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Nuclear News - 6/15/2010
PGS Nuclear News, June 15, 2010
Compiled By: Brandi Bohannon


A.  Iran
    1. Iran Nuclear Fuel Swap Deal `Still Alive`: Ahmadinejad, Antara News (6/15/2010)
    2. Iran to Continue Peaceful Nuclear Program Based on int'l, IAEA rules, Islamic Republic News Agency (6/15/2010)
    3. Iran Cleric Wants 'Special Weapons' to Deter Enemy, Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press (6/14/2010)
    4. Iran to Unveil Nuclear Fuel Advance: Top Official, Reuters (6/12/2010)
B.  DPRK
    1. DPRK Condemns IAEA Chief's Comment on Nuclear Issue, Lu Hui , Xinhua News Agency (6/14/2010)
    2. Myanmar Denies Nuclear Cooperation with North Korea, AFP (6/12/2010)
C.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. S.Korea, Turkey Sign Nuclear Power Accord, Channel NewsAsia (6/15/2010)
    2. US to Object to China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal, NDTV  (6/15/2010)
    3. Jordan, Japan Agree on Text of Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, Breitbart (6/14/2010)
    4. Nuclear Cooperation Making Progress: French Ambassador, The Hindu (6/13/2010)
D.  Nuclear Energy
    1. China, Kazakhstan Sign Gas, Nuclear Energy Deals , Quote  (6/15/2010)
    2. S.Korea-US to Delay Nuclear Energy Pact Revision Talks, Chinadaily.com.cn (6/15/2010)
E.  Nuclear Industry
    1. S. Korea Speeds up Small Nuclear Power Reactors Project , Xinhua News Agency (6/14/2010)
F.  Nonproliferation
    1. Vietnam Bans Illegal Use, Storage of Nuclear Materials, Equipment , Xinhua News Agency (6/15/2010)
    2. Burma Refutes Nuclear Weapons Program Allegations , Myanmar News (6/12/2010)
G.  Links of Interest
    1. U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula , Council on Foreign Relations (6/15/2010)



A.  Iran

1.
Iran Nuclear Fuel Swap Deal `Still Alive`: Ahmadinejad
Antara News
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran`s nuclear fuel swap deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey last month was "still alive," state television reported on its website on Tuesday.

"The Tehran declaration is still alive and can play a role in international relations even if the arrogant (Western) powers are upset and angry," he said in a meeting with visiting Turkish parliament speaker Mehmet Ali Shahin.

Under the May 1 accord with Brazil and Turkey, Iran agreed to send 1,200 kilogrammes of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey, after which the Islamic republic, at a later date, would be supplied with higher grade fuel from Russia and France for a research reactor.

The proposal aimed to counter an arrangement drafted by the UN atomic watchdog that had been deadlocked for several months.

The May 17 offer, however, was cold-shouldered by world powers which, led by Washington, imposed a fourth set of UN sanctions on Iran last week for refusing to halt its sensitive uranium enrichment programme.

The West suspects the enrichment masks a nuclear weapons drive, a charge denied by Tehran.

Iran`s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters on Tuesday that Tehran was to protest against the sanctions resolution by sending separate letters to all 15 members of the UN Security Council.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is to write to the council members against the "illogical approach which led to the adoption of the resolution and to explain the position of our country," he said.

"The resolution is illogical ... and we will not allow anyone to curb our rights," the spokesman said.

The resolution was passed with 12 members voting in favour, including all five permanent members of the Council, while Brazil and Turkey voted against and Lebanon abstained.

Available at: http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/1276598853/iran-nuclear-fuel-swap-deal-still-alive-ahmadinejad

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2.
Iran to Continue Peaceful Nuclear Program Based on int'l, IAEA rules
Islamic Republic News Agency
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)


Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said on Tuesday that Tehran, despite all pressures, will continue its peaceful nuclear activities within the framework of the international and IAEA rules and regulations.

