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Nuclear News - 9/15/2009
PGS Nuclear News, September 15, 2009
Compiled By: Matthew Kapuscinski

A.  Iran
    1. Iran Agrees to Meeting on Nuclear Program, Jay Solomon, The Wall Street Journal (9/15/2009)
    2. Iran to Allow Questions on Nuclear Energy, Hossein Jaseb, Reuters (9/15/2009)
    3. IAEA Puts Iran Proposal for Banning Attacks on N-facilities on Agenda, ISNA (9/15/2009)
    4. Iran: Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None, Tehran Times  (9/15/2009)
    5. EU, US Worst Fears: Iran May be Building Nuclear Weapons, The European Weekly (9/13/2009)
    6. Iran Insists on Nuclear 'Right', BBC News (9/13/2009)
    1. Lee Sends Tough Signal on North Korean Nuclear Program, Kim Hyun, Yonhap News Agency (9/15/2009)
    2. Yonhap: South Korean Gov't Rebuffs Reports on DPRK's 3rd Nuclear Test Attempt, Peoples Daily (9/14/2009)
    3. US Offers to Talk Directly to North Korea, AFP (9/12/2009)
C.  India
    1. India, Mongolia Sign Civil Nuclear Agreement for Uranium Supply, Bibhudatta Pradhan, Bloomberg (9/14/2009)
D.  China
    1. China Committed to Peaceful Nuclear Policy: Atomic Energy Official, Peoples Daily (9/15/2009)
    2. U.S. and China Strengthen Partnership to Prevent Illicit WMD-Related Trade, NNSA (9/11/2009)
E.  Nonproliferation
    1. China Ratifies Amendment to Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, China View (9/15/2009)
    2. UN - Disarmament Must Be Verifiable, Transparent, with Basis in International Law, Speakers Stress as DPI/NGO Conference Holds Round-Table Discussion, ISRIA (9/14/2009)
    1. Governments Urged to Support Entry into Force of Nuclear Test Ban, Earth Times (9/14/2009)
    2. UAE Reiterates its Position Towards Nuclear Test-Ban, Emirates News Agency (9/11/2009)
G.  Nuclear Energy
    1. Seoul Proposes Establishing Nuclear Energy Day in Vienna, Song Sang-ho, The Korea Herald (9/15/2009)
    2. Russia to Provide Venezuela with Nuclear Capabilities, Michael Kerbs, Digital Journal (9/14/2009)
    3. Jordan Signs Nuclear Study Deal with Belgium's Tractebel, Earth Times (9/12/2009)
H.  Links of Interest
    1. NNSA: Working To Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, NNSA (9/15/2009)
    2. IAEA Formally Appoints Japan's Amano as New Chief, Channel NewsAsia (9/15/2009)
    3. NUCLEAR SECURITY: Nevada Test Site Getting New Life, Las Vegas Review Journal (9/14/2009)
    4. Watchdog Role Not Enough for IAEA, Next Chief Amano Says - Summary, Earth Times (9/14/2009)
    5. Draft of U.N. Security Council Resolution on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, Politico (9/14/2009)
    6. Atomic Agency Rescues 'Dirty Bomb' Material, Paula Gould, Nature News (9/11/2009)

A.  Iran

IAEA Puts Iran Proposal for Banning Attacks on N-facilities on Agenda
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“Iran representative at the IAEA announced the country’s proposal for banning attacks against nuclear facilities has been approved on the agenda of the ongoing General Conference.

Iran’s proposal that asks prohibition of any attack against nuclear installations whether active or under construction was approved to be put on the agenda of the General Conference, he noted.

“There were many discussions on the issue, off course a few western countries voiced disagreement with the proposal but it was finally approved by the general committee to be placed on the agenda,” Soltaniyeh said and added Iran had raised the same proposal 20 years ago.

“We try to prepare a draft resolution in this regard with countries that share the same opinion, we try to approve the resolution.”

Also Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh said Iran’s nuclear issue was not on the agenda of the 53rd annual meeting of 150 member states of the IAEA.

Describing the conference atmosphere more positive than previous years, he noted last year Iran issue was not on the agenda either but certain countries statements touched on the topic and created a negative atmosphere while this year even those countries have come up with the conclusion that Iran nuclear issue is over.

Asked about the US and UK behavior in the positive atmosphere that exists he stated, “compared to previous years it is felt that these countries have also to some extent realized the reality about Iran’s nuclear issue and that they must revise their literature and behavior in this regard.”

Regarding whether Iran proposed package has influenced the approaches, Soltaniyeh asserted Iran’s opportune and reasonable measure had certainly affected the situation positively.

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Iran Agrees to Meeting on Nuclear Program
Jay Solomon
The Wall Street Journal
(for personal use only)

“The Obama administration, hoping to persuade Tehran to curtail its nuclear program and initiate a dialogue that focuses on other issues, will have its first formal meeting since it took office with Iran on Oct. 1.

The four other United Nations Security Council permanent members -- China, Russia, France, and the U.K. -- along with Germany will participate in the meeting, which was brokered Monday in a call between Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign-policy chief, and Saeed Jalili, Iran's main nuclear negotiator.

The event, whose location hasn't been decided, won't be a "formal negotiation," a spokeswoman for Mr. Solana said. There will be no set agenda or specific goals. Instead, she said, it will serve as an opportunity to question Iran on a proposal it released last week calling for a discussion with the international community on a range of security and development issues.

Iranian officials said for the first time Monday that they would be willing to discuss elements of the country's nuclear program as part of a broader dialogue aimed at ending the threat of nuclear weapons globally.

"We have always stated that we are [in favor of] dialogue, but of course unconditional dialogue," the chief of Iran's atomic energy agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, told reporters in Vienna at the International Atomic Energy Agency's annual conference. "It seems now that the environment is conducive towards this issue and...we are very hopeful that the dialogue which is going to be held next month will pave the way further for the future."

U.S. officials voiced frustration that the Iranian document ignored Washington's demand that Tehran cease enriching uranium and allow inspectors from the IAEA, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, greater access to its nuclear installations.

