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Nuclear News - 8/24/2010
PGS Nuclear News, August 24, 2010
Compiled By: Brandi Bohannon

A.  Iran
    1. Russia Helps Iran Fuel Up First Nuclear Power Plant , Voice of America (8/21/2010)
    2. US Officials Wrap Up Eight-Nation Tour on Iran Sanctions, AFP (8/21/2010)
    3. Iran Condemns Possible US Military Action , Associated Press (8/19/2010)
    4. US Treasury Official 'Explains' Iran Sanctions to Lebanon , AFP (8/19/2010)
B.  North Korea
    1. Former President Carter Reportedly Heading to North Korea , Voice of America (8/24/2010)
    2. China's Top Nuclear Envoy Plans to Visit Seoul: Source, Yonhap News Agency (8/23/2010)
    3. N.Korea Agrees to Informal Nuclear Talks , The Chosun Ilbo (8/23/2010)
C.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. UAE, US Ink Deal on Nuclear Power, MSN (8/24/2010)
    2. China, South Africa In Talks On Nuclear Power Cooperation, NASDAQ (8/23/2010)
    3. Japan, India In Nuclear Co-Operation Talks , All Headline News (8/23/2010)
    4. U.S. Seeking Strategic and Nuclear Dialogue with China , Newsy Stocks  (8/21/2010)
D.  Nuclear Energy
    1. Sudan to Build 1st Nuclear Plant , PressTV (8/23/2010)
    2. Egypt to Build First Nuke Power Plant , United Press International (8/22/2010)
E.  Nuclear Safety
    1. Emergency Exercise Conducted for Nuclear Plant , WBAY  (8/24/2010)
F.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Central China Plans Nuke Equipment Making Hub: Report , Reuters (8/22/2010)
G.  Links of Interest
    1. Nuclear Suppliers Group and the IAEA Additional Protocol , Mark Hibbs, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (8/18/2010)

A.  Iran

Russia Helps Iran Fuel Up First Nuclear Power Plant
Voice of America
(for personal use only)

Russian and Iranian engineers have begun loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant. The plant is located in the southern city of Bushehr and both Russian and Iranian leaders insist Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes though many in the international community are suspicious.

In an irreversible step, Iran and Russia began putting nuclear fuel into the reactor of Tehran's first atomic power station. On Saturday, specialists from both countries loaded uranium packed fuel rods into the reactor. Russia helped build the facility.

Sergei Kiriyenko, the director of Russia's nuclear agency, Rosatom, is in Bushehr to show Russian support for the opening of the plant amid international fears that Iran will use the facility to make nuclear weapons. A charge both Tehran and the Kremlin vehemently deny.

Kiriyenko says in Russia's opinion, it's important to work within the framework of international law and arrive at peaceful results. He says Russia has always stuck to its promises, both regarding bilateral relations and its assistance in the Bushehr project.

Earlier this year, Washington criticized Russia for going ahead with the planned opening of the plant amid global disagreement and concern over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.

Moscow did however back a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran, which called for Iran to stop uranium enrichment.

And, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Russia's deal with Iran over fuel should ease Western fears that Tehran is making nuclear weapons. Under the pact, Russia will supply the fuel for Bushehr and then take back the spent fuel rods.

Officials say it will take about two to three months for the plant to start producing electricity once all of the fuel rods have been moved into the reactor. Iranian officials say the production capacity of the plant will initially be 500 megawatts but will eventually increase to 1,000 megawatts.

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US Officials Wrap Up Eight-Nation Tour on Iran Sanctions
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US officials wrapped up Friday an extensive visit to eight nations to push for the implementation of US and UN sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program, the Treasury Department said.

In Bahrain, Brazil, Ecuador, Japan, Lebanon, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, they emphasized in talks that foreign banks risked losing access to the US financial system if they continued to do business with those blacklisted over the Iranian issue, a statement said.