Talking to reporters during his weekly press briefing, he said in spite of all illogical and unwise pressures exerted by the West and the UN Security Council, the Islamic Republic of Iran will emphasize on its inalienable right which is the pursuance of peaceful nuclear energy.

The Islamic Republic, for its progress and development in different industrial, agricultural, medical and energy fields, has various programs for making use of peaceful nuclear technology.

Tehran will meet its nuclear demands from any possible way, Mehman-Parast noted.

He reiterated that fuel swap and continuation of peaceful nuclear program are two different issues.

On claims by certain foreign media regarding the possible use of space of some regional states by the Zionist regime in order to attack Iran, he said all countries that are aware of the Zionists’ criminal acts will not allow that regime to make use of their territories.

Referring to the Tehran-Riyadh relations, he said there are great potentials in the two countries for further expansion of all-out ties. The two countries will not permit the Zionist regime to damage the existing bilateral relations, he added.

Available at: http://www.irna.ir/En/View/FullStory/?NewsId=1178657&IdLanguage=3

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3.
Iran Cleric Wants 'Special Weapons' to Deter Enemy
Ali Akbar Dareini
Associated Press
6/14/2010
(for personal use only)


The hardline spiritual mentor of Iran's president has made a rare public call for producing the "special weapons" that are a monopoly of a few nations — a veiled reference to nuclear arms.

The Associated Press on Monday obtained a copy of a book written by Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi in which he wrote Iran should not deprive itself of the right to produce these "special weapons."

Iran's government, as well as its clerical hierarchy, have repeatedly denied the country is seeking nuclear weapons, as alleged by the U.S. and its allies.

The Security Council last week imposed a fourth round of sanctions in response to Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which Iran maintains is only for its nuclear energy program, but could conceivably be used to produce material for weapons.

The new U.N. sanctions call for an asset freeze of another 40 additional companies and organizations, including 22 involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities.

Yazdi's hardline views, including devotion to the Mahdi, a messiah-like figure to reappear ahead of judgement day, have had a strong impact on Ahmadinejad, who shows him more respect than any other senior cleric.

Yazdi's book, "The Islamic Revolution, a Surge in Political Changes in History," was written in 2005 and then reprinted last year, but would have only had a very limited circulation among senior clerics and would not have been widely known.

"The most advanced weapons must be produced inside our country even if our enemies don't like it. There is no reason that they have the right to produce a special type of weapons, while other countries are deprived of it," Yazdi said.

Yazdi is a member of the Assembly of Experts, a conservative body of 86 senior clerics that monitors Iran's supreme leader and chooses his successor. He also heads the Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute, an Islamic think tank, in the holy city of Qom, 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of the capital.

In his book, Yazdi said Iran must acquire the necessary deterrent weapons in order to be able to stand up to its enemies.

"Under Islamic teachings, all common tools and materialistic instruments must be employed against the enemy and prevent enemy's military superiority," he said.

He also said Muslims must not allow a few powers to monopolize certain weapons in their arsenal.

"From Islam's point of view, Muslims must make efforts to benefit from the most sophisticated military equipment and get specific weapons out of the monopoly of powerful countries," he said.

The last time a high ranking official made such remarks was in 2005 when Mohammad Javad Larijani, now a senior judiciary official, said Islam has not tied Iran's hands in producing nuclear weapons.

But Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, has repeatedly denied that Tehran was seeking nuclear weapons because Islam forbids weapons of mass destruction.

Khamenei has reportedly issued a fatwa, or religious decree, saying the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons was forbidden under Islam.

In May, a senior reformist cleric warned about the increasing power of Yazdi and his loyalists within the ruling system, calling them "a very dangerous and harsh current who won't show mercy to anybody."

Earlier this month, a hardline website called Yazdi an "Imam", a title given only to Shiite Islam's saints and the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Such a title has not been awarded to Khamenei, Iran's current leader.

Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iRqjZV1Meppj40hTs8IBOv4DdsQwD9GB7G4G2

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4.
Iran to Unveil Nuclear Fuel Advance: Top Official
Reuters
6/12/2010
(for personal use only)


Iran will unveil a new advance in its nuclear program in the coming months, the head of its Atomic Energy Organization was quoted as saying on Saturday, in comments that showed defiance in the face of new U.N. sanctions.

"In the next few months Iran will announce a new nuclear achievement in connection to the production of fuel for its Tehran research reactor," Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying in the Resalat daily. He gave no details.

The last major advance Iran announced was in February, when it said it had started refining uranium to 20 percent purity -- saying it wanted to produce fuel for the Tehran reactor, which makes isotopes for treating cancer.

That increased Western concerns as it meant Iran was now refining uranium closer to the level needed for nuclear weapons, adding to the momentum behind a fourth round of sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says there are reasons to suspect Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. Once 20 percent purity is reached, the next step to the 90 percent needed for a warhead is much less onerous.

Iran is not known to have the technology to convert 20 percent enriched uranium into the special plates needed for the research reactor.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the sanctions as no worse than "pesky flies" and said the resolution was "like a used handkerchief that should be thrown in the bin."

His vice-president, Mehrdad Bazrpash, told the official IRNA news agency: "America and its allies should wait for Iran's next move on the Islamic Republic's nuclear issues and they will soon realize that they have made a mistake."

Iran has refused to suspend its sensitive nuclear work, as demanded by the Security Council, and that the program only represents its legitimate right to power generation.

"Iran's nuclear activities will not face any problems due to the new sanctions resolution," said Salehi.

Iran's parliament will start discussing a bill on Sunday to oblige the government to review its level of cooperation with the IAEA.

"Iran will remain committed to its international commitments and will continue its cooperation with the IAEA," Salehi said.

In comments carried by IRNA, Salehi warned the West "not to drown in the quagmire of Iran's nuclear program."

The new sanctions target Iranian banks suspected of connections with nuclear or missile programs; expand an arms embargo; and call for a cargo inspection regime.

One result has been Russia freezing the delivery of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran. The United States and Israel opposed the sale because it could give Iran the means to withstand any future air strikes aimed at knocking out its nuclear sites.

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65B0K520100612

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B.  DPRK

1.
DPRK Condemns IAEA Chief's Comment on Nuclear Issue
Lu Hui
Xinhua News Agency
6/14/2010
(for personal use only)


The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday slammed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief's comment on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

A statement carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Yukiya Amano's demand last week for the DPRK to fulfil its obligation under the nuclear Non-Proliferation of Treaty (NPT) was "ignorant."

It said the DPRK is not a member of the IAEA and has quit the NPT, adding the DPRK "has no obligations to obey the NPT."

The statement said the DPRK had done its best to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and the tense situation on the peninsula is caused by the U.S. anti-DPRK policy.

The statement urged Amano to know the concept and history of the nuclear issue and the process of the six-party talks involving the DPRK, South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States, which is aimed at resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-06/14/c_13349825.htm

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2.
Myanmar Denies Nuclear Cooperation with North Korea
AFP
6/12/2010
(for personal use only)


Myanmar's ruling junta said Friday it had no intention of building an atomic bomb, brushing aside Western concerns about possible nuclear cooperation with North Korea.

The denial came after the United States raised concerns about "growing military ties" following a report that Myanmar had begun a nuclear weapons programme with Pyongyang's help.

In a statement carried by state media, Myanmar's foreign ministry said: "These reports were baseless accusations that are politically motivated.

"Myanmar is a country that always respects UN declarations and decisions as it is a UN member country. Myanmar is not in a position to produce nuclear weapons. Myanmar has no intention to become a nuclear power."

The statement also said recent nuclear allegations were aimed at undermining renewed dialogue between the United States and Myanmar in the run-up to elections later this year.