"We plan to address this issue of their not living up to their obligations head on," said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. "We are not planning on starting a whole new process here."

Even at the best, the meeting won't lead to broad forceful sanctions against Iran. China has said it won't back sanctions. And last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia won't back any new rounds of sanctions. Western diplomats have said the U.S. will likely pursue a more narrow sanctions agreement just with European Union countries.

However, U.S. officials are eager to gain Iranian cooperation in stabilizing Afghanistan and Iraq. Washington also hopes Iran can support the Arab-Israeli peace process by cutting off support for militant groups fighting Israel, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. "I think this is an important first step in the discussion. We hope for the best," U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Monday in Austria. He was attending the annual General Conference of the IAEA.

The U.S. estimates Iran has produced enough nuclear fuel for one atomic weapon, should it be enriched further into weapons-grade material -- though it could take years for Iran to make a nuclear warhead and develop the ability to use it on a missile.

A U.S. intelligence report, released in 2007, alleged Iran had been experimenting in the weaponization of its nuclear technologies, before allegedly stopping the effort in 2003. The U.N. has been pressing Iran to answer questions about the alleged military dimensions of its nuclear program.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Iranian diplomats stressed again Monday that Tehran would never relinquish its right under the U.N.'s Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to produce nuclear fuel.

Despite the Iranian stance, a White House official said the Obama administration agreed to go along with the talks to make sure -- in person -- that all avenues to talks have been exhausted.

"If we do not look at this as an opportunity to engage Iran directly to see if they are willing to discuss the nuclear program, we'd be making a mistake," said a White House official.

U.S. officials have said that they hope Iran might initially agree to a "freeze for freeze" arrangement. This would entail Tehran freezing its production of nuclear fuel at current levels in exchange for the U.S. and the U.N. holding back in pursuing new economic sanctions against Iran.

"What nations say in public is one thing," said Mr. Kelly, the State Department spokesman, referring to Iran's insistence it won't relent on its nuclear program. "What they say in private is another thing."

The Obama administration appears to be making an effort to show European allies that it is Tehran, and not Washington, that has been intransigent -- a perception the White House could later use in rallying support for new sanctions.

Iranian democracy activists warned that the U.S.'s diplomacy risked legitimizing Mr. Ahmadinejad's government at a time its mandate is being challenged inside Iran. Iran has continued to prosecute opposition supporters as part of a government effort to choke off a protest movement by Iranians who claim Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election in June involved massive vote fraud. On Monday, six activists stood trial in Tehran on accusations of plotting to overthrow the clerical leadership.

"Our main concern is that any dealings with Tehran must have human-rights issues as the top, formal concern of the international community," said Hadi Ghaemi, director of the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Iranian officials have confirmed dozens of deaths during battles between protesters and security services after the polls.

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Iran to Allow Questions on Nuclear Energy
Hossein Jaseb
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“Iran is not prepared to bargain over its right to a nuclear programme but world powers will be able to raise any question they wish at upcoming talks, a senior Iranian official said.

"Once it comes to discussions, everybody is free to pose any questions they wish," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's nuclear energy agency, told reporters at the UN atomic agency's annual meeting.

Iran and world powers seeking to resolve a standoff over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme will start talks on 1 October in what a senior US official described as an "important first step". Mr Salehi said: "We are hopeful that the dialogue to be held next month will pave the way further for the future."

In Vienna, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran's continued refusal of IAEA access to clarify intelligence material suggesting Iran illicitly researched how to design a nuclear weapon was unacceptable.

But he urged the UN Security Council to give his UN. watchdog more legal inspections authority to better prevent the spread of atomic bomb technology, not to rely on sanctions he said often did not work.

Mohamed ElBaradei's call was a clear reference to the case of Iran, which is expanding a declared civilian uranium enrichment programme without clarifying allegations of covert military dimensions to the activity.

But the chief US delegate, in contrast with ElBaradei's message, said any nuclear outlaws must face "serious consequences" at the Security Council, an allusion to the West's mooted option of harsher sanctions if the talks fizzle.

"Failure to impose meaningful consequences puts at risk everything we have achieved (with non-proliferation rules). We cannot let this happen," said US Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday the time had come for tougher sanctions against Iran.

"If not now then when? These harsh sanctions can be effective," Netanyahu was quoted by a parliamentary official as telling a legislative committee. Israel, Iran's arch enemy, is widely believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal.

Netanyahu's comments seemed to signal that it had not written off international diplomacy to curb Tehran's atomic ambitions, despite much speculation that the Jewish state could opt for last-ditch air strikes on Iran's nuclear sites.

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Iran: Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None
Tehran Times
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“Iran said on Monday that it is the right of all countries to gain access to nuclear technology under the NPT rule but no country “must have the right to possess or use nuclear weapons.” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“Nuclear energy (is) for all and nuclear weapon (is) for none”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told his regular press conference.

He said Iran is “seeking the establishment of peace and justice around the globe which is of great benefit to the world”.

The spokesman added, “Global nuclear disarmament should be pursued vigorously.”

No negotiations on Iran’s undeniable nuclear right

Iran submitted its updated nuclear package to the 5+1 group (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) on September 9. The package was presented to the countries’ ambassadors or representatives in Tehran.

“The package of proposals was aimed at easing concerns surrounding the (Iran nuclear) issue… which is open to negotiation and the Islamic,” he explained.

However, he said Iran will not negotiate on its inalienable right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

“We would not hold talks on our inalienable (nuclear) rights,” Qashqavi reiterated.

Turkey denies planning to host Iran-5+1 nuclear talks

Iranian media reported on Sunday that Turkey has proposed to host talks between Iran and the 5+1 group.

However, the spokesman said his Turkish counterpart has dismissed the report.

“In an interview with the France Press here in Tehran, the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s spokesman on yesterday (Sunday) evening denied that his country is ready to be the host country for these talks.”

