaving the Supreme Leader better positioned to achieve Kim Jong Il’s dream of deploying nuclear weapons. North Korea proving it could launch a nuclear-tipped missile across the Pacific could lend more urgency to efforts to restart aid-for-disarmament talks stalled since 2008. Unveiling the technology to the world would also help the younger Kim establish his own legacy and help him emerge from the sh...

 
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Gorbachev Says Nuclear Deterrence Still Matters

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:28 CST
Sputnik News

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, has disagreed with allegations that nuclear deterrence is no longer relevant in international affairs, in an interview with RT TV channel. "I do not agree with those who claim that nuclear threat is not a deterrent anymore. We are now far more aware of what nuclear weapons and nuclear power are [capable of]," Gorbachev said.

 

Case Study: Iranian Illicit Financing for Quds Force’s Overseas Purchases

Posted: Dec 17, 2014 15:28 CST
ISIS

Iran faces many difficulties in financing its illegal overseas procurement operations. A window into Iran’s methods to free up funds internationally despite sanctions was provided recently by a November 18, 2014 Reuters report. It reported on Chinese private and financial companies linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, an elite group that supports pro-Iranian militant groups in the Middle East. Because Iran is expected to continue such violations of sanctions after a comprehe...

 
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Is Iran Already Cheating on a Nuclear Deal?

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:14 CST
Foreign Policy (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

Just before Labor Day weekend, the State and Treasury Departments sanctioned several individuals and organizations “providing support to illicit Iranian nuclear activities.” Due to the holiday, or perhaps because a few days later the Islamic State murdered an American journalist, the announcement attracted sparse attention. But, it should have been big news. Some of the actions cited in the notice seem within what the Obama administration tolerates during ongoing negotiations, even if they vi...

 
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Russian Strategic Missile Forces Plan 14 Launches in 2015 — Commander

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:02 CST
ITAR TASS

Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) plan to carry out 14 launches next year, 9 of which will be test launches, RVSN Commander Colonel General Sergei Karakayev told reporters on Tuesday. “A total of 14 launches are planned for 2015 - for the flight tests of advanced weapons samples and controlling technical readiness of missile systems adopted for service,” he said on the eve of the 55th anniversary of RVSN creation.

 
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Update on IR-5 Centrifuge Issue: Taking Stock

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:01 CST
ISIS

About a month ago, we raised the question of whether Iran had violated its commitments under the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) when it fed for the first time uranium hexafluoride (UF₆) into the IR-5 centrifuge at the pilot enrichment plant at Natanz. We have welcomed the ensuing debate and sought to learn from it. Overall, no definitive answer has emerged, with positions on this question varying. Most viewed the feeding of the IR-5 as problematic. One issue is clear, however: the Joint Plan of ...

 
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Russia Says It Has a Right to Put Nuclear Weapons in Crimea

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:00 CST
LA Times (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

Russia has the right to deploy nuclear weapons in the Crimean peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in March, a top Russian official said Monday. “Crimea was not a non-nuclear zone in an international law sense but was part of Ukraine, a state which doesn't possess nuclear arms,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Interfax news agency. “Now Crimea has become part of a state which possesses such weapons in accordance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Lav...

 
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India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See That It Delivers – Analysis

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 15:00 CST
Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

As expected, Russian President Valdimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi covered all the usual areas of cooperation during the former’s visit to New Delhi on 11 December, 2014. Russia has been India’s close partner over decades, and the latter has reiterated the importance of the relationship in contemporary times too. The Druzhba Dosti Vision Statement (VS) covers the period of the next decade, anchored in a special strategic partnership. Obviously, the nuclear component of this...

 
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The IAEA Faces a Major Credibility Test

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 14:59 CST
Lobe Log (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

On December 11, the spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that his agency was, as Gareth Porter asserted on this website earlier this month, not interested in accepting a recent invitation by Iran to visit Marivan, at least at this time. The spokesman, Serge Gas, reportedly told Reuters in an email that the agency had “explained clearly to Iran—on more than one occasion—that an offer of a visit of Marivan does not help address specific concerns related to the i...

 

Commercial Operation for First Fangjiashan Unit

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 14:58 CST
World Nuclear News

Unit 1 of the Fangjiashan plant in China's Zhejiang province has become China's 22nd nuclear power reactor to enter commercial operation. The 1080 MWe CPR-1000 reactor, which began full-power trial operation on 11 December, officially entered commercial operation at 10.00pm on 15 December, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

 
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China Wants ‘Made in China’ Nuclear Reactors

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 14:56 CST
Wall Street Journal (originally published Dec 15, 2014)

When a unit of North Carolina’s Curtiss-Wright Corp. won a roughly $300 million deal in 2007 to supply components for new reactors in China, industry officials trumpeted China’s nuclear boom as good for U.S. business. Today, Chinese companies are competing for that business—and foreign companies risk getting left out. Meanwhile, Curtiss-Wright’s contract is caught up in a legal dispute, while Chinese authorities blame the company in part for the delay of a landmark nuclear project.

 
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Funding Continues for Savannah River MOX Plant

Posted: Dec 16, 2014 14:54 CST
Nuclear Engineering International

The US Congress has approved funding for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) project located at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina, CB&I reports. Congress' 2015 omnibus bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on 11 December, calls for $345 million for continued construction of the MFFF in fiscal year 2015, ending 30 September.

 
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Climate Change Forum Discusses Nuclear Power

Posted: Dec 15, 2014 18:54 CST
IAEA

A mix of solar and wind energy, carbon capture storage technology and nuclear power could provide a viable solution to countries seeking to decrease their carbon footprint by lowering the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of their energy sector. This was the message from the IAEA at this year’s annual United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference — COP20 — held last week in Lima, Peru.

 
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With Election Over, Abe Ready to Boost Reactor Restarts

Posted: Dec 15, 2014 18:47 CST
The Japan Times

With the Liberal Democratic Party’s sweeping election victory Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to increase his efforts to revive nuclear power despite persistent public opposition. Abe hopes early next year to restart two reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s nuclear plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, which in September became the first to meet tighter, post-Fukushima safety regulations.

 

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