Stuart Levey, the Treasury's pointman on the Iranian sanctions, called on governments to be wary of and take steps to prevent any Iranian attempts to circumvent the sanctions.

"As international pressure mounts and its economic isolation increases, Iran will attempt to seek out new channels to access the international financial system for illicit purposes," Levey said.

"It is incumbent upon governments to put into place the appropriate mechanisms to protect against this threat."

The UN Security Council in June slapped its fourth set of sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment work, part of a nuclear program which many nations fear masks a drive for nuclear weapons.

The United States, European Union, Canada and Australia have also announced additional sanctions.

The officials who went on the trip were from the Treasury, the State Department and the White House.

In meetings with senior government officials, bank regulators and banking sector leaders, the Treasury officials "highlighted the impact that the latest round of sanctions have already begun to have on Iran's economy," the statement said.

It cited "the government of Iran's inability to attract foreign investment, develop its oil and gas fields, acquire financial services and maintain financial relationships with the international community."

The officials made "the case for concerted action to persuade the government of Iran to change its behavior."

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said this week that any talks with the United States would take place only if Washington drops "sanctions and threats" against Tehran.

The all-powerful Khamenei also blamed Washington for Iran's defiant move to enrich uranium to 20 percent, the most controversial aspect of its nuclear program.

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Iran Condemns Possible US Military Action
Associated Press
(for personal use only)

Iran took its case against the United States to the United Nations on Wednesday and strongly condemned the top U.S. military chief for saying military action remains a possibility if the country develops nuclear weapons.

Iran's acting U.N. ambassador Eshagh Alehabib claimed in letters circulated to the secretary-general and presidents of the Security Council and General Assembly that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other U.S. officials and lawmakers "threatened" to use military action under the "totally false" pretense that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

Mullen said earlier this month that the U.S. military has a plan to attack Iran, although he thinks a military strike is probably a bad idea. Still, he said the risk of Iran developing a nuclear weapon is unacceptable and he reiterated that "the military option" remains on the table.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Wednesday that Iran's response to an attack would not be limited to the region, suggesting Iran would target U.S. interests beyond the Persian Gulf.

"It's unlikely that they (U.S.) will make such a stupidity (to attack Iran) but all must know that if this threat is carried out, the field of the Iranian nation's confrontation will not be only our region," Khamenei told state TV. "The area of confrontation will be much wider."

He also said there will be no talks with the U.S. under the shadow of threats.

Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, apparently was referring to recent calls by the U.S. and other key powers for Iran to resume talks on its nuclear program following the U.N. Security Council's recent vote imposing a fourth set of sanctions against the country for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.

The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to build nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the allegations, saying its nuclear program is geared merely toward generating electricity, not bombs.

Alehabib said the United States was using threatening language that violates international law and the U.N. Charter and goes against "global efforts to strengthen regional and international peace and security." He reiterated that Iran "would not hesitate to act in self-defense to respond to any attack."

Khamenei said negotiations would be possible if the U.S. stops making threats against Iran, and he set conditions for it.

"If the U.S. puts aside threats, sanctions and its superpower display and refuses to set goals for the talks, then there will be a possibility of talks. But under the present conditions and given the threats and pressures, no talks with be held at all," Khamenei was quoted as saying.

Khamenei also said Iran will not give up its nuclear activities.

"The U.S. and some Western countries have no logic in this issue and the Islamic Republic of Iran will never give up the cycle of nuclear fuel," state TV quoted him as saying.

The U.S. and five key powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — have been trying to revive talks with Iran on its nuclear program and have offered a package of incentives if Tehran freezes uranium enrichment and resumes negotiations.

In late July, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said nuclear talks with the six powers would start in early September, regardless of conditions he set in June, but Khamenei's comments raise questions about the timetable. Iran has also said it wants to revive separate talks involving Tehran, Washington, Paris and Moscow on a fuel swap for Tehran's research nuclear reactor.