The allegations aim "to undermine the political process as Myanmar is striving for democracy by holding general elections this year," the statement said.

The comments follow a recent documentary by the Norwegian-based news group Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) that said Myanmar was trying to build an atomic bomb.

The documentary cited a senior army defector and years of "top secret material". It showed thousands of photos and testimony from defectors that it said revealed the junta's nuclear ambitions and a secret network of underground tunnels, allegedly built with North Korean help.

The years-long investigation included hundreds of files and other evidence from the defector, army major Sai Thein Win, who said he was deputy commander of a military factory that was part of Myanmar's nuclear battalion.

"They really want to build a bomb. That is their main objective," he was quoted as saying.

US Senator Jim Webb cancelled a planned trip to Myanmar last week in response to the allegations, saying it would be "unwise and potentially counter-productive".

The findings "contain new allegations regarding the possibility that the Burmese government has been working in conjunction with North Korea in order to develop a nuclear programme," Webb said.

Myanmar, which has been under military rule since 1962, has been accused of violating a UN Security Council ban on North Korean arms exports imposed last June.

Following a visit there in May, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell expressed concern about a suspected arms shipment from North Korea to Myanmar.

President Barack Obama's administration last year launched a dialogue with Myanmar's military rulers, after concluding that attempts to isolate the regime had met with little success.

But Washington has sharply criticised preparations for this year's elections -- the first in 20 years -- as well as raising the nuclear concerns.

Myanmar severed ties with Pyongyang in 1983 following a failed assassination attempt by North Korean agents on then-South Korean president Chun Doo-Hwan while he was visiting the Southeast Asian nation. The attempt left 21 people dead.

But with both countries branded "outposts of tyranny" by the United States they have tried rebuilding relations in recent years.

Myanmar is preparing for rare elections later this year that critics have dismissed as a sham due to laws that have effectively barred opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from participating.

Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hqq9VTQNpeAwiIUwMYkWHptaekNg

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C.  Nuclear Cooperation

1.
S.Korea, Turkey Sign Nuclear Power Accord
Channel NewsAsia
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)


South Korea and Turkey signed an accord on Tuesday to cooperate in nuclear energy, raising the hopes of Korean companies that are chasing a deal to build an atomic power plant on the Turkish coast.

President Lee Myung-Bak and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul agreed to expand "substantial cooperation in various fields" such as trade, investment, energy, construction and the defence industry, Lee's office said.

The leaders also attended a ceremony at which their energy ministers signed the memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation.

State firms from the two countries forged a preliminary deal in March to build a nuclear power plant at Sinop on Turkey's Black Sea coast.

But Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has said Ankara remains open to proposals from other companies if they offer better terms.

South Korea, which generates 30 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power, is eager to export its expertise.

A consortium led by the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) last year won a 20.4-billion-dollar contract to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates by 2020.

KEPCO and Turkey's state-owned Electricity Generation have begun detailed studies for the plant at Sinop.

Tuesday's pact marks the first time that Ankara has expressed an intent to cooperate on the proposed nuclear power plant project, Vice Knowledge Economy Minister Kim Young-Hak told Yonhap news agency.

The agreement urges both sides to reach an understanding on all commercial aspects of a proposed contract this autumn, he said.

Gul arrived on Monday for a three-day trip, the first by a Turkish head of state in 28 years. He is to visit a memorial for Turkish soldiers in the southern port of Busan on Wednesday.

Turkey dispatched 15,000 troops to fight for South Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War and the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1957.

Available at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/1063349/1/.html

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2.
US to Object to China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal
NDTV
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)


The Obama administration has decided to object to a Sino-Pak civilian nuclear deal for establishing two atomic reactors in Pakistan, as it comes before the Nuclear Suppliers Group next week.

Experts have said that the deal appears to be violating international guidelines forbidding nuclear exports to countries that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or do not have international safeguards on reactors.