In a telephone call on Monday, Iran’s top security official and nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana set October 1 as the date for the restart of talks between Iran and the five permanent members the UN Security Council and Germany.

The Islamic Republic has come under great pressure to halt its nuclear enrichment program. A few Western countries claim the program is aimed at building nuclear weapons. Tehran has categorically dismissed the allegations, saying the program is solely aimed at generating electricity.

Breaking code of ethics by media causes discord in world

On media rumors going around the world about Iran, Qashqavi stated, “We are now dealing with violation of code of ethics by media across the globe, which leads to revenge and friction in the world.”

“We hope that the world media outlets, Arabic papers in particular, which are fed by the Zionist regime’s wrong information, will give up spreading baseless rumors” about the Islamic Republic and “reconsider their approaches towards Iran”, the spokesman explained.

Caspian Sea summit was unofficial

Shortly after Iran learned about the reports that the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan plan to hold a meeting in the city of Aktau in Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, in an open letter and in separate telephone conversations with his counterparts in the four other littoral states, expressed Tehran’s dissatisfaction about the meeting.

Ambassadors of the four countries were also summoned to the Foreign Ministry and informed of Iran’s concerns about the forum.

In his talks with the new Kazakh ambassador to Tehran on September 8, Mottaki said Tehran will regard any deal on the sea without the participation of Iran as invalid.

However, after some investigations, it became clear that the summit was held to inaugurate infrastructure projects and to hold some ceremonies and sports competitions.

Asked about the summit in Kazakhstan, Qashqavi said, “It was an unofficial meeting.”

He added Iran has been “successful in its diplomacy on the Caspian Sea’s affairs.”

“There have been no changes in our policy towards the legal regime of the Caspian Sea, and we have frequently insisted on our rights to the sea.”

“We, within the international framework, believe that the legal regime of the closed seas should be determined by consensus of all littoral states, and the Caspian Sea is not exempt from this regulation,” he noted.

Caspian matters were discussed at Caspian Sea summits in Ashkhabad in 2002 and in Tehran in 2007.

The spokesman confirmed the next summit will be held in Baku “with the participation and consensus of all littoral states” including Iran.

He further spoke of a “constructive interaction between all the littoral states in a bid to have a peaceful and friendly sea.”

“Foreigner’s interference in regional issues will only aggravate the situation,” Qashqavi emphasized.

The Caspian Sea, with a surface area of 371,000 square km and a volume of 78,200 cubic km, is in central Asia bordered by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan.

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EU, US Worst Fears: Iran May be Building Nuclear Weapons
The European Weekly
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“Hopes by Britain, France, Germany and the United States that Iran would seize the chance to discuss a genuine solution to its continued nuclear program fell through after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said there was a “high probability” that Tehran had been working to develop nuclear weapons in the past.

The grim news came from IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, whose agency had been accused of going soft on Iran and was based on intelligence information.

The EU powers and the US had pushed Iran to enter into more meaningful talks before the IAEA announcement, but Iran had previously rejected or ignored all similar requests and disregarded shifting deadlines to stop enriching uranium, although the US and Israel said it believed Tehran was building a nuclear bomb.

Also speaking at a meeting of the IAEA’s governing board, US envoy Glyn Davies said Tehran may have enough enriched uranium for one atomic bomb, a view voiced previously by experts. ElBaradei was referring to documents received by his organization that points to a number of suspicious Iranian studies, including the modification of the model of a missile to carry a nuclear warhead. “I am not a scientist, but I can tell you this: If this information is real, there is a high probability that nuclear weaponization activities have taken place,” he said. “But I should underline ‘if’ three times.” ElBaradei urged Iran to finally clarify these issues, a call echoed by Britain, France, Germany and the US.

Davies said Washington had serious concerns that Tehran’s leaders at least want the option to develop such weapons, a scenario he called a “dangerous and destabilizing possible breakout capacity.” In Tehran, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki handed his proposals to the diplomatic envoys of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Switzerland - the latter representing the diplomatic interests of the United States in Tehran. Iran’s package on tackling global challenges addresses security issues, economic cooperation, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and energy issues including nuclear energy, Iran’s envoy at the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told reporters in Vienna.

However, the proposal is not expected to address the main Western demand that Iran suspend its controversial uranium enrichment, and is therefore unlikely to lead to any breakthrough in the nuclear dispute. In Washington, the US State Department said it was reviewing Iran’s latest proposal and expressed a desire to begin negotiations on the nuclear issue. The Iranians “can continue down this path of isolation from the international community or they can choose to reintegrate with the international community,” spokesman Ian Kelly said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has several times stressed in the last three months that Iran would hold nuclear talks only with IAEA, which had gone easy on him and which critics said was more easily manipulated by the Iranian leaders. The last meeting between Iran and the so-called 5+1 group was held in July 2008 in Geneva with the participation of US Under Secretary of State William Burns.

Tehran talks tough

Ahmadinejad said that Iran would defend its internationally acknowledged legitimate rights to the end and not make any compromise with world powers over its nuclear programs. “Resistance is the secret of the (1979) Islamic revolution and with increased popular support, we will enter the international scene with more decisiveness than before,” the president said. “As far as we are concerned, Iran’s nuclear dossier does not exist and the Iranian nation does not allow anybody except the IAEA to interfere in the nuclear issue,” Ahmadinejad said at a press conference in Tehran. “The door of talks with the world powers is closed.”

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili insisted that Iran would go on with its nuclear programmes regardless of what world powers say. “We will not wait for others to give us permission to pursue our path of progress,” Jalili said referring to Western demands to suspend the atomic work. “The era in which a few countries imposed their standpoints on others is over,” he added.

Together with the US, Russia and China, the so-called EU3 group has offered talks on improving economic and political relations with Iran, in return for concessions on the country’s controversial nuclear activities. “Iran’s responses so far have been neither positive nor satisfactory,” German Ambassador Ruediger Luedeking told the 35 countries in the IAEA board. He said Iran should have used a “window of opportunity,” referring to the September deadline until which the US and other Western countries are prepared to wait for a positive signal from Tehran before starting to think about new sanctions. “We have extended a hand and we appeal to Iran to take it,” Luedeking said.