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US Treasury Official 'Explains' Iran Sanctions to Lebanon
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A senior US Treasury official on Wednesday concluded two days of talks in Lebanon with financial leaders and bankers on US and UN sanctions slapped on Iran, the US embassy said.

Stuart Levey, the undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, met officials including Finance Minister Raya al-Hassan, central bank governor Riad Salame as well as several bankers.

"This visit was to explain how our sanctions process work," a source at the US embassy said on condition of anonymity.

The source did not give further details on the talks.

The official National News Agency said Levey left for Bahrain at the end of his Beirut visit, which followed a similar trip to the United Arab Emirates Sunday and Monday.

The UN Security Council hit Tehran with a fourth set of military and financial sanctions on June 9 in a bid to rein in Tehran's suspect nuclear programme.

The United States and European Union followed up with tougher punitive measures targeting Iran's banking and energy sectors, which contain provisions to penalise Tehran's trading partners.

Lebanon, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, had abstained from the June 9 vote.

Western countries accuse Iran of seeking to acquire a nuclear weapon under the guise of its civilian nuclear programme.

Iran says it is enriching uranium to 20 percent to produce fuel for a research reactor in Tehran and that is nuclear drive is entirely peaceful.

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B.  North Korea

Former President Carter Reportedly Heading to North Korea
Voice of America
(for personal use only)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is reported to be going to Pyongyang this week to gain the release of an American jailed there after illegally entering the country. The State Department has not denied the reports but stresses Mr. Carter would be going in a private capacity on a humanitarian mission without any U.S. officials accompanying him. .

News reports say the 85-year-old former president is expected to return from North Korea with Aijalon Mahli Gomes.

The trip was first reported on the Web site of the journal Foreign Policy.

Gomes, a former English teacher in South Korea, was arrested after crossing into North Korea from China in January. Acquaintances here say he may have been inspired by an American missionary who made a similar trip out of concern about human rights in North Korea.

North Korea sentenced Gomes to eight years of hard labor and fined him the equivalent of $700,000. North Korea's state media last month reported he had attempted suicide. A four-person State Department team went to North Korea earlier this month in an unsuccessful attempt to secure his release.

Timothy Savage, the deputy director in Seoul for the Nautilus Institute, a public policy research group, says there may be more to Mr. Carter's visit than just winning the release of one American.

"I think that entirely depends on what kind of leeway Carter has been given by the White House to negotiate. When Clinton went he did pass on a message, but apparently there was very little follow-up in Washington," he said.

Former President Bill Clinton traveled to Pyongyang last year to bring home two American journalists who were also jailed for illegally entering the country.

President Carter made a historic visit in 1994 to Pyongyang that led to an agreement for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programs. The agreement defused rapidly escalating tensions that many at the time feared could lead to military conflict.

The deal collapsed, however, in part because of U.S. allegations in 2002 that North Korea was still pursuing nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang's complaints that promised nuclear power plants had not been built.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula are again high, following the sinking in March of a South Korean navy ship. An international investigation blames a North Korean torpedo for the loss of the Cheonan, in which 46 South Korean sailors died. Pyongyang denies any involvement.

News of Mr. Carter's possible trip comes as China makes new efforts to resume multinational talks about North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says Beijing's special envoy on Korean affairs will visit Seoul Thursday. Wu Dawei was in Pyongyang last week.

Savage at the Nautilus Institute says the timing of Mr. Carter's visit may be more than a coincidence.

"The fact that this is coming around the same time as these other diplomatic moves are going suggests to me that there may be something going on behind the scenes," he said.

The six-way talks have not been held since the North Korean delegation walked out 16 months ago. Besides China and North Korea, the other parties are South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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China's Top Nuclear Envoy Plans to Visit Seoul: Source
Yonhap News Agency
(for personal use only)

China's top nuclear envoy Wu Dawei wants to visit South Korea this weekend for discussions on long-stalled multilateral talks on North Korea's nuclear programs, diplomatic sources in Beijing said Monday.