The Sino-Pak nuclear deal is expected to come up before the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting next week in New Zealand, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

State department spokesman Gordon DuGuid said the US government "has reiterated to the Chinese government that the United States expects Beijing to cooperate with Pakistan in ways consistent with Chinese nonproliferation obligations".

In a recent article, a prominent American nuclear expert believes this would breach international protocol about the trade of nuclear equipment and material.

"The move would breach international protocol about the trade of nuclear equipment and material," Mark Hibbs said in the latest issue of the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.

The China National Nuclear Corporation is financing for two new reactors at Chashma in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The Post said China has suggested the sale is grandfathered from the time before it joined the NSG in 2004, because it was completing work on two earlier reactors for Pakistan at the time.

However, US officials said any such proposal would require a consensus approval by the NSG.

"Additional nuclear cooperation with Pakistan beyond those specific projects that were grandfathered in 2004 would require consensus approval" by the NSG, a US official was quoted as saying, and added that this the US believes "is extremely unlikely".

Interestingly, China had initially objected to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, saying it would undermine the global non-proliferation regime. Beijing finally came around to support the agreement in the NSG, apparently under US pressure.

The Indo-US nuclear agreement was signed in 2009 after a long-drawn process, including a crucial NSG waiver, and passage through both the Indian and American legislatures.


Available at: http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/us-to-object-to-china-pakistan-nuclear-deal-31847.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ndtv%2FTqgX+%28NDTV+News+-+World%29

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3.
Jordan, Japan Agree on Text of Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
Breitbart
6/14/2010
(for personal use only)


Jordan and Japan agreed on Monday to a draft text of a proposed Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) that would be put before Japan's parliament for approval.

The agreement materialized during a final round of negotiations in Amman between the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission and representatives from the Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Foreign Ministry on the one hand, and a Japanese delegation headed by the director of the Non-Proliferation, Science and Nuclear Energy Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the other.


The proposed NCA aims at developing the various aspects of cooperation between Jordan and Japan in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, particularly with regards to building Jordan's first nuclear power plant.

JAEC Deputy Chairman and Commissioner for International Cooperation Kamal Araj hailed the agreement on the draft agreement as a step towards adding Japan to the list of nuclear powers that have voiced confidence in Jordan's nuclear program which include France, China, Korea, Canada, Russia, UK, Argentina, and Spain.

Araj, who headed the Jordanian delegation at the talks, said this progress was achieved following the success of His Majesty the King's visit to Tokyo last April which included discussion of nuclear cooperation, and after more than a year of signing a memorandum of cooperation in April 2009."

Jordan Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Khaled Touqan had headed a Jordanian delegation to Tokyo earlier this month during which he discussed the details of the NCA with senior government officials. Discussions also dealt with the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry proposal to build the "ATMEA1" nuclear power plant in partnership with the French firm Areva.

The draft NCA stipulates various areas of cooperation including exploration and exploitation of uranium resources, design, construction and operation of reactors, safety and security, radioactive waste processing and disposal, radiation protection and environmental monitoring, and studies on and application of radio-isotopes and radiation.

The Nuclear Cooperation Agreement is expected to be signed by the end of this year.

Available at: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=upi20100614-202526-4375&show_article=1

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4.
Nuclear Cooperation Making Progress: French Ambassador
The Hindu
6/13/2010
(for personal use only)


France's Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont has said that the civilian nuclear cooperation between France and India is making good progress.

“We have [French firms] Areva and Alstom [through its Indian subsidiary] discussing with NPCIL [Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited] on the construction of two latest generation nuclear reactors called EPR [European Pressurised Reactor]. The process is long and complex, but we are making good progress,” he said during an interaction with the media on board French Navy's amphibious landing helicopter dock (LHD) ‘Tonnerre' here on Friday. (Last year, Areva inked pacts with NPCIL for the construction of nuclear reactors and supply of uranium).