Davies said that by returning to the negotiating table, the Islamic state had the opportunity to “turn the page” and “prove that it is a responsible, trustworthy member of the international community.” Davies pointed out that Iran now has enough material for one bomb, should it decide to further process its uranium.

He said Washington had serious concerns that Tehran’s leaders at least want the option to develop such weapons, a scenario he called a “dangerous and destabilizing possible breakout capacity.” The EU3 and the US expressed concern that Iran is not complying with UN Security Council resolutions calling for a halt of enrichment and full cooperation with the IAEA. “Against the backdrop of the evidence available it is inexcusable that Iran continues to refuse any degree of transparency or cooperation in clarifying these outstanding issues,” he said.

In its latest report, the IAEA detailed how it was seeking explanations about several past studies, including one in which Iran seems to have worked on modifying a missile to carry a nuclear warhead.

Allegations that the IAEA was withholding information on Iran’s nuclear program are “totally baseless,” ElBaradei said, in a thinly-veiled reference to recent Israeli criticism. He was reacting to increasing Israeli pressure on the Vienna-based agency that coincides with the nearing of a September deadline set by the United States to pressure Iran into nuclear talks. His rebuttal came only hours after Ahmadinejad rejected such talks with world powers and their deadline.

ElBaradei said at the outset of the organization’s board meeting in Vienna that the 35 countries in that body had received all information his experts have received and analyzed. “I am dismayed by the allegations of some member states, which have been fed to the media, that information has been withheld from the board,” he said. “These allegations are politically motivated and totally baseless.” ElBaradei said the country had been more cooperative in letting his agency monitor the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz and a heavy water reactor that is under construction.

However, Tehran showed no willingness to answer outstanding questions over past studies which could have been related to the development of nuclear weapons, according to the document that was issued in late August. Israel’s foreign ministry reacted to the report with dismay, and said ElBaradei had left out important information and had not fully reflected Iran’s lack of cooperation.
IAEA in hot water

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also called on ElBaradei to publish additional material in the agency’s possession that is related to possible nuclear weapons efforts. However, diplomats from several Western countries have told the German Press Agency Deutsche-Presse-Agentur (dpa) they were satisfied with the section in the report that makes clear the IAEA seeks answers on issues including the modification of a missile head for use as a nuclear weapon. “I’d like to say that the Agency has learned a lesson from mistakes in the Iraq war,” one diplomat said, referring to the United States’ decision to attack that country based on assumptions on Iraq’s nuclear program that the IAEA had disputed.

Qualifying Tehran’s recent announcement of a new proposal for talks with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, Ahmadinejad said negotiations would solely be focused on tackling “global challenges.” These six countries involved in the nuclear dispute with Iran have called on Tehran’s leaders to enter talks before the end of September or face tougher sanctions.

“I don’t know anything about a deadline, either, and believe that this term is no longer compatible to today’s literature,” Ahmadinejad said at a press conference. The world powers should respect Iran’s position, but his country was prepared for the case they do not, the president said.

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Iran Insists on Nuclear 'Right'
BBC News
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“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran is ready to discuss global issues with world powers, but that its nuclear programme is non-negotiable.

Speaking to the new UK envoy in Tehran, Mr Ahmadinejad asserted his country's right to "peaceful nuclear technology".

Earlier this week, responding to an offer of international discussions by Iran, the US said it planned to bring up the nuclear issue during any talks.

The Iranian government has rejected UN calls to suspend uranium enrichment.

"We are ready to talk about international co-operation and resolving global economic and security problems," Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted Mr Ahmadinejad as saying on Sunday.
However he added: "Having peaceful nuclear technology is Iran's lawful and definite right and Iranians will not negotiate with anyone over their undeniable rights."

He made the reported remarks as Britain's new ambassador in Tehran, Simon Gass, presented his credentials.

Cautious response

Mr Ahmadinejad is due to attend the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.

On Wednesday, Tehran offered "comprehensive and constructive negotiations" - but did not mention its nuclear programme.

In its response, the US said it was ready to "test Iran's willingness to engage", while stressing that the offer did "not address our nuclear concerns".

The US has been urging Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme, which Western powers say could be used to make nuclear weapons.

The P+5 Group - the UK, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany - have a longstanding offer on the table of diplomatic incentives in return for the suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment.

Iran has always insisted that its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes only.

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Lee Sends Tough Signal on North Korean Nuclear Program
Kim Hyun
Yonhap News Agency
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“South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's reaffirmation of his hard-line North Korea policy on Tuesday is expected to put further pressure on the communist North to give up its nuclear weapons program, analysts here said.

Lee said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency that he saw no sign of Pyongyang moving to abandon its atomic drive despite recent conciliatory moves, and called for strong enforcement of international sanctions against the North.

The tough message came as the United States was considering holding bilateral talks with the North, an goal long pursued by Pyongyang, to break a prolonged stalemate over its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea appears to be "thrown off" by the impact of U.N. sanctions imposed after its nuclear test in May, Lee said in the interview jointly held with Japan's Kyodo News. The sanctions ban the country from engaging in the weapons trade, a major source of income, and strictly limits other cash flows into the communist nation.

"As a result of North Korea facing such a crisis, it is taking somewhat reconciliatory gestures toward the United States and South Korea to avoid the situation. But it is still not showing any sincerity or signs that it will give up its nuclear ambitions," the president said.

Yang Moo-jin, a specialist with the University of North Korea Studies in Seoul, said Lee's tough message underlined cooperation between South Korea and Japan's new government in response to the warming atmosphere between Pyongyang and Washington.

"The president underscores principles over flexibility," Yang said.

"He is saying that inter-Korean cooperation will be limited before North Korea denuclearizes, and he is pointing out the abduction issue is also important to Japan. He calls for South Korea-Japan cooperation, while North Korea and the U.S. take a step ahead."