While briefing Beijing-based South Korean diplomats on the results of Wu's trip to North Korea last week, the Chinese foreign ministry specifically suggested that he begin his Seoul trip on Friday, said one source in Beijing who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Earlier, a South Korean foreign ministry official said in Seoul that Wu plans to visit Seoul but did not say when. He said both sides were trying to fix the date.

"Chances are high that Wu Dawei, the Chinese special representative on the Korean Peninsula Affairs will visit Seoul this weekend at the earliest," a Beijing source said.

During his three-day visit to Pyongyang last week, Wu met with the North's foreign minister, Pak Ui-chun, and discussed the deadlocked nuclear talks, according to earlier announcements by both countries.

Wu later told Japanese media based in Beijing that North Korea expressed a willingness to have preliminary talks with the United States and an informal meeting with other dialogue partners of the six-party setting -- South Korea, Japan, Russia and host China.

The six-party talks, which began in 2003, were last held in December 2008. North Korea conducted its second nuclear test in May last year and declared the talks "dead" after the international community moved to impose financial and arms sanctions on it.

Regional powers are divided over whether it is the right time to reopen the six-party talks especially after North Korea is blamed for sinking a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors.

South Korea demands that the North first apologize for the sinking of the 1,200-ton Cheonan. A Seoul-led international probe held Pyongyang responsible for the torpedo attack on the ship, but the North has denied involvement.

South Korea's stance is backed by Washington and Tokyo.

North Korea and China, the North's last-remaining major ally, have been seeking to restart the talks. The North has demanded as preconditions that the sanctions in place against it be removed and the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War be replaced by a peace treaty.

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N.Korea Agrees to Informal Nuclear Talks
The Chosun Ilbo
(for personal use only)

North Korea has apparently agreed to informal dialogue with its partners in the six-party nuclear talks before the resumption of a formal round.

Japan's Mainichi Shimbun said Pyongyang expressed willingness to hold preliminary nuke talks to China's top nuclear envoy Wu Dawei when he visited earlier this week.

While meeting with a group of Japanese opposition lawmakers in Beijing, Wu said North Korea agreed to a one-on-one with the U.S. and then join an informal meeting of top representatives to the six-way talks.

The daily added that Wu will soon visit Seoul and Tokyo to discuss the matter in detail. However, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said it is unaware of the planned trip.

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C.  Nuclear Cooperation

UAE, US Ink Deal on Nuclear Power
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The UAE and the US have inked an agreement for the exchange of technical information and cooperation in "nuclear safety, security and safeguarding matters".

The UAE''s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the US have signed the agreement on behalf of the two nations.

The agreement, signed at the NRC''s headquarters in Washington, was made within the framework of the bilateral nuclear cooperation (123) agreement between the two governments, which was implemented on December 17, 2009.

"The UAE''s civilian nuclear energy programme upholds the highest standards of safety, security, nonproliferation and operational transparency.

"Government officials, nonproliferation advocates and energy experts worldwide have called the UAE approach a gold standard for countries interested in exploring nuclear energy for the first time," a statement said.

The FANR-NRC cooperation agreement will allow for the exchange of technical information relating to the regulation of and environmental impact of nuclear energy facilities.

Besides, it will allow for joint safety research exchange, as well as nuclear safety training for personnel.

The signing ceremony was attended by Yousuf Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US.

"This cooperation arrangement is a major milestone that will strengthen the mutual cooperation between the UAE and the US in the areas of nuclear safety, security and safeguards," al Otaiba said.

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China, South Africa In Talks On Nuclear Power Cooperation
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China National Nuclear Corp. is in talks over building a nuclear power plant in South Africa, a CNNC official said Tuesday, in the latest sign that China is gearing up to export nuclear technology at the same time as it rapidly expands its domestic reactor fleet.