Mr. Bonnafont said that since the signing of the civilian nuclear agreement in September 2008, both countries had been discussing nuclear partnership in research and development, training and in industrial cooperation.

Asked about the delay in finalising the price for the upgrade of India's French-made Mirage 2000 aircraft, he said: “There is negotiation which I believe is in the final stages and we hope very soon the modernisation of these aircraft which I think are providing excellent service to the Indian Air Force in so many decades is going to be finalised.”

Mr. Bonnafont said that India and France had a longstanding defence cooperation and that it was getting better every year. The senior leadership in both countries had agreed to increase cooperation as they believed it as a common goal to fight terrorism, enhance peace and stability in the world, and in particular in the Indian Ocean, which naturally led them to better capabilities of joint operation, he said.

In response to a query on Exercise Garuda, the forthcoming joint air manoeuvres involving the Air Forces of India, France and Singapore in France from June 14, he said three air forces working together in the field of their operation would give them a lot of capacity to better themselves. The next edition of the annual Indo-French Varuna series of exercise would take place in India in January 2011, he said.

The meaning of the presence of LHD Tonnerre in Kochi, he said, was that “we want to share more with India and we are ready to show to India our flagship vessel which is not only an excellent example of what we know how to do in terms of manoeuvring at sea, but an excellent example of what the most modern Navies in the world are capable of doing technologically in order to be able to answer any threat efficiently.”

“This [Tonnerre's] mission is exemplary of the depths of the relation between France and India in the field of defence in our strategic partnership… This shows that not only do we share political analysis but we also act together for peace, security and stability. And there is a particular meaning of being out here in the Indian Ocean because we are participating in the IONS [Indian Ocean Naval symposium]. We are also very much involved in the fight against piracy and we are doing it very closely with the Indian Navy, Indian armed forces and the Indian government,” he said.

Available at: http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article453704.ece

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D.  Nuclear Energy

1.
China, Kazakhstan Sign Gas, Nuclear Energy Deals
Quote
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)


Neighbors China and Kazakhstan have agreed to build and finance jointly a natural gas pipeline and strengthen co-operation in atomic energy, giving Beijing greater access to Astana's vast uranium resources.

Under an agreement, Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will build a 1,400-km-long natural gas pipeline (Kazakh leg) that will link with an existing gas pipeline running between China and Central Asia. The two sides will share equally the $3.5-billion cost of the pipeline.

Both countries have also signed an undisclosed agreement under which Kazatomprom, the state-run Kazhak nuclear firm, will supply uranium to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC).

The agreements were reached during the just-concluded one-day visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Kazakhstan, the second in six months.

During his visit June 12, Hu held talks with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev on ways to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Available at: http://es.quote.com/news/story.action?id=RTT006150011000008

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2.
S.Korea-US to Delay Nuclear Energy Pact Revision Talks
Chinadaily.com.cn
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)


Talks between South Korea and the United States over the issue of revising the Korea-US Atomic Energy Agreement, initially scheduled to begin in the first half of 2010, will be postponed until after September, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The nuclear accord, signed in 1974 and set to expire in 2014, requires South Korea to get consent from the United States to reprocess spent nuclear fuel as a measure against its possible use for military purposes.

Delay in negotiations comes as the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March has emerged as the most urgent issue facing the two nations.

"Given other pressing issues, discussions to renew the bilateral pact on the use of nuclear energy will be initiated in the latter half of this year," a high-level official related to foreign affairs was quoted as saying. "It seems most likely that the timing will be after September."

The official added that the two countries are currently running a joint study on the validity of pyroprocessing, but results haven 't come out yet.

Pyroprocessing is a new technology of electrolyzing spent nuclear fuel rods and extracting uranium and plutonium that can be reused as fuel. It is being developed under South Korea's initiative. Seoul maintains that pyroprocessing is necessary recycling because there is no chance of the technology being diverted for use in developing nuclear weapons.