Pyongyang has invited Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, for one-on-one talks. Washington said it was yet to decide whether to send him, but the conclusion is widely expected to be positive.

Diplomatic sources in Seoul say Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will also visit North Korea early next month ahead of the expected Pyongyang-Washington talks.

The flurry of diplomatic efforts come as North Korea was trying to mend fences with regional powers in a dramatic shift from its earlier nuclear and missile tests. Last month, Pyongyang released South Korean and U.S. citizens after months of captivity, resuscitated sagging inter-Korean business ventures and agreed to hold reunions for families separated by the border, the first in nearly two years, later this month.

Lee played down those softening moves as attempts to drag out the nuclear stalemate. Pyongyang did warn that its uranium enrichment program, an alternative route to building nuclear bombs, has entered its final stage, and that plutonium it has extracted from spent fuel rods was "being weaponized."

"North Korea appears to have a goal of buying time to fix the nuclear issue (its possession of nuclear weapons) as a fait accompli while it still receives economic assistance," he said.

Lee called for a united approach to bring the North back to the six-party negotiating table over its nuclear program, which also involves South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia. Within the multilateral framework, Japan has a "good chance" of resolving its abduction issue, he added.

Tokyo has urged Pyongyang to come clean on its abduction of Japanese nationals in the late 1970s and early 80s, while the North says the issue was settled after it returned several surviving abductees.

The six-party talks, last held in December, have not continued since the Barack Obama administration came to power in Washington.

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Yonhap: South Korean Gov't Rebuffs Reports on DPRK's 3rd Nuclear Test Attempt
Peoples Daily
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“An official at the South Korean government called recent reports on the DPRK's preparation for a third nuclear test "absurd," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.

"(We) haven't heard of anything like that, which thus cannot be confirmed," the official was quoted as saying by Yonhap, with respect to earlier reports on a possibility of the DPRK in preparation of another nuclear test.

According to reports from Free Radio of North Korea (the DPRK),based in South Korea, DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Il, during his most recent meeting with party and military leaders on Aug. 26, reportedly gave instructions to prepare for a third nuclear test, this time using enriched uranium.

The reports said the test is highly likely to be held between Sept. 20, which marks the official end of the "150-Day Battle" to achieve higher productivity, and Oct. 10, the day of the founding of the Labor Party of Korea.

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US Offers to Talk Directly to North Korea
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“In a policy shift, the Obama administration said it is prepared to hold direct talks with North Korea in a bid to bring Pyongyang back to six-nation nuclear disarmament negotiations.

The administration -- which has conditioned talks with North Korea on Pyongyang's agreeing to return to a nuclear deal it quit in April -- made the offer after consulting partners China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, on Friday.

"We had consultations with our partners in the six-party process," Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley told reporters at the daily news briefing.

"We are prepared to enter into a bilateral discussion with North Korea, but it's important to characterize it properly," Crowley added.

"It's a bilateral discussion that (is) hopefully... within the six-party context, and it's designed to convince North Korea to come back to the six-party process and to take affirmative steps towards denuclearization," he said.

Crowley denied the move amounted to a significant policy change, but suggested it amounted to a tactical shift when he called it a "short-term" measure to bring the reclusive Stalinist state back to talks.

He said it is too early to say when and where envoys such as Stephen Bosworth, the pointman for North Korea in President Barack Obama's administration, and his deputy Sung Kim would meet their North Korean counterparts.

"Given the consultations that we have, given the invitation that was extended (from North Korea for direct talks), we'll make some decisions, you know, in the next couple of weeks," Crowley said.

He was referring to consultations that Bosworth had with his counterparts from China, South Korea and Japan during a tour of Asia in the last week. Kim stayed on in Asia to consult with his Russian counterpart.

Bosworth gave no hint of a change in plan when he spoke in Tokyo on Tuesday
On August 25, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the United States would sit down with the North Koreans only if they agreed to return to six-party disarmament talks.

North Korea quit the six-way talks grouping in April in protest at UN censure of a rocket launch. The UN Security Council then tightened sanctions on North Korea after it staged an underground nuclear weapons test in May.

The United States has long said that any bilateral talks would come only within the framework of six-party talks, which also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

The six-party consultations came after North Korea began to soften its posture recently and sought bilateral talks with Washington, while attempting to scrap the six-way talks aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions.

But Pyongyang said last week it had reached the final stages of enriching uranium and was also building more plutonium-based atomic weapons.

A senior State Department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that "it will probably be Ambassador Bosworth" who meets with the North Koreans.

"I wouldn't say it's imminent, probably not before UNGA," the official added.

He was referring to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York at the end of September in New York. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama are expected to discuss North Korea there with their international partners.

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C.  India

India, Mongolia Sign Civil Nuclear Agreement for Uranium Supply
Bibhudatta Pradhan
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“India signed a civil nuclear energy agreement with Mongolia that will help the South Asian country source uranium for its power plants.

The deal was finalized after talks with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement today.

Asia’s third-biggest energy consumer has been looking for sellers of uranium as it tries to secure fuel for a planned 14- fold increase in nuclear generation capacity by 2030. A three- decade ban on supplies to the country was lifted in September last year, following which the government has agreed civil nuclear pacts with U.S., Russia, France, Kazakhstan and Namibia.

India is seeking long-term supply contracts from Kazakhstan, Canada and Brazil as it orders reactors worth at least $14 billion from overseas, Nuclear Power Corp. of India Chairman Shreyans Kumar Jain said June 5. The state-run company may spend more than $1.2 billion to buy equity in uranium mines abroad to meet shortages at home.

India’s current nuclear power generation capacity of 4,120 megawatts accounts for 3 percent of the total, according to the power ministry’s Web site. India may produce 60,000 megawatts of nuclear energy by 2030, Shyam Saran, special envoy to the prime minister, said Jan. 8.

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D.  China

China Committed to Peaceful Nuclear Policy: Atomic Energy Official
Peoples Daily
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“A senior official of China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) said here Monday that China was committed to its peaceful nuclear policy, calling on world countries to enhance cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and prevention of nuclear proliferation.