Negotiations involve the potential transfer of nuclear technology to South Africa, although nothing concrete will be signed during the ongoing visit of South African President Jacob Zuma to China, the official, who declined to be named, said.

Concerns about climate change have thrust nuclear power, which relies on uranium as a fuel, back into the spotlight as a potential source of emission- free energy.

Asian countries like China plan to accelerate programs to build reactors and European nations like Sweden are ending moratoriums on new nuclear plants.

In contrast to some renewable energy sources, nuclear technology is already commercial.

Supporters say plants don't require huge amounts of land compared to wind farms or biofuel plantations, and that safety continues to improve.

South Africa produces electricity through more than two dozen conventional plants and renewable sources, and also imports power from neighboring Mozambique. However, the country has periodically experienced power crises, which have resulted in rationing of electricity to large industrial customers and rolling blackouts imposed on residential and commercial end-users.

This has prompted it to explore the potential of new nuclear power plants to fill the electricity supply gap.

China is working to become self-sufficient in advanced nuclear technology so that it doesn't need to award multibillion dollar contracts to foreign companies to build domestic plants in the future.

It's also looking at selling nuclear technology overseas in countries such as Vietnam, Belarus and Argentina. While Chinese companies are unlikely to compete with heavyweight technology providers such as Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Co. for such contracts, it helps position them for more lucrative deals in developed markets in future.

CNNC will meet several South African companies later Tuesday for further talks, the company official said, without giving more details.

South African and Chinese companies are signing a range of deals Tuesday during Zuma's visit, covering sectors including energy, banking and railways.

Standard Bank Group will sign a memorandum of understanding with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., which will provide a platform for promoting nuclear cooperation between the countries, according to a statement from the South African government delegation visiting China.

The two banks have been involved in discussions between China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co., another major state-owned nuclear reactor builder and plant operator, and the South African government, the statement said.

CNNC has previously expressed interest in helping to build Argentina's fourth nuclear power plant, Argentina's Planning Ministry said in July.

Planning Minister Julio de Vido met with the head of CNNC, Mao Xiaming, to discuss the tender of construction contracts. They agreed that a Chinese delegation will travel to Argentina in August, while in September representatives from Argentina's National Atomic Energy Commission will visit China, the ministry said.

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Japan, India In Nuclear Co-Operation Talks
All Headline News
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India and Japan are rigorously pursuing nuclear co-operation, with Japan aiming to tap into the $150 billion nuclear pie the South Asian country has to offer.

Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, in India for negotiations, said after initial hesitation he had held fruitful talks on a civil nuclear co-operation with New Delhi, adding that "the decision to start negotiations had been one of the toughest he had ever had to make."

Japan is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and initially had strong reservations to inking a N-pact with New Delhi because India has been dithering on signing the NPT.

Speaking to reporters Sunday, Okada categorically warned India that if it "conducts nuclear tests, Japan will suspend co-operation." During his visit Okada also held discussions with his Indian counterpart, SM Krishna.

Okada's visit came a day after the Indian Parliament approved a delayed draft law that will pave the way for foreign companies to construct nuclear reactors in the country.

A Foreign Ministry source said that Krishna might visit Tokyo next month for the second round of negotiations on the civil nuclear pact.

India conducted its maiden nuclear test in 1974 and then refused to sign the non-proliferation treaty. However, because of its growing financial clout, the United States inked a civil nuclear co-operation pact, with Indian Prime Minister flying to Washington to sign the deal.

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U.S. Seeking Strategic and Nuclear Dialogue with China
Newsy Stocks
(for personal use only)

The U.S. government is pursuing bilateral dialogue with China on strategic issues like nuclear forces and deterrent policy to create ''strategic stability'' between the two big powers, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

Bilateral military exchanges have been suspended since January following the U.S. announcement of an arms sale to Taiwan. But the official, who declined to be named, said, ''We hope that, when they resume, this will be a priority for China, as it is for the U.S.''