South Korea and the United States were to embark on reform of the agreement sometime in June after the end of the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May.

Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2010-06/15/content_9978493.htm

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E.  Nuclear Industry

1.
S. Korea Speeds up Small Nuclear Power Reactors Project
Xinhua News Agency
6/14/2010
(for personal use only)


South Korea's drive to develop small- and medium-sized nuclear power reactors based on its own technology is expected to be stimulated as a consortium led by a state-owned electric power company agreed to invest in it.

Seoul's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said on Monday that a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp. and comprised of 13 local companies, including POSCO and STX Heavy Industries Co., will inject 100 billion won (81.8 million U.S. dollars) into a project to complete design work and technical verification of the system integrated modular advanced reactors ( SMARTs).

The 170 billion won-worth project is organized by the state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute.

SMART is a 330 MWt pressurized water reactor, designed to generate up to 100 MWe for thermal applications such as seawater desalination. It is more cost-effective and safer than the current generation of conventional reactors.

"SMART will be a reactor suitable for developing countries that do not have large-capacity transmission and distribution power grids," Seoul's Yonhap News Agency quoted a government official as saying.

The development project for SMARTs had been in pursuit of companies to participate in standard design but faced difficulties in recruiting due to private companies' lukewarm stance toward investment amid the global financial crisis.

The establishment of the SMART consortium is part of the larger South Korean goal of becoming one of the top three exporters of nuclear reactors, along with the United States and France, by 2030.

Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-06/14/c_13349880.htm

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F.  Nonproliferation

1.
Vietnam Bans Illegal Use, Storage of Nuclear Materials, Equipment
Xinhua News Agency
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)


Vietnam bans illegal use, storage, holding, buying and selling of nuclear materials and equipment and giving distorted information on the issue, according to a circular issued by the government on Tuesday.

This is part of the content of the regulations on nuclear energy sector, effective from Aug. 15 this year, the report said.

Under the regulations, agencies and persons running nuclear reactors for researching purposes, nuclear power plants, uranium- enrichment units and facilities to manage used nuclear materials are required to submit accounting and regular reports to Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS), the report said.

Any agencies and individuals that import and export nuclear materials and equipment are requested to report to VARANS, it said.

Agencies and individuals that use, store and keep nuclear materials and equipment are asked to inform VARANS within seven working days, it said.

Vietnam's National Assembly approved a resolution on construction of the first two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan province in central Vietnam in November 2009. The total costs are over 10 billion U.S. dollars, according to the government.

Vietnam plans to build the first plant in 2014, and start operating its first turbine in 2020. Vietnam has chosen Russia as technology provider for the plant.

Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-06/15/c_13351727.htm

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2.
Burma Refutes Nuclear Weapons Program Allegations
Myanmar News
6/12/2010
(for personal use only)


Putting all speculations at rest, Burma has officially denied that it is developing any nuclear weapons program.

The Foreign Ministry of Burma has claimed that anti-government groups in collusion with the media had launched the allegations, with the goal of "hindering Burma's democratic process and to tarnish the political image of the government," the Daily Express reported.

It also contradicted the claims of the Norway-based Burma exile news service, Democratic Voice of Burma, which had charged that the junta is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons programme aided by North Korea, with the aim of developing a bomb and long-range missiles.

Terming the allegations as baseless, the Foreign Ministry statement said that they were based merely on "information provided by army deserters, defectors and dissidents, which are inaccurate, unfair and unreliable."

"Burma, which is a developing nation, lacks adequate infrastructure, technology and finance to develop nuclear weapons," it added.

Available at: http://www.myanmarnews.net/story/646824

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G.  Links of Interest

1.
U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula
Council on Foreign Relations
6/15/2010
(for personal use only)
http://www.cfr.org/publication/22205/us_policy_toward_the_korean_peninsula.h..


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