In his speech at the opening of the 53rd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday, CAEA Secretary-General Wang Yiren expounded the Chinese government's position on the nuclear issue.

Wang said China's peaceful use of nuclear energy had entered a fast development phase. China had established a complete nuclear industrial system and had the capacity to assure a requisite fuel supply for its nuclear energy development.

At the same time, Wang made it clear that China "attaches great importance to nuclear safety," adding that "a relatively complete nuclear safety legal and regulatory system has been put in place."

"China has stood for the prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and opposed nuclear weapons proliferation of all forms," Wang said, stressing that China was a responsible country that was fully committed to peace.

China had also actively participated in international cooperation to prevent nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.

Addressing the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Wang pointed out that economic development, climate change and energy security were global concerns that required joint efforts of the international community.

Currently, global nuclear energy has maintained a steady growth momentum; an increasing number of developing countries also want to develop nuclear energy.

The Chinese government's point of view is that technical cooperation is "one of the core missions" of the IAEA. It was also an effective way to promote socio-economic development in member countries and build their capacity to apply nuclear technologies.
In the field of technical cooperation, the IAEA should give "sufficient consideration and earnest response" to the request of the developing countries.

China also applauded the IAEA's efforts to promote infrastructural development in the newly developing countries' nuclear industries, and would like to cooperate with the IAEA in this field.

Moreover, Wang pointed out that with the rapid growth of nuclear energy, it was also important to ensure nuclear safety and security and prevent nuclear terrorism in the meantime.

The IAEA "should continue active efforts in advancing the establishment of global nuclear safety and security legislation and standard system."

On the issue of developing multilateral nuclear fuel cycle mechanisms, Wang believed it "has a certain positive significance for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the effective prevention of nuclear proliferation." However, it should also "ensure the justice and non-discrimination" in the implementation process.

In order to improve efficient safeguards and ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the IAEA should "strengthen cooperation with member states, while improving its own technical capacity."

Regarding nuclear issues in Iran and on the Korean Peninsula, Wang noted that China had been consistently advocating "peaceful solution through dialogues and negotiations" to resolve these regional nuclear issues.

China would also cooperate with all relevant parties to actively push for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and find an appropriate solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

He spoke highly of the contribution of outgoing IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and preventing nuclear proliferation during his term.

Wang also congratulated former Japanese Ambassador Yukiya Amanoon his nomination as the next director-general of the agency.

The 53rd General Conference of the IAEA is being held in Vienna from Sept. 14 to Sept. 18. About 1,500 delegates from 150 member states are attending.

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U.S. and China Strengthen Partnership to Prevent Illicit WMD-Related Trade
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“The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC), in cooperation with the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA) and the University of Georgia Center for International Trade and Security, today announced the successful conclusion of a workshop on Weapons of Mass Destruction Commodity Identification Training (WMD-CIT) in Shanghai, China. The workshop, attended by Chinese customs managers and other front-line officers, focused on effective means and ways to recognize and inspect WMD-related goods. The workshop was followed by discussions for a Chinese-based curriculum at the Shanghai Customs College.

"In his Prague speech and elsewhere, President Obama has outlined an unprecedented nuclear security agenda that seeks to secure vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide and to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. "This partnership will improve regional information sharing and efforts to detect illicit materials – two critical elements in combating illicit transfers of WMD-related commodities."

The WMD-CIT curriculum is developed and delivered by NNSA’s International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP), which has helped more than 60 countries strengthen implementation of WMD-related export controls. CIT training emphasizes and enhances Customs officials’ recognition of unique markers and "red-flags" for illicit WMD-related items, such as appearance, weight and typical packaging. INECP works with the Department of State’s Export Control and Border Security Program (EXBS) and has trained more than 12,000 customs and export control officials worldwide since 9/11.

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E.  Nonproliferation

China Ratifies Amendment to Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
China View
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“China submitted the ratification of the Amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday, becoming the second country with nuclear weapons to ratify the convention following Russia.

On Monday, Wang Yiren, secretary-general of China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), who is attending the 53rd General Conference of IAEA in Vienna, submitted the ratification to IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on behalf of the Chinese government.

The Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material is the only document of international law in the area of physical production of civilian nuclear material. Its amendment was adopted by the Conference of Parties in 2005. Early entry into force of this amendment will help enhancing the ability of the parties in preventing and combating nuclear terrorism, and has great significance to strengthening the international nuclear security system.  

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UN - Disarmament Must Be Verifiable, Transparent, with Basis in International Law, Speakers Stress as DPI/NGO Conference Holds Round-Table Discussion
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“To truly achieve complete global disarmament, the process of ridding the world of nuclear weapons must be verifiable, transparent and anchored in international law and the rule of law, Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Vice-President of Programmes of the United States-based EastWest Institute, said as the sixty-second Annual DPI/NGO Conference continued in Mexico City on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking during a round-table discussion titled “Zero Nuclear Weapons, Zero Weapons of Mass Destruction: Why, How, When?”, Mr. Sidhu said the United Nations Secretary-General’s five-point plan to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, introduced in October, was an important road map to follow. Stakeholders in disarmament must also decide on what was meant by “zero” nuclear weapons and how to get there.

He stressed, however, that the process would not be easy, given fundamental differences of opinion between the global West or North, represented mainly by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the East or South, comprising Iran, China, India, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Israel. Without common consensus, little progress would be made.

Reaching zero could be achieved through such instruments as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), he said. That approach was very strongly reflected in international law but very weak in enforcement, while the multilateral approach ‑‑ working through the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly ‑‑ had played an important role in actually pushing disarmament treaties forward.

For example, the Government of India had initially blocked the CTBT’s adoption, but the treaty had been “resurrected” when the Government of Australia had introduced the matter as a resolution in the Assembly, he said. The ad hoc non-treaty-based approach ‑‑ such as the Six-Party Talks on the nuclear weapons programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the European Union’s efforts to reach out to Iran, the proliferation security issue launched by the United States, and the United States-India nuclear deal ‑‑ were relatively weak in international law but very strong in terms of international implementation.