The Nuclear Posture Review -- the new nuclear policy blueprint the administration of President Barack Obama unveiled in April, said, ''With China, the purpose of a dialogue on strategic stability is to provide a venue and mechanism for each side to communicate its views about the other's strategies, policies and programs on nuclear weapons and other strategic capabilities.''

''The goal of such a dialogue is to enhance confidence, improve transparency, and reduce mistrust,'' the NPR stated.

But the official said it is uncertain when the dialogue will start because ''the interruption in military-to-military dialogue has gone on longer'' than he expected.

The official said, ''We can imagine many important topics that we would like to cover, over a decade of dialogue with China,'' adding, ''We would like to explain our concepts of strategic stability and express our concerns about the things China is doing that are troubling from our perspective.''

The official also said, ''We do not understand the type of nuclear force that will result from the current buildup in China, and we find China's lack of transparency troubling.''

A recent annual report presented to Congress by the Pentagon focusing on Chinese military capabilities called ''Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2010'' shed light on its nuclear buildup and Washington's concerns.

''China is both qualitatively and quantitatively improving its strategic missile forces,'' the report said, referring to missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to the U.S. homeland.

''China is also currently working on a range of technologies to attempt to counter U.S. and other militaries' ballistic missile defense systems,'' including maneuvering re-entry vehicles, multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles, decoys, chaff and jamming, it stated.

The official said the United States has taken seriously several nuclear weapons systems. Among them is the DF-31A, an intercontinental-range ballistic missile which can hit the U.S. mainland. Another is the DF-41, a more sophisticated type of ICBM carrying MIRV that can attack multiple targets simultaneously. Details of the development process of the DF-41 are unknown.

The official also raised concern about the uncertain status of a newly deployed strategic submarine which may carry long-range nuclear warheads. ''How many will they have? Will they be at sea all the time? Will they operate them the way other navies do, continuous at-sea deployment? Maybe not,'' he said.

The operational status of nuclear-weapon submarines has strategically significant implications because these submarines have more survivability due to their invisibility in waters.

Survivability of nuclear weapons gives more assured capability to hit enemy targets even after a nuclear firstike attack, which is crucial to the credibility of a nuclear deterrent.

The U.S. Navy has 14 strategic submarines carrying nuclear warheads like the W76 and W88 that can extend deterrent effects to its allies including Japan and South Korea, which have been under the U.S. ''nuclear umbrella'' since the Cold War era.

The official also stressed the U.S. willingness to address Chinese concerns. ''We understand that China has its own concerns about strategic stability and its own concepts of strategic stability...We have to be committed to understanding China's views and doing something more than just expressing our own concerns,'' he said.

But he added, ''We are willing to discuss anything China would like to discuss. That does not mean we are willing to tell China everything China wants to hear.''

The official noted that the U.S. missile defense system is ''not intended to negate China's strategic nuclear deterrent.'' The Chinese authorities have a strong concern about the United States deploying missile defenses because they could deny Chinese secondike capability, meaning that China would lose its nuclear retaliatory power to deter the United States from a first strike.

''We are not interested in having a Cold War-like relationship with China, but nor do we want a relationship where we're competing in terms of nuclear weapons and missiles for strategic advantage,'' he said, suggesting that Washington would reject application of the theory of mutual assured destruction, or MAD, to future U.S.-China relations.

MAD is a central strategic concept during the Cold War that was based on ''balance of terror,'' under which the United States and the Soviet Union deterred each other's first strikes by mutual threat backed by tens of thousands of retaliatory nuclear weapons. MAD is said to have accelerated their nuclear arms race.

However, the official indicated the United States would hope to create a strategic circumstance in which Chinese deterrent capability has some credit, which could lead to a mutual deterrent structure and control future nuclear expansion.

He also emphasized the importance of consultation with Japan, a country which tends to think Chinese nuclear forces pose a real existent threat.

''This is a dialogue that will touch directly on Japanese interests...we seek to advance Japan's interests in this dialogue,'' he said.