Alexander Pikayev, Director of the Department of Disarmament and Conflict Resolution at the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations, expressed concern over the fate of the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START) I signed by the United States and the Russian Federation, which was set to expire in December. The leaders of the two nations had agreed in April to jumpstart talks on reducing warheads, but the looming deadline left them little time to devise the outline of a new nuclear treaty. Although Washington’s Nuclear Posture Review should be completed by December, experience had shown that it was difficult for any United States Administration to translate noble declarations into real negotiations on reducing arms expenditures.

Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director of the United States-based Western States Legal Fund, recalled that after the end of the cold war, nuclear weapons had diminished considerably and the world had expected a peace dividend. However, scientists had lobbied successfully for nuclear weapons development, on the basis of the notion that they made countries and communities more secure. But that was not true as human security could not be realized through military means or by the threat or actual use of nuclear weapons. That message was particularly important in the United States, where corporate executives, military leaders and the mainstream media shaped public opinion while allowing very little independent thinking.

Reiterating that nuclear weapons really did not make people more secure, Ms. Cabasso said that in the United States, for example, unemployment was rising and people lacked the money to send their children to college. Ordinary citizens felt they had more in common with people in Afghanistan than with their own Government ‑‑ which had seized upon the end of the cold war to continue its policy of managing the nuclear threat as the cornerstone of national security. President Barack Obama had made noble statements about the nation’s moral obligation as the last standing super-Power to lead on global disarmament, while speaking at the same time of its need to keep its nuclear weapons in order to manage nuclear deterrence.

The wealthy everywhere were benefiting from nuclear weapons to the detriment of everyone else, when funds and efforts really should be channelled into addressing the global environmental and economic crises, she said, adding that existing nuclear weapons were far more dangerous than those that some nations or groups may seek to acquire. However, they were no match for the global challenges posed by climate change, worsening poverty and new health concerns such as the H1N1 virus. Non-nuclear-weapon States rightfully expected States parties to the NPT to honour their commitment made 40 years ago to eliminate nuclear weapons. There was a real opportunity to rally behind the “2020 Vision” proposal to create a nuclear-weapons-free world by 2020, she said, expressing hope that millions of people would petition global leaders during next May’s NPT Review Conference to achieve that goal.

Olga Pellicer, Professor of International Studies at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), who moderated the round table, said recent developments in the field ‑‑ such as the upcoming Security Council Summit on Disarmament and talks between the United States and the Russian Federation on strategic arms reduction ‑‑ were reason for optimism. At the same time, the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons, rising military expenditures, nuclear testing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the fact that many States were poised to acquire nuclear arsenals were worrisome.

During the ensuing discussion, non-governmental organization representatives asked the panellists to elaborate on the question of transparency and how nations could agree on the language used in that regard. They should also look at ways to strengthen the proposed nuclear weapons convention in terms of international law and implementation, among other issues.

In response, Mr. Sidhu said that when discussing global disarmament, one must start with the actual number of existing weapons. But that data was not really available, and institutes focusing on disarmament issues, most of them based in the United States, had only “guestimates” at best. There was no way of knowing how accurate they were. Was that information so classified that weapons-holding countries could not share the actual figures or did they really not know how many weapons they possessed? he asked.
Pointing out that India and Pakistan were the only two countries in the world that had an agreement not to attack each other’s nuclear facilities, he said that since 1991, when that bilateral agreement had entered into force, the two countries exchanged a list of installations each year, including 1999 when they had actually been at war. While facilities not on the list were often attacked, the two bitter rivals were exchanging lists of the most vital nuclear installations with each other, but not with their respective Parliaments. While a greater degree of transparency was in fact possible, no one was giving countries like India and Pakistan credit for doing so, he said, adding that the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms was a good example of how to address that.

Also today, at Mexico City’s Diego Rivera Mural Museum, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the global 100-day “We Must Disarm” campaign, to culminate on 21 September, the International Day of Peace. Surrounded by more than 120 young people and non-governmental organization representatives participating in the DPI/NGO Conference, Mr. Ban sent out the first tweet and called on everyone to join the campaign via Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or traditional media. The Secretary-General also inaugurated, at the Mexican Museum of Popular Art, a sculpture based on the visual identity of the Conference. Featuring a broken grenade with a leaf emerging from it ‑‑ a symbol of peace and development ‑‑ it was the creation of 50 university students from Mexico and elsewhere.

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Governments Urged to Support Entry into Force of Nuclear Test Ban
Earth Times
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“Government envoys will meet later this month to try to convince nine countries, including the United States and China, to ratify a nuclear test ban treaty so it can enter into force, UN organizers said Monday. The organizers said foreign ministers from more than 100 countries have registered to attend a conference on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) at UN headquarters in New York September 24 and 25.

The treaty bans all nuclear test worldwide. It was opened for signatures in the late 1990s.
For the first time the United States will take part in the debate. US President Barack Obama has pledged to make the world free of nuclear weapons and he is scheduled to preside over a UN Security Council session on nuclear disarmament and the CTBT on September 24.

Of the world's five declared nuclear powers, Russia, France and Britain have signed and ratified the treaty, while the US and China have not. The five are also veto-wielding UN Security Council permanent members.

CTBT's effectiveness practically depends on whether the US, China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Pakistan sign and ratify the document.

Those nine countries are the remaining nuclear technology holders that either have not signed or have not ratified the ban. The treaty has been signed by 181 countries, 149 of which have ratified.

In order for the treaty to enter into force, all the world's 44 countries with nuclear technology must ratify it. North Korea, Pakistan and India have yet signed, while the six other have not ratified, an act that requires the national legislature to make laws to ban nuclear testing.

The CTBT conference, which will be chaired by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Moroccan counterpart, Taleb Fassi Fihri, will issue a final declaration calling on the nine countries to sign and ratify the treaty.

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UAE Reiterates its Position Towards Nuclear Test-Ban
Emirates News Agency
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“Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presented his credentials to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna , in a meeting with Mr. Tibor Toth, executive secretary of the organization.

Mr. Toth presented an overview of the CTBTO activities, strategies and goals during the meeting. Al Kaabi reiterated UAE's position in supporting the objectives of the treaty and towards supporting a global regime to ban nuclear test, speaking of UAE policy on developing a nuclear energy program which is based on principles of transparency, highest standards of nuclear security and non-proliferation .

A discussion also took place in relation to the upcoming conference in New York to be held between 24-25 September to facilitate entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The Comprehensive nuclear test Ban Treaty was adopted by UN General Assembly on September 10, 1996, and signed and ratified by 149 states up to date. States party the treaty undertake not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction.

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G.  Nuclear Energy

Seoul Proposes Establishing Nuclear Energy Day in Vienna
Song Sang-ho
The Korea Herald
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“Education, Science and Technology Minister Ahn Byong-man proposed the establishment of a "Day of Nuclear Energy" to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy during a conference of a U.N. nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday.

"By celebrating the day, we will be able to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and encourage people to think about how we can best utilize nuclear technology to protect our environment and improve our quality of life," Ahn said during his keynote address at the 53rd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

It will take at least one year until the final decision on the agency's endorsement of his suggestion is made after the IAEA secretariat reviews the proposal and the agency chief collects opinions from member states, officials said.

The minister also stressed that human resources development is vital to the successful introduction of nuclear programs, saying Korea will take an active role in sharing its experience and knowledge in nuclear technology development with other countries.
"Korea has benefited tremendously from the Agency's technical cooperation program since 1961 which allowed us to take giant steps in nuclear technology development," he said.

"Korea will take an active role as a donor country of the IAEA's technical cooperation from 2010 in order to return what we've received... The Korean government will start contributing to the Extra Budgetary from 2010 so that Korea can fully support member states' training and education efforts."

He also suggested that the IAEA and countries with advanced nuclear technology contribute more actively to the emerging countries' human resources development by providing training opportunities in the areas of research and development, nuclear power plant operation and safety regulation.

Saying that North Korea's development of nuclear weapons is an "absolutely unacceptable act of provocation", he pointed out that South Korea emphasizes the necessity of continuing to "faithfully" implement the UN Security Council resolution, which was adopted following the North's second nuclear test on May 25.

He underscored that South Korea urges the North to come back promptly to the Six-Party Talks and to abandon all nuclear nuclear programs and return to the Nonproliferation Treaty regime.

Currently, 36 percent of Korea's electricity consumption is supplied by the 20 nuclear power plants operating around the country. Korea plans to increase this share up to 59 percent by 2030 with eight more nuclear power plants to be constructed by 2016. South Korea is also reviewing the possibility of adding 10 more nuclear power plants by 2030.

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Russia to Provide Venezuela with Nuclear Capabilities
Michael Kerbs
Digital Journal
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“After a visit to Moscow by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela announced on Monday its intention to build nuclear energy facilities with Russian help.

In what would be a first for the South American continent and likely a bold challenge to U.S. foreign policy, Venezeula announced its intention on Monday to establish nuclear energy development facilities on its soil. The construction of Venezuelan nuclear power plants would come together with the help of Russia.

Following a visit to Moscow during his recently concluded tour of nine countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he has no intention of building a nuclear bomb.

“We’re not going to make an atomic bomb, so don’t bother us like with Iran,” Chavez said on state television. “We’re going to develop nuclear energy with peaceful purposes.”

At issue, according to Chavez, is the finite nature of fossil fuels - and while, like Iran, Venezuela has rich supplies of oil and natural gas, it believes that independent nuclear energy production affords the country more long-term options.

The Venzuelan announcement comes on the heels of Chavez's open intention to buy rockets from Russia. The dual announcements will likely raise concerns among the U.S. government - and may offer significant challenges to the Obama administration, as Venezuela has publicly pursued engagements with Iran, Syria, Libya, and other countries that both Chavez and Iran's Ahmadinejad have deemed "revolutionary."

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Jordan Signs Nuclear Study Deal with Belgium's Tractebel
Earth Times
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“The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) on Saturday signed a 12-million-dollar agreement with Belgium's Tractebel Engineering (GDF-SUEZ) for conducting field and survey studies related to the planned site of the country's first nuclear energy plant, an official statement said. The deal for the 24-month study was signed by the JAEC Khalid Toukan and Tractebel's CEO Georges Cornet, it added.

Under the agreement, the Belgian firm pledged to extend two reports to the JAEC about its assessment of the environmental and safety aspects of the project, Toukan said.

The Belgian company won the contract in competition against six other international firms, he added.

"The commission is exercising extra effort and transparency in adopting best practices to decide the safest and most secure location" Toukan said.

Cornet said that his firm would employ "its extensive experience and vast international resources to locate the best site possible" for the proposed nuclear plant.

The site for Jordan's first nuclear plant was chosen by the JAEC and a national technical committee some 25 kilometres south of the Red Sea port of Aqaba and 12 kilometres to the east of the coast.

Over the past year, Jordan signed nuclear cooperation agreements with the world's major nuclear powers in a bid to obtain the necessary know-how for running a nuclear plant for peaceful purposes.

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H.  Links of Interest

IAEA Formally Appoints Japan's Amano as New Chief
Channel NewsAsia
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NNSA: Working To Prevent Nuclear Terrorism
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Draft of U.N. Security Council Resolution on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament
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NUCLEAR SECURITY: Nevada Test Site Getting New Life
Las Vegas Review Journal
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Watchdog Role Not Enough for IAEA, Next Chief Amano Says - Summary
Earth Times
(for personal use only),watchdog-role-not-enough-for-..

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Atomic Agency Rescues 'Dirty Bomb' Material
Paula Gould
Nature News
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DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to visit the websites from which the source material originates. Views presented in any given article are those of the individual author or source and not of Partnership for Global Security. Partnership for Global Security takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained in any article presented in Nuclear News.

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