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D.  Nuclear Energy

Sudan to Build 1st Nuclear Plant
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Sudan is planning to build a nuclear reactor and its first nuclear power plant for peaceful electricity purposes by 2020, state media say.

Director-general of the Sudanese Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed Ahmed Hassan el-Tayeb, said on Sunday that his government had begun the plan for the development of the nuclear reactor at the beginning of this year.

The country "has already started preparing for the project ... in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is expected to build the first nuclear power plant in the year 2020," state news agency SUNA quoted Tayeb as saying.

An IAEA delegation is set to visit the African country this week to discuss the project, he went on to say.

Sudan has been an IAEA member since 1958, which means that it can develop nuclear energy with IAEA assistance.

Though the country has been under severe US sanctions since 1997, it has managed to boost both its oil production and increase its dam construction projects, thus encouraging growth.

However, in March, Khartoum announced that it needed to look for an alternate source of energy in an attempt to meet its growing demands.

Earlier this year, Iran offered to transfer nuclear technology to Sudan.

The African state has close economic and political ties with the Islamic Republic, which is locked in a dispute with the United States and some of its Western allies over its nuclear program.

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Egypt to Build First Nuke Power Plant
United Press International
(for personal use only)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is preparing to announce plans to construct the country's first nuclear power plant, an official said.

An unnamed source told the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry-al-Youm Mubarak is likely to name Dabaa as the site for the country's first nuclear power plant Monday.

The area located northeast of Cairo has one of the best Mediterranean beaches and a decision to build the nuclear energy plant there has been criticized by local businessmen, the newspaper said.

Earlier this month, Electricity and Energy Minister Hassan Younes said plans were under way to start an international bidding process to build the plant.

Putting the project out to international tender should ensure that Egypt gets the best price for the construction of the station, estimated to be about $4 billion, the report said.

Among the firms mentioned by the newspaper are French nuclear reactor maker Areva, the French engineering group Alstom and the U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Co., the paper said.

Officials estimate the nuclear plant will increase Egypt's power capacity of up to 4,000 megawatts by 2025, the paper said.

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E.  Nuclear Safety

Emergency Exercise Conducted for Nuclear Plant
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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is conducting an emergency preparedness exercise at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant.

The exercise scheduled for Tuesday will include officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Xcel Energy, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the federal Department of Homeland Security. Officials from Minnesota's Dakota and Goodhue counties and Wisconsin's Pierce County will also participate.

Officials say the exercise will test those agencies responsible for protecting the health and safety of area residents in the unlikely event of a nuclear incident. A scenario for the exercise will be chosen at random.

The Department of Homeland Security requires that each nuclear generating plant conduct an exercise every other year. DHS will evaluate the drill.

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F.  Nuclear Industry

Central China Plans Nuke Equipment Making Hub: Report
(for personal use only)

Central China's Hubei province plans to build in the next three to five years a base to make nuclear power equipment, official news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday, part of the country's massive push to boost clean energy.

State-run China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp, State Nuclear Technology Corp (SNPTC) and Dongfang Electric will build factories in central Chinese city Wuhan to supply key equipment for the planned nuclear power plant in Xianning.

The Xianning plant, one of China's first nuclear reactors in the inland region, will use third-generation AP1000 technology developed by Westinghouse, a unit of Japan's Toshiba, Chinese state media has said.

China, the world's second-largest energy user and electricity market after the United States, will likely boost its total nuclear power capacity to top 75 gigawatts by 2020, a senior energy official said in July, or more than eight times its current working capacity.

China sees nuclear power as one of the most effective tools -- hydropower and natural gas are among the others -- to achieve its goal on greenhouse gas emission cuts, by reducing its heavy dependence on dirty coal.

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G.  Links of Interest

Nuclear Suppliers Group and the IAEA Additional Protocol
Mark Hibbs
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
(for personal use only)

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